For Ballarat the 1850’s was an eventful time. It was the start of the gold rush and the unrest which led to the Eureka stockade. It was also the decade of the Crimean war. Some of Ballarat‘s suburb names echo the interest and patriotism generated by this far away war.

Sebastopol, Inkerman, Redan (a fortification type used by the Russians), Raglan after Lord Raglan, Cardigan after Lord Cardigan etc.

The Crimean war itself was full of heroism and courage and endurance. Unfortunately it was also poorly organized, supplied and provisioned as well as indifferently led.

It was full of opportunities which if they had been taken, would have shortened the war and gained victory. As it was the early failures caused the war to drag into winter and lives were lost due to the cold and terrible conditions.

Man very often gets it wrong. He is overconfident and fails to plan for unforeseen eventualities. Even when he thinks that he has crossed all the “T”s and has dotted all the “I”s things crop up he does not foresee and success eludes him. Often he has to be content with limited success or a “draw”.

With the benefit of hindsight we say that if we had been in that situation things would have been different and we would have won the day at less a cost.But if we honestly  look over the pattern of our lives the blots and smudges spoil the highlights and successes.

Despite man’s overweening sense of ability and pride in accomplishment, the truth is there is as much of man’s failure in the world as of his achievement. The world while it is not as bad as it could be is certainly not as good as it could be.

God’s ways are not like man’s ways. He never miscalculates or is caught by surprise. That thing which God purposes will be carried out.

To guarantee the success in your endeavors submit and conform them into the will of God. Do nothing that would displease Him and live your life to please Him and your only cause for regret will be that you did not do it sooner.

The Firing line!

Sad to say we often expect other people to do things we would be unwilling to do our self. We want people to stand up for the truths of the gospel but we are timid about it ourselves. We want the gospel to be proclaimed to the community in which we live and throughout the world but we have trouble sharing our faith. We leave many things in the hands of ministers and Christian workers and content ourselves with paying to support them.

We pray for a time of revival so that we will have supernatural ability to carry out evangelism and the church will grow as a result. Until then we are powerless and the sinful ‘Post -Christian” world will only howl us down if we say anything.

A minister friend of mine some years ago asked a visiting American minister why many of the U.S. churches were growing? He replied “Our people share their faith”.

I am as guilty as any.

The question we must ask our self is “Do we have a faith to share? Will we step into the firing line even a little?


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