a church in carrick-on-shannon

Archive for July, 2007

People are more important than projects

Here’s the shining faces of the team at Karvina just before heading up to Krakow for the return flight img_6628.jpg 

Hi guys! So nice to be home in dear old Ireland. Hot showers! Hairdryers! Potato bread!  Just arrived back last night/ early morning with a rather jaded mission team from the Beskydys (Czech Republic). We have to check Lucy at Casualty tomorrow, when she wakes up…. she has a suspected fracture (to the left foot) and Vanessa will apparently have headaches for the next three months following her serious concussion. Is this what Jesus meant when he said that the enemy comes to steal, kill and to destroy? Sometimes, I must admit, it seems a little paranoid and childish to talk like that. Other times -like when you’re on a mission trip and doing your serious best to counter the enemy plans- it seems very real. I’ve been re-reading the gospel of Mark and the sheer multplicity of Jesus’ encounters with the devil and with the demon-possessed sounds more like something out of Harry Potter, than the way my (conventional) church background would have me believe.

Anyway, we had an amazing time with a bunch of forty teenagers high up the mountains, introducing them to bluegrass and introducing ourselves to the delights of Czech cooking. No electricity but plenty of buzz. And the title phrase of this post came to me as a kind of insight into the way church (I mean the body of Christ) operates…. not through schemes, plans, theologies, institutions…. not through any kind of projects at all. I was a bit sad about that, being good at projects.

But only ever through people. After all, people ARE the project, if you want to put it like that, according to the end of Matthew 28. And in the course of this adventure that we call life, people are on the frontline.

So, guys, pray for Vanessa and Lucy and also for all the young people who have come to Christ over the last few weeks. I sense that I must never focus on plans but only the Lord. Maybe like that difference between church as FAMILY and church as BUSINESS?


Jesus Take The Wheel

Love that country….. (Carrie Underwood clip).



Unbelittleability is one of those amazing words that do not appear on a googlesearch (until now?) and yet encompass something of basic….crucial importance.

It’s all about the way you think of yourself. When this quality develops you stop thinking about your inadequacies and you learn to define yourself by what God thinks of you.

It’s the process going in in Psalm 139, when the writer recognises that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made”. You see it in Acts 4:24-31 where the believers redefine themselves, not in terms of the opposition ranged against them (“Consider their threats”) but in terms of the Sovereign Lord who is the Creator, Revealer and Predestinator (“You made…you spoke…you decided”). You hear it when Joel Osteen invites the people to hold up their Bibles and to declare “This is my Bible. I am what it says I am…”.

So what does it say about you? The quotation that I’m going to use tomorrow in church comes from Leviticus 26:13. The version I have here renders it thus: “I have broken the bars of your yoke… I have enabled you to walk with head held high.” Head held high! Jesus has set you free from sin. He has broken that slavery. You’re a free man. Walk tall.

Remember those questions that Paul flashes out in Romans 8:31-39? If God be for us…who can be against us? If God gave his son, will he not give us everything we need? If God has chosen us, who can accuse us? If Christ declares us free, who can condemn us? It’s as if he’s defying anyone to answer.

And it makes you unbelittleable. Who can put you down when God has raised you up? You are going to heaven, man. You’re going to judge angels. “I have enabled you to walk with head held high.” So be who you really are.

Is this the best music in the world?


Internet Shopping 2: SPRITUAL THERAPY


Cutie picture apropos of nothing….but here’s another liberal helping of superlative bloggery

Congratulations to Cranach Blog for receiving the Riversmeeting God’s Golfball Award for thinking outside the box.

  • Adrian Warnock The one where all Noel’s sermons come from?
  • Albert Mohler He’s the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary who also does a daily live radio show.
  • Between Two Worlds What can I say? I love bridge-builders… even the title picture had me hooked.
  • Desiring God Blog We are always referring to John Piper. Check out this uber-blog.
  • And a few hon mentions:

  • Exegetical Reflections
  • Expository Thoughts
  • Girl Talk
  • Gospel Driven Blog
  • Gospel Driven Life
  • Helm’s Deep
  • In Light of the Gospel
  • Jim Hamilton
  • Josh Harris
  • Pure Church
  • Pyromaniacs
  • Reformation 21
  • Spirit of God
  • Stand to Reason
  • Terry Virgo I once shared a lift in a Bristol hotel with this guy and I can assure you that he says “What floor do you want?” in the kindest possible tones.
  • The best is yet to come All this and heaven too.
  • The Shepherd’s Scrapbook High quality pastoral exposition
  • Tim Challies
  • Together for the Gospel
  • Word and Spirit
  • Worship Matters
  • Living dangerously/ going higher


    Habukkuk 3: 19: “The sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains”  (OK, it’s a goat).

    Internet shopping: THERAPY


    Sophisticated pleasure from pistolpete: ENJOY…

    Music Therapy

    Christian Acoustic Praise Cafe :  Christian Folk: Substance over Style.
    FaithRock Radio : Upbeat pop/rock Christian tunes to inspire troubled souls.
    Oh Boy Radio:  Just a taste of John Prine and friends.  Yum.  Yum.


    Talk Therapy 

    Prodigal Daughter:  On a journey back to the loving arms of her Father.

    Haystacks:  From a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, an enigma, and a Twinkie. 


    Literary Therapy

    Miss Austen Remembers : The Place for Charm & Wit & all things Brit

     bookbabie:  Writing, art, books, and other good stuff all in a gluten-free zone.


    Family Therapy

    Subarctic Mama:  Funny, insightful, freezing cold.

    Just Enjoy Him: Ramblings of a Mid-Life Mom – Motherhood, adoption & more.

    The Fuzzball Chronicles: The Life and Times of Curly Mommy

    Them and Us: Another Day of Half-Eaten Apples


    Spiritual Therapy

    One for the road…  A journey of faith within and beyond the Church.

     god4today:  words from today and days gone by following God’s Word.

    Martha, Martha:  stumbling after Christ and totally neurotic.

    Bit of Smoke:  Faith in the Word.  The Word in action.

    More Than Stone:  Trying to live out the resurrection…

    Psycho Therapy

    Dr. X’s Free Associations:  Makes you insane, then restores your sanity. 

    Bipolar Chicks Blogging:  Finding the method behind the madness.


    Self-Reflective Therapy

    Avoiding Crisis: 210 Days of Self-Exploration, one woman’s journey to thirty.

    Experiencing the Journey: A mom trying to follow God in this crazy world.



    Cognitive Therapy

    Matt’s Musings: what’s inside my head?  Answer: A lot!  (some quite good)

    Thought Revolution:  Searching for common sense amidst the tempest of life.

    The Epicurean Dealmaker:  Philosophical reflections on cultural phenomena.


    Educational Therapy

    Life:  The Ongoing Education : Observations of an insightful student-teacher.


    Art Therapy

    s.m. ART:  Art is good.  Art is wise.  Words and images to nourish the soul.