Sunday, 31 May 2009

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize- for all those who feel like giving up

Wiki states that "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize" is a folk song that became influential during the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Although the song was composed as a hymn well before World War I, the lyrics to this version were written by civil rights activist Alice Wine in 1956. It is based on the traditional song, "Gospel Plow", also known as "Hold On", "Keep Your Hand on the Plow", and various permutations thereof.

This is a great song which I heard only yesterday for the first time. Imagine little Paul and Silas being in a song sung by such a Rock and Roll megastar as Mr Springsteen! It is an encouraging song that aims to lift us out of the 'slough of Despond'.Be encouraged by it therefore and hold on like Paul and Silas the intrepid missionaries who suffered so much!Ak

Paul and Silas bound in jail
Had no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Paul and Silas thought they was lost
Dungeon shook and the chains come off
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Freedom's name is mighty sweet
And soon we're gonna meet
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

I got my hand on the gospel plow
Won't take nothing for my journey now
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Only chain that a man can stand
Is that chain o' hand on hand
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

I'm gonna board that big greyhound
Carry the love from town to town
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Now only thing I did was wrong
Stayin' in the wilderness too long
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

The only thing we did was right
Was the day we started to fight
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

One, two!
(The only thing we did was wrong)
(Staying in the wilderness too long)
(Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on)

(The only thing we did was right)
(Was the day we started to fight)
(Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on)

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on

Ain't been to heaven but I been told
Streets up there are paved with gold

Friday, 29 May 2009

Missional Church Life: Jonathan Dodson

This a great post which gives ideas on how the church can be missional ( evangelistic, outgoing, inclusive,friendly to outsiders,Christ-like,unselfish) on a day to day basis in the world.The question we must ask ourselves is not: 'is it right' which most Christians would agree that it is, but rather 'am I prepared to pay the price'. It should also be said that many committed followers of Christ are often too busy with Church work, to even dare think about doing some of these things! We may have to therefore prioritise our time.Remember no one says on their death bed: 'If only I spent more hours at the office' and no Christian will ever say : 'If only I went to more committee meetings'! But they may say if only I had spent more time with my kids or wife,or in prayer, or reaching the lost. Think and pray it over this and see how you could be a little more 'missional'.AK

Eat with Non-Christians

We all eat three meals a day. Why not make a habit of sharing one of those meals with a non-Christian or with a family of non-Christians? Go to lunch with a co-worker, not by yourself. Invite the neighbors over for family dinner. If it’s too much work to cook a big dinner, just order pizza and put the focus on conversation. When you go out for a meal, invite a non-Christian friend. Or take your family to family-style restaurants where you can sit at the table with strangers and strike up conversations. Have cookouts and invite Christians and non-Christians. Flee the Christian subculture.

Walk, Don’t Drive

If you live in a walkable area, make a practice of getting out and walking around your neighborhood, apartment complex, or campus. Instead of driving to the mailbox or convenience store, walk to get mail or groceries. Be deliberate in your walk. Say hello to people you don’t know. Strike up conversations. Attract attention by walking the dog, carrying along a 6-pack to share, bringing the kids. Make friends. Get out of your house! Last night I spent an hour outside gardening with my family. We had good conversations with about four of our neighbors. Take interest in your neighbors. Ask questions. Engage. Pray as you go. Save some gas, the planet, and some people.

Be a Regular

Instead of hopping all over the city for gas, groceries, haircuts, eating out, and coffee, go to the same places at the same times. Get to know the staff. Smile. Ask questions. Be a regular. I have friends at coffee shops all over the city. My friends at Starbucks donate a ton of leftover pastries to our church 2-3 times a week. We use them for church gatherings and occasionally give them to the homeless. Build relationships. Be a regular.

Hobby with Non-Christians

Pick a hobby that you can share. Get out and do something you enjoy with others. Try city league sports or local rowing and cycling teams. Share your hobby by teaching lessons, such as sewing, piano, knitting, or tennis lessons. Be prayerful. Be intentional. Be winsome. Have fun. Be yourself.

Talk to Your Co-workers.

How hard is that? Take your breaks with intentionality. Go out with your team or task force after work. Show interest in your co-workers. Pick four and pray for them. Form moms’ groups in your neighborhood and don’t make them exclusively non-Christian. Schedule play dates with the neighbors’ kids. Work on mission.

Volunteer with Non-Profits.

Find a non-profit in your part of the city and take a Saturday a month to serve your city. Bring your neighbors, your friends, or your small group. Spend time with your church serving your city. Once a month. You can do it!

Participate in City Events

Instead of playing XBox, watching TV, or surfing the net, participate in city events. Go to fundraisers, festivals, cleanups, summer shows, and concerts. Participate missionally. Strike up conversation. Study the culture. Reflect on what you see and hear. Pray for the city. Love the city. Participate with the city.

Serve Your Neighbors.

Help a neighbor by weeding, mowing, building a cabinet, or fixing a car. Stop by the neighborhood association or apartment office and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve things. Ask your local Police and Fire Stations if there is anything you can do to help them. Get creative. Just serve!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

People get ready there's a train a coming

This is a great song sung by the late Eva Cassidy. It speaks of a simple gospel message:'all you need is faith'. Rightly understood it is correct, but it can often be abused and misinterpreted.Such sayings as:'Love God and do what you like'(Augustine) are of a similar genre as is Jesus' teaching 'to only believe' from John 3.16 and elsewhere.What is sure there is hope for the hopeless sinner who truly puts his trust in Christ and who will begin to be transformed by the life of Christ within.AK

Thursday, 21 May 2009

'The wonder of His love.' Psalm 17.7

When we give our hearts with our alms, we give well, but we must often plead to a failure in this respect. Not so our Master and our Lord. His favours are always performed with the love of His heart. He does not send to us the cold meat and the broken pieces from the table of His luxury, but He dips our morsel in His own dish, and seasons our provisions with the spices of His fragrant affections.

When He puts the golden tokens of His grace into our palms, He accompanies the gift with such a warm pressure of our hand, that the manner of His giving is as precious as the boon itself. He will come into our houses upon His errands of kindness, and He will not act as some austere visitors do in the poor man's cottage, but He sits by our side, not despising our poverty, nor blaming our weakness.

Beloved, with what smiles does He speak! What golden sentences drop from His gracious lips! What embraces of affection does He bestow upon us! If He had but given us pennys, the way of His giving would have gilded them; but as it is, the costly alms are set in a golden basket by His pleasant carriage.

It is impossible to doubt the sincerity of His charity, for there is a bleeding heart stamped upon the face of all His gifts. He gives liberally and not grudgingly. Not one hint that we are burdensome to Him; not one cold look for His poor pensioners; but He rejoices in His mercy, and presses us to His heart while He is pouring out His life for us.

There is a fragrance in His spikenard which nothing but His heart could produce; there is a sweetness in His honey-comb which could not be in it unless the very essence of His soul's affection had been mingled with it. Oh! the rare communion which such singular heartiness He gives to us! May we continually taste and know the blessedness of it! C.H.S.

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Prodigal Daughter-Drama

I would encourage you to watch this amazing piece of drama. Though it starts slowly it gently building up to a most powerful finish.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


If you have 25 minutes to spare and want to understand and respond to the Muslim challenge I would encourage you to listen to this excellent video. It is clear that the speaker Phil Parshall who has spent some 40 years working among Muslims has a very great love for those of that faith.In this lecture he provides a short history of Islam and concludes that in order to reach them with the gospel the Church must contexualise the gospel and make it relevant to the people they seek to reach. AK

Friday, 8 May 2009

“We dwell in Him.”:1 John 4:13

DO you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, “What is the purchase?” It is something less than proud human nature will like to give. It is without money and without price. Ah! you would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do something to win Christ! Then you cannot have the house, for it is “without price.”

Will you take my Master’s house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving Him forever? Will you take Jesus, and “dwell in Him?” See, this house is furnished with all you want; it is filled with riches more than you will spend as long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with Christ, and feast on His love; here are tables well stored with food for you to live on forever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out, and see heaven itself. Will you have the house?

Ah! if you are homeless, you will say, “I should like to have the house; but may I have it?” Yes; there is the key—the key is, “Come to Jesus.” “But,” you say, “I am too shabby for such a house.” Never mind; there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for the house. He will wash and clean you, and you will yet be able to sing, “We dwell in Him.” Believer! Three times happy you are to have such a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged you are, for you have a “strong fortress” in which you are forever safe. And, “dwelling in Him,” you not only have a perfect and secure house, but an everlasting one.

When this world shall have melted like a dream, our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God Himself. “We dwell in Him.” CHS

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The Presence of the Lord: Eric Clapton and Blind Faith.

There is something about this song that seems so authentic as regards an inner experience of God.It was written in 1969 and for a short time after this Eric Clapton claimed to have had a 'born again' experience.And sadly, though many declare as Eric did here :'I have finally found a way to live just like I never could before', like the Galatians, and virtually all of us inluding myself, though we start in the Spirit, we then trust in the flesh for our strength.

Many people have indeed been touched by God in a very personal way at one stage of their lives.Many are still 'going on' with God some are not.Some so called 'very sound'believers who have at one time tasted of God's presence however are living on the strength of their past experience. They now know more theology,they have done more evangelism, they have led more Bible study groups, they have even preached in churches, but, the closeness, the sweetness, the joy of that presence that they experienced 5,10,20,30 years ago is now but a distant memory.In short they have either lost their first love,or they have settled down to living the Christian life without his presence.Their Christian walk is purely in their heads but not in their hearts.

What a tragedy is this. If if this true of you my dear brother and sister-go now to Him, fall at his feet and He will take you into his heart-as Christ says of Himself:'I am lowly and gentle of heart and you will find rest for your souls.'Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow.As F.W.Faber declares:

God loves to be longed for, He loves to be sought,

For He sought us Himself with such longing and love;

He died for desire of us, marvelous thought!

And He longs for us now to be with Him above'

He calls you today:please heed His call.AK

Presence of the Lord
I have finally found a way to live just like I never could before.
I know that I dont have much to give, but I can open any door.
Everybody knows the secret, everybody knows the score.
I have finally found a way to live in the color of the lord.

I have finally found a place to live just like I never could before.
And I know I dont have much to give, but soon Ill open any door.
Everybody knows the secret, everybody knows the score.
I have finally found a place to live in the presence of the lord.
In the presence of the lord.

I have finally found a way to live just like I never could before.
And I know I dont have much to give, but I can open any door.
Everybody knows the secret, I said everybody knows the score.
I have finally found a way to live in the color of the lord.
In the color of the lord.

Saturday, 2 May 2009


Yesterday morning I made my way down to the Belfast docks to have breakfast on the O.M. (Operation Mobilization)missionary ship Logos Hope.To be honest, as I was driving up towards the docks and saw the ship, my breath was taken away. Then on greeting the OM-er at the gangway I got so emotional that I was nearly in tears as I gave him a hug ;so this was the great ship that I had heard so much about for so long: the ship that God gave George Verwer and his friends to bring Christ to the world!

The Logos Hope is funded by Christians throughout the world and at the moment the crew consists of Christians from 45 nationalities. The morning I spent there was a great blessing as I talked to the missionaries, listening to their stories about how God has used them to change the lives of those who are without hope, and also of course, buying a few books on their great bookshop(it is in fact is the largest floating bookshop in the world!)

If you are in Belfast this week,or hear that the Logos is in a Port near you in the future, please take the opportunity to pay them a visit and learn how they seek to bring hope to a world in pain and need.Below I have listed their three main purposes which was taken directly from their website.AK



Logos Hope visits port cities throughout the world, supplying vital literature resources, encouraging inter-cultural understanding, training young people for more effective life and service, promoting greater global awareness, providing practical aid and sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity.Aid and relief work, is an expression of God's love and concern for needy people. In terms of Logos Hope’s future destinations, this will include providing medical aid, construction projects, major donations of literature, as well as spontaneous gifts of food and clothing.


Aid and relief work, is an expression of God's love and concern for needy people. In terms of Logos Hope’s future destinations, this will include providing medical aid, construction projects, major donations of literature, as well as spontaneous gifts of food and clothing.

Ship’s personnel will also be donating textbooks and reference volumes to schools, libraries, colleges and universities, distributing medical or food supplies, renovating clinics and orphanages, and assisting in the construction of schools and church buildings.

The Logos Hope community lives and works together on board as a practical outworking of their service for God. In today’s troubled world this example of harmony and unity among international diversity, is a powerful witness.

Each crew member has a personal, living faith in God, stemming from a restored relationship with Him, bringing hope, meaning and focus to his or her life. The ship community desires to share this message of hope in a restored relationship with God in the ports visited. This is done with greatest respect for and sensitivity towards the culture of the community hosting the ship.