Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Friday, March 25, 2016

Eternal Life - Has it Dawned on You?

Something Dawned on them that first Easter Sunday

In Matthew's gospel, he talks of Mary Magdalene going to the tomb early Sunday morning – there’s an earthquake, an angel, a proclamation: He is risen.
And something dawns on her.

The soldiers who experienced all the above as well,..... Matthew tells us they run and tell the chief priests, and they make a plan, they pay them to say “The disciples came and stole the body.”
They do this because something dawns on them, that morning.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Good Friday: It's Always Somebody Else's Fault

Can anyone this Good Friday look at the world around us and fail to see that all is not as it should be? Wherever one might find oneself, in whatever part of the world, and whatever your faith belief: You cannot fail to know, deep down inside, that this is not how things are meant to be. From Syria, down to South Africa, across to Cuba, up to the USA, back here to the United Kingdom, across Europe, into Asia ... this is not the way things are meant to be.

And of course that’s always somebody else's fault, isn't it?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spirit Baptism

Last Sunday I taught on Water Baptism (read it here). This week we look at Spirit Baptism. My text is still Acts 18:23 - 19:10 where both are encountered. 

I am going to make 5 assertions which have guided me in my preparation. You may or may not agree with them, but they set out up front my starting point and assumptions:

Thursday, March 17, 2016

John Wesley and Sophy Hopkey (1)

picture sourced US Dept. Interior

March to June 1735

‘The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are but vain’ .

‘O give me not up unto mine own heart’s lust, neither let me follow my own imagination’.

It was not my desire, but the desire of the Trustees, disappointed of another minister, which induced me to take charge of Savannah till I could pursue my first design. And the very day I entered on this charge I told you that offences would come; indeed I expected greater, long before this day.

At my first coming to Savannah, in the beginning of March 1736, I was determined to have no intimacy with any woman in America. Notwithstanding which, by the advice of my friends, and in pursuance of my resolution to speak once a week at least to every communicant apart from the congregation, on March the 13th, I spoke to Miss Sophy Hopkey, who had communicated the Sunday

St Patrick's Day Prayers

This pic was taken in South Africa in 2015 before our move to the Norwich in the UK. 

John Wesley had a great deal to say about his ministry in both Norwich and Ireland, not always complimentary towards the folk he ministered to. In this entry from his journal for Saturday, February 17, 1781, he manages to insult both the folk of Norwich and of Ireland in one breath:

After spending Thursday and Friday with the affectionate people at Lowestoft, on Saturday I returned to Norwich. Here I found about fifty missing out of the two hundred and sixteen whom I left in the society a year ago. Such fickleness I have not found anywhere else in the kingdom; no, not even in Ireland.
Sun. 18. The Chapel was full enough, both in the afternoon and the evening. I declared to them the whole counsel of God, and on Monday returned to London.

I grew up in a home where every March 17th, St Patrick's Day, I woke up to hear my Dad singing "For they're hanging men and women for the wearing of the green" and "With me shillelagh under me arm, And a twinkle in me eye, I'll be off to Tipperary in the morning." 

So, on this St Patrick's Day and in remembrance of my Dad, Patrick, I donned some green, including his green tie with the Irish national emblem, my tweeds and shillelagh (that's the stick, from Hawthorne House, Dublin) and prayed some good St Paddy's Day prayers. The first is from the Book of Common Prayer for today and the second is Patrick's Breastplate prayer. I first came across the Breastplate prayer in 1999.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Nature of God: Introduction and Love

This week we begin a new series, The Nature of God and in this Introduction we look at Love. Our readings are 1 John 4:7-21Romans 8:38,39 and 1 Corinthians 13. As a scene setter let us remind ourselves of a truth contained in the very first chapter of our Scriptures, Genesis 1:26. As Maria von Trapp aka Julie Andrews sang so many years ago: "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start." Right back at the beginning:

"... God said, ‘Let us make humans in our image, in our likeness"

We have to get this clear right up at the start, this is foundational to the rest of the series: Humans are the image bearers of God on earth. We are icons.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Way Explained

This Sunday I have been asked to preach on The Way Explained, Acts 18:23-28 and in two weeks’ time on Receiving the Spirit, Acts 19:1-10. As I’ve read through the two readings I find, unsurprisingly, some common themes which I’ve highlighted in different colours. It's my intention to focus on the two readings each week, but focus on three different themes this week and one next time.

Psalm 23 for Mothering Sunday

Dedicated to the mothers, past and present, 
some of whom are my daughters 
who, since 1860, by the grace of God
 have played a major role in my life,
 even the ones who never met me,
but who I know prayed for me:
Caroline, Bestema, Alice,
Maud, Irene, my beloved Chrissikins,
Candice and Lee

My Mom is (perhaps was, or tried  her best to be) my Shepherd,