Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year

For some of you 2022 has started, for some it’s still a couple of hours until the old year passes and the new arrives. Whichever camp you are in Happy New Year to you. 

May you know the blessing of God in 2022, Kind regards, Stephen

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Facing decisions - Crossroads

Pictures used by permission of Unsplash 

The classic World War II movie ‘The Longest Day’ portrays one of the clever military strategies of the German army. After the Allies had taken the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, their orders were to assemble in the town of St. Mere-Eglise in France. When they saw the sign for St. Mere-Eglise, naturally they proceeded in that direction. There was only one problem: The Germans had turned the sign to point in the opposite direction.

Unknowingly, the Allied forces confidently followed the sign and started marching toward the German trap. The hero of the Allied forces, played by John Wayne, showed up just in time to rescue them from certain destruction. One glance at his compass told him they were heading for disaster. “Hey, where’s everybody going?” he shouted. “Am I the only one here with a compass? It’s east; it’s east. Somebody moved the sign!”

Friday, December 24, 2021

What is the real reason for the season?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Well, here we are. Christmas is just around the corner! How have your preparations gone? I hope you achieved what you set out to do. I'm nearly there.

It's always a rush at this time of the year. Whether it's getting as up to date as possible with your job, buying presents, or getting the food ready for Christmas (not that I do much to get the food prepared for Christmas - my skills are more in the washing up department), it gets hectic. In addition, there are a host of events to attend - the school nativity, Carol Services, and lots of other Christmas-related events.

Do you ever ask yourself why we go to all the bother?


Saturday, December 18, 2021

O holy night - Carol Lyrics

O holy night! 
The stars are brightly shining 
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth! 
Long lay the world in sin and error pining 
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth. 
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn! 

Fall on your knees 
O hear the angel voices 
O night divine 
O night when Christ was born 
O night divine 
O night, O night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming 
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand 
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming 
Here come the wise men from Orient land 
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger 
In all our trials born to be our friend. 


Truly He taught us to love one another 
His law is love and His gospel is peace 
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother 
And in His name all oppression shall cease 
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, 
Let all within us praise His holy name.


I was walking through Belfast International Airport, entering   W H Smith’s when I caught the words of this Carol being played over the airwaves. For a Christian, it is great to hear the message of Christ being played in public places. At this time of the year, amidst the mixed messages of the fairytale Christmas, the message of the birth of Christ and its true meaning still gets a fair hearing. 

As I read the lyrics of this Carol and pondered them I was struck again by the clarity of the message the writer injected into the words.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

No room for Jesus

I wonder if you have ever thought about how unpopular Jesus was in his day. The impression we get at times is that he was loved by everyone right up until his rejection by the Jewish authorities, his prosecution by the Roman authorities and his ultimate death of crucifixion.

From the early days of his time on earth the Lord Jesus was excluded and rejected. 

There is quite a considerable period (from age 12-30) where we have very little information about the behaviour and activities of the Lord Jesus but we do have the commentary of God, the Father, when he publicly spoke from heaven (which was a very unusual thing to do) and said the he was delighted with His Son. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

A most unusual arrival of a baby

All photographs courtesy of Unsplash

‘Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,’ Isaiah 7:14

This Bible verse reminds us that the birth of the Messiah (Christ) by a virgin girl was not unexpected. God had promised from the very arrival of evil into the world that the solution would be in the form of a child born of a woman without the aid of a man i.e. the birth of a child through a virgin girl.

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