A voice in the darkness

Ever felt like you are stuck in a dark place? Then this post is written just for you….

Gods first words in the human story were words spoke in the darkness – words from the darkness. Spoken by God. Spoken to breathe life into the darkness.

Out of the darkness these words were uttered:

“Let… there… be… light!”

And there was light. The first light in the universe came from the voice of God in the darkness. Gods first breathe in the universe created light.

This was the beginning. The first beginning. The first of many beginnings. This is the work of God in our lives. God enters into the darkness, unperturbed or disturbed, to bring light, growth, love, joy, peace that surpasses understanding, and all other manner of blessings as he wills.

Whenever God wants us to grow he leads us into the darkness where we are led by the spirit into the place of deepening faith and holy trust. And into our darkness He speaks ever so gently… let there be light, and Christ enters our darkness. He walks in it with us to lead us through the dark wilderness into his promised land for our lives.

Where there is darkness today God is already at work. New life will spring up at the sound of his gentle voice. Do not listen for a booming voice in the darkness. Look for the still small voice of the Spirit speaking and breathing the new life of God. God is speaking light into your darkness.

Mindful Reflection

img_3334.png

It’s that day of the year again: you know the one where we think back and look forward?!

Reflecting back is great, and helpful, and we ought to do it more. Looking back is NOT about living in the past – it IS about learning from the past in order to move forward today.

As we reflect on this year, what learning can we share with others for the coming year?

Happy New Year

Stuart

I have a dream you can’t let go of

I woke up this morning with Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech in my head.

What would’ve happened if Dr King had not pursued the dream?

What would’ve happened if he listened to those around him who said ‘its too big a dream to achieve’?

What would’ve happened if He just stayed silent?

I’ll tell you what would’ve happened:

Equality today would look less equal!

Humanity would feel less human!

Dr King would have lived an ordinary life.

Why settle for ordinary when you can live your dream? Whatever the dream, if it benefits others – hold it, live it, and word to make it a reality.

013 Joy can be found intentionally

As I walked my girls to school this morning I posed the question to my oldest (whose smile was upside down):

“What is the one thing you can do today that will make you feel joy?”

pexels-photo-618669.jpegShe pondered the thought and smiled as she said slowly “I don’t know”. I could see a few things happening within her.

  1. She began to think about it.
  2. As she began to think about what might make her happy something on the inside released a smile on the outside!

As we think about things that make us happy or give us joy it releases something within us that can lead us to a more joyful place. I don’t understand the psychology of this, but I do understand that when we think about the stuff that makes us happy, or we consider how we can be more intentionally happy, it leads us closer to being happy of experiencing moments of joy.

pexels-photo-720598.jpeg

 

So for you today, will you intentionally step into a joyful moment or a happy space and answer…

“What is the one thing you can do today that will make you feel joy?”

As you seek joy in your life may you experience happiness in abundance and joy in all its fullness.

This blog is part of a series of blogs called #101joys. I aim to eventually write 101 short pieces related to seeking joy in our lives. Look for the others using the #101joys hashtag

The Antidote to Anxiety

Ever have those moments when your head is full of worry, anxiety and stress when you look at the world around you? I know I certainly do! It’s so easy to feel like you are drowning. We all have times like this – so how should a follower of Jesus respond to such moments?
img_9588
One of the key discipleship principles Jesus consistently taught was to have ‘faith (in God) not fear’. All through the bible we see this theme – Jesus was always telling his followers to ‘fear not’, ‘worry not’, and to ‘have faith in God’. Jesus understands our human psyche and he meets us in our weaknesses and in our need. He does this gently and compassionately, and never with condemnation.
A few days ago I was really blessed in reading Psalm 37 because it offers some great points to help us with anxiety and stress:

Do not fret

Three times the writer states “Do not fret…” (vs 1, 7, 8) when you look around and see much wickedness and bad news. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but it is possible to change fearful fretting to fiery faith

Three little remedies

v3. Trust in the LORD, and do good.
v4. Delight yourself in the LORD (make the Lord your delight!)
v5. Commit your ways to the LORD

Yes, but how?

v7. Be still before God and wait on him
v34. Wait for the LORD
I love this phrase ‘wait on the LORD’ – it means to spend time deliberately with Him. It means tarrying with him; hanging out with Him; listening to Him and learning from Him; Loving His presence and all that comes with Him. It is being with Him long enough to see His character; his love; his solutions. It is being enveloped by him and reassured that he holds all of the world with it’s worries and its wonders in His strong, love-filled hands.

And so…

As you look at the world and people around you today may you find peace in God’s presence – a peace that melts fears, worries and anxiety – and may you draw close to Him.
img_9311
The name of the LORD is a strong tower

When life gets tough always remember…

I was talking with my son yesterday and he was feeling disappointed about a 100m race he participated in. He’s been running for a while now and was doing really well, but last month he changed age bracket, from under-12s to under-15s. He’s now racing against The Flash, Usain Bolt and a teenage gorilla wearing Nikes! At least that’s how he feels. He’s aware that he’s younger, smaller, slower and has hit a turning point in his ‘running career’. It’s the point where he needs to choose either P or Q:

Option Q = QuitImage result for gorilla wearing nikes

Option P = Persevere

He’s talking about quitting. We talked about it and he really does think he will not be as good as they are – he was 2 seconds behind the winner – that’s a lot for a 12 year old when you’re only moving 100 metres! For him it is make or break.

Have you ever felt you’re at a point where it’s make or break for you? It’s that place between moving sitting down or carrying on. It’s that place where your mind and body are crying out STOP!!!!! It’s that place where you think you might be able to make it, and that thought is then beaten down by seven reasons why eating a burger and watching a movie is a better idea.

Have you ever felt you’re at a point where it’s make or break for you?

What do we do at those points?

We choose Option P or Q.

Lets go for Option P.

Perseverance is not an easy option. It is the choice of hard work. It is the option of pain in many circumstances. It requires you to face your fears square in the eye and tell them you’re going down mister! It will mean changing your mindset from maybe I’ll quit to No matter what!

Perseverance requires you to face your fears square in the eye

and tell them you’re going down mister!

No matter what, I’m going to get faster.

No matter what, I’m going to write that book.

No matter what, I’m going to lower my cholestoral (even if soya products are tasteless!)

No matter what, I’m going to pass that exam.

No matter what, I’m going to find a job.

No matter what, I’m going to make my relationships work.

No matter what, I’m going to hold my head up high.

No matter  what… fill in the blank.

Image result for no matter what

My son got up this morning, got his sports kit ready for athletics and cricket practice later today, and left for school. He’s choosing today to run harder, and get stronger. Today he is saying no matter what, I’m gonna make it!

We all have out own reason to say no matter what. The question is, will we say it, and will we follow through on it. Saying no matter what is one thing… living it daily is another, but it starts with making a commitment to complete what you have begun… no matter what.

There is so much new life in the darkness – so take heart

Life can be described in terms of shades: dark and light; black and white. We think of darkness as bad and light as good, yet God created darkness and light and said that it was all good. Even God Himself brooded in the darkness before the creation. Many of the most expressive and creative people in history have ‘dwelt in the darkness’ of creativity before their light has been shown to the world. Often great art comes through great pain and hardship. Childbirth is a painful experience for a woman, but that pain brings new life to the world – humanity is birthed in pain.

Whatever you are facing today, know that it might just be a pathway to something creative, new and special. In your darkness today may your thoughts, creativity and your life be drawn towards th light that is often at the end of the tunnel.

There is a darkness.

Deep.

Brooding and bubbling.


It lies within me.

Resting.

Active and living.


While all around

Chaos

Disturbed and troubling.


Dances around us,

Revolving,

Restless and unforgiving.


But here inside

Arms

Warm and inviting


In this darkness

Light

Radiant and warm


Shines my heart

Full

Of love and joy


Reflecting glorious

Bright

As brightest star


Shining sparkling

Silver

In darkest night.

And then from

Nowhere…

…blinding light.