But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 23:23

Perplexed, Not Despairing (2)

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QUALITY OF LIFE

Source: Derek Prime & Alistair Begg, On Being A Pastor (p 86)

Quote:

“Some lessons we learn slowly, and one that we have found particularly difficult is that God wants quality of life from us rather than quantity of service, and that the latter is no substitute for the...

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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 23:06

Perplexed, Not Despairing (1)

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WHO THOUGHT YOU EVER COULD?

Source: Charles H Spurgeon – “ Man’s Weakness and God’s Anointing” (Sunday Morning sermon, September 9, 1860)

Quote:

image“David had as strong a God as ever; but he was weak in the flesh; and that, my brethren, blessed be God, is the only...

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In the preaching series in our church we currently delving into the book of 2nd Samuel. It’s a fascinating story with lots of twists and turns. But the question often arises how best are we to read it? This ties in with an even broader question: how do we interpret Old Testament...

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Thursday, 13 February 2020 19:37

Christ in all the Scriptures…but

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When it comes to seeing ‘Christ in the Old Testament’, I am definitely not a minimalist.Not just for reasons of principle – but out of my experience – I’m a ‘Christ on every page’ sort of person. I’ve yet to study an Old Testament passage where I...

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Wednesday, 12 February 2020 17:50

Where is Christ in the Old Testament?

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In at least 7 places: God, sin, offices, events, prophecies, themesand symbols/memorials.

God – We often fail to read the Old Testament in a Trinitarian way. Every reference to Yahweh (“LORD”) – unless we are told otherwise – speaks of the triune God. This means the...

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Wednesday, 05 February 2020 19:58

FRANKIN GRAHAM EVENT THE GLASGOW HYDRO ARENA

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(This is a letter I happily put my name to a few days ago. It has been sent to MSPs, local councillors and newspapers)

4 February 2020

The cancellation by the SSE Hydro in Glasgow of the Franklin Graham event is a deeply disturbing decision that is antithetical to freedom of speech, freedom of...

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Friday, 24 January 2020 23:49

Something You Could Pray For Preachers

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Heavenly Father,

I pray for those who preach your Word regularly. Thank you for calling them to yourself and by your mercy giving them this ministry.

Enable them to live with Christ-like integrity, so that their conduct doesn’t make a mockery of the things they preach. Help them set an example...

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Tuesday, 14 January 2020 02:21

The Eleven Commandments For Long Winded Preachers

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Eleven… because these are notdivinely inspired, but I hope they point in the general direction of wisdom.

  1. Thou shalt not be uncertain about the burden of your message.Sermons run over when the preacher doesn’t know what the sermon is about. What is the thrust of the message? Can you...

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Friday, 03 January 2020 02:53

Deciding The Diet

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Devising a church’s yearly preaching schedule is deceptively tricky and invariably daunting. I have learned, by painful experience I’ll add, that I must start cogitating by the start of September at least. The process of pondering continues, on and off, till early December; at which...

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Wednesday, 01 January 2020 20:55

2020 Foresight

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One of my admittedly few goals for 2020 (I’m not a big resolutions guy, but that’s another story) is to blog a fair bit more. Over the past three months, in a number of unsolicited conversations with pastors, I have been reminded of the blog and urged strongly to get myself writing...

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Sunday, 15 December 2019 23:07

That Might Preach, But…

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I once preached a sermon on the Magi where I dazzled the congregation. I walked them through the Magi’s gifts and explained their deeper meaning. Gold, of course, represented Jesus’ royalty. Incense his deity; and myrrh the looming spectre of his coming death.

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It ‘preached’...

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Wednesday, 25 September 2019 06:29

So What? A Seminar On Application (MP3)

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Here is the recent seminar I ran on application with some of the guys at church. Listen or download here.

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Some of what we covered:

  • 1:07 – Few helps in application
  • 3:20 – No conscious method
  • 5:39 – Application is a ‘confrontational act’
  • 7:33 – Why application is...

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Tuesday, 17 September 2019 00:55

An Application Disaster Class

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 *Warning: this article may be laced with a heavy dose of sarcasm*

Welcome to my Disaster Class in the ‘art’ of preaching blunt sermons! Having been a regular practioner of pointless sermons, I am thoroughly qualified to coach those less initiated in these matters. Follow these...

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Wednesday, 04 September 2019 06:33

Blessed Are The Critics

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Shifting my weight from foot to foot, with all the uncertainty befitting a novice, I said goodbye to the faithful as they exited “the Chapel.”¹ I was dazed in the manner that every preacher is, five minutes post benediction – when you can’t compute where you are or...

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I’m both daunted and excited to have begun a 6 part sermon series on Job with my church. These studies are likely to be moving, thought-provoking, but above all, I pray,  faith-strengthening. Here are some thoughts to help orientate us as we approach this book of darkness and storm.

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1....

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I don’t know what they’re ‘feeding them’ these days, but this challenging question was recently thrown my way by some engaged members of our Youth Fellowship. Since I floundered at the time (it was 9.30 on a Sunday evening) I want to give a marginally clearer...

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Wednesday, 15 May 2019 21:50

Why preaching MIGHT be a walk in the park

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imageSome of my sermon preparation doesn’t look like preparation.  In all honesty it can look rather like walking.

I’m doing this more and more: going for a gander, Thursdays, in a verdant country park. Among the dog walkers and grounds maintainers, there I am wandering the paths of...

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imageIn the last church I served I often preached for 45 minutes. One time when I fell short of that mark a dear brother encouraged me to “give us a little more.” From that point onward, I frequently did.

Now just for the record, I’m not against 45 minute sermons. I’m not againstt...

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