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SOUNDINGS is a devotional resource - a collection of writings in the form of poetry, reflections and essays pertaining to the Christian life and spiritual growth.
Table of contents

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. There's nothing you can do that can't be done Nothing you can sing that can't be sung Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. We all been playing those mind games forever Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil. Doing the mind guerrilla, Some call it magic — the search for the grail. Love is the answer and you know that for sure.

Lesson 10: A Life of Love (Ephesians 1:4-5)

Love is a flower, you got to let it — you got to let it grow. We have come by curious ways To the Light that holds the days; We have sought in haunts of fear For that all-enfolding sphere: And lo! Deep in every heart it lies With its untranscended skies; For what heaven should bend above Hearts that own the heaven of love? If you believe in peace , act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that's perfectly valid — but don't go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system.

You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world , change yourself. There are three lessons I would write, — Three words — as with a burning pen, In tracings of eternal light Upon the hearts of men. Have Hope. Though clouds environ now, And gladness hides her face in scorn, Put thou the shadow from thy brow, — No night but hath its morn.

Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven, — The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth, — Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven, The habitants of earth. Have Love. Not love alone for one, But men, as man, thy brothers call; And scatter, like the circling sun, Thy charities on all. Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, — Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find Strength when life's surges rudest roll, Light when thou else wert blind.

Before our lives divide for ever, While time is with us and hands are free , Time, swift to fasten and swift to sever Hand from hand, as we stand by the sea I will say no word that a man might say Whose whole life's love goes down in a day; For this could never have been; and never, Though the gods and the years relent, shall be. Is it worth a tear, is it worth an hour, To think of things that are well outworn? Of fruitless husk and fugitive flower, The dream foregone and the deed forborne? Though joy be done with and grief be vain, Time shall not sever us wholly in twain; Earth is not spoilt for a single shower; But the rain has ruined the ungrown corn.

I had grown pure as the dawn and the dew, You had grown strong as the sun or the sea. But none shall triumph a whole life through: For death is one, and the fates are three. At the door of life, by the gate of breath, There are worse things waiting for men than death; Death could not sever my soul and you, As these have severed your soul from me. You have chosen and clung to the chance they sent you, Life sweet as perfume and pure as prayer.

But will it not one day in heaven repent you? Will they solace you wholly, the days that were? Some found no issue, and were quite open about their faith this tended to be the case in the faculty of medicine. The writer has also commented previously on how to read Job, so we were especially happy to share a deep interest in that book, and its prescience for Biblical theology of the cosmos and our relation to it.

I searched that whole blog for Job and found a collection of interesting articles here. The main lessons seems to be not to project back New Testament notions into the thought world of Job or the writer of the book, and to realise that, as well as much else, this book is about living with questions, not insisting on easy answers. A play based on connections between the Book of Job and science! This is going to be an exciting week quite apart from a general election in the UK.

A group of us in York have been working with the well-known theatre company Riding Lights and their writer Nigel Forde on the play Counting the Clouds. To find out more you will really have to get along to St. Michael-le-Belfrey church hard by York Minster at 7. Both have things to learn. On each evening, the play will be followed by a second hour of panel discussion between the audience and a group of scientists who are also Christians. You can find more information on the event and booking here. Here it is — the short, broad-readership, story-filled book about why God loves science and why science has always been stimulated, supported and has flourished within a worldview in which people seek to serve God.

Furthermore, we find that the reason to do science is also theologically grounded. Historically, the great scientists at the start of the early modern period when experimental science got off the ground, had a worked out theological reason for acquiring knowledge of the natural world. Those laws are within the grasp of the human mind.

God wanted us to recognize them by creating us after his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts… and if piety allow us to say so, our understanding is in this respect of the same kind as the divine, at least as far as we are able to grasp something of it in our mortal life.

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Science is hard, sometimes painful — new ideas get stifled if they go against the grain, our confused minds find many false avenues to waste time down, experiments and calculations go wrong. We find, as in Faith and Wisdom in Science , God in conversation with humankind about nature once more in the wonderful Book of Job.

Just read a taste of this agenda-setting text from chapter Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades? In the course of coming into contact with the empirical method, physicists have gradually learned how to pose a question properly.

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Now, proper questioning often means that one is more than half way towards solving the problem. So why do so many people, and especially sadly, so many young people, think that they have to choose between science and Christian or any faith? Sadly the answer is because of misrepresentation and a covering over of truth by all sides:. Perhaps Heisenberg has more advice for us:. The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you! By all means raise a glass with Dave and me to the wide and healthy readership of Let There Be Science already in the Amazon top and top 3 for science and religion after just a day!

Better still — do come along to Waterstones York tell them you are coming at 7pm on Tues February 21st to here Richard Staples of BBC Radio York talk with me and Dave about the book — and have a glass or what have you as well! What a ridiculous question — for centuries Christianity has exerted a drag force, surely, on the forward momentum of science?

Think about Galileo, evolution … how can a worldview that elevates dogma in spite of evidence possibly assist a scientific outlook of evidence-based fact? Through the ages, the balance of evidence indicates that a Christian worldview has propelled science forward both on the individual and communal level.

More is true — we have not touched here on the historical conception of the experimental science we know today through the theological motivation of the early Christina thinkers, through philosophers such as Bede, Adelard, Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, and through the Renaissance to Francis Bacon and the scientists of the 17th century. This is not the replacement of theological thinking by a new secular tradition, but the outworking of a theologically motivated understanding that a work of healing is given to us by our Creator, alongside the tools to do it.

Paris Jackson: Life After Neverland

You heard it first here — and I am very excited about this. There is a new book coming out from Lion Publishing in January called:. Co-authored with York-based physics highschool-teacher and friend Dave Hutchings, it takes the message of Faith and Wisdom in Science to a broader readership. We even explore how, over the centuries, Christian faith has supported and enhanced science, and how it can do that today. Dave tested out the chapters on the pupils he teaches, atheist friends, and we have a dozen international readers who have read it and written excited blurbs.

Let There Be Science makes a compelling case that the ethos of science and the insights that it brings into the workings of the natural world can have much to offer to people of faith. Hi everyone! I am switching blog platforms so that it will be easier for people to follow the blog. You simply click on the follow button in the lower right corner , type in your email, and then you will know when a new blog is written and posted. This will allow more flexibility. Typically I write a blog and then post it on Facebook so that people know that it is up.

But, for those without Facebook, they are left out. This will allow anyone with email to easily follow the weekly blog!

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Please check it out and follow! Las Vegas. A Tragedy. Instead of writing something of my own, which will be far less impressive, I have decided to post a handful of blogs and articles that were written by guys that I admire. As you read, mourn, weep, and pray. Our world is a mess, yet our God and King, Jesus, reigns.

  1. The Green Road Into The Trees.
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  4. Gold Hill (Images of America).
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I do plan to continue doing video blogs but at the moment I need a better system. So, until I can figure out a better system I am going to continue writing! I wanted to end with something that we had not addressed in any detail, because it tends to be the main focus for many Christians, and that is the impact that our life can have on those around us. And not just a vague impact but an impact that will, we hope, give us the opportunity to explain to people the hope that is in us See 1 Peter For many, this is assumed and emphasized.

You can make a picture mean or say anything. Words matter. Words explain the picture. So, we need pictures AND words; not just words, and not just pictures. This is obvious in the scriptures. In other words, a life was always lived out alongside the message. If you need texts for this, simply read the Gospels and the book of Acts. This should accompany our message the way signs accompanied the ministries of Christ and his Apostles. Then, Peter applies this kind of language and the OT concept of Israel to the church in 1 Peter The underlying reality is that we are set apart, not because of how great and good and godly we are, but because we have been chosen, purchased by the blood of Christ, and sealed by the Holy Spirit.

We are holy. Set apart. We saw on Sunday that one purpose of this there are many! Living a godly life is not meant to draw praise for us and a pat on the back. You are worthless! You are made in the image of God and precious. And when they do see Christ in us we want to be able to explain to them the reason that Christ is in us. We explain the Gospel to them! But, how might we intentionally live to make Christ look precious in this world? How might we live in the world as those who are separate and distinguished for the sake of creating Gospel-Sharing opportunities?

Here are just a few of the practical ways that I have considered: First, make the local church gathering on Sunday morning an absolute priority. I know that thing happen. Vacations happen. Sickness happens. There will be moments where we simply cannot join with a body of Christians to be built up and strengthened in Christ. The Lord knows that and there is plenty of grace available! Sports, or all kinds, is a big one these days. There are a lot of reasons for why I, as a Christian, think this is dangerous and wrong.

But, in regard to our present topic, it puts us too in step with the world. We will come after. This concept can be applied to all different kinds of things that rob us of our Sunday mornings. The key word here for me is consistently. In my mind I am thinking about the families who are absent from church for weeks and months and seasons at a time because their priority is sports and not worship.

At the end of the day, like everything else it is a heart issue. I know many who despise missing, even if it is totally permissible. I am one of the worst at this. I am just being honest. My wife just took a significant hit at Muncie Schools. I am angry. I am frustrated. I complained a lot. I wanted to make phone calls and send emails! Yet, on our way home from Sunday worship, my precious wife told me that as I was preaching she actually listens to me!

Salvation: Grace: Faith

Her application was that instead of whining and complaining we should emphasize our peace and trust that the Lord will provide. And in doing this, in soaking this way when others ask, it might lead to opportunities to share the Gospel with co-workers.

Her application on the way home pierced my heart. You can see why I must always be preaching to myself first! Where in your life are things frustrating and hard? How might you not complain for the sake of opening up Gospel-sharing opportunities? Use your free time differently. Here is another and final very practical life-style that might stir up Gospel-sharing opportunities. When you have breaks at work, why not consider busting out a Gospel-Saturated book or even the Bible? This is far better for us on many levels but this also might stir up interest.

Door open! Time to share what you are reading and how it relates to the Gospel. Or maybe you invite others to read along with you and have a discussion each week! What a wonderful door that could be opened We will be killing so many birds with one stone!

We will be learning and growing, God will be speaking to us, we will be maturing and being transformed, and we will be seeing doors opened for evangelism! The applications for this kind of living are endless. Consider in your own life how you might use moments intentionally for Christian growth and Gospel sharing. The point is to live as we are called and commanded, which is as exiles and pilgrims, out of step with the world, and when the world notices, and they will, we must be ready and prepared to explain the Gospel to them because it is the very reason we are different.

The suggestions that I gave are simply suggestions to any Christian because they are right and true and Biblical and good for us regardless.

If you read the Bible just to be seen so that you can share the Gospel you are a hypocrite. I hope that clears up any potential misunderstandings about what I am saying. Jesus said all of this.

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  • Here is a 5 minute word about speaking with authority! This past weekend I was in a wedding and thought a lot about seeing Jesus for the first time, face to face. Consider with me "our first look. Over the past couple of weeks there has been much talk about floods, fires, and hurricanes. How is a Christian supposed to think about these things? Why are they happening? What is the cause? What is the foundational reason? The reason I even drop a pebble in this massive ocean of commentary is to reach the people I know and the people who read my blog.

    My great desire is that Christians would look different from the world in the way we think and talk about what is going on. What I mean is this: The main discussion happening regarding all of these horrific events is climate change. That is what the culture cares about. That is what many earthly people are passionate about, even many Christians. But this is not about politics.

    This is not meant to be taken as a political post.