Author Archive

Accept Our Thoughts And Words

October 22, 1997

These words are often used in worship, very appropriately, as a prayer by the minister before delivering a sermon. The request is made that the spoken words of the sermon and the silent thoughts of the whole congregation may be … (read more)

Protection From Sin

October 21, 1997

Have you ever had the experience of being in a room in your home when a single shaft of bright sunlight shines into it? You've always assumed that the room was clean but the sunlight reveals tiny particles of dust … (read more)

The Value Of God's Word

October 20, 1997

There are many reasons for reading God's Word regularly and seeking to absorb it into our daily lives. Here the Psalmist highlights two reasons. Firstly, Scripture can act as a warning to us. We tend to be impatient with those … (read more)

The Desirability Of God's Word

October 19, 1997

In this verse the Psalmist continues to praise God's Word in a way that really challenges us to reassess our values. It's easy to say that God's Word is precious to us, that we value it and treasure it, but … (read more)

The Attributes Of God's Word

October 18, 1997

In rapid succession these verses invite us to consider six attributes of God's Word. Scarcely a day passes without the truth or the authority or the sufficiency of Scripture being questioned from one quarter or another. What a refreshing change … (read more)

God's Word

October 17, 1997

Having spoken in verses 1-6 of the revelation of God in the world he has created, in verses 7-13 the Psalmist turns to God's revelation of himself in his Word. God's law (Torah = teaching, instruction, direction) in the following … (read more)

God Makes His Sun Rise

October 16, 1997

Of all the forces of nature the sun is perhaps the one that affects us most obviously and directly. So great is our dependence on its light and warmth that from the earliest times many have worshipped the sun as … (read more)

Silent Voices

October 15, 1997

Of all the things we take for granted. one of the most amazing is surely the regularity of nature, the fact that the sun appears each morning bidding us rise and shine, and sets each evening bidding us rest and … (read more)

God's World

October 14, 1997

Psalm 19 brings together in an extraordinary way two assertions: God speaks to us through his World (vs.1-6) and through his Word (vs.7-13). Scholars who find here two quite separate psalms completely miss the point (some even see in vs.1-6 … (read more)

Hope In The Lord

September 2, 1997

If Psalm 130 begins with the author "in the pits", it ends with a call to hope. There are two grounds for this hope. One is God's "steadfast love," God's loyalty to his promises, God's absolute commitment to keep his … (read more)

Wait For The Lord

September 1, 1997

If you're like me, you like quick results. If a committee votes for a certain course of action, by tomorrow I'll want to know why it has not been acted upon. One of the hardest pieces of advice Scripture gives … (read more)

There Is Forgiveness

August 31, 1997

Psalm 130 is commonly classified as one of the "penitential psalms." The author cries to God "out of the depths." In this particular case the author's agony apparently springs from a sense of moral failure. This is no doubt partly … (read more)

Is Anybody Listening?

August 30, 1997

For the writer of Psalm 130 life was the pits. Yet even on his deepest distress, whether by instinct or by habit, he does not just cry out – he cries out to God. I write this just after hearing … (read more)

Out Of The Depths

August 29, 1997

A well-known and helpful book on the Psalms by Bernhard Anderson is entitled Out of the Depths: The Psalms Speak for Us Today. The first part of the title, of course, quotes Psalm 130:1. The second part echoes a comment … (read more)

Remembering: What God Requires Of Us

January 23, 1997

How good is your memory? Mine is not as good as it might be. In fact, I'd be completely lost without my pocket diary. I write in it everything I'm supposed to do, and constantly check it in order to … (read more)

Remembering: What We Owe To Christ

January 22, 1997

How good is your memory? Mine is not as good as it might be. Most people have, in various places around the house, framed photographs of parents or family members or friends. Hopefully we don't forget these people, but the … (read more)

Remembering: What We Owe To Others

January 21, 1997

How good is your memory? Mine is not as good as it might be. My mother used to say I'd forget my head if it wasn't screwed on. Of course, you know that professors are traditionally supposed to be absent-minded. … (read more)

Remembering: What We Owe To God Our Redeemer

January 20, 1997

How good is your memory? Mine is not as good as it might be. My wife could tell you how forgetful I am. I drove to work one day. It was a very busy day, and I did have a … (read more)

Remembering: What We Owe To God As Creator And Provider

January 19, 1997

How good is your memory ? Mine is not as good as it might be. People used to say that if you wanted to remember something you should tie a knot in your handkerchief (it wouldn't work so well today … (read more)

Pauline E-Mail – 4

November 25, 1996

If Paul's letters are regarded as E-mail, then his message is evangelical, ethical, ecclesiastical – and also ecumenical. This is another word that makes some people suspicious. Yet originally it was one of Paul's greatest contributions to see the Church … (read more)

Pauline E-Mail – 3

November 24, 1996

If Paul's letters are viewed as E-mail (evangelical, ethical), then another of the E's is ecclesiastical. That's a word that sends shivers down some people's spines. It conjures up visions of the Church as an institution, often protecting its own … (read more)

Pauline E-Mail – 2

November 23, 1996

Paul's letters can be regarded as E-mail. If his message is basically evangelical then it is equally true that it is also ethical. That term comes from the Greek ethos, meaning habits or customs, thus referring to a person's character … (read more)

Pauline E-Mail – 1

November 22, 1996

Paul's letters are among the most influential ever written even if by today's standards they were certainly snail mail. In another sense, however, they might be regarded as E-mail, for the leading themes of Paul's letters all seem to begin … (read more)

We Wish To See Jesus

October 30, 1996

At last I've worked my way through all 454 pages of the manuscript and the copy-editing stage is finished. I admit that I did sneak more than one look at the title page to see how it looks with my … (read more)

Hurricane Ridge

September 28, 1996

When we landed at Port Angeles, Washington by ferry from Victoria, B.C., the clouds hung low over the town and the famed Olympic Mountains were completely invisible. The weather was so poor we really wondered whether it was worth driving … (read more)

I Have A Dream

September 7, 1996

Despite all the blatant commercialism of the centennial Olympic Games, few could be unmoved by the spectacular opening ceremony with its multi-media variations of "the power of a dream" theme. The audio/video clip of Martin Luther King's famous 1963 "I … (read more)

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