Thursday, August 31, 2017

Why did God allow Hurricane Harvey?


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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What a web we weave

 

I was visiting my mother in Scotland recently and having a look round her garden. One of the local artisans was painting her shed at the time, and so I was checking if the job was being done properly - this in itself is a bit humorous as I am 'Mr Not - DIY - International'. But, as dutiful sons do, I was checking to see if the paint was drying (I thought it did that itself!) and if the shed needed another coat. If you met my mother you would know that she wouldn't accept my word for it and would be checking later to see if the work was up to a satisfactory standard - which she did!
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Monday, August 28, 2017

Bank Holiday Musings











Bank Holiday Monday. 

It is great to get away and relax on a Bank Holiday. I should say, for the benefit of those who don't live in the UK, that a Bank Holiday is a national holiday. Everyone is off work for the day. Our tradition is for everyone to go to the same places to relax. As a result we have gridlock on country roads and motorways (Highways). We all enjoy the excitement of sitting for hours in a car and wondering what time we will arrive home. All in all, it's a pretty relaxing day! I am talking a little tongue in cheek. You can have a great day out and be very relaxed if you choose well, where and when you are going. 
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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Are you fearful about the state of the world?

Are You Fearful About The State Of The World?

By Stephen Baker

The state of the world today is scary. Are you afraid? Stephen Baker discusses the state of the world today and he gives us hope as he tells us that Jesus Christ can meet the needs of our society.
Life is full of questions and often the answers are difficult. Stephen Baker seeks to answer various questions about life and faith using the Bible as his only source. Listen to Stephen’s show, “Life Questions,” on HopeStreamRadio as he tackles the challenge of life questions.
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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Life Is Unpredictable, But God Is In Control!

Contact us now if you have questions about salvation.

We Cannot Control Our Circumstances

God Is In ControlLife is so unpredictable. At times this can be very exciting but sometimes it can be very frightening.
That flood in the house, the illness that took us by surprise! How were we to know? It’s can be disconcerting! As mere mortals, we cannot control our circumstances and have to try to cope with what is inevitable as well as we possibly can.
There are many situations like this in life. Illness cannot be avoided at times and most circumstances are outwith our control. The ultimate uncontrollable event is death. We may be able to take our life, by force – it is very sad when someone gets to that level of despair, but we cannot and do not live for ever and we have no power over the day of our death.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

God cannot deceive people!



Do not be deceived, God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap - Galatians 6:7

I think it would be fair to say that no one likes to be deceived. We feel cheated and manipulated when someone has misled us and wilfully abused our trust. We know inertly in our hearts that this type of behaviour is unacceptable.

As a Christian I am confident of this. God is absolutely trustworthy, He never deceives us. In our daily readings over the last few days we have been considering some of the characteristics of God that make him dependable and worthy of our trust. He cannot lie, He does not break promises and He can do everything except sin.

Let me talk to you for a moment about self deception. It is possible to deceive yourself. Our verse today warns us of this possibility. We could ‘stick our head in the sand’ and try to pretend that we can do what we like and get away with it. This verse states however that this would be amount to deceiving ourselves and the end result would be personally damaging. There is a principle at work here - you reap what you sow! This principle works in all spheres in life. The gap between sowing and reaping may vary depending on the situation. It is most vividly seen in the agricultural world. However it is also true in relationships, in business and financial matters. Why then would it not be true in the spiritual world. If we give time to God, invest in things that are of spiritual value, give priority to our spiritual health then we will reap the benefits in the long term.


Invest your life in the things of God for His glory and you will reap the results. If not in this life, in eternity. What a wonderful person our God is. We should praise and give glory to His name!
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Memories in Melton Mowbray





I have visited Melton Mowbray a few times over recent years. It is a quiet market town with the number of shops constantly reducing. The roads are very busy as it is a main route between Loughborough, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Grantham. Forty footers seem to specialise in winding their way through the town. One thing that did surprise me was that nearly all of the banks were represented in the town. In an age when banks are closing right, left and centre it is good to see a town where you can still 'visit the bank'.

We were in the town with a group of teenagers from a Bible Camp that I was speaking at in Harby, which is quite near by. I took the opportunity to have a look around and I have posted some photographs of the Melton Mowbray Town Estate. The Town Estate was established in 1549 and it has had a beneficial and positive influence on the townspeople of the Melton Mowbray. From the parts I saw the town is pretty and well kept. The Melton Mowbray Town Estate is in a fact an ancient charity, which was well ahead of it's time, carrying out all the functions that are now normally provided by local authorities. For example the Melton Mowbray Town Estate does or did the following:

  1. educate the children of the town (for over 320 years), 
  2. built a grammar school and other schools, 
  3. maintain the roads in the town, 
  4. constructed bridges, 
  5. provide street lighting, 
  6. provide a burial ground, 
  7. provided and maintained public wells and pumps for water, 
  8. provided a fire engine and escape ladder, 
  9. provided maintenance of the church clock and chimes, and since 1850
  10. it has been running weekly street markets. 
Wow, this is quite an amazing organisation especially in light of the length of time these services have been provided. That's old England for you. Civilisation at it's best. 

Yet, a town with such organisation and careful provision of services has still faced many days of sadness. Efficiency and even a caring community spirit cannot protect people from days of trauma and heartbreak. 

As I read the information boards about this community I was struck by the fact that this idyllic corner of England also had boards remembering the loss of life in 'The Great War'. It still had a 'Roll of Honour' remembering the souls who had given their lives for the freedom of it's people. Evil had disturbed the quiet lifestyle of it's people. The cruel hand of death has visited many a home as young men and women laid down their lives for the hard earned liberties we still enjoy.

Why should it be so I ask? Why does evil wreck everything? Why is life all of sudden shipwrecked by sadness and disaster? Is there hope of anything ever improving. You might argue that this was the past and that there will never be such wars again. My prayer is that it might not happen but I am not so sure. Most people see the potential of war in the actions and rhetoric of our current world leadership. 

The reason for the wickedness in the heart of humans is stated plainly in the Bible. Romans chapter 5 verse 12 states 'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned'. 

This is why evil exists and why it regularly affects every generation. But what can be done about it? Evil and it's disastrous effects are inevitable and unavoidable but is there anything that can be done to change the human heart?

The teaching of scripture is that we do not have the resources within ourselves to solve the problems of sin and evil. We cannot change human hearts by education, religion or any philosophical schemes. But there is an answer!

I will end by pointing you to the only realistic answer that I know - The Lord Jesus Christ. If you have read this so far please don't stop now. I believe that you need to hear what I have to say.

The teaching of Jesus answers the questions about evil and offers the solution. The solution is based on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. He said one day when anticipating his death on the cross 'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me -- This he said, signifying what death he should die,' John 12:32,33. The Lord Jesus was not saying that everyone would become a believer because of his death. He was saying that all sorts of people would come to him for salvation. 

Salvation and conversion is the greatest need of the human race. Our hearts are deceitful and wicked. Salvation doesn't reform our old sinful nature but make us new creations and gives us life to replace the deadness we had because of sin. 

I'll end with another quote from the Lord Jesus. It's found in Matthew chapter 18 verse 3 Jesus said 'Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'. 

What we need is conversion, individual by individual. Personal repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 

If you have questions and more information have a read of some of my other blogs and/or get in touch via stepcar61@gmail.com.  

















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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I'll get round to it sometime - maybe tomorrow!




I’ll get round to it sometime – maybe tomorrow!


How good are you at complaining. One man who was interviewed recently on television reminded us 

that whinging is different to complaining. Whinging is apparently just moaning but not doing anything about it. Formal complaining means that you are holding the service provider responsible for what they do or do not do and making sure that you get what you are paying for.


I have just come back from a trip to Africa. En-route our cases stayed in Dubai while we flew to Lusaka. They caught up with us eventually but we have a claim to lodge for extra expenses incurred as a result of an extra night that we stayed in Lusaka. Have I submitted it yet? I think you probably can guess the answer. 


Most of us feel that we deserve to get what we pay for. This is only fair and it is our right but how 


many of us actually get round to complaining when things go wrong. The purpose for writing this 


article is not actually to encourage you to complain (not that it would be a bad thing) but to point out


that most of us don’t get round to it very often. We mean to but we don’t quite get round to it. That’s 


true about a lot of things.



Think about this for example. How many of us have joined a gym and never used it? How often do we 


think about slimming but never quite get there? Or your mortgage – you know the rate could be lower 


but because of the hassle of changing provider we never get round to it. All of these examples are about


things that could improve our lives but we put off doing anything about it.


I want to ask you to consider another area of your life which we all tend to ignore and pretend that it’s 


too much hassle – that is your relationship or lack of one with God. We can all argue why we don’t 


think God is real but in our hearts we know that God is there. Most of us live life as if it will never end 


and accuse people of being morbid who raise the issues of life after death. But we all know that we will 


die one day and to ignore the afterlife is fatal. You say if I’m wrong, I’m wrong but the reality is if 


you’re wrong you will be lost forever in a place you don’t want to be. 



The reality is that when it comes to life and death, existence and consciousness, God, heaven, hell and 


the why do we exist questions we can’t work it all out on our own. We don’t have the capacity and 


ability to get our hands on the all the information we need. We weren’t about when the world began, 


we can’t propel ourselves forward to see what the future holds but we can access the greatest book ever 


given to humanity to read what God has revealed. This book, the bible, was given to us by God and it 


truthfulness in the ordinary things of life can be verified i.e. what it says about geography, history, 


science, medical issues etc. It was written this way to give us confidence that if it stacks up in the things 


we can understand then we can afford to trust God about the issues we don’t know about i.e. the big 


issues of life which affect us all.



The Bible is God’s revelation. He is telling us things that we would not otherwise know or understand.


I am asking you to consider this and to think it through. Here are some of the things God explains:



Why there is hurt, pain and death in life?  


God’s book says ‘by one man (Adam) sin came into the world and death by sin and so death passed 


upon all men’. We hurt because of the choices we make. Ignoring God hurts and not living the way that 


God created us to live hurts. 


Is there more to life than this? 


Jesus said that he came into the world so that we could have life as God intended. He explained that 


‘God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not 


perish but have everlasting life. God’s love for the human race was such that he sent His own Son, 


Jesus, into the world not to condemn us but to save us. It is the death of Jesus on the cross that paid in 


full the price that was required to clear our guilt and reconcile us to God. 



Is there life after death? 


The bible teaches there is. God has been there forever. He is the great uncaused cause of everything. 


The bible tells of an afterlife but it also teaches that Christ Jesus came into the world from heaven, the 


eternal living place of God. More than that it teaches that Jesus came back to life three days after he 


died and that over 500 people were witnesses of this.



But back to you. 


What are you going to do this time? Ignore what is being said! Look into it further? Read the Bible for 


yourself? Seek the Lord and pray, calling out to God to hear and answer. Can I remind you – there will 


come a time when it will be too late! Prepare to meet God today.

 

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