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Praise, And Thanks Be To God……It’s Our 10th Amazing Anniversary!!!

Hi all! I’m excited to tell you……It’s our 10th Wedding anniversary!!

I’ve scheduled this post as we are away celebrating, and also we should be in Corinth, Greece by now which i’m also excited about. I’ll post all about it(with photos) when we get back. 

Also a big thanks to all of you for being here for Sarah & i…..Always showing love, kindness, encouragement and never failing to leave us smiling with your joyful comments. 😊 

 

 

Me  Sarah

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay…10 years today!! 😊 

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

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 who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! 🙂 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow through the Holy Spirit…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails…

Sarah & i in Love Heart

I Will Make Darkness Light

Isaiah 42:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.

The Wicked Have Drawn The Sword

Psalm 37:12-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.

The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken.

He flatters himself in his own eyes

Psalm 36:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, When he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil.

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

Psalm 34:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.

You Have Kept Me Alive

Psalm 30:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!

Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!

(J.C. Ryle, 1816-1900)

“Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!” Hebrews 13:9

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error–and their ‘earnestness’ makes many think they must be right.

There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge–and many imagine that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.

There is a general tendency to free thought in these latter days–many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.

There is a wide-spread desire to appear tolerant and liberal-minded–many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.

There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers–they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.

There is a morbid craving in the public mind for the more sensational and showy–men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.

There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly and earnestly–and a determination to forget that Satan is often “transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

There is a wide-spread ‘gullibility’ among professing Christians–every heretic who tells his story plausibly, is sure to be believed. Anyone who questions him, is called a bigot and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing man to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, “Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!”

An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a Church! A Bible-reading laity may save a Church from ruin.

Let us read the Bible regularly, daily, and with fervent prayer, and become familiar with its contents.

Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing–which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.

Let our rule of faith, our touchstone of all teaching–be the written Word of God!

“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word–it is because there is no light in them!” Isaiah 8:20

Abandon The Quarrel

 

Proverbs 17:14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The beginning of strife is like letting out water [as from a small break in a dam; first it trickles and then it gushes];
Therefore]abandon the quarrel before it breaks out and tempers explode.

 

Remembrance Sunday(inspiring you by reminding you of the Truth)

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2 Peter 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Growth in Christian Virtue

1 [a]Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,

To those who have [b]received and possess [by God’s will] a precious faith of the [c]same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, [e]develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. 8 For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind—shortsighted [closing his spiritual eyes to the truth], having become oblivious to the fact that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by [f]doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]; 11 for in this way entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided to you.

12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth which is [g]held firmly in your grasp. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this earthly tent, to inspire you by reminding you, 14 knowing that the laying aside of this earthly tent of mine is imminent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 Moreover, I will diligently endeavor [to see to it] that even after my departure you will be able, at all times, to call these things to mind.

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation.

More fit to be called a devil than a parent!

Steel Quote Logo

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

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

Parents! Your children have an everlasting inheritance of happiness to attain–and it is that which you must bring them up for. They have an endless misery to escape–and it is that which you must diligently teach them. If you don’t teach them to know God, and how to serve Him, and be saved, and to escape the flames of hell–you teach them nothing, or worse than nothing. It is in your hands to do them the greatest kindness or cruelty in all the world! Help them to know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than if you helped them to be kings or princes. If you neglect their souls, and bring them up them in ignorance, worldliness, ungodliness, and sin–you betray them to the devil, the enemy of souls, even as truly as if you sold them to him! You sell hem to be slaves to Satan! You betray them to him who will deceive them and abuse them in this life–and torment them in eternity!

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

If you love them, show it in those things on which their everlasting welfare depends. Do not say you love them–and yet lead them unto hell! If you do not love them, yet do not be so unmerciful to them as to damn them! You cannot possibly do more to damn them, than to bring them up in . ..

ignorance,
carelessness,
worldliness,
sensuality and
ungodliness!

There is no other way to hell. And yet, will you bring them up in such a life–and say that you do not desire to damn them?

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

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

Oh be not cruel to their souls! Do not sell them to Satan, and that for nothing! Do not betray them not by your ungodly negligence to hell! If any of them will perish, let it not be because of you–who are so much bound to do them good. The undoing of your children’s souls is a work much fitter for Satan, than for their parents!

(Richard Baxter, “Motives for a Holy
and Careful Education of Children
“)

True beauty is not of the face…but of the soul!

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“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the LORD shall be praised!” Proverbs 31:30

Every girl is a lover of beauty. Beautiful homes, beautiful furnishings, beautiful flowers, beautiful clothes, beautiful faces — anything wherein beauty is found, there will be found girls to admire it. From the time her little hands can reach up, and her baby lips can lisp the words, she is admiring “pretty things.” And when a little of that beauty is her own — her pleasure is unbounded.

Every girl longs to be beautiful. There is in woman a nature, as deep as humanity, which compels her to strive for good looks. There is no more forlorn sorrow for a young girl, than for her to be convinced that she is hopelessly ugly and undesirable. Oh, the bitter tears that have been shed over freckles, or a rough and pimply skin — and the energy that has been expended in painting and powdering and waving and curling herself into beauty!

A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. But, mark it: true beauty is not of the face — but of the soul! There is a beauty so deep and lasting, that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it lovely! This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the mind and heart — and is manifested in word and deed.

A happy heart,
a smiling face,
loving words and deeds, and
a desire to be of service —
will make any girl beautiful!

A beautiful soul shining out of a homely face — is far more attractive than a beautiful face out of which looks a soul full of selfishness and pride!

Let your chief charm be of heart and mind — not of face and form. Seek the true beauty which lasts even into old age!

Solomon, in one of his wise sayings, expressed plainly the evil that comes to a woman who is beautiful of face, but lacks the true beauty of soul: “Like a gold ring in a swine’s snout — is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion!” Proverbs 11:22. As the swine would plunge the golden jewel into the filth and the mire as he dug in the dirt — so will a pretty woman who is not godly, drag her beauty down to the very lowest.

There are many peculiar temptations to those who are only lovely of face. Without true beauty of soul — a pretty face is a dangerous gift!

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight!” 1 Peter 3:3-4

(Mabel Hale, “Beautiful Girlhood” 1922)

Tongues Like Thrusting Swords

Hi all, wanted to post a seemingly random encouragement this morning! 😀 

Sarah & i have just returned from a hospital appointment(don’t panic it was only a scan, lol) where i was flooded with Bible verses when leaving the waiting room. It was the quickest we have ever been seen and we’re still shocked now we’re back home.

We entered the waiting room and i was trying to navigate to a seat without stepping on anyones feet(that i couldn’t see) which is quite an adventure for me! 😀 And just as we sat down…Sarah’s name was called. Sarah said “Wow that’s amazingly quick, i’ve never been called that quickly before”. We got straight back up and started towards the door when i heard “That’s not fair” from a lady on my right, then “No, that’s not fair” from a lady on my left, then a few people said “No, that’s not fair they’ve just arrived”.

Jesus cautions in Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” When evil resides in the heart, it will be exposed in speech,

Before you crucify me, i’m not saying anything about the salvation of the people in the waiting room, only God knows that, it was a shocking reminder for us to take every thought captive before we show our selfishness in speech.Our tongues are like thrusting swords and we were being hacked to death without them even knowing us, or our situation.

As i was leaving through the door of shame, more Bible verses were filling my mind and i couldn’t help but be reminded of how i(and every Brother & Sister in Christ) was chosen while they were selfish sinners, and born again into the Kingdom of God to put off the old man and put on the new. The heart of stone replaced with a heart of flesh.

The unbelievers will always follow the pattern of this world. But we are called to be set apart and offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, Holy and pleasing to God. 

When first reading the verses below as a new babe in Christ, i’d never found anything that described me inside and out with such clarity. We can easily forget what we were before being saved and this terrible(yet hope filled) list is one i always return to when i need encouragement. My hope is that you’ll also be encouraged and thankful to our merciful and Loving Saviour.

Ephesians 4:17-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Christian’s Walk

17 So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls], 18 for their [moral] understanding is darkened and their reasoning is clouded; [they are] alienated and self-banished from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the [willful] ignorance and spiritual blindness that is [deep-seated] within them, because of the hardness and insensitivity of their heart. 19 And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand]. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way! 21 If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], 22 that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].

25 Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].

Please be encouraged and season your speech with Grace and speak Truth in Love so we can build up others and not hack them down. God bless you all. 😀


Proverbs 12:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Wisdom from Above

Holy Bible Verse

James 3:13-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Wisdom from Above

13 Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good conduct show his [good] deeds with the gentleness and humility of true wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be arrogant, and [as a result] be in defiance of the truth. 15 This [superficial] wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly (secular), natural (unspiritual), even demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder [unrest, rebellion] and every evil thing and morally degrading practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile]. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness (spiritual maturity) is sown in peace by those who make peace [by actively encouraging goodwill between individuals].

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary! :)

Me and Sarah stood on the grass at Bourne Hall, Ewell with lots of lovely green trees behind us

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay…9 years today!! 🙂 

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

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 who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! 🙂 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails…

Sarah & i in Love Heart

Fitbit, Footsteps & Photography

After reading this post on Nancy Loderick’s blog, about Nancy buying Mr Ken(her Husband) a Fitbit for his birthday…i got inspired!! I thought maybe i could do this as i’m good at walking, just not so good at seeing where i’m going, lol. 

First…

See if the app is accessible with Voiceover(screenreader) on my iPhone? Yes it is, fantastic…now for a little more research. As i take beta-blocker medication having a heart rate monitor was top on my list, and i found the Fitbit Charge HR(on sale too). When i showed Sarah she said”Excellent, let’s buy each other one as an early wedding anniversary present”.

Second…finding a walking route!

As i’m blind, i have to stick to routes like a racing car on a track, and If i veer of course i may crash! Thankfully Sarah & i live on the edges of a local nature reserve which has lots of walking paths. Once i’m shown a route i can normally remember, but i hadn’t walked along any of the paths for a long time…but here goes!! 🙂 

The Walk…

When i said Sarah & i lived on the edge of the local nature reserve…it starts straight opposite our drive! This helps a lot.  

photo taken from my drive of the trees over the lane

I didn’t want to try the path directly through the woods onto the stew ponds, as i didn’t want to get lost on my first try. lol. So i decided to walk around the outside on the path i could still remember! 😉 

A photo taken from the pavement of the road lined with green trees and a black Audi on the road

⇧ I had no idea an Audi was in my photo when taking this!! 🙂 ⇧  

I had to keep stopping as i couldn’t make out the path from the road, so i thought while i stopped i could take a photo! 🙂 It was further than i remembered(i really need to walk more) but finally i felt the bumps on the path indicating a road crossing. Yes i’ve made it this far, now to find the ponds! 

Photo of a gravel path leading through arching trees with a stew pond on the left

After nearly walking into the first stew pond…i planted myself on the path! 🙂 It’s now starting to look familiar so i can enjoy the ponds. 

Photo of the stew pond taken between 2 trees

Big pond fence path

 I have no idea where this path leads but didn’t want to risk killing myself on my first outing! Maybe i’ll check it out next time…what do you think?

Big stew pond with fence

Photo of the big stew pond with a fenced gravel path along the left of the photo

Photo of the big stew pond

Afterr spending a little quiet time at the ponds, i decided to try heading back through the woods. 

Local nature reserve woods 1

I found this path and i could hear the cars from the road on my left. I knew as long as i could hear the cars…i was going in the right direction. After i veered of track a few times and navigating some trees…i finally made it out! 🙂 

Coffee…

I now could walk in the other direction from home and go to church for a coffee, which is another 2 miles towards my daily goal! 🙂 

Finally…

I walked over 8 miles in total and feel great, i like how i can track my now daily walk while monitoring my health. I think a lot more about eating already…as i know i have to walk for ages to burn it off! 🙂 I’ve been encouraged by reading posts by Ellie at New Creation Ministries, her posts convict me every time! 🙂 

I often spend hours indoors daily studying the Bible and listening to sermons and teachings, but now i can be a lot more healthy whilst listening to the Bible on route! 🙂 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary

Me and Sarah stood on the grass at Bourne Hall, Ewell with lots of lovely green trees behind us

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay…8 years today!! 🙂 

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

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 who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! 🙂 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

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

Martin Luther

Sin-Shine

a pair of red sunglasses above the word Sin-Shine in big red letters with a yellow drop shadow

As i left the house this morning on my way to Bible study & Holy Communion, i took my sunglasses from my pocket as it was going to be a hot day today. As i slid them on my face the article i’d just read was still fresh in my mind…

Protect your eyes…

Research suggests that the harmful UVA and UVB rays contained in sunlight may be a factor in a number of eye diseases, in particular cataracts….read more at RNIB

After reading about the UV filter a few Bible verses spoke to me…

“I have made a covenant with my eyes;”

“Lust of the eyes”

And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.

We cause so much damage to ourselves with what we choose to put in front of our eyes. We tend to think it’s ok and not doing any harm. Just like the invisible rays burning our eyes and doing damage we are not aware of until it’s too late. 

“Is your soul crying out…burning from the sin-shine in your eyes?”

Stephen Salmon ~ Absent From The Body & Present With The Lord

Photo of Stephen Salmon  1

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2 Corinthians 5:6-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Meet Stephen…

This post is to celebrate the life of “Brother in Christ” Stephen Salmon (aged 33). His funeral is today so could you please pray for family and friends and all who are affected by his passing.

First i’d like you to meet Stephen as he describes in this video testimony how God pulled him from the streets of Tenerife. Stephen was homeless, addicted to all kinds of drugs and alcohol, and yet God showed him a glimpse of heaven and his new eternal home with Jesus.

 

I saw Stephen’s testimony for the first time whilst looking through the Epsom Baptist Church’s Facebook page which Stephen (and his lovely wife Claire) posted on regularly. Afterwards i shouted Sarah to come and watch as his was the first proper northern accent i’d heard since becoming a Christian, and after moving down to Surrey his voice was like a breath of fresh air, and he somehow made God so personal!

Sarah and i were invited by Ben (our close Brother in Christ, after Ben had visited our church where Sarah & i played in the evening service. We got chatting and he mentioned they were needing a drummer for the morning Worship band. I said we weren’t currently attending a morning service, but i also play the drums…so if you can use me then i’ll come !

The Spirit within…

I still remember the first time i met Stephen, it was at a Sunday morning service and once i heard his accent i nudged Sarah and said “Sarah, that’s the man from the testimony video”. I can’t accurately describe the warmth oozing from him, but the Spirit within him just made you smile. 🙂

The term “Full of beans” always springs to mind when thinking of his character. This brother was “Full On” for God and his hunger for the Word, passion and empathy for the homeless touched so many lives including my own.

As i write this (and thinking of his age) the Metallica lyric “The brightest flame burns quickest” just popped into my head. 

Also (like all of us) this brother was not perfect. We all struggle to mortify the flesh as our body of sin makes war against the Holy Spirit in our journey of Sanctification. I thank God for saving Stephen and giving him the blessed hope we in Christ all look forward to. And i thank God that i got to meet Stephen who not only inspired me…but he encouraged me too. 🙂

Last year i posted one of Stephen’s quotes on iChristian and i’d like to share it again…

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Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was depressed, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead …..

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED|

Like, Comment or Reblog  this if you know you are NOT perfect, but that God is working in your life anyway…

Stephen Salmon (Brother in Christ)

Hope Logo copy

I’d like to finish with a message taken from his Facebook timeline… 

Amanda McCrea: See you heaven Stephen. You touched so many lives in life and on Facebook. You used social media as a means to inspire and uplift others. A brother in Christ and a wonderful testimony to how God can transform a life. A true servant heart. My condolences to your loved ones. May God comfort you all at this sad time. Love and prayers. Amanda.

The Wasteland Wanderer & The Power Armour Of God

A screenshot of a Brotherhood of Steel member in power armour stood in a apocalyptic background

 📖 Verse 4 2day ~ Ephesians 6:10-18

 The Armour of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Wasteland Wanderer… 

With the recent announcement of Fallout 4 (released nov 2015) there is a lot of buzz about armour, especially the “Brotherhood of Steel” power armour (my fave). 

Every time i read or hear about power armour or surviving in the wasteland, i think of putting on the full armour of God. 

There is no way at all i’d step out into the wasteland without armour, only the foolish would do that. So why do we think we can stand firm against the dark forces in this world (the true wasteland) while forgetting to equip God’s armour??

Easily defeated…

How easy we make it for the evil one and his dark forces to defeat us without any fight at all. We need to put on each piece carefully and securely making sure it’s pulled tight with the belt of Truth, so we can be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 

A little about Fallout 4… 

Fallout 4 takes place approximately 200 years after a war over resources that ended in a nuclear holocaust in 2077, roughly the same time of events of Fallout 3. The setting is a post-apocalyptic retro-future, covering a region that includes Boston, Massachusetts and other parts of New England known as the Commonwealth.

The player faces all kinds of moral choices, situations, people, mutants and feral l ghouls (and worse), As you encounter more powerful enemies without much armour yourself, you keep wishing that you will find the location of the power armour. The game (like life) is full of choices,  you can choose to do good or you can choose to do bad, and the consequences of these choices send ripples throughout the game and change the way people receive you. 

Each choice determines your destiny!

Putting on…… 

 For us to stand any chance of surviving against the devil’s schemes, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, we MUST choose to put on the spiritual armour. Unlike the game we know the location of this armour is in prayer. 

 

Ready…..Aim..…Pray!

 

I’m writing this post to urge you to pray on the spiritual Armour of God Ephesians 6 (as listed above). Take a moment and carefully consider the power, purpose and reality of each piece as you put it on. Whether you pray this prayer or a prayer like it, make it a routine that you take seriously.

🙏 Prayer 4 2day! 

Lord, please help me today put on the Full Armour of God so i can stand firm in this spiritual warfare.

Help me put the Helmet of Salvation on my head that I might always remember I am saved, and who I belong to, that my mind is guarded in Christ Jesus, and that I may have the mind of Christ and that I may think the thoughts of Christ and reject all others that flood my mind daily.

Help me put the Breastplate of Righteousness on so that I may walk about in Righteousness and others may see your Righteousness in me, and that my heart is guarded in Christ Jesus, and that I may have the desires of Christ and reject all others.

Help me keep the Belt of Truth securely buckled on my waist, that I may always be secure in the knowledge of the Truth, always speak the Truth and especially…live the Truth.

Help me fit my Feet with the Readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace, that I may stand firm in the Gospel, and spread the Gospel of Peace wherever I go.

Help hold the Shield of Faith with which to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one, strengthen my arm and help me hold it high, that I may use it to protect myself, my family, my household and those under my care, and help me use the Shield of Faith to press ahead and push forward for the kingdom of God.

And Lord, help me take up the Sword of The Spirit which is the Word of God, and use it every day, help me us it to protect myself and others from the evil one through the power and authority of Your Word, and to strike the hearts and minds of those who do not know You calling them towards repentance and salvation, help me use Your Word – the Sword of the Spirit – to cause those who know you but are backslidden to repentance, obedience and service, and to help awaken those who know you, but are asleep so they may obey and serve you, and please help me use your Word to bring, encouragement, strength and wisdom to the Remnant of God through your Word.

Help me serve you this and every day. Please use me Lord. These things I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Healings & Peelings

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Matthew 12:34 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Shortly after lunchtime today, i strolled up our drive to bring in our recycling bins, tub & bag after the weekly emptying. Sarah & i had just finished a lovely lunch where we had my special “Scwipps”. It’s just swede cut really chunky and long like chips! 🙂 It was now time to put out the peelings into the really smelly food waste recycling bin. This bin has a flip up lid which to me looks like a big mouth, but leave it open at your peril. As i knelt down to open the lid for Sarah to quickly put the peelings in, a thought came straight to mind…

“Our mouths can be like this bin sometimes, as soon as it opens a horrendous smell comes out as our words start to stink up the place, instead of being fragranced with grace, and healing to others. They are rotten and foul”. 

A couple of verses were highlighted in my mind too…

Ephesians 4:29 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Colossians 4:6 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

As i told Sarah that i may have an idea for a post, she said “We can’t even put out some peelings without you going off on one! Lol!”.

It can be such a struggle sometimes to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but our words have power! The power to lift up, or to pull down. It’s the difference between a sweet smelling fragrance that blesses and heals the listener. Or the stench of death that drags everyone down and leaves them worse off for being around you.

So which one are you??

🙏 Prayer 

Loving Father. Unless my heart is clean, my words can’t be clean.Cleanse my heart with the purity of your Holy Spirit so my words can become acceptable to you, I stumble in many ways, Lord, especially with my words. Forgive me for any corrupt word that has proceeded out of my mouth and has grieved the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Perverting The Gospel Of Christ

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Galatians 1:6-10 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

A Still Small Voice

A screenshot of logic pro of an audio track being boosted using the Automation Tool

Today i’m editing audio interviews Sarah has recorded for the latest CD version of RNIB’s Outlook magazine. As i was using the automation tool (see above) to boost a part of Sarah’s voice, i instantly thought of the still small voice of God speaking to Elijah. 

1 Kings 19:12 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

12 and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 

I started thinking that its so easy for us to try and amplify the “still small voice” to align it with our noisy and busy lives, to try and keep doing everything we want to do and God will bless it anyway. We become so arrogant in our will, that we think we can manipulate God into fitting in (and agreeing) with our purpose driven lives, after all we are doing it for Him aren’t we?!

Are you bombarding God with foolish rantings, or are you ready to slow down and listen to His still small voice?

True Psychology

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Ephesians 4:17-19 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

An Evening With Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges! 😄

 Wow!! Just returned home from an evening of Worship at church, where we were blessed by the amazing voice of Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges and his Spiritual songs, it was an honour to meet him too! 🙂

Read about Eugene “Hideaway” Bridges on Wikipedia…. 

Eugene 2

Eugene 1

⇧ Eugene “Hideaway Bridges performing at our church ⇧ 

Eugene  Hideaway Bridges  Me

⇧ Me meeting Eugene during the interval 🙂 ⇧ 

Ephesians 5:19 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,

Christian & Gospel Genre On iTunes

A screenshot taken from my iPad of Christian  Gospel iTunes

⇧ Screenshot taken from my iPad ⇧ 

Ephesians 5:19-20 New International Version – UK

speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Yay! I’ve just found out that iTunes now finally has its own Genre for “Christian & Gospel” music. Praise the Lord! 😄 🎸 🎶

The Way Of Life

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Proverbs 10:17 Amplified Bible

He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.

Your Most Important Stewardship

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Proverbs 4:23 Amplified Bible

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Wow, i’ve been studying the book of Proverbs this week and the Spirit has just blown me away again! We can get so busy that we completely forget the vital importance of this command, and put it somewhere further down our list. Your most important stewardship isn’t your family, your wealth, your job, your house etc,…… It’s your heart!

Members Of God’s Holy Family

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Ephesians 2:17-22 The Voice

17 The Great Preacher of peace and love came for you, and His voice found those of you who were near and those who were far away. 18 By Him both have access to the Father in one Spirit. 19 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. 20 You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone. 21 The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.

The church is not a building constructed by humans but a divine institution, built on the living Stone, Jesus. He’s the strong, foundational building block of the church, and his followers are living stones who are being built into a spiritual house. 

As one of the many little living stones in the church, remember that each diverse stone has great worth to Jesus and to his body. When you’re tempted to ignore your need for others or to discount those who aren’t like you, remember that each stone is balanced by all those around it, and all rest on the living Stone himself. 

Quote from:NIV Devotions

The Peace Of God & The Blessing Of The Church Family

Sunday was especially blessed for me, as not only did i get to drum with the worship team, but i was asked to play a reflective song on guitar with my lovely wife Sarah on flute & Sara (the voice) singing. I chose the song “In Your Hands” by Unspoken (see video below) and shared a little about worry, and how we need to trustGod and  have more confidence in this promise to let his peace, the peace that’s beyond all understanding to guard our hearts and minds, as we offer everything (not some things) in prayer. 

After the service a group of us went down to the coast at Littlehampton and had a great day walking along the beach after eating chips then doughnuts! It was fantastic spending time with sisters & brothers and i felt truly blessed! 🙂 

A group photo of us in front of the beach and sea

⇧ From left: Ben, Hope, Mary, Sally, Sara & Me at front ⇧ 

Group photo in front of the beach and sea

⇧ From left: Ben, Sarah, Hope, Mary, Sally & Sara ⇧ 

close up of the groups shot

⇧ From left: Ben, Sarah, Hope, Mary, Sally & Sara ⇧

Me  Sarah

⇧ Me & Sarah ⇧ 

Sarah  Sara

⇧ Sarah & Sara ⇧

Hope  Sarah 3

⇧ Hope & Sarah ⇧

Sara  Hope

⇧ Mary & Hope ⇧ 

Sally  Sara

⇧ Sally & Mary ⇧

Ben  Me

⇧ Ben & Me ⇧ 

Little Hampton 1

⇧ From left: Sally, Mary, Hope, Sarah & Ben ⇧ 

 

In Your Hands Lyrics

The dawn is breaking and I can hear Your whisper in the breeze
The world is waking and I am here to meet You on my knees
When I’m with You my soul finds rest
Cause I can leave it in Your hands


The day keeps coming pulling me a different million ways
I’m always running but never seem to catch the things I chase
When I’m with You my soul finds rest
Cause I can leave it in Your hands


(Chorus)
 Every sorrow, I leave it in Your hands
Every sickness, I leave it in Your hands
All my failures, I leave them in Your hands
Amen, I leave it in Your hands



So I am laying the weight of all these burdens at Your feet
No more waiting, cause You’ve already won my victories
In Jesus my soul finds rest
Cause I can leave it in Your hands


(Chorus 2)
 Every promise, I leave it in Your hands
Every healing, I leave it in Your hands
And my future, I leave it in Your hands
Amen, I can leave it in Your hands


(Bridge )
It’s Your hands that form the mountains
Your hands set boundaries for the seas
And in Your hands You hold tomorrow
The same hands that took the nails for me


(Chorus 1)
(Chorus 2)

A Few Birds & Sea Creatures

Genesis 1:21-22 The Voice 

God: 20 Waters, swarm with fish and sea creatures. Let birds soar high above the earth in the broad expanse of sky.

21 So God created huge sea creatures, all the swarm of life in the waters, and every kind and species of flying birds—each able to reproduce its own kind. And God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good. 22 And God spoke this blessing over them:

God: Be fruitful and multiply. Let creatures fill the seas. Let birds reproduce and cover the earth.

In Flight

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D2X 6738

D2X 6744

D2X 6745

A black and white close up photo of a ducks head

Seal

Turtle

See also Blind Photographer

Planting Seeds

Growing Strong B W

 ⇧ Photo taken with iPhone 5s ⇧ 

The image above is a photo i’ve just taken of a mystery plant (i’m not sure what it is?) that was grown from a random seed that was given to each of us who attended our evening service about 2 months ago. Richard (one of our Ministers) was preaching about the sower and during the talk gave us a seed to hold and think about what beauty could lie within even though it seems like a dead seed at the moment. He then asked us to plant it when we got home and just see what happens. As i was playing guitar during the service, i just put the seed into one of my many pockets in my cargo shorts. By the time i got home i totally forgot it was there. It wasn’t until about a week later when i remembered and hoped it was still there, it was and Sarah & i quickly planted it into it’s own little pot.

After 4 weeks there was still no sign of life and just a pot filled with soil……..then overnight (to our amazement) it seemed to just shoot up and this is how it’s getting on now after about 5 weeks! 🙂

 Parable Of The Sower

Matthew 13:3-23 The Voice 

3 And so Jesus began to teach. On this day, He spoke in parables. Here is His first parable:

Jesus: Once there was a sower who scattered seeds. 4 One day he walked in a field scattering seeds as he went. Some seeds fell beside a road, and a flock of birds came and ate all those seeds. 5 So the sower scattered seeds in a field, one with shallow soil and strewn with rocks. But the seeds grew quickly amid all the rocks, 6 without rooting themselves in the shallow soil. Their roots got tangled up in all the stones. The sun scorched these seeds, and they died. 7 And so the sower scattered seeds near a path, this one covered with thorny vines. The seeds fared no better there—the thorns choked them, and they died. 8 And so finally the sower scattered his seeds in a patch of good earth. At home in the good earth, the seeds grew and grew. Eventually the seeds bore fruit, and the fruit grew ripe and was harvested. The harvest was immense—30, 60, 100 times what was sown.

9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Disciples: 10 Why do You speak to the people in parables?

Jesus: 11 The knowledge of the secrets of heaven has been given to you, but it has not been given to them. 12 Those who have something will be given more—and they will have abundance. Those who have nothing will lose what they have—they will be destitute. 13 I teach in parables so the people may look but not see, listen but not hear or understand. 14 They are fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy:

You will listen, but you will not understand;
you will look, but you will not see.
15 The people’s hearts have turned to flab;
their ears are clogged;
their eyes are shut.
They will try to see, but they will not see;
they will try to hear, but they will not hear;
they will try to understand, but they will not comprehend.
If they, with their blindness and deafness, so choose, then I will heal them.

16-17 Many holy prophets and righteous men and women and people of prayer and doers of good have wanted to see but did not see, and have wanted to hear but did not hear. Your eyes and ears are blessed.

18 This is what the parable of the sower means. 19 It is about the kingdom of heaven. When someone hears the story of the Kingdom and cannot understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away whatever goodness and holiness had been sown in the heart. This is like the seeds sown beside the road. 20-21 You know people who hear the word of God and receive it joyfully—but then, somehow, the word fails to take root in their hearts. It is temporary. As soon as there is trouble for those people, they trip: those people are the seeds strewn on the rocky soil. 22 And you know people who hear the word, but it is choked inside them because they constantly worry and prefer the wealth and pleasures of the world: they prefer drunken dinner parties to prayer, power to piety, and riches to righteousness. Those people are like the seeds sown among thorns. 23 The people who hear the word and receive it and grow in it—those are like the seeds sown on good soil. They produce a bumper crop, 30 or 60 or 100 times what was sown.

Our Father in heaven plants many seeds in order to ensure that some seeds bear fruit. The final harvest, however, is worth any amount of hard work.

Bad Boys Of The Bible: Abimelech

Bad Boys of the Bible

Abimelech

Judges 9 The Voice

1 Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, went to Shechem to the clan of his mother.

Abimelech (to his mother’s family): 2 Go, and say this so that all the leaders of Shechem can hear you: “Is it better that 70 sons of Jerubbaal should be your rulers, or only one of them?” And remember that I share your own bone and flesh.

3 So Abimelech’s mother’s kinsmen went out and repeated these words to the leaders of Shechem, and they were favorably disposed toward him because they said, “He is our brother.” 4 They gave Abimelech 70 pieces of silver out of the treasury of Baal-berith, and he used the money to hire some reckless and worthless men who followed him and did his dirty work.

5 He went to his father’s house in Ophrah and killed all 70 of his half-brothers, the sons of Jerubbaal, on one stone. (Only Jotham, the youngest, was left alive, because he hid.) 6 Then all the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo came together and crowned Abimelech king by the great oak tree at the pillar in Shechem.

7 When Jotham was told what had happened, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim.

Jotham: Listen to me, all you who are the leaders in Shechem, so that God may listen to you.

8 The trees once decided to go out
and anoint a king to rule them all.
They said to the olive tree,
“Reign over us.”
9 But the olive tree refused, saying,
“Should I stop producing the rich oil used to honor both gods and mortals so I can stand and sway over the trees?”
10 Then the trees went to the fig tree, saying,
“You come and reign over us.”
11 But the fig tree refused, saying,
“Should I give up my sweetness and stop producing my delicious fruit so I can stand and sway over the trees?”
12 Then the trees said to the grapevine,
“You come and reign over us.”
13 But the vine refused, saying,
“Should I stop producing the wine that cheers both gods and mortals so I can stand and sway over the trees?”
14 At last the trees came to the worthless thornbush, saying,
“You come and reign over us.”
15 And the thornbush said to the trees,
“If in good faith you want to anoint me as your king,
then come and take refuge in my shade (of which there was precious little).
But if you haven’t come in good faith, then let fire come from my brambles
and burn down the cedars of Lebanon.”

16 Now if you have made this decision to crown Abimelech king in good faith, with sincerity, have acted honorably toward my father Jerubbaal and his family, and have treated him as his actions toward you deserve; 17 you know how my father fought for you, risked his life for you, rescued you from the hand of the Midianites. 18 But now here you are, rising up against my father’s house, killing all of his sons, 70 of them, on one stone; and you have made Abimelech, the son of my father’s slave woman, king over all the leaders of Shechem, simply because he is your kinsman. 19 Well, I say, if you have acted honorably toward Jerubbaal and his family, then now may you take joy in Abimelech, and may he take joy in you.

20 But if you have not acted honorably, then may fire come out of Abimelech and burn up the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo. May fire come from you and burn up Abimelech.

21 When he had said these words, Jotham fled for his life to Beer, where he stayed because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.

22 Abimelech was king over Israel for three years. 23 Then the one True God sent an evil spirit to stir up dissension between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem. Consequently the leaders of Shechem acted with treachery against Abimelech; 24 and all of this happened so that the brutal murder of Jerubbaal’s 70 sons might be avenged and their bloodguilt laid upon their brother Abimelech, who had ordered their deaths, and on the leaders of Shechem who had lent their strength to his cause.

25 As a result of their new hatred for Abimelech, the leaders of Shechem began to ambush travelers along the mountain roads, robbing everyone who passed by, and these robberies were reported to Abimelech.

26 When Gaal, the son of Ebed, arrived in Shechem with his family, the leaders of Shechem trusted him. 27 After they had been in the fields, gathered the grapes, and trampled them for wine, they celebrated a festival in the temple of their god. While they ate and drank, they insulted Abimelech.

Gaal: 28 Who is this Abimelech, and who are we here in Shechem that we should serve him? Didn’t the son of Jerubbaal and his deputy, Zebul, serve the men of Hamor, Shechem’s father? Why then should we serve him? 29 I wish this people were under my command! I would get rid of Abimelech. I would tell him, “Go ahead. Call out your army!”

30 When Zebul, who governed the city, heard what Gaal, the son of Ebed, said, he was furious. 31 Secretly he sent messengers to Abimelech.

Zebul’s Message: Here’s what’s happening: Gaal, son of Ebed, and his family have come to Shechem, and they are igniting the city against you. 32 You should go by night with your troops and lie in wait in the fields. 33 Then in the morning, when the sun comes up, march on the city; and when Gaal and his forces come out to defend it, you can deal with them.

34 Abimelech and his troops prepared to do just as Zebul suggested. Four companies of men waited for morning. 35 When Gaal, the son of Ebed, went outside, stood in the gate of the city, and looked out, Abimelech and his troops rose from their hiding places to attack.

Gaal (seeing them): 36 Look, Zebul, people are coming down from the mountaintops!

Zebul: It’s just the shadows on the mountains. They must look like men to you.

Gaal: 37 No, look! One company is coming right down the center, and another company is coming from the direction of the fortune-teller’s tree!

Zebul: 38 Where are your big words now? Where is the loudmouth who said, “Who is this Abimelech, that we should serve him?” Aren’t these the men you insulted? Go on, fight them!

39 So Gaal gathered the leaders of Shechem, and they fought against Abimelech’s forces. 40 Abimelech overwhelmed Gaal and chased him and his men, many of whom were wounded and fell along the way as they retreated, all the way to the gate. 41 Abimelech remained in Arumah, and Zebul threw Gaal and his people out of Shechem.

42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to work the fields. After hearing this news, Abimelech 43 took his troops, divided them into three groups, and set an ambush in the fields.

When he saw the people emerge from Shechem, he ordered his troops to attack them. 44 Abimelech and his men captured a forward position at the city gate, cutting off any retreat. Then the other two companies of Abimelech’s men swept down on the people trapped in the fields and cut them down. 45 Abimelech continued his attack all day long, until he had captured Shechem and killed everyone in it. Then he demolished the city and scattered salt over the place where it had once stood.

Abimelech here carries out a devastating act in antiquity that ensures the death of an agricultural area, both food and water sources, for subsequent generations.

46 When those leaders inside the tower of Shechem heard this news, all of them entered into the stronghold of the temple of El-berith. 47 Abimelech learned that all the leaders were in the tower, and 48 he took his men up Mount Zalmon. There he took an ax, cut a bundle of firewood, and hoisted it atop his shoulders, ordering his men to quickly do the same. 49 When they had all cut and loaded their wood, they followed Abimelech back to the stronghold, where they piled the wood against the walls and set fire to it, killing about 1,000 men and women inside the tower of Shechem.

50 Next, Abimelech went on to Thebez. He laid siege to it, captured it, and 51 discovered that in the city was a strong tower where the leaders and men and women of the city had locked themselves in to escape and had climbed onto the roof. 52 So he stormed the tower, ready to burn this tower as he had the other. 53 But this time as he approached the entrance, a woman dropped an upper millstone upon him, crushing his skull.

Abimelech (to his armor-bearer): 54 Take your sword and kill me. I won’t have anyone say that I died like this—killed by a woman.

The young man killed Abimelech with the sword.

55 When the people of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they all went back home.

56 So God avenged the evil that Abimelech had committed against his father by murdering his 70 brothers, 57 and the evil of the leaders of Shechem God brought back on their heads; everything happened just as Jotham, son of Jerubbaal, had prophesied when he cursed them all.

More Bad Boys Of The Bible

Giving Light Upon The Earth

Last night i thought i’d try (for the first time) and take some photos of the moon. I knew this was not going to be easy for me, but i had a go! So i mounted my Canon SX40 HS onto my tripod and opened my bedroom window. I thought i’d use my “Bridge” camera as it has a massive 35X Zoom (this is equivalent to a focal length of 24-840mm). This also made it near impossible to keep still and press the shutter at the same time, as i can’t remember (i have to remember so many settings & dial turns, as i can’t see the buttons etc) where the self timer button is!  

At least for my first attempt i actually found the moon! lol. Now it’s another challenge for me to try and get some good shots of the moon at different positions etc. Hope you enjoy my first images of the moon! 😀

A photo of the moon centered and framed

A square photo of the right hand side of the moon

vintage greyscale effect on the north east side of the moon

⇧ Thought i would try a Vintage Greyscale effect on this one! ⇧ 

Moon 4

Moon 5

Genesis 1:16-18 King James Version

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 

View more photos here: Blind Photographer

Bad Boys Of The Bible: Doeg

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Doeg

1 Samuel 22 The Voice

9 Doeg the Edomite stood among Saul’s servants.

Doeg: I saw the son of Jesse when he came to Nob to speak with the priest, Ahimelech son of Ahitub. 10 Ahimelech asked the Eternal One questions on David’s behalf, gave him provisions, and even gave him the legendary sword of Goliath the Philistine. 

Saul (to Doeg): 18 Carry out my orders. Turn around, and kill these priests.

So Doeg the Edomite attacked them. That day he turned and killed 85 men who wore the priestly linen garment. 19 Then he went after Nob, the city of the priests, with his sword and utterly destroyed everything he found there—all the men, women, children, and infants. Doeg even turned his blade against the oxen, donkeys, and sheep. 20 Only Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, escaped, and he fled to David for protection. 21 He informed David that Saul had massacred the priests of the Eternal.

Psalm 52 The Voice

Psalm 52 recalls the callous way Doeg and Saul put to death the 85 priests of Nob (1 Samuel 22:6–19). The psalm ends with a memorable image: the one who keeps faith with God is like a lush olive tree cared for in His garden. While those who do not trust in Him are snatched up and torn away, those who do right will flourish under His care.

1 Why do you boast of all the trouble you stir up, O mighty one, when the constant, unfailing love of God is what truly lasts? 2 Have you listened to yourself? Your tongue is like a sharp razor, full of lies that slash and tear right to the soul. 3 You’ve fallen in love with evil and have no interest in what He calls good. You prefer your own lies to speaking what is true.

4 You love words that destroy people, don’t you, lying tongue? 5 You won’t be smiling when the True God brings His justice and destroys you forever. He will come into your home, snatch you away, and pull you from the land of the living.

6 Those who are just will see what happens to you and be afraid. And some of them will laugh and say, 7 “Hey, look! Over there is the one who didn’t take shelter in the True God; Instead, he trusted in his great wealth and got what he wanted by destroying others!” 

8 But my life is abundant—like a lush olive tree cared for at the house of the one True God. I put my trust in His kind love forever and ever; it will never fail. 9 Because of all You have done, I will humble myself and thank You forever. With Your faithful people at my side, I will put my hope in our good reputation.

We Aren’t Trying To Please Everybody, But God

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1 Thessalonians 2:4 The Voice

but as we have been approved by God and entrusted with the good news, that’s how we are telling the world. We aren’t trying to please everybody, but God, the only One who can truly examine our motives.

Love At First Sight Village! (10 Years On!!!)

 Today i’m celebrating 10 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham” 

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors from throughout the world take part and they 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, 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 checks 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. 🙂

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 ⇧ 

Sarah  i

 ⇧ Last Week ⇧

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

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.

Church Family

Sarah & i had another lovely weekend with our brothers & sisters (church family). It’s fantastic as we live on the other side of the country to both our families which we miss! We had Vini on our 3rd Saturday sleep over in a row. We watched the Brazil match, played playStation & ate burgers!! 🙂 Also Phil, Sara & Hope came round and we played & sang music!

God has given us another blessed weekend! 🙂

photo of Vini laughing!

Vini after a near miss

Vini looking content

Romans 12:10 Amplified Bible

Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.

Paul's Redemption

My recovery from obesity and mental illness

Real Christianity

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32)

Voyages Of Mine

Traveling from Knoxville, TN

This, that and the other thing

Looking at life through writing and photography

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

A DEVOTED LIFE

Practical Daily Devotions for the Real World

Travelling with Lyn

My experiences in Italy and the world

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

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