Bishop Bob’s Prayers on Facebook

Now heres something a little bit cool for a Bishop.

Bishop Bob of Crediton has relaunched his prayer page on Facebook, encouraging people to leave prayer requests for him to say on the wall.

Bishop Evens said: “People really seemed to appreciate being able to send in their prayers to me during Lent, and to know that I would say them each day. As my role takes me all over Devon, I will stop what I am doing each day – pulling over in laybys if necessary – to pray for people.”

Source: Southwestbusiness.co.uk

While I do have slight concerns about people possibly looking at Bishops as having a better link to God then the rest of us*, I do feel he should be commended for trying to engage with people in this way.

 

*Could I be shot by the good old C of E for saying something like that?

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Video Games Are Just Stupid… apparently

Are lego video games as stupid as Mark Driscoll reckons?So. Last night, myself and Mrs Mac go out, have a nice meal, come back and spend a fairly amazing couple of hours playing Lego Harry Potter. Mrs Mac loved it. It’s a fun, cheerful, playable, and a really quite funny video game. And a fun way to spend her 30th birthday.

According to this well known Bible teacher… that was stupid:

 

There are comments on youtube that suggest he meant people that spend hours / days on games like WoW, not video games in general. Do you think thats what he meant?

Are sweeping statements like this helpful from the pulpit?

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Hello. Our Church Is A PC

With thanks to @PaulMTilley @gerrarrdus, here are ten signs of a church being a PC:

  1. My Word! You’re a practical bunch aren’t you!
  2. Nicely accepting as well anyone can join in.
  3. Shame you lot accept any passing colds and other viruses as well…
  4. You’re honest. You accept your failings.
  5. If someone wants to bring their friend along… the chances are their friend is going to fit in easier with you than the Mac down the road…
  6. Teaching over style?
  7. You try and start on time, but it takes a while to get started.
  8. Remember that time everything was going really well, smoothly, in the flow, then it… all goes blue!
  9. Simple questions all the time. For Example “Are you sure you want to pray? Yes or No”
  10. When a service goes wrong, you need to stop, close all the church windows, then start the service again.

Is there anything we should have included?

Part 2 is due later this week…

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Top 10 Embarrassing Moments In A Church Service

You know its going to be a bad service when:

  1. You’re singing loudly, and out of tune… without realising your minister has changed the song lyrics.
  2. The baby you’ve been asked to hold, throws up…over your face.
  3. If I told you about The Giggle Loop… you’d be part of The Giggle Loop
  4. The Prayer time starts… so does your coughing fit.
  5. You grab your bottle of Coke… open the bottle… swig… and it drops as you put it down. Its amazing how far a bottle of coke can spread over a floor.
  6. Two words. Nose Bleed.
  7. You’re sat dead in the middle of the congregation… and you need to fart…
  8. You miscalculate the amount of sweets you’re taking out your pocket… dropping them loudly on the floor.
  9. Its quiet. Its serious. People are crying. Your phone rings. Loudly.
  10. You stand up in front of the Church Service… and wonder if you really did your flies up earlier.

Any that we’ve missed out?

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A New Years Benediction

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness.
I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful,
and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can.
And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

With Thanks to Neil Gaiman and Pete Greig

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Problems with sung worship?

Thanks to Vicky Beeching for inspiration for this post from her questions on twitter this week.

Many people will say that they aren’t a fan of the singing part of church. I have to say I quite like it, being a musician and worship leader that bit of church is right up my street, it’s just the rest of it I don’t like. Quite often it’s men that I hear grumbling about the content of worship in our churches. A university friend of mine told me that he couldn’t engage in sung worship in church, partly because he isn’t much of a singer and he finds it a bit uncomfortable but also he finds that the words are hard for him to engage with. And I can see where he’s coming from.

Often the songs we sing in church aren’t particularly ‘manly’. And men also have a bit of a habit of running away from anything with the word ‘love’ in it. So it would be easy to say that songs that go like ‘Jesus I am so in love with you’ should be thrown away. But doing so would get rid of one of the fundamental parts of being a follower of Christ – God loved us so that we can love.

And if we look at it more subjectively across the broader spectrum of worship songs there does seem to be a much more ‘manly’ focus as well. For example songs like ‘Yesterday, today and forever’ by Vicky Beeching, ‘Happy day’ by Tim Hughes and ‘Strength will rise’ by Brenton Brown are all songs that don’t have that focus on love.

I believe that as we worship a God who is bigger than anything we can possibly know, and has at least as many emotions and characteristics as us – then our worship should reflect that. We should look at the Psalms as an example. The breadth of emotions are huge, they range from fear to joy, from love to abandonment.  However they all cling to the truth that God is there,  bigger than we can know,  in control, stronger than we could imagine, and He loves us so that we can love. And so so so much more!

A challenge to worship leaders is to incorporate the whole of God not just one aspect of him. Maybe not in every worship time in church but we need to make sure we experience and recognise all of God not just one bit.

And a challenge to men…Man up and share the love that God has given, first with Him and second with everyone else!

Thoughts?

Finding a church

So recently I moved from Bath to Exeter. Not a huge distance but certainly not close enough for me to keep going to the same church. This put me in a bit of a dilemma – how do you go about finding the right church for you?

The first question I had to deal with was why I don’t always like going to church? It’s become almost too obvious to say that men don’t like going to church, but often it’s true. I’m still not 100% on what makes me not like it, maybe I just like to have a lie in on a sunday or maybe I don’t like the idea of being preached at, though I do quite like doing the preaching. There’s lots of things it could be and maybe one day I’ll realise what it is that puts me off every so often. However me not always liking being there isn’t going to stop me going. I’ve figured that this whole following God thing seems to work best in a group!

Looking for a church is something I’d never had to do as a regular punter so to speak. I went to the church my parents when to when I was a child and continued there until I went to uni. While at uni I worked for a church on a placement and was expected there on sundays, so had never really had to find a church to go to for myself. There were a few things however that I thought were important about a church, and this is what I based my decision on, in no particular order.

  • Outward looking – they need to be involved in the community, the city/town and be concerned about engaging with real people missionally, not necessarily always focused on evangelism but working against injustice and bring glory to God in the local area.
  • The Bible as a high priority – I’ve noticed that at times it’s easy to under estimate the Bible and just take it at it’s face value, when in fact it’s a book that can entirely change your life.
  • Passionate worship – it was important to me to be in a church that passionately worships God, not just in sung worship but in everything they do.
  • A place to serve – there needed to be opportunities to serve in all sorts of areas but I do have a passion for worship leading and youth work

and now after a fairly long time of looking, trying to decide between visiting traditional churches and super charismatic churches and everything in between, I have found a church that seems right for me. It’s a free church, with all of the above, to the extent that the second time I went I was in the worship band!

The thing is, it’s not just a church that meets my ‘requirements’ . Its a  church that I feel a part of already. This is because of the welcome I’ve received, to the extent that I feel I now belong to a church that wanted me to be a part of it.