Showing posts from April, 2013

Running into blanket prayers!

I was talking with friends this week about how hard it is to actually go out for a run. I know I need to do it, I can feel in my body I need to do it, even have a perverse yearning to do it -But until In lace up my trainers and force myself out of the door, 101 pathetic reasons, excuses and distractions will prevent me from doing the one thing that I know to be important!

At the start of our latest week of prayer in our home church, this runners problem is suddenly understood by all of us who have faced down the battle to shut yourself away and intercede before God!

Richard Newton, writing 160 years ago,summed up the dilemma of our circling approach to prayer and its impact well:
"The principal cause of my leanness and unfruitfulness is due to an unaccountable backwardness to pray. I can write, read, converse or hear with a ready heart. But prayer is more spiritual and inward than any of these, and the more spiritual any day is, the more my carnal heart is apt to stray from it. P…

In tribute to Brennan Manning

With real sadness I heard that Brennan Manning died yesterday. One of the greatest contemplative writers of our generation, and a wonderful mixed up enigma of a man.
After fighting with the US Marines in Korea, he became a Franciscan Priest, spent time in France and Spain, even living as a hermit in a cave near Zaragoza for 6 months! Returning to the States, his honest admission of alcoholism emerged through writing which betrayed a breathtaking understanding of the grace of Father God and His 'Abba' heart for us.

All of Manning's books are worth reading, some over again and again. His ability to cut us to the heart, strip away our pretences and leave us alone with a God who still accepts us is stunning. My favourite, 'The Ragamuffin Gospel - Good news for the bedraggled, beat-up and burned out',is as good as it gets. In tribute to a great writer and exceptional man, I can do no better than give you a flavour of his heart, which will always lead you to Abba's he…

Conflict is......

Marriage is under pressure like never before in our culture. There are enough external pressures against this lifelong, exclusive commitment between a man and women. However, I have yet to hear of political or religious conflict breaking up a marriage.Mostly the sad stories of self destruction that we hear are rooted much closer to home - basic problems of self centredness, inability to communicate, or the struggle to handle the inevitable conflicts that arise when two independent people come together and try to do life together!

In preparing for the second session of our 'Marriage Central' series which Caz and I are teaching through at home base, I found this excellent paragraph on handling conflict. Taken from Neil Anderson's 'Experiencing Christ Together', the contrasts between destructive and constructive conflict will be helpful for all of us to embrace, whether in marriage, friendship or the work place. Remember, conflict is inevitable, conflict is not the pr…