Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Time

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.”

Henry Van Dyke



 This is a portrait of a girl filmed by her father every week for 14 years

Monday, 24 March 2014

REPOST: Winning Gold

Just met an amazing friend for coffee. He's recently lost his wife and continues to care for two wonderful daughters, one of whom is severely challenged with learning difficulties. It reminded me of a blog from 2012, which I re-post in his honour:

Her name is Rebecca and I saw her on Saturday. She is maybe 9 or 10 years old, but I guess with a mental age of an infant. Her chair was amazing. It kept her body from twisting and held her head upright. There was a big smile on her face as her father teased her and tickled her and cheered her on as she ate.

Her name is Jessica and I saw her on Saturday. I guess she’s in her 20’s. Her race was amazing. She pulled away from the opposition to win the heptathlon gold. There was a big smile on her face as the crowd cheered her achievement.

Jessica has her gold medal. One day so will Rebecca.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Tony Benn: He Dared to be a Daniel

Tony Benn (1925-2014) died this week.

An amazing man. Someone who stuck by his beliefs throughout his life. Even if you disagreed with him, you had to admire his courage, persistence and lack of compromise.

In 2002 he came to Peterborough for his ‘An Audience With’ tour. A packed theatre sat for two hours with him chatting and answering questions, accompanied only by his beloved flask of tea. (Earlier tours also included his pipe, but health and safety regulations put paid to that!) It was one of my political highlights. I was glad to be there. As Benn put it, the tour ‘reignites the public meeting, uninterrupted by Jeremy Paxman or John Humphrys’!

His autobiography is called ‘Dare to be a Daniel’. It’s a reference to a Salvation Army hymn of the same name, sung to him by his father. His parents appeared to have had a stronger Christian faith than he, but in amongst the ‘honest doubts’ of his first chapter in the book, there is a clear belief too.  Not a traditional Christian one, but as you read the pages, you see the passion:

Dare to be a Daniel
Dare to stand alone
Dare to have a purpose firm
Dare to make it known.
 
He surely did that. He dared to make his views and purpose known. An honest politician- a phrase that is not always a juxtaposition of opposites!
 
In the end, he left parliament after fifty years ‘to devote more time to politics’! He considered politicians as either signposts or weathercocks. The first, clear in their views. The second awaiting the prevailing political winds before deciding. Tony Benn was a great example of the former. I wish there were more. A rare breed.
 
History will show he was not always right. But he dared to have a purpose. And he dared to stand alone.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Bible in Fifty Words


God made. Adam bit.
Noah arked. Abraham split.
Joseph ruled. Jacob fooled.
Bush talked. Moses balked.
Pharaoh plagued, people walked.
Sea divided, tablets guided.
Promise landed.
Saul freaked, David peaked.
Prophets warned. Jesus born.
God walked. Love talked.
Anger crucified. Hope died.
Love rose. Spirit flamed.
Word spread. God remained.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

I Don't Know Her Name....

I don’t know her name. But God does.

A big city in central India. The middle of a Christian festival. Over 400 had come forward for prayer and to commit their lives to Christ.
A feeling there was meant to be one more. A debate with God. ‘Really God, there are 400 here already. What’s one more? And the meeting has moved on. It would be difficult to say something now.’
But, no. I’m sure God is prompting me. There is a girl here, He says to me, a student. She’s been away from faith in Christ for a while. But she’s here tonight. And she should have come forward.
Okay. The announcement is made. The meeting moves on. Many people healed. Amazing times.
Then, as we make our way back to the car at the end: ‘Please sir, please sir. I’m the one! I’m the girl! It’s me.’
I don’t know her name. But I know that on that night, in the middle of a crowd of thousands, God singled her out.
We prayed. I left. We may never meet again. But I know that on a warm night in central India, a young student girl gave her life back to Christ, recommitted herself to God. And I know that at that moment, God gave her a hope and a future. A destiny only she can fulfil.
I don’t know her name. But one day, probably the other side of this life, we will meet again and I will see the wonder of all God did on a warm India night.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Pages are Rustling with Adventure (2)

Again, to misquote C S Lewis, the pages are once more rustling with adventure. I will be writing my daily journal in a different country and continent for the next two weeks as I take a team out to Kolkata for a week, and then another team to Hyderabad for a week.

Working with local churches, there will be much to do- children's fun days, visiting sponsored children, teaching pastors, reaching out to communities. Lot's to do. Lot's to write. Lot's of life to celebrate.

The Bible says 'I can do all things through Him who strengthens me'. (Philippians 4: 13).

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Choices

We decide where we go and what we do in life.
 
We choose whether we lose our days in TV soaps and game shows or determine to achieve more by our lives.
 
We decide whether life is an existence or an achievement, whether we leave a memory or a mark on our generation.
 
Bryn Jones