November 2015

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When we were on holiday in the Lake District we visited the home of John Ruskin (1819 –1900) on the shore of Coniston. Someone who I didn`t know much about except what I`d read. ‘John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist.’ He wrote various books but I was interested to read this quote by him, “Whatever merit there is in anything that I have written is simply due to the fact that when I was a child my mother daily read me a part of the Bible and daily made me learn a part of it by heart.” I know he met with people like Darwin round his table to discuss various theories. We came away with the impression that we may have misjudged him.

Godly mothers like his and Susanna Wesley made a great impression on the young lives of their children. Not only through their example but by teaching them the scriptures. They were doing what Moses commanded the Israelites to do. ‘Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.’ (Deut 11:19). It is the same for Christian parents today, they have a duty to instruct their children in God`s ways. It will not guarantee their salvation but that Godly influence will be seen in all they do. This responsibility is not the sole preserve of mothers. A survey was taken recently, in America, to determine how much time fathers were spending with their children. The results were astounding. Fathers with children between the ages of 2 and 12 were spending 12 minutes a day with their children. Twelve-minute dads contribute greatly to 12-year-old delinquents. ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.’ (Prov 22:6). We should never be too busy to spend quality time with our children. If we don`t we should not be surprised that they don`t turn out as we hope.

Our holiday was very relaxing. We seem to have done nothing but eat and sleep. However, we did go up to Orrest Head (238m) [see the view on a later page] and I was very pleased that we both made it. Hallelujah! Also we went to see Henry V at the pictures. While there we went to see my friend Raymond, from the Baptist church, but he was preaching at the Anglican Church. So we joined him there and really enjoyed it. His message the healing of blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) was very challenging. We, in our business, often miss those who call but Jesus never does. I won`t say anymore in case I pinch his sermon.

Every blessing be yours in Christ Jesus,

John & Hilary.

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