Child of God

He's got the whole world in His hands!

San Antonio Bay, Ibiza

Tuesday, 2 June

Hello again and I trust you are all well. Must make the best of this fantastic weather, as it's apparently due to break tomorrow! Kev and I have downloaded a walking app called Alltrails, which is invaluable to us, as we are discovering loads of beautiful places within a 20-minute drive from our home, that we never knew existed. Kev is a born-and-bred Warrington lad and he's certainly been surprised a number of times by the huge variety of places available on our home ground. One of them, Moore Nature Reserve, which we visited on Sunday, is pictured above this post. Unfortunately, the trail was closed to the public, due to the Coronavirus thing, but it was possible to skirt around and see some of it. We look forward to seeing the whole thing when normality returns.

I've just been listening to one of my favourite Christian songs - "Breathe" by Sheila Walsh. It's absolutely beautiful. There is so much excellent Christian music around nowadays - times have moved on from the rather staid, dusty hymns that were the only options at one time.

As I remember, I was telling you about my shift away from God at the age of 14. I had decided to go my own sweet way along the path of life and did exactly that for many years. I must have still been searching for some meaning to life, though, because I became fascinated with the occult. Somehow, my siblings and I got hold of a plastic ouija board. Scarily, these were being manufactured as toys back in those days. We would sit around it, pushing the pointer, playing at connecting with the dead. I remember Mum throwing the game out at some stage, concerned about the implications of us using this tool. It was just a game to us; we knew no different. Eventually, this graduated to us pushing a glass around a table, with the letters of the alphabet, and 'yes' and 'no' written on pieces of paper. I once visited a spiritualist church but no messages came through to me from the other side, so I lost interest!

Over the following years, I began to devour horror stories and watch scary films. I went to see "The Exorcist" with my boyfriend, and wished I hadn't bothered, as the film gave me nightmares for ages. It didn't stop my appetite for more, though. I became obsessed with the Devil, demons, ghosts, witches .... I read all Dennis Wheatley's books, along with the warnings at the front of the stories about the dangers of witchcraft and black magic. I was very eager to know my future and visited many so-called psychics and fortune tellers. I had my cards read, had my palm read, even placed my hand over a glass of water, all with the aim of learning my future. And some of the people did indeed get it right, some of the time. Most of them didn't but I just regarded that as a bit of fun.

I now know, as a Christian, that this was definitely not what God wants for us. He asks us not to dabble in the occult, as it can be very dangerous. I have read an amazing book written by a Christian lady who used to be a chief witch in a Satanist circle. She writes about her life from childhood, and how she came to be sucked into this dark world. Her story is very compelling, giving details of how she actually saw the devil, and the effects on her life of indulging in this evil lifestyle. There is, of course, a happy ending, as she turned away from Satanism and became a Christian. She then used the rest of her life to testify about how Jesus rescued her from a life of the most horrific and degrading evil. Her name is Doreen Irvine and the title of the book is "From Witchcraft to Christ". I have read it twice and have no doubt will be reading it many times more, as it's one of the most exciting stories I have had the privilege of reading.

I love reading books which are the testimonies of people who were definitely on the wrong path, but chose to change direction and walk towards God. My story is nowhere near as dramatic and thrilling as the likes of Doreen Irvine and Barry Woodward, but it is a good story, nevertheless. I can sometimes hardly believe how my life has turned around since I accepted Jesus into my life, and put my trust in Him. I will tell you more next time, if you are interested.

In the meantime, as always, stay well and safe and remember - who loves you? Jesus, of course!

❤ Ann x

Monday, 15 June

Hi there. Sorry I haven't written for a while. It's not been a good time for me and my family, as my brother passed away on Saturday, following a stroke nine days previously.

We all managed to visit him and pray over him before the end. In these difficult times, we are very grateful for this. Michael had a strong faith in God and was a prolific Bible reader, and we are confident that he is now in the Lord's care.

Being a Christian certainly doesn't exempt us from pain and sorrow but we are all leaning really heavily on God's promise to be with us throughout all our troubles. We are secure in His love and protection. I have said this before, but I cannot imagine how I would be able to keep going in this world without the love of Jesus. I am so looking forward to His return to this crazy, broken world.

"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will live with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:3-4

God bless

Ann ❤

Friday, 26 June

Hello. Hope you're all keeping positive in this beautiful weather. Who needs to go abroad, eh?

In my last blog, I told you my brother had passed away. We attended his funeral yesterday. Kev led the service, my sister read the eulogy and I read a poem, written by my brother several years ago. It was, understandably, a very poignant service. Under the Covid restrictions, only 18 were allowed to attend the crematorium and we were fortunate enough to have all the family members we wanted to be there.

Michael was a very talented man. His photographs were brilliant, his painting and drawing skills a joy to behold. He had a wicked sense of humour, mainly aimed at himself and his family, and he produced very funny and very lifelike cartoons. He was unbelievably quick-witted and he will be missed so very much by all the family. As my sister has observed, he will leave a huge, Michael-shaped hole in the family!

As always, we have been so grateful for the Lord's love and support throughout this terrible, stressful time. Being able to draw on His presence daily has been a life-saver. As Christians, we believe we will see Michael again some day and that this life is certainly not the end, but the beginning. Michael's request for his final piece of music at the funeral was "I will remember you" by Amy Grant.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:38-39

God bless, stay well and safe. Ann ❤