Category Archives: inspiration

Bubble-bath

Image by flockine from Pixabay

Eph 1:4-8

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us .

God loves me. Just as I was created for him and I have a God-shaped hole in my heart, so He has a me-shaped hole in His heart that only I can fill. That is so exciting. And it changes everything.

I was looking at my bubble-bath the other night and thinking what a difference it makes to an ordinary, routine bath. It does nothing to change the amount of air or water around, but just by trapping pockets of air, it makes the mundane special.

Knowing I am loved is like bubble-bath. It does nothing to change circumstances in my life, but it brings life to my circumstances. I can look around and see little bubbles of God’s grace all around me. I know He is in control and I can relax in His love. The more the water gets agitated, the more bubbles of grace appear.

May I always keep my eyes open to the wonder of God’s love for me.

Image by Richard Florian from Pixabay
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The Lord is my Daddy

In our fellowship group on Monday night, we were tasked with rewriting Psalm 23 using a modern metaphor. This was my contribution.

The Lord is my Daddy, I have everything I need.

He provides for my everyday needs so I don’t have to worry about them.

He takes me on fun outings and walks to the park.

He teaches me good manners and good habits, like saying please and thank you and brushing my teeth.

Even though bad things sometimes happen, I will not be afraid because I know he will look after me.

When I am naughty, he will correct me and sometimes even give me a smack because he loves me and doesn’t want me to grow up into a spoilt brat.

He strokes my hair and tells me I am his princess. I am so happy I could pop.

I know my Daddy will always look after me and even when I grow up, there will always be a room for me in his house.

Image by Sally Wynn from Pixabay

In my contemplation of these things, I came across the Japanese version of Psalm 23. It is well worth reading.

Whose flag are you flying?

We are in Port Elizabeth at the moment, spending time with my mother. On Tuesday our grandchildren and their parents joined us. Like all holiday makers who visit the sea, the children wanted to go to the beach, despite windy and cloudy weather. Preparations for the Iron Man Competition, which takes place in Port Elizabeth tomorrow were underway. Areas of the parking were closed off and temporary structures were springing up. The pier was adorned with flags fluttering in the wind.

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Clusters of foreigners in wet suits were taking photos, running down to the water or emerging and we saw groups of swimmers training far out to sea. Two approached us and asked whether we would keep an eye on their bags for twenty minutes while they did their swim. They told us they were Austrians. One had participated in another event last year and had so enjoyed South Africa that he had jumped at the chance to come again and take part in the Iron Man, bringing his friend over with him. My husband noted that we hadn’t seen the Austrian flag in the array but they assured us it would be there on the day. They asked if we would be watching but the thought of all the crowds and the road closures and traffic congestion discourages us. Much better watch on TV.

Those athletes are competing for their country. Crowds will judge Austria based on their performance. If they show unsportsmanlike behaviour or dishonesty, they will disgrace their country.

Likewise people are watching us. If we “compete” under the Christian flag, our Saviour and His Kingdom will be judged on our actions.  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. ( Hebrews 12:1)

Broken Pieces

The following was sent to me via Whats App and I thought it was good enough to share.
I was at the grocery store this morning and heard a loud crash and something shattering. Being nosy, I walked towards the sound and saw some people whispering and looking back to the end of the next aisle. When I walked down that aisle, I saw an older lady had hit a shelf containing dishes with her cart and many had fallen to the ground and broke. She was kneeling on the floor embarrassed, frantically picking up the shattered pieces, while her husband was peeling off the bar code from each broken dish saying “Now we will have to pay for all this!”
I felt so bad for her, and everyone was just standing there staring at her!! I went and knelt beside her and told her not to worry and started helping her pick up the broken pieces. After about a minute, the store manager came and knelt beside us and said, “Leave it, we will clean this up. Let’s get your information so you can go to the hospital and have that cut on your hand looked at.”
The lady, totally embarrassed said, “I need to pay for all this first.” The manager smiled, helped her to her feet and said, “No ma’am, we have insurance for this, you do not have to pay anything!”
For you who have read this so far, I would like you to give me a minute. Wherever you are, close your eyes, and imagine God doing the same for you!
Collect the pieces of your broken heart from all the blows life has thrown at you. God will heal all your wounds, and I assure you that your sins and mistakes will be forgiven. 
You see, we all have the same insurance, and it’s called Grace. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and ask for forgiveness, the Manager of the universe, GOD, will say to you “Everything has already been paid for, now go on your way, all is forgiven!”

Thank you to the Unknown Author.

yellow and pink flowers view behind broken glass

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Guide Dog in Training

A friend of mine is a Puppy Trainer for the Guide Dog Association. She is an art teacher in the studio that is on the same property as our cottage and once a week she brings Jarvis with her. Last week, the dog galloped into our lounge, clearing out the old ginger cat who was lazing on the couch. My friend was close behind. I commented that this did not seem like a responsible Guide Dog and she said I should see him in his harness.  When he wears it, he knows what is expected of him so behaves appropriately. Jarvis is only a Guide-Dog-in-training but that doesn’t get rid of his doggy nature.

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I am a Christian-in-training. I have consented to be in Christ’s harness and I qualify for all the benefits He died to secure for me: forgiveness from sins, His presence and involvement in my life, guidance, His inexplicable peace, and eternal life where I can be forever with Him forever.

However, I am not perfect. My human nature, or sin nature, is never far away.  I take comfort in Phil1:6 which says, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” In this life I will never reach perfection, but I trust my trainer for “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12-13)

I am sure that Jarvis will become a wonderful Guide Dog, bringing independence to a sight-impaired person. His trainer knows what he is destined for and what he can become. Christ, my trainer, knows the purpose for which I was created and can help me fulfill that purpose and become the best version of myself.

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Wonderfit

I had a spare slice of time this morning so decided to go jeans shopping.

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Last week I had been attracted by some jeans in a shop window advertised as “Wonderfit.” They have special features to make one look slimmer. Last year I bought some of the same make and they were very comfortable, so I was quite optimistic about my success. I tried a size 40 … much too big around the waist. The 38’s fitted snugly and were fine as long as I stayed standing. As soon as I sat down, they dug into my waist.  Jeans are meant to be comfortable through all the activities of normal life.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

One of the translations for my yoke is easy, is my yoke is well-fitting, comfortable in all phases of the journey.  The yoke is crafted specifically for us individually. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. No problems with fitting in some places and not others.

Notice Jesus doesn’t offer to remove our burdens but to give us rest. He invites us to submit ourselves to His yoke rather than the one we currently struggle under. His yoke is well-fitting, making the burden comfortable to carry.  He will not put anything on us that we are unable to bear with His help.

I needed this reminder because I have been feeling over-burdened and overwhelmed recently. Perhaps when I wear my new trousers, I will remember it. (In the end I didn’t even get jeans but something more comfortable.)

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Blending

Adult colouring books are not really my thing. I thought I’d give it a try (since everybody else was so enthusiastic about it) and bought myself a book. Well, I have half coloured one page. I saw a journal in a Christian book shop with bible verses and small pictures to colour on every alternate page and plenty of space to write so I considered I might manage that.

My daughter is an artist and taught me to blend with Aquelle crayons. “Use different colours,” she said, “and blend them together with your wet paintbrush”. It worked quite well for a non-artist.

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It occurs to me  that is what God does in a marriage or in a family. He uses different colours (people), puts them together artistically, and blends them making a more vibrant and dynamic picture.  My husband and I are very different but God has managed to blend us together so the “Us” contains elements of each of us but also of a combination of both of us, making the whole more than the sum of the parts. In the hands of the Master, each marriage and family is an unrepeatable masterpiece.