Tag: scriptures

Prayer: The Good Way

“Look to the crossroads”

“Stand in the ways and see,

And ask for the old paths,

Where the good way is,

And walk in it:

Then you will find rest for your souls.”

Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV)

Whether our years are few or many. All of us at some time in life come to a crossroads and often we find the ways are not as clearly marked as we would wish for and there are no guarantees that we shall find what we desire by following this path or that.

Perhaps we may look and choose the “Road Less Travelled By” (Robert Frost) setting off hopefully and Cross Roads left behind, then suddenly we aren’t so sure… How do we know just which is the good way?

Many set off with a strong sense of vocation, and certainty of the road to take. Many more do not.

How do we find certainty

Mark’s Gospel, full of immediately’s, or straightaways, has this little account:-

“Now in the morning, having risen a long time before daylight, he (Jesus) went out and departed to a solitary place and there He prayed.

And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him.

When they found Him, they said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.”

But He said to them. “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth’

Mark 1. 35-38 (NKJV)

When the Holy Spirit points out to us the good way, of Prayer way we should “immediately” take it. It is a quiet way and a lonely way but it is the way our Master took, His feet never left it not even surrounded by great crowds …. and from that good way…. He gained direction for the coming days.

Lord be with us today in the good way

That we may leave behind yesterday’s town and regret

And see tomorrow’s town, purpose and hope

Amen.

Always Jean

Fragments

He put it in my hand. A piece of broken pot, carefully shaped into a square. And on the tile it now was, the words, “I am broken” written

There are many who who are broken, some in the sense of financially broken, many have lost their livelihoods, some are heart- broken, grieving for loved ones, and some have come to know they are broken because of sin.

I didn’t know why this little token, was placed so gently on my palm. But I felt I must accept it, take it, turn it over, ponder it, keep it. This little fragment was important to the Lord, it was shown, given for a purpose.

When, the Word of God came, He came, He said to open the eyes of the blind, He came to heal and repair a broken world. To search for the lost, the fragmented, when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, Christ kept His promise and into that upper room the Holy Spirit blew…not a whispering breeze but a great, violent, noisy wind that swept the disciples out into the street and became a broom in their hands… a broom to sweep up and together the pots broken by its ferocity.

I write and speak so often of the gentleness of God, the whisper of the Spirit, the still, small voice. Yet, I know that still, gentle voice is the Voice that breaks twists great oak and strips the forests bare, yes the same Voice, the Lord Thunders over the mighty waters, shaking the desert… the Voice of the Lord breaks…..

The preaching of Peter and the Apostles on that Day of Pentecost was so powerful, breaking strong wills and stubborn hearts, casting down proud hearts and in their shattering the Church was born.

Before the world can be repaired, it needs to know it is broken.

Before the patient visits the physician He needs to realise He is sick.

The least welcome of all preaching is that which shows the world that it is sick, that it is broken and needs mending. Bringing conviction of that is the work of Holy Spirit preaching. It is also the Work of Christ and the Father… God does not thunder out of heaven with intention to destroy beyond all mending… He does it that we may know our brokenness and be put together again…. not as we were but better.

Pondering the fragment that had been given, observing that already it knew the hand of the Craftsman I knew that this would be fitted carefully into place:

Making of Icon
Saint Mary’s Church, Berlin

We are broken to be transformed together into the likeness of Jesus broken for us on the Cross of Calvary, in order that we might be perfectly whole, forgiven, repaired, better a New Creation.

Complete according to
An Icon from Saint Katherine’s Monastery, Sinai.

I don’t, usually write like this, but feel compelled to do so, as Pentecost approaches because on that day, when God bought the Church to birth, Peter preached, and pressed his case with many arguments and pleaded that those hearing would ‘save themselves from this perverse generation’ until about 3000 people were baptised and added to their number. Is our generation any better?

I think not. We just don’t fully realise that the world needs repairing, and making good. It is only when we know that we are broken that the Maker can begin to make the repair!

Lord, press into each palm the token

Of our brokenness, and of our

Need; to be restored, mended, fixed:

Made over; born over;

Into the likeness of Jesus, our Redeemer,

Messiah, your very likeness,

Then, we too, with all the angels of God

Shall cry “Glory”

Amen

Prayer: My own, Jean at Fresh Whispers

When

The Cloisters, Chester Cathedral

Well, the rain finally arrived, out came a rain coat to venture into my little Wilderness to feed the birds, and just to walk awhile, the birds watching from the shelter of the trees, watching, waiting. When would I disappear into the kitchen and leave them to their dining?

When? Is the big question in the U.K. When will people be able to get back to jobs in offices, restaurants, when will hair dressers be opening up to cut our lockdown hair problems down to size?

My own hair is quite long now but not as long as it was. Yesterday morning, I took hair dressing scissors and matters into my own hands; gathered it up into a ponytail and cut off two inches. This took all of 30 seconds and a lot of courage. Actually, combed out it looks good and it feels good!

“That feels good, Lord,” I murmured ~ and why not our Father knows our thoughts anyway. “I’ve pruned it. It will grow again but without the dead and split ends.”

Our Father, of course made no reply. After all He is the True Gardener and expertly, keeps the branches in the Vine in good trim, removing the old growth so they will produce new, more vigorous growth, more, good fruit.

Stay united with me, as I will with you – for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine – so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.

John 15.4 CJB

Another scripture tells us that Our Father corrects every child of his, and that if He doesn’t then we are none of His. We cannot keep our old, childish habits and grow into mature Christians, growing in Jesus means we must accept correction and that is pruning.

As small children our youngest brother would happily forgo washing, if he could. But keen sighted mom would take firm hold of him and the soap! “No child of mine goes out looking like that”

Oh no. No. Mom not the soap”

We would just smile at each other. He was, a handsome little lad really, when washed and his blonde hair neatly combed.

Everything takes time. It takes time for hair to grow. Time for mucky little lads to grow into smart young men. It takes time for a Vine to produce fruit. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a season and a right time for every intention under heaven.

For some of the Father’s children, isolation and lockdown are, I am sure proving to be a season of correction and pruning, as in solitude and silence the Father’s heart and our heart have met together. And what a wonderful, beautiful, holy time this can be… as we have clung tightly to the Christ the Vine “stay united with me” He says, “As I will with you

At the time of writing I cannot say when I shall be at liberty to come and go, as I choose again, I can say that I love, more and more, to be with the Gardener and His Son, with freshly opened eyes.

Lord be with us, especially those who are shut in and live alone, you have called us to take off our shoes and be content to stay awhile. Nothing can happen to us, or with us, that you do not know already. You hide us in your secret place whilst the world passes by. Speak to us now, and let us hear, so that in the proper season we may bear much fruit that will be delightful to your taste. This we ask in the Name of Jesus who is one with you in us, shares The Gardener’s pruning with us. Amen

When the world is Coronavirus free, my friend has promised a visit to Chester Cathedral, where I like to walk in the Cloisters, and a cream tea.

Two Good Friends and The Presence

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing

He makes me lie down in green pastures

He leads me besides quiet waters, He refreshes my soul

He guides me along the right paths for His Names sake,

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, i will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.

Social distancing sheep…keeping an eye on each other

Social distancing… I saw a comment on Twitter that said simply that Religious Communities have practiced this for centuries.

True they have.

We hear, the Lord Jesus, speaking to the disciples said “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6. 31). And so they did, only to find a large crowd waiting for them on the other side of the lake, then we read our Lord had compassion on them, seeing that they were like sheep without a shepherd, so He began teaching them many things.

I do not know how you are coping with the virus, but it certainly is making a difference for some. A little while ago, I got a text message reminding me that I should remain at home now for 12 weeks, I have already done that for a week, not that I have any underlying health problems but because I am over 70, a little less mobile and needed to be at home to deal with the phone calls, texts, emails and queries that arise when a place of worship is going into hibernation.

So, quiet but still busy. It was so good to go out into the back garden for awhile, late yesterday afternoon, I planted out a pretty little Azalea hoping that a late frost won’t kill it…looked ok today, like quiet, rest is good, stillness is good.

I find, quietness and stillness are like two good friends, companionable and there is a third friend Presence. Not just any presence but the Presence of the Lamb of God, Himself.

Quietness and Stillness are the Pause which allows the Presence to speak and to teach if we ‘crowd’ ourselves with two many distractions and tasks we give no opportunity for the Teacher to speak and He is longing to teach us what we should be doing, to show us the right way for today.

As I am about my daily tasks, words from the mouth of Jesus are with me, often reminding me to be ‘anxious for nothing’ to ‘not to worry about tomorrow’ and when prayer doesn’t come with eloquent words, that my Father already knows the thoughts of my heart.

This is true. God is true to Himself and to us. He, can bring good out of all this. He will bring good out of it….

A prayer for these days

Lord we pray for all who work tirelessly to defeat this pandemic. Protect them, they have loved ones, protect them

For all who are ill, restore them to health. For all who are lonely, anxious, despairing, comfort them. For all who are bereaved, in their grief sustain them.

Lead us all, Good Shepherd as You led your people through the wilderness to the still and refreshing waters. To this end, and the purpose for which You have called us, grant us grace to be uncomplaining, without grumbling let us be burden sharers for those whose burdens are heavy.

Always, only in the Name of Jesus. Amen

Scripture from Psalm 23 N.I.V. Image; Twitter

“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,

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)

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”

Advent: What is our’s to do’

Advent even in a traditional church like ours is not the season of empty waiting it was with no decorations to be seen. I saw a determined, resolute tweet from one church. “We will keep Advent and then the 12 Days of Christmas”

However, when hundreds of eager, bright eyed children arrive for their School Carol Concerts they do expect to see a Christmas Tree and even some of our regular Sunday worshippers will say that they don’t understand why clergy call Advent a solemn season when we are looking forward to the Happy Celebration of remembering the birth of Jesus.

Try, ever so patiently, ever so gently to explain that Advent also looks forward to Jesus coming again to judge the world, and you know, that you are fusing all their Christmas Tree lights….. you are the Grinch and most definitely stealing Christmas!

As a child, I was taught in Sunday School, that we should “keep short accounts with the Lord” that is when we know we are doing something wrong, or have done something wrong, we should stop, say sorry and ask the Lord to forgive us and that we could be sure that He will. If little children can understand this, why can’t adults understand Advent?


I have been reading that some farmers, in some parts of the U.K. will be looking to see if Winter Barley is germinating in their fields now, at this time, God has provided for us in such an abundant way that crops of some kind are always being sown, regardless of the season. Farmers have to be patient, persevering and tough to endure all kinds of weather conditions, heat, cold, flood, wind… they have to persist with ‘what is theirs’ to do’

Do we know ‘what is ours’ to do’?

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crops, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The judge is standing at the door!”

So, the Lord is!

Standing at the door, that is, and He is nearer and closer than we think.

Whatever our church tradition, personal thoughts or opinions about times or seasons; we need to watch our own field, watching over it to see what kind of crop we ourselves are producing.


Lord, I pray, that you would teach me, what is mine to do. Give me patience and a gentle spirit, grant that I may always seek first your Kingdom, your righteousness and submit to your will. Sometimes, my heart may feel you are dealing with me harshly ~ then my Father and God help me to recall that before the seed can be sown, first the ground, my heart, must be ploughed. Sun and rain you have promised and harvest in due season, just as you promised that Messiah would come, He has come, and just as He promised, He will come again. We do not know the time or the season but we know He will come again.


Scripture: James 5: 7-9 (N.I.V.)

Prayer and images my own.

Watch-word: ‘ Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

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