Faith

Forget eggs, take freedom

This last 12 months has made us value freedom, but I wonder how many of us are truly free?

Whether you realise it or not, there is a battle going on for your soul. You and I are the target of an enemy who wants to seduce us with power, kill us with comparison and distract us with a distorted truth. The devil wants to keep you bound by lies but Jesus gave everything to set you free.

Today marks the day that you and I were set free for eternity. The death and resurrection of one man saved the souls of millions, it is a gift given for everyone, forever.

Jesus took the nails, gave His life, went down to hell and took the keys of Death and Hades. He took the power that the devil once had over you and I. Jesus gives us His gift of freedom not just for right now, but for eternity

The devil knows who Jesus is and what He has done, and he is waging a war to make sure we stay distracted or stray away from the truth. The enemy couldn’t care less whether you acknowledge Jesus or not, as long as you don’t invite Him into your heart. Because when you invite Jesus in, the enemy is powerless over your soul.

And who the Son sets free is indeed.

So will you choose freedom today? Will you take hold of the hands that took the nails for you? Will you open your heart to the One who allowed His to stop in order to save you?

This Easter, forget the eggs and accept eternity. It is the best gift you will ever receive.

If you feel led to, please pray this prayer with me

Father God, thank you that you don’t want to be separated from me for eternity which is why you sent Jesus. You knew I would make mistakes so you sent your Son to live a perfect life and die a perfect death, so that when I invite Him in to my life, you see me as made right, made new, made clean.

Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you gave Your life for me. Please come into my heart this Easter, by your Holy Spirit, show me who you are and stay close beside me. I want to be free in Jesus name for eternity. Amen🙏

P. S. If you prayed this prayer please please message me, I would love to speak to you!

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Faith

Set your sights in 2020

Sight is a gift. (Ask anyone who doesn’t have theirs and they will tell you so). To be able to see is something that we take for granted every single day. But there is a difference between having sight and seeing.

You have no doubt heard the term 20/20 vision a few times already this year, but do you know what it actually means? It is the term used to describe the clarity or sharpness of vision at 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at 20 feet. If you have 20/40 vision then you must be at a distance of 20 feet to see what someone with normal sight can see at 40 feet.

20/20 vision doesn’t equal perfect vision

It doesn’t take into consideration your peripheral sight, depth, ability to focus etc. You can still see without 20/20 vision, but your clarity isn’t as good.

I don’t have 20/20 vision, and I wear glasses every day to improve my sight. But physics sight isn’t the only thing I need improvement on.

Since becoming a Christian, I have wrestled so often with not knowing what’s ahead. As a believer I have given my heart to Jesus but my giving my head is not so easy. I want to trust Him while having complete control over the curveballs heading my way so that I can intercept them and manage them. I want to know where I am headed, so I can find the quickest, most direct route to get there.

But God isn’t in the habit of letting us see the full picture all in one go.

2 Corinthians 5:7 says that we should walk by faith and not by sight.

This has always been real hard for me. I like to be in control, but that is not my job it is God’s. It is therefore unsurprising to me that in my experience, that God has used the unexpected, the unknowns and the uncertainties to draw me closer to Him. More often than I care to admit, I have had to rely on the Holy Spirit showing me what is right and wrong. I have had to talk to Jesus and delve deeper into God’s word than ever before to find insight for the situation ahead.

Do you know that God doesn’t want you to have control?

Yep. That’s right. He doesn’t want you in control of your life anymore than you want your toddler in control of your car. In the wrong hands, a vehicle meant for driving can lead to our death.

God knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future ~ Jeremiah 29:11

So does all this mean are we supposed to walk blindly? No. We are meant to walk with Jesus. He knows the Father’s heart, and He also knows the trials we face on this earth. Jesus wants to walk with us, to strengthen us and to equip us. He is not just a character in a book; He is the living breathing Son of God, who died for you and me and rose again from the dead.

We are not meant to walk blindly, we are meant to walk with Jesus

I am a recovering control freak. I like to know what’s ahead. I want to see what’s around the corner, but without spiritual insight I may as well be walking around with a blindfold on. Jesus is teaching me to trust Him, to take His hand and let His word illuminate the path. He didn’t say He would give me the road map, but He did promise to shine enough light for me to take the next step.

New Year is the perfect opportunity to change. But in order to see change you need to see things differently. It’s time to set our sights.

Can I encourage you today to get a spiritual sight test. Take off the tinted glasses that the world would give you. See things through the lens of the Holy Spirit and let Jesus be your guide.

R x

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Faith

Sitting in the Son

Sitting in the Son. Yes the spelling is intentional. Because God knows I need His presence today. I didn’t make it through ten minutes of church because my two year old had other ideas. My ten year olds behaviour has been disgraceful on and off all week. Our belongings are scattered between about sixteen different bags that are rammed into every available space in our car. Tempers are rising as fast as the temperature. It’s safe to say we are ready to go home.

I hate leaving Wales because the mountains and the ocean soothe my soul like nothing else on earth. But I also hate the temporality of holidays, and by the end of the week away I find myself craving the comfort and familiarity of home.

But where is home? It doesn’t feel like Birmingham. With its rising crime and pollution filled air. It doesn’t feel like the hustle and bustle, the traffic, the sirens. But it is where God called us all those years ago. He asked us to serve and serve we have. Through redundancies, depression, anxiety and adoption, we have served. After a much needed year of selah, where we have leaned on God like never before, we are finally steady on our feet. As I start to feel my strength returning and as we get ready to start a new adventure, it should come as no surprise that the devil starts knocking.

You can’t do this. You won’t do this. You are going to fall again. You are going to mess up.

His whispers mix with my thoughts and mess with my mind. But Jesus. Oh Jesus.

When He was nailed to the cross, my fears and failures were nailed with Him. When He rose from the grave victorious, I too rose with Him. He won the battle for my life so I could win the battles in life.

Jesus said I am with you today and always. You are not alone. I’ve got you and we’ve got this. You are loved, you are precious, you are a child of God.

Oh Jesus.

Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy of your soul. He will do everything He possibly can to derail your destiny. Listen to the one who defeated hell and holds the keys to hades in His hands. Listen to the one who loves you so completely and unconditionally, just as you are. His words in the Bible and His actions on the cross shout louder than any of the devils whispers.

Today I am sitting in the Son. Because His presence calms the storm in my heart, soothes the troubles in my mind and restores my soul.

R x

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Essential Oils, Faith

Finding my purpose

I’ve written so many blogs but not published them. I’ve poured my heart into pages and pages of notes. I’ve felt Gods presence so powerfully and cried so hard while writing that I’ve had to catch my breath.

Many of these words need never be read by anyone other than Jesus. Like many prayers that we just can’t find the words to express or the energy to utter; they are heard in heaven.

So tonight as I sit in my garden, thinking of the rollercoaster that has been the last 12 months, hot tears of gratitude fall in place of grief. No longer am I lost and overwhelmed, not knowing where I belong or to whom. I know that I am a daughter of the King, a precious child of God blessed beyond measure.

And I am blessed to be a blessing.

You see, if I hadn’t have gone on this journey, if I hadn’t experienced the rollercoaster I wouldn’t have found my purpose.

I believe that God has called me to help others. He wants me to come alongside His children and support them, pray with them and empower them. I’ve been told by some lovely people that my blogs have encouraged them, and to hear that as a writer just blows me away.

But God didn’t just give me a gift of writing, but a gift of communication and compassion. He has also brought some beautiful people into my world who have supported me physically and emotionally through Young Living Essential Oils. I was sceptical at best when given some oils to try but when they helped me sleep for the first time in weeks I was sold. I am now completely in love with the products and am building a business to support my family financially just by sharing what the oils did for me.

Sounds crazy huh? But it feels so right. I feel like my blogging and my business go hand in hand; I can communicate what God reveals to me, show compassion to my lovely readers and also care for them practically by offering oily support suggestions.

I don’t want my blog to become a sales pitch. Far from it. But I do want to share the Good News – of the gospel of Jesus and of a way to live a healthier, happier life using the very things that God created.

Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing – Ezekiel 47:12

Never heard of essential oils? I’d love to share them with you. Want to get your own? I’d love to hook you up with some.

I am hosting my very first oily event – An Evening of Summer Essentials – on Saturday 14th July 2018 and I would love it if you could come! We are planning a relaxed, fun evening of treats and pampering so you can come and be spoilt, hear my story and go home with a goody bag, for just ÂŁ5! We have only 30 tickets available so book fast. Click this link to register free online then please forward payment to me via PayPal. (We are a fledgling business so haven’t paid for the Premium Eventbrite package where they charge us per ticket booked!)

I would love to see you and meet some new faces for the first time!

Until then my friends

R x

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Faith

Standing in the Son

There is nothing quite like feeling the sun on your face. It’s warmth radiating through your skin and across your body as you bask in the glorious rays peeking through the clouds.

Granted we don’t always see a great deal of it here in the UK, but when the sun does grace us with its welcome presence, Brits know to make the most of it. Suddenly there is a flurry of activity, picnics are packed, sun hats and swim suits are put on and people everywhere flock to their nearest park/open air pool/beach to soak up the sun.

I have to admire Brits for their tenacity. The sheer determination to capitalise on every last little bit of the warm weather, and their sheer grit to remain outdoors when the weather turns. But I can’t help wondering, if we are so captivated by the seasonal glow from the sun, how much more should we be captivated by the ever-present and eternal warmth from the Son?

Jesus came so that we could have life and live it to the full (John 10:10). We as humans were designed by God to have relationship with Him, to bask in His glory, not sit shivering on a beach in a t-shirt and shorts, towel wrapped around us, desperate to look like we are having the time of our lives whilst being in denial that we are experiencing a ‘proper’ summer.

Jesus didn’t just come to bring warmth, hope, love, forgiveness and freedom. He came so that we could feel His warmth, His love, His forgiveness personally, so that we could extend it to others. He came so that we could experience the joys of summer in our lives, in our hearts and in our relationships.

And the true beauty of the Son is He shines all year round.

The sun is an integral part of life on earth, without it we would cease to exist. Plants need the sun to grow, and guess what? So do we. When we are in the presence of the one true Son, Jesus Christ we will be refreshed, restored and renewed. We will find strength to face the day, stretch and grow our muscles of faith to climb that mountain and find renewed hope that with God anything really is possible. Jesus loves us and He is waiting for us to look up to Him, and feel His warmth on our face each and every day of our lives.

If you have found yourself in the middle of a storm lately, feeling downtrodden or downcast, look up for the Son and you will find that little ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds.

R

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Faith

Burning the candle at both ends

This is a topic that I feel hugely qualified to talk about. The craziness of life, juggling school runs and toddler tantrums while managing a family home and a writing business is a daily battle against the clock. I feel like I’m in a never ending episode of countdown with the second hand whittling away the minutes left in my day as I try to achieve my writing deadlines before ironing the uniforms for the next morning.

There are some days that I win my battle against the clock with remarkable aplomb, chores done, deadlines smashed way in advance and I find myself in the surprising state of relaxation, glass of wine in hand and Netflix on my laptop rather than Google Drive. There are others, however, that I fail miserably, forced to admit defeat as I fall asleep at the laptop and wake up in my fifth paragraph of ttttttttttttttttttttttttttt. I can’t count how many times I have wished for two or three 28 hour days in my week just to try and catch up with the mountainous laundry pile or clean my bathroom, much less spend time with my wonderfully supportive, long suffering husband.

But it’s just a season right? Burning the candle at both ends is an activity long endured and at times celebrated by hardworking parents who juggle life in order to provide security and stability for their family. A self confessed night owl who can’t function in the mornings before 7am, my days are frequently (and voluntarily!) fuelled by exorbitant amounts of caffeine that makes my evening routine far easier to bear.

This need to be awake and alert is not uncommon, and in fact God has recently been speaking to me a great deal about remaining just so in my daily walk with Him. I have found myself returning to the parables of the Ten Bridesmaids in Matthew 25 over and over again, and when it was preached on at church last week I realised that God obviously wants me to hear this, and hear it thoroughly. This story, told be Jesus, is of ten bridesmaids who were required to keep their lamps burning into the night so that they could welcome the bridegroom when he came unexpectedly to take his bride. Unlike my less successful evenings when deadlines beckon, the bridesmaids were able to sleep during the night while they waited but they had to be prepared and alert, lamps filled with oil, ready to receive the bridegroom at a moments notice.

The first point God whispered to my heart was that they wouldn’t have been able to be alert and ready if they weren’t first rested.

To expect someone to function fully at a moments notice in the night requires them to have had the right amount of rest beforehand, and God revealed to me that unless I am fully rested, finding my peace and fulfilment in Him, then I will never be able to fully function in the night; the dark world that I find myself in today.

Whether we like it or not, darkness reign on this earth, and night time has come. BUT there is a glorious dawn on the horizon, when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ WILL come again to reclaim God’s creation and redeem His sons and daughters.

My friend, we are in dark times, and I believe that God would say to us that we need to be awake, alert and aware of what is going on around us, and in order to fully function at a moments notice, like the bridesmaids we need to be filled and fulfilled by God Himself on a daily basis.

Seek Him for your healing, seek Him for your spouse, seek Him for your financial miracle, seek Him for your children. Don’t allow previous disappointments and doubts for the future cloud your ability to seek first His face, to rest in His presence and be filled with every good thing that you need.

The second point God spoke into my heart was that without their lamps burning they wouldn’t have been able to see who was coming.

We are in dark times and the devil is on the rampage. You may be quietly going about your life, doing great things for the Kingdom of God, building your business or raising a family, but know this; the thief comes in the dead of night, to steal, kill and destroy. And he will do everything in his power to distract you and throw you off track. You need to make sure that your lamp is burning brightly so that you can illuminate the darkness and make sure that the person leading you forward is Jesus, no one else. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the devil cannot influence you. True, when we are born again he has no power over us, he cannot touch us, but he can cause us to doubt, to be distracted, to be delayed and ultimatley lead us on a path of self destruction without us even realising it.

My friend, as a believe you are the bride of Christ. You are His perfect, spotless, beautiful bride and He is coming back for YOU. Rest in Him, find peace and fulfilment in Him and Him alone, and keep your lamp burning bright so that you let the bridegroom and only the bridegroom come to claim you.

R x

 

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Faith

Happy Dependence Day

a-declaration-of-dependence[1]Yes you read right, the title is not a typo on my part!

Across the pond, our fellow American friends (and many others scattered around the globe) are celebrating Independence Day, to commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on 4th July 1776.

The 4th July is a date very dear to my heart but for an entirely different reason. You see on the 4th July I publicly renounced my independence and ran headlong in to the arms of my Father in heaven.

I was baptised on the 4th July 2004 after finding Jesus in the May of that year. I was a broken young woman, fresh out of a long term relationship break up, suffering with low self-esteem and such doubts about who I was and what I was doing that shook me to my very core. I was miles away from home (The Midlands) living in St. Neots, Cambridgeshire, unable to drive and much less able to afford rail fares to visit family.

It was in my loneliness and desperation that my loving God met me. He saw a fragile heart that couldn’t bear to be handled any more, and He picked it up with such tenderness and held it close. He saw the tears streaming down my cheeks and wiped them away with His gentle hands and He carried me in His arms until I felt able to stand on my own two feet again.

Miss Independent was something of a motto for me back then as I had always felt that I need to prove myself, to be fiercely independent, reliant upon no body and no thing, for fear of being hurt, betrayed, let down or disappointed. I put on the persona that I needed no one and wasn’t afraid to let the whole world know it, but in reality I was desperate for love, for affection, for relationship.

I first experienced God through the love of a dear friend and colleague, Beckie Gilbert, who saw in me what I could not. As we got to know each other better, I found out she was a Christian and held a weekly bible study group called a ‘Cell Group’ in her home. Being curious (read nosey) about such a young, cool chick who was so passionate about church, I wanted to see what the group was all about and I eventually asked to attend her Cell groups and my first experience has stayed with me for life.

The members of the group were a mixed bunch of singles, divorcees, couples and parents that you would probably never put together, but they had one thing in common; this tangible faith that I could almost see shining out of them. Even as they talked, and made tea, and passed biscuits around, there was just something different about them. They just had ‘something’. I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but it was attractive and I wanted it. We met each week and sang some worship songs (that felt weird initially!), then shared the highs and lows of our week, discussed the word and prayed together. I was encouraged to participate whenever I wanted to or simply sit and observe the meeting, and I felt so very welcomed into this group that I quickly opened up to them. I have never felt so completely and utterly loved, accepted and embraced just as I am by any other group of people in my whole life.

After a few weeks of going along to the Cell group I figured I had better go along to church to hear the message first hand as that is what we were discussing each week, and so I first stepped over the threshold of Open Door Church in St Neots and was overwhelmed by the presence of God. There was a lot I did not understand, and some things that I found pretty unnerving, such as the gifts of the Spirit, but what I did know was that this was a place of love, a place of goodness, a place of healing and restoration and ultimately a place for family. Open Door was part of New Frontiers, and I went on to attend the Start course, which is very similar to Alpha, for new Christians or people exploring the faith. Four weeks in to the eight week course and I just felt the proverbial penny ‘drop’. I got it. I believed that this Jesus was real, that He loved me and that He died for me, and I wanted to know more. I prayed the prayer of salvation with three beautiful friends and leaders in the church on the lawns outside the school building where we met each Sunday, and as we prayed the clouds broke and the sun shone down in the most glorious moment. I was saved!

Shortly after the course finished, the church was scheduling a water baptism Sunday and I was all in. To some, this may have been to fast, but I knew that this was the right thing for me and that I needed to do it there and then. I felt so peaceful about it, so ready and most importantly so excited! From first experiencing the love of Jesus through a cell group in March, to completing my Start course and surrendering my life to Jesus in May, I then sealed the deal with a publication declaration to the world that I belonged to God, that I was saved through the blood of Jesus in the July.

So the 4th July was, and still is, a big deal for me. It is the day that I said to the world, I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to walk with Him, to rely on Him, to trust in Him and to serve Him with all that I am. I am no longer trying to do it all my way, but rather yahweh, I don’t want to be Miss Independent, but instead am proud to be dependent on the one who made me. 11 years on I am still learning, but wow, how Jesus has transformed my life!!

If you haven’t met Jesus yet, I encourage you to attend an Alpha course at your local church. Meet Christians, ask questions and most importantly ask God! Pray to him, you don’t need a theology degree to open you heart and your mouth and ask Him “God are you there? Are you listening? Do you care about me?” I guarantee He will answer you, He will speak to you through His word, through a song on the radio, through whispers in to your spirit. All you have to do is ask.

R

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