Looking ahead to 2011

In terms of decision making 2010 was quite a year and in 2011 I get to follow through on some of those decisions. There are a number of challenges ahead: In January we launch Hope Church and as a church begin Just 10. We’ll also apply to universities in Sweden. At the end of January I’ll bring some teaching from Philippians to York CU at their houseparty. In February I visit Sweden and try and work out where we’ll live for 9 months or so, plus pray and fast with…

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One of the most signifcant years of my life

As I think back over this past year it stands out from almost every other year. I’m not sure I can think of another year in which so many significant life shaping events and decisions have been made. It’s been a very full and momentous year (just the way I like them!). Here are just some of the highlights: January: Visited Pakistan; April: Ran the London Marathon for the 2nd time (here are the numbers) June: Began to hand over the bookshop business (completed in August) July: Became the father…

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God does not grow weary

I know this to be true (Is 40:28), I certainly sing this truth but this is not always the same as letting the truth set me free. I, unlike God, very much do grow weary. This has (and is) a testing time with developments at the shop, the recent and excellent Soul Purpose, last weekends Borderlands, working on a church merger, in addition to all the normal business involved in church leadership. My own tendency is to get my head down and just work harder, to press through until I…

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Building a memorial

I’ve never thought f building a memorial, not sure who or what I’d build one to but in the centre of Karachi is the Mazar-e-Quaid, the tomb of Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of the nation of Pakistan. It’s a national monument and a symbol of the respect that Pakistanis continue to have for their founder. It’s guarded and people come from all over to visit the tomb. It’s a peaceful place, the mausoleum is set in an attractive park, even though the fountains weren’t working and not every pool…

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Life is Fragile

Humanity is remarkable for all sorts of reasons, one is our ability to be so supremely confident about something so fragile. Life. Two stories have hit me in the last 24 hours that remind me powerfully that our hold on life is so fragile and as a result our trust in God should increase. First, two nights ago a friend told me how a few months ago another friend of hers lost a 3 year old child to a heart attack and then last night she lost a second child,…

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Contraception and the beginning of life (part 2)

So here’s my response to yesterday’s ethical dilemma but here’s the heart of my response…(slightly edited version) “A nice easy question for me. We went through the same issue not long after we were married and so we spent quiet some time looking into it. I talked with a few Christian doctors and got their opinion and I was pointed in the direction of the work by Professor John Guillebaud, who is a leading expert on the subject and helpfully also a believer. In the end, because there was no…

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Contraception and the beginning of life (part 1)

I often find the question ‘what does a church leader actually do?’ because there’s so much variety that neat categories rarely fit. Plus some of the things I do have little value to a non-believer. Preparing talks? Very productive. Anyway, here’s a question I was emailed this week to get my head around. “Sorry about this but I would value your opinion on this topic! I only just found out this week that some pro-lifers believe that some of the most common methods of contraception can cause an early abortion.…

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Too busy online to really live?

A friend of mine recently chatted to me about the whole idea of being ‘off-line:on-life’ and it’s worked it’s way deep into my soul. I live way too much through my computer screen – the endless emails, the blogs I read and this one I update, the entertaining amusement and occasional connection that is Facebook, news and post online through the BBC. Then there are several websites to update and contribute to, including a shop, a charity, a cause and a church. Talks to listen to, books to review and…

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