On faith and hope and prayer and serenity

It’s only a few days from the turn of the year – 2021 – and we are in lockdown here in the Lake District National Park. Frankly, though there are those who will carp and strive against these new restrictions, I, for one, am glad that the government is taking just heed of the virulence of the coronavirus, and endeavouring to keep us safe. This new lockdown is our third, and it has been instituted amid the new and more easily transmissible variant currently active in this country. Many thousands are becoming sick, and the number of deaths have increased exponentially. We needed to take heed, and each of us must behave responsibly to help curtail the spread of this virus in order to keep ourselves and those we come across SAFE!

This frosty hillside behind our house is a great place to walk and enjoy Nature on our doorstep!

Our Natural Surroundings

Blenheim Lodge is located in the beautiful Lake District National Park, England. Scenic beauty surrounds us. Our B&B, which is also our home, is located on a small fell in Bowness on Windermere, and offers overarching views of Lake Windermere and Lakeland’s fells. Views from our lounge and guest room windows stretch far into the distance. At the back of our B&B are the serene fields and trails which lead to panoramic and 360-degree viewpoints so that we and our guests may take enjoyable and relaxing exercise in peaceful surroundings. The Dales Way, a long distance footpath stretching from Ilkley in the North Yorkshire Dales practically stops on our doorstep. We are blessed indeed to have all this picturesque scenery to enjoy both from within our B&B and within a minute’s stroll from our front door.

Part of the view from Brant Fell summit behind Blenheim Lodge.

As we come out of lockdown, it is our wish to share this lovely part of our county with visiting guests. We know that it has been tough for so many, but Nature is a healer in so many senses: from the blessings of serenity when it is all sickness and strife that blares out from the media to the reparation of health and spirit when one is bowed down by the troubles of this world. God, who created us, who loves us, has given those of us who have suffered loss, those of us who are grieving, and those of us who are trying to wade through the murk of indelible pain, this beautiful countryside to share with all who would come and partake of it, appreciate it, and enjoy it. Just getting away from it all is a marvellous way of clearing one’s mind and losing one’s self in the beauty of creation.

Changes in our protocols

So far, I have written about the virus and it’s impact on many of us. Some are impacted more than others. For us at Blenheim Lodge, this pandemic has had consequences too. It has, for instance, changed the way in which we do things. After the first wave, even before we were allowed to reopen again, we set up two very important protocols. One of these was to add more flexibility to our Terms of Booking. The other was to set up a Covid-safe way of working in order to keep our guests and ourselves safe.

Confirmation of our readiness to re-open Blenheim Lodge B&B to lodgers when we were allowed to do so after the first lockdown.

We understand that now is not the time to travel, and indeed have turned enquirers away who have tried to book accommodation with us during each of the previous two lockdowns and this one too. They were not essential workers, but simply people wanting to take a holiday in the midst of this rampaging coronavirus. We take our responsibilities and obligations as a guest house seriously, and prefer instead to work towards the greater good.

However, there will come a time when we should all be able to travel and holiday safely again. To this end, we have put up a few Special Offers on our website to include discounted rates as well as free night stays. If you are interested in any of them, please do contact us via email or call us on 015394 43440. We are taking bookings now for LATER! These offers are only available when booking DIRECT with us at Blenheim Lodge.

Blenheim Lodge offers.

Some of our B&B offers at Blenheim Lodge.

Looking Forward

Looking forward? How about a safer world to live in and enjoy thoroughly again with no or less fear of the virus? Does this sound too far away from our grasp? Well, if we think of all the other common diseases that once afflicted generations of people in the past, such as tuberculosis and how BCG vaccinations have done away with it amongst most of the world’s populations, then there is much to hope for indeed.

I write this post as an encouragement to our readers. Out there, there is an amazing world to discover and enjoy – whether that world is a tiny place within our own countries or one on the distant side of oceans. All have their own merits, and the simple acts of just being able to get out and take lungfuls of fresh invigorating air as we look to the mountainous horizons or of being able to walk unconcernedly through quaint villages and pretty towns to explore their attractions, shops and eateries, are boons indeed.

swirral edge helvellyn lake district

‘Walkers descending Swirral Edge with the sun on Raise behind them. The snow might be soft, but the views are glorious!’ (Quote and photo courtesy of http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk/gallery.)

Keeping safe

My prayer is that we will all be responsible about observing lockdown for what it is: that is, to enable us all – the populace – to keep safe and well. And then we can look forward to reaping its benefits: the safety of our loved ones; our own health; and of being able to live life as we would again. It’s the only way to go right now, and, we all have a part to play to make this a reality sooner rather than later.

polar bear and cub deuteronomy 33:27

‘The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.’
(Deuteronomy 33:27) (Photo courtesy of http://www.myspace.com/americanlad.)

This pandemic has taught us much: patience in the midst of adversity both small and large; and the value of social cohesion for the greater good of our villages, towns, cities, countries, and the world. It has brought about ingenuity and perseverance as doctors and nurses, social care providers and family members seek to enable and work for the greater good of not only their own communities but for the world. On the other hand, it has also opened our eyes to those who are more interested in self-aggrandisement to the point of disregarding safety protocols. Let’s hope that the former will eclipse the latter in will and numbers.

God loves us

What else is there to say regarding this pandemic? How about praying daily for the elimination of this virus and its variants? How about coming to God in prayer as part of the wider cohort of mankind, and, in repentance and faith, asking for His forgiveness for all those times that we have disregarded Him and asking for His help rid us of this scourge? God sees and hears us. He knows our troubles. How about committing our lives to the Lord by accepting His Son as our Saviour and Lord? He longs to comfort us in His arms and show us His love if we would only come to him and allow Him to. 

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.

(Matthew 23:37)

Are you feeling troubled? Have you been touched by the coronavirus in any way? Do you need loving arms around you and someone to speak to or pour out your complaints? Try speaking to God. He is always there, and will hear you out patiently. He has come to heal our hearts and our spirits. And, once you are committed to Him and you are His, He will never let you go even when you attempt to run away from Him! I know . . . because I tried.

The words on the picture say it all! Photo courtesy of http://photographyfree4all.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/cross10_2.jpg

God loves us so much that He sent His only Son, the Lord Jesus, to die on the cross for us two millennia ago. He then raised the Lord Jesus Christ who washed away our sins with His own blood that we might have eternal life. Why would God and His Son do that if they didn’t love us literally to the death? Why would the Lord Jesus leave His heavenly home and suffer the atrocity of an excruciating and mocking death on the cross if He didn’t love us more than His own human life itself?

Sure, Jesus is God. But He didn’t need to come down to Earth and live the hard life He did and then die for us. We did not deserve His sacrifice. Nonetheless, He loved us so much that He was willing to sacrifice His life for us that we may enjoy eternal life with Him when we have pass through our earthly existence.

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

(John 3:16-17)

Pray and believe

I pray that this post has encouraged my readers. And before I go, if you find it difficult to believe in God or to pray, then call out to God anyway just like this man did when He found it difficult to believe that Jesus could heal His son in the Gospel of Mark:

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”

And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

23 Jesus said to him, “If[c] you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”

(Mark 9:21-25)

For an exegesis, please read http://living-faith.org/2017/11/24/help-my-unbelief.

May the Lord bless and keep you always!

Footprints in the Sand
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”
Mary Stevenson
Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved

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