Sunday, December 09, 2012

Caden's Song

Dear readers

The Scottish news channel STV has recorded an interview with Caden Beggan's dad David and his close friends (and relatives) who are part of the band Union State.

You can watch it here

Please consider parting with 79p to buy this great recording (I'm loving it!) and know that you money is going to Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow into a special fund set up in Caden's memory to buy more of the kind of equipment that, amongst other things, filtrates blood following the onslaught of meningococcal septicaemia.

Bless you. Hoping to post about Akiane (as promised last post) soon, but wanted to pass the word on about the recording as soon as possible.








Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Precious Caden Beggan

Dear friends,

Caden Riley Beggan
Born 29th September, 2006
Died 20th November, 2012
. . . in Mummy and Daddy's arms.

Thank you for all your support.

Caden is alive forevermore . . .

www.facebook.com/CadenBeggan
(posted by Caden's dad on his facebook page)


I've written some reflections out in the hope they might offer some comfort.
Precious Caden ..run and jump on the streets that are golden...explore the Heavenly City...laugh & giggle, play & dance, talk with the Jesus who knew you & loved you from before the creation of the world. Join in with the songs & shouts of praise to our God & know that in a very little while, we shall see you. Gone from this earth but alive for evermore ....

Caden IS alive for evermore. For the Christian, death is not the end. We do not deny that grief and pain exists but accompanying our mourning is our unshakeable, firm, belief that there is an afterlife and it is wonderful. And anyone is welcome to share this knowledge - it is not meant to be a well-guarded secret. We see descriptions of the fullness of life that lasts for eternity all through the Bible but perhaps most comforting of all for us who mourn today is what the book of Revelation says:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth," for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
[Revelation 21, verses 1 to 5]

"The old order of things has passed away" - everything that we see around us that kills, maims, destroys, divides families, spoils the earth, evokes greed, causes addiction, breaks down mental health and harms children will no longer exist. God created this earth (in whatever time span that makes you feel comfy!) and he intends to right everything that has gone wrong. And heaven, outside our time and space, reads like and sounds like it is the most amazing place ever. I'd strongly encourage any who are swithering about what this might mean to investigate further.

May I recommend two top-selling paperbacks? The first has hardly been off the NY Times Bestseller list. You could find yourself reading one of these books in one sitting. They are stories of children who have seen what heaven is like:
Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo and
The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Kevin Malarkey

You see, children are wired to connect with God very naturally. Scientists have actually discovered an area of the brain that does this. Check back next week (or sooner) and I'll write about a young artist called Akiane and her family's story. But in the meantime, check out the Bible and why not simply ask God: "are you for real? I want to know!"

In closing, though my heart is so heavy and I feel heartbroken for the Beggan family, together we all put our hope in God believing that we do not grieve as those who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4 verse 13).

One day we will meet Caden again. Until that day.....


Friday, November 16, 2012

Caden Beggan - a little boy's fight for life


Dear readers.

Today I want to ask if you would partner with me in praying for the life of 6 year old Caden Beggan. He lies in the ICU of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, Scotland, following suffering from meningitis and septicaemia. Sadly, his legs and part of one of his arms have had to be amputated to save his life. He is still very, very sick. I'd love to urge you to read and share his story through his dad's eyes by reading the daily posts on www.facebook.com/cadenbeggan

I have never read such beautifully crafted, heart-rending and honest posts as these. But each and every one - even David's psalm of lament on Monday, points firmly to the Lord Almighty, the Lord of the Angel Armies, who sees and who knows.

I see a uniting of goodness awakening in this nation. An outpouring of compassion. A desire to speak well and bless, whether the person giving this voice has a strong personal faith or none. I truly believe God is moving in ways we may not yet see, to bring glory to himself and to draw people to him - in the midst of an evil, inspid, hateful disease which reviles and pains the Lord to see. Yet in the outpouring of goodness and mercy we see the hand of the Creator as it is a reflection of his all-consuming goodness in the human beings he so lovingly created. We are his workmanship - all of us.

And today, a commercial bus company decorated their buses in pink livery, promoting Caden's continual "pinking" (for tissue life and vitality to be restored, for organs to be restored to their original condition). The buses also show the link to the facebook page cited above, where David and Angela's faith shines consistently and faithfully. The picture below shows one of Caden's favourites - a green dinosaur he drew himself and his parents' description of him: "to know him is to love him".


This is truly a kairos moment; where many, many people are reflecting on their own lives and families as well as on the Beggan family's battle. Please, please pray for Caden. I sense the battle is intense and continual.
- Pray for Caden's parents David and Angela, his brothers Declan and Ethan,
- for the doctors and nurses involved in his care - "Team Caden".
- pray for the wounds from amputation to heal quickly and supernaturally well
- pray for the continued improvement to Caden's heart rate
- pray that his remaining arm and hand would be saved

Further detailed prayer information is posted daily on the Facebook page.

With permission from the undermentioned people, these reflections point to a faithful God in the midst of deep anguish and pain. He remains our hope and our strength.


Quote from Mike A, (quoted with permission, 16/11/12)


His dad, David, continues to post daily on Caden's status (and his own). But I wanted to share some perspective with you from a close friend of the family, who is in regular contact locally with the family.

Beth goes a long way to articulating my own heart, and how overwhelmed I have felt personally with the response from my own friends in church and on facebook. whether you pray or believe as I do; for those who have asked me privately about Caden; for those at work, family, church; through email or in person; for those who have taken up Caden's cause as your own; your compassion has moved me.





Quote from Beth S, (quoted with permission, 16/11/12)


God does not give me everything I ask for and I do not understand His seeming lack of response in the face of thousands of prayers - but I have felt His presence tangibly close, even in the severest disappointments. He truly never leaves nor forsakes.

What seemed to me to be a perfect way to show Himself strong to a nation and the world, God seems to have passed up. I have learned that I am not the defender of His honour, nor the manipulator of how He should perform. His thoughts are far above my thoughts and His ways are not my ways.

God has given humans, when He created them in His image, a massive capacity for compassion for others. I have been kissed and hugged by a number of total strangers in shops and doctor's offices in the past few weeks, a point of contact with Caden for the one doing the hugging - a deep comfort for myself. The caring response to the Beggan family's suffering has been astounding.

'It takes a village......' - so many people see needs and work behind the scenes in this crisis, without being asked or even having others know they are helping. Some are literally 'laying down their lives for friends.' I am astounded at the generosity of people, doing what each can do in his own way, to help in a severe and ongoing crisis.

The dignity of Caden's parents and entire family, in the face of suffering through the deepest valley I have personally ever witnessed or been through, makes me know that their strength is not their own.

I know not how it can possibly happen, but I KNOW that in God's own omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent attributes, in time He will weave (work) this together for good and be glorified.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Like the autumn rain, she's back!


It's been such a long time I dont know if anyone is reading what I write anymore. Which suits me just fine! I see the wee eBuzzing logo has gone into hibernation, probably because I haven't blogged for a while. I had a professional website set up to deal with the launch of my book so my attention has been focused there a little bit - but that's not the place for the incessant chatter of my daily life.

I can't do the whole update here on what I've been up to and where I'm at right now - I'll just let it come out bit by bit and I'll try and write a few more updates.

Basically my book is selling really well and I have been truly, honestly honoured by how it has been received. One of the most wonderful things that has happened for me is my connection - nay, grafting in - to the folks at 3DMUK - the most humble, honest, life-affirming and encouraging people I have ever met. For those of us in churches which wish to turn out the way a little more to serve those outside of the current congregation whilst seeing the members grown and develop at the same time, the guys at 3DMUK don't force anything upon you nor tell you what to do; they merely offer advice, ideas, coaching, vision, direction, experience and ...humility, coupled with a reliance and demonstration of the Spirit's power.

There are individuals who have featured in the last year who will probably never know the extent to which they have blessed me personally and how they came alongside me to fulfil something very specific which God had whispered to me in the five weeks that I worked out my notice at my previous church.

Last January a New Wine leader took some time out to listen to me, talk to me, encourage me and affirm me. It may just have been for a season (I hope not), but I am eternally grateful for him. One day he sent me the most encouraging message that literally came as I was on the floor, being upset would be an understatement.

In both Scotland and England, pastors and friends of many denominations have cheered me on, encouraged me, helped me practically and simply....loved me. One of my oldest friends, now an Anglican vicar, consistently and from a geographical distance pours out such wisdom it's without doubt a spiritual gift of the highest magnitude. Some incredibly busy people here have called up, taken me for coffee, listened, advised, affirmed, made time for us and shared curry (Glaswegian spiritual gift). I'm missing some special soul bruvvas & sisters who I got to spend a lot of time with before we moved house but I look forward to the times I can encourage and love them and their ministries.

You may remember when I left my post, one of my reflections was that I loved well - I so deeply and truly loved the children, the parents, the volunteers and the church family of all ages, which was why I was so sad about leaving. You know that line in Romeo and Juliet - parting is such sweet sorrow? That's what I felt. I can honestly, truly say that God has paid it back over and over and over again. I've experienced absolute laugh out loud good times and loads of fun and I wouldn't change that for the world - now I can say that! Wasnae so easy back in April 2011, as the blog posts so clearly reflect!

I'll post some more about what I've been doing later in the week - suffice to say its been a great privilege to preach and teach and share and pray with so many churches in four or five denominations :-) I've spent a lot of time in England in Sept and October and I survived - gonna get me a T-shirt that testifies as such!

So wherever you are at right now, I can say hand on heart from one whose heart felt torn in two, God is faithful - but watch your heart and your mouth and stay close to His word and to others who love him, love you and keep you accountable!

Luke 6:38
New International Version (NIV)
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Update



Children, Families and God: Drawing the Generations Together

And in other news, my book is selling well but could, of course, do with more selling (I'd make a rubbish salesperson!) to help me pay off the rather large debt I incurred in this project. If I'm being honest I'm a bit concerned about this, I sometimes worry at night about finance, but this whole year has been about me being on a journey of faith and trust and no longer feeling safe in ministry. In that case, 100% success has been achieved there and I couldn't ask for more ;-)

However, I would like to be employed again in some capacity. I'm trying to work out if its sinful to ask for this....! Probably is. I'm just awful at waiting quietly.

Copies of the book are available direct from me right to your door on www.lynnalexander.org.uk - only one click needed to buy (you're doing better now, Lynn!) and it will be posted straight to your door.

A distribution company in the UK (the truly wonderful Joining the Dots UK) has brought the remainder of the books into the UK for onward transmission to bookshops etc and lots and lots are being taken to the three New Wine weeks I think, as at least two one speakers have recommended the book. I am praying that they will do well there because, of course, bringing them in to an event is no guarantee that they would sell. I have a book launch and signing at CLAN (New Wine Scotland) next Wednesday 1st August at the morning break in the bookshop - please do come along if you are there - all support of every kind hugely welcomed!

The Diocese of London, Scottish Christian Broadcast magazine and the Baptist Union of Great Britain have reviewed the book very favourably, with more reviews on the way. Some churches have bought multiple copies for their leadership teams to read with regard to the mission and discipleship of the great big family of God together. My friends at 3DMUK have been selling the books to pastors and church leaders from the UK and European countries - I watched in awe as Dutch pastors took ten copies when I attended Pilgrimage in Sheffield!

I never imagined this kind of thing in my wildest dreams when I wrote the book. I remain in awe of the way God communicated his heart to me for the book in the midst of my own pain and sadness with regard to the frustrating situation I found myself in at that time. He put people around me who saw and listened and spoke the words of life over this project. They were operating at another level, really, with eyes of faith that saw something God would bring to completion. All glory and thanks to God - he clearly had his agenda in the book project as I simply would not have been able to write it had it not been for all that happened.

The really exciting news (for me) is that Children, Families and God: Drawing the Generations Together has been released in ebook format and is available in 6 countries - see the relevant amazon kind lore stores for further details - UK, USA, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.

If you have read the book and liked it, please let others know - buy one for your church leader(s), your parents, your youth workers, your neighbours - I did try to design it as a bible study guide, as a resource to underline and use for training others, as a tool for personal reflection and personal prayer and for activating and and encouraging others for what is ahead. I pray you will be blessed and be a blessing.

Oh - and if you want to pop a review on www.amazon.com in the USA especially - or on www.amazon.co.uk or www.eden.co.uk or anything else - that would be great!

www.lynnalexander.org.uk
www.facebook.com/childrenfamiliesandgodbook

The Influence of Parents




I just read the following (see quote) on a Worship Central forum. The thread asked people what Bible speakers or teachers had influenced them the most.

One person wrote boldly and publicly -
My Dad. He's The Real Deal. He Is Radical About Jesus, Like Jesus Is Radical For Us! He Doesn't Water Down The Word. He's My Biggest Role Model. My Dad Didn't Commit His Heart To Jesus Til He Was 31yrs Old. (I Was 12yrs) He Was Raised In A Broken Home In The Slums Of Philadelphia, And All He Knew Was To Fight His Way Through Life. (Literally) I Grew Up Watching My Dad In Rock Bands And Semi-Pro Boxing. While My Father Hid His Vices From Me And My Sisters, I Knew He Was Broken Inside. I Saw The Hand Of God Captivate The Life Of My Dad. God Reveals To Me His Power And Love Everyday Through The Life Of This Man. He Became A Home Missions Pastor By The Age Of 37 & The Lord Has Used Him To Turn Our Community Upside Down. He's A Combat Commando!!! My Dad Has Taught Me To Always Remain Faithful To God No Matter What The Cost, And He Leads By Example.


Those of us who are parents, how deep and wonderful our love is in influencing - nay - SHAPING and MOULDING the next generation. And where we're struggling - don't parent alone. Get alongside others in your community who will help you reflect the glory and grace of God which can change your life - make you more patient where you feel tetchiness and graceless, fill your heart with love for your child where you feel dry, refresh you in the challenge of parenting. He really does do this - if only you knew how much I need this and receive this whenever I come to the fount of living water to ask for help. I'm living and loving Hebrews 4: Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Resist the urge to send your children away to activities or camps every week during long holidays - invest your time in them and you will reap the dividends. Tell your children you cherish them - explain what the word means (if they are younger) and lavish its use on them - it makes them feel so secure and loved.

Precious, dearly loved children. How they need to know this. And so do we.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1)

Friday, June 08, 2012

Face into the Sunflower




Life just got really, really exciting. Word is beginning to get out about the book and the first book launch is one week tomorrow. A couple of national reviews have been done and the physical books - my share of them - arrived today.

I think what I am most excited about is that "it is finished". I have been obedient to what I believe God asked me to do. Read back here, wow, I can hardly believe it myself!

I have just realised that I have not written anywhere on this personal blog what happened at the HTB Leadership conference in February 2011 that was really a catalyst for all that you may have been tracking. At the end of one of the session (and to be honest, coffee was being served, there was no remarkable encounter/ministry time happening for me), a chap I knew vaguely but who I had never, ever had a conversation with came up to me and asked, out of the blue: "what's God saying to you just now?"

I was taken aback, its true I hadn't left the front where worship and prayer had been happening, but I was just standing quietly, alone. I said: "God is saying to me once again that I will write a book to prepare the UK for the coming influx of children and their families and I will write this to help church leaders know how to handle this from a number of different angles. The book will take many different topics but will ground it in practical theology and real life stories " (or something like this).

I didn't expect him to be that interested, to be honest, but he stood back and said: "the time is now. You need to write this now". I explained that I had a demanding job on staff at the large church I was part of and came home exhausted, just wanting to be with my children and husband and I couldn't see how I could fit this in until the children were bigger.

He paused for a moment and said: "you need to ask for a sabbatical." At this point I burst into tears as I had been feeling the same and had asked my employers who had not responded favourably to my request for a number of reasons - so that door was shut. I had been a children and family pastor for 8 years; I had worked hard, I loved those I served deeply and I knew hand on heart that I was not asking for selfish reasons.

We exchanged a little more on this and then he prayed for me. I can only explain what felt like lightening strike me - and him - and - I don't know how you will take this readers, but all I can say that what happened in the natural PHYSICALLY felt like a decisive 'strike' to act. I had no idea how I could afford to do what I was going to end up doing a few weeks later and the mechanics of what happened next I will leave there. Suffice to say, the friends with prophetic ministry confirmed the compulsion I felt to do this thing. And as you read back you will see how much pain was in the birth of this book, but it meant my face was pressed hard against the throne of God; all I could do was look at him and bring all that I felt, all that I wanted, all that I had risked and given up, at his feet. Hence the sunflower picture at the top of this post - face into the beauty!

I was misunderstood and misjudged and the pain of having to leave the children and families whom I loved was incredibly deep. Yet I didn't feel free to be myself and minister the way God had wired me to. That's recorded in April 2011 posts and I don't intend to go back to those days and those reasons. I tried my best and I couldn't fix it. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this statement are, I did the right thing by leaving as it was the catalyst to step into what had been stirred up in London. Immediately I felt a sense of relief although very sad. But we received HUGE support from an army of bystanders and observers who had seen what was happening - oh wow, how the saints prayed over this book! .

I would rather please my heavenly Father who gave all he had for me, than live out of a fear of getting it wrong - and under pressure (that was a biggie) or misplaced loyalty. People and ideas and (gasp) even vision can be an idol in the church of Jesus. I had become obsessed by the pressure of trying to please, trying to get it right and I was becoming unhappy because I just couldn't do it. Obsession with this was taking the first place God wanted. And so I was called back to the Place of the Knees. All that's just to say that each word in the book has been 'felt' - this was not written lightly nor in a hurry! For the first month of writing I cried every morning and pressed my face against my bed asking God for the strength to keep on going and for his hand on me, cleansing me, refining me, redefining me for what he has made be to BE rather than what I do for people


Getting the Book
If you live in the States you will be able to order Children, Families and God: Drawing the Generations Together to Change the World here

If you live in the UK, order using my personal website below in the first instance, and/or ask your local Christian bookstore to stock the book (this would help get other people to buy it?) - you may need to let them know the publisher is Evangelista Media, formerly Destiny Image Europe, and it has just been published (June 2012)

If you happen to be reading this and are attending PilgrimageUK in Sheffield, 11th to 14th June, you can also buy it there!

If you would like a copy to review for a national publication, contact me via the website.

Orders/contacts/endorsements/diary - all do-able now through this website.

Thank you for standing with me.