Tuesday, 28 December 2010

You have done it for ME!

It’s the time of the year when Charities do their big TV advertising push to get people to sign up for monthly contributions to their causes. Today I saw an advert for Wateraid: 4,000 children die every day from drinking dirty water and for £2 a month per person that could change. How can such a small donation make such a big difference?

Just recently I have been asking God about what I should be doing for him. I get very frustrated. There seems so much to do, so many lives to be touched and changed just in the small piece of North Finchley that I live in. My heart breaks for the lost, the lonely, the broken hearted, the sick, the small people, in fact everyone – but I can’t do it all on my own. I can see many things that could be done to help, but I can’t do it on my own and it seems harder these days to motivate others to join in. I need God’s guidance on what he wants me to concentrate on.

Then I was recently introduced to a woman called ‘Veronica’. On Jesus final walk, carrying his cross along the Via Dolorosa, he fell and she pushed through the gathered crowd to wipe his face clean from the dust of his fall and the sweat and blood of his pain. She couldn’t do anymore than that. The situation was huge, and being controlled by a great force, the Roman Army. But she did what she could. She saw her opportunity and took it. Making Jesus feel better in that moment, showing she cared.

Jesus says to his disciples in Matthew 25:40 ‘whenever you do something for someone who is overlooked or ignored, it’s me, you are doing it to me!’. It doesn’t matter if it is a big bold act, like donating thousands of pounds to charity or a small thing like clearing the snow from the pavement in front of your neighbours’ house, cooking a meal for a sick friend or saying thank you to the lady on the checkout in Tesco. It’s the results of your actions that are important.

Random acts of kindness need not cost you monetarily, you could spare half an hour for a cup of tea with an elderly neighbour, baby sit for a single parent or tutor a child who needs some extra help with their school work (for no remuneration). If you are the kind of person who needs to be more organised then planned giving to a charity may be easier for you, £2 per person, per month, can make a huge difference if lots of people give.

If everyone did one little thing each day to improve the day of someone else what an amazing world we would live in! The most significant changes in the world have been the result NOT of committees, nations, governments, or armies, but of individuals. Individuals like Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, the list can go on indefinitely. What about adding your name to that list?

Matthew 25:40 (The Message)
"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

God so loved the world that He gave!

Being aware that I hadn’t written a thought this week, because I have been rushed off my feet with all the Christmas events we had this weekend at St Bs, today I was trawling the internet for a simple poem for you to read or song to listen to when I came across this. Reading it made me really check my attitude, I was that woman trailing around ASDA today thinking this is all so ridiculous for one day, so much food, so much fuss, Bah humbug!!!.

This is what I read:

“A woman was Christmas shopping with her two children. After many hours of looking at row after row of toys and everything else imaginable; and after hours of hearing both children asking for everything they saw, she finally made it to the elevator with her two kids.

She was feeling what so many of us feel during the holiday time of the year – overwhelming pressure to go to every party, taste all the holiday food, get that perfect gift for every person on our shopping list, make sure we don’t forget anyone on our card list, and so on.
The elevator was very crowded as she pushed her way in, dragging her two kids and all the bags of stuff. When the doors closed she couldn’t take it anymore and said, “Whoever started this whole Christmas thing should be strung up and shot.”

From the back of the elevator a quiet, calm voice respond, “Don’t worry, we already crucified Him.”

For the rest of the elevator ride, it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.”


This year, don’t forget to keep “the One who started this whole Christmas thing” in your every thought, deed, purchase and words. Take time to remember and thank Him for all His blessings. This year you get to celebrate one more wonderful Christmas with your family and friends, when some of your family and friends, with whom you celebrated Christmas last year, aren’t around to celebrate this one. Praise Him. Thank Him and count your blessings before getting mad at whatever Christmas demands from You.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The best laid plans of mice and men......

I like to do lists, plans and being punctual. I have to admit that normally I don’t commit my diary to God each week, but this time last week as I looked at what I was doing this week I had to say “Lord, you are the only person who can make that work and get me through it!”.

Added into our normal family diary for the week was Molly starting two weeks of mock GCSEs, there were two evening performances of the EBS school Christmas production, three nativity plays, my speaking at the Alpha Course at St Bs on Tuesday night and then Steve informed me he was out every night apart from Wednesday, the night we were watching the school production.

Team Dryden, not wanting to be beaten by this, sat down on Sunday night and meticulously planned every move, each of us knowing where, when and how this was all going to happen – car pick up and drop offs, meals planned etc. Feeling a great sense of achievement we launched into the week, the spanner in the works turned up Monday evening.

Molly got flu, had a really high temperature all through Monday night, therefore she got no sleep and I got no sleep. Heavily drugged up she was shipped off to school to complete her art exam Tuesday morning. Heavily drugged up she performed in the Tuesday school production. Heavily drugged up she went in for her next exam. Heavily drugged up she performed in the Wednesday school production. Thursday we gave up, heavily drugged up she stayed in bed. I took the approach that the exams were mocks and not the real thing therefore she could miss one! (I had had enough by then and cancelled my day too and stayed home with her).

The great bard Robert Burns said "The best-laid plans of mice and men, often go awry" and how true that is. Who are we to presume that we can plan each day perfectly for ourselves, when we live in a world that is so damaged and broken, so full of illness, sadness and unpredictability. We survived this week, exhausted but joyous. I am so thankful that I did think, at the beginning, to commit our week to God. He was gracious and saw us through it – it didn’t look one little bit like we had planned – in fact looking back now it looked sooooo much better!

Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3 (New Living Translation)


We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 (The Message)


But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.
Psalm 33:11 (New Living Translation)

May God bless all your plans for the coming festive season x x x x x x x

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Never go to sleep on an argument!

Always kiss your children goodnight, even if they are already asleep.

My girls, at 13 and 15, still insist that I tuck them into bed each night and I can’t think of a more immense pleasure. Despite what the day has held, how many times I have heard “I hate you” or “it’s not fair” it’s a chance to put everything right.

There is something so beautiful and innocent in the sight of a child in their bed, snuggled up under the duvet, smelling sweetly. I bury my nose into their hair, enjoying the aroma of child, feeling their hair tickling my face – and in that moment all the days ups and downs evaporate as waves of love flood over me. I am instantly transported back to when they were new born babies, sleeping in the moses basket next to my bed. I would lie on my bed for ages just watching their little chests going up and down, listening to their snuffling and marvelling at just how perfect they were. Now, 13 and 15 years on I still do the same thing – and I admit it pleases me as much as it does them.

It’s a chance for me to pray with and for them, for apologies to be made on both sides, for a debrief of the day and for lots of love to be shared. It says in the Bible “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Ephesians 4:26-27 (NLT). Never go to sleep on an argument is normally seen in marriage guidance books, but I believe this applies to your kids also. Make bedtimes special, resist dragging out the woes of the day – give them all to God and then enjoy the precious bundle of joy He has gifted you with.

Make peace, tomorrow is another day.

Goodnight, God bless, sweet dreams x x x