Monday, 16 January 2017

The Illusion

Everyone has heard of Harry Houdini - the greatest escape artist in America, if not the world. A man who performed before crowned heads of state and U.S. presidents. Some of his escapes are so difficult no one has dared attempt them, all these years after his untimely death.

He was an amazing Illusionist as well as an escape artist and won international fame for his many and varied feats of amazing dexterity and 'magic'.

Even on the day he died of peritonitis he performed his acclaimed "Chinese water torture cell" suffering from what we now know as a ruptured appendix. He died on 31st October, 1926 aged just 52.

Harry was a illusionist, magician, escapologist. stunt performer, actor, historian, film producer and pilot.

In many of his more dangerous routines, assistants were present with knives and keys to release him in the event that he was unable to escape. Often a doctor was on hand.

What was interesting and what brought my attention to Harry Houdini and to writing this blog was the pre-show discourse the presenter made to the audience prior to Houdini doing 'his thing". It went like this:-

"Never forget that by entering our show you're abandoning reality. What you're absolutely convinced you see might not exist at all. 
What you know has to be an illusion may turn out to be God's hard truth.

Your companion at our show might turn out to be a complete stranger. A man and woman in the audience you don't recognise may know you far too well.

What seems safe may be deadly. And the dangers you guard against may be nothing more than distractions to lure you to greater danger.

Who can you believe and who can you trust?"

The question I would like to ask today is Who indeed can you believe and who indeed can you trust - Is life really all an illusion?

I lived so many of my years being so naive, trusting in people and things, believing just about everything anybody ever told me. I was like that wave described in the book of James, blown and tossed about in the wind ~ going from one thing to another, never really believing, never really trusting.

I got to the stage in my life thinking "is there anything or anybody in life you can trust ~ Is there anything in life you really can believe?'

Looking at the world today, I can see why so many thousands are asking the very same question I asked myself for fourteen long years of my life. The world with its deceit, and where lying in governments has become the norm, where paedophile rings in religious and other organisations have ran rampant over decades and where billions of dollars are embezzled in corporate fraud - Oh yes I can really understand where people are coming from.

Can I say this in all honesty, if it wasn't for Jesus and the example and truthfulness He offered when he was here on earth and the claims proven true over many many years, I hate to think where I would have ended up.

Jesus' sheer truthfulness alone overwhelmed me then as it overwhelms now. His confidence in God and His word, even to death, made such an impact on my life that I honestly had no option than to follow Him.

The very prophesies of the Bible coming from the Old Testament and being brought to reality in the New is enough proof on its own. Prophesies that were made hundreds of years before they actually came to pass can't be just swept under the carpet as coincidence. Jesus was unique and why?

I truly believe with all my heart that Jesus is indeed God and man - Born of a virgin and died a criminal death to pay the penalty of my sin and yours all those years ago.

I can so understand why some folk find it hard to trust God considering what has gone on the past and especially as they see for example little ones dying horribly of cancer. You know God isn't the author of death and suffering.

I truly believe that the world as we know it is not what God intended it to be. It was a prefect world until the fall of man. When man decided to walk a way from God and do his own thing ~ abandoning God . Praise God that He didn't abandon us.

I quote Dr. Krish Kandian of the London School of Theology when he says "...to blame God for natural disasters and childhood cancer is like blaming the landlord after tenants have trashed their house"

Yes! the world certainly is not like it was intended to be. But God, because of His grace, mercy and forgiveness, stepped into history and came as Jesus to die for us and brought that forgiveness and reconciliation to those who trust and believe in Him.

God promises us a future where death, disease, misery and all sorts of evil will be overthrown and I know now what, for years, I sought and longed for ~ that Jesus died for me and on Him I can trust even when the world around me falls apart.

Lots of things in life can be an illusion ~ lots can be untrustworthy and deceitful ~ we can be lied to and taken advantage of but this I can assure you from my own experience that God will never let you down even in the mightiest struggle you may be going through at the moment.

I have proven Him over and over again - In Him will I trust ~ in Him will I pin my future.


Monday, 9 January 2017

God Provides

Been reading through Jonah this week and all I have to say on this matter is WOW! How God speaks though this amazing book and how much love as He got for His people.

Right at the very beginning of the book, Jonah is called by God to do a specific role in the conversion of the Ninevehites - BIG call - BIG job.

Straight away this got me thinking 'how does God call us today?' I believe that God still calls His people to various tasks all included in His great overall plan. It's what we do when we get called that can have amazing and incredible results.

We can be called through reading the Bible or listening to a message or even through an ordinary conversation with anybody, God can call and convict us to do His bidding. I remember all so vividly how God called me to ask forgiveness of a person who I thought had definitely wronged me not the other way round. I DIDN'T want to do it!! - NO way!!! I was the one wronged!!


But fortunately that conviction from God was absolutely right and I was the one who was blessed by it all in the long run.

Are you listening to  God when He speaks? Before God will convict us we need to be in a position where we are ready to hear Him - that means drawing close to Him, spending time with Him and actually being prepared to do what He asks us to do even if that request could shock us even traumatise us.

Jonah heard distinctly what God wanted him to do. Now whether this was God speaking directly to him or whether it was such a strong conviction that Jonah had no doubt whatsoever that God wanted him to go Nineveh we will probably never know but regardless of the actualities, Jonah had no intention of going there. Nineveh was one of THE most ruthless places in the known world at that time.

Unfortunately nothing much has changed. Today the ancient land of Nineveh is located in Northern Iraq and is today's MOSUL which sadly and tragically is under direct control of Islamic State.

The whole site of ancient Nineveh was hidden for some time after it had been eventually destroyed as God said it would be in Nahum 3:11. It was not until 1842 that archaeologists rediscovered its location in modern day Iraq.

I could just imagine how scary that command of the Lord would be ~ imagine for a second if today any of us were called to go to the same place with the same message. It just may give us the tiniest idea of what Jonah was asked to do ~ no wonder he took off at speed.

If we are indeed walking with God, then his call to us will not cease just because we have decided it is too hard and too dangerous ~ we won't be able to run away ~ we won't be able to hide either.

Jonah decided to get away as far as possible in the opposite direction to Nineveh ~ he chose Tarshish in Spain way across the Mediterranean Sea ~ about the extent of the known world ~ you just couldn't go any further.

Just as Jonah was determined NOT to go to Nineveh ~ God was determined that he should ~ God's plans for us, if we are truly His, will not be thwarted no matter where we run and or what we do or who we talk to. We can try to ignore God, but that still small voice will keep reminding us that we are HIS and there is no turning back, not ever.

As you know, Jonah boarded the boat to take him to Tarshish ~ and I can imagine him hiding in the cargo hold in a dark corner ~ and can you blame him? He must have been terrified ~ as we have discovered Ninevah was a bad, wild and wicked city. It was a city of violence, known for its brutal treatment of those it conquered. The Assyrians were notorious for child sacrifice, amputating hands and feet, gouging eyes, and impaling & skinning their captives.  No wonder Jonah was hiding.

But then God provided!!!

Here we have the very first of what God provided to get Jonah where God wanted Him to be. The STORM!!! - And what a storm it was!

The sailors tried everything ~ throwing all the cargo overboard to lighten the ship ~ praying to their myriad of gods to help ~ all to no avail.

Then suddenly they wondered why this guy (probably in the cargo hold) wasn't praying to his God. They demanded to know what he had obviously done to put all of their lives into so much jeopardy.

God provided a storm to wake the run-away Jonah to His mighty plan. Jonah relents and knowing deep in his heart that he is to die because of his disobedience demands that the sailors throw him overboard. They finally capitulate and do as Jonah says ~ the storm immediately abates.

The God provided again!!!

Jonah sinks through the violent water ~ obviously sea weed, thrown up by the storm, winds it way around his body as he sinks to the bottom of the sea. The suddenly THE FISH!

We all know the story so well ~ God is a God of miracles ~ whatever happened to Jonah in this precarious time ~ through it all God was there with Him ~ Jonah prayed and God answered.

This astounding creature was designed by God for this particular time and in this particular place for this particular reason.

(Interesting to note that Jonah was three days inside this amazing creatures belly in the depths of the sea and Jesus was three days in the depths of the earth after His crucifixion.)

Then God provided yet again!!!

After three days, Jonah was vomited out by God's special creature. God spoke again and this time Jonah obeyed.

Jonah preached repentance and obedience to the people of Nineveh. They turned and followed Jehovah God.

God provided a special man for Nineveh ~ looking at the story it is so easy for us to say Jonah should have trusted God and obeyed Him. But what about us? What would we have done and where would we have gone? What would have been our response given the same set of circumstances?

God provided Jonah for Nineveh and God provided Jesus for us.

The story of Jesus ~ sent to a hostile world ~ cruelly treated ~ killed on a cross ~ rose again after three days ~ taking with Him the sins of the world ~ paying the price for our salvation.

Don't delay any longer ~ give your life to Jesus right here right now. Walk with Him and step out with Him daily. Give Him all of your life and obey Him when he speaks to you.

God loved the people of Nineveh so much He sent a special guy to help them - God loves YOU so much He sent a very special person in the form of Jesus to help you.

All you need to do is to accept His amazing gift of life ~ You can break the power that sin has over you ~ ask His forgiveness today and start living a free life in Jesus

Monday, 26 December 2016

Hand it over

Just recently I was chatting to a friend of mine and we both agreed that so often we take our eyes off the goal. We know how important it is in life to have goals and to set our boundaries. Being in Human resources I found it particularly essential that we had goals to work to; to achieve and to maintain.

But further to our conversation:- we both agreed as Christians we so often take our eyes off the BIG picture, which is our future with Jesus and that's when we flounder and try to do things on our own.

Many many times we just won't hand things over to Jesus - the very person who gave everything for us and has asked us just to bring it to Him in prayer.

We discussed why and how do we let this happen? Don't know about you, but I reckon I am probably one of the THE most easily distracted people I know - I'm so easily distracted by what is going on around me that I can be quickly become un-focused and start the thinking process on anything but the topic on hand.

But as a CHRISTian, taking out eyes off Jesus is one of the most dangerous things we can do and probably when you take time to think about it probably one of the easiest.

I have come to the conclusion that I must 'love' worrying and letting past hurts, mistakes and troubles keep surfacing in my life. WHY? I really have no idea. All I can say is that since becoming a CHRISTian I have found that my old nature actually 'conspires' against my efforts to keep my eyes solely on my Saviour JESUS.

I figure I must love wandering off to pursue my own desires and get carried away with cares and troubles. So it  REALLY was good to talk to my friend and we both found out that we pretty much were 'singing from the same page' in our walk with CHRIST.

Our ultimate prize is JESUS and in Him we find comfort and rest; In Him we find solace and peace in times of troubles and strife: In Him we find the reason for living and breathing and being here in the first place.

We both decided to ask God, even before setting feet to the ground in the mornings, to infill us with His Spirit for the day ahead, that we would indeed walk in His footsteps and be led by His Spirit and not be swayed by our own human nature which so often has only brought us misery and worry.

When you look at the life of JESUS and just what He endured and for what? The big picture! ~ the JOY that was set before Him - (Hebrew 12:2). That's what we have to look forward to as well  ~ not the trials from here.

So what has my friend and I learned lately? ~ To hand things over to God on a moment by moment basis! That's right when things overwhelm us we say to ourselves "Hand it over" ~ I have found myself saying that many times throughout my day.

Will it make it go away ~ probably not but it is a great reminder just who has control of your life and who is looking out for you.

Handing it over to God can release you from the worry that so often besets us. God is so much bigger than our worries and trials that every one of us suffers.

So here we go ~ how about taking one step at a time ~ Praying for the in-filling of the Holy Spirit to guide us ~  read or listen to His word, learning 'fighter verses' that we can meditate on when crisis' try to flatten us.

So maybe 'handing things over' to Jesus may be simply submitting to Him in our day-to-day living and asking Him to in-fill us moment by moment throughout our day.

God bless you this week as you 'hand it over' to God, whatever it is in your life. Keep focused on Him and that way you will be ready when troubles explode and trials suddenly pop into you life as they most certainly will.






Wednesday, 14 December 2016

He's still out there

Appalling news from Nigeria. This week while worshipping their Lord, hundreds of people were killed when the roof collapsed in their half built church.

When I heard of this horrible tragedy, I couldn't help but think back to the ancient book of Job in the old testament. Poor old Job had more than his fair share of tragedies in his family. Among the many horrible things to happen to him was that a roof collapsed and killed all of his seven children.

Satan is alive and well and, I feel, starting to get desperate in trying to dissuade God's people to turn from Him and rely on the world to save them and give them lasting happiness (which is exactly what everyone is hoping to find.)

Once we have given our lives to Christ ~ repented of our sins ~ accepted His gift of forgiveness and started our walk with Him on a daily basis, then deep seated and lasting joy and yes even happiness can be ours.

Of course God has never promised as a trouble-free life. On the contrary, He said whoever comes to Him must be prepared to 'take up his/her cross and follow Him.' This obviously involves putting ourselves out there in the world ~ acknowledging that we are now Christs and obeying Him no matter what.

Once we have made that commitment, then in lots of ways, all hell will break loose in our lives. As sure as there is God in Heaven, there is satan here on earth, just waiting for us to let our guards down so that temptation and disaster can come our way. In lots of ways we become even more vulnerable to all sorts of trials when we stick it out with Jesus and become His.

But on saying all of that, there is still that contentedness and peace in our souls deep down because underneath off all the tragedy that life throws at us we know that God will never leave us ~ He will never let us down to the point of no return to Him. He has promised us that even when the very worst things happen to us, He will be there to guide us and set us back on the way with Him.

Satan loves to throw us curved balls and temps us constantly in areas which he knows are our weaknesses ~ he seems to hone in on them especially when you feel confident, in your heart,  that God and you have conquered this and just when your heart feels free ~ Whammo! he strikes.

Many many Christians have unfortunately given up on their walk with Christ due to this very reason -~ exactly what satan wants to achieve.  My last blog was centred around this very point ~ don't give up ~ keep walking with God no matter how many times you fail ~ Grab hold of God's promises and keep stepping out boldly with Him.

There was an episode in my own family where a very close relative was so hurt that they weren't invited to an event, that their hurt manifested itself in the extreme. As the years went by the hurt turned to anger and resentment.

Anyone from the 'offending' family daring to contradict or communicate in any way to the offended was quickly 'shot down in flames' and was secluded. Satan used this time to whisper, cajole, accuse and lie to the detriment of all concerned, Finally the offended person decided to believe the lies and went about isolating the family from the rest of the siblings. A horrible and degrading time and one where satan wallowed in his success and continues to turn family members against each other.

Yes! satan is still out there roaming around as a roaring lion seeking who to devour next (1 Peter 5:8).

Looking at the world today, you would have to be totally immune to satan and his wiles not to recognise his schemes and activities. They are all around us and today more than ever we need to be forever watchful ~ forever aware of the nearness of God and our even mounting need of Him. We cannot achieve living here in satan's domain if we take our eyes of Jesus ~ even for a fleeting moment.

I personally have been so blessed by social media ~ it was during one of my lowest times that I turned to twitter to see what I, just maybe, could glean from other Christians. Surely there were others that were struggling with what I was struggling ~ surely others going through the same times of testings and doubts.

That was when God directed me to TweetingGodsLove.com and I was led to a very special family of which I am now totally indebted and one where I have been truly blessed. Just yesterday during one of our many Bible chats we talked about the many many ways satan gets us to move away from God and doubt His amazing saving grace.

My beautiful friend Christie tweeted this and I quote
" One tactic of the devil is to twist Scripture to confuse us. We battle that with knowing the Word ourselves"

Christie points out to us that satan even uses Scripture to confuse and bewilder us into disbelieving His Word.

And then this quote from Cheri, again which confirms that satan is everywhere and attacks us when we are weak and have taken our minds and wills off God.

"Satan is a liar, he prowls to attack us when we are weak or builds us up so we think we don't need God"

WOW! So here Cheri reminds us that he actually can build us up ~ giving us self-confidence in ourselves. A very slippery slope indeed.

While out jogging today I heard this song from Mercy Me and it sort of says it all for us Christians ~ we HAVE to keep moving on with Him, singing and praising God no matter what is happening in our lives. We can't let satan dictate to us and start believing his lies. He is the master of deceit ~ the master of lies and the master of implanting doubts in our minds.

God bless you all this week as we take up the armour of God and surround ourselves with the promises and grace of Jesus.



Mercy Me ~ Keep Singing lyrics:-

Another rainy day
I can't recall having sunshine on my face
All I feel is pain
Al I want to do is walk out of this place.

But when I am stuck and I can't move
When I don't know what I should do
When I wonder if I'll ever make it through
I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising Your name

Your the one that's keeps my heart beating
I gotta keep singing
I gotta keep praising your name
That's the only way that I'll find healing

Can I climb in your lap
I don't want to leave
Jesus sing over me
I gotta keep singing

Oh you're everything I need











Thursday, 1 December 2016

It's not over yet

Oh! I wonder just how many times I have struggled with me myself and I saying to me myself and I that "You won't get past this one?" - "You have done it now" - "You have gone beyond that line in the sand that you know you couldn't cross and yet you crossed it anyway" - "You won't win any freedom from sin now - you have muffed it, stuffed it and gone beyond the pale"

Well, I am writing this to all of you who have felt exactly the same way as I have - those of you, who like me never seem to be able to walk in a straight line - always deviating either to the right or to the left - putting a brand new "I wouldn't do anything wrong" face yet crucifying yourself because of your own stupid waywardness.

You know God knows all about us - our wantonness, our sinfulness, our stupidity and a straight out waywardness. So let's, you and me, not throw in the towel just yet. Let's not quit because you know it's just NOT over!! - Not yet - Not until God says it is.

It may appear to the likes of you and me that all hope is gone we have completely and utterly hit the limit of God's patience with us - we have gone to that place where we just know we shouldn't have gone again and again and again and each time we come crawling back and asking for forgiveness, repenting only to fall again.

These voices inside our heads telling us to give it all up and just go on your way - drag your heavy heart out the door - you are beaten, defeated so just accept it and go.

We have to keep on fighting out of our dark places into God's amazing light where there is His hope - His life - His truth - His grace and His eternal faithfulness.

He will never let us go - His promise not mine (John 10:28) so even if you think "my time has come" please don't despair and PLEASE never give up. God has us covered no matter how we are feeling. It's more than time to forget your past and claim the future that God has in store for us. Jesus died that we might have this eternal life with Him - Our past is dead and buried with Him and we have risen to a new life once we have come to Him and repented of our sins and asked forgiveness.

So whatever is bangin' on your door, lust, jealousy, self pity, victimisation, worry, bullying, deceit whatever it is if you know immediately when you have sinned and need to do something about it that's so great IF it leads you to repentance but feeling sorry for your sins can be bad if it doesn't help you to turn away from them. Being 'sorry' is so different from being 'repentant'.

Repentance is turning away from sin, trusting that God has forgiven us and reminding ourselves constantly that he has. In 2 Corinthians 7:10 we read:- "Godly sorrow brings REPENTANCE that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, BUT worldly sorrow brings death"

So what do we do with our on-going sins - those things that bring us to the point of believing that God just can't forgive us this time? We lay them and us at the foot of the cross - we let them and us be washed clean AGAIN by the blood of Jesus - he died so that we can live anew in Him.

We will go through hard times - it IS a part of life that no-one can avoid - and hard times in life are different for most people BUT the trick is please PLEASE don't let these times blind you and let them define your mind into thinking that is exactly who you are because Jesus death and your repentance and forgiveness have decreed otherwise.

My profile name on Face Book and Twitter is "Itsbygracealone" and when we have truly asked God to forgive us and come again to the cross, laying it at His feet then that amazing GRACE comes again rushing into us like a flood!

Remember that you ARE forgiven - you ARE a brand new person! We don't give into the lie that we are somehow disqualified from His presence - like demerit points on your drivers licence - 9 points and your lost for eternity! NO Way - no matter what we have done that's not who we are - Through Jesus Christ and the very GRACE and MERCY of God, He has promised to finish what He started in us to make us that brand new person he promised we would be.

Keep looking to Jesus, keep stepping out with Him, even if it's 'baby steps' keep following Him - praying that he will forgive your sins, but please don't 'wallow' in the past - they have gone, paid for and forgotten. But as you find yourself falling each day, keep asking God to renew you until you become more like Jesus.

Please take heart that it is not over yet and that there are a lot of Christians out there going through the very same situation as you and me - be encouraged in your walk with Jesus in helping you to say a big fat 'NO' to sin whatever that sin is. There IS hope to carry on - Our God IS able to do abundantly more than we ever thought possible.

Love this verse in Philippians 1:6

"Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you WILL carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 In closing:- Remember YOU ARE FORGIVEN! and IT'S NOT OVER YET!

And as my tennis obsessive beautiful wife says:- "It's game, set,  match!"
You're forgiven and your sin is now in the past. Write 'game, set, match' over them and welcome that GRACE that comes in like a flood, washing us clean for a new day with Him.

Many blessings to you this week.

Monday, 21 November 2016

My God is MIGHTY

What does it mean when people go on about How MIGHTY God is? I know what mighty means but really what does it mean to say My GOD is MIGHTY?

When we just stop for a moment and try to grasp the sheer enormity of just how MIGHTY God is, we can't help but be thunderstruck by the fact that He is indeed an AWESOME God - and I mean AWESOME in the real sense of the word.


God is so mighty that sometimes His very presence can be terrifying indeed. We stand in awe and wonder as to just how mighty and majestic He is!

The very mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead and conquered the very forces of evil and vanquished satan to wallow here on earth trying desperately to convince man just how sinful and dreadful are his sins, is the very mighty power that saved you  - that changed you!

When we grow in Christ the changes in our lives become more and more evident - where once we condoned even loved to sin now we are intolerant even hating sinning, cheating and whatever else comes between our saviour God and us.

All this is through the mighty saving power of Jesus - the very one who plucked us out of the filthy pit we dug ourselves and enjoyed being in. There is no such power greater and more consistent and faithful than the power of God.

God's very majesty and power are so evident - you just have to step outside in the middle of a storm and feel the rain against your face or watch the thunderclouds gather and see the lightening. He is MIGHTY indeed! When you think as you stand there in wonder that there is nothing really between God and you - you can almost just get a glimpse of His might, His power and even His face - He is that close.

God controls everything in this world and these natural marvels are a vivid reminder of God's awesome majesty, might and power. When I take the time to watch an incredible sunset - or see HUGE waves crash onto the shore - I am overwhelmed by the sheer force of His might. That couldn't possibly have just happened or evolved! God's creative power at work!

God could have made this world a purely functional place but instead He filled it with marvellous beauty which in turn mirrors His majesty and MIGHT!

His might brought the world into existence - His love and might saved our souls through His grace. The fact that God loves us anyway, even though we have nothing really we can offer back to Him is amazing and worthy of praise.

Another thought while we are thinking of His mightiness is that He is so mighty and awesome that he is worshipped by the multitudes in heaven itself! The heavenly hosts praise Him - giving Him honour and glory for all that He has created - If the very beings in heaven fall before His throne in awe and wonder then how much more should we also fall before Him in worship?

Just think back over your life for a few minutes. Reflect on the ways that God has cared for you, protected you and blessed you. He showed mercy when we rebelled - He forgave us when we often couldn't forgive ourselves!

He has genuinely given us unconditional love and blessings!

Our God is a MIGHTY God: Our God is a glorious God - Turn to Him now - accept Him into your life - give Him one hundred percent: Give Him the praise and worship that he deserves.






Monday, 7 November 2016

abandonment

Did you ever experience being lost as a child or left at a pre-school or kindergarten without your Mum - horrible feeling isn't it. Separation anxiety is a real problem - a feeling of abandonment or rejection. Do you remember that feeling of absolute aloneness?

Can you recall the horror of being totally abandoned and out of control with these overwhelming feeling of utter hopelessness. - David wrote Psalm 27 when he was suffering the same fate.

He explains that his enemies wanted to kill him but even so he was convinced that he would be physically safe in battle. He had a strong sense of God's plans for his life - after all hadn't he been kept safe with the  Goliath incident and look at how God kept him safe throughout the years that Saul had been out to get him?

Rather than panicking over being abandoned by his friends and loved ones, David turned to the only true constant he knew - his Creator and Lord, the one who would never abandon him.

David found comfort and security that he needed - an incredibly beautiful thing to remember next time you are alone. God is your light and salvation. You're never lost with Him.

There are so many of us today facing abandonment and rejection - my mind travels to the many many orphans and single mums devastated through war and loss of homes and loved ones - it must be absolute horror to go through this. Many others have faced rejection and abuse throughout their own childhood and have grown  up carrying unresolved wounds.

These unresolved wounds caused through abandoned and rejection cause a multitude of emotional problems. Abandonment and rejection ranks among the most distressing of events that we as humans can experience. We are all created to co-exist with our fellow beings - to love and share - to give and take freely and lovingly.

Rejection/abandonment by anyone, but especially a loved one or a close family member, can have devastating effects. A romantic relationship, bullying stigmatisation, family breakdown even job redundancy can compromise our situation to the extent that we can't seem to operate throughout the day - Abandonment or rejection can cause insomnia and sudden drops in any positive emotions.

This act of abandonment or rejection by others can cause depression, anxiety and phobias.

So what do we do when we have no-one to turn to -  no-one to cling to? We do what David did in Psalm 27 - we turn to our ROCK, our Saviour, our own Jesus. Only he is our constant when things go wrong - when others abandon us - when we are bullied and alone - when we are separated from our peers and loved ones and no-one understands.

God is our ROCK. By describing God as our ROCK, David means our Creator is a place of safety. Just like a rock offers shade and cover, so God offers protection to his people.

Just as a rock is good to build on, so God is our solid foundation. Like a rock, God is immovable - our safe place where we can go when all else have rejected us - where we have been abandoned and alone.

We have talked about BEING abandoned but how about you? Are you taking care of what is yours?

Our society makes it so easy to abandon our responsibilities!  Our society today says:- are you tired of your spouse?  then get a divorce. Up to your neck in debt? Declare bankruptcy. Feeling tied down in your job? walk away - easy!

The problem is that abandoning your responsibilities doesn't make them disappear. If you don't take care of what is yours, someone else will pay the price.

I have been so convicted lately of just how much damage a 'ME FIRST' attitude can have. The Bible is choc-a-bloc full of stories that help us recognise the damage of what a ME FIRST attitude can do - to others and to ourselves.

So if being abandoned and rejected is truly horrible and inexplicable then how about being the one who abandons and rejects? We have to take responsibility for our actions and how those actions can have a HUGE impact on the lives of other people.

So there we have it - whatever side of the wall you are at the moment - abandoned, or even planning to abandon, then take a leaf out Psalm 27; written all those years ago by David who knew what it was like to be on both sides of the wall at the same time.

Rejection is horrible and nasty no matter from what angle you look at it; it really has no 'nice' bits at all. It can devastate the innocent and cause untold damage often irreparable. Families smashed and hearts broken forever.

Look to Jesus no matter where you are on the 'abandonment/rejection scale'.  He has the answer to all of your rejection problems - He will never leave us: he will never abandon us (Deut 31:6) is his promise to us regardless of what is happening in your life.

God bless you this week as you come to terms with your feelings of rejection.

If you are thinking of abandoning your responsibilities then please take responsibility for them instead. Then the guilt and shame that comes from abandonment won't be shared.  Matthew 18: 15-17 commands us to put it right and make it right and be reconciled.