Tag: joy

In Praise of God’s Patience

The fragrance of time

It takes time to grow a rose. Time for buds to firm, open. It takes time to take in its fragrance, to enjoy its sweetness. Such a pity to be in such a hurry that we have no time to simply look and notice the subtle shading of its petticoat, to touch and smell.

At the beginning of Lockdown in the U.K. I just simply didn’t realise how tired I was. It wasn’t until two weeks in that I came to a stop with trying to get some important things in order – even that stop came as the result of being blocked as necessary communications with various official offices closed down. Telephone queues became hours long, replies to emails were likewise delayed by several days…. so I came to a stop, found content in my little wilderness garden, and found joy in just being still in one place,

Silence will speak more to you in a day than the world of voices can teach you in a lifetime.

Find silence. Find solitude – and having discovered her riches,

Bind her to your heart

Frances J. Roberts… Come away. My beloved (Barbour Books)

And in the silence.. the sound of the rain, the gentle soft rain of the Holy Spirit that refreshes, restores and brings new growth.

Not, the hard, loud, rain of a deluge that causes panic as the flood waters rise to overwhelm a distressed soul.

Not the cold, persistent rain that chills to the bone.

But the soft, gentle, showers of blessing, that leave rainbow crystal drops on herbs, grass, thirsty flowers: rain to swell the buds, causing them to open.

As I rested, I was aware that the Lord was never going to chide me for sitting, and just sitting, because I was sitting with Him, and this was what He wanted, and what He purposed.

As we sat, so my understanding grew, and grows of many things shown and given, through the long years.

He showed me a box, a golden box, a bejewelled box, which I thought must contain some fortunate ladies precious treasures.

“I gave you the box, many years ago!

I gave you the key,

But you were careless with it;

You put it aside, out of sight:

Too busy, Martha to sit awhile,

This to do …..

That to do ….

You gave me back the key.

And the box?

The box you forgot. Placing it

Conveniently, at the back of memory’s closet.

My sweet girl,

I let you,

Allowed you to do this,

Because, I your loving

Friend and brother, watching jealousy

Wanted the pleasure of sitting with you,

To watch you open your gift and taking

Out every treasure reward me with your

Pleasure.

Me and Jesus sitting together

Yes.

The story is true but praise God for His Grace, the Lord and I sit together, and even when Lockdown is done and tiredness done. We will still be sitting together.

Risen, I am with you always…

I am the vine, you are the branches
John 15:5

“Risen, I am with you always”

When I want to do only great things, Lord,

Make me willing to do

Small unnoticed things too

When I want to do what the world will acclaim,

Make me willing to do

What will lift up your name

These weeks of being shut in, quiet and still have been for me, a gateway into another place, a place of calm, and rest, a place of blessing and a joy.

I pray that you also may know these things for yourself. That you may know all the joy of abiding in the Vine, and the love of the Lord.. it is just a thought, but consider this, the branches actually have very little to do with the work of producing fruit, they are not responsible for their pruning; and they don’t water themselves, they cannot bless themselves with the sunshine of the Lord’s smile or care for the soil that covers their root… all of this is the Gardener’s part.

All you and I, dear friends have to do is abide in the Vine. And listen, to Ruach HaKadesh. This is what He says to me,

Go and listen for the sound of the rain in the wilderness”

Your words are a doorway that lets in light, giving understanding to the thoughtless. Psalm 119:30

AIM and Birthday Flowers

I found the flowers on my return from Grocery shopping, they didn’t much look like flowers at all, packed in a long flat box and posted through the letter box, they stood slightly, upended against the wall. Carefully I removed the tightly closed buds, placed them in a vase and waited….

All good things, are worth waiting for, so the saying goes.

Watching, as these pretty flowers unpacked themselves from tight buds has been in itself a pleasure; and watching as the promises of God enfold in my life another, better one.

My friend Vera says, every time she takes my hand to offer the peace, “God bless you, Jean.” And then, she adds, very quickly, “Go on. Say it”

I reply, “He does, I let Him!”

She laughs, content, “I love to hear you say that.”

It is true. I love to be still, and feel that I am just like a peach ripening on the wall, warmed in the sunshine of His smile.

Truth is, I am not able to be still as much as I would like to be. But stillness is not always a physical stillness. There is that special stillness of just being stayed, carried on the Lord’s arm in busyness, in the certainty that whatever happens, however things are unfolding, or running He will get us there. He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey.

While it was still dark, before my birthday dawned I had a word-gifted, from heaven just a single bud. That Word was AIM, I intend to carry it with me this year, together with this words from Paul,

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

“To win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”


Scriptures: Phil. 3. 12-14 (N.I.V.)

Image: My own


I praise God for the gift of years, 71 of them and although like the peach I have known rain as well as sunshine, winter as well as summer, they have been blessed; may yours be also.


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…)

A little lighter

When a child, we waited for the lamp lighter to come and light the gas street lamp. It was very dark down our lane, the houses pre-dated Queen Victoria and electricity didn’t arrive to the street lamps until the late 1950s-1960s.

It took time for one man to get all the lamps lit, so the fortunate ones had their lamps shining before the Sun finally said good night to us, and some found that the night fell too soon and darkness overtook them.

The street lamps meant older children could carry on playing after school games in the safety of the pool of light cast by the lamp and that grown ups could navigate the narrow entries between the houses safely, often by torchlight even then.

Praise God for light, starlight, sunlight, moonlight. For the security which light gives, for the power of light drawing up sleeping seeds, bulbs, plants into springtime growth, for its warmth: for the fact that light is. Often I look out of my bedroom window and gaze at the rosy colours of dawn, the sun climbing clear of the horizon and whisper, “Look at that, Lord” and I catch the suggestion of a Divine Smile, as the Lord looks with me.


In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Now the earth was a formless void, there was darkness over the deep, with a divine wind sweeping over the waters.

And God said, ‘Let there be light, and there was light. God saw that light was good, and God divided light from darkness. God called light ‘day’ and darkness He called ‘night’ (Genesis 1. 1-5)


Without light the world could not be.

Without Jesus, the Word of God, the world could not be.


In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning, Through Him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through Him. What has come into being in Him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it. (John 1. 1-5)


My birthday has come and gone; the house where I was born, is gone, the lanes and fields swallowed by housing estates, the sky larks, owls have moved out long ago: one thing remains the same yet more wonderful and becoming more wonderful, and sweeter, moment by moment, the Friendship of God. God, who created all things who stoops and asks for the love of a child.

What a wonderful world

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world

Songwriters: George Weiss / Robert Thiele

Listen to what our friend Jesus says,

I am the light of the world;

Anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark, but will have the light of life.”

(John 8.12)

There are so many things I will never know, but this I do know the friendship and light of life which God has given in our Lord Jesus Christ and the soft beat of the Dove’s wings as she broods over sparkling, water, clear as crystal.

With God every day is Springtime

The days lengthen and winter must give way to spring.

My 70th Birthday was celebrated quietly on the 31st January, but born in the very closing moments of the last day, I could easily have been February’s child. I have enjoyed 70 years living in this beautiful world, blessed every moment, even the sad, and fearful times I have known my Father’s love, and the love of many. Oh yes there have been quarrelsome times, and hard times, but I have been loved, known and blessed, proving that ‘all things do indeed work together for good for those who love God and strangely that life is just beginning!

Did you not know? Had you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, He created the remotest parts of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, His understanding is beyond fathoming.

He gives strength to the weary, He strengthens the powerless. Youths grow tired and weary, the young stumble and fall, but those who hope in Yahweh will regain their strength, they will sprout wings like eagles, though they run, they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire.

Isaiah 40. 28-31


At Cana’s wedding feast, the steward calls the bridegroom, and comments, “Everyone serves good wine first and the worse wine when the guests are well wined; but you have kept the best wine till now” ~ and this truly is how I feel, I cannot imagine living a life without the ‘wine of my soul’ ~ without the honey ~ without the sweetness ~ without the Bread of Life, broken fresh for me every day. I pray that your water sparkles ruby red, as the Saviour shares your own daily feast of joy with Him.


An Everyday Prayer

Lord, in all I do today,

Remind me that there’s just one way to do things that I do best,

To put my mind and heart at rest, and that’s to put in Your great hands, my life, that you alone have planned

And when I feel restless,

Lord, teach me to sit quietly at your feet and learn from You. Like Martha, Lord I often become so obsessed with what You would have me do that I forget You care more about what I am to be…

Help me to remember the most important thing I can do is to be Your child… (B.J.Hoff)

Scriptures from N.J.B

With love and blessings.

Be Joyous, other brothers and sisters will come…

There are times, and this is one of them, when I wish I had time and the skill to draw and paint some of the things shown to me by the Lord from time to time, please read this very short post: it is truthful and not presented boastfully in any way at all; perhaps it will speak to someone who has been feeling as I have lately, or maybe it will speak to them about something entirely else. Please don’t feel shy about expressing your thoughts via comments.

I hunted for a suitable image, and thought the one above most suitable, the credit says “by anonymous artist” but if anyone has information to the contrary I will be very pleased to give credit…

I have been praying with a deep sense of loneliness, that the Lord will send brothers and sisters to build up Fellowship, Worship and Prayer at my church…. ours is a congregation made of older people without the energy and ability to do many things: this is what I saw.

It was morning and I woke up to find myself in the Craftsman’s workshop, He was busy at an extremely long bench, marking out measurements on a length of wood, he was happily, totally absorbed in his work, and did not see the little child who came in, and stood silently gazing up for sometime, before asking,

“What Father doing? Why wood so long?”

At this point, a gentle voice called to me, “Be joyous, listen and receive what is said.”

The Father turned, looked down on his son and answered,

“Building another room.. other brothers and sisters will come.”

I have been reflecting on this for a few days, it was a happy, contented scene, and I can see, two Fathers one Joseph, Earthly Father of Jesus and the other His Heavenly one. Joseph preparing for the enlargement of his family and God our Heavenly Father preparing for the enlargement of His family also:

We are well aware that God works with those who love Him, those who have been called in accordance with His purpose, and turns everything to their good. He decided beforehand who were destined to be moulded to the pattern of His Son, so that He should be the eldest of many brothers; it was those so destined that He called; those that He called, He justified, and those that He has justified He has brought into glory.’

Truly, I do believe that God has a purpose and a plan.. we just don’t have access to His calendar and schedule, or blueprint!

Whatever we pray for we can be confident He hears, what we need to do is watch like Jesus in Joseph’s workshop, like Jesus at the Father’s side and listen. Heaven still speaks, and look!

Outside, posted to the door of the Craftsman Shop a sign:

THIS FAMILY BUSINESS IS EXPANDING AND TAKING ON LABOURERS, PLEASE APPLY. TRAINING GIVEN.

Scriptures from NJB

Shine Jesus, shine

This year Hanukkah and Advent Sunday shared the same 1st day, 2nd December.

My church always remembers children who need help by holding a Christingle Service and collecting gifts for the Children’s Society (Church of England,)on Advent Sunday some of our Christingles are pictured.

The orange represents the world, the red ribbon the Blood of Jesus, the four cocktail sticks with sweets and nuts, the fruits of the earth and four seasons, the candle the light of the world ~ Jesus.

New toys were also bought to the same Service and blessed before they are distributed to local children in families in need. True, good faith works, does, acts, as well as believes. And, who knowing how much our Heavenly Father loves us can ignore the needs of others ~ not enough is it, to wish someone a happy Christmas without contributing to their happiness? No we have to help our Father and gift wrap His love.

Advent Sunday marks the start of a new Liturgical Year when the cycle of church lessons and readings begins again, as we read again from the Old Testament the witness God made beforehand through the prophets of the coming of Jesus into the world, to be the Glory of His people Israel and to be a light to the gentiles, so it seems to me that in His Light we truly see light and desire the light, joy and peace of His Presence to pierce the darkness of the world which ‘knows Him not’ and those who are impoverished, hurting or sorrowful, remembering that sometimes the one who growls like a bear, and is always angry or has a sour disposition is like that, because they have suffered or are suffering at the hands of others.

Advent is our wake-up call, it shouts, rather than whispers that we should wake-up now, and take stock of the oil we have in our jars for our lamps, in order to be ready when the bridegroom comes, and about our Christian duties as His servants when Christ returns.

Hanukkah (Chanukah) remembers the purification of the Temple and its rededication in 165BC (you can read about it in the books of Maccabees included in the Apocrypha), The temple had been defiled by Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes who sacrificed a pig on the altar and poured its blood on the Scripture Scrolls. The Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks was a miracle of God’s deliverance, but Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights remembers another miracle the provision of oil for the eternal light in the Temple. After its cleansing, it was found that there was only one days supply of oil to relight the eternal flame, the symbol of God’s presence .. but the Lord gave another miracle and the flame burned for the eight days necessary to purify new oil.

Then as now, the Lord our God provides and will send His Holy Spirit to those who ask, His Son and Servant, our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world in order to light the lamps and candles of all who would serve God with a true heart, just as the shammash (servant candle of the nine branched hanukkiyah) is used to light the other eight each night of Hanukkah… only Jesus lights us for eternity.

Shine, Jesus, shine,

Fill this land with the Father’s glory;

Blaze, Spirit, blaze,

Set our heart’s on fire,

Flow, river, flow,

Flood the nations with grace and metcy;

Send forth your Word, Lord,

And let there be light,

(Graham Kendrick (b. 1930)

May Jesus the Glory of His people Israel the Light of the Nations (Gentiles) fill us all with the Father’s glory.

For You From The Garden

For You

Let the dreams that are gone, sleep fast my love,
And the tears and fears of yesterday’s storm,
For the darkness you saw is past, my love,
So smile and a new day is born.
The seasons of life will go on my love,
And the sails of your ship may be torn,
But the secrets beneath your feet my love,
Are the flowers that are yet to be born.
Let the tears that you shed fall sweet my love,
For the pain goes and rainbows come without warning.
All the seasons will surely return my love
And new life will be born in the dawning.
(Anon)

All is green, fresh, springing green, the gardens are reborn. I find that a walk in a garden brings vividly to mind the events of that first Easter morning, perhaps it took time for the shock of the events of the trial, crucifixion and appearance of the risen Jesus in the garden to wear off before his friends finally entered into Easter Joy; after all they had suffered an horrendous, cruel bereavement. The poem, I have been asked to read this one on a couple of occasions, brings the Easter Garden to mind for me, “secrets beneath our feet” … All those beautiful things shared with loved ones gone ahead into the next life before us, sown in trust they hold the promise of joy yet to be as did all the memories, and words of Jesus left in trust in the hearts of his disciples and friends, these secrets became the flowers and fruit of the Gospel which still growing, still springing fresh from the Word today.

The Easter Garden in the photograph was designed and made by my lovely friend Trish Cornford for the church porch this year I post it with the hope that the Easter Garden and the poem will bring comfort to anyone who is sorrowful at this time.

With blessings,
Jean

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The Joy That We share

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on roses
And the voice I hear falling
On my ear the son of God discloses

And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

He speaks and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing

And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known

(Merle Haggard)

This has been a sad, long and hard week.

To the people of the Philippines devastating, overwhelming, sorrow beyond telling, it was so good to see on the news last night, the first plane from the U.S. touching down, the herald of hope. In my own little world there is sadness too, but not like theirs, at the Seder kept by Jewish friends they
dip bitter herbs into sweet Haroset, which calls to mind that life is like that bitter mingled with the sweet, sadness with joy.

The words I chose at the beginning were sung at a funeral service in church yesterday, the lady had reached her 83rd year and from what was said they had been good ones, but I daresay that there had also been times of grief along the way, “I come to the Garden alone” I keep these words in mind we all come to be alone with our sadness, and joy sometime, and yet to those who know The Lord, we are not alone, we have been promised ‘I am with you always, even to the end of the world’

Now this is a precious promise, welcome, oh so welcome, the voice of the Beloved in the Garden, I think about The Lord Jesus and His last walk to a garden his friends went with him, but left Him alone while they slept for weariness and sorrow. An angel came and strengthened him. I am sure that angels are doing that work in the Philippines now, and yes some have human faces and, hands but He walks with them and talks to them Himself may He give to them a taste of the joy which is shared amongst the angels in the a Kingdom of God, and may their lost loved ones Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory!

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