Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 25

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 25 

This is another one of the Psalms of David

I'm looking at this Psalm in several parts:

V. 1-2
Where is our Trust?

V. 3
What is the Difference?

V. 4-5
Which Way should we go?

V. 6-7
Whose Grace?

V. 8-10
Who is the teacher?

V. 11-15
Who needs to have respect?

V. 16-22
What should we pray?

Where is our Trust?
It is in God because we know that He will not let us down.

What is the Difference?
The difference lies in the lives of God's people and the lives of those who do not believe and none of God's people need be ashamed about it.

He will not let us down!

Which way should we Go?
God should be the of the utmost importance to us because of our Salvation so we should want to go His way exactly and wait on Him long enough to know His way.

Whose Grace?
Because of His Salvation given to us, we can rely on Him to look on us as we are now and not as we were before.  His Grace covers us now even though we are not perfect.

Who is the Teacher?
The only good and upright being, the Lord God who looks on the humble and keeps His Promise with us.

He keeps His Promises!

Who needs to have Respect?
The one who desires to be taught by God, to prosper in God's way, to be the friend of God, to be under the protection of God and to know that great bound with God.

What should we Pray?
We should bare all to the Redeemer of our souls.
The troubles on our hearts, our need of His Forgiveness, the protection we desire, the Grace that only He can give.

So who do we thrust and why?

We trust God
 He keeps His promises
 will not let us down.

Oh that we would be humble and walk in His way.

Learning from Him and His Word and not from the words of others.


How to Help Others Love The Word of God - A Dose of Encouragement

I work with kids in our church and think it is important to help them learn God's Word and hopefully they will come to love it and love God.

However I think sometimes we are not wise as to how we try to help younger people get to know the Bible.

Some time ago I saw a young girl make an appeal on Google+ for help as to how to go about learning bible verses.

I was glad that she was looking to learn verses because doing so is storing up God's Word in your heart and mind and is something we are instructed to do from God's Word.

I was sad that she needed to request help on Social Media because I would love to think that any young person would have someone they can personally talk to for this type of help and not have to appeal to strangers.

I replied offering to help by posting my Bible Verse Graphics and giving her permission to copy them to use to learn the verses.  Also with some advice on how to learn them.

then I saw other replies by people who just did not read properly what the young girl had written.

This is what the girl wrote

Hey there My name's XXXXX I'm a 13 year old Christian girl who LOVES GOD, and is trying to live it! I need some advice on how to study the bible/memorize verses. I really want to memorize verses but what am I suppose to do? Choose a random book and then Read the same verse a million times till I memorize it? Thanks soooo much ya'll!!! Means a lot. Would ya'll mind praying for me to accomplish reading, and memorizing the Bible please? Thanks again!!!!

and this is part of what I wrote

Hi  XXXXX,  I teach a lot of kids bible lessons and bible verses and would be happy to help you.

followed by

Thanks Sandra Black   What do you suggest?

I put various memory verses on our church website and I write a blog in which I put some Kid's songs and bible verses.
Will you please ask your parents to agree that it would be ok for me to help you.
They can find out about me here on G+ and then they can find my blog and check me out there too.

there was a little conversing back and forward followed by

XXXXX I have publically posted a picture of a simple verse and linked your name to it so you should be able to find it ok.  If you can copy the picture (you have my permission to take my pictures although others do not) and print them out you can stick it up on your wall or pinboard and every time you go past it just read it out to yourself and you will know it in next to no time.

and I posted this

And thanks sooooo much +Sandra Black!!!

Now during this some other people were responding to this young girl

Woman 1:
Pray and wait with your eyes closed. You'll get a book or verse in your soul

Wait for how long?????

Man 1:
Gave a Link to his website which is 100 verses everyone should know by heart: study guide
and it continued for 26 pages.
plus a link for another guide which went on for 6 pages

This was a teenager he was talking to, but even for me it was way too long and too boring.

Woman 2:
Try memorizing the responsorial psalm each Sunday and one verse from the Gospel and Epistle.  That way you have just three things to focus on each week.  That should keep you busy for three years.  

There was more but that was about reading a chapter a day....  and who wants to be thinking of 3 years when you are trying to get started?

Woman 3:
Hello XXXXX  how lovely that you have posted on knowing Jesus.
I see that you have asked about memorizing bible verses - that is wonderful.
Now Katie... if you love the Lord Jesus you will know he died on the cross ..........

and she continued to speak out against the Catholic Church but said nothing about bible verses.

Woman 4:
One of the best ways to begin is to learn scripture verses and more importantly to know them in your heart to be true ..........   Did you know that 51 Things True of Every Christian .........

she continued about a link to a post on the 51 things but nothing about bible verses

Woman 5:
She mentioned music to help you learn verses and then told all about her wonderful journey to knowing God

 but nothing else about bible verses

Man 2:
Try "You version - The Bible" app on Android the give lots of plans to study the bible.

This was a teenager asking about learning bible verses not studying the bible - can we stick to the topic???

Woman 6:
Ask Jesus to come into your heart and reveal His Word (the bible) to you.

This was a girl who told us she was a Christian so we should respect her and believe her

Woman 7: For the reading part, I started with Matthew and have been reading a chapter every night before bed.  If you find a passage which you might like to memorize, read the first few words until you have memorized them, then add a few more and keep going until you have memorized the whole thing.

She is a teenager asking about verses - a passage would be daunting to me let alone her!

Woman 8:
Read the bible with love not as a book to memorize.  If you love it you will memorize automatically.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) 

Yes at least she gave a scripture - But NO, you will not learn it automatically!

There were many more people trying to give advice but all in a similar vein.

I was so disappointed that people had not read carefully before giving their advice.

Think before you give advice

Advice or help does not have to be long-winded a short answer directly related to the question is best with teenagers.

If we are in the position to help then we need to help by keeping their attention focused on what are the important points.

Every single one of those people (if they had thought about it for a little while) could have given a short helpful answer; but if while thinking about it, they had realised that they were not really suited to working with teenagers or had a true helpful suggestion, then they could have ended up a wiser person and not complicated things for her.

I believe as Christians we should all wish to help others love God's Word and to encourage them to read and memorize His Word.

I also believe that we should be willing to help others in any way we can but to remember to stay on the subject and not digress to our other interests.

Let's help others know God's Word

That teenage girl now follows my posts on Google+  so she can read articles on my blog or can use the verses I post to help her memorize scripture.  This is not something that takes a big effort on my part but is just one simple way of helping and encouraging others like her.

I and many other people post bible verses on facebook & google plus and other social media 


for any of us, just to be reminded of a scripture can 

lift our spirits, 

turn our minds back to God in our busy days 


encourage us.

I'm also reminded of something I used to hear older Christians say years ago and it is true today


Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 24

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 24 

This is a Psalm of David

This Psalm falls into 4 parts:

V. 1-2
The Earth and Everyone belong to God

V. 3-4
Not everyone will stand in God's Holy Place

V. 5-6
Blessing on Holiness

V. 7-10
The King of Glory

All is God's.
Surely we should remember that everyone and everything ultimately belong to God when praying for people, our city, our nation.

God's Holy Place.
We also need to pray that we and others will have clean hands and pure hearts because we desire to be able to dwell in God's Holy Place.
We should pray for protection in all that we do to keep ourselves Holy to the Lord.

This is where we should desire to live

God's Blessing.
As we keep ourselves Holy God will give us His Blessing.

The King of Glory.
Strength and might describe our King of Glory.
The Lord of Hosts who is the Lord above all else is our King of Glory.

We have talked about the Holy Place
and how we must live to be able to enter it.

But it is not how Holy or clean or pure we may be that will make this Place Holy,

it is Holy because of the 

Holy, perfect Lord of all 

who will be resident there.


You Can Face It! Yes, You can! - A Dose of Encouragement

You Can Face It!

   Do you know that?

Yes, whatever it is - You can face it!

Yes, wherever you are  -  You can face it!

Yes, whenever it may happen  -  You can face it!

Yes, even when you think you are on your own  -  You can face it!

At some time or another we all need this type of encouragement.

No matter what the circumstance,

              or the location,

                            or the time frame,

                                          or the loneliness we feel,

                                                        we need to remember that

                                                                                                       we can face it all!


Yes with God on our side we can face it all.

With God we don't have to worry or be afraid that we are incapable of overcoming or even meeting whatever lies ahead because He will meet it with us and He is the True Overcomer.

He's the One who can move mountains.

He's the One who can calm seas.

He's the One who can heal.

He's the One who can give life.

He's the One who can whisper comfort in the storm of life.

If you have met with your Saviour and have that personal trusting relationship with Him where you have handed over your life and asked for forgiveness then

You can Face it! Yes, You Can!

because He is with you, Yes He is with you all the way!

It's a promise and He can keep that promise because of  WHO He IS!

Yes it's not about us  -  It's all about HIM.

because He said

So say it today and believe it

I Can Face It!  -  Yes, I Can!


Partners in Crime - Book Review

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.


Partners in Crime. 

A Book of short stories.
Detectives - Tommy & Tuppence

Shelfari Description

Tommy and Tuppence take over a detective agency and assume the methods of such great fictional detectives as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot to solve case after case...

My Thoughts

This is the 11th book by Agatha Christie and the Second one  involving Tommy & Tuppence who are now married.

Although the pair's previous book  "The Secret Adversary" was a full length novel this one is a series of short stories about their new life as Private Investigators - Mr Blunt and his assistant Miss Robinson.  15 completely different short stories all set around the Detective Agency that Tommy and Tuppence have taken over.  

Something that I particularly liked was the fact that this pair were not perfect and in fact made some quite wrong assumptions at times.

Albert is back in this book as well adding an extra bit of humour to the delicious atmosphere of the Tommy & Tuppence relationship

I adored the book and sat up late at night saying

 "just one more story and then I'll go to sleep" 

but that wasn't true at all, I just kept reading on.  

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

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


Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 121

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 121 

This is one of the Psalms of Ascent

This Psalm falls into three parts:

V. 1-2

V. 3-4
God's deeds towards us
God's character for our benefit

V. 5-8
Reassurance & examples of all that God is doing for us

Question & Answer.
I believe that the Psalmist is looking up in awe and wonder because He knows the greatness of God.

The question is not a pleading or desperate one it is one that he already knows the answer to and finds comfort from it.  There is the feeling of the Psalmist resting content in his knowledge that God is in control of everything.

We must recognize the greatness of God

God's Deeds & Character.
Even though God is the great creator of all things He cares about us so much that He is always looking after us.  Continually aware of what help we need and not slacking on the job but ever awake and alert.

The Psalmist uses repetition here to stress just how important it is for us to know that God is always awake.  He doesn't nod off, doesn't take a siesta, doesn't take a cat nap.  He doesn't even let his eyes droop on us.
I have previously written about how encouraging that is for us in Forty Winks

Reassurance & Examples.
Again just to make sure we have taken in the awe and wonder that the Psalmist has of our great God; he gives us examples of what God does and we are left with complete reassurance that YES everything we need will come from God.

Oh how important it is that we see the greatness of God 


the One who is in control

but also that 

He cares so much for us 


He is constantly looking after us.


Christian Songs for Kids - I Believe the Bible

Do you find it hard to get visuals and recordings for different kids songs?

I have always found this a problem so I am now sharing songs that I have used with children providing you with 

Powerpoint or Picture 
or details of how you can make one 

Chords also available

mp3 or video to learn the song 

Then if you would like to download the visual of the song there will be a link provided to my creation, or I will direct you to where else you can find it.   

This month I am taking the theme of

 The Bible

I thoroughly believe we should teach and encourage children to get familiar with the Bible learning to trust God's word 
and to believe in what the Bible tells us about God and Jesus.

The song I have chosen is 

 I Believe the Bible

This is a song that I got to know through Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) when we had a Good News Club in our home before we even had any children ourselves.

It is such a repetitive song so very easy for the children to learn.

The song is full of the basic fundamental things we believe as Christians and should be teaching our children from an early age:

The Bible
Salvation for sins
Christ's Return 


My visual is very old but still in good condition because I laminated it and took good care of it over the many many years of use in Kids' clubs and Sunday School etc.

This is a picture of the front of the 5 cards (1 card for each verse)

and here you see the words on the back of each card for the continuation of each verse.

The cards are A4 size and using this type of visual gives me the opportunity to involve 5 children in holding up the cards and turning them around at the appropriate time in each verse.

Where to Buy the Visual:

This version of the visual for the song is no longer available but a newer version can be found HERE at the US CEF Website, unfortunately no version is shown for sale on the UK Website.

Below is a screenshot of the new visual which is more modern and colourful than the original.  

These songs are good value for money and extremely good if you are like me and use them for years in many different places so I would recommend buying from CEF.

 I am not compensated in any way for writing this blogpost it is purely based on my own thoughts and experience so buying from CEF will not benefit me.

NOTE:   The older version has 5 verses but the newer one has more so the words of the new song are slightly different but the tune is the same.



I Believe the Bible
I Believe the Bible
I Believe the Bible
It's the Word of God

I Believe in Jesus
I Believe in Jesus
I Believe in Jesus
He's the Son of God

Jesus died for sinners
Jesus died for sinners
Jesus died for sinners
Jesus died for me

Jesus Christ is risen
Jesus Christ is risen
Jesus Christ is risen
He arose for me

Jesus Christ is coming
Jesus Christ is coming
Jesus Christ is coming
In the clouds for me

To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano 


We usually clap through this one.


This is the CEF YouTube recording for the song

The author of the song is Hubert Mitchell and copyright is held by CEF.

I Hope you enjoy the song and this is a help to you.

Free Printables - Songs for kids - I believe the Bible


Invisible Reins - A Dose of Encouragement

One time a few years ago while a group of us were praying for a friend I had this impression of how she was being held back, constrained, as if a set of reins were attached to her back and being pulled quite taut.

Something was keeping this lady from having the full enjoyment available in her Christian life.  She was being restricted from advancing because of some tie.

The restriction I was sure was coming from some incident in her past, something that was keeping a restraint on all she was to experience in God.  I also felt that she wasn't aware of this but it actually was something she was allowing to hold on to her when God had forgiven her and all she had to do was to forgive herself.

There are many things in our past that can still affect us even when we believe we have left them behind.  

When we moved to live in America for three years everyone would have thought that things from the past in a different country could not have gone with me and been a hindrance, but they did.  

In fact one of the reasons God moved us was to help me be free of a person from the past that always wanted to rein me in and curb anything that I felt God was doing in my spiritual life.

However moving thousands of miles does not offer the solution in itself.  

I still had to come to the point where I put certain things behind me and only then could I open myself to let God make a real change in me.

In America I was seen in a different light from the way people (who had known me most of my life) had viewed me.

I was freer to step out and do as God was leading me which meant a change in me.

Yet there still remained the feelings of hurt and restraint that I had from before.

But God is gracious and during that period away from the previous environment I had time to develop without the distractions and restraints.

We need to fly free from all restraints

Also things changed back at home as well so that on our return to Northern Ireland I was not thrust back into the exact same setting as before to suddenly have that same pull put on me.

No matter what stage of life we are in or where we are God can provide us with the circumstances and setting we need to help us move on in Him.

The important thing is to move on with God

In my case He used a move to a different country but in other cases He will use the right thing at the right time to work in any of our lives - we just need to be ready to let Him remove those reins and be freer for His use.

The devil will always love to see us tied up and bound by anything at all so that we are not free to be used properly for God's glory but God is always in control of each situation and we need to keep in step with Him and allow Him to work in us.



Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 37

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 37

Many of the verses in this Psalm exhort us to do something and then we will see God work in us or around us.

V. 3
Trust in the Lord
We will dwell safely

V. 4
Take delight in God
We will gain the desires of our heart

V. 5-6
Commit our ways to God
He will act on our behalf

V. 7-11
Be still and wait patiently on God
The wicked will be cut off and we will possess the Land

V. 16-17
Be righteous
God will uphold us

V. 23-24
Walk in the steps that delight the Lord
He will establish us

V. 27-29 &  32-33
Depart from evil and do good
We will abide forever because God will not forsake His saints

It is important that we know how God desires that we live our lives

V. 30
Speak as a righteous person
God will give us the wisdom to be just

V. 31
Keep the law of God in our hearts
Our steps will not slip

V. 34
Wait on the Lord and keep to His Way
He will exalt us to possess the Land

V. 37
Be a person of peace
God will prosper us

V. 40
Take refuge in God
He will help, deliver and save us

It is important we know how God desires to work in our lives


it is more important 

that we know how God desires that we live our lives.


A Fountain Display - A Dose of Encouragement

20 years ago our family went to a Fountain and Fireworks display one night in Pennsylvania and just oohed and aahed in amazement as the water gushed up in time to the music and the fireworks and special lights sent colours through the spray.

Everyone gazed fixedly at the fountains and fireworks and none of us wanted to take our eyes off them for a minute because of the beauty we beheld.

I have always been attracted to fountains and have previously written in this blog about some Unusual Fountains and also about my favourite one in Belgium, the Tervuren Fountain  but I have never forgotten that lovely night and the beauty of God's creation of water with man's creation of music.

Have you ever seen lots of little fountains in your church?  

No I'm not mad and seeing water spouting all over our church; but one Sunday during some quiet worship time I did have a picture in my mind of tall narrow fountains scattered around our congregation.  

They were in the place of various people and I felt God was telling me that there were people in our church who were like His fountains. 

So what is a fountain?  

Well it contains water, it moves water around and it spurts water up in the air. 

Fountains are always a centre of attraction and are considered to be beautiful features.

They give a sense of excitement as the water wells up and the feeling of continual renewing as the water is caught up time and time again.

Can we be like fountains? 

As Christians we have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus and have received His righteousness.

We have the Holy Spirit in our lives stirring us up to share God's love . 

We are the showcase of the beauty and grace of God's love to the world.

God wants us to be excited by our Salvation so that we cannot help but testify of this to others.

We can be renewed by the Spirit daily. 

Are you like a fountain?

Yes - We can be like fountains.  

The difference between us and the fountain display we watched all those years ago 
is that through us people should be led to 
ooh and aah 
not at us
at the true fountain of life
our Saviour Jesus Christ
at the beauty of the Gospel 

We should lead others to ooh and aah at the true beauty

Titus 3: 3-7

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, 
serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, 
and hating one another.   
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.