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Ascension & Pentecost - Vision & Power

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May is an exciting time in the church calendar. We have moved through the expectant waiting of Advent and the joy of Christmas. We have entered into sorrow in Lent and celebrated the overthrow of death and sin at Easter. In May we come to the formation of the Church at Pentecost, and the eschatological (final) promises in the Ascension of Christ. At Pentecost, we as the church are formed and empowered to do Christ’s work on earth. The promised Holy Spirit arrives and gives great boldness to those first disciples. The people around them all thought that they were strange (in this instance, drunk in the morning), and society has found the church, when acting as it should, strange ever since. As our society moves more in a post-Christian reality the church begins to look more and more strange. The governing stories that have dominated the imagination for over a thousand years are shifting and changing. Students of disciplines such as art, history, and philosophy are having to learn the

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard - My Book Notes - Part 10 - The Restoration of all Things

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Welcome to the final part of my blog series on Dallas Willard's book "The Divine Conspiracy". Please look at the chapter list to move between the other parts of this series. What I learnt From This Chapter The final chapter is an attempt to create a vision of what the divine conspiracy is working towards. It is an incredibly powerful vision and speaks of a life that begins now and carries on into eternity. For me personally the conversation around materialism and the kingdom of heaven were very helpful (I particularly enjoyed the "God doesn't have a brain, and he has never missed it" line). I love Dallas's description of ourself becoming more christlike towards death and the end quote from Augustine's City of God is truly wonderful. Chapter List Introduction Chapter 1 - Entering the Eternal Kind of Life Now Chapter 2 - Gospels of Sin Management Chapter 3 - What Jesus Knew: Our God-Bathed World Chapter 4 - Who is Really Well Off? - The Beatitudes Chap

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard - My Book Notes - Part 9 - A Curriculum for Christlikeness

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Welcome to part 9 of my blog series on Dallas Willard's book "The Divine Conspiracy". Please look at the chapter list to move between the other parts of this series. What I learnt From This Chapter This chapter is a wonderful summary of the life of discipleship. Reading this chapter made me realise that the extent of my trust in God had been one that was purely eschatological or soteriological (i.e. not really about now, but about something that would take place in the future), and so I felt that in the present I was ultimately at the mercy of either nature or of the wills of others. Therefore this chapter made me realise that the discipleship of the Bible is one permeated by a trust in God at every level (a Psalm 23 life). Trust precedes obedience, and our sins stem from a lack of trust in God. This does not mean that life will go our way, but what it does mean is that nothing that happens to us is beyond redemption by God. Chapter List Introduction Chapter 1 - Entering

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard - My Book Notes - Part 8 - On Being a Disciple, or Student, of Jesus

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Welcome to part 8 of my blog series on Dallas Willard's book "The Divine Conspiracy". Please look at the chapter list to move between the other parts of this series. What I learnt From This Chapter This chapter really helped me to be grounded in the totality of discipleship, that is that it is something that permeates every area of our life, whether I am in church, or at work, or socialising with friends or in a myriad of other contexts and situations.I particularly loved that idea of making disciples as our primary focus and letting the evangelism flow from that rather than vice versa. Chapter List Introduction Chapter 1 - Entering the Eternal Kind of Life Now Chapter 2 - Gospels of Sin Management Chapter 3 - What Jesus Knew: Our God-Bathed World Chapter 4 - Who is Really Well Off? - The Beatitudes Chapter 5 - The Righteousness of the Kingdom Heart: Beyond the Goodness of Scribes and Pharisees Chapter 6 - Investing in the Heavens: Escaping the Deceptions of Reputations a

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard - My Book Notes - Part 7 - The Community of Prayerful Love

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Welcome to part 7 of my blog series on Dallas Willard's book "The Divine Conspiracy". Please look at the chapter list to move between the other parts of this series. What I learnt From This Chapter This chapter changed my whole approach to prayer and still challenges me every time I read it. It took me out a position of futility and moved into a position in which I am a participant with God in His Kingdom through prayer. I hope that this section blesses you as much as it has blessed me. Chapter List Introduction Chapter 1 - Entering the Eternal Kind of Life Now Chapter 2 - Gospels of Sin Management Chapter 3 - What Jesus Knew: Our God-Bathed World Chapter 4 - Who is Really Well Off? - The Beatitudes Chapter 5 - The Righteousness of the Kingdom Heart: Beyond the Goodness of Scribes and Pharisees Chapter 6 - Investing in the Heavens: Escaping the Deceptions of Reputations and Wealth Chapter 7 - The Community of Prayerful Love Chapter 8 - On Being a Disciple, or Student, of

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard - My Book Notes - Part 6 - Investing in the Heavens: Escaping the Deceptions of Reputation and Wealth

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Welcome to part  6 of my blog series on Dallas Willard's book "The Divine Conspiracy". Please look at the chapter list to move between the other parts of this series. What I learnt From This Chapter This chapter was so challenging to me. I care a lot about what others think of me. I found the most relevant part to be starting from a place trusting God in this area. Trusting God with regards to what others think of me. Equally the call to fast is something that constantly challenges me. I try to fast twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays but I often fall short of this goal (food tastes so good!!!) and so reading this draws me back into that desire to fast. Reading this changed my view on fasting from a  discipline of deprivation to a discipline of strength and upholding. Chapter List Introduction Chapter 1 - Entering the Eternal Kind of Life Now Chapter 2 - Gospels of Sin Management Chapter 3 - What Jesus Knew: Our God-Bathed World Chapter 4 - Who is Really Well Off? - Th

The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard - My Book Notes - Part 5 - The Rightness of the Kingdom Heart: Beyond the Goodness of Scribes and Pharisees

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Welcome to part 5 of my blog series on Dallas Willard's book "The Divine Conspiracy". Please look at the chapter list to move between the other parts of this series. What I learnt From This Chapter The main thing that I learnt from this chapter is that there is an order to the sermon on the mount. It is not just a random collection of saying by Jesus but should be seen as a full sermon where the points lead into one another and build upon what has gone before. This has been an extremely profound and life changing insight. Chapter List Introduction Chapter 1 - Entering the Eternal Kind of Life Now Chapter 2 - Gospels of Sin Management Chapter 3 - What Jesus Knew: Our God-Bathed World Chapter 4 - Who is Really Well Off? - The Beatitudes Chapter 5 - The Righteousness of the Kingdom Heart: Beyond the Goodness of Scribes and Pharisees Chapter 6 - Investing in the Heavens: Escaping the Deceptions of Reputations and Wealth Chapter 7 - The Community of Prayerful Love Chapter 8 -