Wednesday

How To Be More Encouraging on Facebook - A Dose of Encouragement


I want to be more encouraging to others.

I want to share items that will make others laugh, smile, learn something worthwhile, help, and encourage people.  


You probably want to be a good friend to others too!

So we all really want to be good encouraging friends on Facebook!




I just thought I would share a little story with you because if we were out for a coffee together I would have told you this.  I love sharing little things that happen to us (or rather mostly me) if they are funny as it is good to laugh.

I love my slippers.

For years now as soon as I get into the house off come the shoes and on go the slippers.  


But last year I got worse!


Yes I started getting into the car in my slippers and taking a pair of shoes with me for putting on at my destination.

Before anyone starts to worry about safety in the car let me assure you this is perfectly ok as I am not driving very much now and my husband Fred does wear his shoes as he drives.


So one day I opened the hall cupboard and grabbed my black sling backs and headed on out to the car in a hurry.

However when I got to my destination and went to put on my shoes I discovered I had lifted two left shoes.


Yes I have two pairs of the same shoes!








They must have both got thrown in to the same part of the cupboard and in my hurry I did not look closely enough to make sure I was bringing out the correct pair of shoes.

Now the thing is 2 left shoes are very useful if you have the two right ones to match up with them but 2 left shoes on their own are not good.

Firstly they are exactly the same shoe but my feet are not, no way is a left shoe going to fit properly on my right foot.  I could get my foot in but it would not be the correct shape so not a good fit.

Secondly it would not be wise to try to walk with the wrong shoe.  Of course I did try but it is so uncomfortable especially around the toes and the arch.   Wearing shoes like this would end up injuring my foot.



What do we learn from this little story?


Not everything is what it immediately looks like!

Be more careful!

You must look carefully at what you are going to use!


In a pair of shoes, both will look exactly the same in colour, size, design but they are not identical.  We have to look closely at them to see which is the right one for each foot.

Something like this happens as we scroll through our facebook.
We will see posts that look like great Christian posts but we need to look closely at them to know whether they are the "right fit" for us.

Remember there will always be imitators of all good things and there are plenty of them on Facebook

but it may be a while before you see their true colours

for example

A.  In a group of what were supposed to be "Christians" I had a lady private message me and call me "the Devil" because I had spoken to her friend about the reference for a verse she was using to instruct other women.  She was actually taking a verse out of Job and using it wrongly but did not want us to know so she just said it was in the book of Job and then scoffed that we obviously did not know our bibles well enough when asked for the reference.  I gave her the reference of the verse and then asked her to treat it properly in context with the verses around and that is when she got mad at me and her friend messaged me (twice in fact because she claimed this lady was very holy).
Obviously these two ladies had to be blocked by me on facebook so that I would not have to put up with being cursed at on messenger and called names and I also left the group because being in it was going to bring me into contact with more of this type of person - trying to teach the word wrongly.







B.  Then there are the lovely pictures we see on Facebook but they are not being shared by Christians - they are being shared by people who just want more attention and followers and have sometimes even stolen other people's pictures to use - as was the case a few years ago when someone took a picture I had made and shared it but they had removed my name from it before they put it on their page.
(This is completely different from the people who share pictures of mine straight from my page and I have several people who do this regularly and I do appreciate their support.)
These people are not there to help or encourage others but to gain something for themselves.
They don't care if they are sharing misquotes of the Bible or of well known Christians, they don't care so they don't check their pictures or words are TRUE.


I don't want to share things on my Facebook personal page or on Sandra's Ark Facebook Page 
that would not be fun or educational or encouraging or beneficial to others and I certainly don't want to share posts that are advertising/promoting something I do not believe in.

So I am very careful to avoid certain posts on Facebook.



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.

NOTE. 
Almost anything with "Spiritual" in the name will indicate other religions and not true Christianity. 
Spirituality does not = Christian and if you don't know what I mean here take a look at all the categories in bookshops - Spirituality there will present you with Mysticism and Occult and other Non-Christian Religions.

I actually wrote a previous short blog post about    Spiritual = Christian?



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.

NOTE. 
If they regularly tag loads of people they are looking for lots of likes and shares, if they are looking for an amen comment or if they are trying to make you feel bad for not commenting, liking or sharing their post, they are using a form of blackmail so just let it pass by.



3.  If you are not sure about the poster/page when you find out who originally posted it, just click through to "about" on their Facebook page  (about is sometimes now under "Community" on the side) and then scan through what you find.

NOTE.
You will most likely see a link to a website with a strange name, or a website which when you click through to it and scan down a page or two will obviously show you whether you can trust it or not.

EXAMPLE:

You may see "Project Happiness" and it looks like a good name.

These two links will indicate what it is like

https://www.facebook.com/projecthappiness

http://www.projecthappiness.org/




4.  Not everyone who calls themselves
 Apostle / Prophet / Prophetess / Pastor / Pastrix (new term used for a female pastor) / Minister / Elder / Deacon / Deaconess, 
are actually ordained by a true Christian Denomination. 

NOTE.
Most Christians worth following on Facebook rarely mention their true titles.



5.  One thing that stands out to me is if the picture or the cover pic of the page that shared it has angels or a type of celestial look to it just avoid.


Another Tip!
Look at quality of the picture that is shared - if not good or looks like it has been altered then think twice before you click the like or share button.





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.


And remember EVERYTHING we do on Facebook
 actually does promote ourselves and others
 whether we mean it to or not.


I make a point of not feeling that I have to just share anything I see.

I make a point of not feeling that I need to daily fill up my personal page or my Blog Page.

I make a point of thinking twice about whether the item is good to share onwards.



When we have a safe, friendly, encouraging page or group or personal profile on Facebook 
we will be an encouragement and blessing to others. 



For further help in checking out other FB pages see my earlier blog post  Spiritual = Christian?








Here are some Facebook Accounts to avoid:

Jen Hatmaker
Heidi Baker
Paula White
Christine Caine
Ann voscamp
Joshua Mills
Bill Johnston - Bethel (California)
Joseph Prince



Here are some Facebook pages to avoid:

Letting Love Flow  by Mary Ruth Velicki
Wisdom of the Women rising
Soul Awakenings
Butterflies rising
Embracing yourself
The Warrior within You
Project Happiness




Here are some Words / Phrases to avoid:

Angelic
Spirituality
Christian Yoga
LDS - Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
Good Thoughts
Sensing your spirit
Spiritual energy
Crystals






Monday

What & Where is True Happiness & Joy? - Coffee & Conversation





Do we need something complicated or elaborate to make us happy?

Do we need something beautiful or intricate to make us happy?

Do we need something expensive or outlandish to make us happy?










No I believe that mostly the simplest of things make us happy.



A Silly Picture


This picture that I saw on Facebook one day really made me laugh out loud.


Photo Credit - Holiday Spirit




 A Funny Word that makes us Laugh



 A Familiar Taste


So happy that there was one Mr Frostie ice pop left in the box because I don't like the Mrs Frosties






A Sense of Satisfaction over something we Achieve.  


The highest score I have ever got for one turn in a game of Wordfeud.






When we try and plan things to be happy events or special moments or fantastic pictures, they can be spoilt by the simplest of things as well.  But some of the best events, moments or pictures are the ones we haven't thought out or planned or hoped for but have just happened when we are not thinking about them.


I am definitely a person who likes to plan things but I have to learn to sometimes just let things happen and enjoy the moments that God gives me and not just the ones I plan.



Often I have been struck by the different things that I would chose as happy moments. 

It is great to think that the majority of them do not involve spending money so who can possible claim that money brings happiness.  

Often things that bring happiness are things I have made or achieved or took part in with others and memories.

These things were perhaps not perfect and not the most beautiful but I learnt new skills and I am always ready to take some time to enjoy my memories.



There is the contact with friends and family that make me happy.   


We were happy to have all our family together for summer holidays for the previous 3 years


A hug that made me very happy when I had a headache





Then there was that ordinary day when I was very happy to be able to embed this
 Gospel Presentation Video
 by Glen Scrivener
 in my blog sidebar.


This was not something that made me laugh or was cute & made me smile.

This was not something that involved my memories.

This was not something that I had accomplished.



No.

This was something that I knew would help to bring true happiness and in fact true joy to others.






What could make us happier than to know that others are happy too!

What can make others happy?

Where does our true happiness come from?


                   Not money and not perfection anyway!


Our true happiness is really deeper than happiness it is pure deep joy that comes from the Lord 







Can you say that you are truly happy?

Do you have this joy that nothing can take away from you?

I hope you take the time to watch the short 321 video
and share it with others too.











Tuesday

The Little Boy Who Wouldn't Eat Cheesecake - Kids Book Review


It's time for another Children's Book Review.

Today it is a book for young children about a young boy who did not understand that something could taste good because of it's name.








We went to spend Sunday afternoon with our son and daughter-in-law and our 3 grandchildren.

Who was the most excited?

We were not sure - Matthew (almost 5) & Ruby (3) were very excited and so were grandpa and I.


Not long into the afternoon Matthew and Ruby asked if I had a new book to read with them because I had been hinting about it when we talked last week.

So we settled down on the couch as they always like to do one on each side of me and this time I got out my iPad instead of an actual real life book.



Disclaimer:  I received a free pdf copy of this book to read and give my honest review - this was in pdf form because the book was published in the US and we live in the UK.



So let's have a look at


The Little Boy Who Wouldn't Eat Cheesecake


You can see from the picture below that this book is very bright and colourful.






This is the front cover and it gives you a good idea of the type of illustrations throughout.



As with other Children's Books I have reviewed

SSHH Don't Wake The Baby! - Christmas Children's Book Review



I like to get our grandchildren involved in the reviews because if a book is for children then they are the ones it should be tested on.


Grandpa is the designated reader while we are on Face Time calls and nanny does the reading of new books when we are all together in the one place.

So the kids and I got comfortable on the couch and we opened the book in my iPad Pro.

Bigger screen for us all to see.

This was actually a treat for Matthew and Ruby because they do not do a lot on the iPad.

Meanwhile grandpa had got my phone and started to take pictures and very short videos







Inquisitive minds always want to know what's happening straight away so we stopped at the cover page for a little while to see what info we could get from the picture there as well as the cheesecake and chocolate cake you heard about in video above.







So let's start testing out the story.



It's definitely a family story, grandchildren hearing a true story from their grandpa which is all about the grandpa when he was a young boy with his mum and dad.








The book is about a story being told within a story.

You can see in this next video that Matthew and Ruby learnt something new at the very start of the story.







Later  about halfway through the story and Ruby was pointing out something about one of the pictures but I'm not going to give you too many spoilers about this story book.







There are some pictures that are like pencil drawings that show great expressions on the boy's face like this page below











Then we came to the time when Matthew told us he hadn't tasted cheesecake yet either.






So a brief discussion then took place about how we should have cheesecake for desert some time soon but we would have to do some careful checking of which cheesecake we could all eat together because Ruby and baby Sarah both suffer from allergies to some food products and dairy items are a big problem.



Now what do you think happened?

Did the boy ever eat some cheesecake?


At the end we have another type of food for the boy to have to think about but you need to read the story to find out what that is.







My Thoughts

I would say that this is a very enjoyable and relatable story for families to read together.

All children have to come across food they have never eaten before and then they will also come across people they have never seen before, places they have never gone to before and it can be hard for them to do some new things.

This is a gentle down to earth story that helps them see past their preconceived ideas or their uncertainty of accepting something new.


This book is written by Christina Myers who is a blogger friend and is illustrated by Katherine Carver

Christine wrote this true story because she often heard her father-in-law tell his grandchildren the story of this incident between him and his mother and father many many years ago when he was a little boy.



So Deciding thought on this book?


Yes it's a big Tick from nanny, grandpa and the grandkids.








Disclaimer:
I was given a free copy of the book to read and write an honest review but no other compensation.  
The views expressed here are completely my own.







Wednesday

10 Bible Verses of Encouragement around Hope



We all need encouragement and the best place to go is to the Bible.

In this blog Post I have tried to gather some Bible passages or Bible verses which will encourage us all to have true Hope.







I do believe that we should not just grab a verse and read it on its own but we should always lift our bibles and read a passage of scripture to make sure that we know the real meaning and context of each of the verses we are putting our trust in. 

I pray that you will do the same and only use this list to guide you as to where you may find help.



So here are 10 Bible verses or short passages for us to turn to in times when we need hope.




1.   Ephesians 1 v 18     

Firstly I want to make sure you know something very important.


The Apostle Paul wrote something to the Ephesian church which is ultimately meant that it is written to us as well.





It was to tell us that his prayer was that we would know the hope we have been called to




We are Holy People and we have a glorious inheritance because we are in the family of God.



2.   Jeremiah 29 v 11
    





Our Hope is based on God's Peace and it is not in any way linked to any evil for us in the future because God is Good not evil.

When we have trusted in God we have a great future with Him and all our Hope is in Him and only in Him.






3.   Psalm 9 v 18





We all have a need at one time or another.

Sometimes we don't recognise what our greatest need is, which is Christ.

This verse tells that that God never forgets us or our need so we need never worry about the Hope we have in God.



4.   Psalm 33 v 18-22  





18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope is in his mercy
19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine

20 Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.

21 For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name

22 Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You.






At the start of this section of Psalm 33 we are told that God's favour is on those who place their hope in His mercy.
With this we know we have His protection.

We then end with a prayer for that mercy we claim because of our hope in Him.

Why do we know we have this hope?
Because we have trusted in Him - without that trust we have no claim on His mercy and hence we have no hope.

Have you trusted in Him?
If so you can have this assurance of this great Hope in the mercy of the Lord.






5.   Psalm 147 v 11




Fearing God means to be in awe and reverence of God.

This is all part of recognising His great love that will never let us down so when we have our hope grounded in the Lord we will fear Him and He will delight in us.

Oh what a wonder to know He delights in us because we place our Hope in Him.









6.   Romans 5 v 1-5


1  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2  through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

4  and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

5  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.



Hope is mentioned three times here.
Verses 1 & 2 are one complete sentence leading from faith & ending with how we rejoice in our hope in the Glory of God.
Verses 3 & 4 together form another sentence telling us that perseverance leads to character and that leads to hope.
The final verse then shows how we trust in that hope because we have experienced the loving character of God.


Another verse telling us to rejoice in the Hope we have is
 Romans 12 v 12








7.   Romans 15 v 13


We often talk about God as a God of Peace, Love, Power, Grace & Mercy but forget He is also the God of Hope.





We have a hope throughout everything because He is our Hope.





8.   Psalm 119 v 114


The basis of our faith is in the true Word of God.

As well as our hope being in Him we also can place our trust and hope in His Word.  What God has said will come true.










9.   Hebrews 10 v 23







God has proved His faithfulness so many times in the bible that there is no doubt that we can trust Him and He will not change so in that knowledge we can keep that hope within us throughout everything.













10.   Romans 8 v 24-25


Here we see that the hope we have been thinking about is the eternal hope of the Glory of Christ.

It is not something we have witnessed physically

24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 

But rather it is something we await for in God's Kingdom

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.




The most important thing to long for because it keeps us looking to Christ.






Tuesday

Granny Franny's Big Red Bus - Kids Book Review



It's time for another Children's Book Review.

Today it is a book for young children about a granny and her grandkids going on an adventure.








We have always felt that books are very special to our family and share a love of reading but now that Fred and I have got to the "grandparent stage" we are once again looking at, buying and reading books that are suitable for young children.


So when I heard about this book and the fact that it was about a granny who liked to go on an adventure with her grandkids I was very interested to get a copy to read with our grandkids.


Disclaimer:  I did receive a free copy of this book to read and give my honest review.



So let's have a look at

Granny Franny's Big Red Bus



As with other Children's Books I have reviewed

SSHH Don't Wake The Baby! - Christmas Children's Book Review


I like to get our grandchildren involved but things did not go exactly to plan this time.


We had planned to visit them and sit on the comfy couch with them snuggled in beside us and have them make the big hard decision of

 "Who do you want to read this book to you today?"

But then 3 out of that family of 5 took sick with a nasty cold and so the visit was off.

I had told them we had a new book for them!

What were we going to do - once they know we have got something new for them they are always looking forward to seeing what it is.

Now any children find it hard to wait and this gang were already disappointed that we were not coming to their house so we decided we would read the story while on facetime like we have done other times.


Grandpa is the designated reader while we are on Face Time calls and nanny does the "Guess What I'm drawing today!" and we both do the jigsaw puzzles and the hunt the bear round out house and the other games we play.
We have loads of things that can be easily enjoyed together in these posts
10 Easy Ideas for Face Time with Kids
10 Easy Games to Play on Face Time with Kids


So Grandpa got himself comfortable in the chair at the kitchen table with the iPad on the table and lifted the book.





If a book is meant for that young age group then it should be tested with children of that age.

We have 3 grandchildren Matthew is almost 5 years old and , Ruby is now  3 yrs now and Sarah will be 1 in 2 weeks time but she was with her mum and not listening and watching with us this time.

So Matthew and Ruby were ready on the iPad for Face Time and ready to watch as grandpa read to them.






Well back to testing out the book.


It is an "off for an adventure" kids book with some lovely phrases for the kids to repeat after grandpa has read a page.

one of my favourites was the

thick, icky, sticky mud

can we all say that one quickly???

Can you spot it in the pic below?







We enjoyed the rhyming parts of the story as well as the bright, bold illustrations with lots of detail  which means that the children will enjoy coming back to the book for further readings as they will not have remembered everything of the story or the pictures from this first reading.


You can see from the pictures above that this book is very bright and colourful.

But what you don't know yet is that the illustrations are funny and there is a lovely character named "Thinkerbell" on the Big Red Bus. (There is a glimpse of her in the picture below)







Grandpa is as mad as me sometimes and really got into the swing of the story - that's why the kids have a hard job deciding who reads to them.


Here is the front cover of the book.

I love the details on the bus:

  • Reg GR4N  for Gran but there has to be a number on a reg plate.
  • Seaside Park, Zoo Playground - destinations for the story
  • Gransville - town location







Here you can see the back cover of the book

I just would have loved to have seen a picture of Sonia (the author) here but that's more from a grownup's perspective, kids probably aren't interested in this at the younger age.






Now the surprise in this book is that there are actually two adventures (practically 2 stories in one!)


So I have told you about this fun book which I believe would make a great gift for any family to read together but more especially where grannies and grandpas can enjoy it together with the grandchildren as we did.

Maybe our having to do it over facetime made it even better because it was a special treat just between us and the grandchildren.







This book is written by Sonia Beldom  and is also illustrated by Sonia and all this completed during the  COVID-19 pandemic.

Proceeds from this book are going to bus-related charities due to help with the fact that all private hire vehicles were off the road for a prolonged period of time.

You may also be surprised to find out that Sonia drives heritage London Routemaster double-decker buses at weekends (in between her other normal jobs).


So Deciding thought on this book?


Yes it's a big Tick from me and Fred and the grandkids.








Disclaimer:
I was given a free copy of the book to read and write an honest review but no other compensation.  
The views expressed here are completely my own.