Sometimes it’s good to reminisce. This week I’ve been having a look back through the family photo albums, prompted in part by our eldest having just graduated from university and returning home.
This has prompted many “do you remember when” conversations and laughter. It turns out the youngest then declaring she can’t remember some of these memories and even some of our holidays!!! A fortnight in Spain she hardly recalls-baffling.
Anyhow, I took a look back at the albums to remind her she had visited these places. It’s undisputed evidence that these shared experiences actually happened even though she has forgotten. Pre-Covid travel – will we ever get such unrestricted freedom again.
I enjoyed reminiscing and thought I’d share a selection of my favourite photos in the hope you’ll enjoy them too and it might prompt you to have a reminisce of your own.
God also loves it when we reminisce and remember His loving kindness and faithfulness to us. Psalm 103 is one of my favourite Psalms…Forget not all His benefits…
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5”
Today, there may be someone you know who is struggling and we can be that voice of encouragement to remind them of God’s loving faithfulness and to encourage them to keep going because God will bring them through. Sharing stories and testimonies of God’s love.
I literally took these photos with my phone from the album so the quality may be a bit ropey 😀 I still love the vibrant colours on show though and also the beauty of God’s creation in nature. You may recognise some of these places. Have a blessed day.
Life has curve balls. For me, For you. For our families. For our friends. Even for Christians. Things happen, shocking news comes that we weren’t expecting to receive. Times of pain, hurt, disappointment, unsettling times of trouble. It shakes us, throws us off track and then we remember that we serve a God who knows all things, is our Rock, our Fortress and an ever present help in times of need.
In such times, the Lord draws us to Him with love and reminds us of His faithfulness and goodness. That He is a good, good God and we can trust in Him.
Recently, the Lord gave these promises from His Word to sustain us in the difficult and painful times ahead. I hope that if you are experiencing such times yourself that you will also find hope and comfort in these verses. I have meditated and spoken them aloud especially at the start of the day. They have uplifted my soul.
Psalm 91:2. “ I will say of the Lord:He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in Him I will trust”
Nahum 1:7. “ The Lord is good; A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”
Psalm 25:5. “ Lead me in your truth and teach me. For you are the God of my salvation on you I wait all the day.”
Psalm 96 1-3. “ Oh sing to the Lord a new song, Sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name, Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”
John 3:16. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Lamentations 3: 22-23. “Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning:Great is your faithfulness”.
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever He is the rock eternal”
My friend also gave this wise advice.
I believe the Lord wants us to stop fretting and to rest in his love and goodness for this season and also to look and see His beauty in nature all around us.
So this weekend I am in Somerset, visiting my old home and it’s such a beautiful place that I wanted to share some photos with you. I was fortunate to grow up here. We visited Old Cleeve, where my ancestors on my Mum’s side lived in the 1700s. There is a beautiful church here, St Andrew’s, which has an ancient churchyard with views over the sea.
The church itself dates from the 15th century and there has been a church on this site since at least 1066. There is a tomb in the church that dates back to 1420 of a knight who was believed to be in service to Richard 11. That’s a lot of history. The church is a reminder to me of my past but also that we are blessed to have such a longstanding Christian heritage in this nation of ours.
The font where babies were baptised dates back to the 15th century. My great great great grandad William Langdon born in 1787 was baptised in that font. I stood in that same church today where my ancestors stood and baptised him as a baby. How awesome is that.
This post may seem at odds with my last post on church but buildings themselves should not be the focus of or define our worship or faith in God. They were built for the glory of God and point us to Him but we in our humanity can make idols of them so easily. The church, the monument, can become our focus rather than the source. The community this church served has changed dramatically since it was founded. Over time families, mine included, moved away to the larger towns and cities looking for work and the village populations decreased dramatically. Times changed. It’s good and right to remember our history as the Bible encourages us to do but we must not get stuck in the past. God wants us to advance His Kingdom in this generation and those to come.
We do need to be reminded though of God’s faithfulness, His ways and the wonderful things He has done for us so that we can tell our children and the generations that follow us. We can so easily forget otherwise. Just as I have retraced my ancestors today to the place they worshipped. Psalm 37 includes this exhortation:
“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. For he issued his laws to Jacob; he gave his instructions to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their children, so the next generation might know them— even the children not yet born— and they in turn will teach their own children. So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. Then they will not be like their ancestors— stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.” Psalm 78:4-8
Each generation is to set its hope anew on God. I pray that will be the case. Let hope arise in the hearts of the younger generation in these days that they will discover a hope that will never let them down in Jesus Christ, God’s own son who died that we may live.
It’s so quintessentially English around here in this part of Somerset. If you had to picture a typical English village then this village of East Quantoxhead would be it. Thatched cottages, cream teas and there is even a village duck pond with its own house for the ducks.
This lovely village also has a beautiful ancient church with views over the adjoining fields.
It is good for the soul to get out into the countryside again after Lockdown restrictions and enjoy nature and these lovely ancient places which put us in remembrance of our great and glorious God who has created all things. He is the ancient of days. Blessed be His glorious name forever and ever.
I do like to take a rest from walking too though…..
Have a blessed day my friends and I hope that we remember the good that God has done for us.
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” Psalm 103:1-5
In the night I awoke with these verses from Psalm 91 in my thoughts and immediately felt a sense of God’s peace and assurance that His arm of protection was shielding me as I was nestled in a place of security. As a mother hen gathers her chicks underneath her for warmth and protection so was this sense of Gods love surrounding me.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 – https://www.biblegateway
There is a promise in these verses that when we abide in God (as Jesus encourages us to do) that we can rest (not be anxious or worried) even when the storm is raging around us and trust Him. His presence surrounds us in all circumstances and when we are resting and sleeping God is working on our behalf and He watches over us.
I am reminded of the song by Michael W Smith called Surrounded (Fight My Battles)
The Word Says “For the spirit of heaviness” “Put on the garment of praise” That’s how we fight our battles (yeah)This is how I fight my battles This is how I fight my battles This is how I fight my battles (What we’re doing tonight) This is how I fight my battles (Just when you think you’re lost)It may look like I’m surrounded But I’m surrounded by You (hey) It may look like I’m surrounded But I’m surrounded by You It may look like I’m surrounded But I’m surrounded by You It may look like I’m surrounded But I’m surrounded by You This is how I fight my battles
When things are at their worst. If you are feeling oppressed and surrounded by trouble, anxiety on all sides then God wants to encourage you today that He is surrounding you with His love and wants you to rest in Him. Give your worries to Him and receive God’s peace in exchange.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 – https://www.biblegateway.com
My friend Heather, sent our fellowship group these encouraging words and I wanted to share them with you today. I hope you are blessed x
Morning all, as I was awake in the night I believe the Lord said to me “LOOK UP” and then “COME UP”.
Where I thought? Psalm 121 says “ I look to the hills it’s where my help comes from. The Lord maker of heaven and earth”.
As I looked up I saw the eagles up there soaring way above the storm.
Isaiah 41 verse 30 says “those who Hope in the Lord will soar on eagles wings. They will run and not get weary, they will walk and not faint”. I encourage you to read all of Isaiah 40.
Did you know the eagle puts her chicks in a hole in the rocks and then she faces in and spreads her wings across the hole to cover them and stays there till the storm has passed.
Psalm 91 says “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, in the shadow of The Almighty will say He is my refuge, my God in whom I trust. Verse 4 says “He will cover us with His wings”. I encourage you to read the rest of psalm 91.
We have meditated on Psalm 46 recently which says “God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in time of need”.
These scriptures tell us that God is in charge. Let us look up, stay strong and know we are under His wings. God bless xx