How to Stay Positive, Even When You Don’t Feel Like it

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What do you find it easier to do: Count your blessings; or count your failures? Count the things that you have done, or count the things you haven’t?

I know which one is easier for me.

I guess I’m good at complaining. My husband tells me, in his American accent, that it’s a British thing.

Maybe it is, I’m not sure though.

All I know, is that I find it easy to complain. Whether it’s about the weather, work, or where I’m living: I find it much easier to notice what has gone wrong than what has gone right. Continue reading

How to Find Freedom from Feelings of Loneliness

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When I was in about year five or six at school, I remember my teacher asking the class to tell her all the times that they feel lonely. All the other children said things like: “When I’m in a field on my own,” or “When I’m in my room on my own.” I put my hand up and said. “In the playground.”

It felt like the entire class was laughing at me. I was humiliated. Because how can you be lonely when you are not alone? Continue reading

What Does God want You to do Right Now?

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(A message for myself!)

What does God want you to do right now?

Not in ten years’ time. Not when you have loads of money. But right now. Where you are at this moment.

Sometimes we can get so caught up on what God wants from us in the future that we forget to listen to him right now.

We wonder how God can possibly use us in our current situations.

He can. He placed us even here, where we are right now, for a reason. Maybe it’s to make a difference in just one persons’ life. But that little thing that you do today might turn into a big thing tomorrow. Like a snowball rolling down a hill it will gain speed, size and momentum, until it becomes out of control.

We never really know what kind of impact our little actions of today will have in the long run.

Please don’t wait until you are older, richer or wiser to do Gods will. For one, you will never be old rich or wise enough. And for two, God placed us here for a reason. Let’s start trying to work out what that reason is.

I know what it’s like. Sometimes I get so excited about what might or might not happen in the future that I forget about today. That right where I am I have time and opportunity to do so much for God.

Don’t let that be you. Because tomorrow may never come, and you will look back on your life wondering what you had ever really done.

I’m not saying don’t dream. I’m saying don’t get so caught up in those dreams that you forget to live today.

Let’s practice asking God what he wants us to do right here today. We might just be surprised what he has in mind for us.

How to Stop Worrying

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Worries have a weight to them.

They burden us.

They make our path a harder journey.

They make us weary.

They take over our minds and take away our joy.

Worry takes our mind off God. It makes us tremble, it can paralyze and stop us living the life God wants us to.

Most of the things we worry about are pointless. If I asked you what things you were worrying about this time last year, you probably wouldn’t remember most of them. There would probably have been a couple of big things that you still remember, but there would also have been lots of little things that you can’t name. Little and pointless things.

The little things aren’t worth worrying about. But worry carries no power to overcome the big things either.

Worry is not a blessing, it’s a curse.

That’s why Jesus commands us to stop worrying. Worry never achieved anything. We might give our lives to worry, but worry will only bleed us dry. Worry will destroy us and tear our relationship with God. Worry is a worthless friend. Worry is our enemy in disguise. We need to destroy it.

Worry will cleave itself to you and it will feel impossible to get rid of.

The only cure to worry is praise. And when we have worry praise can be the hardest thing.

But praise will lighten our heart. It will bring us joy and lead us closer to our true friend. Praise will repair our relationship with our creator. Praise casts out all fear. Praise will make us happy, despite everything.

Worry looks inside but praise looks out and up.

Worry pulls us down but praise helps us soar.

Worry is selfish but praise is selfless.

Praise despite hardship is powerful. We acknowledge that God is in control, we don’t try and control. Holding too close the things we should let go of.

Praise and prayer change everything, worry never changed anything.

Praise is powerful, where worry is powerless.

Praise is the cure, when worry is the poison.

Let’s rip out our worries crush them, and worship our creator. The only one who can bring true healing.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.(Philippians 4:6 New Living Translation)

Living in the In-Between

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Have you ever tasted heaven in your heart?

Can you glimpse it when your eyes are closed?

Have you heard the whisper of your creator?

Have you felt his breath and known his touch?

God’s kingdom is almost here. It is now but it is still not yet. And we have to live in the in-between. The knowing but not knowing fully; the living, but not living fully, getting glimpses of it every now and again.

It is hard living in these in-between times the times of waiting and watching. We long for more but can’t quite grasp it, we keep on striving but never quite make it.

But this is where God has placed us, this is where God has planted us, this is where He wants us to be. To grow and to flourish, serving him, and bringing his love down to earth. Giving other people little glimpses of heaven; showing them his love and spreading his joy. All the while longing for more. Having the faith to know that one day it will be here.

One day we will meet with Him face to face and he will look at our hearts and know us. Know what we have done and said and thought in these in-between times, all those horrible and evil things. And if we know him and strived for him, his sons blood will cover us and we will be with him forever, his own sons and daughters.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Inside Out Movie Devotional (Don’t be a people pleaser)

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Before I even went to see the film Inside Out, I knew I would probably end up writing a devotional about it. Now that I have seen it, I think I could actually write a couple of devotionals based on this film.

The basic idea of the film is that everyone has feelings living in their head. These feelings control the way they feel, the way they act and almost everything else about them.

The main character in the film, a young girl called Riley, moves home across the country with her parents, this leads to series of events which cause her to become seriously unhappy, and for her feelings to go into meltdown! Affecting her actions and even her personality.

As I said, before, there’s a lot that could be taken from this movie, but these are three points that really stood out to me.

All emotions are good. Even the hard ones like sadness. God gave us our emotions for a reason, even if we can’t always understand why. If you don’t believe me just take a look at the psalms.

Don’t let your emotions control you. I’m sure that we have all had times when we have let our emotions take control. Maybe you have jumped to the wrong conclusion because of anger or been upset and not even known why. The effects of this can be devastating. That’s why it is so important to try and understand our emotions and gain control of them. One of the best ways to do this is by clinging onto the truth. God is always real, he is always near and he always loves us; whether it feels like it or not!

Don’t be a people pleaser. One little scene in the movie really stood out to me. In it Riley’s mum turned to her and said something along the lines of. “Thank you so much for being happy for us, it has really helped me and your dad, please keep it up for us.”

Uh-oh, I thought as soon as I heard that, then I turned to Joe and said. “That’s how you screw up a child and turn them into a people pleaser.”

And was I right or what! After this moment everything really went down for Riley, as she tried to hide her feelings and focused on pleasing her parents. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try and make others happy, being a people pleaser is a slightly different thing. It means we compromise our selves and God in trying to make others happy.

The bible says a lot about trying to please people instead of God, and none of it is good.

“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

Trying to please people is an impossible persuit. We might be able to make a few people happy sometimes, but we can’t “please all the people all the time.” Trying to do so is foolish.

Focusing on trying to make ourselves happy is no better either. We could have all the fame and all the money in world, but without God we would still be unhappy.

The only way we can find true happiness, or joy, is by persuing God.

Everything is Awesome when You’re Part of a Team (Yes, Really!)

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Everything is Awesome;
Everything is cool when you’re part of a team.
Everything is awesome;
When you’re living a dream.

These are the song lyrics which were stuck in my head for weeks after watching the Lego Movie. I film which is so bizarre that I don’t think I could even begin to describe the plot!

But is that what you’ve experienced? Is everything really awesome when you are part of a team?

I know I’ve been in some teams which haven’t been so awesome. And dare I say it, I have sometimes been part of the not so awesomeness.

It can be hard, being part of a team which isn’t awesome. Maybe there are jealousies and power struggles, maybe there’s backstabbing and gossip and maybe some of the members are just plain lazy. Maybe you think if you did it yourself it would be so much easier, if you never had to see these people again you would be happy.

And maybe you have had all these thoughts in church, with other Christians who are supposed to be perfect. Maybe you’ve found it worse in church.

I know I have sometimes.

I’ve worked and volunteered in churches and I know how painful it can be. I know other Christians can say and do things that really hurt. But I also know that these churches a part of Gods plan for the world.

It may not feel like everything is awesome, but actually it really is.

God could have come down to earth and converted everyone in ten seconds flat. But he didn’t. Instead he chose to use people to fulfil his plan, and they can’t do it as individuals.

God has a part for everyone one play, even the ones who seem the weakest, even the people who annoy you most, and even you.

When you walk into many churches this seems insane! But I think that’s the beauty of it. God uses the most broken and screwed up people to do his work. The kind of people who definitely couldn’t do it on their own! And he calls these people his bride.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27)

Everything is awesome when you’re part of a team. Really.