Friday, 25 October 2013

Go Easy On The Elder Brother by Ken Legg



Who was very upset when the prodigal son came home?” the children’s church worker asked her class. A little boy put his hand up and replied, “The fatted calf!”

I can understand that. But, as we know, the answer the teacher was looking for was, ‘the elder brother’. His younger brother went off in rebellion into the far country. He wasted his inheritance and lived immorally with prostitutes. He insulted his father and brought shame on the family name. Yet at the end of the parable he is the one inside the party as the centre of attention and his dutiful, elder brother is outside, grumpy and all alone.

His father got up, left the party and went out to his elder son, pleading with him to come inside. In response, the son uttered a phrase I have heard over and over again when a legalist gets the revelation that all he was trying to get through his works he already had by grace! “All these years I served you, and you never even gave me a kid goat!”

All these years
Here are some of the things that people say when their eyes are opened to the unmerited, unconditional favour of God given to us freely in Christ:

“All these years I have tried to keep the law; then you come along and announce that Jesus has fulfilled it completely on my behalf and nailed it to the cross!”
“All these years I have tried to deal with my sins one by one – confessing and repenting, confessing and repenting – and then you come along and tell me that Jesus made one sacrifice once for all and all my sins have been forgiven!”

“All these years I have tried to get more power through fasting; and then you come along and tell me that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead already lives inside me.”
“All these years I have been trying to break curses over my life; and then you come along and tell me I am not cursed, but blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus!”

“All these years I have been trying to live for God; and then you come along and say, ‘Don’t try to live for God, let Him live through you!’”

“All these years I have been trying to die to self; and then you come along and tell me I am already crucified with Christ and that it’s no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!”

“All these years I have been chasing God; and then you come along and tell me He never left me!”

And what did we get for all our work over all those years? Not even a skinny goat! Why? Because God doesn’t do deals. Any works we perform in an effort to get things from God are called ‘dead works’. They are superfluous, because everything God wants to give us and everything He wants to do in our lives is already paid for.

Surprise ending

We expect Jesus to give the elder brother a bad ending in this parable; after all he deserves it, right? And so an appropriate conclusion to the parable would be to give him a good telling off. But Jesus doesn’t do that. Instead we see the father leaving the party to come out to his elder son and lovingly plead with him to come in. You see, this father had two sons and they were both lost – one in the far country and the other in the house. And he loved them both equally – the rebel and the legalist.

Some wonderful things are happening in our Father’s house in different parts of the world today. It is being known more and more as a house of grace. And prodigals are coming home because they feel safe to do so.

But let’s make it easy for the elder brother too. I have read several internet blogs on grace-based sites and wonder if a new breed is emerging – the grace Pharisee. It’s easy to become smug and self-righteous in our new-found discovery of the wonder of grace, and then arrogantly turn and point the finger at the legalist who has not yet had the same revelation.

When I’m tempted to condemn the elder brother, God reminds me that I was once one! He is not the enemy of the lost; He is their Seeker and their Finder. So when we engage in discussion and debate with the legalist, let’s not just preach grace – let’s model it also. May they not only hear grace, may they experience it too!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Private Edward Ryan. V.C.


Private Edward John Francis Ryan Ryan, 55th Battalion, Victoria Cross action at Bellicourt, France.

John Ryan, born at Tumut, New South Wales, was a labourer on enlistment in December 1915. He embarked the following April, joining the 55th Battalion in France in September.

During the battalion's attack on the Hindenburg defences near Bellicourt, on 30 September 1918, Ryan went forward under heavy fire and was one of the first to reach an enemy trench. A German counter-attack drove the Australians back, placing them in a critical position. Ryan organised and led an attack on the Germans with bombs and bayonets. His small party killed three Germans, then he single-handedly rushed the remainder and drove them back. He was badly wounded in the shoulder, but his action enabled the trench to be retaken.

After the war Ryan struggled to find employment, particularly during the Depression years. From 1935 he worked for some time with an insurance company, but his health deteriorated and he died of pneumonia in 1941.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Spiritual Mirror


Truth is found within the mirror
In the reflection of the son,
The power of heaven’s spirit
The flames ignited from revelation
The words of abundant life
These are faith’s foundations
Loves whispers that enchant the heart
That lie within golden treasure
Seeping through crimson threads
In the goodness easily found,
The spirits power
In the words of
Glorious grace
In the signature which
Contains all God’s righteousness
Reflected in letters
Found in the spiritual mirror.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

From A Park Bench - Remember Your Victories


Joshua 2 9-11

(Rahab) said to them, “I know that the Lord has given you this land and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed.  When we heard of it, our hearts melted in fear and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
  
Just like Rahab we can choose to believe in the goodness and grace of God in our lives. We can all look back and spend time remembering the great victories of the God in our life. Those times when the miraculous hand of the Lord just provided a way through the desert of life.

Whoever you are, whatever you have been through we all have moments and times when God just showed you his grace and mercy. In the same way as Rahab, we might have just heard of the mighty hand of God but when we put our faith in the goodness of God we can see the hand of God work in our lives.

Just last week my wife had a weight smash on to her right foot. Her foot immediately started to swell and turn black. She screamed out in pain and said it must have been broken as she could not move some of her toes. So I prayed for her foot and took authority over the foot and the sickness, thanking God for her healing In Christ. Almost immediately, the pain went, the swelling died down and she could move her toes. God healed her foot and I said to her, “remember this day, on 14th October 2013, your foot was healed”. This was a moment, a stepping stone, a point to remember in our journey through life that God has provided all the healing we need through his grace.

Now to some this might seem a ‘small’ healing, but that is just the point, there are no small healing In Christ. God does not want any one to live in sickness; he wants us to live in the fullness of all his finished work. We have an overflow of goodness and grace in our lives and everyday, in everyday circumstances God wants us to live in and draw on his grace. He wants us to remember the moments of victory, so we can recall them to mind and meditate on all he has accomplished for us.

See the goodness of God in your imagination, live in the fullness of all you are in Christ, thank God for all his grace freely given to every one of us in Christ and remember all the blessings and all the grace of God that he has showered on your life.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Grace Notes - Luke 22:16


Luke 22:16 "For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God."

The Passover meal was taken by the children of Israel as a remembrance of their deliverance from the slavery of Egypt.

This meal served as a signpost for the people to Christ. When the children of Israel left Egypt they were under a covenant of grace.  The grace of God was there to: -

 Free them from oppression,

Deliver them from slavery,

Heal them from diseases,

 Sustain them on their journey

Save them from the chasing army

Guide them to the Promised Land.

Likewise the grace of God through Christ, is our deliverance, freedom, health and wholeness.

As Andrew Womaack explains the Passover was much, much more than a meal to remember:-

The Lord longed to share the passover meal with His disciples. He was less than 24 hours away from fulfilling His mission and, like anyone who can see the finish line, He must have had feelings of relief and excitement.

The passover meal commemorated the Jews' deliverance from slavery in Egypt (Ex. 13:3-10). It also had a much deeper spiritual application that, as Jesus explains here, would be fulfilled through His death. The Jewish nation as a whole had missed any future prophetic meaning of the passover.

On the night of the original passover, the Lord passed through the land of Egypt and judged the land by slaying all the firstborn men and beasts. The Jews had to slay a spotless lamb, take its blood and apply it to the door posts of their homes. They were commanded to remain indoors, under the covering of this blood until morning. When the Lord passed through the land at midnight to execute His judgment, He passed over the homes that had the lamb's blood on their doors and no one inside was hurt. This is a perfect picture of the redemption that Jesus provides for us.

Everyone deserves judgment because of their sins. However, Jesus provided Himself as a spotless, sacrificial lamb for us, so that if we apply His blood to our lives by confessing Him as Lord, God will pass over us on judgment day.

Jesus was sacrificed on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish year - the exact day and time that the passover lambs were being slain. Truly, "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Cor. 5:7).

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Ernest Corey. M.M.& 3 Bars


Ernest Albert Corey served as a stretcher bearer during the First World War. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 13 January 1916, and was allocated to the 55th Battalion, where he was initially posted to a grenade section before volunteering for stretcher bearing duties. In 1917 he was twice awarded the Military Medal for his devotion to duty in aiding wounded soldiers, and twice again in 1918; becoming the only person to be awarded the Military Medal four times.

Citations:

Military Medal

The award for Corey's Military Medal was published in a supplement to the London Gazette on 18 July 1917. His citation read:

"During the enemy attack on front line facing Queant on 15th May 1917, Pte Corey, whilst acting as a stretcher bearer, showed great courage and devotion to duty. Although under direct enemy observation, he carried out his duties continuously for 17 hours without rest, and in a manner worthy of the highest commendation. Although an untrained stretcher bearer, he, together with the rest of the bearing party saved by first aid the lives of seriously wounded men. The Commander of the 54th Bn wrote an appreciation for the help given, and specially mentioned the stretcher bearing party for their good work."

First Bar to Military Medal

Originally recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, Corey was instead awarded a Bar to his Military Medal. The award was published in a supplement to the London Gazette on 14 January 1917. The citation for his first Bar read:

"This stretcher bearer showed great courage, devotion to duty and untiring energy during the attack on Polygon Wood on the 26th September 1917. The greatest danger did not deter this man from doing his duty when his services were required, and he tended the wounded and carried them to places of safety continuously throughout the engagement, often under very heavy artillery and machine gun fire. Throughout the whole operations he set a fine example of bravery and coolness to all ranks."

Second Bar to Military Medal

Corey was again originally recommended for the Distinguished Conduct Medal, but was awarded a second Bar to his Military Medal. The award of the second Bar was published in a supplement to the London Gazette on 13 March 1919.

The citation for his second Bar records:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations at Peronne on 1st and 2nd September 1918. This man who is a stretcher bearer, dressed and carried wounded of several units throughout the whole of the operation. Although the enemy artillery and machine gun fire was exceptionally heavy, this did not debar this man from carrying on. He worked continuously and arduously and was the means of saving the lives of many of the wounded. He was most unselfish throughout and cheerful at all times and under all circumstances. His careful handling of the wounded and his knowledge of first aid helped greatly to relieve their sufferings; throughout the operations he set a fine example of courage, coolness, determination and devotion to duty, under heavy fire."

Third Bar to Military Medal

The third Bar to his Military Medal was published in a supplement to the London Gazette on 13 June 1919. The citation for his third bar records:

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as NCO in charge of Battalion stretcher bearers during an attack on the Hindenburg Line north of Bellicourt on 30 September 1918. Although enemy machine gun and shell fire were intense, this gallant NCO directed the operations of the Battalion stretcher bearers with the utmost skill and bravery. Regardless of personal danger, he, on numerous occasions although the enemy were firing upon him and other bearer parties, attended to men and carried them from the most exposed positions. His efforts were untiring and he set a splendid example to all ranks until he was severely wounded. It was mainly due to his magnificent work that the wounded were safely removed from the danger zone."

Friday, 18 October 2013

Grounded


Grounded in a God who connects, who cleanses, who does not condemn.

Grounded in a God who speaks, who empowers.

Grounded in a God who can be worshiped without the limitations of space or religion.

Grounded in the blaze of God’s glory.

Grounded in the bliss of His grace.

Grounded in the blast of His goodness.

Grounded in the wonder and mystery of my union in Christ.

Grounded in the approval, love, favour, acceptance and every spiritual blessing of Christ.

Grounded in the truth and grace of his love letter to me.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

From A Park Bench - The Bramble Bush


A few years ago I faced a challenge of monumental proportions. On the surface it seemed that this challenge would be a two minute job, just a little exertion on a sunny Saturday afternoon.  But a small insignificant Bramble Bush became an evil, back breaking plant that would not be removed.

This Bramble Bush had taken residence in our front garden and had grown to become a little problem with its thorny tentacles causing trouble and destruction.  I thought it would only take a few goes with my secateurs, but after two hours of pushing, pulling, cutting, chopping, I had to call in the cavalry to get rid of the plant. My father-in-law arrived and with his industrial strength chopper’s, the evil Bramble Bush was defeated and victory was achieved.

When we looked at the remnants of the bush, it was obvious that the roots of the plant were greater than the plant.  Its strength was in its roots, the hidden, unseen source of all its glory and just as that bush’s roots provided life, stability and nourishment for the bush, so also a revelation of God’s love is the foundation on which everything on our life in Christ is built.

We receive God’s love and grace in and by our roots which reach deep into the vast heart of God. His life is our life, his power is our power, his faith is our faith, and his glory is our glory.  

As we understand and are grounded in our Fathers love we comprehend all that God’s has freely given us by His grace.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Expect God's Goodness by Joseph Prince



PSALM 65:11

“You crown the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance.”

The economic experts may have painted a gloomy picture for the year, but as far as God is concerned, He has crowned the year with His goodness and abundance! God’s supply and provision are never affected by world events, so good times or bad times, expect every month, every week and every day of this year to be surrounded by His goodness. Expect His abundance to meet your every need!

“But Pastor Prince, I've not done much good in the past year, so how can I be confident that God will provide for me this year?”

My friend, God doesn't bless you because of what you have done. He blesses you because of what Jesus has done. At the cross, Jesus bore all your sins and was punished to the full for every one of them, so that you can have His righteousness as a gift and be blessed with every one of God’s blessings. (Ephesians 1:3)

Now, look at the word “abundance” in Psalm 65:11. It is the Hebrew word deshen, which means “fatness”. The idea here is abundant provision, blessings and even fertility. (So if you have been believing God for a child for many years, believe that this is the year you will conceive!) Now, the word deshen has another meaning—“ashes”. Ash is the final form of something that has been burnt. For example, the animal sacrifices to God in the Old Testament were burnt on the altar until they became ashes. (Leviticus 4:12) So ashes here speak of the finished work of Jesus at the cross that has put away your sins.

My friend, because of Jesus’ finished work you can confidently believe and declare that the year is crowned with goodness and that God’s paths drip with His provision, blessings and good success for you every step of the way. If the devil tells you that God won’t bless you because of your sins, just tell him, “Ashes!” and point him to the cross of Jesus!

Beloved, you are blessed not because of your good works, good looks, qualifications or industry experience, but because of Jesus’ finished work. He alone has qualified you to receive God’s goodness and abundance every day for the rest of your life!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

From A Park Bench - Christ is the Source


A few years ago, way back in my early twenties I went with a few friends on the River Thames for a boating holiday. This turned out to be one of those things you do with a few mates.  Nothing too dangerous, but during the holiday I became curious to discover the origins of the great river. Where was the source of the river Thames?

We followed the maps and guide books and eventually found this trickling stream. It seemed almost unbelievable that such an insignificant, tiny stream could flow down the English countryside and become the greatest river in England. The streams final destination was the mighty North Sea. From such small beginnings came a great and mighty river.

Christ whispers to everyone one of us, “I am your source. Trust me for everything.”  This in our 21st Century world seems insane, how can trust in a person put to death, 2000 years ago be the source for all we need. But just like the insignificant trickle that was the source of the Thames, so trusting Christ’s death at Calvary is the only act that can reconcile us back to God.

God grace is an overflowing, cascading river of goodness that flows right into the heart of every man. It is there, every moment of every second available to those who receive it. 

We cannot earn it, we do not deserve it, we receive it freely as a gift, because He is good, because He was faithful, He took what we deserved and gave us what He deserved.

He endured the cross for us, so that In Christ we could have restoration, healing, protection, security, peace, prosperity, wholeness, forgiveness and all the blessings and riches of heaven. Grace is not a doctrine it is a person, grace is Christ.

His unconditional love is a stream of never ending, glorious grace forever flowing to us.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Grace Notes - Matthew 20 v 20


Matthew 22:20-21 "And he said to them, Whose is this image and superscription? They said to him, Caesar's. Then He said to them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's."
The grace of God is free to all, there ready to be received and enjoyed.  When we believe in Christ and accept his sacrifice at Calvary, our Spirit’s are made alive in Christ and are made into a new creation.

It is our Spirit that is born again and but our soul is contaminated with all the lies and pollution of our dead ‘sinful nature’.  Our sinful nature died at the cross and we are left with the residue of the world in our flesh.

We live in the world, but are not controlled by the world. We feel the effects of the ‘cursed earth system’ but we are now ‘seated in heavenly places in Christ’. We chose where we live, either according to the Spirit or according to the flesh.

The more we identify with Christ and his victory the more we live in all Christ won for us at the cross and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of His grace.

Here Andrew Wommack explains that a simple thing as a coin shows us that we live in the world but are united with Christ:-


“The image on the denarius, the only small silver coin acceptable for imperial tax payments, was probably that of Tiberius Caesar (reigned A.D. 14-37). The inscription upon the coin read "Tiberius Caesar Augustus, Son of the Divine Augustus" with the reverse side reading "Chief Priest." This inscription was a claim to divinity and as emperor, the right to be worshiped.
The Jews had tried many times to accuse Jesus on the basis of religious issues and had always failed. Now they approached Him about paying taxes in hopes that His answer might give them the opportunity to deliver Him to Pilate for prosecution.

These Pharisees and Herodians reasoned that any answer that Jesus gave would be wrong. If He approved of the Roman taxes, then He would lose popularity with the masses. If He spoke against the Roman taxes, then the Jews would hand Him over to the Roman government and Pilate would dispose of Him. It looked like they had Jesus trapped. Jesus, however, answered with such simple wisdom that these Pharisees and Herodians were caught in their own trap and made to look like fools.

Jesus declared, "Render (give back) to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" (Mk. 12:17). People are made in God's image, so we must render to God the things belonging to God (our lives) and to Caesar the things belonging to Caesar (his money and other benefits of his rule).”

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Monsters and Mirrors



Mirrors are there to be smashed

Destroyed

Shattered

Into thousands of pieces

Fragments

Crushed and ground

To dust.



Monsters are there to be slayed

Destroyed

Overcome

In hundred of stokes

Incisions

Wounded and killed

To death.



Fears are there to be overcome

Destroyed

Dissolved

Into a million shards

Left

Forgotten and forsaken

Forever



Grace is there to be received

Accepted

Enjoyed

In a infinite treasure

Outstretched

Provided and given

To reign



Mercy is there to be taken

Accepted

Received

In an everlasting refuge

Available

Reached and free

To take



Love is there to be cherished

Accepted

Embraced

In an eternal heart

Devoted

Invites and asks us

To dance.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Everything Provided


Everything provided
Through Christ perfectly given
Every promise confirmed
Eternal redemption
Abundant provision
Say yes and amen
Feast on His goodness
Again and again
Everything we need
No need to plead
Overwhelming grace
Receive and believe.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Forgotten Heroes - Patrick Bugden. V.C.


Private Patrick John Bugden, 31st Battalion, Victoria Cross action at Polygon Wood, near Ypres. It was a posthumous award.

Twenty-year-old Pat Bugden, a hotelkeeper from the north coast of New South Wales before enlistment in the 31st Battalion, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his outstanding bravery over three days during one of the Australians' successful step-by-step advances over 26-28 September 1917.

On two occasions, when held up by intense fire from machine-guns, he led small parties to silence the enemy posts. Five times he rescued wounded men trapped by intense shelling and machine-gun fire. Once, seeing that an Australian corporal had been taken prisoner, he single-handedly rushed to his comrade's aid, shooting and bayoneting the enemy. He kept fighting until he was killed.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

From A Park Bench - Rich Young Ruler



The rich young ruler came to Christ looking for reassurance, he desired those words of affirmation, his question, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” was a open invitation to Jesus for him to confirm that all his good works and self-righteous law keeping would be enough for him to gain eternal life.

The ruler had fallen for the deception that there was some good he could do that could purchase him eternal life. The law was never given for the purpose of producing salvation, but rather the laws intent was to show mankind their exceeding sinfulness, so we would despair to trying to save ourselves and would trust in a savior.

Here is performance based salvation or in other words religion. The scenario that we often hear prayed at any prayer meeting in the land, “Lord, if I do my part, I will believe you will do your part.” NO, God’s blessings and grace to me is not based on my actions or performance, it is based on the finished work of Christ at the cross. All Christ won for me at the cross is a free gift to me and is independent of me ‘doing my part.”

I believe his grace and receive it by faith, which is my positive response to all he has provided. Faith is not a force, a work, an effort but a heart felt thank you. Just remember Christmas day as a child when you opened the best present you had ever been given and with joy and a bursting heart you said thank you to the best parents in the world. That is faith.

The rich young ruler wanted words of reassurance but he needed a savior. He wanted to achieve everything by effort but he needed to give everything up. Self effort and works lead to death, but believing and trusting in Christ leads to eternal life.



He turned to face me
He offered hope.


The loss of image
The strength that I might know.


Need to be clean
Whole.


Need to know
Reassurance.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Grace Notes - Mark 11 v 25




Mark 11:25 "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses”.

All of my sin, every past, present and future sin was forgiven at the cross. The amazing fact is that before I was born, before I was conceived in my mother’s womb all my sin was forgiven. It is not sin that separates me from God but it is my unbelief in all that Christ accomplished for me on the cross. My eternal redemption was won for me, I just have to accept and receive it.

Likewise as a Christian, my good works do not earn any blessings from God and if I sin that sin does not separate me from God.

Sin does however cause a barrier in my heart, as it makes me more conscious of my ‘old man’ and causes my heart to harden to the grace of God.

Forgiving others and asking for forgiveness of others keeps our hearts free from the pollution of the world and the accusations of the Devil. We don’t ask for forgiveness to be right with God, we ask to be right with our fellow man and show the same reconciliation that God shows to us.

As Andrew Wommack explains keeping our hearts free from the pollution of sin helps us hear the quiet whisper of God’s voice and the awareness of the Spirit in our lives:-

There are qualifications for believing and receiving as well as restrictions for receiving answers to prayer. Unforgiveness in our hearts will keep our prayers from being answered.

We should forgive others as quickly as it takes to make the decision to pray. The Greek word for "when" means "whenever, as soon as, or while." When we stand praying, we must forgive if we have ought ("anything at all, the least little part; whatsoever") against anyone.

When we are offended or hurt, we often feel justified in holding a grudge.
The Old Testament law expressed this when it stated, "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth" (Ex. 21:23-25). Until the offense was paid, we did not feel free to forgive. However, God dealt with all men's offenses by placing sin upon the perfect Savior who was judged in place of every sinner of all time. To demand that others must earn our forgiveness is not Christlike. Jesus died for every man's sins, extending forgiveness to us while we were yet sinners, and we should do the same.

It is doubtful that a person who refuses to forgive has ever experienced forgiveness himself. This is comparable to the servant that Jesus talked about in Matthew 18:23-35. He was forgiven a debt of over $3,000,000,000 and yet he refused to forgive his fellow servant who owed him $3,000. The forgiveness that we have received from the Lord is infinitely greater than any forgiveness we will ever be asked to extend to others. Freely forgive as you have been forgiven.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Showered with Grace


Deliberately, then, He took my place
You alone and cold, void of grace
Once separated from His love.

Constraint in time and dwelt with us
Inhaled our pain and tasted our dust
In an undeserved act of mercy.

I am on a journey into awakening
Into endless favour, eternal blessings
The overflow of the Father’s goodness.

Showered with grace, alive and free
The fullness of Christ placed in me
Now seated with Him in heavenly places.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Bygone Times - The 'ish Clock


Now this was a 1980’s little oddity.

The  ‘ish clock.

It was fun and usually the clock could be found in the kitchen.
Whilst the more accurate of us liked the traditional clock, this was a ‘funky’ accessory and was an instant conversational ice-breaker.

Of course it was no good to cook by, but who cared, it was fun and enjoyable.

There are still a few examples I came across, so if you want to relive the 1980’s in your kitchen, get a ‘ish clock.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Forgotten Heroes - William Dartnell. V.C.



Temporary Lieutenant William Thomas Dartnell, 25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, originally from Melbourne, Victoria Cross action at Maktau, British East Africa. It was a posthumous... award.

William Dartnell, born at Collingwood, Melbourne, was only 15 years old when he enlisted for service in South Africa with the Victorian Mounted Rifles in 1901. He returned to South Africa in 1913 and was working there when war was declared. Using the name Wilbur Taylor Dartnell, he joined the 25th Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers, as a temporary lieutenant, and in April 1915 sailed for service in British East Africa.

Dartnell's Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously for his actions on 3 September 1915, near Maktau, East Africa. Wounded in the leg during an ambush, he insisted on being left behind to allow other wounded companions to be carried away. Though he was twice asked to leave, he refused and began firing at the Germans around him. When his body was found, seven enemy dead were lying nearby.

Dartnell was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously, he also received the Queen's South Africa Medal and service medals for the First World War.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

From A Park Bench - Touching His Garment



"When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.  For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction." - Mark 5 27:29

All it took for the woman to be healed was to touch the garment of Jesus. She had lived with her illness and the shame of her uncleanness according to the Law, and under the Law all she could expect from public exposure was very harsh treatment.

The Law condemns us and judges us but Jesus heals us, delivers us and gives us life.

Jesus Christ is the fountain of life, the source of healing, and the abundant provision of God. Everything that is needed in life is given and found in Christ,

Judgment, condemnation and self-righteousness is based in the Law. Every now and then public Christian preachers and leaders admit to public sin, and the way we look and act towards these mistakes shows the condition of our heart. Healing, love, grace and reconciliation are at the heart of God, and God is NOT counting men’s sins against them.

It was her faith that healed this woman, she reached out her hand and believed that if she could touch the garment of Jesus she would be healed. Jesus did not pray for her, he did not lay hands on her, he did not talk to her. She recognized that God had provided all she needed in Christ. She believed that God had provided her healing in Christ and all she had to do was reach out and receive it.

The action of her heart was to reach out and her faith (positive response) was to receive all that God provided by grace.

If the woman had stayed at home, if she had not touched his garment, she would have stayed with her illness and would have never been healed. Likewise, we can decide not to receive from Christ and Jesus will not force himself upon us.

The choice is ours, believe and receive or doubt and do without



Living with lies


Carrying the wounds

Unloved

Ignored



The revelation that I can touch

Feel your power in me

Grasp the chance

Wherever it leads.

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