chaplain's log

  • Nathan writes ...19th january 2020

    Last weekend we kicked off a sermon series taken from material produced by LICC* looking at our Frontlines. If you missed it then you can listen to the sermon introducing the series on our website.

    Your frontline is the place where you spend much of your time, where you meet people who don’t know Jesus. It’s the place God has called you, the place of possibility and potential. We may be old or young, healthy or infirm, employed or not – we still have a ‘frontline’. A place God has put us.

    Often though, we don’t see our frontlines in this light. But just imagine what the impact might be on our neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools – on the whole nation, on the nations – if we could help each other make a difference for Christ in these places. Imagine how God could work through you, right where you are.

    As we encourage one another in this, as we continue to develop a culture of invitation, asking God who he would like us to invite and to what and then acting upon it, whilst all the time being dependent upon the Holy Spirit I believe we will see lives changed and transformed, we will see hearts turn to Jesus.

    One of readings this Sunday is the Great Commission from the end of Matthews Gospel. A question for us each to reflect upon is, assuming we are trying to fulfil that, do we do so because we are told to do it or because we share Jesus’ heart and long for the same result, that everyone will come to know and have a relationship with God?


    *LICC is the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity. They are an organisation who resource and equip Churches and are dedicated to developing the biblical wisdom, the cultural insights, the stories and the practical ideas that help people live out God’s living word creatively, show and share his good news confidently, and make a positive contribution to the places they live, work and play.

  • Nathan Writes...12th January 2020

    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

    A couple of people have recently spoken to me because their desire is to know the Bible better this year and wanted something to help them. I wonder if others of us have a similar intent so I thought I'd use this space this week to share some pointers.

    Ultimately I don't think you can beat just opening it up and reading a bit each day. Praying before you read it that God would speak to you and ask, what does this tell us about God, human nature, our relationship with God? What is my response to what I have read, is there something that needs to be received, I need to change, or do....? Then pray into it. If you find this a challenge then Mark's Gospel I think is a good place to start.

    I appreciate that this is not the easiest place to start. I like to and need to mix and change the way I read and study scripture. I usually use different formats, styles and resources. There are also times where I need help to keep on going and so I have three apps on my phone which I think are worth checking out.

    The first two are audio so you can stick them on as you travel to work, fold laundry or sit down with a cup of tea.

    Drivetime Devotion. With this app you can make your way through a book of the Bible covering a chapter a week. It is a 10-15 minute reflection on a few verses of scripture a day.

    Bible In One Year there are many of these type of resources. This is one from Holy Trinity Brompton, the home of Alpha. It has an Old Testamant, New Testament and Proverb or Psalm each day and has a mini reflection after each reading. It takes about 30mins a day. (I hear there is a youth one coming soon)

    The final app is the Church of England's Daily Prayer app which follows the lectionary and has daily readings set within the context of Anglican liturgy and prayer and takes about 15 minutes but has three different ones each day.

  • Nathan writes... 22nd December

    (Taken from a devotional on a private Facebook group)

    "Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed

    - or indeed only one."

    Luke 10:41-42

    At Christmas we get so caught up in everything that has to be done that we can easily miss the point.

    It’s exactly the same trap that Martha fell into when Jesus came to her house. If you thought hosting the in-laws was stressful, can you imagine having Jesus turn up on your doorstep for dinner!?

    Martha rushes around making preparations for her VIP guest.

    Hospitality was a huge part of the culture at the time, so the expectations for hosting such an important guest would have been sky high. The story is only a few lines long but you get a strong sense of the pressure Martha felt to perform.

    Every host knows the feeling of frustration of juggling four things at once while your kids, siblings or spouse sit around chatting, seemingly oblivious to your struggle.

    While Martha is hurrying to serve the meal for their guests, her sister Mary can be found sitting at Jesus’ feet as he speaks. Finally, Martha snaps. “Can’t you see how hard I am working?,” she cries out.

    Jesus’ response isn’t to admire her table settings or compliment the gravy. Jesus says, “Only one thing is needed.” His presence.

    Jesus sees how hard you are working to be a generous host and a graceful family member. But no amount of hard work can earn you more of His love or get you more salvation. Jesus has already done the hard work! All He wants from you, is you. To be in relationship with you. To spend time with you. To give Him your all.

  • Nathan writes... 15th december

    On Monday evening I hosted a Diocese wide training webinar for people working with children and teens. The focus of the evening was equipping parents to disciple their children. Our guest for the training session was Rachel Turner from ‘Parenting for Faith’.

    The video of the webinar will be available soon on the Diocese’ website and gives great tips and ideas for both parents and those who are serving in children and youth ministry.

    This time of year is a great time to be a more intentional and up our game for a season about having conversations with our family about Jesus. Asking open questions about the Christmas story and listening to their response gives an opportunity to see what a persons view of God is, whether they are 3, 33 or 103 years old.

    At some point you will hear Away in a Manager. (I think I am on my 6th hearing of the season!) In response to that you can ask, ‘Do you really think Jesus didn’t cry?’ and see what conversation develops as you share ideas and thoughts.

    Another thing you can do, whether on your own or with others in the home is try to gather, light a candle (as it is the season to light them) and take 2 minutes to ask who can we pray for today.

    Don’t be overly ambitious which puts on pressure but I encourage us (including myself) to be more intentional, just for a season and see where God leads you.

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