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Showing posts from May, 2014

You Are Who God Says You Are

Dear Friends,

All her life Leah had been used to being compared with her younger, prettier sister.  She built an invisible wall around herself, pretending the things people said about her didn't affect her at all, but really each comment was a wound that stung to the very core of her being.  From childhood, through adolescence and on into adulthood, people had told her she was plain, awkward, reserved and dull.  She had heard it so many times that she believed it herself, she believed that this was who she was.  I just wish I was more like my sister, Rachel, she often thought.  If only I was lovely, beautiful, witty, charming, and someone who people loved to be around.

When the sisters first met their cousin, Jacob, it was obvious to Leah that he would prefer Rachel to herself.  Who wouldn't?  He only had eyes for Rachel and barely spoke to Leah except out of courtesy.  He soon fell deeply in love with Rachel and their marriage was arranged.

Now, Leah had a dream that one day a …

Taming The Tongue

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Dear Friends,

We have recently had two small additions to our family - two fluffy bunnies!  Jess' bunny is Bugsy, (on the left) a dwarf lionhead rabbit who was about 10 months old when she bought him.  He is an indoor bunny and loves to be let loose in our conservatory.  He is happy to be stroked, but doesn't like to be picked up and held.  It's obvious he was greatly loved by his previous owner but I'm not sure that she held him much.  Josh's bunny is Fluff-Zilla (I take no responsibility for the name!) she is a dwarf lionhead/lop rabbit and is about 8 weeks old.  We take her out of her cage daily to hold and cuddle her so that she becomes tame.  We know this won't happen over-night, it will take time, determination and perseverance.  Bugsy, being an older rabbit, will be much harder to tame.

Trying to tame these bunnies reminded me of James writing in his letter (in chapter 3) about taming the tongue.

I don't know about you, but I find that I'm not alway…

Demonstrating God's Grace Rather Than Harbouring A Critical Attitude

Dear Friends,

I mentioned in my last blog that part of perfectionism involves aiming for impossibly high standards and then being critical and judgemental when I don't meet those standards.

In my perfectionism I also expected others to meet these same high standards, which also meant (and this is not an easy thing to admit to) that I had a critical and judgemental attitude towards others if they failed to meet those standards.  At the time I wasn't aware of these wrong attitudes until God revealed the truth to me.  God showed me how critical I was when others didn't live up to my human interpretation of what makes a "good (or perfect)" Christian.  And he showed me how unlike Jesus I was being.

When the M.E was at its worst I was unable to get out to many church meetings.  Now, prior to this I had been judgemental of others when they didn't attend the meetings I thought they should be at.  God said to me - how would I feel right now, if others judged my non-appea…

A Recovering Perfectionist

Dear Friends,

I've been a perfectionist for as long as I can remember.  I used to think it was a good characteristic to have until God showed me differently.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Although I wasn't really aware at the time, I had made life all about being perfect in everything I did and this put a tremendous pressure on me.  I hasten to add at this point that this pressure wasn't from anyone else but myself.  So I was constantly pushing myself hard at school to achieve, then again when I was at university studying to be a teacher, and being very hard on myself when I didn't do as well as I thought I should at teaching practices.  As a wife and later a mother I again strove for perfection and was so critical and judgemental of myself.  I had a strict routine which I "had" to follow, so for example, Mondays were the days I had to clean my home from top to bottom, and I had set days for washing dark clothes and light clothes.  You may laugh and I…

What's At The Heart Of Your Worship?

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Dear Friends,
Over Easter, my family and I went to a Spring Harvest Family Week.  The people who attend this week come from all kinds of backgrounds and different types of churches.  Yet none of those differences matter when we come together because our desire is to give God our love and worship. The moment we meet for the first evening session in the 'Big Top' there is a sense of oneness and unity.  I particularly enjoyed the worship and praise times with around 3,000 people.  To have that many people lifting their voices in praise to God in one place was a wonderful thing to be a part of, and for me it felt like a foretaste of heaven.  I can't wait to get to heaven and put my name down on the sign-up sheet for choir!  Imagine how much better our worship will be in heaven!
As long as we agree on the essentials when we gather together - such as that Jesus is the Son of God, that he died and rose again and has given us the gift of his Holy Spirit, the small differences, like …