Friday, 29 April 2011

Nature says so much!

Looked like a dove when I took it
Rom 1 v 20:  For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks).  So men are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification]





Paul says that God reveals Himself in nature, in all that He has created and in seeing all this, man has NO excuse for not knowing Him and acknowledging Him as the Creator.


  • Take a beautiful flower and look at the detail, its amazing
  • Look at the animals in the wild and how they all get on with their lives season to season
  • Look how everything in nature works together, side by side
  • Watch a humming bird sipping nectar
  • Look how ordered the universe is, sun by day, moon and stars by night
  • An owl hooting, a frog croaking, an elephant trumpeting, a lion roaring, a bee buzzing....


God is creator of it all!
Ecc 3 v 11(a):  He has made everything beautiful in its time.

The point of this post was to show that if you observe nature in its beauty and wisdom, you cannot fail to acknowledge God and 'know Him' by His creation.  Beauty, wisdom, practicality, majesty, diversity, expression, loving, caring, designer of note, etc.


But while writing this post, another point has become clear to me.  God made all of nature, BUT He sent His son to die for US!  We are more important to God than anything else.





As it says in Matt 6 v 26:  "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow not reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?



God bless
Tracy

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Proverbs 4

Prov 4 v 6 - 7:  Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you.  Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom.

For me, this is the theme throughout this chapter.




A brief summary
Firstly, more benefits are noted:
  • v6:    She will preserve you
  • v8:    Exalt her, and she will promote you
  • v10:  The years of your life will be many
  • v12:  Your steps will not be hindered
Secondly, some wisdom is offered:  v14 - 17, do not enter the path of the wicked.

Thirdly, v 23 -27, keep/guard your heart.  These verses are full of practical advice and admonishments, firmly stated.

Awesome verses
  • v6:    Forsake not wisdom, and she will keep, defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you
  • v23   Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flows the springs of life


What have I learnt from Prov 4?
It almost seems like Solomon is writing with an urgency.  You can feel how important this is to him and how passionate he is about Godly wisdom.  And rightly so.  Its written so directly and practically you cannot fail to get the point.  I believe the principle points are:  'give attention to my words' and 'dont forsake her (wisdom)' and 'do not let my words depart from your sight'.

Get it - keep it - soak it in - live it!

God bless
Tracy

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Looking forward, Not behind!

Isaiah 43 v 18-19:  Do not earnestly remember the former things; neither consider the things of old.  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.




Who does this remind you of?  Lot's wife?  God told them when they left Sodom and Gomorrah (Genensis 19) not to look back.  Lot's wife looked back to what she was familiar/comfortable with and it cost her her life. 

What is the point here? 
Is there something in your life God has been encouraging you to leave in the past?  A bad experience, some hurtful words, something you did that you are ashamed of?  Maybe its a bad habit.  Maybe God is encouraging you on a new path and you are fearful and keep looking back or sticking to what is comfortable. 

Well if you feel God is prompting you, its time to take a step of faith.  Step into what God has for you.  Maybe it seems impossible but reread the scripture above:  '...I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.'  Don't let the old things hold you back.  Don't let the familiar and safe keep you from growing.  If God has opened this door for you He says He will make a way.

Phil 3 v 13(b)-14:  ...But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

I don't know what it is holding you back, but if God is speaking to you and this is confirmation for you, don't let fear hold you back and take that step of faith and when you succeed make sure you give God the Glory.

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 25 April 2011

Proverbs 3

 

This chapter of Proverbs feels like refreshing water being poured over your soul and its full of practical advice and the benefits of wisdom. 








A brief summary
It starts of listing the benefits of godly wisdom:
V 1-2:  Do not forget my law, let your heart keep my commands, the benefit:
            Length of days, long life and peace
V 3-4:  Don’t forsake mercy and truth, bind them on your heart, the benefit:
            Find favour and high esteem in the sight of God and man.
V 5-6:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge Him in all your ways, the benefit:
            He shall direct your paths
V 7-8:  Don’t be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord, depart from evil, the benefit:
            Health and strength to your flesh and bones.
V 9-10:Honour God with your 1st fruits, the benefit,
            Your barns will be filled with plenty

V 11-12: tells us why sometimes the Lord disciplines us and not to detest it.  He does this because He loves us.
V 13 – 20: gives a picture of wisdom and what it all does for you and where it comes from and how it behaves.
V27 -35: tells us how to treat others, to be kind to them, not to fight with someone who has done nothing to us, not to envy someone who seems to have it all and finishes by telling us that the wise shall inherit glory, but shame will be the legacy of fools.

My favourite verses
V 3:      Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around you neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
V 5-6:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
V15:     She (wisdom) is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
V 17:    Her (wisdom) ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
V 21-22:  Let them not depart from your eyes – keep sound wisdom and discretion; So they will be life to your soul and grace to your neck.

What have I learnt from Prov 3?

God gives generously to those who seek Him and His wisdom.  He does not just make you wise when you ask for wisdom.  He gives you strength for your bones, health for your flesh, long life, plenty for your barns, esteem in His eyes and the eyes of men.  His generosity knows no bounds.  I am humbled by the little He asks and the plenty He rewards us with.  God is awesome!

What amazing thing do you get out of Proverbs 3?

God bless, 
Tracy

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I'd like to introduce myself

Hi, my name is Tracy and I live in Cape Town, I am happily married, I have 2 teenage daughters and I love the Lord.  I know without the Lord in my life I could have turned out to be something else and I would rather be on this road with Jesus than alone!

When I started this blog I decided to remain anonymous.  The reasons are pretty stupid but they have a lot to do with family issues I have eluded to and they in themselves are not really good enough reasons either.  So, I decided to be me.  To be me on my blog and continue to do what I feel God has called me to do and that is to encourage other women in their day to day walk.

When I have a decent photo of myself (I'm usually the one behind the camera!) I might change my profile picture or just add it to my blog but either way I am not going to let the plans of others dictate my life anymore.  I am by nature a very private person and only open up with friends and family(some of them!!) but I have allowed the circumstances to mould me into a much more reserved and distant person and I will no longer let those who try to hurt us do that to me anymore.  If they discover my blog, maybe they'll learn a little about the Lord - who knows.  God works in mysterious ways.

Anyway, to those who have commented on my blog and to those who have seen me comment on their blogs, Hi, I'm Tracy

God Bless
Tracy KT(still half anonymous! - ah well, nearly there!)

Friday, 22 April 2011

How much does God love us?





John 13 v 1:  Now before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father.  And as He loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree.


John 3 v 16:  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Hebrews 12 v 2:  Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Ephesians 5 v 25(b):  ...as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.

I think there can be no doubt that God loves us so much, whoever we are, and whatever we have done, that He gave up His son, as a living sacrifice for us, to take on all our sins so that we would not have to. 

How should we respond to that? 
  • We should be humbled 
  • We should be in awe, can you imagine doing that for someone?
  • We should give our all to Him, mind, body, soul
Yesterday, as we were leaving a shopping mall, a youngster had locked her keys in her car.  Someone was trying to help but this is something my husband has helped lots of people to do so he took over and within a few minutes he had her car open.  The previous guy had been struggling for a while.  My husband struggled for a while and then wahlah, it was open.  The girl's first response was "wow, thank-you, what can I do for you?" and her second response because she was so happy was "wow, I love you!"

Maybe that should be our response to the Lord's ultimate sacrifice.  "Wow, thank You Lord - I love You" and "what can I do for You to thank you?"

God bless
TKT

Thursday, 21 April 2011

So God can have the Glory!

Remember the story about Gideon asking for a sign with the fleece?  Basically he asked God to give him a sign that He would deliver Israel by his (Gideon's) hand.  God gave him the sign he wanted, twice!  That was not the end of it though!





Gideon rose early the next day with all his men (32000) and God said in Judges 7 v 2:  The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel boast about themselves against Me, saying, my own hand has delivered me.  So God told Gideon to tell those who were fearful and trembling to turn back home.  So 22000 men returned.  Only 10000 remained.

Thats not the end of it though!

God said to Gideon, there are still too many men.  God set a test for Gideon re his men.  Those who lapped water at the river like dogs were to stay and the rest could go home.  Those who lapped water were 300 men!  The Lord told Gideon in v 7:  With the 300 men who lapped I will deliver you, and give the Midianites into your hand.

God allowed Gideon to overhear a midianite discuss his dream and another  interpret it that the Israelites would defeat Midian.  This gave Gideon courage.  He instructed his men what to do.  Trumpet in their right hands, torches in their left hands, therefore no hand for a weapon!!  The result...v21:  There stood every man in his place round about the camp, and all the Midianite army ran - they cried out and fled.  God delivered them into Israel's hand and there was absolutely no doubt to whom the glory belonged - it belonged to the Lord!

Do you see this happening in your life sometimes?  You have a problem (big or small) and you look to your friends, they're busy.  You decide to google it, the computer's down.  You decide to go to gym to exercise hoping to think more clearly, cant find a parking or every machine is busy.  Basically, all your resources/options run out - until finally, you turn to the Lord and His word.  What does His word say?  Sing praises, pray for your enemies, etc!  Not very helpful, right?  But in faith you start to praise and ... God starts to change the circumstances or the people in the circumstances.

The result - God gets the glory!

I know I'm simplifying it, but it makes you think, doesn't it?

God bless
TKT

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Proverbs 2

A brief summary
Prov 2 starts out by saying that you should seek godly wisdom fervently.  Make your ear attentive, directing your heart and mind, applying all your powers to the quest of it (in the ampliphied bible).




If you seek godly wisdom as for silver or hidden treasures, then these are the benefits:
*  you will understand the fear of the Lord, and
*  find His knowledge
*  He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity
*  He guards and preserves your paths
*  you will understand righteousness, justice, fair dealing in every area
*  you will understand every good path
*  skillful and godly wisdom shall enter your heart, and knowledge shall be pleasant to you
*  discretion will watch over you
*  Godly wisdom will save you from people who delight in evil, from immoral people whose ways lead to hell

And finally, walk in the way of good men, for only the godly with integrity will live in the land.

The verses that stand out for me
v 1 - 4:  Seek wisdom passionately
v 5:       Then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God
v 10:     When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul.
v 11:     Discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you.

I really love v 10 because it tells me that as I seek wisdom it will enter my heart and fill my being and become part of me.  It'll infuse me.  I love it! 

 What have I learnt from Prov 2?

*  Seek God's wisdom passionately, with everything that is in you
*  His wisdom will give you understanding and teach you how to deal fairly in every area and relationship
*  His wisdom will protect you in all circumstances and from those whose motives are evil
*  Wisdom will enter your heart, becoming part of your being
*  walk in the way of good men with integrity, follow good godly examples

Its also interesting to me that in Proverbs, God often says, 'The wise behave in this manner and are safe, but the foolish behave in this manner and are cut off.'  Its an admonishment to do right, yes, but its also tells the person doing evil that there are consequences for their actions.

What stands out for you?

God bless
TKT

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

My favourite Bumper Sticker!

My favourite bumper sticker is:  
A woman who strives to be like a man, has no ambition in life!

I love that.  I am not a feminist but I am also no doormat.  I can more than stand up for myself, thank you and anyway, I need my bra!  I just find it interesting in looking back how different my life has turned out from how I could imagine it being.  For example, in my home when I was growing up, my mother wore the pants in the house.  She dealt out the punishment and made sure everything ran smoothly.  I dont blame her entirely.  My father could have done with a backbone!  I love them both.  Neither are saved, neither wants to know anything about church, and neither can see that my life is blessed because of the Lord.  I have been born-again since I was 14yrs old.  So, with that as my example, you would have thought I'd be career oriented.  And for a season, I was.  I went to university, but studied something my mother would have loved to study, given the opportunity.  It was not what I wanted out of life, so I left 2/3's of the way through the 1st year.  I then joined the Air-force.

I met my husband there.  He had a career there so I left and went into the corporate world.  He finally left a few years later and started his own business.  When we first started dating, we chatted about being christians, and how we had both back-slid and went the following Sunday to church and rededicated our lives to the Lord.  We are both stubborn, neither of us wants to give in first at times but thank the Lord we have made it thus far.  This year we are married 23 years and all the hard times we have been through have made our marriage stronger.

I am way off the point of my bumper sticker.  What I have learnt about myself over the years is that I have no problem with my husband being the head of the home, spiritually or otherwise.  I have no problem being a stay at home mom.  I did in the beginning because I felt being at home was a burden to him.  But he WANTED me to be at home!  I think that my children are partly who they are today because they had the benefit of their mom at home.  My mom worked full time my whole childhood.  I can't say that I thought I missed anything.  In fact, in the holidays, I could not wait for her to go to work so I could loaf around without her telling me to clean-up, etc.  I have no problem submitting in general.  I believe God gave us a voice, we are entitled to our opinion, but ultimately your husband, as head of the home needs to make the final decision as God holds him accountable.  There are times when I fight my ground but its the same old problem I have always had.  I defend, defend, defend, instead of letting God be my defence.  So I make it worse.  But thats a posting for another day.

There is power in being in the position God has for us as wives.  In Elizabeth George's book, A woman after God's own heart, she says that she would rather take responsibility for following than for leading.  God created our men to be leaders.  And they are better leaders when we are better followers. There are those circumstances where that gets altered but I am talking of the norm.  Also, there is a spiritual law that comes into play when you do things God's way, He blesses.  He blesses you for your obedience, He blesses your husband for his obedience and He blessed your children because of your (plural) obedience.  Maybe we don't see it straight away.  Maybe you only see the benefits years from now.  But God's way is the best and only way to be the best woman/wife you can be.


My encouragement to you is to enjoy living in a man's world.  Its great to be a woman.  We can wear a skirt or pants without raising eyebrows (although today its getting abit weird out there).  But the ultimate prize is living life as a woman of faith in God's order as He knows best!

Prov 31 v 30:  Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a who who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

god bless
TKT

Monday, 18 April 2011

Proverbs 1

I have been through Proverbs a few times over the years and what I really love about it is that it is so practical.  Especially on advice on how to deal with people and situations.  So in going through Proverbs, one chapter at a time I want to pull out for me what I see as practical advice.  So, here goes:




Prov 1:  My brief summary
In the first part of Prov 1 Solomon tells of why he is writing this.  He says wisdom is for all.  Wisdom will make the simple, wise, and the wise (who are prepared to listen), even wiser.  He tells young people to listen to their parents and to turn away from people who want to cause harm to others for their own personal gain and who do things out of greed.  'Stay far away from their paths!' Dont even mix with them AT ALL!  Ultimately, the trap they set for others will destroy them.

The 2nd part is a personalization of wisdom, calling out to ANY who would listen.  I think this is God saying 'Here is my wisdom, its available to you' and God is stating that the consequence of not 'wanting' His wisdom or thinking we dont need it will ultimately destroy us.  Why?  Because thinking we are wise in our own eyes leads us to believe we don't need God and we all know, WE NEED GOD and His wisdom!

The verses that stand out for me
Prov 1 v 7:  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Prov 1 v 23:  Turn at my reproof; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.

Prov 1 v 33:  But whoever listens to me (wisdom) will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.

What have I learnt from Prov 1?

*   These proverbs are for our instruction to make us wise
*   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge
*   Stay away from people bent on greed, don't be enticed
*   God wants to impart His wisdom to us
*   Don't think you don't need His wisdom, you do!

What stands out for you in Prov 1?

I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless
TKT

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Wisdom

Much is said in scripture about wisdom.  When I think of the women in my life who I have looked at and thought, 'I wish I were more like them',  they have all been women of wisdom.  They have been soft spoken (something I have never been), they normally are more mature (in age), they have an inner peace about them that they radiate.  None of them have perfect lives or perfect families.  They all seem to have had turmoil of some shape or form in their lives and have become the people they are because they went through their storms with the Lord.  Many women look up to them.  They always seem prepared to listen and council.  I am sure that they wake up with bad hair and have bad days like the rest of us.  But in general, they seem to be wise and peaceful.

I also have friends my age and younger who I know to have had some hard times in their lives and I am awed by how they have handled all they have been dealt.  I reckon they are potentially those wise women of the future.

So, I ask myself, 'What can I do to be like that?'  First step is to see what scripture says.  James 1 v 5 - 6  says:  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 
This tells me that I am to ask God for wisdom, but not to ask unless I ask in faith, believing that God will give me wisdom because otherwise I will be asking and it will come to nothing.  What else do I know about wisdom?  I know that Proverbs is recognized as a book of wisdom.  Written mostly by Solomon who was considered the wisest man on all the earth.  So, I am going to come before the Lord, and I am going to ask Him for wisdom because I know I lack wisdom.  As I go through Proverbs from beginning to end, I will journal the things I learn and I hope that they will be as insightful and uplifting to you as I know in faith they will be for me.

It says in Proverbs 1 v 7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (wisdom and instruction).  I have never understood that fully but think it means that in respecting and loving the Lord and being aware of, in awe of, and acknowledging His power, His omnipotence, His rulership and creatorship over us with humility, and being aware of His grace and mercy for us despite our humanity, He will begin to release to us His wisdom and knowledge.  I believe that in seeking God's wisdom, a by product of that is inner peace.  Because how can one not have inner peace when your spirit and mind are infused with the things of the Lord? 

In 1 Kings 3 v 5 - 15, it tells of the dream Solomon had where the Lord appeared to him and asked him what would he have, and He, the Lord, would give it to him.  Basically, Solomon said he wanted wisdom.  God was pleased with this so gave him as he asked but in v 13 - 14 it tells of how God said that He would give to Solomon that also for which he had not asked, both riches, honour and long life for as long as Solomon walks in His ways, keeps God's commandments and statutes.  I see 2 things of value here.  One is, asking for wisdom brings with it much reward and secondly, we need to walk with God following His word and will for us.  By following God and being obedient, God will impart His wisdom to us. 

If you would like to join me on this journey then feel free to say this prayer with me:  Lord, I come before You and acknowledge that You are my father.  You are the father of all wisdom and knowledge and I ask for wisdom, Your wisdom.  Not the wisdom of the world.  So I stand before you Lord and ask in faith, believing that You will impart Your wisdom to me and I thank You Lord for Your wisdom.  Your word is true and unchangable and I speak it out in faith. Amen

God bless
TKT

Friday, 15 April 2011

Pray before you Commit

Ecclesiastes 5 v 5:  It is better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

Prov 6 v 1 -4:  My son, if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your own mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth.  So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; for you have come into the hand of your friend:  Go and humble yourself;  plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids.

Have you ever promised to do something for someone and regretted it?  Maybe a friend, or the church, or someone at work? Maybe you regret it because your plate is too full already or you felt obliged or coerced?  Maybe you committed to something like hosting a cell group or being part of a school lift club and its just too much for you?  Maybe you have committed to contributing financially to something which you know is not something you can afford?  I am not talking here about a faith seed that you are sowing.  I'm talking about contributing to something outside of what you feel God has led you to do.  All of these things are good in and of themselves but not if you are doing them for the wrong reasons or you regret doing them because you felt coerced or you simply cannot do it due to your own commitments. 

That is why the scripture in Proverbs above is so awesome.  God says, if you feel you can't do it, go to the person involved and un-commit yourself!  Go with humility. Be honest.  Pray first for God to soften their hearts and for them to be understanding.  The relief you will feel is amazing.  If you feel relief then you know you did the right thing.  If you feel condemnation, then thats the devil messing with your mind.  But if you feel conviction, then maybe you should have pushed through.  Check your motives, make sure you want to undo your commitment for the right reasons.

As it says in Ecclesiastes above, to paraphrase, 'its better to not offer help than to offer help and let that person down because you can't do as you said you would'.  The thing I have taken from this is to make sure when I commit to something, I am willing to sacrifice the time and effort and that I will do it as unto the Lord.  But if I feel guilted into it, then I know, dont commit to this;  'My attitude will be wrong and I'm likely to let these people down'.

If you get into a habit of checking your motives and making decisions after thinking and praying these things through, you will start to have a reputation of someone who does what they say are going to do and not one of being a person who lets people down.  People will know they can count on you and when you say no, they will know you are saying no for the right reasons.  I went through a season of letting people down because I was so absorbed with my own problems.  So I made the decision to say 'no' until I was able to say yes and mean it!

I encourage you to pray and think about any commitment before taking it on.  I believe the closer we get to the Lord the more He uses our consciences, so if you feel peace about something after praying then move on it.  If not, then don't.  As the old saying goes, 'when in doubt, leave out'.

God bless
TKT

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Thinking good thoughts

Phil 4 v 8:  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

Definitely God’s version of Positive thinking!!  This is not as easy as one would hope.  I wake up in the morning determining that today I will remain positive and will not get down because of petrol prices or teenage wobblies or business issues.  So I feed the dogs, shower, dress, brush my teeth, and off we go to school.  Well, I forgot to pray about the traffic. 



Lady driver decides to squeeze in front of me where 2 lanes become one.  So I back off.  I can’t back off too far because its peak traffic and the other 453 cars behind me are on my bumper.  I see her checking me out in the rear view mirror.  Then, whoosh, she slams on brakes, you know, to tell me to back off from her bumper.  So I’m thinking, she’s leaving a 10 car gap in front of her to ‘teach’ me a lesson, so I decide to go around her.  Well, that invokes much finger throwing and verbalizing.  I kept thinking, her poor daughter in the passenger seat.  The language she must be hearing.  So of course, being human, I slow down briefly to give her a taste of her own medicine!  Well, that did not go down too well.  I then determined to ignore her as she tried in vain to get next to me to do some more sign language no doubt!  She was so frustrated trying to get next to me and as her opportunity arose, I turned off left for school.  Much hooting followed my departure. 

Positive thinking has now taken a back seat.  I mumble to my daughter that I handled that quite well, knowing there was more, or should I say less, that I could have done.  I probably just aggravated the situation instead of just ignoring her.  I went from justification, to acknowledgement of my part to feeling sorry for her.  She’s just left home and she is so bent out of shape already!  What is she going to be like by the time she gets to work?  I must say, this is an improvement for me.  A few months ago, and maybe now and then on a bad day, I would go home steaming at the wrongness of it all.  Regale my husband with her antics and take a few minutes (maybe an hour or so) to let it go!  I was quite impressed with myself for not being angry with her (not for long anyway) but for feeling sorry for her.  I even prayed for her on my way home (AND that I wouldn’t see her tomorrow!)  But the truth be told, I decided to not let her get me down.  I chose to think good things.  I chose to put on my Christian music.  This does not always happen but as we grow the word says we grow from glory to glory.  So when we look back we should see some improvement in our behaviour and in our reactions to the day to day hassles.

Its also not easy to think on good things when someone is always going on about how bad everything is or when someone wants to talk about someone else.  Its an act of your will to stop your mind and say, no, I will think on good things, pure, lovely, praiseworthy things.  I am not trying to trivialize anything.  I know people go through really soul destroying things.  But it is in God’s word so as best as I can I want to encourage you to think as God has directed us to in Phil 4. 




Maybe the best closing for this post are the 2 preceding verses of that scripture, Phil 4 v 6 -7:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made know to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

God bless, 
TKT

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

My body, His temple!

I have been 'dieting' since I was 16yrs old.  When I look back at photos I don't think there was any need to.  When I look back at my wedding photos (23yrs), I dont think I looked too bad then either.  But after 2 kids, much less gym than I would like to lay claim to, much enjoyment of food over the years, much upheaval and stress, both normal and life changing, I would say I have a few genuine kilos to lose.  If I'm honest, maybe 14kg.  Although I'd like to lose 19kgs, I'd be happy with 14kgs.




At the beginning of the year I joined Weighless as over all the years of dieting I know it to be balanced, good and healthy, and it works.  The problem is not the diet.  The problem is me.  January was awesome.  I have never done so well for so long (a whole month), but then we went away for business and I tripped up once and there you go, the old habits just flew back in to roost, determined to stay!  Now 2 and a bit months later, I am determined to carry on.  I have gone backwards slightly, but have no intention of losing all the ground I've made and to be honest, its not that much ground gained or lost!  But determination has kicked in again and this morning after doing a few work related things I am going back to Weighless.  I have'nt actually stopped going, I've just bunked!  So I will go back determined not to see the graph going back up, but see it as just a hiccup.

At the end of the day (for me), its about attitude.  And when it comes to food I have a very good attitude, I love it.  I have no emotional hang-ups that cause me to eat, no traumas that express themselves into eating problems.  I just love food.  My attitude about food should however be, eat to live not live to eat!!!

I have been thinking about what scripture says about food.   I am sure at one time or another we have all read the scriptures about how our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and how we should not abuse them and I thought, how come that does not halt me in my tracks and cause me to change my bad habits?  I think its because our salvation or other important things in our lives are not reliant on how we treat our bodies.  For example, its not difficult to try be a good and faithful wife and keep our marriage vows to the best of our abilities because we want our marriages to work.  Its not difficult to be there for our kids because we want to be the best mothers we can be.  I'm not saying its easy to be these things.  I'm saying the desire to be these things comes easy.  But if we smoke, or overeat, or get tattoos, or pearcings, or dye our hair blue, God sees and judges our hearts and if we have given our lives to Him He works on our spirit and soul.  He does encourage us to look after our bodies but its not the measuring stick for heaven.

1 Corinth 6 v 12:  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful.  All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1 Corinth 6 v 19-20:  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.


I realise the above scriptures speak of much more than eating, but if bad eating and no exercise hinder the maintenance of our bodies then we should be making changes.  Its true for me that if I overeat then I tend to be negative the next day and tend to be moody and otherwise with people.  So this has a bad impact on my relationships.  Can't be good, right?  I also know when I eat healthily the opposite applies.

In Deuteronomy, God gives the Israelites many laws among which are laws with regards to eating.  All those apply today for good health.  If you follow them your body can only benefit.  Why?  Because God created us and knows what works best for us.  Having said that, in Romans 14 v 14, Paul says:  I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.  Also in v 17:  for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. And then also v 20-21:  Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.  All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offence.  It is good neither to eat meat not drink wine not do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

So what do I take from this?  Well, God gives us advice on what to eat for our own health but says that what you eat or drink in of itself is not evil.  Its if what you eat and drink offends or upsets someone else that it becomes a sin. Also, what you eat and drink, how it affects you may cause you to sin, eg: get moody and then treat others badly because you have let yourself down or drink too much and say or do things you would'nt otherwise do.

There is one scripture which I would like to concentrate on for the purposes of losing weight and getting healthier.  It is Deut 30 v 19:  I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.  You know, if you choose life when eating, you will feel healthier, be more positive, therefore be more available to God and His purposes for you and so the circle widens in life.  If you choose death in eating, you will still go to heaven, you wont lose your salvation, but you'll feel bloated, unwell, unhealthy and that negative feeling will infuse your day, so affecting your relationships etc etc.  I know, because weekly, I let food affect me negatively or positively. 

So here on my blog, with regards to eating, I commit to choosing life.  Its a discipline, and for me, it wont be easy.  I commit to giving feed back on my weight loss and I ask for any encouragement.  And if you wish to join me on this journey afresh, let me know and I will encourage you.  Watch this space!

Isn't it amazing how God's word covers EVERYTHING we could possibly have problems with?

God bless
TKT

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

INCREASE YOUR FAITH


Romans 10 v 17:  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.






God gives us a way to increase our faith.  He says to speak it out.  I believe that He means we are to verbalize aloud so we hear it with our ears and when we hear it often enough we will believe it and it will become part of our belief system.  This works well in the negative.  You hear enough nonsense about someone you start to believe it.  Terrible, I know!  Anyway, I digress! 

Recently, my elbow really started hurting badly.  I don’t really know why, I didn’t bump it or twist it but it really has dominated my physicality. So I decided I would claim aloud God’s word that by His stripes we are healed.  In church the pastor said something similar in that God’s word said that “God sent out His word and the man was healed.”  It was God’s word that healed.  So for himself, he also started claiming his healing.  So I stated aloud for myself to hear, that by His stripes I am healed.  I thanked the Lord for His word and for His  healing and even though my elbow is still sore, I believe that God has healed it. 

Hebrew 11 v 1:  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
I learnt another thing from the pastor that day.  He said that he constantly spoke God’s word out aloud until (for him) his hand was no longer in pain.  It was not just a once off prayer and he was healed.  He believed it and then claimed it until it was the physical truth.  (I am not in any way, shape, or form speaking on or trivializing healing ministries – I speak only of my own experience)

Another example is we are going through a huge family drama in that one brother has said to his family and everyone who will listen that he will do anything in his power to destroy the other brother (my husband).  And believe me, for the last 3 ½ years that is exactly what he has tried to do.  So, what does the word say?  Well, in the beginning of this drama the Lord gave me 2 words.  One was, ‘they will know you by your fruits’ and the other word was, ‘the man who digs a hole for a righteous man, he himself will fall into.’  My husband and I decided that based on those 2 words that we would continue to walk with the Lord and trust Him for the right outcome.  We would not defend ourselves, God’s word says, ‘vengeance is mine,’ and  'God is my defence.'  We would also not retaliate in anyway.  We want to leave the outcome in God’s hands.  We trust and believe that the outcome will bring us vindication and reunite the family.  Our way of resolving this could just do more damage and harm. 

But back to my point.  When I find scriptures regarding the outcome that I desire in faith, vindication and restoration, I write them out and speak them out aloud to increase my faith for that.  It has not happened yet, but I will continue to read them aloud and boost my faith especially on those days when the hurt is greatest and it seems he is achieving his destructive goals.  I know too, that if God is for us who can be against us.  He will not be able to destroy us as God is our defence and protector and strong tower.  The hardest word of all is that God wants us to pray for our enemies.  But the more you do it sincerely, the easier it becomes. Just another thought, I also feel the Lord has put it on my heart that I should be content even if He does not change the circumstances, but have faith to believe that He is in control!  

My encouragement to you:  Whatever it is for which you lack faith, find a scripture that relates and read it out aloud daily, hourly, if need be and your faith WILL grow.  God's word is alive!



God bless
TKT     

Monday, 11 April 2011

What Reward do you want?


 Colosians 3 v 23 – 24:  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Whenever I did anything for anyone, whether it was to give a lift for a child or help in some minor but helpful way the person whom I had helped sometimes would ask, What can I do for you in return?  My response was always the same, “invite us for dinner”.  I hate cooking!  I will do almost anything to get out of it.  I have spent a great deal of my time justifying take-aways!  

 And then I heard this story about a woman who cleaned up after people in a church.  She cleaned between the pews, in the bathrooms etc and one Sunday the pastor of that church was thanking people for things they had done.  So later she approached him and said how although she had no problem cleaning up and she felt that was her service to the church, she never received any recognition for doing so.  He told her he would rectify that.  So on the following Sunday, he called her up and thanked her publicly for all she had done, cleaning up after everyone in the church.  The people applauded and as she turned to leave the pastor said to her, “Now you have had your reward.”

That made me stop and think.  Do I want supper made for me as my reward for doing good things for others, or do I want my reward in heaven?  I determined at that time that I wanted my reward in heaven!  I wanted to do things for others but as unto the Lord because I want His reward, and not something tangible and forgotten!  I also decided that if I do something for someone I do not do it for ‘something’ I do it for the Lord.  Only that person, God and I know that I did it for them.  That way you are assured that you are not doing it for a pat on the back or an earthly reward.  


 
As this scripture says:  Matt 6 v 3 – 4:  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.


2 Corinth 9 v 7:  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart,  not grudgingly or of necessity (compulsion); for God loves a cheerful giver.


 And finally, don’t do something for someone if you are going to begrudge that person or you are going to resent them for it.  I am a person who generally does not have a problem saying ‘no’ so when I do something for someone I generally don’t have a problem doing it.  On the other hand I should maybe learn to say ‘yes’ more.  I would like to say further that sacrificial giving means a lot more too.  If it costs you, as in time or money or effort!  If it doesn’t cost you, it doesn’t really mean as much.  Though that should not stop you doing things for people! 

Luke 6 v 33:  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners do the same. 
And v 35:  But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest.  For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 

 
There is great joy in giving!

God bless
TKT

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