Tag: scriptures

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.

Don’t judge a book… or church mouse

People like things are not always what they seem; I learnt not to judge a book by its cover a long time ago. The most wonderful, wise and beautiful things may be hiding within battered, frail covers of an old book, the one with the broken spine thrown on to the charity shop book shelf.. may be the one containing the priceless word treasures to restore your broken heart or spirit.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover or believe you can tell the man or woman beloved by God by their appearance, education or by what they boast. I learnt that lesson long ago as well.

Once upon a time, there was a small Christian, very quiet but always happy to lend a hand when a hand was needed. Her friend was outgoing, bubbly and super confident, as often happens with friends, they both found themselves choosing new, different paths in following Jesus; and as the Lord often arranges it, they came together, for a time, many years later. When the quiet one, answering a call from heaven to watch over a newly born Christian accompanied her to the church where the bubbly, confident one had become a “founding member”

The night before the first visit, the quiet one was wakened from sleep by the sound of dripping water, drip, drip, drip,… was there a leak, raining in, bathroom tap left running? Quietly, the quiet one switched on lights and investigated.

Nothing! No rain drops under the eaves, no leaky pipes or taps. The quiet one snuggled down under the covers. Drip, drip, drip…

“Oh I get it. Is that you Lord?”

“…. do something for Me. Be a mother to my children”

Never overconfident, she replied doubtfully, “Oh Lord Jesús, I don’t think I can ever be a mother to your children… ooohhh”

He was showing her a young girl, from her childhood, carefully tying her headscarf in a tidy bow under her chin. “At least be a big sister.”

“I will try. Where are the children?”

“Everywhere you will ever go.”


So, first steps into a new church, reunion with an old friend, who hugged and announced to all present that here was “the church mouse” … the quiet one did not deny this but with customary quietness took a seat. It took just about 5 minutes for her to realise that this church was charismatic, red hot, on fire for God another 5 and someone was calling out “the children are here.”

Another 5 and she knew this lovely, vibrant, enthusiastic family had a problem that would finally result in its scattering … the Holy Spirit was plainly saying there was a thief in the midst.

It puzzled the quiet one, that the children were being taught, insistently that the Holy Spirit never reveals anything which might cause the children to feel ashamed. It puzzled her further that a picture received, was counted as “a word from God” that a meaning could be attributed in a matter of moments. That these pictures were always promises of good gifts and financial blessing for the church … when plainly….

To cut a long story short, less than two years after this new church had formed its Pastor and teacher went to prison for theft.


I posted this true story, because there are still “children” out there who are being conned, duped, deceived by people who look “alright on the outside” … they boast of many gifts, but deny the Spirit of Truth when He witnesses against them.

Many of those “children” lost faith and broke faith with the Lord when finally the truth came out … the bubbly confident one lost a lot of sparkle…

The quiet one carried on being a “big sister” and says wherever she goes “the children are always there”

My dear friends, not every Spirit is to be trusted, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets are at large in the world.”

1 John 4.1 (N.J.B)

Salt is still required

When I was young, potato crisps only came in the one flavour, and each bag contained a separate blue paper packet, ~ the salt. It was up to you how much salt you added to the crisps in the bag. You decided how salty you wanted your crisps. Nowadays there is no choice .. the crisps (chips) are salted before they are bagged.

Also nowadays, salt is not such a desirable food additive, and the labels on packets and tins on the supermarket shelves are scanned for percentage of the recommended daily intake. Too much salt, we are told is not good for our health.

Times change. A favourite uncle used to grow wonderful vegetables, producing Runner Beans in abundance, despite generous gifts to family, friends and neighbours there were always plenty to pick and preserve in salt, for wintry days. I guess that is not done much in these days of quick freezing.

You are,” the Lord Jesus said, “salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good, for nothing, and can only be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”

I think of salt as Holiness. Holiness without which ‘no one may see the Lord’ ~ holiness is the savour, the taste which the Lord looks for in our worship and our lives. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus adds,

Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another”

Like salt on the table, holiness is often missing in life today, relationships are conducted just as they come, and often we hear “it doesn’t hurt anyone else” We also spend far too much time in petty squabbles with each other within our church fellowships in comparison to little time spent in praying and studying together.

~ I would say, that is often quite untrue our bad behaviour doesn’t hurt anyone else, quite plainly it often does hurt someone else, often, it is the very young, innocent and vulnerable, it betrays sin in the hidden man or woman of our heart, it is simply overlooked, people are in the dark, so to speak,

“You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in people’s sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.”

Scandalous behaviour amongst priests and church leaders seems to be coming more and more prevalent amongst church people – this should not be. Immediately following these words in Matthew chapter 5, our Lord taught us not to imagine He has come to abolish either the Law or the Prophets but to complete them (written on our hearts and minds by the spirit, they show us our faults and failings in order that our hearts may take on a new perfection in love and holiness)

I have thought of the Law, the Ten Commandments and the Prophets as being the fence, or wall around the vineyard and sheepfold.. these instructions were given by God in order to protect the innocent (think of all those who harmed by abuse, whether physically, or mentally, think of all victims of theft, violence, crime, all who are corrupted by the behaviour and injustice of others – we are told that we should not judge (pass sentence, and condemn unjustly) but the Lord who is our Judge, always gives justice and administers judgement to protect the innocent). When Jesus speaks of the Sheepfold in chapter 10, John’s Gospel, He tells us that He completes the wall or fence by laying Himself down at the open entrance as the Door. As Christians, members of His Body … we need to be very careful that we do not lose the Holiness, God has called us to … “not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved” The Righteous Judge stands watch at the door.

I cannot think, that the whole world is yet subject to the Lord Jesus, we who love the Lord need to continue to be both Salt and Light. Good works and Holy people. Both are still very needful.

Scriptures from Matthew Chapter 5 (N.J.B.)

Prudence

“P” for prudence

I held the peas given, for sometime and named them, the first, I called Prudence. Prudence is not a word that is used often nowadays and in some scripture versions it is translated as Wisdom.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, to act prudently is to act with or showing care and thought for the future and its origin is the Latin “prudens” meaning foreseeing, aware (of) intelligent, skilled. The New Testament Greek translates as “sophia” the highest intellectual gift of comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God.

All wisdom comes from the LORD

She is with Him for ever.

The sands of the sea, the drops of rain,

The days of eternity-who can count them?

The height of the sky, the breadth if the earth,

The depth of the abyss– who can explore them?

Wisdom was created before everything,

Prudent understanding subsists from remotest ages,

For whom has the root of wisdom ever been uncovered?

Her resourceful ways, who knows them?

One only is wise, terrible indeed,

Seated on His throne, the LORD.”

To me, the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians is to us a gift of highest intellectual insight into the ways and purposes of God, the version, (N.J.B) translates prudence as wisdom, where the NKJV translates it as prudence.

Paul writes,

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Thus He chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before Him in love, marking us out for Himself beforehand, to be adopted sons, (and daughters) through Jesus Christ. Such was His purpose and good pleasure, to the praise and glory of His grace, His free gift to us in the Beloved, in whom, through His blood, we gain our freedom, the forgiveness of our sins. Such is the richness of the grace which He has showered on us in all wisdom and insight. He has let us know the mystery of His purpose, according to His good pleasure which He determined beforehand in Christ, for Him to act upon when the times had run their course:”

The rest of the chapter, and letter unfold for us more of our Father’ s wonderful plan for our eternal destiny, together with gentle admonishments for the forming of the people God created us to be: I sat still, savouring these scriptures, really at a loss for words to express the inexpressible, my little green pea, I had named “prudence” but I was now looking at a pearl called “wisdom”

For me the passage from Ephesians speak of our gracious God acting with and showing care and thought for our future before creating anything at all, they show us His foresight and skilful working out of a plan to raise us to sit in high places in Christ Jesus and, one thing more, His abundant anointing of the Holy Spirit and gifts of spiritual insight for a man called Paul, who said of himself, that he was the worst of all men, and the chief of sinners!

Scripture References: Ecclesiasticus 1:1-8, Ephesians 1; 3-10 Both N.J.B.

Holy word, holy wisdom

He said, ‘Go’

Fresh peas …

I was invited to a friend’s home, to share good company and conversation with other friends of the Lord, from other churches, other traditions, other ways… we all had one thing in common, we all had many years of seeking to serve and please God. All of us, had started our journey with the Lord from different ‘feeder paths – yet here we were all in the Way and on the Way.

I woke next morning comfortable and quiet, the Holy Spirit nudged into my happy space with,

“Are you rich, my friend”

I smiled he was bringing to mind my friend’s home, compared to mine a palace. But there again, she had a husband and together they had a business of their own and I have been a single woman, I gave my Yes to His call as a young girl, still not old enough to vote – still ‘waiting for the key to the door’ as the older generations called it. Well the Lord gave me a most precious key to another door … won’t dwell on that now.

In the early light I was making out familiar shapes of my own humbler possessions;

“Yes, Lord, I am rich. Everything I need God has provided and will provide.” I answered happily.

Now the conversation at my friend’s home had been about the scarcity of young people in our churches, and where are tomorrow’s church leaders and elders, so the next words didn’t surprise me.

“Go,” the Lord says, and “Tell whoever has the heart to go, especially those who are young, to go, tell them don’t wait.

“Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses, with no haversack for the journey or spare tunic or a staff, for the labourer deserves His keep.”

I smiled. Nothing in this world, compares to the riches of the Kingdom of God.

“Yes Lord, but we do need to take something with us, we need to be dressed for the Gospel. We need compassion, kindness a heart like yours, we need to take your teaching and word with us.”

*Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned, forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you

“All who know this, are ready. Go,” says the Lord, “tell the older ones, tell the younger ones… wait for nothing and no one Go!”


He showed me a full pod of peas, freshly picked, young, green, tender, and sweet.

“Hold them in your hand just a little while and consider them just a little while, and ask Me about those things you don’t understand.

I smile, so many, many years ago He called me His little pe… .


Please feel free to share your thoughts on the peas.

I used the New Jerusalem Bible for the scripture quotes:

Matthew 10:9

Luke 6: 36-38

New Beginnings and the 8th Day

This morning , my church received from the Pastor of a nearby Pentecostal Church, a brown envelope on opening it, I found the gift of one £5 note a packet of wildflower seeds and a printed card which tells me that the gift is a symbolic and prophetical sowing into the Ministry of our church.

The card also has the message that “Our God is the God of abundance, and that He can take the seed we give to Him in faith and He can bring about a great Harvest.”

If I could choose a time to visit the Holy Land it would be for the Feast of Tabernacles, just ended, however the Lord visits us where we are, and this year, it has pleased Him to bring to my remembrance that 7 x 7 Feasts of Tabernacles = 49 years have passed since I received the Holy Spirit, and they have been good years abounding in good, delightful things… they have been years of sunshine and of rain, sadness and joy, blessed years.

The 8th Day following on from the 7th Day of the Feast of Tabernacles celebrating the Final ingathering/harvest of the year, can be regarded as “New Beginnings” it is a time when the gift of rain is asked for the sowing of fresh seeds, so in faith I pray that God will bless the sowing of His Word with Holy Spirit Rain in this 50th year.

On the last day, the great day of the festival, Jesus stood and cried out:

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me!

“Let anyone who believes in me come and drink!

As scripture says, “From his heart shall flow streams of living water”‘

He was speaking of the Spirit which those who believed in Him were to receive; for there was no Spirit as yet because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

John 7: 37-39 (N.J.B)

So here I stand at the beginning of a kind of Jubilee Year in my walk with the Lord and I yearn for it to be a fruitful year for Him. I have known Him and His love for me all my days but the preciousness of the Holy Spirit who can describe?

Who can count the seed in a pomegranate?

Jewish tradition says there are 613 representing the 613 commandments of the Torah. In my church a pomegranate appears in a stained glass window as a symbol of Christian faith and fruitfulness. Some think that a pomegranate may have been the mysterious apple eaten in the garden of Eden. Maybe if you have time you can look up all the biblical references, you will certainly be blessed if you do. I chose the pomegranate to illustrate this post because it reminds me of the sweetness of the Holy Word of God, the True Vine, who admonished us:

Remain in me, as I in you

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself”

And He gently says, “Whoever remains in Me with Me in him, bears fruit in plenty: for cut off from me you can do nothing.”

May His blessing abide with us still.

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.

Seeds, not all grow – but all have potential

I really do not know how to pick up my story from here, it has been such a long time since I posted anything at all…

That doesn’t mean that nothing at all has been happening in my life, it means seasons have come, seasons have gone, things have changed, my church has changed and is still changing. People have come and gone in my life, sadly some have gone to be with the Lord, and for many of them that probably came as a happy release from sadness and pain; to be with the Lord can be far better, as the apostle Paul once reflected.

I have added a new page but kept the old About which was posted 6 years ago… if you should want to read the new page it mentions my Summer of change … a long, hot summer in which the Lord has revealed more and more of His Gracious Face, He has been my Teacher and it has been my delight to learn from Him.

Seeds, not all grow – but all have potential‘ I scribbled that, an opening note in a new notebook in April this year, life had been very full, very hectic, with little time to sit and reflect; even morning quiet times had been swallowed up as I battled to get important tasks finished in time for A.G.M.s but now that was done and I was able to return to my quiet times, and reflect on many, many things that the Lord had been showing, and not so much whispering as shouting.

It is possible that like myself, you too, if you are reading this, may also be in the position I was in, busy, busy but not in earning a living, I am an older retired, woman, but, like me you may be the one who picks up the church jobs that others put down, you do that because there is no one else, there is still a shortage of labourers in God’s vineyard… and those jobs are the necessary ones that keep the vineyards open, the invisible chores that Sunday visitors are quite unaware of, until something goes wrong.

Well, I began a new notebook to try to jot down those word and picture seeds – so freely and generously given- ‘ when there was time I could think about them, perhaps even do something about them. however my thinking on priorities and time were not in accordance with my Lord’s and over my summer of change .. He has reordered both my priorities and thinking for me

And me? I love my Teacher for that! I praise and thank Him for every stern and kind rebuke.

Seeds, not all grow – but all have potential‘ It is a fact that if you don’t sow seeds they will not grow, a packet of seeds, sacks full of seed will not grow if they are left on the shelf, in the cupboard, in the barn. Neither will the beautiful seeds which the Lord gives through the Holy Spirit. In all the practical things which I was doing, in all those long days, and nights sometimes (it would be nothing for me to working away until the early hours on accounts, reports) When was I going to get those seeds sown and their potential released?

And all the while, through those long, busy hours I was crying out to God for the opportunity to start sowing instead of storing. And He heard and that is the story of this Summer. Something had to change; better someone had to change and that someone was me.

The summer was long, hot, dry. But my eyes wet often, with tears of Holy Spirit rain

I was in danger of becoming a hoarder of spiritual gifts. Jesus the Teacher decided it was time to take me in hand.

“For the heavens are as high above the earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilising it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes forth from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do.

(Isaiah 55:9-11 . N.J.B)