Thursday

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

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.






Monday

Does 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.

3.  When you find out who originaly posted it just click through to their facebook page and click on about - then scan through what you find.

I know this all takes a bit of time but it is worth it not to be passing on something that is linked with someone or some organisation you really would not intend to advertise to others.

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.





Sunday

Sunday Scripture - Romans 8 v 25


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 Romans 8 v 25




As soon as I saw this verse I was drawn to the two words hope and patience.

Hope is a word I would use often and have grown to love the true Bible meaning of this word, whereas patience is not a word I like to talk about much probably because I feel I do not have a lot of it.

However while I was trying to memorise this verse some time ago, I realised that the Biblical word hope leads us to this patience.  If we have the hope of life eternal through Jesus then we will have patience as we wait to see this hope fulfilled regardless of what comes between because that Hope is worth everything.  




Background Photo credit to Yash H Dubal via DealFuel



If we simply looked at verse 25 on it's own would we come to the right meaning?

As usual the verses in this chapter should be read together to give the right context so let's consider verses 18 - 26

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


verse 18  
reminds us that what we have now is nothing compared to what we will have when we are in the presence of God.

verse 23  
reminds us that we are eager to see the fulfilment of his promise of sonship and full redemption

verse 24  
reminds us that our salvation is because of this hope we have in Jesus


Some people may think we are all like children who when they are eager for something to happen get impatient and cannot wait - it just has to happen immediately, but we have more understanding than children and we know that when something is worth having it is worth waiting for and our experience and the Word of God tells us we can trust it will happen.

But of course God has not left us on our own to wait


26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.


How wonderful it is that even though we are 
eagerly awaiting the outcome of our hope;
 we can do so patiently by the power of the Holy Spirit.



PRAYER
Lord I pray that all who read this will either be rejoicing in the knowledge of the hope they have in you or led to examine your word further until they put their trust in you and gain this hope of life eternal.
Amen.









Thursday

Leeds - A to Z of Places I Have Visited


I am writing about some places I have visited in alphabetical order.
Still wondering what I will do for the more unusual letters like Q and X etc. but maybe I will have a brilliant idea later.






Leeds is a large city in England, UK.





I never really thought of this as a place I would be going to for a holiday because I would much prefer to go abroad or to places that were not so big and maybe somewhere I would have always heard of and wondered what it was like but this was not the case with Leeds.


By Harkey Lodger based on Jhamez84 at en.wikipedia
Own work based on map by Jhamez84 at en.wikipedia, Public Domain, Link


We ended up having a great connection with this busy city because in 2010 our oldest son left Belgium where we had been living for 6 years and headed off to be a pastor in Leeds.

Now Jonathan was not so daunted by the city because he had been dealing with driving through Brussels regularly but he still was not interested in living in the city nor could he afford it.

He got a small one bed appartment in a little village on the outskirts of Leeds and so that is how we came to visit Leeds.

We made several trips over to Leeds both from Belgium and then later from NI to which we had since moved.





A City Weekend Break in Leeds would be nice with lots to see round the city with the variety of architecture as shown above with the modern building in the foreground which is the new shopping centre and the older Civic centre building in the background.

Another older building is the Old Post Office in Leeds City Square shown below.



By Tim Green from Bradford - General Post Office, City Square, Leeds (former), CC BY 2.0, Link


In my opinion modern buildings are great if they are useful and practical and still have an interesting look about them but I'd much prefer they were eye-catching for their architectual beauty and not just to be "different".





Also for it's museums.

Above is Leeds city Museum which still stands impressively in the city with a lovely casual feel set back from the roadway and traffic by a wide footpath.







Of course we must not forget the shops to spend your money in and abundance of places to choose to eat in with a great variety of flavours from all over the world.

Here again you see the old and the new when it comes to eateries.


I have to note here that every time we have visited there have been new restaurants that Jonathan has discovered so of course he takes us to test them out.





Leeds is so large that even though we have visited several times I am never sure which street I am going to turn into next but then that might have something to do with the extensive one-way system for the traffic.

We have always been thankful that Jonathan knows where he is going as he drives us along.


Interesting Architecture and Good Food in this Yorkshire City.


My husband and I do know the way to his apartment though and you would think you were in a different world altogether when you arrive there.  It is just beside the canal and there is a nature reserve area where he can walk around and find a seat to sit and read in the quiet of the countryside.

The nicest photo we have of his apartment building was taken during the snow in January 2013 - his is the top one one the far right and there is the countryside beside it.





A few of the times we have visited Jonathan has taken us to the surrounding villages for breakfast or lunch and they are lovely with all their Yorkshire stone houses.

We have also had a trip into the close by city of Bradford to sample some of the food there.

Although I said at the start about a weekend city break in Leeds it would also be worth the time to spend a little longer to explore some of the beauty of the countryside nearby in the Yorkshire Vales.







Jonathan has recently left Leeds to live and work in West Malvern a four hour journey south of Leeds into the Malvern Hills so we have a new location to visit and get to know.




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 is for Jersey
K is for Killyleagh