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Following Jesus to the bottom… Matthew 16:21-28

September 15, 2014

crucified-king

Preached at St Martin’s, Bladon on 31st August 2014

Words can often cause problems. That is, people who speak the same language, often use words in different ways. Words of course can change over time, just think of the way the word ‘gay’ has changed its meaning in 50 years. But it can also happen amongst people in the same generation.Let me give you an example from my wife’s experience, who has a Southern girl lived in the North for a few years.

Natalie was working as a Lay Assistant, she had a contract for a year which she could extend to a second year if she wished. As the time approached for her to decide people in the church began to ask if Natalie would be extending to a second year. But, in the North we use the word ‘stopping’ as a synonym for ‘staying’. It would be very normal, for example when asking a Northerner what they are doing this evening, to hear the answer ‘I’m stopping in’, that is they are staying at home. I’m sure now you can see the slightly amusing conversation Read more…

The Destination changes you… 1 Peter 4:7-11

September 1, 2014

pray-love-serve-crossPreached at St Barnabas’, Jericho, on the Sunday After Ascension, Trinity Term, 1st June 2014

Suprises can be terrible things! Not knowing how to act, being caught off guard, maybe even acting instinctively, rather than with our usual polished performances. Imagine the scenario where your spouse, family-member, or friend, tell you they are taking you on a surprise trip. Questions naturally flood your mind: Should I agree or not? What shall I wear? Should I make a break for the door, or go along for the ride? When I enter the destination, persumably wearing a blindfold, will it be something terrible, or something terribly exciting? Surprises can be terrible things.

But imagine that scenario slightly changed. Imagine this time that Read more…

Facebook: friend and foe?

August 25, 2014

social-media-signsWe all know that Social Media can be used powerfully for good or bad; we are aware of cyber bulling and predatory uses, but I wonder if we have given enough thought to how we, as your every-day users of Facebook, use such media. I wonder if we strive to use Facebook in a loving and thoughtful way? When I mention Facebook I am not being exclusive, as I’m sure many of the points highlighted here may be the same for other social media, but I am most au fais with Facebook!

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is not self-seeking

Unfortunately much of what we do on Facebook can be self-seeking, for example, we want to present the best side of our life – and pretend that it’s like that all the time. We can de-tag photos, we can hide what others can see and we can largely present ourselves just as Read more…

Halloween: Trick or Treat

September 21, 2013
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Any thoughts on how Christians can best use Halloween? Please leave your comments below.

What Justin Welby actually said at the Evangelical Alliance

August 29, 2013

Due to the controversy which has come about due to reports in the press I though a video of what ++Justin actually said might prove helpful.

The importance of the mind… Ephesians 4:17-24

May 24, 2013
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mind_brain_intellectPreached at Wycliffe Hall Chapel, Oxford, Trinity Term, 22nd May 2013

We live in a world which has a high opinion of the mind. Living in a university town,particularly a university like Oxford, means that we are surrounded by people who have a high value of thinking,a high value of the intellect, that is a high view of the mind. This is something which the Christian can affirm, particularly as we look at this passage today, God affirms the place of the mind, by which of course in Jewish thought means both the intellect and the heart! What of course God doesn’t affirm, is the direction that godless humanity, which in this passage is named as ‘Gentile’, takes the general principle. The modern world takes the mind, takes the intellect and the heart, and believes that by logic and human rationalisation we can build a better world, often of course if we will only get rid of that annoying crutch know as religion. Paul of course will have none of that, and we’ll find out why in a moment. Read more…

Book Review: ‘Journey of Hope’ by Jean Gibson

May 12, 2013
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Journey of HopeI wonder if you’ve ever read a book which makes you want to contact the author and just thank them for writing it?! Well, I’ve just finished one of those books and the author has a website which meant I could send her an email and thank her for sharing her experiences and insight.  The book I am talking about isn’t a famous classic, it’s probably one you’ve never heard of it; I certainly hadn’t heard of it until Mike gave me it for Christmas. It’s not about someone famous, it’s about a Christian lady, called Jean Gibson, who journeyed through Africa and shares the stories of various people she met.

The book tells the stories of eleven different people who Jean met on her travels, each of whom have a different story of their lives in Africa; each has faced challenges and encountered God in their lives and through the difficulties they face.  Here’s part of the email I sent to Jean Gibson, to give you a flavour of my thoughts about the book; Read more…

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