June 11th – Real Encounters

The really important turning points are those personal encounters when, either dramatic or dreary, we become aware of a new dimension in our lives. If that sounds a bit too highbrow, let’s lower it down to earth.
It was just an ordinary bus stop in Manchester in the middle of the day. One man was waiting – there was no queue, and no bus. Just him. He was on his way home, but at an unusual hour because of some trouble he was in at work when it happened. He told me, much much later, that there and then someone spoke to him. It was so audible to him that he turned around, but there was no one else there. The ‘voice’ was not his unconscious mind nor any guilt complex over his imagination for it addressed him as from ‘out of his skin’. It was some other one who knew him well, reminding him that he had come through a terrible war, that he had a wife and two children, a home and, up to that day, a good safe job, and yet he had never given thanks, or turned from himself through it all. That day he began a new life. He knew nothing of God. he only recalled that his father had once said ‘George, if you’re in trouble, turn to the Bible’ (a bit of a desperate reason for Bible reading), but he did, that very day. He dug out a battered old Bible, started to read, and almost at once realised he would need help in understanding it. This he began to seek.
So began a long string of events which led him to become a new man, even when he went back to his old job two weeks later, he was changed. Everybody could see it. Even he didn’t understand it, and it was only much later that he put a name to what happened that day. He said “God spoke to me at a bus stop in Manchester”. How do I know all this? Well, he was George William Cooke – my beloved Dad, and I can testify that Jesus really did change his life.
This is from Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 10, Eugene Petersen’s translation:
Cornelius said ‘4 days ago about this time mid-afternoon, I was at home praying. Suddenly there was a man right in front of me, flooding the room with light’.
And nothing was ever the same again for that Roman soldier, and all who knew him. Nothing is ever the same when Jesus interrupts our lives and begins to redirect them.

A Prayer:
Almighty God, who in our daily walk confronts us time after time, help us to recognise you this day, lest we blindly continue on our way to destruction.

Now read of another confrontation which changed the world – between God and a shy teenager called Jeremiah. Jeremiah Chapter 1.

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Thought 4 The Day

No man is uneducated who knows the Bible, and no one is wise who is ignorant of its teaching. (Sam Chadwick)

Through the year calendar

May 2016
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Click on any previous date in the above calendar to read the relevant Through The Year post
Believe it or Not
Sometimes you just can't believe it's true!
A Word in Time
Life has a funny way of connecting us all!
Cooke's Tour of The Bible
Frank Cooke's journey through the Old and New Testaments
Take 2
Some useful life lessons
Mind Stretchers
An open mind is a healthy mind!
Bible Bloopers
Even the Bible has its funnies!