The purpose of freedom is to create it for others.
This is the statement that appeared on a sign, just around the corner from where I live, about a week ago.
Hmm, I thought to myself, like any good theology graduate, the first time I read it, I’m not sure how that lines up with what I read in the bible. Then I promptly forgot all about it, until that Sunday evening at church, when we read this verse. Continue reading
I really wasn’t sure about watching the film Wonder Woman at first. I mean wasn’t it just going to be a woman prancing about in her undies? A movie made for middle-aged men and teenage boys? Thankfully, after reading some positive reviews, I was persuaded to watch it, and I’m pleased I did. In fact, I liked it so much, I decided to write a devotion about it!
In the age of the princess*, this film portrayed a truly strong woman, who was willing to go to the front line of battle to fight for what she believed was right. Finally, a truly positive role model for women and girls. Continue reading
I’m going to start this blog with a confession: I don’t believe that God ever called me to blogging.
Sure, it’s something that he has used to help me to grow, and (hopefully) a few other people along the way. But I can’t honesty say that it was something that he told me to do. I guess that it was something that I stumbled into at a time when I needed a creative outlet, and two and a half years, and two blogs later, I just haven’t given up yet!
Why is it then, that in most other areas of my life, I am unwilling to take a risk without being one hundred percent certain that it is what God wants me to do.
I don’t know about you but I can spend hours and hours going around in circles, trying to work out what God wants me to do in the future. Questions like: Does God want me to stay here, or move there? What does he really want me to do? Should I take that risk, play over and over. Continue reading
To us this is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The day after Jesus died, but the day before he rose again.
To Jesus’ followers, this was only the day after Good Friday. They didn’t have the anticipation of waiting for Easter Sunday. All they had was the sorrow.
And imagine how deep that sorrow must have been. Not only had their leader died, (and one of their closest friends betrayed him, then killed himself) they had lost their whole purpose in life.
For years their life had been following Jesus. They had given up their jobs, and secure stable lives for him. Now that Jesus was dead, what did they have left to live for? Their lives had been totally turned upside down. They must have felt completely let down, as if they had no hope on that day.
As Christian, I think we are often living in that Saturday frame of mind. We can look around the world and see so much pain and suffering, and really at times it all feels too much.
Maybe, you personally feel like you are living in the despair and hopelessness of the Saturday. It feels like everything used to be so good. That you were walking closely with God, but somehow, things have happened, and it feels like he is distant that.
Even though naturally, we may be living in the Saturday. Super-naturally, we can live with the hope of Sunday.
We have the hope that one day God will make sense of the pain and suffering, and that one day it will be no more.
Do you ever feel like your life is just a mess. Like there are pieces of you spread all over the place. Like a smashed vase, there’s spilt water and shattered ceramic and shredded flowers. And you just don’t know where to begin to put it back together again. Let alone how to get into a place where you would be proud to show it off, or give it as a gift.
You try to super glue it back together, but the cracks are still there, and the water pours back out. You try and gather back up the water and pour it into another container, but it’s impossible to pick back up, and the flowers are still a mess.
Trapped by broken relationships, or guilt from past you are stuck. In a place where you can’t move forward and you definitely can’t go back.
You know there is no way of sorting out this mess on your own. There is no hope of getting back what you once had, there is no chance left. It feels like you are too far gone.
When our lives are a mess, when it feels like there is no hope left and we have gone too far; even then God is still devising ways to bring us back to him.
Maybe he needed to push you over the edge so you would fall into his arms.
It doesn’t matter how broken you are; how far from him you have run, or what you have done. He’s running towards you as well. This is not the end of the story, it is just the end of a chapter.
Turn the page, run to him, and he will restore you.
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him. (2 Samuel 14:14)
In my early twenties my aim in life was to settle down: get a good job; a nice house and become financially secure. I had spent so many years moving house from town to town, that I just wanted to stay in one place for a while, find a home and become rooted. I wanted a decent job so that I could afford to buy nice clothes and have a nice life. I wanted to look like I was successful.
For me the last year has been an incredibly difficult one. I now have none of those things, and at times I have felt like an utter failure.
I had forgoten that these things are not our measure of success.
I had forgotten that in Christ I am rooted; that he is my home; and that when I bank on him, I will always be financially secure.
God has pushed me out of my comfort zone; to the point where the only thing I can lean on is him.
We need to remember that a life following Jesus is not going to be a settled one. Bad things will happen, and some times we will go through years of trials; at times our lives might feel unsettled, but in him we will never be insecure or unstable.
Sometimes, although we’re not facing trials, God may still be pushing us beyond our boundaries.
There are so many things I said I would never do, that God has literally laughed at, because his plans for me are so much different and so much bigger. I always said I would never work with teenagers, or in the church of England: I have done both. I said I would never live up North, and once again, I find myself there. And finally, I always said I would never start a blog!
When you put your trust in God, he will push you further than you could have imagined. But he will also love you more than you could have dreamed; hold you tighter than you could have hoped; and lead you on a bigger adventure than you could have reached alone.