I've always been touched by the story of the woman who poured out her tears on Jesus' feet and so often in my own turbulence of heart and mind, I am reminded of the time of a storm at sea, Christ Himself in the stern.
He is after all, a God not separate, nor removed from the troubles we face, but in them, He dwells. He touches us with the perfume of joy; sustains us with the bread of life and breathes into us His life so that we can live and live well.
I wrote these words for Him; they are written over the course of a few years and I share them with hesitance, because they are precious to me. Too precious for sharp judgement or the scrutiny of man. And yet, how can I live this life unless our pour out what is due Him?
May something in here strengthen your heart and remind you that you are His.
'Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth.
I did not come to bring peace but a sword.'
Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 10:34
There's something a little bit unsettling about some words that we find in the Bible, wouldn't you agree?
Parts that seem discordant with other parts, or that unsettle or contradict the view that we have of God, ourselves or the world we are living in. These are usually the parts that opponents of Christianity will bring to our attention (often with much glee, or perhaps interlaced with their own uncertainties, fears or bitter experiences.) They are brought before us as evidence, as though we were part of some court case seeking to disprove the existence of or the goodness of God.
Do you remember putting your name down to be a witness for that trial?
And yet, there are times when our beliefs come under the firing line of people we have counted as friends, neighbours, acquaintances and co-workers. Social media has opened up a pothole of antagonism and m...
My mother likes to tell a story of when I was young -about six or so - and threw handfuls of marigold seeds around our garden. She and her neighbour had carefully planted their own seeds in the garden bed earlier in the day, covering them with dirt and watering them in, unlike mine which sat willy-nilly on top of the soil. As the season passed, would you believe it, but the ones my mother had planted were scarce, but everywhere I'd cast the unlucky seeds, they'd taken root and burst into life and the result were clustered smatterings of sunshine-coloured blossoms all over the yard.
Why is it that we can work so hard, so diligently on something and see little result; at other times we cast out our 'seeds' and they burst to life before they've even landed? Can you relate? Or perhaps it is someone else's blooms you have watched and wondered about, holding your own seeds in your palm or fretting over the ground where you carefully planted them. Perhaps you are uncertain if you have any seed...
It has been a long while, friend, and you’ve been on my mind.
Quietly whispering in the background of a year that has been full and busy for all of us. It is the challenge of life to listen to the whispers; to notice the gentle movement in the corner of our eyes: the finger of God beckoning us to come.
It is the New Year, friend, and 2017 is done. We’ve packed our bags and blown away the dust from our knapsacks and suitcases, our inflatable beds and our sleeping bags. We’ve taken to the trails, to the skies, to the waters to spend time with our loved ones, to escape the busy and to refresh and relax. And now it is January. It certainly feels as though it’s been the New Year for more than a fortnight; to myself at least. Life has picked up once again and there are hot cross buns already on the shelves of our local supermarkets. Emails trickle in and the world is open for trade once more.
Do you feel ready, friend?
Have you had a chance to think about the year behind you…to assess its lesson...
There is a quietness of spirit that awaits us; a dwelling place of restful assurance for our souls. Where is it, you ask? It is in the quiet confidence of the provision of a faithful Father. As the milk-satisfied infant rests on it's mother's breast after a feed; we are provided quiet places of rest in the Lord's provision. What does your week look like, knowing that the Lord will provide what you need, when you need it; to richly satisfy you and to help you grow strong? What does it look like to know that He will be there when you are next hungry? That a time is coming when you will rise in strength, with energy and joy, to do the works that make your heart sing?
Let your spirit grow quiet.
Are you empty?
He is there, waiting to feed you with words of life.
Are you tired?
Rest against His goodness; lean your whole frame upon it.
Are you worried for the future?
Do not fret; He has gone ahead and has already provided what you will need in that season.
Today we share a simple thought, because sometimes the soul needs reflection of it's own...I wonder if there is something that He wants to make beautiful for you? Is there something that you have carefully stowed away; a thought, an experience, a question; one that seemed irreconcilable, a part of yourself that you might have put away?
Would you let Abba touch it? Perhaps now is the time.
He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time.
I can hear warm air moving through the vents of our ducted heating. There are birds outside and the gravel is wet from the weekend rain.
My laptop is before me; so is my calendar and phone; my post-its, invitations and messages that need organising so that I can see what needs attending to this week; where I need to be and what I need to do.
I'm already very behind.
I find myself thinking, 'I hate Mondays' and with it comes the sensation of weightiness. Of burden. Of energy leaking out of me.
This is my Monday-problem.
Maybe you have a Monday-problem.
Or maybe your Monday is well-organised.
Maybe you planned for it yesterday.
Feeling stuck, I find myself googling, 'Why do people hate Mondays?' and the results come up in 0.75 seconds. Almost fourteen million of them. I find an article that invites me in; to quieten myself and breathe; to allow my body to become still and relaxed. As I feel the panic subside just a little; the article invites me to be thankful fo...
I have been blessed with many wonderful friendships. People who are so different to me, who have been sent, I know, by Father, to help me to learn and grow and understand. I have a friend who is a determined optimist. It is she who has helped to shape my understanding of how it is possible to train ourselves to be optimistic.
No, wait, this is not a self-help article as such, and perhaps it veers away just a little from the style and tone of this place in virtual space, but bear with me, because it comes back to Father God.
It always comes back to Father.
At some point between childhood and adulthood, I became a pessimist. Only, I didn't realise that I was a pessimist. I didn't see myself as a negative person; instead, I thought I was a realist. My definition of an optimist was a person who had not yet learned that life was pitted against you; that you would always be let down and that hope was incredibly dangerous (it sort-of is, but in a different way! More about that another time)....
Deep beneath the layers of who you think you should be, how you see yourself; beneath the image you’ve worked so hard to fashion with your hands.
There you are.
I see you.
Do you remember who you were when you were young?
I remember who I was.
The girl who loved to make. The girl with big ideas.
I remember taking handfuls of feathers from a hole in my parent’s quilt; I knew it was wrong so I hid them in a mint green container under their bed. I was going to make wings. I had figured out the secret of flight and I bade my time until I had enough feathers to carry my weight.
I made magazines and books and bought big handfuls of rubber bands from the local newsagency. I created my own printing press. Blank paper was a gift; a limitless canvas upon which I could create worlds and dreams and adventures. I drew and coloured and folded for the sheer joy of it.
Who were you?
Did you know that we are God’s poem?
That the very fabric of our being is infused with His...