Tag Archives: Love

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” 20 Years Of Sight-loss!

Me playing my Taylor K22ce at church and in front of a cross on the wall

Hi friends. As it is 20 years to the day since i went blind…I thought i’d share one of my older posts(yet updated) from 4 years ago when i was asked to share a little of what i went through when i lost my sight at 24.

I really hope that you’ll have the time to read it, and that it blesses you in some small way?! 

Here Goes…

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in the parade service. The theme was ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this, lol).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March – July 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so…As i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d be blind for the rest of my life, it was out of character but i collapsed on the floor sobbingg my eyes out. And as my crying out got a little too loud they pulled me into a small empty room….And this was the easy bit”.

“Following this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car and ability to do anything…i lost everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

Suddenly, as i was telling my story…

My mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone. But these tears were different!

I already knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me, it is finished!

I’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” and sang the songs many times, but rarely had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock to stand on no matter how bad things got for her, and i was being dragged deeper into the sinking sand. She always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for. 

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace”.

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” This is one of my fave sayings. 😀 

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again, lol.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Post: My Full Testimony 

Walk As Children Of Light

Ephesians 5:8  (ESV)

8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light  

Sarah Sunflower

This morning i was blessed to stumble upon one of my favourite photos  of my lovely Wife Sarah.  I just had to add the Bible verse to this post as i think this image reflects a little of what it is expressing…Sarah really does bring sunshine, warmth and light to all who know her! ☀️

I hope this post encourages, inspires and brightens up your day…As i know it has mine. 😀 

“My Testimony” by Steve

Me  Sarah playing in Church

Please click the photo above to read “MY Testimony”.

Hi all! After updating “My Testimony” this morning…I realised i hadn’t shared my redemption story for years on here! I know lots of you have read it and left me some proper humbling comments that have just left me in tears(including this morning after i went through a lot of them).  

With all of the personal stories and news stories of suicide I hear at the moment…I just wanted to remind people that Jesus has the “Good News”. I know this as it has happened to me and i want to share it with everyone! 😀 

❤️❤️❤️ I Love You Sarah!! ❤️❤️❤️

❤️❤️❤️ I Love You Sarah!! ❤️❤️❤️ 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love Never Fails…

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

Me  Sarah

📖 Bible Verse…

Ephesians 5:25 (ESV) 

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

🤔 My Thoughts… 

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer…

Holy Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

❤️Love At First Sight…Village – 15 Years On!!!

 This week i’m celebrating 15 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham, UK” 

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors throughout the world take part and welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said “Wow, fantastic, it all looks great” which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing “you know i didn’t see any of what you’ve just shown me, as i’m blind!”. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah checks out my eyes to see if i’m joking, then Sarah laughed and said “No way, me too!”. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. 🙂

Photos Throughout The Years….

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Sarah & i stood in front of the barbados sunset

IMG 3598

MIL 6290

Me  Sarah

📖 Bible Verse

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

🤔 My Thoughts… 

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Holy Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

Sarah  i playing at church

This weeks “Photo Challenge” left me with so many options i didn’t know where to start! 

The photo above is one of Sarah & i’s favourites and is on our side-board. I thought…..”Heritage” – It has the church building which was built way before our time. “Heritage” – The guitar i’m playing(and not worthy of holding, never mind owning) was built by a fantastic Luthier. “Heritage” – And more important than all of this is the Holy Covenant of Marriage that glues Sarah and i together in the power of His promises! 

I could go on & on…..But i’ll stop here and go and check out your posts on the challenge! 🙂 

The Ineffable Mysteries Of A Surprise Visit!

Day 1: Wow…..What a fantastic surprise 3 day visit by my Brother Paul! 😀

The Intricate Plan…..

I really had no idea that Ben(Brother in Christ) and Sarah(my lovely Wife) had planned this visit by my Brother Paul since November!! 

“Paul had bariatric surgery(Sleeve gastrectomy) a year ago after spending 4 weeks in hospital and has progressed so much, he spent most of the past 5 years housebound and is starting to rebuild his life. i’m really proud of him. He has lost around 24 stone(150kg) since the start of this gruelling fight. And for his first trip out of Derby, he wanted to come and see Epsom. I’m so pleased he did as i can only imagine how much of a big deal this is for him!”

The Almost Upset…..

Ben had organised to meet me at my fave restaurant “Sicily” at 2pm, and as i got into town early i decided to take a detour and get more steps towards my Fitbit daily step goal. Little did i know my Brother was standing outside the train station waiting for Ben to pick him up to surprise me at Sicily. 😀 

Paul said “I was standing outside the station just looking around, and suddenly he saw me walking up the other side of the road” “No way, what’s he doing here?….He’s not going to cross over as he is on his way to Sicily” Then just as he said it i was crossing the road towards him. He knows i can’t see enough to recognise anyone even if they are stood next to me. But he panicked and hid behind the nearest object and took a photo as he thought i’d figured out his plan, lol. 😀 

A photo of me crossing road to train station while talking on the phone wearing a black hoody, black shorts and black and white trainers

⬆ Me on the phone to Sarah, crossing the road while Paul takes a stealth photo! ⬆ 

The Surprise Meet…..

Sicily Logo

Front

As i arrived at Sicily i received the usual warm welcome from Grace and was seated at the table. I was thinking through some Bible verses as i expected a deep theological discussion on doctrines etc…..But as Ben arrived he was with his Wife Rosie and son Raffy. I was just getting up to move to a larger table when a FaceTime call came in from my brother Paul!

I usually switch to the back camera(as i can’t see the screen anyway) and try and show Paul around my current location and as i was in Sicily i thought he’d like to have a look. I first pointed it at Raffy and he was giggling into the camera. Then i wanted him to meet Grace and as i was about to point my phone at her…..”ey up bro” I heard in my right ear, i turned and there was my brother Paul standing right next to me!! 😀 

After what seemed like minutes, my mind was just racing “How did he get here? Derby is over 150 miles away! I thought trains were too much for him right now? Did Ben pick him up?  How is this possible?” i finally gave up and gave him a huge hug, i was stunned! Mission Accomplished Bro! 😀

We had a great time catching up on his adventure over a fantastic meal. 😀

Day 2: Epsom, Boyce Avenue & Celebration BBQ @ “Bens’ Burgers”…..

Epsom…..

We first met Paul in town as we wanted to show him around Epsom, we knew this wouldn’t take long as it’s only a small town, lol. Paul bought a souvenir in the shape of a Raiders cap and we had a great time exploring Epsom.

Boyce Avenue…..

Boyce Avenue are Paul’s favourite band. Their music has helped him through a lot of dark times. So when he said he’d love to see them in concert and mentioned they were playing at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2017, i just had to book tickets for Paul, Me & Sarah! 😀 

Since i knew he like them, and he loves singing…..i’d learnt a few songs on guitar so that if i was ever in the same room as Paul with my guitar, it would be fantastic to play together. And since we’d finished in town and was back home…..That time was now. lol And after this very special moment which i’ll always remember, it was time for Ben to pick us up

Celebration BBQ…..

Ben not only prepared the food, cooked the food…..He even picked us up and drove us to his home! Thank you so much Ben! 😀

Ben went all out for this celebration and cooked Steak, Chicken burger, Lamb Kofte & a lovely salad. Wow Thanks again Ben! 😀

Paul  Vini sat at the table waiting for the BBQ

⬆ Paul & Vini ⬆  

Vini playing football with his brother Raffy whilst holding an ice-cream

⬆ Vini & Raffy playing football with ice-creams. ⬆  

Zea and Raffy playing football

⬆ Luzia showing her skills and having lots of fun with Raffy! ⬆ 

 Rosie  Raffy

 ⬆ Bens Wife Rosie with son Raffy ⬆  

After filling up on all the amazing food, football and chasing Raffy we all headed inside for a rest! 🤣 

Vini Me Raffy  Paul sat on Ben's sofa sticking our thumbs up!

⬆ From Left: Vini, Me, Raffy & Paul ⬆  

Zea Rosie  Sarah

From Left: Luzia, Rosie & Sarah ⬆  

Football on Epsom Downs…..

Now it was time for Ben to try out his new 7 seater, he had never filled all 7 seats before so here goes!!!! 

Yay! We are all in! 🤣  

Full Car

⬆ From Left: Ben, Rosie, Vini, Sarah, Raffy(hidden), Me, Luzia & Paul ⬆  

As it was an open field, i had lots of room and could move around with a little more confidence knowing i wouldn’t hit anything, lol.

Raffy Me Paul  Ben

⬆ Raffy, Me, Paul & Ben ⬆   

Raffy  Vini

⬆ Raffy showing Vini some skills ⬆   

Me Paul  Raffy

⬆ Me, Raffy & Paul ⬆   

Me  Raffy Football

⬆ Me & Raffy ⬆ 

Me  Raffy Football tackle

 ⬆ Raffy with a crunching challenge! ⬆ 

Paul was loving the view right across London and could see Wembley Stadium all lit up too! We had a great evening and we were all tired from running around! 

Day 3: The Cricketers…..

For a nice farewell, we treated Paul to a beautiful roast dinner at the fantastic Cricketers Inn. What a lovely view for a nice warm roast dinner, and of course it has to have a homemade Yorkshire Pudding! 😀 

The cricketers1

The Cricketers(one of my older photos) it wasn’t snowing, lol. ⬆  

 Me  Paul at Epsom Station

⬆ Me & Paul outside Epsom Train Station ⬆ 

Wow…..It was a fantastic few days and i’m so proud of how well Paul is doing. I still can’t believe i’d see him down here so soon! His surprise was overwhelming at times….. And since he arrived home safely…..he’s told me that he’s planned to visit agin in August! Yay! 😀 

I hope you enjoyed Pauls visit too? And i’m pleased you got to meet my fantastic Brother! 

🎶 Happy Birthday To Me & Sarah! 🎶

Hi all Just wanted to share with you a few things Sarah & i got up to one our Birthday’s. Sarah’s Birthday is 4 days before mine, so we enjoyed celebrating with the help of loved ones. 😀

As Sarah has another “Charcot Foot” and is wearing an air-cast again, we knew it would be difficult getting around but you can’t keep Sarah down that easy! 😀

Sarah’s Musical Nails…..

Sarah s Musical Birthday Nails

⬆ Sarah’s Musical Nails ⬆ 

First things first….Sarah went to have her nails done. lol 😀   

Monday…..Duet Philharmonic Orchestra – Royal Festival Hall…..

On Monday…..Me, Sarah & Vini went to see the extremely talented “Duet Philharmonic Orchestra”. 

Duet Philharmonic Orchestra  Royal Festival Hall

Tuesday…..Littlehampton…..

On Tuesday(Sarah’s Birthday)…..our loving sister in Christ Sara treated us to a day-trip to Littlehampton so Sarah could have her Birthday doughnuts while listening to the sound of the sea. 

Sarah  Sara at Little Hampton

⬆ Sarah & Sara at Little Hampton Sea Front ⬆ 

Sara certainly wasn’t ready for what happened next. lol 😀  

Sarah, Sara & the doughnuts…… 

Sarah Sara  the doughnut 1

⬆ Sara & Sarah happy to have got their hands on birthday doughnuts! ⬆ 

Sarah Sara and the doughtnut 2

⬆ Sara can’t believe Sarah would take a bite out of her doughnut! ⬆ 

Sarah Sara  the doughtnut 3

⬆ Sara still in shock that Sarah would bite a chunk out of her doughnut! ⬆  

Me  Sarah at Little Hampton

⬆ Me and my lovely Wife Sarah at Little Hampton Sea Front ⬆ 

We had a fantastic time and it was a beautiful sunny day, perfect for enjoying a tray of chips with salt & vinegar on the beach! 😀

Evening surprise meal…..

I invited lots of our church friends for an italian Birthday surprise meal for Sarah. It was a lovely evening and was enjoyed by all.  

Sarah Birthday cakes with Rosie

⬆ Sarah & Rosie with 3 Birthday cakes! ⬆ 

 Wednesday…..Church Youth Group Bowling Evening…..

I started helping out at the church youth group 6 months ago and i’ve been so surprised with their desire for God and to know more about Him. It’s been an amazing 6 months of Theology and sharing, praying and growing deeper in our Faith.  

At the end of this term they organised a evening of Bowling and sharing a meal together which i was really looking forward to as i’ve not been bowling in over 15 years! 😀

Church Youth Group

⬆ From Left: Rachel, Tom, Jane, Sarah, Vini, Joe and Me ⬆  

Sarah Bowling

⬆ Sarah Bowling ⬆ 

Me Bowling

⬆ Me Bowling ⬆ 

As i couldn’t see the ball, the lane or the skittles…..Sarah and the youth were fantastic guides and assistants so i could be(and feel) included in this fun evening! 

After bowling we went for a lovely italian meal. 

Church Youth Club  Prezzo Restaurant

⬆ From Left: Lucas, Vini, Jane, Me, Tom, Sarah, Rachel & Joe ⬆ 

Friday…..Phil’s Guitar Lodge & the fantastic music evening…..

Sarah’s Dad and 2 of her brothers came down for a 3 day visit and as they love playing music i asked Phil(guitarist i Worship with at church) if we could jam in his fantastic music lodge?! 😀 

Phil on the left jammin with Sarah s Dad Steve on the right

⬆ Phil(left) playing the blues with Sarah’s Dad Steve ⬆  

Sarah sitting on the floor on the left with Marshall(centre) on a leather sofa and Hope leaning in from the right

⬆ Sarah(left), Marshall & Hope ⬆  

Alfie on the left playing a start with Sarah's Dad(Steve) singing into a mic on the right

⬆ Alfie(left playing and Sarah’s Dad Steve singing ⬆ 

Phil stood playing bass in the centre in front of lots of guitar aps with Sarah's Dad playing guitar on the right hand side of the image

⬆ Phil jammin’ with Sarah’s Dad ⬆  

Me playing a 5 string bass while ooking towards the camera

⬆ Me playing Phil’s 5 string monster bass guitar ⬆ 

Wow, as i’d never played bass before Phil let me loose on his bass guitar. I never knew just how much fun it would be, what a Birthday treat! 😀 

Saturday…..My Birthday BBQ…..

Wow, what a week so far! Sarah’s Dad & 2 brothers had to get back to Doncaster, while Phil picked us up to go to Ben’s home where he was making my fave “Keebies”(don’t know the spelling) which are Brazilian lamb koftes, Mmmmmm. It was another great day with the church family and i got to eat(and share) my Fallout 4 birthday cake from my lovely Wife Sarah!! 😀 

Me  holding my Fallout 4 Birthday Cake⬆ Me and my Fallout 4 cake ⬆ 

Thank You!!!!!

I just want to say an enormous thanks to everyone involved in making a truly memorable birthday celebration for Sarah & i! 😀 

If any of you are reading this…..you really don’t know how much your love and kindness means to us, it moves us very deeply, thank you!!

Spirit is thicker than blood…..

Matthew 12:49-50 Amplified Bible (AMP)

And stretching out His hand toward His disciples [and all His other followers], He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven [by believing in Me, and following Me] is My brother and sister and mother.”

The Life-Boat Of Free Grace!

The life-boat of free grace!

(James Smith, “The Complaint!” 1864)

“I am cast down!”

And why are you cast down?

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings! Every duty I perform is so imperfect. Every purpose I form is so soon frustrated. Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.

My heart is so fearfully depraved.
My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
My temper is so unholy.
My prayers are so brief and heartless.
My praises are so feeble and fitful.
I do so little good.
I live to so little purpose.
My evidences are so dim.
My prospects are so overcast.
I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death.
I cannot realize the glories of Heaven.
I am dissatisfied with the world — and yet glued to it!
I hate sin — and yet fall into it!
I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency!
Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?”

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named — then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to Jesus to save you from them — then, in spite of them — you will not long be cast down.

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in gloomy thoughts.

But we must look away from self — for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and gloomy! We must run the race, not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures — but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we would be — before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His blood for us!

He loved us, as sinners.
He died for us, as sinners.
He called us, as sinners.

He saves us, as sinners. He will have all the glory of saving us, and He will get great glory by doing so, because we are such great sinners; and do not, cannot, do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love! Salvation is by free grace — from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections — but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safe in Heaven at last!

As imperfect as you now are, and as imperfect you will be — your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me — a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the heavens,
His grace is as free as the air,
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love.

Hope in God, for you shall yet praise Him. He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

Godly Parents Cannot Convert Their Children

Godly parents cannot convert their children

(Mary Winslow, Life in Jesus“)

“We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s wrath.” Ephesians 2:3

“You must be born again.” John 3:7

Godly parents cannot convert their children. God alone can do this. But they can lead them to Jesus, and bring them up in the fear of the Lord. And when they have done this, they have done all they can do; for the Holy Spirit alone can change the heart. They must be born again. Christ has said it. It is not a change of sentiment, nor an outward reformation of life; it is a new heart implanted by the Holy Spirit.

“They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God.” John 1:13

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #23 ~ Meaning Of Christmas

“This is the meaning of Christmas. Oh, that God would waken your heart to your deep need for mercy as a sinner! And then ravish your heart with a great Savior, Jesus Christ. And then release your tongue to praise him and your hands to make his mercy shine in yours.”

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation # 17 ~ God Can Be Trusted

“Christ came to prove that God tells the truth, that God keeps his promises. Christmas means that God can be trusted.”

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #14 ~ Christmas Gift

“Say to the next generation again and again: God is truthful; God keeps his word; God does not lie; God can be trusted! That’s one blessing of Advent. Receive it as a wonderful Christmas gift, and give it to as many people as you can.”

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

He is not the God of the Bible

“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.”

J.C. Ryle

What Is Love?

What is love?

LOVE IS… being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.

LOVE IS… actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

LOVE IS… being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.

LOVE IS… being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

LOVE IS… a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

LOVE IS… being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

LOVE IS… being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged, but looking for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

LOVE IS… being a good student of another, looking for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support them as they carry it, or encourage them along the way.

LOVE IS… being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

LOVE IS… being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.

LOVE IS… recognizing the high value of trust in a relationship and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

LOVE IS… speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack the other person’s character or assault their intelligence.

LOVE IS… being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to coerce the other person into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

LOVE IS… the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc.

LOVE IS… a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your relationships.

LOVE IS… staying faithful to your commitment to treat another with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when the other person doesn’t seem deserving or is unwilling to reciprocate.

LOVE IS… the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of a relationship without asking for anything in return or using your sacrifices to place the other person in your debt.

LOVE IS… being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm a relationship, hurt the other person, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

LOVE IS… refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

LOVE IS… daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

[By Paul Tripp.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails!” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

A truly thoughtful person.

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Some people seem to have a genius for making others miserable! They are continually touching sensitive hearts, so as to cause pain. They are always saying things which sting and irritate. If you have any bodily defect, they never see you without in some crude way, making you conscious of it. If any relative or friend of yours has done some dishonorable thing, they seem to take a cruel delight in constantly referring to it when speaking with you. They lack all delicacy of feeling, having no eye for the sensitive things in others, which demand gentleness of treatment.

Thoughtfulness is the reverse of all this. It simply does not do the things which thoughtlessness does. It avoids the painful subject. It never alludes to a man’s clubfoot or humpback, nor ever casts an eye at the defect, nor does anything to direct attention to it or to make the man conscious of it. It respects your sorrow–and refrains from harshly touching your wound. It has the utmost kindliness of feeling and expression. A truly thoughtful person, is one who never needlessly gives pain to another.

Thoughtfulness does not merely keep one from doing thoughtless things; it also leads to continued acts of kindness and good will. It ever watches for opportunities to give pleasure and happiness. It does not wait to be asked for sympathy or help–but has eyes of its own, and sees every need, and supplies it unsolicited. When a friend is in sorrow, the thoughtful man is ready with his offer of comfort. He does not come the next day, when the need is past–but is prompt with his kindness, when kindness means something.

Thoughtfulness is always doing little kindnesses. It has an instinct for seeing the little things that need to be done, and then for doing them!

There are some rare Christians who seem born for thoughtfulness. They have a genius for sympathy. Instinctively they seem to understand the experiences of pain in others, and from their heart, there flows a blessing of tenderness which is full of healing. This is the highest and holiest ministry of love. It is not softness nor weakness; it is strength–but strength enriched by divine gentleness.

Thoughtfulness is one of the truest and best tests of a noble Christian character. It is love working in all delicate ways. It is unselfishness which forgets self, and thinks only of others. It is love which demands not to be served, to be honored, to be helped–but thinks continually of serving and honoring others. He who has a truly gentle heart, cannot but be thoughtful. Love is always thoughtful.

(J. R. Miller, “The Grace of Thoughtfulness” 1896)

Losses, crosses, disappointments and bereavements.

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“Unto you therefore who believe — He is precious!” 1 Peter 2:7

Christ is especially precious to believers — when the emptiness of the world is discovered. The soul having tried the world, has found it . . .

false and fickle,
an empty cistern,
a dry well,
a cloud without water,
only vanity and vexation of spirit!

The Christian has experienced that . . .
the world’s pleasures — end in pain,
its honors — end in disgrace,
and its wealth — ends in absolute poverty.

Now turning from the world, to Jesus — it finds . . .

solid happiness,
substantial pleasure,
full supplies.

It obtains . . .
a deep and lasting peace which passes all understanding,
unsearchable riches in Christ, and
honors which will never pass away.

O how precious is Jesus, when this world appears to be a valley of tears! Almost everything earthly is at times calculated to . . .

cause sorrow,
fill us with sadness,
and draw forth tears.
Losses, crosses, disappointments and bereavements — all conspire to make us sad. Earth is to us a Valley of Achor — the place of trouble and sorrow.

Now turning to Jesus, we find a friend who loves at all times, and a brother born for adversity.
He makes up for every loss,
He sanctifies every disappointment,
and He fills for us every relation.

His presence is . . .

like a flowing spring — in a dreary desert,
like a cheering fire — on a piercing winter’s night,
and like a happy home — to the exhausted traveler.

O how precious is Jesus now!

(James Smith, “Christ Precious!” 1861)

Tongues Like Thrusting Swords

Hi all, wanted to post a seemingly random encouragement this morning! 😀 

Sarah & i have just returned from a hospital appointment(don’t panic it was only a scan, lol) where i was flooded with Bible verses when leaving the waiting room. It was the quickest we have ever been seen and we’re still shocked now we’re back home.

We entered the waiting room and i was trying to navigate to a seat without stepping on anyones feet(that i couldn’t see) which is quite an adventure for me! 😀 And just as we sat down…Sarah’s name was called. Sarah said “Wow that’s amazingly quick, i’ve never been called that quickly before”. We got straight back up and started towards the door when i heard “That’s not fair” from a lady on my right, then “No, that’s not fair” from a lady on my left, then a few people said “No, that’s not fair they’ve just arrived”.

Jesus cautions in Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” When evil resides in the heart, it will be exposed in speech,

Before you crucify me, i’m not saying anything about the salvation of the people in the waiting room, only God knows that, it was a shocking reminder for us to take every thought captive before we show our selfishness in speech.Our tongues are like thrusting swords and we were being hacked to death without them even knowing us, or our situation.

As i was leaving through the door of shame, more Bible verses were filling my mind and i couldn’t help but be reminded of how i(and every Brother & Sister in Christ) was chosen while they were selfish sinners, and born again into the Kingdom of God to put off the old man and put on the new. The heart of stone replaced with a heart of flesh.

The unbelievers will always follow the pattern of this world. But we are called to be set apart and offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, Holy and pleasing to God. 

When first reading the verses below as a new babe in Christ, i’d never found anything that described me inside and out with such clarity. We can easily forget what we were before being saved and this terrible(yet hope filled) list is one i always return to when i need encouragement. My hope is that you’ll also be encouraged and thankful to our merciful and Loving Saviour.

Ephesians 4:17-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Christian’s Walk

17 So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls], 18 for their [moral] understanding is darkened and their reasoning is clouded; [they are] alienated and self-banished from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the [willful] ignorance and spiritual blindness that is [deep-seated] within them, because of the hardness and insensitivity of their heart. 19 And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand]. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way! 21 If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], 22 that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].

25 Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].

Please be encouraged and season your speech with Grace and speak Truth in Love so we can build up others and not hack them down. God bless you all. 😀


Proverbs 12:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Happy 9th Wedding Anniversary! :)

Me and Sarah stood on the grass at Bourne Hall, Ewell with lots of lovely green trees behind us

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay…9 years today!! 🙂 

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Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! 🙂 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails…

Sarah & i in Love Heart

Radical Truthfulness

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“Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it. God’s saving love in Christ, however, is marked by both radical truthfulness about who we are and yet also radical, unconditional commitment to us. The merciful commitment strengthens us to see the truth about ourselves and repent. The conviction and repentance moves us to cling to and rest in God’s mercy and grace.”

Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

If Man Had His Way

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“If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.”

A. W. Tozer

Are you manufacturing a God of your own?

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“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.”

J.C. Ryle

✞ Music “O The Blood” by Gateway Worship (feat Kari Jobe)

O the blood
Crimson love
Price of life’s demand
Shameful sin
Placed on Him
The Hope of every man

O the blood of Jesus washes me
O the blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

Savior Son
Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb
The great I Am
Who takes away my sin

O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
O the blood of the Lamb
The precious blood of the Lamb
What a sacrifice
That saved my life
Yes, the blood, it is my victory

O what love
No greater love
Grace, how can it be
That in my sin
Yes, even then
He shed His blood for me.

Happy 8th Wedding Anniversary

Me and Sarah stood on the grass at Bourne Hall, Ewell with lots of lovely green trees behind us

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay…8 years today!! 🙂 

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished—completely free from all impurity—holy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! 🙂 

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

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There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage.

Martin Luther

The Holiness Of God & The Love Of God

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“To be really Bible-believing Christians we need to practice, simultaneously, at each step of the way, two biblical principles.

One principle is that of the purity of the visible church. Scripture commands that we must do more than just talk about the purity of the visible church; we must actually practice it, even when it is costly.

The second principle is that of an observable love among all true Christians. In the flesh we can stress purity without love, or we can stess love without purity; we cannot stress both simultaneously. To do so we must look moment by moment to the work of Christ and to the Holy Spirit. Without that, a stress on purity becomes hard, proud, and legalistic; likewise without it a stress on love becomes sheer compromise.

Spiritually begins to have real meaning in our lives as we begin to exhibit simultaneously the holiness of God and the love of God. We never do this perfectly, but we must look to the living Christ to help us do it truly.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

Conversation In The Womb

Baby 1: And you, you believe in life after birth?

Baby 2: Absolutely. It’s obvious that life after birth exists. We are here to become stronger and to get ready for whatever awaits us next.

Baby 1: This is absurd. There is nothing after birth! What would life look like outside the womb!

Baby 2: Well, there are many stories about the other side. I’ve heard there is a blaze of light there, an intense and profound feeling of joy with deep emotions, thousands of things to live for… For example, I’ve heard that we’ll eat with our mouth there.

Baby 1: That’s silly. We have an umbilical cord and that is how we eat. Everyone knows that we don’t use our mouth to eat! And, on top of that, no one has ever come back from the other world. Those stories are all coming from naive people. Life just ends at birth. Period. That’s the way it is and we must accept it.

Baby 2: Alright, then allow me to think differently. That’s for sure, I have no idea what life after birth looks like, and I can’t prove anything to you. But I like to believe that in the next world, we’ll be able to see our mother and that she will take care of us.

Baby 1: “Mother”? You mean that you believe in “Mother”? Oh! So where is she?

Baby 2: Everywhere, don’t you see it! She is everywhere, all around us. We are part of her and it’s thanks to her that we are living right now. Without her, we wouldn’t be here.

Baby 1: This is ridiculous! I’ve never seen any mother so it’s obvious that she doesn’t exist.

Baby 2: I don’t agree. That’s your way of seeing things. Because sometimes when everything quiets down a little bit, we can hear her sing. We can feel her hugging our world! I’m pretty sure that our life will start after birth.

✞ Music “I Am” by Crowder

“I Am”

Verse 1
There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place that we can’t find peace
There’s no end to Amazing Grace
Take me in with your arms spread wide
Take me in like an orphan child
Never let go, never leave my side.

Chorus: (2X)
I am,
Holding on to You.
I am,
Holding on to You.
In the middle of the storm,
I am Holding on,
I am!

Verse 2
Love like this, Oh my God to find!
I am overwhelmed what a joy divine!
Love like this sets our hearts on fire!

Chorus: (2X)

Verse 3
This is my Resurrection Song
This is my Hallelujah Come
This is why to You I run
This is my Resurrection Song
This is my Hallelujah Come
This is why to You I run
There’s no space that His love can’t reach
There’s no place that we can’t find peace
There’s no end to Amazing Grace

Chorus: (2X)

Our Culture

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“We are a culture that relies on technology over community, a society in which spoken and written words are cheap, easy to come by, and excessive. Our culture says anything goes; fear of God is almost unheard of. We are slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to become angry.”

Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

✞ Music “Come As You Are” by Crowder

Come As You Are

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

(Chorus) So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

Prayer For 2015

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Lord, I want to know You more. Deep within my soul I want to know You. In the name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I ask that You would stir up this desire I have to be intimate with You. I depend on You today, and every day this year, to reveal Yourself to me in any way that You choose.

Holy Spirit, please take the powerful, unchanging truths of Scripture and make them alive in fresh new ways each day of this coming year.

Heavenly Father, I praise You that You have given me the Living Word – Your words – through which I can hear from You and experience You. When it comes to my Bible, focus my heart on my relationship with You moment by moment, rather than my reading habits over the course of a year.

I ask in Jesus name, Amen.

A Personal Journey

Child of Light

Hi all!! Sorry if it’s felt like i’ve deserted you. I’ve been on a partial fast (The Daniel Fast) for the whole of October, so i havn’t been on my blog much at all. God has taught me more in this last month than the last 10 years of my new life as a Christian. 

I’ve been studying Ephesians 4 & 5 verse by verse and through many tears the spirit has shown me how i’ve been grieving him, and what i need to correct as i’m a child of light. So walk as a child of light! 🙂

I’m away this weekend for Sarah’s Dad’s 70th birthday, but i’ll be back as usual on Monday!

I’ve really missed you guys! x 🙂

✞ Music “House Of Their Dreams” by Casting Crowns

House Of Their Dreams

A corner office was his dream
More like a prison now it seems
Somewhere on the corporate climb
He left his warrior behind
Now hes just a worker at a daily grind
Steals his years and numbs his mind
His strength is fading, his dreams are blind
This is not the life he had in mind

She lies awake cause hes up all night
Staring at a screen that tells him lies
That the grass is greener on the other side
So shes at the gym fighting off the years
To be young again and calm her fears
That shell never be enough for him
Just as a young man catches her eye

Now they’re trapped in their own worlds, in their own wars
With their cell phones and the closed doors
Its funny how quiet and peaceful that it seems
But they’re all alone together
In the house of their dreams

Little sister, shes a sixteen-year-old princess
Lost somewhere between the swing set
And her brand new crushs chariot awaits
And big brothers rooms glowing with trophies that shout his name
But he’d trade all his high school fame
For some backyard catch with his hero again

So now they’re all dressed up in Sunday best
Sit up straight just like the rest
And they sing the songs of peace and rest that Jesus freely gives
And then their kids look up as daddy stands
And he takes his bride with trembling hands
Brother kneels at his fathers side as princess looks in the mothers eyes
Their tears tear down the walls as daddy prays

Were trapped in our own worlds and our own wars
With our cell phones and our closed doors
God, only You can save our family
And on this Rock, well build
On this Rock, well build
The house of our dreams

The World’s Value System Or The Truth Of God’s Word

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“What most of us do not realize is that we are being transformed in our thinking all the time—either by the world’s value system or by the truth of God’s Word. The world’s values bombard us daily with thousands of messages on billboards, in movies, songs, video games, and television programs that all reinforce a worldview that tells me life is about “me.” Life is about what I can get, what I can achieve, who I can impress, what I can possess, where I live, what I drive, how much education I have, how much money I make, who knows my name, and how successful I am . . . and the list goes on. By contrast, God uses His Spirit, His Word, nature, great books, and the authentic community of fellow believers to remind us that life is about “Him.” And life in Christ is all about what I can give, who I can love, how God can use me, how significant and accepted I am regardless of what I make, where I live, what I drive, or who knows my name.”

Chip Ingram, True Spirituality: Becoming a Romans 12 Christian

✞ Music “Empty And Beautiful” by Matt Maher

Empty & Beautiful

My past won’t stop haunting me
In this prison there’s a fight between
Who I am and who I used to be

This thorn in my side is a grace
For because of it the flesh and blood of God
Was offered in my place, my place

You fought the fight in me
You chased me down and finished the race
I was blind but now I see
Jesus You kept the faith in me

Where did my best friends go?
In my defense they disappeared
Just like Your friends did to You, oh Lord

But You were there, You gave me strength
So this little one might come to know
The glory of Your name, Your name

You fought the fight in me
You chased me down and finished the race
I was blind but now I see
Jesus You kept the faith in me

Awaiting, set apart like incense to Your heart
A libation I’m pouring out
Empty and beautiful, beautiful, beautiful

You fought the fight in me
You chased me down and finished the race
I was blind but now I see
Jesus You kept the faith in me

You fought the fight in me
You chased me down and finished the race
I was blind but now I see
Jesus You kept the faith in me
Jesus You kept the faith in me
Savior, You kept the faith in me

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

Interpret the theme humanity.

A photo of my tattoo of a inhuman ripping out of the skin

For this weeks photo challenge, I asked Sarah to take a photo of a tattoo i have on the lower half of my left leg. I had this done aged 21, unsaved yet fully sighted and thought it would add to my seriously bad attitude and reputation as i played football at the local 5 a side arena (where i’m band for life for being too aggressive, fighting etc, but that’s another story).

Little did i know that it was an image of my very own nature that was separating me from God. I had no idea that God would now use this tattoo as a conversation starter for me to share a little of how God saved me, and is now working through me in my new life….

All of humanity has a sin nature. This is a nature that is disobedient to God. At the same time, we do have a free choice to be good or bad. God gave all humans free will. We can choose to be good. We can choose to follow the Holy Spirit. We can choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. He gave us choice. We are not just driven by our instincts or our environment. Neither are we puppets of God. We choose to be either servants of God or servants of sin.

Sin Nature

Humans have a sin nature. A sin nature is basically a nature that is disobedient to God. We were all born with a sin nature that can be traced back through our ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve. This tendency for us to disobey God, our sin nature, continues today in that it was passed down from our forefathers.

Romans 5:12 advises us how sin has entered into all of mankind.

The Holy Spirit In Us…

Our human nature does not need to end in corruption and death that sin brings to our lives. If we choose to follow the spirit of God, we can have eternal life and not live in sin.

Galatians 6:8advises us that we can choose the Holy Spirit over our flesh.

Sanctification

Our human nature at it’s best is set aside for God. This is where we put God first. This is where we are willing vessels that purify ourselves to be set aside for God’s purpose.

1 John 3:3 and 2 Peter 1:6 advises us that humans can be pure and take on God’s divine nature.

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges

✞ Music “Lift My Life Up” by Unspoken

Lift My Life Up

You brought me this far so why would I question You now
You have provided so why would I start to doubt
I’ve never been stranded, abandoned or left here to fight alone
So I’m giving You control

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up

Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me

If peace is a river then let it sweep over me
If I’m under fire I know it’s refining me
When I hear You calling out I follow now wherever the road may go
I know You’re leading me home

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up

Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me

Take my life and let it be all for You
Take my life and let it be all for You

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
(Take my life)

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
(Take my heart)
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up

Have Your way with me
Have Your way with me
Have Your way with me
Have Your way with me

Take my life and let it be all for You

The Preacher

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The story is told of a church that secured a new preacher, and the word spread around town about how well he preached.  The church members were abuzz about what an improvement he was over their former preacher, and how much more attention they gave to his sermons.  When the town cynic asked what made this new preacher so much better than his predecessor, he was told, “The old preacher told us that we’re all sinners, and that if we didn’t repent, we’d burn in hell forever!”  This cynic then asked, “And what does this new one say?”  The answer was, “That we’re all sinners, and that if we don’t repent, we’ll burn in hell forever!”  When the cynic responded that he didn’t see any difference between the two of them, he was told, “This new preacher says it with tears in his eyes.”

Tony Campolo

✞ Music “I AM” by Jill Phillips

Oh gently lay your head upon my chest
And I will comfort you like a mother while you rest
And the tide can change so fast, but I will stay
The same through past, the same in future, same today

I am constant and I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy, I am wise
I’m the only one who knows your heart’s desires
Your heart’s desires

Oh weary, tired and worn, let out your sighs
And drop that heavy load you hold ’cause mine is light
And I know you through and through, there’s no need to hide
I want to show you love that is deep and high and wide

‘Cause I am constant and I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy, I am wise
I’m the only one who knows your heart’s desires
Your heart’s desires

I am constant, I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy, I am wise
I’m the only one who knows your heart’s desires
Your heart’s desires

Oh gently lay your head upon my chest
And I will comfort you like a mother while you resthttp://www.songlyrics.com/jill-phillips/i-am-lyrics/#mzHRFrV4slW5s9cE.99

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