Wulf's Webden

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Wednesday 6 July 2022
by Wulf

Rocket Fired

Is Mr Johnson an admirer of former US President Trump and his petulant attempts to hang onto that role despite a clear election defeat? It wouldn’t surprise me. He certainly seems to be someone who shares that greater interest in his own welfare than that of the nation he is meant to be serving.

This week’s upsets in Government, with senior cabinet ministers resigning, has caused me to pen another letter to my local (Conservative) MP. The last I heard, she was still supporting the Prime Minister. I await her answer to my core question: “What on earth does the man have to do to lose your support?”

Monday 4 July 2022
by Wulf

Steaming Chips

I think I need to get on with using the woodchips I got last week. Jane and I managed to get the smallest of the builders bags into the back of the car and over to the allotment this afternoon. On emptying out, I realised it was steaming away. I’ve often struggled to get my compost to heat up because, even with an allotment full of weeds, it’s hard to get sufficient volume of ingredients.

Anyway, the woodchip is getting into use, the compost heap is working quickly even though it hasn’t quite got round to steaming yet (I’ve added some woodchip to help though) and I’ve also got some peas and spinach planted out.

Sunday 3 July 2022
by Wulf

Three Little Birds

No, not the Bob Marley song. Here is a story I wrote for Toddlers Church this week. We were saying goodbye to three of the older children who start school next term and we’ve been looking at the colours of the rainbow as our theme this term, which probably gives enough context to understand the references.

Three little birds were born in a next, high up in a tree on the edge of a small town. They were tiny little things, huddling together for warmth and barely more than beaks connected to stomachs. They felt very safe in their little nest.

Over time, they developed their feathers. That made them nice and cosy. Mummy bird and Daddy bird kept up a good supply of food. While waiting for the next snack, they looked over the side of the nest at the things they could see in the town below them.

They saw a post box. What colour would that be? Someone tried to pinch a small round fruit from the bottom of the pile outside the grocers and fruit fell everywhere. What colour do you think the fruit was? They saw bees and wasps buzzing around? What colour were their stripes? They saw the leaves of the trees. What colour were they? Up above them was a wide open sky without any clouds. What colour was that? Somebody came out of the hairdressers, much darker than when they went in. What colour do you think their hair was now? Oh, and there were lovely flowers in the gardens, including one that was named after its colour. [Think colours of the rainbow]

One day, Mummy bird said, “you know, it won’t be long before you have to leave the nest”. “Oh no,” said the first little bird. “We want to stay here where it’s safe and warm,” said the second little bird. “Forever,” added the third little bird. That made their Mummy sad – she loved them but she knew they needed to learn to fly.

A few days later, Daddy bird said, “look how large you’ve grown – soon this nest won’t be big enough.” “Oh no,” said the first little bird. “We want to stay here where it’s safe and warm,” said the second little bird. “Forever,” added the third little bird. That made their Daddy sad and, as he flew off, they though they saw a drop of water in his eye.

Then it began to rain. It rained and rained and, for a while, it seemed all the colour drained out of the world. But this was a summer storm and, as it passed, the sun came out and a glorious rainbow lit up the sky. Can you remember what colours make up the rainbow? Red and orange and yellow and green and blue and indigo and violet!

It reminded the three little birds that Father God cared for them and their parents cared for them. “I think,” said the first little bird, “that it is time to fly.” “But what if we die?” said the second little bird. “We’ve got to try,” said the third little bird.

They helped each other climb out of the nest, balanced on the branch, had one last little huddle and then they jumped off. They heard Mummy bird: “flap your wings!” They heard Daddy bird: “open your eyes!” They heard Father God: “I made you to fly!”

And they did. They flapped their wings. They opened their eyes. And, to their amazement, they found that, yes, they really could fly! What freedom! What joy! What fun!

We don’t have feathers and wings and we aren’t made to fly, so it’s a good thing we weren’t born in nests high up in the trees! Sometimes it is time to move onto something new and it makes us scared. When those times come, help each other and remember that you have people who care for you and Father God in heaven who cares for you. Like those little birds, as you are brave and move on, you will find that you are becoming more the person you were made to be and your life can be full of colour.

Saturday 2 July 2022
by Wulf

Emergency Matchsticks

The speaker we had expected to come for an event this morning contacted us earlier this week to cancel… and so that became another opportunity for me to step up. The theme was evangelism, which isn’t one of my specialist subjects, but, after a chat with the organiser, we hit on the idea of using matchstick testimonies.

The idea is that you give a meaningful summary of how it was you came to be a follower of Jesus and what that has meant for you in the time it takes a match to burn down. It’s certainly a good way to focus the mind. After I’d introduced the topic and done a demo, I thought I’d try to rework mine as a haiku:

In autumn and spring
King Jesus has guided me
Along his straight paths

Friday 1 July 2022
by Wulf


This Sunday, I’m leading the prayers in our All-Age service, which is on the theme of sensing God through the sense of taste. I wasn’t sure I had suitable images to illustrate each taste so I decided to prowl round my kitchen and take some, including this one for sour:


Thursday 30 June 2022
by Wulf


The Shed is up

My allotment now has a fully constructed shed – a lot more useful than the flat pack stage it has been at for the last week. I’m not going to keep anything particularly valuable in there but it will provide a dry place to store some spare tools, bags of compost and other sundries, as well as a place to retreat if I’m down there and it starts raining.

It also means that I’ve been able to store away all the bits and bobs that were taking up half the covered bed on the left, so I can now get that sorted out and ready to take more plants – probably a combination of peas and spinach based on what is coming along in the polytunnel at home.

Tuesday 28 June 2022
by Wulf

What don’t you understand?

I was speaking at church this morning on Luke 10:1-20, when Jesus sends out 70 (or 72 – original manuscripts have some variation but the two numbers are very close) disciples on mission. A while ago, I gave a message where I encouraged the study approach of reading around the passage to see if there is anything to be learned from the context. I did that briefly again today but I also introduced another tool: look through and ask yourself what you don’t understand.

Some things you can figure out an answer to. For example, why does the settlement of Chorazin get “woe” pronounced upon it (v. 13) when, unlike Bethsaida and Capernaum, we don’t read of any signs and wonders taking place there? I checked on various maps and it turns out the distance between all three, clustered on the northern shores of Lake Galilee, is very small. In local terms, it is about the same as that between Loughborough and nearby Hathern and Shepshed. You could easily walk to all three in a day so the inhabitants of Chorazin had just as much chance to take heed of what Jesus was doing as their neighbours.

Other things you have to accept you don’t know for sure. When Jesus tells the returned missionaries that he saw Satan “fall like lightning from heaven” (v. 18), does he mean before the Fall, during the mission or looking prophetically to what lies ahead as the result of the mission of Jesus? You can speculate but I don’t think it is possible to be completely sure (at least I didn’t reach a firm conclusion in the time I spent looking into it). That’s fine – we don’t have to know everything and it doesn’t hurt our humility to remember that we can’t provide a watertight answer every conundrum.

I made something of the challenge to walk by faith and obedience but tempered what can be a challenging passage with a final observation. However daunting the brief seemed, all of those sent out came back overflowing “with joy” (v. 17). May that be true for us, too, as we respond to God’s leading to step into things we are worried might be beyond us.