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April 2005

Last month I talked about stressful circumstances. My family and I faced this kind of reality in February. Georgina, our eight-year-old grandchild, became extremely ill on the 24th. A brain scan led to the diagnosis of brain cancer!

She was rushed to Addenbrookes Hospital and underwent brain surgery, which revealed a large abscess. A large amount of infected material was aspirated. Later a second operation became necessary. An intensive treatment of steroids and antibiotics was administered intravenously. Her mother never left her side.

Then, after six weeks, a healthy Georgina was discharged. Wonderful! We thank God for her recovery. We thank churches and friends for their prayers, and the hospital for their professional and caring treatment.

A reassuring verse came to me at the time: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Take it as God's word for you.

God bless,

MAY 2005

Recently I chatted with doctors in the surgery I attend. I asked them how many patients they saw on average daily. The answer - 40! They agreed that patients' needs and demands led to stress, but added that added stress was caused by patients who failed to keep their appointments - leaving gaps in the appointments' book which could have been taken by other patients. Shame!

People in stressful occupations do need our co-operation, consideration and sympathy. We are told we live in a selfish society - but we don't have to fit in its mould. Let's be trend setters for kindness and consideration!

The Lord Jesus criticised the religious people of his day in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Priests and Levites passed by the man who had been mugged. It was the despised Samaritan who attended the victim and paid for his lodgings.

Our scripture for May is radical: "Love your neighbour as yourself" (Luke 10:28).

God bless you,

JUNE 2005

At the moment I'm reflecting on the holiday break Brenda (my wife) and I took last month. We had two sun-soaked weeks in Sousse, Tunisia. We flew from Luton to Monastir - a good flight. I enjoy flying. I generally book a window seat. You really can see the world from a different perspective at 35,000 feet! And the belief in a Creator isn't too difficult when you view our planet from space.

Back to the holiday. Some people said they came to Sousse to 'chill out'. Can you do this in a hot climate? Of course! That is, we can holiday in order to refresh ourselves spiritually, mentally and physically. During his busy ministry the Lord Jesus took time to rest (see Mark 6:31). We were delightfully refreshed.

I caught up with my reading during the holiday. I bought a paperback New Testament (TNIV) and read it through. An idea I recommend.

So here's a divine invitation: "Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:31, TNIV).

God bless you,

         Vernon                                                                     Bible

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Copyright 2008 Vernon Ralphs

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