Jesus the Lamb of God

Heaven’s darling,

All Hail the Lamb; All Hail the Lamb;

He is the darling of heaven;

He is crowned with many crowns;

At His name every knee will bow;

He is all majesty and power;

His eyes are like a flaming torch;

He is TRUTH and LOVE;

On His thigh is written a name only He knows;

He is FAITHFUL and TRUE;

He is our HEALER,

He is our Deliverer;

He is the Refining Fire;

Open your eyes today to see Him;

It is time to anoint our eyes with salve so that we can truly see Him;

Those blinded to the truth do not see Jesus for who He truly is;

He is more than a prophet, He is more than a man;

He is the Son of the living God;

He is God;

He is alive;

We live in times when there are many blind leaders of the blind;

Many follow those who are blind along wrong paths;

Are you blinded to the truth;

Have we become blinded to the truth;

I pray the Holy Spirit will open eyes to the truth today so that we can see Jesus more clearly;

Without Jesus as our saviour we are dead in our sin but He can cleanse us from all sin.

I pray today that you will see and know Jesus in all His glory.

Take hold of Him today and His redeeming Love for you in faith.

Amen

The Imposter…

I was very fortunate to be invited to the First day of the Test Match at Edgbaston on Friday to watch India play England. I confess I’m not a huge cricket fan but Test matches are special and there was a great atmosphere in the crowd. People had dressed up in all manner of outfits from minions to Disney characters.

We were seated quite high up on a balcony so had a really good view of the whole cricket pitch. When one of the Indian wickets fell the next player up for India entered the field. As he walked on, he hadn’t reached the wicket when he was suddenly surrounded by men in security vests and we realised that this man wasn’t one of the Indian team. He was an imposter.

He looked the real deal though even down to the cricket helmet, pads and bat. He had boldly strode onto the field (as bold as brass as my mum would say) as though he had ever right to be there. He really looked the part but he was an imposter.

Security in bottom corner leading him away

We can all easily be fooled by appearances but I’m sure if that man had actually faced one of the English fast bowlers, he would soon have been exposed as a fraud. Bowled out or more likely knocked out by a cricket ball coming at him at over 80 mph. His team mate I’m sure would also have easily spotted he was a fake and not part of the team.

The bible warns us about people and spirits that are not what they appear…false spirits, false teachers, false apostles, false prophets….Imposters and not the real deal.

We are to test all things and check the fruit. Jesus said:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.”
Matthew 7:15-20

Leaving traces….

Yesterday, I went into our guest bedroom to find something. What with Covid and the travel restrictions, it’s not seen a lot of guests in the last year or so and has become rather a dumping ground for all sorts of family mess. However, it seems that one member of the family has been sneaking in there for her day time naps. The rascal.

Here she is the little rascal

She wasn’t in there at the time but the evidence of her was clearly visible. She had made herself a little nest on my red tablecloth (I did say all sorts of stuff had been left in that room) and traces of her were very visible on that red tablecloth. White cat hairs everywhere. I definitely knew she had been there. She had left traces….

So for those who know me through my writings, you’ll know that these seemingly random things always get me thinking. Leaving traces was the words that came to me. Do I leave traces of my presence behind? What about you? Would someone know that I’d been there before.

There is a beautiful verse in Acts about Peter and John.

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

I pray that people will know that I have been with Jesus too and that I leave traces of Jesus behind me wherever I go. That’s my desire today for me and I hope for you too. May they say about us “ they have been with Jesus”.

Have a blessed day my friends. One more cheeky picture of the cat to make you smile.

I want to come on holiday too…

Oh ok another one, you twisted my arm

Aww you found me…your turn to hide next. 1,2,3 coming ready or not

Look the Part…Play your Part

These are the words that greeted me yesterday on a very large boxed package that arrived with my name on it.

It was very exciting to receive such a large parcel through the post and then to unwrap it and read those words..I had been expecting the delivery in the post although the day and time of its arrival was not known.

I sort of knew what was in the box because I had heard from others who had already received theirs, but this was now my experience of receiving my parcel. Delivered just for me.

The packaging was also a surprise. No-one had mentioned the packaging itself. That really surprised me because the packaging itself was more impactful, thoughtful and challenging to me than the contents of the box. Those words on the outside speaking to me…

Look the Part

Play your Part….

Sometimes people are so keen to get to the gift or what’s in the parcel that they don’t notice the packaging.

That’s a challenge isn’t it….do we take time to notice the packaging?

This packaging had a clear message on it and reminded me of the Christian gospel message of accepting Jesus as our saviour, ongoing discipleship and walking with Jesus all our lives.

Look the part……Are we washed clean from our sins, dressed in our garments of salvation and royal robes of righteousness. Clothed with love, humility and grace from above?

Play your Part…Are we living our lives out daily as Christians in love and service to God and others. Keeping right accounts with God and each other. Growing in the knowledge of God, Jesus our Lord and Saviour and filled with the Holy Spirit who guides us and teaches us.

Wow all of that from a box. So can you guess what the box was and it’s contents?

There’s a clue in the corner

You guessed it…..I’m a volunteer for the Commonwealth Games 2022 which will see athletes from all over the commonwealth nations coming to my home city of Birmingham. In a months’ time I’ll be part of a sporting event and helping to welcome and support visitors to our city. A face of the games.

It wasn’t just the message on the outside of the box that challenged and inspired me. There was more on the inside. Read on and see what you think. Whoever wrote these words is passionate about the message they had to impart.

“When we come together, we form something even more powerful.” Power in unity…that’s the body of Christ

Wow. As the body of Christ we have a message of salvation, joy and hope for non-believers. Jesus is alive…Praise God. I want to shout it from the roof tops…are you hungry? are you thirsty? Do you want life in all its fullness? Forgiveness for your sins? Are you weary, anxious, at your lowest point? Come to Jesus.

Game on…

Someone has put a lot of thought into every element…God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Created in His image.

Have a blessed day today my friends and you never know what will pop into your day unexpectedly to inspire you. Blessings in Jesus

Expectation – What is my expectation

On Thursdays, I publish something from my archives which has inspired or challenged me in the past. Today’s reminder was about Expectation and some questions I asked myself 2 years ago.

I have been thinking about this today and it is a challenge.   What am I hoping/expecting to receive from God when I pray to Him or seek Him for direction in my life?

Do I have a confident expectation in the goodness of God?

I sense God is saying– What is your expectation of me?  

Don’t be limited by past experiences.

Widen your expectation – expect the unexpected.

God can do immeasurably more than we can do or think.  

Do I come to Him with a limited expectation based on past experiences or disappointments and a misunderstanding of His word and character?  

The truth is that God can do awesome things and totally surprise us by His amazing love, grace and mercy.

It is easy to get in a rut and expect the same to happen all the time.

Expectation can be stifled through habit and tradition.

I am being encouraged to allow the Lord to guide and shape my thinking by His Word and hence my expectations – After all – God’s ways are far above our ways.

God reminded me of the story in the Acts of the Apostles of the lame man who was seated outside of the gate Beautiful begging for money.  

He must have sat there day in and day out holding out his hands expecting to receive money from the people going in and out of the temple.

He had the same expectation of Peter & John, but they gave the lame man so much more than he expected. They gave him healing and restoration by the power of Jesus Christ. What a beautiful day that was at the Gate.

It was interesting that the story also says that the people around did not expect a miracle of healing either because the man was said to be “old” – he was above 40 years of age – goodness what an expectation!

Does our age and what other people think of us affect our expectation of God – that we are too old, too young or don’t qualify for God to move in our lives in power.

God forbid.

The beautiful aspect of this story is that the lame man received so much more than he expected to receive. It is such an amazing demonstration of God’s abundant love and mercy.

I pray for us all to have a right expectation in the goodness of God, not limited by past experiences but to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to increase our expectation and expect the unexpected.

Amen 🙏

#Testimony Tuesday -What if……?

Today’s testimony is about a recent experience I had at our last Sunday Service. It was towards the end of the service after the message. We were having a time of praise and worship before taking communion.

I started to feel a heat in my left shoulder and top of my arm. I was sat by the window so at first I thought it must be the sun coming through the window but there was none. The heat in my arm got stronger and stronger and I started to recognise that this was the work of the Holy Spirit. I have felt this heat in my body before when I have been healed or when praying for others for physical healing.

The surprising thing to me though was that I didn’t have a problem with my shoulder. I started wondering if this was the Lord prompting me to pray for someone with a bad shoulder. Then I thought what if I’m wrong. What if I’m wrong…??

What if….Those two little words can be the gateway to doubt or faith. I then thought what if I’m right and I don’t follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I was contemplating the what ifs of the situation and all the time this heat in my shoulder was getting stronger and stronger. I decided to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As we went forward for communion I went aside and told my Pastor. I left it with him to weigh and test. This is key in discerning and exercising the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a public place. The pastor is the authority in the church and we submit our gifts to His authority as leader as the gifts are for the benefit of the body of Christ. He is responsible for the flock.

After communion our Pastor shared the story from the Old Testament of the time when Moses made a snake at the Lord’s command which was lifted up for everyone to see. Everyone that had been bitten by the snakes looked at the snake and lived. He went on to say that Jesus was lifted up for us, Jesus lives and we are to fix our eyes upon Him and live. God healed then and he still heals today. He then shared what I had told him and encouraged anyone who was experiencing pain or had a problem with their shoulder to respond and we would pray for them for healing after the service.

We had a final song of praise and worship. The what if…raises its head again. What if no-one comes forward for prayer….What if I’m wrong….I decide that I will be ok with that as yet again the stronger thought is but what if someone needs healing and this is the time and way the Lord chooses to heal them. Did I believe that the Lord could heal them..Yes I did.

At the end of the service 3 people came forward for prayer. As we prayed there was such a tangible presence of the Holy Spirit and I believe the Lord will heal them. One lady said she only responded because the word was specifically about pain in a left shoulder. As we prayed the word deep tissue came to me and I asked her if she had a deep tissue problem which she confirmed. We prayed specifically for the Lord to heal in this area.

I praise God and thank the Lord for His healing touch and for the work of the Holy Spirit. I pray that you will be encouraged by this testimony and may God bless you today. All honour, praise and glory belongs to our God. Worthy is the lamb. Amen

Sorrow and Solace

Like many people my Grandad David had experienced tragedy in his life. He served in World War 1 and lost his first wife when she was aged only 25. His own mother had died when he was just 22. He was only married for 5 years and was left widowed with a four year old daughter. He found love again though when he was 32 and married my grandma, Elizabeth. They went on to have 9 children.

Grandad started writing his notebook when he was 19. It was in that year that his young sister Dinah died and in his writings I found this piece entitled “Sorrow and Solace”. I don’t know who wrote this poem but the words bear repeating.

When sorrow overtakes us
It’s then we look to God
To support us in bereavement,
And His promises uphold.

Sometimes He calls a loved one
To dwell with Him on high,
This then we see our weakness,
And to Him for strength do fly

So let us walk the narrow road
That leads to joys on high
And brings us to the promised land,
Eternal in the sky

Praying for all those who are grieving the loss of loved ones that you will find comfort and solace in God above today.

True Hope..

I have realised that hope is not as easy to define as I thought and can be easily misunderstood.

My own hope in the past was not always properly formed and I think when I reflect back was either a false hope, misguided optimism or wishful thinking on my part.

So then when things did not turn out as I had hoped, I was disappointed.

When disappointment took hold that led me down a slippery slope of all sorts of other negative emotions and thoughts. It can shake your confidence and faith. It can crush your spirit and make you feel like giving up.

When hope is crushed, the heart is crushed
Proverbs 13:12

Disappointment can be that doorway for negative thoughts and emotions. Bitterness can start to take root if we are not careful. Jealousy and envy can be quick to follow too.

Guard the door of your heart against disappointment.

Let us encourage each other and build ourselves up on a solid foundation which cannot be shaken.

The cornerstone of our faith and true hope is found in Jesus. Keeping our eyes fixed on Him.

I have experienced that Hope is formed through tests and trials. It comes through the hard times. It is developed in those times when we travel through the valley and experience the love and faithfulness of God. We trust in Him to know the best outcome for us. Not my will but His perfect will formed in me.

“We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.”
Romans 5:3-5

Whatever difficult circumstances you may also be going through I pray that perfect hope will take root in your heart and mind. Guard your heart. If there is disappointment or bitterness, then I pray the Holy Spirit will bring revelation and will lead you to repentance, release and healing and that your joy will be restored.

Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. Romans 12:12

Blessings to you this day in Jesus name.

Blogging Anniversary..Thank You

Yesterday, I received a reminder of my 4 year blogging anniversary…it came as a bit of a surprise as I hadn’t realised. So a big thank you to everyone who has read, liked, commented, followed me and shared my posts over these last four years. Thank you 😊

I have connected with some amazing bloggers from all over the world reading a variety of blogs from people from all walks of life with all different types of blogs.

I have recently been fortunate to connect on a deeper level with some great UK Christian bloggers. We meet every couple of weeks on zoom to share stories and pray for each other – you can find more details about them and their sites here https://www.berrybunch.family/uk-christian-bloggers/

There is a verse in Isaiah which says this:

“‘Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”
Isaiah 54:2

Blogging for me was enlarging my tent and I have lengthened my cords by connecting with other amazing bloggers world wide. The posts I have read have encouraged, inspired, taught and strengthened me. I have felt supported in my writings.

Thank you fellow bloggers for being such a blessed gift and keep up the good work.

If you are new to blogging then persevere. It takes time but start to connect with others and Don’t hold back .

I wrote a post recently called Replenish and since then I have been meditating on scriptures along this theme. I will be posting some more thoughts on this theme soon and would love your feedback on what that word Replenish has inspired for you.

Have a blessed day friends.

Paid in your own coin..

Grandad David often wrote down snippets in his notebook from Aesop’s Fables. This is one of the morals from the story of the Fox and the Stork which must have made an impact on him.

It is very imprudent as well as inhuman and uncivil to affront anybody; and whoever takes the liberty to exercise his witty talent that way must not think much of it if he be paid back in his own coin.”

I had not heard that expression before….to be paid back in your own coin. This was a fable that I wasn’t familiar with but the story goes like this:

THE Fox invited the Stork to dinner; and, being disposed to divert himself at the expence of his guest, provided nothing for the entertainment, but a soup, in a wide shallow dish. This he could lap up with a great deal of ease, but the Stork, who could but just dip in the point of his bill, was not a bit the better all the while: however, in a few days after, the stork returned the compliment, and invited the Fox; but suffered nothing to be brought to table but some minced meat in a glass jar; the neck of which was so deep and so narrow, that though the Stork with his long bill made a shift to fill his belly, all that the Fox, who was very hungry, could do, was to lick the brims, as the Stork slabbered them with his eating. The fox was heartily vexed at first: but when he came to take his leave, owned ingenuously, that he had been used as he deserved; and that he had no reason to take any treatment ill, of which himself had set the example.

If you ill treat people for your own amusement then you can’t complain if the same treatment is meted out to you. That’s being paid back in your own coin.

Crane Poetry visual -You have heard how Sir Fox treated Crane:
With soup in a plate. When again
They dined, a long bottle
Just suited Crane’s throttle;
And Sir Fox licked the outside in vain