Saturday, 29 May 2010

‘Look to today, because yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow only a vision’

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Lamentations 3:22-23 (New Living Translation)

I started this week at a three day selection panel, in Staffordshire, to see whether the Church of England will have me as a vicar! It was the most intense thing I have ever done in my life, having to do presentations, written tests, discussions, three interviews and being watched all the time I was there. I am glad to say I survived and actually enjoyed the experience; the other 15 candidates were really good fun to be with and as it was not a competition the level of support for each other was fantastic. I am very proud that I did it. I now have to wait until 9th June to find out the result.

There was, however, one point on Tuesday afternoon where I thought I had blown it. The vocational assessor was a tough interviewer, he asked the same question over and over again and in the end I ran out of different ways to answer it. I came away very frustrated and have to admit to going to my room for a good old sob. I said to God ‘I don’t think I can do this anymore, it’s been interviews and tests for the last two years in this process and I have had enough!’

As I laid on my bed to continue my sob I had to move a book I had been reading earlier, it fell on the floor and opened up, as I looked at it on the floor this is what I read:

‘The key to freshness in our walk with God is not to dwell on either yesterday’s successes or yesterday’s failures. God has a truckload of new mercies awaiting our lives every day when we wake up. We must not be flushed with our successes or duped by our failures. Yesterday belongs with yesterday and today is a new day of amazing mercy, grace and blessing.’

That was me told!

I pulled myself together, eager to get on with the next interview and put that last one behind me. There was nothing I could do to change it and the next one was a fresh start as far as God was concerned.

If you are living in regret of something, please don’t. God’s compassion, love and mercy for you is fresh every moment of every day. Put it down, whatever it is, forgive yourself and anyone else that it may involve and move on. Forgiveness is a tricky, long and hard thing to do, but a worthwhile journey (please speak to me if you need help with it, I would love to help you and pray with you).

As my wise old nan used to say ‘Look to today, because yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow only a vision’.

Love and prayers with you all, Sal x x x x x

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Be proud of your kids, because God is proud of His!

Last night Molly and I went to Dudley’s pancake shop in Barnet to celebrate her doing, yesterday morning, the first of many GCSE exams that she has in the next three weeks. It just seemed right to treat her because I am so proud of how much work she has put into preparing for these exams, the results really don’t seem that important as I have seen how hard she has worked to attain her best.

Children thrive on heartfelt praise and recognition from their parents and carers. Growing up knowing that you are valued and enjoyed makes you more receptive to love, more able to receive positive feedback and to be able to give and receive affection naturally and easily. Children who never hear words of love from their parents tend to be suspicious of compliments and lack self esteem. Children who are accustomed to constant negativity in the home have difficulty accepting the slightest praise as though they are unable to let love in.

I love telling my children how proud I am of them, they are the best and most beautiful ‘Molly’ and ‘Alice’ in the world (as far as I am concerned!). Some parents only brag when their children are not around because they don’t want their children to get a ‘big’ head. I was one of those people when my two were little, until one wise mum said to me “There is nothing wrong with being a proud Mum and telling them”, so now I do both! I recommend honest praise for your children, to them and in front of them. Don’t worry about it going to their heads, they seem to keep it all in balance and in my experience it doesn’t spoil them in any way, just enhances their characters.

Children especially need to know you are proud of them when they have failed; telling them that you are proud of their efforts, with words like “I am really proud that you tried so hard and congratulations for hanging in there”. It’s important that they know the difference between failing at a task and being a failure. When a dejected six year old heads your way, sad that they weren’t top of the class in the spelling test this week they surely deserve a huge ice-cream for trying so hard to learn those spellings in the first place!

Be proud of your children. Water them with words of love. Just like plants they will soak up the ‘water’ and they will thrive.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (New Living Translation)
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

We all need somebody to lean on!

Trust in God. Lean on your God! Isaiah 50:10 (The Message)

Do you remember that song “Lean on me” by Al Green? I think Club Nouveau remade it in the 80’s and I heard the Glee cast sing it a few weeks ago. I love the words to that song. I’ve always thought it is a real inspirational song, one to belted out at the top of your voice. Do you remember the words? “Lean on me. When you’re not strong. I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.” (Bet you are singing along right now, aren’t you?)

If there is anything that us parents need, it’s someone to lean on from time to time. When the washing machine is broken, when the car is in the garage, when the kids are ill, when jobs are lost, when the bank account is empty and payday is a week away........we all need someone to lean on.

I’m so thankful that God is there for me to lean on in the difficult times. Even when my husband, children or friends don’t understand my feelings and even if there is no one else around to lean on, I have always got God.

And so have YOU.

He promises in the Bible never to leave us or forsake us. We can lean on Him, and He’s happy to let us. So if you are having a lousy day, lousy week, or even a lousy year, God understands and He loves you. Go ahead, lean on Him. He will be your friend, He’ll help you carry on.

Thank you Lord that we can count on You. Thanks for always being there for us. Amen x x x

Listen to God singing to you...............

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Love is..............

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

1 Corinthians 13 1-7 (The Message)