Category Archives: God

Being Holy

This is the transcript of my Going Deeper devotions for our Circuit today.

Beginning with Psalm 121

for which we were provided with a disabled parking space next to a bench 🙂

11 Since all these things will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people should you be? Your lives should be holy and dedicated to God, 12 as you wait for the Day of God and do your best to make it come soon—the Day when the heavens will burn up and be destroyed, and the heavenly bodies will be melted by the heat. 13 But we wait for what God has promised: new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will be at home.

2 Peter 3:11-13

There is not much to today’s reading, just two verses… but I guess what there is to say is important!

What is life all about?  What does a life well lived look like?  It looks Holy and dedicated to God.

As we spend these moments each day ‘Going Deeper’ that is our aim – to become more holy, more like God.  That’s not ‘holier than thou’!, but dedicated to God.  Our every action being God’s, living his ways, which may be different to our gut reaction.  Pausing and considering, what is God’s way in this?  And doing it.

As we wait for God’s promise of a new heaven and a new earth (which may well look similar to the vision in Psalm 121…) this is how we are called to live – for God.

Lord, may everything I think, do, and say
be your way,
reflecting you
and your love.

Lord,
I long to be holy,
work your holy way in me.

The song that immediately came into my mind with this passage was Refiners Fire:  “My heart’s one desire, is to be holy, set apart for you, Lord.  I CHOOSE to be holy”  Let’s pray that as we sing it today.

And may God bless us as we seek to live dedicated to him.

Opening Up

19 The angel of God, who had been in front of the army of Israel, moved and went to the rear. The pillar of cloud also moved until it was 20 between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud made it dark for the Egyptians, but gave light to the people of Israel, and so the armies could not come near each other all night.

21 Moses held out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind. It blew all night and turned the sea into dry land. The water was divided, 22 and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides. 23 The Egyptians pursued them and went after them into the sea with all their horses, chariots, and drivers. 24 Just before dawn the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. 

25 He made the wheels of their chariots get stuck, so that they moved with great difficulty. The Egyptians said, “The Lord is fighting for the Israelites against us. Let’s get out of here!”

26 The Lord said to Moses, “Hold out your hand over the sea, and the water will come back over the Egyptians and their chariots and drivers.” 27 So Moses held out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the water returned to its normal level. The Egyptians tried to escape from the water, but the Lord threw them into the sea. 

28 The water returned and covered the chariots, the drivers, and all the Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea; not one of them was left. 29 But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.

30 On that day the Lord saved the people of Israel from the Egyptians, and the Israelites saw them lying dead on the seashore. 31 When the Israelites saw the great power with which the Lord had defeated the Egyptians, they stood in awe of the Lord; and they had faith in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

Exodus 14:19-31

Caught in a hard place,
a place of terror.
A place where home
and the place of rescue
had become
a burden
and where we were enslaved.

God stood between God’s people
and their enemies,
giving protection,
shining God’s light
to see the way forward.

We had to step forward,
into the way we were shown,
without knowing how
or why.
But we went
only in God’s strength –
not our own.

Today, what is God opening up before us?  Where is God taking us?  From the fear and disorientation of the last sixth months, where might God be leading me and you?

May God bless us,
each on our journey with God
and other.

May you know God’s presence,
this day
       and always.

“It’s Not Church Without The Singing”

This is meant to be an encouraging post for all those who are worried about worship without no singing, or feel that it just is not church without some element of singing. After all, Methodists especially are known to be ‘Born in Song‘. As churches start to go back to the buildings, at least in part, but without being able to sing – how can that be worship?

Music, and particularly singing, have always been a big part of my life. Indeed my mum’s pearl of wisdom to my husband when we got married was, “If she’s not singing within a couple of seconds of putting her feet on the floor in a morning, you are in trouble! She’s either grumpy or ill”.

Music has always been a major element I used in leading worship. So often a song can say what you have been struggling to. Picking hymns/songs always took the longest part of preparing a service, to ensure that they carried and enhanced what was being said and offered to God.

So, I can understand the feeling of people who cannot comprehend worship without music, and cannot imagine what it will be like, and how it can be true worship at all. But, we are having to find new, meaningful ways of doing so many things – and different does not always mean worse, we can find a new worth and value.

When my illness first took hold fifteen years ago, and probably the thing that initially immediately stopped my ministry of preaching and leading worship, I lost all power to my voice. As anyone who has heard me speak will know, my voice goes hoarse very quickly when I start talking, especially at any volume, and my struggle with breathing makes it very difficult to regulate even talking. If I need to talk for any length of time, even in conversation, my throat aches so much for days afterwards. Pre-recording at my pace, with lots of gaps no one else sees has become an opportunity for me to do some small parts of worship again, but it is not something I could do live, or frequently. Singing therefore is impossible.

Hence why this is, I hope, encouragement to those who are struggling with worship with no singing. At first I hated not being able to sing. It wasn’t me. Singing was how I expressed everything in my life (if we could have Pamsperambulation – the Musical, we would!), including my worship of God, and I was bereft without it. But I am here to tell you that it is possible, you can get used to it, we can find other ways to share our worship with God. It may take time and effort, but the new ways that we discover may offer a different slant to our worship, a new facet to our relationship to God.

One of the things I have found is that the less noise I can make, the more I can listen and hear God. God get’s a chance to speak, because I am quiet!

I am certain there are other people for whom singing is difficult, or uncomfortable for varying reasons, or actually it is just not their thing.

So, please don’t despair, don’t think this is the end of worship – we may yet discover a richer seam and a new encounter with God – because after all, worship is about God and not the method.

Basically, what Matt Redman says: