Friday, 04 September 2015

C - Cross


I have had the DVD the Passion of the Christ for, shoo, 9 or 10 years now and I have never watched it.  I knew it was going to be gruesome, and I knew it was going to challenge me.  So, I ignored it and always had a reason why NOW was not the right time to watch it.

We are currently into week 3 of retiling and redoing ceilings etc, and the dust is overwhelming.  Also, the TV is disconnected and as hubby and I were feeling starved of visual stimulation we decided to reconnect at least the DVD player and watch some old favourites.  There was nothing we really wanted to re-watch, and then we saw "The Passion".  Sigh.... I suppose NOW is the time.......

So we set it up and started to watch.  First I was a bit taken aback by the fact that it is all in Aramaic with sub-titles but it didn't take me long to get into it.  Secondly, there seems to be some artistic licence being taken but maybe that is more my lack of knowledge?  However, my reason for not watching it in the first place was definitely on point!

It was horrific, gruesome and I found myself holding back tears A LOT!

But, I needed to see that.  I have been a Christian for a lonnnnng time.  I know Christ died on the cross for my sins, I know He took on the world's worst!  I know He conquered death and the grave, and rose again.  And I know He has overcome every and anything!  He is after all, the Son of God.  However, I have never been able to emotionally connect with that.  I know it is truth, but the reality of what Christ went through, for me...... for you...... for those who don't even care..... WOW, that has been mind-blowing!

It has sat in my heart this whole week.  The knowledge of WHAT Christ went through, TO BE THAT SACRIFICE for us, its overwhelming.  The agony of getting the cross to its final resting place, the heaviness of it and all it represents, must have been staggering.  The thoughtless people, the prideful and arrogant, the lost, all of them laughing and cursing Him as He went.  The physical pain and anguish, I cannot even imagine!


This movie has scarred me, but in a good way.  It has refreshed my spiritual memory with an emotional burst of reality!  I needed to see what my Saviour went through for me, and us all.  I needed to get my senses engaged to acknowledge the enormity of what He has done for us.

And greater still than all He went through for us, He conquered death, He has risen!  The cross is empty, and death has lost its sting!

I know that I will NEVER see a cross and not think of all my Saviour has done for me, ever again!

Let us rejoice together in thankfulness and gratitude for the cross, the empty cross, and what it represents.

Luke 23 v 26:  And they led Him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross and made him carry it behind Jesus........

Luke 23 v 46:  And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.......

Luke 24 v 6-7:  He is not here, but has risen!  Remember how He told you while He was still in Galilee (7) That the Son of Man must be given over into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise from death.

God bless my friends
Tracy


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

I believe that the Lord reminded me, through the medium of this DVD, all that Jesus did for me, bringing to emotional recognition of what He endured for my soul.  Yes, the wisdom I see here is to KNOW what the cross represents and what Christ did on the cross did for us all.

Friday, 28 August 2015

B - Bible



My first thought when thinking of the letter "B" was my bible.  As I look around my home I see that over the years I have collected quite a few.  I love my bibles.  Some are pristine, barely touched.  Others are so highlighted and written in that I am sure they are thicker now than when I originally bought them.

I love my bible(s).  They mean so much to me.  I do have a favourite for studying, a favourite for highlighting, and a favourite for just looking things up in.  I especially love my "go to" bible.  Its an amplified version and it is where I don't mind making notes.  Where I add stuff I've learnt or make marks to remind me of things I need to follow up on.


Its not only what the bible means to me as a book, it is also what it represents:
  • It is God's word
  • Its His "how to" manual for us
  • It holds a multitude of wise words
  • It reveals to us God's Father heart, His love for us
  • It reveals to us His plan and purpose for us
  • It holds the keys to many situations we find ourselves in
  • It teaches us about God and about man
  • It teaches us about ourselves.

Without God I am lost.  But I think if I did not have access to my bible I would also be lost.  Just walking into my home and seeing a bible lying here, one over there, another waiting on my bag for church... gives me a sense of peace.  I can only imagine how much more difficult it would be not having access to God's word.  We would have to memorize way more efficiently than we do now.  We would have to memorize huge chunks of scripture so that in times of emotional distress and need we could bring God's word to mind.  We are currently very blessed to have open and free access to the bible and I hope and pray that will never change.  

1 Peter 1 v 25:  But the word of the Lord endures for ever.  And this is the word which by the gospel is preached to you.

Heb 4 v 12:  For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

I encourage you today to keep the word close to you.  If you have a smart phone, no doubt you have a bible app on it.  Check it out often, inhale and absorb God's word.  The bible is a great gift to us.  

God bless
Tracy

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

I believe that the Lord is reminding me that His word, in my bible is a great gift.  One that I should not take lightly and one I should hang onto tightly.  I need to get more of His word into my head and heart too, so should I ever not have access to a bible, His word is in me already.

Friday, 21 August 2015

A-Z Challenge! AAAAAAAAA

I think it is time for a challenge.  To get the word mill working in my mind again.  I have been going through a very dry patch with regards to blogging and I think its time to get back into the groove.  So I am challenging myself with a weekly alphabetical challenge.  Not too much pressure you understand (insert stressed woman here).

Seriously though, I love blogging and for some reason I am just stumped!  There is lots to blog about and much has gone on in my life in the last year, but there seems to be a big disconnect when I want to get the words out into a blog post!

Oh well, there is no time like the present!



ACCEPTANCE

I think we all battle with acceptance at one time or another in our lives.  I believe that there was once a "thing" in my heart where I felt I was not good enough.  Its something I believe the devil used in my relationships with those closest to me, in order to make that "thing" grow into a belief that I was not good enough, or not acceptable the way I was.

However, there came a moment, a time, where it dawned on me that, "hey, wait a minute, if I am good enough for God, if He accepts me right here, right now, the way I am, then who are you (or me) to not accept me?"  Now, my feeling that I was not acceptable to others was in part circumstances and situations, and part my wrongful belief that I was not acceptable.

Romans 10v10:  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.


It is amazing how you determine your interactions by how you feel about yourself.  It took me a long time to get to the point where that "thing" in my heart was eradicated and replaced with the knowledge that I am loved, as is, by God!  Now, knowing that I am acceptable to Christ does not mean I stay in that place.  But it did free me to start trying to better myself and be more of who God created me to be.  In feeling the Lord's acceptance, or rather, in acknowledging His acceptance of me, I was free to grow.  Does that make sense to you?  Because before "knowing" and acknowledging that acceptance, I was in that place where you think "why bother trying?  No one will find value in me anyway, right?!"

Romans 8v31:  What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?

So, knowing and acknowledging God's acceptance, eventually leads to "feeling" that acceptance and also sets you on a path of relating differently to others because now, you know your worth, which is in Christ and not in what others think, or what we perceive others think of us, or frankly what we perceive and think about ourselves.

My encouragement to you this week is to affirm in your heart that you are well loved and fully accepted by our Lord!  That we are chosen, personally, by Him.  And that He loved us at our darkest.
 To me this just reeks of grace and mercy and as undeserving as we are, He never changes and what He says is the truth!  He loves us!  End of story!

Eph 1v4:  Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.

God bless
Tracy

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

I believe that the Lord is reminding me that acceptance, true acceptance, is in Him.  Its in the realization that our everything comes from Him, is managed by Him, is loved by Him.  We are truly rooted and firmly accepted by His love.  We are His, and in that there is no rejection.  Just pure love....

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!

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