"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

St. Patrick's Breastplate (I Arise Today)

January 21, 2020


Some excerpts from St. Patrick's famous prayer:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.


 

Picture This Thought - Temple [God’s presence]

January 7, 2020
Where can we go to meet with God and how can the gap between a holy God and a rebellious people be bridged? A short explanation of the meaning of the temple for God’s people and the new way that Jesus has opened up for us to know God.

See also the Bible Project video on the Temple


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Book Recommendations 2019

December 27, 2019
It's become traditional that I round off the year with a survey of my reading and a few recommendations of books that I think are interesting, challenging, moving, informative or just fun.

Here are the numbers of books I read for the last four years:

2016 40
2017 134
2018 54
2019 80

As with last year, it was a real mixture of stuff, with probably more Christian titles in preparation for talks and assignments. Here's my round up of the best.

Top Christian




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New Living Out articles

December 20, 2019


I have been busy working on the Living Out website, both updating the content that was already there and adding new stuff.

There are three new articles that you may find interesting - two by me and one by my good friend Jo. If you have any comments or feedback, I'd love to hear from you.

  • The call to all. In this piece, Jo shares about how she's become more willing to publicly engage with LGBT issues and how that's been a positive experience for her. She calls the church to stand alongside same-...

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Picture This Thought - Derelict church [Christendom]

December 8, 2019
Why the crumbing of Christendom is a good thing. Christianity was never meant to be a state religion, forced on people by powerful authorities. The Kingdom of God is much more subversive. Jesus showed the greater power of foot-washing and self-sacrifice.


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Picture This Thought - Robin [Transformation]

November 25, 2019
Becoming a Christian involves radical transformation as we become more like Christ. How can our lives look distinctive as God transforms out beliefs, thoughts, character and behaviour?


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Picture This Thought - Poppy [Remembrance]

November 10, 2019
A reflection on the importance of remembrance and the significance of the Lord’s Supper in reminding us of the ultimate sacrifice to bring us life, freedom from oppression and liberty from evil.

Psalm 77: 11 - 12

I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.’

Luke 22: 19

And [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for y...

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21 sites for shareable Christian videos

November 6, 2019


One way to initiate conversations about faith is to share and discuss video content. There are some really innovative Christian ministries, filmmakers and musicians making thoughtful Christian media which you can share with your friends.

  1. Global Short Film Network - Films with discussion questions
  2. Yes He Is - Evangelistic videos on a mobile app
  3. Moving Works - Short, beautiful evangelistic films
  4. Fervr - Videos for Christian youth
  5. Go Chatter - Videos to get people talking about Jesus
  6. Share These - Ani...

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3 of my favourite reads this year

August 30, 2019


For those who do still like to get their information from books, here are my favourite three Christian reads so far this year:

  1. The Message of the Sermon on the Mount by John Stott
    I read this in conjunction with working through the corresponding Lifebuilder Bible Study (also by Stott). Like all Bible Speaks Today commentaries, it combines helpful cultural context and background with a systematic exegesis and application of the text. This is one of the most significant passages of Scripture whic...

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Scripture engagement: Mark's gospel

August 22, 2019
Over the summer, I studied a module on 'Scripture Engagement' for my Master's course. It's all about how to connect people with the Bible so that they can understand it and experience its truth for themselves. One of the fascinating aspects is how to engage non-literate communities with the Scriptures. It's easy to assume that this isn't really an issue in the UK, where the literacy rate is 99% (Knoema, 2014). However, the reality is more complicated, with 16.4% of adults in the UK having ver...
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