Apologies

I am so sorry for how long it has been since I last wrote anything. It has been so crazy busy in our home and I just havnt had time to think.

Our church are looking at revival, and it has been a burning prayer for some of us for a while now. We are not interested in the numbers game, but desperately want to see souls saved, especially those around us within our friends and family circle. It is a cry from our hearts, but is it something we are willing to get our hands dirty for? It is a question I have been asking myself and this is not aimed at anyone but me first. What am I willing to do or say to bring those I love to Gods mercy seat? Am I willing to be laughed at, to be derided, to be a fool for Christ? Am I willing to put the hard work in place to be there whenever anyone needs me to be? These are very serious questions I am asking myself, because I need to make sure I am not putting my own needs first, not putting my feelings or fears before telling those around me the gospel.

I see a worrying trend within the Church of allowing the World in. Our conversations are full of it, our love of things, of money, of power, of position. It is on our lips more than God and His Word are. We are getting to the point of more interest in the world than seeing our loved ones saved. Can this really be true? Can all our topics of conversation be that lacking in heavenly things?

Watchman Nee says in his book, Love not the World, “Never in this sphere of things have we needed to know the power of the Cross of Christ to deliver us as we do at the present time”. And he goes on to say, “When we are faced with alternatives and a choice of way confronts us, the question is not: Is this good or evil? >Is this helpful or hurtful? No, the question we must ask ourselves is: Is it of this world, or of God? For since there is only this one conflict in the universe, then whenever two conflicting courses lie open to us, the choice at issue is never a lesser one than: God…or Satan”.

Now Watchman Nee wrote this a long time ago, and my book of it was copywritten 1968. It seems to us that he lived in a different time than the 21st century, but if so, then how is it that what he wrote is so relevant to us today? He could have written those words this week! We need to ground ourselves in Christ and His Word to us. Do we want to see more souls saved and if so how much? Do we long to see it? Is it something we are desperate for? Is it our hearts cry? If not, then why not?

I feel it is time for the Church to be seen in communities, to make ourselves visible. I think it is a wrong attitude to expect the community to come to us for answers. We need to show that we have the answers already within us, our changed lived are the proof we need. With God on our side, what do we have to fear? Living for God is our answer to any question.

Amen Lord, come Lord!!!

The World

Watchman Nee says that the three definitions of the world are 1) the material earth or universe, 2) the people on the earth, 3) the things of the earth.
Each of these three contribute to the whole picture of the earth, some are tangible some are intangible. They need each other to function.
Scripture gives us some understanding of the world around us, and explains why it functions as it does and how the intangible effects the tangible.
Jesus tells us “My Kingdom is not of this earth”. Adam opened the door for sin to enter, making our world hostile to God. Creation tries and in a way, can’t, know God, and the human race pulls against God. Even though Adam allowed sin in, Jesus overcame sin. He was of this world and not of this world, he was human and God. He was born of the world, but was fully God, so overcame and allowed creation to be drawn back to God. At the Lords return there will be a Kingdom. This world will become part of that Kingdom. It will know no sin then, it will return to the beginning when first made.
We are in the world, but not of it. We belong to God as soon as we give ourselves to Him. We grow more and more like Jesus. We live in a fallen world, a world if sin and death. We need to make sure that how we live in this fallen society, we radiate the love and power of God. We are a witness. No one is too small to make a difference or work for the Lord.

Feeling Worship

I am not too sure if it just me, or something that happens to us all at some point in our walk with Christ. I can worship anywhere, and no matter how good or bad the worship band are, or how well or badly led the service is. Its not the outside influences that lead me to worship, its how much I want to be in the throne room of my God, praising Him and knowing He is hearing my voice as well as every other person in the world praising Him at the same time. My prayers and praise rises to Him as incense in a world full of chaos and for many of us sadness and stress.

Worship takes me to a place of intimacy with my Lord which drowns out the stress and noise of life, and I love to be there. In a way, it is where I get refreshed and find a peace and calm I don’t feel anywhere else. I miss those times so much, even if I only miss one time of worship, whether in rehersal with my Husband or in my fellowship during the week or on a Sunday. I can feel it inside if there is a time that is missed, even if by illness. I feel the intimacy go ever so slightly. It takes a good praise time to place myself back where I know Christ is.

I feel that God waits for our praise. He watches us as we go about our days and weeks, and waits. He sees us get up and sees us go to bed. He inhabits our praise and loves to hear us and sing with us. We dont have to set a time apart to have a ‘quiet time’. We can praise Him anywhere, and everywhere. We can praise in our work, our friendships, our family and our church. If God Himself wants our praise and us to be intimate with Him, then what is stopping us? What could ever be more important than this? How can we put anything before the Lord of Hosts who wants time with each and every one of us? How would we act if the Queen of England or the Prime Minister wanted a personal time with us, and to just sit and talk and have fellowship with us? How would we feel? Really important? Privileged? Better than others? The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Maker of Heaven and Earth wants just that. He wants to be intimate with us, to be our friend and Father.

Next time you really worship, stop and think about how the Spirit brings you closer to God. Do you feel like you can touch God Himself and at times can hear the very angels join with you? I think its the best place to be, and want to stay there for eternity.

Centrality of the Coss

Keeping what is sure and certain through our times of worship is essential. The Word is at the core of how we worship, but also the Cross of Christ.

Matthew 12 v 34. Out of the overflow of our hearts our mouths speak.

The more we take on the Word, the more it will flow not just out in our worship, but in our daily speaking. It affects the way we talk to our kids, fellow workers, our church family and strangers we meet on the bus. If we are taking in the Word and keeping the Cross central, what comes out of us will be based in the Word and the Cross. We will be bringing more and more of Christ into our daily lives.

Worship can lead us to keep the truths of God and His Word close to our hearts. Our minds will never be far away from praise if it full of His Word.

Who I am

I know a lot of my failings, and there are many more that others can see in me or that God can see that I don’t recognise yet. They will be shown to me at the right time, or at Gods timing for my life. It amazes me that He uses me with all my failings, warts, sins and all. God loves me and uses me for His kingdom as I am right now, and not who I will be 10 years from now, because who I will be then will be a different person. I know I am on a journey, but if I stop learning and growing in God, then I won’t be any different, but will stand still. To be different, I have to grow, learn and change my attitudes and heart to be more like God, then I will change into a more Christ-like child of God.
When I look in the Old Testament at some of the old “heroes” of the faith like Samson, Solomon and perhaps David, they were never super spiritual. God used them as they were for His kingdom and His purposes. They didn’t change for God to use them, they didn’t change who they were in God. We have consequences of living a sinful life, but God made us because He loves us.
We need to pray and ask God what He wants us to do for Him; who He wants us to speak to; how He wants us to live for Him; how we follow Him.

God is Sovereign over all

God gives us a calling on our lives, and what we do for Him is a calling. No one can hold God back, He is sovereign. He is love and His grace is new every morning.
What better reasons do we need to praise and worship our Lord and Heavenly Father?
We fail every day. Our lives get in the way, our pride, our minds. He never fails, never lets us down. How much of what we do is an offence to God? Maybe we need to sit and think about how we do things or how we speak to ourselves or others. Our flesh is strong, and we seem to battle all the time. Gods sovereignty is being watered down within our churches and how we view Him. He is God, He is our Maker.
Nothing can surprise God or shock Him. He knows all and knew us before we were born. He knows what we go through and weeps with us. He feels what we feel. He is there, and never goes away.
Praise is what I can bring. I can worship because I have nothing else to bring sometimes. I can praise when I am in a place where I am low, happy, content or in despair. Praise lifts us out of the mire.
Faith is believing when we dont see God, or dont know what to do. Keep your faith in Him who created dust into His child. He created you because He loves you.

Which Heart?

There are so many ways of describing our hearts and attitudes towards God. Looking into it, I have seen four types of heart that I have seen or experienced.

A calloused heart, one that is hardened to God and His Word.

A shallow heart that has no roots and no depth spiritually and possibly in life.

A distracted heart that is pulled many ways or is torn about what to do.

An open heart that is receptive and responsive to God and His Word and Spirit.

We need to keep a daily intimacy with God, and base ourselves in His Word. If we live more in prayer and the Word, we have a better grounding when the trials and troubles come our way. We will be able to put on our spiritual armour and battle knowing from the Word that God is always there. We can fight with the Word and use our sword to cut through doubts and distractions.

God changes us if we let Him. He gives us a hunger for the Word and lets us live in a new way so we put ourselves under the ownership of our Father. We begin to see new habits forming that make us more like Jesus every day.

The Word of God is our direction. Use it. Change my heart Lord to an open heart for you and what you have to say to me.

Praise at all times

Psalm 150 is a psalm full of praise to the Lord. David was probably looking at this as something personal. It was a normal way of living to praise his God in all circumstances.
We are not asked here to praise God, but it is a commandment to praise. We are told to praise God in whatever we are doing and wherever we are. It is kind of expected for us to be doing this anyway, as it was for David and his son Solomon early in his rule of Israel.
David didnt care if his praise was loud or full of instruments or even if it was just him on his own singing and worshipping his Lord. As long as he was praising he was happy. As long as he had breath he worshipped. He wanted to praise his friend and Lord, so why dont we? Do we want to worship our Maker, our friend, our God? if not, then why not?

My Anchor

After Advent has now come to a close, I looked back on how I have waited on God through the Season and the Prodigal parable. He waits for us, ever watching for us to come home, like the Prodigal parable. He also like to chase and keep us in His ever watchful sight. Wherever we go and whatever we do, He is following us and is there with us, gently prodding. As with the prodigal, He waits for us as our Father, but what a party He throws when we do come home!! God is very concerned about all of us, even the prodigals. See what He can and will do when we come back home. He watches always, even if He seems a long way from us. He is never more than a whisper or a plea away.

Our sure and certain hope is our Father God. He is our very reason to keep moving forward. Never backwards into the past. He is our future, and He has ordained it for us. Maybe this is the reason for the home coming party? He knows our future, but He also knows all the things that have happened to us in our past that shape us or change how we see and do things. We need to take the positives from our past and take them into our future. If we take our negatives with us, how they pull us down, keep us depressed, keep us from victory. When we look back over our tragedies, losses and disappointments, we can see how God has covered us with His love and His hope.

Our true homecoming is yet to happen. We have yet to spend our eternity in our eternal home. With our Father here on earth though, we can begin our eternal story and adventure.

You are my Anchor

My light and my salvation

You are my refuge

My hope is in you

Advent and waiting

As we begin Advent, we begin waiting for Christmas and all the festivities to begin. We wait, a bit like creation, but creation is waiting for its liberation. God has delayed His return, which makes all creation wait. It waits for its purpose. Restoration. We all wait for our full liberation to our Lord God who loves us. He created us and the earth for Himself for our relationship and fellowship with Him.We and creation worship Him, and if we fail to worship, even the very stones praise Him in our place!!

Our hearts long for our Father and our soul cry out to Him. That longing and desperation can only be filled by allowing His love in and letting it flow through the whole of us – soul, mind and body.

Our Father Creator brings life. He is Life. We are alive in Him. Death is gone and holds no fear for us.

Our greatest need is for God.

We wait for Him and in Him.

We wait for the time we will be with Him and the longing this brings. Maybe this is the time to reflect on what we are really waiting for. We pray and I pray that we have the patience to wait for Gods perfect plan for us to be revealed as we begin this Advent season, and hold in our minds the lost, broken and desperate.

Bring them home to you Dear Father.

Open yourself to Him and please Lord give us the hope we need to keep waiting.

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