5-Minute Friday: Worship

It’s 5-minute Friday time again, where we write for 5 minutes without worrying whether it’s just right, and this week Lisa-Jo’s picked a prompt that’s close to my heart:  Worship.  I enjoyed writing this, and if you want to join in, you can too.  You can either write a post (like me), or share in the comments over on Lisa-Jo’s blog.

 

So, worship:

* * *

Worship; worth-ship.  Expressing what God is worth, but how?  Is He worth much if He’s just put in a box to bring out every morning when you read your Bible?  Could the fact that you read your Bible before the day starts be a heart-cry to the Lord:  “You come before everything else.  I want to put You first”?

So what’s your expression?  Maybe it’s singing.  Maybe it’s dancing, and maybe even respected people in the church have told you you’re a showoff, but usually the ones who think you’re a showoff only think it because they feel too self-conscious to do the same thing themselves.

So tell Him what He’s worth.  Tell Him in the songs and the dances; in the money that goes out of your bank account; in the love that spreads from you to others, and to Him.  Tell Him what He’s worth – yes, give Him your worship.

Who are You?

Cindy wrote to me this week, and I’m very grateful to the staff at her Compassion-project.  They’re teaching her an important lesson – that she’s beautiful on the inside.

 

I don’t know about you, but when you meet people, doesn’t it feel more comfortable if you’ve got a title to attach to yourself?  “I’m a secretary”; “I’m a teacher”; “I’m a mum”.  It seems people pay so little attention to who we are on the inside, and yet that’s the most important thing:  It’s what makes us … us.  If when we met someone for the first time we had to introduce who we really were, I wonder what we’d say.  Why don’t you get a piece of paper and try to write it down?  Any negative traits will be things you can ask for God’s help with, and the positives are things to hold onto.

 

So, how did you do?

Someone who Prays

How has your Sunday been?  I went to church and we had a time of prayer:  Someone’s grandchild was very sick; someone’s mum was sick; someone’s wife had been into hospital for an operation.  Afterwards, as we carried on with the singing, I got to thinking:  What if you don’t have people around you to pray for your family?  Even as a churchgoer, you might not be able to ask people to pray publicly for your particular problems.  Maybe you haven’t been there long and don’t know the people well enough; maybe the problems are too painful; maybe they’re confidential – whatever it is, you don’t feel part of a church-family who prays for you.

Well, into my mind came Romans 8:34:  “Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”  Interceding means He’s pleading for us – so yes, we do have someone praying for us:  Jesus Himself.

Why don’t you think of that next time you’re feeling excluded?  Jesus is at God’s right hand, praying to the Father – for you.

Longed-For

I promised you the second part of the story, didn’t I – the story of the half-sister who’s taken advantage of?  Well, her brother takes her in and gets his revenge on his half-brother by killing him.  He can imagine the consequences, so he leaves Jerusalem for three years (2 Samuel 13:38), but King David longs to see his son again.

David longed to see him, but did he do anything about it?  As a king, he could have.  He knew where he was; he could have ordered him sent back and brought into his presence any time he chose, but he didn’t.  When he finally agreed his son could return, he wouldn’t contact him.  It was only when the son got frustrated and effectively said:  “Why am I here?  I might as well have stayed away.  Let me see the king”; only then was he allowed into his presence.

Only when the son showed an interest.

I love that, because it reminds me so much of God’s dealings with us.  I don’t know how you see God as you read this.  Maybe He seems distant to you, but do you know He longed to spend time with you and be involved in your life even before you thought about Him?  If He seems distant, could it be because He’s like King David with his son – loving and longing to see you, but waiting for an invitation?

This is a song one of my Facebook-friends wrote and shared.  I hope it helps.

A Family in Trouble

Aren’t families complicated?  Take this one family:  There’s a son and a daughter, and the daughter’s very beautiful – so beautiful that her half-brother falls in-love with her.  I’ve read about this recently (2 Samuel 13).  The man’s so frustrated because he knows it would be wrong for him to end up with his half-sister.

 

He could have handled this in a Godly way:  Perhaps he could have asked God to bring someone into his life he loved even more – someone he could rightfully marry.  It wouldn’t have been the first time somebody asked God for His help to choose a wife; Abraham’s servant did the same when looking for a wife for Isaac, but the man chose not to.  He could have been honest with his half-sister and their father about his feelings and asked for God’s help to avoid temptation, but he chose not to do that either.  Instead he took some wrong advice – the advice of his cousin, who told him to pretend to be ill.  He was very convincing and requested that his half-sister bring some of his favourite food.  Their father agreed, she brought the food into his bedroom and you can imagine what happened next.

 

Whose family was this?  King David’s.  The ruler of Israel wasn’t immune to personal problems; nobody is, and God cares about them all.

 

Are you struggling with something in your life?  Can you think of a right and Godly way to handle it?  Perhaps you’re being given all kinds of advice and don’t know where to turn.  I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I know that God does.  I’m here if you want to share in the comments, and I’m happy to pray for/with you.

 

Stay tuned because I want to write about the second part of this story in a future post.

Having a Disability Doesn’t Have to Limit Your Life?

I just heard on the radio that a blind motorcyclist has come out with this after reaching 167 mph, with his father riding alongside him.  Of course the presenter loved the story, but it’s got me on my soapbox.

Firstly, motorcycling is just one aspect of his life, and he’s limited to having somebody with him.  You could argue that it’s limiting his dad’s life, expecting him to give up his time so his son can enjoy himself, and what happens when his dad’s not around anymore?

Let’s just briefly look at 3 other things:  First of all, books.  Amazon have developed an accessibility plug-in for their Kindle software to help blind people read books on their PC.  This is fantastic, and I absolutely loved the choice it gave me.  For the first time I could read a book as soon as it was in the shops, just the same as anyone else.  I don’t have an iPhone, but there are also apps like iBooks and the Kindle app which are now fully accessible, but what if you’re not technological?  Well, if you want a book, you buy it, and you can send it away to have it Brailed.  This costs 4p per page, so for over 250 pages, we’re talking over £10, on-top of the price of the book, plus the process of putting it into Braille takes over 6 months – a bit different to picking something up off the shelf the day it’s released.

Second, jobs:  I was just looking at yet another job this morning – a part-time administrator/receptionist.  As a Braille-reader I can do maybe 60% of it, but it lists filing, faxing and photocopying as some of the main parts of the job.  I’m thinking of applying, but I’ll have to be honest with them that there would be difficulties.  They may be able to make adjustments and have the rest of the team do what I can’t, but that’s not guaranteed.

Finally, getting around:  I use a long cane and only learn the routes I need.  My sense of direction’s not great, and I have to have walked something quite a few times before it sticks in my memory.  I travel on trains and like their Assisted Travel service.  You can phone beforehand to book assistance so that someone will meet you off one train and take you to your connection, but the same facility isn’t available on buses.  I’m not confident on buses, though I have used them (and missed my stop because relying on a driver’s memory isn’t fool proof).  But if I want to go somewhere unfamiliar, even to look around town when there’s a special event on, I have to have a guide.  Earlier this year, I determined I wasn’t going to miss out on our local food festival, so I got a taxi into town and started off on my own.  A couple of people pointed me in the right direction, but I really only got to browse all the stalls when someone found a Red Cross lady and asked her to show me round.  She was lovely and hoped her only crisis of the day would be helping a lady find cake!

To be blunt, I don’t like being blind; I don’t like the burden it is on my parents, friends and others; I don’t like not being able to put as much into society as I’d like to, so please don’t tell me having a disability doesn’t limit your life.  I’m not after sympathy; I guess what I am hoping for is that when you see a quote like that from someone who’s proud of themselves after a big achievement, you’ll engage your brain and realise it’s not necessarily true.

Communion

No longer the slaughter, the fear, the hurry,

No longer the punishing God in His fury;

No more the spattered blood on the doorposts –

We’re covered, protected forever.

 

Thank You, my Lord, for dying for me;

There really is nothing like knowing Your peace –

Like knowing the veil‘s been taken away

As You opened the gate for us.

 

Forgiveness and healing flow from Your throne;

I recognise You and I give You my all –

The blessing of gathering here at Your feet,

Surrounded completely by love.

5-Minute Friday: Small

I wrote this post and then discovered it fitted with Lisa-Jo’s “5-Minute Friday” theme for this week.  Yea!  If you want to join in, why not click over to her blog and see how it works?

 

I was reading 2 Samuel 10 today, and it really touched me; it’s such a sad story.  What happens is, a king dies – one who’s been very loyal to King David, so David sends some of his representatives to the man’s son to sympathise with him.  David wanted to show kindness to the son because of his father’s loyalty.  Where have we heard that before?  David showed kindness to his friend Jonathan’s son because of a promise he’d made.  I guess this would have been known throughout the surrounding countries because Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, should have been the heir to the throne.  Any other king might have killed him, but David kept his vow to his friend and not only spared his life, but honoured him too.

So, back to the story.  David’s representatives go to the king’s son and instead of thinking the best of David, instead of looking at his track record and welcoming them, his advisors say:  “Do you really think he’s done this to honour your father?  No, he’s sent these people as spies,” and they humiliate the men and send them away.

When they realise their mistake and how angry it’s made David, they prepare to go into battle.  David’s men win, so when the enemy regroup, they bring in more troops for another battle.  Seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand foot soldiers are killed (v18).  Seven hundred charioteers and forty thousand foot soldiers?  Such loss of life, all because one person was mistrusted.  No one stepped back and said:  “Hang on a minute,” and tried to work things out.

I was struck by the stupidity of it all.  I’m sure if you looked at other wars throughout the centuries and the final straw that set them off, it’d be just as small, and maybe some of the relationships in your life aren’t what they should be because a past misunderstanding’s getting in the way.  So what are you fighting for?  And is it really worth it?

Apology to Words4Life Members and Anyone Interested in the Study

Were you listening to the series on heaven and studying along-with us? If you were, I’m really sorry, but the church have taken those sermons off the website. I was just about to listen to Part 3 and post about it, but now we can’t listen to any more.

Thanks to those who joined the Facebook group and showed an interest in the study. If you want to leave the group, I won’t be offended, or you can stay a member and maybe we’ll study something else in the future.

Hope everyone’s having a nice weekend.