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

May 24, 2013

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

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…

A New Principal for Wycliffe Hall

April 16, 2013

New Wycliffe Principal

Wycliffe Hall is pleased to announce that the Revd Dr Michael Lloyd has been appointed by the Council as the next Principal of the College.

Dr Lloyd is Chaplain of Queen’s College, Oxford.  He brings nine years’ experience of teaching in theological colleges, as a Tutor in Theology at St Paul’s Theological Centre (a constituent part of St Mellitus College, London) and formerly a Tutor in Doctrine at St Stephen’s House, Oxford.  He was Honorary Curate and Director of Training at St James the Less, Pimlico. His prior ministry was as Chaplain of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and earlier as Chaplain and Director of Studies in Theology at Christ’s College, Cambridge. He is the author of Read more…

What’s so good about Easter?

March 28, 2013

EggI wonder what sprung to mind when you read that question? What IS so good about Easter?! Perhaps you thought of a long weekend? Chocolate? Family? I am planning to enjoy all of those things, but as they are good things, I would also encourage you to think of the man who caused there to be an Easter to celebrate in the first place.

Perhaps Jesus wasn’t the first thing which sprung to mind when I asked ‘What’s so good about Easter?’, but I would suggest that HE makes Easter so good! Jesus dying on the cross and rising again makes Easter brilliant. I stumbled upon this quote, which I found useful in thinking about why Easter is so good Read more…

New Year’s Eve: a Time to Reflect?

December 31, 2012

thinking reflectingNew Year’s Eve sometimes feels like the one day in the year when you HAVE to have some plans – maybe parties, meeting up with friends, going out? Well, this year I can happily say that the most plans I have are staying at home and probably even going to sleep before midnight! I am quite happy with this, because I am looking forward to taking the opportunity, at the end of one year and start of another, to spend some time reflecting and taking stock.

In the past I have enjoyed taking time on New Year’s Eve to spend time with God, thinking about the year that’s gone and looking towards the year ahead, and talking to Him about it and committing my plans to Him. So, this year I thought I’d have a think about these questions: Read more…

Redeeming Christmas

December 15, 2012

candle2I don’t know about you, but at this time of year my mind is whirring with all the jobs to do with Christmas. Do you have a list of things to do before Christmas? I think maybe I should write one, because my mind is full of questions and things to do at the moment!

My mind buzzes with questions like:

  • When are we going to have time to do Christmas shopping?
  • When we do manage to find time, what are we going to buy for each person?
  • Who are we going to send Christmas cards to?
  • When are we going to see each part of the family?
  • How many days until the last posting day?
  • When can I fit in writing the cards before the last posting day?
  • Where will we get our Christmas tree from?
  • How much money can we afford to spend on presents for family and friends?

This is by no means a exhaustive list, but you get the idea! Sometimes I wish my brain came with an ‘off’ switch, or at least a ‘mute’ button! Admittedly, as I have said in previous posts I am quite a worrier so your list may not be full of as many questions as this, but I do think Read more…

Seasons Change, but God Stays the Same

August 29, 2012

Changing TimesWell, Mike and I are moving to Oxford on Monday! Yes, that is in 5 days time – I can’t quite believe it! I have a whole mix of different thoughts and feelings. I had been feeling stressed for quite a few days and thus, probably a bit grumpy and difficult to live with (sorry, Mike!), but yesterday and today I have been feeling quite calm.

I have been thinking about the idea of ‘seasons’ and that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1) – things inevitably change and there are certain situations in our life which are right for a time and then it’s time to move onto something else, or for something to change. I think I have come to appreciate this more as I have grown up.

I used to have unrealistic expectations of how many people I would be able to keep in touch with and would promise to ‘keep in touch’ with a lot of people! I think that this was because I found it hard to let go and accept that there are some things, and some people Read more…

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