It’s been such a blessing and encouragement to me to connect up with other Christian bloggers. I’ve learnt so much and been inspired by chats on various topics. Andy Brown has summed it up excellently in his post which you can read below. Have a blessed day.
Hi! My name is Andy Brown, you may remember me from such blogs as andy-brown.org…! It has indeed been some time since my last proper post, although I…
Some days are better than others aren’t they. We encounter set backs and discouragement sets in. We feel like not a lot has been achieved or we don’t see growth as fast as we want. It takes time though for green shoots and fruit to appear or re-appear especially in some seasons of our life. If you can identify with that then I hope to encourage you with this post from 2020. It was inspired by a message from our pastor at church who encouraged us to run the race of Faith set before us with these words:
You can run a lap of faith;
One Step at a time – Mark 1
Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him. Mark 1:17-18
One Command at a time – Deuteronomy 11
Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. Deuteronomy 11:1,8
One Day at a time– Colossians 1
In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world – just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. Colossians 1:6
One Seed at a time – Matthew 13
But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.’ Matthew 13:18-23
One Test at a time -James 1
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
Whatever lap of your race you are on. Keep going..you will cross the finishing line and win the prize.
Today it is 12 months since my dear friend and sister in the Lord, Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer. What a shocking and terrible day that was for us all but especially for her and her family. The prognosis from the hospital was not good. The cancer had also been found in her lymph nodes in her armpit as well as in the breast. She had some lumps in her leg as well but thank God they were not cancerous. There would be an aggressive treatment plan with chemotherapy followed by radiation and surgery.
Today I want to share the good news that Karen is cancer free, Praise God. God has most wonderfully healed her. Not only is she cancer free but after her chemotherapy treatments the Consultant could not find any trace of cancer anywhere. She had been told initially and on many consultations that she would need surgery to remove her breast but eventually because the treatment was so successful a mastectomy was no longer required. Praise God.
Her journey over the last 12 months has undoubtedly been one of sickness, hardship and pain. Covid was rampant during this time and so we were not allowed to see her for days before her treatments as she had to isolate. She lost her hair and had some bad reactions to the Chemotherapy but through it all her faith in God has been solid and she has had a peace that only God through Christ Jesus and the comfort of the Holy Spirit can give in such circumstances.
The importance of prayer, fellowship and being united together in love and faith has been crucial at this time. We have praised, worshipped, prayed, laughed and cried together. The Lord has encouraged us with key bible verses from His word and with songs and prophetic words.
At the start the Lord led us to the story of Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19. When Hezekiah received a letter with a threat from his enemies and bad news, he brought the letter to God at the altar, laid it before God and prayed. God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and answered. We were encouraged and wrote the following prayer letter to God and laid it before His altar on 24 May 2021.
“You have seen O God the threat to Karen’s health and we lay and surrender all that has been diagnosed before you and ask that you will undertake in this situation and use it for Your glory and your will be done. Specifically, we ask that you will strengthen Karen and draw near to her at this time. Speak clearly to her. Refresh her and grant her peace. Grant your favour in terms of the Doctors, Nurses and all those who treat her and the treatment plan. Help her with the pain and treatments. Keep her well and heal this cancer from her body completely. Draw the family to you at this time so they may know and encounter you at this time. Amen.
Thank you Lord for hearing and answering our prayers. To you be all the honour, praise and glory.
I was reminded of this post following an encouraging word from our Pastor on Sunday. I thought it would be a timely #ThrowbackThursday post.
Psalm 46 verse 1 declares that:
“God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in times of trouble“.
If you are in the middle of difficult times and struggling to hang on and feel that everything is conspiring against you, then I encourage you to take hold of these bible verses. Meditate on them. They will be life to you today.
God is with you in the middle of it all and will not let you sink. His everlasting arms are around you to support you.
In verse 10 it says “Be still and know that I am God“.
I always thought that this meant that I was to be still and know Him in such times but the footnotes in my Bible say that this is God telling the wicked- “Be Still and know that I am God“.
In other words God is telling the enemy who is rising against us and conspiring against us “Back off -enough is enough- you don’t have a chance of winning in this situation because I am God”. Jesus has already defeated the enemy. He has won.
I love that. Thank you Father that you are on our side. God puts the enemy well and truly in his place. He reminds the enemy that God alone will be exalted among the nations. All glory, honour and power are His alone.
God may allow us to go through certain trials and struggles to strengthen our faith and so that we can grow in spiritual maturity – things that sometimes we do not understand- but ultimately God always has the last say over the enemy and his strategies because God is God.
God is sovereign and everything in heaven and earth is subject to Him.
This was evident when Jesus spoke to the storm that was raging all around the boat carrying the disciples and Jesus over the sea of Galilee. Jesus was right there in the boat with the disciples. He commanded the winds and the waves to “Be still” and they were.
Does God need to speak into a few storms in your life or do you need to remind the storms that God is saying to them “Be Still“.
A friend used this word “atrophy” in an email to me this week. It immediately got my attention as it’s such an unusual word. It reminded me of this post from early 2020 so I wanted to share it again today.
Atrophy means the partial or complete wasting away of part of a physical body.
A sense of shrinking and weakness in body mass and muscle tone. An entire limb can become atrophied and withered and incapable of movement.
There are several things which can cause Atrophy in a body but these ones caught my attention:
Disuse/Lack of Exercise -When muscles are not used or you are immobile for long periods of time then Atrophy can set in. We are called into active service in Christ Jesus and to pick up our cross and follow Him. We are called to give and serve others, to exercise the giftings which God gives us through the Holy Spirit. To serve others and be a blessing to them. To show God’s love in action. There are plenty of opportunities to serve within the body of Christ and the communities we live in. If we are not using and exercising the talents & gifts which God has given us then they will wither. We are called to be a voice crying in the wilderness “Prepare the way of the Lord”. We are called to be light in the darkness. God is rallying his church and the trumpet is sounding – wake up and start to work for the Lord because the day is short. The good news is that this sort of Atrophy can be cured by exercise unless it is too severe. It is never too late to start working for the Lord – He will always make a way. Trust in the Lord and do good.
Poor Nourishment – if we do not feed our physical bodies properly then they will suffer. Muscles will lose mass and our bodies will start to shut down if no nourishment is given. Similarly, the body of Christ will suffer if it is not feeding on the Word of God and in fellowship with Christ – the bread of life. The challenge is -What are we feeding on? If we feed on worldly rubbish or false teachings and doctrines then we will suffer. We need a diet of God’s word and His truths.
Mutations -these are things that should not be part of the body and they cause damage – they attack it from within. In a spiritual sense I believe that Atrophy in the body of Christ is caused by sinful, immoral & selfish behaviour – there is no fruit of the Spirit. It is like a disease which spreads from within. The bible teaches us how a root of bitterness is such a thing – it causes much damage to others. Jealousy, gossip, unforgiveness and such things should not be within the body of Christ. Wolves in sheep’s clothing do not belong in the body of Christ and will certainly cause damage. The bible warns us against them and their works. Jesus says we will know them by their fruits.
Poor Circulation – If we do not have the living Christ, the life & power of the Holy Spirit and God’s love flowing through us then we will have poor circulation. If we are not in unity with one another then there will be a blockage in God’s love and blessings being manifested throughout the body of Christ. Those parts of the body which are not flowing in the Spirit of God will not prosper – their growth will be stunted. We need to connect into God’s amazing power and for the life giving blood of Jesus to pump through us.
I pray that we, the body of Christ, will not suffer Atrophy but will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
That we will put off lethargy and sin which can so easily ensnare us and will rise in service of the King of Kings & Lord of Lords.
That we will put our hands to the plough and not look back and we will run the race of faith with patience and endurance.
Let us not be weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart – Galatians 6:9.
Let us rise up like the Eagle and run and not faint.
Morning everyone. I am returning to the story of Joseph today. Although this is post 6 in this series on Joseph, I feel like I have only scratched the surface of what we can learn from Joseph’s story. I encourage you to read and study the biblical account of Joseph as I am confident the Holy Spirit will show you more truth and applications to help you in your journey of faith.
So today’s post is about Temptation and Self-Control.
Self-Control is a characteristic and fruit of the Holy Spirit which is so contrary to the world’s culture which is very much about giving in to temptation and getting immediate satisfaction for our desires. I’m thinking of those things that are seen as almost an entitlement. I have heard people say…I’ve worked hard, or I’ve had a disappointing/stressful day, or so and so doesn’t give me what I need…so I DESERVE IT. Those are danger signs to wrong thinking and lead to self focus and self gratification.
That is not the characteristics we see in Joseph. We read that Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph and it was a relentless daily pursuit. She really tried hard to get him to give in to sexual immorality and lust. The temptation especially for a young man like Joseph must have been hard to resist. It wasn’t just the sexual temptation either. Joseph had been betrayed, abandoned and was all alone in a foreign country. His desire for a relationship and emotional comfort must have been great. The enemy of our soul knows our weak areas and will try to exploit them. There can be many doorways for temptation to lead us astray and away from God’s truth and His plan. We need to recognise our weaknesses and the triggers in our lives to harmful behaviours and be wise. Get support from trusted people who will help and speak truth into our lives.
We know from the story that Joseph didn’t give into the temptation. He escaped and ran away. That’s a wise example for us to follow. Get ourselves out of there. If we struggle with certain weaknesses then don’t stay or associate in the wrong places or with the wrong company. Bad company corrupts good morals.
The bible says that with every temptation God will provide a way of escape. That is Godly wisdom that needs to be applied in our lives. Don’t put yourself in potentially compromising situations. Don’t fall for the lies of the enemy to “test” yourself by putting yourself in such situations.
Let us be led by the Spirit of God otherwise pride can lead to a fall. Beware of those who seek to appeal to your flesh.
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
There are times when we do have to face temptation squarely in the face and it is Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit working in us which helps us to overcome and break those temptations. We crucify our flesh and it’s desires to Christ. We say No and reject those desires. When we do the power of those things can be broken in our lives and they don’t control us any more. Jesus delivers us from them.
Jesus can empathise with us in our situations because he himself was tempted directly by the devil himself, 3 times. Each time, Jesus rebuked the devil with the word of God. “It is written”. The living Word is the power of God to us too. Jesus said that because He overcame the world then we can too. That gives us hope to know that the power of these things will be broken for us too.
If we do fall into temptation then God is merciful to rescue us and redeem us and get us back on track. We need to repent and come back to righteousness because otherwise we will end up in a worse state than before. The bible warns us of this.
For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:20-22
Let us encourage ourselves and meditate on these words today from the Apostle Paul which are biblical truths for us to apply:
Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25
I was reminded of this post today so decided to re-post #thursdaythrowback
Last night my two daughters went into the City to meet friends and go out. It was going to be a late night so they were either going to stay out at friends or get the night bus home. As was usual my husband had left the outside light on for them coming home in the dark.
However, last night as I went to bed I turned the light off. My husband was surprised and asked why I wasn’t leaving the light on. I replied that the girls had said that they were probably going to stay out with friends or get back early in the morning so there was no point leaving the light on.
Well this morning the Lord spoke these words to my heart – “I will leave a light on“.
Those words are the title of a song which my youngest daughter loves and plays a lot.
Jesus reminded me that we (His followers) are the light of the world.
We carry the light of Christ.
Jesus left a light on when He went back to His Father God in Heaven – He left us.
Jesus hasn’t switched that light off yet.
I will leave a light on.
We show others the way to Jesus by declaring our faith in Him and living out that faith in loving service.
We shine in the darkness and point the way home to God through faith in Jesus the Son.
One day though the reality is that my earthly light will be switched off. I won’t be here anymore to shine the light for others.
I need to shine whilst I can. Whilst I still have the time.
I hope I can leave a legacy of light behind me too.
You may be the only light in your family, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbourhood, your community – the place where the Lord has put you.
Your light is really important so be encouraged and “let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
I really think there is someone who needs to hear this today.
Don’t give up but let your light shine – It will lead someone home to God.
Leave a light on and it will lead that person home – they may be in a dark place at moment, have wandered far from truth, be in a very very dark place but the Lord is saying:
This week’s posts are about Joseph – biblical hero and so much more than just a multi coloured coat and a popular musical.
The story of Joseph has much to teach us today about God’s “bigger picture”. Persevering until the perfection of God’s plans come to pass.
You can read Joseph’s story in Genesis chapters 37-50.
A brief summary of the story for the week ahead:
Joseph was a son of Jacob, grandson of Isaac & great-grandson of Abraham.
As such, Joseph was one of the heirs to the covenant blessing promised to Abraham by God that Abraham would be the father of many nations, and a blessing to many.
Joseph was born to Jacob in his old age by his favourite wife, Rachel. God had mercy on Rachel when she couldn’t have children and Joseph was born. Rachel then went on to have Benjamin but died in childbirth which caused great pain to Jacob. This was probably one of the reasons for Joseph being a favourite of Jacobs – he reminded Jacob of Rachel- resulting in the gift of the famous multi-coloured coat by Jacob to Joseph.
There had been a lot of competition between Rachel and her sister Leah as to who could give Jacob children and be his favourite wife which resulted in Rachel giving Jacob her handmaid so she could have children for her – Leah then did the same – result 12 sons & 1 daughter were fathered by Jacob.
This unhealthy competition between the wives led inevitably to competition between the children and resulted in envy & jealousy. This led to Joseph’s early problems especially when he told his family about his two dreams that he was going to be the greatest over them all. Who did he think he was – you can see the potential for trouble brewing.
One day Jacob sent Joseph away on a journey to see how his brothers were doing. They saw him coming and hatched a plan to kill him but relenting of that, they put him in a pit and sold him to passing slave traders.
Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold as a slave to Potiphar. He did well but Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. Joseph resisted her but he was thrown into prison.
In prison Joseph proved trustworthy and was put in charge of the other prisoners. Two prisoners who were servants of Pharaoh, his butler and his baker, both had troublesome dreams on the same night. Joseph correctly interpreted their dreams which came to pass. The butler was reinstated to his position but the baker was killed.
Two years later, Pharaoh has a dream about cows and sheaves of wheat which no-one can interpret, not any of the magicians or learned men. The butler remembers Joseph and tells Pharaoh. Joseph is brought from prison and interprets the dream. He tells Pharoah there will be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. He then tells Pharaoh what to do to prepare.
Pharaoh is so impressed that he makes Joseph his second in command. Joseph puts his plan into action. The famine is widespread and eventually his own brothers come to buy food in Egypt. They don’t recognise Joseph and after some trials that Joseph puts them through, they are eventually reconciled. Joseph is reunited with his Dad and they all settle in the land of Goshen in Egypt.
Joseph’s story is no accident. This week we can dig into the story a bit deeper.