You Can Do This.

My blogging has been quiet for a while, I have not stopped writing just not blogging . Expressing myself in other ways has given me less time to blog . Writing a prayer diary each evening has become a part of my daily routine. It’s a colourful private place full of drawings thoughts feelings and prayers.
I have also been studying with the spurgeons college . The study skills course is a non qualification course learning to write essays and improve my writing skills all focused around the New Testament . It’s great place to learn and equip myself for future learning .
Why the studying ?
God is calling me ; sending me in different direction and it’s confusing . I can’t yet blog about it as I can’t make sense of it in my own head let alone put pen to paper.
I think I know what’s going on and where I might be going , but it does all seem a little impossible and at the same time exciting and a tiny bit possible.
Today with the text books left at home I learnt so much; I am buzzing inside. Excited and yet again amazed by how God just does amazing things.
Today we ( me and my hubby ) visited a local church . A beautiful church build in the 1930’s only about 11 miles from my home. The church was as beautiful on outside as it was inside. It’s located in a area of social housing and completely different area to the church I regularly attend.
When We walked in instantly I loved it and felt as if God was saying to me these are the people I want you to work with, pray with and be alongside them as the journey through life.
Today the people in this beautiful diverse little church gave me the confidence to follow what God is asking of me.
The congregation were so excited to see us and welcome us to their church. Keen to make us welcome in a beautiful genuine way.
Their faith seemed earthy and very connected to each other and the space around them.
The Pianist was truly amazing, at the start of the service she took it upon herself to preach from the pulpit and reminded us to use the gifts given to us by God. Their was no hiding her gift and she certainly practised what she preached. Gods loved flowed from her fingers to the piano in the music she played. With a mysterious grin she added a honky tonk feel to the hymns . Deliberately slowing the music down and than speeding us up.  Everyone just sang and smiled.
This small diverse congregation each gave something to the service , a warm welcome, making the coffee, entertaining the children , giving out notice sheets and reading the prayers .
The visiting clergy taking the service just went with the flow as we all worshiped and prayed together in a jumbled way.
And I for the first time I said to myself “ You can do this” I am being called to these people.
I felt blessed and privileged to be with them today, hearing their stories and sharing coffee and a biscuit with them.

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Just Like Jonathan.

Soaking up the sunshine at our local swimming pool, I was reminded of a younger me sat on the same spot enjoying the sun reading “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”by Richard Bach.
It’s about a very independent seagull, who dared to question what was being told to him. He didn’t just want to spend his time searching for food and hanging out doing what was expected of him; he was different and dared to dream.

The book was gifted to me by an elderly gentleman that I met one day at work. I was young and just doing my job admittedly with my own spin on things. For me it was my job; for him it was a very difficult day . A few weeks later he came to work again, asked for me by name and gave me “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and suggested I read it .
I have often wondered why this stranger went to the trouble of getting the book to me. Did he see something in me that others did not? Or was I already at 18 flying in a different direction than my peers?

I remember reading it and the excitement of pushing personal boundaries, opening myself to a world I had yet to discover. It made me realise that it is okay to be different and not do what everyone else does, just because you are supposed to.
The excitement of spreading my wings and flying in my own direction stayed with me . It all seemed so very possible aged 18.
The book taught me to share what you have inside, but always to remain true to yourself and to keep working on Love .

I have just read the book again. Enjoyed it as much as the first time but seeing so much more in the story, than a lone gull that wanted to reach out and change his flock.

It’s is about each and every one of us. Reminding me it’s ok to refuse to conform for the sake of conforming. To find things out for myself ,make up my own mind. It’s a story of love, forgiveness and how to reach our full potential. The most powerful force that exists, is that of belief especially in ourselves.

It’s so hard in our world to stand up for what I believe in. Walk away from the crowd and do my own thing .
It’s even harder to tell others about what’s inside me and how beautiful and amazing God’s love is.
Wanting them to feel it too, just as Jonathon wanted the other gulls to see their was more to life than eating and fighting over food.
This last fortnight seems to be full of the same message. My random bible readings have all been about moving out of my comfort zone and pushing myself. The blogs I have read, the films watched all seem to be about individuals being themselves and telling others what’s inside them.

It does all sound a little scary. I need to push past that and allow others to see the sunshine in me.
The sunshine that is the Holy Spirit working , leading and guiding me on a journey .
A journey that may involve meeting people that might not be interested in my story and turn away from me.
A journey that is calling me to take the next brave step into the unknown and beyond. Just like Jonathon it’s a journey of transformation. But unlike Jonathon I have an overwhelming desire for others to have Jesus in their lives too.

Romans 12:2The Message (MSG)
Place Your Life Before God
12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

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Someone Else’s Fear.

Today the sun is directly overhead shinning so brightly it’s almost unbearable.
When the sun is not shining, I know it’s still there. Just as I know God loves me even when I might not be feeling it.
Gods love was not on my mind a year ago. I was so trapped, not knowing which way to turn. Those that should have been helping me where not: I was left in an impossible situation.
Twelve months today I was reading “ From fear to love by Bryan Post” a love based approach to helping parent children that have been adopted or in care.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:18
I wanted to find out more; just reading the bible passage as part of Bryan’s book that night did not seem enough.
I wanted to read it from the bible. Their was a strong need to want to try understand what was being said and why.
Reading a Bible verse more than once was something that I would not normally do. I read 1 John 4:18 over and over again that evening. Stopping to spend time researching the verse on the internet. Desperately trying to understand why love and fear cannot co exist.
Learning that some of us can be so afraid of love we push it away. I understood that if you feel Gods love you cannot be afraid . God will look after you.
Within hours I suddenly found myself home alone and very scared.
Someone else’s fear had shattered my life and those that I love where also destroyed.
God is so amazing giving me that one verse to hold onto. Curled up on the sofa: crying, rocking and shaking I was not angry only scared. I understood why it had happened.
Through my tears and uncontrollable shacking somehow I understood God was with me.

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Pray For Social Workers.

Busiest places: pray for social workers.
Nearly one in 10 U.K social workers (8%) are considering leaving the job. With over a 5th of these blaming stress or unmanageable caseloads.

I pledge to pray for families; children in the care system and those involved in adoption.
When I first read on the “Thy Kingdom Come” website find some extreme places to pray and film yourselves doing it. I thought of all the beautiful places I could pray: high on a mountain, in a darkest cave, under water in the depth of the sea, riding my bike through the countryside.
When I read it again I realised that I can see God’s beauty and creation in all of these places.
But to others these are not places of beauty but are the extremes of their lives.
The forgotten families and children of our society, often out of sight and unnoticed.

Dear Loving Seeing God.
My prayers today are for all those involved in the care system.
I pray that this over stretched; overworked system can still be capable of love.
Guide the overworked, exhausted, and weary help them find rest.
Love those that are broken hearted, give healing to their sorrow and pain.
Please help social workers work with families that society does not see.
Allow this overworked system to reach out to those that need it most.
Give them wisdom so they might show your love and mercy.
Amen.

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Pray For Those Living In Fear.

 

Lowest places: pray for those living in fear.
Over 60 % of children in care are looked after due to abuse or neglect.

I pledge to pray for families; children in the care system and those involved in adoption.

When I first read on the “Thy Kingdom Come” website find some extreme places to pray and film yourselves doing it. I thought of all the beautiful places I could pray: high on a mountain, in a darkest cave, under water in the depth of the sea, riding my bike through the countryside.
When I read it again I realised that I can see God’s beauty and creation in all of these places.
But to others these are not places of beauty but are the extremes of their lives.
The forgotten families and children of our society, often out of sight and unnoticed.

Dear Loving Seeing God.
Today I pray for all those families that feel the bottom has fallen out of their lives.
For the mothers and fathers that are crying out for help.
I pray that they are treated with love and compassion during their times of trouble.
That they will be listened to and theirs cries for help heard.
Surround these families with love and kindness.
Allow others to help them, not be so quick to judge them.
Equip us with the knowledge and understanding to support these families during their darkest days.
Amen.

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My Last Blog For Lent.

Day Fourty – Recieve – Lent Challenge.

This is my last blog for lent, blog number 40/40.
The last 40 days has seen me reading my Bible more and more. Trying to understand myself and the journey I am on and how it all connects to the Bible.
I read my Bible in many forms on my iPad, audio books, Good News Bible (which I received when I got confirmed ). My most treasured Bible belonged to my Grandfather. He died before I was born. Issued to him in Word War Two this pocket size little New Testament Bible made from light weight Indian paper. It was designed to be carried on the left pocket of the soldier’s jacket over his heart. Published by the Naval and Military Bible Society this Bible is a connection to the Grandfather a that I never had.
The Bible has a couple of pages with the corners turned. I want to share with you the verse on one page that has a turned corner.
Reading and typing this I am reading the same words as my Grandfather did back in World War Two.

John 12:24-25
24.Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die; it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringth forth much fruit.
25. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

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Deliver.

Day Thirty Eight – Deliver -Lent Challenge.

I loved my job as a post lady, spending time outside delivering letters and parcels to the same group of houses for over two year. During that time I got to know all my houses and all my people. I knew the names of their children, the schools they went to, where they went on holiday, when they were on holiday, those that had speeding tickets, birthdays, anniversaries. I delivered cards congratulating on a new baby. I delivered sympathy cards, love letters, passports and premium bond wins .

Each person known by their front door and by name, I very rarely saw the person behind the door.
That’s not unlike my non existent relationship with God that I used to have ( before 2014 ). I had no idea he knew everything about me. I just bumbled along my life totally unaware that God was with me. I used to question and wonder how there could even possibly be a God in a world of so much pain.
I just could not see it myself, but he was waiting for that day I opened my heart to him. I still find this totally amazing.

I used to find it very strange that God knows me so well, even a little uneasy about it all .
God knew that I did not believe in him, knew that I could not understand why others believed.
He knows my thoughts and understands my pain. When I behave in a way that I should not he is still there. I now find it a comfort, a reassurance that what ever happens in my life I will never again be alone, never be in a dark place with no way out.

Psalm 147:3-5Good News Translation

He heals the broken-hearted
and bandages their wounds.

He has decided the number of the stars
and calls each one by name.

Great and mighty is our Lord;
his wisdom cannot be measured.

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