Three Things

 

Try harder. Do better. Don’t be so stupid.

These are the words I tell myself.

Over and over again every single day.

I don’t know about you, but often it feels like I’m about three steps behind every one else, just trying to play catch up.

But on top of that I can also be lazy, I know I could try better. (I think most of us do.) So we try to criticize and nag ourselves into submission, and only end up feeling about a hundred times worse.

Stop worrying, Care less. Don’t take yourself so seriously.

This is the advise should take.

These words sound like good advise, don’t they? At least, they’re definitely words that I need to hear! But, in my experience, they’re definitely a lot harder to put into practice.

I mean, how are we supposed to stop worrying when there is just so much stuff to worry about? Sometimes I start to relax, and then I remember that there is just so much that I need to be stressed about, that I make myself start worrying again!

I know I shouldn’t compare, but when other people’s lives are so much better how can I not. And anyway, if I didn’t compare, how else would I know just how badly I was failing.

We can try and try and take this advise, but unfortunately, on our own, it’s simply impossible advice.

You’re chosen. You’re loved. You don’t need to worry.

This is what I really need to know.

If we don’t understand that we are chosen, and truly loved. We are never going to be able to take that advice. We will never be able to relax and just be.

The only way to break free from worry is to know the peace that we have in the knowledge that it’s all in God’s hands.

The only way we can let go of comparison and feel like we are enough is in knowing just how much God loves us.

We could never work hard enough or be good enough to make God love us. Instead he freely chooses to, just as we are.

The Thing about Clay Jars

claypots-1323747_1280

This is a guest post from a blogger and friend, she has requested to stay anonomous, but if you are interested you can read more of her writing on her blog, Stars in Clay Jars, follow her on twitter @starsincjars, or facebook @starsinclayjars.

So, the thing about clay jars…

When I was 15, I developed an eating disorder. Not the glamorous skinny one; the unglamorous, bingey, vomiting one. And at first, I’ll be honest; I was pretty impressed with myself. One of the older, cooler girls at Drama club had shown me how to do it (so thoughtful!) and so off we would sneak, every Saturday in McDonalds, to have a private little puking party. Oh yes, we were awesome.

Continue reading

Emotions of Easter: Indignation

marrakech-735889_1280.jpg

We all think that we are better than someone. We just might not realise it.

Maybe it’s that person who you work with, who seems to do everything so slowly, and then takes extended lunch breaks!

Maybe it’s that lady you know who has a baby, yet abandons it to go out partying every other weekend. Continue reading

Sounds of Freedom 6

IMG_0987

Today Adam is sharing his favourite worship song and how it has impacted his faith. I am excited to share this post, as although I’ve not known Adam long, it’s obvious just how much he loves Jesus, and wants to share His message of freedom. And he’s actually sharing a song that I had never even heard before!

Hi Adam, what is your favourite worship song and why?

My favourite worship song is No Longer Slaves by Bethel. It’s such a powerful song, and so meaningful to me, as when I first heard it I was going through a really hard time.

Why was that?

When I first heard this song I was so broken; full of fear, which lead to prison sentences and drug and alcohol abuse and suffering from bad paranoia. I walked in that church that day absolutely broken, tears streaming my face, as I’m no longer a slave to fear I am a child of God was played from the worship team. God really touched my heart that Sunday morning. He told me directly that I was no longer a slave to fear. I was his child. It’s a moment I’ll remember for a lifetime.

Is there a particular line that spoke to you?

Yes, the line is

you split the sea so I could walk straight through, my fears are drowned in perfect love.

There was a time where I couldn’t see a way a through anything.  This just reminds us how God makes a way, even when we see no way.



IMG_0989

In Adam’s own words: I’m from Worksop and am an ex-drug-addict who’s been saved by God’s grace. I’m now in a bible school, learning about the bible in the mornings, and going out on outreach in the afternoons 2 days a week, helping those still trapped in addiction. I love Jesus and I love people! Amen!


I am looking for more people to join in with this series, if you are interested please get in contact!

Journey Through Holy Week: Amazement

IMG_0982

Sometimes I read things in the bible that seem just plain weird. Like they don’t make any sense at all.

That happened to me last night. I was reading about how, the day after Jesus rode into Jerusalem, he walked back into town. On the way he started to feel hungry, and saw a fig tree. The only problem was that the fig tree was all fur coat and no knickers. (Or in this case all leaf and no fruit.) Jesus then rebuked the tree, saying it would never bear fruit again. The tree then shrivelled up and died.

This was not the part that didn’t make sense to me though. It was in the next line, which reads: The disciples were amazed.

Now, the disciples had been following Jesus for a long time. They had seen him heal the blind and lame, feed thousands with couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. They had even seen him raise the dead! But when they saw him make a tree shrivel up they were amazed.

In comparison to raising the dead, making a tree shrivel up doesn’t seem  that impressive. If I were one of the disciples I would have been asking Jesus for a better miracle!

Actually I think I do that in my own life as well.

I think that we all do. We can look at the things that God has done in our life in the past, and get angry and wonder why he isn’t blessing us like that anymore.

When actually he is still blessing us. We have just lost the wonder of it. Like an old married couple who no longer have anything to say to each other, we have let the spark in our relationship with God grow dim.

Or maybe you see what God is doing in somebody else’s life and get jealous, and question why God isn’t working in your life in the exact same way.

When he is blessing you just as much, just in a different way to your friends.

This week lets not lose the amazement of what Jesus has done in our lives.

 

 

Unsettled Down

img_0851

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.

 

 

 

Sounds of Freedom Week 3

In Christ alone my hope is found

This week Margaret shares her favourite worship song, and how it has encouraged her through hard times.


It wasn’t hard for her to decide. When I asked if she wanted to share, she responded within seconds.

My Favourite worship song is In Christ Alone. For me it says everything about what God means to me: he is my rock and my comforter in times of trouble. That sums him up for me.

He is my strong anchor when things are going rough, I can depend on him to protect me, he will keep me strong in times of trouble ….I stand complete in him!

What a powerful answer! I followed up by asking if there was a time when this song was especially important to her. I guess you would think that someone with such an obviously strong faith might have had an easy life.

We have been through years of illness with my husband Peter, looking back I can see a pattern of God’s grace to us, supplying our needs in all sorts of ways. When I sing this song it has great meaning, only through him can I be strong, his love has always been there for us. And it always will be.

Isn’t that a fabulous reminder that even in the toughest of times, we can put our trust in God and that through him we can be strong.



margaret.jpg

Margaret was born and bred in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and is fond of this little place. She is part of the Worksop Gospel Community Choir and loves music with a passion. She also enjoys worshipping at her local church, St Johns in Worksop.