19 September 2016

Don't Waste Your Opportunities

 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.  But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. Acts 9:39-40

I was reading this story last night and one phrase caught my attention.
...while she was with them.
She made coats and garments while she was alive---while she was with them.
Once she died she couldn't do it anymore.
She didn't waste her opportunities. While she was there, she used her talents to serve God and love people.
She wasn't there forever, but she used the time she had. When she came back to life, she had another chance. But not everyone gets second chances.
What are you doing right now? You are somewhere, with certain people in your life and certain opportunities.
You have opportunities right now that you may never have again. Are you using them or wasting them?
You have people in your life right now that won't always be there.
If you are still a single girl, you have opportunities that you may not still have once you are married and a mother. Are you making the most of this season of your life?
At the moment I am in hospital with my baby. Either I can waste this time wishing I were home, or I can make the most of it and take the opportunities it brings. The choice is up to me.
I have a baby with Down Syndrome that I am in hospital with. A few days I read of a 14yr old boy with Down Syndrome that passed away. A few months ago I saw him a few times up at Starship Hospital when I was there with my baby. He didn't look sick, so I couldn't believe it when I heard he is gone. It reminded me to make the most of the time I have with my little girl and also my other children and husband because I never know when their last day may be.
I don't know when my last day on earth is either. But while I am here, I want to use my time, talents and opportunities for God.
What about you?


14 August 2016

Gems From Job #7

Do you ever feel hopeless?
Are you going through hard times right now?
Do you feel like there is no hope for you?
Be encouraged! God is the God of hope.
He IS real and He DOES hear prayers.
Although He doesn't always take the trials away, He WILL help you through the trial if you'll depend on Him.
There have been times in my own life when I've felt very depressed and hopeless. But by praying for help and trusting in God, He has always pulled me through and filled me with hope.
If there was no God, there would be no hope. But there is a God and He is very real. Through Jesus Christ we can come to Him and He will help us.
 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5


Gems from Job #1
Gems from Job #2
Gems from Job #3
Gems from Job #4
Gems from Job #5
Gems from Job #6

31 July 2016

The Sceptic's Challenge

Over the heads of the crowd the confident cry rang out, “There is no answer to prayer; it's all imagination. Don't be carried away. Use your own common sense. There is no hereafter. When we are dead, we are done for.”
The speaker was standing at the foot of a monolith erected in an open space of a busy Yorkshire city. He had an excellent gift of speech and a winning manner. A large crowd of men and women stood round listening. In a wonderfully ingratiating way, and with a persuasive voice, he tried to prove the non-existence of God, and inefficacy of prayer, concluding with a professed readiness to debate the question with any person in the audience. At this juncture a man was seen making his way from the edge of the crowd towards the speaker, saying at the same time, “I accept the challenge.”
The people eagerly made way for this champion of prayer, and a very few moments he was standing on the step of the monolith facing the crowd. He was tall, thin, pale faced, and well dressed. But he was no orator; he had no set phrases to tickle the ear; he had not the winning, catchy demeanor of his opponent. For a moment or two he stood looking at the sea of faces before him—faces waiting with eager expectancy for him to open the debate. A flush of color came into his features, and sweat stood in beads on his brow. “Friends, I am not a public speaker,” he said. “I did not come to this meeting with the intention of disputing anything our friend might say, but when he denied that there was any efficacy in prayer, and challenged anyone to prove the contrary, I felt bound to come forward.”
The crowd cheered the frank yet modest statement. He went on again: “You see standing before you a man who was once as big a scoundrel as it was possible to find in the city. I was a drunkard, a gambler, a wife-beater---yes! Everything the word 'brute' implies. My wife and child dreaded the sound of my footsteps, and yet, bad as I was, unknown to me, my wife had for years been praying for me; and she taught my child to pray.”
He paused a moment, as it overcome with sadness at the memory, and then continued: “One night I went home unexpectedly, rather earlier than usual; and, by accident, sober. When I opened the door, my wife had just gone up the stairs to put the little one to bed. I stood listening at the foot of the stairs; my child was praying; she was praying for me. 'Dear Lord, save my dear daddy! Save my dear Daddy, Lord! Dear Lord Jesus, save my Daddy!' And as she prayed in her simple, childlike way, I heard my wife saying,with a throb in her throat, 'Lord Jesus, answer prayer.' They did not know I was listening. I crept softly out of the house into the street. Strange feelings were coming over me, and ringing in my ears was my child's prayer: 'Dear Lord Jesus, save my dear Daddy!' Was I indeed dear to that child? In what way? She had never known a father's love; I question whether she ever had known a father's kiss. And as I thought of it, a great lump came into my throat; tears filled my eyes, and I cried aloud, 'Lord, help me; Lord, answer my child's prayer.' And He did.
Years have passed away since then. Today I am a respected member of society. The past is under the blood. I live in the present, a new creature in Christ Jesus, a living testimony to direct answer to prayer.” Again he paused, and then said earnestly: “Friends, don't you think I should have been a coward if I had kept silent today? Can I do other than believe there is a God, and that he not only hears, but answers prayer?”
The sceptic made no reply. For this man's story had moved the crowd to tears, and when he had finished speaking the people went silently and reverently away.

17 July 2016

Angry at God?

Are you angry at God? Has something happened in your life to make you question God's love for you? Lots of troubles in life are a result of our bad choices and we only have ourselves to blame, but there are other things that just happen--like health problems, car accidents that aren't our fault or someone else's fault, natural disasters etc. 
I think about this twice a day at the moment. My baby has a clot in her leg which she managed to get last time she was in hospital. Since coming home from the hospital, I've had to learn how to inject blood thinner into her leg twice a day to help get rid of the clot. Although my baby doesn't feel the needle itself, it stings. It stings enough to make her cry even when she is in a deep sleep. It also leaves ugly bruises on her legs. I hate doing it. Sometimes it even makes me cry because I hate to hurt her. I feel mean and I know she doesn't understand why Mummy is hurting her. But I have to do it because she needs it to get better. Every time I say, "I know, Lydia. I'm sorry, but I have to do it." I hope she doesn't get angry with me, because I have to do it because I love her.
This makes me think how painful things happen in our lives sometimes. They hurt and make us cry. If we believe in God, its easy to say, "God, why? Why is this happening? Don't you love me? Why didn't you prevent this? Why did you let this person I love die? Why do I have these health problems? Why did this horrible thing happen?? etc."
We easily get bitter and angry at God.
But God is the great Doctor. He knows what we need. He hates to see us hurt. He loves us far more than the tenderest mother loves her child. I'm not saying God sends you your troubles. But He is in control and He will allow things that will change you into what you need to be. Trials are like medicines, operations and painful injections that will help us to become what we should be.
We can become bitter and angry at God. Or we can trust God that He loves us and will only allow hurtful things if they have a good purpose. Then we can experience the comfort and peace that God gives-- the presence of God. And we can be changed for good.
You may not understand the reason why, but you can trust that "All things work together for good to them that love God..." Romans 8:28


23 June 2016

Gossiping or Praying?

Do you criticize people and yet never take time to pray for them? I do, so this is written for me! Its so much easier to criticise and gossip about somebody than it is to pray for them. And yet prayer is what will help them. So the next time you start to think or talk about someone's faults, stop! Start praying for them instead, and you will be using your time far more profitably. By criticizing, I'm meaning talking about them, not to them. There is a time and a place to challenge people on what they are doing. But stay humble, be quick to pray and slow to gossip!
"Speak not evil one of another, brethren..."James 4:11a

21 June 2016

Prayer---More Than Just Asking For Help

Do you know someone who is only your friend when they need something from you? Thismorning someone my husband knows rang up asking to borrow some money. My husband has tried his best to be a friend to this person, but usually the only time we hear from him is when he needs something. I couldn't help but feel a little disgusted! But then I thought, "How many times am I like that with God?"
True, God wants us to come to Him for help. He wants us to bring all our problems to Him...
. He tells us to do that. But He wants far more than that. He is not just there for emergencies like an ambulance or a fire engine. He wants our whole life to be centered around Him. He wants to hear us say "thankyou" not just "please"! He wants to be our closest and dearest Friend that we make time for each day, even when life is going great.
Do you only pray to God when you have a problem? Do you only read the Bible when your life has been turned upside down?
Is prayer your spare wheel or your steering wheel?