Lonely Road of Faith

Lonely road of faith is about Bernard-Preston's leap into the unknown.

Really it is a life-long journey that we all tread. In that I am no different to you, dear friend. Not to choose to walk in faith, is in itself a choice; that which I indeed made for my first twenty odd years. It is a not dissimilar decision faced by twins on their impending step into a new world; you must be born is a beautiful story written by an obstetrician.

Is it a lonely-journey? Yes, indeed, for though we meet other pilgrims along the way, the choices we make are irrevocably our own; by them we sink or swim.

Michelangelo portraying Adam's lonely road of faith.

This page was last updated on 27th February, 2021.

Hundreds of thousands, even millions of books have been written on the Christian-walk. Each is as individual and unique as we are ourselves, yet a thread of sameness runs through them all. The gracious nature of our Lord, the weakness of Man and the Trough of Despond; and a striving to meet with the unknown god.

Like the Southern Cross that flames the Milky-Way, the gibbet of Jesus points, not to the pole but to the astonishing thought that it is totally within our grasp to stand confidently before God one day, blameless and without blemish.

Confidently, but never arrogantly; only the meek shall inherit the Earth.

Genesis is not a scientific textbook but a remarkably simple reflection of the fact that a universe without a Creator is unthinkable and absurd. If the theory of Evolution turns out to be the "how" of the way in which God created, then I don’t have difficulty with that; others do.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

Galileo Galilei, 1564 - 1642.

Galileo is the same man who, along with Copernicus, discovered with his telescopes that the Earth went round the Sun; and not vice versa. This belief, that our world is not in fact the centre of Creation, nearly cost him his life on an Inquisitional rack until he recanted of his great-heresy!

Really the way we Christians love to shoot ourselves in the foot. Galileo was in fact a very devout Christian; but it didn't save him from being set under house-arrest for the last 15 years of his life.

Have you read Galileo's daughter? It is a masterpiece.

Set A is one of all of creation.

B is a subset, not to scale. Is this boring? But yes, I come from a mathematical background. It is all the humans ever created. Each and every one in the likeness of God, with the ability to distinguish right from wrong.

God loves his whole creation; the good, the bad and the ugly. Nothing difficult so far. Now comes the awkward part, the supreme arrogance, not all are His children.

"For to those who believe in and receive the Christ

is given the privilege to be called the children of God."

C is the subset of God’s adopted children, those who have welcomed Jesus into their hearts and lives; and not because they are any more special or good, but simply because they have taken the leap of faith. And so the hackles rise, what an arrogance; how about the Chinese, the Muslims and me?

Indeed, it is a great arrogance, a huge difficulty and yet so simple. God has laid down a way in which we may be rescued from the dominion of darkness and welcomed into the kingdom of his Son.

This is the great dilemma.

In the set B is much that is good; we are after all made in the likeness of God, and yes we Christians have to admit that in C there is much apparent darkness. There is no place for arrogance in the Church. How do we explain this paradox?

When we make the choice of committing ourselves to the kingship of Christ, firmly with great determination plant a foot in His kingdom and take our first tottering steps along the lonely road of faith, some things are immediately settled.

  • Our relationship to the Father; we are welcomed as His children.
  • Our acceptance by Jesus as his subjects. He is the King of Glory but we are also his brothers and sisters; what a paradox.
  • Our membership of the Church; individual bricks built into a great edifice that is the universal Body of Christ of which he is the Head.
  • Our murky nature that characterized our former membership of the Dominion of Darkness; all is wiped away, the slate is clean. Though our sins were like scarlet, they are made white as snow.

So very simple you say but yes, there are indeed many caveats. The biggest for me is that many things remain unsettled. My understanding is that at conversion, we firmly plant one foot in the Kingdom of Jesus but the other remains still tentatively rooted in the Dominion of Darkness.

The lonely road of faith is about learning to shift all of our weight from our "darkness" foot to the kingdom.

Or another way of putting it, is this initial response to Christ is only the beginning of a lifelong campaign to substitute His goodness for our own self-righteousness. There are times when we make great strides forward in the faith journey but looking back, we realize there were times when we were standing very firmly on our "darkness" foot; things we did and said, and even our thoughts.

Christians are like baby flamingos; learning to stand on the kingdom-foot. And not finding the balancing act at all easy on the lonely road of faith.

Flamingos demonstrating how the lonely road of faith sometimes means standing on one leg in the kingdom.

While the Church Universal, the body of Jesus has both feet firmly planted in the Kingdom of God’s Son, we have to admit that our individual congregations (being made up of fledgling flamingos) have often lost their balance; and sometimes have even shifted both shoes back into the Dominion of Darkness.

We hang our heads in shame. There can be no arrogance on the lonely road of faith. We are continually reminded by our Lord: "By their fruits you will know them." It is all about engagement with our God. Anything less is boring religion and not worth the time or effort. And it certainly won't get us to heaven.

Yet paradoxically our heads are held high. We are the children of God, our sins are forgiven and we are confident of eternity; provided we continue in our faith, established and learning to stand firmly like loving, mature flamingos on the kingdom foot.

Full of faith flamingos stand with their heads held high on the lonely road.

Lonely road of faith

There can be no complacency on the lonely road of faith; God is not to be mocked. In his great Pilgrim's Progress one of the great classics that few of us have read, John Bunyan describes it all.

  • Obstinate and Pliable 
  • Pilgrim loses his burden at the Cross
  • Simple Sloth
  • Hypocrisy Hill
  • Valley of the Shadow of Death
  • Plain of Ease
  • Giant Despair.

Does it not sound so familiar, fellow traveler? Read Pilgrim's Progress; it is free on your Kindle at Amazon.

So will you join me today on this lonely road of faith, both of us firmly taking a stand on the Kingdom foot? Then paradoxically, surely we shall fly. Heaven will come down and be gloriously established in our hearts.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
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  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
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  • Create a cyan zone at your home

Latent heat of fusion

LATENT HEAT FUSION is what brought Bernard Preston to faith. There have been plenty of scientists in the kingdom of heaven contemplating the lonely road of faith here on earth. Isaac Newton, Galileo and Blaise Pascal were all Christians.

The place of evolution in the life of faith is in my opinion one of the greatest red-herrings ever to beset the church.  Darwin's theory of natural selection does not bother me as a scientist in the slightest.

Ultimately the flamingo must learn to fly rather than walk the lonely road of faith.

Psalms of victory lyrics

Enjoying a psalm a day in the early morning is one of the great joys of my life.

Walk with me as I read these psalms of victory lyrics; they do indeed bring a song to the heart.

By their fruits ye shall know them

The lonely road of faith is one where ethics are paramount; nothing does the church more damage that a Christian who has departed from his integrity. Hypocrisy, do as I say and not as I do brings the Kingdom into great disrepute; that is why Jesus proclaimed, by their fruits ye shall know them.

Today a local business that always had biblical verses prominently displayed in their window has closed their doors; leaving many accounts unpaid, defrauding customers and fled to another country. For some reason the very expensive luxury car parked outside the shop never sat well with me; greed is so often at the root of our moral and ethical collapse.

Turkish helva fudge

If you have a sweet tooth but are trying to eat healthily, then you might like to try making HELVA. It's a traditional Middle Eastern dessert. It is made of sesame paste, honey and nuts; and a little sugar. Probably a bit high on the Glycemic Index despite the tahini, so it is for special occasions only; super delicious.

TURKISH HELVA FUDGE has nothing to do with the lonely road of faith; though many Christians think my determination to eat only healthy foods quite strange and extreme.

The green journey

Planting a seed as in these peas is certainly a step of faith; and few things can be more important along the lonely road for our bodies and the planet.

The green journey is really to new and yet undiscovered parts within. And it all starts with a healthy disgust of our lifestyles and the junk that we call food; and the legacy we are leaving our children. In a real sense it's a spiritual and lonely road of faith; the majority do not care and one is rowing upstream.

Can we make a difference? Sure we can. Perhaps it begins with a prayer for Mother Earth or planting a few green bean seeds; or simply purchasing an energy-saving device like an induction stove.

But do start somewhere with an issue you are passionate about; perhaps with a determination to wean off plastic.

In one sense it's a spiritual path, part of the leap of faith that we are each called to make. Perhaps the hardest facet is to accept one another; for some dance to the sound of a different drummer and others we think are lagging behind. But then a good few have surged far ahead of us.

Ankle joint pain can be a problem on these lonely roads, high and low as they lie; many are wounded soldiers. Find the solution to that by using Site Search in the main menu.

Mike's book reviews

Mike Smallbones is passionately Christian, reads vociferously and is mature enough to entertain and consider ideas that others would think run against the mill. 

The Great Emergence is one such book.

A new kind of Christianity is another.

Life with God is yet another. Enjoy his reviews.

Warring Souls by Martin Prozesky is only for those mature believers who are able to contemplate opinions that will certainly be at variance with theirs.

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