Reflections On Three People Making A Difference In My Life

Over the past ten days three very special people in my life celebrated their birthdays. Two of them usually get a mention on here and the third is new to this in terms of me saying something. As I had the opportunity to sit back and consider them, I was moved to write something about them as people making a difference in my life.

Ruth

My sister is no stranger to being mentioned on this blog. Yet as another year passes in her life I still have reason to give God thanks for her. First of all, I applaud her as a mother. When I see how her children respect her and their interactions I am so delighted to see it in action. The love she has for her children is unmistakable and as usual when it comes to my sister, there is much I can learn from her in this aspect of her life.

Ruth is more than that to me, though and I love her because in as much as she has matured, she has not forgotten or neglected the importance of humour in life. She can still crack me up with her dry humour and extended irony and sarcasm. She knows that right balance of taking things seriously, but not overly serious to the point of getting morose.

I am very grateful that my own daughters have a great model of what it is to be female in their mother, but it’s even better to know that they have an Aunt who is also a brilliant example of being resourceful, generous, trustworthy, wise and brilliant. Acknowledging another year of faithfulness in her life is celebrating how blessed I am to have her looking out for me and being a presence for the positive in my life.

Dad

I was sharing with a good friend just how important my Dad is to me. He was my first model of manhood. I subsequently had other models presented to me and I followed some of them. In honesty I followed the others because I found my Dad’s model to be lacking. Yet experience only went to show that the other models only highlighted how exemplary my Dad’s model was. In faithfulness, in consistency, in wisdom, in being timely, in humility, in service, in being submissive, in exercising tremendous self-control, in displaying a commitment against all odds and in doing things without looking for praise or attention, I don’t think I came across a better model than him. My brother is a great man, but it would never have happened if it wasn’t for my Dad.

As my Dad gets older there should be something in me that gets concerned about him and his health, etc. Yet for a number of years my Dad has assured me greatly, not out of a sense of invincibility as though nothing will phase him. The assurance I got was very similar to the Apostle Paul talking to saints about living is Christ and dying is gain. That assurance was about knowing that my Dad’s life is hidden in Christ and if there is a legacy he would leave it would be about living for Christ and helping others to do the same.

My Dad won’t necessarily draw plaudits and acclaim from widespread masses, but every time I see a life affected for the better because of my brother, my sister or even me, it is another mark of how well he did as a man, a servant of God and a father.

Chola

Here is the odd one out. This time last year I had little idea who this geezer was. I had come across him once or twice, but that was about it. One year later and I have no qualms at all in saying he is one of the dearest people in my life.

What could bring about such a change? Conversation, commitment and a cultivated companionship based on shared interests pivotal in it all being our shared love for Jesus.

Getting to know more about Chola in this past nine months and so has been one of the highlights of the year and my life for a long time. He has given me room to be myself without withdrawing into himself and he has given me access to know him and together sharing life has been a joy. Coming across someone with such a desire to know Jesus more has been a terrific spur to get me on with growing in knowing Him myself. Exchanging our findings about Jesus on His Word has epitomised what it is for iron to sharpen iron.

There is so much that has impressed me so far in Chola in terms of his humble character. Someone hungry to learn and grow in experiencing Jesus applied in all facets of life, he is a great example for folks who just want to get on with following Jesus. It’s an honour of mine to call him brother and friend. My desire is that he will go on and really blossom as he acknowledges what God wants in his life.

Three people making a positive difference in my life and the lives of others. As they grow another year older, may that be something they will always be known for.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

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A Word On Laughing

God has been so good to me.

In any given moment there is a friend who can say something that will get me laughing. In the childhood days there were competitions between us as siblings to see who could keep a straight face and not laugh at the efforts of the others. Though I loved funny things, it began to take a lot to get me to laugh.

Today I love laughing good and proper and there are some people who can hit the sweet spot of delivering a line that will have me in the guffaws without inhibition. It is a great feeling, especially seeing as though those jokes are coming from a good place. Nothing derogatory, defamatory, degrading or distasteful, just hilarious material clean and simple. Someone said laughter is a good medicine and when saints deliver it, I am certainly the better for the experience.

So this is just to say a massive thank you to the likes of Kevin, Andy, Ritson, Your Majesty as well as my siblings Ruth and David who are very good at letting the laughter flow.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

A Brief Word On A Big Book 

There is no Psalm 151.

Unlike the continuation of the book of Acts where the good news is still being shared around the globe, there isn’t the same thing with the collection of Psalms. The collection ends at 150. That’s not to say there are no other great works written and included in this collection. There’s no room for more either. That collection is sound as a set. 

It has been an incredible journey through the collection over the previous 150 days. I know I haven’t done justice to some of them in blogging about them. With others, I like to think I left a decent reflection on what I read and what read me. Overall, I have loved this journey and my appreciation for the collection has gone up considerably. The amount of Psalms I just plain never read and were powerful highlighted just how wonderful this experience has been. It’s worth appreciating all that God has laid out for us in the collection. 

Thank you for following me on the journey. I trust your love for the book has likewise increased. Special thanks to Authrine, Rae, Gyaps, and so many others for the likes and words of encouragement.

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden

Psalm 124 – If It Had Not Been … 

This Psalm right here is a great song to remember that you are not as self-reliant, independent, self-sufficient and all that which you like to believe from time to time. 

Indeed this Psalm right here blatantly acknowledges that bad though things might appear, not only could it be a lot worse but it would have and in some cases should have. The worse didn’t happen. That wasn’t down to human ingenuity. That was because of a Father who cares. That was because of the Lord of hosts who rescues His own. That was because of the great and holy God who shows mercy on those to whom He will show mercy. 

I could reel out quite a long list of episodes and unfavourable outcomes that would have been on my record book had it not been for the Lord. It’s not something to boast about in and of myself as though I am anything. It is something to point to the Lord and magnify His name for His goodness. 

So just when you think it’s safe to look at the stuff around you and feel a little smug and satisfied, it’s worth taking a short trip down memory lane and see His hand of protection, of deliverance, of mercy, of favour on your life. Look it over, give Him thanks. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Psalm 116 – A Very Good Reason to Love Him

It is very difficult for me to read this Psalm. Very difficult. 

It’s difficult because to read of someone who knows what it is to be rescued and so express this great love for God reminds me of what God has rescued me from. The darkness of depression, the despair of feeling worthless, the delusion of thinking I can stumble from one crash to another and make it without help. He rescued me from a pit. He rescued me. 

I too can lift up the cup of salvation because of His goodness towards me. If that is all I can offer, I offer it wholeheartedly. As I too can live a life returning thanks to Him, as that is all I can do. I know there is nothing I could ever do to repay Him. He is not even asking for payment. A response of dedicated thanksgiving, a sacrifice of my life to that extent is more than reasonable.  

This is a profound Psalm to consider at whatever season you find yourself in. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Dryden Update – February 2017

January is over. Thank God.

I did not hate January. Lots of positive steps occurred in the month, developments in one or two pursuits I have had in mind. One of my favourites is coming across the Anchor app. It’s not about ships at sea, thankfully, it’s a brilliant device for conversations and audio snippets of no more than two minutes. Terrific tool that will be a platform I intend to use more often.

January was also the month in which I got the Psalms writing going and I am grateful to God that it’s on track so far albeit having only completed over a fifth of the way through. One or two people have noticed that there’s some sort of countdown going on on my Twitter feed and wondering what’s that all about. Well what it is about is … something that I’ll be happy to share nearer the time.

Married life remains a source of great inspiration and I’m glad for that. Children are well and being children and I’m glad for that.

Church is interesting in a number of different ways. Opportunities cropping up in that as well. Most importantly good conversations are taking place leading us to consider Christ deeply and wants from us. That’s very positive.

January has also offered the chance to be able to make a note or two on plans for progress and some of those have started already. Others have to wait for a month or three while certain other things are sorted, but it’s reassuring to know that there isn’t procrastination in taking the steps necessary to see those plans begin to take some shape.

So that’s how things are going on the Dryden front. I have some desires for February. Some places I am going. Some places I want to go with others. Some things I want to materialise to liberate me from some other things from which I need liberating. As well as the ongoing desire to get deeper in knowing Jesus, by His Spirit, through His Word, in His Body of believers to the world He desires to be lightened by His presence made known. That is my desire.

One hugely helpful thing in these proceedings has been the greater place of prayer in my life – individually and as part of a body of believers. Learning to love Him more in and through prayer is a great experience. An experience I want to grow in more. I know I need the strength of the Lord to wake up in the morning, let alone be about any of the things He has called me to do. I know I need His strength and that increasingly comes from just enjoying and loving his presence through prayer.

Well, onwards and upwards dear reader. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and like the work that gets posted on here.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

December Thanks #30: Eternity

Yeah, I know it’s not December, but I am reaching the conclusion of the challenge I set for myself back at the beginning of December. 30 Days of Thanksgiving. Not that the Thanksgiving is coming to an end, though. 

Therein lies the meaning of the last entry on December Thanksgiving. It is truly something wonderful knowing that there is more to life than what can be seen with the natural eye. It is something marvellous to know that there is an unseen realm that informs reality and trusting in God who rules the seen and unseen is placing belief in the one who grants eternal life. 

It puts everything in perspective. The challenges, disappointments, suffering and pain so keenly felt in the midst of a world in search of peace will one day be taken over by the reality of eternity. Reality of the Kingdom that has no ending where peace, joy and love are constant, where evil in all forms is banished. 

Life that is now is lived to reflect that reality of eternity until all the efforts culminate in the great consummation at the return of the Son of God. 

That hope is something that gives purpose for living and for that I am forever grateful. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden