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

9 Christian women you should know

May 17, 2019
  1. Susan B. Anthony (1820 - 1906)
    Born into a Quaker family with a long history of anti-slave activism, Susan B. Anthony developed an early sense of fairness and justice. She dedicated her life to women’s suffrage after joining the women’s rights movements in 1852. She campaigned for the abolition of slavery, the right for women to own their own property, to keep their earnings, as well as their right to attend higher learning institutions.

  2. Sojourner Truth (Unknown - 1883)
    She was born a slave in New York State and, after escaping slavery and becoming a Christian, she used her gifts as speaking to fight for women’s rights and racial equality.

  3. Fanny Crosby (1820 - 1915)
    Fanny Crosby, though totally blind, wrote more than 9,000 hymns, many of which are among the most popular in today’s church denominations. Concerned that her name would be too prevalent in the hymnals, she was forced to use multiple pen names instead. Wrote ‘Blessed Assurance’

  4. Amanda Berry Smith (1837 - 1915)
    Born into slavery and widowed at 26, Amanda trusted in the Lord even though suffering great personal hardship. She worked as a washerwoman and cook and felt that even while doing menial tasks like mending clothes or washing dishes, she was serving God. Her devotion to prayer and willingness to go wherever God sent her led to her have an evangelistic ministry all over the world, inspiring people with her beautiful voice and godly teaching.

  5. Lilias Trotter (1853 - 1928)
    Lilias was born into a wealthy lifestyle and was a talented artist. "Lilias expressed her love for God and His world through the beauty of her artwork. Her art and her spiritual life were intertwined.”. In 1888 she defied all taboos and restrictions that deterred European women from entering and ministering to others in the Middle East and went to minister to Muslims in Algeria.

  6. Pandita Ramabai (1858 - 1922)
    Established the Mukti mission in India which housed 800 abandoned babies, the blind, physically disabled, unwed mothers, and sick. She also spent fifteen years translating the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Marathi—a local dialect.

  7. Mary Kenneth Keller (1913 - 1985)
    A nun with an undergrad, two Master’s degrees and a PhD in computer science. She helped develop the BASIC computer programming language because she was passionate about education.

  8. Helen Roseveare (1925 - 2016)
    She was a medical missionary to the Belgian Congo (which is now Zaire). She suffered horrendously during the civil war, including being attacked and raped, and yet she counted it a privilege to serve Christ by working with local Africans to bring life-saving help to hundreds.

  9. Jennifer Wiseman (Living)
    Dr. Jennifer Wiseman is a senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where she is the senior project scientist for the Hubble Space Telescope. She is also the director of the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion for the American Association of the Advancement of Science. This organisation encourages communication between scientists and religious communities throughout the world.


Picture This Thought - Meal [Food]

April 17, 2019
We live in a world of fast food, drive throughs, TV dinners, working lunches and meals in a shake. But what if eating is meant to be a much more spiritual experience?

In this short reflection, I consider the importance of mealtimes in the early church, in Jewish history and in our own lives as we build community. We can learn some profound truths about God through our relationship with food if we're willing to stop and think.

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5 ways the prophecy of Joel challenges today’s church

April 3, 2019

Joel as a missional book

I recently wrote an assignment for my Master’s which involved a missional reading of the book of Joel. I could pick any passage of Scripture I liked and there were several times I regretted choosing Joel, but I’m glad I stuck with it as it’s an oft-neglected book of the Bible which has an important message for the church today. When I started, all I knew about it was that it involved a lot of locusts!

As it turns out, Joel’s prophecy demonstrates the whole redem...

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11 more of my favourite podcasts

March 8, 2019

Welcome to the latest post in my occasional podcast recommendation series.

You can catch up on my previous recommendations here:
I've got a mixed topic bag of 11 of my current favourites. See what you think and let me know in the comments below if there are any you'd add:

Topic: Christian Q and A
Frequency: Fortnightly
Running time: 30 mins (usually)
New Testament theologian and prol...

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A prayer of John Wesley

February 4, 2019

O God, seeing as there is in Christ Jesus an infinite fullness of all that we can want or desire,
May we all receive from him, grace upon grace;
grace to pardon our sins, and subdue our iniquities;
to justify our persons and to sanctify our souls;
and to complete that holy change, that renewal of our hearts,
Which will enable us to be transformed into the blessed image in which you created us.
O make us all acceptable to be partakers of the inheritance of your saints in light.

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Isn’t it all about rule-keeping?

January 17, 2019

This is a question I’ve been asked a number of times recently when it comes to my Christian faith. It is a common perception that Christianity is about trying to be good by following a set of rules so that you will earn a reward and avoid a punishment. Many people see Christianity as a reward-based religion, but in fact nothing could be further from the gospel of grace. All other religions have essentially the same basis - that humans try hard to 'be good' or obey commands and then maybe if...

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Book recommendations 2018

December 31, 2018
This year I have read significantly fewer books than last year’s 134 but I still managed 54 books on top of all the articles, papers and chapters that I’ve read for my MA.

I’ve again covered a wide range of subjects from typography to generosity and here are some of my favourites:

Top Christian

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Retreat Guide 2019 - The Sermon on the Mount

December 14, 2018

The Agapé New Year Retreat Guide 2019 is now available for you to use and share. It goes through the Sermon on the Mount over five days, reflecting on these radical words of Jesus to inspire us for the next year of following him. It includes biblical contemplations and reflection to help get the year off to a good start. Each session takes about 30 mins, but there are options for further exploration if you choose.

Get your free 2019 retreat guide here (PDF download)

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The Kindness Instinct

November 27, 2018

When something annoying happens, what response comes instinctively to you? I often find that I start the day with the right intentions to be godly in everything I do and then someone cuts me up in the car, or I get stuck behind a slow pedestrian or behind a pensioner trying to pay by cheque in a shop and immediately the grump is unleashed. I’m often ashamed of the first word that pops into my head when I bash my shins on the bath.

The truth is that my instinctive and impulsive responses are ...

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The strange little band of the gospel

November 19, 2018
'Mission in Community' is the theme of the latest edition of Agapé's MOVE magazine. In it, the principal of my college, Rosalee Velloso Ewell, has written a profoundly challenging piece about being on mission together:

"I would suggest that one of the greatest challenges to the gospel in Western culture is independence and the individualism that goes with it. There is nothing Christ-like about being independent.

In the Bible, when independence is prized, things go badly. Adam and Eve sin so th...

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