Thursday, August 11, 2011

11th August

I suppose I’ve been a little low today, certainly rather fed up. I didn’t feel like doing anything and so that’s exactly what I did… nothing. At least the builders finished my drive as promised and I’m quite happy about that. It needed doing many years ago and just needed the right company at the right price. I’ve sort of watched them doing 26 drives on my lane including immediate neighbours over the past couple of years and nobodies complaining so that builds a little trust. The amazing thing is that in two days I’ve not heard a single swear word and they’ve just been perfectly polite especially when asking for the compulsory and numerous cups of coffee. And they can’t half graft. Although I can’t pretend it was a big day’s work my son looked after me as well by cutting hedges and then cooking an evening meal for us both. That’s two days on the run including washing up so that can’t be bad, can it?

Some days I just have to find a distraction to be able to cope. TV is pretty rubbish as always and especially during the daytime so the most engaging thing today was parliament debating the street riots. I’ve watched a little of the mindless vandalism and theft on TV and it must be absolutely terrifying for the victims caught up in it. These criminals have no fear of retribution whatsoever, especially as police seem simply forced to soak up every attack without any immediate reaction. Surely that only encourages the violence to grow? But every post-war decade has seen street violence of one sort or another and it seems that our society has no answer to lawlessness.

Some years ago I came across the story of Evan Roberts and the 1904-05 Welsh revival. Apparently it started quite simply with him preaching a message to his church youth group. Within a week 60 people had responded and so he set about a larger tour of South Wales. Estimates suggest perhaps 100,000 converts to Christianity joined the Welsh church over the next year or so. In some areas whole communities were transformed almost overnight as the crime rate plummeted to zero. Magistrates were redundant. Coal mines reported increased output despite pit-ponies becoming disorientated due to the lack of swearing. Many public houses lost business or saw landlords converted and closed. Outstanding debts were repaid. Many disputes were settled amicably. Churches could no longer contain the enthusiasts and streets, railway stations, coal mines and student common rooms all had reports of people gathering to sing and pray. I heard one story of a criminal being escorted into court where the judge then preached the Christian gospel. Then the jury burst into song as the villain responded by repenting sincerely of his crime whilst the police escort applauded before joining in the song themselves.

Nothing is too hard for our God. I believe that the root problem in society today is Godlessness. The church today has a message of good news to share and a work of compassion to fulfil, but more than that we should be crying out to God asking forgiveness for our personal wrongdoing as well as the way we’ve allowed our nation to become so corrupt in so many ways. And maybe God will hear our prayers and answer with a visitation once again.

2 Chronicles 7:14 ‘if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ (NIV)

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