Thursday, 17 November 2016

When the light dims!

I was so sore and distraught and at the verge of tears, all around me my hope had faded, the light at the end of the tunnel looked even further away.  I had been really ill for a few weeks, a mixture of being bed-bound and house-bound and so I felt completely isolated, alone and overwhelmed. I felt this illness was just robbing me of so much and that I had been forgotten about by others.

I hadn't spent much time in prayer or the Word that week and so I realized how thirsty I was for encouragement from God himself. How easily it is to neglect God's Word and prayer. Nothing my husband or son could say would encourage me so I knew it was time to spend time with my Father God. I needed His help and no-one else. So I knew I really needed to read something that would make me think and lift me up. My first port of call was Psalm 40:1-4;

I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.

AS i cried out more to God; the line 'new mercies every morning' came to mind. I remembered that beautiful hymn, '' Great is thy Faithfulness' and my first thoughts were it was from a Psalm. However it isn't from a Psalm but from the very mournful book of Lamentations. After a quick concordance look-up I found exactly what I was looking for and that was;
Lamentations 3:22-24 

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassion's fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”

So I went on to read the whole book of Lamentations! I know if you're familiar with this book in the bible it wouldn't be the first place you'd seek encouragement, as it is indeed quite a miserable read but important book as it details Jeremiah's mourning's from a literal pit of despair as God judged the nation of Judah for their sin. However on I went and read it and could see that Chapter 3 is indeed the gemstone of this book. It is then that Jeremiah looks up to God instead of the situation around him and sees hope.

As I cried in the acknowledgement that God indeed had not forgotten me I was also reminded of Revelations 21:4;

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

God himself was reviving my heart of despair. As I came away encouraged and amazed at how God had led me to those Bible passage, I was lead to look up the hymn 'Great is thy faithfulness' and so I listened to a lovely rendition of it on YouTube. That lead me onto the Author and I read a short bio of Chisholms life.

He became a Christian when he was 27, went on to study to be a Methodist minister, in his mid 30s he graduated and then only went on to minister for 1 year until his ill health prevented him. And his ill health followed him for the rest of his life. However he went onto write many poems of which 'Great is thy Faithfulness' is one.
Now that stopped me in my tracks as my ill health has prevented me from going forward into full time ministry from my mid 30's as well. Not a coincidence but God intervening in my pitiful state to remind me, all is not lost, God will still use me no matter what life throws at me.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

If only you could read my mind!

I've been watching too much Sci-fi lately especially Star Trek
Voyager.  Recently I saw an episode all about a telepathic community and how they had to control their thoughts as they could read each others thoughts easily. As I watched I was thinking  how glad I was that nobody could read my mind.

I'm sure if others could read my mind they wouldn’t want to talk to me let alone be friends with me. 
We can have horrible thoughts about others, fleshly thoughts of anger, frustration, bitterness, where you come away from an argument or conversation and know what you should have said compared to what you actually did say! We think of vengeance and instead of acting that out because we don't want to face the conflict and instead we find that a good film on vengeance helps! (I know for a fact I'm not the only one who thinks like this but we're too afraid to admit it.) 
However there is someone who knows every single one of my thoughts good or bad and that one is God of course as we can see clearly in the verses from Psalm 139 below. I find it somewhat reassuring that God knows me inside and out. And He still loves me and desires a relationship with me!

Ps 139

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Is Christ Your First Love

Galations 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Recently while reading a book, reading the word and listening to sermons, the main question that has challenged me; 'is Christ my first love?'

 That is so challenging because straight away I know how short I fall in putting Christ first. I have an excuse for falling short; I haven't the energy to put Him first.
My fleshly self prefers to be anxious and fretful and then to depend on the wrong people or things.

 My put first list in no particular order; hubby, son, friends, internet, gadgets, food and the list could could on. 

 For example I've put gadgets before Christ, I remember a number of years ago talking to my hubby about a new mobile phone; his reply to this was that I didn't need one and neither could we afford one. I got it into my head that life couldn't go on without it. Obsession and desire took over and I went and bought one. Now it fulfilled a desire for less than a week, and then I realized it didn't fill that gaping void at all. Only Christ can fill that gaping hole in our lives.If I had put Him first  the mobile phone could have waited until I had saved up for it. Also I wouldn't have gone against my husband's wishes.

 The main problem; I was distracted by worldly things that I thought would fulfill my every desires and  even made excuses  for e.g, at least its not an iPhone as if that justified the sin. But who do I think I am making up the rules . Nothing justifies committing sin. I need to constantly come before Jesus and surrender all, repent of my sin and move forward in my faith. 

Thursday, 21 July 2016

His Word Is Truth

It was the summer when I was 18 years old that God brought me to Germany to teach me one of the most important lessons of my life. I was going through a hard time in University and my self-image was at an all time low. I was part of a church fellowhip and had been nurtured well in my Christian faith there. One woman from the church offered me the opportunity to go to 'Love Europe' OM Summer Missions. My church sponsored me to go. I was to travel across Europe on a bus. I remember thinking 'what do I think I'm doing?' and 'how could I share my faith in Christ with others, when I didn't have confidence in my own faith in God?'
However God had plans for me there. One evening the main speaker challenged us to question if we put barriers between us and God that were preventing us moving forward in our faith. The conviction I was under was real and the burdens I had been carrying around with me became very heavy. There was an opportunity to pray with counselors afterwards and I took the plunge and responded.
I was asked to think on a verse; that verse was Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

The questions I was asked with regard to the verse were; 'Did I believe this verse?' and 'Did I believe God loved me this much?'. I had until the next morning to ponder these questions and then I was to meet up again with the same women as the previous night. That night I couldnt sleep, there was a stirring in my soul and an over riding conviction of unbelief in God's Word. Did I believe what this verse was saying and if I didnt, did I not believe in the word of God? How had I not realized that until then!
The next morning I wearily met up with the ladies, we talked long and deep and I poured out my troubled heart to them, which at the time was alot. At the end of my time with them I was beginning to understand that maybe God did really love me.The ladies prayed for me and then it was my turn to pray and repent of my unbelief in God's Word and ask God for a revelation of his unconditional love. Amazingly God answered that prayer in that moment. The love of God washed over me, what Jesus had done for me was re-realised and I came away changed. I believed  Zephaniah 3:17 and nobody or anything could have convinced me otherwise. 
Its a long time ago now, over 20 years and that lesson has always stuck. I have let my emotions get in the way since, but God brings me back to this verse time and time again to firmly remind me that He is God and that He loves me so much He rejoices over me with singing. 
God's word is truth and in Him are no lies!

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Lies, its all lies

I'm reading a book at the moment called Lies Women Believe (And the truth that sets them free) by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. (Thankyou to a good friend who introduced me to this book) As I journey through the book I am amazed at the insight from God the writer has and the honesty with which she writes.
I am reminded about how far short I fall in terms of repenting from my sin and seeking God's forgiveness and grace through his son Jesus Christ. Then I wonder why I struggle with so much but particularly at the moment I'm struggling with my own lack of worthiness. But if I'm not spending time with Someone who deems me worthy, how can I expect to be a confident child of God. I mean really, what do I expect??!!
I really need to read His Word, and focus on scripture that lifts me closer to God. Simples!!
I came across Psalm 147: 10 & 11 today and it was perfect for what I needed to hear from God.

10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.

  How often I can compare myself to others; how often I find so much fault in myself, I'm not a good Mum or such and such is a better Mum than me, and especially at the moment such is such is a better writer than me, such and such is a better Christian than me. And the list goes on and I hate that I have a list of this kind at all. Stop!! Wait a minute!! God doesnt expect me to have a list like that where I'm comparing myself to others. 'He does not delight in' outward appearances, all He is concerned about is where my heart lies, do I 'fear Him' and 'hope in His mercy'. God does not compare me to others, His main concern is that I have accepted His Mediator, Jesus Christ in my heart which was what happened when I became a Christian at 15 which is 26 years ago (Wow). In all those years God has taught me so much and re-taught me so much and for that I am in awe of how graciously He deals with me daily.
Let us not forget that He takes pleasure in our hearts, hearts that have committed to following Jesus and daily we need to be pouring out ourselves to Him (giving Him our all).

Think About;

Am I struggling through today in my own stength or in God's?
Do I truly believe in Jesus as my Lord & Saviour?
What do I need to leave in God's hands today? What do I need to repent of?

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Nothing can seperate us

In the past week I've been focusing on these verses in Romans 8 : 35-39
'Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'

There is so much in these verses I really don't know where to start apart from saying read over these verses a few times and soak them in.

I am a terribly distracted woman. I hate the things that can stretch me away from God , for me that can be endless , my ill health is very good at taking my focus from God, so also is any anxious thought.
 I am such a worrier. I worry about everything at times, my husband's health;my son's education; my son's future; my future; what's for breakfast, lunch or dinner; do I have somewhere to go this week? ;
Am I well enough to go anywhere? Will I have enough energy for a bath?; and the list is endless. Do I have energy to worry about all these things? Simple answer is no, of course not. Does my own self rationale make me stop? No!

Only focusing on God and His word makes a real difference. (Just to note when I refer to God, I refer to the trinity, God the Father, Son & Holy Spirit)
It's so easy to reflect on tribulation, distress, peril, death, present or future and think the worst but when you are a true Christian we have Jesus Christ rooted in our hearts and the word is clear. Nothing can separate us from God's love. We must believe this!

Think about

What distracts you from your daily walk with God?
How do you respond to the fact that nothing can seperate us from God's love?
Ask God to help you believe and soak in this passage of scripture !

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

To Soar on Wings!

I'm here sitting up early in the morning not really being able to get back to sleep.  I cried to God and said  'Lord God at times like this I feel I lack everything and I am a lost cause. My body is weak, exhausted, very uncomfortable and I am really sore all over. I want a break from this body. But yet the birds sing and my soul rejoices quietly in your creation. O to have the wings of a bird....'

So of course Isaiah 40:28-31 came to mind;

28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

God's character is so opposite to us human beings; He never faints He is never weary and He understands everything; whereas I'm weak, faint, weary and my understanding is so limited. The Psalmist declares clearly in verse 30 that even youths and young men grow weary, faint and fall. So what hope is there for me who suffers from M.E.! In verse 29 we see clearly that God gives power and strength to the weak and weary.
In verse 31 God promises that He will renew our strength, we will be able to run and not be weary, we will walk and not be faint. Thats what I need to hear but above all the lines in this passage  'They shall mount up with wings like eagles' speaks to me of such promise and vision. I can see clearly a picture of me soaring as an eagle. I desire that so much. That picture fills me with excitement and promise for the future.
I know that Heaven indeed will be a wonderful place but I know now that God can heal me here on Earth in His Time, He has the power and abiity to heal me I can only but hope for that day.
In the meantime I will praise Him forevermore!  

Psalm 104; 35b
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!