Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome 2010

There are no ifs or buts about it. I am glad to see the back of 2009.

I feel 2010 is going to be my year. I don't know what exactly, but I sense in my spirit that God is going to hurl me into something amazing. Last year was like the little engine that could. "I think I can, I think I can." Strain. Stress. Hard yakka. Preparation for the road ahead. Strengthened spirit - strengthened relationship with God - and we are going to do amazing things this year.

So...

Every single year I made New Year's resolutions. I keep most of them. So here are my goals for this year in my Spiritual life:

1. This year I am going to continue on in studying the Bible and read a good portion of it. If I am going to be using my gift of teaching, then I better know alot more to actually teach!!

2. Every single month I am going to prepare a rip-snorter sermon. So by December 2010 I should have 12 of them, on file - ready to speak when I am asked.

3. I am going to spend less time on Facebook as part of a personal resolution, but I think this will benefit my spiritual life. I will have more time to do more productive things in my life. Spending time of facebook acheives absolutely nothing - but spending time praying, reading the Word, worshipping, reading studies, and meditating on the scriptures will grow me and prepare me.

So that's it for this year. Today is the first day of an amazing year. I look forward to it!

MY PRAYER
Lord, thankyou for bringing me through such a tough year. Thankyou that you have clearly been at work in my life and showing me the way and walking every step of the way with me. Lord I commit 2010 to you - have your way in my life. I give my talents, skills and abilities to you for your use for your purposes. Help me encourage and bless the people who visit this blog. Use the words I write to speak into the lives of these precious people.
2010 belongs to you. It's your year, to do your thing, in your world with your Skipper.
Amen.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Have a blessed Christmas!

To my readers,
May the splendor of the season remind you of Him who is worthy of all our praise!

Religious Pictures, Images and Photos

And even though we don't "do" Santa in this house, I couldn't resist this very Aussie picture:

Aussie christmas card Pictures, Images and Photos

With love from Skipper

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Detour signs.

detour ahead Pictures, Images and Photos

Exodus 13:17, 21-22 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land..... The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.

The journey to God's promises are not always direct. Sometimes we are lead on detoured routes. And do you know what? That's ok with me - because:

1. It's planned!
God has a purpose and a reason for leading us on indirect routes. The Israelites were lead on a longer route for a purpose. If you read the scripture in it's entirety, God states his thinking and reasoning. Now I know it would be nice to know WHY God does what he does - sometimes we just don't know. But we have to have faith in God's purpose and believe that God has a greater plan.
God is not surprised by anything. He isn't sitting up there thinking "Oh wow! Well, I didn't expect THAT to happen... oh dear, now what?" He didn't lead the Israelites into Philistine territory, because he KNEW what would happen. He knows what we are going through, where we are at on our journey and he knows what we need to get through each stage in our life.

2. We are not lost!
Sometimes I feel like I am wandering around aimlessly - where am I going? What am I doing?? But God has the map. He's the one who directs us and leads us - and I just have to believe in his direction. Psalm 23:3 He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. He's guiding me. He's guiding you. We are not lost - we are not going to have to backtrack, we are not wasting our time. All is good. All is for a reason and a purpose.


3. My faith will increase.
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.
I need to believe his promises, believe in his abilities, believe that he is doing everything for a greater purpose, and bring glory to God as I go. Going on detours is an exercise in my faith.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.


MY PRAYER
I believe in you Lord. I believe in your abilities, your will and your purposes. I want to be lead completely by you. Like you lead the Israelites by fire and a cloud - I want to be lead by your Holy Spirit and your Word. Help me go through my detours, equipping me as I go, and help me stay patient and see it as a faith builder. Lord I know you have great things in store for me - I want to bring glory to you as I take the journey to actually get there. Thank you for speaking to me through your Word. I pray that you will speak to every single reader, impact them, encourage them and surround them with your love. Amen

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leadership Boot Camp.

I've been reading and studying Moses' life with interest. I was especially interested that Moses was demoted from prince of Egypt, with power and influence, to a shepherd. Now I've worked with sheep, and seriously it's not a glamorous job at all. Especially in Australia, where you are trying to work with them in the dust, flies and heat. When I see pictures of a Bible-days shepherd boy, holding this lilly white lamb, it all looks peaceful and green and lush... To me that seems unrealistic. I think Moses, working out near Mount Sinai, would have had a similar environment to an Aussie "Shepherd".

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When I was working with sheep, the boss would have to help his sheep find water, food, keep them penned in their paddocks, treat their wool yearly, dag them (which means shear off the wool around their backsides) and shear them. Getting them from one paddock to another was ridiculous. Seriously sheep are STUPID. Once I was ushering sheep from one pen to another so they could be counted, and one fell over. It lay there for AGES... and the boss had to go and pick it up. It wouldn't get up on it's own. Mustering them is so funny - because they are just so stupid. If they went in the direction they were supposed to, then it would be over alot faster.

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If Moses was going to lead a nation out of Egypt, he had to go to Leadership Boot Camp. Working with stubborn, stupid sheep would give him excellent leadership skills to lead a whinging, whining, stubborn, disobedient nation into freedom. What Moses may have seen as a "demotion" and a mundane living was actually training him to be the "deliverer".

Situations in life are not wasted, God will use them to grow us, develop us, equip us and then when the time is right, send us out and use us. Praise God that the rubbish times in life, the times where we feel like we are not accomplishing anything for his Kingdom, is Boot Camp!

MY PRAYER
Thankyou Father that the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord - that all seasons are ordained by you. Lord help me get the very most growth out of "Boot camp" times so I can be the most effective in ministry. Thankyou that it's not by might, not my power, but by your Spirit - I don't do anything in my own strength - it's all you. I give full glory and honour to you. Amen

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Looking back over the last year.

I started this blog a year ago. Roughly.

It's been 1 year since I starting blogging about my journey and what I have learned. It's funny, but it feels like MUCH longer.

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So in honor of it being a Blogiversary, I went back and started reading over my words, readings and learnings. Do you know what?? I'm excited!! It's good to go back and look at the steps I have walked from December 2008 - December 2009. This year has been a hard slog for me, but do you know what, God has walked every single step of the way with me. My personal life may be hard, but God has spoken life and love into my spirit, giving me the strength to face my troubles and worries and get on with it.

How GREAT is our God???

So here is to 2010! May God bless it, and keep guiding me so I can run with perserverance the race that is set before me!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Put in a good word...

Genesis 40:14 And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place.

impatient Pictures, Images and Photos

I totally get where Joseph is coming from. He is starting to get impatient. He is starting to wonder whether he should have the "God helps those who help themselves" attitude. He is starting to self promote. He put his faith in a human being to get him out of prison and to start fulfilling his vision and dream. He asked the cup bearer to "do him a favour" and "talk to Pharoah for me". I get it. Everything within me is screaming out to do the same. Promote yourself Skip. Advertise. Start talking to the "right people" about your dreams, visions and abilities. Get people in power to liase on your behalf. DO SOMETHING WOMAN!! I can see why Joseph asked for a favour.

impatient Pictures, Images and Photos

For a moment there, Joseph's focus shifted. He thought a mere human would be able to do what God should have already done, as far as he was concerned. As it turns out, the cup-bearer forgot Joseph for 2 years!! Didn't even give him a second thought! Relying on humans to fulfill what God has promised is fruitless and will just disappoint.

But this time of waiting for God's timing was the time that Joseph was developed. His faith had to be unwavering. He was given leadership opportunities. He had to go through this time to be the great man that he was. This time of waiting will not go wasted for myself or for anyone else who is waiting for God to do His thing.

Psalm 146:3-6 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the Lord their God. He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever.


MY PRAYER
Lord I will trust in you and only you to do what you have promised. Your Word says that you keep EVERY promise. You will never dissapoint me. God I want to have faith in you and only you. My human nature wants to self promote - and I know that is not your will. Keep reminding me that it's all in your timing. Your purposes will come about when YOU decide it's time. Not my timing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tough times = preparing the groundwork

In Genesis 39 we read of Joseph's life and how he must have thought "What on earth is going on?? I've had this dream, you showed me, and now I am in prison unjustly."

prison Pictures, Images and Photos

But God was preparing the groundwork. Going through tough times develops us in our character to prepare us for the work God has in store for us. God really impressed on me that this time in my life is just a season - it's preparation for fulfillment of dreams and promises. Something that really spoke to me was: if Joseph stayed where he was, with his father, being the favourite son, living that cushy life - he wouldn't have developed into that strong and powerful man that he became. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers - he was a young man in a good place, and quickly became a nobody.

During tough times in our lives, it enables us to wait on God and wait on his timing. This is faith building time, hanging onto the promises God has made, remembering those dreams, and waiting for God to fulfill them. I read in my study bible that God's DELAYS are not DENIALS.

I'm so glad that God has shown me these passages, and given me new meaning. I can go through these uncertain and difficult times with the confidence that this is a time of refinement and God is preparing the groundwork for greater things.

MY PRAYER
Lord God, thank you for speaking to me clearly through your word. I love how it all comes to me in perfect timing. Help me to be a woman of integrity as I continue this season in my life. It's not easy, but I know I can rely on you for strength and guidance. Amen

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Flying under the radar? I don't think so!

Genesis 39:2-6 The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned

God had called Joseph to great things. He had given him 2 dreams, showing him his future, that he would be a man of influence and power. Amazing dreams for a young man. But things weren't appearing to go to plan - Joseph had been sold into slavery and then made a servant in Potiphar's house. Going from a rich man's favourite son, with position - to a servant, a slave - a nobody!

But when God's annointing is on your life, it doesn't go unnoticed. Potiphar - who was probably a man who worshipped pagan gods, noticed that God was with Joseph and helping him succeed in his role as a slave. There is no way Joseph could have flown under the radar because God's annointing was apparent. His owner recognised that there was something special about him and elevated him to manager of his home.

When you are in a God ordained place, we succeed - but if we are in a self ordained place, trying to make ourselves great and climb the ministry "corporate ladder" we will not experience the kind of success that God will give us.

God really spoke to me while I was reading this passage - it was a gentle promise that it will be apparent that God's annointing is on my life. Like Joseph - I used to have status (in ministry) but now I am back to nothing. But I will not fly under the radar, because I have God's annointing on my life. The good thing about this is that Joseph was a rich man's favourite son, when he reached his potential - when his dreams came to pass, he was a prime minister of a nation!

MY PRAYER
Lord, I believe in you and your abilities. Though I don't understand what is going on and where I am going, I believe in you and your promises.

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