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I’m moved that there are some Christian Churches and organisations out there that for them, nothing is too much trouble.

All Souls Church proclaims their website to have the bible at its heart; “We believe that a personal relationship with God through Christ is at the heart of who we are and that we are dependant on His Spirit and prayer. We believe that the Bible is God’s living and active Word and see it as central to all we do as a Church.” (from the All Souls website

It runs an informal course for people who’d like to find out more about Christianity, or dust away the cobwebs from a faith they’ve maybe stored in a cool dark place for too long. It’s called Christianinty Explored, and they’re on Twitter!

They’ve answered my question from last week: Jesus did not die on a Cross. Discuss in a news update, Missing the point of Christ crucified?

They’ve EVEN popped key titles for further reading which include a book from Dr John Stott, Cross of Christ – 20th Anniversary Edition

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Love Thy Neighbour

With Christmas over I’m thinking of the people i should have contacted, but have not over the festive period. Guiltily, those few are probably most in need of a friendly phone call; and I’ve purposely not called as i know the conversation will be stilted and leaning towards them venting their unlucky lot in life. That’s not very ‘Christian’ is it?

I’m torn between the ‘worldly’ view of surrounding myself with ‘good people’ who will in turn give me good vibes; and my fundamental need to give, and so finding myself gripping moulded plastic to my ear wishing i was anywhere but listening to the depressed monotone at the other end. If it were family it would not be a problem. (i would give my right arm to help my family) But with some people it’s not so much the ‘being there’ as a friendly ear, but knowing that they take advantage of me, using me knowing that i will try my best to help where i can.

And so, in berating myself – and quite possibly being given a hearty ‘push’ from my new friend the Holy Spirit, I’m exploring what does God say about helping the needy. Not just the physically needy, but those in emotional turmoil as well. In looking at the Cross – and all that God has done, and given to me…who the heck am i to moan about emotional baggage?

  • Galations 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ”.
  • Proverbs 11:25 says, ” A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”
  • Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us..if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously..
  • John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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Finding my Passion

All Souls has been talking up ‘a Passion for Life‘ – the Nationwide initiative starting in March next year that’s set to draw churches together for a series of evangelical events. I’m looking forward to it. It reminds me of Billy Graham, back in the 90s, the reason that my family started going to North Cheam Baptist Church.

And so I picked up a couple of ‘London’s Biggest Survey Ever’ leaflets and gave it them to the girls back in the office. The younger, a Celebrity Exec, was genuinely inspired by it. “Only one questions?” she asked..”But what if I have more than one?”
I laughed, “Fill in two surveys then!”

I’m still waiting to hear what my boss thinks of it all? She says she’s Catholic..

We got to talking about what ‘a Passion for Life” would be like, and she watched the short film on the website which explains everything – and eventually the conversation turned to Christian music. – would there be celebs there? Famous Christian bands? We counted a few, sorry to say, uninspiring celebs we knew who are Christians; Cliff Richard, Whitney Houston (but she’s probably not a practising Christian? right?..Unfortunately she’s not heard of the likes of Tim Hughes, Delirious? or Casting Crowns

She’s into rap..and found a REALLY bad video on Youtube – i’ve been traumatised, sorry and can’t remember who it was, but then she found this fantastic rapper called God’s Block.

I listen to the Worship Central podcast every month – which i think is mainly for Worship Leaders (of which i’m not) – but i LOVE it! I only know of one UK Christian Radio station – Premier Radio doesn’t feature more contemporary – i know they pop a couple medium paced worship songs into Inspirational Breakfast – but what of Christian Rock, or Rap? I’d love to get the survey results on who the Premier Radio listener is.

Eddie Murphy…and ponderings on Christianity Explored

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy stars in a new film coming out just after Father’s Day. It’s called Imagine That – and has the cutest little girl playing alongside him, Yara Shahidi. Impressions last though – and I can’t help but judge him against news stories a few years ago with regards to his treatment of Melanie Brown (now married to Stephen Belafonte) and his subsequent estrangement from the daughter they have together.

Thinking about Eddie Murphy’s actions made me think of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 (the subject of which Hugh Palmer spoke about at All Souls gave on Sunday 24th ) ‘ God’s will is that we should be sanctified’ – not an easy thing in this day and age; when it’s ‘normal’ to have relationships – and abnormal to be abstinent. Even refusing an alcoholic drink in a pub issues weird glances these days! “Are you ok?”…”You’re not pregnant are you?”

But I can see the reason for it. It saves the heart ache – and complications that result from brief relationships that can result in children.

I look forward to my Wednesday evenings at the moment. Usually a blah in the week, with the only note of optimism being that it’s a day closer to the weekend, it’s now the night that I meet Darren after work for a quick drink and then off to Christianity Explored.

CE at All Souls is for peeps who have questions about Christianity; those big questions that are a wall against faith and understanding.  I’m praying that Darren is asking all of his questions, and so that he can at least start peeping over the wall.

We’re spread across 8 different tables with leaders who help us with queries. The evening starts with a meal (cooked by an ex-Claridges chef!) and then there are talks and discussions.

Yesterday, there was a woman who had a whole heap of questions…the only problem was that instead of asking them within her group she kept shouting out her queries while Michael Hull, who leads the evenings, was trying to give his talk.

She was aggressive and confrontational – and I immediately jumped to the conclusion that she playing devil’s advocate to prove CE a farce. Darren pointed out to me that she was Polish – and probably didn’t fully understand Mike’s strand of thought, or didn’t understand English very well.

I’ll leave my armour at home next time.