Altered images…..

It was one the hottest days so far this year yesterday, and the warmest we have had up in the North so far. A wonderful day to travel to York with my lovely friends to a women’s conference led by Mercy Ministries. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but definitely not what we got.

In the beautiful old Methodist church with near 300 ladies (and the odd brave man!), the 4 speakers set to work on releasing us from some of the distorted images we have of ourselves from childhood onwards. This is something that most of us will suffer during our lifetimes, and has never been just about what is said or done to women alone. When we look in the mirror at ourselves, what do we see? Do we see what others see, or what God see? These are the distorted images, or maybe we are just looking in the wrong mirror? My beautiful friend told me that the full length mirror she has in her bedroom has a sheet over it! Why does society or insensitive role models leave us in the position that we feel the need to hide who we really are?

How many of us have been told that we were a ‘mistake’, maybe a child born later in life or just a surprise. Never a mistake. God does not make mistakes. Ever. Not one person is a mistake. We are all His children, and He loves us from the moment of conception.

We can be free from chains of bondage, cages to keep others from getting close to us and the masks we place over ourselves to feel safer. God is the release, He is the Healer and He is the only one who will never let us down. I can love all, but will at some point let someone down by my actions or by saying the wrong thing. I can be a friend, but Jesus is a closer one.



Beautiful service in the warm, but nice breezy hall. Windows opened to let breeze in, but know that neighbours could hear us praising our Lord with joy. We had communion in both ways today, with our Lord, and by our remembering what He did for us, and what we are grateful for.

I love taking communion. For me, its one of the main reasons I go to church. I want to praise and thank my Father for all He has done for me and for the whole world, past and present. The actual service itself is more given over to Him, than some services. Its very easy to fall into the trap of taking from the service you are in, and God not getting much from it at all. We are there for Him. We were made to worship Him. If we do not worship Him, what do we worship? If we don’t have a life walking with the Lord, then who are we walking with?

Everyone is born with a part of their soul missing. That part was the part that sin took away. The only way to get it back and to feel a whole person is to be with God and to live for and with Him. Nothing we do can fill that hole. Even though we look very hard, nothing can take its place. When we stop looking for other stuff, and come to God, the hole gets filled and we see that it all makes sense now, all we have strived for, fought for, desperatly tried to buy, was the wrong thing. The gift that fills us is free, and always has been. Someone else bought it for us and packaged it up for us. It was bought with a very precious, one of a kind, unique item. Jesus.



Reading James in the wee hours when most sensible people are fast asleep, and got to the point about favouritism. It got me thinking about all the different aspects of church life and how favouritism can creep up on us when we are not really expecting it or even in most cases looking for it. How about who we talk to after church sipping our much needed cup of coffee? What about who we vote for as elder/deacon/warden etc.? Do we just vote for the person we like the most, and don’t look for the qualities needed for this overworked but awesome role? How about who we pray for, sit next to, go visit during the week?

I know I have been guilty of this many times and up until recently haven’t given it too much thought. Looking back at the last few years, I can see how favouritism has led most of my actions in a few areas. Lets be honest, praying for, sitting next to, or even voting for our friends sits so much more at ease with us than the honesty of saying that actually I will be sitting next to someone who has no friends, praying for another person who needs it more, or that I am voting for the other person because at this time they are more suited to the role (though maybe explaining that if the time was right or we felt it was more Spirit led next time we would vote for them!!).

I am trying to sit in different areas of the church each week, trying to sit with different people, or at least trying to! I am not better than anyone else, or even think I am (believe me, I’m no where near it!), but try not to get in a rut that a particular seat is mine and no one else can sit there!! It does make it much easier to talk to different people, and if your church is bigger, to identify newcomers.

I am very blessed to belong to a church that fairly openly discourages cliques, but they can develop very easily. Being on the outside of cliques myself, I know how isolating and unfriendly they can be. Without meaning to, they can make unsure or shy/quiet members feel they are not wanted or not welcome. I try to move from group to group, and know most of my church do the same to ensure that we are as welcoming and friendly as possible.

I am not criticising anyone, or how any church is run. These are just my thoughts from the other side of the pulpit.