Have you experienced moments like this in God’s presence, where there’s been no room for anything else? I’d love to hear in the comments.

 

the-meaning-of-lifeis-to-find-your-gift-the-purpose-of-lifeis-to-give-it-away“He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room.” (1 Kings 6:27 NIV84)

From wall to wall, Solomons temple was filled. The wingspan of the cherubim touched each wall and met in the middle. No gaps. No space. Filled.

And so it is in God’s presence. When we allow ourselves to rest in his presence, we enter a place full of heaven. No gaps. No room for anything else but “on earth, as it is in heaven”.

In His presence angels lift you up, a river refreshes your soul, healing spreads from wall to wall, wisdom floods every space, love touches everything. Let your soul be filled, your room flood from wall…

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We don’t have to keep hold of our regrets just to prove we’re sorry. I’ve had that same thought. Thank you, Bill, for expressing something I could never quite put into words.

Unshakable Hope

Do you ever feel like your regrets are haunting you like ghosts from your past?

I used to allow regrets over things I’ve said or wished I had said and things I’ve done or wish I had done, to steal my joy, peace and hope. I became so aggravated with these condemning “ghosts” of regret that I finally decided to figure out how to defeat them. The following “battle-plan” (for conquering regrets) has helped me and I hope it might help others dealing with this problem too.

Defining this enemy
Even though I knew what the word regret meant, I began by looking up the definition, which, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is: “sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one’s control or power to repair: an expression of distressing emotion (as sorrow)” 

I also noticed that repent is one of the synonyms for the word regret. I suppose this makes…

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for-the-anointing-of-your-presencesatisfies-me-like-nothing-else-you-are-such-a-rich-banquet-of-pleasure-to-my-soul-2“My Soul thirsts for you” Psalm 63:1

You have a soul that gets thirsty.

Just like your body longs to eat and drink when it needs to, your very soul and heart have appetites too. They are designed to keep you chasing after, engaging with and taking in things that will keep you healthy, strong and able to fight through life.

When your soul gets thirsty you have longings. Feelings of insecurity, fears, loneliness, frustration, emptiness, lack of fulfilment – these are all the hunger pangs of your soul.

The question is, when this happens are we going to drink spiritual sugary drinks and eat junk food, or do we eat what God really intended?

Some seek to sooth their hunger pangs by throwing themselves into mindless leisure, endless TV, unhealthy relationships, secret sins and materialism. Others seek the buzz of the stage, the adulation of crowds, the satisfaction…

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Song for Your Saturday

Very recently I discovered Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Long Way Home” – a great song to start the day with.  Firstly, I love that it starts with him saying:  And a-1, 2, a-1 2 3!  But more seriously, here are some of the lyrics:

“I set out on a great adventure the day my Father started leading me home;

He said ‘There’s gonna be some mountains to climb and some valleys we’re gonna go through’:

But I had no way of knowin’ just how hard this journey could be,

‘Cos the valleys are deeper and the mountains are steeper than I ever would’ve dreamed,

But I know we’re gonna make it!”  What an assurance – to know you’ll get to heaven and the finish-line!  Can you say that with confidence too?

 

And the next verse:

“I got some rocks in my shoes, fears I wish I could lose, that make the mountains so hard to climb

And my heart gets so heavy with the weight of the world sometimes.”  How true is that!  But you know, you can get rid of those rocks.  Hebrews 12:1 says:  “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

 

Happy Saturday!  Happy snowy Saturday if you’re in the UK, and as Steven says:

“Even on the best days, it’s best to remember we’re not home yet.”

Cross – not Conscience

Have you heard the news today – news that 3 cases have been lost in the European court?  Or did you just hear about the lady who won her case?

 

Let me explain it, as I understand it.  A British Airways stewardess is told that yes, she can wear a cross to work, and by disallowing this, her employer was discriminating against her.  Meanwhile, a nurse hears she can’t wear a cross to work, due to health and safety issues.  A registrar is told she doesn’t have the right to refuse to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies, and a sex therapist finds he has to offer therapy to same-sex couples.

 

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel cynical about the lady winning her case?  They gave her a victory, so while she and her lawyers are jumping up-and-down celebrating that Christians can wear crosses (which are worn by non-Christians as well, by the way), it’s taking attention away from more important matters.

 

For me personally, if someone said I couldn’t wear a cross, it wouldn’t faze me.  I would care that my freedom of choice had been taken away, but from a Christian point-of-view, it wouldn’t tear me up inside or stop me believing what I believe.  But if I was a registrar and I had to declare 2 women a couple and give them a certificate of civil partnership, now that would tear me up inside!  Apparently we’re allowed a cross, but not a conscience.

Rising from Poverty

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“It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish
king who refuses all advice.  Such a youth could rise from poverty and succeed” – Ecclesiastes 4:13-14.  Fellow-sponsors, let’s be thankful for our sponsored children.  Yesterday was the 3rd anniversary of that terrible earthquake in Haiti.  Please, let’s remember that our children have a part in their countries’ futures.  They too could rise from poverty and succeed.

sunset-chaser

“There are six things The Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him” Proverbs 6:16

Psalm 11:5 tells us that “God’s soul hates the wicked”. Ever thought about that? God has the capacity to hate; to find things, even people, detestable.

In modern, western, society, especially in the Church, I think there is sometimes a pressure for us to lose the extremes of true love and hate, and replace it with a bland, politically correct, mind numbing politeness. We neither love nor hate; we tolerate, nod, remain silent. We avoid offering true and full opinions for fear of offence. We shuffle along hoping to avoid the extremes we were actually designed to express.

Yet God is far more extreme; and that’s OK! He loves. He hates. He gushes, get’s hot tempered. He gets jealous for us, passionate even. He dances, hugs, shouts, turns over tables, let’s “zeal consume him”…

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you-can-relax-in-the-incredible-promise-today-that-he-will-lift-you-up-carry-you-strengthen-you-and-bring-you-through“Here is my servant, who I uphold” Isaiah 42:1

This verse shows a wonderful insight into God’s care for Jesus, as he walked out his purpose on the earth. The Father was committed to upholding the Son.

And as His servant today, He is committed to upholding you and me.

You can relax in the incredible promise today, that He will lift you up, carry you, strengthen you and bring you through. He has made it His responsibility.

Verse 4 promises “He will not falter nor be discouraged”.
God has even promised to stop you faltering; He’ll lift you up, so your ankle will not turn. His angels will “lift you up in their hands, so your foot will not strike the stones” Ps 91:11-12.

And you won’t even be discouraged. Just turn to His word when discouragement looms, and His Spirit will stir afresh the confidence to keep…

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“Depression seems to overwhelm with a vicious suddenness when it is actually the result of a malignant and constant process” – Mary Southerland

 

Overwhelmed with a vicious suddenness – that phrase seems to describe it so well.  As someone who’s struggled with depression herself, Mary’s qualified to write about it I think.  In her post today, which is worth a read, she listed some of the factors behind depression.  One was a lack of replenishing relationships, another the pain of your past.  Do you see yourself struggling with either of those?  Can I tell you some good news?

 

If you don’t feel replenished by the people in your life, God is there and able to replenish you.  Maybe you’ll find in the Bible (as I have) truths to replace the lies others have believed about you, or you’ve believed about yourself.

 

And God’s there for you to give the pain of your past to Him too.  We had a lady come to the front at church yesterday.  She really felt God was saying:  “Do you trust Me to minister?  Do you trust Me to heal those pains – pains that go so deep, they can’t even be expressed?”

 

So let me ask you the same question.  Do you trust Him?

Broken to be Filled

We had an interesting illustration today.  2 jugs – 1 representing Adam, the other symbolising Jesus; and grapes, which represented us.

 

Someone put the grapes into the first jug to show that Adam’s sin/wrongdoing meant that when we were born, we were born into sin – born with that same corrupt nature.  Then Jesus came along and, yes, the grapes were poured out of jug 1 into jug 2.  When we become Christians, we’re born again and we’re in Jesus, but the pastor went on to say that not only are we in Jesus, the miracle is that He’s in us too.

 

Well, that got me thinking.  How could that happen?  What would need to happen to one of those grapes for a piece of that jug to get inside it?  It would need to split in half.  It couldn’t remain a whole grape.  That’s a bit like us isn’t it?  We need to die to our selfishness and the bad stuff inside us before Jesus can shine through.

 

And, by the way, a whole jug couldn’t fit inside that one tiny grape.  Could it?  Wouldn’t the jug need to be broken too?  Yes, Jesus needed to die before God the Father could send His Spirit to live in us and transform us.

 

So that’s one thing I came away from church with this morning:  Broken to be filled.