Here’s a little follow up to my article on Bethel. One of our young men asked me a couple of weeks ago about Bethel and music. You see, one of the reasons they have a high profile is because of the music they’ve produced. They wanted to know if it was okay to buy, listen to, use the music in worship. Continue reading
Anyone been for a health check-up recently? Eyes, teeth, heart … maybe the full MOT. How did you get on?
Have you ever done one of those life check-ups? How’s your overall well-being? This isn’t just your physical health but how are you doing emotionally, is your life a success, what’s your status -financial prosperity etc?
One of the things that God’s Word does for us as we gather each Sunday is it provides a life check-up. Earlier this year we did a “whole church health-check when we looked at Revelation 2-3. This one is a bit more about each of us as individuals. So how are we doing against the following markers of a “healthy life.” Continue reading
The other week, we visited Blenheim Palace. It’s an impressive tourist attraction, an elegantly designed building set in acres of beautiful parkland. As well as being a tourist attraction, it’s actually the home of the Marlborough family. However, a number of commentators have observed that it wasn’t so much designed to be a home as a memorial to John Churchill, victor at the Battle of Blenheim.
So what does it take to make a home? Continue reading
It’s not often that you get away with calling someone stupid is it? But that’s exactly what Solomon does in Proverbs 12.
” To learn, you must love discipline;
it is stupid to hate correction.” Continue reading
Why does it matter how our politicians, celebrities and business leaders behave? Why the tabloid obsession with their misdemeanours? Partly it’s just gossip. But a big part of it links to a sense of justice – that good people should do well and when they do, we all do well.
It’s why we get behind the underdog -especially if they have a compelling back story. If an X-Factor’s singing ability is in doubt do a VT about how they love their nan!
It’s why we care about seeing the right people elected for the right reasons. It’s what made the referendum so hard for many – on the one hand a perception of rulers who were remote, unaccountable, self-interested but on the other hand people stirring up hatred for their own ends.
And there was a time when the simple thing for Christians was to simply go to church, enjoy their faith in private and not to connect those things up -privatised. However, there’s been a renewal of the idea that our faith should influence our engagement with public life. Some people talk about our responsibility to seek the welfare of the City. Continue reading
Is it possible to know genuine peace and security? That’s a big question at a time of increased uncertainty and fear. Continue reading
Discernment is about making judgements about people and plans. How we do it? Well, contemporary society tells us that “the consumer is king.” It’s for us as customers to decide what is best for us, what we are worth, whether that’s about objects (cars, houses, TVs. Tablets etc), relationships or entertainment. Saturday night TV invites us to sit back on our sofas and judge as an line up of singers, comedians, dancers and the occasional performing dog are paraded in front of us for us to judge like gladiators before the Emperor. Continue reading