Thursday, 25 August 2016

Overpopulation is a myth so have lots of children...

... it's good for the planet! Well argued for in this article. Here's a taster:

Everything is headed in the wrong direction for environmental scaremongers. If we’re already experiencing the negative force of climate change — which I’m told we are every time we have ugly weather somewhere in the country — shouldn’t things be getting worse? Well, the real trouble is always right over the horizon.
Take India. Not only do they have to deal with Americans despoiling the earth, its population has exploded from 450 million in 1960 to 1.25 billion today. Yet by every tangible measurement of human progress the Indian people live better now than they did before the colonialists started using refrigerators. And it’s not just India.
Read the whole thing here

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Oh to be a pastor in Chaucer's making (pt 1)

This is from the prologue to The Canterbury tales:

A holy-minded man of good renown
there was, and poor the Parson of the town,

Yet he was rich in holy thought and work.
He also was a learned man, a clerk,

Who truly knew Christ's gospel and would preach it
devoutly to his parishioners, and teach it

Benign and wonderfully diligent
and patient when adversity was sent

For so he proved in great adversity
He much disliked extorting tithe or fee

Nay rather he preferred beyond a doubt
giving to poor parishioners round about

From his own goods and Easter offerings
He found sufficiency in little things

Oh to be a such a pastor
Lord I need thy power!

Thursday, 28 July 2016

How Jesus differs from Prince Harry

Prince Harry recently confessed that he should have spoken more openly about his mother (Princess Diana's) death. During an interview with the BBC he said:
"It is OK to suffer, but as long as you talk about it, it is not a weakness.
In other words, to talk about one's struggles and to be 'honest' about one's hurts is not something weak and lame but rather strong and brave. Part of Prince Harry's plea was - I think - to commend a more emoting society (among the British) rather than the aloof and distant feeling that sometimes typifies UK society (best captured I think by the phrase stiff upper lip)

Bottom line is that Prince Harry was saying it's okay/should be acceptable to 'let it all out' - to share one's sadnesses openly. Not so fast says Jesus Christ! Whilst reflecting on the immense pre-crucifixion suffering Jesus underwent, Prophet Isaiah reveals how little emoting, Jesus did:
"He was oppressed and afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; He was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is silent, so He did not open His mouth." (Isaiah 53 verse 7)
So me thinks that [perhaps] keeping your trap shut is the better/more Christ-like option?

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Monday, 20 June 2016

A Father like no other

What image comes to mind when you hear the word God? And as you picture Him, what exactly is it that He is doing?  Is He standing?  Sitting?  Moving or stationary? Is He looking at you? What expression is on His face?  What about His hands?  Are they clenched in a fist?  Are His arms crossed or on his hips?  Is He pleased?  Is He powerful, or does He look like a kind old grandpa?  Is He strong or weak?

How we see God plays a powerful role in how we respond to him. At various points in my childhood, I thought God was like a cosmic force in the sky ready to zing a bolt down to strike me if I misbehaved. Yet the Scriptures present a very different picture of God. In the Gospels, Jesus exhorts us to call God, Father, “our Father.” The picture of God in the Scriptures is of a Father who is good, loving and kind, which is not often how we think of God. If it isn’t as the strict disciplinarian more akin to a Sergeant Major then we think of Him as the dozy grandfather all cuddles and smiles. Neither of these depictions faithfully matches the description of God as a good Father given in the gospels

Perhaps part of the challenge is the fact that fatherhood today is not esteemed in our culture. Think, for example, of how dads are often portrayed on TV – e.g. Daddy Pig in Peppa, Ben in My Family, Phil in Modern Family and off course Homer in Simpson – bungling and lazy, oblivious to the needs of the family and irrevocably incompetent. This has led in various ways to fathers who are either ruthless (and who in the worst cases abandon their families) or to dads who are ‘around’ but not that focussed on serving and blessing their families and who are not that bothered to try.

How vastly different this is to our heavenly Father. Neither harsh nor disinterested, God is the concerned Father who seeks the wellbeing of all His children. One of the clearest descriptions of God’s goodness comes from the Psalms: As a father has compassion on his children so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. To fear the Lord is to esteem Him as our Creator and King. He made the heavens and earth, you and I and therefore deserves our joyful adoration. But far from being aloof and austere (as the high and mighty sometimes come across), God is compassionate and loving. Nowhere is this more visible than in His gift of His Son to be our Saviour. Greater love has no Father than this that He gave His one and only Son to die for our sin. Hallelujah!

Parish magazine article for June 19th 2016

Friday, 22 April 2016

Why we need St George

Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.

—G. K. Chesteron, “The Red Angel” (1909)