Category Archives: Peace

Hard and easy

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Nothing Comes Easy

Nothing Comes Easy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life can be so hard sometimes but it can be so easy too. Things often seem more difficult or hard to deal with than they actually warrant. We ourselves can make life’s situations more difficult but if we could just stop and think things over we might find no problem really insurmountable. In every area of our lives this is so. However, it is one thing to overcome everyday situations we feel we could not previously handle and another when it involves others. Relationships with fellow humans can be fraught with difficulties especially where there is a clash of personalities, ideas, beliefs and so on but it shouldn’t be that way. It is a matter of how much we really love the other person, do we humble ourselves and put them first even if we know they are wrong? As Christians we are told to love one another, to love our neighbour (which is everyone else living on the planet) and in doing so honouring Christ. It doesn’t always work that way as anyone will tell you. I was watching a television program whilst waiting for another program to begin and it was called ‘Nightmare neighbour next door’. Many in the UK will probably have watched it themselves. The title is somewhat self-explanatory but in essence it reports relationships about people living next to each other who for one of many reasons just don’t get on with each other. Often the friction is one-sided and often it is based upon trivial concerns. As outsiders we can see the whole story and the stubbornness of people who simply cannot see their way to make an effort to resolve their differences. It is about love and putting others before ourselves but at the same time we shouldn’t simply let others take advantage. Being humble doesn’t mean being servile. Whilst watching one incident between two neighbours it seemed obvious that only one of them, a woman, was the source of the problems between them. The guy who lived next door had to put up with her unbelievably bad behaviour and for some time until one day he took complete control just using words. At this point I fell about with laughter at what he had said. Leaning over the wall which separated them he calmly said to her face ‘God you are ugly’ and then walked away. He had no further problems from that day forth. Now I wouldn’t advocate being verbally abusive to anyone but I had to admit he had made his hard life a lot easier with just a few words.

Shirley Anne

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Wits end and friends

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Peace, peace, peace.

We Come in Peace with a Message of Love

We Come in Peace with a Message of Love (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I very seldom if ever write about my personal relationships in my posts though I have been more open in my personal pages above regarding such things. It is hard for me to do so now. Life can be so difficult at times. Stressful situations, personal relationships, financial problems, poor health, irritating neighbours and many more can all have a detrimental effect upon us. As a Christian I am called to rise above these things yet I may still have to deal with them, in fact being a Christian does not mean I will never be affected by them or that they will somehow magically disappear, they won’t. Our difficulties arise when we don’t know how to deal with them. Fellow Christians will say things like, ‘Trust in The Lord’, ‘Lay all your burdens at His feet’, and they would be quite right but we have to meet Him half-way. We have to do our bit too. If we approach things in the right way and trust in The Lord’s guidance we will overcome. Sometimes though no matter what we do it doesn’t seem to work, at least as we thought it should and that is the point, not everything is going to work out the way we want it or expect it to do. Good friends give good advice. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Some people will never change’, yet we often continue attempting to persuade them. This has been especially true in my own situation. My ex, ‘E’, is a prime example. Over the years (forty-four) I have known her she has been stubborn. We used to go to church together at one point but her heart wasn’t in it. She always blamed her mom for ‘forcing’ her to attend church when younger and that is why she says she doesn’t believe in God. Many times I have witnessed to her but the main way was by example, showing love, being tolerant and understanding and not putting her under pressure. Nothing worked and still doesn’t. I have to live with her and it can be so difficult. I could have left her, deserted her and left her to her own devices but because of my love and concern I persevered. I still persevere and will continue to do so until I die though she may never change. Aside from her beliefs just living together is sometimes problematical for me as I am very often not treated well by her even though I treat her with love and respect and we end up not speaking. Usually it is because of her stubborn refusal to apologise for her behaviour toward me when she is in the wrong. My friend tries to cheer me up and she tells me not to let E’s behaviour affect my own peace and happiness but that is so hard to do. I get knocked down but I get up again and again and again. I refuse to give in to her bad behaviour yet I have to forgive her. I always forgive her but it never seems to have any effect. Sometimes I feel at my wit’s end wondering if things between us will always be this way. Unless you live with a person like E you will never really know what it is like. Leaving her isn’t an option, she needs more love.

Shirley Anne

How long?

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Waiting for relief checks during Great depress...

Waiting for relief checks during Great depression. Calipatria, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is a waiting game. We spend many hours in our lives waiting for one thing or another to happen, We may not realise it but waiting promotes patience and patience promotes peace. We may not like having to wait for certain things but often we have no choice. Stuck in a line of traffic waiting for it to move can be infuriating especially if we have an appointment to keep but there is little we can do about that except start out on our journey earlier. Many think their urgency is the problem of others and get annoyed if the rest of us take little notice. Waiting for other people who might not be as reliable as ourselves as far as time-keeping is concerned can step up the anxiety in us unless we can remain at peace with it all. Those amongst us who seem to have no sense of urgency in their lives are our children. We have to keep on top of things and take control in some circumstances. Of course many children expect things to be done for them at home. It takes a disciplined heart to negotiate around that one. As they grow we expect more independence on their part and more responsibility for their own lives and by and large that is what happens. Once in a while they may return for help, perhaps some physical assistance with something or financial help to get them out of a problem or situation. I don’t remember ever having to rely on parental help once I flew the nest. Not so with my own children. It may be a sign of the times and probably is. Job prospects and salaries may not be as they once were when I started out in life. Both my sons have asked for financial assistance a couple of times, one more so than the other and I have obliged. What they both need, apart from better jobs, is a little spare cash for a rainy day. One of my sons is currently saving as much as he can for a deposit on a house so he will have such a pot of money to fall back on. The other son it seems hasn’t been able to save much and when something out of the blue happens he has to rely on my generosity. That has happened a few times over the last five years or so. It happened again on Saturday when I had to deposit some cash in his account to tide him over. The father of his boss has just died and for some reason that has affected my son’s salary getting paid on time. He hadn’t that financial cushion he should have by now. I encourage him to save something each month even if it is a small amount. Either his situation won’t allow a small amount of saving or he just doesn’t know how to save. Maybe he just spends too much. So I have been patiently waiting for better times in the lives of my children. It is a good thing that I save when I can isn’t it?

Shirley Anne

A cheerful soul

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Narcissus 'Cheerfulness'. Real Jardín Botánico...

Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many a time I have been told that I am a cheerful soul despite some of the things that have turned my world upside down, especially in the last twenty years. I could attribute my cheerfulness to many things I suppose but the real reason is the in-dwelling of The Holy Spirit, the joy in the knowledge of my salvation in Jesus Christ. I am given to the disposition of cheerfulness because I know I cannot change things that cannot be changed but strive to change those which can be instead. On Thursday I made it my business to take the day off work despite the requests for my services. I was able to have extra time in bed, something foreign to my normal lifestyle. Being honest I have to confess that I was tired but even so five hours sleep is usually enough for me. I managed to stay asleep for six hours before the urgency to visit the toilet awakened me. However I returned to bed and put in another four hours before I finally stirred again. Whilst going about the business of getting ready for the day I received a call from an American guy asking if I would do some electrical work for him. He rejected the price I gave him for the proposed work as he said the job should be easy. Well of course the job should be easy but they seldom work out that way. No matter, he seemed to be the expert! I assumed he found someone to do it for next to nothing. A few minutes later I received another call from a local girl wanting my electrical services and that job I will be doing (as I write this) on Saturday morning and Monday afternoon (she is moving house). At least the calls came late in the morning so as not to disturb my sleep which is usually the case when I want a lie-in. I had a doctor‘s appointment at two-thirty to discuss the findings of an X-ray I’d had two weeks ago. I knew beforehand what the diagnosis would be and it was confirmed to me. Being as it was Thursday, E would be doing the weekly shop but this week she had to go alone as her mum has been in hospital for a couple of days because of a problem she was having with abdominal pain. It isn’t a life-threatening condition as far as we know and hopefully it isn’t but any medical problems at her age can be a cause for concern. So it is with us all and myself being as I am now sixty-nine I have to expect one problem or another occasionally. Anyway E drove me to the surgery before continuing on to do the shopping. When we are young we think we are invincible but as we grow older we realise that we are not. My newly acquired condition was, according to my doctor, probably brought about by my long life at work. I have the beginnings of osteoarthritis. It is the result of a wearing down of the cartilage between the joints in my fingers, more so in my right hand as I am right-handed. I know there is nothing that can be done to reverse the condition so I accept it. The doctor was surprised at my easy-going reaction. As I say, I can’t change things that cannot be changed so why worry about it? As long as I can play my guitar, and I am still able, I shall be content. I left the surgery soon afterwards and walked the short distance into the village to make a cash deposit at my bank. It is just as well I save when I can as my youngest son had asked me earlier in the day if I could lend him some money to help him with a cash-flow problem he was having. He is to repay me later. Where have I heard that one before? Leaving the bank I walked across the road to the chemists to collect the prescription my doctor had forwarded electronically to them. Paper prescriptions are becoming a thing of the past. I collected the gel the doctor had prescribed to reduce the swelling in my hand and started back home on foot. It was still wet, cold and windy on Thursday, bracing weather as they say. I was prevented from continuing my journey by the level-crossing barriers that had just closed off the road. I spoke with a lady who was visiting our town for the afternoon and she was telling me about the conditions near the Promenade which is exposed to the westerly winds. Well Southport is windy at the best of times as it sits right on the coast facing the Irish Sea. The train left the station, the barriers lifted and I continued home with the wind in my face. I was feeling very happy and contented, a cheerful soul indeed.

Shirley Anne

My Peace

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I have found over the years since becoming a Christian 26 years ago but especially in recent years that I have become more aware of the promised peace of God. Up until now I can say with all honesty that I haven’t experienced a peace in my heart like it. It is unique and it fills me with confidence knowing that The Lord is always present in all the circumstances I find myself in. When once I would be anxious about something I find I no longer am. Unless you have experienced this peace, this love from Jesus, you will not understand. It comes without any effort on my part and allows me to rise above the problems in life. I don’t worry about anything as I once did, I will have concerns but no worries. 

Jesus comforts his disciples

John 14

 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, me back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.’

Jesus the way to the Father

Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’

Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’

Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus promises the Holy Spirit

15 ‘If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever – 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.’

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’

23 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 ‘All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

28 ‘You heard me say, “I am going away and I am coming back to you.” If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

‘Come now; let us leave.

——————–

Shirley Anne

Bald headed hippy

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Youth Culture - Hippies 1960s

Youth Culture – Hippies 1960s (Photo credit: brizzle born and bred)

I’ve been there done that and have worn the T-shirt. I was a ‘hippy‘ in my younger days like many of my generation and I was into all kinds of weird music, well weird to my parents. I still love the music and still enjoy playing it but not that often these days. Although I have many records they are all on vinyl and although I posses a player I usually only play music through YouTube or have it on my radios. I grew out of blasting my eardrums and those of others around me a long time ago, in fact if I am not playing music I do not like to be forced to listen to it when someone else is playing it. Once upon a time I was told off for playing music too loudly but now I have come full circle and it is my turn to raise the objections! I think you might call it maturity or having consideration for others who don’t wish to listen. There’s nothing wrong in pushing up the volume as long as it doesn’t disturb others and as long as you don’t mind the idea of possibly going deaf later in life. When young we often ignored the advice of our elders thinking all they wanted to do was spoil our enjoyment but in reality they were only trying to protect us as well as themselves. When you don’t want to listen to loud music it becomes an imposition to the point of distraction and we cannot concentrate on whatever we are doing. I was sitting at home watching a movie on television a couple of evenings ago and I could hear a ‘thump, thump, thump’ going on in the background. At first I didn’t think much of it but after a few minutes it began to annoy me as it was spoiling my enjoyment of the movie. It was an action movie and was fairly loud itself at times but still I could hear the thumping in the background despite having double-glazed windows and living in a detached house. I decided to try to locate the source of the sound by going outdoors and discovered that it was coming from one of my next-door neighbours. The guy who lives there is single so there is no family living with him, no youngsters who might be playing their music loudly. I know for a fact that he likes heavy metal and rock music for I have heard him playing it at home before. I believe him to be around ten years my junior so that would make him possibly a hippy too in his youth. Now though I guess I could call him a bald hippy for his barnet has long-since disappeared! I had to go round to ask him if he wouldn’t mind lowering the volume a little as I could hear it next door over the sound of the tv. Being as he is a nice guy he apologised and explained that it was a new system he had bought recently and I suppose he wasn’t used to the controls. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt over that one!

Shirley Anne

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How time changes things

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English: It's a Dog's Life This elderly dog, w...

It’s a Dog’s Life

I’ve been through many phases in my lifetime, found interests then lost interest in them later when other things took up my time. It took me many years before I became interested in people, socialising, alcohol and pub life, not that going to the pub and drinking alcohol was ever high on my agenda until more recent times and even then I limited myself. Once I got married my social life, such as it was, took a back seat for both of us but after our divorce I found myself going to the pub more frequently but purely for company I told myself. Now that I am on better terms with my ex, with whom I live, I tend to go to the pub less. In fact I won’t visit the pub for weeks on end then I might go once or twice before leaving off again and now that I have stopped drinking alcohol altogether there is little point in going unless it is to meet people. My ex and I spend more time together and dine out often together more so than we have ever done before. At this moment in time I haven’t visited my local pub for about six weeks. There are many things missing from my life that used to be a part of it at one time. My values have changed and the things I once valued no longer are of interest. I find many things now of no real value to me. All I really need is peace and contentment and the simple things in life. I don’t feel the need to wander throughout the world or even in my own country but might do those things now on a whim. As I get older I find I cannot be bothered with things that I used to enjoy but there are still some things that I really like doing and those things I continue with. I have always been a creative person and that is why I enjoy my work and my personal projects and also why I like to write verse and songs. My life has changed in so many ways and there is little now I wish for except to remain content,  in good health and happy. No more chasing after the wind and useless dreaming of better times that probably won’t materialise or be of any value to me anyway.

Shirley Anne

Take fifteen minutes……………..

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Take fifteen minutes of your life, sit down, close your eyes, let the cares of the day alone for a spell and listen to this wonderful piece of music. I hope it generates peace in your heart whilst you let yourself be immersed in your thoughts. I love this piece of music with a passion for it touches my heart, relaxes me, brings tears to my eyes and rest to my soul as I ponder on the life I am a part of. Enjoy……………..

Shirley Anne

The best things

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It is said that the best things in life are free and they are. The best things come from God. God gives freely of His love to those who believe in Him and place all their hope and trust in Him. He gives us a peace in our hearts that cannot be matched when we steadfastly seek Him in our hearts and minds……..

Psalm 31:19

19 How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you.

Isaiah 26:3

3 You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.

It is a wonderful feeling to know that God has supplied us with everything we need when we place all our hope and trust in Him. God is a provider and has stored up good things for us when we fear Him. He keeps us in perfect peace when we set our hearts upon Him and place all our trust in Him. Those who don’t know and love God will not know of these things, their provision and peace is based upon earthly things and not the things of  The Spirit. God’s peace is greater than any peace we think we have in our lives. The peace God gives to those who love Him is far different than any other. God is a provider. I would rather have God’s provision than anything I think I need. God’s provision is not measured in material blessings although He does provide for those too. I would rather have God’s love than any other. God’s love is beyond all measure. The best things come from God in this world and the next. I would rather have the peace that God gives to me each day, a special peace that can be found nowhere else.

Shirley Anne

Down at the OK Corral

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"Thursday (Tomorrow will be friday)"...

“Thursday (Tomorrow will be friday)”, the painting of Walter Dendy Sadler, Tate Gallery, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a little job to do on Thursday morning some four miles out-of-town which I completed in an hour or so before driving back home. I had no other work scheduled but thought I might get something for the afternoon. That didn’t happen, which was ok as I had work scheduled for Friday anyway and that was enough. I decided I might spend an hour or two at the pub so I changed out of my work clothes into something more suitable. As the weather had become somewhat chilly I wore warmer clothing than that which I’d been wearing throughout the summer and even decided to put on a belt and stockings, something I don’t usually do until late September. Autumn seems upon us already! I took a circuitous route to the pub as I was in no hurry as the weather, though cool, was very pleasant for walking. My local gets rather packed during and around lunchtime these days. It is all to do with the new management and menu they have. It has become so popular that sometimes one cannot get a table in there and more especially in the evenings when they take bookings for meals. I expected the pub to be full but surprisingly it wasn’t but I put that down to the time which was around 2.30. Anyway I bought my drink and sat down but didn’t feel much like drinking it. I don’t know what it was but every little sound that entered my ears was annoying me whereas normally I wouldn’t even notice. I just didn’t feel right so I moved from the table I was sitting at and moved to the area away from the bar where they have large sofas to lounge upon. They are comfortable to sit on but probably too comfortable if you know what I mean. I found myself wanting to nod off to sleep and it was all I could do to stop myself doing that. I sat there quite some time before I had to pay a visit to the girl’s room and on doing so I got chatting to one of the regular visitors sat at the bar, a woman of similar age to myself. She had been joined by a couple of guys but they had left for home. I collected my drink and my jacket which I’d left where I’d been sitting and joined her at the bar. I explained to her how I had been feeling but suddenly I felt quite alive again as if I’d just had a good night’s sleep! I remained like that for the rest of my time there. Now I had planned to return home for an evening meal but somehow I got sidetracked as other people joined me. I bought myself a snack to ward off any signs of hunger and that was enough to keep me going. I ended up staying there until quite late. A young guy I know joined me at the bar and we spent quite some time chatting together. He has become somewhat of a friend now so we get along well. I forget what time it was but it was probably around 8 o’clock when suddenly there was a brawl immediately to our left. Two older guys I know who are probably around my age but quite well-built as they say were at each other’s throats and a couple of other big guys together with the manager were trying to keep them apart. A glass or two got smashed against the wall in the process and the manager was furious with them. He immediately ejected them both from the premises and cleaned up the mess. I guess those two guys will now be barred entry in future. I could see the manager was a bit shaken with the whole affair and asked if he was ok. He had resumed his composure and got on with things. He said it was all part of being a manager and that he wasn’t going to allow that sort of thing to spoil everybody else’s enjoyment. I applauded him. I must say that having been going to that pub for quite a number of years I had never experienced that sort of behaviour in there before. Hopefully it will not happen again. I am not saying it was all due to alcohol but I’ll wager that played a significant role. This illustrates though how easily too much alcohol can affect some people’s judgement and bring to light the darker side of their personality. I am glad alcohol doesn’t have that effect upon me, I tend to get friendlier, if that is possible with me, after a few drinks! Knowing those guys as I do, I have always thought them to be the quiet type, which proves we can easily misjudge people doesn’t it? In the cold light of day I bet those guys will be very much regretting their behaviour the night before. Yup, it is all happening down at the OK Corral!

Shirley Anne

Too much

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Don't Be Aggressive

Image via Wikipedia

‘Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit’, is a line quoted from Desiderata, a work written anonymously. I have always admired that work  as being a cross between advice and common sense. Loosely it is religious in nature but is advisory for those seeking a quiet and peaceful existence. I come across many different people during my days away from home but of all the types of people there are I think those who are loud and aggressive are the most disturbing to my peace. Some people shout because they are hard of hearing and some shout because they are insecure. Others simply shout because they are aggressive and too outspoken, they elevate themselves above others if allowed to do so and make a fuss to get their own way. They are usually the confrontational amongst us, ready to shout others down without regard for their feelings. Most of us if we are honest, prefer the quiet life and only make a fuss when it seems necessary. I have been in places whereby my morning or afternoon has been somewhat spoiled by the actions of others. There are limits to what behaviour is acceptable when we are aggrieved or when we conduct ourselves in society but I see this unwritten code ignored by many.  Whenever I am confronted by a loud and aggressive person I first try to calm down the situation but will exit from their presence if their bad behaviour persists. Life is too short to have to deal with loudmouths. Why should I get upset because of the insensitivity and loudness of another? My past has been dotted with such people over the years and at times I have been left crying after the actions of loud and aggressive people. It didn’t help that I was timid and shy, in fact that made the encounters even worse. These days I stand my ground but I would still rather avoid this type of person altogether.

 

Shirley Anne