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What does God taste like?

"How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than the honey to my mouth." (Psalm 119:103). So what does God taste like? I’ve just finished the BRF Guidelines series on John’s Gospel by Franciscan priest resident in Cyprus, Andrew Mayes – and it has been an eye opener, literally. Each new morning I have my quiet time in the lounge overlooking the fields backing onto our new house. And I begin with a time of listening to God or more precisely, in the words of Mother Theresa, listening to God listening to me. How long? Well, as long as it takes for me to drink a very large cup of freshly made cappuccino. I had already stumbled onto the practice of engaging my senses in prayer. So

When there is no consensus on what is a consensus.

The problem is not just that there is no consensus but that there is no consensus on what a consensus should look like. I write this blog, for those reading my words in several weeks’ time, during the high noon of the Brexit crisis. No one knows what quite what is happening and where we are going. Our MP’s cannot come up with a coherent policy on how to Brexit. According to the BBC website MPs are expected to vote for a third time on the Brexit withdrawal deal next week, despite speaker John Bercow saying what is put forward must be substantially different to be voted on. This morning our Prime Minister makes the plea: “I hope that we can all agree we are now at the moment of deci

When worship is dangerous

Terrible news this morning from the other side of the world. It seems that 49 people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Only this Wednesday I was talking with someone who had just returned from that country. It reminded them of England some 50 years ago. No longer, following this event of "extreme and unprecedented violence,” to quote Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. She called it "one of New Zealand's darkest days.” The foundations of Christchurch have been shaken far more than the 2011 earthquake. "For a long time New Zealand has assumed that this extremism is not here, but it is," said local counter-terrorism expert

Getting your life in alphabetical order

Grandma Josephine, Queenie (who breaks a leg), the Gingerbread Man, the Whomping Willow, Hermione Granger and above all (she won a prize) Fatty from the Beano. Some of the characters my grandchildren dressed up as for yesterday’s World Book Day – although I’m not sure whether the Beano can legitimately be called a book. However, there was one controversial entry as one of my granddaughters dressed up as my favourite book, the Dictionary. "Not a character,"said her teacher, clearly a dictiophobe. I well remember my first dictionary. In bed with some childhood ailment – I was about eight – my father appeared with a gift, a largish red book. For no obvious reason, he brought me a dic

Adapting to a fast-changing world

Sad news, sad but not unexpected. After nearly 70 years of serving the Christians and their churches of our region the Southport Christian book centre is having to close. We can thank God for its invaluable ministry over the decades. At the heart of their mission statement is the awareness of the importance of Christian books as “essential in our spiritual journey to help us in our walk with our Lord and Saviour.” I first came across their ministry way back in 1974 when as part of my ordination training I was on placement at a church in St Helens. The couple I was staying with were responsible for their church’s very active bookstall suppled by the Southport book shop some 20 miles aw

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