Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A gift you can’t buy

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

A heavy splash was followed by many ripples and then the water below the pier was still. David Morse, a missionary crouched on the low Indian pier. His eyes were riveted to the water, straining to see his Indian friend swimming in the deep. In a moment a dark head appeared. Then the old Indian pearl diver clambered on to the dock, grinning as he shook off the water. “This will be a good one,” said Rambhau, handing a large oyster to David Morse.

Prying open the shell, David exclaimed, 
“Have you ever seen a better pearl! It’s perfect, isn’t it?” 
“There are better pearls, much better. Why, I have one that...” 

Rambhau’s voice trailed off. “See this - the black speck here, and that tiny dent. It’s just as you say about your God. People look perfect to themselves, but God sees all the imperfections.”

Sunday, May 23, 2021


The word "awesome" is tossed around a lot these days. When people talk about cars, films, or songs, somebody will say, “That’s awesome!”  The truth is that if we call earthly mundane things "awesome" and then call God "awesome" we diminish how truly "awesome" He is. A friend of mine has a rule in the house—the word "awesome" is reserved only for God – and I really do agree!

Trivialising God is no trivial matter. He is far more than a companion who will fit into our “buddy system” or a divine ATM responding to our impulses. Until we are stunned by the awesomeness of God, we will be way too impressed with ourselves and lose the joy of the privilege of being able to be part of the family of an "awesome" God.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

God can make something of your life.

Apparently it is a true story that in a particular city in the United States of America an advertisement appeared on posters around the streets which announced that a great violinist would play in a certain theatre.  The attraction, which whetted the appetite of many people, was that he would play on a violin worth a thousand dollars (a huge sum of money in those days).  The people packed into the theatre and it was soon filled with the most beautiful music which enraptured the audience and it was a wonderfully exquisite experience.  People were so glad they had come to the theatre and paid the entry price. It was all worthwhile.

Then the whole atmosphere changed because suddenly, to the alarm of the people and to the consternation of everyone in the audience, the musician stopped playing and threw down the violin onto the stage floor. His actions, so unexpected, were done with such violence and it was all compounded as he stamped on the violin and crushed it to pieces and walked off the stage. He left what seemed to be just a mound of broken parts and there was stunned silence as the shocked audience looked on in horror.  They tried to assimilate what had happened and why such a gifted musician had done such a dreadful act.  Some people thought that he must have lost his mind and become deranged in some way to have deliberately destroyed such a beautiful instrument which had cost so much. It all seemed such a waste.   

Friday, May 21, 2021

Banishing loneliness!


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

One of the most undesirable experiences that we can have is loneliness. Some folks look back to childhood days when they were surrounded by family members. However, eventually, the great enemy, death, gate-crashed the family circle and, one by one, loved ones were taken, and loneliness ensued. Others feel the emptiness that comes with loneliness, especially when their spouse is taken away after many years of marriage. How hard it is, not least in the long winter evenings, to be alone in the house that formerly was alive with conversation.


Monday, May 17, 2021

A hopeless situation!


Death seems hopeless, but let me remind you that there is hope to be found in Jesus, even in a hopeless situation.

Facing Death

Before Covid, from time to time, I visited people who were sick. Sometimes I called at their homes, but often I popped into the hospital to see them. Hospitals can be very sad places. The circumstances and struggles of life and the prospect of facing death are often confronted head-on in a hospital.

Nurses, Doctors, Porters and Cleaners are often amazing people. Their skills and abilities far exceed the basic requirement to clean, transport and provide medical care. Usually, these unrecognised people have a kind word to say and the ability to encourage, amuse, and lift a person’s spirit. They are quite an amazing group of people.


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What has COVID-19 made you?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

It has now been over a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, it has claimed millions of lives and changed how each of us relates to and navigates the world. All of us have been affected, but how has the pandemic impacted our lives these past 14 months? Here is a story that may explain how we have coped and reacted during these difficult times.

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.  She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.  It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. 

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water.  In the first, she placed carrots, in the second, she placed eggs, and in the last, she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil on the gas stove without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners.  She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.  She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.


Saturday, May 08, 2021

Looking forward to flying again!


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

One of the benefits of travelling is that I get to fly from time to time. I enjoy flying and am not too bothered if the plane is large or small. It's been a long time since I have flown, so I am looking forward to the opportunity when it comes again.

Once when I was visiting Vancouver, I had the opportunity to fly in a three-seater small plane. It seemed tiny to me. We took off and climbed high above Vancouver, had a quick look over the edge of the Rockies, dipped over downtown Vancouver and returned to the airfield. I enjoyed it, but I was trusting the pilot, the technicians who maintained the plane, air traffic control, and many other people. Events in life are often only safe because people care, prepare and plan things in advance. 

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Who was Jesus?

Photo courtesy of Storyblocks

Mar 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

Photo courtesy of Storyblocks

 All that the centurion witnessed on that historic day brought him to this conclusion ‘truly this man was the Son of God’ As we consider all that the Saviour said and did, we conclude the same. How fundamental is this truth in days when so many try to deny it!

 Our passage today brings us to Calvary and reminds us of all that happened there. This day was pivotal in the history of the world. It was planned before the world began, spoken of in the Garden of Eden and illustrated by pictures and type throughout the Bible.

The Lord Jesus Christ is at the centre of these events as the Lamb of God that bears away the sin of the world. Have you been to the foot of the cross and realised what the Saviour did for you? Have you bowed the knee in repentance and believed in your heart that it was for you personally that He died? Do you believe that the man who died on that cross that day was none other than the Son of God? If not, then this remains the single most important thing that you can do in your life. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved!

Jesus Christ was a unique man. He was unique in His birth; born of a virgin Mat 1:23. He was unique in His life; in Him is no sin 1 Jn 3:5. He was unique in His death; death had no claim on Him. He was unique in His resurrection. There have been those who set out to disprove this truth of the resurrection and ended up writing about the evidence that supports it after they themselves came to trust the one that they wanted to disprove. Truly this man was the Son of God!  

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Polling Day


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Polling day is very near. By putting a cross against a name on a ballot paper, you can choose who or what you think is best for you and for the country.

But you know that a cross, the X, can have other meanings too. Sometimes X shows that we are wrong. Remember school days when our work was returned with some ticks where we got it right, and often a few Xs to show where we had got it wrong? Oh, dear!


Tuesday, May 04, 2021

One minute can change everything?


A lot can change in a minute. We all know the cliches about a week being a long time (in politics), and a lot can happen in a day, but the truth is that life can change completely in less than a minute. 

For instance, if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, something can happen that you never envisaged and suddenly, everything changes. I’ll never forget when eleven-year-old Rhys Jones from my home city of Liverpool was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He lived in a respectable home in a decent area of the city. His mum worked in our local Tesco Store. He was just an ordinary boy enjoying life, loving his football and playing out, as boys do. But on that sad day, he died in the crossfire between two rival gangs. For the Jones family on the 22nd of August 2007, everything changed in a moment. His life was ended, his parents and family were devastated, and his blood was on the hands of the young man who pulled the trigger and those who were involved in providing the weapon. 

I apologise if the recall of this tragic incident drags up painful memories for any who read this. I cannot express my sympathy enough for your loss and the lifelong grief that results from it. I’m not writing to try to explain why such horrible things happen - apart from the obvious fact that people are capable of doing evil things and good and that they will be held responsible for what they have done on the future day of judgment. I am writing to remind you of how life can change irrevocably in a moment. 

So, what are the lessons we need to learn and what difference can they make in our lives? There are many!

Enjoy the moment!
Value and cherish your relationships!
Don’t take people for granted!
Make the most of the time you have!
Things are not that important; people are!
Tell people you care and appreciate them while you can!
Try to live without regrets!
As much as it depends on you, live at peace with others!
Forgive and forget!

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Self Deception - an interesting tale!


All photos courtesy of Storyblocks

Have you heard the story of the bank robber named McArthur Wheeler in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who was told that if he rubbed lemon juice on his face, he wouldn’t need to use a mask to avoid detection because his face would be invisible to the cameras? This is not a joke; it’s true! He bought a Polaroid camera and a couple of lemons, squeezed them and applied the juice to his face. He then pointed the camera at his face and clicked, rotated the camera and clicked. He finished up with a photo of the ceiling but no image of his face, and he fully believed that the lemon juice did the trick.
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