God and ASDA

Stories and thoughts: past, present and future

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The End

I was wondering what to write about this time, and, as I was looking at the Blog, I realised that it is almost a year since my first article was posted. How time flies!

During that year I’ve covered a range of different subjects, most of them relating to growing up in the Midlands just after the war (that’s the Second World War, not the First!).

Several times I’ve sat in front of the PC and wondered just what I could write about. It was never pre-planned – it just flowed.

But, this time, I’m stuck and there is no inspiration whatsoever. And so I’ve decided that this will be the last post on this Blog. It’s the end.

I feel rather sad about it ending. It’s reminiscent of old movies that always had THE END across the screen. The fairytale was over, the dream shattered – back to reality. It’s similar to reading the last page of a book and you don’t want it to end.

But all good things must come to an end and before I go I believe that I have one important piece of writing to do.

As a Christian I know that this world will one day end, when Jesus comes back. It’s written in the Bible that this will happen and the signs are already there. The clock is already ticking.

Walk with me, if you will, through Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 24, verses 3 -14 and you’ll see what I mean. (The # in brackets indicate this has already happened)

“3. As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’

4. Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you.

5. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many. (#)

6. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, (#) but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

7. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (#). There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (#)

8. All these are the beginning of birth-pains.

9. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, (#) and you will be hated by all nations because of me. (#)

10. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, (#)

11. and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (#)

12. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, (#)

13. but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

14. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

So, you see, it’s all there. It’s happening NOW. One day we will all have to stand before God to be judged and then He will decide where we spend eternity – with Him or in Hell.

You won’t be able to say “I didn’t know. No-one told me.” You’ve just read it here – I told you. Do something about it NOW, otherwise, on that Day, it really will, for you, be…………



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I Can’t See

A few years ago I awoke one morning to find that my eyes were both tightly closed and there was nothing I could do to open them. A very scary experience, I am sure you will agree. I bathed them gently with warm water, to no avail. I rubbed them, again no good.

So I went to the doctor later that day (when I was able to open my eyes and find my way there!). She told me that this was a common condition among older people and was, in fact, nothing to worry about. She gave me a prescription for some ointment to put onto my lower eyelid before going to sleep. It was ghastly stuff!! Firstly, it was difficult to apply (I kept poking the applicator into my eye!), and secondly, although my eyes opened a little the next morning, they were so bunged up with this rubbish that my vision was blurred.

For the past fifteen years I have tolerated this condition and each morning I have to feel my way round the bedroom into the bathroom (making sure I don’t head towards the top of the stairs) and in time my eyes do open. But it’s alarming. You never get used to it.

This daily occurrence has led me to compare it to my spiritual life. Until I became a Christian, I was, effectively, blind to the truth. I would do my own thing, not really caring about what would happen if I didn’t attend to thoughts of the future. Sooner or later it had to be addressed.

But, of course, God has all things under His control and I was to meet a young lady whose friendship led me to believe in Jesus and to ask Him into my life. My eyes were opened. I saw everything in a new light. No longer was I thinking only of myself; Jesus gave me a new heart with a love for others.

And so I began my walk with Him which has just got better and better. I know that in everything that’s happened to me since that time, God has been there with me. I’ve experienced a few twists and turns in recent years that I would never have imagined could have happened to me, but I realise now that it was His plan for this to happen and today I am where I am supposed to be. If I tried to go in a direction that wasn’t planned for me, I’ve been brought back, sometimes by a circuitous route, and here and now I am the happiest I have been in my whole life. Thank you, Jesus!

There’s a beautiful old song “Amazing Grace“, written by John Newton, which talks about being blind to what God has done for us.

Incidentally, I still have to put up with this “morning blindness” so if you see an elderly lady walking down the street one morning in a state of undress, you’ll know I missed the bathroom again!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29 verse 11)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8 verse 28)

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5 verse 7)

God Bless you.

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Then or Now?

I’ve often written what it was like when I was a child in the 1940s, growing up in post-war Britain, and a thought came to me this morning – was it really “the good old days”? Did we really have the fun we seem to remember whilst at school or playing our innocent games.

Innocence it certainly was, and for that I’m grateful that I grew up in those times. We didn’t have any of the pressures youngsters have these days, either in society in general or amongst our own peers. We really were innocent. I think that’s a point for the “Then” team!

Our teachers were respected for the most part, certainly in the early years of our education. We looked up to them, in more ways than height. We respected their seniority. Nowadays young people do not hesitate to call me by my given name, even though I am over half a century older than many of them. But would I like it if they addressed me as “Mrs.”: I think not – so that’s a point in favour of “Now”.

Getting away from relationships, we have the question of technology. When I first started work in 1958, I was using an Imperial typewriter, just like the one in the picture.

As you will see it was quite a hefty machine. The carriage moved across with each stroke of the keys, propelled by a ratchet, until, at the end of the line the typist would have to return it manually – and off we’d go again! The ink was contained in the ribbons seen on the left and right and as the key struck the ribbon, it would impress the letter onto the paper. These machines are very nice to have as ornaments or conversation pieces in our homes these days, but they were the latest in technology to us.

Today technology moves so fast that it’s almost impossible to keep up – iPhones, iPads, Tablets, Kindle and so on. In my younger days an eye-pad was something you put on a sore eye, a tablet was medication you’d take, (probably for the sore eye) and a kindle was a piece of wood that helped ignite the fire (causing a spark to fly into the eye, requiring an eye-pad and a tablet no doubt). But I have to give the point to “Now” on technology.

We all moan at the length of the queues in the supermarkets and, when I hear someone grumbling about having to wait in line for a few minutes, I would love to take them back to my childhood days and see what they make of it. No Asda or Sainsbury’s then. Each commodity had its own shop and, sometimes, inside the grocer’s was a collection of counters where purchases made at each one had to be paid for there, not at a final checkout. Afterwards it all had to be carried home, probably on a ’bus, No, thank you, I certainly approve of supermarkets and give a great big tick in favour of “Now”!!

I could include many more examples of the difference between Then and Now and, looking back over this article, I see that I’ve ticked most of them “Now”, so maybe it wasn’t such a wonderful time after all – or was it?

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New Year

“Well,” as my Mum used to say on 2nd January each year, “it’s all over for another year”

I’ve never given much thought to her remark until this morning, when I realised I’d been saying the same thing myself for years!!!

It’s odd, don’t you think, that from September onwards every year Christmas and New Year are everywhere: in the shops, on the radio and T.V., in the newspapers. If some cataclysmic event happens somewhere in the world we tend to say, “What a shame it’s happened at Christmas”, but the tragic event would be just as dreadful were it to happen on 12th June, or 31st October.

Christmas, as most of us know, is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, albeit probably not on the precise date. But do we put as much effort into celebrating that wonderful event as we do with the shopping and gift wrapping that means Christmas to so many?

When I was a child I rarely went to church. I remember attending Sunday School but (dare I say) only to collect the picture stickers that would eventually add up to receiving a book, the value of which would reflect how many stickers I’d collected over the year. What’s more I would be eligible to go on the Sunday School outing, the details of which I have no recollection – it must have been somewhat low-key, I fear!

I can’t remember, either, whether or not we had a Nativity Play, but I’m sure there would have been one. I don’t recall ever taking part.

So from this you can see that the religious side of Christmas meant very little to me.

We always had presents and extra food, Santa always came and left us a pillow-case with fruit and sweets in. I know for sure he came because Dad always left him a mince pie and a glass of beer. Next morning they had gone but Santa had left us a note saying, “Thank you” – and Rudolf thanked us for the carrot – magical times!!

New Year was celebrated with a party for Mum and Dad’s friends and we had to go to bed as usual at 7 o’clock. However, at 11.45 Dad would come and wake us up to see the New Year in with them. We’d all stand round the radio waiting for Big Ben to strike twelve and on the final “bong” everyone would cheer and toast the New Year. We kids had to be satisfied with a glass of lemonade, then, back to bed we’d go. I wasn’t sure what it was all about but everyone else seemed to know what was going on!!

Almost Midnight

This year, my husband and I were in bed by 10 p.m. and were undisturbed all night. If there were any fireworks we didn’t hear them – it all passed us by. Perhaps I’m getting too old for strenuous celebrations.

So, may I wish you all a very happy New Year and may 2014 bring you all you desire.

Happy New Year 2014