Peace

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It’s the time of year, in the run up to Christmas, that people see the word ‘Peace’ around them more than any other time of the year.  Christmas Day itself is often very peaceful, for large parts of the world.  But not every part.  And not every person has that picture postcard type of Christmas.  But I was thinking how good it would be to expand thoughts of peace throughout the year, whether there is a card saying so or not.

From feeling at peace comes a sense of wellbeing, a love for mankind, an outpouring of compassion and a knowledge that we are all one.  That’s worth spending more time with and expressing.

Peace to you all now, throughout the Christmas season, and for all of January, next year, and further into infinity.

You can get there from here

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A few weeks ago I went to Dartmouth late in the evening and it was still warm and sunny, so I had a bite to eat by the harbour, chatting with a friend, watched by the overhead seagulls, sitting on a bench along the quayside.  It is a lovely spot.  On the opposite side of the River Dart from where I was sitting is the pretty estuary town of Kingswear which is accessible by a ferry all day long.  But not by bike!

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Throughout our lives we are often met with difficulties that seem to block our journey.  A way forward looks clear and obvious, yet we use the wrong methods to get the true understanding of our God-given being.  Lately I was grappling with some old anger left over and quite obviously no longer required, about something that had been sorted out and redressed long ago.  It was getting in my way.  I thought it was about forgiveness, but even this wasn’t the right way forward.  It turned out to be quite simple. Even though I had a few difficult days with it, it turned out that merely accepting the issue was cleared up and standing in that moment, free, no longer trapped by the tangle of the past, or using the anger as a preventative tool to limit joy, I let myself be God’s delight.  And then it was gone.  Just like that.

He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.  They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay.  He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

(Ps. 18:17–20)

Up and away

 

I have just had a lovely time this last month, on leave, and have spent it with friends and family, going out and about around the county during this very warm summer.

One of the places that makes me think of the Garden of Eden, in my imagination, is this one above, called ‘The Garden House’ in Buckland Monachorum, about half an hour from where I live, and also on Dartmoor.

Buckland Abbey is nearby and in 1305 a house was built for the parish priest on this site.    A modern vicarage was built in the 1920s and The Garden House and the ten acre site was sold as a private house. It was sold again after the Second World War and then renovated and run as a thriving market garden business and now is open to the public to share and enjoy what nature and great gardeners have created.

The love and care that go into this beautiful piece of land is extraordinary.  I am not a green-fingered person by any means so I especially appreciate the patience that is required.  It certainly shows when spring and summer come around and life starts to blossom and colour the world again.

I also had time-out for my own renewal and spiritual uplift with God.  Times of gentle listening, peace, and growth are invaluable and sometimes I find, in these precious moments with God, that indescribable sense of majesty and at-one-ness that makes me almost breathless.

We are never on ‘leave’ from God and what a sense care I take from this truth.  Wholly in Her loving kindness, wrapped in swathes of love and joy, given Life to live and express, it is always a privilege to be a creation of the Divine.  Permanently.

I hope you enjoy your Divine day today, wherever you are, in your own ‘Garden of Eden’.

 

 

Grateful

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I recently had a family guest and we had a very special spiritual time together sharing ideas.  After he left I was clearing the spare room and, tucked away in a place I wouldn’t see easily, I found this tiny elephant!  No, I won’t forget you, ever.

How wonderfully blessed I feel to have loving family members, what a joy that is.  I have links now to four families.  My own, spread around in England and South Africa, my Indian husband’s in England, America and India, with whom I had my children, my new husband who, like me, was widowed, and now I have a brand new one, my son’s new wife’s family, living in England and Italy.  It is interesting during the passage of life’s journey to see things from different perspectives as one progresses and life unfolds new experiences and challenges.  Oh, those challenges don’t stop do they?!

In those challenging times, I say, smiling to myself, a South African expression used by the Servicemen nearing the end of their conscription –  ‘Vasbyt, min dae’ which is Afrikaans for ‘hold on, nearly there.’  Literally, to bite down and hold on.  Although in prayer answers and healing are always present in the moment,  we do need to hold on to those truths, keep working through the suggestions that come to sway us away from love, truth, life, joy, substance etc and we do get to ‘the peace that passeth all understanding.’

Thank you, God, for all your loving care, especially during challenging times.

Let me know what you are grateful for today.

 

The summer is staying

 

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We have really had a warm few weeks, and yesterday the most wonderful downpours that were very much needed by the farmers here.  Things was getting brown and dry and you could almost hear the plants calling out for water.  After a very torrential hour or two yesterday the land has sprung to life again and I was sure the grass has grown another three inches.  Since I live in England we are rarely short of water and a hot summer can put the country into a bit of chaos.  I know many countries suffer frequently when there is a drought.  My brother lives in South Africa and they are all united when praying for rain.  I have never known the prayers to fail, even if it takes consecrated time.

Mary Baker Eddy said: “The weather expresses our concept of it and can be handled as any claim if you do not hold it as something apart from you, governed by some other power or almanac. God governs all. This is the way Jesus stilled the tempest” (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy, Expanded Edition, Volume II, p. 287).  We can pray about the weather, a balance is always maintained in God’s kingdom.  It isn’t something we need to fear, or shy away from dealing with, any more than we do any disruption of God’s goodness.  Many testimonies have been written about the saving power of prayer (see JSH-online.com) regarding the weather.

It all serves to remind us not to let anything slip by, or accepted as inevitable.  Nothing is too big, or too ‘out of our comfort zone’ – healing is possible, healing is worthwhile, healing is amazing! Let me know your healings big and small.  And have a ‘holy’ day today whatever your weather is.

 

 

 

 

Freedom

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The other day I wanted freedom from ‘wanting’.  I wrote list of things I would like healed and I realised I just wanted to be free of the constraining thoughts that suggested I was stuck, unhealed or not whole in some way.  I somehow didn’t want the things themselves, I just wanted to be free, as God’s man, to enjoy my birthright and dominion over all.

I woke up today and thought,’ Gosh, I feel wonderfully free,’ but not of anything in particular.  Just aware I was now feeling a sense of liberty.  I often write notes on things and forget them, and only happen upon them later.  These initial notes were made ten days ago, and in that time things have shifted, new ideas come to mind, new books dropped into my life to inspire me and I was amazed to realise I had asked for this freedom and now had it.

You can have it.  It’s yours anyway.  Why not just be aware of it, take note that there is such a thing as your birthright, to all manner of good stuff, and watch how it starts to become a reality in your daily life.

Rejoice.  And let me know how delightful life truly is for you.

 

 

O, it is a holy day

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These scenes on Dartmoor, with the sheep grazing, make me think of the same aciivity happening over and over generation after generation.  Here we have green valleys and hillsides, but sheep, in Jesus’s time, would have had adequate pastures so this scene could be here or there.

These lines from a favourite hymn “I walk with love along the way, and O, it is a holy day” make me feel that every day is holy, and every day throughout all time, I walk with love, and am provided for, held in God’s joyous care and supplied with all I need.

I hope you feel that, too.