grace explosion

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah is on the mountaintop and seeing great blessing as he serves God, yet just a chapter later he is in despair. Last week, I was in chapter 18 but the last 3 days have been a chapter later and I have been despondent, like Elijah, wanting to run away from my ministry and hide. It has been a struggle and so this morning, I decided to go and sit in a public area away from my office.

As I walked to a seat, I was pleading with God to give me a sign that this ministry was worth it, that it was worth persevering, to give me a sign of hope.  On sitting down, and with immediacy, the raven fed me. A man came up to me on his mobility scooter and began a conversation. It was a conversation when the man quickly opened up about his life, both good and bad, and over 30 minutes or so we were talking about Christ, forgiveness and hope for the future. It was an important conversation – as he said goodbye there was the opportunity to pray for him and he promised to go away and reflect on what we spoke about.

Like Elijah being fed by the raven, God was feeding me with hope. This ministry is worth it, it is worth persevering and this conversation was that slither of hope that I had cried out for. God’s grace was not just apparent, it exploded in these moments. An explosion of grace…beautiful!

Back in the mix and dipping my toes again

Due to ill health, I have taken a short break from the blog. However, I am contemplating jumping back in but realise that my background, experience and areas of interest mean that a clear focus is difficult to sustain. Is this ok? My posts have a range from youthwork, church, leadership, organisation, photography and bland thoughts. It is quite a diverse mix.
In truth, I have decided that this is ok! Why? Because I blog for myself and put it out to the masses as, Just occasionally, there may be something that resonates or helps others. This blog is my playground and you are more than welcome to join with me – I won’t be offended if you choose not to, but if you join in, lets just enjoy the ride…..it will be fun.

Crushed?

It takes a very strong character to go a length of time without experiencing a time when you are crushed in spirit.  It is an experience we can all face, albeit in different ways, and one that has the potential to sap all our energy and motivation.
It can be people or circumstances and often we have our own triggers for the things that hit us hardest. These things are a reality that we must learn to deal with, the real challenge is how we move on in order that we may breathe new life to our wounded soul. Take courage, stand firm and recognise that you can gain strength from the situation. You may be crushed but you do not need to be defeated, find rest and bounce back, it will be worth it.

“all this seemed oppressive to me – until I entered the sanctuary.”

fundraising

Been doing a little more work on the old fundraising stuff.  20 years of paperwork is a great trail and exciting to see how well some of the projects have used the money, even years later.

There are plenty of trust fund and grant applications – but one thing that I have known all along, although do not always remember, is that the vast majority of successful ones have come because of relationship with people.  Even the statutory sector finances were secured through relationships with a member of the governing body. What was more staggering was that 100% of all follow on monies came through relationship.  Now that is an impressive statistic.

Tomorrow sees me having to attend another meeting to talk about fundraising by way of trust funds and various grant funding bodies.  99% or more of it will be tiresome and frustrating – however, once again it is the relationship that matters and so it will be time to grin and bear it so that the projects that matter may benefit.