Posts by brian

When heaven is now…

Posted by on Sep 30, 2019 in Blog | 9 comments

I’m greatly enjoying Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, All the Light we cannot See – a moving exploration of life set against the Second World War. One chapter is entitled “Heaven” and in it Marie-Laure, blind since aged six, is picnicking with the ailing Madame Manec. It is a rare and brief respite from the war that is raging around them, and they begin to discuss whether heaven is real, and what it will be like. One poignant insight follows another, and the chapter ends: The grasses toss and shimmy. The horses nicker. Madame Manec says, almost whispering, “Now that I...

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Cultivating a spacious heart…

Posted by on Sep 19, 2019 in Blog | 3 comments

I don’t know if you can remember a time when your heart was filled with love. Perhaps you thought, “I don’t think I could ever love more than I do now.” It might have been on your wedding day, or on the birth of a child – or even when you first met your puppy! For me it was certainly on my wedding day. As Rosemary glided down the aisle, I knew this was a forever thing. My heart was bursting with love, and I was intensely grateful. That love has never left – actually, 39 years later, it continues to grow. Five years after we married, our first child was...

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When you say “Pastor”: What Images of Clergy tell us…

Posted by on Sep 13, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

Don’t know if you have ever thought about the collective nouns for various professions. Some are perceptive, others tongue in cheek. Apparently one should speak of a “rash of dermatologists”, a “shower of meteorologists”, and a “boast of barristers”. When it comes to clergy the best I could find was “a rumble of clergy” – most were less flattering. What do you think of when you hear the word “pastor”, or “priest”, or “minister”, or “clergy”? The images that spring to mind are likely to...

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Hope’s Beautiful Daughters…

Posted by on Aug 1, 2019 in Blog | 4 comments

Hope’s Beautiful Daughters…

St Augustine suggested that hope has two beautiful daughters, anger and courage. Without these, Augustine argued, hope comes to nothing. Why these two daughters? (And although off the point, why daughters? Don’t we usually see anger and courage as male qualities? Clearly Augustine didn’t, and perhaps his 5th century wisdom should cause us to reflect on where we most often spot valid expressions of anger and courage).  Returning to our question – why these daughters? Take anger… Instinctively we default back to the status quo. While we might quietly wish that things were...

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Sorry, I’ve no time. Really?

Posted by on Jun 20, 2019 in Blog | 2 comments

It’s often said that while we are a wealthy society, we are time poor. Now the first claim is undoubtedly true, but the second should have a serious question mark placed alongside it. Time poor – in comparison to who and when? Certainly not the ancient Hebrews. They worked a six day week from sunrise to sunset – on average a 72 hour working week. Indeed, a 70 hour plus working week has been the norm for most of human history. Robert Whaples, professor of economics at Wake Forest University has demonstrated that in the 1800’s a work week of 70 or more hours was common in the US, while Robert...

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