Tag Archives: resurrection

The 2016 Rise From The Dead


Hi there! Hola! Bonjour!

Long time no post.” I hear you say

Yes, five months to be precise:/

….

Ah I see you want an explanation

*Very very awkward silence*

I want to tell you there’s a large pile of reasons why we haven’t written since May but to be totally frank all I can say is that life got in the way and blogging became more and more of a memory. I got married in June and Joy put on a pretty amazing play in September- just so you know we aren’t complete bums, but hand on heart, when you’re having such a good time on the holiday you’ve given yourself it’s easy to drown out the voice telling you it really is time to get back to life.

For any of you reading who are writers you will know what it’s like to lose momentum, for writers block to set in, and before you know it you’re questioning whether you’re actually that good of a writer and telling yourself that you have nothing to say worth reading.

As I head back to my keyboard for the first time in a long while, trying to get myself re-acquainted with this writing lark, I am surprised by the overwhelming feeling of relief. All this time spent scared and guilty, you know that anxious feeling that rests in the pit of your stomach, and this is the first day of breathing easily. I’m thinking back to Jonah in the Bible and how he must have felt when he finally got spewed out of the whale. Prior to whale entry doing what God had told him to do and preaching to the people of Nineva seemed like the scariest thing he could have done. However, post whale Jonah realised that what’s really scary is not knowing if you’re going to be digested (lol) and the guilt that comes with knowing you should be obeying God.

Whilst in my self created whale I’ve been feeling fearful because besides the writers block and the ‘not having time to write’ I couldn’t override the re-occurring thought that in my silence I was disobeying God. Two years ago when he told me to write and I told him it didn’t make sense because I’m not a writer and I’m not consistent and I’d have nothing to say, but still ended up obeying anyway, I didn’t really have a leg to stand on with deciding not to obey now.

This summer was an uncomfortable one consisting of soul searching and dissatisfaction. I felt like work wasn’t giving me what I needed so I scrolled through job sites to find the perfect job, but as I scrolled I couldn’t shake the feeling that the emptiness would not be solved by a new 9-5 (or in my case 8:30-6…I know…ouch.) I started to think if it wasn’t a new job maybe it was a new hobby I needed, so much so I, for one whole second considered getting back into acting. As a last resort, I even turned to fitness in the hope of a purpose, with the idea that I could make getting fit my raison dêtre and lose the stone I gained on honeymoon (yes a whole stone, yes it is physically possible to gain that much weight in two weeks.) But if you know me and you know how much I like food then you know fitness was never going to cut it as the focus of my life.

So what did I do…

I remembered there was something God had already told me to do that I had dismissed doing in the hope of finding a shiny new purpose to pre-occupy myself. And here I am, imploring you to not make the same mistakes.

Do you feel like you’re stuck on a rut?

Are you sure there’s more to life but not sure where to find it?

Have you forgotten why you set out on the journey you’re on?

When things get complicated I always think back to a happier time and grapple with why exactly that time is different to my present. I absolutely always feel better when I’m doing what God has told me to. Not really surprising right? And yet so many of us are running in the complete opposite directions to Gods voice and then are questioning what’s brought the cloud of doom and gloom over our lives.

Truths we have to face:

God will not give you a new destiny because you don’t like the one you have

Your God given destiny will not necessarily make you rich and/or popular

You will never be able to complete your destiny without God. You will need him every step of the way. 

If you, like me, are tired of the rut and ready to accept that going it alone is not as empowering as you thought it was going to be, the only way forward is Christ, and he is patiently waiting for you to say ‘yes Lord”

Cannot tell you how much I’ve missed you.

Love Lots

Dani 
 

What To Do When You’re Falling Apart

falling

At the moment, I’m getting into the Old Testament (OT) – the part of the Bible most young Christians tend to avoid – not because we don’t want to read it, of course, but because it just feels a bit intense and at times, confusing. The New Testament (NT) feels a lot easier to get through, right? It can at times feel like an action movie with the star of the film being our main man Jesus Christ who just keeps doing and saying amazing things.

 Boom! Born in a manger

Boom! Doing Miracles

Boom! Dying on a cross

BOOM! RISING FROM THE DEAD

Such a page turner, right? And of course, once you become a Christian, you’re given the little red NT Bible so most of us just sit with the last 27 books and neglect all the other books. After years of being content with the NT alone, I decided to begin right at the beginning of the Bible. I have just finished reading Joshua and let’s just say it’s been quite the journey.

God delivered  the Israelites out of the Egypt but instead of allowing them to enter the Promise Land instantaneously, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and distrust. The Israelites had no real idea where they were going; there had been ups and downs, disappointments and frustrations. The very thing they hoped would come to pass had been severely delayed.

Eventually, the Israelites reached the land God promised them and in Joshua 22, Joshua their new leader, gave some of the tribes some sound advice:

But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold fast to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.

Joshua 22:5

On the day I read this, I was having trouble holding onto God because I had so many other things in my hands. It had been a whirlwind week, full of moments where things had failed to come together in the way I hoped they would. I wanted to throw myself into my emotions and hibernate under my quilt. Thankfully, this scripture caught me as I was falling apart and caused me to question my response to what most would consider one of the usual setbacks of life.

When we are falling apart that is when we should hold tighter onto God – we shouldn’t let him go because of our emotions.

When everything is going wrong – fall apart hold fast

When things aren’t going your way – fall apart hold fast

When you’re not sure what to do next – fall apart hold fast

When you put all your hope into something and it doesn’t come together –fall apart hold fast

Hold fast to God, He is all we have.

Joy xx

Are You As Loyal As Chris Brown?

chris-brown-video-loyal-gallery-37

 

So I’ve been really thinking about what to share this week given that today is a really exciting time in the Christian community – it is Good Friday! The Easter period is one that really fills my soul up with glee because of the life I have because of the death Jesus Christ. He rose again and through his life and sacrifice, I now have life in abundance. So what does the crucifixion of Jesus Christ have to do with Chris Brown’s ‘Loyal’, one of the hottest songs at the moment?

 

Keep reading!

 

So in Chris Brown’s cool, edgy and derogatory song, he basically calls out all women and says that as soon as we find another man who has more money than the man we are currently with, we will leave because…well, we’re just not loyal. It doesn’t matter how much we love our current man – Brown fails to factor in contributing factors such as love, children and individual differences – as soon as we see a man with money and he wants us, we will drop everything we once held dear and be on our merry way towards millionairedome.

While this message is true for some women, it is obviously not true of all women and contradicts the other stereotype that women will stay and fund the lifestyle of a ‘broke man’.  But hey, whatever, stereotypes and generalisations will always exist and gone are the days where I shout about how wrong they are and attempt to right every wrong in the world.

Chris Brown’s song is one that speaks of loyalty. Loyalty is one of the most sought after traits in any person, irrespective of the nature of the relationship, our employees, spouses, friends and churches all want us to be loyal to them. Similarly, we all want to be surrounded by loyal people because with that trait also comes stability, consistency and the assurance that we will not deserted in our time of need.

Unfortunately, most of us have had a Chris Brown moment. Not the beat-up-your-girlfriend type of moment (sorry to bring that up again, Chris) but the realisation that despite loyalty being the cornerstone of any functioning relationship, there are a few humans who walk our earth that haven’t quite grasped the meaning of the word and how it should be played out in real life settings. This results in a world full of friends who spend every weekend together but speak viciously about each other, husbands who appear to be picture perfect but have spent their wives’ savings, women who are in love with multiple men, MPs who exploit the people who voted for them, *please feel free to insert any scandalous situation here*

So what do we do when we find out the person we loved and trusted ‘ain’t loyal’?

 

ENTER JESUS CHRIST.

 

I think it can be argued that Jesus suffered one of the greatest acts of disloyalty known to man. Jesus had twelve disciples who walked with him during his time on earth, learnt from him, who he nurtured and loved. One of these men, a man named Judas, betrayed him and this betrayal resulted in his death. Fortunately, we know that this death was not the end of his story but I don’t think Judas cared too much for the resurrection when he was selling out his best friend for thirty pieces of silver. Rather, Judas’ desire for money clouded his judgement and revealed who he really was – money and power have the capacity to do that. What amazed me when reading the account of the crucifixion in Matthew was Jesus’ treatment of Judas.

From the very beginning, even when recruiting Judas into his posse, Jesus knew that Judas would be the one to betray him yet he did not treat Judas differently to the others disciples. Jesus still washed Judas’ feet. Jesus let him sit at the table of his last supper. And even as Judas approached Jesus, kissing him in order to identify Jesus to captors, Jesus still called him ‘friend’. I was blown away by these acts of love because I know what it feels like to be betrayed. While some acts have been insignificant and were easily forgotten, other acts of betrayal cut right to my core and still continue to heal. Unfortunately, when I was betrayed, I didn’t treat those that betrayed me the way that Jesus treated Judas.

When people hurt us, we have to somehow make sense of what happened. We try and piece together the shock, the anger and the hurt we feel and in doing so we create a narrative that is quickly shared with those around us. We think on it, let the betrayal fester within us and we seek to pinpoint the moment we should have known that the said person was not who they had claimed to be. I think in these moments we have the capacity to become our worst selves as we paint our Judas in the worst possible light and speak only negatively about a person who once held a piece of our heart.

We must accept that people are going to hurt us because as Chris Brown so profoundly put it, ‘these h*es ain’t loyal’. Hurt, pain and betrayal are a part of life but if we are to live liberated lives, we cannot shield our hearts from this reality. Instead we have to continue give our hearts to people, love without restraints and in doing so, give people the opportunity to hurt us all over again. Although some of them will, we have a choice in that moment of profound hurt. How we deal with the betrayal will shape and change the way we view the act in the years that lie ahead of us. If we can rise above the act, love first and then forgive as soon as we can, I truly believe that when we look back on the betrayal, we won’t be filled with rage, hurt and bitterness. I truly believe that an act of love has the capacity to bring light and life to every broken moment we will ever experience.

On this day, I am reminded of a love that covers my shame, my brokenness and that fixed the parts of my being that I did not believe could be salvaged. A love that transformed my being, my heart, my mind and my life. I want to love like that; I want to love like Jesus did. I want to be able to love those who hurt me in the way that Jesus loved Judas. I want to be able to love people who aren’t loyal just as much as I love those that are. It’s not easy, but it is possible.

Although this day is about death, it is also about love and loyalty. Jesus could have decided not to die for us, but he did. He kept his promise just as any loyal friend would and died just so that we could live. Today I am thanking him for his loyalty and his love, because even though some people aren’t loyal, he always is.

Lots of my love on this beautiful day,

Joy