Tag: listening

Finding A Special Place

Sometimes, the Lord surprises us in unexpected ways. We know, that He knows all about us, each word before we even think to utter it. At some time or other, these words from Psalm 139 have rung gloriously true for most Christians

“How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand-

when I awake, I am still with you”

Psalm 139.18 (N.I.V)

During these ‘Coronavirus’ days, I have felt, as you have also, no doubt that the Lord has been very present in many situations, in many ways, great and small.

I chose the picture of Julian of Norwich with the well loved words that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well, because reading her Revelations of Divine Love we feel we almost ‘know” this homely lady born in 1342. She speaks comfortably, from her heart to our heart. The little cat sits comfortably on the window sill joining in the conversation with the odd purr from time to time. As I read Julian’s writings I feel assured that Julian knew our Lord God very well and that He knew Julian very well. In fact they were very close friends who shared heart to heart thoughts of each other.

Sometimes people who know each other very well surprise each other.

My first thoughts each morning are spontaneously with God. No effort involved. I know that I am awake and with God, that God is with me. Just over a week ago I was surprised as into my head came a fleeting glimpse of the computer work station, as it arrived new with my first home computer in the year 2000.

When my late mother became ill, she just wanted, needed me to be always in her sight, so abandoning the work station and its little den, I switched to a lap top so I could type up Church Minutes and stuff in the room where she was, Mom would look up from time to time, and we would exchange little thoughts… presence is comforting. Well, my Mom died 17 years ago and the work station on wheels, was never given a second thought. The little upstairs room, which I had turned into a den all those years ago, had slowly become a storage room for boxes and boxes of files that Martha has busied herself with down through the years.

Well, seeing the fleeting picture in my head, I knew, just knew that I was being prompted to do something.

Something like finding the tape measure and finding the work station a new corner elsewhere in the house. It, was, as I vaguely recalled, comfortable to work at.

Not for one moment did it occur to me that the room might be cleared of boxes. A couple of days later, tape measure in hand I entered the room. The work station had been pushed into a corner blocked neatly in by a box, or two.

It was so quiet, restful in that room. I ventured over to the window, opened it, and looked out into the back garden, where the little birds were busily having breakfast.

I just knew. This is my new ‘prayer closet’

The Lord and I are going to be comfortable here.

Of course, there are the boxes to sort, and made ready for their new storage home in church, the Martha side of me has already taken first steps in arranging that!

God, of your goodness, give me yourself; you are enough for me, and anything less that I could ask for would not do you full honour. And if I ask anything that is less, I shall always lack something, but in you alone I have everything.”

The prayer above comes from Chapter 5, Revelations of Divine Love

Thank you Lord, that you see all our needs and recognise them when we do not.

Thank You for your many thoughts towards us, your wise provision.

You carry us, dear Lord throughout all our days; teach us to know when we are being carried that all shall indeed be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

Teach us also, to recognise that following You does not always mean a journey of miles, we do not reach your throne by any other means than Jesus who is the way, and though our bodily strength may fail us…. it is always by your Spirit alone that we are empowered.

My own prayer on finding a special place.

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

“Don’t Fast From Me“

Lent Day 3

The world is a Messy Place. We all have a hand in its mess. One afternoon last week, I came home after a midweek Morning Service in church, I had so much to do, but didn’t. I could only sit and weep, inwardly. Someone I had spoken to that morning had been so hurt (not by me, I am glad to say) that he a grown man, about my age had exploded in anger, anger with tears in his eyes.

The person who had caused the hurt had no idea, that a thought she had for good reasons, would have caused such hurt. She is herself caring for a close relative, a relative who is terminally ill. So offence taken and deep hurt felt … over what in actual fact was, a good thought and decision made for the good of many, by another hurting soul. The many included the man himself. I cried for his hurt, I understood totally the friend who had made a good decision and the reasons for that decision.

I cried because life can be so messy, painful, for misunderstood motives for the hidden things of the heart.

Hearts are unreadable. Even our own hearts can deceive ourselves. Satan our enemy can take the best of our thoughts and twist and bend them to suit his own purposes, hurt and bad feelings in the Body of Our Lord Jesus.

Yes Christ loves us, cherishes us as His very own self. Yes we know we should love one another. Yes, a big positive yes from me here, we do in all truth love one another… but our enemy, the chief Mess Maker takes our good intentions, our best thoughts and turns them, bends, twists and throws them in our paths as stumbling blocks of the first magnitude.

Part of Lenten Discipline is fasting. Many things are fasted from these days, one friend has given up her beloved Facebook; she reckons that , for her, is more difficult than to give up food.

What we should not give up is Prayer

Neither should we give up watching our own hearts. We should be careful and guard against such sneaky things as envy, because you know, envy can be the catalyst for anger, it can be the self-held knife that we use to produce the cuts to our pride that produces our hurt. Our hurt can in turn produce more hurt, more sin, more mess

I saw, a vision of paint, thick oily paint, daubed everywhere around town, the doors, the window sills, the walls, the people, and to be honest the most skilled of artists would have had an impossible job in discerning the pigments that those colours were mixed from! And once mixed they cannot be unmixed… they must simply wait to be erased, removed… it took the Wisdom, Love and Grace of Almighty God to clear up Humanities mess, in the Coming, Sacrifice and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why the title of this post?

In a time of stillness and calm, when I could hear clearly and not miss His Word … this was the Lord’s Whisper to me.

“Don’t fast from Me. Do not refuse my food, the Bread I offer to you!

Jesus is the Bread of Life, the unleavened Bread of Truth; stillness, quietness are the room, unlocked with the key of prayer where once admitted, He can through the Holy Spirit begin to cleanse our heart, order our thinking and use us, as clean instruments in cleaning up what remains of the World’s big mess, yes God has left some mess here, just for us, so that in teaching us how to tackle it, He can bring the work He started in us when we said Yes to Him, in the person of the Lord Jesus to perfection in the Day When the secrets of all hearts are made known and the Victory of the Cross plainly revealed.

May all the blessings of a Holy Lent be ours.

And all the Glory and Praise to God alone. Through our Lord Jesus Amen

Image: Bread baked baked by Brother Amos SSF

“Listen to Him…”

Whatever is pure, whatever is lovely
Think about such things
Philippians 4. 8-9

Lent, so I heard comes from an old English Word which simply means Spring. The plants are waiting to be planted out in the garden, they were a gift, and they are lovely. Spring is lovely, everything that our Good Lord made is lovely, and in my simple understanding, give the Creator as much delight as the day He made them.

Ash Wednesday means the flowers will be absent from churches such as mine, missing until Easter Day, when the Lilies will trumpet the Resurrection. Today’s Gospel Reading, Matthew 17. 1-9 tells of the revealing of the Lord Jesus as the Son of God and Messiah on a mountain top, it tells of the awestruck Peter, James and John, catching a glimpse of whom Jesus the Messiah really is, in the company of Moses and Elijah… there are so many learned thoughts expressed about this message, so many noteworthy and praiseworthy Bible Teachers have written many, many pages, many books, I am sure that many wonderful words have been published today on WordPress… I cannot add to them, and I would not wish to take away from them, I just feel in myself that this portion of Scripture together with the words of Peter (2 Peter 1. 16-end) very appropriate for all Christians who will keep the season of Lent… straight from the Father’s Glory as Peter puts it, they heard;

This is my Son, whom I love, with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!

Peter, eyewitness to this revelation of Christ’s glory, reminds us that we also have the witnesses of the Prophets, which must pay attention to as a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the Morning Star rises in our hearts. I cannot think of a more perfect way to put it… to keep a “good Lent” is to listen to the words of Christ and of the Prophets, if there is anything amiss with our hearts thinking, God waits to redirect us back into the right path, the Way, which is Jesus.

Finally, brothers or sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (These are the words of Paul) whatever you have learned, or received or heard from me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Whoever is reading this, I pray God’s shalom resound in your hearts and in my heart as we turn over the pages of the Holy Scriptures together as we listen….

Every Creature is a Word of God: Duck/Wrong Footed.

Everyone knows that ducks have webbed feet, don’t they?

Sitting quietly in my prayer time, I saw a duck, just his head and unmistakable beak peeking out at me from behind a hedge.

And then, I saw his feet, entirely the wrong kind of feet for a duck..

“Lord” I blurt out, “Why have you given that duck those feet”

Just the kind of question, I thought, just as quickly as the question was out and ringing in my ears, that you should not ask the Lord, our Maker. After all we ought not to ask the Lord our Maker why He makes one Pot differ from another.

Also, I could hear the words of Solomon, the Teacher;

Watch your step when you go to the house of God” and “Don’t speak impulsively – don’t be in a hurry to give voice to your words before God.”

Oh, so gently but firmly, the Lord replied;

“It is not about My giving Ducks, or my children the wrong feet. But about my Children wrong footing it. And choosing the wrong shoes.”

What are the right shoes for God’s children?

Are we all properly dressed?

In Ephesians Paul writes;

Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace.

“I could wish,” said the Lord Jesus, “That all my children took time to make themselves ready, and prepared themselves with the study of the Word of truth before engaging in argument and endless, pointless conflict amongst themselves. How are any to prove effective in publishing the Gospel of Peace to the World if they cannot have peace amongst themselves?”

I am still considering all this, and praying about it, and for my church, your church and every church that names itself for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Teacher tells us “Go near to listen, rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools.”

You are very welcome to think with me and offer your comments.

Picture: I am unsure of its origin…

Scriptures: Ecclesiastes: 5 and Ephesians 6. 14-15

Thoughtfully yours,

Thinking Ahead: Faith From A little Boat

Please follow the link below.

Where are you in your reflections on the coming year

https://coracleandtide.wordpress.com/

Church is looking forward to the arrival of a new Vicar in around 3 months time. Most people are thrilled, filled with positive, expectant and hopeful thoughts; new beginnings are exciting.

A few are filled with negative, uncertain and doubtful ones. Maybe people won’t like the new man, maybe church will change, ways of doing things, worship, prayers.


This is my old note book, it’s not a Journal, not a Diary … it’s simply a practical, and nearly full book of all kinds of things, seed thoughts, busy hen thoughts and jottings, secret glimpses received in prayer times, glimpses into what the Lord may bring to pass… He often does show the way forward, often, often, sometimes the glimpses need more light and I have to wait in patience for fresh understanding, and when that comes revise my thinking. It is a book of prayers that flow as I allow myself time to rest and reflect.

It is a book of all things.

New paths, new ventures, I find are often helped by looking back through it’s pages.

Old paths, old ventures? Well here I find wisdom; I don’t believe that in the economy of God anything is ever wasted, our failings and weaknesses are all things His Grace can use.

My church has been without a leader for two years, my notebook is two years old. During this two years, I have been called on to take and make the Leadership decisions. I have only been able to do this with the Lord’s help. By His Grace and Guidance alone. My notebook is nearly full, around the time our new Vicar arrives I foresee that I shall be beginning another ………..

Please continue to Coracle and Tide to finish reading.


I am praying and looking forward to what lies through the little gate and narrow path that runs straight and true into 2020 and farther than eye can see.

Scripture says we are all members of one another. So we are but sometimes it is necessary, to push away from river bank or shore in a little boat (Coracle) of our own. The Lord Jesus did this often by waking early and taking Himself to a lonely place to seek His Father’s face and pray.

We don’t all pray alike,

A word that I ponder on frequently, came as I prayed, a word for me, not for speaking out, and I don’t think it has been pondered on enough yet, for me to write in any depth about, but I will share it now:

I don’t sprinkle all alike

Well, no the Lord doesn’t sprinkle all alike. There are many differing gifts and many differing callings. Your journeys will be different from mine… yet for all of us Christ is the Way.

Praying for all my WordPress friends that as you come to the little Gate that is the Beginning of 2020, you too may find guidance, grace and wisdom and can say Amen to the statement that “nothing in Gods economy is ever wasted… our past failings and weaknesses… can be in His Providences the successes and strengths of the Year ahead.

Lord make it so, in Jesus’ Name Amen”

In Christ Alone

There are times, when I feel totally overwhelmed and perhaps you do too; like those times when I am caught up in a group of God’s children, and hear what they have to say about those of another group; you know what I mean, those who go to this church or that church which is different to our own.

Social Media is full of criticism and comments, warnings that this church or that church Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker, Happy Clappy are all so wrong, in what they believe, in what they do, what they say.

Happy Clappy.?

whoever they may be… I am possibly one of the quietest, most serious persons you could ever meet – but, I have been labelled Happy Clappy. Reason? Singing to myself in the hall kitchen… “Give thanks to the risen Lord”

Well, now that the Lord is risen I do believe and that He gave up His life, dying a horrific death on the cross for my sins – that I don’t doubt, not surprisingly I shall continue to give thanks to the Risen Lord.

And I shall also continue to pray that the day will come when the whole Christian Family gives thanks to the Risen Lord and recognises that the Lord who loves me and us, loved him, her and those others as well.

Christ Jesus died for us!

When we were still far off in our sins, God met us in His Son.

Not just us up here, over here, but them them down there, over there.

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!

Not the theologian, not the tradition, not the doctrine,

It wasn’t, the Archbishop, the Cardinal, the Pastor,

The Priest or the Evangelist, but

Christ Jesus died for us!

So, I ask, why can’t we be civil, why can’t we speak the truth in love, share the Truth of His Word, “it is written in the prophets (see Isaiah 54.13) they shall all be taught of God, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to me.) Jesus tells us this in John 6.45.

So, I ask in my simple, naive way, “Why don’t we all go into our secret (closet) room, shut the door and listen to the One who sees and hears and hold our criticism back until we have heard what the Heavenly Teacher has to teach us first…

Perhaps He May whisper, “Speak the truth in love”

While we were yet sinners,

Christ Jesus died for us


In Christ Alone

(Stuart Townsend)

Christ alone my hope is found,

He is my light, my strength, my song

This Cornerstone, this solid Ground

Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace

When fears are stilled, when strivings cease

My Comforter, my All in All

Here in the love of Christ I stand.

You know what?

Those other folk, they who are not us, may just be standing in the love of Christ as well as us!


Grant to me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know.

To love what I ought to love,

To praise what delights Thee most,

To value what is precious in Thy sight,

To hate what is offensive to Thee.

Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,

Nor to pass sentence according to the ears of ignorant men;

But to discern with a true judgement between things visual and spiritual,

And above all things to enquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will.

(Thomas A Kempis c1375-1475)


Off to my secret (closet) place now..

Good night, God bless

Rainy Day Chickens

I looked and I saw?

Chickens out in the rain, puddles up to the knees, squawking as only very wet, miserable chickens can.

What?

Had they no sense?

Why didn’t they head for their nice cosy hen house?

Puzzled, I reached for trusty waterproof with a hood, someone needed to get those silly hens in, and if it had to be me, it had to be me.

At iiii shhh ooo. At iiii shhh ooo!

That’s when I realised I had flu, just as the hands of Jesus reached down to pick me up and tuck me under his arm.

“No not you. I want you for something else today”


Does this ring true to you? Are you the one who sees the plight of others first, before you see your own?

Well, I can only say on reflection the Lord sees and notices every single thing you do. He cares about the chickens out in the rain. Of course He does. He shakes his head in sympathy and understands each perplexed, ‘what do I do now, what’s the right way to go cluck.

After all, “the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost”

Most of us, at times feel lost. Even those who have been ‘found’ a long time .. we can feel we need to know the way to go next. Yes, we may well know every cobble in the farm road, every step to the hen house and barn. We may know, as wise-birds, exactly what to do when it rains on everyone’s parade.

But do we know our God cares about us?

Knows we are willing to be pushed to the limit for those rainy day chickens, and to shoo them into the warmth of a dry shelter, to wholesome food and drink.

Yes He does know these things and yet, there is still something, which we can’t put our finger on… the something else, that thing which He wants us to do for Him today.

That puzzling, something else – may be quite different to what we did yesterday – it may be the last thing we would ever choose for ourselves – the last thing we would want to do, or want to be.


We did not choose you Lord Christ;

But you chose us.

We cannot choose what we do,

If there is something else,

You would have us do-

We have to choose aright,

Go, Stay;

Do. Say;

As you would have it.

Lord, show us what you would have us do

To do for you, today and every day:

Give us each day our Daily Bread,

Fresh and new:

Let our food be to do God’s will,

Together with you,

Today,

Everyday,

Always

Amen


Reading: Luke 19:10

Prayer: my own

The picture described given on rainy Saturday 12th October

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: