Joy, enjoyment and singing

In my article on singing the other day, I talked about the importance of enjoyment and joy when we are singing.  I wanted to expand on a little footnote I included in the article.  There I commented that: Incidentally, when I talk about joy and enjoyment here, I don’t think that means we are meant… Continue reading Joy, enjoyment and singing

On singing when I don’t enjoy it

This week, Steve Kneale answered the question “If I don’t enjoy the songs at church, is it okay not to sing?”  I broadly agree with much of what he has to say in his article.  We live in an individualistic age where we believe that our desires and preferences come first. If we see church… Continue reading On singing when I don’t enjoy it

Celebrating Easter with joyful praise

When we first arrived at Bearwood Chapel, there didn’t seem to have been a significant emphasis on Easter. The Brethren tradition tends to particularly stay away from church calendar occasions. However, we had a few people, particularly but not exclusively from the older end of the church who wanted to make a bigger thing of… Continue reading Celebrating Easter with joyful praise

The joy and pain of celebrating Mothers’ Day

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Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK – or nowadays the British version of “Mothers’ Day.”  The original concept was a celebration of the church as mother but it has evolved into a day celebrating mums everywhere and an opportunity for children to buy mum flowers, gifts and cards.  Churches still tend to do something… Continue reading The joy and pain of celebrating Mothers’ Day

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?