Showing posts from 2015

At Just The Right Time

Dear Friends,

There are certain phrases in the Bible which draw my attention.  They speak into the depths of my being, bringing encouragement, reassurance, comfort and hope.  These are the words I want to focus on this morning: "at just the right time".

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Romans 5:6 (NLT)

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  Galatians 4:4 (NLT)

I used to consider myself a great time keeper - I was rarely late for appointments, preferring to actually be early rather than late.  However, that was before I had children.  When you have two children (not to mention one husband) and yourself to get ready it takes much longer than expected.

The Bible teaches us that God always moves and acts at just the right time.  He is never late, never too early and neither does he only just make it by the skin of his teeth.

The Jewish people had been waiting a long time for their …

A Blessing in Disguise

Dear Friends,

I have found that sometimes God gives us a blessing which is packaged as something entirely different.  Let me explain what I mean.

From a human point of view, living with a long-term illness is no blessing, in fact, it appears to be quite the opposite.  To be honest with you, being in the middle of a rough patch right now it seems like anything but a blessing!  Yet I do know it to be a blessing in disguise.   You see, God's ways are not our ways, and God's thoughts are not our thoughts.  It has been God's gift to blessing to me in that God has taken me into a deeper relationship with him and he has taught me things and transformed me in ways that I might never have known or experienced any other way.

Perhaps you too have experienced a particular blessing from God which has been packaged in an unexpected way.  I hesitate to refer to anything specific, but if you have, you will know what that is.

Paul certainly saw his thorn as a gift and a blessing from God. In 2…

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Dear Friends,
I often find that when God wants me to pay attention to what he is saying, he will reinforce it several times.It was certainly so a few weeks ago.
I had already decided to write about resting in God, based on my meditations on Psalm 23:2-3 “He makes me to lie down in green pastures…He restores my soul;” (NKJV).
The verses that also came to mind were from Matthew 11:28-30 ‘Then Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you.Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.”’
It was these verses that God kept bringing to my attention through a variety of means.So I’m writing this as much for myself as I am for you, dear friends.
The Message paraphrases it as “The words of Jesus: ‘Are you tired?Worn out?Burned out on religion?Come to me.Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.I’ll show you…

What Does The Bible Mean To You?

Dear Friends,

Monday 23rd November was International Day of the Bible.  The idea was to share, either publicly or online, with the world how much the Bible means to your life, by sharing a favourite Bible verse or passage. 

It got me thinking about how much the Bible has meant to me since I was a young child.  How I loved the Bible stories I was taught in Sunday School.  Then as a teenager being part of a youth group where we were taught God's Word.  How much it meant to me as I left home to go to university and relied on a regular quiet time and how that has continued to this day.

As a result, I have many favourite Bible verses, and the list is continually growing.

When I was baptised at the age of eleven I shared my then favourite verse from Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”(NIV)  That very day I became ill with terrible stomach pains which progressively got worse over the next twenty-four hours.  My GP had no idea what was causing it, so he called an …

Using Our Time Wisely

Dear Friends,

Do you ever wake up and feel overwhelmed at all you need to accomplish this day?  Or do you get to the end of your day and feel like you've wasted the time?

I know I can often feel like that, and I know there's so much more for me to learn when it comes to using my time wisely - in work, rest and play.

Psalm 23 has been in my thoughts a great deal these past few weeks and I've spent time meditating on just one phrase or sentence at a time. 

It was while I was meditating on Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need." (NLT) that I realised God had given me all the time I need for each and every day.  His gift to you and me is time, but it's up to us how we use what he has given us.  The psalmist writes in Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to number our days so that we may truly live and achieve wisdom."  (VOICE)

I'm conscious that I can waste my time on things, that while not necessarily bad for me, are not that beneficial.  Such a…

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Dear Friends

I like to be organised and I like to make plans.  I like to plan the things I need to do and when they need to be done.  I like order and having a system.  I do not like it when that order is disrupted!  However, our plans don't always go according to, well, plan!
Recently, my computer crashed which also meant my plans for that day crashed too.  I was so frustrated.  I now couldn't spend the time I had put aside to work on my laptop.  It made me feel that my time was being wasted because I wasn't able to do as I had wanted to.  Jason suggested I take it in to him at work to take a look at.  It was kind of him, but this was not how I had envisioned spending my day.  It was all taking up what I saw as my precious time.  What made it worse was we weren't able to fix the problem that day.
At around the same time our dishwasher broke, a copper pipe in the kitchen came apart, which meant we needed to have the water turned off while we waited for it to be fixed, and…

Is It Really Possible To Worship God On A Bad Day?

Dear Friends,

Back in the summer I was really struggling with my frozen shoulder.  The pain had got so bad that it wasn't just  certain movements which caused me pain.  The pain was pretty constant, whether I was doing something or sitting still.  The physical pain was also affecting me emotionally, mentally and spiritually.   I really did not feel like worshipping God.  In fact, to be honest, it was the last thing I felt like doing.
Worship is fine when things are going well with us.We come along to church on a Sunday and join in with the praise and worship – we feel like worshipping God.During the week we worship God in our hearts and attitude easily because we feel like it.It comes more naturally.

We are called to worship God.  Paul writes in Romans 12:1 " And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship …

Take Time to Listen

Dear Friends,

When you believe God has placed a desire in your heart or given you a dream, it can be really hard to wait patiently for his timing.  Then, when you sense that he is telling you now you can go ahead, it can be easy to get carried away with it.  At least, I can find that so and when God says "Yes" I just want to get on with it straight away so that it happens tomorrow at the earliest, not months ahead! 

Jason has been with me on this journey and I was talking with him recently about what I felt God was telling me was the next stage.  Before I had got very far, he said one sentence which I interpreted as meaning that he didn't think now was the right time, and I thought he was being negative and unsupportive.  It's amazing how quickly your brain starts to process your thoughts, sift through them all and come up with a response almost before the sentence is out of the other person's mouth.  I was just about to either react badly to what Jason was saying…