Wednesday, 23 January 2013

What the Bible says...


So this week we have looked at a great article that gave us some great facts and evidence as to why we believe the Bible is what it claims to be - the Word of God. Then we listened to a beautiful song which reminded us that it's not just a book - it's alive - the living Word of God. So I thought that we should probably have a look at what the Bible says about itself! 

Perhaps one of the most famous passages that talks about the Bible itself is the passage in 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

"All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."


God's Word shows us God's heart. He speaks to us through it; He guides us through it; He comforts us through it; He rejoices with us through it; and on occasion He even rebukes us and corrects us through it. What other book in history has that kind of power or that kind of impact on the lives of people who read it? I love this picture I saw on Facebook the other day (apologies for the lack of credit - I don't know where it came from originally)



God actually speaks to us through His Word - I just find the fact that a book written thousands of years ago can spill God's voice and God's will for my life from its pages utterly amazing! I love reading - anything I can get my hands on - but I have to agree with the children's song when I say the best book to read really is the Bible!

When you think about the number of authors represented in the Bible, and the number of different types of writing, the fact that there is a common theme and a common story from start to finish is extraordinary. I love to read the different books at different times, depending on my mood - whether I need comfort and go to the Psalms, or need encouragement in my role as a woman and go to the story of Esther, Ruth or the Proverbs 31 woman, or need direction and go to Paul's letters - I love the fact that I can trust that God will speak to me through every single word of it. 

On Friday I am going to go through how to have a meaningful quiet time - how to get the most out of your daily time with God and His Word -  because if we don't know how to read the Bible then actually looking in it to find out why we believe certain doctrines or statements of faith will be a little hard!!  We want to connect with God each time we open His Word, but sometimes we can be in such a rush or in a wrong attitude and it seems like we are getting nothing from the words... Hopefully Friday's post will help encourage you in this!! 

Until then keep shining... :)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Word is ALIVE...

A beautiful song that reminds me that this isn't just a book we're studying and reading - it's the Word of God and its ALIVE!!! :)


Casting Crowns - The Word is Alive


Monday, 21 January 2013

The first thing we need to know...


Everything that we are going to look at over the next couple of weeks makes one big assumption. It assumes that we believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of the Living God, given by His holy inspiration to men to write so that through it God can reveal Himself and His message to us. 

If you think about it, it's a pretty big assumption to make, and yet every point of our 'Statement of Faith' rests on this one fact. So why do we believe this and how can we prove it? 

In order to answer this question I am going to reference an organisation I had the privilege of working for a couple of years ago. Agape UK is part of Campis Crusade for Christ international ( or Cru as its now known), and they have a fantastic website with some wonderful articles and resources to help us. One of the articles that comes in very handy when dealing with this issue can be found HERE.

It's an article that addresses why we can trust the Bible and why we believe while it was written thousands of years ago, it is still relevant to us today. It is well worth a read, because sometimes we can forget the amazing-ness of a book which written so many years ago, stands the tests of time, has one purpose and never contradicts itself once. 

Also Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of The Jesus Storybook Bible, wrote this when explaining the purpose behind God's letter to us... 

“No, the Bible isn’t {just} a book of rules, or a book of heroes.  The Bible is most of all a Story.  It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. 

It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne ~ everything ~ to rescue the one he loves.  It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life! 

You see, the best thing about this Story is ~ it’s true.  There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. 

The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them. 

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story.  And at the center of the Story, there is a baby.  Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. 

He is like the missing piece in a puzzle ~ the piece that makes all other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.”


I love this quote from the book because to me it sums up perfectly what I wanted to say. God's Word is so complete - from beginning to end - telling us one amazing story in many different chapters and in many different ways. But it all comes down to the same underlying fact - God loves us and sent His Son to die for us because He wants to give us the best gift of all.

Tomorrow we'll have a look at the first of articles from our 'Statement of Faith'. Hopefully by the end of this we'll all have a better idea of where our faith is truly based. I am so excited to be starting this!!!

Until then - keep shining... :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Desperate winner!!

The winner of the Desperate book is...

Dawn... Jennifer... And Natasha!!!!

I decided that since you all have wonderful reasons for reading it you all should get a copy - I hated the thought of a generator picking a random number and somebody losing out!!

If you all could email you address to shinefortheking@hotmail.co.uk I'll let you know when to expect them!

Keep shining... :)

Monday, 14 January 2013

A new year... a new plan...

The other day, as I walked along fulfilling one of my many New Year resolutions (to walk with my eldest son a couple of times a week), I listened to an amazingly challenging sermon. It was given by Rev W Behan from a church in New Zealand, and was on Philippians 4. It challenged me so much that I just had to share it with you! 

The sermon was the start of a series, talking about and exploring what he called the 'Principles for Spiritual Stability'. For the next couple of weeks I want us to think about the first one - Stand Firm



In the sermon he looked at three areas in which we have to stand firm, and it really struck me that this is what I want for this year. There are three areas in which we need to stand firm - in our doctrine, in our behaviour and in the Lord. We need to be sure of what we believe and why we believe it, we need to know how these fundamentals of our faith should be shown in our behaviour, in how we should shine for God, and most of all we need to stand firm in growing in our relationship with God and in our daily times with Him. 

I am so very excited to be doing this - it's something I have been so challenged about recently, and as Luke says at the start of his gospel 

"Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honourable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught." 
Luke 1:1-4

We need to be certain of what we are taught, putting anything we hear against the Word of God to make sure what we believe is the truth and not false teaching. I hope you will enjoy this wee series as we look at different sections of our 'statement of faith' together. 

This week I am away on a little girlie trip with my mum and sisters, so I'll be starting it on Monday coming. Until then, keep shining... :)

Monday, 7 January 2013

Desperate...


Desperate... That's exactly how I have felt at various times in my journey into the wild and exciting job of motherhood. I have felt overwhelming joy, the urge to hide under the covers and hope the boys can amuse themselves for a bit and the panic that makes me want to run away and not look back. I have struggled to find space, struggled to find a balance between what my heart tells me is the best job I could ever have, and the desire to have a life outside of being a mum, and I have struggled to breathe as the weight of my responsibility hits me. There is no way I would have survived without the daily knowledge that I have a Father God who is with me constantly and holds not only mine, but the boys' futures safe in His almighty hands. 

I dont usually do book reviews but i just had to do this one. Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson have written a book called "Desperate: Hope For The Mom Who Needs To Breathe" and I want to tell you about it - in fact i really want to shout it from the rooftops!! It is a wonderfully written book - a conversation between a mum who is in the midst of the struggles of having younger children, and a mum who has been there and come out the other side. It is full of godly wisdom, taking you back to the Bible time and time again, reminding us that we aren't alone. Not only so we have other mums all over the world who are going through the exact same emotions as us, but as God's children we have the Holy Spirit living in us, there to help us when we just seek Him.




I have four boys and being in a house full of boys toys and boisterous souls has really challenged me - a girly girl! But God has a wonderful plan for each of us and He chose ME to be their mum, even in the midst of my pain and struggles, and I know He is there to help me every step of the way. I need to remember this every day - and this book really helped me to re-focus and take real joy in the stage of life we are in. 

I would advise any mum who is struggling, who feels as if she is being pulled apart and can't breathe, to get this book and to really get back what God says about being a mum. You will cry, laugh and be amazed as they appear to be talking about your life... and you will find verses, tips and love in every page.  There are even videos of the two authors linked at the end of each chapter, and questions for you to answer to get the most out of the book.

Sarah Mae has lots of wonderful give-aways on her site to celebrate the launch of "Desperate" but I also want to give away a copy of this wonderful book. Simply  comment below (on the blog not the FB page!!) and let me know why you need it. Then on Friday I will randomly select a winner! 

Keep shining... :)