OUT OF CONTROL.
Although I may seem to be a calm peaceful sort of person, I am not so by nature, but I have learned to suppress feelings of upset, and by The Grace Of God I keep placid, even though I may be upset or angry. It certainly pays off as I have found in practice. I have had experience in meeting unpleasant people who have put me to the test People are one thing, but circumstances and things really do put me to the test. Early today I had a very good idea for one of these magazine articles and wanted to get it down on paper before it slipped away from me. I spent two hours typing the article on my laptop and finally finished it in triumph.
It was at that very minute that the computer decided to declare war on me. It would not do what I told it to do, and refused to save the work I had so laboriously put on the screen. I got angry with it, calling it a stupid computer, and it at once confirmed that it was just that, and blotted out every word I had written. Yes… gone forever.
I remembered that I was a Christian Minister (all be it retired) and calmed down. The next hour and three quarters I endeavored to remember what I had previously written, and finished with a not-so-good article, but passable. Would you believe it the computer gave a repeat performance and would not save my work.
I have seen people kick a chair in anger, throw something, or do a little stupid dance to express their feelings. I could have thrown the computer through the window if I had not recalled that it was double glazed. But I didn’t do anything.
When you consider how stupid it is to blame some inanimate object because either it or you have failed in something, there is not much sense in it. Anger is never logical , and it can be changed to something more pleasant.
I remember my Father once came home to the gathered family feeling very upset over something. After trying to tell my Mother what had made him angry, with a great gesture he took off his hat, threw it to the floor and stamped on it. We all looked at the hat, and I being the youngest said “Is it dead Dad?” Happily we all ended up laughing.
You see we can, with a little control, change our mood, and stop looking foolish or show our lack of control.. My Mother’s method on such occasions was to stop and count slowly up to ten. I recommend that rather than ruin a good hat.
The fact remains that we can do much damage to our reputation, and even to other people if we lose our temper, let alone good furniture.
The real answer is to be filled with The Holy Spirit. “The fruit of The Spirit is
Love, joy, peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and Self control.” (Gal.5v22)
Remember ANGER is only one letter short of DANGER.,
May The Good Lord give you His Tranquility… Gerald Gossage.
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I just sat down for a break and started getting into the detective murder mystery that was being watched. It has been with me for a couple of days now and I just cannot get rid of what I absorbed from the story. Of course it was dramatically presented, but this child suddenly hated her nanny and took a knife from the kitchen and stabbed the nanny to death.
Of course that part of the story only came out as the wonderful detective investigated another few murders, all graphically shown, but I am still concerned that what I understood to be just a story for my entertainment, should still pester my mind days later as if it had been a real happening.
Our human mind is a strange and rather wonderful part of our body. It can make me rehear some delightful bit of music all over again, and although I might not be able to remember what it was called, I can delight to hear it again in my memory. In the midst of doing something I burst out laughing the other day as I remembered some funny event that had caused much laughter. Someone smiles, and we know that they are thinking of something pleasant. By the look on another’s face we can know we have said the wrong thing. Our conversation reveals what we are thinking and so we make communication between minds. The Mind, how wonderful !
The world we live in is just full of bad, wicked, and evil things. It is also full of the lovely, good, and God-Blessing things. What we reveal to our mind is very much our responsibility. I have made certain rules for myself which will protect my mind. If the T/V programme uses blasphemy or bad language, I switch it off or find another programme. We should just refuse to allow our mind to record that which we consider unhealthy to our living..
Neither should we allow our mind to dwell on things which, although troublesome we can do nothing about. I still remember after the Haiti earthquake the airport was packed with helpers and equipment to help, but planes were being told to return to wherever they came from because there was no room to land. Yet while nothing was being organized there was no help given to the dying and needy who needed help, food and water.
There is one thing I can do about it… Pray ! When I have done all I can do I must dismiss it from my mind and turn my thought to what things I should do in my daily round, to do my best.
Would you like to hear What God is saying to you about your mind ? Then here it is:-
“Fix your thoughts on what is TRUE,GOOD, and RIGHT. Think about things that are PURE and LOVELY. Dwell on the FINE and GOOD things you see in others. Things about all you can PRAISE GOD for, and be GLAD ABOUT.”
Keep putting into practice all you have learned from God, and God’s peace will be with you.
Greetings from Gerald Gossage.
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We live in a materialistic world, and like Thomas, the apostle, we are inclined to say“ unless I can see, touch, and handle I will not accept it as real” (my translation)
But God tells us that material things are only temporary, they did not exist before God created the world, and they will not exist in our eternal life. God Himself is not material, “God is a Spirit”. And you and I are spiritual beings, living in a body that lasts only for a short time. When Jesus comes back He will give us a new kind of body, but on the evidence of Our Lord’s appearance on earth between Easter and His Ascension, it will not be a materialistic body to fit in with this world which will be destroyed . So here is a mystery. (read I Cor: ch15 from v35)
The season we call Whitsun, or after the Jewish festival,- Pentecost, helps us to understand, and get inspiration, for it teaches us something about God Himself. While Jesus was living here on earth He talked (prayed) to God as His Father, He also taught His disciples to say “Our Father”. But God, The Father, also showed Himself as Spirit when He came and said “ This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. So we have Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in oneness as God. John (ch4.v23-24) teaches that God is Spirit, and We are Spirit. When we communicate, or worship Him we MUST do so in our spirit, not in materialism. The body dies but the soul (spirit) lives forever.
The thrilling part of this for believers is that God can be with us. The Father was with Jesus at His Baptism (like a dove) He was with The First Disciples on that day of Pentecost (like a rushing wind and tongues of flame) and there are plenty of others to whom The Holy Spirit came.
The condition seems to be the desire of one to be with the other. God desired Paul to change from persecuting Jesus to working for Him. Others desire to seek God, but it always has to be under God’s terms not ours, because His ways are more important than ours, and He knows what is best. A verse of an old hymn comes to me as a wonderful way to express what God is seeking to teach us, it says :- “He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own And the dreams we share as we tarry there none other could ever know.” (I hope I have remembered it ) But God being Spirit, and we being spirit too means that we can live in Him every minute of every day as together we share this life He has given us.
Jesus said “Without Me you can do nothing”. It follows that With Him we can do always what is pleasing in His sight, and not do things which displease Him. I testify that I have found this to be true of my own life. When He said “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end” I believe this has been so. And the pure delight of that union I could not describe.
At this time it could be a real blessing to you to rededicate your life to God who is The Holy Spirit. To learn to pray in spirit (all the yearnings of your heart) and enjoy a new oneness in God your Saviour. Try to practice walking with Him and Talking with Him all the time in you mind Just love Him as you have never loved before.
His Blessings be In You. Gerald Gossage.
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“When’s Whitsunday, just after Ascension Day” there was a hurried hunting for, and looking through dairies. No one could find either date. It seems that a date so important for two thousand years is now to be excluded from public calendars.
For your information, Ascension Day is forty days after Easter Day (a Sunday) and Whitsunday is ten days after that.
Ascension Day always has two memories for me. One is of school days when after several practices of the well known Ascension hymns in addition to the hymns we sang in assembly, we were marched two by two to the local parish church for the Ascension Day act of worship. After which we were given the day off from school.
The second memory is of the times when we went to the railway station to say “goodbye” to people who were leaving us. Perhaps a member of the family, or may be visitors departing after a stay, the proceedure was always the same. While waiting for the train to depart no body knew what to say. “Give my love to…” “You will write won’t you”
The train doors would be kept open while we tried to make conversation, then the whistle would send everyone into a panic of hugs and kisses and goodbyes, while the departing loved ones would scramble into the compartment, let down the window, and lean out to wave goodbye. As the train slowly moved out there would be much hand waving and shouted last minute thoughts. The waving would continue, some people moving along with the train as if reluctant to loose sight of that face in the window. Then they would be gone, and one would turn back to the platform exit feeling very much alone. In war time there was always a prayer that the loved one would return unharmed, and an ache in the heart.
I wonder if this was how it was on the day of Ascension.? They didn’t say “Don’t forget to write” (The stamps would be priceless if He had written wouldn’t they !) What they did say was “Lord, will you now restore the kingdom to Israel?” Jesus replied that He was not going to talk about the future times, “But” He said “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes to you, and you are going to be my witnesses all over the world”.
Then it happened, He suddenly started to move upward, their eyes followed Him, their heads tilted back, He looked smaller and smaller, and then He disappeared into the clouds.
They looked to each other, and saw that they had been joined by two angels in shining white, who spoke to them “Why are you standing here looking upward? This same Jesus will come back again in the same way as you have seen Him go”.
Hardly a day goes by with out my looking heavenward and wondering, will He come back today ? It seems to me that the events that He told us would take place before He returned have happened now, and I feel excited to think He might come any time. Do you doubt that ? Well remember He said ”at a time when you think not, I will come.”
But after the departure ones thoughts turn away from the moment when we waved goodbye, and they settle on where they are now. They must have reached so- and-so by now. They will have arrived by now. I wonder what they will be doing now ! Over Jesu’s departure we have a good idea what He is doing now. He has “gone to prepare a place for us”. I wonder what that will be like ! He is “Seated at the right hand of The Father always making intercessions for us”. He still is there helping us ! And “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end” He told us.
Isn’t Ascension exciting ! ( from Gerald Gossage)
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Some young people are not at all sure what they should do with their life. Some older ones are facing being redundant and wonder just what they can do in future. It is useful to remember that God did not just make you and leave you to your own devises. And I offer a bit of advise, to help, based on what has worked for others; and a story that may inspire you.
Ask yourself what you are good at doing, and also what you enjoy doing. God has given all of us talents, even though we might not have ever used some of them. Where do your interests lie ? Some folk would just hate to do some things which others would think just wonderful. So don’t start with a list of jobs, start with You and what are your delights; if you are happy at doing, or trying something you may find this your road to success.
And now the story. A twenty-one year old man was keen to start a new, and to him, a wonderful new work . He moved to Chicago with only 65 dollars in his pocket. (under £25.) For three years he worked hard, but he sat down one day, deeply in debt and ready to give up his dream. He cried out “Why am I a failure ?”. and to his amazement, he heard a voice, as in his head say “You have not brought God into your business”.
For the rest of his life he believed it was God speaking to him that day, and he resolved that if God wanted to be in his cheese business he would always think of him as the major partner and consult God for the rest of his days. That man was J.L.Kraft, the eventual head of the biggest cheese business in the world
He became a Deacon at North Shore Baptist Church, and Sunday School Superintendent. And the vast wealth he made, was given to help many through his charitable works. As a popular speaker, especially to business conferences , always he would tell his listeners that the way to success in any work was to bring Jesus Christ into life and work.
You either trust in God to work with you, or you work on your own. To take your Lord with you all day, every day becomes the greatest delight of life, and is the true road to happiness in life.
“I Can do All things through Christ who strengths me .” (Philippians Ch4 v13)
May God Bless you. Gerald Gossage.
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She was Miss Isabella Hume, and she lived in the Post Office come Sweet Shop, in a village called Longformacus, in Berwickshire. She loved her village with its rolling hills and green fields, and enjoyed walking in such beauty, often wondering if she could increase it’s beauty.
One day, perhaps seventy or eighty years ago, she had a thought, and she started to put it into operation. She told all the children who came to buy sweets to come on Saturday for a little job she had for them to do; and on that Saturday her shop was crowded with the village children.
To each child she handed a bag full of snowdrop bulbs, and smilingly she told them how to plant them, and sent them out to plant them in every place they could find where they could grow.
The children planted them all over the village. Up to the door of the church, around the Manse, along the banks of the river, and along the sides of the road. When all the bulbs were planted the children returned to tell where they were, and received another bag.. With sweets in.
As winter came to it’s end, Miss Hume waited and watched, and sure enough up came the snowdrops, and amazingly they came up every year after. What a sight ! They fill the village every year, after all these years, Long after Miss Hume has been laid to rest.
What this humble lady did so long ago can still be seen heralding the Spring, and adding to the beauty of the village.
What will be left behind by me that will bless other people? Will anyone remember you for something that you did ? Our loving influence on children ? Some blessing to our friends ? Will there be someone in heaven because you spoke to them ? Or Prayed ? Will somebody be loving and kind, because they remember your love and kindness ?
I wonder whether you will leave behind something that will live on after you ! Not a weather-worn grave stone with a few dates, What can we do today that will be a future blessing to delight others ?
Gerald Gossage. (seeking to serve !)
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Every Day is of priceless value.
“The daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river to bathe.”
Every one of us has a set number of days to live here in this world, and nobody knows how many. Therefore every day is precious, and we can never know what we may achieve in this day.
The text above is from Exodus Ch 1.v22. and Hebrews Ch 11 v23 and tells us that a young woman went to have a bath in the river, could there be anything of less importance, yet that one act was to effect the lives of millions. And to alter the whole of history.
Pharaoh, King of Egypt, had made God’s people (called Hebrews) to be slaves in Egypt, with taskmasters to whip them and ill treat them; But he saw that their numbers still grew and he feared they might revolt and rise up against Egypt, so he made a new law that all boys born to the Hebrews should be cast into the river.
A baby boy was born to one couple, and they kept him alive for three months, but they knew that once he was discovered, the soldiers of Egypt would drown him. So the parents had a plan; they made a basket big enough to put the baby in, covered it with pitch to keep the water out, and launched the basket into the river with the baby inside. The baby’s sister kept watch from the bank to see what would happen to it.
“The daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river to bathe”. She found the basket, took the baby out and made it her own, calling him Moses. But God’s miracle did not stop there. The baby’s sister went to Pharaoh’s daughter and said that she knew of a woman who would nurse the baby for her, and the baby’s own mother became the one who nursed Moses, and got paid for doing it!
When Moses grew up he knew everything about the people who ruled Egypt and could be the best person to deliver his own Hebrew Nation out of their slavery, for God had made him just for such a task. God’s Word tells us that before God made the universe He planned it so perfectly that every person He made would have a planned life to fit the talents and abilities He placed within them, so that if they obeyed His rules they would live a life pleasing to Him (the maker) and be able to live with Him after this testing period of life was over.
Later in the story of Moses we say that he did not want to do what God had planned for him to do. He made excuses, which show how God gives people free will. But God said “Just trust Me for I will be with you” and Moses was persuaded.
Moses never found the job easy, and it took longer than he thought; But the day came when Moses headed the whole nation of God’s people out of Egypt and slavery, and toward a new land.
I have spent my whole long life obeying and serving God. There have been times when I did not want to do what He was telling me to do, but like Moses I did it trusting that God knew what He was doing and I trusted Him. I have to say that He has never failed me. I learned to tackle each task believing that He knew where He was leading, and all I had to do was to follow. It has been a though life, but a great and wonderful one.
Each day that you live you will be like a broadcasting station, constantly giving out signals. People know the kind of person you are, they hear what you say, they see your smile, you leave an impression on those you contact. Even in very ordinary things. Like the daughter of Pharaoh, God can work His purpose out through you. Every Day can be one Of Priceless Value.
Remember what Jesus said “I am with you always, even unto the end.”
Christian Good Wishes - Gerald Gossage.
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“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world”.
(Romans 12 v2)
Those who make money their god, bank on everybody breaking this rule.
The fashion world and the cosmetic industry believe that what they create will be ‘the done fashion’ that everyone will want to copy. It is known as the herd instinct.and it relies on people wanting to have what is the latest. and what everyone else has.
Here is where I put my foot in it, but I don’t mean to be rude, or what the modern world calls ‘sexist’. But I believe that the ladies are more inclined to be pushed toward buying items because it is the fashion, more than men. This is because catalogues have two- thirds or more of their pages devoted to clothing cosmetics, and home items and that interests women, The television adverts are mostly aimed at women. I have yet to see men walking the fashion cat walk !
One day the makers of men’s-ware will wake up to the fact that men are only allowed blue, brown, and grey, and kept from buying nice bright clothing, then perhaps the male will join the ladies ! (remember the men of the eighteenth century ! How would I look in silks and a powdered wig ?) No thank you ! but a red, orange or yellow suit ? Being fair, if men see a new tool, or electrical piece of equipment they will be just as interested as the lady discussing the length of skirt, or latest shoes.
I recon that there will be more houses with outside colored lights displayed next Christmas than ever before in this country, Why? The Americans do it and we have seen them on t/v, and irrespective of the waste of power, money, and having nothing to do with the celebration of Christ’s birth, many will try to outdo their neighbor with Walt Disney type illuminated items.
I look forward to celebrations with all their fun, and I always like to dress neatly, but I won’t follow the crowd, I am ME not someone else, so I won’t copy the behaviour of the world around me. Let the person we are be the attraction.
I have given myself over to the most wonderful person there is, My Lord Jesus, But I am not required to dress as He did. But I do want my character to be like His – shining through to others.
How can I ignore the world and it’s demands to do what seems the done thing ? How can I be what God wants me to be ? The Bible says “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. Think differently !
Train your mind to be what God made you to be. That will be different from everyone else, the wonderful real you. Approved by God and living in His perfect will.
Don’t try to copy others, or go with the crowd, be ” in the world but not of it”
Look to Jesus and let Him make you the great person you really are.
Love from Gerald Gossage.
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It was one of those glorious summer days, and morning worship started with the hymn “Summer suns are glowing over land and sea.” Which has such lines as “Every thing rejoices in the mellow rays, all earth’s thousand voices swell the psalm of praise”.
The first time I noticed something wrong was during the prayer. Not everyone was silent in prayer. I opened my eyes to see two of the congregation waving their arms about ”Strange I thought” but continued to lead in prayer.
Following the notices and offertory a not too experienced reader came to the lectern and announced the passage to be read. But she had not got far before she too started waving her hands, then faltered over her words. She continued a few words, then said “get out of it” with a further wave. It was then that I saw it, a big blue-bottle was flying persistently around her, and every time she settled down to read the scripture, it came back to put her off. She managed to hit it after a while, and it disappeared.
I heard it buzzing around once or twice, then it spotted a lady in a lovely floral dress, and made straight for it. There started a battle between five people and the fly; It was determined to settle on one of those flowers printed on the material, and the lady, her husband, two people in the pew behind and one in front became determined to shoot it down. Five people cannot do that quietly !
After one of them managed to score a hit, it flew off and peace returned. Until that is, the sermon time. Do blue-bottles like after shave ? I think this one did ! Have you ever tried to preach, or to concentrate on listening to a sermon, when an attack of dive bombing is taking place? I don’t remember what I did during the attacks but I did get a few titters from various parts of the church. I must have looked funny !
I have always thought highly of organists, and ours happily ended the story with a well aimed piece of music – Handle’s Largo. WACK ! Here endeth the fly !
Now here is the thought for the day. Not many of the congregation visit the church gallery, but I have often. On the window sill of each gallery window you will see them. Flies, of all shapes and sizes, blue-bottles, wasps, and sometimes a bee or two, all with their feet in the air… dead. They got in somehow, flew around, and tried to get out again by bashing their heads against the glass, until exhausted or starving they died with all the others.
Very occasionally you might fine a person in church who is like my bluebottle, they distract others and don’t seem to be there for the right reason,
There are many people who just do not know the purpose of their being here in this world. They know nothing of the loving God who made them, or His wonderful plans for their life. So they waste all their life like flies buzzing on a window, trying to achieve by their own efforts that which can never give them the Blessings of the Christian life and happiness. What can one do ? Well When I see a fly buzzing on my window I get a tumbler and piece of card. I Capture the fly in the glass, and let it go, outside the house. FREEDOM ! How many lost people have you shown The Way, The Truth, and The Life ?
People are more important than flies! Don’t leave them to die Show them the way to freedom now.
Your Friend Gerald Gossage.
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The term “Easter” means different things to different people. It is “Holy Week” as some follow all the events of the last week in the earthly life of Jesus, ending in that glorious Easter Sunday when He came back to life, after which He spent forty days before returning to His home with the Father in Heaven. To some it is a period from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. To others just Easter Day, worshiping on the day on which He arose from the dead. To people who do not acknowledge God it is time off from work to enjoy a break.
What was it like for Jesus who had to live through those three days ?
On Good Friday ( so called because it was the day when Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, and died in our place) Jesus suffered being despised and rejected by people, was whipped, and knocked about, bleeding also from the crown of thorns , nails hammered through His flesh, bleeding to death on the cross, and experiencing death itself.
We know well that He came back to life on that Sunday morning. BUT what did He experience on SATURDAY ?
Today branches of the church that repeat what they believe in a ‘creed’ say “He descended into Hell “. So let me explain this. Our word “hell” has two meanings in the Bible, One SHEOL meaning the place where all the dead go. Another word HADES (or Gehenna) meaning a place of punishment.
On the Easter Saturday Jesus went to Sheol to preach to all those who had died, so that they might have the opportunity of believing in Him. More than this we do not know. But to me it was a loving act which shows something of the love that God has for all of us, He is not willing that any should be without the opportunity of being saved from the result of disbelief and loss of eternal life for ever more.
I can only write of my own experience, but in our land there is part of Christ’s Church within reach of all people, there are Christian people mixing everywhere living out their life for all to see, the Word of God (The Bible) is cheap and available for all to read, and the story and history of the lives of Christian men and women is there to be learned by anyone.
As young people in every generation have discovered Love cannot be forced, If someone doesn’t love you, you cannot make them. God had done everything to show His love, Those who turn away from Him loose His loving care, and His offer of life forever more in Heaven. Let us do all we can (including our prayers) to help others to know and love Him while we are here on earth.
I wish you A Happy Easter, from Gerald Gossage.