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Maybe I Should

10 Jul

Maybe I should start posting from my phone again as I seem to get distracted by facebook and other silly things on the computer.
And that’s just not fair on my blog and anyone who might be wanting to catch up with our news or read whatever interesting rubbish I may have to share…
So here I am, using blogpress again.
It won’t last!
But we’ll give it a try.

I am in bed on a Saturday morning slowly sipping a cup of tea while my boys play in the sandpit; the *new* sandpit in the *new* deck outside our *new* home in Devon…

It’s been a very warm summer so far, yesterday being the warmest day of the year so far – apparently – and today the sky is overcast, bringing some much needed relief from the heat…

I am grateful.
For my Lord, my life, my husband, my boys, and my Bible, which is much neglected these days … As my cuppa tea is getting lukewarm by the minute I am now signing off as other things await.

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No worries! (today’s purpose driven devotional)

19 Jan

>How to be thankful in tough times
by Rick Warren
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”. Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
Don’t worry about anything.
Worrying doesn’t change anything. It’s stewing without doing. There’s no such thing as born worriers; worry is a learned response. You learned it from your parents. You learned it from your peers. You learned it from experience. That’s good news. The fact that worry is learned means it can also be unlearned. Jesus says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:34, NLT)

Pray about everything.
Next use the time you’ve been worrying for praying. If you prayed as much as you worried, you’d have a whole lot less to worry about. Some people think God only cares about religious things, such as how many people I invite to church or my tithing. Is God interested in car payments? Yes. He’s interested in every detail of your life. That means you can take any problem you face to God.

Thank God in all things.
Whenever you pray, you should always pray with thanksgiving. The healthiest human emotion is not love — but gratitude. It actually increases your immunities; it makes you more resistant to stress and less susceptible to illness. People who are grateful are happy. But people who are ungrateful are miserable because nothing makes them happy. They’re never satisfied; it’s never good enough. So if you cultivate the attitude of gratitude, of being thankful in everything, it reduces stress in your life.

Think about the right things.
If you want to reduce the level of stress in your life, you must change the way you think; the way you think determines how you feel. And the way you feel determines how you act. So if you want to change your life, you need to change what you’re thinking about.

This involves a deliberate conscious choice where you change the channels. You choose to think about the right things: focus on the positive and on God’s word.

Why? Because the root cause of stress is the way I choose to think.

When we no longer worry, when we pray about everything, when we give thanks, when we focus on the right things, the Apostle Paul tells us the result is, “The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

What a guarantee! He is guaranteeing peace of mind.

Authentic Friendships by Rick Warren

26 Oct

>”But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:7-8 NCV).

In Biblical fellowship, we should experience authenticity.

Authentic friendships are more than superficial, surface-level chit-chat. They involve genuine, heart-to-heart, sometimes gut-level, sharing.

These friendships develop when we get honest about who we are and what is happening in our lives. They develop when we share our hurts, reveal our feelings, confess our failures, disclose our doubts, admit our fears, acknowledge our weaknesses, and ask for help and prayer.

Unfortunately, this level of authenticity and intimacy is the exact opposite of what we find in many churches. Instead of an atmosphere of honesty and humility, we often become involved in pretending, role-playing, politicking, superficial politeness, and shallow conversation. We begin to wear masks, keep our guard up, and act as if everything is rosy in our lives. These attitudes are the death of real friendship.

It’s only as we become open about our lives that we experience authentic fellowship. The Bible says, “If we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other . . . If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves” (1 John 1:7–8 NCV).

The world thinks intimacy occurs in the dark, but God says it happens in the light. We tend to use darkness to hide our hurts, faults, fears, failures, and flaws. But in God’s light, we can bring them all out into the open and admit who we really are.

Of course, being authentic requires both courage and humility. It means facing our fear of exposure, rejection, and being hurt again.

Why would anyone take such a risk?

Because it’s the only way to grow spiritually and be emotionally healthy. The Bible says, “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed” (James 5:16 MSG).

[I am posting this here because this issue is very verrrrrry close to my heart. Will write more on this later]

Food for thought on giving (Purpose Driven Devotional for 28th August)

1 Sep

>Spiritual Habits of Effective People: Tithing

(by Rick Warren)

“Bring this tithe to eat before the Lord your God at the place he shall choose as his sanctuary; this applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn of your flocks and herds. The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives” (Deuteronomy 14:23 LB).

We develop spiritual fitness when we honor God by giving him a tithe every week. Tithing is the spiritual habit of giving back to God the first 10 percent of all I make. If I make $100, I give $10 back to God; if I make $1000, I give $100 back to God. I get to keep 90 percent but I give 10 percent to him.

Why would anybody have to do that? Because God says so and that’s reason enough. If you don’t do it, you’re disobeying God. But there’s more reason. The reason I tithe is to draw me closer to God.

Jesus says, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:21 NLT). If I put my money in a boat, that’s where my affection goes. Wherever I put my money, that’s what becomes important to me. If I put God first when it comes to my money, it says, “God, you’re first in my life.”

If you show me how you spend your time and how you spend your money, I’ll show you what’s important in your life. No matter what you say is important—show me your schedule and your checkbook stubs and I’ll tell you what’s really important to you.

Deuteronomy 14:23 explains that, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives” (LB). If I say, “God, I want you to be number one in my life,” but he’s last place in my budget, that’s a contradiction.

The Bible teaches that giving is an antidote to materialism. The materialism of the world says, “Get, get, get.” The only antidote is giving; we do just the opposite of what the world says. As I learn to hold things with an open hand and return the first part to God, it breaks the grip of materialism in my life. It helps me develop the characteristics of God because “God so loved the world that he gave” (John 3:16). If you want to become like Jesus, you must learn to be a giver.

Balloons in the sun and broken toes

8 Aug

>Lovely days can sometimes end in tears. Accompanied by much loud swearing.
I went on a date with my man last night… We both made ourselves look nice and I wore pretty flip flops (or ‘plip plops’ as Ben likes to call them).We ate at the local curry house, a new little restaurant which actually serves a pretty decent Balti – he and I respectively had a beer and a large glass of red wine (can’t abide beer myself) and I was giggly, which is a lovely feeling sometimes…
Walking home I insisted on taking the short-cut which included a tiny unlit ‘woody’ stretch of path.
And being a little unstable on my legs after ONE GLASS OF WINE, I tripped over a protruding tree root and caught my little toe on it quite badly….
I think I may have broken it?This morning I am in a lot of pain but I am assured there is nothing to be done but to strap it up and endure, hoping it gets better soon. A good excuse to put my feet up for the week end anyway…!!(…admittedly it has become a pretty shade of purple which is very much a ‘summer’ colour…!! And I am a ‘summer’. Yes: silver lining and all that)

The few preceding hours saw us celebrating the end of Ben’s time as a preschooler at a cute little party which was laid on by his wonderful nursery teachers.Ben had a ball, once he got in the swing of it……and was let loose on all the party food!They even had a cake and a little present for each child, it was utterly delightful…Ben cycled home with a balloon attached to his bike, looking a few inches taller and a bit more grown-upMy baby is now ready to launch himself with open arms and funky dance moves, into the big wide world of school education… I am so grateful……and so is he, I suspect!!

Maybe…?

3 Aug

>This house has just come to my attention, and already I am in love with it.…Maybe this one, Lord…?
Please?

‘Surrender, dear one, surrender’
‘You can trust Him to thwart each plan that should be stopped and to complete each one that results in His greatest glory and your highest good. You can trust Him to lead you down the path that is the very best in this world for you.’
(From Streams in the Desert)

Sleepless and Wakeful

30 Jul

I am spending too many hours awake at night for my own good these days.
I’m really not sure why.
There’s a combination of factors which aren’t helping.

1.I’m probably too sensitive to caffeine to be having even one coffee a day, let alone a double shot in the morning (enjoyable though it most definitely is) plus a cup of filtered later on in the day. And that on top of my necessary 2 daily cups of tea, of course.

2.Habit is an annoying friend. It sticks around when it’s not wanted, unable to ‘take a hint’ and insensitive to needs other than her own; I have never been a great sleeper. And even when I have no good reason to be awake, my body is frustratingly slow on the uptake, and emerges from a sleep cycle just that little bit too enthusiastically around 3:00 a.m pretty much e.v.e.r.y night. I then stay awake for an hour or three… I read, I pray, I cry, I make myself a milky drink on very bad nights, then fall asleep exhausted at the break of dawn, knowing I’ll be awake again about an hour later!

3.My busy little mind doesn’t do me any favours. My body wakes up out of habit – and then the thinking takes over. And they’re not even panicky thoughts, or upset thoughts. Just, you know, ‘life’ thoughts… They tend to snowball at this time of night. Just because they can, I guess. And because I indulge them, too?
Ah to be a straightforward, down-to-earth, practical girl that just gets on with things! But no, I’m a thinker. And not even the productive sort either. It’s not like I’m going to find a cure for cancer or anything…

So anyway, 3 possible vague reasons for being awake at night. I hate it. But actually, a tiny warped part of me kinda likes it, this little bit of time in the dead of night which belongs to no-one else.

Although I have a strong feeling God would probably say it ought to belong to Him… One day, I hope I’ll be graceful enough to give these wakeful hours to Him, but mostly these days, being awake at night makes me a bit cross.

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