Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How Deep is Your Love....

Last night I spent the evening with a group of close friends at one of our homes catching up, sharing food and generally having a lovely mummy evening together.
The tv was quietly switched onto a music channel throughout and random songs were playing one after the other.
At one point the BeeGees song "How deep is your love" came on and whilst it didn't stir any real interest, I had noticed and hummed along at one point.
It's a slushy song, but actually I quite like it... Sssshhhhhh, don't tell anyone I admitted that ;-)
I didn't think any more of the song until this morning when I read this scripture:
Ephesians 3:17-18 "...I pray that you would grasp how WIDE and LONG and HIGH  and DEEP is the LOVE of CHRIST..."

In our everyday encounters it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend Gods love for us. As we go about our routines and flit between different people in our lives... spouses / partners / children / friends / colleagues and so on, how often do we feel loved, how often do we think about how much we love and how often do we rest in the ultimate love for us...the love of Christ.

I'm a mum of five children. I love each of my children from the depths of my heart. I cherish them, I adore them...but at times I don't like their behaviours. Our eldest is definitely entering his PRE-teen season of life, and whilst he is an amazing child in many ways, right now, his attitude absolutely stinks at times. I would die for my children, but when they mis-behave, squabble, draw on the wall or spill a drink and don't tell me so it's left for the baby to slip on, I feel hurt. Whilst I know they're "normal" children, it's at times so easy to take their behaviour as a personal full on slap round the face... it never affects my love for them, but because of that love, I can feel sad.
If we have a row with someone, it can build an insecurity in us of that persons feelings towards us. We can doubt how much they love us...when we feel hurt, we can distance ourselves from people as a way of guarding our hearts and believing we're not hurting as much as we'd like them to think.
The truth is as humans, we will all at times hurt one another, and as individuals we always will seek love and acceptance from others.
Sometimes...people fall out of love with oneanother. Couples get divorced, friendships end, families become torn apart by conflict...love is questioned...

Whilst God made us to be fully functioning humans, with feelings, emotions, longings, desires, the want to feel loved...He doesn't want us to be so caught up in what we feel we need or made hard by the situations that we endure that we stop loving, or that we stop focusing on His love for us.
It's only when we can comprehend like the above scriptures says how wide, long, high and deep Gods love is for us that we feel fully secure in how we love and receive love from others.
It's easy for all of us to wonder how much God loves us when we're going through a tough season in life.
I'm sure if we're all really honest we can all put our hands up and say, "Yes, I've asked God, if you love me so much, why has this happened to me?"
Truth is, God never lets us go through anything He knows we can't come overcome, He never deserts us to struggle through alone, He never whips out a big stick to smack us down with when we shift our focus from Him to how we want to do things, He understands our hurt and our questions, and wants to guide us and answer us...if we let Him.

He NEVER stops loving us...NEVER! He sent His one and only son, Jesus to die for us so that we could live in His Freedom, without condemnation, be forgiven, strengthed....sat by His side!
That in itself is the ultimate act of love. Why do we feel we need so much more, when two thousand years ago, the purest act of love was given to us...free...without Him asking for anything back.

I just want to encourage anyone reading this post, that yes, maybe you've been really hurt in your life. Maybe you loved and had that love thrown back in your face. Maybe you trusted someone and they betrayed you and in doing so knocked the confidence out of you to love and trust others...maybe you get jealous of others success and lives that inside you know you hold onto bitterness, resentment and your not fully loving as God intends you to love.
Today, that can change. As much as I feel for you and understand...I too have been hurt and betrayed in my life...I so urge you to let go of the bad stuff. Stop seeking approval and acceptance from people who may not be the right ones to give it to you, and instead shift your focus onto God. A God who loves YOU so DEEPLY that He sent Jesus to die for YOU! If  YOU were the only person to ever live, Jesus would still have died for YOU!
YOU HAVE been and ARE so LOVED... highly, deeply, forever loved.
And when you recognise His love for you and dwell in that, I guarantee, your earthly relationships will flourish.

Psalm 136:26 "Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast LOVE endures FOREVER."




Sunday, 22 July 2012

Daisy...

I really like daisies. They're such a simple yet pretty little flower, and when I was younger I could sit for ages either alone or with friends making daisy chain necklaces and bracelets...such lovely memories!

A friend posted a picture of a vase of homegrown daisies on Twitter the other day, and as I admired their natural beauty, they made me think about how God should be placed in our lives.

If we refer to the picture to the left of some daisies, we can see the vibrant yellow centre of the flower with delicate white petals dotted around it...if that centre was to be damaged in anyway, the delicate petals would struggle to stay put, some may even fall off the flower. If any of the petals were to be damaged and not cling to that gorgeous yellow circle, the flower would have bare patches and the design of the flowers roundness wouldn't be as smooth and full...the flower would look, be and feel incomplete.
This, I feel can be said of us when we don't keep God as the centre of our lives...every little aspect of our everyday happenings. Imagine yourself for a moment as a daisy...your in the yellow centre of the flower and the white petals represent all the people and activities in your life. One petal is perhaps your job, one represents your children, another your friendships, and so on... It can be pretty hard maintaining every area in life and ensuring you give 100% to everything your doing or being.
Just as an unwatered Daisy's petals would become limp and gradually fall away, without God as the centre of our lives, our relationships, tasks, interests etc can make us feel overwhelmed, weary, tired if we don't water them regularly with Gods wisdom, grace and guidance. If you want to be the best looking, healthiest daisy in the vase, you need God right there as that shiny yellow centre with you!

I honestly believe and practice keeping God at the forefront of everything I do and everyone I encounter in life. I totally appreciate some people may not understand this, but for me it works and I know through experiencing God fully in my heart that I do life so much better with Him in the driving seat. I don't just pray for wisdom in my marriage and then expect my parenting skills to be amazing...I don't just pray for one particular friendship then expect to get along with everyone....we have to learn to pray and put God at the front of EVERY thing we do, EVERYONE we share this life with, every dream we dare to turn into a reality if it be Gods will for us.

So, my challenge to you is this...draw a daisy! Seriously, draw a daisy...then in each petal write an area of your life...now write "GOD" in the centre of the flower, and then write "ME" under it, and as honestly as you can think about the areas God is lacking in your life.
When was the last time you prayed for your marriage...really really prayed and put God in control of your relationship with your spouse?
When was the last time you asked for more patience and wisdom at work with "that" difficult colleague or customer?
When the last time you asked God to reveal to you something He'd like you to do for yourself...rest time?
When was the last time you asked God to give you wisdom with each of your children...if you have more than one child...do you seek individual wisdom or put your kids in one box (so to speak)?

It may sound abit of a silly task, but I think if you tried it (what do you have to lose) you'd be
surprised at how much you do in life, and maybe just how little you ask for Gods help. I know I'm a much prettier, upright flower when I'm at peace with Gods will...when I give things to Him and rest in His direction over them... are you also?

Hmmm, who'd have thought a daisy could conquer up such thoughts..thank you Jesus that you speak to us and through us in the simplest forms....again I say, when we make life complex, you keep it easy.

Be Blessed :-)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

A whole load of Canulas....Part 2!

 So, Nearly two weeks ago, I wrote a post about my mum who is very poorly at the moment. At that time she was in hospital undergoing tests and being dosed up with various potions and enduring many pokes and prodding. We didn't have a clue what was wrong with her, and we're just getting through each day trusting God and making countless hospital visits.

Fast forward to today and my mum is here at my house, staying with myself, Rob and the kids. My dads working a couple of jobs at the mo (his field - construction...is like waiting for a bus...no work...too much work...no bus...every bus that ever existed coming along) so it quite clearly meant my mum should come stay and I look after her. This has been lovely...but its also been tough...and not because of the good old traditional, tongue-in-cheek "mother," "mother-in-law" jokes, but because seeing my mum in pain, pale, crying and scared is so very very hard.
Thanks to blood tests and various scans, we definitely know what's NOT wrong with my mum and have more of an idea of what is lurkng there. We know it's not gallbladder problems, we know it's not an ulcer, and we know it's definitely not coelics disease. So, this means we are very possibly closer to hearing the news that my precious, beautiful, Godly mummy has a tumour in her tummy.

If I can speak honestly (Sorry...I always do) I feel absolutely shattered...mentally and emotionally. I'm running the race, completing my tasks, but I'm in a different place right now. Not a bad place, just a different place...we've had countless conversations and heart-to-hearts, and we know God is SO in every circumstance we will EVER face! This is our journey... my mums journey... with God, not without Him. He knows what He's doing and why we go through what we do.
I don't fully get it...I just don't...but I love Him, I trust Him and I thank Him that my mum knows Him and has Him to rely on.

Im so lucky that whilst she hasn't always been perfect - who is - I have been so blessed to have an amazing earthly mother. Yes, we've clashed at times over the years...possibly because we're really quite similar...but we are great friends. I respect my mum, I love her loads and I am here for her throughout this whole time.

So, the plan for now is that next Thursday my mum needs to have a procedure called a gastroscopy done. I'd really appreciate prayers for her to know Peace about the procedure (she may be a great nurse, but she is a wimpy patient...sorry mum, but you are!), that we would have favour with the team at the hospital, that the kids would be okay so I can be at the hospital with her and that we would actually get some more results and a bigger idea of what this definitely is... apparently it can take anything up to 2 weeks to get the biopsy results.... I HATE WAITING!
But, we fully 10000% believe in the power of prayer, and would appreciate any prayers people can throw this way. We are secure in Gods plan...we trust whatever the outcome, it's His way that reigns over our lives...my mums life!

So, whilst I'm sorry this particular post may not be the most uplifting thing I've written, hopefully it gives anyone whose interested an up-to-date picture of where we're at.

To finish...there is always, always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for...I have many:
Thank you God for your love, your Son Jesus, my children, my husband, my family especially my mum, great health, food and drink, our house, our cars, fresh air, running water, cosy beds, boot-camp tonight which is benefiting me on so many levels, Robs job and it's proivision for us, amazing friends who are keeping me strong...and life!

Be Blessed :-)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

First Wobbly Steps...

Our 12 month old daughter Olivia has today become a fully fledged walker. Above is a picture of her walking from my mum to her eldest brother Josh...his arms outstretched to embrace her when she reaches him. She looks OH SO CUTE and screeches in delight as her adoring audience applaud her and wait in anticipation to see how many steps she'll take on "this go!"
It's such a huge milestone in a little persons life...one that we often take for granted as adults who rush around barely recognising the miracle of being able to stand solidly on two feet...

This picture fills me with joy - simply because it's my biggest baby and my youngest baby... celebrating a joyous moment in life together...I mean look at her little face...happy...delighted...secure in knowing her big brother is right there ready to cuddle her whether she fails or succeeds in reaching him on her feet...
But it also fills me with Joy because it made me think of how God is with us...His children who He delights in whether we stumble or succeed...whether we reach out to Him in delight, our feet firmly on solid ground...or whether we reach out to Him in despair...on our hands and knees..

When was the last time you really thought about where your steps are taking you? When was the last time you reached out to God whether in delight or despair? When was the last time you felt that you just couldn't take those first few wobbly steps into something new because the destination seemed too far away and daunting?

A scripture came to mind whilst these thoughts were milling round my head:
Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

I don't claim to be an expert scripture translator, but to me this verse simply says, in good times and bad, God is our sun and our shield.... He brightens our circumstances, He Lights the way, He protects us from the evil ones plans. He wants to share His Grace and Glory - His Kindness, Goodness and Love, so that we can show each of these to the people He puts in our lives... He wants to bring nothing but good to those who walk uprightly with Him - those who are doing life seeking Gods Guidance, claiming His Word and Promises over their lives!
No matter what life throws at us, there comes a time in our Spiritual journey where we have to scoop ourselves off the ground, stand tall and walk uprightly with God. Again, this may not be a physical act, but it should be an emotional and mental one...as babies grow and develop into toddlers...preschoolers...school children...teenagers...adults, so we too must continue on the plight to grow in our wisdom and faith in God...we can't do it ourselves...that's why we have scriptures such as Psalm 84:11 to dwell on...find strength in...because God has our back...God is guiding those steps!

Just as Olivia had to have the courage to take those first few wobbly steps today away from my mum to Joshua...leaving a secure base to enter unknown territory - we too have to lean on God that He knows our journey, He knows where He's taking us...feeling scared is natural...it's a human response that God understands...but He doesn't want us to stay that way or stay at that secure place when He's calling us into more...He wants to look at Him as our Sun and our Shield and enter that unknown dodgy, wobbly territory and then reach that second secure place...where He's also at! HOW EXCITING...!

I'm beginning to understand more of the personal journey God has me on, the people He wants me to have in my life, the works He's calling me into...some of the dynamics of these things are scary...and all are unknown territory...I can't see into my future, but I can choose to walk uprightly in God...letting Him guide me, teach me, love me, applaud me and then reach His arms out to me and grab me into a big hug.....and so can you.

My prayer for anyone who reads this spur of the moment post is that you today would be able to pick yourself up from the ground and become a fully fledged walker...that today you would choose to enter that unknown territory that Gods calling you into...and you would concentrate on those out-stretched arms that are ready to catch you...whether you stumble at times along the way...whether you succeed...

REMEMBER: There's no such thing as a failure...only a person whose stopped BELIEVING in their POTENTIAL! God has got your back...go see what the journey is He wants to take you on!

Be Blessed :-)




Friday, 13 July 2012

Little Princess

On Wednesday our little girl celebrated her 1st birthday!
Whilst we can't quite believe she is already a whole solid one year of age, I think if we're fully honest my husband and I still can't quite believe we have a daughter.
I always knew I wanted to be a mummy. And whilst the journey with having our eldest son wasn't easy, God has blessed us so much with five beautiful, healthy children.
Four boys aged between three and nine years, and then little Olivia...who as you now know has just turned one.
We never really planned as a newly married couple how many children we would have, we always thought maybe three or four, and we most definitely never really discussed if we'd prefer a boy or girl each time we found out another mini Omokaro was on the way. Every time another healthy baby was born, I just fell in love with him and enjoyed having fun with my brood of boys...it was kinda nice being the only girl in the house too ;-)

But...I think despite me adoring having four gorgeous boys, there was a part of me that felt God hadn't wanted me to have a daughter as He felt I wouldn't do the job well enough. I suffered with bulimia from a very young age, I rebelled as a teenager and got myself into some pretty ugly situations...I at times can be a real insecure bunny who needs a lot of love and reassurance from those around me...not great qualities to pass onto a little girl...I thought!
Funnily enough though, God was using me within church and places to get alongside other women and young girls and be an encouragement to them..."ah, I thought, you want me to have spiritual daughters...okay, that's cool!"

In July 2010 we had a Thanksgiving service for our youngest son Samuel. After his birth we decided my husband would have a vasectomy as we felt four children was a great blessing and it was time to concentrate on the next phase of life as a family. Whilst at the Thanksgiving service, a friend approached my husband and I and told us she had a word from God for us that she felt she had to share...and that word was that we were gong to have a daughter. We laughed and my husband replied with "we reject that in Jesus name!" I believed it meant we would maybe get alongside a family with a daughter or I would gain a spiritual daughter who needed my support..
A few months later, Robert wasn't able to make his vasectomy appointment as at the time I was really poorly with a horrid ovarian cyst, and was having treatment and procedures done. We agreed we would rebook an appointment as soon as I was feeling better...I felt well for a few weeks but then became poorly again and was given a priority scan appointment. I went to my GP for the results and was told my ovary was healthy, but did I realise I was 6 weeks pregnant.
 I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and scared...how on earth would we manage with 5 children aged 8 and under?
But, we knew God would provide and ploughed on with the pregnancy. A few months in, Rob reminded me of our friends words over us about us having a a daughter. I felt silly even wanting to get my hopes up that maybe we would have a girl...God didn't think I could raise a little girl into a strong woman...did He...?

But sure enough when we went for our 21 week scan, we were told we were expecting a "little pink one!" Utter delight filled that room that day. Suddenly the girl who was so proud and happy with her big brood of boys was going to have a little baby girl...God did think I could do it...our friends words had become a reality...many many people shared our joy, and on 11th July 2011, baby Olivia was delivered 2 weeks overdue, weighing a teeny 6lbs10oz.

The past year has gone quick...everyone who meets Livvy adores her. Her four big brothers adore her, her family adore her, my friends adore her, my husband adores her....I adore her. She is beautiful in every way and I just love her so much. I thank God for entrusting me to raise four strong men, but I thank Him too for entrusting me to raise this little baby into a woman...I thank Him that despite my mess ups and ways, He did think me worthy enough to bring this little Squidge up as mine. I thank Him that when we weren't even contemplating another baby, He spoke to a trusted friend and told her His p,and for us...I thank Him that despite the busy-ness and expense of having a large family, we manage...and we manage well. All my children are thriving, they can be naughty...all 5 of them...oh yes, little lady can be a madam already...but they are full of fun, love, wisdom, intelligence and love Jesus so much.
WE ARE BLESSED!

Tomorrow we will be joined by a group of our close friends and family to celebrate all things pink and our little Olivia's 1st year of life...it will be a good day!

Oh and the vasectomy has been re-booked...but that's a whoile different blog post! ;-)

Thank you Jesus xx
Be Blessed :)

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A whole load of canulas!

Jeremiah 33:6 "Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will Heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth!"

My beautiful mummy is poorly...very poorly at this exact moment in time. Truth is she's been unwell for a long time. To be exact nearly 14 years.
Doctors have completed endless examinations and tests and diagnosed her with crohns disease initially which is where she has a severe intolerance to wheat and gluten and if she eats these products she is quite poorly and her bowel becomes inflamed. For many years this condition has been under control...but more recently her health has been all over the place.
Recently she was investigated for bowel cancer. She was losing weight rapidly, going to the loo anything up to 12 times a day and bleeding. She had a stint in hospital and came out with the great news that she was indeed clear of cancer in the bowel but did have an area that was awfully inflamed. We celebrated...we cried...we thanked God! This was nothing a dose of meds wouldn't clear up, and with some extra tlc, the hope was she would recover quickly.

Throughout that whole time, I felt petrified, but clung onto the scripture above, Jeremiah 33:6

Despite the tiredness not shifting much, my mum did seem to perk up health wise, and I honestly believed we were over the worse. But then a couple of weeks ago the sickness started...awful bouts of sickness. She visited the GP and he prescribed medication to ease the nausea and informed her after 10 days she was to go for blood tests and then he would send her for a scan to rule out a stomach ulcer.
We didn't reach that 10 days as Friday night into Saturday morning my mum became very poorly at home. She had moments of her whole body ceasing up and cramping all over. She was vomiting non stop and was extremely weak. My dad contacted me and I drove over and took her straight to the hospital. We went in via A&E and I am so impressed with how they reacted. Without covering all the boring, medical, squeamish bits, my mum has been admitted onto a clinical investigation ward.
 A scan to her torso has shown an enlarged liver and stomach...tomorrow she will have an all over body scan and a procedure called an endoscopy, where a camera is inserted down the throat to look closer at her stomach. She is extremely drugged up to ease the pain and nausea but is comfortable :)
At the best we may be dealing with a nasty ulcer or a horrific case of gallbladder problems.
Whilst these are a pain in the butt, they are both very treatable...at worse, the doctors have been very frank and told us there could be a tumour in her stomach.
All three potential diagnosis will require her to have surgery, as she is so poorly.

Hmmm, I feel that familiar petrified feeling in the pit of my tummy, I feel a weight of sobs in the back of my eyes, I feel tired in my mind....but, and this may sound wierd to some, most of all I feel strong in God that HE has provided a great medical team to look after my mum, that HE has made her in HIS perfect image, that HE knows the plans He has to give my mummy the best future possible, that HE is a GOOD GOD who HEALS, RESTORES, PROTECTS, COMFORTS, STRENGTHENS.
NOTHING this life throws at us can be compared to the love God has for us. NOTHING this life throws at us is BIGGER than the GOD who created this earth. NOTHING this life throws at us will STOP my family and I STANDING FIRM on HIS word.
Lord, whilst I don't understand sickness, whilst I long to wave a magic wand and have my beautiful mother up on her feet right now hounding me about whether or not I'm looking after myself properly whilst I run around after the kids and Rob, I chose instead to dwell on your word...Jeremiah 33:6 to be precise.... "Behold, I will bring in health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth!"

Be Blessed :)

Friday, 6 July 2012

Throwing Stones...

"If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her,"
 (John 8:7 NIV)


Today I was drawn to reading John chapter 8 in my bible.
To confirm, I read a devotional every morning and am currently reading a great book by an awesome christian female speaker called Priscilla Shearer...but in all honesty, very rarely do I have a huge urge to randomly pick up my bible prompted to go to a particular chapter...but today I did, and I was.

I read the chapter with great interest. It's basically a chapter where we see Jesus in a teaching debate with a group of people who are challenging Him...testing Him as they are doubtful He is the son of God. I call it a teaching debate because this is how I percieve all his answers to the group before Him. He could've got really angry and insulting back to them, but instead He speaks with Wisdom and real answers...
It's a fantastic read and I'd really encourage you all to look at it...it's a small chapter with BIG meaning. I'm sure there are many blog entries ready to be written about the things Jesus says in this chapter of the bible, but the part that really stood out to me today, was when a woman caught commiting adultery is brought to Jesus and His response...

To give you a little background knowledge of this story, a group of Pharisees (political group/social movement) were aware this particular woman was having an affair with a married man and decided to use her as a way of tricking Jesus into proving himself not to be the Messiah. They felt threatened by His presence, the miracles He was performing, the way people spoke so highly of Him.
In the days this chapter was written the penalty for adultery was stoning. The Pharisees knew that if Jesus set this woman free, they could accuse Him of ignoring the Law of Moses and deem Him a heretic. But on the flip side, if Jesus were to sentence her to death by stoning, then His teachings of Grace and Forgiveness would be negated.
Below is an extract from the NIV version of the bible:

John 8:3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. 

Can you imagine for a moment how the woman must have been feeling...
Scared: What was to be her punishment? 
Embarrased: The whole village including those they called the Messiah were aware of what she had been doing;
Vunerable: Dragged through the village for everyone to see...men no doubt leering at her, calling her names;
Dirty & Ashamed: Everyone knew she was an adultress, had used her body in acts she shouldn't have;
Condemned: People already judged her as guilty, dirty, useless, marriage wrecker, lowlife, scum...but to name a few!

If you were to put yourself in Jesus's position, how do you think you may be feeling right now?
Vunerable...all eyes are on you, awaiting your response;
Pressured...surely whichever you decide...to find the woman guilty or let her go...you fail either way!

Jesus's response just amazes me:

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Jesus doesn't answer the group of accusers in front of Him initially. Instead He kneels to the ground and writes in the sands. We don't know what He wrote, but we do know that, along with the words "Let any of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" it caused the group of pharisees to turn and walk away. We read the eldest leave first (no doubt the ring leaders of the group, and heavy in sins they commited through life) followed by the younger members (no doubt, left feeling nervous at the exit of their leaders).
I think maybe Jesus in that moment very much revealed the sins of these men to the crowd there that day...I think He opened the eyes of the accusers, made them realise they were no better than the woman they had ridiculed.
We read Jesus continues writing, and eventually stands up to face the woman, asking her where her accusers are...has no-one thrown a stone at her?
When she answers him no, He informs her He doesn't condemn her either and she is free to go and live her life...without sin!

WOW! I'm sure if that woman has any expectations of how her morning was to end, this would not have been a scenario she would have played out in her head.
It's such an amazing testiment of Jesus's love for people...whoever they were (are), whatever they had done (do).
Jesus didn't tell the woman in this story off, he didn't belittle her any more than she had been already, he didn't judge her for her behaviour...he chose to forgive her, set her free and encourage her to go and live life well.
Whether she did or not...we don't know that answer, we can only hope the love of her saviour changed her that day.
So...bringing the context of these verses into our lives and worlds today...3 blunt questions:

1. When was the last time you stood, holding a stone of condemnation in your hand? Not a real stone of course, but a judgmental attitude?
2. When was the last time you behaved like the Pharisees who were so quick to condemn?
3. When was the last time you acted like Jesus in this story and showed Love and Grace?

These were the questions I felt challenged with after reading this story. Please, lets be honest here, we are mere humans, we ALL make judgements on others at some point! Whether it be how people chose to raise their children, how they lead their ministry or church, how much they weigh, what they wear, who they speak to, how they cook their veg (okay, that may sound silly, but I did actually have a conversation once with someone who was very judgmental of people who do not steam their vegetables...thank goodness I do...phew...they couldn't judge me on that...but what else do they judge me on....?!)

Because that my friends is the whole point. We could live our whole lives worried about what people think of us...what they say about us to others...asking ourselves continuously "do I meet up to their expectations",
"do I fit in with what society says I should be or be doing...how I should look, dress, eat, talk, weigh!"
We could stress ourselves, that if people knew the things we'd done wrong in our lives, the amount of times we have messed up, that they wouldn't like us, want to be around us.

Can I encourage you right now...like with the woman in John chapter 8...Jesus is the only one who has the true ability to judge you, your actions, and look at your life and set you free from the issues that have or are plaguing you.
Don't be so consumed with worrying about what others say or think about you when it comes to how you live your life...seek the approval of the one true God who created YOU in HIS perfect image, who loved YOU so much that HE sent HIS one and only son JESUS to die for YOU. Talk to God about the times you've messed up, say sorry to Him, ask Him to help you move away from those areas of sin and live your life in FREEDOM!
And please, if you are holding a handful of stones right now, ready to launch at the next person who doesn't sin the way you do...opps, sorry I meant lives the life the way you think they should...just drop them now...dwell on the scripture above and seek to be more like Jesus. Look at the areas you know you need forgiveness from...being judgmental may be a good start for you....and you know, usually when we are so busy pushing our noses into other peoples lives, it's because we're running from the things that are wrong in ours. 

I don't write this post to be the telling off parent who has it all together. As I mentioned before, as much as I've grown up in the area of not worrying myself about what others do, or what people think of me, I know at times I judge. I'm challenged today to stop being that kind of person...no matter how little or often I may do it...not doing it astall is BEST!
One thing I've learnt is that you if you judge a book or person by it's cover...you could miss out on being a part of an amazing story! Remember...just as you and I fail at times, we need to give other sthe space and grace to fail also! And then, be there to encourage them back up!
I just want to try to be more like how Jesus was in these verses in every encounter I come across. I'd encourage you to strive to be the same....

"Jesus, we thank you for your word. We thank you for your example of kindness, forgiveness, love and grace. We ask Lord that you would help us to be more like you. Help us drop those stones of condemnation from our palms and learn to care for others as you have done and still do! Help us also, know who we are in you Lord. That we wouldn't be consumed with what others think or say about us...that we would know, that even if we were dragged in front of you right now, like the lady in those verses, that you show us the same grace and compassion that you showed her. Lord, have your way we pray! In Jesus name, Amen!"

Be Blessed :)