Thought for the day

Thought for the Day: Tuesday 26th May Rev Alex Dunstan

 

In the book of Corinthians in the Bible, Paul writes, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Today we think about Hope. Where would we be if we didn’t have hope at this time?

I am going to ask you the same question as I asked yesterday (with one alteration!) What do you put your hope in? And we could very easily go back to that same list from yesterday…money, shopping, personal health, a vaccine for COVID etc… things that change like the wind.

But it is so important to have hope. Research carried out with freed hostages found that the most important thing that kept them alive was a sense of hope.

But we need to put our hope in something, which remains firm and steadfast and doesn’t keep changing. In Psalm 42:5, it says, very clearly, “Put your hope in God.” 

Why? Well, as it answers in Romans, putting our hope in God ‘will not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts.’

We can have great hope because of God’s love for us. It never changes and never disappoints.

Thought for the Day Monday 25th May Rev Alex Dunstan

 

In the book of Corinthians in the Bible, Paul writes, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

You may well have heard these words read at a church wedding service. They are not just about marriage; they are for everyday life and seem very important in these strange days of the Corona Virus.

Faith is described in the Bible as ‘being confident in what we hope for and having assurance in what we do not see.’ So I wonder…what do you put your faith in? Money, a shopping fix, your health, family, politicians, a vaccine for Covid-19…?

All of these can change very suddenly in many ways, not necessarily in a way we expect. We cannot be fully confident in them, but in worldly terms, they are all things we can see or at least imagine.

We don’t see God in the way that we see concrete things, but we can see him at work in our lives. He is ever-present with us and he loves us with lavish love. We can put our hope in him because he never changes.

Thought for the Day Friday 22nd May Ken Williamson

 

Those of you who read yesterdays thought for the day will know I recounted my father’s patient and wise teaching on the importance of making a good start to a race. Of course, a good start is just that, a good beginning, a platform if you like, however, what follows is equally important also. The good start puts you in a position to go ahead and have the possibility of achieving a good result, and to achieve that result will require self-control and perseverance. Paul highlights this in a letter to the church in Corinth.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things.” 1 Corinthians 9 24-25

In our current circumstances, we need to build on a good start and to exercise the self-control required to keep us on target to safely get to the finishing line.

Thought for the Day Thursday 21st May Ken Williamson

 

As Alex wrote about listening yesterday, and it brought to my memory, my father teaching me how to first ride a motorcycle and then later in life how to best race one. His teaching was always patient, instructive and full of wisdom, every word was worth listening to. When I began to race, he taught me that the start was important, you couldn’t win a race at the start, however, you could certainly make winning it much more difficult by not making a good start. I feel we are in the process of making a new start as we begin to come out of lockdown, and if we make a good start then we will give ourselves the best chance of winning. If we don’t then we will make that prospect more difficult and unlikely.

The bible has much to say about making a new start, and that God wants us all to make a new start.

In the book of Isaiah, we read: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43: 18-19 

So as we journey out of lockdown, let us all make a good start.

Thought for the Day Wednesday 20th May

 

There is a very old story about a town locked in an argument over a decision that needed to be made. Those in charge were brought into the town square and blindfolded. An elephant was then brought in and those blindfolded were asked to describe what they could feel. One was at the trunk end, one at the tail, and another next to a leg and so on. As you can imagine, they all described something very different.

When their blindfolds were removed and the elephant was revealed, they found they had been describing exactly the same thing, but from very different points of view.

And that is the same with us. We can gather together to discuss a problem or a way forward and everyone arrives with a very different point of view. But if, as Ken was writing about yesterday, we are all to work together, we need to listen to these different viewpoints to get the best outcome. That is important throughout life, and very important at difficult times like these.

In the Bible in the first few verses of Proverbs, it says, “Let the wise listen and so add to their learning.”

However frustrating we may find it, let’s listen fully to the views of others before making swift decisions.

Thought for the Day Tuesday 19th May Ken Williamson

 

Team Work

 

As we continue on our current journey through the COVID pandemic, we are having to adapt to doing things very differently; it is apparent that we will have to work together in unity to achieve a satisfactory result. Perhaps the American author Helen Keller highlighted our best approach as she said: “Alone we can do so little: together we can do so much.” Her words are so true today, it will only be by a united approach that we will see a further relaxation in regulations, and see those relaxations maintained safely.

The bible has much to say about working together and for the benefit of others: in Philippians 2: 3-4 we read Paul advising the people of Philippi to work together for the benefit of others. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”

Just like the people in Philippi we need to act in an unselfish manner and to act in the best interests of others.

Thought for the Day Monday 18th May Rev Alex Dunstan

 

During this time of the Corona Virus, so many people have said to me, “The country needs to change after this.” And they are right. Change is needed in so many ways, but change always starts with us!

It would be so easy, after LockDown eases and new life resumes, to slip back into our old ways of doing things and into our pre-COVID routines, leaving behind all we have learnt and thought about during this time.

As I was thinking about all of this, I took a look at Psalm 1 in the Bible. The Psalmist writes, “Blessed is the one who is like a tree planted by streams of water.”

The Psalmist is saying – where will you plant your roots? On what will your whole life be based? Are you going to plant them in God and be fed by his Word (the streams of water) or are you going to plant your roots in worldly goods and shackles and go back to the same old ways of doing things?

The choice will be very much ours!

Thought for the Day Saturday 16th May Ken Williamson

 

We have been so used to a routine, whether it be, school, work or home life; up until around eight weeks ago we all pretty much followed a set pattern. Then along came COVID 19 and that routine went out the window. We have had to adapt, and for most of us it hasn’t been easy, things we had taken for granted were not available anymore, and may not be available for some time. These are days for us to re-focus on what is really important. As we have been highlighting in the past few days we are on a journey, and as I wrote on Thursday an uncertain journey. It will require many attributes to sustain us on that journey.

Paul wrote about some of those attributes in a letter to a young man called Timothy, whom he knew faced a difficult time ahead, and he reminded him

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” 2 Timothy 1: 7

These are the days when we all need self-discipline. I have included a link to a song by one of my fellow countrymen Van Morrison called “These are the days”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lyve_egY8o

Thought for the Day 15th May Rev Alex Dunstan

 

Ken was talking about this time of Lock Down, including the changes the government have made, as being like a journey – and a long one at that! Discussing this with a friend, she commented that she has to take each day at a time, but then added that some days are easier than others.

And that is so true. So many factors can affect how we feel and what we do each day…the weather; a phone call or text; how others in our household are; or how we manage being alone, and so on.

Some days it really can feel like wading through treacle!

God doesn’t talk directly about wading through treacle, but he does talk about going through water and fire. He writes (as great assurance to us:) 

“Do not fear…when you pass through the waters I will be with you… when you walk through the fire you will not be burned. For I am the Lord your God, your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:1-3 abridged)

So when all around us is changing and life isn’t as we would like it to be, hold on to the fact that God is walking this journey with you and with him by your side you need not be afraid.

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