Show Grace

SHOW GRACEAs I struggled to string together words that seemed even halfway adequate to talk about grace, this little daily reading popped into my notifications.

“Grace is when we show favour to those who don’t deserve it. And that’s what God shows us. His love and favour are available to us, even though we make mistakes and don’t deserve it. While grace doesn’t give us a licence to live however we want, we can often be guilty of judging others for not living up to our standards. And that’s not how we should be living. Jesus said, ‘Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Forgive others, and God will forgive you’ (Luke 6:37 CEV). God doesn’t have a set of rules and regulations that we have to stick to in order to be loved, to have eternal life or to have a relationship with Him. Paul writes, ‘If a…relationship with God could come by rule-keeping…Christ died unnecessarily.’ But what do we do when it’s obvious that someone is getting off track, or sinning intentionally? How do we show them grace but also show them that they’re taking the wrong path? The Bible says: ‘If another believer is overcome by sin…humbly help that person back onto the right path…be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself’ (Galatians 6:1 NLT). We can help others without condemning or judging them. The Bible also tells us: ‘If anyone has caused grief…you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow’ (2 Corinthians 2:5-7 NIV).

So we need to be forgiving, encouraging and showing others the same grace that we need ourselves.”

(Word for You is a short daily reading to keep you Christ-centered in daily life, you can find this here:  wordforyou- Show Grace )




Slaves to a screen


Slaves to a Screen

When the sun opens her eyes and stretches her light,

Do we reach for our phone instead of a book?

Which steals us our freshness, until we are restless.

When we need a relief and have a free moment at work,

Do we pick up a block and stare into a screen?

Which kills us our peace, our one moment to release.

Before we slide off to sleep, is the last thing we see

artificial light?  Scrolling and searching

destroying our sleep, watching other people’s week.

What are we doing.  When will we stop.

Is it entertainment, is it people, is it someone to hear us?

It is addictive in nature, but we have our free will.

Don’t be slaves to a screen. It steals, kills and destroys.

And although we’re unaware, it comes in many forms.

Stop reading this poem I’m enticing you in.

There I go again, disguising in sin.

Quenching your spirit, your time for Him.

So stop.

Think twice.  We are not a device.


Written by: Rachel Kennedy. Evangelism and Outreach team leader at the Hub.

God’s Will and Plan: My Story

GOD'S WILLWhat is God’s will for my life? What does he want me to do? Where does he want me to go? I wish I had the answers to these questions about God’s will for our lives, and I wish I didn’t have daily stress about the future, but we all do. We all worry about tomorrow even though we have been told that God has it in His hands, and that He even provides food for the birds. Yet, this doesn’t stop us from over thinking about what God wants us to do, and what our next step should be in life.

When deciding what I wanted to do a university, I choose very quickly, not at random, but a choice with very little consideration or thought. I saw Union college at the Queens open day, liked the look of it and applied for Theology. I choose my 5 places across the UK and embellished my personal statement with an appropriate amount of C.S. Lewis quotes and bible verses. I gave my application very little thought or prayer, I would decide where I wanted to go closer to results day, it was in the back of my mind.

The idea of bible school always appealed to me. Over 9 years I attended summer programmes at a bible school in England, it was somewhere I loved deeply and always toyed with the idea in my head of going there for a year. One of my best friends had also applied there, which made me want to go even more. I remember one night before the exam period, I was doing my nightly scroll through the Instagram explore page when I picture of this bible school came up. I clicked into it to se joyful students, with beaming smiles outside the castle from my childhood and I broke down in tears. What if God wanted me to go to bible school and I didn’t know? These ideas circled my head for months on end, my parents were sick of me freaking out about September and if I would go there or not. During exam time I couldn’t help but think that I had made the wrong choice, that God maybe had a different plan that I didn’t know about. I had all sorts of thoughts about reapplying next year, how I would be able to afford bible school if I worked all summer, and I basically chatted and prayed with everyone I knew. Then results day came… and the dream never really materialised… I’d left it too late and a part of me was gutted. I chickened out of bible school and also any idea I had of going to university across the waters, I hastily accepted Queens and that was that.

Queens to me was unappealing, I wasn’t doing the course I wanted (as I had a major freak out and wanted to do geography, but they wouldn’t let me switch courses), I was also not in the accommodation I wanted. So, I started my year unoptimistic and unexpectant that I would enjoy myself. How was this where God wanted me to be? Why had He placed me here when He knew it wasn’t where I wanted to be? Of course, I made great friends and was enjoying some aspects of the university life but I always has a feeling that I wasn’t where I wanted to be and that I wasn’t happy. I visited some friends in Edinburgh which only confirmed my idea that I wanted to drop out and reapply for a course I wanted to do in Scotland, and I would’ve been able to go to bible school for the months in between, it was the prefect idea. In my head God didn’t want me at Queens, I prayed for signs that I was supposed to be here, and I didn’t immediately receive any, and so assumed I was supposed to drop out. My mind was set.

When the final drop out date came around, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t follow through. I came back after the winter holidays this year and was honestly so glad that I never left. I hadn’t appreciated the brilliant accommodation God had placed me in, the amazing and Godly friends He provided me with and how much He had actually blessed me by placing my amongst people who loved me and accepted me.  I used to go back home from university every weekend but now I give every excuse to stay up with my friends. Although my course, was, and still isn’t exactly what I expected or wanted to do, I still find joy in doing it and learning in that environment and for the friendships I’ve made through it as well. I even went back recently to visit my friend on a gap year at the bible school I so wanted to go to. I had a fear about going, I thought I would immediately regret my decision of staying at Queens. Yet, when I was there I was surprisingly content with where I was and where God had placed me in my life.

So what is God’s will? And how do we know where he wants us to go? How do we stick to his plans? If I’m honest, I don’t know! Something I’ve learnt from all my indecisiveness and circling around ideas is that God can use you wherever you are, if you trust in him He will provide, He will plant opportunities to see the beauty in where He has placed you. Although I still stress about the future, I have a confidence that God will place you where He wants you and where you can best serve Him and bring others to Him. God loves us, He knows the desires of our hearts, but He also knows exactly what is best for us even when we don’t see eye to eye, or even understand His ways.

Be prayerful, read more about God and His character, and trust that God’s ways are higher than our own ways. I am in no way an expert on this, but I know that God has a perfect plan in all circumstances, and that’s enough for me to now be content, and even happy, in where He has placed me. 

Written by: Amy Patterson. Resident at the Hub and first year Theology student.



Do you ever doubt your faith?

There are times when obstacles are thrown our way or it seems silent, that we may begin to doubt our faith and doubt our salvation.

Thoughts of unworthiness snake their way into our consciousness and we begin to doubt how God, or anyone, could ever possibly love us.

We are human, we are fallen and we doubt. Yet, today’s thought is a reminder that there is assurance in our faith. That although we may doubt about Him, the Lord does not doubt about us. Faith through His Son assures a place in His kingdom forever.

What does it mean to serve?


Romans 12: 11-13

11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

When we think about the idea of Christian service, it can sometimes seem like a daunting thing. In Northern Ireland, we have a rich heritage of ‘sending’ mission workers to the majority world; but perhaps, with that, comes the pedestal onto which we place those ‘brave’ enough to go and live and work Over There.

However, when Paul is writing the words above, there’s no qualifier beforehand. He doesn’t say, ‘So for those of you called to work overseas…’

Instead, he gives all of us some straightforward and accessible ways by which we can all respond to the grace of God. He does this by first giving us three markers – and then showing us how we can live them out.

Firstly (v11) ‘Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour’.

Being zealous – that is, passionate – about Jesus is part instinct, part choice. The point is to be conscious of it. How? Paul tells us: ‘Serve the Lord’.

Is there a way you can regularly be involved in some practical service?

Secondly, (v12) ‘Be joyful in hope [and] patient in affliction’.

But how we can navigate the tension between being hopeful, and dealing with affliction (tough times)?

By being ‘faithful in prayer’. Prayer is an expression of hope; the Westminster Shorter Catechism calls it, ‘an offering up of our desires on to God’.

And thirdly, (v13) ‘Share with God’s people who are in need.’

The word ‘share’ here is the same word that is translated elsewhere as ‘fellowship’. Which leads us to the answer to this challenge: to ‘practice hospitality’.

Serve the Lord. Be faithful in prayer. Practice hospitality.

It really is as easy as that.

(This exegesis in this post is wholeheartedly plagiarised from a sermon given by Sam Bostock, Assistant Minister at Bloomfield Presbyterian Church. The full sermon is available here:

Written by: Pete Huey. Operations Manager at the Hub

Mother’s Day

happy mother'sday

Today is a day to celebrate women and mother’s everywhere.

Whether you’re a mother, a sister, a granny, a guardian, an auntie, a friend – you are a daughter of the King and you are unbelievably loved.

Today is a day to help the women in your life feel loved and appreciated for all that they do for you.

In Kid’s Church this morning here were some of the reasons people loved the women in their life:

‘She makes me my lunch’

‘She buys me chocolate, and even though she eats some, I get some too’

‘She plays with me’

‘She hugs me when I am sad’

‘She lays my uniform out in the morning’

And my own personal salute to my mum, ‘She lets me put the immersion on so I can have a bath’.

Within ten minutes there were lots of little reasons that sprung to mind, often those that go unnoticed, of why the lovely ladies in our lives are the absolutely the best.

So, give thanks to the women in your life that pick you up when you fall down, that set an example and are the strong and mighty encouragers.

Happy Mother’s day!


I've cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken.My Spirit is poured out in agony.

Here’s another look at lamenting.

Lamentations is a powerful, sorrow-filled book, yet it is the nature of this book that makes it relatable and real. A source of hope as it emphasises with and accurately describes the feelings and emotions that many people experience today in some shape or form, yet they cannot begin to put what they are experiencing into words.

Have a read today.