What is the cornerstone of your faith?

What is the cornerstone of you faith? Do you have 5 smooth stones?

As a Christian it can be hard to remain on track, hard to remember our focus, the promises God has said, the words that our written in his heart about us. Over the past few years I have developed the 5 smooth stones concept, which has become the cornerstone of my faith, and keeps me going in those moments when life gets hard.

Let me explain about the stones first

Take a normal stone, they usually begin quite angular with sharp edges, a smooth stone is one that has been handled repeatedly, so much so, that the sharp and angular edges have worn down and what’s left is a smooth, but firm stone. Which is solid, and in most cases heavy! Imagine carrying 5 of them around, they would be quite weighty! However, they would serve as a reminder that there is something there. Something physical that you can cling to and lean on.

But how is that the cornerstone of my faith?

Each ‘stone’ is a scripture which has become important to me during my journey and they speak to me and remind of what God is saying and how he is there to support us. They help to maintain a strong foundation, that is always rooted in Christ

Here are my 5 smooth stones –

Phil 2.15 – So that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

This is one of the key verses that I started UC Grace with, it speaks so much to me about how each of us is important and can shine a light, even in the darkest of places.

1 Corinthians 16:13 – Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous, be strong.

This is one of my most longstanding verses, it was given to me when I got baptised in 2004, and it remains framed in a poster on my stairs as a daily reminder to be firm in what I know and who I lean on.

Deuteronomy 33.27 – The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Such a comfort verse! And a great one to visualise that God is all around us, surrounding us at those times that we feel low.

Romans 8.39 – nothing will be able to separate us from the love God.

Nothing, however small will get in the way of Gods love for us. When I went away to university I was given this verse on a pillow, a daily prompt to know that God loves me. The verse (and the pillow!) has stayed with me since.

Nothing can separate you from the Love of God. Romans 8.39

Hebrews 13.6 – So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Where ever we walk, God walks with us and he is ready to help us. Sometimes we just need to know that God will always root for us and help us regardless of circumstances.

So you see, some of these verses have a long standing history that have been with me a while, others have been added to over the years. You don’t have to have 5, why not just start with a few. As long as they are engrained and you know them, they can support you through your day.

I’d love to know whether you have any smooth stones, why they are important to you and how you let them support you throughout your day.

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Do you need a soaking of the Holy Spirit?

Sometimes we just need to stop. Breathe. Pause. Say, ‘God I need you right now’, ‘please send more of your spirit’, ‘wrap your arms around me’.

Our new Soak events are designed to provide just that. An opportunity in the month to enter into Gods presence.

Although we all try daily to walk with Jesus beside us, there are always moments where life takes us down a different path, and we get to the end of a day, week, month and realise, those moments that we struggled through, were exactly the moments when God wanted to step into the breach for us.

My heart for the Soak events is a time to actively make the decision to draw deeper with Jesus and dwell in his presence. In 2 Timothy it talks about the need to nourish and support our faith, and it’s the Holy Spirit within us that can help us do that.

soak night scripture 2 Timothy 1.14

We can’t give out, if we are running ourselves on empty, taking the time to fill us up should be a priority.

What will happen at Soak events?

We’ll spend a short time welcoming each other and doing a warm up movement activity together. As well as reading through some scriptures to focus on during the session.

This will lead into an initial time of free worship, after which there will then be a creative reflection exercise for people to part take in if they wish, leading back into free worship.

There will be the opportunity to take part in some prayer movement if people wish, this will be led and guided by the event leader, depending on peoples strengths.

The rest of the evening we’ll see where the Holy Spirit takes us!

You can see our current dates for Soak Nights here.

Do I need to have had dance experience?

Absolutely not! Part of dancing and moving in your faith is the recognition that movements are tiny and big, so whatever you do, a foot tap, or hand raise, is still a movement.

Want to know more and be kept up to date with other events at UC Grace? Head here to sign up.

Why use dance and movement through Lent?

Last week, as I sat and looked through the coming events with UC Grace and where they sat in the wider calendar, I suddenly realised that Lent was just a week away. It got me thinking about how Lent is approached in the wider world, and how much emphasis people place on it.

Many people strive to give up things, or try to focus on something specific, but how many actually use those 40 days to draw closer to God, to deepen their relationship with him, learn something new about themselves and God? Probably not as many as we’d think.

Then my thinking all got a bit radical, and I thought, why don’t we dance through Lent??

Lent is set aside as a time of reflection, prayer, and preparation. What better way to prepare ourselves than to move the bodies God has given us in surrender when words don’t suffice.

In him we live and move and have our being… Acts 17.28

This is one of my favourite verses, the essence of dance summed up in 10 words! Tim Hughes song, God of Justice emphasises it very well too, with the phrase ‘move us into action, we must go.’ God moves us into action, fills our hearts and initiates our movements.

So, the idea has grown, to 6 week resource, to encourage us all to step out in some form of movement each day. My heart is that those who are both inexperienced and experienced can access it, with different options for people to dip into depending on their time and circumstance.

The Layout

Each day there is a bible reference and a themed word assigned to it, the word is there to help you prompt other feelings as you do the study.

Over the course of the 6 weeks we are going to look at 4 areas, the Psalms – 2 weeks, Armour of God – 1 week, God’s Truths -2 weeks, and of course the Easter story.

How will it work?

Each Wednesday the next weeks study will come out. When completing the study, there are two levels. If you’re short on time, concentrate on the first 3 questions, these can be done in 10-15 minutes. If you’ve got more time and want to go deeper, do the next set of 3 questions which will also take 10-15 minutes. So, if you decide to do both it can be around a 30 minute movement time!

How much movement will I do?

That is really up to you, the studies are designed so that you can put as much action into them as you want, or if you just want to isolate a single word and do a single action you can do that too.

Do I need to have danced or moved before?

No, this study can provide a great way to introduce you to movement. There is no right or wrong way to move, if you are putting Jesus at the centre of your movement. My encouragement would be to start simple, by thinking of movements connected to words in the literal sense.

What if I don’t understand what to do?

Drop me a message! Ask in the Facebook group! There is a UC Grace worship chatter group where the main ‘talk’ of the series will be happening. This is so other platforms aren’t constantly bombarded with what’s going on.

This sounds awesome! How do I sign up?

Already on my email list? Drop me a message here which says ‘count me in’.

Not on my email list? Then head here …. and I can make sure you get all the information you need.