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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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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Evolutionary Creation

The earth from the moon

When I was a young person, brought up in a conservative christian environment, I was taught to believe that I had to choose between ignoring science or believing the Bible. Either God created the world in 7 days or that evolution happened as per Darwin. I now think that this is a false dichotomy and harmful to those of us who have faith.

Let me state quite clearly that I believe that God created us, and the whole universe in which we live. But I do not, and cannot, shut my mind to what science has discovered and acknowledge that evolution best describes the HOW of creation but has no answers as to the WHY.

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Zenith of creation

When we look at the universe and try to understand it’s vastness, we can seem to be very small and insignificant. But when we look in the other direction, to the microscopic world and the tiny world of the sub-atomic we are in turn quite vast. On a logarithmic scale we are somewhere near the middle between the diameter of an electron and the diameter of the known universe.

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Looking after HIS world

I have just published a blog article entitled “Looking after our world” about the threat to mankind caused by global warming. I have been thinking about this and want to explore the concept that the world belongs to it’s creator and we are here to look after this planet as stewards of a fantastic world full of diversity and beauty.

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It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

I think I was about 10 years old when this became my favourite carol. It is full of reality and yet hope. Phrases like “Two thousand years of wrong” and “Men at war with man” deeply affected me – and still do. The writer tells it like it is and writes of “life’s crushing load” and “the weary road” and yet speaks about “peace on the whole earth ” and “the love song which they (the angels) bring”.

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Where on earth is the Church going?

We need a church which is a community effective within the wider community. 500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis to the door of his church in Germany in what is considered the start of the Reformation of the Church. I think that we are due a new reformation that will totally overturn the organisational structure of the church, radically effect our programs and many of our beliefs. In fact there are many hopeful signs that this process has already started.

Community not organisation

Jesus never intended that the church should be an organisation, or indeed 40,000 different organisations! He told his disciples to “make disciples”, not make church members. What would it mean if the church was not organisations but a collection of people who seek to follow Jesus Christ as his disciples. If we stopped being an organisation there are enormous re-percussions which we will explore below….
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