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20 Oct – Faithful With Little

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When we are faithful in the things that God has given us, even if they seem small and even insignificant, God still sees and says that when we can be trusted with a little He will trust us with much.

In Matthew 25:14-31we read the parable of the men who were entrusted with talents. One was given five talents, traded them and doubled what he had; one was given two talents and gained two more; but the one with one talent dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. To the first two, the master spoke these words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master”

This parable can be applied to every area of our lives. God sees and rewards those who are faithful with the small things, as we make the most of and seek to increase and grow in the gifts, talents and opportunities God has blessed us with.

God says, “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” (Luke 16:10)

If we want things to be different or we have dreams and desires that are ahead of us and yet to happen, God encourages us not to become slack in what we are doing. Instead we are to remain motivated to watch our attitudes, to give everything we do our very best, to take care of ourselves, to put effort and priority into our relationship with God and others, to carefully measure our speech and actions and to remain faithful in the everyday things as we look forward to the future.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

The little things are important and when we remain faithful and manage and make the most of all that we have already, it teaches us to be thankful and appreciative and also not to waste the opportunities before us as live in expectation for God to pour out His increase, blessing and favour upon our lives.

Today determine to be faithful and make the most of every opportunity, ability and gift you have. When you are faithful with little God will bless you with more. 

 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 AMP)

Prayer: Lord help me to appreciate all that you have given me and to not judge anything as too little or insignificant. Please give me the wisdom and motivation to make the most of every opportunity, and to not disregard anything you have given me or ask me to do. In Jesus name Amen.

19 Oct – I Am Not Moved

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Recently I was chatting with someone who encouraged me to, “Not allow anyone or anything to change the way you are or how you behave.”

Unfortunately there are times when the opposite can be too true in how we react to people or situations in which we find ourselves. Instead of responding positively we can react in a negative or defensive way, especially when someone is being unkind, rude, negative or even downright offensive and cruel. Then we usually go into defence mode to survive or retaliate. Yet aren’t we, in doing so simply allowing other people to ultimately control who we are?

Perhaps a better way to live our lives is to determine to not allow other people’s weaknesses or issues to affect who we are and the way we will choose to respond to situations and others. It’s easier said than done but I find if I can step back, breathe, pray for wisdom and gather myself in that moment, then I am better able to look back at every communication and situation I find myself in and know that I was true to who God’s made me to be. I haven’t allowed someone else to control or dictate my behaviour, but have only been moved by God and what he says about me.

Sometimes in reflection we may realise that we have some character traits and behaviours which when we’re put under pressure we didn’t like or even realise were lying beneath the surface. If that happens the best thing to do is acknowledge our weakness, hurt and disappointments in both other people and our own reactions and then ask God to help us do better next time as we allow Him to work in our hearts.

Today don’t allow anyone to change the way you are and how you behave because of his or her bad behaviour or reactions to you. Be who God made you to be, acknowledge any weaknesses in yourself and ask God to help you to deal with and become stronger in those areas. Then choose to only be moved in thought, speech and action by what God says about you and your circumstances and nothing and no one else.

I am not moved by what I see, I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved by what I believe.” (Smith Wigglesworth)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”(2 Timothy 1:7)

“Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.” (Psalm 25:12)

Prayer: Lord please help me today to be the person that you say I am even when I may feel pressure from other people or situations. Thank you that you give me strength and continue to work in me to fulfil my purpose and be all who you have called me to be. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

18 Oct – Increasing Capacity.

My husband and I over the years have stepped way out of our comfort zone on numerous occasions. We’ve given up comfortable jobs, homes, family and financial security to be true to the dream in our hearts. Philip my husband is especially known for stepping out of the boat and being brave enough to believe for big things. Our lives I guess may seem crazy and busy to some, but as I say you usually don’t suddenly step into bigger things all at once – there’s a process and building of your capacity for each stage of the journey. Much like you don’t normally have 6 kids all at once, you have one baby then another, then another and with each baby your capacity and knowledge grows and you learn to know what is important and what is not necessary. You discover how to manage multiple tasks, children, finances, relationships and your time and energy.

Life in general can be likened to that baby analogy. We are all capable of being and doing far more than we imagine and it’s in the gradual steps, consistency and keeping focused and intentional that enables us to experience and become all that God made us to be. We will undoubtedly make some mistakes, find ourselves exhausted at times and have to adjust and juggle priorities, but that’s okay as long as we just keep walking and don’t give up on the dreams and desires in our hearts which I believe are within us because God put them there.

I think back to when we had 5 kids and I was studying full time, leading a church plant, opening an art gallery and cafe and wondering if I could do everything. Yet we did and it made us grow hugely; we learnt alot about business, time management, ourselves, other people and who we were and who God is. Everything we travelled through made us bigger on the inside and equip us for some of what we are undertaking now.

As I write this my husband is busy working full time and studying for his MBA. We hold gatherings in our home twice a week and are also regularly travelling back and forth across the country running conferences, opening new hubs, building new relationships and stepping once again out of the boat. In amongst it all I am also involved in music management, being Mum to our kids, homeschooling our two youngest children, and am busy pursuing my art and sharing what I’m learning in workshops and gatherings.

It may sound like alot and some days it looks a little crazy, but I’ve learnt over the years that with every new venture we undertake, that God if we are listening will be growing and increasing our capacity to be able to thrive in every new thing we do and who we are becoming as a result.

The secret perhaps is to allow yourself to find out what inspires you; what you love and then go and work to do it. Take one step at a time, give things a go gently – what I call a soft prod. See how it fits, if it works, if you actually enjoy what you’re trying out or was it just a nice idea.

But perhaps most of all determine to enjoy, stretch your wings, build a bigger capacity and go for it. For as you do you’ll discover that you’re growing, exploring and experiencing life – you’ll in actual fact find yourself living!

I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13)

Prayer: Lord thankyou for the life you’ve given me to live. Please help me to make the most of my days and to build my capacity every day so that I am continually increasing and growing into all that you made me to be. Help me most of all to enjoy the life and people you’ve blessed my life with. In Jesus name Amen

17 Oct – Sometimes It Hurts

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Sometimes life hurts. I mean it really hurts; like your insides ache, your head is screaming and the space where your heart is feels pierced and broken. Hurt can come from circumstances out of our control, from words spoken, from relationship challenges, misunderstandings, loss, sickness, disappointments and failures.

None of us seem to be immune from getting hurt and unfortunately everyone seems to suffer experiences of hurt to varying degrees in their lives. Life can throw some real “curve balls” at times. Personally my heart has taken a beating and suffered hurt through family break-ups, tradedy, sickness, death, loss in pregnancy, financial struggles, disappointments, relationship breakdowns, lonliness, hurtful words and behaviour by those you are trying to minister to, backbiting and gossip and misunderstandings. And that’s not even mentioning empathizing over and with loved ones hurts.

But the question perhaps is not whether we will or how we will hurt, but how we”ll respond to the hurts we face in life?

Will we ignore the hurt and hope it goes away by denying it, delaying facing it or minimize the hurts impact by telling ourselves its no big deal?

Unfortunately ignoring hurts like that isn’t very effective because things don’t just go away by themselves. We do have to face them because denying, delaying and minimizing things and hoping time will heal usually just causes us to carry wounds around on the inside of us and sometimes those wounds then get infected and spread.

Most people don’t like to face and acknowledge hurt. Its easier to run from or bury it, but healing comes when we face it, because just as a dumped toxic waste or infection will eventually make it to the surface or contaminate other parts of our life so will an un-dealt with hurt.

I’ve learnt that God offers answers. They’re not necessarily always a quick fix, although he will  lift the burden and weight of our hurts. We get healed as we sit with him and face the hurt and allow the Holy Spirit to unravel it. He is then able to heal our broken hearts, bind up our wounds and remove the trauma. As we read and meditate on His promises we discover He is and has always been there even when we thought or felt He wasn’t. He is our shepherd and if we allow Him he will lead us beside quiet waters and restore our hearts and souls through His gentle persistent prescence and working within us, until we become victors instead of victims, bold instead of downtrodden and free instead of captive. (Psalm 23)

Today let God take care of your hurts rather than denying they exist, or running from them. God is right there with you and He promises to heal the brokenhearted and to bind up our wounds (Psalm 147:2). He says He will give strength to the weary when we wait upon him, so that we can keep going and with Him soar on wings like eagles. (Isaiah 40:31)

Life hurts sometimes, but “He that began a good work in you is faithful to complete it” and He hasn’t finished yet. (Philippians 1:6) Hang on to Jesus, face the hurt and know He is with you to comfort and bind up your wounds. You’re going to be okay.

He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might he increases strength…for those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they  shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Prayer: Lord please help me today to face my hurts and to allow you to heal my brokenness and to bind up my wounds. I give my hurts to you  and ask you to fill my heart and life with your love and peace so that I can know joy again. In Jesus name Amen.

16 Oct – Make an Impact

We are all different with varying gifts, experiences and abilities but we all have the opportunity to do and be someone significant. That will look different for each person, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are all able to influence and impact those around us everyday.

Perhaps the problem however is that we believe that unless we are doing “great” things that are recorded on the news or plastered all over social media that who we are are and what we do with our lives doesn’t matter.

Mother Teresa who’s work and legacy has continued to live on and make an impact even after her death said, “We may not all be able to do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”

Our lives can touch individual people in ways that we may never know—in positive ways if we choose to spend our time making choices that are meaningful. Life is not just about how much we can pack into our days but about the impact we can make with our days—especially when that impact touches people. Our time is finite, but our legacy is eternal. Choose wisely. (V Burton)

Today don’t underestimate your influence because you undervalue your worth and who you are and the impact and influence your life and choices can make both for the legacy you’ll leave but also the lives you can touch today. Think and seek God about how you can, “Go and be who God meant you to be, because as you do you will set the world on fire.” (Catherine Sienna)

“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.” (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation‘ (Mark 16:15 ESV)

15 Oct – Take A Look At Your Life

When we look back at our lives how many of us are going to be pleased with what we see? Unfortunately many people on their deathbeds wish that their priorities had been quite different. That they hadn’t stressed over the things that seemed so big at the time but really were of no consequence in the long run.

Many people wish they had spent more time doing the things they loved instead of worrying about their life.

I guess that’s why Jesus said, “I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them, and aren’t’ you far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life….These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:25-31)

Some counsellors even recommend imagining yourself at your own funeral. Most of us don’t really want to consider our own death, but perhaps that consideration would get more people thinking about their life, purpose, why they are here, who put them here, and what happens after they die?

While that could be a confronting and uncomfortable thought for some, it can be a very good idea because it allows us to look at our life while we still have the chance to make important decisions and changes.

Doing so will remind us of the kind of person we want to be and help us prioritise what is most important. It can be the catalyst for needed change.

I have a statement saved on my phone that serves as a good reminder to live the life God made me for. It says:“Become today who you intend to be tomorrow. The bridge between who you are and who you want to become is simply courage. At some point you’ve just got to wake up and make a decision to get over the pile of excuses you’ve built up in your head for not being the person you really want to be. What’s God being saying over and over that you’ve yet to act on?”

Today, are you pleased with what you see when you look at your life? If not take the  opportunity to seek God and His plan for your life.

Has He been saying something repeatedly and you have not acted on it?

Have you been ignoring or putting off dealing with an issue/s in your life?

God sees and knows all there is to know about us. If He knows that much about us don’t you think He will also do everything He can to help us become the person we were made to be?

Today ask God to help you take the needed steps to begin to be the kind of person you long to be and whom God says you are.

Make a start to become the person today who you intend to be tomorrow.

Prayer: Lord thank you for your  reminding me to make decisions and changes while I still have the chance. Help me Lord to hear what you are sayingand to seek you first, because you give me all that I need and so much more. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

14 Oct -Do You

Over the last few days I’ve been reminded once again how important it is to be yourself and not to shy away or hide who you really are. Our authentic, raw self is always far more powerful than any expectation or pressure we may feel to fit in with the status quo, especially in a world where we can be bombarded through every technological device to be like everyone else. The freedom to simply be who and what we authentically are is highly valuable and also liberating for those who seek to be more real themselves.

For me over the last few days that has meant being able to let people into my own private space with Jesus and allowing them to see how I take my hands off the controls and engage in heavenly realms. One of the ways I do that is to paint…so paint I did. In front of a crowded room, with my apron, bare feet, Jesus and the raw me. I figure if I like and have learnt and benefited from something then chances are someone else will be able to appreciate, be encouraged, inspired and perhaps like what I like too. And if they don’t what does it matter if I know that it is compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly and something to praise about. (Philippians 4:8‭-‬9 MSG)

Today I encourage you to be authentically you…the real, raw and honest you. Because with Jesus working in and alongside you that “you” will be awesome.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse… Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” (Philippians 4:8‭-‬9 MSG)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Prayer: Lord please help me to be comfortable to show We ho I really a m, and that if I don’t like tthat person to be honest about why not and to let you work in me to chip away anything that doesn’t reflect who you created me to be, so that the person you created me to be can shine through.

13 Oct – Slow Down And Smell The Roses

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When our kids were toddlers we would take them for a walk to the park. The “walk” would take a long time because they would inspect and sometimes chat to every flower, ant and person they saw on their walk. We could have rushed it, picking them up and just getting to our destination, but as most of us know it’s the journey as well as the destination that is important. It’s in the journey that we learn, discover and find out who we are and about the world around us.

Perhaps we all need to be more like a little child and practice the old saying, “stop and smell the roses“, which is not just about nature, but also about how to live our life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us. It reminds us to slow down and notice the little things that make life worthwhile. Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment, otherwise those moments will pass us by and we will quite simply “miss them!”

God’s presence is also all around us and its it’s most often when we slow down and find a quiet space to draw near to Him that we will recognise His presence. Its in quietness that we find his strength and it’s in slowing the pace that we find balance and a healthier, happier, richer and less stressful life.

Today, I encourage you  to slow down, draw near to God in the quiet and appreciate everything that’s around you, as you “stop and smell the roses”.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15)

“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

Prayer: Lord please help me to slow down and to draw near to you today and to appreciate the moments in my day more. In Jesus Name Amen.

12 Oct – Don’t Underestimate God

Far too often when we have a need in our life or a desire in our heart, we try to figure out how we can make it happen. We reason just like Moses with our own mind and intellect how it is going to happen, or how God is going to get something to us. However in doing so we often underestimate God. But God is not limited by our reasoning, nor is He  dependant on anything or anyone to fulfil His word and His promises. What He says, He will do and He can do things anyway He wants!

Whatever your need is today, God wants to be your source and supplier. You don’t have to figure out in your natural mind how God is going to get it to you. All you have to do is put your faith into gear, believe that what God says in His word is true, and position yourself to receive. The rest is up to God!

Today let’s stop reasoning and underestimating God, and instead choose to believe that God is able to do what He says He can, and then get ready for Him to receive.

“My God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

“Now to Him who is able to (carry out His purpose and) do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think (infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams), according to His power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20 AMP)

Prayer: Lord please forgive me when I underestimate and underrate you, and help me to remember that you have more power in your whisper than all the power in the universe. Help me to lift my expectation, to know and receive the promises in Your Word and to position myself everyday to receive. In Jesus name Amen.

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