Thought for the Week

Skiing with the Dalai Lama

I couldn’t quite believe the headline, yet it turned out to be absolutely genuine.  In The Week Douglas Preston gave an hilarious account of the week in 1991 when he hosted the Dalai Lama in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  One day the Dalai Lama said he would like to see skiing – and that is

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And the winner is…

The Eurovision Song Contest may be one of those shows watched by more people than will admit to watching it.  The runaway winner last weekend was Conchita Wurst, the bearded Austrian drag queen.  As she accepted her trophy, she tearfully said, “This is dedicated to everyone who believes in a future of peace and freedom. 

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Our God is a missionary God

Oswald Smith was pastor of the People’s Church in Toronto, Canada from 1928 until 1959.  When he first went there, the church was tiny and in danger of closing.  On his first Sunday he preached twice on the subject of mission.  He spoke again about mission at the midweek church prayer meeting, attended by just

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Christianity is ‘from Nazareth’

There are some notorious rivalries in football, especially between clubs in the same city.  So it is hard for, say, an Everton fan to imagine anything good coming from Liverpool just across the city – at least he’s not going to admit it.  Such attitudes can be amusing, until we realise that they reflect something

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What God has joined together…

Most of us are familiar enough with these words from the marriage service: “Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.”  The same principle also applies to many other things, where we may be tempted to separate what God has put together.  It applies, for example, to the death and resurrection of

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The mystery of MH370

It is now five weeks since Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8th March.  Since then, there has been some news and plenty of speculation about what happened.  The truth is, we know frustratingly little – and if we feel frustrated, imagine what it feels like for

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A sharing God

Have you ever wondered why God asks us to be involved in his mission to his world?  Couldn’t he do it without our help? Wouldn’t it be done better if he did it on his own?  In one sense, the answers to those questions have to be ‘yes’: of course God can manage without us. 

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Our glorious God

Imagine a wife saying to her husband, “There’s something about me that’s very dear to my heart and yet you don’t know, something that I’ve tried to tell you in the past but you just haven’t got it.  It really matters to me and to our relationship that you understand this.  But it isn’t the

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All kinds of greed

Several times a year, the Bishop of Birmingham organizes a study morning for the clergy of the diocese.  This week we heard two talks from Professor Nigel Biggar of Oxford University, one of them ‘A Christian View of Current Economic Issues.’  He spoke of ‘speaking truth to power’, for example when church leaders remind the

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Grace beyond measure

I have just finished Dear Friends, an inspiring collection of pastoral letters from Jonathan Fletcher to his congregation at Emmanuel Church Wimbledon (Jonathan spoke at our church weekend away in 2008).  They are full of warm, pithy, biblically-rooted and pastorally-applied wisdom.  In the letter for November 2011, he pays tribute to...

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