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Dust and Ashes

Take me, my Father, for I'm nothing but dust and ashes. Burned by the furnace of suffering, blackened by my sin. There's nothing worthy about me, my life's only a shadow, It fades away like the mist. I'm like a speck of dust in the air, That the wind blows over and quickly vanishes. Use me, my Father, I'm weary of depending on myself. Refine me in the fire of Your kiln. Fashion me into Your treasured possession. Only you see my cracks, scratches and chipped edges. Would you take the shards of my life, My hurting soul, wounded heart and shattered dreams? Would you mould me into what You've purposed for me? And teach me to walk in step with You? Turn to me, my Father, for I'm poor and needy. There's still much more which I lack. Give me a heart which loves others unselfishly, Eyes to see my sinful state without You, A tongue to honour Your name, Hands which exist wholly to serve You, And feet which run continually towards Your paths of truth. Thank you, my

Don't retreat. Advance!

Scripture reference: 2 Samuel 23:8-12 What do you do in the face of opposition? Or when nothing seems to be going in the way you intended? I’d like to share with you some of the lessons that I’ve learned from some of David’s mighty men, who although having lived thousands of years ago, have surprisingly similar struggles and challenges that we might find relevant today. At first glance, the record of David’s mighty men might seem to be only a list of boring, hard to pronounce, names. However, their exploits have been recorded in the Bible for us to dig out the lessons which God desires for us as believers to apply in our walk with Jesus. The two men in this passage who stood out to me were Eleazar and Shammah. First, Eleazar’s approach to battling with the Philistines was certainly unique. Even when his hand grew tired, it seemed to stick to his sword! Imagine that! Fighting against the enemy (our spiritual enemies) is never easy and can be very tiring. Eleazar refused to give up o

My best thought

Today, I want to encourage you with this one thought. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Fixing our thoughts on Jesus can be hard to do especially at this time when for many of us, it feels as though our lives are falling apart. The loss of a loved one, the loss of income and the loss of any form of normality from the pandemic causes us to question God’s purpose for our lives as believers. Where is God in the middle of all this suffering? Where is God in the middle of my suffering? In a very old hymn, Be Thou My Vision , there is one line that I particularly love. “Be my best thought by day or by night.” In modern terms, what does this look like? Let my thoughts be about Jesus and he will keep me in perfect peace. The more I think about Him and what He has done and is doing, the more of the supernatural peace which surpasses human understanding will keep watch over my heart and mind. If I choose to continually meditate on how awesome He is to me and how powerful He is as the Creator and Sustain

The morning fog

 James 4:14, Psalm 39:4-6 Recently, I've been re-listening to a song by Casting Crowns "Who am I?", which deals with our status as humans and the temporariness of our life here on earth. It's sobering and comforting at the same time to remember this fact about the fact that I am human, mortal and my life here will not last for a long time (although it's much easier to forget or ignore this). I'm reminded in these verses that I am but a shadow, a transient presence on this planet, like the morning fog that appears for a short time and then disappears forever. Even though God knows how frail I am, how fragile my life is, and yet... He still cares about me enough to listen to my prayers as the Lord of all Creation and the King of all kings. There can be no doubt about His presence or his answers to my prayers when I view my circumstances in the light of eternity.  I am immensely grateful for the breath He has placed in my lungs. He formed me out of the dust, knit

The Two Ways

Psalm 119:29-30 There are two ways described in this Psalm, the longest Psalm being the product of someone's prayer journal back in ancient Hebrew times. In this Psalm, two ways are being described for us: the way of falsehood and unfaithfulness, and the second way of truth and faithfulness. We are given a choice regarding which way we are going to walk down and there are many warnings in Proverbs about choosing to turn aside from the right path. In these two verses, we learn something significant about the Psalmist who is praying these words.  First, he asks God to remove from him the way of falsehood. He wants to be completely honest with God about his actions, his attitude and his emotions. It's easy to pretend that nothing is wrong when we are among people but God sees through our superficiality and He already knows what you need before you even think it. Not only is a believer given the power through the Holy Spirit to choose between these two paths (since the sinful natur

What do you esteem the most?

Psalm 119:72, 128, 133, Psalm 19:10-14 What about the most valuable thing in your life? Stop reading for a moment and think of the most precious thing you have in your possession or that you've dreamed all your life of acquiring. What comes to your mind? Is it the new watch/ handbag (for women!), the new car, the new house... the list seems to be endless. Maybe you've worked out that money is not the most important thing in life and having good relationships with people are what you desperately crave for? Add to that the approval of people, freedom to do what your heart's greatest desire is, security, seeking influence and power. And so many people spend their whole lives trying to find their true worth, their identity, their goal in life in these things.  The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:72 that to him, God's word is more important and valuable to him than millions of pieces of silver and gold. To him, the words that are breathed out from God's mouth are the most pre

Turn Your Heart

2 Chronicles 16:9, 1 Sam 7:3 Today, I'd like to focus on the idea of turning the heart towards or away from God. There are many verses in the Bible that highlight this area, especially when the Chronicler describes in the Books of 1 and 2 Chronicles (originally one book in the Hebrew Bible) the concept of how the people's hearts were turned towards God and away from God based on the action of the kings who ruled over them. In the verses I've chosen to write my reflections on, there are a few aspects which seem to stand out.  First, the comforting assurance for those who fear God that he watches over the whole earth carefully - out of the six billion people, it's amazing to think that he has eyes on every one of His children who is committed to Him. And He promises to provide strength for those who are weary of fighting the war against the evil one all by themselves. The verse talks about how God shows himself strong, as the source of all strength - physical, emotional,