Saturday, 31 December 2016

My "One Word" for 2017

I have been simplifying my life.  Getting rid of unnecessary junk, using leftover wool to make something useful, tidying the odd cupboard slowly but surely.  Throwing away broken stuff, giving away stuff we no longer use, but that still can be used, etc... I am doing the same thing with my blog.

I decided to delete myself off twitter.... lots of followers, and following lots of people but I never give it any attention... Just a time-waste for me.  I am contemplating leaving Facebook too......or instagram......?!?

I cannot let go of my blog though but I do want to get back to what it was originally intended for.

When I first started blogging it was a journal of sorts, but as I linked up with so many like-minded women over the years it was about encouraging others and being encouraged.  I have sort of lost the plot this last year!  I have lost my footing and instead of offering some encouragement, I have offered none!!!!  πŸ‘€ NOT good!!!

So, to refresh my memory, the following are My Blog Goals
  • My goal is to be encouraging and positive
  • I want to journal what I feel God wants me to write
  • I will write my blog not desiring responses, but really grateful and encouraged to receive them
  • My blog is not about my day to day life, unless its to make a point in a message
  • If I can make someone smile, thats good too!
  • As much as I enjoy blogging, my family must not lose out because I'm glued to the computer
  • Most importantly, if I can point anyone to God and His word, I would have achieved my goal.

Isaiah 50 v 4(a):  The Lord God has given me the tongue of a disciple and one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.  

This scripture is my goal for my blog!

So, in my attempt to streamline things in my life and thus in my blog, I have removed some pages, removed stuff I never use, and decided to focus on those things that are important to me.  Like encouragement!  I love encouraging others, and have found that very hard in 2016... Not sure why, but my goal for 2017 is to bring "encouragement" back!

Having said all of the above, I have decided on my "one word" for 2017!

Consistency!

Yes, you didn't see that one coming hey! πŸ˜‰


I find that I am not consistent in going to church, reading the word, reaching out to others, eating healthily, exercising, blogging, etc etc... Now, I am not trying to change the world or myself overnight.  Just one thing at a time, and to achieve consistency in those things, one at a time.  Starting off with the most important of all these things, spending time in the Word!!!!  Refresh, renew, restore, daily!

In line with my word, for now my scripture for the year is as follows:

1 Corinthians 15:58:  Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].

So, this is my word for 2017.... what is yours?

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 28 November 2016

Introspective Much?!

I haven't blogged much this year.  Its not because I don't have much to say.  Its more that I'm not sure how to put it all out there on paper.

There have been quite a few challenges this year.  And, quite a few victories.  I have been so humbled by God's faithfulness and His grace and mercy.  Yet I am unable to speak on it.  I have been devastated by stuff that has come to light and yet overwhelmed by God's hand in salvaging, healing and causing growth and completion in things.  Even so, I am unable to speak on it.  I have been frustrated by the lack of loyalties shown by those who demand loyalty.  I've been struggling to not let that stuff impact my connection with people, but truth be told, it has....

I was reflecting on my word for 2016, and for a minute I could not remember what it was.  Truly!  I had to go to my blog to check.  Ah yes, Choice!  It has been a really interesting word to delve into.  I have come to realise how much choice matters in my life.  It has been a learning curve to realise that my attitude is a choice.  Okay, I knew that, but I don't put it into practice much.  I am trying to be more mindful of my attitude in situations and then choose a right attitude.  I have grown enough to choose how I react in a volatile situation.  I am learning to keep quiet or walk away, or not take offence.  Not easy though is it?!

I'm an emotional eater!  I eat whatever the emotion! πŸ˜‹ I'm finding it very tough to choose not to be like that.  Easy to say, "just do it".  I suppose it is so ingrained in me to use food as a weapon against or reward, for myself.  I'm trying to choose life in this area and not death!

I have found relationships changing this year.  Old ones I have fought for, new ones I am grateful for.  Appreciating those who accept me the way I am.  Letting go of those whose interest in me is not genuine.  Struggling through some that are exhausting but worth it.

I've decided to figure out who I am and try to hang on to that, and not let others squash it or change to make them happy.  God made me a certain way for a reason and although I never had much of a problem speaking my mind, I have found in the last few years I have lost myself and have wavered in being "me" because I have not been sure who "me" is.  That search is on, and who I am in the Lord is coming back to life, and with the Lord I will figure out what He wants me to do and how He wants me to serve.


I think not truly knowing who I am of late might be why I have backed off from social media and my blogger friends.  I watch, observe, but I don't participate.  Not even with close friends.  I have withdrawn but not to have a pity party 😝.  Its not until now that I am realising that stepping back has been about rediscovering myself and being true to myself.  I can't just say stuff to be heard, I want to say stuff because I mean it, or it means something.  Its also hard to encourage someone when you don't believe it yourself.  So, I have had to push through in my own understanding of things, so that encouraging others comes from a place of truth and belief.

This year is nearly over and although much has changed, and much has stayed the same, I can truly say I am choosing to hang on to what is good and let go of what is not.  God willing, this time next year I will have grown more in all these areas.  It is a journey, a race.  The win is in running it, not in winning it!  I choose to run it better, not faster!  I choose to stop and smell the roses once in a while.

Proverbs 3:5–6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. Acknowledge him in all your ways, and he will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.

Philippians 1:6 I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

2 Peter 3:18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.


God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Be content already!!!

(Note:  This is a post I shared on another lovely blogger's blog about 3 years ago.... Still valid, still trying πŸ˜‰ )

This last week I have spent sooooo much time in front of my computer making changes on my blog.  Firstly to a new domain (or two), then to change the look and after a week of tweaking and primping and changing.... it dawned on me... "The way I had it works better, is more versatile, has more options, etc etc."  Man, how annoying is that.  So then I spent the better part of a Saturday morning (sigh) undoing all I had done!

Really?  And while I was busy undoing I was thinking, "Why did you do all that?"  "What was the goal?"  "What had I hoped to achieve or better?"  And really, I had no answers.  Although, truth be told, my lack of knowledge of computer lingo did lead me to believe I was getting something I ultimately wasn't.  Isn't that the way of worldly advertising?

But, I digress..... (I still love saying that....)

The point is my dissatisfaction led me to waste a WHOLE lot of time.  Had I been content with what ultimately turned out to be what was best for me anyway, I would not have lost all that time.  And I believe that maybe God used all this to remind me about my discontent in general.  Someone asked on facebook last week, "What is your word for next year?"  And I thought, "um, what is my word for this year?" I had to go back and look.  Sad, I know.  And guess what it is?  You got it, CONTENT!



Okay, okay, God certainly has a way of getting one's attention.  So, I did a little soul searching and realized that I am more content, I do leave more in God's hand, BUT.... that has been slowly eroding.

So, today, I stand before you (via a seat in front of my computer, lol) reminded that I am to be content IN ALL THINGS.  And I remind you in-turn, leave all those things you can do nothing about, in God's hands and be content to know that, well, He has got this...

Heb 13 v 5:  Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have.  For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." 

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

So, thank you bloggers for reading my post and I would love for you to comment here at my (now re-unchanged) blog!  I always am blessed by your encouraging words

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 31 October 2016

Am I really so Blind?

It has come to my attention of late, that there are so many things, important things, spiritual things, that I have not picked up on.  And, in having not had a clue, people have got hurt on my watch!

Did God allow this to protect me?  I don't know, because in so doing, others got hurt.  I would have preferred to be able to protect them.  In fact I think it would be fair to say that it was my job to protect them.  But, I was clueless, therefore did not extend the protection....

What if God allowed this hurt for a reason?  When you examine the life of Job you can see the point, Job would serve God no matter the cost.  But it all seems like such a senseless game with a man's life, to prove a point?  I don't think so.  I can only imagine that there was and is a much higher plan that God had in mind.  So too here then.  God must have a much higher plan than I am able to fathom.

I feel I should be angry, at myself, at others, at the situation.... But there is no anger!  Just incredible sadness.  Sadness that these things could even happen, that they happened and I was blind to it, that spiritually I never sensed anything.... One could eventually create a huge rod with which to beat oneself up....


And then onto things to which all this world of hurt has led.... the present!  Stuff I again should have been spiritually in tune with.  Why am I not seeing these things?  Is it because its not my life that is being impacted directly and because God has a plan in all this, He keeps me blinded to it all?  I am impacted there is no doubt!!!!  But peripherally...... Its the hurt and damage to others and how it affects them that is affecting me.  I feel its not mine to pick up, not my path to walk, but feel so burdened by what, if anything, I can do about it.  Right now, I just feel I can be there.  But in seeing and not understanding the hurt, I feel I am insensitive to the emotions and impacts and thus not very much help at all.

I can only trust that the Lord has a much bigger plan than I can see or imagine.  I can only trust that what has been intended for harm, God WILL use for good.  I can only trust His word that says vengeance is His and He will extract it.  I can only trust Him... That is all I can do.... and pray!  That too!  A weapon of immeasurable strength and impact!

Gen 50 vs 20:  As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive [as they are this day].

Rom 12 v 19: Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord

Rom 12 v 21: Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Isaiah 55 v 8 - 9:  “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.  (9) “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

There are many ways to serve...

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

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

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

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


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

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

Added a little someone extra :)

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

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

God bless
Tracy

Saturday, 24 September 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless
Tracy

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

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

Monday, 29 August 2016

Consider their end....

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

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

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

WOW!  What a scary thought that is!

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


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

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

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

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

What is in YOUR heart?

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

This got me to thinking....

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

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


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

Until,

We find Jesus!

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

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

God bless
Tracy

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Dear Athiest...

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

God bless (I mean that sincerely)
Tracy

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

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Poetic view on Finances

Lizelle Rohlandt

Lizelle is a new friend of mine. I hope to get to know her much better than I do now, because, well, I think she is awesome. At ladies bible study the other day she asked us to listen to her proposed poem, written by herself, that she was going to use in church soon, as she was asked to speak on tithing.

I thought it was amazing. She is very gifted with words and uses them to God's glory. I asked Lizelle if I could share her poem here with you all as I am sure you will appreciate her words as much as I did.



HERE GOES......

Finances & tithes
----------------------------

God gave you a job, and it pays good money too.
And all that He asks is that you give back what is due.

Malachi tells us to bring the full tithe to the storehouse,
The first fruits gathered by you Γ nd your spouse.

You don't cover expenses and tithe on what's left.
Let me tell you some truth, that's equal to theft! 

He will open the heavens and pour blessings on you,
Whatever your circumstances, He will get you through!

I know this, Yes! I can testify! 
When you want to give up, God helps you get by.

See, I've made mistakes that were spiritually wrong, 
Because I didn't take them to the altar where they first belong! 

Live by The Word, and receive His blessing.
You'll find that money is not worth stressing! 

It can buy you clothes, a house or a car;
Food, medicine, even a band-aid for that scar. 

It can't fix a broken heart or buy you love...
No one can provide better than the good Lord above!

Hand over your burdens and financial issues,
And you'll learn of His love, mercy and values.

If He can provide seeds for the birds,
He'll provide in abundance if you only pray the words.

If you don't ask, you won't receive.
Else, you can't tell me brother, that you believe?

Trust God with your finances it's not to late. 
Start paying your tithes, don't leave it to fate!

His plans for you is to succeed and prosper!
And there's so much more that He has to offer.

For there's a man that loves you more than life itself,
So focus on Him, not your earthly wealth.

My time is up, and I have to go.
But remember this... What you reap, you will sow.

                                                                                    - Elle Rohlandt 

                     


Such profound words from Lizelle.  Something we should practice financially, and practically.  If you are not a breadwinner, one can tithe one's time.  One can tithe one's abilities and creativity.  There are so many ways we can give back to God what God has given us. 

I hope this poem inspires you as much as it has me.  Please leave comments of encouragement for Lizelle.  I am sure she would appreciate it.

2 Corinth vs 6-7:  (6) Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed].  (7) Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift]

God bless
Tracy

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Choices Review

My One Word for this year is CHOICE!

When the Lord brought this One Word to mind I was already set on another but this word hit me like a brick wall.  A lot of my day to day misery was due to bad choices.  Choosing to harbour resentments, choosing to think on people who had hurt me, choosing to think on my failures, and the list goes on.....

This word has helped me make a conscious effort to get my ducks in a row!

Firstly, I started thinking about the choices I was making!  They were not lining up with God's word.  It says in Phil 4 v 8 to think on good things, honourable things, etc (Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart])

I was not doing this.....

Secondly, I was not speaking positive things into my life.  In Duet 30 v 19 it says CHOOSE life: (I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants)

I was not doing this.....

Thirdly, my thoughts, oh my goodness, my thoughts!  They were all over the place, negative and in constant turmoil.  In Romans 12 v 2 it says to renew my mind daily:  (do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].)

Is it any wonder that I was constantly snappy, constantly on edge, constantly making wrong choices?


Now, I am not saying that I have overcome all the above.  I am working on it.  I have been spiralling into this negative mind set for a while now and fighting to keep my head above water by clinging onto the Word and the Lord has sustained me.  But I wanted more than sustenance!  I wanted growth, joy, deliverance and victory.  One blogger I have gotten close to reminded me that the Lord ALREADY has given me victory in an area, and that I was to act on that!  What a revelation that was.  I have victory in an area and yet I was wallowing in the mud of negativity because, well, I was choosing to.

It is a habit.  I think we all get into those bad habits.  It is a habit to choose unwisely!  But the consequences of those choices can really sting!  My focus this year is to start making good choices.  I want this deciding to make good choices to become a habit!  In some areas I am succeeding.  In others I am battling.  But I can say with honesty that choosing has become a more deliberate thing.

My encouragement to you is to make a cuppa tea or coffee, and sit down and write down those 3 or 4 major choices you make daily that are hindering your spiritual growth and choose to start working on them.  The rewards are humbling and amazing.

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Marriage is so last Century!

Today one often hears that marriage is so "last Century", that its old fashioned and not for this day and age.  Well, I beg to differ!  When I go to the various "Marriage" pages on facebook, you see how well they are supported and followed and I see this to be true of Christian pages as well as secular pages.


Marriage is still very popular and a good, true, long-lasting marriage is certainly something a lot of people, men and women, long for!  I think the problem is not the lack of desire to be married, I think its once married, the desire to push through, under many stresses, be in it for the long haul, is what is lacking.  I think people get married hoping it will last forever, but forget that in order for it to last forever, you have to work at it, work through it, and figure it out as you go along.

I think people get married today thinking, "well, if it doesn't work, we will just quit and go our separate ways!"

Marriage IS tough!  Not only because of the joining of two completely different people, personalities, outlooks and upbringings, but also because of all the outside stresses of our world!  Much stability in the world comes from family, so the devil is driven to destroy marriages every where!  And, sadly, he has much success in these areas.

I think if two people, no matter how different, agree to find a way, agree to not give up, no matter what, that marriage will succeed.  But if one wants out... there is pretty much not much you can do about it, other than pray!

This weekend we watched the movie "The War room" and I found it to be very encouraging in how to tackle relationships that come under strain from every angle, inside and outside of a marriage.  Our best weapon as Christians is to pray for our spouses, to lift them up before the Lord, to ask Him to help us be the wife He wants us to be to our husbands.  To Help us change bad attitudes and to leave the work necessary in our husbands to God!  Only He can change what needs to be changed.  Yes, it may start with us, but truly, when you lift your marriage up before the Lord, He works in ways you would never imagine.

I know that many marriages don't make it and that is sad.  But if you are still married and its getting tough, turn to the Lord for the saving of it, because in my experience, the more I tried to "fix" things, the more I messed it up.  But when I went to the Lord, and asked Him to help me, He changed me, and He changed the heart of my husband!

Here are some excellent practical resources I have found:

Ashley and Dave Willis's website is Patheos Sixseeds and you can find them on facebook HERE.

http://sixseeds.patheos.com/


Happy Wives Club's website: Happy Wives Club and you will find them HERE on facebook.

http://www.happywivesclub.com/


Messy Marriage's website: Messy Marriage and you can find them HERE on facebook.


These resources are great encouragement for those struggling in marriage!  Also a great resource for those considering marriage!  There are many more resources out there but these are the ones I like at the moment.  I encourage you to push through, the rewards are great and God is a great rewarder of those who seek to do His will.

Gal 6 v 9:  And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
2 Chron 15 v 7: But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.

God bless
Tracy

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Expect the Unexpected!

So, a few weeks back I was in my usual "Why is God not coming through for us?" mode when my husband came home and started telling me about a conversation he had.  And part of that conversation was to "expect the unexpected"!  Well, imagine my thoughts in that moment!  Yeah right!  I felt badly about my thinking and it took me a little while of Word-searching (God's word) to start getting more perspective in my heart and so too in my emotions.

Those pesky emotions!!!!

Fast-forward to a week later where my emotions are all behaving as they should and I am speaking right things in my mind and heart....

I wake up, and before I get up, I determine to pray!  You know, ask the Lord for that which we desperately need, and so I start out.... "Dear Lord Jesus...."  And I paused.  I decided instead of asking the Lord for the things we desperately needed in that moment, I would praise Him, I would worship Him.... and so I did....!


Then I got up!  Traipsed off to the kitchen to feed the ever hungry hounds and before I had set about this task I got a text!  Of course, in need, I assumed it would be bad news, but NO.... It was awesome news.  Our needs had been met!  By an unlikely source!  By an unexpected never to be expected source!   I was stumped!  I yelled for my still snoozing hubby and informed him of the text!  His words.... Yes, expect the unexpected!

Only God right?!  Only He could chuck in the unexpected like that!  I am humbled and grateful!

My encouragement to you is twofold:
  1. When tempted to beg the Lord for your needs (and I am not saying, don't ask, His word says DO ask), praise Him rather.  God wants a sacrifice of praise.  And every single time, He changes circumstances!
  2. Secondly, expect the unexpected!  Don't expect the worst, despite our pesky emotions trying to get us to do just that!  And remind yourself of all the times the Lord has ALREADY come through for you.

God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Tend that Tree!

In the last few days, in a heap of emotional turmoil, I came to the conclusion that I need to find contentment in the state of my various relationships.  Now, I am not speaking about my hubby.  We believe that marriage is something that constantly needs upkeep and maintenance :)  I am speaking about other close relationships I have, or have had.

Due to a very hurtful and ugly season in our extended family, there are still broken relationships and I know that there is nothing I can do about this until the Lord changes things.  Without going into any detail, its not what I want, broken relationship, but unity is not what they want..... and that rankles, just a little, a lot!

Then there is the relationship with my daughters.  They are my heart!  But they are starting their own lives and there is distance.  Now, I am not saying this is deliberate or intentional.  But I think I am over-sensitive about the distance because I can't say I was ever buddy buddy with my Mom, and I wanted more with my daughters.  I'm over-sensitive to the issue because of the family saga!  I see other moms and daughters and their closeness and I long for that.

I think it is the season they are in, partly.  Maybe our personalities too.  But they know I love them, and I know they love me.... but..... I long for more....


So, in defeat I decided to accept that how things are, is how its going to be.  I decided to be content with the relationships as they are,

Then God.....

Then God showed me this scripture!  I was not looking for it, but it jumped up out of the page, grabbed my face on either side!  Focused my eyes on Him.... and my hope was restored.

That scripture is this:

Prov 27 v 18:  Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat of its fruit;  so he who patiently and faithfully guards and heeds his master shall be honoured.

Did you see that?  Whoever tends the fig tree shall eat of its fruit!  I was overwhelmed!  To me, I believe the Lord is saying to continue investing in my relationships.  My family ones, my old friends, my new friends, and I WILL eat of the fruit of that investment!

My hope is restored.  And I messaged my own Mom and let her know I love her!  I don't do that enough.

My encouragement to you today is not to give up sowing into your precious relationships.  I don't mean the ones that you perhaps should not be in (bad friendships, abusive relationships, etc).  I mean those with your families, your nearest and dearest!

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Prayer, a Powerful Tool!

Firstly, I want to thank each one of you who left comments and emailed me over the years to let me know that you were praying for my family and I.  God placed it on your hearts to pray and I believe every prayer went straight to the ears of the Father.  THANK YOU!


Secondly, I want to return the favour.  I was discussing with a friend recently that to say "I will pray for you" and then not do it was a bad thing.  Its like breaking a promise.  If my word is my word and I say I will pray for you, then I must.  I am the type of person that if I don't want to do something, I won't offer.  So having said that, I have been mulling over the blessing of prayer and how I can add to it.



So this is my plan:  If you want prayer I'd like for you to leave me a comment,
  • HERE, at My Daily Walk in His Grace,
  • HERE, at my Prayer Room Page
  • on "My Daily Walk in His Grace" Facebook page which you can find HERE, or 
  • leave me a message on twitter which you can find HERE.
You don't have to explain what you want prayer for unless you want to.  You can leave one word or a statement, like "relationships" or "complications at work".  I will note and diarise these comments and I commit to pray for you daily, for one week.  Now that may not sound very long or very much, but it will be one week of someone, somewhere, praying for you, seeking God's will in your life with you.

I have opened a Prayer page called "My Prayer Room" HERE and it will be where we can meet for prayer.

Plan of Action:
  1. Read this post
  2. Take action and add your request HERE(on the blog), or HERE(Facebook), or HERE (Twitter) or HERE(prayer room)
  3. I will pray for you, daily, for a week
  4. Send a praise report once you have one, because God DOES answer prayer
  5. Join in and pray for others too.  It is an awesome and humbling blessing to lift others up in Christ
James 5:16 - Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Ephesians 6:18 - Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

1 Timothy 2:1 - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men.


God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

5th Year Bloggerversary!

I cannot believe I have been blogging for just over 5 years.  I missed the date but knew I had reached it!  For me, blogging is cathartic and healing and encouraging and, well, .... I just love it!

Yes, I have moments when I don't have anything to say write, and sometimes there is lots to write but I don't know how to get it down on paper so to speak.  Also, sometimes, its just too personal right?!


I want to use this opportunity to thank all my blogger friends for the encouragement you offer through the hardships and victories in your own lives and also for being real!  You have helped me find my way many times over the last 5 years.  I hope I too encourage you in return!

So, happy bloggerversary to me!  Woot Woot!  My heart is full!

Ps 149 v 1:  Praise the Lord!  Sing to the Lord a new song, and praise Him in the congregation of His godly ones (believers).

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Dissolve Disappointment!

I was so excited about doing this thing and I could not wait for the results to see how well it was going, and....

Not much happened!

I was so disappointed!  So, muttering under my breath I resolved to plod on and if nothing more came of it, I'd quit and change direction,

and then God....

He reminded me that I need to be thankful for what did come of it!  I need to change my attitude from one of disappointment to one of thankfulness and its in this attitude change that what I set out to achieve and what I did achieve, will line up and be a blessing both to me, and for whom it was intended.


God wants us to view things through the eyes of thankfulness.  So much changes when we do!

So, today I am thankful for a new day, a new opportunity to encourage, a new opportunity to be creative, a new day for relationships and growth, a new day to reflect on God's word!  Yes, today I am thankful.

Ps 100 v 4-5:  (4) Enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, bless and praise His name. (5) For the Lord is good;  His mercy and loving kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness [endures] to all generations.

God bless
Tracy


Wednesday, 4 May 2016

That Elusive thing .... Contentment!

It is a challenge isn't it?  To be content in all circumstances!  Not an easy one for me but one has to keep trying.  I think we feel that a certain circumstance demands discontentment because to be content, means we have accepted a wrong or unhappy place to be.  And that is not so!


Content in all things means trust, and faith, in God.  It means that despite what we are going through, despite how we feel, despite how things look, HE IS IN CONTROL!  Contentment in all things reflects an understanding of that.  However, being that we are emotional beings, it is not always easy to rest in that truth.  It takes practice!  It takes patience with ourselves mostly, and it takes faith, to stand in the face of those circumstances, content!

I do believe though that one can practice being discontent by not being happy with what we have and that is something we CAN work on.  We need to be happy, content, with where we stand in life and with what we have and if all we think we have is the breath we breathe, that is a great place to start.  I believe that contentment works hand in hand with thankfulness, which stems from humility, which stems from knowing that our God is the head of  and creator of us, and that He cares for and longs for us to know Him and He longs to bless us too.

Phil 4 v 11:  Not that I speak from [any personal] need, for I have learned to be content [and self-sufficient through Christ, satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or uneasy] regardless of my circumstances. (italics mine)

Even Paul, who is a great example of fighting the good fight, needed to LEARN contentment!

So, as I call on you to link up on Winsome Wednesday Bloghop today, be encouraged that contentment is a place you can get to.  It takes practice, faith and thankfulness.  We can do it!

God bless
Tracy



Monday, 25 April 2016

Has your problem moved into your neighbourhood?

So you think you have overcome a "thing"?  You feel free and joyful about it all and looking forward to new things and not looking back on unpleasant "things".  And then your problem moves into your neighbourhood!

And BOOM!
You THOUGHT you had dealt with all that!
You THOUGHT those "things" were things of the past!
You THOUGHT you had overcome!

Well, in some ways this may be true.  There is probably stuff you have dealt with, stuff you have overcome.  But maybe, just maybe, there are residual issues just under the surface.  Our God wants you to have complete victory over those "things" and the only way to do that is to have them move into your neighbourhood.  Forcing you to confront what needs to be confronted.  Be it a fear, a person, unforgiveness, hurt... Whatever it is, if it moves into your neighbourhood and FREAKS YOU OUT, it is NOT dealt with.

I found this out at the end of last year.  I thought I had dealt with stuff, come to a place of contentment in it and then all that stuff blew up into a myriad of emotions that just came out of no where!!!?  But it did force me to confront those emotions.  It did force me to come to terms with my half-hearted forgiveness and it did help me come to that point of contentment in Christ that no matter what was done, no matter how I had been hurt, I could leave all that to Him and let Him deal with it.  I DID NOT have to solve any issues, I just had to lay down what I was harbouring and holding onto, at His feet!  At the foot of the cross.

Now I was not able to do any of this without much reading of the Word.  I can't say that any great solutions sprang up from the pages of the Word, but just the act of obedience of going to the word in the first place, God honoured that by dealing with my heart.  I do not know the hearts of those who have hurt me, but the personal pressure I placed on myself to resolve and restore things was removed from me.  All that was left was to leave them to God.  Let Him deal with whatever it is that is in their hearts.  I also came to that place of rest, knowing that even if I were to never receive the vindication my heart so longs for, its okay, because I have Christ.  He is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my DEFENSE, and my vindication.


Because I started letting go of all of these unresolved issues, I have been able to hear the Lord a little more clearly I like to think.  For example, I was having a quiet time the other morning when I read the following:  (now keep in mind I have been trusting and desiring and wanting and seeking for vindication, an apology, an acknowledgement of wrong doing - I know, I know, I expect a lot!!)
Isaiah 54 v 17:  But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgement you shall show to be in the wrong.  This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced];  this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. 

Did you see that??!!!  

When I read this I nearly fell off my chair!  Based on the scripture above we ALREADY have received our vindication.  Why?  Our enemy tried to form weapons of lies and deceit and false claims against us, and they did not prosper in that.  They took us to court and the court found them to be WRONG.  We retained our peace and our security as children of God and because we are God's children our heritage is this vindication that we will not be dragged through the mud wrongfully.

I had such a moment of release in the realization that the vindication I have sought, I have already received.  So my problem moving into the neighbourhood lost its power to concern me or hurt me anymore.  God is in control and they are His problem, not mine!

He is faithful and just to do as He says He will do.

I hope the above has given you the encouragement to know to lean into God as much as possible and when your problem moves into your neighbourhood, He will deal with it, and He will remove its power to hurt you!  It is your heritage as children of God, in Christ!

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 11 April 2016

What Pattern are you following?

I am currently reading the book "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn.  I am finding it interesting reading to say the least.  I did read the second book first, "The Mystery of the Shemitah" also by Jonathan Cahn, but it was much more in depth and involved.  The Harbinger was much easier to follow and understand.  I suppose that is why it is first and not second, lol!


Firstly I am no Jewish scholar or knowledgeable in Hebraic roots or history and secondly my passion is to learn all I can in the Word and grow as a child of God.  As interesting as these books are, they are to flesh out my knowledge, and not the source of God's Word.  There is only one WORD, God's Word, the bible, for me!

So why am I going on about all this?  The above is just to give you background into where I am getting my meandering thoughts from :)

In the book, The Harbinger, the writer is sent on a bit of a journey to discover, with a help of a "random stranger", the 9 harbingers.  Harbingers are warnings, sent by God to redirect ancient Israel back to Him.  In the book the writer and the stranger, lead us to see the pattern of these harbingers and Israel's reaction to them, and... how (for the purposes of this book) that pattern is being followed closely by America.  Now I am South African, living in South Africa, and as these harbingers unfold, in the time of Israel's falling away, and today, in America, I can see these patterns being played out in the lives of any Christian.

For example, the first harbinger, as per this book is that God allowed a breach in their defenses, a breaking down of their walls.  The writer lines this up with the Twin Towers.  The second harbinger in the time of Israel, was the Syrian nation - the tool allowed by the Lord to set about Israel's defeat, should they not turn back to God.  In that time, like now, the Israelites said they would rebuild, they would use stronger materials, they would build taller, stronger, higher!  They would NOT turn back to God.   Today, that tool is the terrorist, who, when you follow their path back into the past, their roots lead back to the ancient Syrians.  The third harbinger is the falling of the walls, the breach being broken down completely.  A warning becoming a judgement!

Now it is at this time in the book where the writer shows that ancient Israel, and today America, had a choice.  They could turn back to God, ask His forgiveness and rid their lives of idols etc.  He would then restore to them His protection and restore the breach, or they could become even more independent of Him, even more arrogant and self-sufficient, less in need of their creator, their God, their rock!

It is here that I thought how this applied to us as Christians.  How often in our lives do we become too comfortable within our circumstances, how we lean less on the Lord and more on our "things", our "friends", our "comforts", our jobs, etc?  We start making trade-offs and compromises and stand up less for our morals and our foundational Godly roots!  I think it is at this point that God often allows a breach in our protection.  He allows a loss of finance, a loss of standing with our friends, a hardship, an event, illness maybe, something that gives us a kick in the pants!

It is at this point where we make one of two choices,
1.  We choose to get closer to God eventually after trying every other solution immediately, or
2.  We choose to go the way of the world, in other words, we DO NOT CHOOSE GOD!

It really is that simple.  We come to a point where we have to choose God, or NOT choose God.

That is what I am seeing in this pattern of harbingers in this book.  It is reality.  It happened to Israel and is currently happening to America and I include in that any previously "Godly" nation and at one point South Africa was such a nation.


Why are we so surprised when God removes His protection, His presence, His blessing?  At first He does it to get our attention.  After that we get more chances.  God is certainly a God of many chances.  But there is a point where those chances, for us, for our countries, run out, and those breaches become judgment!  Hard to read?  Imagine how hard it is for our God to watch as we choose the world over Him?  But He loves us anyway!  He keeps knocking anyway!  And those who are already won to Him, He wants to keep us close and God is sometimes rough with the flesh, to win the soul.

I think as each of us chooses the path that leads back to closeness with God, and our numbers grow, we can at least be a light to our nations, that may encourage the same.

God bless
Tracy


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Heart Health!


My physical heart is very healthy, despite how I abuse it with bad food and very little exercise!  I am truly grateful and need to start looking after it a lot better so it stays that way!!!!

But what about my soul heart?  What about the condition of that place in me that suffers loss, experiences hurt, feels disappointment?  What about the damage done there?  There are changes that take place.  A hardness can set in.  Bitterness can take root!

What is more relevant than the health of our hearts?
  • They need to be worked on daily!
  • Out of the abundance of our hearts we speak (Luke 6 v 45)
  • We need to watch and guard our hearts (Prov 4 v 23)
  • We need let the Lord examine our hearts (Ps 26 v 2)
  • We need to make sure our hearts belong to the One who created us! (Prov 23 v 26)



My spiritual heart, my soul heart, has many wounds and bruises that I have allowed to fester, not allowing it heal.  I need to start taking better care of my spiritual heart.  
  • I am going to feed it God's word daily.  
  • I am going to practice Godly principles, like guarding it, examining it, loving it and keeping it clean.  
  • I am going to watch for hardness of heart and try my best, through prayer and faith to keep it supple and ready to give and receive mercy and grace.
  • I will pluck out those roots of bitterness as soon as I recognise them.
  • I am going to daily offer my heart to the Lord in thankfulness.
  • I must be consistent, intentional, resolute and deliberate about my heart health.

Yes, my heart needs some royal treatment because in doing so, my heart will be able to hear and help the hearts of others.  It will be strong in the Lord and healthy enough to carry the scars that shape it.  God says He heals the broken-hearted and my heart needs and wants His healing.

My encouragement for you today is that if you are breathing, your heart is alive, therefore, why don't you, with me, start to give your heart a little Godly TLC?

God bless
Tracy


Thursday, 31 March 2016

Z - Zealot, Zeal or Zealous?!


The definition of a zealot in the dictionary is:
A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in pursuit of their religious, political, or other ideals.
synonyms: fanatic, enthusiast, extremist, radical, Young Turk, diehard, activist,militant
The biblical understanding of a zealot is: 
A group of political adversaries to Roman rule in Judea, who were determined to protect their religion from the imposition of Roman rituals and to end Gentile rule over the Jewish people.
There are positive slants to being zealous but it must be tempered with wisdom, understanding and humility.  If we are zealous for Christ and for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and we represent Jesus with humility and grace, we cannot fall into that position of lording it over others and shoving our beliefs down their throats and just generally being obnoxious to the point of extremism and hatred.  All that leads to is hurt in a multitude of ways and does not bring glory to our King.


What ingredients can help us be zealous without being zealots?

1 Corinth 16 v 14 says:   Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us].

Thus, LOVE

And Col 3 v 23-24 says:  (23) Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men, (24) knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.

Thus, SERVE

And Phil 2 v 3 - 4 says:  (3) Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit [through factional motives, or strife], but with [an attitude of] humility [being neither arrogant nor self-righteous], regard others as more important than yourselves. (4) Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Thus, HUMILITY!

I have finally reached the end of my current alphabetical blog challenge.  I hope you enjoyed it with me.  Lets all move forward today finding zeal for our Saviour and translating that zeal into love for our neighbour!

God bless
Tracy

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Y - Yearn!


Psalm 42 v 1: As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks, so my soul pants [longingly] for You, O God.

I think our soul, our heart, our mind even, yearns for the Lord, for His presence.  I think we squash that yearning down with all the cares we carry and all the burdens we huff and puff around with us.

It falls to us to make time to spend with the Lord, to dig deep, to find that yearning!  So once it is tapped into, God's amazing grace and mercy can flow freely in and through us.

We moved about 16 months ago and I love where we were, and I love where we currently are.  But in this house I have this spot.  In this spot, I have comfort, a great view, lots of light, my bible and all my pens and notebooks easily accessed, AND I JUST LOVE IT!  Because of this I have gotten into the habit of waking up, feeding the hounds, making a cuppa tea... and falling into my spot!  And it is here that slowly but surely I am tapping into my heart and soul's yearning.


I can't say that there is an overwhelming outward difference in who I am today, compared to who I was 16 months ago, but I can say that I sense an inner peace that wasn't there before.  I feel some baggage has been released and left behind.  Some boundaries have been established and entered into, things I previously would have given up out of habit.  Yes, the more time I spend in my "spot" the more my yearning for the Lord grows.

I can say too that I am finding things that I found difficult to decide are becoming easier.  As I dig deeper, my moral compass is re-setting to true North and is less troubled by the influences of the world.  I have far to go.  But I am yearning, I recognise I am yearning and I am glad and joyful and lighter in spirit!

Prov 8 v 17:  I love those who love Me; and those who seek Me early and diligently will find Me.

Our God is good.

God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

X - Marks the Spot!


Seriously, X is not an easy letter to create a post around.  What it brought to mind though, was a map, with an X on it, for X marks the spot!

I started to think about X in terms of my life.  What am I searching for?  Maybe.  What is my problem?  Hmmm, could be... That one seemed to resonate with me.  I am sure I am not alone in having "a problem"  or for that matter, many "problems".  What I am really talking about here is that thorn in the flesh thing.  That thing you know bugs you, follows you, is there when you wake up, is there when you go to sleep.  And ladies, just in-case you're wondering, I am not referring to my hubby lol!

I am talking of that bug-bear that just will not resolve itself.  For some it might be insecurity, or rejection.  Maybe food issues, diet issues!  Maybe a relationship that JUST WON'T HEAL!  It could be any number of things.

I am at that point in my life where I know what my X is. Keep in mind this has been a "thorn in my flesh" since I was 15 - many many (too) many years ago.  Now I want to know how to resolve it.  Right now I am in a bible study group that is working through a Beth Moore bible study called Daniel.  It is so not what I expected and this study is working in my heart in ways I never thought it would.  The thing that really hit me in the gut is that I have been choosing to "try" fix X with worldly solutions.  Where this bible study is showing that we need to seek the Lord in all things, and live in, and not be part of, a fallen world.  Worldly solutions make promises that tend to be empty.  They are temporary and at the end of the day they fail, because they are not rooted in God.

Back to my map.  I have found where on the map my X is.  And at that point there is a treasure chest full of treasure!  What now?


What is some of that treasure?  Firstly, the treasure chest is the Word!  And the treasure in there is so precious and so valuable and very relevant to us today.  Some of the nuggets of gold I have discovered this week are that Daniel RESOLVED to stand firm.  He RESOLVED to be a child of God in an environment that was not friendly to God.  He was DETERMINED, RESOLUTE, CONSISTENT, and INTENTIONAL! (Daniel 1)

So now it is my goal to use these precious treasures given to me through God's word, to come to a place of giving that "thorn in the flesh" over to the Lord.  I want to replace my usual methods of "fixing" things with God's way of doing things.  I know this.  My struggle is how do I apply what I know.  Well, based on the treasures I have discovered this week, I know to do the following:  I can resolve to stick to God's word and seek out His way.  I can be consistent in seeking His word, intentional in seeking His word, and determined to seek His word.

I have learnt that seeking the Lord and praising Him opens and closes doors along your path which guides you along the changes in your circumstances.  It is often in looking back you see where His treasure took you and how far away that "X" looks from where you started out trusting Him with it.

I feel all the above has come out of my head quite jumbled but I hope you see my heart and know that my encouragement to you today is to delve into the treasure that is God's word.  You don't need a map with an X on it to find His treasure.  Sometimes though God gives you an X (a problem, an issue) so you naturally seek where on the map it is, to help you find His treasure!

Matt 6 v 21:  For where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.  {did you see that?  That on which your life centres?  It could be that very bug-bear that brings you to God's treasure, or.... keeps you there}

God bless
Tracy

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