Tag Archives: suffering

Book Cull :(

I am getting rid of books.

Not lightly, and in most circumstances not because they are no good – though I confess some have never been opened.  I have to move on, Circuit Ministry is not happening for me at the moment.  We do not have the room and all these books have been unlooked at for nearly eight years, so I would rather someone else had them if they are any use.

They are just as they have come out of their storage box.  Some are yellowed, some do have my scribbling in.  They all have address labels stuck in the front page.  Just because I own them, doesn’t mean I agree with them – I cannot be held responsible for the views inside them!  Some are simply outdated, but may be interesting if you’re writing essays and trying to put a subject into context. If you would like one, please let me know.

If you want more details, I will do what I can.  I am not asking anything for them, but postage costs would be appreciated.  Drop off points may be possible.  Please also bear in mind that as someone with a chronic illness, I am slow – but doing my best 🙂 (and the same reason they’re not listed in alphabetical order!)

Oh and in case of more than one request, it will be first come – rubbish I know, but this has to be stress free – sorry!

So, here is a list, hopefully in some kind of order:


Max Lucado                                                                 And the Angels Were Silent
Paul T Harris                                                               The Heart of Silence
Karen Moore                                                               Wellspring
Walter Wangering Jr                                               Reliving the Passion
Joyce Huggett                                                            Listening to Others
Margaret Cundiff                                                     Living by the Book
Bruce Larson                                                             What God Wants to Know
All Year Round 1998 (Meditations for the seasons, designed for worship – in a loose leaf folder)
Janet Morely                                                             Companions of God – Praying for peace in the Holy Land (1994)
Dawn to Dusk – The 1996 Methodist Companion
Margaret Pawley                                                    Praying for People
Frank Topping                                                        Lord of the Evening
Frank Topping                                                        Lord of Time
Frank Topping                                                        Lord of the Morning
Frank Colquhoun                                                 Prayers for Today
Eddie Askew                                                            Many Voices, One Voice
The SPCK Book of Christian Prayer
The Lion Christian Poetry Collection
The Lion Prayer Collection
Joyce Huggett                                                        Joy to the World
Agatha Christine Mallowan                            Star Over Bethlehem
David Winter                                                           Hope in the Wilderness
David Winter                                                           What’s in a Word?
Philip Newell                                                           Promptings From Paradise
Kevin Scully                                                              Sensing the Passion
Adrian Plass                                                             And Jesus Will be Born

Christian Life

Rita Bennett                      Making Peace with Your Inner Child
Eric Liddell                         The Disciplines of the Christian Life
John Allan                          Shopping for a God
Elizabeth Goldsmith     Going Places
Ruth Graham                   In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart
Nicky Gumbel                  Questions of Life
Michael Mitton               The Rainbow of Renewal
Philip Newell                    One Foot in Eden
John Ortberg                   Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them
Pete Ward                          Liquid Church
Hannah Hurnard           Hinds’ feet on High Places
Meg Scott                           The Tug of Two Loves
Bill Hybels                          Too Busy Not to Pray

Schools/Children – practical and theory

Flatpack – Ready-to-go assemblies for 11-14s
Janet King                           52 Easy to Use Assemblies for Middle and Secondary Schools
Sue Relf                                 100 Instant Children’s Talks
John M Hull                        Utopian Whispers – Moral, Religious and Spiritual Values in Schools Ishmael                                 Reclaiming a Generation
Michael Botting (ed)       Drama For All the Family
Michael Botting (ed)      For All the Family
John M Hull                         The Holy Trinity and Christian Education in a Pluralist World Patricia St John                 Would You Believe It?
Eleanor D Gatliffe             Death in the Classroom
William L Coleman          My Magnificent Machine
Lynda Neilands                 50 Stories for Special Occasions Chris Chesterton
77 Talks for 21st Century Kids Penguins Family Adventures (from the creators of Veggie Tales)
Margaret Cooling            Wisdom for Worship – 70 Reflective Assemblies for Primary Schools
Learning with the Sunday Gospels – Trinity Sunday to Christ the King
Steve Chalke                      The Parenttalk Guide to the Childhood Years

Josephine Laffin                     The Duffer’s Guide to the Old Testament
Bible Handbook and A-Z Bible |Encyclopedia
John Rogerson    Atlas of the Bible
David Kossoff                 Bible Stories
Christina Buchmann and Celina Spiegel (ed)     Out of the Garden
Mike Coles                            God’s Reality Show
Tom Houston                       Characters Around the Cross
H L Ellison                                The Message of the Old Testament
Gerd Theisson                     The Social Setting of Pauline Christianity
Graham N Stanton             The Gospels and Jesus
William Neil’s One Volume Bible Commentary
Wendy Virgo                          The Prophetess
F F Bruce                                  The Pauline Circle
John Ziesler                           Pauline Christianity
Richard Coggins                  Introducing the Old Testament
Adrian Plass                           Never Mind the Reversing Ducks


Rob Parsons                         The Sixty Minute Father
Rob Parsons                         Loving Against the Odds
Rob Parsons                         The Sixty Minute Marriage
Something to Celebrate – Valuing Families in Church and Society
Margaret Withers             Where are the Children?


Geoff Walters                                    Why Do Christians Find it Hard to Grieve?
Althea Pearson                                Growing Through Loss and Grief
Parker, Fraser and Rivers         In Search of Wholeness
Philip Yancey                                   Where is God When it Hurts?
Donald Eadie                                   Grain in Winter


5000 Quotations for Teachers and Preachers
W J Limmer SHeppard           Great Hymns and their Stories
Howard Belben (ed)                 Ministry in the Local Church
Robert L Randall                         What People Expect from Church
Eddie Gibbs and Ian Coffey   Church Next
The Lion Christian Quotation Collection


Gordon Thomas             Magdalene
Colin Blakely                     It’s The Gospel Truth
Riah Abu El-Assal           Caught In Between
John Wesley: Contemporary Perspectives (1988)
David Lyon                         Postmodernity
Jane Craske & Clive Marsh (ed)   Methodism and the Future
Eddie Stobart                     Only the Best Will Do
Helena Wilkinson             Puppet on a String
Malcolm Folley                   A Time to Jump – Jonathan Edwards
Adrian Plass                        Ghosts


I’m not entirely sure I can see this picture as giving birth, as Stephen Cottrell suggests (p64).  I see it more as Christ sitting amongst the desolation and danger, holding danger, fear and possibility – an image I find powerful in itself.

But I’m happy to go along with the birthing suggestion.  That from the desolation, the darkness, the fear can come new life.

By Carly & Art from Washington, DC (Gamboling lamboling!) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

For there has to be the possibility and hope of the wilderness – it is not the end, there is something else to come, another hope, another way, different potential.  Jesus returned from the Wilderness strengthened for his work.  Life may never be the same again.  Both the wilderness and birth change that, but there will still be life.

Jesus will go from this place to suffer.  But his suffering and scars, bring us healing.  In the depths of fear, deep in the wilderness, caught up in anger and pain, we may not feel that, but it remains a truth to cling to – sometimes all we can cling to.

In the words to The Romans:

A Wonderful Future for God’s People

18 I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. 19 In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. 20 Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope 21 that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. 22 We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.

23 The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24 And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25 However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

These thoughts are reflecting on Spencer’s painting The Scorpion (seen here at the bottom of the second page).

This year for Lent, I am reading Christ in the Wilderness by Bishop Stephen Cottrell, published by SPCK, reflecting on Stanley Spencer’s paintings of that title.

I’m not necessarily going to blog every day on it, just when something leaps out at me – and they will be thoughts rather than full blog posts

In It Too

When someone comes to our house, one of us has to answer the door.  But if you watch such programmes as Downton Abbey, they don’t open their own door, they have servants to do that.  The members of the Crawley family are far too important to be greeting everyone on the doorstep.  If you get to talk to them, the staff will show you in.  No one gets to see the family, without first going through the staff. And if you’re really not very important, the staff will deal with whatever it is you are there for.


Hebrews 5:1-10

5 Every high priest is appointed to help others by offering gifts and sacrifices to God because of their sins. A high priest has weaknesses of his own, and he feels sorry for foolish and sinful people. That is why he must offer sacrifices for his own sins and for the sins of others. But no one can have the honour of being a high priest simply by wanting to be one. Only God can choose a priest, and God is the one who chose Aaron.

That is how it was with Christ. He became a high priest, but not just because he wanted the honour of being one. It was God who told him,

“You are my Son, because today
I have become your Father!”

In another place, God says,

“You are a priest forever
just like Melchizedek.”

God had the power to save Jesus from death. And while Jesus was on earth, he begged God with loud crying and tears to save him. He truly worshipped God, and God listened to his prayers. Jesus is God’s own Son, but still he had to suffer before he could learn what it really means to obey God. Suffering made Jesus perfect, and now he can save forever all who obey him. 10 This is because God chose him to be a high priest like Melchizedek.

In the Old Testament, no “ordinary” person was allowed to bring their own sacrifice to God.  They were not considered good enough to be able to get that close to him.  So Priests were appointed to that task.  You took your offering to the Priest, and he would give it to God on your behalf.

Not just anyone could become a Priest, God appointed someone who was “fit for purpose”.  But even then, the Priests themselves were not perfect.  They still had to bring an offering for their own sin, as well as of those stood outside.  Until that was, Jesus…

But Jesus brought something totally different, for he was perfect.  He has direct access to God because there is nothing blocking the way between them.

But there is something else that Jesus brings:

Jesus also knew what it was to suffer – and in his case totally unjustly.  So when we are torn apart by suffering, both that of our own and that of others that we see, when we wonder what God is doing, and where he is, we can know that he is right in there in it with us.  Suffering is a lonely place to be.  If we feel that no one understands, it is because they don’t – they are not in the place we are, experiencing what we are experiencing.  But when we ask,

Where is God?

he is where you are, where I am.  Jesus knew crying and pain, and he cries with us in our pain.  God didn’t spare Jesus from suffering, it was part of his lot if he was to be fully human, as he was.

To me, that is what makes him a God worth following.  He is not aloof from his creation, but involved in the world. Knowing us, loving us, understanding us and our life.  Standing right there with us.  That, for me, is what makes the difference.

Thank you God,

that wherever I am,

however I am feeling,

whatever I am going through

you are there with me.

Thank you that you understand




and struggle,

because you have known it too.

Thank you that even when I can’t see you

or feel you,

you are in the midst.

Thank you.