One of God’s Greatest Gifts is Unanswered Prayers

One of God’s Greatest Gifts is Unanswered Prayers

Jeremiah 29:11 – New Living Translation: For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

I was flicking through some music the other day, and came across one of older albums. It’s a live version of Garth Brooks on tour, and the one song that always jumps out at me is the I’ve linked below, and it’s the title for this blog.

Throughout our life, we’ve often faced trials of many kinds, and this frequently leads to prayer. But, sometimes, our prayers are more like we’ve rewritten that well known scripture above.

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Fruit, Dentists, Words and Actions, S4, E10

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Fruit, Dentists, Words and Actions, S4, E10

Matthew 7 verse 16 says that by our fruits we will be known.

This means that our actions are more important than our words because words, while very important, don’t necessarily lead to change, or action. But by their very definition, actions, are the outworking of what we truly believe and think.

Andy took his wife to the dentist and it made him think about what we can, each of us, do every single day to show the love of Jesus Christ to the people we meet, to the people we love, to people who know Jesus again, to people who need to know Jesus for the first time.

Andy B 2 Minute Video, We’re Going On A  Bear Hunt, S4, E9

Andy B 2 Minute Video, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, S4, E9

The bible clearly teaches us that we should expect to find people in positions of authority in our churches, and church communities, who exist simply to destroy.

Jesus dealt with it and so did Paul, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

We shouldn’t accept it either! But how can we work out who is for Jesus, and who is not?

Andy B 2 Minute Video, A Busy Business, S4, E7

Andy B 2 Minute Video, A Busy Business, S4, E7

Church can mean lots of different things to different people.

For some it is a place you’d only visit on high days and holidays – Christmas and Easter, and maybe birth and death!

For others it is somewhere we see as the place we go to each Sunday morning to worship God with other believers.

But, far too often it is also better known for everything that is nothing to do with Jesus or the gospel!

Busy like bees!

Busy like bees!

The BerryBunch have been super busy these past days.

We’ve been like busy bees – preparing for another season of Little Blessings Online, our new video podcast – Marriage Matters, starting late October, Endurance (we’re comfortably into Season 3), some more Andy B 2 Minute Videos.

And we’ve nearly finished Dave the Dog goes Walkies, too.

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Journeying Alone, is Lonely!, S4, E6

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Journeying Alone, is Lonely!, S4, E6

Parenting can be tough. But, thankfully, there is a instruction manual we can download that will teach us all we ever needed to know.

Our lives on this planet, are not designed to be lived out in isolation. God made us to live in Community.

And in the bible, we find the perfect instructions to live the best lives we can, and see perfect examples of how to parent.

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Weeds, Flowers and Cultivation, S4, E5

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Weeds, Flowers and Cultivation, S4, E5

Each day we get to choose what we cultivate in our hearts and minds.

Some people can be great at gardening. Then, there are people like us: I’ve spent time lovingly nurturing and caring for a weed, which I’d thought was actually a flower.

And we can do that in our spiritual lives too – we can spend so much time developing something that doesn’t have good roots or foundation!

As disciples of Jesus Christ we need to be constantly checking in God, and Scripture, to ensure that those things in our lives that we are working on, are flowers not weeds; that they’re good for us, not bad; that we’re building God’s Kingdom, not our own.

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Don’t Wait To Live, S4, E4

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Don’t Wait To Live, S4, E4

Andy and Jo are fasting for a week, because of some big life decisions coming up in the future, and found themselves waiting for these big changes to occur, before they start really enjoying living life to the full.

Can you relate to this? Waiting for something external to improve before you start enjoying life, and experiencing the joy that a relationship with Jesus Christ gives us?

It’s easy waiting for a better moment to start dieting, or going to the gym. We can wait for the perfect moment until we make the move for a better career, or tackling that unloved garden.

But, tomorrow never comes!

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Focus, Time, Distractions And Calling, S4, E1

Andy B 2 Minute Video, Focus, Time, Distractions And Calling, S4, E1

In his first video of Series 4, this is more of a special Edition Andy B video!

With all that has been happening recently, Andy B has been finding sleep rather elusive!

Afghanistan; vaccination passports; President Biden; forced covid vaccinations for under 12s in Finland; global temperature fluctuations being used for political control and financial gain; China and Taiwan; a forced Home Education register in the UK – there is much to see around us that can easily cause us anxiety and worry.

But, as Christians what is God calling us to do?

Andy B 2 Minute Video Vlog, Fit for Purpose, S3, E29

Andy B 2 Minute Video Vlog, Fit for Purpose, S3, E29

I’ve spent most of my adult, working life, wearing a hard hat, glove and steel toe capped boots. Because I love my head and my toes and wish to keep them the way they should be. I banged my head, pretty badly, early on – because I thought hard hats were stupid and annoying and uncomfortable.

I had a very bad head for a while after that encounter! And I also discovered that standing up, underneath the main boom of a lorry mounted crane, is never sensible! I took quite a lot of insults after that, because I was never seen working on my truck without a hard hat. Lifting large, heavy, objects was – for me at least – an obvious clue that boots with steel toe caps was a must…that one I got immediately!

With a hard hat I was fit for purpose.
Without it, I was an accident waiting to happen!

Your Favourite Podcasts, and Study Plan Ideas?

Your Favourite Podcasts, and Study Plan Ideas?

This post is mostly about me asking for your recommendations and suggestions for your favourite podcasts and Bible reading plans or study books.

We’re taking a couple of weeks from creating our usual output, and it’s giving us an opportunity as a family to catch up on all sorts of things, rethink things and rest as a family in a different way.

We’ve washed the car, dumped a broken sofa at the tip, rearranged some furniture and taken a look at our lives to see where we have been wasting time, or where God might be calling us to do other things.

Busy can be great, but being too busy – for too long – is never something to cultivate, because it means we probably think we know more than God (never a good place to let ourselves arrive at)!

Andy B 2 Minute Video Vlog, Coiled Potential Can Hurt!, S3, E28

Andy B 2 Minute Video Vlog, Coiled Potential Can Hurt!, S3, E28

If you think of a spring, they’re fitted everywhere! From DVD players to cars, from bicycle derailleurs to pens and staplers, from watches to door handles!
We can find springs, in one form or another, almost everywhere. And they have a really simple job – to make something move in a predictable way.
On my bike, the part I fitted has a huge spring which forces the derailleur to be pushed away from the centre of the wheel. When you press the gear lever, it allows that spring to relax, jus a littler bit – a very set amount – and your chain is put on a lower gear.
The one I bought does exactly this. But in order to fit (the lazy way) I had to remove a couple of small bolts so I could save myself removing the chain just so I could fit the new part to my bike.

Faith and Prayer, Volume 1, Part 3 of 3, Faith and Prayer!

Faith and Prayer, Volume 1, Part 3 of 3, Faith and Prayer!

With discussion around Fish and Chips, Sweet and Sour Sauce and Gloves hands, Andy B does his usual and takes ordinary, every day objects and situations, and helps us dig deeper into the basics of how Faith and Prayer work together.

With a very strong reminder, and warning – from the book of James – about why we need both Faith and Prayer, Andy B encourages us to all to get on our knees more, to learn to know Jesus better.

Andy B 2 Minute Video Vlog, Wisdom Trumps Experience, S3, E27

Andy B 2 Minute Video Vlog, Wisdom Trumps Experience, S3, E27

We all have experiences in life which can be super helpful for ourselves, and the people we come into contact with.

One assembly I remember vividly contained this question – would you rather see an older doctor who was covered in blood and muck, but who was very experienced. Or a young doctor, fresh out of college, who was wall presented.

I can’t speak for my peers, but give me the doctor who has been doing it for a while!
Experience counts in so many places. But, as Christians, wisdom that comes from God trumps experience EVERY SINGLE TIME.