Jesus, name above all names

As most people reading this will know, myself and my family have recently moved to the Republic of Ireland. As most people will also know it is a predominantly Catholic part of the world and almost every house you go into has artwork/sacred heart pictures/Jesus on the cross up, amongst other things. As a Christian not actually part of the Catholic group so to speak, I have had a little problem with the fact that they always put Jesus on the cross. As we all know, who know him, he is in fact, risen, alive, no longer on the cross, thus enabling us to have eternal life with God the father, our relationship with him restored.

However, we now have one up in our home, it was a present from a good friend of ours (who is Catholic) quite some time ago (before Chris and myself got together).

And do you know what I’ve come to realise? It was making me uncomfortable, but not for the right reasons. It’s partly because I don’t often want to think about the suffering that Jesus actually endured prior to and on the cross. I love thinking about the new life he has given us, but not always about what he actually suffered in order to give us this new life. And when I realise what he actually did to save me it gives me such a fresh, perspective on what I mean to him and what you mean to him. He went willingly, I must add as well.

Having had the cross up since yesterday, I actually think it is really beautiful and stop to touch it and just look and marvel. I think as an evangelical I can sometimes get so hung up on “new life” that I can almost forget about the process it took to get it. I can also start thinking and wondering (as many do) about the suffering people endure on this earth. But when you actually look at what Jesus endured, physically, mentally and spiritually, for all of mankind I must add… He suffered and he suffered in the most appalling way…I think we can forget that, or at least I know I can put it to the back of my mind sometimes instead of facing it.

I love all the normal everyday “stuff” around this. Jesus comes to us in our normal, everyday lives and gives us new life through his death and resurrection.

Advertisements

How come I’ve got nits and no one else has??!!!

Now I’ve got your attention…:D

It’s true though and I also have no idea where I’ve got them from. I’ve not really interacted that closely with anyone. Doesn’t really matter! I think I’ve managed to oust them anyway. Horrible itchy little critters.

This week has again been a funny one, mainly from inside my own head really. Lots of stuff going on, trying to make decisions, do life, still waiting for transfer of residence to happen so we can sort the cars out properly.

A great thing is, we ordered some plants, a couple of apple trees, pear trees, rose shrubs, raspberry canes, strawberry plants, blueberry and cranberry bushes and Chris planted them yesterday. We will see what happens, the ground is still fairly wet, but hopefully everything will survive and even flourish. We’re trying out training the apple and pear trees along wire cordons to make a hedge of fruit trees, don’t know how clear this is, but like this:

Basically, there’s a little one year old apple tree against two of the posts and we will train it as it grows along the wires (providing it does grow). We saw them like this at Clumber Park near Worksop, UK and they worked really well. Particularly like that I’ve got the bottom of the welly that’s been left in the garden, on the bottom right of the photo.

I wrote about the bottle dump in the wood previously, but as Chris was putting the plants in he found some more interesting looking bottles than the big brown ones:

One of them even has a little cork inside it. Not really sure you can see it very well on the photo but they’re quite pretty. We’ve washed them and I am definitely not bottle banking these.

Finally, it’s quite rainy again, but I’m trying to make sure the kids get outside at least for a bit every day. I love this photo:

It does look deceptively idyllic though, instead of full of “don’t knock your brother over”, “please don’t open the stair gate” “don’t touch the oven, it’s hot”. too much television and me shouting too much… But it’s also cool and exciting and ours, given us as a gift by God for his purposes, which are unknown to us as of yet. Trusting ourselves to God each and every day is the only way.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
  neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
  so are my ways higher than your ways
  and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

A Summary of the latter end of this week in Pictures

My eggs arrived! it was a record, they came through the post in less than a day, fully intact and ready to incubate! An Post is great. If it was a courier it wouldn’t have got here nearly as quickly. Sorry but I haven’t actually taken pictures of the eggs yet. They went into the incubator tonight. They should take approximately three weeks to hatch (providing they’re fertile).

Our new fire was installed and (wait for it…) a radiator in the living room, we’ve been soooo warm:

We also had a range installed that runs our central heating, I don’t think I’ve lived in a house with central heating for about 14 years, it’s great! The surroundings will one day match the cooker. I made pancakes this morning, then pizza tonight, to try it out. It is very, very nice. The only thing I really have to watch is keeping the littlest boy away from it because it gets so hot and trying to tell the oldest boy not to put plastic objects on top of it. Might have to get the fire guard back out for a bit maybe.

Finally, Chris’s dream came true, yes folks, he has a tractor!

He just has to get the mower to go with it and he’ll be away up off to the field with it. Up, up and awwaaaaaay, off to sort the field out.

God bless you all and see you soon.

This is a ‘hi!’ post

Just wanted to say hello really. Chris has now got his shed up and with a floor down, almost ready for our still boxed up stuff. He’s also sorted the plinth out for the heating oil tank and it’s all up and ready. The oil is coming tomorrow.

It’s been really mild today so the kids have loved playing out. (It makes such a difference to their moods too!). Our youngest has just got his first shoes and wasn’t keen until he realised he could walk outside properly now. Then he was fine with them.

This is in the little wood.

So hello! And goodbye. Short but sweet.

Purpose?

Purpose has been on my mind recently. My purpose/our purpose, what is important? What is not? Purpose, purpose, purpose..Why do I exist? Does it matter where we are? What is it all about?

I mean, I know my basic purpose is to worship God and to glorify Him. But how does that work out in practice? What am I doing here in Ireland?

I thought I’d actually ask Him and do a little biblical looking up on what God says on this. This is what I found – basically, I did the most basic study ever which was to look up the passages with the word purpose in them. Then, I kept thinking of other passages that related to them or the subject and surprise! It’s all about God’s purposes, not mine! All we need to do is submit!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5-8)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose..(Romans 8:28)

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:5-6)

Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you. (James 4:7-10).

In other words, come to God with honesty, admit failures and wrongdoings, don’t hide behind facade, he knows you. Honour him. He will lift you!

There are so many more verses I could quote, but this has done me so much good. Just looking and reading and remembering once again that my purpose is just to abide in God, through Jesus. That everything else comes from that place… simplistic view maybe, but I like that.

Quirks

I thought I’d share a few quirks of living here that I’ve encountered. Well quirks from my point of view as up to now being very English. The longer I live here, the more I’m becoming aware that it is in fact very different!

These are generalisations, it must be said..

It’s very Catholic, we live in a Parish. If you have read my blog at all you should know I’m a full on Jesus follower. As long as people who say they have a faith are following Jesus, I don’t have a problem with different denominations. But I would like to know how on earth, every time I get into a proper conversation with a female here I somehow start being told about the local priest and how lovely he is…I have no idea how it happens…one minute talking about the weather, the next the priest 😂,

There is lovely food everywhere. Every petrol station you enter usually has some sort of deli/food counter. So do the little supermarkets. The cakes are just gorgeous….and as for tayto crisps…hmm

That’s our tea, not lovely Irish food. Although it is Irish Beef.

The bread tastes different, even the normal sliced loaves. Nice though.

There are also quite a lot of pubs..one of our local ones is also a shop and sells stamps. Another one has a petrol pump and you go into the pub to pay.

Irish people in general seem to be nuts for kids and are usually really good with them. I love this about Ireland. Everywhere you go you seem to see amused/adoring glances and get asked how old they are a lot.

People call round and stop in their cars if you’re outside, to say hello/talk. This is wonderful, but very, very different to England. There’s an older lady who walks everywhere and she calls in of an evening unexpectedly at least once a month. She arrives in the pitch black and leaves in the pitch black (and it is very black at night here).

People really do seem to want to help you, whether it’s information, practically or finding a tradesman, they’re helpful.

They also seem to drive very fast on a different note…lots of overtaking on the roads.

There is a lot of bureaucracy and doubling up of information on coming into the country and trying to get sorted. That’s a government thing though.

Finally! I’m sure there are more, but I’ll leave it here.. the border to Northern Ireland:

The border to the Republic of Ireland (sorry it isn’t very clear):

The only difference is that one is mph and the other kph. I hope it stays that way. It’s cool.