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  1. 06_Jun_Just Like His Father 

    "Then answered Jesus and said unto [the Jews], Verily, verily, I say unto you,
    The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do:
    for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."
    John 5: 19.

    It's interesting listening to the comments of people when they look into the face of a new born baby: 'Aww, what a lovely baby ... He looks just like his dad, or just like her mum!

    I often wonder if the little baby will continue to look like dad or mum when it grows. I say that because I have observed that the distinctive features of a baby sometimes alter in the passing of time, and the infant that began looking like dad or mum ended up looking like the other parent as is in the case of my two grown up children.

    Then of course there's the character which is going to develop in time. What kind of person will that child one day become? Will he have his father's calm character, or love for music? Will she have her mother's flare for cooking and creativity. Will he have the exuberance his father has? Will she have the compassion and kindness of her mother? Etc.

    These are things that only time will bring out. If all is well the little baby will grow up in a home surrounded in love, and will be corrected and guided along the right paths.

    This month being the time in which fathers are remembered and celebrated is a good time to think for a while about the ultimate Father and the ultimate Son, and just how much alike they are.

    There is one thing for certain, when Mary and Joseph looked into the face of the new born infant Jesus they were looking at One who was certainly just like His Father and would remain so all of His short life here on earth.

    Have you ever sat and wondered what God is really like? If it were possible to see Him, would He be anything like you expected? Artists of yesteryear created intricate works in their attempts to depict the essence of God in person. I can hardly imagine their attempts came anywhere near the mark; for the Lord Jesus said that God is a Spirit and a Spirit is impossible to express in tangible form.

     06_Jun_Just Like His Father b

    Which reminds me of a little story I heard a while about a little boy who was feverishly scribbling on a piece of paper with coloured pencils. His mum was curious and asked him what he was drawing? Without looking up he said in a thoughtful voice ... I'm drawing a picture of - - - God!

    She thought how she might reply to him, and after a moment she gently laid her hand on his shoulder and said, 'but darling, nobody knows what God looks like!' To which he confidently replied, 'they will when I have finished!' :-)

    ~~~~~

    The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus is:

    'The brightness of [God's] glory, and the express image of his person'
    Hebrews 1: 3

    Which means that every part of His Personhood is an exact expression of what God is like.

    So, If you want to know what God's thoughts are on women all you have to do is look and see the way Jesus was a complete gentleman and treated each one who crossed His path with honour and respect no matter who they were!

    Take a look at Him with little ones crawling all over him and His appeal to be childlike in order to be accepted by God, and you will see that He has a special place in His heart for children.

    If you want to know what God thinks of politics and religion just take a look at Jesus reaction and interaction with those who represented these systems in the world of that day and you will certainly be enlightened, if not rather surprised!

    His compassion was incomparable, His love immeasurable. He was untainted by human disease, unaffected by sin, and unperturbed by endless distractions. He was perfect, pure, and patient. He was approachable and altogether lovely.

    The way He thought with purity and power, the way He spoke in that authoritive manner, the way He looked in that soul piercing way, the way He touched with unmatched tenderness and compassion all go to express to us clearly that the world has never seen a man like this before.

    Whatever it was He was doing or saying was a direct expression of the very things that God would do and say!

    These are the very things that He would like you to know; for in the knowing of such wonderful things is the potential for a direct relationship with this altogether lovely Man who is alive in heaven today.

    Knowing such things I might add is not sufficient to alter our eternal destiny but knowing how wonderful He is and how compassionate He is helps us to understand and trust that He is the only One who can take the burden of sin you carry far away and never to be accounted for again.

    Jesus, who is just like His Father came to this earth on a mission and He wasn't going to be diverted from it until His work was done. He not only came to express in His Personhood the very likeness of God His Father but He purposed to go to the cross to suffer, bleed and to die all in the place of undeserving sinners like ourselves.

    In His pure perfection He bore our imperfection. In His uniqueness He bore such as is common to us all. In His purity He bore our filth and in His loneliness He bore our separation once for all. O, that our souls may be deeply moved by such a One as this and by His pure unselfish love that took Him to Calvary's hill to suffer in our place.

    When God looks upon people like us, the Bible tells us that He is: 'longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.' 1 Peter 3: 9.It is God's desire that we become intimately acquainted with His beloved Son; for the more we know Him, the more we love Him. And it is common knowledge that we tend to be rather like the One we love; therefore the more we love the Lord Jesus, the more like Him we will become. That's just the way our Father in Heaven would have us to be --- Just like Jesus!

    ~~~~~

    h2h logo

    There's been a bit more work done behind the scenes of this website. And now Heart to Heart has been updated, re-formatted for all visitors including those viewing this website on mobile devices. Enjoy :-)

     

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  2. While on a trip to Tenerife last month we enjoyed some rather lovely warm weather and enjoyed a rest which seemed like a long time in coming but it arrived at last.

    One of the things I was very much looking forward to doing was a boat trip to see dolphins in their natural environment.

    We duly paid our fee and looked forward with joyful anticipation for when the day arrived. A day or two before, I began to ask the Lord for a special inspirational thought as a result of such a wonderful thing that I might be able to share with you.

    I mean, could one spend time with such beautiful sea creatures and not be inspired in some sort of way?

    At last the day arrived and we made our way to the area where the coach was to collect us. It was a warm and sunny day ... 

    Good start!

    We had visions of spending the day with like minded people on this wonderful luxurious vessel we reserved and when we arrived at the port we were ushered into a long queue to wait to board.

    While waiting in the heat we saw our vessel coming in with a load of people on board all looking very delighted ...

    Our turn next!

    However, the vessel carried on sailing further into the port away from our waiting queue. We were soon ushered into two smaller vessels which were moored closer and one or two of those waiting with us questioned those in charge as to why we were not going on the vessel we paid for.

    The Spanish man didn't appear to understand English! And we all had to make do with where we were placed!

    Soon we set sail out of the port into a choppy sea and I had to use all of my consecration to focus on my surroundings because I am prone to suffer from sea sickness.

    But after an hour or so my strength was beginning to wane and I finally succumbed along with other unfortunate souls like me. Unfortunately everyone else soon recovered except for a small boy and me and I spent the rest of the four and a half hour trip laying down on a narrow bench feeling very unwell and shaking like a leaf with dehydration shock.

    I managed to lift my head in time to see a mother dolphin and her young one curl out of the water and another one completely break the water a few metres further away and that was the extent of my pleasure for that afternoon ... Oh dear!

    b_what you pay for

    When Paul wasn't attending to his ailing wife he went off to collect some wonderful video footage leaving me feeling sorry for myself!

    Not a very inspirational afternoon after all!

    It took a couple of days to completely recover and in the mean time we made inquiries about why we were not placed on the vessel which had been advertised. After explaining that we had all been placed on the wrong vessel and I had been very unwell the travel Representative duly went off to see if we could be reimbursed in any way.

    Thankfully we were refunded a small amount but not fully; for the owner of the company made his excuses and it wasn't worth arguing about. After all, we were on holiday and didn't want to create a fuss.

    I don't suppose a beautiful luxurious vessel would have made any difference to my sea sickness but if we were on the vessel we paid for at least I could have been unwell in comfort :-)

    ~~~~~

    Upon reflecting about this event we felt that we didn't get what we paid very handsomely for and although we had a token reimbursement it would be a good idea to ask the Representative to be aware of this when selling this trip to other people ... After all, if you're paying so much for something like that you ought to get what you're paying for!

    Well, beautiful blue seas and happy playing Dolphins didn't end up being the source of inspiration in the end but instead I can't help but think that what you get in exchange for something you pay dearly for can be an unpleasant surprise sometimes!

    Think about it, what's going to happen to us all at the end of life's journey? We all know that death marks the end of our journey here on earth and the Bible tells us why:

    "...The wages of sin is death ..."
    Romans 6: 23

    What a mocking salary for a lifetime of expectancy!

    Some feel that they deserve better than that but the reality is that none of us do. Because of who we are as members of sinful humanity we get what we have worked so hard for!

    Thankfully that is not the end of the story. Where would we be without the hope the Bible offers to us in the Person of the beloved Son of God?

    We would be hopelessly lost without Him that is for sure. Instead of working so hard for a lifetime for such a dismal reward, there is the grand opportunity to receive something from God that we do not deserve ... A gift ... a FREE gift!

    The same verse in the Bible that tells us about the wages of sin tells us about the gift of God:

    "For the wages of sin is death;
    but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord".

    Romans 6: 23

    Life that is a gift from God isn't just life here on earth but life that is eternal beginning here on earth for us to enjoy and make the most of to the fullest degree.

    The life that God has to impart is much more than life with holidays and life's pleasures but life that is abundant and that never ends when we pass away from this world into eternity.

    Jesus paid very highly for this gift from God to you and me. He paid for it with His own life on the cross when He was the One who received sins wages and was punished instead of us for our sin that separates us from God.

    There's nothing to do to receive this wonderful gift other than agree with God about your sin, bow the knee in humble submission confessing your need for forgiveness and ask Him humbly to be your Lord and Saviour from this time forth.

    If you do you will be the happy recipient of eternal treasures found in Christ. Something not you but He paid very dearly for!

     b_what we pay for b

     ~~~~~

    HP_Verse

     

     


    There's been a bit of work done behind the scenes of this website. Although 'Verse' is not a new feature, this is an area which has been updated, re-formatted and each of the individual poems featured are now accompanied with beautiful images. Enjoy :-)

     

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  3. I wonder how many of us really know what it is like to 'live life loved'!

    Every child of God ought to know but there are times when our vision is marred by much busyness or clouded with trials and suffering.

    Perhaps you may be among those who haven't yet bowed the knee as it were and humbly confessed to God that you are the sinner for whom Christ died. It's not too late you know! Where there's life, there's hope. But don't wait because tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us!

    I have a prime example for you of what it means to live life loved. Please excuse me for forming an inspirational thought one more time around our beloved cat called Teddy, but every day of his almost twenty year old life he has been truly loved and has enjoyed the benefit of such love for all to see.

    He may not have lived for so long if he had to fend for himself in the wild or if he had not been part of our family. But God gave him to us to look after and care for - and we did ♥

    He didn't have a concern at all - his every need has been attended to, and in old age when certain issues associated with advancing years caught up with him, he has still revelled in our careful attention and care.

    Long after his so called 'nine lives' had run out, (and Teddy has been living on borrowed time for a long while,) he proved how important it is to be loved, no matter whether we are thinking of a beloved pet or a human being.

    When it was time for us to say a final 'good bye', the quietness, rest and calmness that comes with being loved remained with him right to the very moment when he passed away.

    Although we miss his lovely character and presence each day we are comforted to know that God does all things well and he was released quickly from the suffering that came upon him very suddenly without warning.

    ~~~~~

    Living life loved is having the ability to appreciate being the object of the Father's desire to make us His own,
    and appreciating what we have been brought into even though we don't deserve it.

    After having trusted fully in His beloved Son who died as our substitute to bare away the penalty and power of our sin we have heaven's resources from which to draw in any situation. All of those resources are found in Christ, our Lord and Saviour, our great Shepherd, our refuge, and friend.

    Once a person is 'born of God' there is no need to ever be found wanting. This is why the Psalmist tells us in Psalm 23 that: 'because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need.'

    It is all too easy to feel vulnerable, lonely, and weak when situations and circumstances come upon us with seemingly overwhelming power. Living life loved is the last thing on our minds, but that is the very opportunity when the tender loving care of God can be demonstrated and confirmed in our souls.

    Here is an encouraging verse from the Bible:

    Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
    that he may exalt you in due time:
    Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
    1 Peter 5: 6-7

    Our English translated Bibles overlook an important little thought that is well worth mentioning here; for the writer is telling us that God is inviting us to cast all our cares and concerns upon Him because - He cares for us with a tender loving care. (Rather like that of a shepherd tending to the needs of his sheep.)

    What a lovely thought!
    Would sheep have any concerns about their well being when cared for by a good shepherd?

    Therefore in order to appreciate what it is like to live life loved we need know and have confidence in the One in whom we are trusting. He will certainly take care of every detail of our lives, especially those moments of impossibilities we experience from time to time.

    The Bible tells us:

    "Be careful for nothing;
    but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
    let your requests be made known unto God.
    And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,
    shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
    Philippians 4: 12

    Teddy didn't have a care in the world because we looked after his every need and looked after everything he couldn't do for himself. So we ought to have the very same unquestioning trust and attitude towards the lover of our souls, and the promise of His tender loving care for His people.

    It can be quite fascinating to find that there are sometimes big lessons to be learnt from little things, (or pets,) that others would overlook, and in this case I believe we ought to be thankful to the Lord for Teddy.

    Teddy
    15/05/97 - 13/03/17

     

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  4. Having spent a while attempting to sort out my rather busy and fragmented life, I stepped back as it were to take a look at the tasks I had started and never finished, and at the many notes and ideas I had collected throughout the years, and haven't made use of yet. I looked at what I am doing now and what I very much would like to do in the not too distant future, and it all became a little overwhelming.

    Like Martha in the Bible I felt cumbered about many things and I knew that I would have to simplify my life somewhat in order to accomplish that which is most important.

    But where was I to start?

    At the feet of Jesus was the best place to be; for all of the above things appeared to be ever so important. In fact this is the remedy for all types of dilemmas we find ourselves in from time to time.

    Time alone with the Lord is always the remedy to a cluttered life.

    Speaking of Martha brings me to some of my favourite characters in the Bible: Mary of Bethany, Martha and their brother Lazarus and their story, part of which is relevant to what it is I am seeking to convey.

    ~~~~~

    The scene is set, there's a house full of people and Jesus is the centre of attention. They have come to listen to His marvellous words. In the kitchen Martha was beavering away  and feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility she felt was hers to cater for all her guests.

    Looking for Mary her sister who had been helping her for a while she found to her dismay that Mary had joined the people and was sat right at the feet of Jesus, listening intently to every word He was saying.

    Feeling burdened and left alone she quietly interrupted the Lord's discourse to appeal to Him to send Mary back to help her. Here's what the Lord graciously said to her in return:

    "Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
    But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part,
    which shall not be taken away from her."
    Luke 10: 41-42

    I conjure up a picture in my mind of Mary beckoning to Martha to come and sit beside her and Martha proceeding towards her with reserve. I see her sit with her sister still a little anxious about what's going to happen when the Lord has finished His speaking until she sees Mary looking at her with that 'everything's going to be okay' look in her face. At last she settles to listen and I imagine the Lord pauses for a moment of time to flash a look of approval in their direction before He continues.

    Everything was going to be just fine indeed and when the Lord finished I'm sure they both set to work together in caring for the needs of the guests. May be a little later but now everyone was happy!

    Why would I come to this conclusion? Simply because sometime in the future we read of another a celebration. Lazarus had been gravely ill and died but Jesus restored this dear man back to his sisters four days after his decease!

    Once again the house if full of inquisitive people but where's Martha? The Bible tells us she's serving again. But all that frustration she had earlier has disappeared.

    Where troubles, cares and frustration once reigned serenity now does.

    Mary of course knew the source of the peace in her heart that circumstances could never disturb. It was her beloved Lord Himself and she learned this at His feet and listening intently to His every word, and perhaps that's where Martha eventually found it as well.

    True it is to say that when I remembered Mary and Martha I remembered how important it is to make the time to be alone with God with an open Bible and a prayerful heart. This has to be more precious than a daily ritual and routine, but something we cannot do without approaching with joyful expectancy. This is 'that good part, which shall never be taken away' the Lord Jesus was speaking of. Somehow when being seated 'at His feet, and hearing His Word' comes first, everything else will take its rightful place.

    ~~~~~

    Now then, I still have a number of projects I need to finish, and I still have a great collection of inspirational thoughts yet to convey and I haven't yet, and I still need to simplify my busy life, but all that doesn't trouble me so much anymore because -

    Where care, troubles and frustration and was setting in Serenity now reigns.

    What a difference this has made, and nothing will ever be able to take away the treasures acquired from those precious moments alone with the lover of my soul.

    And nothing will ever rob you of those treasures as well if you only make and take those precious opportunities to be found 'at His feet and hearing His word.'

    Incidentally, Mary of Bethany's quiet and untroubled spirit is the subject of a brand new article just published called 'Serenity'. This is  worth a few moments of your time to read it for your blessing and enrichment. Enjoy :-

     b_Where Serenity is Found

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  5. Well here we are, it's February, and it's that time of the year when a lot of people struggle with the blues!

    Mind you, on a human level, there isn't all that much around us to cheer the heart is there? There are problems with our governments, protests, hate campaigns abounding. Tragedies occurring almost on a daily basis. And then there's life in general that seems to have lost its momentum as we slip into the second month of the year.

    b_Helper of your Joy a

    Where is the joy and enthusiasm many felt when we entered into the New Year? Resolutions have perhaps been broken before the first week was over. The mundane routine has set in and that get up and go feeling seems to have got up and went!

    I happen to rather love those early months in the year that everyone else struggles with. That probably sounds a bit strange, and definitely doesn't make me special in any way, it's simply because those quiet months give to me the opportunity to tie up loose ends and establish new things before time starts getting really busy.

    I would love to be a 'helper of your joy'.

    And I have a thought or two that may help to lift you up and set you on a path of rejoicing, renewed strength and confidence?

    Did you know that if it were not for the grace of God in my life I really would be struggling not only with the February blues but with life in general? Without the living Lord Jesus in my life to give to me an eternal perspective I would find very little to make an effort for each day!

    The Bible tells us that we are all just passing through, and the life we are living here is not going to last forever. However we all are in possession of something eternal, and that is our soul. We have the opportunity to invest in eternity every day of our lives and today is a very good time to start if you haven't already done so.

    We have just passed the season when the coming of the Lord Jesus is remembered, but what is it about His coming that has any relevance on our lives today?

    Well, everything actually!

    He came for the specific purpose of saving us from the very thing that robs us of the joy God designed for us to have. He came to save us from the guilt, the power, and the consequences of our sin. And it is our sin that is separating us from the very One from whom all joy in its purest form comes.

    Now, I'm not talking about happiness here. Happiness is a superficial thing that depends upon the things that happen to us in our lives. And it doesn't take too much to happen before we are feeling very unhappy.

    But joy is something that goes far deeper, and does not depend upon our circumstances. Joy is something we can possess even in the midst of the most gloomy of circumstances.

    b_Helper of Your Joy b

    Seeing as it is that we know that joy comes from God, then it stands to reason that we must know Him intimately in order to taste the sweetness of that joy for ourselves.

    God is on the lookout for sincerely repentant people who are prepared to come before Him with the heart-cry of three simple words: "Lord save me", or "Lord help me", depending on what your standing is before God.

    Please take a moment or two to enjoy a few encouraging words in the slideshow below. These are a few among a multitude of encouraging words from the Bible that are intended to set you on the path to a brighter and more joyous daily walk through life.

    Remember, the believer is secure for eternity, never alone, and has a whole host of heavenly resources upon which to draw daily. Now, that is a cause for rejoicing.

    And if you're not a believer yet, what are you waiting for? Repent of your sin and trust in the Lord with all your heart while there is time. You will be eternally glad you did :-)

     

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