Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Living and the Dead

If you visit regularly, you will probably have noticed I have changed the characteristics of my blog. I have darkened the main page colour to black, as a mark of respect. It isn't permanent... and I expect I shall return to the tried and trusted bluey purple once matters in the near future draw to a conclusion.

Yesterday, whilst posting about the death of Richard, I created a prayer and I said the following:

"May the seeds that were sown through Richard, not fall on barren soil. May the hearts that heard him speak your Word... respond to it."

I thought little more of it until this morning. It was then that a Bible study, written by another man of God who is no longer with us (Selwyn Hughes), struck me. The passage in the study came from John 12:2o-36... and this bit really jumped out me, I think you will immediately see why:

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!"

Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."

Isn't it amazing that matters concerning two dead men, converge with my own thoughts in a moment of bittersweet beauty... to remind me of a poignant truth?

Selwyn Hughes must have set this scripture down for today,some time ago. You might call it a bizarre coincidence that my thoughts when concerning a dying friend, wandered to that same passage... and that on the following day I read it. However, I don't believe in coincidences.

I also don't believe either Selwyn Hughes or Richard Dobell are truly "dead", in the context that men understand that word:

"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me."

These two men served Christ, he was with them as they walked among us... and now they are at rest beside him, as he guides and strengthens us on our own personal journey. We should not look among the dead for these men... for in a way we have yet to fully comprehend or experience for ourselves, they are very much among the living.

I believe we shall see good seed flourish. I believe God is at work in our hardship and grief as well as in our happiness.

I truly believe it.



P.S. as a side note, I feel it worth mentioning that if you feel a need to start using daily Bible notes, I can heartily recommend Every Day with Jesus. I tell you in truth, there have been many times when the passages selected... and the commentaries written by Selwyn Hughes... have been exceptionally relevant to me personally. It really has been uncanny... and I am of the persuasion that you might find the same level of personal relevance should you use them.


  1. Nick, I pray you, your family and those that Richard has left behind will find comfort as you mourn.

  2. 'I am the resurrection and the life, whoever lives and believes in me, even though they die, will live forever'


    May the God of life give you his comfort and grace in your loss.

  3. Echo the above comments.

    It is amazing how often the writings of Selwyn Hughes touch the heart and bring to life the scriptures. I was blessed to meet and hear him speak a few times and never a more gentle and humble man yet so authoritative at the same time. A truly great man of God.

    I recommend 'Spoken from the Heart' as a set of his sermons. In fact anything written by him.

    Draw near to God and He will surely draw near to you!

    Yours in Christ


  4. Thank you for your very thought provoking comments and sharings re the chicken and the eagle. Really got me to thinking. Sorry to hear about the loss, but you have shared inspirationally to all who would read. We've had two funerals this week - one a non christian who died of a sudden heartattack, aged 44 and has left behind a partner and 2 children aged 6 and 4, and the second my husband's Grandfather, a christian man who was 6 weeks off being 100! It's been an emotional week on many fronts.


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