Archive for July, 2011

What do consider the best thing you can do for a friend?

I recently read the following which got me thinking about the above question:

The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend – Henry David Thoreau

Yes this statement is good, but personally I don’t believe being someone’s friend is the best thing I can do for a friend. In my opinion, the best thing I can ever do for a friend, is pray for them.

This might seem like a really daft answer to many of you, but for me as a Christian, I truly believe there is only one person who can be all we all need each and every day, and that is God. Therefore for my friends, praying for them is the best I can do for them, because God is the best friend of all.

Do you think having money automatically means you are happy?

I don’t think so! We just need to read or listen to the news most days to hear about some celebrity or other who is splitting up with heir partner/husband/wife, or gone into some clinic somewhere to “deal with” their issues.

While I don’t believe money automatically mean you will be happy, I do believe that those who have enough money to put a roof over their head, and feed and clothe themselves are certainly happier than those who have no home and no food.

But what a minute, have you ever noticed how when we see pictures from third world countries where they have been given food, water, help…and dare I say hope, they always seem so happy and grateful for the little they now have. i.e. There are an awful lot of people in this world would be so very very happy to have, what to you and I would seem like a very small amount of money.

So maybe when you have no money, nothing, having money does equal happiness and those who have a lot of money just prove that having loads of money does not automatically mean you will be happy.

Maybe those with lots of money should just give some of their money to those who have none! Now there’s a novel idea!

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ1 Corinthians 1:3 (NIV)

God has promised us peace.

He hasn’t promised us that life would be easy, that it wouldn’t be full of highs and lows, but simply that He would give us peace if we just believe in Him.

Perfect Peace by Laura Story

Stay close by My side,
Keep your eyes on Me,
Though this life is hard,
I will give you perfect peace,

In this time of trial,
 Pain that no-one sees,
Trust me when I say,
I will give you perfect peace,

And you’ll never walk alone,
And you’ll never be in need,
Though I may not calm the storms around you,
You can hide in Me,

Burdens that you bear,
Offer no relief,
Let Me bear your load,
Cause I will give you perfect peace,

Stay close by My side,
And you’ll never walk alone,
Keep your eyes on Me,
And you will never be in need,
Though this life is hard,
Know that I will always give you perfect peace,
I will give you perfect peace…

Blessings by Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering

All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win
We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

I was first directed to this song a couple of days ago by a friend, and from the moment I read the words and then listened to the music I loved it…the music so sensitively reinforces the message given by the words.

Here’s a few of my favourite bits and my reasons:

What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

These lines remind me that although it may sometimes feel as though God seems far away and forgotten about me, He is still there. It may just be God’s plan that we go through some tough times for what may seem like an eternity to us.

We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough

As with the first of my favourite lines, this section reminds us of the times when we doubt whether God is still there for us, and His love for us. In the bible, God has promised to love us forever, so these words remind us of this promise which should be all we need.

And all the while You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

And best of all, are the above words, where we’re reminded that God does hear all our prayers, all our pleading…all we have to do is believe in Him, always.

Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV)

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

How many of us would actually do all those things mentioned in the above bible passage?

Yes we might all manage to give those who are hungry or thirsty food or water, but would we invite a stranger into our homes, give someone clothes, look after someone who was sick or even visit someone in prison?

I may have taken this passage of scripture quite literally , but I think in this instance it shows some distinct ways in which we may or may not be willing to “put ourselves out” for others.

If we profess to be Christians, God expects us to do all we can to help others, so we must give of our times and our processions to help others whenever we can – Whether that be giving the homeless food/water/clothes, phoning or visiting someone who is ill or has not attended church for a while, spreading God’s message to those who don’t yet know Him.

Sometimes we can do things that can mean the world to someone else, just by a simple action, so go on reach out and help someone today.

Yesterday in Invisible Pain I spoke about how many people suffer silently from physical pain, every day. Today I want to consider those suffering other pain, emotional pain.

How many times have you heard someone say:

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting  some kind of battle.

Many times I’ve been felt totally drained emotionally because of all of life’s situations I’ve having to cope with, but when I’m with others I always do my best to hide how I’m really feeling, because the thought of others truly knowing how I feel would mean I’d fall apart publicly and that is one of my worst nightmares!

There are many things that we all try to “hide” from others: our grief over the death of a loved one, health concerns for ourselves or a loved one, depression, financial worries, job security, concern about our children etc

All these are things which often others will know nothing about. i.e. there are no physical signs, however that most certainly doesn’t mean these concerns/issues are any less painful to those experiencing them.

Just as the quote I listed above says, just because someone looks ok from the outside, does not mean they are ok on the inside. Some of us have many battles that we face on a daily basis, but they are ones which those around us know nothing about. So do just as the above quote says:

Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting  some kind of battle.

A few days ago on Facebook a few of my friends posted the following on their status:

YOU DON’T LOOK SICK!!! No I don’t. It’s hard to explain to someone when they have no clue. It’s a daily struggle feeling sick on the inside while you look fine on the outside. Please put this as your status for at least 1 hour if you or someone you know has an invisible illness (Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression , Diabetes, LUPUS, RA, Fibromyalgia, Crohns, MS, Endometriosis etc..) Never judge what you don’t understand.

I did repost this as my status, why, because I can completely relate to this statement.

One day at work last week, I had been out to get some lunch and was standing waiting for the lift to take me back up to my office on the 2nd floor, when one of the guys who works on the first floor of my office, who is in a wheelchair, can over to wait for the lift with me. As usual the lift was up at the second floor when I’m waiting for it on the ground floor, so we had to wait a few minutes for the lift to arrive. I don’t really know this guy in the wheelchair, although we have exchanged comments a few times over the months I’ve been based at this office. So as before, we exchanged a few comments, and then this guys said to me that “us fit people should go up the stairs and not use the lift”.

Don’t misunderstand me, he wasn’t being cheeky or anything, however it stung me, there was him in a wheelchair with an obvious disability while there was me, who to him looked perfectly fit and well…

Just as the statement that was posted on Facebook said,  just because someone looks ok from the outside, does not mean they are ok on the inside. Some of us have had years of practice at hiding how much pain we’re in, so don’t judge people and how they feel, just because they look as though there’s nothing wrong with them.

You should step in my shoes & walk for a mile. See how hard it is to hold back the tears and fake a smile.

I hope you enjoy Point of Grace singing No More Pain, as after all, that is ultimately the desire of all of us who suffer pain.

Invisible pain can be the hardest to cope with as no-one really knows or understand just how you feel each day.

We’re now two days on from the events in Norway that shook the world. Personally I’m still feeling very shell-shocked by what has happened there, yet my feelings are insignificant and worthless compared to those of the people of Norway, and especially those affected by the bombing and shootings.

Dear Lord,

I can’t imagine how those affected by Friday’s events are feeling right now, but I know you know. I also know that you are with all those affected and that you will help them get through these very dark days. Those affected by this tragedy may doubt you, and wonder where you were and why you let these events happen, however I pray that your grace and power will help lead them to you.

For those who have helped those affected by these events, whether police, fire & rescue, medics, counsellors etc, they have witnessed some very traumatic and horrendous scenes, thank you for their dedication to helping others. I ask that you will give all those working to help both during and after this tragedy, the strength to carry on through these difficult circumstances.

Thank you Lord for always being there for all of us particularly during the darkest times in life,

Amen

My thought and prayers will continue for those affected by the events in Norway, I ask that you too will pray for the people of Norway. Thank you.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace
Whose mind is stayed on Thee.
Marvel not that I say unto you
You must be born again.
Though your sins as scarlet be
They shall be white as snow.
If the Son shall set you free
You shall be free indeed.

Are you competitive?

Are you competitive in everything you do?

Yes I’m competitive and yes I’m competitive in all I do!

Why? As I think I’ve told you before in I Want Perfection, I’m a perfectionist, and as a perfectionist, not only do I expect myself to do everything perfectly, I also expect myself to win at everything I do, hence my reason for saying I’m competitive!

So when I don’t win, how do I feel? Disappointed in myself, sometimes annoyed, and usually frustrated at myself.

Once again I think I’m proving that I expect too much of myself, and often put too much pressure on myself to do well, while also tearing myself apart when I don’t do as well as I want or expect.

It gets worse…not only do I expect myself to win all competitions I take part in, if it’s a team game/competition, yes you guessed it, I expect my team to always win!

Fortunately having recognised the fact that I’m a perfectionist and am very competitive, I do try not to show my utter disappointment/annoyance at myself or others when I/we don’t win!

It’s tough being a perfectionist, and it’s just as tough being competitive.

So why do I want to win at all I do?

I was taught as a child to always do my best, and that my best was always good enough…no matter whether I won or lost.

I was taught as a child that no-one should expect to win all the time. Only one person on earth has ever had the right to be the best at what they do and that was Jesus.

Therefore all we humans should expect of ourselves, is to do our best and not get caught-up in whether we win, lose or draw. However we can always strive to be more and more like Jesus.

I’ve been doing a bit of analysis on my blog hits over the last few months and have noticed that the number of daily hits on my blog has been fairly consistent, although it has increased in the last year.

Having said that there have been some days when there has been a huge surge in the number of hits my blog has had. So this got me wondering what was so special or different about those days? Well the answer became clear quite quickly after I checkout the first few days that there were a large number of hits…those days were days on which I did not blog about religion/christianity or my faith, they were days when I blogged about sport, life, films, family, health etc with no mention of God!

Isn’t it sad that people seem to be more interested in reading or learning of other people’s experiences/thought on anything but God.

So do my findings mean I’ll be changing my target audience for my blog? Most definitely not!

I may not have started blogging with the intention of blogging nearly every day about my faith, religion or christianity, however I have found I’ve that’s exactly what I do blog about nearly every day of the week! I believe God wanted and needed me to share my faith and my experiences with you all through my blog, however you have probably noticed that I do try, usually once a week (normally a Saturday), to blog on a completely different topic, and it’s these blog posts that seem to attract a large number of readers.

I hope that as I continue to blog, those who read my non-christian blog posts might be interested or curious enough about my other posts, to have a read of them too. I pray that everyone who reads any of my blog posts may be challenged in their relationship with God, and may be encouraged to find out more about God and what He can do for you.

This blog would be pointless without you the reader, so I’d like to say a big thank you to you for reading…I’d love if you came back and read some more of my blog posts.