This is a page for anyone who is interested in the Christian faith. It seeks to be
a blend of encouragement, comment on current issues, and maybe a challenge to those
who haven't thought much about where life is going. If you want to pursue any points,
please feel free to write to my e-mail address: email@example.com.
* The testimony of Joyce Whitton who died aged 86 on 6th November 2001
More about me
I have been a Christian for longer than I care to mention, but that does not mean
that I have switched off the rational part of my mind! I have had several periods
in my life when I have had to face the crunch question: "Is He really there, or am
I just fooling myself?" Each time, sooner or later, I have had to conclude that there
is no escape from the truths of Jesus Himself. He came, He taught, He died, and He
rose again. He is alive, and there is no one else worth believing in!
I am a mathematics graduate, and like to think of myself as a scientist (after all
it is a BSc I've got!), so to me faith has to be rational. You cannot prove God in
a scientific or mathematical sense, but you can accept the logic and the feasibility
of all that the bible teaches.
The Bible is an utterly amazing book. A Christian can study it all his or her life,
and still find more amazing truths in it! To me it is God's revelation to man, the
essential handbook about life.
I am a member of a community church in Norfolk which has a membership of 80+. It's
greatest strength is in the love each member has for everyone else within it. We
are unusual in that we spend a lot of our time working for each other and the local
community on what we call Working Days (see Gal 5:13). We don't own a church building,
but meet in a village hall for our main services, and in each others' homes for smaller
Thoughts and Comments
The World in which we live
I like walking, and have spent many days doing so with Nicola, my wife, in the Lake
District, in Dorset, in Cornwall, and elsewhere. One of things most people can appreciate
is the sense of awesome wonder when you are standing on a hill-top and see the mountains
and valleys spread out before you.
But we should not only wonder at the nature of the world in which we live. Do you
still wonder at the grace of God, at the thought of who He is, and what he does for
you? What is man that you are mindful of him? If you no longer have those moments
when you are overcome with that sense of smallness in the presence of God, perhaps
there is something wrong ...?
Refresh your memory with Psalm 103!
A Creator God
I am told that the Christians of Darwin’s times welcomed the discoveries of the day,
and saw no threat to belief from his theories. In fact, they marvelled all the more
as science revealed more and more that simply glorified God in their minds. The more
that was discovered the more they praised God. It is only in later times that many
churches have begun to criticise theories of evolution and a big divide between science
and religion has supposedly developed.
For me, the concept of evolution itself is not difficult to accept. In the space
of quite short periods of time, animals change their form and characteristics. It
is not difficult to breed animals selectively to promote particular characteristics,
so it is not hard to believe that creatures have evolved in different ways over periods
of time. What is less easy to accept is the theories of life evolving over millions
of years from single cells to intelligent humans, etc! I prefer to say these are
just theories, and one day when I meet my God I will learn what really happened when
he set the worlds in motion, and breathed life into the creatures of that time. For
me we live in a world designed for purpose, not a freak accident.
Read Psalm 95, and Psalm 100.
Many folk and ignorant of the persecution and lack of human rights suffered by Christians
in the world today. The persecution by the Romans is well understood, but surely
not in the 21st century?
In fact, many Christians still suffer harassment and persecution, imprisonment and
even death in many countries. It may be no surprise that it happens in China, and
countries like Iran and Iraq, but it also happens in Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan
to mention only a few of a much greater number of nations.
How can we who are Christians living in freedom to worship God, to meet together,
own a Bible and read Christian books, help those who are persecuted? At the least
we pray, we send money to help them rebuild their lives, but also there has to be
political input too to ensure that human rights are respected in all countries, not
just our own. If you have not been aware of these things, I would encourage you
to visit the Barnabas Fund website and find out what your brothers and sisters are
suffering, and why, while we enjoy our comforts at home!
Read Hebrews 10:32-39
Serving the local church
Every Christian has a role within the local church, even if they don't always know
what it is! I have done a number of things over the years, including serving as the
church treasurer, and also as a trustee. I am currently an elder of the church. We
don’t have a minister/pastor; the church is led by a team of four elders.
However your church is organised, It is always important to recognise the contributions
made by each member of the congregation. In doing do, we should regularly pray for
one another, help each other, support, share and encourage. If you are a Christian,
when did you last pray for your church treasurer, or the youth team, the musicians
or the cleaners? And for the other office holders in your church? Remember the great
number of gifts God has given to his church through different people! We all have
gifts, and need to exercise them within our own churches.
Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
The Testimony of a Christian Lady
Joyce Whitton is my only aunt on my father's side. She died from breast cancer in
November 2001 at the age of 86, having been a Christian from the age of nine. She
had enjoyed good health throughout most of her life, but was diagnosed with cancer
in March 2001. Although she did not suffer undue pain, she endured the onset of the
disease for the following months, doing so with great cheerfulness and courage that
lay rooted in her faith. She didn't just believe, she knew that she was going to
see the Lord Jesus himself and be with Him! Everyone who spoke to her, cared for
her, or met her in any capacity over these last months was left in no doubt where
her heart was set, and was moved by her confidence and faith.
After the funeral, my wife and I had the task of going through the papers and possessions
she left behind. Among these we came across her testimony. After her husband Percy
died in 1977, she became very actively involved in a mission visiting hospital patients,
and as time went by she was asked to talk to small groups about the work that she
did. It was for one such talk that she wrote out her testimony to pass on to her
hearers, and so we are able to read it now. It was something special, and so it is
repeated here in the hope that you may find it equally uplifting, and possibly challenging.
Please read it! I don't think you will be disappointed! View testimony