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15 07, 2019

What does the outside of our buildings say about God?

July 15th, 2019|

This was a question posed by two representatives from the Methodist District Property Committee when my previous church, a Methodist/URC LEP, was considering a major redevelopment of its buildings. It was a question we discussed at our Church Council and I must admit it was a very enlightening conversation for us all. Comments made were that perhaps those who saw our building would think; God is something of the past, God is unkempt, God does not welcome those with mobility issues or prams, God is shut [mainly closed big wooden doors] and worse, God is dead. This question shaped our [...]

8 07, 2019

Difference

July 8th, 2019|

Words and images on the news this last week or so have included the death of a father and baby daughter on route to the Mexican/US border, of US refugee detention centres, with torture-like conditions reported, and the lone man who sadly passed away stowed in an aircraft. These are added to by remembering those who have recently tried to cross the English Channel, and of those who have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea. All were in search of freedom from persecution or oppression, or for what they perceive as a better life, where they could earn enough [...]

1 07, 2019

The Grace of Jesus

July 1st, 2019|

Psalm 18:2 New International Version (NIV) 2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer: my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,     my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I have often thought about how to tell people about the saving grace of Jesus. What it means to be saved and from what? And how do we get there? How do we bridge the gap? I have always thought that life is better with God, through Jesus, than without Him. However, just saying that has seemed to me to be short selling God… treating Him like a bolt-on extra, rather than [...]

26 06, 2019

Creation

June 26th, 2019|

Romans 1:20 (NRSV) ‘For ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.’ Interestingly, when I searched for a definition of ‘creation’, the first statement read: ‘the action or process of bringing something into existence’.  The second one read: the creating of the universe, especially when regarded as an act of God’.  For me, creativity as a Christian is allowing opportunities for God’s Spirit to work.  It’s an opening up and making things new.  It gives endless, refreshing and joyful possibilities [...]

24 06, 2019

The Holy Spirit is like….

June 24th, 2019|

... and suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as the Spirit gave them ability.             (Acts 2: 2 - 4 - NRSVA) It’s a ‘thing’ to punctuate language with the word ‘like’ these days!... ‘and he was, like, I told her not to do that...’  ‘we were all, like, going up [...]

3 06, 2019

Inequalities in our society

June 3rd, 2019|

We have recently been informed about the comprehensive review which is about to be undertaken (over 5 years) about inequalities in the United Kingdom. The review will be exploring areas such as economic, political, education, health inequality and the effects of globalisation. All these have come together to raise concerns across all walks of life and the review is meant to try and find ways in which these inequalities can be addressed. I am not sure where the politicians have been over the past 20 or so years (or perhaps they have been distracted by Brexit) but the issues of [...]

28 05, 2019

Pilgrimage

May 28th, 2019|

As I write this, I am preparing to walk the last 110 km from Sarria to Santiago in Northern Spain. It’s the first time that I’ve done something like this and I’m excited, a little nervous and dreading the inevitable blisters. As someone who lives in my head a lot it will be interesting to do something else. I have never tried something like this before and a little daunted about what seemed like a good idea when I booked it 8 months ago. Walking isn’t something I do a lot of because where I live is more of a [...]

20 05, 2019

5 o’clock in the morning

May 20th, 2019|

At 5 o’clock in the morning, when all was still, homes still sleep, the roads rivers of calm. At 5 o’clock in the morning, when the earth was alive, the trees salute the morning sun, the birds welcome the dawn in song. At 5 o’clock in the morning, the first bus of the day rounds the corner, already laden with its first load. At 5 o’clock in the morning an intruder steps, unsure and uncertain of this fresh new land. It has been a while since I last needed to be up and out the house before 5am, and so [...]

13 05, 2019

We have a voice

May 13th, 2019|

We’ve just had local elections in the UK. Later this month we will be voting in the European elections. Last week, Conservative MPs were telling Theresa May that a fresh referendum is becoming “inevitable” as talks with Labour look set to fail. North of the border, Scotland could demand a second independence referendum if the UK votes to exit the EU. In Ireland, if there's no agreement, we could either see a harder border or more checks when travelling to Great Britain from any part of the island of Ireland. Clearly the United Kingdom is far from being united, with [...]

8 05, 2019

God’s plans

May 8th, 2019|

What plans do you have? Perhaps you’ve got plans for your next holiday?  Plans for redecorating or having the kitchen done or sprucing up your garden? Plans for a new job – or retirement? Plans for a new house? Or a change of direction in your life? We love to plan – but how often do we think about God’s plans? God’s plans for the world as a whole, but also the ways you and I fit into those grand plans. Jesus’s eyes were fixed on God’s plans. At the Last Supper, we hear Jesus talking about Himself. Jesus says [...]