08 Sep

Count it joy, name it joy.

This reveals to us our own power to define our situation. Feelings of sadness do not necessarily mean you are in a sad place. Thoughts of scarcity does not mean you are lacking.

We have the privilege and the power to name our state of affairs whatever we choose. When we fall into various trials, we can rename it a season of joy. Whatever we name or christen our situation to be is what our spirit, soul and body will interpret it to mean, and therefore act accordingly.

I have chosen to call challenges, ‘Teacher’, because I have not been in a single trial where there wasn’t a lesson to be learned. Mind you, it’s a choice. Being a student is a choice and it is only when you put on that attitude of learning that you can be taught. In the past I have been through trials that were just that, trials. Now I know they were actually teachers but I just wasn’t a student at the time. An old Tao saying says ‘When the student is ready, the teacher will appear’.

Currently,  as I address the issue of fear in my life I have chosen to name it  ‘Faithful Guard Dog’- because it never leaves my side. It is there to protect my interests and warn me which is great, but it isn’t the master, I am. I hear it barking, I feel it tugging at me to pull me away from the offending situation but  I make the decision whether to advance or not.

What are you dealing with this season? Rename it. Count it joy or peace or a teacher or a season of strengthening. There is nothing we will go through that we can’t handle.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,”

‭‭James‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

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19 Aug

Can’t love Jesus? Try this

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

John 1:14,  The Message

A while back I was forced to pray; ‘Teach me how to love you Jesus‘.

For reasons I can’t explain I felt like I loved God but didn’t particularly love Jesus- not that I hated Him but it was easier for me to love God the father as my creator, and the one who made the skies and the elements- which I could see. Jesus the son, I associated with hating sin and perhaps never felt comfortable with the fact that He had to pay for my sins through His own suffering and death. Why would anyone do that and not be angry when I fall right back into sin? I clean up after my boys’ mess and get mad when they go right back and mess things up again- and don’t clean up after themselves. Especially since they have been reminded several times that I am in actual fact mum, and not servant.

So I couldn’t quite fathom people who declared undying love to Jesus, or would write songs citing Jesus as the ‘lover of their soul’, still I joined them in their heavenly chorus but it wasn’t from my heart. One day I admitted to the Lord that I had this difficulty and prayed; ”Teach me how to love you Lord’‘. I forgot about that prayer and had no idea that years later my thirst for the word of God had anything to do with it. I began writing this blog because I started to receive hidden meaning and explanation behind the scriptures. Sometimes I would read one verse and a wealth of revelation would literally pour forth from that single verse. Before long I started to hide in His word during trials and I was safe and sound. Put it this way, I was in love with the word, and it was first-hand love. Not revelations from a preacher or a book, but straight from God and I couldn’t seem to get enough of it·

A couple of weeks ago I was reminded of this scripture; ‘and the word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us’ John 1:14. I have been meditating on it and today, I realised- I love Jesus!! Jesus is the word of God (which I unequivocally love) in the form of flesh! If you love God’s word, you love Jesus, He is the word!

God answered my prayer; He taught me how to love Him by teaching me to love His word. Struggling to truly love God? Start to read the word. Read it as though you believe every word in it is true, even though your circumstances tell you the opposite and before long, that living word would give life to your mind and spirit, and would release love for our saviour in your heart.

Hope this blessed you!

John 1:14: So the word became human, and made his home among us.

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04 Apr

The Path

pathway

Psalm 32:9 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you

It happened again. I had my plan all laid out and was pleased with it. Then a friend shared hers. It sounded preferable to mine. She beamed with enthusiasm and simply bubbled as she explained point by point, each word heavy with conviction that it was the way to go. Before long I saw my thoughts leaving my path and wandering over onto hers. I felt uncomfortable as I started to abandon mine in favour of her own but it seemed like I’d lose out if I didn’t go along. I decided to jump on the bandwagon. I tried to be enthusiastic about the ride but it was bumpy all the way. I struggled and fought to get comfortable and accept it but I just couldn’t find my sweet spot. Has that ever happened to you?

I know of people going into business in an area they have no interest in and this was akin to that. I have had people trying to convince me to join in on their business ventures like selling health and beauty products (which I use) but selling them just isn’t for me.

Then God spoke. We all have our own path to walk on. No matter how familiar you are with another, your path is yours and yours alone.. Don’t disregard it in favour of someone else’s.  Doing so would be akin to driving on a road leading to Disneyland while expecting to arrive at  The White House.

Isaiah 46:7 But for those who are righteous,
the way is not steep and rough.
You are a God who does what is right,
and you smooth out the path ahead of them

I am part of a coaching group headed by Valorie Burton, and a few weeks ago we did an assessment which identified the fears that were holding us back. I had 4 main ones, one of them was the fear of disapproval. Each week I prayerfully focused on a single fear and the Holy Spirit  who is indeed our guide, was faithful to point out to me situations in which I was exhibiting that particular fear.

Choosing to abandon my path for another’s in my case was as a result of the fear of disapproval. I didn’t want to appear foolish, turning down a great idea for no logical reason. So I went along.

I spent sometime praying and the Lord showed me through His word that we all have our own paths and we need to stick to it. No matter how beautifully lined with flowers your friend’s path is, it remains theirs. In addition the bible says it is better to fear God than to fear man;

Gal 1:10 I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of my God. If pleasing people was my goal I would not be Christ’s servant. (NLT)

Prov 29:25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap but trusting the Lord means safety (NLT)

Ps 32:8, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. (NLT)

This means there are many paths, many of them good and attractive, but God will guide us along the one that’s best for each of us.

Do you often feel tempted to veer off your own path unto someone else’s?

Could it be that you don’t appreciate and recognise that what you have is beautiful?

Or you fear the disapproval of man?

Or you are just being disobedient?

Signs that you are not on your path include discomfort- bit and bridle, uncertainty- you have no idea what step to take next, discontentment- not being fulfilled or the feeling that ‘there must be more to life‘.

Ps 32:9 says do not be like a mule or horse that needs a bit and bridle to keep it moving (on it’s path).

If you’ve done this veering off thing a few times you would have been met with discomfort, like I was.

I know I’ve had my share of bits and bridles, and I’m done!

Hope this blessed you, let me know!

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22 Aug

On Giving…

Lately the Lord has been speaking to me about giving. I am currently writing an article on another subject and made references to the effects my different friends have on me. One of my friends is a giver. She shares without blinking, she gives without holding back. I want to be like her.  Recently during a conversation she remarked that the reason certain people are broke is because they are stingy and they hold back.

Before going on I want to give you a background to my views on giving. Tithing has been an issue for me over the years. I am not a tithe crusader, I struggle to accept the requirement for Christians to tithe because it appears to be the only old testament law that preachers go on and on about. I have watched some Christian TV programmes where an entire conference is devoted to tithing and tithing is touted as the answer to all your problems even healing from cancer, while the refusal to tithe is responsible for the ill-will in your life, including unemployment in a down economy and high blood pressure due to obesity. I have been in a church where you would receive a phone call if you missed a payment, asking why you missed your weekly tithe. In that same church the pastors pronounced curses on you if you didn’t tithe- actually they pronounced curses on you for many other reasons too but that’s a different blog post- if the Lord permits me to share that.

I believe in giving abundantly and of your own free will, not under duress. Perhaps my issue is with the term- tithing versus giving freely, or my issue could well be the excessive pressure some churches place their congregation under when it comes to the tithe. I heard a pastor ‘crack a joke’ about having non-tithers detectors and the ushers armed with uzis. I believe we need to give to the church because it is our responsibility, the chairs, utilities and the building have to be paid for, the pastor needs an income so we do have a responsibility to give to the church.

Following the conversation with my friend I began to ‘stumble’ across different write-ups and opinions on giving, even in non-christian portals. One women’s magazine had an article on debt and suggested giving back as a way to get out of debt- it wasn’t a Christian magazine. Some of the wealthiest people on earth are huge givers, Oprah, Bill Gates anyone?

When we see the same topic repeatedly from different sources I believe God is speaking to us about it. I read Deuteronomy 28 and received a revelation from verse 12- ‘you shall be a lender to many nations, you shall not borrow’.

We have all read and confessed this scripture numerous times, I know I have. But God gave me a revelation on that verse while I was reading it and that’s what I want to share.

The scripture says one of God’s promises to us is that we are lenders and not borrowers.  Clearly lending is the opposite of borrowing. It is natural to wait to have enough before being able to lend or give.  But in reality, that would be operating out of sight rather than out of faith. Giving requires faith and remember that faith is the evidence of things not seen. You don’t wait to ‘see’ a huge bank balance before giving. You give because you believe you are already a lender and not a borrower.

Stepping out in faith. Stepping out before seeing the ground on which your feet will tread on. Peter stepped out on water without ever being told he could walk on water. He had only ever walked on land before and knew it wasn’t humanly possible to walk on water, so he stepped out in faith.  The first step was taken by God when he sent His only begotten son to die on the cross for us. We need to take the next step by putting our faith in action, He said we would lend to many nations, if He says we’ll lend to many nations does that not mean he has provided the abundance from which we lend? If you believe that then go ahead and start giving.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for and faith without works is dead.
Begin weaving and God will provide the thread- is one of my favourite quotes, it is a German proverb. The christian life is distinguished from others in that we live by faith in an unseen God. We believe our God is alive in heaven, even if many saw Him die on the cross. That takes faith.,

Do you want to be a borrower from American Express and Barclays  bank? Do you want to remain a borrower from the electricity company because you owe them? If not step out in faith and be a lender. Give instead. Faith requires action to work. You can’t just pray and say I have faith, you have to step out in faith.

Gods word takes faith and faith requires action.

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17 May

The Prayer of Faith

The Prayer of faith

I recently went through a harrowing experience, my 11-year-old son very nearly lost his life in what can only be described in secular terms as a freak illness, but in spiritual terms as an attack from the enemy. I will be sharing the full story, just not in this post.

So we found ourselves one week after God’s divine healing back in the hospital, the scenario was eerily familiar. It didn’t look like deja vu, it was more like deja vu looked like it. As I sat in the emergency room praying with dread and fear, garnished with only a dash of faith, the Holy Spirit led me to do something rather unusual.

One of my interests is personal growth and so I read a lot of books and articles by successful individuals, Christians and non-Christians like Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, Zig Ziglar to name just a few. A topic that is common to many is the discipline of setting and achieving goals and in a timely manner. Positive affirmation is writing  your future goals vividly in the now as though it has already happened, and then meditating on it so that it is implanted in the mind. For example:

Today’s date is June 15th 2013. I am sitting in my office overlooking the Hudson river and can just see Trump tower from here. My accountant has just sent me last year’s financial report and I am pleased to see that business has tripled in the last four months… You get the picture.

My Blackberry bears the brunt of most of my ideas and thoughts, I type it all in the memo. As the Lord spoke to me that evening in the emergency room, I whipped out my faithful phone and began to type:

1st May 2012

Dear Lord, 

I thank you for healing Reece when he had that nasty virus that threatened to take his life. I thank you that we experienced a real-life miracle in the 21st century. And Lord, I remember when he had a relapse on the 1st of may, I was so scared as I sat in the emergency room. But you healed him then too. Thank you that all of that is behind us now. He excels as a player in the NFL and the experience caused him to know you as his ever-present help in the time on need…”

I titled the memo Positive Affirmation and saved it. The I realised it was actually a prayer of faith and changed the title accordingly.

The relief I felt was instant. My faith shot up on so many levels and engulfed all dread and fear, my joy was restored and I knew, just knew that he was not going to battle with death ever again.

The word of God says we serve a God that calls or sees the things that be not as though they were, Rom 4:17- I have made you a father of many nations- have? They were too old for pregnancies!

Also in Exodus when the Children of Israel were bound for the promised land, God said every place the soles of your feet will tread upon, I have given to you. God calls the future (will) as though it is the past (have).

Isn’t our God awesome?

The next time I read that memo, 1 week later, the events were indeed a distant memory.

Are you believing God for something that currently seems impossible? You just might have a breakthrough with the prayer of faith.

Dear God,

I thank you for making me in your own image. I thank you for your commandment to reproduce and fill the earth. Lord, I remember when I was so worried that I wouldn’t find the right spouse to get married to, I thank you that you later blessed me with a wonderful man (or woman) of God and our marriage is beautiful. I thank you that we are now expecting our first child, I am enjoying decorating the nursery…

Unemployed?

Dear Jesus, I thank you that this time last year I had been unemployed for 8 months, there was no prospect or hope of finding a job. But look at what you have done? I am not only in my dream job, I have come to know you in an intimate way. The experience of being unable to provide for myself and my family drew me closer to you and I now teach others in a similar situation about your faithfulness…

 

I pray that God in his infinite mercy and faithfulness will give you the grace to persevere, and give you the gift of faith as you pray for a breakthrough in your life.

Thank you for reading, please comment and share if you have been blessed by this!

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