Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Winsome Wednesday - Win or Lose!

I was very encouraged this weekend.  We went with on our daughter's first hockey tour.  It was 450km away and they played Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  They prayed before they travelled, they prayed before every match, for their safety and the safety of their opponents.  Of the games we watched our girls said sorry when they mowed bumped someone over.  They put out their hands to pull their opponents up.


They were the unknowns.  They were considered not worthy of concern.  They are also the ones that the coach of the top team came and said, "Who are you people?"  They are the ones that the tournament organiser came and said, "You are definitely being invited back!"

They stuck together as a team.  Laughed and joked together.  Were well behaved, were not rude or coarse.  Their good behaviour attracted attention.  They won 2 games, drew 2 games and lost one.  As a parent I was very proud of the whole team and their unity.

I want God as my Father, to be very proud of me.  I want to have a good attitude in life, win or lose!  I want to draw attention because of Christ in me!


My encouragement to you, seek to honour your Father in your day to day lives.  Win or lose, He will be proud of you.

Col 4 v 5-6:  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.  (6) Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each other.

God bless
Tracy

BLOG HOP TIME!


Please join me to encourage and be encouraged!  No particular post required but maybe, if you have time, encourage another blogger on the blog hop and just maybe you too will be encouraged!  

Please note:  This blog hop is open until Saturday midnight!
Please, join me below:






Monday, 26 March 2012

Feeling worthless?

Have you ever felt worthless?  Have you ever felt not good enough?  I remember going through a stage where I was defending who I was.  Subconsciously you know you have value but when you're an emotional wreck you don't have the confidence to see it.  To stand up for yourself when despite your feelings - you know you have value!  




I remember chatting to a woman who for a brief period of time befriended me (a Godcidence?)  She told me how she was a certain person when she got married and how over the years her husband had tried to change her.  Eventually, she became the 'person' he seemed to want and then 4 children later, he dumped her.  He did not like the person he had created.


This so resonated with me at the time.  I had 2 young children, my marriage was strained, finances were tight and I just didn't feel good enough, I was losing me, and I didn't like who I was turning into!


The turning point came one day when I was feeling very low.  I felt like a vapour, of no consequence and suddenly, for some reason the penny dropped, the light bulb moment happened and it dawned on me - God loves me JUST THE WAY I AM.  Flaws and all, right here, right now, failures, mistakes, every dark thing, He loved me!  I remember thinking to myself , "Who are you not to accept me the way I am if God accepts me?"


That day I started to realise that although I had much changing to do - God wasn't telling me, "Tracy, change first, improve, be perfect - and then I'll accept you."  Uh-uh, 
  • His word says He chose me from the beginning (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.)
  • He knew me in my mother's womb (Ps 139v13)
  • He loves me so much long before I desired to change for the better, that He sent His only Son to die for me (John 3v16:  For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life)
  • He loves me so much, the way I am, long before I knew that, He knew how many hairs on my head (Luke 12v7:  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows)
  • He knows my deepest darkest thoughts and loves me despite them and His thoughts of me are as numerous as the grains of sand (Psalm 139v18:   I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!)
I learnt that day to see myself through the eyes of Jesus and not through my own eyes.  I learnt my value is in Him.  Because of Christ I am valuable, worthy, and precious.




I want to encourage you, if you feel worthless, of no value, go seek out in the word How God sees you.  Read it out aloud because faith comes from hearing.  Your opinion of yourself will most certainly change.


God bless
Tracy  
(PS:  I've been away all weekend at my daughter's hockey tournament so I am posting a post I posted as a guest post a while ago... )

Linking this post this week with:

Joan          Jen         Jolene          Shanda         Joan         Laura         Stacy

And Hazel at:


Friday, 23 March 2012

ONE year Blogiversary Today!


I cannot believe I have been blogging for ONE whole year!  My Mom always used to tell me that she worries about me because I always start something and then never finish!  It has made me think about what I take on and also how serious I am about something before I start it.

Col 3 v 23:  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men

But blogging....WOW, this has been different for me.  I started it as a personal quiet time journal but it grew into what it is today!  I believe blogging is something God led me to and I believe that this is where I am being used of God to encourage and the rewards are great.  I AM BEING ENCOURAGED back!


Rom 12 v 10:   Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another.
1 Thes 5 v 11:  Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

I have grown so much this year.  I have enjoyed getting to know you all and I have been overwhelmed by your friendships.   This post is to say thank you, you guys are precious and important to me and I am so looking forward to the year ahead with your friendship.  I hope to continue to encourage you as you guys have encouraged me.

Lets give thanks to God for:
  • this forum and 
  • for each other and 
  • for the technology that makes it all possible


I'd love for you to leave a comment telling of how blogging has positively impacted you!
God bless
Tracy

REMINDERS:

Winsome Wednesday Blog hop is still open for another day and a half :)  You can find it HERE


and

 The Acrostic word Challenge is open until the end of the year.  You can find it HERE 


An acrostic is when you take a word, for example PUSH and turn it into:

  • P ray
  • U ntil
  • S omething
  • H appens
I decided to do that with my one word for the year, CONTENT, and others liked the idea and have joined in.  I'd love for you to give it a try and link your acrostic word post to the Acrostic word Challenge linky HERE.  Its great fun and it does kind of make you think a little deeper about your word for the year.


Have an awesome weekend fellow bloggers

God bless
Tracy






Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Winsome Wednesday - Do not fear Babylon!

Jer 42 vs 11-12: "Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him," says the Lord, "for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand."  (12) "And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land."

Overwhelmed by circumstance

God showed my husband and I these verses when we thought we would lose our land, our business, our livelihood.  We were in big trouble with an organisation financially and someone was trying to destroy us in whatever way they could, due to their intense hatred and jealousy.

To us, Babylon represented those we were in trouble with and these verses told us that if we just remain where we are (vs Jer 42v10:  "If you will still abide in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up.  For I relent concerning the disaster I have brought upon you.")  then God would establish us, not allow us to be destroyed and those we feared would give us favour and mercy because of God's mercy for us.

I can tell you with everything that is in me, that is exactly what happened!  The organisation to whom we owed a lot of money gave us unprecedented favour, and now we have their respect.  Our Business has flourished due to God's favour and we have the respect of our business community.  The person trying to destroy us has not been able to do us any harm due to God's protection and his every move has been thwarted!

At first, my husband and I were overwhelmed by our circumstances, now we are overwhelmed by God's mercy and grace!  Overwhelmed!!!
Overwhelmed by God's grace!
Who or What is your Babylon?
  • Increase in rates and taxes?
  • The economy?
  • Job instability?
  • Hostile work environment?
  • Bills, bills, bills?
God says if you do what He asks of you (for us it was to stay put, not sell up, etc), He WILL establish you, not uproot you and you will not have to fear your Babylon!  Because they will give you mercy because of God's mercy for you!  How incredibly overwhelmingly awesome is that?

God bless
Tracy

BLOG HOP TIME
Please join me to encourage and be encouraged.  No particular post required but maybe, if you have the time, visit another blogger on the link-up and maybe you too will be encouraged!

Please note!  This blog hop is open until Saturday Midnight SA time!
Please, Link up below:

Monday, 19 March 2012

What a Price!

1 Cor 9 v 20:  For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

You know, I have been weight-conscious in all the wrong ways for more than half my life!  And here, in God's word, is an admonition to look after myself.  Why?  Look at the price paid for me, and for you!

How can I be so self-absorbed and so self-destructive and so blind?

Emotional roller coaster 

Its not about the world's measurements (pardon the pun).  Its not about being magazine thin!  It not even about health and fitness as the world sees it!

Its about looking after my body because God says so!  If your body is being looked after, its easier to look after your spirit.

I know when my day starts with jumping on the scale, my emotions are effected up or down and I let it affect my day.

Now....rewind....and replay....

Jump up and feed my spirit, read God's word FIRST, and eat healthily and well and then I am honouring in some small way, God's sacrifice for my life.  Its just one of the things I can do to show God I appreciate His gift to me.
Now, having said that I know that I will continue to struggle in this area.  But each time I choose to honour God by looking after my body, I will have the victory and God the glory.  That is my goal.

First feed your spirit!

My encouragement to you is to make feeding your body about honouring God which in turn will feed your Spirit and remove the worldly burden to be someone the world dictates to you, you should be.

God bless
Tracy

Linking this week with:

    Joan          Jen          Jolene       Shanda      Joan       Laura            Stacy

and Hazel at:


Friday, 16 March 2012

Step out in Faith - Guest post by Jonathan Teppler

Jonathan is my nephew and he has recently moved to Cape Town.  I think he has done a great job at introducing himself :)  Herewith Jonathan's post:

I’m a pretty boy, I’ll admit that. I always take time to make sure I look good and I never buy clothes unless it absolutely jumps out at me and says “BUY ME, WE’LL LOOK SO GOOD TOGETHER!”
This has reminded me a lot of a situation I faced a few months ago: I’ve always considered changing cities once I had finished studying to further myself and my career. Having said that though, reality strikes hard blows (as it always does), and finances, work opportunities and a poor mindset held me back and made me believe it wasn’t going to happen.
That was until a night in November when I read a scripture which, like the clothes in the stores, jumped at me, into my heart and shouted “DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT GOD IS TRYNG TO SAY!?” … It read, “He said to Simon, launch out into the deep and let your nets down for a catch” – Luke 5v4
This was a defining moment in my life and, reading on, I realized one thing: God is sitting with tons of opportunities for us to reach our goals, be a better person and grow as an army, yet He cannot help us if we are not prepared to place our faith in Him, get out of our comfort zone and take a chance to move forward in our life.

Much like Simon threw his nets out to sea (for a seemingly impossible catch of fish), I too took a leap of faith, moving to Cape Town, working for a small salary and living in a less than ideal situation. But, God had a plan, and to cut a long story short, I am now one month into a new job, settled into a beautiful home and living a life I have not only dreamed of, but am proud of!
You see, God has amazing plans for all of us; He wants to give us more than we could ever dream of, because He can and He enjoys it (Ephesians 3v20), all He asks from us is that we be prepared to trust Him, dream big and take the necessary steps out of our comfort zone towards reaching our goals. We are never going to grow as people if we are not prepared to take chances to move forward, We cannot be guided, unless we are prepared to walk!


Now I’m not saying we should all quit our jobs and just think that God is going to give you the perfect life, but when faced with small everyday struggles, like your crying baby, a troublesome relationship or a nasty work colleague, put your faith in God and do what you feel in your heart is right (God put those feelings there, use them), He will provide for you in excess and reward your faith and trust in Him.
So my challenge to you is to go out there and take some leaps of faith, trust that God will provide the correct outcome and live your life without fear




I would love for you to leave your comments here for Jonathan so that he can be encouraged as much as I think his post has encouraged you.
God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Winsome Wednesday - Praise the Lord!

Have you ever decided to go to your bible and.... open it randomly, point at a verse and.... see what the Lord says to you?

Well, it doesn't often work so well, unless you hit a luck and land where you see what YOU want to see like say...."and God will smote your enemy" (smiles)

But today I thought - "Lord, what does the last Psalm say?"  WOW!  Its an awesome Psalm!  So here goes:

Psalm 150 v 1-6:  
PRAISE the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
(2) Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
(3) Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
(4) Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes
(5) Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
(6) Let everything that has breath praise the Lord
Praise the Lord!

Let everything that has breath (that's us!) PRAISE Him!


My encouragement to you is to praise God in all circumstances.  Its in doing this that He works in those same circumstances for you!


God bless
Tracy


BLOG HOP TIME!


Please join me to encourage and be encouraged!  No particular post required, but maybe, if you have time, you can encourage another blogger who has linked up and maybe, you too will be encouraged!

Please note!  This Blog Hop is open until Midnight South African Time!
Please link up below:



Monday, 12 March 2012

Hockey Moms and Offense!

The other day I was chatting with some hockey Moms while watching hockey trials.  They were sitting in the shade as the sun was quite hot, me.... I needed me a little sunshine! So I sat alongside them in the sun.  All was well with the world.


And then... another Mom arrived!  She kind of fit herself between them and me, turned her back on me and proceeded to hold court!  I was totally excluded!  Well, its no biggie!  I can quite easily enjoy my own company, but my blood started to boil a little at the rudeness, intended or not I don't know.

So, bless my blackberry, while quietly fuming, I started catching up on facebook and twitter.  One tweet caught my eye.   It said:  "If I having nothing but God, I have everything!"  God alone satisfies.

I felt God was talking to me 'in the moment' letting me know that I need Him and only Him.

I let it go after that - ok, about an hour after that (smiles).  The point is - God is all we need and to pick up an offence, intended or not, does not bring satisfaction.  Only frustration and hurt!

and all we need is....God!

2 Corinth 1 v 3-4:  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, (4) Who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God!

Do you see that?  God wants to comfort us, but He wants us to take it a step further and comfort others as He has comforted us!

God bless
Tracy

Linking this week with:

Joan            Jen          Jolene          Shanda          Joan         Laura          Stacy
and Hazel for:

Friday, 9 March 2012

Surrender Myself- A Guest post by Liesl Kruger


This is the 4th in my series of guest posts by the young people in my life.  Liesl is my niece, and is a fellow blogger.  Long before I started blogging I was visiting hers and wondering what it would be like to have one.  So, one could say she inspired me!  Liesl is mom of two, wife to a pastor and she has been through a few spiritual fires in her life time.  Visit with her on her blog After His Heart.  Its a beautiful place to visit!


Herewith Liesl's post:

The past few weeks have been pretty tough for our family.  We have been through a few struggles both personally, spiritually and physically (health).  To top it all off, God feels so far away.  I know it’s not Him that is far away, it’s me; but I can’t seem to break through.  While questioning God over the past few days, God reminded me of a story that I read years ago. 
A man found the cocoon of an emperor moth. He decided to take it home with him so that he could watch the beautiful moth emerge from its cocoon. Finally, the day arrived and a small opening appeared. For hours, the moth struggled as it tried to push its huge body through the tiny hole. It seemed as though it was wedged and no longer able to get any further.
The man, feeling sorry for the creature, decided to be kind and to help the moth to complete its journey through the tiny hole. He gently took a pair of sharp scissors and snipped the hole open, just enough that the moth could free itself. The moth, with its swollen body and shrivelled wings, emerged easily from the cocoon. The man was thrilled and continued to watch the moth, hoping to see its body contract and its wings expand. However, the man, in his kindness, had done the complete opposite. The moth spent its short life crawling around with its huge body and shrivelled wings. It was never able to fly.
What the man didn’t know was that the struggle that the moth needed to go through in order to free itself from the cocoon was necessary to force the fluid from the moth’s body into its wings so that it would be able to fly. Its freedom would only occur once it had struggled and fought to free itself from the cocoon. By eliminating the struggle, he diminished the moth’s health and it later died.


That story really spoke to me as I read it this morning.  Looking back at the past few months, I realise that God, in His infinite wisdom, has blessed us with these opportunities to grow, to become stronger and to ultimately soar.  While I question Him, I can only imagine our heavenly Father looking down at me and having a good old chuckle. 
Isaiah 40:27-31 (NKJV) :: 27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my just claim is passed over by my God”? 28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, 31 but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. 

In order for Him to take up the reigns, I need to relinquish them.  I need to wholeheartedly stop my questioning and surrender myself, my heart, thoughts and emotions, to His wisdom and care.  We know there will be struggles, yet we expect them to be easy.  If it was easy, I doubt that we would be able to “fly”.  God’s desire is for us to be resilient and to have faith.  And not just any faith, but THOUGH faith.  Regardless of our global positioning or the situation we’re faced with, we are under the shadow of His wings and that is the best place to be.  He (Creator, Maker, Molder, Shaper, Pilot, Captain) is in control.  He knows what He is doing.  He’s been doing for all eternity. 
And so, my response is to wait on Him.  I will wait on Him and persevere and then wait some more, until I hear His voice.  And I won’t give up. 
In conclusion, I’d love to share a portion of the lyrics of “Fly” by Jason Upton with you. 
God has given you the air
God has given you the air so fly
It's time to spread out your wings
It's time to shake off the things that hold you down
It's time to spread out your wings and fly
Thank you for joining me on my journey.

I hope this spoke to you as much as it did to me.  I'd love for you to leave comments for Liesl here or on her blog.  
God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Winsome Wednesday - Content leads to ....

I decided to play around with my 'word' for the year, CONTENT, and this is what I came up with:

C entred in Christ
O bedient
N ew of heart
T rusting His word
E mpty of self
N ot fearful
T hankful....

Isa 26 v 3:  You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. 

C.O.N.T.E.N.T ..... leads to peace, His perfect peace

My encouragement to you, as it is for myself, choose to be "content" in all circumstances.  It leads to His peace, perfect peace!

So what can you come up with for your word for the year, or any word for that matter?  Do you accept my mini challenge?  :)

God bless
Tracy


Blog Hop time!

Please join me to encourage and be encouraged!  No particular post required but maybe, if you have time, encourage another blogger on this link-up and just maybe, you too will be encouraged!

Please note:  This blog hop is open until midnight Saturday SA time!
Please link-up below...



Monday, 5 March 2012

If faith had eyes?

I often ask the Lord if He would open my eyes to see His angels standing in protection of me the same way Elisha's servant saw when they left the city and all the Syrian army was waiting for them:


2 Kings 6 v 15-17:  When the servant of the man of God rose early and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was around the city.  Elisha's servant said to him, alas, my master!  What shall we do?  (16) Elisha answered, fear not; for those with us are more than those with them.  (17) Then Elisha prayed, Lord, I pray You, open his eyes that he may see.  And the Lord opened the young man's eyes, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

I think maybe I might have really been more scared after that (smiles).  But, seriously though, what faith would we need if we saw these things!  We need to walk in the knowledge that those fiery chariots and angelic horsemen are around us, His children, even though we cannot see them.


I think to a certain degree faith is a decision.  "I decide today, to walk through my day "Knowing" God's army (unseen to my natural eyes) is walking with me.

My encouragement to you is to make a decision to have faith to believe God's word!  With that decision, God's favour, His spiritual weaponry, His protection, are yours!

God bless
Tracy

Linking this week with these lovely ladies:

   Joan            Jen            Jolene        Shanda         Joan         Laura         Stacy

And a new blog hop at Hazel Moon's:


Friday, 2 March 2012

Have we got a plan? "God does." - A guest post by Dylan Buckle


This is the 3rd in the series of guest posts by the 'young' people in my life.  Dylan is head boy at his school, dating my daughter :), and is always ready with a smile and a hug!  He has a great future ahead of him and in the time he has been in our lives, I have seen him grow in the Lord, Awesome!

Herewith Dylan's post:

How many of us wake up thinking of things that we wish could be different? Perhaps things that we wish we could change about ourselves or others? Maybe we are afraid of how circumstances have come about and where things are going to end up?

God has a plan. He knows you, knows your strengths, your weaknesses, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, what you feel, what you think and everything that you do. He is your loving father and he holds your world in the palm of his hand. He leaves nothing to chance for those that he loves ENOUGH to give his one and only son. He knows your life before you even live it and he does everything for a reason.

Psalm 139:2 “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.”

For me, it was always difficult to believe that God really considered me in his plans, never mind laying out my path for me. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the decisions that God has made in my life but looking back, every challenge that he lay before me and every detail that he has sewn into me has made me the man that I am today. I am 18 and have divorced parents and 3 autistic brothers. In layman’s terms, I have two parents that cannot get along and brothers who have a social and learning disability. I know that if it was not for my brothers being the people that they are and being in the situation that they are in, I would not have the gift of compassion that I have been blessed with. Being put through these trials in my life, God has equipped me to do great things and to help those who are looking for somebody who understands.

Ephesians 2:10 says: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God prepared the good works which we were to do before we even took a breath. That verse became so comforting to me when I realised that the things that had happened around me were not from pure misfortune. God places us where he wants us because he HAS PREPARED what we are to do for his glory. There is no need to fear for the future or to doubt your circumstances as God has built his will up around you.

We are God’s HANDIWORK – The work of his hands. We are delicate and beautiful people made in his image – THE IMAGE OF GOD. We are perfect in the eyes of God and he loves us beyond the finite understanding that he has granted us. He created us so how can we be a mistake? We are precious to him and he will never give us a challenge or put us in a situation that we cannot handle. So is the grace of God.

Embrace the challenges that God has placed in your life so that you may be a witness of his love, his grace and his power. What can be more empowering than knowing that God has a purpose for your life and that you have been equipped to change the world?

I hope and pray that we all may find our purpose and that God may be glorified until his return!

God Bless.

John 17:24: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”


Were you as touched by this as I?  I would love for you to leave your comments for Dylan here. 
God bless
Tracy

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