Sue’s Views
What makes young people so wreckless and foolhardy as we’ve seen in our nation recently? I can only think that the powerful desire to belong is greater than the desire to be safe. The devil is ….. and always has been ….. a liar! Lying is the only language he knows ….. and he is very smart to use it for his own ends. He twists ….. questions and manipulates ….. the truth. One of his greatest schemes is the Spirit of Rejection. Through family breakdowns ….. damning words ….. drugs etc ….. very young kids get the message they are unwanted ….. useless ….. and hopeless. They will do anything to belong! 
Listen to God’s Words to the nation of Israel ….. a nation of rebellious people who continually turned their backs on God and wanted to do things their way.
“But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” Isaiah 43:1 (Message Bible)

Children Are A Gift From God

Sue’s Views
Being a parent is one of the most challenging ….. but rewarding roles in life. The first year of a child’s life is full of changes. From a helpless baby needing constant care and attention ….. to a child with his or her own personality. It amazes me that babies come filled with potential and purpose. It’s like unpacking a gift! But it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Each life is uniquely designed by God. It contains all the elements required to become a successful person. Our job as parents is to discover what’s inside ….. and help nurture and encourage them in the right direction. Of course ….. they come with their own will ….. and will present many challenges ….. as they grow and learn. But praying over them will help you see them through God’s eyes. Make the most of each stage ….. it will never come back again!
‘Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.’ Proverbs 22:6

Faith In

Sue’s Views
What is faith? The dictionary defines it as ‘complete trust or confidence in someone or something.’ There’s a story about a man called Charles Blondin who walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope! He even did it pushing a wheelbarrow while wearing a blindfold. Crowds watched from below in absolute awe. But when he asked for a volunteer to sit in the wheelbarrow ….. there were no takers! They believed that he could do it ….. but we’re not willing to put their lives in his hands. This story illustrates the difference between ‘believing that’ and ‘believing in’. Many believe that there is a God. But trusting Him with their whole lives is a different story. 
The Bible defines faith this way:
‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’ Hebrews 11:1
‘And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.’ Hebrews 11:6
I hear people say ‘I believe God can do anything but I can’t see how He can help my situation!’ As long as what you are hoping for is within God’s will ….. you can be confident. The ‘how’ is His business!

Your Will Be Done

Sue’s Views 
Many years ago ….. I was asked a very profound question. The question was ‘Why do you do the things you do ….. and who do you do them for?’ It’s a question that I have revisited many times over the decades. There are days when I can answer confidently ….. ‘I live to please God and to do His will’. But then there are many days when ….. the truth is ….. I do what I want to do ….. or what others want me to do! The battle is real! We are constantly fighting against our own flesh and the devil. Jesus experienced this battle in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before he died. He settled it by praying ‘Not my will but yours be done!’ He knew His Fathers will was best. I’m so glad He did! He opened the way for each of us to know God in a personal way ….. and to discover His purpose for our lives. I hate to think where I’d be today if I had my way!

The Lost Sheep

Sue’s Views
It’s never easy getting them all together for a photo! After thinking I’d scored a good one ….. we realised Heze was missing! It made me think about the parable of the Lost Sheep! I only have 11 ….. but the shepherd in the story had 100! He still knew when one was missing. And he left the 99 to go and find the wanderer! That’s how precious you are to Jesus ….. our Good Shepherd. You may be lost emotionally. You may have wandered away from those who love you. You may have done something you’re ashamed of ….. and can’t face your family and loved ones. Or ….. you may have chosen to separate yourself for a ‘better life’. Wherever you are ….. God sees you and will leave the rest of the flock to come and find you ….. and bring you home! 
“‘Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:3-7


Sue’s Views
Today our eldest granddaughter becomes a teenager! She told me the other day that she can’t wait! When asked why ….. she replied ‘Because I’ll be a grown up!’ There we’re so many things I could have said about that ….. but I didn’t want to dampen her excitement. Those of us who have ….. or have had ….. or once were a teenager ….. know how volatile those years can be. The dilemma between releasing and over protecting can be like walking through a minefield. But after lots of prayer ….. communication is key! Don’t sweat the small stuff ….. pick your battles ….. and keep the door of communication open. The teenage years are a wonderful season of discovering your purpose ….. and who God made you to be.
Happy 13th Birthday Sade! We love you and look forward to the future you while enjoying the present you! Have a great day with your friends and family.

Two Become One

Sue’s Views
Every time I walk past this tree ….. it reminds me of marriage. Two very different people become one ….. and produce new branches! If you look carefully ….. you’ll see that the two halves at the base of the tree are very different. Their roots are different ….. their shapes are different. But as it grows taller ….. it seems to blend into one tree. It probably took years for that to happen. No doubt there were times during those years when the two trunks wanted to split! It looks like they might have lost a couple of branches and still bear the scars. But somehow they clung together and grew other branches. Maybe it was the kids that kept them together ….. but somehow they pushed through the storms of life ….. and became a testimony of true love and commitment. Most wedding vows include the words ‘till death us do part’. That’s because it can take a lifetime to truly become one! So ….. yes ….. there will be seasons of discontent ….. disappointment ….. and even regret. But a true love is developing on the inside that will see you through.
“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 
Mark 10: 7-9
Father, today I pray for struggling and broken marriages. Please help couples to put you at the centre. Bring healing and reconciliation and give them a fresh love for one another, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Created Creators

Sue’s Views
I had a fun night with these grandies last night! I gave them some art and craft supplies and let their imaginations run wild! I only wish I’d taken more pictures! We had crowns ….. masks ….. fashion ….. and lots of other art work! We all cracked up when Jabari came out dressed as a superhero! Another highlight was when Calla wrote a prayer for her bedroom wall ….. thanking God and telling Him she loves Him. 
God made us in His image ….. so that makes us created creators! We are all different but each one shows a unique aspect of God. His care for detail ….. His variety of colour and design ….. and ….. yes! ….. his sense of humour!

What Time is It?

Sue’s Views
We are all given the same amount of time every day. We are free to use that time as we choose. But how do we use it in the best possible way? Much is determined by our work ….. family ….. responsibilities. We have timetables ….. calendars ….. to do lists ….. but we so often run out of time and feel frustrated and exhausted. God also keeps a timetable for each one of us. It’s probably very different to ours. In fact ….. we probably have higher expectations of what to do with our time than He does. He gives us time to do the things that are on His list ….. not ours! So how do we know? By checking in each morning and asking Him. Before rushing into your daily routine ….. ask Him what’s His top priority for the day. You’ll find His schedule can deal with matters that were weighing you down ….. and even clear your day of stress.
‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens’ Ecclesiastes 3:1
Dear Lord, we commit this day to you. Please guide us according to your program ….. and give us strength to do your will today. In Jesus Name, Amen.

The Great Exchange

Sue’s Views
A lot can happen in three days! So much took place on that Cross that it will lake a lifetime and beyond to understand it all. But to put it simply ….. an exchange took place. Jesus disciples would testify to that! Peter went from denying Jesus three times ….. to telling Him he loves Him three times. His guilt and shame were exchanged for forgiveness and a whole new commission. Thomas went from being a doubter ….. to a believer. The guys who ran away from the garden ….. became missionaries to the ends of the world. The women who followed Jesus went from grief and despair ….. to being filled with joy. Whatever you are going through ….. take your guilt ….. shame ….. fear ….. doubts ….. grief ….. to the Cross. It will truly change your life!
‘For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward.’ 2 Corinthians 13:4