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Adding Spice to Retirement

I am running a mini series in which I am reproducing articles that have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world about Christian House Sitters in the hope that it will provide a better perspective of what we do.  These have not been edited by us in any way.

Last week we featured an article from Cathedral Connections.  St Peter’s London Ontario

Here is Article Number 2 and it is taken from the UK Magazine Woman Alive

wa_logo
I’ve become a house sitter’

Sheila Jones from Great Wyrley in the Midlands is a retired researcher and teacher in higher education, and currently an artist.

She worships at St Mark’s and spent her summer house sitting for a couple in Beaconsfield. A few years ago, she joined a worldwide organisation called Christian House Sitters, whereby one looks after a house for anything from a week to several months. She has so far looked after properties in France, England and New Zealand. Sheila has two grown-up children and four grandsons.

She has been widowed for 30 years.

About five years ago, I was browsing the internet and wondering if there was an opportunity to house sit in New Zealand, when I came across http://www.christian-housesitters.com. It is not a house swap, although I could put my house on the website for someone to look after while I am sitting for someone else if I wanted to. It costs just £25 to sign up and it’s a matter of seeing what
locations and properties fit in with the holiday time you have.

I went to France last year and New Zealand the year before that. The longest time I have spent away is nine months in New Zealand. This year, I stayed in England and went back to a lovely house in Beaconsfield, where I have been several  times before.

As a house sitter, you often have to look after the family pets. Sometimes it’s cats or dogs, and this year it was also chickens. But in return, I had all the eggs!

It’s an affordable way of seeing different parts of the country and visiting other parts of the world. I have enjoyed taking part in worship in other churches and it’s lovely to come back and share those experiences.

I usually go on my own, but I have on occasions taken my son or daughter. However, it’s important to let the owners know if there is more than one of you going, so they can get the rooms ready.

I would love to go to Canada, but although there have been houses that have come up from time to time, so far they haven’t fitted in with my free time.

Sheila’s Tips:

If you do house sit, make sure you are there before the owners leave. It enables you to meet them properly and know where things are.

One of the questions asked when you are linked up is whether you would like to be put in touch with one of the house owner’s friends. I would say yes and I always try and go to their local church when I am there. It is always good to see how others worship.

Have a spirit of adventure. If you are retired, it helps you get out of the “retirement mindset”.

Have a look at our website for more details. We are a Christian Ministry NOT a business.

www.christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

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A Unique Adventure

For the next few weeks I am planning to reproduce extracts from articles that have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world about Christian House Sitters in the hope that it will provide a better perspective of what we do.  These have not been edited by us in any way.

Here is Article Number 1 and is taken from Cathedral Connections.  St Peter’s London Ontario.

Cathedral Connections Article

A UNIQUE ADVENTURE – HOUSESITTING IN MEDIEVAL ENGLAND
By Joyce Hilton

At some point we all think about a dream vacation, especially one that costs little and allows you to enhance your love of Christianity and its history and architecture.
My dream vacation and journey began when I stumbled across a website that promised just that. It was called Christian House Sitters, an Internet based service that brought Christian home owners and Christian house sitters together.
Christians home owners who wanted to take a holiday and needed some one to look after their home and! or their pets while away could apply. The other side of the service accommodated persons who could not afford a holiday but would now be enabled to take a break and see other countries. Their only expense would be the cost of travel and their food.
It was totally Christian based and required everyone involved to have a reference from their church.
The registration cost was twenty dollars Canadian for the year which allowed me access to information about various properties in different countries that required a house sitter.
A couple in Norwich, England advertised for a sitter for three months. I was born in England and wanted to experience the atmosphere of its mediaeval history and churches. Norwich seemed like a perfect fit! It is a church enthusiast’s paradise. It possesses more mediaeval churches than any other English City. There is an old saying in Norwich that there are 52 churches for every week of the year and 365 pubs for every day of the day. (My interest was in the former.)
In addition to its great cathedral and the ruins of three other buildings, there are thirty-one other parishes in Norwich that have survived.
I arrived in England in early January of this year and met my awesome hosts who were leaving in the next few days for New Zealand.
Before they left, they drove me to Great Yarmouth, a city on the east coast of England situated about fifty miles away. Along the way, we stopped to look at the ruins of a thirteenth century Augustinian Priory. Even though the walls had eroded to half their size and roofs had long disappeared, you sensed that this was once a holy place and the likely home of earlier saints. It was the first step in my quest to visit ancient holy places. ……………………………………………….I left realizing that I was a part of a much larger faith community, one that transcends countries and history

Have a look at our website for more details. We are a Christian Ministry NOT a business.

www.christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

 

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September Already

Its September

Yes it’s true. We are already 9 months into the year.

Christmas and New Year will be here almost before we have time to catch our breath.

So if you are planning to get away for a break please remember that we can help you save a lot of money by finding you a suitable person or family to look after your home and pets FREE of charge while you are away

In the same way if you are interested in having a RENT-FREE vacation why not register with us as a House Sitter.

We have sitters and houses available all over the world.

PalmThe sooner you register the better the chance of finding the ideal sitter for your home and your pets or of finding you that ideal place to get away and relax without the expense of renting a home or a hotel room.

Have a look at our website for more details. We are a Christian Ministry NOT a business.

www.christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

We are part of the registered charity

TLC Children’s Trust

UK Charity number 1156786

www.tlc-childrenstrust.org

 

WordPress are adding adverts to blogs. They are not always shown but if there are adverts on this page please note they were not placed by me, not approved by me and do not imply my recommendation

 

Prayer

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A friend of mine (yes I do have some) posted the following on Facebook.

It is listed as Author Unknown

I hope it blesses you as much as it did me.

Praying The Lord’s Prayer

pray105“Our Father which art in heaven,”
Yes?
“Don’t interrupt me. I’m praying”
But you called me
“Called you? I didn’t call you. I’m praying. “‘Our  Father which art in heaven,”
There you did it again
“Did what?”
Called me.  You said, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Here I am.  What’s on your mind?
“But I didn’t mean anything by it. I was, you know, just saying  my prayers for the day. I always say the  Lord’s Prayer. It makes me feel good, kind of like  getting a duty done.”
All right. Go on.
“Hallowed be Thy name.”
Hold it.  What do you mean by that?
“By what?”
By “Hallowed be Thy name?”
“It means. It means …. Good grief, I don’t know what it means.  How should I know?  It’s just a part of the prayer.  By the way, what does it mean?”
It means honoured,  holy, wonderful.
“Hey that makes sense. I never thought about what ‘hallowed’ meant before.” “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth  as it is in heaven.”
Do you really mean that?
” Sure, why not?”
What are you doing about it?
“Doing? Nothing, I guess. I just think it would be kind of neat if you got control of everything down here like you have up  there.”
Have I got control of you?
” Well, I go to  church.”
That isn’t what I asked you.  What about your  temper? You’ve really got a  problem there, you know.  And then there’s the  way you spend your money – all on yourself. And what about the kinds of  books you read
and what you watch on TV?

“Stop picking on me!  I’m just as  good as the rest of those people at church.”
Excuse me. I thought you were praying for my will to be done.  If that is to happen, it will have  to start with the ones who are praying for it. Like you, for example.
“Oh,  all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups.  Now that you mention it, I could probably name some others.”
So could I!!
“I haven’t thought about it very  much  until now, but I’d really like to cut out some of  those things. I would  like to, you know, be really free.”
Good.  Now we’re getting somewhere. We’ll work together, you and I. Some victories can be truly won. I’m proud of you.
“Look, Lord, I need to finish this up here. This is taking a lot longer than it usually does … Give us this day our daily bread.”
You could cut out the bread. It would help you lose weight.
“Hey, wait a minute! What is this, ‘Criticize, ME day?’ Here I was doing my religious duty, and all of a sudden you break in and remind me of all my hang-ups.”
Praying is a dangerous thing. You could wind  up changed, you know.  That’s what I’m trying to get across to you. Keep praying.  I’m interested in the next part of your prayer.
(Pause)
Well, go on.
“I’m scared to.”
Scared?  Of what?
“I know what you’ll say.”
Try me and see.
“Forgive us our sins, as we  forgive those who sin against us.”
What about Ann?
“See? I knew it! I knew you would bring her up! Why Lord she’s told lies about me, spread stories about my family. She
never paid back the money she owes me.  I’ve sworn to get even with her!”
But your prayer?  What about your prayer?
“I  didn’t mean it.”
Well, at least you’re honest.  But it’s not much fun carrying that load of bitterness inside you, is it?
“No. But, I’ll feel better as soon as I get even. Boy, have I got some plans for that neighbour. She’ll wish she had never moved into this neighbourhood.”
You won’t feel any better. You’ll feel worse. Revenge isn’t sweet. Think of how unhappy you already are. But, I can change  all that.
“You can? How?”
Forgive Ann. Then you’ll sense better My forgiveness for you. Then the hate and sin will be Ann’s problem and not yours. You will have settled your heart.
“Oh, you’re right. You always are. And, more than I want to get revenge against Ann, I want to be right with you. But, (Pause) … (Sigh) … All right. I forgive her.  Help her to find the  right  road in life, Lord.  She’s bound to be awfully miserable now that I think about it.  Anybody who goes around doing the things she does to  others has  to be out of it.  Someway, somehow, show her the right way.
There now!  Wonderful!  How do you feel?
“Hmmm. Well, not bad. Not bad at all. I feel pretty  great. You know, I don’t think I’ll have to go to bed uptight tonight for the first time since I can remember. Maybe I won’t be so tired from now on because I’m not getting enough rest.”
You’re not through with your prayers. Go on.
“Oh, all right. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Good! Good! I’ll do that. Just don’t put yourself in a place where you can be tempted.
“What do you mean by that?”
Don’t turn the TV on when you know the  laundry needs to be done and the house needs to be picked up.  Also about the time you spend with your friends, if you can’t influence the conversation  to positive things,
perhaps you should rethink the value of those friendships. Another thing, your neighbours and friends shouldn’t be your standard for “keeping up.” And please don’t use me as an escape hatch.

“I don’t understand that  last part.”
Sure you do. You’ve done it a lot of times.  You get caught in a bad situation. You get in trouble  and then you come  running to me: “Lord, help me out of this mess, and I promise you I’ll never do it again.” You remember some of those bargains you tried to make with me?
“Yes, and I’m ashamed, Lord, I really am.”
Which bargain are you remembering?
“Well, there was the night that my husband was gone and the children and I were  home alone.  The wind was blowing so hard I thought the  roof would go any minute and tornado warnings were out. I remember saying, ‘Oh God, if you  spare us,  I’ll never skip my devotions again.”
I protected you, but you didn’t keep your promise, did you?
“I’m sorry, Lord I really am. Up until now I thought that  if I just prayed the Lord’s Prayer every day, then I could do what I liked.  I didn’t expect anything  to happen like this.”
Go ahead and finish your prayer.
“For Thine is  the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen”
Do you know what would bring me glory? What would really make me happy?
“No, but I’d like to know. I want to please  you. I can see what a mess I’ve made of my life. And I can see  how great it  would be to really be one of your followers.”
You just answered the question.
“I did?”
Yes. The thing that would bring me glory is to have  people like you truly love Me. And I see that happening between us. Now that some of these old sins are exposed and out of the way, there is no  telling what we can do together.
“Lord, let’s see what we can make of me, OK?”

God bless you

Ray

http://www.Christian-housesitters.com

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God at work ‘ behind the scene’

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Coincidence. I think not

I love hearing stories of how God works ‘behind the scene’

 Recently a new couple joined Christian House Sitters and asked us to help them find someone to look after their rather lovely home.

Great that is what we are here for. But it was very short notice. They needed a suitable sitter very soon as they were booked to go away on vacation.

 When they contacted me they sent an additional note explaining the short notice. It said;
“It is last minute so we appreciate that it may not be possible to find someone at short notice.
My daughter was going to look after the house and pets but her sister is now coming back from New Zealand and so they both want to join us on vacation.
Our postman (name removed) who knows us and our dog told me about your site as his sister (name removed) uses your service It was a God- incidence conversation!”

 God moves in mysterious ways.

 One of our members told her brother about Christian House Sitters
The brother happens to be the postman serving a family who need a sitter.
They happen to get into conversation.
The postman remembers what his sister said and tells them
Praise God.Romans 11:25-36

If you are needing someone to look after your home and pets or if you are interested in a rent-free vacation don’t wait to be told by your postman have a look at our website www.christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,

Ray

 

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Read This – Highly recommended

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Hi

In this blog post I am diverting from our normal type of post in order to tell everyone about a wonderful new book.Hurting in Hope

Let me give you a little background.

About 60 years ago I became friends with a lovely family who had moved onto a farm near where we lived in South Africa. It was through this family that I was introduced to the message of God’s love and salvation so I will always be thankful to them. I am happy to say that after all these years we are still in contact even though their one son who was my closest friend now lives in America and I now live in England.

Their oldest son has a son called Alan Lester who is a sound, solid and lovely man whose life is dedicated to God.

Alan’s wife died very suddenly and from his grief Alan has written this wonderful book.

Yes I may be slightly biased in favour of him because of our history but as a (retired) Psychologist and as one who has trained literally hundreds of Christians as Counsellors up to the standard where they could be fully accredited I am not easily impressed by books on bereavement or the grief process. This book is different!

I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Get a copy. You never know when the information found in it may be just what you need to help someone else or even for your self.

I downloaded the e-book from Amazon and it was only £1.80

The book is called Hurting in Hope: Mom has Died by Alan Lester

God bless you

Ray

 

 

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Orphan elephant adopted by family of buffalo

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A friend of mine posted an article to Facebook about an elephant that has lived as a buffalo for over 40 years.

Elephant with Buffalo
If you want to read the full article you can do so by simply clicking here. But briefly it seems this elephant was orphaned in 1970 and adopted by a heard of buffalo. She has lived with the herd of buffalo ever since and has no interest in being reintroduced to elephant herds. She has become a buffalo.

The story touched my heart.

It also brought to mind the children that we provide for at Home of Peace Children’s Home in Kenya. Many are orphans. Often because of the effects of AIDS, malaria and other local health problems. These children have been ‘adopted’ into the home. Not a heard of buffalo but a family of other children, adults who love and care for them, an opportunity for an education, clothing, medical care and a strong Christian environment.

Our Administrator at the Home is Erick Owino who was himself an orphan living on the streets as a young child, frequently hungry, always in danger before he was taken into a Christian Children’s Home. Now as an educated adult he helps look after the next generation of struggling children.

Please help us to help these children.

Their only income is from Christian House Sitters. (All our income goes to the home) and from people who choose to either sponsor a child or to make an occasional donation.

All funds are passed through our charity arm T.L.C. Children’s Trust (Registered Charity Number 1156786) and we carefully monitor where it is used. We are in contact with the home a few times every week and know exactly where the money is used.

Please also join us in praying as we urgently need £6,000 to build 2 more dormitories as our facilities are simply not sufficient for the number of children.

If you or your church can help even in a very small way please get in touch.

If you would like to know more about the home or the charitable trust please click here.

To find out more about Christian House Sitters click here

God bless you,

Ray

 

 

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