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

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#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 why he preferred the other girl I don’t know?! But I digress!)

children often struggle to get to sleep and then stay asleep, which mean that parent’s 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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What’s it all about?!

ark I often wonder “what’s it all about? Why do we do what we do, what is the purpose of our existence?” A year ago, I was watching Sherlock with my wife and I thought “what reason could  there be for having programs like this?”  Surely there cannot be an evolutionary explanation for human beings having:-

  • The minds to make up elaborate storylines to entertain.
  • discovered and harnessed electricity?
  • the ability to broadcast images to antennae, satellite dishes or down cables into billions of homes?

My nan passed away a few years ago, hours before she passed I was talking to a friend about the Westboro Baptist Church and whether they were “Christ-like“, and if I was?! I replied –

I try to be but fail daily,
The Point of life is to find God and have a relationship with Jesus My nans death and others that I have blogged about, do make me wonder what’s it all about?

All our worries about debt, mistakes, and things we stress about are all insignificant once we die, those of us who are “laissez-faire” are happy to forget idiots and hurts that we face but others seem to either bear grudges or keep the “scars” as something to gain sympathy for.  Ecclesiastes says numerous times “everything is worthless under the sun“, we cannot take our riches when we die, so why are so many of us desperate to accrue them?

What is life not about?

  • It’s not about being a workaholic! – Many Christmas movies try to tell us that spending time with family is more important than working our butts off!
  • It’s not about Fear & Hatred – Star wars teaches us that “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” the bible says “we have not been given a spirit of fear but one of  power, love and a sound mind!”
  • It’s not about addiction and denial – Some of us fritter our lives away on addictions and things which seem to be a good idea at the time but rob us of moments we will never get back.
  • It’s not about having a long list of exes – each relationship we invest any time/money/effort or emotion into leaves a part of us with the other, if people have constant one night stands then they miss out on the best part of a relationship and that’s true intimacy and love!

I am a follower of Christ I said a good few months ago “I am giving up Christianity!” I started this post over a year ago but hadn’t really said much on it but, in the last year at least, I have become very disenchanted with “Christianity” Gandhi said “I like your christ but not his followers!” As fallen people we have tarnished what Jesus set out to be a “walk of love, acceptance and obedience“.

Sure life is hard, sometimes it sucks but however bad things appear, someone, somewhere, is worse off than you! It feels like no consolation, but we have to be grateful of what we do have!  I know that I am blessed, I know that my family are there for me and that I have a saviour who wants to have a daily relationship with me but not everyone has that! In the hardest times of my life, I have cried out for God’s help, he always hears me and always responds, he is always faithful even when we fail to be faithful to him!  I don’t know the intimate details about why babies get sick , children get hurt, people get cancers, although the human race, has to take some responsibility for this, as we create environments where this occurs and we put unnatural chemicals into our bodies, which is affecting us on a cellular level.  Stephen Fry said he “couldn’t believe in a God who could allow such a thing so “god doesn’t exist!”” but what is the alternative? “Bad luck and life sucks!

My parents met at an event for young people who believed in God, my dad instantly “knew” the first time he saw her that my mum was the one he was gonna marry, I got to know my wife through running a group together, God spoke to us both at the same time about each other, we were seated on opposite sides of a hall!  If we were not both followers of Jesus, and just were into short term relationships I don’t think we would have even dated! I didn’t have much going for me and at the time that we got married, i was earning £70 a fortnight as a volunteer!

I don’t understand the hand of God, his works are amazing and intricate, even my ability to do my current job was a culmination of all my previous experiences both in and out of the usual work environment.  As my nan’s mental health deteriorated, she got confused and delusional but somewhere deep down within her being, as she lay in her hospital bed, she still managed to say “Praise him!”  Her life wasn’t an easy one, she had hardships and struggles but throughout it all she had a  relationship with the Holy Trinity that no-one and nothing could take away! I don’t know what God has in store for me in the long term, but I will try as much as I can to stay close and listen to his daily guiding and prompting as without that I am doomed to fail and struggle more!

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