Nov 2

I Value Faith 1 and Remembrance 2017


Faith graffiti flickr photo by duncan shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) license


How would you describe faith?  Sometimes we lack the words to describe how or what we are thinking.

Which one of these three songs best sums up how you feel about faith at the moment?






Jesus, in Matthew 17:20:


Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.


It can be so hard to have faith, but if what Jesus said is true, what ‘mountains’ would you like to move in your life? In the city of Bristol? In the world? Take some time to think and to pray about these things.

For this fortnight of faith, I have taken the words of Psalm 31 and edited and rewrote them to make this shorter prayer of faith for troubled times.



LORD, I come to you for protection. I put my trust in you;

Do as you have promised and rescue me.

Be my armoured car, my walled city, my safe house.

Lead me and guide me. Protect me from tripwires and traps.

You are faithful, and I trust you because you rescued me in times gone by.

You saw all my suffering and you cared about it!


Help me now, as my mind and body feel hurt and confused. Like a fearful failure, I’m full up on sorrow.


Friends and family appear like enemies. People I know ignore me on the street.

I am completely forgotten like someone dead. I’m afraid, and I’m alone.


But I trust you, and I claim you as my God. My life is in your hands.

Save me from my nightmares. Smile on me, and shine down sun on me.

I pray you don’t disappoint me. I know you store up blessings for all who honour and trust you.

You are their shelter from storms, a protection from vicious gossip, and a bed to lie down on.

The LORD looks out for the faithful.

So all who trust the LORD be cheerful and brave.




Remembrance 2017


Poppies image


We are asked to remember at this time of the year.  I’m not remembering nations or political parties or even issues of right and wrong.  I’m remembering how many individuals are affected by war and terrorism, of course, not just individuals but their families, communities and precious resources. 

Please keep a minute’s silence as we remember those on our minds and hearts this Remembrance-tide.

Here’s a prayer to finish:

O God of truth and justice,

we hold before you those whose memory we cherish,

and those whose names we will never know.

Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world,

and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm.

As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future;

for you are the source of life and hope,

now and for ever.




Nov 4

I Can Review 1 and Remembrance 2016


I Can Review 1


Television watching


Three questions to think and talk about.

1. What’s your earliest and/or your best TV memory?
2. What’s your favourite TV show today and why?
3. How do you watch TV? Live or through catch-up? On your own or with others? Etc.


The top ten most watched shows in the 80 years of regular TV are (not counting Royal events or live sports):

1. Only Fools and Horses (BBC1, 29 December 1996): 24.35 million

2. To The Manor Born (BBC1, 11 November 1979): 23.95 million

3. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, 29 November 1967): 22.80 million

4. Panorama, Interview with Princess Diana (BBC1, 20 November 1995): 22.77m

5. The Royal Variety Performance (ITV, 14 November 1965): 21.70 million

6. Dallas (BBC1, 22 November 1980): 21.60 million

7. To The Manor Born (BBC1, 9 November 1980): 21.55 million

8. The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show (BBC1, 25 December 1977): 21.40 million

= Coronation Street (ITV, 2 January 1985): 21.40 million

10. Only Fools and Horses (BBC1, 25 December 2001): 21.35 million



To compare, the recent final of Bake Off got 14m viewers. 80 years ago, there was 1 TV channel, 30 years ago there 4, now there are over 300. It’s a hard job to be a TV reviewer today.

You will be asked soon to reflect on the memorable moments of your life so far. What would those be? Why? If you were able to do some things again and do them differently, what would that look like?

Jesus, in Luke 12, says, 


Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


God takes the time to keep up with how many hairs we have — now that’s a God of detail! God loves us as we are but also wants us to review ourselves and to make changes. Just like sometimes the TV makes us think about our lives, reading the Bible and praying with an open mind can reveal some great truths.


Lord, in every way may our lives become more like yours.

Here’s a Lecrae song about great change:





Remembrance 2016 


Bristol cenotaph RSA

By Rob Brewer from Bristol, England (Cenotaph) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons


Remembrance Day is about an opportunity to review. To review the horror of war, to remember those in every nation who have lost their lives or been disabled in the service of their country, to think about civilians who have been directly and indirectly affected and to be determined that the present and the future will be more peaceful. We especially mark this at 11am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month (this coming Friday) and on the Sunday nearest that day (Sunday 13 November 2016).

This year the Royal British Legion is asking us to review our ideas about remembrance, to ‘rethink remembrance’.

For many people, Remembrance is associated with the fallen of the First and Second World Wars. While we will always remember them, the Legion wants to raise awareness of a new generation of veterans and Service personnel that need peoples’ support.

To support this, there are four short films below. It would be good to watch, say, one a day, leading up to Friday. There's a playlist selector in the top left. No. 1 might be painful for some students, so I would use the others first.



God, we commit ourselves to work
in penitence and faith
for reconciliation between the nations,
that all people may, together,
live in freedom, justice and peace.

We pray for all who in bereavement, disability
and pain continue to suffer the consequences
of fighting and terror.

We remember with thanksgiving and sorrow
those whose lives, in world wars and conflicts
past and present,
have been given and taken away.