God and Disaster


I am told that everyone remembers where they were when President Kennedy died. I do not. But I know where I was when I heard of the Aberfan disaster. As its fiftieth anniversary arrives this week I recall its impact, the question I live with still and a man who has come the closest to answering that question for me. Continue reading

A parable for the last day of summer


A parable is story +. It is more than the sum of its parts. It holds truth within it and this truth must be sought out. The following parable began life years ago during a weekend in Bournemouth. It began as a reflection on parenthood and has morphed into a meditation on God.

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Is the idea of taking leave unbiblical?


A friend who works for the Baptist Union told me he was about to take a couple weeks of annual leave. His reference to ‘leave’ instead of ‘holiday’ hardly jarred but it gave me a jolt.

Why was he taking leave? Who said he could? Why this use of military language? And why does it unsettle me?

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Before the ending of Trinity Sunday


God of many names,never fully known;

Mystery of mysteries, Calling us your own.

John Bell

The writer highlights the paradox of the Trinity. Many attempts have been made to explain the incomprehensibility of God and yet our experience tells us that we have sense of his intimate relationship with us that goes beyond words.

And that’s Trinity Sunday for you. It’s a day to keep Christians humble….and Continue reading

Before the ending of Pentecost Day


No rushing wind here in this part of England this Pentecost Day just gentle breezes and birdsong as the weather wonders whether to let it be spring or not.

So I took the opportunity to browse through John V Taylor’s The Go-Between God written in 1972 when the Charismatic Renewal was beginning to take off and I ponder its opening paragraph.

The chief actor in the historic mission of the Christian church is the Holy Spirit. He is the director of the whole enterprise. The mission’s first task is to focus on Jesus Christ.

He makes an important point. The Holy Spirit is not primarily about special gifts or unique healings. For those of us who remember those times and can reflect on what happened in many churches it is a reminder that the Holy Spirit was not given to change the way we worship but to lead us in Christ’s missionary work in the world. Continue reading