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Stocki
Belfast
I am the minister of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast, N. Ireland, author of Walk On; The Spiritual Journey of U2, and blog on where my faith and culture meets...
Interests: Jesus, where art and faith inter connect, music, peace and reconciliation, social justice, sport...
Recent Activity
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It was only in a recent interview with Gary Lightbody that I discovered that it was a phrase of Lightbody’s father that gave Snow Patrol their biggest hit, Chasing Cars. Apparently Mr Lightbody senior believed that infatuated romance was just... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at SOUL SURMISE
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Maybe 15 years ago, Cathleen Falsani, then with the Chicago Sun was doing an article on Bono and his faith for Christianity Today. She interviewed me to ask why U2’s lyrics and faith is such an important issues among evangelical... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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It was very exciting this afternoon to open the box of programmes for the U2 Conference that starts in Belfast tomorrow afternoon. I am delighted that we in Fitzroy will be hosting some of the events. I am thrilled to... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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photo: Jeremy Skillen It is the first day of the week But this cross With this bread and wine Seems like a perfect place to end this week That whatever your thoughts or views Has not been a good week... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at SOUL SURMISE
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I could not be more excited this morning to be sharing with you my favourite place on earth as in 16 days and i will be right there… Now I have a few close seconds. I love Cape Town and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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A while back, I made a comment that has found some traction. I was suggesting we can no longer expect peace to trickle down the hill from Stormont. We the ordinary people on the streets need to make it flow... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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“Grace is the oxygen of another world and we like breathing our own.” I used this phrase as an illustration in a sermon a few years back. I think there is something in it. I thought it it was worth... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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As those impacted by the Irish Magdalene Laundries received an apology from President Michael D Higgins I blog a section from a chapter in my book The Rock Cries Out which gives Joni Mitchell's take on the Laundries... It seems... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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(Every June 4th I remember the students of Tiananmen Square. On June 4th 1989, during a peaceful protest for democratic reform, hundreds of students were shot in a bloody military clampdown. A year later I was on that square…) There... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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"Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I am delighted that in the past year two friends have used my poems in their memoirs. Alain Emerson included no less than two of my poems in his stunning Luminous Dark. The other one that I feature in is... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Seven years of silence… and then… from what seems like the far side of the universe… acoustic guitars strum. And then Jonny Quinn hits the drums and propels the new Snow Patrol record into the stratosphere. Every single sound on... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Three weeks today I will be off on Sabbatical. We are looking forward to six weeks in Uganda. If you are a Soul Surmise regular then you will know that Uganda has been prominent in our lives for some years.... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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There was something spiritually poetic about this morning’s prayer time before Church in Fitzroy. It was not lost on me. We were sitting in the Onialeku Room, in Fitzroy, our Church in South Belfast. We were gathered to pray for... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Tomorrow morning (11am) in Fitzroy we will be looking at the heart of God and how God's character then reveals itself in loving actions towards humanity. In the past few weeks the word KINDNESS has been all over the songs... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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A few weeks ago a word bombarded me, wrapped in melody, through my car stereo. One week. Three different songs. Three different artists. One word - Kindness. It all started in Glenarm. Well, a singer from Glenarm anyway. The Antrim... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I saw you through the window Your face lit up my heart What Ernest did for the atom You came and split me apart Opened me up to miracles To love what never before existed A place at the core... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I loved Ray LaMontagne’s first record. I played How Come a lot on my radio show. I loved: “I said how come I can't tell The free world From living hell I said how come How come All i see... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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It is so easy to miss your life in bloom. If you are like me there is oftentimes a rotten tree in the way. Right there, in front of you. Right in your face! Blocking out a meadow of flowers... Continue reading
Posted May 23, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I have to confess that I haven’t paid much attention to Frank Turner. Even with tip offs from my mates Neil Sedgewick and Dave Thompson I owned nothing. Then my mate Iain Archer co-writes with him and I need to... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I am currently reading the memoir of a family friend, Roy Comrie. Roy is an old style missionary. No pith helmet but crazily courageous adventure. It is hard core… a black mamba snake bite here, picking up a hitchhiker with... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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Today, May 18, is our wedding anniversary. Twenty two years. So here is a poem about Janice important in my life and vocation. I wrote this back in 1993. Janice was in Pietermaritzburg for most of that year. There was... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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In a church where Reconciliation is at the core of its DNA, Sunday in Fitzroy is a Day of Reconciliation. In the morning we will be celebrating Pentecost by asking what difference such a moment in history should have on... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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I have been concerned in recent days about our relationship with the Bible. Three real life scenarios will open up my fears. I was on a social media discussion and someone shared how she was ashamed of herself as she... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE
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When Bruce Springsteen released his Seeger Sessions record back in 2006 I was in the middle of a Masters in Theology looking at the transformational power of songs. I was particularly interested in James Cone’s book Spirituals and The Blues,... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2018 at SOUL SURMISE