From the monthly archives:

February 2012

Girl Guiding in the news

by Richard on February 29, 2012

Interesting article in The Guardian’s The women’s blog: Girl Guiding goes from strength to strength
Girl Guiding may conjure up images of cake sales, songs around the campfire and a myriad other things you’d struggle to believe modern smartphone-carrying girls would be interested in. Yet they rushed to join up at the rate of one every [...]

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What if…

by Richard on February 27, 2012

With thanks to commenter Elizabeth

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George Herbert

by Richard on February 27, 2012

maggi dawn reminds us that today is (probably) the anniversary of the death of the poet George Herbert. Since she has already baggsied his poem on Lent, let’s have “Sinnes round”:
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 [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on February 26, 2012

SON of God, if thy free grace
Again hath raised me up,
Called me still to seek thy face,
And given me back my hope;
Still thy timely help afford,
And all thy loving kindness show:
Keep me, keep me, gracious Lord,
And never let me go!
By me, O my Saviour, stand,
In sore temptation’s hour;
Save me with thine outstretched hand.
And show forth [...]

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Repent!

by Richard on February 24, 2012

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins … Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and [...]

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From the Methodist Church:
Leaders representing the UK’s mainstream churches will call today for repentance over the prevailing ’shrug-culture’ towards climate change.
Rt Hon Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury; Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London; Most Rev Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales; Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh and leaders of the Methodist, [...]

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Law, say gardeners, is the sun,
Law is the one
All gardeners obey
Tomorrow, yesterday, to-day.
Law is the wisdom of the old,
The impotent grandfathers feebly scold;
The grandchildren put out a treble tongue,
Law is the senses of the young.
Law, says the priest with a priestly look,
Expounding to an unpriestly people,
Law is the words in my priestly book,
Law is my [...]

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Hymn of the day (”The Scout Hymn”)

by Richard on February 19, 2012

Now as I start upon my chosen way,
In all I do, my thoughts, my work, my play;
Grant as I Promise, Courage, Lord for me
To be the best, the Best that I can be.
Help me to keep my Honour shining bright
May I be loyal in the hardest fight;
Let me be able for my task and [...]

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Methodism, as we know, was a relative latecomer to the world of Dissent in the 18th century, and one of the greatest Congregationalist writers of the 20th century, Bernard Lord Manning, in his wonderful book The Hymns of Wesley and Watts (1942), speaks of the difference in sensibility between the “Old Dissent” and the new [...]

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Quote for the day

by Kim on February 16, 2012

If I am not for myself, who is for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?
– Hillel (d. 10 CE)

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A Welsh minefield

by Richard on February 14, 2012

I hesitate to raise this. An Englishman in Wales must tread carefully. But this Welsh headteacher has issues with the way the Welsh language is taught in English-medium schools. My own experience as a parent of two suggests he might have a point. This BBC package seems to confirm it.
Why do I feel like I’ve [...]

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Still blogging after all these years

by Richard on February 13, 2012

I noted the other day that my tenth blogging anniversary has just passed by. My old friend Mark Byron commented that he too has been blogging ten years or more. That prompted me to wonder who else who was blogging back then is still blogging now?
There were early efforts to list Christian bloggers, notably [...]

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Astronomy?

by Richard on February 13, 2012

Do you think that whoever stacked this shelf was confused?
Posted via email from Richard Hall’s perfectly pointless blog

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Outdoor play keeps the doctor away?

by Richard on February 13, 2012

From the BBC
Is modern living resulting in more people becoming disconnected from green spaces and the natural world, at the expense of our health and well-being?
Most concern is centred around children, who - say campaigners - are missing out on opportunities afforded to previous generations, ones as simple as climbing trees or getting their knees [...]

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Snippets

by Richard on February 12, 2012

Random stuff, in no particular order.
We (rightly) get worked up over £1 million salaries and bonuses to bankers. But no one seems to bat an eyelid that the England Football team manager gets paid £6 million. How does that make sense?
Prayer banned in Bideford? Christianity under attack? Nonsense. The judge did not accept the human [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on February 12, 2012

How shall I sing that majesty
Which angels do admire?
Let dust in dust and silence lie;
Sing, sing, ye heavenly choir.
Thousands of thousands stand around
Thy throne, O God most high;
Ten thousand times ten thousand sound
Thy praise; but who am I?
Thy brightness unto them appears,
Whilst I thy footsteps trace;
A sound of God comes to my ears,
But they behold [...]

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Peter Ochs on “a sinful urge”

by Kim on February 8, 2012

… I understand sacred Scripture as God’s speech to us. I understand the plain sense of Scripture to be inalterable but without clear meaning or force by itself. I understand such clarity to come to us only within our various communities of belief and practice and specific to the questions we ask of [...]

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LSE: New concerns over human rights

by Richard on February 7, 2012

On Notebook - A selection of Independent views, Ben White raises concerns about the LSE’s links to human rights violations in Israel
Last year, the London School of Economics (LSE) found itself mired in controversy over ties to the Gaddafi regime, one of a number of universities accused of complicity with human rights abuses through funding [...]

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Hope in God’s Future

by Richard on February 7, 2012

The excellent Byron Smith commends and comments upon the Methodist Church’s report Hope in God’s Future, describing it as “probably the best brief theological treatment of climate change I have seen”. Praise indeed.
Regarding neighbourly love, the report very helpfully (though not uncontroversially) uses the category of neighbour to include a number of groups containing many [...]

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Dickens’ Day

by Richard on February 7, 2012

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dicken’s birth, here’s the opening of Hard Times. I love it.
‘NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon [...]

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