----------------------------------------------- Blogger Template Style Name: Rounders Date: 27 Feb 2004 ----------------------------------------------- */ body { background:#aba; margin:0; padding:20px 10px; text-align:center; font:x-small/1.5em "Trebuchet MS",Verdana,Arial,Sans-serif; color:#333; font-size/* */:/**/small; font-size: /**/small; } /* Page Structure ----------------------------------------------- */ /* The images which help create rounded corners depend on the following widths and measurements. If you want to change these measurements, the images will also need to change. */ @media all { #content { width:740px; margin:0 auto; text-align:left; } #main { width:485px; float:left; background:#fff url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_main_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; margin:15px 0 0; padding:0 0 10px; color:#000; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } #main2 { float:left; width:100%; background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_main_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 0 0; } #main3 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/rails_main.gif") repeat-y; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:240px; float:right; margin:15px 0 0; font-size:97%; line-height:1.5em; } } @media handheld { #content { width:90%; } #main { width:100%; float:none; background:#fff; } #main2 { float:none; background:none; } #main3 { background:none; padding:0; } #sidebar { width:100%; float:none; } } /* Links ----------------------------------------------- */ a:link { color:#258; } a:visited { color:#666; } a:hover { color:#c63; } a img { border-width:0; } /* Blog Header ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #header { background:#456 url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_top.gif") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 0; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #header div { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #header { background:#456; } #header div { background:none; } } #blog-title { margin:0; padding:10px 30px 5px; font-size:200%; line-height:1.2em; } #blog-title a { text-decoration:none; color:#fff; } #description { margin:0; padding:5px 30px 10px; font-size:94%; line-height:1.5em; } /* Posts ----------------------------------------------- */ .date-header { margin:0 28px 0 43px; font-size:85%; line-height:2em; text-transform:uppercase; letter-spacing:.2em; color:#357; } .post { margin:.3em 0 25px; padding:0 13px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px 0; } .post-title { margin:0; font-size:135%; line-height:1.5em; background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_arrow.gif") no-repeat 10px .5em; display:block; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; color:#333; } a.title-link, .post-title strong { text-decoration:none; display:block; } a.title-link:hover { background-color:#ded; color:#000; } .post-body { border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:0 1px 1px; border-bottom-color:#fff; padding:10px 14px 1px 29px; } html>body .post-body { border-bottom-width:0; } .post p { margin:0 0 .75em; } p.post-footer { background:#ded; margin:0; padding:2px 14px 2px 29px; border:1px dotted #bbb; border-width:1px; border-bottom:1px solid #eee; font-size:100%; line-height:1.5em; color:#666; text-align:right; } html>body p.post-footer { border-bottom-color:transparent; } p.post-footer em { display:block; float:left; text-align:left; font-style:normal; } a.comment-link { /* IE5.0/Win doesn't apply padding to inline elements, so we hide these two declarations from it */ background/* */:/**/url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } html>body a.comment-link { /* Respecified, for IE5/Mac's benefit */ background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 0 45%; padding-left:14px; } .post img { margin:0 0 5px 0; padding:4px; border:1px solid #ccc; } blockquote { margin:.75em 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:1px 0; padding:5px 15px; color:#666; } .post blockquote p { margin:.5em 0; } /* Comments ----------------------------------------------- */ #comments { margin:-25px 13px 0; border:1px dotted #ccc; border-width:0 1px 1px; padding:20px 0 15px 0; } #comments h4 { margin:0 0 10px; padding:0 14px 2px 29px; border-bottom:1px dotted #ccc; font-size:120%; line-height:1.4em; color:#333; } #comments-block { margin:0 15px 0 9px; } .comment-data { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_comment.gif") no-repeat 2px .3em; margin:.5em 0; padding:0 0 0 20px; color:#666; } .comment-poster { font-weight:bold; } .comment-body { margin:0 0 1.25em; padding:0 0 0 20px; } .comment-body p { margin:0 0 .5em; } .comment-timestamp { margin:0 0 .5em; padding:0 0 .75em 20px; color:#666; } .comment-timestamp a:link { color:#666; } .deleted-comment { font-style:italic; color:gray; } .paging-control-container { float: right; margin: 0px 6px 0px 0px; font-size: 80%; } .unneeded-paging-control { visibility: hidden; } /* Profile ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { #profile-container { background:#cdc url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_prof_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; margin:0 0 15px; padding:0 0 10px; color:#345; } #profile-container h2 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_prof_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:10px 15px .2em; margin:0; border-width:0; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#234; } } @media handheld { #profile-container { background:#cdc; } #profile-container h2 { background:none; } } .profile-datablock { margin:0 15px .5em; border-top:1px dotted #aba; padding-top:8px; } .profile-img {display:inline;} .profile-img img { float:left; margin:0 10px 5px 0; border:4px solid #fff; } .profile-data strong { display:block; } #profile-container p { margin:0 15px .5em; } #profile-container .profile-textblock { clear:left; } #profile-container a { color:#258; } .profile-link a { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_profile.gif") no-repeat 0 .1em; padding-left:15px; font-weight:bold; } ul.profile-datablock { list-style-type:none; } /* Sidebar Boxes ----------------------------------------------- */ @media all { .box { background:#fff url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_side_top.gif") no-repeat left top; margin:0 0 15px; padding:10px 0 0; color:#666; } .box2 { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_side_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 13px 8px; } } @media handheld { .box { background:#fff; } .box2 { background:none; } } .sidebar-title { margin:0; padding:0 0 .2em; border-bottom:1px dotted #9b9; font-size:115%; line-height:1.5em; color:#333; } .box ul { margin:.5em 0 1.25em; padding:0 0px; list-style:none; } .box ul li { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/icon_arrow_sm.gif") no-repeat 2px .25em; margin:0; padding:0 0 3px 16px; margin-bottom:3px; border-bottom:1px dotted #eee; line-height:1.4em; } .box p { margin:0 0 .6em; } /* Footer ----------------------------------------------- */ #footer { clear:both; margin:0; padding:15px 0 0; } @media all { #footer div { background:#456 url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_top.gif") no-repeat left top; padding:8px 0 0; color:#fff; } #footer div div { background:url("https://resources.blogblog.com/blogblog/data/rounders/corners_cap_bot.gif") no-repeat left bottom; padding:0 15px 8px; } } @media handheld { #footer div { background:#456; } #footer div div { background:none; } } #footer hr {display:none;} #footer p {margin:0;} #footer a {color:#fff;} /* Feeds ----------------------------------------------- */ #blogfeeds { } #postfeeds { padding:0 15px 0; }

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Be kind to yourself

So many people today are questioning their life, in the form of their past, present and future. Feelings of inadequacy, wrong paths, bad decisions seem to plague the mind and bring dis at ease to many people. The questions of 'why have others seemingly better lives than me?', 'what have I done wrong to be in this position?' 'when will things start to improve?' are asked. 

Unfortunately because of the media we are constantly told that we have failed in our lives. Well that is if you compare your life with others as the press loves to do. 

Have we lost the simplicity of why we are here? The purpose for our existence? Have we got railroaded onto the fast train that takes us to our destination and not taken time to walk through life with Jesus. 

When we stop for a few moments to re-evaluate our life do we think, 'thank God', or do we think 'oh God'? 

How kind are we to ourselves and our efforts that have got us to this stage in life? 

The good news is that God is on our side, He is in our corner. He is routing for us, and has great blessings for us, full stop. 

Comparing doesn't come into God's plan. You are an individual, you are not a clone. You do not have to be better, the same or less than anyone else. You are you and you were made by God. Where you are now doesn't matter, what matters, is where you go from here. But above all of this, is the question of 'who is your God?' If it is wealth, power, control, greed, fear, powerlessness etc this needs to be realigned with God.  

Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you." Says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

Isaiah 55:8-11

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. 

The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." 

When we have aligned our lives with God and allow Him to be its director, we shall be able to move in His Grace and Love. Then we shall see with His eyes how our life has come to this point and where it is travelling to. We can change lines and get onto the right train and be compassionate to ourselves and our walk to date. God will use everything we have been through and make it fit for His purpose. Even if it is painful, He will transform it. We are here today to be His servants, and our experiences can and will bring healing to ourselves and others when we allow God to be their expression.

Let our prayer be then, 'Thank you Lord for my life and all its experiences, both good and bad. Empower me now to be your expression of Love and Grace from this moment onward so that through my pains and joys You may be glorified. May I be successful in proclaiming Your richness in my life and may it bring others out of their darkness into Your light. Only Your Love and Word has this power to change my life, help me to arise with You and Your hope. Amen.'

Let God be your breakthrough.

God bless.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Oneness and peace in Christ Ephesians 2:11-17

Ephesians 2:11-17

Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.

Isn't this wonderful, we can all come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. No matter who we are, what we believe the gates have been opened to us to be united in oneness and peace through the Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. This is unity. This is our unity. The way forward for every person on this earth. No matter where we come from, what colour we are, what tradition we believe in, we have been promised unity through the Holy Spirit through the offering of Christ. 

So why are there still divisions, still judgments of who and who has not been saved. Has God divided us? No, we are the division. Our rules and regulations cause the split. Our perception of what is right or wrong as well as who is right or wrong. 

Christ came to save us all. When His chosen people declined His offer, everyone was invited. Today we must do the same. No rights or wrongs, just open arms to all of God's beloved children. No judgments, just compassion and mercy. Oneness and peace in Christ.

John 17:23
I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.

This unity is what we must strive for. All our different traditions and denominations means nothing to God. Only oneness in Him. Our energies must surely be in bringing about this oneness, the unity of the Holy Spirit through Christ. Our fussing over whose church is the right one has no place in God's unity. God opened up His Kingdom to everyone when the Jews rejected Him. He put no limits on His love. He did not say this church is better than another, or that church will get you into Heaven quicker than another. God is above all of this. 

Ephesians 4:6
and one God and Father, who is over all and in all and living through all. 

We are His creation, we are all from the same God and we will all return to the same God. The same hand feeds us, loves us and blesses us. His Love and His Love alone is oneness and peace. Our actions, our love and our blessings must be for all from our hearts, not from tradition or church. We must rejoice in our churches in the different ways God's Spirit has chosen to reveal Himself to us, but we need also to Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:8) In other words our worship needs to become aligned with God's will rather than our traditions.

We must be careful not to grieve God. Not with eye service, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart (Ephesians 6:6). 

When God looks at us he does not see our churches he sees our hearts. When we judge someone by which church they go to we do not see as God sees. We allow our own personal judgment to cloud our opinion. God loves everyone. He has no favourites, we all belong to Him. 

Let us all then receive the heart God wants us to have as promised in Ezekiel 36:26  And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 

This is oneness and peace. When God gives us Christ he gave us freedom. May we now grant freedom to everyone who believes in Our Father in Heaven, by loving them in alignment with God. 

Unity in Christendom means accepting our differences and allowing God's Spirit to bring us all together. If a body only had hands or arms or legs there would be no body. We are all part of the one body, all blessed, all loved, all accepted by God. 

1 Corinthians 12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 

Let us therefore enjoy our diversity and proclaim it for the glory of God so that His Spirit may be free to change our lives and align them with the Power of Our Father and bring unity to all Christians. And may we use the power of this unity to heal our world and bring comfort to the ravaged and downtrodden, where sin has infected and injected hopelessness. 

God grant our eyes to see the bigger picture of your mercy and compassion towards our fellow man/woman.

God bless.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Some time later, God tested Abraham's faith. "Abraham!" God called.

Recently the image of Abraham carrying his son to the altar to be sacrificed has been uppermost in my mind. The thought of sacrificing your only son, that is mind blowing stuff.

Genesis 22

Some time later, God tested Abraham's faith. "Abraham!" God called.

"Yes" he replied, "Here I am." 

"Take your son, your only son-yes, Isaac, whom you love so much-and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you." 

This is some test God is asking Abraham to take. He wants Abraham's joy, the apple of his eye, his heir who will provide him with future generations. His one and only son. 

Does Abraham say 'no'? Does he argue with God, stating his reasons why this is not a good idea? Does he plead with God? 

We are told Abraham got up the next day and chopped wood which would be used to burn the offering and loaded up his donkey. Then he started his journey to the place God wanted him to go to which would take three days. Consequently he had three days to think about what God has asked him to do. All that time he walked with his son knowing what he was going to do. 

If this was me I think this would play on my mind knowing that I was going to kill my only son as a sacrifice for God. I am not sure I could go through with this.

What courage and faith Abraham had.

Fortunately Abraham did not have to go through with sacrificing his son. What He wanted was to see if Abraham would do His will, regardless of the consequences. He wanted Abraham to trust Him. And the reward for this total obedience was to be given back his son. However that was not all, God blessed Abraham even more.

"Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own  name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed-all because you have obeyed me."

As Abraham was tested so are we. Sometimes it is the supreme sacrifice of offering your son, your only son, to God as He has plans for him over and above what you may have. We do not have rights over God's calling. Abraham knew this and did as he was told. He gave up his rights over his son when he prepared him to be sacrificed. I am sure Abraham had many plans for his son, many hopes and aspirations, just as we do. Just like Abraham, we must also be prepared to give up our will for our children to God, as He will bless us many fold when we do. We cannot know what journey God has for our sons and daughters, so we must trust God and hand them over to Him so that His Will, will be done. 

This is true too of any event that happens in our life. God's 'ask' might be for us to give up our job, to change vocation, move to another area, move to another church, accept a situation that seems impossible, the list is endless. Each time He chooses the place for us to take this sacrifice to just like Abraham. There when we have done his bidding He will provide for us. 

When God asks big things of us He wants to draw us closer to Him. He has great rewards to give us for doing His will. These challenges will help us to grow spiritually and personally as we align ourselves with God's will. Sometimes we have to give up what is most cherished and treasured to move onto the next stage of our journey with God. 

God bless

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

So excited about being used by God

Last year I wrote a book called 'How to make Victoria Sponge'. It is now in the process of being published and hopefully in two-three months time will be on Amazon as an e-book and hopefully as a paperback too. 

I am so excited as this is my first book and it is all about a lady called Victoria Sponge who calls on God constantly during her daily life for him to help her out. It is funny, sad, challenging and a call on each and every one of us to include God in everything, no matter what. 

The book came about after a period of illness and I wondered what God wanted me to do next. As I prayed I felt him saying "I want you to write a book". Me! Write a book, you have got to be joking. I have only ever written short pieces for fun or told made-up short stories to my kids and preschool kids where I used to work. But God seemed insistent, so I sat at my laptop and said, "What  now?" He told me to type. So I stood on his word and typed and Victoria Sponge was born. 

I am amazed at what I have typed, and can only say that it is inspired by a better author than me. I loved working with God and it gave me a tremendous peace as I did His bidding. It  also brought healing and hope into my life.

I hope others will be inspired by the book, it is fiction, but the message is not. It is serious and shows how as we journey through our every day challenges God is part of that journey. His Lent is our Lent and His Resurrection is our resurrection. 

God bless

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Can anything separate us from God's love?

Romans 8:35-39 

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)  No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What a wonderful promise. Nothing can ever separate us from God's love. 

This scripture blows me away because it means here and now nothing can separate us from God's love. Do we really understand this promise? And if so are we living according to this promise?

God never wants to be separated from us. I never want to be separated from God's love. Why would I? Why would anyone? The benefits are so incredible as written in psalm 103:2-13.

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The Lord gives righteousness
    and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
He revealed his character to Moses
    and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
    slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
    nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
    he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
    is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
    tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

God will not constantly accuse us. He does not punish us for all our sins. He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.

This is God's love for us. A love that will let nothing separate us from Him. This is God's gift to us. From Heaven he wants us to know of this incredible love. His arms wider than the universe, embracing us, sinners all, into His Heart, into His Kingdom. We are God's beloved. This is an awesome reality. God's desire to have us in His Kingdom with Him and nothing can separate us from God's love, from this end. 

Are we celebrating this in our worship, in our lives, with others? Are our prayers confident in this belief? Are we experiencing God's love in our ministries and bringing Heaven to earth with miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit? 

Nothing can separate us from God's love, so be bold, be brave, be believers and be beneficiaries of His Victory.

God bless.