Saturday, 23 January 2016

I am ME!

I am me!

This week I had a revealation. I am me! Some of you may be thinking “duh, of course you are you!”  But this week it was something that really hit home.

As part of our training and development as ministers in the Salvation Army Paul and I have just spent the last week at the William Booth Training college in London. It has been an interesting and challenging week in many ways! There was some great teaching, thought provoking worship and some fellowship with people walking on the same road of ministry as me. But for me, the greatest part of the week, was in the gentle call and affirmation that God seemed to breath over me as the days went by.

There were a number of points over the week that God spoke to me and said “you are you and I made you that way. Stop worrying over the way you are, if you are wrong, I will tell you!”

On Monday morning as I read my devotional I was struck by these Words


As I meditated on these words I penned this prayer




As I continued to consider the reality of being a child of a king, I found some interesting quotes that I just had to share!



Later on in the week we completed a Myers Briggs Type indicator test, where we found out a little bit about different parts of our personalities. As we were led through this, the group leader reminded us of a verse in Ephesians 2 that states we are God’s masterpiece. This really struck me. When an artist creates a masterpiece, it is good! It is deliberately created, every last bit!

As I read my ‘personality type’ and considered the things I had heard I felt a sense of affirmation. I may very clearly see all my faults and flaws. I may mess up come before God time and time again feeling sorry for myself….. but I am me, and when he made me he said it was good! WOW!

Furthermore, I came to the realisation that although Paul and I may be very different, that’s how God made us, and that is how God wants us in order to do his work where he places us.


I don’t know what is ahead for Paul and I, it is all very exciting, and a little bit scary! But I do know that I am me, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and as I continue on this Journey of faith, God will continue to shape me and prepare me to be the best I can be for him. 


Monday, 11 January 2016

He giveth and giveth and giveth again

It’s been a bit of a week! It was the first week back in full swing after Christmas which is always difficult. It’s one of those weeks that is spent trying to get back into the routine of things and getting up to date on all those little things. It has been busy to say the least!

It has also been a week full of vision and dreaming, with meetings looking ahead and God laying heavy on me an urge to think big and to start walking in it! Our church is growing and God is miraculously providing. There have been moments that have felt like the ascent at the beginning of a fairground ride. The anticipation of what might be ahead that excitement mingled with nervousness and that little bit of dread that you cant make it on your own.

It has also been a week of brokenness. There have been so many people through our doors this week screaming out for Jesus. There are people struggling with illness, grief and addiction. It really has been heartbreaking, but I am so grateful that we are able to share with them, in both words and deeds, the transforming power of Jesus  

There was one man who came in for a food voucher as he had drank away his money. When I spent time talking with him, he shared a bit of his story, and I could have cried. However, he turned to me and looked me in the eyes and said: “I have tried avarything, everything you could imagine and I am still kin this mess. I have seen people’s lives transformed, I mean turned around, really transformed by God and I think I should give it a try!”

WOW!

Over the weekend, the week became a week of reaching empty! We have been working closely with a young man not much older than me who has been battling with different mental health issues. We have tried so many ways to help him, but nothing seems to click, he just won’t help himself. This weekend included a middle of the night awakening by the police, with this lad in a right state. He was drunk and he wasn’t being pleasant. It certainly wasn’t a great night! The following day we sorted him out a bit and enabled him to go and stay with his mum for a while but by the end of it all we were exhausted, in every way! 

Having  dogs is such a blessing. Sunday afternoon as we finally got to unwind from the week we took the dogs for a walk at Moel Famau. As the wind blew the clinging problems away and the sun shone on the world below, reflecting the beauty of creation. I stopped to consider the song that had been running through my mind all day:

He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.


This week has been hard but at the end of it I feel peace. I have learnt many things too. I have learnt the importance of being soaked in God’s word. I have learnt more about God’s great love for all his children and I have fallen even more in love with my husband. The last verse of that song resounds in my heart today. Thank you Jesus that to give and give and give again!




Friday, 8 January 2016

Doors

At this time of year, lots of people talk about resolutions. People talk of dieting and keeping fit, quitting smoking or drinking. I heard a statistic that 35% of us make a new years resolution and only 8% of them stick to it. That doesn't sound good, does it?

I haven't made any resolutions, as such, but have made a renewed effort to spend more quality time with God each day and try to have more of an attitude of gratitude. 

In my devotion time I have felt God has shown me a picture of a door. As I considered this, I began thinking about God opening and closing doors in our lives. It is a concept seen time and again in scriptures and also in my life. I  believe there are times when God closes the door on situations in my life and has opened new doors for me with fresh opportunities. There have been times full of hurt, bad situations, dark times and God has closed the door to them. There have also been good times, enjoyable times that have become closed doors. But the doors that God has opened have always been better. 

Revelation 3:8 says
"I have opened a door for you that no man can close."

God is in colntrol and wants to open new doors in our life today. Sometimes we may feel we are too much of a mess or our situations may seem too big. But take a look at this quote


Nothing you are facing today is too hard for him to handle 

God can help you through any situation. He can close the door to the old and open doors to the new. 

Maybe today you feel that this is all very well and good all these doors opening and closing; but I feel like I am stood in the hallway waiting! I completely understand that.  

There are situations in my life that I am believing God will open a door to. I have been believing a long, long time, but, still I feel like I'm waiting. Waiting in the hallway for God to open the door so that I can step through into the promises he has for me. 

Will the door ever open? I don't know. I hope and pray so! But I heard this great quote and it is something I try to follow, even on the darkest days. 


I don't know where you are today, maybe you have stepped into a new door and are content, maybe God has shut the door on a difficult situation, maybe you wish he would. Maybe you feel too messed up, or the situation is too big for God to do anything, or maybe, like me, you are praising God in the hallway. 

Let me leave you with this. There is a great Salvation Army song that says
"I'm in his hands, I'm in his hands,
Whatever the future holds, I'm in his hands,
The days I cannot see, have all been planned for me,
His way is best, you see, 
I'm in his hands 



Tuesday, 5 January 2016

An attitude of gratitude

At the start of this new year I felt called by God to try something I had come across in a few blogs. You choose a word (prayerfully!) and use it to hang your thoughts, journal and ideas for the year. A lot of people I have read about have seen it really transform their life, so I thought I would give it a go! The word I chose was GRATITUDE. So this week I have started 52 weeks of gratitude, and I will attempt to share some of my ponderings with you! 

 
The first week asks why start this challenge? Well gratitude is a great thing to exercise. The talks time and time again about giving thanks. But how often when we pray are we guilty of giving thanks to God as a pre-curser to the main event.....asking for what we want. 

Having an attitude of gratitude is something that I believe could completely change my faith, my marriage, my ministry and my relationships. When we go through our life looking for opportunities to give thanks, we can't help but also see love, joy and peace. 

To be honest, there were moments of last year that were really, really difficult. There were times when the dark clouds seemed to eclipse the rays of joy. However I chose to be thankful. I  chose to have faith that God had it covered, and praise the Lord, he did!

Is life rosy? Certainly not! 
Do I always feel like God is listening? No! and there are situations that are really painful for my husband and I 
Is is always easy to give thanks? Definitely not, but in the bible we see fantastic examples of how an attitude of gratitude leads to Joy. 

So this year I chose one year to focus my thoughts... Gratitude, and I am excited to hear God speaking and observing, with an attitude of gratitude, how life will be full, to overflowing, with Joy!