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Fi mum23

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

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faithfullness

Like a tree planted by the water

Hi all…

God laid a blog post on my heart a few weeks back, but life’s been cray cray busy, emotionally draining and. well, just a tad poopy to be honest.  So, my blog post has been a bunch of notes and dot points on note paper by my Mac ever since then.  Now, tonight, I finally have the time, and emotional capacity, to get it ‘written down’.

Quite often, The Lord gives my blog post during praise & worship time.  This can be quite frustrating if he decides to give it to me during P & W at church….  I have to try and remember it all…  I really should start taking my journal to church with me for this very reason.

The title of tonight’s blog may have given it away, but it was Psalm 1 that was given to me that particular evening.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lordand on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers.  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;  for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

I always find it interesting that the Lord gives me different things for my blogs… sometimes pictures, sometimes songs, sometimes a direct message.  I was given this Psalm, and then I ‘happened’ to search up a ‘Chat with Priscilla Shirer’ to watch one evening in the week following having been given the Psalm, and low and behold, her guests were Mark & Melanie Hall.  Mark Hall is the lead singer of Casting Crowns.  I have a few of theirs albums, but must say I didn’t know much about them.  Their story is amazing.  The band is completely made up of Pastors.  I’d strongly encourage you to google them and read their testimony.  Powerful stuff !

Anyway, I had strangely (nothing like this is ‘strange’, it’s just God ‘doing his thing’ when we don’t realise He’s doing it) purchased the ‘Thrive’ album the previous week and had listened to it enough times to be quite interested in what Mark had to say about it.  Surprise, surprise… it’s based on Psalm 1.  I guess if I’d put some deep thought into it, I would have realised that after listening to the ‘Thrive’ track, but I mostly listen to it while working out, so I’m not always putting 100% attention into lyric meaning.  You know, not dropping the weight bar on my face is more significant.  LOL.

The lyrics of ‘Thrive’ go like this :

Here in this worn and weary land Where many a dream has died
Like a tree planted by the water We never will run dry
So living water flowing through, God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls With one desire
Just to know You and to make You known ,We lift Your name on High
Shine like the sun made darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more Than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive… We were made to thrive
Into Your word we’re digging deep To know our Father’s heart
Into the world we’re reaching out To show them who You are
So living water flowing through God we thirst for more of You
Fill our hearts and flood our souls With one desire.

The Believers Bible Commentary tells us this about Psalm 1:3-5 – The man who is separated from sin and separated to the scriptures has all the qualities of a strongly, healthy, fruitful tree.    Planted by the rivers of water – he has a never-failing supply of nourishment and refreshment.  It brings forth it’s fruit in it’s season  – he displays the graces of The Spirit, and his words and actions are always timely and appropriate.   It’s leaf also shall not wither – his spiritual life is not subject to cyclical changes but it characterised by continuous inner renewal.  As D L Moody puts it, :”All The Lord’s trees are evergreen.”  ( I LOVE that, don’t you.)

This kind of man shall prosper in everything he undertakes.  The reason, of course, is that he is living in fellowship with The Lord, and all his service is therefore guided by the Holy Spirit.  The only way to be efficient and successful in the Christian life is to be led by the Spirit of God.  Self-directed activity is an enormous waste of time, money and effort.

The ungodly are not so, that is, they are neither well planted, fruitful, enduring, nor prosperous.  Like chaff, they lack body or substance.  When the storms of life blow, they prove unstable.  a strong wind drives them away.  The ungodly shall not stand in the judgement. They will, of course, appear before God at the judgement of the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11). But the meaning here is that they will have no adequate defence.  In idiomatic language, they won’t have a leg to stand on.  Furthermore, they will never stand in the congregation of the righteous;  they will be forever excluded from company of those who are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

(If I haven’t told you before… I LOVE my ‘Believers Bible Commentary’.  I bought it about 4yrs ago now and find it an extremely handy resource.  It is written by William MacDonald and is based on the New King James version. ©1995, 1992, 1990, 1989)  And as a bonus for me, it’s LARGE PRINT…. which also makes it a good addition to my weights workout.. LOL.

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The cover of the ‘Thrive’ album is so great and tells such a great message, as well as visually depicting Psalm 1.  Digging our roots DEEP in the scriptures, while still reaching OUT into the world.  I’m sure I don’t need to tell you all that having deep roots in the Scriptures make marriage, work, church, friendships…well, basically anything, work BETTER !!!

tree-with-roots

Getting back to what the commentary says of Psalm 1… I love knowing that I have a NEVER FAILING supply of nourishment and refreshment.  Man, I’ve needed that this year with the ups and downs of the last few months.  Even this past week, Master 11 had major eye surgery.  I actually didn’t even realise quite how major it was until he’d been in theatre 3hrs with no sign of getting that magical phone call saying ‘Your child is in recovery.. you can come in and see him now.”  Thank The Lord, that phone call ended up being the surgeon coming to us after 3hr 10mins in theatre, saying that it had all gone beautifully and our son would soon be in recovery.  It would be another nail biting half an hour before I got the call saying I could come in to recovery to see him.  Apparently he’d been under quite a deep anesthetic due to the length of the surgery and was taking a bit to come out of it.  He gave us some entertaining moments over the next few hours until he was fully awake and with it.  The knowledge that our loving heavenly Father was in that operating room, guiding the hands of the surgeons, greatly comforted me in those stressful last 2hrs in theatre.

I also want to be characterised as having continuous inner renewal.  I certainly know that I thrive for this, by both digging into the Word, and reaching out to others with the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me with.

Speaking of reaching out to others, I have to take this opportunity to share with you the most beautiful thing that happened in hospital this week, the morning following the surgery.  I stayed in overnight with Master 11 of course, and when we were sitting having breakfast (well, he was having breakfast, I was stealing off his plate.), he nonchalantly says to me “I’m thinking after breakfast, I’m going to go and pray with each child.”  Seriously, my heart nearly burst.  Due to nurses coming, going through discharge proceedures etc, he only got to pray with one little girl, but oh well, that’s one girl who’s life he touched that morning.   My son is an EVERGREEN…..  love it !!!!

I also love what Psalm 1 says about ‘when the storms of life blow’..  and that this played out in our life this week.  The storm was hectic… there were other things going in our lives too this week…..  not so great things.. that are way too complicated to go into (future blog post), but while I was tossed around a bit, emotionally, physically….  because my roots are planted DEEP in the word, and planted by the rivers of water, I was able to power on through it, knowing who I am, and whos I am !!!

I also love these particular lyrics in ‘Thrive’ We know we were made for so much more Than ordinary lives.. It’s time for us to more than just survive… We were made to thrive.

I know that I don’t want to settle for an ordinary life… I don’t want to ‘just survive’ …I want, and plan to THRIVE !!!

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.

discipleship

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

 

 

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

Fi’s ‘War Room’ Review… spoiler alert… IT’S AWESOME !!

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After 6wks of waiting(Yes, I truly purchased my tickets that long ago)… Aug 29 finally rolled around and our group of 14 were off to see ‘War Room’.  I’m still under the weather a tad so that made the outing not quite as exciting as I would have liked, but I could have been half dead… I was not going to miss this movie!!

I will admit that I went with very high expectation, as I have loved the Kendrick brothers movies for years.  We have their triple play of Flywheel, Facing the Giants and Fireproof, as well as Courageous, on DVD and watch them regularly as a family.  They are just fantastic wholesome movies with great messages to ponder, no matter how many time you watch them.  So, going along to War Room with this high standard in mind, I was not surprised, but also very pleased to come away thinking that God had once again used these two men to produce a 1st class message.

The atmosphere within the cinemas was fantastic from the moment you walked in.  The crowd was clearly expectant for the message they were about to sit under.  The ages varied.. even within our own group, we had a Nanna, 2 Dads, 4 Mums, 3 kids and 2 young adults.  and so… we settled in with our movie snacks and prepared to just soak in all that God had for us in the next 2hrs.

Now, I LOVE Priscilla Shirer.. I have for a few years now.  I love her heart for the Word of God, I love her style of teaching … I love that she is REAL !!  I love that her teaching challengers me and encouragers me to get into the scriptures.  So, with this respect for Priscilla already in play, I was keen to see how she portrayed the character of Elizabeth Jordan in War Room.  Let’s just say she did not disappoint.  Seriously, you would never know she hadn’t formerly acted before, but I guess her public speaking for many years would have certainly given her the confidence to take on such a role.

War Room certainly is one of those movies where you really did know all that is was going to be about prior to going… well, that’s if you’re a crazy researcher like I am.  I knew it was predominantly about spiritual warfare.  Fighting the REAL enemy in our situations.  Getting ourselves, and our plans out of the way so that we leave God the room to fight for us, in the way that HE knows is best.  We all know that can be hard at times, to hand it all over and say ‘Lord, it’s yours, do what you want with it, I can’t do it on my own strength.’

The humility it requires is also huge.  There’s a particular scene in the movie where Elizabeth has received a txt from a friend saying that she’s just seen Tony (Elizabeth’s husband) at a restaurant with another woman.   Her reaction shows her to be tortured by this information..  feelings of hurt, frustration, disbelief, fear, anger would surely have been present.  The humility it takes to get in your War Room and hand over that situation to The Lord. .. to fight for your marriage, for your husband, for your family.  Believe me, I’ve been right there… as in basically right there…  I’ve known that my DH was in a tempting situation and that his heart was not right with The Lord, and it wasn’t right with me either.  I remember my first thoughts were to make phonecalls, to somehow interfere with the situation to prevent anything bad happening…. to use whatever power I had to intervene.  But Praise God, I had reached a point in my walk with The Lord where I knew my fighting had to be done in my War Room..  I had to hand it over to God and leave HIM in control.

I had to learn to pray for my DH, even when I felt hurt, angry, unloved and unappreciated.  It’s amazing what God can do with these situations.  Years back, when I was first learning these skills, I used to wonder ‘will I have to always do this, will it get easier?’ etc etc, but God has done amazing work within my DH.  Is he 100% walking with The Lord?  No.  but I have had no reason to feel insecure, question his actions when it comes to the respect of our relationship, or feel unloved for quite a long time now.

So, while I still need to be in my War Room and fight for my husband on a daily basis, it’s not over those topics that tear at my heart and cause hurt and insecurity.  I’m fighting for him because I know that who he is today is just one of the stages along the road to becoming the man that God created him to be.  I no longer whine and gripe about what he isn’t, or ask God why he chose a non-believer for me 21yrs ago, but pray into his POTENTIAL.  He has done nothing but flourish under this prayer method.

I can see that many women may not warm to the movie storyline… the submissive role as a wife that Elizabeth took on when she handed it all over to God.  I think a lot of that stems from the misunderstanding that many people have of being a submissive wife.  I proudly tell people I am a submissive wife….  sometimes just to get the reaction out of them so that I then have the opportunity to clarify it for them.  & once again, I’m submitting to the man God created my DH to be, not so much to the man he is right now.  I make it a daily choice to always see him through that lens… God’s lens… rather than society’s lens, who would probably label him with all sorts of unpleasantness.

Candace Cameron Bure’s book ‘Balancing it all’ opened up lots of debate about being a submissive wife.  I think Candace did a fantastic job in many many interviews when asked about this topic.  Feel free to YouTube search some of those.

Back to the movie…. the music was also fantastic… so good in fact that I bought the soundtrack on PlayStore on the way home.  :0)

The atmosphere that I spoke of when we first walked into the cinema only increased throughout the showing.  There’s something pretty downright cool about hearing an ‘Amen’ or a ‘Hallelujah’ called out in the middle of a cinema.  Add to that rounds of applause throughout the movie, but particularly at the close of the final scene.

Heading out into the foyer of the cinemas, we were met by the HUGE and I mean HUGE crowd heading into the next War Room session.  We knew so many people waiting to go in, from our church family, the young adults group, old neighbours, friends from way back…  it was just so encouraging after having seen the fantastic movie, to then come out and see so many that mean so much to us going along to see it too.

As part of our movie going plans, we had offered to others to go out for dinner with us after the movie.  I thought it would be the type of movie you’d want to chat about after.  While most had to get home to their families, one family who we actually haven’t seen for years took us up on the offer.  It was  great time of fellowship, blessed conversation and yummy food.  (I had pesto chicken on a bed of mashed potato, served with Brocolini and a creamy pesto sauce…  not exactly the healthiest meal ever… but it was to die for… and heck, it’s Saturday night… that’s splurge night.)

And so now it’s Sunday, the memories of the movie are still fresh, I’d go again in a heartbeat, but what’s been going around my head today is that I don’t want it to simply speak to people (me included) and us all SAY that this is how we need to live and fight our battles, but not actually put it into effect.  One of the first things Ms Clara talks about in the movie is putting a strategy in place.  Soldiers don’t just head out and wing it.  They study the enemy, examine their tactics and preferred weapons, and then plan accordingly.

This makes me think of Sun Tzu and his quote ;

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

It also reminds me of the other thing we need to know.. the Word of God… sharper than a two edged sword.  Our best weapon in any battle… and that leads me into what I LOVE to talk about… Bible Study.  I LOVE to do them, LOVE to tell people about them, LOVE to recommend them to others, LOVE to research them… well, you get the idea.  It’s fine and dandy to have scripture up in your prayer close/War Room walls as Ms Clara does and as Elizabeth did in the movie (& I do too), but it’s also invaluable to KNOW your bible so well that you can pull on a scripture when needed, no matter where you are.

Personally, I find Bible Study the best way to do this, so below I’ll fill you in on the following which describes my Bible Study plan… and yes, it’s a Priscilla Shirer plan, so I’m taking no credit for it, but I’m more than happy to lap up God’s Word using her methods.  I know you will be blessed by it also.

5 Ps of bible study

Position yourself to hear from God (War Room/Prayer Closet)

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint. Habakkuk 2;1

Pour over the passage and paraphrase the major principals.  Mediate on them.  Put yourself in the scenario .  

Pull out the spiritual principals within that scripture.  Is there a command or a promise that you are ignoring?  Is there a character trait or attribute of God that he is trying to show you?

Pose the question.  Turn the spiritual principals back on yourself.  Am I heeding these commands or claiming these promises.

Plan obedience and pin down a date to obey. Strategise how you are going to obey.

Open Book

Remember, The Bible is ALIVE .. it’s not just black print on a white page.  The Holy Spirit causes it to jump off the page and speak right into our own situations.   Let’s You & I dive into it today and every day.   Let’s get strategising.

Blessings xox

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