Dear brothers and sisters
We have many things to be thankful for. The old song ‘count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”. As we continue in this ‘crisis’ situation I thought I would share with you some things to be thankful for.
I am thankful for signs of ‘normal’ life returning – in some areas of the world – including here in Sydney and most of Australia. For those of you who live in the UK, Melbourne or other countries in a more severe lockdown (I saw from one lockdown index that India and Scotland were 100%, Australia was only 63%), I hope this photo does not make you jealous. It was just a pure joy to sit and have a coffee in a real coffee shop with a real person.
I am also immensely thankful for the beauty of creation. Getting out of the house into the fresh air, with the sun on your face (and even the dreich Glasgow like weather that was here on Friday) was bliss. I still cannot understand why our authorities think that it would do harm for city people to walk in the country. We had a lovely day on Saturday with the family up the Blue Mountains. It was also good to see lots of other people taking the opportunity to exercise in such a gorgeous setting.
Although the Sydney Opera House is closed I am longing to return to it. I wanted to share this with you a while ago – its a stunning performance of the Messiah from last year – the best I have ever heard. Seriously – just sit yourself down….have a bible with all the relevant passages to follow – and worship using this!
I am thankful for the faithful ministry of women like Sharon Dickens and Natasha Davidson who work with Twenty Schemes. Have a listen to the Twenty Schemes link on the Generation Podcastwhich features these sisters. Superb. As are most of these podcasts….loved the ones with Rico Tice and Andy Bannister.
And finally, I am profoundly grateful for the great crowd of witnesses that has gone before. I am currently working my way through the works of Richard Sibbes (he is in serious danger of replacing John Flavel as my pastor!). And then this week this service came up on my iPhone. I was deeply moved by the singing of the people in St Peters and the sermon of Dominic Smart. I was onJanet Parshall last week and was shocked to discover that she knew Dominic and wanted to talk about him – its a small world. I miss the worship in St Petes – everything about it – from the children’s talk to the prayers, praise and preaching. It was amusing to hear Owen tell the congregation that their sins would be on the screen – a point which of course Dominic picked up on. Enjoy this….
And then head off to listen to Andrews latest sermon on Job– speaking of which it’s evening in Sydney and we have to get ready to listen to the worship from Charleston. What a wonderful world that one day we can walk in the NSW mountains with our grandchildren and the next day hear our son preaching God’s word from a housing scheme in Dundee. So much to be thankful for….God richly gives us all things to enjoy…even in the midst of sorrows and troubles. Praise his name.
See you next week,