Faith: For King & Country “Run Wild”

Run Wild

This song is taken from For King & Country’s album called “Run Wild”.
Spotify suggested I listen to them & I’m glad it did.
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Halloween: Trick or Treat?

A light in the darkness

I don’t like halloween it makes me feel unsettled & nervous.

Not only do I disagree with the trivialisation of evil but when did it become ok to allow kids to take sweets from strangers for one day a year? Parents spend a lot of time teaching their children about the importance of ‘stranger danger’ & being safe then suddenly turn into hypocrites every 31st October!

I have heard the argument that it’s “just a bit of fun” but I don’t think that is true. Yes for most it’s just an excuse to have a party & dress up but whether you think it or not halloween is not as innocent as that.

It’s origins are a celebration before All Hallows Day which focused on “remembering the dead including saints, martyrs, and all the faithful departed believers…the traditional focus of All Hallows’ Eve revolves around the theme of using “humour and ridicule to confront the power of death.” (Wikipedia)
These origins now seem to have been twisted over the years to become more about celebrating what is evil, gory, scary & disturbing.

I believe that this world was created by a kind, generous & loving God & that He wants us to be safe.
Because I believe in God I think it would be foolish of me to deny that beings such as ghosts or demons exist.
The fact that I believe they & satan do exist is my main concern about celebrating halloween.
I do not want to celebrate something I know to be evil regardless of whether others around me think it’s harmless or not.

I read a blog post recently written by a christian that explained their reason for taking part in the halloween activities in their neighbourhood.
Their reasoning for being involved was to be part of the community as a christian rather than shying away & turning their back on the festivities.
I’m not entirely convinced by this argument. Yes as a christian we should be a shining light in the darkness & be there for our communities regardless of what they believe in BUT as christians we need to be careful what we involve ourselves in. Not wanting to be seen as party poopers is one thing but being involved in something harmful just so others will think we’re part of the community is another. (That’s just peer pressure!)

After my experiences with therapy I have realised that the human sub-conscious is fragile & complex.
What we expose ourselves to no matter how quickly will have an affect on us.
Allowing our children & ourselves to be submersed in the themes of halloween is not good for anyone & contradicts what we teach for the rest of the year.

J John has recently written an article for The Mirror stating “Six reasons why I believe Halloween is far from harmless” it’s worth a read whether you are a christian or not as they’re not just christian reasons he gives.

When all is said & done we each have our own opinions so whatever you decide please stay safe.

Faith: Proverbs 3 v 5-6

A prayer that we may all learn to trust God with our entire lives & not just the bits we deem ok to give Him.

“Lean on, trust in & be confident in the Lord with all your heart & mind & do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
In all your ways know, recognise, & acknowledge Him, & He will direct & make straight & plain your paths.”

(Taken from the Amplified Version)

Faith: Michael W Smith “Christ Be All Around Me”

Christ Be All Around Me

This song is taken from Michael W Smith’s’s album called “Sovereign” I have been listening to it a lot lately & this is one of my favourite songs.

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Faith: Pope Francis’ 10 Secrets to Happiness

In an interview with the Catholic News Service Pope Francis revealed his top 10 secrets to happiness.
I am not Catholic but I think Pope Francis is awesome! I love the way he speaks, he seems so aware of everyday life & our reality. He is not a Pope who is cut off from the world & this come across as he speaks about things we can relate to.
I love all his points below but one of my favourites is number 9 “Don’t proselytise”. When I read this I thought “Finally! Someone in authority in the Christian world who know that our actions mean more than anything we can say.” It is great when people decide to give their lives to God but that should not be our aim when we go out & meet people. Our aim should simply be to show them God’s love for them through our own actions.

1) “Live and let live.” Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

 

2) “Be giving of yourself to others.” People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

3) “Proceed calmly” in life. The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist — gaucho Don Segundo Sombra — looks back on how he lived his life.
“He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool” of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water — to have “the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life.”

4) “A healthy sense of leisure.” The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said.

“Consumerism has brought us anxiety” and stress, causing people to lose a “healthy culture of leisure.” Their time is “swallowed up” so people can’t share it with anyone.

Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it “complicated, but you must do it,” he said.

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime “doesn’t let you communicate” with each other, the pope said.

 

5) Sundays should be holidays. Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.

 

6) Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people. “We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.

“It’s not enough to give them food,” he said. “Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home” from one’s own labor.

 

7) Respect and take care of nature. Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?'”

 

8) Stop being negative. “Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,'” the pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”

 

9) Don’t proselytise; respect others’ beliefs. “We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytising,” the pope said.

 

10) Work for peace. “We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.

Faith: New Wine 2014

Some of you may know that I have been to a Christian Festival for a number of years now called New Wine.
(See I’m back, holiday was fab! for an insight into my experience at last years festival.)

This year B & I have decided not to go & to alternate our holidays from now on which is why I am really excited about this…..

New Wine are live streaming their morning & evening meetings.
I’m not certain whether it’s the whole service or just the talks but I am really excited none the less & had to share it.

If you’ve ever been curious about what New Wine is about now is your chance to find out.

With any luck I have managed to embed the video below.
As it is a live stream the video will only be available when the meetings are taking place.
With any luck New Wine will add them to their YouTube channel for anyone who has missed them.

This years festival started it’s first week on 26th July & this will round up on 1st August, the second week then starts on 3rd August & finishes on 9th.

The approx times each stream will go live are:

Morning Meeting: 9:50am

Evening Meeting: 7:45pm

NB: If the video above doesn’t work please visit this link to view it on the New Wine website.

Faith: Amy Grant “It’s Better Not To Know”

"It's Better Not To Know" Lyrics

This song is taken from Amy Grant’s album called “How Mercy Looks From Here” I have found this album so helpful that I will probably share a number of her songs here.
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Faith: Intro

There have been so many times in my life where I have felt that I have strayed from my faith, lost hope & turned my back on God.
Each time I come to this realisation I pick myself up, turn myself around & try to spend more time focusing on re-connecting with Him.

I should imagine that I am not the only Christian to have experienced this!

Faith is hard because by definition there is no proof or hard evidence that the way we are living & what we believe in is the truth.
There are times when it feels like God is walking by our side & times when it feels like He’s a million miles away but no matter how it feels our faith needs to stay strong.

I have shared glimpses of my faith in previous posts: A Prayer For Everyday; What Does Christmas Mean To You?; You’re Blessed; I’m Back, Holiday Was Fab! & as I share more with you about myself in my Where I Stand series I’m beginning to think that I should also start to share more about my faith.

Faith was the one thing I didn’t want to talk about with my therapist.
I don’t feel as though doing this has hindered my progress in my sessions as my faith was not a core problem that needed addressing like other areas of my life.

However, having said that I feel that it is time I stopped being so guarded about what I believe in & stop worrying that other people are judging me because of it.

And so another series has been born, my Faith series.

I won’t be posting as regularly in this series although I have so much I already want to share & discuss!
I shall post every so often & share with you what I feel God is doing in my life.

Cross

 

A prayer for everyday

Lead me to those I need & to those who need me & let something that I do today have eternal significance.

Amen.

I first heard this prayer when I was listening to Amy Grant’s Album “How Mercy Looks From Here”.
At the end of the album she talks about her inspirations for each song.
She sings about this prayer in “Greet The Day” & says that her mother-in-law taught it to her.

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What does Christmas mean to you?

There has been a lot of talk about the true meaning of Christmas being lost over the years.

As a Christian I celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas & because I am surrounded by people who do the same I haven’t experienced the “loss” of Christmas’ true meaning.
But as I sit & write this I am aware that this world is made up of many faiths & beliefs & although Christmas may be a time for Christians to remember a very special birth what does Christmas mean to others?

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