Monthly Reflection – February 2017

Keep on running!

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3 12-14

I did something this week that I haven’t been able to do since September last year- I managed to get on my mountain bike and go for a decent ride! The reason I hadn’t got out till now was due to some problems caused by a seemingly straight forward operation that I had towards the end of September that meant I wasn’t able to ride my bike without it causing me some issues. I had tried two or three times to go for a ride but on every occasion I had had to out the bike away and think again! I had also tried going for a run- something that I don’t have much experience of- this also caused me some issues so I had to stop. In short I, have found it hard to do any exercise for a few months and it was starting to annoy me!

It was great to get out in the fresh air today- the sun was shining and it felt good to get moving again…… for about twenty minutes that is! I had clearly forgotten that I am not totally ‘match fit’ and having gone off at my usual pace I soon realised that I wasn’t going to beat my usual time for the route I cycle and that I was feeling very tired!

 

So, at the twenty-minute point I had a few of options-

  • Simply stop, phone Mrs Evs and get her to come and rescue me.
  • Turn around and slowly limp home.
  • Stop for a rest and then carry on.
  • Man-up and keep going!

 

It is clear that all of the above options were the one I could choose and in my own mind I would have been able to justify any of them- In the end I decided on option three; I stopped for a couple of moments had a drink of water and then got going again even though I knew I had around 45 minutes ahead of me. And even though my time around the usual route was about ten minutes slower than in September I was really pleased to get all the way around and reach home with a sense of accomplishment- now I know to some cycling for a little over an hour is nothing to some of you- but for someone who hasn’t been able to ride for around five months I was quite pleased!

For each of us there are times in our lives when it just seems too hard- too tiring or as if giving up is the only option for whatever reason. For some of us in our walk as Christians there will be days when we feel like it is too hard to carry on with what God has given us to do for him- there will be days when it is all too much and either turning around and going the other way or getting someone else to rescue us Is tempting!

These are the days when we need to focus even more on our walk with God and rely on the strength that he gives us- In Hebrews 12 we read:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Hebrews 12 1-3

I have taken great encouragement from this piece of scripture in the past few weeks as I have had an increasing feeling of weariness. With more demands on me at home looking after the Small ones, work getting very busy because of an impending move to another station, demands on my time representing the CPA and my work for my own church I have had to choose option three from my list above ‘Stop for a rest and then carry on’. But I have definitely not given up or given in- I have just taken time to refocus on the Lord and not tried to do too much- this has given me a new energy and renewed focus to carry on with the work that God has given to me!

We can be inclined to believe that we simply have to keep going a record pace all of the time and that God doesn’t understand….. Well remember God knows us better than we know ourselves- and he understands that sometimes we do get a bit tired, but also when that happens he doesn’t abandon us- he is there for us!

From speaking to friends lately it is clear to me that I am not the only one who is feeling this way- whether it be the demands of a busy life or an issue or incident that has stopped you in your tracks I want to encourage you that God is bigger than that issue or incident and has your back- Give it to him, focus on him and if needs be ‘Stop for a rest and then carry on’ but don’t simply give in!

So this month if you are feeling weary or that everything is getting a bit much for you- be encouraged and don’t throw in the towel- if you need to take a rest then take it is Ok! Focus on spending time with the Lord and not doing too much and then when you are good to go again push onwards towards the goal, run with perseverance and do not grow weary

God Bless

Keith

Monthly Reflection – January 2017

Good Evening all! 

I hope you are enjoying the start to 2017!? With a new Year there is a fantastic new look to the website for the National CPA so click on the link- http://www.cpauk.net

If you are amongst our friends and supporters and have wondered about joining the CPA there is a simple link on the website that will take you directly to the forms- so get clicking!

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:  a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal,  a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3 1-8

‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’

A quote from a film- can anyone name it?

 Life does indeed move quickly- It hardly seems possible that we are heading towards the end of January already- I am often asked where does the time go!

There has been quite and amount said over the last few months about what a terrible year 2016 was because of the amount of famous or well-known people who died- If we think of some of the names on that list this year it is clear to see why people think 2016 was such a bad year- Many of the names which is very long are names and faces that we will all recognise and many of us will have memories of their music or parts played on TV or on the Big screen! As we have moved into 2017 however we have seen that the loss of famous people has continued and the advent of the new year has not changed the reality that life moves on quickly and it can be over in an instant.

 The truth is that life moves- it moves quickly and it moves on! We cannot escape that in each of our lives there will be days when life gives and when life takes away-  in this truth we can identify with the piece of scripture above that there are indeed seasons in each of our lives and that those seasons don’t last for ever!

When we consider how people have reacted to the loss of celebrities this year I always try and remember that however much we think we know someone famous we must remember that they have loved ones and families who know them…. Not just their public face- they are the ones who must truly feel the loss!!

When we think about those we have lost it can be very easy to dwell on their passing- I was chatting recently about my own Granddad who died ten years ago, at Christmas- Frank Jones is still missed by us all and his passing was a shock to us- his fun persona, his mischievous side and love for us are the things I remember as well as his completely useless sense of direction!

If we were to concentrate on just the death of Frank, then we could easily think that the past ten years have held nothing but the pain of loss in my life – but thankfully this couldn’t be further from the truth! The last ten years have not been defined by the loss of my granddad- there has been so much more- Natasha and I have just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary (Yes, she has put up with me for that long!), we have been blessed with two beautiful daughters, as a family we have had numerous other new members of the family come along to bless us all, new friends, a new role in CPA, a new church and calling to serve!

Life moves on- life goes on! In each of our lives there will be days, weeks and seasons where we feel pain and loss- this is normal! But there will be days, weeks and seasons where we are overcome with joy and happiness- this is also normal!! 

I would imagine there will be some reading this who are indeed in a season in their lives that is full of joy wonder and hope. There will also be those reading this who feel they are travelling through the storm, unsure of the future, mourning or in the midst of despair- to those of you in either season I want to tell you that whatever or where ever you are today you have a Father in Heaven who loves you dearly and who wants to bless you abundantly! There is a famous quote from Winston Churchill ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’- Wise words indeed! 

Through good or through bad we are called to Love- Love the Lord, Love one another, Love our neighbours and yes, our enemies……

In Romans 12 we read:

‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.’  

Romans 12 9-16    

 So today, this week, this month if you are in a season of abundance or joy then share it about- Look around you and try to bring that Joy and abundance to those you see every day- Pray for your friends, practice hospitality, be humble, rejoice and morn with people! But if you are in the middle of the storm and feel like you are going through hell-Firstly Keep Going! Be hopeful, be patient, and faithful, seek the Lord and through prayer give it all to him- You will get through the storm- there is a season for everything and it won’t last forever- Life moves pretty fast!

 

God Bless

Keith