Monday, 24 April 2017

Never Give Up

I love the London Marathon. I've run it twice.

I didn't love it at the time though! The last six or so miles are hard. You have run out of all energy, your body wants to give in. But you keep going.

As you run into The Mall on that final mile, there's thousands of people cheering you on. It's that which gets you over the finish line. People you will never meet, cheering you on by name (assuming your name is on your shirt!) The noise. The applause. It gets you there.

I love this short clip from the BBC of runners helping each other. Lets do the same in the race of life. Don't give up. Keep going. And for those of us with a Christian faith, the Bible says there's a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on over the finishing line.

This is how a modern translation puts it: "Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it." (Heb 12:1-2)

Never give up.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

On Wednesday 22nd March, a terrorist drove down the pavement of Westminster Bridge, crashed his car and then ran into the Palace of Westminster. He killed four people, including a policeman.

The media was full of the story. 24 hour news coverage meant it was never off our screens. Many of the comments after the attack were angry. Some were more measured. Some sounded statesmanlike, especially from Andrew Neil.

One of the things Andrew Neil said was that terrorism would never prevail, because there were thousands upon thousands of Keith Palmer’s (the policeman killed) in our country.

I did a bit of research, and within minutes, I had found them. I could fill this page with them. People who, on March 22nd 2017 were serving our nation, helping our children, promoting good, and in the over-used phrase of mugs and t-shirts, ‘carrying on’.

There’s the fun day at Ashton for the Community Family Support Programme. On the same day, the ‘Eggstravaganza’ day at Honiton for early years children. The Hospice of St Francis was given £5,500 by a firm of lawyers, the proceeds of a quiz night, on that day.

On that day, 22nd March, The Luton and Dunstable District Netball League were in action. On the same day, there was a lecture at Bangor University on the use of technology to help with less resourced languages.

There was even a decision to change our text books in terms of what it says about dinosaurs because of new finds, announced in the science journal ‘Nature’ on that day.

None of these made the headlines. But each underlines goodness, a willingness to give, a willingness to explore, investigate, develop and promote good in the world we live in. Above all, it shows would be terrorists that we live in a society that works well and that will continue to ‘carry on’. There are indeed thousands upon thousands of Keith Palmer’s in our nation. And to every one of them – thank you.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

REPOST: Between the Times

Feeling reflective and fallible today. This is a repost that says it well.

I live Between the Times.
Between my birth and my death.
Between my salvation and a final day.
Between the morning and the evening.

I live Between Each Breath.
Between the gulp of air
inhaled before the start of a new journey.
And the sigh of fatigue
at the end of a long day.

I live Between the Arms.
The loving mother
at the day of my birth.
The caring child
as I slip into eternity.

I live Between the Times.
And every precious second given to me.
Tells a story.
Of Life.
And finally.
Of Glory.
©Ralph Turner 2014

Friday, 24 February 2017

A Culture of Honour

As a resident of Leicester, I’m shocked with the sacking of a hero. Claudio Ranieri worked against the odds to produce the upset of the century in football terms, with Leicester City winning the English Premiership last year. According to the BBC, the season ‘ended with a success that defied history, logic, the odds and the game's natural financial order, as he turned a Leicester team that narrowly avoided relegation into champions.’

Yesterday, after a run of bad results, he was fired.

He didn’t deserve that and it was done for the usual short-sighted reasons of money and politics.

There seems to be such a culture of dishonour nowadays. We see it in the Brexit debate. These are important decisions and it seems reasonable to discuss them, but the moment a former Prime Minister raises those issues, there’s a dishonouring of him as a person- nothing to do with the debate.

Sadly it seems the same with the comments and tweets of the new President in the States. It’s not whether he is right or wrong, it’s to do with honouring the other point of view.

Back to Leicester. I don’t want to be part of something that is so short sighted and ruthless. I want to honour a man that in sporting terms did the impossible. Manager of the Premiership winners, Coach of the Year in the BBC awards and with the same award from the official body, FIFA.

I don’t expect he will read this, but Claudio, we honour you. There will be many in Leicester today who want you to know we have nothing to do with this decision. We choose a culture of honour, not dishonour. We trust you will remember Leicester fondly and will be able to forgive this crass dishonouring of your accomplishments.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

New Year Resolutions

As we approached the New Year, I posted the following on Facebook. Its simple statements obviously hit a chord as many 'likes' and 'shares' followed.

So, with thanks to the original author, Julie Baumgardner, it's posted here. May it be true for all of us, all of the time.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Sheltering the Poor

Here are some verses from the Bible:

“Give counsel;
grant justice;
 make your shade like night
at the height of noon;
shelter the outcasts;
do not reveal the fugitive;
let the outcasts of Moab
sojourn among you;
be a shelter to them
from the destroyer.
When the oppressor is no more,
and destruction has ceased,
and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land,
then a throne will be established in steadfast love,
and on it will sit in faithfulness
in the tent of David
one who judges and seeks justice
and is swift to do righteousness.” (Isaiah 16: 3-5)
The second set of verses are often quoted. They refer to the day when Christ returns. The day when all is put right on the earth.
But they need to be read in the context of the verses before them. These speak of sheltering the outcast, the fugitive. We are called to rescue the refugee, the support those who have lost everything.
I'm aware of the politics that suggests we should close our borders in the UK. But the cry for mercy is central to the Christian faith. So, for me, I will support, shelter, welcome and care for those who have nothing. Even if the borders of my country close, I choose to open the borders of my life.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

And God is Bigger.....

This is where you live. This is Earth. This is the Solar System. This is the Milky Way. This is the universe.

And God is bigger........