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Showing posts from October, 2017

WISDOM - 30 Things I Learned At 30

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Today I turn 31.

My 30's have been a great source of joy to me.

30 is also the time that I began journaling again, to ensure that I captured all that I have learnt.

The following are 30 of those things that I have learnt whilst I was 30.
1. Knowing your values is integral to maintaining momentum  I first heard this on a Robcast episode with Susan David about Emotional Agility. Later, whilst reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl I came across this great quote that confirmed it again: “as long as man has a why he can endure any how”.
2. The sweetest sound to a person is their name Anybody who has read Dale Carnegie's classic "How to Win Friends & Influence People" will know this. I have always been terrible at names. And even if I was sure I knew someone's name I would often not say it in case I got it wrong. Now I redouble my efforts to learn names and always try and say people's name even if I am not 100% sure. Peoples names a…

DISRUPT - Why Jesus Kicked Everyone Out Of The Temple

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Why did Jesus kick everyone out of the temple?

Last week I introduced a series of 8 stories. The stories are found in Johns Gospel and centre around different Jewish establishments*. In these stories Jesus shows that he is the fulfilment of these establishments. We first looked at the wedding in Cana in John 2 where Jesus turns water into wine. This week I want to turn our attention to look at the clearing of the temple in John 2.
The StoryAt this part of the narrative, Jesus has turned the water into wine at Cana and then gone down to Jerusalem. John tells us that it is the Jewish festival of Passover. Within the Temple, animals are being sold as sacrifices and money changers are exchanging money. Jesus enters the Temple, makes a whip from chords, and drives the animals out of the Temple. He overturns the money changers tables scattering their coins everywhere. Jesus then tells the people to stop turning His Father’s house into a market.

Understandably, the leaders are annoyed and so as…

WINE - How the Wedding at Cana in John 2 Ushers In the Kingdom of God

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Why did Jesus turn water into wine? and what does this have to do with you sitting there 2,000 years later?

In the first half of Johns Gospel, John lays out eight stories*.
Four of these stories are to do with Jewish Institutions: Wedding, Temple, Rabbi, Sacred Well.
Four of these stories are to do with Jewish Feasts: Sabbath, Passover, Tabernacles, Hanukah.
In each of these stories Jesus takes these institutions and feasts and re-orients them around himself. The stories end with Jesus at the centre of each of them.
To understand why this happens we first have to look at the grand sweep of Johns narrative; particularly, John’s love of the number 7, and his love of the statement “I am”. Number 7 Within Judaism the number 7 held particular importance. Within the book of Genesis, the created order (including God resting) takes 7 days to complete. Due to this the number 7 came to represent “completion” or “fulfilment”. I Am Within Johns gospel Jesus uses the statement “I am” to refer to Himself se…

ENCOURAGEMENT - Want To Make A Real Difference In The World? Encourage People

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My StoryI struggle greatly with personal confidence, especially around my intelligence.
When I was 14 I was told that I was not clever enough to learn German, and was put into the bottom curriculum for French.
When I was 15 I was told that I was not clever enough to study Geography, and was put into the bottom curriculum for a combination of History and Geography.
When I was 16 I was told that I was not clever enough to study Physics (I have always been fascinated by cosmology) and was told to pursue other subjects.
Combinations of remarks and feedback from teachers and others left me feeling that the intellectual pursuits were out of my reach. It wasn’t until after I finished full time education that several people began to encourage me about the way that I thought.
I am slowly starting to build my confidence up, and have realised that I love using my mind. I love tackling challenging subjects and expanding my knowledge. If these few people hadn’t started to encourage me I wouldn’t be wr…

TABLE - Why Jesus Chose to Build Community Around a Meal

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Food is a great unifier.
Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus using food to bring people together.
When He wanted to get through to Zacchaeus He went round to his house for a meal.
When He wanted to explain what the kingdom of God is like, He did it using a meal; and told us to carry on that practice.
Jesus came from a tradition that also used meals to signify certain things. In the Jewish tradition they celebrated feasts such as Passover, Pentecost, Yom Kippur and Tabernacles; handing on the wisdom to the next generation.
The same is true for every civilisation. Food acts as a central point that people gather around. It was a place where stories were told and wisdom was passed down. 
It was a place that fostered community and developed family, because we all need food to survive.
We are moving further and further away from the origins of our food. The food we consume is more heavily processed and perfectly cleaned than ever before. We expect it to look uniform and as a result so much food is…