Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This is about the time of year that I normally remind people about the storm season. As we all know, this started at the beginning of June, and we usually don’t get much sign of severe weather until sometime in August. Last year there was a succession of weather events at about this time, but this year all we have had so far was a rather unusual passage of a system to our north in June. If it had taken a slightly different direction we could have been severely affected. But for whatever reason the time of maximum danger for us has statistically been toward the end of the first third of the month of September, a month or so from now. If we are not properly stocked up for a storm it would be a good plan to get up to par from now, rather than leaving things to take care of themselves. 

The same thing also applies to one’s papers in general - passport, certificates, health cards and so on. Make sure these are in a safe place, known and accessible, should we have to abandon where we are living and shelter elsewhere. This may largely depend on the danger of severe flooding in the area of our home. We should include with those a small Bible or New Testament and a Prayer Book. And shutter up should the need arise. The ability to do so cannot, of course, be left to the last minute. The decisions that we make in times of emergency should not be taken outside of a spirit of prayer, so as to ensure their soundness.

The Collect for the Tenth Sunday after Trinity is

Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The first petition, that the LORD may indeed be “open" to hearing the petitions of His “humble servants”, has an important qualifier nevertheless in respect of those petitions being obtained. The qualifier is that the petitioners “ask such things as shall please thee.” 

The Lord Jesus, through whom all our prayers, by His heavenly intercession, are laid before our heavenly Father, has declared His Kingdom to be one of Truth. We cannot successfully ask in prayer to be a woman, for instance, if we are in true fact and divine purpose, separately from our own choice, a man. No matter what we might feel would be our choice about the matter, thousands and thousands of prayers that we might become a woman would not be granted. In such a circumstance to declare that we are a woman is a pretence and a delusion. Moreover, all those media that are now saying that a weightlifter man became a woman and competed as a woman in the “2020” Olympics are delusionary by default. They have followed the delusionary story of the Olympic organisers. And if we, the viewers, told others about it in the same terms, we also would have become delusionary. 

This is not being unloving. People who say that are confusing “being loving” with knuckling under an untruth so as not to displease people. But to knuckle under an untruth, however widespread, is to depart from the Kingdom of Truth, and we are never to do that. As Christians we are charged to follow Him who is of the Truth. It will incur divine displeasure if we depart from the truth. We may not displease the Lord.

We may pray that those we know of who have entered into a delusion may be freed from their delusion by Him who is of the Truth. Such prayer, of course, is truly loving. 

For directions about the services this Sunday the 8th August and the Tenth Sunday after Trinity, please see the website  . 

In reliance upon the mighty power of the Triune God to keep us faithful to and in all truth, I am in your service 

Bishop Nicholas

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