Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Saltshaker Day

We recently had the wonderful privilege of hosting Dick and Becky Manley-Pippert in the North East region of UCCF.
On the 10th of March, in Durham, Becky led a group of CU students through one of her Saltshaker training days (aptly named after her excellent book "Out of the Saltshaker" published by IVP).
It was great to hear stories of great boldness and wisdom from her vast experience but also very honest stories of God working in and through her weakness.
She is a gifted speaker and excellent evangelist.
It was also very encouraging and challenging to hear that Dick; seeing her gifting from the Lord as an evangelist, but also her ability to train others in evangelism, sold his business and used the money to enable them to travel around the world and train people.
God has been, and I'm sure will continue, to use them both to further the Kingdom and ignite a passion for Jesus in people's lives.

Here are a few quotes from Becky from the day. I hope they will be encouraging to you.

"It's not about new techniques or methonds, it's about knowing the message better....theology effects methodology"

"Humans are the only ones who resent their form. Why? Because it reminds us we are not God, that we are weak and dependent"

"Your inadequacy is your first qualification in evangelism"

"When you're on fire, people love to come and watch you burn" Wesley via RMP.

"Because God is love, evangelism is then about love....imaging God....God sends us, not tracts"

"Being relevant is important, but to be relevant all the time you have to say things which are eternal" I think this was Pascal via RMP.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Prayer Update March/April 2012

Once again, for anyone who prays for the work of the gospel among students.
Here is my latest prayer letter outlining the work with students in CUs in Sunderland, Teesside and the Queen's Campus of Durham University in Stockton.
Feel free to ask any questions or request further info in the comments.

Friday, 9 March 2012

What is wrong with the world?

Another day, another question.
Sunderland CU were out earlier today asking people what they thought is wrong with the world we live in. Again there were a mixture of answers ranging from the sublime (lack of love) to the deadly serious (war) to the utterly comical (JLS and One Direction). (see below)

I wanted to, very briefly, pick up on the answer "lack of love".
I recently gave a talk at Huddersfield CU events week titled "Is love all you need?" the short answer being yes, but only when defined the way God defines love.
So this post-it note answer to the question of "what is wrong with the world?" is very much on the button.

Jesus said that the law and the prophets is summed up in loving God first and loving neighbour.
It's not that God has made a mess, but we have. It's not that God is lacking in love, for "God is love" we are told in 1 John, we lack love.
But....we know love because Jesus Christ has laid down His life for us. He has perfectly revealed God to us.
In relationship with Him we can truly love God and love neighbour.
In Jesus is true love, and in Him we can truly love.
Lack of love is what is wrong with the world, but the love that is needed is defined by God and only found and spread abroad in Jesus.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

What questions would you Tweet to Jesus?

Today Sunderland CU asked the question: What question would you Tweet to Jesus?
This was the second in a series of question boards for their events week.
There were a wide range of answers given and many for whom the question just left them thinking. A few just said they had no idea what they'd ask Jesus either because they'd never thought about it or because they didn't believe in Him.

Here's a picture of the board and some of the answers.

1. Are you real?
2. Why do bad things happen to good people?
3. Why am I who I am?
4. When will you return?
5. Why is life so hard?
6. Do you believe in me?
7. How is everyone up there in heaven?

It would be great if some of these short encounters raise longer lasting discussions about Jesus and make people really serious question the big issues in life.
It once again showed me that however little people seem to be interested, everyone has something they want to know, or has issues they want to talk about.
We do live in a messed up world and Jesus is the answer!