Category Archives: Heart and soul

Turning water into wine – why start with that?

According to the reckoning of John’s Gospel, turning ‘water . . . for Jewish ceremonial washing’ into ‘the best wine’ was the ‘miraculous sign’ with which, for ‘the first time, Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him’ … Continue reading

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‘Wellbeing’ is not just a fashionable catchphrase

Recently it seems that everyone is talking about wellbeing. It’s the fashionable way to refer to a person’s all-round good health, whether mental health or emotional, physical or spiritual health. Actually, the Hebrew language had a word similar to wellbeing … Continue reading

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‘I must be about my Father’s business’

‘I must be about my Father’s business’ (Luke 2:49 King James Version) To which God-given duties did Jesus occasionally refer? Only a few times in the Gospels do we hear Jesus speak of duties he ‘must’ fulfil. In fact there … Continue reading

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The origin of ‘Happy Families’ was more than a game!

Milton is the locality where our church meets on Sunday mornings. We expressed our vision for 2019 as: ‘Being Family at Milton’. One of the games we played when our offspring were children was Happy Families. The pack contained such … Continue reading

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Elijah meets God on Mount Sinai (1 Kings 19)

If we are not currently hearing God’s voice, one major reason could be a particular act of sin or a persistent wrong attitude – some act of disobedience or a habit of self indulgence. When one of the builders lost … Continue reading

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Peace that you can’t figure out

Christmas since Victorian times has developed into a prolonged, frenetic period of the year. Folk seem to reach a state of perpetual motion, rushing through shopping arcades to buy seasonal gifts. Sure, some have solved that problem by ordering online. … Continue reading

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Remembering can cause anguish – or ecstasy

(A sermon delivered on Armistice Centenary; Sunday 11th November 2018) [] Only ten days ago we were prompted to: Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot. I can’t find a reason why gunpowder treason should ever be … Continue reading

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The progressive Christian life: sitting enthroned; walking wisely; standing firm

In my youth I considered Nee to-Sheng as a model minister of the gospel – better known here in the West as Watchman Nee. He trained and inspired many apostolic teams who established 700 indigenous congregations all over their native … Continue reading

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The Snowflake Generation

Just a moment! That phrase, the snowflake generation, nowadays refers to our Western society, so restrained by political correctness that they are afraid to takes risks or show their heads above the parapet. But instead let’s consider the creation of … Continue reading

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Spirituality – have you a vague idea?

According to contemporary authors one can be spiritual without being religious. And we might suppose that our Lord himself agreed with this non-religious aspect of real spirituality when answering the lonely, religious Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar because … Continue reading

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Focus: 2018

When Roman legions occupied Britain two thousand years ago, ‘focus’ was their Latin noun for fireplace that later simply meant ‘fire’. That later Latin meaning may have mutated into current English as ‘concentrating one’s attention’ through that trick of using … Continue reading

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A Hogmanay ‘fireside chat’

‘Focus’ The English language has been a lifetime hobby of mine. I especially enjoy tracking down the source of many of our words. Of course, I was sure that I already knew the only possible meaning of the verb ‘focus’ … Continue reading

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Inner peace for Type A personalities under stress

‘Type A’ personalities Since the term was invented in the early 1960s by cardiologists Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman, ‘Type A personality’ has been the label given to up-and-at-’em’ individuals who are ‘immensely competitive, over-achieving, time-pressured, impatient and hostile’, according … Continue reading

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Some thrilling cardiac thinking

Scripture attributes to the heart such activities as thoughts (Genesis 6:5) and intentions (Genesis 8:21), desires (Psalm 37:4) and purposes (1 Corinthians 4:5), hate (Leviticus 19:17) and love (Deuteronomy 10:12), and such emotions as anxiety (Proverbs 12:25) and joy (Proverbs … Continue reading

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Self-awareness

When I was young, psychologists urged us to discover yourself. ‘Know thyself’ was the catchphrase of the day. But, who am I? Am I the class clown of the Sixth Form, the studious mouse locked up in my room with … Continue reading

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‘Mindfulness’ – a biblical view

Has the word ‘meditation’ gone out of fashion in the vocabulary of New Age ‘spirituality’ in favour of ‘mindfulness’? Or would the term ‘mindedness’ better describe the discipline of focused, calm stillness that adherents attempt to achieve? I could ‘Google’ … Continue reading

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If we must ask, ‘Why, Lord?’ here’s how

            [] It’s not a ‘Frequently Asked Question’ in Scripture Only a few saints in the Bible narrative ever asked, ‘Why, Lord?’ and most of them did so only on one recorded occasion. Here are the stats (if my maths … Continue reading

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Earnestly desire to speak regularly in tongues

A good way to look at the whole range of spiritual gifts is through the prism of speaking with other tongues. This is a much misunderstood and underused resource in church life today. Read about it in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; … Continue reading

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