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Sunday, 10 July 2022

THIS TROUBLED WORLD

The world is in such a bad state now that I believe we are in the end times, and how important it is for we who are believers in Christ to encourage those who do not know Him to come to Him. I share these poems with the hope that they may do this.

I look around the world and see                              
whole nations in distress
growing camps of refugees                                   
full of hopelessness
I used to think that this was fate
the way we all must die
because the world was full of hate
but this was Satan's lie
The words 'Forgive them Father
for they know not what they do'
came to my ears when I was lost
and you can hear them too
Just turn your eyes to Jesus
Who hung there on that tree
He took the shame and torture
to save both you and me

I wrote the following poem to echo what Jesus has done for all of mankind, and why He came to earth.

My Name is Jesus   
My name is Jesus - I came to earth
to tell mankind of second birth
to tell of grace abounding free
to all who put their trust in me

My name is Jesus, I came to save
to lift the weary from death's grave
to grant forgiveness for their sin
to all who would but let me in

My name is Jesus - I came with love
the kind that comes from God above
a love eternal... tested, tried
for I am the One they crucified

My name is Jesus, I came with power
to save you in this final hour
I bring salvation.... don't refuse
It's life or death - which will you choose.

For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world,
 but that the world might be saved through Him.

                                                            John ch. 8 v. 17


Monday, 23 May 2022

I'm changing Lord, I'm changing

 I feel led to share a poem that I wrote not long after I came to the Lord:-

I'm Changing

I'm changing Lord - I'm changing
I'm starting to feel free
I've never known the peace Lord                       
that's now surrounding me 
I'd often wondered why this God
Who said He'd set me free
allowed me to go through my life
in pain and misery
But what I could not hear Lord                   
and what I could not see
was this man Jesus standing near                                                       and His Father calling me
I did not know this Jesus
I did not understand
that all I had to do
was reach out and take His hand
I'd always listened to the world
who said 'You must do right
but if you want to sin a while
God doesn't see at night'
I found this God, this Father
not through the good I'd done
but when I turned from His old foe
and looked towards His Son

'And this is His name whereby He shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness'. 
Jeremiah ch. 23 v.6

Jesus is our righteousness.  The new covenant that God has made with us is by faith in Jesus Christ, the old has been taken away.  Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.  It is  often said in the world that if you do right you will go to Heaven.  The problem is that every man is 'right' in his own eyes, so nobody really knows what is 'right'.  There is only one 'truth', one way back to God.  Jesus is full of grace and truth.  Jesus said 'If you continue in my Word then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.'  He also said 'I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me. ' 

When I first received the Holy Spirit I was so overjoyed I just wanted to shout out to everybody that 'Jesus is Lord'.  However, I found that when I tried to witness it didn't always come out the way I wanted it to and there didn't seem to be power in it.  Since then the Lord has revealed to me that He has to teach us first before we ae sent out to preach the Gospel.  He says 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don't lean on your own understanding.'  He says that 'if we acknowledge Him in all our ways He shall direct our paths.'  He says 'we must live by every word that comes out of the mouth of God', but He also says that 'we learn line upon line, precept upon precept.'  So we go through a learning process, just the same as a father - child relationship on earth. 

We have to be reproved by the Lord's Word for as it says in proverbs 20 v. 15 'the rod and reproof give wisdom , but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.' 

Sometimes we try to sort problems out ourselves, anger etc., because we get a bit afraid when people oppress us, but we must not fear man as, again in proverbs 29 v.25 we are told 'the fear of man brings a snare, but whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe.'  I want to become what the Lord wants me to be and I want to learn my Father's ways.  It is no good going on with the Lord if I am not listening to, and acting upon, what He says as I am growing older, for 'better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king who will no more be admonished.'

I am honoured that because of what Jesus alone has done I can be reconciled back to God. 


Friday, 6 May 2022

Seek first the Kingdom of God

Some time ago, on a short program called ' Fourthought ' where people are allowed to share their thoughts on a television channel called Channel four, a lady asked 'Is it right to pray for riches?'.  A song I had written several years ago came straight into my mind.  It is called 'If I could have one hundred crowns.' 

I wrote it as a testimony to how the Lord has always provided all my needs, and how seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness has always, and always will be, my number one priority.  To learn to be content with little or much can help to take away many fears, and relying on God brings that contentment. Praise His lovely name and the name of His Son Jesus.

If I could have one hundred crowns 
all decked with precious stones
If ten thousand queens of Sheba 
brought me presents from afar
If I lived in perfect luxury
 
with gold to flesh my bones
Lord these things 
could never make me what You are

I could have the world's great scholars 
with their intellect and fame
they'd teach me logic, they'd teach me science 
they'd teach me how the flowers grow
I would have the best position 
with wages I could name
but they could never teach me 
what You know

There's only one crown that I want 
it's not decked with fancy jewels
no fine, important persons 
bring me presents from afar
I may live in humble dwellings 
surrounded by life's fools
but I've found all I need 
in what You are

I've found the finest teacher 
God sent Him from above
and it's not with earthly wisdom 
that I'm taught
For I'm learning patience, kindness, 
I'm learning tolerance and love
and with all the gold on Earth
 they can't be bought

I could climb the highest mountain, 
search the heavens high above
I could sail the world's great seas 
from shore to shore
Never finding what I'm looking for, 
that sanctuary of love
for it's in God's house 
and Jesus is the door

Yes it's in God's house ..... 
and Jesus is the door

I love all scripture, but one of the most beautiful verses in the whole of the Bible to me is the first verse of Psalm 18.  It reads ' I will love Thee O Lord my strength '

When I first came across this verse I felt it was summing up all that I have ever wanted to say to the Lord in one sentence.  For whether I have received blessing, healing, correction, knowledge or anything else from the Lord these words would express perfectly my thoughts towards Him at all times.  I know that His words to me when I seek Him are always to strengthen me in Him, and I am coming to know that I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.
If an unbeliever seeks advice or help on any matter, he or she will look to a person or a book that they believe will have knowledge on that particular subject.  How much better that I seek advice from the One who knows all things, and can do all things, including that which is not possible for man to know or do.  The only thing that has ever caused me to question what the Lord tells me is the human knowledge which is stored in my carnal mind.  If man's wisdom had never been fed into my mind there would be nothing to challenge God's words to me, and I would know only God's wisdom.
There are two strengths that are able to dominate my life and the one I try to live by is the strength of my Lord.  The other one I must try to put to death.  It is the strength that dominated the old me, the one that was born of flesh.  It can have a negative power over the fleshly me if I allow it to, and that power is a liar, a thief and a murderer by nature, seeking to deceive me with false knowledge and rob me of the blessings of God and eternal life that can only be found in Christ Jesus. 
Isaiah ch.30 vs1 and 2 read 'Woe to the rebellious children,' says the Lord, 'who carry out a plan but not mine, and who make a league, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin, who set out to go down to Egypt without asking for my counsel, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt.'  Egypt here is spiritually discerned as representing the world, and Pharaoh the strength of that world.  In ch.31 vs 1to 3 the Lord continues to remind His people that only woe can come from relying on Egypt and its strength instead of consulting the Lord, saying that the Egyptians are merely men, and not God and that their strong horsemen and horses are flesh, and not spirit.
These scriptures, amongst many others have been used by the Lord to strengthen me in sickness, amongst other things many times since I became a Christian, and are proving themselves true in my life.  They have been used when I have been at my weakest to show me a power that is far above any physical power, a power that is able to comfort and sustain me where the words of men would not be able to.  I cannot explain it except to say that it is a feeding of the soul, a case of the Spirit of God being the main source of my survival instead of food and drink.
The Lord showed me a long time ago the meaning of a Hebrew word found in the Bible, the word Chattath, sin offering, from Chata, to miss the mark, it also signifies sin in general, and is a very apt term by which to express its nature.  A sinner is continually aiming at and seeking happiness, but as he or she does not seek it in God, hence the scripture represents him as missing his aim, or missing the mark.  I believe that I can continually miss out on blessings by missing the mark when I choose to listen to my carnal mind on many occasions dictating worldly wisdom rather than listen to the Lord's instruction .  In the new testament the term 'turned back from following Him' is used when some disciples found it too hard to 'eat and drink' the body and blood of the Lord
Although it has often been very hard to focus on what the Lord is telling me above what my carnal mind is telling me, I have found that when I do His words have become a very real strength in some of my weakest times.  Many times I have found that using the forty ninth and fiftieth verses of Psalm 119, which read 'remember thy word to thy servant in which thou hast made me hope .  This is my comfort in my affliction that thy promise gives me life. ', and reminding the Lord of the words He has spoken to me, have actually had the power to remove pain or discomfort, sometimes in seconds.
Other scriptures that the Lord has spoken to me have been brought to my mind when I have found it difficult to do or say something that would go against what my natural mind would tell me to do, and I have been amazed at the power those words have to remove my fears and bring about the foretold outcome.  The more I seek the Lord for help, and try to act upon His Word spoken to me, especially speaking it out, the more I feel His strength in me conquering the two main enemies that would rob me of His blessings, doubt and fear.  Even writing this testimony instils more of His strength in me and belief that He is able to do all things.  I continue to say ' I will love Thee O Lord my strength.'

I love Thee O Lord my strength and my song
For loving a wretch such as me
For though in my life Satan's bonds have been strong
Your love has been setting me free
Continue to strengthen me, feed me Your word
As I search for my answers in You
Then help me to act upon all that I've heard
For I know that Your sayings are true

Oh precious Lord if I could not see 
Your outstretched hand on my troubled sea
If I did not hear Your constant plea 
saying 'Don't look down child, look at Me'
Then I'd sink beneath these icy waves, 
far away from the hand that saves
Unable to hear Your faithful voice 
telling me 'Child, it's still your choice'

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

In the beginning

 I would just like to share how I came to the Lord, I don't think I have shared this on my blog before.

My conversion to Christianity had been dramatic. I had been very 'worldly' previous to my conversion, but had also experienced the supernatural presence of God through a healing when I was a child, and a near death experience during my adult life. My father had been a lovely person who often, when we his children had arguments and we would ask 'Dad, dad, who is right?', would often say 'Let's see what the Lord says', and would find a verse in his Bible that would always settle the argument and bring peace amongst us. He was quite a bit older than my mother, and died when I was eleven years of age. I was actually in the room at his passing. It left a great void in my life  

 'Father, where are you?' said the child in despair 
 'Father where are you?' she cried
 but in the darkened room there was nobody there
 for the father she loved had just died

Many years later, I became a Christian and was baptized in water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit followed, with the gift of speaking in tongues enabling me to pray according to the will of God.

'Father, where are You?' said the 'child' once again
'Father where are You?' she cried
but this time it was not as it had been then
for now God was the 'Father' on Whom she relied

It is difficult to say exactly where my testimony begins as, looking back in my life, I remember things that happened over the years which demonstrated God's power and love even when I did not know Him.  My natural father kept a Bible in the house and although I do not remember him attending churches, I do remember him taking me with him to other Christians' house meetings. My memories of him before his death when I was eleven years old are of a kind and gentle man who looked to God's word for guidance, and who seemed to be a doer of God's word and not just a hearer of it. We lived on the edge of a town close to a dockyard, and many mornings when I was a small child I would come down for breakfast to find my father giving a cup of tea and some food to a stranger who had come to the door, or filling a flask with tea for a caller.  I did not know who they were and accepted it as normal then.  My sister later told me they were 'tramps' who had come to know of my father's kindness.  
Once when I had been sent home from school sick, I was laying on the sofa with severe pain in my stomach.  I remember my father sitting beside me and praying.  As he spoke, everything in the room appeared to turn blue and a warm, almost anaesthetic feeling replaced the pain and I was made well.  I have told many people about this incident but it is only since I have discovered from the Bible that healing is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit given to those that believe on Jesus, that I have fully understood why the pain went as a result of my father's prayer.
As a child I had always been fascinated by this person Jesus Who, as I read in Bible stories, 'went about doing good'.  I remember crying myself to sleep after reading a story about Him.  I still carry a picture in my mind from that children's book of Jesus standing with His hands outstretched to children, with doves perched on Him arms and shoulders.  I could not understand in my child's mind how anyone could kill such a kind and loving person.  The memory of this picture now makes me think of how God stretches out His hands to the world and offers Jesus.

I SEE THE SUN (SON)
arising on this world of confusion, it's rays reaching out to penetrate even the deepest forests and the darkest caves.  It seeks to take away the cold and the darkness that the night has caused, and to replace them with warmth and light.

I SEE RAYS
that are of such power that the very earth itself seems to rise up to meet them, as if it has been waiting for the dawning, eager to thrust off the terror of the night , which once seemed to have no end.

I SEE JESUS
'For Thou art my lamp O Lord' - and the Lord will lighten my darkness

If anyone who is in a bad, or sad, position is reading this post who has not come to Christ - I recommend that they call on His name.



Jesus is the Light. In John ch. 8 v.12 Jesus says 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'

Saturday, 9 April 2022

Forever Grateful

Forever grateful Father 
that You gave Your precious Son
Who, knowing His awesome destiny said
'Not my will - but Your will be done'
Yet it pleased You to bruise Him Father
so that I might have peace and be healed
for through this one act of sacrifice
was Your gift of salvation revealed

Forever remembering Jesus
that You hung upon that tree
taking the pain and punishment
that was meant for a sinner like me
Yet You chose not to open Your mouth Lord
and call on the Heavenly host
to come to Your aid on that lonely day
No...You suffered and gave up the ghost

Forever Yours Holy Spirit
while You teach me and make all things clear
chastising me when I go astray
and wiping away each tear
Oh Father, I love and respect You
and Jesus - I want to obey
So guide me great Spirit and keep me
'til my Lord returns for me one day

'Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift'
2 Corinthians ch.8 v.15

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Prepare ye the way of the Lord {Introducing Jesus to the outside world}

We both heard it! My friend and I had gone into the cafeteria in the garden centre to have a drink.  As we walked through the area displaying the artificial flowers for sale we could hear a voice on the cafe radio saying 'Where is Jesus?' If my friend had not heard it too I would have doubted hearing correctly. However, when we got into the cafe there was nothing on the radio to indicate that anything to do with religion was being spoken about. It was hot and stuffy inside the cafe and my friend said ' Shall we sit outside?' There was an outside area designated for customers with chairs and tables, so we paid for out drinks and went and sat down at one of the tables. There was a lady sat at another table who had her leg in plaster, and beside our table was a large pond with lots of fish in it.

The Lord had been calling my attention to evangelism for some time. Shortly before I had gone on holiday to Lancashire a person I had not seen for a long time asked my friend and myself to visit a home for the elderly to sing the songs and read the poetry that we have been inspired to write since becoming Christians.  I had felt a little apprehensive the day before we went there because I had not sung or played my guitar in public for some time.

That morning I was reversing out of my drive thinking about this. The CD player had started automatically when the engine had been turned on, and the first song that began to play was 'Prepare ye the way of the Lord'. After the Lord had spoken several other things to me from the scriptures I had been able to go to the home the next day with far more confidence, believing that it was indeed the Lord's will that I should do so.  How true the scripture 'We can do all things in Christ Jesus Who strengthens us.'

Sitting there in the cafe garden, I suddenly had a revelation that God was continuing to speak to me about evangelising to the outside world and was confirming it through hearing 'Where is Jesus', then moving outside to the garden to have our drinks.  I felt the woman with the plaster on her leg represented the spiritually lame outside, and the fish represented the catch that would be had because the Lord had made us 'fishers of men'.  This is the scripture that has been impressed on my heart for many years.

On the three occasions I had seen my friend while I was on holiday there had been much discussed and prayed about concerning evangelism to the world, and I felt that our last day spent together that week ended in such a beautiful way in the garden centre, with the Lord reminding me of the importance of introducing Him to the outside world.
The Lord speaks to us in many different ways, and He continued to speak to me about my part in spreading the gospel to the outside world.  While I was in Lancashire, I sketched out on a stretched canvas two tigers at a waterhole.  When I returned home and started to paint it, I noticed that the picture I was painting it from was a leaflet for the WWF, {world wildlife fund} and written across the front of the leaflet was 'Your gift of a legacy could make all the difference in the world'.  That same morning I had noticed that, where I had been wearing my sandals on holiday, the sun had burned stripes on my feet between the straps and I thought 'Gosh, they remind me of the tiger.'  It suddenly fell into place why tigers had been cropping up in my life for some time.  I felt it was to bring my attention to the words on the leaflet, that the Lord was saying through it all that whatever gift He has given me is part of His legacy and must be used to make a difference in the world, the marks on my feet emphasizing the fact that my feet must be shod with the gospel of salvation.
When I arrived home there was a letter from my brother in Australia in my mail, and in it he mentioned a book which he had acquired written by an American evangelist called Rick Warren.  It is called 'What on Earth am I here for?' For me this says it all.

As the scriptures say 'Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved, but how can they call to Him for help if they have not believed?, and how can they believe if they have not heard the message? and how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed?'

Romans ch. 10 vs 13 and 14.

 

Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Harmony

 In these troubled times I just feel led to share three of my poems with you .


Freedom - the right to choose

How can it be called 'freedom'
having the right to choose
if when I have to have my own way
then others have to lose 
For who's to say that I am right
and all around are fools
not one can have perfection
while all have their own rules
No - freedom is not when things suit me
'Freedom'...is when there's harmony


The way to Your heart

Not by good looks or prettiness
are You influenced my Lord
neither colour nor creed, high position or fame
can cause You to change Your Word
You're not tempted by what's on the outside
to change justice or judgement or truth
and neither can Your Holy wisdom
be acquired through age or through youth
For the way to Your heart is through Jesus
He's the narrow road we must all take
the Lamb without blemish - our Saviour
Who was sacrificed for mankind's sake
He's not only our Mediator
He's a teacher and councillor too
He's the One used when You my dear Father
said 'Behold I make all things new'.

The Witness

He came like a sun in this darkened world
to bring knowledge of God and His ways
bringing light for man's blinded eyes to see
giving warmth to man's soul with His rays
When His time came to go - to return to His home
He did not leave the world without light
but established His church as a witness to be
like a moon shining bright in the night