They Brought Gifts To Jesus

When from the East the wise men came,
Led by the Star of Bethlehem,
The gifts they brought to Jesus were
Of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

Bright gold of Ophir, passing fine,
Proclaims a king of royal line;
For David’s son in David’s town,
Is born the heir of David’s crown.

(John Henry Hopkins: 1820 – 1891)

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

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Who Am I?

I’m not sure if it’s the result of the ageing process, but I’m increasingly forgetful. This forgetfulness assaults me on two fronts. Most obviously, perhaps, I put something down and when needed again, cannot find it. This can be as simple as locating the car keys to slightly more serious issues such as locating important documents. How can there be so many safe places? The second front is when I set out to the Post Office, letter in hand for posting, and return home with the letter still firmly grasped between my fingers!

Many of us spend an inordinate number of years seeking to ‘find ourselves’. This can be on issues surrounding identity, a job fit, a congregation that suits, and the like. We put on all sorts of ill-fitting outfits, much as David tried Saul’s armour before facing Goliath. As with David, we quickly discover that all out attempts are unhelpful, and if pursued would be unhealthy.

St Paul tells us that if we are looking for our life we are in fact to look no further than Jesus, as he writes, ‘your life is hidden with Christ in God’ (Colossians 3:3, NRSV). So to find my life I need to find Jesus, and my life is hidden in Christ for the simple reason that I died to myself in response to God’s invitation to accept his offer of salvation.

So the only outstanding question is: how do I find Christ? ‘Well, where did you last leave him?’ is my swift reply. Jesus is encountered in the gathered Church, in the Eucharist, in scripture and in the spaces we create to meet with him. We are invited to establish the habit of often returning to Jesus. Just as I always put the car keys on the hall table once I walk through the front door and instinctively know where they are, when I adopt similar habits for welcoming and worshipping Jesus, I once more find myself and am able to live no longer searching but knowing precisely where and who I am.

(Dr Micha Jazz)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Psalm 17: – The Prayer of David

Today’s Biblical Word Search, created for you by my wife, Marlene, is taken from Psalm 17 (A Prayer of David).

To freely download Marlene’s new word search please visit:-

http://christianwordsearches.net/ApsalmofDavid.html

I always suggest that you take a little time out of your busy day to have a copy of your Bible always available so you can refer to the appropriate scripture before starting on the word search.

Happy word searching

Geoffrey

The Lord is my Shepherd – my new Kindle Book

The 23rd Psalm – The Lord is my Shepherd – has always been one of my favourite psalms. When I was only 5 years old – at my Methodist Sunday School – I remember memorising this beautiful psalm, word by word!

And I have just published my new Kindle Book – co-written with Angelene Jacob – entitled ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’.

The 23rd Palm was written by King David about 1021 BC.

When David was writing this wonderful Psalm it was undoubtedly his fervent ambition to be able to live in the temple which he planned to build but his eternal hope was always to be able to live with his Father God, in heaven.

If you have a kindle please visit:-

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00T4VTF48

or

www.amazon.com/dp/B00T4VTF48

for further information and to order your copy.

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

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Getting Over One’s Past

“…they shall obtain joy and gladness;
sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
(Isaiah 51:11 )
All of us have chapters of our lives that we wish we could rewrite. Unresolved emotional pain wreaks havoc on our immune system,
cardiac function, hormone levels and other physical functions. Yet we must make peace with our past, because our life may literally
depend upon it.
To get over our past, we must start looking at it differently. Don’t just focus on what you lost, but on what you also gained. Second,
understand the difference between guilt and shame.

Guilt is feeling bad about what you’ve done – it’s healthy; shame is feeling bad about who you are – that is toxic and debilitating. All of us have things we’d like to change about ourselves, but when God created you, he loved you.
Third, stop punishing yourself with the ‘if only’s’. After sinning badly and having God pick him up, David wrote: ‘Happy is the person whose sins are forgiven…whom the Lord does not consider guilty.’ (Psalm 32).

Forgive yourself; God has, if you believe and trust in Jesus Christ.
Finally, move on from your pain. Let yourself begin to heal. There will be stages of anger, fear and sadness – that is part of the natural
process. But let them come – and go, and move on. You can’t walk backwards into the future: and the future that God has in mind
for you contains more happiness than any past you can remember.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

A Man After God’s Heart

Doctor Who’s Tardis is more than just an old fashioned police box! It has the unique quality of being bigger on the inside than the outside! As we look at the life of King David we see somebody who wanted to grow his inner life: ‘a man after God’s own heart’ (Acts 13:22).

When Samuel anoints David as king (1 Samuel 16) he learns a vital lesson: ‘People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at
the heart’ . What lessons can we learn from this, as we seek to be used by God?

At a difficult point in Israel’s history, when Saul’s kingship had failed, God spoke to Samuel: ‘How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel?

Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.’

God always has a plan to achieve his purposes, and he wants us to be part of them! He is always trying to communicate them to us; like Samuel, are we alert to what he telling us?

No doubt, Samuel expected choosing a king from among Jesse’s eight sons would be easy! However, it was only when the youngest was brought in from the fields that he recognised the one: ‘Rise and anoint him; this is the one.’  God uses unexpected people as part of his plan, including David and ourselves, when our heart is committed to him!

Even if we feel we have nothing to offer, he can use us in the workplace or with family and friends to make a difference for him.

Finally, we should note that David immediately returned to his flock of sheep, although the Spirit came powerfully upon him. So often God takes us back to ordinary circumstances of life to learn the skills we need to serve him, as well as proving ourselves faithful in the smaller
things before he trusts us with bigger opportunities. Whenever we’re feeling frustrated about God’s timetable don’t forget this!!

God is still looking for people to accomplish his purposes. When God looks at our heart, what does he see? Does God see a heart which is on fire for him, or are we largely indifferent to him or simply lukewarm?

Let’s make it our prayer to be ‘a man or woman after God’s own heart’.

(Paul Hardingham)

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey