Author Archives: Shirley Anne

About Shirley Anne

Happy to be alive because of Jesus

Coincidence

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Dishwasher, open and loaded with dishes

Dishwasher, open and loaded with dishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A week or so ago I went next door to disconnect a dishwasher for my neighbour who was having a new one delivered and didn’t want to pay for the disconnection of the old one. I obliged and did the job for her though she employed someone else to install the new one at my request. I could foresee likely problems because of the layout of her services and advised the services of her plumber. All went well apparently and her new dishwasher is working fine. On Monday last week E informed me that she was having problems with our dishwasher. First of all it went into an alarm status which according to E was soon dealt with by switching the machine off and then starting it again. It evidently hadn’t worked and we were at a loss as to what the fault might be. Basically it wasn’t filling with water and E asked if I could check it out. Although I have never serviced or repaired dishwashers I was prepared to check the basics. As with most modern equipment they are not readily serviceable unless by a service engineer who is familiar with the operation. Naturally I was keen to see if there was anything I could do in searching out the fault so I gave it a go. A number of months ago I ended up servicing a fridge-freezer at home because the service engineer hadn’t solved the problem we had with the unit. On that occasion I was successful in locating and correcting the problem but this time I wasn’t even sure I could easily gain access to any tangible electrical or mechanical components if at all. I was right in that assumption, everything was well-hidden behind panels which had no obvious signs on how to remove them. First thing was to establish that the water supply to the machine was in order which it was, though that investigation led me to discover a problem with the manual water supply valve. It was jammed in the open position and I had to turn off the water supply to the house before I could check it out. I did that later but first I removed a couple of small panels on the machine in order to get at the inlet valve on the dishwasher. These valves are electrically operated (solenoid valves) and control the water flow into the machine. The valve was not electrically faulty but I wasn’t able to check for a mechanical fault. It appeared to me that the neutral supply to the valve was not there and if so the fault would lie further inside the machine. It was decision-making time. Should I make the attempt to strip down the machine, remembering I had no way of knowing the best way to approach it or if on getting inside I would be able to locate the fault anyway? If we called for the services of an engineer the cost would be high and if a fault was found it would cost money for any replacement parts and the time to fit them. Was the machine worth repairing as it was over fifteen years old? Probably not, so we opted to disconnect it permanently and purchase a new machine. As I don’t use the dishwasher, or haven’t bothered using it in the past I let E choose which model to purchase. We went on-line and purchased a new one which hopefully will be in use as you read this. I removed the manual valve to clean it out but I thought I might have to replace it instead.

Shirley Anne

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Changes

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A few months ago I manufactured a gate to fit at the side of the house……

It didn’t take long to construct and it fitted perfectly into the space where I placed it but that was when the weather was warm and dry. The weather naturally has changed since then becoming colder and more humid which all means the wooden gate expanded. That’s what wood does when the temperature and humidity change. I knew I had to remove the gate and shave a little wood from it but I had to wait for my youngest son to return the borrowed plane so I could get on with it. In fact he had borrowed two planes, one of them electric and it was the electric one I wanted to do the job. Finally after weeks of asking he brought the plane over and I was able to do the work which only took a half hour. Now there is a gap between the gate and the frame so further expansion if it happens will not result in the gate jamming as it did. A few years ago I erected a flagpole in the front garden….. 

As you might expect the weather has affected that too. The flag has to put up with wind, sun, rain and everything the weather throws at it. That being the case the flag has to be replaced from time to time and in fact new ones have been purchased along the way. On Thursday last week however I noticed the halyard rope had become worn and I had to remove the flag for a few days until I could replace the rope. At the time of writing I am waiting for the delivery of the rope and a couple of accessories. I have never had to change the rope since it was new and I am hoping I will be able to attach the replacement to the old one in order to pull it up through the pole and out at the top. If I find I can’t it will mean erecting part of the scaffolding tower around the base to remove the top section of the pole. It may be prudent to do so anyway so that the finial can be serviced. At present it tends to remain fixed when it should be free to rotate about the top of the pole. The weather takes its toll on anything exposed to it!

Shirley Anne

Lost the way

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English: Ainsdale beach car park entrance

 Ainsdale beach car park entrance (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a poor night’s sleep I still woke up feeling refreshed and ready for the day though it was nine o’clock before I got out of bed. I was going to skip breakfast and take a long walk. I did however eat a banana before setting off. Actually I didn’t much feel like eating but thought it best to have something. For a change I walked to the beach entrance (in picture) at Ainsdale which is about three miles or so south from home though it is further when taking the route along the beach as I first have to walk to the beach of course. That is approaching three-quarters of a mile away. However, rather than going directly on to the beach I decided this time to walk through the dunes to my destination and then make the return journey along the beach. The dune paths meander all over the place so the walk is made more strenuous because of that. As the route is also sheltered from the sea it is warmer too, especially when the sun is shining as it was on Saturday morning. It was beginning to be uncomfortable because of this but soon I was more in the open as I approached the beach where I would turn back to walk home. There isn’t much to see along the beach to be honest, sand dunes on one side and the sea on the other but it is essentially flat all the way.

English: Ainsdale Beach and Sand Dunes. This p...

Ainsdale Beach and Sand Dunes. This photo was taken on New Years Eve in 2004, looking north along the sands toward  Birkdale. Behind the dunes lies Ainsdale National Nature Reserve, home to Natterjack Toads. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now I was on the beach heading northward (roughly) it was much cooler in the strong breeze that was blowing. As I reached the point where I needed to get off the beach I couldn’t locate where it was. There is a path of sorts as I have explained in previous posts, it is often muddy and wet, in fact more often that not which makes it difficult to see as most of the terrain around there is similar. I had walked passed it without realising yet though I retraced my steps the path eluded me. On reflection I hadn’t retraced my steps far back enough. The path is far easier to spot from the other end of it! I decided to take a chance and wade through the tall grass which covers the area even though it hides many pools of water and muddy places. It took me about twenty minutes to step gingerly across to the firm ground only a matter of metres away from the path’s other end. The rest of the walk thereafter was straightforward and soon I was back home feeling a little more tired than usual. I thought it strange that I found the path quite easily one morning before sunrise a few weeks ago when it was pitch black!

Shirley Anne

I knew…………

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A few weeks ago my doctor called me in to see her. I have to attend surgery every six months for routine blood pressure checks because of the medication (hormones) I have to take each day. On my last visit I was told to make an appointment with the nurse who take blood samples and send them off for analysis. That was done and I then had to see the doctor again for the results. That happened on Friday (10). My readers will know that I am a Christian believer and place my trust in God knowing that He loves me. I don’t like visits to the doctor to be truthful and though I appear at ease by my demeanour I am usually tensed inside. I arrived at the surgery and parked my van but before going in I prayed to The Lord that all would be well with my results and there would be no necessity for any further action. I went into the surgery and waited to be called. I was with the doctor for less than a minute……..there was nothing wrong with my blood pressure nor the resultant blood tests. I praised The Lord. I knew in my heart the results would be normal, He had given me that assurance.

Take Jesus’ hand

I have learnt over the years to have more faith in God and to trust in His love. I know He loves me and will take care of me. He proved His love on the cross. Jesus Christ died for me and that act demonstrated pure love. He paid my debt and set me free from the bondage of sin. All I had to do was believe in Him and accept His gift of life. No ,matter what God's plans are for me I know I can trust Him. I just know...

Shirley Anne

Maniacs and the rat race

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Vehicle activated sign (VAS) being used to enf...

Vehicle activated sign (VAS) being used to enforce a 30 mph speed limit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Funny how things in life look different when viewed from a different perspective. I retired from full-time and even part-time occupational work back in April. My tax returns were always easier as I chose to keep my accounting in-line with the UK tax year which begins at the beginning of April. I always hated doing my tax return in the past but now that is one task I will be glad to be rid of. All that aside, life has become far simpler since April. I haven’t driven my van much since then either though for a few months prior to April my workload had dropped significantly anyway. Now it is non-existent except for private domestic work where having a van has proved to be very beneficial. Last year for instance I barely covered 1000 miles between MOT tests! Now, when I go out walking I see things from a new angle and notice things I probably didn’t notice too closely beforehand. Then I was behind the wheel but now I am on foot and see the bad behaviour of many motorists. Yes, there were times, many times, I came across bad drivers and their antics but I get to see far more of them as a pedestrian! As with most towns in the UK there are speed limits to adhere to, 20, 30 mph zones are commonplace and are there for good reason. As a motorist I was and am well aware that speeding motorists are a danger to both motorists and pedestrians alike, even to themselves. It seems however that some motorists don’t think the limits apply to them and regularly flout them. I sometimes walk along the seafront where the speed limit is 30 mph throughout the year, generous in my estimation especially during the warm months when there are always plenty of pedestrians about and the likelihood of accidents are greater. I say accidents but really they are the result of a lack of concentration and usually caused through speeding.

Beware of the Maniacs

Beware of the Maniacs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lately I have taken that walk in the early hours of the morning when it is still dark yet I see motorists speeding along at easily twice the speed limit in some cases, that is 50 to 60 mph! What would they do if suddenly there was a pedestrian crossing the road or a dog running wild? There are many people walking dogs on the beach sometimes and they have to cross the road from the car park to get there. They are madmen, maniac drivers who, instead of setting out earlier find they now need to speed because they are late for work. Not all motorists I see act that way I hasten to add, just a few of them. Each time I go out walking it is usually in the morning and often before the ‘rush hour’, the rat race to get to work but sometimes during that time. The bad driving isn’t limited to car owners either, many large commercial vehicle drivers are just as bad. Yes, things look far different when viewed as a pedestrian and from the perspective of someone who has no need to rush anywhere!

Shirley Anne

Divine justice

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Divine Justice (Psalm 7:6)

The idea that those who reject God will experience torment for eternity is offensive to many people. It seems like awfully vicious behavior from one who is known as a loving God.

Dr. D. A. Carson, prominent professor and scholar, says, “In the first place, the Bible says that there are different degrees of punishment, so I’m not sure that it’s the same level of intensity for all people.

“In the second place, if God took his hands off this fallen world so that there were no restraint on human wickedness, we would make hell. Thus if you allow a whole lot of sinners to live somewhere in a confined place where they’re not doing damage to anyone but themselves, what do you get but hell? There’s a sense in which they’re doing it to themselves, and it’s what they want because they still don’t repent. One of the things the Bible does insist is that in the end not only will justice be done, but justice will be seen to be done, so that every mouth will be stopped.”

In other words, at the time of judgment there is nobody in the world who will walk away from that experience saying that God had treated them unfairly. Everyone will recognize the fundamental justice in the way God judges them and the world.

“Justice is not always done in this world; we see that every day,” Carson says. “But on the last day it will be done for all to see. And no one will be able to complain by saying, ‘This isn’t fair.’ ”

—Adapted from interview with Dr. D. A. Carson

Taken from The Case for Christ Study Bible

So, there is no escape for believer and unbeliever alike. However, the believer has Christ Jesus as their intercessor, one who stands in the gap between them and God. He has paid the price for the sins for which they deserve punishment. They have placed their trust in him, believed in him and in the One who sent him. They will still be judged but as God’s children, members of His family. How will God judge you?

Shirley Anne

Busy little bee

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So what was I going to do on Monday? It was only a matter of a few months ago when I would be off somewhere doing an electrical job on a Monday morning. Now I can please myself but I have set myself a routine nevertheless, a routine to keep me in good health through exercising. Although I did exercise beforehand I had to fit that in between my work schedules, now it is the other way round, I exercise first then do whatever needs doing later. After getting dressed in my sport’s clothes I spent thirty minutes on the treadmill which I now do every second day and occasionally on other days. Likewise, if  I take a long walk, which I do also every second day, I still take short walks on other days too sometimes. I almost never take a long walk if I have spent time rigorously working out on the treadmill. The plan on Monday was to use the treadmill and perhaps take a short walk in the afternoon but things didn’t quite work out that way. Having changed into normal clothing for the rest of the day I decided to remove a faulty floodlight on the rear wall of the house and replace it with another further along the wall which too often was affected by the operation of the house boiler. Although it was distant from the exhaust of the boiler it would still be triggered to switch on sometimes so I thought it best to remove it altogether. There are still four remaining floodlights on the rear of the house which is adequate. I used an old ladder to do the work of removing the good floodlight but used one section of a much lighter aluminium ladder to do the rest of the work. The first ladder, which is constructed of galvanised steel, was far too heavy a ladder for general use and I wanted to be rid of it. I did that just after lunch. Another section of the same ladder is still hanging in the garage (see picture, it has yellow and white industrial bags stored on it)  and I will get rid of that next time I visit the tip. When the electrical work was finished I got the hacksaw and chopped the steel ladder into two pieces so that it would fit on top of the van. I fixed them to the roof rack and then filled the van with other items we were getting rid of, a gents bicycle (in good condition), an exercise bike (faulty), an old computer screen, two printers, an old electric drill and the tray from my neighbour’s faulty dishwasher. I took the gents cycle to The Salvation Army as it deserved a new owner being as it was in good condition. They took it from me.

A dishwasher containing clean dishes

A dishwasher containing clean dishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was about to go indoors for lunch when my neighbour called and asked if I could disconnect her faulty dishwasher as she was getting a new one later in the week. I was dressed in my overalls so took the opportunity to do the job then. It took me ages to remove the old washer from beneath the worktop as she had an old carpet on the floor which couldn’t be removed. Finally I got it out and removed the cable, the drain hose and the water supply pipe. However the valve controlling the supply water was faulty and I had to replace it temporarily so the water supply to the house could be maintained. She would use a plumber to install the new appliance. I took the faulty machine outside ready for collection but I wanted to see if parts of the tray could be used as spares for our own dishwasher. Unfortunately they couldn’t so that’s how it ended up in the back of my van ready for the tip. By the time I had returned from disposing the items it was approaching four in the afternoon. I’d had enough for one day.

Shirley Anne

A day of two halves

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A day like this would have been better don’t you think?

Ah, Sunday morning and all tucked up under the duvet made me feel so secure and warm, The curtains drawn back allowed me to see the new day outside and it wasn’t a pretty sight. Rain was pelting against the glass of the windows forced relentlessly by the strong north-westerly winds. I tried to close my eyes again but it was now too late, time to get up and face the day. I was going for a walk, down along the beach and back along the coastal road this time. It was around eight-twenty as I stepped through the front door, I was well wrapped up to face the elements and needed to be, it would get worse before it got better! I walked the half-mile or so to the coast road and crossed over to walk through the sand dunes and onward to the beach. There was the watery and muddy paths to negotiate before I reached the sand and soon after I arrived there the wind picked up and became stronger, then the rain began to fall again. It had ceased raining by the time I set off but now it was back with a vengeance. Have you ever stood in a waterfall? I have and there on the beach it felt just the same. I stooped down to the sand to minimise the drowning I was being given but thankfully it lasted only a few minutes before easing off to be just light rain for ten minutes. I looked heavenward to see a bright blue sky, the clouds had blown over, well most of them. I made it to the point where I was to turn off the beach and as I did I saw several police, coast guard and ranger vehicles with their crews standing close by. I wondered if there had been an incident along the beach for as I had approached the turning off point I could see flashing amber lights in the distance ahead of me further along the beach. Whatever the event was about it looked as though it was all over. I continued with my walk and homeward bound. By the time I reached home the sun was shining, it was warmer and most of the sky was blue. It didn’t last too long however as by one o’clock it was cloudy again, then sunny, then cloudy…..a day of two halves.

Shirley Anne.

Incompetence? Laziness?

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I don’t profess to be perfect in anything I undertake but I make a determined effort in that direction. I take pride in my work and I believe I have every right to do so, the results speak for themselves. Yes I make mistakes and have botched up one or two things in the past but I have never left them that way, I make another attempt until I get it right. I always say if a job is worth doing it is worth doing right first time, it is just as easy to do things correctly as it is to do them incorrectly. The added advantage is not having to return to put things right. I have found lately that not everyone I have employed takes the same pride in their work and I suspect have not been competent in the first place.

The Bungled & the Botched

The Bungled & the Botched (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A few months ago now I had purchased new curtains (drapes) for a room I was refurbishing and redecorating and waited eagerly for them to be fitted once my work had finished. On the appointed day the fitter arrived and began the work. I felt a little apprehensive as I didn’t think he was that competent. My feelings proved to be right for I had to intervene in what he was doing else end up with a shoddy job. It was all to do with the way the curtain rail was affixed to the wooden window surround. With a little help from myself he got the job done to my satisfaction. I should have arranged to fit them myself on reflection. More recently E’s nephew botched up the job I had employed him to do, raising part of the garage roof. It leaked because he hadn’t done it the way I had asked. I expect a builder to know what he is doing and not have to take instruction from me. I am not a builder. He had to return and do it again. When the fitters came to install the new garage door they went at it like a bull at a gate. I noticed the mistakes they were making along the way. It should have been a case of more haste less speed but it wasn’t. Their workmanship left a lot to be desired I have to say and I cringed at some of the work they had done, not enough screws where there should really have been, cables left dangling, no bushing of holes where cables passed through and so on. They weren’t electricians or engineers and it showed. They drilled access holes in the plastic body of the control unit using a drill bit only suitable for drilling wood! The bit ‘tore’ at the plastic which began to split. I wouldn’t mind but they had the proper drill bits for the job! I did some remedial work once they had departed. They were supposed to return to fit an alarm and to finish filling gaps with silicone but after a couple of weeks we had to get in touch with the company to remind them. The company sent another ‘engineer’ who fitted the alarm and filled in with silicone all where it was necessary. When he left I looked more closely at his work. I wasn’t impressed. I had installed a large wooden board to accommodate the fixing of the control equipment but this guy chose to screw the alarm unit to the brick wall above it without using wall plugs! Furthermore he had wired the unit into the main control panel passing the wires beneath the top cover housing the light. In the process he had severed the wires! I moved the alarm down to the board and fixed it there. I had to effect a repair to the wiring and cut a slot in the light cover so the wire would not be severed again. I have no idea why he had chosen to install the alarm as he did nor why he passed the wire beneath the light cover especially as there was plenty of space on the board and easier access to the wiring terminals from beneath the unit. He spoiled what was otherwise a good installation on his behalf.

Shirley Anne

Hive of activity?

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I didn’t feel like doing anything on Friday when I arose from sleep. Oh there were plenty of things to do but I simply felt I hadn’t the energy to do them so they were left. I want to install or rather reinstall the switch together with the photo detector which will allow the garage light to come on automatically when it is dark and the garage door is opened. I had the same arrangement on the old door and now the new door installation is finally complete I am free to do the work. Another small job I want to do is to paint over the underside of the galvanised steel beam which spans the garage opening. I may install an extra light in the garage too.

English: Graffiti stating "FACE THE WASTE...

Graffiti stating “FACE THE WASTE” on a garage door in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the Monday of last week we had our green wheelie bins emptied, that is they were supposed to empty them. However, when I looked inside them neither had been emptied properly, one being half full and the other a third full. E had contacted the local authority to ask why the bins hadn’t been emptied properly and they made a note of it. By Friday nothing had been done so I gave them another call and was basically fobbed-off with excuses. I explained that whilst we were paying for the bins to be emptied (through our rates) we expected them to be emptied. Why pay for a service which is not carried out? I was informed that nothing could be done. That meant we would have to wait until the next visit for the bins to be emptied. I was a little annoyed at their attitude and was tempted to write and complain but I changed my mind. I brought the bins back in from the road and emptied their contents of leaves onto the drive. I left Nature to do the rest! It can get quite windy around here and they may end up back in the road. That will mean the local authority can sweep them up if they’ve a mind to. The problem with the local council employees who empty the waste bins is that they are not very conscientious at times. Despite my feeling listless and not wanting to do much I decided to go for a long walk before lunch and felt much the better for it.

Shirley Anne

Sore bottom and stuff

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It all seemed to happen at once on Thursday morning. I had retired to bed early on Wednesday night and was fast asleep by ten o’clock. Aside from being a little tired anyway I wanted to arise early in the morning so I could go into the cellar and exercise before breakfast. My new bike stand had arrived the previous afternoon and I wanted to see if it had been worth purchasing so it was the first piece of equipment I used. I didn’t spend too long peddling away and getting nowhere as the equipment intended and the main reason for that was I got a sore bottom after ten minutes. The problem lies with the seat. It is too hard on my nether regions so I either need to purchase something softer or modify it for comfort’s sake. Next I moved to the treadmill and spent thirty minutes working out on it. By the time I had finished my exercise routine E had come down for breakfast and she wanted to see the bike stand as she hadn’t taken a look the previous day. I ate breakfast and we both went downstairs to discuss things regarding the equipment we now have down there. E never used the treadmill until recently after years of my attempting to persuade her but now she has taken tentative steps to change that. It is her condition, spina-bifida, which has made it difficult for her to exercise but she is beginning to see the effort makes it worthwhile. She now spends a little time walking on the treadmill when she has the time. As for the bicycle, I doubt she will find that easy for at the moment she wouldn’t be able to get on it, even I find it difficult! We may have to manufacture or purchase a set of steps to make it easier to get on the bike. I went upstairs for a shower and to get dressed for the day. It was time to cast my vote in the local elections so I put on my walking boots and coat. After voting I decided I would go for a walk. While out on the walk I received a call from a guy who had asked me to do a small electrical job for him. He had called a few days earlier but had to cancel at that time. I arranged to go to his house as soon as my walk was over. I drove there at noon and was back home within the hour a little better off financially. When I arrived home the guy we were waiting for to complete the garage door installation was there and had begun work. The work was superficial, fitting the free  alarm we had been promised after we had purchased an extra nine years of guarantee cover and to fill in some gaps with silicone rubber. He was finished by one-thirty. After lunch E went shopping and I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing.

Shirley Anne

Exercise

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As my readers may know, I have always been keen on exercise. When young my preferences were for swimming and cycling but in later life, say my mid-thirties that changed to include running. I say running for in essence I ran too fast for it to be jogging. I figure jogging to be a warm-up exercise before running. However, that doesn’t mean jogging is in any way inferior, it isn’t and to be honest it is probably better. Too much running can lead to damaged knee joints and spinal problems whereas jogging is less damaging I feel. It is only necessary to raise the heart rate so far and for so long for it to be beneficial. Similarly walking at a quick pace is also great for the heart. I spent about twenty-one years running long distances but now my running is done on the treadmill and for much less a distance.

Years ago when my sons lived at home they liked to use the bench-press equipment. We didn’t own a treadmill at that time. They use their local gymnasium now where they have access to all types of equipment. Though the bench-press is still at home it is almost never used and certainly not by me. Having said that there are facilities on the bench for doing leg exercises if I wish to use them.

Next to the bench between it and the bicycle we have another leg exerciser. It is adjustable and is very effective in building up the leg muscles. Each footrest is pressed down alternately with the other and believe me it is hard-going. 

Finally there is the static bicycle frame which enables a road bike to be peddled indoors. For quite some time now I haven’t used the bike outdoors as all my outdoor exercising is done by going on long walks instead. Rather than let the bike stand in the garage unused I purchased the stand a week or so ago and it has been in use since.

It has the benefit of allowing the bike to be used outdoors if I want to. One piece of equipment I would like to have is the elliptical trainer but alas I never got around to buying one. Maybe one day if I live long enough! I used to say that if the weather was bad I could always exercise indoors, which I can but having purchased suitable outdoor clothing there isn’t an excuse not to go out walking now. Besides, I like walking in the rain knowing I am not going to get soaked through!

Shirley Anne

The I AM

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I AM THE Lord (Exodus 6:1–8)
The patriarchs had known God Almighty, but they had never heard the unique name of God. God revealed himself to Moses with intimate clarity, connecting his personal name with the wonders that he had done for the people up to this point in their story. He is the one who called Abraham, initiated a covenant with him and inaugurated a great nation through a child promised to him and his then-barren wife (Gen 12; 15). He is the God who used what man intended for evil to promote Joseph to second-in-command in Egypt (Gen 50:20). He is the one who led his people to seek refuge in the land of Egypt to escape a dire famine. And he is the one who promised to deliver the people from slavery through Moses’ leadership. The people were urged to avoid worry—the God who promised to act on their behalf is the God who had always come through on the behalf of his people.
This personal revelation is distinct to Christians. The God of the Bible is not some disengaged deity, unconcerned with the plight of his people. Rather, he is the God who is both omnipotent and sovereignly in charge of all things and the God who is intimately concerned and engaged with the affairs of his children.
This personal care is best demonstrated in the way Jesus humbled himself, leaving the right hand of the Father and taking the place of a servant on the cross (Phil 2:5–11). Paul wrote that God was intent on redeeming his people, so Jesus laid aside equality with God and humbled himself to take on human flesh. While, in the age to come, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, the early ministry of Jesus demonstrated how far God would stoop to show his personal love for his children. Jesus is the perfect Son of God, yet one who loved his enemies and called them his friends (Rom 5:10). He is the radiance of the glory of God, yet willing to love those who show even a childlike faith (Luke 18:16). God is the King of the universe, yet one who allows frail humans to approach him as their father (Rom 8:15). He is Yahweh, the Lord God Almighty.
Jesus, thank you for tearing down the curtain that separated me from my Father. Thank you for making it possible for me to have a personal, intimate relationship with the almighty God of the universe. Amen.
Taken from NIV The Jesus Bible

Remember then what Christmas is all about

Shirley Anne

Odd dreams

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I have to say that most of my dreams are odd. Read some of them in ‘My Dreams’ above. For quite a while I haven’t experienced or remember having a dream. Perhaps that is a good thing for I think it reveals I am not under stress or have any undue pressures upon me when awake. For me, dreams are a sign of a troubled mind or one that has too much on it! I had the dream on the night of Oct 30. Make of it what you will…

In this dream I was without gender, meaning I wasn’t sure if in the dream I was male or female. I had a small son, probably about six years old but for some reason I was expecting another child. There was an easel in front of me similar to some music stands that can be found but it had a flat metal plate which wasn’t turned up at the bottom as you would expect for a music stand. That meant anything placed on it would slide off except that there was some sort of lever at the bottom for releasing the plate from its stand. Why I had placed the new baby on the easel I couldn’t imagine but he was wrapped as tiny babies are when first-born. Now this was odd, he seemed to be about eighteen months old! Not only that but his brother whom also I was expecting at the same time as he was born arrived on the scene as if he had just left the womb! I had twins separated by eighteen months and a six-year old who appeared to be eighteen months old too! I remembered tilting back the easel so that the baby wouldn’t slide off yet the lever was big enough to have prevented that anyway. Though there were now three children I was acting as if there were only two.

Shirley Anne

Improving every day

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English: Exercising outdoors is healthier than...

Exercising outdoors is healthier than working out indoors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was up early on Monday morning but didn’t dress for the day at that time. Instead I put on shorts, a vest and my runner’s shoes and spent some time on the treadmill….running. I had neglected my treadmill exercise routines to the point that I was using the treadmill very infrequently and I had to correct that. For the past couple of weeks therefore I have disciplined myself to spend more time on the treadmill as I had been doing previously. In just a short time I found myself improving with each session, pushing myself just that little bit more each time and feeling the benefit for it. For quite some time I have been taking walks and here too I have noticed a steady improvement, walking faster and going further is the trend but I knew it would be. After my stint on the treadmill I went for a walk later too. You see for many years exercise has played a major part in my life and I know the benefits regular exercising can provide. The key word here is ‘regular’, it is of no use exercising sporadically because that can be worse than not exercising at all. Sudden exercise for someone not used to it can cause heart failure in some people as well as other physical problems. If one is to take exercising seriously then it should be planned, short periods of light exercising at first then progressing to harder regimes over a period of time. Marathon runners and sprinters, swimmers and cyclists didn’t start at the peak of their disciplines but gradually built themselves up over a period of time by exercising regularly and improving slowly along the way. There is only so much a person can do when exercising and much of that is affected by their weight, size, capability and age not forgetting their health status. Know your limits should be your motto. Your body will tell you if you are overdoing things and if you are you must take note. Improvements and benefits are gradual but they do happen eventually for those who exercise on a regular basis. As I am fast approaching my 72nd birthday I know I can no longer run as I used to and neither do I want to. There are those who at my age and even older will think nothing of running a marathon or two and if that is what they want I am happy for them but for myself I don’t think I need to aim that high in order to benefit from exercise. All I know is the exercising I take gets better each time, gets longer each time and I feel good each time I do it.

Shirley Anne