Follower

Posted: January 9, 2019 in cross, death, life, music, quotes, religion
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If I were to ask you to draw a picture of a follower of Jesus, what would your picture look like?

Here’s a picture which to me, shows and explains a follower of Jesus.

For me, and I’m sure, for other Christians, it’s all about the cross, and what God sacrificed for each of us when Jesus died on the cross. That is why I follow the cross. That is why I follow Jesus.

 

The last few days I’ve been talking about the definition of a Christian, and the qualities we’d expect to find in a Christian.

When someone is a Christian they hold a firm belief in God’s existence, and that He has planned out their life for them before we were even born. A Christian doesn’t need to wish for things to happen, instead they pray, knowing that God will answer every prayer.

 

Yesterday I gave you a definition of a Christian provided by Frederick Buechner. Today I have another quote for you about what it actually means to be a Christian, this time from C.S. Lewis.

We all do and say things which are wrong. We sin.

Our friends, our family, our colleagues, may forgive us when we say and do things which hurt them. That’s forgiveness.

God goes even further than any friend, family member or colleagues would ever go – He’s prepared to forgive everything we do that is wrong, regardless of how heinous or inexcusable it may be.

It’s because God is prepared to forgive all our inexcusable wrongs, that we too must try to forgive even the inexcusable. It’s hard, I know, but if God can forgive us for all the wrongs we do, surely we can try to forgive everyone else?

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)

Have you ever looked for a definition of a Christian? Or maybe wondered why a Christian believes in Christ and in God?

A definition or description of a Christian is very well summed up by this quote by Frederick Buechner:

The cross and what is signifies is ultimately what a Christian lives for, and believes in. If it wasn’t for the cross, we wouldn’t have the reassurance that God carries us through every situation, good or bad.

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you, and today, as the title of this post suggests, this word association is all about New Year and what it means to each of us. 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. Hogmanay
  2. Resolution
  3. End
  4. January
  5. Holidays
  6. Shortbread
  7. Ceilidh
  8. Christmas tree
  9. Food
  10. Work

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. 31 December
  2. Broken
  3. New start
  4. Winter
  5. Over
  6. Scotland
  7. Social
  8. Away
  9. Fat
  10. Sad

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?

I chose some words we probably all associate with New Year as well as some that I suspect if you’re not Scottish, you won’t understand (including some of my answers), maybe it’s time to find out a bit more about our Scottish New Year traditions!

A common new year resolution that I’m sure we’ve either made for this year, or have made in the past, is to go on a diet.

I’m sure have read my last sentence you’ve immediately thought about food, haven’t you!

Well consider the following picture, which reminds us that our diet is not just about what food we eat or what physical exercise we do.

How you as a person feel physically, emotionally and spiritually is based on everything you experience via all your senses, and how strong your relationship is with God. So take care of your whole self, as your physical well-being is important, but so is your emotional and spiritual well-being.

Yesterday I asked you whether you made any new year resolutions, and explained why, for the last number of years I have not made any resolutions.

Let me ask you a question about your resolutions or aims for this year – Is your relationship with God included in any of them?

Maybe God’s never been part of your life; maybe you used to believe in Him but events or people have made you doubt and turn away from Him; or maybe you still believe he exists but just haven’t taken that extra step and given Him your heart.

So today whatever your current relationship is with God (if any), why not make a new start with God this year and give Him your heart today.

What Now? by Steven Curtis Chapman

I saw the face of Jesus
In a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner
On the other side of the world
And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my heart
Didn’t you say you wanted to find Me
Well, here I am, here you are

So what now
What will you do now that you’ve found Me?
What now
What will you do with this treasure you’ve found
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you’ll remember
This is right where I said I would be
You found me, what now?

And I saw the face of Jesus
Down on Sixteenth Avenue
He was sleeping in an old car
While his mom went looking for food
And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my soul
Didn’t you say you wanted to know me
Well, here I am
And it’s getting cold 

So what now
What will you do now that you’ve found Me?
What now
What will you do with this treasure you’ve found
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you’ll remember
This is right where I said I would be
You found me, what now?

 So come and know
 Come and know, know me now
 Come, come and know, know me now
 Oh, come and know
 Come, come and know, know me now
  Come, come and know, know me now

That’s Christmas and New Year over, and before we know it, we’ll all be back at work or school, and we’ll be back in our daily routine again. Before we know it Christmas will seem like a distant memory as we head into what is usually the coldest, iciest and snowiest part of winter in the UK.

Now that I’ve completely depressed you all by what lies ahead of us as far as the weather is concerned, let’s go back to thinking about this new year and what it means to us.

Are you one of those people who makes one or more new year resolutions? Or have you been there done that in the past and now think they are a waste of time?

I’ve made new year resolutions in the past, but for a number of years now I haven’t made any resolutions. Why? Not because there’s nothing about my life I want to change this year, but because I don’t need the start of a new year to be determined to make these changes. Also what may be my targets or aims for this new year may change during the year because of circumstances, so where would that leave a resolution I made at the start of a year when circumstances were potentially different, so would never achieve them.

Yes I still  make a new start each year, but I make my targets and aims as I go through the year and I find this works best for me. It allows me to focus on what is important to me at the time, rather than focusing on goals set a number of month previously.

How about you, have you set new year resolutions? How achievable do you think your resolutions are?

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy and blessed 2019!

Thank you for following my blog. I pray that in this coming year I may challenge and inspire you, as well as giving you a laugh sometimes. Thank you for your support.

We may not know what lies ahead of us this year, but whatever 2019 may bring our way, I pray you will find the love, strength and support to face it all, both from your family and your friends, but even more so from God.

A new day and a brand new year has come, bringing with it opportunities to shine.

 

So today is the last day of 2018, and me, like many others I’m sure, have been thinking about this last year – the highs and the lows, the memorable events and the immediately forgotten events, the friendships strengthened and those posted missing.

I discovered that in my first blog post of 2018 I said:

We may not know what lies ahead of us this year, but whatever 2018 may bring our way, I pray you will find the love, strength and support to face it all, both from your family and your friends, but even more so from God.

Little did I know when I wrote these words, what 2018 was going to have in store for me! 2018 for me has been a very unusual year, as having not felt great since the start of the year, I was told at the start of June I needed major surgery, so from then until my surgery it was a struggle as I didn’t feel great and had to watch what I wasn’t overdoing thing. Then since my surgery at the start of October I’ve spent the remainder of the year off work recuperating and gradually trying to build up my strength and get back to my ‘normal’ (whatever that is!).

So for me this had been a difficult year health wise, however on other levels it’s been a great year, as my faith has probably never been stronger.

So now as I look forward to 2019, I pray for a health and happiness in this coming year for myself, my family, my friends and each of you who follow and read my blog.