andy moore - mercy loving criminal
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Dr John Smith
You may be interested in a free event happening this Sunday evening (7th August) at 5:00pm.

Dr John Smith (founder of “God’s Squad”, an Australian biker gang leader, best selling author and Methodist minister) will be speaking at Rossett Village Hall (Station Road, Rossett, Wrexham). Some of you may have heard John when he spoke recently at Cabin Lane Church. More information about John is available at: www.bluespreacher.com

“Truly a Preacher for the convertible… John Smith’s message is for people who want to do more than just listen!” – Bono, U2

John Smith is well worth listening to and if you are free that evening I would really encourage you to come along. If you’d like any further information please do get in touch.

Hope to see you there!

posted: 26 days ago (early evening)  

In Focus
Keeping things in focus, here’s an email I received back in March.

1. Give God what’s right – not what’s left.

2. Man’s way leads to a hopeless end – God’s way leads to an endless hope.

3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.

4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.

5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma – but never let him be the full-stop.

6. Don’t put a question mark where God puts a full-stop.

7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.

8. When praying, don’t give God instructions – just report for duty.

9. Don’t wait for six strong men to take you to church.

10. We don’t change God’s message – His message changes us.

11. The church is prayer-conditioned.

12. When God ordains, He sustains.

13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.

14. Plan ahead – It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

15. Most people want to serve God! But only in an advisory position.

16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up with your Bible.

17. Exercise daily – walk with the Lord.

18. Never give the devil a ride – he will always want to drive.

19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.

20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.

21. He who angers you controls you.

22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.

23. Give Satan an inch & he’ll be a ruler.

24. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

25. Read the Bible – It will scare the hell out of you.

posted: 32 days ago (evening time)  

Learning Patience
I’m currently sitting another lesson in patience.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

The gift of today cannot be saved and opened tomorrow. Celebrate today with an expectation of seeing how God hand-picked your circumstances to bring out His best in you.

NB: I hope to be able to update you on the situation a little less… ahem… ambiguously, later in the week.

UPDATE: I can’t necessarily go into detail (most of you probably know anyway) but I didn’t get the outcome I was hoping for as a reward for my patience. So there you go. Time to make sure that in all circumstances I am quick to acknowledge God’s good hand of providence.

posted: 33 days ago (evening time)  

Long and Winding Road
The photo is from the walk Sam and I took on Saturday. I had planned a nice walk in the hills around Llanrhaeadr, without bargaining on it turning out to be a 12.5 mile slog on one of the hottest days of the year. Despite our tiredness at the end of the day, I think we all (dog included) enjoyed it.

Thought I might canvass some opinion while I’m on here too. This morning I was reading from Hebrews 12 – here’s verses 28 and 29:

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

How would you say our worship of God is worked out in reverence and awe? And not just on a Sunday, but in our lives day to day?

Furthermore, how would you say this is worked out in the worship life of the church? And can you see evidence of this on a Sunday, or are we in danger of becoming ‘glib’ in our worship?

I don’t want this to become all about the songs we sing (despite the temptation), but about how we live out lives of worship that exercise both reverence and awe… so, what’s the answer?

It’s only when we’re on our knees that we can hope to stand firmly on our feet.
Raymond Brown, The Message of Hebrews – IVP

posted: 46 days ago (late afternoon)  

A Time to Relax
Thanks to all who asked about my CIM exams; the first was quite a tough one (hoping to scrape through), while I feel a bit more confident about the second; but let’s wait and see… I won’t find out til the end of August.

Then following my exams I spent two weeks preparing to speak from Hebrews 1 – a challenge and a tonic (aircon for the soul to steal Dave’s phrase). I only pray that God will speak through my human words and bring to light for others the glory of the gospel of which He gave me a greater glimpse through my personal study.

So, now I have some free time on my hands I hope to be back blogging a bit more frequently… between chilling and reading that is!


“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment,
like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will have no end.”
Hebrews 1:10-12

posted: 59 days ago (evening time)  

Little Naomi and Big God
A preacher got up to preach on Exodus 13:17ff. After finishing his introduction in which he recapped the story, a woman at the back of the congregation shouted out, “Praise God who brought the Israelites through the Red Sea!”

The preacher met this with a prolonged excursus on the ins and outs of the latest liberal hypotheses about the crossing not being such a great miracle as it was only the Reed Sea and the water wasn’t very deep.

He was slightly perturbed to be met with another shout from the woman:

“Praise God who did the even greater miracle of drowning the whole Egyptian army in a few inches of water!”

– James Nash

Would really appreciate prayer for my CIM exams this week on Tuesday and Thursday (14:00-17:00). Thanks!

posted: 83 days ago (lunch time)  

Little Naomi and Big God
Phil and Lesley came over last Sunday with Naomi and George – the grown-ups all had interesting conversations while Naomi and I watched The Incredibles.

At the moment I’m reading the (Bible Speaks Today) ‘Message of Hebrews’, and this morning came across this quote from Samuel Rutherford:

Sinners are anchor-fast and made stable in God. So that if God do not change (which is impossible), then my hope shall not fluctuate… Oh God be thanked that our salvation is coasted, and landed, and shored upon Christ, who is Master of winds and storms!

If only my hope and faith was as consistent as my God, but thank God my salvation does not depend upon my consistency but on Christ’s sufficiency.

posted: 88 days ago (late morning)  

Professional Hedonism?
I’ve come across two blog posts recently that got me thinking, so I thought I’d share them with you to gauge your thoughts.

Firstly, Jon Dale writes that, according to Business Week, American “Evangelical churches are taking a lesson from big business, expanding both their reach and influence through niche marketing, brand management, multimedia campaigns, capital investments and political networking.”

To what extent do you see this as a good and right thing, or wrong and dangerous thing to do? Or is there some middle but cautious ground? Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

And secondly, as my appreciation for the ministry of John Piper increases, so to does my desire to become a true, self-confessed Christian Hedonist (such as was Jonathan Edwards, and as is John Piper); recognising my need to grow in my love and passion for Christ in my daily living, for the primary purpose of bringing Him the glory He deserves.

Dave Bish quotes John Piper as saying:

“Salvation is not mainly the forgiveness of sins, but mainly the fellowship of Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:9). Forgiveness gets everything out of the way so this can happen. If this fellowship is not all-satisfying, there is no great salvation. If Christ is gloomy, or even calmly stoical, eternity will be a long, long sigh.” – Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ, page 41, John Piper.

Does my life inspire people to see Christ and the salvation He offers as being the all-important purpose to live for; or do I contribute to their fears that eternity with the Christ I serve might be nothing more than a long sigh?

The founding principle behind the Desiring God ministry is that: God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.

In what areas of your life have you found most satisfaction in Christ? Please encourage others by leaving your answers as a comment to this post.

posted: 96 days ago (mid-morning)  
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Jony & Gabrielle
It’s not all that often I’m stuck for at least a few words on here, but I really don’t know how best to sum up this last weekend. My love and respect for this couple has only increased these last few days as I shared in their wedding celebrations.

I remember when I first met Jony and always thought he was ‘too cool’ to be my friend, and I guess my sense of gratitude for his friendship, and more recently the friendship of both he and Gabrielle, should be noted at an appropriate time such as this.

posted: 110 days ago (evening time)  

Moel Hebog
Talk about living for the weekends!

This bank holiday started at the IFES office in Oxford and visiting Mary who kindly showed me the sights of the city – Oxford seems to be full of toffs and boffs, on the edge of being pretentious, and I love it!

Then on Sunday we visited Hannah in Manchester for a cracking meal out, and then I scootled off to camp out near Llyn Gwynant before climbing Moel Hebog (and two other sattelite summits) on Monday… and now I’m just nursing my knees back to recovery. Ouch.

This weekend sees one of my greatest friends getting married up in Cumbria – and I’m REALLY looking forward to it.

Maybe a scramble up Scafell on Sunday before heading home…?

posted: 116 days ago (lunch time)  
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