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23 04, 2018

Transformation

April 23rd, 2018|

I’ve recently taken on a year-long Chaplaincy role for an old friend in that other county, for which I attended an event to officially install her as High Sheriff. It was a wonderful occasion, with costumes and customs, some dating back to the 13th C. It was great to talk to so many people at the high tea afterwards, people of some standing in the county of Greater Manchester. But one conversation made me think. It was someone who said he’d known my friend a long time and had made it possible in some ways for her to progress. Now [...]

12 04, 2018

PRAYER, KEY TO REVIVAL!

April 12th, 2018|

Over my life I’ve given a great deal of lip service to prayer. To the idea of prayer, to the action of prayer, to encouraging others to pray, to even acknowledging the power of prayer, whilst not fully engaging with a life of prayer that should be transformative. The fullness of all that God has for us can only be accessed by a life of prayer. Not telling God what we want Him to do, not redesigning who God is in our image, not reminding Him of what’s going on in the World (He knows!), not by their length and [...]

9 04, 2018

Come Follow Me

April 9th, 2018|

Matthew 11:29 (NRSV) "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls." You will probably know that a rabbi's set of rules and lists was really that rabbi's interpretation of how to live the Torah and that this was called the rabbi's yoke. When you followed a certain rabbi, you were following him because you believed that rabbi's set of interpretations were the closest to what God intended through the scriptures.  When you followed that rabbi, you were taking that rabbi's yoke.  The intent [...]

4 04, 2018

The Easter Faith that sustains us

April 4th, 2018|

So many emotions and meanings are found in the story of the passion of Jesus and are stirred up by our exploration of that story in Holy Week and Easter. The faith that sustains me is that, ultimately, life is seen to be triumphant, that the death and resurrection of Jesus is about the ultimate triumph of God’s goodness and lights up our way. There is hope beyond hope, that is, the hope that is beyond all optimism. In the Gospels, Jesus crucifixion is told in a very immediate way, and it is easy to relate this story to the [...]

26 03, 2018

The Amazing Faith of Children

March 26th, 2018|

This Lent I’ve been reminded about the amazing faith of children. We’ve been told this week, by various media, just how few young people describe themselves as having a faith in God. So, what goes wrong? Working with 140 children (aged around 10) from local Junior Schools this week (using the Scripture Union’s Re:wind Easter materials) the children were engaged and inquisitive. “This is awesome” one girl told me Another gave her ‘workbook’ back to her church volunteer group leader in great haste because she wanted to make sure she could sit at the front to listen, because it was [...]

7 03, 2018

Jesus – God’s New Covenant

March 7th, 2018|

During Lent we covered the theme of God’s covenant with humanity from Noah and then, with Abram and Sarai. God had already called them to a new land, away from their families and the home they had known, and promised that a great nation would come from them. God gave them new names, Abraham (father of many) and Sarah (princess). Their names were full of hope and the promise of their future, descendants beyond counting.  God gave them the promise of a future with hope that they would only glimpse in the birth of the child they had together. The [...]

21 02, 2018

“Fake News”

February 21st, 2018|

I was reading a passage from Isaiah the other morning when certain words hit me between the eyes. “See, they are all false!” I read. “Well,” I thought, “Fake news! There’s nothing new after all. It’s not just Donald Trump. Even Isaiah was shouting about it.”   But then I looked at the passage again. “I look” says Isaiah, “but there is no one - no one among the gods to give counsel, no one to give answer when I ask them. See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion” Now [...]

14 02, 2018

We are adopted into God’s family

February 14th, 2018|

The wonderful news of the Christian faith is that through Jesus, you and I are adopted as sons and daughters of the King. Like Jesus, we get to call God ‘Father’, and we become heirs of all that God has promised – of God’s eternal Kingdom, where every tear will be wiped from our eyes (Rom. 8:15-17; Rev. 21:4). We become a part of God’s family. But Christian faith is not just about a personal relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – as wonderful and life-changing as that is. God has also given us brothers and sisters: otherwise [...]

8 02, 2018

Be who you are; use what you have; do what you can…

February 8th, 2018|

Psalm 131 - A song of ascents. Of David My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quietened myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and for evermore.   Psalm 131 - A burbling re-write - Of Simon Lord, as I come to worship, I am challenged to admit that I am a creature not The Creator. And I am comforted to remember that [...]

1 02, 2018

A Way with words

February 1st, 2018|

Words and how they are used can have great power. Words can help us put our point of view.  But are the words that we, or others use, true or false?  A question we continually need to ask in these days of ‘fake’ or ‘false’ news. The importance of reading words in a language we can understand and identify with was brought home to me again last summer when passing the Monument to William Tyndale at North Nibley when walking the Cotswold Way.  Tyndale’s ambition and persistence to translate the Bible into a language that everyone including the plough boy might know led to his execution in 1536 by those who opposed him.  As Melvyn Bragg writes in his recent book*, Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament and much of the Old Testament “was to bring about more profound changes to the English-speaking world over the next five centuries than the works of any other man in its history.” […]