I Am Called

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It’s taking me a while to do my ‘ABC of me’ journal. But that’s ok because as I’ve blogged before, it’s about the journey not the destination.

This journal is in a notebook with thin pages so I’ve glued two pages together and I’m using mainly coloured pencils and the occasional felt pen with a fine liner to pick out detail.

The text behind the images on the right hand page comes from Isaiah 61 which speaks to me about my call and I used a grey felt pen to write so it would form a background.


“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners …”
Isaiah 61:1

The chains go along with the words from one of my favourite hymns by Charles Wesley “And can it be” which speaks of the amazing love of Jesus and the freedom I feel in following him.

I’m now half way through my training for Christian ministry and sometimes it feels like I’ve been training forever. Sometimes it’s difficult to juggle all the demands on my time and I also wonder what God has got in store for us as a family when I complete my training. There are lots of unknowns and that can be so unsettling.

It’s at these times that I return to the knowledge that I am called into this vocation by God. I chose to accept that calling and I responded in obedience. Because of that obedience I believe God will make everything work out according to his plan.

It is both a privilege and a responsibility to answer a call placed on our lives and this verse from 1 Timothy illustrates that. I am humbled by the knowledge that Jesus thinks I am trustworthy enough to serve him in this way, and I hope I will prove worthy of his trust.

In this service of the Lord, the privilege comes when I get to walk alongside people, sharing in the joys – births, baptism, and weddings, as well as the sorrows – struggles, illness, and grief. The responsibility comes in all these times as I seek to represent Christ and help to facilitate a meeting between God and his people, and as I try to show them the love that God has shown me. A huge responsibility that If I tried to do on my own I would fail miserably at.

But when Jesus returned to the Father, he sent us his Spirit, the ‘alongside one’, our counsellor, often represented by a dove, as on my art journal page. So we do not have to do things in our own strength, but in God’s.

So, what are you called to do or be? Where is God wanting you to serve him today? And will you accept the privilege and responsibility that comes with that call? And will you allow God’s Spirit to guide and to counsel you?

For another blog on being called, see here

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Life in all its fullness … now.

This is the letter B in my ‘A to Z of me’ art journal, inspired by Valerie Sjodin.

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You can see my letter A entry here. I decided to do this journal just with coloured pencils and felt-tip pens so I could do it anywhere.

For all of us what we believe is a deep-seated part of our identity. Some beliefs we hold are helpful to us, others are less so. Our beliefs can help us achieve something, or can hold us back. Limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves and our capabilities prevent us from growing to be all we are meant to be.

My Christian beliefs empower me to be the very best I can be.

Sadly, for some people, religion (as opposed to faith) has scarred them and they wrongly associate faith and belief with the results of that religion experience. Some people use their beliefs to impose limitations on others, contrary to God’s will. I so wish this wasn’t the case, but the church, like the rest of society, is made up of flawed human beings. When I feel angry, annoyed or disappointed at someone or something to do with church, I remind myself that I too am imperfect, and that I’m a Christian because of Christ, not the church.

Probably the most famous verse in the Bible is John 3:16 …

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have eternal life.”

I love this verse, it captures God’s complete unconditional love for each and every one of us, and I hang on to that promise of eternal life. But for me, my beliefs aren’t just about what happens in the future, they are also about life now.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

My life with Jesus is full.

That’s why I believe … for today, as well as for tomorrow and for eternity.

I am Accepted

Today’s post is from a new journal I started inspired by Valerie Sjodin, an awesome artist and art journaller. She used a moleskine notebook to journal an ‘A to Z of me’. You can see all of her beautiful pages HERE. Please do go and have a look. You will see that I can only aspire to what she achieves.

However I offer my little attempt.
I took the same approach as Valerie in using an ordinary notebook and I’m using just pencil crayons, fine liner and the occasional felt-tip to highlight.

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I was prompted to use the word Accepted for my ‘A’ page because of a conversation I had recently where someone clearly struggled with who I was and what I felt God was calling me to.

I reflected on my response and discovered to my delight that I’ve come a long way in being confident in myself and my calling.

I look back on my life and see how much I’ve been hurt by seeking the approval and acceptance of others and not finding it. Now I know its important to get along with others, to find ways of working together with mutual respect, even in disagreement. I wholeheartedly embrace this.

What I’m talking about here is when people do not accept you just because of who you are, regardless of how you do something. Perhaps it’s because of the colour of your skin, the family you were born into, your gender, your nationality, your faith, or any number of things that form our identity, who we are. Prejudices and narrow-mindedness are out there.

But there is good news. In God’s eyes, through Jesus, you and I are already fully accepted. We are God’s children, and God loves us unconditionally. When we live in that love, God calls us to his plans and purposes because of who we are. We don’t need to justify ourselves to others.

So today, rest assured that you are loved by God unconditionally. When you choose to embrace that love, you will know that you are accepted as a child of God, and what others think will pale beside your status and importance in God’s eyes.

See what love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God. 1 JOHN 3:1