We enjoyed a trip recently to see our daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren across in the UK. It was a full on week beginning on Sunday morning when the children didn't know we were there because we arrived late the evening before when they were all tucked up in bed. It was lovely to see the surprise in their faces when they discovered we had arrived.
It was my birthday on that day and they were exited as if it was their birthday. I must have had 'happy birthday to you' sung to me at least five times that day :-)
After the busy week of walking to and from school with the oldest, reading stories and watching small videos and playing games with the middle one, and lots of cuddles with the youngest of the three who is just over three months old, and many other things in between, we reached Saturday morning.
Just outside our bedroom door I could hear the little ones getting ready for swimming lessons, and we listened to the antics from our bedroom. Our daughter gently opened our door and asked if we could look after the baby while she got the others ready because she was running out of time. The little man was as good as gold as he sat between us enjoying all the fuss from his grandparents.
In a little while our little granddaughter joined us followed by her Mum. We chatted for a moment or two before our daughter took the little one by the hand to hurry her for breakfast before they would be leaving. But on their way out of our room she started to giggle and pull on her Mummy's hand and said to her in her cute northern accent -
'Mummy, you forgot your baby!'
The baby had been so quiet and content sitting with us that Mummy forgot that 'her baby' was even there! :-) It was a comical moment for us all made even funnier by the wit of a little girl not yet three years old, coupled with her comical phraseology :-)
When we got back home the incident was recollected to waiting family and friends who were anxious to hear about our time in the UK and everyone found this was so funny.
It is a good idea to write down those priceless things that children say because time passes by and those precious things are soon forgotten!
Incidentally, our daughter is probably one of the very best of mothers when it comes to caring for her little ones and any thought of truly forgetting her children would of course be entirely out of the question!
But while I was reflecting on this I couldn't help but remember and be encouraged with these words from Scripture:
"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?
You see, It is completely unnatural for a woman to forget her baby because there is only one thing that is stronger than the bond between a mother and her new born child - that is the love of God for His children.
It is completely impossible for our heavenly Father to forget those who have trusted in Him. His children are even more precious to Him than an infant is to its mother. Why is that? It is because of the price He has paid to make us His own! It cost Him the most precious thing He had. It cost Him His beloved Son!
Out of love and obedience He went all the way to the cross to bear away the penalty for our sin in His own body. He became the very thing that God hated most so that all who trust Him fully are freely forgiven and made fit for the Father's presence. The evidence of the price He paid is eternally visible for all to see; for graven upon the palms of His hands are the marks of Calvary's sufferings, so that His mighty act of redemption will be remembered and appreciated forever.
These wonderful verses serve to assure us that once we have become His children through faith in His beloved Son who loved us and gave Himself for us, we are forever secure and forever in His mind and interest. There is never a moment of the day when we are overlooked or forgotten by God. Rest assured dear fellow believer in case this is a day when you are feeling all alone.
We have an incredible cat! Teddy is his name. He's now 18 years old and apart from a few health issues he's still going strong and looking very well for his age :-)
He's been through a lot you know! We have been re-located three times within two years a little while ago, which would have been enough to shorten the life of a normal cat considerably ... but he's still with us! He's had a few operations recently which can be risky for an old cat ... but he's still with us! Earlier this year he even had a stroke from which he recovered very well ... and is still with us! We think that he has probably used up his nine lives and is borrowing a few from the cat next door :-)
How is he managing to live so well against all odds?
Well, he doesn't actually have a care in all the world because someone else is taking care of all his needs. He is protected, homed, fed, and groomed every day. He is a much loved part of the family. He's quite possibly a bit like a child who is cared for by loving parents.
A child doesn't have to care or worry about a thing because all of its needs are or rather should be met. A child ought to be loved and protected and know it! A little one can probably teach us something about the kind of faith that God is looking for in us more than we could ever learn anywhere else.
The love of God is infinitely greater than we could ever comprehend and He:
"... Commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5: 8.
What an amazing demonstration of love this is! None of us deserve to be loved like that but we are because God has chosen to do so. Therefore, what should be our response to what He has done in the sinner's place? The Bible has the answer to this:
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved ..."Acts 16: 31
"God ... now commandeth all men every where to repent." Acts 17: 30
Sin is a serious business and needs to be acknowledged before God who is holy and it needs to be repented of if ever we are to avail ourselves of the forgiveness and Salvation procured by the death of Christ.
Sometimes we have a tendency to complicate things when it comes to having a saving faith enough to assure our sins will be forgiven and to give us the knowledge that all is well with our soul. However, the Lord Jesus tells us of the kind of faith, belief or trust that He is looking for is like that of a little child. (See Mark 10: 14-15.) It is an unquestioning, untroubled and complete resting faith in someone bigger than us to take care of all our needs. When it comes to the saving of our souls, who bigger than God could we ever go to?
As for our everyday lives on our heaven bound journey, our faith and trust in Him ought to be unquestioning as well. After all if we have trusted Him with our soul for eternity, couldn't we completely trust Him with our lives, and live a life of value to God? And let us remember that unlike cats who have 'nine lives', we only have one! Someone once said that life is like a coin which can be spent anyway we like - but we can only spend it once! Once we're gone we can't come back and do it again!
And as for the life and well being of Teddy our cat, we'll keep on taking care of him for the rest of his days and I will always be in the wonder of the trust of a little animal in our care. Thank God for these wonderful lessons of faith I see lived out before my eyes each day <3
Our beautiful Island has just hosted the Island Games. This is an event that takes place every two years and compares with the with the Commonwealth Games in ranking, and this time around Jersey were the hosts to this marvellous event.
Over 4,000 competitors from 24 Islands from all over the world come to take part. 14 different types of sports were hosted at 36 venues located all over our Island and over 1,600 medals were the coveted rewards for the winning competitors. Needless to say our Island has been 'buzzing' during this week past :-)
There's been a wonderful 'feel good' factor as people in brightly coloured sports gear emerged from hotels and guesthouses, used public transport or walked to the appropriate venues for their particular line of sport. I believe that all of our visitors were very well cared for and the whole event was very well organised. To add to all of this, the weather was very good and I feel that Jersey made the most of its opportunity to shine along with our sports men and women who came out as the overall winners of this year's event by winning 50 gold, 54 silver, and 29 bronze medals! What an amazing achievement! In second place was the Isle of Man and Guernsey came third in the medal table.
I admire all of the effort that has been undertaken by organizers of this event and by each competitor to show off their abilities and would take my hat off to them all for creating such a wonderful time. But I wonder now that the event is a thing of the past, what was it all really about? Such a lot of preparation by everyone only to be in the limelight for a little while, then to go back into obscurity for another two years at least if not for the rest of a lifetime! Well, they certainly put our little Island on the map in a positive manner but in the bigger picture, in the light of eternity was any of that really all that important after all?
Let me remind you of a very special Man who came to this world under cover of darkness over two thousand years ago and lived in almost total obscurity for the first thirty years of His life. During His last three and a half years He shone like no other could ever have done before.
He was God's idea of a perfect man ...
living out His incredible life in pure excellence to His absolute delight and before the eyes of His contemporaries.
The wonderful thing about His life here was that He hadn't spent years practicing how to be holy or how to behave in such an honourable manner in the face of hostility on a regular basis! We see in His life the manifestation of the character of God Himself because the Bible tells us that He was God manifest in the flesh. Great and wonderful is this mystery! (See 1 Timothy 3: 16.)
For the first time in eternity, for a brief moment of time,
He came out of obscurity and shone like no one has ever shone before ...
and continued to shine right up to the moment He died on a cruel Roman cross. The world of people in His day when presented with a choice between This Man and Barabbas a notorious thief and murderer chose Barabbas, unanimously calling for the public execution of the beloved Son of God!
The cross upon which He died was, and still is even to this day the total sum of what mankind thinks of this altogether Lovely One, and if that was all we were told about this horrendous event it would have been a complete tragedy, but there was another reason this Man went all the way to the cross - He went there willingly to die in the place of lost sinners like you and me so we might never have to bear the wrath of God we deserve against our sin.
In His short life He shone with the beauty of holiness that no one could compare to and sadly nobody wanted Him! However, that doesn't have to be our opinion of Him today. They cried out for His blood and said 'away with this man, we don't want 'this' to reign over us!' but we can and must adopt the complete opposite attitude if ever we are to enjoy our sins forgiven, the promise of a home in heaven, and His perfect peace being our daily portion.
This is not a matter of Him being better than the best or greater than the greatest; for there could be no comparison to this Man. A gold, silver or bronze medal would have been a very poor reward for the One who perfectly completed all that He came into this world to do. The work of Christ has been held in the very highest of honour by God His Father, and ...
"[He] .... hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow ..."
Philippians 2: 9-10.
Today He wears the victor's crown and is seated at God's right hand, the place of highest honour. He is the constant delight and joy of heaven and the centre of angelic adoration.
I wonder what your estimation of this wonderful Man is. Is there a place in your heart's devotion for Him who loved you and gave Himself for you?
This could be your time to shine; for if you humble yourself before God in repentance of your sin and accept His beloved Son as your personal Saviour, He will give to you the strength and courage you need to declare to those in your circle of family and friends what Christ has done in your life to give you the assurance that all is well with your soul for time and for eternity. You may be among the many who are glad to ....
I've got some amazing little friends. They're all under the age of eight and follow me into the kitchen after our meeting at church in the morning for a sweet from the tin I usually keep well stocked. The oldest one is just tall enough to open the wall cupboard where they are kept. Thankfully he can't reach where they are kept ... yet! :-)
It's a lovely opportunity to chat with them about their week and the things important to them. Occasionally I get the opportunity to speak with them about the Lord Jesus. They ask questions and I answer to the best of my ability.
We have all been in anticipation this last couple of weeks because a baby has been due to arrive. Just a few evenings ago we learned the wonderful news little Alice arrived safely to the delight of her mum and dad and three older siblings.
Needless to say that there was much rejoicing the next time we were all gathered together for our usual meeting on Sunday.
While thinking on this joyous event I couldn't help but think about the joy that there is in heaven every time someone is 'born again'. This was news that fascinated me when I first trusted in the Lord Jesus. It was my grandfather that showed me from the Word of God that heaven was rejoicing because I had just got saved.
In Luke ch15 the Lord Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees about a shepherd that lost one of his sheep. He went out and searched for it until he found it. When he brought it back to the fold he called for everyone to "Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost." (:6.) He then spoke about a woman who had ten coins and lost one. She searched her house until she found it, then called her friends and loved ones to rejoice with her because she had found the piece she had lost. (:9.)
He taught them these things to illustrate to them that souls are valuable to Him but without His intervention we are all lost in our sins and need to be rescued. We are all helpless on our own but thankfully we have our Bibles to teach us that Jesus died on the cross to save us from the sin that separates us from the living God. But God requires us to repent of our sin and trust in His Son who has done everything for us and when we reach that time in our life when we sincerely do as He requires we 'set heaven singing', as it were. Jesus said:
"I say unto you,
there is joy in the presence
of the angels of God
over one sinner that repenteth."
Luke 15: 10
What an amazing thing this is that if and when you trusted in Christ as your Lord and Saviour there was rejoicing in heaven over your salvation. And if you are still lost and in your sins, you too can come in true repentance and trust in God's lovely Son. In doing so you will be allowing God to come in and make you one of His children - safe and secure forever, and angelic hosts will rejoice over you also.
How about it? Don't waste a moment longer. Today, and right now is the very best time to begin a journey that will last forever. Even though you and I can't see the One whom God wants you to trust in, that will not hinder you from knowing that heavenly joy in your own souls also for;
Whom having not seen,
ye love; in whom,
though now ye see him not,
ye rejoice with joy
unspeakable and full of glory:
Receiving the end of your faith,
even the salvation of your souls."
1 Peter 7-9
O, By the Way ...
What do you think? Do you like the new look here at Rest a While? Although its been a lot of hard work changing over, I thinks its been worth it and it didn't take quite as long as I thought to do either!
Now that Rest a While is visible on all devices you might like to take a look around if you haven't already done so.
Come and have a look at our new feature "Messages of HOPE", where you will find special thoughts that will bring to you a hope that has foundations. Something that is greatly needed in this very unstable world in which we live.
An unexpected change of circumstances has altered my schedule once again! I had it all worked out. I had a plan in place as to what I would like to be doing in the next few months but something happened to change all that! When performing a small alteration to this website a little while ago I was notified that the template I am currently using is no longer supported, which means that Rest a While is going to refreshed a little sooner than I had planned!
It was only two years ago when Rest a While last underwent a makeover. This entailed some considerable amount of time consuming work, which for the most part was very enjoyable and appeals to the creative mindset I am fortunate to possess.
I think that I have a comfortable amount of time before the template currently being used will no longer be available altogether, which will allow for the transition from the old to the new. Those who visit this website regularly will notice a subtle change 'one page at a time' until the final changeover takes place.
This rather reminds me that life is a bit like that. Just when we are settled, something unexpected happens and it takes us a little while to adapt to our new circumstances. Children arrive into our lives and we go with them through their different stages of development, then they leave the nest and begin lives of their own. Then we possibly find ourselves with the responsibility of caring for our older loved ones. Dotted along the way may be job changes, location changes or even changes to our health.
One thing is for certain - life here is not going to last forever, and one day we must lay it all aside and leave. Although we know that this must happen to each one of us, we don't know exactly when it will happen. Thankfully we are given the option and responsibility to be prepared for this eventuality, so that we can know where we will be afterwards.
The large majority of people I know put the subject of their mortality on the back burner. After all, who wants to be thinking of passing when there is so much living to do? But this is the very thing that is preventing people from knowing what life is truly all about. When we're not prepared to meet with our Maker, then we get the 'it's all about me' syndrome. (Or rather sindrome.) We try to pack in all the experiences of living we can, while we can, and we seldom see any further than our own needs and wants. But when the matter of our sin has been addressed and our destination is fixed heavenward, our interests and desires transfer to those around us and for the good pleasure of a loving heavenly Father whose blessings upon His people are abounding, limitless and eternal.God in His infinite grace has not left it all to ourselves to get on a right relationship with Him. If He had, then we might as well adopt the attitude of the Godless folk in days of old who said: "Let us eat, drink, and be merry; for tomorrow we die." God has demonstrated to us that He is a God of love. He did this when He allowed His precious Son to die on a cruel Roman cross in the place of poor lost sinners like ourselves.
his love toward us,
while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us."
Romans 5: 8
Having come to an understanding of this tremendous act of love, we now have the responsibility to do something about it. That type of understanding should reveal to us that we are in desperate need for the salvation God has provided through the death of His Son.
The Philippian jailor in the book of Acts was in desperate need when he cried out to the men of God he had been keeping locked up in the inmost prison: "What must I do to be saved?" The reply came speedily to his urgent request: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16: 30-31.) And do you know what? He did, and so did all those in his household! If they were here today, they would be able to testify to you that the life God had given to them as a result of trusting wholly upon His beloved Son had far more meaning and value than all the days of their life they had lived previously.
Some things in life we have no control over, while others we do. But being prepared for eternity is the one thing that makes sense and gives value to our days, 'one day at a time', no matter what circumstances unexpected or otherwise come upon us.
As for this website - the changes at Rest a While begin today for the next few weeks until the transition is completed, which I trust will breath new life once more into this little corner of the Internet which has been serving the global community for almost five years :-)
You are welcome to join me in this journey? If you do, you are going to find that this little website has many valuable things to offer you!
Welcome to the new Rest a While - Updated and up & running. This should be comfortable visable on all devices.
-->> New Blog coming soon <