Posts Tagged ‘God’

Totes Def Faithful!

God is totally, definitely faithful.

Today was a stark reminder for me.

It was a really yucky day and as we drove home from work I was feeling a little helpless.

You know when you are not exactly sure how God is handling a situation, and you have a few suggestions for Him that might help 🙂 All of a sudden He tells you to snap out of it and refocus. All it took for me today was a message on Facebook from a friend who was obedient to God and gave me a word. She was faithful to what He wanted her to say to me, and little did she know, the timing was absolutely perfect to the moment, the message went to my core, the promise relit a fire in me. I spoke something to Him out loud and my answer appeared in seconds. It was a message I needed to hear and one I intend to cling to.

God is totally, definitely faithful.

I am so grateful my friend was faithful too.

Coffee With Jesus

A friend showed this clip at our staff devotions a few weeks ago.

Do you ever feel like when you are praying you are reciting your shopping list?

I Am A Total Princess.

Prince William and I

First thing is first.  My husband is totally cool with this photo….he created it while we were watching the wedding together on the couch.  It was for a bit of a laugh on facebook 🙂

This wedding made a lot of girls think about life as a princess and what it would be like to one day be the Queen of a country.  I had many conversations with friends leading up to the wedding about the pros and cons of being a princess, “I would hate it cause you have no privacy, poor girl”, “Imagine having her life and being in her shoes right now – how exciting!”.

Perhaps it has something to do with the age of the prince and princess (being close to your age it makes you think…wow, it could have been me!!!….kind of….I guess….if I looked like her…and lived in England….and did all the things she did…and went to school with Prince William….okay, fine – it could never be me…..).

I love that we all are princesses of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords….our own heavenly Father!  If you have no idea WHAT I am talking about, you absolutely need to read: Captivating. This book unveils the truth behind God’s creation of woman and her purpose.  It explains why, as little girls, we loved to dress up and pretend to be princesses at some stage – it has been ingrained in us by our Creator!  It details why we still love to be treated like princesses by the princes in our lives.  I love that my husband (after 12 years together) still carries things for me, does things for me like vacuuming and cleaning the bathrooms and fixes everything…even when he is exhausted, desires to spoil me and make me feel beautiful and special.  And he calls me princess. I love that I married my very own prince…and God is my ultimate King.

Be Patient; It’ll Happen in God’s Time!

I was at work when a friend handed me a piece of paper she had ripped out of her magazine. She said she had been reading this particular article and thought of me and all the things my hubby and I had been going through (read about it here).  It is a fantastic source of encouragement for whatever anyone is going through:

Lake Mystic by Tad Cholinski

‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.’ – Psalm 37:7

‘Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart’ (Ps 37:4). But usually He makes you wait. Dennis Wholey says: ‘Waiting is an art…if you can wait two years, you can achieve something you could not achieve today however hard you worked, however much money you threw at it, however many times you banged your head against the wall. ‘There are things you can’t have today as you will be able to have them in the future. So it doesn’t make sense to drive yourself crazy and put your life on hold struggling to accomplish something now, that’ll be easy when the time is right.

James says, ‘But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing’ (Jas 1:4). God allows certain things to take place in our lives to teach us important principles like:

(a) developing new skills

(b) showing grace and controlling our responses

(c) maintaining our faith when times get tough

Paul writes: ‘Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering’ (Col 3:12); and ‘rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer’ (Ro 12:12). When you spend time in God’s waiting room, He’s developing qualities in you that simply can’t be developed any other way. When He’s finished, you’ll come out stronger and wiser. And you’ll have the maturity to handle what He has in mind for you. ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him’ (Ps 37:7).

36 Week Abortions!

****Warning – if you agree with abortions, you may not want to read this as I am very against it and my comments will offend you.

If you have had an abortion, please know that God knows your pain and wants to fill that space with His love for you. This post is about my shock and anger at how abortion has been watered down to make it less offense or upsetting for people. It is not a personal judgement (I have close friends who have had abortions) as we all do things we regret in life, but it’s about the fact that our government see that taking a child’s life is a totally acceptable act.  If you call it a different name (abortion) and it does not breath air and you can’t see it, then it is not a problem to get rid of it.

 

Yes, the title of this post is no typo.  Abortions in Australia at 36 weeks pregnant.  Just so you get a clear understanding of what this means, this is a 36 week baby who was born 4 weeks before its due date.

Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves”

I was horrified when I heard this.  How can you not call an ‘abortion’ an act of murder?  What is going on with the world when you can legally take the life of a human. How did this law ever get passed?

I don’t agree with any form of ‘abortion’ (I will call it abortion for this post, but its real name is plain and simply murder) as I believe in Psalm 139

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.”

People who are pro-abortion stand up for it by saying that it is the womans body and therefore she should be allowed the choice on whether her baby is to live or not.  That is absolutely ridiculous. You have a life inside you, your body is not just your own anymore. You have a responsibility.  We all have choices in life whether we like them or not, and sometimes the outcome can make our lives really, really tough and daunting and scary. We have to take responsibility and the right choice. God is the author and creator of life.  In the Bible, God reassures us by saying that He only gives us what we can handle.

I know in my previous post: Nic & Fertility & Meanies, I said that “I say, before you slander someone, take a walk in their shoes!”. I still very much stand by and agree with what I wrote.  I feel ‘abortion’ is not on the same page, or even in the same book, as surrogacy.  I do not believe that if you murder a human being (whether living in the womb, or an adult) is okay.  I think if I walked in the shoes of a murderer and knew the motive behind their action I would still be against it….obviously.  How is ‘aborting’ a baby any different.  Look at the above picture of the baby again.  How can you kill such an innocent, perfect human who has spent months hearing and recognising your voice while in your womb?

There is medical video footage of a 12 week abortion taking place, and using ultrasound, you can actually see the baby scrambling away from the knife.

Here are 10 arguments against abortion and 10 arguments for abortion.  I read it and it amazes me some of the ‘reasons’ for abortion!  They just don’t make sense. An example of one of the arguments for ‘abortion’: Adoption is not an alternative to abortion, because it remains the woman’s choice whether or not to give her child up for adoption. Statistics show that very few women who give birth choose to give up their babies – less than 3% of white unmarried women and less than 2% of black unmarried women. Ummm, excuse me?  So you are saying that a reason to have an ‘abortion’ and kill a baby is so that the mother does not have to make a tricky decision when the baby is born as to whether she keeps it or gives it to another family who really want a baby?  AND, she may change her mind and decide to keep it in the end?  How horrible for a mother to decide to keep her baby once she has brought it into this world (note my major sarcasm here). Imagine if she had aborted and regrets it, if she had a chance of actually wanting to keep it in the end.  That whole argument is twisted!! Let me paraphrase this argument again – “We better kill this baby before we change our mind and want to keep it”. No wonder ‘women who have abortions suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome more often than Vietnam vets do.’

One final thought: If I am pregnant and a robber breaks into my home and beats me up and kills me, he will be tried on two counts of murder; one for me and one for my baby. If I hire a doctor to do an abortion, it is somehow magically now not a person. Illogical.

If you are reading this and you are ever left with the choice to abort or not to abort your baby, please read this first. It explains the stages in a baby’s development, being presented with the possibility of having a baby with a disorder, rape victims points of view, etc. I hope you make the right choice.

 

You Have Been Tilt-Shifted.

Tilt-Shift Photography – what do you think?  I think it is adorable!  It reminds me of an excursion I went on in primary school where we visited a town made out of miniature models.  I used the entire disposable camera film that my parents gave me for the trip on these mini-marvells.

Tilt-shift also reminds me of what God must see from above 🙂  We are so small and busy and all over the place….like little ants.  So many people wandering all over the landscape, how cool to spot yourself in one of these pics.

I remember talking to my class about one of the reasons God came as Jesus to be with us.  It went something like this – “Imagine you are God and all the people in the world are ants.  You are above them, looking down at what the little ants are up to.  You can see they are so focussed on what they are doing, and busying themselves with providing themselves with what they need.  As God, you can also see what lies ahead of them – dangers and obstacles.  You can see that some of the ants are making wrong choices and heading in the direction of danger or hard times.  You care so much about these ants (cause you made them) and you don’t want one single ant to get hurt, so you begin calling down to them!  They can’t hear you, as they are too busy doing their own thing,and they never look upwards at you.  Even if they could hear your voice, they wouldn’t be able to understand you.  So the ONLY way you can save them and tell them how the choices they are making in their ant-life are causing or going to cause them harm, you decide to become a tiny, little ant – just like them.  You go down as an ant, they see you (cause you look like them), they can hear you (cause you are speaking ‘ant’).  You begin to teach them the right way and hope that when you go, they will remember you.”

Somehow, when I look at tilt-shift photographs, it reminds me of this story.

Encouragement

It can be the simplest thing that makes the hugest impact.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

Wish I had an actual camera, other than my dodgy iPhone to capture this beautiful rose.

Today I was having a bit of a blah day, everyone has had one at some stage.  Unexpectedly at lunch a high school student walks into my classroom and hands me a beautiful stemmed rose from her garden.  They were handing some out today at school. It was so beautiful!  I asked her what the rose was for, and she replied with “just because!  For being a great teacher.”  Encouragement.  From a lousy day to a big smile on my face and an extra lift in my spirit.  The fragrance from the rose wafted around me as I worked at my desk.  Every now and then I would stop what I was doing and pick up that rose to have a deep lung-filled smell.  It would immediately bring my focus to God and all the beautiful things he has made for us to take pleasure in.  So delicate.

So, thank you to that student who really touched my heart and turned my day around.

xx

Loving the Makeovers!

‘Should a thing that was created say to the one who made it, “Why have you made me like this?” – Romans 9:20

I am a major sucker for makeovers.  They get hold of some lady who wants a fresh look, chuck her into some modern clothes, do the makeup to flatter her features, tidy the hair and BAM – she looks transformed!  I was watching my favourite TV show the other day, ‘Modern Family’ and there is a part where the gorgeous latino named Gloria makes over a stranger.  I could see it coming long before she even hinted as to what she was going to do and I was so excited already.  In my head I am thinking, ‘Yipee, please do a makeover!’. Yep, I love makeovers.

I really think that the reason why I love them so much is because of the confidence the person who is getting spoilt permeates from the inside out.  They stand taller, the smile on their face is wider, they speak better, their outlook just seems more positive.  It is all about just feeling better within yourself I guess. Even I know how great it feels to step out of the hairdressers with a new style.

Our society puts so much pressure on everyone to look beautiful (or handsome) and to always be at our very best, or the-girl-sitting-next-to-us best.  The thing we all tend to  forget is Who made us and what He considers to be beautiful.  Here is what God says about beauty in the Bible:

  • Psalm 139:14 ‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ This basically means each individual has been made in the image of God.  No two people are the same and God sees you as a masterpiece.
  • I Samuel 16:7 ‘But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Yep, unfortunately the world mainly focusses on what people look like on the outside.  God really challenged me to think about where I put most of my effort: on the outside or the inside? There is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but we have to make sure it is all in balance.
  • Proverbs 31:3 ‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.’ This may come as a shock to some people, but outward beauty does fade with time.  God wants us to fear Him, not to be afraid of Him, but to be in awe of Him and all that he has done. To fear Him in a healthy way where we respect Him.
  • 1 Peter 3:3-4 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’ This scripture is not talking about braiding hair as being wrong or wearing nice things as being negative and evil – cause it’s not.  It was written to warn women not to follow some of the customs from the era of when that verse was written, when the Egyptian women would spend many hours a day working on their outer appearance (although many women still do that to this day).  God says He wants us to work on the kind of beauty that lasts forever, the inside stuff.
  • 1 Timothy 4:8 ‘Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.’ Of course, exercising and staying in shape is a good thing, but God expects us to stay in shape spiritually by reading our Bibles, praying and going to church for teaching and fellowship on a regular basis. Perfect bodies won’t get anyone through the gates of heaven.

My most favourite scripture on beauty comes from Psalm 45:11 ‘The King is enthralled by your beauty.” ‘Enthralled’ means to be enchanted, captivated, mesmerised, fascinated – this is what God, the King of all the kings and the Creator of everything, says about YOU.  Now that is awesome!

Stormy ways & Godly ways?

 

‘Can any of the foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, it comes from you, the Lord our God! Only you can do such things. So we will wait for you to help us.’ – Jeremiah 14:22

‘My heart pounds as I think of this. It leaps within me. Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice as it rolls from his mouth. It rolls across the heavens, and his lightning flashes out in every direction. Then comes the roaring of the thunder – the tremendous voice of his majesty. He does not restrain the thunder when he speaks. God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We cannot comprehend the greatness of his power.’ – Job 37:1-5


From my last post, I talked about tons of rain on the Sunshine Coast.  This post is mainly my viewpoint on God’s role in storms and disasters which can unfortunately affect people in a very negative way.

Sometimes when people ask me questions about my faith in God, there is usually a question in there about “why would God do such horrible things to people if He loved them?”

This is a really difficult question as it is such a sensitive issue and people (including Christians) can disagree depending on their experiences.  I believe that we live in a fallen world where there is sin and tragedy and heartache.  Of course, this was never God’s intention for us, as when he made the world He said “it was good.” (Genesis 1).  Then we have this darkness called Satan and it describes what he is up to in 1 Peter 5:8  ‘Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.’ God didn’t intend for a world of evil when He made it.  He was hoping that Adam and Eve would choose life. But God does give us choices in our lives that end in consequences, just like Adam and Eve were given choices in the garden and decided to choose a path that God did not want for them. Just like a loving parent teaching their child the rights and wrongs of life, when the child choses to do something bad, there are consequences to get that child hopefully back on to the right path.  Basically, if you shut God out of your life how can He be there for you?

In an interview with the SBS, Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham’s daughter) was asked about 9/11 and that if God was good, then why did He let this happen.  Her answer sums it up: “I say God is also angry when he sees something like this.  I would say also for several years now Americans in a sense have shaken their fist at God and said, God, we want you out of our schools, our government, our business, we want you out of our marketplace. And God, who is a gentleman, has just quietly backed out of our national and political life, our public life. Removing his hand of blessing and protection. We need to turn to God first of all and say, God, we’re sorry we have treated you this way and we invite you now to come into our national life. We put our trust in you. We have our trust in God on our coins, we need to practice it.”

Many Christians (including myself in the past) speak a falsehood when they say that God does not cause suffering and is not an angry God who hurts people.  They spread the word that God is only a God of love, gentleness, peacefulness, compassion, etc.  He is definitely those things and much more, but He can also be jealous, angry, stubborn and protective.  He says so himself:

  • ‘The Lord is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and wrath. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and furiously destroys his enemies! The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are dust beneath his feet.’ (Nahum 1:1-3)
  • ‘”I kept the rain from falling when you needed it the most, ruining all your crops. I sent rain on one town but withheld it from another. Rain fell in one field, while the other field withered away. People staggered from one town to another for a drink of water, but there was never enough. But still you wouldn’t return to me,” says the Lord.’ (Amos 5:7-8)
  • ‘For the godless are full of resentment. Even when he punishes them, they refuse to cry out to him for help. They die young after wasting their lives in immoral living. But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer. For he gets their attention through adversity.’ (Job 36:13-15)

It is pretty clear from God’s Word (the Bible) that he doesn’t take disobedience lightly, that He is serious!  This shouldn’t be a shock to us as He has plainly outlined it numerous times in his Book.  What do we expect? Do what we fancy and get away with it?  Imagine if that were true!

The next step, is understanding the consequences of choosing Him and living the very best we can according to His Word.  Here are a scatter of scriptures that only touch on what He expects:

  • ‘Do what is good and run from evil – that you may live! The the Lord God Almighty will truly be your helper, just as you have claimed he is.’ (Amos 5:14)
  • ‘If you want me to protect you, learn to believe what I say?‘ (Isaiah 7:9b)
  • ‘Be on guard! Turn back from evil, for it was to prevent you from getting into a life of evil that God sent this suffering.” (Job 36:21)

Another common question that people ask is “If God can do anything, why can’t He just make people do what He wants?”

I believe that when God created us, He wanted us to have fellowship with Him.  He didn’t want to make robots.  It is the same as being married to the love of your life.  It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that your husband/wife chose you.  They could have chosen anyone, but they loved you and chose to be with you.  Then imagine it differently – you are married to the love of your life because you made them love you. They never had a choice.  Which way is more fulfilling and loving?  God wants us to choose Him, He yearns for us to choose the right path that He has set out for us that leads to Him.

I love this verse from Galatians 6:7-9 ‘Do not be misled. Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.’

I also love the explanation of this from *Christian Living for Today* –

There will be storms.  The Bible tells us that God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good.  Not just the good.  And He sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Not just the unrighteous.  Of course, this verse is not just talking about literal sunlight and rain, but about the metaphorical light and rain as well.  We will have sadness.  We will have afflictions.  People with faith still have to struggle with life.
The difference is:  People with faith don’t have to go it alone.  God wants us to lean on Him in difficult times.  He calls us to glorify Him when the roads are freshly paved, and when they are full of potholes.  Then the going gets tough, the faithful lean on God.  That’s the way He wants it to be.

He wants us to hope in Him, and it is this hope that will renew our strength, that will give us the power to soar like eagles, to run like champions, and to walk with courage and perseverance.

It’s sometimes difficult to swallow, but the Bible even tells us to rejoice in the storm.  Sounds almost silly to consider rejoicing when a tornado approaches our home, threatening to destroy everything we hold dear, but it is precisely in the face of such strong winds that we are called to rejoice, because it is these storms that force us to lean upon God.

I really love this scripture and it has helped me stay steadfast in hard times – ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ Romans 8:28