Friday, August 19, 2011

19th August

I sort of grew up when I was maybe thirteen or fourteen. In good ways and in some not so good ways. I can remember being away camping with the Boy Scouts and it was there I learnt how to smoke cigarettes, so for the next 14 years I lived with that addiction. After a church meeting one evening someone suggested we all go to the pub and I had my first pint of beer… not a good idea for a young teenager, but no long term harm I suppose and I very, very rarely drink even a glass of wine today. I never thought about it at the time but two or three years later all my close friends were smoking weed and tripping out on LSD. I never touched anything like that. I kissed a few girls but that was all quite innocent whilst some of my young friends were certainly sleeping around. With the ‘freedom’ and rebellion of the 1960’s my life could have been very different. All I can say is that I believe that God was looking after me and whilst allowing me freedom of choice he still touched my heart to keep me from serious harm. And some good things did happen at that young age. I was a very active member of a Methodist Church learning to love that whole environment; I also learnt to play guitar and helped form several different bands. We used to earn 8 guineas a time playing in loads of church halls, scout huts, social clubs and schools. It was fun.

And I also learnt to pray which always felt good even though I was not a real convert to Christianity. It was many years later that I first invited Jesus Christ to become my Lord and Saviour and more fully understood what it meant to be a Christian. But after 29 years I still feel like a beginner…

I sometimes think that my journey through life is littered with traps waiting to ensnare me. As a young lad I certainly made mistakes and accepted some things into my life that were potentially very harmful, though basically I shied away from the more obvious dangers. But I am convinced that the Lord has been watching over me every day of my life, guarding and guiding me along a pathway of his favour. And never more so than today, in my time of greatest need, as I grieve the loss of the love of my life… my darling Jane. No matter how messed up my thoughts and sometimes actions get I live continually with the heavy presence of the Lord. I know that he is with me and will help me through this difficult time. My life will be restored.

Psalm 121:7-8 ‘The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.’ (NIV)

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