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.

365 Albums 226-240



  1. Hand me down Kate Rusby 2020
  2. Seth Lakeman A Pilgrim's Tale 2020
  3. What we did on our holidays Fairport Convention 1969
  4. Focus 11 Focus 2019
  5. The Focus Family Album Focus etc 2017
  6. A Hard Days Night The Beatles 1964
  7. Pendulum Creedence Clearwater Revival 1970
  8. Full House Fairport Convention 1970
  9. Liege and Lief Fairport Convention 1969
  10. Unhalfbricking Fairport Convention 1969
  11. Past Masters Vol 1 Vol 2 The Beatles 1988
  12. The Glorious Album Thijs van Leer 1999*
  13. Fairport Convention Fairport Convention 1968
  14. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme Simon & Garfunkel 1966
  15. Focus 8.5 (Old Skin) Focus 2005

10 Inferences from the proposition that all things work for the good of believers (T Watson)




1. If all things work for good, learn that there is such a thing as providence 
2. Note the happy condition of every child of God 
3. What an encouragement to be godly 
4. Consider the miserable condition of wicked men 
(For those who are godly, evil things work for their good. For those who are evil, good things work for their harm) 
5. See here the wisdom of God who makes the worst things imaginable work for the believer's good 
6. Learn how little cause we have to be discontented at outward trials and emergencies 
7. See how here it is confirmed that God is good 
8. See why believers should always be giving thanks to God 
9. If the worst things work for our good what about the best things - Christ, and heaven? 
10. Consider, that if God works all things together for our good, how right that we should do all to his glory!

Lord's Day August 23 2020


We have had a few visitors with us and things are slightly holidayish and so I have got behind with things. I did want to report briefly on last Sunday, however, which followed our most recent pattern - a meeting in the chapel in the morning with zoom available and a zoom meeting in the evening. We are still sticking to texts so it was Ezekiel 11:19, 20 in the morning and then that famous verse 2 Chronicles 7:14 in the evening. We had a decent turn out for both meetings but our older folk are still missing out and there are probably some who could come to the live meeting but don't.

Midweek Meeting August 19 2020


Another good zoom together last Wednesday, again on Romans 8:28 - just the fact that even sins can work together for our good - once again drawn from Thomas Watson. We were fairly brief and I didn't let the prayer time go on too long. People often hang around after but everyone was quite quick to leave for once.

10 Bands with Latin names


  1. Status Quo (The existing state of affairs, Rock band)
  2. Desideratum (What is needed or wanted Brazilian metal band)
  3. Oasis (Fertile spot in a desert, Rock band)
  4. Carpe Diem (Seize the day, French Progrock band)
  5. Ipso Facto (By that very fact or act, Goth influenced psychedelic band)
  6. Mea Culpa (My fault, US Punk band)
  7. Rigor Mortis (Stiffening of the joints of a body after death, US Thrash metal band)
  8. Vice versa (In reverse order, Electronic rock band)
  9. The Cortinas (Curtained, used for such a phenomenon on some  mushrooms, Punk band)
  10. Procol Harum (Misspelt, Far from these things, Latin name for Blue Burmese cat, Rock band)
(Based ona  Craig Brown idea. Perhaps Madonna and Muse fit)

Lord's Day August 16 2020

We were back up to about twenty or so last Sunday morning. We also managed to effect an improvement on the sound for those listening in on Zoom, which is good. We were quite international too, as we had visitors from France and old friend who is a Russian speaker. Iran, the Philippines and Nigeria were also represented. I preached a straight gospel sermon on Ephesians 2:8-10.
In the evening we were on zoom and I tackled 2 Corinthians 12:9, 10 Weaknesses and other difficulties - How they can be overcome. We were a decent number. We press on then in difficult times.

365 Albums 211-225

 


  1. Ekseption Live in Germany 1993
  2. Help! The Beatles 1965
  3. Boy U2 1980
  4. Introspection '92 Thijs van Leer 1992*
  5. Prophets Seers and Sages The Angels of the Ages Tyrannosaurus Rex 1968
  6. Exit Tangerine Dream 1981
  7. Joan Armatrading Walk under ladders 1981
  8. Joan Armatrading Joan Armatrading 1976
  9. Joan Armatrading The Key 1983
  10. With the Beates The Beatles 1964
  11. De 12 Mooiste Liederen Thijs van Leer 2000*
  12. Fairport Convention Fairport Convention 1967
  13. Aliens Horslips 1977
  14. Encore Tangerine Dream 1977
  15. Find your way Gabrielle 1993

New Book on The Beatles

Read this new book on The Beatles last week. I found it a little difficult to know what was what as Craig Brown is a well known satirist. I think he play mostly with a straight bat here. The story is just phenomenal. (Some caution recommended in light of the content).

I love Aber

 

10 Reasons why suffering works for the good of believers (Thomas Watson)


In his Divine Cordial on Romans 8:28 the Puritan Thomas Watson says that suffering works for the good of the believer, as 

1. It preaches to us and teaches us
2. It is a means for making the heart more upright. (Think of a needle between two magnets.)
3. It conforms us to Christ
4. It destroys sin
5. It is the means of weaning our hearts from the world
6. It makes way for comfort
7. It magnifies us
8. It is a means of making us happy Happy is the man whom God corrects (Job 5:17)
9. It puts to silence the wicked
10. It makes way for glory

Aberlite 3

I am sorry that I have not been able to note the final main session of Aberlite until now. The third and final message was from Ian Parry on Ephesians 1:18. Whereas Stephen Clark was in his study and Phil Swann in some sort of studio Ian preached from his church. it would have been nice of the camera could have come a bit closer. Otherwise the format was the same - various intros and adverts, a prayer and reading, a hymn then the sermon and a closing section with a hymn, etc. Like the first message this was aimed perhaps more at everyone rather than the laser focus Stephen Clark seemed to have on the unbeliever. Thank you EMW for your efforts.

Three new books worth reading


I have recently read three new books that I would like to commend to you. All three are brief paperbacks but well worth reading. I know all three writers to varying degrees. All three are older men, officially retired, Reformed Baptists by persuasion and with a Welsh connection (Graham Heaps was a student in Aber, Stuart Olyott grew up in Wales, Geoff Thomas's Welsh credentials are well known). All three are widowers.
That last fact is most important in the first of the three books, the one by Graham Heaps, The Last Valley, as this book is a brief biographical one sketching the courtship of Graham and his wife Sue and focussing on her final months when a brain tumour took hold. It is a very helpful and candid book describing how Christan people face illness and death with great sadness but great faith in God. We are grateful to Graham for taking the time to pen this moving book.
Stuart Olyott's book Be filled with the Spirit is a typically Olyottian exposition of Ephesians 5:18 - clear, convincing, careful, to the point. You may not agree with every iota but it is hard to deny his understanding of the general thrust of the passage. Pass it on.
The third book, the only non-EP one, is an evangelistic book and very good at doing what it seeks to do. We need more evangelistic books, books that explain the gospel to unbelievers, written by people we can trust. This one is straightforward, personal and interesting, drawing on the writer's life-time of reading and experience. It has things to say to believers too. Just start reading and you will find the enthusiasm infectious and whatever your attitude is when you start you may well find that it radically changes before the end.

Midweek Meeting August 12 2020

Last Wednesday was a first as I led the Midweek Meeting even though I was in Aber. I could do it, of course, because we were on Zoom. We carried on with Romans 8:28 and more on how the worst things work for the good of believers. We just stuck to Thomas Watson's point about desertions being for our good. That was a better amount of material to try and handle. We had a good time of prayer too, although people were a little slow to get going. (I watched most of the Aberlite beforehand as that started at 7 pm an we started at 8 pm).

10 Beatles Puns


  1. Beatles
  2. Rubber Soul
  3. Revolver
  4. Ticket to Ride
  5. In his own write
  6. A Spaniard in the works
  7. Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue
  8. Thursday night your stockings needed mending See how they run
  9. It doesn't really matter if I'm wrong I'm right, where I belong I'm right where I belong
  10. Because the world is round it turns me on ... Because the wind is high it blows my mind ... Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry
(Also Please please me, Norwegian Wood?)

Order Page for the New Book

 Pre-order page now up: https://bespokechristianpublishing.com/order-pastorals-for-pastors/



Aberlite 2

We had a similar programme last night from EMW with Stephen Clark preaching on 2 Corinthians 5. Phil Swann's slick presentation, which I had (presumably wrongly) assumed that EMW had arranged was ditched for a much more down home approach. (Perhaps the better for that although I did like the previous set up). Again a woman read the Scriptures and then her husband led in prayer. One more tonight - Ian Parry. See here.

Aberlite 1

No Aber Conference this year but they have organised some videos. There are various things. Last night was the premiere of a preaching service where Phil Swann preached from 1 Corinthians on not being discouraged. It was done well with several segments. I was surprised to see the Scriptures being read by a woman. That must be a first. More here.

Lord's Day August 9 2020


We followed the new now regular pattern of a live service at the chapel in the morning and a zoom meeting in the evening. In the morning we all had to wear masks although I was free to remove mine for the reading, preaching and prayer. It meant we could sing out at least (I think that must be right) although they are rather sweaty items. We were around 15 in the morning with six on zoom. A new man was there, an Iranian. It was nice to meet him. As none of my family were around a couple invited me for lunch which was very nice. The evening went off okay. I chose texts morning and evening - Romans 5:1, 2 and Revelation 14:13. These are not easy days but we are pressing on.

Midweek Meeting August 5 2020

We carried on with Romans 8:28 using Thomas Watson last week. This time it was the more difficult task of demonstrating that even the worst things work together for the good of the believer. We just looked at suffering and temptation this time, leaving the other two categories for next time. It could have done with more work as Watson can be labyrinthine in his sub points. It is a  curious fact that filching someone else's work takes longer than writing your own from fresh.. We were on zoom again and were a decent number. The prayer time was good.

Lord's Day August 2 2020


Once again there was an increase in numbers as we met in the chapel for the third time since the return. We are now up to about 20 with only a few zoomers. it was a particular joy to meet for the first time a lady who we had previously only met on line. I preached another one off- on Matthew 4:10. We still can't sing - we just begin an end with a recorded hymn, courtesy of EMW. (I actually messed up there as I had provided the words of Edwin Hatch's 
Breathe on me, breath of God: for the zoomers but we actually sang Bessie Porter Head's O breath of life come sweeping through us).
In the evening it was zoom again. I preached Joshua 9 on the Gibeonite deception. In the afternoon we again had people around and it was good to talk. It was the last day before our friends Euardo and Anna Marzia flew to Brazil to begin work with the church in Guaruja. We miss them already.

Cover of my new book



This is the cover of my latest book due out soon and available through me. Details to follow.

Holiday in Wales


We managed to get away for five days last week in Wales and that was good. We had planned to spend a week in July with all the kids in Mid-Wales but the current situation precluded it so we two and Rhodri and family stayed in a lovely cottage in Cwmbran (technically) and we met up with the two boys based in Cardiff and Eleri's sisters and her father and Babara at different times plus others. We managed to get to the top of Twm Barlwm on a gloriously sunny day and really enjoyed the amazing view and spent other days in Pontcanna Fields, Cardiff and Porthkerry Park, Barry. Other projects had to be abandoned due to lack of time. On the final day we went to Southerndown where we managed to locate one of the only storms in the country on what was otherwise one of the hottest days of the year. I had forgotten what a truly beautiful part of the world Monmouthshire is.