BlogsThoughts and insights from Jubilee Church Wirral
Taking our chances
By Andrew Greenhalgh, Life Group leader, Jubilee Church Wirral
This is a picture of my mum and dad.
It was taken (I think) at some point in the early 90s. I’m guessing around 1994.
For those of you who don’t know, my dad died in 1998. He was only just 54 and there are a number of reasons for his life ending tragically early. I’m not going to go into them here.
I miss him a lot, and think about him most days. I think about how much he would have loved Julie and my children and how proud he would have been of my sister and me.
The thing is, though, when I think about my dad or dream about him (which happens frequently), I don’t feel sad. I feel joyous.
I feel joyous because when he was alive, we had a fantastic relationship. We would go to the pub together, talk about football and music and rarely, if ever, fall out. The only proper argument I can remember us having was over my decision to become a journalist and that was only because he knew how little journalists earned and didn’t want me to struggle for money in life!
My dad wasn’t perfect, and there are many things I do as a husband and father which are the polar opposite of what he did.
Where am I going with this? Why am I telling you all about my dad?
I was blessed to have a dad whom I got on brilliantly with, who was generous, funny and loving. I don’t have any regrets about making the most of my time with him when he was around.
And I think that’s my point, really. Living with regrets is not easy. We need to take every opportunity which God gives us and make the most of it. Tomorrow is too late – do it today.
James 4: 13-16 reads:
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.”
There are no guarantees about what’s going to be around the corner. We don’t know what God has in store for us. What we do know is that God is going to be with us the whole way, and if we try our best to make the most of what He gives us today, He will help us get through whatever tomorrow may bring.
Andrew Greenhalgh with his wife Julie
In the month of remembrance, Chris on remembering what Jesus sacrificed for us and how we need to act on it.
Helen on the importance of Friends and what God has to say about them in the Bible.
Andrew on evangelism, how we are all evangelists whether we like it or not, and how to evangelise easily.
Dawne on the parable of the lost sheep and the lessons we can take from it as followers of Jesus and members of His flock.
Yvonne on loss and how God has helped her deal with the loss of her mum and the impending departure of her eldest son to his first job
Nicki on serving at Newday and the impact it has had on all three Frodsham children and many, many others
Simon on the frustrations of not being able to get to sleep properly, and the Bible verses that help him stand firm against sleeplessness.
Gerry on how easy it is to be drawn into gossip. “If you can’t say anything positive, don’t say anything at all” isn’t just good advice, it’s Biblical wisdom.
Sylvia on being an encourager: “God knows our troubles. When we open up to Him, He’ll use other people to encourage us through His word.”
Lynne on doing what God wants us to do even when we really don’t want to do it – and why it’s important
Chris on the power of our words and how having a relationship with Jesus can give us the power of the right word at the right time.
Helen on why Psalms have taken the place of Proverbs as her favourite book of the Bible
Andrew Greenhalgh on being much better at giving advice than at taking it – and what happens as a result.
Chantal Robertson on how God and the gospel of Christ has never changed over time – even though the way we package it has.
Nicki on how she was planning to work in the marketing and advertising industry until God led her in a different direction.
Dawne challenges us to look at life with the enthusiasm, joy and exuberance of her Macedonian dog Floki and find joy in the everyday.
Jen on how taking the Alpha Course because she had nothing better to do on a Tuesday afternoon led to a life-changing wheelchair for her daughter Daisy and many others.
Gerry on how her ideas of what love truly is have changed over the years, and how love can be so much more than a feeling.
Matt Wilson on how God is weaving a tapestry – and knows what that looks like. He can see the big picture. Our part is to trust him with the threads he has given us.
Denise Griffiths on resolutions and why she has resolved not to make the usual New Year’s resolutions such as giving up chocolate, eating healthier or doing more exercise!
Vernon on the transience of life, and how, through all suffering, God’s steadfast love has the capacity to satisfy us every morning.
Andrew Greenhalgh on how he ended up going to church on Christmas morning for the first time at the age of 11 – and what it has taught him.
Helen on how preparations for Christmas vary from family to family and country to country. And what happened to Helen’s Lindt advent chocolates?