Thursday, 19 February 2015

Turning WIMPS into WARRIORS

We live in uncertain times - to that we ALL must agree!!

My heart has broken so many times especially in the last two years with the rise of persecution of Christians - the horror of terrorism - the birth of ISIS or ISIL or IS whatever they choose to call themselves this week etc.

Wars and horrific events overwhelm us on all sides and we are bombarded constantly with detestable, ghastly and heinous crimes. Most of these crimes are directed at Christians, even in our so-called 'safe' Western world, the persecution and awful maltreatment and oppression continue right before our eyes.

OPEN DOORS is an organisation set up to directly assist the persecution of Christians world wide and they certainly have their hands full - read how they define Christian persecution on their website at https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution

"Beatings, physical torture, confinement, isolation, rape, severe punishment, imprisonment, slavery, discrimination in education and employment, and even death are just a few examples of the persecution they experience on a daily basis"

I guess we can all relate to this statement as we have witnessed the frightful and abhorrent events carried out right before or very eyes.

It is my privilege to pray for Africa, Asia and the Middle East every week through Twitter on #GodsPrayerRoom and #GodsPraiseRoom and I would love to have you join us if you can - go to TweetingGodsLove.com for details.

During this time my eyes have been opened to just some of the fearful events unfolding in these countries and I may add some of the amazing ways God's Word is being spread by incredible and wonderful servants of our Lord and Saviour.

As I was dwelling on these suffering and persecuted Christians my mind wondered as to how I would fare, dealt the same set of circumstances? It's so easy in our comfort to say how we would react, it's so easy to put our hand over our hearts and confirm our faith in Christ and our willingness to lay down our lives for Him, BUT...

Are we really prepared? I thought of Paul being a mentor to a young Timothy and extolling the young guy to 'be strong in your spiritual duty NO MATTER what comes against you."

Paul knew that Timothy would be under great persecution that could very well cost him his life and he implores the young man never to lose his faith and to keep going on with Jesus.

Proverbs 29:25 tells us in the New Living Translation that "Fearing people is a dangerous trap".  Just being afraid of what people could think of us or say about us or how they will react to us if we boldly proclaim Jesus is enough to muzzle the bravest of us.

We are such capricious, changeable and unpredictable people are we not?

I am afraid we are not alone - I remember Peter and the 'denial incident' - Oh how we love to put the boot into Peter - but poor man had just seen Jesus horribly beaten, stripped, humiliated and sentenced to death on probably THE most horrible creation of man.

Peter buckled and crumpled at the thought that he could be next, but he wasn't alone. It says in Matthew 26:56 that the rest of the disciples had left Jesus and fled. They had all been ashamed of Him and not only were they embarrassed but they were afraid for their lives as well.

Peter's denial, you could say, is a classic illustration of what being ashamed of Christ is like. So instead of judging Peter, let's think it over. I would reckon all of us who love our Lord have had a 'past' in denying Him.

Those times at a party, at home with the family, at work even on Facebook or Twitter when we may have spoken just a word for Jesus and we have failed miserably. We have been ashamed of Him and failed to uphold our love for Him - and guess what - it's such a sin.

After the resurrection, you will recall that Jesus asked Peter three times "do you love me?' Jesus was restoring Peter because the old 'ashamed' Peter was useless to Jesus, just like we are useless in our embarrassed state.

It's only when God truly works in our lives that He can push us past that shame and fear - and we can throw embarrassment out of the window - only then can we be of any use to God.

Matthew 10: 32 & 33  Jesus said "Everyone who confesses me I will confess before my Father who is in Heaven but whoever shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father" can't get much plainer than that!

If we don't belong to Jesus - He doesn't belong to us - If we don't acknowledge Him he won't acknowledge us.

So here is a major sin that we commit and that sin is in the denying of Christ. It's probably THE worst sin we can commit - so how can we have a effective witness to our Lord?

We need to renew our commitment to God - Only He can change us from a WIMP to a WARRIOR.

God didn't give you a spirit of timidity - so if you are struggling with 'shyness' when it comes to God you can guarantee that it isn't a gift from God. God's gifts to us include love, hope, courage, power and discipline.

If you need courage to speak, ask for it. If you feel shy and ashamed about God then re-think where you stand actually with Him, take a good hard re-look at the gifts God feely gives and then tap into these amazing resources.

So like Timothy we need to be bold and courageous and not ashamed. We need to tap into the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit so wondrously given to us by God the Father.

God bless you as you use the gifts God has given us - the gifts of boldness and courage in taking His name to this uncertain world.


Friday, 6 February 2015

Meteors and promises

The world news is shocking - literally it truly is!

Everything is happening at alarming rates unheard of in the history of the world.

As a Christian, these horrible events have made me think even more than ever before at just how close the return of Jesus must be. I personally have always been fully aware of the second coming of Christ and have looked forward to that amazing day.

I have had many people try to explain to me that Jesus' return must be so close - "a minute to midnight" one dear Christian elder in the church once said to me and yet - it seems to me that Jesus must be delaying His return for a reason.

With the event of the holocaust for example many thousands of believers truly thought that Jesus' return was imminent - during that horrendous, despicable time, God's own chosen people were murdered, tortured, driven away, starved, beaten and horribly discriminated against. And yet here we are in the 21st century and nothing seems to have changed in fact things have got considerably worse.

So with that in mind I have started my research into the 'Heavenly's" to see what God Himself says about these 'last days'.

I began my search in Matthew 24 - the very words of Jesus Himself - "Immediately after the distress of those days 'The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the heavenly bodies will be shaken."

That verse drove me to Isaiah 13 which virtually predicts exactly the same and to Luke 21: 26 -28. "People will faint with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken and then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

The very heavens will be shaken? So the heavens will herald the coming of Jesus? So we should look to the heavens for signs of our Saviour return?

So armed with my scant knowledge of the return of Christ and my trusty laptop I began a Google search through the heavens for any signs - and I was surprised at the results I found.

I first started with the sun - that glorious creation that keeps us all here alive and kicking. Well according to Space.com the sun unleashed some sort of amazing eruption of plasma back in 2012 in back to back 'solar storms' called the incredible name of a "Solar Prominence" sounds awesome doesn't it.

In an interview, physicist Michio Kaku related how he personally is getting pretty worried about the recent 'solar flares' and said that the sun is 'having temper tantrums and is getting worse and worse". he continued in the interview saying that "My greatest fear is the earth could be hit by a large solar flare, and all hell could break loose."

Profressor Kaku is carefully watching the signs in the sun especially these amazing giant eruptions called "solar prominence" and solar flares becoming more and more frequent.

I then turned my attention to meteorites and the chance of these huge rocks hitting our tiny vulnerable little earth.

The world stood aghast as a giant meteor exploded over Russia on February, 2013 - here is the link to the video available though Space.com  http://www.space.com/19809-meteor-hits-central-russia-900+-hurt-video.html

The meteor is estimated to weight up to 10,000 tons and was travelling 64,400 km/h when it exploded. It was substantially more massive than first thought.

The blast, when it exploded, had power estimated of about 500 kilotons around 30 times larger than that of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.  It caused shockwaves that injured 1200 people and damaged 1000's of homes and businesses.

The happenings in our heavens are a sure sign that God is preparing us for the return of His son. Jesus is coming back with power and great glory and at that time 'Every knee will bow...every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2: 10-11.

I truly feel that our world is about to change forever. God is warning us loud and clear on the BIGGEST screen ever. The very heavens are speaking to us - thing is are we listening???

One thing I have learned from this study is that Christ is indeed coming again and that if we aren't ready for his amazing return then we will be left behind, we will not be part of His reign and we will be excluded from eternally living with Him in the place where He has prepared for us.

How do you get ready for this astounding, incredible time? By asking forgiveness for your sins which have separated you from God, asking God to lead your life and surrendering your life entirely to His control.

So like it says in Luke 21 - we look up to the heavens to see the wondrous works of God and see his promises coming true - We look up for our salvation and redemption is written above for all of to see.







Monday, 26 January 2015

We say "God bless you" and Heaven weeps!

Listening to Keith Green's amazing song "Asleep in the Light" really stirred me up as I was having my morning jog just recently.

There I was enjoying the stillness, if humid, early summer morning here in Australia - ear phones in and my Nano Pod on 'shuffle' jogging away like I have done countless times before, when this song, which I might add, I must have heard at least fifty times, started to play.

As if for the very fist time the lyrics seemed to come alive and reverberated through my brain.

The song itself is pretty ancient but the lyrics remind us that Christ comes to our doors so often. He comes in the guise of many and varied people - we may see these people at our front door, in the supermarket, at church or at work in fact anywhere we go Jesus may present himself to us, through them.

We so often turn these folks away saying - "God bless, be at peace" or variations of this but do we actually mean what we say - and can we back it up?

I continued on my way but those lyrics kept haunting me throughout that day and when I eventually joined a prayer and praise group that next Saturday morning through Twitter, as I usually do, I found myself actually tweeting those very words "God bless you - May God's peace be with you". Must admit I was shocked!

How glibly those words rolled off my keyboard - how trite they sounded after being convicted of their TRUE meaning. The very phrase sounded so flippant, off-hand, brassy and yes! even rude.

How can we as so-called Christians sound so 'real' yet be so hypocritical. The very phrase "God bless you" is so well worn it becomes worn out when we don't really mean what we say.

Not only that but I honestly believe that it can become an affront to God and a major sin.

I truly believe that God puts people in our paths on purpose then leaves it up to us to reach out to that person no matter who he or she may be.

The ways we reach out can be so numerous as will be the many and varied people we are trying to reach.

I believe that some of these people can come as a mighty big shock. Reaching the so-called unreachable, the unlovable, the friendless and the lonely. The busy office worker, the check out chap, the unflappable secretary, delivery driver and (here is a hard one) your enemy!

Jesus was a "REACHER" - He touched the unlovely, the ostracised, the lonely and the sick. Mark 5 tells the story of how Jesus reached a demon possessed man - chained due to his violence, yet was touched by the Son of God and became a Warrior for Jesus.

In Romans 12, we are even called to be Jesus' hands and feet, reaching out to people just where they are and in their need.

Now, at this point I am certainly not recommending that we disrespect people or annoy them in any way but all I am saying is that we, with the Holy Spirit's leading, connect with people around us. This may be as simple as a smile or a helping hand.

John 13:35 says "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another"

The presence of love for others even 'unlovable' others in our lives is a sure sign that God is changing us by his Spirit. With Jesus' Spirit inside of us any words of hope, encouragement, love and patience from us can and will make a huge difference.

Sometimes words of love and encouragement and putting ourselves 'out there' can mean a BIG sacrifice for us, but that is exactly what love does - it puts others first and ourselves last.

After learning this amazing lesson for myself I can now say "God bless you" in it's true meaning.

How are you at reaching out? How many personal stories are out there that you will never hear? How many hands are reaching out to you that you wouldn't even know about unless you make the first point of contact?

Pray this prayer with me:- "Dear Lord, I'm not really good at 'reaching out' but I know that with your help I can be courageous even bold for you. Please give me a loving and sensitive heart. Help me to love as you do and help me to see others as you do. Please help me to show love where it is needed most."

God bless you and may God's peace and joy reign in your life this week as you strive to show "Jesus type" love to everyone with whom you come in contact.


Tuesday, 13 January 2015

When a couple of seconds are enough

We have certainly come a long way - just a mega second and WHAM! we can capture in nature what people have been trying to do since the dawn of time - from cave paintings to oil paintings man has tried to do everything to convey our world to others.

By using computers, and amazing cameras, it just takes a split moment in time to capture the grandeur of nature or even the enormity of space and preserve them forever.

When I think of time in seconds and what can happen in that mega short time it makes me stand in wonder how in such a short time a situation can turn into a catastrophe or something amazing can happen to change the face of world and its peoples.

For example;-

It only took a moment in time during the final stages of World War 2 when in August 1945 the atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The devastation was horrendous and 129,000 people were horribly killed and many hundreds of thousands more left permanently mutilated and terminally ill from radiation illness.

It only took a moment in time for Neil Armstrong to make that final step on to the moon in 1969 "one small step for man - one giant leap for mankind" - The EAGLE landed and Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took a stroll on the moons surface - forever changing our world.

It took only a moment in time in 2002 for a terrorist bomb to explode in Bali killing 202 with a further 209 injured.

It took only a moment of time for two hijacked planes to hit the World Trade Centre on 11th September, 2001. They were a series of four co-ordinated attacks that left 2,996 dead and changed the way the world viewed terrorism.

It took only a moment in time for the Wright brothers to take flight in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, N.C and to change travel, and aviation for the world forever.

It took only a moment in time for the first person to be injected with a miraculous vaccine invented by Dr Jonas Salk in 1957 to counteract the deadly and debilitating effects of Polio that had killed and maimed 1000's of people worldwide.

It took only a moment in time for the Berlin Wall to be opened for all in November, 1989. The wall had divided the country and it's people since 13th August 1961 causing many 100's of deaths and 1000's of family break-ups.

I could go on - hundreds of thousands of amazing events that have changed the way we see our world. Some incredible and awesome some devastating and disastrous.

Regardless of what you may personally think of Jesus of Nazareth or whatever you may believe about Him - He too changed the world.  He came as a baby over 2000 years ago, lived just 33 years, a sheer moment in time compared to the history of this old world, and then He died as a criminal - crucified on a cross, nailed there humiliated and scorned.

BUT WOW! what an impact this humble carpenter had on our world. Jesus' remarkable life has changed so many people in so many ways the list is inexhaustible it just goes on and on infinitum.

We can see so many changed lives today because of this amazing man - so why?

Is it because He left so many good teachings behind Him? Or maybe He paved the way for child care, or caring for women, maybe freeing the slaves? No there is far more to Jesus.

Jesus, is God - He was there with the Father since creation. He was there when sin via Satan entered the world, He knew that sin needed to be punished - every single person who has ever lived on this earth has sinned - There are no 'good or bad' sins - all sins are the same - SIN!

Romans 3: 23 "For ALL have sinned and fall (way) short of God's Glory" (Parenthesis added)

Jesus knew that because sin needed to be punished that everyone everywhere were doomed to eternal separation from God and doomed to be separated from the very place that God had prepared for His followers.

Jesus took that punishment for us! - That is why He went up that hill to Calvary - that is why He underwent the scorning, mocking, whipping, slapping, crown of thorns and finally nailing to that dreadful, but amazingly beautiful cross.

Then in a moment of time He rose from the dead - smashed and pushed aside the big old rock that was blocking His way - nothing could stop the glory of the Lord  - nothing could stand in His way - He rose a Victor - killed death forever and in so doing paved the way for everyone to find a way to Father - incredible? Yes and all in just a moment of time.

All we have to do is to accept that gift of Jesus - the incredible gift of forgiveness since that awful/beautiful day when he offered His life for yours and mine.

If you haven't done so before - offer your life to Him today - ask His forgiveness and invite Him through the Holy Spirit to take up residence in your life right now. And in a moment in time your life can change dramatically.

Yes, Jesus changed the world radically and permanently - He certainly changed my life and I know He can change yours as well.











Sunday, 4 January 2015

'Cause I am LOVE

God is LOVE!

How many times have we heard that - seems like forever to me - BUT have you really stopped to consider what that REALLY means?

First let's look at what a typical 'world-type' view of love could be:-

I Googled "what is love" and searching through the countless answers, and ignoring all the sexual gratification answers about so-called 'true' love, the following ones just about summed up what generally the world defines as LOVE.

"The strength and depth of Love is the level of self-acceptance each person has for themselves"

"Love is being able to compromise - learn to love yourself then you can love someone else"

Then there were these little pearlers:

"Love depends on how open, honest and exposed each individual is willing to be"

"Love is 50/50 - we are joined together as a team and we pull the load together - it's all about give and take"

I can certainly see where they are coming from but true love is so much more than "self acceptance" or "learning to love yourself".

In good solid marriages, openness and honesty are great attributes as is compromising in sticky situations, but LOVE certainly doesn't depend on them alone.

Let's look at what God defines as pure love and then we may be able to get a picture of what REAL love is.

God's love is an "all-sacrificing" love - There is no compromising with God - He loves us just how we are. He wants us to love as He does.

God's love to us doesn't depend on my ability to 'love' myself before I can love Him back nor does it depend on my openness and honesty before He will love me.

God's love isn't a 50/50 deal - giving and taking - I give to you and you give to me sort of arrangement. His love is unconditional - He gave His everything even before we even knew Him - He loves us THAT much.

God gives us 100% love - pure love - and that's how He wants us to be - 100% committed to Him and 100% committed to our marriages not just on a 'give and take' arrangement.

To love like God is being totally committed to Him and to our loved ones here on earth - no compromising, no asking "what do I get out of this". Putting ourselves last always thinking others better than ourselves, no slacking off - always putting them first.

God sent His only son to die for you! That in itself is such an amazing show or sign of one hundred percent love - God gave us that much while we gave him nothing in return.

God never stops loving us - we often try to run from God - Jonah did and we all know how he ended up - Gods love will never give up on us - not ever!

I know I personally tried running from God in a way - I liked the idea of a God who forgave and loved no matter what - so I figured I could do as I please, so I did. With disastrous effect. That's not giving Him one hundred percent love - That's "I'll do as I please and you will love me anyway" type of love.

We have to come to the point in our lives where we hand everything over to God - holding nothing back just as he did for us, trusting Him with our lives - God is pure love. He will not let us go and He will never leave us.

So how do we react to that type of love?

We can react with APATHY - "Thanks mate - that was great - I will give you a call next time I want something"

We can react with GUILT "I can never repay that gift - I am such an unworthy person"

God doesn't want us to love Him when we 'need' Him or feel 'obliged' to love Him back. He wants us to trust Him to obey Him - to tell others about Him and to reverence Him.

Reverence for God is so important - I was in church this morning and I noticed during the worship service people talking to each, feet up on the chairs in front, yawning and generally showing no interest.

A love for God and a true reverence/fear of God go hand in hand - you really can't have one without the other.

Isaiah 33:6 says  "He (God) will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure"

We can see here that the very 'key' to salvation is a healthy fear of God - a reverence in acknowledging his awesomeness, might and power.

God's love is pure love - He gives us one hundred percent love. A love like that demands a response from us - a reverent and awe-inspiring response - a "TRUE-LOVE" response.

What's going to be your response to the great and wonderful love of God?






Saturday, 20 December 2014

Stepping into the next moment

Life can be a trial. Things happen constantly that keep us ever vigilant ever watchful ever on our guard.

Maybe life is a bit hectic for you, things can so quickly get on top of us; life has so many twists and turns.

We often may wonder where is God in all of this. When our family seemingly falls apart; siblings quarrel and fall out, losing a job, maybe a separation, even divorce -  life just seems to throw up so much turmoil that having faith and following Christ can seem worthless exercise.

Even our own countries seem in a continual state if upheaval - horrors abound everywhere and no matter where we turn we can see life is often so cruel and heartless.

No wonder many of us are just so tired and despondent. No wonder we often feel weak often too weak to even try to understand what is happening.

Tears come easily and there is pain inside sometimes too painful to admit or talk about. We feel knocked down and broken.

As this next year approaches, many are concerned even worried:- will there be more devastating disasters? Will our families cope with added burdens and worries? Could we be faced with relationship breakdowns? Will my job hold or will it too be 'restructured'?

REAL concerns, REAL worries often to the point of us losing the fight, losing the inner fire to just keep going.

We really have no control over most of what is going to happen in our lives during this next year and often glibly saying "hand it over to God" can sound and actually be a bit trite, especially when everything has gone pear-shaped and we are feeling pretty much at the end of our rope.

I personally have found I have needed to train my brain, heart and soul to concentrate and FOCUS on Jesus every minute of every day.

We need to pick ourselves up, even when we are losing or have lost the fight, and take one step to Him. Focussing on Jesus, gives me the strength to carry on, even when things look their darkest and Satan tries his level best to beat us down.

If we accept God's gift of his Holy Spirit, and FOCUS on Him, He will step into all of our troubles and forge a way through whatever mess we find ourselves. Even when temptation is trying to smash down our fortress doors, God can be our Defender and Champion.

Focussing on God in every situation gives me the strength to cope with life's problems - problems that we all have - some HUGE, some would-be soul destroying ones.

Jesus goes before us like a guide, giving us confidence and courage to venture where we felt we couldn't possibly go or cope with problems we thought we couldn't possibly deal with.

I know from personal experience, that getting back up and taking the next step with Jesus, and FOCUSSING on Him gives me the strength to face one more day.

Through it all, there comes a certain 'calm in the ache' I can't properly explain. Joy and peace may be a bit extreme but deep in my soul there is a certain 'lifting or guiding' a feeling of not being alone.

We don't have to be the ones to see how this mess will all pan out - we don't have to walk alone through it all.

God controls the future; the past is gone, whatever happened there is gone too, God knows the future, you don't - He is the one who moves us on.

So here we are on the brink of 2015 - what will occur? I have no idea! but there is a certain confidence in me because I truly believe that God has gone before me, He has visited, if you like, all of my tomorrows, all of the impossible circumstances I will find myself and also all the many blessings.

God wrote the story, He know the end from the beginning, by FOCUSSING on Him this year we can move ahead with confidence, His arms surround us helping us take that "next step".

May God go with you as you take the next step, no matter how rickety, with Him - May He enfold you with His love.

Please have the most amazing Christmas and may 2015 bring you confidence, love, joy and peace as you worship and serve our Jesus our Saviour.






Sunday, 7 December 2014

Souvenirs


We all like to collect souvenirs - places we have been maybe - little trinkets of mementos of people who have meant a lot to us and places that have touched our lives.

Photo albums, books, letters tied with ribbons, nick knacks of all descriptions - yes! souvenirs can be important to us.

Christmas time is a lovely time for many - filled with family, laughter, food and fun BUT unfortunately for others it can be a time of intense pain and heartache. Yes, Christmas time can be a lonely horrible time for many.

Many many families are broken - parents and children's relationship smashed beyond reconciliation, siblings not on speaking terms or parents divorced, separated or estranged. This can be the norm for countless hundreds of people. So sad, tragic really and unfortunately the pain is very very real.

These feelings can be some of the 'silent' souvenirs we carry about with us. Souvenirs that so many of us don't want to collect but are thrust upon us. Often to burden us for ever.

Every so often we take out these silent mementos, often when we are alone and re-live occasions and feelings, - a broken or wounded heart, thoughts of 'what may have been', an accusation that has left us overwhelmed, a regret here, a tragedy there.

The loss of a child, a spouse, a parent or a sibling. Our silent souvenirs are all there, waiting for us  just to 'scratch the surface' of our lives and they come bubbling to the top to remind us again of a past hurt or grief.

So souvenirs can be lots of fun, nostalgic and loaded with great memories, but as you can see some souvenirs give us the feeling of emptiness - nothing left - just memories, token threads, lying in the middle of our broken hearts and lives.

So what's in your treasure chest of souvenirs? I know I have dragged mine out often and sorted and counted them - set them apart and re-lived many sad experiences and regrets.

So what do we do with these souvenirs - do we have to have keep re-living them, dragging them out and re-hurting ourselves.

Jesus wants to take our souvenirs - it's as simple and straightforward as that - of course that doesn't mean that miraculously we will stop thinking about our past hurts or current tribulations. We won't automatically find amazing solutions to mend broken hearts and families.

But God has promised to "work all things together for the good of those who love Him. who have been called according to His purpose."

This is an amazing promise, A promise to give us hope and light at the end of our tunnel of despair. With this promise we can rest assured of His great love, a love that will never let us go, never fail us and give us the assurance and confidence we all need to "get on" with our lives and press on with Him.

In Philippians 4: 6-7 Paul writes "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Notice how this passage emphasises the 'peace' of God - this peace can be so easily 'tapped' into. How? By trusting Jesus to do what he says.

We need to give our broken lives to Jesus - not only our lives, but our broken hearts, broken families and our broken relationships. He is ever ready to take our grief also - His promises are sure and true.

Psalm 55:22 says in the Message Bible version  "Pile your troubles on God's shoulders - He'll carry your load, He'll help you out."

How about that! Jesus is more than willing to allow us to literally 'pile your troubles on God's shoulders' He wants to take your burdens - no matter what they are - nothing is beyond His help - nothing is too hard for Him.

Proverbs 3: 5-6 states among other things to "Trust the Lord with all your heart". Just maybe we could start to see our troubles, grief or whatever as the perfect way to start trusting God with all of our hearts and then we may be able to see that God is indeed bigger than all of them put together.

So, taking one step at a time and praying for God's word to guide us, we can hand all of our 'souvenirs' to Jesus. We ask Him to take our burdens, whatever they are, and trust/depend on Him to do what he has promised.

God bless you this Christmas - may you be filled with the peace of Jesus as you submit to Him as Lord of your life.