Feeling invisible

Do you sometimes feel invisible? That people just don’t notice you.

A visiting preacher from Turkey once told us that Mission begins with Seeing.

In chapter 2 of the story of Ruth we read in verse 5 – Boaz said “whose young woman is this?”

Ruth who was a foreigner, a stranger, a refugee who is destitute is noticed by Boaz. From that moment on when she is noticed – everything in her life changes.

When we notice someone or when someone notices us – things change.

There were a lot of reasons for Boaz not to notice Ruth or pretend he hadn’t noticed her- she was a woman from another culture. She was poor – not a worker in the field just there to pick up the leftovers – but Boaz noticed her. When he noticed her – he also did something to change her circumstances forever. He showed her favour, gave her advice, his protection and then redeemed her in marriage.

Ruth was a widow from another country who had gone to Bethlehem with her mother in law Naomi, also a widow, to escape a famine in the land. They had heard that there was food in Bethlehem. Ruth was a Moabite and was an outsider from a different culture. The Jews and Moabites were often in conflict. Ruth as a widow had no husband to represent her. She had no voice and no legal rights. She had no-one to protect her. She is living in a desperate situation having fled from a country suffering a severe famine. She has nothing other than her mother in law Naomi. She no doubt felt shame about her destitute circumstances.

Ruth was someone who desperately needed someone to notice her and help her.

Boaz was at the other end of the social scale. He is a wealthy landowner who has power, influence and privilege. He is a Jew. He has a voice. He has a position. Sometimes “having” can stop us seeing how others – the “have nots” are affected and living but Boaz does see Ruth though. He notices her situation and then uses his position to help her. He doesn’t ignore her plight.

This story is set in Bethlehem which is called the “House of Bread”. Hungry people come to the house of bread to be fed. When Ruth and Boaz marry and have children their descendants lead directly to Jesus. Jesus is from their line. Jesus who is and called himself the bread of life. Hungry people need Jesus who is the only one who can truly satisfy their hunger. Do we notice spiritually hungry people and signpost them to the true bread of life. Do we notice those who are actually hungry and feed them.

We are all refugees like Ruth in one sense in that we too as mankind lost our original place with God when sin entered the world through Adam & Eve eating of the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. We all need a Boaz – a saviour to step in and help us. Someone who notices our plight and has the ability to be able to save us from sin – there is only one who can truly do that – His name is Jesus the son of God who through his death and resurrection saved and redeemed us from sin. We are refugees no more as our home is now in heaven with God forever and ever. We are now part of the family of God as Ruth became part of Boaz’s family on marriage.

If you feel invisible, insignificant or overlooked then I want you to know today that God is a God who sees us – God sees you. God notices you. He is just waiting for you to notice Him. He sees you right where you are.

When Hagar fled to the wilderness and hid it was God who saw her – She called him “you are the God Who Sees” because God saw her in her predicament and helped her. Even if those around us don’t notice us, if our families don’t notice us – God does. God always sees us. He loves us.

We are God’s eyes too – who does he want you to notice today so that you can show His love. Who does God want you to see – mission begins with seeing.

Whether you identify with Ruth or Boaz in the story, I pray that you will be encouraged. You will know that God has noticed you – He sees you and loves you. That we will also notice those who God wants us to see and notice who are in need today.

Have a blessed day.

Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Letting go of the seed

I hope this an encouraging word for a fellow believer in this season – do not value the seed above the harvest. You have to let go of the seed in your hand to reap the harvest. The Lord may have already shown you what and where he wants you to sow but you may be hesitant to commit the seed. If you are obedient to sow as the Lord leads you then there will be a harvest in due time.

Have a blessed day.

2 Corinthians 9: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”[a]

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Photo by Onnye on Pexels.com

Memory Lane

Sometimes it’s good to reminisce. This week I’ve been having a look back through the family photo albums, prompted in part by our eldest having just graduated from university and returning home.

This has prompted many “do you remember when” conversations and laughter. It turns out the youngest then declaring she can’t remember some of these memories and even some of our holidays!!! A fortnight in Spain she hardly recalls-baffling.

Anyhow, I took a look back at the albums to remind her she had visited these places. It’s undisputed evidence that these shared experiences actually happened even though she has forgotten. Pre-Covid travel – will we ever get such unrestricted freedom again.

I enjoyed reminiscing and thought I’d share a selection of my favourite photos in the hope you’ll enjoy them too and it might prompt you to have a reminisce of your own.

God also loves it when we reminisce and remember His loving kindness and faithfulness to us. Psalm 103 is one of my favourite Psalms…Forget not all His benefits…

Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:2-5”

Today, there may be someone you know who is struggling and we can be that voice of encouragement to remind them of God’s loving faithfulness and to encourage them to keep going because God will bring them through. Sharing stories and testimonies of God’s love.

I literally took these photos with my phone from the album so the quality may be a bit ropey 😀 I still love the vibrant colours on show though and also the beauty of God’s creation in nature. You may recognise some of these places. Have a blessed day.

Preparation and perseverance in the race – prize athletes

Morning all, today’s post is different to my recent posts with a return to sharing a word which the Lord has spoken to me recently. I am sharing what I believe the Lord spoke to my heart but as with any word please weigh and test it.

Last Saturday 17th July in a time of prayer, the Lord Jesus spoke to me again about preparation [for earlier posts on preparation please see Prepare, (Re-)Position, Let Go , Being prepared & persevere, Be ready for the “Suddenlies” and impressed upon me that His bride, the body of Christ has been in a season of preparation. The Holy Spirit has been speaking this word about preparation for some years. Those who have heard what the Spirit has been saying have responded, sought the Lord and started to prepare. However, many have not heard what the Spirit is saying or have heard but their hearts have not received the word.

I believe the Lord is encouraging those who have been preparing and also encouraging those who have not to act now. I heard the Spirit saying that this time of preparation is drawing to a close and a day of action/change is just around the corner. Believers need to be ready to respond in this new season – fit and prepared.

For some in this season there will be new difficulties to overcome, new obstacles put in our paths, new persecutions to be endured, new challenges but there will also be new opportunities to advance God’s Kingdom.

I wrote the following as I received it from the Lord- The day draws near – Purify your hearts and raise up holy hands for it is time to cry out to the Lord until He hears your prayers and answers. Those who bend the knee before My throne and not before man are the ones who will be heard before my Father in heaven. Seek Me in all things for I alone can guide and lead you in the times and days ahead. Great upheaval is coming even worse than the Covid that has ravaged nations. My body of believers must be prepared so that when they hear My trumpet call and when they hear My still small voice they can respond immediately.

I hear this challenge from the Lord – Is your heart prepared for Me. Is your Soul prepared for Me. Is your life laid down for Me.

Those who are not fully committed to Me, who are lukewarm – They will turn back. They will not finish the race to My heart’s grief. I want My children to run the race and complete the course but it requires discipline, commitment to Me and being prepared in Me to overcome and push through so that nothing will cause you to turn back or give up. The road is narrow ahead, the road is difficult but for those who persevere to the end they will receive the Crown of Life. They will understand what an honour they have gained in Me.

I have given all for you My children – I have it all for you. Come to Me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest for your souls. Take My yoke which is easy to bear because we bear it together. Always remember that you do not run this race alone. I run it with you and so do the rest of My believers. You are running for yourself but also with others running with you on the same course. Some ahead and some behind but all going in the same direction and with the same purpose in Me.

Blessed children – prepare yourselves as prize athletes – for the time has come to be ready for the next phase of the race.

Dear friends – whatever stage of the race you are on or whatever lies ahead, I pray that you will be prepared and will overcome. That you will endure to the end and will claim the prize in Christ Jesus your Lord and Saviour. May the grace of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you to keep you in the times ahead. May all you do for His Kingdom prosper and may God use you for His Kingdom in ways that exceed your greatest plans, dreams and visions. Let the double doors be opened and may you go through – enter into all that the Son has for you and may you be filled with the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit to flow through you. To God be the glory and honour forever and ever Amen.

#Freedom Day

Well today 19th July has been labelled “Freedom Day” here at home in England now that more Covid lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Given current circumstances though it’s not really a “Freedom Day” -we’re not all truly free as there are still restrictions in place and also a lot of people who can’t enjoy the full benefits for various reasons. Its not full freedom by any means.

I find it significant and interesting that our own Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak can’t participate fully in #Freedom Day as they have to follow the rules and self isolate having come into close contact with the Health Secretary who has Covid – although they did try some creative thinking or was it rule bending 🤔 to try and get the rule dis-applied to them. Thankfully they wisely did a U-turn and agreed to comply with current rules like responsible citizens.

You can’t write about #Freedom Day without thinking of true freedom and what that means. It will mean different things to different people dependent on their experiences and circumstances. As Christians we can truly celebrate a #Freedom Day that is available to everyone to participate in through simple faith in Christ Jesus. Jesus is the one who has set us free from the effects of sin and death so that we can live in true freedom and have ever lasting life. He took our punishment through His sacrifice and death on the cross. He was punished for us and we have obtained freedom through God’s grace and mercy.

My own personal #Freedom Day was 26th June 1976 when I asked God to forgive me for the wrong things in my life and accepted Jesus as my Saviour. I gave my life to Him and went on to be baptised in water as a sign of repentance and was filled with the Holy Spirit. Praise God that I’m truly free and I hope dear reader that you also have your own #Freedom Day to celebrate or if not, that you discover Jesus and become truly free.

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:3-8

Although we may live under permanent or temporary physical restrictions, in Jesus we are truly free spiritually. Amen and thanks to our Father in heaven, Christ Jesus and Holy Spirit.

True freedom
Photo from 2015 trip to Robben Island. Freedom cannot be manacled