A Birthday Connection

Today is my friends’ daughter’s birthday. They lived in my hometown, which they left before she was a year old. These were friends who’d really helped me grow as a Christian and get to know God more. It was very sad to see them go: The first of my close friends to have a girl and I wouldn’t get to see her grow up, so I prayed. “Father, please let me hear her say something, even one word, before she goes.” That prayer wasn’t going to change the world. It wasn’t for anyone’s benefit except mine, but you know, it happened. One day we were in the car and her dad was talking, and she said “Daddy”; not dada, but the proper word “Daddy”, as clear as if you or I had said it. I didn’t hear her talk again until the family came back to visit, much later.

I wrote this just to encourage you to pray. It might be the smallest, stupidest, most selfish prayer you can think of, but what does that matter? If we really have a God who loves and cares for us, He’s going to want to spend time with us – to hear what’s in our hearts; what makes us happy or sad.

I believe in a God who wanted a connection with us so much that He came to this earth as one of us. At Christmas, we’ll celebrate Jesus being born into the human race. At Easter, we’ll remember that He came for one reason: To live a blameless life and to die spotless, so He could represent us before God the Father. When we come to God through Jesus, God’s able to hear our prayers and connect with us, and that’s really special.

A Sponsor for her Birthday

Today is a very special day.  It’s Jennylyn’s birthday!  Jennylyn is my first Compassion-child, and I started sponsoring her when she was almost 6 years old.  I think sponsoring through Compassion’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  I love that I can tell someone on the other side of the world she’s loved and cared-for, talk about our families and friends, and share Bible-verses I hope might help her in the tough times, but the letters I receive from Jennylyn mean far more to me than the ones I write.  (I’ll never forget when she said at my age, my skin was smooth like a fresh fruit!)  I’m not sure when a new photo will arrive, but I always keep her latest on display so my family and friends can see what she looks like.  Sponsorship makes a big difference in the life of a child – a Bible, education, school supplies, medical care … but the sponsor benefits too.


I wonder if you’d like to do the same:  Start sponsoring a child who’s almost 6 years old.  If you would, I’ve found a little girl on Compassion UK’s website.  Her name’s Kristina Cassandra (what a mouthful!) and she’ll be 6 tomorrow.  Why not click on her name, read all about her and see whether you’d like to become her sponsor?

Birthday and a Warning

This blog is 2 years old this month, and I want to thank all my readers – those who’ve read from the beginning and those I’ve met along the way.  I appreciate you all and am so glad when you take the time to comment.


My friend told me before that I should start blogging, but I put it on the back burner because I didn’t think I had anything to say.  Then I went to the Compassion conference in June 2011.  I came back wanting to do more for this amazing organisation, and the idea of blogging wasn’t so vague anymore …  I could blog about Compassion; talk about my sponsored children; letters; what Compassion stood for …


So here’s the warning:  There’s another Compassion conference next weekend and I’m going.  I don’t know whether you’ll get the flurry of posts you got at first, but I expect I’ll have something to say about it.


Are you in the UK and would you like to spend a day learning more about Compassion?  There are still places available and it’s completely free.  If you leave me a comment, I’ll try to pass the details on to you.

Friend Friday: The man on the Platform

One of my friends blogged yesterday about how he’d reached ‘Platform 65’.  I love thinking what to do for people’s birthdays; some things happen, others just stay as ideas.  Well, one of my plans for this year didn’t quite work.  After reading one of Sharon Jaynes’ posts last month, I wanted to write down 65 things I appreciated about my friend ready for his birthday, but I only got to 47.  Don’t worry; I won’t list them all here, but I can do a few:


First, he loves Jesus and lives for His glory.  Of course, there are many things in our lives:  We’ve all got to eat; we’ve all got to fill our days with something … but if you can glorify God in it all, that’s what makes a person.


Second, well two things really, he makes me smile and he’s fun.  The church I go to now isn’t a posh church:  People just come wearing whatever they feel comfortable in.  Well, last weekend, I was out for lunch with the family afterwards and there wasn’t time for me to go home and change, so I wore a dress instead of the trousers I’d normally wear.  When my friend turned up to give me a lift, he said:  “Why have you got your legs out?”  It made me laugh, and Mum too when I told her later.


30 December 2004 was a very special day; it was when I started recording my first album.  Although I’d met my friend briefly before then, I’d never worked or spent time with him, but I was looking to make a CD, and on his website he wrote:  I’m born again, water-baptised, Spirit-filled, and God-anointed to work in music.  I’m not sure it says that any more, but I got so excited and thought:  “Hey!  What else do you need?”


One of my songs had a verse about how Jesus’ mother would have felt when He died on the cross.  My friend put a staccato viola into the song, but it made me giggle, and I didn’t want to sing ‘A sword will pierce your own soul’ to music that sounded so cheerful!  So I told him and he changed it.  When we got to the backing-vocals stage and I said it didn’t need any, he said:  “Are you sure?  We can always mute it if it sounds too joyful.”


And a final two things?  He inspires me/gives me courage I wouldn’t have had on my own.  It was him who said:  “Why don’t you start blogging?”  I hadn’t read many blogs then and my first posts were more like essays!  But now, thanks to other bloggers, I’ve learnt to keep them to 700 words at most.  As the Bible says, one friend sharpens another, and I’m so grateful for the times my friend has stepped in and helped me in my Christian life.  Yes; we need to love God first and with all our hearts, but we also need each other.


So, my birthday tribute to ‘The man on the Platform’.  He started his ‘Platform’ posts at 60; I very much hope to still be there at platform 90, and maybe by then I’ll have 90 points down on my list!