Friday, April 8, 2011

Answering depression

The writer of psalm four said, "There are many who say, 'who will show us any good'". We could say that again! News is full of troubles in Japan, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and around the world. The media feed on a diet of disaster and encourage us to do the same. Good news gets squeezed out. But we can take a tip from the psalmist who, when the outlook was bad, decided to try the uplook and prayed, "Lord, lift up the light of your countenance upon us". It is said that a single grain of indigo could colour a ton of water which might show how infectious the blues can be! But hope is catching too and the need for 'cheerupadists' is great! Any volunteers?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Life is a tightrope

Charles Blondin crossed over Niagara Falls on a tightrope four times. Good for him! There is no limit to what some people will do for fame and fortune but count me out when it comes to high wire exploits like that! However, life itself is a tightrope and calls for a good sense of balance. Without it we will surely fall, as many do. To suggest that someone is unbalanced could infer their insanity but many rational enough folk - including some who are quite clever - get their lives out of balance and live lopsided lives. For an example of a truly balanced life we should look to Jesus Christ who from his youth developed mentally, physically, spiritually and socially (See Luke 2.52).

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plans for you

In the book of Jeremiah, chapter twenty nine and verse eleven we read, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". I like the use of the plural 'plans' in the New International Version of the bible. God's plans are comprehensive. We might say that he has plans A and B and if we mess up and frustrate his ideal will for us he is never at a loss to know the path we should then take. We should trust him. He knows what he is doing and what we should be doing as well. No worries!

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Salvation Army

Some viewers will know that much of my life and ministry has been wrapped up in The Salvation Army in which movement I have been a leader for over sixty years. As I review the past I have no major regrets. Life has been fulfilling and my confidence in the SA is as strong as ever. I believe that our uniform has helped to make our message visible and our music has made it audible but only our holiness or integrity can make it credible. What matters most is not what we do but what we are. Character will talk over our heads. In this respect many of us know that we are far from perfect but at least we are trying to 'be the best that we can be'and we will keep on keeping on. Fair enough?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Living by faith

We may be pessimists by nature but we can be optimists by grace. Wearing the dark glasses of unbelief the future may seem gloomy but by faith we can see light on the horizon. I haven't sung it for years but a snatch of an old chorus has been going through my mind. It went like this: "Lord, lift me up and help me stand, By faith, on heaven's table land". With all the gloom and doom in the world we can look up and believe that beyond the clouds the sun is shining. God has not done with his world or with us as individuals. Hope is the music of the future and there is no reason why we can't dance to it today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Get a life!

It might be said that a person's bare individuality is like the bit of grit which gets into an oyster shell. The pearl of our lives is made by the relationships we gather around us. Some people find relationships difficult and resist them even as they long for them. But it is only by being open to others that we can help them to overc0me their inhibitions and be open to us. That is the way to get a life. I would add that we should be open to God also. He is not remote or removed from us but only a prayer away. He has revealed what he is like though Jesus. Incredible as it may sound. he really loves us.