God and ASDA

Stories and thoughts: past, present and future

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Yes, I know I said my previous blog was to be the final one – I know! But, when you are given a new subject to write about, you just have to go with it. So, just for this one time (?) I’ve resurrected it. (Another idea has just popped into my head!)

When I was young I could never get my head around “tomorrow”. Mum or Dad would tell us we had, say, six more tomorrows then we’d be going on holiday. Or, whilst anxiously awaiting Christmas Eve, Dad would say it’s only another week – just seven tomorrows. I thought that there were seven days in a week, not seven tomorrows.

To confuse me even more, when “tomorrow” arrived it became “today”. So what happened to the today gone by? Well, of course, it became yesterday! All very baffling for a young, active mind to take in.

My Gran used to tell us that “Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday.” Now that’s confusing, too.

And there’s an old saying: “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” Ah, I understood that – I think.

Putting off until tomorrow does nothing to ease a problem; if a problem it is. Whatever we “put off” will still be there two, three, four days later. Putting it off only exacerbates the worry.

The Bible tells us not to put things off until tomorrow:

(James 4 verses 13-14 N.I.V.)

(13) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— (14) yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

We don’t know what will happen tomorrow – only God knows . However, one thing’s for certain, when Jesus comes back, as He will, to judge the living and the dead, will you be among those who wish they’d listened when someone told them the truth?

Being a Christian is not wearing leather gloves on Sunday and being holier than thou. It’s about knowing the Person of Jesus, having a real relationship with Him and, as a result, having the knowledge that one day we will all be together in Heaven with our Heavenly Father – for ever and ever.

There is only one way to get to Heaven, whatever you may think to the contrary:

The following verses are from John 14 verses 2- 6:

2. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Don’t put it off any longer. Find a church, go to a service and be amazed.

God Bless.


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Are We Nearly There?

If you’ve followed my Blogs to date, you’ll already know that, when I was a child in the post-war Midlands there wasn’t much money to spare for extras. However, we always seemed to have enough for a holiday by the sea – not every year, but certainly I can remember a couple of times. On both of these occasions we went to a caravan site at Prestatyn, a holiday resort in north Wales, and spent a week there.

My parents didn’t own a car until the beginning of the 1960s, so if ever we went any distance it would be by coach or train. However, for these holidays I definitely remember going by car.

My Dad, as an extra part of his duties at work, would often be called upon to drive the elderly Managing Director into work and as a “thank you” he was allowed to borrow the car occasionally for his own use. The car was a 1948 Ford Prefect and I can still remember the registration – HFD 718. If you own that car, then it’s the one I once rode in!!!

So, off we would go, with our things packed, not in suitcases, but in bags and bundles. (I don’t think we owned any suitcases as we didn’t often go away.)

Today, the journey from where I lived to the holiday destination takes 2hours and 9 minutes and is 108 miles in length, 69 of which are on motorways. So, forget the motorways, imagine you’re driving in a three-speed Ford Prefect and you’ll realise that it probably took us almost a whole day to get there!

On the journey we’d sing songs or play I-Spy and when we became bored with that (three kids in the back of a cramped car!) we’d start asking, “Are we nearly there?” We’d probably travelled only a few miles, but it did seem a very long way!

So the next thing was, “first person to see the sea”, but we had too many false alarms so that was scrapped – “Are we nearly there?” Dad and Mum suggested different things we could look out for – buses, cyclists, cars like the one we were in, horses and carts, but each time we ended up saying, “Are we nearly there?” It could vary, of course, “Are we there yet?” or “How much longer?”.

We would, of course, eventually arrive and have a great week playing on the beach, paddling, splashing about, building sandcastles, hoping the incoming tide wouldn‘t wash it all away. We never asked for anything more – it was wonderful.

But, all too soon the week was over and yet, you know, the funny thing is, we never asked the same question on the way home!! We just wanted to stay in that lovely place forever.

My Christian journey has been a bit like this. I was travelling along the road towards salvation and once this was achieved by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour then I wondered “What next?” “Am I there, yet?” At first I had no-one to help me or show me the next step, as it were.

If you’re in this position, or even if you’re still searching for the answers, my advice to you is to speak to someone who is already a Christian, They’ll soon point you in the right direction and then you won’t have to ask, “Am I nearly there?”

    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 N.I.V.)
    That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
    (Romans 10 verse 9 N.I.V.)

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School Camp

A couple of days ago I was held up in traffic whilst a group of school children boarded their ‘bus to take them to school camp. On the pavement beside the ‘bus was a great pile of rucksacks, bags, tennis racquets, a net of balls and so on.

As I was sitting, patiently waiting to move off, I was reminded of the time I went to school camp back in June1953 when I was eleven years old.

I was living just outside Birmingham in the industrial Midlands, at which time it was a smoky, dirty place with factories belching out the foul-smelling residue of their activities. There were ironworks with their furnaces and gas works where the gas supply for the area was stored, not to mention domestic fires polluting the air. Not a nice place for kids in which to grow up, you will agree, I am sure.

So, every summer just before the end of our final term, the top class of our junior school went to camp located near the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire. This was a really magical place for children such as myself who lived all their lives in the grime of industry.

We travelled in a coach but our luggage consisted not of rucksacks but suitcases. These were often quite small so there was not much room for “additional extras” – not that we had much in those days!!

When we arrived at the camp site we were separated into two groups – boys and girls! The accommodation was a wooden hut in which were beds – but no mattresses! This was all part of the “fun”!. After our first meal we all gathered in a large barn and proceeded to make palliasses for mattresses and pillows. I think by the time we’d finished stuffing our mattresses there was more straw on the floor and in our hair than in the covers! It was at this stage that I realised that we were going to have to rough it somewhat!

During the daytime we would go on rambles, drawing and identifying flowers (no picking allowed!), also bird-watching and all sorts of other nature-related activities. Our days were filled with lots to do and by bedtime we were ready for sleep, regardless of the uncomfortable palliasse!.

We could only have been away a week, but to me it seemed like ages. Some of the girls received food parcels from home and one thoughtful parent also included some shoe polish for her daughter – result, one sponge cake tainted with polish – yeuck!! After “lights out” we would chatter quietly, but this didn’t last long as we were all so tired at the end of each day that we’d soon drop off to sleep.

Even though my memory has dimmed somewhat, there was one incident which has remained in my mind. We went on a walk and all I can remember of the terrain is a long and winding road (idea for a song title?). We walked for a while until the road began climbing; teacher was in front and I was one of the “stragglers”. Child protection and health and safety were things of the future at that time, so there was no adult bringing up the rear. Suddenly a boy behind me fell with quite a crash – he must have tripped over something – but he went down and didn’t appear to be getting up. The group had by this time disappeared around a bend. Decision time. I called out with my little voice but obviously no-one heard me, so I waited until the boy recovered and we decided to stay put. It seemed like forever but eventually the teacher came dashing back, having realised that two of his charges were missing. I was near to tears with relief and so it all ended happily; just a grazed knee and a tear-stained face.

And the same applies to God. We can follow Him, and we might get lost on the Way, but He’ll not leave us lost and forlorn. No matter what we do, He’ll be there whenever we need Him, to dry our tears and mend our broken hearts.

    “Never will I leave you; Never will I forsake you.”
    (Hebrews 13 verse 5b)
    “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
    (Joshua 1 verse 9)


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“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” (“The Go-Between” by L. P. Hartley)

I watched a T.V. programme the other evening entitled “Call The Midwife”. This is a drama set in the late 1950s on the subject of, well, midwives, which set me thinking just how much we’ve advanced in every respect since then – how times have changed in those 50-odd years.

When I was eight years old (in 1950), family life was all-important. Families ate together, played together and (usually) stayed together. We had no television and very little money, but always had one holiday a year at a caravan site by the sea in Wales. We didn’t own a camera (luxury item!) so there is no record of these holidays, but I’ve never forgotten them. It was something we looked forward to all year. I used to love the train journeys almost as much as our time on the beach – hearing the whistle blow as we entered a tunnel, leaning out of the window to see the fields and towns passing by (and very often getting a smut in my eye from the smoke!). But it was magical.

Similarly, Christmas was a time for families to get together and my Gran always came to visit us on Boxing Day. We would finish off the turkey, play parlour games and always play cards for pennies, before going off the bed at 7.00 p.m. It never occurred to me until now that my Grandma wasn’t there the next day. I have no idea how she got home as we never owned a car and she lived about 30 miles away!

1937 Royal Enfield KX37

Our Christmases were real fun. On Christmas Eve just before going to bed, my Dad would prepare “Santa’s supper” comprising two mince pies and a glass of beer, plus a carrot for Santa’s reindeer. Santa always left a note to say “Thank You” for his supper. (These days we can track Santa by satellite on his Christmas Eve journey as he travels around the world). At bedtime we would hang an empty pillow case at the bottom of the bed and in the morning it would still be there, but with small gifts inside, usually a book, a roll of sweets and an apple or orange. (Sweets were a great treat as they were rationed after the war until 1952.) Then we’d rush downstairs to find our presents. I can remember having a doll’s pram one year and my sister had a doll’s house that Dad had made. We expected nothing and were delighted with what we had.

Nowadays, when I see parents buying so much at Christmastime and children expecting so much it saddens me that the world is so full of greed and selfishness. The true meaning of Christmas has been almost completely forgotten. Yes, schools might have a Nativity Play, and yes, the children probably sing the carols but how many know the real story of Christmas? Why Jesus came.

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”
1 Timothy 1 verse 15

“I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly”
John Chapter 10 verse 10