From the category archives:

Faith Stuff

The magic of Christmas

by Richard on December 21, 2014

Many Christians are apt to be just a little bit churlish when it comes to Christmas. I sometimes get a sense that Christians are resentful that “our” festival has been stolen, taken over by revellers who are happy to sing carols and watch a school nativity play but will give little or no thought to [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on December 21, 2014

Lo! He lays his glory by,
Emptied of his majesty!
See the God who all things made,
Humbly in a manger laid.
Cast we off our needless fear,
Boldly to his crib draw near;
Jesus is our flesh and bone,
God-with-us is all our own.
Will his majesty disdain
The poor shepherd’s simple strain?
No; for Israel’s shepherd, he
Loves their artless melody.
He will not refuse [...]

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Post-mortem baptism: a hypothetical question

by Richard on October 22, 2014

“One night, you’re in the sleep room; it’s 2am, and you get an urgent page to the intensive care nursery. Not knowing what to expect, you hurry to get up to the unit on the 12th floor. When you step out of the elevator, a nurse quickly points you to the last room at the [...]

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On science, maths and faith

by Richard on October 12, 2014

John Wesley was convinced that should he study mathematics to any depth he’d become an atheist. If he had taken that journey, I venture to suggest he would have discovered that he was wrong. I’m not any kind of mathematician — I pretty much crashed and burned in my university maths classes — though I [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on October 12, 2014

Because I’m conducting another Harvest Festival service today. I’ve lost count this year…
We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God’s almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft, refreshing rain.
All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on October 5, 2014

IN every time and place,
Who serve the Lord most high,
Are called his sovereign will to embrace,
And still their own deny;
To follow his command,
On earth as pilgrims rove,
And seek an undiscovered land,
And house, and friends above.
Father, the narrow path
To that far country show;
And in the steps of Abraham’s faith
Enable me to go,
A cheerful sojourner
Where’er thou [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on September 28, 2014

Our earth we now lament to see
With floods of wickedness overflowed,
With violence, wrong, and cruelty,
one wide-extended field of blood,
where men like fiends each other tear,
In all the hellish rage of war.
As listed on Abaddon’s side,
They mangle their own flesh, and slay;
Tophet is moved, and opens wide
Its mouth for its enormous prey;
And myriads sink beneath the [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on September 21, 2014

THIS, this is the God we adore,
Our faithful, unchangeable Friend;
Whose love is as great as his power,
And neither knows measure nor end.
‘Tis Jesus, the First and the Last,
Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home;
We’ll praise him for all that is past,
And trust him for all that’s to come.

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Railway Station as sacred space

by Richard on September 14, 2014

An 800 year old Icelandic hymn, sung in a German railway station…

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on September 14, 2014

Christ, from whom all blessings flow,
Perfecting the saints below,
Hear us, who Thy nature share,
Who Thy mystic body are.
Join us, in one spirit join,
Let us still receive of Thine;
Still for more on Thee we call,
Thou Who fillest all in all.
Move and actuate and guide,
Diverse gifts to each divide;
Placed according to Thy will,
Let us all our work [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on September 7, 2014

I sing the almighty power of God,
That made the mountains rise,
That spread the flowing seas abroad,
And built the lofty skies.
I sing the wisdom that ordained
The sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command,
And all the stars obey.
I sing the goodness of the Lord,
That filled the earth with food;
He formed the creatures with [...]

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How did we get the gospels?

by Richard on August 20, 2014

With thanks to the Seedbed Blog (via the Methoblog)

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Hymn of the day (a bloggers return)

by Richard on August 17, 2014

My apologies for dropping out, and my thanks to Kim for stepping in to the breach. Here’s a bit of Wesley to begin to put my blogging back on track.
JESUS, in whom the weary find
Their late, but permanent repose,
Physician of the sin-sick mind,
[...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on May 25, 2014

GOD of all power, and truth, and grace,
Which shall from age to age endure,
Whose word, when heaven and earth shall pass,
Remains and stands for ever sure;
That I thy mercy may proclaim,
That all mankind thy truth may see,
Hallow thy great and glorious name,
And perfect holiness in me.
Thy sanctifying Spirit pour,
To quench my thirst, and make me [...]

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With all your mind?

by Kim on May 22, 2014

A reblog of a post by Kim Fabricius from 2006
When he was just a bog-standard bishop in Wales, Rowan Williams once addressed a meeting of Swansea church leaders. The host introduced the future Archbishop of Canterbury by outlining his CV, including his impressive academic achievements. He then concluded: “Although Dr. Williams is a [...]

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Living in God

by Richard on May 19, 2014

I wonder if you know the tv comedy Open All Hours. British readers certainly will, though I’m not sure how widely travelled it has been. (It was filmed in my home town and I’ve got a particular soft spot for it)
In the show, the incomparable Ronnie Barker plays Arkwright, a stuttering shopkeeper whose meanness is [...]

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The Way, the Truth and the Life

by Richard on May 18, 2014

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This is the verse that drives so much Christian evangelism. “No one comes to the [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on May 18, 2014

Arise, my soul, arise;
shake off thy guilty fears;
The bleeding sacrifice
in my behalf appears:
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on his hands.
He ever lives above,
for me to intercede;
His all redeeming love,
His precious blood, to plead:
His blood atoned for all our race,
And sprinkles now the throne of grace.
Five bleeding wounds He bears;
received on Calvary;
They [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on May 11, 2014

Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
And publish abroad His wonderful Name;
The Name all victorious of Jesus extol,
His kingdom is glorious and rules over all.
God ruleth on high, almighty to save,
And still He is nigh, His presence we have;
The great congregation His triumph shall sing,
Ascribing salvation to Jesus, our King.
‘Salvation to God, who sits on [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on May 4, 2014

O Thou who this mysterious bread
didst in Emmaus break,
return, herewith our souls to feed
and to thy followers speak.
Unseal the volume of thy grace,
apply the gospel word;
open our eyes to see thy face,
our hearts to know the Lord.
Of thee communing still, we mourn
till thou the veil remove;
talk with us, and our hearts shall burn
with flames of [...]

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