Posts Tagged ‘blog’

Hudson Taylor’s notebook (Job – Part 3)

I genuinely feel sorry for Job, though I’m unsure if I should. The same God that loves us loved Job, and He who’s to say He wont show His love in the same way!  What great lessons there are to learn, in many ways I’m so glad God has given us the story of Job is in the Bible. It just reveals and teaches us so much like! Anyway here’s the final in the thoughts from Hudson Taylors notebook on the book of Job, if you haven’t read the other 2 I suggest reading them first (below) then this. Coolio!

Lessons Which Prosperity Could Not Teach.

“During the time of affliction Job learned lessons which all his life of prosperity could not teach him. The mistakes he made in the hastiness of his spirit were corrected; the knowledge of God was deepened and increased. He exclaims that he had heard of him previously, and knew God by hearsay only, but that now his eyes saw him, and his acquaintance with God had become personal knowledge.  And after all this, Job lived 140 years, and saw his grandchildren to the 4th generation.
If we are to say that Job’s prosperity was blessed prosperity then his adversity, likewise was blessed adversity? ‘Weeping may we remain for the night, but joy comes in the morning’ (2Tim2:13), and the night of weeping will bear a fruit more rich and permanent than any day of rejoicing.  

Light out of darkness is God’s order.

In this day, when material causes are so much dwelt upon that there is a danger in forgetting the unseen agencies, let us not underestimate our unseen foes.  It would be comparatively easy to deal with our visible enemies, if the invisible foes were not behind them.  We need to put on the whole armour of God, and not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. But let us not lose sight of the precious truth that God alone is Almighty. If God is for us who can be against us?”

Hope you’ve learned from Hudson’s insights as I know I did.
Standing on Grace


Hudson Taylor’s notebook (Job – Part 2)

Continuing our thoughts on Job, Hudson, a man who suffered similarly to the apostle Paul for the sake of Christ and the gospel in China reflects further on the book of Job.  If you haven’t read the blog below I suggest you to before this but it should make sense on it’s own anyway!  Though this is a harder pill to swallow.

Was Job Mistaken?

“God who sent the trial gave also the needed grace, and Job replied to his wife’s sneer ‘the Lord has given and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ (1:21)
Was not Job mistaken? Should he not have said ‘the Lord gave and Satan has taken away?’ NO, there was no mistake.  He was enabled to discern the hand of God in all calamities.  Satan himself did not presume to ask God to allow himself to afflict Job.  He says to God ‘Stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and surly he will curse you to your face.’ and again ‘Stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and surly he will curse you to your face.’

Satan knew that none but God could touch Job, and Job was quite right in recognising the Lord himself as the doer.  Often we shall be helped and blessed if we understand that Satan is servant, and not master, and that he, and wicked men incited by him, are only permitted to do that which God by his foreknowledge has determined should be done.

Come joy or come sorrow, we may take it from the hand of God.

Job’s family and friend failed and seem to have forgotten him.  Those who dwelt in his house counted him as a stranger, and his servants gave no answers to his calls.  Worse than that, his own wife turned from him. No wonder that those who looked on thought that God Himself had become his enemy.
Yet it was not so.  With a tender Father’s love, God was watching all the time; and when the testing had lasted long enough the temporary trial gave way to songs of deliverance.”

Standing on Grace

Hudson Taylor’s Notebook (Job – Part 1)

Just finished a book called radical discipleship based on the life of Hudson Taylor, it’s the book I read on honeymoon… This is not a copy and paste job, I’m going to type out some thoughts from hudson’s notebook as he reflects on the book of Job. His thoughts really summed up what I had wrestled with a couple of years ago as I looked at the book.
The story of Job is about a guy who’s experiences has rocked my theology to the ground and rebuilt the foundations of my faith and now I can see the God who delights in His children’s faithfulness and calls us to depend on His more clearly and with more love! 

Going to do this over three blogs this first one looking at the intro of the book and that central verse “does Job serve God for nothing”

“The veil is taken away from the unseen world and we learn much of the power of our great enemy, but also his powerlessness apart from the permission of God our Father.
Satan would very frequently harass the believer in times of sorrow and trial leading him to think that God is angry with him.
But our Father delight to trust a trust-worthy child with trial. Take the case of Abraham: God so trusted him that he was not afraid to call of upon hid servant to offer up his only son.  And in the case of Job, it was not Satan that challenged God, but God who challenged Satan to find any flaw in Job’s character.  In each case grace and patience and fidelity were rewarded. 
The replay of Satan is noteworthy. He had considered God’s servant and evidently knew all about him.  The arch-enemy found all his own efforts ineffectual to harass and lead astray God’s beloved servant.  He found a hedge around him. How blessed to be so protected.”  (just like we are!).
“Satan having found no fault in his character or life, insinuates that’s it’s out of selfishness.  “Does Job fear God for nothing?” and indeed he did not as satan well knew! Nor has anyone before or since. There is no service that pays so well as the service to our heavenly Father. Satan is making a true assertion, the insinuation that it was for the sake of the reward that Job served God was not true.  And to vindicate the character of Job himself, Satan is permitted to test Job.  And soon Satan shows the evilness of his character by bringing disaster after disaster upon the devoted man.”

2 more blogs to come!

Standing on Grace

Jukebox Preachers

One of my sources of wisdom come on radio folye from 10:30- 12, it’s the Gerry Anderson show!

though today he was very mild on the comedy front, he said something which for once made me think of stuff that matters.  Gerry is like my wee cheer up in the middle of the day, not that my days need to much cheering up these days, but a wee laugh at our fine country is always a good thing.  He said, that in music, “commercialism is saying something well that doesn’t need to be said.”  And as you think of rap, dance, country, pop music (the main genres produced for mass sale), there is never anything of any substance said, I mean I could read out lyrics of a rap song, and show you how pointless they are, but that I guess would be pointless! It’s just interesting that the majority of people don’t want to hear anything that would rock the boat, they’re more that happy listening to what happened to Katy Perry last Friday night, or how eminem went through another violent breakup.  Just stuff that doesn’t matter.  We need to be very careful that this commercialism does not creep into the church (as it may be).  A ministers/pastors job is to challenge you into the life of Christ, to match your wee story with God’s big story.  And challenging hope filled sermons should result in life altering, however it’s clear from the mass market of music and other stuff that people don’t naturally want to change from comfy lives. And so we’re left with a dilemma.  Should the pastor/minister preach nice easy going sermons and so keep people happy and at church, I’ll call these jukebox preachers (just giving people what they want), or should they preach sermons that cause people to be so in awe of grace that they try and fit in with God’s big story even if it causes upset with those who don’t want to be in the un-comfy position of being challenged.  I obviously in favor of the later.  I would think if your pastor isn’t causing you to think (what do I need to clean-up, what do I need to stop, what do I need to start, what to I need to get better at) then he/she’s not doing their job…

Check this out in 2 tim 4

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

I think this blog is in a very meandering (such is the pattern of my thoughts) way trying to say that it’s not easy being challenged but it’s good for you; and you’ll never be challenged if you always think you are right!  However through all of this it’s important to remember that the challenge must be Bible based.

I’m going to end now before I go off on any more tangents, what can I say I get married in a week and I’m just writing this cause I can’t think what else needs to go into my speech.

Standing on grace

Matt Redman 10’000 Reasons review

In a tweet
10’000 reasons is an explosion of worship in an anthem of sound

In a status update
Matt Redman has created an incredibly fresh, energetic, heartfelt live worship album which comes from a heart that’s humble, focused, grounded and true.  This album will remind you of the 10’000 reasons we have to worship our God with a bold banner above them all “YOU ARE FAITHFUL, GOD YOU ARE FAITHFUL”.

In a blog
If you’re looking to get the hoovering done in a rush, stick on the opening track of Matt Redman’s new album 10’000 reasons and it’s sure to speed you up.  Matt has done a great job at ignoring the rule that worship albums should have themes and styles and he’s simply fired together 11 songs which engage us in worship if we choose to be impacted.

Much like a live set, (which of course this is) Matt takes us on a journey, both theologically and musically.  We’re moved from celebration, to contemplation then into confession, we’re moved from the cross to the resurrection and from God’s faithfulness to the joy of being in His family. Isn’t that great, so often we focus on one part of God as being so critical when in reality it’s an awesome awesome awesome God whom we worship, shouldn’t that just cause us to explode with worship, and that’s what’s going on here.  It’s like Mark’s gospel, ‘then Jesus did this, then he did this, then this, and this. So to I feel when listening to this record you’ll be confronted with; ‘God is great because He’s close, and also because He’s faithful, and also because He loves us, and also, He’s just great! 

Musically there’s touches of Adele in ‘Bless the lord’, and you could almost liken ‘Never once’ and ‘Where would we be’ to Snow Patrol.  Yet there are elements of techno in there with clever loops and vocal chanting going on especially in the opening track ‘We are the free’, all-in-all it’s pretty much modern rock.  Now I apologies for giving this such a positive review but it’s just tremendous to see some strong anthems coming into our worship song world.  So often we sing quite ballads but it’s great to sing songs that could fill a football stadium, songs like ‘Here for you’ and the single ‘Never once’ you could belt out more passionately than a die-heart GAA fan at the hurling final!  

Before we start thinking that maybe this album is a little too bouncy and “loud” we must remember that these songs have come from a humble heart a heart which has given the church great soft reflection worship songs like ‘I will offer up my life’ and ‘Heart of worship’.  We can trust Matt’s leading, and as far as I can listen we can trust these song to be filled with truth and yet easy to identify with.  “Good job Redman, thanks!”

check this vid with matt chatting about the album, 

this review is for VOX magazine,

Standing on Grace

1, 2, 3, RedLights

this is one of the first wee poems i wrote, thought i’d fire it up.
hope you enjoy, it’s called; 1,2,3, Redlights
standing on grace




Red lights in my town, keep control of cars
they stop anger and road-rage, yes, red lights make traffic halt.
When they shine, you don’t question their rule
knowing the red light is never at fault

It does not trap but warns of danger
keeps you safe from potential crash.
You sit and wait beside other strangers
till green shows, we make a dash.


Red lights in other towns, keep control of souls
they trap and strip inner wealth, yes, red lights promote the ‘business’.
When they shine, they attract selfish desires
promising worth but giving worthlessness

Creating a trap that rots the soul
of both the looker and looked upon.
Only Satan himself is smiling
as this “business” goes on and on.


Red lights of the world, keep control of things
some for good, some for greed, yes, there are two types of control.
But God is close, to the broken hearted
and even loves the oppressors soul

So who thinks they can take a life and sell it
turning their fathers’ hearts sick?
And who thinks more than pity’s needed
for red lights to just STOP THE TRAFFIK?


Thought I’d develop my thoughts from last week’s blog, I was thinking a lot about the cs lewis quote in it, about how when we understand that God has made this world we shouldn’t try and see how he has made it as much as ask why did He make it that way.  This has caused me to look at creation a little different this week.
I’m not much of a poet but thought I’d give it a go!  I’ll not expand on the thoughts of the poem just let it speak for itself,
here you go.

Standing on Grace

Creation’s telling a story

What if stars were not just full of smoke
With measurements to hard to grasp
Temperatures soaring
Light emitting
Massive balls of gas

What if they were tiny holes
In the black canvas between heaven and earth
Giving a glimpse
Of the light to come
From the face of God’s first birth

What if waves were not just the current
Of oceans meeting the land
The fall and rise
White water crashing
As it levels off the marked sand

What if it was to teach
How God’s forgiveness wipes you clean
The footprints and stains
Are all washed away
By morning and by evening

What if bird’s sang not just to chat but to
Turn us t’ward the creator king
A morning chorus
A worship service
And we’re invited to join in

What if trees grow crooked to catch the sun’s rays
And to teach us to search for the light
To bend over backwards
And upside down
To see that hope is in sight

What if a flower bud is to show a babies potential
If given the freedom to bloom
What if we’re to wait on the Lord before mission
Like a butterfly in a cocoon

What if eye’s could look deepen than surface colour
And the nose smell trouble ahead
What if strength is more than muscle power
And the tongue could say more than is said

What if the mind could think more than the brain
And a hug was more than a squeeze
What if the heart could do more than just pump
And the wind was more than a breeze

What if God didn’t just create things by chance
But to show His grace in everything
Then I guess a God of love is not just an idea
But a reality that can be seen.

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