Archive for February, 2014

We have to nourish our body by sleeping and eating, but thankfully God never sleeps. So when times are tough and we have difficult situations on our mind, leave them with God because God will take care of them even while you sleep.

God can and will take care of you even during the tough times of life, you just need to ask Him to.

Search my heartMany in this world think money brings happiness.

Many in this world think God does exist and therefore cannot bring happiness to the sad and destitute.

How wrong theses people are! Money doesn’t bring happiness, making God the centre of everything you do, will help you make the most out of life, whether you have no money or are the richest person in the country.

It isn’t what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart ~ Unknown

I’m glad I have God in my heart and He is at the centre of my life, is He in your heart?

Jesus you are the Centre of My Joy by Sydney Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army:

A number of years ago when I was Songster accompanist and then later when I was Songster Leader at Rutherglen Salvation Army, one of my favourite songs was an arrangement of the following song by Herbert Howard Booth from our songbook:

kneel at crossI bring my heart to Jesus, with its fears,
With its hopes and feelings, and its tears;
Him it seeks, and finding it is blest;
Him it loves, and loving, is at rest.
Walking with my Saviour, heart in heart,
None can part.
 
I bring my life to Jesus, with its care,
And before his footstool, leave it there;
Faded are its treasures, poor and dim;
It is not worth living without him,
More than life is Jesus, love and peace,
Ne’er to cease.
 
I bring my sins to Jesus, as I pray
That his blood will wash them all away;
While I seek for favour at his feet,
And with tears his promise still repeat,
He doth tell me plainly: Jesus lives
And forgives.
 
I bring my all to Jesus; he hath seen
How my soul desireth to be clean.
Nothing from his alter I withhold
When his cross of suffering I behold;
And the fire descending brings to me
Liberty.

It was not just the beautiful musical arrangement of the song I liked but also the words, particularly the second verse where it talks about us bringing our whole life before God because He loves us, and has promised to love us forever. And because of that we need to let Him help us make our lives worthwhile.

Here’s the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army singing this wonderful arrangement of I Bring Them To Jesus:

God doesn’t care about our past and the wrongs we may have done then, He cares about us now and more than that He cares about our future, so let Him be your everything, and bring your all before Him today.

Your Grace Still Amazes Me performed here by the International Staff Songsters of the Salvation Army

My faithful Father, enduring friend Your-Grace-Still-Amazes-Me
Your tender mercy is like a river with no wind
It overwhelms me covers my sin
Each time I come into your presence I stand in wonder once again
 
Your grace still amazes me
Your love is still a mystery
Each day I fall on my knees
’cause your grace still amazes me
Your grace still amazes me

Oh patient saviour, you make me whole
You are the author and the healer of my soul
What can I give you lord what can I say
I know there’s no way to repay you only to offer you my praise 

Your grace still amazes me
Your love is still a mystery
Each day I fall on my knees
Cause your grace still amazes me
Your grace still amazes me

Its deeper, it’s wider, it’s stronger, it’s higher
Its deeper, it’s wider, it’s stronger, it’s higher
Than anything my eyes can see

Your grace still amazes me
Your love is still a mystery
Each day I fall on my knees
Cause your grace still amazes me
Your grace still amazes me

Does God’s grace still amaze you?

If not, it’s time to fall on your knees and ask Him to help you rediscover His grace.

If His grace does still amaze you, it’s time to fall on your knees and praise Him.

A common answer to my questions regardless of where you are in your Christian experience…kneel down before God.

God’s strength > My weaknesses

i.e. God’s strength is perfect when our strength is gone

His Strength is Perfect

I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength
But sometimes I wonder what He can do through me?
No great success to show, no glory on my own
Yet in my weakness He is there to let me know

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect

We can only know the power that He holds
When we truly see how deep our weakness goes
His strength in us begins, where ours comes to an end
He hears our humble cry and proves again

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect

His strength is perfect when our strength is gone
He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect

His strength is perfect
Raised in His power, the weak become strong
His strength is perfect
His strength is perfect

Last week I caught a little bit of a phone-in on the radio during my journey into work – The topic of the phone-in that day was “Things to do during a long car journey”.

worship-prayerIf I’m honest I wasn’t really paying too much attention to what was being said during the phone-in until they read out a text message that someone had sent in with a suggestion about what to do during a long car journey…The suggestion was to pray.

That in itself wasn’t what caught my attention, but the response given by the phone-in host, as they said praying would be an idea plausible suggestion, “but not when you’re driving!”. I’m not sure why she felt you shouldn’t pray when you’re driving, so I don’t know whether it was because she thought you have to close your eyes to pray, or whether she felt you can’t pray and drive at the same time because you need your full attention on the road.

I understand that it is definitely not advisable to close your eyes when you’re driving, however it is not necessary to close your eyes to pray. I also understand that when driving our focus must be on our driving, however is praying by talking to God really any different to talking to your passengers in the car?

I was brought up to believe that we can, and should pray whenever we need to, regardless of where we are or what we are doing. because God is always there with us, and will always listen when we talk to Him.

So don’t be put off from praying just because of where you are or what you are doing, because your prayers matter, and more importantly, they matter to God. However praying when we’re busy doing other things is not ideal as we aren’t giving God our full attention, so make sure you still put time aside each day to spend quality time alone with God when you have no other distractions around you.

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last few months, and today, it’s time for another one. So as usual I’m going to throw some words at you  and I want you to note down the first word that comes into your mind when you read each word.

So here goes…

  1. wordsSunburn
  2. Nature
  3. Language
  4. Suit
  5. Heater
  6. Lunch
  7. Weekend
  8. Disney
  9. Customers
  10. Noah

So how did you get on with those words? Did you find it easy? Did your answers surprise you or were they just as you expected?

Well here’s my responses to my questions:

  1. Ouch!
  2. God
  3. English
  4. Work
  5. Nice and warm
  6. Soup
  7. Over too quickly
  8. Tigger
  9. Service
  10. Ark

Were any of your answers the same as mine? Did any of my answers confuse you? Did any of your own answers confuse you?

I’ve said in previous word association posts that I find I get a bit stressed when I’m doing them as I put a lot of pressure on myself not to over think my answers! Are you relaxed when you do them or do you find it stressful too?

I still believe that when we respond with the first words that come into our minds, our answers tell us a lot about our emotional state, and what’s important to us at that particular point in time.

Bearing all this in mind, review your answers, does my theory hold true?

On the 21st of February 2013 just after 7.10am, one year ago today, I received the phone call I’d been dreading for a while – It was the nursing home my Dad was in phoning to Dad at our weddingtell me that Dad had died just a few minutes earlier.

Well one year on, and I’m still finding it hard to cope with Dad not being with us anymore, which in itself is a bit odd, as for a while prior to his death, Dad wasn’t really Dad anymore anyway, because of the vascular dementia which eventually killed him – It looked like Dad, but it was a shell of the man I knew and loved as much of the time he didn’t know us, or even speak to us in his final few months, so in many ways we’ve been mourning Dad’s “death” for a lot longer than one year.

I can’t believe that’s now a year since Dad left us, as so much has happened in this last year to my family. There’s so many situations I find myself in that I just want to go talk to Dad about and then have to stop and remind myself that Dad’s not here anymore…

There’s so much more I wish I could say about Dad today, but even one year on, it’s still too hard for me to do so.

Bereavement affects us all at some point in our lives and we get through it in different ways; some seem to cope as if nothing has happened, others struggle to cope; some find it easy to take about their loss, others prefer the quietness and reassurance of their own memories. However we cope when someone we love passes away, we are grieving and it’s important to give ourselves time to grieve and not expect life just to carry on as normal for as, as our lives will never be the same again after a loved one dies.

So today, and every day, I remember my Dad, Edwin Robert Johnson (25/4/1927 – 21/2/2013) – I miss you so much, you’re never far from my mind and I will always love you.

In my blog posts these last few days, I’ve been reminding you that God is always there for us, even during the times when we try to go it alone and forget He’s even there with us. Well today I’d like to give you another reminder:

christian-inspirational-picture-quotes-inspirational-canvas-art-quotes-11x14-christian-by-madebythehearth-18661

Again, it’s all about remembering to keep God at the centre of our lives, no matter how tough life get, or how much we just want to give up on life, because God is always there with us. So when life gets tough and we have no strength left of our own, remember to get down on your knees and pray to God, because He does answer prayer, and He will answer yours.

Did you get God’s message there?

I guess we’re all guilty at times of worrying about things we either have no control over, or things which, if in the grand scheme of life, are not really very important. That said, we’re only human and therefore we do worry and get stressed about things.

Maybe we just need a very visual reminder from God sometimes, that we don’t have to worry about anything, because God really is in control of our lives.