Sunday, March 28, 2021

Weekend Words

From Be Still and Know...

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:25 

There is a great spirit of restlessness in the world today.  People are like the restless sea, seeking peace, but finding instead turmoil and tension, fear and frustration.  The world is in a state of unrest because individuals are in a state of unrest.  Inner strain and pressure build up as a result of a constant round of frenzied activity.

While Jesus was here on earth He was aware that many people were burdened with the cares of life.  "And what pity He felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn't know what to do or where to go for help.  They were like sheep without a shepherd" (Matthew 9:36 LB).  He could also look down the corridor of time and see that, even today, people would be carrying heavy burdens; burdens of fear, loneliness, bitterness, inadequacy, sorrow, guilt and sin.

From a heart filled with love and concern for people, He gave a simple invitation, "Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden, and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest - I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls" (Matthew 11:28 Amplified).  Bible scholars tell us the word "come" appears in the Bible more than six hundred times.  This invitation was not just for the people of that day.  It was not just for a select few, but it included all people through all ages.

We do not find rest in the act of coming, but in the One to whom we come.  He will release the tension and strain and GIVE us rest.  Rest comes as we give our burdens to our Rest-giver.  Yet many have not appropriated His provision for heart rest.

Today the world is full of heavy-laden people.  They may have a smile on their faces, but hidden behind the smile is a burden almost too heavy to bear.  You may be one of these people.  He is saying to you, "Come to me.  I want YOU."  Your part is to come; His is to give you rest.  He never turns anyone away.

Come Near to God - Charles H. Spurgeon

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." - James 4:8

The nearer we come to God, the more graciously will He reveal Himself to us.  When the prodigal returns, his father runs to meet him.  When the wandering dove comes back, Noah puts out his hand to pull her into him.  Come then, let us draw near to God who so graciously awaits us, who comes to meet us.

In Isaiah 58:9 the Lord seems to put Himself at the disposal of His people, saying to them, "Here I am," as much as to say, "What can I do for you?  I am waiting to bless you."  How can we hesitate to draw near?  God is near, to forgive, to bless, to comfort, to help.

Let us aim to get near to God.  This done, all is done.  If we seek the Lord alone, He will continue to come nearer and yet nearer to us by fuller and more joyful fellowship.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Weekend Words

From Be Still and Know devotional...

            "And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."                    - 2 Kings 6:16

When Benhadad, the Syrian king, was waging war on Israel, his military secrets kept leaking out.  Learning that Elisha was responsible, the king sent his soldiers to capture him.  However, Benhadad failed to realize his schemes were nothing against a man who had an open line of communication with God.

One morning Elisha's servant discovered they were completely surrounded by Benhadad's army.  Frightened, he hurried to Elisha, saying, "Alas my master!  How shall we do?" "Elisha, WHAT shall we do."

To his surprise Elisha did not panic, but was completely undisturbed.  Elisha, having SPIRITUAL VISION, SAW the great INVISIBLE host of God around them.  Elisha said, "FEAR NOT, but they that be with us are more than they that be with them."  How ineffective where Benhadad's chances against a man who had the resources of heaven at his disposal.

Then Elisha prayed that his servant, also, might have SPIRITUAL VISION to see the invisible hosts.  "Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.  And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and HE SAW: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around about Elisha" (2 Kings 6:17).

Today we may be facing problems and situations that have no visible solution.  We may be looking at our problems with our physical eyes.  We may be crying out, "Alas! WHAT shall WE do?"  When our eyes are on our circumstances we panic.  When they are on God we are at rest.

We need to let God open our eyes of faith, giving us SPIRITUAL VISION.  By faith our inner eyes can see God's provision for us.  "FEAR NOT; they that be with You are more than they that be with them."  We may not see our way out of our problem, but we can trust God to encircle us with his invisible host in the midst of it.

With our physical eyes we see the enemy; with our spiritual eyes we see God's heavenly host standing ready to deliver us.  "The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them" (Psalm 34:7).

Monday, March 15, 2021

An autumn outing and other delights

A day out on Saturday, with Marnie, to the quaint village of Evandale... 

I could spend all afternoon in this store


And even more so once you get inside...

Hmm...good idea!

So with coffee in hand, we walked the street...
even though it was cold and showery


A peek down someone's driveway...

And into someone's garden...

Lots of lovely old buildings and brickwork...
a nice day was had by all both

At home...

Two new books for upcoming winter reading...

And started (another) knit project...
using a VERY old pattern, some blue/grey wool I had, and my red birthday wool from Jefferson and Anushka.  The two stands of yarn together and 6.5mm needles, so it's knitting up very quickly :)

Meanwhile...down at the river...all is well...

On the way to the river...
mist in the valley

sun on the hill

"The sky was clear and very, very blue, without a single cloud.  It had rained the night before, for on all the trees and bushes thousands of water-drops glistened like diamonds in the light of the newly risen sun.

In the summer, how happy she was in those vast green Alpine fields, how magnificent that pure air, and that bluest of all blue skies!  And in autumn!-- What a beautiful season was that, with nut-gathering and bringing in of the apples and the grapes."

 - Paula the Waldensian by Eva Lecomte

In the garden...

I will need to harvest and process the last of the apples in the next week

the blackberries continue to ripen

and there are still some flowers (this is purple oregano) for the the bees, although they will need to be cut back soon

Whatever season you are in...



Sunday, March 14, 2021

Weekend Words

 From Our Daily Bread devotional...

Storms of Fear - Read Mark 4:35-41

[Jesus] said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?" - Mark 4:40

In a TV commercial I saw recently, a woman casually asked someone in a group watching TV, "What are you searching for, Mark?"  "A version of myself that doesn't make decisions based on fear," he responded soberly - not realizing that she was just asking what he liked to watch on TV!

Whoa, I thought.  I wasn't expecting a TV commercial to hit me so profoundly!  But I related to poor Mark: I too feel embarrassed by the way fear sometimes seems to direct my life.

Jesus' disciples also experienced the profound power of fear.  Once, as they headed across the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35), "a furious squall came up" (v37).  Terror gripped them, and they suggested that Jesus (who'd been sleeping!) might not care about them: " Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" (v38).

Fear distorted the disciples' vision, blinding them to Jesus' good intentions for them.  After He rebuked the wind and waves ((v39), Christ confronted the disciples with two penetrating questions: "Why are you so afraid?  Do you still have no faith?" (v40).

Storms rage in our lives as well, don't they?  But Jesus' questions can help us put our fears in perspective.  His first question invites us to name our fears.  The second invites us to entrust those distorted feelings to Him - asking Him for eyes to see how He guides us even through life's most raging storms.

Adam R Holz

What storms are you facing right now?  How can you entrust your fears and emotions to Jesus when the winds blow and the waters rise?

Loving Savior, thank You that You're always present in the storm.  As I move through life's scary moments, help me each day to talk to You and entrust You with my fears.

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." - Psalm 56:3

"Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."                     - Isaiah 26:3

Monday, March 8, 2021

Where do the days/weeks go?!?

It's been a month since I updated with a general post.  I'm sure there must be less hours in the day than there use to be!! 

I don't seem to be getting much time to spend on the computer.  It's autumn here, and still quite busy in the garden.  Harvesting and processing the apples and blackberries, as well as a day out most weeks with Marnie.  This last week was a trip with her to Ulverstone to set up her macrame stock at a new outlet she has.

Out and about...

sparkles on the Mersey River at Devonport (on the way to Ulverstone)

Setting her macrame up...
at Under the Oak craft co-op

And the week before it had been a trip to Longford...
to replenish her stock at The Collective

On the home front...

 I'm continuing to work on theses diagonal knitted squares for a charity...

20 knitted, 8 to go

And alternating with this crocheted blanket...
and a bit of light entertainment watching this DVD I picked up at the op shop

Reading my way through these books...

In the kitchen...

Cooking up big pots of soup for the freezer...


lentil and vegetable

Sprouting seeds...

Just about ready to eat...

And today I made a banana and blackberry loaf...

In the garden...

the jasmine I planted a couple of years ago is finally starting to climb up the fence

At the river...

That's about it!  I'll try and post more often, so it's not such a chore, but you can always catch up with me on Instagram.  I post a photo there every couple of days usually :)


Sunday, March 7, 2021

Weekend Words

 From Be Still and Know...

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. - Psalm 27:13

God encourages us through His word. In it He gives principles and guide lines for our lives - lives often filled with perplexities, uncertainties, and insecurities.

David experienced many of the same situations we face.  Often he was faint of heart, falling into the depth of despair.  Discouragement and disappointment were very real to him.  He knew what it was to come to the end of himself.  He said, "I had fainted."

But David had discovered a key word that changed his spirit of defeat to victory.  "I had fainted UNLESS."  Unless what?  "I had BELIEVED to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."  It is often said, "Seeing is believing."  But David believed God when he couldn't see the outcome.  When he was almost fainting he looked to God, believed Him, trusted Him.

There was a time in my life when I went through deep waters.  My husband was ill for many years and for some time he was depressed.  Because of the strain of encouraging him and the lack of sleep, I became exhausted.  Many times I felt I could not continue another day.  Often it seemed I would faint beneath the load.  I cried to the Lord day after day, telling Him I had reached the end.

I, too, learnt the importance of the word "UNLESS".  I would have fainted UNLESS I had learnt to "believe to see the goodness of the Lord."  I focused my eyes, not on my problem, but on the Lord.  Instead of fainting, I experienced the rest that comes from trusting Him completely.

Are you fainting today beneath the load of your care?  Do you feel you have reached the end?  Instead of fainting, believe God.  As you trust Him, your TROUBLES can become TRIUMPHS.  It has been said, "God doesn't have problems, He has plans; and he will take our problems and convert them into His plans if we will let Him."

In Isaiah 40:29 we find God's remedy, "He giveth POWER to the FAINT; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength."