By -, Sep 28 2018 11:00AM
Ok, so I’m now in formal theological training at Church Mission Society in Oxford. With that in mind, you’re likely to see a subtle shift in what I write about. I hope my writing style doesn’t change too much or go too far over people’s heads, but I still feel it’s valuable for me to connect you with where God is leading me, so we can go on this little road-trip together!
I was so caught up in what I was doing last week that I forgot to write! This may happen from time to time. Please continue to support me in prayer though! I see prayer as a sort of “arm-chair missionary” work: you do the mission of God through your prayers. God is calling me (and US!) into many things. Perhaps you’ve been called into ministry of support and prayer?! On to the thought for the week!
Today’s my birthday. I’m twenty-six...teen. Yes, you read that right, Twentysixteen. (just do the math, 20+6+teen) (I’ll leave that with you). This morning, my wife gave me a birthday card. It’s homemade, printed on our home printer on normal printing paper. The image on the front doesn’t quite reach the edges of the page. It’s not got a specialized greeting printed on the inside saying “Best wishes on your Birthday, champ!” It doesn’t have a pin-on badge proudly stating my age. Nor does it play “Happy Birthday” when you open it. But it’s thoroughly brilliant. In fact, I nearly cried when I opened it.
Here’s why: For the record, I’m a BIG batman fan, my initials even spell B.A.T.. So, this birthday card has on it a custom designed BatMan symbol on it with a unique, intricate network of lines making up the shape. Below this, there is a brilliant batman quote from the comics. In fact, there are two: one on either side. The messages are pertinent to me, personally, and reflect the feelings that the person who gave it to me has for me. This card is a one of a kind! There’s not another one like it! This card was made with me in mind. Inside is a heartfelt message underlining our life together, up until now and on into the future. This card, at its core, symbolises Jennie’s love for me!
I have begun “Pioneer Mission Leadership Training” to become a Licensed Lay Pioneer Missionary/Minister. What a ride! Suffice to say, it’s all the adrenaline and intensity of a roller coaster but stretched out over a long period. At it’s foundation, it is theological training.We are learning to reflect theologically on the culture and context we live in. In a recent book I was reading, I came to an interesting conclusion. This may be a subtle leap, but it works in my head, so go with it. The word “Theology” has at it’s root two Greek words: Theo- [God] and -logy [word, speaking, talk]. So “Theology literally means speaking or talking about God, explaining the experience of God, literally: Words of God. The suffix “-logy” is rooted in the word “Logos”. When I looked up the definition of Logos, this is what the internet dictionary gave me:
Logos /ˈlɒɡɒs/ noun
1. the Word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order, identified in the Gospel of John with the second person of the Trinity incarnate in Jesus Christ.
Whoa! Intense! Thanks for that awesome revelation, Google dictionary!!
The book i was reading pointed out that someone once referred to Moses as a kind of “theology”. In Exodus 4, God instructs Moses to give words to Aaron, his brother,to give to the children of Israel and God would instruct both of them how to speak. So, God’s words were transferred. I wonder, if the word was transferred to Moses and Aaron, when we received the Word as transferred through His Spirit and the Bible, does that mean that we, ourselves, ARE a form of “Theology”?
Later in the Bible, we read that the Word of God built all of creation and creation only exists because the Word of God holds it together. Ultimately, we read that the Word of God organised itself into Flesh and lived with us. He made a sacrifice in His very existence, ultimately taking on our death, defeating it’s power and imprisonment over us for all eternity. Finally, the Word of God put Himself into our lives, leaving the Spirit of His Word to counsel us in all things.
In this life, we have been given a gift. In fact, the gifts we have been given are endless! We could never count them all! NEVER. It is the heart of God, His Love for us as shown through His Word. Jesus, the One anointed to bring us out of darkness, out of captivity to destruction, into healing from brokenness and pain, into life, TRUE Life with Him and in Him! Once we give up the broken lives we live, giving them over to Him, it’s as if we were reborn! And our old lives are over. From that moment on, everything is made new! Things may look like the same-old stuff we were used to, but as we look deeper, as we unwrap this new life, we see something so much bigger. We see the love that God has shown us in each and every part of each and every day. And this love is lived out of us as well! It’s so big, it has to be shared! How amazing would it be if everyone you know right now knew this love for themselves?!
I’ll leave that there!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
John 1:1-5, 14
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[understood] it.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Father, bless these people who read this today! Open hearts and minds to know something more of you! Build YOUR life in their hearts! Establish Your Kingship firmly in their lives! And lead people into the mission You have for them! Help them to realise that they are anointed in the same anointing that Jesus first had, that we now carry on! Teach us how to move in this anointing, under your rule and your reign! Build Your Kingdom Here, and start with me!
I’m at SELWOOD ACADEMY this week! I’ll be catching up with the kids I mentor and chatting with the CU Group.
Wednesday, Richard Kelley, James Markham and I sat down with the head of Selwood, Mrs. Jean Hopegood and the Diocese (Church county) of Bath & Wells Chaplaincy advisor. We began training in Chaplaincy and are slowly becoming official school chaplains! I’ll be continuing with pastoral care for the children as I have been, but also assisting James and Richard with their pastoral areas. This is huge! God is placing us in a particular role of trust in this school! May He be glorified in all we do!
• For God to be made known in the lives of the children and staff at Selwood.
• For the children and staff, that they would each have a unique experience of God’s Love in their lives and His hand working in obvious ways!
• For James, Richard and I, that we would be made ready for this! That God would equip us with His Love, His wisdom and knowledge, and with His Father-heart for each of the people we meet.
Town Missions Work, Hope Frome
It’s a Coffee Van Friday this week! We’ll be out in St. John’s forecourt from 10pm-2am, sharing hot drinks and a chance to sit and chat. Pray that the conversations reflect God’s love. Also pray for us as we go on our prayer walk, which usually involves handing out copious amounts of Jelly Babies and long chats with passers by. Pray that the Kingship of God would be built up in the town of Frome!
Church Youth Work
SUNDAY CAFE is ON this week! We’ll be in the 3rd week of exploring prayer and our connection with the Maker of all Creation in our REALationship series! Pray that we’d be faithful in what God is calling us to do, how God is calling us (leaders) to minister. These Young people are precious. They’re not only the future of the Church. They’re PRESENTLY part of the church and should be valued and invested in with equal measure to those who’ve been in the church 10 times longer. (parable of the workers in the fields, anyone???)
• For fresh inspiration, fresh new life, a wash of new faces and new charism, and a huge downpour of giving.
I’ve made it through Induction and Week 1 of Pioneer Mission Leadership training at CMS! I am still feeling as though I’ll be swamped at various points, but week one was an absolute blessing! The first module is designed to help you to reflect, theologically, on your understanding of faith, God, culture & society, and ultimately on your social context, the people in the place you live. The idea is that you don’t DO mission ON them, that will never work. You reflect on their situation and you care for them based on their needs and values. And the ultimate motivation is that God is glorified and Jesus’ anointing is pursued!
There are already a good handful of people who I have cross-links with, which is always fun to find! And several of us have outdoorsy backgrounds, so we’ll likely be making connections that way!
But all this to say, I still need a bucket of prayer:
• For me through the beginning of what will probably be one of the more mentally challenging things I’ve done in a while.
• For my spiritual walk. I feel pretty strong right now, but when everything I believe is systematically pulled to pieces, pray that God pulls it all back together and keeps my tethers tight!
• For Jennie and I. I’ve stepped away from a paying job so I can focus on this training and ministering in the context of Frome (as a whole). This decision was made mutually between Jennie and I as we both feel that God is leading us into a more missional direction for our life.
• For the vision I’ve seen that I feel is God’s leading me into doing something. Pray that I’d be eager and willing. That I’d be hot off the mark, in the right gear, on the ball with the things I need to do, that God is telling me to do!
• Above all, that God is Glorified in my life!