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Thursday, April 29, 2010

'Colours' : Try this song for yourself.

I often post the sheet music to one or other of my hymns on this Blog, but I thought that today, by way of a change, I would post this song instead of a hymn. It was recorded by Susan Marrs on her album When I'm With You, which is available from the Sheer Joy Music shop or as a download from CD Baby.

If you visit the shop via the above link then you will be able to listen to some sample tracks from the CD as well.

Hope you like it!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”
Luke 10:33 - 37 (King James Version)

Yesterday, I noticed a lot of smoke coming from a yard a few houses from me. They were burning leaves and there was nobody watching it. I didn’t see any flames but I saw a lot of smoke.

The Weather Channel had fire watches so just in case the leaves starting burning again; I called the fire department and reported it. The man who answered said “It’s not our responsibility because it is not in our area”.

When he said that, it reminded me of our Scripture passage for today. Of all the ones who saw the man who had been wounded by the thieves, only the Samaritan had compassion for him and took care of him.

Jesus said “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40). When we don’t reach out and love those who are hurting, we aren’t showing love to Jesus. Are you hurting Jesus or making Him happy by your actions to others?

Joanne Lowe

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hymn for today . . .

The 'Hymn for Today' is a beautiful hymn which has been recorded by Cantoris and also in Russian by Lyra, the great Russian Ensemble from St Petersburg. Here are the words if you want to use it at your church or just enjoy it at home.

We praise our Lord Jesus,
He keeps us from stumbling,
He keeps us from falling,
He’ll keep us safe in His arms.
We will stand in His presence,
And we’ll see His glory.
We’ll be freed from the stains of sin,
And we’ll stand in His presence,
We’ll stand in His presence with joy.

We sing out our praises,
To God our Redeemer,
Enthroned in the heavens
In the name of Jesus our Lord.
We will stand in His presence, . . .
All glory and honour
And power and dominion
And worship and wisdom
Be unto His holy name.
We will stand in His presence, . . .
© Colin Gordon-Farleigh, 2006

Poem for Today

Love Flowed Freely
When love flowed freely from the Cross,
Man’s richest gain was Heaven’s loss.
When love flowed freely on that day
It washed the darkest sin away.
The Saviour paid the price for sin,
Repentant hearts can enter in.
Love flowing freely from His side,
The bridegroom waits His spotless bride.
When freed from sin, from toil, from pain,
Our joyful praise is Heaven’s gain.
In service now, our arms we raise,
To Him in everlasting praise.

© 2010 Colin Gordon-Farleigh

Jennifer Douglas makes the Charts!

Jennifer Douglas has a fabulous voice! Not just my opinion, but also that of the many people who have commented on it. Here are just a few of the comments received, together with their source, regarding Jennifer's current Hit single, If Only I Had Wings:
  • ‘What a voice. What a song. What a treat. Shut up and listen!’ Roy Smith (Photography by Roy)
  • ‘Beautifully sung. Simple backing that’s simply what it needed.’ Sonraysia Gospel Radio (Australia)
  • ‘Excellent!’ Rita Blackburn, Radio Star, (Ireland)
  • ‘Lovely song, lovely voice and lovely words.’ Roger Hill (In Touch Magazine)

Yesterday I received the latest Charts from UK NCM, and not only has If Only I Had Wings soared to number 6 in the UK NCM Christian Music Chart but Love Away the Hate, which dropped out of the charts at the end of March, has re-entered at number 20. WOW! two of my songs in the Charts at the same time --- how cool is that!

The video of If Only I Had Wings which was uploaded to YouTube has had almost 1000 hits on it already, and is climbing every day. If you haven't already seen and listened to it then why not do so now via this link.

Not only can you listen to it on YouTube, but you can now buy the CD from the Sheer Joy Music website shop or download the tracks from CD Baby.

Monday, April 26, 2010

New edition of 'The Voice Christian News & Views'

The latest edition of The Voice News & Views is due to be released on the 1st May. Packed with interesting articles, cartoons, photographs etc., the magazine is a great read, and all for FREE! If you are not already on the mailing list then why not log onto the website page and register today. Just follow this link.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5 (King James Version)

Thomas Obediah Chisholm, a Methodist minister, wrote the beautiful poem “He Was Wounded for Our Transgressions”. Our precious Saviour never did anything wrong. He never sinned, not one time yet He willingly allowed them to crucify Him on a cruel cross of torture. Why would He do this for us?

It is because of the amazing love of our Saviour. We talk about His love. We preach about His love. We sing about His love and we write about His love but none of have even a fingernail’s grasp of how much He love us. There is no one like Jesus! No one loves us like He loves us. His love is unconditional and unending.

I saw an evangelist on television put his hands on someone and heard him say “Be healed.” Then the evangelist said “You are healed because I laid my hands on you”. When I heard him say that, I was so angry at him that I wanted to put my fist through the television set and hit him.

I submit to you on the authority of God’s Word that it is because of the stripes of our precious Saviour that we are healed. If someone tells you that you are healed because of something that person said or did, don’t believe it. It is a lie straight from the pits of hell. We read it in our Scripture verse “and with his stripes we are healed.”

Heavenly Father, thank You that You love us so much that You opened your heart of compassion to us and sent Your beloved Son into the world so that we might be saved. Jesus, thank You for loving us so much that You willingly took our sins on You and paid the debt that we could never have paid. You are wonderful, Jesus, and I love You with all of my heart. Thank You for coming to me when I couldn’t come to You.

Jesus was wounded for your transgressions. He was bruised for your iniquities. This is how much He loves you. How much do we love Him? Remember, the level of our service to Jesus depends on our level of love for Him. Let me repeat this because it is so important. The level of our service to Jesus depends on our level of love for Him. How much do you love Him?

Joanne Lowe

Thursday, April 8, 2010

'If Only I Had Wings' video of Jennifer Douglas

Here's the video of Jennifer Douglas singing her smash hit song, If Only I Had Wings. This certainly has the X-Factor, judging by the comments pouring in from people about how fabulous Jennifer's voice is and what a great song this is. Check it out for yourself and help to make it a YouTube hit as well.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do You Know How the Apostles Died?

No one ever said that ministry would be easy. Next time that you think it's getting tough, just
reflect on the things that the Apostles faced!
  • Matthew . . . suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.
  • Mark . . . Died in Alexandria, Egypt after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.
  • Luke . . . was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.
  • John . . . faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.
  • Peter . . . was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.
  • James . . . the leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. (This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the Temptation.)
  • James the Great . . . Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.
  • Bartholomew . . . also known as Nathaniel Was a missionary to Asia . He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.
  • Andrew . . . was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: 'I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.' He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.
  • Thomas . . . was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.
  • Jude . . . was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.
  • Matthias . . . the apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.
  • Paul . . . was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.
Perhaps this serves as a reminder to us that our sufferings here are indeed minor compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty faced by the apostles/disciples during their times for the sake of the Faith. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:But he that endureth to the end shall be saved.Matthew 10:22

  • Live simply.
  • Love generously.
  • Care deeply.
  • Speak kindly.
  • Leave the rest to God

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.”
Hosea 14:4 (King James Version)

I watched a church service on television and it broke my heart. There was a sign that flashed across the screen several times during the service even while they were praying. Instead of the sign having the words “Come home to Jesus”, they had put the words “Come home to (the name of the church)” on the sign.

I believe that the words on that sign shows disrespect to Jesus, hurts Him and breaks His heart. We need to come home to Jesus! The Bible tells us that we are to assemble ourselves together. However, going to church on Sunday will never save us. Jesus died on the cross for us so we can be saved and we need to come home to Jesus.

It is only when the cleansing atoning blood is applied to our hearts for the forgiveness of our sins that we are saved and assured of a home in Heaven for all eternity. Unless and until the blood of Jesus is applied to our hearts, we are lost in our sins and on our way to hell for all eternity.

If you have strayed away from Jesus, ask Him to forgive you and come home to Jesus. He promised that He would take you back. He said “I will heal their backsliding”. He loves you very much and He is waiting for you to come home to Him with His arms opened wide and a heart full of compassion. Swallow your pride and run into His waiting arms.

Joanne Lowe

Persecution of Christians in UK

On Monday 29th March I posted a Blog entry about the group of UK Bishops who made a stand on behalf of the Christians in the UK who are undergoing increasing persecution, and in particular I referred to the case of Shirley Chaplin who has been banned from wearing the crucifix which she has worn around her neck for the almost forty years. The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Trust has deemed that it breaches their Health and Safety rules on the grounds that a risk assessment showed that it could be pulled by a patient in her care.

Not only has this never happened in the case of Mrs Chaplin, the Trust could not demonstrate that it had ever happened to anyone else. Mrs Chaplin is due to retire from her post this year, and it seems to me that this is nothing more than yet another example of the persecution that Christians face in the UK on a regular basis.

It's interesting that the NHS Trust concerned has no problem with Muslims wearing hijabs, despite the fact that they too might be pulled by a patient. Come to that, what about staff with long hair? On the same grounds, are they also not breaching Health & Safety rules, for long hair, as every small boy knows only too well, is just asking to be pulled! Then there is the problem with any loose clothing such as white coats that flap around. Surely the NHS Trust would want to see all of their staff in Lycra uniforms that allow no bits that might be tugged to flap about.

Of course, all of these idiotic matters have come about as a result of the plethora of nonsensical regulations imposed under the current government, coupled with the increasing nonsense imposed upon this nation by the European Community.

There can be no doubt that Christianity is coming under increasing persecution under this government. It's interesting to ponder on the thought that it has been alleged that many members of the Labour Government have been connected to the Communist Party at some time in their lives, often when they were at university. Christianity was, of course, always considered a threat to Communism. Interesting to not too, that the links between certain Union Leaders with extreme views are very strong in terms of their connection to the Labour Party. Interesting thought . . .

Whatever the answers may be, there is no doubt that Christians in this country need to stand firm together and prepare to be counted. Failure to do so will allow further marginalisation of the Christian Faith, and it won't be too long before there are examples of Christians who are hiding their faith altogether.

Already, many of the several million who claim to be Christians in the UK seem afraid to go openly to proclaim there faith by sitting in the pews at a Sunday Service, leaving many churches very empty.

New song from Jennifer Douglas : 'If Only I Had Wings'

Sheer Joy Music have uploaded a video of Jennifer Douglas singing her latest single, released a few days ago, called If Only I Had Wings. What an amazing voice Jennifer has! She sings with passion and has a great voice-control. This song was initially recorded at the Sheer Joy Music Studio and then sent down to Sean Kenny at Studio Ten21 in Kent to be mastered. Sean also plays Greg Scheer's music as well.

We are trying to get as many people as possible to view the video and help to make it a HIT, so please help us do that by taking a look here and then sharing it with everyone you know, especially those on your email list.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Westminster 2010: Conscience Manifesto

Christian Leaders launch ‘Conscience Manifesto’ ahead of General Election with call to arms for the Country’s Christians
Thirty senior Christian leaders, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, will launch a Christian Manifesto the ‘Westminster 2010: Declaration of Christian Conscience’ on Easter Sunday.
Westminster 2010 is a rallying call to UK Christian voters and urges Christians of all denominations to vote with their conscience, guided by their faith.

With four million regular church attenders in Britain, on average 6,000 per parliamentary constituency, the move has real potential to have a significant impact on who is elected, especially in marginal seats.

The document sets out a broad range of policies that unite churches in the UK, including support for marriage, freedom for those of faith to live their lives according to their beliefs and opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia.

It also calls for Christians to support, protect, and be advocates for children born and unborn, and all those who are sick, disabled, addicted, elderly, poor, exploited, trafficked or exploited by unjust trade, aid or debt policies.

The timing of the launch of Westminster 2010 ahead of the call of the General election is designed to send a clear message to all parliamentary candidates that Christians will be supporting those who will both promote policies that protect vulnerable people and also respect the right of Christians to hold, express and live according to Christian beliefs.

The call comes in the wake of an increase in reports of Christians facing discrimination in all walks of life, including the widely reported cases of discrimination against Christian workers, Shirley Chaplin, Lillian Ladele and Caroline Petrie.

Earlier this year Christian leaders united to challenge the Equalities Bill, which would have made it illegal to insist that their employees including the clergy believed in God and the teachings of the Bible.

Westminster 2010 marks a significant escalation in the battle by church leaders to protect Britain’s Christian heritage, which they feel is under threat.

The Christian leaders plan to target Members of Parliament and candidates who are seeking election to pledge that they will ‘respect, uphold and protect the right of Christians to hold and express Christian beliefs and act according to Christian conscience’.

The signatories of Westminster 2010 include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali and Cardinal O’Brien, leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland.

They are joined by other leaders of major Christian denominations and church networks, Christian charities and principals of three leading UK Bible Colleges. The signatories invite all Christians holding historic Christian beliefs to join them in signing the declaration.

The signatories affirm their adherence to historic Christian beliefs celebrated at Easter such as the divinity of Christ and his death and resurrection and then their commitment to protecting life, marriage and conscience.

The declaration begins, ‘Protecting human life, protecting marriage, and protecting freedom of conscience are foundational for creating and maintaining strong families, caring communities and a just society. Our Christian faith compels us to speak and act in defence of all these.’

The leaders then affirm their commitment as UK citizens ‘both to exercise social responsibility in working for the common good and also to be subject to all governing authorities and obey them except when they require us to act unjustly’.

They affirm their belief that ‘all human life has intrinsic and equal dignity and worth and that it is the duty of the state to protect the vulnerable’ and make a commitment to ‘support, protect, and be advocates for… children born and unborn, and all those who are sick, disabled, addicted, elderly, in single parent families, poor, exploited, trafficked, appropriately seeking asylum, threatened by environmental change, or exploited by unjust trade, aid or debt policies’.

The leaders specifically pledge ‘to work to protect the life of every human being from conception to its natural end’ and signal their intention to ‘refuse to comply with any directive that compels us to participate in abortion, destructive embryo research, assisted suicide and euthanasia’.

They pledge to support marriage – ‘the lifelong covenantal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife’ – as ‘the only context for sexual intercourse’ and ‘the most important unit for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all’. Edicts forcing Christians ‘to equate any other form of sexual partnership with marriage’ are rejected.

Whilst the leaders ‘count it a special privilege to live in a country where all citizens have the right to participate in the political process’ and ‘pledge to do what (they) can to ensure our laws are just and fair, particularly in protecting vulnerable people’ they also commit themselves to ‘seek to ensure that religious liberty and freedom of conscience are unequivocally protected against interference by the state and other threats, not only to individuals but also to institutions including families, charities, schools and religious communities’.

Read the declaration for yourself by visiting Westminster 2010 which was launched today at and carries a database of parliamentary candidates.

Make your voice heard – click here to sign the Declaration

Thank you

Support for Chris Grayling MP . . .

Expressly under so-called 'New Labour' (which is really just Old Labour with a new name), Witch-hunts have become increasingly common. Having introduced over 3500 new Laws that doesn't come as any surprise, for many of the new laws have been designed to support lifestyle choices that millions of people find unacceptable or at least uncomfortable. Credence is granted to anyone who speaks out in support of these new laws, whilst at the same time anyone who dares to speak out against them is publicly ridiculed and castigated, or as we have seen all too often, metaphorically subjected to a public display of being hanged, drawn and quartered.

Chris Grayling MP is one such current victim for daring to voice out the opinion of millions of like-minded people in this country when he says that when running a Guest House in your own home should give you the right to decide to exclude anyone who offends your own beliefs. In this instance it involves a couple running a Guest House in Berkshire who refused to accommodate a same-sex couple in their house on the grounds that it offended against their Christian faith. (I wrote about the situation on March 26th under the heading: So, what about the right to practise what you believe?)

It's interesting that a vociferous pack of baying voices quickly screams whenever anyone attempts to exercise their rights to restrict guests to their homes who they deem unacceptable for justifiable reasons, yet the voices are strangely silent when the boot is on the other foot. Surf through the internet and you will find copious examples of accommodation which advertises that it is for 'women only' or that it is for 'gay couples' (not meaning, presumably, couples who are happy, but couples whom are same-sex).

If owners of Guest Houses wish to offer accommodation that is exclusively for women or for same-sex couples, then I believe that they should be allowed to with neither fear nor favour. It's away in which they can express and confirm their belief in the right to practise their lifestyle. Equally, couples of a specific Faith group must be allowed the same rights, and if that means denying accommodation to same-sex couples then so be it. That is their right. Of course, equally, to deny single accommodation to an individual on the basis of their individual sexual orientation would be wrong, but this is a totally different issue. According to the Christian Faith, (and other Faith groups), the sin is in the practise of something described in Scripture as being offensive to God.

To publicly flog (albeit metaphorically) an individual such as Chris Grayling for expressing a view that, whilst being his own view, is also that of millions of other folk, is abominable and unacceptable, despite the feelings of New Labourites who embrace anything which serves to divide the nation and grant them a greater hold on power under the 'Divide and Rule' practise.

Will they announce the Election today?

I wonder whether the government will, as expected, make the announcement today about the date for the General Election. Already the political parties concerned have been beating the drums to advertise their wares, although none of them seem to be worth a lot. Politically speaking, it's a bit like a political car-boot sale, full of tat but with the occasional bargain.

How good it would be to have a party that stood on the truth, promoting morality and ethics in a nation that often seems to be greatly lacking in both. The truth is most important, and yet it's the truth that is often the thing farthest from the politicians' lips. The labour Party are led currently by Gordon Brown, a man who has publicly lied and discredited himself. Add to that the invitation to Tony Blair to join the election carnival and those two Machiavellian plotters, Mandelson and Campbell, and you have a veritable brood of vipers, proven liars all. If the nation votes them in yet again then they will deserve all that they get! There are some in the party who are decent human beings, but they are usually crushed very quickly and prevented from letting their decency tainting the rest.

Whilst I can say that I would definitely NOT vote for this bunch of liars I cannot say who, at the finishing post, I would vote for, because I have yet to be really convinced that there is anyone who is worth my vote.

It will be interesting to watch the antics over the coming weeks and to note the promises that are made, guessing which, if any, might have any chance of coming to fruition. The big problem is, of course, that generally speaking the profession where the members refer to each other as 'Honourable' is, by and large, dishonourable; made so by the liars and cheats that have people the hallowed halls of Westminster for many years now, particularly over the past thirteen years of the Labour government.

The Big Question . . .

On Easter Sunday, Ruth, an elderly member of my congregation passed away after a relatively short stay in hospital. She was 94 years old, and had been ready to take her last journey for the last five years, having suffered the indignities of living in a Care Home where, unable to see very well and unable to walk, yet with her mental faculties still completely intact, she was generally unhappy and dissatisfied with her lot in life. She had not been the easiest person to get on with always, and the result of that was that few people visited her. I can only think of four people, including myself, and possibly a fifth. The last of her family as far as she knew, I was named as her next of kin, and so have the task of attending to her last wishes.

Her death set me thinking; musing on the frailty of life and the twists and turns that our lives can take. I discovered yesterday that in 1998 Ruth was awarded a certificate in recognition of her voluntary work by Cheshire County Council Social Services, the certificate being presented by The Duke of Westminster. I never knew about this because it happened a few months prior to my knowing her and she never thought to tell me about it. Knowing Ruth, I guess she would have considered that boastful. I remember a similar thing about eleven years ago. A friend of mine back home in Wales died and I was invited to officiate at his funeral. In part of the eulogy I mentioned a variety of his achievements, amongst which was the fact that he had played in a jazz band for many years. This fact, and several more, surprised many of the people present, even amongst those who knew him well. For a long time people knew him as someone who was a bit down at heel, who liked a gamble on the horses, and that was about it. Yet his past threw up all sorts of interesting facts about this quiet unassuming man.

As a minister I often am privy to information that is kept from others, especially information about health matters or family secrets. I long ago recognised that just because someone walked about with a cheerful smile it didn't mean that they had no problems in their life. Often the smile hid sadness and pains that they kept from the world as a matter of choice, preferring instead to present a cheerful front.

As I walked my dog, Sam, yesterday evening, I mused upon the great question of 'life and why we are here', although I'm not sure about my conclusions. After all, in one sense we are born, we live, we die. Most of those folk who knew us in our lifetimes soon forget for the great part that we existed beyond the occasional mention of our names. Yet every individual deserves more than that, surely.

In the song Are You Lonesome Tonight, Elvis Presley sang 'all the world's a stage and every man and woman in it merely players', and, just as with any stage, the actors and actresses who people it play a variety of parts on it. We are at various times all things to the people who are with us at the time. We are people of many parts, and it's this that sets us apart, this that creates secret lives with things known only to those who were fellow players alongside us at the time.

Is there a purpose to life? I think that we have to accept that there is, otherwise it seems so futile. What's the point of entering this world for what is, after all, a relatively brief period, if there's no purpose to it. Some will say that the purpose for each of us is to improve the lot of the next generation, but if that's the case then, by and large, we've failed miserably. Yes, I agree that there are some marvellous inventions to occupy the time that our labour-saving devices give to us, but we have crime of all sorts, drunkenness on the streets, a paucity of moral and ethical behaviour and a nation of people who have turned their backs on God.

I agree that part of our purpose is to help improve life for others, both by what we do now and what we create for the future, but the important matter for me is not simply what we do but why we do it. If we do things to make ourselves feel better, especially if we desire to make ourselves appear better than others, then it serves little real purpose in terms of value; but if we do things that are born out of a desire to serve God by serving others, then the picture changes completely.

There are many atheists who not only deny the existence of God to themselves, but also make it a lifetime ambition to try to impose their lack of belief on others. Yet having often considered and pondered upon the question of God's existence I can draw no other measured conclusion than that He exists. That being the case then I have a purpose to my life that could not be clearer, for I have a reason to serve others in His name rather than in my own.

The Westminster Confession of Faith states in part that:
We believe that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever.
So do I! and so I try to live up to that belief by the manner in which I conduct my life. Am I always successful? Probably not because I am, after all, merely a human being. However, when I was a child I was taught that by aiming for the moon I would at least land on a star, and so, whilst I will probably never attain the highest standards of Jesus Christ, I may nevertheless attain at least a standard that might be pleasing to God. Either way, I'm never going to give up trying!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A few questions to ponder upon . . .

Why do Tesco's make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

Why do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

Why do we leave cars worth thousands of pounds in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

Why do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.


Why the sun lightens our hair,
But darkens our skin ?

Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?

Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on planes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?!

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

Poem for Today

Building Site

Look upward at men
in yellow hats
climbing skyward
on iron scaffold;
brewing tea
on what will be
the second floor,
and more —
for on the third,
beside the long
wooden planks
forming shuttering,
and down-pipes
and guttering,
amid the mass
of concrete contusion,
there stands,
rusting brown,
paint-scarred red,
a singularly plain
corrugated shed.

© 1978 Colin Gordon-Farleigh
Fragments of Earth, published by Voice Publications, 2006

Easter Bank Holiday Monday

Today is Easter Bank Holiday Monday, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it's raining and none too warm! However, it does at least put me in mind of holidays and so I thought that I'd share a few pics of places that I'd rather be today than here, provided that the weather was bright, sunny and warm! The first that comes to mind is beautiful Snowdonia in Wales, where the sheer magnificence of the scenery takes your breath away.

I love hills and valleys, because at any time of the year they have their own individual beauty.

The above picture really is paradise. The scene is at Paradise Bay in Malta.

Mountains and Lakes, what a perfect combination!

Not enough to travel abroad? No matter, there are so many wonderful places to visit in the UK. The above pic is just one of them, Castle Combe in Wiltshire, recognised as one of England's prettiest villages and the place where Dr Doolittle was filmed.

No selection of pics would be complete without me including one of the famous Canadian Rockies.

Nor of this fabulous beach house in North Carolina. Just imagine staying there for a couple of weeks!

Here in the United Kingdom, Cornwall is one of my favourite Counties with its fabulous shorelines, surf and so much to see and do.

Finally, is the above pic not just the most classic answer to everyone's dream of a place to get away to?

Joanne Lowe's Meditations

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
Luke 22:31, 32 (King James Version)

I have read our Scripture verses for today many times. However, one day these words penetrated my heart. I realized if Jesus prayed for Simon by his name, He also prays for me by my name because Jesus does not play favorites. You may have read these verses over and over but do you realize that Jesus is praying for you by your name?

I will use a friend of mine, Pastor Murray, for an example. Jesus says “Father, I bring Murray to you. You know that he has been faithful to us. Would You encourage him and strengthen him and reassure him of our love for him?”

There are times when we are so overwhelmed with grief that we are unable to pray. Then there are times when our hearts are broken because of cruel and sarcastic words that have been said to us and we hurt too much to pray. The next time you get discouraged and feel like giving up remember that Jesus is praying for you.

I get tears in my eyes when I think about my precious Saviour praying for me. I have heard Him say many times with my spiritual ears “Father, comfort and encourage Joanne today”.

What a soothing balm it is to our weary battle scarred hearts to not only know that the Saviour of the world loves us but to also know that He is praying for us by our names! Thank You, Jesus, for loving us. We love You and appreciate You.

Joanne Lowe