Wednesday, July 30, 2008
To get the full effect, this should be read aloud. You will understand what 'tenjewberrymuds' means by the end of the conversation. This has been nominated for the best email of 2007.
The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review:
Room Service (RS): 'Morrin. - Roon sirbees.'
Guest (G): 'Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service.'
RS: 'Rye..Roon sirbees..morrin! Jewish to oddor sunteen??'
G: 'Uh..yes.I'd like some bacon and eggs.'
RS: 'Ow July den?'
RS: 'Ow July den?...pryed, boyud, poochd?'
G : 'Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please.'
RS: 'Ow July dee baykem? Crease?'
G: 'Crisp will be fine.'
RS : 'Hokay. An Sahn toes?'
RS:'An toes. July Sahn toes?'
G: 'I don't think so.'
RS: 'No? Judo wan sahn toes??'
G: 'I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo wan sahn toes' means.'
RS: 'Toes! toes!...Why jew don juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?'
G: 'English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine. Yes, an English muffin will be fine.'
RS: 'We bodder?'
G: 'No...just put the bodder on the side.'
RS: 'Wad! ?'
G: 'I mean butter...just put it on the side.'
G: 'Excuse me?'
G: 'Yes. Coffee, please, and that's all.'
RS: 'One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin w bodder on sigh and
G: 'Whatever you say.'
G : 'You're very welcome.'
Monday, July 28, 2008
Anyway, for the uninitiated, here are the rules:
- Link to the person who 'tagged' you.
- Post the rules on your Blog: in other words what you are reading now.
- Write 6 random things about yourself (mine are below).
- Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. There's nothing sinister here --- it's just a game!
- Let each person know they have been tagged, and leave a comment on their Blog.
- Finally, let the 'Tagger' know when your entry is up.
Well, that seems simple enough, doesn't it, dear reader. At least it is if you know lots of Blogs, but if, like me, you don't, then it creates the problem of actually finding six to link to. Anyway, being an adventurer at heart I'll have a go!
- I guess the first has to be what I'm about, which is serving God in any way that I can. You can tell that from my Blog and from my website. I've been a committed Christian since 1969 and no matter how much I do in the way of 'Serving' it never seems to be enough! I'm conscious that every Christian is called to preach and heal, and so it's important to realise that it's not just the task of the ordained Pastor to minister to others, but the task of every Christian. Christ Himself has commissioned us to share the Gospel message everywhere we go, so that's good enough for me.
- I have a great sense of humour! The problem is that not everybody agrees with me about that. I think that's funny! But there again, with a sense of humour like mine I think that most things have a funny side if only you know how to look for it. Humour in my average day starts the moment that I get up and look at myself in the mirror . . . oh well!
- I love doing 'busy' jigsaw puzzles, usually 1000 piece ones. I like a puzzle that takes me about a week to complete, fiddling with it when I have an odd moment. (My wife thinks that, being me, I have lots of odd moments. Hmmm! I wonder if she means the same thing as I do!
- I usually have a couple of books on the go in addition to my Bible reading. I like to dip into a 'serious' type of book, whilst, at the same time, I enjoy reading what I describe as 'Country Sagas'. I like characters who I can get to know through the pages, and then I can go to work with them and see the world through their eyes.
- I spent twelve years living in Africa --- Rhodesia/Zimbabwe Rhodesia/Zimbabwe --- and I have a passionate concern for the people who are so desperately in need for so many reasons. You can understand what I mean when you read the entries on my Blog about Zimbabwe.
- I'm married to the best woman in the world! In fact, today is our Wedding Anniversary. She makes me feel special, and I absolutely lover her to bits. What more can I say! My Valentine's Day gift to her last year was a love-song, When I'm With You, so you might gather that I'm a bit of a romantic kind of guy. The song was recently released on CD as the title song, and you can hear a whole SIXTY SECONDS of it on the Sheer Joy Music website.
My next 'TAG' is reserved for two great guys at Oddwalk Ministries who love to share the Gospel in a variety of ways, using a mixture of fun and music to do so.
Not strictly a blog site but almost! I like John Roller's FREE STUFF, in which he shares his Scriptural viewpoints, and so I've decided to include him on this list, if only because it's such a worthwhile read when you visit. Why not take a look and see for yourself.
Finally, because I like the things of God I also like to find people of God and share the moments that they're generous with. Here's a good place to drop by for a while and enjoy a Holy Experience. Share a wide variety of thoughts drawn from the whole gamut of human experience. (That sounded good didn't it!)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I have to say that for the first time in my life I feel ashamed. We have talked for hours about wanting to give an honourable place for those who disagreed. We have turned down almost every opportunity for those opposed to flourish. And we still talk the talk of being inclusive and generous. The Rochester report said in many many pages that there were a variety of ways in which scripture and reason could be read with integrity. It argued over and over again that it is possible to be a loyal member of the CofE and [accept] some legal safeguards for those who oppose the ordination of women. It is not just those who are opposed to the ordination of women who find the motion we have at the moment difficult. I do. Where is the CofE about which we have spoken today? Is this CofE to which we have come to in this vote the CofE at its best? I have to say I doubt it. Is this the CofE to which I thought I belonged? I have to say with huge sadness, I doubt it.
For at first sight all the rationality (in Caroline Bingley's sense) is on the side of the innovators. We are short of priests. We have discovered in one profession after another that women can do very well all sorts of things which were once supposed to be in the power of men alone. No one among those who dislike the proposal is maintaining that women are less capable than men of piety, zeal, learning and whatever else seems necessary for the pastoral office. What, then, except prejudice begotten by tradition, forbids us to draw on the huge reserves which could pour into the priesthood if women were here, as in so many other professions, put on the same footing as men? And against this flood of common sense, the opposers (many of them women) can produce at first nothing but an inarticulate distaste, a sense of discomfort which they themselves find it hard to analyse.
Suppose the reformer stops saying that a good woman may be like God and begins saying that God is like a good woman. Suppose he says that we might just as well pray to "Our Mother which art in heaven" as to "Our Father". Suppose he suggests that the Incarnation might just as well have taken a female as a male form, and the Second Person of the Trinity be as well called the Daughter as the Son. Suppose, finally, that the mystical marriage were reversed, that the Church were the Bridegroom and Christ the Bride. All this, as it seems to me, is involved in the claim that a woman can represent God as a priest does.
The innovators are really implying that sex is something superficial, irrelevant to the spiritual life. To say that men and women are equally eligible for a certain profession is to say that for the purposes of that profession their sex is irrelevant. We are, within that context, treating both as neuters.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Once again today, dear reader, I am going to share the following, which I received by email from Joanne Lowe. The copyright is hers for this piece. You can visit her via this link or email her direct.
Hebrews 12: 2 (King James Version)
What horror and what agony and pain our precious Saviour endured for us! It should have been us who hung on the cross that the Saviour of the world hung on. He paid the sin debt that we owed. It was a debt that we could never have paid. It took the spotless Lamb of God to satisfy the requirements of a Holy God.
Jesus had never done sinned but because His heart is filled with unconditional love and compassion for us, He allowed them to beat Him, torture Him, spit on Him, ridicule Him and mock Him. He did all of that for us when it should have been us who hung on that cross. What a precious Saviour; what a friend, this Jesus of Calvary!
Just as Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before Him so we should also endure the criticism, sarcasm, ridicule and scorn for the joy set before us. One day, if we have made a heart commitment to Jesus, we will see Him face to face and we will spend all eternity with Him. What joy floods my heart when I think about being with my precious Saviour for all eternity!
The next time someone says hateful words to you or does something cruel to you, remember that one day you will see Jesus face to face and spend all eternity with Him. Remember, one day it will be worth all the pain, loneliness, heartaches and burdens you bear because if you are serving Him with all of your heart He will say to you “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25: 21).
July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Unfortunately, despite the threat of sanctions from many nations, Mugabe's evil regime is being propped up by those nations and leaders who either tacitly offer their support or who resolutely sit on the fence. Of course, if you are the leader of a nation yourself, and have a bad record on the violation of human rights in your own country, it might be considered inauspicious to throw stones whilst sitting in the proverbial glasshouse!
One of the images that sickened me recently was that of Mugabe holding up a Bible whilst he was sworn in for another term of office following the sham elections that he engineered. How he can hold a Bible at all is beyond me! I wonder whether it burned the skin on his hands.
He now swans about once more, surrounded by his sycophantic thugs whose task it is to protect him. Perhaps from amongst their ranks there will emerge a 'Brutus'? We can only hope!
All this apart, the major factor for concern is not the sham democracy that exists in Zimbabwe today, but the needs of the Zimbabwean people. So once again I urge you to hold them before God in your prayers.
- Pray that they might be released from the fears that grip them.
- Pray that they might obtain the food that they need to live.
- Pray that they might have the medical resources available to them.
- Pray that they might have freedom of religion.
- Pray that the leaders of the world might unite in their favour.
- Pray that they can be set FREE from the grip of this tyrannical despot.
- Above all, pray for peace in their lives and the means to live a fruitful and rewarding existence in their land.
- PRAY FOR MUGABE'S DOWNFALL. He has challenged God Himself, and so we can pray that God will deal with this totally Godless tyrant.
Hidden in the forest
where the trees grow thick and strong,
there's a cottage, small and humble,
where I lived when I was young.
There's a yellow roof of thatch,
and a rough red chimney there,
with diamond-latticed windows
letting in the cool fresh air.
When work was finished for the day
in peace I hurried home,
through the trees so thick and handsome,
where as a child I'd roam.
A smiling face would greet me
hot dinner on the grate;
but this day all was lonely,
'twas so early, yet so late.
No smoke came from the chimney,
no whispers filled the air:
but the memories still haunt me
of my mother smiling there.
Now many years have crept along;
I sadly realise
that never shall I see again
the love-light in her eyes.
Till I walk down the cobbled path,
and lift that rusty latch:
till memory brings back again
my home with the yellow thatch.
Sometimes I ponder on where these words for the poems and songs come from. It's as though they are locked away in the annals of my mind, waiting for the right trigger to send them hurtling through time and onto the page. I have absolutely no idea how this particular poem came about in reality. Some people have asked whether it describes the home that I lived in when I was a child, or even a composite of several homes, but the answer is a resounding 'NO'. Perhaps it's an image of a home that I might have liked to live in, who knows?
I guess that the best thing to do is to accept that all of these things come as a gift from God, and serve the purpose of pleasing many people down through the ages. Perhaps, in this instance, you might imagine, dear reader, that I'm describing your home, or at least one that you might have loved. Certainly, re-reading the poem over the years has given me a great deal of pleasure, and is certainly aptly titled, Memories.
Corsham has been home to the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the Army, especially during the second world war. Prior to that it was a typical West Wiltshire weaving town, tastefully built of Bath stone, several quarries of which were worked in the parish from early times. Of particular interest to visitors is the row of weaver’s cottages known as the Flemish Buildings.
The local Anglican church is the Church of St Bartholomew, and it was there that I first sang in public when I was a choirboy! I remember that we used to get paid the princely sum of two shillings and sixpence, (about 12.5 pence), whenever we sang at a wedding!
In 1801 it was the eighth most popular town in the County, jealously preserving a number of ancient rights, which included the right to hold a Court Leet and have its own coroner. The parishioners were exempt from jury service and the vicar was empowered to hold his own consistory court. As a point of interest, my father, who was a well-known wine merchant in the town for around forty years, used the name Court Leet as a brand name for his own-brand sherry. I well remember spending many hours as a youngster labelling bottles with the Court Leet name on them. His business was unusual in that it was one of only five in existence that boasted an ‘irrevocable licence’.
I loved the Alms Houses, set on the edge of the town, and magnificent in their design. These were given to the town by Dame Margaret Hungerford, wife of the commander of Cromwell's forces in Wiltshire, and incumbent of Corsham Court at that time. The Schoolroom doubled as the Chapel, and it still contains the original desks, the master's chair being built into the pulpit. Well worth a visit!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
When I was growing up, we were taught that the only people who constantly felt the need to use obscene or blasphemous language were those whose education was sadly lacking, and who simply did not have sufficient command of the English language to know the correct way to express themselves. In this age where the teaching methods instigated by various government 'red papers' leave much to be desired it has long been felt that the standard of education has caused a 'dumbing down' of those in receipt of it, the result being that we have reared a couple of generations of people to whom the use of expletives is as normal as riding a bicycle.
Interestingly, one contestant in the Big Brother programme, a female named Belinda, blasphemed the name of Christ at one point, and then said to her fellow contestant, "I suppose that I shouldn't have said 'Christ', it would have been better to say 'Fxxx'. How sad that her educational standards are so lacking that she feels that they are the only two alternatives that she knows to express herself!
I realise that in writing this blog today I open myself to ridicule by those whose standards match Belinda's and many millions of others, but I feel strongly about the manner in which the use of profanity and blasphemy is such an everyday event in so many people's lives. It is an insidious encroachment into our lives which has lessened the quality of them rather than enriching it.
What do you think about it all, dear reader? Does it really matter, and if you think it does, what can be done about it at this late stage in the day?
Monday, July 7, 2008
Yesterday afternoon I was a guest at a Baptism Service here in my home town. This was a great service! There was no fancy Baptismal Pool, no river or rock-pool, just a swimming pool in a local Leisure Centre, but that made no difference at all to the occasion. Seven people went through the waters of baptism after confessing their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and their ages stretched from about 15-years old to about 60-years of age (My guesswork, which is a reasonable estimate!)
My own profession of faith goes back to September 9th 1969, and that was the moment that my life was changed for ever, for from then onward I have always done my best to walk in Christ's footsteps. I came to Christ at a meeting that was held in the Friends' Meeting House in Bath, and was led by the evangelist, Peter Scothern, a great man of God. A few years ago I had the privilege of sharing a platform with Peter at a meeting which was held in a school hall in Chester, and I was struck again by the humble manner that he had.
Since I accepted Christ into my life it has been a wonderful walk, although not always an easy one. There have been many moments when I found the going tough, but in retrospect I can look back and see that they were moments of growth. I guess that they were my 'growing pains' as I moved on towards Christian maturity. Despite these tough times I would not change a moment of the journey, for how can any journey with Christ be anything but a mind-blowing experience.
Along the way there have been times when I have been out-of-step with God, even wondered if He had left me alone, and yet once I came back into line I was always able to see that He'd always been there, and that He had never left me. I remember one night in 1982 when I was in hospital in Zimbabwe awaiting a major back operation. In a lot of pain and very fearful of what the immediate future held, I sat in a window-seat one night at around 11.30 pm, looking up to the stars, trying to get everything into perspective, and trying my best to reach out to God. Yet, try as I may, I could not reach out! I felt totally desolate, for it seemed to me that I had become separated altogether from God. How could I go on on my own? It would be impossible.
The duty night nurse came to speak to me and I turned to her with tears coursing down my cheeks, yet no sound came from my lips. She arranged that I could call my Minister, a great guy by the name of Mike Rutter, and so I 'phoned his home. His wife answered and all I could do was sob down the 'phone. "Is that you, Colin," she said. Somehow I managed to mumble that it was. "Just put the 'phone down and Mike will be with you in a moment," she said. Even though it was past midnight and he lived about five miles away, it seemed like only a few minutes before he was there with me. The nursing staff allowed us to use an empty side-room and made us a cup of tea. For a while I couldn't speak, tears still coursing down my face. Mike talked quietly to me fro a while and then, taking my hands in his, started to pray. The desolation was dreadful. I was in the darkest place that I have ever been in. It really was as though I was completely and utterly without God, and I could not stand it. It felt as though my separation from Him was breaking my heart.
About 4.30 in the morning, as dawn was beginning to break, suddenly everything changed. I felt a warmth spreading through my body. I was no longer alone. I was back with God. Mike immediately sensed and then saw the change in my face.
It was an experience which I never want to go through again, yet it was an experience that gave me a taste of what it would be like to spend eternity without God. Every experience is a learning experience, and that day I learned the importance of doing all that I could to share the gospel with those in need of salvation, for the outcome for the lost soul is too dreadful to imagine. It would still be many years before God brought me into full-time ministry, although I already knew that it was something that would happen when He said that the time was right.
Today my heart burns with a passion for the lost souls that are still awaiting to hear about Jesus, to know about His saving grace, and to be released from the chains of sin. How I thank God for the wonderful committed Christians who have been in my life, and for the opportunity to give back something of the gift that He has blessed me with.
Yesterday at the Baptismal Service I spoke to a young man of about 18-years of age, asking him if he went to a local church. "No," he replied, "I just came here with my sister." I made direct eye-contact with him and told him that it was nearly forty years since I accepted the Lord into my life, adding, "and it was the best thing that ever happened to me!" I urged him to get to know the Lord, and to experience the change in his own life that had happened to me. "Just imagine," I said to him, "Who would ever have thought all those years ago that my decision would not only change my life but also have a bearing on countless other lives through the calling with which I've been blessed.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
We don’t have to live a life that is full of turmoil. We can make the choice to forgive people and let the peace of God rule in our hearts. It is very difficult for us to forgive the people who have hurt us. In fact, it is impossible for us to forgive them from our hearts in our own strength. We are still in the flesh and it takes the power of Jesus working in our hearts to bring us to the point where we can honestly say to people from our hearts “I forgive you.”
I tried for over sixty years to forgive someone. I told this person that I forgave him but I really hadn’t forgiven him because I allowed all of the bitterness, all of the hurt, all if the resentment and all of the hatred for this person to remain in my heart. I finally realized why I didn’t have peace. It was because I did not want to forgive this person. I was honest with God about it. He already knew that I didn’t want to forgive this person but I needed to admit it and confess it to God.
I told God that I was not willing to forgive this person that hurt me but that I was willing for Him to make me willing to forgive this person. Sometimes we have to start with the basics. It didn’t happen overnight but the more I yielded my heart to Him, the more I really did want to forgive this person that had hurt me so deeply. The day came when I could honestly say to this person from my heart “I forgive you. Please forgive me for not forgiving you.”
You have a choice. You can allow unforgiveness, criticism, sarcasm, jealousy, envy, hatred, resentment and bitterness to rule your heart or you can allow the peace of God to rule your heart. What is your choice? Will you allow the peace of God to rule your heart or will you continue to allow Satan to rule your heart?
Friday, July 4, 2008
A few issues ago The Voice Christian News & Views magazine featured an article on the late Leonard Ravenhill, a great Christian of our time who always seemed to have just the right thing to say at the right moment. I'm often led to turn to his quotes for a quick 'spiritual uplift', guaranteed to set the grey matter working.
I thought that today I'd share a selection from them with you, so here they are:
"The true man of God is heartsick, grieved at the worldliness of the Church...grieved at the toleration of sin in the Church, grieved at the prayerlessness in the Church. He is disturbed that the corporate prayer of the Church no longer pulls down the strongholds of the devil. A man may study because his brain is hungry for knowledge, even Bible knowledge. But he prays because his soul is hungry for God. We live in a generation that has never known revival God's way. True revival changes the moral climate of an area or a nation. Without exception, all true revivals of the past began after years of agonizing, hell-robbing, earth-shaking, heaven-sent intercession. The secret to true revival in our own day is still the same. But where, oh, where, are the intercessors?"
"The true church lives and moves and has its being in prayer."
"A man who kneels before God will stand before men."
"No man - I don't care how colossal his intellect - No man is greater than his prayer life."
"To stand before men on behalf of God is one thing. To stand before God on behalf of men is something entirely different."
"A man may study because his brain is hungry for knowledge, even Bible knowledge. But he prays because his soul is hungry
"If He is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all."
"The one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history."
"Are the things you're living for worth Christ dying for?"
"We’ll have no broken-hearted pews until we have broken-hearted pulpits."