Wednesday

Writing Through Your Feelings - A Dose of Encouragement


Today I have another Guest Post for you.

It is still in the Dose of Encouragement Series but instead of a post from me it is one from our daughter Linda who is Teaching English as a Foreign Language in South Korea.

She wrote this on her own blog last year and I loved how she had been so open and honest about how she felt so I have asked if I could have it here to share with you all this week.
      
Linda is still on holiday with us from South Korea and hence this is going to be another really busy week for me.

After reading this you may be interested to have a look at Linda's blog which is written from her viewpoint as a writer who is a Christian and contains posts on her thoughts and also some of her short stories.


So over to Linda

I had a sort of argument with a friend and it left me rather uneasy.  
You see, this argument shouldn’t have happened, and it was because I was looking at the situation in the wrong way.  
Yes, we both did or said things that hurt each other, but when I look at the bigger picture, and how God is involved in it, I don’t see the hurt anymore.

Of course, at the time I wasn’t letting myself think in that nice way; I was looking at my selfish perspective.  
Sometimes we get hurt and we all have a natural reaction to it, which is usually to protect ourselves by seeing how others have done wrong by us.  Now-a-days my first response is to talk to God about situations I don’t understand or find hard to deal with, and this does help me, even if it takes a little time.

This time, however, I made a conscious decision to take a little space for myself, to get over what I was hurt by, and be selfish, by letting myself be hurt for a little while, before I would accept the better view that God had for it (which I already knew and agreed with).  It’s a bit silly, but I thought that sometimes we need to feel the pain in order to get over it, and if I just accepted what God was showing me as good, then I was avoiding the hurt and not really getting over it.

Well, then my argument happened and since then I have felt sick about how I acted and how the situation has been left. 

     What did I do to fix this? 

I couldn’t talk to the person about it, and I didn’t know how to explain anyway, so I did what I should have been doing and went to God.  He showed me some things I already knew, but because of my initial selfish reaction of not wanting to listen to it, I found this hard to accept.

      So I wrote about it.

I used to do this a lot; write a letter to someone to tell them how I feel, even if I know I will never give it to them.  These days I sometimes write my prayers, because I can focus better and this process helps me work things out.  This time, however, I wrote to the person, and do you know what?  God worked in that.  I was looking to God in the whole situation and suddenly it all changed from my tiny viewpoint to the bigger picture and the love I have for that friend.


Even though I am hurt by some things, I know that it can’t be any other way, and I know that I am happy and excited about whatever God has planned for me.  It’s a pity that I have to go through some pain, but this will all help me later.  I don’t feel like I can fix what I said easily, and I don’t know if I should give my friend the letter, but changing my attitude is a start and I hope it will show my friend that I don’t care about what we fought over; I care about our friendship.

After the argument mentioned, I could not be sure that I would ever have a chance to rectify, apologise or just fix the relationship, but I had to find a way to move on and be content with my life and my attitudes.  

God gives us the only way to move on through the guilt and shame we feel in any previous actions.  
His grace and mercy give us the chance to see that our humanity doesn’t have to limit us to being simply faulty humans.  
We are humans, full of fault, but Jesus gave us a way to get past that and move on to better things.  


Today Linda writes:

A year later, God has helped me learn that lesson and progress with it in more ways.......

If you would like to read further on her view of today then head on over to Elsie B Writes


Do you write through your feelings too?


************************************************************



     Linda describes herself as:

     A writer from Northern Ireland, who has lived in a few other places and has a friend in God.



************************************************************

Sunday

It's Gods Love #6


This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

There will be a simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.










Today we are looking at the Gospel of John



The Apostle John had a lot to say about Love


This seems like a very simple, straightforward verse
with a simple, straightforward command
but it cannot be obeyed without the understanding of God's Love








The full sentence of this verse is


That ye love one another; 
as I have loved you, 
that ye also love one another.



Our love

for others

based on

God's Love

to us.


Oh what a responsibility!















Wednesday

A Walk in the Vineyards - A dose of encouragement

Today I have a Guest Post for you.

It is still in the Dose of Encouragement Series but instead of a post from me it is one from our oldest son Jonathan who is a Pastor in Leeds, UK.

He wrote this on his own blog a couple of weeks ago and I loved it so much I immediately asked if I could have it here to share with you all this week.
        
Why this week?

Well it just seems very appropriate as this week I have Linda over on holiday from South Korea and Jonathan over on holiday from Leeds and also this is going to be a really busy week for me.

After reading this you may be interested to have a look at Jonathan's blog which has a variety of posts from humorous to bible teaching to deep theological thinking.


So over to Jonathan


The sunlight was beautiful.

After hours of driving – through France and into Italy, back to France then back to Italy – a walk in the evening sunlight was the perfect way to end the afternoon.
 The Italian lady spoke of a ‘big bench’, but more importantly she spoke of a fantastic view over the vineyards. The English of the Italian gentleman was as limited as our Italian, yet still, without words, he managed to show us the way to go.

The sun shone on our faces. The dogs barked as we walked past the lemon trees. 
And then we were off. Down a country lane between rustic farm buildings. Up a hill between the shining green vineyards.

We stopped to look at the vines. 
We stopped to look at the grapes. 
Not the grapes you find on the shelves of Asda or Waitrose, but tiny green balls.
Baby grapes. 
Now, I suppose all grapes must start this way, but we’d never seen grapes like this before.

And as we looked at the grapes, my friend started to sing. 
He did not sing an Italian song.
Nor did he sing a pop song. 
Instead, upon that Lord’s Day, he sang a song of praise.

Now, when I tell you that my friend started to sing a song of praise, perhaps what you imagine in your mind is the latest ditty from the latest album. 
Or perhaps you imagine one of those songs which has managed to pass the test of time and endure for a year or two.

But, no, that’s not what he sang.

I will rejoice in You and be glad;
I will extol Your love more than wine.
Draw me after You and let us run together;
I will rejoice in You and be glad.



It was a song none of us had sung or even heard in a decade or more.
A song that people were singing before either of us were born. 
To my other friend (the wife of the first friend – she had grown up with much more respectable church music than us!) this was a new song, and she looked on bemusedly as we explained how it was to be sung ‘over and over and over and over and over and over again’ (sorry I just couldn’t resist that reference while I was typing!) world without end, Amen.

And so we wandered through the vineyards singing this ancient chorus.

We strolled past the tiny grapes in the beautiful evening light. 
And then we found the aforementioned ‘big bench’ – it really was a big bench, so big it seemed to have been made for giants. There was no climbing up to the bench, for it was already occupied by some local teenagers, chatting and giggling – enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon with friends.

We gazed out over the rolling hills covered with vines. 
We saw the majesty of the high mountains beyond and understood why they called this place Piedmont. And then we walked back down the hill – back to the lemon tress, the dogs, the hazelnuts and the friendly Italian man who made us an afternoon espresso. 
And echoing over the beauty of the light and the rolling vineyards, and over the majesty of the mountains, and over the gift of friendship were those words we had sung: 

‘I will rejoice in You and be glad / I will extol Your love more than wine.’


************************************************************

Hello! My name's Jonathan Black and I'm a pastor and teacher in the Apostolic Church (Leeds Assembly).   
 I read theology at the University of Cambridge (MA) and Continental Theological Seminary/University of Wales (MTh) and am now working on a PhD (on the Trinitarian ecclesiology of the Apostolic Church.) 
 Before coming to Leeds I taught theology at Continental Theological Seminary near Brussels (in Belgium).      
                         Hence the blog about 'Apostolic Theology'.


 ************************************************************

Sunday

It's God's Love #5


Last month I started this new Sunday Series.

There will be a simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.










Today I am looking at Colossians chapter 3



Firstly we must look away from the things that Satan has 
in this world

and

then 

look to the virtues of God







Mercy

Kindness

Humbleness of mind

Meekness

Longsuffering


Bound together by love, not just any love but that which can bring perfect unity

God's Love

















Wednesday

The Other Name Meanings Story - A Dose of Encouragement


2 weeks ago I wrote about the meaning of my name
and Fred's name - Our Name Meanings.

Today I want to tell you about the names we gave our 3 children.





In September 1982 Fred and I had a baby boy.

We did not know we were going to have a boy from a scan but we knew we would have a boy because of the name God had given us for our baby.

Some months before this on a Thursday night we had gone along as usual to the mid-week meeting in our church.  That night our Pastor was speaking on the relationship between David and Jonathan and approaching it from the true friend Jonathan was to David.

At the end of the meeting Fred and I just looked at each other and both said


that is the name for our baby


There was no doubt in our minds that we were to have a boy and we knew the name he was to have.


When September came

we had a boy and we called him 






Because we had felt so sure that this was the right name we had not thought to check the meaning of his name straight away but when we did we discovered that the name Jonathan is a Hebrew name and means




Well this was very true of this our first child because we had tried for some years but I had not become pregnant and we had really prayed for a child.


Two years later again in the month of September we were sitting in the hospital waiting for our second child to be born.  All through this pregnancy we had not thought of a name.

We did however believe it was going to be another boy (again not from a scan but we both felt God was giving us a boy) so as we sat there we prayed and asked God to help us find the right name.  We then went through the book of baby names for boys simply reading out each name in alphabetical order and with the idea of saying

yes,  no  or  maybe.


All through the A's we both just said no to each name and then the same for the B's and the C's we kept saying we should at least have a maybe, but it didn't happen.

Then in the D's we got to




and we both just said yes, and we were surprised that we did but we stopped there as we felt that was the name.

Later that day we had our second son and knew we had picked the right name which means







Three years later our third child was born at the end of December.

Now this time we had no idea whatsoever whether we were going to have a boy or a girl and we picked two names in advance.
   

Timothy and Linda.




This time I just kept saying that if we did have a girl I couldn't imagine her being called anything other than Linda and Timothy was a lovely character from the bible, plus doesn't Jonathan, Daniel and Timothy just sound so good.


Because we already had the two boys everyone kept saying things like


"I'm sure you are hoping for a girl this time"


or


"Oh you're going for the girl then?"


neither of which were true, we did not mind which God was giving us although I felt we were headed for another boy because I had not had any morning sickness throughout the first two pregnancies and this one was just the same.


However

God gave us





and all through her life she has been as happy with her name as I was with mine


maybe especially because


her name means






And don't you think that Jonathan, Daniel and Linda sounds really good?





Our children are now all in their 30's and we truly feel their names suited them perfectly.


We are so thankful that we can even trust God to give us the correct names for our children.


But then we do know that He cares about everything single thing about them.









The Names for this post were created with
Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator




Monday

Murder on the Links - Book Reivew

Disclaimer:
There is an affiliate link on this blogpost.




I am trying to read through the novels of Agatha Christie in the order in which they were written and write a review on each one.

  






If you want further info on this book please click on the Title or picture of the book.



Murder on the Links. 

1923.  
A Poirot Mystery.



Shelfari Description


"For God's sake, come!" 
But by the time Hercule Poirot can respond to Monsieur Renauld's plea, the millionaire is already dead -- stabbed in the back, and lying in a freshly dug grave on the golf course adjoining his estate. There is no lack of suspects: his wife, whose dagger did the deed; his embittered son; Renauld's mistress -- and each feels deserving of the man's fortune. The police think they've found the culprit. Poirot has his doubts. And the discovery of a second, identically murdered corpse complicates matters considerably.










MY THOUGHTS

This is Miss Christie's third book and the second featuring her Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

I had read this novel twice before and seen the TV versions but yet this time rereading it I still did not remember properly how the murder was committed.
I had fully forgotten who the murderer was although other facts were very clear before I read them again.

Is this an indication of a good author that you can reread the book still having to work at solving the mystery?

The thing I liked least about this story was the names given to the characters as for some reason I had difficulty remembering who was who.  Perhaps this was because there were French names involved.

The plot is not deeply rooted around golf, regardless of the title, so you do not have to be a golf enthusiast to take on the challenge of trying to solve this crime and there are some good clues to get your teeth into.

I would not rate this as one of my favourites by Miss Christie especially as I am not keen on someone co-incidentally ending up living in the same small village as someone else they had known before - not quite sure if this is a spoiler or not.

The thing I liked best was the fact that the story is told by Hastings (he is such a pet) and the fact of the time setting and pace of action being so different from today.











Here is a link to a list of her novels on Shelfari
Books by Agatha Christie







Disclaimer:
If buying through Amazon via the link above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.








Sunday

It's God's Love #4


It is week 4 already in this new Sunday Series.


There will be a simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.










Last month I spoke at a Ladies Meeting 



I had been asked to do so almost a year in advance but even then I felt that I should speak about


God's Mercy


which of course is so intertwined with His Love



Do you know that we would never have
 known, experienced and been thankful for the mercy of God
 if it had not be for His love?



We see this in Ephesians 2 v 4-6

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,  
even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  
and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus 



His love was the reason for His mercy.







God's Love.

Great Love.

Rich in Mercy.

That Love is for US.

We will never lack Mercy from God.


WHY?

Because His mercy is abundant, His nature is rich in mercy, full of mercy and all of this is available to us.



There is more to read about God's Mercy in












Wednesday

I Missed His Hands - A Dose of Encouragement


Being a blogger means that there is always something I can be doing in preparation for another blog post, or for revamping the look of the blog, or for future scheduling, or in social media, or reading other bloggers.

So when my husband has to go away on business trips I know that all of those things plus other family, and friends and church activities will keep me busy and I will not really miss him all the time.






However this last time he went away, I found that I was missing him a lot.

Now the strange thing about it was that I missed his hands.

A few different times I would suddenly picture his hands in my mind and I just missed not seeing them and holding them.

Of course I did naturally miss the things he would do for me around the house.

And I did sort of miss the things he would do that often make me smile - playing the guitar, playing the keyboard.

But mainly I missed his hands.
I missed not seeing them each day.

Maybe it was because we can face time (even when he is in Morocco or Azerbaijan) and so I can see his face even when he is away but don't normally see his hands while we chat.






But whatever the reason it really struck me as odd that I missed his hands.


Then I was drawn to think back to one morning in church when the message was on the hands of Jesus.

How practical his hands were.

Considering all the things He did with His hands.


The hands of Jesus were often the instruments of His Blessings.








  • He placed His hands on children to bless them and on others.
  • He placed His hands on lepers to heal them.
  • He used His hands to break the bread and fish before feeding the 5,000.
  • He used His hands to pull Peter out of the water.
  • He placed His hands on the funeral bier to raise the son of the widow of Nain.



In church we sometimes sing a kids chorus called "Jesus' hands were kind hands"





Fred's hands have not been used in all of those situations but they have been used to help me and others and comfort me and they hold mine each morning as we pray together.


I am thankful for Fred's hands.


Some of the things Fred's hands have been used for to help and encourage me:

  • To Praise God
  • To play the guitar
  • To play the piano or keyboard
  • To read the Bible







  • To pray with me
  • To show me the beauty of God's Creation (he knows more about nature than I do)
  • To make me coffee each morning
  • To help our grown-up children with practical things
  • To lift down things from high shelves for me
  • To drive me about when my foot is painful
  • To hold and carry heavy objects for me
  • To help to keep our grandchildren safe







I am thankful for Fred's hands.


We are all thankful for the hands of Jesus.


BUT


We need to be the hands of Jesus at different times for one another.
















Sunday

It's God's Love #3

Welcome back to this new Sunday Series.


There will be a simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.










When Paul is writing to the Corinthians he obviously thinks something is important and needs to be said as the finishing note for the end of his letter.


2 Corinthians 13:14


He exhorts them to pay attention to how they should live


Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.


BUT

he is not finished yet


He then leaves them with a great blessing







Love of God.

Grace of Jesus.

Fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

Be with us all.


AMEN - So be it.