DAY 49: Wednesday 6 May
Good morning all
So much has changed in our world, in our nation and in our individual lives over the past 3 months. Whilst we were aware of the spread of Covid-19 that led to a whole city in China being locked down. We know from messages received from a missionary living in Wuhan (a city with a larger population than London) that the restrictions were severe. Their front gates were padlocked by the authorities so that they could not even get out from their house and anyone found on the streets would be arrested. Compared to that, the UK lockdown is comparatively modest although we know there have been people refusing or failing to observe the restrictions.
And our personal plans have had to change either being cancelled or rescheduled. Planned holidays and breaks and visiting family, national celebrations including what had been planned for the VE Day celebrations this coming Friday. In Karen’s family, three major family celebrations were planned for 2020 and all have had to be rethought. Enforced change is inconvenient to say the least.
Over my lifetime, so many aspects of life have changed with multiplications of choice. 60 years ago, there was just one choice of telephone service with the GPO supplying big black Bakelite telephones. Then coloured trim phones became an option followed by other coloured, smaller stylish instruments. Many years later we were given choice of alternative phone service providers, and then we could choose utility providers and so on.
Today’s multiplicity of choice now pervades every aspect of our lives – what we drive, where we shop, how we communicate with one another, our bank, our doctor and dentist, what we do with our leisure-time. When we do get back to ‘normal’ life, most of us will again get to choose what we eat and drink, what to watch on TV, who to email or ‘follow’ on social media, and so much more!
But for a large part of the world’s population, there is little or no option for choice in their lives. Millions do not know if they will eat anything tonight. Hundreds of thousands of people are today trapped under the ruthless control of dictatorships and despotic regimes. They are denied any choice in freedom of expression or the right to choose what to believe or who to worship. Choice is an essential part of our freedom in this country and we should guard that carefully.
I may think I made a good choice when I decided for myself to follow Christ – to be become a Christian. It’s not something I inherited from my parents nor from education or because I happened to be born in the UK. It was my choice and I could feel good about myself for having made such a wise decision! But Jesus made an important statement about choice – He said “You did not choose me, but I chose you so that you could go and bear fruit”. Now that’s both a challenge and encouragement for me!
Suggested Hymnalong >>> GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS
The following thought has come via Linda Lord -
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a £50 note.
In the room of 200, he asked "who would like this £50 note?"
Hands started going up. He said "I am going to give it to one of you, but first let me do this"
He proceeded to crush and crumple up the note. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.
"Well" he replied, "what if I do this?" He dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.
He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who would still want it?" Still the hands went into the air.
"My friends, you have all learned a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the bank note, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It always was, and still is worth £50".
Often in our lives we feel we are dropped, crumpled and ground into the dirt by decisions we make and circumstances that come our way. We can too easily feel as though we are worthless.
But no matter what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. Dirty, clean, crumpled or creased, you are still priceless to God.
Sheila Hanks was taken by ambulance to hospital yesterday and kept in overnight after a suspected Angina attack
Mike Smith was due to have undergone repair surgery on his shoulder earlier in the year, but it was postponed due to Covid-19. Mike has now had the operation rescheduled for next Monday so both Mike and Linda have placed themselves in enforced isolation for the rest of this week.
We asked you to remember our neighbour Jay who was in hospital 4 weeks ago with the coronavirus when he suffered a heart attack and his wife and family were told to expect the worst. Jay did come through that and we believe is now recovering at home although we don’t have an update on his condition. But thank you for your prayers which we did tell his wife Judith that people from the Chapel were praying for them for which she was grateful.
If you didn’t get chance to watch the Richard Wurmbrand film ‘Tortured for Christ’ yesterday, you can still view here online >>> https://www.persecution.com/tfcmovieevent/
MAKE YOU SMILE: FUNNY WISDOM
If at first you don't succeed then skydiving is not for you
Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal
Kindness is more important than wisdom
Don't take yourself too seriously; no one else does
Dear Lord., so far today I've done alright.
I haven't gossiped, lost my temper, been nasty, greedy, overbearing, selfish or obnoxious.
I'm really pleased I've accomplished all these things on my own.
But in a few minutes Lord, I'm going to have to get out of bed –
and from that point on I'm going to need all the help I can get from you.
Hopefully more tomorrow