Monday, 31 May 2010


A beautiful day and a bank holiday!

Among other things I have been reading my friend Peter Morden's book on CH Spurgeon.Peter was kind enough to give me a signed copy when he came to preach at our church yesterday.
Spurgeon was an impressive guy and I have always thought he must have been a rather an intimidating figure . Peters book is not only a good read but also presents Charles Spurgeon as a more rounded human being who suffered from depression among other things
The book also points out Spurgeons relevance for today and 4 lessons I have learned again
from Spurgeon a passion for prayer ,a passion for the Bible,a passion for evangelism and above all these a passion for Jesus and honouring him in word and in deed!
I commend the book to you! I should not I am sure have got as far as I have with this blog without mentioning Spuregon before

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Matchstalk cats and dogs

Not sure its cool but I have always loved LS Lowry!

I was born in Bolton and lived in Bury which is pretty near Lowry country If you have never been the Lowry gallery is well worth a visit

Friday, 21 May 2010


Convalesence is not a popular concept these days but a recent hernia op has forced me to slow down,to rest and to reflect
One of my reflections is on the staggering beauty of the world we live in!
The blossom this year has been truly awesome
Thank you Lord!

from Tim Chesters blog

Tim Chester
"In recent years we have been offered all sorts of options for church: organic church, messy church, simply church, total church.
Let me add another: slow church.
There is a slow food movement that extols the merits of hand-cooked food made from local ingredients cooked for as long as takes – an antidote to fast food. The slow food movement has extended so that people are advocating slow cities.
I’ve reading through Proverbs over the past few weeks and have been struck by how many call for us to slow down. The books of Proverbs extols the virtues of:
Slow speech
See 10:19; 12:18, 23; 13:3; 17:27; 18:6-7; 21:23; 25:15; 29:20. It’s an idea picked up and encapsulated in James 1:19-20: ‘My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.’
Slow wealth
See 11:18; 20:11; 22:8, 16; 28:20, 22. ‘Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.’ (Proverbs 13:11) This is an important reminder after the credit crisis. Get-rich-quick schemes either destroy you or someone else (and Proverbs has plenty to say about exploitation). Wealth earned slowly through diligence and hard work – and given away quickly – this is creditable in God’s sight.
Of course Proverbs also warns against those who are too slow – the sluggard who is lazy. See 10:26; 12:24, 27; 20:4, 13; 21:25: 22:13; 24:30-34. (for more on the imbalance between work and rest see my book, The Busy Christians Guide to Busyness
Slow actions
See 14:16-17; 15:18; 16:32; 19:11. ‘A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.’ (Proverbs 14:29) Also character takes time to form so grey hair is honoured (16:31).
Our culture is always in a hurry. We want to achieve everything today. It is striking that Jesus waited for 30 years before beginning his public ministry. I wonder if most of us had had our way we would have urged him into ministry earlier.
A former boss once used to say, ‘We over-estimate what we can do in a year and under-estimate what we can do in five years.’"

Bishop Alan’s Blog

Bishop Alan’s Blog

Blesses are those.........! good post

Friday, 14 May 2010


Because of my op ,I missed the Italian evening tonight at church . I was really sorry because these have been fantastic evenings with large numbers of people from the local coomunity present

The good news is that I heard it was a great evening with very good numbers and excellent food

The occasion was to raise money for the local school and the a local respite centre which we did but also to build good relationships with the local community we are called to serve- It is all about relationships

So no pictures from the evening but my consolation was I caught a great sunset instead

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


While the mind of the nation was on getting a government I was preparing for a double hernia op.My fault for lifting too much ,too often!
I wouldnt say I was scared but I was certainly a little bit apprehensive as I headed into hospital

I discovered that there is nothing like a hospital admission to make you feel your own mortality and frailty
The staff were very nice and I certainly was aware of many people praying for me.

I had never had a general anaesthetic before,and it was a very strange feeling, as I fell asleep ,having to entrust myself completely into the care of others ,an anaesthetist, a surgeon ,theatre nurses and probably others too .I was totally dependant on them doing their job well

Two hours or so later I woke up to be told the op had gone well by 5pm I was heading home sore and groggy but at least on the way to recovery with hernias duly repaired thanks to the medics skills
I have wondered since, why we dont trust ourselves to God more ?Realising that whether we know it or not we are totally dependent on him for everything as the bible says "in Him we live and move and have our being"
Secondly I am having to learn to rest ,to recuperate .Not an easy lesson for a rather frantic personality like me to learn!
Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Election my latest contribution to Radio Shropshire

Rejoice the end is nigh!

There are only 3 full days to go! 3 days of full on debate, and promises, & interviews and a constant war of words, which usually generate more heat than light, and then finally, after what seems like an eternity, on Thursday morning bright and early the polls will open in village and town alike across Shropshire and the nation and most of us will go off to our local polling station and put a cross by blue or red or yellow or green or some other colour.
after that the candidate who is in the returning officers immortal words “duly elected “will go off and represent us at Westminster
Some of us, perhaps uninterested in politics or perhaps appalled by the recent expenses scandal,will simply stay at home and refuse to vote
Such a reaction is understandable I think it was Aesop who said “we hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office!
Indeed my favorite ever sticker was one I saw on a yellow ford escort driving through Wem one election campaign many years ago which carried these immortal words” Don’t vote it only encourages them!”

That makes me laugh ,but it won’t stop me voting
As a Christian I have a responsibility to be involved in the society in which God has placed me

I worship a Saviour who saw the world for what it was, who saw our failures, who saw our weakness ,and who saw our need .

He didn’t sit on his hands! He got involved at great cost.
In the words of a modern hymn “Hands that flung starts into space to cruel nails surrendered”

His life is the model for ours. we are called to get involved. To be in Jesus words salt and light -to change things

William Wilberforce came into parliament as a v young man, from a very wealthy background. He became a Christian, he wanted to leave parliament calling it “a stage for prizefighters”

His Christian friends protested and reluctantly at first he stayed and gave his whole life to fighting for human rights it was a long struggle marked by many setbacks and it was only as he lay on his deathbed that he was brought the news that his bill to abolish slavery in the British Empire had been passed

Of course politics is a messy business; of course, it’s easy to be cynical about politics

but we should never forget politicians do not only give us scandal and sleaze and expenses, it was politicians who passed the anti slavery act , the factory acts which stopped child labour ,who introduce the national health service and education for all

The people we elect next Thursday need our prayers that they would genuinely seek the common good

The slogans are out there we may be sick of hearing them a future fair for all, building a better Britain, the big society

You may or may not thing their good slogans but they are laudable aims

On Thursday I would encourage you to vote but on Thursday and every other day I would encourage you also to continue to work in your community in your street in your village towards the common good . We need politicians but the future doesn’t just depend on them but in us all!

It’s been said and I think well said we get the politicians we deserve, it’s probably also true we get the society we deserve- lets work hard to build a better one

What will you do this week to make your corner of this world a better place

One where in the prophets immortal words we all including politicians act justly