Showing posts with label Tervuren. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tervuren. Show all posts


That's not our house! - A Dose of Encouragement

Yes I know, wouldn't you think that your husband would drive you home to your own house after a long day out?

He would know your own house wouldn't he?

Well there was one day ......

Yes while we were still living in Belgium we would quite often need to use the GPS system in our car because we would be in unfamiliar locations throughout the country.

Even though we lived in a village not too far outside Brussels we were never driving in Brussels often enough to feel confident about finding our way all around it.  I could easily drive in to the Gare du Midi and pick someone up from the Eurostar and drive them back to our house okay but mostly we got the tram and metro in and out from Brussels.

So on the times that we did drive into Brussels we would mostly use the GPS to get us out of Brussels again especially because it could handle the one way street system better than we could.

So on this one day .......

We had driven (using the GPS) over to somewhere further east of Tervuren and were definitely on unfamiliar roads so coming home we decided we were tired and should just follow the directions of the GPS again instead of having to keep carefully looking at signposts when it was starting to get dark.

Fred set the GPS for home and off we went.

Somehow the journey seemed longer to get home than it had on the way out but we reckoned it was just because we were tired and looking forward to getting home and a relaxing cuppa.

Then suddenly I thought I recognised the road we were on but it was not a road near our home, it was near Kraainem which is closer to Brussels than Tervuren is.

So I thought I must have been mistaken.

Then again a little later I thought another part looked like another area but to get there would have meant we had gone north past Tervuren and I couldn't figure out how that would have happened.
No way would anyone or any GPS be silly enough to take us home to Tervuren a roundabout way to end up coming in to Tervuren from the west instead of the east.

It just didn't make sense.

And then the GPS told us we had arrived!

But I did recognize the house.

It was my friend Anne's house,  not our house.

Yes we had landed at Anne's House which was between our house and Brussels.

Screen shot of google maps

Well Fred couldn't understand how we ended up at Anne's house and not at home.

So I ask "didn't you set home on the GPS?"

He says "yeah, of course"

But I say "well if you did set home it wouldn't have gone to Anne's"

He says "well I hit for the latest place that had been used from the saved list"

So a minute later I said "a couple of weeks ago I had to use it to take Anne home from somewhere else and so Anne's house would be the last thing used from the saved list"

He says "I just assumed that home would have been the last place we used"

Thank goodness that last place used had only been 15 mins from our home; it would have been worse if we had ended up somewhere much further away.

That GPS was very useful to us when it was delivering the right information 
and taking us in the right direction so we put our trust in it, 
but when we were not careful enough to check what we were doing with it each time 
then the wrong information caused us to go 
in the wrong direction 
and end up in the wrong place.

Maybe I am just a very cautious person but I do be concerned about all the people in the limelight, on the internet, on facebook etc. that proclaim to be teachers, preachers, coaches, and leaders in the Christian community and yet what proof do we have that they are worthy of our trust and our following.

Just because someone says or writes something that sounds or looks ok can we trust it or them?

We need to be vigilant.  
If we start to listen or read more of their "wisdom" it may end up 
to be simply that, 
the wisdom of themselves 
and not the wisdom of God.

We need to be like the Bereans

We can follow blindly and end up on a route that sometimes looks familiar but ends up in a place 
that God does not intend us to be, 
a place that does not centre round His True Word, 
a place that is not in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

But we don't need to fear that we will end up in the wrong destination if we take heed to how the Bereans behaved because then we will

Be careful 
not to jump in to trusting anyone without asking God for wisdom to know just who is worthy of our trust because we need to be sure that person is really a true disciple of God.

Be sensitive 
to a nudge from the Holy Spirit, or from a word or phrase that is used or from the fact that the Bible is not mentioned or correctly quoted and just take the time to consider "whether those things were so".

Be quick to check 
regularly in the Bible as we see or hear from others because we should want to know by comparison to God's Word "whether those things were so".

Be slow to pass on
to others what someone is writing or speaking about, even as to recommending books because we are to be true disciples and not be guilty of leading others astray too.

The Bible is the true guideline for us.

The Bible leads us to Jesus and God, it does not lead us astray; 
so it is the true guideline for us.

I was going to miss the Butterflies - A Dose of Encouragement

When we lived in Belgium there was a strange type of bush that grew up high in the summertime at the front of our house.

So we never bothered to find out what type of bush this was.

Because we were renting the house the owner was responsible for the borders, shrubs and trees and all we had to do was cut the grass.

One day in July 2009
Fred and I were sitting in the house on our own when I saw a butterfly go past the front window.  Then just a few mins later I saw another one and then another and another.  I remarked to Fred that I had seen four of them and thought that was unusual.

Then when I saw another I walked over to the window to have a look to see if it was simply the same butterfly flying past different times or had we got a few hovering around.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw not one, not 5 but loads of butterflies all the same type sitting on that strange bush.  I called to Fred and we both opened the window and stepped out onto the balcony/veranda that stretched the length of the house.  We were able to stand there and see the butterflies close up and we counted 34 butterflies on that bush at the same time.

Fred went and got his camera and spent some time taking pictures of this awesome sight.

We stood for about 30 mins watching the butterflies as they fed on this bush, parts of which were showing the effects already.

We just stood and watched in amazement, not able to tear ourselves away from this beautiful sight.

How did all those butterflies know to appear at our bush on that one same day?

This was a day we will never forget, a unique day a quiet but awe inspiring day.

14 months later and we were in the throes of doing the inventory of our belongings in this house and organising to buy a house back in Northern Ireland.  The time had come to leave Belgium.

We had been back on a few different trips looking for a house and had fallen in love with one which had a lovely kitchen and Sun Room and nice bathrooms, almost the opposite to this one in Belgium.

At different times I would say about what I would miss about the house in Belgium but there were a lot of things I wouldn't miss.

One of the things I would miss was the fact that our house was in a lovely location enabling us to drive past the Tervuren Roundabout most days and that was a sight that put a smile on my face with it's beautiful fountain.

Another thing I was going to miss was the butterfly bush as I continued to call it even though by this time I had looked it up on Google and found out it was really called a "Buddlea".  I knew I was going to miss seeing the butterflies gathering there even though mostly we only saw a few at a time.  I have always loved butterflies and like things that are decorated with butterflies.

Along with all the friends we had made I knew that certain little things had made our 6 years in Belgium very happy and special to us and this simple bush was one of them.

Well in December of 2010 we left Belgium covered in snow and could hardly see what was left of the Buddlea bush which had been pruned back excessively and was practically hidden by the bush in front of it

We moved to Northern Ireland also covered in snow and were very busy moving in the week leading up to Christmas.     

The New year passed by and quite a few months also as we continued to get settled in.

We were going to miss the Butterflies!

Then one day we realised that a bush in our new front garden which had been rather scrawny looking when we arrived was now growing up tall, then a while later it started to flower and you can image our surprise and delight to discover that we had a Butterfly Bush at our new home.

We had even taken a family picture in front of the bush a few days after moving in not realising what it was.

Now we have never had 34 butterflies on this bush in Northern Ireland but in the past few summers we have regularly seen 5 or 6 at a time.  Maybe someday they will all come but because of our open location at the top of a hill we may never get a mass of butterflies like we did that day in Tervuren.

It is hard to move home and to move from one country to another.  It is hard to leave people & things behind

So thank you God that I don't have to say  "I miss the butterflies".

Who can say that God doesn't care about how we feel when we see that he gave us another Butterfly bush in our new home!

Tervuren Fountain - A Dose of Encouragement

We used to live in a country called Belgium, between France and Germany.

The house we chose there was in a nice village which was close to a former Royal Palace.

On the way to the house we could see that workmen were doing something at the large roundabout which sat in front of the palace.

Later someone told us that the roundabout was being changed from just having flowers on it to have a large sculpture on it, but people didn't know exactly what it was going to be like.

I like flowers on roundabouts and also while we had been driving around Belgium we had seen other large horrible looking sculptures on roundabouts so I was rather worried about what we were going to end up with here. You see we were going to be driving round this roundabout almost every time we would go out and come home again.

As the work went on there was a large screen around it so we could not see what was there, then one day as we drove past we could see the top of something and it looked strange and Green.
We heard rumours that there was going to be an animal in the sculpture so then the question was what animal would there be?

Then we heard there was going to be more than one animal?

Eventually we heard that the unveiling of the sculpture was going to be on a certain day in the early evening. We thought it a bit strange because we knew at that time of the year it would already be getting dark at that time. However lots of people gathered together that evening to see what had become of the roundabout.

You can imagine our surprise and delight when suddenly lights came on behind the screens and then as the screens were removed water flowed up into the air, not just one spray of water but several sprays of water.

The roundabout was now a fountain; but not just an ordinary fountain it was an animal fountain.

Can you guess what animals there were? 

                           What the animals were doing? 

                                                     And where the water was coming from?

Well isn't that a lovely thing to see when you are driving out from home each day?

Can you imagine how beautiful it was when we would come home in the evenings with the fountain flowing and the lights on?

In the Bible it tells us that Jesus is like a fountain.

Jesus says He has living water for everyone who is thirsty.

Jesus can satisfy all the needs we have. 

He has everything we need to live the life God wants us to live.

The Bible also tells us that just like the fountain has water bubbling up through it and out of it we can have God's joy bubbling up and out of us. God's joy is real, true, everlasting joy which will be in our lives when we ask Jesus to be our Saviour. This will be real true joy because it will be from God, through Jesus and nothing is more real or true or lasts forever without Jesus.

The water also reminds us of the way Jesus will wash our hearts clean when we ask Him to be our Saviour.

I will always be thankful that God placed us in a beautiful village with this beautiful fountain to look at and put a smile on my face.

                  Isn't God good to us?

Here are some other  Doses of Encouragement