Broken

I read a lovely poem written by Sophie Dutton during the week that really spoke to me. One verse in particular.

I bring sticky plasters, and all the hurts they cannot heal-

the wake-up screaming nightmares and sleepless nights,

the fears that invade our waking moments,

the memories that rattle round our heads day after day.

We remember the search for healing, and the empty hopes,

the unanswered prayers, unfulfilled prophesies,

and wounds that all the sticky plasters in the world cannot heal.

Wounded healer, we offer you our hurts.

Broken mender, make us whole.

I have really felt that recently, some of my prayers and requests have only been sticking plasters over some of the serious issues I have been trying to deal with. Without totally offering God our whole life, our whole hurts and our desperate pleas for healing, we cannot get rid of the plasters and see the wholeness God offers.

Our Lord was broken for us. We come to Him as broken people, with broken lives. He can help us and heal us because He was broken, but defeated everything that hurts us once and for all. 

God hurts too

Psalm 51 vs 4 says “Against you, you alone have I sinned.”

Its hard to imagine sometimes that when we do something wrong, God hurts. We may feel that we have to defend our actions, we may be aggressive, we may be sorry, but how often do we say sorry to God for the hurt we cause Him? We may hurt others by our actions or by our words, or in some cases lack of action. Yes we hurt the other person or people, but God is hurting even more. How often are we more concerned with straightening things out with the other person, trying really hard to get back in their good books. How about we straighten things out in a spiritual sense first? We never know, but it may be easier to sort things out with the people concerned.

Does it affect us that our Lord God can be so hurt? My God is full of emotion which we can see right through the Bible. Can we learn to see things in Gods perspective? Can we learn to improve our spiritual reflexes to understand the hurts we put on Him, and when we need to get on our knees first before running to others to get them to “like” us again?

God is “slow to anger and abounding in love”. Thats for us, every day, every minute, no matter what we do. We can hurt Him over and over, but He will never stop loving us. We are made in His image. He set us apart for Himself. Is it any wonder then that we wound Him?

Maybe its time to let God shine His torch into our hearts and let us see the things we hold on to, the things that are wounding us and we won’t let go of. Let His light shine right through all the dark places in us, showing us the things we are ashamed of, so He can clean us out and let us feel new again. Spring clean the dirty, dark, horrible bits.

Love with a bit of bacteria!

I heard a quote yesterday that really spoke to me. “Bacteria grow in warm water, but die in hot”. Loving this. It was in relation to the state of the Western Church, that it is the same as the Laodicean Church of the book of Revelation.

There is a lot of good stuff going on in the 3rd World Churches, through persecution and hate and possible death. It makes me wonder where our faith is. Faith and submission are doing things you dont want to do, but doing them anyway because you have been asked to do them by the Most Holy God. There is no persecution in the Western Church, but if there were, would we then be a ‘hot’ church and not ‘lukewarm’ anymore?

God is definitely on the move in this country. We are seeing revivals in our churches, healings, forgiveness flowing. This is all the stuff that comes to the surface before God moves mightily within us. We call it the ‘dross’. The bad stuff in metals that come to the top when it is heated up to massive temperatures. It is skimmed off the top, so that the metals like gold can then be pure. Without some of our dross, we can then learn to be pure, and to live more like Christ in all we do.

We are called to love, but how many of us actually do? Real love. The love that doesnt care who it is, how they smell, what they look like. The love that doesnt care what mistakes they have made and continue to make. The love that can correct and accept both at the same time. The love that doesnt want us to sit in our quiet little homes, but to spend our time with with our church family more than anyone else. The love that looks after others in a quiet, sensitive way that wont cause offence or embarrass.

We can only do this when the temperature rises, and this becomes normal for us. When this is normal, we will see more of God, in such a huge way, we will just go and do more and more for Him. So much more, that the revivals we have seen in Wales, or in specific churches, will be normal. We will be letting our lights shine for the whole world to see, not just one or two people. If we are the city on a hill, lets act it. Lets be showing how much we are forgiven, loved and saved. When we understand what we are saved from, we can go out and help others by living our salvation. Be the city on a hill. Be the light that shines. Be so much more than just lukewarm for Him.

Lord, make me an instrument

Watchman Nee says “If the life of a christian is to be pleasing to God, it must be properly adjusted to Him in all things.”

God measures the changes we make in our lives and thoughts against His own Son, Jesus and His most precious blood. He is the kind of plumb line on which how we live can be measured. Its a very high calling and if we try to stay as close to that line as we can, everyone we meet or who has contact with us will see the difference in us. They won’t be able to miss it. We will be oozing our love and trust in Jesus and our lives will demonstrate how much we want to be more like Him.

When I look in a mirror, I still find it hard to see Jesus reflecting back at me. I am made as a beautiful image of God himself, and am wonderfully made. My hair, my eyes, every lump and bump even down to my little ears, which are really small! I am made perfect. But to walk in that perfection?

I need to rest in Him more, and then I know which way to go, because God has had the time to talk to me, without the distractions we can place before our time with Him.

My Father wants to express the love of His Son through us. What an amazing idea!! Our life is the life of Christ. If we want to be more like Him, and see Him more and more each day in the mirror when we look into it, we have to stay IN Him. We think we can live our lives without our quiet times with our Lord, or our times reading His word. We can’t. We never could.

We need to be ready instruments, waiting for Him to play His aweome tunes through us. To play His spiritual music through us and our lives and thoughts.

Sanctuary

Sorry I have been absent for a few days. Went for a week to Wales with the family. The area we were in was so oppressive! It was such a sad place to see how the recession has hit the area. So many houses, shops and churches all boarded up. I cant see how we can be told that Britain is on the up when in a first world country I can see so much deprevation and poverty! Maybe we need to pray more for these areas to see and feel a touch from their Maker and Father. Life is hard but much harder when we see no way out of the poverty and situations we are in.

On a different note, I was reading Joshua while away, and got to Chapter 21 and verse 45. “Not a single one of the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything He had spoken came true”

What an awesome verse!! Every promise God makes He keeps, even though we are disobedient and rebellious children who spend our lives pulling and pushing boundaries set out for us for our own good. We are like young children given boundaries by our parents and breaking them all the time, even though our parents want our safety and happiness.

Throughout the Bible we see promises given. Those promises are there within the bounds of relationship. We have a two way relationship with our heavenly Father, which is how it has been from day one. God had a very special relationship with Adam and Eve. He came to the garden in the evenings and walked and talked with them in a way that has never been done since, except for those few precious times we read about in the Word. Thats a place I long to be in. My Father coming and talking to me, just me for that time, where I could see Him and hold Him. I know He is always with every one of us all the days of our lives. He never goes anywhere. We do the walking away, not Him.

I am very proud to be grafted into the amazing Israel in such a beautiful spiritual way. I see how they messed up, and I also see how they were forgiven over and over when they repented. It gives me the hope to keep going, to keep my faith when life is hard. My Father will forgive every single time I come to Him for love and repentance. I have my Sanctuary in Him. My place to go in the storms that rage and the waves that seem to cover. My sanctuary, my safety is in Him.

Stand

Ephesians tells us of the armour of God that we need to put on every day to withstand the attacks of the evil one. It tells us to STAND in the armour. Stand, not run or march which we would normally see when a soldier of old put his armour on ready for war or attack. Stand. The Greek translation as far as I remember is to “hold fast”. To hold fast to the position we are at when we put the armour on. Not to go forward, but to protect that which is behind us. Our life and our salvation. We don’t need to fight by going forward, the fight is already won by the Cross. We don’t stand alone either. We have the whole host of heavens armies with us to our back and sides and all around us. At our side is our friend, healer and saviour, Jesus. We don’t hold our position on our own, ever. It may feel isolating going through difficult times and tough periods of illness or loss. We are never alone though. We are standing with our Lord protecting ourselves from the attacks and darts from the Devil, and the armour doesn’t cover our backs. We are protected at the front because that is where the attacks will come from. If we are retreating, we don’t need protection. There is no need to attack someone who is on the run. Keep looking forward. Keep standing in faith with your Friend. Keep standing and facing what life and the Devil throws at you, in the full knowledge that you are not alone, you are fighting with the best army in the whole of history. With the best Commander and Captain you could possibly imagine. He knows how the fight ends, and He also knows that the fight was completed and won 2000 years ago. The fight now is a desperate one from the Devil who lost and is trying to pull as many as he can from being with their God. Don’t let him win, it has been Finished and it is won. Stand. Stand with the knowledge that the fight was for each of you. It is finished.

Just sit

I don’t know about you, but just sitting, not doing anything, just being, is really hard to do. At least for more than 5 mins! To sit, and just be, with God is vital, and very important. It is difficult in the busy world we live in and the busy lives we lead, to take the time to sit and do nothing. Learning the joy of being with God, and just letting Him be with me in silence and allowing Him to speak in complete peace is something unusual in our lives.

We feel that we need to do something all the time. Busy church, doing spiritual things, on the go. It can be good things that we fill out time with. Maybe things that actually need doing, because if we don’t do it, it will not get done properly. Well, maybe it wont. So what?

Jesus said on the cross “It is Finished”. So why do we feel that we need to keep busy and do lots of things to fill our lives? If it is finished, we dont need to buy or do anything. It was given freely and we can’t run around before we sit with the Lord so He can minister to us and give us the resources we need for the lives we live. He will never ask us to do anything without making sure we are equipped for that job before we start.

Jesus expects high standards from us, but only because He expected it of Himself in His own life. He knows we can do it or it would never be asked of us. In everything, sit first, and then live the life you have been given with strength and purpose. Above all with the faith that He never leaves us to do anything alone.

When all is said and done……worship

We are all on a journey through life. We are on a journey of worship. That is what we have been made for, and that is what we crave to do.

It is not about one service or one prayer meeting. Its about all of them, and about life outside of the four walls of where we hold our Sunday/Saturday services. The journey eventually leads us to God and the biggest worship session we could ever imagine!

In a way this journey is about how we see God and how we view worship. If we don’t look at how everything we do can be for God, then we may be seeing our worship wrong.

If you are called to a job, it might not be within the Church body, but could be anything the Lord gives you to do, then do it as though He is stood next to you doing the job along side you. That is where He is, we just need to realise this. He is everywhere, and with everyone and in heaven before we were born and after we are gone at the same time. We can worship Him in all we do each day at a time if we do it for Him.

Not everyone is called to upfront ministry, or to lead thousands in worship. We are not all called to be Ministers or leaders in the church. We might be called to foster vulnerable children, volunteer at the local food bank, run a counselling service or work in a bank. Do it for the Lord and worship Him all through the working day, and then you will begin to see that life is a worship journey from beginning to end and you are on the ride of your life.

Reality

It keeps hitting me over and over during my reading of the Word or each book I read, that everything we do should be grounded in worship. How can we make all we do worship God? Some days it can be hard to get out of bed in a good mood, never mind in an attitude of worship and praise. I know that it should not matter how we feel, and that it is based on a heart attitude. Our heart is made to be towards God. When we do stuff that is against God, it hurts our heart. We feel the tug of knowing we have done wrong. Maybe that is our conscience working, telling us that we have moved in the wrong direction and we need to turn round, repent, and walk back in the right direction?

It seems to be some sort of stigma within the Church in general to feel that we are in a bad place with God, and that we feel far away from Him. We are pushed all the time to make it look like life is great, we are Ok and that nothing is wrong in our lives. I wish that was the case. Most of us do not feel that way, and are crying out for a change that will place us where we want and need to be. There are many Sundays that we go to our services and just want to cry, but have to put on a happy face and make it look like all is good. Why can’t we go into our church family and tell it how it really is? I hope there are churches out there that the members feel they can be open and totally honest like that. I know there will be, and pray they keep being family, and an attitude of openess and honesty.

I love my church family, and love the fact that any of us can be open with other. I thank God for where He placed us as a family, and know He has blessed us mightily. I pray He blesses all of you mightily and that you accept His love with an open accepting heart.

The reason that I live……

We have been made for worship. We are built to worship. We can choose the right worship with and in God, or the wrong worship, idols who we choose to place before the Lord. This can be anything we cherish more, love more or someone we want to be.

Out of the abundance of our hearts, what we worship we speak of. What is the first thing on our lips. What is the last thing on our lips. What do we talk about or meditate on most of all.

Worship to God is creative and we have been made to be creative. We get set in our ways and ruts in how we spend time with God at home, and this can spread to our churches.

My Pastor and husband are very good at making sure the worship in our church does not get boring or rut like. It could be a different worship leader for a week, or a different way of bringing the worship across. How about a new song, or an old song? Just because a song is old, never means that if we use it in worship, we are going backwards. The songs of old were all based on scriptures and words of wonder. They had a depth that many of today’s songs seem to struggle to achieve. Maybe try the same old song or hymn with a new way of singing, a new tune.

We like to look at the amazing words of David and his worship leaders in the book of Psalms, and see the chapters and verses that are lifting and full of life and joy. Around half of the Psalms though, are psalms of lament and sadness. We have the book of Lamentations, which is full of creative worship along with the Psalms of sadness and distress. We have been made by a creative God who feels sadness, anger and will lament over us. This can also be our worship to God, if by realising we are in a wrong place we cry out in pain to the Lord. Worship in lament then becomes worship into the joy of knowing that God never leaves us or lets us do life or situations on our own.

There are so many forms of worship. If God tells you to worship in a slightly unusual way, go with it. There will be something He wants to show you, or somewhere He wants to take you, which ultimately will be closer to Him.

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