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Thursday, 22 June 2017

187 - Responding to Tragedy

' For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
(Matthew 25:31-46)

It sometimes feels these days like you wake up every morning and there's a new tragedy on the news.

The Manchester Bombing.

The two terrorist attacks in London.

The Grenfell tower fire.

We live in a broken world and we see evidence of that everyday.

But, we also see the incredible ways many respond to tragedy.

The supplies and donations contributed by thousands.

The celebrities who hold concerts and record songs to raise more money.

The fire-fighters and the NHS who saved so many lives.

For these people who respond to tragedy in the right way...For these people who reflect the compassion of Christ, whether they know it or not...For the God who is with us in tragedy...For the promised future when death and suffering will be no more...

For this, we can be very, very thankful.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

186 - Working with a good team

'Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.' (Proverbs 27:17)

I've been in my current job for nearly a year now. During that time, I've seen my team change a lot. Some have left and some have joined.

And I realised recently that the team I work with at the moment - I am happy working with them. We chat easily. They make me laugh and I make them laugh. We help each other out.

It's a gift of God to have a good team to work with. I know in some jobs, there would be people who annoy you, or who you don't get on with.

A good team makes it easier to go to work.

A good team is easier to work with.

Thank you God for the times you give us pleasant colleagues in our jobs.

May we glorify You to them!

Monday, 23 January 2017

185 - A Cup of Tea

OK, so I know not everyone likes tea. I've only been drinking it for just over a year.

But writing personally, I am thankful for the invention of a nice cup of tea.

It warms you up on the inside and the outside. (And I get cold really easily so this is extra appreciated.)

It wakes you up when you're tired. (Especially good when you're on an early shift)

And yes - I dunk my biscuits!

Thank you God for the simple pleasures - like a cup of tea.

Monday, 9 January 2017

184 - The Bread of Life.

They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." (John 6:34-35)

I have to confess I am borrowing a lot of today's post of today's reading on the She Reads Truth website.

And the point I take from it is this -we can be thankful we have the Bread of Life that last forever and is all we need.

Andrea Lucado points out that just like the crowd in the Bible, we demand 'bread' from Jesus - temporary things that we think will satisfy us. To them, it's food. To us it's money, a job, relationships, possessions...

And we never stop to think that we're asking this from Jesus. Jesus. Who provides all our needs. Who loves us more than any other. Who died so we could live.

Earthly bread goes stale and mouldy. Our 'bread', our idols...they're spent. Lost. Ended. Broken. We get fired. Let down. Hurt. Disappointed.

Jesus will never do that. He will never die. He will never break His word. He will never, ever stop loving us.

Put all your needs and cares in His hands.

And be thankful that you have the most precious gift in the world - the Bread of Life!

Friday, 6 January 2017

183 - Peace

'Now the God of peace be with you all.' (Romans 15:33)

I haven't written in here for a loooong time.

As most of you reading this probably know, I recently lost my brother.

You can't imagine loss till you go through it. Even now, grief is hard to describe. The shock, the tears, the empty hollow feeling that stays with you day after day...

And yet..

Through it all, we can testify that God has shown His goodness to us in many ways.

One of those ways is peace and certainty.

Peace that He is in control.

That He knows best.

That we will see my brother again in Heaven.

That Death is not the end - because the Prince of Peace shed His blood for us.

Thank you God for peace in the storms.

Monday, 26 September 2016

182 - Being able to help others in trials.

'...weep with those who weep...' (Romans 12:15)

Suffering is not pleasant - to put it mildly. It was never intended to be part of life.

But God, sovereign, marvellous, amazing, whose ways are higher than ours, is able to take our sufferings and use them for good. 

So that the man who overspent and got into debt when he was young could advise his son later in life and stop him from making the same mistake. 

So that the mother who lost her child could comfort her friend who just suffered a miscarriage.

There are other ways He can use trials for good, but being able to help others is just one of them. 

I've personally experienced this and it doesn't take away the pain of suffering... but it helps. 

Thank you God for the times we can help and empathise with others. 

Saturday, 3 September 2016

181 - Saying sorry first

'So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.' (Matt 5:23-24)

Arguments are horrible, and they can leave both sides feeling angry, bitter...and self-righteous. Both feel they're in the right and that it was all the other person's fault.

I speak from experience of course. I'm sad to say I've often been that proud person.

But what is amazing is when the Holy Spirit reaches past that coldness and touches your heart. When He shows you that it takes two to fight. That even if the other person might have started it, you carried it on.

You're both guilty. But God made sure you could both be forgiven.

We can be thankful when the Holy Spirit reminds us of this truth. And thankful when He gives us the power to do one of the hardest things - say sorry first. Swallowing our pride, going out to seek that person, apologising (genuinely, not just a "Sorry if I made you angry...") and not being sure how they'll react. Not everyone says "I'm sorry too" or "That's OK."

But we can be thankful to God that, either way, He helped us do the right thing.

And that He always forgives, even if humans don't.