Anthony of the Desert!

You may remember that in a recent newsletter I referred to Lawrence of Arabia. Many of you will have become familiar with his name and exploits by seeing the film starring Peter O’Toole in the title role. But I wonder how many of you have heard of Anthony of the Desert? I kid you not, this man was a real hero……..a hero of the faith. In the third century AD, challenged by God’s Word (Matt. 19v21) he gave away all his wealth and moved into the Egyptian wilderness to seek God in prayer. On one occasion, a visitor observing his simple lifestyle asked the great man how he coped without the comfort of books. ‘My book,’ replied Anthony, ‘is the nature of created things, and as often as I have a mind to read the words of God, it is at my hand’*. Recently, through a series of daily readings, I have been considering the numerous ways God can speak to us and the challenge it is for us to hear and recognise His voice. This past week, Mandy and I have been fortunate enough to spend a few days in Embleton. I have to say that I love the sea and I took the opportunity to spend some time alone with God walking along an almost deserted beach, with only the gentle sound of waves lapping on the shore. There was no audible voice but, in those moments, the sight and sound of the sea created within me a need to express praise for my creator God who has made all things and above all else adopted me, rescued me, forgiven me and made me an heir to all His promises, all made possible by the good news of Jesus. I would encourage you to take any opportunity to pray and ask God what He might be saying to you, especially through the work of His hands. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” Ps. 19v1-4 (NLT). Bryan (*Gary Thomas, Sacred Pathways, p.39.)