Sunday, May 20, 2018

Harry & Megan's Wedding Sermon - Preacher Michael Curry



I so enjoyed the preaching of this man today that I wanted to present it to you. It is not for me to critique his preaching but I want to highlight some of things he said that we would do well to consider.
May you come to know Christ as Lord and Saviour through the word of God. If you understand the grace of God and love of God as displayed in Christ Jesus then you need to:
Repent of your sins; and
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, Acts 16. 31
The Wedding Sermon
The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, and I quote: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.
There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it. There’s power, power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to center around you and your beloved. There’s power, power in love. Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There’s a certain sense, in which when you are loved and you know it, when someone cares for you and you know it, when you love and you show it, it actually feels right. There’s something right about it. And there’s a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source. We were made by a power of love. Our lives are meant to be lived in that love—that’s why we are here. Ultimately, the source of love is God himself—the source of all of our lives.
There’s an old medieval poem that says it: “Where true love is found, God himself is there.” The New Testament says it this way: Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; and those who love are born of God and no God; those who do not love, do not know God. Why? For God is love.
There’s power in love. There is power in love to help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will. There’s power in love to show us the way to live. Set me as a seal on your heart, a seal on your arm. For love, it is strong as death. But love is not only about a young couple. Now the power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we are all here. Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up. But it’s not just for and about a young couple who we rejoice with. It’s more than that.
Jesus of Nazareth, on one occasion, was asked to sum up the essence of the teachings of Moses. And he reached back to the Hebrew scriptures of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. And Jesus said, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.
And then in Matthew’s version, he added, he said, on these two, love of God and love of neighbor, hang all the law, all the profit, everything that Moses wrote, everything in the holy prophets, everything in the scriptures, everything that God has been trying to tell the world. Love God. Love your neighbors. And while you’re at it, love yourself.
Someone once said that Jesus began the most revolutionary movement in all of human history: a movement grounded in the unconditional love of God for the world. A movement mandating people to live that love, and in so doing, to change not only their lives, but the very life of the world itself. I am talking about some power. Real power. Power to change the world. If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s Antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love, and why it has the power to transform. They explained it this way. They sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity. It’s the one that says there is a balm in Gilead—a healing balm.
There is a balm in Gilead to make the wounded whole. There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul. One of the stanzas actually explains why: if you cannot preach like Peter, and you cannot pray like Paul, you just tell the love of Jesus, how he died to save us all. That’s the balm of Gilead.
This way of love, it is the way of life. They got it; he died to save us all. He didn’t die for anything he could get out of it. Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate for dying. He wasn’t getting anything out of it. He sacrificed his life for the good of others, for the well-being of the world, for us. That’s what love is.
Love is not selfish and self-centered. Love can be sacrificial and, in so doing, become redemptive. And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love changes lives. And it can change this world. If you don’t believe me, just stop, think, and imagine.
Think and imagine a world when love is the way. Imagine our homes and families when love is the way. Imagine neighborhoods and communities when love is the way. Imagine governments and nations when love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way. Imagine this tired, old world when love is the way. When love is the way—unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive—then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the Earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more. When love is the way, there is plenty of good room for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all. And we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that’s a new heaven, a new Earth, a new world, a new human family.
And let me tell you something: Solomon was right in the Old Testament. That’s fire.
With this, we’ll sit down. We gotta get y’all married.
French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was arguably one of the great minds, great spirits of the 20th century—a Jesuit, Roman Catholic priest, a scientist, a scholar, a mystic. In some of his writings, he said from his scientific background as well as his theological one, that the discovery and harnessing of fire was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries in all of human history. Fire, to a great extent, made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food and to provide sanitary ways of eating, which reduced the spread of disease in its time. Fire made it possible to heat environments, and thereby made human migration around the world a possibility, even into older climates. There was no Bronze Age without fire, no Iron Age without fire, no Industrial Revolution without fire. The advances of science and technology are greatly dependent on the human ability and capacity to take fire and use it for human good.
Anybody get here in a car today, an automobile? Nod your heads if you did; I know there were some carriages. For those of us who came in cars, fire made that possible. I know that the Bible says—and I believe that Jesus walked on water. But I have to tell you I didn’t walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here. Controlled fire in that plane got me here. Fire makes it possible for us to text and tweet and e-mail and Instagram and Facebook, and otherwise socially be dysfunctional with each other.
Fire makes all that possible. And de Chardin said that fire was one of the greatest discoveries of all of human history. He then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love, it would be the second time in history that we have discovered fire.
Dr. King was right: we must discover love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world.
My brother, my sister—God love you, God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.
Amen.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life
The Gospel of John, chapter three, verse sixteen
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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Things that people value




What is your most valuable possession?

It’s a good question; I wonder how you would answer it? If we are being honest our answer will depend, to some extent, on our circumstances. For instance, if I was terminally ill what I thought was important would be completely different to my choice in sunnier days. Car, homes, holidays and technology might be important to me now, but they have little value if life is slipping from my grasp. I hope that family, relationships and my spiritual condition will be my focus if I get time to contemplate my departure from this life to the next.
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Monday, May 14, 2018

The problem with worry is it's often all in the mind!



The problem with worry is it's often all in the mind - a message for Christians

I am told that 85% of what we worry about never happens. 

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul writes a series of exhortations to the Christians in Philippi in his closing comments of the letter addressed to that Church. In chapter four verse four he has encouraged them to ‘rejoice in the Lord alway’. This is something we all need to be reminded about from time to time. When things get on top of us we often forget to see the blessings that we have and to rejoice in what God has done. I am sure we all know people who can see the goodness of God in everything. We should all cultivate this way of thinking.

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Life : What's it all about? Find out next week in Northampton



Next week in Northampton there is an opportunity to stop and think about life and it's meaning.

Maybe you are disappointed about your past, bored with your present and worried about the future! Take time to consider what the timeless wisdom of the Bible teaches.

The truth is, you were created to know more than the humdrum routines of life. You have a soul and a spirit that need more than this world can offer. The only way to satisfaction and meaning is to know, Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. 
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Peace - do you have it?




PEACE: IS IT YOURS?

IS THERE ANY HOPE FOR PEACE?

The endless wars, conflicts, and injustices we see in the world today only prove what the Bible has always declared concerning mankind: "The way of peace have they not known" Romans 3.17.
All efforts to achieve lasting peace fail miserably because the root of the problem is not dealt with. God alone has the solution to the problem of peace - not only for nations, but also for you. He has successfully dealt with the root cause of all turmoil - sin.
Now He offers sure and lasting peace for both the heart and conscience through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to the comforting words of Jesus: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" John 14.27.
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Thursday, May 03, 2018

David & Goliath - Lucozade Advertising



Lucozade Energy goes back to biblical times by purporting to tell the sequel to the David and Goliath epic.
The campaign by Grey London puts the rift between the young shepherd and his adversary in a more modern context with a humorous film and hand-painted oil poster. In the ad, David wakes up feeling groggy and is reminded that he picked a fight with Goliath by calling him a giant. When Goliath comes to take his revenge, the shepherd boy takes a swig of Lucozade Energy before grabbing a sling and venturing out to conquer his colossal foe. The work was written by Jay Marlow and Rob Greaves, art directed by Henrik Ridderheim and Sam Daly, and directed by Harold Einstein through Outsider. 
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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Flying High







One of the benefits of travelling is that I get to fly from time to time. I enjoy flying and am not too bothered if the plane is large or small. 

Once when I was visiting Vancouver I had the opportunity to fly in a three seater small plane. It seemed tiny to me. We took off and climbed high above Vancouver, had a quick look over the edge of the Rockies, dipped over downtown Vancouver and returned to the airfield. I enjoyed it but I was trusting the pilot, the technicians who maintained the plane, air traffic control and a lot of other people. Events in life are often only safe because people care, prepare and plan things in advance. 
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Saturday, April 28, 2018

A new baby



Most people love a new baby. The recent arrival of Prince Louis Arthur Charles Windsor has filled columns of newsprint and helped sell celebrity magazines as well as bringing some joy into our national life for a moment or two. I am sure it is not why Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have had another child but it’s amazing what the arrival of a baby can do.

I know the feeling well. My daughter has recently given birth to her second child, a gorgeous baby boy - and as you can tell, I am genuinely not biased!
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Thursday, April 26, 2018

This week - ending 28th April 2018




Pictures of the death of Christ in Leviticus 1-7


I have just completed a week looking at the five offerings of Leviticus 1 - 7. These are instructive, challenging and vivid pictures of the death of Christ and what was happening when he made ‘one sacrifice for sins for ever,’ Hebrews 10:12. 


Our hearts are touched and our commitment challenged as we consider the life of Christ and his death at Golgotha. 


I thank God he died for me and that he lives in the power of an endless life, in heaven.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

GQ's list of 21 Books you don't have to read - they got at least one wrong!


GQ magazine has placed the Bible on its list of "21 Books You Don't Have to Read." This is quite a ridiculous stance even in terms of literature never mind ethics and morals. 
Here are some quotes from famous people about the Bible - they are not all Christians but they testify to the value of reading the Bible:
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

SOUGHT AND FOUND

SOUGHT AND FOUND

In February 2013, an 18-year-old British backpacker went missing in the Australian outback for three days. He was young, healthy and very fit, since he was a keen long-distance runner. He had been working on a cattle station in Queensland and decided to go for a jog. In the heat of some 40oC he became disorientated and instead of running back to the cattle station and safety, he was going in the opposite direction. Thankfully, there were folks searching for him and he was found during a helicopter search of the region. It must have been a dreadful ordeal for this man and his family; almost unimaginable.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ethical Business Based on the Bible




DOING BUSINESS BY THE BOOK


  1. WHAT BOOK - The Bible 


  1. WHY - BECAUSE GOD’S WORD IS OUR GUIDE FOR LIFE


2 Timothy 3:16-17


All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:


That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.


  1. WHY - BECAUSE GOD’S WORD SPECIFICALLY TEACHES ABOUT EMPLOYMENT 


THE WORK ETHIC


WORK IS NORMAL


WORK IS TO PROVIDE FOR FAMILIES


WORK EXISTED BEFORE SIN


Genesis 2:15 ‘to dress it and to keep it’ plus 1:28


2 Thess 3:6-12 - Verse 10 - If a man does not work neither shall he eat


  1. PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS 


Faithfulness and Trustworthiness (Luke 16/Heb 3:2,5/2 Cor 4:2)


Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much... 


Luke 16:11 Who will commit to your trust true riches. 


  1. EXAMPLES OF BUSINESS


1 Samuel 25Nabal  - a bad example


Matthew 20:1-16 - On keeping your word


Luke 12:15-21  - Greed and forgetting God


Nehemah - Leadership (Nehemiah 4)


Moses - Jethro and Moses on delegation (Exodus 18)


Boaz (Ruth 2)


Ruth 2:4 The way he greets his employees 

Ruth 2:8 He had instructed the young women

Ruth 2:9 He had charged the young men


  1. SPECIFIC PASSAGES ABOUT WORK


Ephesians 6:5-8 Employees


Ephesians 6:9 Bosses


Colossians 3:22-25 Employees


Colossians 4:1,2,5,6 Bosses


1 Timothy 6:1-3 Employees & Bosses


Titus 2:9-11 

HOW WE WORK IS A PROOF OF SALVATION


Titus 2:10 Not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.


PURLOINING - 3557. νοσφίζω nosphízō; fut. nosphísō, from nósphi (n.f.), apart, separated. In the NT, only in the mid. nosphízomai, to embezzle, keep back something which belongs to another (Acts 5:2, 3; Titus 2:10; Sept.: Josh. 7:1). Applied by Greek writers to embezzlement of public treasures.


Syn.: kléptō (G2813), to steal; aposteréō (G0650), to deprive by fraud.


Ant.: euergetéō (G2109), to do good.


FIDELITY - 4102. πίστις pístis; gen. písteōs, fem. noun from peíthō (G3982), to win over, persuade. Faith. Subjectively meaning firm persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or faithfulness (though rare). Objectively meaning that which is believed, doctrine, the received articles of faith.


  1. PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE


James 4:13-17 If The Lord will


1 Timothy 6:10 The love of money


  1. USING YOUR WEALTH


1 Timothy 6:6-8  Be content 

1 Timothy 6:9  Beware

1 Timothy 6:17  Trust God not wealth 

1 Timothy 6:18  Use your wealth for others 

1 Timothy 6:19  Invest in the future


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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Our visit to The Hague

Since Thursday afternoon I have been in Holland. My son and I joined four other guys for a two night trip to The Hague in the Netherlands. It has been a great few days. We visited a number of places in the city, took a walking tour, ate lots of food and enjoyed every minute of it. 

Here are some pictures of The Hague. I’ll be back blogging next week. Until then have a good weekend. 









































Take a trip to www.seekthetruth.org.uk and watch a video message or listen to something this weekend. 
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Monday, April 09, 2018

Cover - UP (Truth Suppressed)






Cover-UP

This is a term, used increasingly, to describe a situation where the truth has been suppressed, the facts have been misreported and people misled by a string of lies and a web of deceit. This is done deliberately to obscure the truth and to allow the guilty to appear innocent.
The recent Leveson inquiry attempted to discover the truth behind phone-hacking scandals and shockingly intrusive journalism that had been tolerated for years without people being fully aware of the full extent of such deplorable malpractice. The inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster, when many football fans were trampled to death, was carried out to reveal what really happened on that tragic day of the 15th. April 1989. A concerted effort had been made by the police to shift the blame onto the fans and only now are we discovering who really was to blame and what actually happened. Again and again, demands are made for public inquiries to try to ascertain the facts and disclose the truth. After years of silence and deception, many are finally being brought to justice for crimes they had covered up for decades.
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Thursday, April 05, 2018

Back in Liverpool







We arrived back on Tuesday evening around 2100. It was a long journey but we made it. The flight from Kiev to Frankfurt was delayed by 30 minutes which had a knock on effect. 

The journey from arrival to departure in Frankfurt Airport was pressured and tense. This was the same as our outward bound journey. If you are training for a 5k run transiting through Frankfurt International Airport is good practice!
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