Sunday, 14 October 2018

Sunday Scripture - Hebrews 12 v 14


Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.


Today I am looking at Hebrews 12 v 14





The first thing that struck me when I was considering the verse for this week was the fact that within each of the last 3 verses in this Sunday Scripture series, there is a mention of one of the Fruit of the Spirit.

The first one had PATIENCE,

                 the second one had JOY

                       and now this one has PEACE.

I don't think this is a coincidence because the Fruit of the Spirit is very important in our lives and we should show this daily.


The other main word in this verse is HOLINESS.


I believe that there are two relationships here in this verse, the PEACE in is about the relationship between us and others and the HOLINESS is about the relationship between us and God.


Yet the two cannot be completely distinct from each other.




How can we possibly expect to be sanctified and lead holy lives if we do not live in Peace?


How can we who are naturally sinful and selfish live in peaceful relationships if we do not have the presence of the Holy Spirit with us each day as He helps us to live and grow more like Jesus?



What do we need for a true relationship with God and man?


Our Christianity cannot be complete if we do not have 
the right relationship with man and with God.


We are not to be completely apart from the world but we are to be God's representatives in the world showing peace and holiness to touch the lives of others.

In other words we are to be Christlike as we live with the hope of coming into the presence of Christ Himself.  And that links back again to that earlier Sunday Scripture that also mentioned patience.

Today's verse is a strong word on how we should live towards God and towards man and if we learn to live holy lives then the peace will be there as a result.  We cannot be holy and yet at odds with others, the peace will be the outworking of the holiness and through this the fruit of the Spirit will be seen.






Thursday, 27 September 2018

Monschau - A to Z of Places I have Visited


I am writing about some places I have visited in alphabetical order.

So far we have got through 12 letters of the alphabet so nearly halfway through the series.





From August 2004 to December 2010 we lived in Belgium and because of that we have had extra opportunities to visit places we would not have heard of before or particularly thought of visiting previously.  Like The Durbuy Maze etc.

One of these places was the small town of Monshau in Germany.






Belgium and Germany share a border and just across that border from Belgium into Germany took us to that lovely picturesque location.


By Karte: NordNordWest, Lizenz: Creative Commons by-sa-3.0 de,
CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35392837



It was a lovely day for a Fred and I to take a trip to show my sister and brother-in-law (yes the one who is the subject of a previous blog post 10 Gift Ideas for Your Brother-in-law )  another place while they were on one of their annual visits to us.

We also had our son Jonathan with us and as he spoke German he definitely was not going to be left out for two reasons.  Firstly he loves to visit any new place especially anywhere that may have some old buildings and secondly I knew from experience that when visiting large towns & cities in European countries there will not be too many language problems as many of the people will speak a decent amount of English but in the smaller tons and villages there can be communication problems.


We arrived on that sunny morning and as we parked our car our first view of the town was gorgeous.





A beautiful house in a picturesque setting of a small bridge and stream - just like you might see on a jigsaw box.

While stopping here to take some photos we ended up with a very different photo of a visitor to my arm.

I tried to look it up in google later and it seems to be some form of beetle but isn't is so small & colourful.  I did not mind having this beetle walking up my arm.





Walking on into the town we spied a fun type of transport and of course we couldn't resist taking the little train ride around the town and the surrounding area which involved up and down the hilly location.  This ended up being a good move because we were able to walk around the higher area without having to walk up the hill or down the hill because of this perfect means of transport.





We took this photo of the two hubbies in front of our transport because all men love trains but in fact all 5 of us had a fun time on our train ride.


As I said Jonathan loves old buildings and we certainly had some of them to visit on this day trip.




Up the hill was the Castle of the Dukes of Julich and we enjoyed exploring around it with it's beautiful archway and so much still intact.   The walls around the castle are clearly seen from the town sitting well below it.


After spending quite some time here we took the train down again to the town to do some more sightseeing.


Something I love to see is a clock tower and I loved this view I had through the trees of a very clear to read clock.





Then I scanned on up and saw the Swan at the top and thought how pretty this was






This turned out to the be the top of the Reformed Church in Monschau.




the clock face here was blue and there was another clock at the market square which had a white face  but I must have forgotten to take a photo of it.



We had a look around inside the church and then Fred took a photo of the rest of us at the entrance.




There is a very ornate bridge leading across from the front of the church to the opposite street, just another thing to make this a very memorable town.



It was such a bright, sunny day that we stayed outside most of the time so did not go in to investigate the museum that was beside the Reformed church.  It was called the Foundation Scheibler Museum and is highly recommended as one of the places to visit in Monschau.


We are often more interested in finding somewhere to have a good coffee and sit and people watch in beautiful surroundings which is what we did here with plenty of places to choose from for our cuppa in the centre of the town.


There are also lots of old, pretty wooden houses along the riverbank in Monschau.  See how they hang out over the edge of the river because they are built right to the edge




and some even sit out precariously over the edge which makes me wonder about the architecture of these houses.

This white and black one to the left in the picture below really caught my attention because it seemed to have just been thrown together with it's walls ready to fall over because they were missing their support.  Plus the fact that most of it was not straight - one of the more unusual houses I have ever seen.  

I think it is so noticeable because it is close to the other white one which is so straight and upright.





I thought we would end now with a picture which encompasses the style of this village




the different types of buildings the lovely clock tower, the museum, the wooded hillside and the view of the castle walls.

I would definitely recommend a visit to this quaint town especially on a sunny day like we had.






If you missed any of the previous places in this series just click on the Titles below:

A for Alicante
B for Bratislava
C for Calpe
D for Durbuy
E for Ennis
F for Florida
G for Gran Canaria
H for HongKong
I for Islandmagee
J for Jersey
K for Killyleagh
L for Leeds





Sunday, 23 September 2018

Sunday Scripture - John 16 v 24


Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.


Today I am looking at John 16 v 24





Obviously this verse is about praying and receiving and Jesus had just previously been specifically talking to His disciples about a time when they would be sorrowful and He would not be with them.

I love that Jesus was saying something very personal between them but this should also be personal to us.

Up until then the disciples could ask Jesus any questiions they had but there was going to be a time when they would have to pray to God about everything. 

Jesus has power to answer all our prayers & grant us the desires of our hearts but He was not strutting His own importance here; instead He was showing how it is about us because He wants good for us.




So is our Joy Full?


Not - are you joyful?       But - IS YOUR JOY FULL?

He is talking about joy that only He can give us and that no-one else can take away from us v. 22



19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’?20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. 21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. 




Do we hold back and not confide all to God? 

I don't think He wants us to have to stay in any sorrow because He has a great Joy for us.




Do you really have joy?


We really do need to approach the Father as Jesus has instructed and receive what He is longing for us to have.





PRAYER
Dear Father, help us to come to you about everything, knowing that your will for us is to give us the best we can each possibly have because you know what we require to have full, overflowing, real joy that will touch the hearts of others as well.
In Jesus name, 
Amen.






Tuesday, 11 September 2018

5 Bargain Books with a Tea or Coffee


Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link in this blog post.


I'm always on the lookout for good bargain books.

Today I'm thinking of a nice coffee and a good read but then some of you might prefer a cup of tea so lets see what bargains we have.





Note: I am not sure how long these will be at such a good price.


Just click on the picture or title of each book to see more about it.



The Old Man and the Tea (Elmo Jenkins - Book Three)




Elmo Jenkins is back for another fun-filled adventure at First Church. Tag along as his cadre of quirky friends continue to amaze, stupefy, and entertain Reverend Elmo. Be there when Erlene gets thrown in the slammer for conking a policeman with her dentures. Discover how Eddie Hughes breaks both his nose and his big toe. And suffer with Elmo as Bonnie puts him on a health food regimen.

Thurm, Julianne, Father Ted and the rest of the gang are back along with new friends Sergio, the limo driver, and the mysterious Elijah Enoch. Through it all Elmo discovers some life-changing spiritual truths, and chances are, you will too.









A Sip of Murder (Japanese Tea Garden Mysteries Book 1)






When tea and murder make a bitter brew ...
Maddie Morgan’s life is going up in flames. She’s got ex-husband troubles, a mother-in-law feud, and a cantankerous parrot to contend with. But just as old doors close, a new one opens, beginning with the sudden death of Maddie’s grandmother and an unexpected inheritance. Moving to a new town, Maddie rolls up her sleeves and prepares to revive a run-down tourist attraction that could one day be returned to its former glory as a Japanese tea garden.
But getting the tea garden up and running won’t be easy, not with someone trying to sabotage her efforts. Worse still, there’s a murderer on the loose and corpses are popping up like daisies in the tea garden! 





A Scone To Die For (Oxford Tearoom Mysteries ~ Book 1)




"Scones, a tea shop in England, a kitty & a murder - yes, please!"

When an American tourist is murdered with a scone in her quaint English tearoom, Gemma must solve the mystery with the help of the nosy Old Biddies and a mischievous little feline named Muesli. But between her bossy, matchmaking mother and the return of her old college love as a handsome CID detective, Gemma soon has her hands full and her head spinning!

Murder is bad for business, especially when customers think your scones are more deadly than delicious. With the body count rising and her tearoom going bust, can Gemma find the killer before things turn to custard?
(*Traditional English scone recipe included)






A Killer Coffee Mystery Book Set: A Cozy Mystery (A Killer Coffee Mystery Series)





This is a LIMITED OFFER BOX SET  
The series takes place in the cozy southern fictional tourist town of Honey Springs, Kentucky. 


SCENE of the GRIND 
Roxanne Bloom (her friends, though few call her Roxie) quit her job as a lawyer, divorced her cheating husband, and moved to the quaint town of Honey Springs, Kentucky where she'd spent many of her teenage summers visiting her eccentric and fun-loving Aunt Maxi.   There Roxy discovers the beloved book store owner murdered and Aunt Maxi is the number one suspect.

MOCHA AND MURDER
Roxy becomes entangled in another murder as she puts her sleuthing skills to work in order to prove that Louise Carlton didn't kill Fred Hill over a pet adoption gone wrong. After all, if Louise goes to jail, who is going to find all the animals at Pet Palace a home.

FRESHLY GROUND MURDER
The town’s annual Christmas in the Park is underway and includes a Christmas Pawrade that’ll help the furry residents at Pet Palace get a home for Christmas. It’s not the four-legged creatures that steal the show, it’s the pair of legs sticking out from the Christmas tree lighting ceremony that has all the town talking. 



Coffee, Kids, and a Kidnapping (A Charlotte Ritter Mystery Book 1)




Charlotte Ritter is more than just a survivor

She’s a highly caffeinated go-getter who is busy raising three teenage kids on her own while juggling a full time job at a family law practice. Charlotte has always dealt with things one day and one cup of coffee at a time. It’s not always easy, especially with a highly autistic child and a new, snarky paralegal that was recently hired at the firm, but she manages. 
That is until the day her average but hectic life gets turned upside down when her boss asks her to do research for an adoption case. Charlotte’s talent for connecting dots that most people don’t see, leads her to believe there may have been an abduction that no one even knows about. Has she gone off the deep end or is she right and two people’s lives may be at stake? The only person who believes her is her close friend and co-worker Cole. 
The deeper they look for the truth, the worse things seem to get as Charlotte’s tenacity leads them down a dangerous path.










Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the links above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.




Monday, 10 September 2018

Spiritual = Christian? - Coffee & Conversation


I am on Facebook often.

It is the way I keep in touch with friends worldwide and also one of the ways I share my blog posts.


More and more recently some things I see shared on Facebook have disappointed me.



Not everything that claims to be Spiritual is Christian.



There are certain Facebook pages we need to watch out for in our feeds and not share them.

These posts are generally a type of quote in a frame or on a picture and on first reading they can appear to be quite spiritual.

Yet these are posts from Pages that are far from being Christian.

Now I am very fond of Bible Verse graphics and post a lot on my Facebook page but I am careful what I post and mostly the Bible Verses graphics will be my own creations.


How can we we tell which posts to avoid?

1.  Take a little look at the bottom of the picture or in the corner and you may see the credit given to whoever or whatever organisation created this picture, you may have a good hint from this name whether it is a Christian post or NOT.

2.  Look and see who originally posted this on Facebook and you may get a clue about whether or not this is a Christian post or NOT.

We need to discern names and types of pictures 
and be wary of just re-sharing anything that looks like

"a nice christian message".



For example

You may see "Healing Light".


Those two words together like that should actually be a warning.


But there may be nice quotes or what seam to be meaningful statements like




This is a screenshot of a picture that was shared on Facebook by "Healing Light"

Notice the name of "Radleigh Valentine" (more about him below).


Just a quick click on Healing Light under one of the pictures they shared on Facebook gave me this screenshot of The Healing Light Facebook Page.





Notice that name again "Radleigh Valentine"
                and in small writing you see the name "Teri Van Horn" (more about them again below).


Then when on the Facebook Page of Healing Light I clicked on "about" and I got this info.





There are two important paragraphs on this about section

1. Mission Statement



2. About Statement




Words from those two statements to raise alarm bells are:

  • messages from the angels
  • deserving a magical life
  • known for his work on angels, tarot, angel cards



All you need to do then is click on the website name found in the contact section to find out more disturbing info.

The Homepage a few months ago was





Then last week the Homepage was




Then a little bit of time scrolling down the facebook feed quickly sowed up more examples to indicate we should avoid this page and its posts.


Here is a screenshot of a post from Healing Light last week which shows you clearly that they are quoting Buddha.    NOT CHRISTIAN!





Here is a screenshot of a post from Healing Light last week which shows you clearly that they are quoting a Medium.    NOT CHRISTIAN!





Also on the Facebook Page under the profile picture you will notice a reference to another website for "Healing Light Online"


When this site is opened this is we find:




Again we have mention of Buddha and advanced souls moving towards ascension;  neither of which have anything to do with Christianity.

Here is the name Teri Van Horn again who is a Reiki Master as another page on this website shows.



Do Spirituality and Christianity always go together?


CONCLUSION:

If you are sharing posts from "Healing Light" on Facebook then you are sharing posts from someone who is not a Christian and who is involved in mystical things and tarot readings etc. 

When we share things by other people we are in a way endorsing them and giving the impression that we agree with them and what they are involved in so it is important who or what we share.

This is not the message I want to share with others and I hope it is not the message you are happy with either.






And to answer the Question posed in the title of this blog post:

Spiritual  =  Christian?

No!  Not in this day and age.



If you have come across other Facebook pages you have been concerned about or people 
or organisations please tell me in the comments as I am making a list 
of many other unsavoury pages to avoid.