Tomorrow is not a certainty.

You know we all have thoughts that jump out of nowhere, they are often thoughts that are not even particularly unusual but they make us think.  I suddenly thought last night – today could be my last day here! I didn’t really believe it, but it is true, none of us know when our time is up in this life/body. So that got me thinking, so it could be said don’t sweat the small stuff, live for today, do what you want… blah blah blah…. or it could alternatively be said that the small stuff is extraordinarily important because that is what is important to people on an everyday basis in our lives.

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Strangely things like moving house, looked at from this perspective, actually don’t really matter. I think it’s personal things, caring for others, looking out for others, loving others, which is important.

It is not just important to us, it is important to God. He wants us to steward this life well.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. (Luke 16:10)

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ (Matt 25:21)

give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

He is a generous God. This gave me a little perspective I think, over the move. We really want it, but we tend to want it on our terms and in our timing (i.e quickly), but it’s not that important.  What is more important is how we do it and how we do life in general. God’s perspective is different to ours again. “give and it will be given to you” and he also talks a lot about helping people in need, about being there with them and doing nothing out of selfish ambition.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Phillippians 2:3-4)

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:16-18)

The only way any of us can do this is through meeting Jesus, making him Lord over all of our lives and being filled with the Holy Spirit. Then we will be changed, jealousy and selfish ambition will be changed (sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly) into love and compassion.

I pray for this process to continue and for our perspective to come from you Lord Jesus. Our perspective is often off, yours is not. We are and will keep asking for your wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)

 

 

 

 

 

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Roots…

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

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I’ve been thinking about this line, for the last couple of days.  When I say thinking, I mean it has just been coming back to me in my quiet times and has been at the back of my mind.

I can be very emotional  and when something upsets me or makes me angry, hurt just pours out of my mouth and then leaves me speechless and full of remorse afterwards for a while…well almost speechless…. Or! I clam up and store it all up and then explode at a later time. As moving house is supposedly one of the most stressful times in your life I suppose this is an apt post.

I really want to change my reactions, I’ve been thinking about how the only way this can change is to think about what actually upset me and deal with that (the root of the matter), because usually it is not actually the action or even words of the other, it is usually an association with some other event or hurt I have experienced, or even just plain selfishness when someone is stopping me doing something I want to do or even just tiredness! I also need the continual filling of the Holy Spirit and to rely on him, when I say also, I mean that needs to come first. I also need to be able to talk about whatever it is that is wrong calmly.

On our own we are not accepted by God, we have to come to him through Jesus and then we become fragrant and we live with God and through God.  But there is still stuff we need to deal with.  I love God, I need God. He is not a crutch as I used to think about Christians, He is real and the reason I need him is because we are made for him and by him. When we don’t know him we try and fill our lives with other things. Now I know Him I just want to be filled with Him and I become aware of my sin. Pouring out words indiscriminately is sin. But it hurts so much! when I feel unappreciated, unloved, tired, unfairly accused, put upon, completely confused with everything I feel I need to do.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? (Isaiah 53:6-8)

This is about Jesus and was written (prophesied) years before he lived and was crucified. He did not say a word despite being accused, oppressed and afflicted. He did not need or have to defend himself. He also did this for me so he became my righteousness. I do not need to defend myself, God is my defence. If I am guilty I need to say so, if I am not I do not need to say anything or even feel hurt. I do pray that God will give me the compassion to actually feel for the other person in this circumstance.

None of the previously mentioned upsets are reasons for not being kind. So I think I need to rethink. Stop doing things because I feel I have to and just enjoy being with my kids and husband. Meditating on scriptures and spending time with God is a must. So is accepting that I will sometimes get upset and hurt, I just want to sort out my reaction to it. My reaction is my responsibility, I want to operate from love not hurt or frustration.

I love my children, but I make so many mistakes and so often feel as though I’m getting it completely wrong. I read a post yesterday that I need to think about, it’s about how God leads those with young with gentleness. That what he want from you when you’re in this period of your life is gentleness. I thought it was a lovely post, I cannot find it again now for the life of me but when I do I will put a link up. It is normal stuff about playing with them/just being with them, going for general tidiness rather than sterility (as if) about meditating on scripture and just having this as a gentle time in your life, a time with them. As a person who tends to put extra stresses on herself, worry that she is not doing a good enough job and then tries harder (resulting in more anxiety) but then also get distracted by unimportant stuff this really spoke.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young. (Isaiah 40:11)

I love God, he really does give life.

Focusing on the good…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phillipians 4:6-8)

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good.  Abstain from every form of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

I just want to focus on the good stuff today and be thankful.

 

Northumberland (No 1 off bucket list)

We have been up for a couple of days (Chris and I and the boys).  I have been coming up to Northumberland for years, first with my family (mum and dad and sister), then with my eldest daughter – mainly camping then, because it was affordable and fun. Now with Chris and the boys. Northumberland seems to be a bit addictive. I just love the coast, it is wild, stretches for miles and it is windy and amazing. No built up promenades here! You can also still take your dog on the beach no matter what time of year it is.

Our dog met the sea for the first time today, he wasn’t that keen, he had a few snaps at the waves as they were coming in and ran madly about on a long lead.  He was much better when we started throwing a stick in, he then started running in and out without much problem. For the first time I can remember though, the beach we were on was busy with loads of people on and other dogs, so there was too much noise and disturbance for him really, I think it made him a bit anxious.

It was a very mixed day today, funny how we have all these expectations and plans and it never turns out how we think. It was good but also bad, I was absolutely shattered because we didn’t get here until late last night and then the boys wouldn’t go to bed because it was exciting and then they got up early. So I’ve been quite moody….. but! we went to the beach AND we went for icecream, J loved that. I love the beach, I love the smell, the sea, rocks, sitting on the sand, just breathing it all in and being there. Also got some paddling in, which was great. The baby loved the sea too, kicking and splashing like mad. I think he is going to be quite adventurous.

The journey up last night was something else, the M1 was heaving, then there were the most torrential downpours and lightning, huge flashes and forked lightning too, which made the sky look purpley/pink. We then had to stop to feed the baby (he was crying and crying) and Chris went for a little wander and found a man who needed a jump start, so we drove over to do that, (he ended up having a bump start). It perhaps doesn’t sound like the most ideal situation but it was strangely peaceful. J was asleep in the back, I was feeding the baby in the dark in the front and Chris was outside helping the people who had broken down. The darkness and quietness made it easy to focus on the baby and it was lovely, a bit of quiet time with him. I could also look at Chris from a distance as he was talking to this man and his family and helping them. It sometimes helps to look from a distance. He was all lit up. He really likes helping people, I don’t think I really got that before but I saw it in his face last night. Not for himself, just because he likes helping people, because that is how God has made him.

Then after we had got there and settled (after midnight), we lost the dog. I didn’t check the gate on the balcony when I let him out and he went for a walk on his own. I searched around the campsite on foot, then got back in with the full intention of taking the car out to search for him. When I opened the door to go back out to the car, he appeared at the door, soaking wet from the rain but perfectly alright. We were so glad, and we were so relieved he came back. He has never been there before. I had been praying and praying as I was walking around, calling and whistling him and I fully believe it was God who brought him back and I’m very glad he did.

 

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Before we leave Derbyshire..

I have been creating a bucket list! (or a wish list)

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Things to do before leaving….one of them is J’s (which I’m now calling Mr Toddler). I think you can probably guess which item.

As we do them I’m going to edit and put a line through 😀

BUCKET LIST!!

Go to the Ritz Cinema in Belper Haven’t done this – but we are going out on our wedding anniversary which is good enough for me. I would have booked to go here, but the only film at the right time is predator and I am not watching that again. (edit 6/10/18).

Go river paddling (18/8/18)

Go up to Northumberland

Take Chris to Clumber Park because he doesn’t think he’s ever been. (18/8/18) Now been multiple times 6/10/18. 

Matlock Farm Park (because I’ve never taken J)  (29/8/18)

Canoeing day course! (might not get to do this! depends on circumstances)not done, no longer relevent

Make a rocket

family trip to Nando’s (6/10/18)

Powerboat level 2  (For Chris, again depending on circumstances)not done, no longer relevent

Get finances straight

Get rid of a shed load of stuff – streamline…. (work in progress but getting there 6/10/18)

Make a humongous 1st birthday cake for littley and celebrate well (21/8/18)

For someone we know/encounter to be saved by Jesus, whether it is before or after we move – edit 6/10/18 😀 (praying this)

To manage to have a date with Chris (may have to be a day time one) – planned for our wedding anniversary.

Take J on a train

lean totally and utterly into God and come to know him more and more and deeper and deeper – this is a process of before, during and after the move (edit 6/10/18).

see my friend Caroline (18/8/18) and I know Chris has a few people to see

To have a conversation every time we go out with someone we don’t know.I do this most if not every time we go out anyway (6/10/18)  

I’m going to add more as I think of them too…and then cross them out when done…although the God one is ongoing and won’t be crossed out!

edit 7th October 2018, I’ve changed the list a little, deleted a couple of things, changed others – not going to add any more things as we really just want to move now and it seems a bit pointless adding any more to a bucket list! Bring on Ireland!

I love lists…weirdo….

 

Not even a ripple

That’s how Chris described the moving situation this week. Nothing, nothing at all. I’ve heard this is normal but it is frustrating. If we actually knew whether an offer accepted in principle was just an offer accepted or not, it would be fine…I’m guessing (as someone kindly commented earlier in the week) we’ll suddenly hear from everyone at some point and it will all go through.

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This photo was taken when we went to Carsington Water this week. It was a beautiful day. It was the day when I felt stressy and serious and we went out. We were VERY hot but it was a good day. We took a picnic again, my boy loves his picnics and we built things out of big stones and fended off geese.

So I guess we just keep on looking up at our maker and seeking him and keep on keeping on. I love Psalm 27, I read it a lot when I was first saved. It is very calming and beautiful. You have said, “Seek my face.”My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek. Always Lord, always.

As a side note I’m quite interested in keeping some geese, I will have to read more about them and what types there are. I think they are good for field rotation with the sheep and keeping the worm count down too. Will get back to you when I’ve read more!

 

 

Associate with the lowly?

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. (Romans 12:16 ESV)

The phrase ‘associate with the lowly’ keeps coming back to me since reading Romans 12 again a few weeks ago. Why does it keep coming back to me? what is God telling me apart from the obvious?

Lowly – meaning – Low in status or importance; humble.  (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/lowly)

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I think I’ll just take it how it is and not try to analyse it too much – don’t get above myself, we are all made in God’s image – not just some. It reminds me of this scripture:

and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? (James 2:3-6)

also:

 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:36-40)

learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:17)

God’s world is an upside down world which is actually the right way up.

Learn to Do Good (learn to! you don’t have to be perfect)

Seek Justice

Correct Oppression (love this)

Bring justice

Plead the widow’s cause

But not for your own good or well being or getting a warm ‘fuzzy’ feeling or for any ‘thanks’ you might get

Because it is the right way to go….it is God’s way….

Again, the only way to this is through Jesus –

  • Jesus was born to a virgin who was impregnated by the Holy spirit, it had to be a virgin birth as he had to be pure/holy so he could be a sacrifice.
  • He went through his life and never ever sinned (so he could be a sacrifice for our sins) but because he went through life as a man he understands everything we may go through. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
  • He was fully a man and fully God
  • He was betrayed by one of his own disciples
  • He was cheered into Jerusalem one week and then put to death and jeered at by the same people a week later – they let a real criminal go free rather than Jesus (we are fickle).
  • He proclaimed the kingdom of God everywhere he went, healed people and delivered them from demons. He also performed miracles (and still does).
  • After being betrayed and found guilty, he was scourged until the flesh hung off his body and his bowels were exposed. He was jeered at, spat on and ridiculed. Yet he never defended himself.
  • He was crucified – and it happened exactly as predicted in the old testament (psalm 41:9, Isaiah 53:7, psalm 22:1-2, psalm 22:7-8, psalm 22:15, psalm 22:17-18 – read them, then read John 19).
  • When he died, the veil/curtain in the temple tore in two – this curtain was what separated the people from the presence of God (the holy of holies) they had to go through a priest in order to get to God and even the priest could only pass through the veil once yearly. It was sin that separated them from God. (After the death and resurrection of Christ there was direct access to God. Jesus was the bridge). When Jesus died people also rose from the dead and it was pretty dramatic:

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God! (Matt 27:50-54)

  • Jesus body was taken down, prepared and taken to a garden tomb, a large rock was placed in the entrance.
  • Jesus was resurrected and the tomb left empty – which ensures when we come to him and make him Lord over our lives (in charge) and we say sorry for trying to do it alone and put him in charge – we then have eternal life with him and a relationship with the God who made us and loves us.
  • He later ascended into heaven
  • Jesus defeated death.

We are made for and by God. Remember that. Think about that. That is why we are here (There is so much more than what I’ve written above but I want to keep it simple). 

Like someone said to me when I first went to church and kept returning but was not yet saved, they challenged me with “why are you here?” It was a good challenge, it made me think. So thank you Mr D W if you read this. You know who you are.

So,  hello and  “why are you here?”

It’s a lengthy one today, but it just sort of flowed man……It was helpful to me in sorting my thoughts and examining scripture. Thankyou for reading!