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True Love – Lent Letter No.7

During Holy Week, on the lead to Good Friday, I wanted to finish these series of letters with; True Love.

I’m not referring to a Netflix film kind of love, a Taylor Swift “Love Story” kind of feeling.

But the love of Jesus.

Love is so much more complex than romance, so much deeper than attraction. It’s so complex that I’m not even sure I know what it really means; to love.

I simply wanted this letter to be an invitation to reflect this Easter on the truest love there has ever been. Jesus dying on a cross.

John 3:16 is the most quoted bible verse for a reason:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

It is everything about True Love that we ever need to know.

Love Georgia x
RHRG Family

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Lent Letter No.6 True Freedom

No boundaries, no limits, no rules! These are three things that came to mind when I thought of freedom.

In 2021 I think of not wearing a mask, hugging my family, sipping cocktails with friends. Freedom!

In all seriousness though, freedom really is a gift! Galatians 5:1 says “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” God wants to be liberated and free from things that hold us back. He wants us to dream big and do big. He wants the best for us.

To the world however, being “free” (I feel) is often to be without accountability. Like I said before; no boundaries, no limits and no rules. Leave home at 18 so we’re “free” to do whatever we want… have a certain status in society so we’re “free” to say whatever we want… earn a certain sum so we’re “free” to treat people however we want.

The problem is, the world’s freedom is false advertisement. We don’t get what we pay for. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, a consequence if you like. In fact we often end up getting robbed; of joy, of relationships, of parts of ourselves.

In today’s society, right now, I feel as though we’re moving towards a “you do you boo!” kind of mentality regarding ourselves and others. I’ve been wondering how I as a Christian woman in her twenties is supposed to counter that culture. I think Paul says it quite well in his letter to the Corinthians, albeit a little blunt. “I have a right to do anything, you say – but not everything is beneficial.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

He’s right! We have free will, we have free speech. But not everything that is available to us is beneficial. Not every relationship is beneficial, not every comeback in an argument is beneficial, not every Netflix show is beneficial. When I come against these things, I really need to know myself. What triggers me? What draws me away from who I really want to be? And I do my best to not succumb to them.

For example, I love a night out with the girls (come on Boris, let us out!) but I’m particular about who I “night out” with, because of who I want to be. But, in total transparency, there was a time when a night out, no matter who with, wasn’t beneficial to me, so I didn’t go. I was free to go, I Iived on my own under my own rules, but nights out were making me into someone I didn’t like.

All this is to say that for me, true freedom isn’t really about me doing what I want. It’s about God doing what he wants, and me being obedient to that. My (extremely wise) friend said recently: “What God gives us is soul freedom, He frees us from ourselves and everything we do/have done…” Like I said before, the world’s freedom is false advertisement. When I go ahead on my own and do one thing, I don’t always get what I bargained for. I’ve sometimes ended up alone, hurt or just not feeling great.

When we come to know Jesus and truly believe and say out loud that he is our Lord and Saviour, we become a new creation. The old has gone and the new is here. We are freed from our past self, our human “selfness” into what Peter describes as a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession..” (1 Peter 2:9)

Freedom in Christ does come with boundaries but they are not there to guilt trip us into goodness, they are there to make space. If we want to have open hands towards God and what he wants us to do, we need to let go of some things. If we want to say yes to what God is asking us, then by default we need to say no to something else. God, in his kindness, has laid out those boundaries, those guidelines for us in his word, the bible.

I’m figuring all this out at the minute, it’s a journey, but one I’m more than willing to embark on.

How about you?

Love Georgia X

RHRG family

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Lent Letter No.5 True Rest

The dawn of the new millennium and the birth of rapidly advancing technology has brought about an extension to the working week. With machines to do our washing, kitchen appliances doing half the work for us and having a service for pretty much anything, humanity rejoiced as we thought we had “more time”. This led us to focus more on “bossing it” at work, cramming in all the study hours and climbing to the top of our respective work ladders.

Generally, from what I read and hear discussed, it’s been like this for nigh on 30 years. The world is rushing, forgetting resting. Striving, forgetting sabbath. After a year of almost forced rest in the U.K, I think we’re waking up to just how important it really is. We’re redefining the work-life balance, we’re rediscovering what really matters to us and I’m not mad about it!

I don’t really think of the horizontal, sleep, lay on a beach kind of rest (although that is definitely part of it – I am SO ready for a holiday) because we can all come away from times like that still feeling unrested. I mean more, recalibrating, coming back to a sense of self and what makes us happy, reprioritising and then “going again” on Monday.

Rest is an active thing. It’s a choice we make about our week. John Mark Comer, a church teacher and writer from Bridgetown Church in Portland, Oregan puts it like this: “It’s about cultivating an environment, an atmosphere to enjoy your life, your world, and your God. It’s more of a mode of being than a twenty-four-hour time slot.”

Rest isn’t something we earn, it’s something we get to enjoy.

Living in the world, we work so we can rest. Living in Christ, it’s different, counter cultural, upside down. We rest so we can work. God rested in Genesis on the seventh day. In Jewish culture that seventh day is actually the beginning of the week. The week literally starts with rest. If I’m meant to follow God’s lead I think I can do it here too.

Reading the Gospels, I’m usually looking for the work Jesus is doing, the miracles he’s performing, the lives he’s changing. But if I look closer, interwoven throughout it all is rest. He eats with his friends, enjoying himself. He sleeps on the boat in the storm, regenerating his energy. He retreats to be alone and pray, coming back to his sense of self and purpose.

So why am I so worried that I’m not always working?

One thing I’ve really had to wrestle with is that rest is not laziness! When I was a teenager, my mum would often swing into my room when I was mid-movie, peak snack (junk food) time and tell me I was being lazy. That there was much to be done and I needed to “get a move on”. There was probably some truth in it, more than likely I had homework I was avoiding and chores I couldn’t bear to complete. But I’ve carried that into adulthood. Now, it’s like my mum is standing over my shoulder when I’m having a slow Saturday asking “What are you doing?!”

A few weeks ago I was reflecting on how I like to rest, when I realised that I actually use my days off to complete my to-do list. I clean the house, get my groceries, do as many loads of washing as humanly possible. Then it comes to Monday and I want to roll over and relive the past two days.

Now, I get it, the to-do list has got to be done! Your to-do list is probably even longer than mine. But our “to-do” shouldn’t interfere with our being.

As best I can in the season of life I find myself in, I work my to-do list into my working week. I work hard at my job and empty myself of energy during the day. Then my evenings I re-charge, I fill up my energy tank with rest. Currently that looks like: a meal at the dinner table with my housemate, a long hot shower or maybe a couple of episodes of One Tree Hill before my head hits the pillow and I go again tomorrow.

Then Saturday comes around and that is now my day with no agenda. Nothing to complete or create. Time spent refilling myself, celebrating God and how he has made me and is making my life. A long, slow walk, a flat white, seeing friends, reading, eating, doing things that bring me joy and not spending my day to please others or tick off my to-do’s.

In Matthew 11, Jesus asks: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

The world says rest is sleep, and in some ways it is. But now I’m watching how Jesus rests and taking inspiration from him.

Love Georgia x
RHRG Family

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Lent Letter No.4 True Peace

Peace: Quietness. Tranquility. Stillness. Silence. Calm.

Appealing words don’t you think? After a long day at work or hours pouring over books, sitting in sweet silence. Closing the door on busyness, stress and pressure and sinking deep into relaxation.

If only it really worked like that.

For so long, peace for me has been something I can create or somewhere I can go. I run away from stress, busyness, thoughts and feelings and try to hide behind a painting project or a holiday.

No matter where we find ourselves in life, there will probably be something we want to run from. Something we’re either struggling with or unsure of how to tackle, there will always be something we’d rather avoid or wish we didn’t have responsibility for. We can feel the pressure of these things and just want to throw our hands up and beg for some peace and quiet.

18 months ago, I would naively book time off work, maybe spend it in bed, maybe spend it walking around my favourite city drinking coffee and reading books, maybe I’d book a weekend away. Then I’d expect whatever I’d been worrying about to have gone away by the time I got back to the 9-5 office life. And sure enough, the thing that had me worried was still there, and I wasn’t feeling peaceful.

What I’ve come to understand (and really struggle with) is that peace isn’t simply resting and peace isn’t even a place. Peace isn’t sitting in my back garden painting. Peace isn’t a 7 day all-inclusive holiday. Peace is a person and his name is Jesus (Isaiah 9:6).

It got me thinking about the friends in my life who I just feel better after being around them. Do you know what I mean? You just feel great when you’re with them, they bring out your best and you feel totally relaxed, totally yourself around them.

That’s what Jesus is like. He is the embodiment of peace and he is my friend!

Sometimes those things we want to run from, things we avoid or struggle with, don’t go away. Sometimes it feels like they don’t change or get worse. But Jesus is always around. He’s that friend that we can come home to at the end of everyday and be completely honest with. He is that friend we can ask to be with us when we’re going through something tough.

Peace is Jesus’ gift to us. When he is about to leave the disciples he says to them: “Peace I leave with you my peace I give to you…” (John 14v27). It’s the one thing he doesn’t want us to be without.

Peace doesn’t come when I distract myself from my stuff. Peace truly comes when I trust God with my stuff. When I say, “God I need you in this, please be with me.”

A great leader I know said this recently: “Trust is the work. Peace is the reward.” I could not say it better myself.

Love Georgia x
RHRG Family

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Lent Letter no.3 True Thankfulness

“Don’t forget to say please and thank you.”

I can’t tell you how many times I would hear my family say this to me growing up. It’s almost a reflex now. “Thanks!” signs off my emails, acknowledges compliments, and receives UberEats deliveries.

It got me thinking. Is my “Thanks!” toward God second nature? A reflex?

If I’m being truthful, the answer is no.

Especially over the past year, and many times before, I’ve gone to God in prayer thinking, “What on earth have I got to be thankful for?”. This hasn’t worked out, that friendship broke down, that job application got rejected, that family member passed away. Being thankful when things don’t feel good is hard.

But as I reflected at the beginning of 2021, I was asking God for a new attitude that would help me through times where things didn’t feel good. God simply reminded me; “Georgia, I paid the ultimate price for you.”

What have I not got to be thankful for?

Jesus lived for me as the perfect example, died for me as the perfect sacrifice.

Woah. God got me good there.

Psalm 100 reminds me: “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

True thankfulness towards God isn’t a quick “Thanks!” like I’m collecting a coffee. It’s not acknowledging his goodness when it feels good. I realise more and more as I ask God to open my eyes, that thankfulness is:

Found in his ultimate sacrifice for me (everything else he does for me truly is a bonus).

Found in the strangest details of my day (a good cup of coffee is a reason for me to be thankful).

The beginning and the end to my prayers. Because he deserves it.

Love, Georgia x
RHRG Family

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Lent letter no.2 true productivity

To be productive by definition is the quality of producing in abundance or to reap results, benefits or profits.                                                                                                

I’m not sure if you’ve been living under a rock but the last year has been particularly crazy. Lockdown 1, 2 and 3.0. Work from home, learn from home, socialise from home. We’ve too much time on our hands, we’ve not enough time on our hands. During all this, the question on everyone’s lips (well to me anyway) was “So what are you doing with your time?”.

I haven’t perfected my script, but it usually goes something like: “All sorts!” When in reality I’ve been sprawled on the sofa in the same position for four hours, scrolling on social media with an array of cups of tea and an empty packet of biscuits next to me. 

 Anyone else?  

Social media has helped me connect this past year. Sharing TikToks, tagging friends in memes, FaceTiming, Zooming, you name it, I’ve done it. But after a while I stopped connecting and found myself comparing. So many people on my social media feed were hustling. And here I was on holiday. New business ventures here, a side hustle there, new music releases. Friends becoming YouTubers, bloggers and podcasters. I bought into a lie that I wasn’t being productive enough with my time, I wasn’t producing anything in abundance and I certainly wasn’t reaping results or profit! I felt like I wasn’t worth anything and felt more deflated than encouraged. 

External productivity is good for us. I fully support my friends and their businesses, music and podcasts. I like being productive too. I love finishing pieces of work and learning new things.

However, this isn’t the only measure of a good day’s work. 2 Peter 1:5 talks about internal or spiritual productivity saying this “…make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to your goodness, knowledge; and to your knowledge, self-control; and to your self-control, perseverance; and to your perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

So, for the days when I haven’t finished the application I was supposed to, I haven’t read a book, I haven’t moved the washing that’s been drying for the past 2 weeks, I think to myself, God how have we been productive today? How have I added to my faith? 

Have I read something good that I can reflect on? Have I shown love to somebody? Have I exercised self-control? 

God wants me to seek first his kingdom. So alongside whatever I might be producing day-to-day at work or at college or in my friendships, I want to make sure that my spiritual life is productive too!

Love Georgia x

RHRG family

Remember this: Productivity is good, it gives us a sense of accomplishment when we can tick things off our list, but when we add to it goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection; and love that equals true productivity. 

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Lent letters no.1 true fullness

I don’t like emptiness. Whether the car needs fuel, there are no tea bags left in the jar, the digits in my bank account are dwindling. These things need filling. I like them full. That way, I can get to where I’m going, I’m appropriately caffeinated and I can buy myself something new

I’ve been reflecting on how I approach God regarding fullness. I come to him requesting, pleading for him to fill my finances, my confidence, my purpose. I plead for him to fill a void that I see in my life, with stuff

God redirected me to the story of the woman at the well in John 4. She arrives at the well, with one agenda; to fill her jar with water. But there she finds Jesus, the living water! She meets the man who knows everything she ever did and can meet her every need

She went to have her jar filled with water, but instead Jesus gives her true fullness, she can’t help but share the good news with the town and, catch this – literally leaves the water jar behind (verse 28), the reason she went to the well, to run and tell everyone.

God wants to bless me. He wants to bless my finances and bless the whole of my life. But I’m asking Jesus to fill me. Not my stuff. I’m seeking his kingdom first, all other things will be added in their time. I am the container he wants to experience true fullness, to overflow!

This lent we are the jars he wants to fill. 

Love Georgia x

Georgia Grange, RHRG family

Remember this:
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14

Read this:
John 4 (NLT) – Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

Journal this:
Q. God, what are the ‘jars’ in my life that I have been asking you to fill?
Q. God, what is it you’re wanting to fill me with in this season?

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Would you like to create a vision for your life?

Do you ever want to find someone who will be able to tell you: “this is what you should be doing right now”? I know I have!

This Thursday to celebrate the launch of issue 2 of truth magazine we have an INSTA LIVE (8pm GMT @rebelheartsrebelgirls) with CAITLIN ZICK of Moral Revolution to talk about exactly that and a few other wonderful things!

Caitlin has written a book all about purpose and vision and is interviewed in the magazine where she shares how we can live a life of adventure with God and “what’s the creative best you can do with your own life right now.”

Really can’t wait to you on Thursday! It’s going to be FUN! Come along and join us!

To BUY the new edition of truth magazine click here.

Love Jane xx
Editor truth magazine
@rebelheartsrebelgirls