More and more over recent days, I have been becoming convinced that I should stop blogging.

My little one, Rhiannon is almost crawling now and is most certainly mobile as she ‘rolls’ around the room and can pick up the tiniest of objects and therefore blogging is not top of my priority list – keeping her alive is!!
I have really enjoyed blogging over the past year, and making many friends among you! I will still enjoy reading all of your blogs whenever the littles are asleep! It might be something for the future, but for now I must say goodbye to it.

In the words of Lydia Brownback over at Purple Cellar, who has made a similar decision-

Are we living as Paul instructed, redeeming our time for kingdom purposes? Are we doing the best we can for God in work and recreation, in the morning and evening, on weekdays and weekends? It’s so easy to fall into patterns of second best or, perhaps more accurately stated, patterns of mediocrity. Sometimes even doing what’s good isn’t really all that good, because there is a greater good we could be doing instead. We need spiritual discernment to recognize where we are spending our time on the second best or the merely good.

With love and best wishes to all blogging friends:0)
In His Name,

Naomi

 

I always remember an old friend of ours telling us that when you have children (normally more than one child) there are three states of tiredness which you will experience most if not all of the time; tired, very tired and exhausted.

Another relative and mother of 6 tells of how she spent 15 or more years of her life being just plain tired. The tiredness is physical at times and often there is weariness of mind and emotion; that which comes after much discipline. Sometimes the discipline is followed by even more disobedience of the same kind on the child’s part right after you have ‘been through it all’ with them!
Refreshment of mind and spirit can be found upon your knees in prayer, and this is, as I am still learning, one of the most important ways of counteracting the inevitable stress which comes with ‘bringing our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord’.
For a woman in particular, however, who is home alone with her children during the day all day long, I have realized that sometimes when I experience a break, away from the house perhaps with a friend or some valueble time on my own , I am so much more ready and able after this to face the battle and strengthen my reserve in the high calling which is motherhood.
A Pastor and friend recently voiced from the pulpit the often used quote that “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”, and oh how true it is – so how much more does this busy hand need a rest once in a while….

 I would go as far as to suggest that it is imperative that a Mother and wife and homemaker (to name but a few of her God-given responsibilites) takes a ‘breather’ and goes away to recharge batteries, even if it’s only for a few hours. A cup of coffee. A walk. An hour with a friend or perhaps some extra time alone in the quiet while dear husband puts the kids to bed. A long bath-soak! I know I appreciate it when Tim realises I’m all tethered out! 

Husbands who go out into the workplace every day are often so glad to get home!  Sometimes the wife feels the exact opposite – and it’s not that she is being unthankful – but perhaps a breath of fresh air causes her to have just that extra bit of appreciation for where God has placed her as His servant, in the home as a ‘joyful Mother of children’ (He settles the barren woman in her home as a Joyful Mother of children. Psalm 113:9)

 

And husbands – after a few hours you will reap the benefits of a fresh-faced, smiling wife and maybe a five-course meal the following evening! :0)

….is on Friday night as a means of outreach/what we are about.

More information can be found at our Pastor’s blog and also Magherafelt Reformed Baptist Church website.

Would love to see you there,

Naomi and Tim

Scripture teaches us to view the relationship between our present sufferings and our future glory as analogous to childbirth (e.g Rom.8:22-23). If an expectant mother thinks of nothing but the pending pains of labour, she will lose heart and be overtaken with dread and apprehension. But which expectant mother forgets the wonderful prospect of having a baby? To the contrary, she is filled with hope and expectancy! Which mother would say after the birth that the (transitory through real) pain of labour outweighs the (lasting and momentous) joy of now having a baby? Or, that she would now rather not have experienced the pain in order to have become a mother? Undoubtedly childbirth is full of pain; but in comparison to the joy of motherhood, it’s agony seems now to be of little consequence.

Our Lord endured the unspeakable agonies and shame of the cross by fixing His eyes on “the joy that was set before Him” (Heb:12 :2).
 

*We know that the natural trend of our feelings is to be grieved and saddened by any kind of temptation. Nor can any of us entirely escape the instinct to break down and cry, when trouble comes; but this does not prevent God’s children from rising above fleshly pains, under the guidance of the Spirit. By this means, they may continue to rejoice, even in the midst of sorrow.

* John Calvin, Clavin’s New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989 vol.3, p.262.)

I cannot share the details of the source of this quote, but what a wonderful description of God’s electing love for us.

The Lord knew you thoroughly when He first set His love upon you. Be sure to try to grasp hold of this! The Strength of Israel will never discover something ‘new’ about you which will then cause or incline Him to withdraw His lovingkindness and abandon you. How unlike the behaviour of men and women! Sometimes we learn a previously unknown detail about a friend which consequently diminished our estimation of them; our affection towards them is tarnished by the unearthing of this new fact; the bond of friendship is marred. However, the everlasting God already knew the worst about us before choosing to set His love upon us in eternity past. This is what A.W Pink wrote of this amazing truth: ‘The whole of my life stood open to His view from the beginning. He foresaw my every fall, my every sin, my every backsliding; yet He fixed His heart upon me. Oh, how the realization of this should bow me in wonder and worship before Him! The gospel of God comes to us in full view of ugliness of our sin. It was ‘while we were still sinners’ that Christ died for us.
Spend time rehearsing in your mind and heart the truth that God sees, with perfect clarity of sight and understanding, all that He is doing un this fallen and sin-ravaged world. He knows the end from the beginning. Every event in life is the unfolding of His grand scheme of redemption. Speaking of the difficulty which we have in understanding the tumultuous circumstances and events of our small lives, John Owen* perceptively observed: ‘We are like unskilful men, who going to the house of some curious artist, so long as he is about his work, despise it as confused; but when it is finished, admire it as excellent: – whilst the passages of providence are on us, all is confusion: but when he fabric is reared, glorious. And so, when the fabric is reared of the great tapestry-work which God is weaving and sowing in history – about which He knows fully, but most of which is at present hidden away from our dull eyes – how we shall rejoice and exult in our Lord! At that time, all will be made new which at present is crooked; all will be made clear which at present is obscured; and all which we trust now by faith we will see then by sight.

* The works of John Owen
(Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1991), vol.8, p.18

O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.

O light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

Words: George Ma­the­son

I discovered this wonderful singer Amy Seely on Anna Carson photography. The type of calming voice that just makes you stop and think awhile! Perfect for browsing her wonderful photos!

Jamie Oliver’s Sweet Tomato Pasta and Lemon Roasted Chicken

Lemon Roasted Chicken

* 1 lemon

* 1 clove garlic

* 1 pinch mixed dried herbs

* 35 ml Olive oil

* salt and ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 deg C . Prepare the marinade by blitzing the lemon zest and juice, garlic, herbs and oil in a blender. Add a small pinch of salt and pepper.  Pour the marinade over the chicken legs, rubbing it in. Cover and leave in the fridge for 2 hours. Transfer to shallow tray and spoon marinade over. Cook for 45 mins-1 hour. Serve with the tomato pasta. (I normally don’t blother blitzing anything, and just put the lemon juice and zest and everything else all over the chicken and cook in the oven as normal) BTW this smells delicious when it’s cooking!

Ooops, I forgot to mention you should use chicken legs for this recipe!

Sweet tomato pasta

 

 

* I onion

* 2 garlic cloves

* 100gm oil

* 1 teaspoon oregano

* 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

* 800 g good quality tinned tomatoes ( I personally think tinned tomatoes should be good quality)

 

Fry the onion and garlic in olive oil, add oregano and chilli. Cook for 4 minutes then add tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the balsamic vinegar and stir. Meanwhile cook the pasta for 8-10 mins (penne variety is nice with this). Drain, toss with the tomato sauce mixture, season and sprinkle with grated cheese or parmesan if you like it! Yum!
I make the pasta on it’s own sometimes just for lunch on a Saturday. It’s always all gone afterwards.

N

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