PASTORAL

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1st August 2016

“No man is an island.” On Friday 24th June 2016 we all woke up to the reality of Brexit: 52% voted to leave, 48% to remain. Some feel euphoric and energised, others feel deflated and anxious. While most are respecting the result some are not respecting one another and there is a real risk of bitter division. The overall vote was close but there is now a gulf between Scotland and England, between the haves and the have nots, and between the young and the old. Who can unite these sharply divided groups that don’t understand each other’s needs? The Prime Minister has resigned, the Labour Party has imploded, Gove and Johnson have dramatically split amidst accusations of betrayal.

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1st July 2016

We will all have to decide how we treat the outsider... We seem to be living in a time where it’s fashionable to hold referendums; all across Europe nations are debating on matters that effect multitudes of people, one news article recently said, ‘plebiscites in Europe - Referendumania.’ Some of these debates have, in places become violent; groups of people angering against change.

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1st May 2016

Highs and lows - On Sunday 13th March, Ross County FC entered through the gates of Hampden Park and, going on to win the match - the Scottish Cup Final - claimed the victory and the trophy. The fans were jubilant, waving their scarves and flags. The following Saturday, they lost their match to a side hovering above the relegation zone and the cheers of the fans were silenced.

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1st April 2016

DRAWING A LINE

One famous recorded use of this phrase, "to draw a line" took place in the USA, as part of the famous Battle of the Alamo. If you are like me, whilst you may heard of the battle and it's heroes like Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett, you may not know much more. The Battle of the Alamo took place in March 1836, as part of the Texas Revolution. After a decade of political and cultural clashes between the Mexican government and the increasingly large population of English-speaking American settlers in Texas, hostilities erupted with armed clashes between Texans and Mexican soldiers.

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1st March 2016

Life is full of surprises!

Some thieves got a surprise recently when they set out to siphon fuel from an unattended coach parked in a Western Australian town. They removed what they thought was the fuel cap and inserted a hose into the tank. One of the group then sucked on the tube to begin the process of removing the contents. It was only when he got a mouthful of the liquid that the gang realised their error. They had opened not the fuel tank, but the sewage tank. The thieves fled empty handed, one with a lingering reminder of his mistake!

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1st February 2016

What do you look for in a partner?

In romance - the qualities you look for in a person that you share your time and your soul with? In business - the skills, experience and ability you can confidently invest your money in?

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1st January 2016

Learn to love the you that you hide.

My wife and I recently had the privilege of leading a weekend youth retreat for a Salvation Army church based on Oxford Street, London. The weekend’s theme was #loveyourselfie: discovering what it means to know and love yourself in order to love your neighbour. 35 young people all seeking to know more about how Jesus is able to impact upon their life and how they, in turn, might impact upon other people.

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1st July 2016

‘HELL’ ~ a word we have all heard, mostly in an unpleasant manner, but is it a real destination that someone can actually go to? Interestingly, in the Bible, the Lord Jesus speaks more about Hell than He does about Heaven and surely does so for two reasons:-

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1st June 2016

Jesus promises a life of real joy. It only seems like a moment ago since the last one but the Rio Olympics are fast approaching, a time when the world’s greatest athletes will complete to win the top prize in their sport.

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1st May 2016

Is This For You? If we ever needed Good News it is now! There is so much bad news around. Try not to allow the bad news to overwhelm you. Let the Good News influence every area of your life. Is this all words? No. It is Good News and this News is true - Jesus Christ changes everything. Jesus said in Luke Chapter 4, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, to recover the sight of the blind, to release the oppressed and proclaim the year of the Lord's favour."

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1st April 2016

The Promises that Jesus Made - St John 14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” Now that Easter is behind us, we can look forward to that wonderful holiday called Pentecost or Whitsun on 15th of May. That festival is sometimes called the Birthday of the Church or the Feast of the Holy Spirit.

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1st March 2016

Longing for a Home - The sheer human misery involved in the ongoing migration to Europe of many thousands of people is something that most of us find difficult to comprehend.

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