Monthly Archives: September 2011

Church

So I have been brought up in church. I was at a small Baptist church from the age of 2 – I saw it being built, I was there when it was nothing more than a tin hut, even when we were meeting in the function room of a pub!

My brother stopped coming when he was around 11. He had a disagreement with the minister (he was told off for not standing and singing!).

My mum and I carried on going, until we moved and it got a bit more difficult.

I started to enter the ways of the world, drinking in my friend’s house on a weekend at around 14, skipping church and although I still believed in Jesus, I was edging further and further away.

My mum was ill and needed prayer. She was confronted by the prayer group at the church and told that she wasn’t to hold her own prayer meetings – if she needed prayer, it should be brought to the group. My mum was fragile and felt her shelter had turned against her. We didn’t go back.

We started going to another church, once labeled “Pentecostal”, now non-denominational, but still very Pentecostal! I love it there, I have friends and feel happy there… most of the time…

I guess one thing I really struggle with is the structure. If a friend or family member answers the altar call and goes up for prayer, I can’t go pray with them – I don’t have a badge… Sometimes I feel particularly drawn to a person and feel an intense desire to pray for them, but I’m not allowed as I haven’t been given the prayer team badge by the Elders.

I do Brownies at the Baptist church where I grew up. Tonight the (new) minister asked my opinion on the new prayer board, if I had any ideas… I shared a few ideas and she was pleased with them. I confided in her about my feelings toward my church and explained that the Baptist church is my home – I’d intended to come back once a month for the Sunday morning service but it never happened. She told me that if I can commit to once a month, or even more, she could really use me “up at the front”. I don’t actually know what that means but as she said, she’s not exactly young – they could really use some fire and passion.

I don’t know what to do – I can’t really commit to anything at the minute. I love my church but I’d love to be part of my childhood church again too! I just don’t know!

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September 11th

So today is the 10 year anniversary of the tragedy that has become known simply as, “9/11”.

Here’s my story… Hope I don’t offend anyone, just giving you a 12 year old’s view.

A decade ago, I was at school – I was in year 8 and had French class that day – learning about colours and animals, specifically, a purple bird!

I got home from school and my Mum was at her friend’s house, this wasn’t unusual, I had my own key but as I was walking home with my friend anyway (Mum’s friend’s daughter) we just went down to her house.

When we got there, our mums were glued to the TV, which was set to the SKY News channel – usually it was depressing old ballads on the Magic music channel so we asked what they were watching.

Remember that I was 12…

They told us that an aeroplane had gone into the Twin Towers… this meant absolutely nothing to me! I didn’t know what the Twin Towers were, where they were and why it was such a big deal… Mum explained something about terrorists and bombs and that hundreds of people were killed.

Still, it didn’t really mean that much to me, except that when my friend and I had to nip up to my house, we were terrified that a plane would fly over us and we’d be “goners”.

All week we were scared that our school would be bombed, especially D Block, where I had maths, English and music classes, because it was really tall (not really, but for a 12 year old, anything with 3 floors is huge!)

Needless to say, I understand the tragedy now – I don’t understand why it happened, I just understand the enormity of it.

So that’s where I was, 10 years ago today.

I thank the Lord for those heroes who risked their lives to help the victims and I pray that they will never be forgotten.

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In-Laws!

So we went to the boyfriend’s sister’s house the other day – she’s just had a baby girl so we went to visit and to take a little gift for her.

I can’t say I dislike her but I can’t say I like her either – it’s just very difficult. I don’t feel welcome or comfortable, and here’s why:

  • We’ve been together just over 2 and a half years and she’s never made an effort to chat to me, unless it’s to complain about her life or her vast array of psycho exes!
  • She reminds me, regularly, that her three older children “hate” me – because “Uncle R&R never sees them anymore, since he got with you” – he used to live next door to them, they moved away, that’s why they don’t see him as much! She’s actually told me that she tells them, “Well, he’s got a girlfriend now, he hasn’t got time to play with you” – no mention of him starting university and moving 10 miles away with no ability to drive!!
  • On at least 4 occasions (including the first time I met them, and just the other day) the kids have brought up my boyfriend’s exes – “Hey Uncle R&R, didn’t you used to have a girlfriend called Amy?” – This neice only ever met Amy once, for around an hour, at least 4 years ago, when she was only aged 5 or younger… There’s no way she’d remember this and so it must be a regular conversation piece… She’s also quite often called me by an ex’s name, even after being told what my name is – I know this is a child, maybe not specifically his sister’s fault but still, she should speak to her!

Anyway, I guess I just wanted to rant…

I get on really well with his other sister and his Mum, even his drug-dependant, schizophrenic brother!!

You can’t win them all I guess!

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Imagine This

Please bear with me whilst I try to gather my thoughts…

Isaiah 53: 2-8 (NIV) states that:

3 He was despised and rejected by mankind […] 4 Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering […] 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.[…] 7 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth[…] he did not open his mouth. 8 […] for the transgression of my people he was punished.

 

Now, can I just point something out here? This book was written around 8 years before Jesus was even born. So around 40 years before this horrific murder took place. I’m sorry, but I just can’t accept this as a coincidence.

The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of the Messiah – he went into detail about His trial and His murder.

Just imagine for one minute, that you are Mary, mother of Jesus. You have studied the scriptures and you know of this prophesy. Imagine how you would feel, then, knowing that your unborn child, whom you are carrying in your womb, desperately trying to protect and provide for, is the fulfillment of this prophesy. Your precious little bundle of joy is the very man whose trial and death was depicted all those years ago.

Can you even inagine it? I can’t!

Knowing that your child is the Son of God is one thing, but then having to watch him grow up and know that he will be murdered in cold blood, in order to appeal to the Almighty Father for the sins of complete strangers… How on earth do you cope with that?!

Knowing that He could have stopped it, if He’d just opened His mouth, but He didn’t, and He wouldn’t – other than to intercede once more, to beg His Father in Heaven to forgive the very people who brought about His death!

He did this for me. I might as well have been the cruel, heartless soldier, nailing Him to that piece of wood; spitting upon His beautiful, mangled face. Imagine that.

And yet He still loves me – and prays for me every day!

I just can’t wrap my head around it – it’s amazing!

~R&R

 

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Being a Christian

So as some of you may know, I’m a Christian.

Not in a “I was christened when I was a baby so I’m a Christian” kind of way – I was christened as a baby but that doesn’t count – I didn’t have a choice in the matter!

I was brought up in a little Baptist church from the age of 2. I knew who Jesus was, I knew I was God’s child, but I didn’t know Jesus personally.

“How can you know Jesus personally?” I hear you ask… Well, I don’t know, other that when I was 19, I started going back to church after taking around 5 years being ‘in the world’. I started to go back and the first night I was there, we were meeting in a local leisure centre as the hall was bigger for the Revival services.

All I can say is I felt something I had never felt before… The evangelist, Nathan Morris, (from Shake the Nations ministries and recently from the Bay of the Holy Spirit Revival in Alabama, broadcast on GOD TV) was speaking at the front – I don’t even remember what he was saying, I imagine he was speaking of the Blood, but I was trembling and tears were rolling down my cheeks at a great speed – I had no idea why; I wasn’t sad, happy, I didn’t feel anything!

He called me to the front and asked my name and age. He prayed for me and shouted “FIRE”. The moment he touched my forehead I felt my legs buckling, I tried to keep myself standing and he whispered something like, “don’t worry”. He shouted “FIRE” again and I was flat out on my back.

I didn’t pass out, I could still hear everything, I was just laying on the floor… I felt that I was trembling too much to even sit up so I just stayed there.

That was the Holy Spirit telling me, “the Father wants you, accept me into your heart”.

A few weeks later I was at church (it had been moved back to the normal building) during a Sunday evening meeting. I suddenly realised that I had been calling myself a Christian all these years but I wasn’t. I had never truly opened my heart to the Lord. I stepped out and spoke to an Elder, saying i felt that I needed to be baptised. He said the Sinner’s Prayer with me, as I was concerned that I couldn’t be a Christian because I’d not said “The Prayer”!!

This was almost three years ago. I was baptised in February 2009 and since then, I have slowly but surely learned who Jesus is.

He’s not some make-believe figure, or a tiny little magical baby born in December.

He’s the living, breathing, God Almighty! He came to Earth so that He could be the Ultimate Sacrifice – no more lambs were to be burned as offerings as He was the Lamb of God – offering Himself to pay for our sins.

It was only when I realised that He died for me, and even if I were the only person on Earth that day, He would have still done it, for me, that I could truly understand His love.

He was murdered in cold blood. Tortured. Ridiculed.

And yet He went through it, with the ability to stop it at any given time, He didn’t. He suffered as any human being would.

And He would do it again every single day to guarantee your place in eternal paradise.

It’s amazing to comprehend!

Jesus died for me. And for you. And all you’ve got to do is accept His sacrifice.

I did – will I see you in Heaven?

~R&R

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