Thursday, December 22, 2011

God's positioning

On the 21st of December was my birthday. I had a lovely day relaxing with my Mum, my kids, my husband. We didn't do anything real exciting, which was fine by me. I just enjoyed the simple enjoyment of the day, and being spoiled with gifts and love. That evening we headed out to look at Christmas lights, which is a tradition in our family.
We looked up on a website where all the good lights were. We were aware it is the longest day in the year, and so the only dark time we would get would be about 1 1/2 hours, before the lights would start getting turned off as the owners headed to bed for the evening. The light hunting was fun! My kids enjoyed it, I enjoyed it!
Towards the end of the evening, we dropped into a petrol station to get the kids an icecream. As I was getting out the car, I noticed the attendant RUNNING madly around the register and over to the door. As the kids piled out of the car, the attendant had locked the doors and put a sign up saying it was only fuel purchases only. I was annoyed. How rude! Little did I know that God was positioning us for something important.

We had to travel further north to get an icecream, and then head back to the route we were going to take to look at the rest of the lights and head home. That added 15 extra minutes to our outing. And those 15 minutes were going to count. We headed home, tired and happy - then as we were whizzing past homes towards our own home, I turned to look at all the dark homes, and saw flames engulfing one living room of one house. FIRE!! I alerted my husband, who promptly did a u-turn and we headed back. The house looked abandoned, as some of those house are, so my husband pulled out his phone and started to call emergency. "What number is it?" he asked, but my night vision is so terrible, I had to get out of the car and walk across the road to see the number on the mail-box. To my horror I could hear banging and screaming from the inside of the house. There were people stuck inside! All the windows were covered in security screens, locking the tennants in the house. I ran back to my husband and told him to tell 000 that there were people trapped inside, and then I ran back over trying to work out where the banging was coming from. God used my poor eyesight to enable me to hear those people. A man pulled up behind our car, noticing me running across the road franticly and seeing the flames jumped out of his car. I yelled out to him, "There are people trapped inside!!"

By now the whole living room was ablaze and the glass was popping and there were small explosions in the house. He worked out where they were, they were trapped in the adjacent garage, right next to the flames. He opened the door, and out came 3 children, their grandmother, a heavily pregnant mother and the father from a cloud of smoke. I lead the three children and the grandmother out and up to the footpath, the children sobbed and looked back at the flames with terror in their little faces. Something I cannot erase from my mind. The father followed and then collapsed on the ground, metres away from the exploding glass and the terrible heat.  I went back for him grabbed his shoulders "Mate you can't stay here, it's too dangerous, you need to get up!" I was alone with him, no one to help me,  "Common!! You have to move!" I said more urgently. The heat of the fire was burning my face and I was absolutely terrified! Somehow I managed to get him to hear me, hauled him up and lead him to the footpath where it was safer.

By then the roof had caught alight and I stood with the family as they watched their home burning before their eyes. The fireys arrived within 10 minutes and made quick work of the flames, that by now had taken over half the house. A medic arrived not long after that, and I was able to help him by staying with the father who was shaking uncontrollably with shock, while he assessed the others and treated the children for shock. My husband helped the fireys, relaying the information we had learned from the family, as the family stood by shocked and relatively incoherant. There is gas, but unsure where the mains are, there are pets inside.... I learned as I stood with the family, that it was deliberately lit, someone threw a flammable bomb into the living room, where the father was sleeping, surrounding him in flames. This was then passed on to the fireys who then taped off the whole area.  

God really put us in that place at the exact right moment so that lives would be saved, and we could help. Not many cars were driving down the road at that time of night... and it's likely that if we didn't see the flames, no one would have seen it until too late. If we had gotten our ice creams from the first service station, it is likely we would have driven past this house that would still be sleeping and dark - with a fire just about to be lit.

I am so thankful to God to enable me to think clearly, and help these people, in this shocking situation. Even now I look back and think "HOW on earth did we do it?" But WE didn't do it, God did. Every action we did was God. Every word uttered was God.  God used my husband and I to show his compassion and his grace to this family. When I comforted the family, it was God showing his comfort. My husband and I felt like HIS instruments that night, and what a very humbling and honoring thing that is.

Please keep this family in your prayers. Losing a large portion of your home right before Christmas is terrible. Please also pray for my children, who watched the whole thing from the car, and are really feeling the adverse affects of it.

And next time something inconvenient happens again, like that service station attendant did... I am not going to complain. God could be positioning me for something else... although I hope it's not as crazy as this last episode!!!  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A small whisper.

Last night I had a very unpleasant encounter with someone - which left me shaken up, angry, upset, hurting, and in a really bad way. I felt exposed, vulnerable, cornered and attacked. All I could do was cower in the corner and wait. I'm so thankful that these sorts of experiences don't happen very often because they are really dreadful.

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As a result of this encounter I didn't sleep well last night. I struggled with "capturing my thoughts" (Corinthians 10:5) and making them submit to Christ. I could not pour energy into negative thinking, instead I cried out to God, and I worshipped him. Praised him, thanked him - trying to turn away from my anger, and instead adopting an attitude of thanksgiving to the God who created me and loves me. As my mind began to still as the hours crept on, I heard the Lord whisper into my heart, "rest in me". I got a picture of me, exhausted, battle weary, hungry, dirty, ready to collapse, and then I could see two arms reaching out for me, to cradle me and carry me. God continued to assure me of his strength and ability to care for me. "I am your refuge and strength (Psalm 46:1). I am you hiding place, your place of safety (Psalm 32:7)"

God's Word is what I needed to calm the turmoil within me. God was there for me when I needed him most, and was there to catch me as I stumbled. I am reminded of when my little one falls over and is hurt, I scoop her up into my arms and cuddle her and love her, stroking her hair and whispering words of comfort. I feel that is a place I am in right now. God has scooped this fragile creature up into his loving arms, and is now stroking my hair and comforting me while I cry.

So now I give praise to the Lord, who is my rock, loving ally, fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield and I will take refuge in him. (Psalm 144:1-2)


Friday, November 11, 2011

An open vessel....

I have just seen this clip on You-tube. It's a public competition, but this child has amazing gifting. Not only is he performing a beautiful song, but he is worshipping a mighty God. The presence of God was so real to me as I listened, I felt like I was surrounded in a cloud. Beautiful song.



Another beautiful song - a child sharing the Amazing Grace of our Father to many!


What an amazing opportunity he was given to sing and worship, sharing the Word of God to many open and receiving ears and hearts. This anointing is what many worship leaders don't have, but need!!



Thank you father for ministering to me today through this boy. Bless him!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hello?? God?? Are you there??



Do you ever get the feeling that God is a million miles away? Do you strain to hear his voice, and all you hear is the sound of your heart beating, the sound of your breathing? Do you ever feel like God has packed up and shifted camp?

I feel like that at this moment. I read the Bible, and all I get are words. I struggle to pray, because I feel like I am talking to a brick wall. My mind is foggy and my soul is weary. I would think that a time like this, God would be reassuring me and revealing himself to me in powerful ways. I feel abandoned, even though I know that he will never leave me or forsake me...(Hebrews 13:5). I don't like feeling alone like this.

So what do I do? Just shrug my shoulders and carry on? I don't believe so. I feel that times like this is not an excuse to withdraw from God, but to continue to seek his face. Today I opened my Bible, desiring to hear from God, to be uplifted and encouraged - and God offered me comfort and encouragement through Psalm 34. 

Psalm 34 
I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.
I prayed to the Lord, and he answered meHe freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! Fear the Lord, you his godly people,for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Come, my children, and listen to me,and I will teach you to fear the Lord.Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth. The Lord hears his people when they call to him for helpHe rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenheartedhe rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken! Calamity will surely overtake the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be punished. But the Lord will redeem those who serve him. No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sad news.

Dear readers and believers,
Thank you for praying with me about James and his battle with cancer. The cancer was growing aggressively and quickly overtook his body. A few days ago, James passed away, surrounded by his family as he watched them laugh and play - and is now in a place of no more pain, no more suffering and no more tears.

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Death in a child is so hard to understand. Why? Why did he die? Why couldn't it have been someone who "deserved" to die, or who was old and had lived their life? I can't answer that, but all I can do is believe in God's goodness and mercy. He had a plan for James and in his short 6 years, his plan was fulfilled. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Even though we see death and cancer as a disaster, God sees the bigger picture and sees more than just the sadness and disease. Who knows what God had in mind?

Tomorrow is the funeral for James and instead of asking God why, when I will never possibly understand why, I am going to thank God that he took him home quickly, instead of drawing out the pain. I am going to thank God for the joy James bought those he left behind. I am going to pray for help in offering comfort and hope to the family who don't believe in God.

MY PRAYER

Dear Lord Jesus, Creator of all living things, Master of all, Saviour of all, and the Ultimate planner.
Fill my grieving heart with your peace. Turn my mourning into joy and assurance in you. Let me be your vessel when speaking to James' family. Help me to trust in you, your plans for us all, and your goodness.


Amen

Thursday, October 13, 2011

He calls us "friend".

"For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies... so how we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God" (Romans 5:10-11)

I love this passage. Because of Jesus we are God's friends - and he made us his friends before we even accept this fact. This is amazing! I must admit, this kind of friendship is the ultimate kind. There is no friendship I have on earth that would have be extending grace and friendship to the point of giving my son over to die for them. Bec is my best friend - I love her deeply and she is very special to me. But I don't love her enough that if she was going on to death row for her crimes, I would send my son instead of her.
If my friends were constantly hurting, abusing, and rejecting me, I would withdraw the friendship offer. I am a believer in boundaries and that if people deliberately abuse the relationship, it should be withdrawn. I would still love them, but not have much to do with them. I don't think Grace should turn us into doormats so that are downtrodden and deeply affected by other's actions. God is not a doormat, far from it. But he has this supernatural love and grace towards us all, that he is rejected and abused every day, yet he does not withdraw his love and offer of redemption from us.


"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8) We are restored and relationship is renewed!  God made the first move in order to save us, the ones he loves!  I love how God has done all this work in order to save us and be friends with us. Our salvation is not a spur of the moment thing, God has put a great deal of thought into it and action behind it. All we have to do is accept. Pretty easy on our part I think!! It reminds me of Christmas Day at my house. I spend months preparing and planning, ordering the food, baking, decorating, cooking, cleaning, etc. All my family have to do is just rock up and enjoy the benefits. We are already redeemed, saved, and God's friend, whether you have accepted Christ or not.



MY PRAYER
Lord Jesus, thank you for making me your friend, even before I accepted you as Lord. I'm glad that we are friends. Thank you Lord for rescuing me and sending along the right people to lead me to you. Thank you for your expression of love towards me, I don't deserve any of it - but that's what makes it Grace. Thank you for redeeming me and calling me friend.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Salvation comes by believing, not behaving.

"We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believe, no matter who we are." Romans 3:22

I'm soooo glad that Salvation is not based on my behaviour - because it that was the case, I'm sure I wouldn't be saved. I am a sinner. As are you. We are all sinners. As it says in the following scripture :
"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." (Roman's 3:23) Isn't that kind of awesome though? That we aren't alone in our sin. Everyone has done it. Everyone is it. We are all sinners. God knew that we would be sinners, because he created us to have free choice, and he knew that our choices would not always be good. I'm not trying to downplay sin here, I'm just saying, that no one can escape it, and God knew that was the case.

What is so amazing about Grace, is that he didn't say "Righto, you stuffed up, you are so not spending eternity with me anymore." because if that was the case we would all be doomed. Instead he declared us to be righteous, through Jesus. He declared us to be guilty of sin, but acquitted from penalty because Jesus paid the price. That blows me away!!  It doesn't matter how long I have been a Christian, I am still amazed at the love and sacrifice of God to free me from the consequences of my sin. Grace is a free gift, but it cost God so much! Our merciful God did not give us what we deserved, but instead showed Grace and gave us what we didn't deserve!

Jesus was a gift, and all we have to do is accept the gift of redemption and salvation. It's not hard to be righteous in God's eyes. "People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life.... and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus." (Romans 3:25-26)  To be made righteous we have to believe.  I don't have to prove myself worthy of this gift in any way. I don't have to do penance. I don't have to DO anything to receive Salvation, I just need to BELIEVE.

"Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted my God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith." Romans 3:27

This is the ultimate expression of Grace. The only thing we have to do to receive is to believe, not behave. "I'm a good person, and I believe in God" is not enough. Good works and belief in God does not make us righteous. I mean even Satan believes in God!! And he is lost forever! It's belief in Jesus and his sacrifice that justifies us.

I pray you are blessed as you dwell on the great gift that God has given so freely and with love and grace.

MY PRAYER
Thank you Father that you gave me such an incredible gift, and thank you that someone shared that gift with me. I pray that no matter how old I get, and how long I have been your kid, that I will never ever cease to be amazed at how amazing your grace is!! Thank you for sending your Son so that I can be seen as righteous in your eyes. Thank you for such a precious gift!
Amen

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Prayer request

Hi everyone,
I was wondering if you could believe with me and petition the merciful and gracious God we serve? My friend's son has been battling liver cancer for the last 8 months. He has had most of his liver removed and since then 7 more tumours have sprung up all over his body. Chemotherapy isn't working. Nothing is working. The doctors have told my friend that her son has 6 months to live. The little boy - James - is 6 years old and has barely begun his life.

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Let's join together and pray for this little boy. Let's pray that God will intervene - and believe that he is bigger and more mightier than cancer. He is bigger and more powerful than a prognosis. James' family are non-christians and so do not have the hope and faith and reliance on God that we as believers do.  Please believe with me for a miracle. Please believe with me that God will reveal himself in a real and mighty way to the family who are in shock, grieving and have no hope.

If you are able to, please share this prayer request with your church and prayer groups. Let's join together all over the world as believers in a miracle working God. Let's join together as a family and start interceding for James and his family. How GREAT is our God!

xx Skipper

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ironic... but sadly can be true sometimes. How self-focussed our worship can become!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In all things Give Thanks!

I've just spent the last 45 minutes or so begging God to help me. I'm sick. Really sick. I'm in excruciating pain from this sickness - I'm miserable, I can't stand, I can't sit, I can't sleep, I can't do anything. This virus has hit me so hard and I've had enough. I've been begging God to take it away. I've claimed in faith every healing scripture I could think of. I have touched the offending parts of my body that are hurt or bugging me, and have claimed healing in Jesus name. I have not been healed miraculously like I would like to be. I'm still sick. Still miserable...

Photobucket But God just spoke into my heart a moment ago "Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God's will in Christ Jesus that you do this." (Thesselonians 5:18). Oh really??? Common, I'm not really feeling very thankful. As I type I am coughing up a lung and a kidney I'm sure!!! What have I got to be thankful for?? This has got me thinking.... What can I be thankful for during a time where I don't feel like being very thankful. 1. I am thankful that I am still breathing and living. My husband still has a wife - even though she is really useless at the moment - and my children still have their mother - even though she's crabby and tired. 2. I am thankful that I have a bed to lay in, even though I'm not sleeping. I'm warm, comfortable and safe. God has provided for me a basic need. 3. I am thankful that I have things to distract me from my pain. I can lay in bed with an iPod. I can sit at my computer and communicate. I am not THAT debillitated. 4. I am thankful for modern science, that God has given skills to find cures and help for my sickness. So it's not working so well at the moment, but I have some relief for a small amount of time. That is better than no relief. 5. I am thankful that I have a husband who cares for me and even though today is Father's Day and it's supposed to be all about him - he's helping me and compassionate towards me. He listens to me whine and whinge about my pain and sickness with patience and understanding. I am REALLY thankful for my husband today. I have lots of things to be thankful for. I just need to shift from an attitude of self centeredness and focussing on my pain to a heart of thankfulness to a God who is really really good, even though he doesn't do the miraculous immediate healing I want. God is good. I am thankful I serve this God, and thankful that he loves me and cherishes me, and listens to my whinging about my pain. I am thankful that this won't last forever, and that I will get better. I am thankful that I don't have cancer, like little James - who the doctors are struggling to treat, because it's coming back. I am thankful that I don't have leukemia like little Lishey, who bravely faces each new treatment, and struggles with the medications effecting his little body in such a significant way. So whatever happens, Skip - whether you are in pain for a while, or not, be thankful!! Praise the Lord and seek his face. Give him your worship instead of being so focussed on yourself!!! MY PRAYER Thank you Father for reminding me that I should cast aside "stinkin thinkin'" and adopt an "attitude of gratitude". Help me to remember this as I recover from this illness. Help me rest in you and cast my burdens on you, and believe in your goodness and grace towards me. I still want you to heal me. I still want to recover quickly so I can get back into my life again, but most of all I want to remember your blessings and be thankful for them. Amen

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not even one!

I've been reading Romans 3 - and I just can't get past the first part of the passage.

Romans 3:9 - Well then, are we to conclude that Jews are better than others? No not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jew or Gentile are under the power of sin.

Swap the word Jew for Christian and see how it reads. Are Christians better than non-christians? Are Christians more righteous than non-Christians? Absolutely not!!! We are all under the power of sin! We are sinful creatures and we all sin, no matter what! We can TRY and be righteous and good, but we will fail. Romans 3:10 - No one is righteous, not even one

We must never be guilty of thinking that we are better than "all the other sinners" and smug in our knowledge that we are incredibly righteous and moral beings and everyone else are is dirty rotten sinners. Sometimes as Christians we can become guilty of segregating ourselves from the world, based on that we are oh so holy, and they aren't. Stand along side the sinner and show him the way to Jesus, don't judge him. You are no better than he is. Before taking the moral high-ground, remember where you have come from. Amazing Grace has saved you! Instead of judging and condemning the non-christian and sin, come along side them, love them and show them the way to Jesus. A non-christian deserves our compassion and not our judgement. They are prisoners to their sin but you have been set free and forgiven from yours.

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MY PRAYER
Abba Father forgive me for my judgement of others. Help me to be a shining light in the darkness and show love and compassion to those who don't know you. Help me remember that no one is righteous and that I am not a better person because of the Grace that you have shown me. Thank you for sending your Son to die and pay for all of our sins. It's because of Jesus I have been made right before you, and don't let me forget it!!
Thank you for your never-ending patience with me. Amen

Monday, August 8, 2011

K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple sweetheart!

Paul wrote an amazing letter to the Romans, and in the very first few lines he expressed a passion for sharing the "Good News" with everyone. He then went on to say what the good news was, in a nutshell. It didn't require a 40 minute sermon and an alter call afterwards. He said simply "The Good News is about his Son... and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 1:3-4) He kept it simple. I think today we have a habit of complicating the gospel. Because we think in these complicated terms, we can feel reluctant to share it with others. I think Satan loves the complicated version, because then we can often feel inadequate to share it with others. He also loves it because he is the author of confusion and likes it when the Good News cannot be grasped by those who need it.

Grace is pretty simple. The concept is pretty simple, but it has been complicated by legalism and theological arguments. My daughter gave her life to Jesus when she was 6 years old. I doubt the other child who shared Jesus with her filled her head to the brim with religious jargon. Jesus got it right when he said: "Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18:3) The people we speak to about Jesus need to be child-like. Children can't grasp theological theory, all they can understand is the basics, and the simple version. Forget the technicalities. They are no help to you when you are sharing the gospel.

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Not everyone understands the complicated version of the gospel and all the theological interpretations of Christ's sacrifice, but EVERYONE understands that someone loves them. We don't have to tell them everything all at once, they will find out all that later on as they attend church and read their bible. It's the simple Gospel of Jesus and his love, and his gift to us that wins souls, not the complicated, argumentative confusing to the listener Gospel.

Paul has made it so easy that anyone can do it. If a child can lead my child to Jesus, surely we can lead people to Jesus with the simple truth. So when the opportunity arises to share the gospel, don't shrink away because it's all to hard. Just keep it simple sweetheart!

MY PRAYER
Father, thank you for showing me the simpleness of something that has grown to be so complicated!! Even though I'm not much of an evangelist, please give me confidence to share, and the right words to say to the right people who come across my path. Help me remember what Paul said "Thought Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell... everywhere what God has done for them..." Romans 1:5

Friday, August 5, 2011

Be teachable.

Today I was praying and God really spoke deep into my soul. This is pretty much the essence of it -

"Skip, you must not let yourself become unteachable. You are so desperate to be used, but yet you aren't' establishing or developing the skills I gave you. The stuff you have already done was my confirmation to you that this is your gifting. It was not a launchpad into bigger and better things. Study my word, I have so many wonderful things to teach you. Learn more about me, so you can teach more about me. Unravel the mysteries. Hear from me. Let me teach you about me and reveal myself to you, so you can effectively tell others about me. You can't expect me to just give you knowledge about things in my Word - you have to help me out here! Study my ways. Learn more. Don't become unteachable. If you are unteachable, your gift will dry up like dust, unused and wasted. Your passion is great, but you need more substance than just passion. Get into my Word deeply. Be teachable. Be motivated to learn so then you have something worthwhile to teach. It's not about what YOU know... it's about what I teach and show you."


This is what I needed to hear. God hit the nail on the head.... as usual. LOL

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Let someone else do it..

"So David's fame spread throughout every land, and the LORD made all the nations fear him" (1 Chron 14:17).


My husband and I watch program on the ABC called "Gruen Transfer" which is basically critiquing television advertising and how effective it is, and how it works. Companies pay advertising people to come up with these ads to promote their businesses and make you feel or think a certain way about them. The ultimate goal is that based on their promotion, you will be moved to consider their product before anyone else. They wish to influence your decision on where you shop, what milk you buy, what takeaway you eat etc. They stoop to guilting you, tapping into your insecurities and use subtle subliminal messages to form your opinions.

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They are very clever. But they are also self promoting. I don't know about you, but I am more willing to try a product when a friend says "Hey Skip, I tried this and it was so awesome. I reckon it might suit you." When someone on TV says "try this" I'm automatically distrusting.

The same goes for self-promotion. Are you willing to hear "good gossip" "That guy is so amazing and has a real annointing on his life" or "I'm so amazing, I have a real anointing on my life".

Promoting yourself can also be pretty risky, because it means you are not willing to wait for God and you want to move ahead. When you boast about yourself, your skills etc in order to gain promotion, you have gone too far. I am guilty of doing this. I've gone too far. In my frustration I have acted hastily.

King David was famous because he was fulfilling the calling he had on his life. David never once boasted about himself - "I killed a giant, I conquored many nations etc.." He honored the Lord in all he did and gave glory to him, not to himself.

"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips (Prov 27:2).

MY PRAYER
Lord help me to remember to be patient for you. Help me stay within my boundaries and move forward when it's your will. In the meantime while I wait, teach me your ways and your heart. Reveal yourself to me through your word as I read it and light my path with it. I repent of all the times I have tried to promote myself. I repent of all the times I have tried to subtley drop "hints" in an effort to self-promote. I will wait upon you in future.
Amen

Trust and obey, there is no other way



This song may be 130 years old, but the words are still powerful for today. There is no other way - for those who want a heart after the Father's. The phrase "What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey." are life changing words. Do I really mean that? Will I go wherever God sends me in full obedience? Am I REALLY going to trust and obey? It's a very scary and vulnerable position, but we can trust in God's goodness and faithfulness as well as his will for our lives.

Trust and Obey
Words: John H. Sam­mis, 1887.

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Refrain

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Refrain

Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
But is blessed if we trust and obey.

Refrain

But we never can prove the delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Refrain

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet.
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way.
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go;
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Refrain


MY PRAYER
Lord, what you say I will do, where you send me I will go. I am placing myself in your hands, vulnerable, pliable and willing.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Handing over the last of it....

In 1 King 17 we read of the story of the widow living in the time of severe drought. She had come to the end of her own resources, she had a handful of flour and a few drops of oil left to make a small amount of bread with. Then along comes Elijah, and asks her to give him her last meal. I don't know about you, but I would be very reluctant to hand over the bread that was going to feed my children. Elijah promised her that the Lord would look after her, and their would be provision for her. To accept that would be really difficult, because how did she know that her child was not going to be one step closer to death because she handed this man her meal? She didn't know at all, but her faith rested in the faithfulness of God. The woman shows this faith by preparing a meal with the last of her food for Elijah. Her faith in God was rewarded with continual provision for the remainder of the drought. God multiplied her resources and she would not go hungry.

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God multiplies our resources in the same way when we hand it over to him. Ever single last bit of it. God took the only thing she had left and multiplied it. God has given us resources, sometimes untapped, but nonetheless we do not have nothing. We must be obedient and surrender the last of it to God in order to see his provision. God will multiply what you have and make it bigger and better than you ever could.

MY PRAYER
I believe in your faithfulness, My God. I believe that you can do amazing things with what I have. I want to give you the last of everything. All skills, whether it be small or large, I want you to use them and multiply them and allow them to be a blessing to those who need them. Thank you for making me a very capable and skilled person. I place all these gifts and skills in your hands, knowing that you are faithful and good and will use them well.
Help me to be like this widow, that sees the greater picture and believes in a the goodness and faithfulness of a Great God.
Amen

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Remove the blinkers

I've been praying for God to show me what to pray during this time of prayer and fasting. I want my heart to be in sync with his. Today he showed me.

All this time I've been focussing on my feet - looking at the path with blinkered vision, only seeing where I am walking and the tiny piece of the journey I am taking. What if my path is not a path? I feel like God has removed the blinkers from my eyes and I am seeing this wide, highway type road ahead. I've been convinced that God was going to use me in the church... but I have not seen the whole wide world that is around me. God is not limited to that small building with that group of people. God is able to do abundantly more than I had hoped or dreamed (Ephesians 3:20). I'm limiting myself if I think that I can serve only within the 4 walls of the church. I'm limiting God's Kingdom if I think that only the 400 people I see every single Sunday will benefit from my skills, talents and abilities.

So today I look further. God's kingdom is not just the church. If I want to do real kingdom living and serving, then it's time to take off the blinkers and start looking for places to serve and give all over. I can serve God anywhere, I can teach anywhere, I can share anywhere, I can be creative anywhere. I have limited myself and God.

MY PRAYER
Forgive me Father for being so blind and silly. Thank you for showing me this amazing truth! You are bigger than the church, you are bigger than a building, and I don't want to box you and define your abilities through my own ideas and biases. Father I am open to being used wherever you want me to. Show me ways I can minister to others and bless others with my gifts and talents. My steps are ordered by you, and I want to walk those steps. Inspire me and annoint me. You are such a big God with big ideas and big plans, and I want to be part of them.
Amen

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A new prayer and fasting month

August marks the beginning of our church's annual prayer and fasting month. The focus this month is on using our giftings in our world. I'm cool with that. :)

I pray and hope that this month as I seek God and put his will before mine, that I hear from him and get clear direction on where I am going and how I can best serve him. I want to surrender and fully place myself in his hands, and I sometimes struggle with God-timing and my own. Let's face it, I'm not the world's most patient person. I hope that this month will give me an even greater intimacy with the Father.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Update

I'm not dead. I'm not buried under a mountain of text books... though I almost was!! It's been a really bad semester and I just thank God I got through it in one piece!

Not much really to report. I am just going with God and really making an effort to hear his voice and hear what he has to say. I'm not pushing, or fighting or tapping my foot impatiently. I'm just waiting on Him and meditating on his Word and his Promises.

I have finally gotten involved in something at my church. I'm a "Babes Host" - which means I pretty much look after new Mums who use the creche. I hold their screaming babies while they heat bottles up, or set themselves up to feed. I count it all joy to serve and encourage these women who are sleep deprived, worried about if they are doing the right thing or not and need someone to smile, and tell them they are doing an amazing job. I love this ministry. I love to be a friend and a helper in this capacity.

I have at last learned to serve God in the smaller things, and with joy and enthusiasm. I not only want to just serve but I want to do it so well. Thank you Lord for the amazing job you have given me in the church, to serve just amazing people.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Place of Nothingness

This devotional by Os Hillman spoke to me today and I wanted to share it.
The Place of Nothingness

by Os Hillman

Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)

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Do you find yourself in a place of nothingness? There is a time and place in our walk with God in which He sets us in a place of isolation and waiting. It is a place in which all past experiences are of no value. It is a time of such stillness that it can disturb the most faithful if we do not understand that He is the one who has brought us to this place for only a season. It is as if God has placed a wall around us. No new opportunities - simply inactivity.

During these times, God is calling us aside to fashion something new in us. It is a place of nothingness designed to call us to deeper roots of prayer and faith. It is not a comfortable place, especially for a task-driven workplace believer. Our nature cries out, "You must do something" while God is saying, "Be still and know that I am God." You know the signs that you have been brought into this place when He has removed many things from your life and you can't seem to change anything. Perhaps you are unemployed. Perhaps you are laid up with an illness.

Many people live a very planned and orchestrated life where they know almost everything that will happen. But for people in whom God is performing a deeper work, He brings them into a time of quietness that seems almost eerie. They cannot see what God is doing. They just know that He is doing a work that cannot be explained to themselves or to others.

Has God brought you to a place of nothingness? Be still and know that He really is God. When this happens, your nothingness will be turned into something you will value for the rest of your life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How cool!

I am sitting here, in excruciating pain. My legs are so bad, I'm tempted to go get my husband's jig saw and cut them off at the knee. Ow. Ow. OW! I have a condition called fybromyalgia and I admit that 99% of the time, I just suck it up and get on with life. I don't see the point in whinging and complaining about something that can't be helped and can't be eased.

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So... in the midst of all this pain, I flicked my bible open, hoping that God will speak to me or show me something. I opened up to Matthew 8 - and find many stories of Jesus healing the sick. I find healing amazing!! Jesus only had to touch a man with leprosy and he was healed. He only had to speak and disease and sickness left the body. What a powerful Saviour we serve!

I like it. I like that my God can heal my pain. I like that my God can take it away. And even if he doesn't take it away, when I die, I am going to be pain free. I am going to be able to run, jump, skip, and I WILL be pain free. I'm not going to hold it against God if chooses not to heal me, and I can look forward to a time when no one is in pain, no one is sick, no one is diseased.

Yes my pain levels are high, yes it can be debilitating, but my God is more powerful than fybromyalgia - and it's in his strength that I continue to live and continue to serve Him. I am reminded of the scriptures I read a few posts back - 2 Corinthians 12:8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

MY PRAYER
Lord God, if you are willing, please take away this pain. If it's not your will, then use my weakness for your glory. Use my pain to reach out and touch someone else. Give me the strength to endure the journey I must walk. Help me encourage and uplift others who are suffering as well.
Amen

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I have a new motto....

As you can see my blog has changed it's look. I still have a road image in my blog title, because I still believe in the significance of my spiritual growth being a journey. When we travel, we don't stay in the same place. Last motto, I was in a place of almost limbo and uncertainty. God placed on my heart "walk by faith, and not by sight". I've moved on from that place now and I feel God is placing on my heart Hebrews 12:1-2.

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I'm not sure what this leg of the journey will bring, but I'm just so thankful that I do not have to run it alone.

MY PRAYER

Father, I know you are proud of me. I know you love me and think I am absolutely amazing. Help me remember that when I feel like I'm tired and have had enough. I want to grow. I know I'm going to regret saying this, but grow me. Bring it on! Teach me your ways. Show me your plans. You are the potter, I am the clay - mould me and shape me. Paint me hot pink. :)

Amen.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I read this and thought it was awesome!

"Our part is obedience. His part is outcome." - Os Hillman.

I don't want to forget it, so I have it down. :)

Black Hole

Last night I spat the dummy. I had offered to fill a need in the church, and it feels like I've been knocked back. In my fleshy fired up state I was thinking "what IS their problem???"

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Today I was praying in the car on the way home from dropping off my little one to kindy. Just having a whinge really. Poor God got an earful today from a miserable, grumpy old bag of a woman. I just seem to be perpetually in a bad mood lately. Anyway I was belly aching about not being used.

And God's response?

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My Grace is sufficient for you.

Shuddup. :)

How is God knows exactly what to say? :)


"...he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” ...For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

His Grace IS sufficient... it's all I need at this moment. So I may not exactly be that thrilled with where I am at the moment - and that's ok. Because it will be this (weak, whinging, grumpy) little lady that Christ can work through and with.

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MY PRAYER
Dear God, Thanks for teaching and growing me. I hate this place. I know you know that. Please help me grow some good fruit while I am in this place... because seriously it's got enough manure to sustain a plantation of bananas!! Help me to be gracious and patient. Help me remember that your grace is all I need at this moment.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I know my God is able.

This is a song that is in my heart and on my lips at the moment. It is bringing so much peace into my soul.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Angry with God.

This weekend we have been hit with more than our fair share. First of all a friend whom I am fairly tight with told me that her son, who is 5 years old, has a cancerous tumour on his liver. He starts chemo on wednesday. I was shocked and anxious.  I prayed and begged God to intervene, and prayed for an awesome outcome. I prayed for the unsaved parents that God would reveal himself in a powerful way.

Then the big one came..... the very next day dear friends who are almost like family to us, told us some really devestating news. Their son.... 3 years old, my little girl's best friend, has leukaemia, and is starting chemo tomorrow. I was so angry, so upset, so hurt, so sad, so grieved, so devestated. Did I pray? No... I was completely and totally angry at God.
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"WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING UP THERE????? He's three years old for goodness sake!! He's a cute loveable little man, what on earth could have possibly done to deserve this??" Yes I demanded answers. I was so so angry. How could God allow this to happen. Then as I quietened down, God gently said to me "Trust me. Don't rely on you own understanding of this." - then directed me to Proverbs 3..

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. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body
and strength for your bones.


I don't know anything apart from my own perspective and my own pain that my dear friend was going to have to watch her precious little boy go through this. I don't see the bigger picture. I was impressed with my own point of view and went off my nut at God. Thankfully he loves me so much and was gentle in his guidance. God is awesome!! I hope that the little boy has some strength in his bones too!!

This weekend I have spent most of it crying. I have spent it begging God to help the family, help the medical staff, help the little boy. Healing. Wholeness. This morning I was praying before church, I asked God to give me total peace. I needed assurance that God is in control of this whole situation. He said "I am able" and he gave me this:

Ephesians 3:14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.


Have you ever been really angry at God?
What was it that helped you overcome it?

If you can, please uphold this little boy in your prayers. I can't say his name, but God knows who you are talking about. Pray for his family who are naturally far more devastated than I am at this news and are trying to come to grips with it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

If you are going to do it, do it well!!

Proverbs 22:29 - Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. - 


My attitude needs adjustment. I am skilled in certain areas, and I thank the Lord for that.  He has made me to be MORE than my calling and I have been seeing myself serving Him ONLY in this area. I'm creative in many areas, I possess leadership skills, I am a people person, I am relational, I can do so much. I never thought about using ALL of these skills to serve God. In the past I've had the attitude of "Oh I suppose so..." with less enthusiasm than a blade of grass! Where is my joy in serving God with all of my skills and talents? Why am I stifling God and only looking to serve in certain areas? God can reveal himself and use my other skills for his glory in the meantime! I can tell you why I'm stifling God, because of pride. I am too proud to do something I believe is "beneath me" - but to be honest, it isn't beneath me! Jesus, the son of GOD came to earth as a humble servant and served with joy. 


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Colossians 3:23-24Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.  Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.


MY PRAYER
Lord God, thank you for your grace and patience with me. I have so much to learn about you and your ways. The more I seek you the more I learn. The more I read your Word, the more you reveal a little more to me. The more I learn about you the more I realise that I don't know very much. As uncomfortable as it is and as confronting it is, thank you for showing me that my pride and my attitude needs some fixing. Yes, I know it's because you love me. Thank you Lord for loving me so much, that you take the time to correct me and guide me.  Lord thank you for giving me the skills and talents that I have. I want to use them for your glory and for your work down her on earth. As opportunities arise, I WILL serve with joy and with thanksgiving, because I'm serving the King. 
Amen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Humilty before honor.

I was just reading another devotional by Os Hillman - this really spoke to me.


Thirsting After God
....second, humility comes before honor. Elisha was known as the "servant of Elijah." How would you like to be known as "the servant of John"? Your name is not even mentioned. This was the preparation of Elisha. It has been the preparation of many men of God. Consider Joseph, the servant of Pharaoh. Consider David, the servant of Saul.


Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

For a while now I've been complaining about being a nobody in my current church. I went from being a prominent member to a nobody. I'm known as Daz's wife. Whenever people introduce me to someone else "This is Daz and Daz's wife..." Daz's wife. I'm happy to be his wife for sure, but my goodness, I have a name people!!!!
Today God has addressed my pride once more.

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Another thing - I have been gifted in photography and creativity. I get asked all the time to take photos and whatnot.... but never what I have been called to do. It has frustrated me, and my attitude has been "Oh well, I suppose I can.." rather than to serve joyfully. Not cool Skipper! NOT cool!
I am encouraged to see people like David, who started out as a shepherd and as the musician of Saul rise to become King - and a man after God's own Heart. What strikes me most is even though he had been anointed by Samuel to be king of Israel, he still served with humility until his time came.

I can serve with this same humility.

MY PRAYER
Forgive me Father for being full of pride and unwilling to serve you in the smaller areas. Thank you for the giftings you have given me and I pray I can use them best for your glory and service. I pray you will continue to speak into my heart and prepare me to serve you in more ways, with a glad and grateful heart. Amen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I WILL rejoice in the Lord

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. The Sovereign LORD is my strength;  he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Today I feel like rubbish. I am in pain, I don't feel well, mentally I feel drained, emotionally I feel void, I'm irritable, tired, and down right miserable. While I was doing my hair this morning I was thinking internally about how dreadful I feel and having a bit of a sook. Then "Yet will I rejoice in the Lord" popped into my head. Ok so I don't have to be happy with how I'm feeling and my physical state, but it does not effect the way I see my Lord, nor should it detract from my joy in Him. I WILL rejoice in the Lord. I WILL be joyful in God my Saviour. It's a choice that I am deciding to make today. And do you know what? After making that decision, I feel brighter - knowing that today God will be my strength! I will be joyful in God.

On your low days, remember this scripture. Even though it doesn't take the problems away, it certainly helps to get through it. Decide today to not dwell on your circumstances, and your pain, but dwell instead on the goodness of God, and be joyful in Him.

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MY PRAYER
Lord God, my Saviour, my redeemer, my healer, my Daddy, you are so great! Thank you for reminding me of this scripture and showing me I have a choice to make. Thank you for revealing a part of yourself to me, showing me that you will be my strength and help me through the day. I choose to rejoice in you. I choose to be glad and joyful in you today. 
Amen

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Call to me.

A scripture that really spoke to me today:


"Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know" (Jer. 33:3). 


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MY PRAYER
Thank you Lord for your promise. I'm so glad that you are only a breath away and I can call on you anytime, anyplace and I'm not restricted by place, phone coverage etc. I can't wait to find out the great things you have to tell me throughout my life. I am glad that when I pray to you, you answer me. I am not crying out to a god who ignores me or has no response for me. Thank you Lord that with you, it's about relationship. Amen

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

All are in God's Likeness

I did my first study and bible reading with Chronological Bible Blog today. I'm a few days behind because of my late start, but I'll catch up. So today I learned about Creation and the fall of humanity. It was good to go over the story of how God created each and every thing, and especially how human beings were made in the image of God.


"So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 NLT

It's sometimes so hard to remember that, especially in today's day and age where we look in the mirror and can only see the flaws. God made ME in HIS image. I have qualities of God, and those are thing things I should be looking at. Not my hair, my skin, my hips.

Not only am I made in the image of God, but EVERYONE is! Even the people who are criminals, abusers, unkind, hurtful etc. Sometimes it's difficult to remember this when one is so aghast at their behaviour. Even though I don't like what they do and how they behave, they deserve my love and compassion, because they too are a child of God, and have inherited His qualities.

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MY PRAYER
Lord God, Creator of all things, mastermind of the intricate details of all, the artist, the inventor - amazing God!! Lord as I read today's scriptures I was blown away by all you accomplished in Creation. Each living thing is complex and carefully and creatively designed. I appreciate and admire your creative abilities and I'm thankful that I too have inherited some creativity from you.

Lord I ask your forgiveness for the times I forget that each human being is made in your image. I pray that you will help me look beyond their behaviour and actions and enable me to see you in them. I pray that you will fill me with your compassion and your love so that I can give so much more to those around me who don't know you. Thank you for reminding me today that all of us were deliberately and creatively made by you.

Amen

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Step 1

Years ago, I felt God calling me to become a counsellor to be a Godly voice into the lives of the broken hearted, hurting and troubled. He has annointed me to speak goodness, love, and healing into people's hearts. I can't just expect to put a sign on my door saying "counsellor - annointed of God." - I have to study at university so I am qualified to counsel people. I believe God is urging me to think the same about the other callings I have on my life. So this year, in preparation, I am going to be participating in a Chronological Bible Read with Chronological Bible Blog

I have a few days to catch up, but I can't wait to get into this. I really hope that God reveals himself to me in a new way each day as I read his word and learn so much more about him.

2011 is going to be an amazing year!!!

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