Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Battle is on!

All Photographs courtesy of Unsplash

The fight against coronavirus continues unabated, and the war may not be over for some time yet. Everyone who is contributing to it deserves our sincere thanks and needs a place in our daily prayers. We have our part to play too, of course, obeying the rules to stop the spread of infection, and doing what we can to help, alongside what others are doing in a big way, devotedly and sacrificially.


We remember NHS staff risking their lives on the front line for the sake of those who are ill. Sadly this week more doctors and nurses working in UK hospitals have died, as have many more across the world. Words often quoted from the Bible come to mind: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends.” 

Monday, December 21, 2020


All photos used by permission of Unsplash


We are getting more used to self-isolation, strange though it is! And, sadly, it looks as if it could be getting worse again. We hope and pray that it does limit the spread of this dreadful disease, still at large almost everywhere.
I am always glad of a friendly voice to chat with, or a message to read or listen to, so here is something to think about - about people in the Bible who were isolated, not on government instructions, but on God’s instructions. If you want to read about them again, the relevant chapters, from the Bible, for each of them are in brackets. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Be still . . .

All photographs used by permission of Unsplash

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46.10)
Our valued NHS staff can’t relax and be still just now, run off their feet caring for people. Many others are busy keeping our food supplies going. We thank them for their courage, and pray for their safety. For most of us though, everything is strangely quiet, the streets are empty such as we’ve never seen before. We have the opportunity to “Be still”.  
Sometimes we are too busy to settle down, to quieten our thoughts, to focus on the most important things in life. Whatever else may be important to us, nothing is more important for us all just now than listening to God, and speaking to Him about whatever concerns us. As we listen to Him in the stillness, He listens to us as we pray.
You could read Psalm 46 where our key verse comes from. It describes in graphic language situations which seem out of control, threatening and upsetting, like what is facing people all over the world right now.
Notice first v.5 – God is right there, and He promises to help, to keep us steady, to calm our fears: “therefore we will not fear” (v.2). We read this also in Hebrews 13.5-6: “He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you, so we may boldy say ... I will not fear”. Also in Psalm 23, even in the valley of the shadow of death “I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” So for now and for always, let us “trust and not be afraid” (Isaiah 12.2).
Now notice v.10: “Be still ...” He wants us to know that He is GOD.
We should “Sit still”- waiting for a promise to come true (Ruth 3.18).

Then three times in the Bible we read that we should “Stand still “ -  
·       In Exodus 14.13  - to trust the great power of God to save us.
·       In 1 Samuel 9.27 - to listen to the good Word of God to guide us.
·       In Job 37.14 - to consider the wondrous works of God all around us, to lift our spirits to worship Him who made them all. 
If you want to sing something about being still, try this one 
(tune Finlandia)
Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Here is another one, one from Sunday School days 
(tune What a friend we have in Jesus)
Said the robin to the sparrow, “Friend I’d really like to know
Why those anxious human beings rush about and worry so!”
Said the sparrow to the robin, “Friend I think that it must be
That they have no heavenly Father, such as cares for you and me!”
So the robin and the sparrow sang their chorus, O so sweet:
“Don’t you know that Jesus loves you, come and gather round HIs feet.
He who cares for robin redbreast, He who marks the sparrow’s fall
Is the One who died to save you, for He loves you, one and all”

Written and used by kind permission of Bert Cargill, Scotland 


Tuesday, December 01, 2020

What is the point of resting?

All pictures used by permission of Unsplash

I would like to share some thoughts on resting with you today.

“There just are not enough hours in the day” would suggest that maybe you are not managing time effectively or that your ‘things to do’ list is too ambitious. There is  nothing wrong with aspirational targets, so says the school teacher!

To have a break or rest is so very vital to our well being and health; that is physical health, emotional health and mental health. These seem to be a very real issue for all kinds of people these days and from all age backgrounds.
Let’s face it, there is nothing better than looking forward to a long deserved holiday. It is very much a break from normal life and day-to-day stresses. If it is a long weekend, a 4 day 3 night break, a week, 10 days, a fortnight, 3 weeks, a month or more, it is a well earned opportunity to laze by a pool, sunbathe on a beach, visit places of interest and relax.
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