Saturday, 25 July 2015

Firstfruits - Sunday

For the last couple of years (okay, okay, maybe longer) I have battled to go to church.

I have tons of excuses:
  • I don't agree with something they say, 
  • Our girls don't like the church we want to go to
  • There is someone there who annoys me
  • Not close enough
  • Not far enough
  • Not how I would like it to be
  • The parking is a problem,
  • Too early
  • Too late
  • Not how it used to be...

You name it, I have the excuse!  My husband and I had sort of decided where we wanted to go but we just had not gotten around to it.  Lazy, tired, busy, another time, etc etc.

We have just been away for 3 weeks and in that time we both read the book "The Blessed Life" by Robert Morris.  What an amazing book!  Such a blessing to read.  Slowly but surely, I will blog about the things in this book that have impacted me.  But for starters, let me deal with Sunday mornings.

I have trained myself to think of Sunday as the last day of the week.  My last opportunity to de-stress before Monday.  My last weekly opportunity to do, well, as little as possible.

This book has reminded me that Sunday is actually the first day of the week, and by going to church on Sunday I am offering up to the Lord, the firstfruits of my week.  God says that He wants our firstfruits, of our earnings, of our time, of us really, and He will bless the rest.  

Rom 11v16:  For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy;  and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Surely if I want my week to be blessed then to offer up the firstfruits of my week is the least I can do.  

Now I don't want to do this, offer up my firstfruits of my week, in order to get the rest blessed!  But the way God works, that is exactly what will happen.  I am also not saying that from hereon out, if I go to church on Sunday, the rest of my week will be awesome always.  But I do know that I can know with confidence that God is with me whatever the week holds and therein lies the blessing for me.  

I want to give the firstfruit of my week to the Lord because I want to honour Him, thank Him, show Him I love Him, show Him how grateful I am for all He has done, and is doing in my life.

You have no idea how excited I am to go to church this Sunday.  There has been a total mind-shift in my head that Sunday is the FIRST day of my week.  And I want to have the most blessed life I can, despite myself (lol) so I WANT to give God my firstfruits!  

So join me in giving God the firstfruits of our week, every week, and lets trust His word that the balance will be blessed!

God bless
Tracy

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

I believe that the Lord is going to show me the value in the firstfruits, in our lives and in relationship with Him.  How many times do we read words in scripture and it all sounds good but we don't get down to the nitty gritty!  Well, it is nitty-gritty time!  Time to tackle firstfruits and reap the rewards of understanding God's word better.



Friday, 03 July 2015

God has got you Covered!


I am busy reading through Ezekiel in my quest to read the bible through cover to cover.  I read some pretty amazing stuff there.  I'm not one of those people who focuses too much on the end times because I find it depressing and lets face it, downright scary, right?!  Am I alone?

But I have just read something in Ezekiel that brought a leap in my spirit!

This is the scenario:
The Holy Spirit lifts Ezekiel up into a vision and takes him over Jerusalem.  He shows Ezekiel all the evil religious practices going on to show why the Lord is bringing judgement.  He then calls near those in charge over the city as executioners and they come forward, all carrying their battle-axes, except one.  He is clothed in linen with ink at his side....

And the Lord calls to the man with the ink and says:  Ezekiel 9 v 4: ... Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in the midst of it.

Isn't that amazing?  Isn't that wonderful?  Isn't that awesome?  God, in Ezekiel's vision, is showing him that He is going to protect those who are not for all the evil that is going on in Jerusalem!!!

As I read this I could only think of how our world and its leaders are making things that are wrong, as if they were not wrong!  I could only think of how so much is being done to hurt others!  And what the religious are doing to try to convince the world that God is not GOD!  And the laws that are being put in place, to normalize sin.  It is frightening, and I am sure I am not the only one when I say how incredibly sad all this makes me feel, and dare I say it, a little (seriously, a lot) scared!


But the scripture above gives me hope and confidence that although all this is going on, and God's judgement WILL stand, and HE will show His majesty and ownership of all, I have confidence that God WILL also protect those who love Him and His word and His way!

That scripture goes on to say that God sends the executioners out after the man with the ink, to execute judgement on young and old (Ezekiel 7 v 5-6) but God states clearly, "do not touch OR GO NEAR anyone on whom is the mark." [capitalization mine]  

Is that not truly amazing and peace giving?! 

I know that I have a smidgen more peace about being a Christian today in this world we live in.

Be encouraged, Our God reigns!

God bless
Tracy

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

I believe the Lord is showing me that I need not fear, especially when I hear people speak about all that is going wrong in the world and end time terrors, etc!  Because God has got us covered, literally!  He will protect His own.  I have to and will believe that, and therein lies the wisdom, believe God's word, end of story!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

To Facebook or not to Facebook? That is the question!

I have been debating with myself for the past couple of months whether or not to delete my Facebook or not.  I have various excuses why I can't:

  • I have to have Facebook in order to manage my blog page
  • I need it to manage my hubby's business page
  • I need to keep up with my friends
  • What if I miss out on something important?
  • What if I learn something awesome or find something very blessed?
  • What if I am able to share something blessed?

I made a deal with myself when I started on Facebook that I would only use it for positive stuff, to share my faith, share what makes me laugh, or photos I think are beautiful.  Never as an outlet for anger or frustration.  And I have pretty much kept to that.  I avoid controversy and if I disagree with something someone has said, I don't respond or raise a debate on their page.  If I do feel the need to "comment" I try to do so with grace.  If I can't find anything gracious to say, I keep away.


But recently I am finding Facebook a drag!  I find I am just scrolling through and seriously using up a lot of time just "being" on Facebook.  Because of  family hurts I have always been careful about what I say and what I share on Facebook but I find myself backing off as others in the family get more involved on it.  I don't feel free to be me, on Facebook.  It is not being the tool I want it to be for my blog either because I find that I am not focusing on that.  I truly wish I could have the Facebook blog page without "Facebook".  Anyway, my dilemma is that I want to step away from Facebook, but I also don't want to!  

What to do, what to do!  

I believe that Facebook is a great tool to use to spread the gospel, I believe its a great tool to communicate and connect.  I choose my Facebook friends wisely so those on my page tend to be like minded.  But I find myself stuck in a groove that is not uplifting, or positive.  I find that I am not gaining anything from being there.  I am allowing Facebook to steal my time and my joy and it is sometimes a cause for contention.


I have considered what I would be losing without Facebook, and other than those few specials that I connect with, my blog page would be lost.  I can connect with my specials outside of Facebook, even those far away.  But my blog, and sharing it, is important to me too.  

What to do?  What to do?

I will be praying about this.  I will be considering options.  I will take and listen to advice!  Ultimately I will do what I feel the Lord wants me to do.  I wish He would be more direct but I have a feeling the Lord wants me to "MANAGE" Facebook in such a way that the impact is positive and not negative.  That means discipline!  Sigh!  Its easy to be disciplined in things that don't impact you but those things that do, quiet times, food, friends, time, social media, all these things require thought and discipline and decisiveness.


As one blogger friend of mine said, her audience for her blog is who the Lord wishes for it to be, and so with regards to numbers of likes, comments, shares, etc, I am not overly concerned.  It is my heart's desire that the one person who needs to read something written here, gets to read it, through whichever medium.  I do not want to lose sight of the fact that God comes first no matter what.  

So, your advice, comments and thoughts are welcome.  I would like to take it all into consideration and prayerfully make a decision.   

Psalm 63 v 1 - 5:  O God, You are my God, earnestly will I seek You; my inner self thirst for You, my flesh longs and is faint for you, in a dry and weary land where no water is.  (2) So I have looked upon You in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory.  (3) Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.  (4) So will I bless You while I live;  I will lift up my hands in Your name.  (5) My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.  

I don't know why "these" verses but as I type them I get a sense that the Lord wants me to be satisfied in only Him.  Maybe half my problem is I leave Facebook with discontent or unhappiness and maybe that is because I am seeking some sort of satisfaction there that I am not getting.  And my satisfaction should be in God and ONLY Him.  He IS my source, He IS my life, He IS the reason I exist.  

So, some thought is required for my future on Facebook.  Watch this space for the results.  Until then, all remains the same.

I look forward to hearing from you

God bless
Tracy

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

I believe the Lord is bringing me to a place where I am willing to give social media up for Him.  That I will be content with my blog alone and those one or two who respond there as its about Him and not about me, and how many likes, comments, and shares I have.  I think He is asking me to choose, and in the choosing He will bless.  I know this to be true.  

Sunday, 07 June 2015

Improving with age... My goal anyway!

Anyone who knows me well knows that I always state that I want to improve with age, knowing full well I will never be like my younger self or anyone else I aspired to in my younger days!

A few years ago, shortly after starting blogging I gave up the whole "new year's resolutions" thing and decided on a scripture for each year.  Something that I felt would be more God-centred, for one thing, but also less goal orientated and more life-changing orientated.  I have enjoyed doing this.  And to this new thing, I added, as many bloggers do, a "word" specific to me and my potential growth for that year.  I have enjoyed that too.  It makes you think more deeply about where you are and where you want to be in the next 12 months.

I am finding that like my medical aid Vitality age status says, based on the info I submitted, I feel years older physically than I actually am!  I no likey!!!!

I want to change THAT!  I want to improve with age so that in 10 years time, God willing, I will at least feel my age, and not 8-10 years older than I actually am!

So I am trying to tackle things differently.  I am giving up bad things, one at a time!  For example, things with aspartame in it, coke lite, diet type foods and drinks etc.  I definitely find when I drink coke lite I cannot remember words in general conversation!  NOT GOOD!  So, after googling the side-effects of all that stuff, I determined I would give it up.  Keep in mind my "drink" is coke lite!  I don't really like anything else.  Next is sugar!  OH MY WORD!  What a difficulty this is for me.  In general, other than hidden sugars (in just about everything) I only have sugar in my tea!  And although I don't drink tons of tea, I certainly enjoy it.  Each tea is an event in my day where I stop, inhale and exhale!  Now to do that on a different taste, its HARD!


My next biggest challenge is my memory!  Like many women my age I walk into a room and when I get there I wonder what on earth I am there for (sigh)!  Also this whole forgetting words thing works on my nerves.  I sound like an idiot!  I decided to improve my memory by doing something I have NEVER been good at, memory verses.  Yes, I am training myself to remember verses and my goal is to add weekly to the list of verses I memorise and my goal in this is to firstly practice memory skills and secondly, why not remember that which is most important to us mere mortals, the Word, God's Word!

I can say that after about 3 weeks I have accrued quite a few memory verses and I am currently working on remembering the whole 1 Corinth 13 v 4-7 love scriptures.  Now I do know these as a general jumble.  But I want to know them properly, in my memory and in my heart!  And my favourite translation is the Amplified so the verses are sometimes a bit flowery but I want that in order to give the old brain a kick in the butt!

I end my post today with one of my memory verses:

Prov 16v3:  Roll your works upon the Lord, commit and trust them wholly to Him, and He will cause your thoughts to come into agreement with His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed.  (I just checked, I got it right, woohoo!)

I like what Joyce Meyers always says, "I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not where I used to be!"

God bless my friends
Tracy


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 to change things slowly but surely!  But also properly, you know, turn each and every little thing over to Him and let Him do with it what He wants to.  His heart for us is to have peace and success and by rolling everything upon Him, our plans will be established and if its not in His plan for us, He lines our thoughts up with His will, so that His plan for us, becomes our plan for ourselves too.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

New Look and Missed Bloggerversary

I've gotten bored with the old look so this here is my new look!  I'm not sure if I like it yet but it is in the general direction I am aiming for, you know, simpler, less cluttered...

I will have to live with it for a while and see if it settles well with me or not.  One of the things I love about blogging is that I can change things up, remove things, add things!  It appeals to the creative side in me which, truly, is almost non-existent!  But it is my little space in the blogosphere and I love doing what I want with it, to the glory of God though.

I love having this space where I can encourage and be encouraged and communicate with my like-minded blogger friends.  It is a blessed place for me.  I haven't been very "chatty" of late and it is not for lack of things to say, more that I haven't been able to put those thoughts into words and blog about it.  But, again, another thing I love about this space!  Its not like if I don't feed my family for 3 weeks anyone is going to die of word starvation, right?!  Thankfully, there are many many many bloggers out there to fill in the gaps.

And my bloggerversary!  I can't believe I missed that!  I am so happy in this space that each year that goes by is like a gift so I like to celebrate it, if only by acknowledging it!  Its a mini achievement for me, a person of whom my mother once said she was worried because I never finish things I start!  Well, I am spending my life proving otherwise, where it is important at any rate (smiles).  This blog is one of those things that I have NEVER felt that it is a chore, or something I HAVE to do!  It is a pleasure and a joy!  So, happy bloggerversary to me!  In March this year I have been blogging for 4 YEARS!  I cannot believe it!


I think I pretty much change the look of my blog annually so that is my gift to my blog, a new look!

Well my friends, I will be posting a more meaningful post shortly but for now I pray you all have an amazing week ahead and you see the Lord in every flower, every smile and every sunrise and sunset!

God bless
Tracy

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