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30/06/2010 / John Hanna

Prayer Letters: July

Prayer Letters: July

July prayer letter:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)

Jer. 29:11 God’s plans for the exiles is welfare (Hb.shalom; see note on v. 7), not evil, or “calamity.” Having sought Babylon’s shalom, the exiles will receive God’sshalom in the form of a future and a hope in their homeland.


  • Blog. Praise God for the views.
  • New role. Praise God for my new role of part-time Pastoral Assistant at DBC.
  • Professional Placement. Praise God for helping me on my professional placement at DBC.
  • World Cup DBC. Praise God for the World Cup Outreach and the site.
  • Young Peoples’ Service. Praise God for helping all of the Explorers and their teachers prepare for the DBC Young Peoples’ Service. Specifically praise God for helping me talk on Daniel 1.


  • Blog. Ask God to use this blog for his glory and help me as I post.
  • Dungannon Baptist Church. Pray for the DBC leadership for next year.
  • Saintfield Baptist Church. Pray for the SBC leadership as I return in the incoming months that I might be able to glorify God there.
  • Dance Aerobics. Ask God to help the organisers as they prepare for this DBC outreach.
  • College. Ask God to help me to prepare for final year.
  • Fees. Ask God to continue to help me find and pay the fee shortfall.
  • Friend. Pray for my friend, that God will show them how great they are and how much they’ve achieved for him, without realising it.
  • Mum. Ask God to help my mum’s health.
  • Future. Ask God to continue to guide me.

Related Internet Links

29/06/2010 / John Hanna

Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence

I’ve just watched this trailer three times and judging by the how much I’ve learned from the trailer alone, I can’t imagine what the film will be like.

Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence is a Desiring God film which is available on DVD on 21 August from the Desiring God site.

27/06/2010 / John Hanna

Thinking and Faith

This is what Martyn Lloyd-Jones said about thinking and faith:

Although he may overstate the case a little—thinking is not the essence of faith—he is right that thinking is essential to faith.

Faith, according to our Lord’s teaching in this paragraph [Matthew 6:25-34], is primarily thinking; and the whole trouble with a man of little faith is that he does not think. He allows circumstances to bludgeon him.

That is the real difficulty in life. Life comes to us with a club in its hand and strikes us upon the head, and we become incapable of thought, helpless and defeated. The way to avoid that, according to our Lord, is to think. We must spend more time in studying our Lord’s lessons in observation and deduction.

The Bible is full of logic, and we must never think of faith as something purely mystical. We do not just sit down in an armchair and expect marvelous things to happen to us. That is not Christian faith. Christian faith is essentially thinking. Look at the birds, think about them, and draw your deductions. Look at the grass, look at the lilies of the field, consider them.

The trouble with most people, however, is that they will not think. Instead of doing this, they sit down and ask, What is going to happen to me? What can I do? That is the absence of thought; it is surrender, it is defeat. Our Lord, here, is urging us to think, and to think in a Christian manner.

That is the every essence of faith. Faith, if you like, can be defined like this: It is a man insisting upon thinking when everything seems determined to bludgeon and knock him down in an intellectual sense.

~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, p. 399. Paragraphing added.

Related Internet Links

27/06/2010 / John Hanna

Germany 4-1 England

The England team should be braced for tomorrows tabloid reactions.

Steven Gerrard is down on his knees, but there aren’t any tears from the England players. Fabio Capello walks on to the pitch and then stands still, hands in pockets, looking like a man who has just been mugged. Frank Lampard chats away with Bastian Schweinsteiger.

This is what England manager Fabio Capello said:

It was very important for us to get that second goal. I don’t understand why in this time of so much technology, we are still talking about this. I think we played well at 2-1, it should be 2-2, but then I was disappointed by the mistakes and they counter-attacked well. Germany is a big team and they played well – we made mistakes, but the referee made a bigger one. This is football.

~ Fabio Capello

This is football and it’s full time, not just for the match but for England: Germany 4-1 England.

Related Internet Links

  • BBC World Cup 2010 / Germany v England
27/06/2010 / John Hanna

Customer Ambassador

It’s half-time, and I want to blog about Lakeland’s Customer Ambassador.

According to Lakeland’s website “listening to our customers and looking after your needs have always been at the very heart of our business. Wendy is here to be your eyes and ears at Lakeland, representing your views in everything we do.”

It got me thinking about who the Customer Ambassador, or Member Ambassador is within church life, or whether or not there is a place for such a role. Anyway, back to the match. Come on England!

Related Internet Links

  • Lakeland customer services / meet Wendy, your Customer Ambassador
  • Lakeland customer services /a day in the life of Wendy, your Customer Ambassador
27/06/2010 / John Hanna

Germany v England

Even though a ‘psychic’ octopus reckons Germany will beat England, it’s clear that this match will be anything but certain.

Whatever happens, it’s destined to be a day that none of us will ever forget. In 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now, people will talk about the time Germany and England met in the World Cup in Bloemfontein. History is about to be written, legends are about to be born.

This is what Bill Shankly said about football:

Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.

~ Bill Shankly

Shankly’s view isn’t unusual, especially in the midst of a World Cup. As it has been reported that this football match of 22 men could led to an economic slump, a rise in domestic violence or a World Cup win.

It’s not surprising that a football match could have such a great effect on the nation in this changeable world. However Christians know of God’s Immutability. This attribute means that God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises, although as he acts in response to different situations he feels emotions.

Scripture backs this up: “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6; for “being,” cf. Ps. 102:25–27Mal. 3:6James 1:17; for “purposes,” cf. Ps. 33:11Isa. 46:9–11; for “promises,” cf. Num. 23:19Rom. 11:29).

The implication of which is that God can always be trusted because he always keeps his word, and is never capricious or moody.

God is unchanging in a world were a football can change a nation.

Here’s some match facts in preparation for the match:


  • This is the fifth World Cup meeting between the sides. England have won once (1966), Germany have won once (1970) and there have been two draws (1982 and 1990).
  • Overall they have played 27 times: England have won 12 matches and Germany 10.
  • England and Germany are the only teams at the World Cup with 23-man squads that all play their club football in their domestic league.
  • Emile Heskey is the only player in the England squad to have scored a goal in the knockout stages of a World Cup. Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose have done the same for Germany.
  • Bloemfontein is the 13th city that the two sides have played each other at.


  • Germany have never gone more than 20 years between winning World Cups – their last victory was in 1990.
  • They have reached the last eight in every World Cup they have competed in, except in 1938, when they were eliminated in the last 16 by Switzerland.
  • Germany have the best record in penalty shoot-outs in the World Cup – winning all four previous attempts against France (1982), Mexico (1986), England (1990) and Argentina (2006). They have scored 17 of 18 penalties in shootouts, including their last 14 in a row since Uli Stielike’s miss in 1982.
  • Miroslav Klose is one short of 50 goals for his country.


  • Rooney has failed to score in his last eight internationals. He has gone over 11 hours (711 minutes, excluding added time) since scoring against Croatia in September, his worst run for England.
  • They are unbeaten in their last eight World Cup matches, excluding penalty shootouts, their best ever run in the tournament (beating their seven-game unbeaten run between 1966 and 1970).
  • England have the worst record in penalty shootouts at the World Cup – losing all three previous attempts against West Germany (1990), Argentina (1998) and Portugal (2006). They have scored seven and missed seven of their previous 14 penalties.

Related Internet Links

25/06/2010 / John Hanna

10 tips…

In this month’s idea, an article entitled ‘Engage with a secular society’ by Hazel Southam contains 10 tips to help Christians engage with a secular society. This is what it says:
  • Don’t expect people to know much about Christianity. Be ready to explain.
  • Be wise and act appropriately to the situation.
  • Ask your church leader to train the congregation in mission work.
  • Understand the culture that surrounds you: watch TV, films and read the papers.
  • Meet people where they are: offer to help in the local community.
  • Spend time volunteering.
  • Ensure that you have enough time outside the church walls.
  • Defend the rights of others before your own.
  • Be positive: Christianity has a lot to offer.
  • Use language that people understand, not Christian jargon.

Related Internet Links

25/06/2010 / John Hanna

Onside 2010

Onside 2010 is a free new resource which has been used at Carryduff Baptist Church and Dungannon Baptist Church. This is the promo video.

Page 1

Onside 2010, presented by BBC commentator John Motson, is a free new resource from BMS World Mission to celebrate this summer’s FIFA World Cup. These videos are highly suitable for churches hosting an evangelistic event where a game might be shown on a big screen, in a church or a home. They highlight the needs of street children and are highly suitable for churches and youth groups.

To download as a .MOV file for a MAC, right-click here and select save link as.

To download as a .WMV file for a PC, right-click here and select save link as.

To download as a .MOV file for a MAC, right-click here and select save link as.

To download as a .WMV file for a PC, right-click here and select save link as.

To download as a .MOV file for a MAC, right-click here and select save link as.

To download as a .WMV file for a PC, right-click here and select save link as.

Related Internet Links

25/06/2010 / John Hanna

World Cup Christian players

A list of known evangelical Christians taking part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup:

  • Europe:
    • Germany. Arne Friedrich, Cacau
    • Netherlands. Dirk Kuyt
  • Americas:
    • Brazil. Lucio, Kaka, Jorginho (coach)
    • Paraguay. Jonathan Santana
    • Mexico. Guille Franco
    • USA. Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson
  • Africa:
    • Nigeria. Vincent Enyeama, Kanu, Osaze Odewingie, Austin Ejide, Joseph Yobo
    • Cameroon. Eyong Enoh
    • Cote d’Ivoire. Emmanuel Eboue
    • South Africa. Steven Pienaar
  • Rest of World:
    • South Korea. Lee Young Pyo, Park Ju-yung, Yi Sung Yong and several others
    • New Zealand. Rory Fallon
  • No known Christian players:
    • Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Chile, Denmark, England, France, Ghana, Greece, Honduras, Italy, Japan, North Korea, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Uruguay

Related Internet Links

  • BMS World Mission Onside 2010 / Additional material / World Cup Christian players
22/06/2010 / John Hanna


I found this quotation by Quintilian which has made me think about transparency in sermons:

We should not write so that it is possible for [the reader] to understand us, but so that it is impossible for him to misunderstand us.

~ Quintilian

De Institutione Oratoria Book VIII, 2, 24.


Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (ca. 35 – ca. 100) was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania, widely referred to in medieval schools of rhetoric and in Renaissance writing. In English translation, he is usually referred to as Quintilian, although the alternate spellings of Quintillian andQuinctilian are occasionally seen, the latter in older texts.

Related Internet Links

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