We’ve just got back from a sunny fortnight in France, first visiting John, Nom and Reuben Bilson in Creteil for a few days and then going onto spend time with family near the Alps.
It's been a fun weekend. We got to go to one of the three OCC weddings that happened this weekend (Steve and Becky's wedding), and it was lovely. I hear that David and Rachel's wedding and Becky and Jared's wedding also went well. And it was great to be led on Sunday morning by a whole bunch of people who do not normally lead us or preach.
I've not been blogging as much as I'd like over the last few weeks, and I haven't been able to explain why - but now I can!
Bev is pregnant and has been suffering a fair bit from morning sickness for the last few months. She's been working really hard to keep going, but has also had to sleep quite a bit. So, life's been a bit more of a challenge than normal. Obviously, we're very pleased and, having had a scan yesterday, are starting to tell people our good news.
We spent some time with Joe and Jenny Boot this weekend. They used to be members of OCC, when Joe was based in Oxford as an itinerant apologist the Zacharias Trust - and became really good friends.
I’m currently reading ‘The Scripture Principle’ (Clark Pinnock and Barry Callen, 2006). They write:
“The Bible… is the place to stand when one wants to be in God’s presence and learn of him… It is a vehicle by which the Spirit preaches Christ to us… When we read the Bible in faith, we are ushered into the presence of God. Like the bread and the wine, the words of this Book communicate the gospel and create communion with God… Because of the Spirit, the Bible can be a channel of the grace and speech of God to us.” (pp.190-191)
In case you've not seen/heard it already, here is a link to Chris Moyles talking on Radio 1 about the recent baptism service broadcast from Kingsgate Community Church in Peterborough. You might remember that their leader, Dave Smith, came to visit us in Oxford a while ago...
When I preached from the story of David and Bathsheba on Sunday, I touched on a couple of theological issues relating to the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Here are some more thoughts to expand on those issues...
Rules and legalism
Firstly, I said that whilst we do not live legalistically, it is sensible for us to live within certain boundaries, in order to avoid temptations. This raises the question of what function rules play in the Christian life.
Have you heard that the East Oxford cluster are looking to start a café church? Such things are springing up all over the UK, after the appropriately named Rev. Latte(!) came to a national agreement with Costa that they would allow all of their cafés to be used for this. See www.cafechurch.net.
Bev and I spent the weekend near Northampton with the leaders of all the Oxfordshire Community Churches. We had a very prophetic time! There was very little by way of new teaching, but God spoke powerfully about the following:
1. A reminder that He is sovereign:
* so, we can relax and trust God for prophetic words to be fulfilled
* we do not need to strive to call down God's blessing - he has chosen us!
2. Future adventure using ancient tools
We had a great week in Scotland, and I’ve come back much refreshed. The image is the view a few miles from where we were staying. We saw wild dolphins and seals and eagles. We found empty white sandy beaches, went up mountains and escaped being eaten by midges!