Archive for the ‘death’ Category

Why do we do the things we do
How can we sing when there seems no reason to
How do we smile when there’s not much to smile about
When the world is down who are we to stand and shout
They wonder why we do the things we do

These are questions I’ve often pondered. Questions which really only have one answer…

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. ~ John 3:16 (The message)

 

It’s all because of this
It’s all because of this
We’ve tasted love, tasted hope, tasted holiness

 

Have you noticed, I’ve spoken a lot about time in my blog posts over the last week?

There is a reason for that – In the last few weeks, I’ve had a number of ‘anniversaries’ in my life, some worth celebrating, others I grieve over. That said, even if it hadn’t been for all these anniversaries in my life, I’d still consider time to be very important. Here’s why

If we don’t make sure we allow ourselves to spend quality time with God each day, our life cannot be complete. It would mean we’re going through each day in our own strength, rather than seeking God’s guidance for the day.

Ultimately spending quality time with God will enhance our lives, so I encourage you to make sure you set aside time to spend it in God’s presence on a daily basis.

We all get fed up with things at times – work, friends, neighbours, family, our ill-health etc. And sometimes we even get fed up with God when He doesn’t answer our prayers when we want, or in the way we want.

Could it be in those situations, that we have lost our faith and trust in God?

Maybe it’s then that we need to re-energise ourselves and our faith, and the the best way to do that is to pray to God and ask him to help reignite our love for Him.

Please don’t let your love for God die when you go through difficult times, when you think God doesn’t care about you. Instead trust God because He does care about you and will never leave you. We must trust God, and never give up on Him, because will never give up on us, even when we our faith falters.

Don’t let our love grow cold
‘Cause I’m calling out
Light the fire again
Don’t let our vision die
I’m calling out
Light the fire again

You know my heart, my deeds
I’m calling out
Light the fire again
I need your discipline
I’m calling out

Light the fire again

I am here to buy gold
Refined in the fire, naked and poor
Wretched and blind I come
Clothe me in white
So I won’t be ashamed
Lord, light the fire again

More than ever this world needs to know God.

Men and women, boys and girls, never knowing unconditional love, never feeling their future is secure.

Messages of turmoil, disasters, hatred fill our news and social media streams.

More than ever this world needs to know God.

Millions have turned from God thinking He doesn’t exist or doesn’t care for them.

Millions are wrong, God is always there for them, they just need to have faith to believe in God.

My prayer is that those of us who believe in God, do all we can to show those we come into contact with, that we are different, and live our lives differently, because we believe in God.

May we then be examples of Christ’s love to others, showing love and compassion to everyone.

It’s my turn to provide the devotions at our band practice tonight, so I thought I’d share will you what I will be sharing with the band tonight…

How are you at remembering significant dates in your life?

We all have significant dates in our lives that we mark each year because they were times of great happiness or celebration or because when they happened, they caused us great sadness.

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about significant dates that have changed my life, probably because in the last few weeks I’ve had a few of those dates, and there are others in the coming weeks also

  • Early August was my birthday..
  • Then just a couple of weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
  • The end of last week marked 4 years since my Mum died.
  • And amazingly, in a few weeks time, that will be one year since I had life saving heart surgery to fix one of the issues I’ve lived with all my life.

Yes, I’ve marked, or will mark each of those significant dates I’ve just mentioned, in some way. But do I pay as much attention to those significant dates in my Christian journey?

I have to be honest and say, the only exact date I can remember in my Christian journey, is the day I made my decision to become senior soldier as it was on my 18th birthday! I was really disappointed that I couldn’t remember the date I first knelt at the mercy seat or the date I was enrolled as a senior soldier, both at Rutherglen Salvation Army. So much so that I found myself last week looking for the Articles of War I signed on the day I was made a senior soldier, and I found it, and that anniversary is in just a few weeks!

We each celebrate or mark the important dates in our life and many of us shared those anniversaries with our friends on social media. So my question to each of you tonight is, do you put the same importance into celebrating or marking the significant dates in your Christian life as you do, other life events?

Do you remember the date on which you first gave my heart to Jesus?

Or the exact date you were enrolled as a senior soldier?

Romans 1:1 (The Passion Translation)

Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvellous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.

God has promised to love us always and that in itself is a reason to celebrate isn’t it. I believe I’m one of the fortunate ones as I’ve had that significant moment in my lives I accepted God into my life, and promised to serve Him until the end. So I will mark those important dates in my life, but I will also celebrate God’s love for me each day. After all I hadn’t accepted God into my heart, who knows where I would be today! And where else would I want to be on a Wednesday night, than at band practice! 🙂

 

Here’s a favourite piece of mine which features the tune associated with there words which for me, sum up one of the most significant moments in my Christian life

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.

While writing yesterday’s blog post A Reason To Live, I Googled “A reason to live” – Here’s the results I got

It got wondering how many people have Googled exactly the same thing as me, but who have Googled that phrase because they are in dire need as they are considering suicide.

I then found the report for the Samaritans in Scotland in 2018 – Samaritans_Scotland_Impact_Report_2018

It is sober reading – So many lives lost to suicide, so many people in desperate need to someone to listen to them, and understand how they feel. What really touched me most was this statement

Research by Samaritans found that nearly 2 in 3 Scots have first-hand experience of suicide – whether through their own experience of suicidal thoughts or from supporting someone with suicidal feelings or the loss of a friend or family member.

That’s some statistic isn’t it! In a room of 6 people, 4 of them will have been affected by a suicide or considered suicide themselves. Multiplying that out, 400 out of every 600 people will have been affected by a suicide or considered suicide. I certainly wasn’t aware suicide affected so many lives.

I’m not quoting these figures to you just for affect but to highlight the scale of the problem.

The good news is suicide is preventable, and we can all help. So I encourage you to reach out to a friend, a neighbour, a family member who seems to be struggling with life, and just ask them if they are ok – Remember just because someone says they’re ok doesn’t mean they really are, so trust yourself when you feel there is something wrong – Just be there for someone when they are at their lowest point, and support them.

How many time has someone said to something like, “You wouldn’t know what it’s like to suffer, as you’re a Christian”? Just because we believe in God, doesn’t mean we are immune from facing problems or difficulties in our lives. In fact, we’re just the same as everyone else, we can experience hurt, bereavement, ill-health, depression, abuse etc.

For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him ~ Philippians 1:29 (NIV)

Just because we’re Christians, doesn’t mean we’ll have an easy life where every relationship will be great, or our health will never fail us, or others won’t hurt us. But, because we believe in God, we are assured that we never have to face any problem on our own, because He will give us the strength to get through every difficulty we face.

I’ve done a few Word Associations with you over the last while, and today it’s time for another one – This time with a theme, Music!

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. Vase
  2. Grave
  3. Hospital
  4. Head
  5. Mask
  6. Bed
  7. Heart
  8. Moustache
  9. Balloon
  10. Bus

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. Flowers
  2. Grief
  3. Appointment
  4. Sore
  5. Disguise
  6. Sleep
  7. Surgery
  8. Beard
  9. Bang!
  10. Band

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!

Loneliness comes in all shapes and forms, it doesn’t care who you are or how weak or strong you are emotionally when the deep feeling of loneliness hits you.

For some loneliness comes because of certain life events, such as the loss of a partner or family member. That’s not the case for everyone though, as for some loneliness is something they live with on a daily basis, and not necessarily because they are actually alone – it may be they feel as is no-one truly understands them, or that they don’t fit in – all of which can cause deep feelings of loneliness.

If you’re lucky enough never to have experienced true loneliness, you will not know how difficult it can be to cope with. When loneliness takes over, we can build a protective wall around ourself, to try and stop those around us from seeing how we really feel.

Loneliness is real. Just because someone is always surrounded by lots of people, doesn’t mean they don’t experience loneliness. In fact I’d go as far as saying, one of the worst places to be when you suffer from loneliness is actually in a crowd.

So look out for those who exhibit signs of loneliness, because they need you – they need you just to reach out to them, and maybe give them a hug to reassure them you are always there for them.

Now Easter is over, and we’ve celebrated Christ’s death and his resurrection, what’s next for those of us who believe that Christ is alive?

For us Easter is just the beginning, it’s the reason we now have a responsibility to tell others how much God loves them. So we must go out into our neighbourhoods and our communities and tell them how much God loves them and forgives them for all their sins.

If we do this, we can help others find true love in their life when they give their heart to God.