Before a break

It is late on Saturday afternoon as I write this having completed almost three full days working at home on the small front lounge. A few days ago I had decided to completely renovate the room which although having had a change of furniture and a carpet since we moved into the house in 1988 has never been redecorated since 1989! Anyway that aside I decided on a total change, decor, furniture, everything. I was going to employ someone to do the decorating but changed my mind to do it myself. Over the last three days I have concentrated on the ceiling and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post I painted it twice. I thought it might need three coats and indeed when I looked at it this morning it still looked a little patchy in places. That meant a drive to the supplier to purchase another 5 ltr can. First job for the day though was to dig out a few bluebells which had thought I’d given up on them but no, I have been digging them out as they appear. Thankfully there are not as many now after all my hard work earlier in the year. That took a half-hour and then I phoned ahead to make sure the supplier was open. Many businesses close from Good Friday to Easter Monday so I had to make sure. They were open until 2 o’clock but I went immediately as I wanted to continue with the work. As it happened I did have enough paint to complete the second coat on the ceiling and frieze but would still need the extra can to paint parts of the ceiling which still looked patchy. I wasn’t going to do that until Monday at least but I had the extra paint ready now to hand. Finishing off the second coat and painting again the frieze and ceiling cornice for the third time on the window wall took me to lunchtime for after lunch I had decided to start painting over the dark blue stripes with the new red colour.

Incidentally, the dark-stained woodwork you can see in the pictures will eventually be painted white as the work progresses. Try as I might I couldn’t avoid spilling over the new colour on to the white parts of the ceiling. I used a piece of thin board like hard board to shield the parts of the ceiling I didn’t want the paint to touch but it was never going to be perfect. It will be easy enough to touch-up with white paint where necessary later. I stopped work at that point and wouldn’t be returning to it until Monday. Sunday was my rest day.

Shirley Anne


Hollow promises?

The Christian holiday of Easter is now over.

Is the Name “Easter” of Pagan Origin?

Misconception: The church borrowed the name Easter from pagans.

by Roger Patterson on April 19, 2011; last featured March 11, 2016


The modern controversy over the name Easter, when used in association with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, is interesting, to say the least.

The modern controversy over the name Easter, when used in association with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, is interesting, to say the least. The controversy seems to have blossomed at the beginning of the twentieth century and has caused many disturbances through the years. Examining this question is important to many Christians who do not wish to mix the worship of false gods with their worship of the only true God………….but read on…


The Resurrection of Christ
The Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It appears therefore that unbelievers are being led up the garden path (well we know they are) by the misconception that we Christians are basing our beliefs upon pagan history. ‘Easter’ has nothing to do with any pagan rites, rituals or celebrations. Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ who demonstrated that same destiny awaits all those who believe in God and have put their faith in what Jesus has done for them. Let the wicked forsake their own way, let the dead bury their dead and let all those who place their hope in a world with hollow promises just like the chocolate eggs of their secular celebrations, perish with them. All we as Christians can do is pray for them……

Shirley Anne

Good Friday

I could never figure out why Good Friday is so-called until I became a Christian. It is good in the sense that we as sinners in the sight of God can be forgiven and reconciled because of what Jesus did. His death and subsequent resurrection made it possible for us to follow and be resurrected to eternal life too. Without Christ Jesus therefore we would perish. Good Friday precedes Easter Day naturally but it is really Easter Day which is the more important for without Jesus rising from the dead none of this would be possible.

Embed from Getty Images

After he had risen he was seen by many people to be alive before he ascended to heaven. The secular world’s take on Easter is that it is a holiday and a time for people to take a break from their routine in whichever way the feel. Many give not a second thought to Easter’s real meaning, oh yes, isn’t it about Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies? They refuse to believe. My own Good Friday was spent applying the finishing touches to the paint work in the bedroom and after lunch spending a little time out on the patio whilst the sun still shone. It was whilst I was out there and with E who had just joined me that we heard the sound of voices seemingly from our neighbour’s garden but there was nobody there. We walked across the lawn to the far garage and there above us was a guy up on the scaffolding. In fact three guys had turned up to finish off the work on the roof. The original fault we had discovered was a leak behind the front chimney stack but since then a leak had developed on the opposite side of the roof. We had asked E’s nephew the builder to undertake repairs and during this past week we have seen the entire roof’s ridge tiles removed and refitted. There was only one more job to do and that was this original fault, a small leak behind the stack. The problem was the weather and Good Friday was the only dry day we could expect for a few days. The scaffolding was on hire and in a day or two was scheduled for disassembly unless I paid more money to keep it there. The work they did behind the stack only took around thirty minutes to complete. They had laid a new sheet of lead beneath the damaged area as that was all that was required. Hopefully I can now say that the roof repairs have been finished and that finally I can have the scaffolding removed. I know when that happens I will have to get on top of the garages to sweep up the debris that has fallen on them. I also have to check with E’s nephew that the gutters are free from debris too. Easter is a time to relax with family and friends and perhaps, on Good Friday at least, getting a little work done but let us not forget that Easter is about salvation, about the reconciliation we can have with our Creator through what Jesus did on that cross.

Shirley Anne

Not satisfied

Easter egg
Easter egg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you were to be asked to indulge in something which went against your principles or your beliefs do you think you would do so anyway? If it were to partake in some ritual perhaps or something in which you thought stupid and pointless would you still resist? How about joining a witches coven? A devil worshiping group? Perhaps these things might be of interest to some but I’ll wager not the majority of people. Suppose you were asked to think about becoming a Muslim or a Christian, a Buddhist or a Hindu if you don’t have any religious convictions, would you refuse? Well of course you would, each of us have our beliefs and when confronted with something totally against our desires and wills we resist. We may be persuaded or not depending upon our openness to such things. For instance those who are not Hindus probably wouldn’t observe Hindu festivals, those who are Muslims not Christian festivals and so on. There are those however who would celebrate festivals of faiths not their own, you have only to see what happens on and around 25 December! Christmas is celebrated by those who don’t believe in Christ and have even gone so far as to demand that Christ is left out of the celebrations. They misunderstand what Christmas is all about and have turned it into something completely different. In the western world this has become the standard, the way people behave, yet it doesn’t stop there. Not satisfied with corrupting Christmas their thoughts now turn to Easter and in a few years I can see that festival going the same way. It all starts supposedly innocently with the introduction of the Easter egg, then the Easter bunny and chicks. I wonder what next they will think of in the name of commercialism and it is all fueled by commercialism. Look at the advertisements on television on the approach to Easter. Special foodstuffs are now being promoted just as they do at Christmas. In fact every known gift is being advertised, things such as perfumes and aftershave lotions. What these have to do with Easter can only be imagined. These sacred festivals become something they are not meant to be and their message is lost to those who might otherwise hear and believe. How many children will be stuffing their faces with chocolate this Easter and not hearing the message about Jesus dying for them? How many parents couldn’t care less? They say secularism and Christianity should be kept poles apart. Try telling that to those in commerce. Where there is money to be made they will never be satisfied. As for me I believe that Jesus died for me, took my punishment for all my sins upon himself thereby setting me free. He didn’t come with a chocolate egg!

Shirley Anne

By the time you read this

Ainscough Flour Mill on the Leeds and Liverpoo...
Ainscough Flour Mill on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Burscough. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By the time you read this we will probably have fitted the plastic skirt around the shower tray platform, the architrave around the entrance to the main part of the room, the inspection cover for the shower tray, completed the remaining filling in here and there, the painting, the blanking plate to the visible side of the toilet to hide the pipes and hopefully will have returned the bath to the room and perhaps fitted it though I am not sure the water pipes will have been done but they shouldn’t take long. All these little jobs seem to take longer than the larger ones but we have had a few spare days in which to make the desired progress. One day soon we may be able to have a soak in the tub! Not that we haven’t a bath elsewhere, we have but it is in an en-suite to a bedroom. Neither of us do anything over Easter, that is we don’t go anywhere, preferring to remain at home during the holiday period. The Spring term for schools ended last week and children will be at home and that means they will be everywhere else with their parents too. On Tuesday afternoon E and I wanted to visit a new eatery for a change, one we haven’t previously visited. However, the place we actually drove to was somewhere we had been to before but many years ago. It is a lovely little pub out in the countryside which like many around these parts, sits alongside the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The weather was beautiful on Tuesday and many people were out enjoying it. When we pulled into the car park we found it to be filled to capacity and there were a few people making their way into the establishment. I thought to myself, small pub, crowded car park, parents with children some of whom we saw making their way inside, not much space and loads of noise. We chose to give the place a miss this time and drove off somewhere else. We chose a place some five miles further afield, a place we go to once in a while and to our delight found it with far fewer clientele and plenty of space though when we had nearly finished our meal a large party of people arrived for their special occasion, whatever that was. They had a large table set out in readiness for their arrival, close to where we were sitting. It is usually mid-afternoon when E and I dine out so we don’t expect the places we visit to be too full of people, which is the way we like it. Once or twice we have had our afternoon at the restaurant somewhat spoiled by someone’s unruly child so we prefer to avoid places that we know will be full of children running about and making a nuisance of themselves. We’ve nothing against children of course but expect them to be on their best behaviour in a restaurant. Most of them are. I was out working for a couple of hours the following morning but returned home to continue doing some of those little jobs in the bathroom.

Shirley Anne

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Some more cheek and sieve-like fingers!

English: A basic photoelectric smoke alarm by ...
A basic photoelectric smoke alarm by Ei Electronics.

After a rather busy week I planned to have a good lie in bed on Saturday morning then get up say around 9.30 to exercise on my treadmill. During the week I had been watching the trilogy Lord of the Rings (yet again, I love the story) broadcast on three consecutive  evenings, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 9pm. I don’t know how I managed to keep my eyes open on Friday as the film finished at almost 1 o’clock in the morning but as it was Saturday the following day I knew I could rest that extra time in bed. I slept solidly until 6am when I had to visit the toilet and still tired, went back to bed. I was awakened rather abruptly at 8am by my mobile phone. A lady I have worked for a couple of times wanted to know if I could repair her smoke alarm units some time in the coming week! Her brother had died on Wednesday and she didn’t have the time of his funeral so couldn’t say which day she would be at home. She explained that one of the smoke alarm units was ‘hanging from the ceiling ‘. Evidently she had pulled it off its fixings whilst removing the battery. I must explain something here for those who are not familiar with smoke alarms. Some of them are stand-alone, battery-operated (as the one shown above) but some also have a mains electricity supply and are often linked together to other units in the building. She has that latter type installed. She hadn’t pulled out the mains wiring so the unit was quite safe for the time being. She seemed more interested in the aesthetics, not wanting to see the thing hanging from the ceiling!. When I answered the call she said she hoped she hadn’t disturbed me or woke me up! It was 8 o’clock in the morning on a weekend and especially in this case, an Easter weekend! What did she think I would be doing so early in the morning? I told her that she had woke me up, which is perfectly true. The job wasn’t urgent so she should have phoned at a more respectable hour. I asked her to call me on Monday evening or Tuesday by which time she hopefully could tell me when it would be convenient to call, if at all. Incidentally she lives about eight miles away from me. The cheek of some people! I returned to my sleep-in and actually didn’t wake again until 11.30! I will be checking her smoke alarms today (Wednesday). I seemed to recall a faint tap-tap-tap on my bedroom door sometime before I finally woke and E told me that it must have been our youngest son. When I finally got up I dressed for the promised exercise and went downstairs. I asked if she knew what he had wanted but she said she didn’t know. I got on with my exercise and just as I had finished my mobile phone rang. It was my son. It appears that his car had a problem and he had limped home to his apartment. He had arranged to have it repaired and E collected him from the garage and took him back home, visiting our house along the way. He said he didn’t know what to do, meaning he didn’t have the cash to get it repaired. Evidently it was going to cost in the region of £500 to £600, not the sort of money he has available. I mentioned in earlier posts about his financial predicament and how he is at present struggling a bit. Later in the year things will improve for him but in the meantime he has to rely on my help from time to time. I assured him that I would foot the bill. Hopefully his car will be ready to drive again on Thursday. He will either have to hire a car for a couple of days in the meantime else make other arrangements at work. Over the years I have always put cash away for a rainy day, a habit some people struggle with but even small amounts soon build up to a substantial amount with time. Lately though, money I have been able to save seems to slip through my fingers instead of getting deposited in the bank. Oh well, that’s life isn’t it?

Since writing this post a few days ago my son tells me that he has made other arrangements with a friend of his who is a vehicle mechanic. His friend has offered to fix the problem for a much cheaper price, in fact probably £50. I am relieved at hearing that, I could do without throwing money away. It just goes to prove that garages will gladly take your money if you are daft enough to let them.

Shirley Anne

Not an egg in sight!

A chocolate egg decorated with bunny like ears...
Image via Wikipedia

I have not seen a chocolate egg all weekend! Easter, the pagan festival that was incorporated into Christianity, isn’t celebrated by me so there are no eggs to eat. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is celebrated in my heart every day but I don’t wish to celebrate Easter with its chocolate eggs, chicks and bunny rabbits, none of which have anything to do with Christ‘s sacrifice. In a way the early Catholic Church probably thought it was a good idea to incorporate the festival of Ishtar into the Christian faith in order to bring pagans into the Church. Over the centuries the event which took on the pagan name of Easter (Ishtar) has been modified so much that it is far removed from its original intentions. People are so blind and stubborn and will insist that there is nothing wrong with all the paraphernalia of eggs and such. It might be ok for the secular world but it is out-of-place for Christians to celebrate this way. Would Christ Himself celebrate Easter? Of course He wouldn’t. Does God approve of the festival, or any of our man-made festivals? Actually no! He says as much in His word. There is nothing wrong with chocolate eggs by the way, I love them but I reserve the right not to associate them with Christ’s death. They should be made available throughout the year, stripped of their ‘Easter’ decorations and put into plain wrapping.

Shirley Anne

No they don’t!

BBC TV Centre
Image via Wikipedia

I am constantly reminded through television advertisements that ‘everybody’ is talking about this or that, ‘everybody’ is after one of these or ‘everybody’ likes this or that. What twaddle! ‘Everybody’ isn’t doing all of those things at all. It galls me when these things are glibly taken as being the truth when in fact most of it isn’t. Obviously a sales gimmick for the blind. I take no notice, that is I am not influenced by such advertising strategy. I can see the psychology behind it all. What infuriates me is that those doing the advertising think everybody is a fool. This week we shall have the ‘Royal Wedding‘. I know this because of the relentless advertising of the event, especially by the BBC who seem to revel in all the pomp and ceremony. A recent advertisement proclaims that ‘all the world’ is interested. How can they make such a claim when the opposite is probably true? There are something like 6,775,235,700 (2009 estimation) people living in the world and probably only one sixth of those will take an interest. To be honest I don’t take an interest but if others like the idea, well and good but just don’t try pushing it in my face. It is after all simply a wedding so why make a song and dance about it? I call it idolatry, a bit like holding so-called ‘celebrities’ in awe and having an unhealthy interest in what they are doing in their lives. Some people thrive on gossip while others couldn’t give a damn. It will be difficult to isolate myself from it all but I will do it. Every New Year I get to bed early and sleep through all the unnecessary noise of fireworks exploding and everyone who is celebrating wishing each other ‘all the best’ when in fact it never happens. So no, not everybody is interested in New Year, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Royal Weddings, Olympic Games , the FA Cup and so on. Keep the advertisements brief and infrequent and I shall be happy and don’t make the assumption that everybody is interested in everything because they are not!

Shirley Anne

He who rules

For those who believe in God and in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, there is this promise. This is something to look forward to, better than any earthly thing, something worth the wait. There are many things in this life that satisfy but none of them last for long and we look for the next thing that we can indulge ourselves in. The best things in life are free and so are the best things in death. The main difference is one will last forever. This has been achieved by the only one who could do it and all on your behalf! Soon people will be ‘celebrating’ Easter, supposedly thanking Jesus for His sacrifice. Easter itself is based in paganism and has nothing to do with Jesus. We remember Jesus when we break the bread and drink the wine as He told us to do. There is no-one like Jesus and there never will be. 

Collosians 1

The supremacy of Christ

 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[f] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

And all you’ve got to do is believe, confess and repent! How hard is that? Seemingly too hard for many!

Shirley Anne

Stripped bare

I wonder just how many professing Christians would celebrate their faith in the same way if it was stripped bare of tradition. At present we have the festival of Lent, soon to be followed by Easter and later in the year Christmas. These three festivals are celebrated in some way by Christians and non-Christians alike. The secular world freely celebrates Easter and Christmas without any religious connections. To them it is just another time for exchanging gifts and having a party or rest from work. Christians celebrate the festivals solely because of tradition. In fact none of these festivals have origins in Scripture, they are based on other religions and practices. Christians are not instructed in Scripture to observe such festivals especially as some of them are founded in paganism. They have become part of the Christian year only because of tradition and the decisions made in Nicaea in 325 ad by the Emperor Constantine and the Church of that time. In other words they were set in place by men and not God. As Christians we should be following Jesus and taking instruction from The Bible, not observing man-made festivals that have a superficial semblance to the genuine faith. Why don’t many Christians understand this? Well the answer to that lies in routine and false teaching. Many do not even read their Bibles and if they do they do not research it or study it, they take for granted what is said from the pulpit. It is from the pulpit that the truth should be preached but many ministers fail to admit their error and they too go with the flow. Children are taught incorrect doctrine thereby perpetuating tradition. When challenged, many Christians will stubbornly refuse to listen or check for themselves what is spoken in truth. If tradition seems right to them then as far as they are concerned it must be right. Nothing should be taken at face value, we should always check things before believing they are genuine or not. So it should be with the Christian faith. There really isn’t an excuse when all is written in The Bible for those who will look.

Shirley Anne

What’s next?

Well now we have Christmas and new year out-of-the-way, what’s next? Of course, that would be St. Valentine’s day, then Shrove Tuesday, Lent, Easter….blah, blah, blah. Oh I forgot the January sales and no doubt many will be out there today fighting over ‘the bargains’. What bargains? Don’t they know that if shops can sell goods at bargain prices they are still making a profit? The point in what I am saying is that people are looking for something in their lives and they follow all these traditions (they’ve only been traditions for a short time) but couldn’t tell you why. They have this unwritten book in their hearts which tells them they should do this or they should follow that because, well because everyone else does them and why should they lose out? Will it really benefit anyone if they get that ‘special bargain’, receive a Valentines day card, eat a chocolate egg at Easter or stuff themselves silly with pancakes before observing the season of Lent? Most of these man-made traditions have no meaning in relation to their supposed associations with God. People do not need all the stuff in life they think they need. Some of the things they do simply make them feel good, like getting that bargain after standing in a queue for hours in the cold weather. Why not make this year a year in which you stand back and think about what you do, where you are heading in life and what you are aiming for? Wouldn’t you like to find that special something that will fill your life and give you complete satisfaction and keep you in peace without feeling the need to fill your lives with worthless traditions, with things that give only momentary pleasure until the next one comes along? Satisfaction is not to be found in the accumulation of possessions or in the observance of useless traditions. Real wealth has nothing to do with these. Gain wisdom and seek that which truly satisfies and you will live a really happy life.

Treasures in Heaven (Matthew 6)

    19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

   22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

   24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

Do Not Worry

    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

   28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Make this that special year for yourself…………………….

Shirley Anne