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R.J. Chamberlain

Bible Journaller

Stockton-on-Tees , UK

I was born at a very early age, and the rest, as they say, is history, apart from this very moment and the future, which of course is as yet unwritten.

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Christmas Poem

Dec 22, 2022 1 year ago

 Two thousand years ago, This land lay shrouded in snow And in the East a star Guided men from afar. In Israel a child was born And soon a new day would dawn This Child, this King who was born Would wear a crown of thorns. In Bethlehem David's town Shepherds settled down Watching over their flocks Among the cold, grey rocks. Then in the sky: an angel! On this the first nowell 'Good tidings of great joy For to you's been born a boy. The shepherds hurried down To search the streets of the town The crying of a babe Gave away where He was laid. Many months later on After that angel song Wise men came from the East Expecting a Royal feast. King Herod was afraid: 'Where is the Baby laid?' 'In Bethlehem David's town, Maybe we should go down!' When the men found the Boy They gave Him some strange toys- Gold and incense and myrrh- His Deity they did infer. In a dream Joseph did see They'd have to be refugees. In Egypt they found a home Til Herod lay dead as a stone. The Child quickly grew up,  With sinners He did sup,  He raised the dead back to life, But met with much jealous strife. And so the rulers did plot Crucifixion was His lot, But on that cross as He died 'It is finished' He then cried. And so our striving can cease And be part of a Royal feast Where Christ the Risen One Can lead us to where He's gone.

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Abrahamic

Jun 15, 2022 2 years ago

They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, John 8:39 ESV https://bible.com/bible/59/jhn.8.39.ESV Lots of people claim to be Abrahamic. Yet the true children of Abraham are not necessarily biological, whether by Isaac or Ishmael, but the ones who follow in Abraham's footsteps. A biological child who goes against their biological father is no true child at all. So what were the works that Abraham did? He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Belief might not seem like much work, but Jesus Himself said that the work of God is to believe in the One He has sent- even Himself. So how is belief work? Abraham's belief in God caused him to leave his homeland and enter the promised land. He trusted God for Isaac (notwithstanding his Ishmaelite blip!). Abraham was even prepared to give up Isaac for God. We should be prepared to give up whatever is most precious to us for God. Thankfully, God gave up His precious Son for us, so that we can be reconciled to Him by faith. 'Father God, please help us to walk in Abraham's footsteps and to trust in You alone for our salvation. May we be prepared to give up what is precious to us for You who has given us Your beloved Son. In His name, amen'

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Crowning Achievement

Jun 11, 2022 2 years ago

Corona simply means crown. After all, the coronavirus does look like some kind of horrific crown! I suppose a crowning achievement isn't necessarily a good thing. Putin will be remembered for his crowning achievement of invading Ukraine. For me however, I would like to think that my crowning achievement is my writing. I've plodded on writing throughout the pandemic. Not necessarily my best writing ever, but hopefully honing my craft. When I think about it, I have a greater achievement than my writing during the pandemic. For a start, I kept my sanity! I was training to teach history, a thankless task in the context in which I did it. In the midst I caught covid. Then I got overenthusiastic about pedagogy (I won't bore you), lost sleep, and went mad. A couple of weeks later I was back on the course and plodding on. Having been told that 'you cannot teach with mental [ill] health', I wasn't granted a teaching qualification, but persisted in working in education, a financially undervalued sector in the U.K. During the pandemic, I also became immortalised in Swansea University's Richard Burton Archives (anonymised as 'Colin') for their CoronaDiaries social history project. My diary entry was a suitably morose Spotify playlist, which anachronistically included a song called Chimamanda by Flavour. Allow me to explain. Just before the first lockdown in the U.K., my second daughter, middle name Chimamanda, was conceived. She is my ultimate crowning achievement of the last couple of years, the jewel in the crown as it were! How have I kept hold of my sanity? How has my family held together? What keeps me going? In large part, writing. Writing in and of itself is a bit like social media- a double edged sword. It has strengths and weaknesses. If I was a writer of Mills and Boonesque novels, I think I would have struggled to retain my marbles. Thankfully, I write about the Bible, which is a great source of strength. Take for example this wrote from John's gospel, quoting Jesus: 'In this world, you will have trouble [oh cheers for the reality check!], but be encouraged, I have overcome the world' (John 16:33). As the old children's chorus I used to sing goes 'with Christ in the vessel, we can smile at the storm'. I find that hard times like the pandemic do one of two things for people. They cause them to either cry out to God, or to cry out against Him. Hard times for me- the death of my grandfather, mental illness, work troubles, covid- have only driven me closer to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. If you're tempted to rail against God for the hard times, I encourage you to cry out to Him rather than against Him. He may well surprise you with His answer. You may feel that God is mute to your cries. Yet maybe this very article is the answer to your prayers and will set you off on a journey that concludes in eternal life! I'm not here to advocate some manmade religion or philosophy. I'm here to commend to you the God who can bring good out of bad, even this pandemic. How do I know? Because God has brought immeasurable good out of the brutal murder of His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through His crucifixion on our behalf, we can be forgiven and restored to a right relationship with Almighty God. So writing might not be your thing. Why not start with a letter to God? My prompt would be to simply say 'Dear God, here is where I'm at [... insert where you're at here and be honest!]. Meet me where I'm at I pray, in Jesus' name, amen' God bless you with your writing task!

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