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Ichthus (The Fish Symbol)

Amen! All Glory is His! 😀

Faith

From https://www.compellingtruth.org/Christian-fish-symbol.html: The fish symbol is often accompanied by an acrostic of Greek letters—the first five letters of five Greek words: Iesous, Greek for “Jesus”; Christos, Greek for “anointed”; Theou, Greek for “God’s”; uios, Greek for “Son”; and sōtēr, Greek for “Savior”. Together, this spells ICTHUS, which as an acrostic means “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Savior.”

Jesus called disciples who were fishermen and told them to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men in Matthew 4:19. As His children, we are called to follow Him as well.

Three Steps in Serving the Lord

  • Follow the Lord (Matthew 6:33) This is a personal decision. (John 3:16 & Joshua 24:15)
  • Evangelize to everyone (Mark 16:15) This was our Lord’s command.
  • Live out the truth (1 Peter 3:15 & 2 Peter 3:11) Make a conscious decision to not let anyone or anything get in…

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The life-buoy!

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The life-buoy!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Christ Is All”) 

Whatever trials you have, my dear brother, Christ is all in all to meet them. 

Are you poor? He will make you rich in your poverty by His consoling presence. 

Are you sick? He will make your bed in your sickness, and so will make your sick-bed better than the walks of health. 

Are you persecuted? If it is for His sake, you may even leap for joy. 

Are you oppressed? Remember how He also was oppressed and afflicted; and you will have fellowship with Him in his sufferings. 

Amidst all the vicissitudes of this present life, Christ is all that the believer needs to bear him up, and bear him through. No wave can sink the man who clings to this life-buoy; he shall swim to glory on it!

Jesus is all I need!
  Jesus is . . . 
  the living water to quench my thirst, 
  the heavenly bread to satisfy my hunger, 
  the snow-white robe to cover me, 
  the sure refuge in times of trouble, 
  the happy home of my soul, 
  my food and my medicine, 
  my solace and my song, 
  my light and my delight. 

The believer can say, “Christ is mine!” No emperor is half as rich as the beggar that has Christ! He who has Christ, being a pauper, has all things. And he who has not Christ, possessing a thousand worlds, possesses nothing for real happiness and joy! 

Oh, the blessedness of the man who can say, “Christ is mine!”

Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!

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Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!

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(Samuel Davies, “The Sufferings of Christ, and Their Consequent Joys and Blessings“)

“He shall see His seed! He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” Isaiah 53:10-11 

Jesus is now exalted to His throne in the highest heavens; and from thence He takes a wide survey of the universe. He looks down upon our world–and beholds kings in their grandeur, victorious generals with all their power, nobles and great men in all their pomp. But these are not the objects that best please His eyes. “He shall see His seed!” He sees one here, and another there, bought with His blood, and born of His Spirit; and this is the most delightful sight our world can afford Him. Some of them may be oppressed with poverty, covered with rags, or ghastly with famine; they may make no great figure in mortal eyes; but He loves to look at them! He esteems them as His children, and the fruits of His dying pangs!

The happiness of His exalted state consists in a great degree, in the pleasure of seeing the designs of His death accomplished in the conversion and salvation of sinners!

His eyes are graciously fixed upon this assembly today! And if there is one of His spiritual seed among us, He can distinguish them in the crowd. 
He sees you
 drinking in His Words with eager ears! 
He sees you at His table commemorating His love!
He sees your hearts breaking with penitential sorrows, and melting at His cross!

But these are not the only children whom He delights to view; they are not all in such an abject, imperfect state. No! He sees a glorious company of them around His throne in Heaven, arrived to maturity, enjoying their inheritance, and resembling their divine Parent!

How does His benevolent heart rejoice to look over the immense plains of Heaven–and see them all peopled with His seed! When He takes a view of this numerous offspring, sprung from His blood, and when He looks down to our world–and sees so many infants in grace, gradually advancing to their adult age; when He sees some, perhaps every hour since He died upon Calvary, entering the gates of Heaven, having finished their course of education upon earth; I say, when this prospect appears to Him on every hand–how does He rejoice!

Now the prophecy in my text is fulfilled! “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” If you put the sentiments of His benevolent heart into language, methinks He would say, “Since My death has been so fruitful of such a glorious posterity, I am well satisfied. I desire no other reward for all My agonies for them. If this end is but answered, I am fully satisfied by My hanging on the tree for them!”

Suppose that He should this day appear to you in that suffering form–sweating great drops of blood, accused, insulted, bruised, scourged, nailed upon the cross! And suppose He should turn to you with a countenance full of love and pity, and drenched with blood and tears, and address you in such moving language as this:
“See! sinners–see what I suffer for you! See at what a dear rate I purchase your salvation! See how I love you! And now I have only this to ask of you in return: that you would forsake those murderous sins which thus torment Me; that you would love and serve Me; and receive that salvation which I am now purchasing with the blood of My heart! This I ask, with all the importunity–of My last breath, of My bleeding wounds, and My expiring groans. Grant Me but this, and I am well satisfied! I shall think of all My sufferings, as well bestowed.”

O sirs, must not your heart melt away within you, to hear such language as this? See the strength of the love of Jesus! If you are but saved, He does not begrudge His blood and life for you! Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings! This He accounts His greatest joy–a joy more than equivalent to all the pains He endured for you! He has full satisfaction for all the sorrows you have caused Him!

But alas! If you are not saved–then you will perish forever under the weight of His righteous vengeance; and He will rejoice over your damnation! He will glorify Himself in your destruction! The flames of Hell will burn dreadfully bright–when He will please Himself in the execution of His justice upon you!

Alas! Is the happiness of Heaven, the only kind of happiness that you are careless about? Is the salvation of your immortal soul, the only deliverance for which you have no desire? Alas! Have you become so stupidly wicked!!

“He shall see His seed! He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” Isaiah 53:10-11

But there is a condition

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But there is a condition

(J.R. Miller, “In All Your Ways!“)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 

We all need direction in our life paths. 

We turn to our friends for counsel, but human wisdom is inadequate. It is short-sighted and cannot certainly know what is best. It is ignorant and may mislead unwittingly. Wrong advice, though meant for good, has wrecked many a life destiny! Human guidance is not enough; we need something truer, wiser, safer–something infallible; and that is just what we have assured to us in this promise of divine direction.

But there is a condition–we must acknowledge the Lord in all our ways. The “all” is emphatic. Most of us acknowledge the Lord in some of our ways. We turn to Him in the time of great trials, or in great and sore dangers. Even scoffers and atheists have been known, in the moment of peril, as in a storm at sea–to fall upon their knees and call upon God for help. The worst people, when alarming sickness is on them, or when death stares them in the face, want to take hold of the hand of God. There are none of us who do not at certain times crave divine direction and help. 

But the promise reads, “In all your ways”–that is the condition of the promised direction.

We are very willing to acknowledge God while He directs us in the paths in which we are inclined to go–paths that are pleasant and agreeable to us. We can easily submit to the sweet will of God, when it is indeed sweet to our natural taste. But how is it when God directs us to go the way we do not want to go–to do the thing that is unpleasant, and will cause pain, or require sacrifice or loss? 

How is it when the voice of God, answering to our request . . .
   bids us to take the path which leads to a cross;
   bids us to turn away from the pleasant thing that we crave;
   bids us to give up the dear friendship, which is drawing us away from Him; 
   bids us give into His hand, the child or loved one we so desire to keep with us?

“In all your ways” means the hard ways–as well as the easy ways; the thorny path–as wall as the path of flowers. Yet we are continually coming to points at which we hesitate. We say: “In all but this, dear Lord–I can take Your way and do Your will.” Still the answer comes, “In all My ways, My child.” 

There must be no reserve, no withholding, no exception. 

The beloved sin must be given up–though it seems only a little one, though giving it up is like cutting off a right hand or plucking out a right eye. 

The hard path must be taken–though it leads among thorns that pierce the feet, over the sharp stones, and through fire and flood. 

The painful duty must be done–though it costs us popularity, ease, or position; though it leads to poverty, suffering, or homelessness. 

The bitter grief must be accepted–though it seems to take all, and leave nothing.
It must be accepted sweetly, lovingly, cheerfully, with unquestioning surrender. 

The lesson is plain. Nothing must be withheld from God–whether it be in obedience, or in submission. 

The darling sin must be given up. 

The rough path must be walked over. 

That hard duty must be accepted. 

We must acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, if we would have Him direct our paths.

Looking at the world through the cross!

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Looking at the world through the cross!

(Octavius Winslow)

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 

Jesus could accomplish man’s redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die–and die the death of the cruel cross. 

What light and glory beam around the cross!

Of what prodigies of grace, is it the instrument, 
of what glorious truths, is it the symbol, 
of what mighty transforming power, is it the source! 

Around the cross gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy: 
  it explains every symbol
  it substantiates every shadow
  it solves every mystery
  it fulfills every type
  it confirms every prophecy, 
of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable, but for the death of the Son of God upon the cross. 

Not the past only–but all future splendor gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, and tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings. And while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past–with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ’s kingdom in the eternity to come! Such is the lowly yet sublime, the weak yet mighty instrument, by which the sinner is saved and God eternally glorified. 

The cross of Christ is . . .
  the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men;
  the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race;
  the scene of Christ’s splendid victories over all His enemies and ours;
  the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness;
  the instrument which is to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus;
  the source of all true peace, joy and hope;
  the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expires, all grace lives. 

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! 
How significant is their meaning, how precious is their influence! 

Marvelous and irresistible, is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has . . .
  subdued many a rebellious will; 
  broken many a marble heart; 
  laid low many a vaunting foe; 
  overcome and triumphed, when all other instruments have failed; 
  transformed the lion like heart of man, into the lamb like heart of Christ! 

When lifted up in its own bare simplicity and inimitable grandeur–the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love! 

What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian’s entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross–his opinion is totally revolutionized. 
He sees the world as it really is–a sinful, empty, vain thing. 
He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. 
His expectations from the world, and his love to the world, are transformed. 
He has found another object of love–the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. 
His love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it–the crucifying power of the cross. 

It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. 

What is the weapon by which faith combats with, and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! 

Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment to all other objects by its overpowering effulgence; so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of graceand love and truth meeting in the cross–the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse. 

Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its trinkets! 

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 

We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state!

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We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! 

(Letters of John Newton)

Now I know in part–then I shall know fully.” Soon we shall see cause to number our sharpest trials, among our choicest mercies! Then we shall say, “He has done all things well.”

Our trials are but for a season. We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! Yet a little while, and all our sorrows will be left below–and this poor earth will be exchanged for a glorious Heaven!

Our present troubles will soon be to us–as the remembrance of a dream when we awake!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen–but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary–but what is unseen is eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

An immense ocean of everlasting love!

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An immense ocean of everlasting love!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

Dear friend,
May Jesus be yours–all that He is, and all that He has. Then you will be as rich as an archangel!

May He captivate you more with His infinite beauty and enable you to live more blessedly upon His infinite fullness, that He may keep His royal court in your soul!

The more you are acquainted with Him, the more you will grow in love to Him; for He is altogether lovely, an immense ocean of everlasting love! The loveliness of the whole world is but a drop compared to His immeasurable love. What must Heaven be, where His love is to be fully manifested and enjoyed forever! There we shall see Him! Oh, for that day! 

But even along our pilgrim way, He walks with us and makes our hearts burn within us. These sweet foretastes of His love draw us on and whet our appetite for Heaven. A few more of these foretastes, and we shall get to the fountainhead and drink rivers of pleasure forevermore! 

To His precious dear heart’s love, I commend you and yours, and am for His sake your friend and servant,
William Romaine

Spiritual Blindness

Amen! Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

TLP

John 9:35-41

Jesus heard that the Pharisees had thrown the man out who was blind from birth, for he wasn’t going along with what the Pharisees wanted. When He caught up with the man, the man came to believe in Him and worshipped Him. This brings us to verse 39; why doesn’t anyone ever quote it?

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

John 9:39

I would expect that if my next post was titled “Jesus Came to Judge the World” many, probably most, of you would object, but there you have it in His own words! Of course, He also said that He had not come to judge, as the atheists like to point out as they search for something to claim is a contradiction.

What shall we say then?

This is an unusual context, isn’t…

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When she kisses you!

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When she kisses you!

(Francis Quarles, 1592-1644)

Do you think, my soul, to be made happy by the smiles of the world–or unhappy by her frowns? 

When she fawns upon you, she deludes you. 

When she kisses you, she betrays you. 

Like Jael, she brings the milk in a lordly dish, and bears a hammer in her deadly hand. 

Trust not her flattery, O my soul–nor let her malice move you. 

Her music is your enchantment, and her sweetness is your snare! 

She is the highway to eternal death! 

“Worldliness is the most thronged road to everlasting ruin!” J.A. James

“The spirit of the world is eating out the very heart and life of true godliness!” George Everard 

Refined worldliness is the present snare of the Church of God!” Horatius Bonar

“The world is a sea, where we are tossed upon the surging waves of sorrow, and often in danger of shipwreck! The world is a wilderness, full of fiery serpents!” Thomas Watson 

Groaning, Waiting, Hoping – How to Live in a Fallen, Fragile World

Amen! 🙏

Already Not Yet

magnolias-768x510Jon Bloom:

A late verdant spring is at this moment giving way to a lush early summer in Minnesota, the state where I have sojourned these nearly 55 years. Walking outside on a fair morning, when the brilliant new variegated greens of the trees and grasses are bursting with life, when a gorgeous spectrum of colorful, fragrant blossoms waves in the gentle breeze and seems to silently sing for joy, when the deep blues of our abundant rivers and lakes quiet frenetic thoughts, and everything is awash in the golden light of a blazing star ascending in a sky-field of azure, one can almost wonder if Eden has returned.

Almost. Then a police vehicle speeds by me, followed soon by a blaring ambulance. Then beneath the bridge I see the decaying body of a songbird whose voice so recently added more beauty to our urban avian choir. Then I…

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Who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus?

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Who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus?

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

I received your letter, and think you overlook our ever adorable Jesus, in setting any value upon a poor, dirty worm such as myself. 

If His grace raised this poor, dirty worm from a dunghill and set it upon a throne with His princes, who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus? Shall any of His due praise be given to the worm? God forbid!

As vile and base as I am–yet He lets me approach Him and converse with Him freely. 

He condescends to admit me into fellowship with Him; and He opens His treasures and says, “All these are yours. I bought them for you with the price of My blood, but I give them to you as a free gift!” 

An infallible test!

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An infallible test!

(Samuel Davies, “The Nature of Love to God and Christ, Opened and Enforced”)

“If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him!” 1 Corinthians 16:22

If you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ–then you earnestly study and endeavor to please Him by a life of universal obedience. Love is always desirous to please the person beloved; and it will naturally lead to a conduct that is pleasing. This, then, you may be sure of, that if you truly love Jesus–then it is the labor of your life to please Him.

The only way to please Jesus, and the best test of your love to Him–is obedience to His commandments. This is made the decisive mark by Christ Himself: “If anyone loves Me–he will obey My teaching. He who does not love Me–will not obey My teaching.” John 14:23, 24

Jesus repeats this theme over and over in different forms: “Whoever has My commands and obeys them–he is the one who lovesMe,” verse 21. “If you love Me–you will obey what I command,” verse 15. “You are My friends–if you do what I command.” John 15:14. “This is love for God,” says John; that is, it is the surest evidence, and the natural, inseparable effect of our love to God, “that we obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3; that is, they will not seem grievous to one who obeys them from the principle of sincere love.

Here, then, you who profess to love the Lord Jesus–here is an infallible test for your love! Do you make it the great aim of your life to keep His commandments? Do you honestly endeavor to perform every duty which He has required–and that because He has commanded it? And do you vigorously resist and struggle against every sin, however constitutional, however fashionable, however gainful–because He forbids it? And is the way of obedience pleasant to you? Would you choose this holy way to Heaven, rather than any other–if it were left to your choice?

Your not loving God–if it continues, will certainly lead you to Hell. You are fit for no other place! Where should the enemies of God be–but in an infernal prison? There is the same propriety in throwing you into Hell–as in shutting up madmen in bedlam, or rebels in a dungeon! Why, you are devilized already! You have the very temperament of devils! Enmity to God is the grand constituent of a devil–it is the worst ingredient in that infernal disposition; and this you have in your hearts, and, as it were, incorporated with your habitual temperament! And what do you think will become of you? Judge for yourselves–must you not be doomed to that everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels–whom you resemble?

“If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him!” 1 Corinthians 16:22

Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption

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Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption

(Robert Traill)

“But from Him you are in Christ Jesus, who for us became:
 wisdom from God, 
 as well as righteousness,
 sanctification,
 and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30

Wisdom outside of Christ–is damning folly! 

Righteousness outside of Christ–is guilt and condemnation! 

Sanctification outside of Christ–is filth and sin! 

Redemption outside of Christ–is bondage and slavery!

If a man trusts to his own righteousness, he rejects Christ’s righteousness. 
If he trusts to Christ’s righteousness, he rejects his own righteousness.

I know no true religion but Christianity.

I know no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ:
  of His divine person,
  of His divine offices,
  of His divine righteousness, 
  and of His divine Spirit. 

I know no true ministers of Christ, but such as make it their business to commend Jesus Christ in His saving fullness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men.

I know no true Christian, but one united to Christ by faith, and abiding in him by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauties of gospel-holiness.    

Are You Running Away Like Jonah?

Amen Ellie! It’s time to stop running. 😀 🙏 💪🏼

New Creations Ministries

There are so many life lessons we can learn from the Biblical Jonah. As you recall, Jonah was commanded by God to go and preach to Nineveh but he ran away rather than face his responsibilities.

Have you ever thought, well how foolish!I wouldn’t ever run away from God when He commands me to do something!  He’s everywhere!

But we do actually act like Jonah at times! We are commanded by God to go on a journey. It is a life journey.

And as a Father, when His children rebel, God will get our attention in any way He can. Even by allowing storms (illness) to invade our body naturally when we consume too many unhealthy, chemically-laden foods.  Remember that was our choice, not His.

We live under Grace but are responsible for everything we do. Moderation is fine, but who forced us daily consume an entire bag of chips, overeat at the buffet or super-size that fast-food meal?

Like Jonah…

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Quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls!

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Quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls! 

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“My soul cleaves unto the dust–quicken me according to Your Word!” Psalm 119:25 

What powerful attractions the present world has! How prone we are . . .
  to sink down to its level,
  to become attached to its customs,
  and to cleave to its vanities! 
Yet, at the best, it is but dust. There is nothing in the world to satisfy or suit an immortal mind. 

Jesus died for us–to deliver us from this present evil world. The Holy Spirit urges us to rise above it, and offers us His divine and all-sufficient aid. He will not force, but only attract or draw. Alas! that we should . . . 
  slight His intimations,
  disregard His exhortations,
  and grieve His loving heart!

We are not of the world–and yet how worldly we are! We are born from above–but yet how earthly we remain! Our souls go out after things that are carnal, drossy, dusty, contemptible–to the neglect of things that are spiritual, pure, holy, and invaluable. 

Heavenly Father, we confess our folly, we deplore our ingratitude, we condemn our conduct. We feel weak and feeble when we attempt to burst our bonds, and mount upwards to Your throne. O quicken, quicken us! By the power of Your Holy Spirit, and by bringing home Your inspired Word–quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls! 

Have You not promised to be as the dew unto Your people, coming down graciously, gradually, and gently upon them–in order to revive their graces, quicken their devotions, and cause them to grow up into Christ? O come down upon our dry and thirsty souls as the dew–or fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.

Quicken us–and so will we mount up to Your throne, and do Your righteous will. Quicken us–and so Jesus will be precious to us, and the work of the Lord will be pleasant to us.

Why Do People Reject the Poor Carb???

Amen! 😀

New Creations Ministries

I’m sure my fellow nutritionists and dietitians have similar frustrations when they hear someone gleefully announce, “I’m giving up all carbs to lose weight!

Before you swear off all carbohydrates, STOP and THINK. Here are some important facts for your brain to digest:

The brain feeds primarily on glucose. Glucose is a carbohydrate. The most important carbohydrate in the body. I don’t know about you but I intend to retain as many brain cells as I can; especially during this era of ever-increasing dementia.

Glucose circulates in the bloodstream as sugar and is also necessary for cell respiration and energy.

I’ve heard people declare they’ve sworn off peanuts, lentils (Paleo Diet) and that they’d NEVER eat bananas because they’re “fattening.” What false beliefs! All the above carbohydrates contain valuable tryptophan which turns into the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin. The body needs serotonin to remain happy. (Pumpkin seeds and sunflower…

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The Strength of God

Amen! 😀

-Word- pictures by DLink

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Often, the Lord allows us to come to the end of our own ability so that we clearly see His hand.  Otherwise, we would attribute success to our own doing.  God enables us to go on, fearlessly, boldly, and effectively.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June, 16, 2020.

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Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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   ~  ~  ~  ~ 

(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God–and the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

“When disaster comes to a city–has not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins and the sins of our land, which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such:
  by His judgments now upon us,
  by withering fields and scanty harvests,
  by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war! 

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct–and what do you see? What do you hear? 

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of Heaven–while true religion and virtue are forced to retire to avoid public contempt and insult! 

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them! 

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God–trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in Hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, 
dishonest craft
 planning her schemes of unlawful gain, 
and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor! 

You see prodigality squandering her stores! 

You see luxury spreading her table! 

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth–regardless of God, of time and eternity! 

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition–to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; 
the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; 
novels 
and romances more read–than the history of the blessed Jesus! 

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! 
The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to–than the concerns of eternity! 

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses–you often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity–engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls! 

You see the holy religion of Jesus–abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors! 

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! 
These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! 
They are abandoned slaves of sin–who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time–but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them–when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus! 

The only effectual reformer of the world!

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The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, “Serious Reflections on WAR” 1757)

“When He comes–He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!” John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world! If He is absent–
  legislators may make laws against crime; 
  philosophers may reason against vice; 
  ministers may preach against sin; 
  conscience may remonstrate against evil;
  the divine law may prescribe, and threaten Hell; 
  the gospel may invite, and allure to Heaven; 
but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears–all will have no effect–all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness! 

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit. Paul may plant the seed–and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything–but only God, who makes things grow!” 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7

Never will peace and harmony be established in this jangling world–until this Divine Agent takes the work in hand.

It is He alone, who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace! 

It is He alone, who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence! 

It is He alone–who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world–what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be, undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .
  to break the heart of stone,
  to enlighten the dark mind, and
  to comfort the desponding soul!

The only system adapted to his case!

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The only system adapted to his case!

(William Nicholson, “Pearls of Great Price!” 1855)

Viewing man as a fallen, sinful creature–the gospel is the only system adapted to his case!  
The more he contemplates it, the more he perceives its precious adaptation to his dreadful state. 
The gospel is . . .
  light, for the darkness of his reason; 
  peace, for the tumult of his conscience; 
  joy, for the anguish of his mind; 
  hope, for the gloom of his despair. 

Is he guilty? The gospel presents . . .
  an all-sufficient Savior,
  an all-atoning sacrifice,
  and an all-forgiving God. 

Is he impure? The gospel opens up for him a fountain for sin and for uncleanness–a hallowed flood supplied from the Redeemer’s cross, where the vilest sinner may wash from his heinous pollution. 

Is he alienated from God–at an infinite distance from the only source of happiness and forgiveness? The gospel is a medium of approach, a way of access to the thrice holy God. Here the Alpine mountains of his guilt are leveled to the dust. Here the prodigal returns, is freely received, fully forgiven, elevated to a place in his heavenly Father’s family, and never lost from his heavenly Father’s heart. 

Is he the victim of ignorance and error? Here he receives the lessons of a heavenly prophet–the Spirit of God becomes his kind instructor. Here the untutored savage is made wiser than the learned sage, “wise unto salvation!”

Does he feel himself the subject of passions that lead him continually astray from God? 
The same Spirit becomes the inhabitant of his bosom . . .
  to subdue his passions, 
  to curb his lusts, 
  to control his will, and 
  to sanctify the nature He has first renewed, and which shall finally be glorified with Christ. 

In every point of view, the gospel meets his case!

Is he a sinner? The gospel offers pardon!

Is he a debtor? The gospel grants him full payment of his dept! 

Is he a captive to sin and Satan? The gospel gives him liberty. 

Is he fallen into utter depravity? It elevates him to God’s throne, and constitutes him “a king and a priest unto God.” 

Is he thirsty? The gospel is a river of life. 

Is he weary? It is a sweet repose. 

Is he ignorant? The gospel is a divine instructor. 

Is he spiritually diseased? It is immortal health and vigor to his soul. 

Is he dying? The gospel is eternal life. 

Yes, in the gospel . . .
  the law is fulfilled,
  justice is atoned, and
  the divine perfections are harmonized in man’s redemption.

The Snake

Amen! 😀 🙏

Hidden Treasure

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:9

Snakes kill in lots of ways. Some inject a poison that quickly or slowly paralyzes its victim. Some use constriction, squeezing the life out of its prey. Others just swallow their victim whole, headfirst to immobilize them and lessen the chance of resistance and escape. Sounds like sin to me, especially the headfirst part. So often sin starts with wrong thinking.

In the Bible snakes are symbols of both sin and the consequences of sin. Numbers 21:5-9 the people grumbled against the Lord and he sent poisonous snakes among them. They cried out to Moses and God instructed him to make a snake image (or substitute) and raise it up on a pole for the Israelites to look at…

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The cultivation of an insignificant life

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The cultivation of an insignificant life

(J.H. Jowett)

It is possible to evade a multitude of trials by the cultivation of an insignificant life.
 

Only One Life!

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, 
And from my mind would not depart:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, yes only one, 
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, 
And stand before His Judgment seat.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, the still small voice, 
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, 
And to God’s holy will to cleave.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes and fears;
Each with its days I must fulfill, 
living for self, or in His will.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

When this bright world would tempt me sore, 
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, 
Then help me Lord with joy to say:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Give me Father, a purpose deep, 
In joy or sorrow Your word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, 
Pleasing You in my daily life.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Oh let my love with fervor burn, 
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for You, and You alone, 
Bringing You pleasure on Your throne.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, yes only one, 
Now let me say, “Your will be done!”
And when at last I’ll hear the call, 
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all!”
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

        Author unknown
 

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
 Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you
 know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial

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My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial

Letters of Mary Winslow” 1774-1854

My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial. This present world is a world of sadness; but when we think of that glorious world which is to come, into which sorrow never enters, and how soon we may be there–we may well “rejoice in tribulation.” Our “light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!” 

In all your sorrows, pour out your heart to the Man of sorrows. He will bow down His ear and listen to all that you say. He will either remove or moderate your trial, or give you strength to bear it. Even this bitter draught He has given you to drink shall result both in your good and His glory. 

Remember, not a sparrow falls upon the ground without His guidance, and that the very hairs of your head are all numbered. How much more has this trying event been ordered and arranged by Him who loves you! Infinite wisdom has appointed the whole! Never doubt that He loves you, when He most deeply afflicts. 

May He lift up upon you the light of His countenance, drawing you nearer to Himself, that you may see what a tender, loving heart He has for you, and how deeply and tenderly and considerately He cares for you–as if there were not another poor sorrowful one to care for on the face of the whole earth!

“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.
 When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!
 When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!” Isaiah 43:2-3  

A worldly Christianity

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A worldly Christianity 

(Octavius Winslow)

“Do not be conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2 

Professor of the gospel! Guard against the world; it is your undoing! Watch against conformity to it . . . 
  in your dress, 
  in your mode of living, 
  in the education of your children, 
  in the principles, motives, and policy that govern you. 

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by . . . 
  any known inconsistency of conduct, 
  any sinful conformity to the world, 
  any inordinate pursuit of . . . 
    its wealth, 
    its honors, 
    its pleasures, 
    its friendships, 
    its great things. 

Pray against the sin of covetousness, that canker-worm that feeds at the root of so many souls! 

Pray against the love of dress, that sin that diverts the mind of so many professors from the simplicity of Christ, and takes the eye off from the true adornment! 

Pray against a thirst for light and trifling reading, that strange and sinful inconsistency of so many, the certain tendency of which is to starve the life of God in the soul, to engender a distaste for spiritual nourishment for the Word of God, for holy meditation, and for Divine communion and fellowship. 

Yes, pray against the spirit of worldly, sinful conformity in everything! 

Reader! are you a professing Christian? Then guard against a worldly Christianity–a Christianity that wears a fair exterior, so far as it is composed of church attendance; but which excludes from it the cross of the meek and lowly Lamb of God–a Christianity which loves the world and the things of the world, “makes a fair show in the flesh,” speaks well of Christ–and yet betrays Him with a kiss. 

Oh, awful state! Oh, fearful deception! Oh, fatal delusion! 

The world is the sworn enemy of your Savior; let it not be your friend. No, come out of it and be separate!

Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

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Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell! 

(Samuel Davies, “The Objects, Grounds, and Evidences of the HOPE of the Righteous”)

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness;
 but the righteous has hope in his death.” Proverbs 14:32

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness.”
That is, the wicked man dies–just as he lived.
He lived in wickedness, and in wickedness he dies

His wickedness sticks fast upon him–when his earthly enjoyments, his friends, and all created comforts leave him forever.

The guilt of his wickedness lies heavy upon him–like a mountain of lead, ready to sink him into the depths of eternal misery!

And the principles of wickedness, which he indulged all his life, still live within him, even after the agonies of death; nay, they now arrive at a dreadful immortality, and produce an eternal Hell in his heart!

He leaves behind him not only all his earthly comforts–but all the little remains of goodness which he seemed to have, while under the restraints of divine grace; and he carries nothing but his wickedness along with him into eternity! With this dreadful attendant–his wickedness–he must stand before the tribunal of his holy Judge! To leave his earthly all behind him, and die in the agonies of dissolving nature–this is terrible. But to die in his wickedness–this is infinitely the most terrible of all!

He once flattered himself that though he lived in wickedness–that he would not die in it. He adopted many resolutions to amend, and forsake his wickedness toward the close of life, or upon a death-bed. But Oh! how sorely is he disappointed! After all his promising purposes and hopes, he died as he lived–in wickedness!

This is generally the fate of veterans in sin. They are resolving and re-resolving to reform all their lives; but after all, they die the same as they lived. They intend to prepare for death and eternity, but just not today. They have always something else to do today; and therefore they put off this work until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and instead of reforming, they die in their wickedness. Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness.” 
He is driven away, in spite of all his reluctance. 
Let him cling to life ever so strongly, yet he must go! 
All his struggles are vain, and cannot add one moment to his life.

Indeed, the wicked have so little taste for Heaven, and are so much in love with this world–that if they leave it at all, they must be driven out of it–driven out of it, whether they want or not!

When they hope for Heaven, they do in reality consider it but a shift, or a refuge, when they can no longer live in this, their favorite world. They do not at all desire Heaven–in comparison with this world. They would live forever in this present world, if they could have their choice. But let them grasp ever so hard, they must let go their hold. They must be driven away, like chaff before a whirlwind–driven away into the regions of misery. Into the regions of misery, I say; for certainly the happiness of Heaven was never intended for such as are so averse to it; and who prefer this wretched world, with all its cares and sorrows–before Heaven itself!

“But the wicked will lose hope. They have no escape. Their hope becomes despair.” Job 11:20

“When the wicked die, their hopes all perish!” Proverbs 11:7

“The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath!” Proverbs 11:23

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?

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Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil? 

(Arthur Pink, “The Sovereignty of God”)

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?

That God reigns supreme in Heaven, is generally conceded; but that He reigns supreme over this earth, is almost universally denied–if not directly, then indirectly. More and more men are relegating God to the background in their philosophizing and theorizing. 

Take the material realm. Not only is it denied that God created everything, by personal and direct action–but few believe that He has any immediate concern in regulating the works of His own hands. Everything is supposed to be ordered according to the (impersonal and abstract) “laws of Nature”. Thus is the Creator banished from His own creation! Therefore we need not be surprised that men, in their degrading conceptions, exclude Him from the realm of human affairs

Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that man is “a free agent”, and therefore, man is the master of his fortunes and the determiner of his destiny. 

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil? 


What do the Scriptures say? If we believe their plain and positive declarations, no room is left for uncertainty. They affirm, again and again . . .
  that God is on the throne of His universe;
  that the scepter is in His hands;
  that He is directing all things “after the counsel of His own will”. Ephesians 1:11

The Scriptures affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm . . .
  that God is the Almighty,
  that His will is irreversible,
  that He is absolute sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. 

And surely it must be so. Only two alternatives are possible:
  God must either rule–or be ruled;
  God must either sway–or be swayed;
  God must either accomplish His own will–or be thwarted by His creatures. 

Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High God”, the only Potentate and King of kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power–the conclusion is irresistible, that He must be God in fact–as well as in name!

It is in view of what we have briefly referred to above, that we say, present-day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotence, God’s sufficiency, and God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth–that God still reigns! What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. Drastic diseases call for drastic remedies. We know of nothing which is more calculated to infuse spiritual vigor into our souls, than a scriptural apprehension of the full character of God!

“Our God is in Heaven! He does whatever He pleases!” Psalm 115:3 

“The LORD does whatever pleases Him throughout all Heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths!” Psalm 135:6

“All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of Heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have you done?” Daniel 4:35 

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!” Revelation 19:6 

What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

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What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

(Octavius Winslow)

“We were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow!” Job 8:9 

“He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.” Job 14:2

“What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

All is shadow here below! 

The world is a shadow–and is passing away! 

The creature is a shadow–and the loveliest and the fondest may be the first to die! 

Health is a shadow–fading, and in a moment gone!

Wealth is a shadow–today upon the summit of affluence, tomorrow at its base, plunged into poverty and dependence!

Human friendships and creature affections are but shadows–sweet and pleasant while they last; but, with a worm feeding at the root of all created good, the sheltering gourd soon withers, exposing us to the sun’s burning heat by day, and to the frost’s cold chill by night! 

Oh, yes! “Passing Away!” is indelibly inscribed upon everything here below! 

Yet how slow we are to realize the solemn lesson: “What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!” 

Unconverted reader, what is your life–but a vapor that passes away? 
And what are your pursuits, but shadows–unreal, unsatisfying, evanescent? 

Your rank, your wealth, your honors, your pleasures, are but phantoms which appear but for a little while, and then are lost in the deeper shadow of the grave, and the still deeper and longer shadow of eternity! 

Oh, turn from these dreams and hallucinations, and, as a rational, accountable, immortal being, on your way to judgment–fix your mind upon your solemn, endless future! You are going to die! And, oh, when that dread hour comes, so real and appalling–how then will your past trifling life appear?

“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” Psalm 103:15-16 

“My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.” Psalm 102:11

“Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” Psalm 144:4

“So teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 

I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

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I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

(“Comfort for the Desponding–Words to Soothe and Cheer Troubled Hearts!” 1864)

 

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you!” 1 Peter 5:7 

The Christian’s life is very much made up of cares and comforts.
Cares spring from earth–comfort comes from Heaven.
Cares prove him a sinner–holy comforts prove him a saint.
Cares flow in from a variety of quarters–true comfort from only one quarter.
Cares come naturally–but comforts come supernaturally. 

Cares must be cast on our God–or they will prove a burden too heavy for us. They will depress us, bewilder us, and make us wretched. But here is our comfort–we have always ONE to care for us, and the very One which of all others we would wish to do so, “The Lord cares for you!”

God cares for whom? 
For you, who are born again by the Spirit. 
For you, who are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 
For you, who are placed in humble circumstances, being numbered with the poor of this world. 
For you, who are compassed about with so many cares, and who enjoy so few comforts.
For you, who are surprised at your many fiery trials, as though some strange thing had happened unto you.
For you, who are worried and harassed by Satan, who, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour. 
For you, who are persecuted by the world, and hated by men for your Savior’s sake. 
For you, to whom Christ is precious–as He is to every one who truly believes in Him. 

God’s care extends to every Christian . . .
  the young and the aged,
  the weak and the strong,
  the poor and the wealthy,
  the doubting and the confident. 
Believer, He cares for you!

Who is it that cares for us?
It is the Lord, the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy;
who is so great–that we have no adequate conception of His greatness;
who is so good–that it is impossible fully to set forth His goodness;
who is so glorious–that no sinner can see His face and live. 
It is He . . .
   who created all things with His word,
   who governs all by His wisdom, 
   and upholds all by His power. 
His resources are infinite, 
His compassion is exquisite, and 
His patience is astonishingly great. 
He enters into all the circumstances of His redeemed people, is ever present with them, and rejoices over them to do them good. 

The angels obey Him, 
the seraphim adore Him, 
and all creation glorifies Him! 

But though He is so exalted, so holy, and so unspeakably great . . .
  He cares for you–as vile as you are.
  He cares for you–as sinful as you are.
  He cares for you–as depressed and discouraged as you are. 
He cares for you. He cares for you individually, and according to the circumstances in which you are placed.

What does He do? 
He cares for you!
He thinks of you!
He watches over you!
He sympathizes with you!
He feels the deepest interest in you!
He ever seeks your welfare!
He infallibly secures your good!

Your misery touches His heart,
your needs lie open to His view,
and your cries enter into His ears!

He cares for you more than for the proudest monarch on his throne! 

He cares for you–and His care is CONSTANT! 
It is not fitful or occasional–but ever the same. 

He cares for you–and His care is PATERNAL! 
It is the care of a father for his child–the child whom he tenderly loves, and for whose welfare he feels the deepest concern. 

He cares for you, and His care is PERPETUAL! 
He will never care for you less than He does at present. 
When old age weakens you, 
when poverty pinches you, 
when death appears just before you–
He will care for you as much as He does at this moment. 

He cares for you–and His care is BENEFICIAL! 
It prevents innumerable evils–and secures the greatest possible amount of good. His care is more advantageous than the care of the kindest father, though that father were monarch of the mightiest empire, and possessed unbounded wealth. The care of God is of more value than the care of all His creatures combined. 

He cares for you–but His care is MYSTERIOUSLY EXERCISED! 
It benefits us certainly–but secretly. It conceals itself behind the blessings it brings, and the evils it prevents. 

He cares for you–and His care is SPECIAL! 
It is not the care which He has for the beasts which perish, or the unbelieving sinners who die under His frown. 

He cares for you–and His care is PARTICULAR. 
It is care which extends to the very hairs of your heads, which, are all numbered–and to all the events and occurrences of your life, however minute or commonplace!

Beloved, here is our comfort. We may lose the care of an earthly relative or dear friend by death–but the Lord ever lives; and while He lives, He . . .
  ever loves us,
  thoroughly knows us, and
  never ceases to care for us!

Here is the ground of our confidence for the future. We know not where we shall be, nor what we shall be–for we know not what a day may bring forth. But this we know, that God will care for us, and, caring for us–He will fulfill His precious promises to us. 

If God cares for us, then . . .
   let us cast all our cares upon Him; 
   let us live in daily fellowship with Him; 
   let us seek all our supplies from Him. 

If God cares for us, then let us not dishonor Him by nursing our doubts, or encouraging our fears–but let us trust in Him at all times, for . . .
  His love is true
  His care is constant, and 
  His knowledge is perfect

We shall never be without a divine friend–however trying our circumstances may be. We shall never be without a divine guide–however perplexing or difficult our path may be. The care of God is more than the care of all the angelic hosts. If the care of God is not sufficient to preserve, supply, and satisfy us–then nothing is.

May the Lord help me to believe this precious truth, to realize it daily, and to pass through the present world under the impression, “I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall!” Psalm 55:22

☀️ #65 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #3” 🇧🇧 (2019)

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 Good morning friends!  

Room 112 Southern Palms

Palm tree on the left with an empty picture postcard view of the caribbean beach and seaNope..I just can’t get bored of the view! 😀  

Breakfast and bathing…

Nope…I can’t get bored of this breakfast either, lol! 🤣  

Then it’s time for Sarah to have a swim in the pool whilst i try and not get fried. ☀️   

Sarah in the empty pool enjoying the sun

Me sat in blue Caribbean shirt next to the swimming pool and the beach

 Sarah showed me where to get the lovely ice cold water (with cucumber or lemon) so i could refill while she was in the pool. Once i’ve been shown i’m pretty good at remembering where to go and what to do. The water was on a table underneath a tent like thing…And i could just make out a shape of a palm tree above it but i didn’t know it was glowing! ☀️ 🌴 

Palm tree in the sunshine  with the water tent in view

The beach and Bajan blast… 

Photo of the pink hotel taken from the beach with palm trees around

Wow…I don’t think we’ve ever been anywhere that is so accessible for us. It’s so much easier for us to be independent and do everything that we want to without too much hassle or struggle…And everything is so near by and we find it hard to even leave Southern Palms.

Speaking of which…”Steve let’s go on the beach” Sarah said as she blew pas me! I love this time of day and i’ll never get bored of seeing Sarah run, splash and play on this empty Caribbean beach. My only struggle is trying to point the camera towards the happy sounds! 🤣   

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

 After another fantastic time on the beach, it’s time to dry off and cool off…And what better way to cool off than a iced coffee at Sharkey’s! 😀  

Sharkey’s Tropical Cafe…

Sharkeys cafe in Barbados

Sharkey s Tropical Cafe Sign

Sarah sat with an iced coffee in the very colourful Sharkey's Tropical Cafe

 Surf and turf… 

 And guess what?? It’s time for  the ‘Southern Burger’ and the ‘Shrimp Cocktail’ again, Sarah says the shrimp are as big as your face and she’s never seen anything like it before! 🤣  

The shrimp cocktail

Southern burger

Sarah’s beautiful new green dress…

Sarah was excited to wear her beautiful new green dress, and as our room was right on the front facing the beach i said i’ll stay on the balcony and get some photos…No pressure, lol! 🤣 I didn’t have my ‘Big Burtha’ (Nikkor 80-400mm lens) or any of my DSLR’s but i did have my iPhone and tested the digital pinch zoom range! 😀  

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah and the green dress walking on the beach

Sarah and the green dress

Sarah and the green dress walking on the beach

Sarah and the green dress

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

 Hey look who’s back…?

Sarah, Cynthia and George

Just as Sarah was walking back from the beach we heard “Sarah…Hello we’re back” it was George and Cynthia! They’d had a lovely time visiting family in Saint Vincent and you’ll never guess…?

If you remember when we stayed here last year and i had ‘The Coconut Slice’ in Speightstown on Sarah’s birthday island tour…Well obviously i was telling George about it and he said “We have a local one like that can Saint Vincent called ‘Red Belly’ and it sounds the same”. 

Then…

George said “Put out your hand” and continued to place a ‘Red Belly’ coconut slice into my hand! I couldn’t believe it…His kindness was ineffable. He continued I went to the bakery on the island and they only had 2 left and were not making any more, i got one for you and one for me”. 😀 I don’t have the hyperbole to describe the coconut slice, and sorry i don’t have a photo as it disappeared so quickly…Not sure where it went, lol! 🤣  

The Bajan sunset…

me stood in front of the amazing sunset

 Wow what a relaxing day on this incredible holiday. Thankfully we have 1 more full day at this beautifully colourful place before we head back to Gatwick and the cold, wet and grey London hue! 

To be continued… 

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The man who has God for his portion!

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The man who has God for his portion!

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

“You are my portion, O LORD!” Psalm 119:57

If God is my portion, then I ought to be content without any other portion. He is . . .
  enough in poverty,
  enough in persecution,
  enough in life,
  enough in death,
  enough for evermore!

If God gives me Himself–then it is more than as if He had given me the whole world, or ten thousand worlds like this! O how happy was the apostle Paul, who knowing God to be his portion could say, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in need!” Philippians 4:11-12

If God is my portion, I ought to be thankful. It is enough. There is no losing it. What dignity, what honor is conferred on the man who has God for his portion! I deserved to be stripped of everything, and to be turned out of God’s presence eternally penniless, wretched, and miserable. But instead of this, God in His free grace, in His infinite mercy–gives me . . .
  a heavenly mansion,
  a glorious city,
  an eternal kingdom,
  more, He gives me Himself! 
God in all His glory, in all His grace–is mine!

If God is my portion, then I ought to be living upon Him. If I live upon anything outside of God–then I live upon what is finite, and will change. But if I live upon God, I live upon the infinite, and upon what is unchangeable. As a believer, I should live befitting the dignity of my lofty character, position, and prospects. The man of fortune ought not to live like the pauper. Just so, the Christian ought to live above other men. 

If God is my portion, I ought to be making a proper use of it. I should set my portion over and against . . .
  all my pains and privations,
  all my griefs and grievances, 
  all my sadnesses and sorrows. 

I should look above all my trials and troubles–and rejoice that throughout eternity, I shall have . . .
  eternal ease–instead of pain,
  eternal plenty–instead of privation,
  eternal joy–instead of grief,
  eternal gladness–instead of sadness,
  and eternal bliss–instead of sorrow!

Beloved, is the Lord your portion? Are you living upon Him as such?

But if God is not your portion–then what is? 
Where are your thoughts most? 
Where do your affections center? 
After what do you pursue
The world? It is a poor, fleeting, unsatisfying portion! 
It will be found insufficient, unsatisfactory, and perishing! 

Unless God is your portion, you will be . . .
  unsatisfied in life,
  wretched in death, and
  indescribably miserable to all eternity! flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!” Psalm 73:26

☀️ #64 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #2” 🇧🇧 (2019)

Barbados logo

 Good morning friends! 

Breakfast and braides…

After the consistently delicious, fresh and tasty breakfast we headed off to the salon. It was the same lady from last year, so she knew exactly how we liked our hair and we had a good catch up too! 😀   

My braides and Caribbean shirt

Me and Sarah's braides

Our new friends George and Cynthia…

Me Cynthia Sarah and George

If you remember the 1st day of our cruise in Aruba, we met George and Cynthia at the evening meal when we’d shared a table. We had no idea that they were also staying at Southern Palms for a week too. They had stay here 20 years ago and wondered if it had changed and to get a photo at the same spot they’d had a photo back then. George and Cynthia were going to Saint Vincent to visit family for a few days and we’d meet back up with them for the last couple of days. 

But before they left (as they are so loving and kind)for Saint Vincent they knew it was our birthdays and as a complete surprise present they bought us a top each with Barbados written on them. Yes mine is the stupendous blue Carribbean shirt i’m wearing! 😀   

Me and Sarah with our birthday tops

 Right now we don’t have to fight against the wind all holiday…Let’s see what we’ll be doing on this cool excursion. 

Harrison’s Cave…

Go deeper underground with a visit to Harrison’s Cave. All limestone stalactites, caverns and grottoes, it’s like taking a trip to the moon. Add rock pools, streams and some red and orange mood-lighting, and it takes on a volcano-like edge. It’s easy to see why the locals call it one of the seven wonders of the island. Boarding a little electric tram, you’ll take a mile-long tour through the chambers, passing pillars formed by stalagmites and stalactites that have met in the middle. At the bottom, you’ll see the star of the show – a mighty waterfall below the ground.

The hard hat…

First off, take a comedy picture once you’ve put on your hard hat…Check! 🤣   

Me with Harrison's Cave hard hat

 We’d just listened to about 15 minutes of history inside a mini cinema type place before boarding this cool little tram, then it was into the darkness to find some light. 😀  

Harrison's cave in the dark with the lighting and running water

Harrison's cave in the dark with the lighting and running water

Harrison's cave in the dark with the lighting and running water

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

 Wow what a ride! We had a fantastic trip and were very thankful that we’d not had to walk as it would’ve been impossible. But sitting back and relaxing in the tram was fantastic and the guide was knowledgable and we learned lots! 😀  

Bac at room 112…

Wow i could stay here for the next 40 years, lol! 🤣  

Sarah stood at room 112

Sarah sat at room 112

Me stood in room 112

Me and Sarah sat at 112

Me and Sarah gugging at room 112

 The sea and the sunset…

“Quick Steve there’s still time to play in the sea before the evening meal and sunset” Sarah said as she blasted past me and ran for the sea, lol! 🤣  ☀️  

Sarah on Dover beach

Palm trees sunset

 Wow what a sunset on another blessed day! Thanks so much for taking the Barbados underground with us on this monumental adventure. 😀 

To be continued… 

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This is not mine to keep!

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This is not mine to keep!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 

Christian! If you have anything that you prize very highly, hold it very loosely–for you may easily lose it. 

Hold everything earthly with a loose hand, but grasp eternal things with a deathlike grip.

Of everything on earth, it is wise for us to say, “This is not mine to keep!” It is essential to realize that this it is true, for everything here is temporary.

Mind what you are doing–you prosperous people, you who have nice homes, you who are hoarding up money. There is nothing permanent for you here on earth. Your home is in Heaven–your home is not here. If you find your treasure here–your heart will be here also. 

You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart. 

Let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart!

“This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God, will live forever!” 1 John 2:17 

☀️ #63 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #1” 🇧🇧 (2019)

Barbados logo

 Good morning friends!

Welcome to 🌴 Southern Palms 🌴…!

Yay, it’s also my birthday today! We’d managed to book this cruise and stay which covered both of our birthdays, and after Sarah’s ‘Unimog Birthday Blitz” i knew this would be a little more relaxed! After our amazing time here last year…We’d said if ever we had the chance to come back here we’d try and book room 112. Last year we had a side room which had no window at all but 112 faced directly south and looked out over the stupendous beach, palm trees and sea. I’d messaged Southern Palms to ask if they could hold the room for us…And they did! 😀 ☀️ 🌴

Walking into the room was simply breathtaking and we couldn’t believe the view from our room…And also from our balcony…  

Room 112 Southern Palms

Room 112 Southern Palms view from the door to the balcony with the beach and palm trees as the landscape

 Wow we have a week of this view, i think i’m going to have a hard time leaving the room, lol! 😀  

It didn’t take long for us to unpack and make this our new home, then we quickly walked up to the reception to see if we could book ourselves to get birthday braides. The staff were incredibly friendly and knew we’d be back! The on site salon didn’t open until the next day so we didn’t have long to cope with fluffy hair, lol. As we are the ‘Blind Sightseers’ we also booked an excursion to ‘Harrison’s Cave’ tomorrow as we missed doing it last year. 😀  

Before we had a walk along the gap to see if our favourite cafe was still there, it was time tfor Sarah to put her feet on the sand and have a paddle in the sea. As you could tell from the photos of our room (above) it wouldn’t take long! 🤣   

Sarah and the Bajan blast…  

Sarah running on Barbados beach

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

My birthday treat…

I know it looks like Sarah is having all of the fun, but for me to watch (well listen) to Sarah laughing, playing and totally enjoying herself without having her insulin pump attached is one of my best feelings, and it’s certainly a birthday treat for me…Well one of them as i’m hoping they still do the ‘Southern Burger’ tonight. 😀  

Palm tree taken from our balcony

Southern Palms with me stood on our balcony on the bottom right of the hotel

The Gap…

Right…All of that standing still and taking photos of my lovely wife Sarah whilst being burnt to a crisp is really thirsty work, so let’s go and see if the ‘Sharkey’s Tropical Cafe’ is still there.  

Sharkeys cafe in Barbados

Sharkey s Tropical Cafe Sign

Sarah sat with an iced coffee in the very colourful Sharkey's Tropical Cafe

 Southern Palms…

IMG 1851

After a couple of hours on the gap it wasn’t long before the sunset would be blessing us with it’s slow descent, then it’d be time for the evening meal until we could sit on our balcony to watch the sun completely disappear! We did this every night and it was stunning every time! 😀  

 Evening meal…

DING DING DING DING” Although it was my birthday Sarah’s ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard’ bell went off…It was for the best ‘Shrimp Cocktail’ she’d ever tasted, anywhere! 😀  

The shrimp cocktail

 And guess what?? They still did the ‘Southern Burger’ and it was consistently stupendous for the whole week. As you know this burger hit the top of my leaderboard last year so no bell this year for me…Just the amazing taste! 🍔  😀 Oh and it’s my birthday too…What a time to have the ‘Magnum Opus’ of the southern palms.! 😀  

Southern burger

Fruit

 Sunset and the rocks…

Now it was time for us to walk off some of that delicious food, and take a lovely slow walk along the Barbados beach until we reach the rocks for the sunset. We needed to get back to our room before the sun set totally as it would be too dark and our eyes really don’t work in the dark! We had just enough time for Sarah to say hello to you guys!  

Sarah sunset

sunset behind lots of palm trees

 The balcony of 112…

I asked Sarah if she could take a monumental birthday panorama for me from the balcony… 

Room 112 balcony view

 After i thanked her and we were sitting down enjoying the sunset, saying hello to the other guests as they walked by Sarah said “Wait a minute…I’ve never seen that before?!” She stood up looking to the right and then to the left. “Steve, the moon is shining over there on the left, and the sun is shining over there on the right, let me try and get them both in a panorama”. 

Panorama with a sunet in the far right and the moon on the far left

 Wow…I have never seen anything like this before! Have you? 🤔

Thanks for joining us today, and What a way to end my birthday and begin our Barbados blessing. 

To be continued… 

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I am eternally His!

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I am eternally His!

(Thomas Brooks)

I am His by election, and I am His by regeneration. 
I am His by purchase, and I am His by conquest. 
I am His by covenant, and I am His by marriage. 
I am wholly His. 
I am supremely His. 
I am particularly His. 
I am eternally His!

Once I was a slave, but now I am His dear son.
Once I was spiritually dead, but now I am spiritually alive.
Once I was in darkness, but now I walk in light.
Once I was a child of wrath and an heir of Hell, but now I am an heir of Heaven.
Once I was Satan’s slave, but now I am God’s freeman.
Once I was under the spirit of bondage, but now I have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby I cry, “Abba, Father!”

☀️ #62 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Castries, St. Lucia” 🇱🇨 (2019)

St Lucia logo

🇱🇨 Good morning friends!

Sarah & i booked a Catamaran cruise to the Pitons…What a stunning trip. Last year we had booked a trip through the multiple layers of the rain forest (read post) so we thought we would see Saint Lucia by sea this time. Let’s see what we’ll be doing…

Pitons Cruise…

Beaches. Mountains. Rainforests. Volcanoes. Springs. When it comes to natural beauties, St Lucia’s in a league of its own. This trip takes you on a tour of some of the island’s best bits and, because they can all be seen from the sea, you’ll get to enjoy them from the comfort of a catamaran.

Setting off from Castries, you’ll glide along the island’s west coast, passing mangrove-lined beaches and lush forests. And then it’s time for the star of the show. As you enter Soufriere bay, the twin mountains of Petit and Gros Piton will rise out of the sea before you. Topping over 2,000 feet each, their summits have only been tackled by the most daring of climbers. We’ll circle the bay for some great photo opportunities, before heading to one of the scenic bays along the coast. We’ll make a quick stop, and you’ll be served snacks, drinks and get the chance to dive into the Caribbean Sea for a quick swim. Last up is Marigot, the most famous cove on the island. This was a favourite battleground of the English and French back in the 18th century and, more recently, was the setting of Dr Doolittle.

The catamaran…

Once again we din’t need a coach as the catamaran was waiting for us at the dock. My main concern was actually getting on board the catamaran. I had movies playing in my mind of the catamarans from ‘JAWS’ an it’d be hard to climb on board, never mind staying on top of the net thingy in the centre as it bobbed up and down. “Wow…That’s massive i didn’t know they made catamarans that big” i said as Sarah expertly guided me (step by step) on board . Now that was over and i was sat down i could simply enjoy the fantastic ride! 😀  

The Pitons…

The guide was great and told us all about the Pitons (see Sarah’s video above) as we just marvelled at this beautiful creation. 😲

View from our boat of the Pitons

View from our boat of the Pitons with Sarah in front

View from our boat of the Pitons

View from our boat of the Pitons

view of the Pitons from our boat

view of the Pitons from our boat

Summer bay…

Beutiful bay with our boat anchored

Upon leaving the Pitons we travelled to a small bay and stopped for about 30 minutes. The guide told us we could have a swim in the water if we wanted, Sarah said to me “Don’t even think about it! You’re staying right here as you’re banned from swimming” We all know why this is!! (read Martinique drama post)

Beautiful bay from our boat

The guide also told us the locals would paddle up to the catamaran and try and sell you small crafts they’ve made themselves. This was a main income for the people so don’t worry we are not being invaded, lol! 😀  

view of our Beautiful bay from our boat

We love getting a small souvenir from each place we’ve visited, so when he paddled to us we said “Wow we don’t even have to move and risk tripping up, the crafts are coming to us”. 😀  

Sarah bought a small turtle ‘Timothy The Turtle’ that lives on our sideboard.

Timothy the turtle

view of our Beautiful bay from our boat

We had a few more minutes to soak up more memories of this lovely bay, when a nice lady asked if we wanted a photo together?!

Me and Sarah on the boat

Me and Sarah on the boat

Leaving the bay…

Leaving the bay we had a nice long ride back to the dock…But just when you’d thought you’d finished, Sarah (having already blessed us with a video) surprised us with a stupendous panorama! 😀  

Sarah panorama of the beautful coast line

Back at the dock…☀️  🌧

As we were here a year ago on the ‘Bread fruit tasting mission’ we knew exactly where to go. This is great when you’re blind as it instantly familiarises you with your environment. We were walking along the right hand side of the road when Sarah spotted a very colourful market stall up one of the side streets. “They might have a Caribbean shirt for you” Sarah said as we stopped in front of the stall to have a look. Although it was overcast the sun was burning as we tried to edge our way closer to the small shade of the stall.

Sarah found a shirt with both her favourite colours but it was tiny as it was for a small child. We said hello to the lady and she told us her daughter was living in England and we got chatting further.

After about 5 minutes…

“Do you have a shirt in his size” Sarah said whilst pointing at me. The lady started looking around her stall and said “Wait a minute, i think i can get one of those. Do you have time to wait here while i’ll go up the road and see?” “Yes of course we’ll wait here” Sarah said as she was stood like she owned the stall behind all of the products. Sarah said as the lady disappeared up the road “Steve, it looks like i own my very own Caribbean shirt stall in Saint Lucia!” 😀 I still can’t believe i didn’t take a photo of this monumental moment! The lady returned after about 10 minutes, nobody came to the stall but the lady did bring back the right size, and it is now Sarah’s favourite shirt! 

Saint Lucia Caribbean Shirt

We walked away from the lovely lady with huge smiles on our faces, my smile as i had a fantastic new shirt and Sarah’s as she’d owned a stall in Saint Lucia for 10 minutes. Then it starts raining but it was nothing like the rain in England. The mixture of the burning hot sun and the slight cooling rain gave it a soothing feeling. “It’s liquid sunshine” i heard a few people saying as we walked our familiar route back to the ship after looking at all of the stalls. Yes ‘Liquid sunshine’ is exactly what it felt like! 😀  

On the ship…

We couldn’t believe it was the last day of the cruise, although we’ve had a fantastic adventure and we’ve still got a week stay on Barbados! We had another excellent evening meal and decided to have a last walk around the ship. Sarah had seen these circular seats earlier on the cruse but they were always taken, so she jumped on the cushions and said “Steve take a photo of me on my favourite seats”. 😀  

Sarah relaxing on a cool circle seat thingy

Walking around even further Sarah captured a lovely photo of the dock and the island all lit up at night. This was a perfect image to end our cruise in Saint Lucia, as the sun would rise upon our next week in Barbados! ☀️ 🇧🇧 😀  

Island by night

Thanks for joining us on our trip to Saint Lucia! Have you been here before? 🤔 

To be continued…

The ten-cent-store Jesus!

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The ten-cent-store Jesus! 

(A.W. Tozer)

“His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance!” Revelation 1:14-16 

Unfortunately, the ten-cent-store Jesus being preached now by many–is not the Jesus that will come to judge the world.

This harmless, plastic, painted Jesus who has no spine, nor justice, nor wrath–but is a soft and pliant friend to everybody;  if He is the only Christ, then we might as well close our Bibles, bar our doors and make a bakery or garage out of our church buildings!

The popular Christ being preached today–is not the Christ of the Bible, nor the Christ who will be our final Judge. 

Jesus Christ our Lord, the Judge with the flaming eyes–is the one with whom we must deal. We cannot escape it.

“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks: Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:15-17 

☀️ #61 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “St. George’s, Grenada” 🇬🇩 (2019)

Grenada logo

Good morning friends!

One of my first attempts at a Time-Lapse video…

The Marella Explorer

Yay, Safe On The Dock….🛳

Upon leaving the ship it felt like coming home, as we knew exactly where we needed to go as we were here last year (read post). Once we found and boarded our coach ready for our excursion to the nutmeg factory, then on to the chocolate factory, we settled back and enjoyed the view. We had visited the Nutmeg factory last year as it’s Sarah’s fave place, as the incredible smell of nutmeg fills her with warm memories of her Nan Peters when she used it in her legendary rice pudding. And now we knew what to expect…We could find and buy more nutmeg. 😀  

The nutmeg and chocolate factory tour…🚌

We were blessed once more with the stunning beauty of this place as we drove around the coast and the luscious hills. ☀️  

Island of Grenada from the sea

View of the bay of Grenada

The Nutmeg Factory….

Inside Nutmeg factory

Inside nutmeg factory 2

Inside nutmeg factory 3

Inside nutmeg factory 4

This time we were the first ones in the gift shop and ready to get some of the amazing nutmeg that fills all kinds of products. Sarah bought an omnifarious mixture of products including…Aloe Vera oils etc (wow nutmeg and aloe vera)…She had missed getting some of this last year when we had a similar tour. We really didn’t think we’d see this place again (never mind the first time) and it was such a blessing to be here…Aawww that smell! 😀  

The Chocolate Factory…

This was very educational and interesting. The local guide took us around the beautiful grounds and factory showing us different plants they grow, including the cocoa trees and how they harvest the beans, dry and ferment the seeds, crack the shells to emit the cocoa nibs (the actual cocoa their chocolate is made with)…Watch video below. 🍫 😀  

IMG 4915

Sorry but didn’t get any photos or videos of the factory. But the local Mango & Lemon punch was amazing and refreshing…But that was a shadow of the ginger & dark chocolate bar! I saved it until we were back in the UK but i now wished i’d bought about 10 of them instead of 1, i think we need to go back next year!!   

Thanks for joining us on our trip to Grenada! Have you been here before? 🤔

To be continued… 

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More fit to be called a devil than a parent!

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More fit to be called a devil than a parent!

(Richard Baxter)
 
“Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

Parents! Your example and life are a continual and powerful sermon which is always seen by your children!

Parents! Your children have an everlasting inheritance of happiness to attain–and it is that which you must bring them up for. They have an endless misery to escape–and it is that which you must diligently teach them. If you don’t teach them to know God, and how to serve Him, and be saved, and to escape the flames of Hell–you teach them nothing, or worse than nothing. It is in your hands to do them the greatest kindness or cruelty in all the world! Help them to know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than if you helped them to be kings or princes. 

If you neglect their souls, and bring them up them in ignorance, worldliness, ungodliness, and sin–you betray them to the devil,the enemy of their souls, even as truly as if you sold them to him! You sell them to be slaves to Satan! You betray them to him who will deceive them and abuse them in this life–and torment them in eternity!

If you saw but a burning furnace, much more the flames of Hell–would you not think that man or woman more fit to be called a devil than a parent, who could find in their hearts to cast their child into it? What monsters then of inhumanity are you, who read in Scripture what is the way to Hell, and who they are that God will deliver up to Satan, to be tormented by him–and yet will bring up your children in that very way, and will not take pains to save them from it!

If you love them, show it in those things on which their everlasting welfare depends. Do not say you love them, and yet lead them unto Hell! If you do not love them, yet do not be so unmerciful to them as to damn them! You cannot possibly do more to damn them, than to bring them up in . . .
  ignorance,
  carelessness,
  worldliness,
  sensuality and
  ungodliness!
There is no other way to Hell. And yet, will you bring them up in such a life–and say that you do not desire to damn them? 

But if you train up your children in ungodliness, you may as well say that you intend to have them damned! And is not the devil more excusable, for dealing thus cruelly to your children–than you who are their parents, who are bound by nature to love them, and prevent their misery?

Let me seriously speak to the hearts of those careless and ungodly parents, who neglect the holy education of their children. Oh, do not be so unmerciful to those who you have brought into the world! Oh, pity and help the souls that you have defiled and undone! Have mercy on the souls that must perish in Hell, if they are not saved! Oh help them who have . . .
  so many enemies to assault them;
  so many temptations to pass through;
  so many difficulties to overcome; 
  so severe a judgment to undergo! 
Help them who are so weak, and so easily deceived and overthrown! 
Help them speedily–before sin hardens them, and Satan makes a stronger fortress in their hearts!

☀️ #60 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Kralendijk, Bonaire” 🇧🇶 (2019)

Bonaire Logo

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!!!

Welcome to Bonaire on this fantastic occasion…I wonder what surprise is in store for Sarah?

Arawak Off-road Safari… 

This trip is all about getting to grips with Bonaire’s historic best bits. Clamber aboard one of the 4x4s, and in a couple of minutes you’ll be whizzing along the off-road trails.

First, you’ll climb into the Subi Rincon hills, where the convoy will stop at a set of time-worn Indian caves. Then, it’s on to one of the island’s only two towns – Rincon. Keep an eye out for the honey-yellow church tower as you pass through, then hop off the truck when you arrive at pretty Boca Onima. This rocky stretch of coastline is home to some of the best cave art in Bonaire, which gives you a real glimpse of the island’s past.

One of the best bits is saved ‘til last – the beauty spot, Seru Largu. This cross-topped monument sits on a raised platform, setting you up with panoramic views of the capital, Kralendijk.

This shore excursion was a second choice as the first choice was sold out weeks before we’d even started our cruise. We were thinking about the 4×4 Land Rover trip we’d done in the Azores(see here) but couldn’t really get excited…As it was much hotter here and the thought of being crammed in the back of a Land Rover really wasn’t doing anything for us today. So what we thought was going to be an anticlimax…Turned out to be the best trip of the whole holiday! Oh and i’d just travelled in my best vehicle of all time! 😎 

The 1961 Yellow Unimog…

Sarah & i infront of the yellow 1961 Uniog

Awww friends….Let me introduce you to this Yellow, 1961 Unimog…..have you seen the tires, lol! It threw us around like crazy and i still can’t believe that he didn’t slow down for anything. There is no way a vehicle can hit rocks, huge pot holes, climb cracked hills and go around tight bends whilst travelling at break neck speed, it would have destroyed anything else and left them in a pile of spare parts, lol. I’m not sure they issued these with brake pedals! 😎

Subi Rincon hills… 

 Bertrand was our fantastic guide, and even better rally driver, lol. He said he had a PHD(pot hole dodger) although he didn’t dodge anything but drove straight over everything which made the ride so much fun…We were all hanging on for dear life as our bums were ‘getting air’ as they lifted off our seats!!   

We  climbed higher and higher into the Subi Rincon hills, where the amazing yellow Unimog stopped at a set of time-worn Indian caves. This place had lots of rocks to walk over and Bertrand told Sarah “You’re a fantastic guide” as she was expertly weaving me through the rocks! He told the group how the first explorers crawled through these caves in the pitch black, an inch at a time without knowing what was coming. 😨  

Cave in Bonaire

 Back on the Unimog…

Bertrand put the ladder in place at the rear of the Unimog so we could climb in and out. I was very careful the first time as i was feeling with my feet to find out how many (and where) the steps were. But after a few times i was flying off them! 😀   

He kept slowing down and then (klunck) slamming it into low gear as he climbed ludicrously steep and rocky slopes until we got to a high viewing point. Ikept forgetting it was Sarah’s birthday and not mine, lol! 

view overlooking the island of Bonaire

 The Bonaire Donkey’s… 

The Bonaire Donkeys

We were screaming down a dirt track when Bertrand hit the breaks. He jumped out of the Unimog and tried to call out to the Donkeys to see if they’d come over. He told us:

Donkeys have been around on Bonaire since the 17th century. The Spanish brought the donkeys for transportation. When modern vehicles became available like pushcarts, donkeys were redundant and left to their fate.

Bonaire is a predominantly rugged and arid island, making it difficult for the donkeys to survive. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of donkeys on Bonaire present. Because the donkeys can move freely on the island this regularly leads to traffic accidents. 

Fauna ezel thumbThe donkeys live in small herds of about 20 animals and can be 40 years old. During the day they seek the shade of the trees. In the early morning or early evening the donkeys are usually active.

Since 1993 injured, sick and orphaned donkeys are cared in a shelter, called Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. Volunteers take care over 400 donkeys in a closed area. The shelter is open to visitors and is located south of the airport on the Kaya Ir.R. Statius van Eps. 

I heard “EEEYYOOORRREEE, HONK, HONK, HONK) and Bertrand said “Ok i hear you” to the donkeys and “They don’t want to say hello” to us as he climbed back into the Unimog and drove to our next stop…

Wait a minute…How did Sarah take a panorama whilst sat in the Unimog? “Nobody likes a show off, lol” 🤣  

Panorama of the lakes and saltflats with the wind turbines in the centre on the horison
 
After another blitzing ride we parked at the beauty spot, Seru Largu. We walked up quite a few steps to get to the top, but it was worth it!
 
Sarah & i overlooking the island of Bonaire
 
This beautiful place sits on a raised platform which set Sarah up with panoramic views of the capital, Kralendijk.
 
Panorama of the island of Bonaire

 Bertrand stopped in many interesting places, he even fed lizards by hand as we stood on a sandy park burning to a crisp.

We’d had a simply breathtaking trip on the fantastic yellow Unimog and we were really sad when we pulled back into the dock.

Back at the ship…🛳

After the incredible and mind bending ride in the Unimog, we quickly went on board and had an iced coffee before heading out into the town to see what goodies we could find.

It was absolutely scorching so the first place was a tiny local bar where Bertrand told us to try the locally (and traditionally)  brewed beer ‘Bonaire Blond’. Sarah sat me down at a small table and soon came back with a birthday celebration drink…The 2 bottles of ice cold Bonaire Blond. The bottles were soon empty as the room was just too hot and we needed to get back outside. 

Yay, we managed to buy another bauble for our Christmas tree…Oh and i bought another bright and colourful shirt that you’ll see at a later date! 🎄  😀   

The Evening Meal…

 As we walked into the usual evening restaurant we were guided to our seats. Sarah said “Steve i think we’ve sat somewhere we shouldn’t, it looks much posher here and even the napkins are red instead of white”. After a few more seconds Sarah continued “Oh have you done this? Have you booked me a surprise birthday meal? I bet you’ve done this!” I’d kept quiet so far wondering myself what had happened, and wondering if i should tell Sarah that i had booked a special table for her birthday even though i hadn’t, lol!
 
“No i havn’t booked anything special but i wish i had now” i said as the waiter brought Sarah the menu. Sarah used the built in magnifier on her iPhone to read the menu aloud “It’s the italian restaurant, you’re going to love this” “No way i thought you had to book for this one” i said wondering if they did Arancini (they did). 
 
The Italian restaurant was free like the main restaurant, the only difference is that you had to specify that you wanted to eat there which we hadn’t. We still think they knew it was Sarah’s birthday and sat us there without saying…But we still don’t know and it was a lovely surprise for Sarah’s birthday. 😀  
 
Then…

Profiteroles
 
 “DING, DING, DING, DING” YAY, It’s Sarah’s bell from her ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard’. Moving straight to the top of her ‘Desserts’ leaderboard were the sugar free Profiteroles. Sarah said they tasted amazing and never seen any of these anywhere that were sugar free and didn’t mess her blood sugar up. We told the waiter how good they were and soon the chef came over and chatted to us as we thanked her too! 😀  
 
Now that was a fantastic ending to an even greater day! Happy Birthday Sarah!! ❤️

Sarah Happy Birthday Cards
 
 Thanks for joining us on this fantastic day on Bonaire! Have you been here before? Have you ever been in/on a Unimog? 🤔 
 

Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!

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Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!

(Francis Bourdillon, “The Odd Five Minutes” 1873)

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!” Hebrews 4:13 

Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!
 Wherever you have been and whatever you have been doing–that eye has seen you. It has gone with you to your work. It has seen you with your companions. It has been on you when you were alone. 

It has seen not merely all that you have done, but why you did it. Your thoughts, your feelings, your motives, which even your nearest friend has not fully known–have all been open to that eye of which I speak. For it is an all-seeing eye–the eye of God!

“His eyes are on the ways of men–He sees their every step!” Job 34:21 

“He knows the secrets of the heart!” Psalm 44:21 

“You have set our iniquities before You–our secret sins in the light of your presence!” Psalm 90:8 

Have you thought of Him whose eye has been upon you today? 
Have you given so much as one thought to Him, since the day began? 

You have need to pray, great need–for you are dependent upon God for everything. You are entirely in His hand! 

If you went to your work this morning strong and well–it was only because God made you so and kept you so. 

If you have had enough to eat today, if you are clothed comfortably and have a home to live in–it is only because God supplies your needs. You would have nothing–if God did not supply you. You live–only because He gives you life. He could take all your comforts from you–if it pleased Him. He could lay you on a bed of sickness this very day–He could in a moment, strike you dead!

Have you even spoken to Him today? Have you prayed to Him today?

“I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!” Luke 12:5

☀️ #59 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Willemstad, Curacao” 🇨🇼 (2019)

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 🇨🇼 Good morning friends!

 Welcome to day 2 of this ‘Tropical Delights’ cruse. Wow what a colourful place! Let’s see what shore excursion we’re doing today?! 😀  

Discover Curacao Island:

You’ll get to see two of the island’s biggest attractions on this tour, starting with a drive past the island’s salt flats and on to the Hato Caves. They were formed below sea-level and today they’re full of stalagmites and stalactites.

Next up, we’ll head over to the Chobolo Liqueur Factory, passing the Queen Juliana Bridge on the way. At the factory, you’ll get to see how the island’s famous Blue Curacao Liqueur is made. The drink is distilled from the dried peel of bitter oranges, and you’ll get to taste it for yourself.

Lastly, you’ll head back to the ship via downtown Willemstad – you can get dropped off if you’d rather stay and have a look around. 

Our ship in the dock looking down from the bridge with the surrounding town

On the coach…🚌

After we boarded the coach and met our tour guide, we drove up and over the dock and had a fantastic view of the ship!

Hato caves…☀️  

Leaving the air conditioned coach we walked into a wall of heat and made our way to the bottom of the steps for the Hato cave. After a steep, difficult and gruelling climb up lots of uneven and twisty steps, we finally made it (super sweaty) to the top which is the mouth of the cave. 💪🏼  

Upon entering the cave we were quickly ensconced with darkness. Our torch could not pierce this blackened world so we stopped, turned around and let other people squeeze past as we walked back out. We told the guide (who was waiting outside) that it was way too dark and dangerous for me and Sarah, so we made our way carefully back down the steps on a tactical withdrawal.

On the plus side, We found a fantastic small yellow cafe which served local coffee. We walked to a table with a beautiful view (and breeze) and it was so quiet with only a handful of locals sipping their drinks and chatting. 😀 We heard the group arriving and it wasn’t long before we were back in the coach. 

The Chobolo Liqueur Factory…🍹

bottles of Curacao hanging on a display wall

Sarah was excited to learn all about the origins of this drink and how it was made, as she and her friend Caroline used to like this drink back in the day! The guide also gave us little testers of each flavour to see which ones we liked and disliked, then we could buy the ones we wanted in the gift shop. Sarah bought a small 3 bottle selection to send to Caroline as she’s never had one from the actual place before and we thought she’d love it…She did! 😀 

Back at the ship…🛳

After a lovely iced coffee and quick refresh we thought we’d have a little walk into the town. It was pure midday burning sun and it seemed to take about half an hour just to walk the length of the ship. But we kept going and finally got to the stunning bridge, and knew we were heading in the right direction. 

Me stood on the right of a panorama with the boat in the centre and the colourful buildings behind me.

This was Sarah’s favourite place as she could gaze upon the vivid colours of the buildings that lined both sides of the dock.

View of Curacao colourful Buildings 1

View of Curacao sock 1

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The town…🌇

We had a little walk around this beautiful town to see what we could find, and first of all we found a clothes shop! “Ooohhh i wonder if they sell a caribbean shirt for me” i said as Sarah was trying to find the most colourful section. Sarah then pulled out a fantastic orange and black shirt with Curacao written all over it (see image lower down). “Yes i’ll have that one” i said with a huge smile on my face. Sarah also bought a top with Curacao on the front and we left the shop to find more souvenirs. We didn’t have to wait long as we found another bauble for our Christmas tree, yay! 🎄  

The sun was burning hot and microwaving my bones as i walked round like the ‘Ready Brek’ man causing a heat haze around me. So Sarah stopped at a small bar and got us a bottle of ice cold ‘Amstel’. 

Then…

“HOWDY!” Both Sarah and i spun around and faced the american man from yesterday as he continued “Oh Sarah, I love your trainers they’re so colourful” we said “Wow how amazing that you’re here, we thought we’d never see you again. How are you?” He said that his cruise ship had to wait a long time for the big bridge (one we’d just walked over) to lift and let us into the dock, so we arrived a lot later than you. Shortly after his wife turned up and we started chatting for a while, before saying “Maybe we’ll see you tomorrow? I can’t believe you’re here today”. 😀

After parting ways (again) we started on the long trek back, but we did get to walk back over the bridge with the colourful buildings, yay!  

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 On the ship…🛳 

We quickly nipped back to the cabin so i could put on my new shirt, then we walked out on deck as i wanted a photo in Curacao whilst wearing my new Curacao shirt. 😀   

Me stood in front tof the colourful Curacao buildings wearing a Curacao orange shirt

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Towel creature… 

 On our return to our centre front cabin we found our first towel art. Sarah thought is was a rabbit sniper…Please let us know what you think it is in the comments below?! 😎 

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 ⇧ Sarah on her tranquility seat ⇧ 

 And finally we were blessed with a beautiful sunset from our cabin window, wow what a day!

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Thanks for joining us at this wonderfully colourful place…Have you been here before? 

To be continued…

Here is a constellation of wonders!

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Here is a constellation of wonders! 

(Charles Spurgeon

“The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7 

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear! 

Can it be possible that sin–such heinous sin as mine–can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and forever? Hell is my portion as a sinner–there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me. 

Can the unfathomable load of my guilt be removed? Can the crimson stain of my sins be blotted out? 
Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? 

Jesus tells me that I may yet be forgiven. Forever blessed be the revelation of redeeming love, which not only tells me that pardon is possible–but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed sin-atoning sacrifice, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and forever–forgiven by virtue of His substitutionary sufferings and death! What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to Him who of His own unpurchasable love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through His blood. 

What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! 
To forgive at all
to forgive fully
to forgive freely
to forgive forever
Here is a constellation of wonders! 

When I think of . . .
  how great my sins were,
  how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and
  how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me,
I am in a maze of wondering worshiping affection! 
I bow before the throne which absolves me!
I clasp the cross which delivers me!
I serve henceforth all my days–the Incarnate God, through whom I am this day a pardoned soul! 

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  
 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him!” Romans 4:7-8 

☀️ #58 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Oranjestad, Aruba” 🇦🇼 (2019)

Aruba Logo

🇦🇼 Good morning friends!

Thanks for joining me and Sarah on another Birthday celebration cruise and stay in the Caribbean, it’s great to have you guys along for the ride.

Marella Explorer (Apr 2019)…

Unbelievably this is the Blind Sightseers 6th cruse! We have never been on the Marella Explorer and Sarah had booked cabin 8001 which is dead centre and right at the front of the ship. She chose this cabin as she thought the views from the window would be fantastic….She’s right again! 😎 

All it was missing is a steering wheel, lol.

A view of a sunset from our cabin on the Marella Explorer looking directly forward and centre at the front of the ship

⇧ View from our cabin Nø 8001 ⇧ 

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Sarah stood on the deck looking out to sea with a cargo ship in the far distance

Before getting to Aruba we had a day at sea. We were pleased with this as it gave us time to walk about 80,000 steps to find out where we could get Breakfast and the evening meal…But most of all find the Coffee Port to see if they made lovely strong coffee? They did! 😀  

 🇦🇼 Aruba…

As usual we had booked an excursion for each of the 5 islands we were visiting and todays excursion is: De Palm Island – Full Day, Aruba.

De Palm Island has got it all. Set adrift off the Aruban coastline, this private reef offers up pristine waters and a huge variety of exotic marine life, it’s a first-class spot for an underwater exploration. Your day will start off with a short boat trip over to the island, where the friendly staff will be waiting to meet you. After a short safety briefing, you’re ready to slip on your mask and wade into the warm, clear waters. Expect to meet friendly blue parrotfish and angelfish. Back on dry land, there’ll be time to sprawl out on the sand, take your seat for a banana boat ride or visit the island’s small waterpark before heading back to the ship. Don’t forget that a full buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day will be included. 

On the dock…

Marella Explorer over the sea whilst stood on the dock

 We had a short walk around the dock until we arrived at the place to get the little fun boat. 

The little fun boat…

 Yay, it didn’t disappoint as it bobbed up and down spraying us in the face with nice cool sea water. 

Me bottom right with a view over the little boat filled with our group

De Palm Island…

My lovely wife Sarah

 ⇧ My lovely Wife Sarah catching some long awaited sunshine outside the cafe ⇧ 

When booking this shore excursion we had visions of excitement and adventure from the amazing Xel-Ha island in Mexico, unfortunately this wasn’t like that. This place was tiny in comparison which worked well for us not getting lost but there wasn’t much to do either. The weather was overcast and muggy, until the clouds parted and gave the sun chance to burn a hole through your flesh! 🔥 

I was well impressed by the solid wooden walkways that curled around the whole place, and i marvelled on how long it must have taken to construct this very accessible path. When i was fully sighted i worked as a panel beater in a bodyshop so i know a little about sanding etc. I was enjoying the smoothness of the wood when Sarah pulled me from my reverie…“Steve! Come on stop touching everything to see how smooth it is, lol!” 🤣  

We found the cafe first (funny how that happens) and use it as our starting reference point. We found a souvenir shop (we’ll be back) then the toilets (useful) and passing the bar and food court (Mmmmmm) we stumbled upon the sun bed area. Seeing that all of the sun beds were taken and we’d only just got here, we walked back to the cafe to see if they had iced coffee?! 😀  

Walking around the cafe looking at the assortment of food we suddenly heard an american man with a bright and cheery accent right behind us “HOWDY” Sarah and i turned to face him and he continued “I hope you don’t mind me interrupting? But i saw you have an insulin pump and wanted to ask about it” Sarah talked to him about how long she’d had Type 1 diabetes and how long she’d had the pump. The man was a chemist/Pharmacy person and his niece was debating whoever to get one or not? After Sarah talked about how much of a life saver the pump has been i think his niece will be getting one! The man (sorry forgot his name) had arrived on the ‘Celebrity Silhouette’ cruise ship that we’d noticed towering over ours in the dock, and it was also his first time in Aruba, then we finished up our coffees (no iced coffee, just a machine) and parted ways with the lovely man. 😀  

Me stood on the left in a orange caribbean shirt carrying a black backpack with views of palm island, Aruba in the background

 Yay…It was the first time in a while that i’d been able to wear the bright orange shirt i bought in Saint Kitts from our first cruise…Read all about it here.

We quickly figured out that this place was mainly for snorkelers, and that wasn’t an activity the ‘Blind Sightseers’ could do (yes even we have limits, lol). We managed to secure 2 sun bems ( nobody wanted them as they were in the shade) and as i sat down Sarah went to see if she could have a paddle in the sea?! Sarah quickly returned looking sad as they’re were rocks pretty much all the way round and lots of ‘Beware of Jellyfish’ signs. More clouds came and lowered the temperature so we walked into the food court place as it was lunchtime already.  

Yay…I was happy as they were mainly serving burger and chips (well french fries which are fake chips) and Sarah said they served salad too! 🤣 Once again (like the sun beds) every table was taken except the only one in the blistering sun no-one wanted…So we sat down and i placed my ‘Tactical sun hat’ on my frying head and enjoyed the burger, although i wasn’t sure which one of us was barbecued, lol!  🍔  ☀️  😀  

“HOWDY” the man said whilst walking past, i said to Sarah “I don’t have to ask who that was as his accent is fantastic” as we waved in his general direction. As Sarah and i can’t make eye contact it’s almost impossible to make friends or start a conversation unless people come over to us. So it felt great to make a friend here who always says “Howdy” when seeing us! 😀  

Sarah & i had a great time wondering around this beautiful little island and we found lots of little places until stumbling into….The gift shop! We love to find souvenirs that help us remember the amazing journeys/adventures we have conquered, and Sarah bought a fantastic t-shirt with “Biba Dushi” written on the front. Biba dushi in Aruba means “living the sweet life”. The language is actually called Papiamento and is one of Aruba’s two official languages spoken by many on the island. Papiamento is a Creole language derived from Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, and African languages.

Back at the ship…

After another fun ride on the little boat back to the ship, we had enough time to get changed, leave our bags and have a well needed iced-coffee before heading out to explore as much as we can without getting lost before the ship leaves.

We walked up one street and turned right before Sarah stopped and said “Wow, that lady is having her photo taken in front of that cool wall art/sign. Quick get one of me” “Ok my lovely, you’re wearing your new yellow Michael Kors t-shirt too, i hope i get everything in”. Sarah had bought this t-shirt for our holidays and couldn’t wait to put on the lovely bright colours and flowers.

Sarah stood on a surf board in her new yellow Michael Kors t-shirt.

 This is one of my fave photos as it shows Sarah’s smile is as bright as her t-shirt. 

Walking back to the ship we finally found a local Bauble maker…Her daughter makes and paints them herself. We bought a beautiful one which even had a cruise ship painted on with the Aruba island and even 2019 on it. 🎄 😀  

We’ve started collecting Christmas Tree Baubles since i started going abroad 5 years ago. We love unpacking them at Christmas and filling the tree with all  of the places we visit. We think its a lovely idea to fill the tree with our lives journeys and give thanks to God for everything.

Our wonderful new friends… 

Photo of 6 of us after a lovely evening meal. Sarah & i meeting 5 new friends

Sarah & i like to share a table with other passengers, mainly to take this opportunity to try and be sociable( being blind and trapped in your very small world & not having any eye contact it’s almost impossible to be sociable. or start conversations). So asking someone to read the menu for you because we are blind is a great ice breaker, lol! 

We met 2 lovely couples that night and you will hear a little more about them throughout this trip.

Thanks for joining us on our visit to Aruba! Have you been here before? 🤔

To be continued… 

⬅ Previous Day 🌴 Next Day ➡

Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts!

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Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts! 

(Richard Baxter)

Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts! 

Is not the eye of God ten thousand times more to be regarded?

You alone know each human heart!” 2 Chronicles 6:30 

Behold, I know your thoughts!” Job 21:27 

“Would not God have discovered it, since He knows the secrets of the heart?” Psalm 44:21 

“You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence!” Psalm 90:8 

“You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar!” Psalm 139:2 

“Death and Destruction lie open before the LORDhow much more the hearts of men! Proverbs 15:11 

I know what is going through your mind.” Ezekiel 11:5 

“I know their works and their thoughts.” Isaiah 66:18

Lord, You know everyone’s heart.” Acts 1:24 

“For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14 

“God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.” Romans 2:16 

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” 
   Psalm 139:23-24 

☀️ #57 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Blindman Tough Mudder” 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (2018)

The Blind Sightseers logo

Tough Mudder 5K

Good morning friends! 

Adie, Me & Josie at the start with smoke covering the landscape

⇧ From left: Adie, Me & Josie ⇧  

It was amazing to have my friend of nearly 30 years Adie Monk join our “Hard As Nails” team. I thought we’d sit and catch up over a coffee….I didn’t have this in mind, lol! 🤣  

Adie on my back as i carry him on the hero carry

 ⇧ Me carrying Adie on the “Hero Carry” ⇧ 

After jogging a little, we came to this…….

“At over 2 stories high, this is one of the most impressive obstacles in the UK. It is a giant A-shaped cargo net that you and your team will have to scramble up and over it. Working together will be the only way to overcome”.

Adie, me & Vini on the scramble net

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This was easily my favourite obstacle of the day as i could get my hands on it. Also it’s where my new trainers just hooked perfectly around the rope and it felt completely solid.

My blindness helped me out for once as i couldn’t see how high i was climbing and scrambling over the top. I heard a lot of fear from other people and a few of them froze going up and were glued to the spot. 😨

 Then….When getting to the bottom i hear “Yay, Whoop Whoop, Steve, Steve, Steve” and the sound of the plastic clapper hands were going crazy! What a feeling to know my lovely Wife Sarah and the Crazy Clappers team were cheering me all of the way, a great feeling! 😎

Me, Vini & Ashley cheering

 ⇧ Me, Vini & Ashley biggin’ up the cheering team ⇧ 

More jogging….Adie and the team were excellent at guiding me when jogging. Moving low hanging branches, telling me of tree roots and pulling me in the right direction. Adie said “I tried running with my eyes closed for a few steps…And there is no way i’d try any of this if i couldn’t see”.

Then….. 

“We’ve taken the 10′ Hero Walls and tilted them right at you. By removing the ability for you to climb up and over this wall, you will have to form a strategy with your team, work together and boost each other to the other side”.

Vini on top of the wall and me trying get my leg up to get grip for my pull up!

 ⇧ Ouch, my leg hasn’t bent that far in about 20 years, lol! ⇧ 

More Jogging…..

“This obstacle will have you crawling on the ground, pinned down by a giant cargo net. Working your way through this one will require lots of communication, teamwork and a strong will”.

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You’ve guessed it…..More jogging and then….

“The aim of the game is to get your team up and over this stack of super-sized hay bales. There is no right or wrong way so boost, shove or yank every last team member over the other side”.

Ashley helping Josie

⇧ Ashley helping Josie in a display of team work ⇧  

Next…….

“Can’t go through it, can’t go round it, you’ll have to go over it. Work together to boost and shimmy your teammates up and over this 10′ Tough Mudder staple”.

Ashley at the top of the wall

Josie on the top of the wall with all of us cheering at the bottom

Vini helping Josie at the top of the wall

Yep, more jogging…..

Time to get swinging. Grab on, hold tight, feel the momentum and swing yourself from ring to ring like a regular Tarzan. This obstacle will test your strength, coordination and flow. Hang in there, you got this”.

Really didn’t do well on this one…And i can’t really blame my sight for lack of strength, lol!

Me on the rings

After a little more jogging…… 

“One of the most teamwork-inducing obstacles in the Tough Mudder portfolio, this obstacle is difficult to complete alone. You’re going to have to work together to form a human pyramid and, like its namesake, climb up and over your fellow Mudders on the way to the top”.

As Vini was making everything look so easy…..It was great to look at the photos afterwards and see it wasn’t all too easy and he had to struggle too!! 💪🏼 🤣  

Vini & Ashley pulling Josie up the pyramid scheme

Vini, Ashley & me pulling Josie up the pyramid scheme

Pyramid scheme 1

Pyramid scheme 2

Pyramid scheme 3

AND NOW……MY NEMESIS!!!!

 “A true Tough Mudder legend. Everest will challenge participants to run up a quarter pipe to reach the summit. Can’t do it alone? Not to worry – teammates are encouraged to hang over the top to pull their new friends up and over” 

I knew this was going to be difficult for me as i needed to try it and get hands on before i could calculate what exactly i needed to do. Adie and Ashley kindly explained the process….But i knew i just had to do it before i would really know….As running at a half pipe wall thingy when blind is going to be interesting!

Here Goes Nothing…..

Me running at Everest

Me and Everest

I thought i’d feel the incline of the ramp and know roughly where i needed to jump and reach out for the top. But i took 1 step too many….And before i knew it the hard wall was in my face! 🤕 

“Awwww i was so close to reaching the ledge”.

Me crashing into Everest

After hitting the wall i dropped down hard on both knees, and as the obstacle was made of hardish tyre rubber, it simply burned and ripped the skin off both knees….”Wow that stings!”

Time to regroup and recalculate! I could sense the crowd went very quiet, and i heard a couple of people wonder how i’m going to get up there?

“Ok Steve, just do the same (not the face plant and flesh stripping knee thing) but with 1 step less”. Here i go again! 😲

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Yay!! Now that’s better, and once i had my talon trainers gripped to the ledge i was solid, now i  could just heave myself up. Wow i made it! 💪🏼 

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18JA3400⇧ Ashley showing how it should be done! ⇧😎  

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The team were fantastic and we all made it up. No-one was being left behind and you could just feel the team growing closer with each obstacle, it was amazing.

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Now the final obstacle was overcome, it was time for a short jog to the finish line,Yay!

The Finish Line & The Headbands……

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Yay…..We did it!

 

With more than a week past….My knees are still scabbed and bruised…..But i’d like to give an Elephantine amount of thanks for everyone involved! 💪🏼

 

A photo of the hard as nails team with our headbands on and our arms around each other

 

⇧From left: Adie, Vini, Me, Josie & Ashley ⇧ 

 

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⇧ When words fail to say how thankful you are!!! ⇧ 

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⇧ Me, Adie & the headbands ⇧ 

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⇧ Adie, Vini & Me for a final photo ⇧ 

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Wow what a journey! 

First…I’d like to give a stupendous amount of thanks to my lovely Wife Sarah….The amount of love and encouragement was mind-blowing! And for the “Hard As Nails” team…..”“my muscles were fading but the sense of team work was overwhelming and no matter what…..We were getting over those obstacles”.💪🏼

Second… I’d like to give a monumental amount of thanks to the “Crazy Clappers” team. “When i’d finished an obstacle and was about to collapse……I’d hear the Cheering Team and you’d put a big grin on my face to remind me it was alright and to keep going! 😎

 Third…I’d like to give a gargantuan amount of thanks to all of you guys for your donations to “World Cancer Research Fund” and encouraging me (and the team) every step of the way! We passed (and smashed my target) the whopping £1,000. “Intention isn’t Prevention……And you all have helped me spread the good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers we can prevent.”

Finally…A colossal amount of thanks to John and Sarah Atherton (from the Epsom Camera Club) for giving up your Saturday and taking the amazing photos of us all….We’ve got fantastic memories of the day which we simply wouldn’t have without you!

Thanks for cheering me on around the course! Have you done anything like this before? 🤔

Now i need a holiday! Wait a minute…The ‘Blind Sightseers’ havn’t finished yet, Yippeeee! 😀  

To be continued…

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Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

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Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!” Luke 13:24

I do not wonder that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which they deal with their souls. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they pay a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks. 

But the soul, the poor soul–how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless! Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed; two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep–the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body! 

And then, with what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song–you have heard it so many times. Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life, when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane–as to trifle where we ought to be solemnly in earnest; and to play and toy–where the whole heart should be given to a work of such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived–to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try, that we be not found castaways at the last!

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:13-14 

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

☀️ #56 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #4” 🇧🇧 (2018)

Barbados logo

 Good morning friends!

This is our last full day before we have to fly home. 😭 We’re going to miss this view!  

Dover beach with a palm tree on the far right

Breakfast…

Me and Sarah at breakfast in Barbados

 We had our penultimate breakfast (yes sausages…I mean fruit) and i was wearing my new ‘Birthday’ t-shirt. Sarah had seen it in the little gift shop (on site) and knew she just had to get it for me. It says “Don’t sweat the small stuff” and has a surf board with a large bite mark out of the side, it also has Barbados written on it…Fantastic! Sarah was wearing her ‘World Cancer Research Fund’ t-shirt which is the charity she works for, and it’s the reason for my impending doom…Let me explain…

The Blindman Tough Mudder! 

People who know me?! know that I’ve been struggling and fighting all kinds of obstacles for the past 18 years since being registered blind…..BUT I‘ve never faced obstacles such as these.

I was recently challenged (strong-armed) to do the Tough Mudder 5K by Sarah’s nail tech/artist Ashley, who works at Ooh La La Hair & Beauty Salon. I chose the team name ‘HARD AS NAILS’ and I’ll be competing and raising funds for one of my favourite charities  -World Cancer Research Fund

My lovely wife Sarah works for World Cancer Research Fund and I was stopped in my tracks by one of the statistics she showed me – That 40% of cancer cases are preventable ….that’s around 147,000 cases each year in the UK alone. And that after not smoking eating a healthy diet, being more active and maintaining a healthy weight are the most important things you can do to reduce your cancer risk. This totally blew my mind!

“What??? There are cancers that I can prevent? I thought cancer was something that you just got!” 😱 

The light switched on for me and I thought “Why didn’t I know this? 

I want to share this good news with everyone so we can all be aware and empowered to start fighting the cancers we can prevent.” 💪🏼  

Since then I’ve been following World Cancer Research Funds recommendations and have never felt more healthy and energised (even though I’m on beta-blockers). Most of all I know I’m helping to not dig my own grave with my own knife and fork!

Can a blindman do a ‘Tough Mudder’…? (post coming tomorrow!)

Now it’s time to spend our last full day on the immensely packed beach! 🤣  ☀️  

Sarah stood on the beach in arbados

Sarah stood on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah cooling her feet in the sea at dover beach

 After our 1st wave (see what i did there, lol) of beach fun it was time for a cool down, but first i had to try and get Sarah off the beach. 🤣  

Sarah looking out to sea on dover beach

 Just as i’d gotten comfortable in the shade…”Steve let’s play some crazy golf! I bet you can’t beat me, lol!” Not another challenge! 💪🏼   

Me lay back on a sun bed chilling in the shade

 Putting (pun intended) the ‘crazy’ into crazy golf…

This hotel and beach club was just fantastic for us as there were no steps to trip us up. Walking out of our room…The main swimming pool was about 10 meters away, the restaurant/bar was about 20-30 meters away, and the crazy golf course was about 30 meters and just around the back of the hotel in the beautiful grounds. 😀  

Sarah taking a shot on a lighhouse crazy golf course at Southern palms in Barbados

 We were happy straight away as the course had a lighthouse obstacle…Sarah loves lighthouses and we stayed in the ‘Old Hunstanton Lighthouse’ for our honeymoon and then for the following 5 anniversaries! 😀 ❤️ 

We didn’t have the course to ourselves as there were also some children playing, this really helped us out when Sarah did her ‘Happy Gilmore’ impression and smashed the ball off the course and into a load of bushes! The children (who were a lot smaller kindly returned Sarah’s ball as they could fit under the bushes! 🤣  

Sarah crazy golf

Me looking towards the camera whilst taking a shot on the lighthouse crazy golf course at southern palm Barbados

We had no idea who’d won the game as we were having too much fun! 😀  

 Back to the beach…

As the hotel is great and accessible for us…The empty beach was fantastic. When you’re registered blind you hardly ever get to walk freely without millions of obstacles coming at you from every angle. So once Sarah plonked me by the sea and said it’s safe to just walk up and down and follow the edge of the sea, i got moving. It’s a freedom i never ever thought about when i was fully sighted but now i love these brief moments!

me walking along the beach with my feet in the shllow water

Me on the beach

Sarah volly ball

Sarah beach running

 After spending lots of time playing in the shallow water and being splashed (blasted) by the waves, we walked as far as we could along the bay (east), then we walked all the way back to Sarah’s favourite place…The rocks (west). You may recognise this place as the sunset location, as this is the place we always come to every night to capture a sunset. 😀  

Sarah on the rocks

Sarah on the rocks

Sarah on the rocks

 It was a beautiful place to stop and listen to the sound of the waves crashing and to sit  (or stand) in reverie. 

Well now that’s out of the way it’s time to try and catch up with Sarah. I really need to take more video clips as the auto focus isn’t fast enough to keep up with Sarah, lol! 

Sarah on the beach

Sarah running on the beach directly towards us

 Goodbye Sharkey’s…

After our scorching day on the beach we headed off to our local for an iced coffee! 😀   

Sharkey s Tropical Cafe Sign

  Farewell Barbados… 🇧🇧  

 We’ve had such an amazing time staying at the Southern Palms Beach Club, playing on Dover beach and enjoying Barbados! So i thought there would be no better way to leave this place as to let the beautiful Bajan sun set on our holiday. 😀 

Bajan Sunset

 To be continued… 

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A beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

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A beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The Lord takes pleasure in His people!” Psalm 149:4 

How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people’s interests which He does not consider. There is nothing which concerns their welfare which is not important to Him. Not merely does He think of you, believer, as an immortal being–but as a mortal being too. Do not deny it or doubt it: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered!” It would be a sad thing for us if His mantle of love did not cover all our concerns–for what harm might be wrought to us if any of our matters did not come under our gracious Lord’s care! 

Believer, rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about your smaller affairs. The breadth of His tender love is such that you may resort to Him in all matters; for as a father pities his children–so does He pity you, His redeemed child. The smallest interests of all His saints–are all borne upon the broad bosom of the Son of God. Oh, what a heart is His, that does not merely comprehend the salvation of His people–but comprehends also, all their diverse and innumerable concerns! 

Do you think, O Christian, that you can measure the love of Christ? Think of what His love has brought you–justification, adoption, sanctification, eternal life! The riches of His goodness are unsearchable; you shall never be able to tally them–or even conceive them. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ!

Shall such a love as this have half our hearts? Shall it have a cold love in return? Shall Jesus’ marvelous loving-kindness and tender care, meet with but faint response and tardy acknowledgment? 

O my soul, you are no desolate wanderer–but a beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!” Ephesians 3:18-19

☀️ #55 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #3” 🇧🇧 (2018)

Barbados logo

Good morning friends! Yay we’re still at the 🌴 Southern Palms 🌴 

Photo of the pink hotel taken from the beach with palm trees around

 Southern palms breakfast…

“Wow, how nice are these bananas with a little fresh orange juice drizzled over them!” i said as Sarah puts some fresh water melon next to me. “What a way to start the day, they taste so much fruitier and juicier than back home”. Sarah loved going over to the numerous tables and getting fresh fruit, nuts and best of all…The coconut bread! We then walked over to the cooked food table where we ordered our fresh omelettes.🍌🍊🍉🌰🥥

But then…

DING DING’ yes that’s the sound of my (not Sarah’s) ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard’ bell again. This time it was for the nicest sausages i’ve ever tasted. I have no idea what herbs and spices they used but it’s right up at number 1 for sausages! 😀  

After being dragged (kicking and screaming) away from the sausages, we had a monumental walk back to our room (about 30 meters) as Sarah wanted to go for a swim. The pool was fantastic and not very busy! 😀   

Sarah in the empty pool enjoying the sun

 There was always a cold fresh jug of water (with cucumber or lemon) available under an umbrella for guests to drink. It was a life saver for me who just boils to death the second i leave the air conditioned room. Being sat under an umbrella next to the pool, hearing Sarah splashing around and having fun with the view over the beach (see image below)…It wasn’t the worst place to be, lol! 🤣 ☀️   

view taken from my seat next to the swimming pool looking out onto the beach

Sitting still is not the usual Blind Sightseers way of doing things but suddenly  i heard an airplane pretty close to us. I just pointed my phone towards the noise and i didn’t expect to capture anything, but to my surprise i managed to get the plane. My ears must be well calibrated! 🤣  

photo of a airplane flying through a fluffy white cloud in the blue sky

 Sharkey’s Tropical Cafe…

 You may remember from my ‘Barbados #1‘ post that we’d had a walk up the ‘Gap’ from our hotel to explore. We walked past Sharkey’s and thought we’d try it another day…Well now we are here! 😀 We absolutely loved the incredibly bold and vivid colour scheme and it wasn’t long before we’d sat down and had our iced coffees. We chatted with the man (making the coffees) and when he found out Sarah was diabetic he said “Hey, i can make a special one for you! It’s good that you told me as nobody dies on my watch, lol! 🤣  

Just when i thought this place couldn’t get any brighter…Sarah hits me with that amazing smile!  

Sarah sat with an iced coffee in the very colourful Sharkey's Tropical Cafe

 The Birthday Bajan Braides…

As we were on a ‘Full Day Island Tour‘ yesterday, we didn’t have time to book Sarah into the on site hairdressers to get her birthday  braides. As you may know the wind here is quite strong (and cooling) so i already had my hair in braides, as it’s my birthday 4 days after Sarah’s. It was the same lady who’d done my braides and Sarah looked fantastic! 😀 ❤️ 

photo of Sarah and her new braides with her smiling in the mirror

Me on the left getting a kiss on the cheek from Sarah

 The evening…

Southern palms by night

We’d already had another lovely day but it was time for the evening meal. The hotel had a different band playing every few nights, and sitting in the restaurant next to the perfect postcard beach was stunning.  

Southern palms house band

 ‘DING DING DING DING’ Yes you know what this means…It’s my ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard’ and something has just smashed it’s way to the top, i wonder what it could be??

This one isn’t for the faint hearted but i don’t have enough hyperbole to do this justice! So i’ll just introduce you to my favourite burger of all time…The ‘Southern Burger’ This is hard to write about without drooling. 😀 I must confess that i ordered this on the first night and then for all 7 nights! Once you’ve hit the top there’s nowhere else to go! 😀 🍔   

The Southern Burger

 The sunset…

Thankfully we walked along the beach for the sunset before we had the evening meal. We always knew exactly what time to leave for our daily beach sunset walk as the ‘Bajan Whistling Frog’ would start singing at the same time every night! 😀 

🌴 The ’Southern Palms’ and Barbados was already our fave place and island and we’d not even been here a week. As the sun set on another fantastic day i wanted to leave you with this stunning view.  

me stood in front of the amazing sunset

 I’d like to say that i’d set up a tripod, set the self-timer and walked into position, But (you guessed it) Sarah ‘Top Trumped’ me again with this beautiful photo! 😀  

Thank you so much for taking time to join us in Barbados, but it’s still not over yet! 😀  

Have you ever been to Barbados? I’d love to hear about it! 

To be continued… 

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