June Gems

It’s the last week in June, and time to share some takeaways from the month with you all.

Podcast: I’d really recommend this preach from Jarrod Cooper on overcoming stress. He speaks truth lovingly, encouraging us that just like a broken leg, with the right care and attention, our minds can mend too. His points were so well-made and a real help to me.

Quote: “Find your us in the middle of all the rush” (Lysa Terkeurst’s reminder that people are more important than things)

Discoveries: Having said that, God does give us things for our enjoyment. Mine for this month is my new bench. I got it with 15% off and I like the little table in the middle. It really makes me smile to sit out there with my phone and cup of tea, reading an EBook. I’ve also found something I hope my sponsored kids will enjoy. We’re only allowed to send paper items through Compassion, so sometimes it’s a struggle, but I love to send gifts, specially when they’re little and you can’t write such meaningful letters. Pipity do these brilliant activity books, with paper dolls in that kids can cut out and dress up. There are also puppet-show books. Definitely worth a look.

Blog-Post: Over in New York, my friends Becky and Dave are celebrating 17 years of marriage, and Becky’s been reminding us on Facebook of their love-story she wrote a few years ago. I’m a sucker for love-stories and read it all in one sitting. I’m sharing the final part because the poem in it is beautiful.

Bible-verse: A challenging one for this month. “Do not let yourself be quickly provoked, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (Ecclesiastes 7:9).

Books: Do you have friends you love to spend time with? Does it absolutely make your day when they surprise you by popping round for a cup of tea? I’ve got friends like that. As well as being a worshipper, songwriter, pianist, preacher, recording engineer … my friend Colin is also an author, who’s recently published his tribute to Dan Dare, a trilogy and a third collection of short stories.

I don’t know whether we’ve got the same tastes, but I hope you find something here that you like. If you want to recommend something you’ve enjoyed this month, I’d love to hear in the comments.

Thoughts on Fathers’ Day

When I was very small and couldn’t sleep, it was my daddy I wanted, because those were the times he’d pick me up and walk me round the bedroom, singing this song, complete with whispers of my name when it said: “The wind will whisper your name to me”. Though it’s sweet to sing to a little girl about clinging to the warmth of her tiny hand, what means most is the fact that he sang to me, and how it reminds me of my heavenly Father. Zephaniah 3:17 says: “He will rejoice over you with singing”. I think of both God and my dad when I hear that verse.

Another special moment came much later, when I was an adult (probably about 19 or 20). I still lived with my parents, so we’d spend time together as a family, but it was rarely just my dad and me. One night though, we went to our favourite spring on the hills to get water, and Dad surprised me afterwards by asking if I wanted to go up the highest of the hills. This wasn’t a challenge for me; I’d climbed it lots of times, but I always enjoyed it. He drove to the side where a footpath would take us to the top, parked the car and off we went. We were still climbing at about 9:30 pm. It was getting dark, and I remember him saying if one of us fell and broke our ankle, the helicopter would have to come and rescue us! Spending time with people individually is one of my favourite things, and I feel better in my spirit when I spend time with God individually too.

I don’t know what this Fathers’ Day will be like for you. Thankfully, my dad’s still here and can read these words I’ve written about him, but I know not everyone’s in that position. Maybe your dad meant a lot to you and he’s not around anymore; why not thank God for a special memory you have of him? Maybe you never knew your dad and struggle to give him any sort of honour; could you thank God that your dad helped bring you into the world, and for the people who have shown you love in your lifetime? Maybe you are a dad, who’d like to have more contact with your children; take comfort from this verse: “And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6). As your heart is turned towards your children, you can pray that God will also turn their hearts towards you.

I pray you have a hope-filled Fathers’ Day.

Something I’m Really Keen to Share

I don’t know if you’ve noticed the pages at the top of this blog. There’s the usual ‘About’ page, a place to find out about my Compassion-family, and now a Bible plan. I’ve tried to find what works best for me, in terms of reading through the Bible in a year, and this seems to. I thought I’d publish it in case anyone else was interested. I’m starting a new book (the book of 1 John) tomorrow, so maybe you’d like to join me. Please share with your friends/family too. I’d love it if this plan could be used to get more people reading the whole of God’s Word.