Category Archives: Teaching and Learning

Capital Punishment?

Recently I heard a pastor tell his congregation that he always destroys his preaching notes right after delivering any sermon lest he be tempted to become lazy and stale in his ministry by repeating that message in some future situation. … Continue reading

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Therapeutic lamenting

God approves of wholesome lamentation rather than grin-and-bear-it emotional denial based on superficial just-get-over-it advice. The Hebrew scriptures are laced with laments composed in poetry with a special metre, qinah. A biblical lament is a song written in a staccato … Continue reading

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Simply put – that’s the truth!

How do you teach new disciples who do not own a copy of Scriptures or, for that matter, cannot even read? In New Testament times they evidently used memorable ‘slogans’ that easily rolled off the tongue, gems of vital truths … Continue reading

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Now, that’s a great night out – with Jesus (Mark 4:35-41)

Go together where he wants to go Having spent a day telling parables to a ‘very large crowd’ – teaching from a boat (Mark 4:1, 33-34) – Jesus asked his disciples to take the vessel across to the opposite side … Continue reading

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Must it be ‘the same old same old’?

When the supermarket employee at the till politely asks the obligatory social question: ‘How are you today?’ the customer who feels trapped in a routine lifestyle of boredom might reply, ‘The same old same old’ to indicate there’s nothing new … Continue reading

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Lifestyle learning

I am forever saying that the Bible is full of contradictions – every one of them true. Take Isaiah 55:1 for example: ‘Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.’ But hey! Nil desperandum. As always, ‘Christ is … Continue reading

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‘Here’s mud in your eye’ (John 9:1-41)

That silly expression is usually spoken nowadays with a wineglass raised to propose a toast. But our Lord could have addressed it quite literally to a man born blind, because that is exactly how Jesus prepared him to receive his … Continue reading

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Getting maximum value from God’s minimal maxims

Most proverbs owe their existence to the observation of events in creation and of the outcome of human behaviour, such as: ‘He who hesitates is lost.’ When compared, some pithy sayings can appear to be contradictory since each is the … Continue reading

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Four extremely wise little creatures (Proverbs 30:24-28)

At best, a proverb can but convey one aspect of truth, not the whole truth, true only in specific situations. ‘He who hesitates is lost’ could be a healthy exhortation to someone who tends to be introverted, analytical and indecisive … Continue reading

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Divine communication

A paperback entitled ‘Conversations with God’ that I found in a charity shop reckoned that God rarely uses words, because words have their limitations and can easily be misunderstood. Rather, God speaks primarily through our feelings (the language of the … Continue reading

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Best teaching practice (according to Solomon):

Solomon was designated the wisest man that ever lived. So anyone in the teaching profession of the education system, or in the teaching ministry of church life, is well advised to get to grips with his methods of communication. After … Continue reading

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A podium with a purpose

Recently our church family was introduced to a piece of ecclesiastical furniture we had not seen before – a retired lectern of oak, redeemed at minimum cost from a chapel store room, that replaced the collapsible music stand from which … Continue reading

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A feast with fellowship in Lady Wisdom’s home (Proverbs 9:1-12)

in contrast to a secret snack in Madam Folly’s hostel (Proverbs 9:13-18) Wisdom’s home (Proverbs 9: 1-12) Its wholesome features include: A sense of permanence (Proverbs 9:1); it is well structured and ‘spacious’ (New Living Translation) with its ‘seven pillars’ … Continue reading

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