The similar phrase 'Worldly Christianity' is one used by Bonhoeffer. 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.

Midweek Meeting November 30 2022

We had a wonderful zoom meeting on Wednesday. We began by looking at 2 John and then had a really good prayer meeting. We were down to about 7 or 8 but nearly everyine prayed and prayed well. Good time.

Our latest grand daughter

No time even to remove my coat

As I was in South Wales I popped in to see our latest grand daughter, born early on Tuesday, November 29, in Cardiff. She is called Daisy. Hello Daisy from Gransha. She's lovely. This is the daughter of Dylan and Cat, a little sister for Gruff. God is good. Nice cup of coffee from Cat's mum, Sheila. Tapadh leat.

PS (for those who lilke to keep tally). This is grand child number seven, grand daughter number two. Another child is coming next April.

Another Funeral Back at Home

I spent most of Wednesday back at home for another funeral. Mrs Rosemary Aston was 89 years old and I had known her, I suppose since I was about four. I would think my first encounter with her wold have been as a child in the youngest department of the Sunday School. They taught us using a sand tray. I knew her best in my teenage years when she would serve squash in YPF and be with us on camp down in Amroth. Her husband died some years ago. She had two sons. Philip and Peter, both around my age (Philip a year older, Peter a little younger). Philip would give me a daily lift into Cardiff the year after I graduated and was doing my teacher training. Peter went to the same university as me in Aber but after I had finished. Mrs Aston I believe was always a religious person but didn't know the gospel until she brought her children to Sunday School. She was a woman full of good deeds and faith and kindness. She is a great loss. The preacher was the present pastor of the church, Jonny Raine. (This was the hindredth time he's preached at a funeral in just ten years, I believe). Rev Bruce Powell led, very helpfully, in oprayer. It was good to speak to him and to the sons and Philip's son Jason and to Mrs Garwood, my old pastor's widow and my good freinds Stephen and Fay and many others. It was a burial and so I did not fail to look at my parents' grave. Someone remarked how odd it feels to be stood among gravestones of people who for the most part you knew in days gone by. I had to be home for our meeting so it was a quick turn around. I did manage to pop down to Cardiff. More on that in the next post.

Day Off Week 48 2022

I try and do a walk at least once a week. As I was planning to be out all day the next day, I decided lat Tuesday to do a walk on my day off, which I should be doing every time I guess. Anyway, I was up a little late but got a good walk in. Also made some phone calls. When I got to Golders Green Caffe Nero's coffee machine was broken so I had to go to Costa. First world problems, eh? Through the day I read all the essays in Christmas Lore and Legend by Llewelyn Powys. I've read some of them before but it was nice to read them all consecutively. Powys died in 1939 and his style is very much of its age. He is no Christian but he is sympathetic to many aspect of Christmas. Quite stimulating little collection.
Of course, Wales played England in the evening and that was fairly painful. Wales did well to hold them to 0-0 in the first half. Once Rashford scored, however, it was a blessing that we only conceded three. It has been good that Wales made the finals. At the very least people now know we exist. It is very interesting how Yma o hyd has taken off with the fans. I think there is probably greater cohesion between Welsh speakers and monoglots than ever. We all agree that the language is ours even though most of us don't speak it. We are more one nation than we have been in a long time and things like the football help. Having said that, Welsh society is as rotten through and through as English society and sport will never satisfy the spiritual hunger and thirst that is destroying is.

In Writing 140 is now out


This one includes the 2022 Annual Lecture on the St Bartholomews's day massacrre, a piece on John Lothrop and the beginning of a piece on Smason Occom.

Library Lecture on Pierre Viret

We had the last of our Evangelical Library Autumn Lunch Time Lectures yesterday on Zoom. We were treated to a lecture on the forgotten Swiss Pierre Viret by Dr Ian Densham. We were about twenty all told but I wish there has been more. A recording will be avai;lable through the Library shortly and I hope to print up a written version for In Writing soon. Andrew Saywell, a Viret aficianado, was there. He pointed out that on the monument to the Reformers there is an oblique reference to him, as below.

Lord's Day November 27 2022

Sunday was a little different in that my wife and son and the dog were away in Aber. We also had a new pulpit light. It's surprising how one can be distracted if you aren't careful. For some reason the morning sermon on Luke 12:35-48 was very short and we were all finished by noon. Our new Iranian friend was with us but her teenage children had gone sight seeing. A Ghanaian lady turned up with her niece adn little boy just after I had started. After the morning meeting I was with members for lunch. Very kind. We tuned into a zoom meeting from The Philippines which I might have missed if they were not on it. In the evening I preached a proverb (18:10) and I think that was a good choice. The family were back home not long after I got in.

Midweek Meeting November 23 2022

I decided to look at 3 John last Wednesday. It's only a little book but I was a little long over it, I'm afraid. We had what was mostly a good prayer meeting but that could have been better. We didn't hang around as there was an officers' meeting the next day.

Recent Podcast for Kids Why the Pilgrims Left England

I should have drawn attention to a podcast aimed at chidren that I recently took part in. We were sligtly at cross-purposes some of the time but someone has managed to put together a decent enough programme I hope.

The World Cup

The World Cup is well underway and I have been enjoying it where I can. Weird it being in Winter and coming up to Christmas. It has been interesting all the comment and controversy surrounding the holding of it in Qatar. In all the discussion I've heard no-one refer to the fact that it is not easy to be a Christian there if you are native born and it is getting worse. It is one of the countries that most commonly closes churches. FIFA and the World cup are ultimately Anti-Christ movements that seek to create an alternative united world organisation. By that I don't mean it's wrong to watch but I do think we need to be careful and restrained, as with all these things (the Olympics, Eurovision Song Contest, etc). It is understandable that they want a world cup in the Middle East and one sees how attractive the whole idea is. Inevitably, there are going to be difficulties, however. For more on being a Christian in Qatar see here.

Wales and ball games

It has not been a great seven days for Wales in rugby or soccer. In the rugby, we did beat Argentina the other week but losing last Saturday to Georgia by one point was a real humiliation. We lost to New Zealand too. On Saturday we face Australia.
The soccer looked more hopeful (first world cup finals since the year before I was born) but after a passable draw against USA and the 2-0 loss to Iran, it looks likely that the team will soon be back home again. The song "As long as we beat the English" is going through my mind.
I suppose that for a country as small as Wales is, we do not do too badly. We rank ninth in the world in rugby and nineteenth in soccer. (England is fifth in both codes).

Day Off Week 47 2022

I kicked off by going out to do some shopping. Starting on my Christmas shopping I suppose. I was also reading. On to a book on the Cathars now. Channel 5 are showing Christmas films which I thought I might try to watch but they are pretty much poorly done romantic comedies so far. I caught the end of the Argentina Saudi Arabia game in the wolrd cup and was amazed to see that the Saudis had won. That's what the world cup is about. Also caught University Challenge recorded from the night before. More TV in the evening.

Lord's Day November 20 2022

It was a good day last Sunday. I preached in the morning against worldliness from Luke 12:31-34. We had a decent number and the message was appreciated. In the evening, we were a much smaller number as we looked at James 1:21, 22. This was preceded be communon. It was a really encouraging day.

Kristian Dimond

My wife got this "Football to faith" cake made up for the evening

Last night we had a special event at the church. Barry born former footballer Kristian Dimond is pastor of the FIEC church in Wellington, Herefordshire. He has quite a remarkable testimony and it was good to hear it last night along with about 40 others. A very interesting evening,

Midweek Meeting November 16 2022

About 12 of us gathered on zoom for prayer, yesterday night. We were particularly praying for the evangelistic meetng we have tonight with Kristian Dimond but also for many other things. Good to hear so many pray but it would have been good to hear more. We looked first at Psalm 41, the last psalm in the first book of Psalms.