Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Blogspotting - "Write What You See".

Just a short one ...

1. As ever my friend Mark leads the way in technology and Ern Baxter! He has made available his collection of sermons online and available for download here! He has taught me how to do this and now that I can get my audio cassettes onto my laptop, I too will be progressively doing this with my collection. While I will still gladly offer CD's to anyone interested, this may be a useful and more immediate resource for those who can't wait for the post or who are limited by space.

2. Dave B has written an excellent piece on "Choosing Leaders". He begins by presuming that they are Christians (although we may not be always able to take this for granted). He then argues that five aspects are essential. 1. Character (Titus 1). 2. Convictions - committed to sound doctrine. 3. C U Vision (We could read Vision). 4. Church - need to be rooted in one church. 5. Common Sense - People are different and that's okay!

I realise that this was written with CU Committees in mind but I think it's an excellent piece especially in light of recent tragic events like Ted Haggard. I was reading the discussion that followed Tim Challies posting of the event and in sifting out most of the legalistic babble that inevitably follows such a public fall, there were some good points concerning the responsibility of leadership. One person wondered whether church leaders are too young and should there be a case for ensuring that especially senior elders are older men. Ern Baxter would have agreed with that and I am inclined to agree. Younger men may be able to offer According to Dave's list, I know I wouldn't qualify for leadership! I think I'll be staying safely in the back row!

3. Luke Wood has some interesting background on a "Church Planting Day" in my sister's city - Southampton. Although I haven't (yet) been called by God to join the plant here it is so exciting to keep up to date with news from around our awesome family of churches. 30 people are coming from Winchester Family Church (the sending base). But most exciting of all! Luke will be at the Planting Day with his new initiative - Newgen Books. Awesome books at bargain prices. It's worth going for the books alone!

4. And finally ... I've been incredibly challenged by prophet Matthew Ling from a sister family of churches. He wrote an article called "See What You Have". I've been feeling really worthless and useless for God and His Kingdom recently. Newfrontiers has so many gifted people and I feel like I'm more of a burden than an asset. This article was a rough challenge from a prophet and just what I needed! The conclusion?

"Here's the secret - never say that the little you have is nothing - you will lock up the power of God to impact your situation. Learn to see the little as the seed for a miracle. Be like the widow who had "just a little oil" or the boy with "just 5 loaves and 2 fish" or the woman who said "if I can only touch the hem of his robe".

Don't ever deny what you do have, but confess that our God is a God of increase, a God of multiplication: if we say we have nothing it doesn't matter how many times you multiply it you still have nothing! But God wants to work a miracle through your little thing - so see it for what it is - the seed to a miracle!"


jul said...

I'd say you've been very useful indeed. Maybe you're still suffering from post something syndrome. I keep thinking "I'm just a woman..." but actually I'm a real person. Truth is, the smaller and weaker we are, the greater God's power in our lives. The joy of the Lord is our strength. I'll be praying for you to experience more of that joy.

thebluefish said...

the age thing is an interesting... certainly we need to gain more respect for those older than us, though wisdom doesn't require age.

Spurgeon pastored at 17... I guess it depends on the person as to whether they meet the other qualification.

Luke Wood said...

If you're looking for free storage for your sermons, try, you get 1gb for free!

Baxter's Boy said...

Thanks for the encouragement Jul. I honestly wasn't fishing for compliments! I really struggle with the parable of the talents and am constantly panicking that I will be "the one" who buried theirs. How do we get the balance right between using our talents rightly and attempting justification by works? Honest question! I'd appreciate tips!

Good point Dave. My pastor Dr Jebb was preaching by the time he was 16 too. Wisdom doesn't require age indeed - and age doesn't require wisdom always! But I think my experience of younger pastors has suggested that an older man has something special that a young man can never bring. Yes the young pastor may bring enthusiasm and zeal but the older pastor has experience. That's priceless surely. When a pastor is presented with a real life problem, the older man can draw on a lifetime of experience and knowledge. Yes the young pastor can rely on the Lord and must, but what does he do when he encounters problems he's never seen before?

jul said...

What has helped me in figuring out what I should be doing is remembering that I live according to the Spirit. I'm just beginning to learn to do what God's calling me to do moment by moment, day by day--no less and no more. This keeps me doing exactly what I'm supposed to with the right motives (hopefully). It allows me to displease others when necessary without losing perspective. It's been very helpful in marriage to realize that my main goal is to please God, not my husband, and this principle applies to all areas of life. And of course, God is most pleased when I am most delighted in him, not when my house is cleanest or my spiritual disciplines are most consistent.