DISCOVERY……….

As I grow older, I discover more and more that the greatest gift I have to offer is my own joy of living, my own inner peace, my own silence and solitude, my own sense of well-being”.                   (Henri Nouwen)

We can only experience that joy when we have a personal relationship with Jesus – as we spend time in prayer and meditate on God’s Word.  The more familiar we become with someone, the closer we tend to become to that person.  The same is true with God.  The more we read about what He has done for us and what He desires for us, the more intimate our relationship will be with Him.

10009841_10151852343222574_573645414_nExtract from “God’s Promise for Families”

 

TEARS

“When we cry out to God in our deep hurt and sorrow He hears us and He answers us with these words “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you”. (2 Kings 20:5)

With the release of the tears that you cry, God is able to begin a healing work in your life.

Extract from – God’s Promise for Families

10009841_10151852343222574_573645414_n

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT – SOUNDS GOOD!

DSCN1591

SIGN ON A CELL DOOR AT THE CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

I am thinking of hiring the cell for myself for a day or two.

Just think – peace, quiet, undisturbed sleep, uninterrupted prayer time, me time, alone time, meditation time, reading time (I am sure they will allow books in the cell – don’t mind paying extra), writing time……………………….!!

TEARS ARE HEALING

10009841_10151852343222574_573645414_n

“The indescribable grief I felt when I was forced to leave my father when I was twelve slowly turned into anger and bitterness. I felt rejected and unloved, and had no self-worth. When I was nearly fourteen years old, I realised I no longer cried. Alcohol was readily available, and with no parental supervision whatsoever, I began drinking at sixteen years of age.

In Susan Howatch’s book, Glittering Images, she wrote: “Which is better: to express grief and pain by using tear-ducts specially created for the purpose, or to express grief and pain by enduring a silent, secret hemorrhage of the soul?”

For many years my soul was hemorrhaging. As I grew older and began to drink, I discovered it was only when I was under the influence of alcohol that I could cry.”

EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK “God’s Promise for Families”

God, however, saw every tear that I cried and He lovingly “recorded all my tears and preserved them in His bottle! He recorded every one in His book” (Psalms 56:8)
How wonderful is that – God has seen and recorded every tear we have ever cried and with compassion in His heart has collected those tears and kept them, and us, close to His heart.
He is also the One who “will wipe away all tears” (Isaiah 25:8)

Jesus came into this world “to BIND UP the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, ….to COMFORT all who mourn, and PROVIDE for those who GRIEVE…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of GLADNESS instead of MOURNING, and a garment of PRAISE instead of a spirit of DESPAIR” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

God is our HEAVENLY FATHER and Jesus our COMFORTER

MY HEART’S DESIRE…….

 10009841_10151852343222574_573645414_n

“In 1 Chronicles 29:5 God asks, “Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the LORD?” My heart leaped in response to the question posed and I exclaimed, “I am ready!”

I want to be set apart and used by God. I want to be able to witness to the people I come in contact with about His great love for us. I want to be part of the collective “we” spoken of in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”.

One of the deepest desires of my heart is to be recognized as a child of God. I want to live in such a way that people look at me and know there is something different about me. I want to cultivate such a close relationship with God that the fruit of the spirit is evident in my life.

Matthew 5:16 encourages us to “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” In Galatians 5:22-23 God’s Word illuminates further: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”.

Extract from the book “God’s Promise for Families”

 

EMPATHY – YOUR PAIN IN MY HEART

 

IMG-20130626-00827(My sister and I – still growing and learning)

Empathy is defined as “your pain in my heart”.  How do we develop empathy if we never experience pain or hurt, sickness or the loss of a loved one, either through death or the ending of a relationship?

Oswald Chambers writes:

Suffering either gives me to myself or it destroys me.  The only way to find yourself is in the fires of sorrow.  Why it should be this way is immaterial.  The fact is that it is true in the Scriptures and in human experience.  You can always know that you can go to him, who has suffered, in your moment of trouble and find that he has plenty of time for you.  But if a person has not been through the fires of sorrow, he is apt to be contemptuous, having no respect or time for you, only turning you away.  If you receive yourself in the fires of sorrow God will make you nourishment for other people”.

My sister once wrote me a letter and this is what she said:

I think we are blessed in a wonderfully paradoxical way, because our capacity – huge capacity – for healing has been carved and hollowed out through our experiences of pain and feelings of rejection, feelings of never quite being good enough, through our failures, through our unmet expectations, and disappointments with ourselves and others – suffering is so intimately connected to wholeness.  Perhaps wisdom is simply a matter of waiting and healing a question of time”

It has been through my times of pain and sorrow that I have grown the most as a person.  It is also during those times that I have actively sought God and prayed the most!

Nick Vujicic, a man born without arms or legs has this to say:

I love how God lets us go through difficult challenges to help each other and encourage one another.  The challenges in our lives are there to strengthen our convictions.  They are not there to run us over”.

And then James Wilson said the following:

“And in the miracle of God’s provision for an escape, He takes the very scars that Satan inflicted to draw lines of beauty upon our souls. IF we turn over control to God instead of cursing Him!”

THE AGE OLD QUESTION! WHY DOES GOD ALLOW………?

little_girls
One of the most common words used in the English language must be the word WHY?
The dictionary defines ‘why’ as follows: for what reason, purpose or cause? An expression of surprise, disagreement, indignation”.
The majority of us struggle with the question of ‘why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” Incredible that, as I was typing this, my 12 year old came into my office and read me part of an essay she had written. The title was “Why?” I listened in amazement as my child verbalized this age old question.
 Why? Why would God make the world if He knew that it would be destroyed? Why would He make the world if life for some people in this world would be destroyed or hurt for no reason? For a little child will lose its mother and be like a lamb alone in a field, hurt and broken inside. Why? This child who has done no wrong has now lost its mother. Why would God let this child suffer? Why? – Emma Jane Curry
Often, the answer to that question has got nothing whatsoever to do with God. It has to do with bad decisions the government of the country has made, or wrong choices our parents or grand-parents may have made or even the consequences of our own wrong doing. What about Global warming and climate change in the world today and the effects of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation? Man is responsible for that not God.
God created us because He wanted a relationship with us. He gave us freedom of choice because, if He had not, we would be robotic creatures unable to form a relationship or interact with Him.
 I heard the following story the other day and it highlighted for me the verse “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)
There was a king who had a devoted servant. This servant loved the Lord and was continually praising God for His goodness. The king and the servant went hunting one day and a lion attacked the king. The servant managed to fight the lion off but, alas, the king lost his index finger. The lion had managed to bite it off! The king was really upset and what made it worse was the fact that the servant told him he should be grateful to God for sparing his life. All the king could think of was the pain and the fact that his finger was missing. He could not believe that his servant was praising God for this so he had the servant thrown into jail. A few days later the king went hunting and was captured by a tribe who offered human sacrifices to their gods. The king was bound and laid on an altar in preparation for the sacrificial ritual to begin when the tribe suddenly noticed that he had a finger missing. This caused great consternation as it was forbidden to sacrifice anyone who was ‘incomplete’. They cut his cords and allowed him to go free. When he finally made it back to his village, the first thing he did was to go straight to the jail and set his servant free. He explained to the servant that if it had not been for the missing finger he would be dead. The servant then proceeded to give all thanks and glory to God! The king listened for a little while and then posed this question, “If your God is so good and amazing
WHY did He allow you to be thrown into jail?” The servant replied, “Because, my king, if I had been hunting with you, I too would have been captured. And when they discovered that you had a part missing I would have been sacrificed in your stead! Thank God I was in jail!”
We have no idea what the future holds but I do know that our time here on earth is very short compared to eternity! If we accept Jesus as our Saviour we will be spending eternity with God and the things that we experienced here on earth will fade into insignificance.
When the question why besets me I think about the answer Oswald Chambers once gave his wife. They had just been to visit a friend who was suffering from typhoid fever and was close to death and she asked, “I wonder what God is going to do?” Oswald replied, “I don’t care what God does. It’s what God IS that I care about”.
When the word why reverberates in my head I hold onto these words that God spoke:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior ……Do not be afraid, for I am with you”. (Isaiah 43:1-3, 5)
Photo courtesy of Google

Off the Rails: A Good Thing?

Big Red Carpet Nursing

rails   Google SearchI’m not particularly enthusiastic with “should,” “that’s how we do it,” arbitrary rules, and so on.

They each have their place, and I respect that, but not enthusiastically. I can decide.

I favor reason, initiative, innovation, creativity, judgement, freedom. That’s my way.

I figure initiative got us humans out of the caves, gave us fire. Not bad! Rules and traditions give us more of the same.

So I’m curious. I’m too tired today to offer serious material – so much work lately! – but still, I’m curious.

I’ve had a saying for some time now, a vague philosophy of sorts.

Simple really. I can quote it:

“I went off the rails. Then I figured out I like it better that way. Far more freedom of movement!”

Jumping the rails is usually framed as a disaster. For a train and its passengers, it IS a disaster, of course.

For metaphorical purposes…

View original post 91 more words

WHEN WE BLOW IT!

New Year's Bang

“If you have failed and you are filled with despair, with no idea where to turn for inspiration and strength, remember then the compassion of Jesus.  In the power of His love He encourages you to persevere and to rebuild your life”.1

One of the most comforting verses God put into the Bible is the one that says “…though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand”.2 If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour and truly desire to serve the Lord and live our lives as His children the following verse will apply to us “If the Lord delights in a man’s way he makes his steps firm”3. It doesn’t matter how many times we may fail or feel we have blown it – if we are prepared to go before Him and confess our sins He says  “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”4

Jesus knows exactly what we are like.  In fact He made allowances for our bad behavior when He answered Peter’s question “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times”.5
He knew that we would need to come before Him time and time again to ask forgiveness for the same sin.

I often feel that nothing in my life changes. That I am still the same person I was before I accepted Christ as my Saviour.  That I will never gain victory over certain sins/wrong behavior/bad habits in my life.  I go before God and ask for forgiveness time and time again for exactly the same ‘sin’. It is then, in that moment of despair, that I cry out to God to give me the faith and the assurance that I am forgiven and I hear Him say “I am the One who began the good work within you and I will keep right on helping you grow in My grace until My task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns”.6

To back that up He put this in the Bible as well for whenever our hearts condemn us

 “ For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”7

1.  Ozrovech, Solly.  More than Life Itself: A Daily Devotional
2.  Psalm 37:24, Holy Bible, NIV
3.  Psalm37:23, Holy Bible, NIV
4.  Isaiah 43:25, Holy Bible, NIV
5.  Matthew 18:21 & 22, Holy Bible, NIV
6.  Philippians 1:6 paraphrased, LAB
7.  1 John 3:20, Holy Bible, NIV

Photo courtesy of google