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‘One More Thing’ and a list of heart questions.

March 24, 2017

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“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it — lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?” Luke 14:28-30 

There is a lot that you could fill your time with when you are part of a church community. 

People who could do with a visit. 

Babies being born and so a meal for the family would be a nice. 

Meetings to attend on almost every night of the week. 

Cards, emails or texts that you could send to those that need encouragement. 

Causes that could use an hour of your time.

Baking to do for events. 

Then there are school commitments, sport commitments, community commitments. The list goes on and on. You can always find that ‘one more thing’ to commit to, even if you have no time to actually do it. 

“In my head I am so distracted by the busyness of all those ‘one more things’ that have piled up on my plate.  So many jobs to do and commitments to follow up on.  I have little to give back to my family. One more thing and I might snap. Some one please give me more hours in my day! There are so many people to please…”

This was me most of the time before I started using the following heart questions to weigh up if I do indeed have the head space/ time/ money to commit to that ‘one more thing.’ 

Do you have the time to do it? If you do commit to it, what will suffer? Your home, your family? Will having to rush around doing that ‘one more thing’ cause you to be short with your husband or yell at your kids? Will saying yes, leave you with little reserves for the important things in your life? Are you able to nurture your family, husband or children when you have nothing left to give?

Can you commit emotionally? Sometimes you have a little nagging ‘no, don’t commit, you know you have a busy week (or month or year), you know you have enough on your plate right now’ voice in your head. How often do we listen to that little voice? Or if your heart is saying ‘yes’, does it match up with your reality?

Can you afford it? This applies to anything that will cost you money, like a meal, going out for coffee, that bunch of flowers. If you can’t afford it, don’t commit. 

Where is your heart at? Why are you saying yes? Is it to save face? Is it because you are worried about what people think of you if you say ‘no’? Are you trying to be ‘as good’ as the lady sitting on the next pew? Do you think your ‘good works’ might make people like you more? 

Where does this leave God? We can be very busy doing all the ‘one more thing” and then have less and less time to spend with God. Resting in His Word and coming to Him in prayer has to be our number one job on the list everyday. You will never regret making Him your priority. 

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Keep your list manageable. Commit only to the things that will allow you to have Him as your priority! Say ‘no’ or ‘not this time’ to requests that you know will leave you gasping for air or wishing you didn’t commit. Realise that your commitment list might look totally different to the next person as God has all given us different gifts.

“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5

faith

Three Short Phrases that Change Everything

February 15, 2017

Sometimes it takes just a few words from the Bible to set us straight on our path once again. Micah 6:8 is one of those Bible verses. 

It’s a verse that is straight to the point. God doesn’t say in one hundred words what he can say in ten. The command is clear and is for all of us; act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with your God. 

God wants us to have a moral and ethical code, which consists of more than ‘ticking all the religious sacrificial boxes’ as the Israelites were trying to do. He wants us to act justly by being fair to others, by treating them with the love they deserve and by doing the right thing by them. Learn to do what is good. Seek justice. Correct the oppressor. Defend the rights of the fatherless. Plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:17)

He wants us to show mercy and be compassionate to those we meet, especially to those who don’t really deserve it. “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” “The one who showed mercy to him,” he said. Then Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:36–37)

He wants us to walk along side him, humbly putting our trust in his promises and will. He mocks those who mock, but gives grace to the humble.(Proverbs 3:34)

This text is going up on the pantry door. It will be a good reminder when we are a bit frazzled, running on empty and needing some nudging back into the right direction.  

 

(Printable Version will be here when I get on top of the errors that keep occurring on my page!! arrggghhhh! Sorry! )

Printable Version Here

 

Contentment faith

Continue to tear me down and rebuild me into a Palace Lord!

November 14, 2016

 

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Life can be full of unexpected trials, events, changes and turmoil which can lead to a heap of uncertainty. These trials can be wonderful and exciting as you don’t know what will be around the corner. Sometimes they can be devastating, painful, hard to endure as you feel like the very foundations of your life are being ripped away. It’s these hard moments that sometimes makes you wonder what God has planned for you. 

Life has felt like this lately. If I was a jar in my Father’s hands, I’d say that He has been throwing me to the ground then rebuilding me over and over again, not with new clay, but with the same imperfect lump. Softening edges, making adjustments, thrown back into the kiln time and time again. Stuck together with super glue or liquid nails, or whatever you use to glue a jar back together after it has been obliterated. 

Even though things have been tough, I can see that these unexpected trials have helped me be a better mum. A better wife. A better sister to my sisters in Christ. 

God is teaching me that He is in control. Teaching me that I need to take my hands off. Teaching me that all I need to do is love those around me and walk alongside them as they go through their own struggles. Teaching me that being gracious to others is better than seeking what is best for me. 

A few years ago, I read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. In his book, that is an adaption of radio transcripts based on Christian apologetics from the 1940’s, Lewis wrote:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.” 

I am a house and He is making me into a palace. I should have a sign on my back saying, “Come back later, renovations in progress.”

This quote has taught me over the years to see trials as opportunities. Opportunities for growth. We need to remember that God does not look on our trials as adversity. He looks at them as being opportunities to make us draw closer to Him. God’s purpose for us in times of trials is to teach us. The trials smash us down, yet the lesson in each of them builds us up stronger. Every time we learn from them, we can see that great promise come to fulfillment in our lives.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 

God wants the best for us, but in this life, we will have to deal with the devastating effects of sin and so we should not be surprised when life is not all rainbows and lollipops.  He watches to see how we react to trials, and He wants to see us reach our full potential, to become the person that we are called to be, ultimately someone who is able to give Him the glory, no matter what is happening in our life. 

So this attitude of gratitude and contentment even during times of trials, where does it come from? It is a gift from God. 

How can you deal with trials in your life? 

  1. Pray.
  2. Read His Word and seek His truths and promises.
  3. Don’t ignore the problem.
  4. Confess your sins if that is needed!
  5. Seek the counsel of wiser, older people. 
  6. Focus on the important things and if needed, hunker down and ride out the storm without the noise of a busy social life. 
  7. Focus on the small things of daily life that bring your closer to God. Prayer life, devotions, church attendance.

Most of all, just imagine your life as an ongoing renovation. Get on your knees and pray, “God your will be done!” and just look forward to the great unveiling of that beautiful palace! 

Tash x 

 

faith Family Life

Lately: What I’m Reading, Listening to and Watching.

October 25, 2016

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Oh, I have so many good things to share with you. 

What I am Reading..

One Christian Dad

Ryan is a blogger who was recently diagnosed with testicular cancer. What sets him apart from other cancer stories you may read on the web is that he is a Christian Dad who has cancer and currently undergoing treatment!  Read his story here ->

The Better Mom

There was another post I was going to highlight from The Better Mom blog today,  but this morning I read this one as it came across my blog feed.  Six Ways to Recognize You Are Accepted – in the light of being a mum, and specifically in relation to how you deal with situations with your children. 

Grown & Gathered

If you like to think of yourself as someone who is, or wishes to become kinda self-sufficient by growing and gathering food from your backyard and neighbourhood, this book is for you. It is so delightful that I may have hugged it when I opened it for the first time. The photos are amazing, the written work is inspiring and well, it’s just lovely! Buy it at most good bookstores or department stores. Take a sneak peak here ->

What I am Listening to..

Keith & Kristin Getty

Celtic Thunder (Mock me if you will..)

I am N- The Voice of the Martyrs via Audible. These stories are not for the fainthearted, but a good reminder of how God is gathering, defending and preserving His Church in the Middle East. 

What I am watching..

Mary & Martha

A movie about two mother’s who lose their sons to Malaria. Their paths collide and together they learn to deal with their grief by helping others. Watch the preview here ->

Loving your Neighbours

Short and sweet little video about stepping out of your comfort zone to meet your neighbours and start developing meaningful relationships. 

What have you read, listened to or watched lately? 

Let me know in the comments! Inspire me!

faith

Spiritual Spring Clean

October 4, 2016

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Springtime often brings with it an overwhelming desire to throw out the old, polish the dull, wipe down the dusty and organise the messy. The practice of spring cleaning is reputed to go back to the biblical feast of Passover when the Israelites had to wipe away any trace of leavened bread for the length of the celebration. (Read the story here) The Jewish houses were cleaned top to bottom, and this practice has filtered through countries and communities over time with maybe less or no spiritual significance. 

Have you ever thought that maybe your heart required a Spring Clean? Could it do with a bit of a cobweb clearing or a bit of a buff? Let’s look at some ways you could do just that.

1. Pick up and dust off your Bible daily 

This is one discipline that I can not emphasise enough, and I do not mean when you read the bible to your children or read a page in your devotion book. Pick up your Bible and delve deeply into it. Bible Journaling changed my faith life for the better and if you want to know more about that you can read my post about it here.

2. Follow a Bible Plan

My favourite is the one from Navigators.org. Choose a bible book each month and read through it. Don’t forget that ALL scripture is profitable! 2 Timothy 3:16

3. Pray regularly, without ceasing and use a Prayer Journal

 The idea is to keep a notebook/diary of who/what you have prayed for. You can also note down your prayer points in the Know Him Journals as well.  James 4:8

4. Join a Bible Study Group

There is nothing like studying God’s word with other Christians. Commit to going for the rest of the year. Ps 119:105

5. Clean up your bookshelves, throw out the crap. 

If there are books on your shelves that you wouldn’t lend to your pastor, throw them out. Sexually explicit, books that celebrate the vanity of society, books from false teachers. 1 Corinthians 10:31

6. Unfriend/ Unfollow those FB pages that you know are not God Honouring

Go through who you follow and what pages you follow and cull the rubbish. Have a look at this post I wrote a few months ago on this topic. There are some really trashy pages under the guise of ‘Mummy Bloggers’ out there. You have no place in following them if you call yourself a Christian. Romans 12:2

and finally..

7. Cull those Bad Habits

If you know there is something in your life that is holding you back from a closer relationship with God, commit to working on that bad habit or sin. Talk about it with someone you trust and ask them to hold you accountable. Ask that person to pray for you. Ephesians 4:22-24

 

Fling open those windows, shake out those rugs and hold onto your hat. Follow one, two or all seven of my ideas on how to give your heart a spring clean. Maybe you have some ideas on how you can transform your heart this Spring, I’d love you to share them here.

It is comforting to remember that our God is a forgiving Father who gives second chances and who is patient with us, but His patience will run out when we choose to remain hoarders of bad habits, neglectful believers and lazy keepers of the faith. 

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;  above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints… Ephesians 6:10-18

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