2 June 2021
My friend and I were travelling around Scandinavia, and one Sunday we caught the train to Malmo in Sweden. The train journey took 35 minutes over a very long bridge. Formerly, one had to go to Sweden by ferry.
Malmo was very quiet, and the streets were nearly empty. It was a long weekend holiday. We found a lovely Lutheran church, so we went into the service. There were quite a few people in attendance. I guess some regulars and some tourists like us. We couldn’t understand any spoken words, but we did know most of the tunes, so we hummed along.
We were seated in gated rows and the highlight was the receiving of the offering where two stewards came along the centre aisle with collection bags attached to long poles. They stopped at each row and thrust the pole out along the row, collecting the money as they drew it back.
Another tale of church giving was also in Sweden.
An interesting part of another service was again the offering. It seemed to be ten minutes where people could talk to each other as the collection was passed around.
They also had a mobile terminal for people to use credit cards. So, this was waved in the air, and if anyone wanted it they put their hand up.
So the gizmo did the rounds of the congregation. Just as well there were no more than 50 present.
Churches rely on offerings to keep going, but we give ourselves and our work as offerings, as well as our money.
I John 3:18
Let us not love in word or talk, but in deeds and in truth.
9 June 2021
On a very cheap, but totally enthralling visit to Cambodia, my travelling friend and I sat at the breakfast table and worked out what to do with the rest of the day. At 9.00 am we went by tuk tuk to Green Gecko Project, a bit out of town. It was founded by an Australian woman, Tania Palmer, as a school for children who were begging on the streets. It is a place where 70 children live, and the work being done there is phenomenal.
Green Gecko is about empowering these children with skills, education, and care and support to enable them to break the begging cycle and live to their highest potential. It also provides shelter, care and stability for those physically battered or psychologically in need. Over 80% of the children have been physically or sexually abused within their family unit or extended family.
Although it is costly to keep this place going, the children are fed and clothed and taught to the highest level. Some of the children are even going to university now – an opportunity they never would have had in the former life they lived. We were very impressed with all the care, love and education that goes on at the Green Gecko Project.
Tania and her staff are meeting the needs of these dear children following the message in Matthew 18:10.
See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
A testimony from one of the children can be seen at
16 June 2021
I was taking a walk in Manhattan USA when I needed refreshment. I went into a diner and asked for an item on the menu: Swiss cheese and ham on toast. Later, the waitress asked me if everything was all right. I told her I couldn’t find the ham.
She was so busy wanting to know what kind of bread I wanted that she didn’t hear me ask for ham. I’m afraid that I am not understood in America. Every trip I do I rarely get the meal I have ordered, or the coffee for which I have asked.
I went to a café in London at Leicester Square and asked them if they served the best coffee in London, and they didn’t seem to know what I was talking about. The coffee was passable, however, the scones with jam and cream were really lovely.
The waiter came and asked me how it all was, and I said it was OK, but I should have asked for a double shot. He said I could have had a double shot, but I had asked for light coffee. I had asked for white coffee. Here we went again!
Fortunately, when we talk to God in prayer, He not only listens, He understands. He is not bored. He tells us to ask, seek and knock.
'Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.'
Be still, my soul: your God will undertake to guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be clear at last.
Be still, my soul: the tempests still obey his voice who ruled them once on Galilee.
(Katharina von Schlegel, 1855; Translated by Jane Laurie Borthwick.) Hymn No. 48 AHB
23 June 2021
In England, a very important fish and chip shop is on Endell St, Covent Garden. This is one of the oldest fish and chip shops in London, and the place where the fish distribution during the war time blitz was allocated.
The volunteer owners would meet in the basement of this shop to work out how to distribute the fish caught each day, so that the different suburbs had their fair share of the beloved fish and chips.
Apart from providing the favourite fare, it was to keep up the morale around town.
Every time I go to London, I make sure I make a visit to 'The Rock & Sole Plaice' shop. Don’t you just love the name?
The population needed courage and strength. Be still, my soul, is one such hymn:
30 June 2021
On a visit to Hong Kong, I was invited to the Town Hall for a graduation service of 569 tiny tots of the Pre-School Education Services. It was about two hours of magic as the children sang and performed their many items with military precision.
You can imagine how long all this took to prepare with pre-school size children. There was so much excitement, not only with the little tots but also with their parents and supporters.
I took an enormous amount of photos. Following the graduation, we dined with a sumptuous banquet lunch.
How important it is that we love and protect our youngest citizens. The Scriptures certainly emphasise this.
Colossians 3 has instructions about personal relations—Children, Parents, Slaves, Masters are all addressed.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Psalm 127:3
Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ Matthew 19:14
7 July 2021
Well, it had to be seen to be believed. Six medieval churches in Norfolk, England, put on a first ever ‘Blossom and Yarn’ exhibition over four days. They each had a subject connected with church life and had to decorate their church suitably, using flowers and knitted articles.
They really used their imagination. Everything was knitted! The Christening area had Princess Charlotte in the cradle with the full-size minister laying his hand on her, and the Harvest section had knitted carrots, radishes, cauliflower, mushrooms, oranges, sandwiches, cakes, liquorice allsorts etc. etc. There was even a full-size knitted Queen Elizabeth II.
The churches did this because the attendance at each church was small, but following this exhibition they joined as one congregation and attended a different one of their churches in rotation.
Don’t give in to disappointment, use imagination, meet together, call on God’s direction to enable you to come to satisfactory results.
He will be praised in Jerusalem when nations and kingdoms come together and worship the Lord.
This train is an invention from Australia, but the powers that be were not willing to spend the money on such a train, so the idea was sold to China – they are building them in various cities.
I now have a speeding ticket! – the ticket to go on the very fast train. We were spoilt.