Welcome Here

I read an article the other day that talked of how there have been numerous snake hatchings lately…..there are lots of snakes being found in various suburbs of the city I now live in.

I don’t do snakes. The thought of encountering one makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Spiders aren’t so bad. But snakes? Slithery, slidey, poisonous thingies…….nah…….I’m more than a little afraid.

Since reading that article, I can’t go out to the washing line without first looking carefully at the lawns and checking for snakes, then I give the pile of grass clippings behind a tree a very good look at too…..

I’ve been dwelling on those words that I read. Can’t get them out of my head. What we choose to see, read, hear, we dwell on. It is as simple as that.

I can choose to dwell on the negative thoughts I have on the house we live in at the moment and I can fret about finding a house to move into as soon as our lease is up and how that is all going to work out, I can choose to dwell on the lack of communication I have from some people I dearly miss, I can choose to dwell on the right here, right now issues at hand in my life. Or I can choose to dwell on the good and right – happy and settled children, newly forming friendships, the steadfastness of my amazing husband and so very much more.

But even more than dwelling on the good – even more than just thinking positively, I’m experiencing a new desperation for the Holy Spirit in me…..the peace and direction from Him and only Him. The following of His promptings. Making space for Him. He’s filling the gaps, being the grouting in the wobbly and misaligned tiles in my life.

But this making room – it has to be an intentional thing. He has to be sought. But He comes through! Jeremiah 29:13 ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’. The New Living Translation says ‘If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me’. What a promise we have. What comfort and strength can be ours.

No more snake articles for me…..just more of Jesus……more of Jesus……this song is my prayer at the moment…holding me together…..

Five Minute Friday: Remember

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write.  Simply write.  So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

So here goes….

Remember.

I remember when the prophet man asked us to stand.  So stand we did, hand in hand.  He spoke words of life over us, words that gave us hope, words that gave direction.  Truth.  From God’s heart to our ears.

I remember the time in my student flat when I saw my friend’s leg grow before my very eyes.  And then this very month when my friend’s baby was healed in utero of a heart problem.

I remember seeing and hearing people being set free from different spirits.  It wasn’t freaky, weird or spacey.  It was right and good and honoring.  It was freeing.

I remember prayer meetings so loud that not one voice was distinguishable amongst the rumblings, all were raised in agreement, special languages and all.  From our hearts to God’s ears.

I remember the amazing feeling when people remember past conversations with me, when they remember to ask after things. When they want to know progress and results.  I remember that feeling that someone cares.  Someone listens.  I matter to them.

I want to give people the gift of caring.  I want to give people the gift of healing, of being healed and whole.  I want to provide hope and encouragement like no other, with words of prophesy and knowledge.  I want to help people to shift and ease closer to Him, because I remember them, and not because of anything I do – but because of everything He has already done for them.

Let’s always remember that people matter.

Jesus remembers. We have these precious gifts from His helper.  Let’s use them to show people that Jesus remembers them.  Jesus remembers.

Always.

A trip, a song and promises.

At the ripe old age of nineteen I decided to blow a big chunk of some inheritance money and planned a big trip that took me from my University town of Dunedin in New Zealand, to the USA and then onto visit the land I was born in, Nepal.

Being young and adventurous I decided to visit the places I really wanted to visit.  The things that were important to me at the time.  I started off in Arizona where my brother was at a University, completing his Ph.D.  From Tucson we were supposed to road trip to the Grand Canyon but an unfortunate incident in a little hick town with a sewerage truck not stopping at a stop sign and our rental car coming off worse quickly put a halt to that.  I went on to Colorado Springs to visit  Focus on the Family (this is an indication of how unique a thinker I was….I mean isn’t Focus on the Family HQ on all 19 year old’s bucket lists?), then I went to a summer camp way over on the East Coast that a New Zealander I knew was speaking at, and then it was on to my final American destination.  Brownsville, Pensacola, Florida.

Yep.  Right then, revival was happening at the Brownsville Assembly of God and I wanted in on it.  So I went.  And I participated.  I went to a school of intercessory prayer.  I learnt a lot.  I saw a lot.  I loved a lot.

So if you can remember what I’m talking about with this big revival, you’ll most likely remember some of the worship songs coming out of there led by Lindell Cooley.  One of my favs back then was ‘The Spirit of the Sovereign God’.  It is still is a fav.  Based on the words of Isaiah 61: 1 – 3  –

‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted.  He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, to announce liberty to captives and to open the eyes of the blind.  He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of God’s favour to them has come, and the day of his wrath to their enemies.  To all who mourn in Israel he will give: Beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness.  For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory’.

Now, I’m no bible scholar but I know that this is the prophet Isaiah speaking.  And I know that Jesus quoted these words in Luke 4.  And I know that the same Holy Spirit that was upon Mr Isaiah here, is also upon me.

Which really means…..

I am anointed to bring good news to the suffering and afflicted.

God has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted, announce freedom to captives and I’m also sent to open the eyes of the blind.

I have been sent to share with those who mourn that God will take away their ashes and give them beauty, and give them joy instead of mourning, praise instead of heaviness.

And you know what?

Acts 10: 34 tells us God is no respecter of persons, in other words, he doesn’t play favourites.

Yes I am anointed to bring good news – God’s good news to the suffering and afflicted – but here’s the thing…so are you.

You are anointed to bring good news.

You are being sent to comfort the brokenhearted.

You can announce liberty to the captives.

Yes there are always ways available to help us do these things ‘better’.  We can attend courses and do bible college lessons and attend sessions on ‘how to share our faith’, we can read up on the latest books of how to reach our generation, listen to the best podcasts, go the best conferences….and this is all very good and well, but sometimes there is the danger it just delaying the DOING.

This is my challenge to myself at the moment.  To just do it.  This.  It.  Walking and living in the knowledge that I am anointed to share the good news that I know so well.

Let’s just do it.

Let’s live in God’s many promises, and keep reaching out and looking up – knowing we’re not doing it in our strength but His and when we step out – He meets us and works in and through us.

isaiah

Revelation.

If there ever was such a thing as a typical blogger, it certainly wouldn’t be me.  There is no schedule or routine to the times when I post, I’ve never been to a blogging conference and even if I would (sometimes) love to, I could never go to one, I don’t do anything to draw traffic to this blog and I don’t partake in any of the blogging ‘trends’, apart from Five Minute Friday.

While I’m just not a typical blogger, if there was such a thing, one little trend that is doing the rounds at the moment, is for people to choose a ‘word’ for the year.  A word that has meaning to them and gives them a bit of direction for the new year.  So while I avoid most trends in my feeble blogging attempts……I’ve got me a word for the year.  Yep.  I know.  It just found me somehow.  I didn’t go out soulsearching, there was no pondering over a few lattes.  It just came to me.

Revelation.  I’ve realized I want and need new and fresh revelation this coming year.  Revelation of God’s love, His empowerment to me, revelation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and new revelation from His word.

We’re only a few days past Christmas.  It was a joyful Christmas for us this year.  We spent lovely times together as a family unit and with friends who opened their hearts, arms and home to us.  In the evening of Christmas Day, while driving home I couldn’t help but think. ‘It is all over’.  ‘And so this is Christmas?’.  Then the word ‘revelation’ popped into my head.  Christmas doesn’t have to finish when the last of the ham is eaten, the tree is put away and the carols stop being played.  No, we can have new and fresh revelation from the Lord every day, of every month.  The wonder of Jesus continues throughout the year, if we seek Him.

I’ve resisted blogging about the Sandy Hook shooting for the very fact that other people have already said much more eloquently than I ever could, the things I’ve been thinking.  But all of the gun debate that has surfaced since that awful event has been very eye-opening for this gal.  I get that people are into their rights, I get that people feel safer if they are armed, I even get that I live in an area where hunting is huge and enormously popular and the majority of people know how to use their weapons safely and are responsible.  But here’s my thing…..we all need to have our hearts and eyes wide open and not be too narrowminded to think our way is the only way.  Revelation.  We need to ask the Lord for new revelation and we need to know it is ok to maybe change our minds on a few things…..take into perspective other people’s opinions and learn from the mistakes of the past.  Let’s not be stubborn people, let’s not be pig-headed, let’s be open to new and fresh revelations.

At the start of December my family and I were hugely blessed to be able to travel to Northern California to meet up with friends from home, who were in the States on their way to the UK for holidays.  It was the best of times…we introduced them to all things American:  Costco, peanut butter m &ms, Cold Stone Creamery and we went to church with them.  To a very special church. We got to go to three different services and before we got to the first one my husband prayed that we would get ‘new revelation from the Bible’.  And, we did.  New food for thought, new meaning from verses, fresh insight, and even now, at home, many weeks later as I read a book written by one of the Pastors of this church, every chapter brings with it new revelation.  Wonderful!

For some of you the new year doesn’t fill you with much joy.  Some of you are facing hard times with health, family issues, financial struggles and a lot of uncertainty.  I’m sorry.  Life can be hard, there can be rough and tough curveballs thrown at us – but I know someone who loves you very much, and He is just itching to give you a fresh and new revelation of His love.  Of his provision.  Of his power and might.

If you need a bit more hope, if you’ve lost your jollies with the last of the Christmas fudge being eaten, if your future looks a little bleak and you know your worries will follow you into the new year…then join me in asking for revelation.  Revelation from on high.

Who knows what this new year will bring with changed attitudes and perspectives?  New understanding of those around us…….new commitments to being better wives, Mums, sisters, Aunts, grandmothers and neighbours.

Revelation.  I’m after it, I’m chasing it, I’m hungry for it.  Are you?

Silence

Silence is like a chameleon.  It can be many different things, to many different people.  Silence can be a good and necessary thing, but it can also be a stumbling block.  A way of sending a mixed message and a cause for more angst.

Most of us crave some degree of silence to surround us from time to time.  When you have small children there is nothing sweeter than watching those children sleeping.  Quiet reigns.  For a time.  And it is a beautiful thing.

There are times in our lives when it is best to be silent.  When biting one’s tongue means that arguments are avoided.  Small mole hills are not made into mountains.  When it is more important for parents to show a united front before their children, than to discuss their different opinions and cause wavering thoughts.

Then there are times when it is necessary to speak up.  To end the silence.  To declare God’s truths.  To say it how it is.  No matter how much your voice quivers and squeaks.

No-one is ever remembered for what they stayed silent about.

Silence can convey indifference.

Loyalty is never silent.

People can’t know what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling, where we sit with things, unless we tell them.  Unless we break our silences.  We can’t be a good friend if we never communicate with our friends.  We can’t get past the fluff and nonsense if we never dig deeper in conversations and talk about real issues and real feelings and real life.

But how do we know when to be silent and when to clear our voices and declare our thoughts, loudly and clearly?

I’m the first to say I get it wrong sometimes.  I stay silent when I should talk.   I talk when I should stay silent.  But I’d rather try and mess up, and learn along the way than not have friends know how much I love and admire them, than not be able to share ideas on how to improve things usually from me learning things the hard way.  And I’m learning that it doesn’t matter that my knowledge on ‘stuff’ is limited, as long as I’m still learning and still trying.

What I do know is that I’m learning to be led by Him.  I’m learning to be led by the Holy Spirit, and the more I listen, the more I know when to speak up and when to be silent.

Silence can be so comforting and…..just so right.  When it is you and a dear friend, silence can be the greatest gift.  Silence with my husband is never awkward or wrong, but accepting and loving.  And silence can be frustrating and it can create anxious moments so very easily.  The difference is having peace.  The peace that passes all understanding, in being led by the one who is in control of the universe.  That’s my God.  That’s my King.

The lie of invisibility

Ever sent off a message into cyberspace giving encouragement, written in love, to not ever get a response?

Ever heard about social events, after the fact and felt that tug in your tummy?

Ever feel like it doesn’t even matter if you go somewhere or not – you won’t be missed  – your presence or your absence makes no waves either way?

Ever felt like you will never be someone’s first choice in a friendship – that you’re never the one they pick up the phone to call first, or to arrange social gatherings first…you’re more the afterthought……

These thoughts are something I’ve been struggling with lately, and I figured if it is something I’ve had struggles with……I reckon I’m not alone in these thoughts.

All of these things result in giving you a feeling of invisibility.  That you don’t matter.  That your life doesn’t matter.  That you can make no difference in the world.

These thoughts: they are all wrong, all nasty, and if I were  a woman preacher I would stand at the pulpit and declare ‘they are lies straight from the pits of hell’.

I do believe this is all wrong wrong wrong.  But I need to remind myself and maybe you do too. YOU do matter.  What you say does matter.  How you live does matter.  Where you go, does matter.  Who you know, does matter.

Satan would like us to think otherwise because when we know WHO we are in Him, we are a force to be reckoned with.

When we know WHO we are and WHOSE we are, and when we REMEMBER this and live knowing this, then we don’t let these thoughts of feeling invisible get to us.

So.  Who are we in Christ?

I am called of God by my name (Isaiah 43:1)

I am engraved on the palm of God’s hands (Isaiah 49: 16)

I am delivered from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13)

I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

I have a purpose for living (Jeremiah 29:11) (Ephesians 1:11 – 12)

I am never forsaken (Psalm 27:10)

I have a father (Psalm 68: 5)

I am a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19)

I am receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28)

I am loved with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)

I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)

I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)

I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8: 37)

I am an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 20)

I am accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1: 6)

I am beloved and chosen by God (1 Thess 1:4)

I am healed by the wounds of Jesus (1 Peter 2:24)

I am free from condemnation (Romans 8:1)

I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)

I know God’s voice (John 10: 14)

I have all my needs met in Christ (Philippians 4: 19)

I have everlasting life (John 6: 47)

I have power to control my thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5)

The Lord is my rock and salvation (Psalm 18: 2)

I have received power from the Holy Spirit to heal the sick, cast out demons, defeat the enemy (Mark 16: 17)

I forget the past and go forward with Christ (Philippians 3: 12- 13)

I have received the power that raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 1: 19- 20)

I always triumph in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14)

There is a lot of power in them thar words.  There is a lot of hope in them thar words.

The key for me  is to read and believe these words, over the words, the very lies that the devil tells me.

Let’s choose hope dear friends.  Hope.  No-one is invisible to my Lord.

Five Minute Friday: Story

Five Minute Friday

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

5 mins of writing on a set topic.

I’ve decided that if I ever wanted to do more writing….and to really get serious about it then I need to be able to just write.  Simply write.  So I’m going to join some friends linking up at Lisa-Jo’s blog and we shall see what fun ensues…..

Start.

Story.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine;
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

I think we get it wrong a lot of the time.  The whole our lives tell a story thing.  That’s the first thing I thought of with this prompt.

How can we live our lives to tell a story?

What can we do?  We think our words on paper or on the interwebby are the story too.  We place great emphasis on these words.  We tweet about them.  We draw attention to them.  We want to be read.  We want to be understood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending, bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

But I think more often that not we get it wrong.

Completely wrong.

The story is not ours.

It is not about what we can do.  What we can write.  What we can talk about.

The story is His.  The story is the Lord’s.  It is about what He can do in and through us.  How we can lead others to Him, because of what He is doing.

The Christian life was first about doing and being. Before it was about writing.  The life led by the Spirit, in turns brings about the story.

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.

His story, is our lives.  I want my story to be His story.

Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.

STOP.