He is Risen!

(Luke 24 : 6 & 34)





“I said to the man
who stood at the gate of the year,
‘Give me a light that I may tread safely
into the unknown.’

And he replied ,
‘Go out into the darkness
and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you
better than light
and safer than a known way !’

So I went forth
and finding the Hand of God,
trod gladly into the night .
And he led me towards the hills
and the breaking of day in the lone East.”



(Minnie Louise Harkins 1875-1957)

May God bless us all throughout 2018 –
and enable us to walk forward with our hands in His,
as He leads, directs and encourages us in
accordance with His promise.
Thank you for your company and support in our journey this past year.
May His Light shine ever stronger for you as you press on with Him.



“It was now about the sixth hour,
and darkness came over the whole land
until the ninth hour,
for the sun stopped shining”
( Luke 23:44-45)

And now as events built towards a climax – and the death of the Son of God was near – creation was affected.

Darkness covered the land. This was highly unusual for midday. To be mentioned like this it must have been a deep and obscuring darkness, as if the blackness of a moonless night was imminent. Not only was the sun obscured but it seemed as if it was no longer giving off light. A chill would have been felt in the air as the temperature fell suddenly. People probably begun to hurry home in fear and in case a violent storm was approaching.

Jesus would have been almost alone now – except for the soldiers, His mother and close followers, His companions on their crosses, and perhaps a few others. As the Light of the world Himself began to flicker towards extinction so the light in the world seemed to do the same.

A terrible silence must have been heard and felt in heaven as the angels watched in horror. And no one would have wanted or dared to look into the face of the Father, watching the darkness of sin separate Him from His beloved Son. This suffocating blanket of sin was falling onto Jesus, being absorbed into Jesus – a darkness where there was no light, no hope and, very soon, no life.

Voluntarily and obediently, in terrible and agonising isolation, Jesus was dying under the weight and horror of it all.


A Child is Born


“She gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger”
(Luke 2:7)

And so on a silent night, when the herald angels sang, in the little town of Bethlehem, in Royal David’s city, while shepherds watched their flocks at night, unto us a child is born. And softly so as not to disturb the quiet babe the faithful down the centuries come to whisper in amazement and awe – Hallelujah!

It had to be night when the Saviour of the world slipped quietly in – for the world was locked in a spiritual darkness. Just as our own lives are in darkness until the Light of the World comes to us and into our lives. Although we do not see it at the time He comes to us very much like the babe of Bethlehem – small and unthreatening and even dependent upon us.

But then over the years He grows within our minds and spirits and understanding into the majestic and glorious and awesomely holy Son of God. And as He finally begins to reign supreme within us we realise just how small was our original knowledge and understanding of Him.

Come let us adore Him – with a cluster of shepherds, a small group of wise men from afar and the encircling bands of angels. For just a moment it does not matter where the world is – but it does matter where we are.

Am I with God and He with me?

Lord I come to You – just as I am


“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.” (Luke 2:14)


(Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerrit van Honthorst)

(I’ll be back on New Years Day –
thank you for being a part of the journey.

May our most glorious Lord bless each and every one of you
with the wonder of His love)

Fruit for all


“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples”
(John 15:8)

Spring is all around me. Whilst the daffodils are fading the azaleas are in glorious bloom. The silver birches, white stinkwood and fig trees that I can see from my window are clothed in bright new greenery. The pruned back hydrangeas are surging upward and outward and the quiet lilies are producing their first buds. The roses that looked gnarled and barren for months are on the point of bursting into the full flush of their first abundant display –as flower girls in front of the breath-taking beauty of the bride of the garden – the white may.  All this reminds me that our God is a God of beauty, abundance and wonderful generosity.

These lovely plants are doing just what they were created to do, bearing abundant fruit to the glory of their Creator and the blessing of those around them. It always strikes me that nature produces her fruit for others whilst humans tend to produce their fruit for themselves.

Obviously we earn our living from the use of the gifts that God has given to us. However we do need to be generous in our use of these gifts and the proceeds that come to us from their use. The Israelites were specifically instructed not to be too zealous in collecting the harvest but to leave some for the poor who came to glean what was left behind. King David also had this to say on the subject.

  • “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14 NIV)
  • “But me–who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14 MSG)

Being generous with the goodness in our lives is not only about money. There is a generosity of spirit, a generosity with care, concern and compassion, a generosity with encouragement, understanding and patience, a generosity with prayer, with time and with specific talents.

I sometimes wonder what I would be like if I were a plant. Perhaps covered in lovely and fragrant blooms and fruit all the year round – or maybe a gnarled, twisted and unlovely thorn bush – or something in-between depending on my circumstances or mood. How would someone draw me – or you?

God has placed love and generosity in your heart. Set it free (-er)

The beauty that people will remember is not of form but of spirit.


Father You are beautiful beyond description and too marvellous for words. Please help me to be more like You and to gladden the hearts of those around me. Amen.








Mighty Creator


“Through him all things were made;
without him nothing was made that has been made.”

(John 1:3)

The Old Testament Scriptures commence with the revelation that God existed before Creation began. John starts his Gospel in a similar way. He reveals that Jesus Christ was also ‘in the beginning.’ He was not only with God but was God. They were together in this beginning.

As Genesis reveals God to have created everything through His powerful Word John shows us this Word as having become ‘flesh’ and having ‘made His dwelling among us.’ He re-iterates for us that ‘through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.’

Jesus Christ is the great and divine Creator of all things. Humankind has made many great discoveries over the ages but they are just that. They are discoveries of what already existed in reality or potential within Creation. What we have discovered so far could possibly pale into insignificance in comparison with what may still remain to be found.

Jesus Christ is also the great Sustainer of His creation. He has not abandoned His great, beautiful and glorious achievement.

“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:3)

Jesus Christ – King of kings, Lord of lords, God, Creator and Sustainer of all things.

Take time to marvel at and enjoy what God has made. Thank Him for it.


Thank you God so much for the wonder and beauty of Your creation, and for having made me a part of it. Help me to treasure and cherish it for You. Amen.


Trust the Lord

yew tree tarn

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6)

Our trust in God is not just for eternal life but for life now as well.

That trust starts, and operates, where we are at this precise moment in time. Whatever our present circumstances, and no matter how we arrived in them, God both invites us, and calls on us, to trust Him. As we do so, acknowledging Him as our God and Saviour, He will ‘make our paths straight.’ That means that He will begin to untangle our twisted and even crooked paths and lead us onwards in a more direct way. That’s what Good Shepherds do!

If there are consequences of our actions that need to be sorted out then He will be with us in them as well. No matter what our situation or our human understanding of it, God calls on us to trust Him implicitly, starting right now and for every step of the way ahead. It is not for us to dictate the direction or the milestones. As He leads us onwards He will care for us.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Jesus put it another way. He simply said, “Follow Me.”

Identify the areas of need in your life. Ask God to become involved and to lead you forward to where He wants you to be. Tell Him, and yourself, that you trust Him. Keep reminding yourself with the Lord’s Prayer.


Father please help me to trust You where I am today, and for what the future may hold. Please do lead, guide and look after me. Amen.


The Lord my Shepherd


“The LORD is my shepherd”

(Psalm 23:1)

David wrote this famous psalm about 1000 years before the birth of Christ – and about 600 years before Ezekiel’s prophetic ministry. He knew from personal experience what it was to be a shepherd and how it involved both providing for the sheep and protecting them.

“David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear”
(1 Samuel 17:34-36)

David also knew only too well how God had guided his life, provided for him and protected him. God had been a shepherd to him.

In keeping with God’s prophecy to Ezekiel Jesus, when His ministry began, took on the role of the Shepherd – in His case the Good Shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
(John 10:11)

• “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”
(John 10:14)

In our case Jesus, through the Spirit, helps us not only with our material needs but with our spiritual ones as well. With the former He helps us through our own efforts and the efforts of others. However with our spiritual needs He becomes to us what we need and long for. He is our daily bread of life; He is the living water; and He is the One in whom we find rest. It is only in our relationship with Him that our deepest needs are met, and our greatest longings satisfied.

“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.”
(Psalm 23:1-3)

Take time to feed on His Word; time to drink from His stillness; time to rest in His love.


Lord, please help me to feed and drink from You and to rest in Your presence and love. Amen


God on High


“He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.”

(Isaiah 40:22)

‘To whom will you compare Me?’ asks the Lord in this chapter. And indeed, in terms of the picture that He is painting of Himself through the prophet, there is no one and nothing that can stand before Him. He questions the nation to bring home the fact of His almighty uniqueness.

“Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?”
(Isaiah 40:21)

He alone sits enthroned above and beyond His creation. Before Him ‘the nations are like a drop in a bucket … as nothing … worthless and less than nothing.’ No wonder the psalmist could exclaim,

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

As God He is both greater than His creation and independent of it. He does not need it and existed fully before it. In contrast all of creation depends upon Him for its continued existence. He has chosen to enter into it but is not subject to its limitations and laws. He is always God – with all that means – in every place and situation. Nothing visible or invisible is hidden from His sight and awareness. Every individual is known fully, intimately and completely – with all their yesterdays, todays and tomorrows.

At some undisclosed date in the future life as we know it will end. God will deal with the forces of evil and He will judge all people – both the living and the dead. True believers, as sons and daughters of God, have the assurance of eternal salvation – in the glory and splendour of the Light, Life and Love of God Himself. It is not to be missed!

“Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
• “I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Give God the honour, respect and obedience that is His due.


Lord God “Yours is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory for ever and ever. Amen.”




“My times are in your hands”

(Psalm 31:15)


Each day is a gift from God. With it we all receive the gift of the same amount of time. Not everyone has the same freedom in the use of their time but many of us do have some control over it. Consciously or unconsciously we set, or accept, the priorities that the end of the day reveals. Thank God for this new gift every morning.

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

Commit your time to God. We are accountable to God for the way we use our time, which is a precious gift. Ask God for His guidance and help in allocating your time more wisely and efficiently. It may mean adjusting some of our priorities to bring them in line with His. It will mean becoming more intentional and less of a drifter or accepter.

Set aside time for God. If we keep Him in the ‘spare time’ section of our agenda we will never get there. He is worth more than that. Even if, to begin with, you can only give Him five or ten minutes at the beginning of the day it is a worthwhile start – and can develop from there.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

Take time for yourself. God made us to need rest and recreation so don’t ignore it. Jesus Himself made space for it. If we do not we become weaker spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)

Walk with God – not the other way round.


Lord Jesus, you call to us is to come to You, follow You and stay with You. Help me to do that and allow You to lead me through each day. Amen.