Prayer: when you feel guilty for not praying

 Prayer: when you feel guilty for not praying

I know I should pray; I want to pray, I feel a little bit guilty every time I hear a sermon about prayer because I honestly want to have a disciplined prayer life, but I’ve never been great at praying.

And, if I’m completely honest, I don’t understand prayer. At all. Why would Almighty God, who knows all things, need me to talk to Him and ask Him to intervein in the situations I find myself in? Sometimes, seemingly randomly, He does something unexplainable and amazing and answers my prayer. Other times, nothing. Why?

I don’t understand how it works. I don’t know why God answers some prayers and not others. But this I know. I need to pray.

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16 ways to fit more Bible into your day

 16 ways to fit more Bible into your day

Many people struggle with the discipline of reading the Bible every day, even through we know that God’s word is the key to spiritual growth. It can be really hard! Our lives are busy and full, and having the self-discipline to lock ourselves away for an hour of personal devotional time each day just isn’t realistic. Here are 16 ways you can fit more Bible into your day.

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Why you should read the whole Bible

 Why you should read the whole Bible

The foundation of any and all spiritual disciplines is God’s Word. Every other spiritual practice comes from it. Everything we learn about prayer and fasting, giving, serving and worship, we learn from the Bible. Knowing what the Bible says is the single key to every other spiritual practice.

So often it’s easier to read all the books written about the Bible rather than reading the Bible itself. It’s so easy to get your hands on a devotional, or a study Bible that has explanatory notes, it can be tempting to just read what other people think about the text rather than reading the actual text yourself.

But today my mission is to encourage you to read the Bible for yourself! The WHOLE Bible. And here’s why…

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Spiritual discipline

Spiritual discipline

How to build a strong foundation

Let’s talk about spiritual discipline.

I know, it’s not my favourite topic either. In fact, I would never choose to talk about spiritual discipline. Why? Because discipline is hard, and I’ve had it up to here with hard.

Just the term, ‘spiritual discipline,’ makes me feel uncomfortable. I feel guilty because I don’t spend enough time reading the Bible and praying. I don’t fast as regularly as I should. I am busy, and I’m trying so hard to be a good Christian, and a good wife, and a good mother, and a good friend, and a good daughter, and the list goes on and on and on. I already feel like I’m not measuring up to the standard, whatever that standard actually is. I feel overwhelmed, inadequate, tired. 

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Abide with me

Abide with me

A few months ago, I was offered the opportunity to go from four days a week to fulltime. I was hesitant, I loved my extra day off in the middle of the week, but agreed that in this season of ministry it was a good thing to do. I’ll be the first to admit it’s been hard, but I am learning how to handle the extra responsibilities at work, and the more limited time at home.

The word abide has been resonating in my heart. I have seen it around in random places, coming up in my Instagram feed, books I am reading, my Bible reading plan. I’ve enjoyed sitting with this word and pondering the depths of its meaning. 

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How to slow down when life is too fast

How to slow down when life is too fast

It’s early; way too early. I will for my brain to stop thinking so that I can drift off once again for a few precious moments, but that rarely happens. I’m awake.

And once I'm up I love this early hour. The city sounds are different. The river is still quiet; the ferries don't start their zigzag up and down the river until after 5:30 am, and I am awake far too early. It's beautiful. The early sunlight is clear and yellow. The traffic on the bridge nearby is usually drowned out by the construction of the slowing growing building nearby and the general city buzz, but every sound is more defined in the early morning.

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Footprints

Footprints

My holiday at the beach is over for another year. We had a wonderful time, slowing down. But, one of my absolute favourite things to do is walk on the sand.

The amazing thing about walking on the beach is that fact that you leave your mark clearly behind. You can’t walk without leaving footprints. I tried. No matter how gently or carefully I tread, there was evidence of my presence to anyone who walked behind.

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Don't worry

Don't worry

I’m a first-class worrier! Ask me how I’m going, and I can prattle off a long list of problems I’m facing, the challenges I’m tackling, how busy I am, tired I am, overwhelmed I am… Poor me, poor me.

I was having one of my ‘I can’t cope with this; the world is falling apart; how will I survive' moments, when a very wise and loving friend offered to pray for me. At the end of the prayer, she said that God had given her a word for me…

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Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment

How to Persevere in the Wake of Failure 

I’m a failure. I’ve let people down. I’ve tried my best, and it wasn’t good enough. 

There have been a number of pastoral care situations at work lately where it just hasn’t gone well. Situations where people have come to me with needs, and have left disappointed. There are people who I tried to care for, tried to support, only to find out that they didn’t feel loved, didn’t feel supported, didn’t feel cared for, and it’s my fault.

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The Day I Met the Queen

The Day I Met the Queen

I’ve been to London to visit the Queen

Yes, it’s true. On our visit to London we were sitting on our hop-on-hop-off tourist bus, listening to the guide chat about the city sights, and he mentioned that the following day was the annual Trooping the Colour. We could line up with the crowds along The Mall and see the Queen for her official birthday celebration. 

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My Secret Double Life

My Secret Double Life

The Challenge of Authentic Private Faith

I went to a funeral a few weeks ago. I didn’t know the gentleman well, and it has been many years since I have seen him, but there was something in me that wanted to be at the service celebrating his life. I go to funerals regularly for work. I don’t like them, and it’s rare for me to choose to go out of my way to attend the funeral of someone I barely know, but this one felt different. 

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Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I was standing alone on a little stage, behind a lectern with a microphone in my face and a coffin by my side. A room full of tearful, strained faces looked up at me, completely lost and hopeless. The funeral director started the sound track of the hymn I had just announced, and the room filled with the sound of a large choir and full orchestra. The pitch of the soundtrack was too high and difficult to sing to, and it felt as if I was the only one in the room singing. I felt self-conscious and embarrassed as I tried to sing along with the beautiful choir, but I just wanted the grieving family to experience the truth in the words of courage and strength, so I sang as well as I could.

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When the Reading Plan gets to Leviticus

When the Reading Plan gets to Leviticus

When good intentions meet real life

I’ve been following the Read Scripture Bible reading plan every day since the beginning of the year. It’s been great. Genesis is great reading, with dysfunctional families that make a season of Revenge seem boring. Exodus is full of excitement and miracles displaying God’s power. Then, we get to Leviticus. It’s been the downfall of many well-intentioned Bible readers before me, and for good reason. It’s a hard slog!

Many new year good intentions hit a Leviticus just a few short weeks in. The dreaming and planning is finished and it’s time to get things done. The inspiration of a new year full of possibilities and opportunities get us started enthusiastically and carry us for a while, and then we hit Leviticus...

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Too Much of a Good Thing

Too Much of a Good Thing

We moved house. We found a brand new rental just ten minutes away in a great neighbourhood, close to major roads and shops. It’s a great house and we are going to enjoy living here. It has everything we need; four bedrooms, a study and two living areas. It has a good size yard with a fence for our dog, and a beautiful kitchen with a big five burner stove. Absolutely nothing to complain about. But, it’s smaller than our last house. That was always the plan, to downsize, but the reality of that has kind of slapped me in the face, and it stings a bit for a while.

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Making Peace with Change

Making Peace with Change

We’re moving. Well, our house is for sale. We are ready to downsize as the children make plans to fly the coup. It’s a big, beautiful house, but it’s only home because we live here. 

Our real estate agent suggested we hire a professional stager to help us arrange and furnish the living areas. On a tight time frame this very efficient lady stood in my home and barked out instructions faster than I could write. She pointed at each piece of my furniture and said, “Move that out, get rid of that...

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Is God Really Good?

Is God Really Good?

I work in Pastoral Care. In my first year in the job, four families in our church tragically had children die. I discovered that year how hard it was for me to just walk in the background of the pain that was around me. It was exhausting! I knew that without proper self care I would not last long in a pastoral care role. One of the keys I have found was finding in myself the confidence to truly believe that God is really good.

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