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Friday, 15 November 2013

None of us are getting any younger!





We had the great privilege to spend the evening with Jo, Jim and Marie to celebrate Marie and Pam's birthday. Marie is in her late twenties and Pam entered another decade (it is up to you to discern which one). I was a great time and wonderful food with Kim and Steve just over the road from the old Rusty. If you should find yourself in Looe with a mere £25 in your pocket you could do no better than visit Mawgans Retaurant: http://www.mawgans.co.uk/

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Birthdays are a great celebration but they are also a reminder that "none of us are getting any younger. During conversation I discovered that on that very day the oldest woman born in Britain had died. She was 113 years old and had lived during 3 different centuries. She must have seen some remarkeable changes in our country, she had experienced many things but now it is all gone, in a fleeting moment on the 14th November she was no more. This is suddenly becoming somewhta morose! It only goes to remind me of the question that I am so often asked: 

"what is life all about?"

Linked with that question is a statement (the real inspiration for todays ramblings!)  from a colleague yesterday. I was somewhat taken aback when told quite categorically that this person did not approve of what we Christians declare as a good thing! 

Forgiveness

The bratinale is that he does not believe that anybody deserves forgiveness. That made me ponder somewhat and to wonder about how we present our gospel. We speak so freely about being forgiven to others but do we deserve it? There is not a true Christian that I know that believes that they truly deserve the favour extended to them in Christ. Forgiveness is not what we deserve but it is what we gain by God's grace. 

I am so sorry that I may have misled others into believing that forgiveness is a pre-requisite for God when He graciously saved us. Forgiveness is God's gift to us in order that He might have fellowship with us. It comes from His amazingly gracious forgettery. He remembers what we were no longer because by His love and mercy he desires a broken fellowship with us to be restored. That forgiveness of course does not come freely, justice demands that wrongdoing is dealt with. Sin as God calls wrongdoing can only have one result: separation or death away from God's presence and grace.

None of us deserve forgiveness, my friend is right in that but God chooses to forgive those whom He chooses (subject for another blog when I am feeling bold enough to publish my Calvanistic viewpoints!). Undeserving forgiveness needs to be carefully explained to unbelievers because as I found out yesterday poor preaching leaves hearers confused as to God's true character and that of course is not true gospel!


Well all of that come from a title that "none of us is getting any younger!" therefore it is a good thing to learn in a late decade (yes I did get there 2 years before Pam!) that we must clearly declare the truth of God's purpose for mankind.

All I can say about it is that we can only guarantee life for this moment and so it is imperitive to speak of the hope that is within us. A 113 year old Brit enered eternity yesterday, she was either forgiven or not (that is God's choice) and she will have been dealt with just as she was. She deserved no favours from God but my hope is that one day I will meet her in heaven because she belonged to the great company of those undeserving "FORGIVEN" called the church. Her name was Grace and it is only by grace that we can enter into God's presence.




 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Christmas is just around the corner.

It is easy for me to be negative about Christmas, I will probably post something of my thoughts on the religious festival later but I do love the season and so when looking at Byrds video's on You Tube I was thrilled to find this video. 


That is what I like about Christmas.
You aint going nowhere!

The weather forecastors were telling us that the weather is going to be bad. Rain and wind spreading up from the west and engulfing our neck of the woods. But we had planned to go for a walk from Polperro to Looe with good friends who were visiting. The forecasters were saying along with Bob Dylan "you aint going nowhere!" (Sorry about the poor English, it was after all written by an American poet and so that gives licence to almost anything!) It does remind me of a great version of Dylan's song which is featured on one of my favourite albums of all time; Sweetheart of the Rodeo by the Byrds:




I do have to say that the music is good but it looks like somebody has released a few fleas amongst the audience.

The forecasters told me that I was going nowhere but the sky was blue it was a bit windy but remarkebly warm for a November morning so ignoring the experts we set off from Polperro along the coastal path and enjoyed a wonderful walk with great friends. We have been looking forward to doing this walk for a while now and we were not in the least disappointed:





As you can see the sky was blue all of the way and we most certainly did go somewhere, we achieved our end and received the reward of coffee and crepes at my favourite coffee shop in Looe (after the Old Rusty of course!!!) 

We were served by the rather eccentic but wonderful proprietor Martin (if you find yourself in Looe at any time you must visit Larsson's; it is an experience). The food was as always excellent and the coffee posibly the best around. Some of our number had hot chocolate made with melted dark Belgian chocolate which caused some whooping to be exclaimed. It was an alll round experience folllowed by the short but rather steep climb of Shutta Hill to visit Marie and Riley.

We had a lovely day that the experts said that we should not have had. When it was over the heavens were opened and the promised "weather" arrived. By that time we were locked in home and we did not want to go anywhere.

All of this goes to show that if we take too much notice of what others say then we might not experience great things.

 Again it reminds me of principles for life: the scripture says that the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those who will not believe but is life itself to those who do. Many experts tell me that my gospel takes people nowhere but I know different!


Do you?