December – Be a Peacemaker

Following ICGB in Zambia last year my husband and I spent a little time in South Africa.  While we were there we visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island in Cape Town where Nelson Mandela was held in prison for 18 years.  We learned a great deal about Nelson Mandela and the rise and fall of apartheid.

One of the learnings was that despite what Nelson Mandela had suffered he sought reconciliation and a peaceful negotiated settlement following his release from prison.  It took absolute determination to choose a peaceful path rather than revenge or violence.

Peacemakers are relationship builders.  Being a peacemaker has the potential to change the lives of those around you.  Everywhere there is conflict:  In the workplace, our communities, our countries and internationally.  Most people will avoid conflict because it is uncomfortable to address it or fear that it will be handled badly.

However, ignoring or avoiding conflict does not deal with the pain which is caused by conflict.  Negotiation and discussion are the greatest implements we have for promoting peace and development.

Building good relationships and friendships takes time and effort.  A little like planting seeds, the results are not seen immediately but over time, with nurturing, they will grow and thrive.

Being a good friend and having good friends reduces stress, contributes to a sense of well-being and prevents loneliness.  It is acknowledged that social isolation and loneliness is a growing problem for many seniors in developed countries.  One of the solutions can be for younger people (Girls’ Brigade members) to reach out and befriend seniors in their family or community.

At times we need to persevere when the friendship hits a rocky patch.  The easy option is to walk away at these times; a good friend will persevere and resolve the issue at hand.

The hardest thing in a friendship can be to admit when we have made a mistake.  While this is hard to do it will do great things for the friendship.  Often, through these experiences we grow in ourselves and become more resilient and a better friend.

Jesus was a peacemaker yet He was not afraid to challenge those around Him and there are many examples of this in the Bible.  In this month of December we celebrate His birth and take time to reflect on His influence in our lives.

“Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children” (Matthew 5:9).

“So then, we must always aim at those things that bring peace and that help to strengthen one another’ (Romans 14:19).

“And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace” (James 3:18).

November Reflection – Reflections on God as a God of peace

On 24 September, 2018, a day before the start of the General Debate of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit was convened.

The focus of the Summit was on Global Peace in honour of the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

This Peace Summit offered the opportunity for the world leaders to renew their commitment to global peace, conflict prevention and resolution, peace building, promotion and protection of human rights and long-term development initiatives as called for by the Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres. The Peace Summit also adopted a political declaration, which will reaffirm the values of Nelson Mandela.

These world leaders recognised that, as in the words of once popular American singing group The Chi-lytes,” There will never be any peace, until God is seated at the conference table”.

As members of the Girls’ Brigade family, we know that our God is a God of peace.

In the creation story in Genesis, chapter 1, we are told that God created a perfect world, where everything was in harmony. However, through disobedience, this peace was disturbed. Throughout the years which followed, through the teachings of the prophets God tried to restore this peace.

Zechariah 9: 11 states “He will proclaim peace to all nations”

Finally, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, whose birth was foretold by the prophet Isaiah 6:5 that he would come as “The Prince of Peace”. At Jesus’ birth, the angels heralded his coming with the announcement of “Peace on earth and goodwill to all men”.

Jesus in his teachings, brought a message of peace. For example in the Beatitudes he says: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt 5:9)

Through Christ, God is reflected as a God of peace

Corinthians 14: 33 reminds us …”For God is not a God of disorder but of peace”

As we seek to follow in the footsteps of Christ, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we must seek after peace.

Further, we know, that Peace is a Fruit of the spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22).

How can we achieve this peace? We must put our trust in the God of Peace.

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

However, although we desire peace, there will be no real peace until there is equality and justice for all.

But what is perfect peace? Can we define it? Yes, it is a condition of freedom from disturbance within the soul; it is perfect harmony reigning within. To be filled with perfect peace is to be spiritually healthy and free from all discord within the soul. There can be no room for jealousy, envy, discontent, uncontrolled temper, selfishness, pride or intolerance in the soul which is filled with peace, for all these things are disturbing factors in the heart. They are discordant notes. We must make every effort to conquer these feelings, and replace them with love for each other and, by our example show our girls a better way.

The peace which God offers, and which by His grace, we may experience, is very practical. God calls the peace which he gives, “perfect peace”. He demonstrates this peace through his son Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

Love of Christ will enable us to demonstrate the Peace of God.

God’s peace is perfect. It is perfect in quality- perfect in the kind of peace that it is.

It is perfect in Quantity, the supply of it is sufficient, and it is constantly available to us.

How does this perfect peace come to us?

By the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit fills and floods our lives, so He produces this wonderful fruit within us.

  • By His Word.  Psalm 119:165 tells us that “things and people can so often disturb us, or even cause us to stumble, but there is a promise of perfect peace to those people who love and meditate in and obey the word of God.”
  • By our belief in and obedience to God’s Son. In Leviticus 26:3-6, God guarantees to us that if we will walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, He will keep our hearts in perfect peace; if we will do our part, then God will surely do His part.
  • By constant praise and prayer.

Who is it that God will keep in perfect peace? It is those who put their total trust in Him.

Peace for us as members of the Girls’ Brigade family, is not merely absence of conflict; if we want to build lasting peace, our thoughts of peace must be translated into positive action as we demonstrate this in our interaction with our girls and with each other.

We cannot close our eyes or ears to violent actions which make peace seem less and less attainable; whether we live in Africa, Asia, Caribbean & Americas, Europe, or Pacific regions, violence is a daily challenge for many of us.

Conflict prevention and resolution means we must diffuse conflict by replacing it with positive actions which demonstrate that we care, and are determined not only to speak peace, but to show peace daily.

As members of the family of GB International, we are delighted, and share the joy that Girls’ Brigade President’s Committee, was able to announce the following initiatives recently:

  • That after a 15 month application process, Girls’ Brigade International has been accredited with special consultative NGO status by the United Nations. This is an integral part of Girls’ Brigade International’s future advocacy strategy moving forward and an achievement to celebrate on our 125th birthday year
  • On International Day of the Girl (11 October 2018), Girls’ Brigade International launched a new free resource for local Girls’ Brigade leaders called GB’s ‘Raising Hope’ Advocacy Toolkit

The toolkit has two specific aims:

  1. To equip GB leaders (particularly at local level) to be strategic and intentional about advocacy
  2. To empower girls and young women to be at the centre of leading social action initiatives to transform their own communities.

I am confident that these two GB initiatives will go a far way in encouraging and facilitating peace in the lives of our GB families and persons with whom they interact.

For many years Dr. Elizabeth Ward, a consultant epidemiologist at the University of the West Indies,    Mona Campus, Jamaica and Chair of the Board of Violence Prevention Alliance in Jamaica, took the time and worked with  girls  in one of our inner city Girls’ Brigade companies, Pretoria Road United, to demonstrate “another way of life”. They made placards, held peace marches and conducted talks and other practical sessions to show an alternative lifestyle of peace. These girls live in communities where violence is commonplace.

We know that many GB companies around the world take time to demonstrate actions of peace to our girls.

We must embrace every opportunity to show our girls a peaceful way to resolve their conflicts whether at home, school, or in the workplace.

We must show them by our actions that we serve a God of peace.

As members of the Girls’ Brigade, when we engage our girls in activities teaching useful skills which can help them to earn a living and become independent, when we teach Christian values and attitudes through Godly counselling, when we teach them self discipline through drill and when we help them to interpret God’s word and apply it to themselves through bible drama, poetry or song or just by helping them to solve problems on a one-to one basis, we are demonstrating God’s peace.

When we set up homework centres to help them to be successful in their school exams  and take their place in their community and in the world, when we engage in outreach activities in our communities with them, we are showing them that the God we serve is a God of peace, an active peace.

As we make every effort to be fruitful and overflowing in our activities, may we demonstrate loving, caring, practical actions that will show others that we serve a God of Peace, who commands us to live out this peace in a troubled world.

John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.”

Be not fearful, but go forth and share the gospel of peace in all you do.

October reflection – God in the midst of difficulties

Some of us are blessed. We are born into a loving, financially stable family. Our friends are similarly blessed as we grow up with every educational and emotional benefit available. We enjoy our teen years and in young adulthood further our education at University or find rewarding and meaningful work. In time we form stable often life-long friendships, some marry and are able to afford homes and provide for children, whose lives will in many ways mirror those of their parents.

If we have been part of a faith-based community – which I guess is most who are reading this reflection – we are often blissfully unaware that our life is NOT the life of about 90% of others in the world. We often see our own lives as “normal” and available to anyone who, if not born to it, can attain this “good life” by hard work and diligence.

In the main we do not suffer oppression, deprivation of the basic needs, chronic physical and mental ill-health, gender inequalities, warfare and homelessness, imprisonment and injustice. We find many small things to upset us – no parking spaces at the shopping centre, internet connections that won’t work or are too slow, occasional illness, disobedient children, the old lady at church who just talks too much and takes up our time.

For us JOY is usually not a huge problem. It is, like our good mental health, just part of our lives – or if it is not, it is probably merely a temporary lack of JOY and equanimity. But are we talking about JOY? Or is this rather the happiness and gladness that are experienced by the fortunate in the world?

What then for the other 90%?

Those whose childhoods are marked by political uncertainty and instability, fear, hunger, lack of education, poor health care, inadequate housing, childhood disease and early death are, surprisingly, the majority of children born into the world today. We do not have to go to third world countries to find girls whose childhoods are spent horrific situations that include abuse, poor parenting, few educational opportunities and lack of adequate adult nurture and care.

Many, many children grow up in such circumstances – without a great deal of happiness. But they often find JOY. When we are willing to share a time of caring and give encouragement lives can be transformed from physical poverty to emotional and spiritual wealth. Enriching a girl’s life need not be providing “things” but may mean insight into her daily life and small measures of support which may come through something as simple as a continuing, reliable relationship or providing a firm, loving, nonjudgmental presence to which she can turn and return.

For girls and women living in and near poverty JOY itself is a source of life. Many, in difficult places living awful lives, find JOY in the small and seemingly insignificant daily happenings in life – the care of a neighbour, the sharing of food, the ability to help another. Whilst we can talk about Empowerment and Bright Futures – as outlined as themes for this year’s Day of the Girl Child on October 11th – many find JOY in so many other ways and places – a small flower, a sunset or sunrise, a healthy new baby, the love of family. Empowerment can bring changes to lives but it is a concept far from the lives of many. JOY however is all embracing and inclusive and is the “right” of all made in God’s own image.

Sharing our source of true JOY – our trust and relationship with Jesus and God – is what Girls’ Brigade is about. We have the privilege of walking alongside girls in their formative years – as youngsters, teenagers, young women – as they are setting their paths in life AND even more importantly the paths in which they will guide their families and communities.

May the JOY of the Lord be your strength today and each day you walk on his wondrous earth.

September reflection – Happiness and Joy

Are joy and happiness the same? How are they different? Is there really any difference? If so, what’s all the ‘buzz’ about joy and happiness? They both make us smile, they both give us warm fuzzy feelings, and that should be good enough. Shouldn’t it?

Dear Sisters may I invite you to spend just a few minutes with me as we explore these two very significant words. Very soon you’ll be able to decide if a ‘smile’ settles or separates the significance of the words, joy and happiness.

Let’s now identify the difference between joy and happiness. For many of us, being happy is fully dependent on whether life is “good or bad.” You can have joy and be happy but you can’t really be happy without joy; Joy therefore, is not dependent on circumstances; but happiness is. The psalmist reminds us of the reality of joy that comes when we rest in God’s presence: ‘Thou wilt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

Therefore, if your happiness is based upon “happenings,” that is; if things happen to go well, you’ll be happy, but if it happens that something happens which is not so well, then you’re happiness is likely to disappear. Not so with joy. Here’s why. Joy is a permanent state of being. On one hand, happiness takes flight when the circumstances are not ‘good’. Joy, on the other hand, stays fixed whether the circumstances are good or bad.

Now, happiness is dependent on the external, it’s a feeling which comes and goes depending on the external triggers of people, places, possessions, positions, power, or posture, just to name a few externals. Our own thoughts trigger our happiness. Are you beginning to see the significant difference between joy and happiness? I believe you are; and what’s more, I believe you are beginning to choose the more permanent state, the one which is not dependent on external influences to keep that smile on your face no matter what the circumstances. Now joy comes from a peaceful space inside; a space of confidence, contentment, a conclusion and a confession that you love who you are, where you are, how you are and who or what you have chosen to dedicate your life to.

Before Jesus went to Calvary He said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). You will have “sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:22). Jesus went to the cross to make sure that our joy would be complete.

Even though joy and happiness have something of a ‘feeling component’ in common; true joy comes only from God. Happiness will fluctuate; come and go; but joy is everlasting. If joy and happiness were friends, happiness would be the unfaithful one of the two.

Joy represents fullness of life in Christ, a fruit of the Spirit every child of God should strive to cultivate as the Holy Spirit leads him/her. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).  Challenges to your faith in Christ will come, trouble will come, but will not last because your joy will remain. Your place of confident surrender and your times of meditating on God’s word, recalling God’s intervention to rescue you; will cause your joy to be complete. Simply put, your Christ centered belief that true joy comes only from having a relationship with Christ is the place in which you rest.

There is a source of deep joy available to us as believers, especially when we encounter God in God’s Word. My sister, when we believe in God and trust in Jesus, we have nothing to be anxious about and nothing to fear, because we are guaranteed eternal life, and that gives us great joy which we can express as a happy state, sometimes with a smile, because the joy which comes from the Lord is an ongoing reminder that God is in control — that God is in charge of the outcome.  So that’s why the child of God faces adversity with joy!  Children of God, we are, blessed to have a loving heavenly Father who has promised to ‘never leave us nor forsake us’ that’s a real reason to be joyful always.

Therefore, having reasoned together, isn’t it more wonderful to experience and express joy, rather than react in happiness just because the situation so dictates?

The conclusion of the matter can be summed up in this song I learnt as a child:

“Happiness is to know the Saviour,

 Living a life within His favour,

Having a change in my behaviour,

Happiness is the Lord.

Real joy is mine, no matter if teardrops fall,

I’ve found the secret; it’s Jesus in my heart.”

Yes. The only external force which will guarantee real joy is when one accepts Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. Then joy will be the permanent state of the Christian; a follower of Christ who choose to express joy, no matter the circumstances of life. This is the joy that intensifies our testimonies; drives the communication of our faith; joyfully inspires our fellowship and strengthens us spiritually for all to see. Indeed Christ makes the difference in the life of a Christian, no matter the changes in our life and circumstances.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).

August reflection – Be loving, love ourselves

Scripture: Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness;

When I say that you need to love yourself ,I’m not referring to the stuck-up, prideful,worldly type of loving oneself (also known as self – worship) ; I’m talking about a concept of being thankful ,and appreciating the person who God has made in you. Loving yourself is based on humility and thankfulness. The two could not be more different. Low self-esteem – always seeing yourself as a failure, or less than those around you.

We are made in LOVE, for Love, by Love, to Love. The more you look inwardly and love yourself, the more you can love others and be at peace and content. We treat others in the same way we treat ourselves. Only the good news of Christ offers true hope. The message of the gospel is a message of freedom from efforts to love our broken selves – a worth that comes from Christ. Throughout the bible, it is assumed that we love ourselves. It is part of human nature, part of what it means to be a human being. Paul says: After all,no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church. (Ephesians 5: 29)

In Mark 10:29-37, Jesus showed us what he meant by telling a story about a Samaritan man who helped an injured Jewish man. Loving your neighbour means being concerned about other people – seeking the best for them, helping them in their time of need.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. When we understand Gods love, then we deeply know he loves us. The more we think of him, the less we think about ourselves. When we are excited and secure in love with God, the more meaning we will find in loving ourselves.

We can rejoice and say, “I am loved.”

Questions for reflection:

  1. Do you believe God loves you? Why?


  1. Why should we love our neighbour as ourselves?


  1. Does God want you to hate yourself or feel bad about yourself? Explain your answer.


PRAYER: Dearest Lord, Thank you for seeing the best in me, when everyone else only see the worse in me. Thank you for loving me when I did not even love myself. Help me to love the person you created me to be, not who others want to see, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, designed to glorify you in the best way I can. Be glorified. Amen


Be loving… love yourself. We are made in Gods image.

July reflection – Loving God and others

Text: Deuteronomy 6:5

Memory verse: John 13: 34″ A new commandment I give unto you; that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

God is love.  As Christians, we are commanded to love God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our might. We are to love unconditionally, fervently, sincerely and genuinely. The first great commandment is to love God. (see Deuteronomy 6:5 & Matthew 22:37-38).

We are expected to love God and cleave unto Him. All God requires of us is for us to love Him.

The second great commandment is for us to love one another. Lev.19:18 charge us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. We are to love one another as Christ loves the church and gave himself for us. God gives us love to love others. The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love.

When love is absent in the church, she becomes irrelevant and confusing to the world. When love is fully present, the church shines as light and our God is glorified.

To love is the greatest law of God and love is an important virtue in life. That’s why God has called us to real and sincere love.

What are the benefits that loving God and others brings us:

  • All men will know that we are His disciples if we love one another (Jn.13:35)
  • We will live in peace and the God of love shall be with us (2Cor.13:11)
  • We will be rooted in love and filled with all the fullness of God (Eph.3:17-19)
  • We shall abide in the light (1Jh.2:10)
  • God shall dwell in us (1Jh.4:12)
  • God will manifest Himself in us (Jn 14:21)

Beloved, whatever you do, do it in love. Love edifice, it build up and strengthens. Genuine love results in unity of believers and real love will not give up or fail. Love will not hurt or do wrong to others. If we have genuine love, we will be kind and courteous. We shall be known for doing good deeds.

Doing good to our brethren is doing it to God. Let us love God with all our heart, soul and might and learn to love one another as we love ourselves. With love, God shall dwell in us and perfect His love in us in Jesus name.


June Reflection – Sow the seed, reaching out into your community

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”            John 15:7,8

We can only bear fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, by abiding in Jesus and walking with Him daily. To abide in Jesus is to live in such a way that I am always found to be in Him, to walk hand in hand with Him, to live according to His Word.

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you …” It is clear that abiding in Jesus has to do with His words abiding in (i.e. dwelling in, having power in) my heart and mind. When the words of Jesus abide and have power in my heart and mind such that I obey them by the power of the Spirit, then the fruit of the Spirit, the virtues of Jesus, will also come forth in my life. I will naturally bear fruit.

God will put a great desire in my heart to reach out to others in my community, to love them and show them God’s love.
Who are these? I would think immediately of those who are orphans, lonely, sick, elderly and those with additional needs.

In GB, I can teach the girls and young women to be aware of the needs of these special people in our community. We can work in partnership with an retirement/ nursing home or service centre to plan visits and outings for the elderly and sick. As we teach our girls to interact with them and as they put into practice what they have learnt, they will gain insights and an awareness of needy people and their needs.

It is so heartening and a blessing to see the joy it brings to both our girls, as well as the beneficiaries.
Our girls can also bake cookies or cakes and distribute to children in a home. This would be a treat for them. Offering help with lessons, organising games and playing with the children would also be very much appreciated. There are many opportunities for us to reach out but just lovingly spending time with these vulnerable groups of people would truly bring much joy and fulfil God’s command to love one another.

There are so many little ways we can reach out to the community but do remember that we must reach out in God’s love and in so doing, show that we are Christ’s disciples. Without dependence on God and His love in our hearts, it would be difficult to sustain the service.

Mother Theresa said: “We cannot all do great things, but we can all do things with great love.”
Has God been putting this desire in your heart to serve Him? Abide in Christ and pray for Him to lead you to someone you could show His love to. Bearing abundant fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, is the calling of every believer and God’s promise to them! And by God’s grace it is possible for you too! By this the Father is glorified, and by this definition Jesus has said: “… so you will be my disciples.”

Dear God, as I abide in you and allow your love to flow through me, help me to bear fruit and bring glory to your name as I seek to make your love known to these needy people, who are so in need of love and friendship.
Let me love what you love; hate what you hate. Empower me to do your will. Give me the strength and courage to live out your values, as your disciple and follow in Jesus’ example.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

May God enable us to go forth joyfully to serve the community He has placed us in.

May Reflection – Sow the seed

I live in a country where we have drought areas and very wet areas. Our Country is a very big island and we can cover four seasons in one day. Bush Fires and floods are happening all the time.  Everything is so unpredictable, each year the season seem to change, due to climate change.

Our farmers have a lot to consider, in the dry seasons the seeds just sit and wait for water and some die. In the wet season we could get too much rain that the seeds would rot in the soil before they were able to sprout.

The farmers have methods of getting their seeds sown by a certain date and some even protect them crops with special nets against the frost and birds who like to come down and eat the seed.

We often don’t look after the seeds in our own lives.  We just take for granted that the girls in Brigade will grow without our guidance, but we are wrong.  They need to be nurtured and walked with as they come to know life and God more.

We need to water them with God’s word, cover them in prayer and provide an active programme to show them of His love as they walk on their spiritual path.

This can be done in different ways, take an interest in what is happening in their lives, at school, home and Church.

Pray for them and encourage them to read God’s word.  You can even set up a devotional booklet for them to follow or purchase one from a local Christian book store.

Always be there for them, listen to their problems, walking with them on their Christian journey and encouraging them to see God in everything that they do and say.

Ears to hear, eyes to see, lips to speak and a heart to love.

March Reflection – Creation Care – preparing and protecting the soil

Most of us will know the story of the farmer sowing seeds in Mark 4 v 1-20 where some seeds fell on the path, some fell on rocky ground, some fell among weeds and some fell in good soil. In the parable, Jesus teaches that when people hear God’s word they will react in different ways, either ignoring the word, hearing it but not accepting it, accepting God’s word but eventually becoming tempted by the world or fully accepting God’s word.

As part of the GB family, we spend our time preparing the soil of the girls and young women that we meet and get to know each week. We use the skills God has given us and the opportunities to encourage, empower and equip the girls in our care. From teaching skills, playing games, doing crafts or cooking and spending time in devotions, we sow God’s word in their lives. It is important work that we are doing and through all the interactions we have with the girls, we impact their lives and leave seeds of God’s word. We may not always see the impact immediately, or ever, but by preparing the soil of the girls’ lives through GB we can know for certainty that God is at work.

On 8th March 2019, it is International Women’s Day where the theme is #BalanceforBetter. International Women’s Day is focusing on creating a better gender balanced world. A world that creates a better, more balanced environment for our girls and young women. We are a big part of that challenge as we are constantly working to empower, equip and encourage our girls and young women. Reminding them that they can do anything they put their mind to and trust to the Lord.

As well as doing our best to prepare and protect the soil in the lives of the young women of our GB family, we also need to ensure that we protect our own soil and care for ourselves. Being part of GB is such an awarding experience but it can also be draining on us physically, mentally and spiritually. We are constantly giving so much of ourselves to the girls and other leaders in order to best prepare the girls’ hearts for God. We need to remember to take time to protect our own soil so that we do not become like the other soils and draw distant from God.

It’s ok to take a break when you’re starting to feel drained. Do what is best for you to renew and refresh yourself spiritually and mentally. Maybe go for a walk, create prayer groups within your GB leadership team, do a Bible reading or go to your personal quiet place (your bedroom, a tranquil spot in the countryside, or maybe even your bathroom) to spend time alone with God. By doing things like this, it will help to protect the soil of your hearts and keep your hearts open to God’s word and His work.

Above all, remember that God is at work in you and overflowing through you in your work with GB.

“Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.” Philippians 4 v 13 MSG

February Reflection – Focusing on gathering the tools

I send greetings from the Isle of Wight. Our motto is “All this beauty is of God” and everyday I thank God for the beauty that surrounds us.The New Year has begun and our farmers look to the future. They need to service their equipment. We see plants & crops growing in the fields. We see blossom &fruit growing on the trees. We see the flowers growing but we do not see what is going on below the surface of the soil but God does and is in control.

The same is true in our lives. God provides us with all of the tools we need for the challenges we will face, not only in the gifts he gives us but also the people he places around us to support and work with us. God uses his skill and craftsmanship to shape us. He will shape us and mold us to do his will. We are God’s tools. How awesome is our God.

‘I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ.’  

Ephesians 3:7-8

A carpenter was about to go to lunch and tidied all his tools before leaving.  As soon as he left the workshop they all started arguing.  The string moaned that the hammer was too noisy, the hammer moaned that he spent all day trying to knock sense into the nail, the nail moaned that the wood wouldn’t let him go in straight, the wood moaned that there was no point to the pencil, the pencil moaned that the ruler thought he rules everything, the ruler moaned about the knife and his cutting comments, the knife moaned that the sandpaper was always rubbing him up the wrong way, the sandpaper moaned that the screw kept going round & round, the screw moaned that the screwdriver was always getting on top of him, the screwdriver moaned about the glue saying “he had never known anyone so stuck up” and the glue moaned about the string saying “it was always getting tied up”.

The carpenter returned and saw the mess and realised what had happened. He said nothing but took the piece of wood and using all the tools in turn he crafted a plough for a poor villager to enable him to earn a living. At the end of the afternoon he tided his workshop and left with the plough. As soon as he left the tools gathered round and started talking. They realised that in the carpenter’s hand together they could create beautiful things but it took all of them working together using their individual skills and talents. Individually they could achieve nothing. The same is true for us. God places us in fellowship with others to work together, with him as the carpenter. Through God we can achieve beyond our wildest dreams.