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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Peace

I did not know what to talk about in the Ladies Group. “Speak to them about Micah” “Oh Lord,” I said, “They won’t understand words from Micah” But I took my bible in hand, turned over the pages, and my mind went back to the … Continue reading Peace

Prudence

“P” for prudence

I held the peas given, for sometime and named them, the first, I called Prudence. Prudence is not a word that is used often nowadays and in some scripture versions it is translated as Wisdom.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to act prudently is to act with or showing care and thought for the future and its origin is the Latin “prudens” meaning foreseeing, aware (of) intelligent, skilled. The New Testament Greek translates as “sophia” the highest intellectual gift of comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God.

All wisdom comes from the LORD

She is with Him for ever.

The sands of the sea, the drops of rain,

The days of eternity-who can count them?

The height of the sky, the breadth if the earth,

The depth of the abyss– who can explore them?

Wisdom was created before everything,

Prudent understanding subsists from remotest ages,

For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered?

Her resourceful ways, who knows them?

One only is wise, terrible indeed,

Seated on His throne, the LORD.”

To me, the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians is to us a gift of highest intellectual insight into the ways and purposes of God, the version, (N.J.B) translates prudence as wisdom, where the NKJV translates it as prudence.

Paul writes,

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Thus He chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before Him in love, marking us out for Himself beforehand, to be adopted sons, (and daughters) through Jesus Christ. Such was His purpose and good pleasure, to the praise and glory of His grace, His free gift to us in the Beloved, in whom, through His blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins. Such is the richness of the grace which He has showered on us in all wisdom and insight. He has let us know the mystery of His purpose, according to His good pleasure which He determined beforehand in Christ, for Him to act upon when the times had run their course:”

The rest of the chapter, and letter unfold for us more of our Father’ s wonderful plan for our eternal destiny, together with gentle admonishments for the forming of the people God created us to be: I sat still, savouring these scriptures, really at a loss for words to express the inexpressible, my little green pea, I had named “prudence” but I was now looking at a pearl called “wisdom”

For me the passage from Ephesians speak of our gracious God acting with and showing care and thought for our future before creating anything at all, they show us His foresight and skilful working out of a plan to raise us to sit in high places in Christ Jesus and, one thing more, His abundant anointing of the Holy Spirit and gifts of spiritual insight for a man called Paul, who said of himself, that he was the worst of all men, and the chief of sinners!

Scripture References: Ecclesiasticus 1:1-8, Ephesians 1; 3-10 Both N.J.B.

Holy word, holy wisdom

He said, ‘Go’

Fresh peas …

I was invited to a friend’s home, to share good company and conversation with other friends of the Lord, from other churches, other traditions, other ways… we all had one thing in common, we all had many years of seeking to serve and please God. All of us, had started our journey with the Lord from different ‘feeder paths – yet here we were all in the Way and on the Way.

I woke next morning comfortable and quiet, the Holy Spirit nudged into my happy space with,

“Are you rich, my friend”

I smiled he was bringing to mind my friend’s home, compared to mine a palace. But there again, she had a husband and together they had a business of their own and I have been a single woman, I gave my Yes to His call as a young girl, still not old enough to vote – still ‘waiting for the key to the door’ as the older generations called it. Well the Lord gave me a most precious key to another door … won’t dwell on that now.

In the early light I was making out familiar shapes of my own humbler possessions;

“Yes, Lord, I am rich. Everything I need God has provided and will provide.” I answered happily.

Now the conversation at my friend’s home had been about the scarcity of young people in our churches, and where are tomorrow’s church leaders and elders, so the next words didn’t surprise me.

“Go,” the Lord says, and “Tell whoever has the heart to go, especially those who are young, to go, tell them don’t wait.

“Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or a staff, for the labourer deserves His keep.”

I smiled. Nothing in this world, compares to the riches of the Kingdom of God.

“Yes Lord, but we do need to take something with us, we need to be dressed for the Gospel. We need compassion, kindness a heart like yours, we need to take your teaching and word with us.”

*Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned, forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you

“All who know this, are ready. Go,” says the Lord, “tell the older ones, tell the younger ones… wait for nothing and no one Go!”


He showed me a full pod of peas, freshly picked, young, green, tender, and sweet.

“Hold them in your hand just a little while and consider them just a little while, and ask Me about those things you don’t understand.

I smile, so many, many years ago He called me His little pe… .


Please feel free to share your thoughts on the peas.

I used the New Jerusalem Bible for the scripture quotes:

Matthew 10:9

Luke 6: 36-38

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.

The Lamb and the Lion

Oh taste and see that the LORD is good;

Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!

There is no want to those who fear Him,

The young lions lack and suffer hunger:

But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

In times of weakness, and distress I bring to mind the great strength of the Lord Jesus in bearing in gentle patience all who came to Him; those who came knowing their great need of forgiveness and those who blind and deaf in their sin goaded Him with their taunting, tempting questioning. I think of Him standing firm before the High Priest, King Herod, Pilate as I cry out for His strength and help.

He always gives it!

The young Lioness in the picture is in playful mood, and look touches her Father’s paw!

We are our Father’s children and need the strength and courage of Jesus as much as love and patience. We are our Father’s Pride and joy when we do what is good and right. We need to be His saints, and quick to speak out when face to face with injustice, in defence of the innocent, vulnerable, poor and hungry.

Revelation 5: 2-6

I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and loose its seals?”

And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

And I looked, and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (NKJV)

Psalm 34 ends with this verse:

The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,

And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

We are redeemed by the precious Blood of the Lamb who prevailed with the might Strength of the Lion. In all our weakness may the strength of His grace prevail.

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.