Showing posts from January, 2015

'I grow and I rejoice'. An essay in support of London Gatwick airport expansion

Cities once grew by rivers. Then at the intersection of roads with the Romans. The biggest cities of the last 150 years grew most rapidly when linked with major rail routes. The 21st century city will prosper around the airport. Thats how people, goods and business move these days.
It's not even about nations anymore. City hubs are all important, global south mega cities are close already to dwarfing European nation states.

Global demand and the need for major hub airports.
Put simply, cities which invest in airport growth will see population, jobs, and prosperity grow.
Cities that don't invest are doomed. It's not just that the additional jobs will go elsewhere instead. Ultimately, the existing ones will too.
The reasoning is stark. If we don't invest in a major hub airport, a nearby European neighbour will, and the long term flow of business will get rerouted.
In this world economy, the demand for rapid movement of goods, services and people, airlines will look for and …

Counter culture worship for the selfie stick generation

Against the fast flowing current of our lives and culture, the act of worshipping God is like a river trying to work it's way uphill.
In the week in which I heard the latest phenomenon of 'selfie sticks' (the aid to ensuring your face appears constantly in the centre of your own universe) being renamed 'narcissi-stics', the idea of worshipping another outside of ourselves is a brave new concept.

Worship invites us to leave the safe handholds and hiding places of our own comfort and sufficiency - to step into the one whom we instantly recognise as greater and infinitely more absorbing than self.

David's Psalm 27 rightly orientates us this way. Lifting our heads as we declare our desire to 'gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek him in his temple.' The narcissist sings different lyrics to the same tune,' to gaze upon the beauty of myself, to find myself in my own temple!'

From this folly of self pursuit we are utterly rescued by the God who draw…

Prayer heroes habits 3.

We are in the middle of 24 hours of continuous prayer to conclude our week of prayer and fasting in the local church. With the crowd which gathered during our Friday evening session, we shared some of these inspirational stories which serve well to complete this short series of the habits of prayer heroes.

In Ulster it all started with four new young converts - James McQuilkin, Jeremiah Meneely, Robert Carlisle and John Wallace. They agreed to meet weekly on a Friday night to pray through the long winter of 1857-1858 in the Old Schoolhouse near Kells.

They took armfuls of peat for the fire in with them and in Paisley's words 'The peats made a fire in the schoolhouse grate and warmed their bodies from the winter chill, but their prayers brought down unquenchable fire from heaven which set all Ulster ablaze for God, and warmed with saving rays at least 100,000.'

Jeremiah Meneely described their meetings as follows: 'The prayer meeting was started in the autumn of 1857 an…

Prayer heroes habits 2.

Continuing this Prayer week study of the prayer habits of heroes of the faith:
David Brainerd, who died whilst a missionary to the Sasquehanna Native Americans in October 1747, did his greatest work by prayer, often alone in the depths of the forests, unable to speak the language of the Native Americans and so spending literally days in fighting prayer.

Brainerd knew that if he wanted to reach the Sasquehanna, he must find someone who could at least vaguely interpret his thoughts. Understanding this, he set aside whole days praying, asking the Holy Spirit to come upon him so powerfully that these people would be moved by his message.

Dr A J Gordon in his biography of Brainerd wrote the following:
'Once he preached through a drunken interpreter, a man so intoxicated that he could hardly stand up. Yet scores were converted through that sermon. We can account for it only that it was the tremendous power of God behind him.'

Brainerd would not have seen himself as a superhero of pray…

Prayer heroes habits 1.

What better time than a week of prayer in the local church to reflect on the prayer habits of some heroes of the faith.

Martin Luther is known for this quote:'If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.' 
The content of this daily discipline led Luther through the Lord's Prayer, the 10 commandments and the creeds. Praying morning and evening. Using them as a launch pad to pray for his own heart and for the world around him.

In England soon after, Cranmer's prayer book became established- giving believers prayers every day and teaching from the scriptures. Taking them through the seasons of the year in the hope that this mix of scripture and prayer would create a rhythm of growing maturity in the infant English church.

John Welch, 1568-1622  the wonderful Scottish preacher thought the day ill spent if he did not spend eight or ten ho…