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Monday, March 31, 2014

Questions - 1. How Do You Read It?

I've started a new series of bible studies at church this year called "Questions?". Here I choose a particular question of interest, present some material on it, and then the group discusses it. The first of these questions was "How do you read it?"; a question that Jesus asked of the "expert in the law" in Luke 10:26. Whilst not addressing the passage directly, I find this particular question to be one of the most important for Christians to consider. Here's the material I presented for discussion below.
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Sunday, December 29, 2013

"The Army" - A Poem


The Army

You seem to be frustrated
with the way that things are done
Decisions that have been made
or how the message comes.
 
You say “The Army could do better."
"If only!”, so you say
“They did the things they’re s’pposed to do,
but did them all my way.”

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bible Reading the Runners Way

Almost at the finish line!
For almost two years now I’ve been a “runner”. It’s a great pastime for me. A time of recreation and contemplation, but also a physical challenge that I really enjoy. This year I completed my first marathon. There’s much more to a marathon than just turning up at the start line on the day and running 42.195km to cross the finish line. A lot of training is required in order to achieve that feat.

Most marathon training plans include at least four types of training runs, each with their own purpose. The first is broadly categorised as “speed” work. This can take the form of intervals, fartleks (Yes, it’s a real term. Look it up), hill repeats, and many other variations in between. The purpose of this training run is to increase your pace. They tend to be shorter overall, but intense effort throughout.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"How foolish you are!"

This year I have been leading a Bible study at our church on Luke’s gospel. We’ve been slowly reading through the twenty-four chapters of this gospel and seeking to listen to God’s voice throughout this process. It’s been really beneficial to take our time and not rush the process through. As a long distance runner I know the benefit of the “long slow run” in my training. There’s also great benefit in a “long slow read” of Scripture as well.

It was particularly exciting and challenging to come to the climax of the narrative – the crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Throughout the gospel we observed Luke’s particular emphasis on those who are on the fringe of society, Jesus’ fixated “journey to Jerusalem” (from 9:51 onwards), and the tension that builds between Jesus and the religious leaders of his time. None of that was particularly new to me, but the benefit of reading and absorbing this once again has not been futile. What has stood out, though, as we read through chapters 23 and 24 in particular, was the way Luke places women in a prominent position within the narrative; crucially at the point of the passion itself.