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Home of the brave

One of my church ladies recently rescued her dog from the jaws of a monster. Her little mutt was being shaken to death by a huge dog, so she stepped in, forced open the ogre’s mouth, picked up her dog, tucked it close to her heart, and kept it safe until the canine-menace was called…

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Where your treasure is

There is a story in the Book of a woman who deposited two copper coins into the temple treasury, and was commended by Jesus, because she put in all that she had. At one level, I want to question her sanity; but at another, I know that anyone whom Jesus commends must be in full…

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Sideburn sorrows

The lockdown season has thrown up many stories of horrible haircuts that have been inflicted upon family members – some who have been willing participants, and others who have been summoned to the chair and subject to all manner of follicle abuse, from blunt scissors to silver bowls. To my very great surprise and relief,…

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The Ministry of Love

Just for the record, in the event that Big Brother is reading this, my worst fear is sitting by a cosy fire on a rainy day, with a good book, sipping on coffee and nibbling on liquorice. Such a chilling scenario would have to be my worst nightmare! Aaah! The very thought of it fills…

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Referring to another person in an impersonal way, is either a deliberate mark of disrespect, or a clever way of introducing a creature of horror. A Queen saying, “You will remove that ‘thing’ from my presence,” is an example of the first, and Stephen King’s child-frightening character ‘It’, is a classic example of the second….

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The Two Looks of Christ

Said Jesus on one occasion, “He who has been forgiven little, loves little”. I guess that’s why that old converted slave-trader, John Newton, loved so much, and why he had such insight into the deep things of grace. I saw One hanging on a tree, In agony and blood; Who fixed His languid eyes on…

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Saying Grace

“I would rather hear Dr Harrison say grace over an egg, than hear Bishops pray and preach!” said a certain Lord Thomand in appreciation of the sincerity and power of his Minister’s prayers. That of course, may say something about the state of preaching in some of the high churches in seventeenth century Ireland. Be…

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Proofing the bread

I had to read the sentence twice: “In bread baking terms, proofing or proving means to allow the bread dough to rise. The proof refers to the fermentation action of the yeast causing the dough to rise and create an airy texture. In most basic yeast bread recipes, the dough is allowed to proof twice.”…

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Pocket dialing

It’s always one of those amusing conversations, when someone rings you by mistake. I don’t mean from a wrong number. I mean pocket dialing. “Hello.” “Hello.” “How are you going?” “Not bad. And you?” “Yeah. Not bad.” … silence … waiting … more silence … “Er, are you keeping in good health?” “Yep. Not too…

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Epidemiological endings

When I was a boy, I remember being taken to the Town Hall to receive the polio vaccine. It was presented on a white spoon, as pink syrup, and taken orally. I’m so grateful for it, for my father, when he was a boy, contracted polio when an epidemic swept through Queensland. He recovered, but…

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