Blue skies, nothing but blue skies all day long.

Eleven days of sunshine. Eleven days of blue skies. Eleven days of nearness. Eleven days of listening. Eleven days of being blessed. Eleven glimpses of a good time away.

  

   

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Remember 2.

Remembrance is on the lips of everyone at the moment – me included. We stand together and remember. We stand in silence. We stand in our thoughts. We stand with our hearts. And yes, we remember.

Today as I go about my daily jobs and catch ups, do I remember? Do I remember that my LORD is with me at all times? With me, in the ups. With me, in the downs. Do I remember that He walks with me? Wanders the road I’m on. Or do I forget? He has shown me that I walk His road. Walk His path. That I need to look up and not down. Look out to catch the glimpse of His picture.

I thank you LORD that you are with me.  That you have my hand. Showing me the how, through my ‘quiet times’.

But it isn’t just for me. He is with you too. He is walking His path with you. Guiding and leading. Bringing you to the point He wants you to be at. Showing you that there is a light at the end. That He is the LIGHT. The light to bring you home to Him. The light that shines. The light that will fill your heart to over flowing. The light that will enable you to go forward. The light that will show you the hows and the wherefores. The light that speaks of His commands. The light that illuminates where you’re at.

“Remember that the LORD your God led you on the entire journey, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.” Deuteronomy 8 v 2.

 

 

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Remember.

Tomorrow and Sunday we remember. We remember with a poppy. We remember the fallen. We remember all those men, young and old. And also the women who gave everything for King and country. Two World Wars that affected generations then and now. Further wars. Recent wars. For Queen and country. We remember them.

  

Israel. A country of contrasts. A country of many. Jews and Arabs. Bedouin and Druze. Young and old. Boy and girl. But they remember. Perhaps different things. But they remember. Particularly the Jewish people.

A must on every tour is a visit to Yad Vashem. A memorial to the people of the Holocaust. A place where they are remembered. A place and a name. Yad Vashem. A place and a name for all those who were denied a dignified burial. Often a burial at all. Two simple words taken from Isaiah 56.

I will give within my temple and its walls
   ‘ a memorial and a name’
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
    that will endure forever.

A visit to Yad Vashem remains with you. The continuous reading of names. The Holocaust says one thing, but the continuous reading of names – children’s names, makes it real. Brings it home. Thoughts. Prayers. Stillness. We remember them.

But it isn’t just those who lost their lives in the concentration camps. Other people are remembered. The people who risked everything. The people who showed kindness to the Jews of their neighbourhood. To the Jewish people who passed through. Young and old. Male and female. The Holocaust touched every age, every man, woman and child. And with the help of the “righteous among the nations” many were saved.

From 51 different countries. A group of men and women all helping.

People like the Ten Booms. Corrie, Elisabeth and their father Casper. I read the book in the summer – The Hiding Place. So to see the tree and the plaque remembering them, struck a cord. An example of Christian love over flowing.

   

But not just Christians. Muslims and agnostics appear. Each given a plaque in the garden, along the avenue. People from Poland, France, Germany, Britain, Croatia. Representatives from the 51 different countries. Farmers. Doctors. Teachers. Watch makers. Fishermen. Clergy. And Nuns. Ordinary people. Some even going to the camps with the people they were saving. Remembered because they were not Jewish. We remember them.

Also those who helped save the lives of their fellow brothers. People like Nicholas Winton who saved 669 Jewish children in 1938 – 1939. We remember them.

Among the trees, sculptures. People. A cattle car. A memorial to the deportees. Plaque after plaque. Placed in remembrance.

   

   

Finishing again with the Jewish people. Those who suffered. The simple statement,

“Imagine my Life”.

We remember them.

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Easy?

I have been in Israel for the last two weeks. It was hard to go and I would have happily stayed at home three days before take off. But that wasn’t an option. So I took off at silly o’clock in the morning. It wasn’t easy. No. Not easy going through the motions. Not easy putting on a smile. Not easy shepherding people through the small streets of Joppa. I had to be honest. To be honest for the group’s sake. To be honest to me. And to be honest to the LORD. So I shared that first night that I was struggling. Struggling with feelings. I didn’t share the reasons. Just that I was struggling. And the group was lovely. The group was caring. They had hugs. They had a squeeze of the hand. A word in the ear. A prayer on their lips. And I managed.

Gradually I rested in His Land. Rested in His sunshine. Rested in His care.

A quiet walk down the hill side from the Mount of the Beatitudes to Tabgha. Silence. No words. Just thoughts. Then through the tears a voice. A feeling. A prompting. Look up. Look up not down. Look up and out. And there it was. The most beautiful view. The sunshine. His sunshine. The sea. His sea. The path. His path. And where am I? Walking. Following. The path down. His path down.

In the busyness of life we forget. We try to find our way. We try to pick out our path. Not His. Ours. We search thinking we are looking for His for us. But we don’t have to do that. If we really love Him. Truly love Him. Know fully what He did for each of us. The path is there. If we look up we can walk that path with Him. With Him holding our hand. With Him and a huge hankie. For He didn’t say it would be easy. He didn’t say the ups and downs wouldn’t be there. Life is there. Always there. The disappointments. The feelings of helplessness. The feelings that we are useless. The feelings of not knowing what is round the corner. It is how we deal with them that He points out. Sometimes we will cope. Sometimes we won’t.

But if He is walking beside you let Him cope. Let Him give the hug. The squeeze of the hand. The gentle word in the ear. The loving prayer in your heart. They are all a round. His hands reaching out. And it will be OK.

And me? I am walking His path. He told me I was. I just need to hold on to the hands that He gives me. Hold on to the squeeze in those hands. Listen out for His words. Listen out for the Spirit’s prayers. Let Him pray for me when I am empty. When I have no direction. Put one foot in front of the other on His path and look up. See His picture with His path in the middle. And where am I? Walking and trying to follow.

 

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Chaos. Mayim. Mem.

Why do I write a blog?  A big question. I write creative posts to explore and record what I am doing in my creative moments. The beginnings of things. The ends of things. But rarely the bit in the middle. Sometimes. Not often. I write my Christian thoughts to explore God’s word. To record the ‘helps’ that these bring. To go back to. To think again. To remember. The beginnings of things. The middle of things. But rarely the ends.

I have been going through a difficult time of late. You have probably realised that with the posts that I have written recently. So this Sunday morning I found myself re-reading some of my older posts. In particular the one about the sea.

It was the picture that made me stop scrolling. The tangled mass of grass. Growing but tangled. Intertwined. Intertwined but with a dot of yellow. A pick me up. A spike. But just a dot. Dots come and go. The spikes are just that – spikes. Peaks on a graph of life. But the  plateaux are there too.

So what makes a plateau? Are they always good for you? You could say a level surface equals  stability. But you could say it is stagnation. You could say it is being indecisive. The going round of a merry-go-round with undulations that are small. Undulations that lead you no where except back to the beginning. Stop, stop I want to get off. I don’t want to go round again. Not again.

Looking at the photo of the sea, the frame of the picture shows us a way. A way to pick over the mass of grass. Over all the intertwine – ness (is that a word?!). Over all the mess that life can become. Stepping over the chaos. Stepping through the mem. Stepping across the sand. Stepping across a plateau of stagnation. Of self introspection. Stepping across the ripples. The small undulations. A way to dip your toe into the cool water. A way to let it wash. A way to step above the hurts and pain. A way to reach out for a hand. The hand. A way to take the hand and follow the word “Come”. A way to walk on the water. On the mayim. Not on our own but with Him. Not running. Not jumping. Tentatively. One step at a time. No time limit. To walk together. Slowly. With healing. To allow another water to wash and fill. A strong water. A life giving water. A healing water. LORD we come.

So I am glad to have written my blog. I am glad I can go back and  read and explore. And if it helps someone else…. I am glad. For we have a beautiful, life giving God. A beautiful, life giving LORD. And I thank Him for trying to show me the way through the intertwined mass of my life. For offering the hand to lead and guide me. To cross the plateau. Perhaps to share an end. It may take a while, but I’m not on my own.

“Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41 v10

 

 

 

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Why?

Why? Such a simple little word, but boy does it have many meanings. The constant word for a little 3 year old. “Why?”  “Because I said it would.” “Why?” “Because that’s the way it works.” “Why?” “Because it is.” “Why?” “Because….” I think you get the picture! An innocent word that really gets under your skin if you’re on the receiving end.

But it can also be the word that is under your skin if it is you that is saying. Gone is the sweet smile when it is said. Hello frown! “Why is that happening?” Heavily stressed. “WHY?” “Why can’t I do it?” “WHY?” A sense of anger inside the letters. Short. Staccato.

But then it becomes a whisper. “Why?” “Why me?” “Why now?” “Why?”

Then when you get past the whisper the word changes to a “What?” or a “When?” or even a “Where?” Just a quiet word. A word that is full of meaning. Full of pleading. Full of confusion. Full of hurt. But a word that you have to go through to come out at the other side. A word that drops your shoulders. A word full of a sigh. A word that eventually yields and allows you to go forward.

To go forward just an inch. Just a toe.  Just a half step. That moves forward a whole step. Cautiously. Followed by another one. One with a bit more confidence. One with an OK. One with a positive mark. And as you do, you start to lift you head. To look up. To acknowledge what has happened and gather strength from the Father above. A look that searches. A look that gathers. A look that brings things closer. Closer with love. Closer with an out stretched hand.  Closer with a hand grasped.

To move on along the road. To move passed the closed door. To move on, to a new direction. A direction that will take you……   A direction yet to be found. A direction that will help.

At first a meander. A meander with wide sweeping curves. A meander that lets you rest. A meander that helps. But one that will in time be straightened out. One that will gather determination and understanding. One that will explain and reveal  that “Why?” That why that was whispered. An explanation that comes with the Father’s bigger picture.

At the moment it is just a path that needs to be traveled. One that is not lonely. The hand has been found and the gentle guiding has started. One step at a time. And in His time the answer will be revealed and the simple “Why?” will have disappeared.

   The Good Shepherd.

 

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God Speaks.

Over the last few weeks my life has been a bit up and down. Swinging from one extreme to the other. As I have put things back into my life following my enforced rest with my broken leg, I have tried to get the right balance. To work out what God wants for me and wants me to do. Trying to listen to the whispers. Trying to focus on the right passage. The right verse from scripture. The right pathway. And it has been hard and will probably continue to be hard for a little while longer.

I have read my bible. Read other bibles. Looked at different translations. I have found articles to read. And articles to listen to and watch. Messages to study. To contemplate. To expand upon. Colossians has beckoned. In Norfolk I read and re read it. My notes on my phone go “Colossians. Love it! Study it! Live it!” Was that really back in August? Where do the days go? And as a new term started, so the Ladies at church started their study – Colossians. I don’t believe in coincidences. But sadly I have missed one episode. So I have as yet missed  out. Missed out on God’s word. Missed out on what He had to say.

But if He wants to speak to you He will find a way. He will prod and poke you and whisper. Passages that I had read back in June at the start of this journey, appeared again. Elijah’s story of running away,  here, popped up reminding me of my busyness. And then today I watched Cheryl Brodersen talking about our ‘calling’. I sat and thought. Mulled over what she had said. Then, with my thoughts I visited my blog stats. Okay ….. the post most people were visiting was ‘Calling’. I had forgotten all about that post. Yes, I was to find my ‘calling’. God had spoken again reminding me.

The highs and lows of the last four or five weeks have been just that – mood swings high and mood swings low. Smiles and tears. But in each low my LORD has spoken. Verses sent by friends. Verses from my ‘devotions’. Verses when I have opened Pinterest. Instagram. And all in a logical order. All made sense. All spoke. Words from His Word. Words from my LORD. Words that I have gathered together on my phone. Words that I visit regularly. Words that mean so much. Words from the lows that help in other lows. Lows in the middle of the night. Lows in the early hours. Lows during the day. Yes lots of lows, but I know He has been there and will continue to be there. Whispering ‘hang on’. ‘Don’t give up’.

Thank you to MYBIBLE.COM

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