Grounded in Nairobi!

We were due to arrive home about now, after nearly six excellent weeks ministry in Rwanda. But, because of the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, we’re stranded in Nairobi. There is no sign that flights will resume in the next few of days. Meanwhile, we’re staying in a nice hotel at the expense of British Airways. Well, at least for three days. I’ll keep you posted. While this life is full of contingency and unforeseen events, the Lord of the universe is in complete and loving control.

Rwanda here I come!

For the next five and a half weeks I’ll be ministering in Rwanda again. Teaching at one regional conference and six bible colleges. This will be a very special trip because for the last two weeks I’ll be joined by my wife Emma. Together we’ll be ministering to families on marriage and parenting etc. I hope to keep you posted, but don’t hold your breath. This is Africa! Thanks in advance for your prayers.

My top fifteen reads of 2009

1. Finally Alive – John Piper A definitive teaching on regeneration. 2. Bookends of the Christian Life – Bridges and Bevington Justification and the grace of the Spirit combine to empower the Christian life. 3. Outrageous Mercy – William Farley Cross-centred living. 4. Religious Affections – Jonathan Edwards Edwards’ classic treatise on genuine Christian spirituality. 5. Counsel from the Cross – Fitzpatrick and Johnson Application of the gospel to all areas of life. 6. The Prodigal God – Tim Keller An expose of the older brother syndrome of relying on religious practice to please God. 7. A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards – George Marsden A bite-sized (but not diminished) biography of the great man. 8. Signs of the Spirit – Sam Storms Helped me get to grips with Religious Affections! 9. Unfashionable – Tullian Tchividjian Counter-cultural, kingdom-living, for the sake of the culture. 10. A New Inner Relish – Dane Ortlund The heart of regeneration is a new taste

read more My top fifteen reads of 2009

Home again

Back again from another profitable trip to Burma. Thank you for your prayers. It’s always a blessing ministering to the students at Canon Theological College in Yangon. Their zeal and commitment to excellence is so refreshing. This time I was lecturing on principles of Christian leadership – or, what the ‘how-to’ manuals don’t tell you about biblical leadership. For example, I spent considerable time stressing the leader’s walk with God, the importance of doctrine, humility and accountability, and other gospel related dynamics. Timeless truths that transcend culture and centre on the sufficiency and supremacy of God. I’m totally wiped! (jet lag and heavy cold etc.)  But rejoicing in the goodness and grace of God. Great to be home.

Mission accomplished, or just begun?

I’m back from Rwanda, and safely reunited with my family. The last six weeks has been unparalleled in ministry terms for me – far exceeding my expectations. It has been my privilege to work with my colleague Hugh Shelbourne in preaching, teaching, training and discipling numerous believers and congregations among the ADEPR group of churches in Rwanda. We were invited to spend time with this denomination on the back of Watchmen International‘s growing reputation in Africa. Our goal was to train teams in biblical material that would help the Christians in Rwanda to engage more fully and intentionally with gospel-centred discipleship. We had the privilege of addressing and teaching the executive committee and board, bible colleges, the faculty of theology and numerous churches and chapels. The highlight was preaching to the general assembly, where 300 senior pastors, each representing 10’s of thousands of parishioners, were gathered for prayer and fasting. I summarised the highlights of our teaching by using the acronym ADEPR:

read more Mission accomplished, or just begun?

Home again!

Well, I’m back! A big and heartfelt thank you to all who have prayed for me while I’ve been ministering in Burma. The Lord certainly answered many prayers and I’m grateful to Him for a successful trip. Because of the increasing restrictions on Christians in Burma it was not possible to teach at the Theological College, situated in the suburbs of Yangon, so we used the more central and safer location of the small church building in the heart of the city. It’s a lot easier to operate ‘under the radar’ in the hustle and bustle of Rangoon where there are quite a number of Westerners. Six days teaching from Ephesians was a tremendous blessing to me, and I trust to the students too. I was stirred again in my spirit by the central role the Church plays in God’s purposes, particularly in its cosmic testimony to the wisdom of God in redemption. I was humbled again and awed by Paul’s disclosure of  ‘the mystery hidden’, the

read more Home again!

Off to Burma

I suspect this will be the last post for a few days. I’m off to Burma in a few hours and I’m not confident of reliable internet access there. This is one of my twice yearly trips to teach at a bible college in Rangoon. I love the students at Canon Theological College, they are completely ‘sold out’ to serving the Lord, and consequently are hungry for the word of God. My aim is to model good, gospel-centred exposition. They have asked me to take them through Ephesians this semester. What a privilege to teach about the Cosmic Christ, the unsurpassed One, who is Lord of the Church, and who blesses us with unsearchable riches in Him. Life for believers is difficult in Burma at the best of times, but there is increased tension at the moment. Christian organizations are ‘encouraged’ to register with the ‘government’ for their ‘well being and safety.’ But that usually leads to all kinds of

read more Off to Burma

Great trip to Uganda!

Thanks to those of you who prayed for my ministry trip to Uganda. It was a very profitable trip indeed. What always fascinates and excites me when traveling and ministering in Asia and Africa is the hunger and expectancy among God’s people  regarding His word. I was not disappointed. I think it is fair to say, though, that getting beneath the surface and applying the word of God to every day life, lived for the glory of God, is still the real challenge of discipleship in Africa. I guess that’s the challenge everywhere, but it’s particularly evident in a culture that embraces Christianity virtually wholesale. Where else in the world can you break down in the ‘outback’ (back of beyond!), and within half an hour be singing Christian choruses with dozens of curious small children who have gathered because of the Muzungus (white men)? The ministry of Watchmen International really does get beneath the ‘skin’ of African Christianity, addressing all

read more Great trip to Uganda!