Wednesday, 30 April 2014

4 Accidents and a ...... (pt5) - A Dose of Encouragement 18


         and a Near Miss!


One Sunday evening earlier this year we were driving home on the same road on which we travel twice every Sunday to go from our home in Banbridge to the church we attend in Lurgan. 



The drive takes 20/25 mins depending on traffic but on Sunday evenings there is normally very little traffic on that road.  We were listening to some worship music on a CD and chatting about the evening's meeting just as we normally do on the journey. 

In the past 3 years we have become very familiar with this road and we know that at one part there are quite a few significant dips so that as you drive towards any of these you have no real view ahead.  The road is clearly signed to tell drivers about this in advance and of course there are also signs and road markings to indicate no overtaking.



 I am often worried about cyclists along this road as there seem to be quite a few in the area but it was not a cyclist we had to worry about on this journey.


As we drove along in the dark around 8.30pm and came to the slight brow of a hill before one of these dips we could see some light over the brow of the hill so we knew there were some cars approaching.  Then as we got to the top suddenly we could see several lights of cars coming towards us on the other side of the road but as well as this we could see a set of lights coming towards us on our side of the road.




       This is a country road with a very narrow footpath and hedges or walls etc. so usually no room to manoeuvre.  We realized that a large lorry (truck for my American friends) had been trying to overtake 3 or 4 cars and was still on the wrong side of the road; he had obviously ignored the traffic signs and road markings.

       The lorry was about the length of 2 cars in front of us & the only thing my husband Fred could do was to swerve in to the side of the road as the lorry tried to cut back into his proper side in front of the lead car. 


       Up until then there had been no break in the narrow footpath but at the exact place that we had to swing in there was a gap in the footpath and in the hedge because there was an entrance to something there. 


Just enough room for our car to get in out of the way as the lorry skimmed past us.


This was a big thing in our lives that day and we were very happy about the outcome, and I actually wrote about this in the first week of my #100HappyDays Challenge.

This event was to do with us being thankful to God because of his hand of protection in what could have been a major accident and cause us a lot of injury if not death.

 We have been over the route again of course several times and there is only one point that there is room for a car to pull in off the road and that is exactly where we were when we met the lorry.


Obviously God had brought us to the right spot at the right time and saved our lives.


What a great God we have who knows where we need to be at all times and sees the road ahead when we are not able to see it.  He even knows when others will be breaking the law and cause us to be in danger.

We are thankful that our God works miracles for us even when we don't know we are going to need them.


Do you believe He can work miracles to have you just at the right place at the time you need to be there?

Do you believe that He loves you so much to be in front of you on your life's journey too?

Do you know His Saving Grace in your life and the sacrifice of His Son for you?




Linking up with Coffee for your heart

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Why We Worship 17



I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"



Man thinks he is getting wiser year by year.


          God is not getting wiser year by year 

                                  because God already is wise 

                                            and God always has been wise.






 God has all the wisdom that it is possible to have so there is 
no wisdom that God can not have  -  He is all-wise.



Whatever wisdom we may have will always be imperfect 
but God's wisdom is perfect. 





Have you let go of your wisdom and accepted that God is the only wise God and worthy of our trust and worship?





Saturday, 26 April 2014

#100HappyDays - Weeks 9 & 10



CHALLENGE



The Challenge

is to take a picture of something that makes you happy each day for 100 days and post it on facebook or twitter or google plus, etc.


I have chosen to put it on Facebook each day but also each Saturday I will do an update for the week on my blog.

Because of our Easter Trip to see our eldest son Jonathan in Leeds I have combined two weeks together this time.

In these two weeks I have noticed that the daily posts have centred more around new things that we have received and new events that have happened.


We enjoy going to visit new places and to see our family and this time we got both of that in our trip plus we got some other new special events.

We also received a gift and something arrived that Fred had ordered as a treat for himself.

So mainly this time my pictures have been of things of which I have been a spectator like watching ducks and people and they have definitely brought smiles to my face.


55. SUNDAY

I was delighted to be able to make this for the church facebook page in just a few minutes.





56. MONDAY

A very happy event indeed!  I found old negatives that I could not find the photos of and I had been very sad to think that I had lost them.






57. TUESDAY

Such a laugh to see this as it reminded me so much of a birdie toothpick pickup toy the kids had when they were young and our middle son made up a rhyme about it for a school homework.




58. WEDNESDAY

Excited to find that my blog post was chosen as one of the features on "Tuesday with a Twist" blog hop this week.





59. THURSDAY

We were happy to be flying to Leeds, England to visit our son Jonathan




60. FRIDAY

Our son Jonathan preaching at the Good Friday Service in Leeds





61. SATURDAY

We went to the cinema in Leeds to see "God's NOT Dead"  -  Good Movie





62. SUNDAY

Our son Jonathan baptising a Latvian lady in Leeds 




63. MONDAY

Lots of baby ducks in the Yorkshire Dales 



64. TUESDAY

My blog post was the most popular post on a blog hop for the month of April



65. WEDNESDAY

A Gift from Daniel and Suzie - Canvas print of their Wedding



66. THURSDAY

One of my blog posts from Housework/Funwork was the top feature in another blog hop.




67. FRIDAY

Fred playing with his new musical "toy" a Cajon





68. SATURDAY

Got a great score in my new iPad game 2048





Do others make you happy?

Or is it only things that directly involve you that make you happy?



Friday, 25 April 2014

Catch-Up Time? - Housework / Funwork 16



Having been away over Easter visiting our son in Leeds, I really was supposed to catch up on everything in the last 3 days but that was just impossible because I needed to sleep, eat and chat to our son & daughter-in-law who called down for dinner on Wednesday.





So what DID get done then?


1. Well we tried out a new bag of coffee.

But I don't think that really goes under the Housework title but Funwork works just fine there for me.



2.  I caught up with my blog hops for this week.

Again Funwork for me as I had missed that interaction while I was away.






3.  A parcel had arrived while we were away so I spent some time listening and watching as Fred played with his new musical "toy"  -  it's called a cajon and is a box like thing that you sit on and hit with your hands.

Again Funwork,  I love the way my husband enjoys music and what I sometimes call silly things.





4.  1 wrote an extra Blog Post for yesterday based on the Lent Challenge Fred & I had done for 40 days ending on Easter Sunday.


Mostly Funwork
Definitely not Housework





5.  Fred & I watched a few programmes we had taped while away.

Definitely Funwork, we love to relax and watch things (especially without having to go through ads.)





6.  Had a chat with my sister on the phone.

Have to say Funwork there or she might kill me.





7.  Kept the Kitchen in order with all the worktops clear and clean, dishes washed and fridge stocked up.

This one was Housework but not too tedious.







8.  Unpacked from our trip.

This was also Housework but again not too tedious.








9.  I did the Inventory for the Guest Room Ensuite.


Yes  Housework that was actually on the schedule for this month.


                                  (AB Findit APP for iPad yet again!)




10.  I also did the ToDo list for the other things that need to be considered or tackled later for this Guest Room Ensuite  or items that need to be replenished when I had checked through my Toiletries List for this room.   


                                (POCKET LISTS APP for iPad yet again!)


Yes another thing of Housework that was actually on the schedule for this month but you know how much I love lists so this part sort of falls in the Funwork side for me.





So I may not be able to say I have 
                                                     everything off the schedule for this month.

But I can say there was far more FUNWORK  than  HOUSEWORK



However I will endeavour to catch-up next month.

     (I hope the weather is not too good or this might be hard to do) 





Thursday, 24 April 2014

40 Day Lent Challenge Review

Fred and I completed our 40 Day Lenten Challenge 

on Easter Sunday.


#LentChallenge

We had taken the reading challenge because I had seen it advertised on someone's blog and thought it would be nice to do it and then, because Fred is now working from home and has more time due to not commuting each day, we decided to do it together.


It took approximately 30 minutes each day and we read it aloud taking a chapter each.


Some days there were quite a few chapters and other days there were fewer chapters but they were longer chapters.

When I said on Facebook that we were going to do it another couple from our church decided to do it, another friend in church asked for the reading list, a friend in England asked for the info. and another friend in Geneva started it along with a friend of her's.

So with a little bit of contact during Lent we knew others were reading as well and it was a source of encouragement.




We used the You Version app on our iPads but others were using the reading list that was on the website of  Margaret Feinberg the lady who devised the Reading Plan.





The You Version app was handy for us as using the reading plan on it meant that each day when we clicked into the app and hit the reading plan we were at the right place to start again and we could also tick off each chapter as it was completed and have the next chapter appear.

However because I love lists and ticking things off as I complete them I would have been fine with a pdf printout (like below) of the plan and a pen.  Fred is happier with the app as he is not a pen and paper guy.





We mostly read in the mornings after breakfast .


Each morning now that Fred is not commuting to work we have breakfast together and then a short prayer time so when Fred didn't have to rush back to the office (all of the 10 yards from the kitchen) to take an early conference call for work, we would move over to the couch from the table and read together there.

Some days we would do the readings at lunch time instead due to other constraints and sometimes we broke up the reading time into two sessions if we felt we were getting tired and not concentrating well enough.



We never found it a chore.


In fact we enjoyed it.

The only thing was that with so much to read each day we did not take everything in fully.

I had sort of intended that I would jot down some things to look into later but that did not happen.

It is not a study time but is a time of reading God's Word as we are instructed to do and is important as well as pondering and studying and meditating on His Word.



  

What is the result?


We both decided that we should continue reading together in the same format each day.

So we have started to read the Psalms together to start with and then we will move on to Proverbs and after those we will decide where to continue.

The main difference will be that we are going to read only two chapters each day unless they are very short and then we will read up to four.

Perhaps I will be able to take a few notes on things to look into further after each of our reading times.



Did you follow the Lent Reading Challenge this year?

Did you do a different Reading Challenge?

Maybe you will be interested in following this challenge next year.



For further information on anything mentioned above please click on the images.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

4 Accidents and a ..... (pt4) - A Dose of Encouragement 17


All because of a sack of potatoes!


We were on our way to a church youth camp in Fermanagh.  


Fred and I with our three children Jonathan, Daniel and Linda who ranged from 4 to 9 years old.  We would be away for a week so the boot of the car was quite full with suitcases.

Some of the other leaders had arranged for a large sack of potatoes (free of charge of course) to be given for the camp and as the location was along the route we would be taking to Fermanagh, we were the obvious ones  to stop and collect it.

When we got near the address we were met by the daughter of a friend who knew the location and I got out of the car to let her get in the front beside Fred to direct him up a short side road unto another road and along that road.



A short while later, having collected the sack of potatoes,   I saw Fred's car arrive at the end of the side road and stop to wait to be able to turn into this road to come back to the main road where I was waiting. 


Just then I heard a screech of brakes.


 A small truck with a trailer attached to it was making this awful sound as it tried to slow down approaching Fred's car from behind.  

Too late it jammed into the car and force of this knocked the car several yards up the road.  I ran up the little side road and when I got to the car they were trying to get out but none of the doors would open.

After some forcing we managed to get the two front doors open and Fred and Glenda were able to get out of the car, but no matter what we did the 2 back doors were jammed tight because the accident had pushed in the back of the car so much that it had crushed forward against the doors.   





We also had trouble getting the seat belts off the children and then Fred lifted Linda out to me & the boys climbed out through the front of the car.  


I remember yelling at the driver of truck that he could have killed my children but I don't remember that he said anything at all.  


Well everyone was out of the car and no-one seemed to be injured.  
Although the children had had a terrible fright they were coping very well; much better than I was.  

All I could think was  


"That driver had put my family in grave danger and he didn't seem to realize it"  


Even though I was not involved in that accident I have always felt that I was the one most affected by it because I was the one who saw that it was going to happen and saw it actually happen but had no chance of doing anything to stop it happening.


Later when the car had been towed off to a garage, we were told that it was a write-off because the force of the impact had pushed the rear of the car forward so much and had broken the chassis of the car.


We have often wondered whether having the boot of the car filled so full with cases and the big sack of potatoes actually helped to prevent the children in the back from being injured because if the boot had been empty it may have crushed in and the truck may have gone farther into the car.

Regardless of that, we know that yet again God had been there and protected everyone in the car.

Do we realize what an impact our actions can have on other people?
I really don't think that driver thought about that when he was driving too fast he couldn't stop in time but I do hope he thinks about it now.

Do we realize what an impact our words can have on other people?
I really don't think that driver did because he didn't even apologize to us.  
Perhaps he didn't want to admit he was in the wrong because it was a car accident.
Or perhaps he was realising just what could have happened when I was shouting at him.


Perhaps  I didn't think about what impact my words can have too.


I am thankful that God protects us.

I am also thankful that He uses incidents in our lives to speak to us about our words and our actions.

Are You?








Sunday, 20 April 2014

Why We Worship 16



I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"




There is only one reason today that I could possibly include in this series.

There is only one reason that we celebrate this special day of the year.

There is only one reason that this is the only post I will put up on the site over Easter while we are visiting our son in Leeds, England.

That reason is 




That is the reason we are worshipping God today.

That is the reason we know we have a God to put our trust in, 
     
                               because He is a God who is Alive for evermore.


Today we have been at our son's church rejoicing as he baptised a teenage girl who also believes the Bible when it tells us that 

God is Alive




Is this what Easter means to you?


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

4 Accidents and a ......... (pt3) - A Dose of Encouragement 16


Whoever would believe that you could slip on a powder?

That's exactly what happened to my husband one night on the road between Londonderry and Strabane.


   The third accident!


Fred decided to go to a prayer meeting in Strabane while I stayed at home with the kids.  Not a very unusual thing for him to do but the phone call I got about 30 mins after he left home was very unusual.


Fred was on the phone from someone's house to tell me that he had had an accident in the car and that he was fine but he would not be able to drive the car home so I would need to come and pick him up in my car.


Then a man took the phone from Fred to reassure me that Fred was okay and in his home and he could stay with them until I got there.  I got directions and then arranged for the grown-up daughter of our next door neighbours to stay with my kids while I went for Fred and her mother seeing I was rather shocked about it all decided that she would come with me.


We had no trouble knowing when we had arrived at the right place because we could see the car lying on its side in the field beside the road.  





Around the field was a wire fence with cement posts.
All we could say was


How did the car get past the posts without Fred being injured?


Fred doesn't know the answer to that one either.  


As he was driving along suddenly the car seemed to slide and it spun out of control off the road turning over a couple of times and landed in the field on its side with Fred hanging there held up by the safety belt. 





The police arrived and told him that a tanker carrying powdered milk had spilt most of its load along the road a few hours earlier but it had been washed up and they didn't think that could really be the cause of his accident.





The next day Fred went back to the home of the man who had taken him in that night to thank him again and to take some pictures of the car before it was towed away.  


When he got there another vehicle had had the same problem and had gone off the road through the hedge at the opposite side.







 A couple of hours later another accident happened with a car going off the road at the same spot and it hit a telegraph pole.

In the end the road had to be cleaned again because it was decided that washing up the powdered milk had left a slippery skim on the surface of the road.

3 cars were written off but all three drivers were unharmed even though they would admit that they had no control of their vehicles once they hit the slippery patch.



The only person who was in control of the situation was God and we are forever thankful that he kept Fred and the other drivers safe.



There was no warning; there was nothing to visibly see as the car approached the dangerous stretch of road.


It was not Fred's fault that he had that accident.


I have often thought of how we don't have any warning when the devil is getting ready to try to harm us spiritually too.  


However God has warned us in the Bible about the nature of the devil and his intentions  towards us so that we can be prepared for the attacks to come.  

God has likened the devil to a roaring lion hoping to devour us. 
Such a strong picture.

Thankfully we have a God who is all-powerful, stronger than the enemy and when He is on our side who can stand against us.





The devil certainly could not take Fred's life that night as the car bounced off the road and into the field, those cement posts did not harm him.


 God miraculously kept Fred from all harm.



Is God in control of your life?


Have you allowed Him to be in control?      


Do you truly trust in Him?




Watch out for part 4 next week.


Part 1 can be found here.


Part 2 can be found here.





Linking up with Coffee for Your Heart

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Why We Worship 15



I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"


When we were young we looked up to our parents, they were the ones who knew us, they were the ones who looked after us, they were the ones who cared about us, they were the ones who had brought us into this world.


So it should be with God, we should look up to Him and worship Him because He is our Creator and who could know or understand us better than He.




But not only is He our creator but He is the creator of the world and all that is in it.

This is something that is hard for us to fathom because as human beings we cannot fully understand how anyone could create everything.

But we are not meant to understand everything because we are not like God, we are simply asked to believe that

                              God is who He says He is, 






Are you worshipping your Creator today?