In his Name

Colossians 3 New International Version

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

God has given to us a new, forgiven life in him. We have no need, therefore to be anxious if we Turn our eyes upon Jesus as it says in the song. The past cannot make us afraid, for we know that that our sins are forgiven.

The present need not trouble us, for we know that the whole world is in God’s hands.

“Do everything in the name of Jesus Giving Thanks“. A thankful spirit will triumph over many difficulties, and will save us from many more

Showing Mercy

Proverbs 19:17 The Message

17 Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,
    and God pays back those loans in full.

When I look a the meaning behind this proverb I realise what a powerful statement it is.

In order to become true Christians we do need to show mercy on the poor, and God will pay us back in full

There are many ways that we can do this, we can attend to the needs of the poor in countries not so well off as our own.

Many Cities and large towns will have soup runs run by some sort of organisation for the down and outs in our towns and cities.

Also for those families who can’t afford to go to the big supermarkets many churches or organisations run ‘Food banks’ for those on a low income

We mustn’t forget the money that gets raised by the various churches and organisations to be distributed both in the UK and overseas.

On the lead up to Christmas some churches have a shoe box appeal for the less fortunate children overseas who wouldn’t normally be recieving a Christmas present

Epilepsy and Faith

Mark 9:14-29 The Message

There Are No Ifs

14-16 When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”

17-18 A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”

19-20 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.

21-22 He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”

“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”

23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”

24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”

25-27 Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up.

28 After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”

29 He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”

I came across this reading in an Epilepsy blog I was reading the other day and decided It was time I let you know I suffer from the condition.

I won’t telling you to much at the moment as I plan to make a video blog telling you all about my life with Epilepsy later this year (I hope).

What I will tell you at the moment is I wasn’t born with it, I developed it around the ages of 11 – 12yrs old. Apart from my late teens/early twenties I went about seven years without a seizure, as I was driving for four years and in those days you had to be seizure free for three years. Then one day they suddenly returned and naturally I gave up driving though I loved it.

Since that day I have had controlled epileptic seizures by medication.

Occasionally my epilepsy will get me down but I am a positive person, therefore most times when I have a seizure or turn as I call them they generally don’t bother me.

You may be asking where does my faith come into all of this.Well first of all I believe in Jesus ‘The Great Physician’, I also have a very supportive group of family and friends who understand my condition and lastly I have a great Neurologist and Epilepsy Nurse.

I’ll finish off by asking myself the question, “looking at verse 29 have I been praying hard enough?”

Triumph of Peace

A blog with a difference today As we listen to Lt Col Ray Steadman Allen talks about ‘The Triumph of Peace’ written by Eric Ball for Brass Bands.

Peace in our time, O Lord,
To all the peoples – peace!
Peace surely based upon Thy will
And built in righteousness.
Thy power alone can break
The fetters that enchain
The sorely stricken soul of life
And make it live again.

Too long mistrust and fear
Have held our souls in thrall;
Sweep through the earth, keen Breath of Heav’n
And sound a nobler call!
Come, as Thou didst of old,
In love so great that men
Shall cast aside all other gods
And turn to Thee again.

Peace in our time, O Lord,
To all the peoples – peace!
Peace that shall build a glad new world,
And make for life’s increase.
O living Christ, Who still
Dost all our burdens share,
Come now and dwell within the hearts
Of all men everywhere.

A Quiet time

Philippians 4 New International Version

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Final Exhortations

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Do you ever get those days where all you long for is a bit of ‘Me time or Quiet time’. I know I do.

In my case, on Saturday night we had my daughter, her husband and 2yr old granddaughter round for tea, and let me tell you granddaughter takes after her mum. (A real live wire).

Sunday we attended our local Salvation Army in the morning but managed to grab a bit of ‘ Me time or Quiet time’ before heading to mother in law’s for tea that night

Please listen to The International Staff Songsters and follow the words of In this Quiet moment

In this quiet moment, still, before your throne,
Conscious of your presence, knowing I am known,
In this quiet moment, set my spirit free,
In this quiet moment, make a better me.

Showing Hospitality

Hebrews 13 New International Version

Concluding Exhortations

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

Or as the King James Bible puts verse two

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares

Have you ever had a stranger come to your door and let him or her in and shown them hospitality to them.

In my case it’s quite often workmen for our local housing partnership. You never know You or I may have let ‘Angels in’ with some of these strangers

Having said that, nowadays we have to be careful who we let in to our homes

If they are workmen we should always make sure they carry an identity badge.

We must also put our trust in God in times like this.

Reconciliation

2 Corinthians 5 New International Version

The Ministry of Reconciliation

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Most of us will have a difficult family member who basically causes trouble with everyone else in the family, Some of us may get to the point where children fall out with parents or the other way around.

It could be something else like an overpowering mother in law who though she is loved by all immediate family seems to want to take control of literally everything

Making peace

The Important thing to remember is we have to remain patient and wait God’s time in times like these. We have also got to bare in mind that reconciliation works both ways

A Childs Burden

Matthew 6 – New International Version

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The above passage has got to be one of the most well known passages on Worry in the Bible. So much so I recall using it in a blog about a week ago called ‘No Worries’

While Jesus tells both you and I not to worry I must admit this is a very hard thing to do sometimes.

Granted some of us worry more than others and our partners or friends may use the phrase ” I don’t know what your worrying about” I’ve said it myself.

A Childs Burden

My Mother’s name is worry, In summer she worries about the water; In winter she worries about coal and briquets, and all year long she worries about the rice.

In daytime my mother worries about living; At night she worries about her children, and all the day long she worries and worries.

Then, my mother’s name is worry. My father’s name is drunken frenzy. And mine is tears and sigh.

Stress

Romans 10 New International Version – UK

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11 As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’[e] 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’[f]

Or as The Message translates it,

Romans 10 The Message (MSG)

11-13 Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”

I have a question for you. Can you honestly say you have had a ‘Stress free’ live? I know I haven’t. Something I’ve always tried to bare in mind when stressed or worried is the old saying ‘It’ll all work out in the end’ and it usually does.

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Of course as we all know some of the more common stress factors are Marriage, Divorce and financial problems and that’s only the tip of the iceberg as they say.

As Christians dealing with stress we must trust in God because as The Message puts it ‘He’s the same God for all, a generous God who can help.

You were the Word at the beginning
One With God the Lord Most High
Your hidden glory in creation
Now revealed in You our Christ

What a beautiful Name it is
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a beautiful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a beautiful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You didn’t want heaven without us
So Jesus, You brought heaven down
My sin was great, Your love was greater
What could separate us now

What a wonderful Name it is
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a wonderful Name it is
Nothing compares to this
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a wonderful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

How sweet is your name, Lord, how good You are
Love to sing in the name of the Lord, love to sing for you all?
Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You
You silenced the boast, of sin and grave
The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

You have no rival, You have no equal
Now and forever, Our God reigns
Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory
Yours is the Name, above all names

What a powerful Name it is
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus Christ my King

What a powerful Name it is
Nothing can stand against
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus
What a powerful Name it is
The Name of Jesus

Clean Water

John 7 New International Version

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37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”[c] 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

I suppose you as well as myself will have noticed the number of appeals that went out from different charities over the Christmas period for different things.

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The other night I seen this appeal on TV for clean water and it showed the difference it could make to the lives of those in poor countries

The thing that has really stuck in my mind about this advert is the joy on some of the children’s faces when they were drinking ‘Clean tap water’ for the first time

Verse 1
Life is a journey; long is the road,
And when the noontide is high
Souls that are weary faint ‘neath their load,
Long for the waters, and cry:

Chorus
The well is deep and I require
A draught of the water of life,
But none can quench my soul’s desire
For a draught Or the water of life;
Till one draws near who the cry will heed,
Helper of men in their time of need,
And I, believing, find indeed
That Christ is the water of life.

Verse 2
Life is a seeking, life is a quest,
Eager and longing desire;
Unto the true things, unto the best,
Godward our spirits aspire.

Verse 3
Life is a finding; vain wand’rings cease
When from the Saviour we claim
All we have longed for, solace and peace,
And we have life in his name.