Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Questions and answers.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 "This is God's Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: 'Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.'

Oh thank goodness!! I don't have to have all the answers. I don't have to understand everything in my own strength and in my own head.

I have questions. Lots of them. I don't understand His Word sometimes and why he chose to do things in a certain way. I don't understand his will and purpose sometimes. I just can't figure out some things - but that's ok. Because I don't have to.

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God has promised me answers. Whether I get them today or in 5 years time, God will tell me what I can't figure out.

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord,
I have a burning question. It is bothering me. Please Lord give me the answers to this question. Give me wisdom, give me insight and most of all the strength to be able to face your answer.
Thankyou Lord for your grace to me and your patience with me.
Amen

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A completely freeing lecture.

For those who don't know, I am studying at a Christian institute a bachelor in social science. I am doing a series of theology/Christian based subjects first (which are part of the course) and I must say I am really enjoying it.

Today we talked about forgiveness, something that I personally battle with. I come down on myself very hard at times, when I still feel pain from unresolved hurts and issues from a while ago. I often condemn myself because I thought that because I have forgiven, that I should not be remembering the hurt or remembering the sin against me.

Not so.

Today I learned some incredibly freeing things.

Forgiveness defined: choosing to absorb the offence and not get even.

I have always felt guilty and such shame for accepting God's forgiveness, but still feeling hurt and anger over people's actions towards me. I thought that because I still felt hurt and sad, I was harbouring unforgiveness in my heart. Do you know what? I AM allowed to feel hurt, upset, indignant about certain actions.

Recently, I have been hurt, and the person demanded that I forgive them with the "you HAVE to." No I don't HAVE to. I should... but I don't HAVE to. ForGIVEness is something you GIVE. You can't earn it, you can't insist on having it. I did forgive that person - but it had to be my choice, rather than an obligation.

Forgiveness does not excuse the bad behaviour. I am allowed to "judge" by naming the sin. That's how the process gets started - by saying what it is that offends us. Then an apology can be made and forgiveness can procede.

Apologies do not include excuses either. They are genuine expressions of "I'm sorry" and that is all. Real apologies do not consist of "I'm sorry, but.... " or explanations and justifications for the wrong doing.

Forgiveness is NOT forgetting the sin... but by not giving the person what they deserve. I have forgiven the people who have hurt me, because I didn't strike back at them. I have forgiven! I don't have to tell myself over and over to forgive, I shouldn't be feeling this way, because I have to forgive. Just because I am hurting doesn't mean I haven't forgiven. It's impossible to "Forgive and forget". We can't forget - unless we have dementia or something like that. :)

Setting boundaries is perfectly acceptable - and not seeing or spending time with certain people who have abusive tendancies is ok because forgiveness is not necessarily reunion. You would never tell a woman who has been raped that she had to be mates with her attacker would you? Some "relationships" are not healthy nor appropriate.

Some things I need to remember - that I need to see the person in perspective - and not through my pain and through their actions.

Forgiveness is a process - it can't happen immediately.

Amazing sense of freedom here. I feel like a very heavy burden has been lifted from me. I am free. I am free from guilt, shame and self-loathing. I am free to forgive, feel hurt, be upset and it's all ok.

I hope you were able to learn something from this very nutshelled lecture. I hope you too can experience freedom in this area, especially if you struggle with it.

I may talk about this in greater depth another time, but I am just so thrilled to have this burden taken off me, I wanted to share.

CREDITS: This is based on the teaching of my lecturer, Rev. David McGregor and some of his sources were Ray Anderson and Lewis Smedes.


MY PRAYER
Thankyou Father for your deliverance. Thankyou that "He who the Son sets free, is free indeed!" - thankyou that you have brought me to this time and place to hear this teaching.
Lord thankyou for your forgiveness of my sins. Thankyou that you died on the cross so I can experience this forgiveness. Thankyou that you don't give me what I deserve and revenge yourself on me when I mess up. I want to do the same for those who mess up on me or hurt me.
I want to be open to your leading on this journey and I pray as I continue to grow in you, you will show me more and more of your ways.
Thankyou for setting me free from my own mindset.

Amen

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Before the beginning of time.

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“Before the foundations of the Earth was made, he had us in mind” Ephesians 1:4.

What do you think he had in mind when he made you?
Do you think he saw your struggles? How black and evil you would be? How bad you would be? How many sins you would commit?

When I dreamed about my unborn children, it was never how difficult they would be. How many times I would have to discipline them for bad behaviour or reward them for good. It wasn't about how much sleep I would lose, or how many diseases I would catch off them. I thought about the good things. How sweet they would be. What their little personalities would be like. I would dreamt about the cuddles, the love, the good times.

God is no different. Except he thought of you BEFORE time began. He had you all in mind, planned, dreamt about, loved and cherished, even before you arrived. He knows you so intimately and so deeply, because he has known you and thought about you forever!

MY PRAYER
Dear Lord,
I am so honored to be on the receiving end of your love. Thankyou that each and every one of us was planned, loved and cherished before we were even created. It's so good to see that every single life on earth was thought of, way before they even arrived. Thankyou that there are no accidents in this world. They may arrive unplanned by the parents, but definately planned by you.
Amen

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Father's Heart

"I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheeks. I bent down to them and fed them." Hosea 11:4

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Used with permission, ©1998 www.shannonsartroom.com

This inspires such a beautiful picture to me.

When I pick my baby up to have a cuddle, I lift her up so her face is level with mine - and I press my cheek into her soft chubby cheeks. My arms are wrapped around her and I can hear her breathing. She rests her body against mine, completely relaxed. She laughs and giggles. She can feel my warmth. She can hear me whisper to her. I can cradle her to me. If she has been crying, her tears fall onto my cheeks. There is something so sweet and so special about cheek pressing. Because it's more than just cheeks. It's hearts. It's love. It's intimacy.

When my baby is on the ground and she wants me, I bend down to her. I don't tower over her, and talk down to her like that. I bend down. I get down low, on her level. When I am down on her level, she will walk straight into my embrace.

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God is not a distant, looming, towering figure over us. He lifts us up and presses his cheeks into ours. He loves us. We are his precious little children and he loves us.

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MY PRAYER
Dear Lord, thankyou for this amazing love that is mine for the taking. Help me to portray your love to others. Help me show others what is theirs if they want it. All they have to do is say yes.
Amen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Encouragement from on High

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I am preparing a message for the church - a special Mother's Day message. For those who don't live in Australia, it is Mother's day on Sunday. I am going to be talking about the qualities that Mother's have, that God has.

This is one of the scriptures that I will be using.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.

What a beautiful image. God is with us. He is our hero. *Trumpets please* He rejoices over us! He celebrates over me with shouts of joy!

Amazing picture.

I have three little kids - I am so blessed! I am my daughter's hero. My eldest wants to be like me. She mimics. I save my kids from themselves, from unecessary pain, from making bad decisions. I rejoice over my children, they are incredible little people. I love that each individual is unique and special. I rejoice in their differences. I shower them in expressions of love. I brag about my kids. They are amazing beings.

Just as I do - God does - for YOU.

Go, revel in his love. Feel good. God loves you and is so glad you are his kid. I'm glad I am his kid.

MY PRAYER
Lord thankyou for reminding me of your incredible love for me. Help me express it in the best way I can to others. Thankyou that you love me, and accept me, and rejoice over me. I'm so glad I am your daughter, the daughter you always wanted.
Amen

Monday, May 4, 2009

A life without God = no life.

I read this today:

A little boy's prayer: "Dear God, please take care of my daddy and my mommy and my sister and my brother and my doggy and me. Oh, please take care of yourself, God. If anything happens to you, we're gonna be in a big mess."

How cute.
How true.

What is a life without hope? What is a life without meaning? What is a life without purpose? What is a life without a beautiful source of joy?

That would be a life without God.

MY PRAYER
Thankyou Lord you are in my life. I adore you and want to know you more. Build me, break me, make me - have your way in my life. I gave it to you - you are the Potter, I am clay.
Amen

Ohhher... how nice!!

I've been featured on this blog!

Thankyou very much! I appreciate you plugging my blog and recommending other's to read it.

Don't look back...

A while ago a friendship I had ended. The overflow from that was alot of very nasty and bitter words on her blog. I decided from that day I would not read another word. I didn't want her decay and rot to permeate my soul. I didn't want to associate or read her words that inspired such fleshy thoughts in myself...

Yesterday she sent me a message on both my blogs. They were friendly and written as if nothing has happened.

I prayed about this. I started to wonder, how can I respond with grace? What do I do?

God dropped into my heart the story of Sodom and Gommorah (Genesis 19). Lot had been rescued from being in a place that was riddled with darkness, sin and vileness. He was rescued from that place before it was completely and utterly destroyed. He and his family were pulled out at the right time.
Genesis 19:26 Lot's wife looked back and turned into a column of salt.

What horrible consequences! I doubt that will happen to me, but I don't want to question where God bought me.
Why would you look back?
Why look back? What's there but rot, decay and rubble?
God took Lot and his family out - that's it. Walk away.

Leave the relationship where you put it. 6 feet under. Don't look back.

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And again God speaks...

Taken from TODAY'S VERSE from HEARTLIGHT --

VERSE:If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who givesgenerously to all without finding fault, and it will be given tohim.-- James 1:5

THOUGHT: So often we act out of ignorance and face grave consequences for our actions. God longs to grant us spiritual wisdom that not only helps us make wise choices, but also gives us the ability to act and react with grace and wisdom. Before we face each day, before we face challenging situations, before we make challenging decisions, let's seek God's face and ask for his gift of wisdom.


MY PRAYER
Lord I want to make the right choices and act in a way that gives glory to your name. I want to be truthful but want to act with grace and wisdom. Thankyou for growing me and growing fruit in my life with the challenges that have been sent my way. Help me make the best choices and give me the wisdom to do so.
Amen

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Pops

I went with my Mum today to the cemetary to visit my Pops, whose birthday it is today. I've mentioned him before - he died a horrible death of asbestos related lung cancer. I loved him dearly and I miss him alot.

My daughter was quite cute - she said. "Your Poppy is in heaven at the moment. You can't see him now, but you will see him one day."

Too right baby. I'll see him. I'll see him walking upright, his big blue eyes shining bright with life and vitality. I'll hear his chuckle and see him dancing around playing that blasted tambourine. LOL

Revelations 21:4-5 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won't be any more death. There won't be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared." The one sitting on the throne said, "I am making everything new."

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