Estrangement

JWW
It’s an odd kind of word – a word with very strong negative connotations.  Estrangement is a physical and/or emotional distancing between people who were once friends, or between people who are related.  It’s a situation which one of the parties usually finds unacceptable and wishes to see resolved. Estrangement takes many forms.  At best it’s simply that people have grown apart and little or no communication takes place between them any longer.  At worst it’s like international relationships back in the 70s and 80s – a cold-war.  Sometimes it’s just one person in a family that has fallen out...
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Advent 2 - “The Saviour who came to deal with bitterness”

Animal behaviourists suggest that ‘elephants’ have long memories.  In the wild, an elephant’s memory is key to its survival, and the herd it is in.  When confronted with an unfamiliar elephant, they huddle together for protection. They are able to track up to thirty elephants at one time and will recognise other elephants as friendly even after being apart for several years. Where am I going with this?  Elephants are not the only ones who have long memories, so do human beings.  Sometimes our memories are really good and wholesome but at other times, if we are not careful, some...
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The God behind the 'rainbow'

Australia has voted and the result of the marriage equality vote is disappointing for many and raises some valid concerns going forward.  Some have stated that this is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and there is much more to follow.  They may well be right.  So, when it comes to the ‘rainbow’ community, it’s good to be reminded on that it wasn’t Harvey Milk* who designed the colours of the rainbow.  Our faithful God designed it and after the flood said that the ‘rainbow’ was now to be a sign for the world that He would never destroy the...
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Thank God for the Light

“From darkness to light…” Someone once explained to me that God never created darkness.  Darkness occurs when there is no light.  Already in Genesis 1:3 we are told that God created light, yes even before the light bearers such as the Sun, moon, and stars were created.  We also know that when God created, it was very good (v31). Unfortunately, because of man’s fall into sin, sinful mankind has preferred the darkness to the light.  We see it at the highest level of governments and in our communities and when we are not on our guard, it can so easily...
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“To God be the glory, also for the Reformation”

Recently, while visiting a congregation overseas, a visitor asked me whether there was a danger that churches were making Dr Martin Luther the hero of the Reformation and by doing so, inadvertently giving him all the glory rather than God alone. The concern expressed to me probably has some validity, especially when we consider the advertising that has led to celebrating the 500th year of the Reformation. Unfortunately, not all, but much of the advertising has been centred around Dr Martin Luther and what he did to reform the church. Of course, we shouldn’t belittle what Martin Luther did and...
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