social spark Aisling Beatha: 2015

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

When God Repeats Himself . . . . . .

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When God Repeats Himself

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When God Repeats Himself, It's Time To Listen.
A familiar phrase or concept to many of us.  But let's be honest we tend to associate it with all the things we think God wants us to DO, all the "shoulds" and "oughts" and "musts". I was reminded last week that it also applies, in fact, in my mind it FIRST applies, to all the times God speaks of His love for us, all the times He speaks of His Grace and mercy, all the times He speaks encouragement over us, whether that be directly through His word, through his Spirit into our hearts, or through those around us.

I work part time, employed by the church I attend to provide assemblies, prayer spaces and other activities in local schools.  A couple of weeks ago I was pointed in the direction of a new job.  Not to replace the one I do now, but one that could run alongside what I do now and fit in really nicely with it (the 2nd job is also part time).  It would basically mean doing the same thing as I am doing now but in an additional environment for a different employer. Let's be honest when you work for the church you attend, with very little opportunity for feedback, you're never quite sure if you really ARE doing a good job, or not, so I was a little nervous.  I ummed and aaahed, and went back and forth in my head, trying to decide if I was going to apply, and finally, I did.  It took me a whole afternoon to fill in the application form, I wanted to do this right, and on Tuesday last week I posted it.

On Wednesday I received encouraging messages about the job from 3 separate people, 1 of whom knows neither of the others and I've never met before and only 1 of them was from the church I attend.  Each of them was saying more or less the same thing.
All of them coming on the same day like that, within a space of less than 12 hours, I knew that was not a co-incidence.

Whether I get the job or not is not really the point.  The point is when God repeats himself, particularly when it is in a short space of time like that, it usually requires a response from us.  In the case of the "shoulds" and so on, the response is obvious, but in the case of encouragement and all the things along these lines, the response is different.

Let me tell you something:

God thinks you are amazing.  He really does.  He notices the things that you do that bless other people, he sees the way you uniquely express your love for Him, the way you love others in ways that no one else can do.  He watches when you smile at that person everyone else overlooks, He notices the extra time you spent over something when you didn't have to.  He sees the things that make your face light up with joy, and they make Him smile too. He sees all of that and more and he speaks His love and appreciation and encouragement over you.  Over and over again, in ways that only YOUR heart will understand.

Your response is your choice.

Will you do what a lot of us do, what I have done in the past, and tell yourself "Oh well, I know God says that stuff, but He doesn't mean it about me.  Other people yes, but not me." or if the encouragement came through others, "Oh those people are just saying those things to be polite" or any of the other variants of things that we tell ourselves when our self esteem is low and encouragement comes our way?

Or

Will you accept that love and encouragement?  Will you believe the positive things God is saying about you?  No matter who or what he uses to send that message?



You can check out other Thoughtful Thursday Posts here. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

2015 - The Year of AGAIN

2014 Living in Between 2015 Again

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2014 had been hard for me on many levels, and has fit with my theme for the year in ways that I never imagined it doing when we began this journey back in January 2014.

I have studied and explored the stages of faith and grown to understand that this in between stage I have found myself in, in relation to my faith, this place of doubts, questions, refusal to accept the previous "easy answers" and yes, even anger, is a normal, natural part of the journey.  I have lived an "in between" stage with my health as we try a block and replace therapy to try and solve an overactive thyroid, and CPAP therapy continues for my sleep apnoea with a new wonder mask that has proved difficult to adjust to.  I have lived an in between stage in my marriage in some ways too as my husband spent 21 weeks out of a run of 53, working away in Germany.  I have certainly lived in between as a mother, as my eldest graduated from university in June 2014 and came back home to live until he finds a permanent job in his field (good news, he has an interview on Monday) but my youngest left for university in September 2014.  This has meant I have also lived in between with my creativity as what was my craft room is the eldest's bedroom once again until he finds a place of his own.  And of course I have lived in between with my writing, as some pieces I had written at the beginning of the year were held onto but not used by the person who asked for them, and then, the day after I said "enough is enough, I take them back" I was asked to join the team at middle places, and really what more "in between" could you get than MIDDLE PLACES.

For a number of years my theme for the year has coincided unexpectedly with where our church body found itself that year too, and 2014 was no exception (although 2015 is different, but more on that later), as we left the building that was previously our church home and moved to a new building that we are currently only renting until we can arrange the purchase.  So, in between, again.

And then we move on to 2015, and a search for a theme, well, not exactly, you see, I had thought about it being the time of year to think on a theme but I hadn't really got any further than that and then one day I was thinking about something else and this word came up, just one word, and it was like it dropped into my spirit and my spirit went "that's it, that's the word for the year ahead."  The word is AGAIN.

"Oh great" I thought, "are we just doing in between for a whole other year?"  But it wasn't that simple, because then another word dropped in alongside again, and that was HOPE, HOPE AGAIN, now that I liked, who wouldn't right?  So I sat with that for a couple of days and then more and more words began to drop into my spirit, each of them fitting alongside AGAIN.

BEGIN AGAIN
HOPE AGAIN
BELIEVE AGAIN
LOVE AGAIN
DANCE AGAIN
CREATE AGAIN
TRAVEL AGAIN
SMILE AGAIN
DREAM AGAIN
LAUGH AGAIN

I am sure there will be more.  So far there are no signs that this year's theme sits easily alongside where our church family finds itself this year, but it has turned out to sit alongside the Middle places theme for the coming year.  When I began to think of "again" as my theme, I already knew that the Middle Places theme for this month was (Re)Life or Real Life but then one night last week, while I was sleeping and the rest of the team were awake (that ocean between us has a lot to answer for, time zones included) It was decided that we would be keeping (Re) for most of the year, with different words coming after it each time.

re-
1.  a prefix, occurring originally in loanwords from Latin, used with the meaning “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition.

So there you have it, my theme sits perfectly alongside the Middle Places theme for the year, so I am excited to see what this year will bring!


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