Saturday, 18 April 2009

W

Wait on the Lord and he will direct your way. Become his servant for this is the way to attain your truest liberty.
Weep with those who weep and 'fellow-feel' the afflictions of your brothers around the world. Christ in heaven accounts the sufferings of his saints his own, and we his members on earth must do the same. Religion and mercy are well matched by God and must not be divorced by man. As for the miseries and sins of the age in which you live, mourn also for them and pray to God for remedy.
Wish not a long life so much as good health; he has lived long who has lived well. A short life in grace sets into the everlasting life of glory.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Fountains or floods

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
(Proverbs 10 v 11)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

UV

Vow to God and keep it: especially strive in performing the solemn vow of your baptism, and the covenant which you renew in the Lord's Supper
Variance and discord with men will not stand with your peace with God. If you love God, you will love men also, for God's image or else for his commandments sake.
Use the world as not using it, and your prosperity and liberty to be bettered by them. That is not gained which is got with the loss of your soul, and the soul is exchanged for a handful of the world, when it is not got and held: 1. in Christ restoring it, 2. with Christ the chief gain, 3. for Christ the Lord of it.

(the language is dense here but repays rereading a few times!!)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Out and About, About Easter

video

thanks to Neil Robbie for 'asking the questions'!

Risen Indeed

A.N. Wilson yesterday related how he has returned to the faith he rejected in his early 30's (and mocked for many subsequent years) here.

What rejoicing!

He ends his critique of the scoffing anti-Christian 'culture' of our nation movingly:
When that great saint Thomas More, Chancellor of England, was on trial for his life for daring to defy Henry VIII, one of his prosecutors asked him if it did not worry him that he was standing out against all the bishops of England. He replied: 'My lord, for one bishop of your opinion, I have a hundred saints of mine.'

Now, I think of that exchange and of his bravery in proclaiming his faith. Our bishops and theologians, frightened as they have been by the pounding of secularist guns, need that kind of bravery more than ever.

Sadly, they have all but accepted that only stupid people actually believe in Christianity, and that the few intelligent people left in the churches are there only for the music or believe it all in some symbolic or contorted way which, when examined, turns out not to be belief after all.

As a matter of fact, I am sure the opposite is the case and that materialist atheism is not merely an arid creed, but totally irrational.

Materialist atheism says we are just a collection of chemicals. It has no answer whatsoever to the question of how we should be capable of love or heroism or poetry if we are simply animated pieces of meat.

The Resurrection, which proclaims that matter and spirit are mysteriously conjoined, is the ultimate key to who we are. It confronts us with an extraordinarily haunting story.

J. S. Bach believed the story, and set it to music. Most of the greatest writers and thinkers of the past 1,500 years have believed it.

But an even stronger argument is the way that Christian faith transforms individual lives - the lives of the men and women with whom you mingle on a daily basis, the man, woman or child next to you in church tomorrow morning.
I am grateful to Matt Mason for pointing me to this.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Thursday, 9 April 2009

A deficit in my thinking?

What do I know about economics?
I didn't do it for A-Level (despite the attraction that the 'Economics Tie' was one of the coolest looking at my school). I did Geography instead (which also had a decent tie if I remember right).
And so, I have never read an economics text book (though I am really thinking that should change).
But as I read today that the Bank of England are not changing their interest rates while they wait to see how stimulating their 'Quantitative Easing' is, I am wondering why we all can't do some of our own Quantitative Easing?

Step 1: Write a long list of all the stuff we want to buy/do.
Step 2: Go shopping with all the credit cards we can lay our hands on and buy/do all the 17 000 things that we want.
Step 3: Print up some money to pay off the debt.
[and ta da! All that debt is magically gone! A whole lot of 'wealth' has been created for us & jobs for other people (at Rolex; Hilton; Mamas & Papas etc.!!)]
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3!

Just imagine! If we all did this we'd all be million billion trillion gazillionairres. Wouldn't we?

Why is it just the Bank of England (and who are 'they' anyway?) that gets to have all the fun in this 'wealth creation' game?

Posh Cakes from Poland?

Mark Steel's in Town - in Walsall. Not the one in Poland!

That and many other good (well, mostly) Black Country / Midland gags in this 1/2 hour programme.

6 days left on iplayer. Enjoy.

That's Easter - Death to Life

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Our times in His hands

If our Lord pluck up one of His roses, and pull down sour and green fruit before harvest, who can challenge Him? For he sendeth us to His world, as men to a market, wherein some stay many hours, and eat and drink, and buy and sell, and pass through the fair, till they be weary; and such are those who live long, and get a heavy fill of this life. And others again come slipping in to the morning market, and do neither sit nor stand, nor buy nor sell, but look about them a little, and pass presently home again....they end their short market in the morning, and get but a short view of the Fair. Our Lord, who hath numbered man's months, and set him bounds that he cannot pass (Job 14v5), hath written the length of our market, and it is easier to complain of the decree than to change it. (Letter XXXV, p98)

Monday, 6 April 2009

I love extra time

1-0

Trouble is so did Man U
More photos from Adrian & Susan's wedding taken by Tim Smith here

T

Take heed lest you perform 'holy duties' for fashions sake or without feeling and profit: for this is hypocrisy or profanity.
Thankfully requite, at least with 1. Acknowledgment, 2. Hearty affection, 3. Prayer, the good you get by any man: for there is no member in the body but stands in need of other men's gifts.
T
hink it the greatest work in the world to die well: which to do, you must inure yourself to die beforehand: 1. By dying to your sins; leaving the world in affection, before you actually leave it 2. In you last leaving of it, do it willingly, even joyfully, whensoever, wheresoever, or howsoever God shall call you.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

How to make an entrance


After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,
30 "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no-one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you,`Why are you untying it?' tell Him,`The Lord needs it.'"
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them,
"Why are you untying the colt?"
34 They replied, "The Lord needs it."
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

Luke 19:28-38

Palm Sunday

Friday, 3 April 2009

Hard to get your head round

Here is a diagram I may need when I am explaining to my grandchildren why their taxes are so high.
$100 million
one trillion dollars

Got a spare hour?!

Does the God of Christianity Exist,
and What Difference Does It Make?

Moderator: Stan Guthrie, Christianity Today

Panelists:
* Lee Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus, The Case for a Creator (Zondervan)
* William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith (Crossway)
* Douglas Wilson, Is Christianity Good for the World? (Canon Press)
* Christopher Hitchens, Is Christianity Good for the World? (Canon Press) and God Is Not Great (Twelve Books)
* Jim Denison, Wrestling with God (Tyndale)


I recon that starting at around 3 mins cuts out the 'adverts'!!



{you can also find it here: http://www.tangle.com/view_video.php?viewkey=41178da2dab2e1e83d93}

Masculinity that doesn't wash off in the sink

'the distinction between masculinity and femininity is not one of 'outdoors' and 'indoors.' Women can consider a field and buy it for a vineyard, they can work in the garden, they can tend the fruit trees, and be a glory to their sex. Men can work inside too, helping and leading with many domestic duties, though their focus will be different. Role relationships are clear to the wise, but for those who want life to conform to wooden simplicities, they are a stumbling block.' (p21)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Comparisons

If I set the sun beside the moon,
And if I set the land beside the sea,
And if I set the town beside the country,
And if I set the man beside the woman,
I suppose some fool would talk about one being better. (GK Chesterton)

Never work with....


We followed all these instructions when introducing Simeon to Hector, by bro's tortoise.
But I am not sure it worked!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

One of the best

I think this was from last year. Brilliant.

The Shape of Masculinity

Douglas Jones says that masculinity can be thought of as:
' the collection of all those characteristics which flow from delighting in and sacrificing bodily strength for goodness'.
In ch 1 Wilson outlines five clear aspects of this kind of masculinity throughout the Bible:

1. Lords having dominion
2. Husbandman tending the earth
3. Saviours delivering from evil & sin
4. Sages applying knowledge wisely
5. Glory-bearers as responsible representatives