There was a time when quoting Nelson Mandela could lead to a prison sentence. Under the Apartheid regime, the quoting of banned or imprisoned people was a criminal offense. Yet today, Mandela is one of the most quoted people in the world. His words are wise, compassionate and often funny. Reading them, one gets a sense of his respect for all people, his humility and his deep love for South Africa.
So today—as our beloved Madiba faces the last great hurdle of his life—I want to share just some of his words of inspiration and insight, maybe even a warning or two. His words, just as his life, are a legacy to us all. Continue reading
The sun is pounding down on my broken body. I close my eyes to keep away its sharp light, and fight down the nausea as my friends jostle my stretcher through the crowd.
“We’re almost there Eldad.” I hear the concern in Dan’s voice, and try to give a reassuring smile.
“Make way please,” he shouts. “Paralysed man coming through.”
“Hey,” a deep voice growls, “we’re all trying to see the Rabbi here. You can’t just push in like that.”
“Yes. Wait your turn,” other voices chorus, and I catch glimpses of scowling faces as I open my eyes again.
“This is hopeless,” Amos whispers. “We’ll never get into that house.” Continue reading
The great philosopher, Dr Seuss, once wrote a book called “Oh, the Places you’ll Go!” After “Green Eggs and Ham”, which I read so often to my children, that they can just about recite it ten years later, this is my favourite children’s book. It’s the story of a little character going off to ‘Great Places’. It’s the story of you and me. Continue reading
I nervously pace around the court of the Priests, paying little attention to the discussion around me. Joseph, the Arimathean, glances up and pats the empty space next to him. As I slide in beside him, he whispers, “Do not concern yourself, Nicodemus. The guards were merely sent to question the Rabbi, nothing more.”
His words are kind, but untrue. The chief priests have been lying in wait for the one known as Jesus, hoping he would appear at the Feast of Tabernacles. They have had guards posted on the temple steps watching for him. Continue reading
Since April is Autism Awareness month, I’m sharing a little of my daughter Ashlyn’s story.
On the day the headmaster walked the sixty-odd paces from his office to the pre-school, the first warning bells should have gone off in our heads. It wasn’t a route he walked all that often in his busy schedule, but that morning he set out to discover why the piercing screams he had been hearing for the last forty-five minutes weren’t stopping. The relentless little screamer turned out to be our four year old daughter Ashlyn and—although this may have been one of the first—it certainly was not the last of the meltdowns she would have at school. Continue reading
The full moon casts pale shadows around us as we enter the olive grove. I stay close to the one leading the way, the one known as Judas. A strange trepidation steals over me, and I grip my club a little tighter. What kind of resistance will we meet? This troublemaker Rabbi has some loyal followers, no doubt about it. Yet, more than that—he has…well…power. Maybe not all the stories are true. Like the latest one about him raising a man from the dead. Ridiculous! Only God himself could do that. However, there is no doubt he has some unusual abilities. Continue reading
“Papa!” I burst through the door. “There’s a man untying Barley and Copper.”
My father lumbers to his feet and strides from the house, just in time to catch the thieves leading our donkey and foal down the road.
“Hey!” Papa’s voice booms. “Where do you think you’re going with my beasts?” Continue reading
This Easter, I am taking us ‘inside’ several encounters Jesus had near his death. This first one takes place just days before the Last Supper.
My fingers shake ever so slightly as I slip—unseen—into Simon’s house. I can hear the laughter coming from the back, and I grip the jar a little tighter. At home, the idea had seemed perfect. What better way to show my love and devotion than to pour out my most precious possession on him who has saved me…loved me…healed me? Yet in this unfamiliar house full of men, my resolve wavers. What will his disciples think? What will my brother Lazarus think? And Martha? Will she wear that disapproving pout for the next few days, the one that—without saying a word—shouts, ‘you are such a fool, Mary’? Continue reading
As parents, we need to ensure that we focus on our own emotional wellbeing, even as we help our children through their struggles. This is the case for every parent of course, but it is that much more difficult to get right if your child has an illness or special need. The emotional strain that the disability or disease places on the entire family—particularly the primary care-giver—means that caring for your own emotional wellbeing becomes an even greater priority. Continue reading
Inspiration comes from many sources. Sometimes it’s a book or a conversation with a friend. Sometimes it’s a sermon or a talk-show on the radio. Occasionally, it may even come from a blog. For me—this week—it came in the form of a movie.
“Hope Springs” is the story of a couple whose intimacy has slowly died over thirty-one years of marriage, to the point where they are living almost completely separate lives in the same home. Continue reading