Lent 2015 … Day 18… When a greyhound showed me how to trust.

Facebook-20141204-023632My family consists of many people both near and far, and I have in previous blogs talked about my grandson William who lives with me together with his Mum, my daughter. However, also I have a retired racing greyhound who has found is ‘forever home’ with us, and he has fitted in very well considering we are a typical, chaotic and noisy family.

Oh dear that’s sounds as though all families are noisy, dysfunctional and chaotic, nevertheless to have a dog in our home has made our family it complete again. When Danny came to us, he was very scared, nervous and it was clear he was wary of humans, however after two years he THE most gentle dogs I have ever encountered.

WP_20140719_003Trust is something that does not come easy to humans as well as dogs, and there is a saying that trust must be earned, and to some degree that is correct, still trusting in God is also easier said than done.

Trusting in God means that

God will never leave us, even when the going gets tough,

God will always love us, even if we bicker, and complain

God will always remain faithful to us, even if we are not faithfulness to God.

Seeing the trust in Danny’s eyes the complete love that he gives to us as a family, reminds me of the love God has for us…. I look forward to the time when I will able to journey to my ‘forever home’ in the presence of the God who loves all creation, whether they have two legs or four legs.

………………………….

Trusting Lord

Why is it I find it difficult to trust?

Maybe it is all the hurt that I have stored up inside of me.
Maybe it’s the impenetrable wall I have built up as a protection

Maybe it’s being frightened of being disappointed … again

…………………………………………..

Trust seems easy for others,

but not for me

Enable me to allow your love and peace

to soak into my inner body and soul ,

To know that you will always love

and not disappoint me

To know that you will tenderly lift each brick

and place it at a distance

To know that by your grace,

the hurt will be replaced by forgiveness

In Jesus name

Amen

RD

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Lent 2015 .. Day 16…Grace

Grace cloud

Can you ever define ‘Grace’ ?

I am not too sure, but I know what ‘ungracious’ means and what it’s like to be on the other end of it ! It is when someone is churlish, ungrateful, offhand, rude, insensitive and disrespectful to me, and I feel inadequate and hurt. It’s a horrible feeling.

Grace, it seems to me, is about respect, love, being valued, cherished, kindness, and treasured, in other words the total opposite of ungracious.

Personally … I don’t even try to define what grace is, I just know when I experience it, it makes me feel elated, loved and it’s like walking on air !

. Many people can look back at a gracious situation, and recognize that at that moment it felt like God stepped in and touched a situation in their life in a way that is unique, and sometimes unexpected. It almost defines any comprehension, where it becomes a ‘holy and spiritual experience’ which can stay with us for a very long time, and strengthen us in time of crisis. The wonderful fact is that God’s grace is something that we have no right to, yet God blesses us with grace which is in abundance and given freely to us.

Just for one moment think about that ……..

A love given freely with no strings attached,

A Love given unconditionally,

A love which knows no limits,

A love regardless of our faults and failings,

A love given regardless of our gender, sexuality, and abilities.

If we take this seriously then our response is to praise God, and do whatever we can to work for a just world, a world that is inclusive, and that encourages God’s light to shine from within us … so all may recognise that the Love we have for all people,  comes from our gracious God .

We are mirrors whose brightness, if we are bright, is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us.
~ C. S. Lewis

Sunshine and showers

sunshine and showers

The summer weather has been a mixture of the two S’s …sunshine and showers.  Mostly the sun has been shining, and when this happens, everyone seems to be happier and more positive, yet when the showers did come … gosh did it rain !! Dark clouds, thunderstorms and the rain pounding onto the pavement and grass….. much needed water for the plants and crops.

For most people, the weather can affect us quite significantly. We feel positive and optimistic when the weather is sunny and warm, however wind, cold and rain can bring gloomy thoughts – even despair. Like the weather- each of us as individuals, has a sunny side and a shadow side. Many of us feel we always have to put on a ‘sunny’ face, always be cheerful and positive  ….and yet yearn to have someone listen to us, to tell them of our fears, worries and doubts.

God knows us intimately, the sunny side and the shadow side, and with his unconditional love and grace he always will love and treasure us. After the heavy shower and the sun starts to peek through the clouds we sometime get a rainbow, or beautiful rays that shine through the dark clouds, a reminder of God’s promise to us and bless us with abundant love.

If life is treating you harshly, or you feel that you cannot allow people to see the real you….if you are fearful of being judged or feel excluded in some way from society and community, remember there is one loyal and true friend you have who loves and totally accepts the whole you, the real you , the you that no-one else sees or knows …and that is Jesus.

 

Prayer

 

God of the sunshine and showers .

In the days when I feel depressed , and full of despair

When the dark clouds loom ever closer

And all I feel is emptiness

Enfold me in your tender care

 

In the days I feel unworthy and excluded

When my loneliness pulls me to greater depths

And hope is replaced by fear

Enfold me in your tender care

 

In the days when I feel uplifted and full of joy

When the sunshine lifts my Spirit

And every moment brings a smile

Enfold me in your tender care

 

Enable me Lord to see beyond the rain

To bright skies and a soaring Spirit

As the eagle rises on currents of warm air to glide high above the earth

May we who are part our your body

Rise to new heights within us

To capture the essence of your Grace

so we may forever bathe in your goodness and light.

Amen