Day 292 – Thu 22 June – We had team meeting first thing, there’s quite a bit to get ready for the church weekend so I spent time planning for that and doing bits of planning for next year. I need to decide what to preach in the autumn and am working on a load of different things, I’m not entirely set on anything at the moment. It’ll probably be the early chapters of Matthew, it would be nice to preach them not at Christmas time.
I cycled down to Kew Bridge for a Pastoral Visit and was back for tea time. I was due to be out with one of the men from church in the evening but he had to cancel so I’ve had 3 nights in this week which is really unusual.
Day 291 – Wed 21 June – I met with Jess during the morning and caught up on some admin before heading into Cornhill. I’ve taught 3 Wednesday afternoons for them on the new Foundation course. This was their last afternoon. The previous week they’d had someone talk about student work and how we are in danger of overemphasising the church. It was like a red rag to a bull so I spoke on Romans looking at it Pastorally – what’s Paul’s pastoral purpose in writing the letter is, to bring Jews and Gentiles together. They’re a great bunch and were up for discussion. We got onto children and worship and it was a great time.
Little Phoebe had been sick during the day so we were a little anxious but she got down to sleep. We had house-group and looked at the book of Amos, a combination of heat, tiredness and us not having much of a clue about Amos led us to abandon the questions halfway through. We had a good time of prayer.
Our builders have begin outside and dug out the foundations for the extension, incredible work rate in such heat.
Day 290 – Tuesday 20th June – We had a good turnout for early morning prayer, I think the heat helped people getting up. I spent the rest of the morning reading and catching up on admin. Andy Pearson who is the minister of London City Presbyterian Church came over and spoke for us at ELT. He preached passionately and winsomely on Mark 13 – 1. the return of the Lord is imminent…..therefore we rejoice, 2. The timing of the Lord’s return is unknown…..therefore wake up. It was so warm and encouraging. Andy has done under God a remarkable work at LCPC. We had lunch and chewed the fat, I really enjoyed time with him. We should do more together.
Claire was out in the evening so I was around and did some more reading, watched a programme on Warren Gatland which was good.
Dan Green whose blog is like a virtual Clapham Junction of the British Christian World has a nice write up of Simon Ascott’s first talk from Catalyst
Quotes from …Lord’s Day 2 in The only comfort in life and death
Day 289 – Monday 19th June – It’s absolutely scorching in London at the minute and so it means nothing happens quickly. I had a trip to the bank and talks with builders before meeting with Gethin and Chris to talk about next year. Donald popped in to chat about the church weekend that’s coming up. I spent a bit of time reading and doing admin, it was nice not to be thinking about preparing next Sunday and I had an evening at home.
I’ve got a number of larger books I’m going to try and work through this summer. Reformed Heritage Books sent me the 2 Volume “The Christian’s only comfort in life and death” It’s an exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism by Theodorus Vandergroe (1705-84).
Quotes From Chapter 1
“the Catechism presents to us a religion in which all of its doctrines culminate in attributing nothing to man and everything to God. Consequently, it causes man completely to look away from the creature to that he seeks and finds his comfort, peace, and salvation exclusively in the triune God” (p2)
“The manner in which one is called to travel to heaven is a way that is filled with sharp thorns.” (p6)
“In and of themselves, believers, though redeemed by Christ, will always remain a very poor, needy, defenceless, and impotent people, who in their own strength cannot remain standing against their mighty enemies: Satan, the world, and their own flesh. In light of the fact that they are his property, the Lord Jesus, with a most tender love, with the greatest care, and to the utmost of His power, sustains and preserves them against all their enemies. They are the apple of Christ’s eye, His body, His flesh and blood. He is their compassionate savior, their head, their husband, and their Lord and king. It is a matter of honor for Him that His believers will not perish to all eternity and that no one will be able to pluck them out of His hands, but that, at His time, he will safely bring them into His Father’s house, in which there are many mansions.” (p10)
Day 288 – Sun 18 June – This was my last Sunday preaching at IPC until September 10. I’d hoped to finish Isaiah but my evening sermon just wasn’t good enough so in the end I reheated something I’d done on Psalm 24. I’ll do two sermons on Isaiah at the start of September – it’s the joy of not having a preaching programme that you can do that.
In the morning I was on Isaiah 65:1-17 – it was a full service with the Lord’s Supper and we managed to also interview Adam Wilson over from Westminster and my friend who works in the Middle East. I feared we were going to go hugely over time but were done in an hour and 25 mins.
My parents were up on their way home from holiday in Switzerland and we had the Wilson’s and Gethin for lunch which was great.
I enjoyed preaching Psalm 24 in the evening but I’m ready for a break and have lots of reading to catch up on. I’ll still be around and am preaching at a few weekends away for churches but hopefully will have more time to think.
Day 287 – Sat 17 June – Saturday morning began with two lectures from Dr Natalie Brand, she teaches at Union and did her Phd under Bob Letham’s supervision. She gave two lectures on “A reformed spirituality: The corporate bride” and “Pastoring in the enjoyment of the individual”. We then had the examination of James Buchanan which he passed, it’s thrilling that he will be starting in Liss in September. In the afternoon I took Ellie to a party and then in the evening had to pick up my parents from Heathrow.
Day 286 – Fri 16 June – We began with Church Planting Committee. I made a valiant attempt to get off the committee but was only scuppered when Jonty Rhodes returned from the Loo. I’m on for the next while but I think it would be good for newer folk to the denomination to take my place. We had a great lunch together and then to kick off proceedings James Torrens from HIC Inverness preached on the Glory of Christ from 2 Cor 3/4.James has been away from Presbytery for a while so it was a delight to have him back. He had 3 questions – 1. What is glory? 2. What kind of glory does Jesus have? 3. Where do we see the glory of Jesus? He had some wonderful quotes on a handout which I’ve put here.
Following on from that we went round the churches hearing news, my friend S from the Middle East was able to give a short account of his life and how the Lord has used him. Graham Nicholls from Affinity was also there and reported on his work.
A few of us ended up at the Drayton Court until late discussing worship. Amazingly it was National Pint Day or something like that so no one had to buy any drinks.