Thursday, December 11, 2014

But it Hurts Lord

James 1:2-4  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

This year has been full of trials, hurts and disappointments. I didn't know 365 days could hold so much pain and tears. Who knew that growth would actually mean there were growing pains and horrible achy stretchy feelings that would emerge. You feel like you just couldn't bear to handle another day of it. That if you are let down, abandoned, hurt and misunderstood one more time you may burst.

But you know what makes this time so strange is the many times I have called on the name of God and He came to my rescue. When I praised Him through all my circumstances and through all of my pain it really changed me. With the passing of a family member, I was surprised that I was even able to worship God. How was it possible to be so heartbroken and still sing? I even had joy. I had every reason to fall apart and crawl into a little heap but I chose a better way. It hasn't always been easy.

I can say with all honesty that this has been the most difficult and the most emotionally exhausting year of my life. There were times I have not wanted to read my Bible and I didn't want to sing or dance. I couldn't even summon up enough energy to put some music on. I had moments when I was so depressed sometimes for no apparent reason that I didn't even want to get out of bed. There were days I didn't really care to do anything. I am grateful to God for my 4 children and a husband who works so hard. Having a family to care for forced me to get up out of bed. When my husband was away for work, the kids were sick and there was no one to look after them but me, I had to get up.
They also make me laugh and bring me great joy. Even on the worst of days they are always there. He knew what He was doing. Yes my hands are full but God made sure they were full as well as my heart because He knew how much I desired and needed my family in my life.

I can look back on this year with so many feelings but one thing that sticks out the most is joy. Joy is not a feeling but a state of being. It defeats all odds and overcomes all emotions.

God came to me and answered me when I called on Him. The Holy Spirit comforted me in my deepest grief and despair. When I didn't think I could anymore, there was God before me, encouraging me and spurring me on.

I have endured and I have overcome. I possess Victory. I stand as tall and as straight as a Palm Tree through all of the storms that come my way because I belong to the Most High God. This year I have learned to praise Him through the good, the bad and the horrible. He has given me a new song to sing and I will sing it so that others may hear it and be set free.

Psalm 40 sums up this year for me.
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
    and he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair,

    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.

He has given me a new song to sing,

    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
    They will put their trust in the Lord.
 Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord,
    who have no confidence in the proud
    or in those who worship idols.

Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us.

    Your plans for us are too numerous to list.
    You have no equal.
If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,
    I would never come to the end of them.
 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.
    Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand[a]
    you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings.

Then I said, “Look, I have come.

    As is written about me in the Scriptures:
 I take joy in doing your will, my God,
    for your instructions are written on my heart.”
 I have told all your people about your justice.
    I have not been afraid to speak out,
    as you, O Lord, well know.
 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;
    I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.
I have told everyone in the great assembly
    of your unfailing love and faithfulness.
 Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me.
    Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.
 For troubles surround me—
    too many to count!
My sins pile up so high
    I can’t see my way out.
They outnumber the hairs on my head.
    I have lost all courage.
 Please, Lord, rescue me!
    Come quickly, Lord, and help me.
 May those who try to destroy me
    be humiliated and put to shame.
May those who take delight in my trouble
    be turned back in disgrace.
 Let them be horrified by their shame,
    for they said, “Aha! We’ve got him now!”
 But may all who search for you
    be filled with joy and gladness in you.
May those who love your salvation
    repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”

As for me, since I am poor and needy,

    let the Lord keep me in his thoughts.
You are my helper and my savior.
    O my God, do not delay.

So today if you feel overwhelmed and like the world is about to fall down on you, remember God is always with you. It hurts but we have joy and a God we can worship through any circumstance.

Lord, thank you when trials come our way. Thank you for every circumstance that is brought out way to test us, grow us and strengthen us. Thank you Lord that you are always with us through all these things. Help us to fix our eyes on You and not the magnitude of our troubles. May we consider it a great joy when we suffer, when we hurt and when we overcome. Amen

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Weakness and Strength

 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I cannot believe we are already half way through October already. Not long now and we will be attending end of year parties and celebrations. Enjoying family time and sharing meals with friends.

I always find that it is at this time of year that we reflect of the year that has been and look forward to the year ahead but most of all we look at the last few months of the year and wonder what it is we will be willing to take into the New Year. What are the things we are going to focus more on? What are the things we are going to change or do differently?

What I have learnt this year is what has made me the person I am today and that will be the person I will take in to 2015.

Things I have learned:
  You can have a whole year of emotional roller-coasters and because you have faith and trust in God you can come out stronger.
  You can try something new.
  You can create.
  You can love someone with all your heart after only knowing them for a short time.
  Friendships are important.
  Fellowship with other believers is God's greatest gift to us.
  Serving others is growing where you are planted but makes sure that if you are meant to be in the vegetable garden that you are planted there. If you are meant to be in a herb garden don't muck about thinking you are a water lily.
  Mental health is very important. It isn't very easy to get out of the Valley of the Shadow but it is possible. It is important to realise that we only walk through it, We should never sit down and try make ourselves at home. God has made us more than conquerors. We have the power to start off our day thinking and meditating on everything good and calling on the Holy Spirit to lead us through.
  Don't ever give up! Just tarry a little longer. Your help is just around the corner.
  It is not about the trials you go through but more about your attitude and how you decide to handle things that come your way.
  God has made every millimeter of you unique. Love all of it. There is only one you and only you have that one thing the world needs. Don't waste any of your life being a poor copy of anyone else.

It is also really important to go into a new year with a sentence summing up your attitude and goal for the coming year. Ask the Holy Spirit what it is that you need to proclaim over 2015. For me 2014 was about not letting anything get me down. I was going to overcome and shake off what was thrown at me. I am glad I spoke this over my life because it has gotten me through this year and every time I went through a hard time or an obstacle was put before me I remembered these word and drew strength from God.
The last two months have been very difficult and I have had to lean very hard on God to get me through. I could never have thought that this year would turn out as it has. There is no way I would wish this year on anyone. There were times I almost gave up. It was too hard to do it on my own. It was too much to deal with and it still is too much but I don't have to do it all on my own. I have trusted God and had faith. I have use His strength and have a new understanding of the words "For when I am weak, then I am strong"
This is not a strength that I have striven to have but a strength that has come out of weakness. It is a strength that is not tainted with pride or selfish ambition but the strength of a broken heart that has been strengthen only by an unshakable faith in God who is my only hope.

So to conclude I would really like to honour God and thank Him, praise Him and worship Him because He has been everything to me. He has gotten me through and I can see so much clearer. I thank God for every single trial He has walked with me. He has never left my side and I am so grateful that my faith, trust and hope are in Him.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

I must apologise for not posting as often as I would have liked to. I still constantly hear from God and wish to write but life has thrown a few curve balls in the last few months.

I do not feel that I must stop writing or that I should have been writing through these hard times but I feel God has been using these things to grow me and stretch me and prepare me for something.

I love sharing what is on my heart and what God is speaking to me and I am always amazed and in awe of His goodness, faithfulness and grace.

What I have learned from this time is that the way you react to situations is one of the most important things that will define how you make it through stressful and unhappy situations.
There comes a time where you need to fight and war and push through situations but there also comes a time where you need to be still and know He is God. There comes a time where you need to rest and let go so God can work.

I have looked at my situations many times and said to myself 'I am really going through the Valley of the Shadow of death right now' but you know what it Psalm 23 says that even though I go through the Valley God is with me. He comforts me and guides me. I do not sit in the Valley, I walk through it.
God makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul and is leading me in paths of righteousness so that His name will be glorified.

There are times even now where I feel I can not handle anymore but then I look to where my help comes from. Jesus, my comforter and help. He has sent me Holy Spirit to dwell within me and to work through me.

When death came across my path and stole from me I rejoiced that my God was still on the throne and when I did there was this peace that came over me. My emotions are still there but in the very centre of my being there is peace. A peace that surpasses all understanding.

Some will see what I have been through and wonder how I can still praise God when all this year has been is a battle. Yes this year has been a battle but it has been so much more.
I have leaned on God through all of this. I have walked in faith and trust. I have faith that I can trust God to meet all my needs. He has blessed me with a new direction for my life. He has come beside me and given me dreams and visions. He is starting to move in the lives of those around me and I am able to relate to so many more people than I would have last year.

The next year I will be studying a Prophetic Art Course, painting, writing and visiting people. I am very excited for the coming year but I know it will not be without it's own challenges but one thing I am sure of is that I will continue to grow, learn and take each day a step at a time praising my Saviour all the way.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fix Your Eyes

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a]Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

I come face to face with the younger me. Often I look back and see the type of person I was growing up and I am so overwhelmed by the way my Heavenly Father has carried me and shaped me.

What would this little girl say to me today, what advice would I give her?

Just this. Fix your eyes on Jesus. Seek His face and desire Him and to do His will. Love Him with all your heart and embrace His love for you.

Life sucks most of the time but I know Jesus has my back. His love is trustworthy. His peace is endless. His Joy complete. Only He can satisfy me and never let me down and never let me fall. Fix your eyes on Jesus girl. Fix your eyes woman of God. You are a soldier in His army. You are brave and courageous.

Love with all your being. Speak out. Do not hide your light. Shine brightly without reserve.

When I fix my eyes on Jesus I can walk on water and brave the stormiest of seas. Thunder and lightning will not bring fear into my soul.

Over the years I have been through a fair bit of trials but they only got me under when I didn't keep my eyes on Jesus. When I looked to my Maker and Savior I was able to push through and endure whatever came my way. I now take every storm as a challenge. I go in thinking what I will learn, how I will deal with it and how will I come out. When I fix my eyes on Jesus I grow, when I don't I become bitter.

Today if you are in a storm or a situation you did not ask to be a part of just fix your eyes on Jesus. It may seem simple or it may seem really difficult but the more you learn to do this the easier it will be and the more you will long for His presence in your life.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

When Nobody is Watching

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 

Dance like no one is watching. How do you dance when no one is watching you? I love to dance when no one is around to judge how bad it is. I give it my best shot and I dance with all my heart. I sing as loud as I can whilst spinning around the house and shaking what the good Lord gave me.
Ok so sometimes I dance about with my little girls and my long-suffering husband who I am trying to convince to let go and dance. But there is something that happens when I am on my own and no one is watching.

When too many people or strangers are around I withdraw and become reserved. I am aware of what I am doing and very concerned about what others think of me and I get embarrassed.

Isn't this how we are in real life. We are so concerned about what others might think of us that we lose our courage and we stop being 100% who God made us to be. We scale back and instead of fully jumping in to what God created us to be we worry more about what others think than what God thinks.

Or we go the other way and try and perform to make ourselves look good when everyone is around but when we are alone we do not give God all the glory. Instead we think of new ways to promote ourselves. New ways to make ourselves look good and when it doesn't work and we are still the same person we were last week we feel like failures.

So I ask again. How do you dance when no one is watching? How do you live your life to the glory of God. If no one ever saw what you did except God. If no one every acknowledged how awesome you are how would you dance? When we dance, sing, worship, live, love, laugh. Do we do it to the full. Do we throw our whole being into it or do we hold back and are reserved.

Live your life like no one is watching. Like no one cares how dumb or awesome you look. Love with your whole heart and dance with all your being. God is so pleased when we worship with abandon. It delights Him to see us doing our very best and when we don't worry about what others think.

What could you achieve if you live life in this way? If there were no fear or selfish gain, how would God use you? 

So while you watch this music video I dare you to dance wherever you are whether someone is watching or not. Pray in public. Sing praises to your God. I see my daughter who is just 2 years old singing and dancing around in church. She dances like no one is watching. She can out worship just about anyone, not just because she hasn't got any hang ups but because when she does something she does not worry about how she looks but she does it because she is doing something she loves to do. 
Offer your whole heart to Jesus. Let your whole being rejoice and pour forth praise and worship. 

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Exciting Things

Hi everyone,

I must apologise for being so quiet the last few weeks. I have been taking some time off to hear God and there have been a few family emergencies and other things that have cropped up.

I am changing my Blogging day from a Wednesday to every Thursday. For those this corner of the world (New Zealand) it will be late Thursday night and for my readers in the US it will be Thursday morning or there about.

In June this year I submitted one of my Blog Posts to Christian Mommy Blogger as part of a writing challenge. This has been published into a book along with other lovely ladies. So I am excited to announce that I have been published into and e-book which you can read at the bottom of this blog where it says Love Devotional. Alternatively you can click Here. I am on Chapter 12 if you want to have a nosey.

God is opening up doors for me in a few areas and I am very excited to see what is going to happen in 2015. It will mean saying goodbye to a few things *sniff* *sniff*. But do not worry my Blog will continue and I am thinking of writing a little book but that may take some time.

There is change just on the horizon and I am excited.

So until Thursday I pray you have a blessed week.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Role Models

Titus 2:3-5 Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.[a] Instead, they should teach others what is good.These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes,[b] to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.

I know we are all sick to death of hearing about the Titus 2 women but that is exactly what I am not only going to write about but what I am going to do and act out.

We can teach and preach about Titus 2 but if we aren't living it out then where are we? We are part of a society that teaches sex education, focusing solely on the physical but not speaking into the emotional, relational and spiritual aspects of sex and marriage. 

Telling someone they aught to love their husband and their children, to work in their homes, be good and be submissive to their husbands is just not good enough. We end up heaping guilt on these young women and imposing a whole list of things they have to do and not do. When they behave in a way that we deem inappropriate we bring in judgement. Now I am all for judging sinful behaviour in a loving manner. Say if you can clearly see there is a recurring sinful pattern that needs addressing do so in a way that brings conviction not condemnation. But what often happens is a spiteful almost condemning judgement over young women who have never been taught these things.
It has become a very lazy way of instructing young women. Simply pointing out the obvious does not bring change. We need to live by example. What good is our life if people aren't learning from our mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes but what a joy it is when we can save someone the heartache of pre-marital sex, falling for the wrong type of guy or going down the path of least resistance.

A lot of the time we judge because we have not dealt with that very same issue we are pointing at the other person for having. You think how much better you feel about your messy house because you just went to your friend's house and it is way way messier. You break out in a sweat and fear for your kids because you had pre-marital sex and now they are of that age and hanging out with this guy you don't like the look of. 

It is good to be concerned for those around us but it isn't good when our judgements are just that, judgements and finger pointing instead of loving instruction. Bringing hope to the youth of our nation that they need not go down the road we have gone down, that there is a way to stay pure and honour God. There is a better way and it is never to late to change. 

So today who can you be a mother to? Who in your life could use some good advice and encouragement. Men who can you be a Dad to? Who is out there who has no father or mother who needs to be taught that there is a better life for them and that their circumstances that they were born into and that they live in do not define who they will be and become? God has a much better plan for each of us and it is time we share that news. Don't sit back and complain about what is wrong with the world. Be a role model because we all need more good role models in this world. The ones on TV are just not cutting it anymore.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Wages of Sin

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sin. It doesn't matter what it is. Whether it is lying, stealing, cheating, murder, shop lifting, armed robbery or selfishness it taints you.
It coats you in a dark sticky mess. The more you try and hide your sin the messier it gets. It stinks and spreads like an infection.
Not only do you become stained but it rubs off on those around you. You think that because it is your sin alone that it only affects you and no one else so you continue to cover it up but like a toddler with a smelly bottom the smell lingers and everyone around you smells the effects.
The more you try and cover it up the more it spreads, taints and smells and rubs off on others around you. Such is the wages of sin. You reap what you sow and what you reap you cook up and serve to those around you.

Don't be fooled into thinking you can deal with your sin on your own. That it is your sin and that it was only small and you won't repeat it. Yes we are all human and to err is human but do not be deceived into thinking that your sin is a small matter that only affects you and can be dealt with with a simple apology.
You can't deal with sin on your own. The more you try and wash it off the more it spreads. The only way you can become clean is through the blood of Jesus. Through repentance. Repentance means to turn away from and this is so much harder to do than an apology. It can take time and it involves confessing your sin and exposing it.

Exposing it is difficult especially when you have hidden it for quite awhile and it has spread quite far.
I have been going through some stuff lately that has made me see just how destructive sin is and how far reaching it is. Sin hurts and it brings division and it separates us from God. Now understand the Bible does say nothing can separate us from the love of God but sin works in a way that when you are in the thick of it and you try and cover it then you pull away from God. The closer you get to Jesus the more aware of your sin you are.
Be wary of stepping away from His presence for anyone or anything. If you have a new boyfriend or girlfriend and you spend more time with them than reading God's word and in prayer or you pull away from church and friends. Alarm bells should ring. Sin will blind you and it will start with a small lie like did God really say you shouldn't?
It is only through His forgiveness and the covering of His blood that can wash you clean. Only Jesus can do that. Only He washes you clean but only you can want to be made clean. No one else can make that decision for you.
Sin has consequences and you will still need to live through those consequences and make amends to those who were harmed by your sin. But when you repent and turn away from your sin, expose and confess it and stop running that is when true restoration starts. That is where you will find freedom from the taint of sin.

1 Peter 5:9 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Forgiveness of Self

Luke 10:27  The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

I look in the mirror and think the worst things. Things I would not say to anyone, not even my worst enemy. I sit on my bed, tired and worn out and totally battered and bruised from words said to me and things I perceive and I berate myself. I drag myself over the coals for things I said or did. I pull myself down. I cover myself in mud and filth as I feel I deserve because I try and justify and work out things. I build my own Babylon. I try and build a tower with my own hands. I build it so high and so 'beautiful' that no one may penetrate it and hurt me again. That maybe next time I see someone I will not say or do something that I will regret.
It is all my fault I say. If only I hadn't said that. If only I wasn't such a loser. If only I had it all together like so and so over there. She never says anything wrong. Lord I don't think you can use me. I am just too messed up.
These are my thoughts sometimes and I am sure you can all relate to a few of theses things. We try and be perfect and not offend anyone and we do things on our own in our own strength. We try our utmost best to be someone. Do the right thing and not disappoint. We build and we build and we build but what we build is ugly. They are lies. We do not build the truth. We do not build things that God has told us to build. We waste all our energy on covering up. Just as make up will cover up our blemishes temporarily but it won't take them away.

What happens when we talk to ourselves like this is we end up calling God a liar. We don't believe the promises He has given us. The words He has spoken over us to build us up become this thing we despise. Be it an attack of the enemy or not it isn't right. When we don't love ourselves how can we love others well? How is it we treat others so much better than ourselves? Why are we so hard on ourselves?

When we pull ourselves down and we don't deal with issues and just patch them over it will affect our relationship with those around us. Not only that but we cannot fully love our enemies and we cannot live our lives loving as Christ does. We can become judgmental, critical and un-lovely.

When we love others we accept them. When we have problems in our relationships we try and mend them and forgive others. We need to love ourselves, accept ourselves and forgive ourselves.

Stop pulling yourself down. You are fearfully and wonderfully made Psalm 139:14. You are not ugly. When a person says something hurtful to you don't bring your weaknesses into the mix and blame yourself and pull yourself apart. Forgive them and yourself and whatever part you had in it and move on. Easier said than done I know but we need to at least try and make things right instead of covering things over with layers of dirt and grime and guilt.

When we focus on ourselves we take our focus off God. When things like this happen run, and I mean run, don't walk, right into the arms of God. He is the ultimate healer and protector. We cannot trust our emotions or our thoughts. They lie all the time or are so fleeting that there is no point in really entertaining them.

Forgive yourself or you will waste a lot of time an energy. Your cup can't run over if it is covered in holes with temporary fixes. We need the healing of forgiveness not the temporary patch of guilt and self loathing.

I have made an art of forgiving others. I forgive others so easily but whenever someone hurts me it bumps on the wounds that I inflicted on myself. No matter how hard I try and squash it down or patch it up it always hurts. It is up to me to forgive myself so that God can heal me.

So what is it going to be? Are you sick of hurting from the damage you heaped on yourself. Are you tired of the negative words the replay in your mind? Sick of the way you mercilessly torture yourself everyday because of something you said or didn't say? Well this life is not about you. It is about Jesus and we need to let go of our egos that tell us that someone else's actions are because of us. Your husband's anger problems are not your fault. Someone else's bad day that they took out on you is not your fault. You are only in control of what you do, say and think. You cannot make anyone act a certain way. It is not your fault. Be kind to yourself. Focus on what God says about you. Praise and worship Him because He has made you fearfully and wonderfully. Every inch of you is beautiful and a wonder. Honour the perfect creation God has made that is you.

Dear Jesus
You died on the cross for our sins and for this we are most grateful. We pray today for forgiveness of our own selfish and negative thoughts and the awful things we have said about ourselves regardless of the reason. Lord we pray you build us up in truth and freedom to be all that you say we are. May we come back to the heart of true worship of you Lord.
In your Holy Name we pray. Amen.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

More Than I Can Handle

Psalm 23

You know how when you end up in a place where life is just way more than you can handle.
I have been in that place way too many times and it really is unpleasant, I cry, moan, grumble and think about quitting.

Things happen that are out of our control. The load is too big to carry and you strain under its weight. You go from being excited about doing things for God and for people one minute and the next you are crying that you can't handle it.

You hear the line, "God won't give you more than you can handle" and you think something is wrong with you or someone is lying to you.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that God will not give you more than you can handle. It does say that when we go through the tough times that He is there for us. That we are not alone and that we are not doing life on our own.

I know it is easier to say than to do but the truth is your life is more than you can handle. It will always be that way. Chaos is everywhere. Sad things happen. Bad things come your way. You have to always build your courage and be brave. Stepping over obstacles until you are sure your spiritual self, if visible, would probably resemble Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ripped! Seriously though. Life is hard!

We don't go through it alone though. When we feel like we are alone in what we are going through it is because we are focused on the problem and not on God who is always with us.

I have felt so overwhelmed and panicky that I felt like I should just get things over and done with and not attempt to try it again. I get all sick and jittery and it is only because I am seeing that my husband is away for a week or that my new idea I had I actually had to follow through on and it all seemed like a huge mistake. It is easier just to quit. To run away and not deal with life. It is so simple to just not attempt anything new and to just curl up in bed with a good book and lie in bed and just not deal with life but this is what we miss, we miss God's provision. We miss God's blessings. When we persevere and keep close to Him and obey is voice and call on our lives we see what God has in store for us.

If I quit the things God has asked me to do or I moan about being left at home for a week on my own with 4 kids I put myself down. This is what happened with the parable of the talents. The one guy did nothing with the talents that were given him except bury it in the ground. He did even bother to invest it or take it and buy tools and seeds so he could reap a reward with it. He got afraid, he quit while he was ahead and had nothing to show for it in the end.

We always want to be in control of everything in our lives and so when the hard times come we do not know how to handle it. We try and take control of it but it is like trying to pull at a loose thread on a sweater and not expect it to completely unravel. We try and grasps grains of sand but they slip through our fingers.
It is only when we allow God to have control over our lives and allow Him to help us through it that we truly feel like we can make it through.

The Lord is your Shepherd, you need no one else to guide you through. You need not stress because He gives you a place to rest. He provides for your every need. Even when you walk in a place of dread and darkness, He is still there. A still, small voice guiding your every step. You will not fear the times to come because you know He is always with, will be with and has always been with you. He blesses you and anoints you and fills you to overflowing. He does not believe in holding back or saving His love for you for a rainy day. He does not store up his kindness and comfort for you. His mercies are new every morning.
If God is for you who on this earth or anywhere can be against you? If He is who He says He is and He does what He says He does and you believe these to be true what harm can come to you? Is there nothing you cannot handle with God in control.

Yes life and all that is thrown at me is more than I can handle or bear but I am not told to carry my burdens. I am told to give them over to God who is more than capable to carry them for me. Not even the things that are more than I can handle is impossible for God.

Today if you feel as though the weight of the world is on your shoulders. You cannot see a way out and the world is a rough place to be. You want to quit all of it. If that is you let me tell you that Jesus is right there beside you and sees your pain. He sees that you are overwhelmed. He is looking into your face right now and wiping the tears from your face. My Jesus is a lifter of heads that are downcast. He is a restorer of peace to our souls and a renewer of hope to the lost and weary.
Jesus really cares for you. Why don't you call on Him now and ask Him to take control of your life and the things that are more than you can handle.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

There is no Bridge

Blog post inspiration. A bridge. Title Bridges of Faith. Excellent! Only there is no mention of bridges in the Bible because God does not use bridges or builds bridges for His people to cross over He just parts the seas and allows them to wade through the river.

I had this long post typed out while I was out this evening but when I went back into the app it was all gone and while I do think it was rather clever it wasn't really near the truth I wish to share with you.

There are no Bridges. In life you are either on the banks of the sea or river or you are in the sea or river. 

For Moses and the people of Israel there was no bridge to cross over the Red Sea.  For Joshua and the people of Israel there was no bridge to cross over the Jordan River. When they stood before that mass of water they did not say 'Hey Lord where is the bridge?' They simply went where God told them to go and waited for His instruction as to how He would like them to cross. 
When Peter stepped out of the boat he did not say 'Let me come to you Lord but first I need to build a bridge'

We all want a nice little bridge over our troubled waters. But oh what a awesome thing when the stormy oceans are calmed. When we step out and walk on the water. When what seems like a huge obstacle is parted before us. When our rough seas and turmoil and insurmountable obstacles lie before and God comes and parts the seas or allows us to walk on our trouble. That is true faith. When we are in the thick of it. When we wade deep into the waters to cross over and trust that God will get us through. That if you fall He will lift you up and out.  
When you cross over that river you do not do it alone. God goes with you. He goes before you. He watches your back.

We can have a bridge to cross over and it will be quick depending on the type of bridge and there will be a certain amount of faith but the faith you have will be in that bridge supporting you. Your faith will be in whoever built it. 
I have a very small idea how to build a bridge. I have seen documentaries but I have also seen bridges fail and collapse. Bridges get old. Bridges are not forever.

What I am certain of is that my faith lies in God. That He will get me across safely to the other side when I make Him the focus of my life. When I rely on Him and make Him the only one I trust to bring me through all my hardships.

My God is greater than any bridge made with my own hands. We try and construct a plan for our lives. We have a problem and instead of going to God we run around trying to fix it ourselves. We build a bridge but the bridge collapses under us. If only we would just trust and wade in. 'Right Lord I have this issue but I will jump into it with both feet and let go of my plan to solve it and let you take full control.'

So today when you see no bridge. You see no way over your problem. There is no way around it. There is no way under it. Go through it and see what miracle God works in your life. Signs, wonders and miracles don't happen while we are avoiding an issue but in the midst of our issue.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Proverbs 31 - Week 5 - Family and Household

Proverbs 31:21-31
She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

This amazing woman has no fear of the snow because she has clothed her household in scarlet. During the hard times of winter she doesn't fear for her household but she has made sure that through winter they are clothed well with fine and expensive scarlet wool. Not only does she clothe her family well but her own clothing is of fine linen and is purple and colour of royalty.
She knows that her family is covered in scarlet which is symbolic of the Blood of Jesus. Se has covered her household in the blood of Jesus so that they will be able to weather the cold and hard winters in their lives. She also knows who she belongs to. She is the King of King's daughter and she clothes herself in royalty, strength and honour.
She rejoices about the future and when she opens her mouth it is with wisdom. She watches over her household. Not only is her husband known at the gates when he sits among the elders but so is she. She and her husband work together to keep their household running. She looks after the internal workings of her home life and he works on the external. They compliment each other. Her husband praises all she does and she encourages him.

So to wrap up the series, we see that Proverbs 31 women are women of strength and are clever in business and run their family well and are caring and nurturing. She is a blessing to those around her. What we learn from the advice this mother gives her son is that she tries to shape an idea of what her son must look for in a wife but also what qualities he needs to have in order to be worthy of her. She tells him that this woman does all these things and is all things but she is strong in the Lord and fears the Lord and that when he finds this woman he will bless her and praise her and their children will rise up and call her blessed.

Single women and men. Guard your hearts and your spirits. Do not open yourself to just anyone. God will show you the right person to share your life with but in that time give your heart to Him and Him alone. Seek Him first and His righteousness. Don't lean on your own understanding but trust Him completely.

Women you are put here for a purpose. God didn't create you to be like man and do everything a man does because otherwise he would have just cloned Adam. But instead he put Adam to sleep and fashioned woman from his rib. This is how close we become to our husbands. We are right beside him. We protect their hearts and with their strong arms and they shield and protect the most precious person in their lives. They needed a helper and we are that helper. God saw all of creation was good and man was good but what was not good was that he was alone and needed a helper. And God made us perfect for this purpose.

Be who God created you to be and don't settle for anything less than the best that God has always had planned for you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

You Are Being Set Up

Esther 4:13-14
And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Today I have been getting the words in my head, 'You are being set up'. Thinking about my life and all the things that have happened and changed over the years and all the things I have done have set me up for such a time as this. I have been set up. I feel set up.

This is a good thing by the way. In a way that is just so amazing it can only be God. We are all set up. Nothing that happens is an accident or just happens by chance. You reading this is not an accident. Where you live and work. Where your children go to school. Who your friends are. Not a mistake and not a coincidence. No random chance.

Esther was a woman brought before the king with many other woman but she was not just a random woman who was nabbed off the street. God had a purpose and a plan for her life. She was to be beneficial in the saving of her family and the Jews.

There are things in us, gifts and ideas and experiences that are going to be used to help those around you. It may take awhile or seem really small and insignificant but there will come a time where someone will need what you have learned and gone through to help them.

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Think about ways that God is setting you up for His purposes. Can you think of one person that you have helped this week? If you look and see what has happened in the last few years can you see how God has used you to make a difference in your world?

Deuteronomy 31:8nd the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

God goes before you and He goes with you. He doesn't leave you or abandon you. He makes sure you are cared for and that you are in the perfect place. He is not surprised by your situations. Things can be really hard and so unbearable but when we trust and push through our mountains and our valleys we find blessings and things we never thought we would ever be able to do or even have dreamed of doing.
He is the one who puts great dreams in our hearts. We as parents want our children to succeed and do great thinks in our world but God wants it even more. He rejoices when we are most blessed being who He has always intended us to be.

I am so very excited for the next few years. I have been through a lot of stuff and I don't think I will ever be done with going through stuff but we must never despise what we go through. It may be unbearable and we may wish it away but it is through these times that we grow and learn something that will help someone else who is struggling. It builds your testimony. We become overcomers and more than just conquerors through the testimonies of what God has done in our lives.

Revelations 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Romans 8:31-39 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”[a]
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So you are being set up for something awesome. Think outside the box of your circumstances. Look up and spy out what God has for you. Look and see what He is about to do in your life and in the life of those around you. There is nothing that you are going through that won't be used for His glory and to bless you.

(it might be a good idea to read the whole of Romans 8)

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.