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Friday, 30 January 2015

Hope - songs that inspire hope

    Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave


    Overwhelmed by Big Daddy Weave


    Remind me who I am by Jason Gray


   Hello, my name Is  by Matthew West


Who shall I fear  by God of Angel Armies


Songs always lift my spirit, I hope these will lift yours too.

God bless


(Author of "How to make Victoria Sponge - a journey of faith)

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Hope in a desperate world

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Like Noah we are in the middle of a great ocean and we have an Almighty Father looking over and after us as we ride the storms of life. Our Hope is always there remembering us. 

Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.  When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening.  They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."  He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"  Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"  Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him,  "What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied.  Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you."  Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. 

When we are in a state of blindness and cannot see the way forward, Hope orders us to go to Him. When we comply with his request our Father will return our sight to us and show us His path that He wants us to walk.

Leviticus 26:40-45

" 'But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers--their treachery against me and their hostility toward me,  which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies--then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin,  I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.  For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.  Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God.  But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.' " 

When we feel forsaken and our lives and the lives of our family are out of control, Hope reminds us that we must confess our sins and the sins of our father's. Hope returns when we are in alignment with our Father in Heaven. By confessing we undergo cleansing. If we refuse to hand over our sins we pay by our lives being controlled by sin. And when our lives are controlled by sin we experience traumas. But because our Father loves us, no matter what, he will never reject us, and will always be waiting for us to return to Him with His arms outstretched. Hope never gives up.

And when we decide each day to fight the good fight Hope declares:

Joshua 10:25

Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight." 

Yes we live in a desperate world, where each day is a challenge but we have this Truth to cling onto:

Psalm 147:11

the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. 

God is Hope. 

Romans 15:13
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

It is possible to have hope in a desperate world when we look upon the one true source of Hope, Jesus Christ.

God bless

(Author of "How to make Victoria Sponge - a journey of faith")

My hope is that one day God will bring us all home.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Blessings and Hope

1 Peter 3:9

Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

There seems to be a lot of anger in the market place these days. Little things are annoying people and their responses seem over the top. For example, I drove into the church car park going over a central hatching in the middle of the road in order to get across the road into the car park. A man standing at the bus stop, stared at me in disbelief and shook his head. He shouted something, which I fortunately could not hear. Apparently in his eyes I had done something stupid. However, there is no other way into this particular car park, other than going a long way round to get onto the right side of the road to turn into the entrance. I waffle, so I will get to the point. 

When I saw the man gesticulating at me, I thought that this gentleman needs me to pray for him. So that is exactly what I did. I prayed blessings on him and asked God to give him a peace filled day. 

Another gentleman who was in a rush after a school meeting nudged me quite hard to indicate that he wanted to get out of the row he was stuck in as he was in a hurry. He didn't apologize, just kept nudging. Unfortunately I could not move as the other people in the row were blocking the way. He seem oblivious to this fact. When we reached the exit he brushed me out of the way and walked off. I felt another urge to pray, and once again blessed this man who was in such a hurry and called on God to grant his urgent needs. 

It would have been easy to retaliate in both instances, to think bad thoughts about both gentlemen, and in times past that is what I would have done. 

Moving from cursing to blessings has been a long journey for me. But the benefits have been truly amazing. When things seemed impossible and I cursed, nothing happened. Why? Because God does not move on curses. He can't, because he is Love and Hope. 

A minor example of a change that can produce blessings is this. If you have lost something, and you say where the **** is it, it will remain hidden. But if you say 'Father reveal to me where the object is' He does. And I have been blessed twice recently within the last two days to see this prayer answered. In both cases a picture appeared in my child's head of where the item was (she having lost both). The items were not in the house so would never be found there, and we would have spent a long time looking and searching in vain. The tension of looking was instantly replaced and Hope restored. Now this might seem a silly example but we ought to expect little miracles as well as bigger ones when we bless or use positive prayers in our life. 

By blessing my family, and this is something I try to do everyday, saying 'blessings on (name)', I know that God is watering my husband and children during the day with His Hope. In this way we become hopeful and hope-filled people. Therefore we need to become sowers of Hope, for our family and for God's people. If we bless, no matter who or what, God can and will use our blessings. 

If we are generous in our blessings rather than generous in our curses, Hope has a way into our lives and into the lives of those we bless. 

We may never know what benefit our blessing has, as indeed, I shall probably never know what my prayer for the two gentlemen will have instigated, but what I do know, is that only good will come out of the blessing. 

I saw my life change from the moment I stopped cursing and feeling hopeless. The blessings put me in a better place, both in frame of mind and in spirit. Once I stopped stating what was wrong with people and took on the mantle of just blessing them they too saw a change in me and in themselves. 

It has been a blessing realizing that I need to be humble and gentle instead of aggressive and critical. And I know the world is a better place having one less angry person in the market place. 

Blessings bring Hope. May we become sowers of hope. 

God bless,


(Author of "How to make Victoria Sponge - a journey of faith" - available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle)

To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you. -C.S Lewis

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Forgiveness and Hope

Forgiveness - we all struggle with this. 

We may accept God's forgiveness for our sins, but hey, don't ask us to forgive others when they hurt, abuse, crush, molest, invade, pass down grievances and wreck our lives. It's okay for God to do that sort of thing as He is Divine, but as for me, I am human and I cant or wont do that. And why should I? I am the one who has been hurt, I am the one who is hurting, I am the one whose life has been messed up. Why should I forgive the person who has done this to me? I want to see them suffer like I have.  

Matthew 18:22

Then Peter came and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Or, God has allowed me to suffer, he did not intervene when I was being raped, abused, undermined, attacked, assaulted physically or mentally. So I am not going to forgive him. He could have stopped these things. My life has been ruined.

Isaiah 44:22

I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free."

Do these two scenarios sound familiar?

Forgiveness comes from the heart. So when our heart is broken it is very difficult for our own spirit to take the almighty step to forgive.

We know that God has been forgiving us since the beginning of time. So He knows the pain that is incurred when we don't forgive. He put a rainbow in the sky to remind himself of this. From that moment on God's mercy has abounded, and been fulfilled through Jesus Christ.

Psalm 103:11

For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.

We need to bear in mind that as Christians forgiveness is part and parcel of following Christ. 

Mark 11:25

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."

It is a commandment. A necessary action to receive the fullness of God's forgiveness and healing.

Colossians 3:13

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

By not forgiving we are providing an opening for the evil one to dwell in our lives and to grow bitterness, anger and hardness of heart in the gardens of our soul.

Psalm 51:1

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.

Only God can do this. 

Yes, it is very hard to forgive others especially when they have invaded our bodies and degraded us through acts of violence. It is also hard to forgive God when we feel he has been an accomplice to this. However, God is never an accomplice in sin. He is the answer to sin. God took on the challenge of sin and conquered it. 

When we blame God for a sin we need to ask His forgiveness so that His Hope can come into the sin and heal it. We will not experience peace until we do so.

Mark 12:30

And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' 

Forgiving is Love which equals Hope. 

Forgiving releases us allowing Hope to restore us to God. 

We have a choice. Forgiveness and Hope or bitterness and hopelessness. 

One provides water for growing love, the other a desert and infertile soil where nothing grows. 

The process for forgiving is not easy. It requires speaking out loud your regrets, for example, a life ruined by the sin. Asking God to forgive you for allowing that sin to take over your life instead of bringing it to the foot of His cross. Forgiving yourself and the other person. Cutting the ties that the sin(s) have bound you to the other person. Asking forgiveness of God for blaming him for the sin happening in the first place. During and after this process, with the help of prayer warriors/partners, you need to leave the sin at the foot of the cross and leave it there so that Hope can release and take you forward to a new life. 

If we decide not to forgive, hope for future peace and fruitfulness will unfortunately be stumped, just as growth is stumped when we do not feed our bodies with the right foods. God wants us to be fruitful, hopeful and successful in our faith. He has shown us the way, the way of the cross, the way of forgiveness. Why then if His son had to go through the cross to return to Heaven should we not have the same road to walk? Yes we have been saved, but that means we must follow Jesus' example. We must forgive, no matter if it takes us to the cross, because once there we have the choice of staying there or rising like Christ did. 

Being a Christian is not easy, but we have the Holy Spirit to help us. If we pray for the Spirit to help us, He will give us the courage we need to forgive from the heart. 

God bless you all.

(Author of "How to make Victoria Sponge - a journey of faith")  


Monday, 26 January 2015

Depression and Hope

It is easy to be critical of people who are depressed and to tell them to 'snap out of it'. To say that if they are Christians they should not be depressed. 

This is an unkind thing to say. It lacks compassion and understanding for the person's circumstances and inheritance from previous generations. 

We must always remember that God came to save the sick. 

So how do we give hope to a person who is in a bottomless pit and not able to help themselves. 

We support and pray and teach them how to ask God for help. 

We are conscious that the devil wants them to be sick so we encourage them to break the bonds that this sickness has on them. 

How? We gently lead them to scripture and prayer. 

Ultimately they will have to take responsibility for the depression in order to hand it over to God. They will need to release it and use weapons like God's precious blood to shield and protect them from the self need to be depressed, if this has defined their life for a long time. This is a battle that only God can win. But He can break the chains and help them lead a life free from depression. 

This will be a daily commitment. 

Prayer - Father God send your Holy Spirit into my depression and bring Your light into my darkness. Help me to see as your Holy Spirit sees and heal me with you precious blood today. I give you my life, my pain, my depression. I do not want it. I want You and Your freedom, release me Father God that I may be who You designed me to be. I no longer want to live in the darkness but in Your wonderful light.

With scripture speak out God's truth.

John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

I believe you Father that you have overcome the world and will overcome my depression.

Psalm 40:1-3

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

I believe you have heard my cry and will lift me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. Father I want to be free to sing a new song, a song of hope filled with joy.

Deuteronomy 31:8

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

I believe that you will never forsake me. Help me not to be discouraged or afraid.

Psalm 3:3

But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

I believe that you will be my shield against my depression. Help me to lift up my head to You because You are the Glory and the Freedom I seek.

1 Peter 5:6-7

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

I believe that You care for me and hold me in the palm of your hand.

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I believe that You are my strength and will give me the courage to depend on You instead of the the world and myself. Without You I am frail and see only my misfortune. Grant me peace of mind and wholeness of spirit that I may be who you want me to be.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

I believe that You are my future, not the darkness that binds me. Help me to think only of the Truth, of what is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Open my eyes to the beauty that you see and break the bonds of my darkness. Pour your precious blood on the neural pathways that lead me to despair and flood them with Your healing. I ask you, Father God, to enter into my emotions that dictate my moods and to create a new way of thinking and feeling that will free me to live my life in Your Kingdom rather than the darkness that this world has ensnared me in. Take my anxieties, fears, worries, and my lack of life and transform me so that I may rejoice in Your Resurrection in my new life.

I declare now that I no longer want to be ruled by my depression, by the darkness of this world, but to be absorbed into Your light, Father God, so that I may be made whole, in my mind, body, soul and spirit. 

Psalm 34:17

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Now I am not making light of the depths of depression because it is an awful place to be. I am not suggesting that the way back is easy, however by making these first steps we are acknowledging that we need Divine Help. And no doubt medication will be part of the answer to release those endorphin's that are sorely lacking. All I want to suggest is that there is Hope for those that suffer with depression and we need to support them with the Words of God that declare Truth, rather than dwell on the world that is constantly telling us lies. The solution is Hope, Divine Hope, and battling on your own against an unknown enemy who constantly reinforces the darkness around you is extremely hard. It is also very difficult when the tendency is hereditary, and help needs to be sort through trained prayer warriors who deal with soul ties.

Beginning to start each day with proclaiming Truths and prayer will help, not taking back the ties that bind you by placing them in God's hands and leaving them there will help. Asking and drawing in the Holy Spirit into your emotions and reactions to the day's situations each time you feel low, helps you to understand the choices that you have. For example, am I going to feel crushed by this or am I going to ask God to help me conquer this? He is there to help you no matter how many times you call on Him. Remember the quote from Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

This is His promise. Trust and believe it. 

Decide that you are not going to allow the emotion to take over and destroy your day. Call God into it and believe His strength will see you through. Deep breath and when it happens again, continue to call on God. That way you are calling on the Light and not the darkness. You will be tempted back, but God is faithful and will stick with you, the evil one will get bored when he sees that you are not falling down into your usual pattern where he can goad you with lies. Slowly the Hand that reaches down to you from the Heavens will break you out of your pit. 

Yes life throws many challenges at us, and some nearly break us, but God is only a prayer away; and prayer is chatting to God, even when it is 'Oh God help me'.

Having a back up, prayer support, is vitally important, so that you are not on your own. Knowing that you are supported is tremendously helpful, none of us want to fight an unknown enemy on our own. And it is encouraging to have someone ask how you are doing, and praying with you as you journey on this path. We all have down days, but hopefully these will become less influential as our first port of call is God rather than 'Oh God'.  

As we plant seeds of Hope in our lives, despair will slowly decrease.

Remember somebody cares, and that somebody is GOD. And He cares because you are worth it. 

Allow God to make you beautiful again, to think of beautiful things, to experience His beauty in your life. Let go and let God.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Look forward to Hope

So often we get caught in looking backwards and yet what has the past got to hold for us? We might think that there were better days then, but that is to rend the future hopeless as we are not looking forward to God's future that He has for us. 

Look what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back, her eyes where blind with the rottenness of Sodom and Gomorrah - she turned into a pillar of salt. So looking back is not a helpful nor a hopeful act especially when we look back at a life of dis ease. 

Proverbs 4:25 Let you eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

Jesus is very firm on this point - Luke 9:62 Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God

Our past is exactly that our past, not our present nor our future. 

Our past sins are exactly that, past sins, and if we believe that Jesus took upon himself our sins, past, present and future we must believe that. When we confess our sins today that is it for today. Forgiven, forgotten, forging forward to Freedom. Therefore we can look forward in hope, in God's hope. 

If we keep looking back we are tied to our past and not to the glorious future that God has for us. 

We need to own our past, forgive our past and proclaim freedom on our lives. 

This is what Paul spoke about in Philippians 3:12 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” 

If we do not own, forgive and proclaim freedom on our lives then we will become prisoners of the lies of the past and this will lead to hopelessness and helplessness. God empowers us through his forgiveness, and we in turn need to honour His sacrifice, Jesus, and rise with Him to claim our prize - Freedom. We must look forward towards God and His Kingdom not backwards to the pain and misery of our past. These ties must be cut, so that God's plan for us can be revealed and accomplished.

If we are not free to be hopeful heirs of God then we may as well be turned to salt, like Lot's wife, as our life will not be any more fruitful than hers. I am sure many of you know christian's who are hindered by their past and have lived a sad life of regret, bitterness, anger and joylessness. This is the result of salt corroding their being. But all that can change if a person let's go of their past and allow's God Love to heal them and give them His Hope.

God bless, Margaret