Sandyknowes Blog

Living beside the busiest roundabout in Northern Ireland gives plenty of opportunity for watching the world go by. Sandyknowes Blog is the personal blog of Niall Lockhart (minister of Ballyhenry). Pull in and have a read…

The Bible doesn’t tell us a lot about Joseph. We know that he was a carpenter, that his family roots were in Bethlehem, and that at one point in his life he got engaged to a girl called Mary. And then everything changed. Matthew in his gospel records how in a dream one night an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: ‘Joseph Son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus.’ (Matt 1 vs 20) And with those words everything changed.

Today (4th December) The Times newspaper carried an extensive obituary to Sir Fred Catherwood, the Northern Irish born former politician and industrialist who died on 30th November at the age of 89. A similarly detailed obituary was carried earlier in the week in The Guardian.

This past week saw the very sad death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes. Hughes died at the age of 25 after being struck on the head by a ball in a game between South Australia and New South Wales. An unspeakable tragedy for his family, his death has had a profound impact in his native Australia with the Sydney Morning Herald running the simple headline 'We love you.'

Earlier this week the Presbyterian Church in Ireland issued a statement reflecting on the apparent decision of the Equality Commission to take further steps towards legal action against the owners of Ashers Baking Company. The statement offers a thoughtful Christian response to this unfolding situation which has been prominent this week in our local news. To read the statement in full click here.

Earlier today I met up with Chris and Sarah Keiller. Chris and Sarah are OMF missionaries who are currently on ‘home assignment’ from Thailand. Before they left for Thailand in 2010 Chris and Sarah visited Ballyhenry and since then we as a congregation have followed them and their work with interest.

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