Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunsets and Phoney Baloney!

Sunset over Port Soif in Guernsey can be a magnificent affair.  It often comes at the end of a great day of sunshine and blue skies, but is more often the finale to a period of moody weather or even a storm.  If 'Braving the Storm' is your motto, you will, like me, regard the sunset as compensation after a tough day, and the promise of another go tomorrow.  That's a great help when we face storms - just the knowledge that tomorrow is another day, and the very worst of weather will 'come to pass', likely to be replaced by something different, if not better.

It came home to me today how long it has been since my last blog.  I felt sad that I have lost touch with you, and stirred to do something about it.  Part of the reason for the long silence is that I have been going through a particularly bad storm.  Despite the great thrill and joy of being able to preach again in November after a year out of the pulpit, the battle has raged around me, and the illness I fight has waxed and waned in its perfidious strategy designed to destroy me. (That's no exageration; take a peek at 1 Peter 5:8-9). I have made a commitment to myself and to you that I will only be honest in my blogs.  No sugarry cover-ups, no religious make believe, no phoney baloney!! But then - there is only so much you can say about pain, tears, weakness, loneliness and sorrow - without boring the socks off those who read or listen.  So, here are some positive things that are going on despite the storm:
  1. God is wonderfully providing all our needs.  We have not been on a salary since July 2008 and we have wanted for nothing!
  2. We have met some really great people and are learning from how God is working in their lives.
  3. So many people tell us that they pray for us every day - now that is amazing!
  4. I have been kept alive through 3 major operations in the last year and several potentially dangerous attacks of acute pancreatitis.
  5. Every day God's Word has spoken to us and is a lamp to our feet and a light to our darkened path.
  6. Several trips to London for Diane and I have been covered by generous giving and practical love and support from others.
  7. The sun sets daily as a reminder that God is faithful and has granted us another day.
'I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: GOD’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!  I’m sticking with GOD (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.' (Lam. 3:19-24 The Message).