On my Gran’s first truly “happy birthday”: The Battle Won: Standing by grace in the holy place

October 2, 2013

Today would have been my Gran’s 92nd birthday.  Today was my Gran’s first truly “happy birthday.”

“[God] will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

My Gran, Lilian Ernestine Collins, born 2 October 1921, died on 19 June 2013 after several months of illness — and she is now more alive than ever.  Below is the sermon i was privileged to preach at her memorial service.  My Dad posted this previously on his blog.  My Gran specifically wanted Psalm 24 to be the text for her memorial service.

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The real “happily ever after”

December 12, 2009

Sûsî Gees (my motorbike) and i had a bit of an accident yesterday evening returning from Stellenbosch when i clipped a run-off channel on a farm road. Neither of us sustained any serious injuries (i got away with just a sprained thumb, some roasties, and injured pride, while Sûsî Gees needs a little doctoring to fix up broken indicators and speedometer and a bent headlamp housing and mounting bracket), but it did give me pause to think last night about the fragility of life and our mortality. Now, i’m not afraid of death, for as Paul writes to Timothy, “I know Whom I have believed”; i know i’m ready when that time comes. But i know also that i have so much more to live for even in this life than does anyone who lives for this life only. In Elbert Hubbard’s words, which i’ve taken for the by-line for this blog, “Life is a preparation for the future.”  Or my own thoughts on what LIFE is: Life Is For Eternity.

CS Lewis captures the enormity of this future, of eternity, so beautifully in the closing words of The Last Battle from the Narnia series:

“There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of you are – as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands – dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

“Evening” by GK Chesterton

February 21, 2009

Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?

Runaway brain

January 10, 2009

This song i wrote in 2007 is a parody of Soul Asylum‘s Grammy Award-winning hit Runaway Train from the 1992 album Grave Dancer’s Union (Columbia).  It’s a personal prayer for God to sanctify the runaway thought-life of a repentant sinner trying to trust in Him and be pure.

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Chronicle Number Next 2007/8

January 3, 2009

Welcome to the latest instalment of the chronically late Chronicle: a year or two in review. Lately it’s increasingly weighed on me that two years have already passed since the previous Chronicle. So much has happened in this time, but here’s the highlights package. Read the rest of this entry »

Behind door #2007

January 1, 2007

Happy birthday to Janus, and i hope that he opens some exciting doors in 2007… But thanks to our God, for His mercies are new every morning, and His great faithfulness is unchanging. Read the rest of this entry »

Chronicle Number Next 2006

October 1, 2006

Welcome to the chronically late Chronicle…

Each year i try to collect some reflections on the year gone “bye” to share with friends near and far, those i’ve long-last seen, those who’re here on the scene, and all who’ve helped make these memories.  Read the rest of this entry »