Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Return of....WINSOME WEDNESDAY

Yes!  I have restarted Winsome Wednesday.  Just to refresh your memory and to let those who haven't been here for a Winsome Wednesday, I've called it Winsome Wednesday because, well, it'll be on a Wednesday and the definition of Winsome is "charming in a childlike way".  Jesus tells us to come to Him like little children, full of faith and untainted by the world.  So, in honour of being 'childlike' without being 'childish' herewith my blog hop:

Please feel free to grab my button and display it on your linked post:


Grab My Button
  • You can add as many posts as you'd like so long as they bring glory to God.  
  • If you have time, visit the person before you and anyone else if you would like to.  
  • My goal and desire is to encourage and if you find encouragement here, my goal has been reached.
So, please link up below and I will try to visit all of you during the week ahead:


Monday, 29 October 2012

Praise Him - or the rocks will!

Beauty in nature, all of nature cries out praise....

I was thinking that I really don't have anything to blog about!  And then another thought came to me - Praise the Lord!  Praise Him because if you don't the rocks will cry out and praise Him (Luke 19v40).  All of nature praises Him.  You cannot fail to see beautiful flowers and cloud art in the sky and animals roaming about to not know that all of creation praises God.

Cloud Art!

Its just us stubborn humans that get caught up in worldly things and our own problems and our own pride that prevents us from praising our God too.

In God's word David says "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!" (Ps 150v6)  I have breath and until I don't I should praise Him.

I want to praise the Lord in all I do, with my actions, with my words, with my voice!

I want my praise for You Lord,
to be as loud as the colour of this flower!

PRAISE YOU LORD!  YOU ARE WORTHY OF ALL HONOUR, ALL GLORY, ALL PRAISE!

God bless
Tracy

Linking this week with these lovely ladies:

You can find links to their bloghops HERE or above at the tab called "Linkys":


 and

and

and

and
Womanhoodwithpurpose

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Do you ever long for who you used to be?

Recently I've been doing a lot of that.  I used to be happy-go-lucky!  Don't cry over spilt milk type of person.  People didn't annoy, irritate, get on my last nerve irk me the way they do now.  I was positive, optimistic, a sparkle in my eye type of girl!

I think its because I think that person (the old me) was so much better than the current me.

I seem to have to fight negativity!  It seems there is always something new tripping me up!  Life seems to be a series of unfortunate events sometimes....

BUT, and this is a BIG BUT......

  • I believe this is why God says His mercies are new every morning (Lam 3 v 23).  We NEED them to be.
  • And why we are to think on whatever is good, pure, of good report... (Phil 4 v 8).  Train our brains to the positive,
  • And why we are to be thankful and grateful (1 Thess 5 v 18) and seek gratitude passionately, daily.
In God's economy it may not change our circumstances but it certainly changes our attitudes.  It is most definitely a daily pursuit we need to pursue!

The "old" me...
The "me" in the future...
The "current" me....

but (a little but now)....
I still miss the old me!

And then I read this... Eccl 7 v 10:  Do not say, "Why were the former days better than these?"  
and v 8:  The end of a thing is better than its beginning.

And as it should be, God has the final word:  Phil 1 v 6:  Being confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you will COMPLETE it until the day of Jesus Christ.

So, I choose to believe that the current me is on a path to being a much better me in the future, with God's help.  I hope this is an encouragement to any of you who feel that your yesterdays were better than your today.  Today is just part of the destination.

God bless
Tracy 


Monday, 22 October 2012

Expectations and Contentment!

Following on from my last POST about my dashed expectations, God has told me to "remove my expectations from 'man' and place them on Him."  Why?  He changes and moulds my expectations by changing my heart but I also don't sit here with hurts, angers and resentments from misplaced expectations!

Dashed Expectations!

God further re-iterated this in the next devotional I read which made the point to be content in all circumstances.  Now, we all know this, but I've never followed the "contentment" issue through to lack of expectations.

So, I am to be content whether my expectations are met or not.  If I have no expectations of someone,
  • firstly they cannot disappoint me, and 
  • secondly, I don't build up resentments and 
  • thirdly, I should be content with that!
There is a potential fourthly:  They may surprise me right?!

God is a very wise being!  In fact, He is the most wise being and as Oswald Chambers says, "No human being knows human beings as God does!"  He knows our strengths and weaknesses and faults and needs, and ....He knows our expectations and I believe that is why He cautions us to be content because to be content means expectations don't rule our emotions!

Phil 4 v 11:  Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.

Content, in whatever state I'm in!
 I do believe Paul refers here to whatever he has or does not have!  I also believe "whatever state" means emotional needs/wants as well.  So I place my expectations at the feet of Christ and I will be content whether they are met or not.

God bless
Tracy

Linking with these lovely ladies this week:

You will find their links HERE:

And 

and

Friday, 19 October 2012

Contemplation,Solitude - Good time to focus on the Lord!

Whenever I see a bench in a great setting I think of solitude, peace, contemplation!


 It brings a gentle sigh to my lips.  And the thing I enjoy best at those times is to:
  • focus on all the Lord has given me, 
  • all He has done for me, 
  • all He has spared me from,  
  • all He has taught me and still teaches me
  • and on all His hands have created that I can see around me.

When you focus on God I believe we dwell with Him just as He inhabits the praises of His people.  
Ps 91v1-2:  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (2) I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;  My God, in Him I will trust."

Ps 22v3:  But You are holy, Who inhabit the praises of Israel. 

My encouragement to you is to spend some solitude time, some contemplative time, focusing on our God.  Let His words fill you, heal you, and cleanse you from within.

God bless
Tracy

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Book Blog Tour for Kelly Martin


Today I am joining Kelly in promoting her book "Crossing the Deep" which is a Christian novel written for the youth market.  Kelly is an amazing writer whose blogs you can find HERE (Encourage365) and HERE (Kelly Martin - Author).  Kelly writes with depth and a sense of humour that first caught my eye when I was blog hopping.  I hope you enjoy the following promo for her book.  And should you wish to, there is a link to purchase her book on line HERE at Amazon!
God bless, Tracy

WHEN WE KNOW BETTER
Then the Lord said to Job,
“Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?
You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”
Job 40:1-2
One of my favorite things to read in the Bible is God’s ‘smack down’ on Job. Truthfully, I feel bad for Job. Here he is, all upset over his kids’ dying, and he does what we all do—we blame God.
It’s like now days when we watch the news. God doesn’t get credit for sunny, beautiful days—but if a hurricane or an earthquake happens, it is “An Act of God.” Both acts are from God, but He only gets credit for the bad things.
With Job, he was still breathing, but Job blamed God for all the bad. Can’t we all relate? I know I can. I get upset when things don’t go my way… when I can’t see God’s plan… when I just want to give up because it doesn’t make sense to me.
I started thinking about this a lot when I started writing the book, CROSSING THE DEEP (Astraea Press). When he was younger, Asher had something horrible happen to him. It scarred him and ever since, he questioned God. Like Job, Asher didn’t see the big picture. He had a lot of questions, a lot of pain, a lot of hurt, a lot of anger—and decided he didn’t need or want to believe in God. His ‘arc’ is dealing with the pain and deciding what is important in his life.
Are you God’s critic? Do you fuss and fight when things don’t go your way? Do you like to tell God what to do and get mad when He doesn’t go along with your plan? This is something I know I need to pray about. Can you join me?
--Kelly Martin is an author, teacher, mommy, wife, sleep-deprived lady (not necessarily in that order.) Her first book, CROSSING THE DEEP, is available now from Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, and Astreapress.com. Her second book, SAINT SLOAN, will be available in late winter 2013.
 
PREVIEW:
“If you have a better idea, I’m all for it,” he answered, and she knew he meant it. She didn’t think he wanted to leave her either.
“I wish,” she said, reading the verse again to herself. “Do you want me to read some to you?”
“Trying to convert me?”
“You are on a church trip. Kind of our thing.”
“Church trip ended yesterday,” he said. 
Rachel lay back on her elbow and shined the flashlight in his general direction to see him better. The light made him squint. She took more pleasure in that than she should have.
“Why did you come?” she asked straight out. If he was going to leave her, by golly she was getting answers.
 “It appears that God sent me to take care of you.”
“Don’t joke about God.”
“Sorry — sorry.” He had his hands behind his head and his eyes were fixed on the ceiling. When Rachel had given up on him answering, he said, “I had to come.”
“Why?”
 He bit his lip, making Rachel that much more curious. “I was spending the night with Sid,” he sighed. “My Aunt Carol was supposed to be home this weekend, but she called and said something had come up. Not unusual for her. I came because I had nowhere else to go.”

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Slapped on the wrist!!!!

This weekend I received an email from someone whose picture I had used on another blog, the one for my hubby's business and she laid the law down, "Remove the picture or pay for the use thereof."  Well, she is right.

I promptly removed it and emailed her apologising.  She accepted and offered some stern advice.  It is something that had been tickling the back of my mind for a while now but I had been ignoring it.  I personally did not have the photos that would say in pictures what I sometimes try to say in words.  BUT, that will change, WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT!


From now on, the pictures on my blog or any other blog I am involved in, will be my own.  I am not a professional photographer by any means.  My husband bought me an awesome camera as an early Christmas present and I am enjoying it thoroughly!  So, I am going to experiment and use only my pics.

I believe that firstly, God sent me a gentle slap on the wrist so that I don't get into bigger trouble further down the line.  Secondly, He has provided the means for me to supply my own pictures.  And thirdly, taking photos is certainly giving me much joy, giving my husband and I lots of time together for leisure as we visit different places for me to click away at any and anything that catches my eye.  I am grateful for his patience as I constantly stop him to take yet another picture.
Joshua 24v24:  And the people said to Joshua, "The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey.



My encouragement to you is if you hear the soft and gentle voice of the Lord, listen!  Because He is protecting you from future trouble.  He loves you and cares for you and wants to protect you.

God bless
Tracy

Well, it is time to link up with some lovely ladies again.

You will find their links by clicking HERE:

 and
and
WIPWednesday

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Choice Compound Interest!

I was driving the other day and my thoughts were wondering as per usual and I started thinking of how choices, life choices, have a compound effect.


For example, if you make a good choice, you feel good, right?!  And then half an hour later, you make another good choice, and your shoulders straighten a little right?!  And as the day goes you keep making right choices and by the time you go to sleep that night you just cannot keep the smile off your face, right?!  It even impacts on your waking moments the next day.

The same is true if you make a bad choice.  You know it!  And mentally kick yourself!  Then as the day goes you keep making bad choices, your self-esteem starts wilting and your temper may join forces with your attitude and it just escalates.... compounds!  Just like compound interest on savings!!!

It reminded me of that scripture about giving:  Luke 6 v 38:  Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag].  For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.



THAT is God's compounded interest for you.  Now, I do realise that these scriptures refer to giving.  I just wanted to demonstrate how our choices compound our lives positively or negatively and to be generous with yourself and make good choices so that it impacts and compounds to your life exponentially in a positive way.

My encouragement to you is to make your choices wisely!  They will impact you and those around you!  Believe me, I am talking to myself big time here.  Choose today to start making more right choices.

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 8 October 2012

Raging Expectations!

The other morning I read to let anger go and I realized how angered I am every day by every slight, every nuance of unfairness (to me) and how that anger quickly erupts because I let it grow into unresolved resentment.

I don't want to be an angry bird :)

So I prayerfully asked the Lord, "How do I let it go?  How do I not keep getting angry, as the reason for it is not going to change?"  and this came to mind:  "Don't have any expectations." 

Okay, that's depressing!  But I mulled on it and took it further.
If I don't have any expectations:
  • I won't be disappointed
  • I won't be angry, thus
  • I won't be resentful.
God did top it off by reminding me to place my expectations at His feet!  Why?  Because God NEVER disappoints!

So, firstly I had to ask God's forgiveness because anger hurts the person I'm angry with, me, and anyone around me.  And secondly, I had to place all my expectations on Him.  
This does 2 things:  
  1. It removes my resentment, and 
  2. also by placing my expectations on the Lord, He changes my heart and my expectations change for what His heart wants.
Psalm 62 v 5:  My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.


My encouragement to you is to place your expectations on Christ, He moulds them if needed and He never lets us down.

God bless
Tracy

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Are we tapping into the Power of Prayer? (2)

Do we actually know what we want from God?


We need to define what we want from God.  Not a list of things or selfish ambitions.  But where is it in our lives that we want the touch of God, where we need a miracle.  This really got me thinking.

The writer of The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson, states "God does not answer vague prayers" and immediately a prayer I often prayed came to mind.  It was for the protection of our property.  I was specific!  I prayed that God would surround our property with a chain of angels and that if anyone tried to deface our boundary wall that they would see an angel and run for their lives.  I prayed the chain of angels would prevent anyone trying to enter for no good!  And I prayed believing.  And to this day (that was 11 years ago and we don't even own that property anymore) that boundary wall has no graffiti or any defacement on it!

That was specific and I felt God was saying "you know HOW to pray like this, I've shown you where you have, now up you game, be specific."

Ouch!  God knows the desires of my heart but He wants me to verbalize it and He wants me to come to Him so when He answers there is NO DOUBT that He is the cause of that answered prayer.

1 John 3 v 22:  And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.


My encouragement to you is to be specific in your prayer life!  And then line your prayer up with a promise God has given you.  God's word is true, His promises are for you.  Now pray in faith.

God bless
Tracy

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