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

The way she tells 'em

July 15, 2020
Back in May, I had one day (31st May to be precise) where I suddenly decided to write some poems. I ended up writing 15 on a range of themes. Here's one of them that I hope you'll enjoy.

The way she tells 'em

A funny thing happened
the other day.
Now was it Tuesday or Wednesday?
I think it was Wednesday because
it was the day my new secateurs 
arrived through the post.
No wait! It was Tuesday 
when Sheila rang with the news
that her cat had had kittens
and her daughter had mumps.
Anyway, it was raining.
Not heavy rain. More like drizzle.
Like that time we went to Bridlington
and huddled under the brolly
at the model village.
Anyway, it was raining and I’d just
put on my mac.
You know the one that I bought
for that trip with Cynthia
in 2003. Or was it 4?
It was the same year that
Derek did his back.
He was never right after that.
Anyway, I’d just put on my mac and a funny thing happened...
are you still there?
Hello? Hello?


Picture This Thought - Statue of Liberty [Freedom]

July 5, 2020
What does it mean to be free? What does true freedom look like?

We talk about political freedom, freedom of religion, freedom of movement and free speech, but how free are we really?

This is a short exploration of the ways in which our freedom is restricted and how Jesus brings true liberation.

“If the Son [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8: 36

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Cryptic names and descriptions of God quiz

June 30, 2020

1. Postman who does weights
2. Opposite of Cyclops
3. Posh yes, discover the mass
4. I am a Spanish waiter
5. Swedish supergroup
6. Hi third person singular
7. Monarch’s son of green vegetables
8. 1990s chat show
9. Eating flames
10. Like Greyfriars Bobby perhaps?
11. At the very top
12. Very old, periods of time
13. Unfit sock of Jerusalem’s land
14. Souvenir from Blackpool?
15. Winner of ‘One man and his dog’
16. Lots of money for finding a lost pet
17. An inhabitant of Stoke on Trent’s professio...

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Joel chapters 2 and 3 - A short talk

June 29, 2020
This is the second half of my series on Joel, which I prepared for our online church service yesterday. It's a 15 minute exploration of this fascinating prophecy and how it tells the story of God's grand plan for his people, from creation in Genesis to new creation in Revelation.

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Joel chapter 1 - a short talk

June 21, 2020
I preached at online church this morning on Joel chapter 1, which is a fascinating passage and very relevant in our current circumstances.

You can watch below (13 mins) and the final part will be posted next week.

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The case for Christian humanism

June 21, 2020

I just watched a video about humanism which I found very interesting, particularly because of the use of words like ‘wonder’, ‘awe’, ‘dignity’, ‘infinitely precious’, ‘miraculous’. There’s lots that I can agree with, even if I don’t hold to the overreach of scientism or the naive optimism that we can all somehow get along fine if we try to be good and use ‘common sense’.
Many people don’t realise that humanism owes a lot to a Christian worldview. The difficulty is...

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Who will remember you?

June 5, 2020

I’m working my way through 1 Chronicles at the moment and I must admit I’m finding it quite tedious. A lot of the book consists of a long list of names; fathers and sons, families and daughters and wives - just a long list of people who don’t really mean anything to me. It’s tempting to skip over all these genealogies. After all, none of us really know who any of these people are and, unless you’re a Jewish historian, you probably don’t really care much about who Hazarmaveth or Ad...

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Screens, screens everywhere

May 29, 2020

One of the things I’m finding hardest about lockdown is the increased reliance on screens, not just to do my job, but in order to be able to keep in touch with family and friends. I’d almost rather have no contact than the frustratingly inadequate two-dimensional experience of staring at my pixelated friends (and my own face), complete with audio lag. There’s no room for nuance, body language, hugs, comic timing or companionable silence. It just seems to emphasise our apartness. (For mo...

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The power of the Spirit - Pentecost reflection

May 25, 2020
A short reflection on the power of the Spirit that came down at Pentecost and enables believers to love, hope, share the good news of Jesus and become more like him.

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Picture This Thought - Tree [Growth]

May 9, 2020
Some reflections on what growth means for a Christian and for the Kingdom of God. I explore the fact that growth comes from God and isn't manufactured by us; that something huge and beautiful can come from something tiny; and that a seed needs to die in order to fulfil its purpose of flourishing.

You may also like this post on spiritual growth.

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