Showing posts from July, 2015

Seeking the Giver of Gifts or Just his Gifts

Dear Friends,

I confess there are times when I can get caught up and focused on asking God for things rather than focusing on him.

There is nothing wrong in asking God for something, in fact he encourages us to come to him with our requests.  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 (NIV) But there is something wrong when we make our entire relationship with him all about what he can do for us and what he can give us, as if he's some kind of magic genie, here to grant us our every wish, or like Father Christmas waiting for us to give him our list of things we would like.

We may be coming to God with requests which are good and right but if that is all our communications consist of, then I believe our relationship is far from what it could and should be.

When I think about my relationship with my children, if they only came to me when they wanted something from me I wou…

A Tangled Mess

Dear Friends,

My sister and I regularly chat on the phone. She was sharing with me one morning about what was going on in her life. She had several decisions to make, responsibilities to order and things which were concerning her.  She was finding it hard and said that the picture she had was of a tangled ball of strings, all knotted and muddled up, yet as much as she tried she couldn't untangle them.

But what is too hard for us is not too difficult for God! "Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)

She took her concerns and worries to God, but as she did so she was still trying to find the solution herself. She suggested several answers to God.  For example, she would say to him, if such and such could happen then things can work out, or if you would do a, b or c, then this would be good.  After a while, she realised that she was trying to tell God wh…

"It Is Well With My Soul"

Dear Friends,

I first heard about the life of Horatio Spafford at a Ladies' Day I attended in May, and then I read about him the following month in John Ortberg's book, 'Soul Keeping: Caring for the most important part of you'.  Some of you may be familiar with the story but even if you are, it's one that's worth retelling.

Horatio Spafford was a committed Christian and a wealthy lawyer in Chicago in the 1800s.  He and his wife, Anna, had five children.  In 1870 their only son died of scarlet fever, aged just four years.  A year later, the estate holdings Horatio had invested in were destroyed in the great Chicago Fire.

In 1873 Horatio decided that he and his family needed a holiday to help them recover from these traumatic events.  They were to travel the Atlantic Ocean from New York to England.  At the last minute Horatio had to stay behind to deal with business but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead of him, agreeing to join them as soon as he could.

On th…

Just The Two Of Us

Dear Friends,

Jason and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary.  We celebrated it by going away, just the two of us, for a long weekend.  It was a special time of enjoying things that we like to do together, such as shopping, walking around the historic city of Chester, sharing morning coffee and having some great meals together.  It was so good to be able to focus on us as a couple, to have the time to be together and enjoy each other's company.  To talk about things that were important to us and then at other times just to enjoy a companionable silence without the need to fill awkward silences.  To be able to just be ourselves rather than trying to be something we are not.

I would love to be more spontaneous, to decide the night before that we would go away for the weekend, but that's just not practical.  Everyone leads busy lives, with various responsibilities.  So if quality time like this is going to happen it needs to be planned, other things need to be put in …