Today was our planned trip to the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle Cumbria. Our main area of interest was the Celts and Romans. As always the museum never disappoints and the interactive displays and exhibits are informative. In an attempt to sustain the interest of younger visitors there are colouring tables and jigsaws dotted strategically throughout the various levels. The only downside is the museum policy of no photographs, so nothing visual to report from our trip. Both kids enjoyed the visit and we would certainly make a return visit, albeit with our own sandwiches as the cost of a jacket potato lunch was heinously expensive!
Once home we settled to tea making and then down time for D and M and loft time for me. I'm working on another dress for M only this time I'm making a note of how much work I can accomplish in a given time... in other words a good old fashioned time and motion study! Ultimately it will help me produce a cost analysis for a particular item should I decide to sell on ETSY or some other similar internet site.
Monday night as always is my quiet time at Shalom Prayers and this evenings study was based on the passage from Ephesians and the full Armour of God. The lady who led the meeting was reading from a piece of work written by her friend, there were at least four sides of A4 text and so it resembled an essay. I tried very hard to listen but since I'm predominantly a visual thinker my mind wandered several times throughout the reading. It was only at the end when I had time to ponder the words in relation to my visual aid from earlier in the day of a life size model of a Roman soldier that everything fell into place:
Gird your waist with truth - in physical exercise this refers to a person's core stability. In spiritual terms the analogy is the very core of our being, who we are in Christ and how we relate to Him.
Breastplate of righteousness - this area protects all the vulnerable and vital organs from attack of sword or spear. In our spiritual life Jesus is our breastplate of righteousness, it is through His shed blood that, we have a hope of life eternal. Righteousness cannot be earned it is freely given.
Feet shod with the Gospel of peace - a Roman soldier's shoes were quite flimsy in comparison to the rest of his armour. I wonder if this was so they could be nimble on their feet during times of combat? The Gospel of peace says it all, after all if we practiced peace in our hearts and then our families, all wars would cease.
Shield of Faith - the Roman shield was a substantial piece of kit. D and I tried lifting one at the museum and it took the two of us to raise it from the ground! The shield was rectangular in shape and built in size so that if needed the soldier could kneel behind it and full body protection was given. During intense combat the army would adopt a strategic move known as the tortoise formation, some shields would be linked vertically and others overhead in a horizontal format. That particular method is still employed to this day in riot combat! A strong faith can help us overcome the most insurmountable hurdles. Like righteousness this is another gift freely given, but like any muscle of the body it requires regular training and exercise!
Helmet of Salvation - Joyce Meyer has a great phrase, "where the mind goes the man follows!" If we are not guarded in this area, negative thought patterns can send us on an ever decreasing downward spiral and we can even doubt our own salvation! Looks like this is one part of body armour I neglected to don these past few weeks!
Sword of The Spirit - the Word of God. If you are ever in doubt over what to do, look to God's love letters to us, written in the Bible. Jesus is the same today, yesterday and forever. Those words that have spoken through the ages continue to impart loving guidance today.
In closing Roman Armour was worn continuously, so that very quickly it became a second skin; putting on the Armour of God might seem arduous at first but with daily perseverance and baby steps the rewards will be immeasurable.