An Introduction to William Barclay

William Barclay was born on December 5th 1907 in Wick, Scotland, and passed away on January 24th 1978 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Barclay was a Church of Scotland Minister and a Professor of Divinity and Biblical criticism at the University of Glasgow.

He was very well known for the many radio and television programmes in which he participated.

He specialised in the New Testament and wrote numerous books containing easily understood commentaries on all the chapters within the New Testament.

And today, a large number of preachers regularly use his commentaries when preparing their sermons.

Here are just a few of his quotes:-

* Religion fails if it cannot speak to men as they are.

* A man may well be condemned, not for doing something but for doing nothing.

* The tragedy of life and of the world is not that men do not know God; the tragedy is that, knowing Him, they still insist on going their own way.

* Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.

* The word grace emphasizes at one and the same time the helpless poverty of man and the limitless kindness of God

* We will often find compensation if we think more of what life has given us and less about what life has taken away.

WISE words, indeed!

Have a wonderful day, wherever you are and whatever you may be doing.

With many blessings of loving abundance

Geoffrey

 

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On The Tenth Day of Christmas

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me – Ten Lords a Leaping

It is suggested that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was used by catholics, who were not permitted to practice their faith openly, to sing about their religion, with each element of the carol having a hidden religious meaning. According to this theory, the Ten Lords a Leaping, represents The Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments, along with the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer appear in the first book to be published in the Welsh language “Yn Y Lhyvr Hwnn” – literally ‘In This Book’ – which was the first sentence. It was published in 1546 and was the work of John Price of Brecon. Then in 1551 the Denbighshire scholar William Salesbury published a Welsh translation of the main texts of the Prayer Book, followed by a publication of the first Welsh translation of the complete Bible in 1558 by William Morgan

Between 1546 and 1660, 108 books were published in the Welsh language. Though a tiny number compared with those published in English or French, it was considerable compared with publications in other Celtic languages. In that period, only four books were published in Scottish Gaelic and only eleven in Irish.

The full list of suggested hidden meanings in the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”;

* The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

* Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments

* Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

* The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

* The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

* The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

* Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit – Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

* The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

* Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

* The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

* The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

* The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

So now you know ~smiles~

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Peace That Passeth All Understanding

I am the Lord your God,
… who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to my commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Isaiah 48:17 – 18

In the New Testament, we find many similar themes about peace.

Jesus told his disciples quite bluntly that they would have all kinds of trouble in the world, but that ” in him” they would have perfect peace.

On the one hand they were presented with the rather disconcerting prospect of trouble, whilst on the other hand there was a calm reassuring words of peace.

There was no idle promise, or platitudes, that everything would smooth sailing, but neither were the disciples given the impression that they were about to be cast adrift in a merciless sea of overwhelming currents.

Their problem, which is exactly the same as ours today, was to discover how to balance out living in the world with also living in Christ.

This has been our Christian dilemma ever since. To live in Christ apart and separate from the world has been the approach of monastics and fundamentalists for centuries. To live in the world without reference to living in Christ has been the tendency of many professing believers who show little, if any,sign of spiritual life and vitality.

To identify with the society that rejects and repudiates the uniqueness of Christ and his principles is an ongoing temptation against which Jesus’ disciples always had to struggle. As we do today?

As Christians, we find ourselves continuously exposed to society’s ills, tainted by its pollution, challenged by its needs, and touched by its hopelessness; thus isolation has not been an easy possibility, how much we may wish for it.

But how to live in it and triumph through it has always been our problem.

The answer is to be found in our ability to practise the teachings of Christ, as opposed to the principles of secularised society, and to draw on the resources of Christ’s indwelling presence, rather than the mechanical and organisational resources provided by society, however enlightened and concerned.

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With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey

The Book of Big Prayers

The Bible is the WORD of God; it includes 66 books – 39 in what we call the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.

Reading your Bible every day will bring you nearer to God and the nearer to God you become the more He will listen to you whenever you pray.

In the Book of BIG Prayers you will discover many scriptures that will greatly enrich your life.

Prayers do not have to be lengthy ones; God is always very happy to receive your prayers, whatever the length, providing you are genuinely sincere in all that you are asking of Him.

Jesus said “Ask and it shall be given unto you” (Matthew 7: 7) – and thus it is, you will soon discover, on many many occasions when you pray.

One of the most powerful prayers in this book is the Prayer of Jabez. Not much is known about Jabez but what we do know is that Jabez was a very honourable man and that his mother called him Jabez because he gave her much pain when he was born.

And Jabez called on God – in prayer – saying:-

“Oh that you would bless me and expand my territory.

And that you will protect me from evil, so that I may not cause pain to anyone”

You will find Jabez’s prayer in 1 Corinthians 4: 10.

And the Bible goes on to say that God granted Jabez’s request.

Jabez’s superiority of honour lay:-

  • In piety towards God, the true source and characteristic of honour
  • In his pursuit of advancement being in dependence upon God
  • In his complete dependence upon God’s protection
  • In his unshaken confidence in restraining and preventing grace

In the Lord’s Prayer – of which I hope you are already familiar – we say ‘Thy will be done’. Not your will, remember, but God’s will!

God is the Father of us all. He is a wonderful parent and looks after each one of us – individually.

However, the saying ‘God looks after those who look after themselves’ is also very true as God can only help us if we are prepared to listen to His inspirational parental guidance. God loves us all equally.

By praying at least once every day – more often if possible – you will soon be able to establish a very deep and personal relationship with God.

The Book of BIG Prayers is available as a Kindle book which you may download by clicking below:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00G73RG74

Happy praying

With many peaceful blessings

Geoffrey Keyte
South Wales