Tag Archives: faith

5 Worries You’ll Have In Your Early Twenties

1. Is my job making me happy? 

Life is hard. It can take us weeks, months, even years to finally get that first ‘real’ job out of university, and before you know it we are faced with the re-occurring thoughts:

“Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” 

“Am I using my brain enough?”

“Does my job mean anything in the grand scheme of what’s actually important in the world?” 

You can go to work Monday to Friday and get so engrossed in work, go to church on a Sunday and after the service  nothing seems worth doing if it isn’t spreading the love of God and telling people just how great Jesus is. Suddenly work seems futile and time at your desk is weighed down with soul searching questions.

2. Are these my swan days because I really expected my blossom to be better than this?

I say this without even a hint of a chuckle. Those of you honest enough to admit you feel like this to, Kudos. I remember being in my early teens and dreaming of the days when I would be in my prime, the peak of my beauty, turning heads as one of those exquisitely dressed business women before living life to the fullest took its toll and the wrinkles set in. Now I’m in my early twenties, hurriedly dressed without the slightest hint of effort being put into my appearance thinking if not now, then when. It seems trivial but insecurities about our appearances plague us all from time to time and it comes to a point when we have to re-evaluate what we take comfort in, whether that be make-up, the words of affirmation we receive from others or the fantasy of beauty to come. 

3. When will the one find me?

I won’t labour this point further because even having to list it gives me a heavy heart, but alas the relationship centred conversations that crop up time and time again make it quite clear that this worry is rooted in fearful overthinking. If you read between the sarcasm and joke cracking you can hear that people are really saying 

“How long will I be lonely?”

 And 

“Will I find love before my body clock stops ticking?”

4. Am I achieving success at the right pace?

We all have milestones that we’d like to reach but it’s not only important that we reach them, when we do is crucial. You hear about child geniuses taking their GCSE’s aged 8 and teenage entrepreneurs becoming millionaires and you wonder just how they’ve managed it. If someone has achieved something then it’s clearly humanly possible and you have to wonder what makes the over-achievers get so far ahead. We plod through life thinking about how we measure up to others, relieved that some people are ‘further behind’ than we are and curious about all the people that are ahead. It’s a sad truth. Money is all relative and your house is only big in comparison to your neighbours. Stand alone achievements just aren’t enough if we can’t be seen as better than someone else.

5. Am I good enough?

Now you’re in your twenties you are old enough to know better but young enough to feel like a bad choice made every now again isn’t the worst thing in the world. Every so often I evaluate my recent actions and worry about whether I was nice enough, if I could have been more thoughtful in the way I said something, if I stuck up for myself enough, the list goes on. Christian or not, we want to be “good” people and then as Christian’s there’s the added pressure of ‘what would God expect me to do?’ This is usually followed by a major sigh because it often means we have to bite our tongues, lose the argument, let the grudge go, alas, be the person we feel way too young and carefree to be.

So where is the light in all of this? Here are some things we should all remember.

1. We aren’t all called to be missionaries, some of us are placed into the corporate jungle to bring light where there isn’t any.
You can think yourself beautiful. God thinks you’re a work of art so let’s take a leaf out of David’s book and praise God for our looks (Psalm 139:14). The sooner we start thinking it, the sooner we’ll start feeling it.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down oneʼs life for oneʼs friends.”‭‭John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬. Your love story has already begun.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬. Your time will come.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither do we one day just start living perfectly. You gave your life to Christ and began the journey but never forget it is a journey.

Love y’all

Dani

Xxxx

The Lessons Failing Has Taught Me


They say it takes 21 days to form a habit but they don’t tell you how to keep something going long enough to reach this elusive 21 day mark. Whether it’s going to the gym or opening your Bible, by day 3 you’ve lost the giddy passion you began with and by day 5 you’re out of step with the tentative rhythm you’d got into. Day 7 arrives and I’ve completely forgotten I had begun the week with the intention of making it radically different to the week before, and I find myself vowing to use the new week ahead to make a change. The cycle continues. Along with the frustration that my life isn’t moving in the right directions and the disappointment that I am unable to stick at anything long enough to change my life for the better.

* Major sigh* Last week was one of those weeks. Too busy to be immersed in the presence of God, living in fringe Christianity, where Christ is always in the vicinity but there’s be no effort made to walk over and begin a hearty conversation. Just thinking through my failed half-attempts to spend time with God infuriates me. I could put it down to bad time management on some days and point blank laziness on others, but the overarching reason comes down to a lack of desire. I’m not saying I don’t love Jesus (every Sunday, I remember just how great he is and how much I miss being close to him), but when I’m coming up with every excuse under the sun as to why now is not the right time to get on my knees and open my Bible, I’ve got to wonder how much I want to pray. When I want a new job, I stomach the chore that is sifting through adverts and job boards and I begin applying. When I want to lose weight I fight the voice in my head telling me to lay in bed and I put on my trainers and go for a run. But when it comes to getting close to God…
I’d like to dispel a big misconception: Just because you didn’t feel like opening your bible this morning and getting ready for church was the ultimate chore last week, doesn’t mean you should give up on your relationship with God. I think we treat our relationships with God in the idealistic way we view relationships with our other halves. ‘We’ve deceived ourselves into believing it should all just come naturally, there shouldn’t be any element of doubt and the moment we begin to question how much we are ready to fight for the relationship, we consider giving in the towel and questioning the very reason we’ve entered into the relationship.
This post is for everyone who is tired of the weekly routine of being distant with God, only to reconnect with him every Sunday, or every month when you feel like everything in life is going array, or every time you desperately need a miracle. I’m writing for everyone who feels guilty every time they ask God for something because they can’t remember the last time they spoke to God, just to hang out with him. For everyone reading who feels frustrated with their lack of commitment to their faith and is struggle to break the cycle, I write for you, because I too am tired of the charade that has become my walk with Christ.
It doesn’t have to be this way.

I could remind you of everything you already know- you’re supposed to read your word daily, you’re supposed to seek God first, you should be actively looking to please God, as opposed to making decisions that you feel need the least repentance, but I won’t stop there. It’s great to have knowledge but wisdom is being able to do something with what you know.

3 tips to making this week with Christ better than the last:
1. Review your faith everyday.

We wait so long before we come running back to God and we’re just delaying the process of receiving God’s forgiveness and being able to move forward in our faith. Why wait until Sunday to remind you what the presence of God feels like and how good it is to be in? Implementing a daily review into your routine will give you the opportunity to seek out Christ tomorrow if you feel like you didn’t that day. The quicker you catch a bad habit, the easier it is to stop.

2. Surround yourself with people who share your motive to put Christ at the centre. 

There is a reason that people with addictions get sent to self help groups and the likes of weight watchers can boast of so many extreme weight loss testimonials- change is easier with others. The whole point of church is to provide us with a family to grow with, but if your church isn’t giving you that, create your own. Spend more time with the people that are also trying to grow in Christ and you’ll be able to give and receive the encouragement you both need to stay on track.

3. Catchup with Christ mid-week.

Whether it’s joining a bible study group, or going to mid week prayer, fellowshipping with Christians and having another Jesus-day in addition to Sunday, gives you a double reminder that a Christ-centred life is the way. I used to attend an amazing fellowship that taught me so much and encouraged me to go and read my Bible for myself.
Your relationship with Christ is yours alone, but you don’t have to work out your faith on your own.

If you take on of these tips on board, or just want to check in with someone about your faith, please leave a comment/dm/ drop me an email. Would love to hear how you manage to stay on track with Jesus in the comments section.

Big love,
Dani xxxxx

What Real Love Feels Like

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Every time I am reminded of what Jesus put himself through just for me, I am moved. I am moved I know there are few people, if any, who would ever fight for me in the way that he did. Yeah, there are people that claim to love me and a few show it through their actions, but I have never experienced a love that does not hinge on what I can do for the giver; there have always been conditions and consequences when I fall short of the expectations set for me. Some have taken back the love they initially bestowed upon me while others have simply loved me less as a result. God’s love is completely different; it is unconditional. When Jesus went to the cross for me, he was fighting for my life, for my love and so that I could be more. Every day he fights for me and reminds me that I am destined to be greater than the situations I put myself in, he beckons me to his side and reminds me that I no longer need to prove my worth to others.

Titus 3:4-7 But God, the One Who saves, showed how kind He was and how He loved us by saving us from the punishment of sin. It was not because we worked to be right with God. It was because of His loving-kindness that He washed our sins away. At the same time He gave us new life when the Holy Spirit came into our lives. God gave the Holy Spirit to fill our lives through Jesus Christ, the One Who saves. Because of this, we are made right with God by His loving-favour. Now we can have life that lasts forever as He has promised.

Our works – what we have achieved, what we can do and what we have done – are not why God chose to save us. When we sin, we feel unworthy, unable to approach and speak to God; we allow our sins to create a gulf between ourselves and the Father. I think during those times it is crucial that we remember that it was not because our works that caused him to save us from the ultimate punishment; it is because of who he is. It is the love that he is that covers every wretched thing we have ever done and every questionable thing we will ever do. God offers us all a new life: one without chains, free from bitterness, lust, jealousy, insecurity, hatred and anger; he literally transforms our lives. He has made it possible to love others freely, to love ourselves, to forgive, to let go, freeing us from the bitterness that might have otherwise consumed us.

I hope you grab hold of that love today.

Joy xxxx

How To Find Out God’s Plan For Your Life

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Can you believe it’s September already?

This year has been full of unexpected events and challenges but God has been faithful. The fact that we are all still standing has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with who He is and His desire to lavish mercy and compassion upon us despite the amount of times we have fallen.

As we enter into the last quarter of the year, I believe it is imperative that we remain focused on God. Let us not fall at the last hurdle, especially since this month marks a new chapter in all of our lives. Some of us are starting new jobs, beginning university, college or entering into a new academic year which holds more weight than the last. In all of this, it is crucial not to consider our earthly goals  more important than our spiritual ones.

It’s so easy to get caught up in our personal life plans and focus on things that will eventually cease to exist. Yes, we want to make a good impression, we want to be excellent, we want to achieve but we are called seek God first above all else; our personal desires are secondary. There was a moment in my life where I put all my personal desires to the side and yelled “GOD, I ONLY WANT TO DO WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO”. I wanted to know what I was created for and what I was ‘called’ to do so I prayed intensely, asking God to reveal the great plan at work.

Nothing happened.

Don’t get me wrong, there were moments where I caught a glimpse of what God could maaaaybe want from me and I was able to draw my own conclusions (for the most part, my assumptions were wrong and God always managed to bring about His plan in the most unexpected manner). My desire to seek God and put Him first also caused me to became obsessive and fearful, afraid to make decisions in case I got it wrong and messed up His plan.

So what does God want from you and I? What does He want us to do?

God wants you to:

Love Him and love others (Luke 10:27)

To pursue righteousness and love (Proverbs 21:21)

To aim to please Him (1 Corinthians 5:9)

To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)

I’m sure there are a few other things in the Bible (sorry, it’s getting late, I’ll add more in another post) that God requires from us but can we, hand on heart, say that we are doing the above? We want this great big reveal but continuously fail to adhere to that which has been revealed.

I am no longer obsessed with God’s plan for my life, I just do my best to read my Bible daily, pray fervently and serve others. I pray for God’s sovereign will to come to pass and leave it at that; I trust Him and understand it is not my job to see where I’m going, but to follow Him. I’ve stopped worrying about the unknown (future) and begun to focus on the known (scriptures). I hope you will too because although we may never know what the future holds, what is required of us as we walk into the future is pretty clear.

Lots of loveeee,

JOY xxxxxx

The Day I Stopped Being A Law-abiding Citizen

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As a Christian that’s been brought up in the church things can get tricky when it comes to deciding what’s wrong. Lots of people will hold beliefs based on their perceptions of God or what they feel convicted of and you aren’t always sure whether going against their 11th commandment is sinful or just choosing to live life differently.

The usual culprits that cause confusion:

“That’s an ungodly hour to be on the phone”

“Christians shouldn’t drink alcohol”

“Parties aren’t events you should be attending now you’re saved”

“Don’t be alone with a person of the opposite sex after 6pm”

The list goes on, and suddenly you’re not sure where Christianity ends and option and culture begins. I remember when I was having an argument about one of my piercings and had to highlight that the other person not liking something didn’t automatically mean there must be a deeper sin behind it.

Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; still, it is unclean to the one who considers it unclean. Romans 14:13-14

I think being reminded not to judge is a key part of this scripture. As we’re pointing the finger at our fellow Christians for choosing to talk on the phone late at night or for not having their ears pierced, we have to remember that each of us have our own convictions that should guide how we live. We don’t know the journey that God is taking someone on, so how dare we try and force them to become a changed individual overnight and not allow God to lead the process of transformation. Similarly when people abide by rules that we consider irrelevant, who are we to tell them they’re wrong for doing so?

I stopped feeling condemned of the rules that I couldn’t find in my bible when I realised that I didn’t have to walk through my faith, looking like the image of a Christian imprinted in the minds of others. With the bible in one hand and the Holy Spirit in my heart I could live according to the word of God and the convictions I felt in my heart.

For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

The little rules that we argue over are somewhat irrelevant in the grand context of accepting Christ’s love and showing it to others. Let’s not have others say that Christianity is about ad-libbed rules and regulations. In my experience of God, there’s more to life than not getting tattoos or deciding to have adventurous piercings.

Live out your faith according to the way you feel led by the word of God.

Love and hugs and kisses

Dani xxx

Why I Came Out Of The Closet

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It’s 10:12pm and I have no idea why I’ve left writing this post to the last minute. I have work in the morning so I can’t even write it at 8am tomorrow (like I’ve been doing of late lol.) I’ve been tossing up potential posts in my head and none of them seem quite right. You see, this writing thing doesn’t come easily to me because I’m not actually a Writer – I am a lot of things but a Writer ….woah, easy there! Although I sometimes write plays, I never saw myself as someone who would write a blog post every week and I definitely didn’t think I would ever be writing about JESUS. It’s one thing to go to church on a Sunday morning but it is something entirely different to flood your social network site newsfeed with your blog, which tells everyone that you believe in someone you’ve never seen and can only feel, have never met but experience every single day.

How do you go about that without seeming crazy?

You don’t.

If you read my post about my atheist/agnostic phase and/or follow the blog, you will know that faith isn’t something that comes easily to me. Despite growing up in a Christian home, I only really found God during my first experience of heartbreak a couple of years ago. I have to thank God for that dark time in my life because without it, there would be no blog. During that time full of bitterness, hurt, rage and all the usual emotions one feels after their heart has been broken to pieces (lol, dramatic) I had to cling to God because I had no one else to cling to. My relationship had become my god; it was where I had invested all my time, my emotions, my energy, my heart – when it evaporated, my world stopped. I have to give God all the glory (that means ‘credit’ in Christian speak) because without Him, I’m not entirely sure what or where I would be. He literally picked me off the floor, picked up the pieces of my broken heart and pulled me back together again. The process was both painful and beautiful because I didn’t think those pieces would ever fit together again but somehow they did.

Despite this amazing victory, I didn’t really tell people about my experience, what had happened and how God had helped me overcome that period of my life. Back then I wasn’t confident in my faith and speaking candidly about this God I had only begun to experience felt a bit wild.

You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5: 14-16

Fast forward two years and I now have this blog, which forces me to shine my light every single week. It has forced me out of the closet – I can’t hide this aspect of my life anymore because you only have to stalk my Facebook to see that I am a devout Christian (still feels weird to place myself in that category lol). I think as a Christian it is easy to pretend as though we are ‘normal’ because our faith is not often demonstrated by something that can be seen, and there isn’t anything that outwardly distinguishes us from the rest of the world. Some of us use that to our advantage and seek to remain hidden. We don’t express our faith unless we are asked direct questions about where we keep going on a Sunday morning and we often conveniently forget that our faith is to pervade all areas of our lives. We do our best to stay on the fence about issues that the Bible speaks out against because we don’t want to seem to judgmental and we try and go to all the places our friends are going to because we don’t want to seem as though we are boring. I guess in some ways, this post is for those that are struggling to admit that they’re different and are still trying to find a way to fit into this world. Your faith isn’t weird, it’s a personal relationship with your Saviour which a beautiful thing – don’t be ashamed to share that aspect of your life, it is probably the most special.

This blog has forced me to come tumbling out the closet and now I can’t go back inside. Everyone knows my secret now, everyone knows I am a die hard Christian (which still makes me chuckle a little coz I definitely don’t ‘look’ like a Christian). That pressure can be tough – it means that when the odd swear word comes tumbling out of my mouth in the presence of others, I wonder if they question my whole life/blog. It means that I can’t be the raver I once was because I don’t want to be seen as a hypocrite. It means that I find myself wondering whether the crop tops I love so much contradict the Jesus I love so much more. It means that there is now a standard that I proclaim which I now need to live by no matter how difficult I find it.

This post is also for the person who is struggling under the pressure that comes with ‘coming out’. Everyone knows you’re a Christian now and the weight of that expectation has become burdensome. Remember, even on your best day, you will still fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) whether people see you fall or not. You won’t always get it right, but God sees your heart and really does love you. God isn’t calling you to look at those around you; He is calling you to look at Him. All we can do is keep striving and try to be more than what we were yesterday.

Lots of love,

J xxxx

Why You Keep Lying On Facebook

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In my Sunday School class, the question was once asked:

 If a man held a gun to your head and asked you if you were a Christian, what would you say?

 Now, of course the “right” answer was to scream “I LOVE YOU JESUS” and suffer the unspeakable consequences but over a decade has passed and I’m still yet to decide what I’d do simply because I never really show up in moments of panic, I freeze and scream internally until the moment of panic passes. Also, I believe that hypothetical responses are rarely indicative of what one will do when faced with the situation. This question came to mind this morning and although I still do not have an answer, it always causes me to think more deeply about life, what I am willing to die for and more importantly, what I am living for.

“They say ‘you only live once’ but what are you living for?”

I let my Mum use my Facebook yesterday and it was fascinating watching her read through my newsfeed; she could not understand why the people I knew felt comfortable sharing such intimate moments of their lives online. When she asked me why, the cynic within me arose:

“Mum, people want to show other people how happy and content they are, even if that means giving 500+ people access to the most sacred moments life offers.”

As I was saying this, I realised that most of us are living for the applause. We are living for the ‘likes’, the moments where others validate our actions. We carefully choose what we will reveal online in order to create what we feel will be the perfect image. Underneath the façade lies the real; the real moments of pain, confusion, frustration, anger, happiness and joy.

Although we cannot pick and choose the moments that God sees, we act as though He isn’t watching 24/7. We spend more time choosing filters on Instagram than filtering out the negative parts of lives and we spend more time controlling the way others view us than we do allowing God to take control and fix the broken parts of our lives – the parts that aren’t picturesque enough for the online world.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

Hebrews 4:13

One of things I enjoy most about being a Christian is the fact that I am forced to have honest conversations with God. I can’t lie and I can’t pretend that everything is okay when it isn’t. He sees right through the façade because He sees all. When I have no words to say, He still hears the pain I feel or the joy I don’t know how to express.

God sees.

My challenge to you today is to live each moment in light of the fact that God sees. I don’t want you to think of Him as a judgemental, domineering presence which seeks to dictate your every action and can’t wait to punish you, but as a loving Father (Isaiah 64:8), who is interested, concerned (Luke 12:7) and full of love for you (1 John 3:1).

Lots of my love & Happy Wednesday!!

Joy xxxxxx

What To Do When Your World Comes Crashing Down

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Have you ever been through a time in your life where you just felt like everything was crashing down? That time is especially difficult as a Christian because you can’t help but question God and ask Him what exactly he’s trying to do to you. Throughout the Bible although we see bad things happening to good people, we also see God equipping His people so that they can fight another day.

Pressed but not crushed
Cans cannot withstand the pressure exerted upon them during the recycling process; they’re inevitably crushed. Close your eyes and imagine that you’re a can (you didn’t close your eyes, right? Neither did I lol). Life will try to crush you, it will try to take away your childhood dreams, to mock your hope and to make you settle for mediocrity. It’s your job to withstand the pressure. Don’t be like the can which is inevitably crushed because of the pressure being exerted upon it. Though our bodies may become weak, our minds and spirits are far more powerful than we think. Have you ever gotten through a tough season in your life, looked back a year later and thought ‘how did I get through that?!’ We don’t know how strong we are until are pressed on every side. During that season we feel like we are dying a slow and painful death, but every time we get into bed and sleep, we don’t realise that we have survived a day we didn’t think we could face.

Perplexed but not driven to despair
We experience perplexity. I mean, yesterday, you were chilling; your greatest worry was what you were going to wear to the clurrrrb on Saturday night (if you’re still into that). 12 hours later, you get an essay mark which completely breaks your average and makes the attainment of a 2:1 impossible. What do you do?

Worry

Think about the jobs you’ll never get

Cry

Scream

Give up

Things are going to happen that completely throw us off course and cause us to be perplexed but that does not mean we have to be driven to despair.

Hunted down but never abandoned
The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) Those are his aims. Since you’ve joined #TeamMostHigh #TeamJesus, #TeamSaved and #TeamSovereign, you are now on the opposing team. You are going to be hunted down; problems you thought you would never encounter are gonna spring out of nowhere and you are going to have to face them. But you are never, ever, ever alone. God will never abandon you. Yeah, the devil will try to isolate you; he will make you feel that no one cares about you or understands what you are going through but those are all lies. God cares for you. He doesn’t take days off. He’s always there and he loves you very much.

Knocked down but not destroyed
Sometimes the devil might be successful and you may get knocked down, you may fall, you may sin, you may do the thing you swore you’d never do again.

Guess what?

Your worst moment does not have the power to define you. Get up. The longer you lie on there on the floor, thinking about what a horrible person you are, the weaker and more vulnerable you become. So get up. Run with God, let him renew you and fill you up again so that you can withstand the battles that lie ahead.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

2 Corinthians 4:8-10

Yours,

JOY x

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

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There’s a thin line between a performance to yourself and one to an audience, even an audience of one. It’s weird because so much is the same; it’s you, doing what you do best( or at least pretty well) but the first is like a self assessment and the latter invokes enough fear to cause your fingers to cramp and your heart to beat rampantly in your chest. What changes things? In that moment after you’ve performed your heart out, when there’s an audience we either let out a sigh of relief or release one of disappointment depending on whether our performance is followed by applause or the lack of it. How good we feel is decided in a matter of moments as people shower us in praise or choose to avoid eye-contact.

Lesson of last week: In life we live for the applause, the glory that comes from our personal achievements but as Christians the purpose of our lives is to glorify Jesus. Everything that happens to us from birth to when we bow out is for God to receive heartiest claps and the loudest shouts of praise.

My all time bible hero is Job. Job had faith. Not the kind of faith that is here today and gone tomorrow when the going gets tough but the kind of unwavering faith that has chosen to serve God no matter what, whether there’s joy in his heart or pain, whether he’s at a loss or period of gain. Job had faith.

If you don’t know about Job I’ll set the scene. Imagine your rich. Not ghetto fabulous rich that culminates in having a Louis Vuitton belt and an enviable shoe collection. The type that sees your children study at the most expensive schools in the country and pays for your ten bedroom house and puts the petrol in your recently shined lambo, and even sees all of your extended family with food on their tables and money in their bank accounts. Job was that kind of rich, and to top it off, he loved God. He knew where his wealth came from and served God with all his heart. However, his story soon changed when the devil started teasing God.

Here Job is, chilling in his richness and acknowledging his father in heaven that he’s dependent on, while Satan is roaming giving him major side eye and looking for a way to disgrace God. So Satan says ‘Listen God, you may think Job loves you, but I guarantee he’s just like any gold-digging human out there. As soon as you restrict his access to his cash, take away that family he loves so dearly, leave him in a place of desolation and grief, he isn’t still going to holla like he does‘ what God says in response shocked me forever and changed my perspective on life. God says ‘Oh you think so, ok take ALL those things away from Job and see if he doesn’t praise me all the same.’

So that was it. While one messenger was being the bearer of bad news and telling Job that he’d lost his riches another was arriving to say he’s lost his children, until heartache by heartache, Job lost it all. His money his loved ones, everything he’d ever worked hard for in this life and not only that God had commissioned it.

He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be blessed!” In all this Job did not sin, nor did he charge God with moral impropriety. Job 1:21-22

We claim to live to give God praise but so many serve him in the hope that they’ll get enough things from God so that others will give them praise. Christianity is turned into a motivational too that is all about moving up in the world, but numbers of people lifting their hands depletes when worlds come crashing down. Last week was one of those weeks for me. I could see the world around me slowly crumbling and I had to decide if I was still going to seek God amongst the rubble. My logic was: You knew this would happen God, you gave me no warning and you didn’t save me, so why should I get down on my knees to praise you? My heart hurt and I didn’t feel like God was all too fussed. Just when I was about to have a sulk, my mind wandered to Job. Job wasn’t just attacked by the devil, his attack was commissioned by God, and when he rubbed his eyes in the midst of his own rubble, he didn’t see a God who had betrayed him, but a God whom he owed his life to.

So many of us lift our hands and claim that we’d serve God no matter what but are you ready for Satan to call your bluff and for God to agree. God was so confident in Job because God saw his heart, would God have the same faith in you being able to see yours? Are you in the faith while it’s rosy but ready to switch religion or give God the silent treatment as soon as things don’t go your way.

There’s a Newsflash that we can’t afford to miss: we live to bring God glory. If we also get a hand clap or some appreciation along the way then that is a bonus but it is not a requirement. Christ sacrificed his entire life for our sins but the moment we have to sacrifice our friends or our jobs or our families for him, it all becomes too much and we consider turning back on the road to him. But why? Glory belongs to God and we live as part of his masterpiece.

 

Let God’s will be done always, and glory be to him forevermore. Amen

 

Love Dani xxxx

 

 

Why Women Are Evil

mean girls

I didn’t know ‘all women were evil’ until my twenties. Likewise, I didn’t know ‘all men were evil’ either. Although these are generalisations thrown around based on an individuals encounters with 0.000000000000000000001% percent of the world (that figure is in no way accurate, I just typed as many zeros as I saw fit) they continue to spread like wildfire causing people who haven’t had negative experiences with the opposite gender to have unnecessary prejudices, reservations and biases. That’s the problem with generalisations though – they envelop and hide individuals under a blanket that may not representative of them at all; it leaves no room for their individual differences.

Let’s address some generalisations:

1) All women are after your money

What about the women funding their spouses’ lifestyles?

 2) All women want to be mothers

What about the women who have decided not to have children because they simply do not want them?

3) Beautiful women lack intelligenceshakira

 Shakira has an IQ of 140 which makes her a genius

 4) Smart women aren’t beautiful42-21828752

Meet Michelle Obama. 

5) Women can’t have it all (the husband, successful career, family, ADORING FANS)

beyonce 

Hey there, Bey.

6) These h*es ain’t loyal!

What about the women supporting their families, friends, communities, continuing to go above and beyond what is expected of them?

The generalisation I despise the most is the one that says that all women are evil, conniving, deceitful, underhand creatures who will lead to your demise. Unfortunately, as I was reading my Bible this week I stumbled across the famous story of Samson and Delilah which in some ways substantiated this generalisation. For those who haven’t read it before, I’m going to do my best to summarise (the story can be found in Judges 13-16).

Samson was set apart by God from birth to begin the deliverance of the Israelites from oppressive Philistines through the Spirit of the Lord which gave him supernatural strength. However there were conditions placed upon his strength; Samson could not drink wine, he could not eat anything unclean and he could never cut his hair.

Although Samson was strong physically, he had a weakness for women. His first wife was a Philistine. After the Philistines killed his wife because one of Samson’s violent attacks, he fell in love with another Philistine woman named Delilah.

Their relationship was one of deception from the onset as Delilah was asked by the rulers of the Philistines to find out the secret behind Samson’s strength so that they could attack and subdue him. Delilah plainly asked Samson what the secret behind his power was and Samson gave her false answers (so on some level, he must have know she could not be trusted) and each time, Delilah used the information to try and have him captured. Despite this, Samson continued to stay with her.

Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was sick to death of it. So he told her everything.

Judges 16:15-17

As he slept in her lap, she had his hair cut off. When he awoke he tried to fight off his attackers, unaware that the Lord has left him. The Philistines gouged out his eyes and put him in shackles and the once mighty man worked in a prison cell. While he had the potential to deliver his people from the Philistines, his story ended tragically.

Delilah is the perfect example of why women are evil; she betrayed him in exchange money, slept with him for personal gain, told his secrets and his involvement with her lead to his death. So are all women evil?

1) All women are aren’t evil

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Jeremiah 17:9

We all have hearts which means none of us are not above this scripture. We all have a dark side; thoughts that lie beneath that we dare not express and (thank God) cannot be heard, and we have all done very questionable things. Being evil is not determined by our gender alone, it is impacted by a multitude of different factors, the greatest of them being the decision to do evil things repeatedly. Some women are evil, some men are evil, that’s just life but all women aren’t evil, neither are all men evil.

 2) Learn the lesson once

When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.

Maya Angelou

How many times stab wounds do we need until we walk away from those who are stabbing us in the back? I’m all for loving people and being good to those who hurt me but I’m not for toxic relationships and maltreatment. Some relationships work best when there is distance involved. Samson should have distanced himself Delilah after she proved to be disloyal and deceitful but instead he continued to stick around. If he had adjusted the relationship in accordance with her behaviour after she had revealed her intentions, she would not have led to his demise.

3) God is first, second and third

 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.

Matthew 22: 37-38

Samson lost sight of the source of his strength and began to love Delilah more than he loved and revered God. When God is first, everything falls into place (Matthew 6:33). Don’t let things or people cause you to turn away from God and lead you to sin because at the end of the day, he is all we have.

4) There is always a second chance

But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

Judges 16:22

This part of the story brought me to my knees.

Why?

Because it perfectly illustrates the love and the mercy of God.

Samson had lost everything; he was broken, powerless and literally unable to see. He had abused the call of God and given into temptation time and time again. And yet, even in this state, God still gave him another chance. His hair growing again is symbolic of the second chance God gives us every time we let go of him in order to hold onto something else. He gives us another chance to get it right; he allows our strength to return and helps us to stand again.

For this, I am eternally grateful.

 

All my love on this not-so-sunny-Friday!

Joy xxx

P:S HAPPY 16TH BIRTHDAY TO MY LITTLE SISTER! You never read the blog so you won’t see this but I love you always!