Winter Meadow

•December 27, 2011 • 2 Comments

Winter in London - Birgit Whelan


Winter in London VI - Birgit Whelan


Winter in London

•December 23, 2011 • 4 Comments

Winter Scene 3 - Birgit Whelan


Winter Scene 2 - Birgit Whelan

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I Miss God

•February 20, 2011 • 19 Comments

DaisiesIf you have come upon this post because you feel a distance from God, and miss Him in the way you’ve once known Him, can I just welcome you.

God has such compassion.

No matter where we are in our lives or what we have done, His heart is one of compassion towards us (Ps.103:8). We are deeply, deeply loved by Him.

‘Come to Me,’ Jesus says. In whatever place we find ourselves. ‘Come to Me,’ He tells us.

God knew us before the foundation of the world, and He knows the problems and the pain we are facing today, and He will not turn us away.

He sees as we are locked in sin and addiction and a cycle of hopelessness, and He will never give up on us (Heb.13:5).

‘For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust’ Ps. 103:14.

‘Come to Me,’ He says. Even in the grip of sin. Even after the millionth failure. ‘Come to Me, and you will find rest for your souls’ Matt.11:29. 

We don’t have to do anything or say anything, just go to Him. Just be. In His presence. In His love, which cannot be earned, and will never be taken away.

He will never turn us away in our brokenness. ‘A broken and sorrowing heart, O God, You will not put from You’ Ps.51:17.

‘Come to Me,’ Jesus says. ‘Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest’ Matt.11:28.


Brussels and Amsterdam

•September 3, 2009 • 9 Comments
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Brussels & Amsterdam
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Here are some photos from our time in Brussels and Amsterdam! :) Lots here – cafes, canals, architecture, art, etchings, chocolate, even sunflowers! Some of the museums let you take photos, some didn’t, so when it was possible I was able to photo some beautiful paintings, sculptures and displays too. You weren’t allowed to use the flash though, but I quite like the way it made some of the pictures look – like the ones of the vestments.

I give a bit of background about the hidden church in the attic and other scenes that you’ll see here in yesterday’s post. It’s kind of long but it gives more of the story to the photos, like the Van Gogh art we saw, this gorgeous little boutique-type cafe we came across, the stunning pulpit you’ll see a bit of here – so if you’d like to read more of the background, just click here.

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy these :). The first part is of our time in Brussels, and then onto Amsterdam. I hope they give a bit of sense of some of the things we saw in these amazing cities. Lots of blessings to you.


•July 22, 2008 • 15 Comments

White Daisies I 

Today I read a little about what God finds beautiful.

It’s a kind of beauty that the Bible says is of great worth in God’s sight.

It’s a kind of beauty that does not wither, does not seduce, and is not vain.

It is a beauty of spirit, a beauty of soul.

It is gentleness.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment … it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,” 1 Peter 3:4

I thought about this for a while. That God looks at the inner us, the hidden person. He sees our thoughts and hears our words, even the unspoken ones.

And when He looks, does He see that spirit of gentleness? That disposition that is peaceful before Him, tender, soft?

Lord, that we may be instruments of Your peace, that we may be balm to those around us, tender and soothing.

That we may be beautiful in Your sight and “have a walk worthy of the calling … with all lowliness and gentleness” Ephesians 4:1.

Photo by Birgit Whelan, Kiel, Germany

Guardian Angels

•May 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Guardian Angel

It is such a comforting thought that God gives His angels charge over us. This verse says that because we have made God our dwelling place, the Person in Whom we live I guess you could say, then no harm shall befall us. For He will give His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways. They will accompany, defend and preserve us. They will lift us up in their hands, so that we will not even strike a foot against a stone Psalm 91:9-13.

This gives me confidence to pray in line with this promise and ask God for His angels to accompany and preserve my family and me on long road trips maybe, or in a situation that feels unsafe. And I believe He answers at these times and I am reassured that I am in the presence of His angels.

But what about a particular angel? One especial angel that the Lord has set aside and assigned just to me, to watch over me for my whole life.

The truth is, I don’t know. What I can say is that there is some biblical basis to believe this, particularly in the case of children. When Jesus was speaking about children one day, He said to His disciples, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father in heaven” Matthew 18:10.

We can infer from this that particular angels are assigned to particular people. But then, from what Jesus is saying here, there is more than one angel assigned.

Whether or not there is a specific angel for each of us, we know that God has commanded His angels to guard us. I am so thankful for this but then for me personally, nothing compares with knowing that God Himself, Who is all-powerful, is the One protecting me and looking after me. “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One Who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:6.

So, is it OK to try and make contact with a guardian angel or angels in general? Come back tomorrow for Angel Spirituality

Fallen Angels

•May 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

imageA third of the angels fell from Heaven. They were cast down with Lucifer.

Lucifer held the rank of “anointed cherub,” and according to what God said of him, he was originally something pretty special, “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” Ezekiel 28:12. With all that he had going for him, his heart became full of pride. Because of his beauty, the story goes. So much so that he had ideas of usurping the throne of God. And so filled with pride and arrogance and rebellion, God cast him out. Down to Sheol, the abode of the dead.

It was not only him that rebelled though. Angels did too. When Michael won the battle with Satan in heaven, “that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” Revelation 12:9. Satan and his fallen angels.

So we know that not all angels are good. And we know that these fallen angels are in chains and in darkness and will face God’s judgment 2 Peter 2:4. But we also know that they are our spiritual opponents here and now Ephesians 6:12.

Having worked in a Christian setting, I have heard many stories of people who have experienced scary, supernatural presences. Sometimes in a particular room at home; sometimes when they wake from sleep; and sometimes in a nightmarish dream. I remember one guy who had the sensation of being physically overpowered and held down in his bed one night by a dark kind of presence. In his terror, he knew to cry out to God. When he did, God intervened. The dark presence instantly left him, as did the physical sensation of being held down. The spiritual climate in the room changed and there was peace. He since became a Christian.

When I was fifteen, a wonderful Christian woman said something to me which I never forgot. She said, “If ever you are in a situation of danger, whatever it is, call upon the Name of Jesus. If it’s all you can do, just call out His Name. There is power in it.” She is right. There is power in Jesus’ Name. Evil spiritual beings are terrified of Him and cower before Him. Jesus is “far above all principality and power and might and dominion” Ephesians 1:20.

In acknowledging the existence of fallen angels (and/or demonic presences) let’s never be afraid of them. “In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him (Jesus) who loved us” Romans 8:37. And He says to us, “Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” Luke 9:19.

God has also given His angels charge over us, come back tomorrow to read more in the post on Guardian Angels.

The Archangels

•May 21, 2008 • 1 Comment

image There’s a hierarchy in heaven. There are not only angels, but also archangels, cherubim and seraphim. There are principalities, powers and dominions. Jesus even spoke of “legions of angels” which gives us some idea that angels are grouped in an organised kind of way.  Ranking over angels are the archangels. In some places I’ve read there are seven, but other writing mentions only four – Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.

Notice the way that each name ends with ‘el’? I thought this was kind of interesting because the ‘el’ means ‘God,’ so each of the archangels refer to God some way in their name, and each of them has a particular role in God’s Kingdom. So looking at each one:

Michael – His name means ‘Who is like God.’ Michael appears in Daniel, Jude and Revelation. He is a warrior angel, the mighty commander of those angels who do warfare for God against evil. The ultimate example is where Michael fights against Satan in the great battle in Revelation 12, and Satan is cast out of heaven. The picture above is a stunning sculpture depicting this in St Michel in Paris.

Gabriel – His name means ‘Strength of God.’ Gabriel “stands in the presence of God” Luke 1:19 and has a major role in both Testaments. Gabriel is an angel of annunciation – he appears as God’s trusted and chief messenger, conveying God’s purposes to His people. It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary and announced that she was highly favoured and blessed among women, and that she would be Jesus’ mother. I just have to say that Gabriel is a special archangel to me, because my gorgeous nephew is named after him . 

Raphael – His name means ‘Healing of God.’ Raphael does not actually appear in the Bible but rather in the ancient Jewish texts. Here, Raphael appears as an angel of mercy and is attributed with a role of ministering God’s healing to those who are sick or suffering. Raphael is thought by some to have been one of the three who visited Abraham after his circumcision In Genesis 18. Also, some people evidently think it was Raphael who was the angel at the pool of Bethesda in John 5, stirring up the water so that people could be healed.

Uriel – His name means ‘Fire of God’ or ‘God is Light.’ I have written a little bit about him in a previous post – you can see this here.

Tomorrow’s post is about the angels that rebelled against God, the Fallen Angels.

All About Angels

•May 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Angels and Cross To get started I’ll give a bit of a picture of who and what angels are. I’ve done this as a kind of questions and answers all about angels.

So what exactly are angels? They are spiritual, celestial beings, and they exist on a plane somewhere between God and man.“Angels belong to a uniquely different dimension of creation that we, limited to the natural order, can scarcely comprehend … [God] has given angels higher knowledge, power and mobility than we ….” *

What does ‘angel’ mean? It means ‘messenger.’ In the Old Testament they are called mal’ak in the Hebrew, and in the New Testament – ángelos in Greek. These words mean “a messenger.”

Have they always existed? No, they are created beings. God is their Creator Psalm 148:2;5.

Do angels die? No, angels are immortal, they cannot die Luke 20:36.

Are there ‘male’ angels and ‘female’ angels? As spiritual beings, angels have no gender. This in the sense that angels do not procreate; there’s a verse about this in the Bible that says “in the resurrection [people] neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like the angels of God in heaven” Matthew 22:30. BUT when angels appear in human form in the Bible, they typically appear as males.

Can humans become angels when we die? Angels are an entirely different form of creation to humans. The Bible says that when we die, and we belong to Jesus, then we will receive a new spiritual body as opposed to turning into angels.

Should we worship angels? No, angels are not divine and should not be worshipped. More about this later.

What are some of the things angels do? Two main things that angels do are worship God Revelation 5:11-12 and minister to God’s people. The Bible says that angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” Hebrews 1:14. Some of the ways angels do this are by protecting God’s people, bringing messages or guidance from God, carrying God’s people to heaven.

Should we pray to angels or ask them for guidance? Angels are servants of God, not of ours. God may send an angel to offer us guidance at a point in our lives, but we cannot summon God’s angels. Anyway, God made us. He’s the One Who knows us inside out and has all the good plans for us, so why not go straight to Him?

How many angels are there? There masses of angels in existence. According to the Bible, the number is “innumerable” and too many to count! Daniel had a vision where he saw God on His throne surrounded by literally millions of angels – “A river of fire as flowing coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him” Daniel 7:10. If you work that sum out, it numbers more than one hundred million!

Tomorrow’s post is about one special group of these angels ~ The Archangels

*Quote Reference: Graham, B; 1995; Angels: God’s Secret Agents; W Publishing Group; 30.