Archive for January, 2019

Sometimes there can be nothing worse than other human beings.

Thankfully, God will always be there to give us just what we need.

 

In the last week, I’ve noticed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that number of friends have taken on the ’10 year challenge’ which requires the person to post a photo themselves as they are now, and one from 10 years ago. It’s been interesting to see the difference (or not) between the two photographs, but it also got me thinking about how when we think of ageing and the changes it brings to us, we tend to think about the external or visible changes, rather than how the person has changed on the inside.

When I look back at myself 10 years ago, I see a different person looking back at me from the one I see in the mirror today – The difference is not just in how I look but in who I am today. I’ve experienced many different events and emotions over the last 10 years which have changed my perspective on life, and also the kind of person I am.

How about you, how have you changed over the last 10 years? Are you more loving, empathetic, relaxed, positive or more grumpy, cynical, critical, negative?

I simply pray today that we don’t concentrate so much on our outward appearance that we forget to see the beauty within ourselves and others.

I’ve said it before, but I want to tell you again in the hope that you realise I’m not just saying what I think I should say, but what I know to be the truth.

I have had some very dark moments in my life, when I’ve questioned not only God’s existence, but my own. I’ve questioned whether there was any point in going on, as I felt as though no one truly cared about me. But even in those darkest of times, something, or should I say someone kept me going – I believe that was God. Because looking back on those days I realised that while at the time I thought no-one cared, God was still there and was answering those prayers I’d stopped praying days/weeks beforehand.

That is why having got through those tough times a number of years ago, my faith is now stronger than it ever was. I can’t imagine ever questioning God’s existence or doubting he is there for me ever again.

Trust God, because He believes in you and will always be there for you.

I am sure of this, are you?

Even during the most difficult of times, I still praise the Lord, because I know He loves me – Do you?

Even when life hurts, we often find ourselves putting on our ‘public face’ so others see only the smile and the laugh as if we are strong. Those who have struggled severely with life, know only to well that just because someone is smiling and laughing in public, does not mean they are strong, it simply means they are good at putting on their ‘public face’.

The good news is that others can see through our ‘public face’. So I hope that if you’ve been in that position, someone has reached out to you, knowing you are struggling, despite your outward public appearance.

Be strong. Stay strong. Trust that God is with you always as he will help you and make you strong.

Here’s Matt Redman with 10,000 Reasons:

These are some of the most reassuring words I have ever heard. Knowing that no matter what I face in life, God is with me, makes me happy.

If you do not believe in God, you probably don’t understand why those words make me so happy, or understand how words can make me happy as aren’t actions stronger than words?

For me I believe in God, and I’ve been through some very tough and difficult situations, and I know that if God hadn’t been with me to help me through I wouldn’t be here today. There was a time when I went through a difficult situation that I thought God had deserted and tried to ‘go it alone’, but when I hit rock bottom and could see no way out, I was desperate, and God reached out to me – I took His hand and so I am here today to tell you to believe in God, and believe He is with you all the time.

Already there by Casting Crowns

From where I’m standing
Lord, it’s so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You’re leading me
I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are going to play out
In a world I can’t control

When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory

‘Cause You’re already there
You’re already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You’re already there
You’re already there

From where You’re standing
Lord, You see a grand design
That You imagined
When You breathed me into life
And all the chaos
Comes together in Your hands
Like a masterpiece
Of Your picture-perfect plan

When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory

One day I’ll stand before You
And look back on the life I’ve lived
I can’t wait to enjoy the view
And see how all the pieces fit

One day I’ll stand before You
And look back on the life I’ve lived
‘Cause You’re already there
You’re already there
When I’m lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
‘Cause You’re already there
You’re already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You’re already there
You’re already there

In order to play a musical instrument, you must practice. By practicing you improve and gain experience. In a work environment you gain experience and knowledge by learning from those around you and being put in situations where you learn.

Life is similar – To learning how to get through life you must experience a difficult situation so that you learn from them. They then give you the strength and encouragement to know that you can face any difficult situation in the future, and you will get through it.

So even if you’re experiencing an earthquake in your life just now, be strong, and remember God is with you through it all and will help make you stronger.

If ever life feels hopeless, remember these words from Max Lucado – They will hopefully remind you that whatever you are going through, God is with you and will never leave you or disappoint you.

The same hand that pushed the rock from the tomb can shove away your doubt. The same power that stirred the still heart of Christ can stir your flagging faith. The same strength that put Satan on his heels can, and will, defeat Satan in your life. Death, failure, betrayal, sickness, disappointment—they cannot take your hope, because they cannot take your Jesus. ~ Unshakeable Hope by Max Lucado

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. Burglar
  2. Random
  3. Patrol
  4. District
  5. Rose
  6. Irn Bru
  7. Heater
  8. Book
  9. Shopping
  10. Punctuation

wordsSo 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. Police
  2. Sweets
  3. Snow
  4. Area
  5. Red
  6. Original
  7. Winter
  8. Kindle
  9. Amazon
  10. Check

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!

This week I’ve provided several descriptions of a Christian, and the qualities you’d expect them to have.

Descriptions are all well and good, but in reality none of us ever truly live up to what is expected of a Christian. In fact none of us ever live up to God’s expectations of us. And this is all because we are human, imperfect.

The good news is God knows we’re not perfect, accepts us as we are, and is willing to help us be the best we can be – It’s simply a learning process.