The end is near

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As I sit here writing to you I am surrounded by packing boxes and suitcases. Our time here in Northern California has come to an end and we are in the process of packing up all our belongings ready to return home to Western Australia.

It is a bitter sweet process really. We have so loved living here and we have met some wonderful people that we now consider apart of our family. It has been very hard to say goodbye to the people we cherish and the city we have fallen in love with but at the same time we are very excited to be returning to our home and to our loved ones. I recently heard somebody explain the feeling like this “I am always home sick because I am never fully home. As I have moved and traveled a little piece of my heart has been left all over the world with the people that I love. I guess we are never fully home until we are all together in eternity”.

The experience we have had here at ministry school has been life changing. It has been an amazing time of personal and spiritual growth for us all. It has been a time of fresh revelations, immense breakthroughs, learning, discovering, stepping out, being brave and bold….. and I could go on and on….

The end of this chapter in our story has finished and I am very excited to turn the page and start the next one. It is a blank page ready for our story to be written. What the story will contain I do not know, but I look forward to it with hopeful anticipation.

 

 

*We will be traveling and settling in back home over the next couple of weeks so this space will be a little quiet but I shall be back writing again very soon:)

Strength

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Strength was a recurring theme in my readings today.

Strengthen the feeble, steady the knees that give way….

He strengthens the weary…

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…

I will strengthen and help you…

I will uphold you…

There is no shame in being weak, there is no shame in revealing your weaknesses and there is no shame in admitting that your knees are giving way under the pressure of it all. The enemy wants to bring shame upon your weaknesses, to remain there in that place of despair but God reaches out His hand to help you. He does not push you back down or belittle you for your weakness.  He wants you to be strengthened. He wants your hope to be restored and your strength renewed. You once were strong and He wants to restore you back to that strength. He wants you to rise up, to run strong and to walk without growing faint.

He doesn’t reject you, He will strengthen you and uphold you with His right hand. He makes all things work for good. He can turn our times of hurt, pain and weakness around so that we become resilient, doing things we never thought we could do. In those times He will draw us closer to Him as we learn to trust and lean on His word and our faith will be ignited. Through weak times His faithfulness and goodness will be revealed.

Draw close to God and He will point out your strengths. As you listen to Him and look upon your strengths and stand in their light you will soon believe in them. You will begin to walk out of weakness and into strength. His strength in us, that was there all along but we just forgot about it.

Praise is a matter of life and BREATH

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I love to sing praises to God. Worship time is my favorite time. Worship is how we express our love for God. A time where we let our thanksgiving overflow. Praise and worship is also a powerful weapon in our hands. Praise can bring encouragement, breakthrough, encounters with the Holy Spirit and it can help us to overcome our fears, anxieties and our doubts.

There are so many things in life that try to steal praises from your heart. There is pain, heartache, trials and tribulations that try to steal our joy and the praises from our lips…

…But each of these things brings us into an opportunity to praise God and declare His goodness over our lives. These trials can either make us bitter or better. You see God is bigger than anything that life can throw at you. Not everything that happens in life is Gods will. God is a good God and He only has good things for us because that is His nature.

When you are feeling discouraged, when all the joy has left you and fear and anxiety are beginning to arise, an act of praise is your greatest weapon to overcoming these emotions.

Instead of giving into the feeling of fear start to declare Gods strength and boldness, that He is an ever present help in our time of need. When anxiety is knocking at the door begin to declare that you will not be shaken because through His love we will overcome.

As you start to declare these truths over your life your perspective will begin to change. You will start to see things from heavens perspective and you will be able to pull heaven down to earth.

As you bring praise you position yourself for breakthrough and for encounters with heaven. Your heart and mind will begin to shift and thankfulness will begin to grow. So be encouraged, your praises are powerful. You will overcome the things that life is trying to throw at you as you declare your love for God.

You send me a Fathers help

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God, You’re such a safe and powerful place to hide! You’re a proven help in time of trouble; more than enough and always available whenever I need you. So we will never fear even if the earth were to blow up! We will not fear even when the earth quakes and shakes, moving mountains and casting them into the sea! For the raging roar of stormy winds and crashing waves cannot erode our faith in You. Psalm 46 1-3 Passion Translation.

Looking back over my life I can see all the moments in time when God sent me a Fathers help. Where He poured out love, forgiveness, mercy, comfort and strength into me. It came from spending time in the word of God, reading, understanding and taking in His very nature written in the words. It came from spending time in His presence, knowing and feeling His heart and His love for me and it came from others who would speak hope, life courage, strength and love into my life and into my heart.

I remember and draw on these times of seeing God send help in times of trouble so that when my world begins to quake and shake I can stand in the knowledge that God is more than enough and is always available to me. He has done it before and He will do it again. There is nothing to fear and nothing to be anxious about.

In just over a months time my little family and I will be finishing up our time here in California and we will be heading home. There could be a lot of fear and anxiety tied up with this next chapter in our lives as there are lots of unanswered questions for us. What will my husband do for work? Will there be enough money to tie us over until he begins to work? How will the school fees get paid? What doors will open up for us? Even though there are so many what ifs and what now hanging over our heads we feel nothing but peace. We have been here before, returning home but with nothing lined up for us and we have always had the Fathers help. He has led the way for us time and time again and we have never been left waiting and we have never been without.

If you feel the fear and anxiety starting to creep in then look back at your history with God and make note of all the times that help came through for you. Remember your answered prayers, remember your history with God. He is a good God and will send you a Fathers help because that it is who He is, He is a good good Father.

{Here is one of my favorite songs at the moment}

 

Vulnerable

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Being vulnerable is always hard, but being vulnerable can lead you into a deeper and more intimate relationship. That relationship may be with your spouse, a family member, a close friend or with Father God but the key is always the same, being vulnerable.

When you are vulnerable you begin to move beyond your hardened outer layer that you have spent many years reinforcing for protection and you open up your heart and share your deepest thoughts, dreams, desires, fears and joys. You are giving someone a window into your heart and soul, it is intimacy – in to me see.

It is hard to be vulnerable, it is not always easy to open up and share, to lay your heart bare to another but to not be vulnerable is even harder. Bottling yourself up, building walls and impenetrable fences around yourself is even more damaging.  For when your loved ones can not see into your heart they can not help you when it is beginning to break. The hurt becomes deeper, the walls become thicker and the fences become higher.

Being vulnerable in my relationships is something that I am learning to do. Opening up and laying my heart out to those that I know and love and trust  so that they can love and support me in my times of need, pray for me, guide me, mourn with me and rejoice with me.

Life is always better when we walk hand in hand with others.

Rest

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What does rest look like for you?

Is is a long soak in a hot bath?

Is is sitting down with a good book and a cup of hot tea, to sit and drink and read and enjoy the quiet?

Or is it taking a walk along the beach, taking some time out to think, reflect and to unwind?

Rest is so very important, not only for the body but for the mind and soul too.

Rest is one of my soul anchors. It is one of the things that I need to do to keep myself together when the wind and waves come at me during the storms of life. Whenever I feel like the chaos of life is getting to me I try to sneak away for some time of rest.

Rest for me is laying down in a quiet space where I will not be interrupted. I put on my favorite worship music and I just be still and let the music and words wash over me. My body is still, my mind is quiet and my soul is at peace.

Discover what it is for you that brings you into a place of rest. Where you stop working, stop your busyness and just rest. Where you can sit still in the presence of God and be free from anxiety, worry and your cares. Remember to rest and take care of yourself so that you are ready to walk the next path marked out for you, to fight the next battle, to run the next leg of your journey.

He died because He loves you

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Jesus was betrayed. He was abused, mocked, scorned and rejected by his own people. His hands and feet pierced through and hung on a cross left to die.

In spite of all this the words that were on my Saviors lips were forgive them for they know not what they do. Jesus cared less about his body being beaten and hung on the cross and more about us, our life and our salvation. Now that is love.

He then cried out it is finished and took his last breath. They took him down off the cross and laid him to rest in a tomb. Three days later he rose from the dead. Gods might, strength, power and love came to Jesus rescue and His life was given back to Him and life was given to us. By His wounds we were healed.

Refreshed by love Jesus stands victorious. His love paid a full ransom for his beloved people. We have been restored back to our Heavenly Father and empowered with the Holy Spirit.

God so loved each and every one of us that He gave His one and only son up to save and redeem us. He has gathered us to himself and we are a part of His loving family. We are sons and daughters of the King.

Words fail me when it comes to expressing the love and gratitude that I have in my heart for my beautiful Jesus who died for me. All I can do is just praise Him. So I will praise Him all my days for what he has done for me. I pour out all honor and glory to the one who has conquered the grave because of His great love for you and me.

Let everyone, everywhere shine with praise to Yahweh! Let it all out! Go ahead and praise Him! For He has conquered us with His great love, and His kindness has melted our hearts. His faithfulness lasts forever, and He will never fail you! So go ahead and let it all out! Psalm 117 Passion Translation.