Tuesday 16 April 2024

Too ill to die

 I was feeling very ill and waiting for an ambulance to take me to hospital, so how was it that I had the assurance that it was not my time to die? After all, I am now 93 years old. Surely a ripe old age.

Back home now, and recovering my strength, I will tell you the story. A faithful Christian lady had once told me about her mother. At the age of seventy she had been healed of heart disease and she had told her, ‘Mother, don’t forget. You do not have to be ill to die.’

And she didn’t and indeed wasn’t. In her nineties, she had been helping her daughter with her jobs around the house all morning, enjoyed her dinner and sat back in a comfy chair to enjoy her cup of tea, closed her eyes and was gone.

What a lovely story and somehow I had believed this was a promise for me too.

I had come into this wonderful Care Home, having survived a cardiac arrest and for two years have been enjoying a busy and fulfilling life style. A lovely Christian friend had been hoping to join us in this same home, but the only way there would be room for her was if the Lord called one of us home to glory. It could be any one of us. Was the Lord ready for me?

A friend reminded me that if I were no longer here, then this lady might not want to come, but soon after that one of our long-term residents suffering from dementia, but otherwise hale and hearty, slept her way through twenty four hours. They had kept her on a recliner downstairs so that she had constant care, but the next day she very gently stopped breathing. Indeed, she had confirmed to me the assurance that we do not have to be ill to die.

And though, if we are trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour then we can say with Paul that ‘to be with Christ is far better’, yet I know that I am very privileged to be returned from hospital and am beginning to take up again my fruitful life style – rejoicing in every opportunity I am given to shine for Jesus. And yet with the blessed hope of soon being home, home at last with our wonderful Saviour, having demonstrated, I trust, the truth that we don’t have to be ill to die.


Friday 5 April 2024


 It was Easter Sunday, and I was taken back in  memory to a service many years ago when I was visiting in Denmark. Although I was dependant on an interpreter,  the message had come to me personally and clearly. God w as telling me that I could always know his presence with me, and experience a burning heart as had those two disciples.

Knowing that God was calling me to leave everything and everyone I knew and go abroad as a missionary, what a wonderful assurance I was given that I too could know that our risen  Saviour would be walking  with me every step of my long journey of life. I too could, and still do know the experience of the burning heart.

It was while I was in Australia, on my way to New Guinea that God confirmed to me his promise through a prophet.

‘You are facing vast distances, but I am pledged to come with you and you will be able to turn readily and easily to me at all times as to a friend at all times.’

What a wonderful word of assurance, and how faithful God has been, still is  and will be to each of us who dare to trust his word.

So here I am, an old old lady . Yes, I may be in need of a hearing aid, but thank God, I am not deaf to the voice of the Holy Spirit. How thankful that God has brought me to this day; not too old for God to still reveal himself in deeper and yet more meaningful ways.

For now, I am able not only to know the experience  of the burning heart in my daily walk, - yes, even with a walker,- but even more so as I come to the Table of Communion.

Those two disciples had pressed this stranger to come in and experience their hospitality but it was only in looking back that they had realised the wonder of the miracle, that it had been Jesus himself, this same Jesus and yet not the same for he had endured the terrible weight of our sins, suffered the mocking, the shame, the unbelievable cruelty and now, having conquered every strategy of Satan he was there, for them and for each of us,
and still here to make himself known to each one of us in the breaking of the bread.


Yes, he had walked and talked with them, explaining the Scriptures that had foretold all that had happened, but now, - he was revealing himself to them in  the Breaking of the Bread.

And this has been the wonderful revelation that God is bringing to my heart this Easter time.

I am 93 years old, and often  tempted to think I may have tarried too long, but now I am being reassured that God has kept me ‘for such a time as this.’

Oh Lord, open my eyes that I may always recognise your presence with us, and very especially in the Breaking of the Bread.   

Friday 5 January 2024


 The question had taken me by surprise. It is so many years since I went as a single missionary to the remote land of Papua New Guinea, yes, sixty years ago.

My memoires,  ‘Wings of the Morning,’ had been published, soon after my husband’s death, twenty years ago, but this special lady who had invited us round to her Granny flat, had been rereading it.

She reminded me of some of the challenges which had faced us in daily life up in the highlands, but now she was asking, ‘Tell me, how did you do it?’

Words do not come easily to me these days. How could I recount in few words what I knew had been a series of miracles which had changed me from a fearful young woman, a ‘stick in the mud’ as one school chum had described me to a woman of faith?

One of our friends helped me out. ‘Why!’ she proclaimed, ‘We were young.’ And the moment was passed, but I do want to give an answer to my Sue.

How had I done it? My pastor had told me I was not strong enough to be a missionary. When I eventually arrived, my colleagues were not impressed.’ She won’t last a year, they had said, yet I lasted longer than many of them.

My friend Esther had gone to Africa seven years before, but she was strong, athletic, maybe a bit of a daredevil. Yes, she was cut out to be a missionary, but I certainly did not aspire to follow her.

Yet, in our church a word was coming again and again, that someone was going to other shores and would bring revival. I felt a tremendous burden until I asked, ‘Lord, can it be you are speaking to me?’ I knew it was.

For a little while I was sorry for myself, thinking how hard it would be, until the Lord showed me what a privilege he was giving me and told me, ‘Rejoice in your going out.’

So yes, it was tough. As dear Sue reminded me, I lived in tumble down houses, we had fires and floods and times when I could have been very lonely but in it all, I knew I was in God’s hand and he had brought me there.

And if ever I felt overwhelmed by some of the hardship and challenges and think that maybe I should have stayed in UK , gone on for a headship as they had wanted me to and a comfy flat and a car I would remember that God’s hand would still be on me and I would feel that pressure to go as a missionary.

And this same wonderful God has been with me, through those happy years back in UK as a minister’s wife but since then in long years of widowhood.

Yes, dear Sue. We each have our callings and we have sorrows as well as joys, but in it all Jesus is our joy, our strength and our song, and we are here for each other.

Thank you for asking me and giving me the opportunity to recall how wonderful our Lord has been and will always be.

His name shall be called ‘WONDERFUL.’ 

P.S. The Lord is reminding  me of his wonderful promise of ‘Joy and Peace.’ Not just for those on the mission field but for each of us, here and now.


Monday 9 October 2023



I had been challenged to meditate on the cross; to stand as it were with those women looking up at their suffering Lord. But how could I do this? I who try to shut out anything involving torture or abuse because of the nightmares that follow.

But God has been teaching me to come to that secret place where he has promised always to be there for me. So now, with his arm around me I ask, 

‘Father, how could you ignore the pleading of your Son in the garden, and even on the cross?’

Gently God took me back to the counsel of the godhead before the foundation of the earth. Even then they had known of the great rebellion that would arise, and they had known that a yet greater cure must be given. He reminded me how it was the Son, in whom was all their delight, who had stepped forward to say, ‘I, I will go.’ Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we had agreed together, and so now, I had to be deaf to the cry of my Beloved. I had to turn my face away.

‘Yes, I could have saved my Son, but……

I looked into those eyes and through them deep into the heart of the Father and it is helping me to understand.

Father, You so loved the world, so loved us, you and me, that You did not spare your Son, your only Son, your Beloved, so that we, believing, accepting, might receive this wonderful gift of life.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thank you for all that you suffered for us that we might come home to you. Hallelujah!


                                    THE FATHER HEART


The sheep are straying from the fold –

The Father- heart cannot withhold

The price to pay to turn them back.

But, who, who will go?


‘Twas You, Beloved, my only Son

Who counts the cost that must be done

To turn these lost rebellious ones.

‘I, Father, I will go.’


And so, He left his Father’s throne

For virgin’s womb, carpenter’s home –

Rejection, pain, the cross, the tomb.

Father, you let him go?


Yes, child, I gave my only Son

For you, who’d spurned my Holy One –

Deserving of death, that you might turn.

My arms are open! Come!




Monday 25 September 2023


‘’God binds up the broken hearted and heals their wounds.’

We have been going through the Psalms. Reaching Psalm 147, my heart leaped as I heard this verse read. I will never forget, for it was the first time that the Bible had come alive to me – a living word. I had not long come to trust in Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I returned home having visited a lovely motherly Christian friend.

Her grief had been terrible to behold. Having been nursing both her elderly father and her beloved
husband, exhausted, she had cried out to God that she could not go on.

Her situation eased, but it was her husband who had died, not her aged father. She was covered in terrible sores all over her legs, wounds the result of her inexpressible grief.

I had been brought up to respect the Bible as God’s word but did not know God could speak to me through it, but now I had opened my Bible and here was this wonderful word. I knew God knew and he would bring our dear Auntie Em through her grief, and he did.

Since then, I have learned to live on God’s word as he speaks to me so many times through the Bible, and yes, I have come to prove for myself that God does indeed bind up the broken hearted, for he has bound up my broken heart and healed my wounds and does and will continue to do so, and I pray this for you too.

Some of my readers may have heard this story. I believed God had promised me a husband, but I also believed God was calling me to go to the mission field.  God would not expect me to go on my own, would he?

After I had settled into life in the highlands of New Guinea, John had arrived. It had seemed a fairy tale romance, but I was left with a broken heart, wounded indeed.

Nearing forty now, I felt I could no longer go on believing for a husband and children. Miraculously, God did heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds. By faith, whatever my feelings, I learned to speak out, based on God’s word, ‘Lord, I am delighting myself in you and you are giving me the desires of my heart.’   

For the next ten years I fulfilled my calling. ‘The Little Children’s Mother,’ they called me, and I was a joyful mother of children, content, - but then God gently prepared me to hand over my responsibilities abroad.

I came home, from Ghana now, to find the husband God had for me. Recently bereaved, Joel and I had 26 joyous years together before God called him home.  

I knew that I had the husband God had chosen for me, but with this great joy was the possibility of great pain. But hadn’t the dream God gave me so long ago shown us walking together into the glory of God?

Joel had not passed his medical to be in the army yet survived many years on the mission field in good health. He reached eighty and was full of faith of what God was going to do through us. He was still preaching and then a viral infection attacked both of us. The doctor assured me he was over it but a few days later he was gone.


The morning he died, I had been into one of our Primary Schools to take an assembly and was able to share my joy with Joel, who had come to the door to welcome me, for as always, I had known the presence of Jesus, meeting with our children, blessing them, and yes, I had booked to go in again in four weeks’ time. A few hours later he was gone.

Yes, I was left with a broken heart, but we had had 26 wonderful, fruitful years together, and God has been here, binding it up, - healing my wounds.

The other day I was tempted to indulge in self-pity as I thought of friends who have had long years with their spouse and more than ready to soon join them, not the long years of loneliness that I have had.

Shame on me!  I needed to remind myself and declare to you too the faithfulness of the Lord.

Yes, a month after Joel died, I was back in the same school. Struggling with tears, but with Jesus and his joy in my heart.

I had heard about ‘Walk through the Bible’ while Joel was alive but was unable to attend the training course. Now it all opened. Such joy, such love. Tears for a few years, but all part of the healing, and hopefully a ministry to others struggling in the deep waters of sorrow.

Over twenty years a widow! My tears have long dried up, and the promise the Lord gave me, that ‘I would be able to turn ready and easily to him at all times as to a friend alongside.’  This is still true. But still we are meant for a mate and there is pain in being alone.

Even in my grief I knew God had honoured Joel. Eighty-one years old, he was preaching a fortnight before he died. He hadn’t suffered and he hadn’t seen old age. I could have been left with an invalid to care for, instead of which I was well provided for, in good health and able now to get more involved in the schools’ ministry, which I so enjoyed.

Then there was our church in Porthcawl. We believed God had told us that now was the time and almost Joel’s last words were, ‘I believe God is going to do great things.’

It was soon after Joel died that I heard of Brackla’s plans to start a church for Porthcawl. The prophetic dream given to Joel was coming to pass. Grace Community Church is indeed the fruitful bough God had shown us, from the beginning, and I am privileged to be in membership with them, still able to pray and encourage.

I am so thankful for you faithful widows who have been such a shining example to me of living as overcomers. May we still be encouragers to others. I may be in a Care Home, but Jesus is with and in me and I know He has sent me to bless others as well as to be cared for, so let us learn day by day to give thanks in everything. God is good, in it all.


Butterfly gentle caress

 on the brow of the sleeping child

Father heart strong embrace

for the son turned again from the wild


Peace in the place of warfare

                 Tears kissed from the sorrowful one

 Ardent strength of the lover who knows

                life is only begun


But what of the kiss of our Maker

                breathing life in the form he had made?

And the worshipful kiss of the maiden

                In whose arms as a babe he was laid?

The cost of the kiss of our Saviour

                crossing out all the wrongs we have done?

And the bliss of the kiss of our Lord for his Church

                At the marriage feast of the Lamb?



Asked when he last gave his wife flowers, my husband replied that he gave me flowers every day –
‘two-lips’. After Joel’s death, setting out to see the tulip field of Holland, God gave me this fragrant meditation


 ‘Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.’ Psalm 85:10 

Saturday 12 August 2023


 I believe God wants me to share this story of answered prayer, especially for those of you who have been praying for me since I moved into a Care Home, that though I was disabled in many ways, that God would use me there.

Such a wonderful answer to prayer. It begins with Ross praying over the telephone.

We had a dear lady with dementia, very frightened and confused, but also very strong in body. She thought it was her task to care for us all. Unfortunately, I had upset her and now she was acting aggressively to anyone who came near her. I had apologised but she would never forgive me. She was behaving aggressively to everyone within reach I phoned a friend and asked him to pray for peace in this situation. No sooner had he said Amen and I had put the phone down than I looked up and this lady was at my bedroom door.

She was not supposed to come upstairs, but she had been exploring. Gently I welcomed her, holding out my arms and she walked into them. Amazingly Matron then appeared and took her downstairs, but this dear lady has treated me as her friend ever since. Her language and behaviour might not be all that might be desired, but I think we are all trying to use more understanding and the staff are keeping her busy with little jobs, for she still thinks she is here to look after us all.

I know that I am very privileged to be a resident in such a wonderful caring home. Though it had meant giving up my independent living in my spacious two-bedroom flat, the Lord had assured me that I would still be a missionary.  But I am no longer coming in as a preacher as when Joel, my husband and I used to take a service so long ago. They all know I go to church. How else would they know it was Sunday if it were not for Pauline going to church?

But today I walked through the lounge to find this lady standing alone, maybe wondering where she was and what she was supposed to be doing, so I walked up to give her a little cwtch. She responded

‘You’re happy aren’t you.’ It was a statement, not a question, and went on, ‘You’ve got Jesus, but somehow I can’t get through.’

Not the time or place for a prayer, but a door wide open as God again wonderfully answers prayer. I believe he will lead this lady, and others too through her, to find this peace and joy that we have through Jesus our wonderful Saviour.

So thank you, praying friends. Let’s keep on praying and seeing God answer our prayers.

Meanwhile I am marvelling at what God has done in my life.  I remember when I first began to attend a little Apostolic church and someone chose a hymn, ‘I feel like singing all the time.’

How could that be true for anyone? It certainly wasn’t for me. I so soon would tumble into a pit of depression.  But now, as this dear lady had seen, Jesus is with me all the time and yes, I am happy.

And if ever depression does try to intrude then I know it is time to praise the Lord, yes, and to count my blessings.

Tuesday 11 July 2023


 Since my episode in hospital, I had found it hard to return to a regular prayer time. I needed help and it was at hand.

After some readings which pointed in the right direction, I found God was using my godly imagination. My upward climb had brought me to a mighty temple and a voice from within assured me that the door was not locked, and that it would always be open to me.

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@tabithabrooke?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">tabitha turner</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/lj7guVTi7GI?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>Without a struggle I found myself within and knew I was in the presence of our Almighty God and Father, but he did not look up. He was aware of my presence, but also of my  interest, but what was he doing? He seemed to be at work on some masterpiece. He who created every star and planet, every tiny creature or beautiful plant, was working on something very special. But what, or perhaps who could it be?

It was a few days later that I had the answer. We have been deeply concerned to hear of the trial through which a godly friend has been going through. How could God have allowed such an injustice and seemingly unnecessary suffering to our lovely friend?

God allowed my memory to carry me back to the scene in the temple of God’s holiness, where he had been watching so tenderly over the masterpiece on which he was working. Lovingly he assured me that our friend was in his sight and in his care and that he would only allow that which he could turn to good in her walk with her Saviour.

Wonderful Lord. Help us to trust you in the hardest circumstances and to praise you, even when we cannot understand.