I Surrender All

https://youtu.be/7x2IpLSfqp8 I Surrender All, a YouTube video I wanted to embed so that it would be included in my post

However WordPress does not seem to allow this anymore, and promptly changes it to a link, but I still intend to write this post

I Surrender All, is one of my favorite Hymns which stuck firmly in my memory and I would often find myself humming it (humming is one of my bad and annoying habits)
But it wasn’t until recently that I came to know the truth of the words of that song

When I finally relinquished my control (poor control) over my addiction of far too many years and gave EVERYTHING, that I began to benefit from the effects that this Hymn and the words sing about

The sense of freedom was wonderful beyond mere words can explain, as anyone who has tried to give up any kind of addiction will tell you just how impossible giving up their addiction can be

They will also tell you the longer you allow it to dominate your life, the harder it is to give up and that is certainly true in my case

What they may not tell you but I will, is how I made up excuses and reasons anything but admit I was addicted

As to the addiction I would prefer not to give into details, just to say it was sexual based, and started way back in my innocent youth

It was instigated by another boy who sat next to me at school, who seemed to know about sexual things, but I allowed it to continue ignoring his advances as best I could

Until one day he stopped in the same unannounced manner he had started, but by then I had become so accustomed to him taking advantage of my quiet nature

I found I could not remove the memory of his actions, and began fantasizing and indulging myself in very the same action he had done to me

My fist excuse “it was not my fault he had perverted me” so with that excuse I could continue where he left off

But as time went on I had to come up with other excuse, as my sexual appetite increased

Here are some of those excuses “I’m only human” “You have to have some pleasures in life, too boring otherwise” It’s not as if I’m hurting anyone”

But these were just lies, that allowed me to continue  and not face up to the fact I was addicted, which lead me into much darker places (practices)

One thing I had noticed the more power of the addiction grew the more it demanded, and the sense of loneliness as how could I explain to anyone until now

For now Jesus has been gratuitous enough to lift the burden of me, so that I am no longer addicted and even if I stray back into that dark place of self-indulgence

These two passages below came to my mind, but had to do a google search to find the actual passages and verse

Ephesians 4:22-24English Standard Version (ESV)

2 Corinthians
22 
to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

– Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Putting off my old self is way over due, how about you?

 

 

 

 

Blessing in Disguise

Over the years I have had many answers to prayer, although not always the answer I asked for, as they say “God doesn’t always give us what we want, but always gives us what we need”

This was the case recently when I was praying my wife would stop having convulsions, as the day was turning out to be one of the worst days she had in years

Seizure after seizure throughout the day, until the evening time when I had given up hope that my prayers would be answered

Despondently I rang 999 and paramedics came and took my wife to Heartlands A&E, where she has been for nearly two weeks now

My wife’s recovery has been a little mixed, some days much better and others, so it looks as if she will be staying in hospital another week

Visiting the hospital back and forth is arduous and expensive as I use a taxi there and back, as bus service would take long and involve two both ways

I can’t say that life as a career has been easy, but being without Carol at home is far worse, as I miss her infectious smile and laughter, as its music to my soul

I had a lot of response when I commented on Facebook about what happened, many people we know commented and offered prayers and good wishes

You may well be wondering by now where the “Blessing in Disguise” come into this

Let me explain, for too many years some of the medication that Carol takes on a daily basis has given her confused thinking and changeable moods

Which the local doctors prescribed yet another tablet, (Psychotropic medication) which was for her (mental condition) so I was told

Since Carol had been admitted into a different hospital they reviewed the medication and removed using the medication that had been causing that problem

Hence the blessing in disguise, when I realized this was the answer to prayer we needed I gave praise to God and continue to do so and trust in the healing power of God

Unconditional Love

Love can be the most emotional experience we can get involved in, it is way too easy to use the phrase “I love you” especially towards someone close related

How about unconditional love? Can we even image such love? Especially when this love is extended to those who irritate or even hateful

Do those type of people deserve any kind of love, let alone unconditional love?

But by saying this, we are being judgemental in other words saying we are better than others

It’s a sad fact that all humans too easily see the faults of others while ignoring our own

So it’s a case of removing the log from our eyes, before attempting to remove a speck from someone else’s eye

I know I have at least on irritating habit (I’ve been told) which I ignore most the time, and so I know there are many sins in my life that I stubbornly cling too, that not only blind me but also bind me

Grieving the Holy Spirit instead of allowing it to cleans and transform me into the person God wants me to become

We can all experience unconditional love by accepting the free gift of forgiveness offer by God through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus dying for our sins

Not just one sin, but all sins of everyone in the world past and present and if that thought does not overwhelm your mind, it should do

As Christians we are called to love one another and forgive those who trespass against us, by doing so we will demonstrate a small and beginning part of unconditional love

By giving this kind of love, as the children’s song goes “Love is something if you give it away, Give it away give it away.  Love is something if you give it away. You end up having more

Extraordinary – Story Retold

Long ago and far away there were two ordinary everyday people, at least they thought themselves ordinary until the extraoridinary events that unfolded afte they meet
Joseph was a much respected member of the community by hardworking carpenter by trade, while Mary was a young girl who had already devoted her life to serve God
She prayed regularly, and she was always willing to obey
This is their story and how all the events unfolded, Joseph was summoned by Mary’s father to do carpentry work for him as he had heard how skilled a workman Joseph was
So it was Joseph set off towards where Mary lived he took with him just the needed tolls for the job, and Mary’s father had ordered the timber
Mary was attracted to the 21 year old handsome carpenter even before she knew his name, while Joseph was impressed by Mary’s devotion to serve God, and found her to be of a pleasant and good nature
As the job involved several months of work Joseph remained as the honoured guest of Mary’s father
Overtime their admiration for each other grew in strength into love for each other and because of this Mary’s father had decided that they should be married
So he was Joseph and Mary were married and while Mary was praised god for marriage and new life
God spoke to her and revealed his plan for her, Mary was to be the chosen one to give birth to his son the Messiah
While Mary took the unexpected news with her normal modest unquestioning manner,

Joseph was more than a little taken aback by the news
After all he was only a newlywed husband and had certainly not expected Mary to announce that she was soon to be with child
He was confused and bewildered for he knew this was not his child, but he could not find it in his heart to doubt Mary when she had told him, this child was to be the son of God
Still dazed Joseph retired to bed on his own, with doubts and thoughts dancing around in his head
As he lay down unable to sleep, an angel of the lord spoke to him “Do not trouble your mind, your wife Mary speaks the truth, she will give birth to God’s Son and you shall call him Emanuel”
Then Mary joined Joseph who embraced her lovingly and they both fell asleep
The following day they had to travel many miles back to Joseph’s home town, and due to the census the little town was full, and so Joseph and Mary were required to accept an oxen stall
Where the son of God was to be born, before He was born there was to be a heralding shining star to guide three kings from the far East and humble shepherds who would worship the new extraordinary child
So it was on that night of night’s Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph, and although many years have passed since that holly night, we all should give thanks and praise that our saviour was born
For without Jesus Christ there would be no Christmas day
We need to rejoice as the shepherds and kings and all the angels rejoiced

I will give praise to you oh! Lord

Let men say what they will about me, I care not for their empty praise or slanderous remarks

For with every breath even my dying breath I will give praise to you oh Lord

Even though I’m still a vile sinner I shall not allow them to speak ill of you oh Lord

I shall raise my voice against all who deny you or utter deceitful words against you

Whatever lies they spin or false teaching they preach against you

I will speak of your love your passion your sacrifice, whether they listen or not

Whether they believe my words or not, even if they threaten my very life in attempts to persuade me to disown you

I may falter in my human weakness and for a moment be taken in by their lies and twisting of the truth, but as for me I have known you from the days of my youth

When you became a much needed friend, someone who knew me better than I knew myself

I was drawn to you as you touch my heart with your compassionate love, not once did you chastise or rebuke me even though I strayed far from you in my later years

Never once did toss me to one side, but with much patience you came in search of me refusing to forsake me

Ready to comfort me when life became unbearable, ready to uplift me with your love when I became lonely, to fill me with your joy when I became sorrowful

As you reached out to me time after time in the darkest of places, where I had foolishly allowed myself to become entangled in my arrogance

Then late one night while I was asleep, you reached out to me reminding me of your love for me, filling my very soul with such joy I could not contain it within and awoke with joyous laughter

How could I have forgotten the depth of your love, the sublime peace, the exquisite joy, the richness?

Even though this lasted for a short moment of our time, I knew it was but a brief foretaste of the glory of your kingdom

Whatever the rest of my days hold in store for me, I must share this and declare that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour and my dearest friend

Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.

 

The Last Day

There have been many predictions about the last day’s end of times – the rapture

In this story I make no predictions as to the actual date this will happen, but happen it will whatever sceptics may say

This is merely a story imagined in my story telling mind, but the truth is there for those with eyes to see


The Last Day

I awoke as normal this morning, expecting the normal hum drum day full of things to be done throughout the day as it unfolded

This seemed like just any other day, as I made my way into the kitchen thinking about breakfast

But as I did so, a nagging foreboding stirred up from deep inside my body stronger than my hunger pangs

I tried to ignore and brush it to one side as just hunger pangs which would soon subside once I had eaten

However even afterwards the feeling did not subside, lurking in the shadows so I could neither remove nor dismiss

I decided I would go for a brisk walk that should clear my head of what I decided was an early morning attack of feeling sorry for myself

The morning air was fresh with a touch of frost, I began to feel at ease even peaceful, until a memory popped back into my head from the previous night

Somewhere I had read about a lab that was turning human ashes (remains) into diamonds, I remembered that thought as disquieting

I shuddered as that thought replayed, and it intensified as that disquieting feeling arose once again

It was now stronger than ever, my body began to shake but not because of the cold air or that replaying thought

It was then I noticed how quiet it was outside, of course I didn’t expect other people as it was early, but there were no birds singing

Not one I listen as hard as I could straining to hear for any sound to break the unsettling silence

The only sound I heard was that of my own breathing and heartbeat, which seemed exaggerated

At that moment I felt totally alone and in desperate need of company, even a stranger or even a disagreeable person would have been welcome company at that moment

Then without warning I heard a distant rumble of what I took as thunder, so with that I chastised myself for being foolish and letting my feelings get the better of me and headed back home

On my way I was pleased to see other people out and about, and in my vanity I thought pretend I was just outside early due to insomnia

As I went towards someone I knew he was lifted from the ground as I hear a loud sound like a trumpet, I stood watching in disbelief as he then others were lifted

At the same moment the ground shook violently, then more people came running out their houses there was great confusion and I saw terror in many eyes

As houses collapsed around them and the earth shook again and huge gaps opened up and crowds of people were swallowed up

In was unable to move from where I was standing and unable to look away

Then I saw the face on someone I had known in my youth, but had put aside as a childish fantasy

“Why did you desert me, why have you turned away from me? His words pierced my heart

I fell to my knees “Forgive my Lord for being so foolish, I have no excuse to offer”

I trembled as I spoke, as distant memories flooded back into my mind not just mear stories of Jesus, but all those days I had experienced His Holly presence

 

 

Let us pierce the darkness with our praise

Inspired by comments on a YouTube Praise video

The praise video was wonderfully uplifting, which mad it all the sadder to read too many criticism comments, which began to darken the light of praise

There are many forms of darkness not just the darkness of the night, one of the deepest darkness’s is depression, which wrap itself around your life-force and sucks all the joy out of your very being

Dragging you downwards into a spiral of self-criticism – self-doubt along with self-pity, which uses our own weaknesses against us

Clouding our vision so we begin only seeing the lies of the darkness, exaggerating even our smallest faults and allowing them to grow into nightmarish monsters

 Much of the darkness inflicted upon us can be beyond our control, while some are self-inflicted because they offer false pleasure but become easily addictive

Our enemy weaves such a web of deceit all around us; we can so easily become trapped as a fly stuck fast upon its sticky strands we soon grow weaker through the struggle and succumb to its power over us until we accept the situation as a normal part of life

There are those are born with bodies or minds that are far short of what they should be; but can they can fulfill God’s purpose, if they allow His will to be done

While others with no defeats who inherit bad habit or similar traits from their parents

Without even realizing they can easily slip into the same ways as others before them have done, for many modern day people view the commandments as outdated and even unnecessary or unfair of God to expect us to adhere to these strict rules

Uncontrollable anger rages – sense of hopelessness – self-doubt – self-pity and maybe the worse one of all self-indulgent as this we shrug off with excuses “I’m only human” “you have to have some pleasure in life”

But self-indulgent through bad habits lead us into indulging into further self-indulgent, as enough is never enough, blocking out their ability to see the need of others

Let us instead fight back and pierce the darkness with praise and raise ourselves up above the enemy’s clutches and help others to free themselves too

Let us continue to watch those praise videos and sing along where the spirit moves, let us keep them in our hearts too so we can offer up praise wherever we are

With our praise let our little light shine and with God’s power, we will shine brighter than the sun