Life for Suzanne Burns went off the rails when she left home as a young woman. From a very sheltered upbringing, she soon found herself using drugs and alcohol and shortly afterwards becoming a single mother.
Suzanne has spent the last 20 years serving others. Part of that service includes being the founder and executive director of Foundation House, a maternity home for pregnant and homeless women, which offers educational and job training programs.
Her story is inspiring and she is this week’s guest on Bleeding Daylight. Find Bleeding Daylight wherever you listen to podcasts or at listen by pressing play on the audio player below.
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According to a large section of the world’s population it’s been the worst year in our lifetime. 2020 started with such promise but with 20/20 hindsight, we realise it was not the year we’d hoped to experience.
While shopping a couple of days ago I noticed a distinct difference in the ‘new year’ merchandise on offer. In previous years there’s been a range of decorations and party goods emblazoned with the year that was about to begin. There was no end of items with 2020 printed across them in December 2019.
This year, I’m seeing items with bold print saying, ‘GOOD RIDDANCE 2020’.
While the end of every year sees social media cluttered with posts about how bad the previous year has been and a keenness to move into the next, the hatred for 2020 is palpable. The mood has changed from one of looking forward to something new to one of ‘give us anything but 2020’.
Sadly, 2021 isn’t a reset button.
Replacing the zero at the end of the date with a one won’t magically make everything better. Of course, we know that, but sometimes we’re so keen to throw off what has been that we act as if the chime of midnight on the 31st of December will jolt us back into normal life, whatever that is.
The first of January won’t bring an end to the pandemic or natural disasters like the floods, fires or earthquakes that have recently filled our news feeds. It won’t repair relationships that have fractured or bring back the loved ones we have lost during the year.
There won’t be a universal reset as we drag ourselves out of 2020 and into 2021, but there’s still hope for better days. We can each make changes that will transform our year, no matter what that year may throw at us.
While many people don’t believe in such things, I reckon that any time we can sit down and take stock of our own lives and make plans for the time ahead is time well spent.
As with every year I’m sure that many will set all the usual resolutions about losing weight, getting fitter, quitting smoking, reducing debt and all the rest but I wonder what 2021 would look like if we made resolutions and goals about improving relationships with those close to us and then asked those people, or others, for help in staying accountable to those goals.
I wonder how things would be if we made resolutions about helping those we may not even know but who need a hand up.
We know that there are still very tough times ahead for us and for others. It’s been estimated that around 150 million people will be pushed into extreme poverty around our world due to the pandemic. I wonder what difference we can make for some of the most vulnerable in our world.
How would 2021 shape up if we determined that family was more important than the demands of work and then structured our schedules accordingly?
What would it be like if we decided that 2021 was the year that we would look beyond the physical and material things of this world to discover deeper spiritual meaning?
Surveys suggest that there has been an increased interest in spiritual matters and the bigger questions of life in 2020. Maybe 2021 is the year to seek answers to some of those questions.
2021 won’t bring the reset the world is yearning to see but it may bring a personal reset if we’re prepared to be open and honest about our search.
My hope for the year ahead is that you might be able to agree with what King David wrote thousands of years ago.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4
The good news is that while trouble still swirls around us, the past can be over. Your past and its heartaches don’t have to determine your future. There is a way forward that will bring you a hope that stretches beyond this life and into eternity.
If you’d like to explore that hope, please feel free to contact me. It would be my honour to walk beside you on the journey.
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During the past week, I had the opportunity to speak to a former cult member who underwent deprogramming by a world-renowned expert. Even after his escape from the cult he battled to find acceptance and belonging.
These days Brian Steele is a pastor and has recently become an author, publishing his first book in a series focussed on one of the parables told by Jesus. The book is titled The Kingdom Field Guide.
He has a passion for people to discover a really real kingdom as described throughout the Christian scriptures.
Are you ready for your life’s priorities to be turned upside down? The journey begins with seeking God’s kingdom, hidden like a treasure. But it’s hidden in plain sight—right at your feet.
In this hands-on Field Guide and accompanying Small Group Guide, Pastor Brian Steele will encourage you to:
– Seek God’s kingdom—because you can’t find what you aren’t looking for.
– See God’s kingdom—because it is really real.
– Live out your purpose and glorify God with the smallest details of your daily life.
Brian is my guest on my podcast Bleeding Daylight this week. You can hear our conversations wherever you listen to podcasts, or click the play button on the audio player below.
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Jennifer Wilcox has turned a horrific childhood and an abusive, broken marriage into the beginnings of a program that is now helping other women to transform their lives.
Her own story of transformation is inspiring.
On my podcast Bleeding Daylight you’ll hear how she went from using alcohol and bad relationships to numb the pain to being in a stable marriage with two children and hope for the future. You’ll also hear about her work as Founder and Managing Director of Rahab Center.
She’s currently writing a book about her life but you can get a sneak peek at her remarkable story on Bleeding Daylight, wherever you find podcasts or by clicking play on the audio player below.
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