One of the first flowers of January is always the snowdrop. It is one of those flowers that is sometimes hard to grow in your garden. They tend to prefer old ground and often do very well under and between tall trees where there is a lot of leaf compost that they seem to like. They are also frost resistant, storm resistant and snow resistant. On a mild day it is possible to see honeybees collecting pollen from them. (Picture from Pixabay)

On This Day

On January 24th 1556 An earthquake in Shaanxi Province in China killed 830,000 people.

On January 24th 1984 Apple launched its revolutionary Macintosh personal computer

On January 24th 2004 Launched in mid-2003, the six-wheeled robotic rover called ‘Opportunity’ landed on Mars on this day back in  2004 and it analyzed rocks and soils and relayed pictures back to earth.

On January 24th 2019  Many temperature records were broken in South Australia including the highest ever recorded for capital Adelaide at 46.6C

Birthdays Today

Neil Diamond (Legendary singer songwriter) is 82

Luis Suarez (Footballer) is 36

Saint For Today

The Saint for today (Jan 24th) is Francis de Sales. He was a lawyer, priest, bishop and saint. He is often called ‘The Gentleman Saint’ because of his kindness. He was a great teacher who used simple language to get his message across.

Significance Of Today

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity finishes tomorrow Wednesday. It is an annual event that brings together Christians from different denominations to pray for unity among the church.

Interesting Quote For Today

“A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a hundred barrels of vinegar” ~Francis De Sales whose feast day is today

Did You Know

Did you know that there is enough gold inside our planet earth to coat the entire planet.  99% of the gold is to be found in the Earth’s core. Scientists say that if you were able to extract it all you would have enough gold to coat the entire surface of the Earth in 1.5 feet of gold!!

Thought For The Week

The tongue has no bones, but it is strong enough to break a heart. So be careful with your words.” ~Author unknown


We are surrounded by words and lots of words. There is a surplus of talk, from early morning until late at night. From chat shows, phone in radio programmes, café’s, pubs, shopping malls, mobile phones and social media, all ensure there is a constant flow of words. Some people have a natural gift for just talking. It is also said that Cork people have ‘the gift of the gab!’ 

A lot of research has been done around words and we are told that the average person speaks about 7000 words a day. For some it is much less than that and for others it is much more. But whatever number of words we may speak there are always two questions that go hand in hand at the end of any day. Did the words I spoke today make a positive difference? How many of those words made little or no difference at all?

It is easy to see that words matter. The human ability to speak and communicate is a constant wonder. Words so often reflect our inner life. If our inner life is not at peace and harmony, the words that we speak reflect that and can often come across as negative words or even angry words. If our inner life is reasonably at peace and in harmony then our words tend to be much more positive, upbeat, reassuring, comforting, hopeful and helpful. 

When we look at the person of Jesus in our Gospels, we can see how his words were always positive, loving and reassuring. Yes, sometimes his words were direct and honest. But we hear many gospel accounts of people who were deeply moved by his words. His words are still so relevant for the world we live in today. In a world where many words can be negative, corrosive and divisive, it is always refreshing to read the words of Jesus and be inspired by them. 

So how will you use words today? It is not about quantity but much more the quality of our words that matter. Will your words be gentle, hopeful, kind and positive? or will your words be flat, unhelpful or negative? The invitation of the gospel is to use words that are loving, gentle, positive, kind, reassuring, hopeful and to use words that make a real and lasting difference. Words do matter.

The Thought For The Week is updated each Monday