Peace, perfect peace.

When I was a wee boy in the 1950’s I used to walk three miles along a country road to visit my grandparents. They lived in a little wooden house surrounded by pine trees. There was little if any traffic on that road in those days, and I can still remember the peace of the countryside. I experienced it again just recently as I walked through a forest far above my village. When I stopped, there was absolute silence! Occasionally you could hear the flutter of a bird’s wing but apart from that there was perfect peace. It was beautiful.

Last night, before bed, I was reading Hebrews 13 : 20-21.

“ Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

 

“The God of peace.” In this world, in our nation and in the hearts of so many people today there is so little real peace. But God is a God of peace. The angels’ message that first christmas was “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Luk 2:14 A God of love, by sending His Son the Lord Jesus Christ into this world, made a way whereby sinful man might know peace with God, for ….. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself”…….  2Co 5:19a

How wonderful!  There is nothing like it in the whole world. The God of the universe is at peace with me. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”   Joh 14:27 Peace when I wake in the morning, when I face all the problems of daily life and when I lay my head on the pillow at night. And it’s perfect peace, for “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”  Isa 26:3

 


 

 

 


 

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A White Christmas?

For some time now I have noticed when out walking with Rusty, that far to the north east, Ben Cruachan has been showing a covering of snow. Winter is approaching, I thought. Here on the mild West Coast we do not usually see much snow and when we do get a covering it does not last long. What a difference recently. Snow has covered the country and we have had our share. However, unlike the rest of Scotland, it is very slowly disappearing. Milder weather is forecast for the next two days but then it is to turn colder again. So should I be “Dreaming of a White Christmas?” The weather man could be wrong!

Thinking of Christmas and what the future holds, I was reading today in Ezekiel chapter 21. It was talking about how wicked king Zedekiah would be taken into captivity. The last of the house of David. Attempts to re-establish the government were doomed to failure and there must have been many who said regarding the promise made to David, “Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?”  Psa 77:8

But in Ezekiel chapter 21 verse 27 we read  “I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”

Almost six hundred years later …….”in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”  Luk 1:26-33

Promises of a white Christmas may be wrong, But God’s Word never is!   HALLELUJAH!

 

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Conservation v Resurrection!

The ruins of the Royal Castle of Tarbert occupy a commanding position on a hilltop overlooking the entrance to the harbour. Built around the 13th. century, the original castle appears to have been quite large. Today, all that remains standing is the Tower House which was built about 1494. For as long as I can remember the Tower has been covered with ivy and in recent years the public have been denied access as the structure deteriorated  and became dangerous.

In recent years dramatic changes have taken place. The local Community Trust having obtained ownership of the site, put in place a plan to stabilise the Tower and, with a tremendous local volunteer effort, eventually make the whole site a visitor attraction and historical / educational resource. For the last year the Tower has been surrounded in scaffolding as a specialist firm, using as far as possible traditional materials, prevent any further deterioration. I believe that this task alone could take another two years. The surrounding area however, has already been transformed by the dedicated volunteer effort, floodlighting has been installed and the site has become quite a visitor attraction.

I cannot help thinking that, much as I admire and applaud man’s best efforts, they pale into insignificance compared with what God can do. The Community Trust do not intend to, and indeed never could, make The Royal Castle of Tarbert what it once was. God however has promised that one day He will re-create a new, perfect heaven and earth.

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”    2Pe 3:13

He has also promised that in a moment He will resurrect every person that has died. Those who love and trust Him will spend eternity with Him. Those who do not will spend a lonely eternity in hell.

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”   1Co 15:52

“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”   Mat 25:46

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The Alpha Post

Welcome to the website, my blog and the first post! I hope you will enjoy the content and that this will be the first of many visits. This is all very new to me so I am sorry if the results are not very professional. The website was “launched”  a few days ago and I hope it may be of help to Christian and non-Christian alike.

Now let me introduce you to the other member of the family. Rusty is an almost five year old male Golden Retriever, and accompanies me pretty well everywhere. Living in a small village in the West Highlands of Scotland, it is easy to get into the hills for long walks. Just this afternoon we were looking down on the village as we made our way home late in the afternoon.

Until  recently it has been quite a problem taking Rusty walking in the hills. He would trot ahead, very well-behaved and then suddenly he would scent a deer, and he was gone! Even if I saw him go he would pay no attention to my commands.   Half an hour later, to the minute, he would return, usually covered in mud and exhausted. A quick dip in the burn and he was as right as rain. However I knew something would have to be done when on more than one occasion he didn’t return and was found miles away, patiently waiting at a gate for me to come and open it so that he could return home. I of course was expected to know just where he was waiting!

I began to think that we might never be able to enjoy walking together in the hills, and that would have been tragic because I knew Rusty loved the freedom. As I tried to think how I could correct his behaviour, I remembered that when leaving the house Rusty would always allow me to go ahead. He obviously recognised me as the “pack” leader, the “Alpha” dog. I decided to try an experiment and on the next walk as he trotted ahead I ordered him to fall in behind me. Amazing!  He obeyed instantly, and each time he edged forward, one word was enough to correct him. It was then that I realised that by allowing him to go ahead he had obviously assumed that I wanted him to accept leadership and make the decisions about what should be pursued and where we should go! When the roles were reversed he was perfectly happy to follow along behind, content to leave the decision-making to me, and obey without question whatever orders I saw fit to give.

As I thought about this, I began to realise that as a Christian, very often I behave in a similar way to Rusty. I profess to love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ and own Him as my Master and Lord. Yet time and again I want to make the decisions, to run ahead of Him, certain that I know what is best. And pretty soon I realise that I am exhausted and on my own and that I need to return to my Master. Sometimes I too come up against a closed gate far from home, and have to pray that He would come and rescue me and lead me back.

Our walks in the hills are so much more enjoyable now. I hope too that I have learned from Rusty how I should walk with my Master!   “For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”  Psa 48:14

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