Good morning from a sunny London! Here is a magnificent photo of our very own St. Francis…

It reminded me of a funny incident that happened when I lived in Sydney.

I had just arrived in Sydney and an evangelical pastor invited me to do a 2 year internship on inner healing.

For the first couple of months I stayed at his house and with his family in an area of Sydney called Sutherland. Ron had given his life to helping broken people and ran a very successful inner healing ministry for many years.

All that aside, one Saturday morning I was alone in the kitchen and in flew a parrot. Now in this area there were many parrots so it wasn’t exactly unusual.

As the parrot flew around the kitchen things began to fall and break and the crazy bird began to panic.

Now bearing in mind that I grew up on a farm, animals had their place and that place was outside.

What on earth was I going to do and what would I tell Ron and his wife Ruth?

And then as if by a miracle the dog who spent 90% of his time sleeping sprang to life!

Indy, a beagle who looked similar to the dog in the picture grabbed the bird, nailed it to the floor and rescued the situation.

Now there was only one problem, was the dog going to kill the bird and what about all the blood and feathers?

I called upstairs and by the grace of God one of the kids was home. Rushing down stairs he came into the kitchen and scolded the dog!

“Bad dog, bad boy”

I was astonished as in my humble opinion this was the first useful thing poor Indy did since he was born.

Long story short, the bird escaped out the door and all was well.

However it doesn’t end there! You see afterwards I shared what happened to my friends and at least 90% of them all took the birds side.

From my country background saving the kitchen was more important than saving a bird but others saw things differently.

My lesson in Australia was only just beginning when it came to animals as I discovered the lengths people were willing to go to in order to keep them alive.

One elderly lady I met on the street was walking a dog that looked like a cat with anorexia and when I said “what an unusual dog” (instead of saying “what an ugly little monster”) she went onto tell me all the medication she gives it. Pills for arthritis, pills for epilepsy, pills for sleeping.

$$$$$$$$$$$$ I thought!

Yet all these things got me thinking! Life you see is about belief systems and priorities and what is very important to one person may not be at all important to another.

We see this nowadays in all walks of life and especially in the church.

Some people like me give their lives to following Jesus and to prayer while other people don’t believe that there is any God nor is prayer of any value.

And when someone has a conversion experience their priorities change and so the value they place on things change.

In the ideal church and world God would take first place. Seeking His will, cooperating with His ways and bringing as many people as possible to knowing him through prayer would be our common passion.

Afterwards would come the other necessities of life and so people would not be so absorbed in careers and material success as many are today.

And so as Pentecost is approaching and we are praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it might be a good time to ask ourselves humbly and honestly:

“Where is God and serving God through the way I live my life and help others in the list of my priorities?”

“How concerned am I by the current state of the world and the cry of Jesus to save souls?”

“Am I more concerned with living a good earthly life that I forget about eternity?”

“How do I see the church and how am I helping her?”

Obviously you could ask many more questions!

On that fine Saturday morning in Sydney, the life of a little parrot was saved. How much more beautiful that today the Lord Jesus is inviting us to prayer and conversion so that we can not only save animals, so that we can save souls from perishing eternally.

“Jesus, may our lives be an example to others of your existence and your call to prayer and conversion. May you use us to bring your love and hope to others. Purify us of all false priorities and may loving and following you be the only thing that really matters in our lives. Bless all animals too, especially parrots and beagles!”

Blessings to you all,

Michael