Scottish referendum


My loyalty is to God. However, I am a Scot living in Australia, so I have viewed the referendum with interest.

Map of ScotlandWhat is best for the country (Scotland and the British Isles both) has been beyond my ability to work out. Oh, it is easy to be fervent… but as I have discovered, the ‘big picture’ is not so easily seen when you are part of the tapestry. So, I prayed about the result, and left it to God. Yes, I DO believe He is interested. More than interested in fact.

Growing up in Scotland was interesting. (I cannot think of another way to describe it.) Please let me explain.

My family was working class. Poor – yes, but working… and grateful to be so. The shipyards on the River Clyde were not only booming, but famous. The textile and hosiery mills in the Border country were busy too.

Then came the closures.

And over the course of a couple of generations, a once proud people – proud of their heritage, I mean, were lost. In their place was a generation of unemployed people, struggling to survive. They had children… very few of whom had hope… of anything different.

Dr Beeching had axed many of the railways. I guess they were not making a profit, or not a big enough one. Then, as anyone who has watched the movie “Brassed Off’ will know, Mrs Thatcher did the same to the Midlands of England. But that is not my purpose here… I was interested in the results of the Scottish referendum.

Before it began, my son had written in a message….

Whatever the case, the SNP have led a superb campaign, and have won already in any case as the UK parties have agreed, at the last minute, to massively increase the funding and powers of the devolved Scottish parliament in a desperate attempt to head off the YES vote. Either way, some of the problems of Scotland will start to be addressed.”

The ‘No’ vote won.

It is my hope, and prayer, that my son’s comments are correct, and Scotland Edinburgh Castlecan regain some national pride. It will take a while. Scottish minds can take a while to ‘change’. They are, after all, a fiercely loyal (and somewhat stubborn) race. Look at the history of the country.

More thinking



Historical Jesus?

I am a bit puzzled.

gospels listed on page

One of those newsletters I receive is trying to sell me a DVD set on an archaeological search for Jesus. But as the newsletter itself says, the gospels are full of accounts of His life and deeds.

In what way would retracing the places He travelled, taught, and worked miracles, help me find the ‘historical’ Jesus?

Just thinking.

Jesus was crucified in 30 or 31 AD, depending on what ‘school’ of reasoning you follow. The temple where He taught… and confronted the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees, was destroyed by the Roman emperor commonly known as Titus. That was in 70 AD

How much is left of that first century world in which Jesus lived? Not much I would think. The church (followers of Christ) fled before the fall of Jerusalem. The Apostle James, brother of John, was martyred in 44 AD. The other Apostles fulfilled their commission and took the gospel of the Kingdom of God ‘into all the world’. Legend has it that all, except the apostle John, were martyred.

Sketch map

(I have several gigabytes of research in folders on my computer.)



So what remains of the country that Jesus grew up in, travelled and taught about the Kingdom of God?

In the two centuries since He walked the land, how many wars have there been? (Rhetorical <smile>).


All that remains of the temple has gone. All, that is, except the Western – or Wailing – wall. Some believe that it is a remnant of ‘Herod’s Temple’, while others say it was part of the Roman fortress.

Whichever it was – is- it bears no relation to the Temple Christ knew.

He prophesied it would be destroyed, recorded in Mark 13…

After his teachings in the previous chapter, all set in the Temple courts, Jesus finishes his teaching in the Temple for the day and leaves. On his way out of the Temple an unnamed disciple remarks how great the Temple (Herod’s Temple) is. The buildings might have reached up to 150 feet (45.72 m) in height and they were adorned with gold, silver and other precious items.

“‘Do you see all these great buildings?’ replied Jesus. ’Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

Well, I am sure the DVDs will be interesting. But all I need to know about Jesus is in the Word of God. I will rely on that.

In Hold the Faith, and Grow in Grace, when Jesus is quoted, it is taken from the Bible.

In answer to my opening statement… I will remain puzzled about how man can ‘find’ the historical Jesus, two centuries and many changes later. But I do have a question… is it not more important to know the risen Jesus, the Saviour, than ‘fossick’ around in the past?

Just some thoughts


God Works in Mysterious Ways

Geoffs last journeying, cover


As I mentioned in a previous post, and on my Facebook ‘author’ page, Geoff’s Last Journeyings’ is written but will not be published. But here I am going to put in a summary of the ‘Epilogue’.


In an email, one of the ministers of my church said something about seeing God’s handprint in our lives if we looked for it. and have seen it in my life so many times. None more so than when I was hospitalised recently with pneumonia.

A piece of the Epilogue to show you what I mean…

There was no doubt in my mind that God did what was best for Geoff. However, there remained ‘tickling’ wonders about how Geoff had felt about certain things.

You might think I am crazy, but God blessed me with some insight when I became ill six months later.

I was taken to hospital…

Emergency entrance Joondalup hosptialIn Emergency… I think they X-Rayed me in bed, then it started… the discussions over me. “Significant consolidation in the …. (something or other) in a lung, and a few other terms that I recognised. I remember thinking, “That’s what they said about Geoff.”

I was quite content to die, like him, and wait for my resurrection, and thought about asking Him to take me.  Still, I remembered that God has the big picture, and in the end, simply said, “Your will be done.”

Oxygen, I/V antibiotics and more ‘Geoff stuff’, and I was sent to a ward.

Over the next few days, the treatment was eerily similar. Not allowed out of bed alone at first.

Zimmer frame drawingThen there was the indignity of having to use a Zimmer frame LOL. (I realise that it might have seemed that I needed one as I had many bruises from the falls.) Then there were walks with oxygen to see how far I could go. So many times I thought, “This is what Geoff went through”. It was oddly comforting.


thermometerWhen I spiked another 40.9 temp and they had to call in the RMO, I was given a Salbutamol neb. They explained why they were doing it, and so on, not realising that I had a great deal of experience with those things. Geoff had been on several a day for a great many years.

I found it is possible to lie quietly, resting in God, and be aware of what is going on around me.

Then there was a concern about the infection affecting the large graft in my aorta. So, a Gallium scan was booked to ‘see’ if there was signs of infection… more similarities to what Geoff experienced in hospital..

I have sometimes wondered what Geoff thought as he came to terms with his imminent death. Well, perhaps I had a glimpse of it, when it dawned on me that if the graft did become infected I would die. I was more concerned for the manner of dying than dying. I remember Geoff saying the same thing.

The point of writing this is that as I lay there, helpless, with nurses and doctors, a physio and an OT asking me questions, assessing my function, it was as if I was having a glimpse of what Geoff went through. In my mind, Gods mysterious way of blessing me.

As I mentioned, oddly it was very comforting, and answered a great many of my ‘I wonder…’ questions, bringing me peace.

I will always miss the man with whom my life was closely entwined for twenty-six years, but I wonder if what I experienced was ‘closure’. (Of that aspect anyway.)

Gods merciful grace, of that I have no doubt. I hope this encourages you.