From the monthly archives:

October 2012

“The Bartimaeus Incident” — a sermon

by Kim on October 28, 2012

This is the second time in Mark that Jesus heals a blind man. Both healings come at pivotal points in the narrative. The first occurs at the midpoint of the gospel, just before the critical incident at Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”, and then [...]

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Year in, year out, you’ve bent over books.
You’ve gathered more knowledge
than you’d need for nine lives.
When all is said and done,
so little is needed, and that much
the heart has always known.
In Egypt the god of knowledge
had the head of an ape.
Olav H. Hauge, The Dream We Carry (Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2008), translated [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on October 14, 2012

Oh, for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free,
With conscience sprinkled by the blood
So freely shed for me.
A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My dear Redeemer’s throne;
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.
A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
Believing, true, and clean,
Which [...]

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Chinese turtle passes waste through its mouth

by Richard on October 11, 2012

From the BBC
Chinese soft-shelled turtles pass waste through their mouths, scientists in Singapore have found.
Biologists were puzzled by the turtle’s behaviour because, despite using its lungs to breathe air, it often submerges its head in water.
By testing the water, they found that the reptile was excreting urea through its mouth instead of its kidneys.

I can’t [...]

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Climate change videos

by Richard on October 10, 2012

The US National Research Council has produced a series of videos to explain the evidence for climate change in an accessible way. I haven’t watched them yet, but I’m confident they’ll be worth the time. Here’s the first — the rest are linked from it.

h/t RealClimate
(Still not in a position to do anything about comment [...]

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Bizy. Bakson.

by Richard on October 10, 2012

There are a few comments in the moderation queue, but I don’t have time to read them now. If you’re in there now, or go in there later, don’t take it personally. I’ll be back to the blog shortly.
Stuff to do.

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World Mental Health Day: The Black Dog

by Richard on October 10, 2012

I’m grateful to the Opinionated Vicar for sharing this video about depression.

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The truth of Genesis

by Richard on October 10, 2012

An amended reblog, partly prompted by some recent comments
I was talking to someone recently about the evolution ‘debate’. He got very troubled when I spoke of the first chapter of Genesis as a myth. “If Genesis 1 isn’t true, how can we trust anything the Bible says?” he asked.
Imagine yourself in one of those [...]

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The other Nazi victims

by Richard on October 9, 2012

Martin Robbins exposes just why George Carey’s claims of persecution are so so shameful: Gay marriage ‘Nazis’ and the disgrace of Lord Carey. (I should warn you before you click that link. The article contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence and murder) However, it isn’t the descriptions of Nazi violence which clinch this argument. It [...]

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Yesterday there was the news that a young girl in Lancaster had to have her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen. Why would anyone think that was a good idea?
And then today I read that a fellow died in Florida after taking part in competition to eat live cockroaches.
Monty Python were [...]

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Gay marriage: the first steps to Nazism?

by Richard on October 9, 2012

You couldn’t make this up. Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey was addressing a fringe meeting of the Conservative Party conference yesterday. He likened those who label opponents of gay marriage as bigots to Nazis, saying “Let us remember the Jews in Nazi Germany. What started against them was when they started to be called [...]

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Church and the cult of celebrity

by Richard on October 8, 2012

Bene Diction links Herescope: The Cult of Evangelical Leadership
Smoke and mirrors characterized a certain segment of the leadership phenomenon. These men, naming it and claiming it, rose to fame and power by hype and extravaganza. Money, travel, influence, popularity, and extreme materialistic prosperity characterized a new breed of Braggadocios who thrived on incessant publicity and [...]

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It’s an ill wind

by Richard on October 8, 2012

FP.com: How climate change denial has benefited from the recession
In a paper published in May in the journal Global Environmental Change, University of Connecticut political scientist Lyle Scruggs laid out the case that the economy — not Climategate, not Fox News — explains the decline in concern over the issue. More than 30 years of [...]

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Bits & bobs

by Richard on October 7, 2012

Pretending to be a Preacher says “The church is your neighbour too.”
Mr John Cooper has an attack of the Gilbert and Sullivans, proclaiming himself the very model of a modern methodist. Who’d argue?
The Conversation offers evidence that people are intuitively co-operative.
Did Pulpit Freedom Sunday have much impact where you are? I’d got no idea that [...]

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Hymn of the day

by Richard on October 7, 2012

Happy the man that finds the grace,
The blessing of God’s chosen race,
The wisdom coming from above,
The faith that sweetly works by love.
Happy beyond description he
Who knows, The Saviour died for me,
The gift unspeakable obtains,
And heavenly understanding gains.
Wisdom divine! Who tells the price
Of wisdom’s costly merchandise
Wisdom to silver we prefer,
And gold is dross compared to her.
Her [...]

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Big Bang Theory: “lies from the pit of hell”

by Richard on October 6, 2012

This congressman, Paul Broun, is apparently on the House Science Committee. He’s also an MD, both of which might mislead you into thinking he might know something about science.
Stuff like this makes me despair. The worst of it is, he doesn’t sound like he knows much about the Bible either.
h/t: Huffington Post

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The most important election ever…again

by Richard on October 5, 2012

Libby Anne looks back on some predictions from Focus on the Family on what Obama’s election in 2008 would mean for America in 2012. It’s quite a list:

The Boy Scouts no longer exist
Elementary schools now include compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1
homosexuals are now given special bonuses for enlisting in military [...]

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A Stanza on Freedom

by Richard on October 5, 2012

Kim quoted this in a comment the other day, but it bears repeating. Especially as I have new-found poetic credentials
A Stanza on Freedom ~James Russell Lowell
THEY are slaves who fear to speak
For the fallen and the weak;
They are slaves who will not choose
Hatred, scoffing, and abuse,
Rather than in silence shrink
From the truth they [...]

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Churches support Drone Action Week
The Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union of Great Britain have called on the Foreign Secretary to distance the UK Government from the United States Government’s practice of using missiles to target individuals suspected of involvement in terrorism.
Church leaders have expressed their anxiety over the humanitarian [...]

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Facebook is…

by Richard on October 5, 2012

No. Not a chair. That’s silly.
Facebook is… The Liar has some apt analogies.
I’ll be smiling about dog poo for the rest of the day.

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