Archive for May, 2014

I recently read the following quote:

Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth

I can’t remember now who said these words, however they have stuck with me, and got me thinking…

Who determines our value and our what we are worth to society?

Do know how much you are worth or do you let other’s tell you?

Whatever other think of you will determine their opinion of your worth, however no-one knows you as well as you know yourself, and therefore other people’s opinions and views of you are based on the small part of your life that they see. Therefore I urge you not to be too concerned about what others think of you, because your opinion of yourself is far more important than theirs…However don’t be too hard on yourself!

self-worth

wanderingHave you ever had one of those days when lots of different things go wrong?

Well I had one of those days yesterday! Firstly at work several things “broke”, then didn’t get home from work until about an hour later than I intended to which then meant I had no time for any food before heading out to a concert with Bellshill Salvation Army Band…even getting ready to out with the band ended in problems, as the heel of one of the shoes fell off! I’m just glad that happened before I left the house!

When I then got to the concert with the band, I must be honest and say my mind was not on the concert and why we were there, to spread God’s message through our music, but instead I was still thinking about all the things that had gone wrong during my day, and all the things I was going to have to do when I got home etc etc.

Strangely enough my mind was refocused on why I was there, when during the Songs of Praise part of the service, the song Since Jesus Came Into My Heart… the words of the second verse of this song are particularly apt:

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart;
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

What a day! Yes, my mind wandered from God and why I was playing in the band, but God soon  reminded that Since He came into my heart, floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll, Since Jesus came into my heart.

In the last few weeks at work I’ve been trying to go for a walk every lunchtime to get some fresh air and also to get some exercise. It’s been difficult trying to balance the length of walk with my pain levels, but I’m persevering as I’ll well aware I really need the exercise!

When I’m out for a walk, I normally tend to put my headphones on and listen to my ipod on shuffle just so I get a general mix of music. So a couple of days I’ve been out for a walk, listening to my ipod for about 40 minutes, not really remembering anything in particular I’d listen to, when I realised that I was “singing along” (into myself of course!) the words associated with the Salvation Army band piece Dedication.

th (4)I would be thy holy temple,

Sacred and in dwelt by thee;

Naught then could stain my commission,

‘Tis thy divine charge to me.

 

Take thou my life, Lord,

In deep submission I pray,

My all to thee dedicating;

Accept my offering today.

That afternoon, all that kept going through my mind were the following words:

Naught then could stain my commission,

‘Tis thy divine charge to me.

Has anything stained my commission, in which I promised to serve Him all my days? Have I knelt before God and asked for His forgiveness for those times when I’ve stained my commission?

I thank God that He is still willing to take my life as an offering to Him, even although I often fail Him. I do however pray that I will never forget the promises I have made to serve Him all my days, and that through His help He will help me achieve all He has planned for me.

How about you, have you promised to serve God all your days? Are you still serving Him?

The International Staff Band of the Salvation Army playing the piece of music I referred to earlier, Dedication:

 

Your walk with God does not depend on people, places, things or events. It simply depends on you!

People can tell you what you should say or do, but if you’re not interested or don’t hear them how will they affect your life?

You can attend church every week, but if you’re not receptive to God’s message that is preached each week, you won’t grow in your spiritual relationship with God.

Events may happen that result in your life changing direction, but if that direction is not God’s direction, it’s down to you to say no.

Everything that happens in your life can affect you in many ways, so it really is down to you whether you let those things draw you closer to God to turn you from Him.

I pray that in everything that happens in your life, you will turn to God in praise, turn to Him for comfort and turn to Him for guidance.

When you hear the word storm, what do you think of?

The ocean, a ship being tossed about by the waves; a thunderstorm, thunder and lighting, and torrential rain?

But what if I told you I am thinking more specifically about the storms of life, what images does that bring to your mind?

Despair, depression, stress, bereavement, money problems, ill-health etc?

We all face storms in our lives at some time, so how do we cope? We should of course turn to God. Sadly though, many of us think those are the times when God seems distant to us, but in fact it’s the complete opposite, because God has promised to be there for us during those times:

Isaiah 43:2 ~ God will carry your through the storm

The following song Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns became very special to me when I was going through what seemed like a never-ending storm, I pray you may find comfort and strength in the words and music also:

No matter what you have done, God is not turning his face away from you. God is looking toward you and He’s reaching His hands out to you right now. And it’s not too late for you to have a fresh start. ~ Joyce Meyer

No matter what you’ve done, God still loves you.

No matter what you’ve done, God wants you to reach out to Him.

No matter what you’ve done, God is still waiting for you.

Reach out today to God, and He will help you make a fresh start in your life.

In Psalm 55:22 we are told to

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

As this bible verse says, we have to give all our troubles and worries to God, only then will we find peace.

kneel-cross

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, 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. wordsTrain
  2. Gym
  3. Fast food
  4. Hospital
  5. Film
  6. Football
  7. Cold
  8. Glasses
  9. Jelly Babies
  10. University

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. Thomas
  2. Exercise
  3. McDonalds
  4. Tests
  5. Cinema
  6. World cup
  7. Hot
  8. Reading
  9. Black
  10. Degree

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?

By the way, if you want me to explain any of my answers, just ask!

Have you ever questioned God presence in your life?

Has it ever felt like God has deserted you and left you to your own devices?

Have you ever felt like God should have been there for you, but He wasn’t? That He could have helped you, but He didn’t?

I have!

The thing is, at the time my answer to all the above questions would have been “Yes”, however I have realised that instead of questioning God, I really should have been questioning myself!

The question we really should ask ourselves when we feel God’s deserted us is not, “Where is God?” but, “Where is my faith?”

During my darkest days, I honestly felt all alone, and that no-one including God cared about me, but ultimately God pulled me through. How do I know it was God’s doing and not just my own strength that got me out of that dark pit of despair? I know because I had no strength left to face another day, to fight another battle, I had nothing left. So where did my strength come from? I truly believe it came from God.

So if you ever feel God has desert you, think again because I’m certain God will NOT have deserted you, but instead you may have turned away from Him.

Lord, thou art questioning: Lovest thou me?
Yea, Lord, thou knowest, my answer must be;
But since love’s value is proved by love’s test,
Jesus, I’ll give thee the dearest and best.

How couldst thou smile on me if, in my heart,
I were unwilling from treasures to part?
Since my redemption cost thee such a price,
Utmost surrender alone will suffice.

Down at thy feet all my fears I let go,
Back on my strength all my weakness I throw;
Lord, in my life thou shalt have thine own way,
Speak but the word, and thy child will obey.

All in my heart, Lord, thou canst read;
Master, thou knowest I love thee indeed.
Ask what thou wilt my devotion to test,
I will surrender the dearest and best.

These words have been going through my head a lot in the last few days. This song, and the music is very special to me as it was sung by our singing company (junior choir), on my request, the morning I was enrolled as a senior soldier in the Salvation Army, a number of years ago.

Since that day, I’ve had many ups and downs in life, and I’ve had times when I was ready to turn away from God because I thought He had turned away from me. God of course proved He was still there and that it was simply me who had turned from Him in my hour of need instead of turning to Him.

I’ve given my all to God, by kneeling before Him and giving my all, have you?