Archive for the ‘death’ Category

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~ Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)

No matter what we face in this life, good or bad, God loves us.

No matter what we say or do, good or bad, God loves us.

Even in death, we are still never separated from God’s love.

I’m convinced God loves me, are you convinced He loves you?

Once again this week, we’ve seen many killed in America by someone who decided to use guns they owned to needlessly kill others.

No wonder we find ourselves asking again, “where is love?”

Love is the only force capable of turning an enemy into a friend. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

With all that’s going on in the world it can be hard to believe sometimes that love can overcome evil. But if we believe in God, and believe in Jesus, we must believe God’s love can overcome the evil in this world.

Those of you who know me will know I have a few favourite Christian artists – one of them is Mark Schultz. So it was no surprise when I heard his song entitled “Different Kind of Christmas”, that I loved it. I first heard it just a few months after my Mum passed away, and so this song touched me because of the lyrics and the story behind it.

When we suffer loss, Christmas can be a really awful time as we are mourning our loss so deeply. Two years on from my Mum’s death and four years on from my Dad’s death, I’m still struggling, and in the last few weeks I’ve found myself missing them more than ever – probably because everyone I talk to is talking about spending Christmas with all their family.

Here’s what Mark Schultz had to say about his song:

This song is special for me and my family. I wrote it with my wife after her dad passed away 3 years ago. It was our first Christmas without him, and Kate was decorating for the holidays. She came into the garage holding a box of ornaments and had tears streaming down her face. She said to me, “it’s a different kind of Christmas this year”.

At some point in our life we will all lose someone that is close to us, and that first Christmas without them is a tough one to get through. I hope this song will bring comfort to those who are mourning the loss of someone this season. Please share it with someone who might need to hear it this year.

May the peace and love of Christmas be with you today and every day so that the pain and loss you may be feeling this Christmas, becomes a little more bearable.

Lest_we_forget2

Yesterday on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we remembered the fallen by taking part in a two minute silence to remember those who have fought and died for their country. Across the country, people young and old, in a wide variety of places and circumstances, paused just for a few minutes, just to remember the men, women and children who have died in wars the UK has participated in. They sacrificed their all so we may have the freedom to live our lives in this country. We should never forget what they gave for us, and we must never forget their sacrifice.

Just as many have given their lives for the freedom of this country, Jesus also paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life for us. The difference with Jesus is that not only did He die so we could be free, but He died so that we would be forgiven of our sins.

I vow today not only to never forget those who have died in conflicts around the world, but also to serve Christ always as way of repaying God for sacrificing His only son, just so I could be forgiven.

There are thousands and thousands of words in the English language, but isn’t it funny how we still can’t find the right ones sometimes.

If a friend is hurt or upset by someone else it’s not easy to know how to make them feel better about themselves.

When someone is bereaved it can be hard to know what to say to them, not because we don’t care, but because we understand their pain and heartache.

Likewise, when struggling with life in general, telling someone just to ‘give themselves a shake’ or ‘snap out of it’ is not helpful, however it doesn’t make finding the right words any easier either.

When we are that person I described above who’s in need of help or support, it can difficult for us also to find words to explain how we feel. Unfortunately others can’t fully understand our feelings/emotions or what’s in our heart if we can find the words to express them. However God can!

Even when we are silent and find we have no words of prayer to say to God, He knows and understands what’s in our heart and on our minds. He will therefore take those unspoken prayers and answer them in His own way and in His own time.

Here’s a song which expresses all those thoughts/feelings perfectly:

Once again news of another shooting in America hit the news headlines on Sunday night. Just about the time I heard of this latest atrocity, I read the following by Nicky Gumbel, and never did these words seem more appropriate:

You are never more like God than when you are helping hurting people, lifting up the fallen and restoring the broken.

Please join me in praying for the family and friends of all those caught up in the events at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas last night.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18

Saying goodbye to a loved one is never very easy – Whether it’s saying farewell to them at train or bus station, or the airport; or leaving home for the first time to live on your own or go to university.

There are of course other far more difficult situations that we sometimes have to cope with, such as leaving a loving one in hospital, a care home or a hospice, knowing it’s unlikely they will ever come home again.

Then there is of course the worst of all, when we have to say our final farewells to a loved one when they pass way, that can be one of the most difficult things any of us ever have to deal with.

So how to we get through those times? We trust God.

Whatever the situation, God will watch over our loved ones, just as he watches over us, so trust God!

 

There’s a song I’ve used several times in the last few weeks that talks about our beliefs as Christians. The song is called We Believe and it was written and performed by the Newsboys.

I make no apology for using the song again today, as ever since I came across it again a couple of weeks ago, I’ve found the words and the melody of this song going through my mind almost constantly.

On days when I’ve felt down, just listening to the words/melody again have brightened the day. On days when I felt there was no point in doing specific things, listening to the words/melody have given me more energy. On days when I’ve felt alone and missing my Mum and Dad, even then this song has helped as it’s reminded me that Mum believed – and because they brought me up in the Salvation Army, I too believe, and therefore I know I will see them both again someday.

I believe, do you?

Out of sight, out of mind.

For some things this is definitely true, but when it comes to those we love, they are definitely not out of our mind when they are not around.

Whether we have loved ones who are working far from home or moved to another country, they are in our mind, even if we don’t speak to them as often as we used to do.

For those loved ones who have passed away, they too are definitely not far from our mind even although they are no longer here. If anything they are on our mind more, because we miss them, and wish we could have more time with them.

Do we feel the same when it comes to our friends, neighbours, colleagues and fellow christians? In other words, if we don’t see any of these people one day, do we just ignore that and carry  on, not bothering to check they are ok, or do we keep them in our mind, check up on them, and pray for them?

Don’t let anyone you know fall out of your thoughts just because you don’t see them as regularly as you used to.

There is only one certainty about life, and that is death.

The death of a loved one will touch us all at some time in our lives. And when it hits us, we all cope with grief in a different way, and for different lengths of time.

Grief isn’t something that can easily be described, as it’s different for everyone – some people take years to work through their grief, others take a few months, while some are able to acknowledge their loss and move on almost immediately.

Even then though, you may find times when you think you’ve worked through your grief, but the next moment it’s right there in front of you staring at you, and wrapping itself around you again.

No matter how hard you try not to let grief take over your life, it will demand you feel it and acknowledge it. There may be days when you’ve made it through the day without your grief, but then the second your head hits the pillow, your grief comes flooding back and it lies heavy on your heart all night.

Grief is natural, but have you noticed how no-one really knows what to say to you when you’re grieving, even though all you want is for someone just to hug you or hold you while you let your grief pour out.

Grief is natural, but when you’re experiencing it, it can seem like the hardest thing you’ve ever had to deal with. Grieving shows us just how deeply we care about or loved the person who has died. It may even be that it’s their death that actually makes us realise just how much they meant to you.

Don’t let another day pass without realising how much those around you truly mean to you, because when they are gone, you will never get another chance to tell them just what they mean to you.