One to One

I have fallen into the habit lately (some would call it a ‘bad’ habit) of reading magazines from back to front. I begin at the last page and work back to page 1. No particular harm is done, I think. Try it, say with the New Testament and we would start with the Book of Revelation and end with the birth of Christ.

It would be a lot worse with ‘whodunnits’ where the answer to the mystery is what you would ready first! If, on the other hand, you apply it to the church Newsletter, ‘Connexions’, you would read this column first and that would open me to the charge of special pleading and that wouldn't do at all! But now down to business.

This month we have to reflect on the death of two great Christians: Billy Graham and Rev. Effie Irvine (of whom you may not have heard). Who of the older generation can forget the mass rallies of Billy Graham when the Gospel was preached with vigour and a good deal of American pzazz? Mrs Irvine, on the other hand, not only preached the Word but also campaigned long and successfully to be the first woman Church of Scotland pastor not only to be ordained but to be allowed to become a parish minister.

Lent is traditionally the time for giving up luxuries and other such temptations. The Moderator of the General Assembly has provided us with a list of modern temptations to avoid. The temptations to

- believe you are always right
- criticise rather than to praise
- take on too much
- gloss over uncomfortable truths, and
- keep adding to a point you have already made
(to those who know me, I made this one up!)

This month’s words of wisdom are a varied selection as usual, not all of them from a Christian source. None the worse for that, I hope you will agree.

“Where there is love there is life.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

“The first duty of love is to listen.”

“But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, all losses are restored and sorrows end.”

“Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: to choose one’s own way.”

Once again I take my closing prayer from a book called ‘Prayers for the Common Man’.

“O God our Father,
If we have hurt anyone today give us grace
to say we are sorry.
If we have been unjust or unfair, or if we have
said things in the heat of the moment which
we would not have said if we had stopped to think,
give us grace to apologise.”



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