Verse of the Day – Psalm 66:10

Psalm 66:10

Psalm 66:10

We have been tested in the fire and refined as silver by our maker, yet we still hide our best silverware in the cupboard, only to be used on special occasions.

Yet isn’t everyday worthy of a special occasion, when we remember what has been done for us by Christ’s sacrifice.

WE STAND by JESUS CULTURE
Father, we’re gathered here to seek Your face
We wait upon You now, come have Your way
You are the glorious One, the Lord of all
Worthy of endless praise, our hearts proclaim

We stand before You in awe and wonder
With lifted hands and our hearts surrendered
We give You praise, give You glory and honor
To You be the glory

Father, we’re gathered here to seek Your face
We wait upon You now, come have Your way

We stand before You in awe and wonder
With lifted hands and our hearts surrendered
We give You praise, give You glory and honor
To You be the glory

Lift up one voice, join in one song
Honor and praise unto Your name
Lift up one voice, join in one song
Honor and praise unto Your name
Lift up one voice, join in one song
Honor and praise unto Your name

We stand before You in awe and wonder
With lifted hands and our hearts surrendered
We give You praise, give You glory and honor
To You be the glory

We stand before You in awe and wonder
With lifted hands and our hearts surrendered
We give You praise, give You glory and honor

To You be the glory
To You be the glory
To You be the glory

Verse of the Day – Luke 6:37

Luke 6:37

Luke 6:37

I guess that these sometimes are the hardest things to do, especially when it feels like people are against you, then I just have to take that step back, before me mouth acts before my heart and just pray.

THE ADVENTURE by ANGELS & AIRWAVES
I wanna have the same last dream again,
The one where I wake up and I’m alive.
Just as the four walls close me within,
My eyes are opened up with pure sunlight.
I’m the first to know,
My dearest friends,
Even if your hope has burned with time,
Anything that’s dead shall be re-grown,
And your vicious pain, your warning sign,
You will be fine.

Hello, here I am,
And here we go, life’s waiting to begin.

Any type of love – it will be shown,
Like every single tree reach for the sky.
If you’re gonna fall,
I’ll let you know,
That I will pick you up
Like you for I,
I felt this thing,
I can’t replace.
Where everyone was working for this goal.
Where all the children left without a trace,
Only to come back, as pure as gold,
To recite this all.

Hello, here I am,
And here we go, life’s waiting to begin.
Tonight,
Hello, here I am,
And here we go, life’s waiting to begin.
Tonight,
Hello, here I am,
And here we go, life’s waiting to begin.

I cannot live, I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me
I cannot live, I can’t breathe
Unless you do this with me

Hello, here I am (do this with me),
And here we go, life’s waiting to begin (do this with me).
Hello, here I am (do this with me).
And here we go, life’s waiting to begin,
Life’s waiting to begin.

Verse of the Day – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Yesterday I had one of those moments when I let fear become greater than my faith, I became angry with God in a way.  Then last night when I was praying, I heard the word TOIL, as though I was being instructed to keep working hard, in time I will reap the benefits of my toil.

EVEN IF by KUTLESS
Sometimes all we have to hold on to
Is what we know is true of who You are
So when the heartache hits like a hurricane
That could never change who You are
And we trust in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

Lord we know Your ways are not our ways
So we set our faith in who You are
Even though You reign high above us
You tenderly love us
We know Your heart
And we rest in who You are

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

You’re still the Great and Mighty One
We trust You always
You’re working all things for our good
We’ll sing your praise

Even if the healing doesn’t come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God You are good
Forever faithful One
Even if the healing
Even if the healing doesn’t come

You are God and we will bless You
As the Good and Faithful One
You are God and we will bless You
Even if the healing doesn’t come
Even if the healing doesn’t come

The Best Silverware?

Last night I had this thought about alcohol addiction and came to the conclusion that mine was a bit like this…

It’s was like one of those proud mother’s, who keeps the best cutlery and plates shut away in a cupboard, rarely used, the family uses the cheap stuff, they never get to see the best family silver, it’s put away in the back of the cupboard, not seeing the light of day.

Then there comes the visitors, so the mother takes it all out of the cupboard, she doesn’t want people to see or use the cheap stuff, because that’s how people will judge her, it’s all about impression, making it look like everything is good.  So then they all eat off the best plates, with the good silver knives and forks.

But when everyone has gone, it’s washed and put back away in the darkness of the cupboard, not to be used again until there is the need to once again put on a show for everyone.

I was certainly like that, I wasn’t bothered what I was doing here at home and really what the family saw of me, but I never let anyone else see that.  When it came to people coming around or going out, I would polish the silver and create my good impression, then when all was clear, I hid the best of me in the darkness, behind the closed doors.

But the sad thing is, I guess this isn’t just limited to alcoholism or maybe any other addiction, I think at times I still do this, at times I’m still content to hide the best of me, only bringing that out when I’m in company, obviously nowhere near as bad as I was, but definitely at times I’m still hiding the best.

Not only do I see that in me, but I see that in other’s around me, only bringing out the best silver when others are around.

But I guess we are all guilty of that from time to time!

BEST OF YOU by FOO FIGHTERS
I’ve got another confession to make
I’m your fool
Everyone’s got their chains to break
Holdin’ you

Were you born to resist or be abused?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

Are you gone and onto someone new?
I needed somewhere to hang my head
Without your noose
You gave me something that I didn’t have
But had no use
I was too weak to give in
Too strong to lose
My heart is under arrest again
But I break loose
My head is giving me life or death
But I can’t choose
I swear I’ll never give in
I refuse

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Oh…

Oh…Oh…Oh…Oh…

Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
The life, the love you’d die to heal
The hope that starts the broken hearts
You trust, you must
Confess

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?

I’ve got another confession my friend
I’m no fool
I’m getting tired of starting again
Somewhere new

Were you born to resist or be abused?
I swear I’ll never give in
I refuse

Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Has someone taken your faith?
Its real, the pain you feel
You trust, you must
Confess
Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?
Oh…

Verse of the Day – Colossians 2:6-7

Colossians 2:6-7

Colossians 2:6-7

As wake from my slumber I am trying my best to stay rooted in him, at times fish scaled eyes pierce the heart, it hurts, but I pray for Him to strength me.

CRY IN MY HEART by STARFIELD
There’s a cry in my heart
For Your glory to fall
For Your presence to fill up my senses
There’s a yearning again
A thirst for discipline
A hunger for things that are deeper

Could You take me beyond?
Could You carry me through?
If I open my heart?
Could I go there with You?
(For I’ve been here before
But I know there’s still more
Oh, Lord, I need to know You)

For what do I have
If I don’t have You, Jesus?
What in this life
Could mean any more?
You are my rock
You are my glory
You are the lifter
Of my head
Lifter of this head

Thoughts On 125 Sundays

So following on from my post Thoughts On 125 Of Sobriety & Freedom, what follows every great milestone in my sober journey is the same anniversary of my first walk into Everyday Champions Church, my first by my own will that is.

When things went pear shaped here at home, I went on a drinking bender, following that painful Tuesday evening I began drinking more than ever, by this time I couldn’t stop myself, if I tried I ended up restlessly pacing the house, rubbing my hands together and scratching at my arms.  At work I was low, real low, I was close to tears most of the time and feeling more lost than I had ever felt in my life, I was a mess.

On the Thursday evening I was at the Architect’s and it wasn’t hard to see I wasn’t really with it, we discussed what was going on and I explained everything.  Then in my head I hatched this cunning plan, if I spoke to Gareth, Victoria’s Pastor, I could tell him how sorry I was and he could help talk Victoria around to trying to sort things out between us.

But then when I got home and once more tried not to drink, yet failed miserably and apologised to Victoria profusely as I walked out the house and to the shop to fetch more alcohol, I realised speaking to Gareth was the best idea I’d had in a long time, but the focus changed, no longer about Victoria, this was about me, I had lost control and I needed help.  I asked Victoria if it was okay with her if I spoke to Gareth, I was struggling and needed help, a request to which she agreed, I would never have gone to Gareth without asking her first.

Obviously the following Sunday was a big low point, that day I stood looking deep into my own dead eyes, seriously considering the end of everything.  The bright point of that day was when Victoria came home, she gave me Gareth’s number and said she had explained things to him, he would be expecting my call.

So the next day I made that call and met with Gareth.  When he came round he stated straight away that this meeting wasn’t about God or religion, it was about me getting whatever help I needed.  He asked questions and listen patiently to my broken answers, between all the tears and oh yes there were a lot of tears.

He spoke of one verse in the bible whilst he was with me, the story of Jesus calming the storm, he asked if I was okay with him praying for me, which I agreed to.  I mentioned how I felt I should have gone to Church the day before, he said I was welcome any time, even if I only wanted to sit quietly at the back.

So ten days later I took that last drink, then I felt like I was ready to give Church a try.  I didn’t really know what I was expecting, I spoke with Victoria the day before, said I was going and would make my own way.

That day I walked in nervous, afraid and unsure.  I took a seat quietly at the back, in fact I took the furthest seat from the stage I could find, a seat which I sat in every week for the next six months, until I joined the A.V. Team, my seat now is my camera station.

The day I chose to go, Gareth wasn’t there preaching, instead his father Ken was.  I stood silent and still through the worship, just observing all around me.  What Ken preached made  me feel straight away that there was a connection and I had found what I was looking for, he preached on the very same verse Gareth had spoke of, Jesus calming the storm, talking about the need to face the storms in our own lives, just as Gareth had spoken that night in my living room.  During the preach I got this immense feeling inside, a warm feeling in my chest, a kind of burning, I can’t remember how many times I cried during the services, it was a fair few.

One the way out I walked passed James, we had met just once before, at my house after Eve’s confirmation just one year before.  He recognised me from that one meeting and walked over to me, he asked why I was there and I told him everything.  We swapped numbers that day and over those first months, he would text me every few days to see how I was doing and indeed when I was struggling I texted him for help.  I am so thankful for that friendship, it helped me through some dark times in those early months, especially during the pain of withdrawals, when I was close to giving up, he was I rock that I needed to rest on.

But when I left Church that day I kind of knew that I had found what I needed.  The next Sunday was Easter Sunday and that was the day I raised my hand to accept Jesus into my life.  Having said that, I raised my hand over the next two weeks too, I felt like I wasn’t really getting what it all meant and that I wasn’t really doing what ever I was supposed to be doing correctly.  On that third time I met Jeremy for the first time, I remember telling him why I was there, I had made the choice that I wasn’t hiding who I was anymore, I was an alcoholic and I needed help, the Church’s help, I remember him distinctly saying that one day my testimony would help others in a similar situation find a way out too, I’m not sure he was referring to this Blog, but I know what he meant now.

I’ve had some amazing experiences and met some amazing people at Everyday Champions Church, there are too many people to mention individually, but needless to say everyone I have met have been so supportive, they have all held me up when I’ve needed support and picked me up when I have fallen.

One of the things I was most afraid of about walking into a Church, was as a sinner and an alcoholic I would face condemnation, be shunned or looked down upon, but not at the ECC, I could not have walked into a better place and found a group of better people to call my friends.

When I had the calling to be Baptised and if you don’t know the story of my Baptism, I say calling because I had not planned to be baptised, I put it off, feeling I didn’t really understand what it mean and I wasn’t really ready for it.  That day as I left for Church, I looked out at the weather and it looked like rain, I remember distinctly thinking to myself, I won’t take a coat, I’m not bothered if I get wet today.

Still I took that same seat in the same corner at the back of the Church, content to see what actually happened at Batpisms and what it meant.  Victoria and the kids weren’t there, they had gone to a family birthday party, so it was just me, watching, listening and learning.

Then after worship when Gareth stood up and said God had challenged him that someone in this Church would make a decision to be baptised today, he said he had never had anyone just do it on the day, but if someone did, they would find some clothes and towels, he didn’t know where from, but they would find something.

At that point, I froze in my seat, almost as if I was unable to breathe, I realised then that He was talking to me, I mean, not Gareth, but God, the feeling inside was unavoidable, I had never felt anything like it before or indeed since.

In the short break, I sat there, having this internal conversation:

”He’s talking to you, you know that don’t you?”
“Yes I know”
“So, are you doing this or not?”
“Oh yes!”

I found Gareth straight away, tapped him on the shoulder and just said “okay, where do I get a spare set of clothes!”  He was taken aback, shocked, but seemingly excited.

Later in the service they called up the three people who had actually made their decisions weeks before, they had prepared and drafted a testimony to be read out on stage.  At this point I wasn’t sure if I should be up there or not, Gareth didn’t call my name, I guess he thought I wouldn’t be prepared for that, so after another internal conversation, I stood up walked onto the stage and gate crashed the party.  I told everyone there my testimony and immediately felt like the chains had broken, freedom.

After being baptised, a towel appeared and a bag of clothes, I didn’t know where from at the time, but just as Gareth had said they would find something.  The only thing was, I had no spare underwear, so I put the dry trousers over my wet underwear, unfortunately my underpants soaked through to the trousers and it look suspiciously like I had wet myself!

I’ve had some great days in Church, that day of my Baptism probably being the best, but I’ve also had some low ones.  Now don’t get me wrong, this is nothing to do with the Church, the people or the services, this is me, when I’ve been at a real low, I tend to make my fear greater than my faith, then I just end up being a blubber mess once again.  But as always, there is always someone to throw an arm around me, to pray with me and encourage me.

On that day 125 weeks ago, I really didn’t know what to expect or what I would find, what I found was some amazing people, essentially a family and a home.

I HAVE DECIDED by STARFIELD
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back, No turning back

I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You my God
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You my God

Though none go with me still I will follow
Though none go with me still I will follow
Though none go with me still I will follow
No turning back, No turning back

I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You my God
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You my God

The world behind me, the Cross before me
The world behind me, the Cross before me
The world behind me, the Cross before me
No turning back, No turning back

I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You my God
I will follow You, I will follow You, I will follow You my God
Yeah, I will follow you, my God

Awake With The Sunrise

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

For the second day running I was up and out before 5am, ready for a long walk and to see yet another sunrise.

It may be the same sun, but it’s definitely a new day and different sky, but yet another great sunrise.

As long as the sunrise is different each morning, no day will ever be the same, there to be embraced.

Sky Ribbons

Sky Ribbons

Over Deep Blue

Over Deep Blue

Alone In The Blue

Alone In The Blue

Highlight The Clouds

Highlight The Clouds

Frayed Within The Waters

Frayed Within The Waters

Creeping Through

Creeping Through

Breaking The Horizon

Breaking The Horizon

Between The Blue

Between The Blue

Through Morning Leaf

Through Morning Leaf

Above The Trees Beyond

Above The Trees Beyond

Across The Blue Waters

Across The Blue Waters

I love this song, it’s hard not to.

ANGELS ON THE MOON by THRIVING IVORY
Do you dream that the world will know your name?
So tell me your name
Do you care about all the little things
or anything at all?
I wanna feel, all the chemicals inside
I wanna feel
I wanna sunburn, just to know that I’m alive
To know I’m alive

Don’t tell me if I’m dying
‘Cause I don’t wanna know
If I can’t see the sun, maybe I should go
Don’t wake me ’cause I’m dreaming
Of angels on the moon
Where everyone you know
Never leaves too soon

Do you believe, in the day that you were born
Tell me do you believe?
Do you know, that every day’s the first
Of the rest of your life?

Don’t tell me if I’m dying
‘Cause I don’t wanna know
If I can’t see the sun
Maybe I should go
Don’t wake me ’cause I’m dreaming
Of angels on the moon
Where everyone you know
Never leaves too soon.

This is to one last day in the shadows
And to know a brother’s love
This is to New York City angels
And the rivers of our blood
This is to all of us
To all of us

Don’t tell me if I’m dying
‘Cause I don’t wanna know
If I can’t see the sun
Maybe I should go
Don’t wake me ’cause I’m dreaming
Of angels on the moon
Where everyone you know never leaves too soon

You can tell me all your thoughts
About the stars that fill polluted skies
And show me where you run to
When no one’s left to take your side
But don’t tell me where the road ends
‘Cause I just don’t wanna know
No I don’t wanna know

Don’t tell me if I’m dying
Don’t tell me if I’m dying