Sunday, October 31, 2010

A pinch of Italian cooking Two

On Saturday, Tim and I cracked open the Jamie Oliver recipe book again and treated some of our friends to some Italian food. We cooked Spaghetti Tetrazzini (Chicken and Mushroom pasta bake). It was simple and yet tasty. The outcome looked like this:

Everyone seemed to enjoy this tasty meal! It went well with X factor. Why not give it a go? The recipe is here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Transformission 2010 in Pictures

On Saturday I went to Transformission - a South West event for students to have their hearts warmed with the Gospel. Mike Reeves spoke on the Love of God and it was brilliant. I was taking pictures that day and here are some I captured! Also check out the audios on Dave Bish's blog.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Looking into the sea...

On Saturday a few of us went for a walk near the sea in Plymouth. The view was lovely!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Colossians - Jesus has done everything (pt2)

Colossians 1:13-23 - an epic and most used passage about who Jesus is. But we can take it just as a nice list of things about Jesus, place them on our mental mantelpiece and then move on.
We could start asking the question - Why has Paul written this here? I am learning to ask the best question ever - why?.

In the book (and its now a film) Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert expresses her view of what she means by God. -

“In the end, what I have come to believe about God
is simple. It’s like this – I used to have this really
great dog ... She was a mixture of about ten
different breeds, but seemed to have inherited the
finest features of them all. She was brown. When
people asked me, ‘What kind of dog is that?’ I would
always give the same answer: ‘She’s a brown dog.’
Similarly, when the question is raised, ‘What kind of
God do you believe in?’ my answer is easy: ‘I
believe in a magnificent God.’ (Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth
Gilbert p. 15)"

Yet this leaves me feeling slightly disappointed. Surely God is more then just "magnificent"? Its very impersonal and doesn't cover the scope of who God is. Of course He is magnificent. But Paul is saying He is more then that in Colossians... in fact the answer to the resounding "why", is that Paul is showing that Jesus has done everything, He has completed everything and without Him what hope could there be?

Why would you ever go after a different Gospel if everything has been completed in Christ?
Why would you add on to the Gospel if Jesus has done everything?

Therefore if we are to be confident in Christ, it should change the way we share Him with our friends.

I hope it means I am not ashamed of Him and can be bold in sharing Him and know fully in my heart that I don't have to add on my works to what Jesus has done! It is good news.

Monday, October 18, 2010

In the Garden Pt2

More pictures from the Garden!

For this first picture I played around with the contrast, but I didnt realise there were so many colours behind the web!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

In the Garden

As I wander around my garden, I capture some interesting shots!

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Life without God

I found this on Justin Taylor's blog and thought it was really good and quite shocking in a way.

Fallen from Sascha Geddert on Vimeo.

On the vimeo website they say "A little meteor learns the biggest lesson of life on it's way down to earth." Which is basically that we are all going to die and we can't stop it, so we may as well enjoy life before we go to the abyss. But I guess this is what life looks like for those that don't know Jesus and the life He gives us. There is no hope in this.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A pinch of Italian cooking

I really enjoy cooking. I think cooking can be very creative and refreshing as you place onto your saucepan canvas an array of delicacies that will soon boil, fry and roast into wonderful aromas and melting tastes! Yum.
Last week Tim and I tried a Jamie Oliver recipe called Spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola (spaghetti with prawns and rocket). I really like how the Italian words sound because they are so close to Spanish!

And it was a success. Lots of flavours - lemon, fishy, and zingy. This is what it looked like:

 The picture doesn't do it justice. But the taste does. Why not try it yourself?
The recipe is here and its easy to make!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edwards warns us to not flatter ourselves

"Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" sounds like a sermon to avoid. But if I was to encourage you to read or listen to a sermon that will grip you, shock you, warm your heart and bring you to your knees, I would suggest reading this sermon. This is surely not for the faint hearted but if any Christian was to read this sermon by Jonathan Edwards and come away feeling anger towards Edwards and bitterness towards God then they come away not understanding the sermon at all. I really believe that this sermon was designed to arouse the heart to the acknowledgement that we have a very Holy God that is angry at sin and sinners and yet a very gracious God for not allowing us all to perish right at this very moment.

Edwards says -

"Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatter himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do"

Edwards wasn't just preaching to the non Christian here, but also the Christian. Do we flatter ourselves in thinking that our works get us out of hell? That God owes us grace and freedom because of what we are doing right now? Edwards warns us against this and warns us to repent of this because - "God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise to keep any natural man out of hell for one moment...till he believes in Christ."

It is only in Christ that we have any promise of eternal life with God. It can only rest in Christ and nothing more. If we think for one moment that its our doing and God owes us, we will be in for a shock. Read this amazing sermon and let your heart see how gracious God is over your life and repent and start relying on Christ for your salvation instead of who you are and what you are doing. Read it here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Colossians - Having the right Gospel (Pt1)

Within Small Groups at Plymouth we are going through Colossians, sinking our teeth into Gods word and warming our hearts with the Gospel. Its great fun and I am enjoying sharing ideas with the students and getting our hearts excited about telling our friends about Jesus.

But Colossians Chapter One poses an issue. Do we have the right Gospel? And does that make a difference? 
So many lies dressed up in religion can sneak into church and CU. Whats worse is that they appeal to our hearts! They say to us that "there is a better way to live, forget just having Jesus when you can have so much more"

Paul is so clear to the Colossians on what it means to be an authentic Christian. And having the right message is vital. If we have the wrong message or if we start adding to the Gospel we end up far from Christ. You know if you have the right Gospel if you look like Paul describes in 1v9-12, "filled with knowledge of his will, understanding, walking in a manner worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit, strengthened with power, endurance, patience with joy and being qualified because of Jesus"

We saw that at the heart of this was to ask - who or what qualifies you to be a Christian? Certainly not yourself, nor your degree but the Father because of His son. We know we have the right Gospel if we are  not resting in our works or our inner spirituality or adding on to what Jesus has done. Instead we rest in what Jesus has done and we are qualified because of Him and in Him. 

How does that encourage us to tell our friends about Jesus? 

If you have the right Gospel and you are an authentic Christian, then you can't hide that and you can be confident that the Gospel your telling your friends is the right one. If you find its not, then come back to the roots, come back to the cross and be transformed.