Wholly Holy

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Sometimes I feel discouraged
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the holy spirit
Revives my soul again.

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

Don’t ever feel discouraged
For Jesus is your friend,
And if you lack for knowledge
He’ll ne’er refuse to lend

There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin-sick soul.

A song from the days of slavery.

EMDR stirs up memories and I often find random memories appearing in my mind. It also stirs up dreams. By act of will I can attempt to ignore the memories during the day, but when they attack at night I often wake up anxious and uneasy. Praise God for His healing balm. Praise God for His holiness in all the ugliness. He gives me strength in my weakness. May the glory and honour always be His, forever and ever.

‘Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.’

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (The Message)

‘Mummy, Sometimes I Feel Like Killing Myself’

Frank is away this week in London on business. It’s been a surreal time. I miss him terribly. It’s the longest we’ve ever been apart, but I’m making the most of the time with just me and the children. Also, it has proved the EMDR is working because I am no longer panicking and paranoid when I’m alone in the house. I am coping. Yay!

Anyway, yesterday evening, Fluff was at gymnastics. Chip had lost this privilege earlier in the week through bad behaviour so at 6 o’clock she and I were eating soup with Prince, all nice and calm, like.

“Mummy,” Prince said matter-of-factly while munching toast, “sometimes I feel like I want to kill myself.”

If your child said this to you at the dinner table, how would you react? 

I took it in my stride… we are used to brutal honesty in this house, and we are used to a young man who often says things that are completely unexpected, especially at the dinner table for some reason! He may have autism and learning disabilities, but he’s a very deep thinker (can’t think where he gets that from, can you?). So, despite the seemingly terrible tea time conversation-starter in front of his 9-year-old sister, I asked dear Prince what made him say that. I wasn’t shocked or horrified or… anything, really. I just wanted to understand what he was thinking and why.

“Because sometimes,” Prince replied, “the world just seems like such a horrible place full of horrible things and I don’t want to live in a world like that.”

Bless his beautiful black-and-white thinking. He doesn’t have the social skills to recognise why saying exactly what you think might be socially unacceptable. e.g. when we were in the supermarket and he said, horrified (and within earshot), “Mummy, why does that lady stink?!”

So we had a conversation about a world full of sin and sorrow, and a caring, loving God whose heart was breaking seeing all the misery. We talked about how He sent His Son, who willingly gave Himself to be killed in the most horrible way, to experience for Himself the very worst suffering, so that the bridge between us and God could be mended. Eventually I promised to get him a notebook so that he can write down all of his feelings and show them to his counsellor, whom he sees monthly. Then the conversation took a slightly different turn.

“I’m not sure I want to be a Christian, Mummy.” He said, “I don’t want to be like you and Daddy. It’s too hard. I just want to be able to pray sometimes.”

We talked about love and what happens when God is your friend and constant companion. We talked about how love is the only thing to make a difference in the world, how love is the only thing worth living for, and how God is love. These conversations are always challenging, because Prince’s vocabulary is limited and his comprehension is very literal. I have to keep my language very simple and straightforward, and this is quite difficult!

I thanked God for the opportunity to talk to my son about Jesus on his terms. Church and Sunday School are pitched way over Prince’s head, so he’s never going to learn from there, even if he does recognise that church people are generally kind and friendly to one another. We’ve had some conversations around the dinner table, but that one was a corker.

What about you? Have you ever had stunning questions from your offspring? How have you dealt with it?

Reblog: Confidence through Weakness

sandyfaithking:

‘I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me’ gets bandied around a lot by well-meaning-but-naive types. Trouble is that it often gets interpreted as ‘I can do all things because I am strong’ rather than ‘my weakness is huge, but grace gives me strength’ (which is what Paul is actually saying in the rest of the chapter – he’s talking about suffering). In the face of ‘I can do all things because I am strong’ I just want to run away and hide, appalled at my weakness, but given the other interpretation… as long as I say ‘yes’, I am strengthened beyond what I ever imagined. God has been showing me this, lately, as I go through EMDR – this strength that He bestows. It is a somewhat fearful thing, but it is nonetheless beautiful.

Philippians is one of my favourite books of the bible. In particular this end section of the letter to the church at Philippi:

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.

Philippians 4:8-14 (NRSVA)

Originally posted on Contemplative in the Mud:

So now, since you want to belong entirely to God, why should you be afraid of your weakness – on which, in any case, you shouldn’t be relying.
Saint Francis de Sales

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Reblog: Cosmic Christ, Cosmic Humanity

sandyfaithking:

Sometimes when I see the ugliness of the world, I have to remind myself of this. That Christ is the head of creation is both a challenge and a call. It wakes me up when I might slip into apathy, and reaches out to me with the urgency of a lover when all I can see are darkness and ugliness and pain.

Originally posted on Contemplative in the Mud:

EdithA humanity united in Christ and through Christ is the temple in which the Triune God has his abode… And as the head of humankind, which combines in itself the higher [spiritual] and the lower [corporeal] reaches of being, Christ is the head of creation in its totality.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

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My Brothers, My Sisters

Caring isn’t a Christian’s sideline hobby. Caring is a Christian’s complete career. We don’t just care about people — caring about people is our job — the job every single one of us get up to do every single day. That’s it. Caring is our job, our point, our purpose. We’re here to care like a boss… 

Because God forbid, you don’t get a roof over your head, food on your table and the safety of no bullets shattering your windows because you deserve more — you only get all that so that you get to serve more.’

Read more of Ann Voskamp’s brutally honest post about the desperate realities of life as a refugee fleeing Islamic State here:

Into Iraq #2: What the News isn’t Telling You & Why We Can’t Afford to Pretend it’s Not Happening

You can donate via Ann’s page to The Preemptive Love Coalition, or you can donate to Open Doors. Both are there on the ground with the refugees. I have no more words. Just read it. Please. Give what you can.

A Day in the Life of a Proverbs 31 Husband

sandyfaithking:

Another reblog!

This made me chuckle thinking of what my husband might write about me. I’m the epitome of the long lost Proverbs 47 woman. The rest of Proverbs got stuck down the back of the sofa along with three polo mints and a lottery scratchcard, so people haven’t generally heard of it. Also, of course, there’s the Proverbs 48 man: ‘A husband of goodly manners, who can find? He putteth down the toilet seat and cleaneth out the sink after shaving…’

I don’t know why but I’m reminded of a telephone conversation I had with my mother several years ago. I may have shared this story before. Where I come from ‘pastor’ is pronounced the same as ‘pasta’. Also, most church leaders are not ‘pastor’ but vicar or minister, etc. ‘Pastor’ is quite unusual. So when I said I had an appointment with the pastor my mother thought I was joking about my lunch, laughed, and told me she’d just had a sandwich. I didn’t know why she was talking about sandwiches all of a sudden, but it was clear she was more than a little worried when I said I was going to talk to the ‘pasta’…

Originally posted on Tim's Blog - Just One Train Wreck After Another:

Hey Pal!

I know I’ve owed you an email for a while. Sorry about not staying in touch, but life here has been crazy. Just as a for instance, here’s what yesterday was like for me.

9:00 – Got out of bed. I woke up earlier but my wife told me to sleep in because she had everything covered. I have so much confidence in her I just had to roll over and go back to sleep.

9:05 – She brought me breakfast all the way from the kitchen on the other side of the house. And this house is HUGE. I mean, I don’t mean to boast but with the money she brings home from her flax and wool factory she insisted I should enjoy the lifestyle she can afford to give me.

10:00 – I headed to the city park to brag about my wife. Seriously, those other…

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