Power and Integrity (Or the lack of both)

Matthew 5:34-37 (The Message) 33-37 “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. Mark 8: 31-33 (New international Version) … Read more

All you need is Love

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 34,35 This week, a close friend of mine sent me a message telling me that her brother had died.  She was very close to him and normally spoke to him every day.  His death was surprising, but not unexpected, if that makes any sense.  He had been sick for a long time and now is relieved of his suffering, but even though my … Read more

Celebrity Pastors and Small Corners

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.  Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”  So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. (Mark 1: 35-39) Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain and he showed him all … Read more

Longing for Egypt

“The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” (Exodus 16:3) I have spent a whole lot of time with my own thoughts in the last month with this lockdown.  I am home with two family members, which is absolutely lovely, but they are both busy with their own work and get a little annoyed when I interrupt them for my own entertainment.  … Read more

Keeping a Sabbath

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8, ESV) (Before I begin, I need to wish a Happy Birthday to the amazing Heather T.!) I spend a lot of time in Zoom meetings.  I have since Zoom was released but it used to be only once a month or so.  Now, during my work week it is normal for me to have 3 Zoom meetings a day often adding up to 9 hours of time staring at my screen with my new bright red head phones on. Don’t get me wrong – I love that we have this … Read more

Thinking on these things.

Philippians 4:8, KJV: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any praise, think on these things.”   I hit a bit of a pandemic wall this week.  I completely ‘get’ the ‘why’ of our stay-at-home orders but this extrovert is chafing at the restrictions. On Monday we discovered that the toilet in our main bathroom was leaking and I had to find a plumber to come and fix it.  The first plumber I called said that … Read more

Remember your baptism

When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: `And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” (Matthew 2:3-6) I had a completely different blog planned for this week around remembering our baptism … Read more

Saying No to God

Luke 1: 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. All week I have been pondering the stories of Zechariah, Elizabeth and Mary in the Gospel of Luke.  I have been struck by several things: that our scriptures tell us that in their encounters with the Angel, that Zechariah lost his voice when he questioned the Angel, and Mary gained her voice when she questioned the Angel, that the whole of our stories … Read more

Mary and saying ‘Yes’ to God

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  Luke 1: 38 There’s this popular contemporary Christian song that is played on the radio this time of year called “Mary, Did you know?”  It’s a really lovely tune and asks questions like “Mary, did you know that your baby born will someday walk on water?”. I have to tell you that I have come to really dislike this song.  I dislike it, for a number of reasons.  I dislike it because I’ve heard it sung really badly (I’m a … Read more

Stumbling around in the wilderness

2 As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, 3 the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare[c] the way of the Lord, make his paths straight (Mark 1: 2,3) The littlest of my two fluffy dogs, Tex, really struggles in life. When he came to us he was a bit of a mess physically; had to have his teeth all taken out, and was skinny as a rail. Underneath all of his fluff he still is skinny but loves his kibble and even loves cat … Read more