Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Through the Valley of Death

There is no greater peace than knowing your sins are forgiven and that when you die, the Prince of Life will invite you into His eternal kingdom.  This week three friends of mine have made that transition.  They have come to the end of their earthly journey and have gone right on into their heavenly reward.  And it is so tough to let them go.  There is no pain on earth like the pain of loss and bereavement, but at the same time that is the price of love.  Surely it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

It is such an amazing comfort to know that the Jesus we serve is the One who has conquered death and returned to us with the offer of life itself.  Here in Guernsey the hedgerows are bursting with colour.  All around us the daffodils are blooming, the gorse is heavy with yellow flowers and the primroses and violets are splashed like the overflow of a vivid and generous imagination.  What is it all in aid of?  Well, the arrival of Spring, of course, and with it the celebration of Easter's great answer to the dark of the grave.

But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)

So, don't give up hope, and don't let the icy blast of winter fool you either.  The Spring is coming, and life will overcome death.  And those of us who have trusted Christ and followed Him will dance with Him in the fields of heaven's dawning like lambs enjoying the sheer delight of being alive!  Hallelujah!  He Lives!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Overwhelmed by good wishes

Thank you SO much for all the messages of encouragement and thanksgiving that have come in since my last post with the news that the neurostimulator fitted at Guy's Hospital in February is now switched on and doing its job effectively. After 15 years of battling daily the dreadful pain of recurring acute pancreatitis and chronic pancreatitis I have some relief from its claws.  We have both wept tears of gratitude for the research and technical know-how that has provided this equipment, and the care of those who fitted it.

I want to give you the real facts of my situation now, despite the personal nature of this information, not to seek your pity, nor to take away from the wonder of what God has done for us, but in respect for truth and a desire for continued prayer support.  This has eased my pain, but the underlying disease and damage done to my pancreas remains.  I am really hoping that with the pain defused, any future attacks may be more easily controlled, or that they simply will not occur.  We are also both exhausted, and my stamina is low.  Recent surgery on top of the many procedures endured before last year and during it, has left me weak.  Also, in these early weeks, I am restricted in my movements so as not to undo the effect of the electrodes in my spine. Scar tissue will eventually hold them in place, but that takes time.

I look forward to planned preaching engagements ahead with real joy at resuming my first love - the teaching of God's precious Word.  Please pray for needed strength and wisdom to pace myself.

Thank you.  God bless you!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Eric's Laws of Do-it-yourself!

Every job sets out really simple - of course I can put up a coat-hook - I mean what kind of idiot do you think I am?  Well, I did it, but not without proving the home truths of Eric's Laws of Doing it Yourself!
Law 1 It is always harder than it looks
Law 2 You never have the right tools
Law 3 If it can fall off or break it will always land in the most difficult place to retrieve it from
Law 4 If it can go wrong it will go wrong spectacularly
Law 5 If it can break it will always break at the most inopportune moment
Law 6 You will be going back to the DIY store
Law 7 You will regret not measuring one more time
Law 8 When your wife/significant other arrives to look it is always at the moment of most difficulty
Law 9 When your wife/significant other arrives she will ask you why you didn't get a man in
Law 10 You will ask yourself why you didn't get a man in!

Still, I must say that it has been a pleasure feeling well enough to at least have a go myself!  Thanks to this wonderful neurostimulator, since I was switched on two weeks ago I have experienced a complete break from pain.  Thank God for the sheer pleasure of not being in agony.  Now it's a joy to make a fool of myself, but when you come to my house, please don't ask me where you can hang your coat!