As a young child, my mum used to take my younger sister and I to St Columbas Church every Sunday. I used to love to sit with the choir and sing. When my younger brother came along, it was my job to take my sister to church every Sunday. It was our adventure! The sisters who led the choir used to expect us and welcomed us every week. It was lovely to feel so at home and welcomed in church - just like family. My favourite hymn was 'Colours of Day'. It never failed to cheer me up.
My days spent at St Columbas has taught me that no matter where you are or what you are doing
'God has you in the palm of his hand' Isiaih 49:16
Growing up, I was told by my family (particularly my amazing grandparents) to see the positives in every situation. Life is wonderful and we should always be happy and always be grateful! I have always believed that if you have a heart that is full of love, you will live a positive, happy life. This bible reference epitomises the importance of being content and thankful. If you see the best in everything, great things will happen. I find that positivity and happiness is infectious 😊. I make it my mission every day to count my blessings, to have a happy heart and wear a smile!
Since I was a little girl, my Mum has already told me not to waste my worries on things in life as ‘everything always happens for a reason’. Like my mum, I use this as my ‘motto’ in life when faced with decisions to make.
When I was telling my Granny about my life motto a few years ago, she told me about a passage from the Bible which she relates to. As soon as I read ‘Ecclesiastes 3:1 - A Time For Everything’, I could immediately relate to it. More recently, I used this passage when deciding to apply for my job at Queen’s Park. On reflection now, I am so glad I did!
The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine forever.
This hymn which I enjoyed singing at primary school was based on Psalm 23 and I found both the lyrics and music very uplifting. I remember looking at my best friend as we sang it and gaining a sense of strength from the words. My favourite verse was,
In death's dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.
I found these lyrics comforting to know that God is always with me.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
This verse has meant a lot to me throughout my life but I was particularly reminded of it when entering into the teaching profession. It was a big step for me as I was leaving a comfortable paid job to take a leap into the unknown, returning to University to complete a PGCE and no pay. However I was reminded through this verse that all plans are in his hands and that he wants the best for me because he loves me. 13 years later I am teaching in a fabulous school, with amazing teachers and children.
As I child, I loved school so even on a Sunday, I found schools to go to. I went to Sunday school in the morning and the Salvation Army at Thatto Heath in the afternoon. We learned John 3:16 by heart and even in a song. Even now, many years later it has never left me: for God so loved that world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him, will not perish but have eternal life.
We also learned a song the went with the Match of the Day tune : I know that my redeemer liveth, he lives within my heart.
The Salvation Army; I was a member of the 'Timbrells' we used to play tambourines with long ribbons as we sang. My overall memory of both Sunday Schools was of joy, fun and a close community.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
This bible verse has an uncanny way of always findings its way back to me when I need it most. Sometimes in life things seem hard or unfair, but his verse gives me the strength to carry on and know that God will always be with me. To know that God has planned my whole life is completely awe inspiring.
When I was a child at Primary school, we did the musical Noah.
I was so proud that I was chosen to be a frog.
When it was bedtime my dad always read a bedtime story to my sister and me. One night, he asked me to choose the story and I said, "Noah's Ark please!"
We found it in the Old Testament Genesis Ch6-V9.
Afterwards I asked Dad if he thought God would save me and he told me "Of course, because you are a beautiful frog."
Then I went to sleep bursting with pride because I felt special.
Romans 12: 9-11
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
These verses have been written in the front cover of my Bible for quite a few years now. They remind me of what I need to do in order to live out God’s love for me and share it with other people. They remind me that Jesus said that people will know we are his disciples if we have love for each other. That is how I try to live my life by loving other people.
The bible quote that has always stuck with me comes from
Luke 6:31. Here it says,
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
I think that this quote is significant to me because it demonstrates two of what I believe are the most important living values, respect and love. When we are caught up in our busy lives it is easy to become focused on what you want and need, however Jesus reminds us that we should consider others. He said that we should treat others the way that they would like to be treated. Personally I know that I want to be treated with respect, to be listened to, to be loved and treated fairly and honestly, therefore, this is how I endeavour to treat other people. If we could all live by this rule the world would be a much nicer place. I think that that is why this bible quote is often referred to as the ‘golden rule’.