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15 Things You Probably Never Knew or Thought About

17 Jan

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1. At least 5 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.
5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
6. You mean the world to someone.
7. If not for you, someone may not be living.
8. You are special and unique.
9. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.
10. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
11. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
12. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you believe in yourself, probably, sooner or later, you will get it.
13. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
14. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know.
15. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

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What’s In A Gift…?

26 Dec

20111227-010507.jpgBoxing day.

The day after Christmas.

First day of the “January” sales here in the UK.
(…Don’t ask…)
(…we live in a world gone kerrrr-aaaaazy if you ask me…)
(…see what I did there??!…)
(…ah, never mind.)
*draws little circles by forehead with pointer finger*

First day of the new Christmas countdown: 364 days left.
WHAT…?!?
…SERIOUSLY?!?!
(Um – if that’s you, you need to get out more… Just sayin’ 😉 )

Boxing Day.
The day the pressure is lifted. For another 364 days – not that I’m counting.

The day the kids play contentedly with the multitude of toys they received on Christmas Day, and ask for nothing.
The day we all go for fresh air after being cooped up for the last 36 hours.

The day I breathe a sigh of relief that the marathon of cooking the mammoth Christmas meal is over; that it was delicious, well worth the effort, and that there is now enough for us to eat without me having to do much for the next two days… Two birds killed in one stone. Or two turkeys. Whatever.

A day to rest.
A day to Think About Things.

And so on Boxing Day (ie – today) I ponder on the gift I received this Christmas.
Not the Liquorice Catherine Wheels, not even the joy of watching my boys’ delighted faces as they tore open the ornate, shiny paper wrapping their presents.
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No – The Other Gift.
The Only Gift.
I didn’t particularly want or need anything else this year.

It’s a gift that multiplies, and becomes Lots Of Gifts.

It’s the gift of a new beginning, through the gift of grace, forgiveness and endless love my Saviour Jesus gave me.

The gift of a united family, bound by real, true, deep, unshakeable love and a covenant made before God 15 years ago.

The gift MIRACLE of a relationship made brand spanking new through (and in spite of) hardship and sin.

And through it all, the deepening realisation that God paid the Ultimate Price for His Gift to me, to Mr Wibbs, and to you reading this now.

My God gave up His precious boy, His son Jesus; He sent Him to be born into the darkness, the filth, the SIN of a world that He had so lovingly made, and that we subsequently so foolishly messed up; then God allowed Him, the Prince of Peace, Immanuel, to die at the hands of those He created (including mine, and yours) – so that the mess, MY mess, your mess – could be made right.

This, to me, right now, is all that matters – it is The One Single Thing from which all other gifts flow. It’s a gift of Absolute, Unconditional, Passionate, Transcendent Love. Redeeming, Restoring, Cleansing, Healing Love.

This Christmas I have known and felt His love for me like never before, and understand like never before what it means to be loved by Him. It means that I, we get a NEW LIFE. Now. For EVER!!

And that, my friends, means transformation in every area of my life. Things are being put right that were wonky shaky falling apart until about two weeks ago.

The Love my Jesus has for me is Eternal, Constant, Transforming and reaches deep into the very recesses of my soul until ALL THINGS ARE NEW.

What a Gift.
I truly didn’t need any more this Christmas.
Thank you, Lover of my Soul.
Thank you, Friend of friends.
Thank you, King of kings.
Thank you, Lord of lords.

Humbly I say,
Thank you.

Suffering – Underlined Notes #1

11 Dec

>I’ve found a little gem of a book: “Why Us?” by Warren Wiersbe.

Even in the opening pages I’m blown away by the simple, straightforward wisdom it contains…

So. Underlined notes #1 it is. Be blessed 🙂

• Do I have the kind of faith that works in the battlefield of life?

• In every area of life there must always be an element of faith; what you believe determines how you behave.

• “We cannot put off living until we are ready… Life is fired at us point blank.”

• Suffering can make us selfish or sacrificing

• “When you find yourself overpowered as it were by melancholy, the best way is to go out and do something kind to somebody or other”

• Human history sparkles with the testimonies of people who could have been victims but who decided to be victors.

• Suffering will either be your master or your servant.

• A crisis doesn’t make a person; it reveals what a person is made of.

• It is not enough for your mind to be enlightened, or your heart to be enriched; your will must be enabled in the service of others

• Suffering is not a topic for speculation; it is an opportunity for compassion and involvement.

• The mind grows by taking in, but the heart grows by giving out.

More to come…!

God’s Work of Art

4 Jun

I follow several ‘crafty’ blogs as well as the other, non-crafty ones. I am addicted to creating beautiful cards and love to check out what others are doing, for inspiration, and if I’m honest, to also give me a bit of an ego-boost sometimes! (…as I find that actually much of what I ‘do’ is at least of an equal standard to much of what I see online, if not sometimes – dare I say itbetter…!!)

Anyway, I visited one of my bookmarked blogs just tonight (I will keep it nameless for now…) and saw a card on there, which had the following sentiment as the focal point:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, Life is about CREATING yourself“…

The card itself is absolutely stunning, but I had to post something, anything – my reaction to the sentiment on it.
Because I instantly cringed when I saw it.
Because I so completely disagree with it, which has quite taken me by surprise…!

Because I believe GOD has created me, and that one of my purposes in life, my job, is precisely to discover myself – to find out who He has created me to be. Who the ‘real’ Rachel is. Who He meant me to be – and become…
It’s not up to me to create myself, because I am ‘God’s craftsmanship’ – His work of art.
I am not my own…

Have I got this completely wrong??

I don’t know if I’m being totally over-the-top here, but it was such an immediate, and strong, gut reaction, and I know for sure I would never, ever, be able to use such a sentiment on one of my cards! I usually quite like most of the sentiments one can use on cards, although some of them are pretty ‘naff’ and a bit too sickly-sweet for my liking. But this, to me, is actually very ‘humanistic’, and in being so, to me is also deeply arrogant and self-sufficient. I need God too much, and am eternally grateful that it’s His job to create me, and mine to discover what He has done and is still doing.

What do you think?…..

>Overjoyed… Grateful…

24 Dec

>
…relieved that Christmas is so much more than turkey, cards, presents, carols, tinsel, snow, sleigh-bells and santa!!


It’s more than what we can ever know, hope for or imagine.

“Christmas is much more than the sum of all our memories and expectations. It goes far beyond a family celebration or a retail event. It is about the entrance of the almighty, eternal God into human history on an astonishing rescue mission. It is about a gift a million times greater than the most opulent present. It is about a peace far beyond any human ceasefire.
It is about Jesus. It is about love on a scale we can barely imagine.” (From introduction to the Christmas week, Closer to God, © Scripture Union)


Have a very joyful, peaceful, hopeful CHRISTMAS … !!

PS – you can catch us celebrating here :o)

>Prayer in action

11 Dec

>This is the true story of a pastor who was too busy for a homeless lady who’d asked him to help her, so he fobbed her off with a promise to pray for her instead.
She wrote this poem and gave it to a local Shelter officer:

I was hungry,
And you formed a humanities group to discuss my hunger.
I was imprisoned,
And you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release.
I was naked,
And in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
I was sick,
And you knelt and thanked God for your health.
I was homeless,
And you preached a sermon on the spiritual shelter of the love of God.
I was lonely,
And you left me alone to pray for me.
You seem so holy, so close to God
But I am still very hungry – and lonely – and cold.

Ouch!
This hurts…
Maybe mostly because I, also, am guilty…
I am oh so very good at promsing to pray for somone – and yet how many times have I forgotten to do even that!
I feel so convicted.

“Faith without actions is dead” (James 2:26)
“Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1John 3:18)

>Passing the Purple Hat to You (it was meant to be about 2 months ago… sorry!!)

8 Dec

>
IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER – by Erma Bombeck
(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, ‘Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.’ There would have been more ‘I love you’s’, more ‘I’m sorry’s.’
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute. Look at it and really see it . . live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!
Don’t worry about who doesn’t like you, who has more, or who’s doing what
Instead, let’s cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Oh Lord help me to live this day without wasting a minute, without wishing any moment away, and with the grace only You can give…

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