Monday, 29 March 2010

Too busy not to pray?

During this time of Lent, members of Hornchurch Baptist Church have been reading Bill Hybels' book Too Busy Not to Pray. It is considered by some to be a modern Christian classic.  While some of us are very wary of the seeker sensitive approach to evangelism and church growth espoused by Hybels, this book can be heartily recommended. It is challenging and helpful in developing an authentic prayer life.  I personally found his advice on writing a prayer journal and journalling very sound and worthwhile.  When we write out our prayers and put down words of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication then we are usually focussed and spiritually more alert.  Such journalling can help us go deeper and keep a record of our adventures in prayer.  It is so good to look back through the pages of a prayer journal to see, meditate and reflect on what God has done and is doing in our lives.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

The Dying Thief at Calvary : a poem for Easter

Three of us here at Calvary
Nailed to crosses outside the city

Two of us are guilty of many crimes
The other one is remarkable in these times

He did not deserve this cruel fate
Truly a victim of such vicious hate

Jesus who taught God's true way
And now he dies on this dark day

My fellow thief mocks and swears
He has no time for God or prayers

But I have brought this late request
I asked Jesus for eternal rest.

My words were simple and sincere
To Jesus I made it very clear

Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.

Stranger, do you know my pain, my loss?
Yes, I'm dying on the cross

I was a thief for many years
And my death will bring few tears

But in these last few moments here
I can put away all my fear

For though I shall soon be dead
I remember what he said

I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.

Yes, Jesus told me this before he died
And soon after these words he cried

It is finished! And bowed his head in death
It was just before his final breath.

And you, o stranger not know to me,
Where will you spend eternity?

This is my last piece of advice
Trust in Him to enter paradise.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Such a sweet, sweet victory for Mourinho over Abramovich's Chelsea

Jose Mourinho celebrated an excellent and thoroughly deserved victory at Stamford Bridge last night.  It was sound and sweet, showing that Mourinho can still put on a special performance on the Chelsea ground.  It was an emphatic triumph over his former employer's club.  Jose must have loved the glory, the sweet revenge.  Take that Abramovich!  Many in the Chelsea line up were once Mourinho's boys.  Internazionale beat Chelsea, home and away.  Inter Milan were clearly the better team on both occasions.   Mourinho's tactical nous was evident and Chelsea looked rather dull and dismal last night.  The Inter goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, had a very quiet evening because the Chelsea attack was so weak.  Inter managed to nullify the Chelsea midfield.  Ballack failed to get into the game and those around him looked frustrated and mediocre.  It could be argued that Inter were better in every department over the two matches. Now Chelsea fans and the financier must wonder whether this current Chelsea squad is really good enough to win the coveted Champions League.  The evidence seems to indicate that Chelsea are not up to it and they need to improve, to rebuild radically if they are to win the UEFA Champions League trophy. Winning this trophy is not about putting out an expensive group of talented players, as the exit of Real Madrid reveals.  It is more than cheque book, spending power management.  Mourinho understands this only too well; his special skills can prevent a good side winning, but enabling a good team with the right tactics and game plan to progress in this competition.  Last night JM's tactics were special and this victory was certainly impressive.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

FIFA Folly

FIFA, the Football world governing body, has stated that modern technology will not be used to determine whether or not a football has crossed the goal line at this year's World Cup Finals in South Africa.  This is sheer stupity when the game has needed this technology for years. It is used successfully in Cricket and other major sports but FIFA wishes to stay in the 20th century.  So much can depend on the correct decision.  Thousands and thousands of pounds can rest on an incorrect decision.  Today we saw a decision clearly go against Birmingham City in their important FA Cup quarter final game against Portsmouth when the ball had clearly crossed the line. The referee and linesman got in wrong, just like the FIFA officials. The referee made an error, a clear mistake,revealed by modern techology, that could have been avoided.  Sadly at this time stupid FIFA officials have made a clear mistake, but time will show how wrong they are.  One day we shall have the technology that the game deserves. Let's hope it comes soon.


River Stour