Showing posts from 2016

Surviving Christmas

Dear Friends,

Christmas time, for some, is one of the hardest times of the year. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as the loss of a loved one, heartbreak, poor health, financial worries, difficult family relationships, loneliness etc. Then, on top of this, is the guilt we feel for not being filled with the Christmas spirit as we think should be.

In these situations where is the peace and joy that God promised us?

Coming up to Christmas I can struggle with mixed emotions. I am looking forward to the four of us (my husband, Jason, myself and our kids) all being together. But I'm also feeling physically unwell at the moment. This can take the edge off of things, and if I'm honest, does also mean that a part of me dreads this season. I would like to be really looking forward to Christmas, preparing our home for visitors, wrapping presents, baking treats etc.  But it's hard when you just don't feel well and don't have the strength or capacity to do these things.

I …

Have you ever treated God like some kind of Father Christmas figure?

Dear Friends,

As a child, I loved the run up to Christmas. When we were young, my sister and I would always write a letter to Father Christmas to tell him know what we would like for Christmas. My list usually consisted of a Sindy doll, some notebooks, some reading books (mostly Enid Blyton ones), and chocolates. I would also end with ... and anything else you (Father Christmas) might like to give me. (Just in case I had forgotten something.) I didn't want to miss out on anything that he might like to give me! It was always exciting to go down the stairs on Christmas morning to our living room and see the room transformed with presents near the tree.

Remembering childhood Christmases has made me wonder if there are times when I begin to think of God as I do about Father Christmas. I wonder if there have been times, even without realising it, when you too have muddled up the two in your thinking?

Father Christmas is usually only thought about at Christmas time. He is pretty much ignor…

A Month of Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

If you read my blog post at the beginning of November, you'll know that I had made the decision that for this month I was going to thank God daily for three things he had blessed me with from the previous day. 

I wonder if any of you also took up the challenge and if so how was it for you?

I was chatting with my Mum about my challenge and she shared with me how she had been doing a similar thing for a few years now. She took it a step further and had been writing the things she was thankful for in a book. I thought it was a great idea so I have been doing the same. I had a spare notebook at home which has become "My Book of Thanksgiving".

I highly recommend you find someone mature in their faith who you can talk openly and honestly with about your Christian journey. We can learn so much from one another. We can also provide each other with encouragement and support.

I don't have a great memory, so it was definitely a good idea for me to write down what I am …

Man-made Cisterns v The Fountain of Living Water

Dear Friends,

One Sunday morning back in September I preached on the following passage:    
11Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all?  Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!  12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord.
13 “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me - the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all! Jeremiah 2:11-13 (NLT)
God told Jeremiah, his prophet, to pass on his words to his people, the Israelites. Using the metaphor of water, God was describing the spiritual state of his people, the Israelites. 
In the parched land of Israel, cool spring water was extremely rare and highly valued. Running, living water, which flowed all year, was important to them. It provided them with the refreshment they needed and was deeply satisfying.
In contrast, cisterns were man-made …

A Dream Come True

Dear Friends,

You'll know from my blogs that I love to write. I love to share with you the things I've been learning from God. And I love reading and digging deep into the Bible to uncover wonderful truths and treasures. 

A few years back I believed God was calling me to write a book. So, I compiled a selection of devotionals from this blog. I spent time researching the market, and gaining advice and help from others. 

Despite sending my book proposal to several publishers, no one was interested in my book.  It was hard to keep receiving rejections. I was convinced this was what God had called me to do and yet no doors seemed to be opening.

I kept persevering. But, I was told on more than one occasion, that getting a devotional book published by an unknown author was difficult. After more time, I decided to go down the route of self-publishing. And after two years of working towards it, my devotional book "Dear Friend...52 weekly devotions to Encourage, Challenge and Inspire&…

Remove your Blinkers

Dear Friends,

November is recognised by many as the month for thankfulness.  A few weeks back I was finding it difficult to be thankful for anything. My physical health had taken a dive and I was struggling on many fronts - church life, home life, family life.  My mental health, so closely connected to my physical well-being, was also not good.  I was feeling completely overwhelmed. I felt that I just couldn't cope, and the thought of one more responsibility sent me into a deeper depression.  I could see no way out and no hope for improvement. My focus was narrow - all I could see was my struggles.

We can become blinkered when we are in the midst of our difficulties, trials and struggles. Our circumstances can then become all that we see. Horses sometimes wear blinkers (or blinders) to keep them focused on what's in front of them. Blinkers are good for horses.  However, they are not good for us. 

We need to remove our blinkers so that we can get a change of perspective.  So we ca…

God Has The Answer

Dear Friends,

A few months ago our son, Josh, had some important decisions to make. He was coming to the end of his A Levels and was offered work as an apprenticeship in Accounting.  It was just what he wanted to do. The offer was a good one and it was with a company he liked. At the same time he was offered work in a church as an intern. It came out of the blue, but again was something he was interested in. Now what was he supposed to do?  He wanted to do what God had planned for him, he just wasn't sure what that was.

God makes us a promise inPsalm 32:8"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you." (AMP)

As his Mum there was part of me that wanted to tell him what was best for him, but this wouldn't have been right. It was not my decision to make. It was for him to decide. Jason and I told him that we would support him in whatever he decided and we would be there to talk things through …

A Difficult Season

Dear Friends,

Some people may see a season of change as a frightening challenge whilst others see it as a challenging adventure. Are you facing a new season right now?  Perhaps your son or daughter has left for university and you are facing "empty nest syndrome", or you're learning how to parent a newborn baby (or house training a new puppy in my case!), or coping with health issues, a change in your employment, a new stage in your education, or changes at church etc.

In the Bible, Joshua faced a new season when God called him to step up from being Moses' assistant to become the leader of God's people.  A huge task lay before him and he had some big sandals to fill!

Going into a new season can be scary.  We can assume Joshua was fearful because God says to him: "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

Joshua may have been afraid of the responsibility.  Per…