Friday, March 27, 2009

We are responsible for making change happen!

2 Chronicals 7:14 -15 However, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country. My eyes will be open, and my ears will pay attention to those prayers at this place.

I call this a promise with conditions. I do this for my kids. I tell my son that if he tidies his room he can watch a DVD before bed. I tell my daughter that if she does excellent bookwork for the week, she can have a play date with my Mum. They are promises, with conditions.

God has just issued an amazing promise here - with conditions. Action on our part is required. But he has also given us the responsibility to make change happen. It's not up the government to make changes in our country, in our cities and in our communities. They can do jack squat for us. Why? Because God has clearly said "..if MY people.."
Now I am one of God's people. He's talking to me! He's talking to you!

So we know it's for you and me, but what do we have to do? ...will humble themselves, pray, search for me, and turn from their evil ways...

We are called to pray, search God, turn from sin.

What happens if you do this? What is the promise?

I will hear their prayer from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their country. My eyes will be open, and my ears will pay attention to those prayers at this place

God has promised to hear us, forgive us and heal our country!! Heal it!! That is an amazing promise, considering the state of our country. In my own community there are hurting children with unstable homes, abusive parents, broken homes, broken lives. There are hurting adults who are in the grips of alcohol, drugs, abusive relationships, promiscuity, broken down families, poverty, unemployment, children giving birth to children etc. This is a hurting land, with open, festering sores and lives. But God has promised us that he will heal our land.
We just have to get off our butts and make it happen. By seeking God, praying and true repentance.

I so can't wait to see what God is going to do here. I can't wait to see his hand start moving and start healing the land.

MY PRAYER
Lord God, I accept my role in making change come about in my land. I pray that I will remember this daily. I am so desperate to see you heal the land, and I accept my end of the bargain. I will seek you, I will pray and I will turn from my sins. I pray you will point them out to me, challenge me and help me do this. Thankyou for the promise that you will hear us. It's so awesome to be talking to someone we can't see, but we can be assured we are heard.
In your name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He sees the invisible...

Yesterday, my attention was bought to the story of the woman with the issue of blood.
(Mark 5:25-34)

This poor woman had been bleeding for 12 years. Imagine that ladies? A period that lasts for 12 years!? In this time, a woman with her monthlies was considered unclean for 7 days after the bleeding has stopped. If anyone touched her, they would be unclean. If she touched anything, it would be unclean. You can read Leviticus 15:19-33 to read the other restrictions on a woman who was bleeding. A woman who has been bleeding for 12 years would have lost her whole family and friends. She would not have been allowed to worship and fellowship in the temple. She would not have been able to be intimate with her husband. She would have been home-bound, just in case she touched someone. She would have cried alone, and no one could have hugged her. She couldn't go to someone's home, because whatever she touched was unclean. She was an outcast. No one wanted to do anything. You get the idea.

Her pain was real. Not only was she physically damaged, she was emotionally scarred. She was isolated, rejected and pronounced "Unclean".

Then along came Jesus. While he was walking in a huge crowd of people - she did something that was very brave, and touched Jesus's clothing, in hope that it would heal her. Now you would think that in a crowd of people, he wouldn't notice. But he did. "Who touched me??"
What a crazy question - especially in a crowd of people. Jesus turned and looked at her and her story spilled from her lips. The story said she was really afraid, and I don't blame her. She was unclean. No one wanted to be anywhere near an unclean person. Anyone could have turned on her for daring to come out in a crowd of people when she was unclean.

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Then Jesus, in his compassion, he calls her something so sweet and tender - "Daughter".

Now imagine that you had been ignored, almost invisible for 12 years. Not being touched, not being loved - just seen for what condition you are in. Jesus went past that and spoke to her kindly, listened to her troubles, and healed her. He noticed her and he loved her. She wasn't beyond his notice. He wasn't too important and too busy to listen nor was he judgemental - even though she touched him. She was a nobody, and he made her a somebody.

I love this story. It shows such a tender and loving part of our Lord.

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord, thankyou that you notice everybody. Thankyou that we don't have to be Evangelists and Priests to be loved and noticed by you. Thankyou for showing your love and compassion to us all. Thankyou that you noticed me as a nobody and made me somebody in you.
Amen

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Woops...

Friday, March 20, 2009

What's the plan?

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

I love this scripture. It always encourages me when I sometimes feel a bit "lost" - like I don't know where I am going and what I am doing. About 4 years ago, God told me what He wanted me to do - and I am still waiting for that to come about. I have no idea of how it's going to happen, when or how it will come about - but it's all under control. :)

God knows. God knows where he is leading me. God has plans for me! That just amazes me!! Not only do I KNOW God - the creator of the Universe, the Saviour of all human beings, the healer, the encourager - but God knows me and has plans for me!! Doesn't that just blow you away??

You know we sometimes hear people name dropping. "Oh I met Ben Bigwig at the shops last week." So what? Ben Bigwig is HUMAN - and NOTHING compared to God!! God created Ben Bigwig! I KNOW God, I am intimate with Him! And he has plans for me! What an awesome thing to brag about!

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I am so glad God knows the plans he has for me, but because I am the person that I am, I wish He would throw me a map, so I could know too!! :) A hint???

MY PRAYER
Thankyou Lord for caring so much about me and loving me. Thankyou that you care enough to prosper me and give me hope and a future. Thankyou for loving me enough to make plans for me. Thankyou for not putting me here on this earth and leaving me to fend for myself. I love you so much God. Amen

Ever wanted to know what your Spiritual Gift is?

Spiritual Gift Analysis

I did this...
Teaching is my number 1 gift. No surprise there I guess. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Something I want to share...

I read this today - taken from Today's Verse - Heartlight

The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.-- Proverbs 10:21

THOUGHT: Righteous people have a way of blessing others with their words. It may be their word of encouragement, their carefully chosen speech, their advice full of wisdom, their message of comfort, their truth in teaching, or their faithfulness to their promises. No matter what form, the words of righteous people are a blessing. But fools don't listen to the righteous. They plot their own course refusing truth, wisdom, and godliness only to find their lives lost to meaninglessness and folly.

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord, direct my thoughts and help me form them into words to bless, encourage and comfort. I more than anything want to be righteous - and have the speech of a righteous person. I want more than anything to be Salt in this decaying world. The desire of my heart is to serve you - and share you in the most effective way possible. Thankyou Lord for your Word, and speaking into my life.

Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Nobody loves me, everybody hates me..

... think I'll go eat worms.
Fat ones, skinny ones, long ones, juicy ones
Watch them wiggle and squirm!

Oh boy does that bring back memories.... the childhood song of self pity! Nobody loves me... It's such a sad state of mind to be in. It's completely untrue, because even the most evil people on the planet had someone who loved them. So thinking that nobody loves you is really a big fat lie.

Sometimes though when we are feeling sorry for ourselves, and in moments of sadness, we really do feel that the world is against us. That no-one understands us. That we are all alone in a sea of people. When you start feeling that way, stop and remember what God has said.

Isaiah 43:4 Since you are precious to me, you are honored and I love you.

Precious! You are so valuable to God. He paid the ultimate price so he could have you and be in relationship with you. He wants YOU!! Don't let Satan steal the joy of knowing that you are precious to God. Don't let Satan make you feel any less valuable than you are. Don't ever forget that God's only Son was the price that God paid for you. That's how much he loves you.

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I'm so incredibly stoked to know that I am precious, honored and loved by GOD.

MY PRAYER
Thankyou Lord for your love. Thankyou that you took the time in your Word, to repeatedly tell us of your love and how valuable we are to you. Thankyou that we don't have to fear ever being hated by you. I love you God and I give myself completely to you.

Amen.

Depression? Recession? EEK!

Unless you have lived under a rock for the last year, you will know that our World is suffering financially. Our economies are slumping. People are losing their jobs, companies are closing their doors, production is slowing, trade is slowing. It's all just a big ol' mess.

The Bible warns us not to trust in money, but to trust in God.
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment
1 Timothy 6:17.


Take note of the the last sentence - Who RICHLY gives us ALL we need for our enjoyment.

We don't have to worry about the uncertain times ahead. We can believe that God will gives us all we need. And not only that, he will give us more - because we will have enough to enjoy! Pity those who do not have God to believe in. Their hearts will be filled with fear for the future.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33

Even though times may look tough, we don't need to panic. We just need to remember to keep our eyes on God, actively seek Him and live the way he wants us to. God will give us everything we need. It says it right there!!

And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8

God is not a stingy God. He is generous with you, so you can be generous with Him and others. We are a reflection of God's character - so to give other's a true portrait of who God is, be generous with others to show a generous God.

So today, if you are freaking out about uncertain times, rest easy. You have a loving Father who will provide for your needs. I find that when times are tough financially, my faith in God grows so much, because he always comes through for me.

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord
Thankyou for your provision in my life. Thankyou for giving me the home I live in, the family I enjoy, this amazing bountiful country and for the food in my pantry. I pray that you will give me opportunities to be generous and to portray who you really are - an amazing, generous God, who paid the ultimate price so that we could be in relationship with you.
In your name, amen.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Small fibs to God?

I read this statement over on Reson8 last week, and I just loved it.

Don’t sing on Sunday what you are not willing to live on Monday.

I'm definately going to be bringing this to the Church, next time I worship lead. It's so true. Our songs, are not there to make us feel good. Our worship has the potential to be so powerful. To shake the spiritual rhelm, to be prophetic etc. These are not just words that we utter, to get goosebumps.

If we don't mean what we sing, we shouldn't sing them. So if you don't mean the words:
"I surrender all..."
"Break my heart for what break's yours.."
"Lord I give you my heart.."
"It's all about you Jesus..."
"You are all I need..."
"I'm desperate for you..."

.... don't sing them. This is blatant untruthfulness. Singing these words without any intention of doing what you sing, or even meaning them is lying. Seriously, lying to God and in his own house??

MY PRAYER
Thankyou Lord for the opportunity to worship you, in spirit and in truth. I pray that I will be reminded of this statement everytime I sing, that I will make what I sing the cry of my heart. I pray I will hold myself accountable when I worship, that the songs will not rashly just fall from my lips, that I will mean every single word.

Amen.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Memory verse

My 5 year old daugther goes to a Christian school - where the faith is taught as well as lived. I love this school, they worship together, they pray together, they teach the Word of God. What is being taught, lines up with what we are trying to teach our kids.

Anyway my daughter's memory verse this week is 1 Corinthians 15:58. This school teaches the KJV.

So that, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not without fruit in the Lord.

I looked at her, as she said it. She was parrotting. She had no idea what it meant. I asked her, "Do you know what this means? Do you understand it?" She shook her head.

So I get onto my laptop and get onto E-Sword, and show her another version - God's Word.

So, then, brothers and sisters, don't let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith. Always excel in the work you do for the Lord. You know that the hard work you do for the Lord is not pointless.

I saw little flickers of recognition as we talked about it. Then today, she asked to look at it again. "I want to see what it means!"

I just hope and pray that this scripture memorisation and applying it to her life is the start of a very firm foundation of faith, and that she will not be moved. I hope she is as stubborn in her spiritual life as she is now!! :)

MY PRAYER
Father, thankyou for your Word. Thankyou for the encouragement it brings, and the added determination it brings to us. I pray that we will all adopt an attitude of excellence, because that is what you deserve, our all. Amen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Influence the kids

***taken from a message I preached***

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Mark 10:13-16 Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples scolded the people. When Jesus noticed this, he became angry and said to his disciples, "Let the children come to me, and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."
Then he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on each of them, and blessed them.


It is so important to be a good influence on our children and shape our kid's spiritual lives. But it's not just the responsibility of the parents. This is where you come in.

There are many churches that are filled to the brim with old people. In 20 years time, what will happen to the church? What happens when those oldies die? It sounds harsh, but it's so true. In 20 years time, that church will close it's doors, because there are no "kids" that can rise up and take over.

As lovely as it is to have grey haired ladies, and balding short old men, our churches need the vitality and life that is bought in by youth and children. Yes they make noise. Yes they make mess. Yes they break things. Yes they are a strange breed, and hard to understand, but we should not let barriers such as this stop us from going out and doing our utmost to influence and minister to them. We should be doing our very best to keep the young in our church, so we can raise and train tomorrow's leaders.

In verse 13 it says “Some people brought their children" -to be blessed by Jesus. It doesn't say, the parents brought their kids, or the family brought their kids, it says SOME PEOPLE. Some people is YOU. Some people is ME! ANYONE can bring children to Jesus. It's not the responsibility of the parents alone.

I read some interesting statistics that I would like to share:

a. 19 out of 20 Christians are saved before the age of 25.
b. After age 25, 1 in 10,000
c. After age 35, 1 in 50,000
d. After age 45, 1 in 200,000
e. After age 55, 1 in 300,000
f. After age 75, 1 in 700,000.

Looking at these stats, it is wise to go after the young. To focus as much as possible our ministry to the young.

Decide right now to not have the attitude of the disciples, and not do our utmost for the kids. They saw the kids as insignificant. Adults are more important and needed Jesus' teaching more. Not so. Jesus was not impressed by this attitude, and instructed the disciples to bring the children to him.

Influence these children by your example. Kids are watching YOU. Do you know how they learn to worship? By watching YOU! Do you know how they learn about Christianity? Not by listening to sermons, but listening to YOU! You need to be very careful in what you say and do, because little eyes are watching and listening.

Encourage participation! Kids LOVE to feel like they fit in and are involved in some way. My 3 year old son has been involved in the sound system set up and pack up. This team is 100% men - and they have recognised that my son, who is such a blokey bloke, LOVES to be with them and help them. He is unloading the trailor, fiddling with the knobs, helping plug things in... My 5 year old daughter rushes out of Sunday School to help stack the chairs at the end of the service. She wants to serve, and the set-up and set-down team have recognised this and have involved her. Get kids taking up the offering, greeting people at the door, serving communion - doing something to get them involved. As time goes on, youth can start joining the church band, giving worship life and a new sound.

This generation is influencing and shaping the next.

What will happen if you decide to do this?

My husband and I went to an Easter Camp in outback Queensland. It was a very laid back sort of time, but every morning and evening there were services. During the first service, a couple stood up and introduced themselves as the kids workers. They were amazing! They said, “We are NOT a baby-sitting service, we are here to ignite a passion for Christ in your kids”
My jaw dropped, All I could say was WOW!! They were there by design to influence, shape and equip, even if it was for 2 short days.

But that whole church had a mentality of making sure that the young were catered too and being influenced. I saw a young lad who I knew as a 3 or 4 year old. His grandparents had been bringing him to church. And there he was 11 years later, a strapping great lad in his mid-teens, worshipping his God with all his heart. How wonderful for the grandparents who have been investing in his spiritual wellbeing, to see a teenage boy unashamed and passionate for God.

This was a camp, and going to services were optional. I saw three kids sitting by the fire, away from the services. The rest of the kids were in service, by their own choice! We aren’t talking about a few kids – there were STACKS of them! Youth were up the front, worship leading... and we aren't talking mediocre, low quality stuff - we are talking passion, desire, talent and reaching out to touch God.

This too can be your church. Just bring the youth and kids to Jesus. Serve them. Minister to them. Influence them. And you will see the fruits in seeing young people rising up and training the next generation.

We can't think of the here and now, we have to focus on the future generation.

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 Listen, Israel: The LORD is our God. The LORD is the only God. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children.

MY PRAYER
Lord I pray you Word will go out and strike deep into the hearts of those who need to hear it. I pray that you will prompt every single person who reads this to feel responsible for the youth and children in their world, that will inspire change and action. I pray that as we influence our children, you will help us raise up the next generation who will be even greater than us.
In your name, amen



Monday, March 9, 2009

Be careful what you pray for.

Isn't it interesting, that the moment you teach or preach something, how I get challenged in that area? Like the time I preached on tithing, our finances went down the tube.

I have been praying these last few days about wanting to be like God, for him to challenge me, to pray for those who bug the gajeebers out of me, love those who anger me, to be gentle and gracious under all circumstances. IT'S IN WRITING!! Read the last few posts again and you will see that this is what I have been praying!

Well now is my chance!!

The bright side? God answered my prayer!! :)

A personal revelation

Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore, everyone who hears what I say and obeys it will be like a wise person who built a house on rock. Rain poured, and floods came. Winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not collapse, because its foundation was on rock.
"Everyone who hears what I say but doesn't obey it will be like a foolish person who built a house on sand. Rain poured, and floods came. Winds blew and struck that house. It collapsed, and the result was a total disaster."


I was thinking a few days ago, as to how far God has brought me. It's good to look back and see what you were, as to what you are now. It's good to reflect, and praise God for what he has done so far. As long as you don't stay put, admiring your journey so far. Get moving!! Keep going!

I am far from "there" yet, because this will be a constant journey, but I had a realisation that God for years has been building a strong and firm foundation in me. Like the houses that are being built up the road from us, engineers come in and do their thing, soil testing is completed, the trenches are dug, the footings are put in, the cement foundation is laid. It dries. It sits for a bit. It all takes times. It can't be done quickly otherwise the results would be a disaster!

I feel that is where I have been, God has been building good solid foundations in me.

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The other day I drove past one of these foundation blocks, and saw some men at work, hammering together bits of wood. I thought to myself "Ohher building the frame" how exciting!! Anyway, I drove by there again 3 hours later and was shocked and astonished to see that the house frame was half up! Already!!

Lately I feel like God is putting up the framework, things are growing and moving along very quickly. The more I bury myself in the Word of God, growth is happening. I look back over the last few months and I can see an amazing time of growth.

How does this apply to you?
Well it may not. But know this, that when you feel like there isn't much happening, growth isn't evident, even though you are digging into the Bible, worshiping God, praying, getting right in there with your relationship with him, know that something deeper is happening. Foundations are being laid, you can't see the footings, but that is what stops the house from falling apart. This time in life will affect your Christian walk, and you can't rush this phase.

Build on something real! If you don't build on the right thing, it will be like building your house on sand. And that won't last. You can't be Salt and Light in our world, when what you have is crumbling around your ears.

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord,
Thankyou for bringing me this far. Thankyou for being patient with me whe I have tried to spur you on, hurry you up, and constantly questioned what was going on? Thankyou that you love me and treasure me and think I'm all that and a bag of chips.
I pray that you will help me build with good materials, on good foundations. I pray that you will strengthen me and guide me - coz I don't know ANYTHING about building! :) Keep revealing yourself in your Word to me and I just want to keep going on with you. I surrender myself to you completely.
Amen

Amazing!!

I can't embed the clip here, but Mum sent me the link to this: IL DIVO SINGS AMAZING GRACE

Sunday, March 8, 2009

In your Freedom

I just love this song.




I search for You God of strength
I bow to You in my brokenness
And no other King could have so humbly come
To save my soul and heal my heart
I have nothing more than all You offer me
There is nothing else that’s of worth to me
And I love You Lord
You rescued me
You are all that I want
You’re all that I need
I pray to You God of peace
I rest in You my cares released
I have nothing more than all You offer me
There is nothing else that’s of worth to me
And I love You Lord
You rescued me
You are all that I want
You’re all that I need
In Your freedom I will live
In Your freedom I will live
I offer devotion, I offer devotion


Words by Hillsong Australia

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Get rid of your bitterness - it stinks.

Ephesians. 4:31-5:2 –Get rid of your bitterness, hot tempers, anger, loud quarreling, cursing, and hatred. Be kind to each other, sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through Christ. Imitate God, since you are the children he loves.
Live in love as Christ also loved us. He gave his life for us as an offering and sacrifice, a soothing aroma to God.


Jesus Himself is the perfect example for us to follow. Look at how he behaved when he was being crucified.
He was arrested, beaten up, insulted. Then spat upon, blindfolded, slapped Him in the face. Then the Roman soldiers mocked Him by crowning Him with thorns and putting a robe on Him, and a stick in His hand as a make-believe scepter.
They scorned Him, “Hail King of the Jews!” Then they scourged Him.

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Jesus had the power to kill them all, strike them blind, to paralyze them so he could escape, to condemn them to hell, but, with divine dignity, He held His peace.
1Peter 2:23 Christ never verbally abused those who verbally abused him. When he suffered, he didn't make any threats but left everything to the one who judges fairly.

Jesus prayed for those who tortured Him! He said “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.”

“Prayer is the forerunner of mercy. ” ~Charles Spurgeon~

Jesus didn’t return evil for evil, but He silently turned the other cheek and prayed for those who hurt Him. He did all that for you; and for you to follow in His steps.

Why pray for someone who treats us so appallingly? Because it's hard to think negatively or nastily about someone that we are praying "Lord, bless them, love them, help them, intervene in their circumstances, help me, change me"

MY PRAYER
Dear Jesus,
Thankyou for that ultimate example of grace and mercy. I want to follow in your footsteps. I pray for those who upset me and hurt me, I pray that you will pour an abundance of blessings onto them. Help me to keep my attitude sweet and help me to be a woman of integrity.
Amen.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Do not oppose an evil person... eh???

This is part of my message that I am bringing tomorrow for the Church. :)

Mathew 5:38-39 "....But I tell you not to oppose an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek to him as well.

When Jesus says “I tell you, don’t oppose an evil person.” It’s not to be taken literally. But I think we should look at other scriptures to get the full meaning..

We’re told to stay away from evil or rotten people in our society. In Ephesians 5 it says “Have nothing to do with them.” We are also called to resist Satan in James 4:7
But Jesus said “Don’t oppose an evil person”. What’s the deal??

If Hitler II came, and decided that he would have a crack at world domination – does that mean we don’t oppose him? We just sit there quietly? When the terrorist bombed the World Trade Center, would it have been more Godly, to just let that slide?

In Romans 13:4 talks about the government’s God-ordained duty to “bear the sword” both for national protection and as punishment for those who are doing the wrong thing.

The “Do not oppose an evil person” doesn’t apply to self-defense

Jesus knew about and approved the swords the disciples had armed themselves with, just before he was arrested. He didn't ban them - he wanted the disciples to be able to protect themeselves.

I don’t believe God wants a woman to lay back and allow a man to rape her – because she doesn’t want to oppose the evil man. I don’t believe God wants a man to allow a thief into his home and pose a threat to his wife and children, because he is going to be a shining light to this thief and “not oppose the evil person”. I don’t believe a child should have to be bullied physically because that’s what God wants – because Jesus taught him or her not to oppose an evil person.

I want to draw your attention to domestic violence for a moment.

You are not being more godly by not opposing the person who is abusing you. A few months ago, I briefly spoke about boundaries. It is perfectly acceptable to set boundaries to protect yourself, and then if the boundaries are crossed, appropriate consequences follow. In case of violence, I always say, if you are being hurt, get away from the person immediately. I’ve spoken to women who are frightened to leave – and I say “What if this last whack is your last? And it kills you?” God did not put us on this earth to be victims because of a literal translation.

If someone is hurting you, it’s ok for you to defend yourself, appropriately. If someone is threatening you, it’s ok to take action and get the police involved. If you are being abused, it’s perfectly ok for you to pack up and leave. God does not want you to ever be a victim of abuse. You are not being a good example of Salt and Light by allowing people to abuse you.

Another thing that is taken literally with this section of scripture is the physical slap on the cheek. But Jesus was actually referring to being insulted. Ever been insulted? Was it like being slapped? You feel yourself reel. The pain you feel is sharp and then you will sting for a while afterwards. You may even bruise if the insult was “hard” enough.

What Jesus meant is that we can be Salt in our world if we just don’t respond to insults.
Remember what your parents would say?
“Daaaaad? Charlie is picking on me!!!”
‘Oh just ignore him and he will go away”

What happens when we DO respond? It just gets bigger and worse.
We are a better witness if we just shut our traps and just let it go. Turn the other cheek.

Jesus is asking you to raise the standard by how you respond.

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord,
Help me to remember to respond to negativity, criticism and nastiness with love and grace. Help me control my tongue in times that try me. I pray that I will be a good witness to the work you have done in my life, by being silent when I am insulted. I want to be just like you. Help me remember that when I am fired up and riled over an injustice against me.

Amen

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Matthew 7:1-2 Don't condemn others, and God won't condemn you. God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them.

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In the movie "Everafter", I love the part where the evil stepmother, and Margeurite appear before Danielle aka Cinderella - as a royal for the first time. The shock on their face. AND... when consequences for past behaviour is dished out Danielle says something along the lines that "they receive the same kindness shown to me". The next scene is in a medieval laundry, where the Stepmother and step sister are launched into full time domestic work, like they forced Danielle to do for many years.

God will be as hard on you as you are to others. That's a real challenge I think! It's so easy to look on some people with scorn, dislike, and judgement. I don't know about you, but when I stuff up, I want God to respond with grace, mercy, kindness, and gentleness. So when people mess up and annoy me down here - this is how I need to respond. The bar needs to be raised. How I respond is my problem only. I cannot blame others for the reactions and actions of myself. So if I get angry, that is my fault only. If I react ungraciously and scornfully, then that is my fault. I own my actions. I own my emotions. I own my reactions. So how God responds to me is my choice.

MY PRAYER
God, you are magnificent. Thankyou for your grace to me. I pray that I will always remember to respond to other's mess ups with grace, mercy and kindness. Help me to remember this scripture as I go through life. Help me to not condem but to love, encourage and gently guide. Help me to portray you in the best way possible.
Amen.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Don't worry..... be happy!

1Peter 5:7 God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.

Yesterday evening, I was having a conversation with my 5 year old. She told me that she loves a boy in her class. As surprised as I was about that, I asked her why. Her answer. "Because he takes care of me."
That is so sweet. Her first crush... But she had a point.

God loves us so much, he thinks that we are just so wonderful - and because he loves us, he takes care of us. So we don't have to worry about a thing. Why do we worry then? Why don't we take advantage of this love and this promise of care by hanging onto what worries us.

Then my daughter that same evening said to me: "Mummy, you adults need to be like us kids, on the inside."
I tried to question what she meant, but she clammed up. I thought about that for a bit. My kids don't have many worries. Why? Because Mummy and Daddy will take care of it. They don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, if they will have enough money to pay the bills, what is happening healthwise. They just cruise through life, trusting that Mum and Dad have it under control.

God takes care of us. He loves us, and we are His children. We have no need to worry!

So don't worry! Bee Happy!!

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ohhher... tempting!

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Luke 4:1-13 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. He ate nothing in those days. Afterward, when they were completed, he was hungry.
The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'"
The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said to him, "I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours." Jesus answered him, "Get behind me Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'" He led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here, for it is written, 'He will give his angels charge concerning you, to guard you;' and, 'On their hands they will bear you up, Lest perhaps you dash your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus answering, said to him, "It has been said, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'" When the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him until another time.


We all get tempted. No one is exempt. We get tempted to do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, even BE the wrong thing. But we can look at this scripture and take valuable lessons from Jesus.

Jesus was tempted. He was not exempt either. Satan came to try make him slip up. But because Jesus is the perfect lamb, he didn't slip up - but he gave us some awesome ammunition.

First of all, note the words When the devil had completed every temptation, You may be scratching your head thinking, he only got tempted with 3 things. How can this be EVERY area.

Jesus was tempted in the same areas as we are.
Firstly - he was tempted in his body. Satan appealed to his hunger. To the desires of the flesh.
Secondly - he was tempted spiritually. Satan tried to get Jesus to worship HIM which is spiritually WRONG!
Lastly - he was tempted in his mind. Satan tried to mess with Jesus' mind - get him to do the wrong thing, based on incorrectly used scripture.

So Jesus understands when we are going through temptation. But he also has equipped us with excellent fighting material so we can resist. Three little words....

"IT IS WRITTEN"

The Bible was not written to sit on your shelf and gather dust. It was there to guide and equip you. When Satan starts getting at you, your knowledge of the Bible will help you.

"Go on Skip, give the woman what for! She deserves it."

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace.
Love your enemies and do good to those who use you...
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
I should have the same attitude as Jesus...
In your anger, do not sin.

You don't have to know exact reference - just know that IT IS WRITTEN! In Ephesians 6:10-18 it outlines the Armour of God - how we can protect ourselves. But take note of the weapon of attack - the sword.

"....sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God"

God's Word is a weapon.

So use it!!

Get into the Word. Read. Remember. Learn. And use it to kick Satan's butt!

MY PRAYER
Thankyou Lord for your Word. Thankyou that it's something that is so precious and it lights the way. Thankyou also that it's sharp and powerful. Thankyou for giving us something to fight back with. Help me to remember to use your Word instead of giving in to temptation to do the wrong thing. Thankyou for going before me, and showing me how to do it right. Help me remember to follow your example.

Amen.

Ode to Joy.



LOL I couldn't resist. :)

I'm a Pentecostal. Yes. One of those. Don't hold it against me. We aren't all like that. LOL
Pentecostals are not called “Happy Clappers” for no reason. Someone called me this once and at first I was offended because I saw it as an insult. But thinking about it, it’s actually not offensive. It’s a compliment – even though it was intended otherwise. The world views us as false and illogical. Now that isn't reserved for Pentecostals only. The world sometimes views Christians as false and illogical. Why? Because they don’t understand the happiness and joy we have. And most people if they don’t understand it, they either criticise and mock it, or they investigate further. When computers first came out, whose parents or grandparents said “They are of the devil??” Mine did! They didn’t understand the technology, so they rejected it, claiming it to be of the devil.

The World does not understand the joy that Jesus brings to our lives. They see us as insanely happy! I don’t think that is such a bad thing is it? Who would be interested in Jesus if we walked around utterly miserable?

Everyone on this planet wants happiness. It’s something to be desired and yearned after. And most people go on a journey in search of this happiness – and so many people come back empty handed. They come to the conclusion that happiness is an illusion and it falls under the same category as four-leaf clovers and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – the elusive, the unattainable. You can’t be truly happy.

I’m so glad I serve a happy God, a joyful God. You know it’s ok to have fun being a Christian? You don’t have to walk around with a solemn look on your face and be serious. Christian’s are supposed to have fun, because we serve such a happy and joyful God! Staring at me with a scowl on your face does not show me God living through you, but a bit smile on your dial does! Don’t ever let someone criticize you for having fun at church.

When God shows through our lives, the world will see not only a happy person, but they’ll see something deeper… True happiness is not surface stuff, it’s not big cheesy grins, happy conversations, cheery “Hello! How are you?” HAHAHA! – it’s deep inner stuff. Now happiness is not something you can act with either – not for long periods of time. If you pretend to be happy – sooner or later, that facade will fall away and what is real will be on display. And what can be seen once that fa├žade falls?

Are you truly happy? Are you one of these people that spend your life thinking "I could be happy if..." - if that is the case, you are looking for happiness in the wrong place and associating it with the wrong things.

Rejoice in the Lord. The Joy of the Lord is my strength. A merry heart does good like a medicine. The fruit of the Spirit is JOY.

MY PRAYER
Father thankyou that you are not a boring old stuck in the mud. Thankyou that you want your children to be happy. Help us remember that you are the source of real joy. We cannot find it anywhere except in you.
In Jesus name, Amen.

Monday, March 2, 2009

He's going down!

Luke 10:17-19 The 70 disciples came back very happy. They said, "Lord, even demons obey us when we use the power and authority of your name!" Jesus said to them, "I watched Satan fall from heaven like lightning. I have given you the authority to trample snakes and scorpions and to destroy the enemy's power. Nothing will hurt you.

This leapt out at me and smacked me in the head - not literally. :) My heart's cry is to be salt and light in this community. I want to see this area be impacted with the reality of Jesus. Satan is a dead man! He will no longer have a grip on my community.

The disciples had been sent out before-hand to tell the people that the kingdom of God was near. They came back, saying that they had full authority in the name of Christ.

I saw Satan fall like lightening from heaven.

His stronghold is no longer his. I'm taking it. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, lives in me. I'm taking it back. I have authority to trample the vileness of darkness. I have authority from God.

Watch out Satan. You are going down!

Luke 10:2 "The harvest is large, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest his crops."

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MY PRAYER
Father, I am a willing worker. I am willing to pull in a harvest. Equip me and show me where you want me to work. I am willing to preach, teach and do whatever it is that you want. This vessel is yours. Use me. I am willing to shatter the foundations that Satan has built on. Fire up your church to want to go out and bring in the lost. To bring in the harvest. Create desire and passion for the lost in me.
In your name amen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Keep it simple!

Matthew 6:7 "When you pray, don't ramble like heathens who think they'll be heard if they talk a lot.

Did anyone else think this was funny?

When I read this I had a little chuckle. It took me back on a trip down memory lane. I, by nature, am very observant. I see and hear things very few people do. When I was a little girl, I was no different. I would watch people in church, watch them pray, worship, preach and praise. I would make mental notes, then to my cousin's delight, I would immitate them afterwards, and have her in fits of laughter.
But I remember listening to a few members in our church pray and listen to them go on and on and ON and ON. I would find my head would become muddled up, because they rambled on so much, I forgot what they were actually asking God to do. They would get so caught up in the "Christian Jargon" and the "Lingo" - it was as if they wanted to impress God with their theology thesauraus they had sitting there on their tongue.

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Why couldn't they just say what they needed to say in one or two sentences? Surely God would get bored with 10 minute prayers about blessing Sister Alma's cat with diabetes?

Jesus had a clue I think.... he'd heard lots of prayers already!! Matthew 6:7 paraphrased says this "KEEP IT SIMPLE!!"

I love it!!


MY PRAYER
Lord, I love your Word. Keep showing me cool stuff. Keep growing me. Keep challenging me. You are one awesome God, and I am so completely in love with you. You are my number one.

Amen.

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