inexpressible and filled with glory


Apolo Ohno: How He Trains
19 February 2010, 11:29 am
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If you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics then you’ve probably heard of Apolo Ohno – the short track speed skating champion from the US. This five minute documentary from TIME shows how intensely this guy trains for his sport. I train with some guys on Mondays for our own Monday Morning Mayhem, but it’s nothing compared to this.

Check it out!

‘…physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things…’

Thanks Take Your Vitamin Z.



Elevate: Please Pray
11 February 2010, 2:52 pm
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I’m speaking at Elevate tomorrow night at 1930. Elevate is a youth event that started in 2008 in Liverpool and grew steadily through 2009. It’s about youth groups getting together as the body of Christ to hear God’s Word taught and to declare the praises of King Jesus. I’m super excited to have the opportunity to speak to hundreds of youth from God’s Word and to challenge them to risk everything for the gospel.

In preparation, I’ve been spending time in 2 Corinthians. It’s one of my favourite books. I particularly love what Paul says about the place of weakness and suffering in the Christian life. I’m speaking from 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 with a particular focus on suffering and the resurrection. Here is my outline:

SUFFERING SHOULDN’T SURPRISE US

DEATH ISN’T THE END, SO DO NOT LOSE HEART

DEATH ISN’T THE END, SO RISK EVERYTHING

I’ll post the audio up here after the event. But for the time being, I value your prayers and support.



Cracked, Crazed, Unimpressive
1 February 2010, 11:53 am
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My good friend and co-worker for the gospel Sam Atwood recently posted reflecting on the year to come. We’ve both been reading through 2 Corinthians and his thoughts on what he’s been reading and his approach to 2010 are worth checking out:

Things are winding up for the year. My uni internship is falling into place, ministries are gearing up, the rhythm of life is returning after its January break. And despite dropping some responsibilities this year, I still find myself thinking “What have I got myself into?!”

How am I going to accomplish what is before me?

In the midst of being reminded of my sheer inadequacy and weakness, I am reminded of God’s strength…It is not me, but Christ who works in me. I am a jar of clay – cracked, crazed, unimpressive. I pray that will show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to me.

Am I still worried about some things? Yes.

Do I have doubts? Yes.

But I hope that God will continue to humble me as well as do his work through me.

Read the whole thing here.



Small Kid, Big Difference
29 January 2010, 3:38 pm
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This is an incredible story of a small kid who wanted to make a big difference. Seven-year-old Charlie Simpson, from the UK, saw photos from the Haiti earthquake and wanted to do something to help out. He hoped to raise £500 for UNICEF’s earthquake appeal by cycling eight kilometers around a local park. After the story caught the attention of the British media, support flooded in from around the world. Carlie ended up raising £150,000 for the earthquake appeal. Check it out this incredible story:



Humility at the Golden Globes
19 January 2010, 8:54 am
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I was listening to the radio yesterday and I heard this quote from Meryl Streep accepting the award for Best Actress at the Golden Globes:

I just want to say that in my long career, I’ve played so many extraordinary woman that I’m getting mistaken for one … I’m very clear that I’m the vessel for other people’s stories and other people’s lives.

I was so surprised to hear her genuine humility. I guess humility isn’t a characteristic that you often come across in celebrity culture (not that I really keep up with it).

But her reference to living out other people’s stories and other people’s lives also really stuck in my head. I’ve been reading through 2 Corinthians lately and this idea of being a vessel for a great story or someone’s life seemed to make a connection with what I’ve been reading.

As followers of Jesus, we have the privilege of living out the greatest story ever told, and the greatest life ever lived. Check this:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10.

I find this such a challenge, to take up our cross, to come and die with Christ so that his life might be revealed in us and the light of the glory of God might shine into a dark world. We live out a great hope, don’t we? – that this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. And so we do not lose heart, but instead endure with joy and humility as we await the dénouement of the greatest story ever told.



Twitter Discipleship
18 January 2010, 11:32 am
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I found this series of tweets from Steve Timmis incredibly challenging. I preach on stuff like laying down your life for the gospel all the time for my ministry with Voice of the Martyrs, and everytime it cuts me to the core.

* How can I be sure I would lay down my life for sake of Jesus & the gospel? Perhaps I’ll be like Peter in his bravado and subsequent denial?

* Can’t ultimately be sure until I’m called on to do so. But there are indicators in what I am reluctant to give up…

* If I’m not prepared to give up my bed to go and serve someone, I can be fairly confident I won’t give up my life…

* If I refuse to give up a holiday abroad so I can support someone in gospel ministry. I can be fairly confident I won’t give up my life…

* If I’m not willing to pursue people who are different from me in order to bless them, I can be fairly certain I won’t give up my life…

* If I’m not prepared to miss out on promotion so I can stay & help plant churches, I can be fairly certain I won’t give up my life…

* If I’m not prepared to jeopardise a friendship so that I can tell others about Christ, I can be fairly certain I won’t give up my life.

* “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Jesus Christ

Thanks Timmy Brister.



Interview with Josh Cousineau (Part Four)
17 December 2009, 4:13 pm
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Here is the fourth and final part of my interview with Josh Cousineau of Atmosphere Church, Maine. I answer the questions: (i) what have been some of the greatest moments on the Underground Reality trips? and (ii) what is your final challenge to the youth in Atmosphere Church?

Check it out here.