The Inn at Bethlehem
Husbands can be such a draw back
( A gossiping Inn Keepers wife , spoken rather loudly, as if to a neighbor. )
My husband will never be rich or famous, he’s too soft hearted,
He’s the living proof of “A fool and his money are soon parted”.
A heart-rending story and he’d give his bed away,
Here ! To show I’m not lying, take what happened yesterday.
We run this Inn for profit, right ? We’re packed , five to a room,
I was serving lunches, he was playing stable-groom,
When walks this young couple, She was pretty near her time:
I simply said “we have no room” you’d think it was a crime.
“My dear, you can’t turn folk like that away”, my husband whined,
“And her in that condition, it would be most unkind” .
I just turned my back on him and served at the next table :
Later on I learned he’d put them in our Stable !
He took out food and drink to them , all at no extra cost.
The blankets came from his own bed, I bet he turned and tossed !
I’m up at five each morning to get the fires lit,
We’re not in bed till nearly two, there’s not much time to sit.
But last night, would you believe it . he hardly slept at all
He was playing midwife in the stable . Oh he’s such a fool.
He let those thieving shepherds in “To see the little baby” .
He says he feels just wonderful. Well I say that’s as may be.
But we’ll make no money out of it, our Inn’ll get no fame,
We’re not like a Jerusalem Inn with guests in Herod’s name
No nothing will ever happens in this Inn in Bethlehem
We’ll know no fame or fortune or live it up like them.
‘ Cos my husband’s too soft hearted, I wed a silly fool,
He’ll always care for others, for himself just not at all.
( I publish this early for those who have to prepare well in advance
But it is not too early to ask God to Bless your coming Celebration of Our Lord’s birth )
Gerald Gossage .
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What goes on in the mind ?
Mark’s story ( Mark Ch5 v22 to 43) Jairus, an important man in trouble.
Jairus was worried sick. His darling daughter aged 12 years old lay dying.
There was nothing he could do about it, the doctors tried, but failed. At the thought of losing her tears coursed down his cheeks. Then he saw Jesus! Never mind the crowds all around Him, He just might help. Jairus pushed through the people and knelt before Jesus. “My young daughter is dying, please come”.
Hope and joy sprang into his heart, Jesus would come, Jairus hurried to lead the way, but Jesus did not seem to see the urgency. Then He stopped and looked around .
“Who touched Me ?” He asked. What a question in a big crowd like this! “Come on Jesus” My need is important. But Jesus insisted.. “Who touched me “.
Who touched me ? Everyone did in a crowd this size.
“Come On Jesus”
“No someone touched Me, Power has gone from me “.
At last a woman comes and kneels before The Master. “I touched your garment “.
My how that woman talks on! – her life of suffering, the list of doctors, all the money paid out seeking a cure.
Jesus has to hear her life’s history. At last Jesus tells her “Your Faith has saved you”.
At last we all move on! Oh the time that has been wasted.
Jairus recognized the two servants running toward him.Their words hit him hard.
“Don’t trouble The Master, your daughter is dead”.
Grief and anger flood his mind,
If Only ! Now it is too late.! If only that woman… If only his daughter could have hung on to life a little longer…If only !
Calmly Jesus looks at poor Jairus. “Have Faith and believe”. He continues to walk on. Arriving He ignores the crowd of mourners and their ridicule that the little girl is only sleeping
Only Mum and Dad and the disciples enter the little girls room.
Taking her hand , “It is time to get up now” . She opens her eyes and sees the smiling face of Jesus. She runs to embrace her parents, She runs, skips and jumps for joy. Jesus and His disciples leave a happy house, with a hungry girl having breakfast.
Think ! How many of these feelings of Jairus have YOU experienced.
How little faith we all experience at times.
Jesus says “See I am with You always, even unto the end”.
May your Faith be always strong.
Greetings Gerald Gossage.
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As a Minister I worked to a plan so that I visited my church members twice a year. Not only did I find this a help to those visited, but also a help to myself.
On one occasion I asked each member what version of the Bible they used and also asked if I could see their Bible . Some knew exactly what version they had: they might reply “RSV, or Good News, etc “. Others could not remember ! Some went straight to where their bible was was, Bedroom, Book case, and one even the Kitchen Table. There were some who could not remember where they put it ! It always started a helpful discussion, and I learned some interesting things about the needs of each person.
As a youth I had learned that a Disciple was a learner. I thought of them as wearing an ‘L’ Plate. An Apostle was one who lived close to Jesus and found out many of the ways of God. They had passed their exams but never stopped learning. Christians are much the same today, they are often found to be a mixture of Disciples and Apostles. Some sadly it seemed have even stopped learning !
I once had a lovely group of young people who were making great strides towards becoming Christians, when their parents stopped their development in my church, and insisted that as they were christened as a baby at the C of E they must now be Confirmed. After this happened they never attended either church saying that they were now Christians for life and they could forget Church going and Bible. Reading.
Today we live in a country that had once had a practicing Christian population, as I remember from pre-war days. Today most people do not know God, never learned about Him or His way to live, and the future generation are mostly not being taught at all. .
Christians need to practice their faith by regular daily devotions and Bible study, To be learning and worshiping together with other fellow Christians, ( if they can find a suitable group) And to practice what they have learned and believe in the world in which they are called to live .
All that you are, and all that you have, is a stewardship to God, and one day we will be judged on what we did with that stewardship of time, treasure, and talent. This seems to be the only opportunity you have got. Get Back To Your Maker-God .His arms are open to welcome you, now.
Greetings from Gerald Gossage.
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I had not been long as a Minister in Bristol when I visited one of my members who was now retired. I asked him what work he had retired from, and in reply he took me to a shed at the bottom of the garden. “This is where I worked” he said “I was a shoe maker”.
Every Friday he had walked to the local shoe factory down the road with a sack of newly made shoes, and get paid for his work and return home with a sack of pre-cut pieces of leather to make more shoes . From eight in the morning to six in the evening he had sat on that stool working away making shoes out of the parts supplied. Every shoe had to be perfect or he would lose money.
Once a man reached sixty-five he had to stop work, without a pension (except the government one) So life had not been “a bowl of roses” as he put it.
Back in the sitting room with his wife I learned that there used to be five other shoe factories in the district and he could have given up working in his shed to work in them. But each time he had the opportunity, they had prayed about it, and God had said “Stay as you are”. So he did. “Now those factories are all closed” his wife said, “So God knows what’s best for us”. The husband smiled at me “We have a rule in this house. We never change anything without asking Our Lord first”. “He never fails to guide us aright”.
As I sat and enjoyed these simple saints of God I became aware that their simple faith in Jesus was just what their Lord had been teaching all through the Gospels.
If you believed that God would lead you, and just left it to Him, the best would come about for you. If you asked what to do, God would surely show you.
For weeks I was blessed with this man’s simple way, “God had said stay as you are, so he did”.
I feel sure that for many people, when they pray, they don’t expect to see God’s answer. And in the end they fail to believe in prayer. In their heart they don’t expect, so they don’t receive. We must have a solid trust that God is with us, loves us and
“All things work together for good to those who love God”.
“You will hear a voice behind you saying This Is The Way, walk in it”
“Ask and it will be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will open for you”.
It is the way I try to walk myself, and it has never failed for me.
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When I was a little boy, as the daylight died in the evening I often watched The Lamplighter travel down the street to light the street lamps. The lamps were lit by coal gas, and as he arrived at each lamp post he would move his long poll from his shoulder and with it use the hook at the end of it to pull down the lever which turned on the gas, and them push the flaming taper through a gap in the lamp to ignite the gas. As he walked down the road so the darkened street would change to light, and soon everywhere was illuminated.
As you journey through life you will meet with the darkness of temptation to do what you know to be wrong. If you overcome the temptation you will bring happy light to yourself, To God, and To Others. The more we have victory over temptation the brighter our world.
Let us learn a few things about temptation. Temptation is not a bad or wicked thing. The best way to think about it perhaps is that it is a test, an examination to see if a thing we believe in is what we practice in fact.
In Matthew ch 4 v1 we read “ Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil”. Jesus knew who He was, Satan said “If you are” , then tempted Him. There is nothing wrong in being tempted, but if we fail the test and give in to the temptation it is to go against our believed standards.
We also see in that verse that temptations are tailor-made to our situation, not somebody else.
What about resisting temptations? We always find it so hard, and that is because we really want to do what we are tempted to do. They are real tests ! Enjoy reading this verse from scripture, (1 Cor: ch 10-v13)
“There is no temptation taken you but is common to everyone, and with the temptation God makes a way of escape, that you may be able to deal with it.” If you are being tempted look for the way to escape. I have learned to shoot a little prayer to God to get me out of it, and surely because I don’t want to give in to it, the way to escape comes for me to take.
(A verse worth committing to memory, for temptations will come again)
You never have to give way to temptations. Avoid the disasters that always follow !
I close with this lovely verse from I Peter 5v8)
“Be self controlled and alert, your enemy, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him ! Stand firm in the faith, for you know that fellow Christians throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering.”
Give Joy to God and don’t give in, He will help you if you want Him to. There is always a way to escape.
Your Lord be with you. Gerald Gossage..
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I recently heard the story from WW2 about a sergeant who was badly wounded at Guadalcanal. A shell fragment had imbedded itself in his throat. Unable to speak and in great pain the only way he could communicate was to write notes on bits of paper.
He wrote to the doctor “Will I live ?”. The doctor said “Yes!”
The next note asked “Will I ever talk again ?” The reply came back “Yes”
The final note asked “Have I anything to worry about ?”
The doctor grinned “No, nothing at all !”.
If only we could see it there is nothing that any of us need to worry about. To worry is to have fear that what we want, to happen or be… won’t !
We might not be able to pay our future fuel bills and we want to. We might get some illness. We might lose the love of someone. We may not be able to do something we have to.. or want to do. There might be an accident.. There are countless reasons to worry, and some people seem to be born worriers and if we could only see the situation in the right way we need never have fears about it.
TEXT ? “My God shall supply all your need through His riches in Christ Jesus”.
Millions of sparrows are fed everyday yet they don’t have to worry where food will come from, God feeds them ! Look at one of the wild flowers in the field, they are beautiful and wonderfully made, but never have to work at what they are. You are far more important them and your Father God will look after you and all your needs. Why should YOU worry or fear about anything. Worry does you more harm than good !
Just trust your wonderful God.
Would you like to know why some of your prayers don’t seem to be answered? It can well be that you are double minded. You ask, but you don’t believe in your heart that you will receive.
This I find so true when praying for healing. I have seen people come forward for healing and the laying on of hands, and when talking to someone after say “Well it would be nice if it did happen but I don’t suppose it will”. It is fear that it will not be granted that creates a barrier, and you have doubts.
You will not receive anything that way (as James says)
When I was a child I never thought about the Winter weather ahead and that I would need a new overcoat; or that there would be good food on the table at meal times. That was my parents job, and they never failed to provide all my needs. You have a loving Father in heaven, He will supply all your needs.
Fear is the opposite to Faith. If you fear, your prayer won’t work, you are not having faith, But if you trust your Father in Heaven, in His love for you, the best and highest will happen.
Small children will often try to mend their broken toys themselves, but as they learn that they cannot, But Dad will fix it., Dad gets the job. There is NOTHING that Your Heavenly Father cannot do, and He will do what is best for you, so just lovingly trust Him.
(Greetings from Gerald Gossage)
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I presume that most of you read your Bible every day, and enjoy the guidance and blessings that it brings, But did you know that you can gain a bonus that will be of great benefit to you ?
We all know that everyone of us has to meet temptations, and the Devil is so subtle, often hitting us where we are weakest.
In His quiet way Jesus has given us a wonderful method of dealing with the temptations we face. A real bonus to Christian living !
How did Jesus deal with the tempter ? He quoted Scripture at Satan as the answer to the temptations. “It is written” He said. After all this is God’s Word There is nothing like texts of Scripture to drive Satan away defeated. You just try it and see.
It is not a new idea of course, in fact I have met many people who carry a little case full of texts from Scripture, and they read one or two in spare moments that they have , and remember them for such an occasion when needed. Some write or type them out and store them in a handbag or pocket.Sooner or later when they are needed the Spirit calls them to mind, and Satan goes off frustrated.
It is important that we go into this battle against Satan confident of winning. No half-hearted thoughts that we would like to do what we are tempted to do. Have faith that , by God’s grace, we will have the victory. Say No to Satan and mean it.
Paul tells us the we need a Shield of Faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. He probably got the idea from the Roman Soldiers who had a shield covered with thick leather, and the flaming darts would sink in and the flame be extinguished. We need to have a quiver full of texts to shoot back at temptations when they come, so here are just a few examples you can write or type out on bits of post card and learn them ready for the fight. Perhaps you could have a little envelope to put them in.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” “I am with you always, even to the end” “Ask and it will be given you” “It is written, You shall not tempt The Lord your God” “Look unto Me and be saved” “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit has set you free from the law of sin and death” “If Christ be for us, who can be against us” “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us” “He is the Christ, the Son of the living God” My God is with me. Get behind me Satan you offer not the things of God. Of course there are thousands you can find yourself as you look for them in your daily readings. .So Fight the good fight with all your might. for the battle is The Lord’s.
Happy Victories, Gerald Gossage.
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We all have to go through black days and tough times in this life, to smile or look on the bright side is very difficult, but NOT impossible ! Have faith and believe that bad times will end. There is a light at the end of every tunnel and it gets brighter as we travel toward it. “With God all things are possible”. As I have proved many times.
It was a sad little old lady who trudged back to her home without her dog “Jack”. She had left him at the vets where he had been put to sleep, she knew she had made the right decision, he was sixteen years old and would only have gone on suffering, and she could not bear the thought of that. She felt heartbroken and already lonely without him trotting by her side. Who could she talk to now ?.
In the following months the house was so quiet without Jack. But then she had to face another problem, she just was not well.
In the end she had to go into hospital and face an operation and she felt more and more lonely. After the operation , although she tried, she had to face the fact that she could not cope by herself at home. And it was decided that she would have to go into a home for elderly people, It was a thing that she had never wanted to ever happen, and knew that she would hate it..
She just dreaded going into to the home, but the date drew ever nearer, and finally the car was at the door, and the helpers with every kindness helped her in.
Tears ran down her face as she drew near to the “Home”, and even as she was welcomed at the door she thought, “So this is to be the end” “I shall hate it”. .
To her surprise she was not given the room she had seen on her visit, but a much nicer one overlooking the grounds, She was introduced to very friendly people who made her welcome. When someone said something that made everyone laugh. She felt suddenly quite happy . There were smiles and laughter as two or three residents told her about the events and goings on, and soon she was feeling happy in their company.
It was a week or so later that she suddenly realised that she was happier than she had been for a long time, There were activities to enjoy with others, and people who visited bringing good cheer. Those who looked after them all were friendly, and good fun to be with. She also now had real friends who were always with her
As the home’s cat settled on her lap, she thought “Tibbie” is not quite like my dog Jack, but at least I don’t have to take this one for walks in the rain or the cold of Winter. I do have a lot to be thankful for.
Perhaps we all should remember – Life’s difficulties and disappointments can make us better, not bitter. Who can know what happiness may lie ahead ! As Jesus once said “Be of good cheer”.
Christian Love, Gerald Gossage.
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I was only a young boy, when an Aunt and Uncle came to visit us, and I was sent out to play in the garden while the grown-ups did their talking. I cannot remember what I was doing, but it was important enough to me that I wanted everyone to come to the window to watch me. “Look at ME” I shouted, “Look at Me”. But they were all too busy talking, so I had to attract their attention. I picked up a stone and threw it to hit the window, too my horror the window smashed with a great crash of glass and a scream from someone inside the room.
I ran straight indoors, up the stairs, and locked myself in the bathroom. I was terrified !
I heard my father running up the stairs, and saw his efforts rattling the door handle.“Open this door” he commanded over and over again with various threats as to what he would do. My Aunt had given me half-a-crown on her arrival and this I now pushed under the door. Then I heard my Mother mounting the stairs. She spoke softly to Dad, and all I heard was “He’s frightened, leave it to me”.
Soon my Mother’s voice came through the door like a soothing calm. “Just be quiet and listen to me”. I shouted back “I’m Sorry, Sorry, I didn’t mean to break the window”. “We know you didn’t mean to, and your Dad has gone down stairs to help clean up the broken glass. No one has been hurt, and we are not cross with you, so just open the door and give me a big cuddle”. After the kisses and Mother’s love she said “Oh look, someone has left a half-a-crown here, you better have that”.
It is one thing for a child to learn something new and want everyone to know , with a “Look at ME !”. But it’s about time we grew up and knew that when God planned our coming into this world, He also planned what gifts and talents we would have. Also we are not born with these gifts but they are given to us at different times in our life, like birthday presents. One Christmas my wife gave me a box of Oil Painting equipment. I had never painted before in my life, but was determined not to waste this nice gift. Yes, the first efforts were thrown away, then I took a day off from work and really got down to doing my best. And I was very pleased with the result which still hangs on our wall, and over the years has been admired by a few visitors. It is a God given talent which has never brought anyone nearer to God, but it has relaxed me and given me a few heavenly thoughts which helps in the development of other parts of my life. “All things work together for good”.
A God-given gift I am using at present is writing Helpful articles. But they would not be helpful if it were Me writing them. I pray first to ask what God wants to convey. How to illustrate, How to express what He would say to help someone who will read the message. I don’t do any thing, The Holy Spirit does it all. So how could I boast !
You will not boast if you recognise that your gifts and talents come from God, not you. You will not boast if you give all that you are, and have, into God’s hands.
As Luke 17 v10 says “When you have done everything you were told to do, say I am a servant, I have only done my duty”. If we serve Our Lord Jesus Christ don’t boast of what you have done. What do we have that was not loaned to us ? (Christian love from Gerald Gossage.)
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This story comes from Italy. It seems that a famous church was to have a special painting done on one of it’s walls by a famous artist. Much scaffolding was erected with many poles and planks so that the artist could reach every part of the wall, and when all the preparation was done the great man arrived to do the painting.
He climbed the scaffolding and just stood looking at the wall, occasionally he would move to view it from another part, then stand looking. The next day he arrived and did just the same as he had done before. Not a brush or bit of paint he had with him. On the third day he again arrived without paint or brushes, and he did nothing but move about and look at the wall.
By now the reverend Father just had to say something. “My son, you do not seem to have even started on the painting, when are you going to do this great painting?”
“Father” said the artist “The painting is just finished, all I have to do now is put it on the wall”.
If you think about that simple story you can see a parable about your life. There was an occasion when God decided to create you, He spent an effort just thinking what sort of person He would like you to be, what would be the best generation to bring you to birth, the country you should be born in, what parents and people would influence your life.
God wanted you to have the opportunity to be in His eternal world we call heaven, there you would be perfect and beautiful, a blessing to all. Like a masterpiece painting.
God knew that you could never be perfect and beautiful yourself, Like brushes and paint. so we have God’s Son coming to live and die for you, and return from death in your place. Would you share His life and live in Him? Or be so self-centred and be out of touch with the Master who wants to transport you into His perfection.
Like the artist in the story God has made the work of art that you are already, Let God put you into His eternal place as you daily live with Him and allow Him make you what will be His Master-piece for ever in Heaven.
Sincerely yours. Gerald Gossage