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Fire Up The Quattro…Both Of Them!!! 😨

Hi all! Today’s post is a little different, as i rarely get the opportunity to experience a proper car…Never mind get to talk all about the engine, tyres etc with another proper petrolhead! 💪🏼 🤣 Well it all started at the end of Eileen’s funeral last week when we needed a lift to the train station to head back home. Ben (ex brother in law and friend) said he’d give us a lift and disappeared to go and get his car?!

What is that visceral rumble outside?? 🤔 

Audi $S4 1

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

  Please meet the RS4…😲   

Ben: “Firstly, the RS4 was hand built by quattro gmbh (Audi’s in-house performance arm). The B7 RS4 is powered by a direct fuel injected (FSi) 4.2litre V8, producing 420bhp and revving to over 8,000rpm.

Mine is around 450bhp and revs to 8,500rpm due to some minor modifications. It has the quattro all wheel drive system with a 60:40 power split with a rear bias to aid handing. Front brake are floating discs with 8 piston callipers (also used on the Lamborghini Gallardo). As with all B7 RS4s, it’s a 6 speed manual (has to be manual).” 

Audi $S$  2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Fire up the Quattro…

As Sarah was getting into the back seat she said “You’ve got to be in the front for this one” i said “Fantastic” as Ben kindly guided me around and opened the door as i got in. I said “Awww these Recaro bucket seats are amazing, and i can fit in them properly now i’ve lost 5 stone, lol!” 🤣 

Audi RS4  Dash

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

I was listening to the rumbling beast ticking over as Ben slipped into the drivers seat. “Awww i love a V8 it just sounds amazing and it’s only just ticking over!” Ben then blipped the throttle a few times (to widen my smile even further) and pulled  away.

Sadly the train station was only about 10 minutes away, but when we reached the duel carriageway…Ben wound the windows down and floored it!! 😲

I’m not sure if it was the instant force of being blasted back into the seat, or the symphony of the 450 angry beasts filling my ears that gave me that feeling like nothing else…I simply couldn’t stop the huge grin from leaving my face! 😀

“Wow that was immense” i said whilst pealing my head off the rear window, lol. “That was only 6500rpm as we keep running out of road, we have 2000rpm left” Ben said as he gifted me with another blip of the throttle to evoke the awesome symphony!

The tunnel…😲

Audi $S4  4

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

We even had a tunnel moment where you can really hear the deep growling boom of the V8 through the open windows, awwwww…I’ll pause for a minute for you to imagine the beautiful sound of the V8…😲
The exhausts…

2 Audis

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Pulling up outside the train station (oh no the car experience is coming to an end) we all got out. I was wondering why Ben had left the car running as i knew he’d already said he’d come inside to check everything was ok and our tickets worked in the gates etc…Above and beyond kindness! 😀   

When…🤔 

Ben walked me around the rear of the car on the nearside about level with the tyre. He then placed Sarah in a similar position on the offside, “Stay there a minute and listen to this!?!” 

It all happened at the same time…My ears were blessed and blasted with the massive sound of the V8 from the rear, then my lower half of my trousers blew backwards from the wind (tornado) blitzing me from the tailpipes…And as the revs lowered we could hear the huge pops, bangs and explosions coming from the exhaust! Wow what a finish, and now we understand what you were up to, lol! 🤣 

I can’t thank Ben enough for giving me and Sarah this amazing experience, and Sarah was happy that i got to talk all about cars without boring her to death, lol! 

Oh just one more thing…This monster has 275mm tires and 20 inch rims! 💪🏼 

The Audi 4.2 V8…

Audi 4 2 V8

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

 

Fire up the second Quattro…😲 

2 Audis 2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Please meet the Audi 90 quattro 20v sport…
Ben: “The old one is a 1991 Audi 90 quattro 20v sport (One of only 92 ever built), it’s a rare car. Powered by a 2.3litre 5 cylinder twin cam engine. It has a 5branch exhaust manifold and fully electronic multipoint fuel injection (very advanced for its age). It was an early adopter of catalytic converters but as mine is pre 1992 I’ve removed mine (totally legally).”

“Along with some internal engine work it’s power is up from original 170bhp to around 220bhp and this revs happily to around 7,400rpm now. It too has Quattro all wheel drive with TORSEN centre diff and lockable rear diff. It has cast front suspension arms and is considerably lighter than a normal Audi 90. I’ve had this for about 15years.”
Audi 90 Quattro 2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

About 5 years ago on another trip to Derby, Ben kindly gave me and Sarah a similar blast in this classic Quattro. It sounded and felt fantastic and it was a real blast back from the past! I remember Ben opening the sunroof and windows to get the full exhaust tone playing in our ears…What a beautiful sound! 😀  
Audi 90 Quattro 5

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

What’s under the hood?!
Audi 90 Engine

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Engine 2

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Quattro 7

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Quattro 6

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

Audi 90 Quattro 8

⇧ Photo supplied by Ben – ©Performance Prestige ⇧

 My story and a little about my “Novadose”…🤔 

As you may know my last car before i went blind…Was my custom 1991 Vauxhall Nova 1.4SR resprayed in dark pearlescent purple (bottom half) and white for the top half after i’d fitted a full Zender body kit. . As i worked as a panel beater in a bodyshop, my fave part was hammering out the rear wheel arches, filling them for a slightly wider arch…So i could squeeze in the 205mm tyres on the 17 inch rims. I’d only ever seen 16 inch rims on a Nova in Derbyshire before, so i had to see if i could fit the 17’s…That’s why i called it the “Novadose”. 🤣   

I’ve always been interested in cars as most of my family are/were mechanics…I think that’s why i get so excited whenever i have a car experience like the one above…And why i’ll always share it with you guys! 😀

Do you have any car experience stories to share? 🤔 

The God of the broken-hearted

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The God of the broken-hearted

(J.R. Miller, “The Beatitude for the Unsuccessful” 1892)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)

“The Lord is near the broken-hearted.” Psalm 34:18

The God of the Bible is the God of the broken-hearted

The world cares little for the broken hearts. Indeed, people oftentimes break hearts by their cruelty, their falseness, their injustice, their coldness–and then move on as heedlessly as if they had trodden only on a worm! But God cares. Broken-heartedness attracts Him. The plaint of grief on earth, draws Him down from heaven.

Physicians in their rounds do not stop at the homes of the well, but of the sick. So it is with God in His movements through this world. It is not to the whole and the well–but to the wounded and stricken, that He comes with sweetest tenderness! Jesus said of His mission: “He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted.” Isaiah 61:1

We look upon trouble as misfortune. We say that the life is being destroyed, which is passing through adversity. But the truth which we find in the Bible, does not so represent suffering. God is a repairer and restorer of the hurt and ruined life. He takes the bruised reed, and by His gentle skill makes it whole again, until it grows into fairest beauty. The love, pity, and grace of God, minister sweet blessing of comfort and healing–to restore the broken and wounded hearts of His people.

Much of the most beautiful life in this world, comes out of sorrow. As “fair flowers bloom upon rough stalks,” so many of the fairest flowers of human life grow upon the rough stalks of suffering. We see that those who in heaven wear the whitest robes, and sing the loudest songs of victory–are those who have come out of great tribulation. Heaven’s highest places are filling, not from earth’s homes of glad festivity and tearless joy–but from its chambers of pain; its valleys of struggle where the battle is hard; and its scenes of sorrow, where pale cheeks are wet with tears, and where hearts are broken. The God of the Bible is the God of the bowed down–whom He lifts up into His strength.

God is the God of those who fail. Not that He loves those who stumble and fall, better than those who walk erect without stumbling; but He helps them more. The weak believers get more of His grace, than those who are strong believers. There is a special divine promise which says, “My divine power is made perfect in weakness.” When we are conscious of our own insufficiency–then we are ready to receive of the divine sufficiency. Thus our very weakness is an element of strength. Our weakness is an empty cup, which God fills with His own strength.

You may think that your weakness unfits you for noble, strong, beautiful living–or for sweet, gentle, helpful serving. You wish you could get clear of it. It seems to burden you–an ugly spiritual deformity. But really it is something which, if you give it to Christ–He can transform into a blessing, a source of His power. The friend by your side, whom you envy because he seems so much stronger than you are–does not get so much of Christ’s strength as you do. You are weaker than him–but your weakness draws to you divine power and makes you strong.

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

✞ Eileen’s Funeral & Seeing Family ❤️

Eileen Funeral Service

⇧ Photo of Eileen on the front of the funeral service booklet ⇧ 

Yesterday (Tues 14/09/2021) me and my lovely wife Sarah travelled to Derby and back (in same day), to pay our respects at Eileen’s (my step mum) funeral at the Derby crematorium. Although it was a sad occasion for everyone…It was also a wonderful time as i’d not seen some of my family for 14 years…Even more in some cases!😲 

The service was a lovely tribute to Eileen and my Dad was amazing as it must have been so hard for him during this difficult time! Afterwards Eileen’s sisters Pam and Ann had prepared a buffet meal at Ann’s home which was fantastic…Thanks Elise for a lovely coffee! ☕ Sarah & i even got to meet some more of the family here too…Like chatting about cars (obviously) with uncle Colin who i’ve not seen since 2006 in Hunstanton, Norfolk. 

As it’s almost impossible for me and Sarah to know who is around…I don’t know all who were there?! So i was probably with more family than i knew about, lol. 🤣 It’s gatherings like this where me and Sarah seem the most ignorant, as we simply don’t see who is there, and unless they introduce themselves we have no idea?! 😨 

Funeral Family1

⇧ From left: Me, Sarah, Dad, Jahan (nephew), Saira (Niece), Charlotte (sister), Kam (friend), Ambber (sister), Zain (nephew), Saffy (niece), Amy (niece), Taylor (niece), Chloe (niece) & Zelaiya (niece) ⇧ 

I couldn’t believe how tall all of my niece and nephews were!! For example Taylor was 1 year old when we last saw her at our wedding…She’s now 15! 😲  Jahan & Zain (nephews) are now over 6ft tall! Most of them drive (including Amy who very kindly picked us up) and all of my nieces are lovely young ladies…It was fun tying to guess who’s who by the sound of their voices as i can’t see them at all! 🤣 I could do a post for each one of them…I’m so proud! 😲   

It was such a blessing to meet them all again and spend some time with them. They made the day run so smoothly even during this difficult time. ❤️

Ben (not in photo) kindly gave us a lift in his new Audi RS4 4.2 V8 to the train station to get back home…I’m writing a new post just on this experience as you know i love cars!! 💪🏼

Our words and deeds are irrevocable

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Our words and deeds are irrevocable

(J.R. Miller, “Devotional Hours with the Bible”)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken!” Matthew 12:36 

We cannot recall any word we have spoken. It may be a false word or an unkind word–a word which will blast and burn! Instantly after it has been spoken, we may wish it back and may rush after it and try to stop it–but there is no power in the world that can unsay the hurtful word, or blot it out of our life!

It is just so with our acts. A moment after we have done a wicked thing, we may bitterly repent it. We may be willing to give all we have in the world to undo it, to make it as though it never had been. But in vain. A deed done takes its place in the universe as a fact, and never can be recalled. 

We should be sure before we speak a word or do an act that it is right, that we shall never desire to have it recalled–for when once we have opened our lips, or lifted our hand, there will be no unsaying or undoing possible.

Our words and deeds are irrevocable. We cannot recall anything we have done, neither can we change it. But by other words and deeds, we may in some measure modify the effect of that which we cannot blot out. Paul could not undo his persecutions of Christians–but by a life to devotion to Christ’s cause–he could in a sense make reparation for the terrible harm he had done. 

Just so, we cannot undo the wrong things we have done–but we should strive to set in motion other influences which may at least compensate in some sense for the harm they have wrought. We cannot unsay the sharp word which wounds our friend’s heart–but we can by kindness and loyal devotion, yet bring good and blessing to his life.

Something to ponder
“There is no surer characteristic of a sincere lover of Christ, than a habitual desire to be like Christ, and an ardent zeal to promote His glory!” Archibald Alexander, 1772-1851

😲 Wow…The ‘I Newspaper’ has interviewed me and just published my story today for “Know your Numbers” week by Blood Pressure UK

Sorry for lots of Reblogs…I’m just excited, lol! 🤣 💪🏼

FitBlitz

Hi all! I’ve been interviewed again this week for the annual “Know Your Numbers” week 2021 (this week). I think you’ll remember the ‘Ultra Step Challenge’ i did during advent 2020 for the Blood Pressure UK charity…And they wanted to use the ‘I Newspaper’ to interview me from a slightly different angle for this years case study too! 😀 

It’s a great article and it almost makes me sound inspirational, lol! 🤣 Please take a read!

Article…

‘It felt like my head was exploding’: Blind man describes how he lost his sight at 24 after brain haemorrhage
Steve Rebus’s optic nerve burst because his blood pressure was so high, causing him to suffer two brain haemorrhages

Me BPUK 1

Steve walked 266 miles to raise money for Blood Pressure UK in December 2020.
Steve Rebus knew he had a family history of high blood pressure but never expected it would leave…

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Do we love the Word?

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Do we love the Word?

(Thomas Watson, 1620-1686, “The Godly Man’s Picture Drawn with a Scripture Pencil“)

A godly man is a lover of the Word of God. Christ is the fountain of living water, the Word is the golden pipe through which it runs! 

A godly man diligently reads the Word of God. The noble Bereans “searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11). Apollos was mighty in the Scriptures (Acts 18:24). The Word is the field where the Pearl of Great Price is hidden. How we should dig for this pearl! A godly man’s heart is the library to hold the Word of God; it dwells richly in him (Colossians 3:16). By diligent conversing with Scripture, we may carry a Bible in our heads!

A godly man frequently meditates on the Word of God. “Oh, how I love your law! meditate on it all day long.” (Psalm 119:97). A pious soul meditates on the truth and holiness of the Word. He not only has a few transient thoughts, but leaves his mind steeping in the Scripture. By meditation, he sucks honey from this sweet flower, and ruminates on holy truths in his mind.

A godly man delights in the Word of God. It is his recreation. “When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight” (Jeremiah 15:16). Never did a man take such delight in a dish that he loved, as the prophet did in the Word. And indeed, how can a saint choose but take great pleasure in the Word? All of his eternal hopes are contained in it. Does not a son take pleasure in reading his father’s will and testament, in which he bequeaths his estate to him? “I delight in your commands because I love them! (Psalm 119:47) 

A godly man hides the Word of God. “Your word have I hidden in my heart” (Psalm 119:11)–as one hides a treasure so that it should not be stolen. The Word is the jewel; the heart is the cabinet where it must be locked up. Many hide the Word in their memory–but not in their heart. And why would David enclose the Word in his heart? “That I might be kept from sinning against You.” As a man would carry an antidote about him when he comes near an infected place, so a godly man carries the Word in his heart as a spiritual antidote to preserve him from the infection of sin. Why have so many been poisoned with error, others with moral vice–but because they have not hidden the Word as a holy antidote in their heart!

Do we love the Word? 
When we need direction, do we consult this sacred oracle? 
When we find corruptions strong, do we make use of this “sword of the Spirit” to hew them down? 
When we are disconsolate, do we go to this bottle of the water of life for comfort? 
Then we are lovers of the Word! 

“I love your commands more than gold, more than pure gold!” (Psalm 119:127)

 

😭 Goodbye Trainers…Hello Blisters!

Please don’t forget to click through to my’Fitblitz’ blog and follow me on my ‘Trail Marathon Training’ during the next 7 months…I’d really love to have your support and encouragement, looks like i’m going to need it, lol! 🤣

FitBlitz

Puma clean

Hi all. 

During my ‘ultra Step Challenge’ through advent 2020, you may have noticed that i was always wearing my fantastic trainers, which were a gift from my lovely wife Sarah for losing 3 stone. They have been my most fav trainers i’ve ever owned, and i’ve owned some cool trainers before, they were just so spongy! 😀 

i’ve also been wearing them now i’ve started my ‘Trail Marathon’ training this last week. I thought these have seen me through a gruelling challenge before…So why not get me through this one too!

But…

I think my trainers glamoured me or something, as i hadn’t realised the padding had worn through in a few places inside! I can’t use my blindness as an excuse as i should have noticed this…A school boy mistake!  😨 

I’m now sat with a super doughnut shaped fancy plaster creation by Sarah on…

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🙌 Yay…A Lifetime Personal Best During My Trail Marathon Training! 💪🏼

Please don’t forget to click through to my’Fitblitz’ blog and follow me on my ‘Trail Marathon Training’ during the next 6 months…I’d really love to meet you over there! 💪🏼 😀

FitBlitz

784 Kilocalories Badge

Hi all…You’ll never believe this?! 😲  

Today was my first day of increasing the mileage (number of laps) to a distance i’d never walked without stopping before! 😨  

Each lap of the trail is 2.5 miles and this month i’m attempting 3 laps without stopping. So today was my first time walking with my backpack and carrying water and a trusty Grenade protein bar supplied by my lovely wife Sarah. I thought after losing 5 stone (70 pounds) my legs would be able to manage an extra couple of pounds or so, lol! 🤣 

I knew it was going to be more difficult as the sun was really bright and stopped me seeing most of the trail, i even missed a turning but managed to get back on it…But when i was in the shade i made sure i nailed it! 💪🏼

I drank some of my water at…

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I belong to the church; I suppose I am a Christian

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I belong to the church; I suppose I am a Christian

(J.C. Ryle, “Are You Born Again?“)

Are you born again? This is one of life’s most important questions. Jesus Christ said, “Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God!” John 3:3

It is not enough to reply, “I belong to the church; I suppose I am a Christian.” Thousands of nominal Christians show none of the signs of being born again which the Scriptures have given us in the First Epistle of John.

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin” 1 John 3:9 

“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin” 1 John 5:18

A person who has been born again, or regenerated, does not habitually commit sin. He no longer sins with his heart and will and whole inclination. There was probably a time when he did not think about whether his actions were sinful or not, and he did not always feel grieved after doing evil. There was no quarrel between him and sin; they were friends. But the true Christian . . .
  hates sin, 
  flees from sin, 
  fights against sin,
  considers sin his greatest plague,
  resents the burden of sin’s presence,
  mourns when he falls under sin’s influence, 
  and longs to be completely delivered from sin. 

Sin no longer pleases him, nor is it even a matter of indifference to him; it has become the horrible thing which he hates. However, he cannot eliminate its presence within him.

If he said that he had no sin, he would be lying, 1 John 1:8. But he can say that he hates sin, and that the great desire of his soul is not to commit sin at all. He cannot prevent bad thoughts from entering his mind, or shortcomings, omissions, and defects from appearing in both his words and his actions. He knows that “we all stumble in many ways,” James 3:2. But he can truly say in the sight of God, that these things cause him grief and sorrow, and that his whole nature does not consent to them. What would the apostle say about you? Are you born again?

“No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.” 1 John 3:6-7 

 

😋 Sarah’s stupendous post-walk nutritional lunch

Mmmm, i love this meal! Please don’t forget to click through to my’Fitblitz’ blog and follow me on my health and fitness battle…I’d really love to meet you over there! 💪🏼 😀

FitBlitz

Sarah’s stupendous post-walk nutritional lunch… 

Pizza

I’d like to introduce you to the best pizza i’ve ever had, and i’ve had thousands over the years! This is our protein pizza which we prepare on Sunday evening (we make 1 each), cut into 6 pieces and have a slice each day. We both make our own so we can have our fave toppings (Sarah often puts olives on hers) and i hate olives, lol! 😀 We make the base from turkey mince so it has no carbs but lots of protein which is great for Sarah as she’s a T1 diabetic, then i can have my fave carb source food which is dry 7 seed wholemeal toast (like Elwood Blues) and Sarah doesn’t have to worry about carb counting or her blood sugar shooting up! 💪🏼 😀 

As a post walk meal my lovely wife Sarah prepares me with a warm…

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A poor shoemaker in his dreary little shop

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A poor shoemaker in his dreary little shop

(J.R. Miller, “The Wider Life” 1908)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16

“For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die!” 1 Corinthians 15:53

The lesson of the imperishable life, has a special application to those who suffer from sickness or from any bodily affliction. It will help us to endure physical sufferings quietly and unmurmuringly, if we will remember that it is only the outward man that can be touched and affected by these experiences, and that the inward man may not only be kept unharmed, but may be growing all the while in beauty and strength, being spiritually renewed through pain and suffering.

A poor shoemaker in his dreary little shop in a great city, one day noticed that there was one little place in his dark room, from which he could get a view of green fields, blue skies and faraway hills. He wisely set up his bench at that point, so that at any moment he could lift his eyes from his dull work–and have a glimpse of the great, beautiful world outside. 

Just so, from the darkest sick-room, and from the midst of the keenest sufferings, there is always a point from which we can see the face of Christ and have a glimpse of the glory of Heaven. If only we will find this place and get this vision, it will make it easy to endure even the greatest suffering.

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down–when we die and leave these bodies–we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.” 2 Corinthians 5:1-2

Sickness is discouraging and is hard to bear. But we should remember that the doing of the will of God is always the noblest, holiest thing we can do any hour–however hard it may be for us. If we are called to suffer, let us suffer patiently and sweetly. Under all our sharp trials, let us keep the peace of God in our hearts. The outward man may indeed decay, but the inward man will be renewed day by day.

 

They play with fire, and wonder why they are burned!

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They play with fire, and wonder why they are burned!

(J.R. Miller, “The Way of Safety“, 1912)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)

“Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.” Psalm 19:12, 13

Here the Psalmist prays to be kept from committing presumptuous sins. He knows the danger there is in such sins, and so pleads to be held back from them–that is, from willful, conscious, high-handed sins.

Mark the teaching, too, that these presumptuous sins spring out of the minute hidden faults. From hidden, obscure, undiscovered faults–come presumptuous sins. 

A slight moral weakness–grows into an evil tendency; 
and the evil tendency indulged–develops into a loathsome vice; 
and the loathsome vice–ripens into a presumptuous sin! 

We need to guard against carelessness concerning ‘little sins’. 
The hidden fault lurking in the nature, may grow into a presumptuous sin!

   Sow a thought–and you will reap an act; 
   sow an act–and you will reap a habit; 
   sow a habit–and you will reap a character; 
   sow a character–and you will reap a destiny!

The course of sin is terrible! The little beginnings of sin, grow into appalling consequences! Be afraid of little sins and temptations.

There are some people who are always courting danger. Sin seems to have a fascinationfor them. One of the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer is, “Lead us not into temptation.” To expose ourselves needlessly to temptation, is presumption! Yet there are many who do this. They play with fire, and wonder why they are burned! They dally with ‘little sins’, and end in shameful degradation at the last! They pay the penalty in moral and spiritual ruin. 

🙌 Yay…A New Walking Record Badge! 💪🏼

💪🏼 🙌 😀

FitBlitz

1 Walking Record Award

Hi all!

I knew i could bore you to death with another award badge already! 🤣 

I’d just finished my 2 lap walk through the woods near my home, when i was notified of winning this badge for burning 543 Kilocalories in one walk. As i’m training for a Marathon walk in April i hope to win many more of this style of badge…Or maybe i’ll just fall to pieces instead, one of these two will happen! 🤣 

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😨 Blindman 2 Marathons in 1 day??!!

Me BPUK 1

Hi all…I need your help, experience and opinions!

After the “Ultra Step Challenge” last December (2021) i said “i’m not doing a challenge that i’ve made up next time…I’m going to do an organised event by the charity”. Well that didn’t last long, as here i am again thinking of my latest challenge!! I thought i’d put it to you guys first before i started a fundraising page and jumped in feet first, lol! 🤣  

My latest idea…😲 

As you may know my lovely wife Sarah is working for MS Society, so i thought i’d do another challenge to help fundraise. My mum died of MS the same month i was registered blind in July 2000. So of course this charity is close to my heart…So here is my idea.

I thought i’d try and walk 2 marathons in 1 day?? (please give me your thoughts on this) 🤣  In my last ultra step challenge it took me over 4 days to walk the distance of 2 marathons…So i thought it’d be a great idea to try and walk 2 marathons in 1 day! 😨 Or should i start with 1 marathon first? 🤔 

Can this bonkers blindman do this, lol? I wanted to walk on an athletics track as the stress of walking around my local woods would be way too much external stimuli for me and that amount of distance. But it’s harder than you think to get a track for 24 hours. Any ideas? Do you think this is a good challenge? Have you had any experience of anything similar? 🤔 

I’m thinking of doing this 24 hour challenge in March or May 2022, as i’ll (or you) come up with a funky title for my MS March or May ideas…Also it’ll give me some time for lots and lots of walking before i start.

Choosing joy

The Joy of the Lord is my strength! 🙏 😀
Thanks once again Hope for edifying my soul!!

patientlyhopeful

There’s choices each day.

So many, at times they can feel overwhelming.

One of those choices we all make each day, sometimes minute by minute, is what we choose to do.

What we think on, what we meditate on, what we listen to, what we read, all are choices.

These choices either build our faith or tear it down.

When faced with uncertainty, tragedy, and pain we have a choice.

Despair or trust.

Will we praise God through the current circumstances or will we complain about the havock?

Throughout history we see God using the things Satan meant for evil and turning it to good.

As followers of Christ, we need to choose to find joy in Him, even in the midst of incredible pain.

For we can choose joy even while we suffer.

Acts 5:41 KJV — And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they…

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It is never safe to make pets of tigers!

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It is never safe to make pets of tigers! 

(J.R. Miller, “The Story of Cain and Abel” 1908)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)

 

“Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” Genesis 4:5 

“Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him!” Genesis 4:8

See here, the fearful growth of the evil feeling in Cain’s heart. It was only a thought at first, but it was admitted into the heart and cherished there. Then it grew until it caused a terrible crime! We learn here, the danger of cherishing even the smallest beginning of bitterness; we do not know to what it will grow! 

Some people think lightly of bad temper, laughing at it as a mere harmless weakness.
But it is a perilous mood to indulge, and we do not know to what it may lead.

“Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you!” In His reproof of Cain, the Lord likens his sin to a wild beast lying in hiding by his door, ready to leap on him and devour him. This is true of all sin which is cherished in the heart. It may long lie quiet and seem harmless, but it is only a wild beast sleeping!

There is a story of a man who took a young tiger and resolved to make a pet of it. It moved about his house like a kitten and grew up fond and gentle. For a long time its savage, blood-thirsty nature seemed changed into gentleness, and the creature was quiet and harmless. 

But one day the man was playing with his ‘pet’, when by accident his hand was scratched and the beast tasted blood. That one taste, aroused all the fierce tiger nature, and the ferocious animal flew on his master and tore him to pieces!

So it is, with the passions and lusts of the old nature, which are only petted and tamed and allowed to reside in the heart. They will crouch at the door in treacherous lurking, and in some unguarded hour they will rise up in all their old ferocity! 

It is never safe to make pets of tigers! 

It is never safe to make pets of little sins!

We never know what sin may grow into–if we let it abide in our heart! 

“Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him!” That is what came of the passion of envy in Cain’s heart! It was left unrebuked, unrepented of, uncrushed–and in time it grew to fearful strength. Then in an evil moment, its tiger nature asserted itself!

We never know to what dreadful stature, a little sin may grow!

 

Meant for Good

Amen. 🙏

-Word- pictures by DLink

The Lord used all the trials in bringing Joseph to power at the right moment to spare his family – who were the Messiah’s ancestors – from the effects of famine. In our own life, we can see God’s actions only from the limited vantage point of our humanness. Often the Lord’s goals and purposes are hidden from us until His plans come to fruition. We may wonder at the turns our life takes, but we can be certain God is sovereign over all the earth. The wicked may triumph for a season, but the final victory belongs to Christ and His righteous followers.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, July 24, 2021.

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🙌 Sarah’s New Job At MS Society! 😀

MS Society Logo

Yay…A huge (and very proud) congratulations to my lovely wife Sarah for starting her new job managing the legacy team at MS Society today! 🙌 For all the years i’ve known her, she’s been passionate, enthusiastic, knowledgable, driven, fun, caring, loving and…always looking to overachieve! 😀   Now she has a new job managing a new team, which means she has many more new goals to smash…Go big or go home, lol! 🤣
My Mum & MS (Multiple Sclerosis)…As you may know, my mum died, the same month that I was registered blind, after a 12 year debilitating and demoralising struggle with progressive MS. So you’ll understand why I am so pleased she will be working for this charity, which is close to my heart…and my families hearts too. ❤️
And as would be expected I have already been enlisted to think up some fun ways to raise funds and support MS Society and their wonderful work…. Any ideas for new fundraising challenges would be very welcome……..🤔 

❤️Love At First Sight…Village – 17 Years On!!!

Red Love logo with reflection

 Today i’m celebrating a brobdingnagian 17 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham, UK” 🙌  

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors throughout the world take part and welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said “Wow, Mmmm, Awww and fantastic…It all looks great” which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing “you know i didn’t see any of what you’ve just shown me, as i’m blind!”. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah tries to check out my eyes to see if i’m joking, then Sarah laughed and said “No way, me too!”. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. ❤️💪🏼 😀 

Our Photos Throughout The Years….

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Me  Sarah at the river Arno

 ⇧ 2014 ⇧ 

Me on the left in my bright orange shirt hugging Sarah on the right with the beautiful panorama of volcanic hills and blue sea behind us

 ⇧ 2015 ⇧ 

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 ⇧ 2016 ⇧ 

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Me  Sarah

 ⇧ 2017 ⇧ 

Sarah as my Backpack

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 ⇧ 2018 ⇧ 

Sarah & i infront of the yellow 1961 Uniog

1 Me and Sarah gugging at room 112

 ⇧ 2019 ⇧  

1 Sarah snow walk

Me Winners Trophy

 

2020 ⇧ 

1 Sarah Doughnut

Me Engand Shirt

21 ⇧ 

📖 Bible Verse

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

🤔 My Thoughts… 

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Holy Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

God-pardoned, God-reconciled, Sin-delivered, God-arrayed, Heaven-entitled souls!

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God-pardoned, God-reconciled, Sin-delivered, God-arrayed, Heaven-entitled souls!

(Archibald Brown, “What Christ Has Done for Me!” 1872)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul!” Psalm 66:16

No one word can fully express all that God has done for my soul, though in general it may be described as savedSaved! Ah, that is a grand word worthy of being written in letters of gold! A saved soul includes many things–I can only mention them:

1. A saved soul is a God-pardoned soul. All its sins are forgiven, and its iniquities are drowned in that deluge of pardoning love that rises high above the topmost peaks of all its mountain sins!

2. A saved soul is a God-reconciled soul. Once at enmity, God and the sinner are now at peace. All differences are at an end. The prodigal sinner has been embraced and kissed by the father. The rebel has thrown down his weapons, and bent his knee to the Monarch–and the Monarch has raised him up, and with a smile of love, has put him among His children. If I may so express it, God and the sinner have met and shaken hands beneath the shadow of the cross! They are at at-one-ment there.

3. A saved soul is also a sin-delivered soul. This is something more than pardon, or reconciliation. It is a higher blessing. Pardon remits the punishment of sin, but leaves the guilt of sin. But justification acquits the person of every charge. Believer, your sins are not merely forgiven–but they are done away with, put out of sight, removed from you as far as the remotest east is from the extreme west! In the eye of God, you are as guiltless as His spotless Son! “You are altogether beautiful, My love; there is no flaw in you!” Song of Songs 4:7 

4. A saved soul is also a God-arrayed soul. This is higher still. The former blessing was a negation of guilt, this is a possession of righteousness. A righteousness, mark you, that is not capable of improvement, but a righteousness that is superlative in its quality–it is the righteousness of God Himself! A saved soul, even to the omniscient eye of Deity, is not only without spot or wrinkle or any such thing–but it is altogether lovely and glorious, robed in the splendor of “Jehovah Tsidkenu”–“The Lord our Righteousness!”

5. A saved soul is a Heaven-entitled soul. This crowns all. Not merely am I delivered from Hell, but in my hand is placed a title-deed to eternal glory! This is no fiction or flight of imagination, but a blessed fact. Possessed by every saint, is a title to Heaven that God Himself will declare to be valid to all eternity. 

Now believer, if all these things are included in what God has done for our souls, then did I not say rightly that many words were necessary to describe the work? Let us then, as God-pardoned, God-reconciled, Sin-delivered, God-arrayed, Heaven-entitled souls–call on all, far and near, to come and listen to our joyous tale.

God looks upon His redeemed people as the masterpieces of His love and power; and He will before assembled worlds exhibit us as the grandest trophies Heaven contains!

❤️ Yay…It’s Our 14th Wedding Anniversary! ❤️ “Sunny Hunny”

1 sarah i wedding day

Hi all! Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah.! ❤️

Sunny Hunny…☀️ 🙌 

For our 14th wedding anniversary we decided to visit Hunstanton, Norfolk, and stay over for one night in the Golden Lion hotel. This was ‘The Blind Sightseers’ first trip away from home since Jan 2020 so we were ready, lol. 

As you may know Hunstanton is where we had our honeymoon (and then 5 consecutive anniversaries) in the Old Lighthouse, so we were interested to see if anything had changed?! 

After leaving home at 7am we knew it was going to be a long day, especially after a 5 hour journey…A taxi, train, underground train, another train and a bus we arrived at Hunstanton a little past lunchtime! 💪🏼 

NO WAY THE DOUGHNUT VAN IS STILL HERE!!! 

1 Sarah Doughnut

DING…DING…DING…BOOM!!! 😋 

The sound of the ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard Bell’ exploded as we quickly devoured the doughnut. 

We managed to get 1 each of the consistently perfect doughnuts…And it was even the same lady who’d served us 14 years ago on our honeymoon! 😲 As we walked up to the van she said “Your usual?” 🤣

After eating the best doughnuts in the world we started our walk around Hunstanton. We only walked about 200 yards when we found??? 🤔 

Willy The Wash Monster L.A.R.C. XV…

This beast is a 1967 Landing and Recovery Craft and is ex USA Army and used in Vietnam. It now gives sea tours in Hunstanton Norfolk and is classed as a ferry…Oh and it’s also powered by 2 Cummins 920 V8 engines! 💪🏼 😀

We had been on this beast years ago and knew it went up to the lighthouse and back…And since we can’t go on a cruise ship, this was the nearest thing, lol.  

1 lighthouse

⇧ View of the lighthouse from the wash monster ⇧  

 The boat ride didn’t disappoint and shortly after we needed to check into the hotel. There was only 1 room left and it was at the rear of the hotel…But the shower was hot and powerful (rips the skin off) so all was well, lol! 🤣

Now i’d dropped off my heavy backpack it was time to explore to see if anything had changed?! No…It was all exactly as it was 14 years ago, the only thing (our fave shop) Surface had closed. This was our place to buy surfer clothes each year…Well i say we, Sarah used to but i was always too big…But i’d lost 5 stone now so was looking forwards to finally buying a top…Oh well, lol! 🤣  

After a long day of walking around the place about 5 times, drinking coffee, eating chips, doughnuts and scones we were sipping a glass of red wine and watching the sun set over Hunstanton.

sunset looking out over the beach and the breakers

The walking…

I have no idea how we managed it as Hunstanton is a very small town…But we’d managed to walk around 10 miles over the afternoon and evening! This was a blessing after what we’d eaten on our mini holiday…Now it’s time to rest after a full day as we only have the morning to go!

The next day…

After a small breakfast we were excited to go for another walk. As it was also early there was hardly anybody else around…And as this walkway is one of my fave places to walk in the world (empty and very wide), it was a good start to the day. 

IMG 3637

 As i was walking up and down on my own unaided and free, it felt fantastic to just pretend i could see where i’m going for a while, lol! 🤣

The funny face???

Not sure what i’d just heard (maybe you could leave me a funny comment with your suggestions) but i just had to give you a comedy moment! 🤣   

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 Ooohhh a helter skelter…

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 More walking… 

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 Wow i think Sarah is going to bless us with one of her stupendous panoramas…

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 The chips…

DING…DING…DING…BOOM! 😋 

Now these are the best chips anywhere on earth! Seriously i’m not using any hyperbole. It really is a good job i don’t live here as these chips are dangerous! 🤣 

1 Me and chips

 After another coffee and a quick walk around some souvenir shops, it was time to say goodbye to Hunstanton and catch the coast hopper bus. Wow what a ride, time has just flown by on this short 14th wedding anniversary holiday.

Striving to be a Godly husband…

There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage. – Martin Luther

I strive daily to love Sarah biblically and extravagantly, but to love her biblically i always first ask “What is God’s love for us like?” 

God’s Word…..

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love that Jesus Christ has for His bride, the church..

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” —1 Corinthians 13:4–8

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. And look forwards to more years on this Brobdingnagian adventure!

Sarah & i in Love Heart

#3 What’s Happening To Me? – “Size XXL to a Medium” 😲

Me Engand Shirt

Hi all!

Yay…My early 14th wedding anniversary (post coming on Wednesday) present from my lovely wife Sarah!! I’ve been wearing it for every game so far and it seems to be working lol! 🤣 

 

Size XXL to a Medium… 

 

Since losing 5 stone over this last year, i’ve also gone from a size XXL t-shirt to a size medium. I have never been a medium throughout my whole adult life. I’m loving having to get a new wardrobe and ordering a medium size and it fitting like a glove…Not much beats this feeling! 😀

 

#2 What’s Happening To Me? – “Sunbathing”🤔

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1 Me Charity Cover 001

Hi all.

My lovely wife Sarah has always LOVED sunbathing…And i HAVN’T, lol! If you’ve ever followed us “The Blind Sightseers” on our travels, you’ll know that Sarah is always in the sun and i’m somewhere melting into a puddle of goo! 🤣

I’ve never been comfortable in the sun and always hated the heat, i’d always try and find shade or find some other way out of it but stay as close to Sarah as i could. Just sitting outside a coffee shop or in our own back garden seriously felt like my bones were being steamed in a cauldron of boiling water, whilst my skin was being attacked by a million angry wasps with mini switchblades  cutting into me! 🔥🔥

BUT…

Now i’ve lost 5 stone (70 pounds) i sit out with Sarah everyday in our garden (when the sun is out anyway) and i’m always the one wanting to stay out longer…

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The rose taught me a lesson

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The rose taught me a lesson

(J.R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Turn my eyes from looking at what is worthless.” Psalm 119:37 

We must be always turning–if we would keep our life true and according to God’s commandments. 

There are some flowers which always turn toward the sun. There was a little potted rose-bush in a sick-room which I visited. It sat by the window. One day I noticed that the one rose on the bush was looking toward the light. I referred to it, and the sick woman said that her daughter had turned the rose around several times toward the darkness of the room–but that each time the little flower had twisted itself back, until again its face was toward the light. It would not look into the darkness.

The rose taught me a lesson: never to allow myself to look toward any evil, but instantly to turn from it. Not a moment should we permit our eyes to be inclined toward anything sinful. To yield to one moment’s sinful act, is to defile the soul. One of the main messages of the Bible is, “Turn from the wrong, the base, the crude, the unworthy–to the right, the pure, the noble, the godlike!” We should not allow even an unholy thought to stay a moment in our mind–but should turn from its very first suggestion, with face fully toward Christ, the Holy One.

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing!” Psalm 101:3

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things!”Philippians 4:8

 

What’s Happened To Me? – “Hay Fever”🤔

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1 Me Charity Cover 001

Hi all.

Sarah & i were walking through the woods last night on our beautiful evening walk…And i mentioned that i’d not had hay fever at all this year?! It’s been the first year since i’d not suffered from it and i’m wondering if it’s anything to do with losing 5 stone (over this last year) and eating healthier foods etc?! I thought this maybe a question for Ellie at ‘New Creation Ministries” as her blog posts have inspired and motivated me, especially over this last year. 😀 

Sarah also said that i should write a few posts on more of the changes i’ve experienced since losing 5 stone (like this one) and share it with you guys…So here is the first one “hay fever”. I can’t tell you how much easier it’s been this summer without constant watering eyes, runny nose and sneezing my head off! My body…

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Our thorn!

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Our thorn!

(J.R. Miller, “The Building of Character” 1894)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)
 

“Lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” 2 Corinthians 12:7

Paul tells us that his “thorn” was given to him–to keep him humble, and save him from spiritual peril. Without it, he would have been exalted above measure and would have lost his spirituality. We do not know how much of his deep insight into the things of God, and his power in service for his Master–Paul owed to this torturing “thorn”. It seemed to hinder him, and it caused him incessant suffering–but it detained him in the low valley of humility, made him ever conscious of his own weakness and insufficiency, and thus kept him near to Christ whose home is with the humble.

There are few people who have not some “thorn” rankling in their flesh: 
in one it is an infirmity of speech; 
in another an infirmity of sight; 
in another an infirmity of hearing. 

Or it may be lameness; 
or a slow but incurable disease; 
or constitutional timidity, 
or excessive nervousness; 
or a disfiguring bodily deformity; 
or an infirmity of temper. 

Or it may be in one’s home–which is cold, unloving, and uncongenial;
or it may be some moral failure; 
or it may be a bitter personal disappointment through untrue friendship or unrequited love. 

Who has not his thorn?

We should never forget that in one sense, our thorn is a “messenger of Satan,” who desires by it:
  to hurt our life,
  to mar our peace,
  to spoil the divine beauty in us, and
  to break our communion with Christ. 

On the other hand, however, Christ Himself has a loving design in our “thorn.” He wants it to be a blessing to us. He would have it keep us humble–and save us from becoming vain. Or He means it to soften our hearts–and make us more gentle. He would have the uncongenial things in our environment to discipline us into heavenly-mindedness, give us greater self-control, and help us to keep our hearts loving and sweet–amid harshness and unlovingness. He would have our pain teach us endurance and patience; and our sorrow and loss teach us faith.

Thus, our thorn may either be a choice blessing to us–or it may do us irreparable harm

If we allow it to fret us; if we chafe, resist, and complain; if we lose faith and lose heart–it will spoil our life! 

But if we accept it in the faith that in its ugly burden–it has a blessing for us; if we endure it patiently, submissively, unmurmuringly; if we seek grace to keep our heart gentle and true amid all the trial, temptation, and suffering it causes–it will work good for us; and out of its bitterness–will come sweet fruit!

He had to ‘learn the lesson’ just as we do!

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He had to ‘learn the lesson’ just as we do!

(J.R. Miller, “The Wider Life” 1908)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“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

Life is a ‘school’. All its experiences are ‘lessons’.

We are all in ‘Christ’s school’–and He is always ‘educating’ us. 

Disciples are ‘learners’ and all true Christians are disciples. 
We enter the lowest grade when we begin to be Christians. 
We have everything to learn. 
Each new experience, is a new lesson set for us by the great Teacher.

The business of noble Christian living, is learning. We know nothing when we begin. Learning is not confined to what we get from reading books. All of life is a school. ‘Christ’s books’ are ever being put into our hands, and ‘lessons’ are set for us continually.

Paul tells us of one of the lessons he had learned in the ‘school of experience’. “I have learned,” he said, “the secret of being content in any and every situation.” We are glad to know that Paul had to learn to be contented. We are apt to think that such a man as he was, did not have to learn to live as we common people do; that he always knew, for instance, how to be contented. Here, however, we have the confession that he had to ‘learn the lesson’ just as we do. He did not always know ‘the secret of contentment’. He was well on in years when he said this, from which we conclude that it took him a long time to learn the lesson–and that it was not easy for him to do it. Christ’s school is not easy.

Sorrow is a choice lesson in Christ’s school. Sorrow is not an accident breaking into our life, without meaning or purpose. God could prevent the coming of the sorrow, if He so desired. He has all power, and nothing can touch the life of any of His children–unless He is willing. Since we know that God loves us and yet permits us to suffer–we may be quite sure that there is a blessing, something good, in whatever it is that brings us pain or sorrow.

We shrink from pain. We would run away from afflictions. We would refuse to accept sorrow. But there are things worth suffering for–things dearer than ease and pleasure. We learn lessons in pain, which repay a thousand times the cost of our tears!

The Bible tells us that God preserves the tears of His children, putting them in His tear-bottle. Tears are sacred to God, because of the blessings that come through them, to His children. In Heaven, we will look back on our lives of pain and sorrow on the earth, and will find that our best lessons have come through our tears!

All the Christian graces have to be learned in ‘Christ’s school’. There Paul had learned contentment. He never would have learned it, however, if he had had only pleasure and ease all his life. Contentment comes from learning to do without things, which we once supposed to be essential to our comfort. Paul had learned contentment through finding such fullness of blessing in Christ–that he did not need the ‘secondary things’ any more.

Perhaps we would succeed better in learning this same grace–if we had fewer of life’s comforts, if sometimes we had experience of need. The continuity of blessings that flow like a river into our lives, gives us no opportunity to learn contentment

When sufferings come into our life . . . 
  disagreeable things, instead of pleasant things; 
  hunger and poverty, instead of plenty; 
  rough ways, instead of flower-strewn paths; 
God is teaching us the ‘lesson of contentment’, so that we can say at length, that we have learned the secret of being content!

 

The life-boat of free grace!

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The life-boat of free grace!

(James Smith, “The Complaint!” 1864)

“I am cast down!”

And why are you cast down?

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings! Every duty I perform is so imperfect. Every purpose I form is so soon frustrated. Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.

My heart is so fearfully depraved. 
My life is so unlike the life of Jesus. 
My temper is so unholy. 
My prayers are so brief and heartless. 
My praises are so feeble and fitful. 
I do so little good. 
I live to so little purpose. 
My evidences are so dim. 
My prospects are so overcast. 
I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death. 
I cannot realize the glories of Heaven. 
I am dissatisfied with the world — and yet glued to it! 
I hate sin — and yet fall into it! 
I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency! 
Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?”

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named — then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to Jesus to save you from them — then, in spite of them — you will not long be cast down.

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in gloomy thoughts.

But we must look away from self — for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and gloomy! We must run the race, not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures — but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we would be — before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His blood for us!

He loved us, as sinners. 
He died for us, as sinners. 
He called us, as sinners.

He saves us, as sinners. He will have all the glory of saving us, and He will get great glory by doing so, because we are such great sinners; and do not, cannot, do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love! Salvation is by free grace — from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections — but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safe in Heaven at last!

As imperfect as you now are, and as imperfect you will be — your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me — a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the heavens, 
His grace is as free as the air, 
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love.

Hope in God, for you shall yet praise Him. He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

 

We must hew our Agags to pieces!

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We must hew our Agags to pieces!

(J. R. Miller, “Miller’s Year Book–a Year’s Daily Readings”)  LISTEN to audio! Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Since he had no sword, he ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head!” 1 Samuel 17:50-51

If he had not cut off the giant’s head–the old Philistine champion would have gotten up by and by, and walked away; for he was only stunned, not killed, by the stone. David made sure work of his victory!

A great many of our attacks upon sin in our own hearts, and in the world–only stun, and do not kill the evil. We walk away, thinking we have done a fine thing. But shortly, we meet the ‘old giant’ again, stalking abroad as before! He soon recovers from our blow, and we have to fight the battle over; and perhaps we fight it again in the same halfhearted way–and thus on and on, to the end of our life!

Most of us have had just such experience as this with our own evil lusts and passions. We overcome them very often and think each time that we are through with them, but soon again they are as active as ever.

We need to learn a lesson from David and finish our victories by cutting off the head of every giant we strike down!

There is no other way of killing sins!

The life is in the head, and the head must be struck off–or the enemy will be facing us again in a day or two, with but a scar on his forehead!

The only way to get a real victory over vices is to decapitate them! Bruises and wounds are not enough. There must be thorough work done, in the name of the Lord. Half-way measures will not avail.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 

“Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord.” 1 Samuel 15:33 

Like Samuel, we must hew our Agags to pieces! 

 

Yay…1 Year…-5 Stone & Size XXL To Medium! 🙌 💪🏼 😀

Me Winners Trophy

Hi Friends!!

Can you believe it’s been a year today, since i started my epic adventure aka “June time to prune?!” I wanted to put this post on my blogs as a milestone for me and to share my good news with you all! 😀 

My mind is still having trouble adapting to the body it’s now living in, lol. 

-5 Sone…

I’ve gone from overheating all of the time, wearing shorts through the winter and staying out of the sun as it felt like pins and razor blades cutting my skin…To feeling cold most of the time, wearing normal clothes in the winter and like yesterday…Spent time sitting with my lovely wife Sarah enjoying the sun without the stabbing pains in my skin.

Size XXL to a Medium… 

I’ve also gone from a size XXL t-shirt to a size medium. I have never been a medium throughout my whole adult life. I’m loving having to get a new wardrobe and ordering a medium size and it fitting like a glove…Not much beats this feeling! 😀 

My Engine & Body Analogy…

As i used to be a panel beater in a bodyshop, the engine analogy just seemed to click for me when thinking about my nutrition etc. As i needed to be in a healthy calorie deficit to lose weight, i needed to find out what kind of engine i had and how much fuel (calories) it burns.

Hang On…

I’ve just realised i’m going to go on for ages writing about my year of transformation. So before i bore you all to death, i thought i could write about it post by post for a while. This way i can slowly bore you to death and you may not notice, lol! 🤣 

The Lord is my Shepherd!

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The Lord is my Shepherd!

(J.R. Miller “Bethlehem to Olivet” 1905)  LISTEN to audio! Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need!” 
Psalm 23:1

The shepherd is a favorite Scriptural picture of the divine love and care. In the Old Testament, the twenty-third Psalm gathers the whole wonderful truth in exquisite lines, which are dear to young and old wherever the Bible is known. Then in the New Testament, when our Lord would give His friends the sweetest revealings of His heart toward them, and tell them what they are to Him, and what He would be to them–He says, I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11 

The Hebrew shepherd lives with his sheep. If they are out in the storm–he is with them. If they are exposed to danger–so is he. 
Just so, Christ lives with His people. He enters into closest relations with them.

The shepherd knows his sheep. He has a name for each one and calls them all by their names. 
Just so, Christ knows each one of His friends, and has intimate personal knowledge of each one. He knows the best in us–and also the worst. He knows our faults, our sins, our wanderings. Yet, knowing us as we are–He loves us still and never wearies of us!

The shepherd is most gentle with his sheep. He does not drive them–but goes before them and leads them. When they need rest on the way–he makes them lie down, and chooses for their resting-place, not the dusty road–but green pastures. He is especially kind to the lambs, gathers them in his arms and carries them in his bosom. 
All this is an exquisite picture of the gentleness of our Good Shepherd in His care of His sheep. He is thoughtful toward the weak. He loves the lambs and makes room for them in His bosom. Whatever the need is, there is something in the heart of Christ which meets its craving and supplies its lack! “He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms,holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.” Isaiah 40:11

The shepherd defends his flock in all danger. Often he had to risk his own safety, even his life, in protecting his sheep. 
Just so, the Good Shepherd gives His life–for His sheep!

Christ’s sheep are absolutely safe in His keeping. “I give unto them eternal life,” He said; “and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!” Then at last, He will bring His own all safely home, “and they shall become one flock–with one Shepherd!”

 

 

How can we learn contentment?

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How can we learn contentment? 

(J.R. Miller, “The Hidden Life” 1895)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)
 

“I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” Philippians 4:11

How can we learn contentment? 

One step toward contentment, is patient submission to unavoidable ills and hardships. No earthly lot is perfect. No mortal ever yet in this world, has found a set of circumstances without some drawback. There are . . .
  trials which we cannot change into blessings,
  burdens which we cannot lay down,
  crosses which we must continue to carry,
  thorns in the flesh which must remain with their rankling pain.
When we have such trials, why should we not sweetly accept them as part of God’s best way with us? 

Discontent never made . . .
  a rough path smoother,
  a heavy burden lighter,
  a bitter cup less bitter,
  a dark way brighter,
  a sore sorrow less sore. 
It only makes matters worse! 

One who accepts with patience, that which he cannot change–has learned one secret of victorious living.

Another part of the lesson, is that we can learn to moderate our desires. “Having food and clothing,” says Paul again, “let us be content with these.” Very much of our discontent arises from envy of those who seem to be more favored than ourselves. Many people lose most of the comfort out of their own lot–in coveting the finer, more luxurious things which some neighbor has. Yet if they knew the whole story of the life they envy for its greater prosperity, they probably would not exchange for it their own lowlier life with its more humble circumstances. Or if they could make the exchange, it is not likely they would find half so much real happiness in the other position, as they would have enjoyed in their own. 

Contentment does not dwell so often in palaces–as in the homes of the humble. The tall peaks rise higher and are more conspicuous–but the winds smite them more fiercely than they do the quiet valleys. And surely, the lot in life which God makes for us, is always the best which could be made for us for the time. He knows better than we do, what our true needs are. 

The real cause of our discontent is not in our circumstances; if it were, a change of circumstances might cure it. It is in ourselves, and wherever we go–we shall carry our discontent heart with us. The only cure which will affect anything, must be the curing of the fever of discontent in us.

A fine secret of contentment, lies in finding and extracting all the pleasure we can get from the things we have–the common, everyday things; while we enter upon no mad, vain chase after impossible dreams. In whatever state we are in, we may find therein enough for our needs.

No earthly misfortune can touch the wealth which a Christian holds in the divine promises and hopes. Just in the measure, therefore, in which we learn to live for spiritual and unseen eternal realities–do we find contentment amid earth’s trials and losses. If we would live to please God, to build up Christlike character in ourselves, and to lay up treasure in Heaven–we shall not depend for happiness, on the way things go with us here on earth, nor on the measure of temporal goods we have. The earthly desires are crowded out by the higher and spiritual desires. We can do without childhood’s toys–when we have manhood’s better possessions. We desire the toys of this world less, as we get more of God and Heaven into our hearts.

Paul knew this secret. He cheerfully gave up all that this world had for him. Money had no power over him. He knew how to live in plenty; but he did not fret when poverty came instead. He was content in any trial, because earth meant so little–and Christ meant so much to him. He did not need the things he did not have. He was not made poor by the things he lost. He was not vexed by the sufferings he had to endure–because the sources of his life were in Heaven and could not be touched by earthly experiences of pain or loss.

These are hints of the way we may learn to be content in whatever circumstances. Surely the lesson is worth learning! One year of sweet contentment, amid earth’s troublous scenes–is better than a whole lifetime of vexed, restless discontent! The lesson can be learned, too, by anyone who is truly Christ’s disciple; for did not the Master say, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you.”

The artist painted life as a dark, storm-swept sea, covered with wrecks. Then out of the midst of the wild waves, he made to rise a great rock, in a cleft of which, high up, amid herbage and flowers–he painted a dove sitting quietly on her nest. It is a picture of Christian peace in the midst of this world’s strifes and storms. In the cleft of the Rock, is the home of contentment.

What does our church need?

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What does our church need?

(James Smith, “Good seed for the Lord’s field!” 1856)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Our gospel came to you not simply with words–but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.” 1 Thessalonians 1:5

“We have,” said one pastor, “the gospel regularly preached, the prayer meetings are continued, the church is in peace–but very few souls are converted to God! What does our church need?

It needs the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! For unless the Holy Spirit works–your minister may preach, your church may meet–but no real good will be done! God’s work is carried on, not by might nor by power–but by the Spirit of the Lord Almighty. It is the Spirit who must . . .
   open the heart, 
   quicken the soul, and 
   sanctify the person!

And if the Spirit works–then the feeblest ministry is efficient, and the smallest church prospers!

All the success that followed the preaching of Peter and the labors of Paul, was from the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul says, “God gave the increase.” Then the church felt her need of the Spirit; she realized her dependence on that divine Agent; she prayed with faith, fervor, and importunity for the blessing; and God answered her prayers, and filled His servants with the Holy Spirit and with power!

But now-a-days, we merely talk of the Spirit–rather than feel our need! 
We boast of our instruments–rather than realize our dependence on the Almighty Agent!

 

Yay It’s My Birthday! ☕️🍔🎶😀🙌

1 Me BP Trophy Circle 001

 Hi WordPress family! As it’s my birthday today (2nd in lockdown)…I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to raise a coffee and take a little time to thank you for your continued love, encouragement, inspiration and fantastic comments between all of you on this blog. I always talk to Sarah about all of you guys and how amazing it is to have  this blog read and commented on from all around the world. 😲 

After my incredible 1st lockdown birthday last year, i was stunned by how you all commented with your fave coffee and drinks, and where in the world you were from whilst you were happily mingling with other friends here through the comments section. 😀 

So what i’m trying to say is…As my birthday gift could you please comment below with your country and this time…let me know your fave foods etc? I can’t believe that i’m 5 stone (70 pounds) lighter than this time last year, and i’m interested to hear about foods from around the world…I love food, lol! 😋 

It would be a lovely birthday present for me to hear all of your fantastic responses…I’ll make another coffee here in Surrey, England, UK, grab my fave snacks…Propercorn Peanut Butter and Almond Popcorn and a Grenade Chocolate Chip Salted Caramel Protein Bar…And look forwards to seeing (and sharing fave foods and stories) with you guys! 😀☕ 

The unchangeable method of God!

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The unchangeable method of God!

(Matthew Mead, “The Almost Christian” 1661)

LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32

That is, such as see themselves as sinners, and thereby in a lost condition. 
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

God will have the soul truly sensible of the bitterness of sin–before it shall taste the sweetness of mercy. The plough of conviction must go deep, and make deep furrows in the heart, before God will sow the precious seed of grace there–so that it may have depth of earth to grow in. 

This is the unchangeable method of God in bestowing grace–to begin with conviction of sin. 
  First to show man his sin–then his Savior; 
  first his danger–then his Redeemer; 
  first his wound–then his cure; 
  first his own vileness–then Christ’s righteousness. 

The sinner must see the worthlessness and vileness of his own righteousness–before he can be saved by Christ’s righteousness. The Israelites are first stung with the fiery serpents–and then the brazen serpent is set up to heal them. 

We must see the leprosy of our righteousness, and be brought to cry out, “Unclean, unclean!” We must mourn for Him whom we have pierced–and then He sets open for us “a fountain to cleanse us from all sin and impurity.” Zechariah 12:10, 13:1.

Be convinced of the evil of sin–the filthy and heinous nature of it. 
Sin is the greatest evil in the world:
  it wrongs God;
  it wounds Christ;
  it grieves the Holy Spirit;
  it damns a precious soul.
All other evils cannot be compared with this. Though to DO sin is the worst work–yet to SEE sin is the best sight! Sin discovered in its vileness–makes Christ to be desired in His fullness!

Alas! it is Christ’s infinite righteousness which must atone for our sins–for it is an infinite God whom we have sinned against! 

If ever your sin is pardoned–it is Christ’s infinite mercy which must pardon it! 

If ever you are reconciled to God–it is Christ’s infinite merit which must do it! 

If ever your heart is changed–it is Christ’s infinite power which must effect it! 

If ever your soul escapes Hell, and is saved at last–it is Christ’s infinite grace which must save it!

True excellency!

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True excellency!

(Jonathan Edwards)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


Worldly men imagine that there is true excellency and true happiness in those things which they are pursuing. They think that if they could but obtain them, that they would be happy. But when they obtain them, and cannot find happiness–then they look for happiness in something else, and are still upon the futile pursuit.

There is a transcendent glory, and an ineffable sweetness in Christ.

Jesus Christ has true excellency, and so great an excellency that when you come to truly see Him, you look no further, but your mind rests there.

You see that you had been pursuing shadows, but now you have found the substance.

You realize that you had been seeking happiness in the stream, but now you have found the ocean.

The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill its capacity.

Christ has an infinite excellency, such as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds.
The more the mind contemplates Him, the more excellent does He appear.

Each new discovery of Christ makes His beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind can see no end to His excellency. There is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom.

Christ’s excellency is always fresh and new, and will as much delight us after we have beheld Him a thousand or ten thousand years–as when we have seen Him the first moment.

The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on the beauty of Christ. It is never weary of Him.

“His mouth is most sweet, Yes, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Songs 5:16 

“Put the beauty of ten thousand worlds of paradises, like the Garden of Eden in one; put all trees, all flowers, all fragrances, all colors, all tastes, all joys, all loveliness, all sweetness in one. O what a lovely and excellent thing would that be! And yet it would be less compared to our dearest well-beloved Christ–than one drop of rain compared to the whole seas, rivers, and lakes of ten thousand earths.” Samuel Rutherford

 

A glance into heavenly bliss!

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A glance into heavenly bliss!

(“Solitude Sweetened” by James Meikle, 1730-1799)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


O Eternity! All at once I find myself in an unbounded flood of bliss, a spacious sea of glory–lost in wonder amidst ineffable delights, and transported with the raptures of seraphic harmony! While all His saints rejoice in His excellent glory–what ardor glows in every soul, and what rapture swells in every song! O the wondrous displays of His perfections, the manifestations of His goodness, the outlettings of His love!

Here we received out of His fullness–grace upon grace, and glory upon glory. 
Our heavenly possession is worthy of our liberal Giver. We have . . .
  a kingdom which cannot be moved,
  an undefiled inheritance, which does not fade away,
  a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God,
  garments of glory,
  a crown of righteousness and eternal life,
  the tree of life to feed upon,
  the fountain of life to drink of, 
  the garden of God to walk in,
  life above the reach of death,
  health secured from sickness, 
  eternal pleasure without pain! 

Our bodies are immortal, 
our souls are immaculate, 
our senses are sanctified, 
our conceptions are spiritualized, 
our faculties are enlarged, and 
our whole soul is glorious! 

Our past bliss is with us in the sweet remembrance, 
our present bliss enchants us in the enjoyment, and
our future bliss is present with us in the full assurance of our eternal felicity. 

Thus we are forever blessed to the highest degree. We are . . .
  above all fear,
  beyond anxiety and doubt,
  and fixed above all change!

Our service is sincere, 
our adorations are ardent, 
our knowledge is profound and satisfying. 

Rapture rushes in at every part!

Our eyes are ravished with seeing the King in His beauty;
our ears are ravished with hearing the songs of the inner temple;
our nostrils are ravished with the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon, the plant of renown; 
our feet are ravished with standing in His holy place; 
our hands are ravished with handling of the word of life; and 
our mouths are ravished with the wine of our Beloved, which goes down sweetly–causing our souls to shout aloud, and our lips to sing and never cease. 

Our experience of His fullness, our vision of His perfections and glory–constitute our most exalted bliss, and are the heaven of heavens!

O what torrents of eternal love teem from the glorious throne into our souls! 

O the pleasure that is in His presence! 

O the exuberant rivers of joy that flow at His right hand! 

O love! never to be forgotten–which has brought me safely through so many winding labyrinths and crooked paths, in sight of so many enemies–in spite of . . . 
  a tempting devil, 
  the accusations of my sins,
  the rebellion of my lusts, 
  the carnality of my affections, and
  the weakness of all my graces–
to dwell at last forever in heavenly bliss!

O eternity! Once the comfort of our longing expectations–now the transport of our enlarged souls! For we are . . .
  forever with the Lord,
  beholding His unclouded face,
  wearing His divine name,
  drinking at the streams of His pleasures,
  eating of His hidden manna,
  sitting beneath the Tree of Life,
  basking under the beams of the Sun of Righteousness,
  singing hallelujahs to Him who loved us, who washed us from our sins in His blood, and brought us here to be with Him forever!

O state of complete happiness and consummate bliss!

Your everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

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Your everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

(George Everard, “Up High!” 1884)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it most helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Thus says the Lord:
  Let not a wise man glory in his wisdom,
  and let not the mighty man glory in his might,
  let not a rich man glory in his riches. 
But let him who glories, glory in this–that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises loving-kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things!” Jeremiah 9:23-24

Glory in Christ–and in Him alone! 

Glory in Him as your Faithful Shepherd, who will care for you, and guard you, and restore you, and keep you even to the end. 

Glory in Him as your Unfailing Physician, who will heal your soul-wounds, and bind up the bleeding, broken heart. 

Glory in Him as your Great High Priest, who ever lives to plead your cause before the Throne of grace. 

Glory in Him as your Omnipotent King, who reigns over the events of Providence, and will make all things work together for your eternal good. 

Glory in Him as your Mighty Redeemer, who will deliver you from every enemy, and make you conqueror over sin, death and Hell. 

Glory in Him as your Everlasting Portion, remembering that when all else shall take wings and flee away–when the home is broken up, and dear ones die, and means grow less, and health decays, yes, when everything on earth fails you–He will beyour everlasting treasure, and your unchangeable Friend!

And let this glorying be seen by your entire resignation to His will–and by choosing His path rather than your own.

“Not I, but Christ!” Lord, choose for me, 
 And make me love what pleases Thee. 

“Not I, but Christ!” His will be done, 
 And mine with His be merged in one. 

Myself no longer would I see, 
But Jesus crucified for me. 

His eye to guide, His voice to cheer, 
His mighty arm forever near. 

“Not I, but Christ!” Lord, let this be 
 A motto throughout life for me!

 

Grape Expectations

Amen! 🙏 😀

For His Glory

Jesus’ last lesson for His disciples was about — grapes.

Jesus had high expectations that His disciples would understand their responsibility to continue His ministry. On His way to the Garden of Gethsemane He explained how they could succeed in the mission He had given them by teaching them about grapes.

Use your imagination with me for a minute. Let’s put ourselves right in the crowd with Jesus and His disciples on their last night together.

I first

They ate the Passover meal together in an upper room. During the meal Jesuscomforted them by giving them His peace and assuring them that everything would be all right. Look at the last verse of John, 14:31 …”but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded me. Get up let us go from here.”

“Get up let’s go from here.” — The very next…

View original post 338 more words

😲Yay…-70lb Weight Loss Badge! 🙌

70 pound weight loss badge

Wow…I simply can’t believe i’ve achieved this goal, after stepping off the scales this morning. To say i’m excited is an understatement!! 😲   

It’s taken me about 2 months to reach this next -5 pound badge as i’m almost at maintenance calories now. I absolutely love the food i eat now and wouldn’t change it back for anything. I don’t feel hungry (never thought it was possible) and most of all…I can live on this meal plan for the rest of my life!! 💪🏼 😀 

Me CPAW

It’s not too late, to sign up for Activ8…!!!  💪🏼 😀

You can still sign up for the next 2 weeks.

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Hi friends…💪🏼 😀  

Are you making yourself attractive to Cancer? 🤔  

Sarah and I have just signed up for the “Activ8 Plan” with World Cancer Research Fund as part of Cancer Prevention Awareness Week. So for once I’m not fundraising and bombarding you with donation asks, just sharing information to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle lol! 🤣  

You may not be aware (like me) of all the lifestyle choices we make that can affect our cancer risk. 😲  

Info taken from the World Cancer Research Fund website… 

What is Cancer Prevention Awareness Week?

 Cancer Prevention Awareness Week is an annual event where we draw awareness to cancer and cancer prevention. Currently, 40% of people diagnosed are diagnosed with a cancer that could have been prevented.

Knowing what you need to do and making small, consistent changes to the lives of you and your loved ones can help you avoid preventable cancers. …..

Activ8: Eat Well, Move More…
We’ve also launched a healthy living programme to support people who want to eat better and move more.

By signing up, you’ll get 8 weeks’ worth of motivational emails, which will include links to specific nutrition and physical activity resources such as tip-sheets and videos, as well as live support from our experts.

Make preventing cancer part of your everyday life. By following our Cancer Prevention Recommendations you’re giving yourself the best chance of reducing the risk of at least 12 types of cancer. Take action today!

 I can’t thank you guys enough for all of the support you’ve given Sarah & me over the years!! I encourage you to join us on this challenge so that you too can protect yourselves against cancer and lead happier, healthier lives….  Thank you and God Bless. 💪🏼 😀 

Join Us To Eat Well & Move More! 💪🏼 😀

Activ8 Logo

Hi friends…💪🏼 😀 

Are you making yourself attractive to Cancer? 🤔  

Sarah and I have just signed up for the “Activ8 Plan” with World Cancer Research Fund as part of Cancer Prevention Awareness Week. So for once I’m not fundraising and bombarding you with donation asks, just sharing information to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle lol! 🤣 

You may not be aware (like me) of all the lifestyle choices we make that can affect our cancer risk. 😲  

Info taken from the World Cancer Research Fund website… 

What is Cancer Prevention Awareness Week?

 Cancer Prevention Awareness Week is an annual event where we draw awareness to cancer and cancer prevention. Currently, 40% of people diagnosed are diagnosed with a cancer that could have been prevented.

Knowing what you need to do and making small, consistent changes to the lives of you and your loved ones can help you avoid preventable cancers. …..

Activ8: Eat Well, Move More…
We’ve also launched a healthy living programme to support people who want to eat better and move more.

By signing up, you’ll get 8 weeks’ worth of motivational emails, which will include links to specific nutrition and physical activity resources such as tip-sheets and videos, as well as live support from our experts.

Make preventing cancer part of your everyday life. By following our Cancer Prevention Recommendations you’re giving yourself the best chance of reducing the risk of at least 12 types of cancer. Take action today!

 I can’t thank you guys enough for all of the support you’ve given Sarah & me over the years!! I encourage you to join us on this challenge so that you too can protect yourselves against cancer and lead happier, healthier lives….  Thank you and God Bless. 💪🏼 😀 
 

Altogether lovely!

Grace logo

Altogether lovely!

(“Solitude Sweetened” by James Meikle, 1730-1799)  LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)


“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Solomon 5:16

Why does the world reject the wondrous Savior? Why do they abhor Him who is altogether lovely, and hate Him who is the best Friend of sinners? 

O men of the world! what good can you desire which is not in Christ? The excellencies of earth are but His footstool; the excellencies of Heaven are but His throne! How excellent, then, must He Himself be! 

His treasures are infinite–and open for you! 

In Jesus are . . .
  riches–if you are poor; 
  honor–if you are despised; 
  friendship–if you are forsaken;
  help–if you are injured;
  mercy–if you are miserable;
  joy–if you are disconsolate; 
  protection–if you are in danger;
  deliverance–if you are a captive;
  life–if you are mortal; and
  all things–if you have nothing at all. 

Time and eternity are His–and He can give you all the glorious things of eternity!

Moreover, He can deliver you . . .
  from all your fears;
  from sin–the worst of all evils;
  from self–the most hurtful of all companions;
  from death–the most dreadful of all changes;
  from Satan— the most subtle of all enemies;
  from Hell–the most horrible of all prisons; and
  from wrath–the most horrifying doom of all sinners!

Now, where will you find such a one as Jesus? 

Why, then, refuse life, and seek after death and damnation?

All Heaven is enamored with His beauty!

The longer we look on ‘created gaieties’, the leaner and less lovely they grow; so that, by the time we have viewed them forty, fifty, or sixty years–we see nothing but vanity in the creature! But when ten thousand ages are employed in beholding the perfection and beauty of Jesus, He still appears more and more lovely–even altogether lovely!

Alas! I can say nothing of His true excellencies! They overwhelm my laboring thought, and are too vast for my feeble conception to bring forth!

The greatness of the sin of gluttony!

🤔 My Thoughts…

Wow, this post hit me hard this morning!! I know all about this struggle and these words really humble me to my knees! 🙏 

Grace logo

The greatness of the sin of gluttony!

(Richard Baxter, “Directions against Gluttony”)

1. Gluttony is a sin exceedingly contrary to the love of God–it is idolatry! 
What an odious, swinish, damning sin it is–for a man’s heart to be set upon his belly!

2. Gluttony is self-murder! Though it does not kill suddenly–it kills surely!

3. Gluttony is a deadly enemy to the mind, and to all the noble employments of reason.

4. Gluttony dulls the body as well as the mind. It makes men heavy, and drowsy and slothful.

5. Gluttony is the immediate effect of a carnal mind, and of the damnable sin of flesh-pleasing. 

6. Gluttony is the breeder and feeder of all other lusts.

7. Gluttony is a base and beastly kind of sin.

8. Gluttony is a wasteful consumer and devourer of the creatures of God.

9. Gluttony is a most unthankful sin–it takes God’s mercies, and spews them as it were in His face!

10. Gluttony is a sin which turns your own mercies, and wealth, and food–into your snare and deadly ruin. You please your throat–and poison your soul!

11. Gluttony is a thief that robs you of your estates, and devours that which is given you for better uses, and for which you must give account to God.

12. Gluttony is a sin so much the greater–by how much the more delight you have in the committing of it. The sweetest, most voluntary and beloved sin–is the greatest sin. Few sins are more pleasant and beloved than gluttony.

13. Gluttony is the greater sin, because it is so frequently committed. Men live in it as their daily practice and delight. They live for it, and make it the end of other sins. Being turned into beasts–they live like beasts continually!

The more I see of Jesus

Grace logo

The more I see of Jesus

(Mary Winslow LISTEN to audio!  Download audio

(You will find it helpful to listen to the audio above, as you read the text below.)

“My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You!
 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 

The more I see of Jesus, the more He opens to me His loving heart–the deeper is my sorrow for sin. I lie down in the dust at His feet closer than ever I did before. I can truly say I abhor myself in dust and ashes before Him. My heart seems ready to melt into contrition in view of the ten thousand thousand sins, willful and aggravating–that I have committed against Him who loved me with an everlasting love, and with loving kindness drew me to Himself. 

So eternal and deep, so sovereign and boundless is the love of Jesus, that angels cannot fathom it! He is nothing but sincere, constant, and unabating love–to the weakest and most unworthy of all His little flock. 

I feel such a weariness of this world that nothing here gives me anything more than a momentary, passing pleasure–and it is gone at a glance.

Oh, to have such a Friend as Jesus, who feels all our sorrows, carries all our burdens; and has promised to bring us safely through this trying world, and place us at last at His own right hand, where neither sickness nor sorrow shall ever come! 

Oh for Heaven! Nothing else will satisfy my longing soul, but the sight of Him it loves! 

Jesus is all in all to me, and He will be all in all through eternity! 

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name!

 

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

The Blind Sightseers logo

   Hi friends and welcome to Day 61 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

Grenada logo

Good morning friends!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-6pkbgL3Ho&feature=youtu.be

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. 🍫 😀  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIjTbbuKpM

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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? 🤔

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀 

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Start tour from beginning

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

The Blind Sightseers logo

   Hi friends and welcome to Day 60 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

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.

On the dock…🛳 

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! 🤣  

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…

☢️ HEALTH WARNING…😲 

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd0phsrO6V4

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…

 DING…DING…DING…DING…BOOM!!😋  
 
Profiteroles
 
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!! ❤️❤️❤️ I LOVE YOU!! ❤️❤️❤️  

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? 🤔 
 

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

The Blind Sightseers logo

   Hi friends and welcome to Day 59 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

Curaçao Logo

 🇨🇼 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 fire (i mean 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 bottle 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?

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀 

⬅ Previous Day 🌴 Next Day ➡

10 Sensible Habits for Abundant Health!

Amen! 🙏 💪🏼 😀

New Creations Ministries

“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)

We are commanded to honor God with our bodies and let’s face it, no one desires to fail on another “diet.” But every time we get exasperated, wanting to quit, the devil taunts: I said you couldn’t do it! You’ll never be successful.

Don’t believe it! The Lord knows you are more powerful than Satan so tap into God’s power! (1 John 4:4)

To ensure weight loss success, establish your defenses against the devil’s lies. Conquer that mountain top of discouragement! Here’s how:

1. Winners know who they are.  Accept your need for self acceptance. You are unique, revel in that. Build your worth around your love for God, others, your family and personality. Real beauty comes from within. (1 Samuel 16:7) Either rid…

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

The Blind Sightseers logo

  Hi friends and welcome to Day 58 of this monumental, inconceivable and definly memorable blind sightseers tour….!

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 ⇧ 

Sea logo

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? 🤔

We’ll meet tomorrow…Same time…Same place for another adventure! 😀 

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