Let's Agree to Disagree 

There's a lot to disagree about at the moment.

Whether it's the state of the economy, the condition of our roads or the form of our favourite football team finding areas of agreement seems to be increasingly difficult.

I blame the politicians.

Politicians causing disagreements isn't a new phenomena. Our great war time leader - Sir Winton Churchill - was something of an expert in this.

Churchill once described Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald as 'a sheep in sheep's clothing.'

And if you thought that was baad spare a thought for Stanley Baldwin.

Churchill is quoted as saying that 'I wish Stanley Baldwin no ill, but it would have been much better if he had never lived.' 

Hardly examples of calming things down.

So how are we to deal well with people whom we disagree with?

It's true that we should search for areas of agreement. 

But Jesus went much further.

"I tell you" he said "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

Rather than avoiding those awkward and disagreeable people, Jesus seemed to suggest that we should make  an effort to get to know them.

"If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?"

With debates raging all around us. With genuine areas of disagreement all too easy to find - here are some words that really challenge us.

Just how can I show love and care to those I disagree with? And can I learn how to disagree well with someone?

 

Keith Wilson, 16/09/2019

Ascension to Pentecost 

Ascension. The day Christians remember the return of Jesus to his heavenly Father.

Ascension. The day Christians remember the promise that Jesus will one day return.

Ascension. The day we remember that Jesus left us? Alone?

Not quite.

Did you know there are 9 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday?

The Latin word for nine - novena - describes the 9 days when the disciples, together with Mary the mother of Jesus and other women united in prayer and waited for the promised Holy Spirit.

Jesus knew that believing in him and following him would be tough.

The Holy Spirit is that gift from God to us to help us believe and follow.

The 9 days between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday are an opportunity for us to join with Christians around the world in prayer.

We pray for one another. We pray for our children. Our communities. Our workplaces. We pray for people we know. And for those we don't.

In doing so we join with Christians throughout the centuries in praying: Come, Holy Spirit, Come.

Why not join in?

I'm taking part in the 9 days of prayer being supported by Premier. I like it because it's easy to get involved, free and quick to use! Follow the link below if you'd like to give it a go.

https://www.premier.org.uk/Projects/Novena/




 

Keith Wilson, 30/05/2019

Creating a Kingdom Culture 

In his book, An Unstoppable Force, church leader Erwin McManus argues that the church ought to shape culture by knowing and living out it's own Christ-formed ethos.
"Ethos - the fundamental character or spirit of a culture, the underlying sentiment that informs beliefs, customs and practises of a community, group or person. To simplify, an ethos is expressed through spontaneous recurring patterns."

What is the ethos of our church?


Do we value the culture of the Kingdom or do we live more by the culture of this world? 

The Kingdom of God? Or the Kingdom of the World? Which is it to be?

It's actually not to hard to make an assessment of this.

Just listen in on a few conversations.

People will talk about what they're passionate about.

People will share with others what really matters to them.

Are our conversations Kingdom conversations?

There's another way to test this.

Do something wrong today.

And then see how people react.

The comments. The emails. The texts and the twitter feeds. Even those emojis.

They all say something about the culture, the ethos, we subscribe to.


We're surrounded by a culture of rights, legal codes and opposing opinions. 

In contrast the kingdom of God is defined by a culture that celebrates peace, forebearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self- control. (Galatians 5: 22-23)

Where do you want to live?

The world as we know it?

Or the kingdom where each person is valued because of the values of God.





 



 

Keith Wilson, 16/05/2019