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”.
Just why we do some things is a mystery. I have known many people who believe in chance or luck, and the story of people’s past shows that countless people have lost everything they valued, and ruined their life through such belief. Yes, some lovely things do just come into life sometimes but it has nothing to do with luck, for there is no such thing..
Here is such a true story. In Coventry a workman sat down to eat his lunch one day, and unwrapped the newspaper that his sandwiches were wrapped in, and started to eat. As he chewed he started to read the bit of newspaper, and it was under “LEGAL NOTICES” . Then he saw the name of one of his mates.
“Here Bill” he said to the man sitting next to him “You better look at this, it’s got your name on it”. William Seddon read it, took it away with him and made inquiries.
He found that he had inherited £20,000 from his Uncle, who was the brother of a former Prime Minister of New Zealand.
God’s instruction book, The Bible tells us that all good things come from God, and that He has made full directions as to what is best for each one of us. This life is a preparation for the much more wonderful eternal life to come, and He is testing us to see if we will fit in to that life.
Many people go through life unaware that vast riches could come their way for ALL who believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and commit their lives to God are inheritors of The Kingdom of Heaven. After they leave this world will have life for ever and ever, will never have suffering or crying or sorrow again, and live with God for always.
I can’t tell you just how fantastic Heaven will be, but when I get there I shall know, even if it is too wonderful to tell. You better see for yourself ! There is an inheritance awaiting for you if only you will make the effort and believe in Him.
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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”
This story reminds me of one recorded in 2 Kings Ch 15 to 23. The army comes looking to kill Elisha, and the servant is scared stiff. But Elisha calmly leads them to his own people and won’t allow any one to harm them, but gives them a party so that they never come back to fight again.
To love people, and befriend enemy’s, is always better than being cross with them. When others become your friends both sides can know happiness and peace together.
This is the way that Jesus taught us, for love is from God. God Himself IS love.
If you doubt this start smiling at those you meet, be kind and pleasant, even to the ones you don’ t like much. You will soon not have an enemy in the world because of your love for them. And I believe you will feel much happier yourself. Go try it !
May God Bless You. Gerald Gossage.
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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.
What is Love? The answer from the creator is “God Is Love”..Creating men and women, God put His own nature available to you. You can love, or not love.
For love can never be forced. How many young men have wished that they could make the girl of their dreams love them, but if she will not, she will not.
If you think about it, true love has something of the nature of God in it, It seeks to express it’s self to another. “God so loved the world that He gave…” The worse kind of love is self love or selfishness !
How much we love shows in what we give to another of our love. In marriage there is a giving of all we have, and becoming one with another person for as long as we live. But we do not give our love in the same quantity to everyone. Compare the love that you give to the people next door, with a lifelong friend.
We all have an abundance of love, It is there for you to use. I believe that the more we love others the more we are loved, and the happier we are.
Christian Love from Gerald Gossage
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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.
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That great man of God, Rev. Dr. Sidney Berry once posed a question.
“Which is the harder thing to do- TO MAKE A START, or TO KEEP GOING” ?
I understand that most young people find it very hard to get up in the morning and start their day, bed is so warm and snug. Why start a new day? Many people hate starting a new job or task, they put it off again and again. It’s an old saying that “ Procrastination is the thief of time “. The more we fail to start, the harder it is to start. (My neighbour has a car like that, the starter is nearly dead before the engine starts) In other words it is hard to start.
But it is not always easy to keep going either. It’s easier to start a marathon than to keep going. We don’t often think about tiredness or exhaustion when we are starting something, or whether we can stay the whole course.
The fact is that for most people there are books that have never been read, hobbies that never started, ideas that did not get put into practice. For we never did get started at all.
It is also true that life has been full of things we started out to do but we gave up and never finished.
May be the saddest of all was the young man still in his thirties, who said “I am going to become a Christian one of these days, but I have all my life before me, I have plenty of time for that”. But two months later he was dead.
Christianity is not just about the future, it is about living with God our creator everyday, Now ! And many find it hard to make a start. You don’t start by going to church, deciding you will, or being good. You start by talking to God.
Some of you might remember your courting days. You wanted to get to know someone, you made opportunity to talk to them and know them better, you wanted to spend more time with them. A relationship and love grew as you knew more about the other person, and in the end you wanted to be with them all the time.
This is how you start a relationship with the God who loves you so much, and you Keep Going, spending time with Him and learning more and more about Him.
The real joy comes when you have not just started, but find every day of your life is just full of your relationship with the loving, all wonderful Jesus who will never leave you or forsake you, right to the end.
True happiness is found in Jesus. Greetings- Gerald Gossage.
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THE RIGHT WAY .
The elderly couple who live just across the way from us invited some friends we both knew, to stay with them for a few days. When they came to leave they brought out a map to find how to get to the next part of the holiday.
The couple who knew the way so well started to tell them the best way, and even drew a little map of the roads to take as they came to them.
A week or so after the visit the elderly couple had a phone call from their visitors to thank them for their hospitality. They also mentioned that the husband driving, had taken a right turn when he should have gone straight on. After leaving them, they had got lost and found themselves in a town miles away.
In spite of all the guides and advice, how easy it is to go the wrong way, both on our roads, and on our way through life. It brought back to me a lesson I learned as a child . My Mother once said “ If you love Mummy you will always try to please her and do as you are told”. It somehow got linked up with a Bible passage ; Jesus said “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.
No one doubts that God, who knows everything, knows the way we should go in life, and I have always found that the way He directs for us is the happy and best way to live.
It seems to be part of our nature to think that we know best in every circumstance, but how could that be when we don’t know what may happen within the next minute, without thinking we can guide ourselves through the next part of the future.
JESUS SAID “Without Me you can do nothing”. So why do we think we can run our life without Him, why not ask for His guidance, or spend our life walking with Him through every situation ?
If you spend this life going His way you are bound to please Him and do what is right. You will also be an inheritor of the wonderful life to come.
Greetings from Gerald Gossage
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EXPLATION AND APPOLOGY.
Some of you may be wondering why I have not written contributions here recently.
For some years I have always thought that I must try to provide for my wife who I felt was sure to outlive me, as I was ten years older than she was, she was much more healthy than I, and in any case women lived longer than men, I was sure I would die first.
It has been a great shock to me when after a very short illness my wife died suddenly in June. On the 59th celebration of our wedding anniversary. I lost my most precious possession, my greatest earthly love. At 88 years old I must learn to live on my own. It will not be easy.
There must be many people like me. Pray for the lonely, and the brieved.