We love labels. I mean, we really love them. We find safety and comfort in the ability to put a label on something and therefore attribute a list of qualities to it and conclude how it will behave. We interpret our surroundings and our understanding of the world through a never ending, intertwined series of these labels. Today it is rainy. Today it is sunny. That person is fun. That person is peculiar. This is what it looks like to be strong. This is what it looks like to be
Please take a little time to read from Matthew's gospel chapter 25 Matt 25:14-30 parable of the talents
Matt 25:31-45 the return of the king If you don't know these stories well, then do please get out your Bible and have a read. Do it now. It might be urgent We are told the wise servants acted with urgency to invest what was given to them. The third servant acted urgently too and very quickly buried the talent given, hid it away out of sight. I asked what a wise kingdom inve
Tonight I wanted to just reflect on something that I’ve been thinking about since our last Tuesday Zoom life group. We started, (and I say started because we ran out of time and never finished it, im sure there will be a return to it in the near future!), a great discussion about why and also how we should share the Gospel of Jesus…The thing that provoked my thinking however was specifically the WHY. I’ve heard it said by many a preacher that the why is simple, ‘If we had th
I’ve been asking God what I should write about. I thought perhaps God wanted something light, so I ought to share the story I recently read about the Pastor and his wife were having a disagreement and giving each other the silent treatment. The next day however the pastor realised that he’d need his wife to wake him at 5am so he could leave to catch an early morning flight he had to take. He didn’t want to be the first to break the silence (and lose), so he wrote on a piece
Recently, Helen and myself went to the lake district for our holiday. We stayed in Barrow-in-Furness but we travelled around to various locations during our time there. This picture is what you see when approaching a town called Ulverston, just a few miles away from Barrow. It's known by the locals as the Hoad Hill monument, officially its the John Barrow monument, but I affectionately called it the "pepper pot".
Ulverston is famous for being the birthplace of one half of one
We’ve been very fortunate to have a week away by the sea. We’ve taken the dogs on the beach every day and one thing they particularly enjoy is fetching back the ball out of the sea. They love to swim, fetch and jump, body surfing the waves. Great fun. The other day I threw one bright yellow tennis ball just a little too far though and with the roughness of the sea the dogs looked, considered, and then decided they weren’t going to bring it back. I wasn’t ready to jump in,
We are in difficult times. Things seem to be easing a little with still a lingering thought of the virus becoming worse again over the winter.
I think I can safely say that none of us planned this year with any thought of covid 19. The virus has pretty much stifled plans and our lives for the best part of 6 months.
Can we say though that God knew? I think we can. Does anything happen that God does not know about? I’m not so sure it does.
We have been without our Comfort blank
Sometimes when you are in the midst of a difficult situation it's easy to feel that things are out of your control. Events including the ongoing Covid pandemic , global catastrophes and challenging personal circumstances may leave us feeling that perhaps God is not in control. During our Bible study time this month, John and I have been studying Ruth. A lovely story I hear you say, a story of love and compassion, and yes it is, but we delved more into the prophetic story that
God is a mystery don’t you think? To imagine that we can fully understand a creative force such as God is foolishness itself. Religion itself isn’t simple. Christianity isn’t simple. Some people may look at us as Christians and somehow relegate us to a sort of simple thinking person who needs to believe in a God to simply explain away all of our life experiences both good and bad. But that notion itself is too simple. We are complicated, life is complicated, things are diffic
I read once that ‘faith is like treading on tissue paper trusting there’s a rock underneath’. I don’t know about you but I’ve trodden on a lot more tissue paper during lockdown! Of course, God has always been there underneath as my Rock to guide and encourage me, even if it’s taken me a while to realise that in some situations. I’ve been reading the Bible more in lockdown. (One of the many things that had been on my ‘to do’ list for a while!) I still keep finding how exciting
The other day I was making dinner for the family and we had some potatoes to use up so I decided to make homemade chips. I’ve done it many times before and never had an issue. I was in a positive mood and having fun and in my haste I put too many chips in at once. The oil boiled up really quickly spilling all over the hob and surfaces. It was steaming and smoking but thank God I managed to quickly remove the pan from the heat without spilling any on myself. I began to call fo
If doors are closing, don’t assume it’s God who’s doing the closing, If doors are closing, don’t assume it isn’t God either. The Lord is quite capable of opening and closing any door He chooses. If He decides a door is open then who will shut it? (see Rev 3:7-8) In the Hebrew scriptures we are told of a particularly grotty king who closed the doors to the temple of the Lord making sure ordinary God fearing people could not enter the Master’s presence. Take a look at 2 Chronic
Do you ever feel anonymous? We probably all do at times or in some circumstances. When you meet people do you note a vague look cross their face when you introduce yourself? Do people often say, ‘Oh yes I know your husband, wife, mother, brother…?’ Do people often get your name wrong? I get Marry, Mary and Maria all the time. It’s the least we can do to get names right, don’t you think? The current isolation may not help either as we may feel more alone and perhaps even forgo
I have been a keen amateur photographer for many years. I would not claim to be particularly good at it but I do enjoy seeking out that “special” picture, be it a good landscape, sunset/rise or wildlife picture. I have even photographed a few weddings in my time.
The thing about a picture is it captures a moment in time and place that will never be seen again and it tells the story of that moment.
Pictures are so important to all of us in this visual society that we live i
We are currently living in a time of uncertainty, a time where doubt clouds our every move. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking over the lockdown period and, there are a few certainties that I have for as and when we get back to some kind of normality. 1. I’m certain that I’ll never again be cajoled into cutting someone else’s hair, no matter how much it’s irritating them. 2. I’m certain that the garden furniture purchased especially for our ‘2020 summer holiday in the garden’,
It happened to them just like the proverb: ‘…A dog returns to his own vomit…The sow that was washed returns to her wallowing in the mire…’ 2 Peter 2:22. Our dog Wesley is forever betrayed by a poor sensitive stomach. Feed him anything but chicken and you’ll pay for it. Trouble is he doesn’t learn. As soon as it’s up and out he will be following after the grand-kiddies again to see if they drop a tasty morsel. Sometimes they do not get chance to drop it, so much as he will thi
Something I really miss is being outside in nature. I love climbing to the top of a hill and looking out as far as I can see. I love being near water, watching it shimmer on a quiet lake, listening to the gentle trickle of a stream, the river rushing and flowing or the loud crash of waves on the beach. Doesn't matter which, there’s something so peaceful to me about being still, looking out at nature. I could spend hours just sitting, watching, absorbing. The other day I was f
It’s my habit to walk the dogs early in the morning. We’re lucky in that just around the corner is a public footpath running across farmland and countryside, which makes it an ideal destination for our dawn stroll. I really enjoy being out as the world is waking and coming to life with the birds singing their hearts out as the sun slowly rises. I have several routes I take, but at some point in all of these I walk around the edge of a couple of fields where the farmer has pla
The motto of the Scouts which I was a part of in my teens was– “Be Prepared.” The theme of Chris’s message on Sunday was – Be prepared.
How I wish I had held true to that over recent weeks. A haircut was already over-due before lockdown, now I do not know when it will get done. My dental check-up was overdue before lockdown soon it will be an annual check up rather than six months! As one of life’s procrastinators, leaving things to the last minute then having to rush to get