Sunday, 5 December 2021

A life well lived 

Daniel Furey, wisecrack, snazzy dresser, Paralympian and caring fundraiser died on Saturday 4 December 2021.

Uncle Danny was one of the most inspiring men I have had the pleasure of knowing and loving.

Danny will be missed not only by those who knew him, especially his wife Aunty Liz, but also by those whose lives are better because of his campaign and fundraising efforts.

A couple of years ago I interviewed Danny for a holiday accommodation resort which was adapted for persons of all abilities in the south of France. (First published on the Domaine Du Sourire Website, 2018).

Be inspired and finally, to honour Danny, write to your MP to work to improve services for persons with different abilities, or at the very least do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone. ‘It’s not about doing the right thing; it’s about doing more

 Domaine du Sourire Blog interview 2018

I caught up with Danny Furey, retired Scottish Paralympian. Scottish born Danny competed and won a medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and was selected for the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992.   

 

Danny at the Seoul 1988 Olympics


Danny and his wife Liz, photo courtesy 0f Uphill Trust

Impressions on meeting this inspirational man are his wonderful sense of humour, indomitable Christian spirit and genuine humility. Danny has communication challenges, but this does not inhibit him being great company, his great-nephew Daniel said of him “he is the type of guy you could sit and listen to for hours! He has filled his life with so many adventures, the stories never run dry.  You cannot walk away untouched by this man whose smile is infectious and whose heart almost explodes with a care for others.


The infamous Danny smile, sightseeing after the Olympics at Seoul. photo courtesy of Disability Sports Fife

Danny told me he was born in June 1950 in Dundee, the youngest of three. Danny went on to say:

“I was born with Cerebral Palsy as a result of the rhesus syndrome which then was called the blue baby syndrome. I lived, some didn't. Some are physically impaired, whereas some have mental problems, and yet some have both. I lived at home for the first 5 years then it was suggested that I go to a special school in Edinburgh where I boarded until I was 16 years old getting home for the school holidays, it was tremendous strain on my family especially mum & dad.”

What drew you into wheelchair racing?

“I never thought of entering wheelchair athletics until I was 31/32.  I can't remember exactly what drew me to competitive racing because my first love was football in sports, which was out for me.  Although now they have wheelchair football and wheelchair rugby which, with my competitiveness, would have been a bit dangerous. Had these sports come earlier I might not have been here to tell the tale!”

As Danny has said he began competitive wheelchair racing in the early 1980’s, in the days before special racing chairs or Paralympic Games.

He raced for 10 years, becoming known as one of the world’s finest foot-pushing wheelchair racers of the time before being selected for the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and the Barcelona Paralympic Games in 1992.


Danny wearing his "tartan trews"

 Twenty-nine Scottish athletes were selected for the GB team for the Paralympic Games in 1988. Over four thousand competitors from sixty-one nations took part and for the first time Paralympians accessed the same stadia and were supported by the same officials as the Olympians of 1988. I asked Danny:

What did it feel like to be selected to represent your country at the Seoul Olympics?

“Depends on what you mean by country, I gained a lot from my Scotland selection but didn't fancy the British set up. It was an honour to be selected for GB, but the experience taught me from the organisation of the BPA it didn't really inspire unity among the different disability groups that were represented.” 

Richard Brickley MBE – President Disability Sport Fife told me “I was in Seoul in South Korea in 1988 with Danny. It was his finest hour and the last occasion when foot pushing wheelchair athletes competed at a Paralympic Games. Danny's greatest rivals were Danish, Irish and American. The great Dane, as he was known, was the world champion. Danny was the most likely athlete to defeat him over 200 metres. Danny pushed forward and the Great Dane pushed backwards. The result of the race is irrelevant but my memory of these two amazing athletes at full speed never deviating from their lanes will remain with me forever. The crowd in the packed stadium in Seoul were on their feet. One of the great moments in Para athletics.

In each direction travelling for team GB must have been a gruelling journey for athletes and support staff alike. I asked Danny:

Danny, how did you manage the challenges of travelling to a foreign country?

“Quite well, but there were some of us that suffered a lot of jet lag including me. My body clock was all over the place. I was waking up at 3am thinking it was time to get up and dressed, then having to reverse the whole process. That's just one of the issues I felt personally. Our wheelchairs and the stuff that we needed for training with came about two days after we arrived. I remember we were told not to eat anything like beef burgers because they might be cat or dog, and they told us if a policeman said stop, he would mean it by showing us his gun!”

What Danny hasn’t said is that for many of the team it was a demanding journey of moving and handling in the most confined of spaces. For all the team, Seoul was a steep learning curve. So, I asked Danny if he felt travelling had improved.

Do you think transport and services for people with disabilities has improved?

“Mainland Britain and Northern Ireland could do with some improvement particularly with public transport. It seems that public buildings are catching up, but some structures need access improvement even for some ambulant. I feel those with mental health issues and the visually impaired are most catered for but there is room for improvement here too.”

Danny does not believe in sitting back waiting for others to take action, either. In an unfortunate incident Danny got stuck in a church toilet in 2014. While struggling with his wheelchair he fell and got stuck, waiting 20 minutes before someone came to help.

He told Dundee’s Evening Telegraph in 2014, “I’ve never been one to sit around and wait for others to do things, so I decided to take the matter into my own hands.”

Staging a sponsored wheelchair run around Dundee, he raised more than £1,000 to hire an architect to draw up plans for new loos. Despite dreadful weather on the day - pouring rain with thunder and lightning – unwavering, Danny completed his wheelchair marathon. He said he was “determined to do it regardless.”

What would be the top thing you would like to see improved in services for disability?

“More training in the caring side and more awareness what caring for people with disabilities requires, not treating everyone with the same brush remembering that disability comes with many varied and different caring needs.”

Danny believes that it’s not just able-bodied people who need to work to improve services, he went on to say:

“Disabled people need to learn that sometimes things will still be out of reach and able-bodied people are not at their beck & call.”

What are your most prominent challenges and how do you overcome them?

“Accepting the way that I need more support, sometimes it seems as if everything is being stripped away but I guess that's goes for all people whether they're disabled or not. This is where my faith makes me able to cope, as a Christian I find strength in knowing that Jesus is always with me and no matter what comes up I find peace when I lean on Him. Many times, in the hurly burly of life I don't think that God hears me but in my heart of hearts I know that He's just a prayer away. Someday, I know that I will know what my life has been all about.”

Having begun fundraising for new loos for his church in 2014, Danny has gone on to raise funds for other charities, one being the Uphill Trust a small Scottish charity founded in January 2015 to support the development of Uphill Junior School, located in Uganda. I asked Danny,

I hear you still do some wheelchair racing, why is it important to you to do these charity races?

“Children. Especially children who don't have much of a chance in life. In places like Uganda they have less of a chance because their dreams have been shattered before they dream them.”

He went on to correct me,

 “I don't race any more I just do-little marathons around Dundee accompanied by my wife Liz who has started doing them as well.”

These “little marathons” are at least 10K!

completing a marathon! photo courtesy Uphill Trust



All done, still smiling after completing a 10K marathon. photo courtesy Uphill Trust




How fast is Danny going? Liz can't keep up,,, Photo courtesy Uphill Trust

What keeps you motivated?

“It’s nothing to do with doing the right thing, it’s more that more needs to happen.”

He continued:

“And knowing that no matter what comes up, no matter what's been taken away, I will always have Jesus. Friends mean a lot, but I'd better put your Auntie, who just happens to be my wife Elizabeth, and he continued, laughing, as he said “she bullies me continually (that's not true, - well not all the time!)”

Danny Furey, an amazing gentleman whose friendliness is evident to all who meet him; an outstanding sportsman and a legend in disability sport whose contribution to Dundee, Scotland and Great Britain is significant. It hasn’t stopped there, of course, his impact is reaching across the world to Uganda and elsewhere. Richard Brickley told me this little snippet, which sums up Uncle Danny so well (for he is my uncle!) so well “Danny will also be remembered as one of the first high performance Para athletes to compete in very fetching coloured tights. Now everybody does. A real trailblazer in so many ways.”

Thank you Danny for taking the time to let our readers have a little window into your life and to be inspired by you.

                                         --------------------------------


Danny’s work here is done. He received the call from his Saviour with that one time offer he could not refuse. He will not be returning from that appointment, but it does have a huge benefits package, not just a reunion with family and friends he has not seen in a long time but a crown and commendation “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23)

 Amanda Mair

5 December 2021

Thursday, 4 June 2020

#BlackLivesMatter


There is no escaping the current news concerning the protests about racial inequality or more specifically systemic racism sparked by the harrowing video of George Floyd, a black man being pinned to the ground by a white policeman which eventually led to his death.  #BlackLivesMatter is the trending hashtag.

I have read much on social media, the posts, the blogs, the comments especially from the Christian community – those who follow the Lord Jesus.


I am a white person, I do not suffer the racism I have seen and heard recently in that it does not impact upon my daily life as it is. 
Should I be silent? 
Does that mean I have no opinion? 
Does it mean I should not embroil myself in the ongoing situation? 
What can I do or what can I say?


I have no answers to some of those questions. 
I have no words.
I can offer nothing that will be adequate to comfort those who are suffering or words to quell the fears and anger of black men and women who do not have the privileges in life I have by virtue of where I was born.  
My opinion is just that -my opinion and no use to anyone. 

But what I do have is this, the words and comfort of the Lord Almighty.


This is what the Lord says to His people, to those who are oppressed, to those suffering racial inequality and systemic racism in their daily lives.  This is why I could not remain silent; why I will shout His words for they are mightier than any I have.


Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

NB: Justice here includes privilege not only a formal decree

Proverbs 21:3

To do righteousness and justice is more desirable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Proverbs 31:9

Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and needy

Jeremiah 22:3

This is what the LORD says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow. Do not shed innocent blood in this place.

Zechariah 7:9

"This is what the LORD of Hosts says: 'Administer true justice. Show loving devotion and compassion to one another.

Matthew 22:39 and Mark 12:31

Love your neighbour as yourself



The Lord cares, He is the answer, He is a refuge, He is your strength. He is your avenger.



Psalm 9:7-10 

But the LORD reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness. The LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.

Psalm 103:5-6 

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

1 Peter 5:7

 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Isaiah 41:10

 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Psalm 145:18

The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.

Psalm 34:18

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psalm 62:8

Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.



I have heard the cry from some that we should not say #BlackLivesMatter because #AllLivesMatter. It is true that ALL lives matter, it is true that we were created equally before God, it is true that God does not treat us more or less favourably based on colour or culture. God does see colour, He created us that way. 
Sadly mankind created bias and discrimination. We live in a fallen world, sin exists, hate exists, racism exists, oppression exists. 
Call it out! Use your privilege to change things for those who are oppressed. “Speak up” for truth and righteousness. In this instance the systemic racism that exists in many places against our brothers and sister who are black. I must act and speak against racism at every turn becasue the Lord demands it of me. What I can do I have not yet worked out, but do something I must. Now is not the time to be silent and ignore this hoping it will go away soon.
#BlackLivesMatter



Amanda Mair

Saturday, 11 April 2020

It's Easter. What do you believe?


Easter Sunday. What do you believe or not believe? 

This is the day in the Christian calendar when Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus 3 days after he was crucified on a cruel cross on Golgotha’s hill. This is the day when Jesus, the son of God rose from the dead over 2000 years ago.

Unbelievable? Are you like many who believe that there once was a good man, named Jesus who was a great teacher? That is historical fact, there are such evidences of Jesus’ life on earth and that is easy to believe and is accepted as truth.  But Son of God, risen King?

Following his death on the cross Jesus had been quickly embalmed and laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, with a stone covering the entrance and a roman guard, yet when Mary Magdalene and the women came and found the stone rolled away and Jesus' body missing, they at first thought the body had been stolen.  Peter and John, too, did not think that Jesus had arose from the dead! The disciples who were hiding in a room out of fear did not believe it either at first!


So why should we believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God, that Jesus bore the burden of our sin on the cross, that he died and that He rose again from the dead?

 We believe because of what Jesus said and what happened after He appeared to his disciples and others who were hiding in fear. We believe because Jesus called these men and women out to be witnesses. They were eyewitnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus. They saw it with their own eyes and were commissioned to tell the world.

Read Luke 24:44-49
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 
45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 
46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day,
 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 
48 You are witnesses of these things. 
49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.
 We believe because of the eyewitness accounts of the resurrection. It is important to get this, these men and women had spent time with Jesus when he lived, close up and personal time with Him, yet they feared and grieved when he was arrested and died, and despite His teaching to them they record their own scepticism when His body could not be found in the tomb, even they found it unbelievable at first, until they saw Him and following His command they documented it carefully and it is recorded in the New Testament.

Let’s examine a letter from Peter, written many years after the resurrection  and certainly when Peter could reflect back upon the events of that day and have a greater understanding of its significance and the impact this had on not only his own life also the life of everyone who would choose to believe.

1 Peter 1:3
 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Some amazing statements here from Peter:



He believes Jesus is the Son of God

He believes in new life

He believes in a living hope



Having witnessed the resurrection of Jesus, Peter has come to know that through that event new life is made available to us. His confident hope comes not just through the teaching and miracles he saw when Jesus was alive, the basis of his hope and confidence in Jesus as the son of God and in a new life and living hope comes through “the resurrection of Jesus from the dead” . The event he himself witnessed.  That is the basis of his certainty, the basis of his hope – Jesus rose from the dead.

Verses 4-6 get really interesting,
4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
Having established a firm basis for belief in the resurrected Jesus Peter mentions an inheritance. Now, who inherits? Children usually. The resurrection isn’t just an event in history that happened but it points to relationship. Through Jesus we are given the chance to have a unique relationship with God that was not available previously, Jesus death and resurrection established a brand new covenant between God and man.

In verse 6 Peter reveals something that will cut right across where, I imagine many of us, are right now, with so much going on in every nation because of the current COVID 19 pandemic.  If you don’t believe in God or stopped following Him or doubt Him because of suffering in your life or lives of others, then this is going to speak directly to you.

So many have asked the question Why suffering? Why if God is such a loving God does He let suffering and pain happen?  Why if God is sovereign and good are people dying in their thousands every day, nations are emotionally broke, economically broke and people are hurting beyond imagination because of this virus called COVID 19? Why?

Good question and if you could ask it of Peter he would answer as he said in v6…

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials
7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Peter himself had seen and personally experienced much suffering and pain so he knew what he was talking about.  Please don’t miss this important point. Peter did NOT doubt God’s existence nor did he doubt the LOVE of God despite the unimaginable suffering and pain he saw and experienced.
It did not undermine in any way his faith that God is a good and loving God, whom we have relationship with through Jesus. Peter’s faith, his confidence was not tied to “an imaginary God who never allows bad things to happen to good people” after all Peter witnessed the worst thing imaginable happen to the very, best person he ever knew and loved – Jesus. And this same Jesus who rose from the dead continued to speak of a good and just and merciful God. Peter put his faith not in things around him but in the GOD WHO RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD.

GOD IS FOR US because JESUS DIED FOR US and JESUS WAS RESURRECTED FOR US.

He died for us to have relationship with God through him, he did not die so things would always work out the way we think they should.

The resurrection proves:

God is personal and he wants a relationship with us.
Pain and tragedy are not evidence of God’s absence.
Heaven is real.
Jesus is who He claimed to be – the Son of the living God
Jesus has the power to forgive sin.
Forgiveness is available because you are loved by God and because of the resurrection we too are now free to love and forgive others, to love as Jesus loved.

So, it is Easter Sunday. The day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. What do you believe?

God invites us to believe, as Peter did, and my hope is that this Easter, despite the heart-breaking impact of the current pandemic on all our lives, that the death and resurrection would become personal for you. That you would believe and would trust in Jesus.

Choose to believe this Easter.



If you have any questions or want more information there are good resources on Connect Church Lurgan website.

Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram or here on the blog.


Amanda Mair

Saturday, 4 April 2020

BE A WOMAN WHO IS BE A WOMAN WHO IS INTENTIONAL IN CONNECTING WITH COMPASSION Part 2


One of the anchors I want for you women is to

Be a Woman who is intentional in connecting with compassion. .


Having looked at the necessity of connecting  (part 1)let’s explore what compassion means.

Firstly we need to understand compassion. 
The dictionary definition of compassion is:
              "Suffering together with one another, participation in suffering”

Wow, the emphasis is on personal involvement with those in need, suffering WITH them, not just giving to them. That is a real challenge, to suffer with someone.

Jesus is our greatest example and there are countless incidents in the Bible of Jesus’ compassion and we will look at a couple here.

Luke 8:40-48


The story of the woman who was ostracised from family and society, who had spent all her money on trying to find a cure for a 12 year condition of hemorrhaging. This lady risked everything to crawl through a crowd that would have killed her for being in their midst, such was her desperation. Jesus would have been expected to condemn her as Levitical law stated a woman who began her menstrual cycle was unclean and in need of purification, it was a defilement to touch her. Jesus did not condemn this lady but he showed her compassion, he healed her and he led her to saving faith in divine grace.



John 4:1-30


The interesting thing in this story is that Jesus broke quite a few rules – He was Jew, the woman in this story was a Samaritan- the Jews had no dealings with Samaritans it was seen as heretical, she was a woman in a time when men did not publicly sit and chat with women and she was alone. Women in those days went to the well in groups, it would have been unusual for a woman to go alone like this, but this lady again was ostracised from the other women because of her immorality. Yet Jesus went out of his way to meet her, sit with her talk to her and once again led her to saving faith in divine grace. Amazing!


So what motivated Jesus’ behavior towards these 2 women? Yes it was COMPASSION. True compassion causes action. At its heart compassion is simply love or it is birthed out of love. We all have the capacity to love and so we can all be compassionate. When this comes from the heart of God it is spiritual compassion and as God is love, our love must be based upon Him.

God’s love is:

Unconditional
Unlimited
Unfathomable
Everlasting 
It is the opposite of what our human capacity for love is:

Conditional
Limited
Reasoned out
Shifting 

Love is an emotion. Jesus love was about what he felt not what he did. Mark 10:21 says “Jesus looked at him and he loved him”,  Jesus did not have to think about it, He just felt a love for this rich young ruler.

 Love is deep and abiding.   Nothing in the heart of God can be superficial or fleeting. We are created in His image and so I believe we have the capacity for this same kind of emotion.

 Love is subject to the will. The choice to love or not is our own. Love is so important we are commanded by Jesus to love God with our whole heart and then to love our neighbor as ourselves.

To be intentional in connection lovingly involves self sacrifice and risk but our motivation is compassion.  Compassion enables us to walk by faith into areas of hazardous service. Faith spells RISK. Compassion will bridge culture, gender, age, class, intellect, religious beliefs and opinions. 



It is so important to be a loving serving believer part of a loving, serving church that intentionally connects with others and the community! Our love is proof our faith is genuine.  We serve God by serving each other.

John13:35

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.



COMPASSION CAUSES ACTION. 


Be a woman who is intentional in connecting with compassion.







You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and right here on the blog, please do drop by.

Amanda Mair



Tuesday, 31 March 2020

BE A WOMAN WHO IS BE A WOMAN WHO IS INTENTIONAL IN CONNECTING WITH COMPASSION Part 1

One of the anchors I want for women is to

Be a Woman who connects with compassion.


We are living in strange times, in a situation with no precedent due to the public health situation caused by COVID-19 pandemic and society across the world is in “lockdown”. We cannot physically meet with other people and we cannot even attend our regular places of worship and many of us must not even go out to the shop for ourselves. So how do we outwardly express our faith, how do we give it away and be a safe place for people to come to find rest, how do we connect?

It is of course not just during an unprecedented pandemic that we must connect compassionately but we should always seek to be women who are intentional and compassionate in connecting or serving. The only difference, at the moment, is the how.

Why do we need to live this out? Why do we need to serve or connect with others? Why can’t we just enjoy and soak in God’s presence and get to know Him more and more? And perhaps now more than ever with the restrictions placed on us we have time to watch online services and teaching, time to read, time to just consume this amazing God that we have and as wonderful as this is, it really is not all that we should be doing.

Let’s think about our physical bodies for a moment. If we eat a lot but don’t exercise or move around a bit then we will quickly become unhealthy (note to self: a walk to the fridge does NOT count as daily exercise in lockdown!) Girls, if we only “consume” God, if there is only input but no output, then we are not healthy, as much as we need to be women who are established in the Word and in prayer we need to be women who are intentional in serving and connecting.


Let me put it this way, I think we have a generation of women who are waiting for a season in the future when they will use what they have been given and fulfil their God given one time purpose in this life. I don’t believe it is like that, I believe the moment we are saved, I repeat for emphasis, the moment we are saved we are not meant to only sit and absorb but we are meant to step up and into our role of ambassadorship in His kingdom. There is no probationary period, as we give our lives to Him we become ambassadors for Him.

God has called us into His kingdom, we have been uniquely chosen at the right time. We are coheirs with Christ and as soon as we accept Him we have been given the awesome privilege of telling other people about Him.

In today’s society we have put an emphasis on the stage, there is a multitude of mega conferences with renowned speakers/teachers and it has created a false reality or expectation  that women have to wait their turn to use their gifts and what it will look like when it is our turn.  We think it should always be big, always exciting but while mega conferences and the stage has its place for most of us the ministry will not happen on a stage in front of hundreds or thousands. Most of the time no one will ever know or see what we do to minister in His name. Its those acts of intentional connection  that are the most vibrant and life changing work of service that we have the opportunity to do.



Think about it, if we disciple someone or help someone then we’re not going to post it all over social media, are we? No! The most beautiful life giving exchanges we have that lead people to know Jesus will happen in moments with our children/grandchildren, in the back rows or little rooms of our churches, in coffee shops and in our homes when we show someone the gospel lived out in our lives. (although in the current period of time we will need to seek God for new ways of doing just this)

We should use what we have been given right now so we don’t miss out on the abundant ministry that is going to happen in this season. Of course this not to say that we should not continue to learn, mature and develop our strengths and gifts, we should but I see nothing in God’s word that tells me I should wait before sharing the good news of His love or extending His love and kindness and compassion to others.  There is a hurting world out there and we have access to hope and healing and life which we are to give away through acts of compassionate service. It could be as simple as holding a baby, baking a cake, a random act of kindness or (hopefully one day soon) giving someone a hug. It is now that we need to compassionately serve and connect and we are always equipped to do it. 
Hebrews 13:20-21

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep [a]through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21. equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever 

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17. that the person dedicated to God[d] may be capable and equipped for every good work.


So how we can apply this to our lives, well we can begin by not speaking death over ourselves, I hear so many women, myself included, say things that limit us and we know there is a great power in words! We say things like “I can’t do that I am just a mum”,” I’m just an office girl,” “I’m just a schoolgirl or a student”, or “I’m too old “or “I’m just ….. (whatever)”. No, no no, we are not JUST anything. Who does God say we are? We are ambassadors of Jesus, we are carriers of light and truth, we are the salt of the earth, we are bearers of the good news, we bring hope, we are the hands and feet of Jesus.

1 Peter 2: 9-10

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues[a] of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10. You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy, but now you have received mercy.


Speak this verse over yourself, this is God’s view of us. I believe then we will see ways in which we can connect, we will see opportunities where we can minister, we will be surprised by what God will do because we are serving Him where we are right now.

Lord we pray you will open our eyes to see TODAY how we can use our lives for your glory.



Next blog we will look at this topic of intentional connecting with compassion a little more.


You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and right here on the blog, please do drop by.



Amanda Mair

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

BE A WOMAN WHO IS PURPOSEFUL IN PRAYER


One of the anchors I want for you women is to

Be a Woman who is purposeful in prayer




James 5:16 tells us “the effective prayer of a righteous man (woman) can accomplish much”  or as one translation phrases it “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”




Who doesn’t want their prayers to be purposeful and achieve much? I know I certainly do, and I really believe as Christian women we need to be deeply involved in prayer and intercession.

So how do we be purposeful in prayer?

James 5:16 is an often quoted verse, and when we hear or see this verse we tend to interpret it to mean that if our prayers are to be effective we make it about us and our need to be righteous, we have focused in on being righteous, that makes it about us!

To really understand this verse we need to look at it in context. Let’s go back a few verses:

13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

James encourages his readers to pray in suffering, in cheerfulness, in sickness, in sin. He does this because, simply put, prayer is effective. God hears and answers prayer.


V16 begins with an exhortation to confess our sins to one another and to pray for each other that we might be healed. It is then James goes to emphasise the point with “the effective prayer of a righteous man has great power”. The point is pray, because prayer is effective.

Just in case we don’t quite get it James goes to mention Elijah. Does he want us to be like Elijah so our prayers would work like his? I don’t think he does because he takes care to tell us Elijah was a man with a nature like ours. He was just an ordinary man, like me and you! Yet he prayed fervently and God answered.  James wants us to realise we don’t need to be extraordinary for God to answer our prayers, we just need to pray.  


Prayer is effective because of God, not us. It’s not about how good we are or how good we feel. To focus on the word righteous in this sentence makes the answer to our prayers dependent upon us being righteous. In fact the truth is we could never be “righteous” enough but because He is a gracious God and a good God when we pray, He hears! The focus should be on the word pray, prayer is effective because God is good, prayer accomplishes much because God is good, prayer works because of God not us! Our righteousness, as believers, comes from Jesus, when we pray God sees us clothed in the righteousness of His son Jesus.

God is the key to purposeful, effective prayer. So pray!

Next blog we will look at ways of leading the women in your church or group to pray with purpose.

Be a woman who is purposeful in prayer.

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Amanda Mair