From the monthly archives:

July 2012

Andrew Hughes: the Olympic Games are losing their shine
Your sport wants entry in? Done, but we tell you how that happens, when your sport is on during the Games and anything else we want, we get. Television rights in your country? Done! In Australia Channel 9 and Foxtel paid $126 million for the 2012 Games. [...]

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Romney, Israel and some home truths

by Richard on July 30, 2012

Antony Lowenstein: A one-state solution is the only way forward for Israel and Palestine
But for the Zionist state, the occupation is merely a God-given right to populate land. The lie was proved when Israeli officials, leaders and dutiful Zionist lobbyists in the West spent decades claiming the occupation was temporary and arguing that Palestinian land [...]

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I was very pleased to read this statement from the Scout Association. I’m reproducing it in full.
There has been coverage in the media and on social media of the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to uphold their ban excluding gay people from membership of that organisation, either as Scouts or leaders.
We would [...]

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Congratulations

by Richard on July 30, 2012

to Kim.

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Olympian motivation

by Richard on July 30, 2012

On the opening ceremony volunteers
“Those volunteers redefined the nation for me,” he said. “We’re told people need to be paid great sums to get results, but those who are motivated by money cock up. Because they’re crap. People who are motivated by things like love, family, friendship and humanity are the ones who have something [...]

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Welcome!

by Kim on July 29, 2012

Yesterday, at his great blog Per Crucem ad Lucem , Jason Goroncy posted on the church welcome-sign of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Community. Here is a much-adapted version of the sign that I used in the Call to Worship at my church this morning.
WELCOME! Welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on July 29, 2012

What shall we offer our good Lord,
Poor nothings! for his boundless grace?
Fain would we his great name record,
And worthily set forth his praise.
Great object of our growing love,
To whom our more than all we owe,
Open the fountain from above,
And let it our full souls o’erflow.
Open a door which earth and hell
May strive to shut, but [...]

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A bit of folk music

by Richard on July 26, 2012

Tim Chesterton shared a very nice version of Over the Hills and Far Away. That put me in mind of John Tams, so as a thank you to Tim I offer a couple of songs about steelmaking in South Yorkshire.

[lyrics]

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Mirth and mischief

by Richard on July 26, 2012

Kim’s been doodling again
People sometimes ask me, as an ex-pat of 40 years (London, Haslemere, Oxford, and for the last three decades, Swansea), (a) what I miss about the States, and (b) were I to return to the States, what I would miss about the UK. Let’s see … (a) Big warm soft pretzels [...]

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Some questions can’t be answered

by Richard on July 25, 2012

Larry Hurtado is reluctant to engage with those who argue that Jesus never existed
I was emailed last week by someone asking why scholars don’t engage the “mythicists” (as they are called) on the issue. Were we afraid that we’d be out-gunned in an argument? Did we secretly know that the denyers had it [...]

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Jeremy Moodey, CEO of BibleLands:
“It is a Western conceit that all Arab Christian communities are persecuted minorities and need our help to save them from Islamic fundamentalism. Most Middle East Christians are deeply embedded in their societies, with roots which pre-date even the rise of Islam. Indeed, they are closer to the Oriental origins of [...]

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How Lord of the Rings should have ended

by Richard on July 23, 2012

I know. This is old. But it still cracks me up.

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Velveteen Rabbi has been pondering the following Torah passage
God spoke to Moshe on the plains of Moab near the Jordan, and said: speak to the children of Israel and tell them: when you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you will displace all who dwell in the land… and if you do not, [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on July 22, 2012

Let him to whom we now belong
His sovereign right assert,
And take up every thankful song,
And every loving heart.
He justly claims us for his own,
Who bought us with a price;
The Christian lives to Christ alone,
To Christ alone he dies.
Jesus, thine own at last receive!
Fulfil our hearts’ desire,
And let us to thy glory live,
And in thy cause [...]

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Bellowhead: Rigs of the times

by Richard on July 21, 2012

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PR perils

by Richard on July 20, 2012

In today’s Church Times >> Andrew Brown: PR Perils of occupation*
I’d rather be an Arab civilian in Israel right now than one in Syria; I would also rather be an exploited Somali refugee in Tel Aviv than one enslaved for ransom by the Bedouin in Sinai. But what does undercut a great deal of pro-Israel [...]

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Old Pendle

by Richard on July 20, 2012

In case you wanted to know how the tune for my hymn goes, here’s a video with 70s folk band Tickawinda singing the original song. Pendle Hill has an association with witches, hence the images in the video. Close your eyes if you’re likely to be offended. For singing the hymn, I reckon the tune [...]

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Av and Ramadan

by Richard on July 20, 2012

Velveteen Rabbi explains the difference between the Jewish and Muslim calendars and notes that this year the months of Ramadan and Av coincide
In the confluence of our calendars this year I find a powerful reminder that we and our Muslim cousins — descendants, our tradition says, of the half-brothers Yitzchak and Yishmael, Isaac and Ishmael [...]

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A hymn wot i wrote (reblogged)

by Richard on July 20, 2012

I’ve blogged this before, but this time I’m including the suggestions that were made by Kim. I wrote this because I wanted a hymn that expressed my conviction that it isn’t always possible to “smile at the storm” (to quote my old Sunday School favourite) and praise must continue in spite of circumstances, not because [...]

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Church in Wales announces review result

by Richard on July 20, 2012

From the BBC
Radical plans to reform and modernise the Church in Wales are needed to secure its future, a review says. … The review’s findings have been compiled in a report which makes 50 recommendations, including:

Replacing parishes with larger “ministry areas”, each containing around 25 parishes, which would mirror the catchment areas of secondary schools, [...]

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