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Showing posts from 2016

The Wrath of God

“In the beginning God created man in His own image, and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.” This explains how some who claim the name "Christian" have used the idea of the Wrath of God to excuse their own inexcusable wrathful behaviour and use the threat of God's Wrath as a means of evangelism.So for example, the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099 is excused by God's Wrath. An eyewitness account tells the history:
Now that our men had possession of the walls and towers, we saw some wonderful sights. Some of our men — actually the more merciful ones — cut off the heads of their enemies. Others shot them with arrows, so that they fell from the towers. Others tortured them longer by casting them into the flames. Piles of heads, hands, and feet were to be seen in the streets of the city. One had to pick one’s way over the bodies of men and horses. But these were small matters compared to what happened at the Temple of Solomon. You would not beli…

An arguement with Jesus.......

Jesus,   I paid particular attention to your remarks about the "fowls of the air" ( Matthew 6.26). Taking you seriously I belong to Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the RSPB both organisations encourage proper stewardship of the created order as set out in Genesis 1.28. But reflecting on the Jay I find that they do store up food - see http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/ask-an-expert/previous/acorns.aspx. So although I agree, they do not sow or reap,  they do gather.
What's more they are forgetful and some of the acorns they stash away for the winter are in effect sown. That is one way that oaks are naturally propagated.


So what ? I guess not being omniscient is all part of being human.............

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside 3

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Trevaunace Cove is my number one surfing beach. For at least one week in the year this is where you'll find me hanging with the other surf dudes.



Mine is not a shiny fibre-glass board,  I am strictly retro and still use an old, wooden belly-board that I have had since the 60s. 
As a nod to modern developments I now wear a wet-suit!

( Wooden body-boards are making a come back.Check out the World Belly Body Board Championship Facebook Page

Surfing and Spirituality? I like Peter Kreeft on this  find it here

See also,   I do like to be beside the seaside.............. (2)



Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside (2)

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I have a favourite walk part of the South West Coastal Path, on the north Cornish coast  from. Trevaunce Cove, St. Agnes to Perranporth .



Much has changed since I first walked the path over 60 years ago. I have changed, but the ever changing sea and the rocky coast seem untouched by time. Toiling up steep hills and making my way down over rocky paths, I make slow progress through a heritage landscape that still bears the scars of a tin mining past.








As I stop to  look back - at the cove and my life - different vistas open and I see things in a different lights and from different perspectives.













Time has not left the landscape, nor me, unchanged. Back in the day,  the Trevellas Valley was a noisy, busy place. Steam from coal fired boilers drove massive, thumping, pumps in engine houses. Water driven stamp mills crushed the ore.  Horses and traction engines and all manner of mining folk competed with each other on the narrow lanes. Now all has fallen silent -  save for the gulls cry, the p…

"Oh I do like to be beside the seaside.. (1) ...."

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From Norfolk to the Channel Islands




Dorset and Cornwall





 Most of my  holiday snaps are taken by the
seaside.













Walks by the waterside are a particular joy for me. They have become an essential spiritual exercise. What is that all about?

An Open Letter to John Dominic Crossan

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Dear Dom,
Today is the Feast of St. Dominic and I wondered if you celebrate it as your name day. I woke up this morning thanking God for both you and the saint. Who would you be, without your formation as a Dominican? 
I am a bear of small brain and it feelsas if I am almost untouched by scholarship. What a joy, that within the Body of Christ, I have brother who not only has scholarship and a wonderfully analytical mind but ears to hear and and a lucid, easy to follow writing style.
In  Jesus and the Violence of Scripture you have set out clearly, argued convincingly and further than I have ever attempted, what I mean by saying,"I am a Christ-ian and I understand what that means by being a follower of Jesus." Thanks for that!
I was particularly taken with your account of discovering your third metaphor the Biblical Iconic Focus in the Benedictine Basilica at Formis where Christ in Triumph in the apse is the focus of all the other biblical icons. Iconography, or not and the …

A Conversation with the Coot Club

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It came as no surprise to pass "Death and Glory" as we made our way back up the Bure from a short cruise on Cygnet. I had been having an internal dialogue with the Coot Club ever since we came through Horning.

Back in the golden day, when I was a lad, before the old the Ferry Inn had burned down and the wherry Albion was still trading, there was nowhere near the river traffic there is today. It seems to my inner dyspeptic, grumpy old git that nothing will ever be the same. "Take a grip!" The positive. open, hopeful self replies. "Its change. All things change and yet nothing changes." The Coot club reminded me that although the Hullabaloos have taken over the pub, they tend to congregate in  certain places and the Broads are still a magic breathing space. More than ever  guardians of the Broads are called fight to protect, nurture and celebrate this unique environment.



You are right boys and the good news is there are lots of us at it. Horsey, where we h…

A Conversation with the Coot Club

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It came as no surprise to pass "Death and Glory" as we made our way back up the Bure from a short cruise on Cygnet. I had been having an internal dialogue with the Coot Club ever since we came through Horning.

Back in the golden day, when I was a lad, before the old Ferry Inn had burned down and the wherry Albion was still trading, there was nowhere near the river traffic there is today. It seems to my inner dyspeptic, grumpy old git that nothing will ever be the same. "Take a grip!" The positive. open, hopeful self replies. "Its change. All things change and yet nothing changes." The Coot club reminded me that although the Hullabaloos have taken over the pub, they tend to congregate in  certain places and the Broads are still a magic breathing space. More than ever  guardians of the Broads are called fight to protect, nurture and celebrate this unique environment.



You are right boys and the good news is there are lots of us at it. Horsey, where we had m…

Churches and Tourism - Progress

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Sometimes I'm so focused on the task in hand, I forget to sit up and take my bearings.

For 7 years I've been pushing on, hoping that the Church would get serious about tourism and Tourism serious about the church. And, Yes! There has been some progress:

I am chuffed to see the remit of, the soon to be appointed, Archdeacon of Norwich, will  include tourism. I am delighted that the Diocese of Norwich will be launching an Open Churches map (free for third party users to re-frame and embed in their own web sites) in the summer, and thatPremier Inns, King's Lynn recognise the warm welcome provided by St. Margaret's for hundreds of years. Lets hope that those who are responsible for our heritage churches, step up to the plate and find effective ways of communicating our ancient Faith to new visitors.

Another Day at the Office : a day of meetings

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Thi outdoor spirituality thing I do, its gruelling! Left home in Coltishall at 9 for a 10 a.m. meeting in Burgh next Aylsham.
Time for prayer time. for reflection.
As I peddled my bike to the Bure Valley Railway path there was an opportunity to consider the flowers, on roadside verges and along the railway track.
Each flower a bead on the rosary: campion, borrage, cumfrey, white nettle, forget-me-not, Queen Anne's lace, bluebells, herb Robert, and the last of the primroses.
On the 400 th anniversary of Shakespear's death, the primrose path that leads to the everlasting bonfire ?
Each hamlet or village I pass are chapters of a rosary.
Anchor Street, St. James's Coltishall Great and Little Hautbois, Buxton, Brampton Burgh.
Each is prayed for,
each is blessed,
in the sense, that I give thanks for it!
As I crossed the river  I was blessed by a barn owl hunting on hushed wings 









This afternoon,
its off to the Fur and Feather at Woodbastwick for more talks, with different people.

If you meet George Herbert..........

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"If you meet George Herbert on the Road, kill him":
 a reaction to Justin Lewis-Anthony's excellent book.

No Silly!                                                             
If you meet with George Herbert 
on the Road                                                       Say, “I am going fishing?”
Answer?                                                             
 “We’ll come with you.”
Across the years                                              
there’s you and I; Simon, Andrew and the Sons of Thunder; with George comes John Donne, 
Izaak, the Ferrar boy                                      Young Thomas and his sister.*
This is, “The contemplative man’s recreation.” Well said Izaak!                                                      
What do you think George?
Me?                                                                            
A failed courtier? Failed accademic? 
With failing health?                                                  God’s a fisherman.               
Lis…

A Little Perspective.............

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At a mid-point of a walk from St. Andrew, Wickhampton towards the Berney Arms and windmill, I stopped to take stock. It is amazing what a little perspective can do! I am so frustrated at the failure of people to see and celebrate the value of our Broads National Park heritage landscape, I could scream! But out here it would be lost on the wind and the limitless sky. Instead I turn my binoculars onto a group of curlew poking in the marshy earth with beautifully curved bills and wonder. "Consider the birds........
Across the marsh, beyond the station, was my terminus. The Berney Arms mill, sadly the pub remains closed. The lyrics of Slim Dusty Pub with no Beer come to mind - nothing so lonesome morbid or drear. More seriously, I wondered what I could possibly do to raise the profile of the church in the landscape with those who hold stewardship for the National Park.

There maybe opportunities to celebrate the church in the landscape as part of the up-coming Water, Mills and Marshe…