Friday, 29 April 2011

Princess Beatrice is Lady Ga Ga...........

Having not shown the slightest bit of interest in the build up to R.W.D (Royal Wedding Day) I was surprised when I found myself glued to it this morning!

My intention was if it's a bright sunny day we'll take the kids out somewhere, but if we happen to be at home I will chanel surf past it just to show willing.

Well I put it on at 10am with the intention of having it as background noise, and before I knew it myself and 3 of the kids were all comfortably sat watching it, complete with drinks and the last of the Easter chocolate!

I did feel a little uncomfortable when the camera kept zooming in on Elton and hubby, and while they took their vows I cringed a little, at the many millions of people who take those vows only for them to be broken, Williams parents included.

I do not make judgements on gay people or divorcees, I myself am a sinner who has fallen short of God's glory, but, whereas in a human way I felt a little embaressed and uncomfortable about what God must make of it all, what I must remember is we are all created by God and part of his plan, and he will show us love no matter what, and I guess until the day of judgement comes when we have to answer to him we may never know all of what truely embaresses or offends God.

That said, didn't they look gawwwwjusss...........

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Everything but the kitchen sink........a funny weekend!

Well where do I start!

Easter Sunday morning one of my daughters and myself sung in our church Easter choir group - nothing unusal in that, other than I have been told since forever that I cannot sing! However, the only requirement to join the group was the ability to make a 'joyful noise'!

Having had a difficult couple of years I am not letting anything I want to do pass me by - I love to sing even if it is badly! However, the choir leader and one of my friends who is an excellent singer both said there was "nothing wrong with my voice and that I was doing really well!" (I don't think they were trying to spare my feelings!)

What I have learnt, not only from talking to my counselor about my childhood, but also from my recent personal experiences, no matter how brief or unintentional a negative comment is, it stays with you. Hence the belief that I could not and even should not be allowed to sing in a choir. Well I thoroughly enjoyed the experience Sunday morning, and I just know we really gave God the glory with our performance! Whatever anybody has ever told you you can't do, who cares! If it's important to you give it a go and regain your confidence!

Next stop my parents, to deposit our kids so that Hubby and I could have a little time together (it was his birthday, and I booked us into a B&B by the seaside) much to my friends nudging and winking this was not one of those trips! We are not in a physical relationship at the moment, so it was quality hours we were after, not the opportunity for a bit of bedroom gymnastics! The B&B we stayed in - well, if we do grow old together and end up in an old folks home, I think we had a fair taste of it, it was kind of like being put up in your Granny's spare room (just as well I wasn't trying to set the scene!) They had the heating switched on! I think it was hot everywhere in England over the weekend, I wasn't aware of us entering into an antarctic bubble.

We did have a lovely takeaway cream tea on the top of a nice hill, and a robin came and perched closely on the bench next to us. Whenever we try to get time alone, there's always an interuption!

I don't know if everyone's parents are like mine, whenever you visit or happen to mention something that would be useful to you, they are able to make the said items materialise from among their belongs and bestow it upon you by way of a gift. This is great, but when you've already filled your car with two adults, four children and weekend luggage for six, it doesn't leave a lot of room for a lemon cake, two milk churns and an ironing board! (don't ask - unless you really feel you have too!)

What had us in hysterics though, was the realisation that as we travelled home on Bank Holiday Monday and looked across into the windows of the other cars, spotting the other weekend getawayers, they would look into our car and see our weekend stuff and then wedged full length through the middle of the car, an ironing board! The lemon cake made it into the glove box, and we elected to leave the milk churns for another trip!

One of the sights that inspired us on our journey there and back on the M5, was the sight of the Easter crosses erected on Brent Knoll hill, this year we really have had a true Easter celebration and experience and it made us note the great difference in celebration from that of Christmas, where the main public emphasis is on huge inflateable snowmen and Sana's, to the reality of Christian faith, the meaning behind the cross. In our town our Churches together group did a Good Friday walk with the cross, and the crosses on the hill was done by a Churches together group. It is time to be public about what we believe and it's importance, and to proudly show to all that Jesus came for everybody, if they would only accept his love.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday - Good News!

It is a beautiful sunny day, the kids have played together happily, all four of them! We have had a lovely cooked lunch, and I am looking forward to going to the communion service at our church later.

That last sentence is not something I ever thought I would hear myself clicking out of a keyboard. I am still very much enjoying my renewed (if not new) faith in our wonderful God. It comes so naturally now to want to take part in services and worship and teaching and learning.

This will be my first Easter since personally accepting God's gift of his precious son Jesus on the cross for me! I am expecting to be emotionally moved and that isn't a usual pre-occupation of mine. My grasp of God's love for me is even more real because I now love him back, how could I not? I have been made rightous through his blood, I have a personal relationship with him, He will always be there for me.

My thoughts were more consumed with a death without God, now I am enjoying living a life with God.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Dealing with debt! It wouldn't be an understatement to say we are in debt! I know in this climate we are not alone, and quite frankly we're past the stage of self pity - yes, we did accept the credit cards and the loans, and now my husbands business has closed and we're pretty much broke. Obviously some days are harder than others and we have found ourselves crying out to God that we are willing to do anything to get ourselves out of this whole, but we need his help. I am reading a book called 'The Money Secret' by Rob Parsons at the moment. Don't get me wrong I'm sure it has some useful advice for some people out there, maybe we are too far gone, but my main issue with it is that it seems to be aimed at a very young audience. I wouldn't use the word 'patronising' but it is almost like it is written for 10 years olds but with an adult theme, I'll stick with it anyway. If there is a purpose to the paths we find ourselves going down, whether it's debt (check), marital problems (check), health issues (check) or bereavement (I am thankfull to God I can't check that box yet), I think what God has taught me is that we can show our kids how to not get it wrong! That seems basic, but I did not realise when I was a small child that my parents had financial issues. It is only as an adult when I have spoken to them about how wrong it's all going that they say "oh, it was the same for us, the bank were always on the phone and we couldn't tell them when we were going to pay, the money simply wasn't there" Maybe it's a generation thing, privacy, but if I had grown up aware of their struggles, would it have changed the way we were with our own money issues? It is no secret within our family amongst our children that we are now on a very tight reign where money is concerned, so much so that I think it is a great testament to our son, that when we told him there was no way we could get him the 3DS for his birthday (even if we had the money, we wouldn't have spent that much on a birthday!), he didn't sulk, or even show his dissapointment graciously, what he actually did was save his £17 a week paper round money, until he had enough not only to buy the 3DS, but to buy it on the release date - a month before his birthday! The thought of borrowing and paying back didn't come into it, God really worked in our household to show that lesson, and if we have to struggle a bit so that our kids can learn from our mistakes, it's ok by me!

Like Joyce Meyer says "the only way to get out of debt, is the opposite to how you got into it!"

But even better is what it says in Psalm 84:11 “Our Lord and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield. You treat us with kindness and honour, never denying any good thing to those who live right”

We live rightously because Jesus took our guilt on the cross, so whenever I start to worry about how to make the next payment or buy the next meal, I just say to God I know you will not withhold anything I need from me!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Rob Bell Comes Clean!!!

Having come across a lot of controversy over this book and had almost become a victim myself of reviewing without reading, I have now got it on order from my library, will let you know!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Right, first blog! Having got bored of Facebook and finding myself in a new place spiritually, I found I was constantly all over the web asking many questions about my Christianity and I thought blogging could be fun and I may even learn something. If nothing else it's probably a more constructive time-waster than Facebook! I should probably start with my testimony, being as that is what has inspired me to start this blog. Always thought I was a Christian, but it was in the Autumn of 2008 that God first started to work in my life. In Church and Homegroups I was always a little sceptical when people told how "God had spoken to them" or they "heard God say", perhaps I was also a little jealous. I flitted between wanting everything God could give me, to not even believing there was a God, spiritually I was all over the place. Anyway I decided I wanted to hear God, so one morning I was out walking and I asked God to talk to me, it was quiet and I was ready to listen. I didn't know what I expected, but I know he spoke to me.

I looked into the sky and saw two clouds, one small one, sat centrally above a huge fluffy one. The big one reminded me of the safety cushions stunt men land on. This to me, immediately represented me and God and his message to me was "when you fall, I will catch you", when I next looked up the sky was clear blue, no trace in sight of the two clouds.

Over the next couple of years my life would take some turns that would see me really need God, the most significant of which was an area in my marriage in which I would need to excercise forgiveness - that did not come easily and I found myself in church a lot talking to our pastor at that time.

On one of those occasions in which my Pastor was ministering me I had an experience of deliverence from a spirit of 'restraint', I think this had a lot to do with my Brethren upbringing and my refusal to accept God loved me.

As the time went on I needed some additional help in the form of anti-depressants and counselling, something I fought hard against in the first place, but would now probably recommend to anyone!

This took me to the point where in January of this year I didn't want to be here (on Earth) anymore, it was in the early hours of the morning and I begged God to take me in my sleep, it would be the best thing for everyone, I started to see a small white light in front of my eyes and felt so relaxed, I truly thought I was going to go and join God in Heaven and I felt so good about it, I dreamily said goodbye to my husband who was sleeping next to me. This wasn't a white light tunnel experience, just a small white dot in front of my eyes and a feeling of peace, I was thanking God for coming for me and really feeling I was ready to go, when suddenly the light dissappeared and a voice in my head said "not now". I sat bolt-upright in bed and was waving my hand in front of my eyes looking for the light, which had now gone. I had to accept what God had told me, this wasn't the time for me to go, and that somehow I had to live each day the best way I could. I realised my cloud prophecy had been realised, I wasn't going to fall any lower than that, and I definately did not fall through - God caught me.

It was a few days later again in the early hours of the morning that I truly accepted Jesus as my Saviour. The events of the last few years and the counselling had my made me question all sorts of things, not least my childhood, it was while this was running around my brain I had the realisation that I was God's daughter! Amazing! It didn't matter how many times people had told me that, I had never believed it for myself until then!

On that night I wrote down these words Loved, Forgiven, Accepted, Individual.

I now had a heart knowledge of God, not just a head knowledge!

Anyway, that is a brief testimony! I could, and maybe one day will, elaborate on what I consider are the four main spiritual points in the testimony.

  1. The cloud prophecy

  2. The deliverance of 'restraint'

  3. The white light and God's timing

  4. Realisation of who I was and giving my life to God

My life now makes sense spiritually and since accepting Jesus into my heart fully, not only have I seen the change in myself, but my husband has also said he has seen a newness in me also.

Praise God!