Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Does My Nose Look Big in This? - A Dose of Encouragement


Someone said that 2014 was the year of the selfie.

So what was the greatest selfie?






The Greatest Selfie  -  There is none.


No Seriously  -  Does any selfie ever turn out really well?


They make your nose look enormous.

They put you all out of proportion.

They normally make one head look bigger than another when there are two or more of you.



Now Fred & I may be up to date with a lot of technical things (most people know that we like computers and iPads) but we are not that much into phones.


However in the past year we have taken a few selfies on our phones when we were on holiday in Malta in August (top left & middle left below), waiting for the St. Patrick's Day parade here in Northern Ireland in March (bottom right) and when we were having a walk around a lake near our home in the summertime when we wanted to get the ducks in the background (middle right).






Then I remembered we had taken one the previous Christmas time with our son on a walk around an old castle (bottom left) and over 5 years ago we had taken some when we were on a hot air balloon flight in Belgium (top right)


But in no way would I have thought of any of those as being great photos of us, just ones that make us laugh.


However there are a few different types of selfies within our family that are more unique





Daniel and Linda outside Daniel's old music studio about 7 years ago.






One I took in the mirror in our hallway early last year.







Then there is this one that I took last week on the iPad when Fred & I were chatting on facetime while he was working in Luxembourg.


Selfies are definitely the in thing and that is further proved by all the new poles to hold your phone so that you can have the phone further out to help take a decent selfie, to make sure the camera is not too close to that nose.

And the other factor about the selfie is that we can have the picture right there and then on our phone or iPad, no waiting!


Yes, This is a selfie generation.


Which ultimately leads it to being a selfish generation.



Selfies focus all attention on you.

It is all about you.


Life today is full of 

the ME mentality, 

the NOW mentality 

and 

the MUST HAVE mentality.



Oh Lord that we would be able to look beyond ourselves and have the panoramic picture of what you want for the world and for each of us and not the selfie picture.


If we get drawn into this selfie mentality we are not going to be in the plan of God.

The Bible teaches us to love others, to care for others, to intercede for others but how will we know how to do this if we have this selfie mentality, if we are only focused on ourselves?


Let's focus on God instead because as we do so we will find that we will be more open to the prompting of His Spirit to intercede for others.

Let's focus on God because as we do so we will have more love to extend to others.

Let's focus on God because as we do so we will become more like Jesus and experience His caring nature for others.


I don't want to be in the little group of me, myself and I - do you?


The Bible also teaches us that people will know we are Christians by our Love which will be like Christ's Love.





I am so thankful that Jesus did not have the selfie mentality.










Sunday, 25 January 2015

Songs For Worship #4

Welcome to the new Sunday Series

Last year from January to June I wrote a series on
Why We Worship  where I considered an attribute of God each Sunday.





At different times people mentioned to me about a song that a post reminded them of so I thought that I would now go through those attributes again with a song for each one.


So I'm following the weeks of Why We Worship from last year and I hope you will follow along with me.
(Just head over to the side bar and join up if you would like to receive a reminder of my posts)



                         Looking today at 



God is Infinite









You are Alpha and Omega



You are Alpha and Omega
We worship you O God 
You are worthy to be praised
You are Alpha and Omega
We worship you O God 
You are worthy to be praised


We give you all the glory
We worship you O God 
You are worthy to be praised
We give you all the glory
We worship you O God 
You are worthy to be praised






I want to bring your attention to another song which may be less well-known and I have only found it recently but I think you will like it too.







If you would like to see the post from last year that this is based on please click on the graphic below







Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Happiness, Happiness. - A Dose of Encouragement



If you are in the UK and can remember back quite a few years you may be able to remember a song called "Happiness"

It was recorded in the 60s but was extremely well-known for many years.






I was in the bathroom running a bath last Thursday afternoon when suddenly I started to sing this old song.  Now I was headed out later in the day for a doctor's appointment and if anyone had asked me if I was happy I probably would have thought I wasn't really so why was I singing this song?


Well here is the reason




In a post last year I talked about 5 Little Touches I had used to make the bathroom of this house mine as opposed to just being the bathroom I ended up with from the previous owners of the house.

One of these things was my bath pillow which I got new because my old one was too well worn.

I had noticed this one in a bargain shop called B&M  which I love to browse round any time I am near it.  I knew it would match the decor and it just made me smile to look at it.  It is also extremely soft.

So obviously as I was preparing my bath I had subconsciously noticed the bath pillow and the chorus of that song just popped into my head.






I had some time to think about those words and how I felt while singing them as I soaked in my nice, long, hot bubble bath.


I have been blessed with a lot of happiness as well as joy.


I am often happy about little things that may seem silly to others I just love to have a laugh at some of the silly things that made me happy.

And I am very thankful to God for being like that and finding happiness in little things.

But it was the first sentence that I really started to dwell on as I lay in that bath.

Yes I could say that God had gifted me with things to make me happy or even say He had gifted me with Happiness although it is not the greatest thing that He has given me.


But what about the fact that happiness is something we can help to give to others.


We can give various things to others but do we give them something to make them happy?

What about those little letters and cards we talked about 2 weeks ago in the post Tears over a Little Letter?

Of course making someone happy does not always involve giving them an actual physical object.

We can bring happiness into someone's life in many other ways.

Maybe we can help them out with a task that they can't do for themselves or just give them some support like in I Had Plans a post from last year.



I have another object in my bathroom that reminds me of something else.





What about helping someone to come to know the saving grace of the Lord Jesus so that they can know His forgiveness of their sin and become a child of God?


Share with them the knowledge of the greatest gift God has for them.





Yes, Happiness is not the greatest gift God has given me because here is the greatest gift in this verse, the gift of Salvation.  

The words of that song may not be completely true but they did nudge me into thinking about happiness, and I do thank God that I am blessed with happiness and also the deep joy of knowing Him.





So let's be encouraged to go and share some happiness with others.


Perhaps then some day you will be able to share this verse with them as well.





Sunday, 18 January 2015

Songs for Worship #3

Welcome to the new Sunday Series

Last year from January to June I wrote a series on
Why We Worship  where I considered an attribute of God each Sunday.






At different times people mentioned to me about a song that a post reminded them of so I thought that I would now go through those attributes again with a song for each one.


So I'm following the weeks of Why We Worship from last year and I hope you will follow along with me.




                         Looking today at












The King of Love


The King of love is my delight.
His eyes are fire, His face is light
The First and Last, the Living One.
His name is Jesus
And from His mouth there comes a sound
That shakes the earth splits the ground
And yet this voice is life to me.
The voice of Jesus

CHORUS:
And I will sing my songs of love,
calling out across the earth
The King has come,
the King of love has come
And troubled minds can know His peace,
The King has come,
the King of love has come

VERSE 2:
My lovers breath is sweetest wine.
I am His prize and He is mine
How can a sinner know such joy?
Because of Jesus
The wounds of love are in His hands.
The price is paid for sinful man
Accepted child, forgiven son
Because of Jesus

BRIDGE:
And my desire is to have You near
Lord You know that You are welcome here
Before such love, before such grace,
I will let the walls come down







If you would like to see the post from last year that this is based on please click on the graphic below




Friday, 16 January 2015

Magnetic Attendance / Chores Chart Tutorial



I have a very easy craft to share with you today.


          It is a simple tutorial for making a

 Magnetic Attendance Board 

for your Sunday School class or a small Children's Church. 




Of course it could be made for several other things for your own kids at home eg.


Chores Chart
Reading Practice Chart
Homework Chart



It is quite easy to make and is designed to be reused 
or adapted later for other uses.





Today is definitely a FUNWORK Post for me but did help me clear an item out of my kitchen so I think I can claim that a tiny bit of decluttering was involved too.



The Materials Required:




  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Coloured string or ribbon
  • Small round sticky backed magnets
  • Sticky backed magnetic strip (which I already had cut into pieces from an previous time)
  • Liquid Chalk Pen (or you can use ordinary chalk)
  • Blackboard paint (I had only about a fifth of this small tin left from a previous time and didn't even use all of that)
  • Paint brush

And 

      An old baking tray or cookie sheet.




As you can see my baking tray was scratched and stained and I had 3 newer ones and was about to throw this one out so it was just good timing.


Why not upcycle instead of throwing it out!


I had seen various ideas around reusing cookie sheets recently & thought I could try something easy and I needed a new idea for attendance for the Sunday School Class from New Year to Easter so this was my idea.




First I made sure the baking tray was clean and then enlisted the help of my husband and his drill.
Now this part was easy and I could have done it myself if he would let me but he does practically all that kind of work in the house so I was happy to let him do this for me.

Using quite a narrow drill piece he bored two holes in the tray in what was to be the top two corners so that the tray would hang horizontally (so the two corners along a long side)




He then informed me that something else had to be done before he would give me back my tray.

He explained that drilling the holes would leave rough edges on the back of the tray and I could clearly see what he meant.

But he had a very simple solution for making them smooth again.




You simply get a wider drill bit and use that on the back of the tray.

So as well as taking a picture of this part I also took this short video while he was doing it.




It definitely made a good difference to the edge of the holes and will not scratch anything it touches.





Next step was to get the old newspaper down on the table and start painting the tray with the blackboard paint.




Easy job.  I'm not that great at making a smooth finish but it was fine except that it seemed to be drying quickly while I painted.





I painted the main section and the trim around the front but I did not bother to paint the back as it was not going to be seen.





I let it dry for a while and then put on 13 of the round magnets to see about spacing as there will be 13 weeks between New Year and Easter.

Plenty of room across the tray for the weeks.





Then I tried the rectangular magnets and I would need around 10 of these so wanted to check that spacing as well down the left hand side.




However when I removed the magnets it was obvious that I hadn't waited long enough to let it dry completely and small marks were left from the paint coming off.

This meant a second coat of paint and waiting long enough for this one to be completely dry before the next step.




I used the ruler and the liquid chalk pen to draw a line down leaving enough space for the length of the rectangular magnets at the left and wrote the heading of "NAME" 





Next I wrote the heading of "ATTENDANCE"

Then I threaded the end of my coloured string through the hole at the left hand side from back through to the front and tied a double knot which would be thick enough not to pull back through the hole.




I measured & cut off enough of the string to be able to hang the board up and tie a knot at the other end and my board was completed.

Now for the names.




I got out my labeller that I have had for so many years that I have forgotten how long and chose black lettering on a blue background for the boys and black lettering on a red background for the girls.

Then I stripped off the paper from the sticky side of the magnet and stuck the name on in its place on each magnet.

The names can also simple be written on thin card and stuck to the sticky part of the magnets.





I trimmed off the edges of the magnets so that the names looked nicer and then they were ready to be placed on the board.




The names were spaced out nicely on the board and it was ready to go to church with a small container of the small round magnets.


This is the finished product 



It has been used for 2 weeks now in the Sunday School Class 
and I am rather pleased with it.







Wednesday, 14 January 2015

What colour is your Bible? - A Dose of Encouragement


The other day I saw a kindle ebook titled "In Pursuit" advertised for Free.

Now I will always give an ebook a second glance if it is free but sometimes on my iPad the picture of the book is quite small so as this was the case I enlarged the picture and then ended up laughing out loud (no one heard me as Fred was resting in front of the TV in the lounge after having a tooth extracted and I was in my study).






Why did I laugh?

Because I could not believe the tagline of the ebook

"Devotions for the Hunter & Fisherman"


Now I come from Northern Ireland and we have few hunters here.

Even when we lived in the US for 3 years we did not live in an area known for a lot of hunting.


Northern Ireland does have a lot of Fishermen though but of the ones I know I could not imagine any of them looking for a devotional book specifically for them.


Anyway after I laughed the next thing out of my mouth were the words


"Next we will have Bibles produced specifically for people of all different interests" 


and yes I was still on my own and no-one could hear me but have you never talked to yourself?


Then I realised that we had already reached this ridiculous point in life.


Yes already we had reached the point where the publishers of Bibles as well as devotionals were specifically targeting all the different sections of the community to sell more books and Bibles.


I had to wonder why?

Was the bible written with different verses for a man than for a woman?


Was the bible written with different verses for a single person than a married one?


Was the bible written with different verses for a Pentecostal than an Anglican?


Was the bible written with different verses for a teenager than for an adult?


Was the bible written with different verses for a hunter than for a doctor?



Did we need to have a different Bible for an engineer than for a teacher or a housewife?

Because if so then my husband the Mechanical Engineer and I a Mathematics Teacher turned Housewife, could not read the same Bible together because of our occupations and of course also because we are not of the same sex.


Just think-

We could not have read the Bible as a family together when the kids were teenagers.

We could not read the Bible together as a family now because some are Pentecostal and some are Anglican.

We could not read the Bible together as a family now because some are single and some are married.





What would be next?

Would we have to have different Bibles for people of all different race or nationality?


Let's put some pink or purple covers on them because that will appeal to the females 
they had decided at one stage.

Well I certainly didn't get hooked in then because I much prefer black or brown or blue books so no pretty feminine looking Bible for me.


But of course this was nothing to do with it at all - they simply wanted to sell more Bibles.

Now I know I'm sounding a bit extreme but my main problem is not with all the different speciality bibles or devotionals so much as with the purpose of our bibles.





When the Bible was written I am so thankful that it was written for all of us regardless of gender, age, race, intelligence etc.


When Jesus came to this earth He came for one specific reason


 to do His Father's will
 and be the ransom for each one of us, 
the one who would take all our sins on himself and die in our place 


I am so thankful that He did not differentiate between us.

So this inspired Word of God which was written for all of us to know the Truth of Jesus Christ and be set free from our old self and renewed by God's Spirit; was written for each and every one of us.


And it doesn't matter

          how many bibles we have,

                    what size they are,

                              how expensive they are,

                                        how many notes are included in them,

                                                  how used or how new they are,

                                                            or what colour they are.



The important thing is that we read our Bible and we grow in the Grace of our Lord and Saviour as we do so.






I know I'm not in pursuit of God's Word as much as I should be.

Are you?

Let's be encouraged today to go read that passage we have been meaning to read.

Let's be encouraged today to relax & drink in from God's Word no matter what colour our bible might be.