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3.12.15

The Safe Place of Worship


I don't know about you but sometimes my struggles seem more real than God's goodness. Especially when I wake up in the middle of the night or early morning. My rational mind and my faith seems to stay sleeping while everything else seems to wreak havoc. The fleshly fears can become overwhelming and intensely real. Worry, fear and insecurity are powerful and can mess with your perception of reality. They become real even though the things that you are worried about, fearful or insecure of are not real. I say that because nine times out of ten they are our perception of what could happen is not the reality of what will happen. Then of course there are those times when exactly what we fear does happen! But even then God is bigger.

Christians struggle just like any other people but the difference is that we have a safe place to run to that many others don't.  We can run to our God and we do so through prayer and worship. Worship is our safe place in the midst of everything. When I worship God suddenly all the worry, fear and insecurity seem to melt away and I am left with the most beautiful peace. Often I leave God's presence with joy. Circumstances do not change while I am worshiping Him but I do. My faith grows in His presence. My joy is full in His presence.  My burdens are lifted when I shift my focus from my problems to worshiping Him.

I gain so much from running to my God and worshiping Him.  And all these years I thought He needed my worship but now I see that He wants me to worship Him because I need to. In adoring Him we are adoring who He is, His character and His truth. When we focus on who He is we lose the perspective of who we are and align ourselves with His character and not own own. In fact I am almost certain there my be some fascinating scientific evidence that explains this whole process well! If I ever find it I will share it with you as I love how science proves God.  But that is a whole other story.

Whatever your struggle right now - worship Him.  Stop what you are doing and sing your favourite Christian song, pray to your God, love Him and marvel at His goodness. If you are in a really difficult place and simply don't have the energy to do that then why not put on some worship music to help lift your spirits. I have collected some playlists on YouTube for those days when I struggle to find the will or energy to worship Him.

I have added some beautiful playlist of worship music to our King's Daughters YouTube channel - come over and join us in worship.  Feel free to share your experiences, prayer requests or favorite worship songs below.  And finally, let me leave you with one of my favourite verses:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.   - Philippians 4:6-7

Have a blessed day.


Love







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29.11.15

Reflections of 2015

Can you believe that in a couple of days time it will be December already? How has your year been? Are you excited and ready for 2016. I love this time of year, I love to reflect, to sort and clean my home for Christmas and to have a good break after a hard year's work. As it gets colder it seems to get more magical.  Before the autumn leaves disappeared we had a family photo shoot and we had so much fun!


Daniel and Amy love to climb trees so we have several photos of them up in a tree or just hanging around like in the one below. They are such monkeys!


Can you see the little bump on Lorah below?  She is PREGNANT so I am going to be a grandma in January! It is so exciting and I can't wait to meet my first granddaughter.


Here is an amazing photo of Samuel, Lorah and the bump taken today.  Ooh I am so excited I could pop!


2016 has also given us two litters of kitten from our precious cats, Muffin and Poppy.


It could be so easy to reflect on the struggles and difficulties we have faced this year but equally we have the choice to focus on all the good times which is what we will do. The struggles have been many and I am always honest with you here on my blog and share them freely along with what God is teaching me.  But what a joy today to be able to post some of the amazing times that we have had this year.

How about you, what has brought you joy this year?  I would love to hear from you and see your photos too.

Love





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7.11.15

An interview with Daniel about diabetes.

Today we are taking a look at a child's perspective of diabetes in an interview with my 9 year old son, Daniel, who has had diabetes for nearly 3 years.



When did you first know that something was wrong?
It was at my sister Amy's party. I was eating loads of sweets which was making me drink loads of water. I had six full cups of water and was still thirsty so became a bit suspicious at that time. My parents were probably suspicious as well.

What happened next?
We didn't think much about it but my parents thought it best to go to doctor and see why I was drinking so much water.  So we went to the doctor and they didn't give me a diagnosis or anything but sent me to the hospital.  At the hospital they gave me loads of blood test which were really painful. The used these really mean rectangle finger prickers and they discovered that my blood sugars were very high. They gave me the diagnosis and I found out I had diabetes.  

So what happened after you were diagnosed with diabetes?
I had to stay in hospital a little longer until we got the hang of things and they explained it. So I was in bed most of the day and I made a friend who was also diagnosed with diabetes. It was actually my teacher's daughters son I later found out. I used to go over to his bed and we used to play Lego Starwars. The hospital was really annoying because I had to have blood tests every few hours. I remember having nice big meals and I had to eat all of the desert too as it was counted in my meter. YUM!

How did your life change when you came home from hospital?
Well firstly I had to do loads of blood tests and I had to have injections which I slowly got used to. At school I had to do the same thing. I had to eat biscuits before play times and running around. From then until now I have been trying to get my blood sugars at the right level. It has been really hard working with diabetes. 

What do you hate most about it?
The blood tests and injections because they are really annoying and painful most of the time. Sometimes even now. 

What would you say to another child who has just been diagnosed with diabetes?
I would say that you will get used to it. Even though the dextrose might seem nice, don't eat them when you are not supposed to. Be very accurate with your carb counting so you don't have to go through lots of trouble. 

What would you say to a parent whose child has just been diagnosed with diabetes?
Make sure you are good with the carb counting and you should probably download the blood sugars to figure out patterns so you can keep it level. 

Do you believe that God can heal you?
Yes definitely. 

Why do you think He allowed you to have diabetes?
Maybe He will use it for something good to help other people and to show stuff to the world.  The spread the word when He heals me that God is real and God can heal.

Why do you think He hasn't healed you yet?
I believe it's all part of His plan. He has something special install for the future.

Do you believe God makes people sick?
No! I believe he makes good out of sickness but doesn't make people sick.

What are your plans for the time between now and when you are healed?
Getting my blood sugars stable and praying to be healed. Asking God what He is going to do for me.

Do you feel sad about being sick?
Yes but if God is going to make something good about it then I am fine to stay with it a bit more. 

What would you advise to help people?
Keep your blood sugars stable because this has happened to me, if your blood sugars go too high too often, you get very bad stomach pains and it stings a lot. 

If you are a child or parent with a child suffering with diabetes please feel free to ask Daniel or I questions below or read other posts about our journey.

Love
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4.11.15

Giving thanks in all circumstances

This past Sunday we celebrated our 140th anniversary at Charlton Kings Baptist Church. Wow what an amazing history we have and what amazing people have gone before us and worked hard so we can enjoy the church that we have today. It's incredibly and so easy to take for granted what we have today without realising that many have paid the price so that we can have all that we do.

The message by Revd Dr Nigel Scotland was on thankfulness and it was a powerful reminder of a very important foundational principle of our faith and that is plain and simply to give thanks in all circumstances. What really stood out for me what that he said that we don't have to and can't always give thanks for all circumstances but we can always give thanks in every circumstance. What a powerful thing to remember.

Nigel went on to remind us that to give thanks is to be in God's will and not to is to be outside of His will.  How many times do we beg God to tell us His will and spend hours seeking Him for His will but really it is quite simple.


"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
 - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

How simple is that? To give thanks in everything is God's will. The word thanks here is from the Greek eucharisteō which directly translated means to be grateful. It's no big mystery, there is nothing nicer than someone who is grateful and God loves it too.

So, how about we connect as often as possible on our Facebook page and share what we are grateful about? I would love you to join me at the end of every day before we settle down for the night, to share what we are grateful for that day and fall asleep meditating on how grateful we are. Come over and connect with us at www.facebook.com/KingsDaughtersUK or twitter.com/_kingsdaughters  using #dailygratitude at #kingsdaughters and leave a comment below about what you are most grateful for right now.

Love
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1.11.15

Daniel and Diabetes

Daniel and Amy

I have four amazing children, two of whom still live at home and two who have grown up and moved out.  It was nearly three years ago when our eldest, Lorah-Kelly got married to her high school sweetheart, Samuel. It was also around this time that we noticed that something was wrong with our son, Daniel who was 7 years old. He seemed fit and well and nothing seemed out of the ordinary except that he was drinking unusual amounts of water. It got so bad that he had to get up during the night several times to have a drink and of course go to the toilet. So after about a week of this I decided it best to go see a doctor even though it seemed like a silly symptom to go to the doctor for.

Everything from the doctors appointment is a bit of a surreal haze and even two years and nine months on, I can remember the shock as if it were yesterday. The doctor did a urine test and afterwards looked gravely concerned and called the hospital.  Daniel was sent over as soon as possible and we were told to be prepared for him to stay overnight. He didn't say what was wrong. Upon arriving at the hospital Daniel was seen immediately and had blood tests. I don't recall exactly what happened or the order of events, all I remember is that his blood sugar was 33  (normal is between 4 - 7). They said they were surprised that he looked as well as he did and was not in a coma. He was that ill!

Daniel was admitted to hospital and we spend the next week at his bedside learning about type 1 diabetes, watching him crying as he had his finger pricked and blood taken often during the day and night. It was heart wrenching. Eric and I were in shock. After a week of excellent education by the NHS diabetic team, we were expected to start caring for him. They assured us that he would not be allowed home until they felt confident that we were able to manage his blood tests and insulin injections. We had to learn how to count carbohydrates, check his blood sugar levels and give him 4 to 6 injections a day. The severity of the situation was heavily impressed upon us and we were reminded that if his blood sugars went too high or too low he could die. It seemed every 5 minutes we were reminded that it was a life threatening life long disease that could not be cured ever.

Eric and I were exhausted from being in hospital, little sleep coupled with a lot of worry and uncertainty. We reached a point where we just wanted our family back home all together so we could get some sense of normality back into our life. Although it was clear life would never be the same again we craved some sort of routine. Each day we were asked if we were ready to give Daniel his injections. In the past Eric has passed out when he saw me have an injection during labour with Amy, I could not see him ever coping with this. I thought I would be fine but when they put the insulin pen in my hand I burst out crying. There was no way I could ever inject my son, or so I thought.

Much to my surprise Eric took the pen and gave Daniel his injection. I asked Eric how he managed to do it as I simply couldn't and he said that he knew that if he didn't, Daniel would not be able to come home. The nurses kept reassuring me that things would get better and giving the injections would become easier. Although I believed them and knew it was true I couldn't see how. Eric became highly competent in caring for Daniel and so he was allowed home. I struggled. I couldn't do the injections. I couldn't prick his finger to test his blood. I was a mess. Shock, confusion and tiredness took over.

I will continue our story and our journey in future posts.  The past few years have been incredibly difficult and today I make the decision to share our story, what we have learned and how we are coping. Daniel will even write his version of the story too and hopefully I can get Eric to also. I know there are others out there struggling with the same thing and I hope that somehow sharing our story will be helpful and comforting for them. For those of you who do not have this particular struggle, you may find it useful for when you meet someone with diabetes or someone with a diabetic child. I had no idea how ignorant I was about diabetes until we were hit with it.  I would also like to look at faith, healing and medicine so there is a lot more to come.

Please chat to me if you have diabetes, are supporting someone with diabetes or just have questions in general about illness and/or healing. Let's stick together as this is a terrible illness but we believe in a God who heals.

Love
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25.10.15

Habits

One thing that I have been struggling with lately is to be who I know I am. It's not that I am faking it or being insincere, it's nothing like that, it's just that I haven't felt like myself for quite sometime and really want to get back to that place of being centered, aligned and at peace within. Getting free from depression has been really hard work this time around. It's not that when I wrote Hope's Journey that it wasn't a struggle, it was just a completely different struggle.

Today I wanted to talk about something that I have been working on. Habits. In our life we could have habits that help and habits that hinder. I am extremely aware of the habits that I currently have that are hindering me as well as the ones I want to have to help me. This isn't new to me either, I have had these bad habits and awareness of the good ones I want for literally years! Some years I manage to overcome the bad ones with the good and other years I tend to lean towards the bad ones! Aargh I so relate to Paul when he wrote in Romans 7:19,

"When I want to do good, I don’t; and when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway."

That's me!  I desperately want to get the good habits into my life and yet I end up doing the very things I don't want to do! So, I have started tackling these habits one step at a time. One habit I desperately want in my life and know that I need it, is to wake up in the morning and go for a run. Since I was about 11 years old I have been an early riser and have run in the morning. I have no idea why I was like that but when that is part of my routine I have always been happier. It seems that this is a part of the real me. Starting the day right is essential for me and lately I have struggled with this habit. For months I struggled with sleep so grabbed sleep whenever I could which made getting up early impossible. Then I went on anti-depressants and started sleeping like a baby every night, so I didn't want to set an alarm and ruin that. In fact I haven't used an alarm for the past 18 months, I have relied on my body to tell me when it has had enough sleep. I know when I am well and happy I will naturally wake up between 5 and 6 o'clock. Of course there has been no natural rhythm for quite a few years now.

My method for getting this helpful habit back into my life is to just take it one step at a time. Although there are loads of good habits I would like back in my life, I am just starting with one. So every morning for the past few weeks I have thought to myself when I wake up, "Get up and go for a run". The thought has lingered, the mornings have got colder and I have not got up and gone for a run! This hasn't deterred me. I continue to have the same thought every morning and keep pushing myself to get this thought to become an action. In the past few weeks it has become an action on 4 occasions - woo hoo! I will keep pushing myself until it becomes a daily habit. Once it becomes a habit I am going to push my endurance, at the moment I am not managing much distance at all but that's OK because I know that forming the habit is the most important thing.

Did you notice that I am not focusing on the bad habits I want to give up? I don't know how it works for you but the more I focus on a bad habit the harder it is to give it up, so for now I am just focusing on getting this one good habit into place and then will tackle the next one.  I am fully aware of my bad habits so it's highly unlikely that I will forget about them but I am hoping that with enough good habits in place I won't need the bad ones anymore.

How about you, what do you do to deal with the habits in your life?  Are you struggling with anything at the moment?  Please do chat about it in the comments box below, I would love to hear from you.


Love

PS Another habit I have got back into is writing this blog, at first I had no words but I am pleased to report that I am finding a steady stream of words again.  Enjoy!
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23.10.15

The Hard Work of Rest

Eric hit the nail on the head tonight when he told me that I have to do the hard work of rest. God has been gently and at times very firmly telling me to slow down. He told me through the gentle whisper of His Spirit, through the audible voice of my friends and even through the doctor prescribing anti-depressants for burnout! Despite the clear and obvious warning as well as my desire to rest, why is it so difficult?

Rest isn't as easy as it sounds. It's not like I can just stay in bed and sleep all day. If only it were that simple! I have to make a conscious decision to rest, to slow down and to find the balance in my life. My family still need caring for, my homes still needs cleaning, my business still needs working on and my ministry still needs me to turn up. I have cut a lot out already and said no to very many things, which has been a good start. It wasn't easy, I mean I was half way through my campaign for the next local elections and had to pull out. It really hurt me to let the team down and I hate being a quitter, but I knew that I was treading on dangerous ground and had to start letting go of things.

"He makes me to lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside the still waters." - Psalm 23:2

Am I struggling because I am resisting His leading? Is it hard work to rest because He is trying to make me and I am not? This verse is so beautiful and it's clear that God wants me to go to a place of rest and comfort but why is it so hard to go there? If  it is so beautiful and so peaceful why don't I just go and lie down?  I have several theories:

1. Habit
I am in a bad habit, like a hamster stuck on a wheel going round and round but getting nowhere. Bad habits are hard to break. Even though I see how bad it is and that I am going nowhere, I still keep running. So, my step one will be simply to stop and get off the hamster wheel. Exactly how I do that practically is another story.  One step at a time a guess. Every time I recognise repetitive behaviour not producing fruit I will have to stop doing it.

2. Discipline
Lack of self discipline can actually be more tiring than a disciplined lifestyle. It seems ironic but it is true. It is hard work to lead a peaceful life. For example, I am a much happier and more peaceful person when I exercise and eat healthy. To rest for me doesn't mean to eat junk food and laze about the house, it actually means keeping my body in good shape so I am healthy. I cannot recover from this horrible burnout without taking good care of my body and mind. So almost every day, whether I feel like it or not, I try do some form of exercise and eat as healthy as possible.

3. Devil
The devil can be keeping me from doing the things I need to do because he likes me being in this state. He knows I have nothing to give right now which is exactly where he wants me to stay. I know to resist him and he will flee. I cannot rest until I have done the hard work of dealing with the devil. I do this practically by making sure I confess truth and scripture as opposed to allowing my negative thinking followed by words to come out of my mouth. It doesn't come naturally but we as a family are committed to keeping the tone positive so tomorrow during family day, we are going to write out and stick up our favourite scriptures and stick them up in key places in our home until positive and scriptural confession is normal to us all. That reminds me of an old post called The Power of the Tongue.

4. Disobedience
Plain and simply, there are times when I am just a silly disobedient child and don't do as I am told! It is my own fault for not getting the rest I need because when God or my husband or someone who loves me tells me I should or should not do something and I don't listen then it's on me.

This is my story, what's yours? I would love to hear from you, to know that I am not alone in this as I try figure life out. Please chat to me in the comments box below.


Love
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18.10.15

Voices



Last Sunday my wonderful husband, Eric, preached his sermon entitled Voices.  It was such a powerful message so I decided to share it with you, sadly we don't have a recording but I will do my best to recount it.



Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off.  Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd's pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
      And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield bearer in front of him. And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth,that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,  and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and he will give you into our hand.”
      When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 
- 1 Samuel 17:38-48

What do you see in this passage?

Goliath spoke, David spoke and did not give him the opportunity to talk back. He acted before the lie could speak again. Goliath was obviously under the influence of the devil = threatening God’s people, not even mentioning(accidentally reminding them of!) God.

Why is this important?
  1. The way you are doing life right now will determine what voice you are listening to! This has to do with WHAT you do. 
  2. Your future, what is to come to your life, is the direct result of the voice you are listening too right now. This has to do with WHERE you will be at in life. 
  3. Mostly important right now you are the result/product of the voice you are listening to/following. This is to do with WHO you are.
What voice are you following?

Is the voice of fear leading you or the voice of the Spirit of God?

3 Voices
  1. Flesh. Self, ego, selfish behaviour. e.g. Miriam (see later), heart is full of deceit, pray to waste on desires.
  2. Devil.  Eve, Jesus temptation. The devil will put thoughts and distractions in our mind and if he cannot get us to sin he will make us busy. 
  3. God . My disciples, my sheep will hear my voice.
His voice will be the difference between : blessing/curse, life/death

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hand.”
- 1 Samuel 17:45-47

THE VOICE OF GOD IS THE ONLY VOICE THAT WILL PREPARE AND ENABLE YOU TO
DEFEAT THE GIANTS IN YOUR LIFE!

His Voice:

Is creative and brings life
Gn. 1:3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

Powerful to accomplish. It accomplishes something
Is. 55:4 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Brings correction
2 Tm 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

Brings healing
Ex. 15:26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD , your healer.”

It’s alive and powerful (active)
Hb. 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.



The thing that also occurred to me as Eric was preaching was that some of us have set up camp behind enemy lines.  We are getting about our ordinary, every day lives, having children, cooking food, playing, working and everything that comes with every day living. We have got so comfortable with defeat and Goliath's constant insults that we don't even fight. The battle hasn't been won yet because we have accepted the way things are. Goliath is alive and well, shouting obscenities over to us in our camp. We remain fearful and defeated. Yes we have Jesus, we don't need David and his smooth stones, we have Jesus. We are free yet we live as though 'Goliath' has power. His voice rings loud and clear in our ears. What are we going to do about it King's Daughters?  Are we going to continue taking it or will we get up and do something about it?

Easier said than done I know, I am trying, it is a battle still, even though Jesus already defeated Satan, we still have to fight.  Let's agree to stick together, cover each other, pray for each other and refuse to accept any voice accept the voice of God in our life.

Leave a comment below about the battle you would like support with and we will stand together.

Love
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13.10.15

He Loves Me

This year's conference theme is He Loves Me and I really struggled to write my talk around this subject.  The more I delved into the love of God the more I struggled to write about it. Many times as I sat down to write my talk I got distracted!  One such distraction was a song.  I couldn't articulate what God's love meant to me, the only way I could get it out was to write a song.  So today I thought I would share that song with you.  Only the words for now but soon we will have a good enough recording to share the whole things with you.

He Loves Me
God's love is... a place to go to
God's love is... a feeling to feel
God's love is... a truth you can trust in
God's love is... a peace to rest

God's love is... a memory to treasure
God's love is... a future to hope for
God's love is... a blanket to hide in
God's love is... a joy to shout about

He loves me... I don't know why
He loves me... It's hard to explain
He loves me... Now I know his love
I am free to live again

God's love is... a place to go to
God's love is... a feeling to feel
God's love is... a truth to trust in
God's love is... a peace to rest

God's love is... a memory to treasure
God's love is... a future to hope for
God's love is... a blanket to hide in
God's love is... a joy to shout about

He loves me... I don't know why
He loves me... It's hard to explain
He loves me... Now I know his love
I am free to live again

Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes Jesus loves me,
The Bible tells me so.


Here are Daniel and Amy singing the Yes Jesus Loves Me part at the end.  Aren't they so cute!

My super amazing son-in-law, Samuel, has some lovely new musical toys so between the two of us with some added amazing guitar work from my husband, we will get a rough demo ready for you all to enjoy :)

So watch this space and in the meantime meditate on the words and perhaps add a verse or two of your own - if you do share it with us in the comments box below.



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11.10.15

Back to the start!

Hello King's Daughters,

I feel like it's been quite some time, in fact well over a year perhaps even two, since I have written anything meaningful to you. I have tried but words haven't come.  Many posts have been fillers or conference news.  I don't know what happened to me, I seemed to have come from a place and having life figured out to now not having a clue, from having much wisdom and revelation to share to having nothing.  At first I gave myself some time to grieve to loss of our church, D7 Church.  We met for the final time on Sunday 30th March 2014. Failure is hard, loss is difficult but when you have failed and lost in the things of God it seems harder. You feel as if you have let God down. One thing that no one tells you when you pastor a church is that it too, just like a business, can fail. If the books don't balance and your income is less than your expenses, you can fail. If you don't have a committed team to keep up with the work you can fail. If people just don't feel like coming on Sundays you fail.  And on top of all that you blame yourself for not being good enough!  Not praying enough, not hear God well enough, not working hard enough, not loving the people enough and just about everything else under the sun. Failing in ministry is horrible.

Worse than that, failing people is horrible. I look back and see how I could have led better, how I should have said things differently, how I could have shown more love and how I shouldn't have hurt people! Yes, I hurt people, many people and I even wonder if I hurt more people than I loved.  I didn't mean to hurt them but the imperfect me did and said things wrong.  I never wanted to be at the other end of someone's story of how the church hurt them, but I am. I am forever in someone's story now as the cause of the church hurting them.

So now, about 18 months on, I find myself a little lost. I seem to have come to a place of questioning. What does God want me to do?  What is point of my life? I have built a church with my husband and failed. I have built a national business, Women's Business Club but it doesn't satisfy. I am too scared to give again like I used to because I know how much it hurts - so I keep everyone at a distance, a very safe distance.

I feel as though I have come full circle, back to the start, back to the foot of the cross.  The best place to be I know but this time I come really broken.  The first time I came to the foot of the cross I came arrogant, the second time I came as the prodigal who needed grace and now, for a third time I come back to the same place but this time empty handed and broken. Finally God has me right where He wants me, humbled and ready to do things His way.

Today I decided to share this journey with you, perhaps you will join me or perhaps you will just watch, but either way, I choose to be honest and vulnerable to anyone who wants to join me. Join me in finding what really matters to God, join me in learning to hear His voice and obeying, join me in putting busyness aside and making time with Him the number one priority and please join me in making many mistakes along the way.

It's time to get back to the one thing that truly matters.  Please join me and keep in touch through the comments box below, I would really like to know that I am not alone in this.

Love


PS I am also going to start going back through this blog, join me too - today I am reading my very first post and WOW it is to apt to this moment.
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3.10.15

Spiritual Adultery - One Thing is Needed.


My Dream
Recently I had a disturbing dream.  I tried to put it out of my head and forget about it but could not.  You see although it was not pleasant it did contain a powerful message.  I want to share this message with you today, I apologise in advance for the graphic nature of this dream but I honestly believe it is necessary. 
In my dream I was in bed with another man getting ready to have sex.  I was fully aware that I was married to my husband and that this man had a wife.   As we were becoming intimate I had a strong sense that there were people in the house who were also fully aware of what this man and I were doing and also that it was acceptable to them.  I was also thinking of my husband but it seemed that he too was aware of what was happening and it didn't bother him, it was the norm.  As we had sex I felt violated because I knew it wasn't right but because no one was objecting and because it almost seemed to be expected of me, I allowed it to continue.

I woke up from my dream and felt sick, I had a headache and the tail end of a cold that I had been struggling to shake but I also felt sick inside my soul and couldn't go back to sleep.  What a horrible dream.  Instantly I recognised what God was saying to me and this is what I would like to share with you today as I believe that I am not the only one who needs to find freedom in this area.

My Busyness
Since last year's King's Daughters Conference to today I have been on an intensely busy journey.  My life has spun out of control. I run this ministry, King's Daughters.  I run a business called Women's Business Club.  I was heavily involved in local politics until a few weeks ago. I have 4 children, two cats, a wonderful husband. A 4 bedroom home that needs cleaning all the time it seems. Somewhere in-between this I also wrote another book, 4 songs and climbed a mountain. I was also on anti-depressants until a few weeks ago because last year I got myself into a state of complete burnout.  I wonder why??

Are you impressed with all I’ve done?  Please don't be! I beg you do not look to me as an example of how to do life well. Hopefully by the end of this message you will see why. I used to look at people like me and admire then and want to be them – well I have achieved that.  Let's take a look at someone else who had a similar problem.  Martha.

Luke 10:38-42
Now it happened as they went that Jesus entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”  And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word
Did you notice that both Mary and Martha started by sitting at Jesus feet?
Both sisters started off at Jesus feet.  The term sitting at Jesus feet was not referring to their posture but their purpose.  It mean that they were studding with the Rabbi - something that women were not supposed to do in those days but this didn't seem to bother Jesus, Mary or Martha. But what happened was that one of them got distracted – I mean who was going to cook Jesus’ dinner?

Martha was distracted with much serving
Martha lost focus of what was really important and got really, really busy.

Lord, do You not care
Then Martha started feeling far from Jesus, that he didn’t care about her.
She was spending less time WITH HIM and doing so much more FOR HIM.  Jesus response was simple - One thing is needed!!

Back to Dream
Is that a good message?  Does it help?  Well I don't know about you but if I heard a message like this I would fully resonate with it, then feel guilty and then go home and try and change as many things as possible. After a few weeks I would fail and then be back to square one only feeling worse than ever before.  Let me share the rest of the story with you.  Come back with me to my horrible dream. There are three things I would like to take from it that will help us to get back to sitting at Jesus' feet:
1) You are being intimate with the wrong man (thing, priority)
2) You can't find a way out because it is socially acceptable (why won’t anyone say anything?)
3) You will bear fruit  that you don't want

1. Identify the 'man'.
You are being intimate with the wrong man

At first when I realise what God was saying I thought he was talking about my business.  Women's Business Club has taken over my life in many ways so I instantly assumed that this was the 'man' that God was referring to but upon some reflection I realised that it goes much deeper than this.  The 'man' God was trying to point out was BUSYNESS - just like Martha I had become distracted with much busyness.  It should have been obvious to me long ago.  I mean I had been on anti-depressant for a year due to burn out - that should instantly have set off alarm bells don't you think?   Perhaps God used the analogy of a man to show me how my busyness is adulterous!

You see God wants me to love him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength! (Mark 12:30)  Not with the scraps, the leftovers of my time.

We are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10), fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)  in his image (Genesis 1:27), called by name (Isaiah 43:1) with a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11),  inscribed on this palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16), the apple of his eye (Psalm 17:8), bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) and loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
He loves me, He loves you.  Surely the Bible has made this clear.  But are we faithful to Him or adulterous? Identify the 'other man' in your life.  It is this serious.  We, the church, are his bride - we should remain faithful to him.

2. Identify the norm
You can't find a way out because it is socially acceptable

What are you doing that you know deep down inside is not OK but because no one is saying anything about it or perhaps are even encouraging you, you feel trapped and keep doing it?  As I have said these words it has already popped into your head and your heart.  You know it's wrong FOR YOU but you feel trapped because of  everyone else's expectations or lack thereof.  We tolerate too much these days and bring each other down!  What happened to God's standards - His laws - His ways.  When did we allow them to get so watered down that just about anything goes - don't worry God is a God of love and grace.  Yes his is but he didn't change the 10 commandments - they still stand! At the same time, what about his still small voice, do we still listen?

A small example from my own life is that wine o’clock became a things amongst us self employed ladies.  It was the time of day when we rewarded ourselves for a hard day’s work with a glass of wine.  It became a thing!  I started to realise that I had joined in with this fun end to a day.  At times I even used a glass of wine to push myself and squeeze more work out of my weary body and mind.  It dawned on me that this behaviour was unacceptable and that I didn’t want to participate in wine o’clock anymore. I mentioned it to a few people but I could tell I wasn’t taken seriously.  I knew deep down inside that it wasn’t the life style I was to live but because everyone was doing it and because I wasn’t getting drunk or technically sinning, it was very difficult to stop.  It was socially acceptable.  If I continued no one would frown upon it.  In fact it didn’t matter to anyone because it was my conviction not theirs. To be honest if it was a bar of chocolate every day at 5 it would have been the same – it wasn’t the wine that bothered me as much as the habit.  So I knew that for me it was not healthy and so I stopped.... most days.

There are many things we deem acceptable these days.  Some people watch movies with blatant sex in and don’t feel the least bit uncomfortable.  Other’s are happy with violence and swearing in movies and don’t mind if their children see and hear these things too.  It is social acceptable, everyone is doing it, but have you considered how much movies influence us and fill us with stuff?  Or what about books, do we will ourselves with romantic novels leaving our poor husbands at a loss as he can never, ever measure up to Mr Darcy or Christian Grey if you are that way inclined.  Trying to make fiction into our reality is very dangerous!

The point I am trying to make is that we need to identify what NORM we are using as an excuse for our unfaithfulness to our God.  Do you know that the Bible is full on instructions to us so that we can have an abundant life!  It’s not do this and don’t that or I will smite thee but rather I love you so much and if you want to lead a great life then remain in my arms, remain in me. (John 15:4)
He loves me, He loves you, He loves us!  We must separate ourselves - consecrate ourselves - and refrain from what everyone else is doing because it’s what best for us.

3. Identify the fruit
You will bear fruit that you don't want

Look ahead and decide for yourself what fruit will result of this intimacy with the wrong things. What will be born of it.  In my case busyness has resulted in complete and utter burnout. It has also robbed me of precious time with my children. It has robbed me of so many peaceful moment, fun adventures and life itself.  Most importantly it has robbed me of my relationship with God. To motivate myself to get back to Jesus feet and away from the distraction of busyness I MUST take an honest look what will be born into my life if I continue the way I am.

If you are intimate with food as I mentioned before the fruit that will result is poor health
If you are intimate with trashy movies or books the fruit that could result is poor relationships
If you are intimate with money the fruit that could result is any sort of evil
If you are intimate with negative thinking the fruit that could result is depression or anger

Identify the man, identify the norm and identify the fruit that you don’t want.

One thing
So we have covered a lot of possible dos and don’ts. It’s a lot to remember and if we try to tick all the boxes to get it right we will probably fail.  Even God doesn’t want us to leave here today carrying a massive burden to fix our lives. I may have gone deep and heavy but I don’t want you to leave with this burden but rather His burden which is easy and light (Matthew 11:30) There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  My aim is to help us know the truth which will set us free (John 8:32)

My prayer is that with the Holy Spirits help you would have identified some things in your relationship with God today that are hindering you from receiving His amazing love. Perhaps you are being intimate with something or someone other than God.  Perhaps your time or money is going to the wrong priority.  Perhaps you, like me, have been caught in the very sticky web of busyness and are struggling to get free.

The big question now is HOW? 
How do we put things right?
How do we get free?
How do we find the way forward?
The answer is simple, Jesus told it to Mary and Martha.

Choose one thing to love, one thing to put first, one thing to do first.

Consider how Mary worshipped Jesus in John 12:1-3, Martha served but Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

The house wasn't filled with Martha's fantastic cooking but with Mary's heartfelt worship.

We don’t have to remember everything we heard today, we only need to remember one thing and do one thing.  Because there is only one way.   Do we know him?

Matthew 7:21-23 says that we can do loads of fantastic things for him and in his name but if we don't KNOW him he will tell us to depart from him.
Let’s get back to our first love (Revelation 2:4)  Let’s take that first step in the right direction.  Let's reunite with the one who loves us, the one who desires to have complete intimacy with us.

Ephesians 5:25-32
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

God is showing us our earthly marriage relationships represent the relationship He wants to have with His church.  God loves his church soo much, he loves us but he loves us as his church . When will the church become pure and beautiful?  When will we realise that we are the church - right here, right now and He loves us! We are his beautiful bride.  It's a wonderfully romantic thing - that Jesus loves us that much.  He doesn't see us as dirty even though we are sinners, He doesn't see us as broken even though we are, He doesn't see us as unworthy, even though we are.  He sees us as worth giving up his life for.  He sees us as his bride - oh my goodness!

Now let’s focus on just ONE THING. Let’s get back to sitting at Jesus feet.  From that place everything will make sense, everything will fall into place.  It won’t be easy but it will be worth it!
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29.8.15

#HeLovesMe

King's Daughters Conference 2015


Summary
The day plan is finalised and in a nutshell we will enjoy a line up of incredible worship by our band that have been practicing all year!  Powerful preaching by our usual team of ladies who I trust and can wholeheartedly recommend to you. Dance by Cirencester Dance Academy who wow us every year. Choir performance by Wyedean Gospel Choir who will be with us for the first time this year - very exciting. Our very own April Shipton will be singing for us while we enjoy our lovely lunch.  Business stands so you can enjoy a little shopping from our Christian business women. We have planned a full day just for you - the King's daughter!

See the full programme here

Set list 
For your convenience and worship pleasure we would like you to know the set list for this year's conference so you can come prepared to enter into God's presence without having to learn a bunch of new songs.  The 2015 #HeLovesMe set list is:
  • Alive - Hillsong
  • Here for you - Matt Redman
  • 10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman
  • You're Beautiful - Phil Wickham
  • Touch The Sky - Hillsong
  • The Reason - Angela De Souza

SURPRISE!
We have a wonderful surprise this year.  Our very own Karin Whittaker who owns a business called Karosa Jewellery, has designed a #HeLovesMe necklace especially for our conference this year. You can WIN this amazing piece of jewellery!



Simply tell us who you love in the comments below this image on our Facebook page below before Monday 7th September for your chance to win - and if you purchase your ticket for the #HeLovesMe Conference by the closing date you will also be entered into the competition automatically.

I can't wait to see you all - churches are booking groups of women in at a time - don't miss out!

Book your place now


Have a brilliant weekend!
Angela
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3.8.15

Tracey's Struggle with OCD.

Ladies, I have decided to share an email with you that came through this week from a lovely lady, Tracey, who is struggling so much and needs us King's Daughters to support her. Her name has been changed to protect her identity and I share this with her permission. Please pray with me for her freedom and if you have anything to share please leave a comment for her in the box below. I have found over the years that the most difficult struggles are the ones we carry alone but it is in this isolation that the devil has his victory. Let's all come out with what we are going through and support each other so that we can be free indeed as we are promised in John 8:36. Here is the email:
"Let me introduce myself. My name is Tracey. I am 23 years old. I'm a Christian. I am going through a tough time as of late and your message on the King's Daughters YouTube about loving yourself really hit home because I don't love myself. I am fat and I feel useless! I just don't feel beautiful. I wanted to ask you something as I would like a Christian perspective on some issues/ questions I have. For a while now I have suffered from and anxiety disorder called OCD. It has had a massive impact on my life! It has stopped me living and enjoying things. I am literally afraid of everything. Because of this I second guess everything I do. My obsessive fear is that I will get sick, more so the act of physically being sick (it is extremely hard for me to even say the word vomit). I also fear that I may cause someone else especially my family to get sick or to be harmed. I also have a massive fear that I may die if I do simple things like drive (which I haven't been doing because of this fear) or go somewhere by myself. For example when I was in my early teens, a motorcyclist had died near our area and it was a Sunday and I had read my bible; in the end I had this absurd thought that they were all linked and that reading my bible on a Sunday would cause someone harm, so for a really really long time I didn't read my bible on a Sunday which lead to me reading it very rarely because it caused me so much fear and anxiety. I don't have that ritual now as they come and go and form into other things. But I have to many to mention that I feel I have to complete in order for the anxiety to go away and to make sure that what I fear never happens. The thing with OCD is that I feel really embarrassed about my thoughts as I know logically these things don't cause me to be sick or do harm yet I feel I need to do them regardless.
I have been seeing a psychologist (not a Christian one) for this for almost a year and have gotten some great tips that have helped me some what but I feel that I still cannot get over it. I have been exposing myself to some stuff I fear but just can't do all of it. I know that the only way is with God's help! But the problem is every time I pray I feel like I do it wrong or don't say the right things. Why does God/ Jesus feel so far away yet he is close to us? How do I heal of this OCD? I am no longer seeing my psychologist because we just moved from city to country town. I am for this move but this week I have been feeling really down and feeling anxious again. This anxiety can get really intense. 
The OCD subsided for a bit during my years at Uni although still there. I studied social work but feel as though I don't deserve to work in it because of the OCD. My thoughts are things like "what right do I have to help others?" So it's put me off finding work in that area. 
I love children so I thought maybe I should do childcare instead so I went to do a course in it this time last year but only lasted a week as my OCD came back with vengeance. I was having anxiety attacks, couldn't eat was always shivering with fear couldn't go out or anything. I'm still not free. I feel like people, if they know will look at me as a freak. I don't have a Christian role model that I can ask these things too, my parents are Christians but it's just hard for me to talk to them about this. For years I have asked God to take it away but nothing happens. Why? I then questioned why do I have it then? I am thankful though that it is just OCD and not a serious illness. I always have times that I question my salvation. I remember giving my life to Jesus when little and consistently throughout the years but because I can't remember a specific date I don't feel as though it's legit.
How do I get over feeling inadequate? I don't have a job, haven't had a proper job (only babysitting and relief work) in my life because of my OCD, I feel like an absolute failure. I don't want people to think in lazy cause I'm not, just fearful.
I admire my parents so much they seem to both have a really great understanding of the bible and a great relationship with Jesus and I just feel like I don't even though I try. Why is this? I just feel like I never will. I even feel less than others because I have never had a boyfriend. Lots of people comment on it and they are all getting married and having children which I so much want some time in life. Not even one person has taken interest in me. Not that I feel worthy of being loved the way I am anyway.
My childhood was a bit of a rocky one. My dad was an alcoholic but he is free from that now thanks to Jesus! I witnessed a lot of violence from him towards my mum. They did divorce but are now remarried as he realised what he had lost and he gave it all to Jesus. I guess anxiety has always been a part of my life and some OCD traits could have stemmed from parts of it. Cleaning and organising was a coping mechanism I used when I felt out of control when dad was drunk or angry. I feel guilty for feeling scared about the past because my dad is no longer that man. I guess I also see that my dad was set free from his alcoholism and yet I am still stuck with my OCD.
I have at times washed my hand from 80 to 100+ times a day. It is draining feeling that I need to wash then after touching everything. I can wash them until they are red raw and bleeding but somehow this self destructive behaviour is comforting or reassuring. I feel that I am a useless Christian because of the OCD and my feelings. I feel so stuck.
Some other questions I have are; How do I pray properly? Dear Jesus? Dear father? Dear god? I've hear people say it shouldn't be dear Jesus it should be; Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. Is this true?
How do I know Gods' will for my life? How do I hear God? Or know what he is saying to me? Why do I feel lonely? Why do I have this deep hurt that I can't explain or even cry about?
I just feel stuck in life! I would appreciate any advise that you have. Sorry about the length, it's something I've been bottling up way too long."


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22.6.15

A Plea for Equality: Creatively Responding to Today's Aggressive Rejection of Faith

Have you ever felt that your whole society has a warped view of you?


"You're entitled to your own opinions and beliefs." "It's a free country." "You have a right to free speech."
They're phrases we hear all the time, and when it comes to opinions and lifestyles that are different to ours, we know the right thing to do is to be accepting and understanding of them. But as a Christian in an increasingly hostile world, where online conversations allow for instant, anonymous bullying with no identifiable consequences, what was once called 'free speech' has become what feels like a systematic battering of religion.

In almost any secular situation, I find that I'm allowed to speak my opinion - just as long as it's also the opinion of the secular majority. In the online community especially, it has become extremely unpopular to believe in the existence of a god. Even more so the possibility of creation.

Here's three basic worldviews and the reaction you're likely to get if you reveal this belief online:


  • If I believe there is no God, no after-life, no spiritual dimension; there is only the world man has discovered and it's the cosmic equivalent of dropping some eggs and flour on the floor and coming back 3 billion years later and finding a cake, I'm warmly accepted as an intelligent, well-rounded individual with logical reasoning and supposedly share my views with the well-educated of the world.
  • If I believe "there might be something out there bigger than me that I can't understand", the internet regards me as a dreamer, a naive buffoon who'll learn what it's really like soon enough - and throws in some belittling insults to help the natural transition along.
  • But if I identify with a spiritual world view, where the world is not a mistake, its Creator lives and is good, and there is therefore a moral framework determined by His authority (which in turn means there is an ultimate truth and we are not free to decide what's true based on our feelings), then I am a judgmental idiot with who blindly follows the boring religious practices of my parents, bullishly ignoring basic science and logic, and have never given the matter my thought for long enough to realise how ridiculous my belief is and turn away from my stupidity. The prescribed cure for this sort of sad predicament is full-blown online slander and ridicule.


And here's my somewhat desperate response to this injustice.


I've been at the receiving end of this cruel correction - either personally or as collateral damage to a more generic religion-bashing comment - more times than I can count. Most recently a week ago when someone on a well-known global content sharing site referred to a typically Christian opinion as "not an opinion, it's ignorance and stupidity". I felt so angry and hurt by this arrogant rejection of an entire worldview that the words really hung over me, and when I woke up the next morning they were still fresh in my mind. That afternoon, I vented as I wrote this poetic plea for equality.

“That’s not an opinion, it’s ignorance and stupidity”
It’s like I’m not allowed to speak anything that isn’t a majority; ‘normality’
But what if ‘normal’ was atrocity, an act of immorality
Like murdering millions in the name of ‘purity’
Would I be strong enough to stand on my principles whole-heartedly
Or be too afraid of being an anomaly?
The fact is I feel targeted personally
For holding beliefs that don’t fit the carbon copy
It’s like we’re eradicating individuality
Silencing anyone who feels differently
By implanting mass opinions artificially
Propaganda is directed, retweeted and spread systematically
And to not conform is idiocy, bigotry, small-minded lunacy
“A hatred based on my own insecurity”
I’ve been called “indoctrinated”, “infected”, “brainwashed”, “an embarrassment to society”
And forbidden the chance to explain my viewpoint properly
I’m kept at a safe distance like a man with leprosy
Despised and disgusting to almost every community
It couldn’t possibly be that I have my own understanding of cosmology
With experience, evidence and the intelligence to conclude it logically
You preach tolerance but have no room for variety
You preach acceptance but give me no credibility
Just because your badge reads “Atheism” and mine reads “Christianity”
I’m not a brainless advocator of hatred and exclusivity
I’m just being me by believing what feels right to me
So please STOP discriminating based on poisoned partiality
Stop calling me a hypocrite and hear your own hypocrisy.

The response to this response overwhelmed and moved me.


Still frustrated that I felt so alone in a world with an anti-Christian agenda, I posted the poem on Facebook, and was extremely encouraged and comforted to find that so many of my friends - and even people I haven't met - shared the post and told me how much they agreed with its sentiment. I was especially touched by all the non-Christian people who showed their support of it and even shared it to their own pages. I've never personally known so many people of different beliefs and worldviews come together and support me struggling with mine - it was a heart-warming experience.

I want to leave you with a word of encouragement if you relate to all the things I've said so far - this is a quote from C.S. Lewis to remind you that if you follow Jesus, you are following the one Truth in this world, and no matter how much he tries the Father of Lies will never defeat that Truth.

“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” - C.S. Lewis

Be strong and courageous, family of God, and with humility and love keep showing the world the forgiveness of the One who gave His life to give them countless second chances.


April Shipton

Christian Singer/Songwriter from Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
King's Daughters Team Member

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2.6.15

Living after the 'But'



Hello King's Daughters.

I know you haven't heard from me in a while, there is so much to say to you and so much want to share and have been keeping it all in for so long that I almost feel embarrassed to suddenly pop up again in your life. However, I know that if I just share a little now that the flow will return and I will find a way to keep in touch with you more often.

So forgive me if some of this doesn't make sense, I cannot update you on all I have been through in the past year but I would like to update you on recent events.  You see, God has blessed me with a business, the Women's Business Club.  It has been up and running for one year and nine months now as has grown from strength to strength.  I have loved almost every minute of the journey, there have been a few challenging minutes that I have not loved too much but mostly I have loved the journey.

One thing that came of this business is financial profit.  After years of lack and financial struggle I finally found myself in a good place of having enough.  Of course I want more of that, I want plenty. Plenty not only to enjoy life more but also to give - I do love to give.

In the past weeks I have found one thing after another has attacked my income to the point of risking going back to having nothing.  I couldn't bear the thought of back to poverty and scraping by.  Is this God or the devil? Who knows!  I do know that God is with me and is always working in and through me, so even in this dark season I look to him to find out what He has to teach me.  This is one lovely lesson that I am learning, I call it the 'But'.

I am feeling stronger in the Lord now after feeling nowhere for a while and I know that He has a plan and purpose for my life. However, we are not in the clear yet, the battle still rages, this morning I woke up to discover that we have lost another source of income. So please join me as I stand on and activate God's promises in my life.

Today I declare:

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:19

I feel that the 'But' in this verse is very important. You see, verse 18 says:

"I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God."

For me, I relate to this as I was in a time of having more than enough after many years of poverty. I cannot help but wonder if God wants to remind me of the 'But' so that I don't become dependent on myself but that I remain dependent on His supply according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I want to get back to having more than enough because I am generous and do give as much as possible, especially to my church. So please pray that I quickly learn what God is trying to teach me, that I am humble and live after the But!

I have so much more to share with you and I will do my best to do so more regularly, but for now I leave you with the 'But' to ponder on.

Please keep in touch too, comment below, I would love to hear from you.


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13.5.15

Seasons

by Karin Whittaker

The change of seasons is a necessary, even unavoidable truth in all life.
So it is in our walk with God. In nature (creation) we see it as a constant reminder of our own need for seasons - the planting, whether deliberately or accidental - of seeds, the watering and feeding of young plants, growth, and more growth so as to fruit in time for harvest. Then slowing down of life, and, what looks like death, in the rest and restoration time of winter when the body that had been fruitful must become quiet and restful. It will need careful pruning. It will need to stop producing. So that, in order to fruit again, it restores its energies and strength for the new season. Can we liken this to our walk in faith?
Yes, it is a very useful metaphor. We also need seasons to plant the Word of God, nourish it and see it grow, produce a harvest and after this, prepare ourselves for pruning. God will use others to help us along the way. We will be in situations where we realise we are "doing too much" or not the right thing to grow the Kingdom. This can go on for some time, until the time comes when life no longer flows, when we fell overburdened, when the energy we once had has all but drained away. That's when we need to stop, take stock, see what is going on and act on it.

Do I need to cut down on activities? Do I need to call in help to get jobs done which do not always require me to be there? To free up time to spend with family, be it physical or church family. To free up time to be with God. If we fight this natural rhythm of growth, fruit, harvest, pruning and rest we will only suffer in the long run.


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21.4.15

King's Daughters Team

In my previous post I took great delight in introducing our King's Daughters team to you.  Now I get the great pleasure of letting you know that they are all going to be authors on this blog!!! How exciting.  I can wholeheartedly commend them to you and trust you with them.  Enjoy all the lovely posts that are to follow and please do connect with us by leaving lovely comments on each post - we will reply to each one.

Have a happy day :)
Love Angela x

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