James’s Blog: Newsworthy.

James’s Blog:  Newsworthy.

A friend of mine once told me about a small group of young people from his church that had gone and done some praiseworthy good deed. Local television sent a news crew to ask what had motivated them to do such a noble thing. Most of the group gave safe answers, but one girl talked about how her actions were an expression of her faith in Christ. I’ll let you guess which was the one piece of footage that they didn’t use when they ran the story. Read more

James’s Blog: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

James’s Blog:  Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

I was discussing with someone who suggested that, as an atheist, he at least was ‘…thinking for himself’. I pointed out that, unless he had invented atheism, he actually wasn’t. None of us really think for ourselves, I told him. There are thousands of years of history and debate and experience behind each of us, and all we can ever do is just pick a side. Read more

James’s Blog: Gam Zeh Ya’Avor.

James’s Blog:  Gam Zeh Ya’Avor.

Life has its own rhythms. There are creatively fruitful times, where the inspiration flows; there are times where I feel jaded and uninspired. There doesn’t always seem to be any reason for the transition. Sometimes, it’s just suddenly different. A couple of weeks ago, I had ideas. This week, I don’t have any, and the ones I had a couple of weeks ago sit there on my desk like paperweights. What to do when it feels like you’ll never have a good idea again? Read more

James’s Blog: The Wisdom of Old Ladies.

James’s Blog:  The Wisdom of Old Ladies.

When I was at Spurgeon’s, our Pastoral Care lecturer told us that he had spoken to his mother on the phone recently. She had told him that she had gone to an evening fellowship group at someone’s house, and when she had arrived, the young assistant minister was already there and had made himself at home in the most comfortable armchair available. “Tell your students not to do that,” she told her son. He passed this on to us, not because it had anything to do with pastoral care but because he was just doing what his mum had told him to do. My time at Spurgeon’s was very beneficial to me, but as far as practical lessons go, that was one of the few that I can remember.  I’ve always chosen my seat very carefully since. There’s wisdom in some of these old ladies. Read more