Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

EstherEsther was the daughter of Kathy, who was on the Proclamation Trust Ministers Wives conference with me last week. Esther died of cancer just after Christmas, aged 14. They’d found out that she was ill in August 2011.

This is her testimony from her baptism in September – in her will she said that she wanted as many people to hear it as possible. Kathy read it out to all of us who were at Hothorpe Hall last week. And now I’m sharing it with you.

Before I became a Christian I came to church because I had to, and not because I really wanted to. I’d rather stay at my friend’s house or at home. I was slowly moving away from God and my family – I was never at home. I would ‘bunk off’ school and deceive my parents. It wouldn’t really bother me that I was actually sinning against God and I was gradually moving into becoming not a very nice person.

And then, at the end of August last year, I remember going with Miriam, Olga and Elaine to St Ann’s hospital for an x-ray, because I was getting really bad pain in my right leg, and I wasn’t able to sleep. I was sent straight to North Mid hospital for more scans, and shortly after having a biopsy, was diagnosed with bone cancer (which was really a shock because everyone thought that it was just growing pains). In the past year I’ve been given six different types of chemotherapy, two biopsies, I’ve had two operations to remove tumors, and I’ve got a metal knee. More recently I have had radiotherapy on my leg. So far none of these treatments have worked, and there are now multiple tumors in my leg and the cancer has spread to my lungs. It has been hard when I go to the hospital and keep hearing bad news.

But throughout the ups and downs of the past year, I have never felt angry with God or questioned Him about why I am going through all of this. I feel like God is testing my faith and this illness was supposed to, and has, brought me closer to Him. Over time, as I’ve needed God more and more, it’s made me put Him at the centre of my life, and has made me into a changed person whose view on life (as Mr Mac says) is ‘live one day at a time’. I know that I am in God’s hands and I’m ready for whatever or wherever He wants my life to go – however hard it might be. Obviously I’m really praying that God will heal me, but I have put my trust in Him and I know that He will do what’s best for me, in my life. I have realized that Jesus is my Saviour and I’ve asked Him to forgive me for all of my sins. It’s so AMAZING that someone can wash away all of my sins, so that it’s like I’ve never sinned in the first place. But I know that that doesn’t mean that I can keep on sinning; I have to try not to sin – but I’m still only human, so I will make mistakes, and when I do, saying ‘sorry’ to God; but I’m trying not to, and trying to follow God’s commandments.

Before I got saved I was quite a selfish person, and always did what I wanted to do, even when I hurt someone else’s feelinging, it wouldn’t really bother me because I wasn’t that other person. During this past year I’ve had to put myself in other people’s shoes because I turned into that other person. For example, because of having different operations on my leg, I’ve had to go around in a wheelchair. People look at you differently, and it makes you realize how much other people go through that are in similar situations.

One day, I hope that I can become a chemo nurse, and help people like all of the nurses have helped me. Now I really want God to show me how I can help people who are less fortunate than me, and people who need to know the Truth. I don’t expect God to heal me – He may have other plans for me. But whatever happens, it’s amazing to know where I’m going to end up on judgment day. God has given me so many blessings in my 13 years of life, and even through this last year. I went on a Mediterranean cruise; I’ve been able to spend time in Dorset, and I’ve just got a dog called ‘Hope’.

It may sound crazy but, although this illness has brought me a lot of pain and discomfort, and I can’t do everything that I would like to do, in some ways this illness has changed my life for the better. I mean, I don’t know what I would be like if I hadn’t got ill – I don’t think that I would have got saved or appreciated life, or realized that every day that I live is a blessing from God. I thank the Lord for making me ill if it meant that I realize all of these things, and made me accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.

I’m so grateful that God has given me 13 years of life, loving parents that have supported me, friends and family that have continued praying for me and most importantly His son Jesus Christ who died for me!

Esther Childress 27th Sept 2012

Read Full Post »

A clip of simple Christmas sand art to cheer your Christmas Eve. I love the way that the angel looks approachable when first drawn and then more and more magnificent and awe-inspiring.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjE6EYS1z8U%5D

A Merry Christmas to all of you. May you know the heavenly peace the Saviour brings. See you in 2013!

Read Full Post »

I’m sure you’re all super-prepared for all the Advent happenings in your parish. But just in case you aren’t (or want to be extra-super-prepared for next year) I thought I’d share this brilliant alt.Advent series from Scripture Union that I just came across. They are posting a 2-3 minute daily animation of part of the Christmas story every day of Advent. The full animation, combining all the clips, is 47 minutes long – perhaps something to have on hand for early risers on Christmas Day…

These would be great for family devotions or to show in a service or school assembly. I might even show a few to the kids over tea this week. SU have posted a good number of other videos on their YouTube channel that would be useful for services or family bible times.

Here’s today’s lovely section of the story:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePB5LiRETkQ%5D

Read Full Post »

Christmas treeThings are gearing up for Advent activity in the parish. Tonight is our Messy Christingle service – the first that’s been held since we’ve been here. Early in Advent seems like a good time for this service and gives us an opportunity to advertise other Christmas services to our Messy Church folk, some of whom don’t attend on Sundays. We’re excited about the service and the opportunity we have to tell people the Christmas story and spend time together. I made 1.5kg of pastry this morning which this afternoon will be turned into mince pies to share afterwards.

So we’ve been in church just now, moving chairs and getting the ancient decorations out. The tree lights work, thankfully, but there is rather a lot of tinsel debris around where we’ve unravelled the silver from the gold from the red and sparkly shreds have floated to the floor. The church is not looking as ethereal as one might hope for Christmas because at the same time as we were tinselling, the builders were in knocking great lumps of plaster off the walls. They tell us the plasterers are coming on Thursday so hopefully the walls will be reinstated for the school Christmas service next week and the Infants’ Nativity the following week.

So it looks like we might have a bit of a Messy Advent here. Thankfully our God didn’t expect tidiness when he came to earth all those years ago. In fact he came *because* of the mess. That means we can wait in the mess as we look forward to his arrival.

Read Full Post »

Great clip from Rico Tice that challenges us about the true meaning of Christmas. Advent is a time to remember that truth and think about the wait for the Saviour at his first coming and anticipate his return in glory.

Read Full Post »

Advent is a great time to talk about faith. Glen Scrivener has just produced this wonderful Anti-Santy Ranty, clearing up the difference between the Lord and St Nick. Brilliant for events or just chucking on your Facebook timeline…

Read Full Post »

Sorry to intrude on your November with Christmas thoughts, but this lyrical spoken word presentation of the Christmas story by Dai Wooldridge is utterly wonderful. Thought I’d give you a few weeks to work out how to use it creatively in Christmas events!

[HT Reaching the Unreached]

Read Full Post »

The Good Book Company have just released a great new retelling of the Life of Christ in comic book form by Jason Ramasami – it’s called Life Changer. I am putting in an order for some this morning – they are particularly suitable for teenagers, students and anyone who’s not big on reading. And at £3.99 each, they’re also ideal little extra Christmas gifts.

Read Full Post »

All our Trick or Treaters turned up whilst we were eating last night. But despite the bad timing (and a rather cold tea), we had lots of fun. We always ask kids to perform something in exchange for their sweeties, as they do in Scotland, but they were all pretty hopeless and in the end the Joker and the Engineer told jokes from their vast repertoire.

We told them about our Jesus pumpkin, which had a flame on one side and “Jesus” within a heart on the other, talking about how Christ brings light to our world and into our lives. And then we handed out sweeties and tracts. The damp weather put a few off, I suspect, but still a great opportunity to treat local kids and get to know the neighbours.

I was also tweeted a pic of a pumpkin carved by the supremely talented Liz and have spent all day wondering how angled the back-to-front Jesus carving had to be to get this projection. And also planning to try this next year…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

Saw this great cartoon by Crimperman yesterday about some traditional Christian responses to Halloween:

As regular readers will know, we now like to carve a Christian pumpkin and tell our callers about it before giving them sweeties and a tract. Mez McConnell in Niddrie has been thinking through his responses to Halloween with the help of a thought-provoking blog by Steve Utley.

We in the Vicarage are going to have to do some extra thinking through this week as the Joker has been invited to a Halloween party this week and we need to work out how to respond. What will you be doing this Wednesday evening?

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: