Daily Archives: May 7, 2015

[Times] Graham Tomlin: A leader who prays is reminded they are not God

A politician who prays is often suspected as someone who claims a hotline to God, someone dangerous and unaccountable. The reverse is true. A ruler who prays is one who is regularly reminded that they are not God, that whatever power they have is borrowed, that they will one day give account for how they used the power they were given, and that they are truly accountable not just to the whim of the people, but to something, or someone, bigger, deeper and more final: the God who has laid the foundations of justice, mercy and peace beneath the torrents of human pride and desire.

Read it all and the Archbishop has comment on this

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

[Newsday Zimbabwe] Zanu PF youths reoccupy church land in defiance of court

Hundreds of Zanu PF youths yesterday defied a High Court order and beseiged the Anglican Church land in Chitungwiza where they maintained the disputed property should be parcelled out to them.

The High Court last week granted the Anglican Church an order to remove the youths from their land. Recently, nearly 1,000 youths disrupted a church service at St Mary’s Parish and held hostage the congregants..

spokesperson of the Anglican Bishop in the Diocese of Harare, Precious Shumba, called on Zanu PF leaders to call their youths to order.
Recently, the church appealed to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo to intervene.

“We condemn the lawlessness that is being promoted by these desperate people hiding behind Zanu PF,” Shumba said. “The Anglican Church has a right to its property and we hope the authorities will respect the order granted. Lawlessness destroys the nation’s hope of economic and social recovery. The leadership of Zanu PF is not above the laws of this country and they must be held accountable. We expect the police to decisively deal with this matter and remove all illegal occupants from our land.”

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Central Africa

[The Tablet] Cardinal Nichols talks to Alpha as figures show rise in UK parishes using course

Cardinal Vincent Nichols this week shared a platform with the Archbishop of Canterbury to take part in an interview with the pioneer of the Alpha Course, the Revd Nicky Gumbel.

Figures from Alpha show there has been an increase in the number of their courses ”“ an introduction to Christianity ”“ run in Catholic parishes and chaplaincies in the United Kingdom to 112 in 2014, compared with around 50 the year before. Ninety-five of the courses run last year were brand new.

The cardinal and Archbishop Justin Welby were interviewed as part of the Alpha Leadership Conference which took place this week in the Royal Albert Hall and the Hammersmith Apollo in London.

Among those attending were Catholic bishops from across the world. Alpha, based at the Anglican church of Holy Trinity Brompton in west London, is now run by more Catholic parishes worldwide than Anglican ones.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations

Bagpipes right before the Start of Edward James Deenihan's Funeral yesterday

Check it out for those interested.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Harmon Family, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

Open Thread: Prayer

Is there anything you would like to pray or to request prayer for?

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

Bishop John Harrower: My Intention to Retire

Our love affair with the people of these enchanting islands of Tasmania is undiminished.
May 7, 2015

Today, I have communicated the following to the Diocese of Tasmania. I ask for your prayers for our Anglican Family of Tasmania as we bring a season of leadership to a close and toward a new season.

Pastoral Letter from Bishop John

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Following much prayer and consultation with family, senior colleagues and close friends, I believe God is leading me to draw my ministry as the 11th Bishop of Tasmania to a close mid-September.

Obviously, this has not been an easy decision, nor has it come lightly. But life brings the unexpected and so it is that we believe God has led us to a new season to be with our sons and families in Melbourne.

More work needs to be done before finalising any formal announcement, but I anticipate laying up the Bishop of Tasmania’s pastoral staff at our Cathedral Church on Saturday 12th September 2015.

Over the coming months I will continue to fulfil my ministry, including my forthcoming seminars, ”˜Christian Voices in Public Places’ in Devonport, Bellerive, Burnie and Launceston.

In the week prior to the laying up of the Bishop’s pastoral staff, Gayelene and I will attend farewell functions in the North West and Launceston. The Southern Farewell will be at the Cathedral Service with the laying up the pastoral staff, followed by tea and buns (and possibly curried egg sandwiches J)!

On 25th July, St James’ day, I will have served 15 years as your Bishop ”“ an amazing privilege. Gayelene and I (and our farmyard!) have been warmly embraced. Thank you.

Our love affair with the people of these enchanting islands of Tasmania is undiminished.

May the Lord of History guide, guard and bless all of us over these coming months, and the Holy Spirit move with power in building a healthy church transforming life.

Yours sincerely in Christ’s service

John Harrower
Bishop of Tasmania

Read it all and there is a report from ABC here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

Lent & Beyond: National Day of Prayer in the U.S.

The theme for the 2015 National Day of Prayer is Lord, Hear Our Cry, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen I Kings 8:28 as our Scripture for this year: “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”

Here’s the prayer for today’s National Day of Prayer in the US, written by the National Day of Prayer Chairman

Heavenly Father,

We come to You in the Name that is above every name””Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our hearts cry out to You.

Knowing that You are a prayer-answering, faithful God””the One we trust in times like these””we ask that You renew our spirits, revive our churches, and heal our land.

We repent of our sins and ask for Your grace and power to save us. Hear our cry, oh God, and pour out Your Spirit upon us that we may walk in obedience to Your Word.

We are desperate for Your tender mercies. We are broken and humbled before You.

Forgive us, and in the power of Your great love, lift us up to live in Your righteousness.

We pray for our beloved nation. May we repent and return to You and be a light to the nations. And we pray for our leaders and ask that You give them wisdom and faith to follow You.

Preserve and protect us, for You are our refuge and only hope.

Deliver us from all fears except to fear You, and may we courageously stand in the Truth that sets us free.

We pray with expectant faith and grateful hearts.

In Jesus’ name, our Savior.


”“ 2015 National Prayer by Dr. Jack Graham

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

A Birthday Letter from prison in Iran from Pastor Saeed Abedini

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

I have been made aware that the National Day of Prayer (May 7th) falls on my birthday this year! As an American and as a prisoner for Christ I have spent many hours praying and crying out to God for revival for this great nation. We all hope for the success of our nation and for America to be blessed, but without revival there can be no true success or blessing. As Ezra’s cried out to God in repentance and the Israelites joined him in weeping bitterly and turning from their sin, I would like to ask you to join me in repenting and praying for revival. Me from inside of these prison walls and you on the outside.

Ezra 10:1
“Now while Ezra was praying, and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly.”

Ezra re-built the spiritual walls of Jerusalem while Nehemiah re-built the physical walls. Therefore, please join me in rebuilding the spiritual wall of our beloved country.

In times of need we see how much government and authorities can influence our everyday life, and when we see that their decisions do not match with our beliefs and standards, our initial reaction is to blame the leadership or the situations surrounding us for our hardships. But the truth is that change has to start with us, just as a wave has power to lead it’s surfer so by revival we, as the people, can help or push our leaders to follow their callings.

Change starts with us. Revival starts with us. The first step to revival is praying together in unity as a nation.
The National Day of Prayer is a great opportunity for us to come out and use the freedom that we have been given. So many Christians around the world are imprisoned and martyred for their faith in Jesus. You have the freedom to gather across the United States at your state capitol to pray. Please use this opportunity. Please use your freedom for the Kingdom of God.

We see in Ezra chapter 10 that despite the heavy rain and their shivering the people still gathered together. People should stand under any pressures to pray for their nation, for the Lord to bring revival, and to stand under the rain of the Holy Spirit to be filled by His manifestation.

Remember my chains in your freedom and chain together in unity for our beloved America. Know that I am chained with you in prayer on that day in seeking God for America.

There is no other way but to be crucified with Christ so that we may experience the power of His resurrection in our beloved country.

So much love to America,

Pastor Saeed

Read it all from here

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

For Such A Time As This

Prayer has always been used in this country for guidance, protection, and strength, even before we were a nation or a handful of colonies. The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our Founding Fathers also called for prayer during the Constitutional Congress. In their eyes, our recently created nation and freedoms were a direct gift from God. And being a gift from God, there was only one way to ensure protection ”“ through prayer.

President Abraham Lincoln knew this well. It was his belief that, “It is the duty of nations as well as men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God.” When it came to the fate of the nation, he practiced what he preached. Before the battle of Gettysburg, he turned to God in prayer. “I went to my room one day, and I locked the door and got down on my knees before Almighty God and prayed to Him mightily for victory at Gettysburg.” Won by the Union, Gettysburg was one of the turning points in the war that ended slavery and kept the states united.

Today, the need for prayer is as great as ever…

Read it all from here

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

(FT) London: a global city viewed with mistrust by the electorate

Ever since the “big bang” deregulation of Britain’s financial markets enacted by Margaret Thatcher in 1986, the UK has followed a liberalising trajectory that was accompanied by a public enthusiasm for wealth more commonly associated with the US.

During that time, London grew into a global financial centre that has become the favoured residence of the world’s super rich. By a wide margin, it now boasts more billionaires per head than any city in the world. But this election has raised the question of whether British attitudes towards wealth and the wealthy are now shifting.

The campaign has aired popular frustration over inequality and affordable housing, the bashing of bankers and growing resentment towards a London that other Brits regard as a distant haven of rapacious hedge funds. The common thread seems to be a suspicion that what is good for the rich may not be so good for everyone else.

“There is no doubt the political rhetoric has changed ”” above all from the Labour leadership,” said Ben Rogers, director of the Centre for London think-tank.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, History, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Psychology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NYT) Tom Brady’s Legacy as One of the Best Takes a Hit

The result was released on Wednesday: a 243-page investigative report, which included a 68-page scientific report and appendices. But, truthfully, all of it could have been boiled down to a single sentence: Tom Brady ”” one of the most accomplished N.F.L. quarterbacks ever ”” is more probably than not a cheater.

Nobody called Brady a cheater directly in the report ”” gathering direct proof of his involvement was hampered partly by his refusal to hand over his text messages and emails ”” but the investigation did find that “it is more probable than not that Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.”

Just as it is more probable than not that the Patriots just can’t seem to follow the league’s rules.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Sports, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from W H Frere

O Lord, who hast called us to fight under the banner of thy cross against the evil of the world, the flesh and the devil: Grant us thy grace, that clothed in purity and equipped with thy heavenly armour, we may follow thee as thou goest forth conquering and to conquer, and steadfast to the last we may share in thy final triumph; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

–Romans 14:7-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Church of England releases prayer for the General Election

The Church of England has released the following prayer ahead of the General Election tomorrow:

Lord, we give thanks for the privileges and responsibilities of living in a democratic society.

Give us wisdom to play our part at election time, that, through the exercise of each vote, your Kingdom may come closer.

Protect us from the sins of despair and cynicism, guard us against the idols of false utopias and strengthen us to make politics a noble calling that serves the common good of all.

We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.


Read it all

Update More suggestions from Lent and Beyond

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

(Seattle Times) Banking on faith: Cost-sharing ministries offer Obamacare alternative

When Melissa Mira suffered sudden heart failure at the end of her second pregnancy last year, she worried first about her health and her baby ”” then about the more than $200,000 in medical bills that began rolling in.

“Your world is just crashing down around you and you wonder: ”˜How is this going to be covered?’”‰” recalled Mira, 30, who spent more than a month away from her Tacoma home, hospitalized at the University of Washington Medical Center.

For Mira and her family, the answer came not through traditional health insurance, but through faith that fellow Christians would step forward to pay the bills.

The Miras ”” including daughter Jael, 4, and baby Sienna Rain, now a healthy 9-month-old ”” are among the growing numbers of people looking to “health care-sharing ministries” across the U.S.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Anthropology, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology