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Hi there,

Although I haven’t posted much lately I have been reading your blogs so thank you for all your inspiring posts. I really enjoy them…so much wisdom! My aunt, sadly, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer in the last few weeks. It’s taken a while to sink in and has come as a total shock. She has lung cancer and has never smoked. It has made me think hard about life, in all it’s twists and turns. I lost my best friend to brain cancer/tumor just 4 years ago and very few days go by where I don’t miss her or wish I could pick up the phone and talk. I know many people have lost loved ones and it jolts you into the harshness and reality of life. I had a conversation with God yesterday that went like this (forgive the me/him style – not sure how else to write it):

Me: Lord, you lost your son. But it was brief. We lose these people for a long time before we see them again in eternity.

Him: I am eternity.

Me: Yes, I guess I forget that. You have Jesus for eternity.

Him: And I have set eternity in the hearts of men.

Me: Yes.

Him: And for as long as you are on this earth there is more for you to do.

Ok so it sounds crude in the way it is set out but I have regular conversations with him like this and lots of questions. Some of which he doesn’t answer or he responds with more questions or statements that get me thinking. When they draw me to a bible verse like this one from Ecclesiastes 3:11 I look it up and read it in context and then just let it wash through my mind. This particular verse “He has set eternity in the hearts of men,” goes on to say “Yet noone can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

It’s true that we have no idea how or why he does things the way he does but when we find peace in his will it puts the tragic circumstances of life in a different light and helps me to know that he is good. He is always good. He reminded me that we are here for the time that he allows and he has things for us to do each day that he gives us the gift of life. Yesterday as I stood behind a lady in a queue in a supermarket I felt an urgent need to pray for her, for God’s blessing, for healing and for deliverance and salvation. I haven’t felt that intensity or heavy weight of someone else’s need for a while but when it happens I know that I need to drop all my thoughts, drop what I’m doing and pray. I didn’t see her face but I felt something of her heart. Call it prophecy, intuition, discernment. I’m not really sure which but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that God laid this woman on my heart or at least put her right under my nose, I prayed, he heard and then I moved on with the day. All in the space of a few minutes. I know nothing of her life or her situation and experiences but for some reason she needed prayer. That moment left an imprint on my heart. If I had done nothing else yesterday  I know that was a critical moment. There are lots of moments and opportunities which present themselves to us each day, and each day that we are here on earth is of value to God, in our communion with him, our thoughts and conversations with him, our time with others, with our families and friends. In using our gifts, our time, our service. Each day is of value to him. And when we’ve run the race set before us we know that we will be with him for eternity. We’ll be reunited with loved ones that we have lost and we’ll be with him, with our Father in heaven. Our names have been written in the book of life! What a phenomenal inheritance? How can we not be amazed by the truth that he has set eternity in our hearts? We need to pray for more names to be written into the book! Yes, my friends, we need to pray.

 

 

I chatted to a friend this morning who is going through difficulties and I ended the conversation with the words “In him we have everything. We have all that we need.” I felt they were God’s words to her at this time and to all of us. Sometimes we forget the power that is Christ within us through his Holy Spirit. We battle against the enemy in the words and hurts of others and forget that he is all we need and in him we have everything through his redemption. People will come and go, some will betray us, let us down or sometimes unwittingly hurt us but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and he will never let us go. We need nothing more than our Father. He is all we need. Press into him today and trust that he works all things for the good of those who love him. If he is for us then who can stand against us? Really? It is that simple. Trust in him alone.

 

 

‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.’ Ephesians 3:20,21

This verse caught my thoughts this morning. I fail to remember daily that he can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. I have had many prophecies and promises for me and my family which I have just ‘shelved’ in the ‘not sure if that will happen’ or ‘later but I’ll forget about it for now’ parts of my mind. If I’m honest it is not really what God intended. When he shows us things they are for us to hold on to and to run with, to run towards the goal set before us.

When we do that it fuels our days with hope and it fires us up to serve him, to love him, to hear him. His glory is to be reflected through all generations. I’ve been looking into my family tree and I have a great, great (maybe great) grandfather who was a well-known hymn writer but no one in the family can remember the details. He was also a minister. I’m convinced that God has had a hand on our family, despite many difficulties, down through the generations. He never lets go! The genealogy in the bible seems endless in the Old Testament verses and it is tempting to skip over them but it reminds me of how important it was, and is still, to God. My prayers for our kids will not just affect them but possibly generations to come. How amazing is that? And if I think about it clearly it should spur me into action and get me praying more.

But we so often lose sight of his promises and his words in the cares and worries of our daily lives. Let’s take hold of his promises today and run with the hope that he can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. Yes, even more than we ask!

 

 

life to the full……

I’ve been thinking recently about what it means to live life to the full. When God said that this is what he intended for us I often think it in terms of happiness but I’ve learned that life in all its fullness involves vulnerability, disappointments and sometimes pain. When Jesus died for our salvation he died to save our souls from death so that we would not have to pay the price. Our salvation is a gift given through great suffering and life in all its fullness is joy and it is also suffering. I read a blog this morning that seemed to answer so many of my questions and thoughts about vulnerability and it was as though God was speaking directly to me. Do you ever have those moments where God just cuts to the chase and meets you where you stand, questioning and wondering? I’ve had a few recently and it’s sobering stuff. Here’s the blog post if you want to take a look:

http://pastorjonathanmartin.com/uncategorized/unguarded-a-life-without-armor/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+JonathanMartin+%28Jonathan+Martin%29 

Jonathan’s thoughts on vulnerability reminded me of how God breaks us down so that he can use us. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He needs us to be vulnerable to be a channel of his peace in a world where people have so many barriers, defenses and ways of coping. His desire is for us to live life in all its fullness in our weakness as well as in our strength, in our joy as well as in our pain and to never give up hope.

His ways are perfect, his thoughts higher than ours, to him be the glory.

 

 

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