Author: Peter Hughes

Jesus and Jonah

It is only recently that I discovered that the term “a Jonah” could be a positive thing, at least according to the Urban Dictionary.   I had always considered the term to be a negative thing, like the cursed midshipman from the film Master and Commander who was considered by the rest of the crew to be the cause to all their problems.  This is because of the connection between Jonah and the storm in Jonah chapter 1 that superstitous sailors tend to make. It comes as more of a surprise when I reflected on how much Jesus saw himself as...

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Getting your Prayer Life Together

You know the adage: “a failure to plan is a plan to fail”?  There are few places where this is truer than on the battle field.  It is literally life or death and you need to get your plan right. Prayer is a battle and the New Testament alludes to this: Men are to stop fighting with each other and wrestle in prayer together (1 Tim 2:8).  Peter warns his readers as a commanding solider might: “Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer.”(1 Pet 4:7 HCSB) If you are in professional ministry,...

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Book Review: To Fly, To Serve

At the moment I am working at training up new preachers.  I am always looking for new resources to help preachers understand what they are supposed to be doing.   In the past I have always relied on Haddon Robinson’s Exegetical Preaching.  It’s good for working out what is in a text and how to communicate it.  If preaching is about message, method and manner, Robinson is great for message and OK for method. I was hoping that To Fly To Serve by Adrian Reynolds would come through for me.  It did….and it didn’t.  If you like, it made...

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Let’s Lose Church Vision Statements

Lets lose our vision statements in church.  Yes, I have said it.  I am convinced we should lose our vision statements and replace them with something else. If you are not sure what a vision statement in a church is, it is the thing that starts with “We want to glorify God by…” and then there will be something about outreach, loving people and making disciples.  (So I might sound a bit cynical here!).  Most churches have one which was worked out over time and the process was really helpful, but now it is sitting in someone’s desk drawer...

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What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Every year there is the nativity scene.  I used to see it around shopping centres, but it seems to be more and more dominated by Santa now. But you know the scene: Jesus is at the centre, held in Mary’s arms. Joseph is looking over her shoulder as animals in the stable gather around the family. But what’s wrong with this picture? There is no stable. Go back and read the accounts of Luke and Matthew and look for the word “stable”.  You will not find it.  Jesus was not born in a stable. “…and she gave birth to...

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