Sunday, February 28, 2010

End of Summer

Here in Australia we are coming to the end of summer. The nights are only just beginning to feel cooler. The days are still long, but they aren’t as humid. I have a smile on my face again in anticipation for the coming winter. And then I thought about it…

Every year during the summer months I’d mourn the loss of winter. I’d complain about the heat. I’d complain about the flies. I’d see myself as a winter girl who loved snuggling down under thick blankets, listening to the cold rain outside, eating the warming foods such as the slow-cooked lamb shanks, the winter stews, and the shepherd’s pies.

Of course, every year during the winter months I’d mourn the loss of summer. I’d complain about the cold. I’d complain about the heavy clothes. I’d see myself as a summer girl who loved the heat, the swimming pools, and even the summer foods such as the plethora of seafood, mangoes and ice creams.

Seasons change. It’s unavoidable. Life changes. That too is unavoidable. Everything around us changes. No summer is exactly the same. No winter is identical. We are all a little older than the last one. We are all a little changed. So let’s appreciate everything that we have rather than complaining and wishing for something else. Let’s thank our God for the Now.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Strawberry

Life is like a Strawberry. Its sweetness can be delighted in – until you get a seed caught in your teeth. Then you have to pick at it and poke at it and hope the seed dislodges. It’s uncomfortable and irritating when it refuses to budge. Even though you know the seed will eventually come out, it becomes a distraction to everything else.

The big question then presents itself to the lover of strawberries. Do I avoid the strawberry for fear of the seed? Do I perhaps only appreciate the shape, the plumpness and juiciness of the strawberry from afar? Or, do I take large bites out of the fruit and accept whatever comes my way because I know the strawberry is a gift?

The thing is a strawberry, like life, can only be fully appreciated in its entirety. This includes the seeds. We can do all we can to avoid the seeds. We can squash strawberries down and strain out the seeds. We can cook them and soften the seeds. But no matter what we do, strawberries will always have seeds. It’s just a matter of how we deal with them.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My First Heart Beat

Before I became a Christian I considered myself to be a good person. I followed all the rules, I did all the right things, I fitted into society in an acceptable way. I even went to a Christian school. If there was an award given for the way I lived, I could have won a golden statue.

My acceptance speech would have been grand: 'I would like to thank my parents and my upbringing, but I would especially like to congratulate myself for my cleverness and innate goodness. Thank you, very much.' I believe I would have been rather pleased with myself. But it would have been a lie.

I entertained dark thoughts. I harbored impatience with others. I was selfish and at times unkind. I was careless and self-involved. I did things that I knew were wrong just so that I would be accepted in a crowd. In truth I was never perfect. But there was more I discovered about myself. I was weak, I was frail and I was afraid.

My mother was a Christian and she was also my best friend. We had long conversations about anything and everything. We could talk for hours about the meaning of the universe, teenage angst, or about the color the sky turns on stormy days. Because I was a good person I tolerated our conversations about God. I didn’t fully understand the devotion behind her words. I believed in a god, but he was a distant god. He was not for me on any kind of personal level. Sure, he created the world and everyone in it, but that’s where his interest ended.

It took my mum’s passionate words, and God’s powerful, life-changing touch, to open my eyes and show me how wrong I was. Christ didn’t just die for everyone in general, to save a species that God created so long ago. Jesus suffered and died and rose again for me. He did the same for you. It was an act of love to save each and every one of us, on an individual, and very personal, level.

I came to realize that God knows me by name. He knows all my idiosyncrasies, every thought I’ve ever had and will ever have. He knows the things that make me smile. He knows my fears and my irritations. He knows everything about me and yet he still wants to save me. Jesus’ act of devastating sacrifice became for me irrefutable proof of God’s love for me.

My blind eyes could finally see, and it seemed I had not lived before that summer day back in the 80s when I accepted Christ into my life. I suddenly found myself reborn into a world of fire and ice. I didn’t know it was possible to feel such life. It was not a thing I could describe. I felt suffused. There was suddenly more of it than this body was worthy to hold. And the love that came with it was a furnace that burned my soul with passion. I could do anything. I could have moved mountains or parted the seas.

This was the life that Christ gave me. This was how the heart beat of my faith in God began.


I'd just like to welcome everyone to my new blog. Grab a cuppa, put up your feet, sit back and enjoy. This is a place to hear about our Lord. This is a place to be encouraged, to find strength and love in knowing Jesus Christ a little better. This is a journey and a home.