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A stranger here

𝐃𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞?

This week marked a significant anniversary for Monic and I.

12 months ago, we arrived in the Netherlands.

Those months have simply flown by, so incredibly fast.

We have travelled throughout Belgium and the Netherlands, visited with lots of family, reacquainted ourselves with many old friends, made many new friends from all across the world and testified of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in many towns and cities.

Yesterday, we met up with fellow Scot – Mark Stewart, an Area Authority Seventy, as each of us fulfilled assignments to speak at The Hague Stake Conference in Zoetermeer this weekend.

Reflecting this morning, I was reminded of a scripture in Ephesians 2:19.

At the time the Apostle Paul was fearlessly traveling into lots of different lands and meeting many new people.

Writing to the members of the Church, or Saints as they were called and are called today, he reminded members of the Church of the blessings of belonging, when he told them, “Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.”

What do you think of when you think of “strangers” or “foreigners”?

Mark and I are both Scottish, growing up on opposite sides of the country.

Speaking last night, our mother tongue, dialect, cultural background, and lifestyle may be different from the Dutch, but we were no strangers or foreigners – we were indeed fellowcitizens with the household of God, the Saints, here in the Netherlands.

In our day, in these turbulent times in which we live, strangers and foreigners are coming to us – daily.

We don’t have to look far. They are all around us.

Are you welcoming?

In fact, I was a stranger here not too long ago, yet I have always felt welcome here.

I know that no-one is a stranger to Jesus Christ.

In Romans 8:16-17, the Apostle Paul explains further…

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.”

Try as we may, we cannot separate ourselves from each other.

As children of God, we are not strangers to one another, we are all in fact brothers and sisters.

I hope that we will remember that we are all children of God and part of His family.

Have you ever felt like a stranger?

#HearHim

Who am I?

“Who am I?”
That question surfaced a few times this week in various conversations. Have you asked it of yourself yet?
A couple of years ago, I was one of a few participants sat around a small circle, as a facilitator began her workshop. She asked us individually for a response to that very question. One by one, we gave our answers. A Scot, trainer, coach, brother, sister came the replies. I recall I was last to respond and said, “I am a Child of God”
Growing up as a Christian and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have sung on countless occasions a song of the same title. The words have resonated for decades in my heart. It is one of the most beloved hymns of our faith.

Family Values Awards

For a number of years, I was fortunate to be involved in Public Affairs and Communication for the church in the UK. Each year, a Family Values Award was presented to civic, faith and other community leaders who made an outstanding contribution to children and the family.
In 2016, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and chief executive of Mary’s Meals, and Maureen McIntyre, who pioneered Educate the Kids, each received the Family Values Award. Both recipients continue to make a remarkable contribution all around the world to children and families. That evening, the words of I am a Child of God were shared with all in attendance.
1. I am a child of God,
And he has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.
(Chorus)
Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with him someday.
2. I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.
3. I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I’ll live with him once more.
Paul taught the Athenians on Mars Hill that they were “offspring of God.” – Acts 17:29.
Through my lifetime, I have come to know that we are indeed sons and daughters of a living, loving God. Each of us are created in the image of God. I am so grateful to know who I am, I know God’s plan and I will follow Him in faith.
Next time you consider the question “Who am I” – how will you choose to identify yourself?