Showing posts from January, 2011

What did you do today, dear?

I was involved in a sad conversation yesterday that went something like this: The study, about 4.30 pm, January 14 th 2011. (phone rings) Me: hello, Kea Vicarage (feeling the usual slight nerves on answering the vicarage phone - "you never know what you're gonna get"). Voice: hello, is that Mr Charles Peer? Me: Yes, that's right. (thinks: not too bad so far). Voice: hello, this is [ordinary bloke's name] from [totally meaningless company name]. Me: hello. (thinks: 1. Grrrr . 2. OK, try really hard not to go Victor Meldrew here). Voice (flat, desperate, speaking very fast): Mr Peer, we are giving all ourclients the chance toinvest in the finewines market, and I'mgoingto send youacatalogue tonight. Isyour email address ******** ? Me: errrr ... yes? (thinks: 1. He's got my email? 2. Invest what?? 2. Ok , let's try not to make this guy's day any worse than it already is). Voice: Mr Charlspier , is the finewines market something y

lessons from the Cornwall B&B case

Comment is called for on the judgement in the case of Peter and Hazelmary Bull , because it is a significant one, and because of the Cornish connection. While some of the responses have been predictable and stereotyped, most commentators have recognised that Judge Andrew Rutherford has treated the Bulls with respect, even though he has found against them. The case turned on the principle that Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, as civil partners, were entitled to the same rights under law as a married couple. This meant that the Bull's argument that they would equally discriminate against an unmarried heterosexual couple was not accepted, because Hall and Preddy were, for the purposes of this case, married. This is a tricky one. The Bulls didn't really have a strong case, but it's difficult not to have sympathy for them. They come across in the media as a harmless couple just doing what seems right to them. It's also hard to shake off the sneaking suspicion that they have b

Growing Leaders 4

Now I come to think about it, I'm not sure what happened to number 3, but that's not important right now. Session 4 of Growing Leaders tackles "Developing Character". This is the final session of part one, in which we are encouraged to think about the "foundations" for good leadership, without rushing on to the question of how we actually lead. Character and calling are the two principal foundations on which competence in leadership can be built. I personally found this the most challenging session so far. The essential question we were being asked was, "is your character consistent with the calling you profess?". 'Character' is a particularly telling word, because it prevents us from reducing the idea of holiness to the keeping of rules. A Christ-like life is not a matter of doing the right things, but of integrity of mind, soul and heart - a life shaped by the values of love, humility, faith, and compassion. For our group of dev

The baptism of Christ

Matthew 3:13-17 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." I love the account of Jesus's baptism. Remarkably similar in all four Gospels, it's a wonderful example of how the Gospel writers combine the eyewitness accounts of Jesus's life with profound theological truth (Clayboy has a good post giving the more scholarly take on this). It's an Epiphany reading because it's a moment of revelation - when we see who Jesus really is. In the Gospels it acts a

Gove's cultural revolution - ideology rears its head

I'll start this post with my usual disclaimer before my rare forays into politics: I have no brief for any one political party, and deliberately remain independent of them. I am open to voting in the future for any of the main three parties in this country, if their policies are persuasive to me. But I also think that the Christian gospel often calls for political comment. So here goes. Education Secretary Michael Gove has penned an extraordinary article in which he sings the praises of China's education system, and calls for a "cultural revolution" and a "Long March", "like Chairman Mao". The use of Mao's bloody Cultural Revolution as a paradigm for what Gove wants to do to the UK's schools is baffling and grotesque. Bizarrely, the media have allowed this to pass almost unchallenged, with the only reaction coming from journalists with Chinese connections, like this scathing piece from Sonny Leong . When compared to the treatment rec

Blood of the martyrs

Just catching up a bit here. I'm sure most have seen this already, but if you haven't - Every Christian should take a couple of minutes to contemplate the image of Jesus spattered with the blood of the victims of the New Year bombing in Alexandria. Courtesy, once again, eChurch Christian blog. This is the eve of Christmas for the Coptic Christians. Please pray for the persecuted Church.

Benny Hinn goes over to the dark side

Whoever made this video is very naughty. I post it below merely for information. (via eChurch Christian Blog ) If you don't know who Benny Hinn is, this is his website . In all seriousness, have a quick look, but please don't read it. If you read my post on the healing of Delia Knox , you might remember that I mentioned there are a lot of fakes out there in the "miracle" business. Some of them are very successful. Enough said?