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The very hairs of your head are all numbered

“She knows my name,” says Ted, amazed.  “Some of my best friends don’t know my name.” (There’s Something About Mary.) To be known is an incredible thing.  Many a marriage is destroyed when one of the spouses feels unappreciated.  As they take up with someone else they will often say, “It’s just that so-and-so really […]

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Here is a famous phrase from the bible.  Yet it’s not in the bible.  Not in as many words anyway.  Here’s how the King James Bible renders it: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 7:12) […]

Fishers of men

What images spring to mind when you think of an evangelist? Often we think of a bold adrenaline junky who could sell ice to eskimos.  Yet when we think of the people who helped us to faith we usually think of very different character traits! Simon Peter can be thought of as an arch evangelist.  […]

Play the harlot

How would you feel if you had your yearly work review and the verdict on your performance was, “Unfaithful.”  You might expect negatives like “incompetent” or “negligent” or “unqualified” or “lazy”.  But “unfaithful”?  What if your boss said your work was “adulterous”?  “Adulterous”?  You might well protest: “Hang on, I’m not married to my job […]

My beloved is mine and I am his

The bible begins with a wedding and ends with a wedding.  In the middle Christ comes as Bridegroom to win His bride.  Throughout, the LORD is described as jealous and his people are either “faithful” or “adulterous.” No wonder that when Solomon turns from his exercise in spiritual doubt (Ecclesiastes) to pen the “Song of […]

Two are better than one

You have to pick your wedding encouragements carefully. The story is told of an uncle who could not make it to the happy day and so telegrammed his greeting as a simple bible reference.  It was 1 John 4:18: “Perfect love casteth out fear.” A word in season, as the good book says (Proverbs 15:23).  […]

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart

This is many people’s favourite Scripture.  It was the verse written by my mother into my confirmation bible: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:4-5) I wonder what approach you take to the […]

The words of the wise

We’ve seen Job and the Psalms, now the books of “wisdom literature” continue as we turn to the book of Proverbs.   Here we have a long and colourful fireside chat.  It’s the words of a father to his son.  Verse 1 introduces us to the father: “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king […]

A man after his own heart

“You’re a man after my own heart” says one country music fan to another. “You’re a woman after my own heart” says the man to his new girlfriend as she serves him his favourite dessert. These are common ways that we use the phrase today.  But they are subtly different from each other.  In the […]

Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God

After the brutality of Judges, Ruth is often seen as a nice little love story.  A rom com to take our minds off all the raping and genocide! But if we think like that perhaps we need to rehabilitate our view of romantic comedy.  The story of Scripture is most certainly a romance – the […]