7 June 2018

Rather Sad, Really

I stopped off on the way home from work tonight to buy a cable for the computer at home. I searched through the many accessories they had at the big superstore; regretfully they didn't have just what I needed.

The shop that did have what I wanted was the adjacent Maplin store - which was due to be shut down in ten days time as the store was now in liquidation. And this was despite the fact that the shop had been decimated in anticipation of its coming closure. I could still pull exactly when I needed off the shelf.

I was happy to get what I wanted, however overwhelmingly saddened when I realised that this was probably the last time I could shop at this store.

I felt really bad as I handed the money over to the guy on the till. A guy who would soon be out of work.

The whole thing was rather sad, really. I'm still feeling quite down about the whole experience.

13 May 2018

God Has It All Figured Out

I'm reminded today of the words of Colossians 3:15, which says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.

When we have that peace in our hearts, then naturally we’ll be at peace with other people. Which in my case is just as well. Things have a habit of going a little bit crazy in my life at the moment, it's hard to figure out quite what is going on.

But God has it all figured out. I need to trust Him.

We all need to trust Him.

If we don’t trust Him, then we'll always be anxious; always striving to manipulate others, to control them, to get what we want out of life. That's not a good way to live, is it?

So, give in to God. This means learning to say “Thy will be done” instead of “Me first.”

When you say this, that is when the peace process starts.

4 May 2018

Enjoy The Ride?

As I mentioned last week, sometimes it feels like life is a roller-coaster.

However, don't get me wrong. I'm not so concerned about the ups and downs. Because it's not so much that I want things to be going well all of the time. I know that life isn't like that. You have good days and you have bad days. Wouldn't it rather boring if all the days were the same?

No, it's more the speed that I'm taking the corners at... the sheer pace of life. That's the bit that I can often find to be overwhelming ...

The ups and the downs are all part of the ride. However, it's when it's all coming all at once, there is little time to get ready for what's about to happen next. That's when I find it tough...

Life is like a roller-coaster. It has its ups and downs.
But it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.

I'm trying to enjoy the ride. :)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28

30 April 2018

Emotional Roller-Coaster

Boy, what a weekend!

Since leaving work on Friday, here is a list of  pretty much everything that happened since then. It's Monday morning when I draft this and I'm feeling emotionally drained... these are the events in alphabetical order, not order of occurrence...
  • A night out with my Street Pastors team, and the corresponding lack of sleep
  • Avengers: Infinity War (if you've seen the film, you'll understand...)
  • Being turned away from my favourite restaurant as the girl said the kitchen staff simply couldn't cope with the backlog of orders. And where did we end up? … see below
  • Doing the paperwork in preparation of our church administration meeting - which then had to be rearranged 
  • Having the cinema projector break down after ten minutes of Infinity War starting. There was a further ten minute delay while they fixed it. And they restarted it again from the beginning, making a very long film - even longer!
  • Purchasing the most expensive meal of burgers and fries that I had ever ordered! (this was where we ended up after not getting into my first choice of restaurant…) And I can't say I could taste the difference in the price. In fact, the fries simply weren't that good… not going there again!
  • Sickness in the house - at one stage, thinking we might need an ambulance, then relief that it wasn't necessary, and then caring for the individual until they felt better. Was that food poisoning from the above restaurant? Not sure...
  • Sorting out a current account at my bank for my youngest as she starts work
  • The partial demolition of a local power station, less than a mile away. By explosion. At 11pm on a Saturday night!
  • Waiting for a promised call from a double glazing company, which never arrived...
I've cut the usual weekly activities out, this is just what I did on top of 'business as usual'. I need a holiday... or a less eventful weekend!

26 April 2018

Why I Need To Do It Anyway...

Apologies, I need to stop and rant today. And to take time to listen to God's small voice (in bold type below) in reply...

I get fed up with people around me who seem to take delight in being unreasonable, irrational, and incredibly and annoyingly self-centred. Today I want to scream!
Forgive them anyway.

I strive to be kind, and yet they tell me that I need to stop, and in fact that I need to give up all these things and rest more. They accuse me of having selfish, ulterior motives for doing what I do. I can't think of anything more selfish that doing nothing...
Be kind anyway.

I take pains to do the best I can, however every day there seems to be someone who takes pleasure in criticising the things you do. It's so difficult to succeed. I seem to make more enemies than I do friends.
Succeed anyway.

I get awfully fed up with people who seem to take delight in criticising my willingness to serve, and when I start to argue they then try and pick holes in the things I do and my reasons for doing them.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

There are some people who (possibly for the best of reasons) have succeeded in dismantling some of the things that I've worked at for the last few years. All the time that I spent creating - and suddenly it's all swept away. Argh!
Create anyway.

I want to find peace and to be happy. Isn't that everyone's goal? However, it would appear that others don't want me to be happy and to find peace. Are they upset with me?
Be happy anyway.

Despite my best efforts in trying to do good, much of it seems to be swept under the carpet, quickly forgotten. Do good anyway.

I try and give the best I have, to be the best that I can be - and it seems never to be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

(based on The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith. And my earnest and heartfelt prayer today.)

22 April 2018

The Lord's My Shepherd

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me lie in pastures green.
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.

CHORUS: And I will trust in You alone,
And I will trust in You alone,
For Your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home.

He guides my ways in righteousness,
And He anoints my head with oil,
And my cup, it overflows with joy,
I feast on His pure delights.

And though I walk the darkest path,
I will not fear the evil one,
For You are with me, and Your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know.

(Lyrics by Stuart Townend, based on Psalm 23. Sung at the meeting today)

3 April 2018

Help Needed

"I don’t think there is anyone who needs God’s help and grace as much as I do. Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak. I think that is why God uses me. Because I cannot depend on my own strength, I rely on Him twenty-four hours a day." - Mother Teresa

H – Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Psalm 86:1 (NIV)

E – Establish my steps in your word.
Psalm 119:133 (NASB)

L – Let your compassion quickly meet our needs because we are on the brink of despair.
Psalm 79:8 (NLT)

P – Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
Psalm 16:1 (KJV)

2 April 2018

A Few Stray Thoughts for Easter Monday

“I haven’t always been a Christian. I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” - C S Lewis

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.”  - Max DePree

“A ship in a harbour is safe, but that’s not what a ship is built for.”  - John A Shedd

So what happens now?
(Another suitcase in another hall)
So what happens now?
(Take your picture off another wall)
Where am I going to?
(You'll get by, you always have before)
Where am I going to? - lyrics by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths and superficial relationships,so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.
  • May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice, freedom, and peace among all people.
  • May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and transform their pain into joy.
  • May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really CAN make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God's grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
  • And the blessing of God the Supreme Majesty and our Creator, Jesus Christ the Incarnate Word who is our brother and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate and Guide, be with you and remain with you, this day and forevermore. Amen. - A Franciscan Blessing