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Blog - Page 5 of 6 - Ruth Chesney
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Why we shouldn’t focus on the brushstrokes

When I’m on holiday, I love stumbling across art galleries, and can never resist taking a peek inside to admire the paintings. While I know very little about the world of art, I find the variety of style and technique intriguing. My personal favourites are paintings which, up close, look like a mass of small, thickly-applied brushstrokes, seemingly with no pattern or focus, yet when you stand back and observe the painting from a distance, all the brushstrokes have combined to form a rich, textured and outstandingly beautiful picture.

In life, I often forget to stand back. Instead, I focus on the tiny, individual brushstrokes. The little daubs of paint that seem to make no sense. The humdrum of life. Everyday activities. Even things that we, as believers, started out with great gusto to do for God. It’s so easy to become focussed on today. This earthly life.READ MORE

Princess Precious and the Great King of Everything, by E M Wilkie

In this post, I chat to fellow children’s author, Eunice Wilkie, about her new release, Princess Precious and the Great King of Everything. This is a beautiful book with great biblical lessons. Little ‘princesses’ are going to love it!

Princess Precious serves the Great King of Everything who lives in Forever Castle, high in the sky. But sadly, not many of the people around her believe in him; they don’t seem to see all the good things the Great King has given her and how splendid he has made her. Unless the people trust in the King, they won’t receive the riches he has for them. The Princess must tell them about him. How can she help them to find him?

 

Where did you get your inspiration for this story and was there anything in particular which prompted you to write it?

In September 2015 I spent time with my nieces in the USA – three little girls aged 4-6. I saw firsthand how much they loved all the clothes and accessories and books which made them feel like a princess. I had a vague idea it would be good to write a princess story for them – one which wasn’t just another ‘happily-ever-after’ adventure, but also taught something about the message of the Bible. So, while the girls played, I began to scribble ideas – not knowing whether it would amount to much. But stories take on a life of their own – and, a bit further down the road, the book is completed at last.READ MORE

New Year’s Resolutions – How We Can Make Them Work

What better time for a new start? Christmas, with all its overindulgences, is over, and a whole new year stretches out before us, clean and unspoiled, full of potential and ripe with promise. This is going to be the year in which we lose some weight, be more organised, manage our money better, or spend more time with family.

Then reality hits. The reality of saying ‘no’ to those tempting chocolates, getting out of bed to exercise on cold, wet mornings, discovering we have the same demands on our time that we always had.READ MORE

Mary and the birth of the Lord Jesus – when God’s plan seems perplexing

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I wonder what Mary thought. Not too many months before, the angel Gabriel had visited her to tell her that she, a virgin, was going to have a baby. And not just any baby – this child would be the long-awaited Messiah, the One who would save His people from their sins. She was truly blessed. An unknown girl from an insignificant village was actually going to be the one to carry the most precious child ever to be born.

So can you imagine what was going through her mind as she and Joseph made the long trip to Bethlehem in the final stages of her pregnancy? I’m pretty sure that Mary knew Micah’s prophecy concerning the place where the Messiah would be born – a scan through her song in Luke 2 reveals that she was a girl who was certainly familiar with the Scriptures. But couldn’t they have been asked to make the trip a few months beforehand? Why now, when she was ready to deliver?READ MORE

It’s what’s inside that matters! A lesson from ugly bananas, part 2.

In the last post, I talked about the unattractive, yet very tasty bananas and we learned that, when we trust Christ for salvation, God changes our naturally deceitful and wicked hearts and makes them new. When He looks at us, He sees us as He sees His Son, perfect in His sight.

Our hearts, however, are just as important after we are saved. We’re not yet home in heaven, and the flesh – the part that we battle with day by day – is still with us. The devil also tries to attack us, and we must be on the alert. In Ephesians 6:14, we are instructed to put on the breastplate of righteousness, that piece of armour to protect the heart. Guarding our hearts takes work, but is exceedingly important. When we are saved, we want to live for God, to do the things that please Him.READ MORE

It’s what’s inside that matters! A lesson from ugly bananas, Part 1.

The bananas really weren’t very pretty. As well as being short and stumpy, they had black marks all over their lumpy skins. I searched in vain for the perfect banana, but in the end I had to settle for one just like the rest. Imperfect. Flawed.

I wasn’t expecting great things from my ugly snack.

As I peeled back the skin, I was surprised. On the soft, pale inside, there wasn’t a blemish. I took a bite. Full of flavour and the perfect texture, this was one of the best bananas I’d ever tasted!READ MORE

She Said Yes – the moving and inspiring story of Cassie Bernall

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Which books have had the greatest impact on your life? This intriguing question was recently asked of listeners on a local radio programme. As I listened to the various answers, I began to consider – which books have been influential in my life?

Heading the list, and the most obvious choice, is the Bible. I don’t believe that, for a believer in the Lord Jesus, any book will ever impact our lives like the Bible, because it is through His word that God speaks to us. Apart from the Bible, though, there are a number of books I’ve read at different stages of my life which have deeply affected me. As I think back to my teenage years, one book stands out.READ MORE

All Things For Good – An Ever-Relevant Message

img-20161017-wa0012It’s difficult to put into words how much Granda Moore meant to our family. He was a man who was much loved, greatly respected, and is still deeply missed, eight years after he was called home to heaven. Wise and godly, Granda had a good dose of pragmatism along with a mischievous sense of humour that used to somewhat exasperate my serious grandmother. Amongst his grandchildren, he had no favourites, yet made each of us feel special.READ MORE

It’s good to read!

file-03-10-2016-19-27-55Exactly 100 years ago today, veterinary surgeon and author James Alfred Wight, better known by his pen name, James Herriot, was born. James’ books, based on his life as a country vet, are educational and entertaining, providing an insight into rural life in 1930s and 1940s Yorkshire, and rich with colourful descriptions of people and places. He was an author with a skilful ability to transport his readers to the scene, as though they were standing beside him, listening to the farmer speaking with a thick Yorkshire accent, feeling the biting wind sweeping down from the fells, experiencing the sights and smells of the barn.

The year I turned three, my uncle and aunt gave me ‘Moses the Kitten’ for Christmas, an illustrated story taken from one of James Herriot’s full-length books. I loved that book. The signs of my affection for it are evident in the worn and tattered cover, the spine stuck with yellowed and crumbling sellotape and the loose and dog-eared pages.READ MORE

Ugly Monuments, Beautiful Acts

Sandy beaches, rocky cliffs, swift incoming tides, leafy lanes, green fields with pretty Jersey cows – this little island packs more into its nine miles by five than one could ever imagine. Last week, I visited for the fourth time and was struck again by its beauty. The scenery is stunning, a feast for the eyes.

Dotted over the island are certain buildings which mar the beauty, stark reminders of a time when Jersey wasn’t a peaceful place, instead shut to visitors and a virtual prison for the Jersey people. I guess I had always known that the island had been occupied by the Germans for five years during World War Two, but it wasn’t something that I’d thought much about as a child. This time, I noticed the bunkers and the lookout towers, placed in idyllic surroundings like La Corbière, where the Victorian lighthouse stands, a warning beacon to ships of the dangers of the wild and rocky shores. READ MORE