Present Time Still Standing

The present cold, dull day makes one want to stay close to home comforts. My AGA cooker is one of my home comforts. For the last few days it was not working properly and I was feeling the cold. The engineer checked it over on Friday night. The problem was a blocked filter stopping the oil flowing to power the cooker.

I had been meditating on the scripture about five wise virgins who had their lamps filled with oil. I wrote a blog on the subject. I was experiencing at first hand what it was like not to have the oil flowing. I was very cold as a result. I was waiting patiently to see if the Aga was working again. I was overjoyed to see it was working better than it had been for a long time and my kitchen was warm again.  I cooked pancakes for breakfast, made wheaten bread in the oven and cooked soup, all before ten am.

In the early morning the sun light up the sky and sea to a pale blue. Light and warmth were returning. Is the winter over?

My husband and I went for a walk along the shore. We walked through the variety of boats safe on dry land for the winter. A rich man’s yacht, a black upturned curragh, an unfinished wooden skiff and some fiber glass small boats sheltered there. We went to our favorite spot to collect sea glass. Oh, the welcome warmth on our backs as we bent down searching.

Later we sat at the quay sharing some fish and chips. Other creatures were enjoying the welcome sunny morning. Brent geese fed in the water and gulls soared overhead. Two gulls landed on the pier a little distance off. I took a photo of them. A friend distracted me for a while. She was out enjoying the morning as well.

When I looked at the gulls again, I noticed the bigger one was standing on one leg. I commented to my husband. A moment later the gull stretched the missing leg out behind. He limped a few steps forward and sat down. His partner looked on attentively. He must have been in pain. We prayed that the gull’s leg would be healed and restored.

Yesterday was a joyful day. I wanted to fit in so much while the sun shone. The joy of yesterday overflowed into today. The cold and dullness at the present time has not dented my sense of wellbeing.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/present/

Lamps filled with Oil.

Two days before Jesus was arrested and brought to be crucified, he spoke to his disciples. One of the last parables he spoke to them about was the story of the ten virgins.

““At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.
The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭25:1-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When Jesus was with his disciples he spoke to them about many things which they did not have had clear understanding about. It was after he died and rose again that they began to think about what he had told them.

The disciples received the Holy Spirit when they were waiting and praying together in the upper room. Jesus told them to wait till they received power from on high. After they received the Holy Spirit they were bold and proclaimed about Jesus without fear.

In the scriptures we are told that the Holy Spirit has many attributes. Here are some or them; like a dove, Luke 3 v 22; quencher of thirst, Isaiah 55 ; the comforter, John 14 v 26; teacher of truth, John 16 v 13, giver of power, Acts 1 v 8; giver of joy, Romans 14 v 17. giver of love, Romans 5 v 5; giver of eternal life, John 4 v 14; oil, Mark 6v 13; prayer, Jude 1 v 20.

Do you need love, joy, heaven, truth or comfort? Are you thirsty? Are these not attributes all our hearts desire? I have good news for you. The Holy Spirit wants to give these without measure. Receive him.

The five wise virgins with their lamps and oil are symbolic of people who receive the Jesus (lamp) and keep the Holy Spirit (oil) flowing in their lives. They are prepared for any good work and will not be ashamed when Jesus returns. The foolish virgins are symbolic of those of us who receive Jesus but don’t keep the oil of the Holy Spirit flowing in their lives. They will be unprepared for Jesus return.

Many people start off excited about the Holy Spirit but do not continue praying in the Spirit. Persecutions or lack of perseverance discourage one. So we give up. Let today be a new day for you. It is the beginning of Lent. A new beginning to turn again to God.  A flickering flame he will not put out. Instead God can cause that flame to be stirred up into a fire! Be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit.

i can testify to the Holy Spirit being my Comforter.  Many times when I’ve been distressed I’ve been comforted.  The Holy Spirit has led me into truth and led me in life’s paths that are good for me.  He has given me joy instead of despair.  His power strengthened to rear fourteen children and be healed of cancer.  When I have no love left, he fills me with love again.  He will keep me and give me eternal life in heaven.  Praise God.

Forgiven Much, Loves Much.

 

Today I experienced a little of what it is like to be forgiven much and to love much.

Abraham returned to Scotland today.  I was leaving him to the ferry at the Port of Belfast.  Hannah warned me that 1000 cyclists were out somewhere in the Ards Peninsula today, Sunday.  To avoid hold ups or upsetting cyclists because I try to overtake them, I decided to take the ferry to Strangford.  After farewells to family at home, Abraham and I set off.

We boarded the nine forty five ferry from Portaferry to Strangford.  There were about eighteen cars on board.  The ticket master came to check my card.  One can buy a card for twenty journeys for half the price.  He said “Your journey have been paid for.”  I looked around to see if there was someone who knew me and kindly paid for my fare.  But no.  The ticket collector told me someone has paid for everyone on the ferry.  A gentleman had bought a card and would not be using it again.

Abraham and I looked at each other.  Whoa!  That was an unlooked for blessing.  It felt unusual to receive this kindness from a complete stranger.  Abraham commented that anyone on board who has to pay the full fare will benefit the most from this man’s generosity.

For a moment I felt the love and presence of God.  I thought this is what it feels like for someone to pay the price for something I was responsible for.  I was able to go free.  I experienced a little bit of what Jesus paid for on the cross when he died to forgive my sins, heal my diseases and give me  eternal life in heaven.  He paid the price for me to go free instead of having to suffer for my wrongdoings and go to hell.

Here is a reading from scripture which tells us about Jesus forgiveness.

“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.
As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender.
One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.” “You have judged correctly,”
Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house.
You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet.
You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet.
Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.””

I did not argue with the ticketmaster and say, “I don’t want to accept this man’s offer.  I insist on paying for my own passage.”  Perhaps one can feel as if one doesn’t deserve this kindness.  One has to learn to receive.  Sometimes we say something like that to Jesus when we don’t accept his sacrifice on the cross to pay for one’s sins and go free.  Let us be like the woman who washed Jesus feet.  She received Jesus forgiveness. Having been forgiven much let us love much.
‭‭

IF I WERE A BLACKBIRD

I have a big garden, hedgerows at the front and trees at the back. In the spring it becomes a hive of activity. Blackbirds, starlings and sparrows are busy overturning autumns leaves looking for insects.  They are getting strengthened for the busy time ahead, building nests and rearing young.

One year there were so many blackbirds nesting in the hedgerows, that I wanted to call our house, “Blackbird Cottage.”  It is a joy to hear them sing from early morning in May, when they are flitting to and fro feeding their young.  Sometimes their tones are raised when there is danger about in the form of our cat.

Today I missed the birdsong and all the activity of the birds in our garden.  I wondered, “Where do the birds go for the summer?”  I checked this question out on the Internet and the RSPB website gave the following information.  I quote.

“Firstly, for many birds we are coming to the end of a hectic breeding season.  After all of the battling for territory, courting mates, finding nesting material, gathering food for young and chasing off predators, it is no surprise that some of the birds are looking a little worse for wear.  Late summer is the time to moult all of the worn and damaged feathers to be replaced with a shiny new set that will keep the birds well insulated through the cold winter months.

During the moult, which takes a number of weeks, birds change their ways, becoming quiet and reclusive.  They don’t want to expose themselves to predators whilst they do not have a full set of flight feathers which would make them much more vulnerable.  They will still be around but skulking under hedges.  Also many birds depart to the wider countryside to feast on the seasonal peak of seeds and fruits.”

I mused.  That is exactly how I feel at the end of the summer.  I have been busy with rearing my children, when they are off school or university and there is more work for me to do.  We all stay up later because of the longer evenings, more outings for walks and definitely more cooking and shopping.  My feathers are definitely easily ruffled.  I have bags under my eyes, my nails are brittle, my hair is grey and my skin dry, my legs and arms are weak. If only I could fly away to some resting place like the birds where there is an abundance of fruit and food.

Psalm 55 v 6 says “Oh that I had the wings of a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest.  I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”  Even the birds hide and rest.  God sees our distress, whether it is tiredness, mental anguish, worry about money or concern for a family or whatever trouble comes our way.

Jesus said to take the birds of the air as our example.  Matthew 6 v 26 says,

 Look at the birds!  They don’t worry about what to eat—they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food—for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And you are far more valuable to him than they are. 27 Will all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

Another comment on the RSPB was from a visitor.  He said  “Robins spend summer on the French Riviera: a popular spot is Juan-les-Pins.  Starlings flock to Brighton for the world famous murmuration festival, while blackbirds fly off to their second nests, usually in Cornwall.”

I laughed.  Birds of a feather flock together.  Starlings often gather together in flight and do acrobatics in the sky.  They dance and twirl to have fun.  It is good to meet up with friends of like minds and hang out for a while.  We are going to a gathering of friends at the end of September.

Some people are rich enough to have second homes in the sun.  We don’t have a second home but we are off to Greece soon.  Psalm 104 v 15 says, “God gives man wine to make him glad, and olive oil as lotion for his skin, and bread to give him strength.”  I will get my heart strengthened, body rested and sunshine to warm my bones.  We are learning from the birds.

Chow

Angela

Bible quotes from the Living Bible