Tuesday, 15 January 2019

What does it mean to pray: Our Father in Heaven?


So, I know I haven't posted in forever, I'm really sorry. But here's a talk I did at Keswick for some teenagers and I think it is so relevant for us everyday whatever age we are. Take 5, have a read, pray God blesses you in this!

Focusing on the first line of the Lord's prayer expanding what that means.

Our Father in Heaven.

We are a collective family,
If God is our Father, OURS collectively, have you ever thought about the implications of that? The fact that, we’re not in it for our own good, but all together as a family. The people sitting in this room, are your family. The wider attendees of Keswick convention. When we sit in small groups or the big marquee. Your church back home, they’re your family. The church down the road from you, they’re your family. Churches in other cities, other countries, christian’s we’ve never even heard about. Missionaries. Every single follower of Jesus is your brother or sister.

I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about being a Christian like that before. I hadn’t really thought about it till I was at uni, and this past year it really showed in our church community; a year and a half ago my dad had a heart attack. I took him up to hospital before we knew what it was and later the doctor to us that my mum and brother needed to come. My mum doesn’t drive, I was stuck at the hospital with the car.

A lovely older lady from my church drove from her home 10 miles away to pick up my mum and brother and bring them to the hospital. We got home at some crazy time that evening, someone from church had left us a meal on the doorstep, none of us had eaten since lunch time. Over the next week people we’re putting meals into a friend’s freezer for us, bringing fresh fruit and veg for us, my mum had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome so relies heavily on my and dad and me and my brother to help cook and things, So this constant ferrying of meals and shopping from church family was a huge help to her whilst me and my brother were working and visiting dad. That continued for a few months, and the help around the house/garden still is offered now. My dad recovered really well, but the church family really stepped in and were part of our family. 6 months later our friend’s husband died, her family all live away, so for a month or two she came to us to eat and rest because home was too painful for her, she still comes for lunch and bible study every Friday.

It's moments like that where we as a family have a chance to step up and look after each other. To put into practice being a family. And we want to do it because of Our Father. Our Father gave everything so we could be part of his family, so we should want to mirror his love in the way we relate to each other and the world.

God has given us this image of a family because it’s something we can grasp and live out. How are you being family to all those people I mentioned before? Prayerfully, practically?
If you’re ever stuck, think; what would I do for a brother of sister?

We don’t belong here. We belong with Our Father in Heaven. For now, we live out that family here on earth. We live in the love our Father showed. He’s Ours. And we are his. We are family.

Friday, 20 July 2018

One Way. Jesus

It's a been a while since my last post, I do apologise, life has been rather hectic.
I head off to Keswick then Maidwell for three weeks tomorrow but before I go I wanted to share this with you.

I've been writing a talk for the Keswick Youth this week about Peter's address to the Sanhedrin in Acts. My highlight has been Acts 4v12:

"Salvation is found in no one else, there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."
I'm sure most of us have read that before and know that truth. However, I was challenged by Peter's attitude. He says MUST. And I briefly wanted to bring a challenge it's given me.

I don't think I approach my evangelism and urgency that Peter has here. He says we must be saved, we live in a culture where your approach is fine for you and mine is fine for me. Peter doesn't agree. He sees that all MUST be saved in Jesus name.

SO next time you have the chance to share the gospel, I challenge you with the challenge I have brought myself. Do you have the urgent, desperate need that Peter sees in that we MUST be saved in Jesus name?

Monday, 12 February 2018

Can we be an Island?

I had my playlist on this morning whilst I was making my breakfast and a song came on called No Man is an Island, and it made me think, can we be an Island? Do we have a capacity to be alone?

Sometimes we can end up going through stuff in life that makes us feel alone in what we stand for. Standing firm in the truth of the gospel can feel really lonely. But I don't think we can be an island.

As the chorus of the song says:

No man is an island, we can be found 
No man is an island, let your guard down! 
You don't have to fight me, I am for you 
We're not meant to live this life alone


We're not meant to live this life alone, Paul spends most of his new testament letters instructing the church in how to live together, to love and support each other, to share in each others sufferings and joys.

So can we be an Island? By no means,

If you're finding yourself standing alone as an Island, pray with your church family, on your own and find a way to get stuck in and share life with your church family. We're really not made to live alone, God says in Genesis 2v18, it is not good for man to be alone, so I will make him a helper.

Don't be alone, call on your brothers and sisters for support and love. And be that sister your family may need.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Equipping Ourselves

Society is changing so fast. 

What's right? What's wrong? Who gets to decide that? How do we speak to each other? Where is it okay to say something to someone? 
There are an endless list of questions and it can feel like structuring a sentence means tiptoeing carefully across stepping stones so as not to offend anyone. If you hit the wrong one, you sink, it's over, the trust is lost and you're sinking.

How can we make sure we're equipped for this? 
How do we make sure what we're saying is Godly, Biblical, Christ-like?

I've been thinking through the importance of equipping ourselves for what society is asking and I quite quickly came to the conclusion that of course it's important! (that took about 30 seconds) 
Over the next few months I'm attempting to write a basic level training course for Christian women in Church. 
But to do that I've been attending conferences, training courses, reading my bible, by myself, with others, listening to sermons online, going to church, reading blogs, christian books and praying. 
I encourage you to do the same for the sake of the world around us, our friends and family want to know where Christians stand, the truth of where we stand on issues. SO be prepared.

No matter what our church is like or what our ministry is like I think we need to step up and read, listen, pray, and read again.

So let me urge you, please, equip yourself, because 1 Peter 3v15-16 says:

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

So that is my prayer for you sisters, be encouraged, wise and Godly men and women have answers, but ultimately your heavenly Father will equip you with everything you need. 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Romans 8v28 Is it really Good?!

I've been working through the book in my quiet times and the writer of the notes has pointed us to Romans 8v28 today and I have been wondering; What on earth is the "good" in this verse?

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. 

This is all very well, but my life isn't always "good" it doesn't always seem to work out for "good".
However this morning I was shown something new, God revealed a bit more understanding to me! (What a joy!)

The purpose this verse is talking about is transforming us into the likeness of his son! 

So to shape us and grow us in that, God may put us through to difficult times. In the book of Ruth, Naomi, loses her Husband and her Sons and her country is broken by famine, but she still calls on the Lord for refuge, she looks to him for comfort and recognises that her heavenly Father has her in the palm of his hand and cares deeply for her. 
It may be tough, but he's definitely shaping her and moulding her to become more like Christ. She just needs to trust.

And that's where I'm at now, I'm learning that through small trials and pains, or even large ones, God is shaping me and growing me to be more like his son, the king of the universe. That's where he's getting me to. I'm thankful he can see the bigger picture and truly is transforming me into the likeness of his son.

God works for the good of those who love him even in the tough stuff, transforming us into the likeness of his son. We just need to trust.

Monday, 30 October 2017

One to Ones

I've just recently started meeting with another one of the Young People in my Church Family and realised that yet again I've been struggling to remember the sort of helpful things to ask before getting stuck into the bible or the book we're reading together.

So I decided to compile a list of standard questions that I thought might be helpful and share them with you all in case any of them are helpful.
I'd love feedback of more I can add if you have more!

Blessings!

One to One Basic Questions:
·         How are you?
o   In yourself
o   At school
o   With friends
·         How is school?
o   Grades
o   Friendships
o   Joys and struggles
·         How are friends?
·         Church?
o   Attendance?
o   Understanding?
o   Joyful or a struggle?
·         Personal Christian life?
o   Quiet Times?
o   Prayer?
o   Is it fun?
o   What are you studying?
o   What are you praying for yourself?
·         Home?
o   How is life at home in general?
o   What do you do in your spare time?
o   How are you getting on with your family?
o   Do you get your own space?
o   Do you get family time?

·         How can I be helping you? Praying for you?

Friday, 15 September 2017

Giving God the Glory

In my home group we're looking at 1 Corinthians 12-14 all about Spiritual gifts and our first session we looked at 12 v 1-11. 
The thing that struck me the most about this passage was how the Holy Spirit determines exactly what gifts each church needs and how they should use them. The most striking thing about that to me was how people thought that some gifts are better than others. 

This is a total misunderstanding of verse 11, the Holy Spirit is the one who determines the gifts we are given, he shows us how to use them and gives us the discernment, and most of all every gift no matter how large or small is a gift from God and is a blessing on His children!

Let's use our gifts to build each other up and grow His kingdom for His glory!