Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Christmas

'Happy Christmas' A departed friend of mine used to say, ‘Happiness depends upon happenings but joy abides!’ I hear what he was saying because there is a difference isn’t there? Someone has possibly said to one of my readers today, “Happy Birthday!” and I join with them, have a good day, but what about tomorrow or next week?

The New York Times recently ran some essays under the heading ‘Happy Days’ and Todd May wrote the final one ‘Happy Ending’. The Opionator Blog issuing from that essay attracted over two hundred and sixty responses. I read the majority of them and was depressed by the lack of hope that the majority of writers expressed. Some prescribed their own fanciful thoughts of what they will do when they leave this world and pass into eternity. One contributor fancied that he would become an intergalactic traveler and if in his endless travels he ever came near to planet earth again, he would give it a wide berth.

’I sent some blogs (No.153; 247 and 248), the first read, ‘I’m sure that Todd May made preparations for his flight from Greenville S.C. to New York, whether for his personal needs or something to comfort his dying step- grandmother. The near-miss Empire State building would focus the mind on past, present and future aspects of one’s life. Reading the blogs thus far I am disappointed by the uncertainty expressed by many as to what happens after death takes place. King David wrote a trilogy of Psalms, 22 to 24, relating to the past (22), the present (23) and the future (24) Reading Psalm 23 he expressed a gratitude to God for His provisions throughout his life, but then looked forward beyond the valley of the shadow of death to dwelling with the Lord for ever. Now that is great and something certain. God bless you all.’

Happy ending signifies the aspiration of what exit from this life one will have, we have no control as to how or when we shall die, Ecclesiastes 3:1 reads, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die.” That time is in God’s hands. If a person takes it into their hands and commits suicide, it is a wrong decision.

W.T.P. Wolston related the following incident in gospel preaching in Scotland. The preacher was about to retire to bed and got on his knees to pray. As he was praying there came upon him a compulsion to go to the Headland to preach, which he quickly dismissed and got into bed. He could not sleep and the thought of going to the Headland to preach became more urgent, so out he got, dressed, and went up to the Headland. He shouted the text, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” Then went home and slept. In the morning there was a knock on his door and a troubled woman stood outside. He invited her inside and she said, “Last night I was going to commit suicide and went up to the Headland to throw myself off onto the rocks below. I heard a voice as clear as your voice that said, “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.” There was not another person there so I had to acknowledge that God was speaking to me, to stop me taking my life, and to recognize that my life was in a mess. Can you help me please?” I don’t remember what the preacher told her but I am sure that he had no difficulty in telling her that she needed to tell the Lord about her problems and ask Him to come into her life and be born again, for anyone that did this is a new person, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The lady was soundly converted to Christ, which for her was not just a happy ending to her troubles but a happy beginning of a new life, eternal life!

When Jesus was born at Bethlehem the circumstances and conditions were hardly conducive for His parents. The arduous journey from Nazareth to the City of David was not what a woman heavy with child would choose, but it was demanded of them, not only by the authorities, but also by the Word of God. Micah 5:2 reads, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” There are two Bethlehem’s in Israel, one near Nazareth and the other near Jerusalem, it would have been more convenient to go to the Bethlehem near Nazareth, but no, Christ had to be born in the City of David. Mary’s maternity ward was a stable, there was no place for them in the Inn, the crib that she laid her baby in was a cattle manger, no health and safety put in place for her. Before she was with child she said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” She trusted the Lord in conception and she trusted Him for the birth of her firstborn son. Many women would not be happy to undertake such a trial but she was and became “Blessed (to make happy) art thou among women” Millions of people have been blessed as a result of Christ coming into the world, myself included. Being a devout woman, Mary would have known of two other women in the scriptures who were associated with Bethlehem. She knew of Ruth the Moabitess who came to Bethlehem, married Boaz and became the great-grandmother of David. She also knew of Rachel, Jacob’s wife, who died in childbirth when she delivered Benjamin, near Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph would no doubt have to pass by Rachel’s tomb as they went down to Bethlehem. Did this bring anxious thoughts into her mind about her imminent confinement? Not a bit for God had already told her through Gabriel what her responsibility would be in raising her son. She could not have been happier, knowing that she was in the center of God’s will for her life and that of Messiah.

June 26th. 1702 Monica Doddridge gave birth to her twentieth child, it appeared to be stillborn as were eighteen previous ones. The midwife set aside the little ‘corpse’ out of mother’s sight, but then she noticed a slight flutter in the baby’s chest, she smacked the baby and he let out a loud cry, and Philip was born. He wrote 48 hymns, one being ‘Oh happy day that fixed my choice on thee my Saviour and my God’ Philip Doddridge’s birth was a happy day for Monica, his new birth was better for him!

Have you had such a happy day? If not, why not receive Christ right now and have a Happy Christmas and a blessed eternity. God bless and a very Happy Christmas.

(this blog was written by Stan Burditt of Northampton)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tragedy from flooding

The recent flooding which has overtaken the region of Cumbria again over the last twenty four hours is quite distressing. Many of the folk in the area were aware that the floods were coming and were trusting that the defense mechanisms that had been put in place since the last period of flooding would be effective. Sadly for many this was not the case.

I had a friend phone the day before the floods to ask us to pray. He was not only asking us to pray for him but for his neighbours. He said that he had peace that his God would hold him up if the worst came. He is a believer, he lives for the next life having turned from his sins many years ago and lives today in the joy of salvation and with the prospect of heaven when life is over. My friend wanted us to pray for his neighbours as he was not sure how they would stand up to such severe disappointment and distress once again.

If everything in your world was to go wrong how would you survive? Are you living for something that is of lasting value. Have you come to realise yet that this world is passing and all it has to offer will be finished one day. The Bible says 'he who does the will of God remains for ever'.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


The Liberal Democrats Deputy Leader and Shadow Chancellor, Dr. Vince Cable, presented this analogy of the British economy at their 2009 Conference, “Our economy has experienced a massive heart attack, with the banks at its centre. It has survived in the Intensive Care Unit and is now showing signs of life thanks to modern economic medicine.” I heard him in a more recent BBC interview use the same form of words with this addition, “it is now stable” Both Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer were no doubt comforted with those additional words, having had months of anxiety, waiting in the proverbial corridor outside the IT Unit with their bunch of flowers and a get-well card, longing for recovery! The question is, “Has this recovery got lasting stability, or is it still shaky?”

Earthquakes often cause buildings to be unstable and collapse. There is rising concern about the increase of frequencies that quakes are occurring in the South Pacific, particularly those under the sea bed. Tsunamis have happened recently in American Samoa killing 150 people and Yahoo News reported on Oct.8th. ‘Indonesia's port city Padang was hit by a 7.6 magnitude quake last week, killing 704 people and leaving 295 missing, but the health minister said the toll could reach 3,000.’ This increased activity of the Australian Plate and the South East Asia Sunda Plate has had a de-stabilising effect among the residents of the islands affected.

Instability in marriages and family life is a mammoth problem in society, often caused by selfishness, resulting in infidelity, with spouse and family emotionally scarred and hurt for life. Sometimes these upsets can tip the balance of the mind and drastic actions happen resulting in loss of life. Children often get caught up the ensuing breakdown of marriage, and sometimes an unbalanced parent kills them.

Drugs, alcohol and gambling addiction can upset the equilibrium of an individual’s life and their immediate family. Many a home and family have been decimated by those sad habits.

A chemical can be de-stabilised by introducing another chemical to it. The Atomic energy power plant at Chernobyl became unstable in April 1986 with disastrous consequences, a Wikipedia extract reads, ‘The operation of the reactor at the low level of power with the small reactivity margin was accompanied by the instability of the thermohydraulic parameters and possibly by the instability of neutron flux.’ Electrical Engineers died at the plant in the ensuing explosion and thousands of others have either died or been poisoned by the radiation fallout.

Many countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and others would love to see some stability return to their troubled nation, with peaceful conditions enjoyed by all. The endeavours of World Leaders with their multi billion-dollar schemes are falling far short in accomplishing this, money and might cannot achieve the elusive resolve to the immense problems troubling the earth at this time. This will have to wait till the return of Christ to earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Jesus said in Matt.7:24, Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

When faith is placed in Jesus Christ the Son of God He gives you eternal life, and not one saved person will ever be lost, eternal life is eternal life, that life is founded upon the Christ Jesus. Hebrews 12:28 reads, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” A salvation that can never be lost, a Kingdom that cannot be moved, this is the ultimate stability that anyone could ever possess. My dear reader have you got this salvation, are you in Christ’s everlasting Kingdom? If not, why not? Why not do it now as you read these words, just bow to Jesus Christ and confess Him your Lord and Saviour, repenting of your sin, turn to Him now!

Matthew’s text assures us that when our life is fixed on Christ it will never flounder, our feet and faith are firmly planted on solid ground, whereas David shows us that we have something to sing about with an overwhelming heart, trusting One who will protect us all the way home to Heaven.

We are living in a world that is crying out for peace, where there is no peace. Ever the Saviour left this world He said to His disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27) Paul said in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Have you got it? God bless.

Written by Stan Burditt

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

70 million by 2029

The Office for National Statistics has stated that the UK population will reach 70 million by 2029. Every year we are told that 425,000 more people will be living here, the eqivalent of a city the size of Bristol. Our population is 61 million at the moment - this is some growth rate; nearly twice as fast as it took the population to grow from 50 to 60 million between 1948 and 2005.

What will our country be like in 2029? Will there be room for cars on the road? Will we have countryside? Will our cities be more polluted? What about jobs? Will it still be an aging population? What about cultural diversity; what will it mean to be British? Questions which we really cannot answer!

I will be 68 if I am alive in 2029. Have you thought about what age you will be, where you might be and what you could be doing. Now that sounds like a good line for selling life insurance - well I am not selling but I am making you aware of reality. None of us know where we will be in 2029. Our circumstances could have changed beyond recognition.

What's the worst case scenario? Well you say I could be dead! Morbid, maybe; possible, sadly yes. May I tell you how I feel. Much as I do not particularly want to die it is not the worse case scenario for me. For when I die I am going straight to heaven. How do you know you say? To quote the old children's chorus - 'the bible tells me so'. After Jesus Christ had died on the cross, he rose again. Eventually he returned to heaven from where He came. On numerous occasions (John.17.24)the Lord Jesus taught that those who believe on Him (trust and depend on Him for eternal life)on earth will go to be with Him in heaven when they die. Other New Testament books teach this as well (Phil.1.23). That's what I am looking forward to. What about you? You go one of two places, the bible also teaches that. You can be sure of heaven! It could be true for you as well, 'the Bible tells me so'.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New 'Naked' X-Ray Machine

It sounds like a joke but it is quite the opposite. Manchester Airport took delivery recently of a new type of x-ray machine. It's novelty is this - it captures a naked image of passengers so that staff can spot if they are hiding explosives or weapons. An airport spokesman described the images as quite revealing. This is an alternative to being 'patted down' by security staff which I am told that most passengers do not like. Whatever you think of this new machine the aim is to expose potential sources of danger and to prevent terrorism. We all like the outcome despite our sensitivity to the process.

The truth is that none of us likes to be exposed even if essentially we have nothing to hide. It makes us feel vunerable.

The Bible teaches us that before God we will all be exposed; not physically but spiritually. The secrets of our hearts will be brought out into the open on the day of judgement (Romans 2.16). Another passage in the letter to the Hebrews teaches us that there is no one that God does not know inside out and that everything about us is exposed under His penetrating gaze (Hebrews 4.13).

It would be wise to listen to the voice of God now and accept His offer of forgiveness though faith in Jesus Christ than to wait until it is too late and hear those soul chilling words 'depart from me'. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

Monday, September 21, 2009

If God went on strike!

How would you feel if your bins were not emptied and rubbish was lying in the street? Well in parts of Liverpool that’s the way it is at the moment. Some refuse workers and street cleaners are on strike; probably for very good reasons as far as they are concerned. But it does expose us all to potential health hazards.
A couple of weeks ago I was off to Ballymena in Northern Ireland for a week. My planned route of travel took me through Liverpool John Lennon Airport. I happened to read on the web a few days before my date of departure that some baggage handlers were on strike. On arrival at the airport, expecting long delays, I was delighted (very selfishly) to find out that the strike did not affect my flight. It did however inconvenience many people and will cost the travelling public money in the long run as employees had to be shipped in from Dublin and other places to do the strikers jobs.
I have not been affected by people striking for quite a long time. I remember the miner’s strikes, the fuel protests and many other types of strikes in my forty seven years. They are a very effective, if not annoying and sometimes illegal, way of making a point. In the long run someone suffers and it costs money.
Imagine if the world stopped spinning on its axis! The consequences would be cataclysmic. Ever thought why the sun shines every day and the moon is always there when daytime ends; thankfully they do not ever go on strike! You may not agree with this view but I believe it’s not because of ‘mother nature’ but because of ‘Father God’. The Bible teaches in Hebrews 1:3 that God through the Lord Jesus ‘upholds all things’ by His spoken and powerful word. If, as the old songs says, God holds the ‘whole world in His hands’, it would be worth considering letting Him keep you safe as far your eternal destiny is concerned. To those who trust Him he says ‘I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’ (Gospel of John 10:28). It is undoubtedly the safest option to be in the ‘hands of God’ he has a long track record of safe handling.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Swine Flu

Most of us are not sure whether what we read or hear in the media is hyped up or if things are getting more dangerous by the day. Common sense would tell us to take precautions and not to be glib or cynical about what potentially could be a killer. Very wise counsel I would say.

Do you know what really amazes me. In most areas of life we are quite sensible and wise but when we come to spiritual/moral issues most of us stick our heads in the sand. We teach that morals are just our personal perspective on matters yet we are surprised when people take the law into their own hands and harm themselves and others because they do not have a sense of right or wrong and their accountability for their actions. We want a civilized society but cannot seem to see the link between truth and standards (or the lack of it) and the disgusting behavior of individuals in our nation.

Sin and wrong is spreading like wildfire though our society and it will get worse. Not just because the Bible predicted it would but because we now have generations of people who have never been taught what is right and why!

What is the answer? Simply put it is to get back to the Bible. See what God says. It will not make us feel better about ourselves but when we face the reality of our sin we will begin to see why God's Son, Jesus came into the world. God declares in the Bible - 'to save sinners'. Christ died for us - the ungodly. God is willing to save all who come to Him.

Two things are needed. One - an awareness and admission of our guiltiness before God. This infers we accept that we are not capable of improving our moral state and indicates that we understand that God would be within His rights to hold us accountable for our behavior/ beliefs and to judge us for our sins. Two - faith towards God. That accepting His way of salvation (i.e. the Lord Jesus) as the only means of our redemption.

Would you come this way and know life. The price was paid for in the death of the Lord Jesus. Salvation is still on offer. I hope you repent and believe the gospel.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The King is dead. Long live the King

You will, I am sure see the connection between Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson as being ‘The King of Pop’ and the continuity of commercial interests in maintaining the status-quo, in order for the dollars to keep flowing. Downloads of M.J.’s music shot up after his sudden death and stores across the world soon sold out any merchandise relating to him.
Jackson’s connection with Presley was brought closer by his marriage to Presley’s only daughter, Lisa, but that did not last many months.

It is alleged that though the pop star sold nearly 400 million singles, that he was broke when he died. The world of pop music is so hyped up, and media managed by lawyers and agents. By the time they have had their cut; tax paid to the government and excesses indulged in by the artist, the multimillion pot of cash dwindles to nothing. Proverbs 23:5 says, “Riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away” One should ask Mr. Bernard Madoff if that is true, as he starts his 150-year prison sentence for the world’s biggest Ponzi fraud!

At one of the summer shows last year, where we put a Christian witness, there was a man who came to our stand dressed as an Elvis look alike. He said to me that Elvis was not dead. I assured him that he was very dead. As we talked it began to rain and he said that Elvis was crying. I told him that if Elvis had not repented of his sin and called upon the Lord for salvation before he died, then the place where he now is, he would be weeping and wailing and in eternal torment. For that is what Hell is like and every sinner that dies without Christ as their Saviour goes to Hell. God wants men and women to get a real life, eternal life; this is given to all that receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Matthew ch.2:1 begins, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” Jesus was born King and when he began His public ministry at thirty years of age he preached that entrance into the Kingdom of God was through being born again (Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John3:3) Throughout time millions of people have believed and been born again, have you?
One such person was a thief that died alongside Jesus on the cross. Pilate had written the superscription, “JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.” The thief said to the Saviour, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” He believed that Jesus was a King with a coming Kingdom and wanted to be part of it, hence he said, “Lord…”
Christ was born King and died King, He died before the thieves died and the repentant thief could have said, “The King is dead” but I know because He told me, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” He knew that death was not the end and could have said of the Lord, “Long live the King.” In fact another will never supercede this King, He would never die again.
The risen Lord said to John in Rev.1:18, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen.” And John wrote in Rev.19 “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Concerning the past, the King has died, concerning the present He is alive, He has triumphed over death and the grave and concerning the future we can say with Paul to Timothy (1:17) “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
Have you ever said the words, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Did you really want Christ’s Kingdom to come, and are you a child of the Kingdom? If not. Why not today do what the thief did and call upon the Lord, before it is too late. God bless.

This entry on my blog was written by Stan Burditt of Northampton

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A week of Street Meetings

Last week I was in Southport each day running a Street Meeting. The aim of the week's events was to bring to the folks in the main shopping area the message of the Bible, give the opportunity to listen, to ask questions, disagree etc.

Most of us will have a view about what we think of 'street preachers'. The reaction you get from people as they pass by is so varied. One lady clapped when I finished speaking (that doesn't happen often), some people start off annoyed by your presence but end up agreeing that the message of the Bible should be brought to people's attention - it's up to them to decide what they want to do with it. Some curse, swear and generally abuse. How do you react when you hear a street preacher? Do you feel they are forcing you to listen, do you find the message offensive or is it just annoying that these folk feel that they have to preach what they believe at you!

I am convinced that people need to hear that they have broken God's law, that they are in danger of eternal punishment and that God has provided salvation through the death of His Son, Jesus. What do you think?

When you read this please e-mail at and tell me. I would love to hear.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

Happiness or Joy

When I was young I heard a man explaining the difference between happiness and joy; not that I was aware that there was a difference. Happiness he said was a response to the good 'happenings' in your life whereas joy was a deeper thing that did not depend on your circumstances being good.

What about you? Is it only when the 'happenings' in your life are good that you are happy or do you have joy no matter the circumstances. Now do not get me wrong we are not saying that we should be on a high all the time, or running about constantly laughing but I have met folks who had an inner peace, a contentment, a joy even when times were tough. The Bible says 'godliness with contentment is great gain'(1 Timothy 6.6).

There is an old prophet in the Bible (Habbakuk) and as he faced the downfall and distress of his people (Israel) he said these words 'athough the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; and the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD is my strength'. What a viewpoint! Everything goes bust, your world falls apart - yet you have something that outlasts it all - salvation. Have you got it? The word of God says you can - 'through faith in Christ Jesus'.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sunny Scotland

We came up to Scotland for a few days to visit my parents. As we were going to Scotland we did not pack summer clothes and we were caught out. I was roasted in my jeans and heavy shoes. The weather was spectacular and we had a lovely time round the banks of Loch Lomond and Strathclyde Park. It would have been more worthwhile to have been well prepared. Thinking things through in advance has its advantages.

Moving into more important areas of life; how prepared are you spiritually? The Old Testament prophet Amos advised the nation of Israel to prepare to meet God (Amos 4.2). When I read and understand what the rest of the Bible teaches I find that it would be advisable for everyone to make preparation for their meeting with God. The Bible teaches that a Day of Judgement is coming (Daniel 12.12/John 5.29) and that all of us will be acountable for everything we do and say (Matthew 12.36). These facts alone raise very important and serious issues about how we live.

The gospel message explains that there is a way of escape from conviction by God. His just and legal sentence of the second death can be avoided if we follow the advice that is given in the word of God. It is as follows:

1. Consider and understand your guilt before God.
2. Confess your sin to God and agree with His sentence of death against us.
3. Consider the death of the Lord Jesus in payment for your sin. Rest on Him as Lord & Saviour.
4. Believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead three days after His death.
5. Accept Jesus Christ as the only saviour of sinners.

You can be saved if you come to God, turn from your sin and believe the gospel. I trust that you will know God's richest blessing.


Friday, May 15, 2009

My week

I have had a great week this week - not that other weeks are boring. I went to Aberdeen last Saturday to speak at a conference. It was really encouraging to meet believers who are keen to be involved in what God is doing in the world today. We heard from Ian Burness of Echoes of Service about how God is saving people in other countries today and using them to reach their own people with the good news of God's saving grace. I was asked to tell folks about the work that I do pointing people to the Lord Jesus Christ in Liverpool, the North West of England and further afield.

Sunday saw us start a Gospel Mission in Haydock near Liverpool. A friend of mine came up from Southampton to help me and this has really been a bonus. Another friend and I have been preaching at these meetings about God's plans for the future of this planet and for mankind. It is really exciting (and worrying at times) when you realise that Jesus will come again. The birth pangs of His coming could be taking place even now - economic turmoil, wars and rumours of wars, increased seismic activity in the earth's crust. The first thing that will happen is that the Lord Jesus will return to the skys above the earth and remove all the believers from the earth. This will be a silent coming but will no doubt cause great (if brief) consternation in the world. Jesus said clearly to His followers in John 14 'I will come again'. Other New Testament Bible references back this up. After His coming the world will be exposed to seven years of great trouble and turmoil. In the Bible the second half of this period is called 'the great tribulation'. This period of time will be preceded by apparent peace and tranquility. First Thessalonians chapter five states 'For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them'. The prospect of this is scary though not for the believer in Jesus Christ. If you are (or get saved) you will escape the wrath (anger) of God (see Romans 5:9). God is angry because of my sin and your sin but His Son, the Lord Jesus, died for our sins. Whosoever believes in Him shall be saved. We are accountable for what we do and God has defined what is right and wrong in His word, the Bible.

The future of our planet and the souls of those who live (and have lived) on it are in the hands of God. Today you can hear His voice, repent (change your mind, turning from sin) and be saved. Tomorrow may be too late.

May God encourage those of us who are believers to rejoice in what He has done and those who do not believe to 'call upon the name of the Lord'. It's not too late as I write!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Where does the time go?

My son is sixteen (nearly seventeen). He is about to start his GCSE's. School is over (until sixth form - if he gets the right results!). Last night Carole and I attended his leavers service in the school/church. It only seems like yesterday that he started school in Halfway, Sheffield. Where have all the years gone?

You must ask the same question from time to time. Time flies, we age, times come and go and suddenly it's getting late! I am not just talking about teenagers getting home late at night; I am thinking about life. What is going on! Tomorrow quickly becomes today and today has no sooner dawned but it is now yesterday!

And what of your life and mine! What am I living for? What is it all for? There is an answer - read the words of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel of John chapter 10. Read verse 9, 10, 11 - read it all. The Lord Jesus came to give us life - not physical but spiritual. Sin has barred us from knowing God. It's our nature to do wrong and believe wrong things but 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'. Will you start a new life today? I trust that you will.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Toxic Assets

I friend of mine wrote this article I have added some additional comments on at the end, Stephen.

"Forgive my naivety, but I am perplexed! I was always under the impression that something toxic is poisonous and can prove fatal, whereas an asset is a possession of some value, great or small, for one’s personal or corporate benefit. So what have we got here with this financial media description called Toxic assets?

Regarding the politicians intervention of tweaking the economy by injecting millions, or is it billions, or even trillions of dollars? They are not convinced that this will remedy the problem by removing the toxic parts of their damaged assets. I heard a BBC interview with Kenneth Clark a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer being asked about dealing with the present economic troubles. Although he personally was intrigued with the challenge of addressing the toxic asset problem, he acknowledged that no politician had in their lifetime’s experience faced such issues before, also this is new territory for everyone.

Meanwhile, the furor continues about excessive pay-offs, bonuses and pensions to people responsible for the failure of Banks and other financial institutions. Shareholders and investors see this as reward for failure and perhaps would like to see these people put into prison for causing such economic mayhem. How many homes will be lost because of redundancies? How many businesses will go under in shrinking economies all over the world? Families face misery through the fault of capitalistic greed of others"

Life in the twenty-first century is full of problems – global terrorism, credit crunch, family breakups, environmental disasters…the list seems endless. The root cause of hate, greed, hurt and selfishness is sin, our rebellion against the God who created us.

The answer is to be found in a death in the first century. ‘Christ died for our sins’ (The Bible: 1 Corinthians 15 v 3). We can personally experience God’s forgiveness and love when we realise our wrong and accept what God has done for us through His Son. The Bible says 'while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us' (The Bible: Romans 5 v 8).

Easter is about more than simply remembering His death. We also celebrate His resurrection. 'Now is Christ risen from the dead' (The Bible: 1 Corinthians 15:20). The living Saviour wants us to have new life, new hope and new freedom. He can give us everlasting life today....when we turn from our sins and trust in Him. 'Now is the day of salvation' (The Bible: 2 Corinthians 6 v 2).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Sad Day

And Jesus Called A Little Child Unto Him

Someone has rightly said that if you take a text out of its context it becomes a pretext. My heading is taken from Matthew ch.18:1 to 3 which reads, “At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” I will come back to that passage later on.

Around 6.30am on Wednesday 25th. February, six year-old Ivan Cameron, eldest son of David and Samantha Cameron died in Hospital in London. This little boy whom his father described as “My beautiful boy” had suffered from birth with Ohtahara syndrome, a form of cerebral palsy that has epileptic consequences. To see the grief expressed on the faces of his parents as they left the Hospital shortly after his death said it all; this little boy with all his disabilities was loved intensely by his family.

Between 9am and 10am a phone-in program on BBC Five Live was interrupted with an announcement from the Conservative Head Office telling of the death of the Conservative Leader’s son. The subject for the phone-in was immediately dropped and the remainder of that program and others that followed were taken up with this breaking news.

A Press release reported in the Daily Telegraph read, 'Mr Brown's offer to cancel Prime Ministers Questions had been accepted with "gratitude" by Mr Cameron's office despite William Hague, his deputy, being ready to stand in for the Tory leader'. The last time it was dropped was after the sudden death of the Labour leader John Smith in 1994. Mr Cameron's office later announced he would take two weeks compassionate leave to spend time with his wife and two children Nancy, aged five, and Arthur, aged three, who have been told that Ivan has "gone to heaven".

Once again the conscience of the nation was awakened to the value of life, the value of medical care at the point of need, the value of family where true love is right at the centre for everyone in the home.

It struck me quite heavily that this little boy, Ivan, his life and the cessation of it, has accomplished more in speaking to the nation (and possibly the world) than the majority of us will ever do, either politician in Paliament or preacher in pulpit. This defenceless, helpless little fellow has jolted us to realise that there is quality of life even in suffering, and there is a better life in Heaven for those capable of trusting the Lord Jesus Christ, and also those like Ivan that are too young, or incapable of doing so.

I believe David Cameron has every right to tell Nancy and Arthur that their elder brother has gone to Heaven. This is not an empty hope based upon sentiment but upon the unerring Word of God.

In the Bible we read of another father named David who sorrowed the loss of two sons, one a baby, the other a man. The loss of each son was equally grievous for David, he mourned for both, though he knew that one went to Heaven and the other did not.
Bathsheba’s baby lived a short life and died, David said “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” (2Sam.12:18) The man who wrote Psalm 23 knew where he was going and he knew where his child had gone.

The other son that died was Absalom; he was an adult and tried to usurp the throne from his father. His rebellious life was ended by Joab and one of David’s men reported to the King, “The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2Sam.18:32)

The difference between King David’s two sons was that the baby had not reached an age of responsibility; Absalom had and had turned against God. What a salutary lesson that is for all of us!

Coming back to the text in, the corresponding text in Mark ch.9:36 says, “And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them.”

Three other things that Jesus ‘took’ are these. In John ch.6 He took loaves from a lad and fed a multitude of people, He used a lad to be the means of blessing to thousands. May Ivan’s death do the same! In John 13 He took a towel and washed their feet, teaching us a lesson of humility in service. In Mark ch.8:22 He took a blind man by the hand and led him to a better life.
Our text in Matt.18 and Mark 9 tells us that Jesus called a little child unto Him and He took a child and set him in the midst.

What did the Saviour teach us from this? He was showing us that unless we are converted, and we come to Him in childlike faith, trusting Him emphatically for our souls eternal salvation and being with Him in His everlasting Kingdom, unless we do that we shall never get to Heaven, to be received into the loving arms of the one who gave His life on a cross for us. God bless.

Stan Burditt (View from the Pulpit March 09)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Snowy days

We all enjoy the snow apart from when sadly it brings hardship and problems. Quite right too! It is great to have fun and to enjoy the excitement of sledging and snowball fights.

One of the oldest books in the Bible also talks about snow. It teaches lessons from nature so that we will learn that God made our planet to educate us and point our minds and souls to Him.

Lesson 1.

Job 6:16 - Snow melts - How obvious! The lesson is - life is brief.

Lesson 2.

Job 9:30 - Snow was used as an agent of cleansing in the ancient world - We all need cleansing as sin and wrong has defiled us in the sight of a holy God.

Lesson 3.

Job 24:19 - Snow evaporates in the heat - it becomes seemingly insignificant as it disappears. We might feel like that but the word of God tells us that if God counts the birds that die and the hairs on our head we are very important to Him.

Lesson 4.

Job 37:6 - Heavy snowfall is dangerous - we know this too well but nature reminds us that we are unable to control our circumstances so we had better learn that we are mortal and turn to God who is over all, blessed for ever.

Lesson 5.

Job 38:22 - There is an inexplicable dimension in nature. God says "have you been to see the stockpile of snow or hail in the sky". No you say it doesn't exist. You are right but the designed earth produces snow and hail from clouds. Now how is that for a spectacle! God is great in creation and great in salvation.

"The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the World"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Facing Death

Today was an unusual one. I went to the funeral of a Christian gentleman. He was old and had been married. He lived a simple life, not much money but he had always seemed to be happy and content. We were told by the preacher that he had been an angry man once, it sounded like he had almost verged on abusing his wife. He had found it impossible to control his temper.

One day he met a family who seemed to be different. They were kind and considerate and had a happy lifestyle even though they were not very wealthy. They explained to him that the source of their contentment was not based on what they had nor an extra-ordinary strength of character but because they had been introduced to God and that they knew His presence and power in their lives.

That day my friend decided that he wanted what they had. They explained that God was offering to everyone the same deal. Simply put - admit your guilt and need before God, confess your inability to live to perfection on your own and accept the offer of forgiveness from God and he will keep his promise to 'save' you. They explained that the offer was genuine because God is the creator and we are answerable to Him but more than that God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth 2008 years ago. All the details of His life point a thinking mind to this fact - God appeared on earth and in person (the person of His Son) paid the price for sin by His death. The factual historical record of the resurrection of Jesus confirms the claims that He is the Son of God and dealt with sin and transgression by His death. God raised Him from the dead by the Spirit of holiness.

Our friend responded when he heard about the offer of forgiveness and the power of a saved and changed life. Will you? Please let us know if we can help you.

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