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The Scott residence (for a while…) February 28, 2009

Posted by Andy in Family.
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Some much needed rest and relaxation looms large on the horizon. But will anyone dare me to go for a swim before breakfast?


No line on the horizon February 26, 2009

Posted by Andy in Random.
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u2So, the wait is over. The anticipation has been swallowed up. U2’s eagerly awaited new album, No line on the Horizon, hits the shelves next Monday. But it’s already on the Internet via myspace. I’ve played it through a few times and my first impression is that it’s a bold departure from their last two albums but there is a fresh, daring, ‘experimental’ aura about it.

The spiritual subtleties are there for those with ears to hear and the best theological review I’ve found so far is here.

Magnificent seems to be an infectious stadium anthem, including the words: 

I was born to sing for you 

I didn’t have a choice
But to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry
It was a joyful noise
Oh, oh

Only love
Only love can leave such a mark
But only love
Only love can heal such a scar

Justified till we die
You and I will magnify

Oh, the magnificent


Stand Up Comedy includes the intriguing lines:

I can stand up for hope, faith, love
But while I’m getting over certainty
Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady

During White as Snow, there is a melody that sounds very much like the Advent hymn ‘O come, O come, Emmanuel’. Bono sings:

Once I knew there was a love divine
Then came a time I thought it knew me not
Who can forgive forgiveness where forgiveness is not
Only the lamb as white as snow.

The Waldensians February 6, 2009

Posted by Andy in Recent Sermons.

luxlucetI’ve been doing some research into the Waldensians this week. They were originally a 12th century evangelical movement that began in the context of Catholicism, but was rejected by successive popes and suffered severe persecution from church and state, before and after the Reformation.

It was Waldo of Lyons (1140-1217) who believed in the value of the evangelical poverty of the early church and he was deeply impacted by Christ’s words in Matthew 19:21: ‘If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me’.

Waldo gathered like-minded people and they became known as the ‘Poor Men of Lyons’. Following expulsion from Lyons, the message and ministry of these Waldensians grew.

They suffered a severe massacre in 1655, having become the targets of numerous extermination campaigns. This massacre attempt was known as the ‘Piedmont Easter’ and 1,712 souls breathed their last.

Cromwell’s England took action, Puritan pulpits rang out with fiery sermons condemning the acts, and the celebrated English poet John Milton was provoked to write the following poem:

Avenge O Lord thy slaughtered Saints, whose bones

Lie scatter’d on the Alpine mountains cold,

Ev’n them who kept thy truth so pure of old

When all our Fathers worship’t Stocks and Stones


Forget not: in thy book record their groans

Who were thy sheep and in their ancient fold

Slayn by the bloody Piedmontese that roll’d

Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans


The vales redoubl’d to the hills, and they

To heav’n. Their martyred blood and ashes sow

O’re all th’ Italian fields where still doth sway

The triple tyrant: that from these may grow

A hundred-fold, who having learnt thy way

Early may fly the Babylonian woe.

The official symbol of the Waldensian Church, which continues to exist in Italy (mainly in the Alpine region west of Turin) and North America, is ‘Lux Lucet in Tenebris’ (A light shining in the darkness’).