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Showing posts from December, 2013

Looking Ahead

Dear Friends,

As we are coming to the end of the year, I find my thoughts going to the new year which will soon be upon us.  Over the last week or so I began to think about "What do I want for 2014?" What are my hopes, my dreams, my goals for the coming year? That is, until God showed me that was the wrong question to be asking.  You see, it's not about me and what I want, instead it's all about God and what he wants for me in 2014.  What does God want for me, for you, in 2014?

It's all very well looking ahead considering what goals and aims I may have for 2014, but if I ignore God in my deliberations then my goals and aims will come to nothing.  Proverbs 19:21 tells us "Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails." (NIV) and in Proverbs 16:9 "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." (NLT) When we allow God to determine the direction we take then we will have success.

So, I've begun to …

Jesus Christ - The Reason for the Season

Dear Friends,

"Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel which means ‘God is with us’." Matthew 1:23 (NLT)

What a great name 'Immanuel' is - 'God is with us'. Jesus Christ came to live among us and he is the reason why we celebrate Christmas. What an incredible, indescribable gift God gave to us on that first Christmas, over 2000 years ago.  God has given us the gift of Jesus that we might know what it means to have God with us, to know his presence which never leaves us, to know he is with us, he is for us, not against us which means we are blessed not only by his presence but also by his protection over us.

This year as I prepare for Christmas  I've been more deliberate about keeping Jesus Christ as my focus and at the centre of everything I do, rather than focusing on what I think needs to be done. When I'm not deliberate about it then I find I easily become caught up in the hustle and bustle …

A King Worthy of Our Worship

Dear Friends,

Over the past few weeks my family and I have been watching "I'm a celebrity...get me out of here!"  We've watched as a group of celebrities who don't know each other are dropped off in the Australian jungle for a few weeks. They take little with them into the camp, they sleep on camp beds and cook basic food on the camp fire.  They take part in various gruesome trials and face elimination from the jungle by public vote until just one person, the winner, is left. The one who is the last to leave is crowned King (or Queen) of the Jungle.  Although they may not all admit to it, they have selfish reasons for participating in this reality tv show, whether it's money, or to further their career or to win public approval.  To some people it would be viewed as quite a feat as the celebrities face and survive the jungle, with one person winning the victory by lasting the longest.

But, I know of one who has done something far more incredible and it's go…

Where Is God When I'm Hurting? Part 2

Dear Friends,

This week follows on from last week so you may find it helpful to read or re-read last week's post. I wrote how we can know, even during our trials, that God loves us, cares about us and is with us in our pain.  You may remember that I shared about Jess' experience at the dentist, that it was painful to endure it, but that it was in her best interests that she did so.

God, our loving heavenly Father, allows us to sometimes go through difficult and painful circumstances because they are ultimately for our good.  He uses these times to grow our faith in him, to deepen our trust, and to take us on in our Christian journey. For example, James says to his readers  "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." Jame…