Culture Vulture?

How do you think about culture? Are you a “look in” kind of Christian? Do you try to ignore what’s going on out in the world, stick your fingers in your ears and sing loudly about Jesus coming back, trying to keep safe from being infected by the world’s values? Or are you a “lash

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Entrusted with a great task

How are you feeling about your ministries at church this year? Sometimes, we can feel less than enthusiastic. Another year of teaching rowdy kids? Another year of leading a small group of complex people? Another year of coaxing a half-hearted congregation into singing? Another year of serving tea and coffee, or moving chairs. On top

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The corridors of power

Evil in the corridors of power is nothing new. Wherever people exercise power over others you will find corruption, violence, greed. This week Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was convicted on a number of charges in a US court. Who knows what the enquiry into Russian meddling in the campaign will reveal! Men and

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Freed from the power of sin

Augustus Toplady wrote a great hymn called the Rock of Ages. In it we sing that Christ, the Rock of Ages, is “the double cure”, cleansing us from sin’s guilt and power. We thought about applying the first of those last week: Christ takes away our guilt. How marvellous! But we all still struggle with

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Freed from the penalty of sin

How often do you feel guilty because of something you have thought, said or done? One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to makes us sensitive to sin in our lives, which means we will as Christians often feel guilty as we confront sin in our hearts. But what do we do with that guilty

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A great Saviour for great sinners

John Newton is famous for writing the wonderful hymn “Amazing Grace”. Before he started following Jesus he was a slave trader, indeed, the captain of a ship transporting slaves from Africa to America. He became a Christian on March 21st 1748, during a long, stormy voyage back to Britain. He went on to become a

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Acceptable Sins?

In the morning services we are beginning our summer series of sermons on Acceptable Sins. What are “acceptable” sins, you ask? The idea comes from a book by Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins.  Bridges explains: “We who are believers tend to evaluate our character and conduct relative to the moral culture in which we live. Since we usually...

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Take refuge in the shelter of God’s wings

This past week we have been looking after our neighbour’s chickens. I say we, but really I mean Amanda with a bit of help from our girls, which is the case when it comes to most sorts of garden-related activity. As I write this Amanda is round there putting them to bed and tucking them

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Jesus our Champion

What a great summer of sport this could be! Already, England have trounced Australia in the rugby, Murray is still in contention at Wimbledon (at least, he was on Friday morning), the (cricket) test match begins on Thursday, the Rio Olympics are starting in less than a month. What a feast for the sports enthusiasts

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Refreshing unity?

Psalm 133 is a very short, rather quirky Psalm. It begins straightforwardly enough: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.” So far so good – and I hope that this weekend at home together has been “good and pleasant” in all sorts of ways. It is the next verse which

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