Friday, October 30, 2020


Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

It is estimated that there are between 5,000 and 7,000 languages throughout the world. Each language has its own alphabet, the majority of them have 26 letters in their alphabet but there are some that differ for example, Hebrew has 22, Arabic has 28, Scandinavian languages have 29, Russian has 33 and so on. As children in primary school we were taught the alphabet of our native tongue but most children have the ability to speak their native language before they go to school.

At the United Nations the representatives for each nation sit at their desks in the debating chamber.  There is a room overlooking the chamber that houses the interpreters who can translate what is being said into the language of their representative country. This reveals to us the importance of having the correct understanding of any communication being made, accuracy is of prime importance. The two main languages spoken in the United Nations building are English and French. Most notices around the building are written in these two languages.  


Thursday, October 29, 2020

Tyrannical Change

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

I love books. I always have. And over the years I have accumulated quite a collection of books. I should say I 'had' accumulated quite a collection – until our last house move. As we moved from a house with three large bedrooms and downsized to a bungalow with two small bedrooms, most of the books had to go.

It reminded me of a story of two men talking together.  One of them, who like me was an avid book enthusiast was complaining to his friend.

"My wife has been creating about my books,” he moaned.  “She says that if I buy any more books, then she’ll leave me!”

“That’s a bit tough!” said his friend sympathetically.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

COVID-19 Learning to live by the rules

I have been considering the effects of COVID-19 on our society and on us as individuals. It has become the one issue that affects and influences everything else we do. Sometimes I would just like to get on with my life, but then often things are not that simple. Life is what it is, and we need to make the necessary adjustments and get on with it. All the regular warnings and directions that bombard us can desensitise us and make us feel numb. My wife continually has to remind me to keep my distance when in the shops or on the street. She is a lot more aware of the two-meter rule than I seem to be. All these reminders are a bit like the safety procedures we are given every time we board a flight. We think we could do the routine for the airline staff, but we’d probably struggle as most of us don’t listen as intently as we should. It feels like we are being told the same things repeatedly. Still, at the end of the day, we need to be consistently warned, as we can become complacent very quickly and need to know what to do in case of an emergency.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Here today, and gone tomorrow!

    Photo by Ethan McArthur on Unsplash

    Photo by Josue Isai Ramos Figueroa on Unsplash

    Photo by Emiel Molenaar on Unsplash

With the speed and facility of modern travel it is possible to have breakfast in the UK and tea in the USA. In travel terms the world has shrunk and this has opened up a whole new vista on holiday destinations with many companies specialising in long haul flights to exotic and distant locations. Travellers are less restricted in their choice and even the most remote places have become accessible, so you can be here today and almost anywhere on earth tomorrow. Maybe, even now as you read this article, you have read the brochures, planned your summer holiday and then wondered if it would ever happen in a COVID infested world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Lessons in managing your income!

Picture courtesy of Unsplash - Damir Spanic

Picture courtesy of Unsplash - Nathan Dumlao 

Picture courtesy of Unsplash - Aron Visuals 

Imagine that there is a bank which credits your account with £86,400 every morning, every day. It carries no credit over from day to day. At the end of the day anything you fail to use in the day is wiped out and the following day you receive another £86,400.

What would you do?

It goes without saying that you would draw out every penny and use it. Only a fool would throw away such a resource. Surprisingly, every one of us has such a bank. Its name is ‘time’.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Loneliness - a side effect of the COVID crisis

Provided courtesy of Unsplash - Keegan Houser

Provided courtesy of Unsplash - Lucrezia Carnelos 

Provided courtesy of Unsplash - Ann Humphries 

I read this comment in the ‘The Guardian’ newspaper a while ago - ‘The  dilemma, I’m 22 years old and going into my fourth year in medical school. I have been using  study to escape loneliness, insecurity and anxiety that arose from the stress of the course and my failure to establish friends’.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

World War 2 Artefacts

All pictures courtesy of Unsplash 

As a young boy, I was always fascinated by a few artefacts from World War II that were dotted around my grandparents’ house. These included large brass shells that had been polished and transformed into umbrella stands, some wooden boxes, an old army belt and an actual incendiary bomb that had been made safe.

I was always fascinated by history and would ask my grandfather to tell me stories from his experiences during the war. Even as a young boy I recognised that he had told me stories reluctantly and that these stories had been somewhat sanitised for my hearing.

My grandfather believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. As a Christian, at the outbreak of World War II, he didn’t want to fight and possibly be taking the lives of enemy soldiers and in effect ushering them into eternity, which they may not have been prepared for. He believed, as the Bible teaches that there are two eternal destinations, Heaven for those that accept God’s forgiveness and Hell for those who refuse the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

To avoid being put into this position, he decided to join up early so that he would have a choice where he served. He chose to join the Medical Corp, so that he wouldn’t have to carry arms. 

One of the first jobs he was given to do was just outside Bristol on the Downs. As the bombers flew over from Germany to bomb Bristol, they would send the first wave to drop incendiary devices to light the way, pointing out the targets to the second wave of bombers. He along with a few others were asked to light fires on the Downs to deflect the bombers away from the city, thus saving lives. Obviously, he with his comrades were in great danger. They had to dive into a bunker pulling sandbags over the door while bombs dropped around them.

My grandfather served as part of the Medical Corp in many areas, such as North Africa and Italy, he received many medals for bravery. He did this not carrying guns, but stretchers, pulling many soldiers from the battlefield. His faith in Jesus Christ had taught him to show love to those who had not shown love to him. In fact, he knew that our sin had made us enemies of God. God was not our enemy, we were His!

How did God react to our hostility? Did He treat us as an enemy?  No not at all, the Bible says that while we were still sinners, doing the very thing that God hates… Christ died for us.

Another Christian relative of mine found himself guarding a German war hero, this man had been awarded an Iron Cross by his country for bravery. Some of the other guards treated him badly, but my relative showed him kindness. As a result, he reacted with gratitude and cut a part of the ribbon from his Iron Cross and gave it to him.

God’s love is immense! Jesus Christ died taking the punishment that we deserved.  He expects us to react with gratitude, trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and allowing Him to lead in our lives.

In the box among my grandfather’s medals is the piece of ribbon that was given, it obviously had great significance to those involved.

When we read the Bible and think of how much God has loved us, how do we react? Do we reject Him or do we worship Him and trust in Him for what Jesus Christ has done on the cross for us?

Messages with Meaning written by Stuart Scammell for 542day and published with permission
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