At the Close of the Year – John Newton

A Poem/Hymn for the Close of the Year by John Newton:
Let hearts and tongues unite,
And loud thanksgivings raise:
‘Tis duty, mingled with delight,
To sing the Saviour’s praise.

To him we owe our breath,
He took us from the womb,
Which else had shut us up in death,
And prov’d an early tomb.

When on the breast we hung,
Our help was in the Lord;
‘Twas he first taught our infant tongue
To form the lisping word.

When in our blood we lay,
He would not let us die,
Because his love had fix’d a day
To bring salvation nigh.

In childhood and in youth,
His eye was on us still:
Though strangers to his love and truth,
And prone to cross his will.

And since his name we knew,
How gracious has he been:
What dangers has he led us through,
What mercies have we seen!

Now through another year,
Supported by his care,
We raise our Ebenezer here,
“The Lord has help’d thus far.”

Our lot in future years
Unable to foresee,
He kindly, to prevent our fears,
Says, “Leave it all to me.”

Yea, Lord, we wish to cast
Our cares upon thy breast!
Help us to praise thee for the past,
And trust thee for the rest.


Backing Up Your Brain with Evernote

I’m not an Evernote user. However I have my own system of notes of everything using dropbox, google docs/drive, gtasks and gmail.

Mastering these processes will really help pastors who want to develop their Bible knowledge and theological growth in every area.

This is a great video showing how a secular IT journalist uses Evernote:

Something that strikes me is that Evernote looks useful, but these processes still could be vastly improved with better software.

Reformed Theology as the Romance and Poetry at the Heart of the Gospel

I love this paragraph by Lee Gatiss from the Church Society:

2. Why does the contemporary evangelical church need “reformed” theology?

By “Reformed theology” I take it you mean the romance and poetry at the heart of the gospel? The gospel is the story of how God in his mercy sent his Son to purify a people for his own possession, to the praise of his glorious grace. It’s a love story, which makes most sense when expressed in the biblical idiom of predestinating love, intentional redemption, effective power, and eternal unbreakable covenant promise. Jesus is a “one woman man” – he loved his bride, his people, his church, and he loves her to the uttermost so that no-one can snatch her away from him. I think other species of theology tend to dampen down the wonder and stupendousness of this good news
because they can’t quite believe it’s so good, and that God would take our salvation entirely upon his own shoulders. Reformed theology at its best seeks to preach this undiluted soul-refreshment and defend it from the adulterating pollution of what the Anglican Homilies call “the stinking puddles of men’s traditions (devised by men’s imagination) for our justification and salvation.”

Canon Press Latin Primer Worksheets

I have developed a number of freely printable worksheets for use in learning Latin using the Canon Press “Latin Primer” series.

The page is here and contains links to my dropbox where I am developing these resources:

I hope they will be useful to anyone learning Latin using these textbooks. We are currently up to the third textbook and I will keep updating the worksheets as I create them.

I highly recommend the Latin Primer textbook series. They are based on a Trivium model of learning with a high level of memorisation from the beginning. They are beautifully presented modern text books using a classical style of learning the language from the grammar up.

Jensen spoke words of love…

A voice rarely heard…

Jensen spoke words of love not homophobia

I am a pastoral worker for Liberty Christian Ministries. I once identified as a gay man and lived actively as one for about five years. In that time I went to Anglican churches where Dr Peter Jensen was the archbishop, and I was frequently warned against living in sin. Though I resisted hearing that at times it never once made me feel suicidal or depressed: rather, I felt loved and safe (Letters, September 12.)

I knew living as a homosexual was wrong even independently of what the Bible said because I had to have regular health checks to ensure I hadnt picked up hepatitis, AIDS, or blood toxicity from the things I was doing. That is what the gay life involves – risky sex that puts life on the line. It diminishes life quality and life expectancy.

Health research bears out the reality of the risks of gay sexual practice. The 2010 national STD conference run by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US produced evidence that the rate of new HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men is more than 44 times that of other men and that the rate of syphilis among this population is more than 46 times that of other men.

Peter Jensen’s words on Q&A were reasoned, reasonable and said in love because he wants, as I do, people to have freedom in Christ and live life to the full now. Thats not homophobic, thats love.

via Sydney Morning Herald Letters to the Editor 13th September 2012.

TEC: Tearing the Fabric – 2012 Edition

A factually referenced and useful summary of current theological heresy and ungodly behaviour.

The Episcopal Church has been systematically destroying the foundations of Anglican Christianity within the United States and tearing the fabric of the Anglican Communion to shreds. In this report, we demonstrate, through the words of TEC leaders, their actions and their defiance of both the Bible and the instruments of Anglican unity, why orthodox Anglicans in North America were led to form the Anglican Church in North America in order to preserve and promote an Anglicanism that is truly biblical, missionary and united.

via TEC: Tearing the Fabric – 2012 Edition.

If We Believe All the Same Things, Why Do Our Churches Seem So Different? – Kevin DeYoung

This is a wonderfully wise and well put short piece by Kevin DeYoung. It speaks to the problems in my wider context also.

Liberalism is a problem, but squishy evangelicalism is the much bigger problem.

via If We Believe All the Same Things, Why Do Our Churches Seem So Different? – Kevin DeYoung.

Anglican Diocese of Melbourne respects and includes those who cannot accept the ordination of women

I welcome this statement by Roland Ashby expressing the respect and inclusion of those who cannot accept the ordination of women (to the priesthood or episcopate) in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne.

I am often asked this question so it is good to hear such an affirmation.

By  Roland Ashby, Letter to the Editor of The Age

Contrary to Fr Christopher Seton’s reported comments “New world order as Anglican priests move to a Catholic environment”, The Age, 8/8, the Anglican Church respects those who cannot accept, in good conscience, the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.

Even though the ordination of women has been joyfully embraced by the Melbourne Diocese and a majority of the Australian Dioceses, the Anglican Church has sought to be supportive of those who cannot accept the ordained ministry of women priests or bishops.

A protocol to ensure appropriate care and support for those who object to women’s ordination is well established.

Moreover, Fr Seton’s reported assertion “that you’ve got to believe in same-sex marriage” to remain in the Anglican Church is inaccurate and misplaced.

A new priest will be appointed to Fr Seton’s former Anglican parish of All Saints Kooyong and the parish will continue as a worshipping community in the Anglican tradition. We wish the four priests who have chosen to enter the Ordinariate every blessing for their future ministry.

We have a good relationship with the Roman Catholic Church in Melbourne, and hope to maintain this by avoiding the kind of commentary reported in this article.

Roland Ashby

Communications DirectorAnglican Diocese of Melbourne

via Anglicans respect decisions made in good conscience.

Packer on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer Liturgy

Amen, Amen:

I seek to be, not only humbled and thankful, but humbled in thankfulness, before my God and Savior continually. This is the religion that pervades the whole Liturgy, and particularly the Communion Service; and this makes the Liturgy inexpressibly sweet to me. The repeated cries for mercy to each Person of the ever-adorable Trinity for mercy, are not at all too frequent or too fervent for me; nor is the Confession in the Communion service too strong for me; nor the Te Deum, nor the ascriptions of glory after the Lord’s Supper, Glory be to God on high, etc. too exalted for me this shows what men of God the framers of our Liturgy were, and what I pant, and long, and strive to be. This makes the Liturgy as superior to all modern compositions, as the work of a Philosopher on any deep subject is to that of a schoolboy who understands scarcely anything about it.

From JI Packer, “The Gospel in the Prayer Book”, 1966.

The Ugley Vicar: 1662 and all that: How the Prayer Book changed the Church of England, and how the Church of England Changed the Prayer Book

Terrific article on the gospel heritage of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer:

The Book of Common Prayer should be something with which we are familiar enough for it to inform our theology, our liturgy and our spirituality. And that means putting it to regular, if not necessarily frequent use.

That way, it will be able to inform those parts of our own selves and the life of our church which no other resource today seems equipped to reach.

via The Ugley Vicar: 1662 and all that: How the Prayer Book changed the Church of England, and how the Church of England Changed the Prayer Book.

The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale? | Wired Business |

A salutary warning to all work-idolatrous fathers from someone who worked closely with Steve Jobs:

“If you’re going to fail at building something,” he says, “fail at building the f***ing iPad. Don’t fail at building children.”

via The Story of Steve Jobs: An Inspiration or a Cautionary Tale? | Wired Business |

Archbishop’s letter ‘Redefining Marriage’ | Media Releases |

An excellent and courageous letter. Thank you Archbishop Jensen.

The Lord Jesus quoted and affirmed the teaching Genesis 2, asking, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”’ (Matt 19:4,5). The Apostle Paul points to the deeper significance of this in saying that the union of a male and a female models the union between Christ and his Church, in which the Church is the bride of Christ.

via Archbishop’s letter ‘Redefining Marriage’ | Media Releases |