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September 2010
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Ancient Practices (#4b) - Pilgrimage

The concept of pilgrimage refers to a journey or search of great significance. Adherents of many religions participate in pilgrimages today. Jews go to Jerusalem while Muslims go to Mecca. Christians through the centuries have also at times made pilgrimages to places such as Jerusalem, similar to what the Jews did in Bible times for the great feasts. For us who follow Christ today, it is important to realise that there is no particularly holy places or holy sites we need to visit. The earth is the Lord's and his presence is everywhere. He no longer dwells in temples made... Read more →

Ancient Practices (#4a) - the Liturgical Year

This coming weekend, we continue with our "Ancient Practices" series. We will be looking at two unique practices: The Liturgical Year and Pilgrimage. The English word "liturgy" means "a form of public worship, a particular arrangement of services, or a particular form or type of communion service." Every church tradition has some form of liturgy, whether it is formal or informal, planned or more spontaneous, joyous or reverential. Church gatherings right back in the first century included various aspects such as singing, prayer(s), communion or the Lord's Supper, giving, teaching and fellowship (see Acts 2:42-47 for example). The liturgical year... Read more →

Dallas Williard - Spirituality

As we are talking about "Ancient Practices," I thought it would be worth re-posting this article on Dallas Willard and "spirituality." In June 2005, as part of my Doctor of Ministry program with Fuller Theological Seminary, I participated in a two week intensive course on Spirituality and Ministry with Dallas Willard. Dallas Willard is a very godly and gifted person who has written widely on the topic of 'spirituality'. He also lectures on philosophy at the University of California. Our focus included a study of the various Christian disciplines that enable a person to be truly 'like Christ'. Here are... Read more →

My Favourite iPhone Apps

I recently changed my mobile phone from a Nokia E71 to an iPhone 3GS. I really liked the Nokia, especially the keyboard, which was so easy to use. The iPhone is pretty cool but I am taking a while to get used to the touch screen ... and the automatic word correction. I can't tell you how many times I have finished a text message with 'Nark' instead of 'Mark!' Anyway, change takes time. The iPhone application store has over 200,000 programs and sometimes its hard to know what is any good (all accessed via iTunes). I purchased a book... Read more →

Ancient Practices (#3) - Fasting

This coming weekend, we will be looking at another ancient practice used by followers of Christ for centuries - fasting. Jesus himself fasted for 40 days at the beginning of his ministry, releasing great power into his ministry. He expected that his followers would fast from time to time too. Fasting can be a powerful personal discipline to train our will, to help develop self-control, and to tune our spiritual sensitivity towards God. To read some more about fasting, click here. Some additional recommended resources include: Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough by Elmer Towns Fasting by Scot McKnight Simplicity and Fasting... Read more →

Ancient Practices (#2) - Constant Prayer

This weekend we continue our series on Ancient Practices. God is calling his people back to the "ancient paths" and one of those is discipleship. Disciples are those who have been captured by the love of Jesus and who have responded by surrendering their lives to his loving leadership. Their goal is to be like him - in the attitudes, their actions, and their life mission. Becoming like Jesus is a process and a partnership. It includes the Holy Spirit, life's circumstances, and spiritual practices. Spiritual practices are exercises that disciples engage in to train themselves to be like Jesus.... Read more →

Will Social Media Lead a Revolution?

You probably noticed that Facebook and Twitter are all the rage nowadays. Social media seems to be changing how we relate to one another and could possibly affect the future of society. Many are saying it is a revolution. Or it is all a bit over-rated? Malcolm Gladwell, popular speaker, blogger and author of the best-selling book The Tipping Point, seems to think so. He recently wrote an insightful article in The New Yorker called "Small Change: Why the Revolution will not be Tweeted." Click here to read it. Read more →

Resources for Spiritual Formation

Last weekend at CityLife Church, we began a series of messages called Ancient Practices. We are re-discovering some of the practices that disciples of Jesus have engaged throughout the centuries in order to become like their master. Our primary resources are the stories about Jesus and his life on earth as recorded in the Gospels. We can also learn much from other followers of Christ and how they lived out their faith, as recorded in the rest of the New Testament. Here are some modern-day Christian leaders and authors who have thought deeply about discipleship and spiritual formation who I... Read more →

Ancient Practices

Disciples have it as their goal to become like their master – Jesus. This was Jesus’ clear intended goal for his followers: "follow me, learn from me, take my yoke upon you, follow my example, make disciples, teach them to put into practice everything I have taught you." Only as we experience genuine personal transformation will we see the social transformation we all seek. Genuine transformation into the character of Christ really is possible. Growth and change involve a process and it is a partnership between God and us (see Phil.2:13). As we journey through life we all go through... Read more →


Irony is a form of humour that has been around for a long time. The dictionary defines "irony" as a "rhetorical device, literary technique or situation in which there is an incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident meaning of words or actions." Maybe looking at a few signs will easier to explain. See below ... P.S. For those who are keen for more, check out the Friends of Irony web site. Read more →

The Ancient Paths

The prophet Jeremiah lived and ministered in a time of growing spiritual apathy and moral decline. Despite repeated warnings, God's people were drifting away from Him. As a result, instead of being a positive influence on the surrounding nations, they were becoming just like them. They had already fallen from the height and splendour of David and Solomon's time, now long forgotten. Little did they know that they were very close to seeing Jerusalem destroyed. Before long they would be carried away into captivity by the cruel Babylonians. Jeremiah prophesied words of warning and also words of hope. He called... Read more →