Category Archives: Random Writings

Through the Bible in one year 2018; 24th February

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me (Psalm 54 v4)

Life can be hard sometimes. We all have different situations to deal with and I often wonder how people who don’t have God in their lives cope.

You see when “life” takes over and all the stress it brings it is very comforting to know that even when things appear to be going wrong or everything seems to be happening at once, the knowledge that God is in control, that he loves us and has promised to care for us, is very reassuring. With that we can be sure that somehow, if we are trusting Him, it will all work out.

When we decided we needed to move to a smaller home we had planned on taking about a year to sort out a few things on our old home and put it on the market before looking for our new place.

However for health reasons we realised that perhaps we need to get the process started…..

Lots happened that would take too long to tell you about but to give you a taste;

A few weeks later the Dr. advised that an operation was required more urgently than scheduled and to try and get it brought forward (virtually impossible in the UK) We were booked immediately after to meet with the vendor of a property we had seen to confirm our purchase offer. From there to contact hospital re surgery “oh yes we can fit you in next Tuesday (Our house was scheduled to go on the market Monday)

This would mean hubby would be “out of action” for 6 weeks and that he would not return to his job.

Um. OK Lord, we think you know what you are doing.

The legal process in England is stressful and that is another story but Gods timing is perfect.

We had a few weeks to settle into our new home (and more importantly get the cat settled) when we had a family bereavement which meant a lot of travelling for a while.

There is a lot more I could tell you about there too but this is a blog not a book ⏳

God has sustained us and provided for us through this time and many others and we know that he will continue to do so.

The readings for Saturday are;

Leviticus 19 & 20

Psalm 55

Luke 11

Advertisements

“Billy”

I usually refrain from making any comments or “tributes ” when I hear of the death of someone famous.

It’s not that I don’t care or feel sad at the news, I do, but feel that my thoughts are irrelevant especially as in the majority of cases I have not actually met the person and am mindful to respect their families and loved ones as they have lost someone precious to them who is more to them than a famous person (singer/sportsperson or whatever they may have been)

So what is special about today?

Well today we heard the news that Billy Graham had died at the age of 99.

No I never met him and as far as I can recall never attended any of the meetings that he spoke at but have met people who’s lives were changed from hearing him speak many years ago and have always been inspired by the wisdom with which he spoke or in his writing.

His message was always simple and to the point. We are all sinners and need to repent and accept the love and forgiveness offered to us in Jesus Christ. There is no other way.

The number of people his ministry impacted is immeasurable as there are many who went on to impact the lives of others (like me)

He was an example of simple faith and humble obedience to God and although recognised accross the world and by Kings, Queens and Presidents did not let this fame affect his message or attempt to achieve personal gain from his fame. He spoke the same message to his farmer neighbour as he did to a president.

Now there is another reason why I have a particular “fondness” for Billy Graham.

Before I tell you though, please do not take any of this story to be disrespectful as it is not intended to be but has always captured my imagination and sense of humour since I was quite young.

Although as far as I am aware there is no family connection to Billy Graham, my Grandad was also a Graham and although not his first name was always called “Billy”

Born in 1907 in a small remote village in the far North of England, my Grandad was a quiet simple man who worked hard. He was never a man of many words and would usually be quite happy with the simple life he lived.

Like many hardworking men of his generation a Friday evening vist to the local “Pub” was his weekly treat.

Now because they lived quite frugally and they lived in a small town, they didn’t have for a long time things that we living 250 miles away in the South took for granted. They did not own a telephone or television so most commuication was done by letter or in an emergency a neighbour could be called upon to get them.

Alternatively my Mum would wait until Friday evening when she thought her Dad might be at the pub and telephone there.

Can you imagine calling a small village pub and asking “is Billy Graham there?”

As a youngster it would amuse me to think “I wonder what would happen if the evangelist Billy Graham was actually there, not just my Grandad” Of course I would think that there was no way that a Godly man like him would frequent a pub, but now I’m not so sure.

You see in my reading today Luke 8 begins with Jesus travelling from one town to another proclaiming the good news and he would mix with the ordinary people and love them and gently teach them.

I see now that Billy Graham would have been quietly following the example of his Lord and sharing the gospel message with those around him over a soda. I imagine too that the religious leaders of today would be horrified but he would simply say as Jesus did in Luke 4 v 43 “I must proclaim the good news”

So I will remember both “Billy Grahams” with great fondness and gratitude for what they both meant to me in different way.

Double Standards

As I’ve read the news recently, I’ve begun to notice how much our standards have changed and how contrary we are in this.

In some ways our moral standards have improved (which of course is good) but in others they have declined and we seem to be very inconsistent in those standards.

(When I say “We”, I mean generically as a country and culture, not necessarily my own “opinions”)

We haul “celebrities” through the courts (and in many cases rightly so) for behavior 40 years ago that we laughed at and “enjoyed” on TV.  Scantily Clad young women being chased around by a “Comedian” or Dancers on Top of the pops.  While this is an improvement in standards, at the time we scoffed at those who were saying it was wrong.  At the same time, scores of women go to shows of “exotic male dancers”

We now think families fighting and bickering with each other in Eastenders is “normal” rather than encourage families to love and care for each other and work through their problems scorning old programs like The Waltons and other programs that were uplifting.

We have TV programs “exalting” those who lay around all day on benefits and ignore their neighbor who is working long and hard hours to make some provision for their family, going without many of the luxuries that we regard as our “right”.

We allow abortion and some countries are heading towards Child euthanasia yet make a fuss about a zoo culling an animal.

A young woman would have been ashamed to be seen a little “tipsy” but now they compete to see who can drink the most and behave the worst with silly drinking games being spread over the internet and laugh at them making fools of themselves in hospital casualty wards while a very sick elderly man apologises for “bothering” the nurses.

Marriage is now seen as “disposable” and meaningless rather than something to be treasured for life yet people fight fiercely for “Gay” marriage.  People are more interested in a Wedding rather than a lifelong commitment (look at all the weddings and disasters and breakups that go on in the soaps)

Our prisoners get 3 hot meals a day, TVs, entertainment and yet our old people are left alone struggling to stay warm.

The list is endless and today I read this in the bible;

God Devotion makes a country strong; God avoidance leaves people weak (Proverbs 14 v 34 – The Message)

Or:

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (NIV)

We are suffering from our failure to uphold our moral standards under the guise of “human rights”.  We don’t allow parents and teachers to discipline their children yet happily teach them that our warped moral standards are right.

The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice (Proverbs 12 v 15)

Women Drivers

It was late 1961 and 21 year old Avril had driven the 25 miles into London to collect her auntie from Victoria Coach Station.  She was looking forward to showing off her 6 month old baby son who was sleeping in his carry cot on the back seat.  Although it had only been a few months since Avril had passed her driving test, she already had a lot of experience as she helped her husband’s business by doing a lot of the small delivery jobs.

She was quite proud of herself for passing her test at her first attempt as she didn’t know many other women that could drive, especially those of her age.

She was driving the family’s Morris Oxford Estate car which was quite big for a small dainty young woman but she was used to it as she drove it most days.

Just outside the coach station she spotted a parking space and carefully went through her parallel parking routine and expertly positioned the car in the center of the space.  She turned off the engine and was then startled by a tap on the window.

It was a police officer, so she wound the window down and asked “Is everything alright officer? I am allowed to park here aren’t I?”

“Yes everything’s fine Miss but you’ve just cost me 10 bob” he replied.

“Oh Dear” said Avril “I’m sorry but I don’t understand how”

The officer replied “I was standing over there with my colleague and I saw a young woman driving a big car and I bet him 10 bob that you wouldn’t be able to get this big car into this space, but I was proved wrong ”  They both laughed ” Well done anyway Miss, Have a good day and safe journey home

I’m Hungry!!

The service around here is terrible.  You can’t get a meal when you want it and the servants have all disappeared.  Even when they are here you have to keep asking before they do what you tell them.

I’m getting really really hungry now – where are they? Oh there’s the gate that must be them now.

Where have you been?  Do you realise what the time is? How long is it going to take for you to prepare dinner? I’m really hungry and can’t wait a minute longer.

Come on now, get to it.  No don’t take your coat off first.  What? No you have not got time to go to the bathroom first or put the shopping away.

I want my dinner now before you do any thing else, did you hear me NOW!  Nowww

I’ll head butt your leg!! ooooooh I do like my ears tickled.  What? No don’t distract me I want my Dinner!!!!

Where is the Foodbank Collection Box???

Foodbank’s have been in the news a bit recently along with a lot of news about food wastage.  About a year ago I began to get involved a little with our local Foodbank helping on a couple of occasions when they needed extra help.

Recently I spent a couple of hours at the entrance of our local supermarket giving out leaflets to help with a collection of extra stocks the foodbank needed.  Many families on low incomes need extra help over the summer holidays because their children are at home and not getting the school dinners that they are entitled to, and there had been a huge increase in the numbers of people needing help so stocks were running low.

The majority of people were friendly and keen to do a little to help – we were just asking them to purchase something extra with their shop and donate it at the collection point on their way out.

A few people though were antagonistic and said that it was all the governments fault or the supermarket’s greed (their annual results had been published that day) and I thought to myself “I hope that you don’t find yourself needing to go to a Foodbank one day”.

Anyway the days collection was deemed successful and the supermarket involved made a donation too as well as allowing some of their staff to help with the collection on the day.

Today as I walked through a supermarket,  I noticed a collection box for food donations for one of the animal charities (sorry didn’t notice which one) – It was packed full which was great.  Then I looked around and thought “Why is there not a collection box for the Foodbank or some other similar charity?” and yes; being a little cynical wondered if those same people who objected to the Foodbank collection felt the same way about the animal charities?  My hunch was that they would have gladly given to a pet charity.  At the end of the day – which is more important? – where are our priorities?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love animals and think the animal shelters do a fantastic job, but why are we so reluctant to do the same for our fellow man, why do we happily give to overseas and animal charities but ignore the needs of our neighbour?

Just a thought.