Posts Tagged ‘London’

Another week, another tragedy in the UK. When will it end?

We just seem to be hearing about one terrible situation after another these days. No wonder many are asking ‘why’, and questioning where God is in all of this.

God is still here, and He is still there for us. However in a world where people are killing others because of misguided beliefs, and horrendous accidents/tragedies are happening all too frequently, we must still seek God, because He alone can get us through these dark times.

God will never give up on you. He is always there for you. He endures every difficulty with you. He loves you ~ Nicky Gumbel

Following on from yesterday’s blog post (Knowing God), the above quote from Nicky Gumbel is another reminder that we should never try to go it alone, because God is with you always.

Even though at times it may feel as if God has deserted you, He hasn’t He’s with you every step of the way – Never give up on Him!

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On Friday (12 July 2013) the military funeral took place of 25-year-old Fusilier Lee Rigby, who was killed in Woolwich, south-east London, in May. I saw a little of they funeral on the tv as it was on the television in the hospital when I was sitting waiting to be taken for my appointment.

The events surrounding Lee Rigby’s murder I think touched many of us, as it seems he was murdered simply because he was a British soldier, serving his country in our armed forces.

After I finished at the hospital, as it was lunchtime I decided to go for a walk in a park I often walk through. In the centre of this park is a cenotaph commemorating our fallen soldiers from all the various wars. Having walked passé this cenotaph several times in the last week I was aware that at the foot of it were a number of poppy wreaths which had obviously been laid there last year on Remembrance Sunday.

On Friday however as I was walking round the park and neared the cenotaph I realised there was something different, there was a union flag and a small bouquet of flowers place at the foot of the cenotaph. A walk closer to the cenotaph I realised the flag and flowers with a lovely message had been placed there today in memory and support of Lee Rigby and his family, on this most difficult of days for them.

I must admit a wee tear came to my eye as I read the card that was attached to the flowers, it was such a lovely thing for someone who lives hundreds of miles away from where Lee lived and died, to do.

After a few moments of contemplation and prayer I continued on my walk round the park. My journey however was to take me back past the cenotaph and the memorial again a little later…

As I approached the cenotaph the second time a young boy of about 13 or 14 whizzed passed me on a scooter, he slowed as he passed the union flag and the flowers and then turned and stopped right in front of the flag and the flowers. By this time I was just a few metres away from the boy, and realised he was reading the card on the flowers and nodding. He took two or three stepped backwards away from the cenotaph, and as he turned towards in my direction to carry on his way he did a thumbs up in the direction of the cenotaph. He nodded again and smiled at me as he then whizzed off down the path on his journey.

I was very touched by this, as having already read the message that went with the flag and the flowers I realised he had obviously been as touched by them as I was. How many young lads of that age would be interested enough to stop and read something like this and show approval in the way this young lad had done.

I will probably never know who this young boy was, but what a credit to his parents. We say so much wrong in this world these days, that it was good to see some good on Friday, both from the person who left the tribute to Lee Rigby but also the boy who showed his support and approval to this memorial too.

RIP Lee Rigby

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There’s been a lot of talk recently about inspiration, particularly on a sporting front, because of the London 2012 Olympics. When thinking about how inspiring the olympics has been in encouraging us all to do a little bit more exercise or encourage some to go that extra step and try to become the greatest sportsperson at their particular sport, it got me thinking about God.

Why did thinking about inspiring a sporting generation get me thinking about God? Well, hasn’t it been incredible how much the Olympics has pulled this nation, Great Britain, together, even for those of us living miles aways from London. Now why can’t we inspire the nation for God with such great effect?

There are thousands of Christians in this country, just as there are thousands of sports people, so come on let’s use the motivation and inspiration started by these Olympics, and use this to not only inspire the world on a sporting front, but also remind them of God.

Let’s inspire this and future generations to live their lives for God!

Dedication. Sacrifice. Guts. Glory.

Those four words have been displayed on the Twitter home page for the duration of the London 2012 olympics, and don’t they just sum up what London 2012 has been all about for all the Olympians.

Before the olympics started 2 weeks ago, I thought I’d watch some of the olympics as I’m a big sports fan, however I didn’t expect to get so caught up in it all. Mind you I don’t think even the organisers expected, or could have hoped for, such patriotic crowds at all the events, cheering on all the British competitors regardless of whether they finished first or last in their event.

I missed the first half hour of the opening ceremony, and to be honest, what I did see of it, I wasn’t terribly impressed. Please don’t all shout at me at once, but that kind of show, while I acknowledge it must have taken hours and hours of preparation and practice, just wasn’t my kinda thing…sorry!

The first week of the competition, I was on annual leave from work, and although I spent a lot of time with my Mum visiting my Dad in hospital, I did manage to catch quite a few of the events during that time. I’m sure like many others, I found myself compelled to watch and cheer on the British team, especially as more and more of them performed either as expected or above expectations. It all came to a head on what became known as Super Saturday (#SuperSaturday), as medal after medal was won by the British team in the rowing, cycling and then athletics. What a day that turned out to be, with Britain winning 6 gold medals in that day alone…the best tally in a single day for GB for over 100 years!

I must admit I’m not particularly patriotic when it comes to GB, as I get a bit fed up by all the comments by some people about it being the “English team”, so I’ve been particularly surprised at how caught up I found myself during Super Saturday.

Week two saw me back at work again during the day, and visiting my Dad in hospital at night, so I wasn’t able to see nearly as much of the events during the second week as I was of the first. My highlights for weeks two were definitely Sir Chris Hoy winning a record breaking 6th olympic gold medal and Mo Farah wining his 2nd gold medal of these olympics after winning both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

Yes TeamGB did an outstanding job overall in London 2012, yes there were a few people who underperformed, but I think that was far outweighed by those who did far better that anyone had hoped for. Well done TeamGB!

I’m sure we’ve all heard some amazing stories about some of the Olympians, their past and how they came to be taking part in the olympics, as well as how they celebrated their successes. There were inspiring stories of athletes doing amazing acts of kindness or show of their emotions. The one that really got me was the Hungarian swimmer Daniel Gyurta, who having won the 200m breaststroke events at London 2012, has offered to have a copy of his medal made to send to the late Dale Oen’s family as a mark of his respect. Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen who died suddenly in April this year of a heart problem was world champion in this event and so would have come into London 2012 as one of the favourites for this event if it hadn’t been for his untimely death. What a touching thing for the Hungarian swimmer to do.

I’ve already spoken about how proud I was seeing so many British competitors perform way above expectations, and the joy shown by the nation as we celebrated with them in their successes. But what does all this success do for us as a nation going forward? Well I hope it inspires us all to get out there and take up a sport and hopefully we can find some new stars who will be up there competing for gold medals in Rio in 2016 and in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014!

Finally I just want to congratulate the BBC on their absolutely superb coverage on a variety of mediums, as they covered all olympic sports in all venues. Not only was the coverage superb, but the commentators were fantastic too. Well done to the BBC!

Well done London 2012 and a particular well done to TeamGB on an excellent performance!

Philippians 3:13 (New Living Translation):

I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past & looking forward to what lies ahead.

I know the above verse from Philippians go against everything I said in Wednesday’s blog post in Looking Forward or Back? as I said:

Looking forward isn’t just about the future, it’s also about the past!

However, not that I’m now trying to get out of it, but when I said the future was also about the past, I wasn’t meaning that we should continue to look backwards, I simply meant that in order to look forward we must use what has happened in the past to help us in the future.

The above bible verse, does back this up as it tells us to forget the past. i.e. don’t live in the past, resting on past successes or despairing over failures, move on with your life and live for what is to come.

No matter what lies ahead for us, God will be there with us, and will give us the energy and the guidance to continue to move forward.

The songs Onward Christian Soldiers and I’ll Go In The Strength of The King both feature in the following music Marching Onward 07 by Brass of Praise at The Royal Albert Hall:

Having watched and listened to a lot of coverage of the riots in England in the last few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that many youngsters, and in some cases, their parents, just do not understand the meaning of the word respect.

I’ve heard several interviews where individuals have said they were upset that “the police and politicians don’t respect them”! What was obvious from what these people were saying was that they did not comprehend that respect is something they must earn, not something you should automatically gain.

Here are some definitions of respect that I’ve found in various dictionaries:

  • the condition of being honored
  • an attitude of admiration or esteem
  • a courteous expression (by word or deed) of esteem or regard
  • behavior intended to please your parents
  • a feeling of friendship and esteem
  • courteous regard for people’s feelings
  • regard highly; think much of

How can people expect to be respected if they don’t treat other people, their property’s and their belonging, with respect!

I really don’t want to get into the whole discussion about why the recent riots took place, but I feel I had to mention the lack of respect that has been shown by so many. Many were youngsters who obviously had never been taught how to respect and treat others or their belongings. That really saddened and upset me, as it just seems to show how much the world and the way families and communities interact these days has broken down over the past few years.

Come folks, let’s get back to basics and teach our children right from wrong, respect from disregard…

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!

No Matter What…

Posted: July 29, 2009 in life, love, religion
Tags: , , , ,

God is There For You!


No matter what difficulties you face in live, no matter how serious, God will be with you through them all.

I can testify to God’s unfailling love. You may sometimes question why He lets some things happen, but don’t ever stop trusting Him.

He will be with you…always!

Through It All – Hillsong

You are forever in my life
You see me through the seasons
Cover me with Your hand
And lead me in Your righteousness
And I look to You
And I wait on You

I will sing to You, Lord
A hymn of love
For Your faithfulness to me
I’m carried in everlasting arms
You’ll never let me go
Through it all

Hallelujah, hallelujah

Checkout the Hillsong website: http://hillsong.com/
or the Hillsong London website: http://www.hillsongmychurch.co.uk/