Chapter and Verse

FMF: Chapter

When I saw this week’s prompt, the only thing that came to me was ‘giving me chapter and verse’ on a subject. I’ve been extremely busy this last week, so have just come to it again, wondering what that expression means to me.

I have used the expression when referring to my sons, for example, who are both very knowledgeable, so when one asks them a question, on a subject on which they know something, they will always give me a ‘chapter and verse’ of the whole subject, rather than a simplified answer that my brain can comprehend.

I decided to look it up to see if I used the expression correctly and where it originated, which then led me to learning about how the chapters and verses in the bible first came about.

I had never really thought much about it, except I was always aware that the epistles in the NT would have been written as we would write a letter and would not originally have been divided up into chapter and verse.

I then thought about how difficult it would have been to study and discuss the Bible with others, without the aid of chapters and verses. To be honest, I’m not very good at actually remembering scripture references, in terms of chapter and verse, and may remember just that it is ‘somewhere in the psalms’, or ‘somewhere in the book of the Kings’.

That doesn’t make it very easy to share and discuss.

As it turns out, this was why the first chap divided the New Testament up into chapters – in order to help scholars study the texts. This was then accepted fairly uniformly, but it was another 300 years before another chap further divided the chapters up into verses, in the way that we know it today.


I’ll now look up the facts again and add them so as not to disappoint those of you who would like me to have told this story in chapter and verse and not in the vagaries that 5 mins allowed!

So, the first clever chap, Stephen Langton, was an English cleric in the early 13th Century. He was teaching in Paris when he laboured to put the Bible into chapters as we know them today. Apparently he wasn’t the first guy to do this, but it was his way that was adopted. Langton became Archbishop of Canterbury from 1207 – 1228. I found it interesting to think that these chapters, which Wycliffe also used in his English translation of the Bible in 1382, would have not been read by ordinary people for a long time, as Wycliffe was declared a heretic and his Bibles banned and burned – but that is another story.

Anyway, it was 300 years later when Robert Estienne, a French scholar- printer, a layman, further divided the New Testament chapters into the verses that we know today. These were first printed in in 1551.

wonderful image of an ancient scroll showing Isaiah

I hope you enjoyed this little history lesson.

Have you thought about it before?

It would have been difficult to discuss the scriptures in the way we do today.

I think it is also good, from time-to-time, to see the books in their entirety and read them as such, to get the whole picture in the way that they were written and intended – for example to read the whole of a letter, like the letter to the Ephesians, and imagine the people of Ephesus receiving it and reading it to the believers congregating there.

I am so grateful for the work of Langton, Wycliffe, Tyndale, Estienne and all the other great scholars who have made it so easy for us to read the scriptures today.

May I never take them for granted.

I think of those who do not have the scriptures in their own language, and those who have no access to scriptures because of persecution or other causes. I ask God to speak His truth into His people by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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 Chapter.

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

To read other FMF posts on this subject click link below.

Thanksgiving for April

Thanksgiving for April:

I will wake the dawn with my song.

I will thank You, LORD, among all the people;

I will sing Your praises among the nations;

For Your unfailing love is as high as the heavens,

Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Psalm 57:9

I want to thank the Lord for His faithfulness and blessings throughout April – in answer to my prayers of the heart.

I thank Him specifically and publicly that:

That S was able to get in touch with their feelings and to hear Your voice and could allow a prayer ministry session and allow You to put the axe to some bitter roots.

For blessing R with a good temporary home for self and family.

That I could catch-up and write some good-read reviews.

For the treat of a wonderful evening at the concert hall to appreciate the talent of Dvorak and Sibellius cello concertos.

That I could hear Your voice and receive Your grace and privilege to do things differently and to be a blessing to C, C and E.

That C got to see good doctors and had swift appointments to check things out.

That You healed C and they are in Your hands.

That you gave me 2 good Ablaze lessons and for those wonderful children!

That the young people had the courage to perform on Easter Sunday.

That M has recovered and is back to himself.

That R was able to talk and express some hope and gratitude and that I could empathise with and minister to the wounded, unhealed, inner-child of R.

For opportunities to bless K and that K is able to bless others in family and community.

For a wonderful Easter Tridiuum and shared times with S. at SA and SH.

For Your help, wisdom and grace to host, feed and fellowship joyfully with 10 family people and have a wonderful Easter Sunday.

That S has also been properly seen by the GP and is on a path to recovery.

That my March EH homework was completed and submitted on time.

That the EH school weekend was pure gold yet again and for all you did for I, J and all of us.

For all that You taught me about depression and how to love those in depression.

For the parent-blessing from P & J and the marriage prayer from PP.

For a couple of spontaneous meet-ups with C and other friends.

That I could go to the crematorium spontaneously to remember my mum on her birthday.

That J and S making great progress on my room prior to plastering.

For Your ongoing inspiration and guidance in my everyday life.

For the wonderful evening with C at Billy Ocean concert and the opportunity for fun and deep fellowship and healing connection.

For a blessed morning in pre-school.

For a healthy, blessed, long chat and connection with D.

For all the beauty of Spring and for spaces to savour the fragrances and freshness of creation.

spring garden flowers – white and blue forget-me-nots and blue-bells

Lord, I thank You that You never leave me or forsake me and that I can always trust You, because You are always faithful in love and in mercy, and because You give wisdom to all those who ask You. Thank You for the Holy Spirit – our Comforter and guide throughout our journey.

Deliberately good or not?



This is a weighty word to me – one of opposite extremes.

Firstly the word came at me as one of judgment, fear and accusation – an adjective or adverb describing one’s motivation in a negative way! /a mall-intent:

‘That was a deliberate lie!’

‘You did that deliberately!’

But then I saw it as a positive verb – to deliberate – to consider long over a thought, concept or action, to weigh it up and search for truth and integrity and then to deliberately DO that something consciously, positively and intentionally good.

So my conclusion is that the word does mean to consciously and intentionally ponder, consider and then purposefully to act, or not, on the outcome of the deliberation.

Deliberation results in a determination to achieve something, on purpose.

The deciding factor is the motivation behind the one deliberating.

If my intention is to bless, and my motivation is to love and obey God, then my deliberations and my deliberate action will reap positivity and blessing.

But if my motivation is selfish, and my intent defiled by resentment, pride or unforgiveness, then the result of my deliberations will not cause blessing to others, or to myself, and, because my heart is not clean, my deliberate act will reap pain rather than blessing.

The motivation of my heart is crucial.

Jesus endured the cross because of His determination. He went to the cross willingly, deliberately, with a purpose and endured for the joy set before Him.

image of a runner determined, deliberately set to win.

I pray that the love of God will be the motivation behind mine and your deliberations, and that our subsequent words and actions bless others.

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 DELIBERATE.

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

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon’


‘Coming soon! Coming soon!’

Does it not often seem that all the best things are coming soon?

Always in the future; tomorrow; not yet – soon.

There can be a danger whiling away our NOW whilst waiting for the the next thing; always being dissatisfied with now and with what we have; despising the familiar and living in the future, for what we don’t yet have…

‘Are we nearly there yet?’

‘How many sleeps until…?’ (one of my grand-daughter’s frequent questions)

But, on the other hand, the promise of the future and of good things to come also gives us hope. There is an excitement when we anticipate a promise and prepare, in our waiting, for the promised thing.

The hope and excitement is an expression of faith and brings purpose and motivation in our labours; it brings courage in trials, and brings joy to our hearts.

I think of ‘Kipper’ who couldn’t decide if he preferred Christmas Eve, with all the excitement, anticipation and purpose, or Christmas Day, when he could feast and open his presents and celebrate the long-awaited day.

He loved them both.

What about you? Do you prefer the anticipation, preparation and excitement of the waiting, or the arrival of the promise itself?

I guess it depends what it is that we wait for.

After His resurrection, Jesus promised His disciples that if they waited in Jerusalem for ‘a few days’, they would receive the promised Holy Spirit – Power from on high – that would enable them to do ‘even greater things’ than they had witnessed Jesus Himself do, because He was going back to the Father. 10 days later, they received that promised Holy Spirit and continued to receive fresh outpourings of the Holy Spirit and Power.

You and I are promised the same Holy Spirit today.

Do we expect to be filled afresh daily with the Holy Spirit and with Power from on high, as He promised?

Most of us, at some point in our walk with Jesus, hear and claim this Scripture as a promise for the answer to our prayers for a bright hope and future in Christ:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jesus has also promised that He will come again – He will return in the same way that He left – in glory and splendour from the heavens.

Do we await that day with anticipation, preparation and excitement?

What difference does it make to how I live today?

What are you looking forward to?


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 SOON.

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

Shameless audacity?

FMF: Persist

Image of story board of Luke 11: 1- 13


I think of the two parables in Luke’s gospel, which I shall find in a minute. The parable of the persistent widow and that of the persistent neighbour.

This is not a call to simply persevere and not give up, but give an example of such fervent persistence that some translations call ‘shameful audacity’!!

The disciples had asked Jesus to teach them to pray and He gave them what we know as the Lord’s prayer, which contains a wholesome balance of worship, praise, petition, repentance and consecration.

But in these two parables He urges the disciples – us – to keep on asking, keep on seeking and keep on knocking, persistently, audaciously, until we receive, find and until the door is opened.

In the parable in Luke 11, the neighbour opened up the door to give the friend what he needed, not because it was a friend or convenient, but because the friend persisted in bothering him.

In the other parable of the widow and the unrighteous judge, here the judge had no conscience to stir him to give justice to this widow, but was moved only to get rid of her, because she would not stop bothering him!

It is amusing to me that Jesus used such characters, as our heavenly Father is nothing like the unjust judge, or the neighbour, closed into bed with his family. His disciples would have been able to imagine the dilemma of characters like these and the need to show hospitality, justice etc, as well as where the boundaries were and what was impolite or audacious.

The chapter begins: Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1).

Jesus ends this parable with a sad note of warning:

And the Lord said,“Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

(Luke 18:6–8)

Jesus adds to the first parable:

how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him’?

So Jesus Himself urges us to persist in prayer, petitions, intercession, thanksgiving, praise and meditating on the Word of God.

He knows that our heavenly Father longs to give us good gifts and desires that we thrive and have an abundance with which to bless others, so He urges us to pray fervently, audaciously, persistently and to keep on.

The risen and glorified Jesus Himself lives to intercede for us in the throne-room of His father and He invites us to enter the throne-room with Him and intercede too.

Image of hand knocking on a blue door with scripture Luke 11:9-10

Don’t give up. And always acknowledge and give thanks for all that He does for you in answer to the prayers of the faithful.

May He find faith on earth when He returns for His church!

May He find be faithful.

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

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.

Here is the link if you would like to join and read other posts: FMF link here

Who are you?

FMF: Have


You do not have because you do not ask God. James 4:3

Who are you?

If we were born into a loving, nurturing family, we naturally build a strong sense of identity, validated and encouraged by our parents, and out of that identity flow our talents, strengths and purpose.

Our destiny is encouraged by and flows out of a solid identity.

It flows from a secure, peaceful heart and a strong foundation.

When this does not happen, when we are not nurtured as children, and our needs are not validated and met, we fail to develop a strong sense of our God-given identity and so we try to please others and take on whatever shape we think that others around us demand or expect of us.

In this deficient scenario, when our sense of identity is weak, our destiny tends to become dependent on what others expect us to have or what they expect us to do.

We become a ‘human-doing’, or a ‘human-having’, instead of a human-being.

We rely on our having and doing to become our status, our esteem, the value by which we measure ourselves.

We measure our importance by how many possessions and latest gadgets we have, or measure by what we do for a living and how hard we work, or how ‘successful’ we are.

We become performance oriented, workaholics, or materialistic seekers of wealth and fortune.

If we did not get a secure foundation as children, we are not lost. There is always abundant hope. Our Father God, who designed us for a purpose, will still work in and through us if we let Him.

Ask Him.

He can and will heal our broken hearts, demolish the lies we have believed about ourselves and will transform our identity and our destiny. He will create in us a new heart – a heart of flesh – and dismantle our heart of stone.

We will learn to measure our value and true success by having a secure heart – a strong identity in who we are in Christ Jesus.

We are children of the living God and we belong to Him.

We are loved, protected, provided for and cherished by our heavenly Father.

When we spend time in the presence of Him who created and designed us, we become who we were created to be and we can nurture the gifts and talents He purposed for us since the beginning of time.

We can truly reach and be fulfilled in our God-given, purpose-made identity.

Who are you?

Who does God say you are?


Praise and thanks to God!!

Thanksgiving for Feb and March 2023

This has been too long since I publicly gave thanks for all the answered prayers and blessings in my life over the last 2 months. As I was away at end of Feb until some way into March, I decided to do two-in-one, yet even now April marches on.

Today, April 13th, would be my Mammy’s earthly birthday, and I begin by giving thanks for her and for honouring who she was. I thank God that He has been showing me the blessings that came through my parents whilst He has been healing me of the wounding I carried.

Before I list His specific answers to prayer, I will share a psalm that He gave me when I questioned whether I should continue with the monthly public thanksgiving blog:

Psalm 33

All you that are righteous shout for joy for what the LORD has done;

praise Him, all you that obey Him.

Give thanks to the LORD with harps, sing to Him with stringed instruments.

Sing a new song to Him.

So I shout for joy and thanks for the following:

That my homework has been submitted on time for Feb and March.

For a successful birthday weekend with the grand-kids.

For the invitation and wonderful evening for Z’s birthday.

That S.’s test rig was a success and the time-sensitive PHD work signed off.

For opportunities to serve and support S throughout these months.

For blessing K and M as a couple.

For giving me the Ablaze lessons .

For directing my steps, opening my ears and giving me to courage to obey You.

For helping me to plan, prepare, pack and travel efficiently and stress-free.

For a very blessed and treasured time with J in Vienna and all the lovely people.

For a safe train-ride from Vienna to Sighisoara.

For the comfort and warm welcome with Metro-Ministries and for a blessed week with S in a beautiful town and country.

For the privilege of being among the children and families and workers in the ministry.

For the opportunity to visit Rupea, Brașov and Peleș.

That salvation has come to 3 families there in the mission village this spring.

That the pallet of furniture and the 2 new interns all arrived safely.

For the privilege of doing prayer ministry with S and S and for the healing from Jesus.

For the lady H I met at the airport.

That I was met and escorted from my arrival in each country.

For 8 years of sobriety!

For refreshing J with friends and visits to Bratislava.

For Feb and March EH weekends – especially the work You are doing among us!

For teaching me again to praise You when I go into battle. For you are my refuge and my hiding place. I renounce all my false refuges!

That K has been able to join our fellowship group.

That R has returned to You and to church.

That M and D have welcomed our group into their home temporarily.

That I could prepare and paint the bay masonry at Burton Road.

That the insulated plasterboard has all been put up.

That the carpet is ordered.

That I was able to sort and donate lots more stuff from the house.

For the NG4 church network service and re-dedication.

That You have many people in this city!

For the dream you gave me.

That S could fix my laptop and nothing was lost.

That You broke the power of all the generational curses operating in my family line and have broken the power of it over the subsequent generations, by the power of the cross of Jesus.

For giving me courage to enter the writing competition, even at the last minute.

Thank You that praise of You brings power, joy, victory and strength to the one praising, and all glory to You, who are worthy of the Kingdom, the power and the glory.

Remember always to give Him thanks, despite the circumstances, for He is with You in battle and in peace and He is always faithful to His word.

(I loved that – just looked at the time on my laptop – 13:13:13 on 13th April 2023. )

Have a break?

have a break, have a kitkat’


I’m a bit late in joining again this week and in case you think I’ve taken a break from the writing

group, I just wanted to make contact with my fellow writers and readers.

I really do appreciate you.

It has been a month already since my last actual break abroad – for my visits to Vienna and Sighisoara. What a wonderful break that was and so beautifully timed to refresh me for the challenging weeks I’ve had since!

In a sense I have had a break from writing, as firstly my laptop broke and was out of action for a few days, and then other challenges took a good deal of time and focus, leaving nothing for writing, reading or other relaxing pastimes.

And yes, I would love a break just now, but I do not resent any one of the interruptions in any way.

I have simply been too busy doing more extra-ordinary, unplanned activities.

Someone once advised for us to ‘expect the unexpected’. I think as Christians, we are to be open and flexible enough to allow God to interrupt our carefully planned schedules, in order to follow the flow of the Holy Spirit. When things don’t go quite as planned (as during the last couple of weeks), I like to check my attitude, thank God that He is still in charge and to entrust the outcome to Him.

Ultimately, I don’t want to have lived my life ‘my way’; I want to have lived as a follower of Jesus.

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

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.

As Easter is upon us now in the full liturgy of Holy Week, I want to wish you all a very blessed and peaceful Easter, and full joy in the hope of all that the resurrection means for those who love Jesus.

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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