Do you remember?

Remember his goodness

It’s days like this that I know I need God in my life.  Hard work, agonising parenting moments, stress, long hours and little sleep.  But do you know what?  We all have those days.  But as time goes by days like this will be forgotten and seem like a dream we once had.

Being able to forget the bad days can be a real blessing, but unfortunately that’s not all we can forget.  We can forget the great days, the fun times, the beautiful moments and miraculous events.  When we’re going through hard times, bad times, sad times or just plain boring times we can forget about the good stuff, and even more, the God stuff in our lives. 

I’ve been having a seriously amazing time reading through Deuteronomy.  I’ve been marking up my Bible like never before.  Did you know that the word REMEMBER is written 16 times in this book?  I’ve been highlighting each one.  In chapter one God finally reveals the Promised Land to Moses and the Israelites and declares that now is the time to go for it.

But there’s one problem.  Because of the Israelites terrible attitudes and bad behaviour they’ve roamed in the desert for 40 years so God could knock off a whole generation and wait till the next generation were of age to inherit the great promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But they don’t remember why they need the Promised Land.  They’ve become so comfortable they can barely remember the mind blowing, universe changing miracles that God did in Egypt when He delivered them from slavery.  They can barely even remember being slaves.

Moses begins to recount every sign, wonder and miracle God did for the nation of Israel.  He gets them to remember so that they’ll stand up and take what’s being given to them.  When we can’t remember what was lost it’s hard to see what we’ve gained.  

There’s no more terrifying a place to be than complacency.  The Isrealites were chosen, set apart and declared Holy because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The Isrealites did nothing but moan, rebel and sin against God from the day he delivered them from slavery.  They were so comfortable where they were they couldn’t imagine anything better.  They didn’t remember the pain and suffering of living as slaves so they took for granted the freedom and provision of God.

We can easily forget.  But never forget the goodness of God.  When we’re going through tough times we can easily forget that we serve a GOOD God.  When we’re happy and satisfied we forget that we serve an ABUNDANT God.  God is always good and is always wanting to give us more.  There is no end to his love and mercy.

Don’t stop where you are.  Don’t get stuck in the wilderness of disappointment and complacency.  God has so much more for you!  Remember his goodness, remember his miracles, remember his love and remember his never ending mercy.

Don’t stop, keep going.  Don’t delay, push on.  His love never fails.

What can you remember about the goodness of God in your life?  Have their been miracles in your life that you’ve forgotten?

God, are you there?

God are you there?

I’ve been working hard.  I mean, really hard these past few weeks.  And sometimes when the clock ticks past midnight, again, and my head finally hits the pillow I wonder whether it’s all really worth it.  Is my business really going to grow, is my writing really benefiting anyone?  God is this really what you have for me?

Oh yes, I have doubts, like I know you do.  Is this all that God has for me, am I in the right place,  am I going in the right direction, is God even in this?  It can plague me after every failure, disappointment and epic work/family day (because it’s never just one or the other!).

I pray about my life, my family, my marriage, my kids and my future.  I pray over it because I want it to have meaning, purpose and success.  And I know to get anywhere I need to follow God’s lead.  But it’s hard, long days with blood sweat and tears thrown in from time to time.

As I was going to bed Tuesday night those doubts starting stirring in my head again.  I’m just so tired God, please tell me this is your will. As soon as my head hit the pillow I felt this burst of faith inside my heart and I heard God speak his love and will over me.

I’m proud of you, I love you, keep going, I’m with you. 

Wow, it doesn’t get much better than that.  And instead of going to bed deflated and defeated I went to be with the biggest smile on my face and woke up bursting to tell my husband the word from God.  And it gave us faith, focus and hope for the day of work ahead.

I know that my God is with me.  His hope is an anchor for my soul and I feel that now more than ever in my life.  He is my centre, my focus and my goal.  I have Christ in me, the hope of glory.  For a long time I couldn’t understand why His glory would be MY hope?  Because, like my wise father shared with me today, without faith we have nothing.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6

When in doubt, chose faith.  When you’re buried in the work load, lost in your indecision or failing to find a pursuit – chose faith.  Be anchored by God and seek him with everything you’ve got.  He’s right there with you and he’ll show you the way.

Can my dreams come true?

can my dreams come true?

Do you dream about your future?  Do you think about where you’ll be in a year, 5 years, 10 years, even 50 years? I do it all the time.  I was certainly a daydreamer growing up and would get lost in it, but now my dreams are much more focused.

I was reading to the kids before putting them to bed and we were reading about Joseph.  It suddenly dawned on me that God inspires our dreams.  Not just our sleeping dreams, but our visionary dreams of our future.  You know those moments where you see yourself years ahead in the future doing something so different from what you’re doing now.

Our dreams can have a divine purpose and be a prophetic image for what’s ahead and that our dreams can come true .  We may see things in our future that seem so out of place, beyond our capabilities and even a little bit strange.  Is my dream too big?  Would God really give me all that?  God gave us imagination and he uses it to envision his plan for our lives.  When He gives s a vision for our future He works His will and His way in our lives to get us to where he needs us.

As my birthday went past I thought about all the things I’ve done in 28 years.  The plans I made when I was 18 and where God has brought me.   God went above and beyond all that I asked and imagined.  He has blessed me beyond my comprehension and given me new passions and vision for my life.  He has stretched my faith and gifts beyond what I ever thought capable.  But I know that it’s all because of Him.

Joseph dreamed dreams.  They were strange, grand and impossible.  But God used them to bring hope to Joseph when he was in slavery, wrongfully accused, and forgotten in prison.  He dreamed a dream of greatness that only God could fulfill in his life.  And God worked all things for His good (Romans 8:28).  The dream was not just about Joseph becoming mighty and powerful above his family.  It was about saving the entire nation of Israel from starvation.

Don’t be afraid to dream.  Let God stretch your imagination beyond where you are now to see where He is leading you.  It may seem impossible, too big and far away to ever reach, but He is always at work in our lives to get us to where He needs us.

We can so easily cling to our insecurities, our failures and our shortcomings to allow ourselves to see beyond where we are to where He is taking us.  Trust in God to take you there.  Don’t be afraid to follow where he leads and believe in His capabilities.

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

What to do when you don't know what to do

Every day we are faced with issues, situations, thoughts and attitudes that challenge us.  They challenge our attitude, behaviour, thinking and sometimes even our faith.  We can then get lost in our pattern of thought that we think will lead us to an answer, when it really just leads to more doubt and fear.

I love what my friend, Will Marais, says “when you don’t know what to think, think about what you know.”  He shared this after telling of his shock after the death of his only son.  This grabbed hold of my heart.  What do I do when my faith gets shaken, when my beliefs get challenged and my way of life comes crumbling down?

I go back to what I know.  And what do I know? That I believe in God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit – my God is three in one.  I believe in the resurrection, that Jesus will come again and that Jesus is Lord.

This is what I believe.  No matter what happens, not matter how little I understand of anything else, I will always know this of my God:  that he loves me with an everlasting love.

When I read about David in the Bible I see more and more of how conflicted he was.  He was always trying to make sense of things happening in his world.  He just couldn’t understand so much of what went on in life.  But he would always, always, always return to God and take comfort in his unfailing love for him.

When my worry is great within me, Your comfort brings joy to my soul.  Psalm 94:19

If you’re worried today, troubled or afraid – find your comfort in the eternal love of God that is steadfast, secure and immovable.  Stand on Christ as your cornerstone.  He will not change.  Take comfort today in our Sovereign God. Nothing and no one is greater than Him.

Do you need reminding of who God is in your life?  Listen to this, I promise it will strengthen your faith and bring peace to your heart. ‘

Do I Have to Go to Church?

Do I have to go to Church?  Find out God's purpose for Church.

We can easily forget the purpose of church when there is so many people there.  The church belongs to Christ.  It was created by him to fulfil his purpose and will on the earth.  We as believers are all part of it whether we attend a church service or not.  But if we miss showing up to church we’re robbing ourselves and others of God’s blessing.  Your pastor needs you, your home group leader needs you, the children need you, the parents need you, the person on your left and your right need you there – but most importantly God needs you at church.

Your simple smile and ‘hello’ can make a persons day.  Your shared experience could bring hope to someone and your prayers could bring healing and freedom to others.  A church scattered is of little use but a church united is a powerful force.  We need to be together to worship God, receive strength, direction, healing, encouragement and vision.

I remember as a teenager coming downstairs one Sunday morning complaining of a sore throat and headache to which my dad’s reply was, ‘well the best place for you to be is Church where people can pray for your healing.’  End. Of. Discussion.  There’s no arguing with that!

I’ve gone to church when I’ve been on my own with four kids or with illness or violent nausea or even with severe depression. There have been times I’ve walked into church not wanting to be there and having an expression on my face letting everybody know that.  But I always, always, always come away refreshed and encouraged by God and His church.  It’s easy for us to hide and withdraw when we’re going through difficult seasons, or find something better to do with our Sunday mornings, but church really is where it’s at.

If you’re sick, depressed or hurt, if you’re feeling ashamed, or hiding in sin then Chruch is the best place for you to be.  And if the sun is shining and its the one day of the week that is perfect beach weather church is still the place to be and if its freezing cold and raining like the days of Noah we still need to get ourselves to church.  So often we hide or withdraw from church thinking that we don’t want to put up with all the people.  But we’re there to meet with God not just people.  Church is not just for us, it’s for others and more importantly for dedicating our time and worship to God.  Don’t let yourself be robbed of God’s blessing by missing church.  Make it a priority and dedicate your Sunday mornings to church and just assign it in your mind as ‘God’s time’.

I would highly recommend reading ‘Heaven is in this House‘ by Bobbie Houston to learn more about the function and purpose of church.  It completely changed my mindset of church after reading it.

 And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…  Hebrews 1:24-25

Pride & Prejudice

Does Love Overcome Pride & Prejudice

I feel incredibly blessed to live in this beautiful country rich in history and culture and filled with green trees, rolling hills and pebbled beaches.  There really is no other place like it.  I have always seen myself as British being born and raised here, however as soon as I open my mouth to say hello I am reminded of how un-British I really am.  I am constantly having to justify my nationality and explain how a British person could possibly have an American accent.  Yes I am British and American and yes I grew up in England and the States.

When I was about 13 and living in the States I was talking to a lady in church who was asking about where we had come from and what brought us to North Carolina.  After explaining our dual nationality and how we did end up there she replied ‘Oh, so you really don’t have a home then’.  Ouch.  She had no idea what she was implying with that one sentence, but it has always stuck with me. I wasn’t angry or crushed to tears, but I was hurt.  Why would she say something so hurtful?  What’s wrong with being raised in two countries?  Absolutely nothing.

As I write this I’m sitting in a very gorgeous English Manor drinking tea from a beautiful bone china tea set.  Pannelled wood walls surround me with crystal chandeliers and a grand piano next to my table.  I am instantly transported back to the Regency era and as each lady walks past I imagine them in gorgeous flowing gowns with their hair tightly curled and pinned into place wearing lace gloves and white ribbons.  It reminds me of Pride & Prejudice and how even though our customs, laws and clothes have changed I realise how little our mindsets have.  We may no longer be racist but prejudice still remains.  

We become prejudice towards how people dress, talk, drink their tea, wash their laundry, spend their money, cook their food, what hobbies they enjoy and on and on it goes.  What does it all mean?  There are over 7 billion people on the planet and every single one of us is created completely different.  God is the God of diversity and unity.  He makes all things new but work together in one Spirit.

But just like in the Jane Austen novel let love overcome Pride & Prejudice.  My prayer today is that we will put aside our culture and traditions and look to God and take on his culture and mindset.  To be able to love one another as Christ loved us we must take on His nature and put aside our own.  We all have pride and prejudice but Christ’s love overcomes.

 Our citizenship is in heaven so let’s be of one mind united in thought and purpose. Phillipians 3:20, 1 Corinthians 1:10

From Bad To Worse To Breakthrough

frustrated-mom2

Have you ever been in a season where things have just gone from bad to worse right after you’ve been given a great ‘promise’ from God?  But what’s the point of the promise God if life is just going to be miserable until I get it??   Something new struck me reading through the story of Moses again.  God was setting a precedent through the release of the Isrealites.  He needed to set an example not just for Pharaoh and the Egyptians but the entire world for all of time.  That’s quite a large audience over a very long time frame.  But God always has eternity in mind, unlike us.  We want results and answers now that will benefit us now so that we can enjoy the blessing now.

God sees a much bigger picture and his plan is to always reach the world throughout all time.  So he told Moses at the burning bush that Pharaoh would be stubborn and that his heart would be hardened.  God knew that things were going to get a whole lot worse for the Isrealites before they got better. But this was all part of God’s plan.  Sometimes this can be hard to swallow.  But I thought God only wants good things for me?

God’s promises are always true and never changing.  But when our circumstances go from bad to worse it’s easy to lose sight of the promise and wonder whether God is still on our side.  But if God is with us who can be against us*!  We have to be confident in our faith and love for God otherwise we can turn bitter and easily walk away from the promises of God for our life.

The Isrealites were all suffering in slavery and then when Moses showed up to set them ‘free’ their work load was double and they were punished and persecuted even more.  What kind of help is Moses to us?  He’s not setting us free he’s enslaving us even more . But in the midst of this God began to show his wonder and power.  Boils, locusts, fleas, bullfrogs, disease, famine and death came to the Egyptians.  And in the end God won!  He did it, he fulfilled his promise and set an entire nation of people free from slavery.

Maybe you’re in a season where things have gone from bad to worse even though you know God has a great plan for you.  You received a promise from God and now everything has just gone wrong or keeps getting harder.  Hold onto the promise and just remember Moses and the Isrealites.  We are still reading his story thousands and thousands of years later.  Just think about what your story will do for generations to come.  You can never know how far reaching your story of suffering and success can go.  With God all things are possible* and he will always win.  Perhaps God is using your story to bring freedom to slaves, healing to the sick or wholeness to the broken.  And that’s how God makes all things work together for good* and brings glory to his name.

1* Romans 8:31

2 * Matthew 19:26

3* Romans 8:28