Whatsoever things are lovely….think on these things..”

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Whatsoever things are lovely (friendly towards)…..think (to take an inventory) on these things (follow).” Philippians 4:8 KJV/Strongs

A few weeks ago the Lord brought this scripture to my remembrance, I have been pondering it ever since.

It started one morning not long ago. My husband and I were having a couple of bad days, and the first thing when I awoke I wanted to say something mean & unlovely, to remind him I had remembered. Wives we seem to have our own little bucket full of rocks & darts, our little remembrances of everything that only we know about our husbands, all the bad things. So when we are hurting we go to that bucket, find the appropriate rock or dart, and start throwing! “You hurt me!” “Take that, I remember!”

Well this certain morning the Lord would not let me throw my dart! “Whatsoever things are lovely…..” My heart was condemned!! I was silent. The Lord was talking to me.

I need to get my heart right, long before I can start “thinking” of the lovely things.

I know the scripture says to “think” on these things, but wait, my heart is not right. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…(Proverbs 23:7a KJV) What I say is going to reflect my heart. So my heart needs to change. I need to forgive, forget and replace that hurt with love!

That means, ladies, we need to dump our buckets, yes even those tiny little pebbles that seem to linger in the bottom of the pail.

Buckets over turned, inventory taken, remember the lovely things, the things that made you fall in love with your man.

Think on these things, follow after friendly thoughts, speaking words in love, not hate & wrath. Forgive, let it go!

This is my new mission, forgive & forget & love, because, “I know I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13 KJV isn’t this significant that this passage is in the same chapter of the above scripture, Philippians 4:8!)

This is my only hope of change, is through Him, and by Him, my Jesus!!

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Run – Patience – Endure

Yesterday’s run was just about endurance. Do you ever feel that way in your “spiritual race”?  Just barely being able to place one foot in front on the other, this is how I feel at times.

I was slow, my average was off, I would just roll my eyes when my tracker would update my progress every five minutes. I felt like I was just dragging along.  I had two choices, keep running or stop which would mean to give up. I thought alright, I’m not running my usual, but I can just keep running, try to maintain the goal of 6 miles, even if it takes me longer. It was a hard go, I just kept pushing, ENDURE! I also had to be patient with myself, realizing I have to be able to run even when I’m tired. So after 66 minutes, 3 to 4 minutes off my usual, I did it! This brings me to the three words I have been pondering this week.

RUN – PATIENCE – ENDURANCE.

I liken this to our spiritual race that Paul talks of in Hebrews 12:1b…”let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” It is a race, a run, not a slow casual walk. Our “spiritual run” takes patience (constancy, patient continuance). We can’t give up, and quit, yes we may slow down, but never quit! When running you have obstacles to dodge, mental fatigue, weather, small pebbles, muddy paths, uneven paths that could cause a stumble. You must concentrate, aware of your surroundings and just keep placing one foot in front of the other. These are just a few. If you would check the criteria listed by the professionals to run a race or marathon you will understand what I’m talking about. I have only scratched the surface.

Our “spiritual run” faces obstacles as well, and we must dodge these, too.  Think of the obstacles in your way, things that would make you stumble. This is when we need to focus on the Lord, mindful if we are not careful we could stumble, and this could result in an injury that will take you out of the race. Everyone’s obstacles are different.

Let me get back to the natural aspects of running…

Last year, after years of running, I started using an app that gauges my speed & my distance. To my dismay, I was not faring as well as I thought. What a discouragement!!! Just because one runs does not make them qualified to run a marathon. I was not running the distance I thought, nor the speed. No way was I ready for a marathon, I would need much preparation. I must set some goals first. Small ones, I must run faster, maintain a certain average, otherwise the distance won’t be attained. This takes great perseverance, just to keep jogging for the hour.  If I had not acquired this app to measure me, I would have never realized my shortcomings.  

You must have the proper shoes & socks. I have realized I needed to buy some proper shoes and blister resistance socks.  If I’m going to run a marathon of 26.2 miles, I have much preparation to work toward the goal of maintaining an average of 6 or more miles an hour. Time to get rid of some obstacles, so I start with my outer gear.

 

Firstly socks, my improper socks led to terrible blisters. Now I have socks that whisk away the perspiration. Next my shoes, I have a terrible pain in my heel all because I have been running in the wrong shoes. So I visit a running shoe specialist, mindful of my tight budget and I’m tested, do I run with a pronation (rolling in of the foot; turning inward)?  Results, no pronation, so now I’m fitted with the shoes that match my running goals and budget. 

A year later, I have increased my average speed and distance. Yet it doesn’t stop here, I’m still training because in September I’m running the Berlin Marathon, Lord willing! My diet is now playing a huge role for my endurance in a long run; you need certain foods to fuel energy. You also need to be properly hydrated; electrolytes must be maintained for muscle strength.

Now spiritually…..

Going back to Paul’s words in Roman, “let us run…”

This race for the goal, life eternal, what preparation is needed? How could one think that it is just a mere way of living for Christ?  What about our preparation, what kind of shoes are we wearing? Are our feet shod with the gospel, or are we trying to run this race spiritually with flip-flops. For a short time this might work but not for long distances, even just a stroll this way may be ok. Note Paul said it was a race, not just a walk. Yet, how can I run for this cause, if I’m not first walking with Him! Just because I think I’m a Christian doesn’t make me one. I must live the life.

We must have our own “app” to check our progress spiritually. May it be our spiritual advisor, the Holy Bible or His precious Holy Spirit; still we must measure ourselves, note the shortcomings, and set goals to improve. Running a marathon is not easy, so how can we expect to “run this race” and it to be easy? Without sacrifices, no way!  Spiritually do you have the strength to endure? Have we gotten rid of weights & the sin that so easily beset (a competitor thwarting a racer in every direction) us? (Hebrews 12:1b) You can not run naturally with your arms laden down with bags. What is weighing you down? What about the sin in your life?

How about your diet? Are you feasting on the Bread from Heaven or spiritual junk food, the things that satisfy for a moment, yet leave you hungry for more? Have you tasted of the graciousness of the Lord? (1 Peter 2:3) How about the Bread of Life? “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger…” How about drinking from His fountain? What waters are you seeking to quench your thirst but you only find bitter waters? “…..he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (1 John 6:35) Talk about nourishment for this “spiritual race”!  This is Jesus! Let’s feast at His table where there is joy forever more.

You can see the parallel of the “spiritual race” and the natural race. Discipline is needed for both. 

It is time for us to access ourselves. Set some goals. Change our lifestyle. Listen to your tracker, as it keeps you updated on your progress.  Just…….

RUN!

BE PATIENT!

ENDURE!

“….he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8)

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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Exciting News!

Just want to update you on some exciting changes!! Me and my husband Jonathan aka Johnny, have started another blog about our ministry and the travel adventures we share whilst working for the Lord. I have taken the blog entries from here of our travels and transferred the data to: http://www.hlonline.org. Please follow us, I pray you will be inspired to spread the “Good news”.

I will continue to use Johnny’s English Rose to record my personal banter. LOL!

My latest is that I have enrolled to run a Marathon in September, the Berlin Marathon! YIKES!!! I have also set up a page for donations for the British Red Cross, my page is : http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/bridgetgoodwin

Please follow me, and donate to the cause. Please follow me on twitter: Birdyruncrazy

 

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Poland (Pomerania region) September 2009

 

“Poland’s history is an immense tale.  Forever sandwiched between two powerful and aggressive neighbours, it has over the past millennium defended its freedom and sovereignty on innumerable occasions, only to be overrun and subjugated to occupation by foreign powers time and time again. It has gone from being the largest country in Europe to completely disappearing off the world map, and seen its population devastated in two world wars. Yet it is testament to the astounding resilience of the Polish people that Poland has not only bounced back from every crushing blow but also had the energy to hold strong to its own culture.” (from the Lonely Planet Poland travel book)

This is the Poland that I have enjoyed visiting.  I’m amazed at the resilience of this country.  To think that over 40 years ago they started their journey of Solidarity, a nationwide independence and self-governing trade union. Waves started happening, but after its formation after the Gdansk agreement on 31st of August, it was suspended in 1981 after a martial law was declared. Strikes and demonstrations were abolished, and life was back to the former regime before the Solidarity independence. This did not stop them, they came back in in a sweeping force by gaining the majority of its elected supporters of the Senat in June of 1989, while the Communist 65% of the seats. Communism was now on a downward spiral of collapse! The first time of a power-sharing deal, a Communist President and a first time noncommunist prime minister. The result was Poland being the first to break free of Communism! The following decade was a struggle, but by 1999 Poland becomes a member of NATO, now it is in alliance with powers of the West. 1997 a new constitution was passed to replace the former Soviet-style document of 1952. On May 1st of 2004 Poland makes its biggest move, joining the EU.

Poland is still working towards it political reforms, and it has been so interesting to study its journey towards reform.

What has been so astounding to me has been the history of WWII that permeates this country, especially the city of Gdansk.  It has celebrated 70 years since the attack in Gdansk, when the German Battle ship Schleswig-Holstein fired onto the Polish military post in Westerplatte. This invasion started WWII. Gdansk has painstakefully rebuilt its city, from the rubble of WWII, to the beautiful town centre of today.

“Though it’s an old city with a tumultuous past, and the historic scars to prove it, 21st century Gdansk is a vibrant destination packed with diverse sights and entertainment options, and also makes a great base for journeys into the surrounding countryside.” (quote taken from the Lonely Planet travel book)

Our trip starts here in Gdansk, the Pomeranian region.  We walked all around this picturesque town centre, and even visited the pier at the Baltic Sea. What a fantastic view.

Sunday we drove to Slupsk, pronounced swoopsk, a lovely country town, with beautiful forests.  We hiked the trails in the forest, and hunted for edible mushrooms (which is almost a national pastime in the hills and forest of Poland in autumn).  I devoured the fresh wild blueberries, the Polish call them blackberries. Yummy, the bigger the better.

The boys fished, helped collect wood for our huge bonfire, roasted real Polish sausages, and our host, Br. Rudolph and his lovely wife made us feel so at home in their home that was right by the forest, tucked right by a ravine that turned into a river. It was serene and beautiful. Br. Rudolph’s wife, Marguerite, fixed us Polish dishes, that were so full of flavour and local spices. My boys had so many different vegetables, cooked and prepared in so many ways, that I was so happy they ate them, and enjoyed them. I have determined to be sure that I do the same, so thank you Marguerite for the inspiration to prepare dishes as you did, especially the soups, DELISH!! It is so boring to fix the same meals as I do, and to have this culture exposure from travelling has been a great adventure for trying different foods that are indigenous of the area visited. So “cheers” for a more European touch in the kitchen.

We pray as the Lord opens the door into Europe from the West to the East, we will follow. Our heart’s desire is to see God’s people gather together and worship Him, in “spirit and truth”. Knit us together, in your love…."rooted and built up in Him, and stablish in the faith, as ye have been taught..” Col. 2:7

We may have this desire, but it will only grow and abound IF the Lord provides and opens the door for us. Pray for us, that the Lord will lead us to His flock, the sheep of His pasture.

Some facts of Poland & its people  
Frederic Chopin one of my favorite composers
Marie Curie first woman to win the Noble prize, and the first ever to win two
Nicolaus Copernicus proposes the earth orbits the sun (in 1541)
Hitler hides in Poland, known as the Wolf’s Liar, known as one of the eeriest historical relics, near the hamlet of Gierloz
Antoni Patek co-founder of watchmakers Patek Phillippe & Co.
Max Factor the father of modern cosmetics
Four Warner Bros Founder of Warner Bros
WWII three million Polish Jews die, almost the whole of the population died in camps
WWII one million Poles died in camps
WWII Auschwitz-Birkenau, this grim extermination camp is the largest, and is Poland’s most moving sight. These are two different camps
Baltic Gold Amber, this ‘precious stone’ is actually a fossilized tree resin, and the largest deposits are found along the Baltic shores and Russia.
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Goodbye to Harrods

As I say goodbye to Harrods, and look ahead to the future, I can’t help  but to reflect about the learning experiences I have encountered working in central London for the past 11 months.  Lessons grasped, some struggled with, others aced, and several still so new.

Commuting was a HUGE challenge. Expensive and time consuming. We live only 16 miles away from Knightsbridge, and yet you just cannot travel there in a straight line, on the highway.  Options, driving, no way, where would I park? Pay & display, if there would be a spot, limited hours, and the congestion charge just for driving in the zone. What about the traffic that time of day, everyone rushing to work too? No direct motorway, with the exit clearly stating your destination, and it within a mile. Not possible, we are talking roads that wind and curve, in the middle of it all, like driving downtown in a big American city, endlessly. So an hour journey became my routine.  Hop on the train at Hatfield, go to Finsbury Park, this is where you felt like a sardine, waddling through the crowd shoulder to shoulder, making your stand for your little spot traipsing down the stairs to the underground, gently walking down the spiraling staircase, careful not to lose your footing, because that would be tragic, because you would take everyone with you in the tumble. I have to say I did not defer to anyone on this part of my journey,(or really any of it), because you could miss your connection, then I would be late.  You just hope and wish that you can have a seat, as you scan the cars as the underground train approaches, then you make the uggh, sound when you see that it is jam packed, and you will be happy just to make the squeeze into the crowd of other commuters. So if this happens you do the push and shove, and hold on. Headphones on, escaping to your music, and closing your eyes, hoping that you make each designation as scheduled and no delays.  The dreaded fear is being delayed this close to people, touching you, breathing on you, and pushing you, all the while you are just hoping for someone to get up so you can sit.  I learned when you get on the train, you move down the car, and you stand there waiting, watching for someone to get up, so you can have a sit.

The journey home the same, people everywhere, all the while you just want to get home, to peace and quiet, and no bad smells. You become a detective of smells on these rides of close human proximity. I shudder to think of those discoveries. And if someone sneezes, you coil back in disgust!

I could of taken the bus but it would of been a longer journey, probably very scenic, but the train and tube was much more simple.  The other day I actually arrived home in less than an hour.  I was able to make my connections, running up the escalator, and up the stairs, and staying focused.  That is the main thing is paying attention, I don’t know how many times I got lost in the beginning. LOL! Lesson learned, I can now navigate my journey on my own all over London, rarely getting lost now. Major feat!

Top pin is Hatfield Train Station, bottom pin is Harrods in Knightsbridge.

My biggest struggle was not being free to do the Lord’s work. I was either too tired from being on my feet all day, (I still never found comfortable shoes, because you have to wear heels, and I never knew your toes could hurt), or your rota conflicted with additional functions you wanted to schedule for church events.  Because of everyone’s grueling schedule, you need time to calculate the best time, hoping all can attend as we rearranged our time.  Many times I would just head to the scheduled event right after work.  This is why I moved here, to help my husband in his ministry. This time of working was just for a moment to help financially, so we just carried on, encouraged that the Lord was making a way for us, supplying our needs, financially and spiritually. The work experience was good for me, it helped me relate to our peoples work schedule, commuting, and surviving in London. I’m very thankful the Lord gave me this opportunity.

Selling, the Lord helped me with this one.  It was such a joyous occasion to ace a sale.  I love sharing my passion of music and of course the Roland product is the best on the market in regards to digital. Inspite of the recession, music is still a fantastic escape and it touches all ages and all levels of playing.  So purchasing an instrument is the still the best investment even during this credit crunch.

I learned so much more about guitars, and the inner mechanics of acoustic pianos.  I fell in love with the C. BECHSTEIN, grand piano, for only a mere 70,000GPB. It had a dark, lovely sound, the keys just beckon you to “keep playing me.”

Learning more about guitars was a fun experience.  I’m still working on this.  In fact the Lord gave me an acoustic guitar! Seeing all the guitars and touching them I started to flirt with the idea of owning one. I knew that it was not quite the right time for my budget I would have to wait.  Well, they had a competion at work, and the prize was an acoustic guitar with case and strap, I won! I was so excited and elated, the Lord saw my desire and granted my wish. This really meant alot to me.  The Lord is so aware of my thoughts. How can I ever forget His greatness. Later on, the Lord put it on my heart to start teaching guitar to some of our young boys at church.  They bring their guitars for youth functions and just play so zealously, as if they were playing the right notes.  My heart smote me, and it was as if the Lord spoke to me, “I gave you a guitar, now teach them.” So that is what I’m doing, I’m learning right along with them.  I’m writing our curriculum as we go, and we are having a blast. With God’s help, we will play together in church by the end of the year.

As iI look ahead to the next chapter of my life, being with my boys and teaching more, I know the Lord will be there, He will guide us and provide. I vow to give Him and His work more of my time. I just want to be His servant, and love God’s people, and be a better Mum and wife.  This is my joy, working side by side with my husband, as we work in HIS service.

Thank you Lord for supplying ALL my needs.

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Missionary trip to the Ukraine & Moldova

When I reflect our recent trip to the Ukraine and Moldova I can’t help but think of this scripture in Revelation 5:9, "And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of EVERY KINDRED, AND TONGUE, AND PEOPLE, AND NATION…" This message of salvation is for ALL NATIONS.  The redeemed of the Lord can be found around the world, and what a joy it has been for me to join my husband in finding the redeemed of the Lord in a place we have never been before. This last August found us in a different part of the world, right outside of the EU, the Ukraine & Moldova, former Soviet Union, and what a great time we had in the Lord, doing His work, seeking God’s people, and spreading the good news of the gospel. We definitely left a piece of our heart there. 
 
We have felt a burden "go ye into the world" for Europe, and now it is reaching beyond the confines of the EU.  We have been in contact with several sisters in Ukraine & Odessa, and we really wanted to go be with them, and worship with them, and just let them know, London, is there for them.  It has really been a burden on our heart, and we just would not rest until we could go and visit, so off we went, this last August.
 
We could not find a direct flight to Tiraspol, so we flew into Odessa.  Larissa, one of our contacts, was there waiting for us at the airport as well as Br. Rudolph from Poland. From the moment we arrived we were taken care of, and very welcomed.  The only barrier was the language, not from our host end, but us! Larrisa did very well communicating with us, at times she would forget and speak to me in Russian, and at times I knew what she was saying, even though I did not understand a word. I still smile at this recollection.
 
We stayed in Odessa at the Black Sea Hotel for the weekend, so we could have services on Sunday.  They secured the same hall that the church in Odessa always met in, and we had a great service. It even had a piano. We thank Larissa and Tyna for working out all the details of our visit, and making us feel so at home, as well as Br. Rudolph, laboring right beside Jonathan the entire trip.  How pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. I think it was so beautiful as Tyna and Larissa interpreted for Jonathan, the words of the gospel, it so moved them at times, even to tears, that they had to let the other take over for them, because they were so overwhelmed. This really touched me…
 
We spent the next day at the Black Sea area and took in some of the local sights, we were blessed to have Tyna and her little girl Lara with us, as well as Larrisa and Naci, Lara’s father. We took this time to just be with each other.  We parted our ways, and left for Moldova Monday evening.  A taxi/van was hired for us and Br. Rudolph and his wife, Margaret and Larissa travelled with us as we crossed the border.  At the border the concern was why did I have only 24 pages in my passport and Jonathan had over 54 pages. I probably should get another passport with more pages. Oh well, we made it across the border, even though it seemed liked it took forever.  What a difference it would of been if we were back in time 30 years ago!
 
Services were going to start in Moldova in Br. Alexanders home on Tuesday evening. And was I in for a great surprise, 27 people came! Fliers were distributed with much anticipation and wow, we were blessed!!
 
Wednesday night was our last and about 17 were there.  This was great, because we had one new visitor that was a Scientist and at the end of the service, asked questions, about Creation, the end of the world, very indepth questions, very interesting. We enjoyed being in Br. Alexanders home for the services.  We enjoyed meeting his lovely wife and three children.  His wife was a fantastic host and fed us delicious meals also.  The boys enjoyed playing with the children, even though they really tried to communicate with each other. The girls were really keen in trying to talk to Josiah! LOL
 
Thursday we headed home and we really were sad.  Larrisa and her mother and brother were the best host ever. They shared their flat with us, made us feel so at home, and fed us non-stop with the most mouth watering dishes that you can imagine. It was great to be with them, share, pray, cry and laugh together.  Lord willing we will be back, building together the Body of Christ, eagerly awaiting for Christ’s return to this earth.
 
In the meantime, I need to learn more than "yes" and "no" in Russian! 
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