Almighty God who was and is and will be, forever.

Today’s (Su 04/03/2018) FDR is Psalm 107

The last few month’s have seen many we know or with whom we have had contact, being called home by God to be with Him in glory. Some who were close to us and some who were close to our brothers and sisters.  Billy Graham tells us that he’s not dead, but that he’s changed his address.  So too have those we know  or those who are our friends or relatives.

Some who are our brothers and also dads, husbands, grandads and great grandads.  Some who were our sisters and also mothers, wives, grans or great grans.  Whatever our own personal relation, those who have gone home were close to us and close to our remaining sisters and brothers.  Some have been children, youths or younger adults of our families or families we know.  Those who are daughters and those who are sons.  But are no longer here.

Psalm 107 holds four vignettes that remind us that in times of trial and desolation, or stress and depression, we, on recognising our difficult and stressful circumstance, should turn to God and call on Him in prayer seeking His Grace so that we may persevere.  Then, when we recognise the grace He supplies, to worship and thank Him offering praise for lifting us up from the depths.

We may never find ourselves literally wandering in a desert wasteland (vv4-9), forced to dwell in a place of deep darkness (vv10-16), sick to the point of death (vv17-22), caught in a tumultuous storm at sea (vv23-32) but we can feel as if  these things have occurred to us.  Particularly buffeted by the physical separation from loved ones by death.

God will and does redeem and pour out His grace and love on us from all directions.  More often than not from surprising places and people. (Yes this is my experience and my witness.)

So we are reminded:

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate [or reflect] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  [2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIVUK)]

Now, how to go on?   How to live in this life that always changes?

There are a few concise guides and many books but, you can read and live as
the Bible says in Colossians 3:1-17  {Just click this link to make a start.}

Yours in God’s grace and love,



Psalm 103.

Today’s (Sun 04/02/2018) FDR is Psalm 103.

Writing for this blog is a joy, whether blogger or incidental commentator.  But more so the readings of Scripture and the growth in understanding that is opened to us all as we study in God’s name and under the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Today, this psalm says all I want to say.  Enjoy.

Psalm 103

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits –
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
the Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbour his anger for ever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children –
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.


Singing as we live our lives before us.

Ten Thousand Reasons (Bless the Lord oh my soul.)

Thanks to biblegateway for this Psalm.
Thanks to youtube for this beautiful hymn written by Matt Redman.

Nahum and Luke

Today’s (Mo 08/01/2018) FDR is Nahum 1 and Luke 18:1-8

What does Nahum chapter 1 and the first 8 verses of Luke chapter 18 share in common?  Not many things but a great powerful and merciful God. Our glorious God as the centre piece.

Yesterday Steve took us into Psalm 99 and concluded with these words:
“. . . shows us that God is both reigning king, mighty and awesome, AND loving father, responsive, forgiving and faithful. What more can we do than to fall upon our knees and ‘exalt the Lord our God for the LORD our God is Holy!’ (v9).”

Today, Nahum’s prophecy in this first chapter prophesies about an overlord called “Ninevah”, a great and worldly powerful oppressor whose descent from its own glory and might occurs in the face of the Lord’s greater power and justice.  This provides us with the same perspective as more ancient readers of this prophecy such as those between 7th century BCE and Christ’s birth.  That is, a message of hope and trust in God for those of us who are oppressed by our own “Nineveh”.  The same message for the ancients and ourselves.

Today also this familiar passage from Luke 18,  as Jesus relates the parable of the lonely and persistent widow and her constant approaches to the normally unsympathetic judge so that he accedes to her requests.   Luke, in his helpful style, identifies for us that the parable’s purpose is prayer.

But how to characterise these two players in this parable?  While it is easy to see ourselves as the petitioner, the widow. Possibly feeling alone and unsuppported.  I don’t believe we should ascribe the role of the judge to God!  In fact, it is my view that the description of the judge is deliberate to encourage us to think about our own perspective in which we see our God.

Is He a grumbling reluctant judge who approves our prayers after we have “droned on” for a while about what we want?  Not so.

The Bible describes an very different God.  Our God, in my experience, is an extremely generous and considerate God.  A personal and committed God, who is keen for each of us to know Him and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as part of our own lives.  Also as part of our collective lives together as the church, as Christ’s redeemed people.   God demonstrates His great care and interest in us in many ways, not the least of these being the provision of both a personal and collective prayer connection for ours and His use, as often and as many times as it is needed.  There are many different prayer modes, of which some examples are, those urgent times when something disastrous is about to occur or has just occurred, when we or our brothers and sisters are in need of grace and peace, and in praise and worship of our great God.

Just three of all the many examples of prayer conversations we can have with God.

Why is prayer so important?  Briefly, prayer demonstrates our faith in God through Christ and it stokes our hunger for things of God encouraging us to leave the sin and mundane of this world and revel in Him.  Prayer is an important part of each of us remaining as an elect child of God and those who will be taken on Christ’s turbulent return to be with Him.

Its time to pray.  Its always time to pray.



Note to all diaries: Monthly FAC Community prayer mornings recommence on Sat 3rd February, 2018 from 7am to 9am.












The battery of good works God has already prepared for us to do.

Today’s (Fr 05/01/2018) FDR is Ephesians 5:1-20

The previous readings in the last few days have sought to remind us of our response to God on becoming Christians. (Thanks Steve for these.)  Much of the underlying theme of each of these is the path made smooth for us by Jesus.  Just as the lead Sherpa, when climbing Mt Everest, seeks to find the best path for we who are following, to tread trustingly to reach our goal.  So are Jesus demonstrations and instructions about how to live as believers in this world.

So that we as faithful Christians may adopt a lifestyle that exemplifies God as described in these 20 verses.

vv 1 & 2 asks us to not just talk to the talk, but to walk the walk.  That is to act in Christian ways, “to walk in the way of love.”  Essentially we are encouraged to act as Christ taught us.  Yes even to imitate God by taking on Jesus example of behaviour.

vv 3 -7 Provides us with a list of behaviours and people who behave in these ways that are to be rejected.

vv 8 – 20 encourages us to ” . . live as children of light . .” (v8), “. . making the most of every opportunity, . .” (v16), ” but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (v17b) and “. . .be filled with the Spirit, . .” (v18b).


Hebrews 10: 23 & 24 has this to say about why we should act like this;

23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


Martin Luther (1483-1546) picks up on the continual imperative of imitating God with these words:

This life, therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed. (1)


Lastly, but not least, we should ask for guidance and assistance through prayer;

Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God,
have mercy on me.

Almighty God, Creator and sustainer of the universe, I worship you.
Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour and Lord of the World, I worship you.
Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of the people of God, I worship you.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more.
Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you.
Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to  ripe in my life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and shell be forever.



(1) Defense and Explanation of All the Articles”, transl. 
Charles M. Jacobs, in Luther’s Works, Volume 34 (Philadelphia: 
Muhlenberg Press, 1958), 24.

Deaf as posts but the invitation is for those who will come.

Today’s (Fr 08/12/2017) FDR passages are Amos 3 and Luke 14:15-24

Deaf as posts

Amos chapter 3 is the first of the prophetic word reports in this book.  These concern judgement against Israel and in Chapter 3 vv3-8 use a rhetorical cause and effect framework of questions that culminate in v8:

The lion has roared –
    who will not fear?
The Sovereign Lord has spoken –
    who can but prophesy?

The implied question being;

“How is it the prophet prophesies the impending doom of God, but the people do not pay any attention?”

So the judgement is spoken and very little of use will be left.  Vv12-15 describes how desolation will be made of Israel and the ineffectual pieces that will be left.  This is punishment on a very grand scale.

Celebrations for all.

We can be too familiar with this next passage, Luke 14:15-24.  We think it means God invites people who are celebrated guests and they refuse so He invites others, some whom we would not normally consider.  Yet it is about those who already know God too.

When we hear the call of God, in what ever means it comes to us,  to act either by direct invitation or through a quiet whisper, perhaps as loud to us as a trumpet call, will we recognise it is the Master’s call and promptly obey?

Our passage characterises the first group as those who are too busy.  Yet it is the Master calling.  Then he gathers people from all places and there is still room.  Another call is made, this time with determination – ” . . . and compel people to come in so that my house may be filled.” (v23)

Behind these words is a very clear message delivered by v24 “. . . none of those who were invited will taste my dinner.”

SHUT OUT!  EXCLUDED!  Missed out on the one and only opportunity to celebrate with God, the marriage of the Lamb to His people!

Revelation 7:9 describes the resulting celebration like this:

After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands.

There are only two responses possible here;

Yes, Lord I’ll come.  Or

No Lord, I’ve something else to do!

An obedient servant

What of the servant carrying out the Master’s instructions?  This is the fourth group and they follow the Lord’s direction and keep extending the invitations until the work is finished.

There is no criminal record check, nor talking to the invitees’ referees, nor checking if they are clean and well dressed, nor making sure they don’t already have a religion, nor making sure they are from the right suburb, or town or country.

No prior checks to see if the invitees are qualified.  Just asking, cajoling and compelling people to come to the feast.  Yes, no strings attached.  Everything is supplied by the Lord.

Do we approach our role as servants of God in this “All are invited, no exceptions” frame of mind?  Are we taking and making opportunities to bring into God’s kingdom all people?

Whatever role we have in this parable of Jesus the Bible’s 2 Peter 1:3 reminds us, whether we are called to the dinner celebration or are a servant doing the calling, that everything is provided, we need nothing of our own:

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)

NO excuses – whether we are the servant or the guest we are expected, and equipped, to take our part seriously and be part of the solution.


Call to review and blessings from God.

Today’s (Tu 05/11/2017) FDR passages are Joel 2:13-28 and Luke 13:10-21

Both passages today contain calls to review and resultant blessings.

Our reading in the book of Joel takes us to a challenge to review our standing before God as the passage prophesies what might need to be done to return to accepting the Lord’s favour and beseeching Him to turn back from the terrible judgement being described in yesterday’s reading.  These passages are also seen as a description of the times of tribulation that occur in the end times before Christ’s second coming and the relief prophesied to His faithful people on His return.

Our Luke reading describes one scene and a number of actions from Jesus’ ministry.  Here we see again Jesus working to heal and discuss or challenge belief and understanding.  There are three facets I want to focus on in the Sabbath healing to again examine Our Lord’s foci.

The woman healed came to the synagogue to hear a man who was becoming known as a prophet and healer and before He is finished she is healed of an 18 year affliction and “immediately she straightened up and praised God.” (v13b)  Jesus heals this woman in the place she is most hurting.

The synagogue leader, here addressing his people, requires them to come on days other than the Sabbath to be healed.  Yet Jesus beginning with a lesser rule argues that even the donkey would be given water today, on the Sabbath.  Then asks why not heal a person who is bound by evil.  Jesus, using a tool common to synagogue discourse, engages in discussion with this synagogue leader, and other opponents, by arguing from the same  rules as applied to work on the Sabbath.  Moving from a lesser being, an animal which needs care to a person who needs care, He argues that there is a stronger reason to heal and to do so straight away.

Those attending the Synagogue with its leader and this healed woman are either defeated or delighted. As v17 puts it “all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.”

Finally, challenging the gardeners and the cooks!   Picking up on Greg’s theme from yesterday;  What are we doing with our mustard seeds and our yeast?  Are we planting the seed of truth in people’s minds and hearts and praying for God’s Spirit to water it into a child of God?  Are we putting the yeast of Christ’s saving grace into people’s lives and setting it in the sunlight of God’s Spirit so those we are among can rise into a person of Christ?

You and I have been blessed with a ‘mustard seed’ or the ‘yeast’ of faith.  Are we replanting them in others by witness and prayer?

A prayer – Lord God, may we cherish the faith you have blessed us with enough to look for and pray about opportunities to bless others with your seeds and yeast in our short time on this earth.  In Christ’s name we ask this.  Amen. 

[My apologies to our early starters for this late posting.]


Queen Esther and Jesus pauses

Today’s (We 08/11/2017) FDRs are Esther 2 and Luke 7:18-35

Queen Esther

Esther is taken into the King’s harem after a competition and wins his favour.  Shortly to be crowned Queen.

Meanwhile Mordecai, her tutor and cousin, keeps close to her residence to see how she is going and keep watch over her.  Yet the story line depicts some unusual extravagances such as 12 months of beauty treatment.  Others that reappear later are the new queen’s feast and declaring a kingdom wide holiday and liberal gift giving.

Yet these three events foreshadow the festival of Purim and are part of the Purim celebration.

Mordecai’s discovery of the plot on the King’s life and its reporting by Esther to the King, carries the story on into the intrigue between Haman and Mordecai and the events that follow in the coming chapters.

Jesus pauses.

This passage describes the ongoing work of Jesus, the question of John’s disciples and Jesus answer, and His concern about those who believe and those who don’t.  It also allows us to accept the ‘pause’ in the ongoing events and look more deeply at these events that are Jesus’ ministry.

So, I’d like you to take some time flipping back over the previous chapters of Luke that describe Jesus ministry so far and briefly catalogue all the events Jesus describes in vv 21-23?  Perhaps you can find some he didn’t include in this summary?

I think you’ll be amazed at the breadth and number Jesus acts in.