Saturday, 23 April 2011

5th May

This is not an inspirational video, but it is an important one.
Alternative Vote Referendum Briefing by the Christian Institute

When you prayed beneath the trees

Glen has just posted this and I really like it. I must remember it for next year! 

The Deliverer Who Dies

The visuals from our Good Friday Service - attempting to reflect Matthew's account (Matthew 27:26-54)




Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Easter in Tipton

These are our services over the Easter Weekend.
If you are in Tipton you'll be very welcome to join us!
Good Friday
Easter Morning 

Easter Evening

Caution: Mature Content of an Adult Nature

There is a popular school of thought (or, more strictly, of feeling) which violently resents the operation of Time upon the human spirit. It looks upon age as something between a crime and an insult. Its prophets have banished from their savage vocabulary all such words as 'adult', 'mature', 'experienced', 'venerable'; they know only snarling and sneering epithets, like 'middle-aged', 'elderly', 'stuffy', 'senile', and 'decrepit'. With those they flagellate that which they themselves are, or must shortly become , as though abuse were an incantation to exorcise the inexorable. (Dorothy Sayers Creed or Chaos? p14)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Shocking News

In the wake of the BBC's 'news' that the Last Supper was on a Wednesday ... this is a great little post: Headlines You Won't See this Easter with a helpful link to a (mind blowing) timeline of the events of that Passover/Easter week.

Monday, 18 April 2011

May Hope Spring

Peter Maiden will be speaking at this year's Birmingham Spring Convention 'People of Hope' on 10-12th May.

Tuesday: S o l i d H o p e – A L o o k F o r w a r d
(Revelation 21:1-8)
Wednesday: S  o l i d H o p e – L o o k i n g B a c k
(Luke 8:26-39)
Thursday: So l i d H o p e – To d a y ’s E x p e r i e n c e
(1 Peter 1:1-9, 13-16)


We'll be going along at least one of the nights.

Good Friday

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Easter Evangelism

Our Easter tract distribution involves 1500 of 3 Days the Shook the World going into homes around the church as well the personal delivery of our usual Good News Paper to 300 of our immediate neighbours.
Please pray that over the next week all of these would get delivered, read (not binned!) and in God's great mercy would do eternal good!  

Easter for Children


A lovely Children's Easter Book by Jan Peinkowski available on line or at amazon.

HT The Vicar's Wife!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Twitching in Tipton

I don't know why, but this year we seem to have had a greater variety of birds in our back garden than ever before. Our usual handful of pigeons:
Wood Pigeon
A colony of sparrows who are nesting in our trees and roof!
sparrows
A robin ... possibly a pair as yesterday I saw a juvenile robin at the bottom of the garden. 
Robin
We get starlings occasionally. 


Starling
Jane spotted a wren last week. 
Wren
Black birds are regulars ... both male and females. 
Blackbird
We've been unusually inundated with Blue Tits and for the first time, Great Tits too. 
Blue Tit


Great Tit
We've had visits from chaffinches 
Chaffinch
And this year's great treat is a pair of Goldfinches that we see daily at the moment. 
Goldfinch
And yesterday a magpie chased a young song thrush into our trees...

Thrush
All just part of living in the (Black) Country I guess!

Friday, 8 April 2011

A Classic(al) Interview


Doug Wilson was recently interviewed about education. Here are some selected and edited highlights. 
In plain English, what is a “Classical Education” and what does the adjective “Christian” add here?  Classical education refers primarily to two aspects — one is the methodology of the Trivium, and the other is the “great books” approach to content. The Christian component means that theology is treated, as it was in the medieval period, as the queen of the sciences. With classical education there is a lot to integrate, and we believe that Christ is the great principle of integration.
Classical education, traditionally, was based on the trivium and quadrivium. What are these and how important are they to a classical curriculum? The Trivium consists of grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. We treat these serially, as Sayers urged in her seminal essay The Lost Tools of Learning. Grammar is taught in the elementary years, logic or dialectic in the junior high years, and rhetoric in the high school years. The students learn classical logic, but they are also taught some of the more recent advances. The formal logic course is taught in 8th grade. The school does not develop the Quadrivium, except to the extent that we have some of the standard courses you might expect to find in a high school.
Given that so many ancient manuscripts have been translated into English, why is it important to have students spend so much time on Latin and Greek? There are many reasons, but two basic ones come to mind here. One, there are a great many more texts to be translated, and we will need translators to do it. But granting that most of our students will not keep their Latin and Greek up, we teach these languages to them as a form of mental discipline, and as a way of establishing them in English. Their Latin might revert to zero, but their English will never be the same.
Is it possible for parents to homeschool their children and provide them with a Classical Christian Education? If so, what curriculum would they use? Yes, quite a number of homeschoolers are pursuing a classical Christian curriculum. Two of the main programs I would mention are the Omnibus program published by Veritas Press. I am one of the general editors of that project, and many homeschoolers use it. Another good program that helps homeschoolers with this is Classical Conversations. Online courses are available for particular courses when the parents are in over their heads.
Is a Classical Education (leaving aside its Christian or religious orientation) for everyone? My goal is not to have absolutely everyone receive a classical Christian education in all its rigor. But I would like a classical Christian school, of the high standards variety, to be available to everyone. I do think the classical structure of the Trivium would translate well to all forms of private education, even if they didn’t go full tilt into the Latin, for example.
How well does a Classical Christian Education equip students to understand the role of science in society? I think they are very well equipped to understand the role of science in our society, even though we don’t use the standard texts. The students who go to state universities are prepared for what they will get there. We are able to do this even though we think Darwin is a joke. Though we don’t believe it, we know what it is we don’t believe. A university professor from a nearby state university (he was a microbiologist) spoke at a New St. Andrews event, with virtually all our students in the room. He asked how many had read Darwin’s Origin, and virtually every hand in the room went up (it is part of our curriculum). He commented on how odd that was — he taught in the Temple of Darwin, where everyone believed it, but no one had read it.
Surveying the American educational landscape, what do you see? The American school system looks like a helicopter that tried to land sideways. 
What websites, books, and resources would you like readers of this interview to be aware of? I would recommend the web site of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (www.accsedu.org), as well as my own web site (www.dougwils.com). In addition, there is a lot of material at Canon WIRED (canonwired.com), as well as at Canon Press (canonpress.com). And Logos School has a web site also (logosschool.com). For books, I would recommend three I have written — Recovering the Lost Tools of LearningThe Case for Classical and Christian Education, and The Paideia of God. The first two are published by Crossway, and the last one by Canon Press.
You can read the whole interview here

Doctrine: The Cross

And here is the 15 min version!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Once Upon A Marriage

Hosea 1


Hosea 2

Hosea 3


Hosea 4


Hosea 5


Hosea 6


Hosea 7


Hosea 8

Hosea 9

Hosea 10

Hosea 11

Hosea 12

Hosea 13

Hosea 14

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Did Jesus rise from the Dead?

The Vicar's Wife put me onto this. I'd blogged one of the videos a few weeks ago. But I now know this was just one in a series of very helpful little videos from Tyndale House. I hope there are more to come. 
Any way,  this video about Jesus' resurrection is 1 minute 37 seconds of your life very well spent! 

An Easter Primary School Assembly

I am putting this up partly to experiment with the technology! But if, even in its rough form, it is useful in anyway to anyone, great! 

An Easter Assembly for a Primary School

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

active minds, noisy joy, prayerful hearts (since 1997!)

I don't know if 'The Praise Factory' resources have been online for ages and I I have just been half asleep, or what, but I am thrilled to have found it this morning at the Capitol Hill Baptist Church site. I now look forward to some time to explore it all. As it says on the tin it is a: 
resource for affordable, flexible, quality Christian curriculum for pre-school and elementary age children.
And it invites us to browse the site (here) for curriculum, music and helpful articles for teachers and families.
I can't wait to do that. It all looks very promising from it's glorious tag line to a skim of the content available.  

Monday, 4 April 2011

A vast multitude no-one could count

The 'fun side' on Tuesday mornings is at the Sure Start group which meets at Grace CC. Usually the serving of vast quantities of toast is Simeon's highlight, but tomorrow is the 'Easter Party' and the mums and nans have all been asked to bring cakes. 
Jane then wondered what she could make that was easy, edible and in any way evangelistic !! And the result is - a shortbread cross decorated with 'hundreds and thousands'. 
The many Christ has died for! 
The many who love Him! 
As the children's song would go if it hasn't been banned for it's 'political incorrectness': 'Red and yellow, [green/blue or orange] and white... all are precious in His sight...' 
Anyway ... a lot of fun was had today in the kitchen both making & icing them. Jane was able to talk to Simeon about Jesus and His death while they worked together. So that has all been great.  
The only draw back is that this evening we have had a vast multitude of hundreds and thousands which no-one could count spread over most of the kitchen surfaces, cooker & the floor!! 

Show your Power O Lord!

Our Lord has instituted the sacraments for the express purpose of serving to establish and increase our faith. 
But the sacraments properly perform their role only when accompanied by the Spirit, that inward teacher, whose energy alone penetrates the heart, stirs up the affections, and procures access for the sacraments into our souls. If the Spirit be lacking, the sacraments can accomplish nothing more in our minds than the splendour of the sun shining on blind eyes or a voice sounding in deaf ears. 
 It is now clear in what way, according to this view, a godly mind is strengthed in faith by means of the sacraments. That is in the same way in which the eyes see by the brightness of the sun, or the ears hear by the sound of a voice, so the eyes would not be affected by any light unless they were endowed with a sharpness of vision capable of being illuminated of themselves; and the ears would never be struck by any noise, unless they were created and fitted for hearing.  
But if it is true, as has been explained, that in the eye it is the power of vision which enables it to see the light, and in the ear the power of hearing which enables it to perceive the voice, and that in our hearts it is the work of the Holy Spirit to commence, maintain, cherish, and establish faith, then it follows, both that the sacraments do not profit one bit without the energy of the Holy Spirit; and yet that in hearts previously taught by that Schoolmaster, there is nothing to prevent the sacraments from strengthening and increasing faith.  
There is only this difference, that the faculty of seeing and hearing is naturally implanted in the eye and ear; whereas, Christ acts in our minds above the measure of nature by special grace.(Calvin's Institutes, Book 4, CH 14.9)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

stand in awe

Sometimes people say that they cannot believe that if there is a God, he would take interest in such a tiny speck of reality called humanity on Planet Earth. The universe, they say, is so vast, it makes man utterly insignificant. Why would God be bothered to create such a microscopic speck called the earth and humanity and then get involved with us?  
Beneath this question is a fundamental failure to see what the universe is about. It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about himself. And he says it for us to learn and enjoy - namely, that he is infinitely great and powerful and wise and beautiful. The more the Hubble Telescope sends back to us about the unfathomable depths of space, the more we should stand in awe of God. The disproportion between us and the universe is a parable about the disproportion between use and God. And it is an understatement. But the point is not to nullify us but to glorify him. p34 Don't Waste Your Life