Building for our own retirement

A sub-contractor carpenter told his contractor-boss, whom he’d worked for since he was an apprentice, that he was ready to retire. The contractor was sorry to see him go but asked him, as a personal favour, to stay on long enough to build one more house. The carpenter agreed but his heart was not in it and he did a shoddy job, saving money wherever he could by using inferior materials. When the house was complete, and the contractor came to inspect it, he handed the front door key to the carpenter and said, ‘Here; it’s all yours. It’s my gift to you.’ The carpenter was shocked. If only he’d known he was building his own retirement house he would have taken much more care. And so it is with us. We are the builders of our lives, in this life and beyond; and we’ll have to live eternally with what we’ve built.

Posted in Eternity, Life, Life's journey, Life's lessons | Leave a comment

No records kept

The English comedian, Tommy Trinder, so the story goes, once took his Rolls-Royce across the English Channel for a European holiday. One day the car broke down, so he contacted Rolls-Royce and asked what he should do. They responded by flying a factory mechanic to the Continent who fixed the problem, and Tommy continued his holiday. Naturally enough he was worried about what all this would cost, so he wrote to Rolls Royce and asked for the bill. He received a letter from their office that read: ‘Dear Sir: There is no record anywhere in our files that anything ever went wrong with a Rolls-Royce.’ It reminds me of what the Bible says about God’s forgiveness when we break down: ‘Your sins I will remember no more.’ Nothing to pay and no records of failure kept.

Posted in Forgiveness, New Heart, New Life, New start | Leave a comment

Looking for a loophole

W. C. Fields was one of Hollywood’s original comedians. For most of his life he described himself as an agnostic who didn’t know if there was a God or not and didn’t particularly care. But even he was not entirely unconcerned about the possibility of rejection at the Pearly Gates. The actor Thomas Mitchell went to visit him when he was close to death and found him lying in bed thumbing through a Bible. Mitchell expressed surprise that he, W C Fields the agnostic should be reading the Bible; to which Fields, the master of the ready wisecrack, replied: ‘I’m looking for a loophole.’ Whether he found it or not I don’t know. What I do know is that life, and particularly the end of life, is so much easier when we stop fighting and just acknowledge what our innermost beings tell us is true.

Posted in accountability, Death, Judgement | Leave a comment

Never to go to a doctor whose office plants have died

The late Erma Bombeck said some of her most important decisions were: never to go to a doctor whose office plants have died; to follow her husband’s suggestion to put a little excitement into life by living within their budget; and to never loan her car to anyone she’d given birth to. Sometimes, though, decisions are about changes we need to make. I heard about one poor guy who phoned his girlfriend and got a recording that said: ‘Thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes.’ But the most far reaching decision is the one the Bible says we all have to make even when we don’t want to think about it – to choose what and who we are going to live for.

Posted in Decisions, Life, Life's journey, Life's lessons, Living Life | Leave a comment

Life is too short to wake up with regrets

A wise man said that the pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime, and it’s never too late to become what you might have been. Benjamin Mays observed that the tragedy of life is not in failing to reach your goal, but in having no goal to reach. Someone else wrote: ‘Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So, love the people who treat you right; and forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.’
Well, as for me, when I reach the end of my journey I’d like to join the Apostle Paul who said, ‘This is the only race worth running. I’ve run hard to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is God’s applause!’

Posted in Life, Life's journey, Life's lessons, Living Life, Meaning in life | Leave a comment

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.’

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


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