Saturday, 28 December 2019

I Will Not Be Moved

My husband Jan and I were in Florida over the Christmas season of 2019 and we were staying with his Aunt Carol and Uncle Malcolm. Malcolm is the Senior Pastor at Calvary Chapel, Merritt Island and Carol speaks at many different Ladies’ Days and Pastor’s Wives Conferences throughout the year.

Carol mentioned to me one evening that she had a conference she was due to speak at in the Spring of the following year and wondered if I might write a poem that was in-keeping with their theme. She said her title was, “I Will Not Be Moved” and that the Scripture they’d be focusing on was Psalm 62.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

If Only You Knew...

One thing that really saddens me in life is to see people fighting against God and hardening their heart towards Him. I’ve had many different conversations with people over the years about Jesus and what grieves me more than anything is to see a lost soul fighting against the One who can save them. I just feel like pleading with them and saying, “If only you knew! If only you knew how amazing He is you wouldn’t fight Him!”

God’s love astounds me on a regular basis and so I felt inspired to write a poem that would try to express these feelings and I gave it the title “If Only You Knew.” Words of course don’t do my Saviour justice. How can you describe the infinite wonders found in Christ with a finite number of words? You can’t but I thought I’d make an attempt at least in the hope that this poem can be used to share Jesus with the lost.

My prayer is that maybe one day, someone might read these words and feel inspired to let go of their preconceptions of Jesus and reach out to the Saviour who loves them beyond measure.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Happy Birthday Jesus!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Christmas time and the smell of a real fir tree instantly transports me back to the Christmases of my childhood. My Dad would buy us a real tree each year and my sister Ashley and I would spend a joyous evening decorating it with my Mum while Christmas music played in the background. Happy memories indeed.

One particular tradition I distinctly remember in our home on Christmas morning was something my Mum did with us each year. Either Ashley or myself would wake up with excitement in the early hours of the morning, get the other one out of bed and then wake my Mum up. We would make our way down the stairs together where we would find the partition curtains in the middle of the living room closed over, our named Santa sacks patiently waiting on the other side!

Before we were allowed to burst through the curtains to see what gifts we had received, my Mum would always take a couple of minutes to pray with us and thank Jesus for coming to this Earth. Every year she made sure that we acknowledged and remembered the true meaning of Christmas before allowing us to enter into the carefree abandon and joy of present opening!

Sunday, 24 November 2019

The Little That You Have

One Sunday morning in November 2019 we had a lovely man called Bill Gallatin from Calvary Chapel, Finger Lakes come and speak at our Church in Westminster. He gave a wonderfully encouraging sermon and in the middle of his talk I heard him say, “Take the little that you have and use it to serve Jesus.” These words immediately stood out to me and I liked how the focus was on using what we already have instead of looking to the things we wish we had.

Before long I found myself writing the first few lines of my poem as Bill’s words were very much in line with something I felt the Lord had been putting on my heart for a while. The Lord had been showing me that sometimes we may feel our efforts and lives are inadequate and don’t “measure up” to the influence other people can make for God’s Kingdom. Most of us don’t have millions of pounds in the bank or worldwide ministries that reach the masses but this isn’t what’s important in God’s eyes.

As I’ve often heard my Pastor say, what’s important to Jesus is that we’re faithful with whatever it is He’s given to us and put around us in our lives. Perhaps our ministry is to sow the seed of God’s Word and the love of Christ into the lives of our children. Maybe it’s to be the best employee or employer we can be to bring a strong witness to those around us in the workplace. Perhaps we do have a large ministry that reaches thousands and our role then is to be faithful with the responsibility of being the shepherd or teacher for the people God has placed within our care.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Thanksgiving Prayer

As my husband Jan and I were preparing to have family come over the Atlantic to stay with us in November 2019, I realised that our American relatives were going to be with us over Thanksgiving. I’ve prepared several Easter, Christmas and New Year dinners over the years but never Thanksgiving dinner! I decided that I would break the mould and host Thanksgiving for the family so that they didn’t feel like they were missing out on this American celebration while they holidayed on British soil!

As I ordered Thanksgiving themed decorations online and Googled the traditional dishes that make up a Thanksgiving meal, I found myself getting into the spirit of it all. Before long I could feel the weight of a poem in my heart and I wanted to write something that could be used by any family to give thanks to God before their Thanksgiving meal. It seems when it comes to writing poems for specific celebrations throughout the year there must be no festival left behind! I hope my poem “Thanksgiving Prayer” can be a blessing for many families on this and every Thanksgiving to come!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Worthy To Be Praised

There are many times in life when praising God is an absolute joy and it feels like the easiest thing in the world to lift our hands high and sing His name! When life is difficult, stressful or upsetting however, praise may not come quite so naturally. Sometimes offering praises to God can feel like a sacrifice, perhaps when we’ve just received some devastating news or are feeling overwhelmed by disappointment or confusion.

Having journeyed through various different highs and lows throughout 2019, I was reflecting one day on the fact that no matter what we’re going through in life, Jesus is always worthy of our praise. Our circumstances don’t alter who He is and what He’s done for us on the Cross. Whatever our current situation may be, it doesn’t change the fact that our Heavenly Father loves us, died for us and has promised that He is always with us, even to the end of the age.

Our gentle Saviour understands our struggles and knows what it costs us to sing through the tears during those heartbreaking times in life. I’ve personally found that it’s often in these dark moments that offering up worship to Jesus brings out a whole new level of gratitude from my heart as the Holy Spirit comforts my soul and meets me exactly where I am.

Regardless of how I’m feeling from day to day though, the truth of my redemption never changes. I know I have eternal life awaiting me in Heaven thanks to the blood of Jesus Christ. Not only that, I also have His love and wisdom guiding me through my time here on Earth. Our merciful Saviour truly is worthy to be praised.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Freedom For All

In October 2019 a friend of mine called Cameron got in touch to ask if he could commission me to write and perform a poem for a Christmas Concert in London. The concert would be raising money for charity to support the work of International Justice Missions which rescues children who have been sold into slavery in Ghana.

Cameron asked me if I might be able to write a poem based around the theme of “Freedom” and sent me some links to watch so that I could know more about the cause I would be writing for. Watching the videos and hearing the testimonies of some of the children who have already been rescued by IJM was difficult viewing to say the least. My heart absolutely broke at the appalling crimes committed against these children and I soon found myself praying through tears for the situation.

Before long my prayer began to turn into a poem and “Freedom For All” is what came from my heart that evening.

Monday, 30 September 2019

All Is Well

August 2019 was the beginning of an extremely difficult time to say the least as my sister was diagnosed with cancer. This was of course an awful time for us as a family and if it hadn’t been for Jesus helping me through this season I really don’t think I could have coped with the sorrow and stress of it all. Thankfully we were told the cancer hadn’t spread and had been caught in time so was considered to be curable, praise the Lord! It was by no means an easy journey for my sister to take however and I’ve been left in awe of the bravery and grace she’s shown throughout the battle.

During this really dark time, I felt the Lord kept bringing three simple words to me to comfort my heart. Many times a brother or sister in Church would say these three words to encourage me or sometimes the Holy Spirit whispered them to my heart when I was praying about the situation. The words the Lord kept bringing to my attention were “All Is Well.” I cannot tell you how reassuring and comforting I found this simple phrase to be and it was like a soothing balm that calmed the burning fear within me.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Trick Or Treat

My poem “Trick Or Treat” wasn’t a poem I came to write easily and I had the idea for it floating around in my head for over a year before I finally found the angle to write it from. My concern was that Halloween is obviously a bit of a touchy subject to approach and I understand that there are hugely varying opinions within the Body Of Christ on whether to even acknowledge this very dark festival or not.

I know of some families who have decided to take nothing to do with it at all while others I know are happy for their children to dress up and go out “Guising” or “Trick or Treating” with their friends. Some let their little ones dress up but only in “non-scary” costumes while others go along to “Light Parties” where they have fancy dress and fun games but the focus is on Jesus and they use it as an opportunity to celebrate the Gospel.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Jehovah Rapha

The first recording below was done the day after I wrote this poem so it was all still very raw which I think is quite evident in the video. I tried to re-record it the following day but things just kept going wrong and I couldn't seem to make it happen. I felt the Lord putting it on my heart to leave things as they were and stick with the original recording as this is a very honest and open rendition. I hope the truth of the recording can be a blessing to others and encourage anyone in a similar situation. In our weakness He is made strong.
One day in August 2019 my husband Jan and I were sitting in the kitchen chatting and he was telling me about some of the different names of God we see in the Bible. He mentioned that one of them is “Jehovah Rapha” which means “The God who heals.” This really stood out to me and I instantly made a mental note of the name and it’s meaning.

Little did I realise that within an hour I would receive a call from one of my closest family members and receive the news that the diagnosis from the hospital was cancer. Little did I know that I would soon be calling on the name of Jehovah Rapha as I prayed down the phone with my loved one. I believe there are no coincidences with the Lord and it was no coincidence that Jesus gave me that name right before the moment I would need it.

Over the course of the days that followed, the Lord really used the Psalms to encourage my heart and bring comfort to both me and my family. So many verses spoke His power and peace into our situation and encouraged us to keep our eyes not on the problem but on Him. No matter how huge and overwhelming the situation may seem, our God is bigger. He is able.

Friday, 26 July 2019

Look Up!

My poem “Look Up!” had been forming in my heart and mind for several months before I finally found the angle I wanted to write it from. I had the desire to create a poem that would be appropriate for Good Friday as every year in the lead up to Easter I hear people questioning the significance of this special day and what it is Christians actually commemorate.

Having already written one poem called “The Meaning Of Easter” and another called “Resurrection Day,” I felt I wanted to have a poem that focused entirely on Good Friday itself and the depth of what Jesus really achieved for us that day.

It seems to me that the true meaning of Easter has sadly been lost somewhat over the years. For many it’s become nothing more than a two week holiday where we’re inundated with chocolate eggs, easter chicks and fluffy bunnies! Easter is of course one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar however so this inspired a scene in my mind’s eye to take place as I pictured someone coming to me and asking,
“What’s Good Friday all about?” In response my reply would be,
“Come with me, I’ll show you.”

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Just Be Mine

In July 2019 I was attending a ladies’ day retreat in Oxford where Carol Wild and Sandy Macintosh were speaking. During one of Sandy’s talks she mentioned that on the previous night she had started to doubt the quality and content of what she had prepared to share with us the next day. I certainly could relate to the feeling as this is what I often feel before sharing a poem somewhere! It’s what I like to call “The night before freak-out!”

I imagine many people have experienced this in some capacity or other but of course it’s just the enemy trying to distract us and fill us with fear before we step out in faith to glorify God’s name. The devil hates it when people seek to honour God so it’s not a surprise when he attacks those who are seeking to do just that. Thank goodness Jesus is more powerful than the enemy and always bolsters us and gives us the strength we need. The victory will always be His!

Sandy went on to share with us however that during this lapse of confidence she cried out to God and literally said to Him,

“Lord! What am I going to do?”

Straight away she felt the Holy Spirit minister to her heart and felt Him respond with three gentle words. The Lord softly said to her soul,

“Just be Mine.”

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Get Well Soon

I wrote this poem especially for a dear friend of mine called Wendy when she suffered from a rather serious bout of ill health and was taken into hospital as a result. Although we don’t live close to one another, we do email on a weekly basis.

When Wendy was taken into hospital she was concerned about not being able to reply to me that week and so had her daughter-in-law text me to let me know why she wouldn’t be able to respond for a while. I couldn’t believe that in the middle of such awful physical trials, dearest Wendy was still more concerned with taking care of others! It’s for this reason that the original version of this poem was called “Dearest Wendy.” I sent it along to Wendy in the hope of bringing a little cheer to her day and to encourage my dear sister who has brought me so much encouragement over the years.

I felt I wanted the poem to be able to be used by others as well however to encourage any member of the Body of Christ who is perhaps going through a tough time physically. I’ve adapted the poem into two versions for male and female use and I pray it can be used to wish many people a heartfelt “Get Well Soon!”

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Strength Of The Shepherd

Life is certainly a mixture of positive and negative experiences and we all have to learn how to take the bad as well as the good! No matter who we are we’re not immune to heartache and everyone is going to experience feelings of sadness, disappointment, loss and many other negative emotions as we journey through the years.

One particularly difficult experience which many of us will deal with at some point is the feeling of betrayal from a loved one. It’s not the way God would have things but sadly it’s highly likely that during our lives we’ll all feel let down and deeply hurt by someone who was once close to us and who we considered to be a friend. This is a particularly painful blow and reminds me of David’s words in Psalm 55:12-13 where he laments,

“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend.”

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Audience Of One

Being in the world of Performing Arts means I have to face things such as rejection, uncertainty, emotional highs and lows, hopes deferred, feelings of self doubt and performance pressures on a regular basis!

There are many wonderful things to be experienced as a performer too of course. For example, I often get to meet fascinating people from all walks of life, work alongside incredible talent, explore and use my creativity, have variety in life, get paid to travel and see the world while performing in some of the most incredible places and also do something I’m passionate about and love to do!

Most importantly though, I’m given many opportunities to share the Gospel with those who don’t yet know Jesus. This always brings me so much joy and I pray for these kind of doors to open in conversation.

Despite having been in the entertainment industry for many years now, I still have to work at keeping the nerves in check sometimes. It was during one of these times when I felt inspired to write my poem “Audience Of One.”

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Wherever Your Love Leads

At the beginning of 2019 I came to the end of another work contract and found myself in the very familiar place of asking the Lord in prayer, “What’s next?”

As a professional performer you have to be able to handle being in and out of work a lot, it’s just the nature of the game. It does mean life can be very unpredictable though and I’m always so grateful for the security that Jesus’ constant love and care brings. Knowing my life is set upon the Rock doesn’t necessarily make things easy to deal with but it certainly brings peace and comfort to my heart as I rest in Christ’s sovereignty. Knowing I’m in God’s hands and that He has a purpose and plan for my life definitely helps me when I’m staring uncertainty in the face!

As time moved further into 2019, different auditions and situations started popping up. Sometimes events even meant a clash in the diary and so I found myself praying the same prayer each time. I would invite Jesus into each situation, ask for wisdom and guidance and always ended up saying from my heart, “Whatever has most Heavenly weight Lord, whatever brings You the most glory. Take me wherever Your love leads.”

Friday, 11 January 2019

Choose This Day

I received an e-mail one day from a dear Christian lady called Wendy, asking if I would pray for a friend of hers who was slipping away from life and didn’t know Jesus as her Saviour. I joined Wendy in praying for her friend and found myself asking the Lord to bring someone along who might minister to the woman in her last days.

The next day Wendy asked me if I had any poetry verses that may speak to her friend at that time. Immediately the first few verses from my poem “Wave Upon The Sand” came to mind and I sent them along to her but the thought came to me that it might be beneficial to have a poem that was specifically written for this kind of situation.