Child of God

He's got the whole world in His hands!

Blackpool Tower

“The Lord rescued me because He delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)

Hello again. I hope you’re all keeping well and positive. We have just had a weekend in Blackpool, staying at a proper old-fashioned bed and breakfast place. It was quite near to my sister’s house, and we were able to spend some time with her and my brother. It was a gift of a day, as sunshine definitely hadn’t been forecast but the sun peeped through the clouds, just as we caught our first glimpse of the tower on our way there. By the time we arrived in Blackpool, the sky was blue and there wasn’t a cloud in sight.

“The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” (Psalm 18:46)

Blackpool North Beach

The Big One, Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Apparently, the iconic 213 ft Big One broke down near the top of the ride last month, due to a suspected mechanical failure. Passengers were forced to walk down the tracks while being buffeted by gusts of wind. I’ve only ventured on this ride once and it was quite enough, thank you! I closed my eyes for the entire journey and my sister remarked on what a waste of money this was! I had actually only gone on it to please my other sister, as it was her birthday wish. I am quite scared of heights and really don’t know how I would have coped if I had been in the situation described above!

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.” (Isaiah 43:5)

Sculpture trail, Blackpool

“For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, I will help thee.” (Isaiah 41:13)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

The rest that Jesus promises is love, healing and peace with God, not the end of all labour, unfortunately! I retired last August and am keeping myself busy at home most of the time but I do sometimes miss the camaraderie of colleagues. What I don’t miss is getting up at 5.30 am, especially on cold dark mornings!

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has everlasting life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24)

“Eternal life” – living forever with God – begins when you accept Jesus Christ as Saviour. At that moment, new life begins in you. It’s a completed transaction. Even after physical death, your body will be resurrected to live for ever.

Swivelling wind sculpture

“I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (John 16:32)

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This instrument is played by the sea at high tide through pipes attached to the sea wall. If you walk past it on a windy day, you can hear the notes and it sounds quite eerie.

High tide organ

North Pier

“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

In Old Testament times, believers symbolically transferred their sins to an animal, which they then sacrificed. The animal died in their place to pay for their sin and to allow them to continue living in God’s favour.

These sacrifices are no longer needed, as Christ died for the sins of the world. Jesus did not die for His own sins; He had none. But He has paid the penalty for our sins and His blood has purified us. All we have to do is accept this wonderful gift and invite Jesus into our lives. Once we do this, our past, present and future sins are completely forgiven. I am really grateful for this, as there is rarely a day that I don’t let the Lord down in some way and it’s good to know He will forgive me.

Well, that’s another week gone by – we will be in June next week! Not that the weather reflects that fact, she said, bitterly! I’ve just read that we’re in for a warm and sunny June, though, and I really hope that’s true. I hope you enjoy your Bank Holiday weekend. We are having some dear friends round for a meal – a simple pleasure we will no longer take for granted.

I hope you enjoy whatever Bank Holiday plans you have. Don't forget that Jesus loves you and always has your best interests at heart.

Ann ❤

No Christ, no hope - know Christ, know hope!

Orford Park, Warrington

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Hello again. I trust you’re all well and looking forward to a bit more socialising, now the barriers have swung open.

These are amazing words! God sent Jesus Christ to die for us, not because we were good enough, but because He loved us. Whenever you feel uncertain about God’s love for you, remember that He loved you even before you turned to Him. If God loved you when you were a rebel, He can surely strengthen you now that you love Him in return.

“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” (Psalm 91:11-12)

These verses are wonderful, giving us the knowledge that God’s angels are protecting us. In the year prior to my becoming a Christian, I suffered a nervous breakdown. During that time, I started to keep a journal as part of my therapy and I have recently been reading through some of it. It makes harrowing reading but it is honest and real, and I believe that God always wants us to be honest with Him. He doesn’t want lip service and we should be able to go to Him with our every concern.

Feeding the birdies

I had reached rock bottom in my life at this stage and wondered if I even wanted to be around anymore. After struggling for four months, I had lost the job I loved, was on sickness benefits, and had been prescribed antidepressants. I cried a lot, didn’t want to eat, and just wanted to go to bed, pull the covers over my head and switch off the world. I remember pleading with God to intervene and allow me to keep my job. I am so glad that he said no to my plea, as I don’t believe I would ever have become a Christian, otherwise. Our Heavenly Father does indeed know what’s best for us.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

This verse reminds us that God is for us and not against us. He has plans to prosper us, and not harm us. He has plans to give us hope and a future, no matter how anxious we may feel.

I didn’t work for 14 months. I lived in Salford at the time and have always said, “If you are going to have a nervous breakdown, make sure it’s in Salford!” I was offered so much help, it was amazing. I accepted everything on offer, including counselling, CBT, free gym pass and classes in kick boxing, digital photography, pottery and creative writing! I was fortunate enough to have the care and expertise of some wonderful people and I also did some voluntary work at a homeless shelter.

Proud mama

So cute!

It was, quite frankly, a very difficult time in my life but I had a lot of support from my friends and family. That said, I don’t believe I would have come out of the other side without God’s intervention. There was no way to go but up and, through Christ’s love and compassion, that was the way I found. I had rejected Jesus at the age of 14 and it’s one of my biggest regrets. I often wonder what kind of a life I would have had if I’d accepted His invitation when I was young. But then I remember that I probably wouldn’t have been married to my lovely Kev, if that were the case. God’s timing is immaculate.

I have always enjoyed writing from being a child and find it quite soothing. Last year, I began to write this blog and it’s attracted a small following but I wish it could be more. I would be so grateful to you if you would share it with family, friends or colleagues. This is one of the main ways I can share my testimony with people. I want everyone to have what I have – a wonderful relationship with the living God.

I am so truly grateful that God had the patience and graciousness to wait for me to make my mind up to give my life to Him. I feel as though I can’t do enough for Him to make up for dragging my feet all those years.

Cheeky robin begging for crumbs!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you pass through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:2)

This verse helps us to remember that we are not alone in any circumstance and that no situation will ultimately harm us, even though it may seem like that at the time. God has a purpose for all of it and intends to make us stronger and get us to where we need to go.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

We aren’t guaranteed a pain-free life but we have hope that God will make everything right again. Just because you are struggling, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong or do not have enough faith. It simply means you’re fighting a battle!

That's all for this week. Off to Blackpool this weekend to spend some time with my sister and brother. The weather is looking very wet and windy so far - so much for our plans for a lovely long walk on the prom!

Oh well - enjoy your weekend and remember God loves you loads.

Ann ❤

No Christ, no hope - know Christ, know hope!

Our official honeymoon in Murcia, Spain - July 2017

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

View from the apartment rooftop

“Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am He. I am He who will sustain you and carry you.” (Isaiah 46:4)

I saw a very amusing post on Facebook the other day. It said something along the lines of, "Inside every old person is a young person, wondering what the heck happened!" I could relate to this. They say the older you get, the faster life speeds by and, as a 60-something, I can vouch for this.

My grey hairs are being judiciously covered up with the right chemicals on a regular basis but we can't stop the march of time. We are all programmed to get old and this life won't last forever, but remember that Jesus offers you eternal life if you believe in Him and accept what He has done for you.

For our honeymoon, we were fortunate enough to be offered the use of my sister-in-law's apartment in Murcia, Spain. It was luxurious, including a beautiful rooftop area with a hammock, which I loved to lounge on. We had the use of an outdoor pool and it was very peaceful - the perfect setting for a honeymoon!

It was July and the weather was scorching hot - much too hot for me most of the time but Kev thrived on the high temperatures.

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22)

This verse isn’t a guarantee that we can get anything we want, simply by asking God and believing. There would be a huge increase in the number of lottery winners, if that was the case! God doesn’t grant requests that would hurt us or others, or that would go against His own nature or will. To be fulfilled, our requests must be in harmony with God’s principles. The stronger our belief, the more likely our prayers will be in line with God’s will, and then He will be happy to grant them.

Los Alcazares

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35)

No matter what happens to us, no matter where we are, we can never be lost to His love.

San Javier

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” (Hebrews 13:6)

I rely on the Lord to help me with every single aspect of my life and have become quite dependent upon Him!

Well, that's it for another week. Mixed weather at the moment - it's more like April than May! Nothing exciting planned this weekend. We are going to do some work in our church on Saturday, though.

May God be with you, wherever you are and whatever you are doing. Have a good weekend.

Ann ❤

No Christ, no hope - know Christ, know hope.

Minsterley, Shropshire

“He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I shall not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:6)

Hi there. Good to be back. In case you wondered where last week’s blog was (and I hope you did!), we were on holiday in Shropshire for a week. We rented the same holiday bungalow as last year, and really enjoyed our stay. It was peaceful – very peaceful, as the whole county was more or less still closed. We were lucky with the weather for the first three days and then it took a downturn. I thought I had taken enough suitable clothes for all events but still had to purchase a warm jacket on the day before we came home.

We discovered some lovely new places, including Ellesmere, Clun and Bridgnorth. We also revisited some favourites from last year, including Ironbridge and Ludlow. It’s a beautiful county and quite unspoiled. It’s peaceful and clean and we had some wonderful drives into the country.

Pontesbury Hill, Shropshire

Ludlow Castle

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galations 5: 22-3)

The fruit of the Spirit is the work of the Holy Spirit in us, once we become Christians. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ.

Ironbridge, Shropshire

Unfortunately, I am still lacking in some of these traits, namely patience, for a start! I have never been the most patient of creatures and seem to get worse as I grow older. I do have considerably more patience with people than things, though. I give up easily when I am faced with technology problems, which is where I am very fortunate to be married to my lovely Kev. He’s a very practical guy and has infinite patience – with me and with technology!

Church Stretton

Clun, Shropshire

“He who guards the lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)

Another of my areas of weakness has to be self-control. I don’t always think before I speak! From being a child, I always had a short fuse and I remember my mum telling me, “You’ll get into trouble with that temper of yours, one day.” Over the years, I mellowed, particularly since becoming a Christian, but I still engage mouth before brain on some occasions. 😲

Bridgnorth, Shropshire

The Mere, Ellesmere

“Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” (James 3:5)

In my own defence, I am quick to apologise and admit when I am in the wrong. Kev is a very slow burner – calm, relaxed and with a very even temper. I sometimes fly off the handle at him but get no reaction from him, and soon realise what a so and so I am being. I then apologise profusely and ask him to forgive me; he always replies that there is nothing to forgive. The Lord has matched us perfectly. We never argue because Kev simply won’t engage in such battles, and I can hardly fight with myself; hence, a peaceful life in the marital home.

Now that restrictions are lifting, I hope you manage to have a break away somewhere. Going abroad is lovely but we really appreciate our own country, particularly during these times. There’s so many gorgeous places to see. Our list keeps getting longer each day and, if we live to be 100, I still don’t think we will see everywhere. Hope you have a good weekend. Apparently, rain is forecast for Saturday but you never know – the forecast is quite often wrong. Whatever you are doing, please be assured of God’s constant love for you.

Ann ❤

No Christ, no hope – know Christ, know hope.

Ellesmere, Shropshire