Category Archives: Diary of an Overcomer

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Day 30 – To fast…or not to?

Day 30

Day 30 350x350 Day 30   To fast...or not to?Every month we have what is called ‘Sacred Assemblies’ at our Church. During this 3 day period we collectively fast and pray. It’s a time that we set aside and dedicate to letting God know how much we love Him. We ask Him specifically for what we long for and we fast as a way of letting Him know that getting to know Him and receiving His direction on the issues we’ve brought to Him, is more important to us than food (or whatever we’re fasting).

I must admit to having a difficult time with the fasting bit of this equation. It’s a bit of a ‘catch-22’ for me. I struggle so much to go without food that it’s a really difficult thing for me to do. All the multitude of reasons that I have for not wanting/being able to fast, come rushing into my head. They all sound perfectly reasonable, totally logical and have a good deal of emotional ‘fact’ backing them up ☺. I’ve got really good reasons for not missing so many meals! In my own head at least.

Number 1 on the list is the fact that I’m already quite slim and I’d be making myself ill if I didn’t eat. What about the fact that I get all dizzy and cranky when I get hungry? The there’s the unfairness of making meals for everyone else in the household and not being able to eat them myself. All very valid reasons and surely God understands my concerns and wouldn’t want me to have to ‘suffer’ like that?

BUT

And it’s a big one…

My comfort isn’t the aim of fasting, is it?

The aim of fasting is to obey what we’re told to do in the Bible (examples of prayer and fasting appear all through both Testaments). If it’s in there, I want to do what God tells me to – it’s part of a loving relationship.

It also puts us in the best possible position for a breakthrough that God has for us. If God has a solution to an area of my life that I’m struggling with, then I’ll gladly fast and pray in order to get that breakthrough. It breaks whatever is stopping the revelation and releases God’s wisdom and solution. And I need as much of that as I can get.

The discipline of fasting builds our ability to resist things that are ‘fleshly’ – habits that aren’t good for us. It also heightens our ability to hear and act on ‘spiritual’ things – things that help us to walk in the amazing way God has planned for us to. God calls us to pursue, think on and act upon what is good whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Phil 4:8)

So, my conclusion is that if I want to bless God with obedience to fasting as well as get all the benefits, I have a decision to make. I think it will be a great lesson in asking for, and receiving, God’s help in an area where I really need it.

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Day 29 – Men, eugh…..

Day 29

Day 29 350x282 Day 29   Men, eugh.....I was sitting having coffee with a friend of mine today, when the subject of the ‘equality of the sexes’ came up. I love talking about this topic because, many years ago, someone helped me to see things from a completely new perspective – and it changed my life.

I had just started with a network marketing company and we were invited to hear a speaker named Allan Pease talk about the differences between men and women. At this time of my life, my attitude towards the ‘battle of the sexes’ was one of ‘anything a man can do, a woman can do better’ and I would battle any man in my life who tried to keep me down or tell me I couldn’t do something.

He started to talk about not only the personality differences between men and women but even broke it down to the physiological differences. I began to learn that men have been specifically created to function one way and women specifically created to function another. Then, the icing on the cake is that these two ways of functioning are completely complementary to one another and not in the least competitive.

I was bowled over!

This went beyond the normal arguments I had heard (and often offered myself) that centered purely around performance – which assumes an identical playing field.

I learned that men and women are completely EQUAL, yet they are completely DIFFERENT – and those two things are not the same!

Women have unique innate ways of functioning (gestating and giving birth to a baby, breastfeeding etc) that men are not physically capable of doing because they weren’t created to perform that function. Similarly, a man has unique innate ways of functioning (providing the sperm that fertilizes the egg). These two are examples of the unique qualities of a man and the unique qualities of a woman. Each then needs the other in order to create a baby. It can’t be done without an egg, sperm and a womb.

I began to look at my ‘struggle’ with equality in a whole new light. I began to appreciate the things that my husband was created to do and stopped trying to compete with him in those areas. It was an amazing feeling for both of us. For me, I learned to appreciate what my husband could do for our family. I began to build him up and thank him for being our provider, for carrying the heavy bags, for being the spiritual head of our home. We began to ask him for guidance and acknowledge the wisdom God gives him in his position as the head of our family.

He began to take back the responsibility that I had wrestled away from him because I wanted to prove that I was ‘as good as a man’. As I stepped back from doing what wasn’t mine to do, he stepped in and assumed his rightful place. I began to feel nurtured, looked after and safe because ‘my man’ was where he was supposed to be. It felt good to be able to go to him and ask him to help me carry heavy things, open jam jars and give me advice from a male perspective.

The most amazing healing and feeling of safety, equality and respect came out of this mindset shift. I realized that he and I are completely equal, yet totally opposite – and that’s just the way it’s meant to be. Man fulfilling his role and woman fulfilling hers and together, complementing each other to form a ‘match made in heaven’.

As I told my friend this story, we realized that relationships in all spheres of life would be so much healthier and more productive if we all understood this concept. Men and women don’t have to be good at the same things; they just need to be good at their things. When we are, we complement each other and produce a far better result than when we try to compete against each other.

I came home and gave my husband a great big kiss and thanked him for being a wonderful man. icon wink Day 29   Men, eugh.....

That realisation has set me free!

 

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Day 28 – The Gift of Worship

Day 17 - 3 thoughts

Day 28 320x350 Day 28   The Gift of WorshipWe were at church on Sunday and full into the flow of worship. As I was walking up and down just singing to God, I realised that worship comes in all sorts of forms.

As I asked the Lord to help me expand on this idea, I realised that our whole day has opportunities to be able to offer worship.

One of the things that always puts a huge smile on my face, is being able to go for a walk in the park across the road from where we live. The moment I look ahead of me and see the beautiful green grass contrasted against the brilliant blue sky, I can feel my shoulders relax. As I see the huge, majestic trees and the beautiful little flowers at their feet, I can’t help but grin from ear to ear.

It’s one of the things that lift me up and makes me feel better every day. This, is an act of worship. All of this green grass and the trees and beauty of the little flowers and beautiful blue sky, are all made by God. He knows how much this scene pulls at our heartstrings. He loves nature and that love of nature has been put into us too.

When we smile because something tugs at our heart like that, it’s a way of knowing that the same thing that puts a smile on our face, puts a smile on God’s face too. We are created in His image and He has put within our hearts the same things that delight His heart.

I started to think of other ways that we can worship God during the day. It stands to reason that the things that delight His heart, will delight ours. Ergo, the opposite must also be true. The things that delight our hearts come from Him.

As I was singing, I heard the beautiful voices around me. Something that really thrills my heart is when we’re singing a song – the notes are crystal clear and the harmonies blend beautifully together. This is a way that we can worship God with the voices that He’s given us. The ability to sing notes and harmonise and put melodies and choruses and verses together and sing those words from the pit of our stomach is straight from God.

What about when we look at somebody we love and that beautiful, warm feeling of total love rolls over us. That’s the way God feels about when He looks at us. So, the next time you look at someone you love and are just overwhelmed by that feeling of love, know that that is an act of worship too because we’re feeling with God’s love.

When we care for one another, we are also worshipping God. It’s one of God’s main character traits. He, loves to help. When we see someone that is in need of help, we get to be able to help them and pass on a little bit of our love to them. It puts such a huge smile on God’s face when He sees His children helping one another, loving one another and nurturing one another. Wow, what an act of worship.

One of the things that I am learning now, is realising that these many little things that happen to me during the day and swell my heart, are acts of worship. When I recognise what they are, I stop and look up to the sky and just smile at God. I’m learning to see Him in little things all through the day and they’re really thrilling to my heart. When this happens I just have to stop and say, “I love spending time with You. I love the way You put blessings everywhere for us to be able to see and use. I love the smile you put on my face throughout the day.”

This becomes a way of being able to offer worship to God all through the day.

It’s not as something that you have to consciously think about doing. You just spontaneously worship Him when something touches your heart, or something lights up your face or you feel deeply loved and cared for by someone else.

Ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of these opportunities all through the day. Opportunities to see the blessings that God sends in a multitude of forms throughout the day. As you see them, stop and take a minute to smile and tell Him how much you love Him.

This is the most amazing way to spend your whole day worshipping God.

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Day 27 – Better ‘felt’ than ‘telt’

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IMG 1477 350x350 Day 27   Better felt than teltWe’ve had a lovely weekend! It’s been full of family fun all round.

One of the people who was with us this weekend is a total ‘foodie’ and, even though I don’t particularly like cooking, I had a treat for her. We’ve recently bought a fabulous bread making machine and it makes lovely bread. It has a timer and so, the evening before, I put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl and we all woke up to the heavenly smell of freshly baked bread.

It so happens that one of her favourite foods is …freshly baked bread! I took her round the kitchen and showed her how I prepped and we set the machine. Some 10 hours later she woke up to a newly baked loaf, with the smell wafting all through the house. She was amazed and totally sold on the idea of buying a breadmaking machine for herself. It really struck me – the power of actually experiencing what is promised is far more powerful than just hearing the ‘sales pitch’. It adds layers of depth, emotion and experience that is far better ‘felt’ than ‘telt’.

You know, it’s like that in our lives too. When people actually see the evidence of Jesus in us – actually feel the love and experience acceptance, mercy and grace – it’s a far more powerful way to let them know how wonderful He is, than to simply tell them. I got so excited by this revelation that I want to be someone who lives the reality of Jesus every day. I want to be so surrendered that people see is Him in me, all the time. I want to be so reliant on the Holy Spirit’s power that people see, feel and experience Jesus in everything I do. Then, the evidence is irrefutable. It will go beyond being something I talk about, to something I live. And when it gets to that point, people will see Him for who He really is and trust Him instead of feeling ‘sold to’. Oh man, I want that so much!

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Day 26 – I am a friend of God

God's friend

Gods friend 350x350 Day 26   I am a friend of GodSomething is really blowing my mind at the moment. This concept of being a friend of God’s. I suppose we all have our pre-conceived ideas of what God is like, but I doubt that we naturally think of ourselves as being able to be friends with the Creator of the Universe!

I’m reading ‘The Supernatural Ways of Royalty’ by Kris Vallotton and he’s just outlined this concept in really simple detail, which has really opened up my eyes and is beautifully messing with my previous beliefs.

I’ve sat asking God to really explain to me what our friendship would look like. So, as a starting point He’s been taking me through what my friendship with Frans, my husband, looks like.

What do I do to look after and nurture my friendship with Frans? Well, I

  • Do things that I know he likes.
    • I make him coffee, just the way he likes it, without being asked.
    • I stop what I’m doing and concentrate on him when he wants to hug me.
    • I do all the organizing that he doesn’t like to do, so that it’s all just done for him.
    • I make his food in the way he likes it, so that he enjoys eating
    • Etc etc
    • Don’t do things I know he doesn’t like
    • Tell him I love him, all the time
    • Purposefully thank him of being a wonderful man and loving me the way he does
    • Leave him to do what he loves to do without nagging
    • Respect his opinion and listen to him when he wants to share something he’s found out
    • Honour his gifts and passions

So, if that’s what friendship looks like between Frans & I, how does it compare with my relationship with God?

Well, I set aside a specific time to talk to God and spend time with him, every day. But then once that time is finished, I don’t tend to talk to him throughout the day, like I would with Frans. I often have short little bursts of being aware of Him and hearing Him gently correct me, or see something that puts a huge grin on my face and know that it’s God sending me a hug, but as for having a gentle undercurrent awareness of Him, I don’t have that.

I don’t consciously think of things that I can do or say that will bless Him and put a smile on His face. There are things that I know He doesn’t like and yet I still do them (e.g. – being offended at someone’s behaviour). I don’t always respect what He tells to me to do (e.g. – I’m too scared that the person will laugh at me). Have you ever behaved this way?

This exercise was a real eye-opener for me. Not only did I see what I don’t do to nurture a friendship between God and I, but I also identified areas that, if I put in some conscious effort, I could really get closer to God! Wow, exciting times!

So, I sat and thought about what I could do that would put a smile on God’s face. I could:

  • Do little things throughout the day that are in line with what He talks about in the Bible.
    • Forgive someone quickly when I’m offended or hurt
    • Listen to and act on the little instructions and invitations that He offers. Like picking up the trash where I’m walking so that the path looks good. Helping someone to get something off a high shelf. Being patient with myself when I do something wrong. Sending someone an encouraging text when prompted to do so. All these little acts of obedience show that I value what He’s saying.
    • When I start to worry about a situation, stop and hand it over to Him to deal with and totally rely on Him to do so. Ask Him for the wisdom to know what my part is to do and do it with His help.
    • Tell Him I love Him
    • Thank Him for the privilege of being His daughter.
    • Ask Him about things. Ask Him to explain what I don’t understand. Ask Him to help the people I care about. Ask Him to help me sort out what I think of as problems. Ask Him to help me get to know Him better. Ask…
    • Trust that whatever He has planned is good for me, even when I can’t see how it will work out for good.

Just looking at this list puts a smile on my face. I get to bless God by doing these things and that will help our friendship be stronger and more intimate every day.

Now, all that’s left is to ask Him to help me be aware of Him throughout the day. Help me to be a good friend to Him and to love Him with all of my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength.

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Day 25 – Stop wasting my time!

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Day 25 300x350 Day 25   Stop wasting my time!We can all get a little off track sometimes, can’t we? It’s just in the nature of everyday living. Stuff happens, thoughts come and actions follow – often without us stopping to check that they’re going according to the plan we had for the day or indeed, for our lives.

An airplane intends to go to New York but ends up in Michigan – all because it wandered a degree or two off course at the beginning and wasn’t corrected. We too can find ourselves in a totally different place from where we intended to be, because we don’t make the little vitally necessary course corrections in our thinking along the way.

One of the ones that I have a particular challenge with is the thought pattern of ‘wasting time’. I am so excited by the vision that God has shown me of what I am here to do, that I try really hard to stay focused on it. There are times though when I let an old mindset creep in or I get tired and discouraged and, before I know it, I’m way off course. When I ‘wake up’ to what’s happening I get really mad at myself for the time I’ve wasted. Time that has been taken away from doing what God has called me to do.

Lately, I’ve just got tired of ending up in a place in my thinking where I no longer want to be. I know that condemnation and getting so mad at myself is NOT from God. So, if it’s not from Him, then it must be from the enemy…and I’m tired of listening to the wrong voice.

I have a mentor. If you don’t have someone that you can trust to speak into your life then you need to ask God for one. Surrounding yourself with people who will encourage you, challenge you and love on you is vitally important.

During our chat the other day I brought this subject up and these are some of the points that came out of us both asking God what to do about the situation:

  • God is big enough to help me overcome this problem and see that, as long as my heart is right with Him, everything He has planned for my life will happen just right.
  • As I ask the Holy Spirit what to do every day – and do it – then I’m doing exactly the right thing that is in God’s plan to do and therefore, it WILL be successful.
  • He’s capable of nudging me back onto the right path when I get side-tracked.
  • When the thought of condemnation comes up I need to immediately counter it with the Truth and the thought will go. (So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time – James 4:7-8 MSG)
  • Ask ‘who is in control here? Who is reigning in this circumstance?’ and if it’s not you then get back in control.

The results have been amazing. I start to feel bad about ‘wasting time’ and the moment I stop and ask myself ‘Who is in control here?”, I take the situation back, speak the Truth and I’m right back on track. Amazing!

Quickly realize, quickly repent (change thought direction), quickly speak God’s Truth and quickly back on track. All done in less than 30 seconds!

I’m going to keep on holding onto the Holy Spirit and let Him help me to change this mindset – once and for al!

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Day 24 – I’m hungry for more

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Day 24 350x268 Day 24   Im hungry for moreOne of the questions I’ve asked the LORD many times over the years is “LORD, how do I walk in all the power that You’ve made available to me, so that the world can really see who You are? How do I show the world You?” I’m hungry for more…

I get so discouraged when I go through the same issues again and again, and I see others do it too. I know in my ‘knower’ that Jesus can break those cycles and mindsets and set us free from them forever. There’s plenty of evidence of it all throughout the New Testament. He told a sickness to go or commanded health, and it happened straight away! No hesitation, no coming back to the prayer line another couple of times before it worked, just instant healing. Now, if He said that we would do even greater works than He did, then I want to do them! I want to see people walking free from physical sickness and from mind sickness (which we all have in various areas). It hurts me too much to see people still walking around with problems that Jesus can fix in a second! I’m hungry for more…

I met a friend for coffee the other day and they aren’t Christian. But, as generally happens with my secular friends, they steer the conversation round to ‘religion’ and they’re usually prefaced with statements like “I’m not religious, but…”.
I used to be so worried about how I would answer questions like ‘Where do dinosaurs fit into the Bible?’ and ‘How did the population increase if there was only Adam, Eve, Cain & Abel?’. I would get so worried about letting God down or ruining His reputation because I didn’t have a definitive answer. This drove me to study relentlessly thinking that I could learn all there was to know and thus be able to refute every argument anyone came up with. There came a point in my journey with God where I learned to let that go. I believe that if I am to respond to anything that anyone says, the Holy Spirit will tell me what to say. If He doesn’t say anything then He knows what He’s doing and He’s big enough to look after His own reputation. Phew…
So, at the end of our discussion this person said something that is still ringing in my ears. They said, “The Bible isn’t logical and I am a logical person. SHOW ME that God is real and then I might believe.”
Those two words revved up the fire in my belly and fanned the flames to the point where I burn with the passion to move up to the next level. Of course, if (and when) my life is such that when people meet me, they meet Jesus, they will then see who He is and not just hear words that make no sense to them. They will experience His love and power. They will walk away changed, healed, loved on and set free from stuff that has plagued them for years! I’m hungry for more…

So now my ‘ask’ of the LORD is to heal me, love on me, show me how to be so aware of Him and to walk so closely with Him that the world sees Him when they look at me. I’m hungry for more…and He’s showing me!

I’ve just read this line and it says it perfectly. A lady really wanted to step up and Jesus said to her…

‘You provide the effort and I’ll provide the strength’

Thank You LORD – here we go!!!!!

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Day 23 – Truth vs Lies

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5169044 s 350x268 Day 23   Truth vs LiesToday has been one of those days that are full of fabulousness as well as drudgery. Ever get those?

Some of the things that happen are simply amazing and then some of the things feel like you’re wading through syrup.

I had a wonderful QT with the LORD this morning where He downloaded an outline of an idea that is so exciting. I then met an old friend for coffee and left, buzzing. On my walk home I listened to an amazing teaching that had me all fired up. What a morning!

By the time I got home, I was tired (I haven’t been sleeping so well lately), so I decided to have a ‘recharge nap’ but sleep evaded me and I lay awake staring at the ceiling before finally deciding to just get up and do something. Now, all the work I’m trying to do just feels like I’m trudging through thick mud.

When things like this happen, I ask the Holy Spirit to show me what’s really going on.

This is what He led me to:

Ephesians 2:10(AMP)

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

And this is what I wrote:

I see God actually looking at a plan and saying,” I will make one human being and she will be called Lisa and she will do this during her lifetime. I will make one called Frans and he will do this during his lifetime. Frans and Lisa will meet when they are 21 and 24 and this is what will have happened in each of their lives up until the time they meet and this is what will happen in each of their lives after they meet and this is how, where, when they will meet. He did this because He is kind and so that the world would see His goodness in, and through, us. All part of His wonderful plans. WOW!

It is quite astounding how reading the Truth of what God has to say, can shed so much light on a situation that it gets resolved quickly and completely. The Truth is that my ‘today’ was already written and planned out before I was even a twinkle in my dad’s eye (J). Now, my choice is to see the kindness and goodness of God which will automatically put a huge grin on my face and I will be glad, or to continue to see things as a struggle and stay sad and mad.

Oh my word! I choose to be glad LORD. Truth beats lies every time. Thank You!

 

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Day 22 – Lead me not into temptation…

Temptation

4182615 s 350x326 Day 22   Lead me not into temptation……but deliver me from evil (Mat 6:13)

One of the greatest things I used to struggle with as a Christian was the incredible sense of guilt I felt when I didn’t do what the Bible said to do. When I got angry at a stupid driver or felt deeply jealous of someone else’s success (just to name two), I’d beat myself up for days and feel as if I’d failed miserably and really hurt God’s heart.

In the early days I would feel like I’d let ‘the process’ down. Like I’d failed to stay the course that I had committed myself to – that of being a Christian. It was like this Christianity thing was a new project for me to conquer. Unfortunately for me, it proved to be much more difficult than anything I’d ever done before. At least that’s what I thought in the early years. Now I know that it’s exactly the opposite…but more on that later.

So, just like everyone else, I had ‘temptations’. Both those common to everyone, as well as my own special little hangups. Things like trying to eat healthily and staying fit (giving up eating so much chocolate was the worst). I had a bad temper that used to flare up at the drop of a hat and I really struggled to calm it down. I had always relied on my own ability and proactivity, so laying that down and learning to hear from, and trust God, was difficult for me.

I would go to bed after making yet another decision to ‘get it right tomorrow’, only to mess up in some area again. I would get so mad at myself and call myself ‘stupid’ and ‘useless’ and sometimes I’d just stay in that place of feeling worthless, for days on end. Eventually when the worst of the condemnation had subsided, I’d decide to try again.

This went on for years!

I got to the point where I was sick and tired of the cycles of ‘up and down’. Sometimes feeling on top of the world and sometimes just wanting to be squashed under it.

Then I heard a teaching on temptation that blew my incorrect thinking out of the water. I had always thought that to feel tempted meant that I was weak and wasn’t being a strong enough Christian. I thought it meant that I’d failed, yet again and I would go into the cycle of condemnation, guilt and recovery again.
What I learned was that it’s not the ‘feeling tempted’ that God knows isn’t good for us, but the ‘falling into it’. There’s a big difference between the two.

So I started looking at this more closely and asking the Holy Spirit to show me where it happened in my life, so that He and I could get it healed. I began to see that when something happened that would trigger anger in me, I started to become aware of what was happening far more quickly than I used to. I’d ‘wake up’ to the fact that I was gwtting angry and be able to see what was happening as if I was looking in on the situation. This gave me the opportunity to decide whether I would continue going down the path of being angry or if I’d choose to stop.

God knows that one of the devil’s main tactics against us is to tempt us to do things that God says aren’t healthy for us. It will happen all day long because he’s always trying to get us to feel bad or do bad. It’s what he does.

The difference is whether we fall for it or not.

Being tempted means that something happens to ‘push our buttons’. In my case today, I felt like I hadn’t worked hard enough (we all have areas where we’re particularly vulnerable).
Someone might cut you off in traffic or clothes are left lying on the floor even though you’ve asked for them to be put in the hamper 100 times or someone gets a promotion that you think you deserve or the checkout lady is rude to you etc. Whatever it is that can push your buttons, it will come along and try to tip you over the edge into a full-blown reaction. Allowing these reactions to happen is what is called ‘falling into temptation’ and that’s what God knows is not good for us at all.

When I understood the difference between ‘being tempted’ and ‘falling into temptation’, I was so relieved. Now I knew that I could ask the Holy Spirit to help me to become aware of being tempted and then ask Him for help not to fall into it. I realized that there would always be temptation around me and that the devil was actively trying to get me to fall into it and act on what I saw/experienced/felt. When I really ‘got’ this, I stopped feeling bad for my initial reactions to tempting situations but I also realized that this meant that I was aware of the CHOICE I now have to fall into them or not. Now I have the awareness of what is happening and it will be my choice to stay out of it or fall into it. This will determine how much I access the grace that God gives me to help me not to fall into it, once I’m aware of it.

When a situation comes up now, the Holy Spirit quickly makes me aware of what’s happening and, most of the time, I quickly repent (say I’m sorry and make a decision to go in God’s direction and not the devil’s) and quickly access the grace to be able to let the situation go. Then I ask for wisdom to know what is really going on and what to do about it. I ask the Holy Spirit to heal whatever is still hurting in me that causes there to be that button that the devil can push and then I just say thank You for ‘rescuing me’, receive God’s forgiveness and I shake it off and move on. This all takes a couple of seconds and happens many times a day.

I’m so grateful for Jesus giving me the opportunity to do this because of what He did on the Cross. I’m so grateful that He knows what I’m going through and has given me the opportunity to hold on tight to the Holy Spirit and get His help, every moment of the day. Wow! I’m so grateful that I no longer have to live through those massive highs and lows that I used to. Now, it’s easier to realize what’s happening and I’m quicker to access all the help that God has put in place to help me recover instantly and completely and just move right on with life. I’m so grateful that all of this doesn’t rely on my effort in order to be successful – it’s totally God’s strength and goodness that makes the whole thing work. Now I realize that being a Christian isn’t complicated at all, it’s really very, very simple. Not always easy, but very simple. Love God (wonderful Father God, amazing Jesus and precious Holy Spirit) and let them show me how truly astounding they are and how very much they love me too.

I’m just so very, very grateful.

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Day 21 – Dream, dream, dream…

Dream

11743141 s 350x266 Day 21   Dream, dream, dream...Today I started to dream in earnest.

I’m constantly learning, but one of the things that I fall down on is implementing all that I learn. Sometimes it’s because I simply learn too much and there isn’t time left over to implement. Sometimes it’s because there are blocks in my thinking that stop me implementing. Sometimes it’s ‘overwhelm’ and sometimes it’s simply laziness.

Over the past few days I’ve been remembering the lessons I’ve learned about grace. Before I went to sleep last night I read an article about how God’s power is shown to be strong in our weakness. I was reminded of the verse where He says ‘let the weak say I am strong’ and ‘let the poor say I am rich’. It’s calling the Truth of God’s word and His promises into our lives, even while the circumstances around us say the complete opposite.

So, after hearing a podcast and reading this article, I went at it with renewed vigour this morning. I sat and dreamed about exactly what I want to happen in my business. I mean, exactly. How many people I want to talk to via Social Media every day. What I want the statistics page to look like. The fact that I want to be a New York Times Bestselling Author. I imagined the changes I want to see in people’s lives because of hearing God’s word through me. I saw the smiles on people’s faces. I saw marriages being healed, children being nurtured and friendships being put back together again. I felt the feeling I always feel when I am standing on a stage talking to an audience about how amazing life is with God. I saw my lost friends and relatives realizing that the only answer is Jesus and finally laying down the heavy burdens of their lives.

The pictures were vivid. The emotions were real. The joy was amazing.

The funniest thing happened. The more I dreamed, the more I felt like what I was dreaming could really happen. It made what I had only previously hoped for, much more real… and I started getting excited by the possibilities.

Now traditionally I’m not very good at keeping something up once ‘ve started it. I get hooked on the excitement of a ‘new thing’ but my enthusiasm tends to fizzle out close to the middle. So, if I want to continue doing something all the way through to the end, I really need help.

This is where the teaching about grace and ‘calling thinbgs that aren’t yet visible, into being’ will be great for me. I’m a visual person which means that I can easily see what something will look like, but am not so hot at building a model of it or listening to someone talk for 2 hours non-stop. So, this practice of visualizing what I dream about is a fab way to help me stay connected and interested.

As I start this I’m going to start at the place where all power comes from – God. I’m not going to do this by myself (been there, done that and felt the pain of failure too many times). I’m going to take a deep breath and ask for God’s help. It seems like a ‘no brainer’ doesn’t it? He is almighty God. He knows how to love on people via social media. He knows how to write books that the world will read. He knows how to mend a broken relationship so that it’s whole again. He knows how to help me to finish what I start.

So, the first thing I’m going to do is just rest in the fact that He is so amazing. Rest in the fact that I am His much beloved little girl. Do you know that He thinks about me ALL the time?! He has these beautiful plans all laid out for every day of my life and everything in them is only there to make sure that I am so blessed that I’m in total awe of what He does. He likes to show off like that J. It blesses Him so much when I trust that He has it all sorted out; that He really can do things that would blow my mind. It’s like giving Him permission to flex His muscles on my behalf and to just knock my socks off as I marvel at who He is.

And do you know what the amazing thing is? He feels the same way about you! Woohoo!

In all the areas that I feel so inadequate I’m just going to dream about what life will look like when God fills in my gaps with His wisdom and power. Then He’ll add His rocket fuel anointing power to the whole thing and astounding results will follow! And He will get all the glory for what has been done because it will be so much more than I could ever have done on my own!

Just a few of the verses that I will rely on during my journey:

  • Philippians 2:13
  • Philippians 4:13
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Ephesians 3:20

 

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Day 20 – I’m starting with the woman in the mirror…

Mirror

Day 20 267x350 Day 20   Im starting with the woman in the mirror...I’ve woken up this morning after a night filled with random and confusing dream snippets. I am getting used to waking up and writing the dreams down because I know that one of the ways God talks to us is through our dreams.

. I figure that if I’m faithful to record them and ask Him what they mean, I’ll hear all the more clearly.

When I woke up and talked through the dreams with my husband, I saw that a common theme emerged and so now I know that I need to ask God what to do with what I dreamt. I’ll also know to be on the lookout for anything that happens around me that corresponds to that theme.

My husband’s answer to my question of why I dreamt all of these things was that he reckons that when we’re in a hotel, our sensitive spiritual antennae pick up what is happening in other people’s lives. Very interesting…

We went down to breakfast and saw a fascinating interaction between two people. This hotel chain prides itself on its service to white collar workers as there are quite a few international business parks surrounding it and they are its usual clientele. The restaurant was beautifully laid out and the food looked delicious. As we sat there eating I noticed that we were the only couple and all the rest of the people were individuals eating breakfast alone. An Asian man came in and was shown to his seat by an older white woman who was a waitress. In between her seating him and him putting his breakfast down, he decided to move table (there were plenty available). As soon as he’d put his plate on his table she came up to him, and in a voice loud enough to be heard by everyone, looked at him and said, “That’s not your table, this one is”. Even I was embarrassed for him!

It’s so interesting looking at the way we all interact with each other. My perception of what went on is that even though the woman was, in this scenario, the server of the man, she felt superior to him and thus justified in talking to him this way because she was white and he was Asian; she was British and he was a foreigner (just my perception of the circumstances).

The roles we either put ourselves into, or are put into, are varied and change throughout the day. For instance – while someone is at their job and is a customer service representative for example, they are the server of the client and thus having to cater to that client’s needs. This all happens because the ‘server’ is at the mercy of the ‘servee’. The server caters to the servee’s needs because they want the servee’s money in exchange for the service they’re offering. Yet the moment the server’s shift is over, they shed that persona and revert to being on even ground with the person they were just serving. Now, because they’re free of the role of having to cater to the other person, they will put on whatever their ‘normal’ persona is – bully, introvert, social misfit, dominator, intellectual, party girl etc etc. We change these personas to fit each situation we’re in throughout the day, depending on the circumstances we’re in, our past conditioning and how we want those circumstances to turn out.

As I parked back to the hotel after dropping my husband off at work, I found a parking spot and drove into it forwards. Now, let me stop right here and say that I think I’m a pretty good driver. Others do too and have commented on it. So, it’s a particular point of pride for me.

Our car is big and long, so as I went into this space, it was difficult to straighten the car sufficiently in order to leave enough room for the doors of the cars either side of me to open comfortably because my car was at an angle. I was between the lines but I know how mad I get when I can’t get into my car because someone else has parked skew in their space. So, I reversed in and out another twice before the car was exactly square and everyone had room. As I was doing this, there was a gentleman standing outside the hotel, having a cigarette and he was watching me. Now I’ve seen enough videos on the internet of women doing silly things when they drive, to have an idea of what this guy might be thinking. My pride was getting severely dented because I hadn’t got this manoeuver right the first time and I was becoming so embarrassed that I was willing to wait in the car until he’d gone inside so that I didn’t have to face him. As I switched off the engine, I asked myself a question. “What was your motivation for trying to park the car squarely in the space?” Did it take you 3 tries because you’re a bad driver or because you wanted to give the driver each side of you enough space to comfortably get into their car?”

When I realised that I did it out of consideration I then asked myself, “Are you happy with your reasons and can stand tall in them without having to worry about what the man might be thinking?” Phew…loaded question!

I realized that I could. I was happy with my reasons – whether he knew them or not and regardless of what his opinion was!

I still had that tweak in my tummy when I got out of the car and saw him there, but I squared my shoulders, reminded myself of my answer to the question and walked right on by J

As I looked out of our hotel room window at the cars parked in the parking lot, I thought about all of the different stories behind the owner’s of each car. Just like all the stories I dreamed about last night, the lady and the gentleman at breakfast, the man in the car park and me – each person has their own story. Each person has their own fears, confidences, pride, insecurity, history and future. Each story is completely unique and different to anyone else’s. In every interaction we have with another human being every day, we bring our own story and it meets up with their story. Every time this happens it writes another part in each of our stories, as our world’s touch for a time.

I listened to a podcast of a well-known preacher on my way back to the hotel and in it he was reminding us that we’re ‘masterpieces’. He told a story of how an elderly man passed away in complete poverty and when his home was cleared out, they found an old painting on the wall. They sold this to someone for a little bit of money and then this person took the painting to an art gallery. Turns out it was created by a famous artist and was eventually sold for 3 million dollars. All that time the old man lived in such poverty, he had $3 million hanging on the wall by his chair. He had all that treasure but never knew it. Similarly with us. We have been created by THE master painter and are tremendously valuable as a result. Most of us don’t think about how amazing we are but choose, instead, to belittle and criticize ourselves.

When we can look at not only ourselves, but every other person we come into contact with every day, as the masterpieces we all are, imagine how much more amazing each day would be. Love would disarm so many potentially harmful interactions and we’d all be more comfortable with who we really were created to be.

I can dream of what the world would look like if we all acted this way, but I think the place that I have to start, is with me. As Michael Jackson sang ‘I’m starting with the man in the mirror’.

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