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.

10 colours in Beatles songs

1.Yellow Submarine
2. Baby's In Black
3. Yer Blues
4. Blue Jay Way
5. Old Brown Shoe
6. Yes It Is (Please don't wear red tonight this is what I said tonight for red is the colour that will make me blue)
7. Tell me what you see (Big and black the clouds may be, time will pass away)
8. You Never Give me your Money (Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go But oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go)
9. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head)
10. All Together Now (Black white green red can I take my friend to bed? Pink brown yellow orange and blue I love you)

10 Examples of Bible Chapter Divisions that can hide truth

Bible Chapters were apparently introduced in the early 1200s by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury. (NT verses came later when  Robert Etienne (Robertus Stephanus) translated the Bible into French. The Hebrew verse divisions were made by the Massoretes).
Sometimes these divisions are unfortunate and even where they are not can obscure truths. It is important, therefore, for the Bible interpreter to ignore them to some extent.
Here are some examples of where things may be missed otherwise.
1. Genesis 1, 2
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day. 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 
2. Exodus 10, 11
27 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he was not willing to let them go. 28 Pharaoh said to Moses, “Get out of my sight! Make sure you do not appear before me again! The day you see my face you will die.” 29 “Just as you say,” Moses replied. “I will never appear before you again.” 1 Now the Lord had said to Moses, “I will bring one more plague on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he will let you go from here, and when he does, he will drive you out completely. 2 Tell the people that men and women alike are to ask their neighbours for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (The Lord made the Egyptians favourably disposed toward the people, and Moses himself was highly regarded in Egypt by Pharaoh’s officials and by the people.) 4 So Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. ... 
3. Joshua 5, 6
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" 14  "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?" 15 The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so. 1 Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. ...
4. Isaiah 52, 53
13 See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.  14  Just as there were many who were appalled at him - his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness - 15 so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. 1 Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. ...
5. Matthew 9,10
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." 1 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: ...
6. John 2, 3
23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. 1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” ...
(Nicodemus is either an example or an exception of this seeing signs and believing)
7. Romans 11, 12
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgements, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counsellor?” 35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” 36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God -this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will. ...
8. Romans 14, 15
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. 1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2 Each of us should please our neighbours for their good, to build them up. 3 For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ...
9. 2 Corinthians 6, 7
11 We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you. 12 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. 13 As a fair exchange--I speak as to my children--open wide your hearts also. 14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 17 Therefore, "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 18 And, "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 1 Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
10. 2 Timothy 3, 4
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage - with great patience and careful instruction.

10 Extant Flightless Birds

1. Ostrich
2. Emu
3. Cassowary
4. Rhea
5. Kiwi
6. Great Auk*
7. Penguin
8. Kakapo
9. Steamer Duck
10. Flightless Cormorant

I had not realised the Great Auk is extinct. Perhaps I could replace it with the improbably named inaccessibe island rail (see here). The first five are sometimes grouped as ratites.

Midweek Meeting March 28 2018

We had a good turn out yesterday (evenually) in double figures. Given that Easter is fast approaching I decided to look at three characters conected with the trial, death and burial of Christ - namely Pilate's wife, the Roman centurion and Joseph of Arimathea. It is alwasy good to look at the cross. As ever there was plenty to pray about and just about time for everyone to take part.


Anti-Semitism is in the news again. I step towards the subject gingerly as I would guess it is the easiest thing in the world to fall into. (I find myself in danger of falling into it regularly on the roads near here. There are many rude drivers about in this part of London. Some of them are Jews, which is sometimes obvious, but the moment I start thinking rude Jewish driver I think I am in danger).
All I wanted to share was an anecdote from my youth that I go back to from time to time. Where I grew up, as far as I am aware, there were no Jewish people (people of colour were an utter novelty, one or two in a school of 1700 was the norm; the boy from Yorkshire and the boy from London stood out like sore thumbs, even the girl from Neath did).
In the sixth form, Friday afternoon was rounded off with a thing called symposium (none of us had any idea it meant drinking party!). A visiting speaker would be invited to address the sixth form and although I remember very little of it (apart from a man who appeared to be saying Aber-ustwyth rather than Aberistwith and the time our music teacher briefly mentioned Jan Akkerman) I think they were informative and interesting times.
Anyway, one afternoon a Jewish lady came and spoke to us. Again, I remember little she said but I do recall that she managed to turn the whole room (most of whom, if not all, had never met anyone Jewish) against her.
It was during the question time when one of the girls asked about what Jews call marrying out. This lady must have been quite orthodox and quite sensibly argued it was best for marriage to take place within the faith. This did not phase me because by then I had long held the view that Christians should marry Christians and this view was little different. Besides, as a good evangelical I had picked up that Jews are special and we are to love them as well as everyone else. (I was such a bad case that when a man came to our church and said he was Welsh and Jewish and so twice blessed I took him quite seriously!).
The rest of the sixth form did not tend to this view. That had picked up the Austenesque idea that marriage is for love and no other question needs to be considered. And so first the girls and then practically the whole room turned against this poor woman who, I think, had begun to alienate people by her sheer enthusiasm and commitment to a way of life we knew little about.
If kids from South Wales with no previous can become antisemitic in the course of an afternoon no wonder there is so much of it about. Not that there is any excuse, just simply a need to take care.

10 Beatles songs that mention the night

1. Hard day's night
2. The night before
3. Good night
4. Good morning, good morning (Good Morning Good Morning We've talked the whole night through ... Now the milkman's on his way and it's too late to say good night So, Good Morning ... Good Morning Good Morning We've gabbed the whole night through)
5. Back in the USSR (Oh, flew in from Miami Beach B.O.A.C. Didn't get to bed last night)
6. I call your name (Oh, I can't sleep at night since you've been gone, I never weep at night I can't go on)
7. Eleanor Rigby (Look at him working, darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there)
8. Let it be (And when the night is cloudy There is still a light that shines on me)
9. Long and winding road (The wild and windy night that the rain washed away has left a pool of tears crying for the day)
10. It's only love (Is it right that you and I should fight, (every night))

10 Beatles songs that mention the day

1. A hard day's night
2. Day Tripper
3. Good day sunshine
4. A day in the life
5. Eight days a week
6. Birthday
7. Fool on the hill (Day after day, alone on a hill)
8. Girl (You want so much, it makes you sorry still you don't regret a single day)
9. I've just seen a face (Had it been another day I might have looked the other way)
10. Mother nature's son (All day long I'm sitting singing songs for everyone)

10 things about wicked and righteous ones from Psalm 37

1. Verse 9 Destruction/Earth inheritance
9a For those who are evil will be destroyed,
9b but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

2. Verses 10, 11 Disappearance/Earth inheritance with joy and propserity
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.

3. (X) Verses 16, 17 Rich but broken/Poor but upheld
16a 17b Better the little that the righteous have ... but the Lord upholds the righteous.
16b 17a than the wealth of many wicked; 17a for the power of the wicked will be broken, .... 

4. Verses 18-20 Care and plenty now, an enduring inheritance/perishment and destruction.
18, 19 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish: Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,     they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

5. Verse 21 Grasping/Generous
21a The wicked borrow and do not repay,
21b but the righteous give generously;

6. Verse 22 Earth inheritance/destruction
22a those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
22b but those he curses will be destroyed.

7. Verse 28 Love and unforsakenness/Destruction and perishment
28a For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones.
28b Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.

8. Verses 32, 33 Lying in wait for the righteous/rescued and no condemnation
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

9. Verse 34 Exaltation and earth inheritance/destruction
34a Hope in the Lord and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land;
34b when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

10. Verses 37, 38 Peace seeking with a future/destruction, no future
37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace
38 But all sinners will be destroyed; there will be no future for the wicked.

10 Herding Dogs

1. Belgian Shepherd
2. Border Collie
3. Cardigan Corgi
4. English Shepherd
5. German Shepherd
6. Rough Collie
7. Old English Sheepdog
8. Pembrokeshire Corgi
9. Rottweiler
10. Samoyed

Lord's Day March 25 2018

We didn't do too badly with the change of clocks last Sunday. It was a small congregation Sunday evening (about 13). In the morning I preached on Mary Magdalene in the light of Easter coming and another new film about her. I read John Wenham's Easter Enigma many years ago. He convincingly argues that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany are the same person (as is the woman in Luke 7). Perhaps we had to get too many pots and pans out in the pulpit to prove this before we got to application but it is good to preach in varied styles and on a variety of subjects. In the evening we looked at the last part of Matthew 18 and a very searching look at the subject of forgiveness. One of our strays got back to us Sunday morning but there are still many missing.

Midweek Meeting Wednesday March 21 2018

Way behind with this but we did have another good session last week with a deent number present. Someone new to the area wandered in and felt at home (I hope) with us, even though we were looking at Leviticus 23 again (the last bit this time). Hope we see her again. Most people prayed in the prayer time.

Rather quiet here

I can't remember when we last went a week without a post here. Not to worry. I've been busy with another of my blogs, amongst other things. See here. Normal service will soon be restored.

Lord's Day March 18 2018

I'm rather behind with this, sorry. It was such an interesting day too. Firstly, my second son Dylan preached in the morning. I have not heard him before and I was mostly encouraged. It was a clear, warm, well ordered sermon, not too long, with a good introduction and on an excellent subject. It was from 2 Samuel 9. Dylan is pursuing theological studies with EMW and would like to be in a church in the South Wales area where his gifts can be developed. Of course, the snow kept some away, especially the older folk. Some have been away for a while now, though and I doubt if it was just the snow that made the difference. One man who comes on rare occasions slipped in at the start of the sermon and even though he slipped out for a reefer in the middle he was sstill able to tell me what the sermon's subject was. In the evening we had communion before the main meeting. I was welcoming in three new members who we accepted at our church meeting last Thursday. A couple in the seminary have now joined as associate members and a lady who was baptised with us many years and joined us is now back from a long period in Nigeria where she has suffered at the hands of the prosperity gospel people. Appropriately enough the evening sermon (from me) was on that famous passage about the church in Matthew 18:15-20. So a good day on the whole. Sorry not to have written it up sooner.

Last Saturday at Wesley's Chapel

There is a phenomenon I have noticed. When I start to like something it quickly goes out of fashion and becomes hard or even impossible to get hold of. I experienced this once again recently with the Congregational Studies Conference. I remember years ago seeing the annual meetings advertised and thinking about going. I was slightly put off by the fact I am not a Congregationalist. Anyway three years ago I started attending. I think it was the presence of Michael Haykin that finally jerked me into action. Well, this year they announced to be the last. If like me you have often thought about going and never made it I suggest you get in touch with Digby James or someone else and tell them that if they will get one organised nest year you promise to come. See what you can do.
As for the conference itself we had three good papers and a short presentation on Trevecka College by Digby. I missed Digby and the first paper from Dominic Stockford (although he kindly let me have his printed manuscript which I have now half read). Dominic gave The Alan Tovey Memorial Lecture on Calling a Minister (What are we looking for and how do we go about it?).
In the afternoon Richard Underwood spoke helpfully on Supporting the Ministry and Peter Beale again helpfully on The Minister in Retirement.
The mp3s are on the website as are details of the lectures as they are published. See here. A recording of my own lecture from 2017 is here.
The picture above shows the conference secretary Peter Beale seated and the conference chairman Digby James standing.

Speaking in Bala to Pastors' Wives

I am due to speak along with my wife to pastors wives in Bala, North Wales, on April 21. Do check it out here. I speak only at the end on the famous woman of Proverbs 31. I hope numbers will pick up soon.

Gary (Hoey)'s dream comes true

10 Euphemisms for death from Monty Python

This list was inspired by a question on University Challenge. The speech is Mr Praline's (John Cleese) to the shopkeeper (Michael Palin)
1. 'E's passed on!
Pass on or pass away has apparently been used in the sense 'die' since about 1375; Lay Folks Mass Book (MS. B) 112: “God lord graunt .. rest and pese ├×at lastis ay to christen soules passed away.” It implies a life beyond this one.
2. This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be!
This is the more correct way to speak of the death of a parrot, which would have no after life.
3. 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
To expire is to breath out one's last breath. One's maker is, of course, God. A British phrase, it is only found as far back as 1814.
4. 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace!
The slang term stiff for a dead body (where rigor mortis has set in) dates back to 1859.  Rest in peace (Latin: Requiescat in pace) is a short epitaph or idiomatic expression wishing eternal rest and peace to someone who has died. The expression typically appears on headstones, often abbreviated as RIP. It appears to go back to early Christianity but probably comes from Judaism.
5. If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies!
The exact origin of the phrase pushing up the daisies is disputed. Some take it back to 1860. It is a fairly short step from daisies growing above the bodies of the dead to the idiom. It is certainly at least as old as World War I. It is used in the poem A Terre by Wilfred Owen about the physical loss suffered by a soldier entrapped within his deteriorating body. The link between daisies and death (particularly innocent death) is obvious. The Celtic poet Ossian wrote of how unborn children would return to the ground as flowers. A woman named Malvina, who was mourning the death of her baby, was consoled by the Maidens of King Morven. Malvina was told that her child had turned into a flower with a golden disc surrounded by silvery petals. It supposedly looked like an infant playing in a field.
6. 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory!
This sounds fairly original. Two types of metabolic reaction take place in a cell: 'building up' (anabolism) and 'breaking down' (catabolism). Anabolic reactions use up energy. Catabolic ones give out energy. Both of these cease when an organism dies.
7. 'E's off the twig!
A British slang phrase and euphemism. Hopping off or falling off the twig appropriately uses bird imagery.
8. 'E's kicked the bucket,
Kicking the bucket goes back as far as 1785 and is perhaps is from a word referring to a "beam on which something may be hung or carried" (1570s), from French buquet "balance," a beam from which slaughtered animals were hung (by the heels or hooves). This was perhaps reinforced by the notion of suicide by hanging after standing on an upturned bucket though there is also a Norfolk term bucket used for a pulley.
9. 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil,
The phrase is found in Hamlet's famous to be or not to be speech. Mortal coil refers to the bustle and turmoil of this life.
10. run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!
Run or ring down the curtain refers to lowering or closing the stage curtain at the end of a theatrical performance. It could just be a corruption of bring down the curtain but appears to refers to the practice of ringing a bell to signal the time to close the curtains. Curtains were also 'rung up' and the practice remains well-known to theatre-goers as 'the bell' which is rung to signal that a play is soon to begin or resume after an interval. An early citation is found in David Garrick's 1772 farce A Peep Behind the Curtain: "Pray be so good as to ring down the curtain, that we may rehearse in form." The figurative use began use in the early 20th century. Eg Sheila Kaye-Smith on John Galsworthy: "Thus the curtain rings down on Irene Forsyte, crushed under the heel of prosperity."
O May I join the choir invisible Of those immortal dead who live again are the opening lines of a poem by George Eliot.

15 examples of how to look to Christ from Calvin's Institutes

I think this is a well known quotation but not previously known to me.

(We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ [Acts 4:12]. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. If we seek salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is “of him” [I Cor. 1:30].)

1. If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion;
2. if purity, in his conception;
3. if gentleness, it appears in his birth. (For by his birth he was made like us in all respects [Heb. 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Heb. 5:2].)
4. If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion;
5. if acquittal, in his condemnation;
6. if remission of the curse, in his cross [Gal. 3:13];
7. if satisfaction, in his sacrifice;
8. if purification, in his blood;
9. if reconciliation, in his descent into hell;
10. if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb;
11. if newness of life, in his resurrection;
12. if immortality, in the same;
13. if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven;
14. if protection, if security, if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom;
15. if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to him to judge.

(In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other.)

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559), 2.16.19.

10 St Patrick's Day Facts

1. Patrick was not born in Ireland (but in Britain)
2. Patrick was not born on March 17 (it is when he died)
3. Patrick's colour is blue not green
4. Patrick probably did not use a shamrock leaf to teach the Trinity
5. Patrick did not introduce Christianity to Ireland
6. Patrick did not get rid of snakes from Ireland
7. Patrick or Patricius was born Maewyn Succat
8. The first St Patrick's Day Parade in the USA was in the 18th Century. There was not one in Dublin until 1931.
9. St Patrick's Day has not always been a day for partying. Pubs used to close in Ireland on March 17 in the sixties/
10. Corned Beef and cabbage a traditional St Patrick's Day staple would not have been eaten in Ireland until relatively recently
(Patrick had nothing to do with leprechauns)

Midweek Meeting Wednesday March 14 2018

We were back to full strength last Wednesday and we had a visitor too who is thinking of joining us in the near futre. Encouraging. Before we prayed we looked again at Leviticus 23 and at the Spring festivals in ancient Israel - Passover and Pentecost, basically. It was good to bring the New Testament data to bear on these verses. I am sorry I don't have a clearer grasp of the Jewish feasts. Hopefully this run through Leviticus 23 will help.

Lunch Time Lecture at the Evangelical Library

There was an encouraging turn out for our latest lecture at the Evangelical Library last Monday. Norman Hopkins, who knows his history well and can put ti over well, spoke on some of the church history in connection with Kent mentioning various Lollards and later Reformers. It was a treat to be there.

Spectator Article

I picked this up from Guy Davies on Twitter. Unsurprising, it is a matter of concern. The BBC is in a  powerful position to choose what they consider to be news. See here.

10 Retrievers

Retrievers are dogs bred as gun dogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties, and were named 'retriever' because of their ability to retrieve shot game undamaged.

1. Cocker spaniel
2. Dutch partridge dog
3. Golden retriever
4. Irish or red setter
5. Gordon setter
6. Labrador
7. Poodle
8. Portuguese water dog
9. Springer spaniel
10. Weimaraner

10 Terriers

A terrier is a small dog of a breed originally used for turning out foxes and other burrowing animals from their earths.

1. Airedale
2. Bull terrrier
3. Border terrier
4. Cairn terrier
5. Fox terrier
6. Jack Russell
7. Schnauzer
8. Scots terrier
9. West Highland terrier
10. Yorkshire

Ken Dodd in Hamlet

Look out for Doddy from about 1' 30" (Billy Crystal is the gravedigger, Branagh Hamlet).

Eleri ar y teledu eto

Eleri was on TV again recently, in a documentary about parenthood and fronted by TV presenter Alex Jones. At the moment the programme (in Welsh) Alex Jones: Y Fam Gymreig is available on S4C's replay website clic.

Lord's Day March 11 2018

Relatively good turn outs morning and evening yesterday though several missing, including students out preaching. The majority wanted to sit on my right in the morning so the shape of the congregation was a little lopsided. Decided to take a break from Acts in the morning and look at Barabbas. In the evening we were in Matthew 18 again, the parable of the lost sheep. We had tea together before the evening service. Good day.

Ireland Champions

Scotland weren't up to much in the end against Ireland but France beat England well. The current table is as follows, though Wales will hopefully beat Italy and if they can beat France will end second. We are at home for both these final games.

Prayer for the evening before the Sabbath by Matthew Henry

You might find this useful

Now give us to remember that tomorrow is the sabbath of the Lord and that it is a high day, holy of the Lord and honourable, and give us grace so to sanctify ourselves, that tomorrow the Lord may do wonders among us; and to be mindful of the work of our preparation, now the sabbath draws on.
When you saw everything that you had made in six days, it was very good, but in many things we have all offended. O that by repentance and faith in Christ’s blood, we may wash not only our feet, but also our hands and our head and our heart, and so may go about your altar, Lord.
Now give us to rest from all our own deeds and to leave all our worldly cares at the bottom of the hill, while we go up to the mount to worship God and return again to them.

10 Hounds

Wikipedia defines a hound as a type of dog used by hunters to track or chase prey

1. Afghan hound
2. Basset hound
3. Beagle
4. Bloodhound
5. (Scottish) Deerhound
6. Foxhound
7. Greyhound
8. Irish wolf hound
9. Welshhound
10. Whippet

Doddridge's book and an unconsummated marriage

One of many books I am reading at present is a Book of London Stories which includes a piece by one James Lackington. It begins with an interestiing reference to a book by Philip Doddridge.

A Friend of mine, of whose veracity I entertain the highest opinion, has favoured me with an account of a lady, who has to the full as much, indeed more of the spirit, but without the good nature of Nancy Lackington. The fact is as follows: "'Tis true 'tis pity: and pity 'tis it's true." Mr. R—t, a genteel tradesman with whom I am acquainted, having lost his second wife early in 1790, courted and married one of the holy sisters a few months afterwards. They had lived together about six months, when Mr. R—t, one Sunday, being a sober religious man, took down Doddridge's Lectures, and began to read them to his wife and family. But this holy sister found fault with her husband for reading such learned rational discourses, which savoured too much of human reason and vain philosophy, and wished he would read something more spiritual and edifying. He attempted to convince her that Dr. Doddridge was not only a good rational divine, but to the full as spiritual as any divine ought to be; and that to be more spiritual he must be less rational, and of course become fanatical and visionary. But these observations of the husband so displeased his spiritual wife, that she retired to bed, and left her husband to read Doddridge's Lectures as long as he chose to his children by a former wife. The next morning while Mr. R—t was out on business, this holy sister, without saying one syllable to any person, packed up all her clothes, crammed them into a hackney coach, and away she went. Mr. R—t, poor soul! on coming home discovered his immense loss, and in an almost frantic state, spent the first fortnight in fruitless attempts to discover her retreat.

Lackington was a bookseller. Here his target is an unrealistic and overdone spirituality. He is not happy either with the other extreme. which also existed among the late 18th century Methodists.

Midweek Wednesday March 7 2018

Things were back to normal on Wednesday as we carried on in Leviticus with the firrst three verses of Leviticus. Taking a nod from Philip Eveson I decided just to focus on the Sabbath. I made ten points with an application. We seem all to be agreed on the place of the Lord's Day even though it is an unfashionable doctrine today.

Holocaust by Laurence Rees

This is another one from the same source as Silk Roads but shorter (only two thirds of the last one) and easier to read I found. I am familiar with the Nazi story through the three volume work on the Third Reich by Richard J Evans. This work by Laurence Rees narrows down to the death of Jews (and others) under Hitler and carefully sets out the way the whole horrific thing unfolded bit by bit. It is written with great care and thoroughness and a judicious balance of detachment and occasional identification. The only slips are a brief but misjudged slur on the New Testament and a failure to emphasise the effects of Darwinism on the holocaust. The constant references to eye witness accounts gives it a vividness that might be lost otherwise. No matter how much you read such material it is hard to understand how on earth it happened. Only a robust doctrine of man's depravity fits with the facts.

Silk Roads

Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan is over 600 pages long and I am not very good at reading long books. One of my sons and his wife gave it to me as a present, however (last birthday maybe even Xmas 2016?) so I felt under some obligation, thankfully. The book is subtitled A new historoy of the world and so it has been worth wading through in order to fill up several gaps in my knowledge. It also takes a middle eastern and central asain viewpoint in the main and so is new in that sense also. It is good to eb reminded how much on the edge we are out here in Britain. Iwas slightly surprised to be reminded how involved Britain and then the USA has been in thhat part of the world. I have already forgotten much of the detail of fairly recent events in Afghanistan, Iran, etc. Do geta hold of it if you like big books or if you just like history.

10 Types of Photographer

1. Fashion photographer
2. Food photographer
3. Forensic photographer
4. Insurance photographer
5. Medical photographer
6. News photographer
7. Sports photographer
8. War photographer
9. Wedding photographer
10. Wildlife photographer
(I visited a medical photographer recently and it set me thinking of how many sorts of photographer there must be)

Lord's Day March 4 2018

I was very encouraged today especially in the evening when we were back nearer twenty than the ten we have been knowing over recent weeks. All the snow had gone which helped I guess. Lots missing again but it was nice to have visitors - an Argentinian lady, a Dutch lady, a man who had actually come for the Korean service (he has a yearning to visit the different language meetings that go on around London). We began with communion which was good. We came up with a new chair arrangement the day before and that seems to have helped things.I preached again from Acts and Matthew - all of Acts 14 in the morning and the very demanding words in Matthew 18:6-9 in the evening.

Aphrodite's Child - Spring summer winter and fall

Vangelis, Demis Roussos, etc miming for French TV

Alphabet of Sticks T U V

Talking stick Usb memory stick Vapestick

Midweek Meeting Wednesday February 28 2018

Six of us trudged or drove through the snow to gather on Wednesday. We pressed on in Leviticus - Leviticus 22, a chapter I don't really know but was able to extract some nectar from. Philip Eveson's commentary continues to be a big help. We also prayed. I got Eleri to look for references to snow on her Christian Hymns app so we sung at the end a Graham Kendrick song most of us didn't know. It's only reference to snow is in the first line. The first verse is

Such love, pure as the whitest snow
Such love, weeps for the shame I know
Such love, paying the debt I owe
O Jesus, such love

Perhaps we'll try and sing it Sunday