My “God LOVES Ugly” Moment

Today I have ceased from resisting your love.  I don’t want to fight it anymore…indeed, I cannot.  I can no longer whisper ‘I love You‘ with one breath and resist You in another.  Your love is the highest form of love.  Above it, lies no other.  Today I accept that you did for it me.  You did it for them, but today, you showed me that you did it for me.  Today you showed me my worth to you, my infinite value.  That caused you to die in my place.  Today you showed me my ugliness and made me utterly grateful for Your grace…how deep, how wide.  Today I accept the fullness of the beauty of the Cross, knowing that in it You have made me beautiful.

“I praise You…for I AM wonderfully and fearfully made.  So wonderful are Your works, my soul knows it very well” Psalm 139

Thank you Christa…you wrote the words which speak out the history and future of my heart today.



Imagine you were lost, and someone found you…
Imagine you were broken, and someone restored you…
Imagine you were uncared for, and someone nurtured you…
Imagine you were ill, and someone healed you…
Imagine you were upset, and someone comforted you…
Imagine you didn’t understand, and someone taught you…
Imagine you were dirty, and someone cleaned you…

Imagine you were bullied, and someone defended you…
Imagine you were lonely, and someone came to be with you…

Imagine you were weak, and someone carried you…
Imagine you were angry, and someone calmed you…
Imagine you needed to talk, and someone listened…

Imagine you were hopeless, and someone encouraged you…
Imagine you were crying, and someone cried with you…
Imagine you were orphaned, and someone adopted you…
Imagine you felt unworthy, and someone valued you…
Imagine you were hated, and someone delighted in you…
Imagine you were a slave, and someone redeemed you…
Imagine you were imprisoned, and someone freed you…
Imagine you were unloved, and someone loved you…
Imagine you were due to die, and someone died for you…

Stop Imagining….Someone did
Jesus Christ!

“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16


When the towns unloved first started to knock at the house, despite never shutting up about God everywhere else, I never seemed to talk about God with them and felt a failure. But God said to me… “NO!  They’ve been loved with an agenda all their lives, I want you to love them without an agenda.  Just love them and leave the rest to me!”  So those simple cups of coffee, a hot meal and lengthy chats have always been given freely and unconditionally.

God also told me, at that time, that loving the lost was not a one way thing… “you need them as much as they need you, in fact…you need them more!!”  As Christians, in our immaturity or arrogance, we often think, the lost only need us, when the truth is, we need the lost.  The reality is, that with no opportunity to love, I would not grow in love!

The other evening, as I pondered love, trust and my relationships in loving the lost, I got the words pop in my mind… “The same principle applies!” I felt God saying to me, all that I have learnt in loving those outside the church, applies to loving those inside the church too! God wants us to love our brothers and sisters without an agenda and understand also, that without relationship together, we wouldn’t grow. Relationship is developed as we endure with one another, bear with one another and are built up by one another.

Think about what it takes for you to have relationship with someone.  What did it take for you to come to love that person?  How do you know that a person loves you?  People often say… “Because we’ve been through alot together; They’re always there for me; I can rely on them; When I’m in need, I can count on them.” A relationship is built upon those things and also upon the building blocks of unconditional love, encouragement, kindness and patience.

In loving those outside the Church, in the smallest of ways, I do all those things.  And no less is required of me towards my brothers and sisters in Christ.
God’s agenda towards a person whether lost or not is always love.  His agenda is always long suffering, is always patience.  Without God’s agenda, we are just a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.

There was a day when I thought I had it all sorted.  I had a fast, dramatic conversion, a total life transformation….God renewed my mind fast!  He downloaded me with wisdom and revelation of who He was in a very short space of time.  In my first year of returning to my Maker, and still bedridden from sickness, I consumed his Word for up to eighteen hours a day, memorising up to one hundred scriptures a month, just because I loved it.  I was privy to alot of truth.
Paul talks of the thorn in his flesh, the messenger he received from Satan.  We quote that scripture often, but what we don’t quote along with it, is why he had received that messenger…it was to keep him from becoming conceited, because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations he had been given.  I was conceited.  Truth without love made me hard.  Truth without love made it hard for me to be loved or to truly love in the way God loves.  Truth without love meant relationship was near on impossible.  God, through His mercy upon me, showed me that I could indeed understand all the mysteries of God, have all knowledge of God and even have all faith, but without love, HIS kinda love, I would be nothing.

So…the same principle applies! The way I endeavour to love the lost is the same way I must endeavour to love the saved.  We are not only called to love the lost, we are called to love everyone!! So whilst I may pat myself on the back for loving those outside the church, God says, I can actually give away all I have and even provide food for the poor, but I will still be nothing without God’s love in me and…God’s love is no respecter of persons! He does not love the lost more than he loves me or you and in precisely the same way I am called to have relationship with those outside the church, I am called to have it with those within the church.  In fact, I believe it matters more!

A good friend of mine once gave a sermon on marriage and divorce and in it he said that God had shown him, it was his righteousness at home that counted the most, not his righteousness before men.  It was how he treated his wife, his children, his family that really showed what kind of a man he was before God.  In the same way, that is true of us individually and it is true of us corporately.  So much damage has been done by the body of Christ because of us not loving each other in the way Jesus commanded us to do.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,  just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13

It is not the knowledge of God which saves souls, it is the love of God, manifested through Christ crucified, outpoured through us via our hands and feet towards humanity that saves!  1 John tells us that no-one has ever seen God but when we love one another, God’s love is made manifest through us.  It really is that simple…people will come to know God as we love one another.  Let us not miss this, it is everything.  Without it we will indeed be blind, pitiable and poor whilst foolishly thinking ourselves rich and prosperous.

Love is a choice, a decision, a commitment.  It has to be, because to truly love is hard…it flies in the face of all that is evil and conquers all darkness. We cannot love without God’s grace upon us and His strength at work in us.

Our relationships on earth should grow, develop and mature parallel to our relationship with Christ.  We cannot separate one from the other.  Jesus said… “Love each other as I have loved you”.  The relationships around us should mirror the love we have received from Christ.  Will we be perfect?  I think not, but, we must press on to forgive as we have been forgiven; to extend mercy as we have received mercy and to love as we have been loved.
As God is patient with me, so I too, must endeavour to be patient with others.  As God bears with me, so I too, must bear with others.  As He encourages me daily, long suffers with me yearly, so I too, must do that with others.  As I give away that which I have received, I will naturally produce the fruit of healthy, Godly relationships in my life.

In turn, relationship reaps a harvest of righteousness in itself.  Relationship rooted in Christ and founded on God’s love, changes, encourages and motivates a person towards God’s higher calling.

So how does relationship happen?  Well…I believe as in all things, Christ is our model.  “Greater love has no-one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  I believe God is asking us at this time to go deeper…
Are you ready to lay down your life for your friends?  And he’s not talking about you going and starting some ministry somewhere.  He’s saying…Right now, here, are you willing to lay down your life?  Are you willing to love ALL of those around you – the lost and the saved, in the way that He loved you?  Are you willing to lay down your fears and enter into relationship with each other the way He entered into relationship with you?
God places relationship above anything we could ever do for him.  Our ministries must never come at the expense of relationship within the body of Christ.  Are you willing to do all it takes, to relationship with each other in this life (that He gave you!), according to His blueprint for church…to eat together, fellowship together, pray together, devote ourselves to the Word, carry one another, and encourage one another?  Are you willing to let go of the excuses that prevent you from doing just that?

John 13…again!

This was a new commandment.  The newness is in the fact that this was a command for the disciples themselves, the ones closest to him.  Jesus had relationship with them and was urging them, as they moved forward together, to remember to love each other as He had loved them.  Jesus did life with his disciples. He ate with them, bore with them, encouraged them and then told them, as He’s telling us now, to do the same thing He did.  Knowing through that, and only that, would the world come to know we are truly His disciples!

Amen!!…and God Bless x

It Was Here…

So after a morning of hardcore cleaning at the church I settle down in the garden, on what is an EXTREMELY hot day, taking wondeful shade underneath an overhanging plum tree. I check my emails and there’s a notification, a post from BJ at The River Walk.
It’s a post entitled “The Power of God At Work“.  It’s a good read, a VERY good read.
At the end BJ asks a question…”When was He (God) at His greatest in your life?”

I sat there for just a moment.  it didn’t take me long.  I was looking at this…


My heart filled with thanks, you see, there was a time when I could only look through the window on a sunny day.  My whole world having been shrunk as I endured long-term, bedridden illness.  My life had become very dark and very down.  I was desperately unhappy.  And besides being physically ill, I was enslaved in a world who’s only goal was to lead me away from the Truth and further onto the path of death!

So I looked upon the scene in the picture above, a garden growing, paints and brushes on the table, light…amazing light, air…fresh air, marvelling at me having been at work all morning and thought “I know when God was greatest in my life!”
It was when He finally pulled me out of bed and brought me into this life.
And it is a moment that has never stopped.
Every single day, my life is growing and growing.
Every single day He does the ‘greatest’ thing again.
Again and again, over and over…He never ceases to restore my life back to me.
In small ways, in large ways…it’s all the same.  It’s all Him. I can take no credit.
My life is the merciful workmanship of His hands alone.  If it had been left to me, I probably still would have been where I was.
But I’m not.  I called out to the Father who has been pursuing us all since the beginning of time.  And He answered my cry for help.
And so today, I am free.  Today I am redeemed.  Today I am well.  Today I am living in the Light.  Today I have a real life, not a fake one based upon earthly desires that were forever crumbling.
Today, my life is founded on the Rock.
Today I am His!

I pondered that question of BJ’s all day, it would not leave my mind, and thanks to God would not leave my heart.  I would love to share with you the moments today that God continued to glorify Himself through the view of my new life.
No longer a window to glance through, but a very real vision of His beauty made manifest.

It was here…as I looked up the garden.  An absolute blessing and vision of countryside beauty in the middle of town.

It was here…as I sat down to drink a cold glass of water in the kitchen, and just sat quietly as the light streamed through the window and thought to myself…peace, healing, blessing.


It was here…as I stood at the sink and burst into song, singing “You are stronger, You are stronger, sin is broken, You have saved me…”

It is here…as I opened the fridge and saw all that gorgeous, fresh food and burst with thankful excitement at knowing I have never having gone without, despite me not actually having had a actual monetary income for the last year!!!

It is here…simple one really…I had always wanted a glass fronted cupboard kitchen, old cottage style.  Oh yeah!…we have a God of detail!

It was here…as I thought at how a little girl had lovingly hand stitched this heart for me.
For me?!!  Just because she wanted to bless me.

It was here…as I looked up at the church building and realized what I do and where I live, that my life has purpose, meaning and life now!

It was here…

And here…

And here…


And here…as I saw how He has surrounded my life with beauty and light.
Gone is the darkness.  Gone is the depression
Here is my God, my Light, my All!!


And finally…it was here…when a few painted pebbles told the story of what it has always, and will always be about….

May you too know, or come to know, that God’s greatest moment was when He gave His love to you, through the sacrifice of His only Son and in doing so set you free too, from the power of sin and death.
May you know, or come to know, that He’s rescued you from darkness and brought you into His marrrrrvelous light!

God Bless
x x x