Freedom – Going Somewhere

Freedom is not the destination but ability to make the journey. If
Satan had his way we would be bound all our lives unable to venture
out anywhere.

But when we gave our lives to Christ he gave us a
passport that enabled us to go anywhere we wanted. He doesn’t keep us
locked up for fear that we make mistakes. He opens the door and pushes
us out. Sure we’ll mess up and get hurt. But we also have the freedom
to come running back to him for healing.

Freedom is about the lessons we learn on the journey. Freedom is
progressive. It doesn’t happen in an instant. I wish it did. We grow
in it. Just as we grow in love and faith we grow in freedom.

It’s not about arriving somewhere. It’s about going somewhere.

By going there I’m free.

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Book review: Permission to Speak Freely

This book is about confession.  It’s based on the principle set out in James 5 where it says, “confess your sins one to another, that you may be healed.”  The author, Anne Jackson was inspired to write it when she posted a question on her blog, ‘what is the one thing you feel you can’t say in church?’ She was overwhelmed by the response ranging from confession of mistakes made to abuse received to questions that you’re not supposed to ask if you’re a Christian.  However people responded, it all amounted to one thing: people were afraid to speak the truth in what should be the safest environment to be real.  Instead, people were using her blog to come clean about stuff they had been carrying for years.  Feeling that they couldn’t talk about their problem made them even more problem.  That is why it says, “confess your sins that you may be healed.”  Not ‘forgiven’ or ‘judged.’  There is healing in confession, in taking off the mask.

This is not a self-help book.  It doesn’t give 10 steps to a whole and healthy life or 5 ways to be perfect.  Anne simply confesses.  Her story.  Her pain.  Her weakness.  And in doing so makes it a little easier for the rest of us to do the same.

beauty for ashes

I’m being inspired to look for beauty in everything every day. Some say to look for laughter every day but some days that is impossible. But we can definitely see beauty everyday because God says he will give us “beauty for ashes” (Isa 61:3). So even in the ashes of death and destruction we can see beauty. If we look for it. That’s the key you see. You need to ask in any given situation, “where is the beauty in this?”

So I’m looking everyday for beauty in the words I read the, people I meet, the music I listen to, the images I see, the situations I find myself in.

As a result the content of this blog will be changing slightly. Yes I’ll still be pondering and writing and relaying that to you but I will also be sharing with you the beauty that I see in my life whether that I something I read or a song I hear or memory shared or an image I see…

Because it’s not about me

It’s about the beauty I see.

seed to the sower

Over the past few weeks I’ve come to realise a few things about how I handle my creativity – and it wasn’t nice.  I realised that I was being very selfish.  I was reluctant to release what was inside me.  Why? Three reasons mainly:

  1. It wasn’t good enough.
  2. It would make me really vulnerable.  Some of the stuff God wants me to write is deeply personal and I treated like ‘our little secret’ not because it’s bad but because up until now it’s just been between us and I didn’t see it as anyone else’s business (sorry).  But as the title at the top of this page clearly states: “IT’S NOT ABOUT ME” then I have to get over myself and stop being a hypocrite.
  3. I would run out of ideas.  I thought that if I wrote everything that is on my mind at this point in time to write, what happens after that?  What if the well runs dry?  So I was keeping it all to myself ‘for a rainy day.’  Then I was reminded of a verse that says, “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness”  (2 Cor 9:10).

Notice he gives seed, not a harvest.  Why? Because harvest is the end of a cycle whereas seed always represents the beginning of a cycle.  The more I sow, the more seed he gives me to sow, and on and on it goes.

Notice another thing: he gives to a sower, not to someone holding something in their hand with a clenched fist so reluctant to let go.  I have to put myself in the mode of letting go.  Imagine if a farmer wouldn’t sow his seed.  Imagine he said to you, “this seed is in my hand right now and if I put it in the ground then my hand will be empty.”  Yes, this is true, he will have to cope with and empty hand but if he holds onto his seed he will have to cope with an empty barn at harvest time and no farmer wants to do that.  Neither should I.

Creating Out of Chaos

Gen 1:1. In the beginning God created…and the earth was without form and void. Another meaning for the term, “without form and void,” is ‘a place of chaos.’

There is a lot of theological debate about what happened between verses 1 and 2, like did the dinosaurs exist? I don’t know…

But what does strike me is that God created out of chaos. We are made in the image of God so we can do the same – create out of the chaos of our world. So often we wait for an opportune time to step up and create what God has called us to; we think our lives are too messy, too chaotic. Don’t wait. Create out of the chaos of your life. More and more I am convinced that chaos can fuel our creativity if we allow it. If we see past the pain and see potential. If, in the midst of darkness, we can say, “let there be light” just as God did.

Creativity is not just about being abstract and artistic, sometimes it’s just about getting through the day. I think I have an understanding of this because all my life I have been forced to create. Create a way to do life. Being in a wheelchair has made me look beyond the boundaries. In a world full of no I’ve had to create a yes. When my world was chaotic I was forced to create – create a way of living independently, create a way of doing things that ‘people like me’ don’t normally do.

Even at this moment in time I’m typing with one hand because my right arm is in plaster because of a dislocated elbow!!

So I guess I’m saying it’s possible for your world to be utterly chaotic and yet you are still able to create something beautiful out of that mess.