Thursday, December 17, 2015

Making Mistakes

Though they stumble, they will never fall,
    for the Lord holds them by the hand.


I have not posted in a long while. Some of the reason is that I have been busy but the main reason is that at this time of the year from September to December I think about my life and what needs to change and what I need to stop doing.

So yes I took a bit of a break while I thought on these things.

2016 will be a very different year but I do feel I am stepping into something really good. The last 2 years have been really crazy. I have been trying to figure out where I fit and what God wants me to do and all I have been feeling is pushed from one corner to the other without making any head-way.

This year I spent most of my time on my art. I studied through Inflame Ministries through their Creative Arts Program. They have two streams, Songwriting and Painting. Although I have been a singer all my life, have written a few simple songs and play the guitar with a small amount of effort, I have also been very expressive with pencil and paper and had enjoyed watercolour paint. I decided after having painted a watercolour from a vision I had and having had a radical confirmation of this vision and painting that I might actually have something there that needs to be looked into and maybe developed.

One of the main things I have learned over the last year is about mistakes. I have learned that in my life I have learned more from making mistakes than from trying to be perfect and not make any mistakes.

I have always tried to impress and be liked through perfection and never ever making a mistake.
Mistakes are frowned upon in our culture. The consequences of making a mistake is usually met with guilt and shame rather than an opportunity to learn and experiment.

The other day I was driving and made a mistake and went over the speed limit by 7ks. Ordinarily when I realise I am going to fast I immediately slow down but this time it didn't help for as soon as I realised a Policeman had put his lights on and motioned for me to pull over. School Zone and that means zero tolerance.
I sat there as he went to go print out the ticket and I thought about my nice clean driving record which was now gone. I had so much pride in it and now after a mistake I had lost it. I now have to wait two years to get a fresh start. I cried because I realised the pressure I had put on myself never to make a mistake.
Having made this mistake and being disciplined for it made me more aware of my speed and where I am driving. I would not want anyone else to be driving over the speed limit near a school my children go to.

How does this translate to art? Well art is all about making mistakes. Art is not about being perfect from day one. It is about learning through mistakes.

The only way my art improved was when I embraced the mistakes and worked with them. Erasers are the worst thing for an artist to have lying around. I am trying to teach my art and craft kids to not care about erasing a mistake but to rather take that mistake and work it into their work.

And that is the way it is in life. God doesn't save us from making mistakes but He uses these mistakes to help us learn from them and to grow into more mature and disciplined people.

In order for my art to improve I had to practice everyday. Everyday I made mistakes and instead of letting those mistakes discourage me I used them to improve and grow my knowledge. Playing it safe didn't do my artwork any good. By not allowing myself to make mistakes and expecting a standard of art that I had not spent any time practicing left me art stuck. I was unsettled with the level my art was at and I had no clue how to improve it. Until this year where I was taught A) how to see and B) to not care about too much about what I put down on paper.

We get better at life and whatever we put our hands to when we take a risk and do it and love it no matter how it turns out.

If you feel this is you, That you have been living the safe life and been in fear of making a mistake, then I challenge you to step out and do something small and just out of your comfort zone and if you make a mistake, embrace it and take another step forward. Mistakes are great. Make them and live life to the full. Making a mistake does not make you a mistake.


Monday, October 12, 2015

The Question



A few years ago a question was posed that I have been thinking about again in the last few days. My answer to this question remains the same now as it did then and I was wondering how others would answer it.
This question was asked on a Theology Forum Board and the other answers on there were surprising and revealing. I also got a bit of black lash to my answer even though it was an IF question and involved personal opinion.

The question we maybe ask ourselves more often than we think and maybe not in the exact words but the underlying question is still the same.

If it was prove 100% that God does not exist would you still hold on to your faith. Would you still carry on living your life as you do now?

My answer? Yes. I would still believe and I would still carry on my life, worshiping and praying, loving my neighbour, dancing and painting. Why would I give up my whole way of living that I have lived for most of my life?

Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy and all the other imaginery people in our lives I know they do not exist (I am sorry to break the news to those that do not know this) but it doesn't stop me from surprising my girls at Christmas and having them write letters to Santa. It doesn't stop me from putting $2 dollars under my toothless child's pillow nor does it stop me from buying Easter eggs that apparently was laid my a rabbit the size of a human being (I think, the story changes from house to house)

If God is not real then I have the best imaginary friend in the whole world. An friend that teaches me how to treat others and who speaks o me and comforts me during the hard times and is always there, He causes me to be a better person. I will worship Him no matter if He is as real as the ground I walk on or just a figment of my imagination.

But my God is real. He is more real than you or me. We are His imaginary friends in a way because He created us and He thought us and all Creation up and spoke and created us.

What would your answer be?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Stop and Sense the Roses


And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

This month is proving to be a very jam packed month. Both my husband and I are away at different times and what with work, the kids' school, painting assignments and conferences my brain is slowly filling up with knowledge.

Last weekend I spent two days learning to see properly. It sounds a bit strange but I learned so much. I see my world differently now. Instead of only seeing a tree I see pale and dark green and shapes of each leaf, the twist and texture of the bark and the shadows that fall and the light that illuminates. I see angles of a sloping roof and the different shades in a flower. I see the silhouette of a bird in flight in the blue sky and the sun shining as a silver lining of every cloud.

When I see a face I see the shapes and rise and fall of every curve. The windows of the face revealing the deep wells of the soul.

Light illuminates form and shows up the beauty of our world.

I can't look at the world the same way I did before. The best part is that by seeing in this way my sketching has improved so much.

You see by judging a book by it's cover we miss the story inside. When we look at an insect and we call it an ant it loses it's mystery. It is an ant and from what we have learned about them in the past is what they do and how they kind of hang out together in colonies and live under the ground. When we look at this creature and really see it for the first time we will notice fine details about that creature we never saw before.

We need to start seeing deeper and wider than we have been. We are missing out by glancing at the world and not seeing it as God sees it.

We are missing the very beauty of God's creation by our business and our narrow and lazy eyes.

What else are we missing by not stopping to be still? Maybe our ears are not hearing very well. We do not understand that hearing is not an external thing but an internal once. The sound enters into your ears and onto your ear drums and sends information to your brain and from you past your brain processes what it hears and send messages to your body. Just like food enters our mouths and we taste and it nourishes so does sound, vision, sensations and scents. They all send messages to your brain about your external world.

What could we learn from life when we stop and meditate or think on the pure. lovely, honourable, lovely, true and admirable. When we stop to see what God has done and hear His voice speaking over His Creation we praise Him and He will give us peace.

We rush around in haste and busyness because we do not stop see clearly. We are going full tilt into every area of our life but we do not stop to hear the sounds around us. We do not stop to see how our Father sees or hear what our Father hears and is saying to us. We don't feel the texture of the clothes on our skin until it irritates us. Until the nails hit the chalkboard and that high pitched squeal ensues we do not hear anything. Until there is a car high-beaming and we getting annoyed we do not see. Until somethings smells like rotten fish and assaults our nostrils we do not smell.

Why is it that we only take notice of our senses when we get annoyed or uncomfortable? Maybe it is because it is far easier to keep our senses of all that is pure and lovely so dumbed down that all we end up doing is complaining and being grumpy about our discomforts.

When we value our senses and the gifts that they are we will experience His Creation in a different way. A new peaceful way of living our lives where we actually live it and not go through it limited.

It is beautiful. Every inch of it. Don't let it go by in a blur. Stop now and sense the Roses.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Sacrifice


I moved over to New Zealand 8 years ago. I moved to a first world country and for some that doesn't seem to be such a sacrifice. When people think of being called to the mission field they think of China or Africa. We still have a TV and running water from the tap and other luxuries "real" missionaries don't always have. We even have a flushing toilet (for which I am most thankful).

Does this make me any less called though?

I do not know why God didn't just leave us where we were in South Africa and use us there. I do not know why He didn't send us to Africa and China (although we may still end up there in the future). What I do know is that He sent us here to New Zealand. We heard the call and we said yes.

We never thought we would ever leave South Africa. Why would we need to leave, we had family and friends there? We had just bought a house and were about to welcome our first child into the world. We were settled and serving in a church. A small part of us decided to leave because of the crime but a large part was that we heard the call from God to leave and go to the land which He was showing us.

Stepping out was difficult but at the same time it was an adventure. God had called us and I was eager to see what He was going to do in our lives. But it came with sacrifice. I had to leave my side of the family behind and my husband left his parents behind. Not being able to be there for your sister when she was expecting her little baby boy. Not being able to comfort your brother or sister when they are having a hard time and not being able to be physically there for them is a sacrifice. It is a price I had to pay. I live in a beautiful country with wonderful people who have been there for me through the hardest times of my life and have celebrated with me through every victory and milestone. I sacrificed the familiar for the unfamiliar. I need to make things work here whereas where you have grown up you know the history and you know those you have grown up with. But hey wherever I go I will always be a stranger in a foreign land. No matter how well I learn the language and try and blend in with accents and the way I dress I am still a foreigner because my real home is with the Father. This home is only temporary.

In New Zealand we have made many many friends. Served in a few churches and supported leaders and pastors and we are still doing that today. We lead our own homegroup and we are seeing God move in the lives of those around us. We are stepping out in new areas and overcoming challenges and giants.

There was a cost. There was sacrifice. There was heartache and even today as I sit here my heart aches for my family still in South Africa who have to go through things alone. But I hand it to God. He has the best plan for all our lives and right now I am where I am meant to be. Not in China or Africa... yet but here in New Zealand with a TV and running water from a tap and a flushing toilet.

Have you weighed the cost? Do you know that there will be some form of sacrifice that you will need to offer up? Are you willing to leave family, work, friends, whatever it may be to follow where He leads you?

Listen carefully to His call. When you hear His voice calling your name, take that step and in obedience no matter the cost. There will be people who will tell you you can't do it. They will think you are crazy but do it anyway.

There is sacrifice for now but God rewards those who diligently serve Him. He rewards those who have sacrificed and paid the price.

Nothing is impossible for our God. So follow Him with your whole heart, forsaking all others.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Lot To Be Thankful For.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

I am so incredibly blessed. I don't say this to boast but rather to acknowledge what God has done in my life.

This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice in it. It is so easy to get discouraged or upset and angry and to have a bad hair day. I have had quite a few of those in my life. Sometimes I just want to be left alone to mope. When nothing is going right in my life and my health isn't too great and I am feeling out of sorts it isn't easy to be happy and enjoy my day. I just want to curl into a ball and go to sleep for a week.

But God! Again He comes and takes me by the hand and rescues me and sets my feet upon the rock again.
You see I had a revelation today as I was driving in my car and listening to my favorite Christian radio station. The verse Psalm 118:24 came up, "This is the day the Lord has made and I (we) will rejoice in it"

The first part got me. This is the day that the Lord has made. That means that today is special. It isn't just any ordinary day. It is the day that the Lord has made. If that is the only reason to rejoice then that is the best reason in the world. That God made today for me and He put me in today for such a time as this. By moping around the house (note I didn't say mopping, I don't mop, I shop) I haven't achieved anything joyful today. I didn't tell anyone about Jesus. I didn't smile at a stranger and have them smile back. I didn't extend kindness and friendliness because I was so busy being sour.

Still parts of me wants to just sulk and be miserable with the world but that is exactly where Satan wants me. He wants me to be miserable and ungrateful so that I will forget to count my blessings. He wants me to forget what God has done for me and he wants me to forget who my God is and how mighty and powerful He. The more negative I become the more I want to give up.

I love how God speaks to me. How He always finds a way to tell me how much He loves me and cares for me. He is aware of where I am and when I am far from Him He isn't very far from me.

So today, the day Lord has made in this I will rejoice.

Why don't you embrace today with me for what it is, a gift from our Heavenly Father. Rejoice me over the amazing things that will happen today and the amazing things He has done in the those days gone by that He also made.

I am coming up to 6000 views on my Blog! Even though I did not post last week the traffic to my Blog has continued and I am so thankful. Thank you all for your support.
I am thankful that God has chosen to use my paintings to bless others. I am thankful that He has made me to have a lot of unique talents and has made able to adapt well to anything He has asked me to do and to apply all I learn to every aspect of my life.
I am thankful that today He has laid this message on my heart to you and for myself.

If you are finding it difficult to rejoice today can I ask that you stop, take a deep breath and tell God that you are ready to hear from Him and that you are fixing your eyes on Him right now and off your situation. Then think of 2 things that have happened today that you are thankful for. It doesn't have to be big. Just that you had breakfast today and that you have clean clothes or that you are breathing and are able to come to God whenever you want. Start small and soon you will realize that this really is the day the Lord and you can and will rejoice and be glad in it.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Bringing Hope to a Younger Generation

Titus 2:1-6   Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.

There is always someone watching you. There is always someone who needs to be taught what you have learned. There is always someone who has never been loved the way you have that you can share that love with.

I have probably blogged something similar before but something that has happened recently has got me thinking about my attitude and my very narrow world.

I have come across and have had people in my life who have not had the same life I have had. Basic things I have taken for granted. Born into a Christian family. The Easter bunny guaranteed every Easter and Santa every Christmas. Milestones were celebrated. My life was far from perfect and still isn't but I always had someone cheering me on and supporting me and doing their best for me.

Now that I am married and have my own children I see the my life and am very grateful for what God has done in my life but it can't stop there. It must not stop there.

There are people in this world who have never learned how to care for and love their children. There are children out there who have been abandoned by their very own parents.

So what can we do about it?

This is what we can do. Don't walk out on the troublesome teen. Don't walk out on the unruly child. You might just be that very person they trust. If you walk out on them and do not value the place and purpose you have in their lives you are just going to be another person who has walked out on them.

There is always someone watching you and wanting to be like you. It may be hard to believe but I do feel we don't fully understand the impact we have on others lives. Don't you remember a time where all you wished for is someone to be on your side and come along side you and help you through the stuff of life.

What people need is hope. They need to know that you are committed and that you will be consistent and keep your promises. They want to know you care about them. You may think this is a lot of responsibility but I don't think it is. Aside from loving God we are told to love our neighbours as ourselves and by the increase of selfies I say we love ourselves a whole lot so how about we spread that love and put an arm around those that need hope and take some "groupies". Make people a part of your life.

Yes we are busy and yes we would rather not go to another youth thing where we feel awkward because we are old(er). When our week has been busy and we are tired and we don't want to go out and feel out of place with a generation that we don't have much in common with other than that we were there once a long time ago.

I pray I never forget what it was like growing up and all the teen stuff and all the feelings I went through. I am glad they are behind me and I never have to go through it again (although other challenges lay ahead of me I am sure) but I want to be able to help another girl with her journey. I want to show her who Jesus is through my actions and through my commitment to her and her future and in the way I love.

You can never know by simply looking at another person what they are going through or what their lives have been like up until that point. But if you never take the time out to reach out you will never know and you will never be able to help and give out advice that is much needed.

It is scary going through this life and you may be a child's only hope.

This may not be what God is calling you to do but I feel really strongly that I am to help young girls. I have 4 of my own and I wish that everyone had the life my girls have. I am not a perfect mother, I get it wrong, I blow it so many times a day but they do not have the worries that some children have. They do not have to worry about mum and dad being there for them when they wake up in the morning. They do not worry about what they will have for lunch that day or the fact that they did not have breakfast. They have shoes they choose not to wear and a bed and a roof over their heads, none of which they have ever had to worry about. The kitchen is always full of food, magically and they get what they ask for (within reason, candy before dinner is never an option).

It simply breaks my heart that their are kids that worry. Kids that will wait for Santa to come and he won't come.

You can't make everyone happy but I won't quit trying because of one person who really didn't want me around. I will save it for those who are desperately praying to God for an answer to their loneliness and need for guidance.

I hope someone out there knows what it is I am trying to say. If God is calling you to something do it well and with a servant heart. Don't complain about being tired and not wanting to do it (and I am like that sometimes so I am not only talking to you) My attitude has go to change from what I am called to do to the people I am called to serve and love. The responsibility I have to others is so much greater than whether or not I feel like it today or not. I shouldn't be doing things because I have to or even want to but out of a place of love. Love what Jesus loves. Love who Jesus loves.

If you kind of understood what I was trying to say here please let me know either on Facebook or in the comments below. I would really like to hear some feedback.

Almost 2 in the morning here so better head off to bed.

Blessings for the weekend.
Love Tamryn


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Quitting When You Need to Push

John 16:21  It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.




Yes I know this is a very strange title and scripture. I am going to write a bit about birth and what I experienced when I had my 4 babies and how that applies to what I am going through now and what I feel some of you are going through now.

I have 4 daughters and had 3 of them without any painkillers but for my first I did have a bit of pain before I had an epidural and even then I could feel the contractions faintly. I will spare you all the gory details but I was reflecting on this this week.

I have felt like quitting what I am doing right now. I have asked God to use me and now that He is and I am about to "birth" something new in my spiritual life I want to quit. The exact same thing happened when I was in a transition in labour with each of my girls. Baby was just a few minutes away from being born it was all going to be over very soon and I was going to feel the joy of meeting my little baby. However I had this irrational thought to get up and walk out that hospital. There was no going back at this point but I had gotten to a point where I felt I just couldn't do it.

The words "I can't do it let's just go home" came out of my mouth between contractions but it was those around me who encouraged me to keep going and I said a little prayer and I think I prayed in tongues too for extra measure. Something rose up in me and I resolved to push through (pun intended). I pushed through and very soon after baby was in my arms.

I have had some many dreams of being pregnant or birthing and as some of you know dreams about being pregnant or giving birth is about a new ministry or new thing that God is bringing into your life.

I asked God why I was feeling like quitting. Should I quit and if not what am I to do about this?
This is the answer I have been getting through the week and on Sunday at church through the messages that were shared at both our services.

First question was why do I want to quit? The answer, because it is about comfort. I want to quit so that I can go back to being just stay at home mum and housewife when life was more comfortable than it is now. This is interesting because I really felt that why I was just a SAHM and Housewife that there was more to my life. Being a mum and a wife are very important but I felt God was saying I had a capacity for more.

Motherhood is great and so is being a wife. They have their challenges but I am now other things too. I have grown and been stretched. But now it is time for a new wine skin and to extend the tent pegs.

Labour is painful and it is at it's worst right before the baby is born. What I am saying is that if you feel like quitting maybe it is because you are tired and in pain and feel like you can't go on but that is because you are almost there. You may just be one last push away or one last step away from seeing the fruit of your labour.

We need to see beyond the here and now and see the more that God has for us.

So the answer to the next question "what am I to do?" I am not going to quit. I am actually quite excited to see what is around the next corner. I am going to press on a little bit longer until the anguish gives way to joy because of the new thing birthed in my life.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Sing With Your Heart


“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I will be honored by every nation.
    I will be honored throughout the world.”

A photo I took of the clouds 'Open Heaven'

The dreaded flu. That is what I have had for the last three weeks. This is also the reason why I have not written anything in the last three weeks. Even though all I could do for two of those weeks was type as I had lost my voice. I couldn't even sing which was probably the worst of it.

I love talking to people and I love singing. Two of my most favourite things to do. I went to a conference on the second week of being sick. I was sick yes but I had no fever and had already missed out on the retreat for a course I am doing so I didn't want to miss this.

I could not talk to people very well and so that meant I didn't really get to make new friends and meet new people (insert sad face here). Also Christian conference called Shout and I had to whisper throughout it Oh No! I love to worship and sing but I could not sing a word. My singing voice was completely gone. Tragic. But this is what I discovered.

My passion comes out of my mouth. When I sing a song I think about the lyrics and I mean every word I sing. There is an amazing thing that happens in the atmosphere when we worship in spirit and truth. When our voices go out into the air. The presence of God inhabits our praises.

When I was unable to sing  (I still am battling a little) there was something else that happened deep within me. The passion didn't come from my heart and out of my mouth but it came from my heart and welled out of my eyes. I cried with passion. I couldn't express my love for my Saviour with my voice but I was still able to worship.

I was still and knew who my Father is. I was still and knew that He was near. I was still and and yet He came and touched my life.

I felt so blessed during that week. Yes it was frustrating being unable to sing but it is something I could so easily take for granted and I was grateful that God showed me through this time that worshiping is not about a good singing voice but an attitude of the heart.

You don't have to be great at playing an instrument or singing to worship God with all your heart. You just need a heart that is sold out for God. Willing to honor and serve Him in every area of your life including how you worship Him.

I see many people who don't sing in church. Whatever their reasons are I pray they do start to open their mouths and let their hearts out to worship. There were a few deaf people at the conference and being deaf did not stop them from singing. They signed the words which I thought was really beautiful and sang whether they were good at it or not. I had no voice but I tried to sing a bit even though I couldn't hit all the notes and sometimes nothing came out at all but when I had to be silent my heart still sang.

What is your reason for being silent? When you don't sing is it because your heart too is not singing? Throw yourself into worshiping God because He is worthy of all the praise. Anyone who knows Jesus and has Him as Saviour over their lives has something to sing about. Don't forget what you have been saved from and who saved you from it. Don't forget Who's you are. You are the child of the one true King. He gave you a voice and when you use it darkness runs and hides. Your voice is a blessing don't take it for granted.


Friday, June 19, 2015

This Means War




For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Have you ever had a time when you were simply minding your own business when all of a sudden something comes and completely catches you off guard? Your life is chugging along nicely but out of the blue depression hits or you get attacked by the lies of the enemy. Words are spoken and suddenly things seem really unfair and the world unkind. Your thoughts about yourself are no longer uplifting and you cannot keep things together as you did before.

The enemy has you just where he wants you. He wants you in the defensive position where your armour is only good for deflecting his arrows. He actually wants you to take off that armour, throw it away and give up in defeat.

He wants you to fight with your friends. He wants you to to listen to gossip and pull people apart because when he gets what he wants he causes division. He knows that when 2 or 3 are gathered in Jesus' name Jesus is there. He wants you alone, on your own and powerless and defeated. 

He is a strategist and opportunist and is out to destroy you because you make him scared just by getting up in the morning. 

In Ephesians 6:12 we are told that our fight is not against flesh and blood but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against might powers in this dark world and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

My fight is not against human beings. My fight is not physical but spiritual.

Now imagine this. You get up in the morning and the first thing you say is "Good morning God" You have a conversation with Jesus before you talk to anyone else. You make Him your priority. You suit up with the full armour of God and you read your Bible because you know it is a strong weapon against the enemy. You don't do this because you have to but because you want to and because talking to Jesus and having Him speak to you is the greatest wonder in all creation. The very presence of God would bring every man to his knees, unable to speak other than to worship Him. I thought that if I worshiped more intensely or pressed in harder or read my Bible more then I would get spiritual enough to feel God's presence. His power would come over me and overwhelm me. This does happen sometimes and I love it when the Holy Spirit falls upon me but what I love and desire the most is Jesus to be my friend and you know what Jesus wants that too. He wants to talk to me and have me talk to Him. What we usually do is come with a list of complaints, monologues about our day and what is bothering us which isn't bad, God isn't surprised by these things. He knows what you are going through but He wants to do some talking too. It is when we listen to His voice and get to know His voice that we become stronger. John 10:27 says "My sheep know my voice, I hear them and they Follow Me" 

When we know God's voice then we can tell when it is Him speaking to us or the enemy. Whatever voice you listen to the most, is the one you will know more and the more you know it, the more you will follow it. 

God should be the one directing your path. He won't direct you down a defensive path but down the offensive path. Where you are the one waging war on the enemy. You have the upper hand. I am so over being the one bullied. I don't want to be left reeling after an attack, blindly wondering what happened. That is not the life God has for me and it isn't the one He has for you either. Overwhelming victory is ours Romans 8:37

We fight for what we love. We wage war against the enemy who is lying to people everywhere. 
Adam and Eve were lied to. They took their eyes off God for a moment and believed the lie of the enemy. They listened to that cunning voice. 
Because of Jesus, we are armed for the battle. The very same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of us and when we realise just how powerful God is and how powerful we are because we are His sons and daughters we are a force to be reckoned with.

So today do not fall for the ploy of the enemy. Today stand firm in the fact that the battle has already been won. You have the victory already. No one can take it away from you unless you let down your guard and freely give it away.

15 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. 16 But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.

When we know the enemies plan God will frustrate them. Have friends who will stand by you and pray for you and who are armed and ready to fight for you and cover your back. Support your leaders because they are watching your back. Have your tools in one hand and your weapon in the other so that you will be ready.

Jesus even told His disciples in Luke 22:36 that if they did not have a sword they were to sell their garments to buy one. 
You need to be ready for battle. Don’t be blind-sided again. Check your blind spot regularly. Follow Jesus and He will send you a warning if you will just hear His voice and obey it.



Friday, June 12, 2015

Spring Has Come

Song of Songs 2:10-13 
My lover said to me,
    “Rise up, my darling!
    Come away with me, my fair one!
11 Look, the winter is past,
    and the rains are over and gone.
12 The flowers are springing up,
    the season of singing birds has come,
    and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.
13 The fig trees are forming young fruit,
    and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling!
    Come away with me, my fair one!”


I am a Spring baby. I love the season of the new. Fruit blossoms on the trees and daffodils and green leaves. New life.

Winter and I are not good friends. Only thing I like about winter is snuggling up in a nice warm bed, Hot Chocolate and marshmallows. The rain and wind and cold are not nice. For three months it is as though there is no colour and everything has gone to sleep. Currently I am fighting a cold and that is another reason why winter is not nice. Germs. Heaps of germs. My four daughters don't believe in getting sick all at once over the weekend. They instead think that taking turns is far more clever and during the week when Mum has work to do is even better. Autumn was the tummy bug season and you guessed it. One at a time for a couple of weeks and I got it too! It is enough to make any mother to scream "Spring and Summer come back!"

A lot of us have seasons in our lives. Not the natural seasons of our planet but internal seasons of our heart. We are sick and tired and hibernating. We wait and wait for the light Spring to come and break us out of our dark Winter.

Winter can grow us and make us stronger. When we go through storms and trials and we rely on God to help us through we become stronger. We rid ourselves of things that do not belong in our lives. When we look to God during the Winter months we focus less on ourselves and our situation.
Winter is good for us because it grows our faith that there is hope. Spring always comes after Winter. That is the hope of Winter. There will be Spring.

Spring is the time when new things wake up and things are birthed. Spring is the season of activating what was incubated during Winter.

The enemy wants to keep you in Winter. He knows if you stay in Winter too long you will lose hope and that which you are incubating will not reach full potential and will not be activated in your life.
When we lose hope we lose vision and we become bitter.



But God! God is calling you into Spring. He is calling you to activate that which you have grown in faith and trust in Him and what He has been working in your life.

He is calling you, His beloved, to awake and rise up. Hear the birds singing their dawn chorus. See the blossoms on the trees. Can you not see that rain is gone and the newness of Spring is bursting from the ground.

What is it that you have buried deep within? What are the things that you have heard God speaking into your heart during your Winter season? Are you hearing God calling your name and waking you up? He is calling you out and showing you that clear, snow free, path.

I can hear Jesus saying "Follow Me" and my response "I will follow you wherever you will lead me"

Say yes to Jesus today and throw off the things of Winter and see what exciting things God is going to do this Spring.


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Friday, May 1, 2015

More Than Meets the Eye

1 Samuel 16:7  But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

As humans we put a lot of value on what people look like. What they wear, how many piercings and tattoos they have or we see how fat or thin someone is. We look at the outside appearance and assume that we know exactly what a person is like.

We assume that someone wearing the latest fashion, perfectly coloured hair, straight, white teeth and a perfect body is someone to look up to. We assume that a homeless person who is wearing shoes that could hold a conversation and a beanie on his greasy unwashed head is lazy and should just get off the street and earn a living like the rest of society.

We assume that a businessman is rich and happy, We assume a mom that stays at home with her kids does nothing all day and does nothing to contribute to the family finances and we assume a working mom doesn't care about her kids and would rather work and make parenting their own child someone else's problem.

We assume so much by what people do for a living and by what they wear.

In 1 Samuel 16 it tells about how God sent Samuel to anoint the the next king of Israel. Samuel looked at David's brothers and saw that they were all tall, strapping lads and looked like Kings but God told Samuel not to look at the outside appearance.

When God sees each of us He sees right past what we do and our appearance and He sees our heart and who He created us to be.
God created David to be a King but God saw that this man was a man after His own heart. He saw that David loved deeply. All everyone else saw was a little boy but God knew better.

We all need to start seeing others as Jesus sees them. He looks deep inside beyond all the layers of appearance, hate, insecurity and hopelessness and sees so much more. Just as when you look into the night sky and only see a few stars. It is only when you zoom in with a very strong telescope that begin to see galaxies, planets and moons.

When you come across someone today who you have never met and you see their appearance, stop and look deeper and ask God how He sees them.

That stylish woman with perfect hair and teeth is probably going through a life that is very far from perfect and although she may look perfect on the outside she my be very lonely and in need of a friend who will love her no matter what secrets she is holding captive inside.
The homeless man may have looked for a job many times but he gets looked down on for his appearance.

How do we treat people? Those who are different, do we treat them with love and acceptance for them as a unique God created human being or do we judge first by appearance?

God sees the heart and I am glad for it because if God judged me by appearance I wouldn't stand a chance. But because He has created me and formed me and knows me He sees who I am. He knows what I am going through. He is a personal God who cares about my heart and He cares about yours.

But most of all He cares about the heart of the unlovely. There is more to a person than meets the eye.



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Friday, April 3, 2015

Oh How He Loves You

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us



Today we remember what Christ did for us on the cross. We remember how God so loved us that He sent His only Son to dies for us.

My Jesus knew all that I would do wrong. He didn't wait until I had it all together to mend the relationship between me and the Father. He has washed me clean and made me pure by His blood.
He didn't not question the Father and mention my sin and dirty soul. He did not say He could not die for me because of all I have done wrong. He didn't even take pity upon me and die just to save from my sins. He died because He loved me. He died because He wanted me to be with Him. Sin separated me from God and it grieved Him. It grieved my God that I was so far from Him.

I did not realise that I was lost and separated. Adam and Eve knew what it was like to have a relationship with God and walk with Him in the cool of the evening. But they also knew what it was like to be separated and rent from the fellowship of their God.
Oh what a gift and what a blessing to be loved so much by the Creator of all things.

He loves you and died for you too. He wants to have a relationship with you. You do not have to be perfect first. He loves you. The only thing He sees when He looks at you is who He created you to be. He sees past it all because it was all paid for, you just need to accept the gift.

Jesus died on the cross but the good news is that He rose again, victorious. Death no longer has a hold on you. You have freedom in Christ. Freedom to be all you have been created and called to be.

I know we all have fears. We are scared of things that are greater than what we feel capable of doing.
The truth is that Jesus goes before us and prepares the way. When you go down a road with obstacles He doesn't move the branch to get through and then let it swing back and hit you in the face, but He clears the way. When Moses came to the Red Sea it parted and didn't close until all of God's people were safely across.
When we don't put our toe in the water we will never see the waters parted. If we don't follow Jesus then we will not see what He is leading us to. We stop short of what we perceive is impossible. Fear grips us and we turn back too soon or we choose not to hear God's voice calling us.

Fear is only a door to freedom. Yes new things are scary. We would rather have the comfortable and manageable over the risky and stretching discomfort. But when we do this we miss out on so much. We miss out on what Jesus is just about to show us. We miss out on miracles, signs and wonders. We miss out on our calling.

We need not fear because perfect love drives out fear and that love comes from God.
1 John 4:18


Friday, March 13, 2015

Bad Stuff Happens

Psalm 23:4  Though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

Why does God allow bad things to happen?

Every good and perfect thing comes from the Father. James 1:17  The enemy is the one that comes to steal, kill and destroy. John 10:10

God doesn't allow bad things to happen to us. He definitely doesn't send them.

What about Job? you ask.
God said to satan, "Have you considered my servant Job?" Job 1:8
God knew the stuff that Job was made of and He knew that Job would make it through and it wasn't like God was going to let him go through it without Him.

Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world and because this world has freedom of choice. God doesn't override a person't choice. He wants us to love Him by our own choice not because and All Powerful God demands it. So a lot of the time God doesn't stop bad things from happening although He is capable. He understands better than we do. We see our current sufferings and troubles but He sees our victory. We do not understand death. We don't understand life and we don't understand or know our Father when wee go through suffering and hard times.

My Father says He will never leave me or forsake me. He is always with me. Even when I go through the valley of the shadow of death. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters, restores my soul, leads me in paths of righteousness. He prepares a table for me in front of my enemies. He anoints me and I overflow. He doesn't give me just enough He gives me more than enough.

When I die and go from this earth, I will go to a better place. We do not see death as a victory. Let me explain. It is like when we die and we reach our reward which is Heaven and wee meet our Father face to face we can say "Haha! You thought you had me satan. You thought you had won. I suffered but I pulled close to God and turned to Him. I died but now I see my Father. You do not have me."

When we suffer and are in trouble it hurts and we complain and let everyone know how bad wee have it. We speak as though we are doomed to our suffering but what we forget is that because of Who's we are we already have the Victory. Look outside of your mind and this world and your limited understanding.

No one likes suffering but when you do, squeeze the living daylights out of it and force it to yield good fruit. Draw close to God and focus all your attention on Him. He is your ever present help.
He cannot help you when you are focusing on your suffering. Look up and out. When God is for you, who or what can be against you?

My Bible says "Though I WALK THROUGH the valley. It doesn't say though God makes me sit in this valley to teach me a lesson. NO!!
He is always with me through the valley and I do not fear evil because He is with me.

God doesn't allow us to go through trials and suffering to teach us and grow us or teach us a lesson.

One of three things will happen when you go through suffering.
1) You will learn nothing
2) You will learn something about yourself
3) You will learn more about your Father

1) Your sufferings aren't there to teach you or grow you. Bad stuff happens it is the way of a fallen world. It comes from choices being made and the consequences of them. You can go through suffering and come out unchanged. Not always but sometimes you can suffer and not grow or learn anything from it. I can get the flu or get stung by a bee but it profits me nothing once I have gone through that bit of pain and suffering.

2) You will learn something about yourself or you may become self absorbed or self-focused. "Oh look what I am going through" and we play a negative dialogue. Not only will you learn about yourself and how pitiful you think you are but what you learn will be distorted. A bit like looking in those wonky mirrors. If we look at ourselves through our suffering all we will see is a distorted image of ourselves.

3) You learn about your Father. When your focus is on God and we look at ourselves through how God sees us and our suffering we have clarity. We need to speak the truth over our situations and ourselves. "God is always with me. Even in my suffering. I walk through it but not alone. He sees my victory and I trust Him"
We then learn the goodness of God and our identity in Him. But we should be learning this everyday and not just when we suffer.

We need to learn this and draw so close to God and be so Christlike and filled that when we are squeezed only Jesus comes out. Nothing can harm me Jesus is here.

The other day I was having a really bad start to the day and I was starting to focus on all that was wrong with my day. I focused on what an awful mother I was and just such a pathetic excuse for a Christian. I felt like giving up and this is what the enemy wanted. He wanted me to be in this place of pity and self doubt, focused only on my current sufferings. But then I stopped and thought for a minute about what God had taught me about who I was to Him and how I needed to focus on Him and not my terrible day. All I wanted to do was wallow in my self pity but that had never accomplished anything before so I decided I would try it God's way and think of myself and my suffering less and draw close to God. He met me and helped me out of the grey cloud of despair I had wandered into when I had shifted my focus. I need to decrease so that He can increase in my life. That doesn't mean the bad stuff is going to go away but it does mean I have more power on my side and I have the satisfying victory badges when I rely on God to help me conquer the things that come my way.