NO MORE WORRYING

NO MORE WORRYING

Worry doesn’t achieve anything positive. It literally drains us of joy and peace, saps our energy, and causes unnecessary stress and anxiety. We know all this and yet we often find ourselves on the same old roundabout of being overwhelmed when different situations arise.

God already covered this in His word. He simply tells us NOT to worry. Amen! It is said that there are over 365 bible verses telling us to ‘Fear Not’ or ‘Don not fear’- that’s more than one for each day of life. We need to choose to reign in our thoughts, fan our faith into life, and dilute our fears each time we are tempted into worrying.

A  popular quote by Corrie Ten Boom is “Worry doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.”. The following is another wonderful perspective about worry taken from her bookReflections of God’s Glory,’ ( A transcript of radio broadcasts)

Once, I had a burden that weighed heavily on me. I set it down and looked at it. Then I saw that everything about my burden was borrowed. One part belonged to the following day, one part to the next week. My burden was a huge, stupid mistake. I realized that worrying is carrying tomorrow’s burden with today’s strength. It’s carrying two days at once. It’s prematurely thinking of tomorrow. On the calendar, there is only one day for action, and that is today.

Making plans is time-consuming. Time is necessary for making wise decisions, but carrying them out belongs to only one day—today.

We become concerned about the future—our financial concerns, our health. Where does this lead to? Nowhere. Nowhere that is worth the trouble because tension ruins things. It depletes the energy that you need to live today. The Holy Spirit does not give you a clear blueprint for your life, but He leads you from moment to moment. Live for today!

I read somewhere, “Why don’t we look for something that is easier than anxiety? Worried people are like tightrope walkers, trying to walk over a rope from the past to the future, balancing between hope and fear. In one hand they hold a bag with the disordered past, in the other bag, the feared future. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s grief; it takes away today’s strength. It does not enable us to avoid evil, but it makes us incapable of dealing with it when it comes.”

I once heard a nice story, a kind of legend. A small clock, which had just been finished by its maker, was put on a shelf in his shop between two old clocks that were busily and loudly ticking away the seconds. “So,” said one of the old clocks to the newcomer, “you’ve just started this task. I feel sorry for you. You are bravely ticking now, but you’ll be very tired once you’ve ticked thirty-three million times.”

“Thirty-three million ticks?” said the startled clock, “but I could never do that!” He immediately stopped in desperation.

“Come on, stupid,” said the other clock. “Why do you listen to such talk? That’s not how things are. At each moment you only need to tick once. Isn’t that easy? And then again. That’s just as easy. Carry on like that.”

“Oh, if that’s all,” the new clock cried, “then that’s easy enough. Off I go.” And he began to bravely tick each moment, without paying attention to the months and the millions of ticks. When the year was up, he had ticked thirty-three million times without realizing it.

Yes, living for the moment, that’s what you need. The Lord’s prayer says, “Give us today our daily bread.” …A person does not fall so much because of the troubles of one day, but if tomorrow’s burden is added, this load can become very, very heavy. It is wonderfully easy to live just for the day.

That’s exactly how our Creator and Saviour said we should live.  ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own’. (Matthew 6v34) May we all be given the grace and faith to live in such a manner today.

Donna MacNeil

Soaring in your Strengths

Soaring in your Strengths

As those who care for others in life, it’s really important to be in a place where we can receive ourselves. It’s good for us to grow and be refreshed in our spirits as well as in our skill set. We want to be the best ‘us’, so that we can minister more effectively to others.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to look for personal development opportunities, so today we’d like to share some information about a brand new online course ‘Soaring in your strengths’. This course will be run by  the well-known and wonderfully experienced Andrea Wigglesworth and Vicky McVoy. (https://www.vitalconnexions.org/event/soaring-in-your-strengths/)

Having attended a similar course in person a few years ago, I can tell you it was of enormous benefit and blessing. As well as the psychology and theory, it was incredible to have everything so rooted in the Bible and shared in the context of being in God’s presence and receiving God’s love.

Whether you choose to explore this course or others, it really is beneficial to our whole wellbeing to do something. With so much demand on leaders right now, take some time for you and invest in becoming the person you were destined to be.

D.MacNeil

Help In Developing Healthy Marriages

Help In Developing Healthy Marriages

Personal Development is something that is widely encouraged and embraced throughout many areas of life. From the workplace to the gym, people like to invest time in improving themselves.

If you are married then you already know that marriages also need regular investment to keep them healthy and thriving. We need to have a value base for our relationships and be willing to grow as individuals and as a couple along life’s journey. It’s something we may initially shy away from, but with improved communication, intentionality, and prayer, we can all step forward into wonderful new areas of blessing and togetherness.

Our marriages are such a gift, so we need to nurture and protect them. We also need to source the tools that maybe weren’t modelled by our own families of origin, who in light of relationship research, end up being our main influencers. Change and improvements are possible! This is such a crucial area of our lives as marriage is under attack in society today, and especially Christian marriage as we wrestle on a spiritual level too.

I’m passionate that we work at healthy marriages in the world of Christian leadership and ministry. In the busyness and stresses we can so easily become unfulfilled and detached and settle for a functioning relationship rather than a thriving partnership. God really did intend for marriage to be good and to be a blessing, and with Him at the centre, we really can position ourselves towards a better future. A healthy marriage sustains us in ministry and is also a rich blessing to our children.

We can all be guilty of reading marriage books in prep for getting married or for helping someone else, when really we should be encouraging one another to keep investing in our own marriage development. As we go through different seasons, we can navigate so much better when we have a solid foundation and understand how to love and respect each other.

A  great book to invest in, and one that some may be familiar with, is ‘The 5 Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman. In this book he shares teaching and stories of how we are all wired differently, and so our understanding and expectation of expressions of love vary immensely. We need to take time to know who we are ourselves as well as trying to understand our spouses. Whether you are married one year or twenty years this book is a great aid in helping couples not just to connect, but to keep emotional love  alive.

The 5 Love Languages are:

1 - Words of Affirmation

2 - Acts of Service

3 - Receiving Gifts

4 - Quality time

5 - Physical touch

Each Love Language is clearly defined and examples are given for implementing them into our daily lives. Of course each person may have more than one preferred love language, which the author clearly offers advice on.

Another little gem of a book by Gary Chapman is ‘Things I wish I’d known Before We Got Married’. From romance and dealing with in-laws to conflict resolution and forgiveness, this is another great book to read.

My final recommendation today is a book called ‘Love & Respect’ by Dr. Emmerson Eggerichs. This is a most helpful book for all ages and stages of marriage, and it also has a work book and DVD that couples can work through together.

May this quote be true of us all:

‘A successful marriage requires falling in love over and over again, but always with the same person!’

Donna MacNeil

 

God IS In Control

God IS In Control

I remember the feeling well. The thrill, the delight, the puffed up pride and inflated confidence of at long last being able to drive my Dads wee blue Bedford work van. Nothing was too hard for me, each bend to crawl round, obstacle to be avoided, testing the wipers and the occasional tooting of the horn. What an adventure! I was 7 years old.

Because my father made it look so easy, I would plead to have a turn at driving, and so when we would be heading along old stone roads or open moorland, he would let me sit on his knee and steer the wheel. Oh the joy! I was actually driving and in control of the wee van.

Except of course I wasn’t. I had no comprehension that there were pedals on the floor, a gear stick, hand break, and dash board of gauges. I was even oblivious to the fact that my father ‘resting’ his hand on the base of the steering wheel was actually affording him the control and not me. The innocence of youth. He never once ‘burst my bubble’ but let me enjoy the moment and the exuberant bragging about it to whoever was kind enough to listen.

Perhaps we need a fresh reminder today that our Heavenly Father and indeed the whole of heaven is very much with us and for us on this journey of life. God remains completely in control, not in a tyrannical domineering way, but as our sure and certain loving Lord. He hasn’t gone anywhere! He is as true to His promises now as the first time we accepted him as Saviour. In all the ups and downs, highs and lows, He is with us and for us, possibly far more than we even realize. I’m confident eternity will reveal how God guided, protected, equipped, healed, and blessed us in immeasurable ways without us even being aware of his presence or many interventions.

At its most simplistic, my little story reminds us that we are to rest in God, lean on God, and trust God. Implicitly. With our all and our everything. Always.

When we surrender our will and our ways to him, He promises to guide us and make the way clear for each step through life.

Maybe we need to consider today where we can lay down the busyness, fears, uncertainties, lack of faith, control, and independence, that blight our focus and journey? Let’s choose instead to rest into God’s all-encompassing great and glorious love for us. Sink into His grace, inhale His peace, accept His beautiful words of kindness and affirmation. Trust Him with every moment of every day, trust him with your call and your destiny. Trust Him with yourself, your family, and your congregation.

Even right this moment, may heaven reveal to you wherever you are today that “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” ( Deuteronomy33v27)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3v5&6

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Donna MacNeil

 

ESPS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

ESPS ANNUAL CONFERENCE

 

We are delighted to share with you the news that this year we will be holding our Annual Conference online.

We are excited that we can still connect with you all, and although will certainly miss being with you in person, we look forward to sharing together virtually.

As we work towards confirming a date and planning the day, we wanted to use this opportunity to connect with YOU, and ask if there is any specific areas of life in ministry/church/leadership that you would like us to address as part of the day? Where do YOU feel you need encouragement or strengthening? Perhaps in personal development, your walk with God, marriage/family issues in ministry/reigniting vision for the future/weathering opposition, etc. Or maybe something else crucial to you that others would benefit from.

Please do let us know ASAP, just drop us a quick reply with suggested topics of interest to admin@espsministries.org. Your needs are important to us as we look to be a blessing to YOU. We already have a great sense of anticipation for the day, and very much look forward to being together.