In the bible 40 seems to be a significant number! I am not particularly or to be more precise I am not at all into biblical numerology and the conspiracy theories that surround such theologies. In saying that there are what I would term significant numbers that crop up from time to time in the bible.
40 is one of those numbers!
We remember that Moses was 40 when he left Pharaoh's palace and lived in the wilderness for 40 years before leading the children of Israel for 40 years.
Why 40 year cycles?
That is a question that we could go to town answering but for the sake of this blog I would just like to say that the whole life of Moses points to the Saviour who was to come many years later. We remember that it was 40 days that He spent in the wilderness before He led His people out of captivity and into salvation. 40 years is the accepted age of a generation; and so just as Moses for a generation prepared to be a leader and then for a generation was prepared by God to be a shepherd and finally for a generation led the children of Israel to the point where they could then enter the promised land then the pattern of Jesus' ministry is the same. He came into a generation of people who are in need, He is the Great Pastor that cares for His sheep and then leads a whole generation into the Promised Heavenly Land.
But what has 40 years got to do with me?
It is simple really it was the 1st June 1974 when Pam and I made promises to each other witnessed by the state and by God. The two of us became one and we have ever since been married. I am amazed that she has put up with me and my crazy schemes and fascinations. I am also eternally grateful to her for all that she is and for what she does. She is a good mother and grandmother. She is at times a great counselor and also friend. We certainly do not always agree but we get on extremely well together.
40 years is a long time!
That is true; who would have believed that all of those years ago the GPO telephonist who married the still training spectroscopist would end up having the life that we have had!
We started off life in Coventry, our first house needing complete renovation became a palace and the birthplace of Jo. Our second house was the birthplace of Elaine and Marie but it was also a place where we clearly met with God through Jesus Christ in a real and clear way. Our home became a retreat for many from within the church, in particular the young people. There were camps, holidays, evangelistic meetings and great excitements born from within those 4 walls. It was from there we moved on to South Wales where theological training was followed by 17 years of Pastoring a truly wonderful church in Ogmore-by-Sea.
It would take me 40 years to recount the blessing that the previous 40 years have afforded but many are private to us and are certainly not for public perusal.
The last year has been our most challenging time. God clearly uprooted us from South Wales and into Cornwall. Jo & Jim had previously moved here and to some it might seem that we followed them. That is a gross underestimation, they and all that know us well recognize that we do not follow others into their domain. I am a child of the 60's and therefore carry the “hippy gene!” There are great evidences recognized by our friends and supporters that this was the place to be and contrary to what some might believe it is where God still wants us and so until He moves us we will sit tight.
Our place of accommodation may be under question but our residence in Cornwall we believe is not yet over. We very soon need another place to live and a work to be involved with. We need to be able to pay our bills and that is difficult with no income.
God is completely in control and so we can be assured that all is safe and secure in His hands. We are nervous; even frightened for our future but we trust in the God of miracles and give Him our all!
- So what do we do?
- Where do we go?
- How will we survive?
- What if one of us should die?
- Can we afford a funeral?
- Can we afford the bills?
- Where do we fit in?
- Are we really too old to be of any use?
These are all questions that constantly rumble on and produce sleepless nights If only I did not act on principle and just kept quiet!!!! How easy it is to castigate yourself BUT I could not and would not.
I am not ashamed:
I may not have everything right and am desperately sorry for my errors and ask forgiveness of any injured party. But there are some things that are easily misinterpreted and taken out of context but I do stand by my decisions and so will face up to all consequences as I pray others will also do.
We have at last found good friends from within the church membership and are exploring ways of becoming useful within the fellowship. The Pastor is a good man and even though he is son-in-law we respect him greatly. I have been approached by some to be involved with local churches on a pastoral level and an greatly encouraged and thrilled to be part of that. It is unpaid and so the supermarket will need more than a “isn't God good” when the cashier presents the bill.
We value your prayer for the future.
So what of our future? We are certainly not ready to hang up our boots in fact if aches and pains allow it we now have more time to wear our boots and explore the delights of the South West of England which I have to say is very attractive but sorry folks Wales has the edge on beauty!!!
Pam is busying herself with her gift of artistry and is producing work even better than before. I am studying the bible for myself (and my Pastor's blog) and I am thoroughly enjoying it and learning much about or Saviour and His people. We are going to celebrate 40 years in Tenerife and for such we are grateful to Barb and Neil and Caroline and Jamie; you are all kind to the extreme. I have also done something that an unemployed old duffer should never do. I have bought a ring (not ruby!) for Pam (she already has it!) we have never before celebrated our anniversary, funds have never allowed it. Our 25th landmark was marred by Pam's chemo and radio therapies and so we really were not up for celebrations. At that time we really did not think that 40 years was possible but barring God's intervention it is just around the corner and if we do make it we you will hear some of the celebrations across the Atlantic and into Cornwall.
Thank you all for this amazing journey, thanks for everything Pam and sorry to have put you through so many turmoils and also for current and future issues.
It is true that 40 years is a long time but it all seems to be so short, there is not 40 years left for us on this mortal coil but whatever happens we pray that we might remain faithful to each other and ultimately to Him who holds our very lives in His hands.