Learn to fill your tank in peacetime so you might have provision in war.

Here’s the truth; the battle is INEVITABLE.

If you are alive and breathing, there are going to be times when things don’t go to plan.

Jesus himself said to his friends in John 16:33 that in this world, they will have trouble.

And like us, they had a bit of a hard time believing that, because, actually, up until that point, things seemed to be going pretty well.

That’s why Jesus spent time ensuring they were taking in his teachings and his words before he left them.

Jesus spent three years teaching his disciples all about himself and the kingdom before leaving them to carry on the work of the gospel.

Can you imagine what would have happened if they had not been paying attention?

How would they have handled the opposition they encountered after Jesus’ resurrection?

But they had FILLED up on His WORDS AND His TRUTH enough to withstand persecution.

When the battle came, it found them ready.

And friends, no matter how it feels right now in your life, we ARE in a battle. We have a REAL enemy piling our days and our lives with all sorts of unpleasant things.

His plan is to hit us hard at our lowest. And if we’re not careful, we may lose the battle; why?

Because when hard times hit, they found us running on EMPTY.

No soldier in his right mind would step

Onto a battle field unprepared, and running on empty so why do we?

This is why is it VITAL that we spend time with Jesus in His Word and on our knees especially while things are good.

We have a lot more time to stock up in peacetime than we will when we are squeezed in battle.

So hey, let me encourage you today to grab that Bible and spend time with God.

Because when you’re enjoying times of peace and victory, THAT is the perfect time to be filling your heart and mind with the words of life and the promises that will carry you through your next hard season.

Hello 2020

Have you ever had to restart something that was once part of your routine but now you’re a bit rusty at?

For me, that’s blogging. I’ve been blogging now on and off for over 10 years, and like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets; and the opposite is also true.

So suffice to say, that even starting this short introduction took more courage than I thought I’d need, but I’m so glad to be writing again.

I was especially surprised at how reluctant I was to actually just start. Honestly, for the past three weeks, I’ve started a paragraph, reread it briefly and then edited it a few times before deciding that, maybe now wasn’t the time to blog again and that I’ll probably start again tomorrow, or some other time in the near future. 

I can only liken this feeling to the feeling I usually get every January, when, like millions of people across the world, I make “getting fit, losing weight or getting healthy” part of my new year’s resolutions.

And each and every time, success always rises and falls on firstly, deciding to actually get started and secondly, once I’ve started, to keep going.

A few years ago, 8 years ago to be exact, I managed to do just that and found that I not only decided to take up running, I actually got out of the house and did it. And then after that I kept on for quite a few years. But then gradually, I fell out of the habit and before long, I wasn’t habitually running anymore. Or walking. Or doing any exercise of any kind, actually. In fact, I don’t think I did any form of any exercise AT ALL in 2019, which would explain quite a lot.

But last week, for the first time in our lives, my husband Stuart and I joined a gym together. We decided that the hardest thing about getting fit for us was actually deciding to get started. 

And as soon as we did, it all seemed possible. And although it’s really hard work,  and muscles that haven’t been stretched for a while, or ever, really, ache, it feels good each and every time we go, and every day we’ve been, feels like a huge achievement. 

Although it’s a long way yet to our goal, each step of the journey feels like a small win in itself, one step at a time, one day at a time. 

And that’s exactly how it for me, as I get back to writing again after a considerable amount of time off. It feels a little awkward, I’m a bit apprehensive even, but I’m deciding, once again, to get started. And to keep going, one step at a time, one blog at a time.

What do you need to get back to doing this year? What have you been putting off, for fear of getting started?

Well, maybe we can do it together. Why don’t you decide with me, that no matter how hard it feels right now, you’ll take that crucial first step, too? 

I wonder where we’ll be this time next year if we brave the fear.

Looking forward to it!

With love,


Songs in the storm (a new perspective)

9780A8D7-0626-49A6-AC28-9D98FE52A02FYesterday was one of the most beautiful days I’ve had with my little family and our friends. It’s probably the first time I’ve properly belly laughed in about two months and it was wonderful. You see, like most people, we’ve been going through a storm; probably one of the worst storms of my life so far and there have been times when, honestly, I thought it would swallow me up. Have you ever felt that? Like you’re stuck in a deep hole of despair that feels so deep that you don’t know whether you can ever climb out of it? Sounds dramatic if you’ve never been there but honestly, that’s how it’s felt at times. My mother, whom I talk about often, taught me years ago, the importance of having a song that you sing to your soul when things go wrong. A song in a storm, if you will. When I was younger, I used to think she was mad when I’d catch her in the kitchen, tears streaming down her face, humming a tune over and over again, because, probably, she was too sad to sing yet. And she has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard, but I’m probably biased! And she’d hum and hum for days, sometimes. And then, almost out of nowhere, it would seem, she’d find her voice and she’d sing out a beautiful tune. And over time I got to learn her song. And I’d wait for the words to come; because then I’d know that my mother was no longer sad. I didn’t realise this until a couple of months ago that my soul, too, like hers, needed a song. Except, unlike her, I didn’t know what mine really was! I love singing, I’m not the best singer but I love nothing more than singing at the top of my lungs, be it in church or in the shower. But the past couple of months, I really found it hard to sing- especially in church. And that’s when I learned how hard it is to sing when your heart is breaking. And that I have never really understood why my mum had to hum. So I began to pray and ask God to give me a song or to remind me of my soul’s song. And then something remarkable happened; this hum came over me and I began to hum and hum over and over again a song that My heart knew but the words of which, my mind had temporarily forgotten. But as I hummed, the lump in my throat got smaller and smaller. You see, I’d forgotten that when we had the car accident a few years ago, God gave me a song to sing; and the time before that, when I was lying in hospital, pregnant with our now four year old son, vomiting for eight months, hooked up to an I.V with only the sound of the beeping machines for company in the middle of the night, not knowing whether our son would be healthy or whether I’d make it through the pregnancy strong enough to actually deliver him, God gave me the same song. In fact, every time we’ve faced a health challenge, like the threat of cancer or a really hard diagnosis about my daughter, the Holy Spirit would, ever so gently, put a song in my heart. And it’d be stuck in my head for days like a broken record, except more often than not, I wouldn’t have the courage to voice it out. But it was there; reminding me that He’s always there. Moving mountains for me. He was there when my mum first went into labour 30-odd years ago, at home, with no one around and had to deliver me by herself, in her bedroom. He was there to supervise my first intake of breath and to knit together my belly button as my mum, only a few years younger than I am now, had to learn to cut the umbilical cord by herself, with scissors that were never meant for that. He was there when I took my first steps and there when those little legs, only ten years old at the time, had to learn to run away from the sounds of bullets and the scary feat of fleeing from home. He was there in the refugee camps and the days ahead to provide shelter and food for me and my family. He was there actually, not just through the lows but also through the highs. I think we are really quick to recognise him in the storm because honestly, that’s when most of us scream for help. But we fail to recognise him when our table is spread, our bellies are full and our hearts overflowing. And yet there he is, with his robe tied around his waist, serving us. In every sunrise, every sunset, in every single moment of joy, serving us with love. He’s there in every breathtaking view of the mountains or the sea or the beautiful sight and sound of the crashing waves. It was him, today, in that photo you took where you felt like the world could stand still. It’s him in nature and in the sound of the birds and the laughter of our children. It’s him when your heart is bursting with love and it is racing like it’s going to fall out of your chest. He is the breath in your lungs and the taste in your buds and the blood that flows through your veins, it is ELOHIM. And sadly, most of us never seem to recognise him in the sun. We only seem to blame him for the rain. Yet he never fails us, ever. You may be like, ‘really? Well I can think of a few times!’ And honestly, I’ve felt that, too. But I’m learning the importance of seeing life, not from the perspective of my heartbreak but from the vantage view of eternity. Because so often my perspective gets so murky. And I can’t see clearly. And I’m probably mixing metaphors but please bear with me. Because ALL I can see in front of me is the giant mountain I’ve got to climb that I really can’t see the way to anything else. Or if we go back to the analogy of the giant hole, it’s the same idea; will I ever make it out of this alive? A couple of months ago, while in New York, on the 102nd floor of the new World Trace Centre, I had a really good picture of this. There I was, fresh in the middle of my heartbreak, the pain of it still stinging, staring at the breathtaking views of Manhattan and I remember going ‘wow’ because I was SO impressed by what I was seeing. And then I heard a voice say to me, ‘ my view is better than this; I see every detail in every life on every single street that you can see there below and more- come and stand with me’. And that’s when I recognised it as his invitation to his table. And the reason why the Psalmist says that God prepares a table before us is because he wants us to join him where he is, not to be stuck where we are. Because our view is SO limited. Well, mine definitely is! And I forget easily and even if I remembered, I do not have the vantage view of eternity to be able to see things from the perspective of the one who made it all. Who made me. Who supervised by very first breath. Who breathed it there in the first place. Who knitted me with his own two hands. And the song is a reminder for my soul to go higher and to join him where he is, right there, waiting, at the table. Inviting me to eat of the goodness he has for me, even with a lump in my throat. And even if I need to hum until I can sing, that’s ok; if I never sing or can’t even sing for a while, that’s ok, too. But the song in the storm reminds me that he has been there, moving mountains to set tables right in the middle of my circumstances. And if he did it then, he can do it now. So if, like me, you’re in the place where it’s really hard to sing, can I share with you a couple of songs in the storm that have given me the courage to come to the table? And as you hum or sing, or not, I hope your soul begins to remember all the ways he has been there before, moving mountains, setting tables, making things beautiful again, little by little. And as it does, I hope you, too, hear the invitation to come up higher and to stand next to the one who sees it all, from beginning to the end. And may you then feel such peace, my friend, that allows you to catch your breath again, even in the middle of your storm.

With love,



“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬









The Search for Home extract- An encounter with Jesus

On 18th July 2015 I was in a very serious car accident, as I explained in the Preface. It was late at night and my husband and our two young children were coming home from visiting my parents when a car appeared completely on the wrong side of the road at very high speed and crashed into us. We weren’t to know at the time that the driver of the vehicle was drunk, or that we would be very badly injured by this crash. It was a senseless thing to happen, one that spun our world upside down. 

Earlier, my parents, my husband and I had spent the afternoon going over the very miracles that I have now written in this story, telling of God’s miraculous rescue and how His hand was on our family. It was a wonderful time of thanksgiving and prayer and, I must admit, a very unusual visit. Although this story is very much part of my and my family’s history, it is not one that we often talk about. Neither do we normally part in the way that we did on the night of the accident, by praying over each other and asking each other for forgiveness for past wrongs. So on the night of the car crash, I was very sure that we were going to die. But God had other ideas. My husband, children and I escaped with injuries that did not at all match up with the wreckage that we emerged from. Although we all had fractures, some more serious than others, it was a miracle that we came out of the car alive at all. What followed is another story of miraculous proportions, through which this book has been birthed. 

A few weeks following the car accident, I was struggling to sleep. The emotional trauma was starting to take its toll and I was finding it very hard to close my eyes without constantly seeing the scene of the accident. The hardest thing about it all was that I had held my one-year-old son’s limp body in my arms shortly after the crash, and that had traumatically affected my memories. As it stood, I had fractured my ribs, hip and lower back and was in no position following the accident to be able to hold my son. The last time I had held him had been on that night. Therefore each time he came over to me asking for a cuddle, my eyes filled up with tears. I desperately longed to hold my son again, and each day that I couldn’t intensified the trauma of the accident. 

After this ordeal, I suffered a great deal from anxiety, fear and what the doctors referred to as post-traumatic stress disorder. Sleep was a thing of the past, and I was in a lot of pain. I was in a very dark place emotionally and physically. The last thing I expected to come out of a place like this was a book.

On one particularly bad night of sleeplessness, I was finally ready to ask for some help. The next day I contacted a friend who is a qualified counsellor, but she was sadly unavailable and therefore unable to help. I asked a couple of other people whom I could trust with how I was feeling, but again, they were also either away or busy with important projects. I felt the most lonely I had ever felt. I knew I needed prayer and counselling, but everyone I reached out to just couldn’t help me. I began to weep. I genuinely didn’t know where to turn. I felt like I needed help immediately. I was experiencing constant nightmares and anxiety attacks, so I knew that a week or a month from now would simply be too late. I did not feel as though my mind could cope.

I spent an evening on the phone with my mum, who tried her best to counsel me and pray for me. When I finally went up to bed, I was sure that I would be OK following such a lovely chat. However, as soon as I closed my eyes, once again the nightmares came flooding in, and I was right back to the scene of the accident, battling for my son’s life. I reached out to my husband to pray for me, but he’d fallen fast asleep.

I resolved that my best option, as I was not going to sleep anyway, would be to get up and go downstairs. My plan was to watch TV until morning or until I could no longer stay awake. But I was so heartbroken by the images I had been seeing in my mind that all I could do when I arrived downstairs was to cry. And boy, did I cry!

I decided to pray but could not find the words. Instead I played a song, which in my mind captured everything I wished to say to God. I played it over and over again for three whole hours. I felt like I had lost a sense of who I was. I needed God to remind me, in the way that only He can.

At three o’clock in the morning, something remarkable happened. My cries were all but soft whimpers now as I lay on a tear-soaked carpet, fully on my face. My heart was spent in grief and I was still awake. With my eyes closed in surrender, I felt a breeze all around me and then a heavy presence of Jesus, as though He were standing right next to me. I felt hands that lifted me up and placed me on His lap and then began to comfort me in my grief. I opened my eyes to see whether I was still conscious, and I was. As I closed them again, I felt comforting hands begin to stroke my hair as you would an upset child, as if to say, ‘There, there.’ 

I rested on Jesus’ lap for a while, crying on Him, but less out of grief now and more out of relief. I felt Him so tangibly with me and was so comfortable right there in His arms that I didn’t want to be anywhere else. I relaxed and let His peace wash over me as I sobbed over and over again. When I finally got my tears out, I heard a voice say to me, ‘I’m going to fix your broken wing, so you can soar again.’ And with those words, I got up, went to bed and haven’t had a nightmare or an anxiety attack since. 
Excerpt taken from The Search For Home book written by Beatrice Smith available now. 

We died too

From the viewpoint of the kids, It started off as a game.
What happens when you close your eyes in hide and seek,
And when you open them, everyone’s gone?
It was only supposed to be for the summer
We were supposed to come back to you We were meant to grow up together but you hid and didn’t come out.
We tried to stay put
We could still see the smoke from your cooking fire from afar
We could still smell the fragrance of your stewed soup
We weren’t very far.
But summer turned to Autumn,
And winter came then.
We could no longer see your beautiful green fields
You’d hidden too well.
Did you still have your hands across your face?
Were you still counting the days?
We did too, for a while.
Hoping we’d open our eyes together after ten. But no; eleven and twelve came.
Years have passed now.
Pictures are faded memories
You probably try really hard to piece together our faces and remember.
I bet you ask pensively, “whatever happened to such and such?”
And when we come up in conversation, I bet you try with your might yo remember who liked to do what. Who was what age and which of us was your favourite and which one drove you insane.
That’s the thing about war; we are the survivors but we died too.
You grieved for us for a while, we did too.
Then it got easier to breathe and to imagine.
You probably created a fantasy land in which we all live happily ever after; we did too.
But now one by one those whom we love and who were loved by us pass us by.
And pretty soon the remembered become the forgotten.
How we would have given anything for more days with you.
Or at least one more minute face to face
At least one to say thank you for a lifetime of your love.
Because as you pass us by leaving us in this  pergutory state, it’s easy to realise, that all along while we survived,
We died too.

Begin to challenge your “I can’t”.

Here’s a question for you; what “I can’t ” do you regularly say to yourself?

Well, if  you’re anything like me, you probably have a list of things that you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do. One of my biggest ones to date has been that I simply can’t ride a bike. And the saddest thing has been that because I have believed that for so long, I simply haven’t tried; until today.

Over the past few months, I have embarked on a challenge that has literally began to transform nearly everything in my life. Through this challenge I have seen my personal journey with God impacted in a way i could never have imagined. This challenge has even began to have an effect on my emotional and physical well being, which has spilled over into my parenting and has even positively affected my marriage.
It is a challenge that I am hoping that by the end of this blog, you, too, will take up with me.
Over the past few months, I have simply began to consciously challenged my long list of “I can’t”.

And as I did so, I have began to grow in courage, in confidence and in fearlessness. And while I’m still on this journey, because for me, it’s probably one that I’m going to be on for  a little a lwhile longer, I thought I’d share with you what I’ve learned so far.
For me, it began when one night I felt really challenged to begin ordering my home. I have always really struggled to stay on top of this throughout juggling home, full time work and a young family and would admire friends who could find time to keep on top of their houses but I had began to accept that for me, It probably wasn’t ever going to happen without the help of a regular cleaner.

But as I prayed with my husband one night, I really felt strongly that I should challenge that in me. Why had I been so ready to accept that I could never do it? so armed with a good book about how to have an orderly house and a week off work, my husband, children and I finally sorted out house out. It was the first time in a long time that I was happy with everything about my house. And I had shifted a huge mindset in my life that I had never thought would ever be possible. And even though I  was slightly doubtful about how long this change would last, I was nevertheless proud of myself for making a start. Six months later and our home is still well ordered, and the standards have stuck. The belief system I held about myself and my ability to be tidy at home was simply not true. Nor were the many excuses that I gave over the years, including being busy or having young children. When I began to challenge that mindset, so too, came the ideas to help me in tackling the obstacles.

Now you might be reading this and for you, this has never been an issue that you’ve struggled with- but perhaps there’s another like it- perhaps yours is that you have said to yourself that you could never lose weight- or that you could never get up early in the morning- or that you might never be able to eat healthily or exercise- the list is endless- but the issues are the same.

Let me ask you this- who told you that you can’t? Is that really the truth?

In the Bible, there is a similar scenario right at the beginning when Adam and Eve, the original man and woman are approached in the garden of Eden by the devil in the form of a serpent, questioning the truth of what God had told them. God had given Adam and eve full authority over everything in the garden and they could come and go as they pleased and could eat from any tree in there except from one- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had kept them from eating from it because he knew that it wouldn’t be good for them. But when the serpent questions them about it, they swallow the lie that they are actually being kept from the tree by God for a sinister reason and as a result they end up in a whole lot of trouble. They end up losing their place in the garden of Eden, sin enters the world And humankind begin a war with an enemy whose primary weapon against us is lies. And he loves nothing more than to tell you that you can’t do anything. That you are powerless and that you will always be the way you are now, without question.

The good news is that he is nothing but a liar and actually, the truth is, that through Jesus, who fought and won against this liar of an enemy, you can do ALL things; because unlike the devil, who is here to question whether you really can do it- I mean, you? Really? Jesus came, not only to help you to do anything that you were unable to do, including to turn your life around and begin to live a full life, which you absolutely CAN, he came to lend you a hand, to give you his strength and to help you to turn whatever you feel you can’t into “I can”.

After my success with the house I began to make a list of things that I have told myself that I couldn’t do and began to work through it. And little by little, I have seen some huge mountains begin to move. I have began to recover my voice and regain my confidence. And as I began to filter this list through the lenses of truth, the truth being that actually, I can do ALL things through Christ, it began to positively affect my marriage, my parenting and my self worth. So armed with that truth, today I went to learn how to ride a bike for the first time. It was beautiful- and although I am not fully there, I no longer believe that I can’t do it. And that goes for many things still on my list.

My question to you now is, what have you believed for so long that you simply cannot do? What would you attempt if you simply couldn’t fail? And finally, what is stopping you? Today, make a decision to challenge the lie that you can’t. because the truth is- that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. And if you don’t know Jesus, make a decision today to get to know him. Because He is waiting to give you strength today to begin to say, I can.

Want to know God?

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Mark 9:23- What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

Only remembered for what we have done…

Today we said goodbye to a great man. A man I called ‘grandpa’. Steve Powell was a great man because he embodied so simply, kindness, joy and LOVE.

I remember the first time I met him. It was Wednesday, 22nd July 1998 at London Heathrow Airport. He’d brought his entire family g to welcome my family and me to the UK. I was 14 years old.

Before this, his name had meant so much to my family and me- he had been the voice of hope at the end of the telephone. He’d rang shortly after the events of 1994 in Rwanda and had offered my family help to get out of the dangerous situation we were in; my dad declined the offer but was really grateful. Not many people were picking up their landlines and dialing internationally to offer help to a family they had never really met!

Later, when we’d finally fled our home, he’d rang several times but no answer had come. fearing the worst, he’d written a letter to my parents at our P.O Box in Rwanda in the hope that someone would pick up the mail and somehow get it to us. He’d enclosed a sum of £50 within it jut in case. Luckily, someone managed to collect the letters and knew where we’d headed. The money meant several months of food for us and the families around us who shared life in a refugee camp that spelled so much disaster for those with no outside help.

When he re-established contact with my dad in Congo, he’d set about helping us to get out of the terrible conditions of the refugee camp. He’d raised money through his large network of friends and we managed to get to Nairobi, Kenya, financing plane tickets for 6 children and 2 adults.

Once in Kenya, he’d kept in touch, and when it got unsafe there, too, he was there once again, this time in helping dad reach the UK to claim asylum. Once in the UK, they arranged help for dad including finding him a job and a place to live and connecting him with people who could offer advice regarding reuniting him with his family, now living in Swaziland.

For 4 years, Steve Powell was the voice of hope at the end of the telephone. His name was synonymous with love. He was patient, kind,humble, honoring, always protective, always trustworthy, always persevering. His heart of love moved others as well to the point of joining him in raising thousands of pounds for the family of a man he knew but whose faces they had never had the pleasure of meeting. For people who were so far away and and yet for whom he cared deeply anyway. Their plight became his plight. Their suffering his. And he was moved on their behalf enough to seek justice for them. And get them to a place they could call home. One woman and her six children. Too many people to help.

One day in 1998, this family- my family- finally flew to the UK and met Steve Powell. The man who had taken on so many challenges to get them here. He was no billionaire- he was just an ordinary man who loved much.  And he welcomed them home like family. And asked the children to call him ‘grandpa’.

“call me grandpa”, he’d said, on our first meeting at Heathrow Airport.

Today a reading of 1 Corinthians 13 was read so movingly by one of his grandsons. And then a song was played at the processional that went a bit like this:

Only the truth that in life we have spoken
Only the seed that in life we have sown
These shall pass onwards when we are forgotten
Only remembered for what we have done

For Steve Powell, what He has done is incomparable- what he has done, is choose to spend his life for others in love. And among the many, many good things that he has done is rescue my family and I from the pit of war. And he kept going until we were at home. Even then his kindness continued- we became grafted into his family. Until he was truly ‘grandpa’.

 He will always be remembered for what he has done.


1 Corinthians 13

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


Fading away like the stars in the morning
Losing their light in the glorious sun
Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling
Only remembered for what we have done

Only remembered only remembered
Only remembered for what we have done
Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling
Only remembered for what we have done

Only the truth that in life we have spoken
Only the seed that in life we have sown
These shall pass onwards when we are forgotten
Only remembered for what we have done

Only remembered only remembered
Only remembered for what we have done
These shall pass onwards when we are forgotten
Only remembered for what we have done

Who’ll sing the anthem and who’ll tell the story
Will the line hold? Will it scatter and run?
Shall we at last be united in glory
Only remembered for what we have done

Only remembered only remembered
Only remembered for what we have done
Shall we at last be united in glory
Only remembered for what we have done
Only remembered for what we have done







To the girl with the big destiny- don’t be afraid to be great. 

I want to speak directly to the girls who right now are fighting an internal battle. They know they are destined for greatness. They know they have more inside them. They have no problem believing that they are strong enough, pretty enough, worthy, even.when they close their eyes, their minds soar as they imagine more for themselves and their future. They are visionaries. Dreamers. Hope seekers and future world changers. But they are fighting an internal battle because they are afraid. They are afraid that they will be found out. That someone will find out how clever they are or how confident they truly are or how they truly think about themselves. That someone will discover their dreams for the world around them or that they actually haven’t got a low self image. That they look in the mirror and like themselves. That they eat what they want when they want without guilt of gaining weight. That they actually believe that the sky IS the limit and they can change the world. Like in the film “Coach Carter”, their greatest fear isn’t that they are inadequate, but that they are powerful beyond measure. And that their world around them currently has created very little space for girls like that.

Perhaps you know girls like this. They are part of your world. Perhaps you’re the girl currently hiding her talents and abilities in order to blend in and be acceptable. I get it. I understand. But if you are that girl or maybe you know a girl like that i want to speak directly to you. The world needs you. Your undiluted, unapologetic and outspoken you. Your clever, capable, unashamed you. We desperately need to know that girls like you are out there and that it is possible to be like that. For too long girls have dumbed down their abilities in order to fit in. If you’ve found yourself tempted to do the same, make a decision that you are no longer going to do that anymore. Because we are desperate to know girls like you. And that you are possible.fight the fear you feel and come forward. Speak up and say you have big dreams. And when you’re doing something great that you are truly winning at, please don’t excuse it. Begin to own it.Begin occupy your space without shame or fear. Be GREAT. Be amazing. And don’t apologise for it. The world we live in needs to know girls like you. And that YOU are possible.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”-Marriane Williamson 

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.“- 2 Tim 1:6-9

I’m so close

Today was the start of the Ascension festival for orthodox Greeks in Crete and we had the unexpected pleasure of hosting said festival at our hotel,  which incidentally happens to have the oldest Greek orthodox church right on its grounds. Even now as the kids sleep they are being serenaded by the beautiful melodies of Greek worship,said to go on, on this particular night, into the early hours of the night. We don’t mind, it sounds lovely. And the kids are snoring soundly through it.

The festival happens each year here. 40 days after Easter, hundreds of worshippers descend on this church that is smaller than my children’s bedroom to gather and celebrate Ascension. 

Priests in their colourful garments together with dedicated nuns from the various monasteries and convents emerge and converge here, ready to lead travellers from near and far into communion with God. The stage is prepared early; the day before decorators come and repaint the white church and everything else around it; banners bearing the cross go up, bunting is hung and the statue of the virgin Mary is brought out by the gate. 

On ceremony day as the doors of the littlest church fling wide, the priests begin to take centre stage in their impressive attire, singing in latin to the spiritually hungry congregation gathering quickly around them with barely enough room to make the sign of the cross, which seems to be necessary every so few minutes..as we stand among the worshippers, it’s hard not to appreciate the beauty in this type if devoted worship. People seeking after God with reverence. Men, women and children sign the cross as they arrive, then line up towards the offering box and pick up a candle, or two and enter the small church to light them and say a prayer, perhaps for themselves or for loved ones.

 We watch in awe as somber faces emerge, no doubt  contemplating the seriousness in the act of their worship. It is beautiful and moving. But it is all completely unnecessary. As i watch these wonderful people my heart is moved deeply by the spirit and by the sight of Jesus who is so desperately close to them, right now in their rituals. I wonder; do they see him? In the ceremonies of robes and intonated songs- of lost Latin tongues and beautifully laid tables- where is Jesus?

I close my eyes and i can feel him so so close. And yet here, in this place, he feels so far away. I wonder, when did it get like this? When did we move from a Jesus who walked with the disciples hand in hand, who sat and ate with people, who touched theur ailing bodies and washed their feet, to a Jesus who we worship like THIS- dressed in special robes and using languages no one can understand? Have we done that? Have we overcomplicated the simple gospel? Would Jesus walk into our beautifully decorated churches and feel welcome? I’m not at all criticising the authenticity of the worshippers hearts.

 Far from it. I see hearts desperately searching to connect with God and to have Him smiling down on them in approval. Like beautiful children longing for the gentle touch of their estranged father. Except he’s not estranged..he’s desperately close, so much so in fact that he became man so that we could finally relate to him.

 To see him and touch him. To know that he LOVES us. In our ritualistic worship- how close  is he? My prayer tonight as i listen to the dwindling voices of dedicated worship is that each heart here, my own included, will remember that Jesus so loved us first. He us not angry or in need of our veiled worship he wants us to come as we are and see him. May we remember to worship that Jesus. Because he’s not too far away. He’s so close. 

Make a connection 

I am more and more convinced that one of the enemy’s greatest tactic is isolation. There’s nothing he loves more than getting us on our own and once in that isolated state, reinforce how alone we are.

It’s the classic tactic found in the story of Adam and Eve. The serpent approaches Eve on her own, maybe because he knew there would be strength in numbers. It is always so much easier to say yes to temptation on your own.

And yet by complete contrast,Jesus is in the business of connection. Of unity. Of togetherness. Even long before Jesus’ birth, the prophets speak of a time when Heaven will send us an ‘Emmanuel‘- “God with us”. Because God’s intention was never for man- people- his people, to ever be alone.

So it’s no surprise that oftentimes we’ll find ourselves feeling alone. It’s a tactic the enemy will try and use against people in order to strip us of our effectiveness. And if successful, this tactic can remove you prematurely from the very space you were made to occupy.

And it starts so subtly, too. With a whisper telling you that your friends aren’t really your friends. That your church isn’t really the place you belong; that you have no business responding to THAT call from God to THAT big vision he’s giving you- i mean, who ARE you, really? You?

And on and on the battle rages, trying to isolate you into a thought pattern that is designed to get you feeling doubtful,disconnected and alone. And once in that place, you begin to talk yourself out of God’s promises. Maybeit’s just me. But if, like me, you’ve felt that way, i want to encourage you- it’s not God’s intention for us to be alone. We were made for  connection. First with our creator God and then to others.

Over the past few weeks I’ve felt disconnected. As a family we’re in a transitional place in many ways. We’ve found ourselves in a  strange place where some older connections that were once very strong, through no fault  of their own,  are naturally fading, while new ones that are forming aren’t perhaps as strong yet in the same manner but are worth investing into, which, we accept will grow with time. And so we’ve found ourselves feeling disconnected in many ways in terms of relationships and it’s left us feeling lonely, which is a strange and new feeling for me as I’m so used to being connected to lots and lots of people.

But in this very strange place, God has been teaching us afresh the importance of connection.

1) I  am strong when I’m connected to God.

When people go to the gym wanting Peter Andre abs  (still a thing?), they’re first of all taught the importance of strengthening their core. First their core stability, which are the deep internal muscles closest to your spine upon which stronger muscles that effectively build the outward abs depend on. Our relationship with God is like the hidden core stability. When that is strong, the stronger and more connected i feel. Ironically, the key to staying more connected starts first and foremost in alone time- but not with any human being, myself included- but alone time with God. From here I strengthen from the inside out and i am less susceptible to emotional injury.

2) I am strong when I’m connected to others.

Carrying on from the analogy of the gym, in order for me to get strong, i need some core strength. This is found in the the outer muscles that protect the spine and limit movement so as to prevent injury. Building core strength is like getting a support system of people around you that won’t be detrimental to your relationship with God but will work together to strengthen it.My core friends are few. But they are people who ALWAYS point me back home to Jesus. And i am strong when i allow these connections to strengthen.

3) I am strong when i choose to connect

The best way to combat disconnect is to choose to make a connection. I may not have as many friends as i used to have but all that means is that I’m perfectly placed to be a friend- because i know what it’s like to be lonely. So this month we chose to sign up to our church’s #100Homes initiative, which is all about getting to know people across the dinner table. It’s a great way to combat disconnect. In the times whenfriends are few around me, i choose to be a friend.

So with that in mind then, how is your core stability? How’s your relationship with God?

What about your core strength? Are the people in your life pointing you back to the Jesus?

Are there people in your world who are lonely? Could someone you know use some friendship?

This week, I’d love to encourage us all to make a connection. First with God, who is our everything. And then with others, who, like us, could use a little community.

John 14-16-18

I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth … I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 

Matthew 28: 20

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 

Deuteronomy 31: 6

Be strong and of good courage … for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.