The Crossroads

This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ (Jeremiah 6:16)


There is an ancient Greek word kairos, which means ‘a propitious moment for decision or action’, often translated as ‘opportunity’. There are times in our lives when we feel we have reached a moment for decision, when we have the opportunity to change direction.

Sometimes these are forced on us by circumstances, sometimes a new opportunity arises and we have to decide whether or not to take it. But sometimes we have to create these moments for ourselves.

Frustration and vision can be two sides of the same coin. If you’re frustrated, look for what God might be saying. In a kairos moment, God speaks, and there is a chance to stop and hear God, repent and believe God, and set your life on a different path. 

The prophet Jeremiah was sent to see a visual aid for God’s message:
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message. So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. (Jer 18:1-4)

Potters wheel

The message was about God’s supremacy over the nations, but it can be applied to us too. Notice that when the pot went wrong, the potter didn’t throw away the clay, he reshaped it into something new. Maybe if you are frustrated, discouraged or repentant, you should ask God to reshape you, to show you a new way.

Jesus had great plans for Peter, but he made some big mistakes. When Jesus was arrested and tried, Peter was afraid and denied three times that he had anything to do with Jesus. After Jesus’ death some of the disciples went back to fishing. One morning they met Jesus on the shore. Later he had a private conversation with Peter:

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’
Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’ Again Jesus said, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’
Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’ The third time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.’
Jesus said, Feed my sheep.’ (John 21:15-17)

Jesus gently restored and remolded Peter after his denial, to become the leader of the early church. We see his behaviour change from scared and confused to brave and bold. 

Are you frustrated?
Are you discouraged?
Are you sorry for the way your life has gone?
Seek God for your kairos moment at the crossroads.

[adapted from a talk by Rhodri Walters at Hebron Hall]

Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more on

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Look Intently and Remember

James chapter 1 says, ‘There’s going to be trouble, but don’t blame God, draw close to him. In fact, trouble can do you good if you think about it.’


Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:23-25)

A young man who went on a first date and didn’t notice his tee shirt was on backwards. He hadn’t look in the mirror closely enough before he went out. He made assumptions and later felt foolish. Gaze intently into scripture and ask questions. Allow scripture to look intently into you and change your thinking and actions. 


In some gyms the mirrors have pictures of fit people to compare your reflection with, to spur you on. 



In Matthew 19:16-22 we find the story of the rich young man, who asked Jesus how to gain eternal life. What he heard in reply was truth about himself reflected back from Jesus. In the same way, we should be a reflection of Jesus and provoke a reaction in others. 

Do you look intently into the mirror of God’s word? Do you remember who you really are? Does your presence in the world change it? 

[based on a sermon by John Rogers at Pantygwydr Baptist Church]

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Do Not Let Anyone Lead You Astray

John’s first letter was sent to combat Gnostic teaching which was leading people astray. Today, there are many people who adapt the gospel to suit themselves or to gain power in the church, and we must be constantly on our guard.
Do not let anyone lead you astray. (1 John 3:7)


Have you allowed anyone to confuse you or change what you believe?
Anyone would rush to save a child from touching a fire. This letter is the same. 

This tells us how we belong to God: Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. (1 John 5:1)

After a disagreement, a young man went to storm out of the room, but his father asked him to come back and talk things over. This is our Father calling us to resolve our differences with him and come back to a loving relationship. 

We need to know who we are: If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. (1 John 5:9,10)

It matters what we believe. It matters that we listen to the Holy Spirit. If you don’t listen one day he will be silent.

This gives us assurance: I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. (1 John 5:13,14)

We know we have hope because Jesus died for us, and it’s natural that we want others to have that hope too. It raises concern in us to pray for those Christians who are sinning – a backslider is a Christian waiting to come back. Jesus came that you and I might know true freedom.

In Psalm 51 David cries out for forgiveness:
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:10‭-‬12)

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. (1 John 5:20)

[Adapted from a sermon by Uzo Iwobi at Pantygwydr Baptist Church]

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Money Will Not Buy …

Money will buy you a bed but not sleep, money
books but not brains,
food but not an appetite,
a house but not a home,
medicine but not health,
luxuries but not happiness,
image but not character,
and religion but not salvation.

22nd May 2010, The Word for Today, UCB

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Gospel Love Soundbites

John’s first letter was a circular to Christians challenging heresies. Some groups were being over zealous and some were being lax. But the central tenet of the letter is love. 

Crown of thorns heart

Today politicians are forced to create soundbites and simplify complicated ideas. John does this in this letter. There are some wonderful points. Look at the following verses from 1 John chapter 4: 

V1: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.

V2: By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.

V4: For he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

V7: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God.

V8: God is love.

V9: In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

V12: No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

V16: God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

V18: There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.

V19: We love because he first loved us.

V20: He who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

V12: And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

These quotable lines can be easily remembered because they are summaries, and they can then be mined deeply under the power of the Holy Spirit. 


A girl student was going out at night giving hot chocolate and sandwiches to homeless people. When one of them asked her why, she said, ‘God loves you and so I love you.’ Not ‘I ought to love you,’ but ‘I naturally love you.’

How do we love others more naturally?
V19 We love because he first loved us.
The power of love is not in the nature of the loved one, but of the lover. 

Jesus said we should judge a tree by its fruit. 

Sunny Delight

Years ago there was a drink called Sunny Delight. Too much Sunny D made you orange. There were a lot of little kids going to school orange because they loved Sunny D. A lot of Jesus should show in your behaviour, in just the same way. You should have so much of Jesus that you can’t help it. 

A car needs fuel, your body needs food for energy. In the same way, we need love from God in order to give us the fuel to love others. 

We’re all wired differently but we are all made in the image of God. Another way of saying it is that we bear the imprint of the one who made us. God is love so we should show love all around us. Be with people who encourage you to grow and learn about God. If you meet socially with Christian friends, you should be praying together too.

Paul felt the same way: For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

[adapted from a sermon by John Rogers at Pantygwydr Baptist Church]

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An Old English Prayer

Give us, Lord, a bit o’ sun,Praying_Hands_-_Albrecht_Durer
A bit o’ work and a bit o’ fun;
Give us in all the struggle and sputter
Our daily bread and a bit o’ butter;
Give us health, our keep to make,
An’ a bit to spare for others’ sake;
Give us, too, a bit of song
And a tale, and a book to help us along.
Give us, Lord, a chance to be
Our goodly best, brave, wise and free,
Our goodly best for ourself, and others,
‘Till all men learn to live as brothers.

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