Saturday, 31 December 2011

exiled for us

Jesus touches the leper and then, as a result of the cleansed leper's disobedience to His command, ends up suffering the fate of a leper. Jesus must now remain in unpopulated areas and never publicly enter cities.Though He is clean He suffers as if unclean because He touched one who was unclean and made him clean. It is hard to imagine a more vivid picture of Jesus suffering under the curse that those who deserved the curse might experience a blessing. (p47)
The Victory According to Mark

The Dudlai Lama

The Dudley Llama (Showcase Cinema in background)
Dudley Zoo. Yow cor beat it. We had a smashing time there today.  

Friday, 30 December 2011

Good mourning?

At a funeral later today I will be reading these words: 
It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting
why? how could that possibly be the case?
because death is the destiny of every man;  
and the living should take this to heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)
And I notice that the BBC have put together a slideshow of some of the famous people for whom 2011 was the year they met this destiny. They are now before the judge of all. 
And we, the living, should take this to heart. 

Questions for a Godly Wife

Ignoring the lurid pink background, which is actually impossible to do given the nature of that colour, this (below) is a helpful resource for wives wishing to be godly ones. It is a document that Jane has found useful (I am not sure how she found it ... but suspect it was femina) and then has humbly passed it onto me. So I am slowly working through it in prayer: 

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The love of God in the Classroom

One of the incidental highlights of this Christmas reading were the quotes below (frustratingly not referenced - sorry!):
I would advise no-one to send his child where the holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution which does not unceasingly pursue the study of God's word becomes corrupt. (Martin Luther) p43 

I am much afraid that schools will prove to be the great gates of hell unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scripture, engraving them on the hearts of youth. (Martin Luther) p59 

True religion affords government its surest support. the future of this nation depends on the Christian training of the youth. it is impossible to govern without the Bible. (George Washington) p65 

I will kill or cure: I will have one or the other, a Christian school, or none at all. (from John Wesley's Journal, 12 March 1766) p91 

I preached on the education of children, wherein we are so shamefully wanting. Many were now deeply convoked of this. I hope they will not stifle all that conviction. (from John Wesley's Journal, 30 November 1766) p95  

Pay the utmost attention to the schools.I consider schools as one of the most effectual means of spreading the light of the gospel through the world. (William Carey in a letter to Jabez Carey 1815) p103  

The philosophy of the classroom is the philosophy of the Government of the next generation. (Abraham Lincoln) p105 

Your ministry embraces two things. The establishment of schools and the spread of the gospel. The first of these if it can be secured will I trust be an effectual introduction to the other. (William Carey in a letter to Jabez Carey, 1819) p117 

Surely the importance of Kingswood School is apparent, even from the difficulties that attend it. I have spent more money, and time, and care on this, than almost any design I ever had .... But it is worth all the labour. (from John Wesley's Journal, 24 August 1753) p129 

The church will never flourish without Christian schools. (John Calvin) p143 
The Love of God in the Classroom

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Queen's Speech (2011)

Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.
God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.
Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.
In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:
O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas."

Friday, 16 December 2011

Having your cake

Simeon's 3rd Birthday Cake

A truly magnificent effort and a triumph of fondant icing over sponge! Jane managed all this at a very busy time of year and despite my 'help'. Top job! 
Sadly for Jonathan Bell his tractor soon ran into difficulty - first the wheels, then the cab and now most of the engine have been consumed. Yum yum. 

open up

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Dad's Default?

What are fathers called to? Fathers give. Fathers protect. Fathers bestow. Fathers yearn and long for the good of their children. Fathers delight. Fathers sacrifice. Fathers are jovial and open-handed. Fathers create abundance, and if lean times come they take the leanest portion themselves and create a sense of gratitude and abundance for the rest. Fathers love birthdays and Christmas because it provides them with yet another excuse to give some more to the kids. When fathers say no, as good fathers do from time to time, it is only because they are giving a more subtle gift, one that is a bit more complicated than a cookie. They must include among their gifts things like self-control and discipline and a work ethic, but they are giving these things, not taking something else away just for the sake of taking. Fathers are not looking for excuses to say no. Their default mode is not no. 
Doug Wilson here

Thursday, 8 December 2011

God speaks!

Keep the Manger!

Away instead with Western notions of a 'commercial' inn, a stable, a late-night arrival by Mary & Joseph followed by an immediate birth and a need or desire for privacy! 

Instead, let's allow the Bible to tell us what actually happened! 

Luke 2:4-7: 
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Kenneth Bailey has written an article that is really helpful. It is here and the heart of it is here:
Joseph and Mary arrive in Bethlehem. They find shelter with a family whose separate guest room is full, and are accommodated among the family in acceptable village style. The birth takes place there on the raised terrace of the family home, and the baby is laid in a manger.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Black Country Carol Service

The Sandwell Chronicle's take on the Tipton Civic Society's 
Black Country Carol Service (14th Dec):
For more see: bostinnews

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Jesus Saves! Jesus Saves!

FROM: King of Christmas (To the tune of "Jingle Bells")

1. The world belongs to God
He spoke and there it was 

Though it was very good
It all went bad because
The man that God had made 

And the woman there with him 
Turned their back on God to get 
A deadly taste of sin (But)

Jesus saves! Jesus saves!
Jesus is the Way
Jesus is the Saviour
You can come to Him today - Hey! Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

People from their sin
You will find forgiveness
When you put your trust in Him

2. Well if you look around 
You’ll see how sin has spread 
Turning light to dark
And living things to dead 
But God still rules the world 
He always had a plan
To send his Son to save us
In the likeness of a man


Well if you come to God
(You still have time you know) 
He’ll wash your sinful heart
And make it white as snow 
Come taste eternal life 
And death will have no sting
All who trust in Jesus are
The children of the King

Colin Buchanan
© 2005 Universal Music 


can't wait!

toying (ha) with using this in the service tomorrow morning.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

bostin news is LIVE! IS NOW LIVE!

The pdf of the booklet (we are expecting to arrive tomorrow) can be found here.