Sunday, 10 June 2007

Weekend Fun!

We enjoyed the beautiful weather at the park.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

To Be Accepted

I have been reading the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his sacrifice while, Cain became very angry, and his face was downcast when God did not look with favour on him and his offering.

While reading this story what really struck me was what the Lord said to Cain.

"Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

Genesis 4:6-7 (NIV)

Firstly, the Lord came to Cain and spoke to him. He saw that Cain was angry and that his face was downcast and wanted to help Cain to realise all he had to do was to do what is right then he too would be accepted. Cain must have known what was wrong with either himself or the sacrifice, it might have been both. God said he could put this right.

Whatever we might or might not have done, we are always able to put it right.

Secondly, the Lord gave him a warning, "if you do not do what is right then sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you."

It is when we start doing the thing that is not necessarily wrong in itself, but that it is not the right thing, that we find we start to wonder towards sinning. If we concentrate on doing what is right then we are less likely to sin.

Thirdly, the Lord gave him an instruction, "you must master it" How often are we ruled by our emotions. My daughter is a very emotional girl and cries passionately very easily. I am constantly trying to encourage her to control her emotions and that it's Ok to be upset but how we express that can be wrong.

In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and
be silent. Psalm 4:4 (NIV)
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go
down while you are still angry, Ephesians 4:26 (NIV)

This story of Cain and Abel is a very good example to us of how we should examine ourselves. For example, how do we handle correction? Especially if it is pointing out our mistakes or our failiures. Do we allow it to change us and shape us. Or do we allow it to upset us, anger us, or do we put up our walls of insecurity.

Correction and wisdom come in all shapes and sizes. From those that are obviously older and wiser down to the very young and immature. While interacting with my children I sometimes see areas in my life that need correcting. What's important is that we are quick to make right that which is wrong. And that we master, take control so not to allow ourselves to be entangled by sin. Then our lives will be pleasing and acceptable to our heavenly Father.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

In America

It has been about a week now since we arrived back in the UK. I'm experiencing what it's like to suffer from jet lag, which is very new to me. Richard and I went out to Grand Rapids, Michigan. We spent the week ministering to the church. It was a great time. Andrew and Angela Hughes were fantastic hosts.

I had opportunity to speak to the women a couple of times. I was really blessed because I believe God really used me. It was such a step of faith for me to preach, it was a time of being stretched. When opportunities like this come our way, as long as we believe God is a part of bringing them our way we should grab them and make that step.

While we were out there we were able to spend an evening with a lovely family who lived by a lake. They took us out on their speed boat. It was brilliant. After which Richard went out on the lake on a tube which was pulled by the boat. Richard did so well holding on, while being tossed about. It was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long tme. Richard really enjoyed it. While I was watching I wished I'd come prepared to have a go. It looked great fun. Well maybe next time!

Thursday, 31 May 2007

mummy says...

I was busy when my daughter came to me crying that her brother had done something to upset her. Being busy and not wanting to deal with it in person, it was enough to say to Josie, "tell Luke Mummy says stop or you'll be in big trouble!" Josie ran off to deliver this message happy that I meant business. This was enough to calm the situation. It would not have had the same effect if Josie went back and simply said "stop it", because Luke would have probably carried on. But because I told Josie to use my name it carried some weight. I did not have to be there in person and say it. Luke understood the words as if I was saying them, even though they were coming out of Josie's mouth.

This helped me to understand that the authority we carry in this world is the same as that of Christ Jesus.

Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the
Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the
Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I
am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of
the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will
do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I
am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that
the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my
name, and I will do it.

John 14:10-14 (NIV)

Jesus said that we can do even greater things than what He did just by having faith in him. We need to know what the Father is saying. I don’t feel I fully understand the power of God displayed through Jesus, but having a relationship with my heavenly Father means I can heal the sick and, yes, perform miracles! All the things I read Jesus did and is still doing.

Our close intimate relationship with God is one whereby we know what he would do. Therefore when we speak into a situation we can expect the same result as if it was Christ himself speaking into that situation. Because it is!

Saturday, 19 May 2007

We're In America

Richard and I arrived in Grand Rapids, Michigan yesterday. We will both be ministering in the church here ( We will be back at the end of next week. I hope to be blogging and fill you in when I get back.

Monday, 14 May 2007

What a Lovely Day

While it was raining everywhere in Britain so it seems, we had a glorious day by Lake Windemere in the Lake District. We went to a wedding on Saturday. It was great to meet old friends and make some new ones.

One thing I really love about weddings is how it reminds me of the importance of my own relationship with my husband. Richard and I don't usually take our children to weddings. So it ends up being a great time just the two of us, where we both can get dressed up and enjoy being with each other and having a lovely meal. We were on a table with some great people which only added to the fun.

I really cherish moments like these with my husband. With the busyness of life and looking after the children, making time for each other enables us when we are all together to have a life that is exciting and full of adventure.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Come To My House

Because I was expecting some people to come to my house last night, I spent the day shopping for food, tidying the house, preparing food and making sure the kids were ok in the meantime. It was such a hectic day, but the end result was a great time of fellowship with the fantastic group of people, you can see above.

I love having people round at my house. I love it when we eat together. I would love to do it more than just once or twice a week. But anything more than that is such a challenge. Why is this such a challenge. Is it because we like our own space more, or we get tired or is it that we like to make sure we get our own family time. When we read in Acts 2 how the people were devoted to one another and met daily, it is so different to how we live today.

Some people are so gifted at being hospitable. These are the kind of people you can drop in on at anytime and know that you will be made welcome whatever. It may mean that you might have to muck in with whatever is happening within the family, help do some cleaning or help with the children, but you know they are genuinely pleased you came. You are able to make yourself at home because you are allowed to be part of the family.

This is what I want for my family and home; to enjoy fellowshipping with people while living out my life. Last night was great but it took a lot of preparation. But I know that if I am going to live my life the way it talks about in Acts (how the early church were devoted to one another) I need to not worry about always being organised, or making sure my house is absolutely spotless. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to prompt people to come to have a time of fellowship. Be prepared though, you may have to do the washing up!

Monday, 7 May 2007

Hanging Basket

Well I wish my hanging basket looked like that one you see on the right! I was sat looking at my hanging basket in my garden thinking how pathetic it looks. I started remembering baskets I'd seen in other places and how wonderful and flourishing they looked. I wondered why mine looked so bad. It did not look that bad when I first bought it. Then I remembered back to when I did buy it. I specifically asked for an easy maintenance one, preferably one that lasts all year round.

Sometimes our lives can look a little brown round the edges. Or we can feel a little tired and need some of the old stuff pulled out. I have not really maintained my hanging basket the way the shop attendant suggested. When I went to pick it up I remember her saying to me you will need to pull out this and that, pointing to some flowers. Bring it in to me and I’ll put in some new ones for you. I just wanted a nice looking maintenance free basket. I hung it up, and apart from the occasional water in dry weather, that’s all it got.

When we spend time with God it can sometimes be what is the least amount I can get away with. We only get out of it what we put in. The beautiful hanging baskets I see in other places has probably had quite a lot of time and effort spent on them.

We can often look at other peoples lives and see how great they have become, or how in tune with the Spirit they are. We have no doubt in our minds that they will have spent many intimate moments with God. Maybe we need to look at the amount of time we spend in the presence of God. Maybe it is enough by the grace of God to keep things looking green all year round, and still growing a little, but is it enough to make us flourish and become outstanding in the Kingdom of God.

Friday, 4 May 2007

with the top of your voice sing a new song

When we go on any kind of journey in the car at some point we all have to sit quietly and listen to our daughter sing a song. The song is generally one she is making up on the spot there and then. If any one dares to speak or sing a long to her catchy tune then we get into trouble. She likes us to listen to her and not to interupt her. Josie loves to sing at the top of her voice. Her made up songs are generally about Jesus. Although she sings about pretty much anything. She has a lovely sweet voice but her songs don't always make sense. Sometimes we have to give her a time limit, because she can make up a song that will last for quite a long time!

It's not that difficult to sing a new song to the Lord. It's great to do it. I would encourage anyone when they get into the presence of God to have a go at singing at the top of your voice a made up song to the Lord. A song that speaks from the heart.

I Know that when Josie is singing at the top of her voice it allows her to express herself and she enjoys herself. It is fun to her. To everyone else in the car it can sometimes (not all the time) be an endurance test! When I sing a new song in the presence of God or going about my business in the home I feel like my spirit is rising. There is a praise that is rising like a sweet aroma to the Lord. I have not got the most gifted voice. But when I lift my voice to the Lord, and I'm singing from the heart it does not matter what I sound like, I know I'm touching God.

A new song to the Lord
I wait patiently for you O Lord
I wait patiently for you.
I desire to hear you Lord
I desire to know your voice.
Help me to be sensitive to your Spirit
Help me be attentive to your voice
You are my Lord
You are my Salvation
You are my Joy
You are my Peace O Lord my God
Creator of heaven and earth.
My King and my God
You have created all that is good.
You deserve all our praise and worship.
You deserve nothing less than our whole lives.
Magnificent God,
that you would choose to have me as your child.
Your grace is so amazing
You are so amazing.
by sja

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

We Are Family

We are going through a whole new way of church meeting in the homes. It is very exciting doing something new and different to anything ever done before. It will be a great time to be family together. Its about being a people that are together whose lives are intermingled with oneanother. A complete sharing of our lives with one another.

This is a challenge in it self. The culture we live in today is all about fiting everything in around our busy schedule. If it does not fit then it can't be done. We need to change our mindset that if it does not fit then we need to change our busy lifestyle. Our lifstyle has to fit in with our church family not our church family fit in with our busy lifestyle. Easier said than done, but I'm up for the challenge!

There will be times that we will have to decide to look to the interest of others. This will mean sacrificing time, energy, money and material possesions. Especially if we are going to meet the needs of others. Hebrews 13 verse 16 (niv)says:-

"And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."

We can often strive to do good in the hope to please God. The Bible here makes it easy for us to know how to please God. It is as simple as sharing. Lets face it we all have something we can share. If I think about what I have to share too much, I can struggle and find it hard to give it up. I don't mean to be selfish, but we have been brought us in a society that says to meet our own needs first then to look to others that may have a need. But if I hold onto everything lightly and do not allow myself to think selfishly of what I will miss out on, instead say to God you can have whatever I have it's yours. Then sharing becomes a lot easier. Sometimes sharing is a sacrifice other wise it would not say it in the word, we are blessed when we hold onto that which we have to share lightly.

Sharing does not even mean let others have whats left over after I've had what I want or need. Its great when we are blessed enough to do this because we have more than we need and can give the rest. It can also mean sharing so that I have less. the other day I made my self some soup. The kids had had their dinner, and I was having mine a little later. Josie my daughter saw how delicious it looked and continued to pick up my bread and started dipping it into my soup. Before I knew it she was sharing my soup with me. I didn't mind because I love her, she's my daughter, part of my family. I could have quite easily said this is my dinner, leave it alone. I enjoyed sharing it with her, but there was a cost. I got less than I prepared for my self, less than I thought I needed.

I want my church family to be my family. Not just something I say, but something I live for.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

We Are His Children

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour.
You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
(Psalm 8:3-9 niv)

How amazing is our God. How great is our God. We are his children., He is our father.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Created for Purpose

Josie loves making things. Now it is the Easter holidays I'm constantly kept busy helping her with making things. From making crowns and wands to cakes. Cutting and glueing, drawing and painting, it will all be done and more besides before the holiday has ended. Josie always has a purpose in mind for her creations. She get so much enjoyment with the finished product. At the sound of her daddy walking through the door, Josie will run with excitement to show him todays creation.

I enjoy seeing her creations. I enjoy being a part of creating them. There is something in all of us that loves to create something. When we create that something how great it feels when that something is really usefull, or someone else gets pleasure from it. It could be a really artistic painting or a delicious cake or an instrament to be played.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8 v 28 NIV

I know God created us for a purpose. When I think of the pleasure we get from our own creations I know God takes great delight is us when we are fulfilling the purpose for which we were created for.

God loves you and created you for his purpose, even when we get our selves into sticky and messy situations, He is there and will clean us up and will enable us to get back on track. When my youngest gets himself into a mess with a chocolate biscuit, and wants to give me a hug and a kiss. I love him so much, but I'm not going to want to get too close to him in this state and keep him at arms length until I've cleaned him up. Once he's had his wash I'll let him come close again.

Our heavenly father wants to get close to us and use us for his purpose, but he wants us to allow him to clean us up and get right with him.

None of us were an accident. We were created by our living and amazing father. We have a purpose. God would not create something that is useless. If you believe that then you believe that you have a purpose. Whatever situation you find yourself in, if you love God then God works for your good. He will fill you with his Holy Spirit so that you can fulfill your purpose, for which you were created for.

Monday, 26 March 2007

My Little Cuties

Consider What God Has Done

It is so important to consider what God has done, for us and in us. To be content with all that we have and all that he has given us. There is probably a resounding Amen when I say that God is good and faithful.

In life we can find ourselves sometimes distracted with our situations and circumstances. Thinking about how we look, and how our behaviour is percieved by others. When we come into the presence of God, it can sometimes be an effort to take our focus off our selves and onto the things of God. I have to really guard my mind in times of worship and prayer. I almost have a little routine of saying to myself, this time is not about me but about my wonderful creator. I then make sure that the things I'm considering in the presence of God is God and what He has done for me. I have such powerful times with God when I only allow myself to think about His goodness and beauty and majesty. There is nothing in creation more beautiful and powerful than Him.

Dwell in His presence and consider what God has done and is doing for us and know that everything else will fade into insignificance compared to him.