A beautiful day but aren’t they all?

English: Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. San...
English: Sand Dunes and Beach, Freshfield. Sand dunes and the beach at Freshfield. Blackpool tower and the Big One rollercoaster could clearly be seen from the top of this high sand dune on this day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was such a beautiful day on Wednesday, completely blue sky after a few clouds early in the morning. It was a cold and frosty day though, the beginning of the onset of Winter. I had to drive about ten miles to carry out some work for someone, part of that work entailed being outdoors. It always seem the way that when it is cold people want jobs doing outdoors! I didn’t mind but wearing gloves whilst doing electrical jobs is a little tricky and I had to remove them to carry out the more delicate part of the installation. It might have been better had I been working on the south side of the house but no, it had to be the north side and in a slight northerly wind too! Fortunately I wasn’t out there too long and was able to do the other of the two jobs inside the house. The old guy gave me a drink of coffee and then I remembered it isn’t until you come in from the cold that you realise how cold you are! It took me a few minutes to get warmed up again. I was back home for lunch and was tempted to go for a walk in the afternoon but I was feeling a little tired and left it for another day. We have had a lot of rain lately and in some parts of the country they have suffered flooding because many rivers couldn’t cope with the volume of water and they  overflowed causing much damage to buildings and people’s homes. They will be very grateful for the change in weather. Where I live there is no danger from flooding at all, I don’t live close to a river or in a valley or at the bottom of a hill. The land is fairly flat but a little undulating, probably because it is near the sea and the sand dunes. Probably the undulations are actually long-since covered over large dunes themselves. I know my house is built on highly compacted sand as are all the others in the area. There are some places around the town though where large holes suddenly appear in the roads and I am talking about vehicle-sized ones! I suppose these areas have underground rivulets for there are quite a number of those in certain places, none where my house is though fortunately. The house was built in 1877 and shows no signs of subsidence. I guess it will still be here in 2077! I know I won’t! That being the case I enjoy every day for they are all beautiful, are they not?

Shirley Anne

Not long now

Winter Solstice sunset_S02049
Winter Solstice sunset_S02049 (Photo credit: Ennor)

In a little over three weeks it will be the beginning of Winter here in the northern hemisphere, that is the calendar version of Winter. On or about the 21st or 22nd of December marks the Winter Solstice when the sun reaches its lowest point in the sky at midday after which it begins to rise further northward with each passing day. The days begin to get longer as they say. Actually of course it is only the daylight hours which increase, probably the only consolation at a time in the year when the weather begins to get worse! I was at home a couple of days ago and the sun was shining directly upon the wall which faces the window. In three weeks time, if the sun is shining it will be shining half-way up the wall. A sobering thought to know that it will be months before the sun is high enough in the sky to be able once more to feel warm when out-of-doors. If I had a month in the calendar that I disliked the most it might be December I think. Apart from the month marking the start of Winter there are the festivals of Christmas and New Year and everything leading up to them, which I hate. At this time of year I am most certainly looking forward to January when everything gets back to normality for me. My favourite time of year is almost over but I have to say the latter part of it I am not a lover of, once my birthday has passed the weather just gets colder and miserable. I try not to let the weather get me feeling miserable though, in fact I enjoy going for walks in the cold weather provided I am well wrapped-up. Returning to the warmth of home and a hot drink makes it all worthwhile. It isn’t the same though when it is cold and raining too. This time of year is great when it is dry but when it is cold, windy and wet it makes me feel as though I want to remain indoors all nice and cozy. I don’t mind the cold or even the rain as long as it isn’t lashing it down but the wind I don’t like very much at all. I was talking about the run-up to Christmas as being traditionally a busy time for me at work and as it is turning out that way again this year I am finding I’ve little time to spend just going for walks whether the weather is fine or not. If the weather is not so good I am better off at work!

Shirley Anne

No more pub for a while

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.
A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I made the decision to quit drinking alcohol altogether. I explained the reason for that decision in another post a few days ago. It won’t stop me visiting the pub as there are many non-alcoholic drinks available. When I last stopped drinking alcohol I didn’t touch a drop for thirteen years and was never tempted to do so. When I did resume it was a choice I made and not a temptation. I had misinterpreted what was written in The Bible regarding alcohol and it’s consumption. It was a genuine mistake and I wasn’t trying to justify my decision to have the occasional drink. A little of what you fancy does no harm does it? Well that was my thinking but now I have learned that thinking was in error. Apart from the fact that quite often a little of what you fancy leads to a lot of what you fancy and before you know it you’ve had way in excess. Not a good idea. References to drinking wine abound in Scripture but in fact the term ‘wine’ is a misinterpretation for it wasn’t really wine as we know it. It was fruit juice, possibly slightly fermented but nothing like the wines we have today which are quite potent. So I made the decision to stop drinking alcohol completely this time. I last went to the pub on my birthday, that was Wednesday last week and sat in one of the corners, in fact right behind where I had to sit because the place was quite full, was the Christmas tree, still bare as it had only arrived that morning. A few weeks ago I spoke to an acquaintance of mine who I first met in the pub and he talked about the approach to Christmas. I told him that I will not be visiting the pub over the Christmas period which would probably be from the beginning of December. He naturally asked why so I told him. Once the decorations go up in the pub I stop going there until they are taken down, which will be in January. He looked a little perplexed when I told him that I didn’t like the falseness and insincerity that surrounds Christmas and that people celebrated it for all the wrong reasons. He knows I am a Christian. Essentially the whole event is riddled with pagan rituals and themes and is a far cry from it’s intended  purpose which is celebrating the birth of Christ, something that most certainly will not be celebrated by imbibing huge amounts of alcohol in a pub. I don’t wish to be a part of that. It seems they have already decided to decorate the place and it is still November! So it is no more pub for me for a while.

Shirley Anne

The more I see the more I am sure

Probably all my readers will be aware by now that I am a Christian but I do not fill this site with religious content, that is reserved for my other site at Minkyweasels Musings but from time to time I do post here on religious themes. I am fascinated with Bible prophecy, well I am fascinated with all of God‘s Word of course and I am always delving into Scripture. I know I have read the entire Bible from cover to cover at least 28 times and learn something new each time I read. I am currently reading through the Bible yet again. A large proportion of the Bible is dedicated to prophecy, probably one-third so it is a subject that should be taken very seriously, especially as much of what is prophesied has actually happened. As a Christian believer I know that all prophecy will be fulfilled, God’s will be done. The reason all prophecy hasn’t been fulfilled is that some of it is reserved for the future and what God has already planned will happen. Many of the prophets in the Old Testament foretold of future events which were fulfilled but some of those future events refer to things even in our own future. When John  was being held captive on the island of Patmos in the Mediterranean Sea he saw a vision from God and was inspired to write down all he saw. This resulted in the entire prophetic Book of Revelation,
Revelation 1
New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
Prologue

1 The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

The time is near. This is making reference to the ‘end times’ as prophesied in the Book of Daniel and elsewhere in Scripture, a time in the future, their future. We are living two thousand years after John’s prophetic vision and much speculation has been given as to whether the ‘end times’ refer to the present day or a few years hence from now. Descriptions of those end times seem close to what is now going on in the world and indeed can only be referring to modern times when we analyse what is written.
Daniel 12 (NIVUK)

The end times

12 ‘At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. 2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, roll up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.’

‘Many will go here and there to increase knowledge’. Think about the Internet. The Book of Daniel was written almost 2600 years ago. In Matthew’s Gospel, written a little less than 2000 years ago a better description, the words spoken directly by Jesus is given…

Matthew 24

New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

The destruction of the temple and signs of the end times

24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ he asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.’

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’

Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth-pains.

‘Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 ‘So when you see standing in the holy place “the abomination that causes desolation,” spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21 For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again.

22 ‘If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.23 At that time if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Messiah!” or, “There he is!” do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you in advance.

26 ‘So if anyone tells you, “There he is, out in the desert,” do not go out; or, “Here he is, in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 ‘Immediately after the distress of those days

‘“the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

30 ‘Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig-tree: as soon as its twigs become tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The day and hour unknown

36 ‘But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand-mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, “My master is staying away a long time,” 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I have highlighted some of the passage just to point out some key things but all of what is written and spoken by Jesus will come about. There will be no excuse for not taking heed  to the words of prophecy for they are a warning to unbelievers to repent and turn to God. Imagine being in a building that is on fire and refusing to use the emergency exit because you think there is a better route. Well there isn’t, there is only one way out and that is through Jesus who is holding open the door for you waiting for you to walk through it! Below is a short video worth watching. Several videos automatically follow this one, should you wish to watch them leave it running. May God open your eyes and your heart to His truth.

Shirley Anne

Fighting back

fitness
fitness (Photo credit: The Survival Woman)

Since my accident two months ago I had been suffering a little with my health, dull headaches and pain behind my eyes until a day or so ago. Things have improved for the better but through it all I had to continue working. One thing I had to forgo was heavy or strenuous exercise which meant no running on my treadmill allowing myself only to walk either on the machine or outdoors. I have been able to use my bicycle as I don’t ride at pace on it anyway, it isn’t built for that, being a road bike, not that I have ever ridden bikes at a pace anyway even when younger. I did like riding for miles though but these days I don’t go so far, probably ten miles being the furthest I would go. So I have had to limit what exercise I can take. Working hard during the week has kept me up and running as it were and I have been using some spare time to fit in a short walk or two either outdoors or on the treadmill. I am fighting back against the tide of inactivity for I know that too long sitting down doing nothing isn’t a good idea and it is harder to get back into some sort of exercise regime the longer it is put off. Then there is the weight problem to consider. Sitting down all day doesn’t burn much calories and weight gain soon overtakes us making it even more difficult to exercise and having to do more to compensate when we do. Over the last week or so I have been very busy at work, which I enjoy for it keeps me active but work alone isn’t enough as a form of exercise, better than nothing but more is required to stay fit and healthy. The body is a very complicated machine and like any machine it needs maintenance and preventative maintenance too! Lethargy may be all right when we are ill or if we have been working hard, physically hard that is but it is a dangerous partner to dance with. Bad habits tend to get a grip on us if we are not careful and the consequences can hard to put right unless we are prepared to do something about it. I do my best to keep on-track with my health and I am fighting back against everything that stands it the way.

Shirley Anne

Supporting one another

English: The financial crisis affectes the rea...
The financial crisis affects the real economy. I think this photo is a nice example and expresses the whole situation, most of all the reluctance of consumers to spend money. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The way things are today with the recession and a stagnant economy it is difficult for many people to find spare cash or disposable income to spend on what might be a luxury for them. Not everyone is short of money though and many people will be spending excess cash rather than saving it for the future. I was thinking about my own financial situation, what to save, where to save it and what I want to spend and that got me to thinking where I spend my money when I do. That got me to thinking about my money and the money spent by others keeps people in work. One by one each person or group of people formed part of an ever-growing list in my mind. Of course this is what society is all about and what makes it possible in the first place. If I eat out I am supporting those who provide my meals from the staff at the restaurant to those supplying the food and those growing the food, the list is enormous when I think about it. It is the same for anything I spend my money on, anything at all. For a society to function each person has to contribute something, it is unavoidable but more than that it is essential and necessary. Now although money may be tight as they say but if we stop spending then the economy grinds to a halt, even the smallest spend is a contribution and will help keep the ball rolling. If other people prosper because we are spending then that is a good thing, suppliers can continue to supply and keep people in employment who in turn will be able to spend themselves. Hard as it might be we should try our best to spend that little extra whenever we can. There is nothing wrong with saving either and I have instilled this principle in my children. Life is proving difficult for them because of the recession but they get by. My youngest son doesn’t have a great income and he still has debts to pay off. He finds it difficult to save anything for his future but I encourage him to save something each month no matter how small the amount. Money burns holes in his pocket though and he tends to spend any spare cash that he may have. I do support him when he gets into difficulty but try not to make a habit of it. Yeah sure! Remember all those people you are supporting whenever you ‘splash the cash’, even when you are treating yourself you are supporting someone else at the same time.

Shirley Anne

Things that go bump in the night

Medieval book illustration of Christ Exorcisin...
Medieval book illustration of Christ Exorcising the Gerasenes demonic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As children we can easily feel frightened of the unknown and often this follows some of us into adulthood. Darkness and dark places feel creepy and uninviting giving the feeling that there might be unseen forces lurking about, ghosts or evil spirits. It strikes me that nobody ever mentions kindly spirits or ghosts when they talk about haunted places, don’t they exist too? Maybe not, maybe it is only the evil variety that want to frighten us to death. There can be no doubt that many people have experienced strange phenomena and ghostly goings on and not only during the hours of darkness either. They call such activity as paranormal, that is beyond the realm of normal experience. To be sure I believe in the spiritual realm and it wouldn’t surprise me to know that evil spirits are at work all around us. As a Christian who believes in God I have to believe in the existence of the devil (Satan) and his cohorts too. I believe much of what is reported about paranormal activity is due to the work of Satan and the other fallen angelic hosts. I even believe that people themselves can be filled or taken control of by such evil spirits, exorcism being the method used to get rid of them. Jesus himself often faced such forces in action. Take the case of the men ‘possessed’ by a legion of evil spirits. They pleaded with Jesus to send them into a herd of pigs which he did and the pigs? Well here is the account in Matthew chapter eight…………

Jesus restores two demon-possessed men

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes,[c] two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 ‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?’

30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’

32 He said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

If you take the Bible seriously there can be no doubt that demonic forces are at work in the world. Jesus has the power to just say the word and it happens. There is no need to fear the unknown with Jesus at your side and in your heart. I wonder how many instances of people behaving strangely are put down to insanity or some psychological disorder when in fact they really are demon possessed! Make you wonder too?

Shirley Anne

Now it is Friday

Soft drink for Template:soft-drink-stub
Soft drink for Template:soft-drink-stub (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well my sore throat disappeared as fast as it appeared as did my aches and pains and all without taking any medication. I dislike taking medication unless I am seriously unwell and will often suffer a headache before I will take a pain-killer. Perhaps I just ‘worked off’ my ailment, who knows? Anyway it is Friday and I am quite well. The job of work I was supposed to do yesterday I am doing today instead because the weather was too bad with high winds and heavy rain making working outside impossible. It promises to be much better today. Good fortune gave me other work to do indoors yesterday so the day wasn’t wasted. In fact I shall have worked every day this working week including Wednesday, my birthday. Wednesday found me working my socks off until one o’clock when I decided not to return directly home afterwards. I drove to the pub and treated myself to a cooked meal instead with a soft drink to accompany. The place was packed as seems to be usual these days around opening time until about two o’clock when many folk decide to eat out. Fortunately there was a table free when I arrived. I didn’t stop too long after my meal and then I drove home. Nothing special happened on my birthday and I didn’t dine out with E as I thought last week I might be doing. She and I are not on speaking terms yet again and that as usual is due to her attitude toward me. I often think I would be better off in my own place but I love her so much and still want to provide for her and be available when she needs me. I know, I must be mad but I’ve known that for years! Love has this strange effect upon me! One day. Well I started the week with only two jobs to do and I did say that would probably change before the end of the week and I was right! I have even given two jobs away to someone else although one of those jobs I simply didn’t want to take on myself, the other one needed sorting out immediately and I simply didn’t have the time as it was one of those jobs that might take hours to sort out. One good thing about being active during the day is that I am enjoying a better night’s sleep. That can’t be bad.

Shirley Anne