Monthly Archives: June 2009

changed by the chisel

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The other day many thoughts were running through my head (as ever) and somewhere in the background Ephesians 2:10 kept cropping up:

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Often I struggle to believe that I am God’s ‘masterpiece’.  What are the good works I have been created to do?  And more to the point when do I ever get to be ready to do them, rather than keep tripping up along the way? 

One moment I am going along and life is fine and I think that I am doing fine.  Then out of the blue, whoops, I blow it somehow and rushing up to the fore come all my bad points. So, then I start feeling ashamed for ever having contemplated that I could ever do doing ok.  Mixed up in all that is the gnawing wish that God would just leave me alone and stop shaping and moulding me – can’t I just stay as I am for a little while.  It would be nice to spend more time in a comfort zone than out of it.  Yes, I can see the benefits of all this moulding in hindsight but a rest along the way to admire the view would be nice.

And then the day after I received this clip.  It is awesome.

If like me, you struggle with struggling, then watch this and be inspired to keep going.

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Make the most of now

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purplegirl 

WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN I SHALL WEAR PURPLE
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear
purple.

Taken from the book
When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
Editd by Sandra Martz
Papier Mache Press–Watsonville, California 1987

Like many women (if not all) I wrestle with my weight and appearance and have done for as long as I can remember.  Looking back at photos of me in my 20’s I regret I wonder why I was so unhappy about how I looked then.  NOW I would love to have the figure I had then.  In  another twenty years time I don’t want to look back with the same regrets and sense of not having made the most of things.

The following clip helped me realise this.  We need to make the most of what God has given us instead of berating him and ourselves for what we don’t have.  We are His masterpiece (Eph 2:10 NLT) which I find hard to believe at times.  And He is far more interested in what is on the inside than my BMI.

So how do you deal with being a 21st C woman?  Let me know your secret.

Jo x

 

 

 

holding on to his hem

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woman_Jesus_hemorrhage150There are times when we come to the end of ourselves, ground down, utterly weary and beaten.  Life has sapped our strength, as disappointments have overtaken hopes. We have tried everything and still not been able to mend whatever it is that has been broken. It gnaws away at our very souls.

 It was the same for the woman who had been bleeding for twelve long years.  During that time, she had spent all her resources on doctors seeking out a cure.  Now she was penniless and almost out of hope.  

And a woman was there [in the crowd pressed around Jesus] who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

 What happens in moments such as these?  As we come to the end of all we have and are, where do we go now?  What do we do?

When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 5:24-34 (Today’s New International Version)

 The woman chose to reach out to Jesus knowing that he alone could save her.

Nothing else would work. 

No one else would do.

 

Jesus senses that touch and looks back, ignoring the disciples whittling on about the crowds.  He won’t move on until he has spoken to the person reaching out to him.

 Twice she has to go to him.  The first time she barely touches the tassels on the corner of his cloak.  This time she speaks directly with Jesus himself.  Both times it took courage.  Both times he responds to her. Touching his cloak she is healed physically.  After speaking face to face with Jesus she receives something even more precious.

 In Hebrew “Go in peace” is ‘Shalom’ which means wholeness.  Jesus not only heals her body but speaks words of life into her very soul as well.

 

 That word is not only for a woman 2,000 years ago.  It is for all of us.  Jesus came that we all might have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).

 But, like the woman, in order to receive it we have to reach out.  Jesus is waiting and willing but we need to ask first.

 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16 (New International Version)

Reach out and grab the hem of his garment.  Jesus is never too busy with the rest of the crowd.  He will stop and look back for you.  He will listen as you tell him your story.  He will speak healing into your life.

 “Take heart, your faith has healed you.

Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

 

 

If this has spoken to you in any way or you too know what it is like to wait for healing then write and let me know.  Hope often comes from knowing that you are not the only one like this and others have gone this way and found what they were seeking.