Robert's Ruminations

The thoughts of Revd. Robert, Minister for Emmanuel, Ilfracombe



Christmas and New Year are behind us. We have packed away all the decorations for another year. We are in the season of cold, dreary and even wintry weather. People walk around reflecting the dismal time of year that is February!! But, you know, it doesn’t have to be like that!!!

The other day, I had one of those days (rare as they seem to be!), when everything went right. The weather was cold but dry and clear. When I got to where I was going, I had the normal nagging feeling – just how long was I going to have to drive around before I could find somewhere to park but, amazingly, I drove into the car park to find a parking space just waiting for me. I went into the place for the meeting and there on the side was a lovely tray of fresh pastries and some great hot coffee. The day went well. Everything started and finished on time and the journey home was clear of traffic jams and roadworks. You could say it was almost a perfect day!

I sometimes wish that life could be like that all the time - no worries and everything going to plan, just the way I wanted it to.

Unfortunately, life is not always like that. Things sometimes get very hard for us to bear. We might have health or money worries. We see what’s happening around the world and some of the images we see make us weep whilst other reports make us fume with anger to think that people can be so insensitive, inhuman, rude and selfish. I’m sure that we would all agree, that life is most certainly, not a bed of roses. But there are always glimmers of hope and rays of sunshine that cut through all the ‘bad stuff’ and sometimes these are the things that are most important for us to hold on to.

There is a really old hymn which is a favourite of many people ‘Count your blessings’. The words of this hymn encourage us to look to see what it is that God does in our lives. It’s not always easy to live out our Christian calling because it’s not as fashionable as it was; people don’t see the relevance of having God in their lives anymore – they have everything they need which they have accumulated for themselves; people don’t seem to care about others as much as they used to in days gone by – we live in a bit of an ‘I’m alright Jack!’ society.

February is the time when we celebrate St Valentine’s Day. The shops are already full of cards and gifts to give to those whom we love or admire – either overtly or secretly! But it’s on occasions like this that we can show just how much someone means to us and how much we value their part in our lives. And that’s so important – the opportunity to let others know how much they bless our lives.

‘Count your blessings’ - if only we could, how much more contented would we be in the way in which our lives are truly blessed. We could see how obstacles could be overcome, problems eased, the future made to be more optimistic and hopeful. And this can be achieved if we start to look for the positives and good things that we have in life.

God gives us so many opportunities to invite Him into our lives. He wants to be there for us. He has shown us, through Jesus, His commitment to us and His desire to become the kind of people He has always wanted us to be – true, loving and gracious to each other.

So, let’s not despair, instead look for blessings in our lives and from them will flow the love that God gives.

Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Be surprised!!!


Ashes to Eggs
Christmas Thoughts for 2016


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Thursday, 23 May 2019

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