The narrow gate

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few[1] We have been thinking about what it means to be partContinue reading “The narrow gate”

The Golden Rule

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” I must admit, I am not that great a fan of the way that Matthew 7:12 has become known as “The Golden Rule.”  It sounds like one of those mechanistic laws for life.  Almost asContinue reading “The Golden Rule”

What kind of gift?

When we were younger, my sister wanted a Wendy house for her birthday. My dad kept insisting that she was getting a tin of baked beans, much to her annoyance and his amusement.  Well, the day of her birthday came and she went downstairs. To her joy, there was the Wendy House ready assembled …Continue reading “What kind of gift?”

Stones and Serpents

I don’t want to make too big a deal out of this but I was fascinated when looking at Jesus teaching on prayer to spot one of those little but intriguing connections. In Matthew 4, Jesus goes into the Wilderness where he fasts for 40 days and nights and experiences testing from Satan.  Satan basicallyContinue reading “Stones and Serpents”

How many times do you need to ask?

I remember a speaker at a conference I attended claiming that he had identified the secret to successful prayer. It was a matter of persistence in prayer and fasting. We give up too easily, he claimed. He was even prepared to put a number on this. Just as Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days,Continue reading “How many times do you need to ask?”

Get these two words in your regular vocabulary

This is a subject I will keep coming back to because I believe it is so important that we get this right if we are going to see healthy gospel churches. They are “sorry” and “forgive”. Elton John sung that “sorry seems to be the hardest word.”  It shouldn’t be should it. We know thatContinue reading “Get these two words in your regular vocabulary”

How do we allow others to help us remove our logs and specks?

In a previous post I began to build on Steve Kneale’s post on the challenges of “logs and specks” in the eye of the church.  Steve said that the challenge is that we often cannot see our own logs to remove them. Here are some further thoughts. First of all, whilst I may not beContinue reading “How do we allow others to help us remove our logs and specks?”

Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)

On our After Eight slot for Bearwood Chapel we were talking about the bit where Jesus says to take out the log in your own eye before attempting to remove your brother’s speck the other day. I asked Sarah, in the context of this, what she thought was our primary responsibility in a dispute. SheContinue reading “Seeing clearly and reporting accurately (my responsibility in a dispute part 2)”

When a community has a blind spot

I want to pick up on a brilliant question that was raised by one of our church family on the Zoom discussion last Sunday. We had listened to James preach on Matthew 7:1-6 and then one of the members asked “is it possible for these verses to talk about a whole community, church or institution?”Continue reading “When a community has a blind spot”

My responsibility after a falling out

I am not talking here about a minor argument but when there has been a serious breakdown in relationships and a sense from all parties that they have been wronged.  If you have ever been asked to mediate such a situation then you will know how hopeless and painful, they often are.  Usually, there isContinue reading “My responsibility after a falling out”