what a weekend

This past weekend has been full of significant events. Very edited highlights follow:

On Saturday I attended the reopening of our local Salvation Army premises following a significant refit. It is very impressive and a great improvement on what they had. I particularly liked the prayer that asked that the walls would soon be scuffed and that there would be marks appearing because the premises are being used so well for sharing the good news of Jesus in word and deed.

On Sunday morning we had a service of Believer’s Baptism, where 4 people were baptised. They shared four very different life stories and were inspirational, encouraging and wonderful in what they shared. Baptising them was wonderful – one of the highlights of being a Baptist Minister. Grace abounded!

Four brave and slightly soggy people after their baptisms – and two grinning ministers!

And, on a completely different tack (pun intended) there was incredible sportsmanship shown on the Tour de France. I think there is growing excitement and interest in this bike race as there are two British riders leading the event. Yesterday on one of the climbs someone threw some tacks / nails onto the road as the cyclists were approaching and 30 riders suffered punctures. The Tour leader, Bradley Wiggins, was unaffected but when he realised what had happened he slowed up the whole race and waited for those who had been affected to catch up again when they had been given new bikes / wheels. One of the people affected was the rider in third place. What incredible sporting behaviour – to refuse to take advantage of someone else’s misfortune! To me that makes Bradley Wiggins a prime candidate for Sports Personality of the Year regardless of whether he wins the Tour de France.

What lessons have I learnt?

That I may need to get scuffed and marked as a follower of Jesus if I want to share the good news of Jesus. He does not want me to avoid people in order to stay in pristine condition. (revisit the parable of the talents (Matthew 25) with that in mind!)

That God’s grace knows no limits, especially those I may put on it by the limits of my imagination or expectations.

That the only person whose misfortune I should take advantage of is Jesus on the cross.

Be blessed, be a blessing

A man was hurtling along the road, in excess of the speed limit when he was pulled over by a traffic cop. The officer wrote out a ticket and handed it to him.

“What am I supposed to do with this?” grumbled the man as the policeman handed him a speeding ticket.

“Keep it,” said the officer. “When you collect 12 points you get a bicycle.”

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