Martin’s Half Coat

As a young boy Martin knew would one day he would be compelled to join the military. He was the son of a senior army officer during the time of the Roman empire, and it was expected he would follow his father’s career by the age of fifteen. Martin was always obedient to his family’s wishes – except for one thing…..

At the age of ten, young Martin started attending a Christian church and began contemplating the claims of Christ. This practice disappointed his parents, and while they hoped Martin would grow out of this interest in Christianity, they stopped short of forbidding him from attending Christian worship services.

The story is told of Martin as an 18 years old, riding with his army colleagues into the city of Amiens, in modern day France. On that bitterly cold winter’s day the soldiers were grateful for the exercise that was keeping them warm.

Martin was not just young in years compared to his seasoned army compatriots, but Martin was also young in the Christian faith. During his teenage years he’d been intrigued by the teachings of this man named Jesus and the idea that a Creator God could love mankind so much that He would become one of them in the person of Jesus.

As Martin rode along that freezing day his attention was diverted to a figure on the side of the road – just outside the city gates. An old man sitting and shivering in the cold – wearing only threadbare and torn clothing, insufficient at pushing back against the sub-zero conditions.

Martin stopped and pulled out his sword. The soldiers riding behind Martin stopped, thinking their comrade might put the wretch by the side of the road out of his misery. Instead, Martin took off his soldier’s coat and – using the sword – cut his coat in two from top to bottom. He gave one half of the coat to the beggar, and wrapped the other half around himself. Martin rode on, and behind him heard the sniggers of the other soldiers.

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Martin and the beggar. Martin cut his coat in two, giving the beggar half.

 

As Martin slept that night he had a dream. In his vision he saw the risen Jesus who was standing before in heaven in all His glory wearing only half a coat. In the dream Martin saw an angel ask Jesus where he’d obtained the coat from: “My friend Martin gave it to me” was Christ’s response.

The dream had a dramatic effect on Martin. He was baptised a short time later and went on to devote his life to the Lord, becoming a bishop in the early Christian church

Martin’s action over 1,600 years ago when he was young Roman soldier echoes the words Jesus found in Matthew 25: “Whenever you feed and clothe and visit and help someone else you are feeding and clothing and helping me.”

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A statue at Höchster Castle (central Germany) of Martin cutting his cloak into two parts

Today, as you continue your walk with Jesus and find yourself helping someone in need, remember this story and the need to interact with others as if you’re helping the very Creator of the universe.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the inspiring story of how one soldier’s sacrifice changed an entire prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.David speaking 2

 

 

“THE GREAT BUNDEENA MILK-CRATE HEIST”

You’d think that cleaning out a shed would be pretty dull. But lurking in ours was a dark and dastardly family secret……

A few year ago, while helping to clean out my grandparents’ garage, I came across a few dozen plastic milk crates that were being used as stackable storage boxes. Over lunch, I innocently asked my grandmother where my grandfather might have collected them from. My grandmother looked thoughtful, then paled, and then a shocked expression stole across her face.  She let out a breathless “Oh, my goodness!!”

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Over the next hour she related a crime so shocking, so disturbing, so heinous, that Oprah would barely believe it…. so I’ll tell you instead.

During the 1980’s, when the world was young and unspoiled, life was simple in the sleepy township of Bundeena, a community far enough south of Sydney to avoid both hustle and bustle.

That is until THE SCANDAL broke.

News spread across back fences and through the community that someone, in the middle of the night, was stealing milk crates from the corner shop. Each evening, three or four crates that had been left by townspeople who had milk delivered to their door were being stolen in audacious night-time raids.

Many thought the innocence of the town was being shattered.

As always, the youth were blamed. Police were alerted and the little grocery store organised a safer way to return the empty crates. Over the years the township of Bundeena tried to move on – but many point to this incident as the first time people started locking their homes!

Little did they know that in their midst was a seventy-year-old man – my grandfather – harbouring a secret stash of stolen milk-crates. In fact, it was about forty of these “secrets”, and they were storing fishing line, old tennis balls, and gardening tools.

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Finally, the Great Bundeena Milk Crate Heist was no longer a mystery.  My very own grand-father was the culprit. As I pieced together the crime over lunch with my grandmother I felt like I was Sherlock Holmes.

But what was I to do now? What would we do with the family shame stored in all those crates? My grandmother made a tough moral decision.  She’d make me take them back.  “Because it’s the right thing to do”, she said – “We need to make things right!”

The way I saw it I had two options. One was to front up to the shop and try to explain the actions of my grandfather fifteen years previously, and explain that my grandmother now wanted them returned. The other alternative was to take them back in the middle of the night – like a coward – hoping no-one would see me.

So at midnight that night, I dropped the forty stolen milk-crates by the door of the shop and scurried home.

As I lay in bed late that night I imagined the look on the store owner’s face when he arrived for work the next day – and found milk crates not seen for a two decades. That’s a long time to keep milk, even in the fridge!

At least, as my Nan put it, ‘a wrong was made right.’

Do you feel like your life needs a clean out? Or, like my grandparents’ shed, are you storing some secret sin or mistake? And does that stored guilt need to be made right if possible – even if it takes an awkward apology, some kind of restitution, or even another attempt to re-start a relationship?

God Himself wants to make right this world – even though He didn’t cause the breakdown. Day by day He is working towards a new world, a world without selfishness, greed, arrogance, broken families, hurting children, the loss of loved ones to sickness and death.

That’s why He came as a baby 2,000 years ago.

And God also wants to make things right with you personally.

So, do you have any metaphorical milk-crates you’d like to give back to Him? It feels great when you do. Just ask my grandmother.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the inspiring story of how one soldier’s sacrifice changed an entire prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.David speaking 2

Benjamin Franklin: Let Your Light Shine

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Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Benjamin Franklin was a famous eighteenth century American thinker, writer, and inventor. One of his most well-known experiments was to prove that lightening was electrically charged – and Franklin did this by flying a kite in a storm with a metal key attached to the kite.

Benjamin Franklin lived in the U.S. city of Philadelphia and hoped to interest his fellow neighbours in the possible benefits of street-lighting at night. Ben Franklin didn’t simply try to persuade his fellow citizens by talking about street-lighting, what he did do was practically demonstrate the benefits. Franklin placed a candle in an ornamental lantern on a long bracket on the outside wall of his own home. He ensured the glass on his lantern was highly polished, and each day as the sun began to set Benjamin Franklin would personally light the lantern’s wick. His neighbours would see the light from a distance and how it helped them avoid obstacles and stepping on rocks near Franklin’s home. Soon, other people also began to place a lantern outside their own home and before too long street lighting took shape in the American city of Philadelphia.

Benjamin Franklin didn’t simply talk about the benefits of street lighting, he let others see how it would make a difference.

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In the same way, it’s not enough to only talk about the reality of Jesus Christ – our family and neighbours need to see how surrendering to our Saviour has made a difference in your life.

“You are the light of the world,” Jesus told His listeners in the famous ‘Sermon on the Mount’ – “so, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Allow your light to shine so a world in darkness may see our loving Creator more clearly.

 

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and he lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the funny story of how one orchestra member saved his colleagues from their famous boss’s wild temper tantrums

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Catching Monkeys, Losing Your Soul

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There are stories from Africa a century ago of the locals trapping monkeys to sell to the colonialists as pets.

The way they trapped the wild monkeys was simple and almost unbelievable – and the method has a spiritual message for us today.

Monkeys in the wild are very elusive. As soon as they see or hear someone approaching they jump quickly high into the tall trees and hide themselves in the canopy. The only way the white colonialists could catch them was to shoot them trying to only injure the monkeys and not kill them – but you can see straight away this method of catching monkeys had significant flaws.

The locals had a better method – one that captured the monkeys without any harm or shots being fired.

They tied a bottle to the base of a small tree and placed a delicious peanut inside the bottle. These professional monkey catchers would then walk away and give the bottle plenty of space for the monkeys to feel safe. A monkey would smell the peanut and come down to investigate. Seeing the peanut at the bottom of the bottle the monkey would squeeze his hand through the bottle’s opening and grab hold of the yummy meal.

Once the monkey had hold of the peanut, the monkey catchers would then calmly walk towards the tree. The monkey would see the humans approaching and scream and flail about, but the monkey couldn’t escape from the bottle tied to the tree. His small hand that had squeezed through the bottle’s opening was now formed into a fist as he held onto the peanut… and because the monkey wasn’t willing to let go of his food he wouldn’t be able to pull his hand out of the bottle’s opening.

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A still image from a century old film of how to catch monkeys

The monkey catchers would then grab hold of the monkey, tie him up, and then train him for a lifetime of captivity as a pet to some wealthy foreigner.

For the sake of not letting go of a peanut the monkey spent a lifetime in captivity.

Before we pass judgment on the monkey or comment on their foolishness, how many of us are holding onto metaphorical “peanuts” in our lives and being held captive by them.

We remember with resentment the harsh comment by a former school teacher or friend – and allow the residual bitter feelings to well up inside us and just like the monkey we’re held captive to something that happened a long time ago. Or we allow someone else’s beliefs about us to become our own limiting beliefs and we’re held back from becoming the person our Creator wants us to be. Sometimes we even hold onto an unfulfilling job or relationship and never truly experience the freedom the Lord wants us to have.

In the Gospel of Luke it records Jesus standing up to preach in a synagogue one Sabbath, and he says to those willing to listen: “”The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for I have been anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. I have been sent to proclaim that captives shall be released… and the oppressed will be set free.”

How many of us are not living life with more freedom because of a peanut we’re holding on to? How many of us feel like we’re captive to something else?  Won’t you let go, and let God give you a life more abundant. Won’t you let your Creator set you free.

Let go… and let God.

To view a YouTube clip of locals catching monkeys a century ago click here

 

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and he lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the sad and inspiring story of a soldier who was willing to die for his fellow prisoners.

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Miracle on the River Kwai

Captain Ernest Gordon was a company commander in the British army during the Second World War. He was captured by the Japanese and spent three years as their prisoner. During his captivity Captain Gordon – or simply “Ernie” to his friend – was forced to work building the infamous Thai-Burma railway line, including the bridge over the River Kwai.

In his autobiographical book “Miracle on the River Kwai” Ernie Gordon recounts how the barbarous treatment by their Japanese captors had caused the behaviour of the prisoners to degenerate. These British prisoners-of-war were starting to be cruel and malicious to each other, but then one afternoon something terrible happened. One of the shovels was discovered to be missing on the work site, and the Japanese officer in charge of the unit was furious. He ordered that the person who stole the shovel to come forward otherwise he would execute every last one of them there and then. It was obvious the Japanese commanding officer meant what he said as he pulled out his pistol.

Unexpectedly, one of the Scottish soldiers stepped forward. The Japanese officer put his gun away, picked up one of the remaining shovels, and beat the man to death with it.

When the violent execution was over, the other prisoners-of-war picked up their friend’s body and carried it to their next tool check. They planned to bury their friend’s body at the end of the day when they were given permission. As they again counted the tools they discovered that all the shovels were there. A mistake had been made in the previous tool count and actually no shovel had been stolen.

News of the soldier’s death travelled rapidly through the whole camp. An innocent man had willingly volunteered to die in order to save others.

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Captain Ernest Gordon’s book was made into a major film in 2002

The episode had an overwhelming impact on the entire prison camp. The prisoners-of-war stopped mirroring their captors’ degrading behaviour and they began to treat each other with kindness, just like brothers should.

The result of one man’s sacrifice for others created a miracle

Captain Ernest Gordon says he became a Christian in that P.O.W. camp, and when he returned from the war he became a minister of the Gospel. It was the examples of Christ-in-Action during his imprisonment – just like the fellow soldier who willingly died for others – that convinced Ernie of God’s sacrifice for each of us. Captain Gordon experienced the transforming power of sacrificial love.

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Captain Gordon became a Christian in the Japanese prison camp and went on to become a Minister – working with Martin Luther King in the 1960’s

Jesus says in the the Gospel of Mark: “For I did not come to be served, but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” And our Saviour willingly died so you and I might live life more abundantly.

Sacrificial love has a transforming power. Won’t you accept the sacrificial love your Creator has for you, and come to the cross of Jesus Christ?

 

 

Click here to read the fascinating story of someone who dared take Communion alongside the Duke of Wellington.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the inspiring story of an impoverished monk who stopped the carnage in Rome’s Colloseum 

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The Saving of John Paton

John Paton was a Christian missionary to the New Hebrides Islands in the South Pacific – a group of fourteen islands we know today as Vanuatu.

A native of Scotland, John Paton arrived in the New Hebrides 1858 with his young wife. But only a few months later he would lose his wife and young son to tropical fever. Despite the early tragedy John continued to work on the islands for decades. As a minister, educator, a developer of small industries for the locals, he was a strong advocate against the practice of slavery in the region.

One evening some hostile natives surrounded John’s house and were intent on burning out John and his second wife and killing them – including their young children. The Patons prayed as you would expect a missionary family would, and stayed awake all during that terror-filled night requesting God might deliver them. When daylight finally came they were amazed and relieved to see their attackers leaving. They thanked the Lord for his providence.

A year later, the chief of that tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief was surprised by the the question and replied: “Well… we couldn’t attack because of all those men who were there with you”. John Paton was socked because he knew no other men were there with them that night a year previous. The chief continued and said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with swords and spears circling the mission station. John Paton discovered he and his family were saved that night because God had sent a heavenly army to protect them.

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There’s a similar story in the Bible where an opposing army surrounds the city where the prophet Elisha is staying. Elisha tells those close enough to hear: “Don’t be afraid….Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2 Kings 6:16).

Elisha then prays to God that his colleague might see more clearly – and the eyes of Elisha’s servant are spiritually opened to see why Elisha told him not to be afraid. Something happens to the servant’s eyes and he sees what Elisha had known all along – the servant suddenly sees an even bigger army of God’s angels surrounding the enemy army, and these angels were ready to protect those who stayed faithful to God.

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Do you feel under attack at the moment? Is there a difficulty or a disaster weighing down heavily upon you? Keep faithful in prayer and know with confidence your Creator is surrounding you with all the heavenly help you need.

May the opening words to the 46th Psalm in the Bible be of comfort to you:

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times trouble.”

 

Click here to read a story of another faithful Scot – a dog named “Greyfriars Bobby” who waited by the grave of his owner for fourteen years.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the fascinating story of a European king’s funeral and how in death we are all the same.

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“What profits a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?”

Michael Landy is an English artist who did something a few years ago that shocked and enthralled the British public.

London-born Landy spent three years cataloguing every possession he had in his life. Everything from a couple of postage stamps to his most important life documents such as his birth certificate and passport, all his clothing (including his late father’s favourite sheep-skin coat), old magazines, books, and all his furniture. He wrote a list of everything he owned including his beloved SAAB sports car. His list of possessions came to 7,227 items exactly.

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British artist Michael Landy standing in front of some of his list of 7,227 possessions

And in February 2001 Michael Landy, at the age of 37, then spent two weeks destroying EVERYTHING (yes everything, including the SAAB)! He set up conveyor belts in a shop window on London’s busiest street for shopping and invited people to watch as he disassembled, crushed, and shredded all his possessions. Over 45,000 people stopped at the shop window during the next two weeks as Michael Landy eradicated his life’s entire accumulation into nearly six tonnes of waste. The resulting bags of scrap were sent away to either be recycled or dumped into landfill.

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Michael’s SAAB being disassembled and destroyed

At the end of the self-inflicted exercise Landy was left with nothing but the clothes he was standing in… and some financial debt!

The response from the British public ranged from anger and outrage for such a waste, to applause for his courageous stand against consumerism. It caused many to think about their own relationship with the material things in their lives.

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Michael Landy sits amongst almost six tonnes of assorted waste as the London public look through the shop window on Oxford Street

In a similar way, Jesus Christ has been challenging us for two thousand years on how we approach possessions.

“What profits a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his own soul?” Jesus poignantly asks us in Matthew 16:26. A few chapters later Jesus challenges a rich young man to give away all his possessions and be a part of Christ’s Kingdom, something the wealthy gentleman simply couldn’t do when he considered his worldly riches.

In our daily walk with Christ we’re told that our life is more than the sum of our possessions and status but is instead a realisation of who our Creator is and His love for each of us.

The Bible says Michael Landy’s destruction of all his earthly belongings in 2001 is simply a forerunner to what is going to happen at the return of Jesus to this world. Where reminded by the Apostle Peter that: “The return of the Lord will come unexpectedly like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; and everything will be destroyed…the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare for judgment”
(2 Peter 3:10).

As you look to our Lord’s return with expectation and readiness let’s make sure our possessions don’t take possession of us.

 

Click here to watch a short interview with Michael Landy about his experience destroying all his possessions 

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and he lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the fascinating story of a European king’s funeral and how in death we are all the same

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“The Light of the World”

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A self-portrait by William Holman Hunt (1827-1910)

 

A painting by Englishman William Holman Hunt completed in the mid-nineteenth century was for many years the most famous picture in the British Empire.

Titled “The Light of the World” the painting was taken on world tours, and when it was brought to Australia in the early 1900’s it’s estimated that up to 80% of Australia’s population at the time came to see it.

Reports from the painting’s public viewings in Melbourne describe minor injuries in people stampeding in attempts view it. Large crowds are described as being in hushed reverence in front of the artwork. There are even reports of people fainting when they saw the painting.

The surprising aspect of this art story from over a hundred years ago is the painting – “The Light of the World” – is a portrait of Jesus Christ.

The artist had been inspired by a verse in the Bible, Revelation 3:20 – which says “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

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William Holman Hunt’s famous painting of Jesus as described in Revelation 3:20

And in the portrait Hunt paints Jesus standing with a lantern, knocking on a closed door overgrown with weeds. According to the artist this closed, dilapidated door represents the stubbornness of our hearts to have faith in Christ.

What’s not obvious when you first look at the painting is the door has no external handle or doorknob. The door can only be opened from the inside by the occupant of the home.

The message in the painting (and the words of Christ in Revelation 3:20) is clear: our Saviour Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts and knocking. And the person who hears that knock and also His quiet voice calling to them needs to open the door for Him. Christ doesn’t barge into our lives uninvited – His humility waits for each of us to open the door to Him.

Today the painting hangs in London’s famous St. Paul’s Cathedral, but the words of Christ in Revelation 3:20 that inspired the painting hang forever in our hearts.

Won’t you hear Christ knocking on your heart today and open the door for Him. He desires to come in and spend eternity in your company.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and he lives on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith from this series? Click here to read the fascinating story of what the thirteenth-century theologian Thomas Aquinas said when he walked in on Pope Innocent II counting his gold and silver.

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Diving Deep: The Saving of Tony Bullimore

“IT WAS LIKE A WASHING MACHINE FROM HELL!” – Tony Bullimore

 

The English sailor Tony Bullimore shivered in the cold Southern Ocean waters. His upturned yacht was 1,500 miles south-west of the Australian coast and only 1,000 miles from Antarctica. He’d been in the water for four days after his boat was capsized by monstrous seas and bracing winds of up to a hundred miles an hour. “It was like a washing machine from hell!” was how Bullimore would later describe his experience. “But I couldn’t afford to get scared; I had to focus on how to stay alive for a little longer — just in case rescuers were coming.”

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Tony Bullimore’s upturned yacht was tossed around the Southern Ocean for four days before rescuers found him.

 

Tony Bullimore survived by sheltering underneath his upturned hull in an air pocket, in complete darkness. His only food was taking an occasional bite from a chocolate bar he’d managed to scramble in the wreckage. The year was 1997, and this ship-wrecked sailor was presumed dead by family and the media after so many days missing in wild seas.

When the rescue ship – the HMAS Adelaide – finally arrived at the wreckage site, one of the highly trained team climbed aboard the upturned boat and began knocking on the exposed hull. As Tony Bullimore huddled in the cold, wet darkness can you imagine how he might have felt the moment he heard someone on the other side of his boat knocking. Tony says he started shouting `I’m coming, I’m coming!”. He took a few deep breaths, dove under the water from inside his capsized boat, and then emerged into the morning sunshine. He would later say the experience of coming into the light was “heaven, absolute heaven”. The captain of the rescue ship recorded Tony Bullimore’s first words as: “Thank God… It’s a miracle!”

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This photo captures the moment rescuers knocked on the hull of his boat – and Tony Bullimore swam into the light after sheltering in his overturned boat for four days

The experience of the saving of Tony Bullimore twenty years ago from the Southern Ocean is similar to the those who’ve chosen to follow Christ. We too can feel lost in the swirling ocean of a confused existence, and yet Jesus – our spiritual rescuer – provides us with hope. “I stand at the door (of your heart) and knock” Jesus says in the book of Revelation. “If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to them and be with them.” (Rev. 3:20)

Can you hear the knocking of your Saviour on the hull of your heart? You may have given up hope – but the truth is your Creator has come, and He’s inviting you to take a few big breaths, to dive deep, and come into His light.

 

Want to read more inspirational stories of faith? Click here to read the incredible story of how a rural monk unexpectedly closed down the gladiatorial violence of the Roman Coloseum.

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a Christian minister residing on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.

The Skydiver Who Forgot His Parachute

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As Ivan McGuire boarded the small airplane with his video camera, the experienced skydiver didn’t know this would be his final ever flight.

Ivan worked as a cameraman filming nervous student parachuters taking their first-ever jump. He’d made hundreds of these flights and any fear of leaping out of a plane from a height of three kilometres had left Ivan long ago.

On April 5th, 1988 Ivan McGuire jumped from a plane with his heavy VHS recording deck strapped to his back and the camera mounted to his helmet. He’d already completed two of these filming jumps that day, so he was a little fatigued – which may account for his soon-to-be-discovered forgetfulness. Ivan smoothly filmed the student strapped to his instructor as they both free-fall through the air and open their combined parachute – and then the surviving video footage goes from smooth to frenzied.

Shortly after the instructor had opened his parachute, Ivan reached around to open his…. and discovered that he’d forgotten to put one on. Perhaps it was tiredness or mistaking the video pack on his back as a parachute, but imagine what might have gone through the experienced skydiver’s mind as he was free-falling to Earth from ten thousand feet with nothing to save him. The salvaged footage recorded from his helmet shows Ivan going from matter-of-fact calmness to understandable panic.

Ivan McGuire’s death thirty years ago can be likened to a spiritual cautionary tale. Followers of Christ need to make sure every day we are including our faith in our Lord as our ‘saving parachute’. As we step out into the unknowns of our daily existence we all need to make sure we’re not going through the religious motions but double-checking we’ve consciously asked our Saviour to go with us.

For those who’ve asked God into their life the Bible says: “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

This biblical promise is a daily ‘parachute of faith’ that allows each of us to be saved whenever we fall.

Click here to view Ivan McGuire’s helmet video of his final jump

Click here to read about one man whose ‘one word sermon’ for thirty-five years was viewed by over a billion people

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About this blog: Pastor David Riley is a Christian minister residing on the Gold Coast in Australia. This article is from his “Reverential Ramblings” series – which you can subscribe to by clicking “follow” on this website.