A few musings from St Kilda

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

God will make a way

Thursday, 16 July 2009

St Where?

This blog contains my musings from St Kilda. No, it's not THE St Kilda but a house named after it in Falcon Street, Felixstowe. The real St Kilda is of course the UK's most remote island group - some 40 miles off the nearest landfall in the Outer Hebrides. That's not counting Rockall of course which is even further out but that's a rock which is uninhabitable. St Kilda was inhabited for centuries up to 1930 when the islanders were evacuated to the mainland. Some went to live in Melbourne in Australia and a suburb is named St Kilda after them.

In fact the largest island in the St Kilda group, Hirta has been permanently inhabited by service personnel at a radar base since 1957 but no-one ever seems to mention that. It's also inhabited by seabirds and wild sheep. Here are some of them near the British Isles' highest cliff.

So who was St Kilda? Forget the spiritual thoughts. He/she never existed. The best theory is that it is the mis-spelling of a Gaelic name by Dutch mappers in the seventeenth century. The locals called the islands by their local names e.g Hirta. So there you go. If you want to visit, the National trust for Scotland do trips.


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

If it's free, it must be Rubbish

This kind of thinking affects all of us to a greater or lesser extent. Is getting something cheap or even free a mark of us being a cheap-jack or is it a mark of our being shrewd? I was fascinated by a recent survey that put Microsoft as “king of the brands”, voted on by consumers for it’s distinctiveness, quality and reliability. Quality? Reliability? Where?

Most have a computer at home with Microsoft Windows on it and most have stared at a blue screen saying “Windows has died. Find someone handy with computers to fix it, spend lots of money paying someone to fix it, try the Microsoft Help(less) line, or throw your computer out of the window!”. Aargh! I paid money for this!

For those of you without a computer, this is a treat in life you’ve missed. You can smile at these frustrated folk, particularly when they discover that there are better alternatives that most people seem unaware of that aren’t just cheaper, but free.

So why doesn’t everyone use them? The logic most people use is that surely you get what you pay for and besides, it’s safest to use what everyone else uses isn’t it? Let’s stick with what we are familiar without having to try something new and learn how to use it. Let’s avoid the risk of change.

I find it an interesting parallel. What makes Christian faith distinct is that we have a God who gives freedom for free. Eternal life isn’t something that’s earned or deserved, God gives it away free to all those who turn to Him and accept the offer purchased by Jesus by His death on the cross. If it is as easy as that, why don’t people become Christians in droves?

The trouble is that when people are happy with what they’ve got, and the values they base their lives on, they don’t see the need to even consider or try what God offers freely. There is risk in change. For those of us who know the benefit of being a Christian, that’s a tragedy. If you’re reading this and never trusted Jesus, then I encourage you to exchange what costs you, to get something that’s priceless for free!

But before we Christians think this doesn’t apply to us, then we need to stop and consider our own lives. I gave us this verse in church a few weeks ago: Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity. Rom 12:2 (J B Phillips). We have a God who wants us to walk in freedom, but so often we choose to live our lives with worldly values and they so often cost us in terms of fear, personal problems, pressure, doubt, hopelessness, anger, unforgiveness. Why let these things cost us, when we have a God who wants to lift these loads off us and mould us to how He wants us: people who follow Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s give God glory for giving us something priceless for free!

Mark Reid, 15 July 2009

Friday, 10 July 2009

Have a Chuckle