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Spring mornings

What a glorious spring morning! Blue skies, bright sunshine, even some warmth in the sun’s rays, and plenty of excited birdsong filling the air. After the gloomy, dark, dreary days of winter, what a tonic to lift the spirits and bring a smile to our faces! In every garden, bulbs are popping through, if not already in full bloom, blossom is starting to open on the trees and buds are fattening on plants. Spring is such an exciting time of year giving us great expectancy and hope in the potential of the year ahead, perhaps even more so this year!


Planning a holiday this year? Hoping for some time away in the sun? Perhaps you have already booked somewhere to ‘get away from it all’. UK holiday firms are expecting a boom in bookings after lockdown ends! Holidays are a great opportunity to get away from normal life and the pressures that brings. We often indulge ourselves with good food and wine, a new book, some movies, or some experiences outside the norm. Sadly, we can over-indulge too, with sunburn and weight gain telling the tale!


What is your eyesight like? 20/20? Short-sighted? Need glasses for reading? I was chatting to my elderly dad the other evening, and he said how he would be devastated if he ever lost his sight—everything he enjoys relies on it. It made me think how awful it must be to become blind. Sight is probably something most of us take for granted. There is a future for us on this planet when things like blindness will be eradicated. Not by man’s cleverness but by the return of Jesus to earth.

Valentine's Day

What is love? “All you need is love…” “'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” It’s arguably the principal theme of songs, drama and poetry and right now, all over the opening aisles of supermarkets in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day tends to focus on love as a physical attraction, an infatuation, a desire. It’s something we simply feel – or don’t! – towards someone else. The emphasis put on it by the world fools many into thinking that this is the ultimate kind of love to aspire to; the stuff that makes marriages work.

The MOT test

My car – an ageing Mini – had to go for its annual MOT test today. Passing the test is compulsory in the UK to ensure that all cars being driven around are “road worthy”. When my car fails – as these days, it always seems to – there’s a cost involved in bringing it up to standard, making it fit to be driven safely around.

Beating the January Blues - 5-a-Day, the Bible Way

“Be more aware of the present moment, including your thoughts and feelings, your body and the world around you. Some people call this awareness ‘ mindfulness ’. It can positively change the way you feel about life and how you approach challenges.” This is the NHS’s fifth piece of advice for maintaining good mental health. This is surely not an encouragement to look in on ourselves and over-think situations – that’s definitely not helpful for either good mental health or spiritual growth.

Dappled shade

One thing I get really excited about is driving along a country lane where a canopy of trees make a tunnel with the road. That moment when the sun comes out, and shines through the bare trees to produce a truly wonderful pattern of dappled shade on the road as you drive along - WOW! It is sometimes these little things that can bring a smile to your face, and indeed we should be thankful to our Creator for allowing us such experiences.

Beating the January Blues - 5-a-Day, the Bible Way

“ Give ” is the fourth recommendation from the NHS’s mental health care campaign. It says, “even the smallest act can count, whether it's a smile, a thank you or a kind word. Larger acts, such as volunteering at your local community centre, can improve your mental wellbeing and help you build new social networks.” Again, and surely not surprisingly, this advice is very strongly echoed in the Bible. God is the ultimate giver – the giver of all life. God wants us to be like Him, so He encourages us to be givers.

Frozen ponds

I came across a frozen pond this morning. Ice dulled its entire surface, and I was reminded of what I'd been taught at school - how water is the only substance that gets lighter when it freezes. If it wasn’t for this unique behaviour, ice would sink to the bottom of the pond. More ice would then form on the surface before also sinking until the pond’s full depth was frozen solid. Think of the fish and other living creatures in that water. If H 2 O followed the same law as everything else, those fish would die. It’s only because ice floats that they are protected from the cold.

Beating the January Blues – 5 a Day, the Bible Way

To maintain and improve good mental health, experts say that one of the 5 key things we should do is to “keep learning”. The NHS campaign reads: “learning new skills can give you a sense of achievement and a new confidence. So why not sign up for that cooking course, start learning to play a musical instrument, or figure out how to fix your bike?” The Bible is God’s way of communicating with us, and in it we find that we are called to be “disciples”. This word perhaps now has the connotation of slavishly and unthinkingly following someone else.

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