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I have moved! July 27, 2013

Posted by Andy in Uncategorized.
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I now blog here: http://andybaptist.wordpress.com

August gallery of clouds – watch it grow! August 3, 2011

Posted by Andy in Random.
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A little project to oversee now that I’m a paid up member of the Cloud Appreciation Society!

Get ready for Iona’s ‘Another Realm’ May 7, 2011

Posted by Andy in Random.
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I’ve been a great admirer of the eclectic Celtic rock band Iona since my teenage years when I first heard them in a cow shed in Somerset for a few summers at New Wine/Soul Survivor events during the mid-1990s.  They were the first band I’d heard live that really captured my attention and imagination. I remember basing my GCSE Design/Communication coursework project on them (designing merchandise products!) Well, Iona are about to release their next studio album, this time a double-delight (two CDs) and if their previous albums are anything to go by this will not disappoint. In fact some samples are available to listen to on their website as they begin their latest tour. Let’s hope they choose a Midlands location in the autumn for the second leg. With song titles like ‘Ruach’, ‘White horse’, ‘Saviour’ and ‘And the angels dance’ this new offering, 93 minutes in length, promises to bring heaven to earth and capture something of God’s warm embrace.

I’m in shed heaven April 26, 2011

Posted by Andy in Family.
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… thanks for the help Dad!

Father forgive April 13, 2011

Posted by Andy in Reflections on Ministry.
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While preparing a sermon on Christ’s words ‘Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing’ I found a most moving report from an American called David Douglas. It’s over a decade old but it powerfully describes his experience of visiting Coventry Cathedral and the implications it has for forgiveness. Report here: Coventry Cathedral’s Message of Forgiveness.

Continuing the theme, there was a good discussion on a radio programme I caught today about forgiveness. Someone quoted Archbishop Tutu who is credited with saying that forgiving someone a wrong they have committed against you ‘draws out the sting in your memory that threatens to poison your existence’. I shall have to quote him in my sermon; a helpful reminder that forgiving someone is also for your own sake as well as the perpetrator’s.

saints and angels January 23, 2011

Posted by Andy in Random.
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A visit to Coventry yesterday included a wander round the Cathedral. I was particularly impressed with the West Screen which included inscriptions of angels and saints on the glass. This window is also the link between the old and new cathedrals affirming the continuity of Christianity down the ages. It reminded me of the line “ever old and ever new, keep me travelling along with you” from Sydney Carter’s One more step along the world I go. Above is a photo of the West Screen window. I have adapted the image slightly. It is taken from the outside of the new cathedral looking in. The area of white in the middle is a reflection of the sky above the old cathedral ruins. The flash in the pane above the centre door is my camera!

2011 God space has begun January 7, 2011

Posted by Andy in Reflections on Ministry.
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Click the tab above or follow this link https://revandy.wordpress.com/theoblog/

Something about Mary December 20, 2010

Posted by Andy in Reflections on Ministry.
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My turn to post on the Hopeful Imagination Advent blog today. Here’s the link:

http://hopefulimagination.blogspot.com



Sunday’s sermon four days early December 8, 2010

Posted by Andy in Recent Sermons.
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Promises, promises November 15, 2010

Posted by Andy in Reflections on Ministry.
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An edited version of my next church magazine article:

Promise:   “when you say that you will certainly do or not do something”

The side of the Business Express lorry I recently noticed along the Hagley Road was decorated with the words ‘A promise means nothing until it’s delivered’. The Business Express website claims that its drivers deliver 65 million parcels a year to homes throughout the U.K, always in perfect condition. It set my mind thinking about promises.

From a young age we make promises. A child promises to finish their dinner or tidy up toys. A parent promises more time to play with their kids. Bride and Groom make wedding vows for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. Businesses become more environmentally friendly and promise to reduce their carbon footprint. Politicians say they will certainly deliver on their election manifestos. Royal Mail offer ways of guaranteeing next day delivery of your urgent or valuable item. Baptismal candidates promise to turn away from sin and follow Christ. Life is punctuated with all sorts of promises. Some are kept faithfully, others are broken and quickly forgotten. Sooner or later in life we learn that the breaking of some promises has greater consequences than others.

From start to finish the Bible tells the story of God’s promise of love. His promise progressively unfolds from Old to New Testament. Often the language used to describe his promise of love is expressed in words like seed, covenant, pledge, dynasty, inheritance and heir. 

The Christmas hymn Christians, awake! Salute the happy morn includes the lines ‘this day has God fulfilled his promised word, this day is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord’. Christmas reminds us that God has kept his promise of love to the world especially by sending Jesus, a flesh and blood incarnation, to die for our sins, be raised to new life and restore us to God . The apostle Paul once said “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus” (Acts 13:32).  

The sceptic may respond by saying that events in Bethlehem two thousand or so years ago have little bearing on our world today and that today’s evils such as racism and terrorism indicate that God has lost the plot or forgotten his promises of old. But the New Testament clearly says that a battle ensues (e.g. Ephesians 6:10-18) and that creation still awaits its liberation from all that frustrates God’s purposes (e.g. Romans 8:18-27). Therefore we can still confidently trust that by sending Jesus God has come close to us, pointed us towards a new day when there will be no more pain, suffering or death, and certainly acted on his promise of love.

Perhaps the best word to sum up God’s promise of love is the word covenant. God’s covenant to us is his loving relationship graciously personified by Christ. Some churches hold a Covenant Service each January as a promise of allegiance to God’s covenant and to renew their commitment to Christ and to their church family. Covenant Services also provide a very good opportunity to encourage people to seriously consider baptism and membership. A promise means nothing until it’s delivered.

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