Beautiful, Courageous You


5 Comments

Camping out in the Land of Grace

Grace
“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness” 2 Corinthians 12:9 MSG

May you receive a heart revelation of His Grace upon you, may you have wisdom to know that sufficient is His Grace for this day. Tomorrow with all it’s cares and concerns will have a sufficient measure of Grace dispensed… tomorrow.

Stop trying to use today’s Grace for tomorrows worries, when you wake to face another day Grace will be there for you just as sure as the sun will rise, El Shaddai – Our God – is all sufficient x


9 Comments

Breaking the Chains in Your Mind

3c30cbeecdddff6e36b0c265a34c4ffd

Long before the ‘law of attraction’ was a trendy way to think and create your world, the same ‘law’ was written in the Word of God. The law of attraction is scriptural. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is…” Proverbs 23:7, NKJV. Scripture has a power and wisdom beyond our intellectual comprehension.

In a profound manner, our thinking can impose limitations or chains in our mind simply through meditating on the lies that you have been told, either by others or your own self-belief. If you believe a lie long enough it will manifest as being truth to you, a chain in your mind that keeps you from living the life you were created to live. Such chains bind up your thinking. Chains of fear, chains of unworthiness, chains of addiction, chains of guilt and whatever other chain you might choose to think into existence to bind you.

It is easy to become comfortable in these chains, accustomed to the limitations they impose. Before long, your reality becomes the thoughts you have been meditating on.
Allow me to illustrate what I believe Proverbs 23:7 “looks like.”

In some countries baby elephants are taken captive and trained to believe they are weak and unable to escape their captor. As a visitor to India you will often observe a chain staked to the ground and then wrapped around the ankle of a full-grown adult elephant. The chain is used to discipline and control the elephant, training her to believe she cannot break free. From the birth of the elephant, they periodically chain the elephant to the stake. As an infant elephant, the chain is strong enough to hold the animal in place. It is obvious that as an adult, the elephant is strong enough to pull the stake out of the ground to achieve freedom. Most amazing is the fact that even when the chain is wrapped around her ankle and not staked into the ground, she will remain as if she is restrained. How is it so that such a small chain could hold such a large elephant?

As an adult elephant, the chain is not strong enough to hold the animal in place; however, because the elephant has grown accustomed to the limitation of the chain, it never tries to escape. Ironically if the adult elephant had knowledge of her power, strength and ability she could crush her captors and everything else around her. Sadly, this beautiful, powerful animal has not been given the wisdom or understanding of her potential.The chain has her believe the lie that she is weak and a captive.

This example is a perfect metaphor of how, much like the chain, and often at a very young age, Satan takes us captive and we remain in bondage to lies and deception about our true worth, our true strength, and our true courage, power and beauty. Ask the Lord to show you what lies are you believing? What script are you playing since childhood? Now ask Him to erase this script and re-write a script of Truth on your heart and in your mind. x


1 Comment

A Reputation of Uptight Joylessness

joy in the ordinary

I find as often as the seasons change so to does my reading genre. As Spring is upon us I am drawn to the life in the air… flowers in bloom, bees are buzzing and resurrection life is apparent as buds of life burst forth from the barren winter branch of the old Wattle tree in our front yard.

The thought of new life, of resurrection life, has me seeking a deeper heart revelation of His resurrection… what does it look like to live on the resurrection side of the cross? Why is it that many Christians have a reputation of living their  lives as though He isn’t risen, lives that are joy-less, hope-less, grace-less? Pondering these thoughts has led me to re-read Philip Yancey’s “What’s So Amazing About Grace” , in the first chapter I am captivated by a quote that Yancey has cited, rather it is a column written by humourist Erma Bombeck:

In church the other Sunday I was intent on a small child who was turning around smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just smiling. Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theatre off Broadway said, “Stop that grinning! You’re in church!” With that, she gave him a belt and as the tears rolled down his cheeks she added, “That’s better,” and returned to her prayers…

Suddenly I was angry. It occurred to me the entire world is in tears, and if your not, then you’d better get with it. I wanted to grab this child with the tear-stained face close to me and tell him about my God. The happy God. The smiling God. The God who had to have a sense of humor to have created the likes of us… By tradition, one wears faith with solemnity of a mourner, the gravity of a mask of tragedy, and the dedication of a Rotary badge.

What a fool, I thought. Here was a woman sitting next to the only light left in our civilisation – the only hope, our only miracle – our only promise of infinity. If he couldn’t smile in church, where was there left to go?

On that note… time to go be with my children (they leak joy all over the place)! x


3 Comments

Prayer vs. Long Winded Babble

917820

Most of us, at some point in our lives, find difficulty in believing our prayers or more so even just making time for prayer. Life is busy, we hurry through our prayers (when we remember to pray), our minds drift to thoughts of what’s for dinner etc. our focus is scattered and everywhere but on God. Prayer is simply conversation with God, no set time or location and minimal effort required and yet so many believers  struggle  with taking time to talk with God.

Lay aside all prayer formulas and simply be yourself with God. He has uniquely created each one of us to interact with Him as individuals and your prayer style should be consistent with the way He designed you.

Be yourself, approach Him with your own personality, your strengths, weaknesses and everything that is you. In the book of  1 Samuel we read a story of Hannah heartbroken and grief stricken as she was childless in a society that considered not having a child the ultimate failure. When Hannah cried out to God I imagine, she wasn’t on her knees with head bowed and whispering her petitions, rather the Word says she was ‘in bitterness of soul and wept in anguish’ (chapter 1:12) . God wants to meet with you, He wants to take you just as you are.

I recall a time of desperate prayer on my knees in the pouring rain as I ‘wept in anguish’, God answered and my journey of healing began in that desperate moment. God loves that we come to Him with our emotions, our hurt, our true self, just as a parent does with his child. I want my children to feel they can come to me with all manner of problems, not hide their emotions under a veil of fear.

When my daughters come to me and show dependence on me as the role of a loving parent, I feel fulfilled, my heart bubbles with love in that they trust me with their deepest hurts.

In similar ways, the parent child relationship defines the attitude we ought to have in prayer an attitude that focuses on God and expresses absolute dependence on Him as Father, the One who gave us life and who loves, cares for, provides for, and protects us.

Sometimes at night I hear my little girl praying, not some mechanical script, but words that flow from a heart of thanksgiving and faith in a Heavenly Father that ‘makes everything okay because He loves me’. God is not manipulated by long-winded, rehearsed babbling, but rather He is moved by our heart attitude, an attitude that seeks His presence… not His presents. Give it a go, He is waiting to chat with you x


Leave a comment

When Sorrow Walked With Me…

Joy is coming

It is of great comfort to rest in the thought that pain, trouble, calamity, in whatever form it may come, brings with it great blessings that we might not ever have had were we not willing to walk a mile with Sorrow. L.B Cowman writes;

” Many of the richest blessing’s which have come down to us from the past  are the fruit of sorrow or pain”

I walked a mile with Pleasure,

She chattered all the way;

But left me none the wiser

For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,

And ne’er a word said she;

But, oh, the things I learned from her

When sorrow walked with me.

(cited from “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman)

May you be encouraged to stand fast on the promises of God that while there may be pain in the night, joy comes in the morning. x


6 Comments

Overcome with Power That Brings the World to Its Knees

overcomer

There’s no escaping this layer of affliction called ‘life’, there comes a point in time however, when you must decide to either allow the darkness to overtake your life and become a victim of your circumstances or you can choose to courageously move against your fears, face every situation and determine to push on knowing that God is with you, His presence within us is our assurance that we can live in peace.

His peace is not just for getting through the tough times, but He has promised us perfect peace and contentment all the days of our lives. Where do we find this peace, this lasting cure for fear? In his book “The Sheperd’s Rod; Volume XV11”, Bobby Conner puts it like this: “This is the pattern we need to learn: As we turn our inner focus, our will, to Christ and place our affections on Him, adjusting our thoughts to the Word, we will discover abiding peace.” The Sheperds Rod: Volume XVII page 60

Although the scriptures admonish us to keep our minds on that which is Truth, this is easier said than done. In light of birthing our stillborn baby boy , my relationship with God became, fractured, to say the least, I knew I was supposed to face up to my fears with faith but instead of facing up to them I was overtaken by fear about ‘everything’!.

As days and weeks passed I slipped into a deep depression and eventually my faith was all but gone. As I write in view of hindsight I can see where the situation that I thought was going to swallow me up has become my greatest victory, the truth has set my anxious heart free, for indeed Jesus stated that we shall know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:32) Let me encourage you, whatever you are facing that threatens to overcome you, you will get through this and be an even more magnificent you… a beautiful, strong reflection of His Glory. YOU are an overcomer The Message version puts it like this:

Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith. The person who wins out over the world’s ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5;5)

Now tune into Mandisa’s smash hit ‘Overcomer’ and start doin some ‘overcoming’ 😉 x


3 Comments

Keep a Grip on Hope

9080313_orig

It’s a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
    the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
    the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there’s one other thing I remember,
    and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
    How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
    He’s all I’ve got left.

Lamentations 3; 21-24 (MSG Version)