The day He called me Beautiful

IMG_1229

I’ve had some pretty unique moments on buses. They’ve been a source of amusement and encouragement at times. There’s beauty in overheard conversations, moments when social convention is thrown out of the window and times when God just shows up.

Having a car means that i’m not often found on buses anymore but it just so happens that my last bus trip was pretty incredible.

Girls, you are all beautiful. I’ve said it before, I’ve blogged it before and I definitely believed it, for you all. I just never believed it for myself, not truly, not deep down and I know I’m not the only one who thinks of themselves this way.

I went to Colour Conference this last weekend, it was incredible.  11,000 women packed out the Wembley Arena to meet with God, hear from him and be inspired by some incredible women of God.

I couldn’t keep up with my note writing as Christine Caine brought the house down, praying passionately and declaring transformation over our lives. To be fair she speaks so fast that I don’t even think the fastest shorthand-er in the WORLD could get it all down but here’s what I did write:

Don’t treat Jesus like he’s a visitor that you see just on Sunday’s:

John 1:14 says: ‘The word (Jesus) became flesh and moved into the neighborhood.’

Let him move into the neighborhood of your life. Let him sit with his arms around your soul. Open the gates of your heart, let the walls you put up fall and reveal the chaos – let him create the order. Let him into the mess, come as you are, all of you, let him see beyond the guestroom to the backstage of your life, give him the VIP all access pass. Backstage, front stage, depths, dark and light. Jesus doesn’t deal in condemnation, he deals in salvation and transformation!

So with those words ringing in my heart and a time of worship where He (God) spoke into it we left for the evening to catch the bus back to the hotel, we were ahead of the crowds and managed to get a seat.

About halfway back to the hotel a lady got up and came and stood next to me and said something that would have been weird in any other situation – ‘I saw you, in worship,’ I smiled, there were many of us there but yep that was definitely a possibility.

‘I had my eyes closed and I saw you, your face was right there, in front of me. I didn’t know why.’ I continued to smile, apprehensive of what was coming next. This woman did not know me and I didn’t know her but in that moment we were connected.

‘I’m sorry for my English I’m from Sweden,’ she said. ‘I don’t have the words but when I saw you here on the bus I asked God what he wanted me to say.’

‘He told me that you’re beautiful.’

All I could say was thank you and hug her as I tried not to break down! ‘You are precious and beautiful,’ she repeated as we hugged.

What she did not know was that evening in the ministry time I decided that I was making true on the notes I had written, no more ridiculous attempts to ‘hide away’ the things I didn’t want seen. I asked the Holy Spirit to take over all the spaces that i’d locked away – to unlock all those little cupboards and drawers that contained all my deepest, darkest secrets and to deal with them. (I know it’s a little ridiculous that I thought I could hide what was in plain sight to God – but I’ve a feeling we all try and do that at times and there’s a liberation, a freedom, that comes from laying everything before Him.

I said to God ‘The ugly duckling is gone, we’re starting again,’ and that moment on the bus, where a complete stranger was brave enough to share what He had told her, was all the confirmation I needed to start believing:

I am Beautiful.

He said so.

IMG_1230

~Bite sized Bible~ Abba

Chiquitita don’t worry, you’re not lost. This isn’t a post about the flare wearing Swedish pop group, it’s about someone much greater. Someone we can call Abba.

Did you know Abba is from the Greek language? It actually means, my father or daddy. It’s an intimate expression a child would use when calling their father.

I was reminded today that in the Bible Jesus refers to his Father God as Abba. When we are welcomed into the family of God and give our heart to Jesus we are invited to become a child of God. We are a son or daughter, we belong to the perfect father, someone we can intimately call daddy.abba-father

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get so focused on the three in the trinity that I forget that God is one in the same no matter which side we look at. I’ve been guilty of thinking that the Father God in the old testament is the stern one, the one that gets displeased easily, one to be more fearful of. This is such a lie!

It’s easy to fall into the comparison of thinking of God like our earthly father too, for those who haven’t had the greatest experience of what an earthly father is this can dramatically change how we view our heavenly one.

God is not the same as your earthly father, neither is he angry at you, judging you, or looking at you disapprovingly. Fact.

The bible says if we want to know what God is like, look at Jesus, they are one in the same. When we see the way Jesus was when He was here with us on Earth we see a direct picture of the love of God, the way Jesus loved is the way God loves. Because they are one in the same.

ac7d5957e0b1043ab52faf65462cc0ec

Get into the habit of remembering that you are loved! That you can come to God with absolutely anything and He loves you! That you can call Him Abba, Daddy, Father God.
28ee877ca711a4394d44854416319583

 

 

~Bite sized Bible~ The Trinity

Tricycle41zCUeo8qNL._SY300_, Triangle, Triceratops…. things that have three’s.

Tricycle has three wheels

Triangle three corners

Triceratops – literally means three horned face!

So it only makes sense that the trinity has something to do with three. Trinity literally means ‘the state of being three’ so what’s the trinity got to do with Christianity?

Actually the word trinity never appears in the bible, not once, the word was coined by believers after the bible was written to refer to God who is three persons or beings that make up one God.

We believe that God is made up of three – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each equal in power, each fully God – together making one God. Yes it’s mind blowing that three equal parts make God.

Basic maths suggests that 1+1+1=3

but in this case

1 Father + 1 Son + 1 Holy Spirit = God.

So if the word trinity isn’t mentioned in the bible how do we know that God is three in one? Because they appear together constantly. John 1 begins with this:

john1_1This verse is saying that right at the beginning of creation, there was God and the word was with God. So did God have his Bible with him in book form right at the beginning? Let’s think about it, would the creator of the universe really be reliant on a book to remind him of his own story? Nah! So what’s this word all about.

Let’s look further:

john114

Here’s another clue further in John – ‘The Word became flesh’. Who became flesh and came to earth to display the glory of God and to save us? JESUS!

So that verse in John 1:1 is saying, ‘In the beginning was Jesus and He was with God, and he was God.’ So now Jesus and God are together before the beginning of creation. Awesome right?

Wait, there’s more, I said that God was 3 in 1 and right there that’s only two right? Well check out Genesis 1:1-2101003-ot-vistas-01-in-the-beginning-genesis-1-4-728

Right there is the Holy Spirit! Do you see him? ‘and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.’ So Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all together at the beginning.

 

Let’s look at another time that they all appear together as God.

At the baptism of Jesus.

Check this out, Jesus is standing in the river with John the Baptist at his side ready to dunk him. He goes down under the water and as he rises this happens:flat,1000x1000,075,f.u1The voice from heaven = The Father

Jesus in the river = The Son

The spirit descending on him like a dove = The Holy Spirit

Three beings all together at the same time displaying the Trinity.

Also, did you know, whenever God was referred to in the original text of the Bible He was always referred to in the plural form – back in Genesis when God is creating us we see this:when-our-view-of-god-is-too-small-16-638

So in short, the Trinity. Three beings equal, making up one God.

Just. Wow.

~Bite size Bible~ The Importance of Prayer

Let’s start with – What is prayer?

Simply put, it’s a conversation, a way for creation and creator to communicate. It’s a vital part of our relationship with God.

As a christian, life without prayer is like getting married and after saying your vows never talking to your husband again! It’s like dialing a number on your phone and not hitting the call button, or sending all your phone calls to voicemail.

Prayer is the way that God chose for us to communicate with him, the only way. We mark out time to meet friends and family for coffee or dinner, we text, call one another, facebook message one another – how much more should we be marking out time to spend with God?

When we have faith that the Bible is the word of God, inspired by him, formed and planned by him then we have faith that what is says is true and relevant. When we look at the new testament and see Jesus, we have a direct picture of who God is, what he looks like, acts like, how he loves us – and how God the father loves us.

There are so many times in the NT that Jesus retreats to pray and no doubt there are countless times during his life on earth that he prayed, more than we will ever know. More than that, being part of the trinity and being God himself, he is in constant conversation.

Did you know that God prayed for you? Jesus talked about you to the father before you were even born, before your greatest of grandparents could’ve even imagined you.

In the garden of Gethsemane, before he was betrayed, Jesus tells his disciples to sit a while as he wanted to pray, shortly after that we read about the sweating of blood as he prayed to the father, laying everything before him Here’s John 17:20-25:

John 17

If praying was important enough for Jesus to do, and we are called to be more like him it has to be important for us too – we need to spend quality time praying. Praying specifically, strategically and worship-fully.

I often send what I call ‘arrow prayers’ to God throughout the day, usually when I’m talking to someone and I’m not sure of advice to give, or when I just need help in a situation – arrow prayers are like sending God a text message, they’re those quick messages asking for help, thanking and praising God.

They are important, but so is spending time to pray, list, request and plan out, and just to spend time listening and getting to know our saviour. He wants to be in every part of our lives, tuned into our thoughts too.

There’s no emotion that God is not familiar with and hasn’t felt so when we pray, we can come before him openly, we can be vulnerable, we can share whatever we are feeling, even when we’re angry, find a situation unfair or are confused with what God is doing.

Spending time with God in prayer helps us to know him better, and when the disappointments come help us to react differently.

When you spend time with someone you begin to get to know them and to understand more how they react to things. Knowing someone well helps you identify when a reaction doesn’t sound like the person too. Imagine a friend tells you that your best friend is saying mean things about you to other people, if you know them well enough you’d know whether that was true or not, you’re more likely to brush what someone has said aside if you know from your heart that it cannot be true right?

It’s the same with God – get to know him and suddenly the things you feel and think, you can identify if they’re from him or not. When your know how much he loves you, you know that he isn’t responsible for the hurt you feel, the times when you’re down on yourself are not from God.

We forget that hurt, rejection, feeling a failure are not things that God imposes on us, they’re not feelings he wants for us and he definitely doesn’t tell us we’re failures or cause negative feelings such as hate and pain. The devil however loves to use these tactics to turn us against the ones that love us.

Recognise the attacks you’re facing and kill that attack with prayer, when you think that your prayer hasn’t been answered don’t stop praying, that’s what the devil would want right? He wants to kill your conversation with God to try and weaken your relationship with God, go back to God in prayer, listen and press in, surround yourself with people who will pray for you too, there’s an answer there, just perhaps not in the solution that you imagined.

We watched a film recently in housegroup called: The War Room. It’s a great watch, I really recommend it. It’s a movie written by the Kendrick brothers and it’s all about prayer, and praying strategically. Check out the trailer below – I’ve got the DVD if you want to borrow it too!

Remember: God loves us in our messes, loves us despite what we think of ourselves. We are defined by who He is not by who we think we are. So get talking to Him, he’s listening.

 

Much love x