Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Rachel Ridler - Guest post

I'm happy to guest blog, Rachel Ridler this month. A Christian blogger and a mum of two young children. Her post challenges me to consider whatever season we're in as Christians, God can and wants to use us. At my stage of life with grown up sons and a bit of freedom before grandchildren I feel I have more time than ever for his purposes, whether through my writing or through my relationships. I am also aware that being in the final third of my life I need to make use of the days left to me. Thank you Rachel for your thoughts here below.

Serving through the seasons

What season do you find yourself in right now?

I am a mum to young children (3 years and 1 years old).   People tell me it’s a busy season to be in, that I have too much on my plate and that I shouldn’t take on too much.  I don’t think they’re completely wrong.  But then I also don’t think it’s an excuse to not spend this season seeking and serving God.

We all know that in life we go through many different seasons and that our roles and responsibilities change alongside that.  Who doesn’t forget their footloose and fancy free days as a child and teenager?  And those who have been or are currently parenting new-born babies will understand the unique challenge that sleepless nights’ present!  I am sure that retirement and all the seasons I have yet to face will bring even more challenges and trials into the mix.

But whatever season you are currently in, please don’t use it as an excuse not to fulfil your commission to serve and make disciples.  Jesus DID NOT SAY “go and make disciples, but only on your good days and only when you are financially secure and only when you are full of energy and enthusiasm and only up until you retire”.  He just said to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

I for one choose to use the unique opportunities I have access to during this season of my life for the benefit of God and his kingdom.  I am using the toddler groups to get to know other mums.  I am using the time at home to be hospitable to others and invite them in for a cuppa which I couldn’t do when I was working full time.  I am trying to pull my children into mission and teaching them to be generous and loving like Jesus was.  In any other season, I wouldn’t be able to reach these people, but amazingly during child-rearing years I have an immediate bond with other mums that opens doors.  So I am choosing to use that to fulfill my commission to go and make disciples.

Back to the question I started with.  What season do you find yourself in right now? And here is a more important question – how are you going to serve God in this season?

Rachel Ridler

Please also view my interview with Naomi Lynas on her blog http://lifebynaomi.com to learn more about me and my book, Alpha Male

Monday, 16 January 2017

2017 New writing challenges and successes

This year has started well for my writing. I have joined James Prescott (Association of Christian Writer's friend) both to review his forthcoming book and to be challenged by him to write every day. Go to  JamesPrescott.co.uk to sign up. Anyway, it has helped me to get into a pattern of writing every day even when I've been at work. Although, having said that, there were two days during the six when I had to cry off due to busyness but at least one was a Sunday when I rarely write anyway. And, Angus, my husband was away most of that week and my commitments were few, also a bonus. So a good discipline but like all disciplines, there is a need to give oneself a break when life marches in and circumstances overtake.

The second bit of news to share, is the publication of a worship anthology of poetry which features both current and past poets, the anthology is called 'Stones before the Ocean' and is edited by Dan Gilbert. It can be viewed at https://archive.org/details/SBTOanthology  - please view my contributions on pages 114 (just after a poem by Charles Wesley) and on 173 (just after G.K.Chesterton). It can also be purchased from the US at http://www.lulu.com/shop/various/stones-before-the-ocean-a-worship-poetry-anthology/paperback/product-23017453.html but unfortunately at an exorbitant price of over £12 when postage is included. I got an earlier copy which was just over £8 with postage included but the price has obviously risen in the last week! Please do have a look if you have the time. These are my first published poems and it's amazing to be in such illustrious company!