We are Priceless

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
(Psalm 139:13-16)

The best thing about being a Christian is finding out that we are loved by a God who created us to  be in relationship with Him, and it is for this reason – in His eyes, WE are considered Priceless.

I’m going to be honest with you.  It has taken a long time for me to really accept God’s love for me.  I never really thought I deserved God’s love, and as a result, accepting God’s love for me has been a real struggle over the years.  I think this struggle is connected to the fact that while my dad loved us to the best of his capacity, he chose to leave when I was little.  I often wondered how God could love someone as unimportant as me.  After all, my own dad didn’t want to stick around for us.

The word ‘priceless’ is defined as ‘having value beyond any price: invaluable’.    To know that God thinks of me as priceless is confronting, but oh so comforting.    To read that we were crafted together by a loving God is profound.  God knit me together in my mothers womb.  I was planned.  His works are wonderful,  I am here because of divine intervention.   God created me because He has a purpose for me.  Just as He has created you for a purpose.

To come to the conclusion that each person is a priceless gift from God.  Means that it is impossible to put a monetary value on a person’s life because there is not enough money in this world that equals the same value of a person’s life.   Life is invaluable and we need to treat ALL life as such.

This is why I am a pro-life supporter.  This is why I want to be apart of the generation who abolishes slavery, and this is why I believe it is important to look after our elderly.   It doesn’t matter what stage of life we are in, or others are in.  We need to protect life – because we are all invaluable.  We are priceless.

Just imagine the world we would live in, if we all treated each other as PRICELESS and Important.  We would live in a completely different world.

I want to see others through God’s eyes.   What about you?

 

Today Is Going To Be Great!

“This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
‭PSALM‬ ‭118:24‬ ‭AMP‬‬

I have always told my kids that having a good day is a choice.   It is with decision that we put attitudes in place and it is with God’s help we find peace.   We live in a world with many issues.  We live in a world where the devil is causing a lot of trouble in a lot of people’s lives.   Every morning the news tells us all that is wrong in our world – Terror Attacks, Dodgy political issues, gun shootings, attacks, accidents, etc.

No wonder many people in our country suffer with depression and anxiety.

Despite the devils rampant chaotic attempts to destroy our lives, we have a choice to let him win and take us down, OR we can give our day to our Father in Heaven who loves us and wants the best for us.

We might live in this world, but we don’t have to be of this world.

When we give our day to God – He gives us the power to rejoice despite the chaos that might be going on around us.   We need to learn to trust Him each day.   Some days the chaos seems too much to bear, but when our eyes are on Him, we seem to get through far easier than when we try to get through in our own strength.

We need to remember We have the keys to the kingdom of God.  We need to rely more on God and less on ourselves.    There is power in prayer, and power in the name of Jesus.   We are told that the name of Jesus sends fear right through the devil and all of his demons.   We are a vessel for God to use when we realise what He actually did for us, and who we are in Him!

Our identity is in Jesus.   I want to care more about what Jesus thinks of me, rather than what friends and family think of me!    When we accept Jesus at His word, offences don’t stick to us, and we can live in a world of chaos feeling relatively unscathed.    This is the Day that the Lord has made – it is through the Lord, we can rejoice and be glad in it.

One of my favourite songs at the moment is a song called ‘Not Today’ by the Hillsong United band.  It reminds us that we have power over the devil – Tell the devil ‘Not Today’.  The devil might use fear to unbalance us, but we have to put fear in it’s place – It is a liar, and because we are not faithless – fear has no power over us.

Enjoy your day – Rejoice and be glad in it!

 

 

Choosing Love

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not [a]love [for others growing out of God’s love for me], then I have become only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal
[just an annoying distraction].  And if I have the gift of prophecy [and speak a new message from God to the people], and understand all mysteries, and [possess] all knowledge; and if I have all [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love [reaching out to others], I am nothing.  If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [b]to be burned, but do not have love, it does me no good at all.
Love endures with patience and serenity,
love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious;
love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.
It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered];
it does not take into account a wrong endured.
It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].
Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
Love never fails [it never fades nor ends].
But as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for the gift of special knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part [for our knowledge is fragmentary and incomplete].  But when that which is complete and perfect comes, that which is incomplete and partial will pass away. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.
For now [in this time of imperfection] we see in a mirror dimly [a blurred reflection, a riddle, an enigma], but then [when the time of perfection comes we will see reality] face to face. Now I know in part [just in fragments], but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known [by God].   And now there remain:
faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.”
I Corinthians 13:1 – 13

I have been doing a lot of thinking over the last few days about the word ‘love’.  Like thousands of couples, we used 1 Corinthian’s 13 :1-13 in our wedding, many years ago,  to remind us to love each other in the way God asks us to love.

Love doesn’t mean conflict won’t arise, because lets face it,  humans come with a lot of baggage.  We often look at the situations in our lives through our hurt, disappointments,  anger, and life experience lens’.  Conflict can be sneaky and arise at times when we don’t expect it too,  it can also sit under the surface and rear its ugly head from time to time, or it can come at us like a raging bull in an arena.     Either way, the only responsibility we have is in the way we respond to the conflict.

If the most important response to our situations is LOVE, then we need to look at our situations as a challenge we need to work through.    Situations may cause stress and upset, but we need to work through the stress and or upset to find a way to deal with the situation in love.   Our response needs to always be in ‘love’.

If love is more important than having faith in God, and having hope in what’s to come, then we need to love people for where they are at.  We may not agree with their choices or their decisions, but God grants us His love through grace, and we need to do the same for others.   It is by God’s grace that we are saved.  He loved US so much that He died on the cross for us.    Learning to love others and putting the concept of love above all else front and centre, isn’t easy.  For example,  One has to bite their tongue to stop themselves retaliating to the nastiness of others at times.   Being a Christian is easy at church, surrounded by fellow believers.   It’s when we are out in the world living our lives, at work, or around people we know aren’t Christians, that matters.

Love is a verb.  It is a doing word.  Love isn’t just a feeling, its a response to life’s situations.  It’s a response to the person scanning your groceries,  the optometrist checking our eyes, or the receptionist at the doctors surgery helping to find you an appointment.   It’s for our friends and for family.  Loving people isn’t about being a push over, its about knowing who our identity is in.  What God thinks of us is far more important than anyone or anything.  He is the one who gives us life.    If our identity is in God, then it doesn’t matter what mean words or mean actions come toward us.    It’s not pleasant or easy to love some people at times, but if we remember to love people using God’s grace for them – eventually, it will be the weapon that brings them to Him.

1John 4:8 says that ‘God is love’, so we have to believe that through God we find what it is to be truly loved and accepted.

Love conquers all!!
or should I say…..God conquers all???

Living a Intentional Life

“Let your character [your moral essence, your inner nature] be free from the love of money [shun greed–be financially ethical], being content with what you have; for He has said, “I WILL NEVER [under any circumstances] DESERT YOU [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], NOR WILL I FORSAKE or LET YOU DOWN or RELAX MY HOLD ON YOU [assuredly not]!” So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER [in time of need], I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?””
‭‭HEBREWS‬ ‭13:5-6‬ ‭AMP‬‬

We live in a world of “I want more!”

Stuff over flows our hearts, our minds, and our homes.

Obviously there are things in life we need, but how many things in our homes are things on our want lists?

Some years ago, I decided I wanted to be a minimalist.   I hate clutter,  and I figured that the more stuff I had, the more I was being kept captive to my home and stuff.   I like nice things, but there was a lot of ‘things’ we just didn’t need, so I started on this journey of clearing out the stuff in our home that we didn’t need.  Around the same I started thinking about the concept of ‘intentional living’.   In other words, I wanted to live my life with purpose, and you can’t do that when stuff rules your life.   Minimalism, contentment and intentional living became my mantra.

Taking a stand in this way, meant that I  started to notice that we started to save our money, I wasn’t going to the shops as often, my home was easier to clean and keep clean, we felt like we had more time in our day. I really love not being attached to things.

A number of years ago, I went to the July Toy Sale at Target.  It was supposed to be a fun morning, instead it was also an eye opening experience.     We had decided to put a trampoline on layby for our kids for Christmas because we had looked around, and found that Target was the best price for the size of trampoline we wanted.  We had done our homework.   I decided to have a quick look at the toy section just in case there was something there I felt to buy for my nieces and nephews.    I didn’t last long in the toy area because it was just crazy.  There were a lot of women filling trollies.

Two things made me feel uneasy that day.

1) The lady ahead of me in the layby line had 3 trollies – toys stacked high above the top of the trolley, I assumed that she was buying for all her nieces and nephews as well as her own children, but she told me that she had three children and all the toys were for her kids.    I must admit I felt a little sick – why do her kids need so many toys for Christmas?   As I looked around the store that day, I realised that this woman wasn’t the only one with multiple trollies.

And

2) There was a commotion in the lego isle.   Two women were yelling at each other, fighting over the last box of a particular set of lego.     There were quite a number of kids in the store that day who were upset at the commotion. Security came quickly to help break the women apart, but the two women continued screaming at each other.  One of the women lashed out and scratched the other’s face as she was hauled out of the store by the security guards.   It was quite an experience as well as very uncomfortable to witness.

I finished up at Target that day feeling rather unsettled.     Two women had allowed themselves to spiral out of control over a box of lego that had a minimal discount on it, and the excessive overspending on Christmas gifts for kids, really frustrated me.   It was too much!

I have never been to another Target toy sale ever again.

I want to live a calm, simple, content and intentional life, following God’s plan for our lives.   I feel that it is essential to our mental health, and our overall well being to live according to God’s principals.    God knows what is best for us, and we need to trust Him.

I love the verse for today.  In its simplest form, it says….

“Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU,  NOR WILL I FORSAKE or LET YOU DOWN or RELAX MY HOLD ON YOU!” So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?””
‭‭HEBREWS‬ ‭13:5-6‬ ‭AMP‬‬

 

 

How to Find Peace

“Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters.   Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and],  slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving];  for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us].”   James 1:19

It is so easy to jump to conclusions at times, isn’t it?   Once we decide in our hearts that a person has wronged us, it is so easy to feel ‘just’ in our thoughts toward how we react to them and treat them.   Anger, in itself, is not sinful, but when we allow anger to harbour in our spirit and we react out in anger, we are not responding in ‘love’.   This is why we are asked to listen carefully,  be slow to speak, be slow to anger.    Be slow, in my opinion, means taking a moment to process the words being spoken to us, and listen to the heart of the person before jumping to conclusions!

I have learned from personal experience that when we live in a state of anger,  we are quick to respond to situations angrily.   Hurt people go on to hurt other people.   The cycle continues until we address the issue.  If we don’t stop the cycle of anger it will continue for ever.   We need to make the decision to look up and ask God for help in this area, and get off the train to anger-ville.

This verse in James is a great reminder for us all to stop, listen, think about and process what has been said, choose love and forgiveness, and move forward.   Holding grudges and being angry hurts us more than the person who has hurt us.   The only way to move forward when someone hurts us is forgiveness.   Sometimes it takes a long time to really find that forgiveness, but we have to forgive for our own sense of peace.    We choose forgiveness.  Forgiveness doesn’t happen to us.

Xo

While I am Waiting!

“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.”

Psalm 37: 3 – 11

There is a song called ‘While I am Waiting’ by John Waller.  The Lyrics to ‘While I am waiting’ are…

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy

But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

I had heard this song many times, and then one day recently, I was listening to Salt fm, and ‘While you were waiting’,   came on the radio and I had an ‘ah ha moment’.    (Here is the link)

While I have always known I am a ‘NOW’ person.   It’s quite a frustrating trait to have because ‘Now’ people aren’t very patient.   I must say that learning the art of waiting and being patient can be hard work.  When God gives us a promise, it doesn’t mean it will happen in the same month, let alone the same year!  Sometimes God’s promises happen 5, 10, 15 years down the track.   This can be extremely frustrating for people like me who want things to happen NOW.  But, we do have to learn to wait patiently.

I have also learned that waiting patiently is not in any way about sitting on our hands and doing nothing.    We have to prepare ourselves for God’s timing in our lives.   We have to study the bible, serve in our local church, and understand what it is to be obedient to God in the here and now.  To have a heart after God is more about being obedient than it is worship, and the word meekness is about doing what God wants you to do despite not feeling like it at the time.

We have to learn to live by God’s code, and to do this we have to study it in such a way that its not simply head knowledge – but heart knowledge.

So, for all of us ‘NOW’ people, let’s learn to be obedient to what we are meant to be doing today, and then see what He wants us to do tomorrow.   Today I choose to live in the present, and consistently serve my family, my local church, and honour God with our money and our time!

And Always remember – God is good, all the time!!!

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Peace in a Crazy World

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”   Colossians 3:15

Isn’t it nice when you realise that we aren’t meant to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders.   I must say that since going back to church and rededicating my life to God, something has happened to me.  Something good.

I admit that I am a bit of a control freak.  I don’t like giving up the concept of control.   I would pray about situations and then physically hold onto the issue.   How can God help us, when we pray and then refuse to give the situation or the person, to God.   How can God do anything with that?   He can’t.   We actually have to release the issue into God’s hands.   The only way we can live in a state of peace – despite the craziness of the world we live in, is to allow God to be the centre of our universe.    This is the only way ‘the peace of Christ’ can live in our hearts.   We have to exercise our faith muscle and hand over our issues.   And then we thank God for all He does in our lives.    I have discovered that gratitude is a vital part of having peace in our hearts.

One really great way to keep track of all God is doing in our lives is to keep a ‘pray and gratitude’ diary.   Some people write down their prayers, and then as they come to pass they write down their answers to prayer.   Others have a gratitude journal.  They  write 3 to 5 things in their journal each day of things they are grateful for.     I don’ think there are any hard and fast rules…..but journaling is a great idea.   How do you feel about journalling?

 

God is Love!

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  1 John‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I love this verse!

It’s a true reminder to us all that God isn’t this authoritarian unattainable character in the sky, but someone who really loves us all, and wants the best for us.   We matter to God.    The word ‘Love’ as verb – a doing word.  When you love someone, you actively show them.   I believe God shows us every day how much he loves us.   Every time I see a sunrise or a pretty flower, I see God’s love for us!  God is so creative and wonderful to us all.

The best thing God has ever done for us is to give us Jesus.  He loved us so much, He sent Jesus to die on a cross for our sins.    He rose again three days later.   Death could not hold him down.   He overcame death for us.   Seriously amazing!!!