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.

Captain Phillips

One of the things we did on holiday together this week was to watch a DVD. We had talked about going to the cinema but then decided on a DVD. This is not easy as there are six of us with quite varied tastes (plus the fact two or three of the boys have seen quite a few things already). Anyway we were in a department store where we found Captain Phillips going at a reasonable price. The fact Tom Hanks was in it gave us confidence (rightly). The film appeared in 2013 and tells the true story of an American captain whose cargo ship is boarded by Somali pirates (in 2009) and who is then kidnapped and taken away in a small lifeboat. It is not the greatest film ever but with high production values, an interesting enough script and some good moments it kept us happy for an evening.

Hot Air

View overhead today

Boys who know what to do on holiday

We're away for a few days in Sussex and my sons have been making good use of the time

The General Havelock

We were in Hastings the other day and I noticed this pub called the General Havelock. Havelock was a great British general in the 19th century who has a bust in Trafalgar Square. He was also a Baptist and a man of true faith. I wondered what the connection with Hastings might be a she was a northerner. It is simply that upon his death in November 1857, something the whole country seems to have mourned, Passenger Station Road in Hastings was re-named Havelock Road in his honour and the Havelock Hotel was opened at no. 27. (The office of a prominent local architect George Beck, at No. 37 Havelock Road, was called Lucknow House - Lucknow being the scene of Havelock’s final battle during the Indian Mutiny and the place where he died of dysentery.)

The Waverley Encyclopedia

I was in a charity shop today when I saw this going for £5. It is a 1953 encyclopaedia edited by Gordon Stowell. A 1072 page comprehensive volume of facts with illustrations and maps it is the encyclopaedia we had at home when I was a boy and it brought back happy memories to see it again. I didn't buy it.

10 Ways to Mill

1. Ball Mill (slightly inclined or horizontal rotating cylinder partially filled with balls of stone or metal which grinds material to the necessary fineness by friction and impact with the tumbling balls)
2. Rod Mill (rotating drum causes friction and attrition between steel rods and ore particles - term also used for slitting mill which makes nails)
3. Autogenous Mill (rotating drum throws larger rocks of ore in a cascading motion which causes impact breakage of larger rocks and compressive grinding of finer particles)
4. SAG Mill [Semi-Autogenous Grinding Mill] (essentially autogenous mills, but utilising grinding balls to aid in grinding as in a ball mill)
5. Pebble Mill (rotating drum causes friction and attrition between rock pebbles and ore particles)
6. HPGRs [High Pressure Grinding Rolls] (two rollers with the same dimensions rotate against each other with the same circumferential speed)
7. Quernstones, Millstones or Buhrstone Mill (old fashioned pair of stones one over the other)
8. VSI Mill [Vertical Shaft Impactor Mill] (throws rock or ore particles against a wear plate by slinging them from a spinning centre that rotates on a vertical shaft)
9. Edge Mill (stones roll around on their edges, on a level circular bed)
10. Burr grinder (two revolving abrasive surfaces separated by a distance usually set by the user)

10 Types of Mill

1. Bark Mill (producing tan bark for tanneries)
2. Cider Mill
3. Grist Mill (Corn Mill or Flour Mill)
4. Oil Mill
5. Paper Mill
6. Saw Mill (cuts timber)
7. Steel Mill (makes steel)
8. Textile Mill (silk, flax or cotton)
9. Powder Mill (gunpowder)
10. Rice Mill or Huller

10 Types of Grinding Mill

A recent visit to a windmill set me off on this
1. Panemone Wind Mill
2. Post Mill
3. Hollow Post Mill
4. Smock Mill
5. Tower Mill
6. Water Mill
7. Tide Mill
8. Horse Mill
9. Ship Mill
10. Treadwheel

Christopher Wren's House

While down at The Globe recently I noticed for the first time this house nearby. A plaque reveals that this was the house where Christopher Wren resided when involved in the building of St Paul's Cathedral on the opposite bank of The Thames (most conveniently reached these days by means of the Millennium Bridge). Apparently it was in this same house that Catherine of Aragon first lodged when she arrived in England in order to marry the son of Henry VII, Arthur.

Retro Album 30 - Snow Goose

The Snow Goose is the third of 14 studio albums album by the progressive rock band Camel, released in 1975. It is one of those albums that I was aware of for many years and even heard snatches of somehow somewhere but didn't actually buy until 10 years on or whatever. As a teenager I was very poor, very honest and not much given to borrowing albums. Apparently it was their The White Rider suite (based on J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings on the band's previous album, Mirage that inspired them to write more novel-inspired conceptual suites.
The band considered several novels on which to base their third album before settling on Paul Gallico's novella The Snow Goose which I have still never read. The official title Music Inspired by The Snow Goose was designed to accommodate legal protests by Gallico. His protests were not, as often stated, due to a disapproval of smoking, Camel being also a cigarette brand (he was in fact a keen smoker!) but simply on the grounds of copyright infringement. The album is chiefly instrumental due to Gallico's objections, which is a real plus as far as I am concerned.
The music was apparently mostly written during an intensive fortnight in a cottage in Devon. The London Symphony Orchestra participated in the recording and composer and Conductor David Bedford was enlisted to write the highly evocative orchestral arrangements for Latimer and Bardens´ creation. The album eventually reached number 22 in UK album chart and was certified Silver.
The album is considered a masterpieces of symphonic rock and in 2014 was voted no.31 in the Top 100 Prog Albums of All Time by readers of 'Prog' magazine.

Wesley, a man of one book

My attention was drawn recently to the preface to the sermons by John Wesley
TO candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing,—the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. For this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri.* Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His book; for this end, to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of Lights:—“Lord, is it not Thy word, ‘if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God?’ Thou givest liberally, and upbraidest not. Thou hast said, ‘if any be willing to do Thy will, he shall know.’ I am willing to do, let me know Thy will.” I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” I meditate thereon with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God: and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach.
* a man of one book

Programme for Carey Conference 2016

The programme for the Carey Conference, January 5-7, has now been published.
Tuesday 5th
Registration from 12.00 to 13.00 and 13.45 to 14.30 13.00
Lunch (if pre-booked)
14.30 John Owen - Gary Brady / Women’s Track – Julia Jones
16.00 Tea 16.30 The Functional Centrality of the Gospel - Mike Bullmore
18.30 Evening Meal
20.00 Reaching Muslims Today - Hicham
Wednesday 6th
07.45 Prayer
08.30 Breakfast
09.30 The Gospel and Pastoral Character – Mike Bullmore
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Communion with God – Phil Heaps
13.00 Lunch
14.30 Free Time
16.00 Tea 16.30 Q&A / Women’s Track – Julia Jones
18.30 Evening Meal
20.00 The Gospel and Pastoral Labour – Mike Bullmore
Thursday 7th
07.45 Prayer
08.30 Breakfast
09.30 Confronting & Connecting: The Gospel as the Subversive Fulfilment of Culture – Dan Strange
11.00 Coffee
11.30 Conference Sermon – Andrew King
13.00 Lunch & Depart

Lord's Day July 26 2015

I preached yesterday on John 4 (having preached the week before on John 3) and the closing verses of Matthew 7 and the Sermon on the Mount. There is lot's of to-ing and fro-ing with camps and holidays and so on in these holiday months and it turned out that we had a fairly large number in the morning and quite a small number in the evening. In the morning our friends from Carcassonne were there and so I asked H to give us report on the work before we began the worship. In many respects their church experience is very similar to ours except that there are few evangelical churches near them and they currently have no building. H's ministry to Muslims is further feature of the work and a very encouraging one as more and more come to faith. I had not been looking forward to preaching on John 4 after having decided to preach on it but it went better than I expected. It was good to have a visiting couple who have recently moved to the area and found us on the Internet (hope we see them again) and another unmarried couple where she is local and he from the other side of London. He has some sort of Christian background and seems very keen to know more. I hope we see them again soon. It was okay in the evening despite the lower numbers. The wise man and foolish is one of the great passages in Scripture.

A provocative theological question and answer

Writing to his fellow minister David Dickson from exile in Aberdeen in 1637 the great Samuel Rutherford asked a provocative question (and gave a provocative answer) at the end of his letter. He writes
... I have now made a new question, whether Christ be more to be loved for giving sanctification or for free justification? And I hold that he is more and most to be loved for sanctification. It is in some respect greater love in him, to sanctify, than to justify; for he maketh us most like himself, in his own essential portraiture and image in sanctifying us. Justification doth but make us lappy, which is to be like angels only; neither is it such a misery to lye a condemned man, and under unforgiven guiltiness, as to serve sin, and work the works of the Devil; and, therefore, I think sanctification cannot be bought, it is above price. God be thanked forever, that Christ was a told-down price for sanctification. Let a sinner (if possible) lye in hell forever, if he make him truly holy, and let him lye there burning in love to God, rejoicing in the Holy Ghost, hanging upon Christ by faith and hope; that is heaven in the heart and bottom of Hell. ...

Elie Wiesel - Night

We are all aware of the twentieth century Holocaust and the way it affected the Jews in particular. I am currently going with the family through the story of Corrie Ten Boom using a children's book. I remember reading the book Hiding Place many years ago and seeing the film. I have also seen Schindler's List of course. Humanists as well as Christians played their part. I have visited the Ann Frank House museum in Amsterdam but never actually read the diary. I must do so.
I'm sure there are many books on the subject. I recently became aware of Night by Elie Wiesel, a sober and brief telling of one boy's story beginning in Hungary. I think it was the editors who got it down to the size it is and they are to be praised for that. The result is a lean, spare and gripping piece that hold you and horrifies you. Not matter how many times you go over the story, it is extremely difficult to take in. How those without a thoroughgoing doctrine of total depravity can do it I do not know. Night was first published in 1960 and was followed by two other books - Dawn and The Accident. Wiesel called Night his deposition rather than a novel.

Measure for Measure

Saw Measure for Measure at the Globe this week. Perfect weather for it. I believe this is the only Shakespeare title that makes an allusion to a Bible verse (see Matthew 7:1). I think it is this play that I wrote an essay on once disagreeing with the statement that there is a silvery undertone of sadness in the play (I can only think I did that as it is easier to argue against something rather than for it - I find anyway). In that it ends well this is a comedy but there is plenty of tragedy and some fine speeches. The play explores a number of issues very well. This production began by trying to give us the feel of a decadent Vienna, preparing the way for Angelo's deputyship. It was all done very well. Lucio (Brendan O'Hea) enjoyed his dream comedy part and Isabella (Mariah Gale) got so into her part she was able to cry real tears at the right moments.

Experiencing the Trinity

This little book (Experiencing the Trinity) is by Joe Thorn, an American Baptist author new to me. It is made up of 50 short pieces on Father, Son and Holy Spirit, written out of the background of a struggle with some sort of depression. He says he wrote it for himself. I think that is a good way to write some books. It works here. The book is deceptively slight but would repay careful perusal, especially for someone is just heading out of a rough patch. More here. (A book with the same title came out some years ago. Do not confuse the two.)

Retro Album 29 - Renaissance of the Celtic Harp

Renaissance of the Celtic Harp was recorded in 1972 and I discovered it a few years later through a Welsh speaking friend in Aberystwyth University. I ha it first on cassette tape then vinyl. An instrumental album, it is the work of the Breton Celtic harp master Alan Stivell. I suppose the idea of marrying traditional folk music with modern rock music, classical music and (in this case) world music was in the air at the time and this album works very well in that progressive idiom.
 The Celtic harp itself was pretty obscure instrument to me until I heard this album (The Chieftains had one. Their album The Celtic Harp came out over 20 years later in 1993). The mixture of instruments (cello, harp, electric guitars, modern drums, traditional snares and table, etc) and "its evocation of a utopian atmosphere" made it a benchmark for Celtic music revival that was apparently going on in the seventies. Music critic Bruce Elder was full of hyperbole when he wrote of the album at the time "People who hear this record are never the same again." Certainly it is one of the most beautiful and haunting records ever made.
Part of its genius is that it draws on music from practically all the Celtic nations (so increasing sales potential and saying something political at the same time). The opening work, Ys, is inspired by the legend of the 5th century capital of the kingdom of Cornwall. Other pieces are from Brittany, Wales, Scotland Ireland and even the Isle of Man.

10 differences between the meetings with Jesus in John 3 and 4

1. He came at night. She met Jesus in the middle of the day
2. He was a man. She was a woman
3. He is named. She is not named
4. He was a Jew. She was a Samaritan
5. He was well known. She was trying to be anonymous
6. He was an educated leader. She was an uneducated outsider
7. He was outwardly respectable. She was decadent
8. He thinks he knows about Jesus but doesn't. She doesn't know anything but learns fast
9. He fades out of the conversation. She remains active in the conversation
10. He does not believe then and brings no-one along. She quickly believes and brings others to Jesus

New Book Candle in the wind

Candle in the Wind by Gary Brady


Available from 01.08.15
US price $14.99
Author Gary Brady
ISBN 9781783970421
Pages 242
Matthew Henry (1662-1714), commenting on Romans 2, wrote that “Conscience is the candle of the Lord which was not quite put out”. Others have been much more effusive about conscience. In his now famous Les Miserables, the French writer Victor Hugo wrote that “there is a spectacle more grand than the sea; it is heaven; there is a spectacle more grand than heaven; it is the conscience.”
Books on the conscience have been few and far between in recent years. This probably points to an underlying neglect of what is a truly important subject. This latest exploration of conscience is intended to do something to help address this situation. It seeks to bring the subject of conscience to the bar of God's Word so that we may be helped to understand it in the way we should. It begins by amassing the biblical data – more extensive than many realise - and seeks to clear away confusion and properly define what conscience is. Subsequent chapters explore conscience in the unconverted, in those under conviction and in believers. Problems that arise with the consciences of Christians are also examined; among other topics included are conscience in children and conscience in eternity.
'With one or two worthy exceptions, evangelicals today neglect the subject of conscience in fostering personal spiritual growth, in preaching and in our literature. This readable and thorough study is much needed. Gary Brady speaks to contemporary issues but also enriches us with the insights of the Puritans who took conscience so much more seriously than we do. You will be glad you read it.'
Mostyn Roberts Pastor, Welwyn Evangelical Church, and chairman of Evangelical Press.

Gary Brady grew up on a housing estate in Cwmbran, South Wales, in the sixties and seventies and became the pastor of Childs Hill Baptist Church, London, in 1983. This is his sixth book with Evangelical Press and is the fruit of many years of study. Gary is married to Eleri; they have five sons and two grandchildren.

See here

10 Minutes from my door

This is why so many people pay a fortune to live in this part of London

Execution by Simon Webb

I read this little book on the history of capital punishment in Britain the other week. Judicial hanging is its main theme but it touches on burning, beheading, etc. It talks about forgotten matters such as the Halifax Gibbet and boiling people to death amongst other things. It covers some of the most gruesome passages of British history but not in a sensationalist way. The main story is of the development of better hanging techniques and of the hangmen who were sometimes drunks. I am in favour of capital punishment to some extent but this book shows how very difficult it is to come up with a method of execution that is anywhere near humane.

Retro Album 28 - Introspection 2

I first discovered the series of albums that became the Introspection series as a teenager. There are five altogether (1-4 plus '92 the homage album to Rogier Van Otterloo one of the major forces behind these albums). Number 2 is my favourite but the others are fine too. The 1975 album uses an orchestra with Thijs Van Leer's flute plus the voice of Letty de Jong, an electric bass, Spanish guitar, snare drums and piano at times and creates a very attractive soundscape that I suppose would be called light classical. Some tracks are rearranged classical pieces (Granados, Cimarosa, Handel and Bach) while other pieces are modern ones by Van Leer (including Focus III) and Van Otterloo (Rondo and Introspection). Part of the pleasure is in knowing that this very sedate album features the man who also plays on Hocus Pocus but it is just a very good album anyway in a relaxing sort of way.

Lord's Day July 19 2015

It was a privilege to be preaching God's Word again yesterday. I had expected numbers to be down as I knew a lot had left for holidays and camps and beach missions but with visitors we had decent (for us) congregations morning and evening. In the morning we went back to John 3. I think John 3 is one of those chapters we ought to keep coming back to. In fact, after I'd made fresh preparations I noticed that in Autumn 2012 and I had done a nine sermon series on the verses as far as 21. By taking a larger chunk I was able to speak about regeneration and justification not just one or the other. In the evening we were in Matthew 7:21-23 (almost at the end then) and the matter of Christians false and true. We ended up with quite searching sermons then. We need more of that I guess.

Richard II at the Globe

I was glad to get down to see Richard II at the Globe last week, especially as I'd ended up missing the other history offering this year - King John. I had particularly enjoyed the Ben Whishaw BBC version on TV a few years ago and so had high hopes of what, on the face of it, is a difficult and uninspiring play with few great quotes (This sceptre Isle is the only one I spotted). The lead this time was taken by Charles Edwards (who I recognised from Downton Abbey) and he made a fine stab at it. The others were all okay too but I felt it didn't really grip us quite somehow. Ah well. The music was provided by a set of shiny trombones. That was done very well. 

Midweek Meeting July 15 2015

Another full turn out last night. Having finished Philippians I thought we would do a one off from Matthew 28:18-20 looking afresh at the Great Commission. I had some sort of problem with my kindle again so had to do it without notes, which is not nice but nit that difficult. We had a good time of prayer too. Lots of people off this week to be involved in beach missions and camps. I hope there are some left here come Sunday.

Retro Album 27 - Mind Wave

One of the more obscure albums in my collection is Mind Wave the second and ultimate solo album by the Dutchman Cyril Havermans. On first listen it can sound a little jerky and disjointed but once you get to know it, it is a fine rock album well worth trying to track down. I knew of Cyril from his stint as bassist and vocalist with Focus. Originally using the stage name Carel Hagemans he was with obscure Dutch groups Peter and the Beats (1965–66), The Heralds (1966–67), Spacial Concept (1967–68), and Big Wheel (1968–1969) before some solo work and the Focus period, 1970-1971. He actually only appears on Moving Waves and apparently not that much. He left the band to pursue a solo career playing melodic, acoustic guitar music with English lyrics, dropping the 'e' from his first name. The eponymous Cyril came out in 1973 with support from his old Focus bandmates Jan Akkerman, Thijs van Leer and Pierre van der Linden. This album followed in 1974. The group sometimes performed as openers for Focus on the continent in 1975. Cyril surfaced again in 1977 and then 1983 and 2007 chiefly in versions of Brainbox and appears still to be going.
(I thought I'd drop the of the week as we're way out of sync)

Lord's Day July 12 2015

We had a gratifyingly full church Sunday morning and a decent number Sunday evening too. I preached on Psalm 103 in the morning. It is a wonderful psalm of praise and sort of preaches itself, if you know what I mean. We had a few visitors, including and Iranian man I'd never met before. All our student types are back too now before they scatter to the four winds on camps and beach missions, etc. It was good to have Liz Rajo and her children with us from Madagascar. I did a little interview with her over tea in the afternoon just to update us all on the needs there. I preached in the evening on false prophets and true, a warning message. Preaching is not easy. I found myself wondering at the end of the day if there was enough of Christ in it all. It's easy to miss the main thing.

Wonderland Pics

Members of my family transformed the garden into Wonderland last Saturday. We all tried to do our bit to celebrate the coming birthdays of my grandson and daughter-in-law

Rose Marie Brady

Today is my mother's birthday. She's not celebrating - well, no more than she does every day if she's gone where I think she's gone. She would have been 81 if she'd hung around which (as they say) is not old these days. I still miss her every day, even though she died 16 years ago. God knows best.

Authentic Calvinism

The printed lectures for the 2014 Westminster Conference are now available. They are on Thomas Charles, John Knox, Richard Baxter, etc. See here.

Midweek Meeting July 8 2015

I'd thought numbers might be own a bit last night but we weren't too bad even with four or so missing. Two sort of visitors helped. We looked at the final verses in Philippians, which we started back at the end of 2014. It was the twenty fourth in the series. I was not long on these closing verses (4:20-24). It's always good to end with grace. There seemed to be loads of things to pray about including a number prospective new attendees. We'll see.

Lord's Day July 5 2015

I was a little anxious yesterday after the difficulties of the week before but I was looking to the Lord and was greatly helped. We began with communion as we do on the first Lord's Day of the month. I preached in the morning on another psalm, on Psalm 130. What a great Pauline psalm. In the evening we came to the narrow gate and road of Matthew 7 and it was helpful in both services to have visitors of various sorts in though it is always disconcerting when (as happened yesterday) someone comes in then goes out shortly after. It is someone I know at least. The other strange thing yesterday was that a man came in to the evening service. He was a Welshman who claimed to have acted in the West End with Judy Dench et al. He asked if he could sing to the congregation at the end in Welsh. I said he could sing to my family (who made up a quarter of the congregation I guess). He then sang this cod-Welsh folk song very dramatically (cariad was the only bona fide Welsh word any of us could understand). He had a good voice but the experience was a little bizarre. He also left a calling card, which thanks to vinyl chairs and an observant church member was quickly dealt with using disinfectant. It was a day for stranger folk really. A local character turned up outside the church with a cigarette in one hand and can of Holsten Pils in the other assuring me he would be paying me back Tuesday. He also said that Chelsea (he's a big fan) would be playing their first game next season against Swansea. Good to know. One just hopes those who did hear the Word are saved. Praying before preaching can be hard, praying after even more so.

A night away

Having the most wonderful wife in the world is a real boon at times. Last Friday she took me off to a lovely hotel in the country just for 24 hours to celebrate my last birthday. We just had a couple of meals at the hotel where we stayed (The Red Lion, Whittlesford Bridge, Cambs, near Duxford) had a quick look at Audley End House and "did" Saffron Walden before heading back but what a great time.

Retro Album - the story so far (2)

Retro Album of the Week 26 - Scribbled in Chalk

I'm not sure how I discovered Karine Polwart's second studio album Scribbled in chalk. I know that it was bit by bit and well after the release date of 2006. It has been acknowledged as a fine folk album by many. It wears its folk mantle lightly and is not afraid to use orchestra, drum kit, as necessary. It is not an obviously Scots album but the Scotsness creeps in here and there (eg the reference to gallons ie daisies on Follow the heron a favourite track of mine and the Jane Haining link). I like Maybe there's a road and Daisy a lot. Wikipedia says that the album often looks at the darker side of life with tales of sex trafficking (Maybe there's a Road), the holocaust (Baleerie Baloo, which is about the missionary Jane Haining) and the uncertainties of life (Hole in the Heart). But these stories of despair are balanced by others that describe the joy of a slower life (Take Its Own Time), of hope triumphing over cynicism (Where the Smoke Blows) and the wonder of the universe (Terminal Star). 

Midweek Meeting July 1 2015

We had a bumper turn out last night mainly because we had a few students back before they head off on various exploits for the summer. We looked at Philippians 4:10-19 and the matter of giving to others - a cause of joy in the Lord, when opportunity arises, etc, including material on contentedness which is so important. A good time of prayer followed.

Every Chapter 05 - 1 Thessalonians

It is well known that every chapter of 1 Thessalonians makes reference to the second coming

1.10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
2.19, 20 For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy.
3.12, 13 May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
4.13-18 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
5.1-11 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Val Doonican dies

I hear that Val Doonican has died. A cross between Terry Wogan, Michael Fish and Perry Como his Saturday night TV shows in the sixties and seventies were de rigeur.