A rambling blog by a Christian in Northern Ireland

"If you find me short in things, impute that to my love of brevity. If you find me besides the truth in anything, impute that to my infirmity. But if you find anything here that serves to your furtherance and joy of the faith, impute that to the mercy of God bestowed on you and me."
John Bunyan
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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

My daughter Faith loves to pray. A great thing. But one of the funny things is that if myself or Jake pray first and we hit on something she was going to pray about she'll throw a major pointy and give off!

This happened the other night as we read that days Operation World and Jake prayed for the country and its people. Faith broke in "JACOBBB!!!!! . . . .I was going to pray for Romania"

When you tell her it's okay and she can still pray for them, she'll disagree and will say "it's already been prayed for!"

I think i'm going to teach her that the proper response and how to express that you are raging with someone for praying what you were going to pray is to loudly shout "AMEN"

Each time this happens I keep thinking how her sentiment is spot on, it's already been prayed for. Do we need to repeat what the person praying before us has just asked of the Lord? I'm not saying it's necessarily wrong, but just asking why.
Or could we say amen with them as they pray and then bring other thanksgivings, supplications and petitions before the Lord?

Friday, 17 April 2015



". . . God made us alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to His cross." (Colossians 2:13b-14)



We find some disturbing things in this verse as well as the good news of the Gospel.

There is a record of our debt
Every time we sin it is recorded. So even just a glance through the 10 commandments reveals that we do not love God and worship Him as we ought, we lie, we covet, in our hearts we murder and steal and commit adultery. We all have sinned and could fill volumes with lists and lists of our trespasses.

There is a legal demand
As with our country's judicial system, a crime has its legal demand for punishment and a guilty person will find that sentence delivered upon them. So too we find that the law of God demands action against us as sinners. I think 2 Thessalonians 1:9 sums this demand up by declaring that "we suffer the punishment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might.

There is Good News
When Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross God the Father turned His back upon Christ and poured His wrath, the punishment for our sin upon His Son. This means that the record of our sin has been blotted out and rather than eternal destruction (as the law demanded) we are made alive with God through Jesus.

Thursday, 16 April 2015


A few weeks ago a friend was saying how he felt there were far too many Christian Conferences about this and that. But flash forward to the past week where another friend kept mentioning the 2015 Shepherds' Conference on the Inerancy of Scripture and gave his opinion that in our lifetime so far this may be the most important and helpful conference to take place.


 I may just agree (having started to listen the sessions) that this is an area where most of us would do well to build a firm foundation so that our Faith in the book, and ultimately in it's message to us is unshakable

 

Friday, 3 April 2015

I remember Darren Patrick (i think it was) saying that it's our job as fathers to pack in truth as our children grow up and to pray that the Holy Spirit would use it as kindling to start a fire in their souls that would burn for the glory of Jesus Christ.


We must remember that we cannot save our kids, that is the Spirit's job. For this reason we must saturate our teachings with prayers that Christ would be pleased to use the truth of His Word to save them, sanctify them and lead them to continual repentance from sin and following of Him!

Over the years I've found a structure has helped me pray consistently and specifically over my children. I came across it first as an article by Tom Steller and tweaked it slightly but the bones are the same. Unfortunately i couldn't find his original article or i'd point to that.

These are pointers i've memorised and lead me to flesh them out each time

  • That Jesus would call them to Himself & nothing hinder their drawing close & pursuit of Him (Matt 19:13-15).
  • That they would be sealed by, filled with and walk in the Spirit of God throughout their lives (Eph 1:13, Eph 5:18, Gal 5:16). 
  • That they would store up the Word of God in their hearts (Ps 119:11), & be Sanctified by it (John 17:17). 
  • That the fruits of the Spirit would flourish abundantly in their lives (Gal 5:22-25) giving no footing for the works of the flesh. 
  • That they would stand firm against the evil one (Eph 6:11). 
  • That they would obey the commission to make disciples (Matt 28:18-20). 
  • That God would supply all their needs (Phil 4:19). 
  • That they may face suffering with a Gospel saturated hope in Christ (Col 2:24). 
  • That they will love God with their whole heart, soul mind & strength, and love their neighbour as they love themselves (Mark 12:30).
Because only the Spirit of God can awaken our kids, giving them a new heart and opening their eyes to the light of the Gospel in the face of Jesus as seen through His Word, i believe that prayer over our children is the most crucial part of raising children.

And often it is much easier to read and pray with them than to take the time each day, like Job, and mediate on their behalf. It's a commitment i need to make a fresh and one that is needed by us all.

Lets pray for our children

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Correct As You Go [But Back Up With Scripture References]
One thing i've noticed about all children Bibles and material for teaching kids is that there are many occasions when they aren't exactly accurate to what the Bible teaches. For example, one of my favourites, while not shying away from teaching about hell, teaches that it is where satan lives, is in charge and will torture unsaved. The Bible however teaches us that currently the world is where satan is (1 Peter 5:8) but that hell was created by God as a place for satan and the demons to be punished as well as unbelievers (Rev 20:7-15) and that it is Jesus who is in charge of hell (Rev 1:18).

Always correct with Scripture
With all and any area we feel needs more clarity or correction give a Scripture reference - this safeguards our correction and means our teaching is less likely to go in wrong directions.

Scripture is the rule of our faith and practice and unless we can point to why we are teaching our children something we should refrain from changing what other, more learned and Biblically informed people have written.

All of my kids books have pencil lines and corrections like this in them, even the very best of kids Bibles . . .

Tomorrow we'll pray

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