This Sunday at Church: Pray for those who attend church would have the right motivation with going to church

This Sunday at Church I want to encourage you to do the following: Pray for those who attend church would have the right motivation with going to …

This Sunday at Church: Pray for those who attend church would have the right motivation with going to church

Why Does God Allow Suffering? – Andy Brown

We take a little break from the book of Acts to consider this question today. Many individuals over the centuries have tried to answer this one, and the vast majority were cleverer than I am! I offer a few thoughts here which I hope you find helpful. The argument often goes something like this. If…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2020/06/29/why-does-god-allow-suffering/

A Proclamation

Cùl Beag in Coigach north of Ullapool taken with some spectacular light on its north face summit. Photography courtesy of Neil McDade, https://…

A Proclamation

The Invite

It’s exciting to receive an invitation especially to a celebration. I have received an invitation recently to attend a party..there is free food, …

The Invite

A Gentle Answer – Andy Brown

“A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”Proverbs 15:1 (NLT) This particular verse came up in my Bible reading this morning. It may be very familiar to you or perhaps it’s the first time you’ve read it. Either way, there is much wisdom in its words. A gentle answer can make a…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/02/24/a-gentle-answer/

Why water into wine? – Andy Brown

Sharing a video post from last year with you today. Hope you enjoy!

Do follow my Facebook page while you are there

It was my pleasure to stand in for our local vicar at short notice this week. In this video, I share a few thoughts about why I think Jesus turned water into wine from John 2. For some technical reason I do not understand, I was not able to upload the video directly to this…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/01/24/why-water-into-wine/

We Are Not Orphans – Revisited and Updated

It is all about Jesus! If you agree, then I’m quite certain you will be touched by this beautiful post from Bruce Cooper. Enjoy

John 14:18 NASB “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” How is it that one can come to love Jesus when we’ve never met him? How do you…

We Are Not Orphans – Revisited and Updated

Daniel in the Den (Daniel 6:16-18)

We have been studying our way through the sixth chapter of Daniel in a short series of posts.

In the first one – An Excellent Man – we thought about how Daniel conducted himself, and what lessons there are for us in our modern world. In part two – No Compromise – we saw another aspect of Daniel’s excellence, in that he absolutely refused to compromise his faith irrespective of the consequences. He was prepared to die in the Lion’s Den rather than deny his God. In our third instalment – No Way Out – we see that King Darius is tied up in his own words, and finds no escape.

Seeing no way out, King Darius is forced to have Daniel arrested.

Then the king gave a command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you constantly serve, rescue you Himself!” 17 A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting; and no music or entertainment was brought before him, and he remained unable to sleep.

Daniel 6:16-18 Amp

Verse 16 is somewhat matter of fact. It simply says the king commanded, Daniel is arrest and then thrown into the den. I think it is interesting that we have yet to hear Daniel utter a single word. Even now, as he is taken by force, the Bible does not record him protesting or arguing or begging at all. Now I am not saying Daniel remained silent throughout the whole affair, simply that the Bible does not record him saying anything. Is that relevant? Is there some hidden gem here? Perhaps, or perhaps not. One point I do draw out is that we have not the merest hint of Daniel speaking foolish or idle words, and this is in stark contrast to King Darius who regretted his commands.

The king says to Daniel, “May your God, whom you constantly serve, rescue you Himself!” I emphasise the words “your” and “constantly.”

The king recognises that this God is Daniel’s God. Darius sees that there is a personal relationship between Daniel and his God. This will be important later on when we close out the chapter – so keep it in mind.

I also note that Daniel did not just serve God, but constantly served Him. It implies that Daniel has no apparent lapses or displays half-hearted worship. Instead, Daniel is steady and unshakeable in his walk with God. Indeed, that very commitment is what has landed him in the den of lions. We noted from verse 10 of this chapter that when Daniel hears that the law forbidding prayer to anyone but King Darius has been signed, he goes straight home and prays – three times a day – just as he always had. Daniel is steadfast in prayer, and everyone knew it. What a lesson for us! Are we so dedicated? Are we so unshakeably steady? Do people look at us in church on a Sunday and wonder if we’ll still be following Christ in a week’s time? I pray not!

So, Daniel is lowered into the pit, and as I said above, no mention is made of him having said a word. Yet this passage is not dissimilar to another situation we find earlier on in the book of Daniel. Earlier on in Daniel 3, we read the account of his three friends and they are commanded to worship an idol in the form of a giant golden statue. They refuse. Like Daniel, they now faced death – not from lions, but from a raging furnace turned up seven times hotter than normal. As they are arrested and thrown in, they tell the king of the day (Nebuchadnezzar) “Our God is able to rescue us, and even if He does not, we will still not bow down and worship this idol.”

Daniel was seemingly not present at the fiery furnace, or at least no mention is made of him. I wonder if he was familiar with the account though, and if he knew the words that his friends had spoken. If so, perhaps he would have been saying to the king, “My God is able to rescue me from the mouths of these hungry lions, but even if he does not, I will not pray to you Darius.”

Whatever you are going through right now, you can take these words as your own. “Jesus is well able to rescue me from this [death, illness, job loss, persecution, insert your own situation here] but even if He does not, I will still follow Him with all my heart.”

A stone is placed over the mouth of the den, and it is sealed with the king’s seal so that no one can interfere. This should remind us of another den/tomb, sealed with another stone, which was also sealed/guarded so that no one could interfere…. And look how that turned out!

So Darius returned to his palace, refuses food and entertainment, and spends the entire night worrying about Daniel. Daniel meanwhile, is in the den, and we know not what is happening to him. As I close this post, I wonder who of the two had the better night’s sleep? The king, by worrying, could not change the outcome. Neither could Daniel. Perhaps as he rested and trusted in his God, Daniel was able to curl up and sleep right next to the lions.

You know doubt know how the story ends, and if not, we will find out next time. The important question for me is why? And what, if anything, is the lesson for us as the church? I will try to draw this out next time, and bring this series to an end. If you have enjoyed it, do share with someone else. And as ever, thanks for reading.

Practice Forgiveness (PoW)

Pearls of Wisdom

Marriage is about two imperfect people becoming well practiced at forgiveness

I heard a quote of this kind a while ago, but unfortunately don’t know the original author. My version above is a paraphrase, and I am certain you get the idea!

When married, a couple will inevitably let each other down. It is rarely deliberate, and few want to cause distress or harm. Sometimes needs or wants on one side are misunderstood by the other, and not met, and other times those needs are clearly communicated and yet go unfulfilled. Mistakes are made in tiredness, anger or grief, and sometimes words are spoken which are not intended. I am perhaps no great student of people, yet I have never seen a marriage where this isn’t so. Marriages are hard work and yet absolutely worth the effort.

What is true of marriage is probably also true of all relationships, to a greater or lesser degree.

No matter our differences, there is one thing that is true of us all – not one of us is perfect. Each of us is born a sinner, live in a broken world and often think of ourselves more than we ought. It is rather a miracle that any marriage or relationship works out at all!

People stay together when they forgive one another time and time again. When we stop forgiving, resentment can build and ultimately destroy the relationship.

There are, of course, times when a relationship comes to an end. This is sad, and we can reduce the chance of it happening by willingly and freely forgiving each other for our shortfalls. (Of course, if there are serious issues such as abuse, then forgiveness is no magic wand to wave and repair all the hurt overnight. In such case, more help is required)

How good are you at forgiving your spouse, friend or family member? How often have they had to forgive you in the past? Practise makes perfect, so they say, and as long as you have people in your life, you will have plenty of opportunity to forgive.

Forgiving is not easy, no matter how often we do it. It does not undo hurt or pain, and it does not make bad things good. It is a choice. If, like me, you find it hard to forgive at times, then ask the Lord to help you and remember how wide and deep His forgiveness is for you.

S05E001, I’m Fine! Endurance

These young men will go far! and I cannot wait for the next episode!

Watch the video, Listen to the Audio, Read the transcript or Download the Video- below! On this, the first episode of Season 5, we talk about how we …

S05E001, I’m Fine! Endurance

Comfort Is No Indicator (PoW) – Andy Brown

Pearls of Wisdom When we step out in faith, perhaps for a new ministry venture or simply to share the Gospel with a friend, and it does not go according to plan… it can be all too easy to think that we completely missed God’s will. Maybe you have experienced this yourself at times. You…
— Read on andy-brown.org/2021/05/11/comfort-is-no-indicator-pow/

The Witness

Another great post from Alan at devotional treasures. I’m sure many of you will be familiar with Allens writing, but if not, go take a look!

Loch Droma on the way to Ullapool, with An Teallach in the background. Photography courtesy of Ben Bremner,  https://www.facebook.com/ben.bremner3

The Witness