A rambling blog by a Christian in Northern Ireland

Friday, 6 February 2015


15:05 Posted by Gary Boal , No comments
"Awake, therefore, all of you in whose hearts is anything of the ways of God! Your enemy is not only upon you, as on Samson of old, but is in you also. He is at work. . .

. . .Would you not dishonour God and His gospel; would you no scandalize the saints and ways of God; would you not wound your own conscienses and endanger your souls; would you not grieve  the good and holy Spirit of God, the author of all your comforts; would you keep your garments undefiled, and escape the woeful temptations and pollutions of the days wherein we live; would you be preserved from the number of the apostates in these latter days?"
[John Owen, Indwelling Sin]


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Some thoughts on a passage i hit this morning during my devotions (2 Corinthians 7:1)

10:35 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
Since we have these promises (2 Cor 6:16b-18), beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 7:1

The promises that drive us to cleanse ourselves and towards holiness are found in the previous verses:

He makes His dwelling among us, and walks with us.
He is our God.
He welcomes us.
He is our Father.
He is the Lord Almighty.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A Welcome To Zach

22:20 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
Our 3rd baby child was born this week - Zachariah Caleb Levi Boal

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Speaker I Didn't Get To Hear - But Now I Will.

16:11 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
The week I started working in Revival Movement Association all the guys there were talking about a visitor they'd had the previous week. The guy was covertly known as Bro Mac and had talked about his work in a Country closed to the Gospel. Over the years the work has supplied literature again and again to him and even as I type this we are printing in the language of that closed country.

Over the years we've had many great & interesting men & women of God come to the factory and encourage us with what Christ is doing through the partnership of our ministry & theirs. But i guess it was the one i missed that always interested me - that speaker who so impressed my work mates that they were still talking about him that week i started.

16 years on Bro Mac is speaking at the work's conference tomorrow (yep - i'll finally get to hear him).

A Guy I wish I could Have Lunch With

12:32 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
A friend mentioned meeting up with his grandad to me this morning, and how much he enjoyed it. First it made me consider my own grandfather and how he died when I was still young, then I thought of my great uncle Bobby.

Probably the godliest man i've met and a great friend. He and his wife Maud lived not far from where I went to high school and i'd quite regularly visit them over lunch time and after school. Then in my early 20's after conversion I loved going to chat and talk with this man of God.

He'd share things from his youth, tell me jokes, open the scriptures, tell me some funny tales of various characters he'd met over the years and then we'd pray together.

Sure he was quite traditional in some of his views, but I saw him losen his grip on many things as God would often put godly people in his path who contradicted some of his tightly held convictions. He learned that Scripture alone was the measuring rod of Christianity and that traditional values (as good as they may be) were to be put on the shelf when it came to judging others.

He prayed for me every single day, like Job sacrificing on behalf of his children, and when he died I felt the loss of those prayers in many areas of my life.

He was a legend to me, the last of a dying bunch. He'd worked the famous cranes in H&W at the docks, been at Nichholson's meetings, knew many of the guys we read about in books, and never once raised his head in anything other than humility and service, pointing to Jesus alone.

I look forward to seeing him again, but for now, i'd love to call at his house, have some salad sandwhiches, tea and a good old chat.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Book I Want But Can't Get, But Here's The Main Points [Richard Rogers - Seven Treatises]

12:38 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
Sometimes you find out about a book you reckon you'd like to read but cannot get. Today's find was 'Seven Treatises' by Richard Rogers which hasn't been printed since the 17th Century - so chances of finding it are pretty slim.

Basically of what I read of an overview from this guys life, this book sets forth practical steps to Christian living. His 7 points are:

  • Exercising watchfulness
  • Practicing meditation
  • Using the armor of Eph 6
  • Engaging in prayer
  • Reading Scripture & godly authors
  • Offering thanksgiving
  • Practicing Fasting
Some good point I could certainly do with exploring more.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Satisfy Me Early . . .

08:36 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
"Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
That we may rejoice and be glad all our day."
Psalm 90:14

What is the Psalmist saying?
Here's a simple cry that God would win us over first thing in the day, capturing our affections for him and satisfying us in Him so that our day may be joyous.

Why does this prayer matter?
Because if our hearts are satisfied early in the day; if we are won over by Him in the morning, then the days temptations and struggles have less chance of stealing our heart and drawing our affections to sin.

Applying the principle towards others.
Not only does this verse give us something to pray, but teaches us how to respond and how to listen to others. We can help others find satisfaction in God so that they can be happy all day. .

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Study Hard

10:00 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
“Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow.” 

 Richard Baxter

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Feeling (C)OLD

22:03 Posted by Gary Boal No comments

I am feeling pretty old right now. You see I've never had a problem jumping into cold deep water before, and then i don't do it for a while and THEN my son wants to go and do it. So we go and bang the age thing hits.

The cold hit me as soon as my big toe hit the water - unfortunately it wasn't a test and the rest of my body was in mid-air, soon to follow as the icy freeze engulfed me.

Yeh I had fun and even had my decade shower under a small waterfall (wouldnt want to get too clean) but I slipped, meaning i've now a very sore hand, hip and shoulder AND even a few hours later after a v hot shower I can still feel the cold in my bones as though Frozen's Elsa had zapped me with her ice ... zappiness.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Israel / Palestine - Taking Sides . . .

20:53 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
There's a lot going on in the world at the minute, not least of which is the conflict in Gaza. I'm not going to get into a debate, nor am i interested in taking sides in this but the one sided attitudes of the press and of many within the Church are bugging the life out of me.

The press have obviously picked Palestine as their champions and fail to see any wrong in that camp, while pointing out the many wrong doings (and there are many) of Israel.

The Church (some) have grabbed the Israel we read about in the Bible, equated it to the Israel we find today and overlooking the atrocities they're committing have raised them up as God's chosen ones, and hence, deserving of our blind support.

The Apostle Paul said it well when he wrote "that Abraham's physical descendants are not necessarily children of God. Only the children of the promise are considered to be Abraham's children." Rom 9:8 NLT

Am I saying that I believe God is finished working with Israel, no, not at all. But I am saying that we shouldn't cheer in their corner, pray (as i heard a friend pray recently) that God would protect them from harm and help them and neglect to pray for the Palestinians. 

Not Children of God
Neither of these groups are people of God, if they are not children of promise; that is if they are outside of Christ. 
Israel as a nation have, and continue to reject Jesus Christ as being the Messiah they were promised so long ago. This means that, while they are children of Abraham, they are not Children of the promise. I know, i know, there are messianic (believing Jews) but in general as a people they reject Jesus.
Palestinians are generally muslim (but likewise there are some believers - meaning children of promise among them). 

Religious Struggle
We have no sides in this if we view it as a religious struggle, because each side claims exclusivity to truth. 
If we come to this as a religious struggle we come as a third side to make war on the other two; as we say they are both fundamentally wrong in their beliefs and need to repent for the Kingdom of God is coming, they need to reject their religions and follow Jesus. 

I do not know the mind of God, so i do not presume to speak as to the troubles there. But when i read my Bible, historically Israel have found blessing and peace when they obeyed God. And they have found trouble, even captivity and the loss of the land when they do not follow Him. Israel today do not worship God in Spirit and truth. The Church should keep that in mind as we look on at this situation.

Pray for both Israel and Palestine, that they would turn and follow the Prince of Peace. That the name of Jesus would be uplifted and that His Spirit would bring salvation to both the Jew and the Gentile.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Review : Portrait Plus

15:52 Posted by Gary Boal No comments
This post is off my normal topic here . . .

Over on my photography blog(s) you can read my latest software review: Portrait Plus which basically edits skin, eyes, wrinkles etc to make a portrait look pretty good.

Check the review out at http://www.boalphotography.com

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Holiday Reads

13:39 Posted by Gary Boal , No comments
Before i went on holiday I asked for a few book recommendations, some came via person, some commented on facebook etc but here's what I ended up reading in between the car being crashed into, losing my credit cards and having the odd bit of fun in the pool - my family would probably also add 'being a grump' to that list:

[Click the images to follow the link to amazon - and i've been lazy and just pasted in the image descriptions from amazon, but in summary I recommend all these books - the fiction must be read with an internal 'bleeper for language' but the stories are great]. 

"Greear unpacks the doctrine of assurance, showing that salvation is a posture we take to the promise of God in Christ, a posture that begins at a certain point and is maintained for the rest of our lives. He also answers the tough questions about assurance: What exactly is faith? What is repentance? Why are there so many warnings that seem to imply we can lose our salvation?

Such issues are handled with respect to the theological rigors they require, but Greear never loses his pastoral sensitivity or a communication technique that makes this message teachable to a wide audience from teens to adults."

"Meet the Man Behind the Myths John Calvin's name evokes powerful images, most of them negative. In the minds of many, he is perceived as an ivory-tower theologian who was harsh and unreasonable, the driving force behind a dangerous theological system. In this volume, Burk Parsons and eighteen other leading Reformed pastors and scholars authoritatively reveal the truth about Calvin and his teaching that he was humble, caring, pious, Scripture-saturated, and, above all, passionate about upholding the glory of God."
It is AD 41. The city of Rome is a dangerous place. 
Optio Macro of the Second Legion, recently decorated for courage on the battlefield, can't wait to leave the teeming city behind. He's dismayed when he's compelled to stay in Rome to train Marcus Valerius Pavo, a young gladiatorial recruit. 
Though fearless Pavo has fought for his life before, he's a novice in the arena. But he's a driven man, with a goal dearer than survival - to avenge his father's death at the hands of a champion gladiator. Will he live to face his nemesis?

Rome, 61 BC

RECRUITED as a gladiator, young Marcus Cornelius Primus faces a new life of brutal training, governed by strict rules, as he learns the skills of an elite warrior.

But Marcus cannot simply forget his past. His father lies murdered by soldiers and his mother has been kidnapped and forced into slavery. Marcus is determined to find his father's old commander, Pompeius the Great, to seek justice for his family and set his mother free.

Yet, unbeknown to him, Marcus is hiding a life-threatening secret. And if the Romans discover it, there will be no escape . . .

In this new Chris Ryan adventure, the best soldiers in the world come together to fight Al-Qaeda.
It is the early days of the war in Afghanistan. SAS hero, Jock, has never fought alongside America's select Tier 1 Operators before now, but when their mission goes pear-shaped, he will find out just what they are made of...
Battling against overwhelming odds in unknown territory, and with the enemy well dug-in, even the most elite soldiers with the most advanced weaponry at their disposal are put to the ultimate test of skill and courage.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Following From Young To Old : Psalm 71:17

12:06 Posted by Gary Boal , No comments
Sometimes when we read Scripture something just lands on us to pray. Today i was in the Psalms and when I read the below verse I just had to pray that my kids can say this when they are older:

"O God, from my youth you have
   taught me,
and I still proclaim your
   wondrous deeds."
Psalm 71:17

Oh that these kids would follow Jesus from their earliest of years and proclaim His glory into their oldest of ages.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Notes On A Familiar Passage : Acts 17:24-25

08:21 Posted by Gary Boal , , , No comments
"The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man . . ."
[God made everything. Our temples (Churches) and all our religious actions (reading Scripture, praying, giving etc) do not manipulate Him one bit]

". . . nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything . . ."
[Our service should not be motivated with any thought that God needs us. Rather it should be a deep rooted love for God that moves us to serve. Also related is our worship - He does not need it, while He calls for it, demands it even, if we simply do it because we feel He needs it or that we can manipulate Him by it we worship wrongly.]

". . . since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything . . ."
[We need Him! Our very life depends upon His grace flowing to us in the form of our breath, our heartbeats, everything.]
(Acts 17:24-25 ESV)