Child of God

He's got the whole world in His hands!

Hove beach

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Hello again. I hope you’re all feeling good. In my last blog, I told you that Kev had got Covid and that I was hoping to avoid it. Well, I’m afraid that hope didn’t last and I got the bug! We were both triple-jabbed and were indeed blessed by the Lord, as neither of us was particularly ill. In fact, my most annoying symptom was that my food tasted strangely of disinfectant – yuck!

Hove

We both got cabin fever, having to remain indoors for two weekends. I ordered my very first online shop from Asda but wouldn’t want to do it on a regular basis, as I actually enjoy food shopping and it’s just not the same buying online. Nevertheless, we were both grateful for this facility at the time.

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

God’s ability to direct our lives is certainly beyond our own ability. Sometimes we’re afraid of God’s power and plans because we know His power can easily crush us if it was against us. We shouldn’t be afraid to let God correct our plans; He will give us wisdom if we are willing to listen to Him.

Hove

Because we’ve been stuck indoors this last week or two, we couldn’t go anywhere nice to update our photo albums. I’ve been trawling through my albums and have come up with a few old ones, including New Brighton, one of our favourite haunts. I have also included a few from the beautiful town of Hove, where I stayed during my time teaching English to foreign students in Brighton.

New Brighton beach

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Storing up treasures in heaven is not just about giving, but accomplished by all obedient acts towards God. Giving money to God’s work can be seen as investing in heaven but it’s not all about money, but what else we do with our lives.

Ferry, cross the Mersey!

Like most folks, I try to do my bit to give money to the church and to the less fortunate. We’re far from wealthy as a couple, but we realise that, compared to a lot of people, we are rich indeed. I sometimes get a bit dissatisfied with our rented apartment, and yearn for a house and garden, but then I have to remind myself of all the poor people who don’t even have a home to call their own. How absolutely dreadful it must be to have to sleep on the streets – especially in winter.

It doesn’t matter how rich or successful you are in this life; you can’t take it with you! As my father-in-law once remarked, "There are no pockets in shrouds!"  The Lord has provided us with a comfortable and secure home, a regular and steady income, no shortage of food or other essentials, and so much more. All this, and a future with Him to look forward to in the next life!😀

Hove promenade

“Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

Some people think they would believe in Jesus if they saw a definite sign or miracle. But Jesus says we’re blessed if we can believe without seeing. We have all the proof we need in the words of the Bible and the testimony of believers. A physical appearance wouldn’t make Jesus any more real to us than He is now.

I was fortunate enough to have a mum who firmly believed in Jesus and she brought us up in this belief. Consequently, I have never doubted that He exists but I do understand that not everyone has had this background. It might just take a bit more faith but I really can’t imagine a life without Jesus.  It took me a long time to make a commitment to Him but It was the best decision of my life.

Hove

“Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

The whole human race is condemned for repeatedly breaking God’s holy law. Without Jesus, we would have no hope at all but, thank God, He has declared us not guilty and has offered us freedom from sin and power to do His will.

Hove beach

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)

Paul says here that, because of the resurrection, nothing we do is in vain. Sometimes we hesitate to do good because we don’t see any results from our efforts.

As I have said many times, I sometimes feel quite insecure about my blog, thinking that it doesn’t attract as many readers and ‘shares’ as I would like. Kev is my voice of reason in this case; he frequently reassures me that, as long as I am faithful to the Lord in writing and publishing the blog regularly, God will take care of the rest. Once the blog is on Facebook, it’s out of my hands. The Lord will use my words to reach the people He wants to reach. In moments of self-pity and insecurity, I sometimes wonder if there’s any point in carrying on with this project. Until the Lord tells me otherwise, I shall assume there is every point. If only one soul is saved through reading my ramblings, how honoured and privileged I shall be!

Having said that, I am always grateful to anyone who shares my blog with other people - hint, hint!🙃

New Brighton beach

Another area in which we try to introduce people to the Lord is by the distribution of Pocket Testaments. We buy these each month and have done so for quite a time – usually 15-20 per month. More often than not, we never see the results of leaving these around but leave it in God’s hands as to who He wants to pick them up and read them.

We’ve had a few bad experiences, though, with seeing these torn up, binned or thrown on the ground, which really upsets me. But we were walking in a local beauty spot last year and I left a testament on a bench and we started walking away. An elderly couple passed us and I turned around and watched the man pick up the testament, glance at it and put it in his pocket. I was so thrilled, you would think I’d won the lottery! I prayed so hard that this would have the right effect on the gentleman and that it would lead him to God. Looking back, I think God must have realised how discouraged I was getting and had let me witness this to encourage me to carry on.

Old school in New Brighton

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

We shouldn’t necessarily thank God for everything that happens to us, but in everything. Evil doesn’t come from God, so we shouldn’t thank Him for it. But when evil circumstances arise, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and for the good He can accomplish through these times.

As regular readers and anyone else who knows me well are already aware, I came to Christ through bad circumstances, following a breakdown lasting over a year. I lost the job I loved and it was one of the worst times of my life. I even contemplated suicide but the Lord brought me through it and out the other side, relatively sane! I looked for a church through sheer gratitude to Him and this led to my salvation, baptism and eleven years of Christian life, so far. At this church, I met my wonderful husband and I’ve never looked back. But I am absolutely sure that, without my mental illness and subsequent job loss, I would not have turned to the Lord. So, yes, I do indeed give thanks in all circumstances.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.  Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom for ever and ever.

Amen

Love, Ann

Me and my Kevster