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Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Glen Scrivener has produced another great spoken word piece this Advent. Christmas in Dark Places reminds us that:

He took on our frailty, he took on all comers

To turn all our winters to glorious summers.

Such a fantastic reminder as I gaze out on our bleak and misty winter churchyard, looking like a scene from Great Expectations. You can download the mp4 for use too.

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After the Christmas C(h)ord last year, Dai Woolridge has produced another brilliant spoken word video for Christmas. One for your church or youth group? This is the preview – you can download a copy for use from Spoken Truth.

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I know it’s still November, but honestly, you might need to send off for some Advent stuff before 30th November in order to start things from the beginning. I speak from experience, you understand. So order today and be prepared!

So today I offer you some counting resources to arm yourself with for when Advent begins a week on Saturday (or Sunday if you’re being liturgical about it).  I don’t mean counting your funds for Christmas shopping, nor the hours available for mincepie making, but counting down to Christmas in a way which helps to focus our minds on Jesus. This year I am aiming for an Advent of anticipating Christ, rather than one of anticipating shopping and panicking about whether the Christmas cards will make it out of the Vicarage before New Year’s Day. I am also an optimist.

This year I have an Advent candle ready with numbers and the names of Jesus so that we can think of one as the candle burns. We didn’t get very far down the candle last year due to forgetfulness and busyness but it’s always better to do something badly than not at all. So we’re trying again, with hope in our hearts.

 Then of course, there are always Advent calendars, which everyone loves. Peeking behind the hidden window is a morning treat. If we’re awake enough to remember to do it, of course. You can get some great ones online, ones which tell the Christmas story brilliantly. Try these links:

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I spotted this new gospel outline video from Glen Scrivener recently. I was reminded to post it on here after last night’s Messy Church, where we began a three part (obvs) series on the Trinity. I’m not sure many of us would choose to begin sharing our faith with something we see as complicated, but Glen shows us that it’s actually a great place to start.

Check out the 3-2-1 website for more details.

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At Cake and Chat, our weekly social group of school parents, church folk and random parishioners, we were talking about Iain Duncan Smith’s proposals to change the government’s definition of child poverty. Our parish ranks in the bottom 2.5% of parishes in the country for deprivation, so we are all familiar with poverty and its effects.

The general consensus was that poverty is not absolute – the amount of money someone has does not define how poor their life is, and especially how poor their children’s lives are. We see many parents with little money whose children are doing brilliantly – growing up with aspirations and discipline. And we know others whose children are not doing so well. Some of this is related to the amount of money available, but mostly it is to do with how that money is directed, and many other factors to do with the ability of parents to raise their children to escape poverty.

Jesus said

The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. Matthew 26v11

Poverty is in many ways an attitude of mind, but there will always be those who cannot escape it.  As Christians we follow the God who chose poverty so that we might become rich, and that is why we choose to live in the inner city – so we can offer the riches of Christ to those who know the reality of poverty.

Yesterday I listened to Mez McConnell’s story of grace (I’m going to be ordering his book too). He grew up in the most heart wrenching poverty – not just financially, but in almost every way you could think. What transformed him and turned his life around was not a government scheme or piles of cash. It was the gospel.

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One of the MTs who will be joining us in September, Radiohead, is, rather surprisingly for someone in their early 20s, a big fan of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. He recently blogged about Cranmer’s Catechism that is contained in the BCP, and sketched out a version in modern English.

The same evening another friend linked me to this excellent rap from Shai Linne, who captures the basics of a catechism in truly modern English and includes a few ‘Big Words that end in -SHUN‘. I’m thinking our kids might enjoy the Shai Linne best at this stage. But who knows, maybe they’ll be Cranmer fans too once  Radiohead moves in…

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Back into a crazy summer term already. This great kinetic typography clip from Out The Box reminds me about how I can keep on the right track when the doorbell and phone are ringing and I’m trying to get the kids out to swimming…

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