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Thought for the Day

24th January 2022

I mustn’t have been in the queue when they were giving out patience, and my frustration-tolerance knob appears set rather on the low side. I’m not proud of that, and I don’t have any particular insight into why I’m like this, but it’s something my nearest and dearest know all about. It’s usually over relatively minor disturbances – websites that don’t work as they should do, being made to listen to generic recorded messages when I need to speak to a living human being about a specific issue. Paradoxically, I do cope quite well with things going wrong at the last minute and having to come up with some immediate alternative approach. It must be something to do with being able to react in the moment and not having to wait for resolution – more impatience!

But, of course, life rarely offers swift resolutions to its ups and downs. Some things just have to be gone along with and remain out of our control. I’m sure we all have personal examples of people or things we’ve prayed about for years – do you remember all those years many of us prayed for the ending of apartheid in South Africa or for peace in Northern Ireland? It seemed those things would never come, but they did. And so we go on praying, encouraged by these times when patience was rewarded. That still leaves me to learn how better to handle my character flaws, but I’m sure Someone up there has it all in hand. ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.’  (Psalm 27:14)

Ken Stewart

21st January 2022

A report more than a thought After three weeks of Tyndale’s phase of the night shelter we are starting to get to know the guests. It is lovely that they have a settled base in a guest house; it feels like they are welcoming us rather than the other way around. Once again, I have […]

19th January 2022

In Bristol’s academic year, January certainly lives up to its namesake, the two-faced Roman God Janus. On the one hand, piles of marking from the first semester are hitting my desk, bringing the usual mix of delight and disappointment as I see how well (or otherwise!) students have responded to the previous semester’s work; on […]

17th January 2022

One of the tasks that I have to face as we start to get ready to move is the clearing out of books. I don’t have anything like as many as some of the academics at Tyndale; but for me it’s hard enough. Books aren’t just sources of information or even of inspiration. They hold […]

12th January 2022

Magawa, the famous mine-clearing rat, died today. Now there’s a headline I was not expecting. Apparently, in a 5 year career, the rodent sniffed out over 100 landmines and other explosives in Cambodia. It took a year of training by the charity Apopo before Magawa began his bomb sniffing role. Although bigger than your usual […]

10th January 2022

What decorates your fridge door? I have a varied collection of fridge magnets which cheer me up as I pass by. Very mundane: the one that tells me to ring Bristol Careline every month to assure them I’m still alive. But that also reminds me that the Council is caring for me. The oldest one […]

7th January 2022

The Christmas cards have been taken down – and I promise myself I’ll write to those who were kind enough to share their news. Some cards sent wishes for a better 2022 – and at the time of reading – I didn’t feel terribly inclined to dwell on the reasons why we might wish for […]

5th January 2022

I have a vivid memory of the first time I met Desmond Tutu. The occasion was the 6th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver in 1983. Tutu was then the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches. The Assembly had already begun but Tutu’s presence was delayed because the South African authorities […]

22nd December 2021

I was moved two Sundays ago before morning service when a young couple delivered a car-load of items for the foodbank, all their own purchases! On radio today my heart went out to the care home owner describing last Christmas, losing ten residents to Covid in three weeks. Her love for each as unique individuals showed […]

20th December 2021

This is my last ‘thought for the day’ before a break for Christmas so first I must wish you the Christmas for which you have hoped and prepared. As I write this, it seems as if we shall all be able to meet family and friends unlike last year. I have been thinking about how […]