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Showing posts from October, 2008

Genesis 6-9: Everything changes but you? A post for "Reformation Day 2008"

For Challies' Reformation Day Symposium, continuing reflections on the book of Genesis.

As we move into Genesis 6-9 we have high expectations. Though in chapter 4 the seed of the serpent seem to dominate (Cain, 1 John 3v12), now there is a growing line of people who call on the name of the Lord (Gen 4v26), including the prophet Enoch (Jude 14) and Lamech who prophesies (5v29)  that his son will bring relief from curse. How will it happen?

Just as we turn the corner into chapter 6v1-4 we run into the origins of the Nephilim. A bit slippery but it doesn't look good. The Nephilim and their fellow Giants always smell trouble for the Seed of the Woman (Gen 3v15). It's not immediately obvious why they're mentioned here other than to highlight the terrible state of the world. The Nephilim will be taken by the floods though they will recur generation upon generation (Numbers 13v33).

The world should be being filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord (Hab 2v14), namely…

Reading films with Pete Dray

Pete Dray on questions to help read films:

1. What was your immediate reaction to the film at its close?
2. What's the story?
3. What sort of 'world' has the film-maker asked me to enter?

(a) What counts as good or bad or beautiful or evil or unacceptable in this world? What makes relationships in this world work or fail?
(b) How has the film-maker built up this world?

* How does the movie's first shot introduce the world? 
* How does the last shot leave us with a lasting impression?
* What were the recurring images or visual motifs?
* What patterns were there in the dialogue? 
* How did characters interact? 
* Were there words or phrases that were repeated?
* How does the film use music to guide you to know how to respond?
* How do characters grow and learn and change? (this is known as a 'character arc' and is a good pointer towards the message that the film maker is seeking to make)

4. What’s true, good and beautiful in this film? Because the film is made by people in G…

Preaching 2008

This Doctrine produces a Reformation

"When you feel yourself declared righteous on the basis of the righteousness of Christ because it has imputed to you by union with Christ you are liberated for huge undertakings for God. You can risk anything for God. It produces a Reformation. The western world. It produces the protestant work ethic..."John Piper in the Theology Network Podcast, Table Talk #4.

It makes all the difference to life whether I'm living to impress people or knowing I'm accepted by God because of Jesus. In the first case I have to show off, cover failings and go into denial. In the latter it's not that I boast in my sin, but I can be honest about it and proceed to repentance.

I'm struck that in Genesis 4 Cain is a sin-denier as he attempts to cover up his crime of murder. His descendent Lamech is also a killer, but he boasts in his sin. Where God graciously protected Cain - for Vengeance is the Lord's not for man to claim, Lamech presumed to proclaim his own vengeance. One lega…

John Piper on Justification at Theology Network (podcast)

John Piper was interviewed at FORUM 2008 by Mike Reeves on Justification. That interview now forms the latest Theology Network Table Talk interview:

DOWNLOAD: Piper and Reeves on Justification



More at Theology Network

No Starbucks at Golgotha (mp3/script)

Download MP3: No Starbucks at Golgotha, Hebrews 13:13 - Dave Bish at Frontiers Church Exeter

I preached an earlier version of this at Bath University Christian Union in May 2009 titled "Let us go to him"  - inspired in part by John Piper's T4G08 preach.


On Friday, January 12th 2007 at 7.51am a youngish white man in jeans, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap emerged from the Metro and positioned himself against a wall.... Pearls before Breakfast (The Washington Post) offers a unique experiment in context and beauty through the music of Joshua Bell.

Last week we closed with the words of The Puritan, Jonathan Edwards: “We should endeavor to promote spiritual appetites by laying ourselves in the way of allurement… There is no such thing as excess in our taking of this spiritual food. There is no such virtue as temperance in spiritual feasting.” Edwards says don’t pass up beauty when it’s placed before you. Pursue it deliberately. Pursue it diligent…

Beholding Him in the book of Hebrews

Developed from an idea by John Piper


Him is the subject of Hebrews, come read with me!
• He is, 1v2, God’s supreme revelation, and the inheritor of all things.
• He is, 1v2, the one who made the world by speaking.
• He is, 1v3, the radiance of the glory of God – the exact imprint of God’s nature. The one on whom to look to see precisely what God is like. The magnificent manifestation of God.
• He is the one who holds the whole universe together by the word of his power. Holding together even every molecule and every atom and every electron and all the depths of subatomic physics, that make the scientists at CERN look like they’re playing with a child’s science kit.
• He is the one who made purification for sins. Washing clean his people who were once indelibly stained and marked by the odour of putrification due to the sewerage of their hearts.
• He is the one who has sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High because he has done his work. Finished.
• And He has a name that …

Stay in the Word (UWECU)

Began working through a four part series in Mark's gospel called "Stay Free" at the University of the West of England Christian Union last week. Part 1 is titled "Stay in the Word" and looks at Mark 4. A technical fault meant I had to re-record the last five minutes so that's a bit inauthentic.
Download MP3: Stay in the Word (25mins).

I gave a much longer version of this talk at our recent South West CUs Small Group Leaders conference. I preached Mark 4 at Warwick CU (where I met Sammy) a couple of years back. On all three occasions I've not been massively happy the talk...

The Song, The Man, The Feast

Ed is reading The Song: I just struggle to believe that the wisest man in the Old Testament didn't have an eye on the bigger, better, eternal covenant, when writing about the one between a man and a woman.

Dan Hames writes about The Man: And this True Man, Jesus, invites us into his family. He offers us a life of meaning and purpose with Him. In fact, he is that life and humanity, and when you or I come to him the significance and fullness of Jesus' life can be ours too. He offers us that restored place of real humanity before God and in the universe.On a personal note this reading of the Song warms my heart, and untaps a flow that is often short of water.

Marcus on feeding your soul: Sitting down with no other thought than savouring goodness and spending a long time at it. Giving it time to digest and fully nourish my heart and body. Talking about it for weeks afterwards, so wonderful was the experience and company... What would it mean to reorient the life of busy western Ch…

Genesis 4-5: Searching for the Seed

Genesis 4-5. Three chapters into God's story the Priest-King and his bride have been kicked out of Eden. Excluded from the presence of God. Cursed. And yet shown grace and given promises. There will be a seed. And then they have sons. Cain and Abel. Both these priests offer worship. One is accepted the other isn't. Abel offers worship in faith (Hebrews 11v4), which must be in response to the word of God (Romans 10v17). Cain however is idolatrous in worship. Cain is of the evil one (1 John 3v12) - a seed of the serpent. Is he then not responsible for his action? No, he is accountable. Sin crouches at his door and as human being he should rule over sin. He's made to reign in life. And yet he succombs to it. Sin rules him. And he kills his brother. The darkness of Genesis 3 is darker still.

Confronted by the LORD who still relates to his excluded priests Cain denies responsibility for his brother, the one he has killed. But, the LORD hears the blood of Abel speak. It speaks c…

Well worth the £5.30

Yesterday Jen, Jim, Tim, Hannah and I went over the bridge to spend some time with Pete and Dave at ChristChurch Newport.We were there to build some relationship ahead of a conference that I've invited Pete to serve us at in 2009. As we sat in his office (surrounded by some outstanding books as would be the case in many a pastors study) I invited Pete to share his story with us and was deeply encouraged by his honesty about his mistakes, about the way he's grown and changed over the years, what Jesus is doing among them as a church at the moment, and most of all that he's loves Jesus and is keen to serve the wider church and UCCF's ministry.

I consider it a huge priviledge (and also rather ridiculous) that I've been able to spend time with so many godly pastors over recent years through serving churches in UCCF. The thing that strikes me again and again is how unassuming God's leaders are. And, I observe that the more these men seem to love the gospel the more …

Forum 2008 Audios - John Piper etc.

Burn After Reading: The Idiots Implosion

On Friday evening we went to see the latest Coen Brothers film Burn After Reading. For better or for worse this is something we keep doing - though I've not yet seen their previous film No Country for Old Men. The cast is outstanding including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton and Richard Perkins, all playing the fool.

In a world that often takes itself very seriously the idiot is a welcome figure. This is another Coen's screwball comedy, this time we leave the divorce lawyers (of Intolerable Cruelty) behind and set up camp between the CIA and Hardbodies Gym in Washington D.C. in a tale of unintelligence stamped "burn after reading" because what else can you do with such peculiar incompetence.

Humility begins with a good dose of not taking ourselves seriously and for that reason among others I liked this film.

As always the Drays watch good films too

Small ambitions - glory beheld!

DOWNLOAD MP3: Small Ambitions (Dave Bish, 2 Corinthians 3)



SO LET US BEHOLD! Stop and stare at the sublime beauty of Jesus Christ. Gaze on Jesus in his word, beckoned by the Holy Spirit.

V3. Jesus comes as the one who doesn’t just write external rules but writes deep in our hearts – shining in our hearts so we can see him. Beckoning us to come and be with him.

V6. Jesus comes as the one who doesn’t kill but brings life. We have more than enough in us to deserve death, but Jesus gives life.

V9. Jesus comes as the one who doesn’t bring condemnation but righteousness. He clothes us in his perfect righteousness, so that God doesn’t attempt to accept us as we are, but accepts us in Jesus! He is not just an image-bearer, he is the very image of the invisible God. He is the perfect representation of God. He is the supreme revelation. To look on Jesus is to see what God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit looks like.

V11. Jesus comes as the one whose work is just temporary like everything else in …

Paul the Apologist

Henry Chadwick, cited by Michael Green in Evangelism in the Early Church, p118.
"Paul's genius as an apologist is his atonishing ability to reduce to an apparent vanishing point the gulf between himself and his converts and yet to "gain" them for the Christian gospel"Paul had "as much common ground as possible with his audience - even while he is at work undermining their position" (Green, p192). This is a skill I want to develop. 

Tim Keller on deconstructing defeater beliefs is a helpful example. "The leading defeaters must be dealt with clearly and quickly but convincingly. Defeaters are dealt with when the person feels you have presented the objection to Christianity in a clearer and stronger way than they could have done it."

Small Ambitions - in search of glory?

DOWNLOAD MP3: Small Ambitions (Dave Bish, 2 Corinthians 3)




1. Glory, inaccessible (v7-11)

Paul tells us that God revealed something definitively beautiful to Moses, 3000 years ago. God had rescued his people from slavery in Egypt to that they could enter into a wonderful land where there would have abundant life and relationship with God. On the way God met with them via their leader Moses at Mount Sinai. When Moses returned from the presence of God (v7) to face the people and they were unable to look upon his face. Being with God had rubbed off on him. He had been with God and it was evident – as was noted of the first Christian martyr Stephen whose face shone as he announced the good news about Jesus before being dragged out to his death.

Moses’ face shone and the people couldn’t gaze on the glory. WHY NOT?

v13. Moses veiled his face so they couldn’t see.
Moses prevented them from seeing. Why? Because they had hardened minds toward God. They opposed God. And so they were denied the …

Small Ambitions? (Preached at Frontiers Church Exeter)

DOWNLOAD MP3: Small Ambitions (Dave Bish, 2 Corinthians 3)



Glory, sought.
Why do they call Devon the graveyard of ambition? Why do coastlines and the moors make it a haven for retirees, and make kids turn down Oxbridge opportunities to stay and surf? Why do we try to improve ourselves with fitness and fashion? Why do men turn their heads when a beautiful woman walks past? Why is pornography a billion pound industry in the UK alone? Why do we stand back in awe of great architecture –  no-one complains if a 60s office block is demolished, but if someone proposed demolishing Exeter Cathedral there would be uproar... Why do we marvel at fine music, literature or art? Why do we savour the taste of good food?

Of course, there may be many causes and reasons but I’d submit to you this morning that there is at least one common thread. There appears to be a universal taste for beauty. We thirst for it. We hunger for it.. We type “beauty” into google and go wherever we’re led, always convinced …

Mike Gough, Sparks Arts

David Capener interviews Mike Gough of Sparks Arts | SPARKS
Do it properly, don’t settle for the christian community  as your primary audience/customer,  engage with the real industry coal-face, (God really has got enough guitar-based worship albums)
SPARKS designed the new UCCF Annual Review and this award winning video for Duke Special's Freewheel:


Freewheel, Duke Special from Sparks Studio on Vimeo.

David Powlison: The Gospel is better than unconditional love.

"The Gospel is better than unconditional love. The Gospel says, “God accepts you just as Christ is. God has ‘contraconditional’ love for you.” Christ bears the curse you deserve. Christ is fully pleasing to the Father and gives you His own perfect goodness. Christ reigns in power, making you the Father’s child and coming close to you to begin to change what is unacceptable to God about you. God never accepts me “as I am.” He accepts me “as I am in Jesus Christ.” The center of gravity is different. The true Gospel does not allow God’s love to be sucked into the vortex of the soul’s lust for acceptability and worth in and of itself. Rather, it radically decenters people—what the Bible calls “fear of the Lord” and “faith”—to look outside themselves."David Powlison, Idols of the Heart and Vanity Fair from the CCEF


This so helpful - as David Powlison invariably is! So often we judge our status, our standing, our well-being based on how we feel. But the gospel is different. What c…

Seven questions friends could ask me that would serve me

Stephen Altrogge:
Have you been consistently pursuing the Lord through scripture reading and prayer?Have you diligently pursued your wife/husband this week?Have you seen any persistent patterns of sin in your life recently?Last week you confessed struggling with [insert sin]. Have you taken steps to fight it this week?When you gave into [insert sin], what were you believing about God in that moment? What were you believing about yourself?What is the truth that you need to believe in this situation?
When you had the conflict with [insert person], what were you craving at that moment? ht: Cawley.

Which isn't to say I'm always going to want to be asked them, but a little examination of the heart is healthy - in the context of the oceans of God's grace and the all sufficiency of the blood of Jesus. Similarly useful are Powlison's X-Ray Questions ht: Buzzard or pdf: X-Ray Questions at Monergism.

It's possible to use these kind of questions rigidly or legalistically or fa…

UCCF Evangelism Podcast (Clive Parnell with Julian Hardyman)

Helping students to live and speak for Jesus all over Great Britain.

"ENGAGING WITH CULTURE"

How do we glorify God when playing football, cooking, studying and going to Church? How can living lives that glorify God help in evangelism?

Clive chats with Julian Hardyman (Author of Glory Days) and music comes from Charlie Hall and The Dave Crowder Band.



Download | Subscribe with iTunes

Nothing much to blog except...

I'm away at The Mill with the leadership team. After a day and a half of meetings I have nothing to blog, except: Zephaniah is great and I want to go study it. On which McCracken wrote: "The horror of events like that should be enough to teach us that human self sufficiency is foolishness - this is a picture of everything in the world, created by God, and put together by men reduced to nothingness. How foolish we are to think that we can ignore a God like that. How very ignorant to live in this world, as if we can get by, by ourselves, when the real God who made the world can and will wrap up the whole thing, like that."

As as been said. God is God, and we are not. Live accordingly.

Sketchy

Richard Cunningham (mp3s)

From City Church, Birmingham (on October 12th) by UCCF Director Richard Cunningham:
1 Samuel 14... "Perhaps the LORD!"(a rallying call to get stuck in, effectively the same as his opening night talk at Forum 2008) Blinded by the light, does faith contradict reason(I'm guessing this is his evangelistic talk on John 9)

Getting on Mission: Avoiding a wimpy worldview that would lead to wimpy Christians

So, over the weekend I found myself in the company of some heroes. Students from five Universities in the South West who have stepped up to the mark to lead mini-mission teams at their Universities, small groups of Christians who will gather to meet with Jesus so they can go and spread the news about him. To do that they need backbone. They need anchors. They need steel in their bones. Mark's gospel is a great source of such backbone.

“Wimpy Christians  have wimpy worldviews” John Piper
Together, we saw that Mark 7 tells us that sin comes from in our hearts not from the world around us. That sets us personally to turn to believe in Jesus the saviour of sinners. For mission it means that we need not live in desperate fear of being corrupted by the world around us. Fact is, we'll sin with Christians, we'll sin out in the world. In both cases we can repent. But the world won't if they never hear of Jesus. That means going to to the difficult places.

“We are all on a missio…

Caught in the headlights

Jesus meets the Pharisees head on. They critique his followers for not washing their hands. Jesus' boys cross the holy line and don't keep the house rules. They square up to Jesus and he looks them in the eye (Mark 7v6-7) and says:

"'This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'

And exposes that those who thought they were the holy ones are disposing of God's word, ignoring and cancelling out his word in favour of their own authority. They spent their time looking in the mirror to find the wisdom of God and they found whatever they wanted to find.

Jesus applies Isaiah 29v13 to them. The next verses speaks of God doing wonders to destroy the wisdom of the wise. Paul quote that in writing to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1v19-24) and identifies Christ himself as the wisdom of God. That's a major problem for the Pharisees. They think they have Jesus exposed but …

West Wing Update

So, the price of food is going through the roof... but you can now get the Complete West Wing seven series for £49.98... just over £1 a disc.

 In other top US-TV... Heroes 3.2 The Butterfly Effect on iPlayer



Genesis 3: In search of wisdom

In the garden, waiting for the King and his bride to fill the world, to extend the garden into a global temple in which God lives with his people.

And then one of the animals speaks to the women and questions what God has said. At first it might sound like an honest question. Did God actually say? But soon we see that this is a stunning overthrowing of divine authority. God's word is distorted. The doctrine of the authority of scripture is cast aside, and with it the inconvenient doctrine of divine judgement. And the woman plays along.

She is caught up by the appearance of a tree that looks good to eat from, that delights the eyes (a blessing from God!) and is good for obtaining wisdom. Wisdom is a good pursuit. God says that it comes from fear of the Lord, he says that it's found in the person of Christ. She reaches out and takes wisdom for herself. The ultimate Man would have given it to her, she casts that aside. And the man follows along.

She is deceived. He sins. Both ar…

BabyBish at 20 weeks

Baby's are amazing. This morning was our 20 week scan. Amazing to see how God is knitting this child together, and it now looks a whole lot more human than the last scan eight weeks ago. Baby is developing well which we're thankful for.

John Piper's Spectacular Sins

MP3: 40min interview: “wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians”

ht: Crossway blog

"John Piper poignantly shares what God wants us to know about his sovereignty and Christ's supremacy when we encounter sin or tragedy. These bold, biblical assurances and joy-infused declarations will bolster your trust in the utter sovereignty of God and strengthen your surety in him."

This is a book many are going to disagree with - given responses to snippets I've picked up from his preaching at New Word Alive and at Forum this year. But, as with anything, the best approach is to hear someone out and then weigh up whether what they say fits Biblically.

Church on a mission (Stu Alred)

Arts: Of Mercy not Moralism

"Christianity is not about moralism, and Christian fiction shouldn’t be either. Christianity revolves, not around good behavior, but around God’s mercy shown to man in the death and resurrection of Christ. However, even though we know this to be theologically true, I think we struggle to remember this as we go about our daily lives, and one of the places where we really struggle to remember it is in our engagement with the arts in general, but as fiction is our topic, we’ll limit our reflection here to that. I’m constantly surprised at how often fictional stories are judged to be Christian or not, based more or less on how well the characters behave themselves..."

LB Graham, ht: Milton Stanley.

Death by Love (Mark Driscoll & Gerry Breshears)

Mark Driscoll's latest book DEATH BY LOVE (with Gerry Breshears) is about the cross. It's a bit different to other books on the cross. Like other Re:Li: books it's well designed. And like Mark Driscoll it's pretty hard-hitting. But, this one is Pastor Mark in action, writing letters to members of his church and applying the different facets of the cross to their lives (a bit like Leon Morris' The Cross of Jesus). It's warm but hard stuff - pastoral care that's unafraid to go head-on into the issues. Pastoral care that really loves. I've not finished reading it yet, but so far so good. And if Driscoll's humour isn't your thing, this doesn't have it. This one is serious the whole way.
£8.61 from The Book Depository

The Expulsive Power of a New Affection (Thomas Chalmers)

I'm preparing to preach at our church in a couple of weeks time on 2 Corinthians 3. Approaching that I've found myself drawn back to Thomas Chalmers' famous sermon on the expulsive power of a new affection (pdf) if you've not read it, I'd highly recommend it.
"The best way of casting out an impure affection is to admit a pure one; and by the love of what is good to expel the love of what is evil. Thus it is, that the freer gospel, the more sanctifying is the gospel; and the more it is received as a doctrine of grace, the more will it be felt as a doctrine according to godliness."

Some of the best: Gray hair is a crown of glory;

In the era of eternal youth we're prone to despise our elders, to imagine we're the great generation, the innovators who have nothing to learn from our past. That however is stupid. This is not the first or greatest generation. History is a long old story. And if we don't learn from those who've walked before us we're going to make a big mess of our lives.

Here are a few of the elders who have influenced me in my 11 years as a Christian for whom I am deeply thankful.

Oliver & Daisy Barclay (late 70s/early 80s). Oliver worked with UCCF for about 35 years after doing a PhD in Zoology at Cambridge around the same time as John Stott was there. I first met Oliver and his wife Daisy in January 2002 when they accomodated me at a Relay conference. They've been a frequent encouragement to me in ministry. Here is a man who has great experience and yet great on going interest in what we're doing today with students. I'm convinced that the presence of UCCF has ha…

Pastoral Refreshment Conference 2009 (UK)

Why do so many people in long term ministry run dry? Some fail to run the course, pulling up early. Others stay in leadership but end up just treading water. The levels of attrition among long term leaders are a national disgrace for the UK church, but one over which we frequently draw a discreet veil of silence. After all, which member of a congregation has the confidence to question whether their leaders and families are enjoying a good walk with God? Who will ask them whether they are spiritually flourishing or languishing? And which leaders would be brave enough to tell them if they did?

I am really excited with the way this year's Pastoral Refreshment Conference is shaping up. It's designed precisely to answer those kinds of questions. It's not a conference about ministry skill or theology, but about leaders' (and spouses) spiritual lives and walks with Jesus. This coming February Andrew Page (Innsbruck Baptist Church, Above Bar Church, Southampton) is preaching on…

On giving critique of sermons

This post was originally guest-blogged by me at Digital H20 this summer:

Alfred Poirer helpfully observes that the cross helps us to receive criticism as beneficial. Giving critique is another thing.


Firstly, it's really easy to give critique to others. Spotting planks in other people is easy, while the dust in our own eyes is hard to see. When I want to critique someone elses sermon for not getting the point I need to remember that I have my blindspots - if I differ with the preacher I should at the least seriously consider that my prior understanding is wrong. I should assume this until further study says otherwise.


Secondly, pride loves to critique others and find their faults to elevate ourselves. A sermon should humble me as I encounter the grace of God - how tragic to allow my pride to seize upon it. How desperate to sin in the pew at the very point I'm being called back to the cross of Christ for grace.


Thirdly, the work of observing someone else and saying how they could d…

The Bruised Reed (Richard Sibbes)

The Bruised Reed, Richard Sibbes at Theology Network

...he is so gracious to those that yield to his government, we may make the right use of this grace, and not lose any portion of comfort that is laid up for us in Christ. And may he grant that the prevailing power of his Spirit in us should be an evidence of the truth of grace begun, and a pledge of final victory, at that time when he will be all in all, in all his, for all eternity.

Able to teach

Paul writes to Timothy... (1 Timothy 3v2-7)
...an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.And again... (2 Timothy 2v15-17)
...Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene...And to Titus (Titus 1v5-9…

Heroes (Season 3)

Season 3, episode 1 "The Second Coming", now on BBC iPlayer in the UK! Episode 2, "The Butterfly Effect" (coming soon)
Screens on Wednesday BBC2 at 9pm, with the next episode on BBC3 at 10pm.

The one with the three evangelists on a train (in praise of "not taking ourselves seriously")

Have you heard the one about the three evangelists on a train?

So, last Wednesday, Nay Dawson, Michael Ots and myself spent the day in Salzburg, city of Mozart and the Sound of Music, enjoying the atmosphere, the street markets and the views. And at about 3pm we paid our 14 euros and boarded our train to Mittersill from which we were due to arrive at 5.45pm.

Simple eh!

An hour later we passed through Schwartzach St. Veit and continued to enjoy the views of the mountains and the lakes. Awed by the handiwork of our creator. Thrilled by the views. Enjoying the journey.

At 5.40pm with our destination almost in view we asked a passenger "is Mittersill the next station" to which we received the interesting reply "never heard of it". We checked with the guard, who laughed! He advised us that we should have changed trains at 4pm. The lights went on.

We'd almost completed a 200km journey from Salzburg to Klagenfurt, which is down near Slovenia in the south of Austria. …