Monday, 22 May 2017

God is getting old.

Father Ignatius’s car had broken down just on the day he had to drive to the City miles away. Somehow he was glad this had happened because in all honesty he hated to drive long distances, especially when it involved negotiating busy traffic in the City.

He phoned his local garage for help and just as luck would have it, or was it a God-incidence, one of the managers was due to travel to the City that very day and he was happy to take Father Ignatius to his Conference and drive him back the same evening.

Oh what a God send Gerald was as he and the priest set off on the long journey. For once Father Ignatius could relax and not worry about the driving.

A few minutes into the journey Gerald started the conversation.

“I was thinking Father,” he said, “do you reckon that God has mellowed with age?”

“What do you mean?” enquired the priest.

“Well …” continued Gerald, “in the Old Testament we see Him full of wrath and anger sending floods everywhere and pestilence on the Egyptians and all sorts of bad things to those who did not tow the line. He behaved like a right monster at times, thumping people on the head if they did not obey Him.

“And now we’re told He’s a loving, caring, forgiving Father who has our best interests at heart. Why do you think He changed strategy? Did His first plans not work?”

Father Ignatius laughed.

“I’m amused that you think I know all about God’s plans,” he said, “the Almighty does not confide in me you know …”

“Maybe not Father! But you must admit it is a total change of tactics from anger and wrath … and you must admit the Bible says in the Old Testament things like vengeance is mine … and I am a jealous God … and all that. And now it’s all gentleness and sweet love … at least that’s what you priests lead us to believe.

“Why doesn’t God thump people on the head and into line these days? The world is going to ruin and His sweet love will get us nowhere …”

The priest laughed again at Gerald’s direct and forthright way of putting things.

“OK … let’s analyze what you’ve been saying …” said Father Ignatius, “on the face of it … it does appear that there’s a great contrast between the description of God in the Old Testament and the description in the New Testament.

“Now what I’m saying here is purely my opinion, you understand. I don’t have a hotline to God and I’m not privy to His strategies and plans …”

Gerald smiled and nodded.

“We tend to see God from our human perspective,” continued the priest, “we see Him with human understanding and we attribute to Him human qualities, plans, strategies, emotions and so on.

“But God is God. And man is man. We cannot possibly understand Him from our viewpoint, nor should we attempt to do so.

“Now it could well be … and this is me guessing here you understand Gerald … it could well be that the people at the time of the Old Testament were accustomed to being led … being guided … and told what to do.

“Can you imagine for instance one man … Moses … guiding a multitude of people out of Egypt, promising them a better life elsewhere, and going round in circles in the desert for forty years?

"This wouldn't happen today.

“In modern times people would have set up committees to discuss the project, appointed several managers to chair sub-committees and devised multiple budgetary plans and operational strategies … all before their poor overworked wives had time to pack the luggage and prepare the kids to leave Cairo.

“Yet in the Old Testament one man said let’s go … and they all went.

“True … they argued and rebelled along the way … and Moses dealt with it in a forthright manner as you advocate …”

Gerald laughed.

“So it could well be that God treated people in the Old Testament days the way they expected to be lead and the way they understood,” said Father Ignatius, “With firmness where necessary … yet at all times with fairness and compassion.

“This is only my opinion … as I said.

“And it could be that in His own time, according to His will, God decided to send Jesus to us in human form to teach us … to show us God’s infinite love, and to forgive and redeem us through His death and Resurrection.

“Jesus in human form had to be kind, and gentle and compassionate to portray God’s infinite love. And He taught us in the Lord’s Prayer about a loving Father caring for His children and always ready to provide for them.

"It would have been pointless to have a ruthless commanding Jesus forcing people to obey Him. This does not depict God's love for us, which is so infinite, that He gave up His own Son to die for us.

“Hence the contrast between the Old and New Testaments …”

At this point a huge truck overtook their car and moved back into lane so close that Gerald had to swerve sharply in order to avoid a collision.

“Stupid idiot …” shouted Gerald, and then muttered something else unrepeatable under his breath.

After a moment or two as the two men calmed down a little Gerald continued, “There are times Father, when I wish God would deal with people the old fashioned Old Testament way!”

Father Ignatius said nothing but prayed silently that God may forgive Gerald for his immediate reaction under pressure.

MORE FATHER IGNATIUS STORIES HERE

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Advocate? What Advocate?

John 14:15-17
‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you for ever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, because He abides with you, and He will be in you.'

Who is this Advocate? Some might ask.

Jesus here is speaking of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God, and Jesus Himself, who will come down from Heaven at Pentecost and be within the disciples.

There's often confusion in people's minds about the Holy Spirit. Who is He exactly?

We are taught about God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit … He doesn’t seem to have a title or description.

St Hilary of Poitiers, a Bishop in the 3rd Century AD, described the Holy Spirit as “the Gift”.

He is the gift given to us by God after Jesus ascended into Heaven.

He is the very Spirit of God, God Himself, come back to us on earth to dwell within us and to help us in our Christian life.

That’s why He is sometimes referred to as the Helper, the Counselor, God’s own Being living within us.

The Holy Spirit didn't just descend on the disciples at Pentecost and that's it. A once in a lifetime event. He is present here and now today and is within some people who ask for His presence within them.

Now that last fact itself, God's own Being living within us, causes even more confusion amongst Christians and non-Christians alike.

Sure, Christians believe the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples at Pentecost teaching them what to say in various languages and how to proclaim the Good News to all. But now? Today? Does the Holy Spirit enter our very souls today?

Can you imagine that?

God. Living within us. Guiding us. Helping us. Teaching us. Advising us when to speak and when to remain silent. What to say and what to do.

Isn’t that wonderful? Or is it too difficult to imagine or believe?

If you were to say to a non-Christian that God is living within you in the form of the Holy Spirit they would most probably scoff, or smile politely or perhaps think you've lost your mind.

The very concept is difficult for many Christians to believe; never mind those who don't believe at all.

And yet ... Isn’t it a tragedy that in this day and age, when many are too willing to believe that the devil can possess an individual unwillingly and reap havoc in their lives; many people find it difficult to understand that the Spirit of God is willing to abide within us and lead us to an eternal better life in Heaven.

But only if we ask Him.

Unlike the devil, the Holy Spirit will not abide in a person unless He is asked. Unless He is invited.

All we have to do is to believe and to invite the Holy Spirit to be within us.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

What's your attitude?


I don't know if it's my imagination, but a lot of people are going around these days with a face as if they have a permanent bad smell under their nose.

I know it is not possible to be always happy and cheerful and go along singing and shouting "Praise the Lord!". But some people I know seem to be permanently gloomy as if they're carrying the world's garbage on their shoulders. I accept that at times we all have our bad hair day, the days when things aren't as they should be; that's natural and to be expected. But let's not make a habit of always looking like a mouldy ten year old sandwich in a caffeteria.

Imagine a party, or a barbeque, where everyone is happy and chatty, and the food and drink are perfect, and the weather is wonderful, and the music is playing, and ... one sour faced person looking as if they have just tasted a vinaigrette gateau - if there is such a thing. And if there isn't, then there should be to help me make my point.

That person's attitude will spoil the whole event for everyone. People will remember their face, their behaviour, their demeanour for years to come. If any one is taking photos then that will be permanently recorded for posteriority too. (I know there is no such word - I've just made it up to add effect to my writing).

So let's look in the mirror more often and watch our attitude. Is the person looking back at us the sort of person we'd like to meet? Does he or she make us happy?

Even if it is difficult, which I accept it sometimes is for some, let's make an effort to break a smile. I said break a smile; not break wind. That's an all together different story for another day.

Let's smile more often. If not for us, then for others. A smile every now and then makes someone else happy. Let's tickle ourselves to make ourselves smile. I always carry a feather in my trouser pocket for such a purpose. (Please don't make up your own jokes at my expense.)

Let's watch our attitude.

The other day the postman dropped his hat accidentally and my dog rushed upon it and tore it to pieces. The postman complained to me saying "Your dog chewed my hat!"

I remembered my attitude and smiled broadly.

He said, "I don't like your attitude!"

I replied "It's not my 'at he chewed. It's your 'at he chewed!"

Keep smiling.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Prayers and Actions


There are times
when God
requires some action
from us.

"My brothers and sisters, what good is it for people to say that they have faith if their actions do not prove it? Can that faith save them? Suppose there are brothers or sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat. What good is there in your saying to them, “God bless you! Keep warm and eat well!” — if you don't give them the necessities of life? So it is with faith: if it is alone and includes no actions, then it is dead." James 2:14-17. 

Sunday, 14 May 2017

I am God personified


John 14:6-14
Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.’

Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’

Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

This is perhaps a little bit confusing at first, and we probably read the passage and move on to something else. The message we get, at first sight, is that Jesus says He is at one with the Father; God.

But let's analyse what He says a bit more.

Here Jesus is saying something that the disciples do not understand. They think He is saying that He is the Son of God, He is at one with God. But what He is in fact saying is "I am God. I am God, personified. I am God in the shape of a human."

Jesus often taught people to refer to God as the Father. And He often said that He is the Son of God. This must have scandalised the Jews and their elders who crucified Him for the blasphemy of saying He is the Son of God.

Can you imagine their reaction had He said outright, "I am God!"

This is the closest He comes to saying just that. And His disciples still did not understand.

"Whoever has seen me has seen the Father," meaning "I am God personified."

He goes on to say, "I am in the Father and the Father is in me," again, explaining that they are one, He is God in human form.

He repeats this message and explains that the works He has done (miracles) are done through God Who lives in Him.

From olden times, as far back as Abraham, Moses and the prophets, the Jews believed in God. One God. One living God.

Other people had many deities like the Romans and the Greeks for instance.

The Jews had one living God. The God of Abraham and Moses Who spoke through the prophets.

Then Jesus came on the scene. He said He was the Son of God; and in time, many Jews accepted this. In their minds there was a living God in Heaven, and this Jesus, His only Son. Albeit, right now in this passage, He is telling them He is God, (i.e. part of the Trinity), but they don't see it or understand it.

After His death and resurrection the early Christians came to associate God and Jesus together. In their minds, and central to their faith, there was a living God, and this man Jesus who died and was raised from the dead was (is) His only Son.

When Jesus ascended to Heaven, as promised, He sent down His Holy Spirit, (the Spirit of God), to dwell within the disciples and to open their eyes and minds and to understand.

To understand that the three, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, are indeed one.

God - an invisible living Being, Creator of all and everything, somewhere in Heaven.

Jesus - God personified. Appearing on earth as a human being. The only Son of God.

The Holy Spirit - The Spirit (soul) of God. Descending upon the disciples, and upon us if we ask Him, to enlighten us, to help us, and to guide us back home to the Father, God.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

What's the point of it all - really?

Something that has no point is pointless - like a pencil!

Many of us have, or had, different jobs in life. Some people are doctors, some lawyers, carpenters, plumbers and so on. We go to work to earn a living, do our best, and more often than not see tangible results from the work that we do. There's a point to what we do.

The doctor sees the results of his treatment in his patients who may (or may not) recover. Whatever the result, he sees it in time, and can alter the treatment if required.

The same goes for the lawyer preparing for a court case, or a carpenter making a table or some other piece of furniture.

Most people can see the results of their hard-work; even if they have to wait a while, like the farmer planting seeds and hoping for a good harvest.

But how about the priest, vicar, minister or other religious preacher? Do they always see tangible results in their work? Does what they say, and do, really change lives, and keep them changed until the day these souls meet their Maker?

I suspect that when such a priest gets to meet God face to face, he may well be asked: "And how many of the people I put in your direction have made it to Heaven?" I wonder what they would answer then?

How many people do priests really lead to Heaven?

This is a great responsibility for priests and such like religious people. Are they really changing lives by their own example? Or are they just self-bemused shepherds just herding wild cats in all directions? What evidence is there that their works have led one more person towards Heaven?

How about you and me?

Then there are the Christian Bloggers like you and I. Yes ... you.

We write our Christian Blogs week in week out; but do we see any tangible results from what we write? Is anyone really taking any notice of our pearls of wisdom? Or are we writing just to satisfy our own egos, and to say to God, "There you are. I've done my bit writing about Christianity, now let me into Heaven!"

What is the point of writing a Christian Blog?

Few amongst us, if we are truly honest, don't check the statistics to see who has read us; or delight at every comment we get. There's a bit of pride and self-satisfaction in all of us.

As for those comments we get on our Blogs. Are they just pleasant platitudes and pats on the back from like-minded Christians? Or do they actually influence anyone anywhere reading them? Where is the tangible evidence that one individual has been somehow touched by what we write to make him search more and discover, for the first time perhaps, the love of God?

Are we preaching to the already converted?

If all we are doing is writing Christian posts for other Christians who either don't bother to comment or just say something nice to be polite; then what's so clever about that? What good have we done? We might as well stop Blogging and spend our time in prayer instead. At least then we are doing something more productive.

Time for Reflections.

OK ... let's all stop now and take a deep breath. I hope that what I have said above has not discouraged you from continuing with your Christian Blogs. If it has in any way irritated you, or angered you even, then at least this is a reaction which could be turned to the good.

Let's consider your Blog posts, day in day out, or week in week out, depending on how often you post.

Remember the parable of the sower where Jesus teaches that some seeds ended on the footpath, and others on rocky ground, and others among thorns and only a few on good ground?

In this parable the seeds are the Word of God spread amongst many who would not listen.

Let's consider who is the sower? Is it God teaching us? Or Jesus preaching throughout the Holy Land? Or the prophets and Disciples?

The sower is of course all of these. But he is us too. Yes ... you and me. Writing our own Blogs.

We have a duty and a responsibility to evangelise and spread the Word of God to everyone, far and wide. Not just to Christians.

If the Word of God was meant for just Christians we would dig a long furrow and make sure that the seeds are planted one by one carefully in the furrow and none are wasted. But Jesus does not say that. He spread the seeds far and wide and if people do not want to listen that is their problem. Not yours.

And that's where social media and our Blogs come in. They are the open fields where we spread our seeds far and wide in the hope that someone somewhere might listen to the Word of God.

That's why it is important to check our statistics and see which posts got more hits, and what subjects attract attention from readers old and new.

Encourage one another.

That's why it is also important to comment on other peoples' Blogs, especially if we are already Christians and agree with what is being said, (or disagree even). Our comments serve as encouragement for people to keep on posting, and even if we disagree with something they serve as a discussion and a learning opportunity from one another.

The worst thing is to visit a Christian Blog and say nothing.

The early Christians, after Christ's Resurrection, may have disagreed with each other perhaps, but at least they discussed their opinions and encouraged each other to go on with the task of building the Church of Christ.

And so should we when we visit other Christian blogs. We should comment not only on other peoples' blogs but also respond when others comment on our Blogs. And if possible, also visit those who commented on our Blogs and return the courtesy.

Today, we are no different to those early Christians. Social media is the wilderness longing for the Good News; and our Blogs are the fields where we plant the seeds which will grow and bear fruit.

Let your Blog be the one Jesus would want to read.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

My Mortal Sin




I left the hotel hurriedly in a taxi on my way to the airport. It was then that I realized that I had sinned deeply and severely the night before.

This was in no doubt a mortal sin. I had succumbed to temptation and been led astray by the devil. The horror of the situation filled me with dread and a cold sweat started trickling on my forehead. What if the worst were to happen and I was suddenly face to face with my Maker, my Creator, and my ultimate Judge?

The taxi drew past a church and I asked the driver to stop suddenly. I paid him off and rushed into the building. Suddenly, missing the plane didn’t seem to matter any more. It was Saturday and the chances are there would be Confessions in progress.

I was fortunate. A dozen or so people were waiting their turn to enter the old fashioned Confessional.

I waited with them and could only think of one sin. My mortal sin of the night before! The dark blot on my soul leading me to eternal damnation unless it is wiped clean once again.

How could I succumb to such sin once more? The shame and humiliation of it all played over in my mind time and again. I could see myself sinning vividly at Satan’s feet. And now I had to tell the priest all about it.

Eventually my turn came and I knelt down by the thick curtain hiding my Confessor.

I confessed my hideous sin leaving no detail unsaid. I told him exactly what had happened and how I succumbed to temptation and how I needed absolution.

When I finished, somewhat relieved off the heavy weight on my soul, the voice behind the curtain said, “Yo no hablo Ingles!”

In my hurry to confess my mortal sin I had forgotten that I was on a business trip to Spain.

This was a Spanish church with a Spanish priest, and he does not speak English, and he has not understood a word I said, how can he possibly forgive me my sin?

How could I mime my sin from behind the curtain? And would he understand me if he saw me re-enact it? Are some sins so international to be easily understood in any language?

I did what most English people do when abroad and not understood. I repeated every word again slowly and very loudly. Somehow, there’s a tradition amongst us British that if we speak slowly and loudly we would be understood universally by everyone.

Eventually, the Spanish priest repeated in an equally loud voice, “Yo te perdono! Yo te perdono!”

I said, “Muchas Gracias” and left the church before waiting for absolution and penance.

Not satisfied with a half-hearted Spanish Confession, as soon as I  arrived back home I thought I’d make doubly sure and get a proper absolution from an English speaking priest; albeit our priest has a Scottish accent, but I forgive him that.

I told him about my Spanish mortal sin. I explained that the night before I left Spain, whilst in my hotel room, I was so tempted that I succumbed to temptation itself.

I took a chocolate from the little ice box they have in some hotels. I really enjoyed that chocolate.
      
The following morning, when asked by the receptionist whether I had used the ice box, I had forgotten about the chocolate bar and I said “No!”

It wasn’t until I was in the taxi heading for the airport that I realized I had technically stolen from the hotel and committed a mortal sin.

The Scottish priest laughed at my face and did not give me absolution. Luckily, I had a Spanish absolution instead. I think!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Gate



In the Gospel of John Chapter 10 Jesus says several times "I am the gate".

In Chapter 10 - 9 He says "I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture."

This seems strange at first. We can understand when Jesus says "I am the Way" or "I am the Good Shepherd"; but gate? What does all that mean?

To understand this we need to visualise how a sheep pen at the times of Christ looked like. It was a circular or square enclosure built out of stone, wooden fencing or just hedges. And it had an opening through which sheep got in and out.

But shepherds in those days were poor people. They certainly would not have the money to build gates at the opening of the pen. They stayed "watching their flocks by night" with their sheep.

The pen looked something like this:

And the shepherd would lie across the opening, sleeping with his sheep, and making sure that none would get out during the night. Also protecting them from wolves or other predators.

So, the shepherd was in fact the gate.

That's what Jesus meant when He said He is the gate.

He protects us from evil and stops us from going astray.

Friday, 5 May 2017

SAMSON AND HIS HAIRY STRENGTH



SAMSON CRUEL TO FOXES
It's in the Bible.
Samson went and caught three hundred foxes.
Two by two,
he tied their tails together
and put torches in the knots.
Then he set fire to the torches
and turned the foxes loose
in the Philistine cornfields.
He burnt not only the corn harvested
but also that in the fields,
and the olive orchards as well.
 JUDGES 15:4-5.

This is terrible behaviour.
Someone should report him to the Animal Protection people.
Not only is Samson cruel to animals
but he is an arsonist too.

He destroyed corn fields and olive orchards.
No wonder olives are so expensive in the shops.

And I like corn dogs too!!!  

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Never under estimate

NEVER UNDER-ESTIMATE
YOUR ABILITY
WHEN GOD ASKS YOU
TO DO SOMETHING!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Never bet on a cert

NEVER BET ON A CERT

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Driving to work

DRIVING TO WORK
Do you find your mind wandering when driving?
Especially if it is a long journey,
with slow traffic,
bumper to bumper,
moving at a snail's pace,
getting no where ...
Whilst your mind is getting there faster.
Here's what I was thinking the other day.

Monday, 1 May 2017

One Bread One Body


Friday, 28 April 2017

Honour your father and mother

It is a fact that some of us, if we're fortunate, will grow old. And as we grow old, some of us may well become ill, some will live alone, some will struggle with day to day tasks, and many will have their families living far away.

Our children will grow up and move to other places to find jobs and to start a family. Other children will probably fall out with their parents, perhaps as a result of a family argument, and cease to contact their parents. Whilst some other children will just be too busy with the day-to-day stresses of life to maintain contact with their parents.

It is also a fact that some of us, as we grow older, will become cantankerous, argumentative pains in the neck working our way down South. Not everyone can be as pleasant and nice to be with as me. And so it follows, that such old people will make it difficult for their families to visit them as often as they should. In some cases, perhaps for safety's sake, it will be necessary for children and parents to meet no longer.

Then there is another fact. Many years ago, God commanded on a tablet of stone, "Honour your father and mother."

Now I ask myself, how much of a duty is that on every son and daughter, and how serious a sin is it if we ignore it?

Many amongst us can claim that our lives are too busy with the responsibilities of work, raising a family, looking after our own children, and so on and so forth, to be able to visit our parents frequently. Especially if they live too far away.

Others can claim that they fell out with their parents because of a serious family dispute, and indeed it is for their own safety, and that of their children, that they don't visit their parents anymore.

Others will claim that their parents have become the proverbial in-laws; and whenever they visit them, their parents are always criticising and creating a dividing wedge between husband and wife; especially if they never approved of their choice of partners in the first place.

These, and many other supposedly valid reasons have resulted in parents and children no longer seeing each other.

I have known several lonely elderly people in my time. One old lady was so lonely seeing no one from day to day that every week she took the bus to town and back just to be with other people on the journey.

Another left the TV or radio on all day and night just to hear the voice of someone speaking; and she left the lights on all night for fear of being alone in the dark.

Another old lady living alone just talked to her dog just to exercise her vocal chords. She said her throat dries up if she does not speak to anyone all day.

And yet another old man died alone at home and was not discovered until days later when the postman wondered why his mail was piling up behind his door.

Loneliness, especially in old age, is the scourge of a modern society awash with electronic communications devices.

What is the point of having hundreds of "friends and followers" on social media if none visit you when you're old?

So, my message to every son and daughter is: "What will you say to God when you meet Him about the way you honoured your parents"?

And for every parent, old and not so old, "What will you say to God about the way you helped your children obey that commandment?"

I wonder what God would respond.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Faith is not enough

FAITH IS NOT ENOUGH ...

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The Fear that grips us all

Fear is a natural emotion. We all experience fear at one time or another in our lives. Fear can be a good thing at times because it  stops us from taking un-necessary risks. From being reckless and un-thoughtful in what you do.

But there are times when fear itself breeds more fear and grips us to the extent of ruling our lives.

Few of us are really immune to it.

The fear of losing our job and not being able to provide for our families. The fear of missing payments on our mortgage and losing our house. The fear of failure and being unable to work again. The fear of our very lives crumbling in front of our eyes.
The fear of a marriage breakdown. Infidelity. Divorce and its many heartaches. The tearing apart of a family. How it affects one's children. Separation. Costs. Access to children. Being no longer a part of their lives. The feeling of failure and betrayal.
The fear of growing old. Being alone. Especially at night. Forgotten with only one's memories for comfort. The fear of being unable to cope any more. The fear of losing control as others decide for you what is best. The fear that everyone you relied upon is now no longer there.
The fear of being ill. With no prospects of getting better. Relying on others and perhaps being a burden on family and friends. The fear of incapacity. The fear of being unable to make any decisions. The fear of being unable to afford treatment. The fear of un-ending pain.
The fear for others. Children. Grand-children. Other relatives or friends. How they are coping. How will they cope. The fear of the future and what it might bring. In an ever changing world, the very fear of opening a newspaper or seeing the news that something or other has happened that will adversely affect you or your loved ones.
Few of us can claim not to have experienced the real darkness of fear as it grips our minds, our imaginations and indeed our realities.

Because all these fears outlined above, and others besides not mentioned here, have actually happened to others and can very well happen to us.

One day we are living our lives happily and the next ... a quick change in circumstances can easily propel us into any of the fearful scenarios described above.

Christ taught us not to be afraid. That our God loves us. He cares for us. He will not let us perish. He is always by our side.

Yet ... these fearful events are real and have happened to others, those who love and obey God, and those who don't; and can so easily happen to us. So we feel, perhaps, that our fears are justified.

Until we consider, for a moment or two, how God feels about our so-called justified fears.

Isn't our fear, justified as it might be, a sign that we don't truly trust Him? A real profession of faith that, when it comes down to it, we don't really trust Him? Somehow, somewhere, in the back of our minds, we harbour that doubt, that worry, that when things will go bad for us, as they will inevitably be for some of us, we don't really trust Him enough to be by our side in our moment of need.

Now how do you think God feels about your lack of trust in Him?

We may not be able to help these fears when they attack our minds, perhaps sub-consciously, but we can fight against them with prayer. Real prayer. Through gritted teeth even. Admitting to God that we are fearful and yet, trying, through every fibre of our being to trust in Him, in His love and in His caring.

Fear will try to grip us all. It is how we handle it that is our salvation. And with His grace and help we will succeed.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Place At The Table



Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Train



The train with no wheels

Going nowhere

But the stations are moving

Showing the passing of time



There goes 1914

Then 39 too

The 40s and 50s

And the others pass thru



Humanity at war

Knowing no peace

The world in turmoil

For ever it seems



When will this train stop?

For cease-fire and respite

And let the flower of love

Get a chance to re-birth



The train with no wheels

That is going nowhere

Will never reach Peace

‘Til we learn to forgive!
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