Apr 04

Places of refuge

View from Masada

The Church is a often seen as a place where people are right, or think they are. Wouldn’t it be better if it was a place where people went when they needed love?

I am just back from Spring Harvest 2013 which was great, if a little cold. One of the highlights of the week was listening to Gerard Kelly’s wonderful teaching on John’s first letter. The central point that both Gerard and John were making, over and over again was that love is overwhelmingly the most important aspect of Christian life. Continue reading

Mar 09

No remission of truth

sqr250-silenceI think there is something particularly tough about talking to old friends about Jesus.

It is difficult to talk about God to someone who has known you for a long time. To talk about something that is so personal, so important but so profound and radical, so… different.

I have a few very close friends that I have known for the majority of my 44 years. They are, I think, agnostic or atheist to varying degrees. I say, “I think”, because I do not really know where they stand beneath the surface. It is to my shame that I rarely, if ever, attempt to speak to them about Jesus or about my faith. It is too hard – too awkward and dangerous. Continue reading

Sep 09

Jesus never met a prostitute

Mary MagdaleneI have a couple of pieces on the go at the moment and I am happy with neither of them: hence the long gap since my last post. This, then, is a bit of a ramble – but then that’s sort of the point, isn’t it…?

I want to be better than I am. I want to be generous, brave, wise, loving, gentle and patient. I want to be fun, happy, honest, caring and strong. I want to be fit, energetic, kind, compassionate and sociable. Oh, and I want to be holy, too.

I have said before that I am cursed with a perfectionist streak and that this, when combined with my chronic idleness, is one of the chief reasons I get cross. This is glib, yes, but it is generally true and it often surfaces.

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May 26

Reason grown courageous

Martin LutherWe tackled one of the many difficult bits of James last Sunday, the bit about faith and deeds.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? James 2: 14

It is easy to get hung up on this, many people have, but I do not think there is any need…

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May 16

Spring Harvest Grumbles No. 2: When Worship isn’t

Bodhran - Be Thou My VisionI failed to get to church this Sunday as the Mrs was stewarding at the Moon Walk in London  So, no James this week but I think it’s time to get my second #SH2012 grumble off my chest…

I enjoy sung worship, sometimes too much! My daughter accuses me of singing too loudly in church – but I am convinced that’s only really true for Be Thou My Vision. (Be Thou My Vision kills me every time. With a Bodhran accompaniment, I leave the floor.)

Anyway, I enjoy a good sing and I like it when I can give it my all. Unfortunately, this has become a problem for me at Spring Harvest in the last couple of years.

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May 11

I can resist anything except…

The Temptations

We moved on to temptation in our look at James last Sunday in church. My failure to resist temptation is a frequent cause for crossness, so this is a topic which is close to my heart!

I have always found temptation to be both clichéd and predictable and this makes it so much more galling when I succumb.  To be frank, the temptations that catch me out are seldom novel or original.

However, we are all tempted, even Jesus was tempted, and the temptations we face range from the small and seemingly trivial to the monstrous, from the white lie to the serious crime.

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May 06

Do the right thing

Referee - Howard WebbYou need to consider the big picture. You have to break eggs to make an omelette. You must consider the greater good. The end justifies the means.

This consequentialist morality is in evidence all over the place: in books and movies, in business and politics and even in sport. I don’t like it. It makes me cross!

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