Monday, 22 December 2008

Kingdom of God, Insurgency of God, Party of God, The Eco-system of God, The government of God, the dance of God...

Jesus is born into a context of Roman occupation and the responses of the various groups such as the Pharisees, Essenes, Herodians and Zealots. Jesus offers a new way that he calls 'The Kingdom of God'. Jesus invites everyone into this group and doesn't isolate like each of the other groups.

*Jesus is baptised by John who was an Essene and also interacts with John's disciples.

*Jesus meets and interacts with Zachaeus, a tax collector working for Roman government (Herodian). Jesus brings the kingdom of transformation to this mans life.

*In John Jesus speaks with Nicodemus, a leader of the Jewish group the Pharisees. Jesus teaches him about the Kingdom of God and the need to be born again. Nicodemus was eager to learn. When he didn't understand, he kept asking questions until he did reach some kind of understanding. He needed to question his own pre-existing beliefs and thoughts.

*In his group of follows Jesus has a Roman collaborator in Matthew and a zealot in Simon.

Jesus' life should give us an example for how to do church. How do we live out the Kindom of God? How do we interact with those who we disagree with and those we keep our distance from? (And those are just the Christians!)As we live in this way the Kindom of God begins to increase.

But what if we broaden our horizons? How do we interact with...

Friday, 12 December 2008

Relationship between the church and the world

In his book Generous Orthodoxy Brian McLaren discusses the historical development of the Methodist church movement. In unpacking the development, McLaren suggests that the Methodist church develops into an us and them approach with the religious on the high plateau and the non-religious on the low ground. There are many similarities with the times that we are now in with a divide between religious and non-religious. However I believe that the divide between those in the church and those outside is not static as is depicted in McLaren's model.

I have outlined 2 potential improvements to the model.

World in continuous progress

World in continuous decline

Friday, 5 December 2008

Where is God?

“We have not answered the question ‘where is God?’ But we have suggested how to go about answering the question. Seek and you will find. But be careful. If God was at the touch of a button, would you dare click it?”

Where is God?
Newspaper clippings from today’s news with barbed wire. My way of symbolising war and suffering for the world. In the top left there’s a big tear in the fabric; underneath is bright gold. This is where I think God is, forever growing larger in the world and in our hearts, biding his time to cover the whole image in gold.
Nicky, 14

Where is God?
In this slate-grey 3-D corridor a hunched red plasticine figure sits. Meredith (12) expresses an experience. The words say:
“There was a man who suffered every day and every night. His sadness radiated from him and his anger burned like fire. He sat in the dark at the end of the corridor. He asked ‘is there a God? If there is, why does he let me suffer? No answer came, only silence. He curled up and cried.”

God – He Lies In You
I believe that every one of us possesses Him. I have titled my design “God: He Lies In You”. I have included a mirror: when one looks at this artwork, symbolizing God, they see their own face. The image will be broken, because it is hard to see that God is part of each one of us. 
It is a very personal thing. I am sure that not everyone agrees with my opinion. This design has deep meanings; everything from the colour to the shapes used symbolizes something. I will not explain what I intend everything to mean, because I think this is what discovering the painting is about.
Jennie, 14

Monday, 1 December 2008

Cobra Dream

I had the strangest dream tonight. In the dream there was what I believe was a Cobra. It wasn't fully developed - it wasn't the proper colour or full size. It was incredibly long and clear in colour. It started to wrap itself around my throat and then the snake attempted to slide inside my ear. Around half of the snake disappeared in my ear and I had to pull it back out. The same thing then happened as the snake attempted to crawl inside my nose - again I had to pull it out. I remember then looking down and seeing two identical snake bites above my knees. I remember the fear in the dream that the snaked had laid something inside of me.

I looked up the dream dictionary and heres what it said:


To see a cobra in your dream, represents creation, and creative energies. Some situation or relationship has you hypnotized. *Please see also Snake.


To see a snake or be bitten by one in your dream, signifies hidden fears and worries that are threatening you. Your dream may be alerting you to something in your waking life that you are not aware of or that has not yet surfaced. The snake may also be seen as phallic and thus symbolize dangerous and forbidden sexuality. The snake may also refer to a person around you who is callous, ruthless, and can't be trusted.

This is Good News

My hope for the church is that it would become the very heartbeat of the community. Just as in the past the River Clyde provided jobs, security and upheld Glasgow's economy, how refreshing it would be if the church could adopt the same role. Imagine a city where various churches opened shops, coffee houses and bookstores, providing jobs and boosting the economy. Imagine a Glasgow that couldn't survive without the involvement of the Church - where Christian love of the city meant investment of time and money. The possibilities are endless.

There will always be people who take the benefits of the river for granted and who fail to truly understand, but when everything those people put their hope and faith in fails, God's provision will remain. The question is whether or not they realise at that point.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Views of Glasgow Order of Service Sunday 30th Nov 2008

Hymn 1: CH4 154 How Great Thou Art

Video 1: Glasgow: Scotland in Style Video

Hymn 2: MP 746 What a friend we have in Jesus

Reading 1: Luke 1: 5-25

Hymn 3: MP 50 Be still for the Presence of the Lord is here

Video 2: Let Glasgow Flourish Video

Offering and Prayer (Video on screen of different views of Glasgow – set to Glory of it all as the offering is taken up)


Reading 2: Ezekiel 47: 1-12

Hymn 4: CH4 36 Psalm 46

Sermon: Views of Glasgow


Hymn 5: MP 1012 These are the days of Ellijah

Children’s Talk

Reader Response: Let Glasgow Flourish

Hymn 6: MP 411 Let there be love shared among us x 2


Friday, 14 November 2008


Been thinking a wee bit about marriage today and pondering if marriage mirrors in any way the freedom we have in Christ. (Interestingly, Catholics, Orthodox believers and Anglicans all believe that Marriage is a sacrament.) The sacraments and ceremonies of the Church should lead us to a place of freedom, rather than of shame and guilt.

If it marriage does fulfil this role, isn't it interesting that freedom comes not when we are alone, but when we are committed and connected with others. Consequently we become vulnerable and we are open to being hurt. Is there freedom in our pain and vulnerability?

Naturally you would think we are free when we have no commitments and no ties. But rather the opposite is true we are truly free when we are in community with others.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

6 uninteresting things about me...

1. I've never broken any bones

2. Never had a tooth taken out or any fillings

3. The first single I got was Power Rangers (especially liked Go Green Ranger)

4. I was late on my 1st day of school + thought everyone else had been there for weeks before me

5. When I was younger I wanted to be: a teacher, a police officer, a professional football, a wrestler, someone who worked in Game, a pop singer...

6. I once called my p3 teacher mum - think Mr Sangster was a bit shocked

Monday, 10 November 2008


God there are so many situations at the moment that need your touch. There are so many people who are in need of your intervention. So many people scared of being alone, so many people who are just numb and so many people who are tired of this life. Hear the cries of your people Lord and comfort them in their need. God i ask for an abundant provision for your people. Would there be an open heaven. Open the floodgates of heaven and let it rain. I pray for healing, for deliverance, and for renewal. Jesus came so that we might have life in all its fullness, Father God would we begin to live in that fullness of life in the here and now.


Thursday, 30 October 2008

Train tribes

So there I was getting the train to college...standing room only, minding my own business when I saw a group of women (presumably work colleagues) talking on the train. I wasn't evesdropping or anything but one of the women's husband had just bought a camper van without telling her or consulting her! Anyway the women were all very animated and discussion life intently.

I began to realise that everywhere around us there are pre-existing groups of people. On trains, in coffee shops and cafe's - everywhere! That's really exciting because it means that a vehicle is already in place to spread a message of hope and good news.

I began to realise, just by watching this one group of women, that the church is even by its own factory model inefficient. We wait for the ones and twos to come to the church in the hope that it will create the product of a new Christian. But by leaving the comfort and safety of our churches behind and take the message to groups of ppl on trains, in coffee shops and cafes we have the potential of connecting not with just ones and twos but with multitudes of people.

Church 2.0 is the the future...until someone creates update 2.1. This is really the priesthood of all believers. The ability for all of us to go and do church where we live, work, travel, rest and play. Let's together create something fluid, innovative and dynamic that will have a different interface depending on what context we may find ourselves in. Exciting stuff!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

White Orbs in Photographs

Over the past few months I've been having a chat with few of my friends about white dots that keep appearing in some of our photographs. I've only ever seen them in pictures of Christian people or at Christian worship events. Here are just a few examples. I'd be keen to hear people's thoughts on what they thought they were? Do any of your photos have these white dots? Let me know wat you think

Some people believe these white dots are angelic orbs - I'm not so sure. However one theory that I have is that they look like halos as classically depicted in some artwork. For example

Keen to hear your thoughts...

Friday, 24 October 2008

This is Our God

Just a thought I had: Jesus experienced life in its fullness, yet he still wept at the death of Lazarus. What an encouragement; even when we endure difficulty it is still possible for us to experience fullness of life. WOW!!!

Loving this song:

Your grace is enough
More than I need
At Your word I will believe
I wait for You
Draw near again
Let Your Spirit make me new

I will fall at Your feet
I will fall at Your feet
And I will worship You here

Your presence in me
Jesus light the way
By the power of Your word
I am restored
I am redeemed
By Your Spirit I am free

Freely You gave it all for us
Surrendered Your life upon that cross
Great is the love
Poured out for all
This is our God
Lifted on high from death to life
Forever our God is glorified
Servant and King
Rescued the world
This is our God

Rules Rules Rules

I've been thinking a wee bit about the 10 Commandments tonight (or the Decalouge - check who goes to Bible College). I used to think that these rules were there for us to follow so that we could please God. I now realise that God's commands and laws are there for us to avoid the pitfalls, to avoid those things that bring pain and hurt. By following God's commands we are able to live life in its fullness.

When Jesus says he is the fulfilment of the law - he's really saying he has the key to life. He is the one man man who has experienced life in its fullness. I was using the example of a weight watchers leader when talking to my friend tonight. These people often tell us how to lose weight, give us tips and advice. But if we look at them and we see someone who is overweight then their advice is discredited.

Why should we trust Jesus? Because he is the only person in the history of this world that has experienced the complete fullness of life. By following his tips for life and his advice we have a guide to a full, complete and satisfying life.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Things I like...

When I was younger...

Been thinking a lot about when I was little and the things that I wanted to do. I remember being 5 and wanting to be a pop singer. Don't worry not about to enter X Factor or anything but thinking back it kinda surprised me. I had just forgotten about it. I've taken to singing in the flat now when no one else is around.

Even when I'm in worship I'm so often moved by dance and by flag waving. I'm beginning to realise that I'm actually quite a creative and expressive person. There's definitely something within movement, music and rhythm that connects with me. I don't think I've always let myself admit that though.

Monday, 20 October 2008

I think the events of the past couple of weeks are just beginning to sink in. All alone in the flat, no one to tell how my day was and missing Jack our puppy incredibly. Loved him so much - just want one more cuddle. Feel like I can't go to church cos Jen will be there - really missing worship. Sometimes we try pretend that everything is ok, but I'm not sure I can keep pretending anymore.

In the midst of all that I do still feel and believe that I made the right decision. Its just the outworking and consequences of that which are difficult. There just seems to be so many questions that just don't have answers at the moment.

Beginning to feel like there are so many feelings and emotions that have been supressed over the past wee while. Just don't know how to best express them. Feel angry and inevitably I end up hurting people because I'm hurting at the moment. Feel like I want to shout but I don't know what I'd say. Plus get frustrated sometimes because i find it difficult to articulate what I'm thinking and feeling. I feel so disconnected from people. I can be in the biggest group yet feel so alone. I feel like there is so much to work through - my dad dying, history of abuse, lack of intimacy from my mum, the fear of lonlieness, fear of people, feelings of vulnerability, addictions, and now the stuff with Jenny. Just really want someone to hold me.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Monday, 15 September 2008

Apologies Another Rant

So its London fashion week - designers are showcasing their spring-summer collections for 2009. John Rocha made an appearance at the end of his show. Julien Macdonald, Paul Smith, Daniella Issa Helayel and Vivienne Westwood are among the other designers taking part.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for creativity and encouraging people to use their imagination...But who would ever buy/wear clothes like this?Maybe I dont understand because I'm a man!

A wee note from Gordon Brown

Time to get serious with some political commentary...

Dennis the Menace is Tamed

We all know about Dennis the Menace. For generations, his favourite target was Walter the Softie, the effete, bespectacled boy who preferred picking flowers and holding tea parties for his teddy bears to pea-shooters or catapults. A former editor revealed yesterday he toned down Dennis' antics towards Walter because he feared it might encourage violent bullying of homosexuals.

What a load of tripe - PC GONE TOO FAR!!!!

On a similar note...

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Cardboard Testimonies

Jen came across this video on youtube - we both found it really moving. What really struck me was how God can transform the most desperate situation and life.

Mark Stibbe @ Glasgow Elim

Mark Stibbe has, since 1996, been the vicar at St Andrews Church Chorleywood, a large and growing charasmatic Anglican church just outside London. He is the best-selling author of One Touch from the King, Haeling Today, Prophetic Evangelism, and The Father You've Been Waiting For.

He regularly speaks about the Father heart of God, and the healing of the orphan heart. Mark is an excellent and effective communicator and will be speaking over the course of this weekend at Glasgow Elim Church.

Mark will be ministering at the following times:
Sat 13th Sep - 7.30pm
Sun 14th Sep - 11am
Sun 14th Sep - 6.30pm

All sessions are free - Please feel free to join us this weekend @
Glasgow Elim,
45 Inglefield Street,
Glasgow G42 7AT.


The larger question for us is not "Will you cross the finish line?" but "Whose hands will you be holidng as you cross the line?"

We've been using this book in our life groups at church. The basic premise for the book is that we need 11 different types of people in our lives if we are to become the person God intended. Essentially it is a book about friendship. We are not strongest when we are alone, rather we are strongest when we are in community.

The book argues that we all need:

a Jethro - a butt-kicker
a Timothy - an heir
a Barnabus - an encourager
a Peter/Paul - a coach/mentor
a Deborah - back-coverer and guardian
a Zacchaeus- a reject
a Rhoda - a "Little One"
a group of VIP's - a Lydia and Lazarus, Rich and Poor
a Jerusalem - You need a place
An invisable 12th - the Holy Spirit

I've only just started reading it but would encourage you to get your hands on a copy of the book if you can.

Friday, 12 September 2008

New aero-dynamic Jay

The Song we sing over Glasgow

I posted yesterday about the importance of singing in the midst of difficulty. I believe this is important at a personal and corporate level. I have a real heart for the city of Glasgow. All too often it is easy to look around and see all the negatives, get frustrated and lose hope. I believe we need to sing two songs - one which recognises the reality and one which speaks prophetically about the future.

Although the bell no longer rings...a day is coming when it will be heard again
Although the bird no longer flies...a day is coming when it will soar
Although the tree no longer grows...a day is coming when it will stand tall
Although the fish no longer swims...a day is coming when the river will be full of life
Let Glasgow Flourish!

Loving this Ad

Saw this for the first time at NYA. Its an amazing thought-provoking advert - wonder what the 5th screen or the 6th screen will look like. Or do you think we will stop with the mobile?

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Never Let Go

At church tonight we were talking about the importance of praising God in the difficult times. The times when he seems distant and you feel alone. Thats where I was tonight...tired, down, full of doubts and generally not feeling it. Part of me just wanted to run away.

And from no where God whispered some lines from a Matt Redman song called Never Let Go...

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth

I believe that the song is about hope. Sometimes hope is the only thing that keeps us going. The hope that God hears our cry and will deliver us from the difficult situations we end up in. The only thing we can do is keep Going!