Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Why Worry?

Why worry? Don’t we all worry? Yes, we have to be concerned, to take thought for the future, but worry? Well, I’m doing my best not to.

May I tell you a story? I’ve got my own blog, so why not?

I was at a Ladies retreat. The speaker had given a lovely message about the love of the Father for his children, and casting all our cares on him because he cares for us. We all thought it was a lovely message. But then – God challenged us. He asked us to do it, there and then, to cast our cares on him.

So – what was I worrying about? Thank God I didn’t have any big worries. Did I have any? Then I remembered, when I got home I had to change the clocks, - back an hour. Changing clocks had always been my husband’s job, but now I was a widow I had to learn to be independent. I knew how to put them on an hour, but you weren’t supposed to just turn the hands backwards were you? Yes, I had to admit, I was worried about it. So right, Lord, I am casting this care on You. I am going to refuse to worry about it.

Such a stupid little thing to worry about, but the Lord cared about me, and so about my worries too. Home from the retreat, as I walked in my front door, I suddenly knew what to do. Take the batteries out for an hour, and then put them back an hour later.

That was my first lesson. The next one was harder, much, much harder. It concerned finance. I had made a foolish transaction and it seemed as if my savings were disappearing into a big black hole. But God had told me not to worry, but to cast my cares on him.

I knew I had to be obedient and must refuse to worry. For weeks I had to go on refusing this worry which would otherwise have consumed me and made me ill. I went to see a Christian solicitor who, I thought would sort it, but it seemed he hadn’t. Eventually I was put in touch with a lovely Christian financial advisor. She not only sorted this, but became a friend on whom I am able to download many other cares,because my heavenly Father cares for me.

So is that the end of my lessons on not worrying? God makes sure we have some revision. Remember I told you I felt as if I were drowning in technology? Well, I am still thrashing about in the deep end with my new computer. Instead of putting my manuscript on a floppy disc, I now had to condense it into a zip file to send by email and suddenly – it was lost! Years of work eaten by my computer?

Pauline! What about casting your cares?
My computer has a mind of its own. It was refusing to send the message I had pasted. Instead a poem came up. In the end I sent it, with an SOS for my friend to pray.

Wonderful technology and even more wonderful God. Within minutes I felt a prompting to try again to look for the missing files. There they were, safe and sound.

I’m sure God will have to remind me, again and again, not to worry but to cast my anxious cares on him, but I am writing this because I know many of you have cares and anxieties much scarier than mine. I trust that, with me, you will refuse to worry, but cast your cares and see God doing wonderful things for you too.

Friday, 16 November 2012

My Choice

Wings of the Morning
‘I didn’t have a choice,’ I insisted, when my friend expressed admiration that I had answered God’s call to go to the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea. ‘Of course you had a choice,’ she remonstrated. ‘You could have said No.’ Again I insisted, ‘that was not an option.’

This is the story I told her, so now, you judge. Do you think I had an option? You see, for me, it was a case of choosing or denying my Lord.

I was brought up in a religious movement who thought they alone had the truth. They had the answer to everything, even if it did mean twisting or explaining away a lot of the Bible. But they had not taught me that I was a sinner for whom Jesus Christ had died.

Now, wonderfully, I had met with Jesus and knew I was saved. I loved to go with my friend to the meetings in her home, but I didn’t get all the answers there. What was right and what was wrong? How could I know?

In desperation I cried out to God, ‘It was so easy for the first disciples. All they had to do was to follow Jesus, and I am having to find out what is right and what is wrong.’

God answered me, deep in my heart. ‘No, it is just the same for you. It is just for you to follow Jesus.’

‘Lord, if that is true, make it so plain for me that it is either to follow you or to deny you.’

God did just that. When someone said to me, ‘To go to a place where they deny that Jesus Christ is God would be to deny my Lord,’ I knew God had answered, and there and then I determined to leave this fellowship in which I had been brought up. 

From there on this is how I make my choice. I answered God’s call to go to Papua New Guinea, but as the day drew near to go to the airport and leave everyone and everything I knew I felt, ‘Lord, I won’t be able to do it.’

God answered me with a waking dream. I saw him going through the doors at the airport. He told me, ‘I am going. You can come with me or leave me.’ Do you understand now why I say that to say no to God is not an option? How could I leave him who is everything to me?

There have been other times when I felt I could not face what lay ahead, but God has only to say to me, ‘I am going,’ and I know I must go, for I cannot leave him.

I thank God that he has taught me to make him my choice so that each morning I feel I am walking through the day with him , my God, my Saviour and my Friend.

If you are interested to read more of my life story, Wings of the Morning, you can find it on Amazon, or direct from me. My publisher hopes to have it available as an e book in the New Year.

Monday, 12 November 2012


I’m not sure of the special phobia that describes Ruth’s fear of water, but I know I have to write about it in my blog.

Arachnophobia is the name for my own debilitating fear, and I could write and tell you how the Lord delivered me from this, but that would be a tale of far away and long ago. But this is an up to date story of a friend in my age range. A bit late to be delivered, you may think?

‘Grandma, you must come. We can share a cabin and we’ll be two girls together.’
‘I’m sorry, Dear,I can’t. I would be so afraid.’

Ruth’s daughter had planned a cruise for this special anniversary, and insisted she wanted all the family to come. Not just her granddaughter, but her son in law too was begging her to come. How blessed she was that they wanted her. Maybe she should consider it?

But the more she thought about it the more agitated she became and tossed and turned all night.

‘Mum, just ask the Lord to give you peace,’ her daughter counselled her.

Ruth did. That night she slept right through and as she awoke found the words of an old hymn were on her lips. She lay in bed and sang it.

‘Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go.’ And the chorus is, ‘Anywhere, anywhere fear I cannot know…..’

This wasn’t the end of this story. Having agreed to go, she didn’t have her passport, but somehow God smoothed out every problem and she enjoyed every moment of this wonderful holiday.

So even if we have struggled with some phobia for many years, we aren’t too young or too old for God to step in and help us.

David said, ‘This poor man cried and the Lord heard him and delivered him from all his fears.’

Saturday, 3 November 2012


It was a great privilege to be invited to the graduation ceremony of my great niece, Ruth Anne. I was remembering the day her parents proudly arrived at our house to introduce us to their first, and only child. She was long legged, even then.

And now they all seemed to be long legged, and no wonder, for they were all going in for sports.

I was touched when, at the beginning of the ceremony, they asked the students to stand in acknowledgement of those who had made their studies possible. Yes, indeed, for through the years her parents have given her every encouragement to do her homework, and in every aspect of her schooling. But what a reward for them to see their daughter achieve something that had been denied them.

‘Your uncle would have been so proud of you,’ I told Ruth. God asks us to love him with all of our hearts and also all of our minds. Joel left school without any qualifications because of his poor health, yet God kept him in health to serve him many years in Africa. It was because of the terrorists uprising that he was restricted in travel and so used this free time to study for a BA with the University of South Africa.

Once retired, we both took up further studies, and Joel went on to get not only his MA but also his doctorate. Yes, his graduation was a very special ceremony.

And yes, I am so proud of my niece, but most of all that she has maintained her Christian testimony while at college, and that she and her young man are doing what the Apostle Paul wrote of, ‘purchasing to themselves a good degree’ in the sight of God.

We aren’t all gifted academically, but we all have gifts of one kind or another. They may not be acknowledged by others, but they have been given by a loving God and he will enable us to use our gifts for his glory. There is going to be a wonderful graduation celebration in heaven and maybe we will be surprised at the rewards we receive.

Saturday, 27 October 2012


‘Mummy, what time is the Baby Wash?’
It was, of course, a baby shower, and a four year old sister was excited. It was a wonderful occasion for we had two very expectant Ladies in waiting. The room was decorated in pink and blue, and our organisers full of creative ideas to bless our perhaps anxious Mums.

We were each given two cards to write some wise words, or otherwise, for the Mums, our contributions then made into a little book for them to take home. Being a writer, I wished I had had longer to think of something worthy the occasion. It couldn’t be too long as the birth of both babies was imminent, and I’m not sure this is worthy, but ‘such as I have’ I have since sent to them, and now share with you. 

Baby Shower
Welcome, Little Stranger,
  Precious gift from heaven
Still safe within your Mother’s womb
  You’re ready for new life

Break forth now from this prison,
  Though yet by love enfolded
Always within your Mother’s heart,
  From darkness into life

Come, face this world of brightness
  Of colour, sounds and faces
We’re here to love you, welcome you
  To share with us your life.

Created in God’s image
  Precious little treasure
Grow to know and love the One
  Who’s come to give you life.

Was I the only one at that special party who has not given birth? Well, some of our beautiful teen agers were there, that joy still to come. Perhaps there is a little sadness that I have never known this wonderful blessing, yet I have been and still am a mother.

Both in Papua New Guinea and again in Ghana they called me the ‘Little children’s mother’ and somehow the women understood that it was for the sake of their children that I did not have my own family. God knew that if I  had had my own children that I would never have done the work I did, and so I had to wait until I was fifty before I had the privilege of sharing my life with Joel.

Joel and his first wife Betty had agreed not to have children because of their missionary call, so now I would say, ‘If we had grand-children we would never do our writing,’ for we were both authors. But I still have children, for it was when I was in the mountains of Papua New Guinea God gave me the verse, ‘the children God has given me,’ and even here in Wales God still speaks this into my heart and gives me strength and joy in going into the schools to teach his word.

No, I may not have known the joy, but nor have I known the pain that can accompany child birth, but I thank God so much that he has brought me into this wonderful family of ‘Grace’ and that we can share each other’s joys, yes, and sorrows.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What's in your mouth

‘Nothing Miss’ the kids would lie, when I was on the hunt for chewing gum, a teacher’s pet hate. But today I am more concerned about what’s in my own mouth, and what comes out of it.

It is so easy to speak out negative things, grumbles and groans and pessimism.

‘Oh Pauline, you are so stupid.’ No one is around when I walk round telling myself off, – yet in my heart I know I am not stupid. Probably I wasn’t concentrating. And I wouldn’t dream of saying such a thing to you if you made some mistake.

It was when I was living in the Highlands of New Guinea that I learned the importance of having good things come out of my mouth.

I had fallen into a hole; a hole of ill health, depression and self-pity. I’m sure you would have pitied me too, but instead, God came into the situation with his cure.

He told me, through a ministry tape, that Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. If we are speaking out negative things, then Jesus as our High Priest, has nothing to present to the Father, but if we will speak out God’s word then he can take this to the Father, and God cannot deny his own word.

‘Don’t say, ‘Why doesn’t God heal me?’ but claim his word and say, ‘You are the Lord who is healing me.’ The preacher continued, ‘Tell the Lord, I am delighting myself in you and you are giving me the desires of my heart.’

Now, I was suffering, physically and emotionally, from a broken heart. I had thought God had promised me a husband, and since one had not yet appeared I had come to the uttermost parts of the earth, trusting that he would. And then came John, riding over the mountains on a white charger – no, actually he flew up and now he was on the mission motor bike, but it all seemed like a fairy tale romance. Then the bubble burst. It was all over, my hopes of a husband and family gone, for I was nearing forty by now.

But now God was speaking to me. In obedience I went home, knelt by my bed and told the Lord, ‘I am delighting myself in you and you are giving me the desires of my heart.’

I didn’t get immediate healing, but somehow, little by little, a miracle happened. I found God was giving me such joy in my work among the women and children that when, some months later, my friends, all radiant, announced their engagement, I thought, They can’t be any happier than I am.

How thankful I am that God taught me to have his word in my mouth and speak it out. It was more than ten years before God brought Joel into my life. How glad I am I wasn’t moaning and feeling sorry for myself all those years, for he was surely worth waiting for.  

I guess we all fall into pits from time to time, so let’s not wait until we are out to praise the Lord, but right now let’s speak out our confidence in him and his word. He is still in the business of miracles. Say with me, ‘I am delighting myself in you, and you are giving me the desires of my heart.’

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


‘The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.’

I used to pray for strength to get me through the day, but I was always coming across this wonderful verse. It is in Moses’ song of triumph in Exodus, David sings it out in one of his psalms, and Isaiah the prophet sings it too. And now I sing it, or if I haven’t got strength to sing it I will just speak it out.

I realised, if God is my strength I may just make it through the day, but if he is my strength and my song, then I am going to have a good day. And I know Jesus saved me, once and for all, when he died on the cross, but I need that salvation to be applied every moment of the day. There is a wonderful old hymn, ‘Jesus saved me now, Jesus saves me now. Yes, Jesus saves me all the time, yes Jesus saves me now.’

When I’m feeling het up, losing my peace, feeling sorry for myself, angry, jealous – any of those things that happen when we have allowed Self back on the throne of our hearts instead of Jesus,  then we can claim his power to save us.

So I love to begin the day, or begin whatever, by speaking out God’s word. It is good to believe God’s word, but it is better to speak it out loud. God wants us to have his word in our mouths and in our hearts, and he says that if we will confess with our mouths and believe in our hearts, we will be saved. Sometimes it is the speaking out that has to come before all our negative feelings go.

Why don’t you say it with me. ‘The Lord is our strength and our song and he has become our salvation.’ Have a good day.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


‘It must be her age,’ I overheard my mother sharing with her friends, concerning someone’s health problems. ‘What a stupid thing to say,’ was my reaction. Surely, everyone is an age, whether old or young. However, when I came out with this excuse, that it must be my age, concerning some problem or other, my poor, rather Victorian, mother was horrified.

Soon enough I learned the meaning, and the dread, connected with that certain age of a woman, though when it came, I almost welcomed it thinking I would be delivered from the monthly cycle of pain and depression. But deliverance from these problems introduced me to another unwelcome guest. His name was Arthur. Yes, maybe you have guessed, - arthritis.

But I was right. Every age has its own problems, from the early months when the much to be welcomed teeth arrive with pain and often a high temperature. And what mother will not tell you of the difficult teen age years, when we are not sure where we belong, or even how we feel.

At last we are grown up, at the peek of our powers,  physically and intellectually, or so we are told, but already the big ‘O’s are looming and we realise life does not last for ever, and that we are at best, children of dust.

So what of my age now? I believe it was Spurgeon who prayed that God would save us from being forty, for he found that many zealous Christians thought they could retire from the battle field when they had reached that not so great age.

So is there an age of retirement? As redundancy and unemployment loom, people seem to accept retirement earlier and earlier. Some are fortunate enough to have a good pension, and are able to live for pleasure. But too much pleasure can weary one, and we can find, with Solomon, that in the end it does not satisfy.

Younger than my husband, I was still in my fifties when he was officially retired from the ministry, but we never accepted retirement, dubbing it rather – retyrement.  No longer burdened with the problems of administration, we were both free to continue in all the aspects of ministry we enjoyed. What a privilege to be invited to preach in local churches who no longer had a minister of their own, to go into the schools and old peoples homes, to visit the sick and lonely and of course, to write.

Now a widow, God has opened a door for me to teach a course called Bible Explorer. We have fun in going through these wonderful stories in the Bible and God is teaching me too. We get to Terah, Abraham’s father. (A real terror, I say, to help the children remember, but of course, he wasn’t.) I don’t think he was invited, but he thought he should come along to look after them when Abraham answered God’s call to leave Ur and set out for the country God would show him. They travelled many miles, and probably over some years, when they reach the town of Haran. Here Terah decides he is too old to go any further, so for years the whole tribe is stuck in Haran because Terah thinks it is time for him to die.

Terah never saw the Promised Land because he retired too soon. I tell the children, if only he had said, ‘I can take one more step,’ he could have taken one step and then another until he had arrived there in the land God had promised them. I try to remember that when I feel I am too old, and that my strength is running out. Life is just a step at a time.

Isaac is another one. His eye sight was failing, so he decides it is his time to die and to hand on his responsibilities. Thus comes that awful story of Jacob cheating his brother from his birthright.    

Now Jacob has to run away, while poor sad Isaac is left, doubtless at odds with his wife because she had egged Jacob on to deceive him, while Esau is angry and frustrated, far from being a comfort to him. He lives on for many years, an unhappy old man. It seems he too retired much too soon.

And so God continues to speak to me.

‘Mrs. Lewis, how old are you? About sixty or sixty five?’ one of my young Bible Explorers asked me.

‘Oh, I’m much older than that.’

‘Well you don’t look it.’

 I was amused by his swift response. Who had taught him to flatter? Children don’t have much concept of older age anyway, but I was amazed at what then came out of my mouth.

‘I am going to be like Moses,’ I informed him.

Moses had been in our lesson that day; Moses, who began to lead a nation at the age of eighty, and died at the age of a hundred and twenty, still full of vigour and with clear eye sight. It says ‘His natural strength had not abated, nor his eye sight waxed dim.’

I have to confess I do not often feel full of vigour, but I can still put one foot in front of the other, and step out in faith day by day. I know that others consider me to be in my old age, but I remember my puzzlement as a child over this diagnosis of ‘her age,’ and so I am asking myself, ‘What age?’ and out of that question comes the word ‘wattage’ and that is something, or everything to do with power. To get wattage you have to be plugged in to the source of power.

That, surely, is what life is all about. At any age we can feel weak and helpless and at any and every age we can rely on the Lord for our strength, our joy, our power.

No one knows how long we have to live, but we do know that we are not made just for time, but for eternity. Solomon said, ‘God has put eternity in our hearts,’ and if we will believe the message of the Bible, and trust in Jesus, God’s Son and our Saviour, God will give us his power to live each day of our lives for him. Our age, and our wattage, will be good – certainly enough to shine light on the path and dispel some of the darkness around us.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Will the real Pauline Lewis stand up please?

‘Hello, I’m Pauline, Pauline Lewis,’ I introduced myself to my friend, realising she did not recognise me. It is some years since we met, and I had had to ask one of the carers before I located her. But yes, now I did recognise her.

Sadly having had to give up her own home, she still had her wits about her, and had been interested in attending our annual day for Christian Writers. It must be four years since she was last able to attend, but we have kept in touch by letter. Now our visitors from Louisiana were going into the home to take a service and it was a chance for me to attend and catch up with my friend.

‘There is another Pauline Lewis who lives in Porthcawl,’ she informed me. ‘She has been a missionary, and used to write for the Christian Herald.’ But then she added, ‘She is an important member of ‘Grace.’

I tried to assure her that there was not another Pauline Lewis in Porthcawl. I must be the one she was thinking of. Yes, I had been a missionary, and yes, I certainly used to write for the Christian Herald. (I’d had my first ever short story published by them, and wrote for them for many years.) But no, I was not an important member of ‘Grace.’

Having realised that I was that same person, and that she must have  forgotten my face, she insisted that yes, she had read in the Gazette that I was an important member of ‘Grace.’

How could that be? I am not on the leadership team, (except inasmuch as I am Missions coordinator, but that would not be recognised by anyone else as important, surely?) I was amazed that my friend had even remembered that I was a member of ‘Grace’. Perhaps I had an alter-ego?

Well, I am sure it could not have been in the Gazette, but as I thought about it I  realised that it is true, that I am an important member of Grace. No, I am not in leadership, and I don’t qualify for the youth group, but I am a member, and that in itself is something of importance. You see, it is no good having leaders unless there are those who are willing to follow.

For years I tried to remind the Lord that I was good at following, but not at leading,  but he reminded me that he is in the business of choosing the ones no one else would choose, the ‘are nots’ of society, so that he would get all the glory,. And so he sent me out, not in a supporting role, but to lead. Eventually I went to Ghana, to take responsibility for their already thriving Sunday School movement.

When Grace Community Church was established in Porthcawl I was delighted to give my support in whatever way I could, for this fellowship was in answer to our prayers, and though not always in the best of health, I try to attend whenever I can. I try to remember the question a fellow missionary, also retired,  asked himself;

‘What sort of church would this church be
If everyone in it were just like me?’

So now, if I’m tempted to stay home for one reason or another, I remind myself, ‘If everyone did that, there would be no church to go to.’

Yes, we have a wonderful, and mostly youthful leadership in Grace, and we are so thankful to God for their zeal and commitment, but yes, I am important too, and so is every faithful member and adherent, for without us there would be no church. We may not get a mention in the Gazette, but God sees and takes note.

So yes, this is the real me, not some alter-ego. I am grateful to my friend for reminding me that I am an important person in ‘Grace’ and I thank God for all you others too.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Confessions of a Technophobe

Help! I am drowning. What have I done? I have always said, ‘Pauline doesn’t do Facebook’, and now, suddenly I am on Face book, inundated with wonderful people who want to be my friends, and I don’t know how to cope.

Why did I do it? I, who have always been a technophobe, now, in my eighties, decided to allow myself to be thrown into the deep end. I am still asking myself, Why?

Firstly, because I am 81 doesn’t mean I am too old to learn new things.  When a child enquired as to my age, I informed him I was going to be like Moses. That doesn’t necessarily mean I am going to live to be 120, but like Moses, I am going to pursue life with vigour and fulfil God’s purposes for me.

Secondly, soon after my marriage to Joel, God called me to write. No, he didn’t shout out of heaven, but three times I heard this message, What is that in thy hand? And each time I felt I must answer. It couldn’t be a duster, or a cooking spoon. It must be a pen, for I have always loved writing. Then, lo and behold, a request to join a team to start a magazine for the Sunday School kids, and then, soon after that, plop on the mat, an advert for a course, Writing for profit, with the guarantee to get published, or your money back. With a husband egging me on, and teaching me to use the  computer too, I was away on a writing career.

I have just sent off a manuscript for book 2 of ‘Towards the Sunrise’ to be published, so now what should be my next project? Not so many  read books these days, but more and more surf the net. Some time back Tom suggested that I try blogging. I did it for a few weeks, but had no feed back, and gave up, discouraged. But now, surrounded by face book friends, maybe I will hear that some of you not only read my blog but hopefully appreciate it.

And so, thirdly, I have stepped out in faith into Facebook with all its complications, because I believe the scripture that says, ‘In everything we are enriched by him, (Jesus), in utterance and in knowledge,’ so I’m going to trust God and not be afraid.

Thank you to all my Facebook friends, and others too, for taking time to read this,