The following stories all appeared one under the other in a city paper:
ISLAMIC State militants are using a new tactic to shock the world as they move closer to a US stronghold in Iraq.
JULIA Vins is just 18, but the â€˜muscle barbieâ€™ has gained thousands of fans because of her unusual blend of wide-eyed pretty looks and muscular physique.
THEYâ€™RE single and ready to mingle. With over a hundred times more lonely hearts in this suburb than any of its nearest neighbors, we bet you wonâ€™t guess whatâ€™s made this area so hot to trot.
Maybe a lot of men wearing Budgie smugglers.
It would seem we live in a world where one person might chain themselves to a tree in a forest to protect it, while another lives with the constant dangers of rape, beheadings and now being burned alive for no other reason than theyâ€™re not of the same variance of the ideology of the perpetrators.
We have the great Western power seemingly making friends with countries that openly desire that the nation of Israel be wiped off the map.
Churchâ€™s not just welcoming those who live who live in opposition to Godâ€™s law-AS WE SHOULD ALL WELCOME, butÂ some Churchâ€™s not just welcoming but seemingly condoning it.
If we were in the heavens looking down and seeing all these jigsaw pieces come together in the one picture I would think we would feel like busting it up and starting a new one and the statements concerning the last days of:
As in the time of Noah
And leaders talking of peace but looking to war certainly come to mind.
This could be where I go down the street with my soapbox bellowing â€œrepent for the end is near.â€
Who knows, maybe it is or maybe itâ€™s not because we remember that the apostles were all but certain it would happen in their time.
Martin Luther when asked what he would do if he knew it was his last day before death answered, that he would plant a tree which echoes to me the sign on the out the front of the plant nursery on the way to Gil. That says:
The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, and the next best is now.â€
Since ancient times Lent has been a time of preparation for the celebration of Easter, a season of spiritual spring-cleaning. During the 40 days of Lent, Christians battled against the powers of darkness and their sinful self by the practice of fasting and self-examination, meditation and prayer. Since it was a time of repentance, they often wore sackcloth and covered themselves with ashes.
Hence Ash Wednesday.
Problem for me is that a bit like New Yearâ€™s Eveâ€™s resolutions, in my failed attempts at repentance itâ€™s tempting to repent of repenting.
And thereâ€™s the trick that the dark side wants to push on us. See youâ€™re still as bad as before, just give up on it.
Words with a bit of truth but like to Adam and Eve in the garden, used out of context and meaning.
Repentance is not becoming some great never to sin again person. Yes it is most surely striving too, but at the top is in repenting to see the error of our ways and turn back to God-seek and receive forgiveness and start afresh like a cricket batsmen who gets out early from a stupid shot must put it behind them, get back to basics and start a fresh in their next innings.
I mentioned once before that King David, the King mentioned as a man after Godâ€™s own heart was mentioned as such not because he was perfect, but because as soon as he was shown the error of his ways, he would turn to God and seek forgiveness.
These are turbulent times in our world and how they will play out we do not know, but like with our own thing that we are each dealing with, God seems to makes a habit of bringing deliverance from a crisis and if you planted that tree twenty years ago, though there has been droughts, floods, fire and famine-there it still is, stronger than ever providing shade in the heat and cover in the rain.
In the Garden of Eden God said there would be consequences if that apple was eaten, and then as there is now that is case the. Not from God getting in some payback, but from the sin that we brought on ourselves,
And yet when God looks down on all those jigsaw pieces of our world and sees the results of our sin, he also sees His Son on a cross in each of the physical and spiritual battles taking place, in every piece does Christ walk as he has in every piece of your own journey and that He knows that sin will still be in play until the last day, He asks not the impossible, He asks what would seem improbable in such a time in our world, that all would turn back to God and be freed from themselves to be free in Christ.
For those in fare away lands and in parts of our own where we have none or little influence, we can and should always pray that be the case.
For those here in our midst to whom which come before us, we pray this be the case and ask our Lord to guide us in mind and actions that they see His light.
And for us here, pray we, as we run our race continue to be blest to know the truth, that in Christ when we turn to God in asking forgiveness in the name of His Son and our Saviour Jesus the Christ, that we know from His Word and promise that is stronger than any mineral and greater than any condition we find ourselves:
That truly, Christ died on that cross for you, and through Christ and in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit your sins are washed away and forgiven. Praise be to God. Amen.