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It's the first day in January and I've just received an e-mail from a friend, who has just returned from Sri Lanka. Richard and his wife, Monika, survived the aweful tsunami by rushing to the third floor of their hotel. Wow! Richard felt a number of tremours during the night, but thought nothing of it, that is, until the next morning!

I think that Richard and Monika, along with all those who came through the disaster, will be facing 2005 with a new perspective on life.

My thought for the New Year? Forget the past, recognise that every day is a precious gift, and face the future with hope in God. In the words of the apostle Paul, let's "put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, and especially of those who believe" (1 Timothy 4:10).

A Happy New Year.


I'm celebrating a special birthday early this month. How old? Well, it's a round number - and quite a big one at that!

Like you, I know the date I entered the world and entered life - my birthday. I also know the nursing home where my mother gave birth.

I also know the time and place I entered the kingdom of God. It was on 10th October, 1950 in a Methodist Church in Hyde, Cheshire. Receiving new life in Christ was quite a transforming experience. It's one you can have too.

My text for this thought? Jesus Christ talked about the need of rebirth when he said: "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). See John 3:16 and believe in him.

God bless.

MARCH 2005

As you can see from my home page swimming is one of my hobbies. Bedford has a very pleasant swimming pool just a walk from where I live. Very convenient! I attend the 33.1/3-metre-long pool six days a week for early morning exercise.

This month I took up the challenge to swim 5,000 metres (three miles) in Butlins SWIMATHON, which sponsored CHC, the children's charity. I was happy to raise a good sum of money from family and friends, but I was disappointed by the fact that it took me one minute over two hours to complete the course.

Life often brings challenges our way. These can be faced or side-stepped. Sometimes circumstances confront us and demand action or a decision.

For times of decision and stress the Bible offers this advice: "Cast all your anxiety on him [God] because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). Do this by prayer.

God bless,

         Vernon                                                                     Bible

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