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Beyond all question

1 Timothy 3:16 “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” 1. It was no ghost that in the manger lay No ball of…

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Away from the manger!

The manger was ready. The hay neatly dented to receive the swaddled infant child. The wise men and women of the church were about to turn up for the service. But the baby hadn’t arrived, and I was starting to wonder if I’d got my tinsel crossed. How can you have a Christmas service without…

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Jesus in Australia?

I remember hearing William Blake’s stirring anthem that proposed the thesis that Jesus once walked upon the shores of England in ancient times, but this year’s Christmas stamp presents the thesis that Jesus walked through the Australian bush! Along the way, apparently, he was pictured with cockatoos, magpies, kookaburras, koalas and possums. The obvious favourite,…

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The Ruler of Bethlehem

I feel like David, that ruler from Bethlehem, the moment he hewed off the Philistine’s head. I’ve been battling with a Philistinian plant in the front garden for years. The first time I attacked it, it fought back, growing three branches to replace the one I’d cut off, doubling in height, and standing its ground….

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The Heavenly Buster

One of things that I love about Sydney is the ‘Southerly Buster’. Of course that’s not the name of a street thug from Sydney south, but the name of a wonderful weather event. I’m not sure if it’s a phenomenon that occurs in other locations, but certainly none of the places where I have previously…

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Proof in his hands

What a sad thing that power and paranoia seem to go hand in hand. King Saul had the first and suffered the second. The Book tells the story of a number of occasions when he was in deadly pursuit of David, paranoid that David was hurrying to take his crown, only to receive indisputable proof…

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Flower Power

What therapy there is in a bunch of sunflowers. My wife has set up an arrangement in my office – looking very Vincentesque – to greet me each morning with their beaming smile. And what a smile, that never tires nor wanes, but keeps its cheery face throughout the day. I wonder if that’s why…

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Spies in the bedroom

I’m sure my neighbours are spying on me. They must be. For as soon as I lie down to have a rest, one of them invariably starts their mower, or the boy next door immediately begins his violin practice. It’s uncanny. All is calm, until I put my head on the pillow, and then the…

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Plans A, B & C

I think I might need a Plan B to remember people’s names. My Plan A is to run through the alphabet to try to stimulate a recall; which is hard, if I am, at that moment, engaged in conversation with the very person whose name I am trying to remember, and doubly hard if someone…

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A better harvest

This year I’m determined to be a more serious viticulturalist. Over the last few years, I’ve only needed one toe to crush the harvest and a thimble to measure the yield. My mistake has been to give the plant too much water and to think that luscious green foliage is a sign of health and…

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