Johns Jottings

September 2015

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Andy wondered if it would be possible to rent St John Fisher to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and would Celebration Church like to be involved. My first thought was: ‘This is a bit Jewish and what will people think?’ Having spoken to Andy, prayed and looked at what the Bible says, I see no reason why we shouldn`t be involved. In fact, if it teaches us what it meant to them and its relevance to us then, it will be good for us. Here are a few thoughts that I gleaned (no pun intended) from looking at the Feast of Tabernacles.

This feast was held at harvest time, so it was a celebration, but it was far more than Harvest Festivals of today. It not only celebrated how God had provided for his people but the fact that God dwelt among them. “I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people”. (Lev 26:11-12). They were a people always going astray and yet their God had covenanted Himself to dwell with them. Amazing!

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August 2015

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As I was preparing the series of sermons on the Ten Commandments I came across this poem by Elton Trueblood:

    Above all else love God alone; Bow down to neither wood or stone.

    God`s name refuse to take in vain; The Sabbath rest with care maintain.

    Respect your parents all your days; Hold sacred human life always.

     Be loyal to your chosen mate; Steal nothing, neither small nor great.

     Report, with truth, your neighbours deed; And rid your mind of selfish greed.

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July 2015

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I have been reading “The Way of the Master”, by Ray Comfort, which is the basis for the course which Steve is putting together, starting August. The first chapter is entitled, ‘A Dereliction of duty’. It speaks of what we know we should be doing but let other things take its place. He finishes the chapter by asking if we are praying for revival, but goes on to say if we are not sharing our faith it is though we are saying: ’Lord, I know that you have commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. But we will stay here and pray. We know that you have chosen the  “foolishness” of preaching to save those who believe. But we will stay here and pray. And we know that the Bible asks us, “How will they hear without a preacher?” But  we will stay here and pray, because it is easier to talk to God about people than it is to talk to people about God’. Read the rest of this entry »

June 2015

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I was challenged by Dr. Annang`s sermon (see next page) on Paul`s prayer life. I knew that Paul always prayed for the churches that he ministered to, even those he hadn`t met, but what struck me particularly was the effort he put into it. I try to go regularly through everybody at church, lifting each one up to the Lord in prayer, asking that He might be with you in whatever situation your facing. But I have to ask myself, ‘Do I struggle in prayer? Do I wrestle in prayer?’ Prayer doesn`t come easily to anyone, especially pastors who are expected to pray about every aspect of church. I am no different. If I go into the inner room, as Jesus said, I struggle to keep awake. If I`m praying about some particular situation, my mind tends to wander to all sorts of irrelevancies, I have a wrestle to keep my focus on it. I suppose the question we must ask ourselves is, ’Do I put as much effort into prayer as I do into everything else?’ Spurgeon said, “He who prays without fervency does not pray at all.” We know what a great evangelist and church planter Paul was. He put as much effort into prayer as he did evangelism, We should be no different. Read the rest of this entry »

May 2015

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I read this! ‘An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and the boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both. As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, “Oh, my God! Help me!” At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place and as the atheist hung in mid-air, a booming voice came down from the clouds, “I thought you didn`t believe in me!” “Come on God, give me a break!” the man pleaded. “Two minutes ago I didn`t believe in the Loch Ness monster either!”Read the rest of this entry »