Friday, 26 November 2010

There is always a new dawn!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next. Amen.

Reinhold Niebuhr

It’s been a tricky week for so many of you, but in amongst the sad, unexplainable and darn right unfair I have also heard amazing stories of answered prayers, bodies healed and life restored. In John 16:33 Jesus says “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

There are no simple explanations for most of the stuff that happens in our lives, we live in a broken world, and if we tried to rationalise everything that did happen we would end up living a world of ‘could have beens’ rather than living in the now, thus letting the enemy steal all of our joy.

Keep life simple, cast all your cares on God, all your worries, all your concerns. Let him hold you and in the safety of that place dare to look out and count your blessings. If it is dark today, there is always a new dawn in the morning!

Praying for you all x x x x x x

Saturday, 20 November 2010


Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6 (Today's New International Version)

There are times when you have to say NO to your child and that is perfectly ok. As they grow and learn about themselves they need to know the guidelines for their behaviour and look to you for direction. You have to set the limits for them: you can’t jump on the furniture, no more television today, you must put your seat belt on in the car, you must hold my hand when we cross the street.

A nurturing parent says NO in a clear, honest way, finding the right time and making sure not to embarrass their child. It is best , however, to avoid the temptation to justify your NO by lecturing on why you are saying NO. I fell foul of this the other day when I said NO to Molly, and then ranted on for ten minutes about why I thought she shouldn’t be allowed to do something. At the end of my tirade she then said “I hear you are saying NO Mum, but your lecturing is not going to make me like your decision!” I then realised that often justifying my NO opened the door for more conversation and needless arguing. I was then reminded that Jesus said, in Matthew 5:37, ‘all you need to say is simply yes, or no!

To be able to say NO appropriately you have to be honest with your child, following the same guidelines yourself that you set for them. If you don’t want them to swear, then don’t swear yourself; if you don’t want them to smoke, then don’t smoke yourself; if you don’t want your child to shout at you, then don’t shout at them. Only then can your child follow your example.
Use your NO as a tool for teaching and guiding. Avoid being overly permissive, allowing your child to do whatever they please. When your child is misbehaving, they need your help to get themselves under control. Strive for agreeable limits and creative solutions for each child. You are not being mean when you discipline this way – you are doing yourself, and them, a service. The goal of discipline is self discipline. Children thrive on knowing their boundaries, feel security from them and through them learning how to guide themselves – a strength they can then take into adulthood.

Lord Jesus, thank you for our children. Please help us to discipline them with love, give us the courage of our convictions to stick to our NO when we say it. Thank you for setting us the best example, you are slow to anger and rich in love, you are gracious and compassionate – help us to be the same with our children. Amen xxx

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Tis the season to be materialistic, fa la la la la!

Tis the season to be materialistic, fa la la la la!

“Mum, for Christmas I want a really good hair dryer and some GHD’s, some CDs and some clothes.” As I listen to this, making a guesstimate at the price of each of those items, I arrive at a ball park figure of £300. As much as I love my beautiful daughter she can think again!

“What’s wrong with the hair straighteners you already have and the hairdryer come to that” I ask.

“Well when you straighten your hair with ours it only lasts a couple of hours, but when I used Chloe’s GHDs the other day it lasted all day, they are really cool!” she replied.

“Yep and really expensive” I thought to myself.

The affluence of our western culture has created an epidemic of wanting what everyone else has or what the advertisers say you ‘should’ have, in order to live a fulfilled life (and have perfectly straight hair). People crave more and more, yet don’t enjoy what they already possess.

Does “more” have the ability to make us happy as the world wants us to believe? The answer is No!. In fact, the more we have, the more we have to work to get it, therefore making less time to enjoy it in the first place. We may think that more makes life easier, but in reality it just complicates it and makes us feel dissatisfied with life.

The tenth commandment tells us not to covet; we aren’t to want what others have. Paul in his letter to the Philippians says that he has learnt to be content no matter what his circumstances were.

“Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." (Philippians 4:11 The Message)

There is nothing wrong with having things, but it is wrong to lust after them. When we feel we cannot be happy without something, we are lusting after it. We should develop a habit of asking God for what we want, and believe that He will give it to us if, and when, it is right. This simple approach to life sets us free to enjoy life.

So in this time of consumerism and financial troubles, enjoy this Christmas by making a decision to enjoy what you already have. Thank God for it and be content. Give each other the gift of your presence, rather than a present – enjoy family time together without the worry of the financial burden that it all brings.

I am just off to convince my daughter about this, please pray for me !!!!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

REST - it is a commandment, not a recommendation!

Rest. Something that is not too freely available to parents, especially those with young children, yet so necessary, and a biblical principle. Many of us are trying to work five days a week, raise families, be a wife, husband or partner and maintain relationships with family and friends – in essence cramming nine days into seven each week.

As I lay in my bed this morning feeling guilty that I hadn’t got up and written the thought for the week I had to sternly remind myself that I had to rest. The world wouldn’t stop turning because I hadn’t done it! Even God rested – and He tells us to rest too!

Genesis 2:1-3 (New Living Translation)
So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

Exodus 34:21 (The Message)
21 "Work six days and rest the seventh.

Rest is a precious commodity for those with children of all ages – as I am beginning to find out. I smugly thought that now my children were a bit older they would sleep in, which they do. However, I now have to stay up late quite a few nights of the week in order to be mum’s taxi and pick them up from where ever they are, and then I still have to get up early to get them and myself up for school and work. Therefore losing sleep at both ends of the day – argh!

There are never enough hours in the day for busy parents, who are often working as well, but what I do know is that there should always be enough hours for rest. Without it we can experience physical symptoms such as weakness, lack of energy, tiredness, exhaustion, passing out or feeling as if you are going to pass out,
palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath and many other things. Looking after our bodies should be our number one priority or these symptoms could lead to something worse.

God isn’t recommending we rest – it is a commandment. We have to do it in order to look after ourselves and in turn we will be healthy enough to be able to look after our families. I haven’t been feeling very well lately, partly I know because I have been totally overdoing it. So I am nagging myself here as well. Rest restores your body and your mind. God loves you and wants what is best for you, He is a good Father. So listen to your Father in Heaven and rest. Work out with your other half days when you can take it in turns to have a lie in, treat yourself to an early night (maybe with a hot bubble bath thrown in for good measure), take time out with a good book or dvd. Find some way to just chill out and relax. God says to rest for one day out of seven. That is 24 hours. It may not be possible to do that all in one day, but spread out over a week it is possible. Even more precious you could try to do it with your other half, then you will know that you are both well rested and ready to face what the world has for you.

Look after yourselves – your body is the only one you have, don’t wear it out too soon.

Matthew 11:28 (New Living Translation)
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.