Friday, 1 February 2013

The Christmas that God took care of...

Hello! it has been a while since my last post...(when I say a while probably almost 3 months). Sorry for my lack of communication it has been a very mixed and emotional few as well. 

Firstly, I graduated. YAY! my greatest achievement I feel. One of my proudest moments I have because it cements a lot that has happened over the last 3 years and has made all of the pain and hours of panic worth it. I was also very proud that my family could watch it all online and be so amazing. Naomi Ruth Gibbs BTh. :) YAY! 

And Secondly...and probably the most important change in my life:

My Auntie Susan passed away very suddenly from a major stroke on the 28th December 2012. Whilst it only took less than a minute for her to be taken from us I cannot help but feel God was very much involved and loving in the whole situation. Whilst I won't go into details of all the surrounding issues and family things, there were many things about that morning and days before which could not have been mere coincidence. 

Lets just say it has been such a mixed time for the whole family. 

Auntie Susan was a vibrant member of Ampthill Baptist Church and loved devoting her time there. In the darkest moments since this time stopping event I have felt God gently say "I've got her". That is all I know. No theology degree, or anything in life can prepare for such events but I just know Jesus cared and loved her. 

As a family we have come together more than ever. And I am just inspired by my grandmother who through it all has been a tower of strength. After losing her mother, sister, husband and now daughter in the most horrific ways she is still fully devoted to God and to life. At 84 and with one leg she is pushing onwards, not looking back and trusting Jesus in this plan. 

I will never understand the workings of God, but what I do know is that if my Grandmother can keep going then so can I. And I have learnt to keep pushing through the pain. 

Never stop. Keep going for God, because as Swedish House Mafia sing:
Don't worry you child, see Heavens got a plan for you. 

Love love love. 


Saturday, 20 October 2012

especially


"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing"
(1 Thessalonians 5. 11)

Something I am coming to realise more and more in this world is that we, as humans, like to tear each other apart. Judgement, arguments and just pure hatred seem to be at the surface of everyday communication and it got me wondering when do we actually build people up? 

One of the main focuses in my life has been the use of "humour" in the mocking of others. Now, I am not innocent in this, absolutely not innocent, but looking at some of the people around me and myself shows me that the jokes and comedy have a dark side. In my life, the main source of emotional trauma has come from people making jokes about me and the way I look, my choices and who I was with.

This cannot be the way we are. I will not accept it.

Encouraging people and showing them they do have worth is essential to life and God. He values every life and the Bible does not shy away from telling us what God thinks about us. Psalm 139 is a common place to start, but it is not the only source.

‘And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered’
(Matthew 10.30)

The greatest thing God says to us in the Bible is that He loved us so much that Jesus willingly became the greatest sacrifice. He laid down his life to show us that we were loved.

Whether you are beaten down by people or are the person joking without thinking of the impact, God/ Jesus / The Holy Spirit is especially fond of you.
Yes, you, the person reading this blog, you.

My challenge at the moment is to encourage at least 5 people a day because God loves them and wants us to show His love to the unloved. 

Monday, 15 October 2012

boxes, labels and image

For a long time I have tried to write this blog post....it has been on my mind for a quite a period of time because I think it is something that God is really challenging me on. A lot of it is personal thoughts but I think others will go through these thoughts and feelings, maybe not the same experiences, but they could relate. It is a long train of thought....sorry!!!! 
...


A little confession here: I love telling people I have a theology degree. I feel like it is one of the perks of all those years of hard work...it gives non-Christians an opportunity to pass comment or ask questions and Christians have some new found respect for me because they think I actually have some intelligence. 

However, it also gives me a box. 

When people know/see me with a theology degree, they expect certain things from me because that is what they see theology to be. I am looked to be the fountain of knowledge in small groups...which I am not. I am suppose to answer and criticize people. I am suppose to have a really deep understanding of God and my relationship with God is suppose to be squeaky clean. 

MAAATTEEE it is not like that. My relationship with God is not all amazing because I "understand" the Almighty God of the Universe. In fact I may push and say, I know less of God after my degree than before. I have to work so hard these days to listen to sermons because if there is something I do not think is "theologically sound" then I shut down. I fail in my relationship with God because I do not talk to Him enough or read my Bible enough. That box I am put in is not good. 

I am pretty certain we all have similar boxes, whether it is church leader, youth worker, teacher, bank manager, brother, mother etc. We hide ourselves in these boxes to try and understand our identity. We label our box by what we do, our roles, our age, our gender etc. It is strange, it is like we need define ourselves in this mixed up world, where each person is unique and individual but everyone has a universal question "who am i?". When I was in university I needed a role to play out, but God challenged me to not have one. To be who he created me to be meant I had no role.The boxes we put ourselves in and other people put us in can make us play up to these roles. When people joke about the fact that i love supermarkets (which I do..) I play up to it more...I can talk about it, I can tell you about my favorite one I have been in...strange I know, but as this happens, I exaggerate and make it out to be more than it is. I think everyone does this a little when they get a label thrown on them. 

Jesus did not concern himself with labels in such that he hung out with people who were the down and outs...the ones with the stamps of "do not go near" - women, prostitutes, tax collectors. Or if he did, he did not mind hanging out with the crappy ones. Everyone had labelled the people around them ...but look who the disciples were. They were the people Jesus used despite the imposed labels the world put on them. 

To me this says people cannot tell you who you are. 


Only God can. 

We are all made in the image of God and that means to look for meaning we have to look to God. Our roles and labels come from Him and only him. 


Ok so this is all bitty and random...and probably does not make a lot of sense but when I have worked on it in my own life more I will make it more concise. 

The short of it is....don't let the world label you, let God make you to be who you are. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Refreshing the roots.

I am in a strange and yet wonderful time. I feel like I'm in a spiritual baron land. Going back to Chester for a wonderful wedding was amazing and I went to my church. It was great as always yet there was a piece missing and I could not pin point it. 

This week has been amazing, particularly Tuesday. Took a family member to the Alpha course which is just blown my mind. I never thought I would be taking them and no matter the outcome I praise Jesus for this person in my life because even though they wind me up and stress me out, they are an important piece of our family. Anyways, I felt like a fraud going, what with having a degree in theology, running youth alphas when younger and being a christian for many years yet while at Alpha I felt God tell me that for me it is a refresher course. 

"child-like faith"

An important conversation that happened many years ago with a friend led me to aspire to how she recieves God in her life. 

Mark 10. 15 states: ''Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (NIV)

She did not need books telling her how and why Jesus died, with many theories by many great people. She did not need mp3s and preachers telling her how and why she should believe how God died changed their lives....she just believed it because she believed in God...

The years have taken their toll on my faith...as well as nurturing it and challenging my soul, it has pushed God to plain words. The circumstances have been such that I have had to rely on God yet now, in the comfort of home and by my family this faith that has been pushed is now slowing changing into a laziness. I write about passion and living for Jesus, but this is hard. And I will be the first to admit I fail at being the person God has created me to be. I love my job yet I fail at being the good witness and I fall into being disillusioned, jealous by the adventures of people around me. Jesus tells us to receive like a child. And this is going to be my aim for the next while. Refreshing myself on the Alpha course I want to move from the head knowledge that the old time Christian accumulates and move to the Father Heart of God and who He is - not what the dusty books on my shelves tell me about Him. I want to know Him more. 

So I challenge you....pray and live with child like faith. Believe that God can do the impossible. People can change with Him and only by Him. 

Learn and grow like child....because that is who receives the Kingdom. 



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

just another boring post about uni...

This time last year I was sitting back in the Lorney household with the babs. Life seemed very different, firstly I was looking at final year with fear and trepidation....then there was new babs joining us....i was happily with someone special....I had been to Germany....and that year I was living the words "no drama".

One year later, life is so different.

Final year is over. Babs are spread throughout the country. Germany seems like a distant dream. The relationship and previous friendship is over. I have a job. I live at home. and "no drama" turned into "pain" and then back again.

However, I miss uni times. The babs particularly....just a few things would be:

  • coming downstairs and there always being a friend there, whether babs or not. 
  • dressing up or down for Christmas
  • pancakes.
  • making tuna pasta bake for my housies. 
  • sitting and chatting about everything until random times in the morning.
There is one thing though I will take with me from that year....well one of many....and that is the word:

PASSION

God taught me to find my passions. To live with the passions He has given me. I just keep thinking of Jacob wrestling "An Angel of the Lord" just to be blessed, and I think I want to live that passionately so that I am wrestling with God to be blessed. I want to push the boundaries of who God has created me to be...and yet I am passive. I talk and yet I do nothing. 

I am loving my job, even through the many challenges, I am loving it. Seeing young people working and suddenly understanding it is important. I am sure my babs will laugh at me for saying that....living in a house of youth workers clearly did me some good :P 

I want to be someone who fights for relationships and people, to not settle for second best, against lonliness and to live as God wants me too...

Do you have passion which God has placed in you? because I am pretty sure everyone has something they are passionate about. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Realization...

So, I was talking to my friend Maddy, who I can safely say is one of my closest friends, and I was just reminded of some parts of myself which are changing:

Most people probably know I have struggled with severe anxiety for a long time. I have been on medication and had prayer and alsorts but it is something that I will not settle for in my life. Satan uses my emotions to try and trick me which is what he does but I am challenging that. At Momentum, on the first night, Danielle Strickland preached about fear and anxiety. I went up for prayer, balled my eyes out but did not really feel like anything had changed.

Well, before starting my job I did not have a panic attack. I felt nervous, but that was a relief...because I was a NORMAL (well as normal as anyone is...) person. Even though there has been challenges and struggles in the classroom, I have felt more confident and nervousness has not affected me in the same way.

God is good and small victories are the way forward.

God did not give me the spirit of fear (I know, its in the Bible...) so I am totally going to try and let God be in control. It is hard but even though I have been battling a long time with this stuff, God has not decided to leave me. I am not saying it has been easier, or that I will not have another panic attack ever again but that just being thankful for the days where anxiety is not an issue is the way forward....

Every day I conquer new ground with God.


Friday, 7 September 2012

Inspiration

"His banner over me is love..."

I have an amazing group of friends that I have come to rely and support here in the ol' 'wick. :) And they inspire me to push on with God, even when I have stopped.

I think it is so important who is around you in your life. The closest people for me at the moment are this random group of people who are all so different and so complicated that it could only be God holding us together.

Sometimes I want to scream at them and yet I love them dearly. They are my family (part 2).

In James (i think...?) we are told to confess our sins to other believers. This is a vital part of the battle against Satan....(the war has been won but the battle continues..). to be honest to each other is hard. I learnt that on my gap year. It wasn't until the end of the year that important things which i hid came out, but it is about a deeper level of trust. And I have that with these people.

The stories about their lives and the way God has grown and pushed them out of the nest has just taken me to another level. Even though times are tough, Jesus has nurtured them and sat with them.

I just want to thank God they are in my life and to thank them for their trust and love.

God is amazzing. Praise Jesus.

xx