Tag Archives: relationship

Five Minute Prayers & Casual Thoughts

Some Thoughts

Growing up in the church I have heard my whole life that Christianity is “not a religion” but a “relationship”. I am not saying that this is a wrong thought – on the contrary. However, I do feel that the church has failed to teach children from a young age how to live out that relationship. I have been gradually realizing that this faith journey is about more than just “five minute prayers” and “casual thoughts” that are cast heavenward throughout the day.


Now this is not to say that I’ve been conscious about myself thinking this way. It is more likely a subconscious attitude I was not aware of.


In our fast paced world, the faith-minded person has increasingly less time to devote to prayer and other godly things. Maybe it’s more of an issue related to poor time management. However, there is no doubt that our culture is more busy now than in years past.


In any kind of relationship do you expect to only exchange a few words in passing and assume that you’re best friends? Of course not! We are all aware that to have a good friendship with someone takes time and effort. You need to have conversations with that person and spend time getting to know them in different contexts. Why then do we assume that our relationship with God would be any different?

You may be saying, “But God is all-knowing. He should already know everything about me. He should just answer when he hears my prayer.” Yes, God is all-knowing. however, he still desires a close relationship with us. He wants to hear from us. How was your day? What are your hopes and dreams? What are you struggling with? God wants to spent time with us. Although, he is omniscient, we are not. That is another reason (and benefit) to dedicate ourselves to deepening our relationship with him.


If any of us wonder why we are not moving forward, why we cannot hear God, or many other questions, the first thing to ask ourselves is: “how is my connection with God?” Now, I understand that even the most devote individual, will go through dry seasons. This is by no means a “step-by-step”, “one-size-fits-all” solution. However, these are some thoughts that I resonate with, that may help someone else out there reading this right now.

To sum it all up, this faith we are called to, needs to be lived in dependance on Christ and according to the truth found in his Word.

Digging Deeper

“[To have Faith in Christ] means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts” – A.W. Tozer

1. God Is On The Move by 7eventh Time Down

2. The Proof Of Your Love by for KING & COUNTRY

3. Wake Me Up (Amnesia) by Group 1 Crew


Memorable Moments

Hello everyone! I’m back from the void! I feel sad that I haven’t written  anything here since October. However, my life became really crazy in the latter half of the semester with all the assignments and studying for exams.

I will strive to change this in the new year. It’s one of my goals to organize myself – my priorities, etc. – and to schedule and plan better.

There have been many hard and painful moments of this year. Yet, I will still look back at 2015 with fondness. It has been fun and encouraging to make some new friendships. I also feel like I’ve personally developed and grown significantly. Everything considered, I look forward to this new year with hope and excitement. I’ll trust God and await to see what lies in store for me. Whatever happens, I know I’m not alone. I’m loved and surrounded by a community that cares for me.

I enjoy this season of the year because it’s a time when family comes together. Joy, hope, peace and love are in the air. However, let’s also remember to be thinking of and praying for those who will have a difficult time dealing with pain and loss.

What are you looking forward to over this Christmas and holiday season?


Create In Me

One thing about being renewed is that it has to start from inside you. It must be an internal change that sparks within your heart and then moves into other aspects of your life, creating outward and viewable changes!

Psalm 51: 10-12, (from the NLT), says:

“Create in me a clean heart, O God.

And Renew a loyal spirit within me.

Do not banish me from your presence,

and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and make me willing to obey you.”

I want my heart to be set upon the things that really matter in the long term. It’s the relationships I make and faith that will sustain me throughout time! So I should focus on being able to demonstrate more dedication in those areas of my life that will support my faith and giving and growing with my friends and family!

So, to keep it short and sweet, I need to get a new bigger heart this year. I want to focus on loving and caring about the things that truly matter in my life, instead of the temporary things that will soon fade away!

Word for the Year

Wow! It’s my first post of 2015! I saw the idea of choosing a word for the year from this blog post: http://notesfrominnisfree.blogspot.ca/2015/01/word-for-year.html

And I decided that I wanted to do it this year! I didn’t put very much thought into it, since immediately this word came to me: renew. For this next year I want to renew myself. Spiritually, I want to renew my relationship with God and grow closer to Him again. I also want to renew and strengthen old and new friendships. And I want more confidence in standing firmly where I am.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

“And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3: 10-12)

R = Recharge and Reflect

E =  Engage

N = New Purpose

E = Expand (knowledge, friends, etc.)

W = Worship

So, are you doing a ‘word of the year’?


Christmas Song Favourites #2

Band Aid! I believe it was my dad who first showed me the 1984 original version of the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. And I immediately fell in love! That’s why it’s up here at number two of my favourite Christmas songs!

I think that the melody is very catchy. Plus it is special to see multiple artists coming together for a single purpose! The message is challenging as it gets you to think about how people, specifically in Africa, (or in other parts of the world), may see or not see Christmas. Christmas for some may not consist of snow, fancy decorations and/ or presents. And while we have a comfortable and traditional season, the authors and artists want us to remember those who may not have it as good as we do.

“But say a prayer

Pray for the other ones

At Christmas time it’s hard

But when you’re having fun.

There’s a world outside your window

And it’s a world of dread and fear


Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”

For some reason, every other time people have covered this song in the years following 1984, no other group seems to do the song justice. In my opinion, there’s just no beating the original song.


My Christmas Traditions

Christmas is one of my favourite holidays. It is a season of mystery and hope. I also love the time of Advent leading up to Christmas. For the month of December, every Sunday a new candle would be lit for hope, peace, joy and love. For years my church would have drama performances about the birth story of Jesus as well as scripture read, and the singing of Christmas hymns and carols. It was a good memory and a special time for me growing up.


(Found on Google).

For Christmas itself, my family never had a fixed date where we put up the tree. We simply got it up whenever we had a chance in the first few weeks of December. (And yes, our tree is a fake. However, I am not opposed to the idea of a real tree). One of my favourite parts was listening to different Christmas music as we decorated the tree as a family. We have lot of personalized ornaments, and my parents had a tradition that each year us kids would get a new ornament for the tree.

And what would Christmas be without watching the traditional movie classics! My long time favourite has always been “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Its storyline, comedy and message to appreciate your life, all make it very enjoyable! However, a newer favourite of mine is one I was given a few years ago called “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (2008). It ends up being more of a romantic Christmas movie, but is also filled with comedic moments.

In general people just tend to be a little bit nicer and caring during this time. Haha, or maybe it’s that they’re more stressed. Anyways, whatever this season means for you, I hope this Christmas you can spend time with your family and appreciate what you’ve been given.

What are your favourite Christmas traditions?


P.S. You noticed that I didn’t mention food. That’s because, though my family always has had lovely Christmas meals, it’s the people I spend my Christmas with that make it so special and memorable.


Lately I’ve noticed that there are tons of books out there on staying pure for your future spouse, how to find love, etc.

Relationships. Relationships. Relationships.

Not to say that relationships are a bad thing. They can be great! And God made us for relationship (whether that’s in the context of marriage or with family and friends). However, I believe that there’s a disturbing lack of material telling you to find yourself first. Often a “significant other” can be seen as what will complete your “missing half”. But do two broken people really make a whole?

Sometimes it feels like if you’re single, there’s a problem with you. The message seems to be that marriage should be the end goal. The problem is that not everyone gets married.

“God will bring the right one”, they say. But what if God calls me to live a life of singleness? He doesn’t promise that everyone will get married. However, I do know that He is big enough to supply all of  my needs.

Plus, there are other ways to fill our need for human interaction. You can spend time with friends, go to youth groups, or volunteer and much more!

saw this feeling of restlessness and pressure in myself and didn’t like it. I don’t want to live my life wishing all my time away. I want to live fully and accept myself for who I am now. Who knows? I may get married someday, but for now I want to be content with where I am and focus on my goals.

This is my journey to be free and live in the present with positivity and for the glory of God.


Copyright Annika Barclay, 2014. No use without consent.