James's Weblog

iStockPhoto too Pricey? Two Others to Try

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 09:41 -- James

I'm a believer in paying for things. "Don't steal" - it's one of the ten commandments.

That means, if I want to use a stock photo on a website, on a flyer, on a poster, it should be with the copyright-holder's permission. It's their photo, and it's up to them to decide if I may use it. If I use it without their permission, it's theft. … Read more about iStockPhoto too Pricey? Two Others to Try

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Not long!

Mon, 08/09/2014 - 06:58 -- James

Stand up, stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long;
This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song.
To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be;
He with the King of Glory shall reign eternally.

(Apparently, Stand up, stand up for Jesus was originally written not as a hymn, but as the conclusion in a sermon on Ephesians 6:14) … Read more about Not long!

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Like a little child

Tue, 02/09/2014 - 15:39 -- James

Jesus said: “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Luke 18:17)

There's much debate as to exactly what that means. Jesus couldn't mean that adults have to be like children in every sense, as we could never be short enough. (Well, most of us couldn't — you know who you are.)  In what sense “like a child”? … Read more about Like a little child

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Of the Authority of the Church

Mon, 14/07/2014 - 20:28 -- James

THE Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything contrary to God’s word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ: yet, as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce anything to be believed for necessity of salvation.

Why Jesus must be Lord as well as Saviour

Tue, 01/07/2014 - 11:44 -- James

Lots of people's discovery of the Christian faith goes something like this:

They start out thinking that it's all about being good. If we're good enough, God might just accept us.

They then discover the wonderful news the Bible calls "grace". Jesus did not come to call people to be good; he came to show us we could never be good enough, so that we can receive God's kindness as a gift we could never earn. We need Jesus as our saviour.

But then that leads to confusion: If God's grace is free and undeserved, does it matter how I live? Can't I live as I please? … Read more about Why Jesus must be Lord as well as Saviour

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Israel becomes Egypt

Thu, 12/06/2014 - 11:32 -- James

Oh, the pain of leaving things out.

I'm preaching on 1 Kings 11-12 on Sunday. As is always the case with preaching, the aim is to help people to hear what that part of Scripture is saying to us today. And in order to be clear, you have to be ruthless. So often, there are all kinds of really interesting things you've learnt and discovered in the text, and they have to go on the proverbial cutting-room floor. … Read more about Israel becomes Egypt

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