I’ve just discovered the awesome contemporary Christian singer songwriter Lauren Daigle and had to share one of her tracks for this week’s Worship Wednesday. It focuses on how sometimes things don’t go according to our plans but we should trust in God and HIS plan for us! I hope this blesses someone today who is struggling with that mountain they’re facing…
Today was the last day of the C.S. Lewis festival here in East Belfast and also the anniversary of the great writer’s death 54 years ago. So for this week’s Worship Wednesday I want to share a beautiful song from one of my favourites – Brooke Fraser.
The song begins with the famous words of the man, affectionately known as Jack, who grew up in a grand house called Little Lea on the other side of the lovely park where we live..
If I find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here
But my favourite part of the song has to be the bridge…
For we, we are not long here
Our time is but a breath so we better breathe it
And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know you
Isn’t that so true – life is short so let’s live it and let’s spread love wherever we go.
Sorry for the lack of posts this last week. We’ve had lots of family time and fun celebrating our church birthday – there may have been some yummy baking too. It’s important to sometimes take a step back and enjoy the special moments in life. I don’t like putting pressure on myself to post just because I feel I should or because there’s been a time lag but to instead let the Lord guide me as to when and what to share.
Last Friday as I drove to work listening to Radio 1 (yes I’m a bit of a Grimmy fan – sorry not sorry) I was overwhelmed and touched by a song I’d heard before but had never really listened to the lyrics. I had to check what I thought I’d heard – did that guy just sing about the Lord’s grace?! This was Radio 1 and it was “grime” but yes I had heard right – the words coming from my radio were words of praise…
Lord, I’ve been broken
Although I’m not worthy
You fixed me, I’m blinded
By your grace
You came and saved me
It made me smile – how often do you hear mainstream artists being so open about their faith and singing about the Lord’s grace?! I was driving home that evening and it popped up on the radio again but this time I was singing along, thanking the Lord for this lovely reminder that we shouldn’t hide our faith just because it’s not what we usually hear or see on mainstream radio and TV. Stormzy is one of the hottest artist’s right now in the UK – he has all eyes and ears focused on him and he’s taking the opportunity to share the amazing grace that only comes from the Lord. I pray that his words touch lives and heal broken hearts.
I know some people might think it’s a little unconventional but the message in the lyrics is so powerful and should be shared far and wide. So today’s Worship Wednesday is Blinded by your Grace Pt2 by Stormzy.
When I was searching for a link for YouTube I found this beautiful version from a recent Radio 1 Live Lounge session. Enjoy!
Every week when I consider what I’m going to share for Worship Wednesday I keep being drawn back to this beautiful song – however, I keep passing over it. Not because I don’t think it’s an amazing worship song but because I think it is one of the best I’ve ever heard or encountered and quite frankfully I don’t think I can do it justice.
I mentioned in one of my first blogs that I went to Hillsong Colour Conference in London earlier this year with a group of chums – this song featured a number of times and the atmosphere of worship as thousands of women lifted his name in praise was so indescribable and awesome. Tonight I simply want to share it with you all so you can listen and feel the power of his name for yourself.
Continuing on with our theme of friendship, I want to share a little about words and their impact on us. A study a couple of years ago showed that the average person uses approximately 16,000 words a day! Words are important to share our thoughts, convey emotions and to instruct. But sometimes words spoken to us can hurt.
Even if you’re pretty thick skinned I’m sure you can think of a time in the last week or two when someone said something that hit a nerve or caused you some upset. When we’re using 16,000 words a day it is very easy for some of the words to slip out without much thought for how they might be received. In friendship we should be sharing words of encouragement, kindness, advice or love but in a time where so much of the world and the media is filled with judging, hatred or gossiping it can be easy to reflect that in our words without really giving it much thought. But how can we be careful with our words and use them to honour God in our friendships?
For some wisdom on this today I’m going to concentrate on some extracts from the book of Proverbs – as paraphrased in the MSG bible; a manual for living, for learning what’s right and just and fair.
Let’s start with how we can use our words in a positive way..
“Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs it down, but a good word cheers it up. ” Proverbs 12:25
When friends are anxious or facing problems your words can have an amazing and positive impact on their lives. A simple word of comfort or encouragement said at that right time can transform the world as they see it. It is important that we carefully consider how we can speak into people’s lives for the good. I spoke with someone this week who had received some bad news about a family member’s health – I thought carefully about the best thing to say. They didn’t want to be brushed off with empty words or lies – so I really give it some thought before saying anything and I know the words I spoke didn’t change the situation but they brought some comfort to that person and I knew instantly I’d said the thing they needed to hear the most to lift them a little in the midst of their fear.
On the other hand, I also witnessed a friend speak words to another friend this week that had the opposite effect. Someone who was struggling in a situation was faced with words that were quite frankly cutting and amidst the battle of their day probably hurt a little. Friends should encourage and offer support not cause pain. Before you speak it’s worth considering the impact your words will have.
“Careless words stab like a sword, but the words of wise people bring healing.” Proverbs 12:18
That quick comment or quip may not have meant much to you but it could have stuck in someone’s head and crushed them more than you realise.
Very often we spread words that may not have come directly from us. You may not have been the original source of the words but you find yourself passing on a story that you’ve heard second or third hand. Do you remember the game Chinese Whispers? Children sit in a circle and pass a message round the circle by whispering in the ear of the child beside them. When the message comes full circle the last child shares the message. Have you ever known the message at the end of that game to be the original message that was shared with the first person in the circle?… No I haven’t either. It might be a game played with children but it teaches us an important lesson for life. When you share another person’s version of events how do you know that they are telling the right way of things? How do you know that as the message has filtered down through this person to that person that the truth has filtered down too? Think before you share someone elses opinion or story as gospel – can you really be sure that what you are passing on is the truth, do you want to be associated with mistruths?
“Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.” Proverbs 21:23 (MSG)
That brings me on to the G-word – GOSSIP. I’ve said before I love a good definition – the dictionary.com definition of GOSSIP reads:
“idle talk or rumour, especially about the personal or private affairs of others.”
How many times has gossip caused trouble in your church, your family or your friendship circle? But yet the world keeps spinning and people still think it’s ok to gossip.
“A contrary person spreads conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” Proverbs 16:28
When conflicts or life-impacting events happen I’m the type of person who, most of the time, would rather leave it behind and move on – dwelling on what happened doesn’t really achieve anything. But there are a lot of people who feel the need to continue to talk about it even if it had nothing to do with them in the first place. Gossip and spreading conflict can be so dangerous – it can lead to arguments and betrayal of confidences and before long it can impact things far beyond the original source of the issue at hand.
“In the heat of an argument, don’t betray confidences; Word is sure to get around, and no one will trust you.” Proverbs 25:9-10 (MSG)
It’s important we use our words for good and if we can’t find something to say that will be positive and help someone then we need to hold our tongue sometimes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one for being a “yes man (or woman)” and I feel it is important that I don’t always tell someone what they want to hear just to keep them happy. But it’s how you say things and the way you approach it that are important when you want to offer some helpful criticism or advice.
“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewellery. And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.” Proverbs 25:11 (MSG)
I rely on wise and honest friends to tell me when I’m not right or when I need to reconsider my approach to something and I like to think that my friends rely on me to do the same. My honesty perhaps at times might be seen as a negative but I won’t just go along with something I’m not comfortable with or lie to someone who really needs someone to give them the honest truth. But as the scripture says we have to find the right time to offer those words and package them in the right way.
The last chapter of Proverbs – 31 details the attributes of an ideal woman. Though a lot of what it says is so very important for both men and women to consider as essential tips in every day life. So today I’m going to leave you with this thought to inspire and motivate you. Consider this a challenge to you and me; to consider trialling a filter in our brains. Before we send words out into the atmosphere think about whether or not what you are about to say is really in line with this ideal…
“When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.” Proverbs 31:26 (MSG)
This week is half term for the kiddies so I took a couple of days off work to spend some quality time with my eldest girl Evie – letting her pick some fun things to do. On the way to our girlie shopping spree this morning she sang me a lovely song she learnt in school for her harvest service. So as this week is all about enjoying time with the kids I thought I would share it with you as this week’s Worship Wednesday! The final line brought a wee smile to my face. Enjoy!
This week is half term for the kiddies so I took a couple of days off work to spend some quality time with my eldest girl Evie – letting her pick some fun things to do. On the way to our girlie shopping spree this morning she sang me a lovely song she learnt in school from her harvest service. So as this week is all about enjoying time with the kids I thought I would share it with you as this week’s Worship Wednesday! The final line brought a wee smile to my face. Enjoy!
Geplaatst door A Constant Friend op woensdag 1 november 2017