Thought for the day

‘You shall not judge’

It must be one of the best-known verses in the Bible.  You only have to make a negative judgment of something spiritual or moral for the quotation to be fired back, perhaps in the King James version: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”  That is indeed what Jesus says in Matthew 7:1.  However, a

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The greatest evangelist

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in Selly Oak/Park became Christians?! According to the 2011 census that is 25,885 people all following Jesus! Even better, what if everyone in Birmingham (over a million people) turned to Christ in repentance and faith? I know what you’re thinking…’it would be fantastic, but it’s not going to happen’!

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The storms

I am writing this at a safe distance from any serious risk of flooding, yet few of us can be unaware of the terrible time that so many in our country are going through, with homes flooded, businesses threatened and the fear that there may be worse yet to come. These last few weeks have

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How to come to God in prayer

I’m very much enjoying a selection of Jonathan Fletcher’s pastoral letters to the congregation at Emmanuel Church Wimbledon.  I shared with the Prayer Gathering this week a slightly adapted version of one called ‘How to come to God in prayer’, as he reflects on the Lord’s Prayer.  It’s so good, it’s worth a wider audience:

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What language did Jesus speak?

Have you ever wondered what language Jesus spoke?  It wasn’t English!  It was a language called Aramaic.  In fact, even in the original New Testament written in Greek, Jesus’ actual words in Aramaic are occasionally preserved for us.  For example, in Mark 5:41, Jesus brings Jairus’ daughter back to life with the words “Talitha koum”. 

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Are you thirsty?

I imagine that few of us have come close to dying of hunger or thirst. If anything, most of us have far too much available to eat and drink. It can, then, be difficult to identify with what Jesus means when he says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will

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Listen up!

I was reading a booklet recently called ‘Listen up! A practical guide to listening to sermons’. You may think that a better booklet for me to read would be called ‘Speak clearly! A practical guide on preaching sermons’! Well, as hard as it may be to believe, I have read lots of books on preaching

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An emotional person

Would you describe yourself as an ‘emotional’ person? I don’t mean do you cry at films or shout during sports matches!? We often tend to think of emotional people as those who express their emotions in very obvious ways and by and large, English people are not renowned for being emotional. We are caricatured as

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Pope Francis: Person of the Year

Every year Time magazine, as part of its review of the year just ending, selects its Person of the Year. For 2013, their choice was Pope Francis. As their writer Nancy Gibbs explains, “In his nine months in office, he has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about

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Nelson Mandela

There is no doubt that Nelson Mandela was a great man, as the thousands queuing this week to pay their last respects bear eloquent witness. For me, two qualities stand out. The first is his courage, typified in the speech at his trial in 1964 when he stated calmly that “a democratic and free society

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