Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Relationships. Show all posts

30.10.16

The Reason for Everything

There is only one way to really and truly get God's attention and that is to either break his heart so badly that he turns away and cries or to fast! So I chose the latter as I have broken his heart far too many times in my life and I needed him nearer to me that every before. So I withheld food and all drinks except water from my flesh and cry out to God.  Day one of my fast consisted mainly of headaches and me pouring out my heart to God. Day two God spoke briefly:

"Everything comes from God alone, everything lives by his power and everything is for His glory." - Romans 11:36 TLB

Bottom line: It's all for Him.

So with this revelation I forced myself to see things differently. I tried and make it about him and not about me. What did he want? How could I make it about him?

One Sunday evening I insisted that Eric and I seek God together. We spend the evening really reaching out to God together and I prayed until I felt like my eyeballs were going to pop out from the intensity of my prayer. My prayers were groanings in the spirit! It was then that I heard God's voice as clear as anything as he said:

"I want you to trust your husband?"

I was baffled, of all the things God could have said to me why did he say that? Seriously! I needed encouragement, support and nice warm fuzzy. Not a command that didn't fit into what I was seeking him for. So without even thinking about it I responded tearfully,

"But God how?"

To which God instantly said, "I won't ask you to do something without giving you the grace to do it."

And that was the end of the conversation. I left the living room knowing that God had spoken and that I had to obey his voice. I can't say that I was happy that I had heard from God. He unearthed something that I didn't know was there. I thought I did trust Eric. What did he mean trust him? It seemed that deep down inside I held onto the fact that I can trust men, no man in my life has ever been trustworthy and although Eric is the nicest man I have ever known he was still a man and not to be trusted. This was not a conscious thought but it seemed to be a thought that I believed someone deep down inside my soul. So my next challenge was to learn to trust my husband.

9.10.16

My Broken Heart

The new year had kicked in and I was fully focused on building my business - the right way! It seemed right to be busy with something that was not ministry and we did need to money so it was what I chose to do. King's Daughters Girl's Nights continued on a monthly basis at a coffee shop connected to our church. Eric started a Men's Night as the men saw all that God was doing in the Girl's Nights and wanted their own special night too. Slowly, our hearts warmed to the lovely people at our church as we let the barriers down and allowed ourselves to feel love and compassion again. Brick by brick the walls came down and we starting giving pieces of our heart away as we were able to allow people in once more. It was scary to care again. Being vulnerable hurt a little as the scars were still raw from so much hurt from before. But the people in our church were (and still are) so lovely that we couldn't resist loving them and serving them to the best of our ability.

Eric was thriving in university and getting fantastic marks for his assignments. He loved the hour journey to and from university too, it was a special time where he drove much slower that the speed limit and just chilled in God's presence. He told me how precious that time was to him and I was happy for him. Despite our financial struggles, we were getting by each month and managing to pay most of our bills. We didn't go hungry and had a nice warm cosy home for which we were very grateful.

A niggling feeling started bothering me. I asked Eric to make sure that his university fees had been paid by the church as I didn't want that debit falling on us. He told me not to worry, that everything had been agreed with the church and that it would be paid in full by the end of the year. I didn't have peace, something didn't feel right. Weeks later I asked him again to check and I think just to get me to stop nagging he contacted the college only to find out that none of his fees had been paid at all. Towards the end of the academic year the university started asking for his full year's fee and my niggling feeling grew stronger and so did my nagging to sort it out.

There are many details and names that I won't divulge as this story is not about blaming anyone or being nasty in any way. It is out story and I hope to share it as delicately and diplomatically as possible without exposing or hurting anyone in any way. The bottom line is that there was a massive disagreement about the arrangement for Eric's university fees and we were left with a £8,000 bill that we could not pay. After a very well handled meeting between Eric, the university and the church we all agreed to disagree and Eric informed me that we were leaving the church the next day. We were both in shock about what happened and to be honest I think Eric panicked. The church that we had previously merged with after D7 Church closed had offered Eric a job several times over the years and so he decided that he needed to accept, if only to cover his university fees and find a way to get our family back on track financially. He did want to serve the church and told me that he was fully committed to doing the best possible job that he could at this church whilst finding a way to pay his university fees and take care of his family.

I was devastated, in shock, hurt and confused. We were ripped out of another church, left behind our ministries and hurt a lot of people who didn't deserve for us to abandon them the way we did. I decided then and there that I was not going to go to church. It hurt too much.

30.7.16

The Wedding Day

#9

 

On 17 September 2014 we began our happily ever after at a garden wedding in Cannizaro Park, London. It's not as grand as it sounds, we have no money at all and pulled off the most beautiful wedding very creatively. Our church friends really pulled together for us and if I had a million pounds to do it all over again I wouldn't change a thing! We did the legal side of our wedding in the registry office in the morning and then in the afternoon had the 'real' wedding in a public park. Our friends were so amazing at making our day perfect. One friend surprised us by buying and arch and decorated it with lace, she also created an aisle out of ribbing and organised our picnic as well as our pastor's picnic. I am sure she did so much more arranging and organising behind the scenes that I probably don't event know about, but that is just the type of amazing friend that she is.

A lady from church who we barely knew offered to make our cake - and it wasn't any old cake - check this out!

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Another friend played chauffeur and drove me through the busy London traffic to the park - the alternative was that I took a bus in my wedding dress! One friend did my makeup and nails, another took care of my girls while we were on honeymoon, another let me borrow some shoes, two other friends took the photos and another lovely friend bought my lovely bouquet.

15

We did our wedding invitations online so there were no printing costs and we spend our wedding night at our home which was much more special than a hotel. Our honeymoon was all we had to pay for and we had an amazing time in Sardinia, Italy.

It was a perfect start to our life together and once again, our church played a massive part in our happiness. Without our church friends and pastors I can't imagine what we would how done and how different our wedding day would have been.

26.7.16

The Man of my Dreams

As I looked up to the stage where the musicians were playing I saw this man who seemed to be surrounded my light. Inside I said, "Wow he is so beautiful!". I didn't mean it in a pretty boy way but I sensed purity and loveliness. It was quite new to me and I just knew that there was something special about him. I watched him closely as he played his guitar.

Weeks passed by and God did the most amazing things in my life, He spoke so many things to me of the future and what would still happen. I no longer found myself repenting of the past and trying to make up for it but rather being completely and utterly overwhelmed by His love and filled with excitement for the future. It was incredible. At the same time I became increasingly 'aware' of the guitarist on the stage each Sunday at church. After some time I wasn't sure if I was excited to go to church to worship God or to see him again. It was a difficult infatuation as I desperately didn't want to be the person I used to be and to do things the way I used to do them. I longer for purity and a clean heart before God. No boy was going to get in the way of that. Not even a very attractive guitarist!

I cried before God saying how sorry I was about my feelings toward this man. Deep down inside I genuinely only wanted Jesus, I did not want the feelings I had and begged God to take them away from me. After what felt like an eternity, probably only a few weeks actually, I decided that if God didn't take them away then I was cautiously going to explore them. Being the planner and schemer that I am I devised a strategy to get him to notice me. I was on the coffee team in church and saw him every Sunday. Little did I know that getting him to notice me subtly was Mission Impossible I, II and III all put together. I prayerfully proceeded with caution but decided that the best way to meet him was to get to know his friends, which I did! It wasn't long before we were introduced and I was love-struck! His version of our first meeting is very different to mine - not in a good way either. In my attempt to mask my feelings for him and my nervousness of our first meeting I apparently looked so scary that he went to the bathroom to check if his hair was funny or if he had something on his face.

Telling our story now is very romantic but relevant to the church journey that I am trying to tell you. Church was key in our meeting, in our coming together as a couple and ultimately our marriage. We met at a point in our lives where we were both the other side of broken and completely sold out for Jesus. Church was extremely important to us both and so was our Christianity.

I did meet the man of my dreams at church. Church is a wonderful place to meet people, both friends and potential husbands! The great thing about meeting someone at church is that if you are both involved in the life of the church and serving then you have so many ways of observing each other and getting to know someone before making yourself vulnerable to them in a romantic way. I was always encouraged to get to know a guy in a group of friends and as a friend before allowing him close enough to turn your brains into mush. Well my brain was pretty mushed right from the first time I saw him but getting to observe him at church and getting to see who his friends were and how he behaved was wonderful. I have seen very many beautiful relationships blossom in churches. My closest and dearest friendships were formed in and through church, my children have grown up in church and made lovely friends too and I hope that one day they too will meet their future spouse in the wonderful setting of church.

 

 

2.10.14

A Great Success

This year presented a difficult subject, we delved into purity as well as a lot of talk about sexual purity. Our numbers were lower than usual as a result but the event was better than ever!  We enjoyed a fantastic day together, everything went smoothly, the food was great, the company fantastic, the talks life changing, the worship heavenly!  Everything was just perfect!  It was a beautiful day in God's presence and we are so grateful to all who played a part in making it happen.

Next year's conference - HE LOVES ME - is already in the pipeline.  We have made some positive changes so that even more of you can enjoy this fantastic annual event.  The most significant change is that we will end by 5pm which has enabled us to bring the ticket price right down to £25.  However, if you book in during October, you get a once off early bird rate of £20 using promo code OCTOBER and if you wish to exhibit this code applies to your stand too.  So book your place this month at www.kingsdaughters-helovesme.eventbrite.co.uk and then you have a full year to see who you could bless with a ticket so that they can join you for a great day.

Thank you Gentle Giant
I would like to thank Jim of Gentle Giant for kindly capturing our event on his camera. 

Jim is a Visual Communicator? Using a variety of media he creatively communicate people's ideas and concepts into visual solutions that can promote, inform, educate and potentially transform peoples lives.  If you want to purchase any of the photos he took at our conference or to use his professional services, can contact him via his website www.gentlegiantgraphics.co.uk or email info@gentlegiantgraphics.co.uk

Thank you Arts Ecclesia
A great big thank you to Shirley of Arts Ecclesia who sponsored our conference this year.  Without her kind support the tickets would have cost much more as this is a very expensive event to run.  But thanks to Shirley's generosity, we were able to provide a quality event at a very reasonable ticket price.  Find our more about Arts Ecclesia at www.artsecclesia.org.uk

Thank you Whole Foods Cheltenham
A great big thank you to Renata from Whole Foods Cheltenham who supplied us with these lovely gift bags.  It was a lovely detail that made the conference even more memorable.

There are so many more thank you's and I fear I will miss someone if I attempt to mention everyone, so thank you ALL for your involvement.  If you wish to get involved in next year's event please do get in touch by reply and also please do email me your feedback from this year and I will include it on our feedback page at www.kingsdaughtersconference.co.uk/highlights/2014-pure

Donations
We are delighted to be able to make a donation to Open Doors this year as well as to the Children's Society from the proceeds of the conference.  We would also like to encourage you to support our King's Daughters Village project - find our more here.

Don't forget to visit our exhibitors page - they will remain on the website for another 6 months so you can enjoy shopping from them in time for Christmas!  Keep in touch and if you can't wait until next year's conference, why not start a Girl's Night in your area or join us for some smaller events in the lead up to next year's conference.

Have a blessed day!

Love
Angela

25.8.14

25 Days To Go!



I can't believe it is nearly that time of year again with only 25 days to go until our annual King's Daughters Conference. This year is especially important, not only because we really need to get together as Christian woman but also because we do need to talk about this very important subject that we will be discussing, namely purity but mostly sex.

How to enjoy it, what to do better, what not to do, when to do it, when not to do it, what went wrong in the past, how to fix what went wrong in the past, the scars of the past and healing for them. How it's intended for pleasure , how to enjoy the pleasure without the guilt and shame, what to do if you got it wrong too often and find it no longer offers pleasure. Same sex attraction, opposite sex attraction, lack of sexual attraction and lethal attraction! Sex in marriage, sex outside of marriage, no sex in marriage Lies about sex, truth about sex, love and sex, lust and sex, hate and sex, sex traps, sex deception, sexual exploitation and much more. Oh yes, we will also be talking about other things too not only sex. But mostly, we will be talking about sex this year.  In the meantime enjoy reading about the 5 stages of sex.

In addition to our talks we will also be having some fantastic musical and dance items, heavenly worship, great food, business stalls, Zumba and so much more!

Group booking discounts of 20% are available for groups of 10 or more using promo code '20' when you book in.  Make sure you get your ticket soon at www.kingsdaughtersconference.co.uk

17.7.13

Where I Live

Every morning my daughter, Lorah-Kelly, and I go for walk together around the lovely streets of Battledown.  It is very hilly so a great workout for us!  This morning however, we both overslept (yes we live in different houses) and so had to motivate ourselves to go for a walk.  To add some excitement to our routine we decided to walk on the lovely Leckhampton Hill! It was such a beautiful morning and the views were amazing.  I marveled over each wild flower and each tree.  I gasped at the butterflies that were out in full force and savoured the sounds of the chirping birds.  The more I encounter the awesome creation that we live in the more I love the God that made it.  It is very difficult not to love Him when I see all the beautiful things that He made for us to enjoy.  I honestly think it takes more faith not to believe in God that it does to believe in Him.  It would be the same as if you marveled at an amazing painting but denied that there was a painter.  I am always left breathless when I contemplate the complexities and beauty of nature.  Below are some shots of our morning walk which turned into an early lunch at Pittville Park too!  Enjoy.


Cheltenham from the top of Leckhampton Hill

I couldn't decide which photo was best so added both

Oh and a photo through the wild grasses had to be included of course!

The trees in what I call the forest are simply gorgeous.

The big sky on this particular spot always gets me - it is soooo beautiful!

Wild flowers are in full bloom along with many butterflies, bees and other creepy things.

Lorah captured the old barn while I captured her capturing it.

A photo looking up at the huge tree does not do it justice but it is beautiful

Lorah capturing the park

The Central Cross Cafe in Pittville Park

The sun shining through the big tree


And here is Lorah's post based on the very same morning :)

2.7.13

Being a Mother - Who Trains and Teaches

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.   
- Proverbs 22:6

This verse has comforted me many times when I have worried about my children.  I know that even though they sometimes make poor choices, I have trained them well when they were little and they will find the right path in life as a result.  Training a child means that you help them to develop their skills and discover their strengths and weaknesses.  Teaching children to make choices, suffer consequences to poor choices and to reap the rewards of a choice well made is a very important part of their training.  The worst thing you could do as a parent is to shelter them from all consequences and failures.  Failure is good and a necessary part of the learning process.  Allow your children to make mistakes and teach them what to do with their mistakes when they have made them.  Children who grow up fearing mistakes and consequences will struggle with things such as faith and risk.  They will spend their life playing it safe and miss out on so much of life.  Allowing your children to make mistakes also teaches them grace and patience.  It’s also important to allow them to feel the weight of their decisions and mistakes.  Don’t allow them to make mistakes and then remove the consequences from them, that will be counterproductive and they will not learn much at all.

The Bible gives us an idea of how involved we need to be with our children.  Training and educating our children is not the responsibility of the Sunday School teacher, school teacher or any other teacher.  We are supposed to be so involved in our children’s lives in such a way that we take full responsibility for their training and education.  If we do not take responsibility for their instruction then they will learn things elsewhere and who know what they will learn.  It’s perfectly acceptable to allow the school to instruct the children in academic matters but don’t assume that your children will learn the things of the Lord from other people too.  In fact, they might learn things but not the things that you believe to be true.  Taking time to be involved all aspects of their training as well as their spiritual upbringing is essential.  
    
Ephesians 6:4 says, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”  It seems that lack of training about Godly things can lead children to frustration, exasperation and even anger.   Our children need to know that there is a God and that He is a good God.  They need to know about Him and know Him.  According to the thesaurus, wrath's antonym is "happiness" and "love" which means that with proper training and admonition of the Lord, our children will grow in happiness and love.  Isn’t that a beautiful thought?  There is definitely something beautiful land peaceful about teaching our children about God and His ways.

There are four main areas that we can focus on when training and teaching our children:  1. their natural gifts and talents, 2. their character strength and weaknesses, 3. their general knowledge and life experience and, 4. their spiritual growth.  

Natural Gifts and Talents
    A big part of training your child is to observe them, to study them, so that you can find their natural abilities and gifts and encourage them to purse what comes naturally.  It is far easier for them to work with their natural talents than leave them frustrated with trying to become someone they are not!  When you notice something that they do well, take time to point it out and encourage them in it.  The simplest things can be an indicator of a natural inclination such as keeping their room tidy could mean that they are naturally organised and possibly could have the gift of admin and management.  If you notice this, give them a task to see if this is one of their talents.
    Music and art can be picked up from an early age too.  If you have toy instrument in their toy box, see if they spend time tinkering with them or if they show no interest at all.  Do they prefer to play in the garden or on the computer?  Try to tell the difference between an actual computing desire to simply playing games – you never know, you could have the next Bill Gates on your hands. I could list every profession here and the starting point for each, but I am sure you can figure that out for yourself.  The key is to observe your children; they all have something special locked away inside of them.  Try to draw it out.

Character Strength and Weaknesses
    It’s never too soon to learn about your child’s character.  Each and every moment is an opportunity to help them grow in character.  Good qualities should be rewarded and encouraged so that they know that they are good.  Kindness, gratitude, sharing, helpfulness and all these sorts of things are good character and if you want them to keep it up, reward it and encourage it.
    The same is true for poor character and weaknesses.  It might not be necessary to scold them for all the weaknesses but perhaps use each instance as a teaching opportunity.  Sit down with your child and explain why their character weakness is not acceptable and teach them how to overcome it.  If they are only punished but never taught then their character flaws will not be changed but will only be suppressed.  This is why some many children struggle through their teen years.  Their suppressed character flaws rise up and assert themselves as they gain freedom and independence from their parents.

General Knowledge and Life Experience
   Another area of instruction is in our passing on of knowledge.  It is wonderful when parents and grandparents take time to pass on what they have learned in life.  Music, sports, academic knowledge, housekeeping, financial management, farming, entrepreneurship and so much more can be taught and passed on to our children from a very early age. Children who receive this sort of training have a much better chance of leading a successful life with meaning and purpose than those that don’t receive this sort of instruction.  As parents, let’s not take what we know for granted but let’s pass it on to our children.  Even if they don’t follow in our footsteps, at least we know that they had options and could make a wise and educated decision about their future.

Spiritual Growth
    Teaching your children about spiritual matters is the most important teaching you could ever give them.  If they understand that they this incredible side to them and the ability to connect to the living God, they then will gain a freedom that even many adults never attain.  The Bible is a book filled with life changing principles.  It was written for us because God loved us so much and wanted us to know Him, and to know how to live the life He created for us, well.  Knowing, understanding and applying the Bible to our life will help us to unlock our potential and purpose.  Teaching our children, as we grow and learn, only means that they will have a head start in life.  Teach your children from as early as possible to love God, to love His Word and to talk to Him naturally and freely whenever they want.  You will see them flourish in a whole new way and live life on a different level.

Find out more about Being a Mother here or use this material to host your own Girl's Night.

18.6.13

Being a Lover - Who Understands

Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
- 1 Corinthians 7:3-5


The apostle Paul wrote these verses in Corinthian not as a commandment but as guidelines so that we could have a better understanding of our commitment to each as husband and wife.  Fully understanding what these verses mean could have a significant impact on our love life and help us to really enjoy our time together in this area.  Take time to understand the importance of giving your bodies to each other.
      Before we get into what it is let’s first take a look at what this does not mean.  It does not mean that a man (or woman) can take their spouses body whenever they want to without invitation or consent.  This is rape.  Violently forcing someone to do what they are not ready to do is not loving and therefore cannot constitute making love.
    “...does not have authority over her/his own body...” is explained nicely in the preceding verse where it says that we are to give each other the affection that is due.  It then goes on to say how we can render affection and that is by giving our bodies to each other.  Your husband’s pleasure is your concern and your pleasure should be his concern.  It is not about what you can get from each other but what you can give to each other.  It is a common theme throughout the Bible and the principle remains the same in our sex life.  We are designed to serve not to be served.  Don’t see you how can get pleasure from your husband; rather see how you can give him pleasure.  If both of you are set on pleasing each other, the result will be wonderful.  Even if one party is less serving than the other, their heart will quickly crumble when they see the effort that the other one is making and will hopefully respond accordingly.
    Understanding this principle can have a significant effect on your pleasure and intimacy with your husband.  You see, the Bible says in Acts 20:35 that, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” and this principle applies to our sex lives too.   It is far better to be a lover that loves to give than a lover that likes to receive.  Do you just lie there and take it or are you actively involved, looking for ways to please your husband?  Don’t expect him to constantly be pleasing you and certainly don’t expect the things that you need to feel love in or outside of the bedroom if all you ever do is lie there and take it.
    Women, if you want to be blessed, you really should become generous in the bedroom!  2 Corinthians 9:6-8 says, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” Do you have all sufficiency in all things?  These principles are applicable to every area of life including our sex lives and if you want all sufficiency why not please your husband by sowing bountifully in the area that makes him feel most loved.  Express your love by serving him with your body.  Take delight in his body.  Understand the importance of these principles.
    If you marriage is a bit stale may I suggest that you spice it up by being creative with your sex life?  This is the heart, the core, of your marriage and you would do well not to neglect it.  
    Do not deprive one another.  His needs are your responsibility and your needs are his responsibility. You may not deprive one another and you may not withhold sex from him to control him or be mean to him.  Your body is not your own and so you should freely give it to your husband regularly.  It is not a rule that you have to do so and he most certainly can’t demand it from you but if you truly love each other as you should then he should be able to make love to you pretty much whenever he wants to and vice versa.  Why not love each other in a way that you both freely give yourself to each other so that you can both be fully satisfied?
     The only exception to this suggestion is when you have a time of fasting and prayer.  It’s not a rule that you cannot have sex during a fast but it is acceptable that if you are both in agreement that you can abstain from sex during a fast so you can focus on being intimate with God.  A caution is provided though and we are advised not to abstain for too long or else Satan might tempt us into sin because of our lack of self-control.
    Marriage problems will result the second that we start to withhold the affection that is due to our husband.  We need to understand his needs and satisfy what we are meant to satisfy as a wife.  Unsatisfied men don’t flourish in life and some are event tempted to sin or end up trapped in sin.  Although he can’t fully blame his decision on his wife he most certainly can find himself struggling when he does not receive the affection that he needs.  Have compassion on your man, don’t make him feel empty, alone and unloved.
Most importantly, don’t expect him to keep you filled with love and affection while he is trying to get by on the minimum.  You take care of his needs, he will take care of your needs, and all will be well in your marriage.  Don’t make the mistake of demanding attention from him as you wouldn’t like it if he demanded sex from you.  If you are not satisfied in any area, lovingly explain your needs and I can assure you that he will do his best to satisfy you.  A man who loves a woman will do just about anything to make her satisfied, all you need to do is make your needs known and be reasonable about what you need. 
    Can he come to you with his needs though?  Is he ‘allowed’ to tell you what satisfies him and will you do just about anything to make him satisfied?  Men tend to feel like a failure if their wife isn’t satisfied but women don’t seem to have the same problem.  Women are more likely to be harsh with their man and make his lack of satisfaction his own fault.  This disables a man and in time he is unable to satisfy his woman.  Don’t do this!  Allow you husband to express his needs freely and do your best to give him what he desires if you can.  Make an effort to understand these fantastic principles so that you can have the best possible sex life that is growing from strength to strength.  The more you sow into each others life the more you will reap.  It sounds like a win win situation to me!
 
Find out more about Being a Lover here or get in touch to host your own Girl's Night.

16.6.13

Stroud Ministry

King's Daughters Stroud
hosted by Berith Sandgren-Clarke
backed by Stroud Christian Fellowship

Berith is a highly regarded and popular style and image consultant. B, as she likes to call herself, has spent 30 years helping men and women learn how to look their best. She has seen individuals transformed by her work and through her Girl's Nights.




Girl's Nights £5
Held at Berith's Home every Wednesday at 7:30pm
 
Our Girl's Nights are based on the Christian Bible and cover relevant topics for mothers, wives, single women, older women - basically all shapes and sizes.  It's a really fun night, don't be shy, give it a try!  We enjoy a meal together, spend some time chatting about real life issues, pray for each other and care for each other. A great time together is guaranteed and your life will be radically changed.

More more info get in touch with Berith

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28.5.13

Being a Friend - Who is a Friend of Jesus

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.  No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I  have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.
- John 15:14-15

To be a good friend we need to have a good friend.  Having Jesus as our best friend, is the most amazing thing imaginable.  He is our example and experience of what being a friend really means.  Jesus’ friendship is based on mutuality and love and if He, the Son of God, is able to have that sort of friendship with us mere mortals, then we should be able to offer that sort of friendship to each other too.  There is nothing that Jesus has done that is not possible for us to do.

In the verse above we see that there is a condition to Jesus friendship with us.   He says that if we want to be His friends we have to do as He says.  He then qualifies this by saying that he is not saying this as a master would to a servant but that He is saying it to us as friends.  So this condition is to friendship with him is not a demand for obedience as an employer would expect from an employee but rather as a friend saying, come with me this is the way we should go.  

So what is Jesus commanding?  What is the requirement of His friendship?  The verse preceding the ‘if’ says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”. - John 15:13 and then before that He tells us His commandment, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” - John 15:12 and the verse before that tells us why he says all the things He says, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” -John 15:11

We can see from these verses that Jesus is saying that we can be His friend if we love another as He has loved us and His reason for wanting us to live a life of love so that our joy may be full.  His ‘if’ is only for our benefit.  His condition is so that we will get the most out of our friendship and that our friends get the most out of us.  Friendship is designed to be mutually beneficial where we can all find joy in love.  When Jesus is our friend we are able to experience what that level of love feels like so that we can offer that sort of friendship to others.   

Wikipedia defines friendship as a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people.  Being a friend of Jesus, enjoying the mutual affection between you and Him, means that you will be able to offer your friendship to others in a way that you could not have done before being His friend first.  To be a great friend, start by being His friend.  He is our ultimate example and He did everything that He expects from us first.  Jesus demonstrated how to lay down one’s life for his friends. He does not expect us to do anything that He hasn’t already done.  And His motivation is that our joy may be full!  

Is your joy full?  Are you a friend of Jesus?  Give it a try and see a whole other way to live life and have friendships.  

Find out more about Being a Friend here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here.

21.5.13

Being a Lover - Who Plans

Great sex very seldom just happens!  Maintenance sex happens regularly I am sure and occasionally great spontaneous sex might happen.  To enjoy regular and consistent great sex, planning is required.  Why not plan sex dates?  It's a great way to set aside an allocated time where you will focus on pleasing each other sexually.  
    Men seldom plan in this area, they are often instantly on just like a light switch - on and off - simple.  Women, however, are more like irons, they take time to warm up which is why a woman will benefit greatly from planning.  When planning a sex date, you will begin to release hormones that start getting you in the mood way before you even begin to get physically sexual. This means that when you do get down to the physical side of things you will be ready to explode!  There are several things that you can plan:

Anticipation
There is nothing quite like anticipation.  Anticipation is the action of expectation, an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety.  Expectation is the strong belief that something will happen in the future.  Great sex is the result of anticipation, in fact, the anticipation is what fuels all the plans that you make in preparation for your sex date.  As you make plan as anticipate what is to come you will become aroused.    

Time
Setting a time is essential to the success of your plan.  There is no point anticipating great sex without actually setting a specific time. It can be a regular time in your week that you both agree to block out in your diary or it can be a random thing that you do from time to time.  The great thing about a weekly set time is that psychologically you will quickly associate the time with what is to come and your body will have no problem with quickly switching from work mode into sex mode.  You don't have to do the same thing every time but have a set time can have huge advantages.  No matter whether you have set times or prefer occasional random times for you sex date, make sure that you put time aside for great sex.

Location
Decide on a location too.  Some couple like changing location to keep things interesting and you can be very creative with setting different locations and different moods.  There is so much that can be done with location and it can be really fun.  Have you ever considered taking some blankets into the garden on a warm summers night?  Just make sure it's properly dark so the neighbours don't get a good show!  Or how about setting a romantic scene in the living room or bathroom or on the beech (is that legal?) or..... well you get the picture.  It's doesn't always have to be in your bed in your bedroom you know.

Children
If you have children it is important to have occasional sex dates when they are not in the room next door and if you want to get creative in a room that doesn't have a key definitely be careful of getting busted!  Take time for just the two of you, either let them sleep out for a night or go away to a nice place where you can spend the night uninterrupted.  It's important to have children free time occasionally and go a bit wild!

Atmosphere
Light candles, put clean soft sheets on the bed, bring in some fresh flowers and play romantic music.  Atmosphere is essential.  Create an atmosphere in the bedroom that will remind both of you that what you plan to do is sacred and well as erotic.  It should feel like a safe space for you to play together sexually.

Dress 
Naked is good but it is also fun to dress up to get in the mood.  Prepare yourself physically for your sex date by bathing, shaving and doing whatever preparations make you feel sexy.  Dress in lingerie or whatever makes you feel sexy and consider what turns your husband on too.  What you like might not do it for him, so find out what he likes best.

Food
My husband always says that the best thing I can do for him is to pitch up naked with food!  I did that once and he actually laughed.  Seriously though, you don't want to be having an intense sex date on an empty stomach, prepare a nice dinner before hand or take some snacks to your location especially since you might spend some time talking first on your sex date.   Some foods are known aphrodisiacs so if you need a little help, eat something like. The jury is out as to how much scientific evidence there is that any foods really do make sex more attainable or more pleasurable, it could just be the the placebo effect, but here are a few that could be fun to try:

  • Chocolate - contains a lots of feel-good chemicals including phenylethylamine, the "love chemical," which releases dopamine in the pleasure centers of the brain and peaks during orgasm. It is said that phenylethylamine helps to induce feelings of excitement, attraction and euphoria.
  • Chilli - increases circulation and stimulates nerve endings so you'll feel more turned on.
  • Avocado - the vitamin E in avocado helps your body with the production of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, which circulate in your bloodstream and stimulate sexual responses like clitoral swelling and vaginal lubrication.
  • Oysters - are rich in rare amino acids that trigger increased levels of sex hormones.
  • Bananas - its levels of potassium and B vitamins aid your sex hormone production and are also a great source of instant and long-lasting energy.

Mindset
Just thinking about sex will get you in the mood for sex.  All of the above prepare you for your sex date but there is nothing more powerful than your mind.  Once you have done all you can do to plan make sure you take care to leave all your troubles far away from your special location and allow some time before the time you have set aside to wind down.  May sure your mind is fully in the game and then enjoy yourself!

Here are a few useful tips from our Being a Wife book too.
 
Find out more about Being a Lover here or get in touch to host your own Girl's Night.

7.5.13

Being a Mother - Who is Involved

Modern technology has its advantages but also comes with many disadvantages too and if we are not careful can fall into the trap of these disadvantages.  Family time with a mobile phone or computer present can lead us to believe that we are investing in our families when in fact we are not. Being available to our children is essential but in addition to merely being available we also need to be fully involved.  It is so important to set aside time regularly where you can be fully involved with your children.  Have you considered leaving your phone at home when taking them to the park?  How about having time in the living room without any TV, computer, phone or anything else on?  Observe your family time and honestly consider whether or not you are present and involved or are you merely in the same room together.   
    Being involved means that when you spend time together that you are interacting, discussing, thinking, and processing life together.  It means that you are interested and fully present when you spend time together.  Take time to chat to your children about their day, ask them questions and allow them to ask you questions about your day too.  Model how to have a conversation but sharing your day with them and include details about what you did and how certain things made your feel.  Teach your children to be involved by modelling what involved looks like and by being involved in their life.  Few parents are truly involved in their children’s lives these days as we are all so busy.
    Take a long, hard and honest look at your lifestyle and judge for yourself how much of your busyness is really necessary.  Is what you consider to be important really important? 
    Imagine yourself as an older lady with grown up grandchildren.  Consider that all the years of your life have passed and only few remain.  What would you like to remember about your life?  Decide now to make the memories that you want to have when you are in your last years of life.  You only get one shot at it and I can assure you that you will not remember all the money you made, you will also not remember all the bills you did or did not pay or the Facebook status updates.   I have heard over and over again that the memories that you cherish in old age are the memories of time spent with loved ones.  As you flip through a photo album, what stands out to you?  This is what should guide your involvement with your children.  What do you want to remember and what do you want them to remember?
    A great way to be involved with your children’s life is to ask them how they would like you to be involved.  Ask them if they feel loved and what makes them feel loved?  This will give you a big clue about how to be more involved.  Some children need quality time while others need kind word.  Children could also need you to do things for them to express love, this is called acts of service, while other children might need lots of cuddles and physical touch.  One other expression of love is gifts and this is not the same as materialism, it is a genuine need to feel loved and if you child needs this then occasionally bring home little treats for them so that they feel that you understand them and are involved in their life.  The kindest way that you can be involved in their life is through teaching them about the Bible.
 
Find out more about Being a Mother here or use this material to host your own Girl's Night.

23.4.13

Being a Friend - Who Covers Transgressions

He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.   - Proverbs 17:9

In this day and age it seems almost impossible to find a friend who has a deep conviction about being a friend.  We live in a time when everything is disposable and this even applies to our friendships.  Too many women are only interested in being a friend if it benefits them but when their friend becomes too needy or simply doesn’t add value to their life, they move on.  As Christian women we need to be different.  Not only do we need to stick around and offer friendship in difficult times but we also need to go as far as to cover our friends’ transgressions.   This means that when they mess up you draw even closer to them and do whatever you can to cover their transgression.  Yes, you read it correctly, the Bible actually tells us to cover our friends’ transgressions.  If we take a look at the Hebrew text we will see that cover from this verse means to plump, that is, to fill up the  hollows; by implication to cover (for clothing or secrecy) and conceal.  So it is blatantly saying that we should cover up rather than expose.   The word transgression in the Hebrew text means rebellion, sin or transgression.  So once again we cannot find any hidden meaning or other explanation, it means exactly what it says in English. It says that covering a person’s sin is the loving thing to do but to tell others about it separates friends.
    Consider your friendships.  Are you the calibre friend that can keep things to herself or do you need to spread the word and expose your friends sinfulness?  Sadly Christian women are the worse in some ways because they can disguise repeating a matter in prayer making it look noble but actually it’s just another form of gossip.  Be careful that when you share personal information about a friend for prayer purposes that you are not merely repeating the matter thereby separating you and your friend.  We don’t all need to know all the details all of the time in order to pray effectively.  Simply to say that someone is struggling is sufficient on most occasions.    If in doubt rather cover the transgression and only confide in your leader, husband or someone you can trust if you are genuinely concerned.
    Jesus is our ultimate example of covering our transgression because it is in Him, when we are covered by Him, that we are free.  It is as if He wraps His arms around us to form a cocoon and in this cocoon of His love, we are transformed and become a new creation.  We are embraced as a worm and release as a butterfly.  If Jesus does this for us shouldn’t we do the same for our friends?  Shouldn’t we cover them and love them until they are transformed?
    King’s David in the Psalms calls it the joy of forgives.  Psalm 32:1 says, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”  Blessed in this verse is translated ‘how happy’.  How happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Put yourself in your friends’ shoes, or perhaps you have already been there or are there right now.  How happy would you feel if you had another chance?  If you sin didn’t define you but was covered until you found freedom.  Its God’s place to judge but it’s our place to love sinners as Jesus did.  Let me finish off with the beautiful words from a man who called himself a great sinner, John Newton.  
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”
    We were all once lost and blind and when we begin to see we will realise the value of covering other’s transgressions just as someone covered ours in the times when we were lost and blind.  Peter put it like this in 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Find out more about Being a Friend here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here.

Being a Friend - Who Judges Herself

Did you know that if you judge someone else you are bringing judgement upon yourself? Yes it’s true and it’s a scary thought.  Also, the measure that you use to judge will be used back on you.  Not only that, but if we compare ourselves to other people we are told by God that we are not wise.
    I don’t know about you, but judging and comparing ourselves is just what we naturally do as girls! We are born that way.  From the earliest age I can remember judging others and comparing myself to other people.  We are taught to compare and compete at school, we are taught to judge.  It seems to be the ‘acceptable’ thing!  But not according to God’s standard.  His ways are higher than ours and if we are parents we should not conform to the world’s ways, we should save our children from the judgement of God by teaching them to show mercy to others from a young age.  So let’s take a look at God’s ways.

Matthew 7:1-2
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Ouch!  That says it just as it is, no need to try and find the hidden meaning in that, it’s very plain to see.

James 2:13
For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

This one is plain to understand too!  We need to show mercy to people and not judge them.  Mercy wins, judgement loses.  If we don’t show mercy to others we will not receive mercy from others and from God!  This is a very serious matter.  I don’t know about you but I need mercy both from other people and from God.  I need mercy all the time.
    I have found the best way to keep things in perspective is to NEVER think of myself more highly than I ought to.  Keeping things in perspective is essential and if I even begin to feel pride creep into my heart I know that I am thinking too highly of myself.  If you are aware of pride it is easy to spot in your own life, so cultivate awareness and choose to keep yourself humble for God and before others.

Romans 12:3
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.

So how do we view others then?  It’s easy, yet again plain put in the Bible.  We view others better than ourselves.

Philippians 2:3
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Esteem means regard, respect, appreciate or value.  We need to regard people better than us, respect them as better than us, appreciate them as better than us and value them as better than us.
    Also, it doesn’t say to esteem only good people or worthy people, it just says people.  So next time you walk past a drunk person don’t look down at him and think yourself better than him because you are not drunk – you are not better than him.  Or if you walk past a mum shouting at her child in the street, don’t look down at her thinking that you are better than her because your child is behaving and you aren’t shouting – you are not better than her.
    We are in no position to judge, we have no idea why people are the way they are, we can’t begin to understand their heart and we most certainly don’t have it all figured out ourselves.  If we truly want to live in God’s grace we need to judge ourselves only.

1 Corinthians 11:28
But let a man examine himself...

1 Corinthians 11:31
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.

It’s essential that we judge ourselves if we want to become the women that God wants us to be and the friends that our friends need us to be.  Judging ourselves does not mean comparing ourselves to each other.  We judge ourselves according to the Bible, God’s handbook for life!  God has set the standard for living and we need to do our best to measure up.  We shouldn’t feel condemned  when we realise we don’t measure up, we simply need to know what to aim for.
    When it comes to being a friend we need to make sure we intentional stop judging our friends and start to judge ourselves.  Not only will be become a much better friend but our friends will also feel safe with us.  There is nothing more hurtful and soul destroying that knowing that your friends judge you and talk behind your back about it.  Decide today to become a friend who will only judge herself.  

Find out more about Being a Friend here or about using our material to host your own Girl's Night here.

16.4.13

Being a Lover - With a Past

Before we can get into the fun side of being a lover we should take a look at the things that can prevent us from enjoying intimacy in marriage.  Sadly few people wait until their wedding night these days leaving loads of marriages scarred by unnecessary baggage.  It wasn’t meant to be this way.  We, like swans, were designed to love once and to make that love last a lifetime.  In Song of Solomon it says three times, “Do not stir up nor awaken my love until it pleases.”  Usually when something is repeated in the Bible it means that we really need to get it!  Many versions omit the ‘my’ from that verse but when you realise that the original text says ‘my’ you realise that what is being requested is a man asking the woman not to arouse him before it is the right time to be aroused.  There is a right time and a wrong time to be aroused.  Why?  Because once you are aroused it is very difficult not to want to go all the way and this is why the verse in 1 Corinthians 7:9 had to be added to the Bible.  It says, “...but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
    Awakening love before it is ready will either lead to a quick marriage or sin.  It is always best to take time to befriend someone before allowing love to be awakened.  Get to know them.  Pray about whether or not they are the once you want to spend your life with.  Remain objective before love hormones kick in and make you blind to the things you should see.  Sex before marriage diminishes sexual fulfilment within marriage.  You can find more about remaining pure in Being a Single Woman but now let’s focus on what to do if you have already awaked love before it is ready.

Sex Outside of Marriage
If you are in a sexual relationship outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage then end it immediately and stop hurting yourself.  The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:18 to “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.”  Even though you may not realise it at the time, sex outside of marriage is harmful to you which is why the Bible says to flee it.  Don’t try to ease out of a sexual relationship – you cannot as you are united with the person. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can continue seeing each other but stop having sex – it seldom works and you will always end up in bed together.  Don’t justify your relationship by saying that you intend to get married and have asked God to bless your relationship.  Until the day that you marry you are unmarried.  There is no grey area – you are either married or unmarried whatever you say to justify your sin doesn’t make it any less sinful.
    These hard words are not written in judgement or to condemn, they are written by a woman who has been ensnared by sin herself and can vouch for the pain that results from sexual sin.  My plea to you to get out of the sinful relationship that you are in is for your own good.  Sex outside of marriage always leads to pain and consequences that are unbearable at some point in your life.  Perhaps they don’t rear their ugly head right away but they always come back to bite you.  I can only imagine how precious and beautiful loving only once must be - a treasure that I do not posses and will never know the beauty of.   

Sex with a Past  
Thankfully, God redeems and restores.  I will never know the beauty of loving once, even God cannot give that back to me, but He does other wonderful things if we remain true to Him and commit to sexual purity.  Here are a few things that can crop up if you have sex with a past:

Memories
God does not erase your memory when you repent of your sin.  Once you have made a memory it stays with you forever so be careful what memories you make.  Take responsibility for the ones you can control and for those that you have no power over, deal with them quickly so they don’t rob you of your joy and peace.  

Dealing with Memories
You might remember something but it is your choice as to whether or not you continue to think about the memory and allow it to affect you.  You can’t stop the memories from coming but you can choose what you do with them when they come.  Most importantly, you can change how you feel about the memories.  

1.    Submit Your Memories
When a memory comes to mind submit it to Jesus right .  Don’t linger in the memory or take a trip down memory lane with a past lover. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “...bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.  Catch the thought and give it to Jesus.  You can do this by simply saying so either out loud or in your mind.  It’s a decision you make and once you have given to Jesus leave for Him to deal with.

2.    Replace Your Memories
The next step is to fill the void from the past memory with something else, something positive.  Build your marriage by thinking about the right things and don’t entertain wrongs thoughts.  You always have the power over your own mind.  No one has brain washed you and God certainly will not even if you ask Him to.  He gave us free will so it’s up to us what we use it for.  Memories do come but you can choose whether or not you linger in them.  Replace bad memories with good ones, you have the power to do so.

3.    Transform Your Memories
God, in His mercy, can heal us from our memories so that we no longer have negative or upsetting feelings from them.  In my experience, He doesn’t remove the memories but He does remove the effect that they have on you.  This comes through healing.
   There is little you can do if you have a memory at an awkward time like during love making or on a date night so it’s best just to mentally submit the memory to Jesus and to replace it with something else.  However, you can create a private time with just you and Jesus where you can proactively deal with your memories.  In a quiet and private environment, allow yourself to go back to some of the memories that are bothering you and ask Jesus to go back with you.  As you relive the memory, ask Him what He has to say about it and ask him to heal you.  You will find this time with Jesus incredible and result will be transformed memories.  A healed and transformed memory means that when it comes to mind it has no effect on you.  Healed memories can be quickly dismissed and forgotten about.  Healed memories have no effect on your present.  They are merely stored data in your brain but have no real effect on your body or emotions.  

Behaviours
Many times our past dictates our responses and behaviours.  If you have been in a serious relationship you may find that you transfer some of that relationship into your marriage.  You  might find that you mistrust your husband for things that your past man did or you may treat him based on your past.  It is essential to separate your marriage from your past relationships and there are several ways you can tackle this:

1.    Seek Truth
It is easy to be blinded by strong feelings and in these times you must commit to moving beyond these feelings to find the truth.  Your marriage will be significantly robbed if you allow your past relationship to determine your behaviour in your marriage.  First you need to seek the truth about who your husband is and secondly about what he likes.
    Sex is very specific to the person so you will need to take time to learn about what turns your husband on, what pleases him and what he dislikes.  Don’t treat him as you have treated past loves.  He needs to be explored and discovered.  Seek the truth about him.                               

2.    Meditate on Truth
The best way to forget the things that you need to put behind you is the force your mind to think about the things that you want to become a reality in your life.  For example a past thought based on a bad experience could be, “All men are the same, all they want is sex.”  This past thought could be based on a lie that you have believed due to hurt.  The problem is that whenever your husband hurts you this lie will immediately rear its ugly head.  He will hurt you from time to time because he is only human, misunderstanding and misinterpretation happens and you are probably sensitive in some areas.  To get rid of this bad pattern you need to meditate on what you know to be true.  When you feel hurt change your thoughts to what is true, for example. “My husband loves me and when he desires to have sex with me it is because of his love for me.”
     The truth is that all men are the same in many ways and their need for sex is one of those areas.  All men need sex just like all women need to be loved.  Sex = love for a man.  This in itself is not a bad thing but the emotions that you attach to his need could be received as either a good or a bad thing.  Meditate on the truth so that your husband can be free to express his sexual needs without you chastising him for being a bad man.  This is just one example but a very common one, find what you struggle with and replace it with a truth phrase that you can meditate on.

3.    Act on Truth
Once you have begun meditating on truth you need to find ways to act on it.  Acting on the truth will seal the truth into your heart and before you know it the problem area is no longer a problem.  Treat your marriage as your first and only love.  Find out who he really is and what he really likes, making no assumptions based on past relationships.  Your behaviour towards him should be determined by him and by what you know to be true and right. No past should influence any part of your marriage.  Keep your mind focused on the truth that you have found so that the way you treat your husband is specific to him.  What turns one man on may offend another.  Not all men are the same.  Don’t treat your husband like your perception of ‘all men’.

There is much more that can be said but I will leave it with you to figure out.  If you are a lover with a past, deal with the past so that you can enjoy your present and have hope for your future.  Let me leave you with one little gem of truth.  Your sex life is the most important part of your marriage.  Don’t leave it to chance, be intentional, work on it and enjoy making love to your man!

Find out more about Being a Lover here or get in touch to host your own Girl's Night.

11.4.13

Suicide of Rick Warren's Son

I was shocked when I heard the tragic news about Rick Warren's son.  If you don't know who Rick Warren is, he is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, a very influential and well respected Christian leader.  If you’re unaware of what happened, here’s Pastor Rick’s letterWe would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Pastor Rick, his family and his church.  There are no words to express just how sad we are with and for you.

I have decided to take this opportunity to share my story, which I have recorded in detail in my book, Hope's Journey, with you at a very special Girl's Night which will be hosted here in Cheltenham, UK and once recorded will be available on our YouTube channel.  If you can't make the Girl's Night and need support please feel free to contact me or get in touch with your local church or with the Samaritans

Facts about suicide around the world:
  • 1 million people across the globe die by suicide each year. That’s one suicide every 40 seconds.
  • More people die by suicide each year than by murder and war combined.
  • It’s estimated that approximately 5% of people attempt suicide at least once in their life.
  • Between 10% and 14% of the general population have suicidal thinking throughout their lifetime.
  • Suicide is the second biggest cause of death worldwide among 15-19 year olds.
  • 100,000 adolescents die by suicide every year.
  • Suicide is estimated to be under-reported for reasons of stigma, religion and social attitudes. Many suicides are hidden among other causes of death, such as road traffic accidents and drowning.
(Source: International Association for Suicide Prevention)

Don't wait for disaster to strike before you realise how real this problem is. 


9.4.13

Life Workshop



Join us for one day where we will workshop your life so that you will have a road map to become who you have always wanted to be and will do the things that you have always wanted to do! Life is short and you have wasted too much time already, don't put a price tag on the rest of your life.

Stop waiting and change your life today.

Areas Covered:
Money - Take Control
Relationships - Find Satisfaction
Work - Find Purpose
Spiritual - Be Complete (optional extra)

Ticket:
You ticket will entitle you to a full day Life Workshop, tea, coffee, lunch as well as one private follow up mentoring session after the event. £600  Book here

You know all those things you've always wanted to do?  
You should go DO THEM. 

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2.4.13

Being a Mother - Who is Available

Mobile phones, computers, TV’s and so many other screens can give our children the impression that we are not available to them.  Talking to them while looking at a screen of some sort will only send the wrong message to our precious children.  They need eye contact.  They need tender touch.  They need our full, undivided attention.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.  - Deuteronomy 6:6-7

God instructed the Israelites to teach the commandments to their children when they were at home, when they away from their home, when they went to bed and when they woke up in the morning.  He was telling them to be available to their children morning, noon, and night!  How many of us spend that much time with our children?  More importantly, how many of spend that much time teaching our children God’s ways?  Not only do we need to be available to our children but we also need to be teaching our children and instructing them in the things that matter.
How to play Angry Bird’s so that they can get to the next level may not be the best use of your time – they can learn that from anyone.  However, perhaps you are the only person that will ever bother to take the time to teach them the things of God.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.  - Proverbs 22:6

Our responsibility is to train our children well so that it will keep them their entire life.  A child taught well from a young age will lead a blessed and fruitful life until the day they are old.  There is no point in just leaving your children to fend for themselves in spiritual matters but take good care of their breakfast, lunch and dinner.  They won’t die if they miss a meal but they could die if they aren’t given spiritual food when they are little.  

Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.  - Proverbs 1:8-9

It’s wonderful how this verse encourages children to listen to their father’s instruction and mother’s teaching and how it comes with a beautiful promise if they do heed it.  However, how can a child hear something that has not been said or not forsake something that he has not been taught?  We must take our role as a mother seriously and be available not only for hugs and kisses, playtime and fun but also to teach them the way should go in life.  Here are some fun ideas to incorporate scriptures into your daily lives:

Memory Verses
Teach your children to memorise scripture so that when they need help in life they will know what to do.  You can stick up verses on the bathroom mirror and even offer little incentives or rewards for remembering the verse.  Teach them verses that are relevant to their life and teach them how to apply to verse to their life.  Make up riddles, rhymes or songs with memory verses so that it’s fun for them.  Children also love poetry, you can use memory verses or the meaning of verses to write beautiful poems with them.  

Bible Games
Search the internet, there are plenty of games that use scriptures.  If the Bible is fun when they are little then it will remain fun for them when they are older.  Bible Man is a fantastic DVD series that teaches children the Bible and so are Max Lucado’s, Hermie and Friends DVD’s.  There are many more great games and DVD’s out there for your children, they don’t have to be moulded by Hollywood, you do have a choice.

Bedtime Stories
Read the Bible to your children at bedtime or tell them the stories from memory so that you can say it the way that they best understand.  Allow them to fill in the blanks at times making the story time interactive and encourage them to ask questions.  Try not to be annoyed by interruptions to the stories but rather value their questions and see them as teaching opportunities.

Real Life
Whenever there is an opportunity, use real life to teach them.  Apply to Bible to everyday, ordinary things.  Show them how great God is by exploring creation together.  Help them to understand that God is their provider at Christmas time rather than Santa.  Help them to see how God’s instruction book is to help us have a great life and that it’s not a book of rules.

Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.  - Psalm 119:11

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