Just a note to remind me of a (an?) hilarious sketch to illustrate group dynamics at CF. What kind of fish would Jesus be? Indeed.


Hocus-Pocus … the return

Gosh – it’s been quite a long time since I blogged. It has been quite a busy time for the husband and me, but at least it seems to be calming down slightly now.
So, my attention turns to prep for the year ahead in the mid-week Bible study I go to. This year – 1 Corinthians. A cursory reading throws up lots of very interesting points to look into in more detail, and plenty of ‘wrestling with the text’ will have to be undertaken.
For my use (even if no-one else finds it useful), I’m going to post some useful links to sites/blogs re: 1 Corinthians (thanks to Mete Pyers for starting me off with some useful links re: cessationism etc.).
This year is going to be fun!

Testing Times: Stop!

Sermon notes from this morning – really good, and excellent service (lots of Psalm-singing). Really useful as well, as we are just beginning to study Judges in Central Focus, and so it was helpful to go back a little in Israel’s history and understand the ‘backstory’.

This is about coming so close, but being so far from glory. About the agony of loss. About the rewards of perserverance for those who never stop believing. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Numbers 13-14

Research (13:1-33)
Gathering Intelligence
Spies are sent out into Canaan to gather intelligence. They report back that it is a land of milk and honey – BUT – the people are strong, the cities fortified and large.

Minority Report – Caleb reports back and is v.positive – ‘we should go up at once! we are well able etc.’

Majority Report – the other spies persuade the people that they are not able. The people of Canaan are stronger. Spin the news – v32b – land devours its inhabitants, ‘we are like grasshoppers’.

Response (14:1-10)
The people panic
Focussing on God’s enemies, rather than God’s power.
The faithful preach
Do not rebel, do not fear – ‘they are bread for us’ – ‘their protection is removed’.
Danger of making people big and God small

We are so often immobilised in our spiritual lives due to fear of what pressing on with Jesus might mean (oh, so very true).

Reaction (14:11-38)
Disinheritance threatened
God would disinherit – look back – only Joshua and Caleb remain from the generations in the wilderness who refused to go in.
Prayer for God’s glory
v17 – appeal to God’s character as revealed in Exodus 34.
Moses recognises that God must be just.
The final straw
All the grumblers – vv36-37. 10 spies die (the majority report). v29 – all your numbernumber who have grumbled against me will die in the wilderness. Look back at Numbers 1 – a great nation then – all died in the wilderness.
The faithful few

Today if you hear his voice ….

No loss is so gut-wrenching or permanent as losingout on heaven. Do not surrender to the flesh and devil.

Hocus Pocus Central Focus

Was simply excellent this evening. 14 people in the group, of whom 3 were new, and lots of people who had not been able to make it for a while.
John 15:1-17.
Lots of discussion, lots of people enjoying handling God’s Word and encouraging one another. Lots of cake!
Quote of the evening – “God wants a big fat healthy vine with lots of big fat juicy grapes”. I quite liked that.
Joy. Joy. Joy!

Thoughts from Central Focus …

I should preface this post with the comment that these thoughts are not necessarily mine – just notes I made during the study that I thought worth recording.

Would we allow strangers, friends, family to insult our mother (or indeed, sister, brother, father, friend)? Probably not…
Why then do we allow the Name of Jesus to be insulted? Why do we not react?

When we sin, do we only feel remorse, or do we actually repent? Are we sufficiently aware of the distinction?

Boooks… and Revelation.

One of the happy side effects of this blog is that many of those reading have a much better library than me.
This means that the day after I post my comments on the 39 Articles I am lent a nice big fat book on them.
And it has Latin in it (purring contentedly like a cat …. not that this particular cat reads Latin…. but just likes things that are a bit hard….. like the mammoth mp3 by Don Carson on the “New Perspective on Paul” which comes in at an enormous 2hrs 36. Not sure that I’ve understood very much of it at all, but I’ll just keep listening until I do…..)

Hellenists met again tonight – covered another four verses. We should be looking at John itself next term which is both good and terrifying. Will have to do some work.

Might be going to Uganda with Feeble in September which is exciting, but may need to rearrange other holiday plans. Perhaps I should just use one of my weeks off as a reading week. I could go and sit in the British Library. Or indeed, I could go and get a brown Bod Card and sit in a library in Oxford. (Sigh, contentedly).

Finished Revelation in Central Focus this evening – all over so quickly. Point for thought – given Rev 22:17 – what stops us praying this? What are we putting in front of our desire for Jesus to return? (e.g. the holiday we are planning, the social plans we have, the things we want to ‘achieve’ in church/work etc., family plans….)