Monday, January 16, 2023

The first Joel

I am still on Joel and included Rev 9 in my Sunday sermon and I also tell the story of a wonderful answered prayer..

The answer was connected geographically to Aldersgate Street.

A conversation today with someone who commented that locusts with faces indicates that it's humans that are the reality of evil and the demonic in the world.

I am reading 'The Lord is my courage' and it observes that the temptations can be summarized as:

'Have More. Hurt Less. Rule Faster' (p23)

There is a scene from Frozen Planet 2 of Orca's hunting a seal and it's stunning film-making. It's also a picture of the flicks of the enemies tale can so easily can consume us.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Fresh hope

 I am preaching through Joel this month so have been thinking a lot about locusts.

This is a new song we are introducing this weekend.

Preaching through Joel requires one to ponder 'the Day of the Lord' and a lot of ink has been used on such matters. When I ponder such things, I am grateful for Simon's book called 'And the Lamb Wins' but I've given my copy away to someone....

I'm reading Scott Saul's book 'Beautiful people don't just happen' and in it he says this:

'...when we catastrophise about the future, when we imagine the very worst for ourselves and for those we love- the thing we must do again and again is to talk to ourselves more than we listen to ourselves'

For ten years, I've said to Mrs C I wanted to be in a community choir. I've finally joined one

This is one of our numbers.

Saturday, December 31, 2022


I am preaching through Joel in the NY. 

As a result I've been pondering 'the Day of the Lord' and questions of tribulation. In the past, many would have had views on such matters. However, I fear we are now so sub-Scriptural that most have little idea about the end times.

I read Dane Orlund's new little booklet 'Is Hell Real'. Here are 20 quotes from it.

At one point, he quotes this fascinating sermon on Job 14:2 that illustrates that our forebears were keenly attuned to the afterlife and its consequences.  It's such an interesting read for all sorts of reasons.

Russel Brand interviewed Ricky Gervais and the Archbishop of York debating God.

We are watching the Crown and the episode about Al Fayed is so good. It's an illustration of what money simply wasn't able to buy.

Someone gave me Vernon McKee's Thru the Bible and it's a veritable 5-volume treasure trove. I sometimes say 'I wonder what Vernon thinks?'. In case you were wondering, he disagrees with Piper on the rapture

I listened to something on Radio 4 yesterday on 'Doomscrolling' .and the presenter quoted John Gottman's advice on marriage. He can apparently predict with 85% accuracy if you are going to divorce. We learnt this as Mrs C and I watched this. 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Boxing up

We cooked Turkey for a crowd and everything miraculously came out hot and on time which was a mini-triumph.  Grateful to Delia's guidance. We have fab new gadget that is a gravy pourer that removes the fat.  

We watched The Mole etc by Charlie Mackesy.   It is so simple and full of lovely pithy truths but I wonder if they make much sense without the backdrop of the gospel? One line struck me

'Life is difficult but you are loved' 

I am reading 'Seasons of sorrow' and meant to put this book about Cromwell on my Christmas. I may get it as NY present to myself. 

We've been singing this in our house as we wash up dishes thank to Tim Challies for the recommendation.

I gave my mum  'Us' to read and she's loving it. The book is much better than the BBC series.

This is another list of recommendations of good 2022 albums.

One of the great pleasures in life is reading a good cookery book on Boxing Day and then picking a recipe to rustle up. This is the one I'm enjoying by Nigel Slater who manages to make food writing into story-telling.

....., though I may have grumbled about becoming trite over time, right now, nothing is more precious to me, nothing more important to me, than this: God is good all the time, and all the time God is good'

Seasons of sorrow, p.28

Thursday, December 22, 2022

That was the year that was

As you may have noticed, it's been very quiet here for a long time but it's now time to start writing and sharing again. 

When I first started blogging, one of the bloggers who blessed me was a man called Tim Challies. He pointed me to lots of good books and interesting places that fed my soul in countless ways. However, because I've been off blogging, I've been off reading blogs too so as I came back on stream I read his blog for the first time in a long time. 

What I learnt so saddened me. I read that Tim had lost his only son who died suddenly and tragically young. As the father of two sons, I can't imagine the pain that he must have been through and the deep questions of how  God could put him through such a thing. Tim has called his book 'Seasons of sorrow' and it's now on my Christmas list to read in 2023. 


Tim has his Collected best lists of 2022 reads.

Saturday blog-sweep

 Some interesting books for pastors The State we're in Attack at dawn Joseph Scriven Joy comes with the morning When small is beautiful