The Third Coffee Mug - A Dose of Encouragement

I love to read little phrases that may be clever or humorous 
and I love going round craft shops or gift shops.  

        One day in Cookstown many years ago, I found a nice shop and spent an enjoyable time wandering round picking out some very early Christmas presents. 

The shop had a great display of mugs and of course I found one which I couldn’t resist.  

Firstly its design was in blue (which is by far my favourite colour I even wrote a post on it "I Love The Colour Blue" and I would probably have everything in my house blue if Fred would let me) and secondly the words on it amused me.  
         It read  

                      “I would get organised except it would only confuse everyone”. 

I bought it for my husband Fred because he told me that his desk at work was always a mess and I thought he could use the mug at work.  However the nice blue design was rather a floral design and I felt that Fred might not appreciate it, so I kept it for myself.  

          Anyway, I was always trying to get organised, I had a small two drawer filing cabinet in the kitchen, two drawers of my roll-top desk were filing drawers and the large drawer at the bottom of the computer armoire was also a filing drawer.  With all of these you would think that all our papers etc. would be organised and nothing misplaced or forgotten about; but no! 

Even though 

 I rarely end up completely organised.

In fact I'm pretty good at starting and not finishing things.  I'm good at getting everything out to rearrange cupboards etc. and taking ages to get it all back in again.

Fred often asks me why it is that every time I say I am sorting out something, he finds me in the middle of a mess.  

 My answer is 

 "you can’t tidy up properly without making a mess".  

I know that sounds stupid but it makes sense to me. 

When you are organising things you need to have piles or boxes for 

  • Things you will throw out
  • Things you will donate or give away
  • Things to keep
  • Things you like and know you don't really need but you don't want to part with.

Some day I will have a 

 but not just now.  

The only problem is that this can often affect my spiritual life too. 

  • When to read the Bible?
  • Where to read the Bible?
  • What to read in the Bible?
  • When to pray?
  • Where to pray?
  • What to pray about?
  • When to study?
  • How to study?

I kept thinking I must organise how I read, pray and study the bible; so then I would want to try to plan it all out in advance and decide when the best time was and method was but then I would get started and change my mind.

Let’s face it if I tried to wait until I got all that organized perfectly,

then I’d never be found in a quiet place with God.

So I knew I could not have it just perfectly organised and instead 

I just had to do it.

because otherwise I would never learn from the promises, love, mercy, grace, compassion of Jesus and the instructions God has given us.

Of course that was all years ago when I had the kids at home, I was working and Fred travelled a lot with work so perhaps the reason for not being properly organised was due to all of that.  

So now then when the kids are grown and away from home and  I am not working things can be organised perfectly can't they?

   No, not at all, it is just the same now as then.

(except I don't have that coffee mug now because it got broken some years ago)  

and I know

I just have to do it.

So I'm thankful God doesn't wants us to do it absolutely perfectly
 but just wants us to do it to the best of our ability and His Holy Spirit
 will help us with the rest.

Are you like me?
Or perhaps you have no problems at all with organising your quiet times with God.


Why We Worship 19

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

Do you know that God loves to give us what we don't deserve?

  •  He loves to pardon our sin.
  •  He loves to be good to us.
  •  He loves to give us His Gifts.
  •  He loves to extend His Mercy to us.

And really we don't deserve any of this.

This is all because 

What does this mean?

It simply means that :

  • Jesus the Son of God took our place.
  • Jesus the Son of God bore our punishment.
  • Jesus the Son of God gave His life for us.

And He did it for our benefit not His.

No wonder we sing and talk about God's Grace being AMAZING.

Of course the verse above is not actually a full sentence.

So let's look at the full sentence here in verses 11 - 14.

11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,
12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 
13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, 
14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Because of the Grace God has shown us we then need to react by turning from our ungodly ways to God's Way and look forward to seeing Jesus who has made this all possible.  
We are to be His own special people and ready to do good just as He does.

I am very thankful for God's Grace  -  aren't you?


Did I pray too Hard? - A Dose of Encouragement

If you read any of my blog posts last year you may have noticed that I have mentioned a few times that

 I am Petite

I am 5 foot and half an inch tall.

I was usually the smallest or second smallest in my class at school and the youngest or second youngest as well.

I was the younger of two girls in our family with my sister being 10 years older than me and no brothers.

If you have read the Dose of Encouragement entitled "What a Face!"  you will know a bit about how I started going out with my husband  (if not click on the pic. below).

But I don't think I mentioned in that story that Fred is 6 foot tall so you can imagine the difference in our heights but if not, just have a look at the family pictures on my about me page.

All of my life I have never been allowed to forget that I am small.

My grandmother was a widow from long before I was born so she lived with us and right up to her death (a year after Fred and I were married) she referred to me as 

"the wee one" 

and this has been something my sister likes to remember.

My sister also loved to tease me about how I would need a step ladder to be able to reach up to kiss Fred, when we were going together.

After 5 years of marriage I got pregnant and we were very happy.  

I did have one concern and that was 

"what if the baby took after me and was small?"

So I prayed that my child would not be small like me, especially if this was a boy but also if the child was a girl, I just didn't want this child to feel as I had often felt (see "I Am Petite")

When Jonathan was born he was only 6 lb 6 oz but he was a long thin baby so I thought that this might be an indication that he would not be small.  However I continued to pray and sometimes mentioned to Fred that I was praying about this.

2 years later and we had another boy, Daniel who was heavier and about the same in length and I had already started praying about his height also.  

Then 3 years after that we had a girl and Linda was the heaviest of the three but not just as long as the boys had been.

You can probably guess that I had started praying about her height too before she was born.

As they got older we did as most parents do with their kids; we measured their heights on a wall chart.  We laughed often as we would see Jonathan sprouting up taller and then suddenly Daniel would catch up and they would be the same height for a while and then Jonathan would be taller again, and then the process would happen repeatedly.

When the boys were teenagers it was obvious that they were not going to be short so I was thankful that God had answered my prayers about them.  Then it was not long before Linda was taller than me and that made we very happy.

When Jonathan stopped growing he was just a little shorter than his father but by that time Daniel was taller than Jonathan and was gradually inching above Fred.  Even in his early twenties Daniel was still growing and when he finally stopped he was some inches taller than his dad.  Linda is also some inches taller than me so just a nice height and not too tall for a girl.

So if you look at the picture on the about me page you will know that Daniel is the one at the back of the group (that picture was taken at his wedding last year) and you can see what a difference there is between him and me, not just 12 inches but more like 15 inches.

What can I say other than  

Yes I also prayed for the health of my children and their education and understanding and everything else about them and still do, but I also believe that God knows what each of us feel and think at all times and He does give us 

the desires of our hearts

Now I know I am not taking a verse out of context here and not just being trite about this verse. 

This was a desire of my heart, something that meant a lot to me and God saw this, but He also knew that it was not out of greed that I made this request, it was not even really for my benefit instead it was for my children.

The verse comes from this passage

3Trust in the LORD, and do good; 
     so shall you dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed.
4Delight yourself also in the LORD; 
     and he shall give you the desires of your heart.
5Commit your way unto the LORD; 
     trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

and must be taken along with the verses around it and if I was being selfish or greedy then I would not be living as the rest of this dictates.

There are three words in that passage and we must obedient

I definitely committed this desire to the Lord and He brought it to pass.

I am so thankful that God cares about the desires of our hearts.

The only thing is sometimes I joke with Fred saying that 

"Maybe I prayed too hard because Daniel is so tall now".

Have you taken the desires of your heart to God or have you just hidden them in your heart?


Why We Worship 18

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

Righteousness is the state of moral perfection God requires of us to be able to enter Heaven.

The Ten Commandments show us how far we are from reaching this standard that God has set us.  We know we could never keep all His laws completely.

because He is SINLESS

But we are SINFUL.

So it would seem there is no way that we can enter Heaven.

However God has a solution for our problem.

Jesus is God and is also Righteous because He is Sinless.

God has told us in the Bible that He will apply Christ's perfect righteousness to us imperfect human beings when we believe that Jesus is Lord and trust fully in Him.

The only way that God cannot punish us for our sinfulness is if we have someone to be our substitute and take on our sin and punishment which is what Jesus has done for us on the cross.

This is God's Plan of Salvation for all of us and it is a free Gift.
We just need to accept that Jesus has stepped in to be our Saviour.

So Salvation for us is not through anything we can do for ourselves but through the righteousness of Jesus.

Christ's righteousness is accredited to us and makes us holy before God.

I am thankful that there was a way for me to be acceptable to God because Jesus bore my sins on the cross and gave me His Righteousness.

I am also thankful that my Father in Heaven is Righteous and can never be found at fault.

Have you accepted this gift of Salvation through Jesus?

Can you worship God because He is Righteous and has made you righteous?


4 Accidents and a ...... (pt5) - A Dose of Encouragement


and  a  MIRACLE!

One Sunday evening earlier this year we were driving home on the same road on which we travel twice every Sunday to go from our home in Banbridge to the church we attend in Lurgan. 

The drive takes 20/25 mins depending on traffic but on Sunday evenings there is normally very little traffic on that road.  We were listening to some worship music on a CD and chatting about the evening's meeting just as we normally do on the journey. 

In the past 3 years we have become very familiar with this road and we know that at one part there are quite a few significant dips so that as you drive towards any of these you have no real view ahead.  The road is clearly signed to tell drivers about this in advance and of course there are also signs and road markings to indicate no overtaking.

 I am often worried about cyclists along this road as there seem to be quite a few in the area but it was not a cyclist we had to worry about on this journey.

As we drove along in the dark around 8.30pm and came to the slight brow of a hill before one of these dips we could see some light over the brow of the hill so we knew there were some cars approaching.  Then as we got to the top suddenly we could see several lights of cars coming towards us on the other side of the road but as well as this we could see a set of lights coming towards us on our side of the road.

       This is a country road with a very narrow footpath and hedges or walls etc. so usually no room to manoeuvre.  We realized that a large lorry (truck for my American friends) had been trying to overtake 3 or 4 cars and was still on the wrong side of the road; he had obviously ignored the traffic signs and road markings.

       The lorry was about the length of 2 cars in front of us & the only thing my husband Fred could do was to swerve in to the side of the road as the lorry tried to cut back into his proper side in front of the lead car. 

       Up until then there had been no break in the narrow footpath but at the exact place that we had to swing in there was a gap in the footpath and in the hedge because there was an entrance to something there. 

Just enough room for our car to get in out of the way as the lorry skimmed past us.

This was a big thing in our lives that day and we were very happy about the outcome.

This event was to do with us being thankful to God because of his hand of protection in what could have been a major accident and cause us a lot of injury if not death.

 We have been over the route again of course several times and there is only one point that there is room for a car to pull in off the road and that is exactly where we were when we met the lorry.

Obviously God had brought us to the right spot at the right time and saved our lives.

What a great God we have who knows where we need to be at all times and sees the road ahead when we are not able to see it.  He even knows when others will be breaking the law and cause us to be in danger.

We are thankful that our God works miracles for us even when we don't know we are going to need them.

Do you believe He can work miracles to have you just at the right place at the time you need to be there?

Do you believe that He loves you so much to be in front of you on your life's journey too?

Do you know His Saving Grace in your life and the sacrifice of His Son for you?

Click Here for part 1

Click Here for part 2

Click Here for part 3

Click Here for part 4


Why We Worship 17

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

Man thinks he is getting wiser year by year.

          God is not getting wiser year by year 

                                  because God already is wise 

                                            and God always has been wise.

 God has all the wisdom that it is possible to have so there is 
no wisdom that God can not have  -  He is all-wise.

No-one has ever had wisdom to match God.

Some men in the Bible were highly recognised by God, two of these being Enoch and Job but neither were as wise as God and neither of them would have ever considered themselves to be anywhere near as wise as God.

Solomon is always remembered for his wisdom which he had asked God for but even though God had given him great wisdom again he did not reach the standard of God's Wisdom.

Whatever wisdom we may have will always be imperfect 
but God's wisdom is perfect. 

We must give God the honour and respect He is due because of His Wisdom.

Have you let go of your wisdom and accepted that God is the only wise God and worthy of our trust and worship?