I suppose that my parents must have had their disagreements, but I can never remember them ever raising their voices or shouting either to each other, or to us children. But I do remember my Mother showing her great annoyance to my Father on one occasion.
My Father was a keen gardener and he loved his roses, the sight of horse manure laying in the road outside our house was too much for him, armed with a bucket and spade he went out and collected it to feed his roses. I recall Mother saying over and over again “What will the neighbors say”.
As a child living in London in those days I was used to most of the traffic being horse drawn. People on horse back, carriages, busses and carts of all kinds were horse drawn, They drank from horse-troughs made for them, and ate from nose-bags as they worked . This meant that the roads were toilets for countless horses used every day all day.
Think for a moment what the narrow streets of Jerusalem were like in the days of Jesus. Horses, donkeys, and camels fouling where people had to walk. So the first task when entering a house was to wash the feet. This job was given to the lowest slave, and near the door there always stood large pots of water for that purpose.
Remember the wedding Jesus and His disciples attended ? the pots were empty for all the guests had arrived. When Jesus met with His disciples for the last supper, the Thursday before Good Friday, there was no slave to wash feet. Jesus poured water into a basin, took a towel, and knelt before each one and did the task of the lowest slave. Little wonder that Peter did not want his master Jesus to wash his feet (read John Ch13.v1 to 17)
Did you know that some four hundred years ago our Queen Elizabeth I st each year of her reign did what our Queen still does today on Maundy Thursday? Distributes the Maundy Money, but not in fine silk purses as today, but also she would kneel before each one and wash and kiss their feet. She was showing the humility of her Lord as a slave; and also acting as the head of The Church of England, whose task was to serve. She was doing in effect what Jesus has said we all should do.
“If I your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet
I have shown you an example”.
I leave with you this thought. In this our generation we need, not so much a basin of water, but prayerful love for others to help them to be better than they are, by our humble service and care always toward them. If our Lord could kneel and do the work of the lowest house slave, let us pray that we might do the same, and by His power achieve it.
Greetings from Gerald Gossage.
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Perhaps one of the best, most successful, and well loved Generals of world war II was General Montgomery. Before he left the Eighth Army in 1944 he took over an opera house in Italy to say his “goodbyes”. The packed crowd saw him not just as a General but as a friend in whom they had every confidence, and here was a General who had absolute confidence in every man.
The secret of that success was expressed as the General was leaving the stage. Some Private shouted out “Good Old Monty!” . Montgomery turned and shouted “Cheerio Boys”.
Do you think of Jesus as even more highly than that ? How is THAT relationship ?
A crow was dying of thirst and could find nothing to drink. Then after much searching he found a narrow necked jug with some water right at the bottom. He tried so hard but the neck of the jug was too narrow for him to reach the water, he tried to knock the jug over or break it but he was unable to do so. Looking around he saw a small area where there were some small pebbles, he flew there and slowly, one at a time, he picked up pebbles and dropped them into the jug. As the pebbles began to fill the jug so the water got nearer to the top which encouraged him to keep collecting stones and put them in. He was soon drinking.
If God has given you a talent which can serve Him, search for ways in which you can best use that talent, and don’t give up working on it until you achieve your goal. All talented people have to work and practice at their skills before they reach their best.
Never forget what Jesus said “Without Me, you can do nothing”. It is He who does the work. At the age of fifteen I became a Lay Preacher and I started a habit which I always used through my long preaching life.
I prayed to be given the theme that God wanted me to preach upon. I prayed to be guided with the preparation. I always knelt and prayed before it’s delivery to the people.
Do not expect to see the results of your service to God, although you might be so rewarded sometimes, when you can thank God for what He has done.
I was greatly encouraged one Sunday when I was about to take my last service before moving away from the district in Wales. The Church Secretary said “We are going to greatly miss your ministry when your have gone”. I replied that I doubted this and that by the following Sunday no one would even remember what I had preached about. She proceeded to quote to me three sermons that I had preached which had made a great impression on her, one a year ago. All I could say to her was Thank God for this, it was not me that did it.
Your life should be one of fulfilling God’s purpose in creating you, You have the talents He has given you. Don’t belittle them, pray for help to develop them and use them.
Encourager … Gerald Gossage
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(an Easter Poem) by Gerald Gossage
The tearful women lit their candles
Moving silently in soft trod sandals.
Each had planned what they would find
And went collecting each item in mind.
Water for washing poured into a skin,
The towels, and a garment to wrap Him in.
Two basins, one to wash the blood away
Ointment and scent, to last many a day.
So many things they have to carry;
It would soon be dawn, so they must hurry.
Wrapping up warm they went into the night
Through darkened streets that showed no light.
As dawn broke, City gates opened wide
Pass shadowy soldiers they try to hide.
Down to the Garden, and down to the tomb,
How would they open that great door stone ?
Would anyone help them ? Dare they ask ?
Could they accomplish their compassionate task ?
Then descending the steps: They stood there in shock.
The door was open, they’d moved the rock.
Where was their Jesus ? There’s no one inside.
The grave clothes were there, but nothing beside !
Tears get worse if you think He’s not risen
So this Easter capture a quite new vision.
Don’t work and live as if He was dead
There’s a glorious future with Him ahead.
He made you, He loves you, get to know Him as friend
And He will be with you right up to the end.
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I must confess that I love slapstick comedy. One person throws a custard pie at another, he ducks, and the chap behind him gets it right in the face. Why do we laugh when someone falls over, or does something stupid? I just don’t know, but we all still enjoy a laugh. What is it that is so funny when a man carrying a plank turns to look in another direction, and the plank hits and knocks someone off his feet ? And why is being hit or kicked on the bottom so much more humours than being hit or kicked in any other part of the anatomy ? The old act of hanging wallpaper has brought a real laugh in countless generations before us, and we still see the funny side of the assistant getting the paste brush wiped across the face, and the descending man on the ladder putting his foot into the paste bucket.
On the whole the Bible seems a serious book, perhaps that is because it has to do with the faults, failings and behaviour of sinful people, but I am now convinced that our Great Creator God has a humorous side to His nature. You have only to look at some of the animals He made to imagine Him laughing at His efforts. Was there no smile on Jesu’s face as He said some people “Strain at a gnat and swallow a camel”. Or “a camel going through the eye of a needle”, (in spite of the straight explanation that has been made).
Can you really believe that God does not have a good laugh at some of the situations we find so funny ? Surely you cannot think that our eternal future is going to be sombre and serious, and that we will not have happy, humorous , and hilarious times of fun together with Him in His wonderful Kingdom.
We are made in the image of our God therefore our enjoyment of that which is funny must surely come from Our Creator.
There is one more thing to be said on this subject. In your conversations with God, have you never laughed with Him ? Has He never laughed at your silly ways or made you see the funny side ? He has with me, often !After all, just what have we got to be serious or miserable about when He has blotted out all our sins, and saved us, and made us inheritors of His Kingdom. I look forward to seeing YOU in heaven, for we shall have much to laugh over when we share the slapstick events of our lives.
When reading my first book one lady said that she laughed so much at something I related, that tears ran down her face, When God saw it happen can you doubt that He laughed too, or that He thinks of it sometimes with a big smile on His wonderful face ?
Try to see the funny side of life, enjoy life. Laughter is good for you, and part of the joy of The Lord.
Christian love… Gerald Gossage.
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As most of you know, that although there are cats with tails in the Isle of Mann, the true Manx cat has no tail. Having said that let me tell you the story.
Picture an ordinary peaceful English village where everybody knows everyone else, there is just one church, one pub’ and one shop / post office, and not much to gossip about. They all knew the old man who lived at Hawthorn Cottage, and kept a distant eye on him since he lost his wife.
` At first nobody bothered when he started digging in his front garden, but they grew curious when, having started early in that morning, he , kept on digging all that day. The hole he dug got bigger and bigger, and the earth pile all round it got higher. “What are you doing “ enquired one neighbor as he passed. “What do you think, I’m digging” the old man replied. And the hole got deeper and bigger. No one got any further with him, and the old chap was getting more and more tired. He would go indoors for a short break, then return to his digging, and the hole got massive.
The very next morning the neighbors that went past found that the hole had been filled in. Not all the soil had filled the hole but it had been banged as flat as it would go with the spade. There was no sight of the old man. This caused much talk in the village.
One man said “The old man has murdered someone and there is a body under that soil”. No one could believe that, he was not the kind of man to kill someone, and who would it be ? The women were inclined to think he had buried a box full of money or treasure. And they argued as to whether it was right to tell the police. A few weeks later, sadly the old man died and was buried in the church yard, and nobody ever found the answer.
I told you, to this cat alogue of events there is no tail.
BUT millions of people are born, educated to find their talents, and work hard, and achieve little or nothing but the effort they put into life, and their tale is never told. Not on earth, that is. But the Bible tells us that God has a book or record of everyone of us which will be read out when we stand before Him on judgment day. You will have a tale to tell then, but will it please God ? Now is the time to know and please God Almighty. Believe on Him and love Him now.
His servant and friend, … Gerald Gossage.
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Some may know that I was rushed to Musgrove Hospital early in February, and following a “Scan” it was discovered that I had a tumour growing in my brain, and it was bleeding. I was in hospital for some time, and have been put on steroids..I know that many people have been praying for me, and I was to thank all those who did, and to share my news about Our Wonderful Lord God and what He has done.
In mid-June I had a second “Scan” , and waited (not very patiently) for the result, and felt that The Lord was smiling at me and saying “ just you wait”. When the interview finally came, the doctor said “I don’t know what you have done, but it is the best news possible, There is no tumour there, it has gone, the gland is back to normal size and now there is nothing wrong ”. He said “my colleges and I had decided that we would have to operate to remove the growth going up through the nose, but there is nothing there to remove. I want to make one important test and then you can go home cured”. He later phoned me to say the test shows that I could come off steroids at once, everything is back to normal”.
I Know That It Is My Lord Jesus Who Has Healed Me ! Please , please Thank Him for the answer to our prayers.
Now, let me tell you an old story about an Irish woman who was always telling tales and gossip about other people. One day she found out that one of her tales had caused a great deal of trouble, and hurt a number of people. For the first time she felt dreadfully sorry and being a good Roman Catholic she visited the priest to confess what she had done and ask what she must do. She was told that as a penance she must go to the market the next day and buy two chickens, and as she walked home with them she was to pluck them. When she had done this she was to go back to the priest to be told what she must do next.
The simple woman did as she was told and returned to the priest who told her to go and find every feather she had plucked from those two chickens. It was an impossible task she found.
(The Bible’s letter of James Ch3) says that the tongue is a little member of the body but has very great power. We can never know what influence our speech can have on other people. That Irish woman caused trouble with it, So can we. BUT the Holy Spirit can use our communications with God and others to perform His miracles of goodness, and, like scattered feathers, we cannot know just what our words and prayers will achieve. .Pray that your words will bless not cause unhappiness, and Never be careless in your prayers, you are communicating with the greatest power in the universe, and with one who loves to hear everything that comes from your heart.
Thanks for your love and prayers. Gerald Gossage
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There are things that your friends get up to that you may never have known about. I would never have guessed that a friend of mine was interested in archery until it came out in conversation. Keen on telling me about his hobby I discovered that he had several bows, and belonged to a group who practiced every week.
He showed me how to hold a bow, but seemed very reluctant to let me use an arrow. However I wanted to “have a go” and finally shot an arrow, missing the tree I had aimed at; the arrow disappeared, and my friend was cross at the loss of his arrow. “You never shoot unless you have a proper target” he told me, and I have remembered that ever since..
As Christians sometimes we lack a “Proper Target” . It is not just going to church, Communing with God, Reading God’s Word. Turning our Faith into action.
We need to “Look where we are going”. Those who are committed to -, believe on,- the Lord Jesus Christ are on a journey to Heaven, That is your target, look to it, aim for it. This world is just a testing ground to prepare us for this our desired destination.We are only here for a short period of time, Heaven is forever and ever and so wonderful. Yet vast numbers of people are only interested in having a shoot, and they will end up hitting nothing. And loosing everything. They need a proper target, Our target is to be with Jesus now and forever.
“Forever with The Lord, Amen so let it be. Life from the dead is in that word = immortality. Here in this body penned, absent from Him I rove, yet nightly shift my moving tent a day’s march nearer Heaven.” (hymn)
Although the Bible tells us that we are made in the image of God, the real you is not your earthly body, which will be lost when we die. The real you is spirit which goes on after we die (Like “God is a Spirit” ) We shall be given a new and different body when Jesus comes back again. So Heaven is a spiritual place, it is real but does not have the disadvantages of our present world.
The Bible has lots of information about Heaven, and what it is like. No more tears, sickness or death. no need of lighting for God is light. And much else.
Jesus said “I go to prepare a place for you”. We have no idea what that place will be like, but like Christmas presents I feel sure that we will be thrilled when the unwrapping takes place. Instead of the problems of this world, think about your eternal future, Heaven.
Being welcomed home by The Father, seeing Jesus, praising God in the Spirit. Being one with all the saints as your mass of friends. Oh! What a future you have before you. What a target we aim for. Forever with The Lord .
See You There…. Gerald Gossage.
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I remember my Grandfather when he was an old man, But the world he was born into was very different to the world of today. Street transport was all by horse. I remember the horse troughs in every road so that the horses could stop and drink, and there were carts and carriages pulled by all kinds of horses , plus people riding everywhere on horseback. Little wonder that from an early age my Granddad wanted to be a ‘Vet and work with horses.
Money was tight and to attend a college to train as a vet was expensive, but he worked hard to save every penny he could make all through his childhood, and when he left school at 11 or 12 years of age. he could put even more in the box for vet college.
He also accumulated many friends who shared his consuming interest in horses. One day when they were talking about racehorses and what made for winners my Grandad became quite sure he knew which horse would win one of the races,that his friends told him that seeing he was so sure he should put all the money he had saved on this horse to win, he could then go to college at once.
It seemed a wonderful idea and he placed all his savings on this horse to win.
It lost ! And he was never able to achieve his life’s ambition to be a vet. He went to work handling the horses for the London Buses. After the first world war, in the 1920’s the London horse buses were replaced with motor buses and he never worked with horses again.
When I was a very young man I became a Civil Servant for a little while, working in a large office. One of the men came to me saying that everyone in the office was joining in to a “Fun Sweep-stake” for the horse race, The Derby. The tickets were only a shilling each, and as I had just four shillings in my pocket I had four, then forgot all about it.
Each ticket had the persons name written on it and put into one hat, the names of the horses were put into the other hat, and as there were more people than horses many people did not get a horse at all on the draw out.
On the day of the race some of the staff listened to the race on the radio, and soon it was all over. A small crowd came to me to know how I had done it, I had got four horses and they had come in first, second, third, and forth. I went home with a bit of extra cash in my pocket that day !
I was told that there was another race called The Oakes and people wanted me to tell them which horse would win as they thought I knew something that could help them win lots of money. That day I wanted to believe that I could make money by gambling, that I had some sort of luck with me.
But I told myself I would never in all my life use money in this way again. Whatever money we have is a gift from God and it was given as a stewardship. We are all responsible for what we do with what we have. And in the days ahead there may be many people who are in great need, for some are loosing their work, and are in great need of what we could give them. It is good to remember that “The love of money is the root of all evil”. And what we have is a gift from God. Don’t gamble with any thing ! It is selfish and makes you a loser
I have never had a need since I made that decision. Try it – Gerald Gossage.
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“WITHOUT ME” ??
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 Simon’s, and Jesus could now sit and continue to teach the people. It seems that Jesus always knows the best solution to a situation. When Jesus finished teaching He told Simon to pull away from the shore and start fishing. Simon, and every fisherman right up to today knows that the fish can only be caught in the dark, at night. Simon did not want to let his nets down at this time, they had not even caught anything fishing all that night. But when the boss says something, you do it, even though you think it’s a crazy idea. The result was that Simon caught so many fish his boat was full up and nearly sinking under the weight, they called the other boat to come and help, and that too was filled right up and almost sinking.“Without Me you can do nothing” Jesus says. That is true ! but With Him the Results are just fantastic ! How can I say this ? Well, I have seen for myself so many real miracles just likethis one and they were all done by His gracious hand, while I could do nothing, theyleave me just full of wonder and praise.And I want others to know how great your God is.
Sincerely yours Gerald Gossage
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As far as we know Jesus left nothing of this world’s goods, His clothing became the property of the soldiers, and they gambled for possession of his robe. BUT Jesus did leave something. The words of this well known hymn tells us what the scriptures teach.
“Our Blessed Redeemer, ere He breathed His tender last farewell.,
A Guide and comforted bequeathed with us to dwell”.
Jesus left us part of God, The Holy Spirit..
Don’t think of God or Heaven as being like people or the world. Made of material. God is Spirit, and we who worship Him are to worship Him in spirit. (and truth)
My body that people see and can touch is only the case I live in. Like the house I live in or the car I sit in. That is not the real me, I am the spiritual real person. Inside. . Soon my body will be a small pile of ashes, But I shall be in Paradise with my Lord. (like the repentant thief on the cross)
What then is the gift that Jesus gives us ? Verse 2 of that hymn reminds us that Jesus received the Holy Spirit like a dove bringing peace and love. This was what He needed to face temptation in the wilderness. Verse 3=
The Disciples received The Spirit as what seemed to be flames and a rushing mighty wind. (Acts Ch2 v2-4)
Before He came, they were shut in the upper room for fear of an arrest. After they threw back the bolts of the doors and rushed out to speak in peoples own language about Jesus.
You are spirit, and the gift that Jesus offered us soon after is death and resurection is The Holy Spirit, His Spirit, part of God. He will come to those who seek Him.
How does this work out in practice ? Let me tell you how it was for me.
There was a time in my life when I gave myself to God, with all that I had and was,Since then He has taken over, and I do whatever He tells me to do, knowing it is not me doing things, it is Jesus, through The Holy Spirit.
If you continue to commit yourself to God every day, and every part of the day, if you constantly talk to Him and He is with you, if you read His Word, live always in Him, you will have a great life, with a great God.
“Every virtue we possess, and every victory won And every thought of holiness are His alone.”
The Holy Spirit is not just for Whitsun, He’s with us for always. Just ask for Him !
(It is great preparation for living for ever in heaven !)
Christian Love from Gerald Gossage.