Letting Go…Testimony Tuesday (Update)

The wanderer has returned! You may recall my post about my youngest daughter (who set off for over 5 months on a solo back pack to the Far East) and my thoughts in Letting go…#TestimonyTuesday. Now she is back……but not for long. She heads off on her next adventure to university in Newcastle Upon Tyne, a city in the North of England about 4/5 hours away from us.

I re-read my post from that time she set out and I thank God for His faithfulness in being with her during her travels as her protector and guide. She has told me stories of things that happened to her and her friends and I know that the Lord was at work during those times. She calls it “luck” but I recognise the hand of God and am grateful for His answer to my prayers.

She travelled (even with the difficulties of Covid still) into Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali. She learnt about man’s inhumanity to man in the Killing Fields of Cambodia and the realities and horror of war from her time in Vietnam. I don’t want to repeat the things she told me about the genocide in Cambodia here as they are too distressing. She spoke of the impact of those atrocities still hanging over the country and people in a tangible way. These experiences will stay with her. God will use them in the future.

I was prompted by the Lord to fast and pray before she went away. It was only the Lord who knew what the months ahead held and I believe in times of our uncertainty that it’s so important to pray and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We don’t fully comprehend or see how God looks after us and the outworking of His providence, but I believe one day we will see and understand fully. Whilst I can thank God now for His faithfulness and goodness, I believe that one day when I will truly understand what God has done then my thanks and praise will seem so inadequate in comparison to His grace. Even in situations when I believed my prayers went unanswered or did not go “my” plan, I will understand that God in His inestimable wisdom and goodness was working things out for good in the long term. God is a good, good God.

They say travel broadens the mind and I can definitely see that this experience has helped my daughter mature. She has challenged herself in many ways and these experiences have helped her grow and develop. She is more ready for university life now. We were concerned that after 2 years of life during Covid and missing out on so many life experiences at college, that she would go a bit wild with her new found freedom. Have you seen cows when they are let out to pasture after being in the winter stables. They run, frolic and jump with excitement. We didn’t want her jumping recklessly into danger looking for “fun” after all those months cooped up in isolation.

The Lord has been laying on my heart that it is a season of change. I can see how this relates to certain things in my family and my life but I believe this change is going to be more widely felt. My husband and I enter into a new season of change for sure as both daughters will have left home. I look at the empty rooms and wonder what we will do with them? There will be a way I am sure and I believe the Lord will show us.

Have a blessed day my friends.

One of the beautiful places visited

The Doldrums

I read a post yesterday which reminded me of something I had written a while ago, and I felt prompted to share it again today. Perhaps there is someone who needs encouragement this morning that there is always hope to move forward.

This post is for anyone who may be experiencing a feeling that they are stuck in the doldrums at the moment – where they are seeing a lack of activity, movement or progress in their lives- a feeling of being stuck in the same place.   

Do not despair, there is hope for you and breakthrough awaits.  

In some instances, God’s hand has kept you in that place until His perfect timing and He has worked in you and prepared you so that you are ready for the suddenlies – the wind of God’s Spirit will come suddenly and you will see great acceleration and growth.  

There will be a sudden shift.  Some people have been waiting for the wind -God’s wind and a fresh breath of the Spirit of God to propel them forward to where they need to be.  

I pray that such people will be stirred up in hope and experience a fresh impetus to push forward in God and let Him breathe new life again into their vision.

For those who have lost hope and feel stuck in the Doldrums, I pray that such people will experience new zeal (great energy and enthusiasm for something you feel strongly about) which will replace apathy (feeling of not being interested or enthusiastic) and complacency (a feeling of being satisfied with yourself or with a situation so you do not feel any change is necessary) and despair (feeling that all hope lost) which can hinder progress and moving forward. 

I pray that we will reject apathy and complacency, throw off the shroud of apathy and complacency and put on the garment of zeal instead.  

That there will be an exchange of  the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:3) for the garment of Praise.

If you find yourself thinking “what is the point” then that could be an indication that you are stuck in the Doldrums.   

Be careful that unbelief and fear has not set in and trapped you.   Unbelief will need to be dealt with in prayer and repentance.

James 5 V 16 – The effective, fervent (very strong feelings about) prayer of a righteous man avails much.   

If this resonates with you then I encourage you to seek God in this season.

Be led by the Holy Spirit into all He has for you. Amen 🙏

 

Let Everything that has breath….

Praise the Lord.

Praise God in his sanctuary;

praise him in his mighty heavens.

Praise him for his acts of power;

praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,

praise him with the harp and lyre,

praise him with tambourine and dancing,

praise him with the strings and pipe,

praise him with the clash of cymbals,

praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Psalm 150:1-6

This was my daily reading today and it made me feel so blessed I wanted to share it.

How wonderful to be alive and able to give an offering of praise and thanks to God today. Some might not have the ability to offer more than that but how sweet a sound in God’s ear such praise will be.

Have a blessed day.

How Great Thou Art

I woke up this morning thinking of the words of this wonderful old hymn. Hymns are beautiful and declare precious truths about God. I hope these words from How Great Thou Art bless you this morning. I hadn’t realised but according to information I have read, the words were originally a poem by Swedish Carl Boberg. The title was translated as “O Mighty God”.

It was years later that a missionary in Ukraine heard locals singing the song who translated it into the English version we know today.

I pray today that with all this terrible situation in Ukraine that this song and it’s words will be once again be a mighty declaration over that country of How Great God Is. May these words be heard ringing in Heaven’s courts today,

Oh Lord, my God
When I, in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder
Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration
And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Saturday Sunshine ☀️

Last week as I was walking to church, I started humming the song “You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray ” ☀️

It really made me smile because I knew that the Lord had put this song on my heart as a worship song to him. It’s a secular song but I knew the Lord wanted me to sing it to Him.

The only reason I discerned this was from the Lord was because I had been to a prayer conference the day before and one of the teaching sessions was about singing in the Spirit to the Lord. Not just singing in tongues but singing our own songs as the Spirit leads and also using different tunes/songs but with different words.

I started singing the song but I changed some of the words:

You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
You make me happy
When skies are gray
Oh Lord I Love you
How much I love you
Please don’t take your presence away.

Oh Lord I love you
I really love you
You make me happy
When skies are gray
You are my sunshine
My only sunshine
Praise and glory to you today.

I really enjoyed just singing along to a familiar tune but changing the words to praises as the Lord led me. I had such a joy in my heart at this spontaneity and freedom.

What are some of your favourite songs that you really enjoy singing and make you smile. Songs that bring you joy or move you emotionally. How about using those tunes and changing them up to a praise & worship song to the Lord as He leads you.

Have a blessed weekend my friends.

Rivers…

I love rivers.

These are photos I took of the river Mawddach as it flows into the sea at Barmouth, Wales. It is such a beautiful place. Serene, peaceful yet full of life. It flows.

The river as it flows to the sea
The view from above on the hill..

The bible speaks of a beautiful river. The river of life which flows from God’s throne.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever”. Revelation 22:1-5

I long to see that heavenly river but the good news is that we don’t have to wait to experience spiritual life in all its fullness until heaven. We can drink of that living water right now and the river of life – the Holy Spirit can fill us and also flow through us to help those around us.

Jesus says that He is the living water. If we drink of Him, we will never thirst again. Not only that but we will be assured of Eternal life. We will live forever with God.

To have that assurance of eternal life, the bible teaches us that it is necessary to repent and confess our sins, accept Jesus as our saviour who has taken our sins on himself and be baptised and follow Jesus.

John the Baptist came with the message of repentance in preparing the way for Jesus. People were convicted of their sins and went to him to be baptised in the River Jordan. Even Jesus who knew no sin went to be baptised by John.

A believer being baptised

What an amazing experience it is to be baptised. I still remember being baptised at my local church back in 1977 in the baptismal tank just like in this photo. My brother was fortunate to go to Israel and get baptised in the River Jordan…how wonderful that was.

Healing – The river Jordan was also a place of healing for Naaman the leper – we read the story in 2 Kings 5. The prophet Elisha told Naaman to go and wash in the River Jordan which Naaman was not happy about at all.

His ego was hurt because Elisha the prophet did not come out to see him personally and would not take any gifts from him. Naaman thought the River Jordan was dirty and nothing compared to the rivers of Damascus. It wasn’t the river itself in the story that healed Naaman but his obedience to the word of God. God healed him according to the prophet’s word.

My friends, don’t let ego or pride stop you receiving what God has for you whether that is salvation or healing.

I pray that you too will discover the river of life in Christ Jesus and drink of that living water if you have not done so yet.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” John 7:37-39

There is a scripture that is very precious to me which to me speaks of revival and an outpouring of the Spirit of God with many coming to know Jesus. The Lord has brought these verses back to our fellowship very recently. I pray these verses for these times we live in now. That many will discover God’s love for them and salvation in Christ Jesus. That they will discover the true river of life.

The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple towards the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me round the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.

As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist.

He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in – a river that no one could cross.

He asked me, ‘Son of man, do you see this?’

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, ‘This water flows towards the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.

Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds – like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.

But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.’ Ezekiel 47:1-12

I pray the dry valleys in our lives, fellowships, communities and nations will be filled with the river of God and we will allow the river of life to flow through us. That the water in us won’t become stagnant like the salt marshes but will be always be fresh.

As the disciples of Jesus became fishers of men I pray that this is a time for many fishermen to arise and proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is eternal life, a river of living water and it is found in Jesus Christ.

Blessings to you this day.

Mountains..

Morning fellow bloggers. I am away walking this weekend in one of my favourite places, Wales. Hold on, I hear you say – weren’t you gallivanting (I love that word) off last weekend as well. Yes is the answer. Two weekends in a row. How blessed. The truth is I’ve been rather over working the last month. Work has been so busy and we have been understaffed so it’s been a lot of pressure. A wise friend told me I needed to take a day off work and rest so I am taking her advice. My husband has then been great organising me.

I don’t know about you but I’m terrible at reading the signs of my own fatigue and stress or I tend to ignore it and carry on. However, recently, I felt like a bit of rubber band/elastic that had been stretched so far at work that I had no more left to give. That’s a definite sign you need a break. No wonder God tells us to rest. We need it.

Anyway enough babbling, I have scheduled some of my favourite posts about Mountains, Rivers etc. for this weekend which I hope you enjoy. Blessings in Jesus.

I was having a look back in my journal today and noticed that earlier this year I had made a few scribbled notes about mountains. As I read my notes again, I realised that this year I have certainly and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, encountered some “mountains” in my life. Mountains I didn’t even know existed especially pre COVID 19!

I’ve realised that sometimes these mountains just have to be conquered. It would be much easier to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist, to try and find another easier way around them (my preference usually if I’m honest) but if we are to make progress in life then I have learnt that they have to be tackled.

These mountains, and they certainly come in all different shapes and sizes and may be different for each of us, have to be climbed and overcome. These are the experiences that God uses to teach us. We persevere and as we do so we encounter the love and faithfulness of God who walks with us each step of the way. He strengthens us and equips us.

The satisfaction we get when we eventually stand on the top, that sense of achievement knowing that we can do it ….when we see life from a different perspective is awesome. We see things we couldn’t see on the way up…hidden things become revealed. We get new perspective.

It can be done. Nothing is impossible with God

Some mountains of opposition are intended to be crushed under our feet. Strongholds that need to be brought down and demolished through the authority of Christ Jesus and the Word of God. We crucify our flesh and walk in the Spirit. We take captive thoughts and imaginations and submit them to Christ.

Who are you , oh great mountain, before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain”. Ezekiel 4:7

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. 2 Cor 10:4

Strongholds can be demolished

Some mountains are to be moved in faith…Jesus said to them. “If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible” Some mountains in our lives which are blocking us need to be be moved out of the way by faith. Mountains of insecurity, doubt, anxiety, inferiority…choosing instead to believe what the bible says and not what I think or what others say about me.

Other mountains we can leap on and over like a deer as the Lord fills us with His joy. It is amazing that we can experience the joy of the Lord despite the realities of our current difficulties and circumstances. We don’t deny those difficulties but we can rise above them as we praise Him and as we dance with the knowledge of the joy of our salvation. We can jump with joy on the mountains.

The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deers feet ..and He will make me walk on the high hills”. Habakkuk 3:

James 1:2. “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience but let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.”

God is there on the mountains. God met Moses on the mountain. He meets us in our circumstances too. God came down but Moses also had to choose to go up. It was a fearful sight to behold and the mountain trembled, there was smoke and fire. It required boldness and faith to approach the mountain of God.

Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire…..Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”

Moses did not let fear hold him back. He overcame any fear of approaching the mountain of God’s presence. Do not let fear hold you back either. The Lord says do not fear because the truth is as the bible says that we have not come to the mountain that cannot be touched. In Jesus Christ we can have confidence that we can boldly approach God’s throne of grace for help in times of need. Jesus has made the way and prepared the way for us.

There is good news we can still receive in every mountain of our life. For every difficult situation we have the word of God to comfort us, guide us, encourage us, lift us and remind us of the hope we have in Jesus our Saviour.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of Him who bring good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings, who proclaims salvation,”. Isaiah 52:7

What is the mountain you are facing today dear reader? Be encouraged it will not defeat you.

Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth. You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small and make hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away and the whirlwind shall scatter them, you shall rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel

Blessings to you in Jesus.

#Testimony Tuesday – Songs in the Night

Today’s testimony I am sharing with you is available on this YouTube link from our church service on Sunday. It is a powerful testimony from our dear brother, Rob Giles. Rob has agreed to me sharing the link to his testimony with you. Rob was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this last week. I encourage you to listen to Rob share how every step in these difficult circumstances, God has been with him and given him a song. He has woken in the night or early hours to a worship song going over in his mind. He calls them Songs in the Night.

I know that Rob’s testimony will bless you and especially the words of the song that he sings for all of us. He knows that there will be difficult times ahead but that God will be with him through it all. Rob talks about moving forward and chasing down what he calls the Elixir of Life, through worship of God, true fellowship with each other and Jesus who is the living water.

The second line of his song says “my soul thirsts for you in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water” Psalm 63.

Rob’s testimony starts at about 9 minutes into the service so you can fast forward to find it. I know you will be encouraged and blessed by it. It is very powerful and moving.

Deep Joy

Do you need some joy in your hearts today my friends? A re-discovering of the joy in knowing the love of Jesus that is down deep in our hearts – a deep, deep, deep joy.

I was reminded this week of the deep, deep, deep down joy of the Lord. Have you experienced and can you remember that deep, deep, joy of when you found Jesus as Lord and Saviour. When you realised that you were forgiven, loved, cleaned up, restored, healed, redeemed and part of God’s family.

There is a praise song about that deep, deep, deep joy found in Jesus. It’s a children’s song but the words are so profound we adults can definitely benefit from the reminder that because of Jesus we have a deep, deep, well of joy inside us that we can tap into. It’s rooted deep in our hearts.

When things get tough and we are going through hardships, trials and all sorts of tests we need to dig deep into our faith. The Joy of the Lord is our strength and how precious it is to know that deep down in the reserves of our heart and soul there is that deep, deep, deep joy just waiting to be re-discovered.

If you need a reminder of that joy today (and you might think this is a bit silly) but I encourage you to have a listen to the words of this children’s praise song again – I hope it will have you smiling, tapping your toes and singing along before you realise it. You might even have a dance around the kitchen!! I dare you. Guaranteed joy x.

The great day off 😊

So today is my birthday 🥳 and I’m very thankful to lots of people but especially my employer today for giving me the day off for my birthday. A holiday on your birthday, to do whatever you please, instead of going to the office. Yippee 🙌

So it’s a bonus day…what shall I’d do with it?. Decisions, decisions 🤔.

Firstly, no alarm clock ⏰. Time for a lie in and some shut eye. 💤💤

Hold on there….the sun is shining ☀️so let’s not waste it in bed…oh no, it’s a day to get out there, take advantage of my bonus day and enjoy it. Let’s get out and enjoy the beauty of this day God has created.

Every day God has given me in Christ Jesus, living as His child, with my family is a bonus day and I thank God for today. For the life He has given me, for my family and for the love He shows to me. God has made this day great 👍.

I hope you all have a blessed day today. I’ve posted below some pictures of the beautiful spot we enjoyed over the weekend celebrating another year older.

Looking over the valley