Change

Change is something we all seem to resist. If we look at the Bible we see many stories of change. When their change or ours is guided by God it can only be good.

Abraham had a great change. He was told by God to leave where he was and travel to live in an unknown destination. His obedience led to great blessing. Gideon was pulled out of his way of life to become, under God, a leader of men. Moses certainly didn’t plan to lead a rebellious people for 40 years in the desert. David only wanted the life of a shepherd, not king.

If God’s change was good enough for these great Biblical characters it should be good enough for you and me. God’s plans are always best., we only need to open to God’s leading.

Armchair Christians

Am I an armchair Christian? I am an armchair sports person. I’ve never played football but I watch it regularly on the tele. Other sports I’ve never played but again some of them I follow from my armchair.

But what about my Christian life. I need to be hands on with that. There are the sick to be visited, the lonely to be entertained. Meetings should be attended to learn more about my Saviour and certain jobs that require me to roll up my sleeves. As a Christian I can never retire.

The only time I can use my armchair is at my computer (even then an office chair would be better)or when I pray (kneeling would preferable, or at least in an alert position) There is an excuse when I’m ill, but illness doesn’t stop praying. I never want to be an armchair Christian.

Rest Awhile

My brother and I were mischievous teenagers. In our church were two retired missionaries but over the gulf of time I have no idea where their field of mission was. I think we were too young to realise that there was life outside our small town.

These two old ladies regularly attended every meeting, always sat together but at coffee times or meals they never volunteered to help. Whenever asked they had a stock reply, ‘No sorry, we’re resting awhile.’ No doubt they felt by being missionaries they had done their service for the Lord.

I’ve now learned that older people need to rest, but Christians never retire, they can still serve in many ways. Our church has just started a Prayer Warriors group. Anyone over 70 is automatically in this group and can serve the Lord by praying for the needs of the church.

My brother and I nicknamed these two ladies ‘Rest’ and ‘Awhile’ but we could never agree which was which.

The Calling

I always love to read the story in Luke 5 of Jesus calling the disciples. Peter and Andrew had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. They were then approached by a non-fisherman giving them advice. We are not told if He was already known to the brothers, but it seems they obeyed without hesitation. The result was a record haul of fish. When God gives, He doesn’t do it sparingly, He gives abundantly and overflowingly. Their nets which they had been washing and mending began to break.

It is possible that all four fishermen, Simon, Andrew, James and John left their occupation, family and familiar of life on that day. What happened to the fishing company, were they large enough to work with depleted numbers? As always the bible leaves us asking questions. What I need to remember is that I am told all I need to know, the questions can wait for eternity.

Smashed Vase

Little boy to mother ”You know that beautiful glass vase that has been handed down from generation to generation. Well, this generation has dropped it.’

Our generation has been handed a glass vase; it is known as the knowledge and wonder of the glory and majesty of God. By God’s grace we have learned and accepted His salvation, but it is not for ourselves alone. Our knowledge is to be shared by whatever means we can, to whoever we can, whenever we can. Known as the Great Commission our task is to tell, proclaim and affirm.

It is a life-long work and in some cases, a life-giving work. Christian martyrs are known all throughout the ages. Our personal task may be to reach millions or just one or two. Our prayer must be that our generation is not the one to drop the holy, precious vase of salvation.

A Most Brilliant Sunrise.

One Thursday morning recently there was a stunning sunrise. Our area often has beautiful sunsets, but it was unusual to have this wonderful scene as a sunrise. I revelled in it and once again praised God while also sending pictures to a few friends.

The next Sunday, the young person who was leading the service (she is under 25) was also raving about this beautiful phenomenon. Her enthusiasm was so great that I was able to enjoy the sunrise all over again. I noticed others in the service also responding to her joy and happiness. I saw their smiles (behind their masks of course.)I took comfort in the fact that the next generation can appreciate the beauty that God has given us

Save the Planet

We can only pray that the COP26 conference in Glasgow will have good results. It can be scary to think about the disasters that can occur because of climate change. But as Christians we can have peace. It is good that we take care of the wonderful world that God has given us. It is our duty and privilege to take care of it.

But there is one thing we need to remember. The world will not end one second before God decrees that it should. Our God is in control. Our part is to nurture the planet, be considerate of other nations and our own. But the ultimate power lies with God. We are only invited to work and care with Him. Mankind will not decree the end; God will.

‘The earth is the Lord’s and the everything in it’ Psalm 24:1

Excessive Rain

A few day ago in the area where I live we had large volumes of rain and a few homes were flooded. This distressing situation is happening increasingly a few times each winter. ‘A man’s home is his castle’ but when your castle floods I can’t imagine how awful this must be.

Our railway system was disrupted as rail lines were destroyed. This meant I couldn’t visit my sick friend in Edinburgh, only 100 miles away. But what a small thing this is compared to the widespread devastation. Situations like this do cut us down to size. We have little actual control over the weather and can’t completely solve these problems. In some of your areas floods are endemic, I know. I think we need to put our trust in a higher authority.

A Bible and Brick

Do you remember when you first became a Christian? You were so full of enthusiasm for the Lord that you wanted to tell the whole world.

I wonder if you were like me in your fervour. I took 1 Peter 3:15 to heart and approached everyone with a bible in one hand and a metaphorical brick in the other. I was determined that they were going to follow God. Oh dear! I trust I’ve matured and I no longer bash my listeners with my bible or even a brick.

Our God is a gentle, loving Master. He creeps softly into people’s hearts. There are probably two things we need to remember; souls need to be ready to receive the word. God has lovingly been nurturing these souls for ages. God’s timing is perfect. And secondly, it is not us who do the converting. It is 100% God, we are merely sometimes privileged to be allowed to be part of the process.

Sunset

It was the kind of sunset which we sometimes have in October and November. We stopped in our tracks and just gazed in wonder. I didn’t know it was possible to have so many shades of red and yellow and other hues. Even as we watched the colours and shades changed slightly. Some of us took photos on our phones but the results were disappointing. The picture completely didn’t do justice to the scene before us.

It was only the previous evening that we had been talking about the wonder of the clouds. Nothing manmade comes anything near the changing beauty and magnificence of the skies. Mankind thinks he is so clever and has no need of a God. May people just sit for ten minutes observing the sky. It makes us gasp ‘What is man that You are mindful of him?’