The Good Friday Challenge…….

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There are different times throughout the year where as Christians we have the opportunity to start over…..New Year, September term starting, when we take communion – every Sunday come to that but Good Friday is quite a key time. I have been quite challenged this year by people’s attitudes to Good Friday. I am not saying that their attitudes are wrong – just that people can have a very different take on Good Friday. I was asked to prepare worship – which I found challenging in itself but that is for my other blog and was told not to make it ‘too dirgy’ but to have a sense of triumph. 

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I understood where the person was coming from…….to a point……. It’s a view that many Christians share – Jesus is no longer on the cross – He died so we could be forgiven from our sins and has already risen so it should be celebrated. I get their point of view but I don’t fully agree with it.

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I have been a Christian for a little while now and I know how easy it is to begin to take for granted the truths in the Bible, the sacrifice Jesus made – wrong but true all the same. I need days like Good Friday because they cause me to reflect afresh on the sacrifice of Christ’s death – that horrific and degrading sacrifice where he took the punishment that I deserved for my sin – the punishment I earned – I need to think about that – be reminded of that – mourn the loss of my saviour – even while knowing the outcome. His death meant that I will live for eternity – love for eternity – be with Him for eternity. I owe Him everything! I need to grieve – I need to be sorry that He had to choose to do that for me – I need an opportunity to express that. Because the reality is ……………………………………

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this horrific!

And He did this for me!

 

I will be triumphant on Easter Sunday with everyone else but for today,……………I need to reflect with sorrow on the reality of all that Jesus sacrificed for my sake.

 

Versatile Blogger Award

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I would like to thank http://zorysworld.wordpress.com/ for this nomination. I am flattered and touched by the nomination.

I am required to tell you 7 random things about myself so here goes.

  1. My favourite fizzy drink is Ginger Beer
  2. I am reading ‘Little Women’ for the umpteeth time
  3. I have recently discovered a love of mathematics which has replaced the fear I used to have
  4. Orchids are my favourite flower and I have a large collection.
  5. I love anything by Jane Austin
  6. I would rather go somewhere beautiful and scenic than to Disneyland.
  7. I hate rollercoasters.

I would like to nominate the following boggers to share this award.

http://ashleydaltonblog.wordpress.com/

http://dawn7238.wordpress.com/

http://siasplace.me/

http://theunappreciatedpastor.wordpress.com/

https://jemiluce.wordpress.com/

I nominate you for many reasons but mostly because you inspire me as bloggers.

Thanks again for the nomination.

Oranges are not the only fruit………….

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This weekend, a number of our church ladies  have gone off to a conference which celebrates the role of motherhood- the importance of this vital role and the Godly perspective of this role and the blessing of children. 

Now please understand me. I have four children. I take my role as a mother very seriously. I fully recognise my responsibility as a mother and am very very grateful for the blessing that God has bestowed upon me. 

I am however equally aware that while God has blessed me with children there are many women in the Church who have not been ‘favoured’ by God in this way.  Every woman I know who has not been able to have children – either because they have been unable to conceive or unable to sustain a pregnancy long- term, this has been extremely painful. Their pain is exacerbated by the value that the church can put on family and on children. I have even had one such lady who has the most amazing giftings and so much love to give, say that she did not know what her place in the church was because she doesn’t have children. 

I am horrified by this! I would hate to think that this was a message the church is sending out to those who don’t have children -that they are not part of the family – that they have nothing of worth to offer. 

I know that when my own children were small, I felt the same way. That because I was a mother of small children with a husband rarely home because of the work he did, I often felt I had nothing to offer. I found it hard to think that my gifts and talents were going to waste while I cared for four small children. I found it hard to be a mum at times and it was the church and certain ladies within it who taught me to value this short period in my life and how God could use me within it – not just in the lives of my own children but in the lives of others too. I think for a while I felt  I had no identity outside being a mother and a wife.

My children are growing away now and God has taken me on a path I could never have dreamt of or imagined when they were small. I use my little talents to serve my church and my God faithfully but my identity is not caught up in my parenting anymore ( I feel another blog coming on….).

I understand the importance and value of being a parent. I understand how easy it can be for your identity to become mixed up in being a wife and mother and I recognise the blessing of children. 

But children are not the only way that God blesses me. 

I would never want to be so hurtful as to suggest that I am more blessed than someone who does not have children. 

The most influential women I can think of didn’t have children of their own – Mother Theresa, Corrie Ten Boom, Joni Erikson Tada.

Please step forward anyone who thinks that despite the extraordinary hardships faced by every one of these women that they were NOT blessed. This would be a lie of the very worst kind. 

So I think that I write this blog to ask that we be sensitive within the church to those without children. That we remember that our blessings may heighten the sense of loss for others within our fellowship and to remember that there but for the grace of God

go we.

Next week in Britain, we will celebrate Mothering Sunday!

Please consider those for whom motherhood was a choice they never got to make.

Dear Anne Hathaway……

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Dear Anne,

                I was reading a blog today that wasn’t even about you but the writer claimed that people hate you. I must admit this has come up on google when I have searched information about a film you might be in. And the question I just have to ask is ……

WHY?

My daughter and I have been watching your movies for years now and I cannot possibly fathom what everyone is talking about? What I see when I look at you is a talented and gifted young actress . Maybe it’s a British thing but I see a classical actress in you, rather than a Hollywood movie star with the kind of longevity of other classical actresses like Helen Mirran and Dame Judy Dench. I have mentioned it to my daughter many times!

I will pick a movie because you are in it (and so far I have only seen one I didn’t particularly care for and that was down to the storyline rather than you).

I think that your performance in Les Mis showed you for the high-quality actress you are!

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As for people not liking you because you’re ‘too nice, acting all the time and insecure’, I’d be pretty insecure if national and international newspapers were writing that people hated me too! Your sensitivity makes you a great actress and insecurity means that you are not some proud arrogant schmuck who thinks they’re the best thing since sliced bread!

As for acting all the time? so is rest of society – we all put on an act when we feel nervous or are in a situation where there is a focus on us – especially if we aren’t particularly confident. It’s one thing to confidently act on a stage or in a studio – whole other thing to be live in front of people. Put me in front of a microphone and I will sing to you without batting an eyelid.

Ask me to say something —–that’s a whole other matter!

Of all the obnoxious and ridiculous celebrities out there for people to dislke you is frankly their issue. Please don’t make it yours.  You have worked hard to get where you are and deserve your success – don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.

I’m a Christian and I believe Jesus was fully God and fully man and even that wasn’t and isn’t good enough for some people!

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You’ll show them all yet!

Just keep on doing what you’re doing!

Best Wishes and I look forward to seeing much much more of you over the years!

What to do or What NOT to do? That is the Question but Whose Question is it?

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I read this quote in a blog I read today. 

http://culturemonk.com/2014/03/01/atlanta-big-bibles-and-cussing-really/#comment-22417

(Check it out for yourself! He’s good!)

“Why is it that so many people who become a Christian or turn to a new religion often spend so much time focusing on what ‘not to do’?”

This comment and the resulting blog really made me think about my own conversion.

I had been brought up to go to church…well sort of. My parents believe in God and I come from a generation where a lot of kids went to church and Sunday school. It was a cultural thing. We said prayers and school at the beginning and end of the day – had christian assembly- that’s how it was.

At the age of thirteen, I discovered that it was possible to have a personal relationship with Jesus – that my sins could be forgiven. 

Before this I had no idea!

I remember walking home and having this overwhelming desire to dance down the road- I didn’t but I felt such a peace and a joy. 

So what happened?

Well when that emotion wore off, I wondered what I had done wrong- why God was angry with me.

And so began my journey of trying to get back into God’s good grace.

Now – many many years later, I understand that I had completely misunderstood. It took many years and a faithful and loving God to put right my thinking. 

The point is – no one in the church ever told me that I felt differently because I’d sinned or because God’s feelings towards me had changed – because they hadn’t. God’s love for me does not depend on what I do or how I feel! That’s what unconditional means after all!

So if no one at church told me this, where did I get the idea from? To be fair they would have corrected me if I’d shared with them what I believed at the time but I guess I was so ashamed to have let God down so quickly, I didn’t tell anyone. So where did I learn it?

The touble is that many of us have not learned what we know about God or Jesus from the Bible or even from the church. We are more likely to learn these ‘truths’ from societal views of who God is and what he is like – from media – from  attitudes of agnostics and aethiests and from Christians with mis-conceptions  like myself – rather than from Bible believing, faith-filled Christians. 

I wonder why that is? 

 

Regret

Originally posted on Middle Age Spread 2014:

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Courtesy of ‘HArsh Reality'(he’s a great blogger- check him out) I am inspired to write a blog about

Regret.

I have many -

not the sort of regret that wishes I had made different life choices, I agree with other bloggers who have said that the choices they have made are the reason they are today……

however………….

I don’t want tor regret the choices I have made in my life – to do so could be really hurtful to those I love, because while I may have regrets, I do not regret the life that lead me to them.

I see alot of selfishness wrapped up in regret and I wonder why that is.

It’s an emotion I don’t enjoy and always wish to avoid. I guess I see a lot of selfishness in a lot of my life……

it hovers over me – wraps itself around me like a…

View original 1,061 more words

New Year? Is it really such a big deal?

I know that this comes on the back of a blog about new year being a time of reflection and for me…..it is but it isn’t the only time of year I feel like that. Birthdays and September, and Christian halls have an equally reflective outcome.

The truth is ….reflective opportunity aside, I really can’t get excited about New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. Truth be known it means very little to me. For many years it was a period of Great Depression for me as my parents split up on New Year’s Day during my 16th year when my dad saw fit to confess to my sister and I (and later my mum) that he had been having an affair for eighteen months previously.

The last two years we have spent it with friends which has been outstandingly brilliant but this year I could happily go to bed early and sleep right through it. In fact I think new year is a bit like marmite……you either love it or you hate it…..not much in between!

Happily though despite my melancholic state, handsome hubby decided that we would spend it quietly as a family. There are six of us reunited at the mo so we drank mulled wine and played board games as a family. It was definitely the best choice. Our eldest lives away from home now so to spend the time laughing and just being together as a family was better than I could have hoped for or expected! Everyone entered into the fun and it was just lovely being together and building memories before they all grow up and move on with their lives.

I realise that I am very blessed to have such loved ones and am grateful to God for this precious time together. I could not have hoped for more.

I pray that your new year has been a cause for celebration and that 2014 will be a time of great blessing for you all.

Happy New Year x

ML