Saturday 18 June 2011

Speaking in love

'Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.' Ephesians 4:15-16

The above bible verse speaks of the idea of 'speaking in love', which for a long time I was quite confused with this concept. I suppose the reason for confusion is because I felt that 'speaking in love' contradicted the idea of not judging people.

'Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others,and you will be forgiven.' Luke 6:37

Recently, God taught me about 'speaking in love' through first hand experience. There was a decision that I had made that wasn't right with what God wanted for me and that put myself in a vulnerable position. As we all know, Satan is the 'father of lies'(John 8:44) and he does his best to make sin look appealing and like we aren't doing anything wrong. I was wearing tinted glasses, I couldn't see what the decision I had made could lead to..I was believing the lies. When we're in that place, we need a wake up call. Not only was I wearing tinted glasses but I was also not hearing properly from the extremely loud headphones I was wearing so to speak. God always talks, I just wasn't listening. So God decided to speak to the heart of someone who would hear clearly; someone who I have been building a friendship with who I value her words. She told me that the decision that I had made didn't feel right and she was there to pray for me, give me hugs and listen. That is speaking in love. When God stirs your see someone that you care about doing something that you know isn't right with God and that will not benefit their walk with Jesus and you tell them in a gentle and loving way, which means privately too. It is a heart matter. You want to help them, not criticise them and make yourself feel better. You tell them something that is not just based on your own opinions and schemas but from God's heart. It is a tricky situation that someone could possibly not want to hear clearly therefore fighting against your words but if you feel God has encouraged you to do so, you should trust Him and do so anyway. God wanted us to be in community, not trying to do it on our lonesome.

Since God had been teaching me about 'speaking in love', it was only quite rightly that He would give me an opportunity to put what I had learnt into action. I saw that some of my youth who I help lead were doing something that put up a 'come in!' sign to the devil and his evil followers. My heart ached and I knew this was God saying 'come on Daz, let's gently open some eyes'. So I wrote them a private message, which I completely believe God was writing with me, explaining what the implications could be of what they were doing and that I was here to talk and pray about it if they wanted. They responded in a positive way, which was really good and showed me that I handled the situation in the right way. If you come across a situation where you feel that you need to shine some light on a loved one's actions then my advice would be, check your heart: is the issue something that you and God disagree with or just you? how would you like someone to approach telling you if the roles were reversed? and don't do it alone, let your Heavenly Dad lead you through it. I know I've still got a lot to learn on this topic but I just love it how God isn't satisfied with our confusion but is patient with us to catch up if it is something we need to understand :)

Saturday 4 June 2011

Just discovered!

Well, you all know how a long while ago I was trying new things and to be honest I think I can say I have kept that up in different ways. My boyfriend Ramone told me lately about a new fruit that has been discovered called 'strasberries'. At first I wasn't sure if he was just winding me up because that is part of his character but then he showed me in the tesco where he works. It sounded like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a new invention and then I thought of in Bruce Almighty when he creates a new flower 'tudaisy'; a mix between a tulip and a daisy to try and impress his girlfriend Grace which made me chuckle. They are a just discovered fruit, a mix between strawberry and raspberry from South America. They kinda look like crumpled strawberries in appearance but the taste was really nice. They have the furry texture of raspberries and the taste is sweet but not as tangy as strawberries. Quite an expensive buy of £3 for one small punnet but hey, they are just discovered.

Then, today when I was out with my good friend Ruth shopping in Sainsburys I found another fruit that I had never seen or tasted before. It was a 'sharon fruit'. It looks like a firm mirky orange tomato. So I bought it and tried it. It was ok, I wouldn't say it was delicious but it was better than the dragon fruit that I tried a while ago which it's taste was a total disappointment in comparison to it's appearance. The closest I could get to describe the taste of the sharon fruit is like a weird apricot.

If you've got any suggestions of weird and wonderful foods for my palette to test then suggest away because it is quite exciting that I may find a new favourite taste. God is just totally amazing, completely indescribable in what He's made! The more things I discover, the more of His beauty and craftsmanship is revealed :)

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Practise leads to patience

When Alex Ortiz came to England into my life from Guatemala, he brought with him many wonderful things. One of those things was his incredible passion for music. Suddenly my spirit was being (and still is) exposed to all these amazing musicians/composers such as Yanni and actually nourishing my spirit like music should do. For a long time, I always admired musicians as I thought it was something that I would never be able to do, especially piano because my hands are small with chipolata fingers. However, I met my friend Jamie Joiner who plays piano and guess what?! he's hands are not large and he's fingers are not long like I expected all piano players hands to be like. Silly me! As God has been leading me into becoming who He made me to be, I made the decision that I would actually love to play piano and that I was going to go for it. I've had two lessons so far with a great teacher and I'm really enjoying it. She says that I am doing well and going further than she thought I would be at this time, although when I'm practising it is still taking me what feels like forever to change keys. This is very frustrating. When my parents asked me how the practising was going I told them what I just told you. Their response was to remind me that it has only been my second lesson. At that point I realised that I am definately not as patient as I should be, apart from when I'm working with children :P Patience isn't the act of waiting, it's how you act while you wait and I was acting irritable when I was struggling to change keys quickly. I want to be able to play a song smoothly now but then the still voice comes to mind and reminds me that that's the goal and what you want doesn't just appear, it takes hard work otherwise there would be not as much joy when you have succeeded at something. Looking at my learning in general and my waiting in general, I do struggle with patience. I get excited! And this leads to reasoning going out the window. A great thing though is that my Heavenly Dad isn't done with me yet....

'Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus' Philippians 1:6

So now I know that impatience is a stronghold in me, I can face it head on. I can say sorry to God for allowing the spirit of impatience into my life and receive Jesus' amazing forgiveness, bind that spirit and replace it with patience. I can, in God's strength, train myself in the act of patience and you know what, just enjoy the ride that learning is..have some fun in those blips! I don't want to miss out because my sight has been on what is to come than what is now.