Tim Parker

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blacksticks - A rather tasty cheese

I’v recently discovered something rather special in the cheese world. It is called “Blacksticks Blue”. Originating in Lancashire, it is a truly fantastic example of a traditional English soft blue cheese. It is similar in flavour to a well matured Shropshire blue, but is considerably creamer and has a softer more melt in the mouth texture.

The cheese has only been around for a couple of years, but has already scoped up a huge number of awards. If you see it about, treat yourself, you wont be disappointed. I think it is best eaten in large quantities and preferably with a class of port. However, it also works well in a sandwich with a bit of cranberry source.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Prayer & the Voice of God

I have been waiting a long long time for a book like this. Most books on my shelf dealing with the topic of prayer tend to descend into meaningless waffle within the space of a few pages. Not so with this one. It clearly lays down a solid biblical framework for prayer and goes on to provide insightful, helpful and powerful motivations to pray.

The book is in no way a dull read and this is helped along by fantastic illustrations of key points. I especially appreciate Chapter 2, which emphasises that the meaning of prayer is closely related to the character of God and Chapter 10 which usefully answers some practical FAQs about prayer.

My only point of significant disagreement with the authors is concerned with their definition of prayer as only “Asking God for things”. This statement is defended only in rough out line. While the authors seem happy to accept the merits of adoration and thanksgiving, they do not label such things as prayer. I my self prefer a broader definition of prayer being simply “talking to God”, or better yet Bunyan’s majestic definition of prayer, written from his prison cell in 1662:

“Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart or soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Holy Spirit, for such things as God has promised, or according to the word of God, for the good of the church, with submission in faith to the will of God.”

This aside, it is a most useful book and one which will be of great benefit. I do worry though that it will be seen as so authoritative that we forget the great privilege of affectionately pouring out our heart and soul to God.

Phillip Jensen & Tony Payne
Matthias Media
ISBN: 9781921068287 1921068280

Monday, October 23, 2006

News update

At the end of September I started working for St. John's Lindow. This is a medium size semi rural evangelical church on the edge of Wilmslow in Cheshire.

So far it's been great, I love it!

It looks like a larger amount of my work here will be preaching and doing smaller group teaching. Please do pray that God will help me to organise my time so that I can do all the preparation work necessary to make full use of all the teaching opportunities given to me here.

I am also attending the North West Partnership training course, which is a one-day ‘Corn Hill’ type course. It is a great course with lots of practical advice. It is also great to be encouraged by meeting so many other apprentices in the area, as well as other lay people, giving up their time to train for and be involved in gospel ministry.

At the moment, the plan is to be working at St. John's until mid summer and then start theological college September 2007.