Friday, March 27, 2009

Some Writing

Just in case you were wondering I am not the David Derbyshire who writes as a science correspondent for British newspapers such as the Mail and the Telegraph. People ask because he does sometimes write about psychology - the subject I teach.

But I do have a few writings out there, as well as on this blog. I have just submitting another review to Amazon for Stuart Murray’s Beyond Tithing.

Also I have four new music reviews published on the Cross Rhythms site. You can find links to all my music reviews on My Cross Rhythms page.

And, soon I might be writing some content on our church’s website.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Looking forward to seeing Larry Crabb

Next weekend (March 27-29) I am planning to go to see Larry Crabb at the annual conference with the British Association of Christians in Psychology.

Larry Crabb has been very influential in developing Christian counselling. But more recently he has changed tack to emphasise the importance of building relationships and he now appears to prefer the term spiritual direction. In his book Connecting he explains how he now sees connecting with others as the key to healing rather than just the specialist relationship with a therapist or counsellor. In the conference he will be speaking about his journey into this understanding.

This looks very interesting. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Multi-Sensory Time

Last night Nettes & I did an activity together from Sue Wallace’s book Multi-Sensory Scripture. This book contains some creative ways to interact with the Bible. We were looking at the story of the raising of Lazarus. Unlike some of the activities this one took minimal preparation. After doing some relaxation exercises we simply read a script that took us through the story a few times each time focusing on a different sense. A very relaxing and interesting way to meditate on this passage.

You can also read my review of Sue’s previous book Multi-Sensory Prayer on Amazon.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Role of the Church in the Current Recession

Here are three Christian links I am looking at that are relevant to our current global economic crisis:

Are You Recession Ready? discusses how it time for the church to start thinking about getting ready for the recession. This might involve things like looking at how we handle our money and how we give to and serve the poor.

Bible on Money is a very good page of the Generous Giving website that points to a list of key Bible verses. Click on each verse for comments.

Mission and Recession is another good article on the way forward for the church at this time. Please note that this article has a second part.

I feel that handling money is something that our church has some practical wisdom on and teaches well. This together with the fact that we are involved in ministry to the homeless indicates to me that we are getting there. Reading these articles suddenly made what we do feel very relevant.

Thanks to Andrew Jones for pointing to these links on his blog.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Wisdom of the Swarm

On Saturday night, Hugh Thompson facilitated a discussion with a group of us in our church. After tucking into some chilli we were soon passing the microphone around unpacking some Bible verses together. We looked at, among other things, the ants from Proverbs.

Wisdom of the Swarm was just one his sub-headings. ‘Ants are creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer;’ (Proverbs 30:25). Why do they do this when they ‘have no ruler’ (Proverbs 6:6)? Just like ‘the locusts that have no king yet advances together in ranks’ (Proverbs 30:27). How do these creatures work together in unity?

Hugh described a video like this one. He then explained that just as the individual synapses communicate chemically in the brain so ants communicate by pheromones and act like one collective mind. In the same way we corporately as the church have ‘the mind of Christ’ as we hear God together and operate as his body.

On the way home we were still discussing this principle of synergy - if we all work together we can achieve things that we could never achieve separately.

Hugh quoted the lyrics of RyanDan’s High:

If we all work together
We would be stronger
If we all open our eyes
We could see further
If we all stand tall enough no one can beat us
If we all hold our hands up high we can carry the world.

So this week I’ve been playing this song on Spotify - my new music streaming application - while watching videos, like the one above, full screen on YouTube. Why not try it? If you haven’t yet got Spotify just can now just click on the link to sign up for the free version.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Scrolls In The Desert

During the week our church meets in each others homes. As the groups are arranged at present Nettes & I are in a group with all the other parents. This gives us a chance to discuss parenting issues. Last Thursday we organised an evening that we called ‘Scrolls in the Desert’. We had a number of conversation starters partly buried on a tray of sand. The scrolls included a Bible study plan and a page from a parenting course and there were a few books too. We had a really good discussion to what extent our experience of parenting was like a desert or an oasis as people pulled items out of the sand. The dining table was our oasis for the evening where nibbles, cheese, wine, beer and juices were available for refreshment. Interestingly the juices were hardly touched!