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faith

faith

Your God Needs to be So Strong and So Mighty!

April 22, 2017

My God is so big, so strong and so mightyThere's nothing my God cannot doMy God is so big, so strong and so mightyThere's nothing my God cannot do

“My God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do!” 

It’s a song we are teaching Jacob at the moment. With short, catchy, repeating phrases, it’s an easy song for a child of his age to learn, plus the actions are fun too.  He loves making those big strong muscle arms!

For children, it’s easy for them to imagine that their God is so big and so mighty. They hear bible stories about how God divided the Red Sea, gave David the ability to fell a giant with a small pebble and then the stories of Jesus… wow! He rose people from the dead, fed the 5000 and made blind people see! 

Why then do we seem to lose the wonder of just how big and mighty God is when we are older? 

Is it the busyness of life? Do we get distracted with everything else and then leave little time for God in our hopes and dreams?

Do we become pessimistic because of all the hardship and trials we go through or see others go through? 

Why do our prayers become small and based on what we could do, not on what God is able to do? 

How come we are quick to forget his promises? 

It’s all in his Word when we go looking for it!

 

He promises to fight for us. Exodus 14:14

He promises us a new land. Exodus 20:12

He promises strength to the weary. Isaiah 40:29

He promises to renew our strength. Isaiah 40:31

He promises to uphold us. Isaiah 41:10

He promises to help us. Isaiah 41:13

He promises us unfailing love that will change. Isaiah 54:10

He promises us wisdom when we ask it of him. James 1:5

He promises to protect us from the devil. James 4:7

He promises to forgive our sins if we confess them. 1 John 1:9

He promises to heal our land if we humble ourselves before him. 2 Chronicles 7:14

He promises to never leave us. Deuteronomy 31:8

He promises to prosper us, and give us things to look forward to. Jeremiah 29:11

He promises us eternal life if we believe in him. John 3:16

He promises wrath and judgement to those who reject him. John 3:36

He promises us spiritual freedom. John 8:36

He promises to give us all things we ask of him in prayer. Mark 11:24

He promises to be with us wherever we go. Joshua 1:9

He promises to meet all our needs. Philippians 4:19

He promises to guide us through dark valleys. Psalm 23:4

He promises to be the stronghold of our lives. Psalm 27:1

He promises to never forsake those who love him and call on him in faith. Revelation 3:5

He promises to work even the horrible things in our lives to good. Romans 8:28

He promises to fill us with peace when we are anxious. Philippians 4:6-7

He promises to make our paths straight when we learn to depend on him. Proverbs 3:5-6

He promises to raise up the sick and make them well, either in this life or the next. James 5:14-15

 

These things need to be our prayers. And our prayers need to be as Big and as Mighty as our Lord and Father. 

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.  “If you love me, keep my commands.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.” John 14:13-16

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19

If there is something that you are struggling with, do a search in your bible for that topic. Read that passage and pray to God about it. 

Our priority needs to be opening his word and praying to our Father in Heaven. 

faith Things I love

In this World of Uncertainty, He is Unchangeable!

November 16, 2015

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This morning I gathered the kids around the coffee table for our morning devotion. School bags were packed, hair brushed, diaries checked and lunches prepped. Today I chose the Psalm which is different from most days as it is usually the kids who get the honour. I felt compelled, two days after the horrifying events in Paris, to read one of my favourites. Psalm 46. 

Psalm 46 is a psalm that is often attributed to King Hezekiah and is believed to be the inspiration for Martin Luther’s well-known hymn ‘A Mighty Fortress’.  It is a psalm full of metaphoric examples of what God is like. A fortress. A tower.  A river. The gist of this psalm is to remind us of the presence of the Lord in our lives and what a difference it makes to trust in his goodness. 

The little title above this psalm in my bible reads ‘God is our Fortress’, and what a mighty fortress he is! He doesn’t move, he doesn’t change, he is rock solid and isn’t crippled by ISIS or al qaeda. God is a dependable figure when all around us things seem to be falling apart.

In verse three we read about the ‘waters’ that are churning. This is the unrest of the nations (Daniel 6). This is ISIS. This is man wanting to be in control and not turning to God for their help.  The world may seem unpredictable, yet there is God, like a peaceful river (verse four), surrounding his city. Shiloah, the river that ebbs and flows, always there. Always predictable and sure

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God only needs to utter a word we read in verse six and the earth will melt. Only utter. Not shout, yell or bellow,  just utter. All powerful. Another attribute of God! 

So why doesn’t he? Why doesn’t my God who is so powerful just stop this barbarity and utter that word?

He doesn’t because it is not in his good pleasure to do so. Not yet. 

But be assured, because of Paris, millions all over the world turned to him in prayer. Because of Paris over six million people hashtagged #prayforparis on Instagram alone. Because of Paris,  Parisians and people all over the world flocked to church yesterday to be comforted by his word. Because of Paris we can comfort our children and our loved ones about the coming of Christ. Because of Paris, we hold our children closer and seek out the beauty that is all around us. And these things alone, turn this horrible byproduct of sin, this day that will go down as a black day in our history, to his Glory. 

Throughout the desperation of the news, we have a God who is there. Who IS able to utter that word when the time is right.

And so where does that leave us? 

We continue to, or start to live daily in his grace. We give thanks for a God who we know is our refuge. Our God who is a stronghold. Our God who is a peaceful river. We search the gospel. We learn more about the character of God. We seek to know his Holiness. We humble ourselves before his throne of grace each day. And we pray, pray, pray.  We pray for the families affected. We pray for peace. We pray for Christ’s return.

Soli Deo Gloria

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Best Parenting Book Ever!

June 5, 2013

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THE SMALL PRINT This post came about because of another parenting book that was 
put under my nose this week as "THE BE ALL AND END ALL OF PARENTING BOOKS" Yep - 
heard that one a lot in 15 years!

Parenting is not easy. If it were, there wouldn’t be so many books written about it!

Wouldn’t it be nice if all our kids came with manuals on what makes them tick, what will make them toe the line, what will make them flourish? Unfortunately our kids don’t come with manuals, and yes, they are all different!  With my three kids I worked out very quickly that the parenting approach that worked for one, does not necessarily work for them all.

Thankfully God has created each of those soft, adorable little beings that turn our lives upside down with individual personalities and needs. I truly believe that as their “caretakers” it is important for parents to find the best approach for each individual child and do their utmost to nurture them in a way that will bring out the best in them.

That is why it is not best to put all your hopes and dreams into one style of parenting.  You may notice your parenting styles change as your child becomes older.  You may read something one day and try it out and it may work for your family and not the next. I used to have a great selection of parenting books on my shelf and while the kids were little and had frequent meltdowns and brainfades, we would peruse them for THE answer.  But the answer that we were looking for was not often there in those books, but staring us right in the face.

The best parenting book that I could ever recommend would be His Holy Word.  Not some book that has been rewritten and rewritten with multiple versions and mass-produced, making the authors rich off your feelings of parental inadequacies and insecurities.

Best thing is, God’s Word doesn’t change.  It doesn’t get better or need to get better, it’s perfect.  It doesn’t need rehashing. There aren’t new parenting philosophies that need to be updated.  There aren’t mistakes and glitches that the editorial team have missed.  It’s all there. Everything you will need.  I could give a real long list of all my favourite parenting verses right now, but that would be too easy for me and too easy for you. I could say how I helped you all and patted myself on the back and you could think that my list is all you need.

God’s word isn’t there as just one lesson for when you have a bad day of parenting.  It isn’t there just to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling that you are ticking all the right boxes and trying to be a good parent.  It’s a whole story of His and our History from the dawn of creation to the very final day when He will return.  So take it, read it whether you are having a good day or bad.  Bookmark the texts that lift you up, underline the texts that remind you of how you could have done better.  Fill that Bible up with reminders of what you have read and when. Learn from Him.

Best parenting advice? Laugh often with your children – just like Sarah in Genesis 21:6 and the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31:25.  Build your faith with lots of daily reading from the Bible and don’t be afraid, be bold! Ephesians 3:12.  Pray for your children daily. Surround yourself with positive, godly parents who inspire you and counsel you to become better parents. Above all, remember the wise gem found in Proverbs 3:5-6.

Is there a place for parenting books and courses in our lives? Sure. But in moderation. They don’t hold all the answers. That particular book that you think will solve all your problems was not written for you or your family. God’s Word was.

*image source… unknown. If it’s yours, please let me know!

faith

Hello 2013 :: Joy

January 4, 2013

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My word for this year :: joy.

Three little letters that promise so much.

Joy in knowing my only Saviour better this year.

Joy in watching my children grow and become more like the people God has chosen for them to be.

Joy in knowing I have a husband who is supportive and my best friend.

Joy in having close relationships with family and friends.

Joy in knowing that even though we plan so much and have it all worked out in our heads, it may not turn out like that at all. But there is joy in knowing our Father in heaven has a hope and a future mapped out for us already.

Joy in knowing that all the crappy things of the past year and all the moments we wished we could take back don’t really matter in the long run. The bigger picture.  It promises to be amazing. 

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Advent

December 5, 2012

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A big part of the Christmas festivities around our house is the twenty four days leading up to the 25th.

Advent.

Twenty four days of focussing our hearts and minds on the enormity of what Christmas means to us.

In the past we have used the Jesse Tree theme and other advent reading calendars.

This year I chose to use the Advent Reading Plan that uses the Jesus Storybook Bible.

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Adriel Booker from the Mommyhood Memos did a review of this reading plan last month and I decided then that we would be doing it too.

The Jesus Storybook Bible is available at most good Christian Bookshops and online here.

I downloaded this advent bunting from here. Printed it on gloss card, cut them out  and hung them on the piano, right near the dinner table.

On the back I wrote all the stories (with the corresponding Bible Texts).

So far we are up to story 5. Day 5.  A giant staircase to heaven.

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