I doesn’t matter

Some years ago the Readers Digest reported the case of Angie and David whose house burned down. Angie’s first act was to hunt through the blackened ruins searching for any photo albums that had survived. She managed to find some that were still intact and went back to show her husband. She found him carefully placing some charred pieces of paper in a box – they were their courtship love letters. ‘As I watched David kneeling there in the ashes,’ she said, ‘I was overcome with the certainty that we were meant for each other. There, in the face of our greatest tragedy, our first thoughts were not of our material loss, but of the potential loss of these precious parts of our life together. As I knelt to help him with the letters, I was certain we hadn’t lost anything that mattered at all.’

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Posted in Life's lessons, love, Materialism, Meaning in life, Trials and testings, tribulation and trouble, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fibs

They say that the three most commonly told lies are: ‘Gee, you haven’t changed a bit,’ ‘I never got the message’ and ‘The cheque is in the mail.’ Jerald Jellison said: ‘Each of us fibs at least fifty times a day. We lie about our age, our income, or our accomplishments. And we use lies to escape embarrassment. A common reason for white lies, we’re told, is to protect someone else’s feelings. Yet in so doing we are really protecting ourselves.’ Talking about white lies, Austin O’Malley said: ‘Those who think it permissible to tell white lies soon become colour blind.’ And Abraham Lincoln, wisely observed that no-one has a good enough memory to make a successful liar. Jesus said: ‘Don’t say anything you don’t mean…You only make things worse …Let your Yes mean Yes, and your No mean No.’

Posted in Faithfulness, Lies, Speaking the truth, Trustworthiness, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t be late

The most overdue book in the history of library services was a copy of a book called Febrile Diseases, borrowed from the University of Cincinnati Medical Library by a Mr. M. Dodd and returned one hundred and forty years later by one of his descendants. But while on the subject of being late, I heard about a young man who was always late for work, and one day fell foul of the manager, who said: ‘Don’t you know what time we start working around here?’ The young idiot answered: ‘Not really, they’re always working when I get here.’ His mates thought it was rather funny, but the manager didn’t and fired him. It reminds me of that theme that runs all through the Bible about being ready for the time when God calls us to account. ‘Be ready,’ Jesus said, ‘Because you don’t know when the Lord is going to come for you.’

Posted in Awareness, carelessness, Return of Christ, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The real tragedy of life

Someone once said: ‘The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.’ Some of us live in the past, remembering previous times in life and wishing we had them again. But most of us tend to live in the future; imagining how good life will be when we reach a certain goal like: getting our dream job, marrying our dream person, living in our dream home and so on. Then, if and when we do get there we find that life is just the same, and so the whole cycle of dreaming about life as we want it to be starts all over again.

What we really need, of course, is to learn how to live on the keen edge of the present, experiencing every moment of our lives and taking out of it all that it offers us. The key to that, essentially, is a spiritual outlook that sees life as a gift of God, and a spiritual attitude of gratitude, knowing that God is at work in all things for the good of those that love Him.

Posted in Abundant life, Disappointed, Disatisfaction, Life, Life's journey, Life's lessons, Living Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A rose by any other name

The world of nature around us is an endless source of spiritual truth; like the seemingly worthless thorny stem, often called a brier, that a gardener I know of deliberately dug out and then planted in his rose garden. People thought he was mad to do it – putting that miserable looking plant amongst the flowers, but he knew what he was doing. He used a sharp knife to make a slit in the brier, then he grafted it with a rose. When summer finally came the most beautiful roses were blooming on that old thorny brier, not because of what came out of it so much as what the gardener put into it.

It’s a wonderful illustration from nature of a great spiritual truth that the Bible expresses this way: ‘If anyone is in Christ – that is grafted in, joined to Him by faith – he/she is a new creation; the whole things have passed away. Behold new things have come.’

God’s offer of spiritual transformation is open to us all.’

Posted in New Life, New start, Starting afresh, Transformation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Depression is a disease of the affluent

Professor Martin Seligman, one of America’s top psychologists, speaking about the epidemic of depression in our society, says it’s clearly not ecological because the Amish people, who live just outside his hometown of Philadelphia, drink the same water, breathe the same air and eat the same food as everyone else, but have one tenth the rate of depression. And it’s certainly not being poor, because depression is a disease of the affluent.

Seligman places some of the blame on the rise of individualism and says: ‘a life spent pursuing short cuts to happiness allows our strengths and virtues to wither, rather than develop, and sets us up for depression.’

Those are wise words from a knowledgeable man. They remind us that Jesus said that to hang onto our lives selfishly is to lose the real value of life; but to invest our lives unselfishly is to find life.

Posted in Abundant life, Accomplishments, Depression, Self giving, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saved from what has got us beat

 

I once met a man who’d been part of Sydney’s underworld, but then became a preacher. For the next forty years he spent his life telling people of the transforming power of Christ. He preached about it because he’d experienced it. While still a young man, he’d returned from World War One deeply traumatised and drifted into alcoholism and crime. One day he decided to have some fun with a street preacher. He waited for him to say something about how Jesus saves, and when he did, he yelled out: ‘What’s he going to save me from?’ expecting the preacher would say: ‘from Hell;’ to which he intended to reply: ‘I’ve been there – on the Western Front.’ But the preacher just looked at him and said: ‘Mister, He’ll save you from what’s got you beat.’

And that’s the salvation Jesus offers to each of us.

Posted in Salvation, Transformation, Transformed mind, Uncategorized | Leave a comment