Does religion lead to a relationship with God?

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It’s something I’ve been pondering a lot lately. Why? Well, like many other people, I was raised in a religion &, after leaving it, I visited many churches & I must say, I met a lot of very nice people, I formed strong bonds with them & made some really special memories with them & continue to do so, however, last year I stopped going to church. I certainly shocked myself as I never thought I’d actually ever stop attending church. I found church wanting. I never found God’s presence wanting. I said goodbye to religion but not to my relationship with God.

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What made me decide to leave church? What was the real clincher? You know, I started to think heavily on Jesus words, 3 statements he made that clearly made sense to me & stirred my heart. Jesus said: ‘ I AM the WAY, the TRUTH & the LIFE;’ ( John 14 verse 6) so, why am I searching for truth in religion instead of Jesus? Why am I searching for a way to serve God in the religions of this world when Jesus said that he is the way? Where can I get life? Not in a building but by seeking God’s presence and believing in His son’s ransom sacrifice which opened the way for us sinners to have life eternal. You see, I get lost in a church and found in Christ. I wonder what I’m nodding to & agreeing with in a church, when Jesus said that the Father is looking for such ones who will worship Him in Spirit & Truth. ( John 4 verse 24)

How do I worship God in Spirit & Truth? I believe it also means to seek God’s presence & to seek God’s truth through prayer & His word, the only living book on the planet.

I still don’t know what I think about the church system as a whole as yet, but I do remember someone saying to me that she thinks corporate worship is important & all I could think was… I don’t like corporate anything.

The command in Hebrews chapter 10 verse 24 & 25 is ‘ Not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together.’ I agree. but I believe strongly in Jesus words that ‘ Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name, so too, AM I.’ If I’m eating a meal with Christian friends I’m serving God &, you know when you have FOUND God because there is JOY.

So, I’m walking this journey right now & the amazing thing is that it doesn’t feel wrong. Will I go to church again? I’ll wait & see where God leads me, IF, He leads me THERE.

I do know that Jesus invites us to accept him as our Lord & Saviour, we can pour out our heart to him & he won’t condemn us because God is GREATER than our hearts ( that might condemn us) GREATER than peoples tongues &, HE KNOWS ALL THINGS. In short. He’s got the facts! Now, isn’t that wonderful! &, even if the facts point at YOU, He can gently take your finger & kiss away all that ugliness in an instant.

 

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Why is LOVE the most POWERFUL weapon?

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It seems strange to use the word ‘weapon’ with the word LOVE, doesn’t it? but only love can conquer evil & its various shades.

How? I truly believe the power of love & its true value lies in us seeking God’s presence. God, Scripture says, IS LOVE, (1 John 4 verse 8) & if we don’t know our God, then… how can we truly know what love is.

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We all meet with problems in life & when we try to handle those problems without seeking God’s presence and His guidance, then, we use our own understanding of things which is rooted in imperfection, thus, we can make an even bigger mess of the problem at hand.

Simply, if we apply love to any unpleasant situation, we are applying God to that situation, His awesome bandage of power, a true balm of healing. God is love & so applying LOVE means to apply God to an unpleasant situation & in time, it MUST work out because LOVE NEVER FAILS. 1 Corinthians 13 verses 4 to 8 tells us what love IS & what love is NOT.

First Corinthians 13:4-8 New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.

If you have a problem, try applying God to your situation, applying LOVE. In time, it might take years but in the end, LOVE= GOD NEVER FAILS!

If you are feeling lost, alone or unhappy or if you are feeling happy & content, please, I urge you to accept Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, repent of your sins which he can wipe out for you and give you a fresh new slate, God will never leave you. You will never feel alone again. Talk to God freely and pour out your heart to Him.

Romans 10:9-10 New International Version (NIV)
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

God bless you all & remember… the greatest weapon is LOVE!

What does it mean to live in peace?

In life, there are pathways to choose, mountains to climb & summits to reach. Living in peace has everything to do with being at peace with God; as Moses did, scripture tells us that “He persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”- Hebrews 12 verse 27.

 

In life, there are mountains to climb. Obstacles to overcome within and without. We only add to the height of the mountain if we climb in bitterness. What is bitterness? It’s a sourness of the heart. Ever accidentally poured sour milk in your tea? Well, it’s the same as filling our hearts with sour thoughts against another, it’s like drinking tea with sour milk, continually! There is very little space left for the Holy Spirit to rest comfortably in because the Holy Spirit is saturated in peace, born & clothed in love.

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Therefore; to choose wisely, to walk, climb and reach our goals, to create a wholesome, healthy and healing way of life, we need to be at peace with God. In doing this; we become holy as Hebrews 12 verse 14 reveals: ” Make every EFFORT to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” What happens if we don’t make that effort? Verse 15 points to what anxiety  we bring on ourselves: -” See to it that no bitter root ( remember that sourness of heart?) grows up (like a cancerous root, it grows ( and sours us within) to cause trouble and defile many.” It results in trouble & trouble defiles not just yourself but many.

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If you are feeling sour at heart the remedy is to make every Effort to live in peace. And, even if that peace is not reciprocated, you made an effort & God appreciates that effort and now you can move on & live  in PEACE because you have been given a ‘fresh bottle of milk’ for your cup of tea. The trouble has left your door. The other person needs their time to come to this revelation. And, remember, as far as it depends on YOU, so you don’t need to be best mates, besties or hang out again as you once did! Scripture says, “As far as it depends on YOU” be at PEACE. What that means is you harbour no ill will and you remember the good times because if you were once buds there were good times! photo-1530124828273-4200e7285b2d

In life and life is time, we are always moving hopefully forward; don’t stay back there in your past; live in peace with God. Partake of His holiness by being at peace with others.

God bless you all. If there is anyone out there who desires to be at peace with God, please accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of your life, let him know in prayer that you want that. Ask him to forgive your sins and he will! no matter how terrible your stuff ups were, even if it was a minute ago you did something you are ashamed of, Jesus blood covers that sin. He won’t put you on probation for it, his forgiveness is complete, yes, we sometimes have to reap the consequences of our  bad choices but Jesus is there to plead your case and help you all the way by forgiving you and NEVER keeping that sin before you again! photo-1516332547958-464d29107b05

Now that’s good news!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change & why it’s a good thing!

Without change, you don’t grow. Without change, you don’t know…know anything new about yourself, change ruffles up the inner feathers & you get to see yourself react & respond, it might be negatively or positively & the result from either reaction, will be a move forward or a step back.

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Change is for our good. It might seem unwelcome at times & certainly unwanted but there is a lesson in the shift & you grow, growth is all part of the life experience & really, how safe are we if we choose stagnation instead of taking another turn & finding out more about ourselves & what life has to offer in another place or meeting new people who will no doubt bring a much-needed freshness into a space that has grown a little stale.

My life has been one of constant change. I shudder to think of what my life would have been like if I had stayed all my life in one place. I love the fact that yesterday, on a whim, off we went to visit a castle & then just drive through the countryside breathing in its freshness, scents & sights so intoxicating to the soul. It was a spur of the moment thing, a “Let’s do it!” Life breathes well when spontaneity is a regular dose in your life.

Change is always a bonus if it makes you simplify your life & free it up for more of what truly makes rich &, I’m not talking about money, it’s not things but experiences with those you love that bring an abundance of woohoo moments!

Change means you’re not standing still but moving forward in some way. So, don’t be scared when change comes a-knockin’, open that door & grow.

Cheers x

 

Here’s to Extroverted Introverts!

Yep! I’m one. I’m a self-confessed extroverted introvert, usually, my gregarious side is more notable after 2 glasses of red. BIG ONES. I prefer my introverted side, I know my face screams extrovert, it really does, but behind that cheery face is a quiet creature. Ssh! 15135808_1334712123226938_4629148617126843511_n I enjoy good conversation, a delicious dinner or a concert with an intimate group of friends. I’m funny. Quite a light-hearted cheery soul, really. But, I do enjoy the quiet ‘me’ & I get to spend a tremendous amount of time with her… Madame Moi. It’s just as well I enjoy my own company because if I didn’t, I’d be an unhappy little puppy. I enjoy music, love it, but I think silence is my soul’s favourite piece, let it play…

Maybe that’s the reason why extroverted introverts have such cheery loud, expressive faces because the introvert is ever-present with the DO NOT DISTURB sign fixed firmly around her soul. The extroverted side enjoys the party while the introverted side gets to be present but as an observer & an absorber, reading the event like a good novel & thus, enjoying it at a deeper level. Always retiring at just the right time, leaving the extroverted side to bounce along on just enough energy to do the big clean up after the guests have gone. They get on. They help each other. It’s an interesting partnership. The introverted side never wants to go out & mingle, however, the extroverted side insists & a happy compromise is made by leaving an hour earlier. It’s a good way to be. I like it. I’m never lonely. Both sides bring me balance & peace. At heart, I am the introvert. She’s my fave!

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“She threw away all her masks, & put on her soul.”

Confidence doesn’t come from what you wear. It’s true, a nice glam outfit helps, but eventually, that outfit has to come off & you are left with YOU. Be happy about that! I have stood naked in front of my mirror & faced myself, I wanted to wish those extra pounds away, I wanted to take ten years off my face, & what I had to acknowledge & do acknowledge is that I am who I am, warts & all, I am me. I am not perfect. That’s the key, fall in love with being YOU. There is no one on this planet like you. You are special. You are worth it! Don’t wait for others to give you that pat on the back or that praise from their lips, it all starts with how you talk to you. Adorn your inner self with the beauty of kind, gentle & supportive words. Clothes can’t do that.

I was talking to a woman the other day who has breast cancer. She is facing herself. I looked at this woman & thought…wow! This woman is truly beautiful. We sat & had a cup of tea together & as she spoke, I listened to her soul. There was such a mixture of fear, courage, tears & beauty, too. Her naked soul was openly exposed to me & she was frightened like a scared child. Everything she exchanged to me was real. Have we forgotten to be real?  Have we forgotten to have meaningful exchanges with people? To touch & comfort their suffering rather than just admire their outer garments! A truly genuine person revealing real feelings is very rare to find in a world that constantly bombards us with “Gotta be more, do more…you are not enough unless…” Bah! Don’t buy into it or you’ll never escape the knife of the plastic surgeon! YOU ARE ENOUGH! I think that is where it all begins, with YOU, not accepting the ugly, useless labels that society tries to slap on you. If you are 60 plus, great! Wisdom speaks from the lips of those who have walked this earth a little longer & what a fine adornment is that pearl of prudence, insight & respect, there is no outfit that can ever compete with such valuable qualities of the heart.

Personally, fashion does not dictate to me what I must wear year in & year out. I wear clothes that I like, I don’t follow the crowd & I prefer the truly timeless classics, a style that doesn’t date.

Just be your lovely self & KNOW you are lovely BEFORE you dress up glam! & when that outfit comes off, you will be left with you, someone uniquely special, someone who is real, who can be frightened, scared & courageous all at the same time. Collect real people, fake ones are a dime a dozen! In this life, when very scary things happen, you don’t need a glamour queen sitting across from you at the table, you do need someone who has got their real on way before they’ve ever got their fashion style on. Make up your inner wardrobe first, it is way more important than your clothes closet.  You can’t buy confidence, it can’t be found in a clothes store. Confidence is found within you, as you enjoy & appreciate the truly unique & beautiful person that you are.girl-2178157_960_720

Inside a French Woman’s Armoire (wardrobe)

A French woman’s wardrobe is NOT a mess. It’s not full of clothes. It’s quite the opposite, so those classic, timeless & oh, so chic pieces can hang nicely, instead of being all bunched together or left to lie, as a discarded pile, on the wardrobe floor. French women are not impulse buyers. They buy timeless, classic & elegant pieces & because they do this, their clothes mix & match ‘parfait,’ perfectly. Less is more, that is the French woman’s clothing motto. If they are buying a trench coat, then they will buy a trench coat &, not be found in a shoe store, impulsively buying something they don’t need. French women shop with purpose. The type of classic pieces that French women wear is something I’m going to focus on in this blog. I’ve had a big messy, ‘can’t find anything I’m looking for in it wardrobe,’ & I’ve come to admire & appreciate the simplicity & style of a French woman’s armoire.

 

Its purpose; to look & feel great at the ready! I believe this answers that much-asked question, what is IT about French women? Well, that certain ‘je ne sais quoi,’ is, in actual fact, confidence. Clothes make a woman feel confident. A French woman’s wardrobe is a confident one & she knows it. She doesn’t spend a whole week lamenting that she can’t find anything to wear to that up & coming dinner party! For one thing, her wardrobe is not a messy, bulging, everything shoved & crammed ‘somewhere’ in ‘there,’ disaster zone. Oh, non! non! non! Whether it’s a dressy occasion or a casual affair, she knows she has just the right little ensemble, not ‘tucked away,’ or bunched together, but hanging nicely in her armoire & that makes all the difference.