I must decrease

I have a screwed up, messed up sense of self, sense of identity.  You can blame that on my coming from New Zealand.  Have you ever heard of ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’?  It is a term used to describe a phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are criticized or resented because of their talents and achievements.  Unfortunately Tall Poppy Syndrome is found a lot in New Zealand.  It is a nation where one does not really want to look better than others – even if it is just and well deserved…..it is probably my biggest criticism of my home nation….I wonder how it will change…..

Anyway because of growing up in an environment when one is judged for doing well, it makes one very reluctant to speak well of oneself and to ‘blow my own trumpet’.  It doesn’t come naturally to say that I’m good at this, can do this or that well and am an expert on this…..

So to go from New Zealand with its Tall Poppy Syndrome, to America – the land of the confident and the seemingly self assured…..has been interesting….

I find it strange to read in blogland of people’s achievements and to read how people can list time and time again of what they have done….sometimes without a lot of recognition to the Lord who gave them these talents…..but then again…am I just being super sensitive?  I’m not sure.  And I think my antennae will continue to go up as I read of people ‘blowing their own trumpets’ until I have this sorted out in my own mind….

But I do know this.  The internet can be used as such a powerful tool for pointing people towards Jesus.  Towards what He has done for us and is capable of doing.  I desire my facebook statuses to not always be about me and my life – but point towards HIM.  Point towards the Almighty.  Give my non-Christian friends something to think about for the day. If I twittered I would want my tweets to be about Him.  Not just about me, me, me.

I also do know this.  ‘I must decrease so that He may increase’.  John 3:30.  The less of me taking up room – the more that the Holy Spirit is able to work in and through me.  The less of my wants and desires, the more I can be on the lookout for others – looking with Jesus eyes, listening with Jesus ears.

Yes we gotta get rid of Tall Poppy Syndrome in New Zealand and yes credit must be given when credit is due – to anyone…but I wish blogs and social networking sites used by Christians could just be more effective in loving people, in reaching out to people…and not focusing on me me me……

Just a bit of honesty from me today.

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A house of music

If you ever called me on the phone, or skyped me on the computer, you would have to wait a minute or two for me to first lower the volume on my music before I could answer your call.  That is assuming The Hurricane was liking my music choice and had left it on for my enjoyment…he has a habit of shutting things down….

I love music.  I love hearing worship and praise.  I am determined to make my house a home where His name is lifted high, and in doing so, my soul is lifted up.  I’ve said it before on my blog….there is something about taking our focus off ourselves and putting it on Jesus – all He is and all He had done….

I’m not into denominational differences at all – I wish that all of Christ’s followers would just get along and not focus on doctrinal differences….but I do have to say I think I have the best of two worlds in my Christian background…I’m on precarious ground here I know but I have to say I am glad that I know the solid teaching and fundamentals that more traditional churches tend to focus on but I also know the freedom and presence of the Holy Spirit from more non-traditional churches.  Yes..I really mean……Pentecostal……Is that controversial enough for you?  Where is this leading? Well…at the moment I go to a more traditional church…..and yes it happens to tick all the right boxes for my children and their stage of life at the moment, but there are times when my pentecostal (that word again!!) inner self wants the music to be turned up louder, the words to be a bit bolder and yes, the drums and guitar to take over!

So what to do I to feed this pentecostal inner self?  I find ways at home to praise Him.  The internet has wonderful ways of bringing free music right to your home…..www.pandora.com is a site where you can make your own radio station mix of similar artists or similar songs…..You Tube has hundreds of Christian artists in there and my latest find is www.cbn.com/radio.  CBN radio has a selection of online radio stations….praise, gospel,kids superbook and at Christmas time there was a Christmas station.  Nice.

So next time you call me and it takes a while to get to the phone…never fear….I’m likely to be  home….just busy feeding my pentecostal inner self….

This song really speaks to me at the moment….love it….

He tangata

From my last post it would seem that I am finding life tough at the moment and that I am miserable……let me tell you though, it is not all bad.  I am not depressed, I am not a crying mess and I am not giving up.  But there are certain things that are my reality at the moment, and this blog is an excellent way of being real – with myself and with you.

So fret not.  I am made of thick and tough skin and I’ve been knocked down, but I get up again!

Happy New Year everyone!!  I hope this year has started with a real bang for you and that many blessed and exciting things are going to happen in the months to come.

As most people do at this time of the year I’ve done a little thinking about what the past year held for me – the highlights and the main events and wow!  What a ride it was.  We started the year with a  holiday in Australia for my brother’s wedding which was a really fun time for us.  Then it was home to NZ and I started homeschooling our eldest son while we waited for our visas to be approved for our move to America.   The visas came through and three weeks later we were on that plane to Oregon!  We carried on homeschooling all through that long and gloriously warm summer, then The Thinker started public school in September.  After much ‘should we, should we not go for it’ we decided to ‘go for it’ and I got pregnant with our number three child.  We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in November.

What a year!!  I can’t help but think of a certain quote when I think about all we’ve been through and the things that really matter to me.  The indigenous people of New Zealand are the Maori people and the following quote is a famous quote belonging to them……

‘He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata’
‘What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people , it is people.’

It is people who have made things a lot easier for me this past year.  It is people who have opened their arms and homes and hearts.  It is people that I really miss.  It is people that I long to see.  It is people who I long to touch with a little of God’s love.  It is people.

I actually think that the most important thing in the world is God, but people matter to God – hence my love for this quote!

So as this year progresses I want my focus to be on people.  Loving people.  Helping people.  Hugging people.  Opening my home to people.  Serving people.

Yes last year was tough in a few ways – but the thing that made it easier was people. Even in my loneliness I can’t forget some people.  People who welcomed us, accepted random dinner invites, thought of the essential things we would need to set ourselves up and provided them for us.  People.  Thank you to those people.  You know who you are.

‘He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata’
‘What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people , it is people.’