Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
My dearest Cos Karen, sent me this book and I just started delving into it yesterday and I have been blessed and couldnt wait to share this nugget of gold I found even within the first few pages! ( italics my own)
"When you encounter a storm, don´t take it personally. Some storms might be of our own making - our own bad choices-but plenty occur simply because we are alive on planet Earth.
Storms come to the good and the bad, to the just and the unjust...they come to us all. And storms are not optional, they are part of the curriculum of life. They are not "electives," nor are they necessarily punishment for something we or someone else has done wrong. They are essential elements for our growth.
In 1991, scientists created an artificial enviornment in Oracle, Arizon, called Biosphere 2 and lived inside it for two years. Inside this self-sustaining community, the scientists created a number of mini-ecosystems, including a desert, a rain forest, and even an ocean. They simulated nearly every weather element except wind.
After a while the effects of their windless enviornment became apparent. A number of trees bent over and even snapped. Without the stress of wind to strengthen the wood, the trunks grew weak and could not hold their own weight.
Like it or not, we have to admit that weathering storms builds our strength..."
"There is greatness within you, and it becomes apparent as you go through your storm."
"May I suggest, that the facts are not nearly as important as the truth. To make it through the storms. our lives must be built on TRUTH and not just facts."
"We are changed, transformed, when our minds are renewed, not necessarily when the circumstances change."
".....Finding out that you were unwanted or unnamed at birth could certainly throw you. This is a real sotrm and it happened to Christine. But honestly it didn´t knock Christine off course. Why? Because the facts concerning her birth didn't change the truth of her life.
The facts of her birth: unnamed and unwanted.
The truth: formed by God, wonderfully created, and a loved-beyond measure daughter of the King!"
I was especially blessed by these last quotes and the difference between facts and truth. Often we say...,"You just have to look at the facts - they speak for themselves! Facts are real, but we must not confuse them with TRUTH! I really could relate to this with some of my storms and I hope that it is a blessing to you too. Better yet, buy the book!
Posted by Ally at 4:07 pm
Monday, March 24, 2008
Right now it´s as if God has led me to the eye of a hurricane. It´s calm. Even though all around me the storm continues I am in a calm because I am in God´s eye.
In Deuteronomy 32:10 it says "He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. "
Figuratively the term apple of his eye is something, or more usually someone, cherished above others.
It seems that God has a knack of leading his cherished ones into the desert so that He can show his love for us, prune us and speak tenderly to us.
Darby Bible Translation
Therefore behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak to her heart.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.
"That is why I'm going to win her back. I will lead her into the desert. I will speak tenderly to her.
In this hurricane, in this storm or wilderness if you will... I am in a place of peace, because God is speaking tenderly, comfortably to my heart. It isn´t a place you stumble across or discover on a map and make it your summer vacation destination. No, it is a place that God leads you to in His timing,and in His love, because you are the apple of his eye.
I saw this fun Meme over at my cos Karen and thought it would be a good one!!!
1. WHO WERE YOU NAMED AFTER?
My name is Alison and I was named after the Alison on a show called Payton Place that my Mum loved to watch!!!
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
During a prayer time with my 4 favourite ladies.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
Yes actually I do. I believe that a person´s handwriting reflects alot about them. I don´t know what I think about doctors!!!!
I remember that my handwriting changed so much when I was at school that I feared I would never be able to write anything the same or even do a signature the same twice in a row to obtain a bank account!!!!
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I would say Lamb I think!
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
Yes 3. Two teenage boys and a 9 yr old daughter who thinks that she´s a teenager!!!
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Yes I think so.... I can be quite a lot of fun!!!!
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Nope...but I do enjoy a bit of Irony in jokes or for the sake of emphasis...hahah
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes I don´t like parting with any kind of body piece!!!!
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
I would like to be that brave, but I know that I could never take the jump!!!!!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CEREAL?
Hmm..... Muesli or anything along that line.... I especially like porridge though!
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Yeah of course... couldn´t get them off other wise.....
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Yes I think in some ways I am strong.... I mean I have been through natural childbirth 3 times and have had several root canals.... that must make for something! I have learnt 2 foreign languages and have lived in different countries.... that makes me a little bit strong I guess!
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM?
Now this is easy.... I just LOVE a good vanilla icecream! Yes I know you scream with horror especially with all the available flavours under the sun...but hey..it´s the truth!
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their people skills.
15. RED OR PINK?
neither... give me brown or black any day!
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVOURITE THING ABOUT YOU?
I often see the glass half empty.....and I can be quick to imagine the worst!!!
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
This obviously requires the person to not bet around. so I would say my Dad. I really miss him and I miss my mum and brother because they live in Guernsey! I miss my cats too.
This is laila
18. WHAT COLOUR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I am wearing black jeans and slippers!
19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Classical guitar CD
21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU BE?
22. FAVOURITE SMELLS
Vanilla, the sea, the ground after the rain!
23. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
24. FAVOURITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
I like ice skating and gymnastics, but I love a good team sport...footballl, basketball, pretty much all those kinds of things
25. HAIR COLOUR?
brown...but usually ends up going redish!
26. EYE COLOUR?
(what brown again..??? man this is getting repetative)
27. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No. And it´s a good job too because I just can´t stick anything in my eye for love nor money!
28. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS
29. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
The other Boleyn Girl. Loved it... man that Henry VIII was an interesting and fickle character.
30. WHAT COLOUR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
31. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Summer (but I'm more of a Spring/Autumn kind of girl)
32. HUGS OR KISSES?
Actually I have renamed my hugs... squeezes.... I am a big fan of giving a good squeeze and sing Squeeze as I do so!!!
33. FAVOURITE DESSERT?
Hey I am not fussy.... I am pretty much a gonner to most deserts!
34. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
The Five love languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman
Overcoming Life´s Disappointments by Harold s. Kushner
When it pours He Reigns by Holly Wagner
35. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Lufhansa Cargo advertising!
36. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? the news and a travel programme ( boy do I sound like a real hip perosn!)
37. FAVOURITE SOUND?
The Sea lapping on the shore, the whistle my honey makes when he walks through the door!,A kettle boiling ready to make tea and the phone ringing when my favourite friends call..
38. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?
Oh definitely the Beatles. I grew up on this music and played it with my bro and dad in our own band.....great memories!
39. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
40. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
Making people laugh
41. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Guernsey Channel Islands.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
This hotel, in the heart of Germany, was the setting of a couples retreat that took the risk (!!!!) to invite my honey and I to lead the worship in February from 22nd-24th! Why was it a risk? Because we hadn´t lead worship in German since we left 17 years ago and it was a major challenge for us to get back into the German songs etc. God as always came shinning through our weakness and it was a time of real blessing.We reconnected with a part of us that had been "dormant" all these years and also rekindled some very dear and precious relationships.
We were so happy that time allowed us the privilege to drive past the apartment we lived in 20 years ago during our 3 year stay in Germany! Our one bedroom apartment was right underneath the roof the two windows on the left in this house, which accommodated 4 other apartments and both a pharmacy and a bakery! Very practical right!!!
March 1st National Day of Prayer in Madrid Centre and we were there... It was a powerful time.
Me and my dear friend with our dark sunglasses and prayerful hearts!!!
Paella Picnic in our back garden on Sat15th with Karen´s family (you have been praying for her mum who recently passed away) and my sister´s family... It was such a lovely day!
This is the Paella Dish that my wonderful hubby prepared on Thursday 20th for our Bernabé Team Meeting (a retreat we help organize for Pastors and S. American Missionaries working in Spain) together will all our kids.... 20 in total!
This is us after enjoying the Paella and fellowship in our back garden....(the kids had vanished!!!!)
Well just a little taste of some things we have been up to!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
In the midst of my failures, my sin, & the failures of others, I can only come back to the truth that God is good all the time.
Life sucks... it sometimes stinks and stings, but I can see God´s hand because these very things have forced me to focus on Him. To reach out for Him as focusing on anything else leads to despair and desperation.
I have reached places in my soul, in my life and experience which I have so feared to reach yet here I am. I can do nothing but just drop everything and reach out to HIM.
In this place of death to self I become free. I am bound to only be concerned with what God thinks, His expectations and for His will to be done in me and those I love.
If only I had reached my end before now. I would surely have discovered this sweet place sooner! "He leads me beside the quiet waters....He restores my soul..."Yes, indeed, the road that lead me here was painful, but I have re-discovered a priceless treasure , I have re-discovered God.
I have embraced afresh my first love, that I had lost somewhere in trying to reach my plans and dreams. In this place of surrender I have seen God plant seeds of hope. How can this be? It makes no sense and has no logic. How can pain lead me here?
Because I have found delight in God alone. How simple...how sweet. To once again hand over the keys of my heart and give up controlling my world. I am
singing with the hymnist:
I surrender all
I surrender all
All to thee my blessed saviour
I surrender all.
Check out video above.
Monday, March 03, 2008
I just wanted to let all of you who have been praying for Karen´s mum, that she sadly passed away today at 3:00pm (15:00) in a hospital in Madrid.
The last few weeks have been very tiring for Karen with her mum being in and out of hospital and all that that entails both physically and emotionally. Karen and her sisters/family will continue to need your prayers as they walk through the mourning process.
Sadly, Karen lost her Father barely two years ago, so these have been very intensive months/years culminating in her mother´s passing. I´m sure she would greatly appreciate your prayers and comments of comfort and support.
Thanks so much to all of you.