This is my story, this is my song…


notepad, felt-tips and glasses with hand-written words – This is my story

Do you know this song?

This is my story,

This is my song,

Praising my Saviour, all the day long…

There is one big story – the story of the God who created the world and all that is in it and saw that it was good.

The God who so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.

The creation story and the redemption story is the story of the Bible – It is the Gospel.

Likewise we each have a story, the story of our creation, our response to it, and our redemption.

This is my story. This is my testimony – what I have seen, heard, experienced and witnessed.

My story is my truth and my witness of praise to my Saviour.

It always strikes me how St Paul loved to tell his story over and over.

He spoke only about how he was the greatest of sinners, but God…

He spoke of his journey on the road to Damascus and how Jesus spake, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’

This was his story, his testimony. It was therefore his way of presenting the gospel.

Read and ponder how St Paul tells the Gospel through his story.

(You will find it in Acts 9 and again in Acts 22.)

Ask Jesus what the nuggets of your story are? What He wants you to share?

Which parts most give glory to Him, the Saviour? Ask Him,

What is my story, my testimony, my song of praise to my Saviour and God?

Then share this for His glory.

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is: STORY.

Actually, I do read through my script afterwards to correct my mistakes, underlined in red; to check scripture references and to find an appropriate image to illustrate the topic. .

Stop Staring at Your Pigs (They’re Dead)

As if the title weren’t enough to spend a minute or two reading, the whole piece is powerful and punches right to the heart.

View from the Valley

Days 13 & 14

Matthew 8:28-34

Sometimes, when Jesus comes to you with the hope of His kingdom, He comes unexpectedly, without announcement, and He starts in on the things that terrify you most. Like maybe you have a horrible situation on the edge of your life, something you have shoved away and refused to think about, much as the people of the town whose crazy men were so violent no one could come near them. Oh well, you think, if I put the problem far away and just don’t deal with it, I can go about my life. I can make do.

Only Jesus has this way of jumping right into the middle of the things that you most want to hide. Here He comes, seeking you out, ready to talk with you, and right away He sees the worst. Those crazy men jump out to scare him off…

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I choose LIFE.

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is: CHOOSE.

Actually, I do read through my script afterwards to correct my mistakes, underlined in red; to check scripture references and to find an appropriate image to illustrate the topic.

journal with caption saying ‘Today I will choose life’

Deuteronomy 30:19

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

Choose life. This is the call of my heart. It is a daily choice, a daily plea – to choose life.

What does it mean to you?

Choosing to awaken and breathe.

Choosing to stand and to walk.

Choosing to see, listen, smell and taste.

Choosing to touch and hold.

Choosing to speak and create.

Choosing to dream and hope.

Choosing to trust and to risk.

Choosing to give and receive.

Choosing to open the heart.

Choosing to love…

Choosing to embrace life!

It is a daily choice. Tonight I chose, against my lethargy to go out and go to an AA meeting – to give and receive. In AA we say we are to choose ‘to do the next right thing’. It helps; it heals, but only I can make that choice. It is my privilege.

It is the highest and most exciting privilege.

The devil seeks to destroy, kill and steal our life, steal our spirit, our hope, joy, motivation, energy and faith.

Jesus came to restore our spirit, hope and heart and give us life to the full; abundant, bouncing, thriving life.

Heaven and earth witness the choice you make – curse or blessing, death or life.

Which will you choose this morning, and this afternoon, and this evening?

He is a gentleman – He stands at the door and knocks.

Will you invite Him in?

Will you choose life? Glorious, abundant life?

Reaching 8 years! Out-reach.


I thought I would write something about the outreach/ missionary work being done in Romania. I spent a week out in Romania last week, visiting a friend who is working in Metro Ministries in a beautiful town of Sighisoara.

I spent a wonderful week in Vienna first, with my son, who is doing a doctorate out there, and then I took a long night train (13 hours) across Hungary to Sighisoara.

Me and Josh wandering Vienna…
one view of pretty Sighisoara

It was all such a privilege and adventure and I knew I was so blessed.

I felt like I had been away for two months, rather than two weeks, as the experiences were so rich!

The outreach in Sighisoara, within a very poor community, was very special indeed. The staff and team do such an amazing job with the families.

I was mainly taking part just in accompanying the beautiful little children to and from the Kindergarten in the Rhema centre. One day I had the pleasure of joining them in the Kindergarten too.

I loved the people and the country very much!

But today I realise that it is a week after my birthday. It is the 9th of March, and that means that it is another milestone reached for me. On the 9th March 2015, I had my last alcoholic drink.

I did not know if I would ever reach a whole month of sobriety and a year felt out of my reach completely.

It really was one-day-at-a-time!

It is for every addict.

But I reached the month goal. I reached 6 months and was rewarded with a little ‘chip’ medal.

Nine months was turbulent, but I reached a whole year, then 2 and now I have reached 8 years of sobriety.

It is due to the gift and the grace of God. It is thanks to the Power of Jesus. It is also thanks to the fellowship of AA, whose stories, acceptance, honesty, love and humility have taught me so many truths and taught me to see denial when it sought to confuse me.

I praise and thank God, AA, and my friends and family for loving me in my weakness and loving me into healing.

I thank them all for helping me to reach what I could never have attained by myself.


An additional point to notice here is that the work of AA is also an extremely effective outreach work for the Kingdom of God!

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is REACH.

Actually, I do read through my script afterwards to correct my mistakes, underlined in red; to check scripture references and to find an appropriate image to illustrate the topic.

What an ass!


Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is: ASSUME


My first thoughts on seeing this word is a little saying that has oft kept me in check.

When I assume, I make an ass out of you and me’.


And this is a good warning.

Assumptions are dangerous, but, like judgments, we seem to make them constantly!

We see or hear something and we think we understand, so draw conclusions and expectations which can highly influence and prejudice our responses.

It is hard sometimes to get a balance between trusting/believing the source, making judgments based on experience and common-sense, and holding lightly the ideas and allowing the spirit to discern.

It is a skill I am trying to learn.

I am slowly learning to not lean on my own understanding, but listen for Holy Spirit counsel.

It reminds me of the story of Balaam and the ass. The ass we assume does not speak, nor do we assume that a donkey would see an angel of the Lord. But God manages to speak to Balaam through the donkey/ass. Balaam however does not seem to shocked that the ass saw the angel, or that it spoke back to Balaam, but explains to his donkey that he beat him because he felt the donkey had made a fool of him.

When we assume, we usually do a good job of making a fool of ourselves!


Sometimes I am stubborn and behave like an ass; sometimes I am nowhere near as smart as an ass!

Numbers 22:27 – 31

When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

No,” he said.

Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

image of an ass/donkey’s head with open mouth.

Oh that we would hear and obey the voice of the Lord and never rely on our own understanding.

There’s a proverb for that somewhere?

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

“I have many people in this city.”

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes.

The prompt this week is: MANY


What came to my heart was the phrase “I have many people in this city”.

I knew it was an encouragement from the Lord to someone who was afraid. Actually I thought it was one of the old-testament prophets like Elijah, who was blowing hot and cold (as we do) with each discouragement and encouragement. I thought that this prophet believed that he was the only man of God left. That he felt isolated and abandoned.

This can be a terrifying feeling and belief.

But my thoughts then led me to the many believers alive in our world today who feel isolated – those that I read about in the Open Doors prayer and information newsletters – especially those in North Korea and Afghanistan, where they have to remain so hidden that any fellowship has to be in utmost secret.

I wondered how encouraged they would also be to know that the Lord has ‘many people’ in their city, praying with them, suffering with them, hoping with them? I also can imagine how encouraged they would be to know that the rest of the world know of them and are praying for them and speaking out for them.

My heart goes out to these isolated believers who live in such fear and hardship and who do not get to share the joy of freedom of worship.

I am always reminded by their stories to not take my own freedom of religion for granted.

I want to make the most of opportunities ‘whilst it is still day’. There may come a day when I do not have such freedom to pray where I wish (as is now happening in the UK), gather to worship in a public building, or write what I wish on my own blog site.

I acknowledge my blessings of freedom and fellowship.

You fellow Christian writers are a blessing. I hope we are a blessing and an encouragement to one another and if the day should come when we are afraid to speak out, I pray that we will be encouraged to know that the Lord has many followers who will support and pray for one another and encourage one another to speak the truth will boldness.


Anyhow, the verse that first was in my head comes from the New Testament.

It was the Lord speaking to Paul in a dream, when he was perhaps discouraged by the opposition he was facing in Corinth.

This is the Scripture:

Acts 18: 9-11

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

I might have to paint that onto my wall!

Birds-eye view of many people gathering in a park and making the corporate shape of a cross.

I decided to also ask Google if the prophet Elijah had felt isolated and he had, so I’ll include this here too. Two for the price of one today!

1 Kings 19:14

He replied, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

Access Denied

FMF: Access

I realise that I’m coming a bit late to this week’s FMF party, but I’ve been too busy to come online and write!

But all is well.

Access. Go – 12:15

The thought that came to me was like a horror film and like much of this modern world’s technological challenges – where one needs access to something important and the words, ‘Access denied’, ‘password Invalid’, ‘username not recognised’, ‘unable to proceed’, ‘incorrect login’ keep popping up and do indeed deny access to that thing one needs to do.

Banking, utility bills, booking tickets, using websites, accessing one’s own accounts or wanting to book tickets, order things or check details.

For a long time I have resisted ‘going paperless’, until now I am no longer given an option to choose. I like to have a piece of paper and file it in a place I can access it later. I like to pick up the telephone and speak to a human being to access the information I require and to book tickets and have questions and queries resolved.

I also have resisted getting a smart-phone for all these years, because I do not want anyone and everyone to have access to me and my whereabouts all the time. I also don’t want to have constant access to emails, messages and information 24/7. But, for the first time, I am almost wishing I could borrow a smart-phone, because a trip I’m planning is becoming nearly unmanageable without one. Having to access live information, check-in online and show QR codes to access gates, portals, tickets and everything else…

For me it is a little like a horror film, where I am being denied access to my own information.

Oops, 5 mins up now.

I am so grateful that to access my Lord and God, I can be direct and transparent. The only password I need to the throne-room of God, is the name of Jesus. My password to my Father and to eternity is the blood – the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Blessed be God who has done everything for us to make access to Him as easy for us as the air we breathe. I’m reminded of a dream I had a few years ago, where God showed me that He welcomes me coming into His throne-room and He delights to listen and spend time with me.

This was my poor attempt to illustrate the dream I had of fearing to go to my Lord and Him welcoming me.

Your Heavenly Father delights to have time and fellowship with you and your transparent heart too. Go just as you are!

Jan 2023 Thanksgiving

Jan 2023 Thanksgiving

I thank the Lord for 2023, for His continued love and mercy and for His faithfulness.

I pray for you, my readers and friends – that the Lord may assist you in praying and in rejoicing as you witness the power of God in your lives.

For prayers answered in January 2023, I thank my Lord God:

For the invitation and party down in London and for the rest, walk and company.

For the courage and protection driving in unknown places at 2:30am.

For all we accomplished on the house.

For J’s safe flight back to Vienna.

For S’s safe drive back to Switzerland.

For a glorious Epiphany rest day with swim, sauna and friendship.

For a precious, healing confidence from J.

For precious afternoon with C and for meal treat together.

That S’s lost phone and wallet were both handed in and retrieved.

For preparing me well for the next EH weekend.

For a powerful first weekend of 202, for a lovely new group

For healing another bitter root in me.

For inspiring me to minister with another.

For S’s great progress and perseverance this month.

That the grandchildren are growing fabulously in literacy and in wisdom and grace.

That the long-awaited windows are installed and for inspiring me to paint the stonework.

For 3 car-loads of boxes now moved to their new home.

For an encouraging farewell to out-going leaders and a powerful commissioning of new pastors in the merging church community.

For motivation to keep doing the next right thing, even when I don’t feel like it at all.

For inspiration to travel before passport expires.

For inspiration and guidance in the booking of flights.

For peace of knowing that in all things, I can trust You!

Amusing views and memories on an early January walk along a canal in London…

There’s a funny story attached to the memory evoked by the ‘legs’ flailing out of the vegetation. Maybe my sister would tell a better version of the story, as in the memory, they were my legs she was laughing hysterically at!

This verse blessed me this morning, so I bless you with this prayer too:

May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being – spirit, soul and body – free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you will do it, because He is FAITHFUL.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Is ignorance bliss?

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is IGNORE.

I am inspired by Kate Motaung’s post on the perceived awkwardness that can cause us to ignore ‘strangers’ and so I want to share my own subsequent reflections.

I remembered how today I was walking back from the swimming pool, hood up to keep my wet head as warm as possible, and saw, at a bus stop, a young woman holding a very new baby against her shoulder whilst frantically going about something urgent in the pram. I could see there was only 2 minutes till the bus was due, so stopped to offer help. She refused help at first, but then confessed to being freaked out at having seen a ‘massive spider’ in the pram and was trying to find it. I searched the pram for her, assured her it was gone and put back the mattress and blankets so she could replace the baby in peace.

Kate’s post caused me to think how easily I now make those decisions to show compassion with strangers – especially if there seems to be a need, a child, or a slight vulnerability in the other – this seems to give me the sense of courage of responsibility to make the first move and be neighbourly.

I wonder if it is because we heard so many warnings about ‘stranger danger’ when growing up?

Thinking back, there was a time when I was so wounded and insecure that I would ignore the phone ringing, even when I could see friends calling, and would often hide away so that I could ignore the world. I had the sense that ignorance is bliss.

I am so grateful for the healing of God through community. Now I see strangers as friends I haven’t yet met.

image of two strangers being neighbourly.

Doesn’t scripture say something about when entertaining strangers we may be entertaining angels?

It is true that we are wounded in relationship and it is through relationship and the growth of trust that we are gradually healed.

Beware: May contain nuts!

Before I set the timer on today’s prompt word, I am going to tell you a little something about myself – a sort of confession perhaps, but one which has amused me about my processing.

I am often amused and bemused about the differing and convoluted ways that my mind organises itself!

Today, I did something rather unusual. I decided last night that it would make sense to use the scaffolding to paint the stonework around the upstairs windows, which looked like they had not been painted since the original Victorian windows were installed!

It is a job I had never done before, but I used my brain and some advice from a B&Q shop-assistant and bought some suitable masonry paint, a good brush and some sand-paper…

This morning, in a dull, cold January, I climbed the scaffolding in my extra-layered overalls, and began to scrape away the moss and lichen, sand, wash, and then paint the arches and sills of the three big windows.

Four hours later, frozen to the bone, I cleaned the brush and work-station and came home to warm up.

I decided I then needed to do another rare thing – to immerse my cold aching body in a hot bath. I could probably count only a dozen baths I have taken in ten years, but in case you think my confession is that I don’t wash, let me reassure you that I usually take showers.

(This is due to speed, as I think I my three speed-settings are ‘day-dream’, ‘Dawn-speed’, and ‘hurried’).

As it is Friday, I thought I would first open the laptop to see what today’s FMF prompt word is and then go and cogitate in the bath. I took a candle and a book and began to think…

I didn’t read the book, but I think I could have written several chapters of a book about ‘FAKE’. I began with ‘fake it till you make it’, explored the trust aspect of the shepherd boy David when he faced Goliath and compared him with Gideon. I decided that the key was WHO we trust, but the thoughts span around my mind, coming and going like a rainbow, and, because writing and water do not go well together, I came out again two hours later with even less of an idea than before.

What I did come away with, was the title!

And I think I want to talk about the fake-self and trust.

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is FAKE.


What my mind believes and what my heart believes, are not the same thing.

My mind believes the word of God. And I believe in the almighty power of God. As a Christian, I also believe that I am a ‘new creation’; that the ‘old is gone and the new has come’. I believe I am forgiven, healed, cherished and set-apart. I believe I have ‘a purpose and a hope and a future’.

But hidden in my heart is a different identity made of a great many lies. The little me that was wounded believes she is slow, stupid, rubbish. She believes that there is something wrong with her and it is her fault. It must be her fault, because God does not make mistakes. Little me believed the lies that she was told by those on whom she had to depend. She also made up some lies to make sense of the pain she was experiencing.

When I go to church and to work, people want to see me being strong in faith and successful and believing the word of God, which I do; but if inside I am falling apart and feeling devastated, does the Lord want me to present a fake image of myself with a totally-sorted identity?

I don’t think so.

Jesus says that he is the way, the truth and the life. He says that the truth shall set us free. Jesus wants me to be free of the lies that my little heart believed all those years ago.

He wants me to confess and bring those pains and lies to the cross, where His healing is.

He wants to break and reverse those lies, those fake identities one-by-one-by-one until I am free.

He wants me to partner with Him in being honest about my heart and allowing Him to transform the lies into the truth of who He made me to be.

He wants me to be rid of the fake identity in my heart and rid of my fake identity in the market place.

Jesus is on this journey with me – with Him and with some loving Christian friends and sound teaching, Jesus is setting me free to be the person He created me to be. It is not about who I am and what I can do, it is about Him. My belief and faith and trust are in Him, not me.

He has the power to demolish the fake and transform with his glorious truth.

End (Sorry, but even that took 10 minutes and I see lots of red wiggly lines!)

image of heart torn and damaged, but sewn and sticky-plastered in own strength


If there is a lie that your heart believes about yourself, ask Jesus when and where the first wound was that tempted little you to believe that about yourself. Confess it and share it with a trusted Christian friend or Christian counselor. Come out of agreement with that lie and ask Jesus what the truth is. Repeat his truth over and over. Take captive that old lie every time it speaks out and remind your heart of the truth.

PS: I’m very happy that I painted the stonework. I have learned some new skills. I’m quite sure I would have forever regretted missing the opportunity had I ignored the thought!