Author Archives: Shirley Anne

About Shirley Anne

Happy to be alive because of Jesus

What a dif…..

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English: 1st Hole, Royal Birkdale 1st Hole, Ro...

1st Hole, Royal Birkdale 1st Hole, Royal Birkdale from the stand at The Open on practice day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What a difference a day makes. How different a day was Wednesday to those preceding it! Dull and overcast yet still warm and humid with little or no wind but actually I liked it. I could sit outside and not be afraid of getting burned to a crisp if I had forgotten the sunscreen lotion. Thunder and lightning with plenty of rain had been predicted yet there was no hint of any of that until late in the afternoon. As I write this the rain has not yet arrived and neither has the thunder and lightning but that could change in an instant. I didn’t go for my morning walk though not for any particular reason. I spent the whole day at home with E instead. After lunch we sat outside but E returned indoors after a half-hour because at that time she felt the rain was about to fall. I remained outside just sitting in contemplation and admiring my surroundings. I often spend time alone doing that, even when it isn’t so warm. I just like being outdoors. The danger in doing that is that I almost always end up doing something in the garden or my thoughts meander to thinking about possible projects I could begin, not that I mind the prospect. I need to occupy my spare time doing something constructive and what better way than to immerse myself in some small project or another? Wednesday was a day for relaxing, something I tend not to do as often as perhaps I should. Maybe I am just not the relaxing type as some evidently are though when I absolutely need to rest I am the first to admit it and take it. The golf tournament at Royal Birkdale is in its second day as I write this but unless I am out walking I wouldn’t know it. I live pretty close to it too! There have been however more helicopters and small aircraft flying about than is usual around here, one small aircraft has been circling the course (and our house) several times prior to my writing this. So despite the goings on in the neighbourhood it is pretty much a quiet place most of the time.

Shirley Anne

A day to be out in

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Tuesday was another hot and humid day with wall to wall sunshine until seven in the evening when clouds began to appear. Evidently we were to have thunderstorms during Wednesday with some much-needed rain. I deliberately rose early knowing the day would be hot so that I could go for a long walk. I managed to leave the house at seven o’clock having forgone eating breakfast. I had a little water and nothing else. I carry water with me anyway should I get thirsty. Even at that early hour the warm sunshine could be felt. I arrived back home over two hours later but still not hungry. E had wanted to buy a couple of items of clothing, a lightweight summer top and matching loose-fitting pants and she suggested we go shopping for them whilst reminding me that I had wanted some walking boots and a waterproof coat. She obviously wanted me to purchase her items too but I was always going to do that anyway as she has little in the way of spare funds. By the time she had gotten ready it was eleven o’clock when we drove off to town. Just prior to leaving I received a call to do a small electrical job at an apartment close to home. I told the caller I would do it but it would have to be later in the afternoon as I was about to go shopping. I seldom go shopping with E because she is hard to please and my suggestions are not always appreciated. It takes a very long time to get around the shops because of her disability which over the previous two days had been aggravated by her left foot becoming swollen too. That put her on crutches until it would heal. Normally she has to use a walking stick to get around but this added problem had slowed her down considerably. She insisted we visit the store to buy the boots and the coat and I purchased both in minutes…

 

I got them both at half-price for a total of £95. We moved on to the next store to purchase her items but unfortunately only one was available, the top. Although we searched and asked staff the pants were not in stock. She looked for a substitute but gave up on the idea of finding something she liked. In the meantime I found a lovely ankle-length summer dress which I purchased for £50…

E’s top cost £32. She’d had enough of shopping so wanted to go home but I suggested we go for a meal instead. We went to a pub/restaurant we have come to like just out-of-town and it was lovely. Finally we returned home where I tried on the dress to check the fit but E reminded me of the job I had promised to do so I had to quickly change back into my day-wear clothes. I drove to the apartment and soon had the work done before returning home again to join E on the patio. Most of the time on the patio I spent in the shade. I’d had enough of the sun for one day.

Shirley Anne

Too much?

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English: Anglo-Saxon village at West Stow

 Anglo-Saxon village at West Stow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For a few days we had warm, hot, humid and sunny weather beginning on Sunday last week and for the first time since I can remember I was glad I wasn’t working in my capacity as an electrician. It always seemed to me that when the weather was like this I would be doing work of a heavier nature and sweating profusely in the process which made me feel very uncomfortable. When people asked me if I didn’t like the hot weather I would tell them that I am an Anglo-Saxon and not used to it! I was joking of course but I had a point, I wasn’t raised in a hot climate and whenever I visit hot countries I spend a lot of the time in the water! I do prefer it to be cooler, always have but hot weather is fine for a little while especially if I can spend time in the shade with a cooling breeze blowing. When I go out walking I try to do it as early as I can if it is too hot and sticky. As for work, well I try to avoid doing anything that will make me break out in a sweat when the weather is too oppressive. Now that I am (more or less) retired I can please myself. Some things need doing though like mowing the lawn which I did on Monday morning. As the mower is petrol-driven it is not that difficult to push about but even so, if it is very warm and humid it can be uncomfortable. I went for another walk but stayed within the confines of the town, it was too warm to wander where I might like to in case I needed to refresh myself or pay a visit to the little girl’s room too. I have discovered that under certain circumstances regarding the weather I tend to need the bathroom more often. It is a humidity thing…. work it out for yourself. So in the afternoon E and I spent much of the time on the patio once more. It was too warm and humid to do anything else. The weekend was forecast to be much cooler and I couldn’t wait. E however would like it to be hot all of the time. I think she would soon tire of it though despite what she says.

Shirley Anne

Sunday sunshine

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English: Sunny Sunday sunshine

Sunny Sunday sunshine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was wondering if E would eventually make it downstairs before ten o’clock as she was now on crutches for a few days to allow her foot to heal and that made it difficult to get about. Anyway she did manage and was soon eating breakfast though I had to take it to the table for her. An hour later I went out for a late morning walk. It was sunny and warm with a slight breeze as I walked along the seafront. Surprisingly there were not many people about, at least at that place and time. I walked back toward the town centre but only because I needed the bathroom! The town centre was busy as usual, just like any other day of the week. I remember a time when Sundays were held as sacred, a day for resting, a sabbath. It was unheard of for anyone to work on a Sunday except if it was necessary as in the case of police, fire and hospital staff for instance. How times have changed and that because of a non-believing secular society. Anyway a short walk of four miles saw me back home. I found E had taken up residence on the patio to sit in the sun with her feet up. I made a couple of drinks and joined her though I sat in the shade. Eventually it was lunchtime, well one-thirty, and rather than have her struggle back indoors I prepared lunch and we sat outside to eat it. Unfortunately she did have to go indoors to the bathroom after a while whilst I collected a mattress for her to lie upon when she returned. It was pleasant to sit outside and we stayed there for a couple of hours when we had visitors call. It was our eldest son and granddaughter and they stayed for an hour or so until it was time for her bed. As she is only five and a half that means six-thirty. We returned indoors for an evening meal. Monday promised to be even better but I would be doing some work for a change instead of just sitting around on the patio.

Shirley Anne

Where did it go?

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For once I was first up on Saturday morning though by the time I had showered, dressed and put on my make-up to go downstairs E had beaten me to it. Our youngest son had stopped overnight but he didn’t get downstairs until much later. The post had been delivered early and strangely there were three letters, one for each of us. I opened mine to find enclosed a cheque for an over payment on an insurance I had made. Although it was my money and not a windfall or prize it was still a nice surprise. It meant however a trip to town in order to bank it. I was going for a walk anyway so it wasn’t an inconvenience. E opened her letter and read it before giving it to me to read also. She had won a cash prize of two hundred pounds ostensibly to spend in a Michelin starred restaurant for two people with a further one hundred and fifty pounds to cover expenses in getting there. A cheque for three hundred and fifty pounds made out to cash. She could spend it as she wished. The third letter turned out only to be a bank statement. I congratulated her on her win, something I have done many times over the last few years as she is always winning prizes of one sort or another. I took the walk into town and after depositing the cheque I stopped at a church café to have a coffee before walking back home. It was after twelve o’clock when I got back and E was eating a couple of items of fruit and she was now dressed to go to her group’s monthly meeting. She had been complaining over the last few days about a pain and the swelling of her left foot. I had advised her a day or two earlier to see the doctor in case it had been broken but she had insisted she hadn’t had an accident to cause it. I suggested she didn’t go to the meeting but rest her foot but she had decided by then to visit the hospital to have it checked. The doctor’s surgery isn’t open on a Saturday afternoon so it had to be the hospital. Naturally I drove her to the hospital but I didn’t wait there. I drove out of the hospital to park elsewhere to avoid paying parking fees and waited for almost two hours. She was to call me when her treatment was over. I drove off to the garden centre to spend an hour there and still she hadn’t called me so I drove back, parked up and walked into the outpatients department to see if her treatment was over. The waiting room was full, the average waiting time for minor problems was three hours and for major problems two and a half hours! More than three hours had passed since I had dropped her off and fortunately her treatment by then was just about over. I walked back to collect the van and she was outside waiting. They had X-rayed the foot and found it wasn’t broken or fractured but couldn’t say with any certainty what the problem was though E had mentioned she had been bitten by an insect. Perhaps it was just the reaction to that but it put her on crutches until it clears up. She is having a bad time of it with her other condition (spina-bifida) without now having to put up with this inconvenience too. I had missed lunch, something I am well used to, so by the time we arrived back home at five-thirty I was rather hungry. We ate our meal and that was the day almost over.

Shirley Anne

Whirrrrrrr.

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Although it turned out to be a bright and sunny afternoon Friday began dull, overcast and windy and that wind lasted throughout the day. For a short time I sat on the patio after lunch where I could be out of the wind or feel less of it depending where I sat. It got brighter the longer I was out there until the sky became totally cloudless. However, the wind spoiled it for me and I gave up to go indoors after an hour. I had gotten up rather late and had missed breakfast once again but as I said in an earlier post I am not tied to the clock. I decided to go for a short walk and leave off eating until lunchtime, whenever that would be. I was fortunate to be out of the main thrust of the wind due to the route I had chosen, walking through the back streets. On my return home I could hear the sound of a chainsaw being used and realised my neighbour had two guys cutting down the ten Leylandii trees in her back garden. It appears she wasn’t having them completely removed despite her son’s advice and indeed our own. It is a costly exercise having to get them pruned back every year unless you can do it yourself. Therein lies the problem, she couldn’t do it as she is 75 years old and suffers with emphysema and her son, though having done it since his father died is reluctant. He isn’t the type of guy who is happy doing manual work shall we say? No wonder he told his mother he would get rid of them when she has departed. The picture shows the same variety of tree. Now imagine six of them close together and filling the picture. So close that their branches are intertwined and the overall diameter of the cluster to be around three metres and standing around five metres. Now imagine another cluster of four right next to them. Her garden isn’t large, in fact it is quite small and these trees have practically taken over one side of it. Until fairly recently there were two other trees of the same variety in the same small garden with a couple more in her front garden.Makes me wonder why then the trees, though now less than half their original height haven’t been removed altogether. She says she wants her privacy but in fact the rear of the house is not overlooked because there are no buildings close by. Only someone in a neighbour’s garden would see the rear of her house and only then the upper windows. She could replace the trees with others which are not so aggressive in their growing and which are easy to maintain. So for the best part of the day we had the whirring of chain saws and the machine they use for chopping up the removed branches on one side of the house and the sound of a grinding machine being used two doors away on the other side of the house. Happy days but I’ll be glad when all the work is finished and oh yes, the wind stops blowing!

Shirley Anne

Now and then

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Wednesday had been a really hot day, well insofar as it normally gets around here it was hot. Although the average temperature only hovered around 21 deg C there was no wind. Out on the patio it was a sun-trap and probably hotter. Doing anything much was out of the question soon after midday. In the morning I had spent an hour or so in the front garden chopping down an unruly and overgrown tree. I am not sure it could be called a tree as such but it grew from a central base from which several ‘trunks’ and smaller shoots rose into the air to a height of  four metres. Here it is to the left of the tall holly tree ( picture taken  earlier in the year ).Many drooping purple-coloured flowering heads hung down among the leaves. It had begun to mingle in the branches of the large holly tree too. I say ‘chopped’ it down but in fact I had to use a saw, the axe simply bounced off the stems if used. E and I spent an hour cutting down the branches in order to place them in the wheelie bins. We neither of us worked during the afternoon but spent it, most of it, on the patio. The root ‘ball’ would have to be dealt with another day. On Thursday morning therefore I donned my overalls, boots and gloves to get stuck into digging it out. The day was beginning to get hot so I had little time in which to do it. However, I first had to saw off the remains of the trunks and offshoots in order to get at it. Another go with the axe proved useless though had access been better it might have worked. It would take a lot of time and effort to shift the roots which undoubtedly were mingling with the roots of the other plants and trees there. I had to give up on the whole idea. I remember the problems we’d had removing two other trees of the same variety when we started work on constructing the Mound in the rear garden a few years ago. They took a long time to dig out even though we had open access. It was only recently that I had cut up the remains of those root balls which after those three or four years had finally begun to dry out. Here they are on the ground which I have since worked on and call the Plot (bottom picture)

Even then it was hard work cutting them. At the moment of writing this I am not sure what we’ll do about removing the one in the front garden border. I have to check out and research some possible solutions, perhaps pouring herbicides into holes drilled into it to kill it off. I do remember I used salt around the roots on those other two plants which did stop them from growing new shoots but of course salt would kill off the other nearby plants too in this instance. Soon after I had stopped work I sat in the rear garden in the shade for a short time before an old customer called me asking if I would solve a couple of electrical problems for her. The work was local, easy and paid well. How could I refuse?

Shirley Anne

Another outreach……..

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Romans 1:16-17

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 

I too am not ashamed of the gospel and indeed my desire is that all those in this world who are not believers in Christ Jesus or even in God should be reached out to in love and given this message of hope. I was blind but now I see is a personal truth for me. I truly was blind (spiritually) but now I see. I was an atheist, an unbeliever for so many years of my life, forty-three of them to be precise before I reached out to God and invited Him into my life. He showed me Jesus, he who took upon himself my sins, my sinful nature and paid the price for them with his own life. He shed his blood for me, suffered in pain on a cross as a punishment for MY sins so that I wouldn’t have to. It reconciled me with God who now only sees me as pure and holy, justified by faith and by His grace. It doesn’t mean that I am no longer a sinner, no, it just means that my sins are not counted against me, though I must make every effort not to sin. Christ didn’t come into the world to do away with the law (God’s laws) but to fulfill them. We too must make that our goal but the first step is to acknowledge there is a God and a Saviour who is Christ Jesus our Lord and invite him into our lives……

Shirley Anne

What About Those Who Have Never Heard About Jesus? (Acts 4:12)

Jesus was clear about the rules for receiving salvation when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (Jn 14:6). And when speaking about Jesus, the apostle Peter said in this passage, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
Further, all people have to answer to God whether or not they have “heard” about him (see Heb 9:27). The Bible states that God has clearly revealed himself in creation (see Ro 1:19–20) and that he has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecc 3:11). This means that people see all around them the evidence of God and sense within themselves the truth that they are meant for more than this world. God is not the problem; humankind is. Because of sin, people reject this knowledge of God and rebel against his will (see Ro 1:21–23). It is only because of God’s grace (see Eph 2:8–9) that he saves people from their own sinful desires (see Ro 1:24–32).
How God works out his plan is mysterious and complicated. We have our ideas of what it means for Jesus to be “the way,” but he is not bound by our understanding. God works to accomplish his goals in ways that we will never see or comprehend. The wideness of God’s mercy and the tenacity of his love is beyond our intellectual capacity.
Jesus is central in the redemption story. But God rewards those who seek him (see Heb 11:6). It is our mission to help those who seek him and make sure that those who have yet to answer God’s call hear and understand the gospel (see Mt 28:19–20; Ac 1:8). God always acts justly; he never acts unfairly or wrongly (see Dt 32:4). We might be surprised at the final roll call of heaven. Fortunately, it is God—not us—who will sort out the details in each person’s case.

Taken from NIV Essentials Study Bible

The message is clear, the rest is up to you. Do you want to live for all eternity in Heaven with your Creator or be cast aside because your sins have not been dealt with?

Shirley Anne

Pedestrian

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I am getting more used to being a pedestrian lately, hardly doing any driving at all as there is little need to. Obviously the van gets its outings now and then but it is in the garage far longer than it is out of it. The truth is that the van hasn’t done much mileage since it was purchased in March 2008! Total distance covered? 30200 miles! Hardly moved at all in the last nine years and accordingly it is still as good as new. I doubt I covered more than a thousand miles over the last twelve months or so even doing electrical jobs. Now that I am undertaking almost no electrical work it is very unlikely the van will cover a thousand miles this year. I do like driving believe it or not and am happy doing it, it never was a problem with me. So I am walking more often but just for the pleasure of it and of course the exercise. Feet came before the wheel didn’t they? I went for my daily walk on Monday and had only gone a half-mile before seeing an acquaintance of mine who, with his wife, live near to our local pub and on this particular day the route I had taken. As I generally don’t frequent the pub in the evenings these days we seldom see each other. He told me that his sixtieth birthday was imminent to which I sparked, ‘Why it was only ten years ago you had your fiftieth’! Laughs all around. He had stopped by his house to collect something before he and his accomplice drove off again. He owns a company which manufactures and installs gates and railings. I continued with my walk and ended up walking about five miles or so circling the town in the process and ending up at our local ‘Dobbies‘ gardening centre. I say local in that it is in Southport but a mile from where I live. I had called in to use their washroom but before doing so I called E to ask if she would like to dine out and if she did could she come and pick me up. Now there is a restaurant at Dobbies but I doubt I’d ever have a meal there. I have used the restaurant when having a coffee and a quick snack sometimes. Anyway E arrived there twenty minutes later and we drove off to a pub on the outskirts of town to eat there. After lunch we stopped at a filling station for fuel and the returned to Dobbies for a free cup of coffee each. As a member I have the privilege of two free coffees each month, if I’ve a mind to go there. So E took advantage and we had a large latté apiece. Now E drives everywhere because of her condition and seldom walks far, in fact she can’t walk far anyway. Despite being a pedestrian more often it is always nice to be chauffeured around once in a while. Soon after we had returned home our neighbour called at the door to present us both with a little gift, a summer scarf for each of us. It was according to her a little gift in appreciation of the things we have done for her. We do help her out with different problems but we don’t expect to be rewarded for it and we do tell her not to buy things. However, it would be very discourteous to reject her obvious thanks for being good neighbours.

Shirley Anne

Self destruction

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A few days ago one of our next-door neighbours asked if she could dispose of her ‘green’ waste in our wheelie bin. We have two bins as quite often they both get filled between collections. One we keep in the rear garden and the other in the front but as the rear garden produces more waste we transfer it to the front when it gets full and replace it with the one there which isn’t. It all depends upon the time of year if we need to switch them around. As it was when she asked the bin in the front garden had nothing in it whilst the one in the rear garden was half-filled. It meant she could put her waste in the front bin. It wasn’t a large amount and only filled the bin to a third of its capacity. She brought the waste in two black bags though neither of them were full. E had answered her call, she phones us even though we live next door, I was in the front lounge and I opened the window as she arrived with the bags. After she had emptied the bags she tried to thank me but was gasping for breath. I apologised for not collecting the waste myself but I doubt it would have made much difference as she probably would have still moved it herself. The bags were not heavy as it turned out. Our neighbour suffers with emphysema and has to use an oxygen bottle for sixteen hours in the day, though eight of those hours are taken whilst she is sleeping. Her condition was brought about because of her smoking habit and though she was diagnosed with the condition several years ago she continued to smoke. In more recent times she has made an effort to stop and as far as we knew she had stopped but quite often we would see her in her garden with a cigarette. E tells her off but it seems not to have made much impact, at least until a week or two ago when I had occasion to call at her house only to find her sitting on the bench smoking! E was livid and once again had words with her. So far it seems to have worked but for how long? I know it is difficult to stop the smoking habit for many people and whether their life depends upon it or not makes little difference. My own mother died with cancer through her smoking and I remember she found it difficult to stop even after she knew she had cancer. It is easy to talk about overcoming addiction if you’ve never been an addict yourself and in today’s society there are many things which are addictive. Educating young people to encourage not taking that first cigarette or drug does not always succeed. Some people are hell-bent on self-destruction even when they know the possible consequences.

Shirley Anne

Not a lot

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How Do You Sleep? (Jesse McCartney song)

How Do You Sleep? (Jesse McCartney song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So once again I slept in on Saturday morning because I’d had an interrupted night’s sleep. I was tired when I went to bed but couldn’t drop off to sleep immediately because it was too warm and humid. Even leaving the window open made little difference. I lay there on top of the bedclothes in an attempt to cool down and it worked, well just for an hour when I awoke feeling too cooled down. After waking two more times I finally arose at nine o’clock. It isn’t the fact I wake up late, that doesn’t matter, what is more important is getting a night of uninterrupted sleep which sometimes I don’t get. I had nothing planned for the day and I decided to remain at home, not even going for a walk. In fact I just wanted a break from walking, at least for one day. Whenever I went for a run I didn’t do it every day but no more often than every second day. It was a lovely day on Saturday, a stereo-typical summer’s day, warm, even hot and a little humid. Had I gone for a walk therefore I would have tried doing it early in the morning whilst it was still cool. As I arose late that couldn’t happen anyway. E had nothing planned either, not even spending time upstairs to make greetings cards as she usually does for much of the time. I think she wanted a rest from it all too. It allowed us to spend more time together and chat. That is something we hadn’t done much of during the previous twelve months. We spent most of the day out on the patio and doing a little, I mean a little gardening here and there. So life for me is at a much more relaxed pace but there are jobs awaiting my attention when I’ve a mind to do them. Perhaps when it cools down a little. At the moment the only work I am doing is garden maintenance and that takes but only a little of my time. I am taking each day as it comes, no specific plans and not a lot going on in the meantime.

Shirley Anne

Still……..

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Norman tees off at Royal Birkdale

Norman tees off at Royal Birkdale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Work is still ongoing at the house two doors away, though that work is now concentrated on developing the grounds rather than the house itself which is completed both inside and out. The ground works seem to be taking far longer than I would have expected but of course it isn’t my house. E and I were talking about the progress of the work which has been slow from the start and how much longer will it be before our new neighbours can move in. They had been expecting to move in two months ago! We think the slow progress has been due to a lack of control over the work that has been done. A project such as this requires a site foreman to chase the various trades persons to speed things up and to maintain proper control of schedules as would be the case in any construction development. We are not sure proper control has been maintained in this case. Still the noise from the house continues each day as it has done for over seven months. More noise from both our next-door neighbours over the last couple of days as one is having the garage roof replaced/repaired whilst the other has a guy cutting down some very out of control Leylandii trees in her rear garden.which should really have been cut down years ago long before they got so tall and wide. For years the husband would prune them back as much as he could but he needed to use an extension ladder to do it and even then it was extremely difficult. Since he died, it will be four years come November, she has had other Leylandii trees chopped down and removed in both the front and rear gardens. A few months ago I myself chopped down an out-of-control tree in her front garden to help her out. It was a job her son should have done as he is fit enough and twenty-five years younger! One snag there, he just isn’t capable but that is because he was never encouraged or prevailed upon to do his bit at home. So life is going on all around us. It will be great when all the work is done and we can have our street back for a while. Speaking of streets, the local authority have placed notices on almost all of the street lamp posts to indicate a temporary parking restriction in order to prevent them becoming congested during the British Open golf championship being held here once again at the Royal Birkdale golf course a week or so away. The ‘Common’, which is common ground adjacent to the club and used by many to exercise their dogs will be turned into a car park during the event. A fee is levied of course, any excuse to squeeze money out of people as I see it. Still….

Shirley Anne

Not coincidences

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The God Who Sees (Psalm 139:1–24)

Even when we’re alone or in despair, God knows, understands, and is with us
right in the middle of it.
Sitting at the bustling, communal lunch table, I introduced myself to the
kind face across from me. We exchanged the usual pleasantries and
inquiries: Where are you from? What kind of work do you do? What brings you
to this retreat?
Rather quickly we discovered we both had sons about the same ages. At one
point in our get-to-know-you conversation, my lunch buddy shared the
smallest of mothering details that made my ears perk up and a lump form in
my throat. Could she have this in her life too?
I dared to ask a follow-up question. She smiled and revealed just a bit
more about her family. I mustered all the courage I had to offer a similar
scenario from my life. She affirmed she was familiar with the struggle.
All of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Just a few moments
earlier, I had felt completely alone, like the only mom on the planet
experiencing this parenting heartache. And yet, directly across from me at
a small retreat centre in the middle of nowhere sat a woman who was
intimately acquainted with my hopes, my fears, my heart.
Of course she was the one I met that day. Out of all the people in
attendance, all the lunch seats available, all the words she could have
chosen, this exact woman chose to sit across from me and share a detail
that only I would notice.
In my new friend’s kind eyes, I saw my loving God looking back at me. I
heard him saying, “I see you. I know what’s breaking your heart. You are
not alone in this. I love you.”
In Genesis 16, Hagar, Sarah’s servant, gives God the descriptive name The
God Who Sees. The angel of the Lord had found her in the desert after
fleeing mistreatment. God found her alone and in despair and spoke to her
right in the middle of it.
I realized that I could trust God to lead me where he wanted me when my
heart was seeking his. The God Who Sees sees you. He knows your heart. He
is with you in the middle of it. And he loves you.
Reflect
Where have you seen evidence of God’s presence today?
Taken from NIV Bible for Women

Believe it to be co-incidence if you must but it is far more likely God in action. A step of faith, an open heart and a willingness to submit to God is all it takes for Him to put some ‘co-incidences’ your way! Reach out to Him and see the response….

Shirley Anne

They’re all at it!

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Carry On Regardless

Carry On Regardless (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer brings with it dry and warm weather and the opportunity to get outdoors and carry out repairs to our homes. There are several houses near my own where scaffolding has been erected in order to carry out maintenance repairs or alterations. Since living here we too have had scaffolding erected a few times for such works. I was sitting in the garden on Wednesday afternoon having just eaten my lunch. I had been out for a walk earlier, this time covering over five miles. I was feeling hungry because I had missed breakfast except for one small banana. E was busy at the top of the house and didn’t eat lunch until an hour later. I was disturbed by the noise of metal on metal which seemed to be coming from the front of the house. Being as I am very inquisitive I simply had to go and investigate. It was just as well I did for soon after I entered the house the doorbell rang and it was a guy who’s crew had begun to erect some scaffolding at the side of our immediate neighbour’s house. Before he could speak I jumped in with, ‘You stand no chance’ and smiled. I knew before he asked what he was about to say. He was simply asking permission to place the stabilising/supporting bar for the scaffolding on our driveway. ‘Of course you can’, I said and ‘how long will it be there?’ About three days was the answer he gave and I said, ‘Oh well I’ll just have to leave the van in there until you’ve finished the work’. He asked if I needed to get the van out but I assured him that it was unlikely. It just meant that should I get an offer of electrical work I would have to postpone it. That isn’t a problem these days but had it been I would have asked him to stabilise the scaffold in a different way. He could have extended the scaffolding across the garage roof but that would be time-consuming and unnecessary. It appears that my neighbour was finally getting some loose brickwork attended to. Not before time I might add as it was beginning to look as if it would fall away if the wind strengthened. It’s not as if he is short on cash, he runs a business from home as a solicitor (lawyer) employing a couple of people and has no family commitments as he is single. I think he just can’t be bothered half of the time. Perhaps it was the work going on in the next property which prompted him to do something, who knows? Work has been going on there since the start of the year and will continue for a couple of more weeks yet.

Shirley Anne

No escape

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No Escape

No Escape (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday was going to be a day in which nothing special would happen. It was a day for rain and dull weather but still a day for going out for a walk. I had arisen quite early and had just finished breakfast as E appeared in her dressing gown ready to have breakfast too. She lives in her dressing gown for the first couple of hours in the day unless she has somewhere to go. I am always dressed for breakfast and ready to go anywhere at a moment’s notice. Ten minutes after eating the house phone rang but I didn’t answer the call. Instead, I dialled recall to see who it was calling. I checked my mobile phone and discovered the same person had called that phone also. I didn’t have my mobile phone with me at breakfast so I had missed the call. I returned the call to see if my electrical services were being called upon and sure enough that was the case. As my advertisement is not being published in the newspaper the call had to be from an old customer or by recommendation from an old customer. It was from an old customer. The problem was that workmen had tried to use a power outlet in the garage to power their grinding machine and it had caused the circuit to fail. Despite the customer’s attempt to re-instate the supply the problem remained. When I arrived there fifteen minutes later I discovered the garage supplies to lighting and power outlet both failed as well as all the house lighting and the bathroom extract fan! Surely they were not all on the same circuit? Yes they were! Totally against all electrical regulations the circuit had managed to remain working for years until the extra load of the grinder brought the problem to light. The ‘fault’ was a blown fuse which I soon had rewired. However, as I pointed out to the customer, the garage needed a new and separate dedicated supply incorporating an RCD unit and circuit breakers. The power and lighting circuits required separating too. The customer asked if I was interested in doing the work but I told him I was now semi-retired and doing very little electrical work. I did reassure him that I would remain available should he require any small job doing, that is until I give up altogether! I remain available for small electrical problems to all my old customers in the meantime. I guess there is just no escape for it is in my nature to help people if I am able. On my return home I got to go for my now regular morning walk.

Shirley Anne