This blog started as a 3-fold sharing idea. I would share my paintings, my poems and Christian writing.
I stopped sharing my paintings approximately one year or so ago. I post only the odd one.
I have been preaching/teaching the bible for almost fifty years. Not in the capacity of a full-time pastor as they say – but e.g. as a joint leader in various churches, whilst holding down a job in a local newspaper as a typesetter.
I am like most people who are getting on in years, the older I get, the more I realise that life is extremely short/brief, even if you reach the grand ol’ age of Dame Vera Lynn, who passed away recently.
I would like the same amount of years over again. Highly unlikely I’m afraid.
It’s a bit like The Lord Jesus said: …The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few:…
There is plenty of work still to be done, and the privilege of serving The King of kings would create the desire for many more years to come, in which to do so.
I believe we are all unique. What we do – is often the result of what we are. It is meant to be that way.
The scripture instructs us –
…Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,
Though the context is spiritual gifts – I believe it is not ‘arresting’ scripture to conclude that it also applies to our natural/personality gifts.
I don’t think we should be overly concerned with how good or bad we are in expressing our particular gift, but are meant to do the best we can.
I have been painting since schooldays and writing also.
My poetry is a mixture of all kinds. Sometimes personal, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes just playing with words, sometimes (I hope) with the injection of profundity, other times I use lightness.
My painting is the same.
My preaching is always with the endeavour to ‘rightly divide the word of truth.’ Knowing that the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.
My expectation of what friendship brings, has somewhat diminished over the years. The realities of life are sobering.
If I did not have a friend I have proven – ‘sticks closer than a brother’ [Prov. 18/24] – I fear to think how empty life would be. (His name is Jesus).
Even when I don’t sense a lot in the spiritual realm – I know Christ’s Word is totally reliable, and it assures me I will never be forsaken by this God/Saviour/Friend I serve.
An observation I have made in life is to notice that there are two aspects of friendship-forming. Two ways if you like that we engage in the human experience of forming relationships.
There are the ‘initiators’ and the ‘responders’.
We are all initiators and responders, to varying degrees.
The percentage break-up of these two activities varies from person to person.
Some folks never initiate anything.
Often they communicate in ways such as: “We must get together for a coffee!” They never do. Or “ We must have you round some night.” But the invitation never reaches the date and time stage.
If you initiate the get together, they gladly respond. And they can be the ‘nicest’ people you know, but they are 90 percent responders and 10 per cent initiators.
There can be all sorts of reasons for this. Some folks are just ‘hyper-active’ and they are always initiating events. It has been said that in a church all the work of service is carried out by 10 per cent of the congregation. Probably their initiation percentage is high.
It causes incredulity to arrive on the doorstep of our minds, when we e.g. take someone out for a treat. ‘Wine and dine’ folks as it is referred to, and they assure us of the wonderful time they had, and how they too wish to initiate such an outing in return.
Only to find that months or longer go by and you never hear from them again.
Now of course the saving grace in this is found in the following scriptures –
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
And yet another principle:
…lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
This gives cause for rejoicing when we do good to others, or offer friendship. Much as we have their good in mind – our reward, our satisfaction if you like is that it is pleasing to God and it is the answer of a good conscience to The Lord.
Doing it heartily, and hoping for nothing in return, tests our mettle.
When people say and don’t do, we will experience frustration, (let’s be real) but what we do with that frustration is turn it into prayer and if we need to – into forgiveness.
A faithful friend is hard to find – David found one in Jonathon. It is as Christ changes us from the inside out – that we shall be able to give love when it is not returned.
This is why He, the Christ of God, shone in His perfection to show us how mankind aught to live.
Praise be to His Great Name!