Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Mon, January 04, 2016 07:20:31
2016 has arrived and we are now a few days in. Perhaps you made
a long list of things you ‘hope for’, ‘long for’ or wish to ‘do’, some of those
things may feel out of your grasp already and you have no clue what to do with
the rest. Whilst I believe in setting goals, I struggle at the beginning of a
year to sit down and be able to say, this is what I want to achieve, where I
want to go, who I want to meet etc.
We don’t know what’s around the corner, or what’s going to
be coming up, so how on earth can we set what we want when we might not know
where we’re going to?
I want to encourage you to think about setting your goals or
hopes or dreams or whatever they are for 2016 in a different way. For some things
that are on your heart, rather than say ‘this year I will…’, say ‘this month I
will…’ and at the beginning of each month tackle something that is on year
heart. You can stay on track more easily, look back on what the previous month
was, and ahead to what the next month maybe. Hopefully you will feel like you
are achieving what’s on your heart more and that things are within your reach.
Having made these decisions, we can either choose to peer
round the corner into 2016 gingerly or hit the ground running and be ready and
willing to lay down what’s on our hearts to God and step out and see what the
future may bring.
Chat with God and each month give him something on your
heart, not gingerly, but boldly, knowing that he wants the very best for us, so
trust him to give you the best!
Are you ready? Then step around the corner and see what
Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Sat, October 03, 2015 13:18:06
Hands are something we are constantly using, sometimes without even realising it! But are your hands always used for the good of others?
Hands can mould, crush, clap, tap, break, carry, push, pull, stroke, hold, comfort, knit, clasp, mend and much more. Some of those actions can be used negatively and not in a way that would build up, strengthen and grow someone. Do you think about what you do with your hands? Everything is a movement, however big or small it maybe. Whilst it is obvious that hands alone can not make some of the movements happen, but, the hands are the visible thing that we can see.
Much like as Christians, you might say you have a good heart, but people can't see that, they see what you do, how you act and what you say. We'll think about the things that initiate our hands to move at another time.
The challenge I want to put out there today is for you to consider the movements your hands make as you go through the things you do today. You'll soon realise that the actions you are making will provide you with a wealth of new movements that you can incorporate into your dancing.
For example, today I have typed, peeled apples, lifted my daughter, pushed a buggy and clapped, to name a few! Translating this into movement could be something like -
- Rippling fingers moving left and right
- A cupped hand and the other one opening and closing on top of it
- Palms spread wide facing inwards and raising hands upwards
- Hands at hip height pushing hands away and leaning top half of body away at same time.
- Clappings pretty self explanatory!
So enjoy exploring new movements with your hands and let me know how you get on!
Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Fri, September 25, 2015 23:35:35
Movement can be seen in all places, the sea is one place movement is abundant, it can move gently with swirls and spirals, or fast with energy and power. The sea can be safe and it can take it out your comfort zone.
I find I can look at the see all, as loads of different emotions run through my body I can feel them disipitate outwards and away. Not matter how stressful a time it has been, some quiet time by the sea sorts me out pretty quick. But the sea and beach is also a place I go to move, I find so much inspiration - from the swirls of sea in the sand, to the water crashing in the rocks and throwing spray everywhere, to the little bits of driftwood that have slowly been worn down from a rough course piece of wood to a smooth, steady, strong piece of wood.
I'd like to introduce Challenge Saturday. Small challenges or thoughts I'll share regularly (not necessarily every Saturday), to encourage you to put your faith into action in a different way. I'm a practical person when it comes to my faith, so I love to find different ways that I can explore and go deeper on my journey, hopefully this will help some of you to do the same.
So this Saturday I want to encourage you to use this picture for inspiration to create some movement thinking about how your week has been, and consider the lulls, business, stressfulness and peaceful moments you might of had in it. Everyone's week i different, and everyone has a different level of 'movement', so you can make this as big or as small as you like.
The picture shows several different states of the sea -
- Dry sand, not been soaked in water
- Sand which received water but is no longer covered
- Water that is receding away from the sand
- Water that is building to crash down onto the beach
- Frothy bits of water where the water is all churned up.
And much more!
But hopefully thats given you some ideas.
Would love to hear how you get on!
Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Fri, January 02, 2015 21:55:11
I love this picture, and I love phrase that came with it. 'Dance your way into 2015'.
Yes, 2015 really is here, which I find really hard to believe, my bump has still not turned into a baby, so I feel like I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for this to happen and yet at the same time am ready and raring to do a bit of dancing! Not quite possible as I can't bend in the middle!
I went quiet on the blog towards the end of 2014, as there was rather a lot to organise. uC Grace has a new base in Odiham, Hampshire which we moved to at the end of November. Now more or less settled we are looking forward to what the next chapter and 2015 will bring.
I have a deep love for the Happy Feet films, simply because of the perseverance that Mumble has in all circumstances and the positive side of things which are always put forward (as well as the music and tapping feet). Sometimes in our lives we can get so drawn into things that our focus removes some of the wonderful things around us. Whilst it's healthy to hone in on some things so you can give them your all. It's also important to remember to look around sometimes, and explore something different.
Mumble goes on a great adventure to find where all the fish have gone, but along the way he takes in the stories and experiences of other animals that help influence who he becomes. Think about your great adventure, or the adventure that you maybe heading for in 2015, it won't all be about you. There will be lots of other people, events and circumstances along the way that will want to help you and unknowingly help you.
I want to encourage you to have feet like Mumble, that dance and move about, literally would be fantastic. But what I mean is that they have a willingness to participate and share with others on your adventure. That they 'twinkle' or 'shine' walking the path you have before you with grace, love and mercy.
So join the party, step out and move about! :-)
Happy New Year!
I'll be updating the blog as regularly as I can over the coming months, with plans for this year. So check back regularly. In the mean time, be blessed -
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16.11
Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Fri, October 10, 2014 20:57:14
I don’t know about you but the past week it’s definitely turned more autumnal, bursts of rain and then lovely sunshine where the different colours of the leaves shine through. Plus the feeling of being cold in the mornings and needing to wear a jumper!
Today I was driving south with Danny and we had the typical journey of driving through rain, sunshine and traffic! However, when we reached the M25, an amazing rainbow appeared on the horizon which really displayed all the colours. I was keen to get a photo (I wasn’t driving) but it proved a little more tricky than I thought. I eventually succeeded.
As many of you will know rainbows and colours feature quite heavily with uC Grace, so to not make a mention to the sight that was seen is just not me! Somewhere over the rainbow there is always something good, and positive to remember and the rainbow is an amazing sign from God of the promise that he has made to each of us.
Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Tue, June 03, 2014 16:09:39
I call Him Lovely…
I have a whole bookcase full of books, and within that book
case I have at least one shelf full of books that I've bought or been given
which I haven’t read yet. I have a bit of a thing for books, love them, so will
always buy a few more before I've read all the one’s I have sitting on the
shelf! I know not necessarily the best thing to do, but, I am trying to be more
disciplined about them, and the other week I decided I needed to get reading
I'm sure you all have something that you love to do, but for
whatever reason don’t always sit down and do it, maybe it’s because you feel
you don’t warrant giving that time up to do something for yourself or you feel
genuinely that there isn't any time. God says there is! The book I picked up
the other week to read was a Christian fiction book written by Dee Henderson,
if you've never read any of her books I highly recommend it. They are a mix of
crime, romance and God!
This particular book was about the hunt for a serial killer
and the struggle a character (Ann) had to deal with how she was involved as a
victim in the crime (along with getting together with a dashing FBI agent on the way!). During the story we hear from lots of different people,
their thoughts and feelings. But Ann, regularly took herself off for walks and
time alone. What we find out as the story develops is that during those times
she was talking to ‘Lovely’. When we first hear the name, there’s a secretive
air about it. What or who is Lovely? Why does Ann talk to Lovely? Does Lovely
talk back? Why does she always take herself off to talk to Lovely?
As you get towards the end of the book, you discover that
Lovely, is a very personal name that Ann has given to God to help her on her
journey. To help with those hard conversations, to enable her to bring God into
all that is going on her life and tell him everything.
How easy do you find it to talk to God about everything? Do you
connect better with God when you take yourself off into a certain environment? Do
you have a special name for God?
God encourages us to have a personal relationship with him,
to tell him about our day, our thoughts, fears, excitement and anger. To be
totally real with him about where we are at, he might know the answers to the
questions already, but he still wants to hear you talk to him. He still wants
you to come to him and tell him you've had a rubbish day, just so he can make
it all better.
Hearing about this name ‘Lovely’ really got me thinking
about how and when I talk to God. When Danny comes in from work we always ask
each other how our day went and spend some time sharing the struggles and
highlights we may have faced. I might chat to God in some form most days, but
do I daily let him know how my day has gone and talk it through with him…? Probably
not every day, I wonder how much richer my relationship with God would be if I
did do that every day? Where I gave a proper in depth outpouring of how my day
REALLY went, not a skirt around the edge discussion.
I always chat to God about where I would like Living Colour and
uC Grace to go, things that didn't work, may work in the future, or what I
would like to try. But I don’t have the same conversation style about me as an
individual, because I usually consider it not to be of value. God doesn't think
that though. He wants to know me as a person, an individual. Who I am, makes up
what I do with Living Colour and uC Grace, so therefore I should be sharing
where I am as a person.
How do you have a personal
relationship with God? What does your ‘Lovely’ look like?
Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Mon, April 28, 2014 17:19:33
We are post retreat one day and I am sure some participants
are feeling rather different being home than being in a group and dancing 24/7.
God came in massive waves over the weekend and dealt with some deep stuff in
each person. There are some lovely testimonies, great photos and videos, and
over time that will all be shared.
But my heart today is about when God comes and moves in us, and
recognising that the time afterwards is just as crucial as praying through the
time in the moment that God was moving. Satan has the habit of creeping in and
trying to steal what God has mended or started to do in us. Over the next few
days and weeks, we need to continue to keeping praying protection over the
participants and encouraging God to be the centre of their lives no matter
Have you ever been away to a Christian camp – Soul Survivor,
Momentum, New Wine, Spring Harvest, youth camp, or somewhere where you have
been immersed into this faith atmosphere 24/7? The period of time afterwards
can almost seem boring. There aren't different conversations to be had, new
experiences and in essence this never ending bubble that helps to keep us
engaged with God and the journey that we are going on.
But when we are home, there isn't any of that, we have the
term after a youth camp I've led on in the summer of the young people getting ‘post
camp blues’. Those first few days after camp are sometimes the hardest. You’re
suddenly back at home and ‘on your own’ with you faith or that’s how it feels.
‘fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith’ Hebrews 12.2
But God calls us to keep our eyes fixed on him,
and in the coming moments that might seem hard and possibly ‘not as fun’
because you’re not with a group of people and able to physically express the feeling
that maybe inside. I want to pray for each person that came on the retreat that
they still find those moments that they had at the weekend and not let Satan
step in and have his way. Cling to who Jesus is and what he has done to you
individually and what he wants to continue to do in you.
Thought for the DayPosted by Anna Sun, March 23, 2014 18:54:03
You are going about your journey of life and find that you
have come to a cliff crossing, with a sheer drop below, there’s a gap to cross
to the next cliff, but it’s just a bit bigger than what you can jump or get
across on your own.
You can’t turn back, the only pathway you need is straight ahead,
but there isn’t a way forward yet… Bashed into the ground is a small sign that
says your name and the following words –
‘… a way across will arrive for you shortly, wait here.’
There were no time scales on this sign just that the way
forward will be presented at some point. To begin with you assume that the way
forward is going to arrive shortly (i.e. quickly), simply because of the
personalised sign and that it looked shiny and new. So you seem to hover and
not really do anything. Time goes by however, and the shiny sign starts to dull
and you begin to wonder whether there will ever be a way forward.
After an amount of time, items begin to arrive, that enable
the way forward to be built, and the gap between the two cliffs that seemed unsurpassable
begins to look strong and firm. But you’ve waited all this time for the way
forward to be put there, that to finally walk forward, trust the bridge, and
cross the cliffs seems quite scary. So tentatively you start to walk your
journey again, with your steps becoming bigger, firmer, and more confident the
more you walked.
I wonder how this story or analogy may echo a connection
with your life? Many of us will know the
phrase ‘wait’. In 1 Kings 18.1, Elijah had to wait for word from the Lord, 3
years, that’s a long time. Sometimes God makes us wait, and that’s a good thing,
we have to recognise that our journey in life is all in Gods timing.
Part of being on our journey is allowing God to use our
circumstances where ever they are to produce and help special ministries. Don’t
stand at the point in your journey where you are waiting for the crossing over
the cliff and not do anything. Serve a God of today, not tomorrow. Yes, you
might have to wait longer than you thought to move on in the journey, but make
every bit count, be an ambassador, and shine your light.