Posts Tagged ‘iss’

Walk by faith

Posted: April 11, 2018 in belief, depression, faith, life, music, quotes, Salvation Army, stress
Tags: ,

Imagine sitting in the dark, with no electricity or power of any kind…you hear a noise, but can’t see anything…you’re not sure who or what is there. Do you be brave and go and investigate or just stay put and wait until the power comes back on?

Life can be a bit like sitting in the dark, as sometimes when we’re going through a difficult period in our life, it can feel like we’re stumbling around in the dark, unsure of what lies ahead. But for those of us who trust in God, that’s when our faith should see us through.

God is with us always, we just have to trust Him even when we’re in the darkest of days and can see no positives in life.

Sometime life can get so busy and stressful that we forget just how blessed we actually are.

God has provided each of us with many gifts and talents, though when we’re so busy and overstretched we can forget just how many gifts God has given us.

So in the busyness of life, make sure you make time for yourself, so you can remind yourself just how blessed you are with the gifts and talents God had given to you.

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood. ~ William Penn

The project I’m responsible for at work just now, involves designing and developing a new website to provide our customers with a simple, and easy to understand way of communicating with us. This includes ensuring that the information/text the customer will be presented with is written in Plain English. i.e. It is written with the reader in mind, using non-technical terms that are clear and concise in meaning.

To give us the best chance of ensuring that what we are developing is written in way our customers will understand, we’ve held several customer forums, and have completed some online training provided by the Plain English Campaign (www.plainenglish.co.uk). For those who have not heard of the Plain English Campaign, here’s an extract from their website explaining their purpose:

Since 1979, we have been campaigning against gobbledygook, jargon and misleading public information. We have helped many government departments and other official organisations with their documents, reports and publications. We believe that everyone should have access to clear and concise information.

From the customer forums we held, we quickly realised that some of the words/terms we frequently use when we communicate with our customers, are either unclear or meaningless to our customer. This got me thinking about how we as Christians, and Salvationists, communicate God’s message to the people we come into contact with.

Do we use words that others won’t understand?

Do we use abbreviations or jargon that those unfamiliar with the Salvation Army will not know or understand?

I think most of us, if we’re honest, would answer ‘Yes’ to both those questions. But we’re not alone, even Jesus found at times he had to simplify his language so that the disciples understood what he was trying to tell them!

In John 16:25-29, we read:

“I’ve used figures of speech in telling you these things. Soon I’ll drop the figures and tell you about the Father in plain language. Then you can make your requests directly to him in relation to this life I’ve revealed to you. I won’t continue making requests of the Father on your behalf. I won’t need to. Because you’ve gone out on a limb, committed yourselves to love and trust in me, believing I came directly from the Father, the Father loves you directly. First, I left the Father and arrived in the world; now I leave the world and travel to the Father.”

His disciples said, “Finally! You’re giving it to us straight, in plain talk—no more figures of speech. Now we know that you know everything—it all comes together in you. You won’t have to put up with our questions anymore. We’re convinced you came from God.”

There are many people all around us: in our church; in our communities; our school; places of employment etc, who all need Christ. So just as Jesus had to speak plainly so the disciples understood and believed He was the Son of God, maybe we too need to review how we communicate God’s message to others, so they will believe in God.

There are people living in the world out there…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ;
There are children crying and no one to care…
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.
And they’ll go on hurting in the world out there,
And they’ll go on dying, drowning in despair,
And they’ll go on crying, that’s unless we care:
They need you, they need me, they need Christ.

Words are not one of my strong points (you may have noticed this!) – I struggle to find the right words sometimes to express how I feel or how to comfort or encourage others or even myself! However I have found that even when I can’t find any words, music can often comfort and encourage me, so I’m sure finding the right music can help anyone in whatever situation or circumstances they find themselves.

Here’s one of my ‘go to’ songs when I need some encouragement:

I wonder what it feels like to have no faith:

…to think death is the end, as there’s no afterlife.

…when life gets tough, thinking there is no hope.

…to feel like you’re on your own, with no-on ever looking out for you.

I’m glad I can’t imagine what those situations feel like, because I do believe God exists and that Jesus is my Saviour.

If any of those situations sound familiar to you, I urge you today to come to God and give Him your life and your all.

Harvest is a time when we thank God for all the things that He provides for us. We give food and produce to our church to help those in our community who are in need.

But is there more to harvest than this?

Yes, it’s about ‘harvesting souls’ for Christ as well. In other words, it’s a time for us to bring others into a knowledge and understanding of God’s love.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Join me in praying today that God might use each of us to plant a seed in someone’s heart so that they might come to know God as their friend and saviour.

 

 

Wow! That certainly got me taking a much closer look at myself. Am I living my life in a way that others will see Christ through me? If I’m honest with you and with God, no, it doesn’t.

Today I pray that God will help me to be the person He wants me to be, so others can see Him through the way I lead my life.

How about you, can others see Christ in you?

I struggle to comprehend the pain and agony Christ must endured when he was crucified. I also struggle to comprehend how God must have felt as he watched his only son giving up His life, just so the world could be forgiven of every sin.

So for me, Easter is all about sacrifice, the sacrifice that Jesus made for each one of us on the cross when he bled and died, so we can all be forgiven of our sins. I am therefore forever in God’s debt because He gave up His only son to die on the cross, just for us.

So this Easter, as I again feel so inadequate and so unworthy of God’s love, I am still so thankful that God does love me unconditionally and is always by my side guiding me and supporting me through each minute of every day.

Easter is all about “The Cross” and the sacrifice God gave for you and for me – Is this what Easter means to you?

Sometimes when we try to spend some quality time with our friends or family, other events or circumstances have a way of disrupting our plans so that we end up not managing to spend the quality time we had wanted with those we love.

It can be the same in our Christian lives too, because when we try to spend quality time with God, that’s when satan will do his best to try to distract us, and keep us from focusing on God.

So stay focused on God, and stop all the things around you that may try to intrude on your time with Him, from distracting you from Him.

Yesterday in Recycling #1, I asked you to consider giving your unwanted items to a local organisation/charity that can make use of your unwanted items rather than just sending them to landfill.

I used a different translation of the John 6:12 yesterday, but we get the same message if we read those words in the NIV translation:

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

Jesus instructed the disciples not to waste anything – In this scenario he was talking about food, but does the same apply to all things?

Not only must we not waste physical items such as food and furniture, neither should we waste our knowledge of God by keeping it to ourselves!

There are many people around us who are in need of God, so get out there and recycle your learning of God by telling the world about Him.