Thought for the Week

Hark, the what?

I read this week that the opening line of “Hark, the herald angels sing” was originally “Hark, how all the welkin rings”. No, I hadn’t heard of a welkin either, but my dictionary tells me it means “sky, upper air.” Well, at least that makes sense. I understand that it was the preacher George Whitefield

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Do we know it’s Christmas?

Thirty years after the original recording, Bob Geldof has revived Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? – in order to raise money for the West African countries affected by Ebola. It is easy to be cynical about such “celebrity activism”, dismissed by some as patronising and pointless – and it is hard to tell

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Like a god

I had completely forgotten about the Rosetta space mission, until the news eleven days ago that the Philae probe had successfully landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (clearly not a name chosen for publicity or fame). I don’t blame myself for forgetting, though. After all, it was over ten years ago that Rosetta left earth – but

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All of the above

One of the blessings of studying in fellowship groups the Bible passage that was preached on the previous Sunday is that it gives us another opportunity to discover fresh insights in the same part of God’s word. In my case, I get to write the sermon and produce suggested Bible study questions, and then to

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When God remembers

Today is Remembrance Sunday, and Tuesday will be Remembrance Day, when millions of people stop what they are doing and observe a Two Minute Silence at 11am in memory of those who have been affected in all conflicts. The timing comes from the fact that the First World War officially ended on the eleventh hour on

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The deadliest disease

This morning I was listening to a very moving piece on the radio. It featured an extract from the diary of an English nurse out in Sierra Leone caring for Ebola victims. In it she related the practical difficulties of suiting up every time she entered the ward; the way that crying made the goggles

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The voice of reason

Apparently there is a slogan on a wall of the ministry of justice in Kabul, Afghanistan, scrawled by the Taliban: “Throw reason to the dogs, it stinks of corruption.” We smile, or even laugh aloud, at such an idea. “What would you expect?” we say to ourselves, proud that we live in a culture where

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‘Dead men don’t rise’

Have you ever heard anyone put forward such an argument? It goes something like this: “It just doesn’t happen. I’ve never seen such a thing. I don’t know anyone who has. Lame people don’t walk. Blind people don’t see. Dead men don’t rise. It can’t happen.” It is certainly true that such things don’t normally

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How People Change

Earlier this week some of us met up to review the ‘How People Change’ course that we went through at the start of the year, and we were reminded of one of the key insights from the course: my situation is significant, but not determinative. In other words, the situations we find ourselves in will

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Best value

We are familiar with trying to get the best value – whether it’s doing the weekly shop, making clothes last a little longer or putting in an offer for a house. Had you realised that getting the best value in life is something the Bible speaks of? Consider this: “Train yourself to be godly. For

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