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

Faith, Youthwork and Family…



Be thankful you are not Job!

As I have been reading the book of Job, I cannot help but come to the thought, “however hard life gets, at least I am not Job!

I have three children that suffer with a condition called SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) one now with slight autism as well, certain aspects of life that other children would not even take any notice of, my children do!  Unfortunately over the Christmas period a few years ago, our son was affected by something which made glands in his stomach flare up and cause him intense pain!  To some this would have felt just like a stomach ache, to him it was like he had someone twisting his insides!  We only got a possible diagnosis after New Years Day over a week after it all started! When our GP suggested the diagnosis and we got antibiotics, the pain stopped within 12 hours, our son had been suffering since Christmas eve, and no one at the accident & emergency even considered that possibility!

We are currently trying to get the support and equipment in place at school for him, but we are also learning about how to help him control his feelings and how we all deal with them appropriately, so he doesn’t “meltdown”!   I joined a Facebook group for parents of children with SPD, and I asked “has any other parent had problems with their child getting over-anxious about Christmas“, it was on 34 comments and having a look around the rest of  the discussions, I thank the Lord that our son is how he is, some parents have so much more to deal with than we do!

I know that I am incredibly blessed, to have what I have:-

  • My wife is everything I need, she challenges me, supports me and always inspires me!
  • My parents couldn’t barely be more supportive, they have done so much that I will never be able to repay them for it all!
  • My children are amazing, they are funny, caring and I am proud of them!
  • My siblings are are always there when I have needed them!
  • The church where I worship, is the most encouraging, supportive group that I have met in a long time!
  • My home is perfect for my family’s needs.
  • My job is secure in comparison to a lot of jobs in the wider world!

But, when our son was waking up, writhing in pain, in the early hours of the morning, and we were praying for relief for him, I forgot all of that!  I have to admit that a large part of me wanted my son to be able to sleep and not be in so much pain that he would wake up every other hour, so we could get some decent sleep!

Job knew that he hadn’t done anything to cause this bombardment of hardship, his friends even accused him of sinning and calling God’s wrath upon himself, which as the reader of  that book knows is not the case at all! Whether  you read the book of Job as fiction or as a factual event, it does beg the question “when calamity befalls you how do you react?

  • Do you panic?
  • Do you “fall to pieces”?
  • Do you resolve to not be defeated?

I have a lot of admiration for those who have gone through cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. The strength of character, that they have is incredible! One of my twitter friends posted:-

I had 400 tumors removed, a bunch of organs too, over 50 staples and you know what is killing me: the dang feeding/g tube they put in!

I asked how on earth she was still alive having 400 tumours taken out?! She replied “by the Grace of God”!

I am sure some people look at me and think I am “blessed”, my family “has it easy” but we are no different to anyone else, we all have our struggles, some seem never ending, some almost overwhelm us but God is steadfast, he is watching over us, he will not let us drown!

The bible says in Phillippians 4:-

I am not saying this because I feel neglected, for I have learned to be satisfied with what I have. I know what it is to be in need and what it is to have more than enough. I have learned this secret, so that anywhere, at any time, I am content, whether I am full or hungry, whether I have too much or too little. I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.

This comes after the passage about being anxious over nothing, I have stated before i am well aware other people have had horrendous childhoods and no end of trial has come their way, but as was said yesterday at my church, if we look up and see our father, the “mountain” is nothing we must overcome alone to move on but something that we will overcome by fixing our eyes on the one who gives us strength when we don’t feel strong enough!

#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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