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My Favourite Preachers

A few weeks ago we spent a small amount of time in the church homegroup I go to talking about who our favourite preachers were.

The question made me realise that I don't have just one favourite preacher but a number of different ones.

Below is a list of my favourite preachers (over and above the ministry team at my local church of course!):

Nicky Gumbal (Vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton and founder of the Alpha Course)

Peter Greig (one of the founding champions of the 24-7 Prayer movement, and the Director of Prayer for Holy Trinity, Brompton)

Jarrod Cooper (Senior minister of New Life Church in Hull and the man behind the Days of Wonder TV and Radio shows)

Joyce Meyer (Founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries)

Chuck Swindoll (Founder of Insight For Living), and

Dr. Charles Stanley (Founder of In Touch Ministries)

This is taken from the Bible reading I read today. It is taken from a book of Bible readings called 'Celtic Daily Light' by Ray Simpson and is taken from the January 23rd reading:

Finally, we recall the occasion when someone asked Antony [The Great], 'What shall I keep in order that I may please God?' Antony advised this person to keep these three things: 'Always keep God before your eyes; always keep the example of the holy Scriptures; and wherever you stay, keep yourself there long enough not to move on in a rush.'

Although I've been a Christian for many years I still have problems/issues 'hearing' God in my day to day life. This is an ongoing issue and one I'm sure will get better over time, especially given that I'm am spending more time studying the bible these days.

One thing I do think God has spoke to me recently is one phrase which I was left feeling related to this Monday just gone (ie. the 23rd March 2009). The one phrase was:

And today, everything changes.

The only obvious thing of note that did change on Monday was that the local radio station was re-branded from 'Severn Sound' to 'Heart Gloucestershire' but I'm sure 'everything' has a more profound meaning than that.

I guess I'll have to wait to see how it pans out!

I've called my site 'God, Poker, the Environment and all that' as this encompasses the issues that I am likely to talk about on the site and also lists the priority that I give each issue (ie. The most important thing in my life is God and my Christian faith, followed by my passion for playing poker and my concern and interest in environmental/green issues and then any of the other things I am interested in such as T.V., Radio, American Sports etc.).

Some may be able to see a link between Christianity and Green issues but some may be puzzled with the poker part.

In fact there are some (possibly a lot) of Christians that would positively denounce me for even think about playing Poker. The reason? Poker is considered to be gambling and some Christians see gambling in any form as a sin.

Now, I have a problem with both parts of that. Firstly there is an ongoing debate as to whether poker is a gambling game or not. Whilst there is an element of chance to it (as a Christian I don't believe in the concept of luck, but that's a discussion for another day), there is also a substantial amount of skill needed to play poker well and the fact that it is not a game that is wholly based on chance (like lotteries or bingo) or the skill of others (like betting on sports or horse racing) and requires you as a player to apply your own abilities to win, I won't image that this would come under any definition of gambling.

The second point is that some Christians pronounce that gambling is sinful. This is not true. There is nowhere in the Bible that states that gambling is sinful or wrong. The Bible DOES warn about the possible consequences of gambling in the same way that it warns about the possible consequences of drinking alcohol but it does not say that it is sinful. So even if we accept the argument that poker is a form a gambling, it is not a sin to play poker.

If anyone is interested in a more detailed look at this subject, you can check out an episode of the Two Plus Two Pokercast that includes an extended interview/testimony with a gentleman called Danny Robison, a high stakes poker player come born again Christian. I found this mind blowing given this was someone that is effectively talking to a non-Christian audience and I was left feeling blow away by his testimony.

This episode of the podcast can be found here.

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