Do not judge and you will not be judged.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and it will be given to you.
Luke 6: 37-38

28 September 2016

Encouraging verses

  mWho is a God like you, npardoning iniquity
and passing over transgression
nfor the remnant of his inheritance?
oHe does not retain his anger forever,
because he delights in steadfast love.
19  He will pagain have compassion on us;
qhe will tread our iniquities underfoot.
rYou will cast all our6 sins
into the depths of the sea.
20  sYou will show faithfulness to Jacob
and steadfast love to Abraham,
tas you have sworn to our fathers
from the days of old.

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26 September 2016

Be amazed!

The Lord's answer:
“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.(L)
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.(M)
Habakkuk
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Habakkuk takes us to Jesus's second coming. Halleluia!

24 September 2016

Just a normal Saturday in an unusual life...

My first fudgy coconut brownies are in the oven now! click here for the recipe!
The only change I made was to use gluten-free self-raising flour only because I had some and it saved me from adding the 'levure' to the French flour. You cannot find in French shops self-raising flour so you need to buy the 'levure' separately and then add it in the flour according to  the instructions. Oups, there was another change i should mention, I put some roasted cob-nuts that Steven picked up from under the tree, sorted the bad ones from the edible ones and then roasted on the bbq as you do...Well it took him lots of time to do this..still as he is a retired gentleman, why not, his word not mine! 
I kept a bag of gluten-free flour for Camille whose diet is gluten-free.
Well it's been and is still very hot out there. When we went for an ice-tea at the local café, I compared today to an August day.




20 September 2016

Mid-week break

Image result for Malta
I am so happy that tomorrow, I am not working in Angouleme in my newly found job as a teacher! Don't get me wrong i love my job however having a break in the middle of the week, a whole day is fantastic. 

Reason 1, I can have a late night tonight without worrying about feeling a wreck at 6 am. 
Reason 2, I can read longer passages in the Bible than during normal working days..
Reason 3, I can plan lessons and do marking and having as many breaks for tea, coffee, biscuits as i want! Actually I'm trying to cut down! 
Reason 4, catching up with family and friends whether on the phone...

Now there are the things that I'd like to do but so far I haven't even contemplated them, going for a bike ride..Not possible yet because of the following projects I have to do, i.e. 

a  change my car registration from English to French, 
b  apply to have the French NHS card called Carte Vitale, 
c  I should have done it ages ago, order/find some French front lights for my Peugeot 207...
d  get on with some translation work, how funny, when i was looking for some, I couldn't find any, and suddenly they just appeared from nowhere. Praise  be to God!
Finally I put a beautiful photo of Malta and this is because we are planning to go there for Imo's 21st birthday celebration. Her hols are booked now so this is getting so excited.
Oups, I nearly forgot an urgent priority, finding some families for our 9 baby rabbits, well, they are 2 months old now and growing quickly.    










19 September 2016

Another day at school

I am so pleased and grateful to the Lord that He found me that teaching post in Angouleme.
Lots of work but it's very enjoyable.

17 September 2016

Testimony


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This is Tracy's testimony, a beautiful praise to our Lord Jesus. 
As a child growing up on the island of Guam during the seventies, I found a little booklet entitled, "This Was Your Life" which told the story of a rich man who died. He stood before God who replayed the man's life and it was found that he had rejected Jesus Christ. God then banished him to the lake of fire. I was scared. The back of the booklet said that I needed to believe in Jesus in order to escape the flames of hell, so I prayed to God and asked him to save me. I didn't know exactly what I was doing. I just knew that I needed some help from God to stay out of hell. It was like following the instructions on the back of the cake mix--I wanted to go to heaven so I followed the instructions. I didn't understand that being saved is about having a relationship with Jesus Christ--but God met me where I was and, in time, he perfected my understanding.







































I was not reared in a Christian family, but I went to church every once in a while, said a prayer before eating (sometimes, I guess, I do not think every time), and recited "Now I lay me down to sleep..." sometimes before going to bed. I'd pick up the Bible every once in a while, but I got sleepy or bored every time I tried to read it. I went through my life living like most other people in this world do. I had opportunities to pursue Jesus, but chose not to--Satan was my lord. 
Most of the things that I found fun and exciting, I now reject as unholy. I did what I wanted to, but was never completely comfortable with the wild life I was leading. I feel confident that the Lord took my prayer as a child and kept me from being completely sold out to Satan and never making it into God's kingdom.

During one semester in college I had an Anthropology course that said humans are descended from apes, a Philosophy teacher that said God does not exist, and a Humanities teacher that called the Bible a myth. For the first time in my life I was confused about God. Even though I didn't really read the Bible, I believed that God was somewhere in the background. These people were telling me that he did not exist. One day I wondered to myself, "Why do I believe in God? Is it because my parents told me about him?" I did not know that God heard me and that he was going to answer.

A few years later, I graduated from college and went to work. One day as I passed the desk of a co-worker, I saw a booklet entitled, "This Was Your Life" lying on her desk--the same tract that I found as a child in Guam almost 20 years earlier! It was like seeing an old friend. I asked if I could borrow it and she said yes. I greedily read it and eventually ordered other tracts for information. Soon after, I began to read the Bible like there was no tomorrow--the television in my apartment wasn't even plugged up, I was too busy reading God's word.

The Lord Jesus showed me a lot of things. First of all, he cares about me and everything about me. He desires to be my everything. He also showed me that he loves me and wants to be my Lord and companion. The Lord is holy--and I, as his child, should be holy too. I learned that a life of holiness is wonderfully fulfilling. Now that the Lovely One, Jesus Christ, is my Lord and my Saviour, why would I return back to the filth and vomit that I once had? I am not going back. God does not want anybody to go to hell, but he will not let you in heaven without repentance and faith in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who is God manifested in the flesh.

When you make the wise decision of making Jesus Christ the Lord of your life (instead of yourself), he will save your soul. And as you read his word in faith, he will help you as you start obeying it and you will be transformed by the renewing of your mind and you will start proving that good and acceptable and perfect will of God--you will be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. As David said in Psalm 23, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." As a child of God, you are joint-heir to everything that the Creator of the universe has, yet you are to be the humblest and meekest of persons.

After I started to walk with the Lord Jesus, my life completely changed. One day an old acquaintance called me up. We were on the telephone about 30 to 45 seconds when she said, "Tracy, what happened? [Have] [y]ou been born-again or something?" I was glad to hear from her and I wasn't trying to sound differently so I was surprised by her comment. Can you see how God can change even your conversational style?

I used to think, "I'll serve God when I get old like Grandmama." I am so glad that that didn't happen! Why is it that we want to give all our good years to Satan and then give the leftovers to the Righteous One? I used to think that serving God would be such a bore. How wrong I was! My life is more exciting than ever--the Bible gives me work to do as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and as a wife, mother, and neighbor to my fellow man. I have made up my mind that I will NEVER go back to that wicked place I used to live. I will reprove it and see souls saved and walking with the Lord. I will live my life for the Lovely Jesus. In the best of times or the worst of times, I have no where else to go but him. Glory to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. How my God woos me to heaven--and every step of the way I know that one day my faith will be made sight.

Some famous people in this world have called Christians losers because Christians do not run to the same excess of riot with them. Christians no longer spend their time in the world's perversions like drugs, adultery, fornication, addictions, perverse language, evil imaginations, rebellion, lawlessness, pride, television, and their music and movies. Not because we are so good (we were once in the world, too), but because the Lord Jesus Christ has redeemed us from sin and as we read and obey his holy word, our desires actually change. When I sin, I certainly don't feel good about it and I try to avoid it everyday. I may be despised by people in this world, but I can say with the psalmist,
...I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalm 84:10
If Jesus took a sinner like me and made me clean, he can do the same for anybody willing to repent their sins and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Follow him. Repent, and believe the gospel. The following scripture has been placed on my heart of late:
Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring up; do you not perceive? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. Isaiah 43:19, 21
I found this beautiful testimony this afternoon and it touched me because it is so similar to mine. If you wish to visit Tracy's website click here

14 September 2016

What do we know about angels?

Papier machĂ© Angels, 
Does the Bible promote or forbid praying to angels?"

What are angels? They are superhuman or heavenly beings who serve as God's messenger. Both the Hebrew malak [J; 'm] and the Greek angelos [a [ggelo"] indicate that these beings also act decisively in fulfilling God's will in the world. But these two terms also apply to human beings as messengers ( 1 Kings 19:2 ; Hag 1:13 ; Luke 7:24 ). "Angels" are mentioned almost three hundred times in Scripture, and are only noticeably absent from books such as Ruth, Nehemiah, Esther, the letters of John, and James.

The Old Testament From the beginning, angels were part of the divine hierarchy. They were created beings ( Psalms 148:2 Psalms 148:5 ), and were exuberant witnesses when God brought the world into being (Job 38:7 ). By nature they were spiritual entities, and thus not subject to the limitations of human flesh. Although holy, angels could sometimes behave foolishly ( Job 4:18 ), and even prove to be untrustworthy (Job 15:15 ). Probably these qualities led to the "fall" of some angels, including Satan, but the Bible contains no description of that event. When angels appeared in human society they resembled normal males ( Genesis 18:2 Genesis 18:16 ; Ezek 9:2 ), and never came dressed as women.

In whatever form they occurred, however, their general purpose was to declare and promote God's will. On infrequent occasions they acted as agets of destruction ( Gen 19:13 ; 2 Sam 24:16 ; 2 Kings 19:35, ; etc. ). Sometimes angels addressed people in dreams, as with Jacob ( Gen 28:12 ; 31:11 ), and could be recognized by animals before human beings became aware of them, as with Balaam ( Nu 22:22 ). Collectively the divine messengers were described as the "angelic host" that surrounded God ( 1 Ki 22:19 ) and praised his majesty constantly ( Psalm 103:21 ). The Lord, their commander, was known to the Hebrews as the "Lord of hosts." There appears to have been some sort of spiritual hierarchy among them. Thus the messenger who instructed Joshua was a self-described "commander of the Lord's army" ( Jos 5:14-15 ), although this designation could also mean that it was God himself who was speaking to Joshua.

In Daniel, two angels who interpreted visions were unnamed ( 7:16 ; 10:5 ), but other visions were explained to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, who was instructed by a "man's voice" to undertake this task (8:15-16 ). When a heavenly messenger appeared to Daniel beside the river Hiddekel (Tigris), he spoke of Michael as "one of the chief princes" ( Daniel 10:13 Daniel 10:21 ). This mighty angel would preside over the fortunes of God's people in the latter time ( 12:1 ). Thereafter he was regarded by the Hebrews as their patron angel. In the postexilic period the term "messenger" described the teaching functions of the priest (Mal 2:7 ), but most particularly the individual who was to prepare the way for the Lord's Messiah ( Mal 3:1).


While there is no verse which explicitly states, “You shall not pray to angels,” it is abundantly clear that we are not to pray to angels. Ultimately, prayer is an act of worship. And, just as angels reject our worship (Revelation 22:8-9), so they would also reject our prayers. Offering our worship or prayer to anyone but God is idolatry.

There are also several practical and theological reasons why praying to angels is wrong. Christ Himself never prayed to anyone but the Father. When asked by His disciples to teach them to pray, He instructed them, “This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven…’” (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2). If praying to angels were something we, as His disciples, are to do, this would have been the place for Him to tell us. Clearly, we are to pray only to God. 

This is also evident in passages such as Matthew 11:25-26, where Christ's prayer introduction begins with "I praise thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth...." Jesus not only begins His prayers by addressing the Father, but the content of His prayers usually requests assistance that could only be granted by someone with omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent powers. Praying to angels would be ineffective because they are created beings and do not possess these powers.
The case against praying to angels can also be made by reviewing John 17:1-26 where Jesus prays on behalf of His followers, requesting multiple blessings on them from God the Father, including sanctification, glorification, and preservation of the saints. These three blessings can only come from the source that presently holds them, and again, angels simply do not have this power. Angels cannot sanctify us, they cannot glorify us, and they cannot guarantee our inheritance in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Second, there is an occasion in John 14:13 when Christ Himself tells believers that whatever we ask in His name, He will accomplish because He pleads directly with the Father. Offering a prayer up to angels would fall short of an effective and biblically guided prayer. Christ mentions that prayers must be offered up in His name alone: John 16:26. This verse conveys the message that, after Christ's ascension to heaven, He acts as an intercessor to the Father for all believers. Neither angels nor any other created being is ever depicted as an intercessor with the Father. Only the Son and the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26) can intercede before the Father’s throne.
Last, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells the believer to pray without ceasing. This would only be possible if a believer has access to a God who is always present and available to listen to the pleas of every person at one time. 
Angels do not have this ability—they are not omnipresent or omnipotent—and as such are not qualified to receive our prayers. Prayer to the Father through Christ is the only necessary and effective means by which we can communicate with the Father. No, praying to angels is absolutely not a biblical concept.

4 September 2016

Louisa May Alcott: Little women

Image result for Little women

Have you ever read Little women? I found that book upstairs in the loft, not even sure where it came from as when I asked the girls if they'd read it, they said no. Maybe I bought it in a charity shop in Bristol some time ago... I have started to read it and I'm enjoying it very much. 
Here is something about its author. Louisa May Alcott was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania on November 29, 1832. She and her three sisters, Anna, Elizabeth and May were educated by their father, philosopher/ teacher, Bronson Alcott and raised on the practical Christianity of their mother, Abigail May.

Louisa spent her childhood in Boston and in Concord, Massachusetts, where her days were enlightened by visits to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s library, excursions into nature with Henry David Thoreau and theatricals in the barn at Hillside (now Hawthorne’s "Wayside").

Like her character, Jo March in Little Women, young Louisa was a tomboy: "No boy could be my friend till I had beaten him in a race," she claimed, " and no girl if she refused to climb trees, leap fences...."

For Louisa, writing was an early passion. She had a rich imagination and often her stories became melodramas that she and her sisters would act out for friends. Louisa preferred to play the "lurid" parts in these plays, "the villains, ghosts, bandits, and disdainful queens."

At age 15, troubled by the poverty that plagued her family, she vowed: "I will do something by and by. Don’t care what, teach, sew, act, write, anything to help the family; and I’ll be rich and famous and happy before I die, see if I won’t!"
Confronting a society that offered little opportunity to women seeking employment, Louisa determined "...I will make a battering-ram of my head and make my way through this rough and tumble world." Whether as a teacher, seamstress, governess, or household servant, for many years Louisa did any work she could find.

Louisa’s career as an author began with poetry and short stories that appeared in popular magazines. In 1854, when she was 22, her first book Flower Fables was published. A milestone along her literary path was Hospital Sketches (1863) based on the letters she had written home from her post as a nurse in Washington, DC as a nurse during the Civil War.

When Louisa was 35 years old, her publisher Thomas Niles in Boston asked her to write "a book for girls." Little Women was written at Orchard House from May to July 1868. The novel is based on Louisa and her sisters’ coming of age and is set in Civil War New England. Jo March was the first American juvenile heroine to act from her own individuality; a living, breathing person rather than the idealized stereotype then prevalent in children’s fiction.

In all, Louisa published over 30 books and collections of stories. She died on March 6, 1888, only 56 years old and two days after her father.

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I was born in France and brought up as a catholic. After the traumatic divorce of my parents, I moved to England and became a lost sheep. However I was convinced that I was 'a good person' until I fell in a muddy pit in July 2005 after taking decisions without seeking God's Word for guidance.  I cried out to the Lord and He heard me. I was rescued and redeemed by Jesus-Christ my saviour. He has turned my life around. 
I live blissfully with my husband Steven,  a c.o.e. vicar, near Stafford (UK). We are the proud parents of three loving daughters, I am also a step-mum, I have an amazing family including a step mum, two brothers and two sister and a dear sister-in-law and her children and grand-children, lots of cousins and eleven nephews and nieces. We live near Stafford in the UK.