Month: September 2012

Does the Church ‘preach what it practises’?

A moment from Richard Littledales blog, where he looks at the question of if the Church should preach what it practises:

Preaching is the charcoal stick which outlines God’s possibilities on the canvas of the soul. Preaching is the place where timeless truth and temporal limitation collide, showering the faithful with sparks of God’s illuminating brilliance. In short, it is motivation for the church more than PR for the world.

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Bible in One Year – Week Five #Bible365

This weeks readings are:

Day 29

Job 11:1-14:22
Matthew 20: 1-19
Psalm 17:6- 12

 

 Day 30

Job 15:1-18:21
Matthew 20:20-34
Psalm 17:13-15

 

Day 31

Job 19:1-21:34
Matthew 21:1-17
Psalm 18:1-6

 

Day32

Job 22:1-24:25
Matthew 21:18-32
Proverbs 3:21-35

 

 Day 33

Job 25:1-29:25
Matthew 21:33-22:14
Psalm 18:7-15

 

Day 34

Job 30:1-32:22
Matthew 22:15-46
Psalm 18:16-24

 

Day 35

Job 33:1-34:37
Matthew 23:1-39
Psalm 18:25-36

 

Genesis. #Bible365

So.
Idea.
As we work through the Bible, we pause at the end of the each book, and ponder about what that was all about.

The big down side to this master plan is simply. Well.

Genesis.

The very first book.

The beginning, where it all started. Its not exactly like its chapter 1 of a novel, where we slowly meet and learn about the characters of the piece, and the big storylines are saved for later.

You get generations of family history, mixed with wars, cheating, slavery, temptation, politics, marriage, rape, death, and new life.

Life…

I guess we start with life. Possibly the purest life we could imagine. Sharing a garden with God.

Then Death.

The death of a guy who kept the faith even though he was tempted, abandoned, and arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Sure Genesis doesn’t end as well as it starts, but we still have the picture of a God that is involved with his creation. A God that is seen in the gritty day to day stuff of life, a God that puts Joseph where he needs to be to save a nation, a God that randomly turns up and wrestles. This makes me stop and wonder: Do we look for God enough in the day to day stuff, or are we to busy looking for huge miracles?

  • What are your big themes you find in Genesis?
  • Does anything in Genesis shock you?

Dear “Bob”.

Dear “Bob”.

First of all, I’m sorry for using the name Bob. I’m expecting to be VERY busy after you’re born, and because I’m typing this beforehand, I don’t want to accidentally announce your name to everyone else first before I get to introduce myself to you first.

I just want to explain, why you already have a website.

Quite simply. Before you were born, you were already loved by a lot of people. And a lot of these people will really enjoy watching you grow up. Now when some people can just go on Facebook, other people don’t have a Facebook account.

So I’ve set up a little website for you, it’s a little bit like a diary, so granny’s and Grandads and other people can see what you’ve been getting up.

Don’t worry. I’ll help you run it.

See you soon

Dad

PS. I almost forgot, your website can be found at myfirstyear.me.uk
I hope you like it.

The Place of Story in Church #CNMAC12

Image purchased by Digital Fingerprint from iStockphoto

Once upon a time, not too long ago, I pondered online what to do for a #digidisciple post. There was a suggestion that as prep for this years Christian New Media Conference, I should look at ‘story’…

I guess I don’t have a story to tell here, more a stream of consciousnesses…

So do we actually hear many stories in the church? I guess we tell Bible stories in church, but do we tell our stories? When I hear about stories being told in church, I think less of the Bible and I picture people giving their testimonies. The church I used to go along to made a big deal of people standing up and sharing their “testimony” (Normally the story of how they became a Christian), while the church I go along to now doesn’t seem to make a big deal out of people sharing their testimony, but maybe this is a Baptist / Anglican thing?

The thing about testimonies is that even though they are known for a telling of how you became a Christian, they are also known for telling of what God has done in your life recently. What if we don’t feel God is doing anything special right now? Is the church only excited about people sharing exciting stories of grace and lives being changed?

Do we only tell stories in Church that have a start and a finish point? Is life that neat and tidy?

We’ve looked at enough stats on the Big Bible to suggest we live in a world that now partly exists online.

The wonderful thing about today’s Twitter and Facebook influenced world, is that we all have a way of telling the story of our lives, which is what’s happening with personal stories being shared ranging from being jobless to expecting a new child. With people sharing their stories to a world that they hope is listening, I do wonder, what stories does the Church seem interested in? Is there enough space for the sharing of our personal stories? Is your church Twitter account used to advertise events and services, or is it also used to retweet news from other people? Is there encouragement within your church to meet up face to face? Does your church Facebook page get advertised in order for awareness of it to be increased?

I guess a quote from last years Christian New Media Conference could sum this all up.

Share your life online. Someone may be better off because of it.

  • What place do you think Storytelling has in church?
  • What are the best examples of personal story telling that you’ve found online?
  • How do we tell someone else’s story?

This post originally appeared on The Big Bible

“The Web is what you make of it”

For those who can’t watch the video for whatever reason, the video is an advert for Google, which tells the story of a Dad who sets up an email address for his newly born child, the Dad then starts emailing his daughter over the years. He writes standard emails as you might send to anyone, but they are sent to daughter, telling her of the great landmark moments, and the times that him and the Mum are worried for her.

They turn into emails that tell the story of a life, and I love it.

On one level this is a advert about email.

On another level this is about what you can do with email.

The tag line: “the web is what you make of it”, makes me wonder if we imagine enough online. If email could be used for the above, and Twitter can be used for events like The Natwivity, what else can be done to share stories online?

Are there any other web services / web sites that could be used differently?

Could we use Google Plus, Facebook, Google Drive, or even blogs differently?

What can be done to make more of the web?

(This originally appeared on The Big Bible Website)

Simpsons Saturday*: The Guardian Loves Ned

Ned Flanders

Ned Flanders

Over the years The Church Sofa lads have had their fair share of debates, but one thing we’ve always agreed with was how legendary Ned Flanders from the Simpsons is.

So we’re obviously glad to see that Ned has made it into The Guardians list of top 10 supporting Simpsons characters, where they said this about great mustached one:

Homer’s neighbour is a wearingly devout evangelical Christian: “I’ve done everything the Bible says – even the stuff that contradicts the other stuff!” Flanders is also a self-appointed watchdog of the “horror of free expression”. When Kent Brockman drops the F-bomb live on air, he takes to the internet: “I’m imploring people I’ve never met to pressure a government with better things to do to punish a man who meant no harm for something nobody even saw.” He attributes his youthful appearance at 60 to “the three C’s: clean living, chewing thoroughly and a daily dose of vitamin church.”

Read about the less important members of the top 10 list at The Guardian

*We call it Simpsons Saturday… Doesnt mean Simpsons things EVER happen on a Saturday…