From the monthly archives:

May 2010

For the love of God the Father,
we lift our hearts;
birthing children whom he mothers,
we lift our hearts;
for his bold imagination
in the act of our creation,
and our wondrous variation,
we lift our hearts.
For the grace of Christ eternal,
we praise his name;
coming from his throne supernal,
we praise his name;
for the challenge of his teaching,
for his hand to rebels [...]

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Family values and capital punishment

by Joel on May 26, 2010

With almost every election cycle in Oklahoma, “law and order” is at or close to the top of the agenda. We’re pretty big on capital punishment, too. Oklahoma makes up 1.2% of the U.S. population, but accounts for 7.8% of all executions since 1976, the year the death penalty was once again sanctioned. [...]

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Apropos Richard’s post yesterday, here is a snippet of what John Wesley will have heard on that May day in Aldersgate Street when he felt his heart “strangely warmed”.
Faith, however, is a divine work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God (John 1); it kills the old [...]

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John Wesley’s ‘Aldersgate experience’

by Richard on May 24, 2010

On this day, 1738, John Wesley wrote in his journal:
In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while the leader was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith [...]

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Here is the kind of thing that has happened - and continues to happen - when the cross is cut loose from its historical and social moorings and reduced to privatised, ideological, and in-group forms of faith:
“Speaking of his master who had found religion at a Methodist camp meeting, Frederick Douglas wrote: ‘I believe him [...]

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Lash is lush: a little bit more

by Kim on May 23, 2010

“Throughout both Testaments, at the heart of talk of God as Spirit (and of the world as effect of, and as affected by, the Spirit that is God) the contrast drawn is between not-life, or lesser life, or life gone wrong, and life: true life, real life, God’s life and all creation’s life in God. [...]

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A little Lash at Pentecost

by Kim on May 23, 2010

“The single, simple, central thought I want to offer, this Whitsunday, this celebration of God’s Spirit’s gift, is that ’spirit’ is best thought of not as ‘not-matter’, but as ‘not-death’; not as ‘not-stomach’, but as celebration, feasting; not as a mist hanging ‘above a marshy land’, but as the marshes’ draining, the flowering and fruitfulness [...]

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“The Fire” by Franz Wright

by Kim on May 23, 2010

Listen, I’ve light
in my eyes
and on my skin
the warmth of a star, so strange
is this
that I
can barely comprehend it:
I think
I’ll lift my face to it, and then
I lift my face,
and don’t even know how
this is done. And
everything alive
(and everything’s
alive) is turning
into something else
as at the heart
of some annihilating
or is it creating
fire
that’s burning, unseeably, [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on May 23, 2010

Come, Holy Ghost, our hearts inspire,
Let us thine influence prove:
Source of the old prophetic fire,
Fountain of life and love.
Come, Holy Ghost, for moved by thee
The prophets wrote and spoke;
Unlock the truth, thyself the key,
Unseal the sacred book.
Expand thy wings, celestial Dove,
Brood o’er our nature’s night;
On our disordered spirits move,
And let there now be light.
God, through [...]

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Carnglas Road: Gray day in spring

by Kim on May 19, 2010

Actually, the following poem, by Luci Shaw, is entitled “Lewis Avenue: Gray day in spring”. But I live on Carnglas Road; overhead there is a stratus sheet, but it is dry.
I really want to be
drenched in God.
Sometimes
he lets down a small
cloudburst, enough
to leave me wet
and shiny, for about
ten minutes, but mostly
it’s just
gray skies up [...]

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Is there a monster in your church?

by Kim on May 17, 2010

“The reformation of the church … does not start with ideas and actions alone. We have too often believed that if we could just get a handle on postmodern theory or learn a handful of new practices we could change our churches. It doesn’t even start with simply a theoretical insight. Rather, [...]

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Preaching in the language of hope*

by Richard on May 16, 2010

It’s been a fascinating weekend, partly spent at the British Esperanto Conference, which is meeting in Llandudno. They’d invited me to preach at the “Diservo”, which I’d arranged to be at the splendid St John’s Methodist Church. Our hymns were all Esperanto translations of familiar hymns, and we chose Welsh tunes so although the congregation [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on May 16, 2010

HAIL, thou once despised Jesus!
Hail, thou Galilean King!
Thou didst suffer to release us;
Thou didst free salvation bring.
Hail, thou agonizing Saviour,
Bearer of our sin and shame!
By thy merits we find favour;
Life is given through thy name.
Paschal Lamb, by God appointed,
All our sins on thee were laid;
By almighty love anointed,
Thou hast full atonement made;
All thy people are [...]

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“Love”, after 1 Corinthians 13

by Richard on May 14, 2010

By an unknown author, but quoted by maggi dawn
Even if I pack the Albert Hall with the power of my salvation message
Or my books require their own Amazonian warehouse
If the God Channel carries my healings back to back
And I make theology the sport of masses
Should I become the spider In the World Wide Web
And Google [...]

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On death: a sermon

by Richard on May 10, 2010

Good stuff from Kim Fabricius
Another seismic shift in the landscape of death in the 21st century has to do with dying as much as death itself. How do people want to die? Almost unanimously people will say that, above all, they want to die quickly – in their sleep would be ideal, next best a [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on May 9, 2010

REJOICE for a brother deceased,
Our loss is his infinite gain;
A soul out of prison released,
And freed from its bodily chain;
With songs let us follow his flight,
And mount with his spirit above,
Escaped to the mansions of light,
And lodged in the Eden of love.
Our brother the haven hath gained,
Out-flying the tempest and wind,
His rest he hath sooner [...]

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Olive Morgan

by Richard on May 8, 2010

Olive Morgan, who blogged as Octomusings, has passed away
Tony & Shiela Morgan write:
It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our Mum, Olive passed away on the 5th of May, 2010 in the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
We would like to offer our warmest, heartfelt thanks to all who have followed her blog, enriching [...]

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“It’s boring …”

by Kim on May 8, 2010

This is for the “Generous” generation (Generous is a new website for young Methodists, aged 11 to 23) - or at least for those on the cusp of farthood (say the 20s to 23s). It comes from a cultural artifact with which many, perhaps most, subscribers to the site will be unfamiliar: a “book”. [...]

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Very nice article from Discover Magazine.

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Climate change was hardly spoken of during the election campaign, but it remains a vital issue. So I’m grateful to Michael Tobis for sharing this letter recently published in Science. Hope he’ll forgive me for reproducing it
We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists [...]

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