Tag Archive | faith

More little grey boxes…

File 17-06-2016, 08 31 24 When we were in Holland just before Christmas, we were giving lots of our little grey boxes of ash away; we talked about ash being what’s left when everything else is used up and burnt out, and we told this story:

A young Jewish boy (for these purposes, we’ll call him Asher) wanted to hear Jesus speak. So he got his mother’s permission to go down to where he’d heard Jesus was going to be. His mother allowed him to go, but with strict instructions regarding the importance of being home before sunset, and how he was to be careful, stay safe and not get into trouble. She also sent him with a small packed meal of fish and bread.

He was so excited – he’d heard that this man, who performed amazing miracles and, unusually, who had time for children in a way that grown ups rarely bothered with, was not far away, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The day exceeded even Asher’s childishly optimistic expectations, and the boy sat taut with anticipation, among a huge crowd of people, each one straining to hear every word that Jesus spoke, and to miss absolutely nothing.

thAfter a day of sitting in the baking sun, there was some discussion among Jesus and his disciples about the fact that everyone present must be hungry, because they’d been there such a long time. Asher had reluctantly been deciding that he probably ought to be heading home, but now Jesus sent the disciples among the crowd to ask whether anyone had brought any food with them. Most people had nothing, but Asher’s enthusiasm took over, as he shouted out excitedly ‘I’ve got some!’.

He was called forward to present what he had to Jesus. two fishes – five loaves.

Looking around at the enormity of the crowd he suddenly felt foolish. What use could the little bit he had possibly be. Someone sniggered in the crowd, and then someone else sent a mocking remark. What on earth had possessed him to stand up and make such a fool of himself? What he had brought with him was going to go nowhere in the face of such a huge crowd of hungry people.

He hung his head as he was called forward, trying to be as small and as unnoticeable as possible as he obediently wove his way to the front of the crowd to meet Jesus. Resentful, mocking eyes were on him. One useless boy, two fishes, five loaves, five thousand people.

But then he found himself at the front of the crowd, looking into the impossibly kind, unbelievably wise eyes of Jesus Christ.

We’ve all felt like this small boy, so many times. Weak, useless and laughably ill-equipped for the task at hand.

But what Asher did next is exactly what each of us needs to do. He looked into Jesus’ eyes, and put everything he had into The Saviour’s hands. A step of faith.

And Jesus performed a miracle. Just as he will with each of us when we are ill-equipped, but are prepared to take that step of faith and hand everything over anyway.a52c69d30e26398dd210c8cf488a2d98

Come on! Jump! …

One of my favourite games, when my son James was small, was to get him to jump, or ‘tip off’ small distances, from a chair, table, side of a swimming pool, in fact, anywhere a little bit higher than me, so that I could catch him. It is a delightful game of trust, that has been played by parents, with their children, down through the entire history of parenthood.

Tip off.jpgInitially, the risk taken by the child is small, as they tip gently, on much coaxing, into our outstretched hands. But gradually, as their confidence grows, they will leap with abandon from all sorts of inappropriate places, leaving us begging that they would ‘Please!! Check that I’m looking before you jump!’.
I remember the first time that God asked me to do something that involved an element of perceived risk on my part. I was attending church, about half way through a service, and I felt that I was being prompted to go up to a complete stranger and give her a ‘word of knowledge’. I was to tell her that God knew how excluded and isolated she felt, and that He wanted her to know how precious she was to Him, that He wanted her to ‘come in from the cold’, and to learn just how loved and wanted she was.

I was terrified. One of my biggest fears has always been about making a fool of myself, and sticking my neck out to speak where my words might be wholly unwanted absolutely terrified me. As the service came to a close, I had asked for all sorts of confirmations that I really had heard His voice, and wasn’t just inventing the instruction in my fanciful head; I made all kinds of excuses as to why I shouldn’t do it and I worked hard in my mind to ignore the persistent voice, sending me where I didn’t want to go.

But hard as I tried, the prompting wouldn’t go away.

In desperation, I asked the Lord to get the young woman to look as though she was waiting for someone to speak to her, and to give me an easy opportunity to go and talk to her. Ultimately, I knew that the persistent urging wasn’t going to go away, and I didn’t like the idea of going home with the knowledge that I hadn’t passed on an important message.shutterstock_377273392

Obeying the call felt like jumping off a cliff to certain disaster; but watching her face light up, hearing her tell me of her broken relationship, struggle as a single parent, and how she’d come to church that night, not really expecting to be welcomed – and then, her joy at being given that message at the end of the service, was, for me, like being caught in a safe, loving embrace just as I reached terminal velocity.

I don’t know whether I was put there for her that night, to bring comfort and love, or whether she was put there for me to start growing my embryonic faith. All I do know is that the joy resulting from that little step of faith, and other moments like it as my life has progressed, is joy quite unlike anything else I have ever experienced.

Since then, I’ve been encouraged to take all sorts of ‘risks’, in terms of saying or doing things, and thus being God’s hands here on earth. I have often persisted in that same initial reluctance, followed by a rather wobbly step of faith; I now realise that the best way to become sure of God is by taking those very moves into unknown territory, where He gets the opportunity to back us up, and thus enables us to do amazing things. My faith continues to grow.

Each time that we tip off the table into His arms, our bond of trust grows and flourishes in the certainty of His love, until, eventually, like Todd White, Robbie Dawkins and Jackie Pullinger, among numerous others throughout history, we learn to take giant leaps of faith across the craggy rocks of life, and we become mighty warriors in Jesus Christ.

The story behind our single ‘Tip Off The Table’ from the album Fear, Secrets and Lies due out 18th November 2016.

The very desire of my heart…

IMG_20150204_202756He had given me the very desire of my heart. And in doing so, he gave me my life’s work.

So what has given me this heart for running a gospel choir and getting people to sing? I’ll tell you.

I come from one of those hatchings, matchings and dispatchings families. You know the kind? It’s ok to write ‘Church of England’ on application forms, but for heaven’s sake don’t talk about it or get involved.

Well, in spite of my mum’s reservations, when I was sixteen I started going regularly to one of those other kinds of churches with a school friend. This was my first real experience of what most people would have described as a ‘happy clappy’ church, where people talked about Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, my mother remained tight lipped. I loved it.

One night about six of us were crammed in a car, travelling home after the service and I realised that my friends in the car were discussing a rehearsal for a band. I asked what they were talking about and was told that they were planning to start a band playing Christian music.

File 18-05-2016, 09 19 19Now… understand this, I was sixteen, and gawky with a gummy grin. Not a girl with street credibility – and this sounded so cool!

Well, the only instrument I’d ever played was the violin, which I’d had to give up because those that loved me couldn’t stand the dreadful noise I made when I practiced; my brother and sisters had always assured me that I couldn’t sing – so – well, not exactly excellent qualifications. Anyway, I muscled my way in with my eye on the spot of backing vocalist – I had plans on the back row, boogie a bit and no real responsibility – thus achieving a level of cool in my own eyes that I’d never hoped to see in my whole life.

That is until the first rehearsal – when my lack of talent became abundantly clear to all of us.

The rest of the band – bless them – probably felt quite a degree of responsibility for what might happen to my spiritual wellbeing if they gave me the sack, and they were clearly in an uncomfortable dilemma. Should they get rid of me and lose the dreadful noise in the back row? Or should they give me a tambourine, take away the microphone and reduce my impact on the sound as much as possible? Looking back, I feel for them.

I remember how I felt, and I promise you, it was painful. I knew what the situation demanded – I needed to admit my shortcomings and leave the band graciously; but that would mean admitting to all my other school friends the truth about my lack of ability – The gawky sixteen year old had just achieved some small level of cool and now I was about to lose it again.

I needed help desperately.

So I prayed like I’d never prayed before, asking God to help me; It never occurred to me to pray to be able to sing, it never crossed my mind that it might be on the ‘shopping list’ so to speak; instead I prayed for courage, humility, honesty. All the things I didn’t have and knew I needed. I realised that my only way through this maze was to hand it over to God completely. To let everything go.three

So, for the first time in my life, I experienced that amazing release that can only be found when you completely lay something at Jesus’ feet. During the following week I didn’t sing once, I just prayed and handed over, again, and again, and again.

And God worked. First of all, He showed me that His plan is paramount. That in accepting His plan, I was accepting something that was made just for me; a plan not to harm me, but to prosper me. A plan for which I was perfectly and wonderfully made. It was a life changing lesson.

The next rehearsal found me sitting in an arm chair, watching my friends practice, without feeling any of the familiar resentment that accompanied the thwarted desire to take part myself. I felt joyfully grateful, completely in His hands, completely in His will. Peaceful.

Later on in the evening, there was an interruption in the rehearsal, resulting in only a few people being left in the room. It seemed that the leader of the band suddenly became aware of my presence and in that brief moment of ‘nothing to do’ he took the opportunity to hear some of the songs I’d been writing. “Come on …” he said, “let’s hear what you’ve been up to…”.

I sang through a couple of ditties I’d put together. He looked at me quizzically. “Sing this” he said, giving me one of the songs the band had been working on. And then “sing this”, and then again “how about this one?”.

There was no other way of looking at it. My voice had changed so much as to be beyond recognition. God, given my complete submission to His will, had given me not only what I had asked for…

I am reminded of Abraham, who asked to put the precious sum of all his loves, hopes and ambitions, in the form of Isaac, onto an altar of stones for sacrifice to God, was prepared to do so, thus giving God the trust that enabled the birth of a nation.

He had given me the very desire of my heart. And in doing so, he gave me so much more than I could ever have dreamed.

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Shouldn’t there be something more?…

Why can some of us hear God speaking to us, while for some of us there is nothing but silence? Why do some of us find worship exciting and joyful, while for others it’s just part of the routine that we have to get through on a Sunday morning?  And, actually, why do so many women come to church alone, because men just do not ‘get’ Christianity?

Last Saturday, a Women’s Day was held at our church. It was a really special day, full of love, kindness, prayer, great teaching and, of course, chocolates.

During the lunch break, a group of us had decided we would offer the washing and massaging of feet and hands as we prayed for people. We came in the morning, armed with towels, bowls, scented soaps and plenty of cocoa butter for massaging into tired feet and hard working hands. It was the nicest thing to do. I love spending time with other women, we all have such stories to tell and are capable of such compassion for one another.

But, oh boy, can we be bad at receiving! I was amazed at how uncomfortable so many people were with someone kneeling down and massaging either their feet or their hands, and praying. It led to some great conversations. We discovered that an awful lot of us feel very awkward about being given anything at all, we cringe at the thought of going forward to ask for prayer, even when we are really in need; I forgot to take a packed lunch with me, and I had to prod myself to say ’yes please’ to someone’s profered tuna roll.

That bended knee thing seems to have become really hard. Both men and women have now created such a fortress of self reliance and a fear of being beholden to anyone that it has become nigh on impossible for us to ask for or to accept anything.

Today, I heard of someone who lived homeless, in London, for eight months without telling a single one of his friends, his family, or indeed, his church community that he had nowhere to go. He simply couldn’t bring himself to ask someone for a space on their floor or a spare bed – to risk becoming one of ’the needy’ in the eyes of others – and so, he made the best of hospital waiting rooms, public loos, underneath bridges and doorsteps rather than risk telling anyone that he had nowhere to go.

I guess that admitting we need help feels weak, exposed, too much at risk of looking as though we’ve failed in some way. Putting ourselves in a position where we are prepared to receive, is too vulnerable, too hard a place to go.

But go there we must. If we want to experience the wonder of an intimate relationship with God, feel His presence, hear Him speaking to us, then we need to be able to submit to him, to give it all up. To be vulnerable.

 Then, and only then will we discover the true depth of His love for us and how far He is prepared to go to keep us safe.

The assumption that anyone who is a Christian must be a wimp is rife among non-believers; however, I have a nasty feeling that fear of ‘wimpdom” is also significant  among those who profess to believe in God. Hence, ’theoretical Christianity’ is prevalent; where we attend church regularly and go through all the motions, doing all the right things, but haven’t submitted fully enough into Christ’s dominion to receive the full benefits of the Holy Spirit.

Maybe that takes a bigger step of faith than we’re quite prepared to take.

I’ve been speaking to people about their journey to Christ in the last few weeks, and, among men particularly, the vast majority either gave their lives to Christ when they were still young enough to have not yet developed an unhealthy degree of self reliance, or they had reached such a desperate state of affairs in their life that they were finally, literally, brought to their knees. 

Hence, whilst many men and women are comfortable with Christianity per se, it all tends to remain a bit theoretical if we don’t get to receive the Holy Spirit –  and that can only happen when we empty ourselves of our expectations of what we think is important so that Christ can fill us up with something better.

Well, statistics indicate that men won’t go to the doctor, read instruction manuals or ask for directions, so they were always bound to struggle, but, actually we women aren’t much better.

Considering ourselves as ’sinners’ seems a bit grubby, maybe it feels a bit old fashioned, I don’t know. Either way, there are still an awful lot of us trying to get to heaven by ‘good works’ rather than Grace. One thing I do know is that until we grasp it, ’get’ that that is exactly what we are, and learn to bask in the wonder of His Grace, we’ll never realise the full joy of God’s closeness.

We need to come to terms with the fact that, no matter how upright we are as members of the community, men and women alike, church leaders, church cleaners, doctors, drug addicts, barristers, burglars, titled servants of the realm, homeless and
heartbroken. We might be pillars of the community, or we might be struggling to find a roof for our own head, we are equally failed and broken before God.

So. If you are reluctant to get your feet washed or to ask for prayer, if someone laying hands on you has your skin crawling, then, I wonder, are you correspondingly missing something in your relationship with God?  Has it all become a bit dry and theoretical?

If so, you might like to try this prayer. It has it’s roots in the Orthodox Church, where, I  admit, I would rarely go to look for prayers, but, as someone put it to me, it’s an extremely ‘muscular’ prayer, with every word loaded with meaning and value.

‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

While you’re driving to work, on the train, in the shower, eating lunch, lying awake at night… keep praying it, slowly, thoughtfully, reverently. Make sure you are meaning every word.

Try to repeat it about a hundred times a day (yep – I really did say that), and, if you’re anything like me, the process could take about six weeks or more. 

Be prepared for the long haul,  learning to receive is not the work of a moment.

Then, be prepared for a whole new, more exciting, enriching, wonderful journey with Jesus Christ.

Who’s fooling who?

I found this sub heading in the religion and ethics section of our preferred news website this morning:

“Is it time that all religions accepted evolution as fact in line with the majority of scientists?”

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Well, this little snippet has coincided with my son, Jamie, starting to learn philosophy with his new Religious Studies teacher, Mr Webster. Mr Webster has jumped off at the deep end with this motley collection of eleven year olds, by getting them to discuss the difference between facts and beliefs. I bet that was lively. We’ve had some great conversations on the topic at the dinner table, and it all seems remarkably appropriate to the afore-mentioned article.

Dictionary definitions of fact’ and ’belief’ can be found easily; this is what I found through my web browser:

A fact – a thing that is known or proved to be true.

A belief – an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.

Simple huh?

Which all throws our question as to whether evolution can be considered as fact into a level of disarray before we start.

Two things that were never even proposed as more than theories by their original proponents, The Big Bang Theory and The Theory of Evolution have, somehow, become enshrined in our modern ’scientific’ thinking as fact. With regard to the theory of evolution – Darwin noticed strong evidence for adaption when he looked at finches in the Galápagos Islands, and numerous further examples have continued to be found since. However, to extrapolate this into full scale evolution of modern day man from microbes, purely by the influence of natural selection, is infinitely more far reaching than it would be to draw the conclusion that, say, because a friend would be prepared to lend you five pounds in an emergency, they could also be naturally assumed to be ready to cough up five million pounds to cover your gambling debts.

Interestingly, if we consider the matter a little further, we realise that we constantly blur the edges between what we accept in our minds as ’fact’, and what we accept as ’belief’, and, therefore, how often we require proof in order to satisfy ourselves of where our opinions should lie.

For example, having witnessed the whole event, my husband, Kevin, recognises as fact that James is my son – because, not to put too fine a point on it, he saw him come out. However, short of a DNA test, he can only ever, realistically say that he believes James is his son. Meanwhile, we, our families, our friends and, perhaps most importantly, James himself, are all quite happy to be in absolutely no doubt as to who both parents are.

Thinking on, there is a startling amount that we accept as fact which could arguably be deemed to have no right to sit in that category at all. We are bombarded with information from the papers, television, the internet,  people we meet, or even the greater part of our education, and it’s all made up of things that most of us will choose to accept as fact , in spite of rarely seeing any more conclusive proof than a school text book or a piece of TV video footage. And if you consider the decisions you have made so far today, the conversations you’ve had and the plans you’ve made, most of it will have been based on trust, faith, belief. Very little hard evidence will have been demanded. Think of how readily you drive across green traffic lights, without checking that it really is safe to do so.

Because if we were to take the demand for proof to its full conclusion, life could really get pretty exhausting; not to mention how hurt I’d be if Kevin was suddenly to demand a DNA test to establish James’ paternity. Fortunately, he has considered a number of factors in the forming of his conclusions, such as how much he knows I love him (Kevin), the fact that James has a great many similarities to him, and, perhaps most importantly, he trusts me.

For the sake of expedience, we take other factors into account, such as experience and  feelings, to help us decide whether we can trust our sources. And sadly, regardless of what our instincts tell us, a disturbing number of us are also influenced, more than is quite comfortable, by whether we will be made to feel foolish for believing or disbelieving something; which with Richard Dawkins or another of his strongly aggressive New Atheist cronies telling us what idiots we’re making of ourselves by believing in God, we’re sadly inclined to follow along and do as they suggest.

I carried out a quick ’straw poll’ over the last few days, in which I asked thirty random strangers which of the three following statements applied to them: ’I believe in God’, ’I believe there is no God’ and ’I believe in something, but I don’t know what it is’. I found there was an overwhelming body of people who either instinctively believe in God, but who told me that they don’t go to formal worship, or who ’believe in something, but don’t know what it is’. Our whole being cries out for our Creator, but some of us are reluctant to actually name Him because that might be too close to believing in Father Christmas, The Soup Dragon and The Tooth Fairy.

As a Christian in modern society, it takes quite a lot of courage to stand up and say what we believe. Furthermore, we’ve now reached a point where we are inclined to temper our beliefs and our statement of them in order to accomodate the potential negative reaction. Surely this is a dangerous place to be?

On a lighter note, I used to have a great game I’d play with James when he was very small. I’d sit him on the edge of a table, and encourage him to jump or fall into my waiting arms. He rapidly found that the game was great fun and would leap enthusiastically from all sorts of places, confident in my love for him and my ability to catch him.

People who believe in God, and believe that He created the world, along with everything around and in it, don’t do so because they have no imaginations and are too stupid or lazy to understand any other possibility. They have come to believe what they do because something greater and more wonderful has been revealed to them. Personally, God has shown me that if I trust him and follow him, he answers prayer, speaks to me, walks beside me. I can’t prove Him to you, but I have tipped off the table into His arms. He has satisfactorily proved His trustworthiness to me.

Faith or knowledge? Fact or belief?

Doesn’t matter. It’s good enough.

nebula

 

 

 

Trusting to the End… And Warriors All the Way

 Without God’s grace we age like failing white goods, purposeless and ’in the way’ until we get dumped on the tip. But with God’s grace we become warriors, on the front line – where all the action is.

(the thoughts behind our song ‘Closer to You’)

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OK. I give in, I admit it. I probably ought to get my eyes tested and accept that it’s time I started to wear reading glasses. I’m not sure if the resistance has been about vanity or about simple denial of old age. But now the inevitable is starting to get its own way.

And, actually, it’s OK.

I remember a time when I used to lie awake at 2.00am, worrying about the big issues in life, like death and old age. You know, the really big scary ones that can work you into a cold sweat when you’re supposed to be getting some deep refreshment to ready yourself for the rigours of the coming day. Now, if I lie awake at all, it will be to fret about such weighty issues as whether I gave the cat it’s worm tablet or to wonder if I will have time to pick blackberries for the freezer. Life seems to have moved on.

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Which is strange, because old age and, presumably, death are looming a jolly sight closer than they used to be when I lay awake worrying about them. So what has changed?

Well, actually the answer is simple, in short, it’s due to my ever deepening faith in God.shutterstock_197213135

I find that the more I see of this planet, the more I learn, the more I come to be confident that God is calmly at the centre of it all, watching me, loving me and keeping me safe.shutterstock_133138838

’Safe’, of course, doesn’t mean without pain, illness or grief, ’safe’ is bigger picture stuff.  In John 16 verse 33 (NIV) Jesus says:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

As I say, ’safe’ is not about the journey, it’s about where it all ends – and, I don’t wish to spoil anything for you all, but I’ve sneaked a look at the end of the story – in the end, The Lamb wins.

We will grow old; the alternative is viewed by most as even less attractive, but, as we grow beyond our sixties, many of us will experience a gradual erosion of our self esteem. The modern western world is so inclined to assess our value by how much we earn, what we achieve in a commercial sense. That getting-out-of-bed-to-go-to-work thing has a huge impact on the sense of purpose, and hence, value of all of us.

I’ve been talking to some elderly friends who break the mould recently. Last night I spent the evening with Betsy, who, at 84 is a truly inspiring member of our church. She has had her full share of the ’trouble’ that is a part of living in the world – her husband died seven years ago and she lost a son to a massive heart attack eighteen months ago. I particularly wanted to speak with her because, last year when I was talking with some church friends about God’s continued purpose in our lives, Betsy said “and you know what? It just keeps getting better.”

She laughed when I asked her about this, and told me that if she compares herself now with the Betsy of twenty years ago, she’s grown; she trusts God more – she trusts that whatever pain comes her way, He will work through it with her, and it will be OK. She described peace, the presence of The Holy Spirit; and she also described her increased sensitivity to His presence and what He is asking of her. She hears his voice more easily.

You know that feeling of elation when God has asked you to do or say something to someone? You’ve been brave, done as He has asked you – and then seen from their face that He has used you so that He can work a much needed miracle? Well Betsy gets that all the time. Every Sunday in church, she will be sensitive to who God wants her to ’get beside’, and, every Sunday, she finds that she has been led to a person who specifically needs prayer, God’s encouragement and someone wise to talk to.shutterstock_110911754

I also spent some time with my mother in law, Ella, who, at 79,  positive, energetic and determined to get the most out of life, is an inspiration in so many ways. But we weren’t actually talking about her, our conversation was about her Aunt Miriam. Aunt Miriam was a Methodist Preacher. She married once – to Harold – when she was in her late sixties. He was the love of her life. Four years later he died.

Ella told me that until Miriam was too old to ride her bicycle, she used to cycle round Sandbach, taking cakes, coal, medicines, you name it, if it was needed and she could fit it into her basket, she’d take it to someone.

I met Miriam once, in an old peoples home in Sandbach. It was a few weeks before she died; she was sitting in a chair, fast asleep when we arrived, and when she woke up her face was beaming with deep joy and welcome. She was 92 and utterly beautiful. The memory stays with me.shutterstock_163889813

Two weeks later, she told Ella that Harold had visited her in a dream the night before, he told her he was expecting her to join him in a couple of days time; Jesus had also come to her and she was so excited, she was about to go home. She died peacefully two nights later.

God’s work thrives on the intercession of women (and men) like Betsy and Miriam, and across the world there are successful churches built on the bedrock provided by their unceasing prayer. Listening, obedient prayer warriors. They are at the very forefront of God’s work.

My ambition is that one day, I might become one of them.

Yep – horrible stuff is going to happen in life, a lot of it already has, but we are all so loved, and I have come to realise that, if I allow Him to, God will extract value and purpose out of my every breathing moment.

And then he will take me home.

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REBEL

REBEL

I know this…

It is by Grace that I am saved, that today I don’t need to feel guilty or condemned, no matter how frustrated I get with my own failings. I have received His free gift of righteousness through faith in the saving blood of Jesus Christ. And I know that no matter how hard I try, I can never deserve what My Lord has promised me, I will always fall short of His glory.

But…

Someone once said to me that every time we sin, we are hammering a nail into Christ as He suffers on the cross.

Now, my intentions are good. I really try to be obedient to God. But, I have to reflect that there’s a rather uncomfortable saying… the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I don’t pray enough; I almost never fast; I don’t study my Bible as much as I should.

And that’s barely the beginning of how I fall short. I am not as grateful as I should be; I am impatient; when I’m over-tired I’m horrible; unless well motivated, my sense of duty is sadly lacking; and whilst my mouth does occasionally say the right thing, it also rarely consults my brain before launching full tilt into something that, all too often, I’ll later regret.

And in Matthew 25:40 it says this: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Surely I have to assume that this applies in the negative as well as the positive?

And, bearing in mind how much He loves me, how much He gave up for me, and how perfect He is, how could I possibly not want to emulate Him? To do my best for Him?

I know that on those occasions when I’m not giving someone the time that they really need, those moments when I could have bitten my tongue rather than come out with the angry retort in times of stress, and at those times when I give less than my best, I’m hurting Christ most of all. And, whilst I’ll kick myself afterwards, just like Peter when he heard the cock crow for the third time, I just don’t seem to be able to learn. Sometimes, it feels like a little imp inside me who takes control and makes me let myself and my Lord down.

And I know that I need to take responsibility for my actions… I can blame the Tempter when I fail, but the truth is… it’s me who let’s me down… I’m still kicking against the traces, biting the hand that feeds me… there’s no escaping the cold fact… I’m still a rebel.

To get a free copy of our new single, Rebel, Click Here.