Archive for June, 2011

‎A few days ago, I came across the following quote by Archbishop William Temple:

You can call it coincidence if you like but all I know is that when I pray, coincidences happen and when I don’t, they don’t!

If you don’t belive in the existence of God I’m sure you’ll say that whatever happens is just a coincidence, no matter how unlikely these events are to happen together. If however if you’re like me and believe in God, I’m sure like me, you’ll agree with what the Archbishop said.

I truly believe all things happen for a reason, and that reason is God. Coincidences don’t just happen by accident, they happen because God has a reason for them happening.

Don’t believe in coincidences, believe in prayer because it really does make things happen!

Last night I told you about the opening of the long awaited M74 motorway which links the existing M74 to the M8 motorway at the far side of Glasgow city centre. Today though I want to ask you what may seem like a daft and maybe pointless question, but it’s one that’s got me curious for a while but I’m sure one of you out there will be able to answer it…

When a new motorway (or extension to an existing motorway) opens, how do they go about opening the new bit of roads and all the associated on and off-ramps to the mew road at the same time?

Sorry, I know that might seem a strange question to ask, but to me, who thinks logically about all I do and all problems I face, it struck me that this kind of situation may be a bit of a logistical nightmare:

  • What if they open one on-slip road before the remaining of-ramps are open?
  • What if they are opening the junctions/on-off ramps in sequence and a motorist gets ahead of those opening the junctions?
  • What if they open the on-slip roads but haven’t opened where the new road joins the existing road?

I did think for a while that they could probably avoid a lots of these potential issues by opening the new motorway in the middle of the night when there would obviously be very little traffic. This theory was however dashed when I discovered the M74 extension was opening at 7pm last night – So how did they do it?

I’m sure there is probably a very sensible and straightforward answer to this, but hey I’m just curious how they do it!

At a time of austerity, the idea of spending more than half a billion pounds on a five-mile stretch of road might seem strange to some. However the M74 extension in Glasgow which opened at 7pm tonight, cost approximately £657m, which works out at about £131m per mile. This extension consists of five miles of an elevated six-lane highway which will link the current end of the M74 which finishes at Rutherglen (South-East Glasgow) to the M8 at the far side of the Kingston Bridge (South) and will for a short period of time be the second most expensive road per mile in the UK – after Limehouse Link, in London’s Docklands.

For those of us who have lived in Glasgow for many years, the opening of this new part of the M74 has been a very very long time coming. I remember a lot of years ago when my Dad was a local councillor, the link-up of the M74, which at that time finished at Maryville (just past Glasgow Zoo), and the far side of the Kingston Bridge was a hot topic of discussion. However at that time many objections were raised to the extension, particularly due to the proposed route the motorway would take through the city.

Since those days, further discussions have obviously taken place, the motorway’s route through the city has been amended slightly, and the go-ahead has been given. The result is an additional five miles of motorway which will provide an alternative route for traffic travelling north on the M74 to the far side of Glasgow city centre, and vice-versa. It will hopefully lighten the traffic load on many roads in the south-east of Glasgow which previously had no direct route through to the city centre other than the busy M8 motorway. In addition the volume of traffic on the M8 itself through the city centre should also be lightened due to traffic now able to use the alternative M74 motorway.

From a personal perspective, living in the south-east of Glasgow just a few minutes from where the M74 currently ends, we envisage this extension will make many of our journeys to the far side of the city centre, far quicker and less stressful.

We will be trying out the new M74 extension either later tonight or in the next few days. Happy driving!

As children at primary school, we were taught the Lord’s Prayerbut did we understand  what it meant?

As children at primary school we had to learn to recite the Lord’s Prayer…but did we understand the words we were learning?

As adults we recite the Lord’s Prayer on instruction at church…but do we actually believe the words we are reciting?

How many times in your life have you recited the Lord’s Prayer?

How many times when you were reciting it did you actually consider the words you were repeating, and believe them?

I suspect like me, you may find there are very few times when you’ve said the Lord’s Prayer, when you have actually said the words with sincerity and belief. Isn’t that sad. This is the prayer our Lord taught us, yet we treat is like a poem or words of a song that we just recite without thought or consideration.

Next time you say the Lord’s Prayer, please think about the words as you say them, and more importantly, believe and act on them!

As It Is In Heaven by Michael W Smith

Luke 11:1-4 (New Living Translation)

Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:

   “Father, may your name be kept holy.
      May your Kingdom come soon.
   Give us each day the food we need,
   and forgive us our sins,
      as we forgive those who sin against us.
   And don’t let us yield to temptation.”

Calling Heaven by Michael W Smith

Calling heaven
Seeking mercy
Tell me there’s a place for these
What of the children who have never felt a love
Tender as the morning
Nursing the bruises
And the scars that never seem to go away

What of the babies who have never left the womb
Breathing in the lifeline
Angels in waiting
Gone before they could be given wings to fly

Calling heaven
Seeking mercy
Tell me there’s a place for these
What of the children who have never felt a love
Tender as the morning
Nursing the bruises
And the scars that never seem to go away

What of the noble who are searching for the truth
With truest of intentions
And yet they’re jaded by
Hypocrisies behind cathedral walls

What of the humble and the meek that knew despair
And never got their moment
But sacrificed a life of comfort
So that others knew no pain

Calling heaven
Seeking mercy
Tell me there’s a place for these
What of the children who have never felt a love
Tender as the morning
Nursing the bruises
And the scars that never seem to go away

What of the ones who call you Lord
But play the field
with faithless indecision
Forgive us father for we truly
Do not know what we have done

Calling heaven
Seeking mercy
Tell me there’s a place for these
What of the children who have never felt a love
Tender as the morning
Nursing the bruises
And the scars that never seem to go away

There’s are many hurting people in our world today, but for me the ones I feel most for are those who suffer as a consequence of someone else’s actions, or simply as a result of unfortunate circumstance.

I’ve heard recently of two separate couples who have gone through the pain and grief of losing a child – one as a result of a miscarriage the other a cot death. Both terrible and painful events, but both simply unfortunate circumstances.

In addition the others that always touch me deeply are the children we hear about on the news or in the papers who have been abused/neglected by family or so called friends. How can they do this to a child? The child can’t protect themself, they rely on those around them to look after them and care for them.

Please pray for those who have suffered abuse or neglect as well as for those families who have had to go through the traumatic experience of the death of their child. They need our prayers and our support today and in the future, so please pray for them.

Any ideas what my blog post’s going to be about tonight, based on the title?

I’ll give you a clue, I was at Hampden Park last night…

Got it yet? Take That, the Progress tour – so having been at the show last night that means I’ve been Progressed!

My friend and me were at Hampden park last night for the 3rd and final night of the Take That show in Scotland. I was really looking forward to the show having been a huge Take That fan since they first came on the scene a number of years ago. I saw them 2 years ago at Hampden for The Circus tour and thoroughly enjoyed that so was expecting another great night last night.

Well I wasn’t disappointed, even the rain starting part way through the show didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd or lessen our enjoyment of the show.

The support act were The Pet Shop Boys, who I must admit I haven’t heard for years…probably since Take That were first around. They did a great job getting the crowd going, as they played many of their old hits including West End Girls and Left To My Own Devices. You might get a good idea of the average age of the crowd when I tell you that many folk (certain round us) were singing along with the Pet Shop Boys!

The Take That show was fantastic, just like The Circus, the set was fabulous with many outfit changes and changes to the set layout, including waterfalls on the stage and fireballs. What a spectacle!

The show started with 4 of Take That performing a few songs before “the fifth man” made his appearance…by himself! Yes Robbie Williams did about 5 or 6 of his own songs, on stage himself before the five members of Take That joined together for the remainder of the show. As always Robbie didn’t disappoint, he is such a wonderful showman and really got the crowd going…even more than they already were!

All seemed good with Take That, with no signs of any issues between any of the band members. The very fact they let Robbie do some of his own songs suggests to me that the rest of the guys are totally comfortable with him “back for good”.

Take That did many of their newer songs as well as a short spot where they did some of their older songs just with Gary Barlow at the piano. They played all my favourite songs so I was more than happy with the show.

If you get the opportunity to go and see Take That live, I’d thoroughly recommend that you do so, they do a fantastic show and it’s certainly one you’ll remember for a long time.

Hope you enjoy Take That singing Happy Now:

Yes, I’m a perfectionist, and when I don’t achieve perfection I am disappointed in myself!

Yes I know that’s really really tough on myself, but it’s who I am…I’m a perfectionist, I always have been and probably always will be!

Not only do I get annoyed and frustrated at myself when I don’t achieve perfection, I also get frustrated when those I’m with don’t  do thinks perfectly either – In the past this has sometimes made things difficult for me, and others as I forget that just like me, other’s aren’t perfect either, and both them nor me will ever be perfect.

So why do I seek perfection?

I was taught as a child to always do my best, and that my best was always good enough…no matter how I compared to others.

I was taught as a child that no-one is perfect. Only one person on earth has ever been perfect and that was Jesus.

Therefore all we humans can do is strive be perfect. i.e. We can strive to be more and more like Jesus.

Yesterday in Silence Is Golden I spoke about wonderful silence can be and how relaxing and peaceful it can be to surround ourselves with stillness and beauty. But have I jumped the gun, is silence really always golden?

What about when you’re waiting for an important phone call about the well-being of a loved one? That’s stressful, not relaxing.

Waiting by the phone to hear whether you’ve been successful in a job application? That’s stressful, not relaxing.

What about those who live alone and find they can go days without seeing or speaking to another person? That’s sad, not enjoyable.

What about when you’re struggling with life and you’re sitting at home alone, the doorbell and the phone never rings? That’s sad, and definitely not peaceful.

What about when you phone, text, or email a “friend” and they never reply to you? That frustrating and depressing, not enjoyable.

What about the homeless, who spend days and nights on the streets, alone, and struggling to survive? That’s tough, not peaceful or relaxing.

Just because we can enjoy the quiet and peaceful times of life, don’t forget that there are many others in our world for who silence means loneliness, not peace and beauty.

Please pray for those who are alone and in need of friendship and love, they need us!

Ever been on holiday and sat either late at night or early in the morning, sitting looking out over the sea, at the calmness of the water, with just the noise of the sea lapping on the sand and the sound of a few birds or insects? If you’ve ever experienced it you will never forget it, it is so peaceful and so relaxing.

Have you rowed out into the middle of a deserted lake or loch and then just sat there looking around you taking in the scenery? Stunning isn’t it, and so tranquil.

What about just being alone in your home, wearing your jammies and curled up on the sofa with a blanket, with no TV, radio, CD playing in the background? Isn’t that quietness awesome!

It’s good to be able to sit and just listen to the sounds of nature around you, instead of the busyness of our everyday lives. It’s during times like these that we can focus our minds on the important things in life, and even make important decisions about our future.

During these times of quietness is also when we should spend time enjoying being in God’s presence and thanking Him for all the amazing things He does for us.

How often do you spend a few minutes in complete quietness? I must admit I don’t do it very often, maybe together we can make a promise today to spend more quiet time with God.

Today I make no apologies for using the same song (different artist) as I did yesterday – I’ll Stand By You, this time sung by Carrie Underwood:

The phrase in this song I want to concentrate on today is:

When you’re standing at the crossroads
And don’t know which path to choose
Let me come along
‘Cause even if you’re wrong
I’ll stand by you, I’ll stand by you

In our lives we face many decisions, many crossroads, but do we always make the right decisions and go down the right path? Definitely not! When we face difficult decisions in our lives it can be extremely difficult to determine what is the right path for us, that’s why we must always remember that no matter whether we choose the right or the wrong road in life, God will always remain by our side, supporting us.

I love the above words because they remind me that God will always support us even when we do make the wrong decisions.

Put your full trust and faith in God, because I can guarantee that He will always stand by you!