Influence

Influence…this was a word that the Lord spoke to my heart recently and I have been pondering it.

It’s very important that I recognise what it is that is influencing me. Ideas or emotions that are shaping my thinking or actions. The Lord wants me to be aware of what is influencing me.

Subtle influences conforming and trying to mould me to this world’s culture which may be more influential than I realise.

Influence….whether we admit it or not we are all influenced by something or someone. That someone can also be us….our “old” selves rather than our “new” man in Christ.

So something to consider…..our actions, thoughts, desires, decisions, plans….what is influencing them.

The decisions we make or see others make (which may or may not affect us) they are all influenced.

Some sources of influence are open and transparent but other influences are subtle, manipulative, controlling and coercive. We don’t want to get caught in a trap of those influences.

There are influences which we can discern are clearly for good and then others which would lead us into ungodly things.

It’s interesting to me that there is this social phenomenon of “Influencers”…people given this label who are “Influencers” because of the power of their social media presence and amount of followers. Advertisers flock to their sites.

As I have thought about sources of influence in my life, I have made a note of the following, you may think of others and I’d be interested to hear:

My bible/Jesus and His teachings,The Holy Spirit’s leading

Me/My emotions (good or bad), my experiences, my character

My husband/My parents/family

My friends

Work

My Pastor/His preaching

My fellowship group at church

Bloggers that I follow/connect with

Newspapers/Magazines/Books

Television/Films

Songs/music

Twitter/LinkedIn/Instagram

Alcohol (any amount will “influence” our behaviour)

I’ve written all these down as I thought about them but it may not necessarily be the case (all the time) that those at the top of the list influence me the most or those at the bottom the least.

What weight do I give to these influences in my life. How long do I spend with each one. Which are more reliable.

Test, weigh, prove. In court as a juror you have to weigh the evidence given. An eye witness account from a plausible witness corroborated by one or two others will far outweigh hearsay or second hand testimony. The evidence is tested and weighed through questioning and cross examining. The trustworthiness of the witness tested.

Are we influenced by things taken at face value without testing the source?

Through the media, it seems people can be whipped up into a frenzy of emotion and opinion very quickly and sometimes over seemingly nothing or things subsequently proven to be false or fake news.

Psalm 24 encourages us to swing wide and open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in.  

The Gates of the City were historically important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions.

The Gates were opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry and for protection and safety of the citizens within.

The Gates were large, strong and often barred and guarded.

We all have gateways of influence in our lives and minds. 

Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad.

Let us guard the gates of influence in our lives.

I want the gates of influence in my life to be opened wide for Jesus Christ’s influence.  Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open.

Come Lord Jesus come.

#TestimonyTuesday – God’s Provision

When I was growing up I was fortunate that my Dad taught me about how to manage my finances and honouring God with my finances. He taught me about being generous and supportive of God’s work, helping those in need and giving on biblical principles.

When I received my first pay packet Dad helped me to allocate my wages. God first, then paying for my “keep” to Mum and Dad, saving a bit and spending a bit. I was living at home so didn’t have any other expenses back then. Dad always encouraged a balance of saving and spending. He wasn’t against credit cards but he would always say that you shouldn’t overstretch yourself. If you couldn’t afford something straight away then wait and save for it. If you still wanted it by the time you’d saved for it then great, but otherwise it might have been an impulse buy, you were saved from.

Money was often tight in our house growing up and we certainly weren’t well off but we weren’t poor either. We always had food on the table. We lived with my Nan for a while when we didn’t have a house but we still had a roof over our heads. Quite often I couldn’t go on school trips because we didn’t have the money for luxuries. I didn’t go to University when the opportunity came because I needed to get a job at 18. My dad worked shifts in a factory and if there was no overtime then money was very tight but Dad was always generous with what little there was. He believed that God would always provide and God certainly did provide for our needs.

When the time came for me to have my own home and be responsible for a household budget then Dad’s financial advice was something I relied on. I remember that as I advanced in my career as a lawyer (God blessed me indeed to be able to qualify as a lawyer which is a testimony for another day) and my salary increased, there was a temptation to cut back on my giving. Ridiculous really as I was better off than I had ever been but the temptation was there. In having more than I had ever dreamed possible there was a subtle trap of wanting to give less out of my increase…..the very increase God had blessed me with.

I remember a specific time when the Lord taught me to trust Him with our finances. I had qualified as a lawyer and then a year later became pregnant with our first child. Maternity pay was not as generous then as it is now and we were concerned how we would manage to pay our mortgage, bills etc, without my salary. We were arranging overdraft facilities and loans to see us through this time. It was then that I felt prompted by the Lord to give 3 amounts of money to 3 different Christian ministries. It was a large amount and more than I had ever given before but I felt this conviction in my heart that this was what the Lord wanted.

I prayed and asked the Lord that if I was right then my husband would agree straight away. My husband wasn’t a Christian so this was going to be a big ask. I can recall so clearly being really nervous asking my husband. I plucked up courage and asked and he said yes, straight away. I thought he hadn’t heard me so asked him again and again, he said yes. I was amazed and so thankful because I believe the Lord had prepared his heart.

So, I gave the gifts and it was only months later that I realised that we were not using our overdraft facility. I cannot explain it or how it happened but it did. We didn’t receive a large unexpected financial gift or anything like that but during this time we were able to manage our finances so much better than before. Our money seemed to be going a lot further than before. God was blessing us indeed and His provision was sustaining us. We went through my whole period of maternity leave without using our overdraft or going into debt. God was faithful.

We are familiar with these verses I am sure from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians but it is good to remind ourselves again of these encouraging words from God’s Word.

Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures for ever.’ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:6-15

#TestimonyTuesday-Praising God

Today it is 12 months since my dear friend and sister in the Lord, Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer. What a shocking and terrible day that was for us all but especially for her and her family. The prognosis from the hospital was not good. The cancer had also been found in her lymph nodes in her armpit as well as in the breast. She had some lumps in her leg as well but thank God they were not cancerous. There would be an aggressive treatment plan with chemotherapy followed by radiation and surgery.

Today I want to share the good news that Karen is cancer free, Praise God. God has most wonderfully healed her. Not only is she cancer free but after her chemotherapy treatments the Consultant could not find any trace of cancer anywhere. She had been told initially and on many consultations that she would need surgery to remove her breast but eventually because the treatment was so successful a mastectomy was no longer required. Praise God.

Her journey over the last 12 months has undoubtedly been one of sickness, hardship and pain. Covid was rampant during this time and so we were not allowed to see her for days before her treatments as she had to isolate. She lost her hair and had some bad reactions to the Chemotherapy but through it all her faith in God has been solid and she has had a peace that only God through Christ Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit can give in such circumstances.

The importance of prayer, fellowship and being united together in love and faith has been crucial at this time. We have praised, worshipped, prayed, laughed and cried together. The Lord has encouraged us with key bible verses from His word and with songs and prophetic words.

At the start the Lord led us to the story of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19. When Hezekiah received a letter with a threat from his enemies and bad news, he brought the letter to God at the altar, laid it before God and prayed. God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and answered. We were encouraged and wrote the following prayer letter to God and laid it before His altar on 24 May 2021.

“You have seen O God the threat to Karen’s health and we lay and surrender all that has been diagnosed before you and ask that you will undertake in this situation and use it for Your glory and your will be done. Specifically, we ask that you will strengthen Karen and draw near to her at this time. Speak clearly to her. Refresh her and grant her peace. Grant your favour in terms of the Doctors, Nurses and all those who treat her and the treatment plan. Help her with the pain and treatments. Keep her well and heal this cancer from her body completely. Draw the family to you at this time so they may know and encounter you at this time. Amen.

Thank you Lord for hearing and answering our prayers. To you be all the honour, praise and glory.

#Testimony Tuesday ..throwing shoes

Moab is My washpot; Over Edom I will cast My shoe; Philistia, shout in triumph because of Me.”
Psalm 60:8

I read this Psalm today and it reminded me of a time many years ago when the Holy Spirit prompted me to cast (throw) my shoes over a large wire fence onto some waste ground. I’m sure some of you are reading this and thinking that’s a bit strange but please read on and I will explain.

I had been walking with my friend around a local estate where our church had an outreach work. We helped out with a Sunday School and breakfast for the children once a month. It was a deprived estate with a lot of social problems and we were walking and praying for the families on the estate.

As we walked past a piece of wasteland, which was surrounded by this metal chain link fence, I felt stirred that the Lord wanted us to pray for this spot in particular. As we prayed I saw a picture of this barren piece of land becoming a garden. A barren land being redeemed by the Lord and brought back in to use. I was reminded of the verses from Isaiah:

You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the Lord delights in you, And your land shall be married.
Isaiah 62:4

We continued to pray into the picture and that is when the Holy Spirit impressed on me to throw my shoes over the fence into the land. Not something I had ever done before, nor has it been something the Lord has prompted me to do since.

I shared this prompting with my friend and it witnessed with her too. The thing was she had just bought some brand new boots. She looked wistfully at her boots, looked at the land and then she said Yes…her new boots were going over.

So we prayed and threw our shoes and boots over that fence.

It meant walking back to our car with no shoes on (which drew some strange looks) but we knew in our hearts that the Lord was about something and our obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit was a key.

Roll forward several years and that barren wilderness became a community garden. A Christian charity had a vision to create a garden where the residents of the estate could go and learn how to grow veg, fruit and also provide a place where people could meet, talk and engage with each other.

Now it wasn’t just our prayers that brought that about. We were just a small piece in God’s plan and there would have been much prayer, planning and vision from others many years later that made that happen. In that moment though, the Lord showed us with eyes of faith the vision that He had for that land and the community. Perhaps our prayers and actions of shoe throwing were the seed that was sown in God’s timing.

God is so wonderful that He gives us these opportunities to serve Him. To partner with Him in His plans for His glory and to show His love, mercy and goodness to others. When the Holy Spirit prompts you and you know (you know in that deep inner place) that it is the Lord, then I encourage you to step out in faith and trust God with the rest.

Have a blessed day my friends.

Testimony Tuesday – Grandad’s story

My Granddad, David was a Christian and man of faith. I never met him as unfortunately, he died before I was born but I still have his little anointing bottle which has been passed on to me and which I still use today. It came from the Smith Wigglesworth ministries.

David had a stroke in 1943 and wrote out the testimony of his healing. I have it today written in his own hand. It always encourages me when I read it and it reminds me that Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever and He still heals. I thought it would be encouraging to share David’s testimony with you today. The language is old fashioned but the meaning is the same. I hope you find it uplifting as I do.

“I was a strong healthy man all my days having experienced little trouble up to sixty years of age.   One morning on the 15th September 1943, I rose to go to my work as usual.  Arriving there, I fell very sick.  I tried to work on but the sickness made me give up and start for home.  I arrived home, my wife meeting me at the door.  I was telling her of my feeling when I fell into her arms and the power immediately left the whole of my left side.

After I was taken in bed my first thoughts were of Jesus and of His healing power and I remembered that verse in the 11th Chapter of Mark’s gospel.  “Therefore I say until you, whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them”. Instead of a sadness and depression following, a perfect peace and calm came to my heart, a peace that could only come from Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.

The next day the Doctor called and said I had taken a shock (Hemiplegia), paralysis of one side of the body and blood pressure.   I was to be kept very quiet as it would be a long time before I would be able to go around again.  In fact, I would not be able to work again.  Many friends were praying that God in His great mercy and loving kindness would lay His healing hand upon me.

On November 30th, having been 11 weeks in bed and still praying for God’s healing touch; I continually kept repeating to myself these words -” God help me. Thou has said Lord in thy precious word 11th Chapter of Mark. All things whatsoever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye received them and ye shall have them”.

On this day the Pastor of the Pentecostal Assembly, Hope Street, Leith, with his wife called to see me. He had been asked by a friend of mine to call. After a little talk on the deep things of Christ and if I believed that Christ could heal today as when He was upon earth, I said yes, he laid his hands on me and prayed earnestly for my deliverance, calling on me in the Name of the Lord to rise and walk. This I did for about 6 yards into the kitchen and sat down on a chair. I felt that the Lord had touched me, for from that moment, I began to mend, praising God with a joy unspeakable.

I sat on the chair for over an hour and a half. As I rose to go back to bed it seemed as if the evil one was determined to crush me down on the floor, as I felt so weak and helpless, but I called on God to deliver me and take me back to bed the way He took me out and this He did.

Ever since then, I have went on gaining strength every day, the power coming gradually back to me. I have had no special treatment any further than up in the morning at nine o’clock attempting to improve my walking.

A month later the Doctor called.  With astonishment he looked at me and said “you are up”.  “Yes”, I said, “this is the work of the Lord”.   “Well, I will tell you” said the Doctor “you are a marvel, really it is wonderful, your prayers have been heard and answered.  I was delighted to hear Doctor say that my prayers had been answered.  I do thank God for His wonderful touch to my body and enabling me to walk when the power was completely out of my leg, no life also in my arm and fingers.  To God be all the glory.  

Dear friends, people of faith are not moved by anything they see or hear, not puffed up, they live in meekness and grow in grace.   The people of faith, said a great preacher, do not live in time, they are begun in eternity, they do not count on the things that are but rely on the things that are not.  Faith is a restful realisation of the gracious and almighty presence of an eternal God.  Divine power is laid hold of through believing prayers and by its means men are fundamentally changed, circumstances modified and miracles of grace wrought to the glory of God.   May we ever follow the spiritual way, for spiritual results can only be obtained by spiritual methods.

Yes friends, the life of faith here below is a life of trial from first to last and that is no more or less with every believer.  The promise had been given to Abraham that he would have a son, and it was many years before that promise was fulfilled, and yet it is said of him that against hope he believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations, and staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith giving glory to God.  Now this faith was afterwards crowned, the promise was fulfilled and Isaac was born.  He waited long, but he learned in a peculiar manner, the faithfulness of God to His promises. 

Perhaps we may have to live some years to wait on the Lord, for some good which he intends to confer upon us. It does not matter how long we may have to wait, don’t grow weary in well doing, for you can rest assured that when it does come it was worth waiting for. God never lets you down, no matter how long you may be tried. If we could only remember that, at these burning moments of test and seek the face of Christ, we would hear Him say “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou are mine.”

The severe trials which God sometimes sends are seldom of long duration, they are not only sent in wisdom and love but held in the same grip of love and wisdom. Life itself is short, and when on some emergency the Lord calls his child to suffer, we see with what tenderness the Lord comes to his relief. He never asks his child to stand more then he is able. Whatever portion of suffering may be allotted to us here, may we be enabled to say continually, not my will but thine be done O’ Lord, thus glorifying Him forever.” The end.

It inspires me that these words of testimony were written in 1943. Praise God for those who have travelled before us and encourage us to be strong in our faith and to glorify our Father in heaven.

Grandad David

In At The Deep End – #TestimonyTuesday

A wonderful testimony from Andy today. It will encourage you to step out in faith and exercise the gift of God within you. Have a blessed day.

I knew that I had a teaching gift long before I knew anything (really) about the Bible. I accidentally volunteered to lead a Bible study group once, …

In At The Deep End – #TestimonyTuesday

#Testimony Tuesday- Bill’s story – Lessons from my Father

It’s my #TestimonyTuesday post and I wanted to share part of my dad’s story. His full name was William Easton Third but everyone called him Bill. Dad was a true inspiration to me. He was born into a poor but happy home in Edinburgh. He lived in a tenement building in Leith which I understand today is a bit more of a gentrified area than it was back then. Dad came from a large family. There were 9 of them. How they all lived in 2 rooms is beyond me but they did. Dad said it was happy times. He loved the freedom of his childhood days.

Dad with his family in their Sunday Best. He’s the second from the front.

Dad’s experience of God’s healing power in his life was different to mine. We are all unique and no-one’s story is exactly the same. Every story has value and we all have something to share. This is why I believe in the power of testimony.

Your story with its uniqueness of relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son and Holy Spirit will speak to someone.

I believe that God truly knows what is best for each one of us and learning to surrender to him and trusting God when things don’t go according to our plans is a valuable life lesson. Dad’s experiences helped me to understand and see that God’s grace is sufficient for us and how God gives us the grace and strength we need to hold on and persevere in times of testing and suffering.

My Dad, Bill was quite a character. He was a passionate Christian who loved to share the gospel with everyone he met. He was full of energy, never still and very engaging..a cheeky chappie as they say and loved to talk. He could have made a living by talking…He was a big supporter of many Christian ministries and particularly loved T L Osborn, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Luis Palau and Reinhard Bonnke.

Dad worked hard. He worked the night shift in a factory and sometimes I would hardly see him. I’d be going out to school and he’d be coming in from work. He had big plans though for when he eventually retired. He was going to take Mum travelling in one of those big Winnebagos. This prompted much laughter in our family as Dad was well known for getting lost and being quite incapable of reading a map. Mum wasn’t much better either so I had quickly learnt to become chief navigator on our family holidays from a young age.

However, sadly those plans were not meant to be. Dad retired at 60 but then almost immediately suffered a massive stroke which rendered him paralysed down one side of his body. He was confined to a wheelchair. We would have loved him to have been miraculously healed but those prayers were not answered. We were grateful though to have him still with us. Dad could still laugh and joke and he still continued to share the gospel. In hospital he had a poster by his bed of Jesus standing beside the empty tomb. I don’t know what happened to him when he was so ill in hospital and unconscious but when he recovered, he could not talk about Jesus without being moved to tears and tell people how much he loved Jesus. It was very humbling to see.

Further tragedy was to strike not long after though when Dad suffered another major stroke. This time it was on the other side of his brain and took his speech. He could no longer talk as he did. It was very hard to see him struggle to express himself. He could utter sounds which we started to learn to interpret and we could still understand some words, especially when he was saying “Jesus”.

During this time, Dad could have become embittered and angry at his lot and how his life had turned out, it wasn’t what he planned, but he didn’t. He faithfully attended church and loved watching and listening to great preachers. He was still grateful to God and he knew that there were also many people who were worse off and suffering much more than him.

He was always a big supporter of the Barnabus Fund and taught us that it was important to support fellow believers who were being persecuted and suffering greatly for their faith in other nations.

Dad had lost his independence and all ability to look after himself and was totally reliant on my Mum, my brother and his carers to do everything for him, getting him up, washing, dressing and even feeding. He had limited movement in his right arm but was very weak. He sometimes got frustrated when we couldn’t understand him but he maintained his cheerfulness and was able to cope with what had happened to him. It was only through God’s grace operating in his life that I believe enabled him to be like that. He was a testimony to me and others of God’s grace and peace in action.

Although, Dad was never fully physically healed, he did experience times of God’s healing in his body. One time, I recall was when he was taken extremely ill with pneumonia and was in the hospital. We were called to his bedside because the doctors did not think he would survive the Pneumonia. The chief registrar and doctor stood at the bottom of his bed and it was the first time that I had heard what is called the “death rattle”. It’s the most horrible sound of someone struggling to breathe and effectively taking their lasts breaths.

I had called my friends from the hospital to pray and I had asked God to take Dad if it was his time but if not, then to restore him to us. It was all I could think to ask God for at that time. We had the comfort as a Christian family to know that Dad would go to be with his Lord Jesus, but truthfully I didn’t want to let him go. He was my Dad and a big influence in my life. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet.

As we all waited by his bed, Dad suddenly stirred and pointed to the corner of the room. We couldn’t see anything but I believe that he could see something in the spiritual realm. They say the veil into the spiritual realm is thin at such times. I felt prompted to tell Dad that it wasn’t his time to go. He should tell whoever was there that he wasn’t ready to go with them. I can’t explain what happened next but Dad seemed to relax and continued on breathing but his breathing started to change. It became quieter and more regular. His face changed and was more relaxed.

After a while of this, the Registrar stated that he didn’t think Dad was going to die after all that day and they would come back later!! Praise God, Dad recovered and lived for many more years after that day.

Our appointed times are truly in God’s hands. God as our Heavenly Father loves us much more than we can understand. I thank God that my earthly father is now safe in Father God’s care. Dad went to be with the Lord in 2006. I’m sure Bill will have lots to tell me one day when we meet again which we surely will.

Dad always said he was looking forward to getting to heaven. One thing he wanted to do was meet the Apostle Paul. He had lots of questions for him…it makes me smile to think of my Dad chewing the ear off the Apostle Paul..one of his great bible heroes. Bless him.

Dad’s favourite scripture was Psalm 84: It was the reading at his funeral. His favourite verse was:

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
Psalm 84:10

Dad’s enjoying eternity in God’s courts now and I’m sure he has never been happier.

Dad as a young man

Tell of His Wonderful Works #TestimonyTuesday

We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.”
Psalm 78:4

Todays testimony is slightly different. It’s of a time when the Lord taught me that I could trust in Him because He knows everything. I only see in part but God sees the whole picture and holds the future in His hands.

I hope this testimony is a blessing and encouragement to anybody today who has experienced or is experiencing difficult times. God loves you. Place your trust in His unfailing love. He is faithful throughout all generations.

There are times when although we pray for healing we or the other person are not physically healed. It is those times when we hold fast to our trust in God, strengthened and comforted by Him, trusting in His great love for us to take us through such times of grief and sorrow. These times can be disappointing to us especially when we believe healing will take place. We can struggle to understand why not. I have experienced these times myself. However, if we let disappointment have a place in our hearts and take root then it can produce resentment, bitterness, envy, unbelief and other unhealthy emotions.

I was pregnant and everything was fine until I started to have bleeding and stomach cramps. I knew something was wrong. I went to the hospital and after having an ultrasound scan the Doctor came and told me that there was no heartbeat detected anymore and I must have miscarried. As the Doctor spoke, I heard a voice so clearly that it was almost audible saying to me “He’s mistaken”.

I knew this was the Lord speaking to me. His voice was so clear, I felt compelled to act. I asked the Doctor if there was a possibility that he could be wrong. The Doctor said No he didn’t think so but agreed to speak to the Consultant in charge. He returned to say he was 99% sure that I had miscarried but the only way to be 100% sure was by a series of blood tests taken over a couple of days. If the hormone levels in my blood kept rising then there was still a continuing pregnancy. I asked if I could have the blood tests. I could tell the Doctor thought it was a waste of time but he agreed.

Some days later on the Saturday (after having the blood tests) I was sitting at the breakfast table when I received a call from the hospital. It was a doctor saying the Consultant had just read my notes and I must come to the hospital immediately. My hormone levels were rising so there was a continuing pregnancy. It was an emergency.

I was shocked but the doctor started asking me lots of questions. How was I? Did I have a stiff neck (no), I mustn’t eat anything (whoops just had my breakfast) and I needed to come to the hospital right now. I explained that I couldn’t come immediately as my husband was away on work and I didn’t have anyone to look after my daughter who was about 2 at the time. The Doctor was insistent though that I got someone around and came straight away. Not so easy in those days where few people had mobile phones. I couldn’t get hold of my husband but managed to get my sister in law who came and took me to hospital.

I was taken straight down for emergency surgery. I had no idea what was happening other than they were very worried. When I woke up from the surgery I discovered that I had an ectopic pregnancy (the pregnancy is outside the womb) and because of this they had no choice but to remove the fallopian tube.

I was truly devastated as I really believed that I was going to have this baby. I had already had one miscarriage before and I was anxious that I wouldn’t be able to have more children especially now I only had one Fallopian tube.

However, later as I spent time with God praying things through I came to realise that God had probably saved my life. Ectopic pregnancies can be life threatening. I don’t know what could have happened if the ectopic pregnancy had not been found in time especially as the Doctors had thought I had miscarried.

If I had not listened to the Holy Spirit and asked the Doctor to run the blood tests then the Consultant would not have seen my notes. I also found out when I was in hospital recovering, that the Consultant wasn’t due to be in that Saturday – he had just popped into the hospital and happened to see my test results. The Consultant knew from experience that it was likely to be an ectopic pregnancy and because of the length of time passed it could burst at any time. He was the one who insisted I was brought in and he scheduled the surgery for me that same day. Praise God.

People could say that all of this was just a coincidence but I believe it was God who prompted the Consultant to go to the hospital that day. God had his hand on the whole situation.

Even though this was a time of pain and sorrow for my husband and myself, I did later become pregnant again (even with one Fallopian tube- hallelujah) and was blessed with another child. She is 19 now. I can truly say that God is faithful. He is good – all the time.

Bless His Holy Name. Amen

#Testimony Tuesday- shout out to Sunday School Teachers and Youth Workers

I hope today’s testimony will encourage all the Sunday School and Youth Workers out there who have faithfully served your churches and communities over the years.

I recently sent an email to Alan Kearns from Devotional Treasures because he mentioned in a post that he attended Glenrothes Baptist Church in Fife. Now I live hundreds of miles away in the West Midlands in England and I’ve never met Alan. We connected on WordPress but the church Alan mentioned was familiar to me. Coincidence….I don’t think so. God has a way of connecting believers together over miles and years.

Glenrothes Baptist Church was the first Sunday School that I ever attended when my family lived for a time in Scotland.

I still have the little bible given to me on 25 January 1976 by the Glenrothes Baptist Church Sunday School. It has travelled with me and was the first Bible ever given to me. I wouldn’t part with it as I gave my life to Jesus in that summer of 1976. I was 9 years old.

That gift of a bible was a seed and I’m very grateful for it. I’m not sure if the fellowship at Glenrothes is the same now but I thank the Lord for the ministry of believers in Glenrothes. God knows the other seeds which have been sown by them in good soil and produced fruit for the Kingdom and by other faithful Sunday School Teachers and Youth Workers. Young people have receptive hearts and your labours are not in vain.

My bible is very battered now as you can see and it has been stuck together with sellotape. It is very old though now.

So I just want to thank all the wonderful people who serve as youth leaders and Sunday School Teachers. The seeds you have sown over the years have not been wasted. I am sure that there are lots of believers just like me who had the first foundations of faith in Jesus laid at Sunday School. I’m forever grateful. Thank you.

Trav”ails” #TestimonyTuesday

Morning friends, My testimony today is about my recent travelling “travails” and how God answered our “SOS” prayers for help.

You might recall that in early January, my husband and I travelled to Rome to see my youngest daughter who had been working as an Au Pair for 3 months.

Travelling anywhere at that time with the Omicron Covid variant so rampant was no mean feat and international travel took everything to the next level of complication.

There were so many Covid tests to be taken, results uploaded, locator forms to be completed, vaccination status passports to be available (green passports), temperature checks and also special face masks had to be obtained to be worn in Italy.

Well we managed to get everything required in place and set off very early (4.00 a.m.) in the morning to Heathrow Airport about a 2.5 hour journey away to catch our plane.

Everything was going fine until our car suddenly started to misbehave. It started to jerk as if the engine was cutting in and out and then suddenly the dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree and a warning message flashed up telling us to stop the car. That was a bit difficult in the middle lane of the motorway at speed but worse was to come the engine started to lose power and our speed dropped dramatically. The motorway was not busy so my husband managed to get the car to the hard shoulder safely.

We had never broken down before and were a bit lost as to what to do. We knew that if the car didn’t start we would miss our flight. My husband tried starting the car again a few times, nothing completely dead. I said out loud “Lord we need to get to the airport and we need this car to work. Help us”. My husband said “Yes”. He’s a man of few words but that was all that was needed. At that moment the Lord quickened to me about the Prayer of Agreement -the bible verses that where two or three agree on earth concerning a thing it will be done. My husband agreed with me and I felt the Lord say that He too agreed with us. There were three of us in agreement that the car needed to work.

We decided to get out of the car. Lock the doors and wait a couple of minutes. When we got back in the car my husband decided to switch off the automatic engine controls and revert to manual mode. He tried the engine again and it started. Praise God.

We resumed our journey but our difficulties hadn’t finished. The car was clearly not right but it was going. I kept praying the Lord would get us to Heathrow in time for the flight and the car would not break down again. However, another light started flashing on the dashboard. By now most of the warning lights were on. This time it was a tyre warning light, telling us we had a flat tyre and were losing pressure. My husband checked and yes, the pressure had fallen on the rear inside tyre. We prayed that it was not a puncture and that the pressure would stabilise. Praise God it did.

We made it to the airport safely and our flight. I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to get out of a car.

I thank God that He heard our SOS prayers and answered. Nothing is too small for God to be concerned with for us. When things go wrong and unexpected things occur, I am grateful that I have God to turn to. He is an ever present help in times of trouble. Amen.

Have a blessed day.

We are not alone