Saturday, 9 February 2019

Update

I can't believe how quickly time has passed since my last post!

Home Education

We've been so busy.  Particularly with home education stuff.

Lils is doing 2 GCSEs this year (General Certificate of Secondary Education) these are usually taken in Year 11 when children are 15/16, but home educators often spread them out over a few years because of the high costs and the intensive work required.  Lils has already done a Law GCSE and a Biology GCSE at 13 and this year she will do Maths and English Language GCSEs.  Next year we  are hoping to do at least three and have already started work on Chemistry, Psychology and Sociology.

In the UK you need Maths and English to access most higher education and jobs so these are important exams.

The maths course is huge.  It's normally done in school over 3 years, but we're doing it in 8 months.  Hence the busyness.  I feel slightly nervous for her, but I am just praying that God helps us!

She just took a past paper and did very well on it, but she still has some topics to master.

The English course isn't quite as daunting as she is very good already, just needs to polish some skills

Bible Study

I really feel this year that I need to get back into Bible study,  it's hard to find the time but so worth it.  I'm doing an NT Wright course which I am struggling a bit with as it seems to go around in circles back to the same point all the time.  But I have got a lot out of it.

I'm also doing a Bible reading plan, but want to do some self-study.


Well, I'd love to say more but I need to get off the laptop as it's late here.

Hopefully I'll post some family photos soon.

:) xx


Saturday, 26 January 2019

A Searching Heart - Janette Oke - Book Review

A Searching Heart (A Prairie Legacy, #2)A Searching Heart by Janette Oke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book, but it took me a bit to get into it.

It's a simple, wholesome story and I really enjoyed it. One could say that the references to faith were too simplistic, but this isn't a theological tome it's simply an enjoyable (and encouraging) story. Even though the pace is slow it kept me engaged.

It has some sweet romance and some heartbreak.

I liked the characters and I'll have to read the next in the series to find out what happened to Jenny!

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Thursday, 24 January 2019

Amplified chuckling

The Amplified Bible makes me chuckle sometimes, in a happy way not a sneery way. So, NT Wright makes this whole big theological point about the preposition εἰς in Romans 8:18, which he translates as 'FOR'. In context, he translates the second sentence of this verse as: '...The sufferings we go through in the present time are not worth putting in the scale alongside the glory that is going to be unveiled FOR us.'

So, I look at other translations to compare, because, much as I like Wright, he's said some stuff I totes disagree with. Anyway, here's the NKJV, '...revealed IN us.' ESV, '...revealed TO us.' ERV, '...be GIVEN TO us.' I mean what does one make of all that?

Well, drumroll, here's how the Amplified deals with the conundrum: '...be revealed TO us and IN us and FOR us and CONFERRED ON us!' Love it, it's like the sentence just gets more excited as it expands.

And you know, I understand God like that, He's not just for us and toward us and to us, He's with us, and in us, and around us, and we are in Him too. 💕 Happy days.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

SNOW! So excited

I get inordinately excited about snow.

So, as soon as the snow began to fall, the girls and I decided to go for a walk.

Here is our photo 'safari':

















Fruit before gifting.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’"
- Matthew 7:15-23

Bible Verse Photo


Very often we, in the church, are most impressed by gifting.  We might rave about some preacher/prophet/healer and the amazing things they have done.  But what we forget is, that person may not even belong to Christ! Shocking, but if we are to believe Jesus then it must be true.  Which is a bit scary really.

What comes out when we are squeezed?

It is quite clear that Jesus was most impressed with fruit...that is being consistently faithful in the day-to-day.  Of course we are not talking about absolute perfection (we are all on a journey being transformed 'from glory to glory' [2 Cor 3:18]), I am not suggesting God rejects us because we aren't showing the fruit all the time, but are we generally consistent in our walk with God; humble in mistakes, trusting in God, looking to follow in Jesus' footsteps?

As a church we should look for gifting, of course we should, gifts are good, but knowing that Jesus looks for fruit first, that is what we should seek first.

Before you lift up and praise another person for their amazing gifting, look to see - do they, in general, show good fruit - especially behind closed doors?

Do I show good fruit? Oops!  Moving on...

Fruit can seem dull in comparison with gifting...particularly those up-front dramatic gifts!  And yet it is the sign of a life lived both inwardly and outwardly for God.  Whereas gifts can be counterfeited by the devil.  Also, gifts from God can occasionally be used by those who don't actually belong to God - remember Balaam in Numbers?  Gifts are wonderful and 99.9% of the time are a sign of God at work, but fruit is the sign of a changed life, the biggest of all miracles.  Salvation.

You see, true fruit is within us through Jesus, it is the sign that the Holy Spirit is living in us and that we are obeying His promptings and guidance.  We don't go out to get the fruit, it is within us through the Holy Spirit, we just need to trust in Him to do the work and do what He tells us to do.

So, what are the fruit?  

Galatians 5:22-23 says they are:
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Longsuffering (patience)
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control
So, where do we start?

We begin with love, love is what all the law and the prophets hang on.  Everything begins with love.

Love is what begins our walk with God and with brothers and sisters at church.  God so loved us that He gave His only Son (John 3:16).  Jesus loved God and us unto death.  If we don't love our brothers and sisters whom we can see, how can we say we love God whom we don't see? (1 John 4:20).  I could speak in the tongues of men and of angels, I could offer my body in sacrifice to the flames, but if I have not love...I am nothing (1 Cor 13).

Joy - the joy of the Lord is our strength (Neh 8:10).  We don't gain strength, then get joy; our joy in God brings strength.  This joy is within us, through Jesus, through the Holy Spirit (John 15:11).  Jesus endured great suffering because He fixed His eyes on the joy before Him

Peace - peace is a person, Christ is our peace (Eph 2:14); the Lord of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).  Once again, we don't gain peace from outward circumstances, but His peace rests in us through the Holy Spirit.

Longsuffering - I like 'longsuffering' as a translation better than 'patience', although they basically mean the same thing, because it explains to my tiny-brain what true patience actually is.  How do I cope under extended difficult circumstances?  Yikes, not very well far too often.  Yet longsuffering is within me through the Holy Spirit.   The Bible tells us we will suffer, but how do I behave during times of suffering?

Kindness.  Kindness is that ability to want the best for someone, even if they aren't being the nicest person.  Kindness is grace and mercy.  God is kind even to evil people (Luke 6:35).  In scripture the kindness of God is linked to His love for us - and is often translated lovingkindness.

Goodness.  God is good, and true goodness can only come from God (Mark 10:18).  We as His children, if we want to reflect His glory, we need to be good.  Being good sounds boring, hard work even...sometimes we want to be naughty!  Naughty sounds fun, but it generally isn't, there are always unsavoury consequences.

Faithfulness - this means both loyalty, to God, and a heartfelt trust in God.  Am I full to the brim with faith?  No, but I have that mustard seed of faith that God is growing everyday.  Faithfulness is the sign of someone truly after God's heart.

Gentleness.  Often I see Christians barging into situations with all the grace and gentleness of a bull in a china shop!  Sometimes I barge into situations with all the grace and gentleness of a bull in a china shop!  Yet the Apostles admonish us to be gentle in our responses to people and especially when defending the gospel (1 Peter 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:25).

Self-control - yawn, surely the most boring of all the fruit of the Spirit?  Yet not so.  Self-control is what holds up all the other fruit.  Self-control is what prevents us from giving in to temptation.  Self-control is what stops us from losing our temper.  Self-control is what stops our mouths from saying that gossipy thing that just popped into our minds.  Self-control is what makes us stop and think, 'What is this person going through, I wonder how I can help?' Rather than making knee-jerk judgements about other people's behaviour.  Self-control is essential.

Always look for the fruit.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Good morning!

Boots has had a busy morning!


Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Wonder - RJ Palacio - Book Review

WonderWonder by R.J. Palacio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't enjoy this book at first. I didn't like the style of writing. I found the characters annoying and somehow distant. I actually felt the deepest character was Via. I realise it *ought* to be Auggie, but it was Via that touched my heart the most, for some reason.

However, by about halfway in, I was totally invested in the story.

The final few chapters and the ending are very moving, but maybe a little rushed, in the sense that everything was pretty much nicely tied up in a lovely neat bow, all the issues 'resolved', and then it ended.

I sound a bit negative, but I think that is because my husband and daughter had raved about how it was the best book they'd ever read that maybe I expected too much and so I am basically wondering why I didn't find it quite as wonderful.

It is a good story and very heart warming, and I am glad it had a happy ending; and I'm glad I read it.

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