Saturday, October 30, 2021

In a nutshell - Part 1 - The Gospel in a nutshell


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

When I was a boy I always heard preachers say that a verse they quoted described the gospel in a nutshell. It was intriguing. What did they mean?

One dictionary definition says this about the phrase: ‘This hyperbolic expression alludes to the Roman writer Pliny's description of Homer's Iliad being copied in so tiny a hand that it could fit in a nutshell,’ Another source ( says that ‘In a nutshell is an idiom with its roots in Greece, nearly two thousand years ago. ... The phrase, in a nutshell, describes something that is brief or to the point. The expression, in a nutshell, may refer to an explanation that is given in a concise and precise manner, without referring to extraneous details’.

The statement from the Bible that was described as the gospel, in a nutshell, was this - ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life,’ John 3:16.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

What if you had two birthdays?

All photographs are used by permission of Unsplash 

For many, birthdays are a reason for a party and a time of celebration. These occasions are anticipated eagerly and children especially, await the day with glee, hoping that lots of cards will pour through the letterbox and many presents will be received. They proudly wear a badge displaying their age and are keen to remind family and friends weeks beforehand of the imminence of the all-important date.


Saturday, October 16, 2021

Two instructions you had better obey?

Photos courtesy of Storyblocks

Fulfilling the two great commandments (Matthew 22.36-40)

(this is truth for Christians) 

Love for God? 

We express this by our devotion to Him and His interests. We can do that as individuals and in local churches as is our norm. But now is not normal, so our individual devotion matters even more. When not able to meet together, our commitment to God must not waver!


Love for our neighbour

The best expression these days may be in selflessly protecting others from infection, isolating ourselves and saving our country’s resources from being stretched to breaking point.
Affirm your faith in Christ and your love for others by praying and continuing to serve your brothers and sisters in every way that you can. Firmly grasp His 'full assurance of hope,' Hebrews 6.11, as the storm rages around you. Hope is the spiritual anchor of every believer, and God will brighten our hope and comfort us the more as our burdens grow heavier. Remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind, 2 Timothy 1. 7.
In this time of distress, reach out to your heavenly Father in prayer. It is especially important that we make intercession for countries, governments, church leaders, communities, healthcare and other key workers, our families and neighbours, and our Christian brothers and sisters near us and in every land.
May we keep faithful and helpful, loving the Lord and loving each other.
“This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  (1 John 4.10)

Used by kind permission of Bert Cargill, Scotland

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Choices have consequences

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

We all face choices every day, from the trivial things of what to wear and what to eat, to the choices that are life changing that come along from time to time. Some people find these choices relatively easy while others agonise over these choices for an exceptionally long time.

When I was about 10 years old, I faced a choice that sticks in my mind. Earlier that day my mother had told me that I had to be home by 8 o’clock – without fail. As I say the words, they ring in my ears some 37 years later.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Men who want to be God v God who became man

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

History is replete with men who strived to be recognized as God. The ultimate power sought by many is to rule over other men and women and be worshipped by them. 

Before Jesus had reached His second birthday, He had already become the target of an assassination plot by King Herod, the ruthless and paranoid ruler of Roman-controlled Judea. Joseph and Mary, prompted by a dream from God, took the baby and fled to Egypt.

Egypt's history was one proud and glorious procession of kings spanning thirty dynasties and nearly 3,000 years. Egyptian kings--the pharaohs--were powerful figures and rich beyond imagination. They wielded wealth like a weapon, built sprawling cities and commanded huge armies.


Monday, October 04, 2021

It’s tough at the top

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

These days we are inundated with reality TV shows – talent shows like X factor, Britain’s got talent, the Voice and many others.  People are striving to make a name for themselves, but there is nothing new in that.

His initials were W.W., and in the 1930s and 1940s they were enough to identify him to most of America. He was widely considered the creator of modern gossip writing, and in his heyday this rude, abrasive, egotistical and witty man was the country's best known and most widely read journalist and one of its most influential. 

In 1943, when there were 140 million people in the United States, more than 50 million of them read his gossip column every day in more than 1000 newspapers, including his flagship, The New York Daily Mirror. Even more people listened to his weekly radio broadcast. Hated, feared and revered, he presided over Table 50 of the Stork Club in New York, creating and destroying celebrities at the drop of his trademark fedora. 
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