Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

M'Cheyne on the Lord's Day

R  M M'Cheyne wrote

“A well-spent Sabbath we feel to be a day of heaven upon earth. For this reason we wish our Sabbaths to he wholly given to God. We love to spend the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is taken up in the works A necessity and mercy. We love to rise early on that morning, and to sit up late, that we may have a long day with God.”

It was M‘Cheyne’s usual practice to rise at 6am on the Lord’s Day, and not to go to bed until midnight, so that he might spend as much time with God on His day as possible. I know he was a single man but that is the spirit we ought to have.
 

New Westminster Conference website

We have had some problems with the old site so please use this new one http://www.westminsterconference.co.uk/

10 Palindromic Place Names

Again just a selection from Wikipedia
1. Kanakanak, Alaska
2. Paraparap, Australia
3. Idappadi, Indai
4. Akasaka, Japan (there are several)
5. Glenelg, Scotland and USA and Australia
6. Okonoko, USA
7. Notton, England (Yorkshire)
8. Noyon, France
9. Qaanaaq, Greenland
10. Illi, Estonia and Armenia

10 Reduplicated Place Names

There is a long list on Wikipedia but here are ten

1. Baden-Baden, Germany
2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
3. Dum Dum, India
4. Gorom-Gorom, Burkina Faso
5. Kwekwe, Zimbabwe
6. Iloilo, Philippines
7. Lomaloma, Fiji
8. Pago Pago, Samoa
9. Wagga Wagga, Australia
10. Xai Xai, Mozambique

He lifts me up by Al Martin

I was at the John Owen Centre today where the TSG was meeting to discuss Al Martin's little book He lifts me up on avoiding ministerial backsliding, burnout and washout. The book is firmly based on a series of addresses given on the subject some years ago. I found the book helpful over all and very challenging though I didn't like it somehow. I decided in the end there was some sort of personality clash going on. We were only five met for discussion but there was a similar reaction from some. One man thought the book quite negative. Others thought the problem, if there was one, was the transatlantic issue in terms of the situation and the way men express themselves. The book is not long and it is very easy to read form the comprehension point of view. It stimulated us, nearly all ministers, no end and led to a lengthy and full discussion that was most helpful as we worked through the book considering the various pastoral issues raised. We plan to discuss John Owen on the Person of Christ next time in February 2015.

Lord's Day September 28 2014

I have been back preaching now for a while. At first I managed to stay ahead in my preparation but time has already caught up with me and I am back to a week by week pattern. It was harvest with us on Sunday morning. We don't decorate the church with vegetables and so on but I do like to preach a harvest type sermon (Acts 14:15-17 this time) and we sing those great harvest hymns. In the evening we came to L of TULIP, Limited Atonement, the most difficult perhaps but clear enough in Scripture. There were some missing morning and evening but one or two visitors including people from Ghana, South Africa, Madagascar and South Korea, which added to our international feel (Nigeria, Romania, the Philippines, etc, already represented). 


Midweek Meeting September 24 2014

I forgot to add my comment on the last midweek meeting, as promised. We had a church members' meeting the next night and I was involved in the children's work Friday evening. Also on Thursday I was speaking at a fraternal up the road. So Wednesday night we had a good number there and a good prayer time as we carried on with the subject of spiritual growth talking about personal prayer, journal keeping and devotional reading. We also started on family duties, namely family worship and hospitality. All practical stuff. We began with Cowper's wonderful Jesus, where'er Thy people meet.

Lord's Day September 21 2014

It was a good day yesterday though with some folk missing. We had a well attended communion in the evening thinking about the crown of thorns. In the morning I carried on with 1 Corinthians 13 (5-7) and the character of love and in the evening we pressed on with tulip, coming to unconditional election. Romans 9 is quite something is it not? Wonderful subjects again then. What a privilege to be given to such work. 

Two bits of good news

Reading The Times this morning I saw that the world's population is soon to hit 11 billion in 2100 (according to Science). The Guardian like the Times is very pessimistic in its presentation but if you are pro-life you will look at it more optimistically I would hope. Also gratifying to some extent is that this is not what the experts expected. Clearly a growing population (like a growing family) brings its own problems but there is no reason to be gloomy just because there are going to be more people. Lack of healthcare, poverty, pollution and rising unrest and crime are all problems caused by greed rather than booming populations I would guess.
I'm trying to hide the line The preference for large families is linked to lack of female education which limits women’s life choices from the wife.
The world’s population is now odds-on to swell ever-higher for the rest of the century, posing grave challenges for food supplies, healthcare and social cohesion. A ground-breaking analysis released on Thursday shows there is a 70% chance that the number of people on the planet will rise continuously from 7bn today to 11bn in 2100.
The other interesting article was from something in Nature Communications saying that trees are growing faster due to climate change. See the article here. It begins
The Earth’s forests are a crucial resource for absorbing human carbon output and slowing, at least to a degree, the pace of climate change. But climate change also is altering the forests themselves. For one thing, it seems to be making trees in some places grow a lot faster.
 

Scotland Today


I thought that what is going on in Scotland today would be a good excuse for a bit of Julie Fowlis. No prizes for guessing which way Julie has voted. I hope that not all proud Scots will agree as understandable as the yes vote is.

Midweek Meeting September 17 2014

We carried on last night with our studies in Spiritual growth, still based on Colossians 1:9, 10 and this time looking at the phrase bearing fruit in every good work which led to a brief exploration of the importance of reading and meditating on Scripture in private. Managed to keep it a little shorter this time and we had a good prayer time. It was nice to have my mother-in-law there who is with us while Geoff is in Russia preaching with EP. Several have moved on since we last met and some were missing but one other was back and we were a decent number.

Evangelical Library - Dr Densham on the Trinity

It was good to be at the lunch time lecture at the Evangelical Library last Monday. Dr Ian Densham gave his second lecture on the Trinity. Concise and pastorally sensitive it was a blessing to here. Both lectures should appear shortly on the Library website. Recordings are also available. The next lunch time lecture is on November 17 and is to be given by Lesley A Rowe on Arthur Hildersham and his books. Do plan to come.

Lord's Day September 14 2014

Bit slow with this but we had a good Sunday last. In the morning numbers were down slightly but there was a new lady there, who looked keen to come again. We were also saying goodbye to Andrew and Jill. Andrew Lolley has been our assistant over the last year and is now headed for Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth. We were able to give them gifts and pray for them during the service and then later at the fellowship lunch that followed. I preached in the morning on 1 Corinthians 13:4 on love being patient, kind and not envious, boastful or proud. In the evening we looked at the devastating but ultimately encouraging topic of Total Depravity, the first of the five points of Calvin. Getting back into it slowly then.

My new book out soon

I understand that my new book will be out October 17.
A Candle in the Wind is paperback subtitled What the Bible says about the conscience and is by Gary Brady.
It will be £7.99.
This study looks at the biblical data and offers a view of conscience that rescues it from popular confusion
Gary Brady takes his title from a comment in Matthew Henry on Romans, where the conscience is termed 'The candle of the Lord, which was not quite put out.' In this study he looks at the biblical data and offers a view of conscience that rescues it from popular confusion. Conscience in the unbeliever and the believer are dealt with and there is material on conscience and assurance, and on developing the conscience. In the final section Gary deals with the interesting topics of conscience in children, conscience and religious and civil liberty and, finally, conscience in eternity.
No cover image available yet.