September’s 2016 Quotes.

Uncomfortable words

Is your conversion relational or impersonal?

I was reading a rather penetrating and personal interview between Father Richard Rohr (well known Franciscan monk and author) and Jonathan Langley in the April 2016 issue Premier CHRISTIANITY. I was deeply shaken by Rohr’s candid analysis and comments.

The process of conversion is very much like a process of unlearning. Jesus was always unlearning his Jewish compatriots from their bad Judaism. A lot of people aren’t ready for the real thing. They prefer the low level religion – I call it ‘transactional religion’, where it’s a sort of vending machine: ‘You do this, God does this…’ It’s not really relational. A good Trinitarian theology, good Christology makes the world relational. That’s why I like it.

It’s so surprising. The very people who can shout so loudly about ‘a personal relationship with Jesus Christ’ are often so impersonal. The right language is so often the best disguise for wrong identity. You just use the right language and you can remain in your very isolated, self-centred person and think that you are like Jesus because you use the Jesus words….. You watch this movie where an evangelical preacher is preaching about a personal relationship with Jesus, and then, he yells at you afterwards. He doesn’t even make eye contact with you. It’s all just a business. It’s thinking that just executing the right verbal transaction puts me ‘in the club’. Well it doesn’t, I’m afraid. If you were really living in relationship with Jesus, you would become like Jesus.

Mere Religion?

Too much of our Worship is Ritual without Reality, Form without Power, Fun without Fear, Religion without GOD

John Stott

‘These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me’ Isa.29:13; Mk.7:6) and this indictment by Old Testament prophets and Jesus is uncomfortably applicable to us and to our churches today. Too much of our worship is ritual without reality, form without power, fun without fear, religion without God. John Stott

In the history of mankind, although this is a shameful thing to confess, religion and morality have been more often divorced than married. John Stott

Mystical experience without moral commitment is false faith. John Stott

We gather as God’s people to worship Him. Worship can become the show. It may just be the celebration of a few gifted people whilst others watch. This is a form of religious consumerism. Dave Browning

Raising Children in a Digital Age

Changes in family life

A significant change is in family life: we have fewer marriages and more divorce, separation, and cohabitation. More children are born outside marriage, they stay at home longer, and we get married and have children later in life. Vodafone’s recent research highlights how family life is both more privatized (as parents focus on their children rather than a wider society) and yet also open to much wider influences through the constant presence of technology.

In the past, society tended to see children as inherently naughty, requiring discipline, whereas now they are perceived as inherently good, with an innocence that can be corrupted and requires protection….. the market has developed a new classification for children: the teenager” in the 1950s, and more recently, the “tweenager”, “middle youth”, “kidult” and “adultescent”, changing the way we perceive children and their needs.

Children are increasingly given access to a global world through mass media, they are increasingly being controlled, regulated and surveyed. Despite, valuing their spontaneity and imagination, , as parents we increasingly control and organise their lives, and feel pressured to give them a “good” childhood with opportunities for success as an adult while protecting them from physical and social risks. Some children, however, will return to empty homes where computers and mobile devices offer a range of communities for them to participate in while family members are absent.

A survey of 25 EU countries found by the London School of Economics in 2011, found that children were most afraid of cyber bullying and insults online, visual pornography, meeting with strangers and seeing something violent.

Raising Children in A Digital Age Bex Lewis pp25, 26

Choices to increase your productivity

1. Act on the Important. Don’t React to the Urgent.

2. Go for the extraordinary. Don’t Settle for the Ordinary.

3. Schedule the Big Rocks. Don’t sort Gravel.

4. Rule your Technology. Don’t let it Rule You.

5. Fuel Your Fire. Don’t Burn Out.

The 5 Choices – Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill & Lena Rinne

Brief Quotes to Treasure

• Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

• Losers live in the past. Winners learn from their past and enjoying working in the present towards the future. Denis Waitley

• We are products of our past but we don’t have to be its prisoners.

• Eternity to the godly is a day that has no sunset, Eternity to the wicked is a night that has no sunrise. Thomas Watson Puritan writer

• Aim at heaven, you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you will get neither. C S Lewis


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