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Culture

The Idols of our Time

In the book of Acts we read the history of the early church and the travels of the Apostle Paul as the Christian faith spread outwards from Judea to Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and Europe. We read of signs and wonders, shipwrecks, miraculous conversions, riots and trials-stories of travel and ancient culture inter-mingled with great self sacrifice and generosity. In Acts chapter 17, Paul was hounded out of the city of Thessalonica (Thessaloniki) and then promptly forced to leave Berea too, for his own safety. Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea...
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Symphony…

I remember, some years back, writing about Mahler’s 6th Symphony – The Tragic. I never could understand why it got it’s name; I was enticed by the opening march of the first movement, with it’s heroic and adventurous lustre, and the beautiful little melodies and rhythms that distracted me from the theme. It was my favourite symphony. In 2009 I was blessed with the opportunity to go see it performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Sage Music Hall. I was captivated as Valery Gergiev, one of our age’s great conductors, led over a hundred instruments in unison. There,...
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Gathered

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘running off to join the foreign legion’? The French Foreign Legion is the stuff of legend because of its amazing feats of courage and bravery; on the 30th April 1863, for instance, at the Battle of Camarón, 65 legionnaires defended a position all day against 2,000 Mexican troops. They defended it literally until it was two of them standing back to back to face down enemy charges. So who were these crack troops? The cream of the academy? The best men from Sandhurst? Well, not exactly.  For many years the legion was what one historian described as ‘an...
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