Why Cold Feet disturbed and challenged

I’m just catching up with last weekend’s TV having been in Austria for Hannes’ induction (watch this space for a report). So last night we settled down to watch Cold Feet.

The week before, we had discovered that Olivia, one of Karen and David’s twins was now pregnant aged 17.  This week picked up on the consequences and followed Matthew (16) and Olivia’s intense, heart breaking struggle about whether or not to keep the baby or to have an abortion. Continue reading

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Dealing with anger and resentment in the face of injustice

Some of you are facing what seems to be terrible injustice. You have been falsely accused. People have said hurtful things to you.  In our church community, quite a few people have experienced received negative decisions about immigration or benefits. Often, it’s not just the decision that affects them but how it was made and the tone with which it was delivered Continue reading

Why did we end up talking about grief in our Sunday sermon?

Last Sunday morning, I was preaching on 2 Samuel 1. One of the key themes that came through during the sermon was “grief and mourning.” How and why did we end up talking about grief?  For me, this highlights the beauty of sequential, expository preaching. Would I have chosen to preach this passage if I was just choosing my own passage each week or selecting a series of topics to look at? Probably not, and we would have missed so much. However, we were constrained by an expository approach to look at a passage together and that’s how the application came out.  So, here are three things we might have missed if we didn’t have expository preaching. Continue reading

The problem with prejudice – another perspective (part 2)

Last week, Sarah Champion was forced to resign from the Shadow Cabinet. What did she do wrong? Well she wrote an article for the Sun in which she said

“Britain has a problem with Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”[1] Continue reading

Justice (Proverbs 21)

In November 1974, the IRA detonated three bombs in Birmingham, two in pubs at the Rotunda and on New Street, one Image result for the birmingham pub bombings
in a bank on the Hagley Road.  21 people were killed. Six men were arrested, charged, convicted and put in prison.  In 1990 they were finally released, new evidence showed that they had been wrongly convicted.  They had suffered injustice. So too had the victims of the original bombing because the true culprits had not been punished.

What is your experience of justice? Some of us as parents, managers, union reps, church leaders etc  have a responsibility for seeing that justice is done.

Most of us will at some point seek justice:  a fair wage, a decent home to live in, an insurance claim, our immigration case. What is your experience of justice? Sadly, many people experience injustice Continue reading

Preaching to the Affections means that we need to read our communities and our congregations (Preaching to the Affections part 2)

What he said was right. It was faithful to God’s Word, the exegesis was spot on, the doctrine sound a the application flowed neatly out of the text -and there was plenty of it. However, something wasn’t quite right.  There was something about the tone. It seemed to miss the mark.  Have you ever sat through a sermon like that? I’m sure most of us have. In fact, if we are honest, most of us who preach will also recognise that we have far too often been guilty of preaching a sermon like that.  Now sometimes it is just that we didn’t quite hit it, sometimes we are tired, sometimes our own circumstances mean that we are passionate about something that is true and right for us but not for the congregation. That’s why I find myself increasingly thinking about how I exegete or read the congregation and how I exegete my own heart as well as the Bible text. Continue reading

The Answer to Rage – Preaching to the Affections (1)

People are angry. There’s a sense of frustration, grievance and even fury in the air. As we saw in yesterday’s post there’s talk of a Day of Rage today. Continue reading