Picture pefect

Hey guys, here is the link to my latest cross rhythms blogs – looking at the dangerous illusion of human perfection. I pray this blog encourages you and blesses you. Many blessings, Kat x

http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/…/l…/Picture_Perfect/60553/p1/

Be still

I write this blog at a tumultuous time with the country reeling from a third terrorist attack in less than 3 months, the general election just days away and an air of uncertainty all around.  The news is full of police reports, heartbreaking stories of loss, examples of hatred, propaganda, political scandals and it can feel hard not to feel overwhelmed and heavily burdened at this time.  So today I simply wanted to write and share a video and a few thoughts.

My friend recently finished this beautiful lyric video for me for my song “Be Still”, and it struck me how perfect the timing was.  In a time when things are so full on, worrying and unnerving I feel God has whispered these words to my heart again: “Be still and know that I am God”. I feel that prompt to stop, to take some time out, to rest in His presence and to remember that He is God. It’s a time to recall that He is mighty and full of love and grace and that in him I have true hope and true peace and He challenges me to put my ultimate hope in Him and not in government or people: He is an everlasting and unchanging God.  It’s time also to remember that when things are happening that are so out of my control and understanding, and when I can struggle to know even how to pray, that I should fix my eyes on Him and seek His leading in every area. I need to remember Jesus’ words: “Our Father in heaven. Hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

I pray this song and video blesses you.

With much love and prayers,

Kat xxx

Stepping out in faith

At my church, the current sermon series is all about trust.  This is a challenging area as trust is something that can be abused or lost, or sometimes we get to that point that although we proclaim with our mouths that we are trusting, when we stop and take a good look at ourselves we find the evidence says something else.

I have been very convicted on this recently especially at home.  Let me give an example. There have been many occasions over the years that my hubby would offer to cook to give me a break.  Now I would say of course I trust you to cook the dinner, but what would I do again and again?  I’d sneak into the kitchen and stir, keep nagging him to turn to the heat down, ask if he had remembered to turn the rice off, or had he put the vegetables on.  Although I kept saying in words I was trusting him, my actions told a different story! What would true trust in this situation look like? It would look like my husband offering to cook me dinner, and me submitting all control to him by going away and not trying to take over. I would then walk to the table at dinner time knowing that there will be something I can eat and enjoy.  This is something I need to get better at, I can be really good at saying I trust and then let worry or the need to control the situation take over and push him aside! Not good and certainly not demonstrating trust.

We often that with each other and even more so with God.  We say with words, yes I trust you, we might even sing them.  But then do we then live like it is true?  Are we surrendering to Him the control in our lives or are we secretly expecting him to let us down? It’s easy to ‘trust’ God when it is all going well, you are healthy and you have all you need.  But when things start falling apart, how do you react?  Do you do everything you can do to regain some control or cry out to Him, asking Him to be in control? A Bible verse I have always loved but has spoken so deeply to me recently in this area is Proverbs 3vs 5-6 ‘Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding – acknowledge him in all your ways and he will make your paths straight.’

The big revelation in this verse is the word “Lord”. Who is it that we put our trust in?  I have had my trust damaged by people abusing it but here I have been challenged to truly look at who it is I am trusting.  He is the maker of heaven and earth, the Saviour of the world, the God of the impossible, and our refuge. If God is for us who can be against us? When I start to focus on the awesomeness of God I realise that he is trustworthy.  I have realised that I won’t always understand why things happen a certain way, or the plans he has for me, but I need to stop trusting on what I can see and fathom and start trusting that God knows best, and has plans to prosper and not to harm me.  This is something that I have had to learn as I have walked through times and situations that I didn’t understand. There are times I have walked by faith and not by sight, and God has truly provided so abundantly that when I look back, I can see how he has been with me in every situation, being the truth, my comfort, my strength, my joy and my hope – my all.

I was blown away recently by a friend’s incredible display of trust.  His whole life had just been turned on his head in one day, yet he stood up at church and declared that God is good, that he believed God is with him and would bring him through – even though he had no idea what the next step looked like. He demonstrated trust just as in that iconic Indiana Jones moment of stepping into the ravine trusting that the bridge would be there.

God knows each and every one of us, and what it might look like in your life to trust.

I know trusting God is a journey and one I have travelled quite far on but still have a huge way to go. And that’s okay. Trusting in God is a daily choice and every now and then I forget and I pick up my burdens and try to do it alone.  I need to remember to surrender them back to God.  Don’t be discouraged if you are struggling with trusting, you are not alone, but be encouraged that He is there, that He cares and loves you so much and that when you fix your eyes upon Jesus, He will give you strength to trust in Him and to step out in faith.

Have a blessed week.

God bless,

Kat

Enough is enough

For numerous years, and since I was little, I’ve attended Spring Harvest – a Christian holiday held at various Butlins’ sites around Easter.  This year was no exception and in anticipation for what was to come, we packed up our car and headed off.  This year the theme was ‘One for all’, and I was struck repeatedly with how appropriate and how challenging this topic was.  How on earth do we remain united when we come from such different backgrounds, have such different points of view and different ideas of life? Good question! It’s easy misconceive that unity means no differences, but this week away confirmed to me that unity is being able to be different yet still stand shoulder to shoulder.  It was incredibly moving to worship alongside thousands of other Christians, all from different denominations, backgrounds, ages, cultures and genders, yet be united in the love of God and the desire to worship him.  Our differences weren’t the focus, it was the love of Jesus that brought us together and helped us put any opposing opinions aside and stand together.

One of the things I found helpful through our week was being challenged and encouraged on how to disagree well, and this was modeled by session leaders.  It’s not about shying away from conflicting opinions and attitudes, or sweeping things under the carpet, but learning how to effectively tackle these and walk forward.  As Christians we are called to be a light to the world by being an example of God’s love by our unity. Sadly the church as a whole is often in the headlines because of the epic disagreements and the way it tears itself apart. The focus is often on what divides and not on what unites. The message I related to was this: ‘Love first, disagree well second’.  When we get fixated on winning the point, on being right, or it’s my way or the highway, we stop seeing other people as humans but as enemies to defeat.   I felt really challenged to go into situations with an attitude and heart that is willing to change where and when needed and to remember to love first.

When my husband texted me a couple of weeks ago that a snap election had just been announced, my heart sank and I hoped he was joking.  The reason I felt this way was because I didn’t think I could stomach another election if it was anything like the last few.  I can’t stand people attacking one another personally, backstabbing and slinging mud.  I want people to get me interested and wanting to vote for their policies, their passions and their visions, not their ability to manipulate and slander.

One of the things that broke my heart after the last General Election and Brexit was the tabloid and social media bloodbath – the way people were so malicious to one another, denouncing them as stupid or pathetic because they didn’t vote for their way. People were written off because they had different opinions.  I know of families who had rifts because they were on opposite sides and it tore them apart.

When things don’t go the way we hope it will or the world feels like it is spinning out of control and it feels scary and uncertain let us remember we need to trust ultimately in our God and not in man. Jesus said we will have difficulties in this world.  We need to rely on Him, keep keeping our eyes fixed on Him and live with integrity and grace.

No matter whoever gets elected into power, they are human and will get some things right but also make many mistakes. Let us not put people on pedestals but as Christians be dedicated to pray for our leaders and seek ways to build them up and not smash them into the ground.

So enough is enough, in this General Election let us be people who walk differently.  People that lead with integrity, for whom loving and respecting one another is more important than winning a point, people that listen first and who are able to disagree well.  People who can maintain unity even when on differing sides of an argument, who can be gracious in defeat and humble in victory, people ready to grow and change where required and people who pray for those in leadership no matter what side they are on.

I know this is something I can only achieve through Gods strength, through being willing to change and grow and to see through his eyes of love.  I pray God would bless you and strengthen you in all you do.

God bless,
Kat

 

Made for a purpose

Yesterday, as I was looking at Facebook, a video popped up.  It told the story of a American who fosters children with terminal illnesses.  He talked about how death scared a lot of people away, but that these children needed to feel love no matter how short their lives were.  He has fostered over forty children. For him this was a calling – something that got him out of bed in the morning and that gave his life purpose and meaning.  It wasn’t a chore for him, but something he did because he felt like he’d been made to do this.

Over the years one of my biggest problems has been that I was too busy thinking I had to be someone else that I totally missed the point that God had made me exactly the way He had for a reason.  I had been striving trying to prove myself or trying to fit in when God simply wanted me to learn to be me.  I would try to catch someone else’s vision and wonder why I couldn’t sustain it.  It was only when I stopped fighting myself and started accepting who I had been made to be that I started to feel a peace deep in my heart and was able to rejoice in who He had made me to be.

We can make the mistake of thinking we need to be everything to everyone.  Yes, sure there will be times when all of us can show kindness, mercy, or justice, but there will also be a gift that is so natural, stemming from your passions – so intrinsically a part of who you are – a God given gift. When you discover it, it makes such sense. It is your reason for being here, your God-given assignment.

Some of you will know that my big thing is ‘encouragement’.   Encouraging people is not hard work or a burden for me. It comes naturally and gives me joy.  Recently when I’ve been talking about it people have been pointing out how much I light up and how excited I get.  I’m fulfilling what I was made to do. When I see someone in need of encouragement I feel God’s spirit move within me, leading me to reach out, send a note, call, or get alongside someone.  Sometimes I get a real sense of urgency, and later they have shared with me that they had been in a bad place and being reminded that God loves them, or that they were not alone has helped them through that particular struggle.

It highlights the importance of knowing your calling and making space to listen to God’s prompts. Everyone has a unique gifting and we can make an amazing difference to those around us simply if we are being released into what God has created us to do.  Don’t underestimate something because you think it is small and insignificant, or not in a ‘church’ environment.  We are simply called to be who we are and where we are, allowing God’s love to shine through us.  Someone recently said to me that they were simply average in all they did.  What she didn’t release was that she excelled in making people feel welcome and loved. She had supported me and simply been there for me when others hadn’t.  She’d loved me through all my difficulties but she couldn’t see how that was her gift.

So what is it that truly gets you excited, motivated, that makes you speak passionately or moves you to tears?  What makes people stop and listen, and feel your passion bubbling over?  What makes you righteously angry? What gets your blood boiling? What is the thing that you would roll up your sleeves and get stuck in at any moment because it is so natural, and something that makes you feel alive?

Maybe it’s seeing injustice, marginalisation of minorities, homeless people, lonely people or those suffering with depression.  Maybe it’s a passion for working with troubled teens, a heart for feeding people, nursing people, or just listening to people.  Maybe you are someone who creates the feeling of family wherever you go, someone with the gift of hospitality, someone who sees beauty where everyone else sees mess. What is it that makes your heart soar, and makes you tick?  It doesn’t have to be a career – but a value, a gift within you that when you use makes such an incredible difference.  Let’s not just sit there in righteous anger and frustration but be moved into positive action.  Maybe, just maybe, this is part of your purpose of being here!

If we were all released into what we were made to do, just think of what an impact that would have on our world!

I pray that you would know your God-given purpose in your life and that as He releases you into your calling, that you would truly know His joy and incredible peace.

God bless,

Kat

 

Buds of Hope

Wow, how quickly the year flies by – one minute you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions and the next, Easter is almost upon you. It won’t be long before you’re having to plan for Christmas! Okay, maybe not quite yet but you get where I’m going!

I love this time of year when the weather holds that promise of what’s to come, the evenings are getting lighter, and snow drops, crocuses and daffodils are making their bright appearances. From the bleakness of winter comes this whisper, this promise, of something fresh – a new beginning. You can see buds on the trees, beautiful blossoms and it gives me a bounce in my step and gives me a feeling of hope.

In our life we go through seasons – sometimes we are in a bright beautiful summer period where all is going well, and sometimes we are walking through a dark winter where it can feel like there is no hope.  I wrote a song back in 2013 after I suffered a miscarriage.  It is called ‘The spring must come again’.

For me something that was so obvious was no matter the pain that I was going through, although I felt trapped in eternal winter the seasons they still marched on.  But that is so vital to remember that what we go through are just seasons, and after the cold and bleakness of winter there is a Hope that breaks through.  I truly saw that happen in my life, how the winter gave way to a ray of hope, the promise of new life.  At the time it felt like everything had stopped and that hope was gone, but like a little bud breaking through the ground it surfaced again.

I know that life will be a journey through the seasons, there will be times of joy, and times of sadness, times of peace and times of war.  But for me I am so grateful that I don’t have to walk alone through any of those seasons.  It was the times where I found it hard to face the day and was overcome with grief that I felt carried.  Even when I was clinging on with my finger tips I knew that God was there and that he was with me.  I found my hope in him.

I want to sign off with the beautiful poem ‘Footprints in the sand’:

One night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord.

When the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life there was only one set of footprints. I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in my life.

This really bothered me and I questioned the Lord about it:
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why when I need you most you would leave me.”

The Lord replied: “My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

I pray that whatever season or stage of life you find yourself in today that you would know that God is with you right there, that He loves you, He knows you by name, and will be your hope, if you let Him.

God bless,
Kat

Broadcasting

Two weeks ago I went up to the Premier Christian Radio studios in London to record an interview and a song (accompanied by Bill Sherrington) for the Unsigned Show hosted by Lorretta Andrews. The interview is being aired tonight (Sat 4th March) at 6pm on Premier Gospel and 9pm on Premier Radio.

I am continually amazed at the journey God has been leading me on since I felt God put it on my heart to not hide my songs behind four walls. I have always loved encouraging people and for me music, song writing and singing is such a wonderful tool to do this. I’m able to share my journey, my struggles and the way God leads me through it all, and remind people that they are not on their own – there is a God who knows them by name and loves them very much.

It was a new and exciting experience going to a radio station, and recording in the studio.  It was slightly surreal, but I am so blessed to be getting my music “out there” and to be able to encourage more people. I’m grateful to those who see or hear something in me and give me opportunities to share.

One of the exciting things over the last few years is that I have set up ‘Kat Mills Ministries’.  This is a non-profit banner that supports, encourages, and invests in worship leaders and Christian artists. Through it I am able to give people opportunities to grow in their faith and grow in their God-given gifts through teaching, lessons, and opportunities to record.  In my life I have faced discouragement and God has turned this around into a passion to see people encouraged, lifted up and believed in.

I remember an amazing music teacher at my school who believed in me, and saw past my difficulties and struggles and saw the potential in me.  She gave me chances to grow musically, and as a person and for that I am so grateful and hope I can be that person for other people.

So last Saturday I took Rachael Smith into the Crown Lane Studios to do some recording.  Rachael is a very gifted singer songwriter I met several years ago.  It has been a privilege to be part of her song writing journey, and see her grow and thrive in this beautiful gift.  It was a great session and she recorded four songs that clearly displayed her faith and love of God. I know these songs will bless many people.  (I will post some on my blog soon!)  I am excited to see what God will do through this beautiful woman of God.

I just want to encourage you in whatever you do to not to underestimate how much you can impact someone’s life through encouragement, kindness or just being there.

Wishing you a blessed weekend.

God bless,

Kat