Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Be a man!! Misinterpretation at it's best...

I watched this as part of a course I am doing, and boy did I laugh! I thought I would share with you - and see if you can spot the dodgy teaching.

:)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

God is... #6

MY SECURITY

Psalms 94:22 But the Lord is my fortress...

You know, I don't get how people who don't know God get through life at times! When people say "Christianity is a crutch" - they have it one baby!! I need to lean on God to get me through the tough times. I need to lean on God when I'm sad, mad, hurt, grieving, depressed etc.

A fortress is such a strong and secure sounding word. It gives really good imagery.

Family Fortress Pictures, Images and Photos

When life is hurling weapons at me, and I feel like I'm being beaten, I can find refuge in God. It doesn't mean the arrows and boiling oil stops immediately, it means that I can bear it better, and withstand better, because I am with God. We would never grow if we didn't have to "do life" - having a fortress means we have extra strength - God's strength.

A fortress offers a certain level of security as well - you aren't out there alone, to be attacked and surrounded by enemy. You are surrounded by strong thick walls, sheltering you and more secure. When I see my life, surrounded by God, with his strength, his love, his care, his grace, his security, I know that I'm going to be ok. I am not invincible, but I'm going to be ok. Each step I take, each tough time I go through, I know that God is my fortress, the one I can trust to give me extra strength, and the one who won't abandon me. I'm glad I'm not alone.

MY PRAYER
Thank you Lord that you didn't create us, and then abandon us. You are with us, and you offer us strength and security. Thank you that you care enough about us to tell us that you are our fortress, a strength that we can surround ourselves with. Amen

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Well I did it.... and got a big surprise on the other side.

A few months ago I had a chat to our church's youth pastor (also a wonderful friend) about my desire to teach the Word of God. I know that God has placed a calling on my life, and given me the "gift of the gab". :) As always he had great advice and support in these dreams. I shared my frustrations of not knowing how to proceed - I didn't want to big-note myself, blow my own trumpet and brag about my abilities to all and sundry. I didn't want to assume anything and I wanted to be as humble as I could about it. Josh gave me some really good advice and told me how to go about it. I prayed about this advice, and then decided that I was going to go for it.

So yesterday, our Pastor was standing alone, sorting out something or other on his chair - so I leapt on the opportunity to speak with him. I strangely felt very calm and very confident as I approached him. I told him I believed that God had placed a calling on my life and given me gifts in preaching and teaching. I was willing to speak in any area, in any department, anywhere that he could use me, I would be willing to be used. I gave him a copy of the last message I did in my old church and then left it with him.

I felt very at peace with this way of self promoting and I now leave it in God's hands. I have done all I can do.


But something else happened yesterday.

8 years ago I had a vision. I saw myself speaking to a large group of people. I saw it from a side on view - I was standing on the right, and this group of people was on the left. The walls behind them were brown. I don't know why I remembered the color of the walls. They just struck me as odd. And 8 years ago - brown walls WERE odd! :) My visions burn deeply into my mind, I never forget them or forget how they look. They are so detailed and clear and when I recall them, it's almost like having the vision again. God's so creative isn't he??

A month or so ago, I was doing taking some photos of the baptism that was happening at church. I was on the far right of the church, near the font. At one point I turned to look for my husband - and I had a sense of De-ja-vu. I had seen this before. How the lighting fell on the congregation... where the speaker was.... it all looked familiar. I remembered my vision... and thought that it looked very similar. But I always thought the church walls were dark grey. I hadn't really looked closely in full light though. This month I that vision has been on my mind daily and I've been praying about it, trusting in his promises.

Yesterday, after I spoke to our Pastor, my husband's cousin showed up for church and we had her sitting with us. Our Pastor came and spoke to her afterwards, and she commented on the renovations. "Oh yes, this was all done in 2007" (5 years after my vision) This was news to me. But then again, I hadn't been in this church for 12 or so years before we started coming. Our Cousin then said "I like the brown walls". My head whipped around to the walls. THEY ARE BROWN!!! Not dark grey... but BROWN!!

I cannot tell you how odd it is to see your vision in real life. It's a bit scary but also just a teeny weeny bit exciting!! God showed me in detail what he had called me to do - which is preach and teach. And 8 years ago that was a joke. I didn't speak in public. I didn't even know HOW to preach. But today, it's not a joke, it's a passion and desire.

God showed me this vision in this way for a purpose. He showed me a side on view - because he knew that's how I would recognise it. If he showed me how it would look from my eyes, I wouldn't have recognised it, because standing on stage in front of the church, you are lucky to see the first 2 rows because the stage lights are very bright. I wouldn't have seen a thing in my vision if it was from my eyes.

God showed me in my vision the color of the walls - because he knew that's how I would recognise it. But he didn't reveal this to me until after 11 months of being at this church. 11 months at this church and I didn't see the color of the walls! Until yesterday. AFTER I spoke to our Pastor about my gifting.

Coincedence? I think not.

I believe in God. I believe in his purpose. I believe in his promises. I believe he keeps his promises. And I certainly believe that God is flippin' amazing!

MY PRAYER

God - I'm yours. All yours. Do your thing. :)

Thank you for opening my eyes yesterday. I'm stoked.

Amen

Friday, August 6, 2010

God is.... #5

GOD IS GOD OF ALL GODS.

Deuteronomy 10:17 For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.

God is God of all gods.

That's awesome! So that means that I'm worshipping the great and mighty - the best, the strongest, the most awesome God there is. God is God of all. That is so good to hear. I would be kind of worried if God said "I'm God, but.... I'm not as good as Buddah."

This verse made me think for a bit... God is definitely God of all - and reigns supreme. But does he reign supreme in our minds and hearts? There are so many things that we are exposed to and have in this world that we can "worship". Movie stars, musicians, sports, TV, books, study, friends.. These types of "gods" are things we put before God. Does God come before facebook? Does God come before my hobbies? If God is God of all "gods" in MY life??

I just love the next line - He is THE great God. THE mighty and awesome God. These are such words of worship. God you are so great, so amazing, you are mighty and awesome. How many songs are there out there that express the goodness of God? How great is our God. Great is the Lord. God is good. Lord your goodness and grace will follow me. How amazing is your love. Amazing grace. Amazing Love. Great and mighty is he. Our God, is an awesome God.... the list could go on. God loves to hear you proclaim who he is and what he is in your worship.

Then the next line makes me chuckle. I've already covered that God doesn't show favourites - but I want to touch on: God accepts no bribes. Were there people who actually tried this???? :)Actually there are people out there today who try to bribe God - and you may even be one of them. But before I explain, I want to properly define what a bribe is.

"...offering something such as money or a favour to influence a decision or an action"

Are you trying to bribe God?
"God if you help me out of this financial situation, I'll join the worship team and play the guitar for you for the rest of my life."
"If you don't answer this prayer, I'm not going to serve you anymore, because what is the point?"
"Well if you can't heal my body, I'm not going to church anymore."

And what about using faith as a bribing tool? Using it as currency to get what you want?
"I'm praying in faith.... see? Faith. God will answer my prayer because I'm praying with faith." Faith is not a currency or to be used to bribe God. God will answer your prayer according to his will - faith is believing that God will do just that. Not a bartering tool.

It's kinda cool in a way that God can't be bribed. It means it's fair for one and all. No one has greater benefits and opportunities because he is offering his gifts and his devotion and super-faith to God to bribe him. God cannot be bought. God acts with wisdom and with what is in our best interests - not what we think is wise and our best interests.

MY PRAYER
I'm so glad that I worship the Alpha-Omega God. You are all powerful and greater than any other god who was and is. And you chose me. You chose me to be part of your family and I'm so thankful for that. Thank you Lord for revealing another part of yourself to me in this scripture. Thank you for showing that you are indeed very fair and that I am no better than anyone else and no one else is no better than me. Thank you that even though you are top-God and are so great, powerful and mighty - you care about the little things that bother me. You care about my life, my pain, my troubles, my joys, my triumphs. Thank you that in your greatness, you share the life of this flawed, little person. This makes you top-God in my life.
Amen

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

God is.... #4

Psalms 116:5 How kind the Lord is! How good he is!So merciful, this God of ours!


or as the NIV says: The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

Gracious, kind, righteous, good, compassionate, merciful - all such great personality traits!! Sometimes it's hard to remember God as this since we tend to view God through our own experiences. In the past, because of my upbringing and life experiences I have seen God as more like this....

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But I'm thankful that God took the time to make sure we knew what he really is. God probably knew that a lot of us would think he was an ogre, or he could hear the preachers who preach hell, damnation and God's hatred onto the world...... like this dude...

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Don't hate them... pity them. They do not know the God they "serve" and the God of grace, mercy and compassion. They only see the hatred, vengeance and anger of God (which I personally believe is misinterpreted and misused way too often!) But these guys aren't alone in not knowing who the real God is.... lots of Christians don't even realise that God is good, gracious, compassionate etc.

How are we going to tell them or show them that God is who he says he is?

By example.

And do you know who you can practice on?? The most annoying person you know. The most frustrating person you know. The nastiest, rudest, most obnoxious person you know. The person that hurt you, the person that belittles you and the person who nobody notices. The unpopular kids, the geeks, the gumbies, the people who are considered "nothing" in society. Don't pretend they don't exist, because they do.

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MY PRAYER

Thank you God for revealing your goodness to me further. Thank you that we don't serve a angry, unpredictable God. These images cannot work with a compassionate, good and merciful God that you are. I'm glad that today you showed me more of the real you. Help me to show people your graciousness and goodness. I want to be a woman of grace and compassion. Help me do this. Amen

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

God is... #3

Acts 10:34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism."

God has no favourites. Awesome.

Thus ends this post....





I'm kidding!!

This just confirms what I believe, that in the human race, that not one person is better than another in the eyes of God. He sees us all the same, as the wonderful people that he created, that have been redeemed, and his desire is to be in relationship with us, and for us to accept his love and gift of sacrifice. Yep. All of us are the same.

This can be hard to swallow when you see some others getting more "gifts" and "blessings" than others. This has nothing to do with God loving them more or showing favouritism. I think all of us are gifted and blessed in unique ways - some people's gifts and blessings are more obvious than some. I think the trick here is to stop looking at other people's gifts and blessings in envy, but to thank God for them for that person. Then look at your own gifts and blessings, and do the same! Thank God for them. I am thankful that I have gifting on my life. I am thankful that I have a beautiful family and such an amazing husband. I am thankful that God has given me passion, boldness, abilities, and other great things which I know that God will use for his glory and for his purposes.

It says in the Bible that God's ways are not our ways, so we can't always understand how God works but we can be certain of one thing - God does not play favourites. That his love for you and I is the same love that he has for everyone, no matter how bad, good, ugly, beautiful, smart, less-smart etc.. It's deep, it's passionate, it desires us and is something I want to know and appreciate for the rest of my days. How about you?

MY PRAYER
Lord, God, King. You amaze me every single day. Thank you that I don't have to fear you loving someone else more than me - I know that you love me so much I will never fully understand it. Thank you God for the blessings you give me and the giftings you have given me. I know I don't always appreciate them, and I get frustrated and impatient with the lack of use sometimes. I pray you will forgive me for that and help me to settle petal. :P Thank you Father for being such an amazing God. Amen

Monday, August 2, 2010

God is.... #2

GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH

Psalms 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.

Thank goodness I don't have to rely on my own strength to get through life. I don't think I could handle it! I really pity people who go through tough times and don't know God is there to lean on. It's a promise - that God is our refuge and strength. God promises refuge - which is defined as: safety: a safe place. We are promised safety. We are promised a safe place to cry, rant, rave, pray, beg, plead, mourn, etc. To me when I think of God's refuge, I think of his arms. I think of being scooped up into a big cuddle and given the freedom to express myself in safety.

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Sometimes it's risky to express yourself to other people, because you can be rejected, scorned, mocked - or my ultimate peeve "You are a Christian, you can't feel like that". Some people can't handle extreme emotions and don't know how to respond to them. But God can handle it - and he knows exactly how to respond - he offers you his refuge and strength.



Note that it says always ready to help in times of trouble. ALWAYS. Repeat after me... ALWAYS. I like this. It means that God doesn't pick and choose when he helps you - he certainly picks out HOW he helps, but WHEN he helps is every single time. We don't have to fear going through the tough times alone. God is ready to help you. Just yell out! Even then sometimes you don't even have to yell out! There have been times in the treatment and therapy my son needs, I didn't even know what I needed, but God provided it with help and opening doors that normally wouldn't open without months on a waiting list. :) God will help you. You don't have to do life alone and in your own strength.

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The last part of this verse to me symbolises life - rather than the literal earthquake and mountains crumbling into the sea. Has anyone ever seen a mountain crumble into the sea by chance? To me the earthquake and mountains crumbling symbolise life at times. Earthquakes can be very destructive. They shake the very core of the earth, creating havoc above. Not to mention the bi-products of earthquakes ie; tsunamis. Sometimes it feels like we are going through earthquakes in our lives, our very core gets shaken and our life begins to crumble. Terrible things happen, disaster strikes, our lives are never the same. After the quake our lives are unrecognisable (sometimes). But God promises us refuge and strength to get though these times. God promises to be there and to help you.

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Life can deal out some hard stuff - but we don't have to fear it happening!!! We don't have to live our lives in fear of the harshness that comes with life. We don't have to fear the pain, the hurt, the confusion that comes with earthquakes in our lives. Because God is our refuge and strength. I'm glad of that! The energy that is spent in bracing yourself for the next rough patch in life can be spent on other things. We can completely rely on our God to be there for us, and to offer understanding, his help and his strength. Aren't you glad that you serve this amazing God?

MY PRAYER
Dear God, I'm so glad that you didn't create us and then leave us to our own devices. I'm so glad that you desire a relationship that encourages us to run to you when we go through the tough times. I'm so glad that you promise us your refuge, your strength and your help. You are such a great God and I am loving that you have revealed yourself just a bit more to me. The more I know about you, the more I love you. Amen.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

30 Days of Who God is.

For the month of August our church is doing a joint prayer and fasting and we are focussing on praying for the people that we know and love who are not yet believers.

I was thinking about this - if I had the opportunity to introduce someone to God and his love and grace.... what else would I be able to tell them about Him? When we introduce our friends to each other, we often give a little bit of history and something about the person. What they like, what they do, how you know them etc.

So if I was going to introduce God to someone, what would I say? I want to have as much knowledge about who God is, so when that opportunity arises, I can speak with confidence and speak biblical truth on who it is I actually serve and worship.

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Also I believe that knowing more about the God I love and worship will take my worship to a whole new level. How much more I can love and appreciate and vocalise when I get to know him more intimately. I can't be limited by my understanding of who God is, but listen to Him through his Word as HE tells us who he is.

#1 GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY
Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

I'm going to resist the temptation of making a small tiny dig to all the men out there "God is not a man and doesn't lie." I must say I had a giggle... but the naughty thought passed. :)

..now back to what I really meant to say. This scripture really excites me, because I detest lying and detest being lied to. I can't stand it when I know I can't trust a person because they habitually lie. To me lying damages relationships right in the core. Distrust is not a firm foundation for relationships. But we can be confident in the fact that God does not lie to us. He is all honesty and goodness. We can build our relationship with God on a rock solid foundation of trust.

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It says twice quite plainly that God is not human/man. He is not like us. Yes we are made in HIS image, not visa-versa. God does not inherit the traits of humans that make us less than desirable sometimes. God is God - pure, good and faithful. Sometimes it's easy to give God negative humanistic traits.... (I actually sound quite educated there don't I? :P) It's easy for the uninformed and ignorant to pass off God as someone quite cold, heartless and evil when something bad happens. I am thankful God is not human. If God was like me - who can be less than tolerant at times - the whole earth would have been wiped out before Noah I can tell you that much!! :) So let us rejoice in the fact that we do not serve another human, we serve an almighty and wonderful God who is GOOD!

The last part of this scripture is really comforting for me. God keeps his word. God keeps his promises. He won't change his mind. He won't withdraw his promise if I mess us, he doesn't change his mind - he is reliable and we can have faith that his word is GOOD! I'm incredibly happy that God has spoken to me, and this scripture cements my faith in him just a bit more. God has spoken therefore He WILL act. God has promised therefore his promises will come about.

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There are not only the promises that God gives us personally, but the promises in His Word that we can dig up and trust that God will follow through. "He has given us His very great and precious promises..." 2 Peter 1:4

Now who feels like singing that old hymn, "Standing on the Promises of God"? :P

So in a nutshell, God is someone who can be trusted, who is reliable, who speaks truth at all time. So don't ask him if your butt looks big in those jeans, or if you are going bald. :P God can be trusted - and this can be hard to accept, especially if you have not been able to trust people before. Our experiences shape how we see God. So if you have been lied to or had your trust broken, over and over again, you have been given a precious promise - that God is trustworthy, faithful and true. You can trust in Him. He will never disappoint you.

MY PRAYER
Lord, I'm so thrilled that you can be trusted. I am so thrilled that I have a really good, kick-devil-butt scripture to use as a weapon for future attacks of lies that will be whispered into my soul. Thank you for revealing yourself to me further through your Word. I pray that you will open my eyes so I may see more of you and more of your glory. I pray that my spirit will be sensitive to your voice as you continue to teach me and show me more. I don't want to miss a thing! I'm so glad that you are not like humans, which makes me more desirous to be more like you! Amen

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