As I look back over the last month, I wonder where the time has gone! It has been a busy month but lots of fun. It’s hard to pick just four highlights, but I’m attempting to do so as I join once again with Heather Gerwing and friends for the Share Four Somethings link-up!
The start of June was our annual church weekend. It was an action-packed couple of days with games, quizzes, treasure hunts, our annual talent show, lots of good food and lots of time for worship, Bible teaching and chat together.
I know I’ve said it before and I’m sure I will say it again, but I love being part of this church!
It’s a true community with all ages coming together, where people are valued and accepted as they are, where we can unite to go deeper in faith together and seek to impact our community.
When I look back four years or so and think of the way I felt about church, I could never have imagined being part of something like this. If I had followed my own inclinations, I would have clung to the familiar but I’m so glad that God had bigger and better plans, that he challenged me to step out in faith and join in with this community, and in a way I’m grateful for my previous experience of church as it means I don’t take this for granted.
My second trip away in June was to the beautiful island of Arran where I was involved in a training camp for young Christian leaders.
As part of their programme they had to take part in a day of team challenges, and I had to supervise one of the challenges down on the beach. In the course of it, I ended up witnessing the most wonderful conversation.
One of the young people wrote out the words “God is love” in the sand, and the others began decorating it with shells and pebbles. (If you look closely you can just about see the words in the picture below.)
As they worked, they began talking about their favourite stories of Jesus. Each of them retold a story that meant something special to them and explained why. It was such a beautiful, open conversation. Each of them had clearly been impacted by Jesus, they were happy to talk about it, and they were great at listening and encouraging one another. We were all blessed by hearing the familiar stories retold, and one in particular was definitely the one I needed to be reminded of that day.
This leads me to wonder: what’s your favourite story of Jesus?
If you’re a regular reader here you will probably already know mine, but it’s the story of the woman suffering from bleeding who was healed by touching Jesus’ robe. It’s my favourite because I relate to the woman’s feelings of unworthiness and desire to hide, and because I love how Jesus responded – not only healing her physically, but also healing her emotionally by calling her out of hiding, calling her “Daughter,” and honouring her before the crowd for her faith.
Feel free to share your answer in the comments.
This is not so much something new that I’ve learned as something I already know, but which I have to relearn over and over again.
I’ve been reflecting a lot on identity this month. A few things that were said at the church weekend made me realise how easy it is to falling into placing my identity in things other than God – basing it on others’ opinions, or what I perceive those opinions to be, rather than in God’s truth.
It has reminded me how I need to be intentional about firmly rooting myself in the truth and believing God’s opinion above all else.
This song has been a regular one on my playlist this month.
A fiction read I’ve enjoyed this month is Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. It tells the story of two families – the Gleesons and the Stanhopes – over several years, focusing particularly on the friendship between the youngest Gleeson daughter, Kate, and Peter, the only child of the Stanhopes.
The book centres around a tragedy which has a lasting impact on both families, and explores both the circumstances leading up to that event, and the journeys of the families as they try to move forward and find peace.
It is beautifully written – I was completely drawn in and wanted to read more. The characters are vivid and realistic, each with their own flaws and issues but very relatable.
The book touches on themes such as love, family ties, friendship, mental illness, addiction, and forgiveness, which means that while it’s an easy and enjoyable read it is also thought-provoking, and it is definitely one that will stick with me.
How was June for you? Feel free to share a highlight in the comments, or answer the question above about your favourite story of Jesus.
I’m grateful to Michael Joseph and Netgalley for access to a complementary digital copy of Ask Again, Yes. This is my honest review and I only share books here that I genuinely believe will be beneficial to my readers. Amazon links are not affiliate links but are simply provided for your convenience.