A Psalm for all Times

Published: Monday, 26 October 2015

This is the fourth sermon in a series on the Psalms, given by Geoff Pound at Ashburton Baptist Church on 25 October 2015.

Reading: Psalm 31: 1-8, 19-22. Prayer GP

A woman was at work when she received an urgent phone call. She was told that her young daughter had developed a fever. She stopped at the pharmacy to get some medication and, on returning to her car, found that she’d locked her keys in the car. She bowed her head and said: “O God please HELP me. Please send me HELP.”

Within minutes, a bearded man arrived on an old motorcycle. He was wearing a biker skull rag under his helmet. The man got off his motorbike and asked if he could help. He walked over to the car and in no time, her car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said: "Thank you so much. You are such a nice man."

He replied: "Woman, I’m NOT a nice man. I just got out of prison yesterday; I was in prison for car theft.” The woman hugged the man again and said out loud: "Oh, thank you God! You even sent me a professional!"

Read more: A Psalm for all Times

Laniakea and Psalm 104

Published: Monday, 26 October 2015

These insights on Psalm 104 were presented at a family service at Ashburton Baptist Church, by Keren McClelland on 18 October 2015.

On Laniakea:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rENyyRwxpHo

Also have a look at this 20 min documentary on Biomimicry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf4oW8OtaPY

Psalm 104 ‘exuberant wonder' for scientists: 

Jim Cotter - I was encouraged by some work done by Angela Tilby when producing a television series called Soul a few years ago to try and capture some of the excitement of the scientist in a version of that psalm which I called 'Exuberant wonder'.

Read more: Laniakea and Psalm 104

Teach Us to Count Our Days

Published: Wednesday, 14 October 2015

HomeThis is the second sermon in a series on the Psalms, given by Geoff Pound at Ashburton Baptist Church on 11 October 2015.

Reading: Psalm 90

Werner Lemke was a boy in Germany during the Second World War. As the war was drawing to a close, the Allied Forces came at last to his home and the family had to move out. He took with him a vivid memory of gathering a few things for hurried flight. There was a sense of ending and defeat. At the last moment, they stopped for a final check of the family home then his older brother called them into the lounge and said, “Wait a minute.”

Read more: Teach Us to Count Our Days

When I Look at the Moon

Published: Monday, 05 October 2015

 This is the first sermon in a series on the Psalms, given by Geoff Pound at Ashburton Baptist Church on 4 October 2015.

Reading: Psalm 8: 1-9 Blood moon 1015

Someone has written:

When TV came to my house. I forgot how to read books. 
When the car came to my drive way, I forgot how to walk. 
When I got a mobile phone in my hand, I forgot how to write letters. 
When the computer and Google came to my house, I forgot how to spell.
When air conditioning came to my house, I stopped going under the tree for the cool breeze.
When I stayed in the city, I forgot the smell of mud. 
By dealing with the banks, I forgot the value of money.
With the smell of perfume, I forgot the fragrance of fresh flowers.
With the coming of packaged and fast food, I forgot how to cook.
Always running around, I forgot how to stop.
And when I got WhatsApp and Facebook, I forgot how to talk.

Read more: When I Look at the Moon

Doing the Faith Together

Published: Monday, 28 September 2015


This is the fifth and final sermon in a series on the book of James, given by Geoff Pound at Ashburton Baptist Church on 27 September 2015.


Reading: James 5:13-20

Early last century, Captain Mikkelsen, the Danish captain, was sent out on an expedition in the Arctic, to recover the bodies of several explorers.[1]

For nearly two and a half years, nothing was heard of them. Death many times stared them in the face. On one occasion they’d shot their last dog and eaten their final morsel.

But the captain tells that the most trying ordeal was not the paralyzing cold, nor the anxiety about food but the weird silence and the maddening monotony of the snow throughout those months.

The captain said, “Our only remedy was talk, talk, talk, and plenty of it.” He said: “My engineer and I continually discussed subjects that would never have interested them under any other conditions.”

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The Getting of Wisdom

Published: Monday, 21 September 2015

wise owl 0915This sermon is the fourth in a series on the book of James, given by Keren McClelland on 20 September, 2015.

Some thoughts on James 3:13 - 4:3, 7-8a (William Loader)

The wisdom of James continues with a challenge to the hearers not to embrace a polarising and fractious stance towards people. 

Many people who most want to be known as wise are anything but peaceable. History abounds with people who think they are right and are prepared to die or kill for their truth. 

On the other hand, James is not advocating that Christians become doormats. Clearly the writing itself shows that the author is assertive and prepared to challenge others. The gentleness being advocated is not abdication of responsibility. 

Read more: The Getting of Wisdom

Taming the Tongue

Published: Monday, 14 September 2015

This sermon is the third in a series in the book of James and was given by Geoff Pound on 13 September 2015.

Reading: James 3: 1-12Tongue 0915

Many of you will remember that series in the Readers Digest entitled, ‘I am Joe’s Body’.[1] The articles were written in the first person and focused on topics like ‘I am Joe’s Eye’, I am Joe’s Pituitary Gland’, ‘I am Joe’s Heart’. On it went for more than 33 articles. They covered the organs and tissues not only in Joe but in his partner, Jane.

It became the most successful series ever printed in the Reader’s Digest with over seven million reprints of these articles being sold.

‘I am Joe’s Tongue’ is mandatory reading for today’s text. J D Ratcliff says: “Joe sticks me out and examines me in the mirror but usually I stay out of sight…Compared with the eyes and ears I’ve had bad press. My faculty of taste has been called ‘the poor cousin of the five senses’. That’s unfair. Let Joe try and get along without me.” 

Read more: Taming the Tongue

Doing the Faith

Published: Monday, 07 September 2015

Romero 0915This sermon is the second in a series in the book of James and was given by Geoff Pound on 6 September 2015.

Reading: James 2:1-10, 14 -17

An elderly man in London walked into the fruit and vegie section of his local Tesco supermarket. When served he asked to buy half a head of lettuce. The young man serving in that department told him that they only sold complete heads of lettuce. The elderly man was insistent that the salesman ask the manager to grant his request.

Walking into the back room, the young salesman said to the manager, "Some old codger wants to buy a half a head of lettuce." He turned around to find that the old man was standing right behind him. So he quickly added, "And this gentleman kindly offered to buy the other half."

The manager approved the deal and the old man went on his way rejoicing with half a head of lettuce. Later, the manager said to the young employee, "I was really impressed with the way you got yourself out of that sticky situation. At Tesco we like people who can think on their feet. Where are you from?"

Read more: Doing the Faith