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“You Bled” – Magnificent…!!

6 Jan

I Have JUST discovered (…and bought… *ooooops*) this new album.
I think I may be in love…

You bled your heart out
Now I feel love beat in my chest,
How Wonderful

You gave your beauty
In exchange for my ugliness,
How Wonderful

You left your perfection
And embraced on our rejection oh

How Marvelous
How Boundless
Is your love
Is your Love

How Wonderful
Sacrificial
Is your Love for me

You put on our chains
Sent us out through the open door,
How Wonderful,

You took our sadness,
Crowned us with joy and real peace
How Wonderful

You left your perfection
and fought for our redemption oh
How Marvelous
How Boundless
Is your love
Is your Love

How Wonderful
Sacrificial
Is your Love for me

Yes Jesus loves me
Yes Jesus loves me,
How Wonderful
Yes Jesus loves me
This is love
You gave yourself…
(repeat)

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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.
20111227-001429.jpg
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.

Welcome to heavenly elevenses

5 Mar

HI!!

*awkward cough*
*shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot*

Well I’ve done it.
I’ve gone and created a new blog.

So now what…!?

What does one write in one’s first ‘post’…?

I suppose it’s a bit like having just had a baby the first time around. You’re presented with this tiny, wrinkly, pink, screechy vulnerable little bundle, and expected to ‘get on with it’.
You look pleadingly at the midwife, desperately reaching into her eyes for hints of what to do next…

I know, I know.
this first post will soon be bottom of the pile – hopefully – and yet for now it’s still THE FIRST ONE.
What is it they say about “First Impressions”…!?!

No pressure.

Well I guess I ought to introduce myself (nah you can look at my profile for that!) the thinking behind starting up a ‘new’ blog.

Oh and by the way, if you’re not sure what a BLOG is, you might want to click here

I am new to WordPress but not to blogging.

This here is my ‘old’ blog – and though old, it is certainly not redundant.

But I just wanted a new platform to experiment with, play around with, and you can’t beat a new, fresh start, even one that takes you out of your comfort zone…
See, I am SO familiar to Blogger, that I now find myself on a STEEP learning curve here!

The idea for heavenly elevenses, is to make it predominantly about my passion for food and coffee, and God.
And all things creative… Card making, other crafts, photography, baking, home making, parenting…(‘Cos parenting IS creative, Right??)

(UPDATE: with a bit of wine on the side for good measure)

There are going to be tried and tested recipes here.
Tips on how to make the best coffee – and tea…
Step-by-step (simple) craft projects. Maybe. We’ll see.
Lots and lots of photos.
And that’s for starters!!

Here will be a place for me to share the little and bigger steps that make up my life’s journey: things I’ve learnt, failures, successes, the joys, the heartaches – and everything in between.
And how it all then fits into God’s plan.

So.

I’m excited.
Nervous, but excited.

Over and out.

Flag Waving

25 Jul

>
Although the picture is slightly blurry, I think it is beautiful and lovely and says everything about how we are to come to the King of Love…:
in simplicity and purity,
with an open and sincere heart,
with abandon and a complete lack of self-consciousness

And…with the desire and expectation that He will be blessed by what little I have to bring to Him.

Ready for Christmas??

18 Dec



There is a pile of Christmas presents at my feet as I type, nagging me, patiently waiting and needing to be wrapped.
My insides are still trying to recover from a tenacious virus…
And my house is only just back up to an acceptably snug temperature after being refitted with a brand new central heating system.
I have a mountain of clean laundry to wade through in order to find something to wear every morning, and a backlog of dirty clothes waiting to be fed to our valiant washing machine, or ‘pet’ as my dear friend Sharon likes to refer to it…
My gas cooker has all but packed up and my tumble dryer is suffering from a chronic leak.

Which leads me to this probing question, a question that has been plaguing me for the last couple of weeks: am I ready??
‘READY FOR WHAT’,
I hear you ask.
‘ER, HELLOOOOO?!?!?’, I nearly reply.

And then, I stop and think.

Who cares?!?
Where’s the fire?
What’s the rush?
And anyway, where’s this pressure coming from, to ‘be ready’ for Christmas…??

Who has written a law proclaiming that “ye shalt deck the halls with boughs of holly two weeks before Christmas”?
Why do I receive cards that say: “Merry Christmas from Tom, Dick and Harry Jones, Helen the goat and Jamie the goldfish”…
…No “dear” – or even “to” – to precede the ‘season’s greetings’ on many of them…

WHY?!?
I mean: why do people bother?! What is the point…? It makes me so cross; it all reeks of obligation, of duty, of reluctant compliance with Christmas ‘etiquette’.

So that when I find myself sneaking a little personal message on each of the Christmas cards I eventually manage to send, I almost feel like a misfit, a rebel. But I like that! Because to me that is the whole point: I’m not interested in conforming for the sake of it, just to ‘fit in’.

Don’t get me wrong here. I LOVE decorating the house for Christmas, putting up twinkly lights, buying the presents, the yummy food, making, sending and receiving cards; I love Christmas!!!

What I hate is the pressure we put ourselves under to make it ‘perfect’, to make it ‘just right’… To have the fairytale, picture-perfect, ‘Hollywood’ Christmas. A friend on Facebook (…and real life, yes…) said this:

“I see status updates about the stress of shopping, making and wrapping gifts and cards and am SO happy for the freedom of our decision of no gifts for anyone and cards for just the parents… we are enjoying the REAL spirit of Christmas SOOOO much this year!!! So fun. So free from obligations and stress. (Who needs another candle or bubble bath, anyway?? Just a waste of money to fulfil self-imposed obligations!)”

I want to do it my way – or rather, OUR way. I want us to create our own family traditions, make memories, and most important of all, help build a strong foundation of faith in our kids by putting Christ right bang in the centre of the whole thing. And that means that, yes I will refuse to be dictated to by the general western way of ‘doing’ Christmas.

Practically speaking, it looked like this for me today: all things considered, (see above!!) I decided to have a lazy morning, sitting on my bed with a cuppa, my Bible and notebook (oh, and before you start being impressed, or inspired by my oh-so-holy-and-perfect ‘devotional life’, let me assure you this is NOT a daily occurrence. Far from it… Not that I wouldn’t want it to be. Glad I cleared that up. You’re welcome.)
I had planned to write all my cards, wrap presents, start decorating the house so that I would feel more ‘ready’. But do you know something? I felt so relaxed after spending some time with God, and I realised that the other stuff?

…It can wait! It might not be ‘The Perfect Christmas’, but I’ll get there feeling far less stressed, and hopefully, with my heart in the right place. To welcome my Saviour again. To love Him, worship Him, and celebrate life, with Him.

Ultimately, that’s all that matters.

Remembering Claire (15.07.76 – 09.01.01)

8 Jan

My baby sister…
A very cute, bubbly little butter-ball, with a head full of goldilocks (they didn’t stay blonde, incidentally, as you can see in subsequent pictures) – and a very headstrong child; this was a distinctive feature throughout her life, as she oozed character, assertiveness, and confidence…

She was an absolute hoot, and in true French fashion, loved her food and wine…! (photo taken one very hot week end in June ’97, in Strasbourg. We had a blast together that week end, as we cycled round this beautiful university city, where she was studying theology at the time.)

…Taken late December ’00…
The baby is Sam – nearly 3 months old.She was crazy about him! And would have made an amazing godmother for him. We were about to ask her – and then she left us!

I miss her every day.
It’ll be 8 years tomorrow – and the pain of her loss is still overwhelming at times. Why God took her, only He fully knows…
But it is enough to know that it was part of His plan. Even though it hurts unbearably.
His ways are not our ways.
Thank you Lord for 24 years of Claire, it was blessed beyond words to have her in my life
.

>Rewards

13 Sep

>What am I building with?

Gold, silver, costly stones?
Precious time given to the needy, love for the unlovable, grace to forgive those who hurt me most?
Giving and not expecting to receive anything in return?
Giving and expecting NOT to receive anything in return?
Forsaking pride for the sake of the good news?

Or wood, hay, straw?
…Cheap, imitation materials destructible in an instant by fire or flood?
Paying lip service to God with emotional but empty worship?
Giving my 10% to the church every month?
Doing my bit for the environment?
Putting effort, time and money into fundraising for charity?
Attending every prayer meeting…?
Fasting and making sure everyone around me knows how hungry I am?

“Each one should be careful how he builds… If any man builds on this foundation [which is Jesus Christ] using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss…” (1Cor.3v10-15)

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