The Divine Mentor

Life once again seems overwhelming it’s the little things that seem so huge in such perfect ways. The little things that constantly tell me God is with me.
This year I have joined the women’s Bible cafe Facebook group. Together we will be reading the Bible in 365 days.

The reading plan allows you to read the Bible in the translation of your choice. I have chosen The Message.
The guidebook for their 12-month reading plan is the Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro.
The book tells us to see the people in the Bible as our mentors and friends. Friends that have been through what we have been through.Friends that we can seek wisdom and guidance from. Biblical mentors for every event in our every day lives. Journeying with them they become our biblical companions.

It’s far more than just reading the Bible in a year. It’s about setting aside time to feed myself spiritually.
Before you start your selected readings for the day The Divine Mentor recommends you to pray asking the Holy Spirit to guide you to one text that shines out to you. One verse that whispers louder than the rest.
Then you journal the text using a method called SOAP :  Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.
S. First you write the scripture in your journal.
O. Ponder the message God has highlighted.
A. How to put it into practice ( why and how does it apply to me)
P. Than write my prayer and ask God for help and guidance to apply what I have just learnt.

Today’s verse was all about not looking back and staying focused.
It’s in the past that God came into my life. It’s in the past that Life stemmed so dark.
The grief and pain must never stop me moving forward. Focusing on the past pain will limit my choices for the future.
I have been blessed to know love and care for many amazing children. Loving them unconditionally. Loving them enough to say goodbye and let go.

The pain of these goodbyes needs to stay in the past, But it’s that pain that’s given me a life filled with new possibilities!

Luke 9:62The Message (MSG)
62 Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”

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My One Word.

New year resolutions always seem so full of promise. The reality is they often are long forgotten by February.
From childhood my new years resolutions have always included to stop sucking my thumb.
The reality is this will never happen . The comfort my thumb gives me far out ways the new years resolution. It’s my built in ability to calm and relax myself at any place and time. Why would I want to stop !

“My one word is an experimental idea to move beyond the cycle of broken resolutions. The challenge is simple instead of making unrealistic challenges – You pick one word to focus on every day all year .
One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live.

For 2018 my one word is patience .
God is patient , I am not. I have a acknowledged my lack of patience many times over 2017.
The patience of God is staggering, I think of all the times God has been so close to me yet I failed to look.
God is patient towards me as he refines, develops and strengthens me.
I thank God for the patience that is shown to me by others. The patience that at times I do not deserve.
I will blog more on patience as I explore what it means to me.

2 Thessalonians 3:5
And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

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God Knows.

2017 has been an epic journey, full of laughter and tears.
God has held my hand in the pain and the Joy. When I fall holding Gods hand I feel loved. It’s that love that gives me the strength to get back up again.
Feeling  so loved and blessed surrounded by the most amazing people. Some  that know me in person and those that read my blogs.
My one big thing for 2017 is growing from world to word ( you need to read the blog ) and starting to find my voice.
I want to say thank you for reading my blogs and journeying with me .Sending you my love and blessings for 2018 what every it may bring.

The poem” God Knows “ By Minnie Haskins has found its way into my heart three times in the last 7 days . Once on Christmas day listening to the kings Christmas speech 1939. A few days after the full version was stumbled upon when searching for something completely different. Today it was read out as part of the sermon in Church.
Sharing it with you.

“God Knows”
by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.
God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.
Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.

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Missing This Christmas.

Dad won’t be sat at the Christmas table today.
Joanne will not turn up overloaded with beautifully wrapped grifts.
Dad won’t complain the sprouts are overdone.
Joanne won’t delight us with her stories .
But they will be with us this Christmas .

Our little boy won’t run down stairs to see if Santa has been.
Our little girl will not ask if it’s morning yet.
But presents will be brought.
Santa will come
They will be with us this Christmas.

Mum won’t sit at the head of the table.
Our large family of children will not cause chaos.
Mum won’t refuse us ice-cream and custard.
Children’s delightful faces will never be seen.
But they will be with us this Christmas.

I keep them all alive .
In ways that others might not see.
My prayers today are for them the ones I and cannot see.

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Roast For Twelve Weeks.

From December 1st our morning routine includes the opening a little paper door on our advent calendar. This non chocolate nativity scene is our traditional way to follow the Christmas story. For some this countdown involves the eating of chocolate. This early morning sugar high can often be followed by panic as they are reminded of how little time they have left to prepare for Christmas.
With Christmas preparations for some starting in September we should all have plenty of time to get ready for Christmas.
I am sure even the most disorganised households can’t take 12 weeks to prepare a roast diner, decorate a tree and buy a few gifts.
The commercialism of Christmas takes control. We are constantly being told to shop and indulge in Christmas . We loose the ability to pay attention to what is going on within us and to what is happening around us.

Late on Christmas Eve 1914, men of the British Expeditionary Force heard German troops in the trenches opposite them singing carols and songs they saw lanterns and small fir trees along their trenches. Messages began to be shouted between the trenches.
The following day, British and German soldiers met in no man’s land and exchanged gifts, took photographs and some played impromptu games of football. They buried the dead repaired trenches and dugouts.
They stopped for Christmas .

They stopped fighting I guess we will never know the motivations for such a complex event to happen. Some portray this event as a magical event. Romanticising
the laying down of arms.
I think it was far from magical but in the stopping it showed the humility of war.
The humility that is Christmas .

Christmas is a celebration of God becoming human: -That’s why I stop . To say thank you for Jesus .
The hugeness of Christmas is lost in the shops. It cannot been seen when we over indulge ourselves and others.

Advent for me means slowing down stopping; to make time to feel the silence and the stillness . Christmas for me is a time to rest, grow and pray . Stopping and standing away from the crowd allows me to journey through advent in a way that feels comfortable to me .

Christmas is a gift to us. A gift that needs to be received. Unwrapping such a special gift needs to be done slowly, taking time to discover its beauty and love.

I love writing and making Christmas cards . Its taking the opportunity to pray for and be thankful for friends and family .

To my elderly friends it’s not the card they are pleased with. It’s the time I spend with them when delivering the card.
The best gift I can give to my friends and family this Christmas is time. Given freely and not rushed.
Sharing with them and celebrating the joy of Christmas.

I can give this time because it’s really important to me.
It’s more important for me to take time away from work at Christmas than it is to have a summer holiday .
I don’t want to work flat out to pay for the Christmas that society believes I should have and enjoy.
I want the opportunity to connect with the community, have conversations invite them stop and engage with the Christmas story.

The beauty of creation is in abundance this time of year. Hedgerows are full of seasonal gifts that add colour and joy . Spending time outside walking and collecting greenery is one of my favourite Christmas activities . I give small gifts that if possible are hand made or made by someone else locally. When I do shop It’s making the effort to support local shops and charities so Christmas can continue on giving.

It’s very easy to quickly get caught up in the Christmas that I don’t want .
It takes a conscious effect to stop.

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Philippians 2:7-8The Message (MSG)
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Inwardly Imploding.

Almost a year ago I was asked to read Psalm 23 to a handful of people .
I felt as if I was going in inwardly implode. The familiar words that have offered comfort and support, suddenly become my worse nightmare.
Their meaning was lost as I tried to read them aloud.
No one judged me as I raced and though the words. I cruelly judged myself ashamed of my fear of reading out loud.
Today I stood up at the front of the church and read my prayer from my heart.
Thank you God for pushing me to do something I always thought was impossible .

 

This advent Lord, come to the manger of my heart.
Fill us with your presence.
Because of your great love for us before the world began .
We are chosen to be adopted as your children.
We love because you loved us first.
A pure act of faith is to care for your children just you cared for us .
We thank you lord for the open hearted families that make adoption possible.
We Pray for children that are not spending Christmas with their families.
The children waiting adoption. Families waiting to adopt.
Give them strength and perseverance to guide them though the good days and bad days.
Bless them with friends and families that can support and understand their needs.
Pray for the birth families of these children; that they are supported. shown love and compassion.
Adotion is never easy its a pure act faith .
Each unique beautiful child is a gift from God.
Help us to hold onto what is good and true, and follow what leads us into life .
Help us to let go of what holds us back .
Forgive us when we choose the wrong way.
Forgive us when we hold onto what we ought to let go .
Thank you for Jesus,
Who speaks his gracious word to each of us, saying; Your sins are forgiven.
Amen

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Bananas May Contain Children.

When I imagine a drive in movie, I think big American, cars rock n roll, poodle skirts and the movie Greece.

I don’t really think much past that image . Until I saw a shared post on Facebook . Cardboard box cars all lined up containing children watching a film. This allowed me to not only reimagine it but when shared it become a reality . On Saturday our community had its very own drive in movie night.

Its such a simple idea, children make cars out of cardboard banana boxes adding embellishments. With plenty of imagination the boxes were transformed. After making the cars and parking them up a tea was provided . The children soon settled into their cars and enjoyed the film.

It has made me think how we label and stereotype often not being prepared to see past what we already know.
The children sat in boxes clearly labeled bananas. To everyone in that room they sat in cars.
The boxes had been beautifully crafted by the children. Adding paper wheels, some even had cup holders. Cars were unroad worthy some even multi occupancy but they were obviously cars.
Sitting enjoying the film my mind started to wonder. It made me think how Jesus does not label us, and how much we label .
On the outside boxes are clearly labeled bananas . So we should expect to find bananas on the inside.
Why would we find anything else? Its obvious why we have to label boxes.
But why are we so keen to label people ?
No one wants their identity boiled down to one thing, even if the label is a strength, a talent, or a gift. Even positive labelling restricts us . Puts us in a box that’s hard to get out of.
The way we label people is something I have always felt strongly about even in my teenage years it frustrated me . Caring for a little person with additional needs and finding my faith has strengthened my feeling about the way we judge and label people without much thought or consideration to them.
We can make decisions so quickly. Putting people into categories because of their jobs, looks, religion or race. It’s easily to do, we have all done it. It’s only by getting to know people and genuinely wanting to be with them understand them do we remove those unwanted labels.

Labels can really hurt, keep you from being who you really are.
I need to live my life by what I feel inside. Not the labels that others give me, or even the labels I give myself.
The labels I have carried and given myself are no longer significant, they no longer limit me in the way they used to . I am learning to see and live beyond my labels.
Jesus set me free from my labels allowed me to peel them back.
I am so much more than a label. I am a child of God and that’s all I am and who I am.

We could have described our drive in movie afternoon afternoon as “A fresh expression of church lead by an evangelical team ” it could equally be “Community family drive in movie night” .
Its was all those things but it was just simply to me one thing God at work .
Its being involved in lives of the families in our community.  It’s The conversations we have, love we have for them, the love of Christ that we want to share with them. Jesus loves us and that’s the message I want to share. “ you are loved “ . Loved without labels, loved on your good days and bad days . It’s good to loose the long words that not everyone understands and think just about what’s at the heart of what we do.

Psalm 139:14Good News Translation
I praise you because you are to be feared;
all you do is strange and wonderful.
I know it with all my heart.

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