Thursday, May 31, 2007

help and guidance

I am doing the games today at Adventure Club today and the games are to be about 'Guidance', have you got any good ideas for guidance games, I have a few but if you know any let me know

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

it's a girl

Well, it's official SP and I are Uncle SP and Auntie Nix. I am very very excited esp as I am an Auntie for the first time, I didn't sleep that well last night as we were thinking and waiting for the bub to arrive.

Jasmine Grace was born at 2.40am this morning (not Tues and not a boy), she weighed in at a very healthy 8lb13 (nearly 9lb) and was 53cm long. She also has lots of curly black hair just like her daddy and is apparently a scrummy chubby baby - I can't wait to meet her, I am already a very proud Auntie.


Congratulations to my sister-in-law and her hubby.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

uncle sp and aunty nixter

My sister-in-law has been having some mild contractions since 6am this morning and they have now started getting closer and closer together so they have headed off to the hospital. She was due on Sunday and we were in Canberra the whole weekend but NO baby. I said I thought she would have it on Tuesday so it looks like I might be right, I also guessed a 9lb baby boy (secretly hoping for a girl) so let's see if I get 3 out of 3. I am so excited to be an Aunt, it means SP and I are going to go down to Canberra again not this weekend but the one after which is a long weekend - WOO HOOT!!! Our plan was for her to have the baby this weekend but I guess that wasn't the babies or God's plan - anyhoo I am waiting by my phone to hear the news SP and I are an Uncle and Aunt - I can't wait.

Monday, May 28, 2007

funny but not friday

h/t Alison

birthday trivia answers

Here is what you have all been waiting for ;)

1. What time did I get my first birthday message this morning?
a. 3.30am - yes this was someone in England who clearly didn't know the time in Oz!
b. 5.30am
c. 7.30am

2. At my 5th birthday party what did I do?
a. Broke my leg
b. Cut my head open - although vomiting on the cake was a fav answer - I ran into the corner of a counter - Ouch!
c. Vomited all over my cake

3. On my 13th birthday did I?
a. Have an extremely bad hair do
b. Have my forehead burnt by curling tongs
c. Both a and b - tragic but true.

4. What did Scott get me for my birthday?
a. Kitten - I haven't actually got one yet but yes SP gave me a little collar and scratching post. At first I thought it might be for me but no it was so we could get a cat!
b. Laptop
c. A whole bunch of stuff

5. What is the best month to have a birthday?
a. May - true, if you answered a b or c you are correct!
b. May - true
c. May - true

6. What did I get from work as a birthday present?
a. Chocolate Licorice Bullets - (because I am a gun!) - they are licorice coated in chocolate, I am not a fan but SP is so he ate nearly all of them on our road trip.
b. Flowers
c. Other

7. How old am I turning today?
a. 29 - I wish
b. 30 - alas it is true.
c. 40 as it says on my birthday card from work

8. Who's birthday is it tomorrow?
a. My Mum's - it was my Mum's b-day on Friday.
b. My Dad's
c. My sister's

9. Who is older?
a. Nixter
b. SP
C. Methuselah - yes Martha, the one in the bible ;)

10. What is the best thing about birthdays?
a. Cake - correct
b. Getting older
c. Cake - correct

And the winner is (out of all 2 of you who answered)....... dom dom dommmmmmmm

MARTHA - Congratulations. I have a prize for you ;)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Birthday Trivia

I have had many a phone call and message this morning for my birthday - thanks everyone. I also got my annual 'Ruth and the boys' call where they sing me lots of birthday songs and then each wish me Happy Birthday - very very cute, it seems not that long ago since they were doing it for me last year.

Just for fun here is a little birthday quiz for you all:

1. What time did I get my first birthday message this morning?
a. 3.30am
b. 5.30am
c. 7.30am

2. At my 5th birthday party what did I do?
a. Broke my leg
b. Cut my head open
c. Vomited all over my cake

3. On my 13th birthday did I?
a. Have an extremely bad hair do
b. Have my forehead burnt by curling tongs
c. Both a and b

4. What did Scott get me for my birthday?
a. Kitten
b. Laptop
c. A whole bunch of stuff

5. What is the best month to have a birthday?
a. May
b. May
c. May

6. What did I get from work as a birthday present?
a. Chocolate Licorice Bullets - (because I am a gun!)
b. Flowers
c. Other

7. How old am I turning today?
a. 29 - I wish
b. 30
c. 40 as it says on my birthday card from work

8. Who's birthday is it tomorrow?
a. My Mum's
b. My Dad's
c. My sister's

9. Who is older?
a. Nixter
b. SP
C. Methuselah

10. What is the best thing about birthdays?
a. Cake
b. Getting older
c. Cake

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

weekend photos


proverbs 31

Ruth wrote some thoughts on the woman in Proverbs 31 and I just had a conversation with SB who works at our church about it too. It was really interesting looking at it and learning some new things and thinking though what does being a Proverbs 31 women/wife look like for us now?

I guess the thing I am currently wondering is what does it mean that she considered a field and then brought it?

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. Proverbs 31:16

She obviously earned her own money but whatever her or her husband earns belongs to them both - so does consider mean - she spoke to her husband before buying the field? I can't imagine buying some property or land without checking with SP first.

I know times were different then and maybe that was the responsibility her and her husband had discussed would be her role.

I also wonder what a 'bad day' look like for the Proverbs 31 women?? Maybe she didn't have any ;)

spiderman goes emo

On Saturday SP and I went to see Spiderman 3, it was not too bad - but I didn't love it. Characters seemed to go missing during the whole film and you were never really sure what was happening with them and then there was the whole Spidey goes EMO bit - I mean what was that about?!?!? I wasn't expecting great things, there were some good action scenes in it and that's the reason I thought it would be good to see it on the big screen.

I would probably give it a 5/10.

Monday, May 21, 2007

surprise!

No not for you, it was for me....

On Saturday night SP had organised a little surprise party for my 30th (I am still in my 20's - clinging on for another 48 hours) It was lovely and although I did start to suspect something during the day I didn't know all the details until I arrived at my house to SURPRISE!!!!! Lots of party poppers, purple (my favourite colour) balloons, yummy food and lovely friends made for a wonderful night. My hubby did a great job and as someone said - he deserves an Academy Award.

We had a busy but lovely weekend, we had brekkie with our friends who had twins a couple of months ago - they are getting SO big and cute, we then went to watch 'Spiderman 3' (will write more on this later). We met my friend at a Belgian Beer place - she was the dee-coy (her name is Dee) and then we got back to our house and it was party time... We had about 18 people over from church and it was fun fun fun. Will post pics when I get some.

Sunday we went to see the little twins again as SP's Mum had not yet seen them and they had come down for my party - bless. We then went to watch the AFL - go the Swans, it was a good game and good to see them win as they haven't been playing well at all.

Later it was off to church and then home to bed - I was very very tired.

Last night we had a leaders meeting at church which was on prayer, it was both encouraging and practical - we had a good time.

This week has been annoying at work because our server went down - Grr but it meant I could do some other things which turned out to be productive and a blessing. We are all up and running now - thank-goodness.

Anyhoo - hope you are all having a great week ;) Please pray as I am quite tired and we have something on EVERY night this week.

Friday, May 18, 2007

pics from zoo trip


trip to the zoo

Yesterday I went to the zoo with Ruth and two of her beautiful boys, the two youngest 'c' and 'd'. This was my third time to the zoo and two of those times have been with the lovely Ruth. I had so much fun, these guys get to go to the zoo a lot and this makes them wonderful 'zoo' guides, they also know all about the animals. The zoo is big and so I had no idea where we had to go and the chances of me getting lost were probably about 99.9% but Ruth and the boys know EXACTLY where to go so I just followed the 'pros'.

This time around we went to see the Australian animals section, we went to see the amazing birds in the avery, we saw the elephants (very cool and very big) and we had chips for treats (fries) -which the boys were very excited about. I also got to see some monkeys (of the Kookaburra variety - don't ask!). I took some cool photos which I will post up later or tomorrow.

It was a fun fun fun day out and I had a really great time, I look forward to doing it again soon.

Thanks Ruth and the boys ;)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

weekend of sickness and fun

Today is Tuesday already where did the weekend go?

We had Sam, Soph and Kymmy over on Friday night for dinner, I cooked a lamb roast and some brownie for dessert - yummo!!! It was fun!

Saturday we went to the shopping centre (or 'mall' as you Americans and Aussies say), I purchased some lovely new shoes. I don't buy shoes very often but found a fab pair of red shoes and some lovely silvery/goldie shoes - that I just love.. I don't do heels as my Mum says I look like a duck when I walk in them (I really do) - plus I am a 'comfort' girl... I have some little kitten heel shoes which I wear with dresses or skirts if we go out to weddings and stuff, I would wear my Ugg boots if I could but don't think SP would let me... Saturday night we were both feeling pretty yuck but had a 30th to go too, it was just at our friends house and pretty casual which was nice, we stayed for an hour or two and then left as we were both beat.

Sunday was a relaxing day, we weren't feeling too well so patience was not running high. We went for lunch at a Thai restaurant but didn't talk much - not because we were angry at each other but because we felt so rotten - we went home and decided to watch a movie - we watched 'Casino Royale', the names Nixter, English Nixter. Yeah not quite the same ring to it as Bond, James Bond but you have to work with what you got. Is was a good Bond film, we both enjoyed it. We also pigged out on Doritios and Chocolate - naughty but nice...

Sunday night was church and it was awesome, the best sermon I have heard in a while. It was called 'We are Family' - it made me want to sing that Sister Sledge number but I didn't.. Lairdy preached on the book of Philemon and it was great... It was about how we have a Father in heaven and as God's children we are all brothers and sisters in him - how we are to forgive, love and pray for each other. I might write some more on this as it was really really good or I may just post the link when the talk in online, Sam had some thoughts here.

Please pray for us as we are still sick. Slowly getting better though which is good. I am off to the doctors tomorrow to try and find out why I have been getting sick so much.

Hope you have a great Tuesday.

Monday, May 14, 2007

10 days to 30


I am counting down the days until I turn the big '3 0'. I am fine with being in my 30's, at least I am at the moment as I am still in my 20's, just!

My 20's have brought about many changes in my life, many roads travelled but I have enjoyed them and I look forward to seeing what my 30's have in store, where they might take me and who they might bring into my life.

bye bye 20's, hello 30's - Bring it on!

Hillsong

I have a blogger friend in the US who had some questions to ask me about Hillsong and about their college. She is a gifted musician who leads worship and sings in a band - she heard about Hillsong's College and wants to know more. As I have never been to Hillsong I can only report on what people have told me about it or what I have read, I have done that but don't feel free to speak anymore on it because I have never been. I trust and respect a lot of you as friends and blog readers so I would love to know more about what you think.


Can anyone help give some insight into Hillsong and Hillsong College please - good and bad?

Friday, May 11, 2007

three years today

It was three years ago TODAY that I arrived in Australia with my '12 month ' working holiday visa and only knowing one person in Australia, our women's worker at church.

When I look back now and when I tell people, it sounds a bit crazy. I left the job I had been working at for 6 years, I left my church that I loved, friends that I did and still adore, my family who I love and who I miss terribly and my new Australian boyfriend to come to a country on the other side of the world, to a place where I had never before been, to a place I only knew one person, where I had NO IDEA what job I was going to do or where I was going to live and who I was going to live with... Sounds crazy doesn't it...

I remember the first 3 months consistently calling my friend telling her I wanted to come home. It was new, it was different, it was the unknown BUT in the back of my mind I knew and believed God was in control and although I was uncertain of many things I was certain of God and his sovereignty.

I lived with CS our women's worker, who I just love - it was hard at times, we were in the same room with beds right next to each other, we both had strong personalities but it was also lots of fun and a real time of trusting in God. I kept a journal of this time, a journal of my prayers to God (I just looked for it to write some of my journal entries but I can't get it - will post some when I find it).

I got a job with Dominic at Introducing God, the church sponsored me so I could stay beyond my 12 month visa, I worked there for 2 years and got to travel to many places in Australia. It was fun. I attended and still do CIM and I have learned so much that I probably wouldn't have at my church in London. I am more confident in explaining my faith, I have MC'd events at church, organised events at church, been on missions, led kids ministries and co-lead bible studies. I am very thankful to God for these skills and to CIM for teaching and giving me the opportunities to serve in these ways.

Who would have thought that a 12 month plan would turn into three years, a husband, buying a home, an amazing job serving in Christian ministry and going for my permanent residency... I miss my England home and it will always be home, it was for 26 years and I hope it might be again for at least a couple of years in the future. I miss my friends and family enormously and have found it hard to not be able to be home for major events (both good and hard), for friends weddings, funerals of loved ones and to share in my little sisters growing up. But right here, right now Australia is home. I have met some awesome friends who I hope will be friends for life, I have an amazing Australian husband and God has been very gracious to us.

I love Australia, I miss England - but I am where God wants me to be and it is him I long to serve wherever he has me. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for me, made Australia feel like home to me and for those of you who have been there when I have missed home ;)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

107 things about me

The below are totally random thoughts that just came to me in no particular order. When there is a list going around I just can't help myself, thanks Soph and Craig.

1. I love purple (like you didn't already know).
2. I also like pink but not as much.
3. Our accountant in our office gave me a Chinese name. Zi Hua which means 'purple flower'.
4. I work for a 'not for profit' Christian organisation.
5. Six months ago I was thinking of leaving.
6. I now love it, we have a new boss and I have much more to do.
7. I had an interview with St George bank.
8. I am glad I didn't get a job with them.
9. God knew best and has blessed me at work.
10. I have soup most days for lunch.
11. Chicken is currently my favourite.
12. I am from England.
13. I have lived in Australia, exactly 3 years tomorrow.
14. I have just started tennis lessons.
15. I have had 3 tennis lessons so far.
16. I think I am getting better.
17. I love playing tennis.
18. I became a Christian at 19 years old.
19. I found my first church in the Yellow Pages.
20. It was a fairly 'dead' Methodist Church.
21. I loved it at the time.
22. My home town in England is Worcester pronounced 'WŎŎS-TER'.
23. My parents still live there.
24. I moved to Kent in 2000 to manage a Optical store for 3 months.
25. I never moved back to Worcester.
26. I worked on Oxford Street in London for about 3 years.
27. I worked as a Retail Manager for a large European Optical store.
28. I miss lots of things about London.
29. I have family in Colorado who I don't get to see much now I live in Australia.
30. I miss them.
31. I love cows, esp the black and white kind.
32. I can't wait to have kids.
33. I am petrified of having kids.
34. SP is an engineer.
35. SP is a great engineer from what I can gather.
36. I really don't know much about engineering.
37. I don't need to know much about engineering as I am not or never will be an engineer.
38. I want a kitten.
39. I am not getting a kitten in the near future.
40. My favourite kinds of holidays are beach and skiing holidays.
41. I go to CIM.
42. I have been going to CIM for almost 3 years.
43. I love palm trees.
44. My friend in Florida sent me a palm tree.
45. The palm tree my friend sent me wasn't a real one but a beanie one.
46. I have it on my desk at work.
47. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Saviour.
48. When I was 19 I understood that God was my Saviour.
49. It was a while after that when I understood he needed to be and was my Lord.
50. I am 30 in 15 days.
51. My Mum is 50 in 16 days. Shh don't tell her I told you ;)
52. I have two half sisters who I adore.
53. One is 5 and the other one is 8.
54. I love pizza,
55. but roast dinners are my favourite.
56. Goldy taught me how to cook roast chicken dinners for two.
57. I have now perfected the roast beef dinner, with thanks to SP's Mum.
58. I become an Aunt in approx 17 days, not my half sisters (obviously) but SP's sister.
59. I was an only child until I was 21 and thought I would never get married so thought I would never be an Aunt.
60. There are six people who work in our office and two of us are called Nicki/Nikki. How confusing.
61. I love watching 'The Catherine Tate' show.
62. I teach and help out at our churches Adventure Club.
63. I love Adventure Club and all the kids.
64. I used to colour my hair a really dark plum colour.
65. I used to have pink strips at the front of my hair.
66. I now don't colour my hair at all.
67. This is getting hard.
68. I am now a iMac user at home.
69. I like Macs.
70. I wish we used Macs at home.
71. SP is getting used to using a Mac.
72. Can't believed I used 5 points talking about Macs!!
73. I love being able to talk to friends and family on Skype.
74. My Dad now has Skype after I set it up for him at home, he now gets to see me and I can see him and the girls.
75. My Dad is getting married next year.
76. God willing we will be going.
77. I have two tattoos.
78. I don't regret getting them.
79. I am currently reading 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'.
80. I am currently listening to Beyonce's 'B-day' album, it's good to workout too.
81. SP doesn't like R&B but I like most of his music.
82. I like many many types of music, I am open to most.
83. When we lived in Kent, we had cows in the field behind our garden.
84. I got my friends to name them.
85. Mine had a tag on it's ear '306', I called him 'Peugeot'.
86. I have been married for 1 year and 30 days today.
87. I love my hubby.
88. I used to live in the Inner-west I now live on the Northern Beaches.
89. I love living on the Northern Beaches.
90. We try to go to the gym 4 times a week.
91. I would one day like to go and live back in England for a couple of years.
92. I have to keep looking at Soph and Craig's 'things about them' so I can think of more things to write.
93. I have never been to Hillsong but want to go just so I can see what all the hype is about and to also form my own opinion of it.
94. I don't know how to kill someone with my bear hands but Craig does.
95. I really really really would like a black, four door Rav-4.
96. Whenever I go past a Rav-4 I say 'That's a nice car'.
97. I think this gets annoying after a while. Ask SP!!
98. I painted my first canvas' this year and they are up on our walls.
99. I like to start something and see results quickly.
100. I haven't painted any canvas's since the ones on my walls.
101. I want to start doing some more canvas' soon.
102. When I was little I used to watch the World Wrestling Federation with my Nan.
103. Macho Man Randy Savage was my favourite ;)
104. My fav coffee is a hazelnut latte.
105. I don't have a middle name.
106. A girl in my office gave mea middle name = 'rainbow' - weird but true.
107. I just wanted to beat Craig and Soph ;P

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

digital SLR cameras and photography for dummies

I brought this book for SP a while ago, I am not saying he is a dummy but it was just after we brought a SLR digital camera so I thought it was a good idea. I forgot we had it until last night so it is now my aim to get better at using our camera. I have lots of ideas but I just don't know how to use the camera properly - I am sure there are heaps of great things it does I just need to learn how. So I am starting my 'how to use our camera to and how to become a better photographer' adventure.

Let's see how I go. You have to start somewhere right? and a book for dummies is as good a place as any ;)

If you have any top tips, do let me know!

Monday, May 07, 2007

the weekend, the wedding and Christ alone

This weekend was busy but fun.

It started on Friday night with the lovely Laird's having us over for dinner, Lairdy cooked us a wonderful dinner as his beautiful wife was home late from work. We chatted, enjoyed a great meal together and caught up on each others lives. Before we knew it it was 11pm, way past my bed-time ;) Thanks to the Laird's for a wonderful night.

Saturday morning was a fairly early start with a game of tennis, I need to practice some of the moves I have been learning in my lessons. I am getting there but trying to re-learn how I play and hold the racket etc is a bit tricky, But I just love to play and that's the main thing...

Saturday saw 'two become one' in Andrew and Louise, it was a beautiful 'fairy-tale' wedding and Louise looked absolutely stunning - she could have stepped out of an Austen book. The ceremony was beautiful, AB was at his best and Olivia did an amazing job planning and helping Louise put everything together. I think the 'you may now kiss the bride' kiss was the longest kiss I am yet to see at a wedding. SP and I hung out with some friends between the ceremony and reception. We headed to the reception, there were purples, silvers and pinks all around - the location was great, everyone was in great spirits and SP and I had the pleasure of sharing a table with AB, Ruth and their 4 delightful children. They are each so beautiful but very different with their own little personalities and cute-nesses (new word). Anyhoo we had fun and some great chats with our lovely friends. The food was fantastic, the bridal waltz just lovely, they left, we left right afterwards and saw them in their car. We decided it would be funny to cross the pedestrian crossing really really slowly so that they couldn't go past. We thought is was funny anyway ;) We eventually let them by, thought they might run us over otherwise. It was a great day, great evening and always fun hanging out with wonderful friends from church.

Sunday was food shopping - oh what fun. We watched the Swans game that we missed on Saturday night, we went to the gym did a big workout and then I headed to meet 'Des' for a drink before church. At church we heard the 'Christ Alone' sermon in our series of 'Alone's' - you can hear them here.

My home town was mentioned in the sermon last night - how fun! But Dominic pronounced it wrong, saying "worCHESTer" instead of Worcester, as in 'Worcestershire' sauce. I won't hold it against him though ;) I was very excited that it was mentioned and that I know where one of the places he was talking about is. It was a great history lesson and I have enjoyed hearing about some of these great historical figures who made enormous contributions to Christianity, contributions that impacted Christians of their time but that have also impacted generations of Christians over the centuries, including ours. If you get chance have a listen.

Now here we are back to Monday, back to work, another week.. Happy Monday!

visualDNA widget



h/t Lara

Friday, May 04, 2007

tv shows I am watching


These are the top shows SP and I have been watching lately:

24 - I have been a bit disappointed with 24 this season, I don't know whether it is because it isn't as good as all the other seasons or whether I am over the same themes and predictability of it all. It is still OK but I am just not as into it as much as I normally am. 7/10

Heroes - I am loving this show, it is a really great concept and keeps you on your edge of your seat. I just hope it doesn't drag on and on. But so far so good and little snipets get revealed to you each week. 10/10

Amazing Race - SP asked "isn't it just about the race?" BUT on no, it's about the relationships. I just love watching how the couples relate to each other in different circumstances, I also like that they travel the world so you get to see all the different countries they visit. I loved it when they went to the UK and were in London, I got see some of my home land and they were also around Greenwich and the Millennium Dome - where I used to catch the tube to work. 9/10

AFL - It's back on TV and SP loves it, I also love to watch most sports so if we are around on the weekend and there is a game on, we watch it.

What are you watching?

fridays funny - who drank the orange soda?


Thursday, May 03, 2007

life and stuff

Yesterday was a bus busy busy day at work, I had a meeting from 8am-12.30pm with a 'Fundraising Company' who are helping us out with the do's and do not's of fundraising. The guy who owns the company is American and he comes out every 3 months to meet with his Aussie clients, so yesterday was our first meeting with him. He has a team in Australia who heads up the Aussie leg of his company. We started working with them a few months ago and it's been really exciting learning so many things from them, then on the camp on the weekend away we just had - the Aussie manager who we work most closely with he was there on the camp with his church too what a small world... Anyhoo, I am excited to see how God might use their knowledge and skills to help our ministry... I know that God can do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine and he actually doesn't even need a fundraising company to help but maybe this is his means to train and equip us.

Last night was bible study, we had a really good night we finished the book of 2 Thessalonians. SP did a great job of leading us through it and it was a delight to have the new people I was talking about in a previous post join us. They have experience and insight and it was great to be able to share that. Our church has a lot of young people, early 20s to early 30s so it is lovely to have a slightly older couple to listen too, SP and I would be considered one of the 'older' couples in our church..... I love our bible study group... One of the girls in our group who we have been driving to church, bible study and church camp gave us a little present last night for driving her around - how sweet. She has a detached retina (YOUCH) nearly 6 weeks ago so after surgery wasn't allowed to drive.

Today is......... 'Thursday Day Off' day and I am going to have my hair cut - WOO HOOT!!! Not short though! Will post a pic if is is worth posting, just depends what she does... Also Adventure Club starts back today - I can't wait to see the kids. Please pray that God may bring back lots of kids especially new ones and the ones that weren't around last term.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

sickness, death and hope in Christ


I know what you are all thinking. “What a joyous title for a post”.

Well, it is something I have been thinking on a lot lately. A couple of weeks ago we went to visit SP’s Grand-ma who was in hospital having stents put into her arteries, she had a minor heart attack and during tests they discovered a few of her arteries were blocked. She was doing very well when we saw her ;) While we were there we got to talking about SP’s Grand-pa who is a lovely man but who has been in hospital so many times. If he gets any sickness – he gets the worst possible kind, he has a pacemaker, he has had his carpal tunnels removed (ouch), he has glaucoma (the worst kind) and the list goes on. Anyway, with this in mind and with the death of Mrs S several weeks ago I have been thinking a lot about sickness and death and how as a Christian I should respond to it. For me the fear of sickness, death and separation seems to get worse the older I get.

What should my response be as a Christian? With my mind I know the truth and I know what the bible says but with my heart I struggle with the thought of death, getting sick and losing people I love. But the one true fact remains, our bodies will fail us and we are all going to die – we have no control over it and we can’t escape it.

Encouraged yet??

As Christians I think we think more about death than most people, we think on Christ’s death and what that means for us and we also think on heaven, where we WILL go after our death – I am not sure if I have been thinking enough on heaven hence the fear.

As someone who believes the bible and believes in Christ, I feel awful that I fear these things so much, but it is scary and sad, the thought of losing people, the thought of being separated from someone you love and the thought of sickness frightens me.

I believe the bible is the word of God and I believe it is true so I need to go back to see how sin and death entered this world. In Genesis 2:15-17 Adam was told NOT to eat of a particular tree in the garden of Eden because if he did he would SURELY die. This is the bible’s account of how death entered the word:

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17

We read on in Genesis 3 – that Adam and Eve didn’t listen to God, they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and were cursed. They disobeyed God and chose to do things their own way and so God punished them.

I do sometimes struggle with why God would choose to do it this way and having talked to a few friends I was reminded of 1 John 4, the passage that was preached at our wedding.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-12

Regardless of whether I struggle with an issue - the truth is still the truth. Whether I am happy with the way God chooses to do things really doesn’t matter. God is God – it is his world and he can choose to do things how he decides. How I feel about a particular topic or issue doesn’t necessarily change it from being the truth.

God has shown us his love to us by sending his Son. We can know him and his love in a far better way than if we had lived our entire lives in paradise, sounds strange doesn’t it. But when I think about the times in my life that I have found the hardest those have been the times that I have clinged to God and his word the most – those moments though hard are sweet and to be cherished.

Another thought about death is that as Christians we are not defeated by death – this is the one of the encouraging bits ;) We are not defeated by death because Christ was NOT defeated by death. He beat death so that we can beat death. Death no longer has mastery over Christ therefore death no longer has mastery over us, as we are united with Christ in his death we WILL be united with him in his resurrection.

“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.” Romans 6:5-10

The eye witnesses accounts in 1 Corinthians 15 shows us that people witnessed Christ's victory over death – Jesus was seen by many people, including his close friends and Paul who wrote this letter, over 500 hundred people saw him and it has been written down in the bible or us today.

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.” 1 Corinthians 15:3-7

We will be ‘co-heirs’ with Christ. This I find unbelievable – what an honour. We don’t deserve this but Christ graciously gives us eternal life, we share HIS glory with him IF we believe in him.

“But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Romans 8:10-17

All of this does not make the loss of loved ones or sickness easy, but it does help me to understand what a gracious God we have – that he wants to know us and that he has provided a way for us to be right with God. That if we believe in him we will get to spend the rest of our lives with him.

There are not just the eternal benefits of being in relationship with God but there are also benefits here and now. We have a God who speaks to us now through his word, we have a God who we can talk to in prayer and who hears us, we have a God who since before we were even a twinkle in our parents eyes knew us and we have a God who sent his son to die so that we can once again be in relationship with God.