Tag Archives: freedom

How To Lose The Unwanted Weight

  
Have you ever been in a situation where you have been so disappointed by people that you begin to lose trust in humanity? When you have had a misunderstanding with someone and you just can’t bring yourself to admit that you’re wrong? Or when you are so deeply wronged that the thought of forgiving is becoming hard to comprehend? 

When my wallet got stolen recently, I was that person. I still recall the anger, frustration and regret I felt when it happened. I was having a mini catch-up with a friend and a lady sat opposite to me used the opportunity to take my wallet. The moment I realised, I felt violated. I was mad. Initially my frustrations were with the woman that stole from me. Soon, I was mad at the world. 

 

For an entire week, it was unbearable for me to let the feelings from the incident go. Although, I knew I could get my items replaced, the utter injustice was constantly on my mind. I guess it was because it was hard to forgive her, but most importantly, I just didn’t think she deserved my forgiveness. 

 

We have probably all felt a similar inner rage. Some of you reading might even be feeling in it now. For you, it might not be a pickpocketer that you have found hard to forgive. It might be that “friend” that you had a misunderstanding with and haven’t spoken to throughout this year; because you are still rehashing past scenarios. Or it might be that person you once shared an intimate relationship with and things didn’t go the way you intended. Either way, you keep holding on to the small fragments of the relationship, not willing to let it go and move on. Maybe the hurt lies closer to home. Your parents could have wronged you with their actions or their absence and although you’re older now, you hold on to that resentment, still feeling bitter about it, after all they should have treated you better.

 

 

…we have all felt like that at one point or the other, justifying why are right to hold onto our pain, getting weighed down by the grudge we’re holding…

 

In Matthew 6:14-15, Jesus tells us to forgive because we have been forgiven.

 

“ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins”.

 

How do we then forgive?

 

Offering forgiveness will be always easier said than done if we because we decide to live in our feelings holding on to the wrongs people have committed against us. We are only disadvantage for ourselves as the longer we hold onto un-forgiveness, the longer we stay hurt. Being unforgiving does not heal us. It binds us. No-one wants to live like that!
Since forgiveness goes against our instincts. we have to aim to forgive by faith, out of obedience; whether we feel like it or not. We must trust God to do the work in us that needs to be done so that the we can forgive others as he has forgiven us.

 

Forgiveness brings peace. It means that I no longer give another person the power to have control over me. I release myself! 

 

It doesn’t mean we’re going to sit down together for coffee next week or we are going to chill and hangout. However, forgiveness means that I am not going to carry the hurt anymore. 

 

I am letting it go to Jesus….

 

Love 

 

Esther xx

 

Why We Should All Come Out of the Darkness

  

There is something quite disheartening about people not practising what they preach. They’re at the ready with advice and guidance when you share details about your life with them (and even when you don’t) but you are yet to see these pearls of wisdom make a difference in their own. The situation becomes abysmal when not practising becomes not even believing. I’m sure you’re thinking of that friend you know that fits the bill I’m describing but have you considered looking a little closer to home? We make claim to so many things when we’re at a church service or with the Christian gang, everybody’s telling there neighbour and ‘can I get an amen-ing’ in agreement with all the things we’ve learnt about our faith, but when the church bubble is popped by the real life bubble, how much of that church lingo is still standing strong in our minds?
I’ll jog your mind with a few examples:

‘We are blessed to be a blessing’

‘My God will supply all my needs’

‘In Christ I’m a new creation’

‘I cast my burdens onto God, because he cares for me’

‘I do not have the spirit of fear but the spirit of love, power and a sound mind’

‘Christ’s yoke is easy and his burden is light’

‘I’m not doubting because of what I can see, but trusting God because of what I can’t’ 

‘Who Christ sets free is free indeed’ 

We can be a pillar of faith and full of solutions when we’re ministering to our friends in need, but how often do we go home, carrying the burdens we’ve encouraged them to lift up, struggling to live a life that’s different to the one we lived pre getting saved and wondering how we’re going to make ends meet.

On Saturday our very own Joy put on her very first play in a theatre and reminded the audience that we have got to start believing the things that we roll so easily off our tongue when we’re with our Christian crew. Out of the darkness creatively explored the belief most Christians share that we are free in Christ however don’t live in freedom because we are bound by the sins we aren’t ready to forgive ourselves of. Yes we can preach that Christ saves and he forgives, we will continue to encourage friends to forgive others, but yet we live in constant unforgiveness of ourselves. 

As we explored the lives of two young adults at different places in their faith but both bound by sin, the message hit home that so many of us are not experiencing the freedom we’re supposed to have in Christ. I went to the theatre expecting to see a play about people coming to Christ as a life without him is usually described as one in darkness, but I was intrigued to discover how aptly the metaphor of darkness fits the place so many of us live in when we just can’t let go of the things we have done. We can all look at our sin and feel that we have really gone too far this time or we just keep doing the sane thing and can’t keep expecting God to forgive us, but that just isn’t true. God’s forgiveness is unconditional and ever present, he lets it go the moment we ask for forgiveness, so we have to follow suit and do the same.

Whatever you have done, you are free

No matter how you feel, you are free

If you’re worried you’re going to do ‘it’ again, you are free

When you gave your life to Christ, you walked out of the darkness into his all encompassing light. Don’t live a life bound by sin that God has long forgiven you for.
Love lots 
Dani xxxx

I Left Home And Lost My Independence

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This week the world stood still for me. Ok, maybe I should rephrase, just in case you think I believe I’m so important God stopped the earth spinning on it’s axis for me. Above all, it would be a completely unnecessary and I’m sure it would cause some kind of dangerous ripple effect in space. Here it goes…

Take two: this week my world stood still.

And first and foremost I’m grateful for the chance to exhale.

You’d probably like some back story and I’m here struggling for a place to begin. For the longest time, my life has felt chaotic. Is that a correct depiction of the truth? For what feels like forever my life has felt out of control. There’s still something not quite right about that description. A couple of weeks ago, I stopped reading my Bible, and I let the chaos in my life get me down. There we go, I wonder why the third time is always lucky.

So yeah, life was going way off the tracks that I had put in place and I felt like an outsider watching my life become a car crash of events. I started praying and couldn’t even take my mind off of my problems, long enough to appreciate the presence of God. I would be mid praising him and my mind would wander to that million dollar question: how was I going to pay my bills this month? So I would start working it out and eventually get tired of racking my brain, and depressed about the situation, and dissatisfied with life in general, and fed up with sitting in the ditch I felt God had left me to die in.

I’ve learnt two things this period

1. It’s easier to never try and live without Christ than to have to make that long prodigal son of a journey back to him.

2. Being independent from God just isn’t a real thing!!!!

Yes, that’s really just one thing, phrased slightly differently.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. -John 15:5

In other words God is our life-source. But what does that really mean?

When we feel like we’re running out of strength, we probably definitely, need more of God

When we feel like we’ve taken over the reigns of our life and God has now taken a back seat, we don’t even realise are trying to ignore, that we need more of God

When we’ve lost all sense of purpose and everyday seems as futile as the one before we may just really do, need more of God

When we feel like everything we’ve tried isn’t working and we’re tired of knocking at a closed door I suggest that I insist that, we need more of God

You may not have looked at life this way before, but I can wholeheartedly say: there’s nothing good outside of God and nothing worth doing can be done without him in the picture. I don’t really know why we try to cut God off in the first place. Maybe we feel like we’ve got to this place of Spiritual maturity so now we’re ready to go it alone? Anyone who genuinely believes that needs to know that it’s just not how Christianity works. It’s not like the world of work where, every promotion gives you just that bit more control and once you reach the top, you’re pretty much running the show. We needed God when we gave our lives to him. We need him now that we’ve begun to get to know him. We’ll need him in the future when we feel like we’ve bee walking with him forever. As we walk further with Christ, we realise that we’ve become, more, not less, dependent on him. And that’s just the way it should be.

Life felt chaotic for me, because I couldn’t come up with a solution for the storms life had brought. The world stopped when I realised that I didn’t have to. I finally got to exhale when I cast my burdens and left my problems with God to fix.

For anyone who is tired of running the show and is looking for an escape route the answer is below.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

The answer has always been Jesus, we just momentarily forgot.

Love you

D.C

Xxxx

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

How To Find Strength When You Don’t Have Time To Curl Up In A Ball And Die

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By the end of last week, I found myself drowning, in what seemed like, a pool of sorrow. Here are the steps I took to clamber out.

I guess we’ve all had those moments where we know that life is still worth living, we just can’t quite remember the reasons why. If you’re like me and it takes a while for you to process situations and find out how you feel about things, then it’s easy to go from feeling ok to wanting to throw yourself off of the closest bridge, before realising you’re being melodramatic, reach for a drink or a bar of chocolate, and collapse in a hump on the floor. Sometimes when I’m slumped I literally have to give myself a mental pep talk till I find the strength to get up.

But getting up is only half the problem

You still have to find a way to function: a way to find faith in the lightless tunnel,  a way to believe that your situation will end in life (goodness, a testimony, reasons to jump for joy)!

So what comes next?

Next it’s conversation with God time.

 Step 1: Tell God exactly how you feel

There’s no point sugar-coating your emotions with God. He sees your heart. Lying to God is a fruitless as when Adam tried to hide in the garden of Eden from an all-knowing God.To the person who’s reading this and screaming “sometimes I just don’t want to share!!!” I am sitting with you in that boat. I too am I private person, but there can be no secrets in your relationship with Christ.(It just doesn’t work when you’re in a relationship with someone who sees the depths of your heart and knows your most secret thoughts even before you’ve thought them.)Sorry.

Step 2: Surround yourself with The Word

Whether it’s through praising him or reading your Bible or meditating on the scriptures that are written on your heart, if there was ever a time to replay the words of God, it’s now. D’you ever keep important conversations that you’ve had with people, just so you can look over them again at a later date and remind yourself of the words that were exchanged? You may know that someone loves you, but reading the words again causes the emotions you felt when you first read them to wash over you afresh,  and suddenly you feel all warm and fuzzy inside( I’ve been told that’s what love is like, you already know the status of my lack of love-life). This is what you need to do with the word of God. Remind yourself of the strength you first felt when you read that ‘His strength was made perfect in your weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9) or the freedom that came over you when you learnt that ‘you could cast all your cares unto him’ (Psalm 55:22). Relive the moment and revive your faith.

Step 3: Pray for God’s perfect will

Sometimes our journey with Christ feels like a leisurely stroll but at other points we can feel like we’re faced with the Red Sea and the Egyptians are advancing at our backs. In the moments where you feel like you have everything to lose and nothing to gain, it’s not time to be dictating to God. He’s allowed you to be brought to what seems like the edge of the cliff, because he wants to show you how powerful he is. He wants to show you that he can catch you when you fall. He wants to show you that he wouldn’t let your feet touch the ground, and  he wants you to know that the thoughts he has towards you are good and not evil, to bring you to a perfect end. He wants you to remember that even before you were in your mother’s womb he knew you, and if you were to just rely on him, he’d save you.

God is so awesome, and in the midst of the chaos, he’s still in control, in the midst of the hardship he’s still you’re provider, and in the midst of the pain, he’s still your healer. Psalm 23 has got to be one of the most popular passages known to Christiandom and if you have a read you’ll understand why. When I was on my knees with my face in my hands wondering how I was going to find the strength to continue going through the motions of life as I know it, this chapter reminded me that my God is in control.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because you are with me. (Psalm 23:4)

He’s with you folks, and even when you stray, he doesn’t leave your side. I hope these steps help you, because the road won’t always be rosy, but your God will always be magnificent.

Shout out to my lover: King Jesus, who will always be the lover of my soul

Dani xx