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  • Spread a little hope

    We always need a bit of a reminder we are loved, more so than ever. The world has been flipped on it head in many ways. Which can make it hard to stay positive and have hope that life will continue, maybe a bit changed but it will keep going as long as we believe an end will come. I have found it very hard at times just like most people have, so I turned to the Bible and other positive resources to find encouragement to keep me going. I like to print out, write out, decorate my walls with quotes to help keep me on the path that I have chosen for myself. I love to use Pinterest and Instagram as social media site which really lift my spirits. So many people share beautiful quotes, or even ones which are a bit blunt but I needed to see. So I have put together a list of some of my favourite biblical and non-biblical quotes which have really helped me, in the hope of spreading hope and joy rather than fear and uncertainty. 5 Biblical quotes for hope Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. - Romans 8:18 NLT Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles. - Isaiah 40:31 NLT For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness the Lord will be my light. - Micah 7:8 NLT So we don't look at the trouble we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. - 2 Corinthians 4:18 NLT Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7 5 quotes to push out negative thoughts We are all a working progress. - Kristen Ferguson Anything is possible if you've got enough nerve. - J.K. Rowling Walk away from anything that gives you bad vibes. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. It's you life. Do what makes you happy. Give yourself time. If you stumble, Make it part of the dance. Please like and share. Leave a comment below with any quotes you like to use to lift your spirits or refocus on what is important to you. Until next time, stay blessed and safe Billie x

  • God's strength is within us!

    I chose the book of Colossians to start my devotional Bible study with. Colossians is a letter from Paul who was chosen by God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and from brother Timothy. this letter is to the faithful brothers and sisters of Christ in the city of Colosse. I found this book to be a perfect fit for me to start my devotional Bible study, as this book talks about new beginnings and trusting god and laying all at the cross to start this new journey with God. I decide to break the book of Colossians into two sessions: Colossians 1-2, Colossians 3-4. I started by praying over the scripture to open my mind and heart to the scripture. this allows me to connect fully with the section of scripture I am about to read. I read through the text once just reading, I then went through it again this time highlighting any verses which stuck out to me. I found my self asking questions about the scripture which lead to me creating the following response. My response seemed to just pour out of me I could see this image of a tree growing from the heart of Christ. For me I felt that the heart represented God in the spiritual but the tree is me in the natural. Having the strength of God in my heart will enable me to grow and shine in life. That others will see the goodness of God's heart through me and the challenges I overcome, but also in the impact my actions make to the world around me. more and more I am feeling connected to the scripture so when I come back to it for a second session I found I fell into it quicker than before. When reading Colossians 3-4 I found I was seeing rebirth, as it talks about the new life after being baptized. I really connected with as I am questioning myself on who I am, and what is it I want to represent in life. The main verse which stood out to me was about shedding your old life before dedicating you you committed to Christ. That now you should clothe yourself with mercy, kindness, humanity, gentleness and patience. But most of all Love, for love binds as all to one another. Life is defined by your choices and Colossians has helped me see that Life is bright, beautiful, and full of love. We only have to stop, look at our lives and what make us truly happy and fulfilled? Please like and share. Comment below your thoughts and views on Bible journaling and the book of Colossians. Until next time, stay blessed and safe Billie x

  • The Algar waterfalls

    The Algar waterfalls also known as Les Fonts d'Algar are 15 km from Benidorm in Spain. I have been fortunate enough to visit these beautiful waterfalls a few times while visiting Spain. The waterfalls are all natural, so the water is quite cold, however after a short time you do get used to the temperature. These beautiful waterfalls span 1.5 km long, with many pools where you are able to swim, some pools are deeper than others. There is a small current, as it is running water which can be felt more in some sections of the river in between the waterfalls more than others. I would suggest wearing swimwear and bringing a towel as you will want to take a dip or will have to walk through the water at some point. I would also highly suggest wearing beach shoes or some sort of shoe. As the river bed is made up of small stones and rocks which, can be rough and slippery when you step on them. I found beach shoes allowed great grip while staying comfortable in the water as they are made from wet suit material. The Algar waterfalls is well maintained as it is a protected wetland, and so their is a small charge to enter the waterfalls - Adults: 5 euros, Child (4 to 10): 2 euros and Children (0 to 3) are free. When you enter the waterfalls you are asked to stop for a photo which can be purchased when you leave as a souvenir which is a lovely keepsake of such a beautiful place. The facilities at the waterfalls are limited to toilets and First Aid. They do have lifeguards in peak season, this allows them to offer a safe waterfall jumping experience from a platform into one of the pools. Food isn't allowed to be consumed along the waterfall. However, a picnic area is available to be used which also has free lockers and vending machines for visitors to use. This ensures the waterfalls are protected from litter which helps to ensure its beauty is preserved. If you would prefer to eat in a restaurant there are five in the surrounding area of the waterfalls, some have play parks and swimming pools which guests are able use as well. I loved visiting the waterfalls and would defiantly recommend for others to visit at least once. It is an amazing experience being able to climb along the river all the way to the top. It took myself and those I was with a few hours to climb all the way along the river to the top, but it was definitely an adventure which I will not forget. I challenged all of us at points, but as a group we were able to reach the top. All the way along were beautiful peaceful pools as fewer people ventured all the way to the top. Thank you for reading hope you enjoyed finding out about the wonderful Les Fonts d'Algar (The Algar waterfalls) it is such a beautiful place I am so privileged to be able show you a small part of it. Please like and share. I would love to get your thoughts and view in the comments below. Until next time, stay blessed and stay safe. Billie x

  • The Path to Bible journaling

    Being new to my faith I found myself asking 'Where do I start?' I knew I wanted to start reading the Bible in my own time to further my understanding, in God and the stories and lessons the Bible holds. For Christmas I received a beautiful - Inspire creative journaling Bible - I love it! It has margins on every page, which are either blank with lines for note taking. Or filled with wonderful, detailed illustrations which link with verses from the scripture on that page of the Bible. I am very creative. I learn and understand better when I get creative with it. I came across posts about Bible journaling. I was amazed at the way so many are using art to connect with God's word. I knew I needed to give it a go. I was nervous at first. I mean I didn't want to ruin my Bible. I started out slow with just using pencil. Reading through a page, reflecting on it then drawing the image that I could see when thinking about the verses I had read. Sometimes it could be colours or an image. Other times it can be the words them-self which I use to create a response on the Bible page. Slowly I have become more confident about Bible journaling I have started to collage on my pages. I have found I have really started to connect to the word of God, through Bible journaling. I'm not just reading my Bible, but delving deeper into what I am getting from the teachings in the Bible. Inspire Bible have been hosting Bible journaling sessions on their Facebook page. Which have really helped me let go of my nervousness about Bible journaling. The 8 week course has been hosted by Amber Bolton. This course has been so great, not only giving me a place to start but also a step-by-step approach to Bible journaling. Amber has a four step process which is simple but so effective. Step 1 - Pray To start any devotional Bible study by praying over the piece of scripture you are about to read, really helps to focus yourself on the words you are reading. It connects you directly to God and the scripture with an open mind and heart, ready to receive the messages the scripture holds for you individually. Step 2 - Read It is important to read the scripture all the way through. Weather you chose to focus on a page at a time or a chapter is completely personal preference. I like to read a chapter all in one go all the way through. Sometimes I read through it more than once to make sure I fully understand what I have read. Step 3 - Questions This step kind of over laps with the previous step. As while reading the chosen scripture I tend to find myself starting to ask myself questions about what I am reading. Usually for me questions start to form the second time I read through the scripture. Step 4 - Response The final step is the response. This the creative response to my questions on the page of the Bible. Every response is different and very personal, for me I can feel my self really connecting with the piece of scripture as I create in the bible page. I never know what I will use or what I will create which is part of what I like about Bible journaling. The response of the page is the raw connection that I feel with that piece of scripture. Now I've started I am so excited to see where my Bible journaling will take me. Stay tuned to find out more about my Bible journaling journey. Please like and share this post. I would love to see what you think about Bible journaling. So please leave a comment below of your thoughts and views. Until next time, stay blessed and safe. Billie x

  • Who will we be?

    We are living in a crazy time. No one could have believed we would face something so strange and unknown. But here we are the whole world has changed, with lock-downs, social distancing and the simple but vital message stay safe, say at home. This message can be heard around the world. In such a difficult time it can become so easy to focus on all the negative things. From the devastating numbers on the news, to our own negative thoughts and worries. However, something truly amazing has come from this crazy time as well. We have all been forced to stop - really stop - and look at our lives and what is truly important. More people are connecting than ever before, with friends and family. Although we can't have physical contact at the moment, we can still connect through technology. It has been incredible seeing how the world is coming together to support each other. The out pour of love, faith and support to everyone especially to the amazing key works all over the world. Every Thursday at 8 pm standing outside clapping, cheering as loud as we all can to show our deep appreciation for the NHS and all key works on the front line is something I will never forget. More people than ever are seeking God or the church for help and to support them through this new reality we find ourselves in. I am so grateful and blessed to be apart of such a caring community of people. With the help of technology we are able to still attend church, which I have found has really helped me trough this time of uncertainty. (if you would like to join every one is welcome on Facebook at Equippers Church Essex) A new reality, a new normal is coming. but who will I be in this new normal? This is the message Ps Barry has been preaching on over the last few weeks and it's true. Now we have time to think and look at our selves, who will we be when the lock-down is over? When our new normal begins? This new season is a chance to re-adjust while we have this time, can we make changes now to come out of lock-down better than when we started? This is a difficult time and so many questions are still unanswered. It can be so hard, but take comfort in the knowledge that we are not alone. I am so thankful to have so many incredible and inspirational people around me. Thank you for reading, please like and share. I would love to know what you think so please leave a comment below. Until next time, stay blessed and safe Billie x

  • Family

    Family. It‘s a complicated thing, no Family is perfect we all have different personalities which can clash at times. We all have our ups and downs. However, no matter what happens family is always there for you in the difficult times. I am incredibly lucky, I have two incredible parents who love and support all four of their children in all we chose to do. They have shown us all what family means, being there for each other no matter what. Sharing our hopes and dreams no matter what they are, always cheering us on with all their love and support. No dream is to big, when you know you have people in your corner. These are my siblings. We are all very different which can make for some great times as well as frustrating ones. I'm the oldest, then comes my brothers Connor and Tyler, followed by our little sister Casey. We all share a love for fun, sports and family time. Over time, while growing up we each found a sport we love. For me it is dance, Connor loved football as well as fishing, Tyler is football through and through and Casey loves horse riding. We have all been so fortunate to be able to try and experience a many number of different clubs and hobbies from a young age. But throughout everything that life has sent our way we have supported each other, as we all feel the same. ~That family comes first.~ 'Ohana means family, family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.' - Lilo and Stitch This is one of my favorite quotes about family. As for me it is true no matter what, family is being included and cared for unconditionally. It doesn't matter where in the world they are or if they are related by blood. Family is family, just because you can not see someone doesn't mean they are not there. The same goes for my family members who are no longer with us. Although they have passed away the love they showed me and the memories we shared will never fade. I believe that family doesn't have to be just by blood. My closest friends are family as well. I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people who pay into my life in such a positive way. I have my family, my church family and close family friends and friends who I also consider family. Life is crazy and no one knows what it will entail, but one thing is for certain people will come and go but family stays forever. I hope you have enjoyed my view on what family is and what it means to me. I felt that with all the madness in the world at the moment it was the right time to just stop, think and be grateful for what I have, thanks to the amazing people in my life. Please like and share. Stay safe everyone until next time. Billie x

  • January Fast 2020

    This is my first year taking part of the fast with Equippers Essex. When the fast was first brought up, my head was filled with questions: Should I do the fast? What could I fast? How will I manage to stay on track for 21 days? After talking to others who had taken part in last years fast, I decided to fast: - Added sugar - Chocolate, cake, biscuits and crisps - Facebook I chose to fast these as they are things which were prominent in my life, things which I would have to work at to achieve a 21 day fast of. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I have never fasted before. It was challenging at times but the rewards were completely worth it. The fast started on the 8th of January and lasted until the 29th January. The first thing I did when I woke up on the 8th January was delete the Facebook app off of my phone. It felt like I was free once it was gone, it was more satisfying and uplifting than I could have ever imagined. Giving up Facebook was easier than I could have thought, I didn’t miss it at all over the three weeks. This surprised me as well as showing me how much time I would waste just scrolling through my feed aimlessly and not gaining anything from it. When it came to my free time at work or at home in the evening, I spent it starting to commit myself to learning and developing my self spiritually through reading the bible. On Wednesdays I go to a connect group which is where a small group come together in the week to continue to learn god teachings. The first day of the fast was on a Wednesday, which was so great as we talked about fasting. It really helped cement why I was fasting and that I had support all around me on this experience. We talked about what we had each decided upon to fast and what we hoped to get out of the fast. This group is one of the amazing parts of church life which has helped me through my journey over the last year. As well as fasting Facebook I chose to fast added sugar - so sugar in my tea and coffee - I also chose to give up chocolate, cake, biscuits and crisps. This part of my fast I did find difficult. I found it most challenging in the first week as, all I wanted was to eat all the time a lot more than normal. I was actually having to think about what to eat and what was in the food I chose. Until you stop yourself form eating something you don't realise how often you actually eat it. I found I was really tired during the first week, as my body was starting to have to rework where my energy was coming from since I had cut almost all sugar other than natural sugar from my diet. Over the next two weeks I found it a lot easier, I had more energy and felt better physically. There were moments where I really wanted to eat something really sweet, but I had grown spiritually throughout this time as well and my motivation to keep going with my fast never wavered. When I made those choices to keep going and not give in I felt amazing, I found I was carrying Christ and his teachings with me in a more predominate place than before. Taking part in the January fast has challenged and pushed me to really look at myself and how I have chosen to live my life. It has also given me time to look at where I want my life to go, as well as go deeper into my journey with faith. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and really look at our lives. Time flies by in the blink of an eye, before you know it days, weeks, months have past and have you achieved all you hoped for? Taking part in the fast has really helped me set out a plan of what I would like to achieve over this year in all areas of my life. Thanks for reading! Please like and share. Billie x #faith #journey #fast #church #equppersessex #equippers

  • New year, New start.

    New year, new start. I'm not one to make new years resolutions. But I have already been working on changing my mind set, as well as my life style. Looking over all that happened in the last year one of the biggest things to happen was going to Equippers church Essex. Since going for the first service on Easter Sunday last year in April, I have never looked back. I can not see or think of my future without faith being a big part of it after that day. Finding my faith whole heartily for the first time has changed me forever. Faith - it's a funny thing, especially in the 21st century. Before going to Equippers, joining the community and family it offers, I wasn't much of a believer. I have always felt that there is something or someone out there. Weather you call it fate, destiny or a higher power. I have always had the feeling that some parts of life are planned out for us. My journey with faith started due to one of the most difficult things I have had to face in life so far - Depression - so many people go through the struggle of mental health issues on a daily basis, and I for one never thought I would say I am one of them. In April 2019 I hit a low point where I could see no way out, then I went to church and everything changed. Equippers Church Essex is not like any other church I had been to or heard about before. The atmosphere was incredible straight away I felt welcome and in some way I felt like I was home. The praise and worship was unreal how could music be so powerful I could relate to it so much. The message that day seemed to be directed at me, as it was all about losing your way and how you need to adjust to stay on your chosen path. That the longer you leave things before adjusting your course, the bigger the change will have to be to get back on track. But if we adjust as we go along, the changes won't seem so drastic. I left the service that day knowing what I needed to do to change my direction and get back on track. Something within me seemed to wake up and a bit of my fight for life was back. Within the two weeks everything started to look up. I felt clear headed for the first time in months. I started serving at church being the photographer. Photography and anything creative really, has always been a passion of mine, I had lost my way and church helped me rediscover my passion. Being apart of the production and media team gave me an outlet to use and show my creative side. Seeing my photos being used for social media, as well as the website and so many people reacting to them, commenting on how much they liked them, has been just incredible. For people to be reacting so positively to something I had done, when my mind was saying the opposite. It forced me to start fighting back and challenge what my head was saying. How could people I had only just met see something great and positive in me, when I couldn't see it in myself? Something had to change and that something was me. Through the rest of the year, slowly, I began to see myself in a better light and my faith grew with it. There were set backs in many different forms. However, each time I felt myself come out of them stronger. A friend once said that people who keep going and don't let their mental health issue control them, are the strongest people, as its so easy to give up. The fight with depression and anxiety has made me stronger and my faith has been my biggest support. Without it and the amazing people it has brought into my life I would not have made it through the low points. Equippers Church has helped me more than I can express. I'm excited about what is to come this year. This January as a church we are fasting for 21 days, as a way to really focus on god's teachings. Check in at the end of January to see how I got on. Please like and share. Billie x #faith #newyear #newstart #church #hope #love #peace #music #equippers