Breath.

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Breathing all around me,

I know You keep me here.

It’s only because You’re with me

that I haven’t crumpled with fear.

The silence ever deafening.

The walls are moving too fast.

In and out of consciousness,

All I see is my past.

“Don’t let me die” – an awkward phrase,

Said with little breath.

Your word will never fail me

Throughout what lies ahead.

There’s got to be a reason

Or I’d have gone that night.

Wisdom from a bleak season –

In life we should be light.

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Haughtiness Doesn’t Save

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Why would anyone want to embrace something that would make them feel inadequate, wrong, judged and condemned?

People like to avoid religion. And quite rightly, because it is a judgemental, elitist ritual, that says you’ll only be good enough if you do ‘this, this and this’.

That’s not what Chrisitanity is about. It’s about relationship with the One who created you, through the ONLY acceptable sacrifice of atonement.

Jesus never condemned. He spoke in love. He lead in love. He was the perfect example and display of God’s love towards us.

That’s what we as believers are called to do and be. To display love. The world doesn’t need more condemnation and proud judgemental attitudes. It needs love. It needs to know that despite all the rubbish and sin, God still loves them, and He wants them redeemed, set free and restored to fullness of peace and hope through His Son.

It’s only God’s unconditional love and God’s Grace that causes and motivates people to change. Because love is forgiving and understanding, always seeing the best in others, and always putting others first, it is the only force that will make someone actually want to give up living in a sinful way.

Let’s just imagine… You’ve got a baby that is trying to walk but keeps falling over. Would you…

A) Push them down and curse them, telling them they’re wrong and are failing, and will never be good enough if they don’t hurry up and walk – explaining to them all the sorrows that lie ahead for those that can’t walk?

Or

B) Gently help them up again, with patience and kindness, encouraging and praising them every time they successfully take a step, and supporting them every time they fell over again?

Which baby do you think would grow up secure, strong and able to walk without fear or paranoia? The answer is obvious. So why aren’t we like this to those people we encounter who are lost and broken, searching for help? Or those that are so lost, they can’t even see they’re lost? Most people are not bad. They are not trying to do wrong things, they are trying to get by and live the best life they can – they just don’t know that there is a better and easier way than battling it out alone.

Just because we’ve been saved doesn’t make us ‘better’ than those unsaved, it means we’ve understood and embraced God’s love and made a choice to let Him heal us. We should be encouraging others to do the same, not condemning them for trying to fix themselves.

The only one with the right to condemn is Jesus, and Jesus comes to us in love, not condemnation. God’s message is that of love, forgiveness, salvation, peace, joy and restoration. What message are you sharing with the world today?

Peace in the Storm

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A God that never changes,
Knows just what my name is,
Knows my story and my place,
Watched me grow throughout the days.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me.

The noise is real, I’m saying “Peace, be still”
And I’m still waiting for this storm to blow over.
This heavy weight that’s on my shoulder.
The night keeps getting colder.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me.

The rain clouds spill and I start to sneeze.
The fog clouds and mist are making me wheeze.
I’m looking for shade but there’s no leaves on the trees.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me.

Those sharp drops of rain on a windy day.
I can hear the pain as I whisper and pray.
I’m holding onto Your Grace, I’m held by Your Love,
That sign of hope, that pure white Dove.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me. In You, I have found peace.

Day 27: Slipping Away

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It’s a sorry state of being 
when you never make a choice.
you would rather stay silent 
than obey the knowing voice.

Your desperately searching
for the right and comfy way.
Morning breaks and darkness fades, 
oh look – another day.

Another moment wasted.
Another chance missed.
Not choosing is to choose against –
Is this really your last wish?

Have you really given up hope?
Are you clinging to despair?
Wear your floats and don’t you dare drown
‘Cause you’re too unwilling to care.

Make the effort to do the right thing,
Keep those evil thoughts at bay.
(Consequences do happen
Don’t be fooled by the pattern)
Don’t let this moment slip away.

Day 19: What’s that you’ve got in your hand?

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Throughout today the song That’s When He Steps In by Alvin Slaughter has been playing on my mind. It’s a beautiful song that reminds me of Moses’ encounter with God in Exodus 3. It’s definitely the encouragement I needed today.

(On a side note, I always find this. God always knows exactly which songs to bring across my path at exactly the right time. God knows us. He knows how we respond to different things, and what impacts us the most, and He speaks to us in ways that we can understand.)

It is so easy to get swamped by the cares of the world and the pressures of life. But God has called is to cast all our cares onto Jesus (1 Peter 5:6-7) , and he requires that we don’t lean on our own understand, but we submit to, and trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

So often we can try to make things happen, to make ends meet, to try and figure it out, work it out, make it better. God is faithful, and He is good. We must remember that God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19), and we need to trust in Him. He is Who He says He is.

My favourite lyrics from the song is the chorus –

‘What’s that you’ve got in your hand? I can use it, if you’re willing to lose it. Take the little you have and make it grand. I am El Shaddai, and I’ll more than supply your need.’

This is what God is saying to us. This has been playing on my mind the whole day, and I believe God is reminding us that we have to let go of trying to be in control. Trying to ‘fix’ the issues we’re facing. We don’t have he answers in our own strength, but God does. We have to trust Him, and live to please Him, willing to do what He says. God requires our obedience, and our faith to be IN Him. That’s our sacrifice – living to please The Lord. Denying self, and living for His glory.

God wants us to be experiencing the fullness of His love and His grace and His freedom and His peace. We have to learn to let go.

So what have you got in your hand? Are you willing to let go, and trust God?

Day 16: You Don’t Miss a Thing

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The stress of it all has got me feeling weak.
I’ve tried not to let this chaos impact my sleep.
I can’t say I know why things turn out like this,
So much pressure, but it’s all worth the risk.

In spite of that, I want them to know
That harvest is coming, so crops have to grow.
It’s patience and pain, a journey uphill
But let’s not ruin what took so long to build.

I know it’s not me that they’re targeting
But they do need to watch where they’re hitting,
‘Cause all they’ll find are heavy, pierced hearts
From words like knives that land like darts.

Again, it’s not them, it isn’t their fault
But it hurts when it feels like love’s come to a holt.

So I’m looking to You, ’cause it’s only Your Grace
That helps me forgive and reopens the way,
For friendships once broken and hearts once sore
It’s only Your love that turns dark into dawn.

I’m holding on to Your hope
And of this one Truth I’ll sing
You’re my anchor, strength and comfort
And You don’t miss a thing.

Day 14: Praise You in this Storm (or rather, in this traffic)

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The irony of being allowed to go home early and yet arriving home over 2 hours late. This is due to the beauty of emergency roadworks and the chaos of traffic. I’m exhausted and all I’ve been doing is sitting on a bus. At least I got to write this post.

I haven’t eaten since 12:30pm. It’s now 7:50pm (I didn’t have internet on the bus, so I’m posting this as I’ve now arrived home). I’m sleepy, a little bit cold and a fair amount of frustrated. But still. All things work together for good to those who love The Lord and are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) That’s me. And if you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that’s you too.

I can’t say that I understand why I’ve been subject to this delay. But I can say that in everything , God is still good. Through any amount of inconvenience and hurt and delays, God is still faithful. This isn’t a very dramatic situation, but I’m using it as an example. I’m holding on to God, knowing I’ll get home eventually. I really feel that God is using this to mirror other things that we wait for; be it healing, restoration or anything else.

Whatever you’re holding on for, whatever you need right now, however long you’ve been delayed, God is still good. As the song by Casting Crowns says, “You are who You are, no matter where I am.” God will never leave us or forsake us. 

So even though my tummy has been rumbling so much it’s now just given up, I can praise The Lord. I’m sitting comfortably. I have time to pray. To listen to music. To think about others. And perhaps, the whole point of my predicament was so that I could type this blog post and share some words of encouragement with you.

Trust God’s timing. He requires us to be patient, but whatever we’re holding on to Him for (however minuscule or massive), when God provides it, it’ll be worth the wait.