It feels like a proper autumn evening.

    Was able to have a full day off today (Wednesday mornings are usually off but the afternoon and evenings are full). Baked a loaf of fig & fennel sourdough and walked to the barbershop. 🍞

    Aaaaaaaaaand I just had my first real haircut in nearly three years. ✂️

    Autumn feels mean it’s time for me to switch to black and white photos.

    I am not a fast runner by any metric but it feels good to finally start getting some proper distance in each week. 🏃🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

    One of the cool things about running Christianity Explored is hearing the questions people want answered. Some questions seem simple on the surface but actually get to why there were multiple councils in the 4th and 5th centuries. Understanding Jesus is really hard.

    Can confirm, after movie night with the kids, that Back To The Future holds up. 🍿 🎥

    Christianity Explored starts today at Ardgowan Square. Both nervous and excited to see how it goes.

    Just back from our weekly prayer meeting. Normally we look at a question from the New City Catechism but we are starting Christianity Explored this week so we’re focusing our prayer meetings on that for a few weeks. Such an encouraging time praying with God’s people.

    reflections on the residential week

    Last week was spent at a Scripture Union activity centre thinking really big thoughts about God with a group of around 20 pastors, women’s workers, and ministers-in-training. Here are just a few of the things I took away from the week. The Creator/creature distinction cannot be overemphasised I mentioned, as I traveled to the residential, that we were going to be spending this term studying the doctrine of God. That is, theology proper.

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    It’s been over a year since I did any serious run training but it was good to start a new training plan today to bring down my 5k time. Running was a great way to explore Warsaw a few years ago and I already saw parts of town that I’ve not really been around today.

    Climbed up Loudoun Hill for the first time.

    My training course starts a new term today which means the annual residential intensive. We’re studying the doctrine of God for this module and the reading is going to be pretty intense and technical.

    Started reading: Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner 📚

    Really excited to finally have a source for East Asian food in Greenock. 🍜

    Finished reading: The Trinity by Scott Swain 📚

    Today marks five years since we left America to start doing gospel ministry in the UK. There have been many ups and downs(and a year in Poland) since then, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.

    some observations on being a disciple

    I’m preaching through a bit of a topical series at the moment, where the topics are from the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. My normal mode of teaching is expository, but this is proving to be a good exercise as well. It’s helpful for us to see how things in Scripture join up, and everything is joined up. My main anchor text for this week is the closing section of Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-26.

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    We went for a day trip to Edinburgh last week to see old friends and for one last hurrah before the kids go back to school.📷

    Scott Monument on a sunny day in Edinburgh

    Old Communion Cups and Someone’s Coat (cover song)

    publicly christian

    As I write this, I’m in a trendy food hall in a town that was not trendy when I left. Gentrification has taken hold of this place and now you’re more likely to see semi-ironic mullets and limited-edition Jordans than the needles and detritus that would have once been ubiquitous. What hasn’t changed is the fact that actual, practicing Christians seem to still be around. In public. Something I once took for granted, that you would see Christians in a coffee shop, Bibles open and conversation happening, is now novel.

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    in two parts

    I am a dichotomy. Both rushing river and dried up river. Mountain framed by off-green and tan scrub. Mountain with springs flowing down. Cactus wren and crow. Rattlesnake and adder. I was born in the desert and now live by the bay. My view framed with green hills. Death to life. As I journey with family to grieve together, I feel the tension. I love this southwest landscape but it is now alien.

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    Looking back at 2 Timothy

    We finished up our series in 2 Timothy at Ardgowan this week and I found the whole process really rewarding, personally. Some of this was down to the practicalities of things but it was also a joy to teach a letter I’ve spent a fair amount of time studying now. From a purely practical standpoint, I set myself the challenge of preaching from a detailed outline rather than from a full script.

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    what are these words for?

    One of the things that I’ve been trying to figure out recently is what to do with this blog. Part of the issue is that time to write for my own enjoyment is limited. The other is that the sermon-writing process is a creatively fulfilling act. And yet... I still have this impulse to write. It feels like an important thing to do. It’s something that I have always done in some way or other (just ask my parents).

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