Sunday, 29 March 2015

Songs for Worship #13


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

Now I'm following the weeks of Why We Worship from last year and sharing a song which I feel links in with that week's attribute.




I hope you will follow along with me.




                         Looking today at 



God is Omniscient

He is All-Knowing


Another artist unknown to me before but who sings this song so touchingly






You will want to play this more than once as I know you will find it so peaceful and beautiful and be thankful that God does know all about us.





Search Me O God




Search me, O God,
And know my heart today;
Try me, O Savior,
Know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be
Some wicked way in me;
Cleanse me from every sin
And set me free.








God knows all things!

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






Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Kindness of Strangers - A Dose of Encouragement


We often take for granted the things our families do for us.

We sort of expect that they will come to our rescue when we have been in a car accident and need transport home as in  4 Accidents & a ...(pt2)






We usually expect to be understanding when things crop up to change our plans as in Which Point of View


We also expect to support each other & celebrate good times together as in  Olympic Torch Run



That's what we do for family.



Photo Credit: Bigstock Images


We also expect to be able to turn to friends for help and support.

We would be surprised if our friends were not willing to jump in to help at short notice, especially if we take ill and need babysitting help or those little trips to the chemist and shops for something we have run out of.

We are normally willing to check up on friends when we haven't seen them around or had contact with them for a while.


That's what we do for friends.









There are some other people we expect to help us and we are very thankful when they do a good job.  I can think immediately of the nice ladies in the shop I got my outfit for our son's wedding and some people who have helped Fred with queries over his work computer connections (he works from home).  These people of course are in jobs where that is their responsibility but we are thankful when they do it well and honestly and with a very pleasant attitude.


But then there are the people who do not have to help us at all.

Strangers who do something which just makes a moment of our life more pleasant or easier to bare.


When Fred's car skidded on the skimmed milk, overturned and ended up in a field there was the lovely considerate couple living beside that field who took him in to wait in their home while they contacted me and the police for him.  Fortunately he did not need an ambulance in 4 Accidents & a ...(pt3)


When Jonathan (6/7 years old) froze at the top of the moving stairs in the Main Shopping Centre in our city where I already had the pram containing Linda on the step that was starting to move & Daniel holding unto the pram; what could I do?
A kind lady coming behind me just said she would stay with Jonathan until I could get down and then up the other escalator again to get back to our oldest son who was developing a fear of heights.
It's not an easy thing to hold unto a pram and another child on moving stairs as you stand twisted round looking up at your son praying he will be okay with a stranger.
I was thankful to that woman who obviously felt compassionately towards our family.


Then there are the group of people I did not know and it may be said, still do not know in real life.
They are bloggers in a special Blogging Group who are always ready to answer questions myself and others have, ready to support and advise in situations where others have not been so nice.


I do not know the backgrounds, religion, politics of any of these people 
but I know how they react to others with 
consideration, help and kindness.







Where do we stand in acts of kindness?

Are we just there for our family?
Are we there for our friends?

Perhaps we are also there for the people in our church that need help.
Perhaps we would be there for the people who live in our street.


But






Are we there for the people we are suddenly next to in the shopping Centre?


Or the people who for some strange reason end up in our neighbourhood?


Or the people we don't even get to meet?



Why should we show care to people we don't even know?

Because


Photo Credit: Bigstock Images










Monday, 23 March 2015

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Book Review

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.


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 Murder of Roger Ackroyd. 

1926  
A Poirot Mystery.



Shelfari Description


He knew the woman he loved had poisoned her first husband. He knew someone was blackmailing her - and now he knew she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
Soon the evening post would let him know who the mystery blackmailer was. But Ackroyd was dead before he'd finished reading it - stabbed through the neck where he sat in his study...
Agatha Christie mysteries seem quaint today, relics of a bygone day. But when her books were new, she was a trailblazer, and never more so than in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Her twist ending shocked and even angered her readers -- I won't tell you why -- and even today may still have the power to startle.
Hercule Poirot is retired to the country, but when his wealthy neighbor is found murdered, he can't resist stepping in to help the police. The local doctor takes the place of usual loyal sidekick Hastings, helping Poirot investigate and recording all the facts of the case, like Dr. Watson recording Holmes' adventures. The mystery winds through estranged stepsons, secret marriages, and blackmailers, and even now still has a whiff of controversy over the resolution.






My Thoughts

This is the seventh book by Agatha Christie and the fourth for her sleuth Hercule Poirot.

I read this over a week while travelling.  A few chapters at a time and each time looking forward to picking it up again for the next session.

Such a difference from the last one The Secret of Chimneys  when I  found it hard to remember the characters - here this was never a problem and I think there were more characters to actually remember in this one.

Was it the fact that Poirot was the detective again - am I so biased towards him?  I don't think so.  I think this book is so cleverly written and of course from having read it years ago I did remember who the murderer was simply because it was rather unique (not quite a spoiler but getting there!) but I really did enjoy the way it was written.

Yes I remembered the murderer, but the reason and part of the means of the crime had long since escaped from my mind.

I would say that this one could stand up against any of the more modern murder mysteries and is based on a motive that could be found in this day and age too, so anyone saying that Dame Agatha was for a different age is in my opinion completely incorrect.

This is one of those books that everyone should read even if they are not Christie fans because it's probably her most famously clever one.








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





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, 22 March 2015

Songs for Worship #12



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

Now I'm following the weeks of Why We Worship from last year and sharing a song which I feel links in with that week's attribute.





I hope you will follow along with me.




                         Looking today at 



God is Good









God is Good


God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time


When you're walking through the valley
And there are shadows all around
Do not fear, He will guide you
He will keep you safe and sound
'Cause He's promised to never leave you
Nor forsake you and His Word is true


God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time


We are sinners, so unworthy
Still for us He chose to die
Filled us with His Holy Spirit
Now we can stand and testify
That His love is everlasting
And His mercies - they will never end


God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time


Though I may not understand
All the plans He has for me
My life is in His hands
And through the eyes of faith, I can clearly see


God is good all the time
He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
God is good all the time
Through the darkest night, His light will shine
God is good, God is good all the time






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










Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Rainbow or The Storm? - A Dose of Encouragement


I saw this phrase the other day


Count your rainbows not your thunderstorms.

But I passed on by without taking too much notice at the time.

Then later it just sprung back into my mind but I could not remember where I had seen it - if you know please leave me a comment so I can give the right credit to it.






It got me thinking about how we tend to go along


  smiling at the rainbows 

    and

  frowning at the storms.


Then at times we may even forget to truly acknowledge the rainbows but
      we get upset by the thunderstorms,
           we get enraged at the thunderstorms,
                we get cowered down by the thunderstorms.


Who or what has the power over us?

Is it the thunderstorm? - No!


God has the power over the thunderstorm as well as the rainbow.

So why do we get down?

In our Sunday School this month I have prepared the Theme of the Authority of Jesus and the 5 weeks are

 Authority of Jesus
       over Sin
            over Disease
                 over Nature
                      over Death
                           over Salvation


After having worked on this there is no way I should get enraged over natural thunderstorms or the storms the devil tries to throw at me.


I should face them through with the power of  Jesus







We need to remember the rainbow of promise that comes out of the storm.

We need to look past the storms to the One who has the authority and power over the storms.

The One who has given us all the encouragement we need in His Word.

       The One who has promised to never leave us

              The One who has promised to walk beside us

                     The One who has promised to hold us in His hands

                            The One who has promised to keep us safe

                                   The One who has said to us "Fear Not"








God will not let the storms defeat us when we keep our trust in Him.



So let's go along smiling at the storms as well as the rainbows.


Because God's promises are mightier than any fears!




Sunday, 15 March 2015

Songs for Worship #11



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

Now I'm following the weeks of Why We Worship from last year and sharing a song which I feel links in with that week's attribute.




I hope you will follow along with me.



                         Looking today at 



God is Omnipresent 


He is Everywhere









Sovereign Over Us


There is strength within the sorrow, There is beauty in our tears
You meet us in our mourning, With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting, Sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding, You’re teaching us to trust


CHORUS
Your plans are still to prosper, You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
Faithful forever, Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us



You are wisdom unimagined, Who could understand your ways

Reigning high above the heavens, Reaching down in endless grace
Youʼre the Lifter of the lowly, Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me, Your promises are my delight



Bridge
Even what the enemy means for evil
You turn it for our good, You turn it for our good and for your glory
Even in the valley You are faithful
Youʼre working for our good, Youʼre working for our good and for your glory



Words & Music by Aaron Keyes, Bryan Brown, and Jack Mooring.
Copyright (c) 2011 Thankyou Music (admin. worldwide by worshiptogether.com songs excluding Europe, which is admin. by kingswaysongs.com) (PRS)








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












Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Real Easter Egg - You've got to try one!


Disclaimer:
I received ONE free Easter Egg to REVIEW after having purchased several others


I've had many Easter Eggs over the years but here is one that is somewhat different.

My Pastor handed me a leaflet and asked me to take a look at it and if I liked what I saw to go ahead and get some for the children in our church.

I glanced at it and left it on the kitchen worktop to read later in the week.






When I did read it I was as enthusiastic as he was and went online to order the eggs for church.


After ordering the eggs it was then agreed with the company that I would receive an egg free of charge to taste for myself and then write a review and this blog post is my honest opinion of the product.


So here are my thoughts on The Real Easter Egg.


I ordered the eggs for church online and they arrived within 2 weeks from England to Northern Ireland.

I received a rather large box showing that it is in partnership with the Charity Traidcraft (click on the picture below to find out more about this)






This is what I found on opening the box




another box was inside and it contained 6 eggs  (eggs are ordered online in groups of 6)


As you can see above each egg is 150g and these ones are milk chocolate eggs.
(on the website you can see the other types of eggs available)


The first thing I noticed was just how attractive the box was and clearly marked fairtrade which I would be glad to choose.


There is also plenty of information on the packaging as you can see below on the side, back, other side and bottom of the box.





On opening one of the eggs the top of the box revealed that there was a little more than just an egg for you to enjoy





   Included is

  • A bag of Chunky Milk Chocolate Buttons.
  • A Happy Easter booklet.
  • A little snippet of the Easter Story from the Bible printed on the card, all before you get to your egg.






   When unwrapped I could tell the egg was quite thick and there was a textured marking over it as you can see in the picture below





    Well because I did not want to eat too much chocolate (you know folks I am trying to keep off the weight), I decided that I would share this egg with my husband Fred and son Daniel who were sitting watching a rugby match on the television.


The advantage also is that we could have 3 opinions here instead of just the 1.


     So did it pass the test?


     Not just one test we had four!



NUMBER 1

How would it break?

Firm pieces or crumble up too much?






The picture above shows not too much crumbling  -  GOOD!




NUMBER 2


The initial taste test - too sweet?  not sweet enough?  or just right?





These two intrepid tasters said "pretty good".



NUMBER 3


The silly (but can be very important) melting test - does it melt too quickly?





You can see by the picture above they proved it passed this one too.




NUMBER 4


Finally the all important - does it go well with the tea and coffee test?







And the result was?

YES

It passed all four tests.



Then I had to be quick to grab a picture as they started into the buttons (and I was warned by these two guys to tell you that they really are chunky).






Because very quickly everything was gone, but yes I did get two buttons and another bit of egg before they were leaving me an empty tray to take away.








How to get The Real Easter Egg.

If you want to buy an egg and get a surprise then do not read any further or look at any more pictures just simply go buy the egg and enjoy it - I did and my two guys really did.

You can buy the eggs at various shops within the UK
(click on the map below to find a shop near you)





Or click on the online link below to order from the website





Now for the SPOILER

If you want to know exactly what you are buying to give to someone else then read on.

Inside the box we already saw there was a Happy Easter Booklet.



A nice decoration for any child's room.


But turn it around and we have the Easter Story



followed by some information about eggs and an Easter Quiz





and finished off with a recipe for Easter Biscuits





So Here we have other activities to enjoy after the egg has been eaten.



CONCLUSION

Definitely much more than the usual Easter Eggs we buy for our children, our grandchildren, or the children of friends.

We were very happy to eat it and give them as gifts.

Each year the booklet inside the egg will be different so each year we can continue to buy these eggs and know that the recipients will have more than an egg to enjoy.


I love chocolate but I also really love the way this focuses on 

The Real Meaning of Easter 

and not just on chocolate.






If you wish to know more or to buy some of these eggs then click on over to The Real Easter Egg website via the picture below






If you wish to read the latest news about The Real Easter Egg Campaign then click on the picture below





Disclaimer:
I received ONE free Easter Egg to REVIEW and I will NOT benefit in any way from any purchases any of my readers will make.