Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Pastor Douglas Wilson's Wordsmithy: Hot Tips for the Writing Life (Canon Press, 2011) is an easy and enjoyable read. I'm not qualified to say how good his advice to writers is, but it seemed like good stuff to me, and somewhat transferable to speakers too. You have to admire the ambition of a little book which announces 7 exhortations, then promises the 7-fold development of each point.

Wilson advises marking books while reading, though I think I'll stick with a pencil rather than a blue highlighter, and compilling a Commonplace note book. Since a blog can serve as a searchable Commonplace book, here's what attracted marginalia from me:

We are superficial all the way down (p16)

The word authentic has lost its authenticity (p17)

I know my blogging pace sometimes creates the illusion that I do little other than sit here typing like a madman with my hair on fire, but that is really not the way it is at all. (p41)

Plod intelligently. Plodding generally goes in the same direction, while pottering doesn't. (p41)

Oscar Wilde once defined a gentleman as one who never insulted someone else accidentally. (p50)

Someone has rightly said that manners are to be understood as love in trifles. (p54)

... what sound does ough make? As someone once noted, "A rough, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed." This should be read by the learned as "A ruff, doe-faced, thawtful plowman strode throo the streets of Scarboruh; after falling into a sloo, he coffed and hiccupped." Quite a language we have here. (p57)

Criticism should be received as a kindness (Ps. 141:5).... You have to have that rare combination of thick skin and a tender heart. (p87)

Critics, whether right or wrong, well-meaning or malicious should be listened to with care. (p88)

Jesus taught His disciples in Aramaic, but God wanted the oiginal that we have received to be a Greek translation of that teaching. The canonical text of the Lord's teaching is a translation and not what originally came from the Lord's mouth. This means that God approves of translations. (p96)

Latin accounts for about 50% of our current vocabulary, Greek 30%, and Anglo-Saxon feeds the rest (p104)

Apostles Creed Session 1 - some Bible verses

The Apostles’ Creed Lent Course 2012
Study 1: “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”
Some Bible verses

 “I believe”

James 2:19 – “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that - and shudder”)

James 2:26 -  “Faith without deeds is dead”

“God the Father”

Malachi 2:10 – “Have we not all one Father? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?”

Acts 17:28 – “`For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said,`We are his offspring.'”

John 1:12-13 – “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-15 – “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”
Matthew 5:43-48 - "You have heard that it was said,`Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.' 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Matthew 6:8 – “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 7:9 -11 - "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Hebrews 12:5-10 – “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.”


Psalm 135:6 – “The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.”
Luke 1:37 – “For nothing is impossible with God."

Titus 1:2 – “God, who cannot lie”

Romans 13:1-2 – “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

“creator of heaven and earth”

Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Genesis 1:1-2 and John 1:1-3

Refrain in Genesis 1:9, 12, 18, 21, 25 – “And God saw that it was good” - Genesis 1:31 – “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”

1 Timothy 4:4 - For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving”

Genesis 1:26-28 - Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Psalm 19:1-6 – “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.”

Romans 1:20 – “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

Revelation 4:11 – “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

Psalm 33

Idenity course outline

Here's a list of the topics covered in the Identity Course:

Session (1)       The God who created us

                        Are science and Christianity enemies or friends?

Session (2)       The God who wants to rescue us

                        What about other religions?

Session (3)       The God we were made for

                        Where can I find lasting pleasure?

Session (4)       The God who wants to comfort us

                        Why do we suffer?

Session (5)       The God who loves relationships

                        Do I need to go to church to be a Christian?

Session (6)       The God who died for us

                        Does God care about justice?

Session (7)       The God who wants to persuade us

                        Do I need to see in order to believe?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Communion & Thanksgiving

The word "Eucharist" means thanksgiving. This aspect of the Holy Communion is reflected in the BCP service a number of times:

Let us pray for the whole state of Christ's Church militant here in earth.
Almighty and everliving God, who by thy holy Apostle hast taught us to make prayers and supplications, and to give thanks, for all men:

And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man.... To him therefore, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks;

Let us give thanks unto our Lord God.
It is meet and right so to do.
It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord, *Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God.

Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving....

Drink this in remembrance that Christ's Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful.

O Lord and heavenly Father, we thy humble servants entirely desire thy fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving

Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ

We praise thee, we bless thee, we worship thee, we glorify thee, we give thanks to thee for thy great glory,  

Monday, February 27, 2012

A renewed vision

The talks from our recent churches away day are now available on the Warbleton Church website Sermons & Talks page.

Rev'd Dr David Field gave 3 talks on A Renewed Vision:

(1) for church and worship

(2) for homes and families

(3) for work and the world

Charlemagne illustration

If you're coming to church on Sunday in this part of the world, look away now!

I've no idea what the historical basis is of this illustration, which you can find all over the interweb, but I think its quite an affecting story:

Charlemagne, Charles the Great, the King of the Franks, the first Holy Roman Emperor, died in A.D. 814 at the age of 72.
It’s said that he was buried in a vault in a Cathedral in splendid style: dressed in imperial purple, seated on a throne, a crown on his head, a sceptre in his hand, and a sword by his side.
Many years later, when Charlemagne’s tomb was opened, there the skeletal Emperor still sat on his throne.
He had a Bible open on his lap and his bony finger pointed to a verse:
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

Apostles' Creed Lent Course

A possible outline.

Here is the Common Worship (2000) text of the Apostles’ Creed.

The numbers in brackets indicate the session in which we might tackle that clause.

(1)        Introduction:
            The status and role of creeds
            Historical background of the Apostles’ creed

            The Trinitarian structure of the creed – doctrine of the Trinity

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

(2)        I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
            suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
(3)        On the third day he rose again;
            he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
            and he will come to judge the living and the dead.

(4)        I believe in the Holy Spirit,
            the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
(5)        the forgiveness of sins,
            the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Review / conclusions