5 Great Tips For Young And New Pastors

1. You are pastoring a parade – sometimes, God removes people from your ministry for your benefit. And, I am sure, sometimes he moves them for their benefit!

2. The people who demand the most serve the least.

3. You will see ugly behavior.

4. You are irreplaceable (but not at church). You likely were not the first pastor of the church you are serving and hopefully you won’t be the last. But your role as husband and father are the only truly unique roles you will have in life.

5. Preach the Word.

Read the whole article HERE

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Homeownership

I found this article fascinating. It’s by a Christian couple who have sold their home and have found greater freedom and no regrets. The article resonated with me because right now we would love to sell our home. We have owned two homes in the 23 years we have been married. Currently we live in Washington DC, and own a house in SC. We are renting and paying a mortgage. The Lord has been incredibly faithful to us in helping us make ends meet. However, I can safely say that when the Lord moves and we sell our house in SC we will not own another home, as we seek to serve God’s calling for us.

Anyhow, read the article HERE if interested.

A New Archbishop of Canterbury… And He Must Be….

The Church of England are at the beginning of the process to elect a new Archbishop. While the Anglican Archbishop does not have direct powers around the whole Anglican Worldwide movement, he has influence and virtueonline has published a letter from Bishop is the global south asking the commission to remember some things when in the discernment process. One is:

At a time when the Christian faith faces challenges from other religious as well as secular worldviews, the new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3), To fulfill his calling and vow as Guardian of Faith, he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.

Read the whole letter HERE

Where Would The Diocese of South Carolina Go?

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina is in discernment. According to the scepiscopalians Bishop Mark Lawrence has returned from vacation with a vision to move the diocese forward. Of course scepiscopalian.com is saying that Bishop Mark is going to jump ship and that the plan he has is to take as many parishes with him. If Bishop Mark is about to jump ship – that is leave the Episcopal Church, where would he and the following parishes go? Rev. Steve Wood is about to be consecrated a Bishop in ACNA and thus lead the ACNA Diocese of the Carolinas, so it would appear ACNA would not be a destination. So where? A while back, in a conversation I had with a former Bishop of South Carolina, I said that Bishop Mark should petition for the Archbishop of Canterbury in order to come under his jurisdiction, even for only a temporary period. Wouldn’t that be a wild idea. Of course the Archbishop of Canterbury is very unlikely to say yes – but what if he did say yes… that would put the cat amongst the pigeons!!

Liberal Democrats Face Wipeout in 2015

In the past couple years I have posted the odd blog post on British Politics (see HERE). I basically have said that the Liberal Democrats coalition with the Conservatives was likely to wipe them out.

The Daily Telegraph seems to agree with me. The article in todays paper says that the polls are predicting an 80% loss of their MP’s at the next election. This was inevitable. The coalition was both unequal and unhealthy. The Liberals Democrats should have forced a second election rather than create a coalition with either party. But that is the past and every decision has a destination and for the Lib Dems the destination is not a good one!

Some Books Recently Read

Of course vacation means a little more reading – although with three children (and three boys at that – 2,5 & 9 years of age) the ‘peace and quiet’ aspect is somewhat lacking! However some of the books I managed to get to read are:

A really interesting read. When Gordon McDonald was taken aback at the mood at the yearly church meeting (and especially a comment from a parishioner whoa sked Who Stole My Church), McDonald began a Monday night meeting with some of those who were opposed to change in the church. The meetings were meant to be discussions based on scripture on why the changes were proposed as well as a forum for McDonald to hear from parishioners who were upset. The book is an account of those meetings. It shows some of the dynamics of confronting those who are opposed to change – even good change, as well as a lesson in awareness for leaders to be aware of those with opposing views and the need to listen. A good book.

This is Hillary Mantels follow up novel to Wolf Hall.This is a fascinating look at a man who has been largely neglected by biographers – Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s Secretary of State. Mantel has a very distinctive way of writing but the story was fun. She puts a face to Cromwell, as he navigates the dangerous course of Tudor England and Henry VIII’s court.

This was a fascinating insight into the world of the President of the United States. Living in Washington DC I have become more aware of US politics. This book looks at the role of the former Presidents and their input / influence into their successors policies. Really enjoyed this one.

I was late to this party. Hunger Games has been out for a while but I thought I would read it. Nothing special. Somewhat dark and brutal view of post-apocalyptic America. Bog standard fair!

Knowing we were going to spend 6 days in the mountains of North Carolina I decided to read this book which was set in North Carolina. A true story, this depicts the brutal and longstanding feud in the 1800’s between the Hatfields and McCoys. Apparently The History Channel has done a film with Kevin Costner as Devil Anse Hatfield. I have not seen this but the book is a fabulous read.

I have been reading ALOT of Jewish Roots material and it has been wonderful. This is a great book. Bivin leads the reader through the process of understanding Jesus’ words from a Jewish perspective – something we have neglected in out interpretative process in the west.

Another Jewish roots book. This is a good introduction to the issue of Jewish Roots Christianity. The insights and understanding that Juster opens up when one looks at the NT through the prism of Hebrew thought is so refreshing and exciting!

This is probably the most shocking book I have read this year. I read it on Tim Challies’ recommendation. This is a true story, written by the daughter, of a pastor who is confronted by insane opposition from the man who sits in pew number seven. When I say insane opposition, I am not exaggerating. The fact that this pastor remained in his church as long as he did is remarkable (or maybe some would see it as stupid). There is a massive lesson in this book.