Planning, Integrity and true Purity (Proverbs 16)

Anyone been for a health check-up recently?  Eyes, teeth, heart … maybe the full MOT.  How did you get on?

Have you ever done one of those life check-ups? How’s your overall well-being? This isn’t just your physical health but how are you doing emotionally, is your life a success, what’s your status -financial prosperity etc?

One of the things that God’s Word does for us as we gather each Sunday is it provides a life check-up. Earlier this year we did a “whole church health-check when we looked at Revelation 2-3. This one is a bit more about each of us as individuals. So how are we doing against the following markers of a “healthy life.” Continue reading

The wise and foolish Builders – OT version (Proverbs 14)

Blenheim palaceThe other week, we visited Blenheim Palace. It’s an impressive tourist attraction, an elegantly designed building set in acres of beautiful parkland.  As well as being a tourist attraction, it’s actually the home of the Marlborough family. However, a number of commentators have observed that it wasn’t so much designed to be a home as a memorial to John Churchill, victor at the Battle of Blenheim.

So what does it take to make a home? Continue reading

The Disciplined Life (Proverbs 12)

It’s not often that you get away with calling someone stupid is it? But that’s exactly what Solomon does in Proverbs 12.

” To learn, you must love discipline;

it is stupid to hate correction.” Continue reading

Seeking the Good of the City (Proverbs 11)

Why does it matter how our politicians, celebrities and business leaders behave? Why the tabloid obsession with their misdemeanours? Partly it’s just gossip. But a big part of it links to a sense of justice – that good people should do well and when they do, we all do well.

It’s why we get behind the underdog -especially if they have a compelling back story. If an X-Factor’s singing ability is in doubt do a VT about how they love their nan!

It’s why we care about seeing the right people elected for the right reasons. It’s what made the referendum so hard for many – on the one hand a perception of rulers who were remote, unaccountable, self-interested but on the other hand people stirring up hatred for their own ends.

And there was a time when the simple thing for Christians was to simply go to church, enjoy their faith in private and not to connect those things up -privatised.  However, there’s been a renewal of the idea that our faith should influence our engagement with public life. Some people talk about our responsibility to seek the welfare of the City. Continue reading

What kind of church? A Discerning Church (1 Corinthians 4)

Discernment is about making judgements about people and plans.  How we do it?  Well, contemporary society tells us that “the consumer is king.” It’s for us as customers to decide what is best for us, what we are worth, whether that’s about objects (cars, houses, TVs. Tablets etc), relationships or entertainment.  Saturday night TV invites us to sit back on our sofas and judge as an line up of singers, comedians, dancers and the occasional performing dog are paraded in front of us for us to judge like gladiators before the Emperor.  Continue reading

What’s red and furry and climbs trees? (avoiding the Sunday School answer)

red squirrel I like to “think out loud” sometimes prior to sermons by sharing some thoughts and questions around the subject. It helps me to think through some questions, gives others a chance to see something of my thinking process and also means that we learn more from each other. So here are some jottings in advance that will hopefully provoke some further thoughts back. Here’s an email I sent out to a few people this week. I thought I’d post it here too and maybe it’ll lead to a few comments back from further afield

This Sunday we get to Proverbs 8 in our Finding Wisdom series

Continue reading