Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Who's the Bestest Boy in the World? - A Dose of Encouragement



Okay!  I know there is no such word as "bestest". 

 I even knew that before my spell checker 
told me so.







We have 2 boys and a girl in that order.




JONATHAN  was born 5 years after we married and was named for Jonathan in the Bible because we felt God telling us to do this as Jonathan had been the right friend for David.

DANIEL was born 2 years later (well just 2 weeks short of 2 years) and was named for Daniel in the Bible because we felt God telling us to do this on the morning shortly before he arrived.

LINDA was born 3 years and 3 months later and was not named for anyone at all, we simply only felt led to this one girl's name.



JONATHAN  means  GIFT of GOD

DANIEL  means  GOD is my JUDGE


LINDA  means  BEAUTIFUL





You could not imagine the number of times Linda has said  


"How come the boys got Bible names and I didn't?"  

but more often than that she has been happy with her name and what it means.  



When Jonathan was still a small baby I started to say  


"Who's the bestest boy in the world" 

and lift up his two arms above his head and say 


"Jonathan is"


It always got a smile from him and soon he was able to lift his hands by himself as soon as he would hear me say the familiar phrase.

So when Daniel was born we did exactly the same thing with him and got the same reaction of 


"Daniel is"

while Jonathan would shout 


"me too"

and eventually we had two small boys running around reacting to the phrase together. 


 Never really with any queries about how the two of them 
could both be the best.



Then when Linda arrived, we naturally had to make a slight change and say 


"Who's the bestest Girl in the World".


It was simply a little "in phrase" that was special to the five of us.

But at the same time it was something that I sort of secretly hoped would show them how much we believed in them and inspire them to believe that they were of great worth.
       
Did it work?

    Well one thing I have always been so happy about in our family is that there was never any competition between the children, they all accepted that we thought they were all the bestest in the world and they seemed to have thought that about each other too.  They are each proud and supportive of what the others have done in the past and are doing at present.

    All three are unique individuals with some very similar interests but also some very different interests and always have been.
  

Jonathan is a Pastor, also working on his Phd in Theology and lives in Leeds in England at present.

Daniel is the manager of a Church/Charity based Cafe and the Sound Engineer in his church.  He is now married and living in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Linda is an aspiring writer, has written a novel (unpublished) and working on a novella but also teaching English as a foreign language in Gangneung, South Korea at the moment.

All three of them are saved, love worship music and play the guitar, as do Fred and I but it has to be admitted that the 3 guys are better on the guitar than us girls.

All three of them love babies; I know most people do but they go to the extent of having to take many pics & videos of their cousin's little boy and share them with us all.








Were we telling them the truth when we used that phrase with them for years?


Strictly speaking - possibly no!



But to us parents, YES.  

We thought of each of them as being the best because we loved each of them the same.


They were good children but probably not the best children in the whole world.
And also who are we to judge who is better than anyone else.
But this phrase meant a lot to us and to them and I do believe that it made them feel loved and happy and accepted and contented all those years ago.



At the Grand Canyon while we were living in the US over 20 years ago



Of course that phrase is not the only thing that would have led them to grow up with love and acceptance but then there are always a lot of factors in the formation of anything.


All I know is we loved them greatly and they knew they were loved and they loved us and each other.  Then later they grew to know about God and the salvation he has offered us through His Son Jesus and they each acknowledged that they needed to ask God's forgiveness and accept this gift from God.


Who inspires you?

I would like to think that if our children had been asked this question when they were young they would have included Fred & I in the answer.

If you ask me that same question today my answer would have to be, my 3 children Jonathan, Daniel & Linda for the people they have turned out to be, not dependent on us, not intimidated by others and taking a stand for God. 

What more could parents want in the lives of their children?

I am thankful to God for the husband and children He has given me.




Monday, 24 February 2014

The Trial of Dr Kate - Book Review

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



I would like to state here that although I did receive a free copy of the ebook this review is completely my own opinion of the book and was not written to any deadline for the publishers.










The Trial of Dr. Kate  

by  Michael E. Glasscock  III     



SYNOPSIS:
A doctor who can’t remember her crime. 
A reporter fighting for the story of her life. 
Two women at a crossroads in a town that never forgets. 

In the summer of 1952, Lillian Johnson was found dead in her home, slumped in the wheelchair that had become her cage due to multiple sclerosis. An overdose of barbiturate had triggered a heart attack, but the scene was not quite right. It looked as though someone other than Lillian herself had injected the fatal dose. 

Dr. Kate Marlow, Lillian’s physician and best friend, now sits in the Round Rock city jail. The only country doctor for miles, Kate cannot remember her whereabouts at the time of Lillian’s death and the small Tennessee town buzzes with judgment. 

As Dr. Kate’s trial approaches, another woman is determined to uncover the truth about the night of Lillian’s death. Memphis reporter Shenandoah Coleman grew up in Round Rock on the wrong side of the tracks, but unlike the rest of her unsavory clan, escaped her destiny. Now, back in the town she grew up in, she’ll have to turn every stone to keep Kate from a guilty verdict. 
The Trial of Dr. Kate is the second novel in a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee. Though each story stands alone, readers who enjoyed Glasscock’s first Round Rock tale, Little Joe, will delight in the cameo appearances in this one. 







Having read the first book in this series and reviewed it on this blog, I was looking forward to the opportunity of reading this second one and thankful for the ebook copy received from the publishers to be able to read and review it; but unfortunately did not find it to be as interesting or as captivating.

The characters were not as well developed and although there were relationships being formed throughout the novel this book did not seem to be as full of story and life as it's predecessor.  Cameo appearances were mentioned in the synopsis but I can only remember one.  As for the reporter "fighting for the story of her life"; well we hardly hear of her writing the story and things are really made very easy for her to gain access to everyone in the town for info on her story of the trial and very little mention is made of the other story she is writing.

Having received the book free I did finish it but there were several breaks away from it.  The ending was disappointing as it seemed to be rushed and then the added epilogue gave the impression that the author had felt that whole thing needed some closure.  

I actually was not that interested in what would have happened to the characters after the book ended because of not having felt the closeness to the characters that I had in the first story.








The Trial of Dr. Kate  by  Michael E. Glasscock  III     http://www.michaeleglasscockiii.com/

Book 2 in the Round Rock Series
Published by Greenleaf Book Group Press
Released in Oct 2013



Have you read this or any others in the series?

I would love to know if you agreed or disagreed with my view of this one.




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



Sunday, 23 February 2014

Why We Worship 8






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


 This week  Malachi 3 v 6  brings us the reason to focus on
                  






This means that God is UNCHANGING



He never changes in His being (who He is) or in the promises He makes.

We can change from year to year or from day to day but God does not.


Malachi  ch 3
Says the Lord of hosts.
“For I am the LordI do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Also look at verse 7 to see another promise from God and because He has already declared He does not change then we can believe what He says here.



This gives us great stability and we know that we can depend on Him 
at all times 
and 
       in all circumstances.    

 





I am thankful that I serve an unchanging God, are you?









Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Another Coffee Mug! - A Dose of Encouragement



Many years ago while we were living in America (1992-95) I bought some mugs to have to give as gifts to friends who I thought might need some encouragement. 







They had a picture of a cute little bear with the words


 “Smile! Cause God thinks you’re special and so do I”

                                                                                                  printed on them. 


When we came back to Northern Ireland I had only 
3 left, 
and shortly after that only 
one.  


That was when I decided that I was going to keep the last one for myself because sometimes I need encouragement too.


I brought it out of its box and thought about where to put it.  


You see in the unit in our lounge we had some mugs which the boys had got at the Boy’s Brigade over several years, another from Wales with our daughter Linda’s name on it, one with a picture of Peter Rabbit our son was given as a baby, and others that my husband Fred has accumulated from working trips abroad.  


These are all deemed to be too good or too impractical to actually be used so they are treated as ornaments. 



I could have made a space there for this mug but somehow 
that didn’t seem quite right. 


Then I decided that if the mug was to be an encouragement to me, I should see it often and the best way to do that would be to use it regularly. 

So that is what I have done.  

It is now 2014, and I still have this mug.


It really is nice to make my coffee in this mug and smile 
when I look at the words on it.



Some may think it strange but it brings me a lot of joy to use this mug not only for the message it reminds me of but for the memories of the good friends I had to whom I gave the rest of the mugs. 



          Then one day I was in a lady’s home when she showed me some bibles which she was very proud to have.  She told me the story associated with each bible, why they were important to her and how she liked to keep them in very good condition, even though one of them she informed me was more than 150 years old.  


The problem was, each of these bibles was wrapped carefully in a plastic bag and put away only to be brought out occasionally for someone else to hear the stories.  



This was the only way for her to keep them clean and in good condition.  


I found it very sad to think that even though this lady held fond memories of the people she had got these bibles from or the places from which she had received them, and had a special high regard for these as old books; she didn’t read them and she didn’t make use of them so she couldn’t be encouraged by the words within or come to know the joy of meeting the Saviour they offered her.  


It was like my mug. 


If I had kept it ‘good’ I would not have got the enjoyment and encouragement from it that I have got by using it regularly; 


and would I smile and remember that I’m special to God?











I am thankful that my special mug has lasted so long and I am thankful that it brings such good memories and encouragement and joy to me.

Do you have something that does this for you?

 I believe you are special to God too.  Do you?




Sunday, 16 February 2014

Why We Worship 7




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


One of the things about God that we may find hard to understand and perhaps never understand fully, but just have to accept that it is true,
 is that 


God 

always has existed 
and 
always will exist

So today I'm thinking about worshipping God because 




We were born and we will die and that is the cycle of life that we understand 
but we are not like God.


He has always existed in the same way: fully and completely as God.


So we must cry




Revelation 4
Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 
The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 
The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
Whenever the living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:  
11“You are worthy, O Lord,To receive glory and honour and power;For You created all things,And by Your will they exist and were created.”







Have you grasped the  "who was and is and is to come" ?

Do you worship Him even though you may not fully understand Him?









Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Gift of Love - A Dose of Encouragement


We do not really celebrate ST. Valentine's Day.


My husband and I never got into that as girlfriend and boyfriend except to exchange cards.


Perhaps it was because we were still at school and then at university for the 4 years before we got married, and school kids and students in the 70's did not have money!







Anyway we have never (that I can remember) gone out for a meal or special event for Valentine's Day.
Unless you count last year when we went to the local hotel for a meal with our son and his girlfriend and our daughter.  Seems strange, you may think, to go out with others on that night but we were not going out because of Valentine's Day but because our daughter was due to leave for South Korea a few days later and that was the night we were all free to have a farewell meal together.  I think it may have seemed a bit odd to the hotel as we were the only table not for a couple.

So this year I suggested to my husband that we have a date night on Friday Night, which he knew straight away was Valentine's Day - question still remains how did he know that without thinking?


I then assured him that I was not choosing

                                because it is Valentine's Day

but simply because on



evening we have a meeting at church,

evening we are going to dinner at our son and daughter-in-law's home (the same pair that were only girlfriend and boyfriend this time last year, got engaged at the end of April and married at the end of October & our daughter managed to come back from South Korea for a few days for the wedding),


evening we have a friend round with us for dinner,


evening we have a prayer meeting in church


                                and


we will need to do all the catch-up from the busy week & be tired in the evening and just want to lie in front of the TV and watch something we have taped during the week.


                                   So

 evening was really our only choice.



Next was the question I could have uttered for him myself but I am kind and I let him say it.

"Well what do you want to do?"


I of course should have been prepared seeing as I knew he would say what he always says but I'm silly and I wasn't.

However being determined not to get annoyed at this usual question I sort of looked around me as I tried to think of something quickly and because I was in the kitchen making the dinner at the time I came out with

"You have to cook me a meal all by yourself"


You would have thought I had told him to do something he knew nothing about and had never seen before.


"How am I going to do that?"


This is the guy who taught me to make an omelette when we were students before we got married but now claims he doesn't know how to make one.  This is also the guy who after we got married made the meals on the days that his lectures were over earlier than mine while we were still students and who made all the meals for the few weeks of my final university exams.


Well that really was not how the conversation should have gone!


But even though I was rather annoyed at the usual type of response, and told him so!


That kind of thing was not going to spoil our week or even our day.



We have to remember that when we got married we promised to

                                         
                                                               so something like this cannot get in the way.



A few months ago the ladies who lead our graphics course were developing a magazine for the iPad called  DIY Marketing Graphics and they asked each of the people on the course if they would like to contribute a graphic on the theme of Love for the February Issue.



This was my offering and I was very pleased that they did feature it in the magazine.


I was just playing around with a nice black background and some red hearts and then the wording came to me.


Basically this is what we are doing when we commit to each other in marriage, we are giving our love as a gift to our spouse and we are committed to this forever.  We do not take it back in the hard times or the times (repeatedly) when we annoy each other.  We have given them our love so that overrules all else in any situation.  


This is what God has done with His love.  
He has given the gift of Love which is Jesus, because He loved us and 
He will not take His love back from us either.


I am very thankful that God has shown us true love by His own example.






We all should know the true qualities of Love (if not, we need to read 1 Corinthians 13) and so we know what our actions should be like.  The thing is we are all human and it is hard to get over being hurt and it is hard to accept apologies and it is hard to be gracious and forgiving.  


I am also very thankful that even though Fred & I may take a bit of time to do the forgiving etc. we know we still love each other and such a trust is in our marriage because we know that.





Have you ever thought about your love being a gift that you can give?

Have you thought about God's Gift of Love to you?




Sunday, 9 February 2014

Why We Worship 6




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




God has set us all a great example.

He has shown us the way we should be in all the relationships that we have.

He teaches us that we should be faithful in word and in deed.








So our focus today is on    1 Corinthians 1:9

always remembering to take verses we consider in the context they were written


I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, 
that you were enriched in everything by Him in all [b]utterance and all knowledge, 
even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed [c]in you, 
so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.






Not only has He shown us that a relationship must be built on faithfulness but He has also provided the relationship we all need.  


The relationship with our Saviour.



So let us worship today because







We will be singing "What a Faithful God have I " in church today.

Are you worshipping Him today?