Lessons from a Perilous Journey.

One of the ‘warm and fuzzy’ family experiences I enjoyed as our children grew, was listening to my husband read books to us.  He tended to choose ‘real life’ accounts that inspired and encouraged us as Christians.

One such book was ‘The Small Woman’ (or ‘The Little Woman’ – I’m not sure which title.)  It’s the story of Gladys Aylward and her work in China.  My purpose here isn’t to summarise the book for you, so if you aren’t familiar with Gladys’ life then I urge you to read the book – you can get it on Amazon.

Gladys answers the call of God to go to China as a missionary – and eventually finds herself in a war zone.  She ends up taking 100 children on a perilous journey to safety.

As I reflected on the book, I wondered how Gladys felt on that amazing journey with the children.   The thing that struck me most was that, as we read about those events and consider them retrospectively, it’s easy to see how God was looking after Gladys and the children.  ‘But’, I asked myself, ‘was God’s daily care something that was obvious to them during the journey?’

The journey was very taxing physically.  There were 100 mouths to feed and she had neither food nor money, apart from 2 baskets of millet that lasted just a few days.  They relied on dew and streams for water.  They went hungry and thirsty.  They had to hide in caves away from Japanese soldiers.  Continue reading

A Cracked Ankle Bone Healed

I was looking forward to the weekend.  There was a camp for the youth from a friend’s church, and I was going to be part of it.
It was early 1972 and I was 19 years old.
Until now, any church camps I attended had accommodated us in timber buildings, with a kitchen to cook our meals and a dining room in which to eat.  But this time, we were going to be ‘roughing it’ in Megalong Valley, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney – with the sky and tents as our roof, open fires for our kitchen, and fallen trees and grassy patches as our dining chairs.
About seven months earlier, I had met a young man named Chris, Continue reading

The Story of E.B.D. T.T.G.O.G.

Here’s a another story from my daughter – this time a true one.  :)  I love it because it reflects her desire to honour God.

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I love cricket.  Really.  Like, I play it, I watch it, I follow it, I play it in the back paddock with my brother, I play in all girls’ teams – as well as in boys’ teams, I do cricket-skills-building exercises when I’m bored … I love cricket.

A couple of weeks back, I was suited up, ready to bat if my side called on me (It did.  I scored an even 0.) when my teammate’s voice called from behind me.

“Okay, Sophia, you’ve got me,” she declared.

I turned for an explanation and saw my friend staring at the label on my bag.

“I get that this line is your name,” she nodded, “and the digits are your phone number.  But what are these letters?  ‘E-B-D T-T-G-O-G,'” she read.   Continue reading

Our 40th Wedding Anniversary

Our wedding anniversary is usually celebrated with a hot drink.  My husband nearly always buys a coffee, and I always buy a hot, hot, hot chocolate.
Total cost?  Less then $10.
A week ago, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  It was a Sunday, so we decided to ‘splash out’ and buy lunch to celebrate.
We went to a nearby hotel that has a pleasant restaurant and dining room, and found that the Special of Day suited us nicely – a buffet Roast Lamb and Pork with all the trimmings.
Separate to that, we each bought a small dessert and a drink.
Total Cost for our 40th wedding anniversary celebration?
$40.40.
I felt like God was smiling.   :)

Abraham – The ‘Facts’ or the ‘Promise’?

I was reflecting on some of my own challenges recently, and my thoughts turned to verses from Galatians 4:19-22 that speak of Abraham’s response in the face of the impossible …

The facts were staring Abraham in the face.  His own body was no longer able to produce offspring.  Sarah’s womb was likewise, dead.
They were the ‘facts’, and any sensible person would have faced those facts and gotten on with whatever life they had left.
But Abraham had something else. Continue reading

Hope for a Newly Married Friend

Dear XX,

It was lovely to see you at Church yesterday.  Unfortunately, it was all a bit of a rush.  It would have been nice to have had time to sit and chat for a while.  However, I appreciated that you took the time to come and say hello.

I was saddened to learn that you are struggling at the moment.  After I saw you, my son told me that you had finished a counseling session just before you came and spoke with me.  I felt bad then, as I realised that your pain would have been heightened as a result of the counseling, and would therefore have been very near the surface as you spoke with me.

My heart goes out to you both.  For that reason, I am writing to you both, so would you please show (your husband) this email also.   Thanks.

The joining of two independent individuals in marriage doesn’t always come easy.  However, do remember that once the the ‘rubber meets the road’, it’s not unusual for couples to have a bumpy ride for a while. Continue reading

The Story of ‘Very Good’.

My daughter recently wrote a new twist on an Old and Precious Theme.  I thought I’d share it with you.

The Story of ‘Very Good’ and the Lengths the Maker Went to to Save What He’d Made.

We’re gonna die, you and me.  Y’know why?
A long time ago, the world wasn’t like it is now.  Everything was perfect.  The Maker finished making everything and he said, “Voila!  It’s Very Good.”
The plants were Very Good, the animals were Very Good, and the people were Very Good.  Because they were made Very Good, the people could even hang out with the Very Good Maker himself!  Nothing died and nothing went wrong.

But the people had a choice. Continue reading

In Which Town was Jesus when the Wise Men Visited Him?

A Simple Quizz
In which town was Mary and Joseph when the Wise Men visited them?
Bethlehem?
Nazareth?
Jerusalem?
Other?

Don’t read any further right now.
Stop!
Determine your answer.
Now read on.

Tradition has it that the Wise Men visited Jesus at the stable in Bethlehem shortly after He was born.
But is ‘tradition’ right?
Let’s look at the facts.

We all know that Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem.  (Matthew 2:1 and Luke 2:4-6)
We all know that the shepherds visited the family in Bethlehem.  Luke 2:15,16 tells us the shepherds said, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing …’, and that they ‘came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.’

So Jesus was not only in Bethlehem, but still in the stable, when the shepherds visited.

We also know that Bethlehem wasn’t ‘home’ to Mary and Joseph.  They had to travel to Bethlehem from another place in Israel because of the census requirements.  When the angel came to Mary to tell her that she would be the mother of Jesus, she was living in Nazareth. (Luke 1:26).  Continue reading

Where was the Garden of Eden?

Most Bible commentaries state that the site of the Garden of Eden was in the Middle East, situated somewhere near where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers are today. This is based on the description given in Genesis 2:8–14:

“The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden. . . . Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon. . . . The name of the second river is Gihon. . . . The name of the third river is Hiddekel [Tigris]. . . . The fourth river is the Euphrates.”

Even the great theologian John Calvin struggled over the exact location of the Garden of Eden.

Go here to find out more.  http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab3/where-was-eden

Our Gumby Gumby Miracle

We have Gumby Gumby capsules in a small plastic container.  The container sits in a box with other containers of supplements.  My husband bought the Gumby Gumby capsules in small zip lock plastic bags from a man in Queensland.  The container fits just one plastic bag full with very little room to spare.  When the container is emptied, I fill it again with the entire contents of the next plastic bag.   The last time I did this was 4 to 8 weeks ago – exactly how long ago doesn’t matter for the purposes of what happened.

The container itself is clear, so one can easily see its contents without opening the lid.  Over the last 2 weeks, I became aware that the container of capsules was still chock-a-block full.  In fact, the container was so full that the contents didn’t even rattle when I shook the container.  I hadn’t been taking the capsules at all, so I concluded that my husband had stopped using them at the time I last filled the container. Continue reading

Who’s a Fool?

Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.”

The ‘God’ that is referred to isn’t just any old god.  It is Almighty God, the God of the Bible.

As Christians, we tend to relegate that verse to the unsaved.  We conclude that God is saying that someone who doesn’t believe God exists is a fool.

But I think there’s more to it than that.

Notice that the verse doesn’t say the fool says ‘with his mouth‘, but that the fool says in his ‘heart‘.

‘Heart’, not ‘Mouth’.

That gave me another perspective on the verse – which brought warning to my own heart.

Could I, as a Christian, be guilty of saying, in my heart, ‘there is no God’?  Certainly, I would never say it with my mouth.

But does my heart betray me?

Does your heart betray you? Continue reading

Special Design

What weighs 225 kilograms (500 pounds), needs a specialised biological system to stop the delicate blood vessels of its eyes and brains being blown out, and would regularly faint if it wasn’t for certain design features?

It is yet another creature with a finely balanced collection of interconnected, and often interdependent, systems which completely mitigate against any possibility of random mutation by mutation changes to become what it is today.

The only One Who can achieve such a delicate balancing act is the creative Genius who designed it in the first place.

Curious?  Find out more here.

The Steps of a Good (Wo)man are Ordered by the Lord.

Sometimes I think it would be really nice if God would blow a whistle, or do something really obvious when He is speaking to me.  That way I could be absolutely sure that it really was God and not my own thoughts.  Usually though, His will is revealed – without the bells and whistles – in those little thoughts, or promptings that are whispered to us by the Spirit of God, and also by the circumstances through which God leads us to achieve that will.

Let me share with you why my daughter is now attending Bible College full time. Continue reading

Bored with God?

My husband has recently taken an interest in the night sky.  Discovering Constellations and observing the movement of the stars from season to season gives him great satisfaction.
Last night we had a lovely evening out with friends.  When we arrived home the sky was clear and quite brilliant.
“Come over here”, my husband invited, as he walked to where some nearby lights were hidden from our view.
As I drew near he pointed to the southern skies and said, “Look.  See the Southern Cross?”.
I ‘”mmm’d” a response.  The Southern Cross was one of just three Constellations that I COULD name and I COULD find.  Everything else was just ‘stars’ to me.
“Look above the Cross.  See that pattern of stars that looks like the Southern Cross but is a bit skewed?” he asked.  Without waiting for an answer he said, “That’s known as Continue reading

Dancing with the King

At a recent prayer meeting I attended, we waited on the Lord for some time just to meditate on Him and his Word and to enjoy His presence.

When we finished, one lady shared that she had a lovely sense that God was dancing with her.

Now I realise that may seem a strange thing.  Firstly, I know that some people believe that dancing is a sin.  I don’t take that view.  Though I certainly recognise that a lot of dancing is provocative, lewd, sensual – indeed, designed to appeal to our lusts – there are also many ways to dance Continue reading