Yet God has used these last few days to teach me quite a lot about how complacent I have become over the past twelve months.
I read UCB's Word for Today http://www.ucb.co.uk/word_for_today each morning and the last three mornings (30th, 31st and 1st) have been epic in reminding me how easy it is to stop dreaming and just trundle on with life; how sad it is when you give up on your God given dreams because in human terms they seen unattainable; how easy it is to have your dreams stolen from you and how hard it is when life tests us. Please read these three days if you don't read any others and hopefully you will also feel your passions stirred, eager and excited to see what God will do this year in your life. (The paper version of the Word for Today is avail at the welcome desk at St B's, 50p)
This past year for me, when it started was full of exciting God given dreams, some of which have come to fuition - the new Mini GAP cafe and Cakes with the King at the Craft Morning. But my family are still wading through a ridiculous legal case against us and the process of exploring ordination for me have been draining, the end of one and beginning of the other seem to me in human terms, unattainable.
When you ask God for a vision, you're likely to be placed in a field of opportunities concealed under acres of obstacles; a place of possibilities hidden beneath piles of problems. Then He will stand back and watch how you engage in the ministry of obstacle management! (WfT 30.12.09)
This really challenged me, you see I have faced the challenges, the easy ones, but the challenges that were really challenging, ones that I might not suceed at I have skirted around and given back to God. In truth knowing that God wanted me to get on with it rather than give it back to Him. He has alreadly told me his plans but I am not brave enough to take on those harder challenges that 'humanly' I could fail at.
Obstacles can't steal your dream without your permission. Obstacles can't stop God, don't let them stop you. (WfT 31.12.09)
I have allowed my fear to steal my God given dream. Never in my life have I ever wanted something so much that I could admit it, ordination and 'Martha's. I have always held on privately and tightly to my dreams, but with God dreams come to life, not always in the way you expect but my Father wants the best for me! In the words of the prophet Chumbawumba "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down!"
'Between your dream and its fulfillment you'll be tested. Your faith, patience, strength, focus and readiness' (WfT 1.1.10)
Yep, it's true, all of those have been tested. I have been battered and bruised this past year, my faith has made me able to thank God through it all and turn to him, but in all honesty I havent' fought in some places where I ought have. I have forgotten God's promises to me but I am so thankful that He hasn't and is still encouraging me, through Word for Today and other mediums.
I begin this year with fire in my heart for God's dreams for myself and my family.
I am sorry Lord for the times when I have let you down by backing away from challenges rather than facing them. I ask that you can forgive me and give me courage, thoughts, words and faith to face all of the tests of this coming year, whatever they may be - for Your glory. I love You. Amen x x x x x