Because Jesus has come we have joy

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What gives you joy and delight? I’m a Yorkshireman from Bradford in West Yorkshire. So, it gives me great joy every Christmas to get people singing a carol (Christians Awake) sung to the hymn tune “Yorkshire.” Thank you for making my joy complete every year! More seriously, and more joyfully. For some of us, we… Continue reading Because Jesus has come we have joy

How we treat others – a lesson from The Magician’s Nephew

Prompted by a friend, I’ve started re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia. The one volume edition we have starts not with the Lion, the witch and the wardrobe but with its prequel “The Magician’s Nephew”, the story of how Narnia all began. The story is of a boy Digory and his friend Polly, tricked into using… Continue reading How we treat others – a lesson from The Magician’s Nephew

Xmas and Christmas revisted

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I want to expand a little here on one of the points I made in my article about preparing for Christmas carol service sermons.  In that article I warned against trampling on the connection points that might exist with those attending.  I referenced an essay by CS Lewis called Xmas and Christmas which imagines Herodotus… Continue reading Xmas and Christmas revisted

The Goal

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Before becoming a pastor, my role in industry was to do with process and system design implementation and improvement. One of the key thinkers or gurus in this area was a man called Eli Goldratt.   Goldratt wrote a book called “The Goal” which set out his thinking in the form of a story about a… Continue reading The Goal

The happy person (Psalm 1)

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I have been spending a lot of time in the Psalm’s recently. A few days back I wrote up a short meditation on Psalm 1. Here is a longer sermon I preached this morning. How do you stay happy throughout relentless suffering ?  I’m writing this as we come to the end of a year… Continue reading The happy person (Psalm 1)

Singing ourselves to death? Really?

I’ve been slow to respond to this one because to be honest, I just wasn’t sure how.  In a recent Evangelicals Now article, Lee Gattis asked “Have we been singing ourselves to death?”  The reason I wasn’t sure how to respond was because, even allowing for the desire to catch attention and provoke a response,… Continue reading Singing ourselves to death? Really?

Do pastors need their own sabbath?

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Many pastors have something in their contracts to the effect that they should take one complete day off each week. Funnily it often sounds like this is an obligation on them rather than what it is in fact which is provision for them!  It is sometimes suggested that this is to be their sabbath.  Now,… Continue reading Do pastors need their own sabbath?

Sabbath Rest -Do we need to keep Sunday special?

When I was growing up, there was still a strong emphasis on keeping Sunday as a special day, the Christian Sabbath.  In a lot of church cultures, the expectation was that you attended church at least twice, wore your Sunday best and that activities during the day were limited to those considered spiritually edifying. Sunday… Continue reading Sabbath Rest -Do we need to keep Sunday special?

How to spot legalism

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The other night, we were looking at Paul’s passionate plea and rebuke to the Galatian church, the one where he talks about wishing that the Judaizers would go all the way and just castrate themselves. The question came up about how we spot legalism at work. In the conversation, we talked about how legalism might… Continue reading How to spot legalism

Masks and actors, Fathers and Sons (Matthew 6:1-24)

When I was younger, there was one person’s seal of approval that mattered. I suspect I am not alone in this and to some extent I suspect it remains true today.  Whether it was the school reports, my first and only successful attempt at woodwork, my exam grades, my choice of girlfriend (and eventually wife),… Continue reading Masks and actors, Fathers and Sons (Matthew 6:1-24)