Training Children in Worship
That’s 1,872 occasions, between infancy and going off to college at age eighteen, of being in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
4 weeks ago
Coralling the Kids As an Act of Worship
Both Old and New Testaments make it quite plain that the worship of God and discipleship of the nations is to be done in the context of family life. So, it seems odd to exclude our children from coming to join with their brothers and sisters in Christ––of all ages––simply because we are worried they might cause a ruckus. What is more likely, is that we’re concerned they’ll embarrass us.

...Further, my wife and I work to make sure to rehearse with our children why we go to church. We remind them on Saturday night, “Why do we go to church?” They respond, “To worship God.” If their answer is, “To not wiggle or fuss, and by no means embarrass mom and dad,” our emphasis has gone cattywampus. We do teach them not to wiggle or fuss, but we want to emphasis what they can and should do, not what they shouldn’t.
4 weeks ago
Robert Godfrey - What do you do on Sunday evenings?
Cf Synod of Dort - have an evening service if only preacher and his family turn up. Plus if you’re not at worship what are you doing on Sunday night? It’s His day.
4 weeks ago
‘A Bible left open at Exodus’ - the world and death of St Kilda (John Macleod)
‘A Bible left open at Exodus’ - the world and death of St Kilda: Scottish Daily Mail, Saturday 25th August 2018

In March 2012 Norman John Gillies, still alert and spry, could look back on long and happy decades in Suffolk.
He had survived Royal Navy service in the Second World War. For nearly 63 years he had been blissfully married. He and his lady had three kindly children; troops of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He had enjoyed his long career in charge of a builder’s merchant business, was a pillar of the Methodist Church and took pride in always being neatly dressed. Yes, he said, it had been a ‘tremendous life’ – but he still made occasional visits back to the remote Atlantic archipelago of his birth, and never forgot the day when (aged five) he and his entire community were borne away from it.
It was 29th August 1930 and little Norman John was with other children aboard HMS Harebell, romping on her decks but dimly aware of high emotion among their elders.
‘My saddest recollection,’ he mused over six decades later, ‘is seeing half a dozen of the women standing at the rear of the boat, their shawls round their heads, waving goodbye to the island until it was out of sight….’
He remembered, too, the faces waiting at Lochaline, Morvern – ‘there was a crowd on the pier – I suppose they had come to see these strange people.’ And the shock of a strange shaggy thing, something Norman John had never before seen - a tree.
St Kilda endures today as an official, UN-designated World Heritage Site and one of Britain’s geographical marvels, impossible fully to grasp if you have not actually seen it.
It sits some forty miles west-north-west of North Uist; it boasts – at Conachair – the highest, most vertiginous cliffs in all the British Isles, fully 1,400 feet, and in Stac an Armuinn and Stac Li the country’s highest sea-stacks.
It is the most important seabird colony in Europe and has the world’s largest colony of gannets. It has unique species of mice and wrens and two breeds of native sheep, prized even today for their soft wool but with two peculiarities – they have not the least flocking instinct, which puts their management on a par with herding cats, and their wool has to be plucked and not sheared.
With fast, comfortable launches now sailing daily through summer from Harris, St Kilda has never been so easy to reach and, with its clear water and many interesting submerged caves, tunnels and arches, it is a wonderful playground for divers.
Yet its long-gone Hebridean community is inevitably seen through that prism of 1930 evacuation and, accordingly, failure; and it is difficult to think of anywhere else in Scotland that has been so heaped in myth, error and nonsense.
That St Kildans had specially evolved feet with peculiar, prehensile toes. That they had long communicated with the wider world by floating message-boxes – the ‘St Kilda Mailboats.’ That they organised their affairs in a formal, daily Parliament and that their community was finally undone by hardline and fanatical Calvinism.
None of that is true and, if anything finally did for this little society, it was not austere religion but exploitative tourism. Even the name is a misnomer. There never actually was a Saint Kilda – though there are Christian sites on the archipelago dedicated to assorted Celtic Church divines – and Hebrideans always speak of ‘Hiorta’ (the largest of its islands ) and the late residents as the ‘Hiortaich.’
And, resourceful as they were, they were also – we still whisper on Lewis and Harris – rather strange people. Their community, to the last, could be cut off from the outside world for months on end and their contact with other islands, never mind the wider nation, was minimal till the age of steam.
It must be ‘the most over-written-about island in the Hebrides,’ lamented scholar Bill Lawson in his brief but authoritative description in 1993. ‘When it came on to the Victorian tourist route, and the cruise ships started to call, many books and articles were written by those who landed on the island – and many more by those who stayed aboard the ship…’
Yet few of those accounts are of any use, he sighs, to the historian. Most of their authors had no experience of communities anywhere else in the Hebrides – and thus distinctly bigged up the ‘uniqueness’ of the Hiortaich way of life; and most were cocky, gigglesome memoirs of ‘my voyage to St Kilda,’ with little objective description of the people and their culture.
Yet the sad exodus of August 1930 ended – for ever – almost 2,000 years of continuous island living, and at the fervent request of the Hiortaich themselves, by then much reduced in number and quite demoralised, in a bright and modern age, by two confounding challenges.
The first was their extraordinary human economy. The people of St Kilda were never seafarers. The great billows about them, the frequent and terrible storms and the lack of anything one could dignify as a harbour made a maritime lifestyle impracticable.
For most of their history they kept just one small boat, by which in some emergency or other word could be brought to their distant Chief, The MacLeod himself, latterly at Dunvegan on Skye. The Hiortaich could not, accordingly, fish; and their archipelago – the principal islands being Hiorta, Boreray and Soay – did not lend themselves to gainful agriculture.
They kept hundreds of sheep and a few cattle and could grow some grain and, later, potatoes; but seabirds were their staple. They lived on gannets and fulmars, munched on the odd puffin much as you might snaffle a packet of crisps, and built dozens and dozens of special little drystone structures or ‘cleits’ where eviscerated seafowl was dried as a store for the very long winter.
The oil and feathers harvested from these birds – and a goodly cut of their dairy produce and anything else the poor people could produce – was their rent to MacLeod, and by Victorian times could also be sold to buy things on which the Hiortaich were growing dangerously dependent: sugar, tea, tobacco and other tastes their terrain could not itself furnish.
The other sore trial was their isolation. The word ‘remote’ is often and flippantly bandied about, but by any measure St Kilda was for hundreds of years the most cut-off community in Britain and only the post-war invention of the helicopter has made year-round access feasible.
That did not matter until really quite modern times. The Hiortaich needed only the annual visit of MacLeod’s factor, who took his levy of their produce and delivered meal and other essentials to see them through another year.
And the community was fortunate to survive one near-catastrophe. Around 1727, paying his annual visit for MacLeod’s dues, the factor and his crew were startled to be hailed by wild cries from Stac an Armuinn, and in short order hauled aboard three unkempt men and eight wild-eyed boys. They had been stuck there all winter, they gabbled: whatever had happened on Hiorta? The boat that had landed them on the Stac to do a few days’ fowling had never returned for them.
In fact, the Hiortaich had been almost wiped out by smallpox: of its 200 people, the only survivors, these fowlers apart, were one very old man and a few children. He, tough old fellow that he was, dismissed all talk of relocation to Skye and the factor was invited to send out new settlers.
So assorted new families – with new surnames like MacQueen, Ferguson, Gillies and MacCrimmon – duly fetched up on Hiorta and, save for the MacDonalds and the Morrisons, all subsequent St Kildans were descended from them.
They might have been odd, shy folk, and by Hebridean standards notoriously superstitious, but the folk of St Kilda were tough. And, given the daunting environment and the desperately dangerous exploits on cliffs and stacks to garner seafowl and eggs for their subsistence – and for months on end without contact with wider society – one has to admire their tenacity and determination.
The nineteenth century brought two significant developments: the advent of new and robust Evangelical religion, and – in 1860 – construction of what remains the main surviving village, gifted by the then-laird, John MacPherson MacLeod.
These were years of sustained Hebridean revival – bequeathing a culture of earnest faith that survives on Lewis and Harris to this day – but in the context of St Kilda was mocked then and to this day by many and blamed for the final disintegration of the community.
It is nonsense – John Norman Gillies and others attested what the rich faith meant for their community and how it sustained them – but reflects the ignorance of visitors and their frequent friction with the local Free Church ministers.
Rev. John MacKay did not afford the leadership he should have – and it is said to have been quite under the thumb of his large and ferocious housekeeper – but his successor, Rev. Angus Fiddes, made determined war against the efforts of journalists and others to exploit his people.
He also, after patient and tireless campaign, educated the Hiortaich out of anointing the umbilici of newborns with a hideous concoction of dung and fulmar-oil, thus ending the tetanus that was killing two out of every three babies. But almost as big a headache was the new steamer-tourism which, as historian Frank Thomson rightly deplored, rapidly reduced the Hiortaich to ‘a human menagerie.’
‘One cannot be long on the island,’ rued an unusually thoughtful visitor, Robert Connel, ‘without discovering the great moral injury that tourists and sentimentalists and yachtsmen, with pocketsful of money, are working upon a kindly and simple people.’
Someone assessed that – charging to pose for photographs, and so on – the community exacted five shillings from each of the 200 visitors or so annually, only increasing St Kilda’s shift from a subsistence economy to one of cash … [more]
7 weeks ago
Tackling the Mind
Look out for a cameo just before the 9 minute mark!
8 weeks ago
Where Should Your Children Be During Worship?
How will we teach them that the power of worship is God’s working in us and not our activity if we act like we don’t think the Holy Spirit will minister to them in worship until they are 13 or even older?
8 weeks ago
Is it worth the risk?
Church plants will often be in a city centre location targeting low risk professionals and students
schemes  churchplanting 
10 weeks ago
The Westminster Assembly and the Debate about the Word - Reformation21
praying (which was seen to be an especially close partner in ministry to preaching)
womenpraying  WestminsterAssembly  vandixhoorn 
12 weeks ago
Run, John, Run!
Run, John, run, the law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands,

Far better news the gospel brings:
It bids us fly and gives us wings
law  fallacies  bunyan 
12 weeks ago
A Revolutionary Balancing Act
The Trueman-Goldsworthy Debate

The one with the squirrel
CarlTrueman  redemptivehistorical 
july 2018
Remember, Remember — Christ Covenant Church
Expose their souls to as much soul-stretching preaching as possible.
june 2018
« earlier      
abortion adam addiction airdrie alistairbegg america answersingenesis apologetics apple apps ashers atheism audiobooks banneroftruth baptism barryyork bbc bible biblereading bibleversions blogging blogs bookreviews books busyness c.s.lewis calvin calvinism cancer carltrueman challies charismatic children childreninchurch china christcentred christintheoldtestament christmas church churchgrowth churchmembership churchofengland churchofscotland churchplanting cities commentaries complementarianism conferences counselling covenanterhistory covenanttheology crawford creation daleralphdavis davidpmurray davidrobertson davincicode death depression derekthomas disability doncarson downsyndrome driscoll driving drugs easter ebooks education egg-chasing elders esv evangelism eveningservice evolution exclusivepsalmody facebook family filetype:mp3 films football freechurch freespeech funny gayadoption gospel greek happiness health hebrew hell history homeschooling homosexuality iaindcampbell idolatry instruments interviews interweb iphone ireland irishfootball irishleague islam jameswhite jeremywalker jesus jmark johnowen johnpiper jonathanedwards joy kevindeyoung kindle kjvonly languages law lectures levy lewis liberals logos londonderry loneliness lordsday love lust luther markjones marriage mattchandler meansofgrace media:audio megachurch memorisation mentalillness mercyministries mez middleclass ministry ministrydangers ministrytraining mission missionary missions mixeddenominations ml-j money mormonism music narnia newhorizon northernireland oldage olyott ot parachurch parenting pastoring patriarchy pca pci persecutedchurch persecution photos politics pope porn prayer preaching presbyterianism productivity profleahy psalms puritans quiettime quotes reading reformation resurrection richarddawkins romancatholic rosaria rpcna rpcs rscottclark sanctification schemes scotland screenaddiction seminary sermonlistening sermonprep sermons sermonvideos sin sinclairferguson sleep snow socialmedia socialministry spurgeon stranraer stute suffering suicide technology ted tencommandments textualcriticism thelion theologicaltraining theology timewasting timkeller toread transgender tv twitter uk unity videos voting wcf westminsterassembly witch&thewardrobe women work worship youth

Copy this bookmark: