2 December 2016

Are You A Dummy?



“There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there's only five of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?”
Grandpa George, from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' by Roald Dahl (2005 film)

16 November 2016

Mockers

Proverbs 9:7 (NIV)
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.

I am really sorry. I was only trying to offer help in that situation.

However, all that you could offer to the conversation were jokes and insults. Did that make you feel big, trying so hard to make me look so small?

You made me angry. And you made me sad.

The anger subsided pretty quickly. The sadness is still hanging around, trying to overwhelm me.

Lord, help me to forgive.

1 October 2016

Poker Face

I'm pretty good at adopting a 'poker face'. Yeah, just like you're supposed to use in the card game, but in my case is not for financial gain, or even to help with your love life (like Lady Gaga). No, this is a self-preservation trait that I found myself using quite a lot...

Because sometimes I simply can't show what I'm thinking when other people are around. It simply wouldn't be polite, for starters. Speaking my mind would get me into far more trouble that I'd like. So I clam up.

But I know I have a problem with this.

Because I really struggle with letting it out later and dealing with it. Keeping it locked up within is simply bad for my health.

Take the other week. I was so angry about something that had happened, that it got to the stage that I simply could not think straight. It took all the strength and determination I had to sit there and endure, repressing my negative feelings because it wasn't an appropriate moment to share them. It wouldn't have been the right time.

So I had to 'suck it up'. Bury it. Put on the mask. Wear that poker face...

But was it easy to try and get it out of my system once everyone had disappeared? Nope.

And I know I have to rid myself of the bitterness... it can't sit there, unresolved. It took about an hour or two of intense examination and deliberate refocussing of my feelings in order to get back on an even keel.

****************************

Father, I acknowledge that I've held resentment and bitterness against the person who made me feel that way. I confess this as sin and ask you to forgive me. I forgive (the person). Remind me, Lord, to not hold any more resentments, but rather to love this person. Father, I ask you to also forgive them.

Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name, Amen.








28 September 2016

Escaping Reality For A While

It was horrendous. Standing room only on the train this evening. Ugh!

Dozens and dozens of people, crammed together like sardines as the carriages lurched their way through the suburbs of South London. My arms ached with the strain of keeping myself still, as the movement of the train threatened to throw me into the lap of a fellow commuter. My legs ached as I strained to keep upright after a full day at work. No seat for me on the way home tonight. Yes, they'd cancelled the train before, overloading the next service that came in. The lack of personal space, of the comfort of seating, of fresh air, of any privacy at all.  It's simply the worst part of travelling in the London rush hour. I would rather be anywhere else.

And so, that's what I did.

I shut the rest of the world out. I imagined myself in the middle of a field somewhere, miles from anywhere. I could see the green grass, the trees, a stream off into the distance. A cool breeze gently brushed against my cheek. There was the sight of birds soaring in the sky, of rabbits under the hedgerows. Not another soul for miles around. Certainly, miles away from where I was at the moment...

It helped for a while. And they say there's no place for imagination in today's world.

I wouldn't leave home without mine.

4 September 2016

Odd Timing Or Perfect Timing?

I was sitting in my car, talking to a friend about God's calling on our lives. Oddly, it was 3.30 in the morning. Not really the ideal time and place for such a conversation, you might think. Not in human terms. But was this God's moment?

I would hope so. A good time to ask the question:

Is this my purpose in life?

Or in spiritual terms, a better question would be "Is this God's purpose for my life?"

It's a good thing, I suppose, to constantly keep our motives under scrutiny. Bringing our purposes constantly before God, asking him to double-check why we do what we do.
  • Is this what you want me to do?
  • Is this for personal gain?
  • Is this for fame?
One of the first starting places for anyone's personal 'search for purpose' is the question, "why am I here?" So why was I sitting in that car with my friend at that time in the morning? We had just completed five hours of voluntary work. I was driving her home afterwards.

The person concerned was also seeking a similar confirmation. She was asking the Lord the question "should I stay or should I go?"

She asked me what I thought. I think I gave her a valid answer from my personal experience..

Because I've asked myself the same sort of question before. I still do. Over and over again.

Am I doing what God wants me to do, here, in this situation?  Should I stay, or should I go? Is this God's purpose for my life?

Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
He whom Jesus nameth must be on His side.

lyrics by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)


31 August 2016

When To Fight

"He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight."
Sun Tzu, The Art of War

I don't really like conflict. But sometimes, you simply have to fight for what you believe. You have to stand your ground. Or else, you'll end up losing that ground.

So, if I seem to be picking a fight, it's got to be because it's something I feel quite strongly about...

And yet, it's really difficult to work out when to fight and when not to fight.

Because I always seem to get it wrong. Or so I keep being told. Either I'm too 'laid back' or I'm too 'uptight'.

So, bear with me. And forgive me. Because I'm trying to get a balance. I'm trying to get it right. (sigh).

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Colossians 3:13 New International Version (NIV)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

29 August 2016

Should I Say Hello?



Find more doodles here: http://introvertdoodles.com/

The author of this website also has an Introvert Doodles book (currently available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble; on shelves December 2016).

27 August 2016

My Wife And I

My wife and I have been married now for 24 years. Christine and I tied the knot way back in 1992.

There have been good times, and there have been not so good times, between then and now. And a whole lot of things that have happened that we didn't reckon on all those years ago. In fact, surprises around every turn.

We've raised two children together, and I don't think we've done too badly, all in all.

We're not the young lovers that we were all those many years ago.

But we are still together.

And I'm very happy about that.

26 August 2016

Z is for Zouch

Zouch is a hamlet in south west Nottinghamshire. The nearest town is Loughborough. It only has a population of 53 people. There is a pub in the hamlet, the Rose and Crown.

The meaning of the name derives from the Old English term for "poor ground".

But how many other options did I have for Z?

25 August 2016

Y is for Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth, often known to locals as simply Yarmouth, is a coastal town in Norfolk, 20 miles (30 km) east of Norwich. The town has been a seaside resort since 1760, and so has a terrific maritime heritage. Admiral Lord Nelson was a frequent visitor to this busy port, where wealthy merchants built their houses.

Travel inland from the port and you will find mile after mile of slow winding rivers and unspoiled waterways. The rivers Yare, Bure and Waveney are an important part of the Broads National Park, which stretches for 125 miles over parts of Norfolk and into Suffolk.