Author: whisperingleavesblog

I'm grateful to God for all the blessings of this life but a pilgrim on earth and a stranger. Blessed with many friendships, happy to be a friend to all who are seeking ....

Rainy Day Chickens

I looked and I saw?

Chickens out in the rain, puddles up to the knees, squawking as only very wet, miserable chickens can.

What?

Had they no sense?

Why didn’t they head for their nice cosy hen house?

Puzzled, I reached for trusty waterproof with a hood, someone needed to get those silly hens in, and if it had to be me, it had to be me.

At iiii shhh ooo. At iiii shhh ooo!

That’s when I realised I had flu, just as the hands of Jesus reached down to pick me up and tuck me under his arm.

“No not you. I want you for something else today”


Does this ring true to you? Are you the one who sees the plight of others first, before you see your own?

Well, I can only say on reflection the Lord sees and notices every single thing you do. He cares about the chickens out in the rain. Of course He does. He shakes his head in sympathy and understands each perplexed, ‘what do I do now, what’s the right way to go cluck.

After all, “the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost”

Most of us, at times feel lost. Even those who have been ‘found’ a long time .. we can feel we need to know the way to go next. Yes, we may well know every cobble in the farm road, every step to the hen house and barn. We may know, as wise-birds, exactly what to do when it rains on everyone’s parade.

But do we know our God cares about us?

Knows we are willing to be pushed to the limit for those rainy day chickens, and to shoo them into the warmth of a dry shelter, to wholesome food and drink.

Yes He does know these things and yet, there is still something, which we can’t put our finger on… the something else, that thing which He wants us to do for Him today.

That puzzling, something else – may be quite different to what we did yesterday – it may be the last thing we would ever choose for ourselves – the last thing we would want to do, or want to be.


We did not choose you Lord Christ;

But you chose us.

We cannot choose what we do,

If there is something else,

You would have us do-

We have to choose aright,

Go, Stay;

Do. Say;

As you would have it.

Lord, show us what you would have us do

To do for you, today and every day:

Give us each day our Daily Bread,

Fresh and new:

Let our food be to do God’s will,

Together with you,

Today,

Everyday,

Always

Amen


Reading: Luke 19:10

Prayer: my own

The picture described given on rainy Saturday 12th October

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Every creature is a word of God: Hedgehog

I awake in the morning before it is light and I am?

Well, the Lord shows me a little Hedgehog, all puffed up, spines out. My ears are telling me that it’s raining outside, and the Lord who knows, my every thought before I even think it, is telling me that I am “prickly” today.

I, murmur thank you Lord and settle my thoughts-and me- beneath my cosy duvet and in the Lord.

I never fail to marvel how well our God knows me! Even me, prickly me, and how kindly and considerately He picks me up and handles me. (Like a bunny by the ears with plenty of support)

“Oh Lord, I know nothing about hedgehogs,” I whisper, “Yet you know all my ways and their ways.”

I remember the time, He told me, I was like a hedgehog with my spiky jacket turned inside out, and this was true of me, and of many. When we are fearful of being hurt we curl up into a ball, but instead of protecting us the prickles turned inside out, come sharp to ourselves!

Our inner moods and feelings are changeable like the weather, and can we ever truly say, where they come from? It’s not as though people are prodding us with a stick all the time; often we cannot account for our moods at all. All we can do is wait patiently for our inside weather pattern to change. Learning that patience, and learning to keep calm, patient under stress … well that’s grace.

The bookmark is an old one, I treasure bookmarks given by friends, as well as Scripture verses they hold memories of the giver. Dorothy was a near neighbour. Dorothy loved the birds and the small creatures that sometimes visit our gardens, she most certainly left a dish out for the hedgehogs under the hedge.

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you”

As surely as I cannot always say where my prickly mood comes from, my neighbours may not know where theirs have come from either… I thank them for forgiving my prickles and pray and thank the Lord for grace to forgive them also.

Hedgehogs can get along just fine – we feed at the same table.


All I know about Hedgehogs

The Hedgehogs in U.K. gardens are Western Hedgehogs, there are 3 European Species but this one is the only one known in the British Isles. They are usually found in lowland grassland and open woods, but don’t mind gardens. Body Size= 20- 30cm; tail =1- 4cm. Spines grow up 3cm long. Front foot prints measure up to 2.5cm long and the Hind ones up to 3cm long.

They like to eat Earthworms, and other invertebrates; birds’ eggs and nestlings: some plant material. This Hedgehog is largely nocturnal and hibernates in nests of dry grass and leaves.

Posh Name: Erinaceus europaeus (Insectivora)

Information supplied by RSPB:

Hide and Seek

What are you seeking?

What am I seeking?

The one thing I ask of the LORD-

The thing that I seek most-

Is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,

Delighting in the LORD’s perfections

And meditating in his Temple.

For he will conceal me there when troubles come;

He will hide me in his sanctuary.

He will place me out of reach on a high rock.


When we are children we delight in playing hide and seek. I am not quite sure what I found most delightful hiding or seeking. As an adult I know as you know that we cannot hide from our gentle Lord and neither do we desire to. I read Psalm 139 and am thrilled to know that the Lord knows all about me.

I read of Hagar referring to the LORD by another name, “You are the God who sees me.” (Genesis 16: 13) .. what a wonderful thing that God should care for us and seek to rescue us from our troubles. Hagar was running away from her mistress Sarah who had mistreated her, but the LORD who knows the end from the beginning knew the blessings He and He alone, would give. In his tenderness our loving Farther had not forgotten Hagar.

Later on, Mary, mother of our Lord, said

Oh how my soul praises the Lord.

How my Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour!

For He took notice of his lowly servant girl,

And from now on all generations will call me blessed.


Always it seems to me, God is the one seeking, and finding, he is the one who sees and notices where we are, the one who knows the messes and fixes we are in and reaches down to lift us up.

How sad that all are not seeking the LORD our God tonight. It is a dark night outside as I write, but not as dark as the thoughts and hearts of many, who have no wish to be found by him and no wish to find him.

The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts-

So that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand,

And they cannot turn to me and have me heal them”

John recalls those words from Isaiah to us in his Gospel (chapter 12) and Jesus shouts to the crowds in sadness,

When you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.”

Jesus opened many blind eyes, even the eyes of those born blind, but then as now, there are those who prefer the darkness of this sinful world to the Light of the world that shows the Way to eternal life.

How sad that there are those who shine as celebrities in this present dark world, how sad that there are those who have a reputation for having everything and even having all knowledge- who basking in the limelight, in actual fact have nothing at all. Because they have not sought God he has not noticed them.


All scriptures from NLT

Photo my own-the harbour, Brixham, Devon U.K.

The little girl and friends were looking for crabs and found them in plentiful supply.

Waiting

I wait quietly before God,

For my victory comes from him.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

My fortress where I will not be shaken.

On the quayside lobster pots stand, empty, waiting, how many times in life are we called to stand and wait. Psalm 62 is attributed to David, who in his life knew what it was to wait, learning patience, watchfulness as a shepherd, and as a fugitive, as a King in waiting, as a father anxious for a sick child, as a sinner for the mercy of God.


Saint Paul too, waited, once in Athens he waited for Silas and Timothy to join him; and as he waited was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw in the city; but Paul could not just stand, observe and wait. Not Paul.

He was there because some Jews (his own people) learning that Paul was teaching the word of God in Berea, went there and stirred up trouble (Acts 17: 10-13), and the believers acted at once, to send him on to the coast and away from trouble. Speaking in a vision to a believer in Damascus called Ananias, the Lord had said, at the beginning of the adventures of Saul, also called Paul, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there ask for a man from Tarsus called Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man called Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so that he can see again.”

“But Lord,’ exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorised by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls on your name.”

But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel. And I will show him how much he must suffer for my name’s sake.”

We read in the pages of Acts just a few of those things which Saul, also called Paul, did indeed suffer, and willingly, for the sake of Jesus, Once called, Saul was a faithful instrument, true to the purpose of his calling. Alone in Athens, surrounded by pagan idols.. Paul simply could not wait, quietly. He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and god-fearing Gentiles and he spoke, daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.


What about us?

For my part, I see daily and am troubled by the “new” things which young people are taught and asked to accept, those new teachings and doctrines that we don’t find in the scriptures, the things which were never taught to us as children. Paul would have spoken of them as a new Gospel, which he had never received or taught. I am troubled because in so many ways – the Holy Spirit is not heard – He is speaking, but goes unheard.

I wonder just how long Paul would’ve waited before setting out to “reason” with the promoters of new and strange Gospels?


David who “waited quietly’ before the Lord was also David who fought the “Lord’s battles, Jesus man of prayer and gentleness, said this, “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34)

“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armour of God’s righteousness. For shoes put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery darts of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6: 14-17)


St Patrick’s Breastplate

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all who love me,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,

The strong Name of the Trinity;

By invocation of the same,

The Three in One and One in Three.

Of whom all nature hath creation;

Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:

Praise to the Lord of my salvation,

Salvation is of Christ the Lord. Amen.

All scriptures quoted are from NLT

Waking..

I open my eyes before it is light, but the darkness is not dark. Rather it shines.

Shines with a peace beyond telling: and the silence breathes – the unseen presence of my Friend God.

So, nothing disturbs,

Nothing frightens

God is all.

I am not saying I never have a bad dream. I do.

I am not saying that I never go to bed with a troubled mind. I do.

I am not saying that I never have anxious and stressed prayer times. I do.

I am saying that God comforts me in the darkest night, blackest days, gives rest and peace from wildest terrors. He gives peace and rest when it is needed most.

There are those times of loss, of grieving for loved ones lost to sight.

There are those times of being sorry for things done or left undone. There are those things said which ought not to have been said and those things which have been left unsaid which should have been said – for these things there is also a promise:

if we acknowledge our sins, He is trustworthy and upright, so that He will forgive our sins and so will cleanse us from all evil,”

Peter, fisherman turned big brother to all Christian folk, warns us to keep sober and alert, because our enemy the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour, He tells us to stand up to him, strong in faith and in the knowledge that throughout the world other brothers and sisters undergo the same kind of sufferings and trials… often if we are honest, we do not have the least clue what suffering and trials for sake of Jesus are…

It is in the shining dark and silence before the dawn that waking up in the presence of my Friend I come to realise that His suffering ones are His blessed ones, and if I would be any kind of friend to Him, I should remember them,

And the little children with no shoes, no home, no one to call mother or father, no friend, except one, my Friend God.

It is in the shining dark and singing silence I hear the sung prayers of those who grieving weeping and worship in the same moment

When you meet my Friend God in the shining darkness, and the singing silence and know His embrace of Peace.. who do you see, sharing these things with you?


A song to sing, which even though they may not know Christ as you do, all are happy to sing with you, recognising in this wonderful world, the Hands that made all things, cares for all living things and fills all things. His holy and sacred peace be yours and mine,

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 ever know

And I think to myself what a wonderful world

Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: George Weiss / Robert Thiele

‘The roses Jesus gives’

My life gets busier and harder at a time in life when things should become more leisurely and the mountains less steeply inclined.

Yet, I recall a word from the Lord, saying that my real work for him would begin when I was old. Like Mary I have tended to keep his words and ponder them. The rose is just a rose from my garden. Just a rose. Not the most beautiful, not the most fragrant it is just a rose. A rose that spoke to me, as I tidied and weeded, it spoke peace and joy and invited me to take pleasure in the day, the sunshine and the work. It invited me to:

Taste and see that Yahweh is good. How blessed are those who take refuge in him

It invited me to:

Take what he gives and praise him still, through good and ill,

It is a reminder that our Lord blesses us in the rough and difficult as much as in smooth and easy. We sometimes, just can’t see it.

Think about the pioneers of our faith, 12 Disciples, St Paul, Barnabas, don’t forget the women who laboured and suffered alongside; think how the infant Church was raised, nursed, cherished and loved by those not so young as well as the young. It was on the rough and difficult path that they followed Jesus, carrying their cross, helping others to carry theirs’ ~ we are called to do the same.

Can our lot be any harder?

I don’t think so.

There is a world of difference between singing hymns on a Sunday, or leaping in the air at a “Praise Gathering” and singing praises in the middle of the night with your feet in the stocks and after being beaten for speaking in the name of Jesus rejoicing that you were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus.

So I cut the Rose and put it in water carried it to my prayer table, where it’s redness speaks to me of the Blood that Jesus shed, the life, He gave, and I can understand why hardship, pain and humiliation could not get the better of Peter, James and John, why Thomas the twin called out ‘my Lord and my God’ and took up His Cross to carry the name of Jesus to far away India. I listen to Jesus speaking to Peter,

In all truth I tell you, when you were young you put in your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.”

I say Amen.

Yes please, Lord Jesus.

I know that everyday you will feed me with the hidden Manna and that you will never allow me to be thirsty for the living water. The roses that you give in stillness and quietness I would not trade for riches, or a smooth and easy path. Take my songs of praise to replace your crown of thorns.

Scriptures: Psalm 34.8, John 21.18, Acts 16.24, Acts 5.41

Posted in love for our God who loves us from cradle to grey hairs and beyond and forever.

“Come!”

Let everyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift’

There are many words, many commentaries, many books, many WordPress posts written on our Lord’s invitation to come receive the water of life as a gift. This is one more. One more written in love, testimony and gratitude for the Love of my Lord, for mercy and grace so freely given to me.

I had not realised how tired and weary I was. So much to do. In a church there always is, and I was grieved and troubled because, the Lord called me to put my tasks on one side and just sit, in stillness and quietness with Him.

Why? Why should He say, “Come, be still.”

Because,” He says, “There are many things I must speak to you about . Many things you must hear”

I saw a hand cupping clear, refreshing water.

“Because you are very thirsty. Don’t refuse me this. Don’t say to Me that there are others who can serve Me better, others who can speak, others I can send. I want you.

I came to you, to your house, I came in, now you must come Come and sit at my feet. I know you are worried, I know you are anxious and I know no one else will pick up the tasks you put down but put them down you must.

I know in serving others you’re serving Me, but serve Me first in this ONE THING. Come, listen and speak to Me. You are my friend.

I know you are thirsty. And, I know this is not for eternal life, you have that how could I withhold that, from my dear friend? No, you are thirsty, always thirsty for this one thing only, and that is,

My company, my love.

Yes, I see you shaking your head; yes I know I am always with you. But my beloved friend; when will you turn your attention and eyes away from waiting on others? Don’t you know, even now, that I always wanted your eyes, ears and hands for myself?”


The costly ointment we can give to anoint the feet of Jesus, is our whole, undivided self.

Scriptures from NRSV – Ps. 27.8, Rev. 22. 17

Photo: my own.

The message from Jesus from Jesus, on a day I did not expect it, like Martha I was too busy ….

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen.