Monday, February 28, 2022

One Event - Two reactions


All photos courtesy of Unsplash

One Event - Two reactions


I have no doubt that we are all concerned about the events of the past week. What will be the outcome of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? How can one man act without due regard for the opinion of the Ukrainian people? But, if you are a Russian citizen you may well have a completely different reaction to these events. One event can often produce two reactions.

In April 2018, on the anniversary of the recommencement of the State of Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported that ‘While Israeli Jews mark Independence Day with fireworks and barbecues, the flags that sprout everywhere in Jewish areas will be absent from Arab towns, and the thoughts of many there will turn to what they term the “Nakba” (catastrophe) that they associate with Israel’s birth. 

The same date and occasion produced two different reactions from two diverse groups of people - gladness or grief, delight or dread, pleasure, or pain.


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Men who would be God

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

This blog post was written before Russia invaded Ukraine. It is, however, very pertinent as President Putin of Russia obviously feels that he has the power and right to invade a peaceful nation to expand his territory and create another iron curtain between him and 'the West'. 

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. They may not use the term ‘God’ but it is self-evident that crave the power and glory that only rightly belongs to God.

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.


Friday, February 18, 2022

Power - The big debate

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

Power. We all use it in the form of electricity, gas, petrol, diesel and without these sources of power our lives could not go on. 

As the years have gone by mankind has devised more and more ways of finding power. It was in the last century that science developed nuclear power. Whether we are  talking about nuclear fission or nuclear fusion the numbers are immense and the energy released when matter is converted into pure energy is enormous. 

In 1945 the first of two atomic bombs was dropped on Japan. It was only then that the general public saw the incredible effect of nuclear fission. It was calculated that the blasts that levelled Hiroshima and Nagasaki each had an energy release equivalent to 10 million tons of TNT.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Why I forgive people.

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Do you find it hard to forgive? This is a problem that many people grapple with, affecting every aspect of their lives. People do or say things that hurt us, and we should forgive them and move on, but so often, we don't. Instead, we continue to feel the pain and are filled with resentment. In our hearts, we are saying, 'Why in the world should I forgive that person who hurt me so much?' 'You have no idea how much they hurt me.' 'Why should I offer kindness to that person?'.


Let me give you two reasons (there are more, but I will restrict myself to two) why I, as a Christian, believe that I must forgive people:  


Firstly, I need to forgive those who have hurt me because God has forgiven me. Jesus Christ died for my sins and offered me forgiveness when I was most unlovable. God has been kind to me; now, I should be kind to others. I was reading Luke's Gospel chapter 17 recently. Jesus is teaching his disciples about forgiveness. Confront the person who has offended you, He says. If they admit they are wrong, then forgive them. Even if that same person offends you seven times in one day, forgive them seven times. In another passage, Jesus said to forgive 70 x 7, that's 490 times. I think he was saying - 'stop counting and keep forgiving'. That is such a high standard, but I am so glad that this is the way that God has been with me. He forgave me because Jesus took my punishment on the cross - He suffered as the righteous one for the unrighteous (that's us) to bring us to God. It is an amazing fact that 'through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins,' Acts 13. 38. If you trust Him, that is, believe and repent (that is, turn away from your sins), you can experience his full and final forgiveness. It's a wonderful thing to be forgiven.


Friday, February 04, 2022

Adele Asks

All photos courtesy of Unsplash

Adele once asked - ‘Hello can you hear me?’ Adele has sold over 50 million albums worldwide, won 15 Grammies, 9 Brit awards, and is worth over $400 million. 

In 2021 Adele released her long-anticipated Album 30, which was given rave reviews. The album is deemed a ‘masterpiece’ of songwriting.

Having listened to the album, I was struck by some of the lyrics in the song ‘I Drink Wine’. They talk about playing hard, working hard, and not knowing anybody who is really satisfied with life. So sad, but is Adele really that unique in her outlook?

According to the Life Happiness and Satisfaction Survey carried out by Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser in 2017, people as a whole are less satisfied and happy than they were in 1973 compared with 2017.

So the question is - can we be truly satisfied? 

Jesus said, ‘but whosoever drinketh the water that I shall give him shall never thirst,’ John 4. 14. He promises true satisfaction to those who wait on Him. Further, in the gospel of John, he said, ‘I came to give life and life more abundantly,’ John 10. 10.

We can find rest In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ by accepting his offer to ‘come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest,’ Matt. 11. 28. 

The Bible promises joy and happiness to all who are prepared to trust God - ‘Happy are they that trust in the Lord,’ Psalm 144. 15. 

What about the peace we all dream of - well that’s available as well - ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you not as the world giveth, I give unto you let not your heart be troubled,’ John 14. 27. 

So can I get you thinking! If you are dissatisfied with life at the moment. Please consider the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He came to this world lived a perfect life (despite many trials, rejection, ridicule, and abusive treatment. Eventually, at the age of 33, he hung on a cross as a sacrifice for sin to ‘bring us to God,’ 1 Pet. 3. 18.

People who have faith and trust in the Lord Jesus don’t necessarily have easy lives. God doesn’t promise that, but he does promise eternal life in heaven and peace that ‘passes all understanding,’ Phil 4:7.

The Christian can be satisfied in the person of Jesus Christ knowing that the Bible is true when it says ‘God never lies,’ Titus 1:2. The promises that we have just considered are true. Jesus is the same ‘yesterday, and today, and forever,’ Heb. 13. 8.

I pray that Adele will find the satisfaction she so desperately wants in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

Written by a Guest Blogger

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