Friday, April 30, 2021

Achieving Contentment - 2 questions you should ask yourself?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

I think I am quite a contented person. My Christmas present list is usually non-existent, and when asked, I struggle to think of things I really need. Maybe this is because I am so well looked after that I have very little need of anything.

The whole idea of being content poses questions that we would be wise to ask regularly. Here are some questions to think about?

Monday, April 26, 2021

What should we do when unwelcome things come along?

Photo by Callum T on Unsplash

Photo by Filip Kominik on Unsplash

The year 2020 has brought some surprises, many of them unwelcome and none more so than this terrible coronavirus. None of us can escape its threat nor the prospect of its arrival on our doorstep. We have to take it seriously. It would be irresponsible to ignore the advice and not take precautions to limit its spread. No one has seen anything like this before.
What can we do when difficulties arise, when diseases like these come so close? We get the warnings, we take precautions and make preparations, but sometimes the best of these prove ineffective.
What else should we do? Is there someone to turn to?
Yes, there is! There is One who knows all about our troubles because He has been there before us in this sin-stained world. His name is Jesus Christ our Lord. Matthew 8.17 reminds us that “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses”.
Once He was with His friends crossing a lake in a small boat when a really wild storm sprang up and threatened to drown them all. They panicked and said to Him, “Do you not care that we are perishing?”
He calmed the storm and brought them safely to the shore. They marvelled at His power. He always cares. Read about it in Mark 4.35 - 41.
Whatever threatens us in life, and even death and the judgement for our sins, He has promised to carry us through in safety if we put our whole trust in Him. He is able and willing to save all who call upon Him. 

Used by kind permission of Bert Cargill, Scotland

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

What would you give for a Sports Car?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.

As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" He then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible on his father’s desk.

Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realizing his father was very old, he thought perhaps he should go to see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make the arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.

When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he was reading, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words... "PAID IN FULL".

Sometimes the packaging can be deceptive. Every year in December we commemorate the birth of a child who came in humility – born into a working class family and laid in a manger.

To the religious and influential of His day, this child was unacceptable because, in their eyes, He came packaged wrongly.  In their judgement He was from the wrong place, brought up in the wrong family, and taught things that clashed with their traditions. They wanted a king born in a palace to become their Messiah and they could not accept a humble servant as their king.

Sadly even today people find the servant heart of the Lord Jesus Christ unacceptable. He just does not fit in with their expectations. 

On the other hand, the ones who discover His true worth discover the reality of the words, “To those who received Him, to them gave He the authority to become the children of God.”

Written by Stephen Treseder For Messages with Meaning (18/04/21) and Your542Day


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Prince Philip 1921 - 2021

The first photo is courtesy of Unsplash, the rest by permission of Kirkcaldy Gospel Hall

“Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day?” (2 Samuel 3:38).

“They buried him ... among the kings, because he had done good ... , both toward God, and toward his house” (2 Chronicles 24:16).

Towards the end of Prince Philip’s funeral service, the Garter Principal King of Arms proclaimed the Styles and Titles of His Royal Highness:

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

What is greatest invention known to man?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

What do we all want to achieve in our lives?

That is a pretty searching question, but, if we are honest, we would all like to think that we have made some significant contribution to the world in the time we have spent here.

Even so, in actual fact, few of us make any real impact on society during our lives.  On the other hand, as we look at history there are some names that stand out in their contribution to the world. 

My education was in the sciences and names like Newton, Kelvin and Faraday were legendary in my experience, but so many of them brought contributions to science which, although they developed the working of science, were mostly theoretical. I am thinking of the Kelvin absolute temperature scale, Newton’s laws of motion and Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction.

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Getting what you don’t deserve!

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

Over Easter time you may have considered Jesus Christ and why He went to die on a cross for us. You may have stopped to think how much He must have loved us to suffer so much. You might even have contemplated why a God who is so affronted by sin would send His perfect, sinless Son to die for ungodly sinners like us.   

These questions are in one sense unanswerable! We cannot fathom the depths of God’s love and we certainly cannot understand His thoughts. The prophet Isaiah stated, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

Yet it is a stated fact that God’s word the Bible attests to, ‘That the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world!’ The Good News of Jesus Christ is that He loved you and died for you and if you believe on Him you will be saved.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Google it - where do you find the truth in 2021?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

I have learned a lot from my grandchildren.  At the moment they are thirteen and fifteen and I have enjoyed watching them grow from tiny babies into active and curious teenagers.  One of the things I have particularly loved about them was their curiosity.  They have always been full of questions such as “Why does the sun go in and out?” and “Why does the moon change shape?”  At the moment they think that grandpa knows everything.  Well, almost everything.

Jacob, the younger of the two, did catch me out some years back when he was nine.  We were travelling along the Mumbles Road at the time of a high tide when he came out with the question, “Grandpa, how much water is in the sea?”

I paused before answering. “A lot!” I replied.
He was not going to let me get away with that.
“I know, but how many litres is that?”
I shook my head.  “Sorry, I don’t know.”
He was quiet for a couple of minutes, then came out with the answer.
“We could Google it!”  Google!  The source of all information.  

Perhaps you remember the days before we had online information.  Then, to many, the definitive source of information was the Encyclopaedia Britannica with its multiplicity of volumes. I only ever saw a complete set of the Encyclopaedia when I was in school and wondered at the time how long it would take to read them all, but now we have Google and therein lies a problem, for not all the information online is correct.

A few years ago when Mary Berry was stepping down as judge on the Great British Bake Off, I was searching for something online, when, quite by accident I stumbled across a hyperlink which said, “New judge appointed for the Great British Bake Off.”

I was intrigued, and so I clicked on it to see who was going to replace the legendary Mary Berry.  The page I came on to had a large colourful picture of Mr Tumble complete with yellow bowler, red nose and spotted bow tie. For those of you unfamiliar with children’s TV, Mr Tumble is a modern version of Coco the Clown, and, yes, the page was a spoof.

Having said that, it was cleverly written and very convincing. It raises the question, how can we know what is right? Surrounded by conflicting opinions on the media and bombarded by everything on the internet, where can we find the truth.

The Bible tells us that truth is not found in a thing but in a person – The Lord Jesus Christ.  In fact, He was not just the source of truth but could make a remarkable statement.  In John 14 v 6 we read these words. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way the truth and the life.”  It was not that Jesus spoke the truth or represented the truth. He claimed that He WAS the truth. 

In this world of fake news when we are surrounded by some who would seek to deceive us, it is good to know the One who was and is totally trustworthy. No wonder, then, that millions down through the ages have trusted Him with their lives and committed their lives to Him.

Messages with Meaning (30/03/21) Written by Stephen Treseder for Your542Day
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