Be Bold, Be Strong for the Lord our God Is With Us

Faith, Youthwork and Family…


April 2017

I want… P’s, Q’s, good manners and Christianity

I am sure that I am not the only parent who wonders at what point your children will catch on to the “I WANT doesn’t GET” theory.  “Good manners cost nothing” is another phrase that is bandied about, for your children to say please and thankyou when they are out in public or in someone else’s home is what most parents desire (I hope!).  They may want a chocolate bar or the toy they have just seen on the shelf or the TV but do they actually need it?

There is a difference between the “seven deadly sins of desires” and “righteous desires”.  I want to be a good dad/husband/christian/friend/brother/son/employee, and I am sure no-one would condemn me for wanting that, but when one want/desire overwhelms your time it becomes detrimental to your spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing!  i.e. wanting to be a good employee so much that you become a workaholic, so your family life suffers and you do not make time to pray/read the bible/sit and wait for god to speak, so your spiritual life suffers.  You need to ask yourself, “do I really need to stay an extra hour or would that hour be better tending to my family’s needs

In some ways, spending too much time running around after your children/family is not good either!  You may want to be helpful, or it may be your way of showing that you love them but doing so at the detriment of spending time with God or even giving yourself time to think!

We have unintentionally created a family version of the American thanksgiving meal, every meal my son wants everyone around the table to say thank you for something, which is great but it is funny to see other peoples faces drop when he says “STOP, we haven’t all prayed yet”, his prayer has developed from “Thank you for my trains” to “Thank you for my Gruffalo, my trains, for looking left and right so we don’t get run over and thank you for nanny, grandad, (the names of anyone else in the room at the time)”

I truly believe that we should thank god for things before we ask for our wants/needs.  I once prayed  for my wife’s headache and by the time I finished thanking God for a few things the pain was gone, I hadn’t even asked for healing yet!  It says in Psalm 139 v23 that God knows what we desire, he knows what we are anxious about, so in a way we don’t actually need to request anything as he knows already!

When I was little, I used to pray over and over the same few words, which God always answered. But it wasn’t because I badgered God into submission like I tried to do with my parents, but because he knew I was desperate for it!  About 6 years ago, my wife got food poisoning, we were staying  in a South African village, an hour away from the nearest hospital!  All I could do was thank god for bringing us there, blessing us and then I prayed for healing until the taxi arrived (it was struggling to get to us due to electrical problems, the headlights were flashing on and off). Once in the taxi, I felt like I was going to be sick so all I prayed was “thank you for Lord for looking after us, please don’t let me be sick!)

God cares about the little things, like headaches. I love the thought that “Things we consider to be mountains become only molehills when we look up and gaze upon Jesus!”  So when you are stressed, sick, desperate or lost, STOP and ask for God’s help, he WANTS to and you NEED to!


#WhatIf…? #AlongCamePolly

One of the films I have never forgotten scenes from is “Along came polly” partly because he got to a point where he destroyed all the stupid throw pillows that had to be taken off and put back on the bed depending on what part of the day it was!  I like functionality rather than aesthetics but that’s another story!

The main character in the film is a risk analyst for an insurance company, he is constantly thinking “what if...” it is his job and has leaked into his personal life, he gets to a point that he runs a risk analysis on whether or not he should be with a woman he is falling in love with!  Obviously, she finds out and he has to apologise and explain it all, but it has made me think “Am I too cautious?

Being a dad, I take more risks than my wife, the usual spinning my children around, throwing them up in the air, encouraging them to try new things on apparatus in the park etc. However, when it comes to me doing things, I get an overwhelming apprehension, doubt and even fear of failure!

One of the verses I shared with my little sister when she was sitting in her bed scared because of some horror movie she watched was from 2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear can be crippling, it can prevent us from doing so much!  Jesus told off his disciples for preventing the children from coming to him, he said

“I assure you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself and becomes like this child.

Most children are fearless, when I was younger, I would climb trees, I climbed on someones shed and jumped off! Jesus knew that if we become like children, we would be obedient, we would not allow past experiences to affect our present and future actions.  When my family went on holiday, we regularly went to the countryside, my parents would say “please pray that we have a clear drive and don’t have to reverse up too many tight country lanes”, whenever I prayed, it happened, it was clear and we had a good journey! That wasn’t me however, that was God hearing my complete unaffected faith in him answering me.  Years later, life has knocked me about a bit and I still have faith but my prayer life isn’t what it was.

It is far too easy to sit in one place, not having to step out of your comfort zone, I am sure that i have said before, what kind of life we gonna have when we “sit in the trenches” and never put our “heads above the parapet”, no one will find God, or have a glimpse of Jesus love, unless we go out of our churches and homes and do something! There is nothing like doing God’s will and seeing him work through your obedience to his calling! That’ where you will find life in abundance!


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