Life after lockdown ...
Three Aspire team members look back at 2020, a year of ‘holy uncertainty’
God’s speaking. Are you listening? - Julia Derbyshire
When the clock struck midnight on 31 December 2019 who could have imagined just what kind of a year 2020 would turn out to be? Life, as we knew it, was about to change irrevocably.
So, 2020 began full of hope and expectation. In January, after a busy Christmas season, women within our church met together with no other purpose than to listen to the Lord. It turned out to be a significantly precious time. Now, almost twelve months later the volume of other voices is once again beginning to increase.
December is a hugely busy month for women, families, and churches, but when you think about Samuel in the Bible, for him listening to God was simply turning an ear towards the Lord. It was just a brief moment as he snuggled down to sleep at the end of the day. Why not try being intentional in giving time, or moments, to listen to God, and to say, “Speak Lord, for I am listening.”
Mary, too, is clearly someone with the wisdom to listen. As the angel knocked on her door, bringing his seemingly outrageous greeting, Mary takes time to listen, to absorb, to process, and to respond.
Although totally stunned by his message she commits to listening, and her life is changed forever.
Many moons ago I was 18, at a house party with friends when, in the middle of a dance, I heard what seemed like the audible voice of God. Right there, in the middle of that wild party, I stopped and listened.
God said, “Julia, what are you doing here? Can’t you see this is all empty, this is all vain?” That one moment was pivotal in my life as a follower of Jesus, and all because of a moment when I stopped to listen.
As we look forward to another year of, I’m guessing, more of the unknown, let’s determine to incline our ears.
Let’s find moments to be still and set aside time to say, “Speak Lord, for I am listening.”
God is speaking all the time; the real question is, are you listening?
Jesus has no restrictions - Beryl Glass
What a year this has been. As we approach the end of 2020. and look forward to remembering and celebrating the birth of Jesus, I am reminded that throughout this year of change and restriction Jesus has remained the same.
He works without restrictions, (Hebrews 13:8).
Throughout 2020 I have found Him to be more beautiful, faithful, and more trustworthy than ever before in all my years of following Him.
What is definite this Christmas is the sure and certain hope He gives. Let’s love and serve Him with deeper passion and greater energy, and appreciate every detail of our lives as we stand at the doorway of another new year.
Whatever it holds, we can be sure He is holding us.
He’s in control - Shirene Agbelusi
As I stop and reflect on the last quarter of the year, like you I notice that nothing is as I expected it to be. When we planned for our ROAR Women’s Conference last year and dreamed about expanding so that we could reach more women, we didn’t anticipate that our 2020 conference would be online.
But God did immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. He used the online platform to reach far more women than we ever could in person.
As we look ahead in our ministries and personal lives, it can be difficult to plan because we just don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Guess what though ... we have never known what tomorrow will bring, and that’s okay.
It’s what John Mark Comer calls having ‘holy uncertainty’ – we let go of the outcomes at an emotional level, and make peace with the fact that we’re not in control, but God is.
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