Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Finding Joy

I just wanted to share some encouragement from chapter six of 'Finding Joy', by Marcus Honeysett.
Let's take heart in the fact our faith is better than anything out there. Better than any of this words standards, better, as Paul points out in Phillipians 3:4-9, than anything the world has to offer.
Also, as Romans 8:35 points out, our faith is totally secure, we were chosen by God, and He will not let us go! Rejoice! Right now, this very moment as you sit looking at your screen you are justified in the courts of Christ because of your faith. Rejoice!

Buy the book from IVP.

He is risen...He is not here

You'd think wouldn't you, that following the tragic death of Mark Philo, that'd be enough people taken from the wycombe wanderers family for one season. But no.

Thank God that He is risen, that He defeated death for us. That Christians can say with confidence that the enemies biggest weapon has been turned into our biggest joy. I long and wait for that time where death is defeated for good with much anticipation. We must let this be seared into our conscious, especially in our evangelism. If the worst thing the enemy can do to us is gain, then what are we afraid of? God is so powerful, so much bigger than i can even begin to comprehend. And yet He hurts when we hurt, mourns when we mourn. What an awesome God, what an amazing hope we have for the future.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Bish (amongst others) has started a new blog...check it out. I'm really enjoying it at the moment. Conversational blogging is the future.

Smiling at strangers on trains

After the evening talk on friday dave, anna, matt and i went to mojos to watch the end of the count for the new RUSU president. After three recounts current President Dave Lewis was re-elected by four votes! An incredible night really, especially after three people were saved during the evening...woo! I really think that this result is as much part of Hope 2006 as anything else thats happened during the week. Very pleased for him, and i just pray that his close relationship with RUCU would continue.
Read about it here.

September never stays this cold

Man, i'm loving my dissertation right now. I was able to quote verse from Hebrews today talking about Jesus as our perfect High Priest, who has been through everything we have. How exciting, that we have someone who has gone through everything we have, has come out the otherside perfect, and is now our perfect mediator between ourselves and God. Hooray! Our high priest is like this: holy, innocent, unstained, seperated from sinners and exalted above the heavens. (7:26) And yet He pleades for us in God's courts! Isn't that great. So, lets draw close to the throne of glory with confidence, knowing that we'll find mercy and recieved grace. All because of Jesus...the priest of a better covenant. Its been a bit funny reading the bible almost as a textbook, referring to it in an essay. So often in history you're taught to never, on any account, trust your sources. And yet my source is the bible. It's God breathed and infallible. My diss is certainly more theology than history at the moment, but we'll get there. The best thing about the story told in the Bible is that its true!
And i'll tell you what else about the Bible as well...anyone who says it's not practical or useful today obviously just needs to read it a bit more. How can anyone look at Matthew 18:15-17 and say it's not practical?! So yeh, i'm loving the Bible at the moment!
Also interviewed a perspective cell leader this morning. Good times. I remember my interview, it does not seem like two ago dave thomas was sitting in my room at whiteknights and interviewed me. I remember it cos it the first time anyone had prayed for me as a 'man', it was great. The LORD sure blessed me and dave with a tremendous friendship...hopefully He'll do the same for me and Matt. It was really good to spend about an hour with someone so fired up about the amazing nature of the Gospel, or what the truth says about our relationship with Him, of how amazing it is to have a relationship with our creator. He gave up His only Son for us...Its amazing, and Matt and i were very excited about it. It was great. We've got some top guys in the new crop of cell leaders...i'm very excited for them!

'We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever in the order of Melchzidek' (Heb 6:19-20)

Friday, February 24, 2006

In the sun that sets the wind that blows the rain that soaks me to the bone

So. No live blogging then!? To be honest sleeping has seemed like a waste of time this week, (although, a great one) let alone blogging with Joe around and mission to be done.
So i'll try and share some of the best/funniest/most God glorying things that's happened this week.
Every morning would start with prayer clusters at 830 in each halls. The last two days me and joe have walked to these in snow which was not so much fun, although memorable at least. These were cool times, AMs and students coming together to share encouragements and pray with one another. Then, off to Mondial for lattes and muffins (hooray), by 0945 the whole coffee bar was full of Christians ready to get on with their day. It was cool, but kind of funny it some ways. Then upstairs in 360 for a whole team meeting, speakers, AMs and students all together, looking at Galatians 3 and 4 together, giving thanks for what'd happened the day before, praying for what we'll be doing that day and for people who we've met and talked to. Then flyering. I'd never really appreciated that cold could pretty much burn you instead of freeze you. Phil leant me some gloves on thursday (deffo the coldest day) and that may well have saved me from frostbite.
Man, its been so good. SO GOOD! God is amazing! The people who we've seen come to faith this week, who we've spoken to, who He's brought to the meetings. I think for me the personal best/scariest time was talking to a muslim named Issa for half an hour after world view surveys on wednesday afternoon (we did those every day and they're proper good!). Hopefully he's coming along tonight to hear about 'The Hope of the Party'. That'd be good. He was lovely, and really knew his stuff. I was some feet out of my depth! The apologetic lunch bars were really good, and we probably had around 30-70 people to each, with maybe 50-100 at the evening talks. Maybe more, sometimes deffo more. We had to add three extra rows of chairs in the Blue Rooms last night, which is brilliant news!
I'm struggling to really describe the week. It was great, God has moved in the lives of so many people. SO many people, we've had so many of great conversations. Praise the Lord. He is real, the gospel is true. It's good news!
It's been great having the CIS guys involved around. The guys on the team are such MEN, its been really great to spend time with them. And with all the AMs really, its been great to hang out with them, talk to them and glean their advice. We're really going to miss them...i'm really going to miss them...
So its been a great week. Great times. We worship a great, great GREAT God...He is awesome and in His grace and mercy chooses to use us for His glory. It's been great. Pete and Greg have been traning the first XV rugby this week, which has been amazing, because thats an area we've had really no contact with for years. And the afternoon sports (football, touch rubgy, rounders and ultimate firsbee) have been really well attended. The name of Jesus is definately more known than it was a week ago. I'm looking forward to not getting up at 0730 tomorrow, looking forward to sleeping in my bed rather than on my floor tonight...But, in some ways, i really don't want it to end, it's been great. Wake up...talk to people about Jesus, eat some food...talk to people about Jesus...have a kip...talk to people about Jesus. It's great! What a week, what a God!
Its been top!

Monday, February 20, 2006

RUCU Mission Day One

Up at seven thirty, and off to whiteknights/childs/windsor prayer cluster at 830. Great to be reminded of the power of the cross for salvation for all, the glory of God and how amazing that is.
The into town to pick up Joe from the train station...so good to see him again. The the team prayer meeting at 10. Great to meet inside the union, more lovely prayer, some great foundational stuff from Galatians...and then, then the fun starts.

I love flyering. Even though today as freezing, even though my hands felt they were about to drop off at some points in the morning, such a great way to talk to people and get God's message out there. Really good times, really cool. There're lots of people flyering for the SU elections at the moment, like, 15 people outside the library and loads outside 360, but i don't think thats a bad thing...our message is so much more important.
Man, there's so much going on, like Gregg and Pete training the rugby squad, thats really opened up a door that was firmyl shut before hand. YES!
Then did some world view surveying, which was great. Spoke to four or five people about the gospel and grace and who and what Jesus was. Really cool times.
The best part? God's word being faithfully preached twice today, once by Tom and lunch time, and then again by Graham in the evening. I'll share more at the week goes on, and when it's not nearly 2am, but there's so much going on at the moment here, so mnay things across campus and all the halls. Its great. Jesus is awesome, and the Gospel is glorious and so so true. Its an honour and pleasure to be doing this. God has redeemed us from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light...YES!

So that was day one. So so much better and more exciting than these stupid words can justify, my brain switched off long ago, but i know God is working in people's hearts, and thats enough right now, as i set my alarm for six hours time! God is awesome! Praise the Lord.

January 1979/February 2006

Much, MUCH more coming later about today (probably), but i just wanted to share two things before heading out again...

1) The more i hear it and tell it, the more convinced i am of the utter, absolute, earth shattering truth of the Gospel, and the intrinsic beauty therein. It's an honour and a pleasure to be part of it.

2) I am also moved, and affected by the state my generation have got ourselves into. The apathy, the searching, the lack of meaning, it horrible. But challenging, and just confirms that all i really want to do is tell people the good news of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Just back from Sherfield Hall where some of us met the Spanish CUGs who have come to help out with Hope 2006. Good times. I'm so excited about mission week now.
And the CEx day away today was really blessed too. Great to spend a day with people talking about God, and speaking the truth...roll on tomorrow, and the official start of Hope 2006...tomorrow!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What can wash away our sins?

Man, thank God for Jesus. What a complete mess we're in, what a horrendous eternity we face without him. Romans 3:10 tells us that no one is righteous, not even one. No matter how good we think we are, how close to the Lord we feel, none of us is righteous. None of us meet the standard that God demands for us to enter into communion with Him. Jesus talks of Hell as a place where 'the worm does not die, and the fire does not go out.' In his famous sermon 'Sinners in the hands of an angry God', Jonathan Edwards puts it like this:

'God holds you over the pit of Hell, much as one holds a spider...abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. His wrath towards you burns like the fire, He thinks you worthy of nothing else but that to be cast into the fire, He is of purer eyes than to bear have you in His sight, you are ten thousand times more abominable in His eyes than the vilest serpent is in ours. Nothing else but His hand stops you falling into the fire this very moment. There is no reason other than the very great mercy of God that stopped you falling into Hell since you closed your eyes so sleep last night, since you awoke this morning...you hang by a slender thread, flames flashing around you, ready every moment to singe and burn, and yet you have no interest in a mediator'

Heavy stuff. True stuff. As difficult as it is to read and hear and accept, we must accept that this is the truth of our position before God. But, and it's possibly the biggest but there could be, but because of God's love, mercy and passion for His own glory, there is a mediator. There is a way we can be rescued from this unimaginably horrible eternity. Jesus Christ. His blood that washes away our sins, that sets us free, that fulfills the law, that lets us enter into a relationship with the Father. Faith in Jesus is the only way out of this mess we have got ourselves into. In years to come people may well be arrested for saying that, but it doesn't make it any less true. Thats what the cross achieved, thats the power of the cross. That Jesus has overcome our sin, and washed us clean. That no longer do we live under the judgement of the law, but under the freedom of grace. The grace that brings us joy, that makes us deeply happy in our hearts. And this is the reason for our joy. That Jesus died and rose again that we might be rescued from this horror. And this is our motivation for evangelism. That people we know and love will soon fall under this judgement. That two of my housemates are walking across Hell's firey pit right this second on a rotten covering.

Praise Jesus for what He achieved on the cross. Thank the Father that His love for us, and concern for the glory of His name was so great that He sent Jesus to die in our place. That sort of response, when faced with this truth, is the only appropriate one.

Sinners in the hands of an angry God
The works of Jonathan Edwards

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hello Lou Abercrombie

RUCU's new Pubs and Comms impressario has joined the blogosphere.

Broken Masterpiece

Is The Bible Reliable?

These thoughts come mostly from a lunchtime talk given by Chris Evans. (not that one!)

There are, it seems, three answers to this question. Yes, no and maybe. We'll examine each of those answers in depth, but first we'll look at each of them briefly. First of all, YES the Bible is reliable because It does what it claims to do, it has said the same thing for about two thousand years and, perhaps most importantly, it has internal consistency, it backs up all that it says in itself. So what about the nos? NO the Bible is not reliable as a means of divine dictation, it must be treated as it is. It doesn't answer every question you might have (what colour were Jesus eyes, how does molecular biology work?) but then, it's not meant to. Nowhere in the Bible does it say it will. And now to the MAYBE. Does what you think of the reliability of the Bible depend on what you think of Jesus Himself?

As I touched upon earlier, the Bible is self authenticating. It 'does what it says on the tin', certainly in the case of John 20:31, the Bible is written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Son of God. The Bible is not then, a book that tells us about life and death, but one that tells us about Jesus Christ, and the hope we have through Him in eternal life. A book about God bringing Himself glory through the redemptive history of man. In that sense then, the Bible is reliable yes. A thousand times yes! It tells us about Jesus Christ, our hope for the future. It tells us about Him before He lives, and after He dies and rises again.

But what about translations? Surely the fact that it exists in may translations in English alone, never mind all the other languages mean that at some point human error and contradiction have slipped in. Well, it think this is good evidence that the Bible is greatly reliable. For a start, whatever your opinion of the various English translations of the Bible (a problem only someone who believed the Bible was reliable anyway would have) Mark 9:23 carries the same message be it in ESV, NIV or NASB. Now there is obviously much debate over the validity of some modern translations (something I might come back to if I remember) but that's not the issue here. Also Genesis 1:1 carries the same message be it in English, Bulgarian or French. Surely this does nothing but back up the reliability of the Bible? The message of the Bible has remained the same despite modern colloquialisms.

The Bible also backs itself up with the same theme running through it. It tells the same story over thousands of years. That would surely be impossible if it was made up, or fabricated. How could something made up be sustainable over that length of time anyway? Isaiah 53 tells the story of Jesus on the cross, being pierced for our transgressions and His soul an offering for sin...Six hundred years before the things recounted in the Gospels even happened! Simiarlaly, in Job, the protagonist longs for someone to mediate between him and God. Now no one's really sure when Job lived (I say no one, I asked Bish and he didn't know, that's good enough for me!) but it could have been as much as a thousand years before Jesus! That's amazing! Job know's his redeemer lives, and one day He will stand upon the earth. 1000 years before Jesus! That's great!

So how about the No's then? Well, the Bible is not a divine dictation. The Mormon Bible claims to be based on the divine dictation left to Joseph Smith on Golden plates left on the top of a mountain. The Bible itself does not claim any such thing. It is not a divine dictation, it is not a dictation from God. As Bish amongst others has shown us this week, context is vital. The Bible contains history, prophecy, apolcalyptica and songs of praise. These must be treated as such. You can't use what the Bible says to decide how to react to every decision, or to answer your every question. It is how God speaks to us today, of course, and is brimming with practical advice on life, but if you want to know what to wear or who to go out with, its not going to help you! It is not a divine dictation and therefore not reliable as such.

The Bible is not a history text book. It won't give you an accurate record as to what was going on in China 4000 years ago. If you want to know that look at a history textbook, not the Bible! The Bible will do what it says, but it won't always do what you want it to. And neither should it.

So what about the maybe answer? Well, if you believe that Jesus Christ lived, died, rose and ascended to Heaven, then it could well be in part because you believe the Bible is a reliable account of what it claims to be. If not, perhaps its because you don't believe the Bible to be an accurate record of what it claims to be. The story of the Cross is key to the Bible, as it is to Christianity itself. But surely, a God who can raise people from the dead is capable of inspiring sixty-six books about him...?

Dissertation is go!

Finally started the writing element of my dissertation this afternoon. I've loved doing the research and background reading for this.
Justification by faith alone...woo!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Crenshaw Punch/I'll throw rocks at you

Rule Number 2) When Nicola asks you to read her coursework book to her as she washes up, DO THE WASHING UP INSTEAD...James Joyce will suck the life from you. But anyway, Nicola asked me to write 'nice things' about her this week...so [insert nice things here]

CEx part four eh? Two more to go, one person saved so far...lots of encouraging noises from other people. Lots of questions (mostly) lots of great food, lots of discovering again our desperate need for God's wonderful grace and mercy in our lives. What are you going to do about all the bad things you said and done in your life? Jesus Christ said that he died as a ransom for many. Please think about that, please explore it.

Cex was a bit different tonight. We only had two groups instead of three (mid way thru term, deadlines, early valentines stuff), but one of the girls who i've been really praying for this week came back, and bought someone else, these guys are seriously better evangelists than I am, so that was good. We were talking about grace, based on the Bible study of Mark 10:17-24. Good times. Good to be reminded of my personal need for God's mercy, great to share this challenging truth with others. I really got the fear of speaking tonight though. There were a couple of times when just no one in our group was speaking, and I dunno, it was like there was something stopping me. It was weird. But wise old Danutia always told me not to be afraid of silence, that God uses it and works though it. I pray He was tonight. And grace is wonderful, the best thing ever. Grace gives me the streaking to share the gospel with someone this afternoon over MSN after spending the morning worrying whether i'd got it right at all (i'm having far too many of those moments recently...whats wrong with me!?) Sarah's about the most liberal and open minded (i mean that in a good way) person i know. I'm sure i came off sounding like a crazed fundamentalist. To be fair, maybe that's what i am.

Ah so grace. My favourite thing. Praise the Lord for grace. Praise the Lord that He has ripped the curtain and given us access to the Father that we might live in a restored relationship with Him, that we might spend eternity with Him, and at this time be in the business of glorifying Him. Grace, the free, undeserved gift of life. We can never be good enough to inherit eternal life. It's an insult to God to think we can. Religion sucks, legalism sucks, the Law is Holy and perfect, but unobtainable. I just want to enjoy the light of God's grace. That grace will be sweeping our campus next week, it's going to be great!

Hope comes to Reading

Nearly there now...this time next week a small army of students and AM's will be out flyering, world view surveying and proclaiming the gospel in their halls. Sharing the hope for the future that we have in Jesus Christ. Sharing the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

It's the best week of the year...i can't wait.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


So, i'm sure we all google ourselves from time to time...but, this was slightly, a little bit weird for a couple of reasons beyond the obvious.

In other news , i stumbled across Dave Lewis's blog today. He's a good guy.

I wonder if i'll ever blog anything worthwhile ever again. Probably not at 1am on a sunday, thats for sure!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

If its Ownby it must be Thursday

So, i think Christian Unions are great! There was a time, maybe ten minutes this evening, after i'd dropped the PA off for our main meeting and took a walk to the library quickly when i was a bit worried. Maybe i'd only been so concerned with on-campus mission because whilst i was on committee i had to be, maybe it had been so automatic i hadn't really questioned it. Oh no! No no no. It was great to continue serving RUCU this evening. Going to the wonderfully named Ownby, where 25% of the new committee and our tech guy currently reside, then back to campus, then to the music centre to pick up steve to play bass, and then down to drews to pick up his guitar. A totally different type of service to the type i've been involved in recently, but still an honour to be able to do. And Tom and Kat really did a fine job in leading their first meeting.

Ian Hesketh from St Saviors Christian Centre took us through Romans 3:1-9. Two things really struck me. First, that we have a real responsibility to 'press on' with our walk. Not to rely on our families, or tradition or anything else to see us right with God. To rely on nothing but Jesus. And definately not to become complacent in our walsk with God. We must pray to be blessed so that we can be a blessing, not to make our lives easier or to make ourselves look good. The second part concerned Paul's response to the question of whether God's grace and righteousness can be made to look better when we sin. What nonsense! How can our perfect, holy God ever be pleased when we sin? Or be made to look good by our sin? I'd have to wholeheartedly agree with Paul when he says that the condemnation of the people that peddle such nonsense is just.
What is equally exciting is the number of CEx guests who were there this evening. I reckon at least four or five, which know sounds like a small number, but is probably about a third of the unbelieving people who come on the course. Please, please bust a gut in prayer for these people. I've got no doubt that the Gospel of our God is bright enough and powerful enough to shine into their hearts, we just need the faith to believe it.

Its pretty amazing that God would choose to work out his salvation plan amongst us. On bright, clear, sunny days like these the beauty of God in His creation really hhits me. Yeh, it was freezing, but totally worth being outside to appreciate slightly more of God. Even this evening, outside Dave, Tom and Andy's house, looking up to the sky, seeing the dark blues against the whiteness of the moon and stars. Amazing. And what we see now is described as only a dim reflection. Amazing!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

UniS Mission

Paul and Cat are both 'live-blogging' the Surrey Cu mission this week. A top idea. It's great to be kept up to date with what God is doing in a different part of the country. I wish i was there!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hooray for God

So Cex...Rule number one: When Nicola tells you that going to her house to do the washing up because her dishwasher is quick...DO NOT BELIEVE HER! Its that simple. Thats why me and Dave were leaving the chappy at gone midnight last night. But i digress.
ISSY BECAME A CHRISTIAN LAST NIGHT! Thats so cool. She's seen it! Christ wins! Christ wins! Yes! I can't really verbalise my feelings right now...but this is great. I am happy deep within myself because of this. Praise the Lord! Yes! And people seemed excited about the day away as well, )now all we need is a venue) so i am encouraged. And the continual realisation that the gospel is true and powerful and real and great! Its great to share it with unbelievers and amazing to see people grasp what the Bible really says for the first time in their lives. It's a priveledge i thank God for!
We eve managed to cut through people in our groups giving us the answers they thought we wanted to hear last night as well. Which is a big step forward. And easier now. Good.
God is so good, and that is so not reliant on me and on my feelings and on anything else except God. Praise Him for what He's doing in Issy's life, please pray for Kim who 'wishes she could be a Christian' (please pray for her!) Please pray that me and nicola and naomi and kat and dave would be filled with the Holy Spirit and with faith more and more as we do this course, that we would be strong in the face of attack, and always look to God for our security and joy. Cheers!

'if thats the way it is, then thats the way it is'

Monday, February 06, 2006

Straight Outta New Brunswick

I've been thinking for a while now about writing something on the 'Muslim Cartoon Outrage', but have held back for obvious reasons. Luckily, someone far wiser than me has done so instead.
Go read!

Where can i go Lord?

So we appear to be having one of our tri monthly lulls here on Ed's Fallible but i've got a pretty interesting week coming up, so maybe that'll change. I'm speaking on Matthew 6:1-12 at Thames Valley Uni CU laster on this morning, so i'm currently terrified and excited in pretty equal measure about that...at the moment we're in excitement. And then CEx this evening, which i am still loving and i pray that God would keep stirring and moving in these guys hearts, keep knocking on their door louder and louder. We're going to tell them about the day away tonight as well, which happens at the end of next week, so fingers crossed about that.
And then on Thursday and/or Friday, i'm off to court to be a witness in a case about a car crash that i saw in October 2004! Not much to say about that really. I am lost for inspiration this morning.
Although, in other news, our shower is broken, so i'll be having cold showers for the foreseeable future...i'll have to pretend i'm in Bulgaria/India. Except its prob not 35C in Reading. ah well.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Is this the greatest photo ever?

Well obviously not...but i like it