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Day 18 – The Armor of God

Armour of God

Day 18 350x275 Day 18   The Armor of GodI shared a little about this in a previous post. That’s one of the great things about this journey with God though – He doesn’t stop helping you to overcome something that’s wrong, until it is completely healed. No matter how many times it has to be dealt with.

I had a lovely QT with God this morning, just dreaming about the future and going over things that are currently happening in my life. I ask Him what to do about these situations and He either brings something to my mind that helps me to see the situation clearly or He leads me on a ‘thought journey’ that explains a little more. There’s always a ‘next step’ to be taken in my day. I may not get a full answer or understanding, but I always get a ‘next step’ – even if that means to do nothing about it for now.

We’re re-decorating our house at the moment and there’s a room that is almost finished. We’ve stripped everything back and we had a last coat of paint to put on so that it can be ready for us to move furniture into tomorrow. I got up and went straight to do my portion of the painting, figuring that the longer it has to dry, the better. After that I got ready for the day and was making breakfast at the time I usually do. Because of the painting and a much needed thorough clean of the kitchen, I hadn’t yet put my make-up on by the time I am normally at my desk. When my schedule is disrupted like that I begin to feel a knot of fear starting to develop in my stomach. It’s the weirdest feeling. It feels like when you’ve been called to the Head Teacher’s office and you know you’re in trouble. The more time I knew I’d be away from my desk, the stronger the feeling got, until my tummy felt like it was tied in knots.

I’m beginning to recognize that this feeling isn’t peaceful, and therefore it’s not from God. That’s my indicator that I need to ask the Holy Spirit for help to correct whatever is wrong.

  • First, I ask Him what it is that is going on. It doesn’t help to try to ‘blanket’ fight everything. You have to know what it is that you’re facing.
  • When I know what it is, I then ask how I must deal with it.

The answer I got was that it was fear that had come up and that I needed to calm down the root thoughts behind it. These thoughts were that if I didn’t complete a certain amount of hours of work today then we would be short of money this month.

(When I say that I got an answer, it’s like a thought comes into my mind and all I need to do is let the fear loose for a bit and see what it’s saying and then I have my answer as to what needs to be gotten rid of.)

 

The Armour Of God in Eph 6:10-18 says this..

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God.

18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

 

At the beginning of my Christian walk, I came across a little template by Kenneth Copeland Ministries that helps you to make the Word personal to you. I’ve adapted it and I just simply take a passage of scripture and do two things..

  • Insert my name and make it personal (like it’s being spoken directly to me)
  • Read, pause and ask “Lord, what do I need to do in this situation?”

So, as this knot sat tightly gripping my insides, I took out my Bible and began to apply the two steps to my current problem. This is what it looked like…

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10 In conclusion Lisa, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

* So, Lisa, when you either a) don’t have the strength you need or b) you don’t know what to do, then draw strength/wisdom/ability from God because you’re connected to Him. He’s got everything you need in order to fix what’s happening.

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11 Lisa, put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

* Lisa, instead of letting the devil run all over you, use the tools God’s given you and you’ll be able to successfully stand up against every lie that the devil is trying to get you to believe. You’ll be able to stand up against every strategy that he’s using to get you off your path!!

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12 Because I am not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

* It’s not what is in front of my eyes (what I can see and what I’m experiencing right now) that is what I need to deal with, it’s whatever is going on in the spirit realm.

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13 Therefore I’m going to put on God’s complete armor, so that I may be able to resist and stand my ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in my place].

* So because the fight is in the spirit realm, I’m going to use the tools that God has given to me to use because I know that those tools will be successful. I’ll then really be able to resist the temptation to sin and stick to my faith in You. Lord, You will then tell me what to do (all that the crisis demands) and once I’ve done that I’ll be standing firmly where I’m safe.

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14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

* As I stand where I’m safe then, I will remind myself of the Truth in this situation – I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control (2 Tim 1:7). My God will meet all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phi 4:19) and even before I was born, You had written in your book
everything I would do. (Psa 139:16) so I don’t need to be afraid of not completing what You sent me to do.

I now have the power of God and I will use it to do what the Holy Spirit tells me to do!

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15 I put on the shoes of the Gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] by it. 

* Everywhere I go and in everything I do, I will show the world what it looks like to be in love with You Jesus. I’m ready to do what You’ve called me to do. Thank You so much for helping me.

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16 Lisa, lift up the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

* I BELIEVE what God says and NOT what you say satan! God’s plans for me are amazing and I choose to believe what He says! (Just this declaration completely stops anything that the devil has sent to mess with me)

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17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.

* I am God’s child! I’ve accepted and received what Jesus did for me and I’m set FREE from having to sin (miss the mark) and I’m doing the best I can every day. I’m free from your manipulation. I’m free from fear. I’m free from poverty and manipulation.

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18 Lisa, pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. Keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

* I pray in the Spirit, on purpose and when You prompt me to Holy Spirit. I know that You then give me the wisdom I need in order to deal with what I’m facing. Thank You so much J

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I tell you – once you’ve done this you’re on fire! You’re so filled up with all the promises of God and all that only He can do, that you feel invincible (and the truth is that you are, because of Jesus).

By the time I’d reminded myself of the Truth of what God says about me and my circumstances, I was not only no longer afraid, but I was raring to go!

The truth is that as soon as we realize that we’re on the wrong thinking track, we just need to ask the Holy Spirit
“What it is that is really going on and what do I do about it?”
He’ll then tell us which piece of the armour to use and once we’ve used it, the situation is resolved. Simply replacing a lie with the Truth. Woohoo!

I am just so amazed by the power of God’s word and the ability it has to do what God sent it to do. As I was marveling at this I thought:

“Success isn’t tied to the amount of hours that I work, but to my obedience to do what You say, when You say to do it”

Simply amazing. The Truth sets us free.

I’ve asked the Holy Spirit to let me know when I’m off track; when I’m believing lies instead of the truth and it’s getting to the stage now that as I go down the wrong thinking path, I hear the correction. I then get to choose if I’ll take God’s way or not. More and more, I choose God’s way. Nothing else even comes close.

 

 

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Day 17 – The little gems in every day

Day 17 - 3 thoughts

Today was one of those days that just consist of lots of little things that all weave together to make lovely tapestry of a day.

The Holy Spirit woke me up early and I came through and spent some time with Him. I asked Him what He wanted to talk about and He shared some direction for the business and got me to work on compiling the book we’ll be releasing soon. I worked for a while and then started to feel tired and sat yawning. This is my cue that it’s time to go back to sleep because we’ve finished what He woke me up to do.

One of the things I’ve learned to do is to start a task that can continue running, while I’m doing something else. So, when I woke up later and had gotten ready for the day, I painted my nails so that they could dry while I type. I put an oil treatment on my hair that could work it’s brilliance for two hours while I work and I put dinner on to ‘slow cook’ so that it’s ready to eat before we go to class tonight. It’s amazing how much I get done by combining tasks like this. It also takes a lot of the ‘effort’ out of things – like sitting around waiting for my nails to dry before I do something that could smudge the polish. This way, my nails dry perfectly while I’m still doing other work.

Day 17 Amla 350x350 Day 17   The little gems in every day

The BEST hair treatment (in my opinion icon smile Day 17   The little gems in every day

As we sat at our desks working, I looked up and saw a piece of the felt that we have on our garage roof, flip up and threaten to tear loose. The weather report forecasted gale force winds here today so I knew we’d better get out there and fix it. So, there we were climbing up ladders and clambering onto the roof, nailing down the felt as much as we could. I must admit to feeling a little like a ‘Charlie’s Angel’ (in my braver moments icon wink Day 17   The little gems in every day ) as I walked along the joist – hammer in one hand and stud nails in the other!

Day 17 garage 350x350 Day 17   The little gems in every day

The Garage roof

One of the things I love about God is the way He encourages me. I recommended to a friend of mine that they read the blog as I’m creating it so that they can see the journey of someone else who loves God. This is what they wrote in the text they sent me:

Dear Lisa. I read your blog and I was amazed how much God was speaking to me through it! It was very helpful and I do try to apply your wisdom to my life. I was always beating myself up about things. I have never felt more blessed than when I read your blog. I’m so grateful to God for sharing it with me.

My face literally felt like it was split from side to side by the smile that text brought me. It’s a high that nothing else brings. Walking in my calling and hearing how people’s lives are changed is the feeling that I live for. It makes me so very grateful to God for what He says to me and through me. It helps me to realize how much He cares, how amazingly He’s putting everything together to help us, heal us and guide us. How amazing is He!?
Throughout the day two other people sent encouragement to me and I was just so humbled by God showing me what He can do when we’re obedient to His call on our lives.

A lot of the revelation that He gives me just comes from observing the world around me. As I was sitting here, I saw the flower baskets that we hang from decorative brackets on the side of the garage, really being buffeted by the wind. As I watched, I thought – “I’d better go and take those down so that the metal brackets don’t develop a weak point because of the stress of the wind blowing the basket.”
Then my thoughts turn to other applications of ‘stress’. If that metal bracket could develop a ‘stress weakness’ then so can we. If that bracket could be saved by removing the stressor from it during this period of intense stress, then the same can work for us. So, if we’re experiencing a very high level of stress because of a short-term stressor that is not of our making and we can relieve ourself of a factor that could cause a ‘stress weakness’, then we should. Just like the act of taking the heavy basket off the bracket during these gale force winds, will enable it to be strong for longer, the same can happen to us. WOW.
When this thought pattern happens, I write it down in a document that I have on my PC. I find that the more I write them down, the more of them come. The more of them come, the more I have to share with the world that can help them. Thank You LORD!

Lastly, before I go down and eat the dinner that has been ‘slow cooking’, I caught a concept that is in the material I’m studying at the moment. The author said that the top 3 thoughts that we’re thinking all day long, determine what happens in our day. Hmmmm….
So, I have written what I want my top 3 thoughts to be and I’ve pasted it on the window right in my field of vision. They will remind me of the Truth and get me back on track when I wander off!

Day 17 3 thoughts 350x350 Day 17   The little gems in every day

Another day done and I believe it went just the way it was supposed to!

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Day 16 – I get by with a little help from my friends…

New home

Day 16 350x311 Day 16   I get by with a little help from my friends...Have you ever been in a situation where you just needed some help from your friends?

One of the things that I’ve been learning over the past few months, is how to lay my plans down before God and let His purposes happen instead. For a person like me who likes to have her plans written in stone, this is a concept that is taking me a little time to get to grips with.

So, yesterday, I had my plans and as I sat down to start my work, I received a text message. It turned out that good friends of mine were moving house and the promised number of movers from the moving company hadn’t turned up. They had to be out of the house by 1pm and things weren’t looking good! The reply I got was ‘We need bodies”. So, my husband and I put on our ‘painting’ clothes and went straight over.

By the time we got there a few more people from Church had arrived. Everyone was getting their orders and lifting, sweeping, carrying, cleaning and loading – a real hive of activity. When we arrived the rain was a fine mist and everyone just looked a little damp. But, as often happens in Britain, by the time we had gone inside and come back out again, the heavens had opened and it was tipping with rain. Needless to say we all got soaked and inbetween squelching trough the house with ‘mudless’ boots, we filled up on cups of hot tea and lots of laughter.

Half of us went to the new house while others stayed behind to clean the old one. I went off to buy sandwiches etc for everyone because it really is true that an army marches on its stomach – and these men looked hungry!

It was lovely to see everyone using their gifts for various parts of what needed to be done. The guys all broke out the muscle and moved mountains of things, all working together to get it done excellently and on time. The girls all got the cleaning things out and made the two houses shine! The organiser’s made phone calls and got food and the extroverts kept morale high by making everyone feel good.

By the time we left it was already dark and we were all rather tired, wet and sore. BUT… it felt so good to have laid aside my plans and done what God wanted done today. It really lifts your spirits to see people coming to the aid of a friend in need and helping to make their day a little easier.

All in all, an excellent day.

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Day 15 – Unconditional Love

Boytjie

IMG 0063 350x350 Day 15   Unconditional LoveI posted this on Facebook today:

I’ve had to have my precious little boy put to sleep today.

He taught me about unconditional love – purring in the depth of his being and rolling on his back to get his tummy rubbed. He curled up against my belly, nuzzled me with his nose and purposefully stuck one nail (yes, just one) into me when he was starving icon smile Day 15   Unconditional Love .

I will miss him terribly and all I can say is that he has left an indelible mark on my life.

RIP Boytjie, Mommy’s precious little boy

He was with us for 16 years and was 17 years old. We found him in a dirty alley behind a Beauty Salon I used to work in when we first came to the UK. We’d never had a cat before and the process of him getting used to us, and us, him, was a funny one indeed. On the second day we had him, he vanished. We were frantically searching all over for him, when we started to hear a faint miaowing sound above us. As we looked up we saw this tiny speck of black at the very top of a 50ft conifer! He’d been so scared that he’d climbed all the way to the top and was stuck. After a good hour of trying, we eventually got him down and he never ran away from us again. It was like he knew he’d found people that would love him and look after him.

He was my little cat. We had a special relationship and even had our own language that we ‘spoke’. We knew exactly what each other was saying, even though no-one else did. We had our routines and the things we always did together (like him cuddling up on my lap during my Quiet Time every morning.) This was, of course, after he’d jumped on our bed and plonked himself so close to me that he could put the end of his nose onto the tip of mine and breathe all his CO2 directly into my brain! This being his favourite way to wake me up so that he could be fed J.

He’d become very ill toward the end and even the vet suggested that it was now time to quietly put him to sleep. I knew this was coming and so I took the weekend before to spend time with him. I cuddled with him. I gave him his favourite food and I generally ‘loved him up’ as much as I could.

I’ve learned some great lessons by having him in my life.

I’ve learned:

  • What unconditional love looks like. It didn’t matter what I looked like, smelled like, what I’d said or what I’d done – he loved me anyway.
  • What it means to be delighted when you see someone. He lit up my face every time.
  • How to play. He loved to act like he was waiting to be cuddled and then his tail would begin to swish and I knew that ‘play fight’ time had come – hilarious (until I got caught by a razor sharp nail)
  • Responsibility for looking after an animal. Good, cute times and bad, sick times.
  • How to let my heart be cherished. He would just lie by me like I was the best thing on the planet. He adored me and I adored him. He totally trusted me and would let me carry him like a baby, hug him real tight and play fight with him.

When he went, I have learned:

  • How to let myself grieve. I’m a ‘no-nonsense’ gal and am ever quick to ‘pull myself together’. I just couldn’t this time though. I cried on and off for the whole on Monday and eventually just took myself off to bed. Now, whenever I feel sad when I remember him, I just let myself cry.
  • The importance of recording memories. I just sat down and wrote down everything I remembered about our time together. It was a wonderfully cathartic way to cry it all out and move on with a big smile on my face every time I remember.

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Day 14 – Happy Anniversary!

Anniversary

Today was our wedding anniversary.

We’re a little strange when it comes to celebrating things like birthdays and anniversaries. We will wake up and sing and maybe give a small prezzie and have a piece of cake for dessert, but other than that, it passes just like any other day.

I used to be upset about this as our relationship started off with my husband telling me this.
“I will never give you flowers because as far as I am concerned, it’s silly to kill flowers in order to give them to someone. I’d rather give you a live plant instead”
Well, that set the tone for that!

Similarly though, I am not a very creative or sentimental person, so even when I do get a card in celebration of something, I tend to throw it away straight after I’ve read it. To me, the important thing is what was written, not how it looked.

So, between the two of us, we don’t give flowers or cards! Sorry Hallmark!

Over the years though, there’s something else that we have developed a habit of doing, that serves both of us really well. We don’t wait for an occasion before we lavish love on each other, we just make sure that we do so every single day of our lives. We’re constantly telling each other that we love each other. We do little things that we both know are expressions of love (like I will make him coffee without being asked and he comes and hugs me so tightly that I wheeze icon smile Day 14   Happy Anniversary! ) We really are each other’s best friend and that permanent undercurrent of feeling safe and cherished, is far more important to us than flowers or cards ever could be.

Untitled 350x350 Day 14   Happy Anniversary!

 

 

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Day 12 – Captive thoughts

Thoughts

Thoughts 350x350 Day 12   Captive thoughtsWe went to Week 5 of our Thursday evening Bible study class last night. The topic was ‘Humanity and Sin’ which seemed like it might be a heavy one. Funny how even the thought of talking about ‘sin’ feels heavy.

We sat and talked about the fall of the first Adam and how Jesus came to set us free from all that came when Adam gave away his dominion. We debated everything from the issue of pre-destination and free will to wether it was Adam or Eve’s fault for eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was excellent and we all walked away with some more understanding of the relationship between God and us and how sin doesn’t have a hold on us anymore.

One of the best things I walked out with was the reality that being ‘legalistic’ doesn’t achieve anything. The more the teacher spoke, the more the tears ran down my face. This often happens when the Holy Spirit pinpoints something in our lives that He knows is hurting us, and begins to help us be healed. It’s just such an amazing process. He knows what is going on in our lives that isn’t God’s best for us. Areas of hurt, unforgiveness, guilt, anger that slowly eat away at us and keep us from living the amazing life Jesus gave us.

I am reading ‘The Blessing of the Lord’ by Kenneth Copeland and in it he explains that we’re being transformed from the inside out…

And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18 (Amp)

We try so hard to give up smoking by putting on a nicotine patch or going ‘cold turkey’ or whatever other ways there are. We try so hard to not get angry at the kids by trying all sorts of tricks and techniques, but in reality, all that we need to do is keep looking at Jesus. We just need to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to keep our minds on what He did instead of what we’re doing and experiencing. As the penny was dropping in my thinking, the verses about taking our thoughts captive to Christ (2 Cor 10:5) and thinking on lovely things (Phi 4:8), came to mind.

The revelation that was dawning on me is that I am so legalistic with myself. Always trying to meet self-imposed deadlines, always setting goals and then feeling so condemned when I don’t reach them – and it’s ll because of legalism. The kicker is that Jesus did away with legalism and came to show us all about grace. All about love and rest and peace and Holy Spirit directed activity – not works! It’s the most amazing feeling when you get a revelation that you know will help you to stop doing something that is detrimental to you. It’s even better when you know that you don’t have to do it by yourself – that’s why the Holy Spirit is here to help!

I’ve learned over the years that when an issue is highlighted in my life, even though I know it’s going to hurt to look at and deal with it, I’d rather have it gone than hanging around any more. So, I have spent today just asking for help. Asking God to help me to be healed of this thing that is hurting me so much. Asking to be able to walk free of it and step into the next level of freedom that He has for me. Asking Him to help me to bring all of my thoughts into line with what God says about me and settle there. Phew…

I’d rather be looking at the Truth of what God says about me than the lies I’m being presented with. The Holy Spirit helps me to do this all the time. icon smile Day 12   Captive thoughts

 

 

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Day 11 – Sabbath Rest

Hope

Hope 350x267 Day 11   Sabbath RestWe recently went on a Sabbatical; taking time out by staying in Florida for 3 months. While we were there, I asked the LORD to teach me how to rest.

Not just ‘not working’ rest, but the real rest that He talks about in the Bible. The place of rest from which we’re supposed to live every day. The rest He talks about in Hebrews 4:9-11 -

9 So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God; 10 For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own. 11 Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]. (Amp)

Just reading those verses helps me to let out a deep breath and feel the tension easing away.

All my life I’ve felt the need to achieve. On the one hand it’s a good thing because I have so many huge dreams that it will need a motivated personality to hold on for the ride God has me on. On the other hand, it’s a bad thing. When that desire becomes a driving, condemnation-filled and nasty voice in your head, you know it’s time to stop and ask God what’s really going on.

There used to be a constant voice in the back of my head, making me feel bad if I hadn’t worked my fingers to the bone that day. I would beat myself up about all the things I hadn’t managed to achieve on my ‘To Do’ list as opposed to all the many things I had gotten done every day. Sleep was my only respite and I would proudly (and somewhat sanctimoniously) say things like “I only allow myself to read fiction when I’m on vacation”, thinking that it somehow proved how hardworking I was. Needless to say, I was often not a very nice person to be around, because when the exhaustion hit, I would explode. And I’d had enough.

I started listening to preaching by Joseph Prince, whose specific call is to talk about ‘Grace’ and ‘Rest’. I was just blown away by both concepts because they were so ‘foreign’ to the way I lived every day of my life. Now that I was away from the usual things that my everyday life contained, I began to listen and delve into what God really had to say about the subjects. That really messed with what I had previously thought and slowly but surely, my heart began to latch onto the Truth. I began to see how much more amazing God’s way of doing things is, than mine.

It’s a steady journey that I’m on and I see changes in my thinking all the time. It feels great to be on this journey of healing and it gives me hope to know that God’s ‘on the case’.

P.S - Joseph Prince, whose specific call is to talk about ‘Grace’ and ‘Rest’ and Steven Furtick both have free podcasts on iTunes. icon smile Day 11   Sabbath Rest

 

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Day 10 – The Power of Listening

Park entrance

My alarm clock is set for the same time every week day. Sometimes it’s easy to get up and sometimes it’s not.

This morning, my cat had already jumped on our bed at just after 3 and then again close to 5. It’s a strange thing, but I get so mad when my sleep is disturbed and sometimes I just get stubborn and refuse to get up because I feel like I’ve been robbed of sleep.

This morning however, I lay there, just thinking, talking to God and dreaming. It was a lovely time and when I did get out of bed, things felt better again. The I came into the study and I try to keep my attention on God. Sometimes that works really well and sometimes it doesn’t. I tend to get frustrated if it’s coming close to the end of our QT and I feel that I haven’t spent enough time with Him or haven’t given Him my full attention. Then, winding up our time and going into the day with Him just feels like something I do out of habit as opposed to a joyful thing.

This morning I was in a bad mood and felt so frustrated that I wanted to pop. I’m recognising that this is a recurring thing with me and that I have the choice to continue to let it carry on this way or I can ask God for help with it. So, I mentally stopped and just asked the Holy Spirit what I should do. Straight away I felt like I should go and take a walk in the park. Immediately all the reasons for not being able to do this came flooding into my mind. I had to get ready for the day, make breakfast for the household, be at my desk at 9 etc etc etc. Once I’d managed to stop the runaway train of my thoughts, I realised that I had asked for a solution, received it and now it was up to me to take it or leave it. I decided to take it icon smile Day 10   The Power of Listening

I bundled into my coat, told the household where I was going and stepped out the door. Almost immediately I started to feel better. The air was cool and crisp and the sky a beautiful blue. I took a deep breath and thanked the Holy Spirit for leading me to do this. We walked along together and I coud feel the frustration melting away as I went.

You see, the Holy Spirit knows how much I love to be in nature. He knows how I marvel at the amazing things He’s created and seeing them just instantly puts a huge grin on my face. By the time we’d go to the entrance of the park, I was really excited to see what the beautiful Autumnal scene looked like today. Here are a couple of pictures I took as I walked. They don’t even begin to show you how truly exquisite the park is at that time of the morning, but at least they give you a glimpse into my world.

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As I walked, I noticed the variety of leaves that were lining the path. Each was very specific in shape, texture, colour and markings. Every time I notice this in nature, I’m reminded of the principle of seedtime and harvest. That when we sow something, if given the right conditions to grow in, it WILL – a) produce what is within its DNA to produce and b) it WILL produce. If all the prerequisites that it needs are met, then there’s a guaranteed harvest on the way.

Gen 8:22 says – While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease (Amp) 

I asked the Holy Spirit to explain that verse to me. You know, show it to me in real ways that I can see working in my own life. He brought my attention to a leaf and told me to look at it closely in comparison to the leaf from another tree.

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They had the common attributes of leaves, but that’s where the similarities stopped. They were different shapes, different colours, different sizes, smelt different and, funny enough, looked just like the leaves that had come off the same tree that they had – and very different to the other leaves. The knowledge in the seed from which this tree and leaf grew is unique to it. It knew that when the soil was just the right temperature and had the correct amount of moisture in it, the seed could start to grow. It started to draw nutrients from the soil around it and set about growing root. As soon as the roots were well enough established to draw nutrition from the soil, it started to grow the tree trunk. Once the trunk emerged from the ground it started to produce leaves which could draw nutrition from the sun. Then it puts all of its effort into growing strong enough until it reaches the phase where it can start producing whatever it needs in order to reproduce itself.
Simply AMAZING!

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This is the same process that happens when we ‘sow’ something. It starts off as a little seed and when it’s planted in the right state of mind and heart, it starts to grow. It will continue to grow because that’s what it is programmed to do. Now, this happens wether it’s a good thing that we’ve sown, or a bad thing. When we are judgemental of someone, that seed is sown and sets about the process of growing. Just as a normal seed produces a much greater harvest than itself, so will the judgement be that comes back against us. Similarly, when we sow love and forgiveness and kindness and peace, it too will produce a huge harvest of the same in return.

Don’t know about you but I think I’m going to ask for help to sow as much good seed as I can icon smile Day 10   The Power of Listening

By the time I got back home I felt much happier, calmer and ready for the day than I had when I left. I’ve known for a long time that God’s ideas are better than mine icon smile Day 10   The Power of Listening

 

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Day 9 – A Day Full of Gratitude

Gratitude Rd

I’m sitting here with a massive smile on my face because I’m just feeling really, really grateful.

Today has been one of those days where I’ve just seen so many things to be grateful for.

Firstly, as I drove past the park this morning I remembered the beautiful walk that Frans and I took yesterday. Autumn is in full swing and the leaves on the majestic trees in the park across the road from our house are absolutely breathtaking. We haven’t been for a walk in the park for a while so we decided to rekindle the memory. This is just a glimpse of what we saw.

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I was so grateful to be spending time with Frans, walking and talking together.

The second thing that really blessed me today was being able to have coffee with a good friend of mine. We sat and talked through things that God is doing in both our lives and we ended up  both just being lost for words at how grateful we are to be children of His.

Then, I went about doing various little errands that had to be done, amongst them, buying the hair oil that I nourish my hair with. I can only get this at a certain store in my neighbourhood and it is down narrow little roads. Even when I take the special trip to go and get a couple of bottles of it, I can sometimes not find the specific product that I like to use. So, firstly I was really grateful that I found 2 bottles of excatly the one I like and secondly, I was able to help a lady who had a rather wide car, get out of a very narrow road, by getting out of my car and guiding her inch by inch.

As I drove away, I realised that I had parked at the lower end of the road because it was so congested and that I wouldn’t be able to take my normal route out of there. I ended up turning and turning down street after street, heading in the direction I thought would take me onto the main road and look at the street that I passed on the way!

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I stopped the car and jumped out to take that picture! Classic!

Now that I’m home, I have another thing that I’m very grateful for. There is an organisation called ‘Samaritan’s Purse’ who run a Christmas campaign called “Operaton Christmas Child’ (www.operationchristmaschild.org). You basicaly fill a medium sized shoe box with little gifts, hand them in to a collection centre and Samaritan’s Purse then distribute these thousands upon thousands of gift filled boxes to children all over the world.

The looks of utter delight on the faces of the children is priceless! Some of them have never received a gift, let alone a box full of things that they can enjoy. The boxes are given to every child within a village/town regardless of religion and purely based on a desire to give them a gift. If they choose, they can attend a Christian mentoring course where the local churches tell them more about Jesus and mentor them. (I’m crying as I sit here). What a amazing way to show how much God loves them.

So, I carefully chose the little gifts for my ‘Girl’s Box’, for age 5-9 and have lovingly wrapped the box, filled it with gifts, labelled it up and I’ll drop it off later tonight. What a feeling! icon smile Day 9   A Day Full of Gratitude

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I have had a day packed full of gratitude and it’s the most amazing way to feel.

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Day 8 – An ‘about turn’

Offence

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We know that on the healing journey that we get to walk out every day, there’s a lot of healing, correction and repentance that goes along with it.

I have a friend who used to be really close to me. They moved away and now we have very little contact and, I guess, I just miss them. Unfortunately, I’ve let a nasty little thing creep into my heart regarding this situation. Every time I see news of this person, I feel greatly offended. I feel all the hurt that comes with the feelings of being abandoned, being ignored and just not being a part of their life anymore. I realise that offence is a really deadly thing to feel and once I become aware of what I’m thinking, I ask the Holy Spirit for help to get rid of offence and bless the person instead.

I have another friend who seems to have purposely distanced themselves from me. I have the distinct impression that offence is doing some nasty work in their lives too. I think of them and say to myself, ‘they’re a mature Christian and they’re letting offence into their hearts. I hope they realise what they’re doing and get rid of it soon. They know better than to let it hang around.”

Well, as He so often does, the Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder and brought these two scenarios to my remembrance. How could I judge my one friend and say that they should have gotten rid of the offence because they should know better than to let it stick around and yet, feel that way myself? ‘Stones’ and ‘Glass houses’ come to mind!

I had been given a glimpse of the other side of the coin and was being confronted with not only the reality that I too am a mature Christian and know not to let offence stick around but also with the real and raw emotions that open the doorway to it. One ting I have learned is to be quick to repent (literally to turn in the opposite direction and go a new course). I quickly told the Holy Spirit how sorry I was, received God’s forgiveness, told offence to get out in Jesus’ name and pray God’s blessing on both of my friends.

The most amazing thing happens when bitterness turns into thankfulness and we get the opportunity to pray for someone else. Everything feels lighter. Everything feels more hopeful. Everything feels better.

I am so everlastingly grateful that the Holy Spirit corrects me. I have asked Him please to let me know when I’m acting up and I’m not walking in love. I actually feel an uncomfortable feeling on the inside of me and that’s when I realise that I’m being given the opportunity to stop what I’m doing or saying and ask Him for help to repent, receive forgiveness and come back onto the right path. There’s nothing like it!

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Day 7 – Crafted Prayer

Praying hands

6674840 s 306x350 Day 7   Crafted PrayerOne of the most revolutionary concepts I’ve learned as a Christian, is this truth about Intercessory prayer.

I was reading the booklet ‘Crafted Prayer’ by Graham Cooke and in it he mentions the practise of pausing and asking a certain question before you pray. I am on the prayer list of our Church. Basically this means that whenever someone has a prayer request, they text it to our prayer co-ordinator who then sends a mass text out to everyone, asking us all to pray for the particular issue. So, the next thing we instinctively do is to start praying. That’s where the problem lies.

If Jesus is interceding on our behalf (Heb 7:25), then we can take it that He is praying something specific about each situation in our lives. And, seeing as He knows everything about the past (what has happened leading up to this point), the present (what is currently happening that we need prayer for) and the future (what He has planned for us) then it stands to reason that it would be best for us to ask Him what He’s praying about and agree with Him.

Instead, we immediately start firing off prayers that are largely based on the fear that is present in the person and ourselves, relating to the situation we’re facing right now. They tend to be knee jerk reactions to what we think we know about the situation and what we think we need to pray about in it. We often don’t take the time to stop and ask God what is really happening and then pray powerful prayers that specifically address what’s going on.

So, this morning, a prayer request came in and I started to pray. I was filled with emotion because the people we were praying for are close to us and the situation didn’t look good. Then I suddenly remembered what I had learned and I stopped praying. I sat quietly and just asked Jesus to let me know what He was praying into the situation and what He wanted me to agree with. I sat quietly praying in the spirit and waiting for an answer. By the time I’d been praying in the spirit for a while, I felt a release and knew that the Holy Spirit had been praying on my behalf and that my part in the intercession was finished for now.

I’m very pleased to say that the issue is now all sorted out and the person involved is fine. icon smile Day 7   Crafted Prayer . Just as important though is that I had the utter confidence that the beautiful will of our loving Jesus, would be done…and that is all I needed to know.

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I have just finished writing this during my QT this morning because last night I sat down to complete it and I had no clue what to say, the page was swimming before me and I kept on thinking of other things instead of knowing what to write. I’m still asking the Lord if this is the enemy distracting me or if I was simply very tired and needed to rest before attempting it. Either way, I just asked for help and the Holy Spirit said that as long as I met the deadline that He’s given me (and He would help me with that), I could go to sleep. I’ve sat down and finished writing this in 18 minutes, with no interruption in the flow of what needed to be said. God is so good to us!

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