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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Foot-and-mouth disease.

It has been said, on more than one occasion and not entirely without warrant, that I suffer from foot-and-mouth disease! In other  words, every time I open my mouth, I put my foot in it!

The real disease is, of course a very serious one, and is highly contagious among cloven-hoofed animals. Blisters form around the mouth,and the feet become so painful that the affected animals lie down for most of the time. They become listless; will not eat or drink; and rapidly lose weight. Often.they go lame, and die.

Strict preventative measures have made the disease close to non-existent in the major developed countries of the world. However, there is evidence that a kind of "spiritual foot-and-mouth disease" exists within the church! It's not even the kind of condition of which I have been accused! It is, I would suggest, something even worse!

Writing to the early believers in Corinth, Paul compared the Body of Jesus (the church) to the human body. He pointed out: «For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the organs in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single organ, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”» (I Cor.12:14-21).

Foot-and-mouth disease in the Body of the Christ breaks out when its members begin to compare themselves with one another. A "foot" may become morbidly depressed because of its calloused appearance, and its inability to express itself as can the "mouth"! On the other hand, the "mouth" may feel terribly inadequate because it is incapable of moving about, and bearing the weight of the whole body. The end result can be that these members lose their spiritual appetite, and become ineffective in their service. "Foot-and-mouth disease" has taken its toll because individual members want to be what the Lord never intended them to be!

God's children - those who are truly born-again of God the Holy Spirit, and adopted into His family - have been sovereignly designed, and placed in the Body of the Christ for a specific purpose. Each is vital to the well-being of the whole. When we fulfil His appointed role for us, there will be true harmony, and the Lord Jesus will receive the glory. There will be no more "foot-and-mouth disease" in the church!

So, if you are a disciple of Jesus, have you found His place for you in the body? It's the place in which you will know His blessing - whatever the function!

Monday, 16 January 2017

Residential static caravan for sale - in the Gironde Department of France.

As minds may be starting to think of warm summer days, we are offering our residential static caravan for sale. A full spec may be obtained by sending me a valid e-mail address to The spec is available in both English and French.

Comme les esprits peuvent être commencer à penser des jours chauds d'été, nous offrons notre caravane résidentielle statique (mobil home) à vendre. Une spécification complète peut être obtenue en m'envoyant une adresse e-mail valide à La spécification est disponible en anglais et en français.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Sha’alu shalom yerushalayim.

When I published my first post of 2017, I had not expected to be 'silent' for as long as I have. However, a combination of enjoying the hospitality of friends; sometimes having no internet access; and then, before leaving for home, having 'picked up' the virus that seems to have hit a lot of the UK; means that spending time online has been severely restricted!

Then comes the question - on which of the multiple topics of the past few days does one post? Not an altogether easy choice, but I have decided to make my own comment on the tragic murder of four young members of the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) on Sunday past. This was a calculated act, designed to kill and maim as many as possible - and sadly successful in its aim.

A Palestinian terrorist from eastern Jerusalem rammed his truck into a group of IDF (Israeli Defence Force) soldiers at Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv Promenade, murdering the four and wounding about 15 others, some seriously. Three of the dead victims: Erez Orbach, Yael Yakutiel, Shir Hajaj and Shira Tzur, one man and three women, were 20 years of age, and the oldest only 22 years old. The injured include soldiers and civilians. One eye-witness reported that, after mowing down the victims, the lorry was reversed over them! The terrorist, identified as 28-year-old Fadi al-Qanbar from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, an apparent hotbed of terror, was shot dead at the site. It appears that he had connections to Daesh - the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group.
Any sane person is surely shocked and saddened at such an incident - and it is only one of far too many! However, reliable reports indicate that, while Israel and those who support the nation, were mourning, "Palestinians" were celebrating in the street - just as they did on the now infamous 9/11! Hamas, the terrorist organisation, held a massive midnight rally after news of the attack broke. In Gaza, people handed out candy to the occupants of passing cars. Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Abbas, celebrated the attack on its official social media. Palestinian leaders incite terror and the Palestinian Authority pays nearly US$140 million a year to terrorists and their families. 

All of this on the back of UN decisions that re-write recorded history by claiming that the Temple Mount is a Muslim site, and not a Jewish one! Of course, the motion was presented by a number of Muslim states - but that it was supported by the UK, and that the USoA abstained, is difficult to believe!

I make no apology for my personal support of Israel. I do not agree with absolutely every decision made by the Israeli government - but then, I don't agree with many of the decisions made by recent UK governments!  However, I never forget that the Jesus Whose disciple I am (however poorly!) was born into a Jewish family; was raised and trained as a Jew; was prosecuted as a Jew; and was crucified as a Jew. I recall that the earliest disciples of Yeshua were all Jews. I have learned, in just the past couple of years, how much the church was Hellenised ("Greek-ised") by Emperor Constantine, and separated from her Hebraic roots. I was reminded, earlier today, that Paul (another Jew!) made clear that it is Gentile disciples of Yeshua who "... have been cut from what is, by nature, a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, ..." (Rom.11:24). So I now see the Children of Israel as, at least, my 'cousins' - and certainly a part of the same family!

At the end of my e-mails is the brief phrase, in a transliteration of the Hebrew, that I have used as a heading for this post.  It translates as "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem." (Ps.122:6).  I encourage you to do so!

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Why blog?

If my calculations are correct, this is the beginning of my tenth year of blogging (I'm not counting the couple of posts at the end of 2007!). I didn't give any thought as to the length of time for which I would maintain my blog. I suppose that it's a bit like my marriage! On my wedding day, I did not ask myself if the young woman to whom I was being married, and I, would still be together more than 46 years later - and with no intention of changing that situation! But we are!!

When I started my blog, I did so with the idea that it would be an additional area of ministry. However, even then I suspected that I would stray into other areas!  That is why the heading states that the blog is:
"The personal musings, and other writings, of a Ross who has maintained the Clan's ecclesiastical link! This is an unashamedly Christian ministry blog. Many of the posts are comments on current affairs, from a Biblical perspective, but I also include some straightforward Christian teaching; poems and songs that I have written; quotable quotes; and information on the persecuted church. Some of my posts stray into politics, and science!" 

My friend, David Robertson - who has been quoted on this blog on more than one occasion - recently wrote on his own blog ( "The Lord has given us minds to think and to try and work out, in the light of His Word, where we are at and what is happening. That is all I am trying to do. In effect this blog is my thinking out loud, and trying to read the world, in the light of God’s word. In that I believe I am fulfilling not only the Creation mandate but also that of Paul in Romans 12: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - His good, pleasing and perfect will.”"

That, I would claim, is the rationale behind my own blog. It is personal; it has, on occasion, been controversial; it even cost me my Police Force Chaplaincy. However, I trust that it has never been offensive, and that, sometimes, it might even be helpful. I welcome comments and, when I was able to do so, published all apart from the abusive, crude, or blasphemous ones. I am always contactable through the e-mail address provided at the top of the page.

I do try to publish regularly, but only if I have something to say! It may be going too far to say that I am always inspired (sometimes I have spent a number of hours on just one post!), but I am always sincere in what I share. I know that the blog is read by a fair number of people, and would love to have it read by even more. However, one of my fundamental beliefs is that Almighty God is Sovereign. That means that nothing can, or will, happen outwith His knowledge and permission. So I am content that He will lead, to my blog, anyone He wishes to have read a particular post!

If you are one of those who has been following this blog for a long time, then I thank you for your support - whether, or not, you have joined the 'select' group which is displayed in the right-hand-side! Of course, it would be encouraging if many more were to join with that group!! If you are new to the blog, then I welcome you, and trust that you will become a regular reader. If you do, you will be joining with folk from more than a dozen countries around the world (see the bottom of the right-hand-side for details). 

Please feel free to advertiser the blog to your own friends. The greater the number of "hits", the higher is the Google ranking - and that means (I think!) that when someone instigates a Google search on one of the labels on a post, my blog moves towards the earliest sites that are suggested! 

Let me end with those well-known words of Minnie Louise Haskins:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: "Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown."
And he replied: "Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the Hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way."
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East."

May you know His leading throughout the coming year - and until your time on this earth is done. Blessings, and shalom.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Heaven - or hell?

It started with a Facebook post shared by one of my former pupils. The post gave a list of the good things that were apparently done by the late George Michael, but claimed "Yet today you read comments that he is damned because he was gay. I know in whose company I would rather spend eternity, and which behaviour I consider more "Christian"."

As some might expect, I responded to this! I pointed out that the person who originally penned the piece appeared not to understand what a Christian (better "disciple of Jesus") actually is. Biblically, being a disciple of Jesus means that one has been saved. That salvation, Paul reminds us, is solely and simply through the grace of God - "By grace you have been saved, through faith, not of works lest any man should boast."(Eph.2:8). Let's finish the year by unpicking those words a little.

"By grace ..." I give a full chapter in my book "Great Words of the Faith" (link at top of page: available as a paperback, or a Kindle e-book) to the word 'grace' (23 other important words are also dealt with!). At it's most simple, however, grace refers to my receiving that which I don't deserve; cannot earn; and could never purchase. In other words, grace has absolutely nothing to do with 'me' - what I have done for others; what I have given to others; how I have behaved. It has everything to do with the love of Almighty God, shown supremely in the willing sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ, at Calvary. When Jesus hung on the cross, He was paying the penalty for you sins, and for mine. He was doing what we could never do. He was satisfying God's justice, by the greatest expression of love in the history of mankind.

"... you have been saved ..." Salvation is also dealt with, much more fully, in my book. It is, of course, a concept with which we are all too familiar in a physical sense. There is a fire in a house, or a place of entertainment, or wherever. The Fire Brigade arrives and rescues all who were trapped in the inferno - and the newspaper reports inform us that so many people were "saved".  They were saved from serious injury, or even from death. However, the salvation to which Paul refers is of inestimably greater significance - it is salvation from sin: it's power; it's penalty; and, ultimately, its presence.

"... through faith ..." 'Faith' is actually the first word dealt with in the book already cited. It's something that we exercise every time we board public transport - 'bus, aeroplane, or any other form. When I flew earlier this year, I didn't meet the pilot of the aeroplane; I didn't personally examine the aircraft; I wasn't provided with the opportunity to ensure that it had sufficient fuel in the tanks to make the planned flight. Yet I boarded that aircraft; settled into my seat; and enjoyed the short flight. I trusted that all of those concerned had attended to all of the necessary checks. The writer of the great Letter to Hebrew disciples of Jesus gave God's definition of the word: "... the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Heb.11:1). It is taking, on trust, God's own Word about anything and everything!

"... not of works lest any man should boast." You see, if salvation depended on my "works", then the late Mr Michael would be able to claim that he had done more to gain his salvation than I had done to gain mine! And he would be correct. I have never been in the position to give the vast amounts to others that the post that set me off on this claims that he did - and I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the claim. I, of course, could then boast that I had given, and done, more than many other people. However, if salvation is NOT about what I have done, then we all stand at the same level. It;s not about me; it's all about Him!

I know very little about George Michael. I am certainly not in a position to state, emphatically, where he will spend eternity. However, I do know this much - if he had yielded his life to Almighty God, through the Lord Jesus, the Christ, and if God the Holy Spirit was living in and through him, then he is already in the presence of that same Jesus. Otherwise, he is not!

Whatever George Michael's eternal destiny, it is now too late to do anything about it. However, for you there is still time. If you wish to make a worthwhile "New Year Resolution", then I strongly urge you to consider your own eternal destiny. While you breathe, there is the opportunity to come before Father God, in repentance and faith, and receive the salvation that was gained for you at Calvary. God the Holy Spirit will then come into your life and help you to become more like Jesus, in the process that is known as 'sanctification' (yes - it is also dealt with in "Great Words"!!). If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact me through the contact e-mail address at the top of the page.

May you have a great 2017 - and walk with Him through every day.