Saturday, 28 September 2013



 Wherever God is, his peace draws near. His presence brings freedom from inner restlessness, dividedness, and hostile impulses; it brings harmony of heart, mind, and soul. But he is a living God, and therefore he is action just as much as he is peace. And on the foundation of the harmony he bestows, he brings into being a broader unity. This unity is the joy of love; it is oneness of purpose and action, community, brotherhood, and justice for all.

Eberhard Arnold




I came from the sunny valleys
And sought for the open sea,
For I thought in its gray expanses
My peace would come to me.

I came at last to the ocean
And found it wild and black,
And I cried to the windless valleys,
"Be kind and take me back!"

But the thirsty tide ran inland,
And the salt waves drank of me,
And I who was fresh as the rainfall
Am bitter as the sea.

Sara Teasdale

Friday, 13 September 2013




God surrounds us like the Pacific surrounds an ocean floor pebble. He is everywhere:  above, below, on all sides. We choose our response—rock or sponge? Resist or receive? Everything within you says, harden your heart. Run from God, resist God, blame God.
But be careful.  Hard hearts never heal.  Spongy ones do! Open every pore of your soul to God’s presence.  Here’s how. Lay claim to the nearness of God. He says in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Grip this promise like the parachute it is. Repeat it over and over until it trumps the voices of fear. The Lord God is with you, and He is mighty to save. Cling to His character.  Quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God and press them into your heart. He is sovereign. You will get through this!

Max Lucado from 'You'll Get Through This'

Wednesday, 11 September 2013




"If you love the justice of Jesus Christ

more than you fear human judgment,

then you will seek to do compassion,

 Compassion means

That if I see my friend and my enemy

 in equal need,

 I shall help them both equally. 

Justice demands

that we seek

 and find the stranger,

 the broken, the prisoner,

 and comfort them

 and offer  them our help.

 Here lies the holy compassion of God .

~ Mechthild of Magdeburg
(12th century Mystic)

Monday, 9 September 2013



"Let us run with patience" (Heb. 12:1).

To run with patience is a very difficult thing. Running is apt to suggest the absence of patience, the eagerness to reach the goal. We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet, I do not think the invalid's patience the hardest to achieve.

There is a patience which I believe to be harder--the patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: It is the power to work under a stroke; to have a great weight at your heart and still to run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily task. It is a Christlike thing!

Many of us would nurse our grief without crying if we were allowed to nurse it. The hard thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in bed, but in the street. We are called to bury our sorrows, not in lethargic quiescence, but in active service--in the exchange, in the workshop, in the hour of social intercourse, in the contribution to another's joy. There is no burial of sorrow so difficult as that; it is the "running with patience." This was Thy patience, O Son of man! It was at once a waiting and a running--a waiting for the goal, and a doing of the lesser work meantime. I see Thee at Cana turning the water into wine lest the marriage feast should be clouded. I see Thee in the desert feeding a multitude with bread just to relieve a temporary want. All, all the time, Thou wert bearing a mighty grief, unshared, unspoken. Men ask for a rainbow in the cloud; but I would ask more from Thee. I would be, in my cloud, myself a rainbow--a minister to others' joy. My patience will be perfect when it can work in the vineyard. --George Matheson

"When all our hopes are gone,

'Tis well our hands must keep toiling on for others' sake:

For strength to bear is found in duty done;

And he is best indeed who learns to make

The joy of others cure his own heartache."

from 'Streams In The Desert' by L.B.Cowman

Friday, 6 September 2013


In 1517, Martin Luther's 95 Theses sparked the Protestant Reformation by challenging the practices of the Roman Catholic Church and the authority of the pope. Many of Luther's books were ordered to be burned as a result of Luther's dissent. Despite this fact, a copy of Martin Luther's Table Talk (then entitled Divine Discourses) was found preserved under the foundations of a German citizen's home in 1626. Table Talk contains a series of informal conversations Luther shared with his students and colleagues in his home. The topics of these conversations range from religious doctrine and history to instructions regarding government, church, and the academic university. Throughout this text, Luther presents his beliefs boldly, and at times, his opinions may seem extremely biased. While the ethical implications of Luther's views are highly debated, Table Talk provides an uncensored look at Luther's influential ideas.

That the Bible is God’s Word and book I prove thus: All things that have been, and are, in the world, and the manner of their being, are described in the first book of Moses on the creation; even as God made and shaped the world, so does it stand to this day. Infinite potentates have raged against this book, and sought to destroy and uproot it—king Alexander the Great, the princes of Egypt and of Babylon, the monarchs of Persia, of Greece, and of Rome, the emperors Julius and Augustus—but they nothing prevailed; they are all gone and vanished, while the book remains, and will remain for ever and ever, perfect and entire, as it was declared at first.
 Who has thus helped it—who has thus protected it against such mighty forces? No one, surely, but God himself, who is the master of all things. And `tis no small miracle how God has so long preserved and protected this book; for the devil and the world are sore foes to it. I believe that the devil has destroyed many good books of the church, as, aforetime, he killed and crushed many holy persons, the memory of whom has now passed away; but the Bible he was fain to leave subsisting...  God, with singular strength, has upheld these things; let us, then, baptize, administer the sacrament, and preach, fearless of impediment.
 Homer, Virgil, and other noble, fine, and profitable writers, have left us books of great antiquity, but they are naught to the Bible.

Sunday, 1 September 2013



As America plans its response to the chemical attack by the Assad Syrian regime against its citizens, it seems an appropriate time to remember Israel. Surrounded by mostly hostile neighbours the little state could easily become a focal point for revenge attacks to any U.S.led strike...