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Tag: observations (page 1 of 19)

World Records and Mission

Not many people know that I am a world record holder. Yes, me! I hold the record for the the number of controlled rebounds from the step by the back gate of the yard where I lived as a child. It isn’t as easy as it sounds. You have to kick the ball at the right speed towards the gate; too slow and it doesn’t bounce back, too fast and it would go over the step and bounce any old how. You had to get it just right, so that it…

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Perfect Pop Songs

I spend a lot of time listening to music on shuffle. You know the sort of thing, where your iPod (other generic music playing devices are available) plays some Duke Ellington, followed by a Bach Cantata, then a Slade song from 1972. Every now and then, a song from the charts will turn up which is absolutely stunning. These are songs that are not particularly long, they are rarely significant, but they just do whatever they do really well. I thought I’d post a few of them here, to see your…

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In Praise of Journalists

My Twitter feed is full of updates written by journalists, telling the story of what is happening in Central Africa, South Sudan and other places which have dropped off the front pages of the mainstream media. Some of these journalists are expats; Brits, Americans and French, but increasingly they are citizens of the country they are reporting from. National journalists take the same risks as their foreign colleagues, but without the influence of a powerful foreign country behind them when things go wrong. I am extremely grateful to this small army of slightly mad people, who are willing to go to the world’s hard places so that I can hear the stories of the people who live there.

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Tea and Exile

The thing about Christian book shops is that they sell an awful lot of other things besides books. I realise they exist in a very competitive market and that they have to diversify in order to survive; it’s a tough world out there.

But what about that mug!

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Poverty Simply Explained

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

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Luis Suarez and David

The way the Bible treats its heroes is contrasts dramatically with the way in which the Uruguayan football authorities are reacting to Luis Suarez’ recent misbehaviour!

God never requires perfection from his people, he knows they will fall and he knows they will fail – all He requires is a willingness to seek forgiveness and to start afresh.

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What Price Our Foundation Stories?

Dynamic, independent, driven Christians can be a huge pain in the neck. They want to do things their own way, they don’t fit in with established traditions or structures and they make everyone else feel very uncomfortable. On the other hand, they can see solutions to things that other people hadn’t even realised were problems and can achieve things that your normal, everyday people just miss.

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The Call!

A personal call to missionary work is not necessary, can be rooted in Western individualism and reflect a low view of the role of the Church. It is also something which God has used powerfully in history to motivate and encourage people. Who said theology was easy?

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Some Thoughts About Sin and The Fall

If sin is doing things that are offensive to our creator, we should expect that sin will be the antithesis of the nature of God – and when we look at it we find that this is very often the case. God is a God of relationships, and sin is about treating God and others badly. This is obvious in cases such as murder and stealing, which clearly cause harm to others, rather than bringing unity. Pornography turns another person into an object for your own satisfaction; selfishness puts you at the centre of the universe and so it goes on. At its root, sin reinforces the three-way breakdown in harmony between God, humanity and nature, that came in with the fall.

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Village Life

Imagine it’s your third day in an isolated African village. You are expected to treat a sick child in the afternoon and to preach in church in the evening; despite having no medical training and not being able to speak the local language (at least not so as people could understand, anyway).

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