Monday, December 20, 2010

The Song in our Hearts

I love Christmas carols. I love listening to them in the car or when I’m cleaning the house. Anytime really. They put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. There is a danger, however, when we hear them so often. We can sometimes forget the meaning behind the words. We can enjoy the music, but forget the message.

Silent night. Holy night. Let’s not forget the hush of awe that night holds for us. Our Lord and God came to earth as a mere babe. He experienced the pain and ugliness of life for us. He wept for us. He gave us hope when we had none.

Let our praise for our Lord be the song that sings in our hearts – not just in this season, but always.

May you all have a blessed Christmas.

What’s your favourite Christmas Carol?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Break Time

The next couple of weeks will be super busy for me so I won't have time to write any new posts. I will be back on 20th December to wish everyone a blessed and happy Christmas.

And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name.
Luke 1:46-49(NIV)

Monday, November 29, 2010


That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

This is a promise from God. Our sins are behind us when we confess to our Lord. Our mistakes are forgiven and forgotten when we turn to God. We are saved and there is nothing that can separate us from our Lord.

We don’t need to prove ourselves by doing great works. Great works are meaningless if they don’t first come from God.

We don’t need to redeem ourselves by paying off all we owe to God. That debt was already paid by Christ Jesus when he died on the cross.

We don’t need to force our way into favour with God. He already loves us.

All we need to do is trust him.

When we do this, we become richly blessed. We become God’s children. We become heirs to his Kingdom. We become saved.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Insufficient Words

There are insufficient words for the gratitude I feel for my life,
for the people whom I love,
for the countless gifts and blessings I’ve received.

I can’t express the thankfulness I feel for the power of a smile,
for the touch of reassurance
and the support of a helping hand.

I can’t articulate my appreciation for the world we live in,
for the smell of Jasmine in the morning,
for the cleansing rains,
for the shade of a tree in summer
and the warmth of a blanket in winter.

All I can do is kneel at my Lord’s feet and praise His Holy Name.
He knows my heart. He hears the words I can’t express.
He delights in you and me.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 100:1-3 (NIV)

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Inconsequential Moments

I was sitting at the local coffee shop on the weekend and my husband teased me about the amount of crumbs I dropped while I ate my raisin toast. It was an inconsequential moment, but it made me smile and thank the Lord for sending me this precious man. It made me thank the Lord for laughter. And, because I could share this moment with not only my husband, but also the Lord, it made the moment not so inconsequential.

Our lives are made up of a string of inconsequential moments that can pass without notice or thought. But when we share everything with our Lord, the big moments, the little moments and the inconsequential moments become transformed into poignant moments, special moments, blessed moments.

This is when I realised that there is nothing inconsequential about our lives. Our Lord knows this. Do you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Of Worry, Warts and Bunnies

I don't know about you, but I can be a stress bunny - so much so that my husband bought me bunny ears to wear. I worry about everything. I worry about work, the family, the house, my health. When I make a decision, I wonder if it's the right one. I even worry about the increasing speed of each passing year.

Then God reassured me I don't have to live this way. "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life..." He says in Matthew 6:25(NIV). God promises many wonderful gifts. He promises us salvation, eternal life, joy, fulfillment and even peace. The thing about God is that we can trust everything He tells us. So, it's true: I don't have to worry, I can experience joy, I can be content and I can find peace.

So why don't I feel this peace?

The key of course lies in the definition. When God promises us peace, He doesn't mean a sixties movement. He doesn't mean that everyone should agree with everyone about everything. Neither does He mean we should stand back and watch our sister or brother fall because we would rather avoid confrontation or awkward situations. Jesus reassured his disciples in John 14:27 (NIV) - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." It's a peace not of this world, but a peace of the inner spirit that can only come from God and has nothing to do with our worldly situations.

To receive joy, contentment and peace there is only one condition: we must accept these promised gifts by responding to God. It's much like getting a voucher for a free gift in the mail. All we have to do is go to the store to pick it up. Sounds simple enough. But the problem is 90% of those vouchers are never redeemed. It might be because it's inconvenient, we're too busy, we forget about the voucher or time runs out. Likewise, we must redeem God's promises. God's gift of peace is ours for the taking if we turn to God and claim this free gift.

I need to remind myself that there's no need to be a stress bunny or a worry wart. Paul said it best in his letter to the Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV): "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

This piece was published in the November issue of Sancitfied Together Online. You can find it here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Love One Another

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18 (NIV)

Both friendship and love take time and effort. Neither are passive things. Neither are simply labels if they are genuine. We may feel good when we say we love others, but if we do nothing when they are in need then we have fooled ourselves.

We are asked not only to love our friends and family, but our neighbours also. We are asked to love the stranger, to love the foreigner, to love those we don’t understand. And, to love anyone is to take a certain responsibility for their well-being, both spiritually and physically, as we would for any of our closest friends.

It may seem daunting at first but through God we are given both the desire and the ability. When we focus on the love God has for us, for all the things He has done for us, all that He has sacrificed, it becomes difficult to keep that love contained. We discover that He has given us the grace to love others even if they seem difficult to love at first.

The power of God’s love is transformational.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Embrace Your Powerlessness

None of us like the idea of being powerless. It’s a difficult thing to accept because we’re told throughout our lives that we are masters of our own destiny. We’re told we must be in control. And so we try to control our lives; we sometimes even try to control other people’s lives. We take on the world with the conviction that we have the power to at least control our corner of it. But in truth we don’t and we can’t.

No matter what we do we can’t control the weather, we can’t control the passage of time, we can’t choose our family, we can’t pick the gift or abilities we are graced with and we have no idea what’s around the next corner. We are powerless to the drunken driver, the debilitating sickness, the unexpected tragedy.

And so I ask, wouldn’t it be better to hand all control over to the One who does have the power? Wouldn’t it be better to allow God to rule you, rather than your schedules, your jobs, your financial situations? After all, God knows you better than you know yourself and He cares what happens to you. He knows everything. He has already saved your eternal soul, so why not let Him save your life on earth as well? You have nothing to fear when He is in control.

Embrace your powerlessness. Accept it. Revel in it. Praise the Lord for it. Because He is the one with the power and He knows how to use it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Beatitudes

This past week of struggling with sickness reminded me of the beatitudes found in Matthew 5:1-11. When I was a new Christian I struggled with these verses. They basically said that those who suffer, mourn and struggle are blessed.

How is it a blessing to feel wretched? How is it a blessing to go hungry, to suffer loss, to be persecuted? How can I rejoice at those times? It sounded like a foolish declaration by a dreamer. Where was the reality?

God is the reality. He changes everything. When we suffer as Christians we cry out to Jesus. He provides for us. He comforts us. Because of Jesus we gain the kingdom of heaven (v3), we inherit the earth (v5), we are shown mercy (v7), we will see God (v8), and be called His children (v9).

It’s not the pain or suffering or struggles that bless us. It’s the fact that those things draw us closer to God. We cling to Him and cry out for relief, forgiveness, healing, and comfort. Our relationship with God is our blessing. When the focus is on God, we are transformed, the weight of our suffering becomes bearable, and we are blessed.

I'd just like to thank eveyone again for the prayers. I'm still not 100% but I can at last say with confidence I'm on the mend.

Monday, October 11, 2010

God of All Comfort

I am quite sick at the moment so I won't be able to post anything coherent for a few days. So, instead I thought I'd post a passage from 2 Corinthians 1:3-5(NIV):
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Many blessings to you all. I'll be back as soon as I can.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In the Light

The picture above is a pigmy pigface that grows around my mailbox. The flowers only bloom in spring and they only open in the light of the day. They close again at night.

We are like these vibrant flowers. We bloom when we turn our faces to God’s light. But we wither in the darkness. His light alone makes us glorious.

Our Lord sustains us. He wraps us in His warmth, His love, His care. He gives us everything we need to grow and blossom into the people we are meant to be.

So, turn your face to our Lord and soak in His goodness and His blessings.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Every Spiritual Blessing

I had a very good friend whose life was less than perfect. We’ll call her Becca. Her language was colourful, her habits questionable, her past mistakes regrettable. I invited her to church one time. She scoffed. She claimed the church was not a place where she belonged. She shuddered, not in distaste, but in fear.

“God will smite me the moment I walk through the doors,” she joked.

Of course, if that were true, then God would have obliterated the human race in holy fire and brimstone a long time ago. Becca didn’t realise she was no more terrible than the rest of us. She was no more unworthy than the holiest of saints. She didn’t know that it’s not about brownie points, punishment or perfection.

None of us deserve God's love.

None of us can earn His forgiveness.

But all of us belong in Him.

When we approach Him and ask for forgiveness for our wanderings, He won’t judge the filth under our nails, He won’t condemn us for the sludge in our darkest corners, He won’t smite us for our past. God will accept us as we are. He doesn’t hold back from us. He doesn’t wait for us to deserve His gifts. He doesn’t keep a tally or a scorecard. He blesses us with EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3).

Our God is an amazing God.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Giving to Refresh

Spring in Australia is a wonderful time. It’s a time to open up the house, give it a good clean and let the air flow. New warmth fills our lives, the clutter disappears and everything seems… happier.

Much the same happens when we give of ourselves. When we throw open the doors to ourselves, when we give with a generous heart, then we allow room for our Lord to not only refresh our minds and souls, but to give us even more blessings.

However, when we hold onto things, they begin to stagnate. We begin to gather dust and cobwebs. We then wonder why we find it so difficult to refresh or refill – there’s no room left!

So, give to others freely. Give to others generously. Give them your time, your patience, your kindness, your prayers, even your financial and material possessions if necessary. The rewards are great.


Note: For some time now I've struggled to maintain two blogs. I started my writing blog because I wish to pursue a career as a novelist. This career is taking up a lot of time but I don't wish to quit this blog since writing about faith is also a passion. Therefore, I came to the difficult decision to reduce the number of posts here to once a week so I can avoid burnout.


Monday, September 13, 2010

One Week Break

I will be taking a week off from this blog.
I'll be back on 20th September.
In the meantime,

Blessings to you all
and may you feel God's presence
in your whole life. 
May you be filled with His love
May you accept His forgiveness.

24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. 
Jude 1:24-25 (NIV)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Review: Cast of Characters – Max Lucado

This book is a collection of Lucado’s stories taken from many of his best selling books. It’s about the people of the bible, made real and relevant. It’s about God’s power in these people’s lives. And it’s written in a way that makes it relatable and appealing.

At the end of each chapter is a list of questions that can be used for reflection and discussion. So this book can be used as a mini bible study in small groups or on your own.

This book comes across as a “Best of” album and, while it works for music, I’m not convinced it works in a book. I found it a little disjointed at times and the lack of flow between chapters meant I couldn’t read large chunks of the book at a time, regardless of the attempt of an overall theme.

If you’ve read two or three of his books from the list these stories were taken from, then I think you’ll still enjoy it. I previously read five of the twelve books so the feeling of déjà vu popped up somewhat frequently for me which I found a tad disappointing.

Regardless, I found myself reading through the chapters with a smile. Lucado has a knack for bringing the bible stories alive. Through the simplicity of skilled storytelling, he makes great points and teaches God’s word in a way that touches the heart. This book makes a good read, and a good mini study.

3/5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God’s Love

How often do you hear, “Love thy neighbour”? How often do you want to do just that but their selfishness makes you want to hold back or their insensitivity makes you impatient? How often do you beat yourself up for failing to be the Christian you want to be?

We all want to do as God tells us but we can’t if we try to go it alone. He gives us the power to be the people He wants is to be. This power is based on love. We can’t give love if we don’t first accept it. I’m not talking about the fickleness of human love. I’m talking about the faithfulness of God’s love. When we let it, God’s love fills us up and overflows in a river of kindness, patience, forgiveness, and mercy.

God’s love is the only love we can rely on. God’s love is a power like no other. It can change us. We no longer need to rely on others to give us acceptance, recognition, or self worth. Our love is born from gratitude towards the amazing things God has done for us.

How does God’s love sustain you?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Can or Can’t?

You’re too young! You’re too old! You aren’t skilled enough. You wouldn’t understand. You don’t have the resources. You don’t have the experience. You don’t have the qualifications. We’ve all heard some variation of, “You can’t!” But what do you do with those words? Do you let them sink in and allow them to stop you from your goals? Or do you ignore them and turn to God for support and affirmation?

David heard those words when he offered to face Goliath. His brother gave him a hard time about it and the very king of all Israel doubted David’s ability to face the giant. “You are too young,” King Saul said to him. (1 Sam 17:33). But these words didn’t stop David. He instead held onto his confidence in God. Because of his faith, he went on to become one of the greatest kings in history.

No matter what we do, someone will oppose us, someone will tell us we can’t, someone will share their doubts about us. But it’s what we do with the words that will make a difference to our lives because it’s all about where we put our faith. Do we trust what people have to say? Or do we trust God’s voice?

What do you do when you hear criticism and doubt?

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Universal Language of God

A few years ago I went on an exchange program to South Korea. It was a truly amazing experience. One of the church services I attended in Seoul stood out the most. The translation technology had broken so I listened to the entire service in Korean. I didn’t understand a word of it, but I understood the passion for Christ. The whole amphitheatre rang with praises for God. The leaders spoke with genuine fire in their hearts. Their love for God radiated from them.

It was the most memorable service I ever attended because the focus was all on God. I couldn’t get caught up in logics. I couldn’t get lost in interesting facts. I couldn’t wander through inspirational stories. All I had was the wordless experience of witnessing God’s power in the life of that church. The passion was so evident that the speakers would burst into song in the middle of their sermons. Even for them, words alone weren’t enough.

It’s because there are no words for the depth of love God has for us. There are no words for the gratitude we feel for Him. God speaks to us in ways that go deeper than words.

How does God speak to you? What’s the most memorable service you’ve ever attended?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Spring in My Step

There’s a spring in my step
When the blossoms bud like jewels
And the world embraces renewals.

It reminds me of Christ
And the promises He made
So I no longer need to be afraid.

There’s a spring in my step
Because my Saviour’s blood did spill
So my underserved life will be fulfilled.

A plan set out by God
Conceived from the start
To speak to my trembling heart.

There’s a spring in my step
Because my Lord did inspire
A spark that became a fire.

I wrote this to celebrate the first day of Spring here in Australia. The photo is my rosemary bush in flower.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The End of Winter

This is my last post before the end of winter here in Australia. It’s been the coldest winter we’ve had in a long time. I’ve enjoyed more stews and soups than I can remember. I’ve snuggled down under thick blankets and worn heavy clothing. But the cold is coming to an end. The days are beginning to grow warmer.

Personally I love winter and I’m a little sad that it’s passing. But, there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1(NIV). And so I’m looking forward to longer days, warmth and sunlight. I’m looking forward to ice in my drinks again and fresh summer salads. I’m looking forward to my tomatoes ripening and my herbs growing.

Our Lord gives us these things to celebrate His presence in our lives. He gives us these things to appreciate with joy. For us, change is inevitable. We can fight it and miss out on the gifts God gives us, or we can embrace change and make the most of every moment.

What are some things you’ve enjoyed most about the season that is about to pass and the season that is to come?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Father, Forgive Them

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34a (NKJV)

This cry from the cross, this agony drawn out in a bloody breath, spoke volumes of Jesus’ love for us. He saved us despite the evil things we did to him. He saved us despite the agony he went through. He saved us because he knew it wasn’t about him; it wasn’t about the moment; it wasn’t about the decay in our actions, thoughts and hearts. It was, and is, about God’s Love.

On the cross Jesus touched our hearts and spoke to our souls. When he rose again, he changed us forever. How can we not respond to such a love?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Being Led

When I was young I used to have big plans about all the things I was going to do with my life. I was going to be a great artist, a world traveller, a famous writer, an adventurer, a movie star, an animator, a dancer, a singer and I was never going to get married. Some things came to pass, others did not, and there are still others yet to come.

Did I plan even half the things that happened in my life? No. God had better plans for me. I am married to the most wonderful man in the world. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better man. He is good for me in ways I could never have written on a shopping list for the “perfect man”. He taught me to trust, and to love, and to be myself.

I never dreamed I would end up leading youth groups or fellowships, or even the elders of the church. But I did. I never dreamed I would grow such a passion for my Lord. But I did.

He leads me in ways that are both scary and exciting. He takes me down roads I would never have walked on my own. He carried me through darkness and safely delivered me into His Light.

I can’t imagine what tomorrow will bring, but knowing my hand rests in His, I will gladly walk with Him wherever He will lead me.

Where has the Lord led you?

Monday, August 23, 2010

He is Greater

The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world – 1 John 4:4 (NIV)

Devastation, floods, droughts, pollution, war, famine, violence, selfishness, pride, greed, fear. All these things belong to the world. They cause us grief. They cause us suffering. They cause us to lose hope.

But there is hope.

God gives us this hope when all else seems hopeless. He grants us courage in a world where we tremble. He lends us strength in a world that saps our spirit. He cradles us in His love in a world where we don’t deserve such a love.

He is our light in the dark because He is greater than the world. He is greater than we could ever be, greater than anything we could ever make, greater even than creation itself.

He gives us hope and a future because He has overcome the world. I can't express how blessed we are to be a part of God's family - loved, saved and protected because He is so Great.

How does God give you hope?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Gone Fishing

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

I used to go to the local bay and fish off the jetty there. I don’t think I ever caught anything even though I’d tempt the fish with tasty bait or wiggle the hook in the middle of their schools. I think the main reason I caught nothing was the fact that I was impatient and kept trying to force the matter.

Jesus told his disciples that he would make them fishers of men. He taught them to spread the good word of the gospel just as he teaches us. You and me. Jesus didn’t use hooks or bait. He didn’t try to force anyone to make the leap of faith. Instead he used himself as an example to others. And that is what his disciples did also.

So too we are to be living examples. To live our lives as Christ would. To be kind and loving. To show our love for others. Not to judge, but to be self controlled. When we do this we won’t need the hooks or the bait. God will shine through us and others will see His glory.

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps 1 Peter 2:21 (NIV)

What are some things you do to be a living example for Christ?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. Mark 9:41 (NIV)

The benefits of belonging to Christ and living in God’s kingdom are many. God’s blessings are bountiful and it is a great privilege to be counted as one of his own. But it is not a thing to hoard away as a private treasure. It is not a thing we are meant to hide for fear of it being taken away. No one can take it from us and we only gain more by giving more.

So, walk tall, showing pride to bear Christ’s name and know that anyone who blesses you because of that name is also blessed. It doesn’t diminish your own blessings, but instead increases it. It’s a wonderful cascade of blessings. A thing to be shared. And it’s all because of the love of God.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Child of God

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
John 1:12-13 (NIV)

To be a child of God is to know that we belong to God, that we are dearly loved by God, and that we will inherit his kingdom.

To be a child of God is to know that we are God’s creation, that he chose the time and place of our birth, and that his individual plan for us began before even the world was born.

To be a child of God is to live refreshed and daily renewed in his Spirit. It is to be washed clean by Christ’s precious blood and to be set free from the shackles of sin and darkness.

To be a child of God is the greatest blessing we can know.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Meanings: Thank You

My husband recently listened to a science podcast. He told me that scientists discovered that the phrase that was used most by couples with a successful relationship is, ‘Thank you’.*

One would think that, “I love you”, would be the winning phrase, but those words are all too often bandied around and abused. They lack power because on their own they are just mere words. On the other hand, saying, “Thank you,” is showing that love because it is an expression of our gratitude towards the person we thank – for who they are, for what they have done, or what they have promised.

To thank someone is humbling, it pushes pride aside, and it’s not asking for anything in return. And the added psychological bonus is a boost in happiness and healthiness.

This led me to think about our relationship with our Lord. When we thank God for His presence in our lives, we are saying that we accept Him, we value His promises, we appreciate His love, we are grateful for His sacrifice. When we thank Him, we show our love for Him.

Have you sat in humble thanksgiving with the Lord today?

*Unfortunately I can’t find the podcast to link it here, but the theory behind it can be confirmed here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meanings: Selah

This is a Hebrew word you will find scattered about in the Psalms. Because the Psalms were songs accompanied by musical instruments, it is thought to be a musical mark that notes a break in the song, or to mark a musical interlude. But it is more than that. It is also popularly believed to mean, “Stop and listen.”

To me the word is a reminder to contemplate God’s word. Rather than scanning the Scriptures and calling them read, I try to read smaller portions at a time. I then stop and I think about what I have just read and I pray for understanding.

Our faith is not a thing to be rushed through. It is a new way of life that is set apart from the frenzy of the world. It is an inclusion of God. And God is timeless. Selah.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Meanings: Amen

I remember as I child I prayed to God late at night when I should have been sleeping. I would ramble on with Him and tell Him all about my day, my hopes, my dreams. I knew I should finish the prayer and say, “Amen”, but I thought the word was like a goodbye or a door that closed. I didn’t want to speak it because I wanted God to stay with me forever. I didn’t realise then He would never leave me. I didn’t realise “Amen” didn’t mean, “Ok, I’m done talking with you, Lord. You can go now.”

The word, ‘Amen’, instead means, “It is so” and it is derived from the Hebrew āmēn which means “truth”, “certainty”, and “verily”. It’s not a goodbye or a full stop. It is so much greater than mere punctuation.

To me, it is a declaration of God’s Truth. It is a one word song of praise to Him. It is a mighty agreement to His presence in my life.

What does the word mean to you?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Be Holy

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1 Peter 1:13-21 (NIV)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Soul Trade

Countless stories have cropped up over the ages about those willing to sell their souls for something they desire, usually knowledge, youth, fortune or power. As Christians we would like to believe we would never do such a thing. However, is it possible to sell your soul without realising it?

Apparently thousands of gamers sold their souls to a gaming company. The company wrote the clause into their terms and conditions. Who ever shuffles through all that fine print? The company intended it as a light-hearted joke, but it made a very good point. You can read about it here.

So many of us sell our souls and we don’t even realise it. We neglect to read the fine print. We think it’s enough to attend church. We think it’s enough to believe in Jesus. We think we are saved if we are good people. But we are mistaken.

We deny God when we decide we don’t need Him. We deny Him when we think our actions alone can save us. We deny Him when we don’t include Him in our lives, when we toss Him down our list of priorities, when we fail to recognise his awesome greatness.

So, rather than pushing our Lord away, embrace Him and all that He offers. Remind yourself daily of His worthiness, His wonder, His amazing love. Give Him your soul, your mind, your body and your strength. He will keep you safe.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Cues

I did a short stint of university level psychology. In an experiment to demonstrate the way people think, a situation was set up where a loud crash was heard in an adjoining room to where people were waiting. If the majority in that room didn’t react, then neither did the test subject. It works the other way around as well: if the majority suddenly got up and ran from the room, then the stranger who had no idea what’s going on ran also.

We are creatures of community and learn to rely on those around us – even strangers. This leads to the question: from whom do you get your cues?

The world says we have to fight for our rights and our freedom. God says He has given us our freedom. The world says we have to earn respect. God says we must respect everyone, whether they ‘earn’ it or not.

God says we don’t belong to the world. We belong to Him. This means we are set apart from the world. This means we can get our queues from God Himself. We don’t have to run and hide because everyone else around us runs and hides. We can lend a helping hand and show a caring heart in places where no one else is doing these things.

God is our cue because He has transformed us. He is our Lead, and our Compass.

Who is the greatest influence in your life?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Christ’s Supremacy

Christ is Supreme.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” Colossians 1:15-16 (NIV)

He is our God. He is Mighty. His is King.

And yet, Jesus wept. John 11:35 (NIV)

He became one of us. He cried for one of us. He felt the pain to be one of us.

His love was so great that He came to save us. Regardless of this love, we betrayed Him. We reviled Him. We broke His body.

And He forgave us.

Christ is Supreme.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not Your Own Understanding

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

A few years ago I considered going to Bible College. What I didn’t expect was the number of doors that closed in front of me. God’s message was very clear. He said, “No.”

I was so surprised. Surely He wanted me to learn as much as I could about Him and His word. Bible College seemed like the obvious answer.

I still don’t know why I wasn’t meant to go. I can speculate. It would have led me into a different direction for my life.

But often what we think is right for our lives may not be right. There is so much we don’t know, can’t know. God, however, knows everything. He knows what is best. He will show us the right way, the best way.

All He asks is that we trust Him.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our Only Hope

Ever feel like the world has grown weary of God? Do you shudder at the nightly news reports and wonder how we could have fallen so far? Do you shake your head at the greed, pride and depravity in our world? Have you lost faith in humanity?

It’s not faith in humanity we need to restore, but our faith in God. He is the only one who has the power to change us for the better. He is the one who gave us Hope through Jesus Christ. He gave us a future because, without Him, we had none.

So, Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

And let us share His Good News with others so that they too can see His Glory, accept His Salvation, and be transformed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wallpaper of the Week – Isaiah 41:13

Our Lord does hold onto us, He does protect us.
Our Lord reassures us that we don't need to fear.
He promises He will help us.

We can accept His hand 
because we can trust Him.

We can accept His protect
because He does not lie.

We can accept His help
because He loves us,

And he will ensure
no harm comes to us.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Feasting and Fasting

Occasionally I listen to the podcasts from Mars Hill Church. They are always so full of teaching and the Word of God. I do recommend them because they are always fresh.

One such podcast was on feasting and fasting and what they truly mean to us. In the abbreviated form:

Fasting is taking the thing away that’s a barrier to God – it doesn’t always have to be food. It can be technology, a sport, a hobby, any distraction.

Feasting is transforming that very thing that could distract us from God, into that which takes us to God – we don’t have to feast on food alone either. We can feast on our sight and appreciate the world God created. We can feast on our hearing and praise His mighty Name. We can feast on the little things. We can even feast on our very breath. Feasting is finding gratitude toward God and knowing He loves us and wants us to experience joy.

I love the different perspective on these definitions. We can worship God through both.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Creation from Nothing

This post was inspired by Karen’s post here. She posted a beautiful song, “Bless Your Name Forevermore”. The first lines in the song are:

From the darkness came the light,
Out of nothingness You made life;

This got me to thinking… When we create we can only make things from other things. A building is made from bricks and mortar. Bread is made from wheat, which is grown from a seed. A light is made from a match, a spark, a switch.

When God created the world He made it from nothing. To create, He doesn’t need to plant, to gather, to process, to invent. His Word is so powerful that creation is shaped by it.

How Great is our Lord?
How Glorious is His Name?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Wallpaper of the Week – Psalm 25:4

When we walk the ways of the world 
we become desensitised and dehumanised.

When we walk the ways of our Lord,
we walk in His Glory,
we shine with His love,
we live in His Salvation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Doing a Martha

I used to see a particular friend on a regular basis. We’d go out to dinner at the local café and she’d come back to my place for a coffee and we’d chat some more.

On one occasion I was running late. I had enough time to either spend quiet time with my Lord, or clean up the house. I decided to clean up the house in case my friend came over after dinner.

Something inside me said this was wrong. I needed time with my Lord more than I needed a tidy house. And, to prove the point, it turned out that my friend couldn’t stay so she didn’t come back for coffee.

The Lord had tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me again how important it is to spend time with Him. He should never be our second priority.

Have you ever had one of those moments? Every time I think of mine, I think of Martha. She was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made by Jesus’ visit, but her sister, Mary, sat at His feet and listened to what he had to say.

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Different Life

A friend asked via Facebook, “If you didn’t know Christ would your life be any different?

My initial reaction was, “Well, of course!” But then I thought about it some more. I’m a good person and was always a good person (as the world understands a good person). When I became a Christian I didn’t experience any major change in my life. So maybe, my life would be the same.

The possibility that this might be true shocked me. I still make foolish mistakes. I still think in selfish terms far too often. I still sin. I am no better than anyone else on this earth.

Then I thought about it some more. I may not have gone through a lot of outward changes, it may have only been an inward transformation to start with, but it impacted my life in a way that made all the difference.

God changed the way I think: I try to relate everything back to Him. He changed the way I respond to the world: I have to daily remind myself that I no longer belong to the world. And through those changes he impacted other people’s lives.

The difference lies in the choices we make, in our actions and inactions, and, most importantly, in the strength to speak out for Christ. This is how our lives are made different. This is how we are truly set apart.

We can all live “good” lives, but Christ changes us so that we want to shout out His name to any, and all, who want to hear. God’s love burns within us like a furnace and demands we share this warmth, this life, with others. How can we not share the Good News about our Lord?

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Mark 16:15 (NIV)

How different would your life be if you didn’t know Christ?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Self Thinking

A Thoughtful Life – Part 3.

This is the final post for my short series about living the thoughtful life. So far I’ve covered thinking about our faith and thinking about others. Today I will cover the surprising need to also think about ourselves.

I am not promoting selfishness, but it’s important:

  • To think enough about yourself to know your purpose in God’s plan;
  • To know enough to practice self-control;
  • To know the things which tempt you so that you are more able to avoid them;
  • To know you are allowed to ask God for the things you need and even want;
  • To build that personal relationship with God.

When we accept the person God created in us, when we think about how we are fearfully and wonderfully made, then our love for our Lord and His people grows even greater.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Outward Thinking

A Thoughtful Life – Part 2

My last post was about living the thoughtful life through thinking about our Lord and our faith. Today’s post is about living the thoughtful life through being sensitive to the needs of others.

That bread which you keep belongs to the hungry; that coat which you preserve in your wardrobe, to the naked; those shoes which are rotting in your possession, to the shoeless; that gold which you have hidden in the ground, to the needy. Wherefore, as often as you are able to help others, and refuse, so often did you do them wrong.

It’s not enough to be an isolated bubble of faith in the world. To care for others is not an optional addition to our faith. It is an integral part. It is what love is. And to care for anyone we must be sensitive to their needs. This requires time. It requires thought. It then requires action.

When we truly think about others, then we are more able to help them and more able to share God’s love.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Faith Thinking

A Thoughtful Life – Part 1

This week in a short series I will describe the “thoughtful life” that we are asked to live as Christians, what it’s all about, and why it’s so important.

The thoughtful life, or the thought-filled life, enables us to experience all of God’s blessings because it opens our world to something greater than ourselves. Being thoughtful means we are informed, aware, and self controlled. Being thoughtful reminds us who we are and to whom we belong.

Part of this life - and what today’s post is about – is the necessity to think about our faith. It’s not enough to simply accept Christ into our lives one moment and then forget Him the next.

Any great artist must work at their craft. Any great thinker must exercise their mind. Any great relationship must be nurtured. To do our best, we must work at what we do and maintain what we have.

And so we need to learn all we can about our Lord and our faith. We must think about these things to grow strong so that we aren’t easily turned away. We must think about these things so that we can fully appreciate all that He has given us, all that He means to us.

God is worthy of our thoughts. He is our most precious treasure, now, and forevermore.

Think of that. Think of Him.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Extreme Sport

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3 (NIV)

As humans we are extremists. We often find it difficult to sit in the grey. We fidget in the in between. Because we are taught early in our lives the difference between right and wrong, we think we must always live in the absolutes of yes or no.

And much of the time this is true. There is no other path to God except through Christ. This is an absolute. This is a Yes! And this is the best extreme there can be.

But there is also the not so extreme. In the Romans verse above, Paul urges us moderation. We are to think of ourselves with sober judgement. We aren’t meant to think too much of ourselves, but neither are we to think too little.

In Proverbs 30:8-9 (NIV) the prayer is one of financial moderation. Give me only my daily bread.

Many verses speak of self-control. While we are meant to die to the self this does not mean we are meant to deny all happiness, joy or a life.

God blesses us with wonderful extremes and He also blesses us with the not so extreme. It is all a blessing when we live our lives with the measure of faith God gave us.

What extremes do you tend to lean toward?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Hole in our Gospel by Richard Stearns

Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S. and in this book he asks us the big question, “What does God expect of us?” He calls us to embrace the whole gospel by being active in our faith. To demonstrate the importance of this, he carries the reader through his personal journey from success as a corporate CEO, to a more profound success by carrying out God’s will in his own life.

By asking, “Are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?” Richard took me out of my comfort zone just as he was taken out of his. And for this, it is well worth the read.

The book shines the most through his personal experiences and the stories he tells of the real people he encountered in the poorest countries of the world. The book, however, slows down in the middle because, although at times astounding, he’s a little too heavy on the statistics for my liking. He also had a tendency to be a little repetitive.

Apart from that the book is well worth reading and covers some important issues in today’s world.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, June 28, 2010


When we turn our mind toward our Lord, acknowledging Him as our Saviour, Master and Friend, we are changed.

With every breath that we take, it’s taken for the Lord. With every sight we see, we can see beyond the physical and behold the power and glory of the Lord at work. With every sound we hear, it becomes the song of the Spirit prompting us to respond in love.

Even our very thoughts are changed. We understand more fully the strength of the Lord. We are able to acknowledge his power and majesty. We are humbled by his grace and love.

When the Lord becomes our Centre, we become more prayerful, more thankful, more trusting, more open and more willing to do all that we can for the Lord. As a result, a deep-seated sense of peace overcomes us and we are able to know a satisfaction and a sense of belonging that we didn’t know before.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wallpaper of the Week – John 15:5

A few years ago a need arose in my church for someone to run a service, including giving the sermon. I had never done anything like it. I was shy, I stumbled over my words, I blushed and I was just not into the public speaking thing. It was an impossible task.

Jesus asked the disciples to find food to feed thousands of people. It wasn’t like they could pop down to the local shops and buy supplies. They didn’t have enough food, they didn’t have enough money, and they didn’t have enough time to mess around because the people were hungry now. It was an impossible task.

But nothing is impossible with God.

I put pen to paper and then God gave me the words. God gave me the courage to stand in front of the entire congregation. It wasn’t my strength or my steady voice. That was all God. I only listened, trusted and obeyed.

The disciples listened to Jesus and obeyed him. They found a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish. It was Jesus who did the impossible and made the food plentiful enough to go around.

God doesn’t ask us to do the impossible, He asks us to listen, trust, and obey.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Forgive me O Lord

I come to you battered.
I come to you broken.
I am not the creature I want to be.
Please, forgive me O Lord.

You are worthy
You are mighty
You are purity and perfection.
Please, forgive me O Lord.

Surround me with your love
Show me your mercy
Teach me your ways
Be my Comfort and my Rock

You are my Heart and my Forever.

I thank you, O Lord, for forgiving me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The “Super Comments Award”

I’m back from a week’s break. I had a wonderful time, and thank you so much for all your comments. Even though I was sick with flu, I managed to relax, read and write (all my favourite things).

To my delight, while I was away, I received an award. Thank you to Betty at Cut and Dry for giving me the “Super Comments Award”. According to the rules I’m supposed to

1. Answer the questions below.
2. Name seven bloggers to pass the award on who have left super comments on my blog.
3. Come up with ten new questions and pass them on to the winners.

Like Betty, I’m not going to come up with new questions but use the questions provided already

Ten Questions/My answers:

1. What is your favourite colour? : - Purple
2. What is your favourite flower? : - Roses
3. When you go out to eat what is your favourite restaurant/or meal? : - Summer Salt. It’s right on the beach at Cronulla/ Fav restaurant meal is the duck.
4. Have you been to any of your high school reunions? If so did you have fun? : - Nope. I was overseas at the time.
5. If you had a couple of free hours to go play hooky on a weekday, what would you do by yourself? : - Write
6. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your closet right now and why? : - Cow slippers. They are so comfortable and keep my feet warm this winter.
7. Pearls or diamonds? : - Diamonds. I like all things that sparkle.
8. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? : - triple chocolate with swirl
9. What is your favourite Holiday and why? : - holiday means a different thing in America as it does in Oz. In Oz it means vacation. My favourite vacation destination would be any of the Queensland Islands. My favourite holiday season would be Christmas.
10. If you could have a $1,000 shopping spree anywhere, in which store would you spend it? : - um. No idea. I desperately need a new oven.

And now to pass on the award:

Anna Margaret @ Fabuleux Fifty
Mari @ Mari Larkin
Leslie @ Goodbye, House! Hello, Home!
Noreen @ Life Blessings
Raymonde @ Everyday I Walk With You
Karen @ Hallelujah Anyhow