It’s a Wonderful Name

Choosing a name….. I asked my Mum the other day why she had decided to call me Nicola. I knew why she had called my brother, Ian. She wanted a really short name that couldn’t be turned into a nickname. Ian would always be Ian. It so didn’t work because my family all called him “E” usually shouted at high volume in one long “Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee”.

My name, Nicola was just one of the names she happened to like. It didn’t have any specific meaning or significance for the family. My name gets shortened to a nickname all the time as you can imagine. I don’t think anyone calls me much by my full name anymore. It’s usually, Nic or Nikki.

Names give an impression and expectation but can get lost in translation. Our school ran an annual cultural exchange trip to France when you stayed with a local family who then returned to stayed with you. When I went I was the last kid left on the coach and I could see a bit of a kerfuffle outside amongst the teachers. It turned out that in France and much of Europe “Nicola” is a boy’s name and the poor family were expecting a boy. They weren’t prepared to receive a girl. Fortunately, there was also a sister, Fabienne, so she ended up being my exchange pal but her poor brother had to stay and wait another year. I was so what he wasn’t expecting by my name. What a disappointment to him but an unexpected gift to his sister.

There is a name that I have found never disappoints and it is Jesus Christ. When we choose to put out trust in that name it is life transforming, not only our present but also our future. The name of Jesus has power and authority.

Yesterday, as we celebrated Christmas our bible verses were:

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Jesus is given a lot of names and titles throughout the bible. Just in this one passage of scripture we read 5 of them. It made me think how I often overlook or “shorten” and don’t fully consider and understand the names given to Jesus, what it means for me as a believer now and the riches that are there waiting to be discovered in the names and character of Jesus. Getting to know more about Jesus through each facet revealed about Him in His names.

It’s something I’ll be delving into in the New Year to discover more about those names starting with “Wonderful” and sharing the riches of blessings in Christ our Lord.

Have a blessed day my friends.

The heavenly awakening

This is my other previous post on being awoken by the alarm which I posted in October 2020 which I am sharing again today. Are we sleeping and the Lord is stirring our hearts today? These are not the days for slumber but for the body of Christ to rise up in faith and declare with boldness our faith in Jesus that He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Arise and Shine for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. Bless you my friends.

Early this morning I heard my alarm clock start to sound. It was very clear. One long burst and then it went off.

I woke up but then realised that my alarm had not sounded. What I had heard was in the spirit. I then heard the Lord say that He is sounding His alarm all over the world.

His people are being woken by His alarm but many are not responding and continue to sleep.

Jesus says wake up you sleepers. Rise from the dead and He will give you light.

Many are confused about what is happening. There is fertile ground for deception and much deception, lies and false news is being spread. Many are searching for truth and the Lord says if you Seek Him you will Find Him as He is the Truth, the Way and the Life.

Blessings to you this day.

Awake Awake

My dear friends, I was awoken in the early hours by the sound of a loud alarm clock. It was only one long note before the sound stopped but it was loud enough to waken me. I looked at my clock and it wasn’t my alarm clock that had sounded but the sound was so loud I thought my alarm had gone off.

I believe it was a sound in the heavens which had woken me. This has happened to me before and so the Lord was getting my attention. I checked my previous posts and it is 3 months to the day that I posted this post called Awake, Awake which was also a repost of 3 words. Perhaps there is someone who will be blessed by this today. Please follow the links and they will take you to each post.

Morning my friends. The Lord has reminded me of 3 words which I posted in 2020 which started with a post called “Awake Awake”. This post is a warning that the Lord God is a God who will judge righteously. We are called as followers of Jesus to stand for truth, justice and righteousness and not conform to this world. It’s a call to be ready and persevere in the times we are in. Trust in God.

I am re-posting these words again as I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. Please read them again or for the first time. I hope they bless you and speak to us all in some way for God’s glory and to advance His Kingdom. Perhaps there is a word in season for someone that will speak to their heart today.

The second post that linked to Awake Awake was The Heavenly Steed which talks of Jesus’ second coming and the glorious horse that bears Him. A reminder that Jesus is Lord and is coming again. The time is set and will not be delayed. He is the King of Glory. It’s a call to salvation for those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord. Call on Him whilst He is near and there is time.

The third word in the series is Take hold of today – Make it count which reminds us as followers of Christ that we are called to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus and do His good works. The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in each one of us who has been born again into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus. One day we will each give an account to our loving Master Jesus.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Christmas Boot

Festive Greetings to all, If you have read my blog before you will know that I occasionally give an update about our local “boot” which sits on top of a post along my favourite walk.

I don’t know whose boot it was or who put it there but someone decorates it with different themes during the year. It is called the “Ounty Boot” and has a name for itself in more ways than one.

This year it is looking very festive with holly & mistletoe.

Have a blessed day x

Each of us an “Emmanuel” too!

Each of us an “Emmanuel” too!
— Read on

This is a beautiful post by our dear brother in Christ which I was blessed to read today. I hope you find it a blessing too in thinking about Joseph’s character and behaviour from Jesus’ story as an example to us.

God will show Himself strong for you

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

I felt prompted to share this blog post again today.

I believe there may be someone who needs to hear and be encouraged by these words – the Lord is on the look out to help those who are his and to show himself strong on your behalf.

Do you need God to show himself strong for you today? If so, then take comfort from those words and pray this promise over your situation.

How strong is the Lord?

He is strong enough to bring you out of captivity and bondage.

By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Exodus 13:14

He is strong enough to heal you.

Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases” Psalm 103:3

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” Matthew 9:35

Are you feeling weak?

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak Isaiah 40:29

Do you need direction?

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13

Are you in need of support? Feeling overwhelmed?

Your words have supported those who stumbled; you have strengthened faltering knees” Job 4:4

Are you facing opposition?

You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me ” Psalm 18:39

Do you feel lost and vulnerable?

I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak” Ezekiel 34:16

Do you need help to rise above your circumstances?

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights Habakkuk 3:19

Take courage from the words of the Aspostle Paul who encourages us:

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13

I pray that God shows himself strong for you today in whatever circumstances or situation that you find yourself in.

Time for a Stretch

Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited”. Isaiah 54:2-3

I want to share this word of encouragement that was brought at our prayer meeting a few weeks ago as I was reminded of it today by the Lord. It may also be a timely encouragement for someone reading.

Many of us, if not all of us around the world, have been through a season of confinement and restriction. If you picture a baby in the womb the limbs are all restricted but when the baby is born it is released from its confinement and can fully stretch into its new environment.

There are people reading this who have found themselves in this position but now I believe we are coming into a season of birthing of new opportunities and it’s time to stretch out in the Lord. We are to be expectant. There is fresh vision that the Lord is releasing and doors being opened which will require us to step out of our comfort zones. To stretch ourselves.

The problem is that we can get too used to being in that place of confinement. There is some security and comfort in being there. We become settled but it’s time for a bit of unsettling for growth. Time for a stretch.

My friend was reminded of her time as a PE teacher. The children used to crouch down and make themselves as small as possible and then they slowly started to uncurl, stand up and then stretch themselves as tall as they could possibly be, reaching as tall as possible. Try it. It feels great.

Do not despise the day of small beginnings says the Lord because there is going to be expansion and fruitfulness in the Kingdom. God can do abundantly more than we can think or imagine so let us not restrict the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. Let’s stretch out as God leads us. We walk by faith and not by sight.

The first thing a baby does when air gets in the lungs is cry. The baby finds their voice for the first time. For some this time of stretching will mean you find your voice for the first time. You are being released to speak God’s truths and your voice will be heard. You will make yourselves heard and find your voice. God will bring opportunity to speak for Him in places and to people that you would have not thought possible.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Have a good stretch

Advent Calendars

“Have you got me an Advent Calendar this year“ asked Daughter looking hopeful. Husband and I exchanged looks which we interpreted between us thus “Is she serious-yes I think so-did you-no-did you-no-oh!”

Daughter apparently can now also interpret “the look” because she proceeded to look sad and tell us that we were the “only parents who never sent their offspring an Advent Calendar in the post at University”. Poor girl-how did she cope being so neglected 🤣

Anyway, feeling suitably chastised husband and I rushed out to the shops on the evening to try and find an Advent Calendar. It had to be a chocolate one of course because that is what she meant. It seems to be the thing-edible Advent Calendars.

We do still have the family Advent Calendar of the manger scene that comes out every year. You add a piece every day to build up the scene but of course you can’t eat it!! This doesn’t cut it anymore unfortunately. If it’s not chocolate then they are not interested. 🙁

Our traditional Advent Calendar-I think we may have lost a few pieces x

For as long as I can remember we always had an Advent Calendar to open leading up to Christmas Day. When I was a child it was a paper calendar that told the story of Jesus’ birth. It was with great excitement that we opened the tiny windows to see the little picture for the day and read the Bible verse. It didn’t matter that it was the same picture every year, we still looked forward to the “discovery” of what was behind the window. I loved it.

It’s sad that the only Advent Calendars you seem to find in the shops now have nothing to do with the Christmas story. I hope that there are still some traditional Advent calendars being made.

Anyway, my husband now seems to have got in on the act because this year he bought me an Advent Calendar of coffee!!! Can you believe it but behind every door is a new coffee pod to get me up and going in the morning, Rocket Fuel for the day ahead. What could I say but thanks! 😊

Anyway, daughter was very pleased when she got home to find her Advent Calendar and her favourite chocolate, Maltesers. She’s away this weekend so I popped in to open a window for her….what did I find? She’d already opened them! She obviously doesn’t trust me 🤣

An extra 3 days’ ahead 🤣