Wednesday, 5 October 2016

There are many ways to serve...

Lately, I have really gotten into crochet.  I would never have pictured myself being so wrapped up in it (pardon the pun) but I cannot wait to get to my wool after doing what needs to be done in the day.

Recently I started a granny blanket for my own bed.  I chose good quality wool and colours that I really love.  I decided I was going to take my time with it so that it would be "that blanket", the one you pass down sort of thing (even if that never happens....), something special....

I have enjoyed putting it together so much.  I have a ways to go yet, but loving every stitch,  and of course I post it all over facebook and instagram, like one of those women with grey hair, yes you know the ones I mean.... I am becoming one of "them"  lol!

Then the other morning a friend contacted me  and asked if I would make a baby blanket for her newly pregnant daughter.  Now, ordinarily, I would um and ahh, and make excuses but for some reason I am really excited about doing this blanket.  I put the heirloom in progress to one side, rushed off to the wool shop, chose my colours according to my friend's request, and began project Nunu!

Once home I looked at the name of the colours!  My friend requested grey, white and taupe!  My first question, "what is taupe?"  Come on, some of you asked as well!!!!  When I sat down to begin, the brand's name for their colours was silver, platinum, gold, and for white, lily!  Did you also just get goosebumps?  It sounds so royal!  I let my friend know and she felt it too!  Felt the "prophetic" in it!  We decided that as I crochet this blanket, I am going to be praying for this new bundle of joy and he or she is going to be a royal in the kingdom!

Now, why did this get to me so much?  When my babies were, well, babies, there was a little old lady in the church who knitted little pink panthers for each newborn in the church.  It made me feel so special and I decided that one day, I was going to bless parents like this in some creative way.  I think I have found a potential niche!  I'm sure it will change and adapt, depending on the parents wants and how I feel.  When I give this blanket to these new parents, (it is a gift from the granny-to-be) I will make sure I add scriptures that come to mind as I worked on it.  I want to remind them of the blessing this baby is going to be, etc!  Yes, I see this as another way to serve....

Added a little someone extra :)

Gal 5 v 13:  For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another.
Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

In what way has the Lord gifted you?  The ability to encourage?  To write?  Wisdom?  Service in church?  Cook?  Bake?  Accounting skills?  In what way are you gifted?  Know that the Lord gifted you in this way so that you can be part of building up the body, and winning souls for Christ!  Even if its just by crocheting, reading, writing, making tea, being available, etc, He gave you this ability for His service!  Go for it!  In faith, use your knowledge, skills, talents and gifts for His service!  He will bless you out of your socks.

God bless

Saturday, 24 September 2016

If you can't give it up, its probably an idol!

Ouch!  Right?!  What is it that you can't give up?  For me it is the scale!  Yes, she says dropping her head in shame!  I have to start EVERY SINGLE morning, hopping onto the scale.

Does this influence my day in any way?  A resounding yesssss!  If I lose weight I am happy and joyful and bounce through the day.  But, I also allow myself more freedom to eat - yup - there is that vicious circle thing happening...

And if I put on weight, I am down and grumpy and.... yes, I eat to make me feel better!  But, alas, that so does not work.

Do I have deep-seated issues that need to be addressed?  No, I don't think so.  My eating is not linked to anything awful in my past.  I would definitely say I am an emotional eater.  I eat when I am happy, sad, frustrated!  Funny thing though, I don't eat when I am angry.  I remember many years ago making that connection and refusing to eat when angry.  Now I can't.  Wish it worked for all the other emotions, sigh....

This post is not about eating though.  Its about the fact that my weight, that scale, and the consequent up and down emotions, filled to the brim with food, is an idol.  This is my truth!  I think about food all the time!!!  I wonder what I am going to weigh when I wake up tomorrow.  And I am so over this kind of thinking!

I don't even know HOW to eat anymore for health because all the experts say this today, and that tomorrow, and a combination of both the next day, and so it goes on....

I decided to see what the bible says about food.  Its going to be a long process because I want to read what the Lord says about food and in what context.  I don't want to create a whole new idol with regards to legalistic thinking, but I do want what God's word says...

What I can say is that every time I pray about this issue this thought comes to mind, "BALANCE in all things".  Cutting out a food group is not balance!  Let me just say....

There are many people who succeed at diet but the people I want to be able to learn from are those who said they gave up trying and forgot about the issues, and moved on, and then the weight started melting off.  Why?  Because they no longer made an idol of food and the how, when, what, how much, etc.

Well, in order for me to even start on this road, I have to give up my idols.  That would be my scale right?!  Can I do it?  I kinda think I have to.

Have you ever noticed that when you start exercising after a long time, briefly you first put on weight?  Well that happens to me, and as the scale reflects this, all that feeling good about exercising goes and I immediately feel fat(ter) again.  Now if I don't weigh myself in those moments, firstly I will notice that feel good feeling in my clothes too and I will feel healthier, slimmer, etc and thus respond better to food for that day!

So, I think the answer, for me anyway, is to get rid of that scale.... NOW!

And, to begin mulling over what to eat or what not to eat, I read this in my quiet time this morning... Ps 81 v 16:  But I would feed Israel with the finest of the wheat;  And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.

 Yup, so take that banters, wheat is biblical and that's that!  (insert big smiles here)

Anyway, for those of you who struggle with this stuff like I do, feel free to join me as I discover what God's word says about food and let us pray, together, to be released from idols in our lives that bring nothing but bondage.

God bless

Note:  I wrote this post about 3 weeks back and could not put the above into action.  I always think, "Tomorrow I will post this, and then give it up",  or "when I've lost just a little, then I will post this and give up the scale."  Nope, now is the time to act!  Today is the day I let go of this idol...

And, having said that, I hope to fill the empty gaps with God's word and exercise!

Monday, 29 August 2016

Consider their end....

Recently I read Psalm 73 in my quiet time and it spoke into my heart about how we feel about those who have hurt us.  Particularly those who are not saved.

We see them prosper, we see them seemingly enjoying their lives.  They seem to get away with pretty much everything.  With regards to my own life there are those who hurt us badly, but over time, all they tried to do to us, came upon them.  But it only happened as God was dealing with our own hearts so when it seemed their lives were falling apart, we had sympathy for them.  We felt sorry for them.  There was no celebrating their downfall.  God warns us in His word that if we do celebrate at the downfall of another, He will turn His anger away from them (Prov 24 v 17-18:  (17) Do not rejoice and gloat when your enemy falls,And do not let your heart be glad [in self-righteousness] when he stumbles, (18) Or the Lord will see your gloating and be displeased, And turn His anger away from your enemy.)

The first part of Psalm 73 the writer is saying how hurtful it is to see how his enemies prosper.   Its in the moment, in the hurtful space, where we feel alone and vulnerable.   Where we feel the Lord is far from us,.... and "they" seem to be having it all, despite tripping people up, despite the lies and deception that spews out of them.  But then the writer says:  Ps 73 v 17:  Until I came into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood [for I considered] their end.

WOW!  What a scary thought that is!

I remember times when watching TV and seeing people, like politicians, some very crooked, super wealthy, etc and seeing them get away with stuff, we would say "Some people have their heaven on earth".  The point being, once they die...... then where do they go?!  When its someone super evil like Hitler, its easy to not be upset about where he might spend eternity, right?  But what if its a family member?  What if its a good friend?  A work colleague?  Someone you know?  And they do horrible stuff to you?  And you watch them get away with evil ..... sometimes for years?!

When one steps aside from the hurt, and you enter into time with the Lord, and you consider their end?   If you heart is right, it will reflect the sadness you feel for those who do what they do and do not know or do not want to know the Lord.

In our case, as far as we know, one of the people who turned on us has since become a Christian and that is great.  Took a bit of time for me to feel good about that (a post for another time) but truly I am happy for that person, happy they found Christ, and that their end is not eternity in hell.  The other one carries on as far as we know, doing what they always do... But, God instructs us to pray for our enemies.  At this point, 9 years in, its not as hard as it was to pray for them, but its still not easy.  More an act of my will really, but God rewards obedience!

My encouragement to you is that if someone is deliberately hurting you, and you know you are trying to walk a close path with the Lord, firstly, know that God has got your back and He WILL come through for you.  Secondly, consider your enemy's end!  You will think of them differently after that.  And you will think differently on your circumstances too.

God bless

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

What is in YOUR heart?

Recently I wrote a post addressed to "Dear Athiest" and one of the responses I received was that we could never chase God out of our lives as He is everywhere and in all of us.  My response to her was that God is in our hearts, once we invite Him in.  Her response was that He made us, so He is in us...

This got me to thinking....

God created us, each and everyone of us.  Yes, this is true.  And He wants to have relationship with us, each and everyone of us!  This too is true.  But He also gave us free will.  He has given us the choice as to whether or not we want to have a relationship with Him.

We as Christians know that to choose God is the best and only choice to make.  But others, who have not yet experienced Christ as Lord and Saviour, do not see this choice as the only one.
Rev 3 v 20: Behold, I stand at the door [of the church] and continually knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him (restore him), and he with Me.

We know that until we submit our lives to God and let Him fill our hearts with His light and love, His word and laws, His peace and grace, His mercy.... until then, our hearts are filled with all sorts of unfulfilling things.  Like religion, sport, academic achievements, professional goals, worldly persuits, worldly knowledge.  One thing is common with all these things.  They are not eternal, nor are they fulfilling, not for long anyway.  And as a result, the hole in our hearts demands to be filled, with something else.


We find Jesus!

And are filled because of salvation in Him and through Him!  Then we are filled with a love and a peace that confounds the worldly and is unfathomable.  It demands nothing, not even its own rights.  This heart, filled with Jesus, determines only to love...

So, let us examine our hearts on a regular basis, and spend time pushing out the old, and filling it with the new... Jesus and all He is.... and the light that is in our hearts, will spill out in our lives and touch others with God's mercy and grace, and more will choose Him, more will seek God and invite Him, through His Son, Jesus, into their hearts.
Ps 139 v 23-24:  (23) Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;  Test me and know my anxious thoughts;  (24) And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

God bless

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Dear Athiest...

I've been thinking about the 10 Commandments monument that was removed from the Oklahoma Capitol grounds.  And all the crosses, and Christian symbolism that you are trying to have removed out of public spaces.

In God's word it says in Heb 10 vs 16:  This is the covenant that I will make with them.  After those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will inscribe them [producing an inward change].

You can remove signs and symbols of God from wherever you can.  You can remove Him from our schools, colleges, universities, governments, homes, shopping malls and highways....  But you will never be able to remove Him from the heart of the true believer.

You have seen how even the threat of death, followed through even to the death of the one threatened, has not, and never will remove God and His commandments from the heart of the true Christian.

It is the true Christian who will, however, pray for you, cry with you when one of your own is hurt, lift YOUR heart up before the Lord and call on Him for His grace and mercy toward you.

Once the truth of God is in you, its in you and removing visible signs of God and His Word cannot change that.

You may not believe in God, or anything else for that matter.  My belief in God does you no harm.  It can only offend you if you yourself are not sure of your own beliefs.

My challenge to you is simple:  Before you attack (verbally, mentally or physically) another Christian or His/her belief in God, or his/her monument to honour God, read the bible through, from beginning to end...  Its a book, it wont take you long!  I believe His word is alive and you will not be unchanged!  Prove me wrong.... I dare you!

God bless (I mean that sincerely)

Footnote:  I base the above on the dictionary definition of an Atheist:  a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods


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