Christmas Greetings

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mother1-nativityYet another year has disappeared faster than I can understand looking back over it, but one I’m quite glad to get to this point in without any further hospital admissions since my last one last month, and with a vague hope that I might actually now manage to stay out a lot longer than before, I’m hopeful of at least seeing the year out from home!!

Goes without saying it’s had a major impact on my blog writing which has been almost non-existent through the year.  However, if the Lord provides me the health I desire, I should hopefully pick up a bit through the coming year.

Today is the first major celebration in the Christian Calendar and always a joyous occasion into the bargain as we celebrate reconnecting to family & friends, and sharing gifts.  There is much in the Season yet to remind us of its true meaning despite the ever increasing secularism of society.

May God bless you all as you celebrate the remainder of this wondrous time of year and I pray you all have a wonderful New Year next week too.


Songs for Christmas…

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Apologies again at my lack of posts – still around, just ridiculously busy & distracted with the continuing Christmas Card season (I’ll be making them through to Feb no doubt).  With all the hosp admissions I got way behind so have been spending every spare minute catching up to provide family/friends with their orders.

Anyway – thought since I don’t have time or ability to write a post just now (hand arthritis making typing painful) I’d just share some of this season’s best Christmas songs IMHO (prob actually last year’s songs but new ones to me!).

First off is Chris Tomlin’s Joy to the world.

Next:  Phil Wickham: O Come, O come Emmanuel

Next:  Richard Marx and his rendition of O Holy Night

Finally a superb one from Caleb Collins:  Another equally excellent version of O Come, O Come Emmanuel – sadly this appears to be the only video providing the full song, but if you head to his website you can hear it on there at a better quality.

Caleb Collins has some other equally wonderful songs on his Christmas Album – check it out on his site

Trust you all have a wonderful, peaceful & blessed Christmas & New Year.  Hopefully next year will see me having a better time healthwise & able to write a bit more.  Catch you all then!


Christmas Cards 2013

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Since my health has deteriorated so much this year, it’s been quite tough keeping up with my interests of reading, writing & card making in particular.  So I figure, while I’m holding my own & managing to stay out of hospital for the timebeing, I’d fire up some of the card designs I have actually managed to make since starting them way back in July.  I was only out of hosp then too, but wisely figured it better to try & get ahead of myself for the season, & sure enough ended up losing the whole of September to another couple of admissions too :(.

So here’s a few of this year’s crop – forgive the odd one which is a bit blurry – arthritic hands don’t make for easy photos!!  And of course, as always, if you should fancy buying any, then please head over to my card site at Gentle Touch Cards – not all of these designs are on there yet, but there are plenty of others that might interest you.

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Hearing God’s Will for your life…….

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hearing GodThis has to be the singular major topic for many Christians – how do you know if you’re hearing God speak to you & if you think you do what is He saying & what is His Will for you.   Well, I’m here to tell you it’s SIMPLE – truly!!!  But more of that later.

In my own life, it happened on a couple of occasions that I learnt how to listen to God speaking.  The first time was shortly after I’d returned from South Africa and realised I would be going back there again within the year.  At that point, there was absolutely NO earthly reason for me to think I’d be going back other than an inner “knowledge” and a certainty I couldn’t explain.  I’d no money left by then and no means of getting the nearly £1000 required to consider returning.  Various events happened over the next few months which confirmed that I was to return and I’d be saving hard but was still well short of what I needed.  During this time I’d been praying hard and seeking God as to the way forward, as time was running out – I’d a deadline of the end of April that year to buy my airline ticket and book things.  God didn’t provide me any hints of what I should do other than a continued quiet reassurance that everything would come together at the right time.

I can’t tell you that I was perfectly calm at this point – a lot of me was getting hugely concerned & nervous about what to do.   But as I’d little choice, I just worked on towards my return trip as best I could.  Three weeks before my cut-off date for buying the plane ticket, an uncle I rarely had contact with, but whom I’d notified of my previous trip to SA in his Christmas Card, contacted me, wanting me to visit him & update him further on all I’d done on the trip.   Part of me was thinking “I don’t have time” as I was frantically trying to figure out what to do if I had to cancel my trip, but I duly fitted in a short visit a few days later, as it was on my mind.  (That’s hint #1 on hearing God speak!)

My uncle & I had an hour long of a chat at the end of which he absolutely floored me – he told me he’d something for me, went off, & a few minutes later came back & handed me a cheque for £1000!!!!  I nearly fell through the floor as he explained to me that he’d enjoyed hearing of my fun on the previous trip & I absolutely HAD to return to fulfil my quest.  I think he was equally shocked when I told him I’d been hoping to do so but just hadn’t the finance to until then!  SO after a whole year of waiting God finally enabled me to do the one thing He’d previously “told” me I’d get to do.

What I learnt about hearing His Voice is firstly, you don’t hear an audible voice, nor words in yourhearing God ear or any such thing – trust me, if you do, or think you do, be extremely cautious, as Satan is more likely to be behind such events than God – we don’t live in Old Testament times when God did speak audibly to His people – you read the NT & you’ll discover that apart from Paul on the road to Damascus, not even the apostles heard an audible voice when God spoke to them!   Secondly, He will never tell you to do something that goes against scripture.

Thirdly, if you really want to hear God speak to you in any sense, the simple method is to READ HIS WORD!!  I know many say that scripture doesn’t answer questions like “Should I move home” or “Is this job right for me” etc, but actually scripture still does hold the key to being sure of His Will even in those situations.

For example – if you’re contending with the option of moving home & wanting to be sure of the right path forward, you would know that God won’t honour you putting yourself into debt in order to buy a home beyond your means, so that’s the financial aspect sorted out to begin with.  Once you choose a home, you’ll know the right one when the doors literally open & open easily for you to move forward on buying it.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Pro 22:7 

Scripture will always provide a measure of God’s opinion on pretty much every facet of life, even in our incredibly complex generation, you just have to sometimes dig a bit deeper for it.  Thus, once again, the importance of reading your bible and more so, studying the true meaning of what you read, is abundantly evident.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,…..”2 Titus 3:16

On another note entirely, it reminds me of a well-known joke:

IMG_0206There was a very religious man named Jim, who lived near a river. One day, the river rose over the banks and flooded the town, and Jim was forced to climb onto his porch roof. While sitting there, a man in a boat came along and told Jim to get in the boat with him. Jim said, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”

So, the man in the boat drove off.

The water rose higher, so Jim climbed onto his roof. At that time, another boat came along, and the person in that one told Jim to get in. Jim replied, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”

The person in the boat then left.

The water rose even more, and Jim climbed onto his chimney. A helicopter came along and lowered a ladder for him. The woman in the helicopter told Jim to climb up the ladder and get in.
Jim said, “That’s okay.” The woman said, “Are you sure?” Jim replied, “Yeah, I’m sure God will take care of me.”

Finally, the water rose too high and Jim drowned. Jim got  to heaven and was face-to-face with God. Jim said to God, “You told me that you would take care of me! What happened?”God replied, “Well, I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What else did you want?” 🙂

And if you’ve any stories of how God has spoken to you using scripture to confirm His Will, I’d truly love to hear them!!

Walking through dark valleys….

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So how many of you know God’s Will for your life?  Have any of you come to a place of understanding anything about what His Will actually means?  I don’t have an answer to the first question for my life, given I’m disabled, & now unwell too, it’s hard to know what His longterm plans actually are for me.  But I have learnt plenty about the second point – and even more so in recent weeks.

GodsWillMy first real understanding of how God brings His Will to fruition was many years ago when I was about 33 or so.   My late husband & I had relocated a few miles from our home, in order for me to take up what I considered to be a dream job – starting up & managing a large Cat Shelter.  With my Vet Nursing background & love of cats, I relished the opportunity, and even put myself through the torture of having to get a driving licence. I was so ridiculously nervous, I had to use self hypnosis just to get myself out the door & into the car for each lesson & even then sweated buckets the entire hour of the lesson – more when I made mistakes, which was quite frequently!!  Incredibly I took 18 lessons in 2 weeks & passed first time.  We threw ourselves into the job & my boss in England told me I was doing an excellent job.   So, it was an absolute huge shock when I took a phonecall from him a week before my 6 months probationary period was up, & he told me they were “letting me go” because of irreconciable differences between myself & the local Branch (long story that one, but suffice to say it came down to in-house politics, power, & money!), but also because they’d discovered that my hubby was an alcoholic which was a no-no in their books.


Absence apologies…

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Huge apologies to all of you who follow my blog – while I’d tried earlier in the year to maintain some semblance of continuity, sadly my health has heavily declined over the past few months, culminating with me spending almost all of the last 2-1/2 months in hospital :(.

I have chronic & now apparently heavily severe Sjogren’s Syndrome (an autoimmune condition that technically dessicates you from the inside out), which destroys the mucous producing membranes of the body, so no tears, no saliva, etc.  And it’s the latter that has really caused me severe problems recently whereby because when you’ve no saliva (which is a natural antibacterial/antifungal fluid), your mouth becomes a playpen for all sorts of nasties – for me, it’s been a horrendous couple of bouts of severe oral thrush, plus once we’d got that sorted, oral herpes simplex :(.  Both caused very painful tongue ulcers which left me unable to talk let alone eat or drink.  On top of that, I’ve now got low blood pressure for some reason, which caused me to faint & bang my head heavily 10 days ago, plus I succumbed to pneumonia which left me being readmitted to hospital 1-1/2 days after being discharged!!

So, all in all, my heads not really in any place to think sensibly, & I’m still struggling with poor cognition & memory, making it hard to concentrate for very long.  This post is taking me twice as long to write as it would usually.

However, unless I end up back in yet again, I would still hope to gain some inspiration to continue writing the provocative and thoughtful posts I’ve become known for.

If you’re the praying type, I’d certainly appreciate your prayers for me, as this “blip” in my health of late has been quite hard to cope with.


Not gone yet :)

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I’m sure some of my longtime visitors think I’ve fallen off the edge of the planet or been raptured (I wish!) but no, I’m still here ok.   I just had a rather rough year last year and really haven’t had my head in gear to write anything of any value (& perhaps still not fully).

I developed some minor health problems last March where I lost a stone of weight which I then couldn’t regain for anything.  The problem didn’t impact me overly until November when I then had my 1st ever interaction with the infamous Norovirus (more fondly known as the “winter vomiting bug”).   Because of my compromised poor health state (I was only 98 pounds in weight – roughly 7 st) I landed in hospital for a week getting treatment & fluids, but inevitably dropped my weight further down to 6-1/2 st.   I recovered fairly well and was just starting to really pick up when 3 weeks later, I succumbed yet again to a 2nd bout of it (apparently highly unusual to do so in such a short space of time).   Another week in hospital with another weight drop, but again I managed to recover quite well and am thankfully now once again improving steadily.

But the Lord graciously always brings good out of bad, and while I was lying in abject misery on a hard A&E trolley for 12 hours the first time around, I knew He’d do so in this situation, & sure enough, I got the one thing I’d been begging for, for the previous 5 months without success – to see the GI docs to try and get some investigations into why I couldn’t gain the weight.  So that process has now literally just begun on Friday (they had to wait until I’d fully recovered from the virus).

So as I struggle to regain the weight and cope with the difficulties presented currently, my writings here may be very sporadic or perhaps even nonexistent for a while.   But trust me, as soon as I have energy and opinions enough to share, I’ll be quick getting them up for you, so trust you can hold on & be patient a while longer 🙂

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