You shall be safely lead

What would I do without Jesus

When the days with their shadows grow dim

When storm billows roll sweep over my soul

What would I do without him:

 

Keep on believing, Jesus is near

Keep on believing there is nothing to fear

Keep on believing this is the way

Faith in the night as well as the day

 

He knows the untried way

He sees each step ahead

and by his guiding hand

you shall be safely lead

 

~Ethel Bell

 

 

Encourage

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Here are two blogs that I follow – Christian ladies who encourage!

  1.  http://lemmonythings.com/ I love this blog by this first lady. Here is a recent blog post re. body image and our infinite value : He maketh no mistake. Just another encouraging post…!
  2.  http://convergemagazine.com/author/amanda-bast/ I also am loving this second lady’s posts. In one blog she writes:“I am 26 years old. I don’t have a husband. I don’t have children. I don’t have a career. I don’t have what people expect I should have, but I am abundantly blessed with absurd, exhilarating, and fantastic things I would have never dreamed up on my own. So please, my dear friends, don’t ask me what’s next. Ask me what’s now.

Read more at http://convergemagazine.com/26-unmarried-and-childless-8736/#qDLj5e2uKeXjgolX.99

Quiet me, Lord

The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears ~ Zephaniah 3:17

This is amazing! I rummage through some “rubbish” stored away in my old bedroom at my mum’s, and I stumble upon this: a hand-copied poem on a random envelope, which begins, ‘Shelter me, Lord’. (Excuse the untidy handwriting!)

Quiet Me

The title of the poem is ‘Quiet Me, Lord’, and it comes from a daily devotional book for youth, ‘The One Year Alive Devotions for Students’ by Rick Christian, a devotional which I used to read a few years back. It seems that the poem had caught my eye, as I had scribbled it down – probably so as not to forget it – all that time ago.

I googled the first lines of the poem, and straight-away found the page online. I can’t seem to copy and paste the poem, however I will paste an image of it here, and retype it too as the writing may be quite small to read otherwise. You can click on the image to zoom.

Quiet Me Lord

Quiet me, Lord,
From the crash-boom-bam noise of life
That overpowers my ears like the slamming of car doors,
The blare of stereos,
The honk of traffic,
The scream of revenge.

Slow me, Lord
From the hit-and-run pace of life
That overwhelms my peace like the breathlessness of time,
The blur of yesterday,
The rush of today,
The press of tomorrow.

Relax me, Lord,
From the knot-in-the-gut tension of life,
That stews my insides like the strain of broken friendship,
The grind of ambition,
The ulcer of bad habits,
The gnaw of hormones.

Shelter me, Lord,
From the haymaker-to-the-head blows of life
That assault my strength like the slap of old memories,
The sting of sharp words,
The clash of competing motives,
The dig of gossip.

Quiet me with your love, Lord,
Slow me with your patience,
Relax me with your peace,
Shelter me with your Spirit.
But most of all, Lord,
Overwhelm
Me
With
You.

And guess what the date of the devotional is?

August 20th! Today’s date.

It’s pretty amazing that God, knowing I no longer read that devotional, permit me to reread today’s encouraging prayer anyway! Espeically now, during this fuzzy period of job-seeking and uncertainty, where I don’t know what the next day will bring. My future is still rather fuzzy, and I’m a little afraid to take what may be my only available transportation: a leap of faith?

Gentle in Heart; Humble in Spirit

2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

A few summers ago, I volunteered for two weeks working with Revive Wales, where Christians work together with churches in the South Wales valleys to make Jesus known. I won’t go into further “general” details, because to be honest, you’ll find out a lot more about Revive Wales here: http://revivewales.co.uk/about/)

Over the year and during the summer, Revive teams work with different churches. The summer I volunteered, the Revive team went to serve in Abertillery,  a hilly town in the South Wales valleys. The week consisted of prayer meetings, activities for children, evenings for youth, and outreaching into the community by doing various activities such as spending time in local pubs striking up conversations, and offering to help people in any way possible e.g. car washing; gardening; inviting children to the children’s activities and youth to the evening events… A week to be led by God, and see His hand at work!

There were always people praying in the Prayer Room, and sometimes they would receive text messages from those on the Street Team, who would ask for prayer; those in the Prayer Room would then pray for the Street Team’s situation live-time! Each evening we would come together, and each team (Youth, Children, Street, Prayer…) would share amazing testimonies from their day.

I don’t often dwell on my experience with Revive, but the encouragement I received during those two weeks is for life! The words of those I volunteered with stay with me and lift me up in trying situations, even years after my time with them; testimony itself to when a bunch of brothers and sisters in Christ come together with serving hearts, and also to God’s amazing grace and timing.

I’ve never been a particulary confident speaker; even now at the age of 23,  you won’t find me saying more than one or two sentences during a work meeting. During primary school, I would ask my friend to take my book up to the teacher for marking. During high school, I would begin presentations and end (or sometimes begin) them by crying into my hands.

It was only in university that I started to really grow in confidence. I remember giving a French presentation, and feeling proud. Not just to have spoken my university-girl French and delivered a presentation to my classmates, but to have finished the presentation – and without a tear.

Whatever it was that held me back then, I am happy to say that it doesn’t hold me back now. Although of course, I am still me. Like I said, I’m not one to talk too much in a work meeting, or in a group setting. And the idea of speaking up in a room full of people, whether it’s family or church-family, doesn’t exactly float my boat. I just feel more confident speaking openly one-to-one, or in small groups, with those I know well.

Anyway, the point of this post isn’t to investigate my personal “timidity”- but I just want to share with any other timid/quieter/reserved characters out there: it’s totally okay to acquire such a quality!

During my week with Revive, I was so encouraged. Encouraged that God created all of us for a purpose, and that even we as “quiet people” can be such blessings and encouragements to others, however much we feel like it’s impossible.

I hope to encourage you with some kind words from some brothers and sisters in Christ. Words which they actually used during Revive to encourage me, and are for you too!:

  1. You’re gentle, yet strong
  2. God will make use of your gentleness and strength so much!
  3. God has made you with enough – everything at hand for you!
  4. Your place within the body of Christ is so special and important
  5. You are an encouragement to your fellow siblings in Christ!
  6. God did not give you a spirit of timidity (2 Timothy 1:7) ; but rather a quietness of spirit
  7. Your humility is an encouragement to other members of the body
  8. You are a beautiful child of God, inside and out!

Girls & guys…we may be quiet. We may be gentle. But know also, that we can be bold. Especially with God at our side, fighting our battles with us.

I like this oxymoron: Quietly Confident

Personally, I was so encouraged by being told that gentleness is such an attribute for a woman of God! I  thank the Lord that we are all made different and that there is a time and a season for everything: whether quiet, loud, chatty, silent, confident, reserved – God loves us just the same, and values every one of us always, so much.

I thank the Lord for the specially set time for “encouraging” during the time I volunteered for Revive. I think that “encouraging” is a really positive step to take as part of a Christ-loving and neighbour-loving community.

Sometimes we may not even realise when we are being a blessing or an encouragement to another – but thank the Lord anyway that He uses us, shapes us, and that we may *shine* for Him.

“Men Are Like Buses”

Went to London to meet up with a friend, and ended up meeting other friends of hers, as you do. And what bright old topic do we end up chatting about? RELATIONSHIPS. Non-existant in my book. Anyhow, I thought of this funny poem, “(…) men”, (more specifically about men and how I sometimes feel about them…), by the funny Wendy Cope. Thankfully from the few lines I remembered my mother knew where to look and I rediscovered the whole poem! So, I’ve copied the poem here (minus one word I choose not to use – the poem makes sense anyway!) Enjoy, if you will…

Wendy Cope – 1945

MEN

(….) men are like (…) buses –

You wait for about a year

And as soon as one approaches your stop

Two or three others appear.

You look at them flashing their indicators,

Offering you a ride.

You’re trying to read the destinations,

You haven’t much time to decide.

If you made a mistake, there is no turning back.

Jump off, and you’ll stand there and gaze

While the cars and the taxis and lorries go by

And the minutes, the hours, the days.

Hello World!

So. I realised this blog was kind of like my place-to-come-and-escape.

You see, since work has been going OK, where I no longer walk to work on the verge of tears whilst saying a thousand prayers, I’ve kinda left this blog behind…

But now I’m back!

Grrr. If I can get a hang of this new laptop of mine. I can’t even see what I’m writing now. Seriously.

Anyway. So I’m back. This time though, I’m not here to escape. But rather, to update and encourage you! Work, well, dare I say it…is actually going okay. Admittedly, in the school where I work, the truth leaves a lot to be desired. But I get through the days. The kids do too, miraculously. (Believe me, miracles happen. Kids seriously believe they can fly. Ahem).

Perhaps a month ago now, me and my ‘colocs’ decided to start praying together regularly. I don’t know what it was, but for around 3 days I just had this desire inside to pray for the people around me, and after a few intimate prayers with friends, I suggested to my houseymate that we start praying together regularly. So that’s what we began to do. Thanks be to God!

I can’t say we’ve prayed every single night from then, but at least for the first two weeks ish, we prayed most if not every evening. And I cannot tell you just HOW much that helps and changes your life; how reassuring and encouraging it is to bring everything before God. We saw answers to prayer immediately. Some prayers we are still waiting on, but we know God’s got a plan. If you are living with Christians, and you don’t spend time together praying regularly, I would encourage you to do so! Even when you’re tired and still preparing for a day of teaching at 11pm the night before, it’s worth it.

I also told you in my last blog post about the read-the-Bible-in-one-year plan I started. Well, following that specific plan has kind of gone out the window. However, since beginning that plan, and being encouraged by my groupe de croissance (a sister in Christ), I have had a new thirst and motivation to read the Bible  morning and night. I would encourage you too, to work at reading the Bible with perhaps a more mature Christian, to have someone to be accountable to, who encourages you in growing in your faith. Reading morning and night, I’m still working on this though! Sometimes, as in today, it doesn’t happen. But I’m not gonna be discouraged!

Think I will leave you there for now… and end on this note –

God has a plan for your life, better than your own. The best thing we can do, is spend that quality time with Him, and trust in Him. Stop praying a million times a day out of fear; rather pray with a sincere heart that once, and trust that God has taken the burden already and has got you in His hands. Let Him carry you and lead you into His will for you. He knows every thought, word and action that you will think, speak and do – tomorrow and for the rest of your life.

Recently, I dwelled on verse Psalm 118:24, that THIS is a day that “the Lord has made” so – “let us rejoice and be glad in it”! What I also find encouraging is 2 Corinthians 12:9. The verse reminds us that Christ’s grace is sufficient for us. And amazingly – we may boast even more gladly in our weaknesses, as it is then that Christ’s power rests on us.

That same power which rose Christ from the dead, rests and work within us.

Let us not underestimate that power! 🙂

Drill a Man

Tonight I’m choosing to post the poem, ‘When God Wants To Drill A Man’. These are some powerful words that Joni Eareckson Tada chose to include in one of her writings. Joni is a Christian author, who I’ve liked since a young age. Her story is inspiring, and if you get the chance to read her story, you’ll see how her faith is even more so. The poem itself is anonymous. If you too are a believer in Jesus and feel like you’re going through a testing time, or need encouragement right now, I hope the poem helps! Know that God is in control and has a plan, even when we don’t know what we’re doing and we’re not sure what we’re about.

When God wants to drill a man, and thrill a man and skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part,
When He yearns with all His heart to create so great and bold a man
That all the world should be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways:
How He ruthlessly perfects whom He royally elects;
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him into shapes and forms of clay
Which only God can understand,
While man’s tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands;
Yet God bends but never breaks when man’s good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with mighty power infuses him,
With every act induces him to try His splendor out,
God knows what He’s about.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”

Romans 8:28