14 January 2017

Oh So Quiet

It's oh so quiet
Shh shh
It's oh so still
Shh shh
You're all alone
Shh shh
And so peaceful until....
(Lyrics from "It's Oh So Quiet" by Hans Lang and Bert Reisfeld. Shared during a wonderful hour during the night, whilst helping at the Winter Night Shelter. Bliss!)

...enjoy it while it lasts!

10 January 2017

Coping With Chaos

Yesterday evening was, quite honestly, chaotic. It was physically and emotionally draining. I had trouble recovering from it long after it was over. This was after a weekend when my plans were changed hourly (which I coped with). It was the sheer total craziness of yesterday that topped it all. And threatened to pull me over...

And yet, the people who we were trying to help yesterday were the ones who brought the chaos. They were looking for help from us. I was regularly reminded that these people live chaotic lives, so we must try and adapt.

So, I have to learn to cope with the chaos. Even if things go wrong. Even if the day has been a complete nightmare. Even if you can't turn off the feeling that you have to run away. Because you can't - if you want to help...

God is our constant here. He is not affected by circumstances or by moods.

"Father God, help me to find you in the midst of the chaos. Help me to see You, hear You, talk to You, and give thanks to You. Grant me true peace amidst the noise and the hubbub. In Jesus' name. Amen."

7 January 2017

4 January 2017

Being Sensitive

I used to think that being sensitive meant that I was somehow weak, or broken.  Because, that's what I was told a while ago.

But I'm not.

It just means that I process things a little differently. Give me a snippet of information, and my mind and emotions go to town on that information,  sometimes producing unexpectedly inspired results. It’s how I work. And it works for me.

But it can be overwhelming. I need to take a "time out" every so often, if things get to be a little too much. Take five minutes, recentre myself, calm down, and come back fighting...

Yes, I have tried to numb it.  To tune it out.  It made me ill. And there's little point in yelling at me to "toughen up!”. (You know who you are). I've tried. It doesn't work.

Because I am sensitive. That's the way God made me. I can't change... Why would I want to?

Perhaps you should learn to deal with it?

31 December 2016

What Is My Legacy?

I spent nearly an hour or so this morning watching a BBC programme about people who had passed away in 2016. There were, as you might imagine, quite a lot of names. And the list wasn't even complete. There were other names that they didn't mention, that I knew about, that I recognised as people that had influenced me, had helped me form my world view.  Kind of hard to keep up with all that had happened, I suppose...

And with each of the names there was a sentence or two, summarising what they had done, what they had left behind them. Their legacy to the world.

And it got me thinking... what would my legacy be?

OK, so I don’t need to be a rock star, a terrific actor or a tech genius to make a difference: it’s not about the money. It certainly isn't about the fame. It is all about how we - you and I - can touch other people’s lives. And make them better.

So, with all that I do, is it enough? As altruistic as I believe I am, am I actually doing good?

One Hundred Years from Now
(An excerpt from “Within My Power” by Forest Witcraft)
One hundred years from now
It will not matter
What kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
How much money was in my bank account,
Nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a better place because
I was important in the life of a child.

Or an adult. Or a person who was in need.

Happy New Year.  What do you want your legacy to be?

2 December 2016

Are You A Dummy?

“There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there's only five of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?”
Grandpa George, from 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' by Roald Dahl (2005 film)

16 November 2016


Proverbs 9:7 (NIV)
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.

I am really sorry. I was only trying to offer help in that situation.

However, all that you could offer to the conversation were jokes and insults. Did that make you feel big, trying so hard to make me look so small?

You made me angry. And you made me sad.

The anger subsided pretty quickly. The sadness is still hanging around, trying to overwhelm me.

Lord, help me to forgive.

1 October 2016

Poker Face

I'm pretty good at adopting a 'poker face'. Yeah, just like you're supposed to use in the card game, but in my case is not for financial gain, or even to help with your love life (like Lady Gaga). No, this is a self-preservation trait that I found myself using quite a lot...

Because sometimes I simply can't show what I'm thinking when other people are around. It simply wouldn't be polite, for starters. Speaking my mind would get me into far more trouble that I'd like. So I clam up.

But I know I have a problem with this.

Because I really struggle with letting it out later and dealing with it. Keeping it locked up within is simply bad for my health.

Take the other week. I was so angry about something that had happened, that it got to the stage that I simply could not think straight. It took all the strength and determination I had to sit there and endure, repressing my negative feelings because it wasn't an appropriate moment to share them. It wouldn't have been the right time.

So I had to 'suck it up'. Bury it. Put on the mask. Wear that poker face...

But was it easy to try and get it out of my system once everyone had disappeared? Nope.

And I know I have to rid myself of the bitterness... it can't sit there, unresolved. It took about an hour or two of intense examination and deliberate refocussing of my feelings in order to get back on an even keel.


Father, I acknowledge that I've held resentment and bitterness against the person who made me feel that way. I confess this as sin and ask you to forgive me. I forgive (the person). Remind me, Lord, to not hold any more resentments, but rather to love this person. Father, I ask you to also forgive them.

Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name, Amen.

28 September 2016

Escaping Reality For A While

It was horrendous. Standing room only on the train this evening. Ugh!

Dozens and dozens of people, crammed together like sardines as the carriages lurched their way through the suburbs of South London. My arms ached with the strain of keeping myself still, as the movement of the train threatened to throw me into the lap of a fellow commuter. My legs ached as I strained to keep upright after a full day at work. No seat for me on the way home tonight. Yes, they'd cancelled the train before, overloading the next service that came in. The lack of personal space, of the comfort of seating, of fresh air, of any privacy at all.  It's simply the worst part of travelling in the London rush hour. I would rather be anywhere else.

And so, that's what I did.

I shut the rest of the world out. I imagined myself in the middle of a field somewhere, miles from anywhere. I could see the green grass, the trees, a stream off into the distance. A cool breeze gently brushed against my cheek. There was the sight of birds soaring in the sky, of rabbits under the hedgerows. Not another soul for miles around. Certainly, miles away from where I was at the moment...

It helped for a while. And they say there's no place for imagination in today's world.

I wouldn't leave home without mine.

4 September 2016

Odd Timing Or Perfect Timing?

I was sitting in my car, talking to a friend about God's calling on our lives. Oddly, it was 3.30 in the morning. Not really the ideal time and place for such a conversation, you might think. Not in human terms. But was this God's moment?

I would hope so. A good time to ask the question:

Is this my purpose in life?

Or in spiritual terms, a better question would be "Is this God's purpose for my life?"

It's a good thing, I suppose, to constantly keep our motives under scrutiny. Bringing our purposes constantly before God, asking him to double-check why we do what we do.
  • Is this what you want me to do?
  • Is this for personal gain?
  • Is this for fame?
One of the first starting places for anyone's personal 'search for purpose' is the question, "why am I here?" So why was I sitting in that car with my friend at that time in the morning? We had just completed five hours of voluntary work. I was driving her home afterwards.

The person concerned was also seeking a similar confirmation. She was asking the Lord the question "should I stay or should I go?"

She asked me what I thought. I think I gave her a valid answer from my personal experience..

Because I've asked myself the same sort of question before. I still do. Over and over again.

Am I doing what God wants me to do, here, in this situation?  Should I stay, or should I go? Is this God's purpose for my life?

Not for weight of glory, nor for crown and palm,
Enter we the army, raise the warrior psalm;
But for love that claimeth lives for whom He died:
He whom Jesus nameth must be on His side.

lyrics by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)