1 October 2016
Because sometimes I simply can't show what I'm thinking when other people are around. It simply wouldn't be polite, for starters. Speaking my mind would get me into far more trouble that I'd like. So I clam up.
But I know I have a problem with this.
Because I really struggle with letting it out later and dealing with it. Keeping it locked up within is simply bad for my health.
Take the other week. I was so angry about something that had happened, that it got to the stage that I simply could not think straight. It took all the strength and determination I had to sit there and endure, repressing my negative feelings because it wasn't an appropriate moment to share them. It wouldn't have been the right time.
So I had to 'suck it up'. Bury it. Put on the mask. Wear that poker face...
But was it easy to try and get it out of my system once everyone had disappeared? Nope.
And I know I have to rid myself of the bitterness... it can't sit there, unresolved. It took about an hour or two of intense examination and deliberate refocussing of my feelings in order to get back on an even keel.
Father, I acknowledge that I've held resentment and bitterness against the person who made me feel that way. I confess this as sin and ask you to forgive me. I forgive (the person). Remind me, Lord, to not hold any more resentments, but rather to love this person. Father, I ask you to also forgive them.
Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name, Amen.
28 September 2016
It was horrendous. Standing room only on the train this evening. Ugh!
Dozens and dozens of people, crammed together like sardines as the carriages lurched their way through the suburbs of South London. My arms ached with the strain of keeping myself still, as the movement of the train threatened to throw me into the lap of a fellow commuter. My legs ached as I strained to keep upright after a full day at work. No seat for me on the way home tonight. Yes, they'd cancelled the train before, overloading the next service that came in. The lack of personal space, of the comfort of seating, of fresh air, of any privacy at all. It's simply the worst part of travelling in the London rush hour. I would rather be anywhere else.
And so, that's what I did.
I shut the rest of the world out. I imagined myself in the middle of a field somewhere, miles from anywhere. I could see the green grass, the trees, a stream off into the distance. A cool breeze gently brushed against my cheek. There was the sight of birds soaring in the sky, of rabbits under the hedgerows. Not another soul for miles around. Certainly, miles away from where I was at the moment...
It helped for a while. And they say there's no place for imagination in today's world.
I wouldn't leave home without mine.
4 September 2016
I would hope so. A good time to ask the question:
Is this my purpose in life?
Or in spiritual terms, a better question would be "Is this God's purpose for my life?"
It's a good thing, I suppose, to constantly keep our motives under scrutiny. Bringing our purposes constantly before God, asking him to double-check why we do what we do.
- Is this what you want me to do?
- Is this for personal gain?
- Is this for fame?
The person concerned was also seeking a similar confirmation. She was asking the Lord the question "should I stay or should I go?"
She asked me what I thought. I think I gave her a valid answer from my personal experience..
Because I've asked myself the same sort of question before. I still do. Over and over again.
Am I doing what God wants me to do, here, in this situation? Should I stay, or should I go? Is this God's purpose for my life?
Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
He whom Jesus nameth must be on His side.
lyrics by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)
31 August 2016
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
I don't really like conflict. But sometimes, you simply have to fight for what you believe. You have to stand your ground. Or else, you'll end up losing that ground.
So, if I seem to be picking a fight, it's got to be because it's something I feel quite strongly about...
And yet, it's really difficult to work out when to fight and when not to fight.
Because I always seem to get it wrong. Or so I keep being told. Either I'm too 'laid back' or I'm too 'uptight'.
So, bear with me. And forgive me. Because I'm trying to get a balance. I'm trying to get it right. (sigh).
Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Colossians 3:13 New International Version (NIV)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
29 August 2016
27 August 2016
There have been good times, and there have been not so good times, between then and now. And a whole lot of things that have happened that we didn't reckon on all those years ago. In fact, surprises around every turn.
We've raised two children together, and I don't think we've done too badly, all in all.
We're not the young lovers that we were all those many years ago.
But we are still together.
And I'm very happy about that.
26 August 2016
The meaning of the name derives from the Old English term for "poor ground".
But how many other options did I have for Z?
25 August 2016
Travel inland from the port and you will find mile after mile of slow winding rivers and unspoiled waterways. The rivers Yare, Bure and Waveney are an important part of the Broads National Park, which stretches for 125 miles over parts of Norfolk and into Suffolk.
24 August 2016
The city dates back to Roman times, so there's plenty to see here, including its mysterious Underground Passages, the magnificent Cathedral, and the historic quayside. It's also a great place for food, with a thriving farmer's market and a variety of restaurants. The city is also only 10 miles from the coast, with a good selection of sand or pebble beaches to choose from.
23 August 2016
Whitstable is famous for its oysters, which are celebrated at the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival. A variety of other seafood is also readily available. The town is a treasure to explore, with wonderful bookshops, art galleries, delicatessens and gift shops. There are a whole host of cafes, restaurants and pubs in the town.