Glitter?

Anyone who knows me, also knows my love for all things beauty and all things glitter. I love make up and how creative and artsy we can be with it and the confidence it can create. It is the subject of many quips within my family over the amount of make up I have accumilated over the years! Ahem…. there may be a fair bit, but I am not owning up to anything!!!

It also saddens me to still see in 2017 body and makeup shaming towards both men and women. This is a seriously outdated and extremely old fashioned way of thinking, and needs to be stopped. No one has the right to condemn or judge anyone for looks or body shape. It is nasty, horrible and very disrespectful.

I am happy with how I look and me in my own skin. I love my face, my eyes, my nose, even my brows which seem to be unrelated to each other! I do not use make up to conceal who I am, but to create different looks which mostly work, and sometimes dont. Thats the beauty (pun intended!) of makeup. And I belive it is ungendered.

How can we love our neighbour when we cant love ourselves? How can we love ourselves when we are putting each other down all the time? How can society learn to love each other with disrespect and hate for what is different to others everywhere we look? How can the church be a welcoming place when we accept that this happens within our buildings? Are we blind enough to think its not happening around us?

I have wanted to bring my boys up with respect for all, and I think we have acheived it as a whole. I dont want to hear shaming of anyone near me, and my house is a body shaming exclusion zone. We are all created equal, and in Gods image, so who has the right to call another? No one thats who. Not one person has the right to pull down another. Not one.

I hope this subject is brought to the front more in media and social media circles so it can be made unacceptable. Because it is.

I am not going to stop wearing makeup, and neither should anyone else who wants to. I am beautiful in my husband and Gods eyes. Thats all that matters to me, not any unjustified and undignified comments from people who have an opinion of what they think they should be seeing.

God loves all for who they are right now. So why dont we?

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Prayer works?

What a chaotic and scary week our little Island has had over the last couple of weeks. We have seen terror strike and try to rob my beloved UK of her peace and love.

I love my country and very proud of my nation. I’m proud of my city and the street where I live. It is full of people who are filled with love and warmth. We are all created in the same image, and noone is better than anyone else. The UK needs lots of prayer, not just for today or even tomorrow, but for the next months and years. This country needs to be filled with prayer and covered with the wings of God.

But in our daily life, does prayer work, or are the smaller things of life too insignificant for us to bother God with? Our bills, lack of food, clothing? What about our banged up car going in for its MOT? Is that too small for God to see? A parking spot in the hospital car park when our child is unwell? What about funds to go to a conference that we know would help us to grow spiritually but is really expensive?

These can seem silly things to maybe pray about, and how many times do we leave prayer as a last resort? A tool to use only when we have exhausted every other avenue of help. I know I have done and still can do this at times. I wonder why?

In 1 Kings vs 2-6, we read of Elijah who has fled from the city into the wilderness when he received a death threat from Queen Jezabel. He had nothing with him, no clothing, no Prada suitcase with his belongings. No rucksack full of trail mix and Red Bull for energy for the journey. Nothing. Not a thing. Not even his favourite pillow.

God needed Elijah for further work for the Kingdom. He provided Elijah with ravens who brought him meat to eat and a stream nearby for fresh beautiful clear water to drink. Yes, it wasnt the most amazingly thought up meal, but it was exactly what he needed right at that moment to keep going, and it helped him not to be so down about his circumstances.

Its very easy to get down about the next huge bill to come through the post, the broken washing machine and all the things that can build up and cause us to lose sleep with stress or worry.

We see the power of prayer all over the world. Big things, like people being raised from the dead, healing from life threatening diseases, safety in the most horrible of places. We can see God working in the persecuted church and the blessings they are living in.

But what about me and my daily life? God still wants to work in the small things within us just as much as he wants to raise from the dead the other side of the world. Everything in our life and in us is important to God, and I want you to know how loved and worth everything you are. If it bothers you, it bothers God. If it hurts you, it hurts God. If it makes you happy in Him, it makes God happy. No prayer goes unheard. No prayer is more important than another. There is no hierarchy system in the Throne room. All prayer is described as lifting up to the Throne room as insence which God breathes in. Its a beautiful picture of how God listens to all prayers in the Book of Revelation.

Dont ever settle for mediocrity. You are not mediocre, so why accept it. We are all children of the King, and He is with us always and walks with us in our life. He sees what we do, and how we do it. He never gives up on any of us, and provides in ways we cant even imagine.

All equal?

I’m sure we would all gasp in horror at the thought that our churches may not be as equal as we would like or hope them to be. We all know our vision statements and think our places of worship and fellowship are welcoming to all who cross our doorsteps. But are we? Is everyone who comes made to feel wantd and accepted for who they are right at that moment in their life?

Maybe, maybe not.

I’m a mother of 2 ASD boys, so I know first hand that there is an inequality surrounding churches and who is accepted and who isnt. Unwelcome comments, snide remarks on dress, lack of understanding to conditions we have no control over are present every week across the country. I myself am disabled, but dont have a single person in my church family who understands or I feel I can talk to. How bad is this and how prevelant is it?

I think the biggest word surrounding equality, is Understanding.

Respect and understanding are all pretty much everyone would ask for and I feel it is an expected part of church life whether it is available or not.

 

Sorry…….. got distracted at the door by 2 lovely gentlemen from the local JW felllowship. Lovely talk with them.

 

Right.

So if I talk about some of the most noticable disabilities. If some one is in a wheelchair, can the even enter your church? Is there wheelchair access? Is there disabled toilet access for them?

Do you have bibles in braille?

Do you have trained sign language people available?

Do you have translaters available for those who dont speak much English?

Are there trained teachers within the Kids Church to be able to allow those children with both learning/behavioural difficulties and those with more severe disabilities be a part of the work that is done with the youth?

What about those with tourettes? ASD or ADHD disorders? Those who cant speak? Mental health problems?

Are we there for all or just the ones we “feel” we can cope with?

Its a big question, but a very real one. Churches are there for all, the Gospel is for all, and we need to be ready for absolutely anyone who crosses our doors. For some, its took a big amount of bravery to even be there, so we need to make sure they are accepted, loved and welcomed for who they are. A lot of those struggling with disabilities are very isolated and some are housebound. I myself am mostly isolated and can be housebound some weeks, and noone even know or understand at all. My husband is amazing as is my youngest boy who is such an amazing child and is becoming a strong man of God. They both see the bad times, the worst of it all, and like me, there are millions out there in our own country who feel the same as me more and more, day after long depressing day.

So where are we? Are we filling pews and not caring? Are we out there involved with social action? Are we part of urban mission reaching the most lost of society?

We are not called to speak and act like a church, but to be the church. The church in the time of Acts right up to maybe 100 years ago was the benefits system looking after the homeless, the impoverished, the orphans, the unloved and unwanted. There are many out there working for them still, and they do it tirelessly and whether they feel like it or not. That army of love cant slow down or stop, it need to grow and grow so that we can reach all with the love of Christ and the hope they so desperately need.

So, what are we going to do about it?