Archive for November, 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. Since then, at the end of each month this year, I’ve given you an update on how I’m doing. So here’s my update for November…

  • Eat healthier
    • Done ok with this ones I’m managing to continue to eat reasonably healthily while I’ve been at work, and not too bad when at home.
    • Hope in the next few weeks, before we get right into the Christmas season, that I can continue to each healthier, so that with all the eating that usually goes on at Christmas I don’t put on too much weight!
  • Lose some weight
    • Failed completely this month as I’ve put on a pound! Really not sure how I’ve managed that as I thought I’d been doing reasonably well this last month
  • Spend more time reading my bible
    • A bit better this month as have actually managed to spend some time reading my bible
    • Although I’ve managed to read my bible this last month, I’m still struggling to find the time and energy to do this.
    • I’ve said this for the last few months, but maybe next month I’ll manage it!
  • Don’t let pain rule my life
    • Bit of a better month as far as pain levels are concerned, as although I continued to have daily pain, most days it’s not been quite as severe as in previous months.
  • Get back to playing tennis as stopped playing in 2003 when I first wasn’t well
    • Not managed this yet and given this is now the end of November and although my tennis club is open year round, there’s less people playing these days, so I’m guessing I’ll probably get right through this year without getting back to playing tennis…but you never know as there’s still another month to go!
  • Put aside a minimum of 5 minutes each day to spend some quiet-time with God
    • Managed to spend more “quiet-time” with God in this last month.
    • Due to family bereavements during th month and some family health issues again, there were a few occasions again where my quiet time with God ended up being my crying-time with God!
  • Get back to playing the piano regularly as it’s been a while
    • Although I haven’t actually played the piano again yet, steps have been taken to change this!
    • I’m afraid though I’m not going to let you in on what that progress is yet…you’ll have to wait till my end of year review!
  • Go on holiday – we’ve not been away anywhere since 2002
    • Again, no progress with this.
  • Keep on top of the housework (especially the ironing mountain!)
    • I really do hate doing housework, and ironing is definitely my least favourite chore
    • It’s should therefore be no surprise that I’m still failing miserably at this one.
  • More patience and understanding of others
    • Still finding this incredibly difficult!
    • I really do need to continue to pray for patience.
  • Stop procrastinating
    • Most of the time I’m doing ok with this, but I’m sure like everyone else, 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 only one month left in 2012, so I’ve not got  much time left to achieve my aims, but I’m still hopefully still got time to achieve some more of them 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!

Have you ever asked, “How much heartache must I know?”

I guess at some point in our life, we’ve all asked that question. I guess many of us have even asked God that question, and wondered when He was going to say, “enough is enough”.

Sometimes we can cry so much that it’s hard to imagine you can still have any tears left to cry. Personally I find at those times, that I find myself crying just because…  i.e. I don’t know why I’m crying any more it’s simply that that’s what I want to do!

When you feel you’ve got no more to give and you’ve cried every tear you could possibly cry, do not despair because God is there. He can heal your wounds and mend your broken heart and make you whole again. Trust Him!

When you’re facing difficult days, and getting out of bed in the morning is a struggle because you don’t really want to have to face another day, say the following prayer:

Dear Lord, You are stronger than all I face today. Help me rely on Your strength and wisdom to navigate relationships and circumstances that are difficult. I want to bless & honor You and others. Thanks for Your wisdom, grace and truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Please do not forget that whatever you are facing in your life, God is there with you. So why not start each day by saying the above prayer.

God’s been there for me when I’m struggling or facing tough situations, and I know He is there for you too, so just trust Him…He will see you through.

The last few days my blog posts have focused on bereavement, and how, even when coping with that situation, we can do so with hope, knowing we will see our loved ones again in heaven.

But for each of us, how do they help people who are hurting either due to bereavement or other events?

Firstly some words from the bible:

Remember those who are suffering, as though you were suffering as they are ~ Hebrews 13:3 (Good News Translation)

Is that the key, to try to understand the pain and hurt the person is feeling?

I’d say yes, as without trying to understand how and why the person is feeling pain, there is no way we can truly understand how they are feeling. So does that mean unless we’ve been in that same situation as the person, we can’t possibly understand their pain?

No, with God‘s help we can be the support and strength the person requires to get through their darkest moments. We may not have been in the situation the person’s currently in, but God can give us the words and actions to provide the comfort and strength needed for those who are hurting.

Today was a the funeral of little Caden Beggan, aged 6 who sadly lost his battle against meningococcal septicaemia last Tuesday. I’m sure many of you have been following his battle on Facebook, and have been deeply moved and challenged by the daily updates from Caden’s dad – He has written from his heart, sometimes expressing his anger at God, questioning why God allowed this to happen to his precious son, but also showing immense strength and composure as he told of the emotions and feelings of the whole family. Having said all that, the one overriding thing that always shone through it all was that they believed God was with them and was still watching over Caden.

I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Caden, however I know someone who did. So while I can’t comprehend the pain and grief both he and Caden’s family and friends must be feeling at this time, I know God is with them and giving them the strength to get through these darkest of days.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3)

Caden’s funeral took place this morning in a church just a few yards along the road from my office. So I must admit that although I was in my office all morning, my thoughts and prayers were definitely with those who gathered today to celebrate Caden’s short life.

Caden may be gone, but we can be thankful in the knowledge that he is now free from illness and pain, and with God in heaven. He may not have been here on earth for long, but what an impact he’s had on so many of us. So rest in peace Caden. I’m sure you’ll never be forgotten and I know we’ll all get to meet you one day in heaven…

Bereavement is something we all have to cope with at some point in our life. Although it’s difficult for us to cope with as we mourn the passing of loved ones, we can be assured that it’s simply a temporary goodbye…

 

 

Goodbye For Now by Kathy Troccoli

I can’t believe that you’re really gone now
Seems like it’s all just a dream
How can it be that the world will go on
When something has died within me?

Leaves will turn, my heart will burn with colors of you
Snow will fall but I’ll recall your warmth
Summer wind breathing in your memory
I’ll miss you

But there will be a time when I’ll see your face
And I’ll hear your voice and there we will laugh again
And there will come a day when I’ll hold you close
No more tears to cry ’cause we’ll have forever
But I’ll say goodbye for now

I can’t imagine my life without you
You’ve held a place all your own
Just knowing you were beneath the same sky
Oh, what a joy I have known

On rainy days, in many ways, you’ll water my heart
On starry nights I’ll glimpse the light of your smile
Never far from my heart you’ll stay with me
So I’ll just wait

‘Cause there will be a time when I’ll see your face
And I’ll hear your voice and there we will laugh again
And there will come a day when I’ll hold you close
No more tears to cry ’cause we’ll have forever
But I’ll say goodbye for now

But there will be a time when I’ll see that face
And I’ll hear your voice and there we will laugh again
And there will come a day when I’ll hold you close
No more tears to cry ’cause we’ll have forever
But I’ll say goodbye for now

So if you’ve suffered bereavement recently, please remember God is with you and that you will see your loved one again in heaven.

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
‘Cause we know our goodbye is not the end.
 

 

Revelation 21:4 (Amplified Bible)

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither shall there be anguish (sorrow and mourning) nor grief nor pain any more, for the old conditions and the former order of things have passed away.

Another sad day, but another day full of hope, as we said our final farewells to another loved one.

I came across the above song on YouTube yesterday and it really touch me, and reaffirmed to me that death of a loved one, is not the end of our relationship, because we will meet again in heaven.

There’s only one thing in life that’s certain, and that is that we’ll all die at some point. Even so, it’s still difficult for us to cope with death when someone close to us dies.

I pray that when we suffer bereavement, we may find reassurance and peace knowing there is hope…hope, in the knowledge that our goodbye is not the end.

Revelation 21:4 (Good News Translation)

He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain.

Well known words from Revelation, but ones I’ve found myself drawn to several times in the last week or so. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it quite reassuring knowing that those I love who have passed away recently are now free from the pain they suffered during their latter time here on earth.

don’t get me wrong, I’m still upset by their passing, and have shed countless tears, however knowing they are now pain-free and are at peace, somehow makes it a little easier to cope with.

The loss of a loved one is painful and upsetting, but please remember that whatever difficulties they may have had while they were with us, they have nothing to fear any more as they are at rest now.

I’ve been sadly reminded yet again this week just how fragile life is because, for the second time in a week we received the devastating news that a member of our family had died suddenly. As the following quote says, it’s just as well we don’t know what’s round the corner!

None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith ~ Paulo Coelho

Yes, the breath I’m taking right now, may be my last, but should I ponder this thought and never again do anything useful or positive for either myself or anyone else? No, I must keep going…not because I can’t face the moment when I take my last breath, but simply because I believe God is with me every moment of every day, and I know He will be there when I do take my final breath.

Life throws us some really difficult situations at times – Situations which, at times, may make us want to just give up. However when our faith is strong, nothing, not even the worst situations and circumstances that life throws our way, can shake our belief that God is with us through it all.

So keep going. Trust God.

In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It’s true isn’t it, that we often take so many of the things we have for granted, that we actual forget they are given to us. Sadly, it’s often only when we lose those gifts that we realise just how much we received.

That may all sound a bit contradictory, but the bottom line is really this – We must accept all things we receive, no matter how small, with gratitude. After all it’s nice to receive gifts so why not be thankful for everything you receive each day.