Trials

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)

How should we view the trials that we go through?  First, we should reflect on the reasons why we are facing them. Unfortunately, for most of us, our questioning comes from our human form of questioning of the— ‘why me?’ aspect.  This is of course is just questioning God. Often this type of thinking easily moves into anger. This is the exact opposite of how we are directed to respond.

We are told to “consider it pure joy.” Now that’s seems a strange statement. If someone were to teach me to do that when facing trials, I would be tempted to call him an idiot. This would of course reveal only an immaturity and the unbiblical nature of my biblical and spiritual thinking.

We should view our trials with joyfulness, knowing what is really happening. That is, when we are being tried, our faith is being tested. What does that mean? When we face a challenge, do we respond by what we see and feel—or by what we believe to be true? If we are being tested it should increase our stability, our steadfastness and our faith.

Father, help me to count all thing as pure joy, whatever we face today. Give me the faith that is unwavering in all trials and let me found tested and true. Amen.

© Chrissy Siggee  2019

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

 

Abigail’s Special Birthday Gift

Abigail Hyatt was almost seven and her daddy let her choose where to have her birthday party. It had been a sad winter and a party was a good idea.

‘Can we have it at the park?’ Abigail asked.

‘Which park, Abigail?’

‘The big one, the one Mummy loved.  You know… the one where we threw the rose petals after her funeral.’

‘If that’s where you want it, then that’s where we will have it.’ He kissed the tip of her nose.

Abigail smiled. ‘I’ll help with the invitations but we have to invite Grandpa and Grandma Lawson. Do you think they’ll come, Daddy?’

‘You can ask them. They would like that.’

Her smile faded. “I wish they didn’t live so far away. Do you think Grandpa and Grandma miss Mummy too?”

‘I’m sure they do. I would miss you, my darling daughter, if you had died. Now, let’s not be sad. Mummy would want us to enjoy your party.’

‘I want to wear the party dress Mummy bought me last year.’

‘Abigail, honey, I don’t think it will fit. You have grown so tall. Why don’t we go to the mall tomorrow after school and see what we can find?’

‘Okay Daddy.’

Finally, the party day arrived. It was a sunny day and the park had lots of spring flowers growing in the gardens. Abigail could see her grandparents at the end of the short path that led to the playground. They were tying balloons on swings and trees. There were two picnic tables.  One had lots of party food on it and the other held a huge birthday cake with pink icing.

‘Grandma! Grandpa!’ Abigail called and ran to meet them.

‘Abigail! You look so grown up and your party dress is so pretty,’ Grandma said, smiling.

‘It’s Mummy’s favourite colour. Do you think she’d like it?’

‘I think it’s perfect,” Grandpa said.’

‘Abigail.’ Daddy spoke quietly. “Your friends have arrived.’

She looked up at her father to ask him to greet them for her, but he was wiping something out of his eye. Grandma hugged Abigail. Abigail knew Grandma was crying too so she hugged her as well. ‘Oh Grandma, I miss Mummy soooo much, but she would want us to enjoy the party.’

Grandpa hugged them both. ‘Yes, she would. Now go and meet your friends and enjoy the afternoon.’

Abigail greeted her friends and opened her presents. A clown skipped into the playground, making the children laugh. He twisted balloons to form the shape of little animals, stood on his hands and spun hoops on his feet. Abigail thought it was the best party ever.

Abigail was too excited to go to bed that night. After her bath, she dressed in her new summer night gown, and sat on Grandpa’s knee while he read her favourite story. She knew it almost by heart because her mummy had always read it before she went to sleep—sometimes twice.

Daddy entered the room carrying a glass of milk. “Grandma and Grandpa Lawson want to talk to you.’

Abigail felt suddenly afraid. Daddy had said something like that when Mummy got sick. She remembered that Mummy was crying and Daddy told her they would be okay. Abigail climbed off her grandpa’s knee and went to her daddy.

‘It’s all right.” Grandma smiled at her. “Everything is OK.’

‘You see,” Daddy said, lifting Abigail onto his knee. “We all miss Mummy very much and…’

‘What your daddy is trying to say, is that we miss your mummy, too.” Grandma added. “But we also miss you and your daddy.’

Grandpa sat on the floor in front of Daddy and Abigail reached down to hug his neck.

Grandpa took a deep breath. ‘Grandma and I want to move in with you and Daddy, at least until we get a house close by. Your daddy and I talked about it a lot and we think your mummy would like it. What do you think?’

‘This is the best birthday gift ever! Can they live with us, Daddy… please?’

‘Abigail, this is your birthday gift. It’s up to you.’ Daddy was laughing now. He hadn’t laughed for a long time.

She jumped off her father’s knee and hugged her grandpa and her grandma. ‘Please come and stay— I’ll even let you call me Abby. Mummy always called me Abby.’

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Children’s Corner by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Rhythm of an Evening Song

Crickets chant and shadows dance…
Moonbeams peek through distant trees,
Where birds sing in hypnotic trance
That seems to echo beyond the seas.

Clouds drift by, and stars shine…
Leaves rustle with the evening breeze,
Bringing peaceful charm to God’s design,
And tames the night owl with new ease.

Creation sleeps and nature rests…
Summer’s fragrance fills the air,
In His presence, I am blessed
To end the day with evening prayer.

© Chrissy Siggee

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Archived in: Christian Reads

Fruitfulness

John 15:1-2 tells us: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

I’ve found these two verses very thought provoking. Some time ago I was prompted in the spirit to devote a whole month to His Word and prayer. I needed to revaluate my time and priorities and I could only do this with His help. These words from John’s gospel often came up, even when I wasn’t actually meditating on them.

Pruning is often the hardest thing to deal with in the Christian walk; I know it is for me. It’s amazing though how at times it seems like a continual trimming, and sometimes it hurts. When areas of our lives no longer produce fruit, when a daily task no longer seems meaningful or a love for a mere diversion becomes a total time waster, we need to evaluate.

And evaluate I did. With God’s guidance, pruning and direction, my love for writing became prioritised and finally found direction. A renewed love for an old hobby replaced a diversion that now compliments my writing. There wasn’t anything wrong with my diversion, I just needed to prioritise with God’s guidance.

Father, when you take me through times of pruning away the dead areas of my life, give me the strength to accept your changes. I know your changes in my life are always because you love me and because you have plans for my life that can only be fulfilled when I trust you and allow your pruning to take place. Amen.

© Chrissy Siggee First Published 2009

Scripture Verses used are from the King James Version of the Bible

Archived in Christian Devotions at Riverside Peace

Sunshine in the Garden

Finally the clouds have blown away and although still only 17C, the sun is a very welcome visitor to the garden at this time of the year.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

The Moon and His Friends

Jenny sat on her window seat staring into the night sky. Stuffed animals snuggled in round her patiently waiting for a bed time hug. The night light by the bed gave the room a soft glow and the moon lit up the window.

‘I wonder if there is someone on the moon’, Jenny whispered into the ear of Jerry the monkey that had curled his long arms around her neck.

There was no answer of course but Jenny continued to speak softly. ‘One day I want to fly in a rocket ship and visit the moon. He looks so lonely way up there.’ Her voice faded and her eyelids drooped.

‘Will you take me with you?’

‘Who said that?’

‘Me!’

Jenny turned to see all the animals smiling at her.

‘Which one of you can talk?’

‘All of us’, they said in unison.

‘But you’re not real!’

‘Yes, we are.’ Jerry loosened his hold and slid to her lap. ‘Why do you think the moon is lonely?’

Jenny blinked rapidly before answering. ‘Well, look at him. He just hangs there all night every night. I never see anyone out there with him.’

‘Just like us.’ He nodded to his friends who quickly nodded back.

Betsy the cow mooed loudly. ‘We sit and watch the moon all night every night.’

‘Why?’, Jenny wanted to know.

Jerry answered. ‘Because you only take one of us to bed.’

‘But there’s no room for all of you. I don’t want anyone to fall out while I’m sleeping.’

‘Oh, it’s OK really’, Marty the rhino replied. ‘We like watching the moon too. We’re his friends.’

They were all watching the moon when Jenny heard another voice.

‘It’s time you were in bed.’

‘Can I take my toys?’

Mum kissed Jenny’s forehead. ‘Not all of them. The moon needs his friends.’

Jenny smiled but didn’t open her eyes as her mum place her in her bed and left the room.

‘Good night Mum. Good night moon.’

And the animals on the window seat just watched the moon.

© Chrissy Siggee – 2019

Archived in
Children’s Corner at Riverside Peace

Close of Day

silence captures a moment in time—

                  an owl sounds the close of day,

a hush falls over the darkening sky

                  and the world closes its eyes to sleep.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

© Chrissy Siggee

From my book:   Glimpses of His Glory

Archived in: Poetry Mix

Reaching Out

My heart reaches out
with a passion for your love
Your love flows through me
like a river going home.

I stand in awe
at your loveliness
and lift my hands
to praise your name.

My mind reaches out
with a passion for your Word—
Your presence surrounds me
like the vastness of this land.

I stand in awe
at this establishment
and lift my gaze
to see your power.

My hand reaches out
with a passion for your touch—
Your glory lights the way
like a rainbow after the storm.

I stand in awe
of the creators design
and lift my head
to worship you.

My soul reaches out
with a passion for your peace—
Your presents overwhelms
like the vastness of the sea.

I stand in awe
at your creation
and lift my eyes—
Lord, I adore you.

© Chrissy Siggee

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
From my book: Glimpses of His Glory

Questions

Psalm 22:1 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?

I believe God is big enough to carry our doubts, criticisms, anger, confusion and frustration, but there often seems to be no explanation to why things happen. Yes, we are free to question God, but we need to develop patience for God will reveal the answers only when we are ready to hear them.

Our world is not at all perfect, and neither are we. God is perfect. He wants us to continue to read His Word so our faith may be strengthened for He sent Christ to show us the way. Don’t look to find meaning to the suffering, but let the suffering add meaning to our lives. If we have never suffered, how can we empathize with others who suffer? If we never fail, we can’t lift up those who also fail. Our suffering adds meaning to our lives. Our pain adds to our love for others who also suffer, as we suffer, as Christ suffered.

Hebrews 4:16 says: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

We need to ask God to help us to become more patience and more like what he wants us to be. Thank Him for the good things, and seek the resilience to endure the bad. To live, not in the shadow of fear and despair, but in the light of God’s love.

Perhaps one day, God will answer our questions of ‘why?’ Perhaps we are just impatient, and want to know the answers before we are ready to understand or accept them. Whatever the reason, trust Him and know it’s all right to ask Him questions. Allow God to develop patience and trust.

Father, as we call on you in our times of need, help us to grow in patience and understanding as we learn to trust you in all things, bad and good, in our life. Amen

© Chrissy Siggee 2019

Scripture Verses used are from the New International Version of the Bible

Archived in: Christian Reads

Cindy

‘Don’t just sit there Cindy, talk to me,’ Steve pouted.

‘Humph.’

‘Don’t you think you are being just a wee bit selfish? I mean this place has a lot of potential. It has everything you need. Look at it. Your old place is gone Cindy. This is your new home.’

Cindy looked around. Her arms remained folded; her head held aloft. She puckered her lips and blew raspberries at no one in particular.

‘You’re not being polite. A lot of thought went into your new environment.’

‘Humph.’

‘Please, Cindy. Look at me. Talk to me. I’m supposed to be your best friend. What kind of conversation can we have if you won’t even look at me?’

She turned to face Steve and tapped on his watch with her long fingers.

‘It’s almost noon. Are you hungry?’

Her reply was instant – and loud.

Steve was laughing now. ‘With all the dozens of words you understand, you must know every one relating to food.’ He stood. ‘Why don’t we see what’s to eat?’

They walked hand-in-hand to where Cindy’s siblings sat sniffing and feeling fruit.

‘See Cindy’, Steve pointed out. ‘That’s the way I’ve been showing you how to choose the best fruit. Only, I don’t kiss mangoes before I eat them’, he teased.

Steve moved toward Oliver and Tracy but Cindy pulled back.

‘Hi you two’, Steve said with a smile. He patted the top of Cindy’s head. ‘It’s okay. I promise.’

The pair didn’t look up from their meal.

With a flick of her free hand Cindy turned and marched away pulling on Steve’s arm to follow. She lowered her head to face the floor. Hands faced up and wiped her eyes and nose on Steve’s trousers.

He crouched down and spoke quietly. ‘I know this is all new to you…and you haven’t seen your family for a while, but you will settle in. Things can only improve but this conversation has got to stop being one way.’ He paused and cupped Cindy’s face in his hand.  ‘Look at me and tell me what makes you so sad.’

In one huge lunge Cindy wrapped her arms around him and kissed his face, then danced around on the spot. She stopped suddenly and grabbed Steve’s shirt and tugged hard.

Taking the tiny wrists in his hands, Steve began to whisper. ‘I wish you could talk, Cindy girl. This is no sign I’ve ever taught you. What is it?’

She fell limp in his arms.

‘Oh, I get it. You don’t want me to leave.’

The reply was the slowest of nods with a bottom lip that would trip up a python.

‘Cindy girl, you have been the best chimpanzee I have ever had the pleasure to work with.’

He gently lifted his little friend’s chin with two fingers. He looked into her misty eyes. ‘But, it’s time to be just that—a chimpanzee. You’re the best. You deserve the best. No more bananas for a trick. No more peeled grapes for signing a new word. You’re free.’ He paused. ‘Well, as free as the government will let you.’ He smiled and kissed his girl.

With that, Cindy strode in her cute swaying way to the table. She grabbed a banana and took it back to Steve, planted a kiss on his cheek and headed back to her family.

Oliver and Tracy looked up at Cindy shaking their heads and puckered their lips. They squealed in unison.

Cindy blew raspberries at her siblings and kissed a mango.

© Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in
Short Fiction by Chrissy at Riverside Peace

Eclipse and Blood Moon

I’m a bit late with posting these. Sorry. I’ve been busy with my dad.

I think these photos got out of order but I could only uploaded the photos that I would work with WordPress.
There were bits of cloud that disrupted the view throughout the evening. At least the clouds looked interesting too.
First part of the eclipse.
I’m not sure if I would call it a blood moon. Other photos taken along NSW east coast look much the same. It was still beautiful and a great excuse to sit with neighborhoods with a bottle of wine in the drive way.

Archived in: Retirement