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David and Bathsheba

“Your faith was strong, but you needed proof, You saw her bathing on the roof Her beauty and the moonlight over-threw you.” (Leonard Cohen, Hallelujah) David was famously a man after the LORD’s heart.  He was the second King, succeeding where Israel’s first King, Saul, had failed.  He was messiah – christ – an anointed king. […]

Doing what is right in your own eyes

George Carlin once observed a universal rule of the road: every driver slower than you is an idiot.  And every driver faster is a maniac. You on the other hand…  You are the golden mean.  And you are, because you say you are.  And who would dare contradict. We all naturally “do what is right […]

Unclean! Unclean!

I’ll never forget when Mark told me he was HIV positive.  We were in a cafe in London and had just ordered all day breakfasts.  Many of us had tried to help him off the streets and off the drugs but he’d finally succumbed to a dirty needle. He had quite a few scabs on […]

Honour thy father and thy mother

It’s interesting to read modern alternatives to the Ten Commandments.  Their silence on the subject of God is deafening.  Few people today see God as having anything to do with the “Good Life.”   Maybe that’s not surprising.  But what’s also consistently absent are expectations about family commitments.  In fact committed relationships of any kind are […]

Graven Images

Where do we look for strength, for comfort, for help, for love, acceptance and joy?  Where do we look for life? According to the bible, the answer is: all the wrong places. We are inveterate idolaters.  That is to say, our hearts are forever being set on idols: things that are not God.  The human […]


When we hear of “fleshpots” we’ll likely think of sexual temptation. As in… flesh·pots / ˈfleshˌpäts/• pl. n. places providing luxurious or hedonistic living: he had lived the life of a roué in the fleshpots of London and Paris. But in their original biblical context, “fleshpots” are literally cauldrons of meat.  They are a temptation, but there’s nothing […]

Sodom and Gomorrah

The mention of “Sodom and Gomorrah” conjures up images of unbridled lust and debauchery.  They were the original sin cities.  And their judgement is constantly held up in the bible as a cautionary tale for all.  But both their sins and their judgement aren’t as straightforward as some might present it. Almost the first description […]

The Land of Nod

These days, drifting off to the land of Nod sounds like a pleasant slumber.  It looks like it was Jonathan Swift who first used the phrase in connection with sleep.  And Rudyard Kipling followed suit.  Now we associate the land of Nod and ‘nodding off’ exclusively with sleep.  I read today that taking heroin is […]

Am I my brother's keeper?

We all know the phrase.  And we all want to be able to answer yes. Tony Blair first introduced “New Labour” to the party conference describing it as the kind of compassionate socialism that said “I am my brother’s keeper.” In 2008, Barack Obama’s Christmas Day message was this: “Now, more than ever, we must […]

How the mighty are fallen

“Have you seen the news?  Flooding, fires, earthquakes, wars.  If we don’t watch ourselves the world’s going to fall apart completely.” “I fear we’ll soon pass the point of no return!” “We must be very near the end!” These are statements I hear pretty regularly about “the state of the world today.” The trouble is […]