Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sometimes Horrible things are Doors to Moving Forward!

Our electrical supply in this country is becoming haphazard to say the least.  Its not that we don't have resources.  The electricity supplier's (we have only one) CEO has gone on record saying there is a serious lack of maintenance from the last 20 years and there has been corruption, and all the work requires load-shedding, etc, etc!  I'm no politician but I'm sure you can fill in the blanks.

Because of this we decided to be proactive and try to generate as much of our own electricity as possible via solar power.  Now this is no small task.  Months of investigation, tons of questions, etc before we selected the route to take.  And then when we were on the path to electrical freedom, we learnt that a lot of what we had been told was, shall we say, short in truth, so as to promote us spending more money to get what we were ultimately after.

Sigh.... after a month and a half, we have what we want, we can be free from our supplier should we choose, we have with our installers managed a lot of issues along the way but YAY, finally we are there!


The next day anything and everything tripped the power.  First a power tool, then my hairdryer, then nothing, literally.  So in desperation I again called our solar installers and begged them to sort this out!

It turns out the day before they had stumbled across a potential fire hazard in the form of melting wires touching.  And in their quest to figure it out had further disturbed these wires and left that day letting us know that all should be well and they would be back in 3 days to sort it out.  Nope, the next day, no power!  And much frustration.  I just wanted what we had paid for TO WORK ALREADY!!!!

The thing is though, them finding this bad wiring and messing with it, had brought to light a potential fire hazard that unseen might have ended up far worse than half a day without power.  And with our electricity supply being an on and off thing this may have "sparked" (literally and figuratively) a fire.  By being inconvenienced now, a future issue was revealed and dealt with.

My point is that sometimes things happen in our lives that may seem so unnecessary and seem so pointless and inconvenient.  In the moment those incidents can really hurt and cause turmoil to yourself and those around you.  But in looking back one can often see that you needed to overcome this thing in order to move forward.  In order for a door to open, or close.  I have been noticing lately that things happen and when you look at these things in the light of spiritual battles, and you see yourself or someone else overcome, you suddenly see them move forward in a direction that brings great joy, or further promotion.  And if they don't overcome, they (or I) seem to keep going through the same stuff.

I think too, that the Lord allows stuff in our lives, short term or long term, that keeps us focused on Him or keeps us leaning on Him.  Maybe because without the hardship we would feel or act like we don't need Him, and then we don't grow our relationship with Him?

Anyway my friends, my encouragement to you is to say to you that nothing you go through is for nothing.  There is always a reason.  God uses what is meant for your harm, for your good and He uses circumstances and hiccups to draw you closer to Him.

Be encouraged and keep pushing through daily.  Enough is one day's issues for each day, and His mercies are new EVERY morning.

James 1 v 2-4:  Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. (3) Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.  (4) But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

God bless

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I think the Lord is teaching me that "stuff" is for the refining of me and who I am and who He wants me to be.  Its about enduring and pushing through and being a more humble, peaceful, helpful and selfless person.  Trials burn off the spiritual rubbish and hopefully leave something good behind.  Something God can use to help win others.  

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wrong Thinking....Say WHATTT?!.

Sometimes we get to a point in our lives where we think, "Enough is enough already!"  Am I right?  Its at this juncture we have to truly be careful of who we listen to.  The devil is wiley creature who, for some reason, has a good idea of what is going on in your head!  I do, however, believe he does not actually KNOW what is going on in your head, but he knows humankind pretty well and tends to get a good read on whats happening in that head space!

So what happens at this juncture?  A person who you love and cherish, or someone whose opinion you respect, or someone whose life looks all perfect, comes and questions you, asks you what you really want?  They speak into your frustration and suddenly, the road ahead looks clear.  Right?  Well, I suppose this is often the case.  But before you act, test what you think, what your well-meaning friend/family member/colleague has said, against God's word.

Prov 3 v 5-6:  Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.  (6) In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Ask the Lord, "Is this a path to take? It looks good, it sounds good, it feels good, but somehow I'm thinking You won't approve?" There is that little spot of doubt! Why? Because His Holy Spirit is not going to let you get away with not knowing the truth before you act! Read His word on the subject, or really, just read the Word. I am always amazed at how what I am reading suddenly squashes a path I want to follow.

Now, I say this knowing we don't always get the answers we want straight away but usually when we are desperate and about to make a wrong move!  

I also say this knowing that we don't always like the answer God seems to be sending our way.  But when you make enough decisions against what you feel God wants, you eventually realize that choosing His way IS ALWAYS THE BEST OPTION!  Because His way leads to blessings.  Even if you cannot imagine that to be true!  IT IS TRUE! 

1 Thess 5 v 21:  But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.

I have found that when I choose God's way, I have immediate peace in the situation.  Even if the situation is far from resolved, even if it is an ongoing healing in body or relationship, God's way ALWAYS brings peace into your heart and a knowing that one way or another, with God as your strength you can get through this thing.

It also clarifies for you the motives of the one giving you "advice"!  Often times that advice is selfish and aimed at their comfort and possibly yours.  God's way is often not the easy way!  But it truly is the most rewarding.  It brings great peace to feel you have chosen wisely, based on God's word!  Often its not a popular choice, often even those who are your closest Christian friends feel you have chosen wrong.  But if it lines up with God's word, and their motives are pure, they will see it if God wants them to.

I hope this encourages you to always test what you think and feel, or what you have been advised to do, against God's word.  You WILL know the truth and then the choosing of the path is in your hands.  God has given us free will, but He has given us His user manual to guide us!  He knows our every need, thought and desire!  Lean on Him, not on the world!

God bless

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I believe the wisdom the Lord has for me here is that even if something looks like a great idea, it isn't always and that the wisest thing to do, is to test it against His word!  That is the wisdom I see here today!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Up Wayyyy Too Early!!!!

I never get up in the middle of the night and stay up.  When one of my daughters gets home late, I make sure its them, I make sure the lights are off, and go back to bed!  If my husband is out doing a neighbourhood watch, same thing, I check its him when he gets home, I make sure the lights are off and go back to bed.

That does not necessarily mean I go back to sleep.... I do, eventually..... but, asleep or not I am back in bed!

Not last night!  My daughter got home and set the alarm off accidently!  So of course I woke up and was vertical in a flash, with the alarm off and down the passage to investigate.  All was well, checked the doors, the alarm, the lights, and back to bed!  BUT I JUST COULD NOT GO BACK TO SLEEP!  I had so many angry thoughts, unrelated to being woken up, going through my head.  And I was not groggily awake!  I was WIDE awake!

So I decided to break the tradition of staying horizontal until I eventually fall asleep!  I got up at 3am, made a cup of tea (with sugar, and an extra half a spoon at that), got a blanket, my bible and some hightlighters and began to read!

I did this for an hour.

I can't say that any major issues were resolved in the wee hours of this morning.  I can't even say I had any epiphanies!  Only that my anger disolved, my tea tasted calming (if that's possible), and the words I read touched home.  I started out furiously writing in my journal, followed by writing the verses that got to me and finished off by highlighting a couple of chapters of my bible so that right now, it could probably glow in the dark.

I'm not really sure what the point is of my woeful story of being up and wide awake so early other than to say it felt good to use this time productively in the Lord's word.  It felt good not to lie awake mentally grumbling and playing those useless mind games that truly gets one no where!

I felt victorious (in that "I can barely keep my eyes open" kind of way) in those early hours because I turned to the Lord instead of silently accepting all the condemnation I could heap on myself mentally for all I could have done differently the day before.

So, my encouragement to you today is if you are being kept awake, by worry, anger, frustration, loud or scary noises, use that time for good!  Go make a cup of tea/coffee and read the Word!  That is it!  Reading God's word is NEVER a waste of time and He says His word NEVER returns back void! (Isaiah 55 v 11).

This verse is one of those that struck me in my early morning sojourn into the Word:
Isaiah 57 v 19:  Peace, peace, to him who is far off [both Jew and Gentile] and to him who is near! says the Lord;  I create the fruit of his lips, and I will heal him [make his lips blossom anew with speech in thankful praise].

Two things hit me while reading this, firstly, God wants peace for us, no matter how near or far we are from Him.  Secondly, He will heal us as we praise and thank Him.  I'm not sure if I am reading that right but it sounds awesome to me.  It hit me then that no matter how I feel, no matter what has gone wrong in the day, I need to praise Him and be thankful.

So, as I write this post, (in the NORMAL morning hours) I am thankful for God's word, for His mercies new every morning, for tea, (seriously), for a new perspective even if I don't have any new answers, for the lovely sun, for my bed, for my family....

And so the list will go on during the course of today....

God bless you my friends
I hope you are encouraged

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

The wisdom I find here today is that it is never a waste of time, tea, or tears to go read God's word, any time of night or day.  His word heals, restores, refreshes and renews.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

You have His Favour you Know....

Are you like me and sometimes pray fervently for God's favour?  Do you seek Him and plead with Him for His favour?  We have it already you know...

That penny dropped for me a while back when I was praying for God's favour and I realized that as a child of the Living God I ALREADY HAVE HIS FAVOUR!!!

So my prayers started changing.  I would thank the Lord for His favour and in faith know that His favour is present in any situation I am dealing with.  It certainly changes your prayer life and how you view what is going on in your life.  Now, even when things don't look good, or things don't seem to be going in a way that you want, you can rest KNOWING you HAVE His favour and He is in control and things are going to pan out as God wants them to.  And you know that ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and who seek to put Him first (Romans 8 v 28).

Let me tell you what happened with us that reinforced this awesome truth in my life.  Nothing major.  Just one of those quirky events that really just magnify the truth.

So, we had this awesome fridge/freezer.  But the house we bought came with an equally awesome fridge/freezer and our one wouldn't fit any way.  So we decided to sell our fridge.  We advertised it and because its quite an expensive fridge, it took a while for a buyer to happen along.  But, as life goes, our buyer arrived, paid for the fridge and excitedly went off with it.  Two days later he phoned with a really bad attitude and he demanded his money back and he had a technician come out and see the fridge and its broken and the technician told him to get rid of it etc etc etc.

Well, legally, we did not have to give him his money back but my husband said, "look, its not a problem, just bring it back and we will refund you."  But I must say, during the course of the day, waiting for him to arrive, my blood was boiling.  I knew that fridge was working, I knew it was good.  He however, lived very far away and may have damaged it during transport, or unloading it etc!  And his attitude!  That made me see red!

So he arrived!  And guess what!  There were scratches on it that were not there before, and a dent!  I was angry.  I asked him how much we should deduct for the damage and he argued it had been there already.  But seriously, you could see it was new damage.  I had a bit of an unchristian verbal match with him and he told us to keep our money and that it would burn all our other money!  NOW I WAS LIVID!  How dare this man curse us and our money?!  Who did he think he was returning our fridge worse for wear?  However, my husband said "Tracy, give the man his money!  We are better than this!"  He helped him unload it, I gave his money back and I turned and walked away!  I WAS FURIOUS!  I was angry because I knew our fridge worked before he left, I was angry at his attitude, but I was most angry that he was treating us like we were ripping him off!

We then contacted the supplier of the fridge.  We wanted to know if it was salvageable.  The fridge was lonnnnng out of guarantee but they were messing us around due to their own issues with technicians messing them around etc so they in turn, WITHOUT EVEN SEEING our fridge told my husband they would swap it with a BRAND NEW exact same fridge, just BRAND NEW!  You know, 7 years newer!!!! Get my drift?  Favour!!!!!

A week later the supplier dropped off a brand new fridge/freezer.  We re-advertised it and sold it for double what we sold our older fridge for.  Not only that, it sold in 2 days where our older fridge took 5 months to sell.  Do you see that favour?  Not only did we have God's favour in this thing, a curse without cause will not alight!  (Prov 26v2).  God blessed our money!!! Despite that previous buyer's words!

For me, this event highlighted God's favour, the truth of His word, and the truth that He will always look out for His children.  Had that man phoned and told us about the problem we would have worked with him and our supplier and HE would have ended up with a brand new fridge for a fraction of its cost.  But, God used what someone else meant for our harm, He used for our good (Gen 50v22).

I hope this encourages you to pray differently.  Oh and of course I had to repent of my various moments of anger too (she says hiding her head in shame).  Do you see that?  Despite MY BAD attitude, God extended His favour!  I am so grateful!

Have a great week ahead
God bless

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

I feel the Lord taught me in this situation that I always have His favour.  I am a child of God and I don't have to beg Him for His favour.  I have to rest in faith, that I already have it!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Ready to Give up?

I can relate.  I get to a point where I am so over it already.  I AM DONE!  And then I read God's word.  He always has a timely word for us doesn't He?

I read these 2 scriptures this week that remind me that God is in control and even if humanly, things seem to be at an end, God is far from done:

Isaiah 43 v 18-19:  (18) Do not [earnestly] remember the former things;  neither consider the things of old.  (19) Behold, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs forth; do you not perceive and know it and will you not give heed to it?  I will even make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

And this scripture:

Romans 4 v 18:  [For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, so [numberless] shall your descendants be.  

Use this same scripture and fill in what it is you feel you have no human hope for, for example:

For Wendy, human reason for hope being gone, hope in faith that she should be a content and happy wife and mother, as she had been promised, so numberless shall your joyful moments be.

Now you try it....

How does that boost your faith?

I hope I encouraged you this week to hold fast in faith to what the Lord has promised you.  He is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He won't do what He says He will do.  (Numbers 23v19)

God bless

With each post I do this year I am going to end off with #wisdom. This will be where I try to understand the wisdom of what the Lord is teaching here.

#wisdom What is the Lord teaching me here about wisdom?

The thing I learned with regards to wisdom here, is that the scriptures, all of it, Old and New Testament, is written for each and everyone of us.  Someone once said to me that Psalms was relevant to David.  Um yes, but so is it relevant to us.  EVERY WORD!  Every Word in scripture is for our growth, to convict us, to convince us, to show God's love for us!  It is our user manual on how to live every day with every issue.


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