From the category archives:

Faith Stuff

900,000 needing to use foodbanks “should shock and anger us”
Figures “should lead Government to examine why the post-Welfare Reform benefits system allows so many people to go hungry.”

Leaders of the Methodist Church, Baptist Union of Great Britain and United Reformed Church have responded with concern to the latest figures from the Trussell Trust, released today.
“These [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 13, 2014

Jesus comes with all his grace,
Comes to save a fallen race,
Object of our glorious hope,
Jesus comes to lift us up!
Alleluia!
Let the living stones cry out!
Let the sons of Abraham shout!
Praise we all our lowly King,
Give him thanks, rejoice, and sing!
Alleluia!
He hath our salvation wrought,
He our captive souls hath bought,
He hath reconciled to God,
He hath washed [...]

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The folk song of the church

by Richard on April 9, 2014

John Bell on the value of traditional tunes in worship
Performance songs, whether they be from Handel’s Messiah or the latest album of a Christian rock-star were not primarily written for congregational purposes. But hymns have been and should always be intended for corporate use, enabling the people of God to sing their faith and praise [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on April 6, 2014

Captain of Israel’s host, and Guide
Of all who seek the land above,
Beneath Thy shadow we abide,
The cloud of Thy protecting love;
Our strength, Thy grace; our rule, Thy Word;
Our end, the glory of the Lord.
By Thine unerring Spirit led,
We shall not in the desert stray;
We shall not full direction need
Nor miss our providential way;
As far from [...]

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Proof-texting still has its defenders

by Richard on April 2, 2014

Ministry Matters blog claims They were wrong when they told you not to proof text. Given the date it was posted, my first thought was that this was an April Fool, but it doesn’t read that way
Seminary professors often ridicule proof-texting as arbitrary, implying that it is illogical, uncontrolled, individualistic. But this is false. Christians [...]

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Faith in the dark

by Richard on March 31, 2014

A great reflection on the Creed from Ben Myers
I believe
Not I know. Not I think. Not I feel. Not I understand. But I believe. When I am in darkness, when I do not know the way, when every step is uncertain, I walk. I live not by what I know or feel but by a [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 30, 2014

Light of the world, thy beams I bless;
On thee, bright Sun of Righteousness,
My faith has fixed its eye;
Guided by thee, through all I go,
Nor fear the ruin spread below,
For thou art always nigh.
Not all the powers of hell can fright
A soul that walks with Christ in light;
He walks, and cannot fall:
Clearly he sees, and wins [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 23, 2014

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, [...]

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“Born again?” - a sermon for Lent 2

by Kim on March 16, 2014

Raise your hand if you’re a Christian… Now raise your hand if you’re “born again”… Just as I thought: a disparity. Which disappoints me hugely, but doesn’t surprise me. Instead of being a term that all Christians can and should own, “born again” has become a phrase that some Christians claim [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 16, 2014

O GOD, what offering shall I give
To thee, the Lord of earth and skies?
My spirit, soul, and flesh receive,
A holy, living sacrifice;
Small as it is, ’tis all my store;
More shouldst thou have, if I had more.
Now then, my God, thou hast my soul,
No longer mine, but thine I am;
Guard thou thine own, possess it whole,
Cheer [...]

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Dare to sit with suffering

by Richard on March 10, 2014

A Lenten thought from sojo.net
The season of Lent calls us to give up something as a way of making room for Christ to enter our lives. As we look to the cross, we are asked to remember suffering, to sit with it, to experience it, to not ignore it, as we are so prone [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on March 9, 2014

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and [...]

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Ben Myers has been having a week focused on the parables of Jesus. The series includes a number of sermons by one Kim Fabricius. I draw your particular attention in particular to The Parable of the Sower
What is our condition? It is not good: rocky soil, weeds, pests. The church is in decline. What should [...]

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Rowan Williams: Lent reflection

by Richard on March 6, 2014

This video is a few years old, but Rowan Williams is always worth attending to.

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George Herbert: Sinnes round

by Richard on March 6, 2014

Sorrie I am, my God, sorrie I am,
That my offences course it in a ring.
My thoughts are working like a busie flame,
Untill their cockatrice they hatch and bring;
And when they once have perfected their draughts,
My words take fire from my inflamed thoughts.
My words take fire from my inflamed thoughts,
Which spit it forth like the Sicilian [...]

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More Ash Wednesday reflections

by Richard on March 5, 2014

Pete Brazier offers some helpful thoughts
In the lectionary reading for Ash Wednesday,[1] from Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 we hear about the need for penitence, the need to return to God with weeping and mourning - this is at the heart of what Ash Wednesday is about. And in Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 we hear about how penitent [...]

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Why English majors make bad fundamentalists

by Richard on March 5, 2014

Morgan Guyton: Why English majors make lousy fundamentalists. Good stuff when you get past the Myers-Briggs introduction. Here’s a flavour:
To an English major, what makes a piece of writing rich and poetic are the metaphors it employs. Metaphors are scary things to fundamentalists because they seem like a ploy to undermine the Bible’s authority. [...]

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Lenten leanings

by Richard on March 5, 2014

My friend Ivan Corbin has a new blog. His most recent post, Fat Tuesday and Lenten Leanings, invites us to journey through Lent with him. Wouldn’t miss it!

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‘Dust thou art…’

by Richard on March 5, 2014

Posted in memory of Angela Shier Jones, from her blog The Kneeler.
God’s Dust
by Angela Shier Jones
Good morning God,
I cant help feeling that the traditional Ash Wednesday refrain ought to be more poignant this year - ‘Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return’, but it isn’t. No matter how hard I try [...]

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Ash Wednesday

by Richard on March 5, 2014

Lent is here. It’s a long season, all the way from Ash Wednesday to Easter that does not exactly inspire many modern day Christians. In this fast moving world, we lack the patience for a season of such length. We prefer the one day beano, like Christmas, Easter, or (at a pinch) Pentecost. Sometimes we [...]

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