Do We Do It Right?

In the prewar days of my childhood it was the custom for many ladies to have a ‘Daily Help’ and my mother had one for years. Although the woman was an excellent worker, she had some very funny sayings.

Although our house was identical to others in the row she would not accept that they were all the same, and would constantly comment on another in the row as “earns bigger than yawn”. (hers is bigger than yours). If a funeral came into the conversation she would say “There’ll be another two, you mark my words, funerals always come in threes, funerals do”.

If something bad came into the conversation she would say “there’s more bad things to come, You mark my words, bad luck always comes in threes”.

I found myself thinking of her when three times I was brought to see a problems about “Prayer”. For the third time someone said to me “My prayers are always so repetitious “Well I have had this problem too, have you? Did it start at our mother’s bed time goodnight ? Like Christopher Robin-“God Bless mummy and daddy, God Bless…” and we never got out of the habit, we just changed the names? Did it come from some prayer book where we read or learnt what to say ? Was it The Lord’s Prayer that taught us to repeat without thinking what we were saying ? Surely God does not want to hear how well we can recite. Or a list of names, He wants us to share the things of the day, our concerns and apprehensions, our hopes and our happiness.

Another problem we have in our prayer-time. Have you every thought “I talk too much”. Sometimes Our Lord never gets a chance to get a word in edge-ways. Prayer should be a two way communication. (Study the prayers of Jesus, and saints in the Bible if you doubt it.) It is conversation, We share with Him our realities and wait upon The Lord, giving Him an opportunity of some come back. If you do not know the voice of God, you need to practice this. Which means giving prayer TIME, rather than forcing prayer into the time space you have available.

I have learned much over the years of about worship. both private and public, why are we afraid to be completely silence and to wait upon God? Why in church do we sometimes fail to give the congregation a space in prayer to make their own requests, confessions, or thanks for things that are part of our life at that moment. Why do we not teach our people silence and the still small voice? Worship can be like love, there are times when it needs no words between us.

Like the Daily Woman in my childhood, she was too set in her wrong ideas for us to bother, we made fun of her behind her back, and as a family we called her “Mrs ‘earnsbigger”.

But that attitude will not do for the fellowship of Christ’s believers. If people do not know how to pray it is not their fault, Can You remember being taught how to pray ? We just presume that everyone knows how, but I know that the prayer-life of one Christian will differ from another.

The Disciples were surprised that the prayers of Jesus were answered so wonderfully, whether it was cursing the fig tree, or bring the dead back to life. The Master’s answer was that the result of our communication with The Father should be in such faith that mountains would be moved.. Sadly, I know that many pray in doubt and so receive nothing.

Prayer is a believer sharing his/her spirit with God, who is Spirit. We wait upon Him and share His wisdom and knowledge on what we have brought before Him We then Know , by Faith, the outcome, at one in His will.

I have heard prayer considered as like a Mobile Phone to heaven, It is far, far more than that. As a Minister, I cannot remember ever visiting anyone without asking if I might pray with them, and only once in all those years was that request refused. Time after time The Holy Spirit would take over and I would find myself praying in words that were not mine, sometimes about things I had no knowledge about, but were very meaningful to those listening..

Prayer is not burning a candle, writing out a prayer to God, nor just attending a prayer meeting. It is bringing the deep concern that is on our spirit, before The Almighty, All Loving God and waiting and watching for His thoughts to become our thoughts, and seeing God working His purpose out. How The Father loves us, His children

Love from Gerald Gossage.

You Do Make a Difference

I In our young days before we were married, my wife and I used to attend all the concerts given by The London Emmanuel Choir, we enjoyed their singing so much.

During our first visit Audrey turned to me and said “I do like watching one of these girls in particular”. I said “Would it be that girl in the third row back, about three from the centre right ?” “Yes that’s the one, you noticed her too ? “ “Yes, she just radiates her joyous Christianity and love for what she is singing doesn’t she ! “. One out of a hundred and fifty stood out more than the rest, although they all had a smile and looked happy.

It is true that God made everyone of us different, and we all have different talents. But perhaps we don’t all make the most of what we have got.

I remember a large hospital ward for men. One man was well enough to be given permission to walk about the ward although he was a rather sombre man and said very little to anyone, he was watching a young nurse who was dealing with a man who was dying. Everyone loved this young nurse because she was such an outstanding person, efficient, gentle, and considerate with a radiant personality.

After watching her for a little while the walking man said in a voice that everyone could hear “ Nurse ! Do you know, if I was so ill that the doctor told me that I was going to die, and you were the one looking after me, well… I just wouldn’t obey the doctor, I wouldn’t die”.

Other people see us, as perhaps we do not see ourselves. In one of my churches I had someone who was just about the biggest misery I had known, she repeated her troubles over and over again to everyone she met, and me in particular.

One day I saw her coming down the street towards me, and naughty though it was, I ran into the nearby shop and hid behind the fixtures until she had gone by.

Do You repel or attract others ? What do people see when they look at you ? Do you use what talents God has given you and develop them, or have you buried them and nobody knows you have them, because you never show them.

The Bible says that one day we shall stand before God and be judged by what we did with what we were given. Are You the very best that you can be for Him and His Kingdom ? What you do for others you do for Jesus.

Happy Greetings from Gerald Gossage.

A Story From My Childhood

If I needed to learn a lesson my Mother very often told me a story, and made me draw the conclusion. Just what I had done to make her tell me this story I have no idea, but this is what she said.

In Holland they have dykes to hold back the water which would otherwise flood the land and villages, and one day a little boy noticed that there was a small hole in the dyke and water was dripping through.

The boy at first put his finger tip onto the leak and stopped it.  Very soon the water started to run out around his finger, so he pushed his whole finger in, and it stopped, but only for a little while, and it started pouring out all around his finger.

He tried placing his hand over the leak but this only made the water pour out more so he trusted his clenched fist into the hole. This seemed to work, but not for long. Suddenly his fist was forced out, and he was hit by a great torrent of water which knocked him over and swept him away. I suppose I was expected to learn that little sins will grow into big ones and finally overcome us.

I am told that I said that the little boy could not have done anything by himself, and should have shouted and run for the help of some grown-ups.(that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) (But I did find a friend in Jesus to run to).

I have loaned quite a few books in my time but many people have not returned them to me.  Have you ever received a letter where the stamp has missed the franking. and steamed the stamp off to use it on another letter ? (I hear the shouts of “NO” from here)

Have you ever told a white lie ?  (lies do not have colour)  Have you ever been late for work or early leaving, stealing time?  Taken some small item from work… saying “only a pencil !  only rubber bands !

You would not steal money from a purse or pocket, but what about too much change given for something we bought ?   And what about blackening another’s character.  (well we never liked him anyway, his eyes are too close together)

The number of folk who take the name of the Lord our God in vain, as seen on tv.(Oh God they say) (and worse?) And while we hate swearing, and would never swear ourselves, do we use other words to express our anger, or surprise ?  (Gosh, lord No)  We are all a people who have to listen to these things especially on t/v. perhaps we should watch what we say and write, and what we do.

I remember once saying how wonderful a Video Camera was, as a friend used one,. he turned and said, “You better watch yourself, there is probably an Angel pointing one at you all the time. Recording all you say and do.”   One day we shall have to face God who has the record of everything we have done and said here in this world. Saying sorry is not enough, we must put our life in order now, Or and as my Mother would say to me “Don’t do it again !”

Greetings from Gerald Gossage

A Lost Piece of History

I found this bit out of a piece of history about 150 years ago when people did not speak to the upper class, they just bowed.

It seemed that a poor farmer was taking a large sack of corn to the mill, when it slipped from the horses back and landed in the road. It was too weighty for the farmer lift by himself, so he decided to wait, maybe some one might come along on this rather lonely road and help him.

After a little time a man came riding his way, but as the man drew near he was disappointed to see who it was. It was the Lord of The Manor, who owned all the land and cottages for miles around. The farmer prepared to bow before him. He wouldn’t dare speak.

The Nobleman dismounted from his horse and, walking up to the farmer he said “I see that you have a problem, take hold of your end of the sack” With this his Lordship took hold of the two corners of his end, and together they lifted the sack back onto the farmers horse.

The farmer took hold of his forelock in humility, saying “My noble Lord how can I thank you, or repay you”.

“By remembering” said the lord “That all people must help others, so you must do the same”.

There are some who think that Almighty God, who made the universe, is too great to receive their prayers. Or to bother with small requests. They should know that God made them, He loves them more than anyone else, He has planned their life, and wants them to walk with Him always through this life in close companionship. There are those who limit what God can do by their lack of faith in Him.

After a Healing Service I gathered with the crowd after. to hear one man say to another. “I went forward for the prayer and laying on of hands, but I doubt if it will make any difference to my trouble”.

“Let not that man think he will receive anything from The Lord” .I remember reading

Remember this hymn ? – What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.

Greeting from Gerald Gossage.

A Thought For The New Year

There was a man sent from God named John. ” (John1v6)

Here is a thought for the New Year. This man was to be quite famous because he did an important work for God, and the work he did was going to be an important lesson for everybody, ever after.

God’s Word tells us that we are all made by God, everyone of us made different to any other, and all to a plan of God. So like John we are all special in God’s sight.

No one ever came into this world by accident, and no one ever came without a reason. The intensity of God’s love for each of us is in the cost He paid. “ God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”.

As another year faces us, we should remember that whatever you might regret in the past, it is gone, and there is nothing you can do to undo it. So your big task lies in front of you. The life you may still be called to live.

There is a purpose in what lies ahead, and your commitment to finding out what God requires you to do and be., is the most important factor of your future life.

Talk to Jesus Christ about this vital matter, look for His guidance and help, This Coming Year Will Be The Greatest Of Your Life.

. (Wishing you God’s Blessing. Gerald Gossage)