Tina's Blog

There is Always Hope

Jesus never lost hope with the situations people were in. He felt frustration due to the lack of faith of others regarding a sick boy, he even wept when his friend Lazarus died, but he never lost hope. In the end, the boy was healed by Jesus and Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus!

In my work I come across many people who do not feel they are worth, or worthy of, a second chance, who feel they have done too much wrong to find their way back to a better life. However, I have hope for them because we have a God of grace, mercy and forgiveness, a God who gives us a second, third, fourth, fifth (see where I am going with this) chance. We have a God who can transform lives! Sometimes, I want to shout and scream so loudly, that God is HOPE; He is in the business of transforming lives, no matter where the person has come from, what they have done or whatever position they are in.

Recently, however, I have had on my mind not so much concern about how people feel about themselves, think about themselves, or what they say about themselves, (all extremely important!), but my thoughts have turned more towards what we / others say they should feel, think or say about themselves.

My question is: Do we speak life into situations? If we are sat with someone and they feel like there is no hope, do we tell them there is or do we commiserate and nod? Do we share that there is a plan for everyone’s life, a full life, and they are no exception, that their life can turn around, maybe by small steps one at a time, but it can turn around! Do we believe this?

My question is: Do we strengthen the life that is in front of us? Everyone has been made by God; he formed us in our mother’s womb. Everyone has something beautifully unique and gifted about them. Do we share this with those who cannot see it themselves? Do we hear ourselves saying words to them like: “You have a gift of caring for others?” “You have a beautiful artistic ability?” “God has a purpose for your life.”

My question is: Do we ourselves sparkle? There is no point in talking about life in abundance, the potential that God has placed in everyone, when we ourselves are fizzling out, don’t believe this. People watch us. Do you, do I, sparkle God’s life in us, God’s strength in us? How can people believe the hope we have if it is not visible in our own lives?

We need to be people who believe that there is always hope for everyone, that even the worst situation can be turned around by God, and we need to be intentional about speaking speak life into peoples’ situations.

At the Proclaim Trust office there is the well-known Banksy canvas print of a girl letting go of a balloon (Balloon Girl) – the caption reads: There Is Always Hope. We need to be a people who believe this, who speak this into the lives of others.

Legacy - Paying it Forward

What is our legacy? In the movie Pay It Forward, a little boy releases the power of passing on a good deed. By doing something good for someone, they in turn do something good for three others, each of those three then do a good deed for three more, and so on. A multitude of people are impacted for good. In a similar way, by passing onto others our testimonies of what God has done or is doing in our lives, coupled with encouraging them to do the same with others, we can cause a multitude of people to be impacted and stay close to God. Pay it forward!

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The news broke that 12 Thai boys and their coach were trapped. They had gone down a cave, as part of some kind of initiation, never expecting the weather to change and to get trapped underground. They were there for nearly 3 weeks. One diver lost his life trying to help rescue them. Eventually all 13 were rescued.

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Discipleship In Full Colour

I recently went to the vets with my cat. Whilst there I met a lady who told me she reared Siamese cats. She then proceeded to pull a 4 week old Siamese kitten from under her top. The kitten was unwell and that warm place, she told me, was the best place for it. We chatted a little and she showed me the tip of the kitten's ears, which were grey. I then learnt that Siamese cats are born white and it is only about 4 weeks of age that they begin to get their adult fur colour. She explained that the colouring starts at their extremities and works its way down, from the tops of their ears, the tip of their faces and their paws. I found this amazing from a creation point of view. This has God's stamp all over it. Later on I thought about my churches mission statement Discipleship in Full Colour - Loving God, Loving People, Loving Life. We become full colourful disciples over time. No need to rush it, to catch up with anyone. It’s all in God's timing. The colour of God in our lives will begin to spread as we move forward in our discipleship, our getting to know God and His will for our lives. Over time we move from kitten to cat - become the colourful mature disciple God intended.

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The Legend of the Donkey & the Cross

A few months ago, myself and some colleagues took some families for a day trip to a farm. On this farm there was an opportunity to go on a tractor ride, which took us to see some donkeys. Whilst looking at the donkeys from a position just above them I noticed that each one had a cross on their back. I asked one of the farm workers about this who said that all donkeys had this cross, some more visible than others, and proceeded to tell me that ‘legend says’ the cross appeared after Jesus had ridden on the donkey into Jerusalem (Mark 11). It was in Jerusalem where Jesus was later arrested and crucified for us.

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