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

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Absorbeat

May the power of your love, Lord Christ,

Fiery and sweet as honey,

So absorb our hearts

As to withdraw them from all that is under heaven.

Grant that we may be ready

To die for love of your love,

As you died for love of our love. Amen

Lent is late arriving this year, so by the time Easter arrives there will be no daffodils to adorn the church window sills, and the crocus which reminds me of the purple Lenten Frontals will soon have tucked itself out of sight until next spring.

Our old churchyard is decked out with crocus, daffodils, snowdrops right now, but the Bluebells are heads up, and the dark green shoots of wild garlic can be scented right now, although their buds cannot be seen just yet. I guess that by Easter the Eastern side of the churchyard will be a blue and white carpet, Bluebells and Garlic intermingling beneath the trees.


There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under the heaven’

Sitting at a craft table, painting small stones with the mums of the youngsters who were happily riding toy cars up and down the length of our Church Hall, I was asked,

“What are you giving up for Lent?”

Without waiting for a reply, my questioner, told me she was giving up chocolate. Hardly original, but then, most people who have no Church background have a vague sort of idea that giving up chocolate for Lent is what is done in Lent, and indeed, what Lent is all about. I tried to explain a little of what Lent was, and she was astonished to learn that pancakes on Pancake day were a tradition from early times to use up eggs and fat, etc. Soon three or four were chattering away, genuinely surprised that there was so much more than chocolate involved, and so much more to this mysterious Lent, than they had heard about.

“You know, I love just sitting still and being creative like this. I loved being away from home with my husband last weekend. We don’t get to see each other, and talk together that much, it’s all work, we work different times; and it’s all mobile phones and stuff that takes up all your time before you know it, you only intend to spend ten minutes on Facebook and next thing you know, a couple of hours have gone…” the first Mum said, then another joined in with a similar observation, life is too full, to busy, to chaotic and frantic. Where could God possibly get a word in edgeways, where was there time?

I wonder what Saint Francis, would make of chocolate, mobile phones, and Facebook and how would he explain Lent and Easter in days such as these?

How do we persuade people to pick up a Bible, let alone a prayer book? How do we even begin prayer conversations, when there is just no time?

“I need your tongue” Jesus once said to me.

My tongue, your tongue may be just what the Lord needs to get a word in edgeways,

And one thing more. The Lord Jesus needs our love, that His love working through us, speaking louder than words, may invite young and old, men and women, poor and rich, simple and wise to sit down in His shade, to come to His table and taste the Bread of Life. Come, taste and see how good the Lord is.

It is not so much what we give up for Lent but what we take up. All are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: He needs many to deliver the invitations.

Lent is not a time for keeping silence.

Lent is a time for speaking.

Lent is a time for both sowing and reaping, Jesus says,

Well, I tell you, look around you, look at the fields; already they are white,ready for harvest! Already the reaper is being paid his wages, already he is bringing in the grain for eternal life, so that sower and reaper can rejoice together.”

Whatever you give up or take up this Lent, I pray that you also will know the power of His love, fiery and sweeter than honey. Amen.

Absorbeat is a prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi .(c. 1181=1226)

Scriptures; Ecclesiastes chapter 3, John 4. 35,36

I used New Jerusalem Bible

A little lighter

When a child, we waited for the lamp lighter to come and light the gas street lamp. It was very dark down our lane, the houses pre-dated Queen Victoria and electricity didn’t arrive to the street lamps until the late 1950s-1960s.

It took time for one man to get all the lamps lit, so the fortunate ones had their lamps shining before the Sun finally said good night to us, and some found that the night fell too soon and darkness overtook them.

The street lamps meant older children could carry on playing after school games in the safety of the pool of light cast by the lamp and that grown ups could navigate the narrow entries between the houses safely, often by torchlight even then.

Praise God for light, starlight, sunlight, moonlight. For the security which light gives, for the power of light drawing up sleeping seeds, bulbs, plants into springtime growth, for its warmth: for the fact that light is. Often I look out of my bedroom window and gaze at the rosy colours of dawn, the sun climbing clear of the horizon and whisper, “Look at that, Lord” and I catch the suggestion of a Divine Smile, as the Lord looks with me.


In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters.

And God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’ and darkness He called ‘night’ (Genesis 1. 1-5)


Without light the world could not be.

Without Jesus, the Word of God, the world could not be.


In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning, Through Him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through Him. What has come into being in Him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it. (John 1. 1-5)


My birthday has come and gone; the house where I was born, is gone, the lanes and fields swallowed by housing estates, the sky larks, owls have moved out long ago: one thing remains the same yet more wonderful and becoming more wonderful, and sweeter, moment by moment, the Friendship of God. God, who created all things who stoops and asks for the love of a child.

What a wonderful world

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

Songwriters: George Weiss / Robert Thiele

Listen to what our friend Jesus says,

I am the light of the world;

Anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the light of life.”

(John 8.12)

There are so many things I will never know, but this I do know the friendship and light of life which God has given in our Lord Jesus Christ and the soft beat of the Dove’s wings as she broods over sparkling, water, clear as crystal.

With God every day is Springtime

The days lengthen and winter must give way to spring.

My 70th Birthday was celebrated quietly on the 31st January, but born in the very closing moments of the last day, I could easily have been February’s child. I have enjoyed 70 years living in this beautiful world, blessed every moment, even the sad, and fearful times I have known my Father’s love, and the love of many. Oh yes there have been quarrelsome times, and hard times, but I have been loved, known and blessed, proving that ‘all things do indeed work together for good for those who love God and strangely that life is just beginning!

Did you not know? Had you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, He created the remotest parts of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, His understanding is beyond fathoming.

He gives strength to the weary, He strengthens the powerless. Youths grow tired and weary, the young stumble and fall, but those who hope in Yahweh will regain their strength, they will sprout wings like eagles, though they run, they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire.

Isaiah 40. 28-31


At Cana’s wedding feast, the steward calls the bridegroom, and comments, “Everyone serves good wine first and the worse wine when the guests are well wined; but you have kept the best wine till now” ~ and this truly is how I feel, I cannot imagine living a life without the ‘wine of my soul’ ~ without the honey ~ without the sweetness ~ without the Bread of Life, broken fresh for me every day. I pray that your water sparkles ruby red, as the Saviour shares your own daily feast of joy with Him.


An Everyday Prayer

Lord, in all I do today,

Remind me that there’s just one way to do things that I do best,

To put my mind and heart at rest, and that’s to put in Your great hands, my life, that you alone have planned

And when I feel restless,

Lord, teach me to sit quietly at your feet and learn from You. Like Martha, Lord I often become so obsessed with what You would have me do that I forget You care more about what I am to be…

Help me to remember the most important thing I can do is to be Your child… (B.J.Hoff)

Scriptures from N.J.B

With love and blessings.

Child and Steward

What does a little child see when visiting heaven?

Well, a little child, not daring to look around, keeping eyes directed downwards to the dazzling floor and the Steward Angel’s feet, was shown into His Royal Majesty’s dining room. Sensing His Royal Majesty’s presence and feeling very overwhelmed she was shown a large table and the gold and silver vessels were, well, in a state of disarray, some were fallen, sprawled drunkenly and some looked like they needed a good polish, while others were, the child thought in need of repair.

Normally children are very outspoken, but, this was heaven and this was our Sovereign Lord’s Dining Room and table; besides The Angel had seen the little mouth forming a large, big round ‘O’ that was going to be followed by ‘ What a mess!’ … and was shaking his head.

His Majesty knows all our words before we speak them, and our thoughts, well, even a little child knows that He knows those better than we do.

It is rather a mess. I thought you would like to sort it out, put things in order.”

Now, when our Heavenly Lord speaks to you like that what do you say?

“Oh dear Lord, I can’t” .. the child said.

“I’ve never been taught how. I am sure i would only make it worse”

Just watch my Steward very closely, and listen very carefully. Be sure to do everything he tells you”


Each one of you has received a special grace, so like good stewards responsible for all these varied graces of God, put it at the service of others. If anyone is a speaker, let it be as the words of God: so that in everything God may receive the glory, through Jesus Christ, since to Him alone belong all glory and power for ever and ever Amen

(1 Peter 4. 10-11)


Often things shown in heaven mirror things on earth. In this case, I think of the messy, disordered state of some fellowships, the upsets caused by some who think more highly of themselves than they should; especially those who know they have talents and gifts and are overcome by an almost frantic desire to show them off, rather than use them in service of others and under the direction of the Holy Spirit. And, what about the Table Manners of those who are still living with both feet firmly planted in the world? The quarrels, angry voices and sometimes downright foolishness of some all need correction by a wise and gentle Steward. If other than wise, if other than gentle .. matters only get worse. Children need gentle nurture, kindly admonishment to bring them on.

I post this in gratitude for all who have taught me with quiet, kindness and love, all those who speak softly, patiently as our loving Father in heaven does. And with thanks for the lovely, gentle teaching of the writers of the New Testament letters.

Scripture from NJB

The story from things shown to me, a beginner in the Kingdom of God

Your Comments and thoughts are welcomed and always appreciated

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Well these days names are not what they were; during a year many babies, young people, sometimes an adult, but the latter are rare, are bought to my church to be baptised, and very strange names seem to be given, often the same name is given to two or three children in the Same service (we baptise up to as many as five children at a time), the same name but spelt differently. Pasted on the inside of the ancient wardrobe door in the Clergy Vestry, is an extremely old, yellowing paper listing names suitable for ‘ Christening’ babies – boys on the left, girls on the right. There are very few names on that list; and very few of them are used nowadays.

I have two Christian names, incredibly both are forms of the Hebrew, John. I doubt very much that my father realised that when he registered my birth, but I also have a nickname, one given through the Holy Spirit. Which I have been told is a suitable sobriquet, (a rather posh name word, for a person’s nickname.)

And my nickname?

Pe

I questioned the Lord Jesus about this, and He answered because, I was small, fresh and green like a “pay” … “pay” is how Black Country people pronounce pea.. not me, a kindly Head Teacher in my Junior School Days, carefully and slowly taught me better ways. Teachers are very important in our lives, in my latter school days I won awards for public speaking. But what did Jesus mean by small, fresh and green.

Well small of stature I certainly am at 5ft, and by fresh and green, I think He meant not worldly wise and far too trusting.

And then I discovered Pe in Psalm 119. 129~136

Wonderful are your instructions,

So I observe them.

As your word unfolds it gives light,

And even the simple understand.

I open wide my mouth,

Panting eagerly for your commandments.

Turn to me; pity me;

Those who love your name deserve it.

Keep my steps firm in your promise;

That no evil may triumph over me.

Rescue me from human oppression,

And I will observe your precepts.

Let your face shine on your servant,

Teach me your will.

My eyes stream with tears

Because your Law is disregarded.

I use this as a prayer sometimes. I marvel, (and smile, marvel is the name of a variety of pea) that all those years ago before I learnt how to Pronounce the Hebrew letter as at the top of this post, I became the Lord’s little pay

Posted in love for Jesus my Teacher and yours, who still ‘walks and talks with us’ today with a prayer that He keep my steps and your steps firm in the Father’s promise. Blessings.

Scriptures from NJB

You must keep steady all the time

St Paul in the evening of his life, sent words of encouragement to the younger Timothy;

You must keep steady all the time’

At the start of another year, I am taking that advice with me through the year that is now and although I can look back and remember times of sadness and disappointment, I don’t look forward to retirement from His Majesty’s Service yet.

It is my witness that God provides for all my needs in Christ Jesus, all my needs in all ways and I do know the abundance of eternal life now … it is not pie in the sky when I die, but the True Bread from Heaven now… the Joy of God’s table every day.

My dear friends, we are already God’s children,

But what we shall be in the future has not yet been revealed.

We are well aware that when he appears

We shall be like Him

Because we shall see Him as He really is’

2 Tim 4:5

1 John 3:2

All scriptures NJB

The sign was a Christmas Gift from my newphew.