Thursday, 28 March 2013

Fresh Manna for The Day

I grab my Bible, notebook and pen and head outside. The sun is shining brilliantly in the cloudless blue sky.

I make my way down the steps that lead to our deck. There, I make myself comfortable in a spot where sunlight is peering through the rustling leaves of a tree.

Breathing in the lingering freshness of the morning air, I close my eyes, grateful for this time of quietness and solitude to tell God all that's in my heart and to hopefully hear Him speak to me.

As I feel the presence of God settling over me while the sun warms my face, a scripture verse about being still in His presence comes to one of the psalms.

I flick open my Bible to the book of Psalms and thumb through to an underlined verse with the words Be still.

Psalm 46:10, that's it.

"Be still, and know that I am God...." (emphasis mine)

I am reminded of what a pastor's wife once shared with me regarding the Hebrew meaning of the word still in this same scripture. In addition to the meanings of 'to cease', 'to abate', 'to be slack', 'to weaken', etc., still also means 'cure', 'heal', 'repair', 'make whole'.

The revelation is that as we cease from our activities and strife before God, we are healed, cured and made whole! How awesome is that!

All this happens as we make our refuge in God and find our strength in Him.
(Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.")

What about the Hebrew meaning of know?

I nip back into the house for my Strong's Concordance and lug it back to my spot on the deck. Well, not the exact spot, to be exact. I now have to move a little to be slightly in the shade as it is getting warmer.

Eagerly, I look up the meaning of know and as I suspected, it's the same Hebrew word 'yada' (pronounced 'yaw-dah'). This word is used in a variety of senses, with meanings ranging from being acquainted with to having an intimate knowledge of, as in a man knowing a woman.

Putting all these definitions together in my own words, Psalm 46:10 now reads -

As you cease from all activities, strife, fear, anxiety (and all other negative emotions) before Me, you will be healed and made whole (in your body, soul and spirit). Then you will know Me intimately, be assured of My love for you, and be filled with the revelation that I am truly God over your life and over all your circumstances!

This is so exciting! I love it when I receive nuggets of gold like this: revelations that help me find my refuge and rest in Him when challenges threaten to steal away my peace and joy.

Filled with fresh manna from the Lord, I pack up my stuff and head back into the house to do the next thing on my list for the day.

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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The Joy of Yieldedness

I used to have this idea that God's love for me and acceptance of me had to be earned. That His favour and blessings were released on those who performed to His standard and expectations.

I was miserable, to say the least! No matter how hard I tried, I kept feeling that I had failed to achieve the standard that He required of me.

God wasn't the hard taskmaster I had made Him out to be. I was!

It took a paradigm shift and a complete burnout for me to realise that I no longer had to work for His love and approval. The burnout meant that I had neither the energy nor the motivation to do anything, much less perform for anyone.

Isn't it interesting how we often have to reach our lowest in order to tap into what's available all along? To finally stop our futile struggling and discover the ease and joy of yielding to the One who has been trying to impart to us this important truth?

I had to reach the end of myself to discover that I'm called a human BE-ing for a reason: the BE-ing precedes the DO-ing. I can't do until I first discover who I am in Him.

I am a child of the Most High God (Ps 82:6b) forgiven (Eph 4:32), loved (I John 3:1), and cherished (Eph 5:29). I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37); I will not be crushed or destroyed (2 Cor 4:8,9). His strength is made perfect in my weakness (2 Cor 12:9). I can trust Him to work good out of whatever situation I find myself in (Rom 8:28) because He is for me (Rom 8:31). His thoughts of me are all good and filled with hope for the future (Jer 29:11). I can totally entrust myself to the One who has loved me with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3) and who will restore health to me and heal me of my wounds (Jer 31:17). The list goes on....

Out of the BE-ing flows the DO-ing.

From time to time, I still need to be reminded not to rush ahead of Him and get back into the performance-oriented rut that I used to be in.

As I sit at His feet, bask in His presence, and soak up His love for me, I can even be thankful for the burnout that has brought me to this place.

The place where I am discovering the gift of total surrender, complete abandon, and the joy of yieldedness.

The place where everything that I do flows from.....

...He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you in his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17 ~

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

What I want more of in my life

I didn't know what it felt like to grieve over a major loss.

Not until three years ago...... when Joseph left home.

My heart had broken into a million pieces. The tears I'd shed might have filled God's bottle to the brim. I thought I'd never survive the terrible guilt and deep sorrow to ever be whole again.

Somehow I did survive, by the grace of God.

But the sorrow is still there. It comes and goes like the tide in its intensity. I don't think it will ever go away.

It still hurts to see him leave at the end of our weekly visit. To know that if given a choice, he would much rather stay with us. To know that no other caregiver can ever love and care for him as much as we do....

Especially this week when we need to help his foster parents resolve the problems that they're having with his support workers. There is the constant fear of people resigning for a better job elsewhere.

My heart aches to think of all that we need to do to constantly ensure our son's safety and well-being. And what would happen when we are no longer here to look out for him.

Without God, I won't be able to make it through.

He is the tower of strength I run to when I'm weak and weary....

He is the refuge I seek when I'm anxious and afraid....

His arms are the ones I turn to for comfort and love when my soul is downcast and my heart is sorrowful....

And this is what I want more of in my life.

To experience more of God so that despite all the challenges I face, I can still share with others the treasures that I'm discovering in Him.

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." ~ Psalm 56:8 ~

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortressl My God, in him I will trust." ~ Psalm 91:1,2 ~

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Wednesday, 6 March 2013

A Letter to the God-sized Dreamers

Hey there, my God-sized dreaming buddies,

Please don't let the term God-Sized Dream intimidate you. Here's what it means, in Holley's words:

 "God-sized Dream = A desire in your heart for more of what God has for you."

So, a God-sized dream can be as big as uprooting yourself to become a missionary in a different land.

Or it can be whatever you do everyday, like going to work or staying home to raise your kids.

Whatever it is, there's a sense that God has something more for you.

Something that makes your heart beat a little faster.....that you feel passionate about......that makes you come alive......that brings you joy!

Even if you aren't clear at this stage what that dream is, it's there, waiting to be conceived, nurtured, encouraged, and to be birthed in due time.

We need each others' dreams. Because we aren't complete on our own.

Our dreams grow us to become who God intends us to be. Our spirits soar in unison with His Spirit as our dreams take shape, grow, sprout wings and eventually take flight.

I believe that each one of us, with our unique personalities and talents, reflect a facet of God's nature that no one else can replace. In pursuing our dreams, we allow the people around us to see and enjoy the beauty of that particular aspect of God that we would otherwise miss out on.

That's right, there is no one else who can be who you are and do what only you can do. The beauty of your uniqueness is meant to be shared with the people around you because it is such a blessing.

It feels scary, you say? I know, I'm scared, too. Scared silly, as Holley would say. (By the way, Holley's new book You're Made for a God-sized Dream: Opening the Door to All God Has for You has been released. Congratulations, Holley!)

This is why I've included some quotes about courage at the end of this letter for all of you and for me, too!

I kind of think that we owe it to ourselves (if not to God and the people around us) to discover the potential that God sees in our lives.

And I believe God's grace is there to meet our every need as we go after those dreams. Even when it gets tough at times.

Let's take courage from Him and from one another as we take the next step.

He believes in us.

And I believe in you.

Your friend,


Some quotes about courage:

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is the willingness to act in spite of my fear. (Michael Hyatt)

Courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it. (Victor Hugo)

Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all. For now you are travelling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. (Meg Cabot) 

"And David said to his son Solomon, 'Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God - my God - will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.'"
 ~ I Chronicles 28:20 ~

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all of you who hope in the Lord." ~ Psalm 31:24 ~

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