Some Past Reflections
As I journey through my seventh decade, I can and do give thanks to God for the double blessings of health and spiritual wealth, that He has graciously bestowed upon me.
So I feel the task of a personal testimonial, must be brief.
Are you aware that in Matt. 12:36, in fact the twelfth New Testament prophecy in this first Gospel, every idle word either said in anger or jest, will be accountable on the Day of Judgment.
So I have to ask myself what about every superfluous sentence and word that every author moulds and tries to fashion into literary darts for his reader's approval? Will this count as well on that fateful day, yet to come to each of us.
With this thought in mind, I suggest that the saying 'brief is best' should apply and remembering the sower in Matt. 13:39, when his seeds where thrown, fell mainly on to unprepared ground. My words, I hope will not share such a fate, at least I hope not.
(During my book launch, my old parish priest joins me)
(My uncle's original ordination card)
(Previous friend of the family)
(Giving a talk at an ecumenical meeting)
You must turn away voluntarily from all organized religion, for if men have placed their soiled hands upon then it, then it is flawed.
(Preparing to serve mass in 1964)
And will not all deeds and words one day be revealed at the Great White Throne Judgment (Matt. 10:26.) None of us must be implicated in a false system that will ultimately fail us, neither can we defend it. Nor should we wish to do so.
(Berlin, Germany: sharing Jesus with this man)
Organized religion, I am afraid, carries its own heavy sackcloth of emotional baggage and particular failings, sometimes to an extreme degree. I neither need it, nor seek it.
(Open-air street preaching)
Some years ago, I fulfilled a long held pipe dream to visit Israel. It wasn't so much a pilgrimage, more a journey of devotion. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Master and of course the apostles.
My son James accompanied me to this very special land.
We stood in awe, when we reached those historical and spiritual locations such as Nazareth, Galilee, Capernaum, Samaria and the atmospheric Sea of Galilee, where Jesus performed so many of His most personal miracles.
(James and I in the footsteps of the Master)
It remains an enchanting rural setting that will forever be etched in my memory. Not least because of our baptism in that holy area. On that journey, James and I met a sister from Sweden by the name of Margarita. I had the privilege of baptising her in the very warm waters of that peaceful location. If she should ever read this, please contact me. You are very much in both of our thoughts.
Later that day both James and myself baptised one another in the River Jordan.
(Our friend from Sweden)
Whilst on that journey, we visited the endless plains of Armageddon. Here God's future hand of judgment will be witnessed in the Bibles final days. We did not, however, get to Jerusalem. Well not on that trip, but someday I hope to join many of the saints, who with the King of kings will reign for a thousand years in that eternal city.
What an adventure, what a privilege. And remember it is an opportunity that is offered to all who accept this free gift from the Lord.
(Miles away in my thoughts in Tel Aviv)
But only after you have decided to trust Jesus as your personal Saviour, are you starting out on that rewarding road to redemption.
You must be born again, warned Jesus to Nicodemus, not once but three times; don't you think He is telling us something? I do!
So accept His eternal gift, it's free and it might be the wisest thing you ever do! Refuse it, then you do so at your own peril!
True, it might take you a lifetime to reach that eternal destination but it will, however, be the most rewarding journey you will wish to travel.