November Remembered: A Dryden Update

Interestingly it took me a while to remember it was a new month, but when I was at work yesterday, I was baffled as to how things weren’t recognised as being in December. Odd.

Yet here we are a brand new month and the final month of the year 2017. Ahhhhh this is the time where things really ramp up in terms of preparing for the end of the year. Reviews are put together, folks clamour over a year end festival and shops are ready for the blitz of last minute panic purchases.

As the month goes on, it’s worth reflecting on the month of November. I am really grateful to God for the month it has been one of the best months of my life. Largely because of the birthday celebrations. More than that though, there were some really great experiences over the month.

So it’s worth just posting this to say how grateful I am by it and look forward to being a blessing to others. over this the final month of the year

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Advertisements

He Is Forever Faithful

So the other day I celebrated my birthday. To be fair, it was the longest birthday of my life. Most birthdays I’ve had last for a day – which is kinda what the point is meant to be. On this occasion, though, it felt as though my birthday lasted an entire week. This was largely thanks to my incredibly, amazingly outstanding and sacrificial wife.

One of the things about the birthday week of celebration was getting to reflect on the enduring faithfulness of God. I hear it said by others and can certainly attest to it myself – I really shouldn’t be alive today. I shouldn’t have such an incredibly, amazingly outstanding and sacrificial wife. I shouldn’t have such loyal, compassionate and devoted siblings. I shouldn’t have such brilliantly blessed daughters. I shouldn’t have people I call friends and family who have not blinked twice when the call has come to be a help in my time of need. There is nothing I have done and there is nothing about me at all that in any way deserves all of that. It’s really down to the faithfulness of God. These are realities in my life purely out of the faithfulness of God.

To give that context, too, His faithfulness has been there even when I didn’t have all that. I would be griping and moaning about what I didn’t have. I would complain about the bad things I was going through. In it all, God did not give up on me, in it all God did not leave me. I would blunder, I would stray, I would deliberately act against what I knew He told me and yet He didn’t reject me, His love and His goodness told me that He meant it when He said He was faithful.

It makes me marvel even more at how good God has been to my parents over these years. It makes me marvel even more how good God has been to characters like Paul, Peter, Moses, David, Abraham and Noah. It makes me marvel that in spite of it all, He really does remain faithful and truly great is that faithfulness.

There is something about that faithfulness too that has got to me to the extent that I don’t want to take it for granted. I don’t want to coast on it  as though I’m virtually guaranteed a win and don’t have to sweat it at all and can do what I like. I don’t want to get complacent.

I want to respond to that faithfulness … ooooohhhhh I have just the thing and another thing too!

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

Now Where Do I Begin?

There is a saying in the culture that life begins at 40.

My initial reaction to that was, obviously no one was paying attention to what had been going on in the previous 39 years. Getting over that reaction, I then moved on to consider the question: if that is the case, where do I begin?

Well there’s no better place to begin that with praise and thanksgiving.

I have made it to the age where life apparently begins, but now I consider the previous 39 years and I am so grateful. Grateful for the faithfulness and goodness of God expressed all over my life. I am grateful for His goodness when I patently did not deserve it. I am grateful for a brilliant family – both those in my household now and the household of my parents when I was growing under their care. I am grateful for the extended family who may not share the same surname, ethnicity or even support the same football team but they have nevertheless been vital parts of family for me over the years.

I am extremely grateful for the gifts and abilities that have been given to me that I have been able to apply at points in my life. To be able to be a vehicle to transport the positive things I have been able to carry across in my time on earth thus far has been an enormous privilege.I am also very grateful to have observed some brilliant people at work and doing life and learning much from them. Life is better done together for sure and seeing this work itself out in small settings through men and women being transparent about the joys and pains of life have left a distinct mark in my life.

All good things that I have experienced have come from God. I love Him so much and I want to grow in living Him. My desire is to be pleasing to Him and reflect that in loving relationships. Recognising being a member, a minister, a messenger and a missionary is just the start of getting on with sharing the love. I do want to share that love and see others likewise desire to grow and know the Lord Jesus Christ.

He has done so much for me, it’s the best place to begin in any endeavour of life.

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 

Psalm 107 – Stories of the Redeemed

My friend asked me if I was going to say anything, I shook my head. Eventually he got up and shared an aspect of his testimony and he simply gave thanks for being redeemed. It had a powerful impact on the listeners. It had a powerful impact on me. He knew where he had been and how bad things were and how amazing it was for God to redeem Him from that by His love. He knew God for himself, he had a story of the Redeemed. 

This Psalm shares four other stories of the Redeemed. Whether wanderers looking for a city to settle in, or those whose decisions actively placed them in darkness, or those foolish and sickened by their rebellion or those on the season about to be overwhelmed by the storms of their voyage – these all knew what it was to be in peril, what it was to cry out to God and what it was for God to hear and rescue them. 

These stories are to inspire us to know we have a story to share. How we were sinking in sin, far from the peaceful shore. How our active rebellion left us in a spiralling cycle of addiction and pain. How we were looking for something to satisfy in so many different areas and things and came up short in all of them. In those situations, some cataclysmic, some internal as we die in quiet agony. Whatever the situation, we have a story to share – a real story – of God showing up and showing out reversing the fortunes of the afflicted and shutting up the wicked. 

We have a story to share in word or song. In conversation and in life. A story of giving thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden