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A Book of Remembrance

What a comfort to know that God hears the groans of the saints when they see His laws voted against and trampled upon. And what a double consolation to know that He writes their names in His Book of Remembrance, not because He is in any danger of forgetting them, but because He ‘honours those…

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Picture perfect

I made sure when I planted my blueberry tree, that I planted the little plastic picture right beside it in the pot, so that the bush could see what it was meant to look like and what sort of big, luscious, plentiful fruit that it was meant to bear. (I just wish that the boys…

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The Guy with the Fist

Tough guy! William Farel. The Rocky of the Reformation. He’s the one on the Geneva Wall whom the sculptors decided to depict with a Bible in one hand and a clenched fist in the other. Says that respected church historian Philip Schaff: “Farel’s work was destructive rather than constructive. He could pull down, but not…

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The Cone of Silence

I always thought that the famous Cone of Silence was one of the goofy inventions devised by the creators of Get Smart. But having just finished a spy book on the Penkovsky case, (a Russian working for both the CIA and MI6 during the Cold War), I now realise that the American Embassy in Moscow…

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Stumbling in the light

John Newton (1725 – 1807) wrote many things, that many Christians have found pastorally helpful. He is certainly best remembered for his classic hymn Amazing Grace, and also for his long sermon series that employed the Biblical texts used in the composition of Handel’s Messiah. But his parish letters are also full of godly wisdom…

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Plato casts his vote

Imagine if you could start a city from scratch – not just its physical structures and engineering, but its social forms and paradigms . Many have tried and have created all sorts of utopic visions. Plato once tried it too. In his Laws, he articulated the creation of a new city on Crete called Magnesia….

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The Handmaid’s Prayer

I only liked one page of The Handmaid’s Tale. It certainly is a dystopic affair. The story is morbid. The characters are hard to warm to. The pages turn with sighs. But then upon one page, a shaft of light fell and brightened the story – at least for me. The handmaid, whose only task…

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Strawberry Fields

July is a good time in Sydney to work over the strawberry patch in preparation for a new season. A new season, that is, of feeding birds! Their timing is impeccable. If only I could make my strawberries ‘impeckable’, that would be a worthy achievement. Maybe all I’m doing is fulfilling Jesus’ Sermon on the…

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Wild Thing

I love that powerful line from the Book of Job, where God describes the futility of trying to tame one of his wild creatures called Leviathan. “Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?” “Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight…

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Control Alt Defeat

Those clever boys from Geeks2U worked their magic on the church computer last week. It took the technician all of ten seconds to diagnose the problem. Someone had inadvertently loaded three antivirus programs onto the poor machine. The programs were trying to kill each other and were paralysing the system. As soon as the technician…

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