Tuesday, December 6, 2011


This post is to all my Christian friends... but everyone can feel free to read along.
I really wanted to talk to you about nutrition.

This is probably a fair way from what you’re thinking so please allow me to divert your train of thought.

I know that our souls work a lot like our spiritual lives; we often get out what we put in. If we constantly consume junk we will become sluggish and sick. It is often difficult to follow God externally as we live out our lives.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1Pe 5:8 NKJV)

It’s relatively easy to look like a ‘well behaved Christian’ on a Sunday and a lot harder throughout the week (especially when we ignore God and neglect to ask for His help in our lives). This may be difficult but, I think, hardest of all is my thought life; that innermost part of me that is between me and God. That part where excessive comforts and temptations confront the power of God in my life and I am asked to choose – God or self. If I think about it then I realise that it is no choice at all...

""As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love." - (John 15:9 NKJV)

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - (Romans 5:8 NKJV)

To choose God really is to choose myself, but sometimes I have such an emphasis on the ‘here and now’ that I ignore God’s love and everlasting plan for me. Some days we can get tired and just want to veg on the couch... this is not wrong in and of itself but if I were to choose to give up work/neglect my family in order to do this every day that is when the effect of relaxation in my life becomes toxic and I (and probably those around me) begin to suffer its effects.

Some thoughts (leading to possibly the most subtle dangerous roads) are not dangerous in and of themselves. I could think, perhaps, of going on a holiday, of moving house, of my general appearance, even of my friends and family, but if these thoughts become the sole focus of my thought life or even esteemed above God that is when they become idols and obsessions.

Even the road away from these is fraught with strife but our choices are succumb, flee or fight.

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--" - (Ephesians 6:11-18 NKJV)

For me, my thought life is the place where I most struggle. It may not be the only place I struggle, but it is the hardest. If I want to eat junk food then I have to walk to the pantry or travel to the store. If I want to be consumed with shopping or makeup or most things external then there is a process I need to go through to achieve those desires. Our thought lives can be far more subtle... an innocent quarrel with a friend can turn to hatred. Thoughts of looking presentable can turn to vanity. Thoughts of self-worth can turn to pride. Even deficiencies in an area can lead to desiring those things and the things we lack and can also become our obsessions.

Why am I going on about all this? Because there is so much to draw our attention away from it.

Am I ever going to be completely free from all temptations and attacks on my thought life? Almost certainly not until I get to heaven. Really that’s the point and it’s also the challenge. I need to stand with God and fight the things that lead me into spiritual sickness.

""And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. "Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-- "I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, [that] the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne." - (Revelation 3:14-21 NKJV)

"Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest [your] hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, [as] in your ignorance; but as He who called you [is] holy, you also be holy in all [your] conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay [here] in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, [like] silver or gold, from your aimless conduct [received] by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." - (1 Peter 1:13-19 NKJV)

“... we need to do whatever it takes to focus our thoughts on those things that allow us to serve God successfully, all the while eliminating any thoughts that would trip us up (Heb 12:1)... [on being sober] Peter’s concern here is primarily using mentally of spiritually sound judgement... We need to exhibit confidence that God will accomplish all that He promised He would do (1 Pet 1:3; Rom 8:24, 25)... From beginning to the end, we are recipients of God’s abounding grace (Rom 8:28-30)”
(p 1678, Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary, 1999)

For a very very long time I was a 60% kind of Christian (maybe less) so at most I would say to God, “Here’s all the things I am willing to admit to so that You can work on these things”. In this way I would try to hide things from God and so I lived with the oxymoron that although God knows all things at the same time I could hide things from Him or distract Him so He would not notice. In reality God does know everything so it is useless to hide from Him

"If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you." - (Psalm 139:8-18 NIV)

There are times when I think it would be wonderful to have a heart and mind fully surrendered to Christ without having to struggle day to day with different areas and yet it is through these struggles, through crying out to Him for help, that I am slowly learning to hold fast to Him and the things He desires for me. Jesus never said following Him would be easy, but it is worth it.

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." - (Ephesians 6:13 NIV)

What is the daily result of fully turning our lives over to Christ?

Struggling on our own leads to failure but giving our lives to Christ leads to victory.

""Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."" - (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." - (Galatians 5:22-26 NIV)

Please know that I don’t say these things because I am good at them. Not in the least! I know this is an area I struggle with *big-time*!!!

If you have read this far then I take my hat off to you! Am I asking you to trust me in what I say? May it never be! Read the Bible and seek God’s will for your life. Hold back nothing and give Him everything!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Going to Prison

One of my prayers for this blog is that if God graces me with the words to write I will write them. Some days I feel completely uninspired and that's okay. Today I had it on my heart to tell you about this guy I heard of.   To protect his identity (for the time being) I will refer to this guy as Mike...

Mike was born to a household with a lot of older brothers. His dad was quite old when Mike was born and his dad loved him so much that it made his brothers extremely jealous. As farmers, Mike's brothers did a lot of the work around the farm. Mike would go to his dad if his brothers did anything wrong which angered his brothers and when their dad gave Mike a special gift to show he was the favorite that only made things worse.

In most families, when stuff like this happens, most people wouldn't be on speaking terms. There might be a few arguements and awkward moments, but not here...

One day Mike's dad sent him out to check up on his brothers and those brothers threw him in a pit and left him to die. When some slave traders passed by they decided to make some easy money out of him and they sold their brother and told their father he was dead.

Mike was bought by a powerful man and, during the course of his work, was made manager of all that the man had. He was wrongly accused of wrongdoing and was thrown in prison. He proved trustworthy in prison and was given special duties. When he was released he was proven so wise he was put as second in command of the entire kingdom!

Does this story sound unbelievable? Weird? A little familiar?

When most people tell the story of 'Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat' I think the focus is on God's ability to work in spite of any difficult situation or any wrongdoing... or just Joseph's dad giving him a really cool coat.

I think many of us love to be 'favorite' and I'm sure Joseph certainly did! Not only was he his dad's favorite but he was given dreams and wisdom by God. Imagine, not only being the favorite in your house but being told by God that one day your brothers would bow down to you. That must have been pretty awesome right up until the whole pit incident...

Yep, I'm sure his whole sunny disposition changed very quickly down in that pit - I know mine would! I would be saying anything for them to get me out! I wonder if Joseph pleaded with God for his life. Then he gets taken out of the hole and maybe was thinking that everything would be ok... until the traders take him away to be a slave.

See the whole pattern here? Dad's favorite to pit, pit to being taken out, being taken out to slave, slave to overseer, overseer to prisoner, prisoner to freedom. Up and down it goes until, being freed, Joseph is taken to the Pharaoh and, after interpreting Pharaoh's dream, is made second in command.

The Bible plan I am reading through at the moment took me to the passages about Joseph (Genesis 37, 39-45 - continued further). What stood out to me was that, not only was God faithful to provide for Joseph, but that Joseph followed God.

"Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The LORD was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all [that] he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time [that] he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph's hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. And it came to pass after these things that his master's wife cast longing eyes on Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me." But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what [is] with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. "[There is] no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you [are] his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?"" - (Genesis 39:1-9 NKJV)

"Then Joseph's master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners [were] confined. And he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners who [were] in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything [that was] under [Joseph's] authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made [it] prosper." - (Genesis 39:20-23 NKJV)

"Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; and he shaved, changed his clothing, and came to Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, and [there is] no one who can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you [that] you can understand a dream, to interpret it." So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "[It is] not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace."" - (Genesis 41:14-16 NKJV)

Through all his experiences I think that Joseph learned what it really meant to trust in God.  Also I don't believe that Joseph would have been put in the 'positions of trust' that he was without being a trustworthy and honorable man.

As we live our lives we are put in both positions of honor and positions of hardship and I think the thing we need to learn from this is not only to trust in God, but to honor Him in the way we live our lives.  I am not saying that we can't be a Christian without being a 'good person'

"Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one [is] good but One, [that is], God." 
(Mark 10:17-18 NKJV)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." 
(Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV)

What I am saying is that as we grow closer to God in our lives through the power of His work in our hearts we should seek to be the people that He wants us to be.  By His work in our hearts, if we are willing, His desires for our life become our desires and it is then I think that our lives begin to shine and honor Him.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those [who are] Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."
(Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV)

I won't be perfected until I go to heaven... until that 'twinkling of an eye' (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).  In the mean time I pray that my life will be honoring to God; that my days here won't be wasted but will be used by Him to carry out His purpose.

I love my husband, Bren, so much and when I think about what I want for Him - I pray he will be a Joseph.  No, that doesn't mean I want him thrown in a pit or put in jail, but I do want Him, despite any and every circumstance to love God and be led by Him.  As he goes to work I hope that his bosses and colleagues see that 'the Lord is with Him'.

I pray that during the course of our lives, like Joseph, people might see the Lord is with us.

God bless.  xoxo

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cabin Fever... a different perspective

I have had times like that, as a mum, when I have just about gone loopy from being on 'mess control' or dealing with kids who also had the dreaded 'cabin fever'.  I also remember those times when my loving husband, Bren, would literally tell me to 'get out' so I could have some 'me time' all by myself and just how wonderful and refreshing that really was... also how wonderful it was to come home afterwards. Other times family/friends would mind the midgets so Bren and I could 'date' or just have some time together. There were times when it was fun just taking the little guys out shopping or to the library or somewhere special like the zoo. I think, kids or no, we all go through times like that when we just need to GET OUT!!!

Now imagine something with me...

Imagine you are asked to build a boat... not just any boat, but one about 137 meters long! That you were given all the 'specs' and got to work. You and your family, a great deal of food and a heap of animals get in and then God shuts you in.

I read a story I have heard time and time again... an ark, guy named Noah, a flood, a rainbow... a ringin' a bell???  This guy was 600 years old when 'the windows of heaven were opened'.  I wonder if at any time when he was building the boat or getting in did it even look like it was going to rain.  Was all still?  Was there a gentle breeze?  Were there days when his family thought he was losing it?

Now, like I said, I've heard all this before and, although I couldn't have told you Noah's age, or the specs on the ark, I knew the basic story-line... the world (aside from Noah's family) turn from God and do evil, God plans a flood to cleanse the earth, Noah follows God's will and builds a boat, they hop in, rain, etc.

What caught my eye this time was - what was it like, after the door was shut, when the rain started to fall?  What were they thinking as the boat started to lift?

It rained for forty days and forty nights, but the waters flooded the earth for one hundred and fifty days before the water started to go down.

It said the ark moved on the water...

So you follow God's will.  You're in a big 'boat' and it's floating and moving around and you're in it for over a year.  Imagine having to completely and utterly trust in God for that entire time; only being able to go where He carried you!

All this is truly amazing, but the thing that truly takes my breath away is what happened after... what happened after this year when they stepped out the boat and onto dry land.  The only living beings on land on the whole earth stepped out of that ark!  Can you imagine there being just you and your family in the presence of God???

Kind of puts being stuck at home for a few weeks into perspective doesn't it!

Imagine how your thinking would change if you allowed God to carry you through the next week, the next month, the next year.

Noah had to trust God with the plan, trust God with the design, trust God to provide and trust God to care for them all.  Where was Noah at the end of this?  He was on dry land again, knowing that he had 'found grace in the eyes of the Lord' (Gen 6:8).  He knew God's wisdom, and God's provision.  He knew God's grace and love.

God's plan to cleanse us was started in a manger and our sin was nailed to the cross...

"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant." 
Colossians 1:19-23 NIV

I hope that during the course of my life I may trust and know that my Heavenly Father loves me and will guide me and provide for me... that I will walk the paths of His choosing until this life ends and I arrive on the solid ground of eternity in heaven...  I hope to see you there too!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Had the energy taken out of energetic

So I guess that leaves me with the ick right?  I know spell-wise it's a stretch, but it's the best I could come up with.

Well it's just blah today.  No energy, a little tiny bit of patience and one beautiful and very unwell, yet extremely long-suffering husband who retreated to our room because the clicking of his computer mouse was driving me insane!  I think all of us have days a bit like that.

It's been one of those weeks where I have had so many prayers answered.  The one closest to home was the one where I prayed for the energy and desire and just... well the help to be a better mum and wife and when I was in the middle of vacuuming and sweeping I realised that prayer was being answered.  Isn't God good to us!

I was thinking, just before, that if I was feeling energetic and 'right as rain' today that I would be tidying or doing something for me... some activity devouring time and mental energies.  Running at this speed, however, my body just said, 'recliner' (well not literally but you get the drift).  Sitting round watching TV, knitting and the like, I was thinking that I really just needed some quiet time with God.  Not long after this thought Bren left for our room with his mouse and laptop (purely out of consideration for my sanity... he is so wonderful) and the kids went to nap/do their own thing.  So here I was, in our lounge, by myself, actually knowing exactly where to find my Bible (not just the one on my phone).  I was able to have some alone time with God (something I have not been in the habit of doing too much lately - to my shame) and read His Word... and wanting to and enjoying it.

It is such a blessing when time with God becomes a desire and not a chore; when we seek to enjoy His presence knowing He is already in ours.  He knows our every moment even when we don't pay Him a moment's notice.  Please don't think I'm putting this out there to be all 'holier than thou' or 'I'm such a good Christian' because I'm not and I ain't.  LOL.  I'm saying this because sometimes feeling sick, or lonely, or without energy, or whatever your 'downer' happens to be can be a real blessing.  When we let these things draw us to God's presence then they can be the best part of our day!

I was reading through some of the blogs on ifellowship (link to the side... although it may not appear on the mobile version so it's...http://www.seedsoffaithwomen.com/ and the blog hop) and one woman quoted the scripture...

"For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'"
Isa 30:15a NKJV

Another lady was saying that having quiet time with God was how she and her husband started their day... and it really convicted me that I haven't been spending too much quiet time with God lately.  

I hope that you will take this as a challenge, as I took it as a challenge to me, to spend more time enjoying being in God's presence; in prayer and in reading His Word and listening for His voice.  I hope that you will take it as a challenge, not as one to slap you across the face and make you feel rotten, but one to gently nudge you into a closer relationship with a Savior who loves you more than life itself.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace  was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
Isa 53:5 KJV

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Lies Ahead?

It's getting to that time in my life when the kids start school next year and I find myself continually asking that question.  What happens when all my 'babies' are in school and suddenly I find myself re-entering the workforce after approximately eight years.  I find the idea both scary and exciting.

I think that my attitude to everything and everyone in my immediate vicinity changes when I don't have between one and three little hobbits following me around.  I wonder what kind of a person I will be minus the little guys and only accountable for myself (during school hours anyway).  Will I amazingly stumble into a job I love or will it take long months of waiting and interviewing to find one?  How will life change for us?   How will the reserves of time, money and family time change?  So many questions.

I suppose there have been few times in my life when the future has held this many question marks.

For me... right here and in this moment... I can't see ahead; I can't fast-forward one year or even one second. It's a human trait that our tomorrows lie hidden behind the veil of time.  Only God knows where we will be, even if we will live to see them.

So this question, in fact, becomes a stumbling block when dwelt on too much.  I think when I focus too much on my tomorrows, I start losing sight of my todays.  I have been given so much that I am continually forgetting to be grateful for all I have and each breath, each ray of sunshine, each hug, each kiss, each love - can all pass by hardly noticed.

God only knows my future and God alone fully understands my past.  If I can trust Him to lead me through each day, then I can trust Him to lead me through each year and into eternity.  If I can trust Him to save my soul, then I can trust Him to guide my life.  I will forever be in the palm of His hand.

   "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
         I will guide you with My eye.
      Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
         Which have no understanding, 
         Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, 
         Else they will not come near you. 
    Many sorrows shall be to the wicked;
         But he who trusts in the LORD, mercy shall surround him.
   Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous;
         And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!"

Psalm 32:8-11

I may not understand tomorrow, but I can thank God for today.  I can't live His will in my own strength, but I can pray for His and He has been and will be faithful to provide.

"...but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,  but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,  so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.  Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:23-31 NIV

I have been blessed beyond my own ability to comprehend.  He has placed such treasures in my hands that when I think of it my heart nearly bursts.  What a blessing to be a mother and what a joy to be a wife.  Caring for my family is such a special honor that I hope I can cherish every today and trust God through every tomorrow.

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:
   He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
   he gently leads those that have young.

Do you not know?
   Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
   and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
   and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary,
   they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:11,28-31

Sunday, July 17, 2011

And the Mother of the Year Award goes to...

... well someone else I'm sure.  Though, I must admit, my kids tell me I am 'the best mum in the whole world' on a daily basis (true story).  If you ask me it reflects more on their little characters than it does mine.  Ask my hubby and he'd tell me to stop putting myself down because I do OK.  Anywho, my kids are loving and amazing and just plain wonderful to be around (when they're not driving me nuts) :O)  Me - well I just like to be realistic. I'm not one of those Super Women, who (even though they wear their underwear under the rest of their clothes like the rest of us) daily put in a superhuman effort with *everything*.  Those people just make me feel tired - 'bless their cotton socks' - and I metaphorically 'take my cap off to them'.  Despite all of (what I see as) my massive under-achievements and daily failures I have come to realize that other people in actual fact have these too - and I'm OK with that.

This holidays has gone by like something I've zoomed passed and only just started taking notice of in the rear-vision mirror.  Scary how quick those holidays fly by!  They started out with Joe's birthday and Bible study at our house and we saw Cars 2 3D with the kids and the Buds and then everything sort of flatlined (busy-ness wise) as everyone (except Zeke - who went to Halls Gap with Nan and Pop) got sick, a few at a time.  This, of course, ended with me and I'm probably no more a trooper than I am a Starship Trooper, off what I now know to be, from Star Wars (I think).  So whilst being sick we have stayed home and kept fed and warmish and loved and... the kids have been awesome at playing together and amusing themselves (with occasional parental intervention).

Aside from loving my kids - I adore my husband.  He works so hard and puts in long hours and loves me and the kids and does an awesome job of looking after us all.  Having said that, the poor man did not get a lot of sleep with my night-time cough and he still had to get up early for work as I was sleeping in our nice warm bed.  I know Bren was more concerned about my well-being than his, but when he finally did make me go to the doctors I nearly said to the doctor "I'm just here for annoying my husband and depriving him of sleep".  I didn't, however, and it actually turned out that I had a chest infection.  I know Bren was just concerned, but I was annoyed to have to see the old quack... good thing I did!  Thank goodness for a caring husband.

Being unwell has really made me appreciate my home and the people in it.  My lounge room is warm and comfy with all my little hobbies and diversions thrown in (knitting, computers, iphone... I know, I'm super spoilt).  I just feel so loved and cared for *sigh*.

Today at church we ended up staying for lunch and the wonderful Penny and Nicole put on a super spread.  Thank goodness for friends.

I guess I can only end with the following...

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God," - (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)

I daily fall down and stumble.  I mess up and muck up.  I get sick and tired and cranky.  But you know what?  I have a God who loves *me*; who died to save *me* and, through it all, He is there.  He knows all, He sees all, He can do all.  By grace He not only made me and saved me and loves me but His love and His grace go on each day and into eternity.  He has blessed my life more than I ever could have hoped or wished for - with the people I love and hold dear.

Guess what - He can do the same for you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Time is Money Hypothesis

I nearly said 'time is money' to someone the other day.  How repulsively bizarre to live in a world where people exist who count minutes and seconds by dollars and cents (or their currency of choice).  We live in a world with everything from wireless technology to food technology.  We live in a world where it would take nothing short of a miracle to get Noah's ark past border security and many rely on the media/Google/wikipedia/celebrities for knowledge and wisdom!

In such a world how do we define success, or at least getting all we can out of our lives?  

Many would say that if you can't be rich be happy, if you can't be happy stay healthy, if you can't stay healthy do whatever it takes to make you happy.  How much time do we spend trying to get the things we want the way we want them?  What does it mean to live life to the full?

Ever heard the expression 'what goes in must come out'?  I think this especially applies to the way we think and the way we live.  If I only focus on the negative points of someone's character, the chances are that I won't like them very much; be they family, friends, acquaintances or even myself.  If I don't like someone very much it will effect the way that I treat them and the amount of time I want to spend with them and, most definitely, how much I respect them.  If the focus of my life is making myself happy that will greatly impact the way I spend my time.

I know that a great deal of how I live my life involves the way I see others and the amount of importance I place on the way they see me.  Humans were designed with a need to interact with each other and the way this takes place can greatly affect the quality of our lives.  So then how are we to live?  How are we to interact?

I found the following quote very interesting, as it views our lives as a battlefield and gives us the armor and weapons we need to take a stand.

Ephesians 6:10-18

New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."

I know out of most people I would probably look the most hilarious in a suit of armor, my hubby, on the other hand, would look aggressive and intimidating - quite the powerful soldier.  I don't think either one of us, though, would do too well standing alone against a mighty enemy.  

The person in this picture is most definitely very different to the one supplied to us from society's viewpoint - someone rich, healthy, powerful, successful and beautiful.  This person has truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God and who prays fervently for themselves and others.  So in other words, all their might comes from God and is sustained by God.

It's interesting to note that no time is given to describe their stature, beauty, wealth or popularity. 

So what then are the most important things to remember in the way we live our lives?

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-29)

So essentially what matters, according to God's word, is to love God with *all our heart* and love (ie care for, treat) those around us as we do ourselves.

With these things in mind, how will you live your life today?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More of a Test Really or The Story of a 'Woolly Headed Christian'

Ok I'll bite... nibble the hook, you might say.  I know the chances of my keeping up with this are proportionate to the chances of people reading this.  Nonetheless I'll give it a go...

Firstly, why wondering sheep?  No, it's not because I'm woolly headed (although Bren might not entirely agree)!  It's because - "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." - (Isaiah 53:6 NKJV)

There's a story in the Bible about a shepherd that leaves 99 sheep in search of the one that got lost.  Some tasty bit of grass just happened to lure it away.  Well the grass is always greener...

You might say I'm continually that one; I keep drifting off, He keeps bringing me back.  I know this story applies a lot to salvation... but I suppose you might call me a 'woolly headed Christian' He goes that way... I drift over the other way; eyes keenly focused on that tastier bit of grass... Next thing you know - He's over there, I'm over here.  I cry out to Him and He always listens and brings me back to where I should be.  Amazing really.