Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Who do you stand up for? Yourself, your beliefs, your friends and family?

I hope you stand up for yourself, but I also hope you stand up for your friends and family, your beliefs, and also those you don’t know, but who are being mistreated.

Strong people stand up for themselves, but stronger people stand up for others. ~ Nicky Gumbel

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:7 (NIV)

Did you go to church today?

If so did you go ready and willing to hear God speak to you, or did you go with your mind full of the events of the past week, or were you thinking about what lies ahead for you this coming week?

If we go to church but aren’t open and willing to hear God’s message, why do we go? Out of habit, to meet our friends or family, out of duty or something else?

Go to church, be open to God’s message and then live church every day of your life.

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:

I know when I’m told to do something, it depends who tells me, and how they tell, whether I’m likely to do what they’ve asked or not. Likewise I’m sure just like everyone else,  I was probably more likely not to do what my parents asked me to do when I was young.

I grew up being taken to the Salvation Army, being taught right from wrong, learning about God and reading the bible. So how come I didn’t rebel against the things I was being told about God?

I know the answer to that one! It’s because while initially I just went along with what I was being told as that was what was expected of me, I did experience God working in my life.

When I was uncertain and felt God wasn’t there, God showed me the way. When I turned away from Him, He waited for me to realise I was lost and then turned back to Him. When I needed comfort, He was always there to comfort me.

I’m not a Christian because anyone ever told me too, I’m a Christian because I’ve experienced God’s presence in my life. I am grateful for all those who taught me about God and started me on my Christian journey when I was a young child.

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

Jesus was always willing to help others no matter who they were or where they were. If you see someone in need, how willing are you to stop and help?

I suspect you’re probably thinking about what you’d do if you were walking along a street and came across someone in need of help. However what about those who are sitting right beside you just now, have you taken a minute to consider whether they are in need?

I don’t necessarily mean are they in need of food or shelter – but are they in need of support…someone to talk to…someone to give them a hug…

It can often be those closest to us that are most in need. But it can also be those closest to us that we are least likely to notice that something is wrong.

However, when we do look after the physical or emotional needs of others, we can consider it valuable work.

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me ~ Matthew 25:40

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!

 

Smashed

Posted: October 14, 2017 in children, finance, friendship, life, mobile phone
Tags: ,

The other week during one of my usual lunchtime walks, I was walking through an area where there were some benches at either side of the pathway. There were quite a few people around, and as I got a few meters away from one of the benches, I was aware that there were three children – one about 10 or 11, the other two about 14 or 15 – climbing and jumping over the bench and attempting to get onto the wall that was immediately behind the bench.

As I got closer I realised two of the kids had mobiles in their hands and seemed to be struggling to keep their balance as they climbed/jumped from bench to wall. Then as I was passing them, I heard the girl saying to the two boys, “Don’t worry I’ll take it on my phone ’cause if I smash it Mum will just need to buy me a new one”!

I carried on walking, shocked by the statement the young girl had made. To be honest it shocked me that these kids didn’t seem to value their phones. i.e. They seemed to think a broken phone was easily replaced, because they didn’t appreciate how much a replacement phone would cost their parents.

While some will find that purchasing a replacement mobile phone is not a bank breaking expense, there are many who will! Money is not unlimited to the majority of us, so we take responsibility for our belongings – we take care of them and try not to damage them.

Are we losing the ability to appreciate how much items/belongings are worth? Do our children simply see that when something breaks or they want something, the money is available to purchase it, regardless of cost?

Yes, I was saddened by what I heard these children say, but I was probably more disappointed that they hadn’t been taught to value and look after their belonging.

In so many areas of life we find people who freely give up their own personal time and talents to help others, expecting nothing in return except the knowledge that they’ve helped others.

Whether it running a kids’ football team, working in a charity shop, taking on a position within your church, helping those with disabilities, helping to educate others by leading evening classes, or some other voluntary act, people do these things voluntarily, and that is what others need to remember.

We can all be quick to make derogatory comments about the ability of the person who has volunteered. Many will think they can do better than the person who is in charge, but can they?

From experience, probably not! Even if we were capable of doing a job better than the person who has volunteered, we should be supportive and helpful towards the person, after all they have given of their time and talents freely, while we haven’t! They may not be perfect at the job they have undertaken, but they are doing their best – They wouldn’t have been given the job if those in charge didn’t think they were capable of doing a good job.

Volunteers aren’t in it for their own glorification, but are there to help others, so if you find yourself putting your trust in volunteers to lead, help, train or educate you or your family, don’t put them down or tell others you could do better.  Instead, always give them your support and encouragement.