The Glory of the Cross trailer

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New Lent book: The Glory of the Cross

I’ve written a book of Lent reflections entitled The Glory of the Cross in a similar format to my advent books. Here’s the blurb …

In many ways, Easter is supposed to be the high-point of the year for Christians, where we remember the three days that changed history for ever. But for many of us, the day quickly comes and goes without us really feeling any different. Yet for centuries Christians around the world have marked the season of Lent—the forty days leading up to Easter—as a way of reflecting on their need for forgiveness and anticipating Christ’s work on the cross.

These daily readings present deep theology in a concise and understandable way, allowing you to soak up the real meaning of Christ’s death and resurrection. Each week, you’ll read through one or two chapters of John’s Gospel. The Sunday reading provides an introduction to the passage as a whole, while the rest of the week’s reflections work through it in smaller sections. A carefully selected prayer—drawn from the rich work of writers throughout church history—is included each day.

So this Lent, prepare your heart with 47 days of short and stirring reflections from the Gospel of John.

Written by Tim Chester, the author of the best-selling Advent readings, The One True Light.

The Glory of the Cross is available here from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.

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Bible Reading Plan 2018

If you use my Bible reading plan then here postcard-sized version for 2018.

Here’s the complete three year plan (and here it is in Word so you can create your own handy version of it in the future).

If you’re not reading through the Bible then the approach of the new year is a good time to review your Bible reading habits. Here are a couple of old posts on why that would be a good idea – Hearing God Speak and Must I Read My Bible Every Day?

This plan has a number of differences from other plans.

1. Flexibility

The plan specifies a number of chapters for each week rather than for each day. This makes it more flexible. You can read a chapter or two each day or you can read it in two or three sittings. Or you can set out reading a chapter a day and then catch up at the weekend. It means it fits more readily around people’s lifestyle.

2. Communal
It is designed to be followed with a partner or among a group of people. There is only one section each week (occasionally two shorter books). So you don’t have to read a section from one book and then a section from another book each day. It means the sections are somewhat uneven, but it makes it easy to discuss what you have been reading when you meet up with other people.

We’ve been using it for a year now and it works very well in this way. I meet up with a friend each week for lunch. It’s easy for us to discuss what we’ve been reading because there is only one Bible book to focus on.

It also means I only need look at the Bible plan once a week – I don’t need to refer to it each day.

3. Realistic
Following this plan you read the OT in three years and the NT twice in three years. This works out at about nine chapters a week. It means you are not rushing through what you are reading to ‘get it done’. I’ve found with other plans I tend to read it with my mind disengaged. This plan gives time to meditate on the passage.

4. Balanced
The plan balances OT history, prophecy, wisdom, Gospel and Epistles throughout the year. You move between genres so you’re never faced with reading OT prophecy continuously for six months.


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The Topsy Turvy Kingdom from Michael J Tinker (… and Tim Chester)

The Topsy Turvy Kingdom, a new album of Christian songs for children, is out today. It’s by Michael J. Tinker, though I’ve had a hand in shaping the words. It’s a great blend of good theology and catchy tunes in a smörgåsbord of styles, all served up with a dollop of humour.

You can find out more about the project, download or buy the album and find out about the live show here. Here’s a flavour …

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Free ebook: Filling Blank Spaces

Sojourn Network have kindly offered readers of my blog a free ebook entitled Filling Blank Spaces: “How-To” Work With Visual Artists In Your Church by Michael Winters. It is, as the subtitle says, about how churches can nurture artists and use their gifts for God’s glory. It’s my favourite title in a new series of Sojourn “How-To” ebooks. The reason I picked this one in particular is that does something nothing else I know of does. There are a number  of books that talk about a Christian approach to the arts, but Filling Blank Spaces gives some great ideas and practical advice on incorporating the arts into the life of the church.

To claim your free copy use the code TIM4FREE at the online store of the Sojourn Network website. The offer is open for seven days from Monday 4 December.

Filling Blank Spaces is part of a new series of short ‘how to’ ebooks produced by Sojourn Network. The otehr titles are:

  • Healthy Plurality = Durable Church: “How-To” Build & Maintain a Healthy Plurality of Elders by Dave Harvey
  • Life-Giving Groups: “How-To” Grow Healthy, Multiplying Community Groups by Jeremy Linneman
  • Before the Lord, Before the Church: “How-To” Plan a Child Dedication Service by Jared Kennedy with Megan Kennedy

Here’s the commendation I wrote for the series:

“The Sojourn Network how-to ebooks are a great combination of biblical theology and practical advice, driven by a commitment to the gospel and the local congregation. Written by the local church for the local church – just the job!”

If you buy any book from the series during December 2017 then 100 per cent of the proceeds go to support church planters.

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