Tag: courage

God Speaks and Lifts up My Head

“But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,

My glory, and the One who lifts up my head.

I was crying to the LORD with my voice,

And He answered me from His holy mountain.

I lay down and slept;

I awoke for the LORD sustains.

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people

Who have set themselves against me round about.


A New Year but last year still remains with us in many ways, like the litter of autumn leaves that linger in the garden, if autumn leaves were troubles and problems, it seems we never clear them away neatly for a pristine start for a New Year. Because of the mild weather not all of them have even fluttered down to earth yet. Life like a garden is always going to be, just a little untidy.

Life for an adopted child of God, is also always going to be a little untidy, a little messy: yet always hope-full, like tender plants we are always under the Heavenly Gardeners watchful eye.

Our Father in heaven knows the things that trouble us, and all that we fear.

We can like David say with confidence “You, O Lord are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.”

We can lie down and sleep and awake for He does indeed sustain us.

Ten thousand troubles, ten thousand problems, ten thousand enemies?

Look to God.

I have always had a tender, longing for the first glimpse of the Snowdrops, beneath all the debris of last year, in spite of heavy clods of earth pressing them down and under and even the tread of heavy feet, faith tells me, that they will break through and throwing off in triumph all winter’s vain efforts to keep them down, they will lift up their heads: God will sustain them as He will sustain all His own who are crying out to Him with a troubled heart.

Always when I have been crying out to the Lord, yes I cry, often. Not just with my voice, but with real tears that leave handkerchiefs wet and eyes redder than the holly berry, God has heard, and blessed me with the gift of sleep and then,

God speaks and His Word lifts up my head


Lord, teach us

Not to be afraid,

Not to despair.

But, teach us to call on You, to cast all our care on the One who cares for us.

Teach us to trust You and so we shall lie down and sleep, for Your knees are the pillows You made for your beloved and what shall disturb us while You are keeping watch. You have taught us not to worry about what tomorrow may bring, and that you know already what we need.

Those who wear the Armour You provide will surely overcome in Your Strength, Your Power in the Name of the Lord, who heaven and earth has made.


Scripture: Psalm 3. 3-8

Prayer: my own

I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemies. (KJB 2 Samuel 22.4)

You Did Not Choose Me

Once, I asked, as a little child does,

“Lord? What is a saint.”

“God’s chosen heart.” He said, with gentle patience.


Yesterday, I was with my friends, the youngest is aged a little over 60 ~ the Ladies Fellowship meets every Tuesday afternoon to pray and read the Bible together, we had a twofold theme this week.

Bible Sunday\All Saints

In celebration of the Bible most bought with them a treasured bible from their earliest years, one bought her mother’s bible. The date her mother received the bible recorded inside the front cover, 1916. Glued firmly on the inside back cover a momento of a sailor whose ship was lost at the battle of Jutland –

Jack Cornwall joined the Navy in July 1915, with Britain was at war, and in 1916 became the youngest holder of the Victoria Cross at just 16 years old. The medal was awarded posthumously for remaining at his post at the forward 5.5 inch gun of the cruiser HMS Chester, see photo below

In fact the young man who appears in pictures of Jack is not Jack but his brother who stood in for him, the stamp posted in the Bible we saw was a coloured version of this one and was awarded for raising money for a memorial.

We were reminded of how valued, bibles were in those days of war, often bible societies produced small booklets of selected portions and these would be kept tucked inside a cap, where they could be more easily retrieved than rummaging through a kit bag.

Another lady bought a photograph of her mother taken on her mothers wedding day. Her daughter proudly and tearfully declared that her mother had been a saint, she told us of how her Mom, had devoted her life to the service of others. How she would spend whole nights keeping company elderly and sick people in their own homes, after tucking her 2 little girls up at her own home, how her mother had always been a listening ear, but never a revealer of secrets.

Two very different people. One a young man who joined the Navy aged 15, a brave young man, no more than a boy David, the shepherd boy was when fighting bear and lion in defence of his father’s sheep.

The other, a young mother and Salvation Army Officer, prepared to go an extra mile and gentle hand to anyone who needed it.


“A saint is God’s chosen heart” … not one of us has a perfect heart … not one of us chooses Him. He must choose us.All the courage we have, the kindness, the love our hearts hold, they come from Him. Not many of us will ever be Saints spelt with a big S, but all whom the Lord Jesus chooses to draw near to himself are called to be Saints.

How does God raise a saint?

With the milk of the word.

With the Bread of Life.

What does God ask us all to do for Him?

If you listen very carefully, you will hear His answer,

Come, Come to Me, Follow Me. I chose you out of the world, of all the pebbles on the beach I chose you. Don’t look back, walk with me, abide in Me.

“You did not choose Me. I chose you.”


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

‘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.

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.

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.

A Christian Soldiers Prayer

The photo was taken on 28th September, The flag was loaned by R.A.F. Cosford and displayed inside church which was opened for people to use for prayer. The actual unveiling and dedication of the restored Memorial to the fallen of the1914-1918 war, taking place outside in the Churchyard.

The Union Flag used to. Veil the Memorial in the Churchyard was loaned by the newly formed Mercian Regiment. When I have the official photos. I will post some of them.

Yesterday, Sunday 29th September, was the 90th Anniversary of the present building on the Feast of St Michael’s and All Angels 1923.

This is the prayer of a devout Christian Soldier, called to the Banner of the Living God, and of our Saviour Jesus.

King of Angels,
strengthen Thy servant to wield the Sword of the Spirit,
Courage to trust in the Shield of Faith,
And in the armour of the Gospel.
Give wisdom also to recognise Thy foe,
Lest in my ignorance,
I wound Thy friend.
My zeal is not enough
Except it be directed by Thee.
Amen

(The armies of heaven were following him- Revelation 19 v14)

20130930-102336.jpg

Going for Gold

Rainy days, sunny days, Olympic Days,London 2012, this summer is going to be an unforgettable one.

I would not want to forget the things learnt from the athletes of all disciplines and all nations. Through the media of television we have watched and followed their progress, listened to their stories of trials and loss. Many times we have heard, that their inspiration and incentive to press on towards what seemed to be an impossible prize has come from a loved one who has finished their earthly race. Many, many thanks have been poured out to those who have sat with and cried with them in loss, injury, disappointment.

These 3 things, courage, endurance, persistence appear to be common denominators.

Are n’t these the qualities of people of faith?

Without these qualities gold, silver, bronze,or, the finishing line for that matter, are unattainable.

And, likewise neither are our spiritual aspirations; even an answer to simple prayer requires of us that we keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking. Yes what we ask will be given, what we seek we will find and the door will be opened to us, but like an Olympian, like a champion working towards that medal we need every ounce of courage, that we can find and to that courage we need to add endurance to hang in there when the going get tough and to persist in hammering away in our God given disciplines, day after day, after day.

I need to remind myself and remind myself often that my Heavenly Guide is my Coach, or as some like to say, my personal trainer and that I should not take his instruction and advice lightly, above all I need to realise that He is encouraging me,and urging me on to see me win an unfading crown, and so what, if He seems to scold sometimes, is n’t that to keep me running within the rules, above all the Lord is

LOOKING for qualifiers and winners, not tactical players, cheat or bad sports, the disqualified are life and the world’s true losers.