Sunday, 28 October 2018

Sunday Scripture - Psalm 16 v 8


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 Psalm 16 v 8





This week I had a number of different things that had to be done.

We are getting a new kitchen so the old one was being removed this week and the tiles taken up from the floor which meant a lot of packig things up and moving things to use in other rooms.

But some things I had to do were simply because I just was too easily distracted by other things during the previous week and so didn't get round to these things.

Oh how easily distracted we can be!

Our attention flitters from 

      one thing to another, 

            one person to another, 

                  one blog post to another, 

                        one TV programme to another, 

                              one song to another,

                                    one thought to another......



Who do we flitter to instead of looking to God?



We need to have a determined attitude to keep our focus on God.

We need to be able to say






Is this not a great declaration to set in the face of the devil!



Oh yes things will still surround us and we will have to think of other things and other people but if we can truly say the first part of this verse 


I have set the Lord always before me:

then we will be able to hold on to the second part.  



because He is at my right hand I shall not be removed.


We will still be looking to Him,

have His guidance at all times 

and 
have His presence 

so we will not be enticed away by the other gods of this world.



Oh how easily distracted we can be.


What a wonderful position to be in because then we can also say 


Psalm 16 v 11
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. 


                                                        


Are you determined to set God always before you?




Thursday, 18 October 2018

N is for Newcastle - A to Z of Places I have Visited


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






Today I am writing about a place I have visited quite a few times and although I was brought up on the other side of the country from it I now live just 30 mins away by car.  I live in County Down Northern Ireland and this lovely seaside town is also in beautiful County Down.



County Down UK location map



I first remember going to Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland when I was a teenager and it holds fond memories for me of getting lost on the way up the mountain with a few others including the future Mr Black.

I'm the girl in between the two Freds and one of them is still beside me today.






Then many many years later after having lived abroad twice Fred and I moved back to Northern Ireland from Belgium and instead of returning to County Londonderry we chose to live on the eastern side of the country in Banbridge, County Down.






Banbridge is about 40 mins by car from Belfast in the North East and approximately 30 mins from Newcastle on the South East coast.

We have never lived as close to a Seaside Resort before but even so we have not been to Newcastle very often.


Newcastle is famous for the fact that it sits at the bottom of Slieve Donard "where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea".  This is taken from a line of a well-known Northern Ireland song written by Percy French and there is a restaurant on the northern part of the town beside the Famous Slieve Donnard Hotel named after this composer.

As you can see below the Mournes and the town of Newcastle are lovely on a bright clear day.


Newcastle Donard


This is the view along part of the main street of Newcastle looking towards Slieve Donard and the Mourne Mountains.  Yes that highest peak is the one that we were supposed to be climbing all those years previously but sadly did not get near the top.



In 2013 our second son got married and he and his bride had their wedding reception in Newcastle.

They had pictures taken in Belfast and then also when they reached Newcastle where it was mostly the family photos.  Imagine in a day at the end of October when it is well into autumn (known in Northern Ireland for the rain) and you are having wedding pictures taken in the late afternoon on the sea front in the wind and rain.






Yes you can well imagine how our hair got blown about and we felt a little chilly.


Later in the same year we were back in Newcastle. On one of our oldest sons visits back to us from England we decided to drive there on a dull December day.

Now Newcastle (as all the other seaside resorts in Northern Ireland) is well-known for its windy weather but this day it was exceptional.  We left Banbridge with clouds in the sky but at least it was dry.

30 mins later we were sitting in a car park along the sea front in Newcastle watching the wind, rain and crashing waves which were roaring along in a storm.  Needless to say on this visit to the seaside only one of us got out of the car.  Our son Jonathan dived out to take a picture and an extremely short video of the storm.  I took a picture and a video from inside the car (I had more sense just to lean out the window for minute).




The beautiful Mourne Mountains that my husband often admires are partly hidden in the mist.


We had some friends visit a few years later for just a few days at the end of March and we decided to go for a walk along the promenade in Newcastle.  This time it was so calm and warm we had to take off our coats and we all decided to have ice-cream.  Unfortunately no photo was taken this time as it was the early evening time and already dark.


If we had been there during the day we would have seen the calmness and brightness like in this picture below which shows the southern end towards the harbour.

© Eric Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

No visit to Newcastle is complete without a walk alone the promenade which in recent years was picturesquely extended and includes a lovely bridge.  Each time we walk along it I say how nice it would be to live in one of the apartments alongside it which are overlooking the sea and Fred reminds me that yes I would enjoy it in the summertime.

It is such a pity that Northern Ireland does not have warm sunny weather for a longer period of time in the year so that the town of Newcastle could be enjoyed more.

However there are many shops and some amusements to entertain visitors when the weather is not so dry.


Kent Amusements, Newcastle, County Down, September 2011






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
M for Monschau






Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Murder in the Mews - Book Review


Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.



I am reading through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and writing a review on each one.








Murder in the Mews



1937


Description


Murder, stolen plans, a mysterious death and a menage a trois – four intriguing novellas featuring Hercule Poirot…
How did a woman holding a pistol in her right hand manage to shoot herself in the left temple? What was the link between a ghost sighting and the disappearance of top secert military plans? How did the bullet that killed Sir Gervase shatter a mirror in another part of the room? And who destroyed the ‘eternal triangle’ of love involving renowned beauty, Valentine Chantry?
Hercule Poirot is faced with four mystifying cases – Murder in the Mews, The Incredible Theft, Dead Man’s Mirror and Triangle at Rhodes – each a miniature classic of characterisation, incident and suspense.






My Thoughts


This is the 30th book by Agatha Christie and the 17th Poirot Mystery

One of the Poirot short stories books but they are not too short as there are only 4 in this grouping.  



Murder in the Mews
A few good suspects but it looks like suicide or does it, nice twists along the way and an obvious clue to anyone who watches or reads a lot of murder mystery now because I have seen that idea (no spoilers here!) used more and more but perhaps when I first read it many years ago I would not have been familiar with that type of clue.

The Incredible Theft

Well you know what happens with thefts in her novels - there is always much more than a slight of hand involved and again who is that foreigner?  And I'm not talking about Poirot here.

Dead Man's Mirror
Are people always who or what they claim to be?  (Slight clue there!)

Miss Christie throws in one of her outside/inside episodes here which she can easily do when the setting is a large house with various patio type windows.

Triangle at Rhodes
Very similar in a way but then also very different to a certain of her other well-known and full length stories so watch out for the twist here too.


A good read, in fact 4 good reads where you will change your mind on the guilty parties more than once or twice or even three times.



If you would like to know more about this book then click on the title or picture above.


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


If thinking of reading this book in the future why not pin this pic to go back to later.
























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.