Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Stressing out?

Photo credit: pure devotion
It is so easy to get caught up in life, rushing from one point to the next. I realise that everybody is in a different place in their lives and yes there is a time to work and a time to play, but it’s so important to take time and breathe.
God didn’t need to rest on the 7th day, He has all the energy, He is energy, but he chose to rest and enjoy the creation which He has made. Sometimes I wonder why we think that working, rushing and being busy 7 days a week is normal. I think if God didn’t make sleep, then we would probably be busy 24 hours a day! I’m not saying that it’s not good to be busy and I’m not saying that our lives need to be perfectly balanced. I’m just saying that our lives need to be as balanced as God wants them to be. It’s important for us to listen to our bodies and to the Holy Spirit and to be honest with ourselves as to what limits we can or should push ourselves to.
I have been in seasons where I have worked up to 14 hours a day for weeks at a time and at that time I knew it was what God wanted me to do. No one would have said that it was a balanced few weeks, but God pulled me through late nights with great joy and peace and I still see the fruit of those seasons in my life today.
To me resting is not so much physically sitting and relaxing, but a state of mind. Knowing that everything you do is stress free with peace and joy and then there will be a sense of rest in your heart.
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
We can live this life stress free and in rest if we learn to enter into His rest and to hand over our burdens to God. This does not mean that we sit around and do nothing, but rather that we continue going about our daily schedule, with perseverance, but without anxiety of what tomorrow might bring.
“Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” Luke 12:24-26
“The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
    I was facing death, and he saved me.
Let my soul be at rest again,
    for the Lord has been good to me.” Psalm 116:6-7

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Warning signs...

Photo credit: vi.sualize

Have you ever wondered why you can be so impatient in a shop, queue, in traffic or just in general? Or why you so easily snap at nothing and for no apparent reason. Symptoms like these should not be ignored, it should waive a little red flag indicating that something, somewhere is bothering us.
Jesus is the perfect example of peace and patience, He still became angry at certain times, but his anger was always righteous and related to injustice for example in Matt 21:12-14 “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.”
Remember that in those days people would bring animals or doves to the temple as offerings to atone for their sins, but instead of serving the poor people coming to the temple with prayer and counselling, the priests or teachers were selling animals at inflated prices, making themselves rich and this angered Jesus as His people were being taken advantage of.
I know when something is bothering me or draining me and I know that if I don't deal with the issue with God then it would lead to all of the above. If I notice one of those symptoms pop out in my daily life, I take time out, sit with God and ask Him to reveal to me what is bothering me deep down. Sometimes the answer is quite obvious and relates to something that recently happened, but sometimes an issue can get so hidden that we are not even aware of it anymore, but the symptoms still remain.
Anger or frustration never inspire or positively motivate us, they always lead us to a feeling of shame, guilt or just sadness, emptiness or depression. Whatever you want to call it, the fact is that it drains us from our joy and peace.
This is not the way Jesus wants us to live. He has come to set us free forever and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Non-believers often don’t understand me when I say that I'm freer now than I've ever been. This is because they see God as a set of rules and not as a best friend and counsellor. I really can't blame them as there have been so many misrepresentations made about God, by churches, all over the world and people trying to control and manipulate for their own gain.
Nonetheless my point still stands. Jesus has set me free from the bondages that this world and life have placed on me. He has set me free from the anger, hurt, resentment, offence, condemnation and rejection in my own heart, which leaves me at a place where I am secure, free to forgive, free to live life and free to love freely like Him without wounds from the past or any conditions holding me back.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Cor 13:17
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Gal 5:1
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

Monday, 29 October 2012

Beyond your wildest dreams!

A few years ago God gave me a picture of an axe. The axe was standing in the middle of a forest trying to open a can of Coke. Every time the axe tried to open the can, it just ended up damaging the can and coke would just splash everywhere. God said to me, I know what I made you for, stop trying to open a can of coke when I have given you an entire forest to cut down.
Quite a random picture, but the point is this, the axe was not made to open a can of Coke, it was made to chop down trees. God has called each one of us for a very specific purpose, He made us intentionally to fit with this purpose and if we do anything else it would just lead to frustration and a feeling of being unfulfilled. God has so much planned for us, more than we ever could imagine and we should never settle for less than everything that He has for us. You are so uniquely tailor-made for your destiny. You don't need to create one, just walk in the one that was created for YOU. At no other time will you find yourself in a place where you feel more effective, successful, joyful and content.
Also note that the axe was also actually doing something. When we have God in us and we do nothing with it, we will also end up in a place of frustration and boredom. We were made to give, to love and to serve and when we miss out on these wonderful opportunities it will also lead to frustration. Jesus says: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 We have not received these living waters to keep to ourselves, but to share the love and kindness of Jesus with this world.
May you be encouraged today to sit with God and ask Him what His purpose and dreams for you are. Remember, when God looks at you He does not see what you can do, but what He can do through you and that is limitless.
“But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”
these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-12
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may 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

 Picture credit: favim

Sunday, 28 October 2012

I am unique

Photo credit:

I cannot stress enough how different each person is. We can all see it, different features, hair, eyes, bodies, personalities, strengths, weaknesses  and the list goes on, but for some reason we expect God to work the same way with all of us.
Don't misunderstand me, God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and His principles and character will never change, but the manner in which He deals with each one of us is very different. It has to be, because we all have different personalities, backgrounds and biases. What works for me, won't necessarily work for you and no one knows that better than God. He knows exactly what makes you tick, how to wind you up and how to wind you down.
My point is this, walking with Jesus is a relationship, not a set of rules. You might have heard that phrase a hundred times, but why do we still compare, judge and beat ourselves up for not meeting standards that WE have set for ourselves?
Jesus has met every standard that we ever had to meet. In Him we are clothed with His righteousness and perfection, blameless before the throne of God. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 We are free to walk in relationship with the living God, to hear His voice and heartbeat without anything holding us back.
He has a unique road for each one of us to walk and on that road we will find everything we ever needed. Don't look left or right to someone else's road, don't compare or envy, just walk, walk in faith knowing that God is good and that He only gives good gifts to His children. (Matt 7:7-11) Do not be distracted or pressured by other people's successes or misfortunes and don't let people force their ideas of how you should walk on you, just focus on His direction and the road that He has shaped for you, it is tailored to your needs and filled with blessings, peace and joy.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes” Jeremiah 29:11-14
 “Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:23-29

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Fearfully and wonderfully made...

Sometimes a picture speaks louder than words...


Picture credit: Jamie Lynn Photography 
1O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you.

- Psalm 139:1-18

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Access with confidence!

In the days before the death and resurrection of Jesus, no one could enter the most holy place in the temple. Only the high priest could go behind the veil into the presence of God. There were various rituals which the high priest needed to perform in order for him to be acceptable to God and to enable him to enter into the most holy place. 

On the day that Jesus died, the veil in the temple in Jerusalem was torn in two from the top to bottom. (Matt 27:51) This was no coincidence. The veil was an extremely long and wide curtain and made from very thick material. 

This is very significant for you and me, because the veil that has been separating the people from the presence of God has now been removed giving us access through Jesus into the most holy place of God's presence. Jesus came to die so that we can have a relationship with God, so that there is no separation anymore.

The veil signifies our sin and Jesus has endured death on a cross as punishment for our sin, he took our place and thereby removing the veil of sin forever. We do not need an invitation into God's presence, we did not earn it, but we received it as a free gift. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Do not let any lie keep you separated from the presence of God, Jesus has already paid the price, you now have access into the most holy place, with boldness and confidence, because you are a son and heir in His kingdom and have been set free by the blood of Jesus.

"This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realised in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory." Ephesians 3:11-13 

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh." Hebrews 10:19-20

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Make space for a miracle

You sometimes have to let go to allow God to do a miracle.

God always has a plan, He is always busy doing something in your life. He never panics or stresses.

A famous Dutch speaker and evangelist said: “There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.”  ― Corrie Ten Boom

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." John 12:24 ESV

As the scripture above reveals, only when we let a situation go (the grain) and plant it in God's hands, then we allow it to bear much fruit. God cannot do a miracle when we cling to it and hold it too tightly in our own hands, it then remains alone and bears no fruit. By trusting God with our situation and placing it into His hands, we exercise faith and activate the power for a miracle.

It is so easy to take control of a situation, even if you have no answer and no way out. We just have this idea that if we just hold on, it will somehow just fix itself, but there are some situations which we cannot change, situations where we have become hopeless, discouraged or even ashamed of.

Maybe it's time to say, I can't, but You can. We have a God for which nothing is impossible and no situation is too big or too deep. Even if we cannot think of any possible solution, He has one and He's always willing to take what's in your hand and make it grow into something beautiful.

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” - Corrie Ten Boom

Some more quotes by Corrie, she was such a legend. Do yourself a favour and read her story on Wikipedia, it's very encouraging.

“Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.” 
― Corrie Ten Boom

“This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.” 
― Corrie Ten Boom, The Hiding Place

Monday, 22 October 2012

Connecting with God

It is so important that we connect with God daily. Reading a blog, listening to a song or reading a Christian book is not connecting with God. We need to daily find that place in His presence where we connect with Him. He has so incredibly much to reveal to us and He has such a desire to spend time with His children.
We need to prepare our hearts to receive Him and to tune our ears to listen to His voice. Our hearts need to be open, good soil, to allow the seeds of His words to fall into our hearts and grow.
“Other seeds fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:7-9
“As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case hundredfold, in another sixty, and I another thirty.” Matthew 13:22-23
How often are our minds so full of thoughts that there is no space for God to get a word in? God is always speaking, but His words often don’t even reach us, because our heads are so full of “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches”. This can be a challenge, but I believe that this is why Peter says: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:6-9
If we do not cast our anxieties on Jesus, then the devil has a foothold in our minds and he will do anything to distract us from what God is speaking over our lives. Take back your ground, cast all your cares on Jesus and open your heart and ears to the beautiful things that He wants to say to you. “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deut 4:29

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Emotional pain: Ouch, it hurts..

I have never really dealt with death in my life as I have never lost someone that I immensely loved and cared for. I have been very fortunate so far, but I know inevitably it will happen and when that happens then maybe I'll rewrite this post. But for now I will talk about what I do know about.
Pain, emotional pain. The pain that makes you fall on the floor crying so hard that you think your insides are going to fall out. You feel like something inside broke beyond restoration and it hurts, it hurts so much and it's just so raw and so sore. Your heart is breaking, you feel betrayed, rejected, discouraged and you have no idea how you will move on beyond this point.
In that moment just cry out to God, just simply cry out, tell Him how you feel, how much it hurts and how angry you are. Scream if necessary and ask Him "why?" as many times as you'd like. He wants to hear from you, He loves you and He's not judging you. He knows how you feel and He wants you to be honest with Him about what's in your heart. He knows what is in your heart already, so just tell Him the truth in all harshness. He can deal with it. He wants to comfort you and He wants to give you peace and rest. Pain is relative, everybody reacts differently to situations and just because your pain might look less important in relation to pain in the world, does not mean that it’s not important. What’s important to you, is important to God.
"He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
I want to let you know that you will make it through, that you are not alone and that your heart can heal. You might have a scar, but no wound. Nothing missing and nothing broken. It is so important that you speak about your heartache. Do not bottle it up and deal with it alone. You will be surprised how many people there are who have suffered in the same way and who is willing to walk this road with you. Do not be ashamed and do not isolate yourself. Satan will do anything to keep you hurting. He will convince you that people don't care, that they are too busy or that they think you are pathetic. Do not believe his lies. You are not alone!
If your hurt relates to a loved one: You will never forget your loved one or the time you spent together, but don't let this pain dictate the basis for future happiness, friendships or relationships. It will if you do not let the wound heal properly. Jesus is the great comforter and there is no wound that He cannot heal. We must only be willing and He will do the rest. Take a step towards this journey with Him, even if it means going back a few years to the origin of the hurt, just take a small step and He will lead you in the most beautiful way.
1. Cry, a lot, as much as you want to and need to.
2. Rest, give yourself a break and look after yourself.
3. Eat, every food that you love.
Enter into God's rest and remember that you are incredibly loved by the One who holds the universe in His hands.
"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
"You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, because God is for me. In God whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Psalm 56:8-11

Friday, 19 October 2012

Dance like you mean it!

If you haven’t done an ass-slapping, hip hopping, two song dance solo in front of your mirror in the last few days, then ask yourself, “where’s my joy level at!?”
There is a big difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is a temporary feeling that we get from something, it relates directly to our circumstances and feelings on a specific moment. It is something external. If you don’t have joy, then you will always need something to make you happy.
Joy on the other hand is something foundational. It is internal. I call it my “mattress”. It’s that thing that keeps you from hitting rock bottom.  It’s the knowing in your heart that no matter what, you will be fine. You will persevere, you will endure and you will conquer!  
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh 8:10
The more joy bursts forth from your heart, the less anything can drag you down. Your confidence, patience and love levels skyrocket and you really feel like a million bucks! Don’t get me wrong, just because we have eternal joy does not mean that we won’t cry, mourn or be emotional, it just means that in each one of those times you will never hit rock bottom. You will have a foundation of joy to fall on.
“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy might be complete.” John 16:24
Come on! Jesus didn’t die on the cross so you can be miserable! Tap into that amazing joy that is available to you. Ask for it, receive it, protect it and most of all dance like you mean it! :D
“Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” Psalm 16:9
 “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness in your presence.” Acts 2:28
“You have put more joy in my heart than they have, when their grain and wine abound.” Psalm 4:7
All images were obtained from Goolge

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Even when I am faithless?!

Photo credit: favim

Friends! Please know today that God has not forgotten about you. He knows where you are in life and what is bothering you. He thinks about you more times than you can count and His plans for you are more than you could ever imagine!
You might say: “but I don’t care about God” or “I don’t think about God much anymore” or “I’ve never heard Him speak”, but this does not mean that he does not care about you, think about you and want to speak to you. What you DO cannot change WHO God is, not now and not ever.
Regardless of whether or not you have ever believed in God, the Bible says:
“The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot deny himself.” (2Tim 2:11-13)

Just because you find yourself in a place where you are faithless, does not mean that God will now lose faith in you. He is faithfulness and He can never deny who He is. It is impossible for God to be unfaithful. Every promise that He has spoken over you will not return to Him void. (Isa 55:11) Do not feel discouraged, because you are feeling faithless, God has still got you in His hand, His plans are still for you and He will direct your steps.  “But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)
If you find yourself in a space where you have denied God, do not be anxious, turn around and come to Him. He will not turn you away! This is so beautiful, the Bible says: So he told them this parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance" Luke 15:3-7
Every day I pray that there will be another party in heaven because another child came home. It’s not too late to join the party, open your heart and let Love find you.

We cry out - awesome song!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Is that a cactus I see?

Photo credit: captainkimo
Sometimes we reach a place of discouragement, even a little depression or laziness. Often we don’t even have a good reason to feel down, we just have that feeling, that feeling of general averageness. It’s when you know that you can be driving in 5th gear, but you seem to just be stuck in 1st for no apparent reason. I think I hate the feeling of averageness so much, because I know that I wasn’t meant to be average. Every moment of the day I want to overflow with joy and love.
Jesus says: “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” That is what I want, life to flow out of me every moment of the day. There is no reason why we have to settle for anything less. Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Every day Satan will try and steal from you. It starts off with a small lie which we believe and then snowballs into a negative feeling which can be very destructive. This can really be anything from “you know they don’t appreciate you at work”, “she really doesn't care about you” to "you didn't deserve such treatment, you need justice!". He sows a small seed which, if not stopped, can grow into a really sore topic. Let’s call it the cactus. That issue, even though it originated from a soft place, turns in to a prickly hard outer layer designed to keep people out.
So what does a cactus look like? (you might ask) Well, it can be anger, resentment or bitterness for example. Strong emotions like these will always block peace, love and joy in our lives. The best thing is to deal with the plant as soon as it starts growing, because the longer it grows, the bigger, harder and pricklier it gets.
It might be that you have been hurt, abused, mocked, disrespected or offended by someone and this has resulted in pain, which in turn has evolved into a cactus of an emotion. It might be that the entire rest of your life is in perfect order and that the cactus isn’t even an identifiable feature in your life or maybe it has grown into a centre piece. No matter how big or small the issue is it will drag you down in some or other way if not dealt with properly.
You will have to sit down and be honest with yourself. Listen to your heart and find the root of the emotion. I’m sure that it won’t always be easy, as some roots have grown deeper into our hearts than others, but let’s sit with Jesus and ask Him to help us identify and forgive.
I heard Joyce Meyer once say: “Not forgiving someone is like constantly drinking poison and hoping the other person would die.” (she was physically abused during her entire childhood, so she knows what she’s talking about)
It really just is not worth it. It is a decision. So make a choice today to stop letting past issue or current issues drag you down and dictate who you are today and choose to forgive and move on, even if it takes a while. How cool is it that when you cut open some cacti, you find water inside! Be refreshed! Rid your heart of all unwanted weeds and allow the love, peace and joy that Jesus has for you fill your heart and overflow. What you want is to live in a space of constant freedom. Close the door every time you see a lie walk past, don't invite him in or even entertain him, he is only there to steal, kill and destroy and you were made to have life and have it abundantly!
“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Cor 3:17)

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

You are a word from heaven

Picture credit: favim
Sometimes you get those times when you just need to hold on. Hold on for dear life until the storm passes. In that moment there's always a choice to jump overboard or to simply hold on. No one wants do go down with a sinking ship, but if the ship is not yet sinking, then maybe it's not time to quit.
You might be feeling pain, hurt, frustration or anger, experiencing financial difficulties, depression, emotional trauma or in the middle of making life changing decisions, but you can know for sure that God has gone ahead of you and is preparing the way.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9 ESV)
There is no place, emotionally or physically, where God is not willing to go with us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He wraps His arms around us and covers us in His love. There is no need or desire that He cannot satisfy. 
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-11 ESV)
I dare you today, ask! Ask like you've never asked before. Ask because you know that the God of the universe is listening, waiting to give you the desires of your heart. Sometimes we may not understand the way in which He brings things about, but you surely know that He has your best interests at heart and that your answer is on its way.
There is a beautiful song by Jason Upton called Sons and daughters, where he sings that you are a word from heaven. Never forget that God is just one word away from you, closer than the air you breathe. You do not need to do a thing, just call, just call on His name and His love will find you.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7 ESV)

Monday, 15 October 2012

To the nations and beyond!

Tonight I found myself playing around on Google Maps. There is so much of the world that I haven’t yet and probably will never see. I found myself looking at cities which are currently at war and the devastation that they are in. I kept thinking that it is the last place on earth that I would want to live!
As I look at the pictures I feel God saying: “I love those people.” My heart feels like breaking. Who will tell them that they are loved? Who will tell them that they are cared for? Who will tell them that there is a hope that defeats the horror of fear and death?
I guess the answer is: no one. No one if we don’t go, if we don’t move, if we don’t leave our comfortable homes to make a difference in this world. The love of God in our hearts should be so strong that we ask Him: “What do you want us to do? Send us!”.

This does not mean that each one of us needs to leave his own country, it just means that we need to be willing, willing to go where no one has gone or dared to go before, even if it’s in our own backyards. If God is with us, who can be against us? The safest place to be is in the will of God, exactly where God wants you to be. He is preparing the way before us and all we need to do is ask where.
The love of the Hope of the world is in us and we carry an extraordinary responsibility to carry the power of His love to the world. Without hope there is no love. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Rom 10:14-15

Let’s take the challenge, put our selfishness aside, get out of our comfort zones and respond with a willing heart and surely, through us, Love will find them!
These are just a few amazing websites of brave people who have left their homes for the sake of the gospel and in so doing has changed nations!

India, Biju Thampy -
Greece, Abolishing salvery in the 21st century  -
Mozambique, Roland & Heidi Baker -
Hong Kong, Jackie Pullinger -
Worldwide, Joyce Meyer -
Worldwide, Reinhard Bonnke -

It reminds me of this song: J

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 
Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39

Sunday, 14 October 2012

When "no answer" is your answer

Photo credit: abstract

Sometimes we so desperately want an answer. "Why did this happen to me?" "What do I do now?" "What is the plan here God, because I'm surely not seeing the full picture?!" 
Don't get me wrong, it's good to ask. God is a god who speaks and that of course is the basis of our relationship, but sometimes He also needs to protect us from ourselves. We are indeed very complicated beings and if we are really honest, very often our own worst enemies. 
We all have different pasts, biases, likes, dislikes, fears and insecurities. Then mixed in the equation is our fast paced culture. We get everything now, on the move, fresh, hot and comfortable. We sometimes forget that patience really is a virtue and that Rome wasn't built in a day.
Our impatience, quite unnecessarily, often leads to frustration or anger, when the answer is quite simple, "now just isn't the right time".
I realised again this morning, that even though the storm rages on, there is one who has the answer, there is one who is not freaking out the way that I do, who is always stable and secure. One who knows what He is doing and maybe in that moment instead of asking for an answer or an explanation of the full picture, I should rather ask for peace, joy and a love that overflows. 
The fact that He is not providing me with an answer does not mean that He doesn't hear or that He doesn't care, but merely that He is unfolding a plan larger than I can comprehend and by telling me the detail it will distract me from what I need to do now, which is nothing but rest, wait and trust. He doesn't need me to know the answer and then think ahead, worry or tell Him that He's crazy. He sometimes needs to protect me from myself and my primitive way of thinking.
This reminds me  of a quote that someone special once gave me, I paraphrase, but it goes something like this:
"Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child."
In the years that I have been walking with God, He has never once turned His back on me, never once left me, never once took His love from me and never once gave me any reason whatsoever to doubt Him. This brings me to a place where I can confidently say that no matter where you are or how deep you're  in, in the middle of the storm, that is where Love will find you...