Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Taught a Little, Learned a Lot

This was my response to a blog, when asked to sum up your life in 5-6 words.  Tricky isn't it?  You don't want to come across as big-headed or worse, a failure.

I would like to think that in my life so far I have been able to share things with family, friends and especially my kids that they can learn from me, even if it is only to share every possible way I've gone wrong so they may not make the same mistakes.

No matter how much we feel we can impart to others, there will always be room to learn more ourselves.

Psalm 119:33-40 (CEV)
33Point out your rules to me, and I won't disobey even one of them.
34Help me to understand your Law; I promise to obey it with all my heart.
35Direct me by your commands! I love to do what you say.
36Make me want to obey you, rather than to be rich.
37Take away my foolish desires, and let me find life by walking with you.
38I am your servant! Do for me what you promised to those who worship you.
39Your wonderful teachings protect me from the insults that I hate so much.
40I long for your teachings. Be true to yourself and let me live.
Who or what are we looking to learn from?  Celebreties, Sports heroes, Politicians..........God?

Friday, 26 August 2011

God's house, God's rules.

Why can't 'good' people get themselves to Heaven?
God is a loving God, surely he wouldn’t see someone who has been kind to their neighbours, brought up polite children and dunna lotta work for charidee sent to Hell?
Heaven is God’s home, and just like your home, there are rules. Love his son Jesus, repent of your sins, live your life as best you can to honour Him. Not too hard is it, even if you screw up the living to homour Him bit, he will forgive you!  And you may enter His house.
But what about the type of ‘good’ person I mentioned earlier?  I have a friend who won’t let anybody enter her house with their shoes on, (She’s a clean freak).  I love her dearly but, her house, her rules.  Think of the ‘nicest, goodest, sqeakiest, cleanest’ person you know, who you suspect may not be a Christian yet – if they went to the door of my friends house, they would have to remove their shoes, a really simple rule to enter her house.
Same person almost perfect, but as far as you’re aware they haven’t yet accepted Christ as their personal Saviour.  They get to the door of Heaven, is God going to let them in?  That will depend on their heart. God’s house, God’s rules.   You say “oh they’ve definitely got a good heart, remember they do all the charidee work etc.”
Oh yes, who’s that glorifying? God? Or perhaps it is for their own glory, or for their organisation, or the charity they work for.
We are clearly told in Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.
Seems unfair doesn’t it.  God may turn you away from His house, because you didn’t accept His gift to you, you didn’t accept his grace and forgiveness.  The easiest thing in the world for anybody to do, you were such a ‘good guy’ as well, what a waste.
If you agree it seems unfair, think about your own house, your own life, your own rules.  It’s up to you who enters, and guaranteed there will be someone, somewhere, you wouldn’t admit to your house, so why should it be a free for all in God’s?
Of course it is free………… for all who are prepared to accept Him in their lives.

Thursday, 25 August 2011


My daughter gets her GCSE results today, her best predicted grades are D’s, but she is realistically expecting E’s & F’s.  From day 1 at school it was clear she was not going to get the A* grades.
I have obviously told her this doesn’t matter and tried to build her up where her strengths lie, I don’t think she always believes me, but then, we don’t always get on very well.  You see most of the time she hates me and I don’t know how to deal with that, especially when I am probably not the best at showing love and understanding because most of the time I hate myself so I agree with her!
But I do know that your school grades don’t define you, I do know that God has a plan for each of us, even my stubborn non-believing daughter.  God loves her and has her path set right out for her, if one day she asks for the wisdom to follow it.
My daughter is fantastic with small children, I don’t just mean she likes to play with them a little, she really knows how to responsibly look after them.  But she has given up going down the childcare/education route before she has even begun because she knows her grades won’t be that high! 
It is so frustrating to see her write off her best qualities because she hasn’t been examined in them.  I wonder how many other professional areas are losing fantastic candidates because they won’t get A-C in English or Maths?
Anyway, I will do what I should do, and that is pray that whatever the results and whatever her reactions to them she will realise that she is a loved /unique/ important /fallible/forgiven individual, she has her whole life ahead of her and no-one else can achieve for her what she can achieve for herself.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

The Original Blog

I love going to blogs and podcasts as a source of teaching and faith building and encouragement, and they provide all that, but a couple of posts I read recently really reminded of the original source of our teaching and faith building and encouragement – The Bible.
God also revealed this to me recently when I decided I wanted to find out more about the women in the Bible, of course my first call was the internet, but when I actually just sat down and read Eve’s story for myself in the Bible (which of course I thought I was completely familiar with) it really spoke to me.
I really believe the Holy Spirit was guiding me to read that passage for myself and not just look at others views of it.
Eve gets a really bad wrap, but would any of us behaved any differently?  Do we sometimes not listen to the lies of the Evil one telling us if something seems good, surely God won’t mind us going after it?  After all we deserve it, right? Wrong.  We deserve nothing, but by God’s grace we are free to make right and wrong choices.
But look at what Eve achieved!  Without her you would not exist!  She was created by God to be a ‘suitable helper for Adam’ Genesis 2:18 She was his equal, She laid down the outlines for marital commitment, coming from Adam’s flesh to unite them as one being.  If man and woman in marriage become one person, that means man and woman must be equal.  You wouldn’t think your left side of your body was not as important as your right side would you?
God created a world that needed populating and Eve bore many children in pain to accomplish God’s plan.
If when the Serpent tempted Eve she had gone straight to God and said ”what should I do?”  God may well have said ”the choice is yours” or maybe he would have said “let me refer you back to our conversation where I said you could eat any fruit, but not from the tree in the middle of the garden or you will die” Genesis 3:3
What are you going to do?  God has already told us what to do in our lives, if we are not sure it’s ok to check with Him through his word.  Generations upon generations of people didn’t pass these scriptures down to be mass produced in every language conceivable for us to go, ‘hmmm, wonder what I should do, there’s got to be a blog or podcast on that somewhere’ Go to your Bible the answers are all there!
Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive fan of the #digidisciple and some of the blogs and podcasts I’ve come across have been phenomenally helpful, and I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t think someone somewhere would get something from it, just a warning that nothing can replace the Holy inspired word of God, The Bible.  The original blog.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Church At The Beach

When I was a child, Sunday was Sunday.  You missed 'Church' (it was called 'the meeting') for no reason whatsoever.

Sunday’s followed the same routine in our house week in, week out, perhaps not that unusual to other households, but to me it felt like we were very different and unusual.

There were no day-trips on a Sunday, no party acceptances on a Sunday, no loud shrieking and playing outside on a Sunday, no t.v. on a Sunday.....you get the idea.

Occasionally on a Sunday afternoon my Dad would take us out for a drive, we lived in a beautiful area of the countryside and I did enjoy those rides out and about “there and back again to see how far it was”. I loved taking in the greenery all around me that stretched out as far as the eye could see, and the higher we climbed as we drove, the more majestic the view. I took in the shapes of the trees as their silhouettes grew higher towards the sun.  The clouds that could make any object you could imagine from a dinosaur to a footballer. The hedgerows as they separated the blankets of bright greens and yellows.

What I appreciate now, but did not in any way realise or appreciate then, was that I was surveying God’s creation, this environment I adored was made for me, by the God that I also felt very annoyed with at being significant enough in our family, for me to be dragged to the meetings to on a very regular basis.

So.......last Sunday and this Sunday we didn't get up and go to Church, no, we took advantage of the glorious weather (and by that I mean it wasn't raining) you have to when you live in England, and we headed off for an hours drive to the beach.

Do I feel guilty?  No.  Am I less of a Christian?  No.  Should I have said to the kids, "I know today's the only day we have free, but you know we have to go to Church on Sunday?"  No.

God created this beautiful world, and I personally never feel closer to Him than when I am outdoors. Genesis 1:9,10 And God said, Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear. And it was so. God called the dry ground land, and the gathered waters he called seas. And God saw that it was good.

Also I spent good needed quality time with my husband and kids, and whether they liked it or not, I pointed out God's goodness that was surrounding us to them!

Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.

What have you 'missed' Church for lately?

Friday, 19 August 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

I had to confess to somebody this week that I didn't know if I had any love in me. To give or to receive, What is Love anyway?

My feelings surrounding most things are indifferent, the thing is I have such a non-opinion of myself that to offer emotional feelings to others or to accept them for myself can be quite hard.

I have only just been able to accept God's love, which I thank Him every day for, I don't know why I get it, i just do.  But love offered to me by another, I kind of don't really believe it, I don't think they're lieing, I just brush it off as being un-important.

I finished last weeks post by concluding All You Need Is Love.  I do believe this and if I can just learn to love myself (pass the bucket!) I am sure things will start to fall into place.

God Is Love, and he created us in His image, so that means we must be love, right?

It seems like such a cliche to not be able to quantify love, how do you describe it?  I know I am coming out of an emtional shut-down, so maybe this is 'normal' at the moment, and when I am fully up and running again, I will be bursting with so much love it will annoy those who are desparate for it at the moment! I can only pray so!

I have even just finished reading 5 Love Languages .........guess what, I couldn't identify mine!

What's yours?

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Without Reason

If you don't believe in God, if God doesn't matter to you, do you accept that you are 'without reason'?

Music matters to me, but without God in my life, nothing matters, how could it?

Where would I find my purpose, my joy, seek comfort in my suffering?

Without God, where would I find beauty and peace, laughter and pleasure?

How can you have more belief in nothing, than something?

God matters, God gives us reason, God is something to believe in.

Something To Believe In

But then I thought about what else matters to me, and obviously God does, and I was even more pleased to come across this.

The Beatles - Why Music Matters

Music does matter - a lot to me, so I was pleased yesterday to come across this little film from Why Music Matters.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Women Of The Bible (All Of Them!)

I was brought up in a Brethren assmebly, (even the word Church is probably too liberal to use).  Women are not allowed to take part in any services, unless there are no men present, and they have to wear head-coverings.  Now I'm no Biblical scholar, but my un-educated guess is, that when Paul wrote to the Corinthians about that, he didn't mean it to translate in 2000 years time to keep the John Lewis milliners dept in trade.

I have come to my own understanding of the Corinthians teachings, and am happy to go to Church with my head uncovered and take part as I feel led.

What I really want to do now though is undertake a full study of every woman that appears in the Bible.  Note the lack of the word 'significant'.

I am currently being taught that I am as good as the next person, God made us all equal, and while I sometimes struggle with that notion about myself, I have to start by admitting that if a woman makes an appearance in the Bible it is a significant appearance - no matter who she was.

I am not on a feminist crusade, I'm simply trying to unravel the differences between what I was taught growing up and what I believe now about women's roles.

So anyone come across any good study guides/podcasts/blogs on the subject? I would be interested to read them.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

I make no apologies for the song choices this week, who knew? Well apparently the Kaiser Chiefs did.

There was Panic on the city streets of the UK this week, leaving us all feeling helpless and numb, I think I have said all that I needed to in my previous posts, suffice it to say that prayers are still needed for ALL involved, from the looters to the Police, to the volunteers that cleaned up, and yes, the Politicians, perhaps especially the Politicians!

Most of the kids who got involved in this weeks trouble probably haven't heard of the Sex Pistols, but the sentiments from this 30 yr old song probably sum up the way the disenchanted youth feel as they display their Anarchy In The UK.

Unfortunately over here the government have made cuts to our essential services and there are some who feel that initially the Police didn't intervene, to make the point about the cuts.
The very media that the government blames ie Twitter, Facebook, Blackberry messenger, has also been the media by which some of the looters have been identified, caught, arrested and charged through the courts They Fought The Law And The Law Won ..........eventually .

We are not a country to take things lightly and just mope about complaing, as fast as the riots were organised, so were the street clean-ups, again through social media - it definately has it's place.

These people, some of whom I'm guessing are not Christians, displayed absolute love and compassion and care for their communities, these people have it inside them to show goodness, they knew it was the right thing to do.  The core of the Christian belief, the very thing that God wants us to be above all else is loving, these people did that in bucket loads, and I pray for them that the feeling they had that made them know they had to help will stir up their hearts into seeking out what is it the stirred this love up inside them. All You Need Is Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
 Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 1 Corinthians 13:13
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Ex Gang Member Tells Sky News He Is Born Again Christian

Sky News Interview

Two fine young Christian men. Looking beyond the 'I blame the parents' mentality.  I was shocked to hear the death stats from gang crime and I realised at that point I felt immense guilt.  Do I cry when I hear about another drug shooting?  I probably don't even blink, I accept that happens in 'certain areas' but start looting T.V's and trainers and there is an absolute outcry over material goods. A persons life, whoever they are is worth more than a shop full of replaceable goods. What do you think about gang crimes? They get what they deserve? Does anyone deserve to be gang-raped and stabbed?

I know this isn't what this week has been about, but this is the environment that surrounds a lot of the kids who were out there looting this week, I want to see everyone involved punished for what they did, I thought it was absolutely despicable.  But I also want to see these kids given a hope - there is just no hope anymore.

My husband has not had full time sustainable work for about two years now and IT IS HARD!  So if you are in the inner city 18 years old, no prospects, no decent role models, that doesn't equal go and destroy, but they simply don't know how else to express themselves, they need HELP.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

What Is Going On?!

 These are not protesters fighting a cause, they are mindless thugs, they are making a mockery of anyone with true grievances and are an embarassment to our country. Praying for it to STOP NOW, before innocent lives are lost and more livelihoods destroyed.
These are not race riots.  The trigger was the shooting of a black man Mark Duggan, but that does not explain the looting, the burning, the robbing, the violence against numerous innocent people.  This behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for about 18 months now, I do not condone it, it sickens me, but the people responsible can't seem to find the right way to get people's attention.  Our country has let them down, we have cut funding for the police the nhs the teachers but the big guys at the top appear to remain unaffected.  It was obvious something was going to give, sadly the shooting was enough to spark all those contained angry emotions.

I do not know how the government and those in charge are now going to clean this mess up, but I do know that the law-abiding citizens on the street are going out organising clean-up's via twitter and facebook. 

Only yesterday we had a fab day in Bristol at the Cabot Circus shopping centre and the previous day we spent in the City of Cardiff.  Our country has such diverse cities and could be united in so many other ways,  I am all for mulit-culturalism, I think it's what makes the cities come alive and I feel proud to live in a country that other nations want to come and live in, these thugs of all colours and nationalities are only making more problems for their own personal selves.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Ian Morgan Cron Jesus, My Father, The CIA, And Me

If you are looking for a book that gives an exposé of the CIA, this isn’t it.  If you are looking for an honestly written autobiography that’ll have you chuckling from one page and forming a lump in your throat on the next, this is it.  Ian tells of his childhood through to college years and beyond, all of which have been impaired by the lack of a suitable father-figure.  Throughout the book he appears to cling on to a faith, sometimes by the skin of his teeth.
I love autobiographies so I was pleased that almost immediately this book provoked my emotions of not only humour but sadness.  Ian tells his story in a way that makes you forget you are reading a book, you feel you know each character personally and can imagine you are sat in the same room as Ian, smiling appreciatively but with a tear in your eye as he recounts the stories of the love shown by his best friend, the fight with his father and towards the end of the book, the treat of Ian letting you know about himself as a father.

This book is proof that we can re-write our life-script, even if it does mean you have to see a counsellor regularly!  I would recommend this book to anyone, my life has nothing in common with Ian’s, but I identified very well with it.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Weekly Song Round Up

Good week this week, lovely weather, kids happy, ice cold beers - oh except for my neighbours who posted on facebook about their desparation of being in a house without any. so I said to my husband pop across with a couple of beers,  I was then really confused as to why he got in his car - they only live opposite us.  Then my daughter guessed he was going to his friends house who has the same name as our neighbour, while we cringed with embarassment at what we forsaw as the unfolding scene, hubby drove back in and said "which Rich did you mean?" phew! Neighbours relieved, no-one embarassed, beers all round.

I posted earlier posted earlier in the week about a fab song that came on the radio, it was so good I have included it today as well, but with a different video, I love it when you call, so if you bothered to look at the first one and think, well I've seen that one I won't click - think again.  I would hate to be too repetative.

Lastly I listened to a podcast  By Tim Lucas from liquid church earlier in the week about embracing the new chapters in your life, and how it is hard to let go of the old chapters but sometimes you just need faith to trust God to take you to new beginings, then a friend sent me an email of the word for today which told of how Naomi thought she couldn't go on, but God had bigger and better plans for her.  I am really feeling that at the moment, I am approaching a big change, I think I know what God is placing on my heart to do and I am really trying to follow through with it, starting at home first (maybe a future post on that to come) Anyhow I think for now the appropriate worship song is who is there like you because it has the phrase 'your power at work in me, is changing me.

I know God has and will continue to change me!

Have a blessed weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

He Loves It When You Call

Out in the car today, doing my usual long chat to God as I drove, I probably found myself rambling a bit, I was going over the things that had happened over the last week that I needed strength for and then was distracted by the awsome scenery and just had to give thanks for the incredibly beautiful world we live in, and then I didn't really know where else I wanted the prayer to go so I gave in and turned the radio on.........that was when God spoke to me. 

No, he's not moonlighting as a DJ, he's got enough on his plate at the moment.  It was the song that came on, that for me immediately was God saying 'thanks for the chat'.

The Feeling I Love It When You Call Years ago when this song first came out, our Pastor used it as an illustration in her sermon.  I know, imagine that, pop music in a place of God.  Well I'm still here and we weren't all turned to stone. (Don't even go there on the fact our Pastor at that time was a She)!

Anyway her point was God loves it when we call.  He is our Father, if we can't go to Him who can we go to?

Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praise. Jam 5.13

Pray for one another, that you may be healed. Jam 5.16b

Therefore, I desire that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. 1Ti 2:8

The line in the song 'what's the complication, it's only conversation' couldn't be more true about the way we communicate with God.  Just talk to Him!  He loves it when you call!