Good News/ Bad News

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NewspaperWe all love good news… we love the excitement and the joy an engagement, a birth or a surprise brings us. We love the relief of a happy announcement or the all clear from the Dr…. we are happy to give thank s and praise when the sun is shining and the weather is favourable.

God is good, and we are happy to say so!

But what happens when the news is not so good? When the pronouncement is sad or disappointing?

How do we feel and react when we get a poor report or we are left feeling shocked and uncertain?

Well… God is still good!!

His promises change not!

His Love endures forever!

His Mercy is new every morning!

His Grace is abundant!

Maybe the “not so good news” is an opportunity to tap into His Abundance and Presence.

Our faith is more than the fair weather sort… Our faith can find its hope, its rest and its future in Christ alone.

Tough days? Great God!

My prayer today is that instead of being brought low by bad news, we rise to the love of God and find our peace our joy and our strength in Him!

Somebody shout Amen and Hallelujah!!!

Finding my place

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clematisI’ve been really enjoying my garden this year… I’ve had a lot more “oomph” to work in it and make it look good and produce good stuff!

Lovely to see the vegetables growing strong and healthy and I’m enjoying the shrubs and climbers that are looking very happy!

I was admiring my clematis earlier in the week… it took a few years before it felt “at home”, and earlier this year it was damaged by a couple of dogs digging around it! As I was looking athe beautiful flowers I was aware of a couple of Chaffinches creating a fuss on some of the trees and seats around the patio… I stood back and watched what was going on… and discovered, there was a wee nest in the clematis and the parents were anxious to get me out of the way so they could feed their chicks!

What a treat… so close to my windows I could see the coming and going from my living room!
Then I wandered round the house and discovered sparrows flying in and out of 3 of the 4 corners of the house!

Obviously the birds enjoy my home and have made it theirs.

I was reminded of the Scripture Psalm 84:1-4 

What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies!
I’ve always longed to live in a place like this,
Always dreamed of a room in your house,
where I could sing for joy to God-alive!

3-4 Birds find nooks and crannies in your house,
sparrows and swallows make nests there.
They lay their eggs and raise their young,
singing their songs in the place where we worship.
God-of-the-Angel-Armies! King! God!
How blessed they are to live and sing there!

I was reminded how precious it is to find your place, to be near the heart of God and to dwell in His presence, in safety and security.

I thank God for His lesson to me from my own back door!

 

Generosity 2… Pay it Forward!

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generosity 2You reap what you sow!

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Principles from Scripture… worked out in daily life.

What goes around comes around!

Pay it forward!

God’s principles are in operation, whether we believe them or not, but I’ve discovered that when you harness the principles of God with faith in His provision and goodness… then amazing things can happen.

Because our trust is then focussed on Him, and not on the “stuff”, not on the money, or the time, or the effort… but on the fact that He is faithful to His Word, and that He loves His children.

Some people say – you give, because you have, but I say we have because we give… it took risks – many times, but God has always proved faithful and generous… It’s His nature !

We will never really know the provision of God our Loving Father, our Provider and Generous Giver, until we begin to trust Him enough to give of ourselves, our love, our lives and our resources to Him… which is most  often worked out as we give to those around about us, often through our local church.

We will never really know the rich blessings of God in our lives until we begin to be a blessing to others.

Nice thought?… even better when we live it and see it!

What’s in a Name?

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poppiesYesterday, Mark and I had some hours off work…. We drove around the countryside and went to a garden centre, then had a lovely meal in the evening. It was such a beautiful time; we saw rabbits and deer, hawks, voles; myriads of trees in their fresh spring dresses and pretty, wild flowers that were  too numerous to count.

I love trying to remember what they are called… the rabbit and deer are fairly easy!, but the trees and flowers I manage maybe half of their names… elm, oak, birch, larch horse chestnut, hawthorn, blackthorn, willow, laburnum, lilac … and many more! Wild garlic and daisies, dandelion and cowslip, bluebell and campion… so many!  And so many more that I have no idea of!

I was pondering over these amazing natural things… so commonplace really, but all have a name!

The stars and planets are named! The beetles and bugs are named!

Animals are named, flowers are named, trees and grasses are named, bacteria and tiny unseen things … all have names!  Amazing!… some of these named things are only known by a few specialists, some are known to us all.

I was awed by the vastness of the naming of things and to think that babies when they are born, in most countries, need to be registered and named within a few days of being born.

They need to be known!

God says of me “I have called you by name – you are mine”! Isaiah 41 v1

“Before you were born – I knew you!” Psalm 139 v 16

AWESOME! God knows my name … of all the named things in the world… HE knows my name!

.. and He loves me… despite my failings!… Amazing Love! Amazing Grace!

Amazing God 🙂

 

Generosity!

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plant in handsSomehow we tend to think that generosity is all about money … sometimes it is, but mostly it’s about our life and our way of living..

Proverbs 11: 24-25:

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped

We can be generous or stingy in our time, our attitudes our concern for others etc.

I think if we hold a generous heart toward others, then whether it is talk, thoughts, time or appreciation … we purpose to live a generous life … the principle of being generous is that a generous person’s life is large and effective, but a person who hold back in appreciation, kindness and love has a pinched life … a life that is nit-picking, critical and narrow .

Oh how wonderful it is when we believe the best of another. When our talk of them is generous and kind.

What is the point of being stingy in our praise and appreciation of another? Each one is a valuable person… problems, issues “warts an’ all”!

As we begin to be generous in our watering kindness on another’s life – our world grows bigger and we are blessed.

My prayer this week is that we would be the instigators of generosity toward others – instead of waiting for others to be generous to us!

Blue days

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SONY DSCToday is a tough day… I hardly dare admit it , but I feel very lonely today… I do occasionally… I miss being able to bustle around and go wherever and whenever I can. I miss being involved in the daily running of Kings, of school… although it’s the people and interaction I miss rather than the stuff to do.

I feel sometimes forgotten about – when others are able to just up and go and I struggle to walk to the bottom of the garden.

I don’t want to feel “sorry for myself”… I have so much to be grateful for and so many good things around me. But today – It’s tough!

Do you get like that sometimes?

I can really identify with the psalmist on days like this;

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God.

I will praise him again – my Saviour and my God! (Psalm 42: 5-6)

He goes on to tell himself to recount what God has done for him and the amazingness of God!

Then he ends by saying, “ I will surely hope in Him again”  – and he has turned his sorrowful day into one of joy!

Oh I know it’s not a “quick fix”… but to have a steady assurance that “God comforts the downcast” (2 Corinthians 7:6) and that my lonely days  are days of opportunity to draw near to Him… then my soul can be at peace, my “countenance” can have a smile, and my heart can rejoice that I have a Saviour, A Rock and a Fountain… to make me secure and refreshed!

Maybe today is not so bad after all 🙂

Small Bricks Build Magnificent Houses

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bricksWe don’t have to look very far to see need, distress, and people who need help. We are confronted by injustices , on our TV screens, on a daily basis, and our newspapers are full of reports of disasters and humanitarian causes both in our own nation and in other nations too.

It can be overwhelming at times and easy to shut off from the ugliness we see, albeit knowing we should try to do something, somehow.

As I do, I was pondering the enormity of this, and in my reading the Scriptures today, in the book of Galatians 6: 9-10 “So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.”

It made me see again that sometimes, as we look at the huge needs in our world, and as we try to see where our finances can help, even if its small, we can overlook the need in our home, our family, our local community of friends!

Oh I’m not saying that we should forget the needs afar off, but many times there is a person within our reach that needs our attention!

We have a greater capacity than we know … to be generous and kind. It may not even touch our bank accounts but be the generosity of a kind deed, a visit, and word spoken kindly and with honour.

I encourage you today… within your own world of family and friends and neighbours… don’t grow tired of loving. Don’t wish it was your turn to receive… but today, look for a way to make someone’s day better through thoughtful words, generosity in speech and kindly courtesy!

It may not relieve poverty on a world wide scale… but it may relieve the poverty of someone’s tough time and cause them to see kindness around them that helps them look up and move forward.

Small bricks? Maybe …but many of them build magnificent houses!

Put Up or Love Up?

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I’ve been thinking, again! Pondering over people and relationships… ones that are good, ones that work and those that are having their struggles, as most of us have at times. I remember once, many years ago, reading a magazine in a waiting room, somewhere. It was one of those “problem columns” where someone has posed a problem and the readers are invited to give their answers or perspective on it.

The “problem” was with a lady who had been married for a number of years; she was finding her husband’s ways, snoring and his habits very, very irritating… to the point she was wondering if love was over and should she put up with him any longer?

I have remembered the answer that was given… or at least part of it: a lady wrote Continue reading