What Can You Do?

What can you do
When you can’t do anything?
Just rest in the Lord
Your Saviour and King.

For He says, I’m here
In the stillness of night,
As you lie in the darkness
I’m still your light.

What can you do
When your body aches
But trust in the One
Who never forsakes.

When everything hurts
Yet your spirit is strong
Deep in your heart
There is still a song.

What can you do
When no one understands,
No one knows
No one takes your hands?

‘Come to me,’ says Jesus
I’ve been on earth too,
I understand, I suffered,
I died, to rescue you.

(Elizabeth Tomlinson)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Mary’s Song

Scripture records Mary’s song, as she celebrates with Elizabeth the joy of being chosen by God to give birth to the saviour. She declares that God is bringing order into a fractured society. God’s commitment is always towards the well-being of his creation. From its inception, creation was intended as a space that reflected God’s character and values.

I remember how Katey was forced to retire from teaching because of MS, and struggled to come to terms with her worsening health. Suddenly we were confronted with social workers and complex forms that had to be filled in with the certain words and phrasing to trigger appropriate benefits.

One day I came home to discover a stranger in the house asking Katey questions. He was sent to check on Katey’s eligibility for the benefit she claimed. I listened as he asked her, ‘When did you last go upstairs?’ Katey replied, ‘Last week’, an answer he duly wrote on his form.

But Katey was in denial and hadn’t been upstairs for years. I challenged the form-filler if he was allowing the answer to stand when a simple check would reveal that Katey could not weight-bear on her legs. I insisted we went back through the form, since his whole purpose seemed to be to slander Katey as a benefits cheat. Unlike God, he failed to have the welfare of creation at the heart of his work.

What a loathsome job, and how far from the kingdom Christ secured for us! Yet all of us can silently participate in the creeping process of penalising the most vulnerable among us, since they are usually the least able to defend themselves.

Mary proclaims that the least are preferred to the mighty, the hungry fed and those with sufficient expected to feed themselves and not steal food from the marginalised. We live in a world where vigilance is required that we might continue to proclaim Mary’s anthem and do the works of God on the earth, loving the least among us.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Elizabeth and Mary

Elizabeth encourages Mary and demonstrates the crucial role those who are more mature in years, and who have faithfully navigated life’s circumstances, can play to help the continuation of Christian witness to future generations. It is less about passing on a baton than in demonstrating a reality, one that is trustworthy and tested over time.

The source of Christianity’s strength and durability lies in the willingness and ability of Jesus’ followers to retain confidence and trust in its redemptive message. As I have lived my life, I have wondered at the inability of so many to stay the course.

It seems that the simple truth of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, and perhaps the even simpler one of maintaining confidence in the gospel narrative, becomes increasingly difficult to sustain as year gives way to year.

It is wonderful that in spite of her disappointments, Elizabeth is able to receive God’s word and recognise God’s work. We need those who have proven God’s faithfulness over the years, carry wounds from that walk, yet retain a testimony of confidence in the truth of God to act as witnesses to those following in their footsteps.

I had the great privilege of meeting Malcolm Muggeridge and Francis Schaeffer, both much older than me, yet both in their different ways clear communicators of the gospel message. I was able to see that the Way of Jesus extended to the very end of life; that Christian service was never something one retired from.

The abandonment of the poor and the marginalised, and the excusing of those with wealth and power from social responsibility, are agendas we must challenge by demonstrating that life is not measured by financial success and personal security.

It is measured by the extent to which God’s Good News message is incarnate, that is, fleshed out, throughout the earth, starting with my own witness and honesty around my fears and failures.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Wonder and Mystery of God

Growing up, I always knew when I was in trouble. It was the intonation in my mother’s voice as she called my name. My blood would run cold. It’s strange just how strong a reflex my body had to this tone, one I can clearly recall today.

As Mary arrived and greeted her cousin, the baby within Elizabeth’s womb leapt. It was the very presence and a clear sign of the authority and divinity of Mary’s child. Before meeting, and without explanation, that same Holy Spirit who’d overshadowed Mary now made Elizabeth and her unborn son, John, aware of the presence of God.

This is the first connection between Jesus and John, which continued when John prepared the way for Jesus and baptised him as his earthy ministry began. It also fulfils the prophecy that the angel gave to Zechariah, stating that John would be filled with the spirit in his mother’s womb.

We live in an age when we have forgotten the wonder of pregnancy. Science appears to offer us solid answers for all our questions, and we have lost a little of the awe and mystery that accompanies life.

We are not intended purely to perceive ourselves and our world as a series of scientific facts. To do so robs us, and life itself, of wonder.

Many of us can only relate to God as a harsh judge and critic. We live seeking to walk a narrow line forever fearing we shall fail God and fall short. We attempt to placate him, assuming he is vengeful and full of wrath.

So much of this, I suspect, relates to our own experience of the adults who surrounded us growing up, and our natural view of authority. Yet God’s way is always a way of mystery and delight, encouraging us to rise above what we can know for sure, and discover a world of wonder and surprise, orchestrated by the spirit of God.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

God’s Plan

When Katey and I discovered that we were unable to have children, Katey, knowing of my passion to become a father, offered me a divorce so that I might remarry and start a family. That statement probably sounds as shocking to you today as it did to me those many years ago.

I discovered just how deep Katey’s love was for me. She was willing to release me because she loved me to the extent that she would rather my happiness over her own. We continued in a marriage, the more secure for that bizarre conversation, constantly praying we would have a child.

Then Jayne arrived, deserted for a new lover by her husband while seven months pregnant with their first child. We welcomed her into our home as a friend and she never moved out. When Jayne gave birth, we were both present at the caesarean, held a newborn in our hands, something we’d never anticipated, and parented this new life alongside Jayne in an extended family of joy.

Mary, newly and miraculously pregnant, sets out to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who is also unexpectedly pregnant in her old age. For Elizabeth and Zechariah, the surprise proved so great it was almost beyond belief. However, as with Mary, it was not the scale of their belief that God relied upon, it was their willingness to embrace God’s request.

Katey and I embraced God’s plan, albeit with tears and tantrums along the way, and God worked out his purpose in and through our lives. Although a victory report on this issue of childlessness, I admit that as far as my working life is concerned, I have not always cooperated with God’s plan because I have been too preoccupied with the need to secure paid work, and so have not rested in God’s hands, which has at times delayed God’s purposes in my life.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

My Journey With The Holy Spirit

I have just uploaded my new video which describes my Journey with the Holy Spirit from my earliest days in a Methodist Sunday School to my present life, married to Marlene, and as a member of Beaufort Hill Methodist Church.

And, of course, my testimony includes how our Father God answered my desperate prayers when I was ‘dying’ and brought me back to life because as Jeremiah 29: 11 says – God has great plans for Marlene and I.

To view my new video please click below: –

https://youtu.be/utVoXZRKJCU

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Peace on earth, Goodwill to all men and women.

For God so loved the world that He have us His only begotten son.

Let us all remember that today this Christmas is our Saviour’s birthday. And as we rejoice with all our families and friends within our Christmas celebrations let us never forget the reason why we have cause to celebrate.

May our Father God bless you mightily in everything you do and in everything you say.

God Bless each and every one of you

Geoffrey

 

Sailing With The Holy Spirit

It was a calm, windless day. Despite the weather, the members of the sailing club were hopeful they would soon be launching their boats.

Their sails were ready, but … with no wind and only calm waters, no-one was going anywhere!

Some sailors tried to manoeuvre their crafts by paddling into the open water and propelling with their hands, but they soon realised that their efforts were being wasted.

They decided to join the people in the club house and wait for the wind. It was only after several hours that a gentle breeze began to blow and soon people were in their boats.  Now, with full sails, they skimmed out towards the open sea.

This scenario is a reminder of how God and the Holy Spirit can work in our lives.

The Bible sometimes describes the Holy Spirit as a rushing wind and sometimes, like the sailors, we may have to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

There are occasions, from a spiritual standpoint, when nothing seems to be happening for weeks and months on end. During these waiting times we may wonder what purpose God has for us.

The impatient sailors are a reminder to us that we can do nothing without the Holy Spirit. Those sailors soon discovered that without the directing power of the wind, they were wasting their time and energy. It can be tempting for us to think we can go it alone, and not be guided by the Holy Spirit.

The people in the sailing club might have left their boats to do other things, but they were also watching for signs around them of the coming wind. No one was packing up and going home! They were waiting with a purpose.

In our times of stillness and waiting, we can watch for the signs of the Holy Spirit as He works in the Church, within the community and within the global world.

We pray and worship together, and enjoy social times with each other, in readiness for God and the Holy Spirit to move us into the pathway that they have planned for our future.

Our waiting times may have come on us due to various circumstances. The outlook seem to us to not be very encouraging. But God is always with us and He knows what we need now, and how He can use us in the future.

Those sailors on the shore anticipated their time when they could be afloat. Similarly, in our waiting times we anticipate to do the things that God and the Holy Spirit wish us to accomplish!

And the time will soon come when we are guided, prompted, incited and directed by the wind of God and the Holy Spirit and they will always move us in the right direction.

Let’s put up the sails to let God and the Holy Spirit blow afresh into our lives!

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

A Season of Anxieties?

For many of us, Christmas can be an anxious time. We  often get caught up in all the busyness of preparing for Christmas Day and lose sight of its true significance.

May I suggest that you spend a few moments now reflecting on what Christmas means to you?

What will you be celebrating?

What will you want to remember over the coming few days?

Offer up in prayer everything that might cause anxiety or distract you from celebrating the birth of Jesus.

With many joy-filled blessings

Geoffrey

Offerings to God

You will, I’m sure, recall the story of Cain and Abel. Each made an offering to God; Cain, as a farmer, offered fruits from the land; Abel, his younger brother, a shepherd, offered a sheep from his flock. God took pleasure in Abel’s offering, yet no pleasure in Cain’s. Subsequently angered by this, Cain invites his brother into the open country and murders Abel there.

Much has been written on why one offering was accepted and the other rejected. The writer to the Hebrews describes Abel’s offering as one of faith, yet fails to attribute the same to Cain’s. This may well have contributed to God’s rejection of it. However, it is perhaps more to do with the heart behind the offering.

In the Oratory, I am chief cook and bottle washer. This is a role I have chosen and one I enjoy. However, it is constant, and has many regular chores associated with it. Among my responsibilities is purchasing and preparing food, turning it into a tasty meal and then clearing away and cleaning up.

While most of the time I do this with a willing heart, like everyone, I sometimes feel hard done by and sorry for myself. At such times I have to remind myself that this is a role I chose, and get my thinking right so that I approach each task with the appropriate attitude.

Both Cain and Abel made an offering to God, yet perhaps the thinking that lay behind the offering differed. God is not committed to receiving offerings from an impure motivation.

It’s possible to follow the instruction manual as we enter into worship with God, yet leave our heart far behind us. God is no machine, who responds to a mechanistic ritual; he is a personal God who has made each one of us in his own image.

God always invites us to come into alignment with his purpose for our life and the world he holds within his hands. It is not for us to bow the knee to God outwardly, while living a life independent from God in our heart and mind.

(Dr Micha Jaz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey