All posts by Helen Tuck

Advent challenge day 2

Well a little trip to the hospital meant that day 2 was delayed or maybe not….:

2nd stop: Temple, Jerusalem, 2–1 BC

‘But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son. You are to name him John.’ Luke 1.13

It was a big year for Zechariah. He’d been chosen to be the High Priest – the very person to enter the holiest place in the temple to meet with God. There he received a big surprise: he was told he would have a son, something he thought impossible! Sometimes God can surprise us. Your challenge today is to embrace the unexpected.

I couldn’t believe my eyes! A trip to the hospital was unexpected for us but not for God! He knew it would happen! Then He provided me opportunity to accomplish my challenge for the day (pay3 compliments to people) in the form of the church Christmas meal!

A whole lot of food, impromptu carolling and a game of taskmaster later, I had done it! Nothing takes God by surprise!

Advent challenge day 1

I am doing the Bible Society’s advent challenge……

1st stop: Judah, c. 750 BC‘The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.”’ Micah 5.2
Hundreds of years before Jesus arrived on earth, his birth was promised through the prophets, like in these words from Micah, who listened to what God was saying and shared with the people. The Bible tells us Jesus fulfilled 353 prophecies of the Old Testament. Sometimes we have to wait for things. As Advent begins, your first challenge is to exercise patience. You can do this however you want but I am doing this by allowing people in front of me in traffic! – Helen

Bizarre Bible stories

WWE Bible style
If you ever had an argument about your daddy beating someone else’s in a fight then this is the all time champion. The Angel of The Lord aka pre incarnate Jesus finds Jacob in the desert and Jacob wants a blessing so he wrestles with Jesus. He literally fights with him all night long. I must be honest here, a ten minute fight to get into a chocolate bar tires me out ! But fair play to Jacob who manages to hang on to God still asking for a blessing! Now by this point you are probably quite willing to give Jacob the ultimate blessing (heaven)! God, however has a different plan and in what some might call foul play, puts Jacobs hip out of joint! God wins but Jacob gets a blessing. The moral of this story? If God is wrestling with you, then let Him bless you His way so you don’t end up limping!

Bizarre Bible stories

Bizzare laws found in Old Testament
New Living Translation

“When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden. Do not eat it.

This is really strange and looks a bit daft. Is there a genuine reason for it though?

Of course!

Fruit trees bear fruit from year 1 but for the first three years it bears imperfect fruit. By the gardener removing the fruit as soon as it appears for the first three years, it enables the tree itself to utilise all the goodness to produce better fruit in subsequent years!

The Bible makes scientific sense!

The Screwtape Letters – CS Lewis

CS Lewis –
Firstly, I have to say I am a big fan of CS Lewis and have read a number of his books including his autobiography ‘surprised by joy’. So this was on my list.

I had been given the 60th-anniversary edition for Christmas and couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Especially as I had some say it was worth a read. I can say I was not disappointed.
The book itself is a collection of letters from a demon called Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood (a junior tempter). The story centers around Wormwood land his attempts to tempt a man called ‘the patient’.

The scene is set as wormwood is seen as trying differing methods to promote sin and undermining faith in the patient. Whilst all time reporting back to his mentor Screwtape.

Wormwood is not always successful, even when he thinks he has set the perfect trap! Screwtape being the elder more experienced tempter, continues to share his experience and tries to steer his nephew in a way that will bring the most damage to both the patient and the enemy (God).

CS Lewis tackles many scenarios from sex, love, pride, gluttony to war. From a Christian perspective, it gives a little insight into the spiritual battle which is around us and unseen. Not that all our bad choices come from demons? As I am sure you can agree, we can make most of them on our own.

Certainly, this being a classic in its own right, is worth a read both for its literary construction and its content. In the 60th anniversary edition, you also get the story of Screwtape proposing a toast at an official graduation ceremony for the tempters. It’s also worth noting that when it was published, it was dedicated to another literary great JRR Tolkien.
By C Tuck