What’s in a Name?

Joining with the #fiveminutefriday group of writers, where you write for five  minutes on a word prompt.  This week’s prompt is NAME.

So what is in a name?  Why are names important?

It is because they identify us, they mark us out from other people, they individualise us.

So When God says in Isaiah 43:1

I have called you by name

It is us He is referring to.  Not someone else, not my sister, not my neighbour, but me.  He has called ME by name.  And what has He called me to do?

Not to fear.


I have redeemed you .. you are mine.

He has set His love upon me and I am His.  Me not my brother or sister, but little old me.

Because He knows MY name, He knows me and He loves me, He takes me for Himself

So what is in a name? – reassurance, love, comfort, protection, redemption by the God who made the universe, because He knows my name!




I am joining this week with the #fiveminutefriday group of writers where we write for 5 minutes on a word prompt.  This week’s prompt is Culture.

So when I think of culture I also think of identity and of retaining our identity no matter which culture we live in or move to.

Think of Abram, God called him to go, to leave his father’s land, his culture, his familiar to go to the unfamiliar, the new, the strange.  But what was he to do in that new, strange land?  He was to retain his identity as a servant of the living God.  He wasn’t to mix, to water down his faith, take on other Gods, no he was to remain faithful to YAHWEH.

The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you’….. The Lord appeared to Abram and said ‘to your offspring I will give this land’, so he built an altar there to the Lord.  Gen 12:1-7

So what about us?  Do we mix in the our cultures so much that we are no different from those around us?  Do we take on the identities of those around, so that we are just like them, you can’t tell us apart?

Sometimes we are called, sometimes circumstances just dictate that we have to uproot and move somewhere new.  But wherever we go we should never lose our identity in Christ.  Whose we are, whom we serve should be so ingrained in our lives, that whilst we may have to adapt, we never compromise our faith, we serve the living God and that should be evident to all no matter our culture or place we live.





Joining with the #fiveminutefriday group of writers again, where we write for 5 minutes on a word prompt.  This week’s prompt is: Practice.

When I heard this word, I immediately thought of ‘Practice the Presence of God’ which is a wee book by Brother Lawrence, who was a cook in a Monastery, and who used to have uninterrupted conversations with God.  It didn’t matter that he what he was doing, everything else was too trivial to interrupt his conversations with God.


Now I would love to practice that!! But life is busy, people and things clamour for my attention.  Meditation usually leads to shopping lists or to do lists!  How to practice this presence of God in the midst of everyday life?

I do love my quiet time with the Lord in the morning, but somehow by the end of the day that sweet presence has gone, lost in the midst of the day’s activities.  How to keep that sweet presence with me throughout the day?

Here are a few ideas to keep that connection going throughout the day:-


arrow prayers

serenity prayer


Simple things, repeated often keep that connection, but I have to practice them, I have to keep at them otherwise they slip and are lost in the midst of the day.

How do you practice the presence of God?



Opportunity Knocks!

Good example from David’s life of a wrong opportunity. Thanks Lesley.

Life in the Spacious Place

This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt.  The prompt today is “opportunity.”


They say that opportunity knocks.

The question is: will we answer?

It’s not going to force its way in.  It presents itself to us, letting us know that it’s there, but we have a choice about how to respond.  Will we leave it standing on the doorstep, or will we invite it in?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines opportunity as “an occasion or situation that makes it possible to do something that you want to do or have to do.”

Opportunity makes it possible, but we have to discern whether or not it’s the right time, or the right course of action, to turn that possibility into reality.  That’s where we need God’s wisdom because it’s not always clear.

As David hid in a cave, on the…

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The Art of Lamenting

Whilst I have done my fair share of lamenting over my life, I think it is something I have often felt guilty about, even ashamed about and is not something which I would normally share with others.  However, at a recent church bible study we were discussing laments in connection with mental health.  This piqued my interest and I have now had a wee look at this ‘Art of Lamenting’.

The first thing I have learnt is that it is okay to lament!  It is nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about!  It is an honest response to our pain and suffering when we cry out to God with our situations, speaking them out as they are and not trying to make them sound ‘acceptable’ nor give them an air of forced joyful acceptance!!

There are typically 5 phases of a lament:-

  1. The address or introductory cry
  2. The complaint, the stating of the problem/situation
  3. A confession of trust
  4. A prayer for deliverance
  5. Praise

These phases can been seen in the Psalms of Lament, for example: Psalms 3, 4, 5, 13, 14, 17, 27 ,36 ,40, 42,43, 89, 142 for individual Laments and Psalms 12, 44, 58, 60, 80, 89, 126, 129 for Corporate psalms of Lament.

These are phases we go through, not always in one day, i.e. we don’t utter our lament and then wham everything is okay.  It is a process of admitting our helplessness and turning over our situation and our wills to God and then coming to that place of trust in Him, where we know and see that He is in control and is bigger than our circumstances, even if those circumstances are not changed.

A lament is our authentic prayer to God.  It is our honest heart cry.

It is good and healthy to state our case before God without dressing it up. Lamentation should take us from the mourning/angry, self-centred stage to looking up to God, looking up, looking out and finding hope.   It is a hope which is placed in God alone, as we stand stark with no-where/no-one else to turn to.  That hope then encourages us to trust a bit more and a bit more till we come to a place of submission.

God is big enough to deal with all our laments, worries, woes and complaints, we should not be afraid to do this.  It is our journey with Him and it is victorious to be able to come to a place of trust in the midst of our situations.

Vaneetha Rendal Risner has a Chapter on Lament in her book: The Scars That Have Shaped Me.   She calls the chapter (7) Beauty from Bitterness and says:

When we lament we invite God into our pain, so that we can know His comfort and others can see that our faith is real.  Our faith is not a facade we erect to convince ourselves and others that pain doesn’t hurt – it is an Oak tree that can withstand the storms of trouble and pain in our lives and grow stronger.

So my friend, let us not dress up our pain, let us not put on a facade and be all stoical about it, but rather let us be honest before God and before one another and call our pain and agony for what they are.

Through our lamenting let us keep the communication channels to God open.

Through our lamenting let us invite God into our pain.

Through our lamenting may we yield our pain to God and may He indeed bring beauty out of bitterness and victory through our trust in Him.

May we learn the art of lamenting, of laying our souls bare before God and coming to a place of trust in the midst of our situations.