Thursday 19 February 2015

Such Encouragement!

So I'm feeling low and not amused and I read this in my quiet time....

(From God Calling by the Two Listeners)

If Man Oppose

Only believe. The walls of Jericho fell down. Was it axes or human implements that brought them down? Rather the Songs of Praise of the people and My Thought carried out in action.

All walls shall fall before you, too. There is no earth-power. It falls like a house of paper, at My miracle-working touch. Your faith and My power -- the only to essentials. Nothing else is needed.
So, if Man's petty opposition still holds good it is only because I choose to let it stand between you and what would be a mistake for you. If not -- a word -- a thought -- from Me, and it is gone. The hearts of Kings are in My rule and governance. All men can be moved at My wish.
Rest in this certainty. Rely on Me.

"Be not afraid, only believe." Mark 5:36

What caught your eye here? For me it was the phrase: "Rather, the Songs of Praise of the people..." Oh how the Lord gets one attention and lets you know what it is He wants, that will help you get where you want to go, or be who you want to be, or feel how you want to feel.

I am overwhelmed by the Lord's goodness and mercy. I am learning slowly that the Lord is not "the go-to person" in my life who will change things my way! No! Rather, He is the one whom I must praise and honour and trust, and without trying to change a thing myself, He moves on my behalf.

Its a hard thing to imagine! Its a hard thing to understand! Because we complicate things and need a process, and a direction, and a plan! But God doesn't work like that! HE WANTS YOU, and when you submit and surrender, HE MOVES in a way that is EXACTLY what you need in your moment, in your circumstance! Its simple! Its complete surrender and trust! Is it easy? No! Why? Because of us!

My encouragement for you today is to take that leap of faith, praise Him, and let Him work in your life. Just praise, just trust! Not trust He will fix something! No, just decide to trust Him as a decision, and move on. And suddenly.... yes, you will be walking, talking, resting, doing.... and suddenly, you will realize, something has changed. The Lord has wrought in you, or your circumstance a change...

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 showing me that no matter how things look, no matter how much I want to "fix" or change something, all He requires of me is to praise Him and trust Him. I think the wisdom here is to realize the simplicity of this act! The wisdom is to realize that it is I who complicate matters. The wisdom is to be like a child and trust God at His word, we have it in the form of the Bible, and relax in faith knowing that God is working things out for the good of those who love and trust Him.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

A New Church... A New Spiritual Home?

This past weekend my husband and I went to try out one of the local churches.  I could say that because we just moved into the area we are in search of a spiritual home, but the truth of the matter is, we haven't been to church in ages.  And, really, we haven't moved that far either...

But I know I need to have a spiritual home.  I know not having one is impacting on my daily life and my relationships.  I'm grumpy, I get frustrated, I miss worshiping with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  I truly do!

I have let bad habits replace some good ones and that must come to an end.

So, we visited a new church.  It was an experience really because our expectations were not formulated shall we say.  We know what we don't want in a spiritual home.  We know what we feel we have missed in the church we have been going to on and off (more off) for the last few years and well, we were kind of pleasantly surprised for a bunch of odd reasons.

For example:
  • The church's website is English, but when we got there it was predominantly Afrikaans.  Why I found this refreshing was because it kind of forced me to concentrate more being that its not my home language and well, I liked that.
  • We are at that stage of our lives where our babies are 22 and 19 years old.  This church was FULL of toddlers, babies, and pregnant moms!  Many little hands and feet all over the makeshift stage and dancing around during worship.  I LOVED it!  I felt as though they were being given freedom to partake!
  • Its a new shoot of an existing church, in a rented office building with musicians who play because they love the Lord and its not a big professional "show".  I am feeling quite jaded about church being a big show at the moment so this resonated with me which is unusual because praise and worship is very important to me and if its off or, shall we say, not so good, then I battle to focus.  In this case I loved it straight off the bat, because I felt it was genuine of heart.
  • The pastor was not there that morning, and a lovely woman preached in his place.  I'm not sure who she is in the church, I'm not sure if she is a member of staff whose "job description" it is to preach, but she was passionate, and genuine, and wanted us, the congregation to see God in what she had to share.  I loved that.

So, all in all, a good experience for reasons I did not expect!  We will be back this coming weekend and further see if this is where God wants us to be.

My point in this whole post is that firstly we need to fellowship with our fellow believers.  We need that sharing, that sense of being part of the same family, that sense of knowing there is a safe place spiritually, nearby, where we can hear the word and be of service to others or, if we are in that space in our lives, be served.  My second point is, your spiritual home is not always what you might expect it to be.  My third point is, keep visiting and searching until you find where it is God wants you to be.  Don't give up and think Christian TV will fill the gap.  It might temporarily but not long term.  We need each other even if we don't want to admit that.

I'm excited to go back next week and not because I was well entertained.  Not because the service was pulled off professionally, not because the brethren are smartly dressed and look successful and are wonderful overcomers.  No, I'm excited because they seem real, hurting, in need of our Saviour, struggling and hopeful in Christ.  I felt at home even though I haven't as yet "met" anybody there.  

Hebrew 10 v 24-25:  And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, (25) Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.

Let us encourage and be encouraged by one another.
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 is teaching me here to never give up searching until you find what it is He has for you.  I have been quite disappointed by church lately and felt the need to look elsewhere.  But instead I did nothing.  Having taken that step of faith (after eventually figuring out that I am being negatively affected by NOT being in church) I am excited to go back to this new church we visited.  The wisdom?  Seek God always!  Seek to do His will!  And in this I believe His will is for us to be in a spiritual home, a church where He wants us to be, and I will seek until I find where that is.  I have a suspicion though we may have found it :) 

Tuesday 03 February 2015

Foamed Up and Flying!

Prov 14 v 17:  He who foams up quickly and flies into a passion deals foolishly, and a man of wicked plots and plans is hated.

Fooled you right?!  You were thinking soap suds and water slides right?!  Lol!

I read this in my quiet time the other day and I saw myself slap bang in the middle of that verse.  I fly off the handle and "foam up" quickly and end up dealing foolishly with a situation.

And what am I passionate about in that I always over-react?  My own hurt, and my feelings, and my "self".  Normally its when I feel my integrity or my "who I am" is attacked wrongfully.  But I need only be quiet and the Lord defends ultimately!

I'm seeking wisdom this year in all that I read and in terms of losing my cool there are many many verses snuck all around Proverbs.  Prov 12 v 16: A fool's wrath is quickly and openly known, but a prudent man ignores an insult.

If I choose to ignore an insult, real or imagined, I am already halfway to overcoming my foolishness in the arena of temper losing.

And what about this?  Prov 14 v 29-30: He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is hasty of spirit exposes and exalts his own folly (ouch) (30) A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy, and wrath are like rottenness of the bones.

The goal here is to have a calm and undisturbed mind and heart, don't lose your cool, bite your tongue and think things through!  Trust the Lord to fill in the quiet spaces.  Don't you find a quiet space in a potential argument is a challenge waiting to be filled?  Its like I can't let it be!  However, if you leave the quiet spaces to the Lord He often fills it with an unexpected blessing!

I hope you are as encouraged by these scriptures as I have been.  Lets do this with the Lord

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 trying to tell me to, well, shut up!  My first reaction when I am angry is to defend my position.  And when, on the odd occasion I have kept quiet, it has turned out better than when I mouthed off!  There is also a scripture saying that even a fool appears wise when he keeps quiet!  Yup, the beginning of "looking wise" starts with shutting up!  At least in terms of getting all foamed up and flying into a passion when being insulted (for real or perceived)!

Sunday 25 January 2015

Patience - Urghhhhh!

We as a family have been through a season of being patient.  I believe it is coming to an end, this particular season, because, well.... its driving me nuts and my patience is wearing thin...VERY thin.

I see people's lack of concern about how their not doing their jobs properly impacts the lives of others.  I see people who do as little as possible because whether they work or not, they get their pay and can't be removed from their posts.  I'm seeing lots of unnecessary work being done and redone, because no one bothers to communicate....

And now I find myself becoming intolerant of their behaviour and needing to keep away from the phone because I am getting to that point where I want to be RUDE!!!!


I have to ask myself some questions:
  • Is there anything I can do about it?
  • Have I done everything I can to make sure everything moves smoothly as far as it is my responsibility?
  • What more can I do?

This thing we are waiting for is a final step in a long line of things we were waiting for.  I need to remind myself that God is in control and my frustration should lead me to pray and release any anxiety and surrender it all to Him.  Also, a great time to be a testimony of grace under stress!  Not my strong suit!

Sigh, what does the Word say about patience?
  • Prov 19 v 2:  Desire without knowledge is not good, and to be overhasty is to sin and miss the mark.
  • Galatians 5 v 22-23:  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, SELF-CONTROL;  against such things there is no law.
  • Colossians 1 v 11-12:  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and PATIENCE with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
  • 2 Peter 1 v 6: And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (PATIENCE, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety).

There are so many more scriptures about patience.  God's patience with us, our patience with our fellow man, and patience in trials and tribulations.  

So, in terms of patience I believe the Lord is encouraging me through the Word to be gracious in the waiting and to trust Him that He is in control.  I think He is showing me that patience is a fruit of the Spirit, proof that I am growing in Him and of course, practicing patience is also a reflection of self-control, another fruit of the Spirit.  Being patient is not about the situation, nor about what I want!  Its about growing in Christ, becoming more like Him, and overcoming!  Yes, blessed overcoming. 

I want my life to reflect that WAITING is not a big deal!  Yup, food for growth!

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 Lord is teaching me that patience is a tool He uses to refine me.  Its not about what I am waiting for, but more about how I handle the waiting.  It results in spiritual growth and a more balanced and deep attitude that becomes a testimony to someone else who sees my behaviour in the waiting.  A tool that could be used to draw others closer to Him.

Monday 12 January 2015

Hey! Neighbour!

In a recent quiet time I was reading Proverbs 11.  There is so much stuff there I considered concentrating on only a few verses at a time.  Isn't it amazing when your focus changes you realize how meaty the Word truly is?

Anyway, I digress....

 The one verse that stood out for me was vs 9:  With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbour, but through knowledge and superior discernment shall the righteous be delivered. 
v 12:  He who belittles and despises his neighbour lacks sense, but a man of understanding keeps silent.

As I read that I was thinking about the mouth, and the power of words to heal or hurt.... But the Lord brought something else to mind.

We moved recently, and I ABSOLUTELY love our new space, I love where it is, I love what it is, I love the neighbourhood.  I love the potential of the house!  Truly, I love everything about HERE!  And I have met 3 of the neighbours.  I like them all.  But one irks me a little.  She is very sweet and friendly and every time we have bumped into her she tells me things like, "I see you water your garden twice a day" and "yes, I see you have redone the (back) garden (where she can't see)".  You know, the kind of thing that tells you she kind of knows what goes on around here!  Now on one hand that is good.  After-all, she would always phone the previous owner to tell her that her garage door was open.  Yup, she told us!  But on the other hand, we are very private people!

Now feeling this way, I have already told two of my friends that THAT neighbour is nosey etc.  I felt the Lord convict me this morning of speaking negatively about my neighbour.  If I want a good relationship with my neighbours I need to speak life over them.  I need to pray for them and be grateful and thankful for them!  I need to honour God with my actions and my words.  I don't want to in any way destroy my neighbour.

I think part of understanding Godly wisdom is to start acting on it.  Understanding comes from practical application of God's word.  So, I state here that I have awesome neighbours.  They are a blessing and I believe God has placed us here to bless us with them and I hope we are a blessing to them in return.

Matthew 22 v 37-40 pretty much sums up how we should treat our neighbours:

(37) And He replied to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).  (38) This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.  (39) And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbour as [you do] yourself.  (40) These two commandments sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Join me in appreciating and speaking life over our neighbours.

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?

  • It is wise to be friendly to your neighbours, you may need their help one day
  • In choosing words that promote life about and to your neighbours, you benefit.  In Proverbs 11 v 17 says:  The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself [for his deeds return to bless him], but he who is cruel and callous [to the wants of others] brings on himself retribution.
  • If one belittles and despises his neighbour it is he or she that looks foolish.  The wisdom here is to learn to keep quiet.  Maybe we have an annoying neighbour.  But our behaviour is in our hands.  Better to be silent!  That is the wise choice.
  • It is biblical that when one sets out to destroy another, that same one is destroyed themselves.  How is that in any way wise?  It would seem to me that wisdom benefits the one being wise.
  • Wisdom is evident in our actions and our WORDS.  I need to learn to use them wisely.


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