When bad things happen

19 years ago, at the age of 59, I had a stroke. This was quite serious at first, but since then I have recovered about 90%. My first reaction was to blame God and wonder whether he had caused the stroke to teach me a lesson or as punishment for something I had done wrong. But I knew that God loved me and wanted nothing but good for me, so I dismissed that idea, that God had caused the stroke.

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Loving Ourselves

The teachings of the Old Testament law, and Paul in the New Testament, agreed with the teachings of Jesus when he said that I should love my neighbour as myself. In this blog, I want to explore how we can love ourselves in the right sort of way without selfishness, but nevertheless treat our own bodies, minds and and interests as important. 

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A Psalm for today

On Sunday, the speaker told us a lot about the structure of psalms. This is my attempt of writing about what troubles me. We look around and see so much sickness and we wonder why he does not always heal when we ask Him. I don’t understand but I must learn to trust.

O Lord you are greater than anything we could imagine.
          Your glory fills the heavens and the Earth. 
But I have to ask you, “Why are so many sick amongst us?”
          I do not understand! I have to ask you why!

So many of the elderly have dementia?
          We see them as only a fraction of what they once were. 
Parkinson’s afflict so many men.
          It destroys the lives of those who followed you. 
Covid and flu have become the norm amongst us. 
          Viruses control the lives of so many.
People who are frail, lose their balance. 
          Fragile bones are broken as they fall.

Yet when you came to earth you healed everyone. 
         The people who approached you were all restored. 
Don't you see people with bad health?
          Can’t you hear the people who cry out to you?

But I hear a voice speaking in my mind. 
          The mighty God speaking to me. 
“Do you think I don’t care?”, He says,
          “How dare you think that I don’t share your burden”
“Do you trust me?”, He says,
         “Can you claim to understand all my ways?”  

Lord, how could I think you do not care.
         How could the King of Love, care less than me.
His ways are too complex for me to understand.
         My mind is too limited.
I still do not understand, but I must trust in Him.
          Lord, I trust in your unfailing Love.
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How do we Love God?

The Bible tells us to love God and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. The command to love our neighbour is a huge subject, which I write more about, in more detail later. But how do we love God, when he doesn’t necessarily need our love and there is nothing we can do to help him or care for him?

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

Luke 10:27 NLT

Types of love

  • We could be talking about ‘falling in love’ which is more to do with our emotions than how we treat other people.
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Let Justice run down

Amos was an Israeli prophet, who in the 8th century BC spoke out against the injustice in the land of the rich towards the poor. The context was that the Northern part of Israel broke away from the Southern part to form their own country. They certainly prospered, or rather the rich prospered at the expense of the poor.

I guess some things never change. Looking at the world now, there is no real difference. We live a in time of economic difficulties. Those who are rich get ever richer and it’s always the poor who suffer. Amos’s words still speak to us 28 centuries later in the 21st-century.

But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Amos 5, 24 NKJV
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Love and FreeWill


I am talking here about love for our neighbour, love for our community and love for our fellow human beings throughout the world. It is not sentimental love or romantic love but simply treating other people as we would treat ourselves. It is the sort of love that Jesus talked about when he said:

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All in the same boat??

I owe this thought to a young lady on the Jeremy Vine Show (I don’t remember her name).

We are not in the same boat, but we are in the same storm! Some are cruising in their luxury yachts, some are being tossed around in rickety rowing boats.

We are finding self isolating comparatively easy but we are aware that many people on their own are lonely. We can enjoy the garden and the local countryside but people trapped in flats in cities don’t have the same. Our pension is consistent but many are suffering financially. And all these things fade into insignificance when we remember those who are grieving the loss of loved ones.

So we are not all in the same boat, but we are in the same storm.

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