Treasures in Jars of Clay

I think it's fair to say that every one of us has, in some way, been affected by cancer. Some of us directly will have received that news none of us want to hear; there's a lump, growth, tumour - cancer. My degree was in Cellular and Molecular biology: and although the seventeen years since that have dulled my memory of the specifics, the disease we know as cancer is generally simple. Our bodies are in continual renewal; indeed, although in a Christian sense we're “born again” through baptism and confirmation, in a biological sense we're born again far more frequently. In fact our bodies...
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162 years strong at sea

In 2018, The Mission to Seafarers celebrates 162 years of caring for those who spend their lives at sea Today's blog post comes courtesy of the Mission to Seafarers, and helps to cement their important work in the Biblical foundation their mission draws inspiration, guidance and direction from.  The Mission works in over 200 ports in 50 countries, caring for the world’s 1.5 million seafarers through our network of chaplains, staff and volunteers. Their centres provide a home away from home where seafarers can relax and use internet and phone facilities to contact their loved ones, while our...
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Glass half empty?

Glass half empty
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the well known parable of the mustard seed. The story Jesus told to his disciples, which would help them to understand what the kingdom of heaven was all about. In my previous post, I explained how the kingdom to come was not something that'd be hurried in; but rather from seemingly insignificant beginnings would flourish over time into something so much more. How we can be God's advocate on earth to help tend and encourage seeds of faith, that our actions now could enhance and make ready all for that wonderful time. I talked about how a Christian presen...
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Encouragement: What were you going to be?

Go Get 'Em Mug
When I was at secondary school back when I was around eleven or twelve, lessons might start to talk about employment. What were you going to be, when school was over; but I suspect that for many, what they wanted to be in school and what they became didn't match. There was a piece of software we had on a library PC called “Jiig Cal” - which allowed you to record your interests, hobbies and skills. Based on how you answered, it would come back with career suggestions; but perhaps the software was in its infancy: a minor tweak here or there to how you answered could move you from the noble pr...
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From a humble seed

When I was in primary school, in my early years there, the school secretary passed away. I was too young to understand the gravity of what that meant, but of course everyone was sad - especially the teachers and other grown ups. I'm unable to recall her name now, but I do remember that in her memory, a cherry tree was planted in the school grounds. I remember, because at the time, I didn't think it was much of a tree: it was a spindly twig, shorter than my four or five year self. I had the opportunity to see that tree from my primary school days again, some twenty five years later. No longe...
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Prayer without committment

There's a couple of things they say you should never discuss in polite conversation, and that's religion or politics. As a blog post on a Christian website for a church of the Anglican faith, it's fair to say you're going to expect religion here (frankly, we're probably doing something wrong if you're not) - but for a moment, I'm going to break that second polite discussion taboo. On the political spectrum, it's probably fair to say that I lean to the left. I’m not sure I believe the interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq or Syria were justified - in my eyes, the stability of the Middle East...
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Pentecost: a Christian or Jewish principal feast?

"Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. None shall appear before me empty-handed. You shall keep the Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God. Exodus 23:14‭-‬1...
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Gifted by God

I'd like you to turn to you're left, or right, and look at the person there: if nobody is looking at you, take a look at yourself - a mirror, or just your hand will do. The individual you see is fantastic: they are uniquely gifted and can offer something back to others in a way another can not. We are all wonderfully made, as the Bible tells us in Psalm 139 - and we should be rightly grateful to a good God who would do this for us. We each bring something special to the table. In my case, perhaps failing to judge stopping distances on a motorcycle in the rain is not a good gift: but the...
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The Seven Rs

Today's blog post comes courtesy of 'greenchristian.org.uk', written by Louise Cook. Gordon Randall will be talking to us on our Patronal Festival weekend about our responsibilities over the world we live, and it's worth reminding ourselves that whilst God may have given us this world to use, we are merely stewards of his Creation. From childhood I have heard the mantra “Reduce Reuse Recycle”. So much so that I have almost forgotten the original three “R”s it is based upon – the Reading, Writing and Arithmetic of basic education. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” – sometimes with the addition of “R...
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Second Chances

Forgiven
We all know that the Bible teaches forgiveness. When asked how many times we should forgive those who wrong us, Jesus replied that we should forgive “seventy times seven times” (Matthew 18:22) - effectively, unconditional forgiveness. It’s not always easy to forgive of course but I endeavour to forgive those who let me down: some of my friends retort that what I might have forgiven others for is unforgivable - but as I’ve discussed before on our church website blog, there’s a freedom that comes to both the forgivee and forgiver, by letting go of a grudge and anger. However, if I were to...
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