Tag: encouragement

‘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.

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A Friend is one who knows you as you are

You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me, no I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. My command to you is to love one another” (John 15.14-17)

The bookmark reads;

“A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you’ve been. Accepts who you’ve become, and still gently invites you to grow.”

The friend who gave it to me, many years ago, has long been called home to be with her friend Jesus… but I keep the little card… not to remind me of Frances… friends are never forgotten… but to remind me of some of the qualities of the friend I should be.

Just such a friend is the Lord Jesús, he knows exactly who we are, the hidden person of our heart is not hidden from our God, he knows exactly where we have been, understands the ways we trod before we knew the Way, accepts fully the person we have become, he knows the son or daughter tugging on his sleeve and heart strings and yes, he still invites us to grow.

He was just such a friend to Peter, James and John, to Andrew, lovely Andrew with the happy knack of bringing him others to befriend.

Oh such a friend, who said, pitying the sorrows of his friends, “I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you.”

Soon, very soon, their friend and Saviour would suffer a degrading, humiliating, horrific death, soon he would be wrapped in grave cloths, and sealed in the dark prison of the tomb.

And then they saw him again, but could not keep him; they watched as he was taken up into heaven, hidden from their sight… and then, then came

Pentecost!

May the blessings of the Spirit of Joy, be with us all, and lead us in the dance of the Fisher men and friends. Never to be parted!

Jesus believed

My Church has a very large churchyard, this week hundreds will visit with flowers for the graves of loved ones.

The bottom line is Eternal Life is not found in the Churchyard. It is given from above.

Jesus who died is the one who rose again , He shared the life we now live so that we might share the life He lives now and for eternity.

He knew, whilst wearing our earthly dress what it is to be tested, He stood in the place where we stand now,yet without sin. He knew what it was to cry to His Father with tears.

Jesus believed!

So should we.

“Lord help our unbelief. Father we hold our arms to you. Receive us, Lord of all grace, within your embrace”

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.

Shelter from the storm

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When I look at this photo of the path leading to a tiny, old country church I am reminded that back in history the strong walls of a church truly were a refuge for the dwellers in towns where the churches were much bigger and in the little villages, where perhaps there might have just been a half dozen houses or so. They provided shelter from great storms, from armies, from marauding
Vikings, Danes …

I think of the many feet who have walked the path to the open porch door, sometimes those feet would have belonged to children, skipping along, sometimes, perhaps man and wife might have walked it arm in arm … The long ‘Nave’ of a church like mine with its timbered roof is to remind us of Noah’s Ark carrying precious cargo, the family of Noah and the animals who also walked up the gangplank two by two.

That was quite Storm, wasn’t it? 40 days and 40 days with the days as dark as night, and the nights so palled with cloud that the light of moon and stars couldn’t break through, and then the jarring jolt as His Majesty’s Ship ARK came to rest on Mount Ararat. After the rain, the sun and rainbow, and that is the way of things even today. We have our storms and all need to find refuge and shelter from time to time, equally we all need, in church and life, to be good sailors working together to bring HMS Ark safely through storm and high seas,

⚓️”We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
Fastened to the rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep
In the Saviours love!’
⚓️
Priscilla Jane Owens (1829-99)

King David looked for help in his troubles and came to rest on a rock higher than Mount Ararat, higher ground there is none and no fortress ever built as strong as the love of God.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
A strong tower against the foe.

I long to dwell in your tent for ever
And take refuge in the shelter of your wings.

Psalm 61 vv 3-4