Seeing this tranquil picture and feeling the season around us just makes me think of Spring. Being in the park, and using what we have to hand to enjoy the day. By deduction, paper boats mean there are children nearby. On closer inspection though, we see a couple of the boats contain autumn leaves, which…
A Personal Story of The Unexpected:
Last Sunday, because of an Award I had received from Woking Borough Council last year; I was invited with a Guest – my younger Daughter Rachel; to a Civic Happening in the Town Square in Woking and afterwards for Refreshments at a local Hotel.
This was the occasion of “Giving the Freedom of Woking to all Ranks of the Army Training Centre at Pirbright”. It was a tear-jerking moment as the Military Band marched into the Square followed by many Soldiers. We were amazingly close to them as we sat in the front row.
A Christian Service was held. So good to hear the word of God spoken out in the centre of our Town. We eventually made our way to the Hotel with people I recognised such as our local MP and other Dignitaries. Rachel and I arrived in the Banqueting Suite; many tables were already filling up. We chose to sit on an empty table in the far distance.
Soon we were joined by the Major, who had been in charge of the proceedings in the Square, the one carrying the Ceremonial Sword. His voice filling the Square as he shouted his orders. This time in a normal, friendly voice he said to us, “Hello ladies, please may I join you, my name is James”.
Rachel and I said later how we could hardly believe what happened. Why us?
He stayed with us for the rest of the time, off-loading his life to us and sharing what it was to have held together the Military happening we had just experienced.
In hindsight, I recalled that morning at home; as I do every morning, I had held out my hands to the Lord and said, “My hands are empty Lord, for you to place into them what you want me to do today”.
My favourite verse also came to mind, Ephesians 2.10:
As His Children, we are created to do good works which He has created in advance for us to do.
What an honour and a privilege had been mine and Rachel’s.
I pray that this coming week, God will surprise you, as He places opportunities into your hands that are totally unexpected.
In His grip.
I trust you have had a wonderful Easter.
A few weeks before Easter I shared with you the story of the Disciples’ walk to Emmaus. Their total loss of all they had known in their lives; by the death of Jesus, but then they discovered in all their despair, He had never really left them.
At the time I encouraged you to be aware that in our deepest moments of difficulty – He is there.
In these last few days, the story of Mary Magdalene has stayed with me. She was the first to go to the tomb where she knew that Jesus had been placed. She had to be near Him. On arrival the stone had been removed. His Body had gone. She wandered near the tomb in the garden, even more at a loss than she was before. She saw a man and asked him; assuming he was the gardener, “What have you done with His Body?” The answer came back: “MARY…”
At that point she realised that this was Jesus speaking to her.
I have in these last few days been placing my name in that story. He knows me by name as he does you. No matter where we find ourselves in today’s world and the horrors in which we walk and of which we are aware, especially within your work, He calls you by name, telling you He is with you.
He is walking with you and calls you by name. He is totally available to you.
Holy Week/Maundy Thursday:
My mind goes back to approximately a year ago when I was completely taken by surprise to be given the Maundy Money by Her Majesty The Queen.
I have been thinking much about the background to the giving of this Gift as we have moved up to Hoy Week.
The Ceremony of the Maundy Money is based on The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet by Jesus. Jesus wanted to show that He had come to be a Servant and demonstrated it by taking on the lowest task in any household when visitors arrived.
When a Recipient of the Maundy Money is about to receive the Red and White Pouches from the Queen containing the Coins, The Queen walks to the Recipient to hand them over. This is the only time in any Ceremony where you do not walk to her, The Queen comes to you. The Queen asks to do this as she wants the Recipient to understand that at that moment, she wants to serve you.
You my Brothers and Sisters in The Lord, and as part of the Police here in the UK, are Her Servants and serve your Country. Again, an opportunity for me to express my undying Gratitude to you for all you are and do.
Hallelujah – He is Risen
Many Blessings in His Name. A Very Happy Easter.
I am aware of so many things happening around us here in the UK and in the World at large, and yet you as Christian Police Officers and Staff I know want to carry on as Good and Faithful Servants of the Lord, both in your family life and within your work. Hopefully the following will encourage you…
Last Sunday I had the immense honour of reading the Scripture in our Sunday Service. As you can imagine I read it many times here at home and I chose to go to the Church Building last Friday to stand on the stage, on which I have never stood before (we have a new building) and read it through, so that it would not take me by surprise on the day.
The reading was Matthew 26 14-35
As I continued to read it many times, the phrase I saw – I have to admit for the first time in my long life as a Christian, was from verse 35; the last phrase of the reading:
“And all the other Disciples said the same”
That is such a numb chilling comment. They were all being like Peter.
It so encourages me that no matter where we are and what we are, as His Children, He accepts us and forgives us.
HE LOVES YOU
An Engaging Easter – by Brian McCarthy.
On the very first Easter Sunday, Jesus made his fourth resurrection appearance to two believers walking dejectedly from Jerusalem to Emmaus. The beautiful painting by Caravaggio above, interprets the crescendo of the scene described in…