31 Days of Prayer: Day 21 – Your prayers and God’s predestined plans

Revelation Incense“And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel.” (Rev 8:3-4)

Over the last couple of days, we’ve been thinking through the question of how prayer relates to the complete sovereignty of God. If God is really in charge, why pray? Do our prayers really change anything (other than us and our wills)? We introduced the question on Day 19, and yesterday we looked at the example of Moses praying to God in Exodus 32.

Today, we’ll try to bring some more clarity to this question by looking at Revelation 8 (yep, you read that right – clarity by looking at the book of Revelation!).  Continue reading

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Creating a Culture of Evangelism – Mack Stiles Podcast

Mack Stiles PortraitMack Stiles, author of Evangelism: How the whole church speaks of Jesus and Marks of the Messenger, on promoting the gospel and creating an effective, Christ-centred culture of evangelism in your ministry.

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Mack may be the most passionate and naturally gifted evangelist I’ve ever met. He’s the author of five books, including Marks of the Messenger and Speaking of Jesus. This week, at the Together For The Gospel (T4G) Conference in Kentucky, Mack will launch his latest book – Evangelism: How the whole church speaks of Jesus. Born and bred in America, he now lives with his wife Leeann in Dubai, UAE, where he is CEO of Gulf Digital Solutions and General Secretary for the Fellowship of Christian UAE students. Continue reading

Getting Things Done, God’s Way

What's Best Next Cover

What’s Best Next
b
y Matt Perman
Zondervan, 352 pages
Amazon | Book Depository

I admit that I’ve always been a bit skeptical about books on productivity. I don’t really know why, but I think I just assumed that reading a whole book and developing a comprehensive system for ‘time management’ was overkill. Surely all it needs is a bit of common sense, right? After all, I already make to-do lists, I have a diary and a basic weekly schedule, and I take time out to make sure that what I do gels with my overall goals.

Still, in the back of my mind, I knew I should get around to reading one of the books that everyone recommends. I’d seen the way books like Getting Things Done (David Allen) or First Things First (Stephen Covey) had helped my friends. I’d just never been quite motivated enough to make the time for it myself. Continue reading

Why David Cameron owes Jesus £1 million

Britain Prime MinisterIn the past week, in preparation for an upcoming talk, I went looking for information on what people consider to be the world’s single biggest problem. During my research, I stumbled across this fascinating story: British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to award £1 million to anyone who can discover the world’s biggest problem – and solve it. Continue reading

What Are You Trusting? Some questions for my charismatic friends

Over the Easter weekend, a group of about 50 students from Christian Union (the campus ministry where I serve here in Christchurch) went away together for a conference on love, sex and marriage. While we were there, some of our members found themselves being aggressively ‘evangelised’.

Upon arrival, we found ourselves sharing our campsite with members of a ministry known as ‘Revival Fellowship’. You can read more about their emphasis and their beliefs here – but suffice to say, several members of Christian Union were told that, frankly, if you don’t speak in tongues,[1] you’re not really a Christian. Continue reading