A Christian’s heavenly journey with his feet on the ground. Treasures shared that are discovered along the way.
Please note that this blog has now moved to: "Senior Eagle walking with Father"

Friday, November 14, 2008

Taking a Break

I am experiencing a battle with health issues at present, so reluctantly I am having to take time out from blogging, for prayer, treatment and recovery. It is my real hope to come back bristling with inspiration - sooner rather than later.

I don't want to lose touch, so in the meantime you may like to have a look at my WordPress blog, Sitting Under My Fruit Tree, where I have selected or adapted the best from "walking with Father." Further posts will be added each Sunday.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Flourishing Where We Are Placed

When our grandchildren come to stay, they call it their seaside house. We have been here thirty six years now, almost to the day. A lot has happened during this time, enough to fill a book or two - it’s coming!

When we first moved here, we thought, because it was further south we could grow anything. But the ground is so steep and stony and exposed to the salt-laden winds, most of the precious plants we bought failed in the first year. We had to learn, by trial and error what would flourish. Below our apple tree and in full view of the kitchen window, we have a bank of nasturtiums. It almost seems that the poorer the soil the better they like it. Some years very few leaves appear, but we have a mass of blooms right through from spring to winter. Even after Christmas last year, the yellow flowers were twinkling at me when I raised the blind after my dawn shower.

Having been brought up as far away from the sea as you can get in England, coming here was like a dream fulfilled and I will never take for granted living in this beautiful place. It hasn’t all been a bed of roses though. Yes, we have had some wonderful experiences and times of joy and fulfilment. This was also the place where we found ourselves and Jesus finally caught up with us. But at times the soil has seemed stony and has felt like we had more than our fair share of pain and hardship. We certainly would have not chosen some of the circumstances that we were planted in. But each time Father brought us through and we flourished. Even and especially in the dark periods, we discovered jewels of delight that we would never have known otherwise.

We have no regrets and believe, like the title of the book here and here I am re-reading, that ‘The Best is Yet Ahead.’

“I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:3 New International Version


Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm Losing My Grip!

I’d like to dispel the myth that men have to be strong. It goes along with the other one, “men don’t cry!’ I really believe that if we cannot acknowledge and accept our own weakness and shed a few tears, then we are going to miss out on the fullness of God in our lives. Maybe you don’t have this problem, but I admit it’s still a learning ground for me.

I had to have an examination in hospital recently and unfortunately it caused an infection. So when I woke yesterday morning and began to wonder what was happening I was feeling whoozy, dizzy, light-headed and a bit faint and could even pass out. A phone call to the surgery put me straight. It would take up to 48 hours for the antibiotic to kick in and it should subside. I struggled with this however. It’s not a nice feeling and found myself fighting to stay in control. I wanted to stay strong and in command of my senses. As I saw it, I didn’t want to lose my grip on life. Even as I mulled over those thoughts, it was as if God was saying, “Yes, let go your grip and I will grip you.”

The difference that made! The penny dropped! It was all right, it’s allowed and everyone - even my understanding wife - can manage without me today. And so for the rest of the day I was like a child. I let go into Father’s arms and slowly began to receive the comfort I needed and the promise of returning strength. I couldn’t help feeling He had allowed it - or at least was using it - for this precise purpose. And do you know - and this is not a heresy - that Father God even has mothering qualities.

How many of us, especially us he-men, think we don’t need this?

“As a mother comforts her child, so I'll comfort you.” Isaiah 66:13 The Message Bible


Monday, November 03, 2008

This is a Biggy!

As an engineer I had to adapt my basic engineering skills to various environments, such as power generation, road building, multi-story concrete structures and tunnelling etc.

This was especially so when I was employed in the water industry. In our regional water company there was a full mixture of disciplines, such as chemical, biological, electronic, electrical, mechanical - apart from my own civil and structural - some of which were foreign to me. Quite often I received a phone call in the middle of the night concerning an emergency situation and looking to me to put the matter right.

One one occasion, after driving to a large works wondering what I was going to find, I was met by an enthusiastic technician who liked a challenge. He was rubbing his hands exclaiming, ‘this is a biggy!’ By that he meant that it seemed risky and complicated, we hadn’t experienced it before and if the wrong decision was made the repercussions could be wide-reaching. In these circumstances, a colleague and I used to pray, handing over the whole situation to God. We asked Him for wisdom and to bring into the light whatever was hidden. We wouldn’t tell anyone that it seemed on occasion a whole city’s water supply was dependant upon prayer. Sometimes the project was really big and we had to take it step by step, hour by hour and day by day until we got through. He never ever let us down.

I find that God is continually allowing situations in my life where I haven’t been before. Circumstances that seem bigger and riskier than ever. My only way of dealing with it, once I've got over the intial shock, is to get back to basics and put my whole trust in God. It’s only afterwards that I realise once again, that nothing is too big or too difficult for Him.

As the song goes:

Ah Lord God, Thou hast made the heavens
And the earth by Thy great power
Ah Lord God, Thou hast made the heavens
And the earth by Thine outstretched arm.
Nothing is too difficult for Thee
Nothing is too difficult for Thee

“Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.” Jeremiah 32:17 NASB