Minister's Blog

"Thought for the Day" on Nevis Radio

Teenage sensation Luke Littler aged 16 reached the final of the PDC World Darts Championship. Although he lost to another Luke, Luke Humphries his rise to championship level was impressive. This young man from Runcorn, Cheshire was introduced early to the sport. Even at 18 months he was playing with a magnetic darts board.

Like lots of lads growing up I had a darts board and enjoyed playing with friends.

The game of darts is said to have originated in England as a game of puff and darts. Some experts claim an origin in the earlier game in France, called flechettes, which is the French for darts. The English game of puff and darts involved blowing through a windpipe rather than throwing a sharp arrow. For one poor fellow it all went terribly wrong when he sucked instead of blew. Maybe it is just as well the modern game of throwing the dart developed.

I’m sure we’ll hear more of Luke Littler. Young people should not be underestimated whether in the world of music or sport or theatre. Perhaps there is a young person with a talent we can encourage or show interest in.

In the Biblical tradition we have the young child Samuel, who was in the care of the temple priest in Shiloh. God spoke to Samuel, and revealed to him things that the adults were not ready to hear. Elderly priest Eli encouraged the young protégé to pray Speak Lord for your servant is listening. That is a prayer that any of us can use, whatever our age or stage.

"Thought for the Day" on Nevis Radio

The news of the earthquake in Japan on the 1st of January was swiftly followed by the incident at Tokyo airport where an airbus burst into flames as it came down on the tarmac. Its 367 passengers and 12 crew were safely evacuated. However those on the coastguard plane which had been hit by the larger aircraft were less fortunate and there were 5 casualties. The coastguard plane had been setting off to provide emergency aid to a region affected by the earthquake; it was a tragic end to an operation intended to do good.

Japan has experienced many earthquakes and tsunamis. Perhaps the best-known Japanese painting is the Great Wave off Kanagawa, which depicts a menacing tsunami wave.

Last year on our summer holiday we visited the Kirkudbright home of the artist Edward Hornel who visited Japan and brought Japanese themes and figures into his paintings. I found Hornel’s colours and subject matter particularly appealing.

One of the most revered figures in Japanese culture and history is Prince Shotoku, writer, religious thinker, and national leader. It is said he was born outside a stable. A stable, of course, features in our more familiar Christmas story.

One of the names for Japan is the Land of the Rising Sun, and this description apparently came from Chinese people, who saw the sun rising there. There is a Bible verse that I am reminded of, but unto you that fear my name the Sun of righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. It speaks of the healing presence of Christ, which is much needed.

"Thought for the Day" on Nevis Radio

Hamas’s assault in Israel on October 7th, and the Israeli offensive in Gaza that followed, have seen the deadliest conflict between Israelis and Palestinians since 1948.

Observers feared that the fallout from this would be an escalation of conflict in the Middle East, just  at a time when things seemed to be getting more settled.

They were right. The conflict in Gaza has drawn in America, Iran and militants from various Arab countries.

This week more than 100 people were killed by two explosions in Iran during a ceremony to commemorate the death of Qassem Suleimani, an Iranian general who was assassinated by an American drone strike in 2020.

So far no-one has claimed responsibility for what appears to be a terrorist attack.


The UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon is deeply concerned over a potential escalation of violence in the region, after a senior Hamas official was killed by a drone strike in Beirut.


Lebanon’s state media said the attack was on a Hamas office in an area of Lebanon’s capital controlled by Hizbullah, an Iranian-backed militia, and alleged that Israel was responsible. This may or may not be the case.


It might seem that there is nothing we can do, but responsible people can’t just wring their hands.


Western governments could support a peace envoy who would work with various groups and national leaders in international diplomacy.


The world recently lost HENRY KISSINGER aged 100, a German born Jew who became a trusted and skilled negotiator. How we need someone like that again.


As for the rest of us, we can pray.