I think I'm turning into my father! - A Dose of Encouragement

I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous:

          how can a girl turn into her father?

Well the thing is I can remember well the times years ago when my father would need to buy something new and we would get annoyed at his choices.

Basically because he hadn't made any new choices.

You see I remember the day my dad came in and showed me a new tie he had bought and I was very bewildered because I was sure that I had seen that same tie often; 

tied around his neck.

I was right he had simply gone out and got himself the exact same tie.

Why had he done that?

Well his response was that the other one had started to fray a little.

Yes, if the tie was fraying then it probably was time to pop it in the bin and maybe even a good reason to go buy another one but not to buy one the same surely.  However my father was very pleased that he had managed to get the same tie.

Then I remember the shoes he liked to buy, & the sweaters; practically the exact same each time. 

When he needed anything he liked to get the same as he had before.  

I'm sure it was a relief to my mum that he was not that interested in buying furniture for the house so she got to go pick that and we did not have something just like the previous one.

There was one main exception; he did not get the same car each time.   But I think that had more to do with the fact that he felt he didn't know as much about cars as my brother-in-law did, so he would take his advice on that issue.

So have you guessed it yet?

Why I say I'm turning into my father?

I love to wear slippers around the house.

As soon as I get home I take off my shoes and on go the slippers. Due to the situation of where we live now and the fact that I am not working, I do spend a lot of time in the house so I have slippers on for many hours each day.

What have I discovered?

In the last 3 years since we moved to this area I have gone to the same shop and bought the same slippers on several occasions.  The last two times I bought two pairs at the same time.  I don't just mean the same style of slippers, or the same make of slippers; I mean the same make, style, pattern and colour (blue of course).

It actually started before we moved here, while we were still living in Belgium.
For the last few years there I had bought the same slippers each time (not the same as here though).  I just got to the stage where when I found a really comfortable pair of slippers at a reasonable price then why go looking for any others. 

And It's not only the slippers.

No it has now progressed to my shoes.  

I discovered a very comfortable pair of black shoes and loved them so much that when I saw them in cream I got a pair of those also.  Since then I have bought 2 more pairs in cream and two more in black.  Hence when I am not wearing my boots you will find me in these cream or black shoes.

Undoubtedly I am turning into my father.

There is one time when I wear a different type of shoe.

On Sundays going to church I wear a more dressy shoe and I do have a variety that I can wear.  But of course as you already know, as soon as I return home from church I won't have the shoes on.

    I'll be in my slippers. 

There is a white top that I just love to wear and have worn it for over 10 years.

This top has v neck short sleeves and has a butterfly design to one side which is made from little diamante things.  It has always been easy to wash and only recently have I found that it is not as easy to get stains out of as it used to be.  I have searched but cannot find the same top - of course I can't when it is so old. 

 I just wish that I had got 2 of these (or even 3) because I would wear it with almost anything.  

Do you not agree that I am turning into my father?

I mentioned this to my sister one evening a few weeks ago and she laughed at me, but then she did agree because she remembered being with me a few years ago when I actually did buy two of the same black top (I knew that it was going to be a good one as soon as I tried it on and I was right).

She also remembered that just that same afternoon I had complained when I was in the shoe shop (the one all those slippers had come from) because I could not see the same slippers and I am down to my last pair - why did I not buy more!

I am worried now that I am not going to be able to get those same ones again.

I suppose we all have to admit that some things are passed down to us from our parents; likes and dislikes, some habits, some distinguishing features, some attitudes.
Unfortunately we don't always get the good attitudes, habits, likes, or features.  
More often we tend to pick up the bad habits and attitudes.

Thankfully we can't pick up any bad habits from our Heavenly Father,
we don't witness Him having a bad attitude,
He has no ugly features for us to inherit. 

No, our Heavenly Father only has beauty to pass down to us,

grace, mercy and loving attitudes that we can learn from

and only good examples of good habits to set us like forgiving over and over again.

Thank you Father for your love and all the great attributes we see in you and in Jesus.  

Help us to focus on these and grow to be more like you day by day.


I want to be able to see that I am growing more like Jesus and my Heavenly Father in all parts of my life.

Do you?


Why We Worship 10

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

Many people nowadays say that God is only a God of Love and want to forget about justice but justice is not a harsh thing, justice is keeping to what is right.

Isaiah 30 v 18 states that
    The Lord is a God of justice
but the verse also highlights the grace and mercy of God

God lets no sinner off the hook without a fitting punishment, or a fitting substitutionary atonement.

God is concerned with all the wrongs in this world.

God wants to right those wrongs.

I am thankful that God cares about the things that are evil and wrong because ultimately they hurt me and everyone else.

So it is very comforting to remember what it says in His Word and realise that God is in control even though we tend to focus on the wrongs.

Let's look at another passage also in Isaiah

Isaiah 45: 18 - 22

18 For thus says the Lord,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other.
19 I have not spoken in secret,
In a dark place of the earth;
I did not say to the seed of Jacob,
‘Seek Me in vain’;
I, the Lord, speak righteousness,
I declare things that are right.
20 “Assemble yourselves and come;
Draw near together,
You who have escaped from the nations.
They have no knowledge,
Who carry the wood of their carved image,
And pray to a god that cannot save.
21 Tell and bring forth your case;
Yes, let them take counsel together.
Who has declared this from ancient time?
Who has told it from that time?
Have not I, the Lord?
And there is no other God besides Me,
A just God and a Saviour;
There is none besides Me.
22 “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.

It is because God is a just God that he provided His own Son as our Saviour.


What Happened to the Ribs? - A Dose of Encouragement

The other day we got some lovely ribs and I decided to make our easy ribs recipe which Fred & I love.

Fred helped me prepare the vegetables so that was done quicker than if I was just doing it myself and as I put them in at different stages I just went back and forward between the kitchen and the study (internet!) where I had been before we started.

Everything was going great (in the study) and I presumed all was great in the kitchen because gradually I could smell the cooking as it progressed.

When it came time to eat I thought it didn't quite smell like the ribs were completely done but they had been in long enough and we were hungry so I got the plates and drinks ready and took the roasting dish out of the oven, took off the tin foil and proceeded to scoop the ribs and veg unto the plates.

All I heard was Fred say

"Sandra, Did you put the BBQ sauce on the ribs?"

Well you've guessed it, that was the reason why it hadn't smelt just right.  I was so disappointed because Fred really likes BBQ sauce and I knew I had spoilt the ribs for him.  I like BBQ sauce but don't like it as strong as he does so I knew that the ribs would be fine for me if we just brushed them with some sauce now and put back in the oven for 10 mins.

The flavour of the meat and vegetables already in the juice around the ribs would be good enough for me but Fred would really miss the flavour he was expecting throughout the meal.

So 10 mins later I dished out the dinner to a very hungry Fred. He didn't complain but I knew that he didn't get the meal he had been looking forward to.

Why had that happened?

Simply this:
  1. I didn't check the recipe  -  Why would I when I had made it up myself and had made it several times?
  2. I didn't do it in the normal way  -  usually by myself and so not chatting to someone else
  3. I didn't check the oven closer to the end of the cooking.
  4. I didn't check it out as soon as things didn't smell just right.

BUT MAINLY - My mind was on something else (the Blog), I was not paying enough attention to what I was doing.

Sometimes we think it is just a small thing to not pay proper attention or to forget about something for a while but what about the results of that?

It might seem a small thing to us but it could make a big difference to someone else.

In this case I almost really spoilt my husband's meal but in other cases of not paying enough attention someone could have felt a lot of hurt which can lead to bitterness and a rift in a relationship.

Even in a conversation with someone we can let our minds wander and not pay attention to exactly what they are saying and so not really know how they are feeling.

We can also act like this towards God in our prayer life 


our bible reading.

Are you ever guilty of not paying enough attention to others?

I am thankful that God still pays attention to us and still wants to talk to us even when our minds are always wandering.

Do you know what God is trying to say to you each day or are you not paying close enough attention to Him either?


Why We Worship 9

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

Today I want to look at God's Mercy.

Mercy is "not getting what you deserve". 

ie.  It is like a judge finding you guilty of a crime, but then not administering any punishment.

The Bible tells us that God is Merciful towards us.

So God shows us his mercy by not giving us the punishment we deserve.

          The punishment we should receive because of the sin in our lives.

          The Punishment which should be death and complete separation from God.

This is a compelling reason for us to worship God and give Him thanks.

Thank you God that you are a merciful God.

Can you pray this along with me?


Who's the Bestest Boy in the World? - A Dose of Encouragement

Okay!  I know there is no such word as "bestest". 

 I even knew that before my spell checker 
told me so.

We have 2 boys and a girl in that order.

JONATHAN  was born 5 years after we married and was named for Jonathan in the Bible because we felt God telling us to do this as Jonathan had been the right friend for David.

DANIEL was born 2 years later (well just 2 weeks short of 2 years) and was named for Daniel in the Bible because we felt God telling us to do this on the morning shortly before he arrived.

LINDA was born 3 years and 3 months later and was not named for anyone at all, we simply only felt led to this one girl's name.


DANIEL  means  GOD is my JUDGE


You could not imagine the number of times Linda has said  

"How come the boys got Bible names and I didn't?"  

but more often than that she has been happy with her name and what it means.  

When Jonathan was still a small baby I started to say  

"Who's the bestest boy in the world" 

and lift up his two arms above his head and say 

"Jonathan is"

It always got a smile from him and soon he was able to lift his hands by himself as soon as he would hear me say the familiar phrase.

So when Daniel was born we did exactly the same thing with him and got the same reaction of 

"Daniel is"

while Jonathan would shout 

"me too"

and eventually we had two small boys running around reacting to the phrase together. 

 Never really with any queries about how the two of them 
could both be the best.

Then when Linda arrived, we naturally had to make a slight change and say 

"Who's the bestest Girl in the World".

It was simply a little "in phrase" that was special to the five of us.

But at the same time it was something that I sort of secretly hoped would show them how much we believed in them and inspire them to believe that they were of great worth.
Did it work?

    Well one thing I have always been so happy about in our family is that there was never any competition between the children, they all accepted that we thought they were all the bestest in the world and they seemed to have thought that about each other too.  They are each proud and supportive of what the others have done in the past and are doing at present.

    All three are unique individuals with some very similar interests but also some very different interests and always have been.

Jonathan is a Pastor, also working on his Phd in Theology and lives in Leeds in England at present.

Daniel is the manager of a Church/Charity based Cafe and the Sound Engineer in his church.  He is now married and living in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Linda is an aspiring writer, has written a novel (unpublished) and working on a novella but also teaching English as a foreign language in Gangneung, South Korea at the moment.

All three of them are saved, love worship music and play the guitar, as do Fred and I but it has to be admitted that the 3 guys are better on the guitar than us girls.

All three of them love babies; I know most people do but they go to the extent of having to take many pics & videos of their cousin's little boy and share them with us all.

Were we telling them the truth when we used that phrase with them for years?

Strictly speaking - possibly no!

But to us parents, YES.  

We thought of each of them as being the best because we loved each of them the same.

They were good children but probably not the best children in the whole world.
And also who are we to judge who is better than anyone else.
But this phrase meant a lot to us and to them and I do believe that it made them feel loved and happy and accepted and contented all those years ago.

At the Grand Canyon while we were living in the US over 20 years ago

Of course that phrase is not the only thing that would have led them to grow up with love and acceptance but then there are always a lot of factors in the formation of anything.

All I know is we loved them greatly and they knew they were loved and they loved us and each other.  Then later they grew to know about God and the salvation he has offered us through His Son Jesus and they each acknowledged that they needed to ask God's forgiveness and accept this gift from God.

Who inspires you?

I would like to think that if our children had been asked this question when they were young they would have included Fred & I in the answer.

If you ask me that same question today my answer would have to be, my 3 children Jonathan, Daniel & Linda for the people they have turned out to be, not dependent on us, not intimidated by others and taking a stand for God. 

What more could parents want in the lives of their children?

I am thankful to God for the husband and children He has given me.


The Trial of Dr Kate - Book Review

The Trial of Dr. Kate  

by  Michael E. Glasscock  III     

A doctor who can’t remember her crime. 
A reporter fighting for the story of her life. 
Two women at a crossroads in a town that never forgets. 

In the summer of 1952, Lillian Johnson was found dead in her home, slumped in the wheelchair that had become her cage due to multiple sclerosis. An overdose of barbiturate had triggered a heart attack, but the scene was not quite right. It looked as though someone other than Lillian herself had injected the fatal dose. 

Dr. Kate Marlow, Lillian’s physician and best friend, now sits in the Round Rock city jail. The only country doctor for miles, Kate cannot remember her whereabouts at the time of Lillian’s death and the small Tennessee town buzzes with judgment. 

As Dr. Kate’s trial approaches, another woman is determined to uncover the truth about the night of Lillian’s death. Memphis reporter Shenandoah Coleman grew up in Round Rock on the wrong side of the tracks, but unlike the rest of her unsavory clan, escaped her destiny. Now, back in the town she grew up in, she’ll have to turn every stone to keep Kate from a guilty verdict. 
The Trial of Dr. Kate is the second novel in a four-part series from Michael E. Glasscock III that explores the intricate social cloth of Round Rock, Tennessee. Though each story stands alone, readers who enjoyed Glasscock’s first Round Rock tale, Little Joe, will delight in the cameo appearances in this one. 

Having read the first book in this series and reviewed it on this blog, I was looking forward to the opportunity of reading this second one and thankful for the ebook copy received from the publishers to be able to read and review it; but unfortunately did not find it to be as interesting or as captivating.

The characters were not as well developed and although there were relationships being formed throughout the novel this book did not seem to be as full of story and life as it's predecessor.  Cameo appearances were mentioned in the synopsis but I can only remember one.  As for the reporter "fighting for the story of her life"; well we hardly hear of her writing the story and things are really made very easy for her to gain access to everyone in the town for info on her story of the trial and very little mention is made of the other story she is writing.

Having received the book free I did finish it but there were several breaks away from it.  The ending was disappointing as it seemed to be rushed and then the added epilogue gave the impression that the author had felt that whole thing needed some closure.  

I actually was not that interested in what would have happened to the characters after the book ended because of not having felt the closeness to the characters that I had in the first story.

The Trial of Dr. Kate  by  Michael E. Glasscock  III

Book 2 in the Round Rock Series
Published by Greenleaf Book Group Press
Released in Oct 2013

Have you read this or any others in the series?

I would love to know if you agreed or disagreed with my view of this one.

I would like to state here that although I did receive a free copy of the ebook this review is completely my own opinion of the book and was not written to any deadline for the publishers.


Why We Worship 8

I am taking time each week to ask myself "Why we worship"

 This week  Malachi 3 v 6  brings us the reason to focus on

This means that God is UNCHANGING

He never changes in His being (who He is) or in the promises He makes.

We can change from year to year or from day to day but God does not.

Malachi  ch 3
Says the Lord of hosts.
“For I am the LordI do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

Also look at verse 7 to see another promise from God and because He has already declared He does not change then we can believe what He says here.

This gives us great stability and we know that we can depend on Him 
at all times 
       in all circumstances.    


I am thankful that I serve an unchanging God, are you?


Another Coffee Mug! - A Dose of Encouragement

Many years ago while we were living in America I bought some mugs to have to give as gifts to friends who I thought might need some encouragement. 

They had a picture of a cute little bear with the words

 “Smile! Cause God thinks you’re special and so do I”

                                                                                                  printed on them. 

When we came back to Northern Ireland I had only 
3 left, 
and shortly after that only 

That was when I decided that I was going to keep the last one for myself because sometimes I need encouragement too.

I brought it out of its box and thought about where to put it.  

You see in the unit in our lounge we had some mugs which the boys had got at the Boy’s Brigade over several years, another from Wales with our daughter Linda’s name on it, one with a picture of Peter Rabbit our son was given as a baby, and others that my husband Fred has accumulated from working trips abroad.  

These are all deemed to be too good or too impractical to actually be used so they are treated as ornaments. 

I could have made a space there for this mug but somehow 
that didn’t seem quite right. 

Then I decided that if the mug was to be an encouragement to me, I should see it often and the best way to do that would be to use it regularly. 

So that is what I have done.  

It is now 2014, and I still have this mug.

It really is nice to make my coffee in this mug and smile 
when I look at the words on it.

Some may think it strange but it brings me a lot of joy to use this mug not only for the message it reminds me of but for the memories of the good friends I had to whom I gave the rest of the mugs. 

          Then one day I was in a lady’s home when she showed me some bibles which she was very proud to have.  She told me the story associated with each bible, why they were important to her and how she liked to keep them in very good condition, even though one of them she informed me was more than 150 years old.  

The problem was, each of these bibles was wrapped carefully in a plastic bag and put away only to be brought out occasionally for someone else to hear the stories.  

This was the only way for her to keep them clean and in good condition.  

I found it very sad to think that even though this lady held fond memories of the people she had got these bibles from or the places from which she had received them, and had a special high regard for these as old books; she didn’t read them and she didn’t make use of them so she couldn’t be encouraged by the words within or come to know the joy of meeting the Saviour they offered her.  

It was like my mug. 

If I had kept it ‘good’ I would not have got the enjoyment and encouragement from it that I have got by using it regularly; 

and would I smile and remember that I’m special to God?

I am thankful that my special mug has lasted so long and I am thankful that it brings such good memories and encouragement and joy to me.

Do you have something that does this for you?

 I believe you are special to God too.  Do you?