How a misinterpreted verse can make us feel guilty when we grieve

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If there was one verse in the ESV that I would tweak the translation of it would be 1 Thess 4:13. In it we are told “that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” It is unfortunate simply because the most natural interpretation of that phrase in English is “You are not allowed to grieve because you have hope.”But that is not what Paul meant.I think the NIV is closer with it’s “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of … [Read more...]

Lest We Forget. Remembrance Sunday and Those Tower Hill Poppies

Photo taken by  Adrian Warnock

Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday. We find it hard to imagine the devastation caused by two World Wars separated by just two decades. But we must remember. We must appreciate the horrors of war and be thankful for the relative peace in our time.And we must think of those who do not know peace. Small tokens like buying a poppy, or placing the symbol ن on our social media profiles may seem insignificant, but such acts make us think.  They should make us feel some solidarity with those who suffer n … [Read more...]

Suicide Prevention: What the Church can do

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This month’s Patheos Book Club includes the book, “Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors.” By Karen Mason.It is a timely book, and an important book. It has been encouraging to me to see a significant shift in the approach of the Christian community to issues of mental health in recent years.  So, for example, in a recent survey of 1000 Protestant pastors conducted by Lifeway showed 0% of their sample believed medication should never be used to treat me … [Read more...]

A bit of happiness on a Monday morning

So it's Monday morning. Another week begins. Do you choose weariness and despair, or hope and joy? Last week's news both in the Church, and in the World was pretty miserable, I think we can all agree on that.You can imagine then how welcome it was on Sunday to hear at Jubilee a sermon on happiness. Christians have the source of true happiness that is not dependent on happenings.Sometimes it takes an anthem from the secular world to express things that really should be our domain. But, … [Read more...]

The problem of good

Ann-Voskamp

This article from Ann Voskamp is so helpful, and so important. I encourage you to read it all. Ann is a gift to the global Church and she is really onto something in her writings. So after dinner, she picks coneflowers in the garden.Cradles the long stems in her apron skirt, carries them up through the picket gate.And she turns to me on the top step of the porch, holds her apron out to me, all those purple petals — art in an apron.“Why is there all this loveliness?”She wants to k … [Read more...]

A Christmas Sermon

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This week, I will be sharing some sermons that I preached earlier this year and didn't get round to posting on my blog.  I thought I would begin with a seasonal sermon that I preached just this morning at Jubilee Church's Wood Green site, The message was based on Luke 1:26-55.What is Christmas? -A happy time of year in the middle of the cold dark winter…celebrating with lights -A time where a lot of food is eaten A time where family comes together -A time where gifts are gi … [Read more...]

Healing Today

John-MacArthur

MacArthur's argument against the gift of healing seen in his book Strange Fire is an interesting one to me. He seems to distinguish between the idea that God can and still does heal today in response to our prayers, and the concept of the gift of healing. (See James  5:14-15).He does this in several ways. Firstly, he believes that the "Gift" of healing was given exclusively to accredit the Apostles, something which as I said in a previous post, I just don't see as the case allowing for the … [Read more...]

To live is Christ, to die is gain

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I am very grateful to God that, despite Mat Chandler's brain cancer diagnosis, God has spared him for the sake of his family, and for more service.I will never forget him preaching at Jubilee Church still with a closely cropped head of hair because of chemotherapy.He explained to us then that he will never be free of what is effectively a sword hanging over his head. He lives each day as a man who may die tomorrow. Yet with a steely gaze, staring down the congregation as though we were … [Read more...]

There will be an end to these troubles

I cant think of anything of greater help to us than to cling onto God’s promise of an end to suffering  during difficult times. Certainly mental illnesses can be among the hardest things for us to endure, whether we suffer from one ourselves, or it is a loved one. But again we realise that ultimately the solutions the Bible offers us speak to those of us who suffer mental illness and those who don't alike.  Hope is vital.  We must be able to believe that as we spoke about yesterday, Jesus has goo … [Read more...]

An answer to the “Why does God allow Suffering?” question

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A few weeks ago now, I posted a surprising answer to the "Why me?" question. In that article I essentially make the point that one reason God allows suffering in our lives is so that we will be able to help others. But there are clearly other reasons, and we will never fully understand. One of the important reasons for us to grasp is expressed by Paul in what some have claimed is the finest chapter in the whole Bible, Romans 8:Behind every bad thing that happens to us, God is at work, … [Read more...]


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