Thursday, 27 January 2011

God's Sovereignity

I just had the worst piece of news I've had since....May 2010. And in the midst of all my tears, all I can think is that my God is Sovereign. mY friend has been given a life sentence- a cancer the doctors can do nothing for. 18 months left. And I feel like more of a mess than I thought I'd be. And even though, I'm sitting here a crumpled devastated mess, my God is Sovereign. My God is Sovereign.

Its a hard truth to accept sometimes that God gives and takes life, but the older I've got, I'va actually come to accept that its never been my right to choose when someone lives or dies, and actually I believe in a God thats good, a God who knows whats best for us...and if thats His timing, then so be it. Even if it hurts unbearably for those left behind.

And my prayer in this situation, is that not only my friend will find God in the midst in his pain, but also that those close to Him would draw close to Papa so He can heal their hurt with His love. Because Papa is Sovereign over all.

God is good. All the time.
God bless. x

Sunday, 23 January 2011

God my Provider?

So I'm in the process of attempting to fundraise so I can go to Ghana next month with XLP. I'm really not good at trusting God's provision, it seems. I've been taught time and time again that God provides, not so that we continue to struggle, but abundantly, that God exceedes all our expectations. And there's that passage in Matthew that tells us not to worry about a thing because God feeds and clothes the plants and the birds, and how much more valuable are we.
Yet I always seem to be struggling with money. I'm in a position where I'm so close to maxing out my overdraft that I can barely afford to live, to buy food for packed lunch, or shampoo when I run out or anything for that matter. And dont get me wrong- God has provided £2000 so far for me to be on this gap year. and £100 for my Ghana trip. But in terms of providing for me to really dont feel like its abundance at all. I feel so fed up of struggling and worrying and knowing I never have enough. Aha, what a sinner for doubting my God. And I'm pretty sure I'ma look like a fool when God proves me wrong at some point. But my expeiriences so far shows a gap between God providing abundantly for everyone else, and just about sufficiently for me.

Sounds like I need to spend time with Papa to get this sorted.
Despite my lack of faith today,
God is good!

Goodnight bloggers!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

2011 Homegroup

We were kinda looking at a mixture of things.
Luke 2:25-28
It tells of Simeon and Anna, who both met Jesus as an infant, because they had devoted their lives to seeing God move and were expectant that He would move in their lives and in their lifetime.
Romans 10:17
Its about faith coming from hearing the message, which is in the word (the Bible). Yesterdays Revelations Could be Tomorrow's Breakthrough.

And so in light of these two verses we thank of what we might need to leave behind as we start a new year and what we want to keep hold of from 2010.
I really love the grace and gentleness that Papa convicts us to change. I really felt convicted to pray as much as I talk about things going on in my life. How different would my life be if I spent my bus journeys praying rather than talking to a friend about things going? How different would my attitude be?
I really felt reminded as well tonight that God's word gives life in abundance because its a book full of truth and the promises God gave us. Its also meant to be a weapon for us! I thought tonight that Satan knows the word of God better than I do....what a scary thought. How am I meant to use God's truth to defend myself when my enemy knows how to use my weapon better than I do? It really made me feel motivated to really get stuck into the word of God this year.

The things I learnt in to 2010 that I wanna cling on to is my faith in God's provision for me and my family. At the end of last year, our expectations of God were heightened even further when He provided in so many different ways and so abundantly. That's a truth that I wanna live by this year.
I also wanna continue in an attitude of thanksgiving. When me and my boyfriend started praying together from September, I was really amazed that he begins every prayer with thanks, and actually most of his praying consists of thanking God for His blessings, guidance, provision etc. It's something I have started to do as well when I come to Papa in prayer, and its something I wanna continue this year- to live with an attitude of gratefullness and thanksgiving to my God who gives in abundance!

God is good. All the time! <3

The God Delusion

When I started reading The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, I was kinda under the impression that he cant have had a lot of good arguements to talk me out of my belief in God. Having read two thirds of the book, I have a muddle of thoughts scribbled round the margins on the pages of his book.

The more I read of his work, the more I believe his vendetta is not against God at all. It's against religion. Its against the different social structures of groups of people based on a spiritual belief system. Its against the loyalty people show to their faith, through organised religion: worship in a holy place, faith schools, scripture reading and such. Its against the imperfections of it and the wrongs done in the name of the religion. I'd probably agree with him on this. For someone to look at the Christian Religion in order to decide whether to become a Christian, they'd most likely conclude not to be one. Religion is flawed. I understand his arguments against it, having seen the problems again and again with structured religion.

It makes me angry that actually the examples he uses of Christians' letters to him and the like actually support his arguments! He has letter after letter from Christians using hateful language, which actually confirms everything he thinks.
"The best part will be that you WILL suffer for eternity for these sins that you're completely ignorant about."
"I thank God I'm not you."
"Satan worshipping scum...I hope you die and go to hell."

Dawkins has billions of letters from these people calling themselves wonder he can't stand us, if we're gonna act with such hatred and rage towards someone who thinks differently to us. I feel so ashamed everytime I read another nasty letter from someone who claims to have been changed by Jesus Christ. The more we experience of Papa's love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, faithfulness etc to us, the more we become changed to act out of love to others. No wonder Dawkins is so anti-religion! If I didn't know the transforming love of Jesus already in my life, I'd be anti it all as well. The church and the people in it should NOT be reason for people to disbelieve in God. Atheists should be saying, "I fully respect and admire what the church do, but I do not believe in God." Rather than, "I dont beleive in God because the church is corrupt!" We wanna see people saved into the Kingdom- we need to stop acting like those quoted in his book!!

This book reminds me again and again and again that I am not and would never wanna be a religious person. Sometimes his criticisms of religion get my back up, and then I realise that it doesnt need to get my back up. I'm not one of the people he talks about and I'm not one of the people blinded truth. In fact, everything I do is out of love for my Saviour, not because its in the rule book.It genuinely saddens me that Dawkins heart is so cold and damaged by religion that he wont experience how much God loves him. I actually put the book down sometimes mid-read and pray for the man. He's in desperate need of God's love to change him.

I have concluded without even finishing the book yet that actually Dawkins is no atheist. And maybe this thought is too simple to be taken seriously...but I firmly believe it. If you genuinely did not believe that God existed...why would you write a whole book about Him??? Surely you just wouldnt talk about God ever. At all.

God is good. All the time!
God bless.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Confrontation and Forgiveness

 On what grounds can a friend demand to know information about my life that I'm uncomfortable sharing? To what extent are boyfriends allowed to be involved in friend/sibling confrontation? Is it right to dig your heels in if you think your right, even though Jesus taught to forgive your brother and sister in Christ, and to never go to rest or enter a house of worship without resolving dispute? I'm learning consistently that forgiving someone means you forget their wrongs. To bring up a past wrong in a new argument is not forgivness- its resentment and bitterness. I'm also learning that you can forgive someone and still learn from it, so that it wont happen again.

And within all of this, I am thankful that Jesus set the perfect example of forgiveness. That Papa forgives me all the time. That because He forgives me, I can forgive others. And that Jesus loves me so much He'd never leave me stuck in my ways but continue to mould me to handle things more like He does.

God is good. All the time! <3

What am I meant to say in a blog?

My friend Kit messaged me yesterday asking if I'd read her journey to becoming a Christian because she was blogging. She thought it was a good idea to keep reminders of what God's doing in her life. I guess I think its a brilliant idea to do. In hindsight, I know how inconsistent I am with things like this, sticking it out for a while before completely forgetting. I am also aware that I could bore the world's population to tears because I ramble so much and over-analyse everything!
So what is someone meant to say in their first blog? Just start from today as if everyone reading knows about my life, or create a whistle-stop-tour through the life of Abi up until this point?

I today was ok I guess.
The school we work in on tuesdays and fridays has got a new headteacher, after being put on special measures by Ofsted last year. I felt like I was back in school walking through the gate past the new headteacher with fear of being stopped. Well anyway, school work went swimmingly.
We found out today that the guy on our team...lets call him...Mike! is getting asked to leave the course. Our interviews to be on this gap year doing this work were intense and needed really honesty. And actually, I'm not sure what he said or didnt say, but he is no position to be helping young people as its required. He really needs some help of his own. Self-Esteem, Bitterness, Relecutance to forgive, Dysbraxia and such. I'm not gonna lie...what a relief to hear he's not gonna be here much longer, and he's not gonna be coming to Ghana with us next month. I dont think anyone outside of our team of me and three girls understands why we'd be so relieved when its been like babysitting someone for the last three months as well as trying to do youth work.
As selfish as it sounds, I'm terrfied of the aftermath of him leaving. Of having to see him after he's been told and act like I only just found out. Of dealing with all the other students asking questions. Of not feeling sad to see him go.

Even though the last few months have been a struggle with him, God's certainly taught me patience beyond my imagination and better ways of communicating to people. And I'm thankful for that.

God is good! All the time!
God bless bloggers!! <3