Our current cultural story is one of darkness and despair. Trump and Rocket Man and North Korea, Brexit negotiations, Trump pouring a can of petrol on Jerusalem, Putin flexing his muscles, Trump and sexual harassment. Its gloom gloom gloom. One neighbour of ours put this sign on his gate, expressing the gloom of many people today. They want to know, “Is there hope?”
Hope is essential. Its like oxygen to the soul, and when you don’t have it Continue reading
On Sunday my nephew, Mark, is joining the great ranks of God’s Under-Shepherds when he becomes the new pastor of Frinton’s Baptist Church – affectionately known as The Free. Having been an Under- Shepherd for over 40 years myself I still count it the greatest privilege of my life when The great Shepherd of the Sheep appointed me to help Him look after His sheep. I also found it the greatest challenge to keep in touch with the Great Shepherd and make sure I was in tune with what He wanted, even when Continue reading
“I will . . . station myself . . .’’
We had a big celebration here at Walton station last month to mark the 150th anniversary of the railways reaching the east coast from London and the opening of the station. A huge 100 mph steam locomotive ‘Tornado’ came non-stop from London, heading ‘The Walton Pier Express’, recapturing the golden days of steam, and of Walton. Thousands of people lined the tracks from Colchester, some spilling onto the line (Indian fashion!) causing the train to Continue reading
I’ve never known our country so divided as it is now over this Brexit issue, One third voted to leave the EU, one third were undecided and didn’t bother to vote, one third voted to remain. What saddens me is how Christians are reacting to it. I felt the scriptures were very clear as to the heart of God in this issue; others came to a different conclusion using different scriptures. Still others didn’t use any scriptures but just said ‘I prayed about it’, and then started frying each other up on Facebook. Continue reading
The voice on the other end of the phone was Masih Das, ringing from prison, the other side of the world. Pinch me again please. I wasn’t imagining it, was I?
No, it was him. Somehow, he had got access to a mobile and had tried three times to get me. Oh, what joy! How we talked!!!!
He told me of the most amazing Christmas Eve Festival they had organised in the prison, getting permission to hire a cook from outside to bring in 60kg of chicken and 70kg of rice. Continue reading
We talk about ‘Putting Christ BACK into Christmas’, but the reality is He has never been in Christmas.
We forget that Jesus was actually born in September in the year 5BC, but our early church leaders thought that if we celebrated his birthday on December 25th, when the pagan world held a midwinter festival characterised by drunkenness and feasting then we could transform it into something better, with giving (eg St Nicklaus) at its heart rather than drinking.
But the pagan empire has fought back to keep Christmas the midwinter season of eat, drink, Continue reading