Stick your neck out!

June 27th, 2017 | Posted by Ruth in integrity - (0 Comments)

Wisdom is knowing the right path to take…. Integrity is taking it… Anon

In Jeremiah 38 we read how Jerry has been banging his head on a wall of stubborn disregard from God’s chosen people the Israelites. These guys had totally veered off God’s wonderful blueprint for the plan of their lives and instead were doing all sorts of extreme evil. The king, a big girls blouse who was totally wet, should have been ruling but defaulted power to his princes who were bad eggs. Poor Jerry, God’s instrument for correction, like so many messengers of truth, get’s it in the neck from the princess. He literally is up to his neck in it when they throw him into a sewage tank or cistern to die. Eeeuuuww… Whatta a way to go!

Into our story steps a guy called Ebed-Melech, a eunuch servant of the king and a man of integrity. He goes to the king and calls him out on the evil he has permitted the Lord’s holy prophetic to be subjected to. Ebed-Melech then sets out to rescue Jerry from certain death.

I’m inspired and challenged by Ebed-Melech. It’s one thing know the right thing but it’s another level doing it. Just like those in the French resistance who put their lives on the line to rescue and repatriate prisoners’ of war, so must we dare to model Ebed-Melech and do the right thing. Our world is up to it’s neck in it – We don’t have to look far to see injustice, brokenness and rebellion.

So what do we do?

I suggest we start with the people under our noses… the Mum who always stands on her own at the school gate, the unpopular child, the embittered, the self righteous prat who winds everyone up, the elderly and vulnerable, or the person we’d like to give up on as they go around again in the same cycle of self-sabotage. It’s for these people we need to take a stand for and love with integrity. Look around these people are everywhere… the wounded, the unlovely – those wiping life sh**t off their shoulders as they try another day.

Are you willing?

Romans 12:16 ‘Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud [Haughty snobbish] but be willing to readily adjust to [People and things] of low position. Give yourself to humble tasks. Never overestimated yourself or be wise in your own conceits’.

If we’ve breath in our body then it our duty to like Ebed-Melech stand for truth and justice.

Isaiah 1:17 ‘Learn to do what is right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow…’

I love how at the end of the story in chapter 39, God honours Ebed-Meelch for his integrity… why not give it read?

Hugs Ruth x

The Worry Weary Equation

April 21st, 2017 | Posted by Ruth in Uncategorized | weariness - (0 Comments)

“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”- Corrie Ten Boom

I’ve been very busy recently and found that my joy had begun to wane. Not only my joy but I found myself feeling tired ALL the time! I would drag myself out of bed and feel anxious about how I was going to make it through another day. This had been going on for a few weeks when I realised I was actually worrying about lots and lots of things. Then I was asking God what to blog about and I felt the topic of worry was suddenly in my face and very present when I hadn’t even realised it had slipped back into my story.

Me and ‘worry’ go way back like an old childhood friend that got you into trouble every time you hung out. I grew up in a home were fear was perpetuated by parental temperament oh… and the terrorism affectionately known as ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland. I remember from a very young age thinking if I worried enough the pain of the ensuing anxiety would counter balance the bad stuff and it would be okay… as long as I suffered enough. As a Christ follower I even worked this warped thinking into my understanding of God… Like if my relationship with Him didn’t hurt in some way it wasn’t quite right… We’re in a war and there’s a cost to the call, suck it up, set your face like flint and get on with it, you’ll be rewarded in the next life; were all phrases I’d trot out and seemed to make perfect sense. This was often compounded by my interpretation of Mathew 25-34 when worry would be combined with guilt!

But that was a long time ago. I’ve done the courses, I’ve had the prayer ministry and I honestly thought I’d dealt with this sucker! I thought I’d disabled its influence in my life for good. Consequently my unacknowledged worry only became apparent when I found as Corrie Ten Boom so wisely noticed my todays were empty of strength. So if like me you’re sitting in a haze of exhaustion from yet another night’s poor quality sleep. Let me direct you to the truth of God’s word. For we are not alone and worry has no place in our lives for we have The Spirit of Truth to set us free, give us rest and restore our peace.

Jn 14:16 And I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter (Counsellor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthen and Standby), that He may remain with you forever.

Stop everything take a few moments and ask God through the power of His Spirit to make the above scripture a reality in your world today.

Invest in the Best!

March 14th, 2017 | Posted by Ruth in Busy busy busy | investment | purpose - (0 Comments)

Make your moments count, is a well worn phrase we all like to think we do, don’t we? I like to think I’m purposed and positioned to be productive. However as I pondered on the following I got to thinking where is my heart?

Mathew 6:19-21 ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and vermin destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in Heaven, where moth and vermin do not destroy. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also’.

How can we bring glory to God and invest in the best for our Heavenly account? Mmmm, let’s start by considering what God places value in…

It’s common to think God places value in obedience, good works or being really really ‘nice’! and He does value all those things but the resounding thing God places value in is His creation US! God loves people ALL PEOPLE, not only those who are honest enough to know their need of Him and humble enough to seek Him. He Loves Loves Loves, us ALL. Just in case you didn’t know God the Father gave the most precious thing He had – Jesus, His Son, to pay the debt of sin, we never could. Yep God place the greatest value of all, on you and me. So I think it’s safe to assume people and their lives are worth investing in.

I was told recently – people are the 3rd largest commodity in the world..! I was horrified to hear that a person can be used over and over and yield a greater return than drugs (please click on the link below if you want to do something about this). So we know globally people are not valued. Like me you may feel overwhelmed by this truly horrifying statistic, but we can start with what’s on our door step…

Our investment doesn’t need to be obvious or showy, in fact it’s better the less obvious it is. Just think about the folks in your day to day. I know someone with an elderly neighbour, who lives alone and they give her time to talk when they see her, why? because they understand the pain of loneliness and how for half an hour they can lessen the sting for her. That is investment.  I know someone else who intercedes in prayer for all sorts of issues because they know the prayers of the righteous avail much. Investment. My Mum had 4 children in 5 years and got to know her midwife, Nurse Bowman, pretty well. She told my Mum upon receiving the news a mother was in labour, she would kneel down and pray for the salvation and safe delivery of each child she delivered. She did this in the pain of knowing she couldn’t have any children of her own… she’s long gone to glory but what a precious investment!

I want to encourage you, in a world were ‘Me, me, me, me’ is the norm… fight apathy and invest in loving the most precious thing in the world…  people.

Hugs Ruth x

They call me the Squander…

February 27th, 2017 | Posted by Ruth in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I have a situation. My parents are getting older and will need to make some changes in the next few years if their quality of life is to be the best it can be. I tough getting older, and I feel for them. Suggestions I make are met with perhaps understandable, procrastination, they know they need to make some changes, it’s just they don’t want to, yet…

As I was pondering, how logically it’s better to make changes before hips get broken or marbles get lost, when God impressed upon me how His children are often very, illogical. You know those times when we know what we need to do but don’t; like eating better, exercising or simply resting. Times when our head clearly knows the right thing to do but our heart knows differently and the heart wins. The bible tells us Satan is out to steal kill and destroy (John 10:10) I wonder how often we have robbed ourselves of God’s provision as we languish in what is comfortable, knowing we need to change and yet…

Perhaps you, like me recognise missed opportunities and feel regret? In the parable of the prodigal son, (Luke 15:11-32) we see how he squanders the wonderful opportunity he is given to make a life for himself with wealth and favour. How he ends up scrabbling round in the dirt for food when he could have been someone and how the reality of his choices cause him to recognise his squandering as sin. I wonder my friend have you squandered blessing in your life? I know I have in mine. I have squandered favour because I’ve been too self absorbed to be grateful. I’ve squandered offers of help because it was more important to me to be the one calling the shots. I’ve squandered wisdom because I was too proud to receive instruction, I squandered opportunities, because I was lazy. We’ve all squandered, some place, sometime. We’ve all had hold of something precious only to tosh it in the trash not recognising it’s true worth. And yet…

(2 Cor 7:10) ‘Godly grief produces repentance which leads to salvation and brings NO REGRETS!’ In our story we see repentance is the starting point of hope. It’s axis upon which God (John 10:10)… begins to bring forth life and our God gives life abundantly. When we recognise the gift of free will and choice, we can appreciate life in a new way. God is a lavish God, who makes allowances for our squandering and dumb choices. It’s why He sent Jesus. (Luke 15 v 18) it says this guy, the prodigal son, got up, he did something!

I want to steward wisely what I may not have tomorrow, whether that be friends, family, health, money or time. I want to look back and know I didn’t squander His blessings through laziness, fear or apathy. I want to know I dared to ‘Get Up’ and proactively trust the One who knows my tomorrows.

How about you?

Love Ruth

The struggle in Our Story is worth it!

February 13th, 2017 | Posted by Ruth in struggle - (0 Comments)

We all love a good yarn, in fact boffins have come up with an algorithm for the perfect story. It has to have a beginning obviously, then a middle where there is a dilemma and then an ending, in which a resolution is arrived at, allowing the reader to sign off satisfied. One such story is the story of Joseph from the bible. You’ve probably hear of his technicoloured dream cat or is that coat?! You can look it up in Genesis 37… but I’ll give you a quick version.

Joseph is the favoured son in a large family of many sons, his father gives him a posh coat which really hacks off his older brothers. He’s a bit lippy too and one day he pushes things too far and his brothers sell him into slavery. He grows up to be a good guy and quite buff. This is noticed by the wife of his boss who, scorned by his rejection of her advances falsely accuses him of rape. He is thrown in prison where after a while he’s establishes himself with a side-line in dream analysis (whoever said Freud came up with that was wrong!). He interprets the pharaoh’s dream and become 2nd in command of Egypt, gets lots of power, wealth and lives to an old age a happy man…

Each of us has a story, did you know that? Our story matters just as Joe’s story did. Like Joe you may have suffered a great injustice, rejection or betrayal by those who should have looked out for you. Perhaps your struggle has been a loss of freedom, reputation or friends. Yes, if you’re still breathing, you’re in the in the middle of your story and when life bites you’ll know as Joe did the struggle is real.

You may ask why does a loving God permit bad things to happen to good people and vice a versa?

I’m not sure I can answer that but I think we can learn somethings from Joseph. You see, when struggles come and they will come; we can choose our response. Let’s consider Joe; even in the midst of awfulness he was teachable and open to instruction. In the mess and emotion he made the best of his circumstances and he learned who child he was. Please don’t think I’m being glib, I am a women who knows the struggle is real. But I also know God is good. Period. He spared not His only Son so people wouldn’t have to be separated from His love forever. He permitted suffering for a higher purpose because He knew the end of the story and what it would accomplish. Beloved child of God if you’re reading this and struggling know you’re in good company… And God’s promise to you Psalm 30:5 ‘Though weeping may endure for a night joy comes in the morning’. No matter how it may seem, your God will not short change you I promise! Joseph could have settled for his coloured coat but I want to encourage you the best is yet to come. So press into God in the struggle and refuse to settle for a coloured coat when you can have royal robes!

Love Ruth x (more…)