Thursday, 5 January 2012


This blog has been transferred to Wordpress and, I hope, improved. Please continue to follow me. Just hop over to here.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Thinking Thursday: God's Poem

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

Christians are God’s “workmanship.” The Greek word is poiema, from which we get our word “poem.” It means “a work of art, a masterpiece.” In Christ, you receive God’s grace and become his work of art.

Michelangelo’s paintings and sculptures testify to his creative genius. Shakespeare’s plays make us mindful of the work of a master. Mozart’s music proclaims the inspired talent of an incomparable composer.

Paul is saying, “Look around. Consider the Christians you know. Think about the difference God has made in their lives. Each life points to the creative genius of God. He has taken wrecked, broken, distorted, misguided lives and made them works of art.”

We are God’s workmanship. Poems, communicating his grace, mercy, and love. Paintings, designed to capture on the canvas of daily living the very essence of life.

God's poem? That's what he has in mind for you! 

[The above was posted on 14th July 2009 by Rusty Peterman on his Jesus Apprentice Blog.  As we look back over the last year it would be good to reflect on how God is shaping our lives. Merry Christmas.]

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Scribbling Saturday: New Blogs

Now that things are settling down and I will have more time to concentrate, and now that work on publishing my history book is seriously under way, I have decided that it's time to re-do my blogs.

I am going over to Wordpress, which allows blogs to look more like web sites. I will be converting this blog first, and changing it to reflect my current interests, in order to practice with Wordpress before creating a new blog for Alina and copying most of my White Lady blog posts into it. I have to think about exactly what I want to achieve with each blog, and work out what I need to do.

This blog will still be Ann Marie Thinking Out Loud, but won't include any crafts, for example, as my craft work is now my writing. I am going to do more writing about my faith too, but I haven't decided everything yet. My Alina (aka White Lady) blog will be the platform for publicising the book, when it is published, so has to be carefully thought out.

All suggestions will be gratefully received. Watch this space for further developments and news of when the new blogs are launched. I hope you will follow either or both of them.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Thinking Thursday: Surprised by Answered Prayer

Why are we always surprised by answered prayer? Is it because God so rarely does our bidding?

Since my stroke, I have been unable to drive, and I have spent the past few months going through the process of getting my licence back. I had an assessment in August which confirmed that I was medically fit to drive, and have since been having driving lessons in an adapted car.

It proved much harder than I expected to get used to a different way of driving. I got panicky when I lost control for a moment, and sometimes ended up in tears. Friends prayed for me, and I prayed for strength and concentration and calm. On the verge of giving up, it suddenly came together. Thank you Lord.

Today I had my second driving assessment, to determine whether I could successfully control a car and be allowed to have my driving licence back (suitably amended, of course). I was very nervous, and friends prayed for me, and I prayed.

Something I hadn't bargained on was a magnifying of my emotions. A side-effect of the stroke was a condition called 'emotional lability', sometimes rather unflatteringly called 'emotional incontinence'. It is an inability to control emotions, particularly laughter and tears. At first, a small joke would have me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe, and a small kindness would see me sobbing uncontrollably. I have regained a lot of control as I have recovered, but not all.

Today I found my nervousness magnified hugely. Michael prayed for me and left me sobbing. By the time we reached the assessment centre I had to rush to the loo where I had diarrhoea and was sick. Yet when I got in the car, I was suddenly calm, and all went well. Thank you Lord.

Help me Lord, not to be surprised by answered prayer.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Thinking Thursday: Persistence

Those who follow my Scribbling Saturday blog posts or follow me on Facebook will know that I just finished NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month. I succeeded in writing 39,000 words, which was quite an achievement, and 7,000 up on last year.

The question is whether I am going to take the practice of daily writing and make it a habit in my normal life.

I think of NaNoWriMo as being like a Christian Bible Week or weekend celebration. You suspend some of your normal daily practices and have an intense time of learning and spiritual  experiences. The trouble is, when normal life resumes, the great things from the time out get soon forgotten.

How long do the things from the Sunday sermon stay with you once the week starts?  Will you put things in place in your life so that you can keep on doing the good things, the inspirational things, the things that change your life?

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Scribbling Saturday: NaNo Report

Including today, I have five days of NaNoWriMo left, and seventeen thousand words still to write. I have to make the decision: do I abandon everything and write like crazy to try to reach fifty thousand words, or do I live my life and settle for what I can get?

This year has been a difficult one. My historical novel did not go well - I fear it may be irredeemable drivel - and I am not inspired by my scifi novel. I think my creativity just gave up on the first and won't revive for the second. Oh well, that's life. To be fair, it has also coincided with having the decorator in, with mess and noise making concentration difficult, and I am having driving lessons in an adapted car, which has been nerve wracking.

Memo to self:
1. Clear the decks next year so there is little going on to distract me.
2. Plan the novel in much more detail.
3. Define the main chacters in detail so that you really know who they are and what they feel.

Memo to other NaNoWriMos:
Learn from my mistakes!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thinking Thursday: The World Needs People Who...

The world needs people who cannot be bought;
whose word is their bond;
who put character above wealth;
who possess opinions and a will;
who are larger than their vocations;
who don't hesitate to take chances;
who don't lose their individuality in a crowd;
who will be as honest in small things as they are in great things;
who will make no compromise with wrong;
whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires;
who will not say they do it "because everybody else does it";
who are true to their friends through good report and evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity;
who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning and hard-heartedness are the best qualities for winning success;
who are not afraid to stand for the truth even when it's unpopular;
who say "no" with emphasis, even though the rest of the world says "yes".

Ted Engstrom