COMPLETED, COMPLETING, COMPLETE!

There’s an unfinished book that’s begging to be completed and I allow so many things to stand in the way. Added to that, it is not an easy write but also I’ve been sensing an unseen force standing in the way because of the subject matter.

Meanwhile, I took up the challenge from my writers’ group in the UK to enter a piece of writing for a Christmas Anthology. Yesterday, I received an email from the organisation that finally the Christmas Anthology is now completed and my short story is part of that book of about eighty other submissions. I cant wait to see my first ever real piece of writing in print!

The bigger issue though is completing that book I mentioned earlier which is on the tough subject of spiritual warfare.

I had a friend visit me recently and what she shared prompted me to mention some of the content of my book. Her response was, “you must finish it, it is so needed!” While I have been receiving encouragement from various people over the years to finish it, I also would value prayer for anything and everything, including myself that stands in the way of me completing it.

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Pressing On

Transitioning back to Florida from the UK has taken it’s toll and I keep hearing myself saying, “I’m tired, I’m so tired.” Not from the move itself but as one gets older, the jet lag and time difference seems to drag on. I still find myself waking up anywhere between the hours of 3am and 5:30am and getting up still feeling tired. After several successive morning I decided that it must be the Holy Spirit waking me up to pray more than the effects of jet lag and time difference so that is what I decided to do which is turning out to be very fruitful.

Coupled with that, I have prayerfully and I say prayerfully, taken on the fairly new role of BSF leadership. (For those who don’t know what BSF is, it is an international Bible Study whose head quarters is in Texas. Whatever book(s) of the Bible are being studied, whoever has enrolled in this study does the same book of the Bible at the same time around the world in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese). The setting up is challenging but that is not what’s making me tired. I’m actually looking forward to getting deep into God’s Word.

Anyway, back to being tired. You know what is said about voicing something out loud. It becomes reality! So the more I said it, the more tired I felt. Then God reminded me that words have power, after all, He created the world with words. So I started backtracking. When I find myself saying I’m tired, I then say “I’m not tired,” and press on.

We are always encouraged by God’s Word from Isaiah 40:28-29 which says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

Isn’t that great! We get our strength from Him because He never gets tired!

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LET IT RAIN, LET IT RAIN, LET IT RAIN

England is noted for being a wet place where it rains all the time yet this past summer it has been the best, driest summer I can ever recall in all the thirty odd years I’ve lived there.

At times what was going on in my life reflected the drought that was experienced in some parts of the UK at the time. Even thought there were times when I was enjoying what London had to offer with such a wonderful summer, there were medical issues, scary prognoses which turned out to be unfounded, thankfully, but those times led me to a deeper trust in God.

Just as the drought in the UK, although adverse for the farmers, revealed hidden things to archaeologists that are centuries old, these were times of drought in my life yet I could see in between the clouds, glimmers of what God was doing. He continued to bless me in more ways than one, particularly with the results that came back negative one after the other. He gave me Scripture verses that I never realised existed in the Bible. He blessed me with good friends, who were not friends before but whom He brought into my life at those times of testing to provide practical and spiritual help through fervent prayer.

Ezekiel 34:26 says, “I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessings.”

That is what God had done, sent me showers of blessings, abundant rain at a time when He knew I needed it most. May He be praised! May you be blessed!

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A Quiet Place

It’s three days since I’ve returned to Florida from the fast-pace, busy life of London. Not only my body was busy but my mind was with so much physical and mental planning that some things went by the wayside, including FMF blogging.

While London is my place of residence and I love living there, I also have a physical home in Florida which I love even more, so the logistical planning for both places sometimes can become mind boggling. As I age, this is becoming more of a challenge and I’m at the point of decision making.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been dealing with jet lag and the time difference amid the unpacking and eventually house cleaning, getting my internet up and running and all the necessary things for settling back in.

For months while in England my mind had been visualizing the relaxed setting, sitting in my favorite chair in my tea room in Florida and spending hours just talking to God. Well, the dream of doing just that has materialized once again. I am writing this blog right from my favorite chair and thinking how good it is not to be rushing about catching trains and buses and just having this quiet, no-harried lifestyle however long or short it might be.

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Thirteen Years!

It took me thirteen years to properly grieve for my father. He died suddenly and quite young, aged only fifty-eight.

He was a loving dad and today we, his children, still call him “the Sage” because we considered him so wise in his dealings with us and others. He had the ability to listen to others joys and sorrows or just general conversation without interruption and for me, he was the best listener after God.

Whenever I spoke of him to anyone during those thirteen years, I was in floods of tears until a counsellor said to me, “why don’t you write to him. Tell him all that he was to you. What you loved and didn’t love about him, everything that you were not able to tell him while he was alive.”

Months went by and then on the day after Christmas which some of you might know as Boxing Day, I sat down to write to him and between tears and laughter I poured out my heart to him. From that day since I haven’t cried whenever I talk about him. Although he’s been gone over thirty years ago, I still miss him but the memories that remain are happy ones.

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IF Only we Knew the Future

IF only I knew what tomorrow held! That would be great! Or would it? Would it stop me from worrying about the future or would it make me more anxious if the future I envisioned wasn’t bright?

IF only I knew the future! Would it help me to plan better for what is to come, whether good or bad?

IF only I knew what is to come! Could I stop it if it is not something I want in my life or embrace it for keeps if it is something good?

IF only my life was all I wanted it to be, would that make me happier?

IF only I was happier, does that mean I would have no trouble in this world?

IF only this world wasn’t so troubled but was a better place to live, would I want to live in it forever? I think not because……

IF we remember that…….

….our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ..(Phil.3:20) we would not want to be here forever.

Only because…….

We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope (1 Chronicle. 29:15)

In fact, we do know the future…..IF only we will remember that as we sojourn here on earth, we have God’s promise.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer. 29:11)

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Saving our Oceans

When I saw last Friday’s prompt – Ocean – I thought of something light-hearted having grown up in the Caribbean. But when I sat down to write, it set me on a different path. 

A few weeks ago we (members of my photography club) set off to join another club for a competition night in the south of England and to visit the sea on the following day. 

Since I was accustomed to having the ocean all around growing up in the Caribbean, it was an opportune moment, not only for photographs, but for being by the sea. I love watching the ebb and flow of the tides and looking at the horizon as far as my eyes could see. Feeling that sense of peace and tranquility. It was a beautiful day on the Jurassic Coast taking photos and scouting around looking for fossils. 

And then seeing this prompt, I was reminded about that recent visit to Highcliffe-on-Sea and how it brought to mind the BBC program Blue Planet ll researched and presented by David Attenborough. Our oceans are dying because of the excessive use of plastic that is killing the sea life. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch (uTube video – The Future of the Oceans – Blue Planet ll). I was horrified to see how our every day choices are having such a damaging effect on our oceans.

That set me thinking that if God saw what He has created as good, what are we doing to the very thing He created for our enjoyment! 

Genesis 1:21 reads, “So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”

Do we see our oceans as God sees it? Are we taking care of what He has given to us? I was certainly challenged. Would you be?

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A Renewed Perspective

 

I started blogging back in late 2017, then I stopped and began asking myself why was I blogging? Do I have anything to say that would be of value to anyone but myself? Was it for my own edification, that I would eventually get great readership? Although the latter is inextricably linked to why we all write, wouldn’t it be terrible if no one read what you wrote?

After some soul searching I realised that much of what was coming to mind, was how normal daily events synced with what God was doing in my life, and that these connections seemed to occur fairly frequently. Either through something I’ve prayed about the night before or that very morning. Through my devotional readings or just some daily task.

I can hear you say, “sounds like you have more than enough material to write about, so what is the problem then?”

It’s not writers’ block which happens to writers when we sit with pen and paper or at our computers and wonder why we can’t think of anything to write about. So, what is it then? Well, it’s thoughts of what should I write about. Would it be of value to anybody or just my own experiences. So I procrastinate in getting pen to paper, fingers to computer or iPad, as in my case.

But isn’t it our own experiences that shape our writing? And isn’t our writing as individual as we are?

We all know that there are stories everywhere. We just have to look around us or to stay still and listen for the internal stories to unfold. Those are our experiences. So I’ve concluded that since I do have things to write about I better push through and get on with it. Not only does it make practical sense, but as a fairly new writer, doing so will help me hone my skill but, more importantly, it is biblical to do so.

Do you have things to write about? Stories from your own experiences burning inside of you but like me, you hesitate to put it out there because you think it isn’t worthwhile or relevant to anybody?

Everybody needs encouragement at times. So hopefully, this is an encouragement for those who feel like I do – unsure, hesitant, a bit daunted. Press on with the thought in mind that God gives all gifts, whether natural or spiritual, one of which is the gift of writing and through that, we give Him all the glory.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

 

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Breath In……Breath Out…..Aah!

 

Some of us tend to be more conscious about the things we do than being aware of ourselves. We’ve heard the expression, we are not human doings but human beings.

Well, I’m not the most relaxed person. I find myself doing things at a pace – walking fast, thinking fast to the point that my brain is already reaching for the next task before the present one is fully accomplished. And before I’ve completed one task, I’m off to the next. I tend to have three or four books which I’m reading, at the same time. And here is a biggy! I’m always trying to get to where I’m going on time and if I fail to accomplish that, I usually get annoyed with myself or whomever else got me to my appointment late.

It’s when I sit quietly talking with God or reading a book, where time doesn’t seem to matter, that I become conscious of myself, my body. Shoulders high almost to my ears, back taut, body tense and with this sudden realization I drop my shoulders, stretch my back and slowly relax.

Think of a spinning wheel, a merry go round that has momentum. The spinning is rapid at first and then gradually starts slowing down. It’s this slowing down stage that I’d like to achieve. This relaxed stage where there is not too much momentum but just enough to be able to achieve the things I set out to do. More with a calmness and thoughtfulness that makes everyone and everything around me have that same sense of calm.

Some reading this might suggest meditation or yoga, the gym or leisure centre. I’ve done all that. That’s still doing! What I’m talking about is just being more conscious of myself. That means stopping occasionally and taking stock of my body, my mind. This marvelous body with it’s outside and inside workings that God has created.

At the same time, I am thankful for who I am right now. It’s helped me to achieve a lot in life. But a time comes when it’s important to slow down, and yet still able to accomplish much.

I think settling down to my new career in writing would certainly help, don’t you?

 

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New Adventure – blogging

I’ve been putting off setting up my blogging website because it seemed so daunting.  Even though I am quite good with technical things like finding my way around computers, even fixing simple things, the task of blogging seemed so enormous and almost out of my reach.  I kept asking myself, what would I blog about yet knowing that I have much to say.  Whether anyone wants to read what I write, and I hope they will, I felt I needed to express my thoughts, feelings, adventures somewhere all in one place.

You see, I was used to documenting things in a diary, many of which I’ve amassed, but that’s mainly to do with my prayer life and what God was up to.  But there are many other parts of me I tend to express on bits and pieces of paper, on my iPad, even in conversations with others. I wanted to bring the many parts of me into one whole where I could see me as this one source generating all these ideas, and where others could see me in the same way. Not scattered or scrambling, not knowing whether I was coming or going.

So now, here I am.  I’ve joined the madding crowd of bloggers, dare I say, no longer far from it but right in the middle of this crazy crowd and loving it!

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