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It is Easter. But are you alive?

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Today is Good Friday and we remember that Jesus died in our place. Soon it will be Easter Sunday and we will rejoice that He is alive.

Yes Jesus is alive.

He has risen from the dead and because He lives we can also live! That is why Jesus could say “I am come that you might have life  and have it more abundantly”

But ……….Are you alive in Christ. Alive?

Here are 7 very simple tests used to establish if something is actually alive.

1. GROWTH. Living beings grow. This is an irreversible growth not like a crystal.

Are you growing and maturing spiritually?

2 Peter 3:18 Grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ

2 Thes 1:3 We ought always to thank God for you…because your faith is  growing

2. MOVEMENT: Living beings move. The ability to move as a result of the expenditure on energy. Animals move to search for  food, Plants move towards or away from stimuli such as the sun.

Are you moving closer to God?

Not content with present spiritual state seeking to improve.

Phil 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

3. SENSITIVE: All living things are sensitive to changes in their environment and are therefore able to react to these changes. So for example as the sun moves across the sky the sunflower follows its movement.

As Christians we need to be sensitive to God’s voice so that we can respond to His directions.

John 10;4-5 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.

John 8:47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”

4. FEED: All life forms seek nutrition.

1 Peter 2:2 Like new born babies crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow up in your salvation

If we are alive in Christ we will seek sound Biblical teaching. Having sought and found food living things then use that food, they eat. So too as
Christians we need to not only study the bible but apply it on a daily basis.

John 14:23 Jesus said if anyone loves me he will obey my teaching

1 John 5:3 This is love for God: to obey His teaching

5. RESPIRE: No not just breathing. In Biological terms this refers to the release of energy which takes place in all life forms.

As a Christian our “source of energy” is God, not ourselves. We are energised by the power of God in our lives. It is not us but Him.

Eph 3:16 I pray that …He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being.

Phil 4:13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.

6. EXCRETE WASTE: Leave behind that which no longer belongs

Rom 6:1-15 (Look it up)

7. REPRODUCE: Living beings naturally reproduce.

Mat 28:18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

2 Cor 5:20 We are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us, we implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.

Are you experiencing the LIFE Jesus rose to give you?

You can.

If you know you are a Christian but you are not experiencing the Full Life which Jesus died and rose again to give you then today Easter is a perfect time to surrender all to His control.

If you have never done so before you can turn yourself over to Him. Exchanging your existence for real LIFE.

John 7:11

 

God bless you,

Ray

 

 

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Funny, false advertisements

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Have you ever been caught out by false advertising claims?

We see them all the time. Recently in the UK there has been a lot of publicity around many financial products that were wrongly promoted. This has ended up costing banks a fortune and their reputation.

We have also seen a large public outcry about false claims of the speed you can expect from your broadband provider.

With this in mind I decided to look around for some funnier examples of false advertising.

Golden Retreiver

The one below may not be false. But it is equally not giving a fair description.

Eggs

Here is an accurate advert that gave me a laugh

Shoe Sale

Finally we have all seen the glossy pictures advertising wonderful vacation locations

Secluded Beach

QUIET SECLUDED LOCATION. RELAX.

Only to discover on arrival that it was not quite what we expected.

Actual Beach

At Christian House Sitters we do not believe in making false or inflated claims. Our offer is really simple. Christian House Sitters is a ministry that started in order to provide rent-free vacations for Christians and reliable House Sitters for home owners who need someone they can trust to look after their home, pets and garden.

House owners do not pay anything to have their property listed.

House sitters are only charged £25 per year and in return for this many enjoy numerous rent-free vacations each year.

By becoming a registered House sitter you will benefit by being able to have short or long breaks in your own country or abroad.
Your only expense will be the actual cost of travelling to and from the destination and your food.
You will know that you are helping another Christian to have a break and that when you arrive you will be introduced to their Church and Christian friends.
Naturally it is entirely up to you to decide if you want to get involved or not.

Home owners benefit from being able to leave their home and animals in the care of a Christian who they have confidence will love the animals and care for you property honestly.
They will also know that they are helping another Christian to have a holiday.
They have the added security of being able to ask prospective House Sitters for a reference from their Church leaders.
As a result they can go away without having to worry about their home and animals.
In the UK having a pet sitter to look after pets costs an average of £200 per week. The majority of us can’t afford that.
Also if you hire a sitter through an agency they select the person. You have no idea who you are letting into your home.
Using this service you are able to make contact with potential sitters and prayerfully select the right person or persons.

For more information see our website. CLICK HERE

God bless you,

Ray

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Prayer Needed for these Children

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Those who read this blog regularly will know we cover a wide range of topics.

Recent posts have included some really good laughs, Travel tips, Health advice, House Sitting Information and many other things.

You will also know that Christian House Sitters operates world wide offering rent-free vacations to Christians and also finding reliable Christians who will look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away.

Our home owners do not pay to join and our sitters pay just £25 per year all of which goes to support a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya called Home of Peace.

I have just sent out the latest newsletter about Home of Peace ( we send about 4 a year) and I felt that I should also share this news update here.

HOME OF PEACE. UPDATE March 2014

Uniform1

  uniform2

PRAY

We need urgent prayer for two new dormitories otherwise half of these children will be sent home by the authorities even though they have no suitable homes to be sent to.

We have applied for registration for Home of Peace Children’s Home. The children services and the Health Department have been very helpful but we have too many children for the two dormitories and one nursery room.

We need to show the authorities that we are serious about building new dormitories. In December the children services arrived and wanted to start sending some of the children away from the home as soon as the school year finished and I had to write and persuade them to give us a few more months. A lot of these children have one parent but they would be going back into extreme poverty with no schooling but children services have their rules. They would have sent the older children from about 10 years old away to fend for themselves with family who can’t even support themselves.

All our children are doing very well at school and the headmaster is very impressed with the results.

Please pray for God to do a miracle. We will need about of £6000 to build two new dormitories.

The Health Department inspected the home recently and the report sent to me was very good. The home, according to the official report, is very clean and the children all well looked after.

DormPainted

The existing dormitories after repainting and repair

 We have had to repair the two existing dormitories and to paint them inside and out and this has been done. A while ago we had a gift from a church which enabled us to repair and paint the dormitories

The nursery room which takes the 14 youngest children is still in very good condition.

We have had a wonderful answer to prayer for school uniforms. A lovely Christian family gave us £500 which provided uniforms for all the school children and play clothes for the small children.

We’ve also managed to buy exercise books and textbooks, pens, pencils, et cetera and have paid £200 towards the school fees from other gifts that we received.

The school has said they will wait a little longer for the rest of the fees and we have promised to pay them the balance as soon as God provides.

Thank you very much to all those who gave towards this!

Please pray for a miracle for the two dormitories.

If your church or a group in your church are looking for a worthwhile project they may consider helping to raise money for the building.

To make a donation please use the PayPal Donate button CLICK HERE

God bless you,

Ray

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A Very Funny Airline.

I always appreciate hearing from our house sitters and home owners. Gerry, a South African sitter, who has recently enjoyed a month rent-free vacation through Christian House Sitters looking after a lovely house in New Zealand kindly sent me the following. Thanks Gerry

Kulula is a budget airline based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a great sense of humour. For example look at their livery.This side Uo painted on plane

On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,”People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”

On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said,”Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.” 

On landing, the stewardess said,”Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”

There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”

Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”

Signs on planeAs the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: “Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”

After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced,”Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”

From a Kulula employee: “Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth . To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”

In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.”

Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”

Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”

“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”

And from the pilot during his welcome message:”Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”

Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town , on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said,”Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”

Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”

An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline”. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said,”Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?””Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?” The little old lady said,”Did we land, or were we shot down?”

After a real crusher of a landing in Johannesburg , the attendant came on with,”Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal..”

Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement:”We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”

Heard on a Kulula flight:”Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”

Great stuff and good South African fun.

Remember if you fancy a vacation anywhere (including South Africa) we have members all over the world we can help with rent-free accommodation and by providing someone who will look after your home and pets while you are away. Full details are on our website CLICK HERE

God bless you,

Ray

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An Easy, Fun Way to Save Your Life

Warning Signs

Warning Signs

Stress, Depression and Heart Disease are some of the leading killers of this century. Everyone is at risk and we bombarded with advice about diet, exercise, weight control etc. These are all important and I am not seeking to negate them but there is another factor that good solid scientific research has shown to also be vital to preventing theses killers striking.

A solution that is enjoyable, fun, and something to look forward to with eager anticipation and to look back on with fond and lasting memories.

In brief research shows that not taking a regular vacation will significantly increase your risk of death from a heart attack.  I will not go into all the details but will simply summarize a few studies and provide links so you can read them in full if you wish.

In a study of 13,000 middle-aged men at risk for heart disease, those who skipped vacations were found to be 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks than those who took at least one week off each year. Even missing one year’s vacation was associated with a higher risk of heart disease. Full report

A separate study, tapping information from the Framingham Heart Study, found vacation deprivation may be equally hazardous for women. Researchers looked at 20 years worth of questionnaires given to 749 women. Their finding: Women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than those who took at least two vacations a year.  Full Report

A study conducted among 1,500 women in rural Wisconsin found that those who take vacations twice a year or more were less likely to become tense, depressed or tired than those who took vacations once every two years. In addition, the odds of marital satisfaction decreased as the frequency of vacations decreased. Full Report Depression

Finally a sample of 887 law firm lawyers in Canada found that participating in active and social leisure activities and taking a vacation are important in reducing lawyers’ depression Full Report

Americans are at greater risk than those living in most other countries. This is because most countries in Europe have a legal requirement to give staff an annual vacation of between 20 and 30 days (varies between countries. Australia and New Zealand mandate at least 20 days off. Canada only insists on 10 days a year and America has no legal minimum.

There is the mistaken idea that it would cost business too much but that is simply not correct. As an example Jancoa, a Cincinnati janitorial service firm, for example, decreased its employee turnover from 360 percent to 60 percent while simultaneously increasing its productivity with the addition of a week of vacation. Full Report

The Chicago office of Price Waterhouse Coopers, the worldwide accounting firm, once dedicated an entire issue of its in-house newsletter to the importance of taking a vacation, pointing out that vacations enable employees to return to work with a strong focus and energy. Full Article

So start making plans NOW. Your life may depend on it.

BUT I can’t afford it!

In the USA 34% of those asked said that they can’t afford to take their full vacation. Now that is really sad! We all know how important a vacation is for your mental and physical health. Cutting it down because of cost is not necessary.

We can help you!Free

How?

Register with Christian House Sitters and you can enjoy rent-free vacations all over the world.

We can also arrange for a Christian to look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away.

For more information please have a look at our website CLICK HERE

God bless you,

Ray

 

 

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Vacation Cost Rant sparks Campaign

WalletAs I was reading the BBC News website today I saw an article headed Facebook ‘rant’ on school holiday costs sparks campaign

Now for my American readers when the British say holiday please substitute vacation. The word vacation means the same both sides of the ocean but somehow holiday has taken a different meaning for most Americans. So this is about vacation costs.

Here is an extract from the article

With about 250 friends on Facebook, Paul Cookson did not expect a “rant” he posted to have much impact.

He wrote that he was “sick to death” of being “ripped off” by companies which put up holiday prices outside school term time.

A few friends agreed, and followed his request to “share this post if you have also had enough”.

It soon went viral, and more than 143,000 people have shared it so far.

Supporters also began signing an online petition calling for government action and this has now gone far beyond the 100,000 signatures needed for a possible debate in Parliament.

Continue reading the main story With about 250 friends on Facebook, Paul Cookson did not expect a “rant” he posted to have much impact.

He wrote that he was “sick to death” of being “ripped off” by companies which put up holiday prices outside school term time.

A few friends agreed, and followed his request to “share this post if you have also had enough”.

It soon went viral, and more than 143,000 people have shared it so far.

Supporters also began signing an online petition calling for government action and this has now gone far beyond the 100,000 signatures needed for a possible debate in Parliament

Had enough. Mr Cookson’s initial post, entitled “school holiday rant”, asked why parents should be “penalised” for doing the right thing and not taking their children away during term time. It came about after he tried to book a holiday with his daughter.

He told the BBC he was stunned by the response on Facebook, with many people encouraging him to “carry it on and fight”.

So the 41-year-old set up a Facebook group called Holiday Price Increase, in which many people have shared examples of price changes. You can read the full article by clicking here

I can see both sides of the argument. Parents can’t take their family away during school term so it seems wrong to increase prices just when they can go away. Yet obviously it is out of school term time that the demand is highest so the rest of the year prices are lowered to attract customers.

So what is the solution?

In my opinion it is to vacation rent-free!

That is the service we offer through Christian House Sitters. We operate all over the world and we not only offer rent-free accommodation but also people (reliable people) who will look after your home and pets while you are away. Again without any fee being charged for their service.

Too good to be true?

No it is true and we have been offering this for about 6 years with hundreds of happy members.Saving Money

Find out more by visiting our website  CLICK HERE

God bless you,

Ray

 

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Time for a good laugh.

Stupid People

My sincere thanks to the friend who sent me the following. Sorry I can’t acknowledge the author as I have no idea who it was.

At Christian House Sitters we always like to have a good laugh and especially when it is travel related as our ministry is helping people travel and enjoy rent-free vacations all over the world.

For details CLICK HERE

RESERVATIONS OF AN AIRLINE AGENT

I work in a central reservation office of an airline. After more than 130,000 conversations — all ending with “Have a nice day and thanks for calling” — I think it’s fair to say that I’m a survivor.

I’ve made it through all the calls from adults who didn’t know the difference between a.m. and p.m., from mothers of military recruits who didn’t trust their little soldiers to get it right, from the woman who called to get advice on how to handle her teenage daughter, from the man who wanted to ride inside the kennel with his dog so he wouldn’t have to pay for a seat, from the woman who wanted to know why she had to change clothes on our flight between Chicago and Washington (she was told she’d have to make a change between the two cities) and from the man who asked if I’d like to discuss the existential humanism that emanates from the soul of Habeeb.

In five years, I’ve received more than a boot camp education regarding the astonishing lack of awareness of our American citizenry. This lack of awareness encompasses every region of the country, economic status, ethnic background, and level of education. My battles have included everything from a man not knowing how to spell the name of the town he was from, to another not recognizing the name of “Iowa” as being a state, to another who thought he had to apply for a foreign passport to fly to West Virginia. They are the enemy and they are everywhere.

In the history of the world there has never been as much communication and new things to learn as today. Yet, after asking a woman from New York what city she wanted to go to in Arizona, she asked “Oh…is it a big place?”

I talked to a woman in Denver who had never heard of Cincinnati, a man in Minneapolis who didn’t know there was more than one city in the South (“wherever the South is”), a woman in Nashville who asked, “Instead of paying for my ticket, can I just donate the money to the National Cancer Society?”, and a man in Dallas who tried to pay for his ticket by sticking quarters in the pay phone he was calling from.

I knew a full invasion was on the way when, shortly after signing on, a man asked if we flew to exit 35 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Then a woman asked if we flew to area code 304. And I knew I had been shipped off to the front when I was asked, “When an airplace comes in, does that mean it’s arriving or departing?” I remembered the strict training we had received — four weeks of regimented classes on airline codes, computer technology, and telephone behaviour — and it allowed for no means of retaliation. “Troops,” we were told, “it’s real hell out there and ya got no defence. You’re going to hear things so silly you can’t even make ‘em up. You’ll try to explain things to your friends that you don’t even believe yourself, and just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone will ask if they can get a free round-trip ticket to Europe by reciting ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’.”

Well, Sarge was right. It wasn’t long before I suffered a direct hit from a woman who wanted to fly to Hippopotamus, NY. After assuring her that there was no such city, she became irate and said it was a big city with a big airport. I asked if Hippopotamus was near Albany or Syracuse. It wasn’t. Then I asked if it was near Buffalo. “Buffalo!” she said. “I knew it was a big animal!”

Then I crawled out of my bunker long enough to be confronted by a man who tried to catch our flight in Maconga. I told him I’d never heard of Maconga and we certainly didn’t fly to it. Be he insisted we did and to prove it he showed me his ticket: Macon, GA.

I’ve done nothing during my conversational confrontations to indicate that I couldn’t understand English. But after quoting the round-trip fare the passenger just asked for, he’ll always ask: “…Is that one-way?” I never understood why they always question if what I just gave them is what they just asked for. Then I realized it was part of the hell Sarge told us about.

But I’ve survived to direct the lost, correct the wrong, comfort the weary, teach U.S. geography and give tutoring in the spelling and pronunciation of American cities. I have been told things like: “I can’t go stand-by for your flight because I’m in a wheelchair.” I’ve been asked such questions as: “I have a connecting flight to Knoxville. Does that mean the plane sticks to something?” And once a man wanted to go to Illinois. When I asked what city he wanted to go to in Illinois, he said, “Cleveland, Ohio.”

After 130,000 little wars of varying degrees, I’m a wise old veteran of the communication conflict and can anticipate with accuracy what the next move by “them” will be. Seventy-five percent won’t have anything to write on. Half will not have thought about when they’re returning. A third won’t know where they’re going; 10 percent won’t care where they’re going. A few won’t care if they get back. And James will be the first name of half the men who call.

But even if James doesn’t care if he gets to the city he never heard of; even if he thinks he has to change clothes on our plane that may stick to something; even if he can’t spell, pronounce, or remember what city he’s returning to, he’ll get there because I’ve worked very hard to make sure that he can. Then with a click of the phone, he’ll become a part of my past and I’ll be hoping the next caller at least knows what day it is.

Oh, and James…”Thanks for calling and have a nice day.”

God bless you

Ray

 

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