Blogroll: Sussex Parson

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading. There are currently 13 posts from the blog 'Sussex Parson.'

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Christian Biblical Theology Reformed Evangelical Protestant Catholic Anglican * Scripture & The Lord's Supper Research Project * Thoughts Quotes Sermons Notes Questions Rants Gags Outlines * Please excuse my rubbish spelling etc. - a shrink tells me I have the "gift" of dyslexxia so that lets me of bothering (sic)!
Updated: 29 min 27 sec ago

Wedding Preaching

Sat, 19/05/2018 - 15:20
I suspect I might not agree with Bishop Michael Curry on everything.

And maybe his sermon was a little long and a touch repetitious. I didn't hear every word as the dear children were beginning to clamber around the sitting room, allowing the dog to steal their food and risking spilling their drinks.

And its possible that not all English Anglicans could carry it off quite as the Bishop did.

But surely there is a lesson to us here that most of us could afford to risk showing a little more enthusiasm, passion and intensity from time to time. According to the content of our preaching, we could deliberately speak as though we have a joyful, urgent and important message which we believe and which we think others ought to hear.

Too often I think my own sermons might be a little staid, not really having the quality of exciting life changing news with which I long to engage my hearers. I suspect I lapse into giving a take it or leave it statement of the truths of Scripture, whereas I ought to strive to hold up and to hold out Jesus Christ and his gospel, to be received with a hungry faith.

Whatever the strengths or weaknesses of today's televised wedding sermon, let us pray that the Holy Spirit enables the bold and powerful proclamation of the Lord Jesus in pulpits around the world this coming Lord's Day.Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

An OK Dad?

Fri, 18/05/2018 - 13:52
I am struck by the dedication in the non-autobiography of Frederick Forsyth I have just dipped in to. "For my sons, ... in the hope that I was an OK dad." I guess many people if they look back on their lives would say that there are few things more important.Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends


Fri, 18/05/2018 - 13:50
Frederick Forsyth, writing in 2015, says: "My life has been blessed with extraordinary good fortune, for which I have no explanation."

After giving some examples he goes on:

"I have been married to two beautiful women and raised two fine sons, while enjoying so far robust good health. For all this, I remain deeply grateful, though to what fate, fortune or deity I am not quite sure. Perhaps I should make my mind up. After all, I may have to meet Him soon."

(The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue, Penguin / Corgi, page 18)Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Failing to score political points

Fri, 18/05/2018 - 13:35
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that politicians attempt to score political points. That is part of their job. But I thought that Diane Abbott tried to do so particularly overtly on yesterday's Question Time. Though on a couple of occasions she failed to do so by accusing others of saying or thinking things that they disavowed. To those who are listening, these are shots which are off-target. In fact, they are own-goals which just make the sticker look silly, careless or low. Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Are Tories rats?

Fri, 18/05/2018 - 12:48
A member of the audience on Question Time last night was wearing a t-shirt with the slogan: "You are never more than 10 feet from a Tory" with a large picture of a rat.

Now, I am all for free speech, but this seems to me cheap, wrong-headed and offensive.

No doubt there are mean, nasty, greedy, treacherous people in all political parties.

It is quite wrong to assume that all Tories are rats.

Some might say it's unfair to rats!

But surely one might be a conservative because one thought that smaller government or lower taxation or individual opportunity or conservation of the good were core principles of freedom or the flourishing of society more represented by the centre-right than the Left.

To mix metaphors, it is just wrong to think that all Tory votes are the deliberate promotion of selfish fat cats.

And these days, of course, one might find it hard to find a Tory, say in London.Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Disproportionate force

Fri, 18/05/2018 - 12:40
A member of the audience on Question Time last night made a good point about disproportionate force, I thought.

If a team of police officers come upon terrorists with knifes, the armed officers would not throw down their guns and pick up knives so that they use proportionate force.

The point about proportionate force is actually that we want to use the minimum necessary force.Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

The State and Grenfell

Fri, 18/05/2018 - 12:37
There was quite a bit of discussion of Grenfell on Question Time last night.

Part of the story of the story is, it would seem, a catalogue of state failure.

I was struck by the fact that much of the response was a call for more or better state.

I can't help thinking that can't be all that needs to be said.Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Acts 3:11-19 - An outline

Fri, 13/04/2018 - 17:42

Acts 3:11-19 (page 1095)

(1) What the people have done (v13b-15): rejected and killed the author of life

(2) What God has done (v13, vv15b-18): glorified and raised Jesus from the dead

(3) What the people should do (v19): repent and turn to God

(4) What God will do (v19): wipe out their sins and send times of refreshment

(and see v20-end!)Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

What do you want most in your Vicar / Pastor / Minister?

Tue, 10/04/2018 - 18:13
We could no doubt think of things that are essential and desirable in a minister of the gospel.

A study of the Pastoral Epistles, which their emphasis on character and the single skill of being "apt to teach" would be fruitful.

Many job adverts ask for the Archangel Gabriel and Person Specifications use buzz words like collaborative ministry. No doubt there is code for don't change anything here but single-handedly grow the church, especially with young families.

Likely the minister will need a basic level of administrative competence or he will drive everyone crazy.

You will want him to pastor and teach and do the work of evangelist. It is part of his vocation to lead.

In fact, the minister's week is likely to be very diverse. In many situations he will need to be a jack of at least a few skills.

But perhaps minister and people would do well to remember the words of Pastor Robert Murray McCheyne:

"The greatest need of my people — is my personal holiness. Take heed to yourself. Your own soul is your first and greatest care. Keep up close communion with God. Study likeness to Him in all things."

Above all else, the minister should seek to love God and love the people. He should delight in the Lord Jesus Christ, revel in his grace, give thanks for his love. It is only by abiding in Christ and seeking to obey his commandments that one can be fruitful. 

Maybe you do want strategies and vision statements and all that, but you want a Pastor who will be in the Word, who will pray and listen and speak the good news of the Lord Jesus.

The minister must first of all be a grateful recipient of the gospel. He can only give what he himself has received. 
The work is after all ultimately God's, and the minister, conscious of his weaknesses, may confidently look to the power of the Holy Spirit who loves to give life to the dead and chooses the things that are not. 
One thing is needful: to sit at Jesus' feet as his disciple. That is indispensable for those who seek to be disciple-making disciples.Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

April Fool's Day Easter Sunday All Age Sermon Notes

Sat, 31/03/2018 - 17:00
Some jottings for tomorrow's all age service. Look away now if you are coming!

(It's probably 3 sermons in one so some stuff might be best left out / skipped over)

1 Corinthians 15:1-20 (p1155)
John 20:1-18 (p1089)

Our preacher today is … !

Ha ha!
April fool!

Would anyone like a chocolate?

Nothing inside, just the empty wrapper

April Fool / practical jokes – a surprise, the unexpected

The true story of Easter quite a funny story

Full of surprises and the unexpected

God dying on a cross!

Sad, but very, very surprising

J frequently predicted the resurrection, but his disciples don’t seem to have expected it.
It came as a surprise to them.

Foolish to think that death could stop the Son of God

Who is going to roll the stone away for us?
Silly to go to the tomb with out a plan.

Mary wonders if this is some kind of trick / practical joke / hoax

A case of mistaken identity – always funny
Recognise who Jesus really is

A surprise: The tomb is empty – just the “wrapper”, his garments there

Tears turned to joy

Without the resurrection we’d be miserable

To many people Jesus seemed like a fool
The cross seemed weak and foolish

But Jesus and his followers have the last laugh

Death and the devil are defeated
Perhaps they think they’ve won, but the tables are turned on them

Not a hoax or a trick but good news of great joy

Not a practical joke, but it is very practical
It changes everything
It gives us hope and purpose and meaning and joy and a message for the worldMarc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Easter Sunday and April Fools Day Resources Round Up

Sat, 31/03/2018 - 07:50
"April Fool's day is usually only observed by children, that 'really hilarious' person in your office and journalists who have to write about it.

And of course, the people in charge of press for large companies, who spend the days before April Fool's sending over weird, wonderful and sometimes tiresome press releases." Source: Daily Telegraph, 1 April 2017 - Dollar Store Children's Sermon Ideas - Ian Paul - What kind of fool was Jesus? - Wesley Hill - Easter Fool's Day - James Cary - What's funny about Easter? - James Cary and Glen Scrivner - What's so funny about Easter? conversation - Glen Scrivner: A funny thing happened on the way to the tomb

What else?Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends

Good Friday Poems

Fri, 30/03/2018 - 07:44
Any additional suggestions welcome. 

The Valley of Vision also contains meditations on the cross. 

Redemption, by George Herbert

Having been tenant long to a rich Lord,
   Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
   And make a suit unto Him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancel th' old.
In heaven at His manor I Him sought:
   They told me there, that He was lately gone
   About some land, which He had dearly bought
Long since on Earth, to take possession
I straight returned, and knowing His great birth,
   Sought Him accordingly in great resorts—
   In cities, theatres, gardens, parks, and courts:
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth
   Of thieves and murderers; there I Him espied,
   Who straight, "Your suit is granted," said, and died.

The Agony, by George Herbert


Philosophers have measured mountains,
Fathom'd the depths of seas, of states, and kings,
Walk'd with a staff to heaven, and traced fountains
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove:
Yet few there are that sound them; Sin and Love.

Who would know Sin, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see
A man, so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skin, his garments, bloody be.
Sin is that Press and Vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruel food through every vein.

Who knows not Love, let him assay,
And taste that juice, which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach; then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood; but I, as wine.
John Donne, Holy Sonnet XI
Spit in my face you Jews, and pierce my side, Buffet, and scoff, scourge, and crucify me, For I have sinned, and sinned, and only he Who could do no iniquity hath died: But by my death can not be satisfied My sins, which pass the Jews' impiety: They killed once an inglorious man, but I Crucify him daily, being now glorified. Oh let me, then, his strange love still admire: Kings pardon, but he bore our punishment. And Jacob came clothed in vile harsh attire But to supplant, and with gainful intent: God clothed himself in vile man's flesh, that so He might be weak enough to suffer woe.

Good Friday
Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone, and not a sheep,
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon –
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.Marc Lloyd
Categories: Friends
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