Archive | April, 2011

Urban Legends from the Pulpit

29 Apr

Came across an interesting post on mere urban legends that are persistently used in sermons. Trevor Wax claims that the seven statements in this list are merely myths.

1. The “eye of the needle” refers to a gate outside Jerusalem.

2. The high priest tied a rope around his ankle so that others could drag him out of the Holy of Holies in case God struck him dead.

3. Scribes took baths, discarded their pens, washed their hands, etc. every time they wrote the name of God.

4. There was this saying among the sages: “May you be covered in your rabbi’s dust.”

5. Voltaire’s house is now owned by a Bible-printing publisher.

6. Gehenna was a burning trash dump outside Jerusalem.

7. NASA scientists have discovered a “missing day” which corresponds to the Joshua account of the sun standing still.

Read the full post for more details.

I’d definitely heard no. 1, 2 and 6 before. Which ones have you heard?

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Airdrie Go-Team, Sunday Psalm.

27 Apr

I’m sure one of the two Another King writers who were officially on the Airdrie Go-Team will post a full report  in the rear future. In the meantime and to whet your appetite, here is a recording of Psalm 98B from morning worship of the Go-Team Sunday.

The singing on Sunday was fantastic, due in no small part to a what was probably the largest attendance at a regular worship service in Airdrie for 50 years.

‘You will be My Witnesses’

14 Apr

I have been on the Riverside Go-team twice, 2009 and 2010,  in just that one year between the two teams I saw real personal spiritual growth in the congregation. One of the most amazing evidences of that growth was the witnessing of the congregation. The first year we had an ‘evangelistic’ meeting in the church which we invited much of Newry to during the week – no visitors came. The next year the format of the meeting was changed, we instead had a BBQ outside the church, we had some games in the hall and Pastor Sweeney finished it off with a simple 10 minute gospel presentation from a Psalm which we then sang.

The real difference on the previous year however, was that visitors actually came! And I’m not just talking about the kind of visitors that are elders at the local Presbyterian Church; I mean the ones that don’t go to church. That’s right we found those elusive non-Christians that always seem to be absent from the meetings we design for them!

Now, some of this success im sure was -humanly speaking- down to the change in form of the meeting, and perhaps too often we design evangelistic meetings that only appeal to those like ourselves? However, none of these people came because the Go-Team invited them, how do I know? We didn’t invite anyone; we just gave out 4U magazines! The visitors that came, came because they had been invited by people in the congregation. Those people heard the gospel and it was almost nothing to do with the work of  the mighty Go-team!

I got the feeling on that Go-team that, really we weren’t needed. That encouraged me.  We were just there to do the physical work of handing out literature and helping with HBC that this small congregation couldn’t do all themselves. We were there just to facilitate and encourage the congregation in THEIR work of witnessing, It would have gone on without us. The go team was NOT seen as THE evangelism for the year. I unfortunately cannot say I have seen this attitude in many the congregations I have visited, I think mission/go teams are often looked on as  ‘getting some young people over to do us some of that evangelism’ and if God doesn’t chose to bring people in then so be it. This is such an easy mind-set to slip into but yet absolutely deadly to the work of the church.

We almost expect no one to come to our outreach meetings, and is it any wonder God isn’t bringing people in when we aren’t actively and continually seeking to witness. Do we honestly struggle to understand why many of our congregations are in decline if we only share the gospel for one week a year and even then we don’t pursue those we can have a real impact on i.e. unsaved friends, family and loved ones, those who know us. Rather we are content to let Christians we have never met tell non-Christians we have never met about a church neither of them has ever been to except on a Go-team.

I am proGo-teams but in the correct perspective. It is not a team of people to come to your church and do your witnessing for you. It is not the week in the year where you go to someone else’s church and fulfil your active witnessing requirements for another annum. It is just one week of 52 in which me must be witness for Christ.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” – Acts 1:8

This issue has been on my mind since I heard this sermon by David McCullough back in August (Specific bit @ 23min 20s onwards):

You Will Be My Witnesses (Acts 1v8) from Dromore RPC on Vimeo.

Renwick Fought the Law, and the Law Won

4 Apr

Renwick’s league campaign finished with a disappointing defeat to a strong Law Society. For the eighth occassion this season Renwick scored first and still failed to take home the three points. Mark Porter made his first start of the season whilst Cromie Joel returned in the centre of midfield. With both sides only realising the clash of kits after arriving at Cherryvale, Renwick swapped with World XI and ironically ended up wearing some shirts that had been Renwick’s kit once upon a time. Renwick scored early on when Smith and Porter combined to put the ball past the Lawyer’s keeper from a Ben Hanna freekick. A one-on-one stop was required shortly afterwards to keep Renwick in the lead. The pedantic and overweight ref (Law’s one) sought to penalise foul throws and call offsides from the centre circle, making the opening stages very disjointed. He relished the opportunity to give Law a controversial penalty after Carson handled the ball outside a couple of yards outside the box. The penalty was dispatched into the bottom corner and the dominance of Law’s Ambrosini in the middle of the park left Renwick playing an uncharacteristic long ball game. Law Society scored two more in quick succession leaving their opponents with a mountain to climb. The second half saw a much better Renwick performance which could have made the match into a closer contest if it had not been for multiple players squandering opportunities. For the second week in succession Porter forced a noteworthy save from the opponents keeper but the second half remained scoreless. McCullough admitted afterwards that perhaps three in the middle might have enabled Renwick to cope better with Law’s talented midfield. Andrew McKelvey’s absence was keenly felt although Renwick will have to learn to cope without his physical presence as he’ll be saving lives on a full-time basis next year. Aicken was another notable absentee who, despite passing the potato bag carrying test, had to withdraw during the warm-up.

Man of the Match

Special mentions for Porter, Peoples, Hawthorne and Richard McKelvey. Luke Campbell edged this week’s Man of the Match by preventing Law scoring a fourth and supporting the play well during the second half.

Chris trying to impersonate Ali’s funny poses at leftback

Ben needs a hug

And so did Cromie J after a horrific tackle

Ben puts the cross in from the resulting freekick

And celebrates his assist

McCullough pulls off a one-on-one save

It wasn’t really like watching Brazil at all

Chris fixes his hair

Thankfully the ball missed the carefully positioned hairstyle

Law equalise from the spot

Renwick’s Asian Player of the Year

Law’s keeper coped well at set pieces

Peter and Luke try to inspire the team at half time but to no avail as Renwick could not manage a comeback

 

Renwick Dinner Info

Meet at Barnabys at 7:30pm sharp. It takes just under half an hour from Belfast so you’ll need to be leaving at 7pm.

Directions:

Travel North on the M2

Exit Junction 4

At Roundabout take 4th Exit on A8 heading towards Larne

At next roundabout take the 1st Exit onto Ballyclare Road

Travel 2.5 miles along that road, Barnabys is on the otherside of Ballyrobert