Sunday, 29 November 2015

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 100

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.


Today I'm looking at Psalm 100 


This is a Psalm for the Thank Offering.


This Psalm falls into three parts:

V. 1-2
What?

V. 3
Who?

V. 4
When & How?

V. 5
Why?



What are we required to do for this thank offering?
Be joyful in our Praise unto the Lord and not just us but all the earth.
Serve the Lord not as a duty but gladly.
Enter His presence with a song on our lips.


Who is this thank offering for?
It is for the Lord and He is God.
He is our creator, we belong to Him and he is our Shepherd who cares for us.


How to give a thank offering to God

When is this thank offering to be given?
It is to be presented to the Lord when we are within the gates of His Holy presence.
Then also when we are even further into His presence. with all Praise and Blessing unto Him.


How is this thank offering to be given?
It is to be presented with all Praise and Blessing unto the Lord our God.


Why should we bring this thank offering?
Because the Lord is good, He loves us continually forever and ever and He is a faithful God.






Where is this thank offering to come from?

From our hearts because of the joy and gladness there.

From the knowledge in our minds of how Good the Lord is to us.

From the honour of being invited into His Holy presence.

From the understanding that there is no-one like our Lord.





Friday, 27 November 2015

A Great Idea for Moving Rooms - Housework/Funwork 64


It's that time of the year again.

The time
when in Northern Ireland
we get much colder and wetter weather
and
in our house we move

                             from
              relaxing in the Sun Room
                               to
                   living in the Lounge.


I love being in the Sun Room but I also really like my lounge since we got it decorated a year ago and got the new suite.

We try to get as long as we can out of the Sun Room but by now it means the heating on a lot to keep it warm however we did manage to use it from May to middle of November so that's not bad.



There is one thing I got this year that has made the move from the Sun Room to the Lounge with us and that's what this blog post is all about.

I saw a Slim Cabinet Wagon  (which I prefer to call a caddy) on a website I had found in early springtime and I just knew it would be ideal for the lazy person I become once I sit down.
You know - I don't want to have to get up again to get my book or puzzle magazine or crochet or nail file etc.

One of the really enticing features was the fact that it was on castors and I knew straight away that it would be great to take from room to room.




So I treated myself to an early birthday present and ordered the caddy.





I knew I wouldn't need any help in putting it together even though I'm not a great fan of DIY because it would have few pieces and there would be nothing difficult about it and anyway I can read instructions (even when the men in this family don't think that's a necessary task).

It only consisted of two tubular sides, some rods, 2 metal plates, 4 castors, the cover and a smaller thin tubular part  -  no problem!

Yes no problem until I see that the instructions on the back of the box are in Japanese or Chinese or Korean or something but certainly not in English.




However I couldn't go far wrong with the few parts that had to be assembled!

The box came in handy for resting the sides on to join them with the rods to form the frame.



Very simple to do - just slot the rods through the holes and then use a screwdriver.

A bit wobbly to work with with the first few rods



but very steady when all the rods were fitted.




I then put the castors on the base plate ready to attach it to the bottom of the frame.

That was my only mistake.



I had to remove the castors as it was easier to attach the base to the bottom of the frame as each castor was was tightened in.




With the base and four castors attached I was only left with the smaller metal piece to be placed.




It screwed into the base plate and formed a divider for the central bottom part of the caddy.

All that was left was the cover


It fitted down the outside of the caddy but had a centre section into which a thin metal plate was slotted and this would form a shelf about halfway up the caddy.




Then the cover was fitted on securely using velcro strips along the bottom of each side of the frame



and the top of each side.


The finished Caddy

The two sides have slightly different sizes and arrangement of pockets.

The profile view clearly shows the shelf and the divider within the caddy.


There is plenty of room for anything you might want to have at hand when you are sitting watching TV or relaxing reading a book etc.

Because it is a slimline trolley it will fit in nicely beside chairs or a couch.


Here it is in the Sun Room beside the chair




What do I keep in it?
Books
Bible
Puzzle books
Crochet
Hand cream
Nail file, scissors etc.
Hair clip
Bookmark
Pens, Pencils
Glasses
etc.
Oh yes and all the remote controls


Last year in the lounge I had this basket but it was getting too full.




Now  I can have the caddy instead of the basket





or in a better position for me right beside my usual seat on the couch




It fits there really well and can easily be rolled out when I need to get at the lower  parts.




But when it is in it's place it isn't even noticeable as you walk into the room.





365 in 365 Days  -  Decluttering Update

We had previously got up to the end of September so I need to update for October and November now.


OCTOBER

9 items Thrown Out
A bundle of clothes
A pair of slippers
A pile of papers from Fred's files
4 puzzle magazines
2 books

2 items To Car Boot Sale
2 books

1 item Given Away
A Bundle of pens

Total:  12  Not so good


NOVEMBER

11 items Thrown Out
Another pair of slippers
Another bundle of clothes
A pile of papers from my files
7 books
1 lipstick


8 items To Car Boot Sale
3 books
1 picture frame
1 dvd
1 set of crafting stamps
1 craft stencil
1 clock
1 gift box
1 small tray


9 items Given Away
A Bundle of clothes
2 boxes
6 glasses


Total:  28   Better but still not enough


So running total gives me

January        29
February      42
March          31
April              8
May               0
June             57
July              26
August         67
September    9
October       12
November   28
TOTAL     309 items  in  334 days  

Still behind so I need to clear 56 items in December!





Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The 3 Sided Kiss - A Dose of Encouragement 100


All those years ago when we only had one child.


Yes way back then we started a "Black Family" phrase

"The 3 Sided Kiss"


Very simply it was the result of our first child Jonathan trying to kiss both Fred & I at the same time, and it worked!

The three of us would laugh and squeeze in together for that family kiss.


Two years later Jonathan could no longer call for a 3 sided kiss because our family had grown to 4 with his brother Daniel.

But then he simply just called for a "4 sided kiss" and Daniel grew up being squeezed in as we tried (somewhat successfully) to make this new family kiss happen.


It took another 3 years for it to turn into a "5 sided kiss" when our daughter Linda was born.

Now a 5 sided kiss was not easy to try for and really not a success but for many years the 5 of us would just throw our heads together and end up kissing whoever was nearest.

Somehow just the idea of all of us trying to be united in this simple kiss would put a smile on our faces and make us giggle and haven't we been told on numerous occasions that it is good and healthy to laugh together.

It is the little things like this that make each family unique, the silly things that we laugh at, the unusual things we share, the days, weeks, months and years that have bonded us together to make up this special relationship.

No two families will have the same relationship.


Have you ever thought about our relationship with Jesus?


We all have a unique relationship with Jesus


We all have a unique relationship with Him and that is wonderful to know.


We have all had a different length of time shared with Him,

          different words spoken to Him,

                    different tears shed with Him,

                              different joys shared with Him,

                                        different gifts received from Him,

                                                  different requests made of Him,

                                                            different answers accepted from Him.


We may share the same Saviour, yes He is the Saviour sent into the world for everyone, He is the Saviour who loves each one of us, but we do not share the exact same relationship because we have all be created uniquely, we have all had different experiences in life and we all have different thoughts and feelings deep within us.




 It is great to know that He is the only one who knows all those secrets (good and bad) that He loves us and cares about all that matters to us.

 It is great to know that He wants to have this unique relationship with us now and forever.


Now that Daniel and Suzie are married and we have a baby grandson we should be calling for a 7 sided kiss but I think we all know that is just impossible.

When Matthew is a bit older I'm sure we will tell him about the "family kiss" and I think Grandma, Grandpa and Matthew could start the tradition all over again with the new "Black Family 3 sided kiss".





Monday, 23 November 2015

The Mysterious Mr Quin - Book Review

I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.
  

The Mysterious Mr Quin. 

1930  
A Book of short stories.


Shelfari Description


THE MYSTERIOUS MR. QUIN A conjurer of skill with an instinct for detection, Mr. Harley Quin has an almost magical flair for appearing at the scene of the most remarkable crimes. But is it just a trick of light that haunts his shadow with a ghostly apparition? Is it fate that invites him to a New Year's Eve murder? And what forces are at work when his car breaks down outside Royston Hall, an isolated estate with a deadly history? With fantastic intrigue, uncanny procedure, and Agatha Christie's most charismatic creation, these dazzling stories remain personal favorites for the queen of crime.




My Thoughts

This is the 12th book by Agatha Christie and the First involving Mr Sattertwaite and Mr Quin.

Now the first thing I must comment on is that this one is of a very different tone and feel than the previous books.

It is the third book of short stories but is distinctly different from "Poirot Investigates"  and  "Partners in Crime"

Whereas "Poirot Investigates" was a gathering of typically Poirot type solutions, and "Partners in Crime" held the more comedic atmosphere due to Tommy & Tuppence adventures, this book is somewhat dark and sad in it's crimes.  Of course this leads well for the "Mysterious" title.

Two completely different men are introduced here with Mr Quin being highly mysterious and Mr Sattertwaite being very endearing to the readers.  I also think the readers would like to identify with the latter and think that one day they may have the opportunity to have some mystery and adventure in their lives.

I enjoyed the book again reading one story after the other and regretfully (afterwards) finishing the book in one evening when I really should have been asleep.  Lost sleep and the book being finished so soon both contributed to this regret.

Not a usual type of story for Miss Christie but then it does confirm the fact that she did not just turn out books of the same nature each time.  She had more talent than that.


 Here is a link to a list of her novels on Shelfari
Books by Agatha Christie





Sunday, 22 November 2015

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 15

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.


Today I'm looking at Psalm 15


This is one of the shorter Psalms in the Bible.



This Psalm falls into only 2 parts:


V. 1
The Question.

V. 2 - 5
The Answer.




The Question.
A very simple direct question from David to the Lord.
There is no doubt about the content.
It only takes one verse.

Who will live with God?

Who will live with God?


The Answer.
Though it is longer than the question, the answer is also simple and direct.
There is also no doubt about the content of it.
It comes from David because God has already laid this in David's heart.
David already knows the mind of God.







It is important to notice that David was able to ask a direct question 
and 
expect a reply.


We can be in that same position 
and 
I hope that we can all be like David and go ahead and ask God directly and simply
about the things that are important to us.

I also hope that we will be like David and have the answer within our being
because
we are walking and talking with God regularly
and 
reading His Word
so that we will know God's intention for this world 
and
His will for us.







Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Congratulations! - A Dose of Encouragement 99


Our family "The Black Family" has changed dramatically in the last 3 years.

This change had nothing to do with Fred and I moving house or country or the children moving.

This change all took place here in Northern Ireland.

Our son Daniel told us he had met a girl.

Nothing unusual there as he has met and dated a few girls but usually we did not meet them within 4 months; if we met them at all.

He was telling us that Suzie was going to join us for lunch at the restaurant in Belfast where all of us were going to meet him.

Poor Suzie to have to meet us all together like that.

So that was the start of what we knew was likely to be a good relationship.

Then about a year later we were not surprised when Daniel came to tell Fred & I that he was going to get engaged on Suzie's birthday in April but we had to help him in the surprise.

We were delighted to help.

Suzie's parents were happy too.

Her dad had already named one of his lambs after Daniel.




So of course after an engagement we expected a wedding to be thought about and a date decided and plans started to be put together and well that could take a year or more depending on what type of wedding etc.

No!

One month later they tell us they want to get married at the end of October that same year - 5 months away.

Things are moving fast!    

                  In the Run Up to the Wedding.





As October approaches everything is getting organised - even my problem of  What will I wear???

Because they wanted to do a lot of the preparation themselves it became a very busy time for the excited couple.

And then the day had arrived and what a happy day it was.




This was so very true it was the best day of their lives  -  so far.


We had a newly married couple settling into a new home, starting a new life together and working hard at their jobs.


Over a year later Fred & I got a special visit and a present for each of us.


Now what special occasion is this one?


                        Not Christmas.

                                          Not our wedding anniversary,

                                                                                Not either of our birthdays.


But a very special occasion for all "The Black Family" again.





The announcement that we were going to become grandparents.


Then we had all those long months to wait to welcome our first grandchild 

Matthew 

into the world 

on 
Monday 2nd November 2015.






Now there is another beautiful addition to "The Black Family"

He is such a Blessing to have in our family.

Matthew is now 16 days old and one of the "Black Family Boys"




So from engagement to wedding and then a new baby means that the Black family went from 5 to 7 in less than 3 years and nothing but smiles on our faces.


What joy to have welcomed two new members of the family and happy days to be shared together.





We are thankful to God for these blessings.

We often only know how great things are as we experience them and that is another joy God has given us in our lives.


God gives the biggest blessings

In October 2013 Daniel and Suzie thought their wedding Day was the "Best Day of their Big Black Lives".

Now in November 2015 they know that the miracle of the birth of their son was the



"Best Day of their Big Black Lives"



This is a great example of how God is never finished with our lives 
and 
even when we think we've had the biggest blessing 

He can give us more!




Sunday, 15 November 2015

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 25

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.


Today I'm looking at Psalm 25 


This is another one of the Psalms of David


I'm looking at this Psalm in several parts:

V. 1-2
Where is our Trust?

V. 3
What is the Difference?

V. 4-5
Which Way should we go?

V. 6-7
Whose Grace?

V. 8-10
Who is the teacher?

V. 11-15
Who needs to have respect?

V. 16-22
What should we pray?


Where is our Trust?
It is in God because we know that He will not let us down.


What is the Difference?
The difference lies in the lives of God's people and the lives of those who do not believe and none of God's people need be ashamed about it.


He will not let us down!


Which way should we Go?
God should be the of the utmost importance to us because of our Salvation so we should want to go His way exactly and wait on Him long enough to know His way.

Whose Grace?
Because of His Salvation given to us, we can rely on Him to look on us as we are now and not as we were before.  His Grace covers us now even though we are not perfect.


Who is the Teacher?
The only good and upright being, the Lord God who looks on the humble and keeps His Promise with us.


He keeps His Promises!

Who needs to have Respect?
The one who desires to be taught by God, to prosper in God's way, to be the friend of God, to be under the protection of God and to know that great bound with God.


What should we Pray?
We should bare all to the Redeemer of our souls.
The troubles on our hearts, our need of His Forgiveness, the protection we desire, the Grace that only He can give.






Oh that we would be humble and walk in His way.

Learning from Him and His Word and not from the words of others.