Revelation 1:7 reads, “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:”, so the glorified ascended Lord Jesus Christ introduces himself to John as the initiator and creator of all things and the conclusion and goal of all things also.
When I was faced with my university application form back in 1970, though not a believer, my heartfelt tears and cry for help to Jesus were answered when providentially I was led to apply for medicine at Edinburgh university. During my undergraduate studies I was converted and started attending a true church. My medical career encompassed many specialties initially, all in the Glasgow area from 1977 till 1993, then a job move to Bournemouth saw me devote myself to Emergency Medicine there for the next 15 years. Sadly no true church in Bournemouth so when a job arose in Belfast near enough to Covenant Protestant Reformed Church in Ballymena I applied and got the job. Having retired from full time work in ED at Belfast Royal in 2012 I continued doing locums till 27th January this year when I retired fully.
Medical life has not been easy and there have been many humiliating circumstances but I have derived a lot of satisfaction and enjoyed good relations with many colleagues. With no pressure now to earn more or cover empty shifts I can devote myself to, roughly in order of priority:
- Fellowship with my covenant divine friend (Bible, prayer, studies, good books, periodicals)
- Church work (caretaking, deacon, treasurer, writing)
- Family home and Joseph’s business with animals
- Keeping fit The Lord started my medical career, carried me through it, and now has brought it to an end so I thank him.
Afternoon shooting and tea with George and Hannah Wilkinson near Cullybackey.
We shot at anthracite balls at 50, 80 and 120 metres coated with paint to look like eggs-they burst with a puff of black dust!
After supper we discussed revelation. Things are revealed to one or more of our senses. Since God is invisible to all our physical senses (I Tim.6:16) he must reveal himself in other general ways which he does by his work of creation (its beauty, intricacy, order, size), in history, in our consciences and specially in the written down Holy Scriptures. Most graphically God is revealed in Christ of the Scriptures (John 1:18). That the infinite God who made galaxies should reveal himself to miniscule creatures and wicked ones at that is a marvel! (From D.A.G below).
Daily three of these little critters need fed and boy their claws are sharp!
Picked up Kirsty from airport at 9am.
Reminded of important duty of prayer in article from SaltShakers (by Andrew Tan) Below
Encouraging time of exercise at Leisure Centre with a powerful row of 328metres in 1 minute (10th in world M60 HWT) plus some hill sprints at Mote Hill.
Joseph worked all day at Jungle World and sold one of the racoons we’ve been hand rearing-one down, three to go.
Started devotions in Doctrine According to Godliness.
Dark Hedges beach trees are 300 years old!
Ballintoy was being lashed by big waves today when we visited. Some coasteering guys were having fun as the waves poured over them. Islay and Mull of Kintyre clearly seen. Our God is mightier than all the waves of the sea (Psalm 93:4).
First time I’d seen a couple of these birds-a Rock Pipit
Highlight and lowlight of the day in quick succession. Lowlight-scammers attempted to defraud us of money purporting to fix errors/warnings on PC saying they represented MICROSOFT and then asking for credit/debit card details BEWARE. They always have an Indian accent. They will spend hours remotely accessing your PC and then take money from your account. Thank the Lord it was stopped. The sophisticated wickedness of mankind!
Highlight-devotions in I Samuel 25, an exciting chapter full of action, characters and lessons. David, Nabal and Abigail with men described floridly as those who “piss against the wall!”
1) Leave vengeance to God (also Romans 12:19).
2) Give when asked (Matthew 5:42) so long as it’s a right cause.
3) Polygamy is sinful (Genesis 2:24).
Well Trinidad was fab but it’s nice to be back in the COOL! No sweating all the time in over 30C heat, numerous showers daily, looking for air conditioning! Nice to have fresh milk too.
The garden is ship shape–here are some of the blooms we came home to..
Got back running at ANTRIM PARKRUN–a really nice run through the gardens there (see pic below).
We are now hosts to Joseph’s cousin Chris whom you may have seen in Trinidad pics, if not here he is..
Men’s Bible Study tonight and back in public worship tomorrow. Catching up with church finances will be FUN!!
Household and Infant baptism.
Reformed churches baptise children, not because we believe there is any grace in the sacrament as Roman Catholics do, but “because baptism is a covenant sign (Col.2:11-12) and, since the children of believers are included in the covenant (Gen.17:7), the sign of the covenant must also be administered to them. When we say it is a covenant sign, we mean that it takes the place of circumcision as the symbol of God’s saving grace to believers and their children.” Abraham is commanded to administer the sign to all his house (males) and given the promise God would gather his elect from among his children. “As a sign, circumcision represented a spiritual circumcision of the heart (Rom.2:28-29) in which the body of sin is put off….the same thing that baptism represents–regeneration and the washing away of sin.” What baptism represents may occur retrospectively or prospectively, in other words, an elect infant may already be regenerate, as were John the Baptist and Jeremiah, or may become so, much later in life.
Baptism “is a symbol of God’s grace and promise to believers and their elect children (Acts 2:39).” Neglecting to administer the covenant sign to our children is despising God’s covenant and promises.
As to the mode, one verse settles it for me, namely I Corinthians 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” Spirit baptism is the reality symbolised by water baptism (not primarily death and resurrection as Baptists say) and clearly we are born again from above as the Spirit is poured out upon us (and incidentally also cleansed by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ as per I Peter 1:2).
Quotes come from article in Standard Bearer June 2015 by Rev. Rodney Kleyn.
Up late–thank you Lord for a good sleep.
Thoughts from Jeremiah.
9:3. “They are not valiant for the truth upon the earth;” Surely this is what every believer should be!
9:23-24. “let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me..” Yes we can boast about one thing–we know God!
10:10. “But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King.” The ONLY wise God, alive, active, responsive and eternal.
10:11-12. He made everything.
10:23. “The way of man is not in himself:” How vital to be dependent and prayerful for God’s guidance.
11:4. Following redemption comes the call to obey God’s commandments and show we are his people.
Shopping done by Marie.
Animals back from their holiday at Jungle World pet shop by Joseph.
Picture framed by Chris.
A fast mile run, then two slow by me.
Thought: False doctrine is like sin–it comes short of the glory of God.