Automatic Pilot - A Dose of Encouragement

Do you drive your car or does the car drive you?  

My car drives me more often than not.

          Sometimes for various reasons I had to drive my two teenage sons to school.  My oldest boy Jonathan had been working for his Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award and of course this involved hikes and camping which in turn meant rucksacks.  This is why one morning I had to drive the boys to school (there's hardly enough room for all of the pupils on their school bus, let alone a number of rucksacks as well). 

Everything went very smoothly and we even left in very good time and they were early for school and I was back in time for a 9am appointment.  The boys even praised me when we got to the roundabout on the way to school as I managed to go round and take the right road.  

Of course I'm perfectly capable of negotiating a roundabout and I do know where the roads in my city lead.  However my kids are quite used to me driving straight through that roundabout and taking the other road that I travel on each afternoon instead of the one that leads towards their school because I'm on automatic pilot.  You know those times when you are driving carefully enough but not concentrating enough to remember you have to deviate from your normal route - don't you?  My excuse is simply that the car takes over and goes its own way.  

Then there was the example of just the other day when I went round that same roundabout three times as I tried to remember which exit to take on that specific occasion, now I did have a friend in the car talking non-stop but I can't blame it all on her.


      Then there was the day a few years ago when as I was driving along I suddenly had to ask myself where I was going.  Was I going to collect my daughter from Primary school as I did each day at 3pm, or was I going to my mother's house (they are both in the same direction)?  As I thought about what day it was, and noted the time on the clock in the car I remembered it was neither of these, it was only 2pm and I actually was going to the Primary school but to collect my nephew not my daughter.  Then I was to call with my mother before collecting Linda.

Obviously my mind wanders a lot. 

So it's no wonder God has to catch my attention repeatedly.
How often do we go along on automatic pilot and forget to tune in to where and what God is telling us to go and do?

Are we doing everything the same, each day, each week?  

  • Do we teach Sunday School or kid's club in the same way each week?  
  • Do we preach to the same format each time?  
  • Is our outreach approached in the same fashion each time?  
  • Do we plan our meetings in the same way each time?  
  • Do we even read the bible and pray in the same way each day?
  • Do we write our blog posts in the same way each time? 

Do you think it is time to stop automatically doing these things and treat each one as a completely unique event?

Maybe it’s time to consider the roundabout and carefully ask God which exit we are to take today, tomorrow, and the next day………….??


The Best Game on my iPad

I have always loved puzzles, whether word puzzles or number puzzles and can easily sit forgetting the time why I work through one and then decide that I have enough time to tackle another puzzle and then another ......


by Bertheussen IT

I am on this app almost every day.

       I play around 20 people at a time and enjoy the challenge of beating someone who previously beat me.

        Now this doesn't mean I am constantly playing because you have the time limit of 72 hours between turns so that gives you time to think about the best word to play and not rush into it, or to have a break for a day or two from a game.

      One of the people I play regularly is a lady who suddenly didn't play one of her turns for almost the 72 hours and then apologised for the delay explaining that she had just had a baby.  I love the fact that she still wants to continue the game in her little breaks from looking after the baby and finds it relaxing.

Well I think this proves that I am not the only puzzle addict!

I tried to get all the family to play me but only succeeded in having games against my oldest son but he doesn't play every day.  The rest just probably don't want me to beat them all the time.


So at some time most days you can find me on this app (very similar to scrabble) trying to puzzle my way through my letters and get the highest score I can or at least find the best word arrangements to get a good score in each turn to make sure I beat my opponents.

One time I had a really good long word and manage the whopping great score of 152 in one game, never to be beaten or matched since.  I just wish I had had a screenshot of that game.

Mustn't forget to mention that it's a free app too!

It's a 5 stars from me.

Do you have it?

You can check out my comments on another app at  One of the Ways I Stay Organised


Why We Worship 2

If someone were to ask you today why you worship God would you know how to answer?

We dealt more with that in the first one in the series featuring GOD IS GREAT                             
         Today let's look at                          

Revelation 4 v 10 - 11

        the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

If the 24 elders who are before the throne of God worship Him because He is worthy then we can not disagree but need to proclaim exactly the same thing now here before we need to do it in Heaven.


Some people might say
                              "Let's Practice what we will be doing for eternity"
 but instead we should say

"Let's worship and let's do it now" 

Let's declare it now "God is Worthy to be praised".



                                                              now and for eternity.


Forty Winks - A Dose of Encouragement

One Sunday afternoon we went to visit Fred’s aunt in hospital.  

As we were sitting chatting Fred’s uncle nodded off to sleep for a few minutes,  later that afternoon his dad nodded off sitting in our house and in the early evening Fred himself nodded off.  

Does it run in the family or what?  Well I remember when my dad used to nod off on occasions too, so is it a “Man” thing?  

We usually laugh about it but sometimes I get annoyed at Fred because I don’t think I’m that boring really.

The next morning when I sat down to read my bible, I found I had got to Psalm 121.  Well because it’s rather well known I immediately thought I’ll read this one quickly and get on to the next one. 

However, verses 3 & 4 made me sit up and take notice.  

It says God will neither

slumber nor sleep

and I of course thought back to the day before.  

This was now much more meaningful because suddenly I felt that I had the proof that I’m not boring to God, He is always interested in what I’m doing and is always listening and attentive to my needs and fears and anything else I’m thinking about. 


We may sometimes think things are boring or uneventful or going on the same, day after day, but God doesn’t.  He doesn't find us boring because He loves us. 

So remember that you, yes you are loved by God and you are so important to Him that 

He isn’t nodding off at any moment at all.

I am so thankful that God doesn't slumber or sleep, are you?

Have you read Psalm 121 recently?

If not maybe you could just take a little moment to read it now and be encouraged.


A Simple Christmas Cards Upcycle - Organising My Home

Got lots of Christmas Cards that were nice this Year?

I did so I had an idea!

Today is the first Monday of the new year, 

 So today is "Back to Normal Day" for me.

I both like this day and dread this day.

Like it because I get my house back in order (it just never is completely tidy or in any sort of routine over the Christmas Holidays).

Dread it because I have to be the one to get it back in order.

Like it because it means all the decorations get put away until next year and I am really ready for that after 3/4 weeks

Dread it because it means all the decorations having to be taken down and wrapped up and put away mostly by me.

Just some of the Lounge Decorations 

Like it because it is the start of the year and I feel like making changes and promising myself I will keep all the household things up to date.

Dread it because to get things up to date is a tall order after the slack time of the holiday and I think of all the things that I am always saying I must get round to doing but don't do them.

I bought this TUIT for my husband years ago because he is just as bad as me


Like it because I can sort out the Christmas cards, cut out parts of the cards I want to keep or take pics of the cards I think I might want to use as illustrations and make a list of who I should be contacting by phone, email or letter from notes and letters that came with the cards.

Dread it because then that list either has to be worked through and I am hopeless on the phone etc. or it will eventually be abandoned and I will feel bad about that.

But then I had an idea that brightened up the day.

Something I could do with the cards I really liked, because normally I just cut off the picture part and put them away thinking I will use them someday.

So today I did something different

I cut off the pictures I liked and laminated them and then put some magnets on the back and now I can use them as Christmas magnets to decorate the large fridge freezer next year.  That was after I had taken photos of them because you never know when those would come in handy.

The new Christmas Card Magnets

If I had been willing to spend more time I could have cut them into different shapes or placed them on different coloured card slightly larger than them to make a sort of surround or frame effect but I just took the easier and quickest option.  

Maybe some day I will hunt out the pictures I have kept from Christmas cards in previous years and make better magnets with them.

Only problem with all that is it means   -    MORE DECORATIONS!

AND  I didn't get everything done that I should have!

What have you done with your Christmas Cards this year?
I would love to hear more ideas.

Do you have a back to normal day like this?


Why We Worship #1

If someone were to ask you today why you worship God would you know how to answer?

If we are honest most of us would stutter or hmm and haw because we would either not have thought about it or we would be trying to think what the "expected" or "right" answer is.

Probably we all worship God for different reasons because worship is a very personal thing.

Perhaps because  we feel so blessed,

                             or  we feel so thankful,

                                    or  we feel that God has rescued us from a broken life,

                                           or  etc......

However if we ask a Theologian what answer would we get?

Well those who know me well will know that I can easily do that because my eldest son is a Theologian, so I did and this is what he said

"To respond with thanksgiving for God's grace to us in Christ"

                                                       Jonathan Black   
                                                          APOSTOLIC THEOLOGY BLOG

For myself I have always equated worship with glorifying God and so I thought of the Catechism I learnt growing up in the Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland.

Q:   What is man's chief end?

A:   Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever

But I think in plain terms I would just have said because

We see this in Job 36 v 26

Taking it in context of the passage around the verse we see that it is voiced by one of Job's friends.

Elihu Proclaims God’s Majesty

24 “Remember to magnify His work,
Of which men have sung.
25 Everyone has seen it;
Man looks on it from afar.
26 “Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him;
Nor can the number of His years be discovered.

27 For He draws up drops of water,
Which distill as rain from the mist,
28 Which the clouds drop down
And pour abundantly on man.
29 Indeed, can anyone understand the spreading of clouds,
The thunder from His canopy?
30 Look, He scatters His light upon it,
And covers the depths of the sea.
31 For by these He judges the peoples;
He gives food in abundance.
32 He covers His hands with lightning,
And commands it to strike.
33 His thunder declares it,
The cattle also, concerning the rising storm.

There is no doubt that God is Great.

 In the evidence of creation of the world around us 
there is no doubt that 
God is great.


The Coffee Mug - A Dose of Encouragement

I have a very annoying habit 
             -  according to my husband Fred.  

     You see everywhere I go in the house, I leave a trail of coffee mugs behind me.  Well really I think it's only in our bedroom and study and the living room, but I suppose that's bad enough.


Admittedly I do love my coffee in bed on a Saturday morning (compliments of Fred) but then Fred enjoys his tea and toast too!   

      Now my coffee has to be made just right, and sometimes for a treat some cinnamon added and it all frothed up in the mug, a home-made cappuccino.  


Anyway I do tend to take a mug of coffee with me to the study when I'm working at the computer and I never really drink all of it.

So you've guessed it - 

Fred found a mug of coffee in the study the other day which had congealed and was (according to him)

         "considering becoming an experiment for new life forms".  

He was not amused. 

"How can you ever drink out of that mug again?"  he said,

as he carried it at arms length into the kitchen.  

     Well to me that was no problem because I am a great fan of boiling water and dishwashers.  I left the offending mug to soak in boiling water planning to put it through a couple of cycles in the dishwasher later. 

      A few hours later I was passing the mug when I noticed how all the gunge had come away from the sides and bottom of the mug and was ready to be poured out.  

     Suddenly it struck me that exactly the same thing happens to us as we sit in the presence of the Lord each day - all the ugliness that has caught hold can be gently drawn out by God's Spirit.  Then as we confess to God and accept His forgiveness we are made clean and pure again just like the mug when it was finally taken out of the dishwasher.  

We find a wonderful prayer in the Bible that puts this request to God and we know that what we ask of Him believing in Him, He will keep His Word to us.

But you know what the good thing is, with God it doesn't have to take as long as the mug soaking and going through the dishwasher.

                  Now guess what is sitting beside me as I type this - 


Another coffee mug
   and I will try to remember to take it with me 
when I leave the study this time.

A Dose of Encouragement from a Coffee Mug.

Thanks for dropping in today and remember 

God wants to make us clean.

Are you a coffee fanatic like me?

I'm thankful God loves coffee drinkers like me, are you?