It does matter, in God’s House,

Three Church leaders chatted about the behaviour of children at the last session of a craft/ family meeting.
Some of the Children had been noisy and more inclined to run about the large hall then to do crafts etc.
Last month, it was pointed out the noise, running around running etc had been even worse, far worse because that had been in the actual Church not the Church Hall.
The Supervisory Leader retorted that Church was God’s House and that children had to be made welcome… Full stop.
Another leader declared angrily that parents should keep their children under control, and pay more attention to what their child, in some cases, children were doing, and less to mobile phones!

I simply ventured to say that on this occasion, some of the activity had been a little “old for some of the children, and maybe today, they had been a little bored.”

That last statement had been true, and seemed to calm the three friends down. But I went away feeling a little saddened by some of the things I had heard especially concerning the meeting in the Church. Nowadays, many ‘ unchurched (that’s the name I have heard given to visitors who come in for weddings, christeningsjust do not have a sense of where they are, and all too sadly what the service is all about. If this is true of adults it is most certainly true of children. My church is a warm hearted, welcoming church … All are welcome … full stop. Yet I have an aching sadness and a longing for, My Father’s House of Prayer.
I rarely quarrel, I try very hard not too at times, yet it stayed with me that that in order to be a welcoming place, The House of Prayer has to sacrifice its character and those who seek a quiet place to bring troubled hearts, to pray … and to actually hear the word of God, just have to accept the changes in the world.
Then, the word of the Lord which came this morning on waking… the word from His Perspective..
“It does matter to Me. How can I bless little ones if they are not bought to me? Did I ever turn children away when they were bought to me? Did I ever refuse to bless them. I have not changed. But the times and manners of people have. Surely, you know this. Not everyone who enters a church, comes to me, but how I will bless the ones who bring little ones and teach them to listen for my voice, how can I lay my hand on a child who won’t keep still”
Yes, Church is God’s House of Prayer, consecrated that my Presence might rest there, surely it is right for my people, who call themselves my people, to speak to parents that they should pay attention to the manners and behaviour of their children. I teach that Mother and Father should be honoured and also that a Mother and Father should admonish their children and grandchildren to honour me. How can I bless if I am not heard?“

As for those who ache with sadness, ‘Have they not read, that I, also was eaten up with zeal for my Father‘s House, did I not say, it should be called a House of Prayer?”
“I ask again, how can I bless if little ones are not bought to me?” How can my hand touch and bless, how can I be heard, if my children are not still? And who will ask my questions for Me. ”
The cross and flowers were part of Easter display in Church.

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Where are you? What are you doing?

Sit a child down at a kitchen table with paints, brush and water jar, ask them to paint you a picture and with great delight they will do. Ask them to paint anything and they will, anything at all. Perhaps not with any great skill at all, after all we are not all going to become Picasso’s, or Rembrandts, but paint a picture they will and present it to you with great joy.

So, what holds us back from being a witness of the things we have seen and heard, from being a “witness to the word of God, and to the witness of Jesus Christ (Revn. 1:2. NJB); bearing in mind that we have the Lord’s promise ‘ I am with you always, yes, to the end of time.’

This morning my waking dreams were colourful, of fragmented shards, pieces of stained glass waiting assembly into a window, pieces of jig-saw puzzle waiting to be sorted and placed into the picture. If I were a child, I would not be so anxious that they were all in exactly the right place, I would just make a start, but as a 7 x 7 years, and then a bit adult, I need the picture on the box lid, I need an art/craft class.


Lately, the Lord has been asking me a question:

‘Where are you?’

In my home, sitting by the fire, in the garden, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, in church, around the shops,

‘Where are you’

Sometimes, The Lord asks,

“What are you doing now?”

I must admit, I have answered, at times, ‘Lord you know all things, you know where I am and what I am doing’ and then I will say, ‘I am with you, Lord’

That is the answer, the Lord has been looking for.

Sometimes, when feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, I have cried out to Him that I felt like Jonah swallowed up by the whale, and have felt His smile plumbing the depths to reach me. It is then that I have realised that my grown up self was running away from some simple errand that a child would just have taken on board as an adventure with Daddy.


Every child has heard the story of Jonah.

God said to Jonah, “Up! Go to Nineveh…”

And Jonah ‘set about running from Yahweh’

Finally Jonah prayed, and ‘Yahweh spoke to the fish, which vomited Jonah onto the dry land’

Jonah’s story does not end there, nor even with the repentance of Nineveh, chapter 4 of the book tells us he was very indignant with the Lord, telling his Father to take away his life because his Father had not destroyed that great city of Nineveh as threatened because the King and people had repented. He then sat down just outside the city, after making himself a shelter for shade to see what would happen to it. We are told that Yahweh God ordained that a castor-oil plant should grow up to give him shade and soothe his ill humour, Jonah was delighted with that, but at dawn the next day, God ordained that a worm should attack the caster-oil plant … and it withered. So next day, the scorching east wind and hot sun beat down on Jonah’s head so hard that he begged for death, ‘I might as well be dead as go on living’

Now, isn’t that the childish tantrum to beat all tantrums!

But, hear our Father’s answer,

You are concerned for the castor-oil plant which has not cost you any effort and which you did not grow, which came up in a night and has perished in a night. So why should I not be concerned for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, to say nothing of all the animals?’

Our Father did not fore sake Jonah, He prepared the great fish to rescue him, The word of the Lord which Jonah carried to Nineveh did not fail, it bought salvation to those who Jonah could not see the completed picture … our Father gave him shade from the fierce heat … still Jonah could not see that Lord was with him.

Every time, You ask, ‘Where are you?’

Every time You ask, ‘What are you doing, now?’

Father give me grace to say,

‘I am with the Lord, who is always with me, may I always do as you desire’

Amen.

Then I looked and saw:

An artist’s brush dipped into a water jar, colouring the clean, clear water with pigment. In my seeing the pigment was crimson red.

I am still thinking and waiting for more insight about that.

If you have any thoughts, please don’t hesitate to comment,

I am currently using the New Jerusalem Bible and all scripture references are from there. The photos are my own. I am very much a child when it comes to photography. Many blessings to all who read this post.

And Give Me…. Sense, and Knowledge, Lord

Easter lasts 7 weeks, for 7 weeks the Altar frontals and hangings are white, and the Readings tell us more about the Resurrection appearances, tells us more about Our Risen Lord and Teacher preparing the seedling church for the great Day of Pentecost. Just as it takes time for a seed to germinate and put out its green, so it takes time with all spiritual growth.

Sometimes the Heavenly Gardener sows fresh seed into our hearts, carefully preparing the soil first, removing old planting, yes, it maybe that He received a good return on the first, second or even third planting, but He has a new work for us to do, now. Something, the Holy Spirit is nudging us, moving us forward to do, something new, but we are just not sure what.

At times like these we need the Teacher’s time, His personal attention so we ought to devote more time to seeking His attention in prayer, waiting. Listening for His answer.

Perhaps we might use the following prayer

Most High glorious God,

Enlighten the darkness of my heart

And give me true faith, certain hope,

And perfect charity, sense and knowledge, Lord

That I may carry out

Your holy and true command

St Francis prayed this prayer, kneeling before the crucifix in the little Church of San Damiano. It was around 1205/6 early days in his Christian calling and Francis knew God was asking him to do something, but what? In the stillness of that place Francis heard Jesus, our Teacher saying, “Francis, go and repair my house, which is falling into ruins” Francis did just that, gathering stones, begging materials as he went to repair the little church. Now we can see, what Francis could not see, Jesus meant THE CHURCH.

From time to time, the Church, and all of us do need repairing, restoration and renewal takes time… whether in the greater body of believers or just in me or you) and it takes time, from the first seed, the first whisper of the Spirit for the full sense of God’s Holy Spirit, His Holy and true command to come to flourish in our hearts and in what we carry out with our hands and feet in the world.

All of us need to be prepared, to take time, and allow ourself to be set aside, to find each for his/herself what the Teacher wants us to do….next.

To ask for light to see the way as it is pointed out,

for true faith, in the One who is speaking to us,

hope which nothing can shake,

love which will still be love for all, no matter what the enemy of our soul throws at us,

sense … nothing stands us in better stead in undertaking a new work of faith then sense. Sense such as Francis had, when hearing ‘Go and repair’ he immediately began to do so with his own hands and little else. All new ventures all have to begin, so let us begin and have faith that God will complete His work in us.

And yes we need knowledge, whether it be knowledge gleaned from the Scriptures or a Word of Knowledge to help us on our way, God will provide it. For our part we need to wait and ask in prayer…. The Teacher will show us what comes next.

(The Prayer is commonly called ‘The Prayer Before the Crucifix’)

Jesus believed

My Church has a very large churchyard, this week hundreds will visit with flowers for the graves of loved ones.

The bottom line is Eternal Life is not found in the Churchyard. It is given from above.

Jesus who died is the one who rose again , He shared the life we now live so that we might share the life He lives now and for eternity.

He knew, whilst wearing our earthly dress what it is to be tested, He stood in the place where we stand now,yet without sin. He knew what it was to cry to His Father with tears.

Jesus believed!

So should we.

“Lord help our unbelief. Father we hold our arms to you. Receive us, Lord of all grace, within your embrace”

Encourage one another

This is the poster I have in my prayer corner.

I chose it because I love the tiny hummingbird sipping up the sweetness of the flower. It intrigues me that he can virtually stand still in the air whilst his wings move at incredible speeds. To me, the hummingbird is doing the same as a prayerful soul drinking in God’s sweetness, totally at rest, yet moving, nevertheless, in the spirit at an incredible pace.

Perhaps you have other thoughts about that, I would love you to share them. There are so many things my WordPress friends can teach me.

Let us keep firm in the hope that we profess, because the one who made the promise is trustworthy. Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. Do not absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do, but encourage each other; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.’ (Hebrews 10:23-25 NJB)

The whole of Hebrews 10 is, like the flower in the poster, full of sweetness, I am encouraging myself to study it more deeply, I certainly do know that we can trust the one who made the promise; the verses encourage me to persevere in my prayers for my friends and church family. It is important to pray for each other to stir up that response in love and good works, the days are here when many Christians are falling away from their first love and commitment to Christ and to each other.

It is so good. So sweet to know God in our quiet corners, and in the sacred place of our hearts, but we all share the one calling, to belong to the One Body, to share in the One Bread. At times, it is so very much easier to pray apart from others, but we must never forget, Jesus prayed:

“May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me, I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be one as we are one. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in unity that the world will recognise that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me.” (John 17 21-23)

This is the prayer of Jesus for the Apostles and for us. May we all say Amen and encourage one another to meet together for prayer, for worship and the Breaking of the Bread and as Holy Week approaches honour the One who died for us if there are any quarrels or grievances amongst us to forgive one another and not allow anything to keep us apart from each other for we cannot be separated by anything in heaven or on earth from the Love of God in Christ Jesus.


Psalm 133: Behold how good and pleasant it is to dwell together in unity… for there the Lord has promised his blessing; even life for evermore.

Never too tired

So, so, so tired.

Too tired to think but not too tired to say thank you Lord for my work and play. May God be blessed through Jesus for all the many blessings of this life and the dawning of the next in the hearts of all who love Him.

Who shall stand?

Coming across this picture, I asked, ‘What is the little boy talking to you about Lord?’

I always seem to be asking the Lord questions, I treasure the answers, given and hold them close, pondering them often, as Mary would have kept her son’s questions and answers

I think Our Lord does the same with our questions and answers, holding them close, waiting the right time to answer.

Jesus Christ is still teaching, He is still the same, yesterday, today for ever.

When our yesterday’s are many, we have many treasures folded up in our memory, wrapped up in love, it is so wonderful to me, that Jesus sometimes surprises me by unwrapping my little treasure with me.

This time, He answered my question directly with just one word.

“Smoke”

“Smoke?”


Once again, I was a child, concerned that my room seemed to be filled with “smoke” that was how I named it. Fragrant smoke…. and I had felt dizzy.

“When “smoke” fills God’s House, no one can stand.” The Lord had said, “When many prayers are offered on the Altar ~ there is much smoke”

So now I remembered.


Incense is not offered in my Church, our services are simple, our church building is simple and has seen better days, it is in need of loving renewal, during its lifetime many prayers have been made, many answered, yet it is so unlike the the House which Solomon built:

“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; and His mercy endureth for ever: that then the House was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”

Many prayers much Smoke.

Trumpeters and singers as one, to make one sound.

I cannot imagine what such a little boy, might have thought when visiting Herod’s temple for the first time.

He doesn’t look old enough to have made his first Passover Journey up to Jerusalem, probably he would have been overwhelmed, and needed his father’s arms to keep him on his feet and from being crushed. I can imagine that and a few precious moments with Jesus the teacher gladly answering his questions and asking questions of his own. I catch a drift of conversation;

So I may not do this next year, even when I am ten?”

No. You may not do this when you are ten.”

The dreams and aspirations of children today are millions of light years away, to those of such little boys then. …

I can catch in my spirit’s ear, little boy Jesus asking Joseph the same question, “So I may not, even when I am ten?”

You may not do this when you are ten.”

What I don’t hear is a stroppy murmur in reply.

I recall that Jesus was obedient to his parents in all things, and grew in wisdom and grace, and I recall that on His last visit to Jerusalem that as one, the people proclaimed “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord”

He made that last journey, in obedience to our Heavenly Father to offer the one, complete sacrifice for our sins, unlike the priests on that great day in Solomon’s Day, Jesus stands when the Heavenly Temple is filled with smoke.

Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; And being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him; called of God an High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 5. 13-14, Hebrews 5. 8-10 KJV