Monday, 23 April 2018

Red Sea Shores - Now What?

So we are marching up to the Red Sea and what do we do?  We start looking for wood to build a boat!  How else is one to get to the other side?  Right?!  Right?!

Well, yes, in the natural!  But God does not want us to operate in the natural.  Today, we took a stand in faith.  We decided upon reaching the metaphorical shores of the Red Sea, not to try to build a boat to get to the other side.  But to put out our metaphorical rod of faith, and trust our great and mighty God to part the sea, so that we can safely get to the other side.

Now, God, who ACTUALLY parted the Red Sea, can part our metaphorical Sea with ease.  How can we doubt, that a God who created heaven and earth, parted the Red Sea, and the Jordan River, how can we doubt Him when we get to the shores of our Red Sea?


Maybe we feel we are on a journey not set out by God.  This might be so.  But God's word says that everything works out for the good of those who trust the Lord (Gal 8 vs 28).  Maybe we feel we are on these shores because of errors of judgement, foolhardiness, sin, not listening to God, etc.  That also may be so.  But God is gracious with us, and uses even our own mistakes for our good (Isaiah 30 vs 18).  Maybe we are here today because we feel chased by the enemy.  Well, so were the Israelites.  And God still parted the sea for them.  And, just by the way, drowned the enemy!  (Exodus 14 vs 23)

In my heart I feel God saying, "Just trust Me!  Don't try to figure it out!  Just trust Me!"  So, today, as we stand at the shores of the Red Sea, let us shout out our faith, raise our rod and trust God to part the Sea of whatever it is in our way, be it debt, heartache, indecision, drought of any kind... and wait and see what the Lord will do!

Now, most importantly, when God does part that metaphorical sea for you, because He will, remember to give Him ALL the glory and ALL the honour due His name.  He wants us to have the victory, but He wants and deserves all the glory. (2 Chron 20 vs 13 - 30)

God bless
Tracy


My ABIDE scripture for this post is:

Exodus 14 v 16:  But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Cling to God, with everything in you!

This past weekend I felt the Lord tell me that I had hardened my heart towards Him in that I no longer had hope in His word.  Not that I don't believe the Lord is capable of all He says He will do, but I was feeling He won't do it for me.  The Lord reminded me to soften my heart and remember that His word is true and alive and He is not a man that He should lie, but He will do as He says He will do (Numbers 23 vs 19).


I wrote down all the scripture I had read of late that I felt I could hold onto in the circumstances we are experiencing and started reading them out aloud.  Reminding myself that God's word is true, its alive, its real, and He does as He says He will do.  I must remain hopeful, and faithful and trust Him and His word with everything that is in me.  

I wrote this down:  Your word says:
  • You will restore to us what the locust has eaten (Joel 2 vs 25) 
  • You will expose and destroy the liars and their lies (Prov 19 vs 5)
  • You will silence the lips of the liars (Ps 31 vs 18)
  • You will expose the lies and reveal the truth (Prov 19 v 9)
  • You will not let us who believe in You be put to shame (Ps 25 v 3)
  • If we tithe of our first fruits You will open the windows of heaven that we cannot contain the blessings (Mal 3 vs 10)
  • You will not let our foot slide ((Ps 121 vs 3)
  • You will protect us... (Ps 91 vs 14)

I was so encouraged!

Then, I woke up this morning!!!! πŸ˜‰

I woke up trying to encourage myself with God's word.  I reminded myself that all the Lord says in His word is true and I can trust Him.  But you know that feeling of doubt, insecurity, that feeling of "will He do it for me?"   Well, those feelings were niggling in the back of my brain while I read my quiet time.  

Then, I read my devotional!  Oh.My.Goodness!  Does God not just read our minds and hearts so well?!

I am going to quote my devotional word for word and I hope it encourages you as it has me!  It is from the devotional by Angus Buchan, Called A Mustard Seed


"Clinging"
 Genesis 32 vs 26(b) - "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."
"JR Miller says that Jacob won the victory and the blessing not by wrestling with God but by clinging onto God, holding onto God in faith.  The Lord is too big and too strong for any man to try and wrestle Him.  He is God.  He is so big, so huge, that He said one Word and this universe came into being. There is no man that has ever lived who can wrestle with God and win.  Jacob's  hip was displaced but, as Miller says, he got the Lord around the neck, as it were, and he hung on.  The Lord was so impressed with his perseverance, that He said, "Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (vs28).

Christianity is not a case of a once-off experience.  Sometimes we need to hang on literally by the skin of our teeth until God comes through for us. And He will. He’s come through for me and He can come through for you. Sometimes you cry out, “Lord, where are You?” because the going is so tough.  maybe you feel like that this morning.  God says, “Cling onto Me and I’ll take you through.”

When my younger son Fergus was a small little boy, he had an obstruction in the bowel. The doctor said he was in a very serious state.  He was running a fever and needed to be operated on immediately. I was absolutely shattered.  My life came to a standstill.  I was busy harvesting maize at the time.  I was dirty, full of chaff and dust, and when I was called to the phone, I asked, "well, do I have time to have a shower?"  he said, "No, you don't.  Go to Pietermaritzburg immediately," (this was the nearest city) "and they will be waiting for you at the emergency entrance.  If the boy is not operated on immediately, he will die."  

I will never forget driving those forty kilometres with my son lying in the front seat. The doctor had put a drip into his arm and sedated him.  The little sachet was stuck to the windscreen of the car.  My wife and other children were weeping when I left them behind on the farm.  On that road I cried out to God. I wrestled with God. When wrestling no longer had any effect, I clung onto God.

I remembered just the week before at Bible Study we had been talking about Abraham and the incredible faith he had, that after a hundred years, God gave him his heart's desire, a little boy named Isaac.  When Isaac turned thirteen God said, "I want him back."  Abraham didn't hesitate.  At that moment a peace came over me and, in the Spirit, I gave my son back to God.  I just remained clinging onto Him.  

When we got to the hospital they examined my son. They were going to operate the next morning. I sat by his bed the whole night, totally at peace but clinging onto God. The next morning the doctor could not believe what had happened. The obstruction of the bowel had cleared itself.  There was nothing left on the x-ray.  He said, "You can take your son home."
Just cling onto God today. He won’t let you down."

Just cling to God!   In Faith!
Just cling to God!   In Faith!
Just cling to God!   In Faith!

If we trust God on His word, we need to just cling to Him as Jacob did, and God will honour our perseverance and our heart's desire, and He will work in our circumstances!

Just cling to God!

God bless
Tracy



My ABIDE scripture today is:
Psalm 130 vs 5:  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I do hope.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Old School Photo Albums

I miss old school photo albums, don't you?  Its not that I don't appreciate that I can take thousands of photos on one memory card now (thank goodness, because usually I only love love love 45 of them 😜) and keep them on my computer.  Its more that I love to sit down with a cup of tea and page through an album slowly but surely and absorb all the good memories they bring to mind.  Memories of where we were when we took that one, and remember how we laughed when we took that one, an oh my, remember when you tripped and we caught that look on film, look how young we were then.... you get my drift?

Those old photos bring back lots of memories and how can that be a bad thing right?!

This brings me to the Psalms I've been reading lately:

Ps 105 vs 17:  He sent a man before them - Joseph - who was sold as a slave.

Ps 105 vs 37:  He also brought them out (of Egypt) with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes. (parentheses are mine)

Ps 105 vs 41:  He opened the rock, and water gushed out;  it ran in the dry places like a river.

Ps 106 vs 9:  He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.

Ps 106 vs 11:  The waters covered their enemies;  there was not one of them left.

Ps 114 vs 3:  The sea saw it and fled:  Jordan turned back.

Ps 114 vs 7 - 8: (7)Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, (8) Who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters.


Do you see what I am getting at?  The Israelites remembered what God had done for them.  They remembered His faithfulness toward them and it encouraged them in their journey.  David remembered what the Lord had done for the Israelites and it encouraged him.  Other Psalm writers did the same thing.  Looking back at the "photo album" of all the Lord had done for them brought them joy, and encouraged them on their way!  It made them confident of the future the Lord had promised. 

My encouragement to you today is when you look back, look for all the Lord had brought you through, look for all He has done for you, look for all He has given you and saved you from.  It will bring you joy and great encouragement to move forward.  In those low moments when you want to give up, draw strength and confidence in what the Lord has promised you, from all He has done for you in the past.

God bless
Tracy



My ABIDE scripture this week is:
Ps 105 vs 5:  Remember His marvellous works which He has done, His wonder, and the judgements of His mouth.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Digging Deeper 2018

At the beginning of last year I wrote a post ➨ Digging Deeper 2017 and in that post I referred to a great book my daughters gave me for my birthday called "Unlocking the Bible" by David Pawson.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it as I start the reading of a new book of the bible and found some interesting nuggets of info I never knew before.  However, I am still hungry!  I am still thirsty!  I want more!  I want to dig deeper still.

So, in light of that, I began a ladies group in my home.  My desire is to dig deeper.  I have never led a ladies group and so its taking some settling in and learning of some new skills, but one is never too old to learn right?!  But what to do to dig deeper?  Firstly, I searched high and low on google for free bible study guides.  Some interested me, some did not.  I printed out one on David which we have started but we all agree its very light, very "I just became a Christian yesterday" level.

So, I googled further!  I landed up at some interesting blogs.  Google "Digging deeper into God's word" and some really lovely ladies' blogs come up.

In light of my search I have found a bible study guide/book, written by Everett P. Hill, called "James, Exploring the Elements of an Authentic Christian Lifestyle."  What grips me about this book is that Mr Hill breaks down each and every verse of the book of James.  Can you imagine the amount of precious knowledge one can gather in that manner?  I am so excited to start this study...



Thus,
  • Our Ladies group (God's Girls 😊) will be studying the book of James in the near future.  
  • I will be blogging about James as a further way to absorb all the info into my heart and soul.
  • I have created a new tab for resources I find as my desire to dig deeper continues.  You will find it HERE

2 Timothy 2 vs 15:  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I hope you join me on this journey of digging deeper and feel free to comment and discuss on any and all posts, as Christians do of course!

God bless
Tracy


My "ABIDE" scripture for this week is:
2 Timothy 3 vs 16:  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

God's Strength - Not Mine!

I find I am often in a place of feeling weak and unprepared for all that comes my way.  I feel vulnerable and persecuted.  It is in these moments we need to remind ourselves that we do not need to be STRONG to overcome our issues.  We do not need to be a mental and physical warrior to get by in life.  We need to be a spiritual warrior!

How? 

We only need God! 

God's word says many times that we are to trust Him, stand firm on His word and let Him fight for us.  Exodus 14 v 13 - 14: (13) And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. (14) The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”    (Italics are mine)

2 Chron 20 v 17:  You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.  (Italics are mine)

Psalm 46 v 10: Be still, and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  (italics are mine)

Many of us are in a battle and we do not know where to turn, or how to fix it, or how to fight!  But God instructs us that we need not fight.

What are we to do then?
  • We must stand firm.  For me this means trust God's word!
  • We must stand still.  I believe this means we should not be all over the place trying to find solutions.  Asking this one then that one for advice.  Seek wise counsel, yes, but train your brain and heart to test everything against God's word for clarity and confirmation.
  • Clothe yourself with the armour of God, so that you can stand in the strength of the Lord to do battle spiritually. (See note below πŸ’¦)
  • Do not be afraid!  Why?  Because God has your salvation at hand and He will not let you be delivered into the hands of the evil one.
  • Hold your peace.  I believe this means keep quiet, don't go stir up emotions and muddy the waters.  Don't try to justify yourself, don't try to convince those who hurt you.  Allow God to speak for you.  He will!  Vindication and victory will be yours, and if you are in the wrong, and you are seeking God in these matters, trust that He will be gracious and He will have mercy with you as conviction comes on your heart.  
  • Examine your own heart!  Make sure you are not being self-righteous or letting past hurts colour a present circumstance and in so doing, find you are hard-hearted or reacting wrongly.
  • Forgive constantly.  We are commanded to forgive others for what they have done to us.  To do so keeps us from closing communication between us and the Lord.  Forgiving others releases us and releases the other person to the Lord's mercies.
  • Pray for your enemy/person who has hurt you.  (see note below πŸ‘€).  Praying for them opens your eyes to the possibility that they are not just attacking you for no reason, out of a place or unfairness, but they too are being manipulated by their hurts and their past.
  • Be Still.  Be still and know.  Be still and know that God is, and He will!  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  You have to have confidence that the Lord will undertake for you.

We as humans want to be independent, we want to be self-sufficient and we want to be able to handle whatever comes our way.  I think sometimes God lets us try, and he allows us to fail, so that we realise that we should rely on His strength alone.  He alone can fight our battles for complete victory.  I have learnt that when you choose to do your fighting God's way, standing still, waiting on Him, trusting Him to undertake and fight on your behalf, He gives you victory.  And do you know what He wants in return?   He wants only the glory.  He wants you to acknowledge that victory was achieved by His hand and His hand alone.  

So, my encouragement for you today is in your circumstance, stand, stand still, be still, put on the armour of God, examine your own heart, pray for and forgive your enemy, and KNOW God will fight your battle.  He will give you victory and you will not need to be strong on your own.  HE WILL BE YOUR STRENGTH!  Only, give Him the glory!

God bless
Tracy



My ABIDE scripture for this post is:
Joshua 1 v 9:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”




------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional Notes:

πŸ’¦  The Armour of God (Ephesians 6 vs 10 - 18)
  • The belt of truth
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Feet fitted with the gospel of peace
  • Shield of faith
  • Helmet of salvation, and
  • The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God

πŸ‘€  I am being hurt by someone who loves the Lord and who it appears extends only hatred to us and it hurts and confuses me.  Someone, whilst praying for this person, saw a picture of her surrounded and covered by thorn bushes because of who she lives with and that the spirit that is in this person was entering her.  It was a reminder to me that although it appears she hates us, she has been blinded where she is and I need to pray for her, pray that the Holy Spirit release her from that bondage and cover her with the blood of Jesus and protect her both spiritually and physically.  I need to pray that her eyes be opened to the truth and that the Lord protect her and have grace with her.  This whole thing about this person has taught me not to make assumptions based on what I think, that things are not always what they seem, and to pray for those who hurt me and it has given me the grace to have compassion for her.  God will reveal the truth and expose what is hidden to the light.  I need just stand, stand still, trust and pray!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Economics - God's Way!

God gives you seed, (money, time, equipment, ability, opportunity)

He expects you to sow that seed, (work hard, take each opportunity, utilize the equipment, use the money wisely, etc), no matter how inefficient, ineffective, insufficient it might seem!  Or just plain crazy (am I right?!)

And HE GIVES THE INCREASE on the seed sown!  Supplies and multiplies!!!!

It is that simple!

It is us who mess the whole system up with our doubts and our fears.  I think it is very profound and telling, that God tells the Israelites to consider all that He has done for them in the past.  David did this too.  He kept repeating all that God had done for their nation before, all He had done for David before.  Its to build your faith up.  Because God is able!  He has shown us this through scripture, through our own experiences, through what we see happening in the lives of others.


Why do we doubt then?  I would say it is human nature (with a little added help from the devil's whispering).  We just don't do well when we don't see the whole picture.  But we have to trust the One who does.  Really, what is the worst thing that could happen?  We lose it all?  We lose man's favour?  We lose face in front of friends and family?  I think we can all attest to the fact that despite all that, we have survived so far!

It is time to take the seed that God has provided you with, you know what it is, you know what is in your hands, and sow it already!  In FAITH!  Yes, its hard!  But God says that He will not leave us nor forsake us, and His word is proven and tested, not only by those in the Bible, but also by ourselves.  We have all experienced God's goodness.  Remind yourself of those times!  It builds your faith!

2 Corinth 9 v 10:  Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.

It is important too,
  • To always be thankful to the Lord no matter the circumstance, 
  • To always express gratitude to the Lord,
  • And to speak God's word over your life and situation, and remember,
  • The power of death and life is in the tongue, use it wisely!
God bless
Tracy


My ABIDE scripture this week:  Psalms 40 v 5:  Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done;  And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order;  If I would declare and speak of them,  they are more than can be numbered.






Saturday, 20 January 2018

Fasting!!!! Urgh!!!!

So, as you can tell by the heading fasting is not my favourite thing to do, or topic to discuss, because, well, its not my favourite thing to do.  πŸ˜‹

What I have learnt about it though is the following:  If you are going to do it with the wrong attitude, or for the wrong reasons (yes, come on ladies, the additional bonus of losing weight?! right?! right?!) then you should rather not do it at all.  And really, as an individual it should be done in private!  Not advertised to the whole world about how much you are giving up or sacrificing, or how much this sacrifice is costing you and how good you are to be doing it!

Fortunately, I have not had to worry about this.  I avoid fasting like the plague!  Sad, but true.  This year, however, I am choosing to do things differently.

Isaiah 58 tells us exactly what the Lord expects of us when fasting.

Verses 1 - 3 point out that when fasting the Jews of that time cried out telling of their fasting and how much it was hurting them, and yet the Lord took no notice, according to them.  The Lord says they even find pleasure whilst fasting and exploit the labourers.  I can only imagine this to mean they demanded to be looked after in their fasting moments and made their labour do more for their pleasure and at the labour's expense.

Verse 4 - 5 points out that God says they will no longer fast like this, making yourself heard and expecting people to feel sorry for you.

Verse 6 -11, God says He wants us to fast so that:

  • Bonds of wickedness are broken
  • heavy burdens undone
  • the oppressed go free
  • every yoke is broken
  • we share our food with the hungry
  • we share our homes with the destitute
  • we cover the naked
  • your light shines (sharing Jesus)
  • your healing springs forth
  • God's glory is revealed,
  • you can call on the Lord and He will answer and say "Here I am!"


Isaiah 58 v 1 - 13:  “Cry aloud, spare not;  Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.  2 Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God.  They ask of Me the ordinances of justice;  They take delight in approaching God.  3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen?  Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers.  4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness.  You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice heard on high.  5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul?
Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes?  Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen:  To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?  7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast outWhen you see the naked, that you cover him, and not hide yourself from your own flesh?  8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you;  The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.  9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;  You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday.  11 The Lord will guide you continually,
And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones;  You shall be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
  12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places;  You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;  And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.



It seems to me that a lot of what Fasting is, is to sacrifice your time, your home, your food, your prayer, your comfort, your everything, to the glory of God, so that your healing comes and your relationship with God grows.  I also feel strongly that fasting should be a private thing.  Between you and God.  Now, I am not detracting from fasting that one does jointly with your church, or your home cell, or ladies group.  However, even when doing so, your co-worker need not know, your boss need not know, your neighbour need not know.  Because then it becomes about how YOU are sacrificing your comfort and how its impacting YOU.  Fasting should be about denying self, which in itself proves it should not be about self.  

This section of Isaiah ends with one of my all time favourite verses:
Isaiah 58 v 11:  The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones;  You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

Usually I read this verse without reading the verses before, which are about how God would want us to fast.  Now, when reading it in context, it becomes clear that fasting, although about denying self to a certain degree, the end result is clearly for our benefit!  IF we fast in this manner, the reward is most importantly, God's glory is revealed, in our lives, in our bodies (health) and we will be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail, in drought as well!  Clearly, we are blessed by fasting.  BUT, not if it is all about us and our sacrifice!

Another lesson I have learnt, my mental image of fasting is no eating for the next 40 days, only water (tea and coffee maybe).  Can you tell I grew up in the era of those 40 day fasts?  Can't say I have heard of them lately?!  What I have learnt, its not about starving yourself to death, its about giving up something, for a season, be it a weekend, or whatever, that costs you your comfort.  It could be tea for a week, it could be social media for a month (yes, that one hurts), but in the Isaiah 58 it also points out that sharing with others is/can be uncomfortable!  So doing things like giving up some of your food for someone else, letting a family sleep in your spare room for a few days, buying something that someone needs over something you may need, all those are variations of fasting.  So long as they are done for God, unto God, for His glory, and quietly, between you and God!

What are your thoughts on the above?  I would love to hear from you!

God bless
Tracy


ABIDE scripture:  Matt 6 v 16 - 18:  (16) “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (17) But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, (18) so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.


Monday, 15 January 2018

Who placed that Dream in you?

Many years ago I went to a weekly ladies meeting one morning a week where I connected with some ladies who all wanted to grow in the Lord, and wanted to share their trials and hopes with each other in a safe place.  We would pray for one another, pray for our husbands and their businesses, have tea/coffee, and do a bible study of some sort.

I loved it!  I grew so much in that time.  We saw our prayers answered and felt the encouragement and support of one another too, as each trial came and went.  I loved our ladies meeting leader.  I still think of her fondly.  Sadly, she doesn't do her bible study anymore.

But ever since leaving her group I have always dreamed about one day starting my own group of ladies.  Meeting in my home, learning about the word, digging deeper, being accountable and available to one another, and growing in faith and fellowship.

As time went by, I joined one, and then another... I always left.  There were a few reasons excuses:
  • I was comparing them all to the group I loved
  • I didn't like the format
  • I didn't want to commit because of all the stuff going on in my life
  • We did go through a season where I really just did not want to share my life and knew if I went to any group I would melt into a puddle amongst strangers and who could one trust was a big issue at that time for me
  • I never had enough time to make it
  • I always had something else that needed to be done, etc etc!


About two years ago I joined a lovely ladies group.  I really enjoyed the ladies I met there.  I knew none of them and as we were not based in a church at that time, connecting with them led us to their church.  We ultimately did not end up in that church but that ladies meeting made me hungry to start my own again.  But, alas, I had many reasons excuses why I couldn't start one of my own.  And pretty much ignored that heart's desire once more.

Well, its the beginning of a new year and I'm itching to join a ladies group.  My friend told me about one she heard of and I contacted them.  The lady there told me that they were full and I should consider starting my own.  Um, "well, I might just do that," I thought!  Come the weekend, my friend asks if I connected with the ladies group and I told her of the response and hers is "Wonderful, what are you waiting for?"  Hmmm, yes, what indeed?!

And then roll on the next day, starting with tea and a quiet time.  This scripture comes up in my next chapter to read:  2 Corinth 8 vs 10-11:  And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; (11) but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have.

So, I am thinking that the Lord is giving me just a tiny bit of confirmation here 😊.

Suffice it to say, I am going to be starting my own Ladies group.  We will meet once a week in the mornings and we will drink tea and coffee (and eat cake if we are lucky), and we will dig deeper into the word, we will encourage and pray for one another, and grow spiritually in the Lord!
Psalm 37 v 4:  Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

The most amazing thing is, I have absolutely no doubts, and no fears about this.  No reasons escuses come to mind why I should not do this.  Yes, I believe this is a dream placed in my heart, by my Creator and Saviour!  Thank you Jesus for Your faithfulness.

What is the dream God has placed in your heart?

God bless
Tracy



My "ABIDE" scripture for this post is:
Prov 16 v 3:  Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.

Monday, 8 January 2018

FAITH - Its been bumping into me ALL week!

So, the first week of the year is almost over!  And it just seems like the topic of "faith" is jumping out at me at every turn.  The devotional I have chosen to use this year is titled "A Mustard Seed" by Angus Buchan.  Well, Duh, isn't the mustard seed story all about faith?  (Matt 17v20)

Then there are the scriptures that I am currently reading.  I try to read one chapter in the old and one in the new testament every day.  And are they not all "faith-filled?!"

Then there is social media.  Yes, I spend way too much time there.  But I do try to spend more time sending out positive stuff, God-centred stuff, than just scrolling 😊.  Almost everything that jumps out at me is "faith" related.

Do you think God is trying to tell me something?  

I can answer that question pretty easily.  Ummm, YES!  We are in a season where we can't just speak about faith.  We are coming to a place of having to act on it!  Its scary to say the least.  The thing is though, when we do as David did, and many of the bible characters, and remember all that God has already done for us, all that He has already brought us through, when we remember all those things, why do we fret?  Why do we doubt?

One could say it is human nature.  But Paul tells us constantly to deny our human side, our carnal side, and to try to live our lives spiritually (Romans 8v5), with the Holy Spirit in our hearts, influencing our minds and our actions.  Not always easy and that is why I believe God's mercies, so undeserved, are new every morning (Lam 3 v 22-23).  He knows we need a fresh start every 24 hours.  Every hour if necessary.

Let me then encourage you with some of the "Faith" moments of my week!


My One Word for 2018 is "ABIDE" and I think that practising faith is a great step towards abiding in Christ, abiding in His word.  One has to actively choose faith over fear in every instant that it presents itself.  

For example:  "How am I going to get through this?" πŸ‘ˆfear!  Choose faith in this situation:  "I choose to believe as God's word says that all things are possible through Christ who strengthens me!" (Matt 19v26) πŸ‘ˆ Faith statement!

Another example:  How are we going to make it financially this month? πŸ‘ˆ fear!  Choose faith in this situation:  "I am tithing to the Lord my first fruits and His word says that if I do, He will open up the windows of heaven that I won't be able to contain the blessings, and, He will keep the devour'er from my door!" (Mal 3v10) πŸ‘ˆ Faith statement!

Do you know that faith grows from hearing the word? (Rom 10 v 17).  How does one hear the word?  Well, there is church, Christian TV, but also, you can read God's word out aloud to yourself.  You will be hearing it, and by hearing, your faith will grow!  Give it a go!  God's word is truth!

I hope that I have encouraged you in your faith walk.  It is a daily walk!  Lets do this together!

God bless
Tracy




My abide Scripture for this post is:
Rom 10 v 17:  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Thursday, 4 January 2018

My One Word for 2018 - ABIDE!

Most years I started with a list of New year's resolutions.  It is only when I started blogging nearly 7 years ago (What????  So long ago already?) I noticed bloggers (specifically Christian Women bloggers) were choosing ONE Word for the year.  One word to cling to, to look back on, to feed into, to grow through and use as a means of digging deeper into God's word.

So far, my words have been:
2017 - Consistency
2016 - Choice
2015 - Wisdom
2014 - Joy
2013 - Trust
2012 - Content

And so on...

Each year my One Word means something to me based on my current struggles, and what it is I want to achieve spiritually.  So, this year, after some soul-searching, I have chosen the word ABIDE.  I knew what sort of word I wanted but couldn't find the word that said it all, until I saw this word.  

Definition of ABIDE (according to Merriam-Webster)

Transitive verb:
  1. to bear patiently : tolerate - abide the noise around you
  2. to endure without yielding : withstand - abide the onrush of the enemy 
  3. to wait for : await - I will abide the coming of my lord. —Alfred Tennyson 
  4. to accept without objection  - will abide your decision 
Intransitive verb:
  1. to remain stable or fixed in a state - a love that abode with him all his days 
  2. to continue in a place : sojourn - will abide in the house of the Lord 
Noun — abide by
  1. to conform to - abide by the rules 
  2. to accept without objection : to acquiesce in - will abide by your decision 

That's quite a mouthful. Quite an attitude to develop and grow into!  And such is my goal.  I want to learn to ABIDE in the Lord, stand firm through all circumstances, trust that all is as the Word says and that the Lord will not fail me, despite my failures.  God says that He will never leave us nor forsake us!  I want to learn to ABIDE in God's Word, learn to trust it and rest in it more fully!  

John 15 v 5: "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing."

I want to abide in Him, Christ, as He abides in me, and I will bear much fruit, for without Christ I am nothing.  



So, for 2018, my One Word is ABIDE!

What is yours?

God bless
Tracy





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