Category: scripture

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:

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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

She Supposing Him to Be the Gardener

“Yahweh planted a garden in Eden, which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned. From the soil, Yahweh God caused to grow every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

(more…)

Every creature is a word of God: Giraffe

“Every creature is a word of God.” (Meister Eckhart)

Once upon a time, all good stories begin with these words. Even true stories like this one.

Once upon a time the Lord God, for what reason, only the Lord God knows, opened a window in heaven to show a very young woman; His creatures, lion, tiger, leopard, rabbit, hedgehog, dove and pelican (by request this last one) and a Giraffe.

For what reason?

Well 50 years on, she often revisits the scene in her mind, and ponders and ponders.

She knows the reason for the pelican. That was given, simply because overcome with delight with all the others, she asked, as only the very young can, “Have you got a pelican, Lord?”

A few years later visiting the Zoo with niece and nephew, standing just watching some of these creatures made of bone and flesh, she realised that with patience, she could predict just what each creature was likely to do next, and eventually she came to realise that human beings were no different, with patient, quiet loving attention the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve are readable like a picture book, and all the more lovable for just that reason.

What great delight, the Lord God must have had in planning and crafting all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, He made and loves them all. And then on the 6th day, as late as that in His working week, it pleased God to make Adam and Eve to give His creatures names and to care for them ~ “Every creature is a word of God” … there is much wisdom in that, if only we are able to see with the eyes of a child, the eyes of a son of Adam or a daughter of Eve.


He showed me a Giraffe. Now I am small in stature, like Zacchaeus, I would have needed to climb a sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus and short in knowledge of Giraffes, but this one, the Lord made, or so it seemed to me, to kneel down and reach down, his lovely, strong neck so that I could notice his eyelashes, his markings, his quiet composure, his grace.

And so, as I have thought about the scriptures the word of God, the Giraffe became for me a word of God and a mirror of the Eternal Word of God. In Jesus the Father, Creator God came down to us, and visited us with such Grace that the humble and lowly of heart might reach up and dare, like simple, loving children to embrace the strength of a Giraffe’s neck in perfect love and trust without fear.

In love there is no room for fear, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear implies punishment and no one who is afraid has come to perfection in love.”

Do not think in your heart, ‘who will go up to heaven? – that is to bring Christ down; or who will go down to the depths? – that is to bring Christ back from the dead. What does it say then? The word is very near to you; it is in your mouth; and in your heart, that is the word of faith.”

Always remember that God hates the proud but reveals His heart to the heart of a child, blessed are the pure in heart they shall see God, and to them ‘every creature is a word of God.

Scriptures from the NJB: 1 John 4.18 – Romans 9. 6-8 with reference to Matthew 5.8

Visions of creatures from the Grace of God, may He be blessed who blesses His little children.

Your thoughts and comments always welcome.

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.

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.