God and ASDA

Stories and thoughts: past, present and future


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Tomorrow

Yes, I know I said my previous blog was to be the final one – I know! But, when you are given a new subject to write about, you just have to go with it. So, just for this one time (?) I’ve resurrected it. (Another idea has just popped into my head!)

When I was young I could never get my head around “tomorrow”. Mum or Dad would tell us we had, say, six more tomorrows then we’d be going on holiday. Or, whilst anxiously awaiting Christmas Eve, Dad would say it’s only another week – just seven tomorrows. I thought that there were seven days in a week, not seven tomorrows.

To confuse me even more, when “tomorrow” arrived it became “today”. So what happened to the today gone by? Well, of course, it became yesterday! All very baffling for a young, active mind to take in.

My Gran used to tell us that “Today is the tomorrow you were worried about yesterday.” Now that’s confusing, too.

And there’s an old saying: “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” Ah, I understood that – I think.

Putting off until tomorrow does nothing to ease a problem; if a problem it is. Whatever we “put off” will still be there two, three, four days later. Putting it off only exacerbates the worry.

The Bible tells us not to put things off until tomorrow:

(James 4 verses 13-14 N.I.V.)

(13) Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— (14) yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

We don’t know what will happen tomorrow – only God knows . However, one thing’s for certain, when Jesus comes back, as He will, to judge the living and the dead, will you be among those who wish they’d listened when someone told them the truth?

Being a Christian is not wearing leather gloves on Sunday and being holier than thou. It’s about knowing the Person of Jesus, having a real relationship with Him and, as a result, having the knowledge that one day we will all be together in Heaven with our Heavenly Father – for ever and ever.

There is only one way to get to Heaven, whatever you may think to the contrary:

The following verses are from John 14 verses 2- 6:

2. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6. Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Don’t put it off any longer. Find a church, go to a service and be amazed.

God Bless.

    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/269934571385416592/
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The End

I was wondering what to write about this time, and, as I was looking at the Blog, I realised that it is almost a year since my first article was posted. How time flies!

During that year I’ve covered a range of different subjects, most of them relating to growing up in the Midlands just after the war (that’s the Second World War, not the First!).

Several times I’ve sat in front of the PC and wondered just what I could write about. It was never pre-planned – it just flowed.

But, this time, I’m stuck and there is no inspiration whatsoever. And so I’ve decided that this will be the last post on this Blog. It’s the end.

I feel rather sad about it ending. It’s reminiscent of old movies that always had THE END across the screen. The fairytale was over, the dream shattered – back to reality. It’s similar to reading the last page of a book and you don’t want it to end.

But all good things must come to an end and before I go I believe that I have one important piece of writing to do.

As a Christian I know that this world will one day end, when Jesus comes back. It’s written in the Bible that this will happen and the signs are already there. The clock is already ticking.

Walk with me, if you will, through Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 24, verses 3 -14 and you’ll see what I mean. (The # in brackets indicate this has already happened)

“3. As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. ‘Tell us,’ they said, ‘when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’

4. Jesus answered: ‘Watch out that no one deceives you.

5. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Messiah,” and will deceive many. (#)

6. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, (#) but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

7. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (#). There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. (#)

8. All these are the beginning of birth-pains.

9. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, (#) and you will be hated by all nations because of me. (#)

10. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, (#)

11. and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (#)

12. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, (#)

13. but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

14. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

So, you see, it’s all there. It’s happening NOW. One day we will all have to stand before God to be judged and then He will decide where we spend eternity – with Him or in Hell.

You won’t be able to say “I didn’t know. No-one told me.” You’ve just read it here – I told you. Do something about it NOW, otherwise, on that Day, it really will, for you, be…………

    THE END


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I Can’t See

A few years ago I awoke one morning to find that my eyes were both tightly closed and there was nothing I could do to open them. A very scary experience, I am sure you will agree. I bathed them gently with warm water, to no avail. I rubbed them, again no good.

So I went to the doctor later that day (when I was able to open my eyes and find my way there!). She told me that this was a common condition among older people and was, in fact, nothing to worry about. She gave me a prescription for some ointment to put onto my lower eyelid before going to sleep. It was ghastly stuff!! Firstly, it was difficult to apply (I kept poking the applicator into my eye!), and secondly, although my eyes opened a little the next morning, they were so bunged up with this rubbish that my vision was blurred.

For the past fifteen years I have tolerated this condition and each morning I have to feel my way round the bedroom into the bathroom (making sure I don’t head towards the top of the stairs) and in time my eyes do open. But it’s alarming. You never get used to it.

This daily occurrence has led me to compare it to my spiritual life. Until I became a Christian, I was, effectively, blind to the truth. I would do my own thing, not really caring about what would happen if I didn’t attend to thoughts of the future. Sooner or later it had to be addressed.

But, of course, God has all things under His control and I was to meet a young lady whose friendship led me to believe in Jesus and to ask Him into my life. My eyes were opened. I saw everything in a new light. No longer was I thinking only of myself; Jesus gave me a new heart with a love for others.

And so I began my walk with Him which has just got better and better. I know that in everything that’s happened to me since that time, God has been there with me. I’ve experienced a few twists and turns in recent years that I would never have imagined could have happened to me, but I realise now that it was His plan for this to happen and today I am where I am supposed to be. If I tried to go in a direction that wasn’t planned for me, I’ve been brought back, sometimes by a circuitous route, and here and now I am the happiest I have been in my whole life. Thank you, Jesus!

There’s a beautiful old song “Amazing Grace“, written by John Newton, which talks about being blind to what God has done for us.

Incidentally, I still have to put up with this “morning blindness” so if you see an elderly lady walking down the street one morning in a state of undress, you’ll know I missed the bathroom again!

“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.” (Jeremiah 29 verse 11)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8 verse 28)

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5 verse 7)

God Bless you.


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Feelings

I wanted to write a blog about “Feelings” and to go with it I wanted to add the Morris Albert song “Feelings”. As I trawled the internet, I discovered this delightful little ditty about feelings. Watch it and enjoy!

The way we act and react with those around us depends on our own feelings. Sometimes, as the song says, we’re a bit grumpy so we put on our grumpy face. If we’re happy, out comes the happy face. (I have a cupboard full of different faces for all occasions!)

Sometimes, though, we might prefer to keep our feelings to ourselves, but our eyes will always give us away. Look in a mirror and put on a (pretend) grumpy face. Your eyes aren’t smiling, are they? No, the lids droop, the brow furrows and the “grump” spreads all over your face. Maybe your shoulders sag a little, too. There is a long-held belief that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, but I can’t imagine how they would be able to calculate that one. (Picture the researcher frowning whilst concentrating!!).

Have you ever said something, quite innocently, and the person to whom you’re speaking is offended – you’ve hurt their feelings? It’s called “putting your foot in it”. However, whilst it’s not easy to physically put your foot in your mouth (don’t try this at home!), it’s often not difficult to upset someone’s feelings.

So what’s the answer? Well, you just go to the person you’ve upset, say you’re sorry and promise not to do it again. But you no doubt will!!

The reason I’m writing this piece is that I’ve often wondered what Jesus was feeling during His trial and crucifixion.

He knew that it was going to happen and He knew the exact time it would happen. He gave Himself up to His accusers in the Garden at Gethsemane. Imagine the feelings He must have had. He was human as well as God, so He felt all our emotions. As you read the Bible you’ll come across several passages where it tells us of His feelings.

He wept when He heard that Lazarus had died (John 11 verse 35)
He slept in the boat with His disciples (Mark 4 verse 38)
He was hungry because He had fasted for forty days and forty nights (Matthew 4 verse 2)
He was thirsty whilst on the Cross. (John 19 verse 28)

He felt all the things we feel.

Imagine the pain and agony He went through on that Cross, just for YOU. He was the only sacrifice good enough for God to forgive us all our wrong-doings, past, present and future.

At this Christmastime, when thoughts of the Baby Jesus are in people’s minds, think about what He did for you.

I make no apologies for ending with, probably, the most famous verse in the Bible.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”
(John 3 verse 16)

Now how do you feel?


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Use Your Imagination

I was watching a T.V. programme recently about Australian Art. With all due respect I thought that this title was an oxymoron, but I was pleasantly surprised to see some really beautiful works of art by Australian artists from years ago. More modern stuff exhibited was, in my humble opinion, rubbish!! As I was muttering to myself about the exorbitant prices charged for paintings that an eight-year-old could do, I was reminded of my art lessons in school.

If you’ve been following my Blogs you will already know that I was not good at much at school and included in the list was art. I had no interest whatsoever; therefore, I made no effort – until one day when I had no option!

We arrived in the art room to find a large piece of drawing paper on each desk. We took our places and the art mistress came into the room. “Good morning, girls”, she said in an unusually bright and bouncy voice.

“Uh, uh, “, I thought, “what now?”

Another Masterpiece completed!

“This morning I want you all to use your imagination.” she said. “You can paint anything you like but it must be your own work and entirely original. I will give you no ideas, suggestions or assistance on what to do – in fact, I’m having the morning off!” And with that, she left the room. We sat for a while in stunned silence and then gradually, as we decided something had to be done, we set to work. That is, all except me! I had absolutely no idea at all what to do. I just sat there looking at this great expanse of paper waiting for me to fill it with some wonderful creation. “What can I do”, I thought.

Perhaps not! How about this one?

No, perhaps a bit too much like Van Gogh!

But, in the end, I knew I had to get something done, so I decided to do a beach scene, but my way. I divided the paper into three horizontal sections for the sky, sea and sand and set about daubing paint all over it. For the sea I used purple, then I made an orange, green and yellow sky and finally I added a bit of wish-washy brown for the sand. That was it! I had spent all my energy and imagination – it was all I could offer. It only took about fifteen minutes to do!

Imagine my surprise when I received a “Well done” from the art mistress the next time I saw her. “You really must have put a lot of thought into that painting.” she remarked. (I have never managed to work out whether she was being sarcastic or genuinely magnanimous !)

I had been given a blank canvas on which to create something which someone (apparently) thought was good.

So now it’s your turn. Close your eyes and imagine complete darkness – nothing. Absolutely nothing and nothing to go by. No-one to tell you what to put where, which colour to use, what compliments another thing. The blackness is everywhere and you are in charge of making something from nothing. You have to create the earth.

We can all imagine what we would do, because everything is already there, so we have images in our mind’s eye. But imagine how God created the heavens and the earth from nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The Bible tells us that God created all that in six days. Six Days!!.

Have you ever wondered how the planets, stars, sun and moon all spin in space without falling? How is the earth suspended? How was water made? I know that scientists give glib answers, but for me there is only one answer. God made all this Himself, without any help, plans or drawings. Don’t you think that’s just awesome?

How sad it is to think how much we are harming His beautiful Creation with our selfish ways. It won’t always be here, because when Jesus comes back it will all end. It is all vividly told in the last book of the Bible – Revelation. If you haven’t ever given much thought to the End of the World I urge you to read Revelation. There are modern translations of the Bible, so no-one can say that it’s all in archaic language.

Don’t get left behind on that Day. There won’t be a second chance.


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The X Factor

It’s quite possible that you’ve done a Google search for the “X Factor” talent show and come up with this, but please read on!

Almost five years ago I returned to U.K. after having lived in France for some years. Whilst we were there we became used to living without English language T.V., so you can imagine what delights awaited us on our return! Amongst many changes that had taken place in our absence was the arrival of “The X Factor” talent show. Thinking about this recently I began reflecting on earlier shows in the same genre, but 1970s style not 2010s. In those days we were less sophisticated than people are nowadays and these talent shows would send a modern audience to sleep in ten seconds flat! I was watching some of those old programmes whilst researching for this blog and, oh my!, they really were cringe-worthy! It merits a visit to You Tube to see them. Look for “New Faces” and “Opportunity Knocks”

Today’s X Factor (and Britain’s Got Talent) are so very different to the ones I’d remembered. Now there are huge audiences, star-studded judging panels, mentoring and heats taking place in exotic locations, but when it all boils down to the final analysis, nothing really changes. It’s all fake – the tears, the drama, the “tension” – and what is there afterwards for these people? Maybe a lucrative career, maybe not.

But, in actual fact, my blog has absolutely nothing at all to do with talent shows. It’s the title “X Factor” that’s important.

With Christmas fast approaching I’ve been noticing things in the stores that have changed from last year. We all know that for years that Christmas has become less to do with Jesus’ birth and more to do with retailing. This year I’ve noticed that cakes and mince pies are labelled “Seasonal Cakes” or “Festive Mince Pies”. No more Christmas cakes it seems! We’ve already had the Yule Log with us for years. However, the one thing that’s been around the longest and hurts me the most is the use of the word “Xmas“. Everywhere you look on packaging, signs, cards – almost everything is “Xmas” Why replace Christ with an “X”? Can people no longer say His name? And if they don’t believe in Jesus or have no time for Him, then why celebrate the time of His birth at all?

    The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that He might offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.
    Billy Graham

Yes, we all like to receive gifts at Christmas. Just remember, the greatest gift that was ever given was when God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, lived in obscurity until He was thirty, died on the Cross, rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God.

Make Him part of your Christmas this year.

Nativity Scene

(Luke chapter 2 verses 8 to 20 N.I.V.)

    “8. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
    13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
    14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
    15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
    16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”


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Supermarket Trolleys

You might think a blog post about supermarket trolleys is a little odd to say the least. Well, stick with it and you’ll see where I’m coming from.

When I was a child in the 1940s there were, obviously, no supermarkets in the U.K. and so we had no trolleys (makes sense!). Most women went to town on the ‘bus every Saturday, did their shopping, putting it into their basket or carrier bag (and I doubt much of it would have been packaged as we know it today).

In this modern world shopping is much easier. Jump into the car, park at the store, grab a trolley and off we go. We give little or no thought as to what happens to a trolley during its daily life; I know I never did. That is, until my husband started working for Asda and sometimes has the job of sorting the trolleys. And, you know, it’s quite interesting. You’ll be amazed where some of them end up!

    Or this one

    or this one

And we’ve all marvelled at some of the parking we see when we go to the supermarket – but this, surely, takes the prize.

This train of thought led me to thinking about how much we undervalue and take for granted the things around us just because they’re always there, handy to use, conveniently awaiting our purpose. We take so much for granted and very often don’t give a second thought to the very thing that’s so useful .

Just think about all the household gadgets you use every day – cooker, fridge, freezer, iron, vacuum cleaner – the list is endless. We don’t really value them once the novelty of newness has worn off. They’re just there. Am I right?

But the one thing that almost all of us will undervalue time and time again is God’s love for us. He’s there all day, every day (and night time, too!). If you just spend a minute or two thinking about what He’s done for you, you’ll be amazed. God made everything. Nothing was made except by Him. And He’s always there, caring for us, just as an earthly father would care for his children. He wants only the best for us and we shouldn’t take that wonderful Gift for granted.

Speak to Him every day; He loves to hear from us. Bring a smile to God’s face.

    Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
    I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvellously made!
    I worship in adoration -what a creation!
    You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
    You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
    Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
    The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.
    Your thoughts -how rare, how beautiful!
    God, I’ll never comprehend them!
    I couldn’t even begin to count them –
    any more than I could count the sand of the sea.

    Psalm 139 verses 13-18 (The Message)