New Flat!

Before I say anything else I just have to tell you all how amazing my God is. A week ago we received the keys to our new flat and we can totally and utterly say that this is a direct answer to prayer.

Let me set the scene for you….

When I was 18 I made the choice not to go to the university I wanted to go to but to stay at home and help my family whilst my Dad was ill in hospital. I think I made this choice more out of fear of what would happen if I let go than out of genuine selflessness but I made the choice none the less. The way that I coped with staying at home was that I would tell people when I move out I will move out FOR GOOD, I wouldn’t end up back at my parents house after uni like most of my friends.

After uni I settled down into any job I could find, not well paid but full time and I saved and I saved and I saved hoping to move out, but I kept finding that the rent in my area was far too high on my salary, so disappointingly I had to stay at home.

I battled and battled with this until eventually I let all my expectations go and just kept saving, I stopped planning or worrying, I just trusted Him that I was in the right place for me.

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Skip forward a year and me and my fiancé are praying about where to live once we were married and we decided that realistically we would need to move away so that he could find a job in a cheaper area. We both felt like we were in the right place however and that we didn’t want to leave, so we prayed for God to show us if He wanted us to stay. We were hoping for a job or a prophetic word to show us but it was a faint hope.

The next week we had news of an inheritance that we had no idea about – more than enough for us not just to rent but to put a deposit down on a small flat where we live! Gobsmacked we realised God could do SO MUCH more than we could ever hope or dream or pray.

So today I’m posting up a picture of our amazing view and I want the whole world to know that God still answers prayer, still does miracles and still provides today!

 

Insensitive Christians

I once wrote a post about how we as Christians can be disgustingly insensitive and today I find myself fuming again about the way “Christians” act.

I work for a Christian Organisation helping vulnerable people. Sounds pretty selfless right? Wrong.

I have learnt it is ten times easier to TALK in a way that seems Godly than ACT that way.

The selfless part of looking after vulnerable people comes from your actions, NOT what you tell people you are doing. The selfless part comes from getting in the mess. Vulnerable people are messy, emotionally and physically in the case I am talking about. The people I work with will never be able to give anything back to the people who care for them.

My blood boils when I see someone who is claiming to work for Jesus, and dedicating their time for Him, yet at the same time is lying to staff, over critical and ignoring the vulnerable people around them. It makes me so angry to see a “Christian” shut the door on someone talking to them because “they won’t be able to remember it”, or lying about their mistakes because they don’t want to take the blame, or favouring those who can give you something back and scorning those who can’t.

If you are a Christian that means you follow CHRIST. You try to act like Jesus, you try to care about what He cares about, you live to try to please Him because you love Him and it starts to break your heart to do anything else. Just because you have called yourself a Christian for half a decade it does mean you follow Him.

How you act towards the people who would never be able to give you any praise shows who you are following.

Your actions not your words are what show your character – I am fed up of Christian Hypocrites! We aren’t perfect yet so lets stop talking like we are and acting like we don’t even have to try to be.

Promoted

It’s been a long time since my last post – life and wedding and flat buying have stolen my brain. Happy, fun, exciting but DRAINING TIMES.

Today I’m trying to get my head around promotion – promotion God’s way.

It seems to me that it’s when we get to a place of complete tired-to-the-bone, energy-depleted, the-full-realisation-that-you-can’t-do-this-alone-place that God suddenly gives you more to do.

I found myself running on empty recently and I said to God – “this is enough! I can’t do this by myself, I’ve been proud and stuck up and now I need your help. I need your humbleness and to be like you!”. I wanted to be banished to a cave to get my bad behaviour out and to focus on God and not my “prestige and position”. I wanted to stay in the shadows because I fully realise how I just don’t deserve what God has given me so far. I wanted to step down because my behaviour is BAD, my attitude STINKS and I’m so blooming UNGRATEFUL!

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The last thing I excepted was a God-promotion. Why here in my weakness? In my knowledge of that weakness. Why promote me now?

Because in my weakness He is strong. He uses the weak to shame the wise. I have no doubt in my mind that it is GOD who will do this through me because I know I am not enough.

Father, keep me depending on you. Kill my pride dead. Reignite my prayers. Be my everything.

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God and High Heels

What does God think about High Heels?

This was the question I was asking myself this morning whilst thinking about something I learnt in Sunday School. (For you American readers I don’t mean the adult bible study kind of Sunday School – I mean the English, kids songs, kids games and messy craft “for children” type of Sunday School – cos I’m that kind of girl!).

I led a session on “Shoes of Peace” the other week and I will admit at first that I had no idea what to teach them – so I quickly tried my best to work out what this meant to me before ending up seriously confusing them.

To me, being peaceful comes from spending time with, thinking about and TRUSTING God. When I do this I find I get an amazing feeling of “preparedness”. Like I can handle almost anything. As if I had a good pair of fit-for-purpose shoes on.

So, this here is what I imagined God’s idea of good shoes to look like….

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Kind of ugly, functional sandals – most probably worn with socks ;).

To be honest they don’t thrill me! I know this is a metaphor for “the armour of God” and maybe I shouldn’t read too much into it, but looking like a soldier doesn’t quite do it for me.

Let me take you back to my Sunday School session – that week we tipped over the edge of madness, we went from fun into the realm where parents start to *ahem* gently question your methods (whoops! Maybe we shouldn’t have created a slip hazard in the middle of the church hall – flour, water + bare feet = bruised bottoms!).

Anyway, another one of my ideas was to do a small obstacle course whilst wearing inappropriate shoes to see how hard it was, we had size 12 trainers on a 5 yr old and a pair of my high heels. To my surprise the heels went down a storm! The usually butch and boisterous boy became a sashaying super model as he deftly moved through the obstacle course.

I was wondering why I couldn’t walk that well in heels and if maybe I had got my thinking wrong about the armour of God.

Maybe for some people our shoes of peace look like this….

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What if in being peaceful and clothing ourselves with the essence of God we start to grow in beauty? What if, in those of us made to be this way, our armour of God shows itself in dignity, elegance, gracefulness and that elusive “WOW factor” most women would LOVE to have.

Here are my verses to prove the point…

Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!” Proverbs 31:25

“Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4

We become beautiful by knowing and loving Jesus – yet we can lose our relationship with Him if we rely on our beauty and not completely on God….

“But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to God and played the harlot [in idolatry] because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications upon anyone who passed by [as you worshiped the idols of every nation which prevailed over you] and your beauty was his.” Ezekiel 16:15

Here’s how this has changed my world… When I look at magazines I feel rubbish, when I watch TV I feel inadequate, when I compare myself with the world I always come up short (in more ways than one – I am not a tall person!). I am not beautiful in that worldly way. Yet, I am beautiful through Jesus Christ and the peace he gives me. I am more than enough for my husband to-be, because Jesus is my covering and He knows how I am made.

Ladies let’s get our pretty shoes of peace on!

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Puppets

So here’s the situation, life is going well, you’re feeling good, strong and confident and then BAM! Suddenly a jerk reaction you had no idea was coming has taken control of your emotions and you get dragged totally out of synch. You’re left thinking “where did that come from? Why did I do that?”

I have a nasty habit of doing this, and I was thinking to myself and praying about WHY I do this and the answer I was given was Puppets. Weird yes, but let me explain….

Imagine a person walking around, living their normal lives making their own choices and doing their own thing. Imagine that there is a string tied to their arm, maybe their foot, or head, or hand; the person can’t see this string, they have absolutely no idea it is there.

Imagine that it got there some time ago in the past, that day when they were hurt really badly, when they refused to forgive someone, when that sin crept into their heart, when they started believing something untrue about themselves. Imagine it latched on and quietly took root in their life.

Imagine that the person cannot see it, cannot feel it and cannot know that it’s there until YANK. The string gets pulled, they react like a crazy person, out of character, full rage or fear or anxiety. The string gets pulled and they become a puppet to the one who’s holding the strings.

Not God – the other.

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How many walking puppets are lying in wait ready for the enemy to use any time he wants to?

Lets cut off these strings! These ties to the past have to go!

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead,  14 I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 NLT

Jesus I pray that you will cut all ties between us and the past and that YOU have control of those places in us. Cut off the work of the devil in my life and in anyone reading this, set us free to choose to live for You.

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God or Chocolate?

First off let me tell you, I am totally and utterly in love with food. I love the anticipation of an amazing meal, I get such satisfaction out of cooking something amazing for my family and food for me is a real life comfort, something like a warm fuzzy blanket for my stomach which snuggles right into my soul. Why is this important? Because last week I attempted my very first fast day.

How did I get on?

I did it!!!! Woo Hoooooo!

My version of fasting involved cutting down my calories to a quarter of what I normally eat. I am quite hypoglycaemic and have a very demanding job, so I felt to jump in cold turkey would be irresponsible.

Here is how I found it……………

I thought that I would be hungry – I was, but once you reach that hungry feeling it honestly doesn’t get that much worse.

I thought that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate – I had oodles of energy and more concentration than on a normal day!

I thought I would feel faint – I felt mildly faint, but after a drink of water that disappeared.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep – I slept fine and fell asleep properly focused on God.

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All in all I was amazed at how easy I found this. My day was a really hectic, stressful and actually quite upsetting one and the lack of food really didn’t feature too much in my thoughts, maybe the lack of my comfort food drove me closer to God! I feel free from this sugar addiction/dependence/love-hate relationship with sweets and chocolate. I feel clean.

I honestly believe God asks us to fast for a reason. I think it has real power. My day had a focus, and that was to control a natural urge to honour God. I thought about Him so much more. I prayed so much more.

I felt so peaceful.

Today I am fasting again, and my prayer request along with this fast is that God would bless me with some deep, deep healing in my broken places. I can feel an electric current flowing from me to God and I am so certain he’s going to do this for me.

So as I finish this post I want to leave you with a verse

29 And He replied to them, This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” Mark 9:29 The Amp Version

Is there anything stubbornly sticking in your life that just isn’t budging no matter how you pray? If you have never tried it and are physically able, why not give fasting a try?

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When Breaking up is the Best thing to do – Part 2

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Ok, so the way I left this yesterday was that me and my fiance had just broken up, I was heart broken and utterly confused, yet what I couldn’t see at the time was that this was the best thing to have happened to us. To read a bit more have a click here.

I was heart-broken because I loved him, but also because he had become so strongly linked to my future, my hope and my healing. I had so many hopes pinned on him, he was “The Perfect Christian Guy” after all.

I was so sure this was the will of God for me, that when it fell through I, and my faith was left in tatters.

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