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Flatpack Jesus

I’m not one for superlatives, but that trip to IKEA was life changing. I know what you’re thinking – and yes, the ninety-five pence scented candles are quite something – but it wasn’t that. It wasn’t that I bought some new wall art or a budget side table. Four years ago today God changed my life, He used a Swedish furniture shop as the venue and the local church as the method. Four years ago today God changed my life, He used a Swedish furniture shop as the venue and the local church as the method. It’s difficult to explain the circumstances...
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How Would Jesus Vote?

‘We don’t do God,’ said Alistair Campbell, somewhat famously, cutting off a Vanity Fair interview with his then boss Tony Blair. It’s turned out to be one of his most memorable quotes from his tenure but the irony is, of course, that Prime Minister Blair was an active Christian who prayed into his decisions. At the same time politicians from both sides of the house will mention their own faith in God. And agitators will film videos where they point at the whole system and explain what Jesus would have said about it all. So where do we get any clarity?...
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That’s Not My Name

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,” goes the rhyme, “but words will never hurt me.” If only that were true. The truth is that words come loaded with power and meaning and at any stage in life name calling is a damaging thing. There is one guy who has called me some really negative things; it’s usually in moments of frustration or anger or sadness but that doesn’t make it all right. If this person was anyone else, I imagine that I’d have given in to anger and yelled at them in return, or else just frozen them out of...
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United by the Cross

I remember when I was young my family camped at the foot of Ben Nevis. When I awoke the mountain would sit towering majestically above us with its summit rising through a blanket of low mist. It was unimaginable to me that you could climb it. I couldn’t see a path or a route to the summit. Taking the car a few miles, however, would present you with an entirely different view. You had a path that you could follow and its gradient wasn’t too dramatic. The topography looked different and the ways of ascent seemed to be more straightforward. Describing the mountain from any view point would have brought a completely different description....
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What to do when Christ isn’t enough

Have you ever been worshipping away, in a state of blissful abandon as you do, when you actually realised what you were singing? One moment you’re giving your all and the next you’re choking back a line because in your heart of hearts you feel that you probably can’t sing it at that moment without being a hypocrite. Perhaps none of the august readers of this blog have had this problem, holy as you are, but humour me and let me tell you what happened when I did a few weeks ago. I was at our new Newcastle North extension...
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