I was blind but now I can see: the voice of Bartimaeus

Nothing has ever been the same since that day. Well, how could it be? My whole life changed in an instant.

I was a beggar, now I am not; I was despised and rejected, now I have a place in society; and I was blind but now I can see.

My name is Bartimaeus, and I was born blind. There was much debate at the time as to whose fault that was, mine or my parents or even their parents. Something to do with the sins of the father I think, I didn’t much know or care. All I know is that I was blind, but Jesus made me see.

It was a day like any other. I was up early and out on the road, I needed to get a good spot, needed to get money to feed the family, and there is not much else for a blind man to do, so begging it was.

To begin with all I heard was the everyday chatter of the street, and the sound of a few coins being tossed into my plate. But gradually I could sense the excitement rising in everyone. The noise increased and I could feel a rush of activity all around me.

What was it?

What was going on?

“Jesus is coming,” someone shouted at last.

Jesus the teacher, prophet and healer. Jesus, I had heard of Him – His reputation was going before Him – that was for sure.

I knew I wanted to talk with Him. Maybe He could heal me, I had thought optimistically.

I shouted too, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd laughed at me and told me to keep quiet, not to bother the teacher. Why would He want to talk to you anyway, they said. I shouted louder, “Jesus, pity me!”

Suddenly, someone was whispering in my ear and helping me to my feet. “Hush, He is calling you.” I stopped, His hand touched my shoulder and He asked, “What do you want me to do for you?”

What a dumb question, I thought, but it wasn’t. He knew what He was saying, and He wanted to know that I had weighed up my answer.

I paused. “I want to see,” I said.

“Then go,” He told me, “Wash in the stream and see, your faith has healed you.”

So I went, and washed, and just as He said I would, I could see. A whole inquisition followed, questions from priests and the crowd alike.

Questions for me, my parents and my whole family. Questions, for most of which I didn’t know the answer. All I could tell them was that I was blind, Jesus touched me, and now I can see.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Advertisements

I Was Out To Keep The Peace: The Voice Of A Roman Soldier

It was just another working day for me and the team. I was head of about twenty men, all assigned to the streets of Jerusalem. We’d had our orders, to be a presence, to keep the peace, and to demonstrate the power of Rome. All was going  according to plan, or so we thought. The morning had passed uneventfully, but we did not know or anticipate what was coming next.

As the afternoon wore on, more and more people began to gather. A large gathering of people always made me nervous.

Before long, there were thousands, all shouting and singing some kind of hymn of praise. Hosanna, I think it was, it meant nothing to me. My men started to twitch, they were getting very worried about the situation, and if I am honest so was I.

Rome was the dominant force, and we the Roman soldiers held court, we were quick to stamp on trouble makers, and we were not renowned for showing mercy. Normally the people of Israel knew their place; they kept quiet and did as they were told.

But that day was different. That day, when He rode into the city on the back of a donkey, that day, they were animated. They ran in packs, cutting off palm branches and laying them at His feet. They stood defiantly against us and they had never done that before either.

It shook us to the very core. We were ready to fight, our swords were drawn and we were on high alert.

But there was not any trouble. No knives or clubs were used, no stones or sticks thrown, not even spoken words of hatred.

Just Him.

A quiet, peace-filled man. A Jew, unassuming, almost unprepared for the welcome He received. He took everything in; the crowd, hailing Him as their king, and the priests watching Him with suspicion.

They knew of the reputation that followed Him and we, standing guard, were only too willing to use the power we wielded over Him.

That day, and the events that followed, made me see Rome in a different light, made me see Him with new eyes.

I had thought it from the very beginning, but by its end I knew He was different, and I knew I wanted to know more about this man they called Jesus—the king of the Jews.

(From The Shadows of Victory: Ride on the Rollercoaster of Holy Week by Deacon Becky Lovatt.

For further information and to download this inspirational kindle book please go to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L9UYDKS/  )

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

In The Shadow of Victory:- Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week

Now that we are approaching Easter – and all that that means to Christians throughout the world – I would strongly recommend that if you have a kindle you download a copy of the wonderfully inspirational book ‘In The Shadows of Victory:- Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week’ by Deacon Becky Lovatt.

Becky has created an interactive book, featuring stories from the viewpoint of many of the people that in some ways were involved in the last few days of Jesus’ journey towards the Cross.

For further information and to download this marvellous book for only £1.99 please go to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00L9UYDKS/

To wet your appetite so to speak this is the first chapter:-

                          Dangerous Day 

We now begin the journey, remembering that already we stand with Jesus Christ our Saviour in the shadow of the cross, remembering that for him, it was a very dangerous day.

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing mounting the donkey at Bethpage, as this was where the priests had calculated the city limits. For Jesus to mount here was a statement that spoke volumes to all that were there. It was, in effect, as if He was shouting from the rooftops that He was the Messiah.

Now, position yourself at the side of the road, having first run and chopped down a palm branch that you are waving frantically.

Picture if you can the Roman army standing there, thousands of them, making it very clear that you are part of an occupied people. Look up at the temple on the hill, and look beyond it. There overshadowing the holy place is the fist shaped Roman fortress. Built purposely taller than the temple just to remind you who was in charge.

Listen to the crowd hailing him as their King. But He does not come on a war horse, only a humble donkey. And He does not come with swords and clubs; He is armed only with God’s words of peace and love.

Wave your branches, as they are the national symbol of your people. Wave them at the coming Messiah, showing your defiance to the Romans, believing that this Jesus would send them packing once and for all.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Picture the children laughing and playing around your feet. In your fear, you push them forward. Somehow this fear is always lurking beneath your joy; your fear of the Roman soldiers and the power they hold over you.

The children – they are young, surely these soldiers wouldn’t launch an attack against them, no matter how unruly the crowd become. Push them forward, put them between you and the soldiers, not because you do not love your children, but because you fear for your own safety.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Sing your hosannas, not just a song of happiness, but also a song of rebellion, a song that speaks of freedom, and of victory over your enemies. Stand tall in the face of those who persecute you. Hold firm, ready to take up arms and fight, ready to rally around this new king and take back, by force if you have to, your land, and your home.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

Heaven and Hell

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”

The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table.

In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.

They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, “You have seen Hell.”

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.

The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, “I don’t understand.”

It is simple” said the Lord, “it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

 

In The Shadow Of Victory: Ride The Rollercoaster Of Holy Week

‘In the Shadows of Victory: Ride the Rollercoaster of Holy Week’ is a beautifully written kindle book by Deacon Becky Lovatt.

Becky is a Deacon in the Methodist Church.

And until Saturday, July 5th you may download a free copy of Becky’s book by going to:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00L9UYDKS

In the Shadows of Victory you are invited to ride the rollercoaster of Holy Week.

We now begin the journey, remembering that already we stand with Jesus Christ our Saviour in the shadow of the cross, remembering that for him, it was a very dangerous day.

Jesus knew exactly what he was doing mounting the donkey at Bethpage, as this was where the priests had calculated the city limits. For Jesus to mount here was a statement that spoke volumes to all that were there. It was, in effect, as if He was shouting from the rooftops that He was the Messiah.

Now, position yourself at the side of the road, having first run and chopped down a palm branch that you are waving frantically.

Picture if you can the Roman army standing there, thousands of them, making it very clear that you are part of an occupied people. Look up at the temple on the hill, and look beyond it. There overshadowing the holy place is the fist shaped Roman fortress. Built purposely taller than the temple just to remind you who was in charge.

Listen to the crowd hailing him as their King. But He does not come on a war horse, only a humble donkey. And He does not come with swords and clubs; He is armed only with God’s words of peace and love.

Wave your branches, as they are the national symbol of your people. Wave them at the coming Messiah, showing your defiance to the Romans, believing that this Jesus would send them packing once and for all.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Picture the children laughing and playing around your feet. In your fear, you push them forward. Somehow this fear is always lurking beneath your joy; your fear of the Roman soldiers and the power they hold over you.

The children – they are young, surely these soldiers wouldn’t launch an attack against them, no matter how unruly the crowd become. Push them forward, put them between you and the soldiers, not because you do not love your children, but because you fear for your own safety.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

Sing your hosannas, not just a song of happiness, but also a song of rebellion, a song that speaks of freedom, and of victory over your enemies. Stand tall in the face of those who persecute you. Hold firm, ready to take up arms and fight, ready to rally around this new king and take back, by force if you have to, your land, and your home.

Jesus knew that for Him, it was a very dangerous day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

With many peaceful blessings

 

Geoffrey

Greed

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like.”

The Lord led the holy man to two doors.  He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in.  In the middle of the room was a large round table.

In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man’s mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly.

They appeared to be famished.  They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, “You have seen Hell.”

They went to the next room and opened the door.  It was exactly the same as the first one.  There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man’s mouth water.  The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The holy man said, “I don’t understand.”

It is simple” said the Lord, “it requires but one skill.  You see, they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Gracious God – a new video talk by Rev Roy Watson

I have just uploaded a new video talk entitled ‘The Gracious God’ which I have produced for Rev Roy Watson, who is a Minister in the Gwent Hills and Vales Methodist Circuit.

To view Roy’s inspirational video talk please go to:-

http://youtu.be/cv0ZAj6CrZA

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey