I started donating when I was 17 and missed a few years in my 30s and then I donated regularly three times a year for 'umpteen' years until now. I intend to keep going to 100 and beyond, for as long as I can. The age limit of 70 has just been lifted.
I have wondered often who have been the recipients of my blood and under what circumstances - of course I shall never know, this side of the grave anyway - yet I continue to wonder.
To give blood is one of the most precious gifts anyone can make.
The Bible tells us, "Life is in the Blood" and in each person there are between 7-8 pints coursing through their veins and arteries. Blood carries vital oxygen to every cell in the body through the circulatory system and carbon dioxide is exchanged and expelled through the lungs. Rich nutrients are carried to all living cells and harmful toxins are carried away from every fibre of our bodies. Also disease fighting anti-bodies are carried in the blood supply throughout the body.
Our blood vessels are absolutely amazing.
How many miles do you think they would measure if they were laid end to end? One mile, perhaps?
How do evolutionists manage to cope with that, I wonder?
And consider our hearts pumping that blood.
Our hearts beat effortlessly and reliably a staggering 37 million times a year . . . . functioning flawlessly!
By the age of 65 each heart will have beat 2,000 million times.
A 90 year old's heart will raise an astonishing half a million tons of blood.
For most of our life we do not even know our hearts are functioning - a miracle of creation for all the billions and billions of people walking on our planet Earth - and for all the animals, let us not forget.
I would encourage everyone who is able to donate blood to do so regularly. It is quite painless and you get tea/coffee and biscuits after. Plus, at the end of it you get a real 'buzz' knowling you have helped someone or even saved their life.
Blood is used for cancer patients, for babies, for road traffic accidents and for all manner of reasons, as detailed in my link to the National Blood Service for England and North Wales. No doubt there will be a similar webpage for other countries but the point is it is very easy to donate and there is usually a shortage of donors - so please help if you can.
Jesus knew that blood is precious and the most he could ever give - but he did not give just a lttle bit; one pint. He gave it all, hence his earthly life - to us, so that not just one or two people would be saved - but that all of us may be saved.
Finally, I always end with a touch of humour.
This is the crystal plate I received after I had donated my 75th pint.
"Oh yes dear! It's in the conservatory - I'm using it as a plant plate - see, my love? There it is!"
Grinning, I said, "Have a heart, love - oh I see! Do you realise I've sweated blood for that! I'm getting a crystal beer tankard for my 100th donation - where do you want to put the new 'flower vase' when we get it?"
And finally, just an excerpt from Tony Hancock's famous Blood Donor sketch - a classic in it's day. I saw part one on the web - I would think the other parts are there too for those wanting them.