Archive for September, 2015

The Frightened Little Frog

September 15, 2015

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Having noticed that my blog about a hedgehog had been searched for Sunday schools, I have also been thinking of my many other interesting encounters with animals and insects in the last few years. Since these little stories revealed a spiritual analogy, I thought that it would be a good idea to have a children’s section for these and other stories. The following is the true story of how we rescued a little frog just recently…

The squealing behind our home was strange and high-pitched but where on earth was it coming from? My daughter ran outside to find nothing at all. Then, once more the squealing started up again – and again she went outdoors, this time to discover that our cat was annoying some poor little creature in an area where a lot of rain had gathered. What a “summer” it had been, with rainwater collecting in pools just about everywhere! After grabbing our tabby cat, my daughter put her in the kitchen and we both went out to see what had been so terrified of our cat. Soon we were looking at a lovely little frog which was lodged in a tight place, close to a pipe where a patio area is under construction.

My daughter touched him and he moved slightly, but then, after a while there was no movement at all. “He’s dead. The cat has killed him,” said my daughter in despair, “but maybe he’s just playing dead,” she added optimistically. “I think you’re right,” I whispered, “he’s sitting so still and probably hopes we’ll just go away… but what if the cat gets him when she comes out again?”

“Well, I don’t know how we’ll get him out of there,” said my daughter. “Oh, he’s so slimy; I can’t bear to touch him!” She went back indoors, making sure the cat didn’t get out again, while I picked up a large bucket. Looking at the poor little creature, he hardly moved at all but I just had this feeling that he was definitely ‘playing dead.’ I really needed to get him out of the dangerous situation he was in and so I gently picked him up (with damp cold hands so that I wouldn’t hurt him) and put him in a large bucket with a tiny bit of cold water in it from our outside tap. He didn’t flinch at all, still giving the impression that he was dead.

I have a great love for every little creature I come across and so, as carefully as I could, I carried him away to safety – to a place where I knew in my heart that he would be happy. However, to get to that place I had to walk a long way, climbing through briars, nettles and thistles of all types. After a while when I looked into the bucket, the little frog appeared to want to hop out, but how glad I was when he stayed in that safe container until we reached our destination – a lovely place where there were shady trees, lush green grass and little damp pools. And how happy he was to arrive in this beautiful place – away from the danger of an enemy who had tried to hurt and kill him. Once out, he hopped away into the undergrowth and I felt so joyful to know that he didn’t look any the worse for his encounter with our cat! How glad I was that he had allowed me to pick him up and bring him to that safe place!

On the way back to the house I noticed that I had many cuts, scratches and stings and I was even bleeding in places, all because I wanted so much to make sure that a little creature would arrive safely in a very lovely place where he would be so happy and at home.

Once back at my home, as I bathed my wounds (which were nothing really) I couldn’t help but think of what the dear Lord Jesus went through for me – and for you. His wounds were much more than we have ever suffered and not only that, He went so far as to die – so that we could be safely brought Home to a beautiful place like nothing we have ever seen on this earth. The Bible says “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53v5) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Verse 6)

Also – while I rescued a little creature that was innocent and had never done anybody any harm, the Bible says that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5v8)

Jesus wants to carry us safely through all the dangerous times, the thorny paths and the stinging hurtful times of this life, until we eventually reach a happy land where tears are no more.

Just as I would never have abandoned the little frog in a dry place or in a dangerous place, the Lord will not abandon those who love Him either – and how glad I was that the little frog didn’t get fed up being carried to his happy destination, deciding to jump out and make his own way through the undergrowth! Such a move would have been terrible and could have meant that he would never have reached that beautiful place.

What a faithful Friend the Lord Jesus is that He loved us enough to suffer and die for our sins, so that we could live in Heaven with Him for evermore! The Bible says: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. (1Corinthians 2v9)

My prayer is that you will trust this faithful loving Friend as your Saviour today, so that you can safely walk with Him to journey’s end – to a beautiful Forever where you will be at Home and happy with Him and all the other dear souls who have allowed Him to rescue them from the jaws of the enemy.

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A Famine for the Words of the Lord

September 7, 2015

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On our recent visit to the village of Timahoe in County Laois, I saw an unusually large old pot used as a container for some lovely flowers. “That’s a famine pot,” a local lady informed us. Apparently there are famine pots throughout the island of Ireland, a reminder of the terrible potato famine which resulted in the deaths of approximately one million people in many parts of the country between 1844 and 1852. These pots were left in a village square or green and filled with food by those who could afford to do so – in order to meet the needs of the starving. Famine… it is difficult to imagine those terrible hunger pangs in our western society, where we have an assortment of food and plenty of it – even freely available when necessary, at certain outlets for those who are not so well off.

Somehow, though, these thoughts on famine led me to think of famine from a spiritual point of view and reminded me of the words of Jesus: “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4v4)

“It is written…” Jesus always used these words before every statement He made to the devil, during that time when He was tempted in the wilderness. Could it be that many who claim to know the Lord today are being tempted and entertained by the devil, but they cannot say “it is written…” because perhaps they have no knowledge of what is actually written.

We are living in days of spiritual blindness and in an era when people have never had so many versions of the Bible available to them – clearly not a good thing, for we see a departing from God’s Word; not only in secular society but in supposedly Christian circles too. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the words of the Lord, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8v11&12)

How wonderful to have access to God’s Word in all its truth and purity! It is there for us to read and appreciate; it is there to guide us, to comfort us and to show us how to live – but it must be applied to our everyday lives. Lack of discernment and spiritual blindness are surely a result of not spending time with the Lord, listening to what He has to say to us through His precious Word and being willing to put Him first in our lives.

God forbid that these words would apply to Christians today: “We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long…” (Psalm 74v9)

To seek the Lord in prayer and ask for His intervention in the things that trouble us is so necessary – but not any less so than studying the Lord’s great letter to us, as contained in the Bible. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3v16&17)

One thing that I have learned just recently for myself is that the longest Psalm (119) talks about God’s Word in nearly every verse. It is referred to amongst other terms as: thy precepts, thy law, thy testimonies, thy way, thy statutes, thy judgements, thy commandments, thine ordinances, thy word…

And these should be the words of every servant of the Lord… “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119v127&28)

Surely when His servants esteem the Lord’s commandments above gold and when we delight in His law above all else, our hunger for His Word will be satisfied when we accept what He says to us, without trying to make it fit in with the ideas of this world? “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” (Psalm 119v165)

There is no doubt that many changes have occurred in places of worship in the days in which we live. Many old hymns have been discarded for no valid reason; the mode of worship has completely changed in some quarters – often not for the better; while the Word of God has been twisted, often in sinister ways, to give credence to wrongful behaviour in today’s society.

As servants we can say with the psalmist… “I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.” (Psalm 119v125) How true these words are for today! The blight which caused the potato famine could be likened to a spiritual blight which may result in the famine spoken of in Amos. As Christians we must take a stand on the issues of our day and on the evil laws passed by governments throughout the world, for in the words of the Psalmist: “It is time for thee, Lord to work: for they have made void thy law.”(Psalm 119v126)

Surely the Lord’s will for all men and women (for whom He loved and died) is not that they would be tormented by a spiritual famine but rather that they would repent and that these words would be their portion: “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119v103 -105)