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Royalty, Wife, Mummy, friend, teacher, student & fitness blogger

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Accountability

Awaken, sleeping Lionesses

“If ever there comes a time when the women of the world can come together, purely and simply for the benefit of mankind.. it will be a force such as the world has never known.”  Matthew Arnold,  British Poet & Philosopher.

(Matthew Arnold (24 December 1822 – 15 April 1888) was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator. Matthew Arnold has been characterised as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues.)

I included that little bit of basic info on Matthew Arnold to make the point that I think he was in a very good position to have made the above statement.  And it quite frankly blows me away to think that he made that comment well over 150yrs ago.  I must say that I do tend to think that we’re predominantly in the mess we’re in since the 1960 or 70’s, as I use the rationale that when my parents grew up, there was far more respect shown to adults/elders/those in authority than there is now.  There was more modest dress, stronger family bonds & commitments, and just more consideration shown for others across the board.  So, with this in mind, it’s interesting to read his statement and note how long ago he would have made it.  Clearly, a very intuitive man.  G. W. E. Russell wrote of Arnold, “He is a man of the world entirely free from worldliness.”

This statement by Matthew Arnold has been quoted by Lisa Bevere at the beginning of her messages since beginning her ‘Lioness Arising’ teachings in 2009.

I went through the Lioness Arising teaching series in January 2012 with the lovely ladies from LifeHouse church.  I found it to be such an informative and enlightening teaching, but it’s very interesting to reflect on how I’ve continued to learn from it in these 4yrs between, and I imagine I will continue to learn from it going forward also.

The cover of the book says ‘Lioness Arising… Wake up and change your world”.  Well, wake up I certainly did that year and I’ve never looked back.

Chapter one of the Safari guide (the workbook that goes alongside the book & message series) begins with these words, “Welcome to the pride, my lovely Lioness sister.”  Now, this right here was an eye-opener for me in that lounge room that night in Jan 2012, surrounded by 12-14 relatively new friends as I’d only joined the church the previous October.  Those beautiful women became my pride for the next 3yrs and I learnt so much with and from them.  God had further plans for our family, leading us away from LIfeHouse and to the church family we now call HOME!  As a result, I have a different ‘pride’ now.  The eye-opening point though had little to do with the small group that is your pride, but realising that we, as women of God, are all in the one pride.   We support each other in our day to day within our smaller ‘prides’, but as a whole, we support the entire pride in prayer also.

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My pride today is stunning… stunning and dangerously wide awake !!  To say I love them and are grateful to do life with them is a huge understatement.   What’s fascinating about our pride is that all five of us have known each other for years…  approx 13yrs is the longest I’ve known one of my Lioness sisters, but some are a little longer, and some a little shorter.  We haven’t always been this pride…. it’s actually come together in solidarity just this year.  In these many years leading up, there’s been weddings (actually, just one, mine.  LOL), pregnancies, miscarriages, births, dedications, relationship tensions, job changes, many a school activity or awards night, family tragedy, mind-blowing blessings, and so so much more.  It continues to amaze me that God’s timing is ALWAYS spot on !  We’ve all known each other for a good amount of years, and have always gotten along, but God has seen fit to bring us together as a pride for THIS time in our lives.  All of us are riding through something at present, whether it be health, relationship, parenting, or something else.. and we’re all there for each other and in most cases can well relate to our Lioness sister’s struggles.

Another thing the 5 of us have in common… we all have a Lioness cub that has been entrusted to our care.

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return, and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.  Luke 12:48 NLt

Our ‘cubs’ range from 10yrs up to nearly 16 (so yes, we need prayer right now peeps.. ha ha).  There is so so much to be aware of when parenting a daughter and I know it’s been said time and time again, but seriously, the biggest keys are being in a Godly marriage (don’t worry if you’re a single Mum, or your husband isn’t walking with The Lord as in those situations, The Lord is the other parent when needed) The Word of God, and having open communication with your daughter.  The next biggest asset after those is being in a Pride of fellow Lionesses also mothering a cub.

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It’s so important to instil into our girls that while they have no choice but to be IN the world, they most certainly don’t need to be OF the world.  This can be crazy hard with the influence of tv, movies, magazines, books, music lyrics & videos etc etc.  To give an example, my daughter is 15, is homeschooled, goes to dance once a week, attends a life-group with girls her age at our church, and attends youth group and church on the weekends.  She also works part-time at a coffee shop twice a week.  Now, while she is free from a huge amount of negative influences that she used to be greatly effected by when she was in mainstream school, she still comes in contact with those of different beliefs, moral standards etc etc and needs to know how to respond in those situations.  Recently there was a situation at her workplace where someone was upset and resigned.  What followed was very adult conversation topics, bad language and a lack of consideration shown by some in the situation.  I need to know that I am doing the absolute best job to equip Miss 15 to best handle herself in these situations.  I’m pleased to say that she did very well, recognising where it would have been easy to slip into the gossiping with others, but refrained from it.  #proudmummamoment .  We can tend to think that if we just have our girls in youth group/life group at our church, all will be fine, or at least better than ‘out there in the world’.  This quite often isn’t the place.  Probably better, yes, but not smooth sailing by any stretch of the imagination.  Youth group and life group usually involves community kids, so therefore worldly issues, swearing, lower moral standards etc etc.  While we would love to just keep our daughters from these, they need to experience them in these years in order to learn and effectively navigate the big world when they in fact delve into it themselves, whether that be via University, the workplace, or social settings.  Not to mention… how are we to save the lost if we don’t interact with those not walking with The Lord.

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You know another important thing to do with your Lioness sisters….. LAUGH…. Laugh until your stomach and sides ache !!  I’m pleased to say that we satisfy this unwritten pride prerequisite quite well….  especially with this one here….  Oh my goodness we laugh a LOT !!  If I’m a little down, my DH will say to me.. “You need a get together with your bestie… go belly laugh together like you always do.” :0)

Through not only the benefit of laughter, but also friendship and prayer support, we are able to journey together in our walk with The Lord, becoming best equipped to help others.  As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17

In her book ‘Lioness Arising’, Lisa Bevere writes..  We live in a world filled with ever-increasing opportunities.  We are not limited like our sisters in the 1800s.  We have the ability to stretch forth and reach out to others to do this well.  We must look back and ahead.

 

In Luke 4:18-19 we read God’s Spirit is on me, he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”   In my humble opinion, to most effectively do this, we women NEED to be in a fully awakened and dangerous pride.

To be able to confidently know not only that I would state the following, but my fellow Lionesses would too…  So now I will attack you like a lion, like a leopard that lurks along the road.  Like a bear whose cubs have been taken away.  I will tear out your heart.  I will devour you like a hungry lioness and mangle you like a wild animal.  Hosea 13:7-8 NLT.  So, who didn’t know that stuff like that was in the bible??  ha ha !!

There is so much we need to shield and protect our daughters from in this current day, but at the same time, prepare them for when they go out into the world and encounter those same things.  Matthew 10:16 says Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you.  You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves.  Be as cunning as a snake, un-offensive as a dove.  

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Take this beauty on the right here….  Doesn’t she look all gorgeous, sweet and lovely??  well, she totally is :0)… but she’s also one of the fiercest prayer warriors I know, and she can be counted on to go to war for one of her Lioness Sisters at a moments notice if needed.

There is so so much more I could include in this blog, but the best I can do is suggest that if you haven’t read Lioness arising, or done the study within a group, GET ONTO IT GIRLFRIEND !!!  There’s simply too much at stake in our world right now, far too many sleeping Lionesses who need to be awakened.  We need to be Proverbs 31:10-31 women, standing by our men, honouring them so they in turn can be equiped to do their part in The Kingdom.  But as we all know, marriage is tough…  so we need our Pride in order to stay strong, weather storms, and not buy into the ways of the world.   I can personally testify to the fact that if you are surrounded by like minded, Godly women as your close friends and support system, your marriage is 1000% better.

I’ll finish with a list of Prayers Roars from the Lioness Arising Safari Guide.  Why not make it a new nightly routine to declare one of these.  I’ll include 7 so that you have one for each day of the week.  These really will set you on a fantastic path to discovering what you actually have in your hand, and how effective you can be in & for the Kingdom.

  1.  I realise I have the potential to be a living, breathing solution to human problems.  Lord, lead me as I embark on this journey !!
  2. I am ready to give expression to lovely, virtuous, capable, inoffensive, cunning, harmless, shrewd, trustworthy, faithful lioness daughters who enrich the lives of those around me and gather to strategise how to ‘do good’.  I am willing to take on this challenge !!
  3. This day, regardless of how I look or feel, I choose to echo the declaration “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”God’s work in me is marvellous.  I am stunning; but more than just looking good, I choose to develop the strength to do good, I am ready to bear some weight and carry my load, because rather than being busy, I will build, I will shift my focus to gain strength and allow hardship to re-make me invincible in Him.  I embrace my strength and choose to run to win, train hard, give it my all, stay alert and not get sloppy with the Word of God, or the seasons of my life.
  4. I present my strength for you service.  God, I refuse to allow anyone to put me in a position of status.  I choose to serve and lift others by asking “How can I help?”.  I will change the way I look at my life of worship.  It is a banquet of refreshing and strength, not a draining burden.  Show me how to be a lioness among Lions and in the process, raise up others in their strength and encourage them to dream again.  I know acts of honour are never lost in translation, so I look to my future with hope because talking less now doesn’t mean having less in my future.  I am a guide, not a guard.  I live to bring people in, not to keep them out, and enlarge my life.
  5. I pray my release means release for others.  Male and female, help me to always remember that marriage is a union, not a battle.  Let me recognise the gender difference as the affirmation of our need for each other.  I need the men in my world to be all that you created them to be.  God bless the dwellings of unity in my life.  We all need redemption and you alone are worthy of my worship. I will stop being contentious and reading too much into gender differences, because you have ultimate preeminence, may you have your say in my life.
  6. Jesus, we are ready to do something impressive and significant. For your body, show me who I am so I know how to both greet and groom my sisters and brothers.  I want to refresh and restore others.
  7. I am ready to be excellently formed and marvellously functioning.  Teach me to hunt, I am ready to grow up, give me the energy and insight of heaven.  Restore all of my healthy maternal affection that fear has twisted.  I am ready to hunt with my sisters.

Many blessings my Lioness Sisters (& any dedicated blog loving Lions still reading)

Let’s stand together and be POWERFUL !!   (Note I haven’t said anything today about who we’re standing against …. coz I refuse to give him more credit than is due.  It’s like a mozzie to a T-Rex….  We are fully armed peeps with the Word of God.)

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xox

 

 

 

 

A FitFi update !!

While lying in bed last night feeling terribly sick after my first PT session, I realised that I haven’t blogged about my fitness journey for quite a long time.  Well, let’s just be honest and say that I may have fallen off the wagon a little over Christmas & New Year, but thankfully not too bad of a fall.(kg wise)  I guess in lots of ways, people do tend to relax a little over these times, but the important thing is to pull it all together once those times have passed.  Remembering who we house in the temple is always a great motivator too !!

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I could have continued on my merry way of fairly clean eating and a moderate excersise routine, but I decided a few weeks back that I wasn’t really willing to plod along at such a steady rate… I wanted results faster and I wanted to get fitter quicker.  So, enter Mel, my Personal Trainer.  My sister & niece highly recommended her, so I knew she’d be great before I even had my first consult.

My first offical 30min session was, shall we say, BRUTAL!!!   In the days coming up to my first session, I had been thinking that I’d like them to be an hour and not just 30mins… Well, let’s just say that I was VERY thankful they are only 30mins during the session yesturday.  As it’s turned out, I had a sinus infection upon me so that will have contributed to how awful I felt after, but no fear… lots of water and rest has been my friend overnight and today.

Mel has given me an action plan for the week ahead so that’s exciting to embark on.  I’m very thankful of today’s ‘rest day’ and I say I’ll come to enjoy that rest day every second day.  It’s actually pretty interesting to learn more of the ins and outs of how our body works… how it burns fat, builds & repairs mucsels, etc etc.

I have been enjoying finding different, healthier ways to prepare meals for my family.  I’ve been quite pleased to find loads of different ways to include white potato as part of the meal for DH & the kiddos (coz they love it), while having something else for myself.  Tonight that was a bit of mashed pumpkin and spinach, often I’ll use sweet potato.  I coated my chicken in coconut oil tonight too so that was yummy… coconut oil has loads of great health benefits.

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10 facts about Coconut Oil

1.  All fats are not created equalCoconut oil contains short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a “healthy” form saturated fat compared to trans fat. Trans fatty acid consumption is linked with heart problems, depression and increased cholesterol levels. What does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body? Our body metabolises these fats in the liver, immediately converting this into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than it being stored as fat.

 
2.  Controls weightOne 2009 study looked at the weight loss link between women’s consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. Researchers discovered coconut oil is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance. To try coconut oil for weight loss start by adding one teaspoon to your diet and gradually work your way up to four teaspoons per day.

3.  Eases digestionIf you suffer from poor digestion or tummy bloating try adding coconut oil to your diet. Coconut oil has been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion.

4.  Manage type 2 diabetesA recent study by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research found that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. MCFA fats are small enough to be absorbed into the cells where they’re quickly converted to energy. It is this process that not only reduces the amount of fat we pack into storage, but improves insulin sensitivity.

5.  Supports immunityCoconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system. Lauric acid contains the highest concentration of MCFA fatty acids, approximately 75 per cent. The body turn this fat into monolaurin which is claimed to help heal viruses such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, helicobacter pylori and candida.

6.  Boost metabolismA study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body’s immune system and keep weight off.

7.  Slows fine linesCoconut is not just for your cooking – it’s a wonderfully hydrating treat for skin too. It keeps the skin’s connective tissues strong, which prevents sagging and wrinkles. Apply coconut oil directly to your skin to soften the appearance of fine lines or use it daily on your face and body for a healthy glow. Be sure you use virgin coconut oil with no additives.

8.  Cooks in high temperaturesBecause coconut oil is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid, it gives it a higher smoking temperature than most polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils. If you’re preparing recipes that require high temperatures you should consider coconut oil for this type of cooking. Unlike olive oil which will oxidise at high temperatures, creating free radicals.

9.  Stops sugar cravingsInstead of reaching for the lollie jar for an afternoon sweet hit, try eating a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to beat sugar cravings. This is because good quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so if you cut down on sugar you will feel less ‘ravenous’. Most of us do not realize but constant hunger is a major clue that your body is not being fed correctly.  With the proper amounts of fats and protein, you can fuel your energy reserves properly, and come off the sugar roller coaster that many of us are on.

10.  Coconut oil is simple to cook withTry this recipe for a nutritious high protein, gluten and dairy free coconut treat.

1 teaspoon of Niugini Organics Coconut Oil (available from health food stores)

1 cup of almonds or walnuts

1 cup of organic dates

3-4 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder

Shredded coconut (check it contains no preservatives)

Place all ingredients in a food processor. Roll into small bite size balls and roll into shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set.

 

Seriously… how easy does that recipe sound !!  I can’t wait to try it… I’ll let you all know how it goes.

What did I learn/was reminded of today – When you don’t work out for a while and then do  a 30min PT sesh… it HURTS a lot the next day.  Note to self – DO NOT FORGET THIS FACT !!

What Scriptures have I been soaking in today

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  Phil 4:13

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:29

OK.. that’s all for now.  For those of you waiting on a Bible College update…  It’ll be up t’row.

Blessings Peeps !!!    xox

Expand our boundaries.. drive our tent pegs deep

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Sunday night at church, Pastor Nina preached from Isaiah 54.  It was a fantastic message that re-affirmed what’s already very clearly in store for my 2016.

Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.

3 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.  (ESV)

While I don’t usually like referring to The Message translation, this time, I think it’s a good read.

Clear lots of ground for your tents! Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Exciting right !!!  While I completely realise that this text speaks of what was going on at that time, I firmly believe that we can learn from this and apply it to our lives today.  (as we can of all scripture)
On Sunday night, Pastor Nina used a fantastic (& very entertaining) illustration of having a children’s play tent on the stage, which she actually climbed into, showing how little room there is in there, how cramped and uncomfortable any length of time in there would be.  To flipside of that though is that some people choose to stay in that tiny tent, seeing it as safe & secure.   “I need not have any fear of God asking me to do anything big, because I simply don’t have the room to do it.”  (Side note – Believe me, I completely get that stepping out is scary…  you never know what God is going to ask of you (Jonah), but I can tell you right now, it’s so worth it.)
In contrast, a big comfy chair and a large tent covering a decent sized area was brought up on stage, showing how we can spread out, allow God to have the room to work in our lives, equip us for ALL that He has in store for us.   It immediately took me back to the vision that God gave me a couple of years ago (I’m pretty sure I blogged about it).  I was shown myself, wearing a VERY BIG, like CRAZY BIG fur coat (I assume it was faux, to be fair to all animal lovers out there.. I would never buy a fur coat.)
I was initially very confused by the vision and enquired of God what He was trying to tell me.  I immediately got a response from Him, explaining that the coat was very big, in order for Him to fill it… with Blessings, with provisions, with skills, gifts & talents in order to equip me with everything I would need in order to do His work in His Kingdom for His glory !!
The ‘drive your tent pegs deep’ really spoke to me also.  To not just have a surface commitment to the things of God, but to dive in deep, have solid foundations, set aside decent time.  Once again, of course, I nearly ALWAYS find in any message that it points back to two things.
1.  We need to have a close personal relationship with Our Heavenly Father, Jesus our Saviour & Redeemer, and The Holy Spirit.
2. Be actively studying His Word on a daily basis.  Imagine it’s liquid in a big ole’ bucket and you wanna tip it over yourself in your quiet time each morning. :0)
Yes, I know I point these things out all the time, sorry for the repetition, but I really want that point to get across.  If we’re doing these two things, we’re on a very good path with The Lord and all that He has in store for us.
What I learnt/was reminded of today – Being shown things in illustrative form is often a very effective way to teach a biblical truth, or be reminded of a truth that maybe you’re not submerged yourself in of late.
What scripture verse am I soaking in today?  The one above, Isaiah 54:2-3.
Blessings Peeps !!  xox

Positioned like a see-saw

I remember sitting under a teaching a few years back about how our posture as a disciple of Jesus Christ should be with one hand stretched upwards to someone in a mentoring capacity.. to someone who is further along in their walk with The Lord than us. Meanwhile, the other arm reaches down, ‘pulling up’, encouraging & discipling someone coming along behind us.  Someone that is a little further back in their walk with The Lord than where we are.

The person you’re reaching up to has a little more life experience than you, so is able to teach and help you through similar situations.  In turn, you can teach & help the one you are encouraging, because of the trials, struggles and victories you have walked through.

I also remember receiving an image about this, back when sitting under that teaching, of one long road with people littered all along it, all at different stages.  I probably should have drawn in it seeing as I wasn’t able to find something that I felt represented it, but this gives you an idea.

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When I had this come to mind last night, the Holy Spirit gave me an image of a seesaw, but it wasn’t like one end was completely up and the other completely down…. it’s not normally positioned in that way, and I don’t believe it would be nearly as effective either.  I think the image of a set of scales where one end has a slightly heavier weight onboard than the other shows a more accurate picture of the common situation, but as the ‘weight’ part of the image makes no sense, I think the seesaw is better.

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This one is more like it.

The person reaching down needs to have the HUMILITY required to fulfil this role in another’s life, while also having the WISDOM to take on this responsibility.

Something that simple cannot be in the equation is pridefulness !!!

Just because I like definitions, let’s look at some now…

First, a ‘secular’ definition of Humility –the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance.  While in essence, this is true, I don’t like it one bit as it doesn’t sit well with me when you consider that we are a temple of The Holy Spirit.  We have the power of Christ within us, so when I consider our ROLE in God’s Kingdom, we certainly do not have a low level of importance.  I guess what it comes down to though is the importance of that role, as opposed to the importance of us as a person.  That’s where the pridefulness can come into it.  If we are prideful about our own importance & think that that importance is  seperate to God, that’s when we will run into trouble.

A biblical definition of Humility  –God says when you are humble, you are free from pride and arrogance. You know that in your flesh you are inadequate, yet you also know who you are in Christ.  I LOVE this !!!  So so true !! Free from pride & arrogance !!

Now for Wisdom… the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

Not bad…. let’s look at it from a biblical point of view though.

Wisdom begins and ends with the fear of the Lord. It isn’t a fear of being struck by lightning or fear of being struck dead but it’s a deep, abiding, holy reverence and respect for the Lord and for His Word, the Bible. The Book of Proverbs has more to say about wisdom than any other book in the Bible. For example in Proverbs 9:10 Solomon, who was the wisest man on earth, at least until Christ came, said that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Where there is fear, there tends to be obedience and God has said He prefers obedience over sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22; Hosea 6:6). Sometimes obedience comes before understanding and when someone obeys what they know to be true, understanding usually follows. Wisdom begins with reverence for God and a fear for Him and His Word. That’s where wisdom begins. Where there is no fear of the Lord, there can never be any true wisdom. It’s just not possible.

Now, both these two traits can be tricky, and not always easy to uphold, especially in weakness during struggle.  It takes real DISCIPLINE to be HUMBLE & use WISDOM  to take the right path when in a struggle or under attack.

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Two other words that I really think needs to come into the scenario is COMMITMENT & RESPONSIBILITY !!  We need to be there for our ‘person’ at all times, even at times of our own struggles.  The only way we can do that is by walking closely with The Lord, digging into The Word & being accountable.

As a mentor, your role is to teach and inspire by words and example, so you can come alongside someone in their personal development and learning development using your life, Christian experiences, and education as tools.. You are a role model to someone. This is a precious responsibility that is to be taken seriously, but also enjoyed. You need to be one who is growing in the Lord, and who takes His Word and precepts to heart and to life. Because someone is placing his or her trust as a counselor and teacher in you, you need to be real and growing to do this right. Therefore, you are the one the Lord will use to provide opportunities for spiritual learning, development, and growth.

Matthew 12:36 & 37 tell us … I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Words hold power peeps.. in so many ways, so be careful with your words !!!

If The Lord entrusts you with a ‘mentee’  (that’s probs not actually a word, but you know what I mean) then see it as the privilege that it is, and ENJOY it, but never ignore the commitment and the responsibility that goes along with it.

Oh.. and one last thing…. DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS RESPONSIBILITY !!  Treat it as the GIFT that it is.  You will grow through every moment as a mentor too… it’s not a one-way deal.  Another thing that has been evident in my walk and I believe I can pass onto others and it be of help, is this…  When God leads you in a different direction… be it towards a different person, or away from a person…. LISTEN TO HIM & ACT ON IT !!

Maybe you will be in a mentor type relationship with someone for a very long time, but often you will not.  People with this need or gifting come in & out of our lives at GOD’S will, not ours !!!  We may be of help, or receive help from someone for a season and that be all God intended for each of our journeys.  When that happens…  seek confirmation from Him.. and then accept & move on, being ever watchful for new doors being opened.

Isn’t it FUN being a child of God !!!!!  Seriously, I LOVE IT !!!!  So much to learn, grow in and become !!!!

Blessings peeps !!!  xox

 

 

Passion is your fuel.. Clarity is your power !!

Sunday afternoon took us to church at the unusual time of 4.30pm due to the NRL Grand Final coming on at 7.  (Yay for a footy loving Pastor. LOL)  There was a guest speaker (Andrew Stone) bringing a message and I went expectant.  I was not disappointed !!  I really wanted to share some points with you from that message as it really spoke to me.

The general topic was PRAYER… and that we should go before The Lord with a THANKFUL, or agreeing heart, for that which He has already blessed us with, as opposed to ASKING for this, that & the other.  As I’ve done a fair bit of reading on the topic of prayer and intercession over the last few years, I was already very aware that our Heavenly Father already has all for us that we could ever need, He has already blessed us with all we will need, but so often we fail to CLAIM it.

There’s a story that I’ve heard a few times about a man going up to heaven. An angel shows him around, but seems to avoid a big white warehouse in the centre of heaven.  The man insists on seeing inside, against the angels suggestion that he will not like what he sees.  When the door is opened and the man sees what is inside, a look of amazement crosses his face, followed by a sad look of realisation.  The angel says “Yes, this warehouse is full of those of God’s blessings that His children DID NOT claim.”

After doing the reading I have done, I’ve come to the realisation that I need to go before the Lord not to ask for such and such to be dealt with, fixed, altered, healed or whatever is needed for that particular situation, but with a thankful heart that is already HAS been handled. For example, in regards to my DH not having the personal relationship with God that I would like, I THANK Him that he DOES.  Even though that isn’t the reality right now… I chose to CLAIM what will one day be.  I’m EXPECTANT in all situations.  Now, don’t get me wrong… that isn’t always easy… and sometimes I fail at this and revert to asking, pleading, begging etc etc… but I can usually pull myself out of the funk reasonably quickly.

OK… back to Sunday’s message.

Humanity cages what it cannot control.  Man oh man.. how true is this !!  If we can’t make it work for us, we ‘cage’ it into what we can control.  Andrew used the parallel of a caged circus animal to a caged zoo animal in a conservation zoo.  They are both ‘caged’ but with very different intent by the person in control of the lock & key.  If we use the diagram with real people, Someone who is out of control will need lots of limitations placed on them, and under the wrong guidance, can become a bit of ‘entertainment’ to others.  Whereas someone who cares for that person and wants nothing more than their healing, will make very different choices in their ‘confinement’.  There was lots more to this but I’m not covering it in this post… as it really could make a separate post of it.

Matthew 17:20 –He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”[a]

I LOVED what he had to share about this verse.. and in particular, the mustard seed.  Who has ever thought that compared to God’s power, we need just this tiny amount of faith in comparison, for Him to work in our lives? But Andrew suggest that maybe it more speaks to the enemy’s scheme and how just a small mustard seed of faith in God’s power can dismantle his schemes.

Mark 11:22-24 –And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received[a] it, and it will be yours.  (What sea was he speaking of?? The Dead Sea…. where things cannot live.. and HOLD NO WEIGHT…. Cool right !! )

Isaiah 54:10 –For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Ezekiel 37:26-27 I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land[a] and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. 27 My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

This brought us into looking into Peace – “Peace is not the lack of problem but rather the superior state in the midst of it.”

LOVE is the motivation..  GRACE is the meditation…  and PEACE is the manifestation.

Peace – Emptying ourselves so that God can FILL US.  Shalom – Breaking your agreement with a lie.

I have always loved the word ‘Shalom’, and like most people, just think of Peace when I see it, say it etc, but it was fascinating to delve further into the word and see what is behind the word when looking at the original Hebrew.

SHALOM – Destroying the authority attached to Caos.

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I wish I could have found the image he used as it described it a little better, but if you see the word secure you can see the parallel of attach.  Also leader can easily be paralelled with authority (shepherds staff…  the shepherd was the authority over the sheep.).  It could read almost as well using the words in this image.  Destroy the leader secured by caos.

OK peeps… Lots to ponder on as always.  God’s word is awesome like that…. we can get a new thing from a scripture or even a word, that we haven’t previously seen.

Blessings xox

I will be still and know You are God

Good afternoon blogger peeps !!! Once again… it’s raining in Brisvegas, which is so great.. and we even got a decent storm with it.  I just love how God works in every situation though, as I have had ‘Still’ by Hillsong in my head all day.. so when it was storming just now, lightening, thunder, flash flooding…. those words came alive in front of me.

When the Oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the storm.  Father, You are king over the flood.  I will be still & know you are God.

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I have a list of great scriptures to share with you this afternoon which are of great help to me.

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  Psalm 56:3

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:1-2

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me? Hebrews 13:6

Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:17

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord, Proverbs 8:35

In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. Psalm 120:1

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.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  Jeremiah 29:11-12

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Romans 14:11

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:30

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  Mark 13:31

I love the ‘Still’ lyrics and the fact that I’ve had them running through my head all day.  The ‘stillness’ is so important as it is VERY easy to get busy in your own mind with what ‘should’ be happening, or for the ‘why’ questions to start… and then have plenty of my own answers ready… but it’s HIS answers I need, it’s HIS promises I need to cling to, it’s HIS love that I need to soak in at these times even more than usual.

All I can say is how blessed are we to have God’s word to draw on and help us in EVERY situation.  There is not a single struggle, or blessing for that matter, that we can’t find instruction on in His Word.

Ok peeps…  Have a great evening

Blessings  xox

Having an educated opinion goes a long long way.

So, as my 17 (nearly 18) year old niece is a vegetarian recently changed to Vegan, I decided to do some serious research into the subject after she expressed disappointment and frustration at the response she gets from people on this topic.  Now, I’ll admit, my initial response was similar to many…  “What, you can seriously go without eating a perfectly cooked steak, or a delicious chicken breast?”  I love my meat and enjoy cooking with nice meat.

I didn’t want to just give her the same response that many do, without it being an educated opinion… so this is what prompted the research journey.

I must admit, I do stick to those two main meats listed above.. chicken & steak.  The are really the only ‘healthy’ ones that i like to eat.  I’m not a big fan of fish and only really eat it very rarely as I do acknowledge that it’s good for me.  I do have some sort of mince dish once a fortnight or so, but I’d prefer to stay away form it, as well as sausages, as you just can’t always be sure exactly what’s in them.  So, what I’m saying is that I don’t eat a huge range of meat.  My eyesight has always made it difficult to cut up anything with a bone in it, so I’ve stayed away from chops, t-bone etc.

During a conversation with Miss 17 this week, she questioned my biblical standpoint on the topic of meat eating, as I must admit I’d fallen back to those verses about dominion over animals when talking to her at other times etc.  Also, the one thing I’ve clung to is the ‘God gave us meat to eat’ argument.  Something prompted me to look into that and verify that I was in fact speaking correctly.  My research tells me that I WASN’T !!  (Whoopsie)

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Gene:29-30 … And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 

Let’s also look at Genesis 2:9 ..And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.  and vs 16 – And the Lord God commanded the man (Adam), saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden (God’s first form of food for us was in fact grown from the ground….. maybe significant, maybe not, but an interesting point nonetheless.)

In vs 18 God decided that Adam should not be alone and that He would make him a helper, so the animals which God had created out of the dust back in Gen 1:20, were paraded past Adam, and he named each one.  A suitable helper had not been found, so it was then that God created Eve.  I think it’s very interesting that animals were first seen as Adam’s HELPER,  there is no mention or even hint at them created for his food.

Cute Cow

In Chapter 3 vs 18, after the fall has occurred, God speaks of Adam eating the plants of the field, and bread.. but still no mention of eating meat.  (& so the plot thickens… who else is starting to think the Vegetarians maybe aren’t the crazy ones??)

However, in vs 20 & 21 of Chapter 3, it says this…  the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.  And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.   So, where did these ‘skins’ come from?  Several commentaries look at whether this was skin from an animal, which of course would have had to die in order for him to have the skin, or did God simply create the skin Himself?

In Genesis 4:4, the first specific mention of killing an animal occurs….Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. 3 In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.  

When we get to Gen 8 vs 20…  the flood waters have subsided and Noah comes out of the ark and offers a sacrifice to The Lord and He finds the aroma ‘pleasing’.  Now, would this indicate that God was ok with the sacrifice of animals?   It had been made clear prior to this that a sacrifice was made of an innocent animal, to atone for our sins… all being a prelude to the ultimate innocent, Jesus, who would make the ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross… taking the penalty for our sin.  A commentary I read on this verse and others relating to it suggests that it wasn’t the aroma of animal blood and burnt flesh that God found appealing, but the repentant attitude of Noah which prompted him to do the sacrifice in the first place.  (Remembering we are fallen man.)

Gen 9:1-4 gets rather interesting… *remembering that man’s diet to this point has been only vegetarian…  And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

This paragraph from the same commentary mentioned above suggest this of Gen 9: 1-4…

This whole passage is a concession from God and does not express the will of God. God recognizes the evilness of the human heart and is allowing humankind to live in a state of being that is less than His desire or ideal.

The same commentary goes on to say…

However, upon the ark there was once again no death, and apparent obedience to the Lord. But following the Flood, when there was supposed to be another Edenic way of peaceful living and obedience to God, Noah and his family sacrificed innocent animals, because they supposedly recognized themselves as not pure, and needed to repent. This brings about the mixed feelings of God, as expressed in Genesis 8:21.

Apparently, it is easier to kill an innocent animal than it is to be obedient to the Lord our God. Or, perhaps there is more to this corrupted state of being. Are humans expressing their dominance and power over the animals by killing and eating those who are weaker than themselves (The sin of the boastful pride of life)? Are humans expressing their sins of the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes (1 John 2:16), by eating the flesh that had been denied them as poor people who looked upon the eating of flesh as a status symbol? I believe the answer to both questions is, “Yes!”

I particularly liked this following paragraph as it relates back to Gen 2:18 where animals were to be helpers.

For nearly a year, the animals upon the ark had lived in close confinement with Noah and his human family. It must have been as though these animals were also part of Noah’s family. The killing of the innocent animals for the sacrifice was a betrayal of the pre-existing peaceful state, and brought fear and terror to the heart and soul of every animal upon the ark. This is the key point that God emphasizes and expands upon in Genesis 9:2. Not only had the humans lost their perfect state of being with God, but now they had lost the companionship and fellowship of most of the animal kingdom.

God, knowing the evilness of the human heart, further grants the concession of eating the animals, for He acknowledges that the humans are not ready to repent of their evil nature.

Once again, a topic that requires some time with God to process.  I can’t honestly say that I’ll be changing to a vegetarian lifestyle tomorrow , but I can definitely tell you that my opinion on it has done a 180 from where I was a few days back.

It’s knowledge awesome !!!  I’ve chosen in this blog to look at this biblical side of the topic, but there is actually a complete other side to it also in regards to agricultural farming and the harm it causes to the environment.  I’m still researching that angle, so will fill you all in once I feel more equipped to do so.

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Blessings xox

Being in good company

I’m gonna be honest. .  I’m struggling tonight. 
I want to be walking the right path.. I NEED to be walking the right path as I have little eyes watching me and little ears listening to me.  (and some big eyes & ears too)
However these very encouraging facts don’t make the path any easier.  The bumps are still there,  the ‘stones’ are still thrown, the misconceptions of me by others are still there. 
I solidly believe that I not only witness to my children through things that I say,  but possibly even more so by things that I DON’T.  When I’m abused by a family member and I don’t respond in like tone or with harsh words.  When I’m treated like a ‘goodie-two-shoes’ but choose to stay silent and not ‘defend myself’.
When I’m outright verbally attacked,  but refuse to take the bait and retaliate. .. they see that.   & you know what else they see… the frustration on the person’s face when I won’t lower myself to their level. 
Isn’t it interesting (& frustrating) that we can KNOW that God’s opinion is the only one that matters and yet the darts fired by others still hurt.  I often wish that I was impervious to these comments etc but I also know that I am taught a lesson through everything single dig at me,  every single comment made. .. and every single not-so-subtle insult on Facebook. 
I actually started this blog last night but the fact that I stopped part way through turned out to be a blessing in itself as I actually needed to be reminded of my own words when dealing with someone today.  
Praise The Lord it was actually a really great day today spent at the beach with Miss 14 & niece 17 (well great day except for the sunburnt back of the legs. .. what on earth).  Lots of time to think and talk to Jesus while the girls were out paddle boarding.  Something about being at the beach (I think it’s actually in any natural setting) that gets me closer to God.

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I am constantly blown away of late with the relevance of each mornings devotion and how it has been speaking directly into current situations & struggles. If you don’t do a morning devotion,  I’d really encourage you to as it is just the BEST way to start the day. 
So, getting back to my title. .. with all that I’ve been dealing with in days of late… I am comforted knowing that Jesus was hated,  he was ridiculed,  he was treated as a fool… so when I feel treated like this. . I know I’m in good company. 
Blessings peeps xox

My heart is breaking for the Duggar family today.

So, here I am blogging about the Duggars again…  but I’m not really blogging abut the Duggars so much as sin itself, and the terrible consequences that can come from it.  Don’t get me wrong… I’m not feeling sorry for anyone today, but feeling for them in their brokenness.

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My heart breaks for Anna this morning.  She has only just a month ago given birth to her fourth child, and now after the scandal that hit earlier this year …which in fact she WAS aware of years before the world found out… she has been hit once again, but his time..  She was not in the know on this one.

I have seen this situation lived out in a friend, actually two friends..  and it hurts so much to watch, I can only imagine the agony of actually living it.

My thoughts go heavenward for Anna, Josh, their children and their entire extended family today as they go through this situation.  Of course the media has already begun to attack them in the most violent way, but I can only trust that they will be able to ignore that and lean into God like never before.

I know that as soon as we Christians talk about God’s forgiveness, the haters hit back with what a crutch that is, or that this sin is not forgivable, but we KNOW that it is, and in fact we need to KNOW that it is, or we would get bogged down in our own failings.

Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

I also came across this in my limited research this morning, and thought it was quite a good reminder for all of us.

FIGHTING THE DAILY BATTLE

To overcome the temptations you will continually face, follow God’s simple plan:

  • Stand firm against temptation (James 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:6-9; 2 Tim. 2:22).
  • Confess your sins to a brother or sister in Christ and pray to be healed (James 5:16).
  • Hide God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11), trusting in its strength (Heb. 4:12).
  • Minister to God with sacrifices of praise (Heb. 13:15) until you are filled with the peace and joy of the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).

Blessings !!! xox

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