References to: John Halford

Blessed Are the Dung Beetles

Kruger National Park, South Africa: Like all visitors to this world-famous wildlife reserve, my friends and I hoped to see the “big five”—lions, leopards, cape buffalo, rhinoceros and elephants. Well, we didn’t see any elephants, but we did see where they had been.

Elephants need to eat three or four hundred pounds of vegetation a day, and they have a “throughput” to match. That is a lot of manure, and it presents quite a cleanup problem.

Sometimes God shows his divine nature, with great eloquence, through the small things in his creation.

By: 

John Halford
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Getting It Back to Front

Although I was born in England, I have lived in the USA for many years. But there is something about many Americans’ backyards that leave me feeling uncomfortable. They don’t have fences.

By: 

John Halford
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Discovering Handel's Messiah

One of the greatest musical masterpieces of all time was written by a man on the edge of despair. In September 1741, George Frederick Handel (1685-1759) sat down to begin work on a new composition. Just 24 days later, he had finished what some consider the greatest musical work of all time.

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In Remembrance of What?

Funny, isn’t it, how you can read a scripture many times and still miss something obvious? It even happens to pastors who have many years of experience.

I belong to our local ministerial association. A regular part of our monthly meeting is a short devotional given by one of the members. At a recent meeting it was the turn of Chuck Clayton, the supervising pastor at one of the local churches. He said he had been thinking recently about 1 Corinthians 11, starting in verse 23.

By: 

John Halford
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Urge Protection

The first intimation I had that something was wrong was when my wife came down to the barn where I was working and announced calmly, “Something weird is going on with the electricity.”

I ran up to the house. Something weird certainly was happening. Some of the lights were glowing extraordinarily brightly, and others had burned out. Some appliances had stopped working, and others were working and running at double speed. We shut down everything electrical and called the power company.

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Moving Mountains in Appalachia

Pikeville, Kentucky, had a problem. Flat land is scarce in the Appalachians, and this horseshoe-shaped city had to share its narrow valley with the Big Sandy River, three major roads and a railroad. Hemmed in by the mountains, Pikeville was dusty, congested, and susceptible to flooding. With nowhere to go, it was also held back in economic development.

By: 

John Halford
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The Thief's Story

"Two robbers were crucified with him,
one on his right and one on his left" (Mark 15:27).

Our cell was deep in the prison, but we could hear the noise of a riot in the courtyard. People were shouting Barabbas’ name. Barabbas must have heard it too, but he said nothing. He did not seem to be afraid. Barabbas never showed fear, not even now, when he was soon to be crucified.

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Little Stars: A Story of Faith, Love and Vision from Thailand

I first met Chugait Garmolgomut in the early ’80s, when I was International Student Coordinator for Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. Chugait was tall for a Thai, but was soft spoken, as is typical of Thai people. He told me he had been brought up in Chonburi, near Bangkok, but after his mother had married an American serviceman he came to live in the USA. When I met him, he was living with his step-grandparents in Arizona. He had been brought up in Buddhism, but after coming to understand Christianity he had converted.

By: 

John Halford
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We Say Goodbye... ...But Then What Happens When We Die?

A much-loved relative had died “full of years,” as the King James Bible quaintly puts it. Family and friends gathered in the funeral home to say goodbye. Open-casket funerals are the tradition in our area. So we sat sadly before the mortal remains of our loved one. A solemn recording of a well-known hymn provided an appropriate background for the snuffles and choked-back tears of the mourners.

“That was her favorite hymn,” said someone. “She would have liked that.” And that is when the words of an old Beatles song suddenly popped into my head.

By: 

John Halford
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New Glory - How Becoming a Citizen Helped Me Understand the Christian Faith Better

When Jesus died, rose and ascended to the Father, he established a new relationship between humanity and God—a new covenant. No longer would we need to relate to God through laws, ordinances, sacrifices and ritual. Through Jesus, we can talk to God as son or daughter to a Father. We are part of the family — God’s beloved children.

Sometimes this new relationship seems too good to be true. Are the barriers really removed? Can we really come "boldly before the throne of grace" as if we belonged there?

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