God doesn’t need me to change his mind – and that’s a good thing

Remember that age old question about whether or not God ever changes his mind and the case study of Abraham interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah/ Lot? Well it came up during our fantastic and lively Faithroots Live session yesterday.

The assumption is that God plans to wipe out the city and this means Lot, Abraham’s nephew will be killed. This moves Abraham to intercede for Lot and the result is that his life is saved. Continue reading

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Joseph’s Story (Genesis 37-50 Big Picture)

The book of Genesis closes with the story of Jacob’s 12 sons focusing specifically on Joseph (Genesis 37 -50). It tells how the people of Israel found themselves in Egypt prior to the Exodus.

Jacob has settled back in Canaan and had 12 sons via his two wives, Leah and Rachel as well as their maidservants who they give to him as concubines. Rachel, his first and greater love has provided him with two of the sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Continue reading

Two Trees

Here’s a further thought about the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve are in the Garden, they are told they can eat from any of the trees except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

There were two trees at the centre of the Garden. The other was the Tree of Life.  The first humans were not forbidden from eating from this tree. Continue reading

Putting Down Roots (Genesis 23)

When Sarah and I came to Bearwood, I had been offered a 3 year contract (in fact when I signed they were able to extend this to 5 years)  Sarah was still waiting to see if she would find a job.  We were grateful to the church for its willingness to sacrificially support us for 3 years. The wise thing to do at that stage would have been to rent a house or flat as we might have had to move again in 3 years’ time.

However, we felt it right to buy a house. We wanted to show that we were ready to put down roots here and to live among the people God had called us to work with.

Genesis 23 may in some ways feel a bit like a strange anti-climax to the life of Abraham, an odd way to finish the story but actually it is a vital lesson in putting down roots.

So, let’s take a look.  First of all some minor side applications and then our main application. Continue reading

Lot’s Daughters and an X rated ending (Genesis 19:30-38)

If this Bible passage was a film then it would be rated 18. The content is so shocking.  Here is a  reminder that the Bible isn’t afraid to look honestly at the mess and brokenness of our world

This is a story about being trapped and shamed so if you feel trapped by the mess of life, your own failure, sin and shame -the Bible speaks to you.

But it also gives a serious warning to those of us who risk complacency in our attitude towards God and others. So see here two warnings but hang on in to the end where we will discover great hope. Continue reading

The Challenge (Genesis 3)

At this point, all looks well. God has created a good creation, fit for purpose. Humans live in that Creation, enjoying a garden paradise under God’s rule and blessing. They are responsible for caring for and ruling over creation. Then things start to go wrong Continue reading