Keeping the US economy afloat

January 15, 2021

This week, I was reading about Joe Biden’s stimulus plan for a U.S. economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. $1.9 trillion doesn’t sound like much when you read it quickly, but when you realise that is 1.9 with 12 zeros after it, it’s quite something to consider.

If his proposal is passed by Congress, Biden wants to make a direct payment of $1400 dollars to every single American household. Will his plan work? Only time will tell. But many are already describing it as simply throwing money at the problem.

Contrast that with another plan devised by arguably the greatest world leader in history, Jesus Christ. He didn’t throw money at problems, he threw solutions. He fed the poor, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind and forgave the unforgivable. In fact, that last action was the solution to the biggest problem of all, the conundrum that at the end of every human life, there is death.

Jesus died and rose again so that we might do the same.

You could call that the most successful stimulus plan of all time.

Peter Mill info@because.uk.com

Peter is editor-in-chief at Because

You’ll never walk alone

January 8, 2021

I’m a fan of 1960s’ pop music so it was sad this week to hear of the death of Gerry Marsden, the lead singer of the Merseybeat band Gerry and the Pacemakers. They had many hits including ‘Ferry ’cross the Mersey’ and ‘I like it’, but perhaps their most famous song was ‘You’ll never walk alone’. Originally it was a show tune from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel which Gerry took to the top of the charts in 1963 with it becoming an anthem for Liverpool football club, and more recently the song reached the number one spot again with Captain Tom Moore, Michael Ball, and the NHS Voices of Care choir.

This song, as well as a football anthem and a recognition of the work of the NHS, is one that Christians can also embrace. The Bible tells us that Jesus will be with us to the end of the age and that God will never leave or forsake us.[1] With whatever we face over this next year, including the tighter lockdown imposed this week, this knowledge gives us the strength to walk through the storm with hope in our hearts because we are not walking alone.

Barry Robinson info@because.uk.com

 

[1] Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5.

Freedom in 2021???

December 31, 2020

Freedom calls. Freedom by Easter, freedom by the summer, freedom maybe by the end of 2021, depending on what news you read or listen to.

The vaccine means freedom, they report, but freedom to do what? To jump back into normal, to return to how things were?

Jesus Christ was someone who declared freedom for all of humanity. He was talking about our physical as well as our spiritual future. His take on freedom was never one about returning to the past. His view was that our past did not have to dictate our future. Don’t go back, but rather leap ahead with him into a new tomorrow.

Why not go with him?

Let Jesus lead you into 2021.

James Henderson info@because.uk.com

Others first at Xmas

December 24, 2020

WWJD?

Do you know the term? It’s a bit like the text shorthand “Cul8r”, meaning “See you later!”. In Christian circles it stands for “What Would Jesus Do”?

WWJD this Xmas?

It’s so frustrating to be in lockdown when we’d rather be merry-making and enjoying the festive season to the full with family and friends. Many Christians, of course, miss coming together in collective worship on the traditional birthday of Jesus.

But what would Jesus do? Perhaps I could share a controversial view. It is that Jesus would put us before him. It is that he cares more about us and our health than he does about himself. His whole life demonstrated that. When he died on a Roman cross, it was about saving us and valuing his own life less than ours.

Jesus shows all of us a way forward this season.

Save lives by putting others first.

James Henderson info@because.uk.com

Catch of the day

December 18, 2020

As the trade negotiations between the EU and the UK come to an end, one of the sticking points is fishing rights. The end results of these negotiations have the potential to change the ‘catch of the day’ across the continent.

Interestingly, it was fishermen Jesus called to be his very first disciples. They willingly gave up their trade and the life they had established, their fishing rights so to speak, to follow Jesus. In Jesus they found one in whom they could trust absolutely, whose quota is always abundant, and who willingly gave even his own life for theirs.

In these times of troubled waters maybe it is time to follow their lead and turn to Jesus.

 

It might just be the catch of your lifetime.

Gavin Henderson info@because.uk.com

The best deal going

December 11, 2020

Here in the UK tension is rising on several fronts. Almost to spite the good news of the vaccine, coronavirus levels are rising in various areas, and relationships with the European Union seem at an all time low. It seems possible that the Brexit talks may result in a “no deal”.

When it comes to God, he offers us the deal of the century. Not just of this century but of all time. Of course, he is not on some opposing side to us. God is for us, and that’s why he offers us grace. It’s such a bargain. God sent his son, born humbly in a stable, to find us and save us from ourselves. We didn’t have to do anything. Out of his own free will God chose to give us grace, and thus freedom from our mistakes and bad choices.

When there’s such a good deal on the table, it’s wise to accept it.

Why not take God’s deal?

Accept Jesus.

James Henderson info@because.uk.com

Time for generosity

December 4, 2020

Over the last week, we’ve had Black Friday, the time of the year when retailers are supposed to move from operating ‘in the red’ (at a loss) to operating ‘in the black’ (making a profit). Then we’ve had Cyber Monday, encouraging us to spend online. It seems everyone is after our money. Then we’ve had Giving Tuesday. Now we can move away from consumerism as the focus is on giving to a good cause. That makes me feel better – or does it?

I love the concept of generosity, but if I’m honest, there are times when I’m reluctant to be generous and find it hard to give my hard-earned resources to those in need, which can lead me to feel guilty.

As a Christian, I am called to be generous, not to assuage my guilt or to be a ‘good person’, but because it reflects the heart and character of God who gave his one and only Son so we could have eternal life (John 3:16).

In a week where we’ve been encouraged to snap up the latest bargain, why not also think about those less fortunate? When we choose to give, we connect with the heart of God and the need of humanity – now that’s a good deal.

Barry Robinson info@because.uk.com

Check the details

November 27, 2020

“The devil is in the details”, one newscaster announced this week. He meant that what may sound like good news might contain a catch or two once we know the whole story.

For example, it sounded good that UK families could meet over Xmas, but now that we’ve heard or read the details, some feel robbed that it did not go far enough. It’s like the human condition – despite the apparent good news of human progress throughout history, the details of our history make bad reading.

The Christian story is that God is in the details of our salvation. It begins with how God planned to send his Son, Jesus, to save us, and continues with the details of how he did send him and of how his Son sacrificed himself for all of us. Some call it the Christmas story, but it’s more than that. It’s a story for every season and for everyone. The child Jesus grew up to become the Saviour of the world.

Those details make good reading.

Jesus is good news.

James Henderson info@because.uk.com

An injection of hope

November 20, 2020

At a press conference this week, Dr Kate O’Brien, the W.H.O. director of immunisation, said that “Getting to vaccine efficacy is like building a base camp at Everest, but delivering the vaccines is like the climb to the peak”.

While I dearly hope the promising early results of the three front-running vaccines are the beginning of the end for the pandemic, as an old proverb tells us, “there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip”.

There are not just questions about how to roll out the world’s biggest ever vaccine programme, there are other issues to consider like, will it work in the real world? And will enough people take it to bring an end to Covid-19? It is thought that 60-70% of the global population must be immune to stop the virus spreading easily (herd immunity) – billions of people, even if the vaccine works perfectly.

That’s the difference between hope and belief. I hope these vaccines will save the world, but I don’t know for sure. However, when it comes to saving the world, there is someone I truly believe can and will. His name is Jesus. One of his best friends, John, wrote this about him, “God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge it; instead, he is here to rescue a world headed toward certain destruction”.1

As a human, I hope there is a vaccine coming soon to rescue us. As a Christian, I believe there is a superhuman coming soon who will.

Peter Mill info@because.uk.com

Peter is editor-in-chief at Because

1 The Bible – John 3:17 (The Voice)

Positive contact

November 13, 2020

“As you have been identified as a contact of someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, you are under a legal obligation to self-isolate from now until…”. As soon as the text arrived my mind start rushing through all the things I should have done to prepare for potentially spending the next two weeks at home.

People who have near death experiences often say a similar thing. As their life flashes before them they think of all the things they haven’t done but wanted to do. All the things they should have done but never got around to.

Is this the fate that awaits us all? That at the end of our lives we are to be judged for all our mistakes and all our regrets?

The Christian message is one of hope. It tells us that we have all tested positive for grace and that if we turn to Jesus, he will both redeem our mistakes and turn our regrets into joy.

For hope, turn to Jesus.

Gavin Henderson info@because.uk.com

Next Page »