During the past few weeks, the news has reported that many teenagers have been stabbed to death. These knife attacks sadden me, as many teenagers have been lost—killed by other teenagers! This means that many young lives are being adversely affected, whether through death, imprisonment or fear.
The Process of the Pebble: Just a thought...
Recently, I drove to the Lake District with my boyfriend, and we found ourselves at West Shore Beach on Walney Island. The beach was covered with pebbles. I was amazed by them and by how many there were and how different they all were. Seeing so many pebbles like that caused me to stop and consider how a pebble is a formed.
As we have gone from August to September, the seasons have also switched from summer to autumn (or from cool to cold if you live in North East Scotland like me!).
When the seasons change we also change our clothing. We do away with the shorts, vest tops and sandals, and we bring out the long sleeves and dark colours, which means I have an excuse to go shopping. My husband always jokes that random people turn up at the door and give me brand new clothes for free.
Loneliness: The Connection We All Need
Loneliness is now an epidemic in our nation. We’ve never been more connected in this world of social media, but the truth is, most of us feel more disconnected and more isolated than ever. We live in a world where it’s easy not to really see one another. When we know people, we so often only see what others choose to show us, and even then, we’re still none the wiser about what is really going on inside.
When Love Comes to Town
Recently, I visited Israel on a six-day tour of Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee. During a visit to Magdala, the home of Mary Magdalene, my tour group saw the ruins of the first-century synagogue where Jesus quite possibly would have preached. Next to it is the newly-built Boat Chapel, and if you turn right and go down the steps you enter the lower Encounter Chapel. The Encounter Chapel is an impressive sight with its first-century floor and synagogue feel. Upon entering, the eyes are immediately drawn to a large painting by Chilean artist Daniel Cariola, which portrays a bleeding woman reaching out for healing from Jesus as he walks towards the house of Jairus.
A Snapshot of the Old You
I’ve been looking through some photographs from back in the day, and I think it’s amazing how they take you back in time. You can almost feel and taste what it was like to be in that moment. They show us who we were back then, what we looked like, and so on. Some of those memories are precious; some are not so precious. I have to say, some of the haircuts were mental, not to mention the clothes! Some of you reading this blog could no doubt pull out a few belters of photographs, too.
Choose to Hear the Good News this Christmas
Have you ever been really down and the phone rings and it’s some good news? All of a sudden, even for a moment, your spirits are lifted. You’ve just experienced the power that good news has when it brings joy into our lives.
Have you ever had a divine appointment—a moment when you connected with someone and you sensed there was something of God in that moment? Did you later realise, looking back, why that connection took place? There have been many times I’ve found myself somewhere, wondering why God had led me to that place, only to have a conversation with someone which had significance. I call those divine appointments.
God's Got Your Back!
It’s interesting that a number of times in Genesis 39, we read in the Message version of the Bible that, ‘God was with Joseph.’
It’s understandable that throughout the rollercoaster experiences he went through—from his dreams to becoming a favourite, to the pit, to being Potiphar’s right hand guy, to prison, and ultimately to being in charge, etc.—that Joseph might have questioned this repeated statement. If we were in Joseph’s shoes, we probably would have found it difficult to accept that ‘God was with us’ in some of these circumstances.