Meditations on a hymn
My study overlooks a road in part of Somerset and it has become a regular walk for very many dogs .There are a few dogs that walk “to heel” most of the time, but most of them seem to pull on their lead with a great desire to go anyway, but their master’s (or mistress’s) stop them
This brings me to recall a hymn the church enjoys singing.
Lead us O Father in the paths of peace, without Your guiding hand we go astray.
And doubts appal, and sorrows still increase, Lead us through Christ, the true and living way.
Ever since childhood we have had yearnings to ignore parents and teachers in order to go where we see some other attraction. And who of us has not pulled against the lead.?
But which is the best way, The True way ?
Lead us, O Father, in the paths of truth, unhelped by You in error’s maze we grope.
While passion stains, and folly dims our youth. And age comes on uncheered by faith or hope.
Yes, it’s a dog’s life pulling against the lead, but I have known dogs to pull away from their owners and the result of at least one dog ended in a street accident, plus heartache to the owner.
What we need is trust or faith in the one who holds the lead. They may not go where the dog wants (why are lamp posts so tempting to a dog ?) (don’t tell me I know !) but it is usually a very good way their owners lead them.
Lead us O Father in the paths of right ,blindly we stumble when we walk alone,
Involved in shadows of a darkening nigh, Only with You we journey safely on.
When we stop to think it over, it is the Daily Walkies that makes for a complete and happy life. We all arrive into this world with a desire for a happy life, and any dog must know that comfort and love comes from the one they belong to and who cares.
What a dog does not know I suppose, but we do, is that our stay in this world must come to an end. So here is the last verse
Lead us O Father, to our heavenly rest. However rough and steep the path may be.
Through joy or sorrow ,as You deem the best; until our lives are perfected in You.
Walking with our owner, for a dog or for us, makes us jump for joy; we may not have a tail to wag but the future looks mighty good wherever we may be taken.
Walking with God can make us very happy! Walkies ?
From your friend Gerald Gossage.
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I was only fifteen when I was employed at a Motor-bike garage to deal with customers and help out with clerical work. One of my first tasks every morning was to put the kettle on and make a cup of tea for the boss and their only mechanic when they arrived.
I arrived one bitterly cold morning to find the taps frozen up and no water to make tea. When the boss arrived I told him, and he calmly told me to go upstairs and get the kettle. There was a tap in the yard fixed to the wall, and I came back with the kettle to see the boss draping pieces if old oily rags over the outside tap, after which he poured what I thought was water, but soon smelt was petrol all over the rags. He made me stand well back, and said “you don’t see me doing what I am doing, and don’t ever do this yourself”.
Lighting a match he allowed it to burn briefly then threw it onto the petrol soaked rags. With a great ‘woomph’ it fired the rags, and burned for several minutes. Then knocking the burning rags off with a tyre lever, he used another old rag to turn the tap, and out flowed the water for our kettle and cupper ‘
Without the boss we would not have had our morning tea. All through my life I have remembered this Bible text “Without Me” said Jesus “you can do nothing”.
In Mark ch4 and Luke 5 we have the story of Jesus teaching the crowd by the lake side. When the people pressed close upon Him He looked around, and saw two fishing boats. So He got into the one which was near and started to talk to the people. When the talk was brought to an end He asked Simon Peter to push the boat out away from the land and let down his nets.
Everybody attached to the fishing industry knew that you could never catch fish in the bright sunshine, the fish swum away from the boat and it’s shadow. But when you are with Jesus wonderful things can happen. Within minutes the nets were so full of fish they had to call out the other boats to help to get the loaded nets to shore.
I have seen this kind to thing happen to people. From a wasted life, I have seen Jesus change them into Happy Godly, wonderful people; And all the time they keep with Him it lasts forever. “Without Me” said Jesus “You can do nothing”.
Why not have a chat with my Saviour Jesus.
Christian Love from Gerald Gossage
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According to a Spanish Newspaper, a woman was taken to court because of her bad hand writing. The case revolved around whether she was responsible for her intensions or her actions.
The woman ran a small fruit shop, and she sent off an order for one thousand oranges. The Spanish word for orange is naranjas. Two or three days later there came to her door several lorries delivering One Thousand Orange Trees. All fresh and ready for planting. The word for orange trees is naranjos.
She refused to pay for orange trees and said that the supplier ought to have known that she only had a small fruit selling shop and would not want orange trees. The supplier said that her ‘a’ looked like an ‘o’ on the order, that he had delivered what was ordered, and that when they came back to him after the travel time the trees were no longer fresh and ready for planting. He wanted payment for what the woman had ordered and had been delivered.
The judge ruled that the woman must pay for the orange trees, saying that what ever she intended, did not matter, it was what she did that counted. She was responsible for what happened through her actions.
Herein lies a lesson for us all. Our intentions may be good, but they are only our thoughts and hopes on a matter. Our intentions may be important to God, who alone knows truely what they are, but they must be judged on what our actions are, and what results from those actions.
I am sure that all of us have done things with the best of intentions only to find that others misinterpret what we intended. In one sense there is not much difference between one thousand oranges and one thousand orange trees; only one letter on the order form. In another sense there is the difference of a money loss, time lost, and much annoyance and unhappiness by several people. This is more serious, of course.
I am not sure that there is any apt answer to this problem, except that we all must exercise great care that our true intentions are translated into rightful actions.
But what can we do about the human element ? With the best will in the world we make mistakes. The only one who can take care of that is Our Lord in Heaven.
An occasional prayer that ‘all that we do might be of Blessing and joy to others’ will surely bring His watchful eye to all that we do for Jesu’s sake. May God Bless us all,
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My Father always retired to the best room after morning church and Sunday lunch, and always took the news paper with him. My Mother would always say to us boys a few minutes after, “Keep quiet boys your Dad will be asleep in the next room”. Around 4 o- clock she would take him in a cup of tea, and he would start reading the paper.
None of our family have ever had interest in sport, but my Dad always read about the local people who had died and call out to our Mum “Old Mrs Green has died.” or something like that.
One day my brother asked him why he read the obituary columns, his answer was
“If my name is not there I know I am still alive”. Our Mum said “Your name will never get into those columns, and if it was there you couldn’t read it if you were dead”.” I don’t know why you bother to read the papers, you never remember what’s in them anyway”.
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There is an old story from France which tells of a shepherd who gave his heart to Jesus and felt called to the life of a Christian monk. His death is recorded in 593 AD when he was then head of a monastery.
When the monastery was being built, he and other monks built a wattle hut for shelter and one night robbers came and stole their only cow. It was a very dark night and the robbers leading the cow got lost; they wandered in the dark thinking they were walking away from the monks hut, but to their surprise they found themselves back from where they had started.
The monks awoke and soon surrounded the robbers, calling for their leader to deal with the situation, and the shepherd, now the leader came. Before him the robbers knelt begging for forgiveness.
“Stand before me” said the leader “ I want to thank you for returning our straying cow. You must be tired and hungry, Do join us for a supper, and sleep the rest of the night in our hut”
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Love has only a little to do with Valentine’s Day, ut where would that day be without it!
With what authority do I write about it now ? Well, I courted and married the most wonderful girl of my life, We loved each other for the rest of our time together, which was 59 years. Also being a Minister of the Christian Faith I have joined very many couples together in marriage following three important meetings which they all found helpful.
A wedding can be a wonderful experience, but the details, such as cost, dress, flowers, and all the other concerns are not half as important as the promises of the contract :- For better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or health, forsaking all others keeping only to each other till death departs, has to be the promptings of true love.
While our English language has only one word for love, your New Testament has a number of words.. Consider, Family love, Brotherly love, Sexual love, Spiritual love. Neighbourly love. Many of the Christmas cards I received this year wished me Christian Love.
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Most of us say “Happy New Year” to everyone we talk to, and we often keep saying it through the whole of January, we don’t like to miss anyone out of our good wishes for them. But Why Not think of expressing it to Our Lord Jesus ?
We can’t just say it in our prayers without thinking just what we mean, it would not be sincere. So what do we wish for our Lord ? Stop just a minute and think !
What would please Jesus during the coming year ?
He cannot be happy about all the sorrows, pain, and unhappy things He sees, And He cannot be pleased by all the evil, and wicked things He knows all about.
He Is pleased when He sees loving acts, selfless efforts to please others, the works of those who spend their lives caring and helping others.
BUT all that is concerning other people. If we are wishing Jesus additional happiness, it surely must be what we are doing about His happiness.
Last month you may have sung that verse from the Christmas carol which says
“What can I give Him, poor as I am “ a lamb ? Wisemen’s gifts ? No , what comes from your heart, what you know would please Him. To get rid of the old things that spoil your nature. A nasty temper ? being other than loving to other people ? Hasty words we later regret ? What is it for you ?
He made you a lovely person, but sometimes you spoil your loveliness, and you are not the only one who sees it, So search what you are and throw out anything you see that might spoil the beautiful you. That would make His coming year Very Happy.
Talk to Jesus about it and work together be a better person, more loving, more attractive, more as He would have you be.
So do think before you just say “A Happy New Year “…. “Jesus”.
As we all enter another year nearer Home I wish you
A HAPPY NEW YEAR. … Gerald Gossage.
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While there is always a rejoicing when a baby comes into the world and gifts are often given, the more exciting days often lie ahead as a growing number of birthdays are celebrated. So this is to me as the Christmas joy might be expressed year by year.
Christmas is a time when we look back to the wonderful story of His birth, to Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem, to Shepherds, Angels, and Wisemen bringing their worship and gifts. Of God Himself coming to live with people as He is laid in a cattle feeding trough as a human baby. So we celebrate Christmas ! And His first coming.
But this happy season brings other things with it. What can I get to give as presents ?
When do we send our Christmas cards ? How will we celebrate it this year ? What food will we need ? How can we show our care for some elderly or sick friends or family this year ? When should we put up decorations ? And for many this year- how much can we afford to spend ?
As the years pass, everyone has changing needs. Whether young or old, circumstances and fashions alter, both in giving gifts or receiving them we just don’t know what to suggest, and this applies particularly to the men. He has more ties, socks, and hankies that he knows what to do with and he has given up smoking… The ladies are always easier, their wants are multitudinous, all be it more expensive perhaps.
Talking of money at Christmas time, my grandchildren tell me that they would rather have money for Christmas, BUT they also would want to unwrap a parcel. (Like having a cake and eating it too) Christmas seems to be money! money.! And with Europe going into bankruptcy there is unemployment and little cash to spend.
As we think about Christmas we sometimes forget that we are celebrating the Birthday of Jesus Christ. To remind you of a carol “What can I give HIM poor though I am, if I were a shepherd I would bring a lamb, if I were a wise man I would do my part. BUT what I can I’ll give Him. give my heart”. It is HIS BIRTHDAY, what would He want ?
Top of His list I would think … a very large portion of LOVE and CARE.. To talk to Him…(Prayer) To get together with other believers to worship Him. And to talk to Him about what personally He would like from you.
We may not have much money to share, and just how to find those who need it if we can give some is very difficult I find . But if you give Jesus happiness from your life it is something He will unwrap with much joy. I ask, What can I give Him ?
Wishing you all A HAPPY CHRISTMAS.
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Just two little true stories that you may apply to your own life.
Talking with the oldest inhabitant of the village a tourist was told that the old man was 104 years old. “wonderful, that is something to be proud of ! “. The old man was too deaf to hear that remark, but the man standing next to them said “ That’s nothing to be proud of when you stop to remember that he has never done anything else in his life but grow old, and it’s taken him a jolly long time to do even that ! “
Your age doesn’t matter, it is what you do with your life.
In 1943 a pretty young girl walked past farmer Polling’s garden and gave him a lovely smile. Now everyone in the province of Groningen, Holland shunned Farmer Polling because he had an ugly mutilated face that everyone hated to look at, or to talk to him, which made his life an unhappy misery.
When Farmer Polling died and his will was read people found out that he had taken the trouble to find out who that young lady was, and had left her, Tini Wierings, 100,000 guilders (about £15,000) as she was the only person who had ever smiled so sweetly at him.
(Jesus said “who ever gives a cup of cold water in my name does not lose their reward”.
Life’s profit and losses will one day be read out to us from God’s book of our life here on earth, it is now that your book is being made.
“Without Me” said Jesus “You can do nothing” . Better talk to Him about your life’s book contents. (Gerald Gossage)
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As a child we used to have an Aunt and Uncle visit us with their daughter Jean, and they always arrived on the local 2pm bus. We all enjoyed the Sunday visit, but there was one snag, they didn’t leave early enough for us to get to church on time for the evening service. My Father decided to tell them, with great care not to offend, he pointed out that they wanted to go to the 6 o clock worship. And often had to miss it because their stay was after 5-30 some times.
Aunty Dorothy said she had never heard of people WANTING to go to Church, and as they were not wanted they would stop coming. Uncle, wanting to smooth the situation, asked if we still wanted them to come if they left early enough for us to attend the worship. A happy agreement was reached, and all was well.Often our wrong thinking, or upsetting words can bring unhappiness.
We all need JOY. What is joy ? perhaps it is – Experiencing Delight, and Happiness. Well being !
Here is some thoughts upon Finding Joy.
Your THOUGHTS are often responsible for your mood. So Think Good and Godly thoughts, And never evil or sad thoughts.
Find your right place in life and enjoy it. Don’t envy others, be contented with what you have, and count your blessings with thanks.
Learn the value of
REST. Relaxation, Play, and Exercise. It is a way of gaining strength.
Eat and drink with joy and praise to God. So many meals have lost the art of taste with joy. Early Monks ate with one brother reading helpful Bible thoughts to go with the meal.
DON’T PARK.. which means don’t stay there …with your failures. Your defeats. Your inabilities. Your regrets. Your past sins.
And Don’t park by your successes and triumphs either.
This is the day The Lord has given you, use it as best possible.A river never stops moving forward; and it grows because of it.
LOVE all the time. God is love. Love is the greatest quality we have.
Fall in love, and stay in love - With Jesus, with people, with your life’s companion, and with Life.
Keep your vision clear. You can’t be optimistic with a misty optic See the beauty and the best in all around you.
Expect great things, and share great things.
Throw the dark clouds of your life in the Dustbin (trash can or garbage for those in the USA)
And live in the light of God’s Presence
You will start to find JOY.
Always seeking to be helpful….Gerald Gossage.