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

Faith, Youthwork and Family…

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movies

#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!

 

#SleepPerchanceToDream #MIB

The great bard William Shakespeare wrote the lines “sleep, perchance to dream” in Hamlet’s Soliloquy, after the the famous phrase “to be or not to be?“.  This was then used in a song in the film Get over it, Kirsten Dunst sang it about the lead character (Why he couldn’t see she liked him or preferred the other girl I don’t know?! But I digress!)

Our children often struggle to get to sleep and then stay asleep, which means our nights are often broken too!  The problem with children being unwell is that they cannot always tell you what is wrong and you are unable to help them, if you don’t know, you have to go through the usual steps,

  • Hungry?- something to eat.
  • Thirsty?- have a drink.
  • hot?- remove the duvet/quilt.
  • in pain/sick?-give medicine.

I read somewhere that if you close your eyes and imagine someplace peaceful, it helps your mind settle down, but that doesn’t always work either!

Whenever I have been “too wired” to sleep or for some reason, I have not been able to settle, I remember the passage in 1 Samuel where Samuel is being called by God, he is a young boy serving in the temple and he hears a voice as he is trying to sleep, thinking it’s Eli he goes up to him (3 times!) as says “Yes, sir? You called me!” Eventually, Eli works out that Samuel is literally being “Called by God” and tells him that he needs to say “Yes lord? Please speak, your servant is listening!

So I if i cannot sleep, I get up out of bed, go to our lounge and find a bible to read, mostly on my bible app on my phone, occasionally an actual paper copy (yes apparently you can still get them?!). I pray “Ok lord, please direct me to the passage you want me to read!” Sometimes it is random, other times I get a real sense of the passage “hitting a cord” and making sense.

Years ago I had a dream, I dreamt that I was on a mission trip to the Middle East, I arrived with some people that I knew (but cannot recall who they were) and as we walked around a village, we went to someone’s house, there was a group of young men looking at a newspaper and getting really annoyed by an article, they were getting annoyed by the initials “PC“, thinking that it stood for “Police Constable”, they were outraged by the police and how oppressive they were. I then had a quick glance and explained that the “PC” that was being referred to was a “Personal Computer“and there was nothing to be offended by!

Now, in some respects my sub-conscious may have been combining, the upcoming Police Commissioner elections, my visits to African villages and my nerdy interests in things gadgety! But, I also felt an overwhelming conviction that I have the ability to understand things that others might not and then explain them in more simpler terms that they can understand! I needed reminding of this, as I sometimes forget!

I mentioned in a blog post, about horizontal praying,  I try to get into the habit of getting up early enough to read my bible, have some breakfast and then give time to “horizontally pray”, my wife thinks its a nap, but for me making a conscious action to stop moving, thinking and just rest with an empty mind (and no it’s not always empty!) helps me start the day in a calm manner!

Sleep is important for everyone, it has been proven that driving when tired is more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol! Sleep deprivation causes loads of problems such as:-

  • Aching muscles
  • confusion, memory lapses or loss
  • depression
  • hallucinations
  • hand tremors
  • headaches
  • malaise
  • sensitivity to cold
  • periorbital puffiness, commonly known as “bags under eyes” or eye bags
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased stress hormone levels
  • irritability
  • temper tantrums in children
  • yawning
  • symptoms similar to:
    • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    • Psychosis

How often do you exhibit those signs? If you are a parent of a baby or toddler, you are probably going to have some of these, (That’s the only thing I was dreading about, when becoming a father! I love my sleep too much!)

The Men in Black movie quoted that their agents worked on Centaurian time, about 37 hours! What the human race could do with time like that! Most people I know are so busy that when they randomly have a day/evening when they don’t have to do what they normally have committed themselves to, they are either stumped or they zone out and sleep! It reminds me of a Phineas and Ferb episode where their sister candace cannot bust them as they are doing nothing wrong so she ends up questioning who she is!

I used to be heavily involved in different things in one church I went to, when I moved to another church, I felt almost without a purpose, I needed to feel of use and actually doing something! I have since moved churches quite a few times and have to be mindful of the things i offer to help with (usually nominated to help by my wife), I still want to be of use, to serve God however he needs me to.

Vicky Beeching wrote a song called Listening, it talks about being still and silent, to just seek God and listen to him! Sleep is great and necessary, but as human beings, we have to find a balance between constantly rushing round in our “busy-ness” and being too much of a “pew-filler“! God has called us to action, to be a part of the world as “salt and light“. But we also need to stop, take time out from the world so that we can be consciously, heavenly-minded and ask or hear how you can serve the purpose of God in this generation!

Have a break, eat a kit-kat, drink a coffee but make sure you rest, talk to God and make time to listen to him

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