Archive for September, 2012

At the start of this year, I shared with you my aims for this year (Welcome to 2012) – not my new year resolutions, but what I aim to achieve this year. Then at the end of each month I’ve given you an update on how I’m doing.

So here’s my September update…

  • Eat healthier
    • Continuing on the same theme as last month…
    • I’ve done ok when I’ve been working, but not so well at other times.
    • Been eating a lot of fruit and drinking a lot of water at work, but because I’ve still been going to the hospital to visit Dad, I’ve continued to have a few quick/ready meals for dinner as I’m so tired by the time I get home from the hospital.
  • Lose some weight
    • Bathroom scales fixed, so this has been the first time I’ve weighed myself for a couple of months, so am happy to report my weight is the same as it was 2 months ago!
    • This is a bit of a surprise due to all my ready meals in the last couple of couple, but then again I have been doing a lot of walking so it’s obviously balanced things out
  • Spend more time reading my bible
    • More excuses this month!
    • I’mstill  struggling to find the time and energy to sit down and spend any quality time reading my bible.
    • I’ve said this for the last couple of months, but maybe next month I’ll manage it!
  • Don’t let pain rule my life
    • My pain levels have really soared in the last few weeks, but I’m still just trying to get on with things.
    • Again I feel as though I’m making excuses, but I’m simply just saying how things aret…with all the running around I’ve been doing for over the last 10 weeks since Dad went into hospital, it’s hardly surprising I’ve been tired and my pain levels have increased.
  • Get back to playing tennis as stopped playing in 2003 when I first wasn’t well
    • Not managed this yet as there’s just been too many other more important things to bother about than playing tennis again.
  • Put aside a minimum of 5 minutes each day to spend some quiet-time with God
    • A repeat of last couple of months again as I managed to spend some quiet time with God, however still spending much of it crying.
  • Get back to playing the piano regularly as it’s been a while
    • Continuing to make no progress with this one!
  • Go on holiday – we’ve not been away anywhere since 2002
    • Again, no progress on this one yet!
  • Keep on top of the housework (especially the ironing mountain!)
    • Still failing miserably at this one due to all the things going on in my life just now.
  • More patience and understanding of others
    • Failing miserably at this…and if anything I think I’m getting worse at this.
  • Stop procrastinating
    • Doing reasonably ok at this, though I do have my moments!

So that’s my honest answers to how I’m getting on with my aims for 2012 – To summarise my progress to date…it’s stalled a bit in the last few months, but overall, given recent circumstances, I’m reasonably happy with my progress even though I could do so much better!

There’s still plenty of months to go in 2012, so I’ve still got time to achieve them all before the end of this year!

How about you, are you succeeding with your aims for 2012 so far?

Whatever your aims for this year, I pray you may be making progress in your aims for 2012, and that come the end of the year you will have achieved all God had planned for you this year!

I’ve always hated the way I act, or maybe more accurately, the way I react in certain situations, however in this last week I’ve had more occasions than usual to hate myself for the way I react.

I mentioned earlier in the week in 10 Weeks and Counting, that my Dad’s now been in hospital for 10 weeks, so as you can imagine that is quite stressful and also very tiring. I’m not trying to make excuses but, I do know that when I’m tired my patience seems to go into hiding.

After 10 weeks of hospital visiting and a very busy and at times stressful time at work, and worries about other family members, I really am shattered most of the time, my pain levels have increased significantly again over the last few weeks, and I just want to curl up and sleep all the time.

I love Mum and I know she’s finding thing particularly tough at present because of the situation with Dad as well as her ongoing stresses about her sister who’s living in a care home, but I have found myself getting more and more impatient and annoyed at Mum when she tells me the same things every day and seems to still expect Dad to suddenly get better, when we all know that’s not going to happen.

Even when I’m responding impatiently or getting annoyed inwardly, at Mum, I’m telling myself off, and wishing I could be more patient. I pray regularly for patience, but still I find it a struggle. I know God has a plan for me, and that patience is not part of that plan at present, so I’m trying to keep my impatience to myself, but I am finding it hard.

So I guess until I find patience is second nature to me, I’m going to have to get used to hating myself more and more at some of the thing I say and think when I find my patience stretched.

I suppose what I’d like as an outcome of today’s blog post is that, if you’re a praying person reading this, you would say a wee prayer for me, that I may become a more patient and understanding person.

Thank you.

In yesterday’s blog post, His Advert, I briefly spoke about the fact that we are advert for God, but are you a good advert for God?

Are the words you say in all situations, honourable to God?

Are your actions those God would be happy with?

If you answered “Yes” to either (or both) of the above questions, don’t worry, you, like me, are only human! However all is not lost, as we are not beyond help…help from God!

If we pray, study God’s word (the bible) and listen to God’s message to us, we can become more Christ-like in all we do, and thus become a fantastic advert for God. So it’s down to us to let God mould us into the great adverts He needs us to be…so let’s get praying!

Here’s the International Staff Band of the Salvation Army playing Just Like Him by Terry Camsey:

In Tuesday’s blog post I listed a few possible adverting slogans God might use if He was to create TV adverts. However God has no need to create TV adverts, because He is already the worlds biggest and most prolific advertiser in the world!

Confused? Well don’t be, think about it, look around yourself and consider who created everything you see…God!

Yes, God’s creation is the biggest and most spectacular, no-budget, clearest advertisement for Him the world will ever see. However, despite all we see around us that God created, and His message in the bible, many people still misinterpret His message – some deliberately, others through ignorance.

The most important part of God’s creation is of course the people, you and me! That therefore that makes each of us living adverts of God’s creation. Yes, some of us will be good adverts for God, while some of us will be bad adverts. Which are you?

Romans 1:20 (NLT)

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

So it’s down to us to advertise God’s message to the world and when we encounter people misinterpret God’s message we must do what Barnabas, Paul, and countless others have done through the years, we must tell them the correct message!

Let’s make sure the people we meet during our lives are left with no excuses for not knowing God, by constantly and confidently advertise the facts about God and about His creation.

Ten weeks ago today I was at work when I got a phone call from my Mum to tell me Dad was being taken into hospital because he was dehydrated, as he was refusing to eat or drink very much. Ten weeks on and Dad’s still in hospital.

Dad’s been in I think, 5 different wards over that period, albeit the last two have been because he climbed out of bed a couple of weeks after he went into hospital, fell, hit his head and gave himself a cracker of a black eye, as well as fracturing his hip! This resulted in him having to be moved to another ward as he had to have an operation to fix his broken hip. He’s now in the hip fracture rehabilitation ward where he’s doing ok as far as his hip is concerned.

Initially when Dad went into hospital we were over there every day visiting him, which was very hard work for me with working full-time and then going straight from there to the hospital and not getting home until 8 or 9pm at night. Fortunately after a few weeks of this Mum realised this was too much for both of us, so we now just visit Dad every couple of days.

I know Mum wishes she could visit Dad every day, but to be honest, due to Dad’s dementia, he has no concept of how frequently or infrequently we visit, and in fact during many of our visits, refuses to speak to us or even open his eyes, as he’s happy to sleep all the time. Mum misses Dad greatly, which is only natural after more than 55 years of marriage, however Mum was no longer coping with Dad at home and we had already started proceedings to get Dad into a nursing home full-time, so Dad not being at home anymore, was always going to happen soon anyway, it’s just hospital he’s ended up in initially.

Even although it’s my Dad we’re visiting, I’m sorry to say I find it quite a chore. Don’t think it’s because I don;t love my Dad because I do, but as far as I’m concerned my Dad “died” a few years ago when his dementia meant he didn’t know me any more and he could no longer have a sensible conversation with us. Much of the time when we visit Dad he just sleeps, or sit/lies with his eyes shut unwilling to talk  or look at us. Mum is still making comments to Dad as if he’s going to get better and as if he can logically understand where he is and why. It’s sad but also frustrating.

I’m physically and emotionally shattered most of the time these days as it’s hard work working full-time and then spending time visiting someone in hospital and just sitting there for an hour or more without being able to have a conversation with them.

I feel really guilty for feeling like this, after all, it is my Dad I’m talking about, but sadly Dad isn’t going to get any better, so it’s only going to get harder.

Hopefully Dad will not be in hospital too much longer. Although he will never be home again, as he will only be discharged from hospital when he’s able to go straight into the nursing home which is just a few minutes away from Mum. At least when this happens, Mum will be able to go visit Dad whenever she wants and as frequently as she wants, without necessarily needing me to give her a lift.

So 10 weeks and counting…it’s been a long 10 weeks, but at least we know Dad’s in good hands and getting the best possible medical care.

I’ve been talking about advertising in the last couple of days, so I got to thinking about what sort of adverts there would be, if God made them to promote who He is and what He does…

  1. Could you imagine the price of air if it were brought to you by another supplier. God.
  2. What do I have to do to get your attention? Take out an ad in the paper? God.
  3. When you’re weary, feeling small. When tears are in your eyes, I’ll dry them all. Simon & Garfunkel. Ditto. God.
  4. If you miss the sunrise I made for you today, never mind. I’ll make you another one tomorrow. God.
  5. Don’t forget your umbrella. I might water the plants today. God.
  6. I think you’re the most beautiful person in the world. Okay, so I’m biased. God.
  7. If you think the Mona Lisa is stunning you should look at my masterpiece. In the mirror. God.
  8. I hate rules. That’s why I only made ten of them. God.

I like all of these possible adverts, but my favourite is probably #5…but then maybe that’s because I live in Scotland and we get so much rain!

What’s your favourite one and why, please comment and let me know.

Would you agree that when you get a personal recommendation from someone for a product or service, you are more likely to buy/use that product/service because of the personal recommendation?

Doesn’t the same theory apply when it comes to God‘s message? I think the it’s through telling others of our personal experiences of God that we are most likely to bring others closer to God. i.e. It’s all about word of mouth!

So let’s do what we’re all good at, talk! But not just talk, spread God’s message by word of mouth to those who have not accepted God into their life.

May the Words of My Mouth by Christy Nockels and Janna Long:

Just sitting watching the TV the other night and became increasingly frustrated by just how frequent the breaks in the programmes were for adverts. I was frustrated! Why interrupt my programmes by showing me the same adverts over and over again?

Well research shows that TV advertising does work – We may not think we pay any attention to the adverts when they are on, but subconsciously they must make some impact.

Just to prove my point…how many times have you heard a tune/song on the radio and thought, “That’s the tune from the….advert“? Yes you may not have thought you were paying any attention to that advert but as I said, subconsciously you have been!

Don’t the same sort of rules apply when in comes to God? If we keep telling people about God, and don’t give up just because no-one seems to be listening to us, God can and will get His message through to those who currently don’t believe.

So let’s get out there, and do some advertising for God!

A little while ago, someone  told I didn’t show respect to someone. What that person seemed to forget is that respect is not something that can automatically be acquired, it’s something you must earn!

I was not aware of having said or done anything wrong, and was deeply hurt and upset, to be accused of being disrespectful to someone simply because I showed concern for one of my family member. To me that is disrespectful, not taking a phone call from a family member who was attending the hospital!

Anyway, rant over, now to consider the whole issue of respect!

So what is respect?

  • to have an attitude of esteem towards; show or have respect for to respect one’s elders;
  • to pay proper attention to;
  • to show consideration for; treat courteously or kindly;
It’s all well and good to say you pay proper attention to someone, but that is really only part of the story isn’t it! Respect is a two-way thing, after all, how can you respect someone if they show no regard for you or your family and friends? If someone shows no compassion or concern for you or the things that are important to you, it makes it very difficult for you to respect them.
Respect is something I guess we all want from others, so to enable that to happen, make sure you show compassion, care and concern for your fellow human beings. Then and only then are others likely to show you respect!

All I Need by Jesus Culture

Left my fear by the side of the road
Hear You speak, won’t let go
Fall to my knees, as I lift my hands to pray
Got every reason to be here again
Father’s love that draws me in
And all my eyes wanna see is a glimpse of You

All I need is You
All I need is You, Lord, is You, Lord
All I need is You
All I need is You, Lord, is You, Lord

One more day, and it’s not the same
Your Spirit calls my heart to sing
Drawn to the voice of my Savior once again
Where would my soul be without Your Son
Gave His life to save the earth
Rest in the thought that You’re watching over me

All I need is You
All I need is You
All I need is You
All I need is You

You hold the universe
You hold everyone on earth
You hold the universe
You hold, You hold

God is everything.

God can provide everything.

God will provide all you need.

God IS all we need.