Thursday, May 24, 2007

Holiday reading and expectations

Tomorrow we go on holiday for a week to Wells-next-the-Sea in north Norfolk. My holiday reading list comprises:

Pierced for our Transgressions (Ovey, Jeffrey & Sach)
Shepherding a Child's Heart (Tripp)
War and Peace (vol. 1) (Tolstoy)
Charity and Its Fruits (Edwards) (which I haven't read for a long time)
Peter O'Brien's commentary on Ephesians (as we are studying Ephesians in homegroups at the moment)
(links in reading list on left)

I trust that it will not be reading merely for the sake of knowledge but for the sake of love - to God and to others. 1 Corinthians 8.1b

I am also hoping to see a few interesting birds, given that "Norfolk is the single best stretch of coastline in the UK from a birdwatcher's point of view" (BBC) Crossbills, Sandwich terns, Little terns and waders are top of the list and who knows what else? I have seen 94 species so far this year, so should push past 100, possibly up to 110-115?

John Owen on the importance of engaging the mind in the struggle against sin

Two quotes from Indwelling Sin chapter 9; worth chewing over.

The steadfastness of the minds abiding in their duty is the cause of all our unmovableness and fruitfulness in obedience;... For if the soul be safe, unless the mind be drawn off from its duty, the soundness and steadfastness of the mind is its great preservative. And there are three parts of this steadfastness of the mind: - First, a full purpose of cleaving to God in all things; secondly, A daily renovation and quickening of the heart unto a discharge of this purpose; thirdly, Resolutions against all the dalliances or parleys about negligences in that discharge.

there are some duties which, in their own nature and by God's appointment, have a peculiar influence into the weakening and subduing the whole law of sin in its very principles and chiefest strengths; and these the mind of a believer ought principally in his whole course to attend unto; and these doth sin in its deceit endeavor principally to draw off the mind from... Now, these duties are - first, Prayer, especially private prayer; and, secondly, Meditation.

For a brilliant book about fighting against sin that is much simpler than Owen, I highly recommend Kris Lungaard: The Enemy Within.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Random Notes in May

As it is over a month since I last posted, and I have nothing substantive to say, I thought I would make a few random notes to keep updated.

I discovered facebook yesterday and am very impressed. I have also been playing around with my website, I believe that the design to the "site in construction" page is somewhat improved!!

I am currently working on a series of Bible studies for international students. The series is entitled "Knowing God" and is based on a selection of Psalms. The course begins tomorrow, so if you're reading this and know God, please pray that some internationals would come. I may put the studies on my website eventually, but this is the outline of the course:

  • Psalm 19 - Knowing God
  • Psalm 139 - What is God Like? (1)
  • Psalms 23 and 13 - The Happiness of Knowing God
  • Psalm 33 - What is God Like? (2)
  • Psalm 49 - Money, Life and Death
  • Psalms 14 and 32 - Knowing God and Not Knowing God

Some interesting birdwatching recently: wheatears, yellow wagtail and redstart one day at Attenborough Nature Reserve. I saw/heard 8 different warblers on another day, including a grasshopper warbler, with its bizarre "muffled alarm clock" song. I also missed (according to the Nottinghamshire birdwatchers website) some bar-tailed godwits, a black-tailed godwit, a green sandpiper, arctic terns, an osprey, a crane, a spotted crake!!

I was given Pierced For Our Transgressions for Easter. I'm looking forward to reading it, although haven't had a chance to yet. I have noted, however, that there has been considerable debate about it, including a contribution from N.T.Wright: see also here and here.

My brother seems to have given up on his blog (!) but some of his music is on myspace. Go on, have a listen!

Timothy (21 months) can now hiss like a snake and roar like a lion!!