Category: Prayer

Salt is still required

When I was young, potato crisps only came in the one flavour, and each bag contained a separate blue paper packet, ~ the salt. It was up to you how much salt you added to the crisps in the bag. You decided how salty you wanted your crisps. Nowadays there is no choice .. the crisps (chips) are salted before they are bagged.

Also nowadays, salt is not such a desirable food additive, and the labels on packets and tins on the supermarket shelves are scanned for percentage of the recommended daily intake. Too much salt, we are told is not good for our health.

Times change. A favourite uncle used to grow wonderful vegetables, producing Runner Beans in abundance, despite generous gifts to family, friends and neighbours there were always plenty to pick and preserve in salt, for wintry days. I guess that is not done much in these days of quick freezing.

You are,” the Lord Jesus said, “salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good, for nothing, and can only be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

I think of salt as Holiness. Holiness without which ‘no one may see the Lord’ ~ holiness is the savour, the taste which the Lord looks for in our worship and our lives. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus adds,

Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another”

Like salt on the table, holiness is often missing in life today, relationships are conducted just as they come, and often we hear “it doesn’t hurt anyone else” We also spend far too much time in petty squabbles with each other within our church fellowships in comparison to little time spent in praying and studying together.

~ I would say, that is often quite untrue our bad behaviour doesn’t hurt anyone else, quite plainly it often does hurt someone else, often, it is the very young, innocent and vulnerable, it betrays sin in the hidden man or woman of our heart, it is simply overlooked, people are in the dark, so to speak,

“You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in people’s sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.”

Scandalous behaviour amongst priests and church leaders seems to be coming more and more prevalent amongst church people – this should not be. Immediately following these words in Matthew chapter 5, our Lord taught us not to imagine He has come to abolish either the Law or the Prophets but to complete them (written on our hearts and minds by the spirit, they show us our faults and failings in order that our hearts may take on a new perfection in love and holiness)

I have thought of the Law, the Ten Commandments and the Prophets as being the fence, or wall around the vineyard and sheepfold.. these instructions were given by God in order to protect the innocent (think of all those who harmed by abuse, whether physically, or mentally, think of all victims of theft, violence, crime, all who are corrupted by the behaviour and injustice of others – we are told that we should not judge (pass sentence, and condemn unjustly) but the Lord who is our Judge, always gives justice and administers judgement to protect the innocent). When Jesus speaks of the Sheepfold in chapter 10, John’s Gospel, He tells us that He completes the wall or fence by laying Himself down at the open entrance as the Door. As Christians, members of His Body … we need to be very careful that we do not lose the Holiness, God has called us to … “not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved” The Righteous Judge stands watch at the door.

I cannot think, that the whole world is yet subject to the Lord Jesus, we who love the Lord need to continue to be both Salt and Light. Good works and Holy people. Both are still very needful.

Scriptures from Matthew Chapter 5 (N.J.B.)

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New Beginnings and the 8th Day

This morning , my church received from the Pastor of a nearby Pentecostal Church, a brown envelope on opening it, I found the gift of one £5 note a packet of wildflower seeds and a printed card which tells me that the gift is a symbolic and prophetical sowing into the Ministry of our church.

The card also has the message that “Our God is the God of abundance, and that He can take the seed we give to Him in faith and He can bring about a great Harvest.”

If I could choose a time to visit the Holy Land it would be for the Feast of Tabernacles, just ended, however the Lord visits us where we are, and this year, it has pleased Him to bring to my remembrance that 7 x 7 Feasts of Tabernacles = 49 years have passed since I received the Holy Spirit, and they have been good years abounding in good, delightful things… they have been years of sunshine and of rain, sadness and joy, blessed years.

The 8th Day following on from the 7th Day of the Feast of Tabernacles celebrating the Final ingathering/harvest of the year, can be regarded as “New Beginnings” it is a time when the gift of rain is asked for the sowing of fresh seeds, so in faith I pray that God will bless the sowing of His Word with Holy Spirit Rain in this 50th year.

On the last day, the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried out:

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me!

“Let anyone who believes in me come and drink!

As scripture says, “From his heart shall flow streams of living water”‘

He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in Him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 7: 37-39 (N.J.B)

So here I stand at the beginning of a kind of Jubilee Year in my walk with the Lord and I yearn for it to be a fruitful year for Him. I have known Him and His love for me all my days but the preciousness of the Holy Spirit who can describe?

Who can count the seed in a pomegranate?

Jewish tradition says there are 613 representing the 613 commandments of the Torah. In my church a pomegranate appears in a stained glass window as a symbol of Christian faith and fruitfulness. Some think that a pomegranate may have been the mysterious apple eaten in the garden of Eden. Maybe if you have time you can look up all the biblical references, you will certainly be blessed if you do. I chose the pomegranate to illustrate this post because it reminds me of the sweetness of the Holy Word of God, the True Vine, who admonished us:

Remain in me, as I in you

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself”

And He gently says, “Whoever remains in Me with Me in him, bears fruit in plenty: for cut off from me you can do nothing.”

May His blessing abide with us still.

Gospel Seeds

Acceptance of all the Father’s will ~

Is to follow the Way Jesus took

I have been tidying out and came across this small tract it is a 3 fold tract which when folded and closed looks like a small envelope of seeds. I must have had this for 20 years or so, at one time it was carried everywhere in my purse,

It reads:

THE SEED IS THE WORD OF GOD ~ Luke 8. 11

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3. 16

There is

One God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus ~ 1 Timothy 2.3

Neither is There

Salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men. Whereby we must be saved. ~ Acts 4.12

Whosoever believeth on Him shall not come into condemnation, but is

Passed from death unto life ~ John 5. 24

How shall we

Escape if we neglect so great salvation ~ Hebrews 2.3

Believe on the

Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt bring saved. ~ Acts 16.31

MUSTARD SEED FAITH

‘The tiny mustard seed,

Not so easy to see,

When planted in your garden becomes the greatest of herbs,

A tree.

Like the tiny mustard seed,

A little faith works, too.

Command your mountains

To move away;

All will be possible for you!

Bearing witness for Christ, living the Life which God desires for us, is not so easy these days, but we must still try and keep going ~ even when the going gets tough. No one has ever been promised an easy time or that we will spared all hardship and and sorrows we must take heart:

“Those who sow in tears

Shall reap in joy.

He who continually goes forth weeping,

Bearing seed for sowing,

Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,

Bringing his sheaves with him.” ~ psalm 126. 5,6

May the God of Grace be with us all as we seek to do what we can.

Seeds, not all grow – but all have potential

I really do not know how to pick up my story from here, it has been such a long time since I posted anything at all…

That doesn’t mean that nothing at all has been happening in my life, it means seasons have come, seasons have gone, things have changed, my church has changed and is still changing. People have come and gone in my life, sadly some have gone to be with the Lord, and for many of them that probably came as a happy release from sadness and pain; to be with the Lord can be far better, as the apostle Paul once reflected.

I have added a new page but kept the old About which was posted 6 years ago… if you should want to read the new page it mentions my Summer of change … a long, hot summer in which the Lord has revealed more and more of His Gracious Face, He has been my Teacher and it has been my delight to learn from Him.

Seeds, not all grow – but all have potential‘ I scribbled that, an opening note in a new notebook in April this year, life had been very full, very hectic, with little time to sit and reflect; even morning quiet times had been swallowed up as I battled to get important tasks finished in time for A.G.M.s but now that was done and I was able to return to my quiet times, and reflect on many, many things that the Lord had been showing, and not so much whispering as shouting.

It is possible that like myself, you too, if you are reading this, may also be in the position I was in, busy, busy but not in earning a living, I am an older retired, woman, but, like me you may be the one who picks up the church jobs that others put down, you do that because there is no one else, there is still a shortage of labourers in God’s vineyard… and those jobs are the necessary ones that keep the vineyards open, the invisible chores that Sunday visitors are quite unaware of, until something goes wrong.

Well, I began a new notebook to try to jot down those word and picture seeds – so freely and generously given- ‘ when there was time I could think about them, perhaps even do something about them. however my thinking on priorities and time were not in accordance with my Lord’s and over my summer of change .. He has reordered both my priorities and thinking for me

And me? I love my Teacher for that! I praise and thank Him for every stern and kind rebuke.

Seeds, not all grow – but all have potential‘ It is a fact that if you don’t sow seeds they will not grow, a packet of seeds, sacks full of seed will not grow if they are left on the shelf, in the cupboard, in the barn. Neither will the beautiful seeds which the Lord gives through the Holy Spirit. In all the practical things which I was doing, in all those long days, and nights sometimes (it would be nothing for me to working away until the early hours on accounts, reports) When was I going to get those seeds sown and their potential released?

And all the while, through those long, busy hours I was crying out to God for the opportunity to start sowing instead of storing. And He heard and that is the story of this Summer. Something had to change; better someone had to change and that someone was me.

The summer was long, hot, dry. But my eyes wet often, with tears of Holy Spirit rain

I was in danger of becoming a hoarder of spiritual gifts. Jesus the Teacher decided it was time to take me in hand.

“For the heavens are as high above the earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilising it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes forth from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do.

(Isaiah 55:9-11 . N.J.B)

Catching a breath and taking regard

So here we are looking down the road to Holy Week and Easter. I am so glad that life is less rushed, less busy, despite my Martha ways, I am really a Mary, delighting in just being at the Masters feet.

How strange it is, that just when we should be slowing down in readiness for Easter Day, that Churches get busier and busier. I am so sure that all the preparations, the Bustle and Hustle, the sacrifice of time and effort, is never so sweet to the Lord Jesus as that precious half hour, when it is just Him and us, and in the stillness we are who we are, no pretence, no fuss, just Him and us.

Somewhere, in the book of books, we read that the Lord regards us from on high, and you know I like that word “regards” – it’s not as though the Lord so much as looks down on us from lofty heights, but that He sees us as we are, takes us we are, and still finds something to love in each one of us. He knows us through and through, (Psalm 139 says it much better than I ever could) God is truly acquainted with all our ways, but still loves us. And that love I know for myself when I am still, when I am quiet, when like Mary I look up and regard my Saviour’s face. When Mary looked up and regarded the face of Jesus on that last visit to their little house, when Martha peeked through the door, what did they see there, weariness, sadness, resolve. I would be happy to hear your thoughts on that, I think He noticed their looking, and was comforted by their regard, yes that word again, I think he read love in their looking, and that in his looking back was Love, regard.

However you prepare for Easter, let the Lord Jesus bless you, just sit still, be yourself and look up. 

This painting, a watercolour, was made by a friend, who died recently. She suffered her illness patiently with true Christian hope, desiring to be re-United with her dear husband Bert. I think it is a Red Kite, regarding the fields below, from on high.



Lord, open our eyes and we shall behold your glory

Lord, open our ears and we shall hear your call

Lord, open our hearts and we shall know your love

Lord, open our lives and we shall reveal your glory

(prayer from The Open Door by David Adam)

With my kindest regards,

Jean

Laws of Heavenly, Planetary Motion

During my prayers, my mind started to wander, my thoughts turning to 2015, the New Year…..

365 days = 1 year = 1 complete journey of planet Earth around the Sun, a good few years ago, I learnt Kepler’s laws of Planetary Motion, but before my mind was completely attracted there, God drew my thoughts back to himself,

See what I see?” He asked gently and closing my eyes as we were taught as little ones, I saw, in better than glorious Technicolour, our Solar System; the planets, the moons, asteroids, meteors, comets. I mused on the thousands of small bodies, bumping, colliding, like lost sheep … How quickly my thoughts were drawn and attracted by those lost sheep, but again the Lord drew my thoughts back to Himself.

“Pay attention,” he said. “Apart from those lost sheep, what do you see greatest in number?”

“Oh their Moons,” I replied, like a child given a big jar of sweets.

God chuckled. I heard that quite plainly.

“True,” the Celestial Architect said. “The number of those children of mine, for whom their Sun and God is heart centre is much smaller, than the number of those who circle around, celebrities, that’s what they call them, today.
But don’t you see that out of the planets only one supports green and growing things, only one has blue seas and life? Why do you suppose that is.”

“Ah,” I said anxious to be thought smart, “Unless you know otherwise, Lord, it’s because Earth is just the right distance from the Sun, and just the right size. Having just the one Moon might help though, not a lot of tidal turbulence causing too many conflicts.

“Hmm,” God said quietly, “Remember this, to follow Me is to orbit Me as True Sun, to set Me apart as your One, True Heart Centre, orbiting at the right distance is to fear God, (reverence in worship, rare these days), to be just the right size is to have true humility, remember that my Mercy follows you all the days if your life, I am your True, Constant friend, never leaving you or forsaking you.”

I cried a little, knowing that His words are true, and I share them with you my fellow planets on the same journey, if there is something that you can respond to, may the Lord bless your response, and if not then Bless you all the same, that is another thing I have heard Him say, always bless, never chide.

May the year ahead of you be Merry and Bright,

Your friend, Jean

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Stormy Advent Waters

I had an Irish friend, Aileen, but she answered to Ellen, amongst other things. Ellen, lovely Ellen, was kind, homely, hospitable, and a terror to pastors. Every remembrance of her comes with a smile. Baptised and bought up as a Catholic she had avoided church like a plague for most of her life, she would’ve have loved the thought of these words being posted here, because Ellen believed in telling it, and did tell it like it was. Ellen’s sister in law was a staunch baptist and despite her best efforts, Ellen avoided her baptist church as well, until one day having turned 60 years old, she suddenly felt a tremendous conviction that she must go to church and at that church she heard the Pastor say, “You must be born again,” utterly convicted, Ellen was baptised, and as a born again Christian and staunch baptist, staunchly anti Rome and Catholicism.

In all things Ellen was fervent, she was vivacious, outgoing, and forthright in the way a true Irish woman is, and it wasn’t long, before she found the baptist way a bit too solemn and she discovered the small, Pentecostal hall, almost on her doorstep, from being overlooked, and regarded with a sniff, that little church became Ellen’s heaven. She loved everyone dearly and was dearly loved, but, and but is a big but here, Ellen always knew what the Lord was telling, and wanted the Pastor, the elders and everyone else to do. Problem was no one’s hearing was as sharp as Ellen’s … Consequently she was always sailing on stormy seas, but she never ran aground, Jesus the Captain of her soul, made sure of that. Fiercely determined, stubborn, when she made up her mind; a gentle word from the Lord would cause her to break down and weep.

This is a true story, a paragraph out of my memory book. Something had happened at the little chapel, Ellen didn’t like it, she stamped her foot and swore to the Lord, in her friend’s hearing, “No Lord, I won’t”

Ever done that?
Been so angry and worked up over some trifle, some word, put your foot down and sworn an oath?

The friend, with a reputation for quietness and meekness, held her peace, until some weeks later when Ellen asked her into her home to pray for her “foot” Yes the very same foot that had been stamped, apparently, the Doctor had diagnosed a rheumatoid flare up, on asking the question, the friend was told that the condition had developed the day following her temper.

“Maybe” the friend suggested, she should say “sorry” —-

Ellen, dear daughter of God, burst into tears and did just that. The pain went within the hour.

I don’t know why I should suddenly be thinking of Ellen, she was a good woman, but like most of us the gold in her character was mixed with other metals, mercurial temperament and iron clad stubbornness being two of them, and she was, perhaps not strangely often right when it came to Pastors .. She just couldn’t help ruffling feathers! Something that Old Testament Prophets were quite good at too.

I promised a fellow blogger that I would answer a few question about myself, and if she is reading this, I will do .. But somehow Ellen who sailed stormy waters to be near her Friend Jesus has been in my thoughts.

The picture is a collage of things around me, a picture of stormy Advent Seas, a candlestick, my bible, open at Isaiah ch. 2 verse 5, “let us walk in the light if the Lord” and a purple ribbon given to me last Sunday to remind me that the First Sunday of Advent is the beginning of the Church Year. Our hearts are often storm tossed, even the quietest of us experiences angry, disturbed thoughts from time to time, I know I do, and that I need the Lord to steer my ship, I need to come–about and pitch unwanted cargo overboard, I need the Light of Christ.

Whether you are sailing stormy seas, or peaceful ones, take the Light of Christ with you and you will journey safely

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