A Favourite Gift

I wanted to share this song with you. It’s about one of my favourite chapters in the Bible, and it’s by someone called Godfrey Birtill – a man I was introduced to about 11 years ago.

This has always been one of my favourite Godfrey songs and, on a personal note, Godfrey has a special place in my heart because he’s the one who prayed my own song-writing into being.

I couldn’t write original songs before I was a Christian – lyrics or tunes, but never both. I tried to; I listened to a radio-series on song-writing over 6 Sunday afternoons, but the more I listened, the more it seemed to go over my head.

Then along came Godfrey, to lead a worship-weekend. Sunday afternoon, and there was a workshop on song-writing. At the end, people went to the front for prayer. I don’t remember all he said, but 3 days later, out came my first song.

Sometimes people tell me how clever I am to write songs, but I know it’s not my cleverness; it’s God’s enabling. He gives good gifts to His children, and song-writing is one of my favourites He’s given me.

So, now it’s your turn. Were you reading this, eager to share about a gift God has given you? Please feel free. Your stories and answers to prayer could greatly encourage somebody else.

Link

For me, this weekend was one of getting to know other Bloggers through their posts. It’s been fun, and out of all the Blogs I’ve read, Elora’s is the one I keep going back to for more. I so enjoyed reading hers and her husband’s love-story.

But, sticking with the theme of children, here’s a guest-post by one of her friends on Ice-Cream Grace. Maybe it’ll make you smile.

What was I Saying about Compassion for Others?

I’ve just heard today about this website, and thought I’d share it with you: http://www.postpals.co.uk. This is another way you can come alongside families who are suffering. You can send letters (and presents, if you’re feeling generous!) to sick children in the UK – children with cancer, rare genetic conditions, etc. The site always gives a forwarding address; never the child’s home-address, and if (like me) you prefer to use a computer, you can even write by E-mail.

Is this something you’d like to do? Will you (as their slogan says) ‘Post a smile on a sick child’s face’?

He Wept with Them

Scripture: John 11:35 – “Jesus wept”.

Observation: God is not unmoved by our suffering.

Application: I need to remember that God loves and cares for me.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for showing us Your Son and His friend, and the way He reacted when Lazarus died. He knew He was going to raise Lazarus, so it wasn’t that Jesus was crying for His own loss, but He saw the suffering of Mary and Martha and wept with them. Thank You that You have that same compassion for me, and please help me to have it for others, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

How are you showing compassion for others? Do you feel God’s asking you to sponsor a child? Perhaps you’re taking care of a needy relative; perhaps you’re there to listen when a friend needs someone to talk to; perhaps you’re putting somebody else’s needs before your own. Whatever it is, keep up the good work, and I’d love to hear your stories if you want to share them.

SOAP

Yes, you did read that right.

So what is SOAP? I’m sure I’d heard of it before, but yesterday I came across it again, thanks to Moms’ Toolbox. Ephesians 5:26 talks about the church. It says Christ sanctifies and cleanses us (makes us holy and cleans us up) with the washing of water through the Word. We all need cleaning up, and SOAP is one way to do it. As we read God’s Word (the Bible), we can take these steps –

Scripture: Write down one verse that jumps out at you from the passage you’re reading.

Observation: What is God telling you through this verse?

Application: How can you apply it to your life?

Prayer: Ask for God’s help to do this.

Do you like the idea? I do. It’s simple and it’s fun. Here’s an example –

Scripture: Isaiah 9:8-10 – “The LORD has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel. All the people will know it – Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria – who say with pride and arrogance of heart, ‘The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars’”.

Observation: When you’re crumbling, don’t try to look impressive; when you’re feeling a lack of peace, don’t try replacing it with a display of your own strength.

Application: For at least the 4th time this week, God’s speaking to me about being honest with Him, and not putting on a mask (dressed stone). When I feel overwhelmed by what’s going on around me, I need to rest in the presence of God, like the Old-Testament Jews who sat under their fig trees. I need to let Him in and let Him give me His peace, instead of proudly trying to keep it together.

Prayer: Father, thank You for speaking to me again this week about being honest with You. Thank You that You care so much about my feelings. It’s amazing to be loved so deeply by the God who made the universe. Please help me to come to You more and more, to spend time with You, to feel Your peace, and to pour out my heart to You, because I know You love me and want to share my life with me. Thank You for that, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Do you fancy having a go? Why not do some SOAPing and share it in the comments?

So You Class Them as Your Children

I recently had a discussion with an official person about reading letters. Her view was that handwritten letters were less important than bills. She asked the question: “Do you class them as pen-pals – these people you write to?”

Since she asked, I thought I might as well give her the answer. “No, they’re like my children.”

“So you class them as your children.” Her tone wasn’t too contemptuous, but I sensed she didn’t understand.

“Yes. They’re my sponsored children, so they’re like my family.” I wondered how she would feel if her child sent her a letter and she couldn’t read it. She still disagreed about the importance of the letters, but if she had several envelopes through her door – some of them bills, and one with a stamp on and addressed in her son’s handwriting – I reckon she’d open her son’s letter before any of the others.

I can’t tell you how thankful I am for my Compassion-family. I’ve seen single and married women in their 30s who’ve got no children, and it really bothers them. But if people ask have I ever wanted children, I say: “I’ve got my children. They’re in the Philippines and Haiti”, and I’m truly happy.

Official people in this world might only care about the practical side of running my life, but the emotional side is important too. Jesus cares about me, and you – our whole person. When I started to get to know Him in 1999, He had a plan for my life. He knew how much I would grow to love my friends’ children; He knew that I too would want the opportunity to be a maternal influence in children’s lives, and He gave me that opportunity through Compassion.

Are you starting to see the plan God has for your life? Would you like to begin to get to know Him? And if (like me) you want to be an influence in children’s lives, have you thought of sponsoring a child?