Friday, November 26, 2010

Have you stopped to thank God for today

Think about today. Your health, your family, your clothes...basically everything. Who makes sure that life is the way it is. Me you say! Really! The sun in the sky, the cycle of life. you manage all that? I don't think so.

The psalmist in the Bible says. 'Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation, Selah'. (Psalm 68.19)

Selah means - stop, take a breath, think about it. Why not take a minute to think it through. You might even face reality and realise you need your creator to be your saviour. I pray that you will.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tragedy and Disaster

Once again we have become aware of another mining disaster. After the Chilean trapped miners were released we all breathed a sigh of relief. Thirty three men successfully brought to safety!What a glorious day it was for all involved and how we as fellow human beings were relieved to see a potentially sad story become a happy one. We trust that this will be the case for the twenty nine miners trapped in the Pike River Coal Mine in Atarau, New Zealand.

It is the desire of our creator, the Almighty God, that the sad story of human life and death be turned into a happy one. The miners in Chile soon learned the need for God and His presence when confined under ground. Among the scarce necessities that were delivered to them while in isolation was a personal copy of the bible. When faced with death, God and His truth is the only answer.

As I close listen to the truth that God brings to us in His word.

God commends his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

God is not willing that any should perish (as in eternal damnation) but that all should come to repentance (a change of mind regarding sin and God accepting his offer of forgiveness).

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

My advice would be to take advantage of the offer of salvation today.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Today's blog comes to you from Stan Burditt in Orlando, Florida, where he is enjoying a sunshine holiday with some of his family.

Driving past Disney’s Theme Park entrance a few days ago, I saw alongside the models of Mickey and Minnie Mouse their slogan, ‘Where dreams come true’ and it got me thinking! Obviously the statement carries a double meaning, firstly it is a location where lots of children dream of going to see all the Disney characters and interact with them. For many children throughout the world that dream is never realised but for those that are able to visit, the WOW look on their faces is a joy to behold. However if we live in a world of fantasy of our own make-believe, a world of fluffy cuddly people, we are not seeing the truth of the real world, it is just an escape.

Mickey himself has a ‘fantasmic’ dream where all his animated and wonder world friends appear in imagination bubbles but then the dream becomes a nightmare of evil characters threatening his comfort zone. Then good prevails and ultimately all the good characters appear on a sail-by showboat leaving the audience with a feel-good finale. It is only make-believe isn’t it?

Some young girls dream of their Prince Charming to come along and marry them. Young men might dream of a good qualification that will secure a well paid job, a nice comfortable home, a lovely wife and children and maybe a particular car in the garage. Sometimes those dreams do come true, but in the real world responsibility and commitment are fundamental requirements for a ‘happy-ever-after’ life, and in this generation, fewer and fewer are subscribing to these.

If what has been reported in UK national newspapers is true then the ‘Theatre of Dreams’, Old Trafford football stadium has had nightmarish features since one of their players has been doing a bit of showboating himself, causing the manager selection problems. Who would know what decided the contractual turn around? Could it have been money??

Martin Luther King in his memorable speech ‘I have a dream!’ was pioneering a program of civil rights for the black population of the United States. He dreamed of a day when there would be equality for all people black and white, where social, education, medical and employment rights exist for everyone and not the privileged few. For him was it just a dream or was he a visionary? Looking for a better future for those oppressed by bigotry and racism.

There are eleven people recorded in the Old Testament and two in the NT that have dreams. In the NT the word dream occurs seven times, six in Matthew’s gospel and once in the Acts. In Matthew, four concern Joseph the husband of Mary, one, the wise men and the other is Pilate’s wife. With Joseph it is in relation to the birth of Christ, with Pilate’s wife it was His death.

Joseph in the Old Testament and Joseph in the New saw their dreams come true. Both Joseph’s had a father named Jacob, but it was Abraham’s grandson Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel who was the father of Joseph. This Joseph had two dreams. He interpreted the two dreams of Pharaoh, and his Butler and Baker. Genesis 37:6 reads, “Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.” Because of these dreams his brothers hated him and said, “Behold, this dreamer cometh” and wanted to kill him, but then they sold him as a slave into Egypt.

It became a nightmare for him in Potiphar’s house; he was wrongly accused of rape and put into prison. While in prison he interpreted the dreams of the Butler and the Baker, both dreams came true, one was restored, the other hanged.

Pharaoh had two dreams, which Joseph interpreted as being seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, which also became true. Pharaoh rewarded Joseph by putting him in charge of storing the corn in the plentiful years and administrating the distribution of the food during the years of famine. He made him second in command in all the land, it was then that his brothers came to Egypt seeking corn and bowed before Joseph. Joseph’s name means ‘adding’ and he was responsible for adding prosperity for his own people and the Egyptians. Pharaoh called him ‘The Saviour of the world’.

Joseph, the husband of Mary had a dream, assuring him that Mary had not committed fornication but was the chosen virgin to bring Jesus Christ into the world, “Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” His second dream was a warning that Herod was seeking to destroy the baby and he was told to take Mary and Jesus into Egypt. The third dream was in Egypt telling him that Herod was dead and that they could return to their own land. The final dream directed them back to Nazareth where Christ lived up to the age of thirty. All Joseph’s dreams came true and by them he was able to fulfill his responsibility in caring for his wife and his unique son.

Psalm 126 begins, “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.”

Salvation is where dreams come true. God bless.

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