Archive for the ‘christianity’ Category

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One Word 365

January 10, 2014

You’re probably already bored with me saying I don’t do new year resolutions, but it’s true. So moving on, when I read recently about One Word 365 it challenged me and I decided to sign up to it myself.

For those of you who don’t know what this is about, you can find out more on the One Word website but to summarise what it is:

Choose just one word.
One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.

It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your one word will shape not only your year, but also you. It will become the compass that directs your decisions and guides your steps.

Well it sounded like a good idea to me and just what I needed.  There was only one problem though, which word should I choose? I was immediately drawn to 3 words: trust, faith and belief. And yes, I do know that these 3 are closely intertwined and are in effect three angles on the same idea.  Perhaps that’s indicative of where I am at the moment in my life. Anyway I thought about the words but quickly came to the conclusion that believe was the one for me and so I’ve been consciously trying to focus on that word for the past 10 days.

believe

I must say at this stage that this has already been a useful experience and it’s actually helped me to get through some difficult moments. Simply the fact of stopping, thinking, taking a deep breath and telling myself to believe has encouraged me and in some ways comforted me. That can only be a good thing, can’t it?

So back to believe. The definition which I found online says:

believe

  1. accept that (something) is true, especially without proof
  2. hold (something) as an opinion, think.
  3. have confidence in (a person or a course of action)

You might ask why have I chosen this word for myself in 2014. Well to be honest there are several reasons:

Firstly I need to believe more in myself. I need to be more confident in who I am and my abilities because these have really taken a knocking in the past few months.

Secondly I want to be able to believe more in other people too. I often find it difficult to trust people and open up to them about what’s really going on in my life and in my head! It takes time for me to reach that point with people, so if you think I’m open with you, then you’re one of a small number of people who know the real me. I want to believe in other people, that there are good people out there and good people in my life and I want to be able to trust and believe in them and what they are saying to me.

Finally I guess I come to the whole faith and belief issue. Recent months have really challenged that area of my life and perhaps I’ve been clinging on with my fingertips? I don’t know. I do know that I need to focus on this side of belief as well in the days ahead and that this will also have an influence on the rest of my life.

So my One Word 365 journey has begun. I’m hoping that by focusing on believing, that my life will be enriched, my life will be challenged and my life will be improved. Time will tell but watch this space for updates on how it’s going and posts about significant events & developments along the way.

How about you? What will your word and focus be in 2014?

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Prayer for a loved one

November 14, 2013

Sometimes you can feel really helpless, like no matter what you say it just isn’t making a difference.  Other people’s situations can just be too much & helping them to cope can be difficult.  Your inability to be able to solve the problem can make you very frustrated.  And your love for that person just brings you to tears.

I found myself there right now.  What can I do?  What can I say to ease their fears?  What can I do to make them feel better?  What should I be doing differently to help?

Unfortunately I don’t have the answer.  Experience is showing me that I really can’t change the situation however much I wish I could.  And as much as I want to be there all the time to help, I can’t do that either.  So what is the solution?  Right now, all I can do is pray and trust that will be enough, that things will improve, worries & fears will be taken away and soon a sense of normality will return.

praying-handsLord

Right now I ask you to put your arm around those people dearest to me.  Ease those worries & fears.  Comfort & strengthen them in their time of need.  Lift away those feelings of uncertainty and replace them with confidence & a new sense of certainty. Help me to be there to support at this time and bring us all through this with a new sense of understanding for one another and the surety that everything will be alright.

Amen

Someone shared these words with me today, words which they are turning to for support during their own difficult time.  I pray that I will be able to do the same right now:
“Why should I worry & fret when I can cast my anxiety on Christ who cares for me?” 1 Peter 5:7

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Apologies & Happy Christmas

December 21, 2011

To all those who follow my blog, you’ll have noticed that it has been distinctly lacking in entries for the past few months.  Hmm, not good, is it?

I apologise for the lack of posts, of snippets, of links, of entries about stuff which may or may not interest you greatly.  I’m back on track again now though so expect to be amazed & bewildered by the Reflections blog  in the days to come – or just note that I will be posting entries again sometime soon! 😉

The photo a day challenge came to an end in summer (I know, I failed to last the whole year, but hey ho, what can I say!) but I will be uploading all those images that I never got around to posting, some time over the next couple of weeks.

So all it leaves for me to say for now is: Happy Christmas to each & every one of you.   May you be surrounded by those who you love & care for at this special time of year, may you know the joy of friends and family, recognise how fortunate you are to have them & to be loved and cared for by others, to have those things which mean the most to you and those which we all take for granted, and may you feel the blessings of this special Christmas time of year within your own heart.

Away in a Manager
No crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus
Lay down his sweet head
The stars in the bright sky
Looked down where he lay
The little Lord Jesus
Asleep on the hay

The cattle are lowing 
The baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying he makes
I love Thee Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side
Until morning is nigh

Be near me Lord Jesus
I ask thee to stay
Close by me forever,
And love me I pray
Bless all the dear children
In thy tender care
And fit us for Heaven
To live with Thee there

x

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Lent

March 11, 2011

So in keeping with previous year, in 2011 I have again decided to give up chocolate for Lent.  I had hoped to start something new for Lent this year but time ran out on me before I came up with a good idea.  So instead I’m resorting to the going without something thing again & so chocolate it is.

Here’s a bar of Green&Blacks that I’m looking forward to opening after Easter.  Forty days isn’t so long really, is it?  🙂

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Is Christmas over?

December 27, 2008

nativitySo that’s it for another year, Christmas is over 😦 <sigh> Was it good for you? Did you have an enjoyable time with family or friends, or perhaps both? Did you share in good food and company? Did you exchange presents and good words? Did you feel relaxed and happy for a whole 2 days? That’s nice.

No?! Was that not how things were at your house?

Yes, you spent time with your loved ones, but maybe a few bad words were exchanged? Yes, you ate good food but now you’re feeling stuffed and considering embarking on a diet in the new year? Yes, you gave presents but were disappointed by the reactions when people ripped off the paper, only to look up at you expectantly? Yes, you received presents but not the things you were hoping for, despite all the hints dropped in recent weeks?

Hmm, then you probably had a Christmas like most of us and now you’re sitting down and thinking, well that’s it for another year, Christmas has been and gone?

Why is Christmas not filled with wonder and joy when we’re adults? Why do we sit down afterwards feeling a little flat and wondering what happened to make us feel that way?

Perhaps we all need to take hold of the inner child within us, forget about the hype and commercialism and go back to times when we really appreciated the real joy and wonder of Christmas? Christmas doesnt have to be over, that joy and wonder, that happiness and feeling of love towards people doesnt have to stop now. You really can carry on caring about people into the New Year and beyond, and you can remember why we celebrate Christmas because it’s really not meant to be a one-off day.

So I wish you a Happy Christmas time and a blessed and peaceful New Year.

🙂

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It’s a most wonderful time of the year, isnt it?

December 21, 2008

So the tree is up & decorated (& has been for a couple of weeks now) the cards have all been written & sent, even the presents are all done & dusted – ok so praps they’re not all wrapped yet, but that’s just details, isn’t it?

So all these things are done.  I’ve received lots of cards & even some presents already, so how come I’m not really feeling Christmassy?  Why don’t I feel as though I’ve got into the spirit of things yet?  Can anyone answer me that?  or do you maybe feel the same?

It’s just not the same when we’re grown up, is it?  When you’re a child, Christmas seems to last for weeks, from those first rehearsals at school to the momentous day, when you leap out of bed to see what Father Christmas has left for you.  It just goes on for ever and ever and ever …!  So how come when we’re older Christmas seems to suddenly sneak up on us?  It’s not as though it’s a surprise, after all it is always the 25th December.  So how do we manage to find ourselves surrounded by Christmas & yet not quite feel as though it’s time, not quite feel as though we are properly a part of it?

Perhaps it’s because all the commercialism behind it starts so much earlier nowadays?  I remember a few months ago seeing that first Christmas advert on television and being horrified that they were showing it “already”.  And yet here I am, weeks later, almost face to face with Christmas Day and I’m not feeling overly Christmassy?  What is wrong with me?

Hmm, as I ponder it all, praps I should throw a chestnut on that roasting fire as I watch the snowflakes falling down outside …  No?  Hmm, exactly, it’s just not Christmas, is it?! <sigh>

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The journey back to Bethlehem …

December 15, 2008

maryjoridingIt seems that too much time has passed since my last post. I must’ve been caught up in too much life! But anyway, wanting to correct that, I feel compelled to write about a journey that a BBC Correspondent is undertaking and rather a special journey at that!

The journey is to retrace the footsteps of Mary & Joseph all those years ago, as they set out for Bethlehem. A journey of some 93 miles which tracks across the Middle East through many of those regions you have only ever heard about. It is a journey which must be one of the most re-told travels in our history. Ok, you might not believe in the truths of that journey, but nevertheless you cannot fail to have heard about it, no matter how young or old you are, and no matter of what race or creed. And at this special time of Christmas, it is worth remembering what happened 2000 years ago. This is why I was particularly taken with this particular journey. It brings that “story” up-to-date. Makes is more understandable as I can read about the realities of it. I think it will help me to better understand what happened.

So if you too are fascinated or intrigued by this, keep checking back on the BBC website to read how Aleem is getting on & to catch up with the latest from his journey back to Bethlehem, 2000 years on …

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