Friday, 28 March 2014

What To Do With Facebook...

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.... what should we do with Facebook? Of course, it's a great way to keep up to date with our friends' lives - see their photos, hear their news, laugh with their stories and cry with their bad times. But it's so easy just to use Facebook as an observational tool - keeping us on the outside, on the fringes of the lives of our friends and acquaintances. We can be reminded automatically of their birthdays in case we forget, which, you have to admit, is more and more the case. I used to be great at remembering friends' birthdays, and now it's so much harder to than it was before!

Also, it's easy to have a lot of 'friends' on Facebook - generally they're just people you know or have met once or twice. "Ooh, I know that name. Let's add them!" or "I grew up with them...wonder what they're doing now?", and so we keep tabs, see their photos but never really have anything to do with them. How many of your 'Facebook friends' do you actually know/have conversations with regularly?

Anyway, I have a challenge for you - something that I am going to do and hope to continue to do - something productive, a way to use Facebook as a tool, rather than just a toy. So here's my plan....

Message (or write on the wall of) one of your Facebook friends' every day (or once a week - be creative, do what you can handle). You can say "Hi, how's it going?" or "what have you been up to?" - see what they respond with. My challenge is for you to get to know your friends better, or even to maintain the real true friendships you already have but maybe are letting slide a little. Messaging a person a day (or even one a week) will challenge you to make an effort in their lives, and could potentially create great, strong friendships that may last for the rest of your lives! This isn't a difficult challenge. Your 'Facebook friends' who actually care to associate with you will reply to your post, and you may even get a great conversation going. Those who aren't really your true friends but more just acquaintances won't necessarily reply, but hey, you did your best. Just a little effort from you could change their lives, and yours! Think about it - what if that particular friend was a bit down, and just needed someone to say hi, or cheer them up, or share a Bible verse, or poem or song. What if they just need someone to talk to, or wanted to chat to you but didn't feel like they know you well enough, or that you'd even care. See, these are things that even Facebook can't tell you; you have to make that effort yourself.

So, now that you've heard my crazy idea, what do you think? Are you game? Ready to step outside your comfort zone? I am! :) Like I said, I'm going to do this too. I have a lot of friends on there that I don't really know, but would love to get to know better. I wouldn't necessarily normally do something like this, but I'm really keen to, and I think that the Lord is leading me to use Facebook as a tool, not just a time-waster (as it can easily be), or a gossip machine. So I'm going to start today.... will you?

P.S. Let me know how you go, and I'll do the same :)

Love in Christ,

Friday, 21 March 2014

Words To Live By...

"Is not this the fast that I choose,
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless into your house,
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily,
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer,
you shall cry, and He will say, "Here I Am."
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry,
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness,
and your gloom be as the noonday.

And the Lord will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places,
and make your bones strong.
And you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.

And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt,
you shall raise up the foundation of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in."

~Isaiah 58:6-12~

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Happy Birthday Lily!

~ Dear Lily ~

I just want to say ....HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! :D 

Wow, I can't believe how fast the years have gone by! I feel so privileged to have got to know you fairly soon after I moved here, and to now consider you one of my close friends. You inspire me so much to live more for Christ! This quote sums you up perfectly:

When I think of you, I think of an infectious smile, laughter, and someone with an incredible gift for cheering others up. The Lord has used you many times when I am sad to remember to rejoice in Him, and to give thanks always - your whole life is a real testimony to that. I'm so, so, so glad to be able to call you my friend. <3

And, just for good measure, I thought I'd throw this quote in too. You have been a really godly older sister in Christ to me that I can look up to and emulate, for which I really want to thank you! This quote really sums up what kind of friend you have been to me. :) Thank you so much and may the Lord bless you always Lily!

May you have a lovely day!

With birthday prayers from your friend and sister in Christ,

 (As well as the other writers of this blog) :)

Friday, 14 March 2014

The Discipline of Prayer

Hi all!

Just realised that we havn't really been diligent in posting lately. So I thought I'd go through the blog drafts and clear out some posts. :) It is taken from some notes that I took whilst at a church camp last year, so apologies in advance for the lack of elaboration and explanation of it! May the Lord use it to help me and you in our prayer life!

The Discipline of Prayer

We should pray because our prayers are:
  • worship
  • before God (Revelation 8)
  • an offering
  • pleasing to God
  • set apart for God
  • meeting with God
  • a stand against the devil
Prayer is:
  • 2 way
  • important (Luke 5:15-16)
  • deliberate, pre-planned
  • solitude (Luke 6:12-13)
  • Jesus prayed all night
  • Decision making
  • small group prayers (Luke 9:28-36)
  • earnest, agonizing (Luke 22:39-46)
  • God's will be done
  • Pray for protection

Things we can pray for:
  • Enemies (Luke 5)
  • Workers, evangelism, spread of the gospel (Luke 10:1-2)
  • Boldness, persistance (Luke 11:5-13) [builds character]
  • Not to give up, perserverence (Luke 18:1-8) [builds character]
  • Against persecution (Revelation 5)
  • Strength (Luke 21:34-36) [to stand before Christ]
  • Godliness (1 Timothy 2)
  • The saints (each other)
How to practically work out prayer ~ through the Lord's prayer (Matthew 6:7-14)!
  • Do not babble/not be showy
  • "When you pray..." - you do pray! At all times, by yourself, deliberate.
  • Our Father, "Abba"
  • Hallow (worship) God - through our lives, through scriptures (pray through scriptures)
  • God's kingdom, Jesus's return and the church (unity, evangelism, protection/health, for each other)
  • God's will, both heaven and earth
  • Forgiveness
  • Physical/basic needs
  • Deliverence and protection
God bless!