Friday, December 26, 2008

New Beginnings

Over at Faith Lifts this week I shared a bit about our Australian Christmas and a few 'new' things we can learn from the shepherds on that first Christmas.

Want to check it out? Click Here

And have an AWESOME Christmas and a great NEW year.

my email

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


Just wanted to pop in and say
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

my email

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Is

If you've been here long you'll know I have been trying to purposely focus on the real meaning of Christmas this year, instead of being so consumed with presents and decorations and preparations that it does become a bit like 'Xmas' ~ Christ is missing!

I have a real sense that this world is moving away from God at an alarming rate, and it makes me want to hold on to what is true all the more. I wrote this poem to help us remember what it's all about.

Christmas Is...

Christmas is a day each year that most on earth uphold
As a holiday and celebration, but the truth is seldom told

More than wishing Merry Christmas and spreading Christmas cheer
It's feeeding the hungry and helping the widows all throughout the year

More than pretty wrapping and present tags signed 'with love'
It's remembering Jesus birth - the Gift to us from God above

More than exciting children with a new bike or toy
It's teaching them the reason for our overwhelming joy

More than how you fill the stockings, but how you fill your mind
More than giving token gifts, but helping others out of a bind

More than expanding stomachs with a scrumptious Christmas feast
Its thanking God for providing us with everlasting peace

More than spending hours making sure the Day is nice
It's spending even a few minutes each day remembering your Christ

my email

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Australian Mindset

You know the song - Bob The Builder - Can we fix it? Bob The Builder - Yes, We Can!

Well my son sings it with a slight Australian flavour.

Bob the Builder
Can we fix it?
Bob the Builder
NEXT WEEKEND

I'm not saying Australians put things off till next weekend what can be done today...OK I am, but my husband is a Kiwi, so I can. :)

And I can also post this, cause in true Australian style, we like to pay out on eachother. (For my international readers, these kids are from New Zealand and 'Jonesy' is the 'Aussie Kid').

video

'avagoodweekend!

Donna

my email

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rats! (Take 2)

It is a year to the day that a friend shared this story with me, and being the festive Christmassy person I am, I just had to share it with you again.

Remember this one?...

"Just a few days ago a family were eagerly awaiting for Grandma to arrive for the traditional decorating of the Christmas tree. Grandma was due to arrive as expected and Dad was sent to retrieve the Christmas tree from the garage.

Surprisingly, the Christmas tree was not all they found in the box. Somewhere between Qld and Vic, a large rat had stowed away with the Christmas decorations and had since passed on. There wasn't that much of the visitor left, but he did leave a covering of hair over the Christmas tree.

Well that brings us to the rather foul smelling dilemma this family faced. There was no time to buy a new Christmas tree, or even adequately disinfect the current one so the tree was taken outside for a quick hose-down. The kids were slightly amused and shocked at this development, and the parents were understandably embarrassed, but Grandma was coming, what else could they do?

So with a mountain of fake spray-on snow and some lovely tinsel and pink and silver baubles, the tree was decorated and looked like it had come straight from the department store. The saving grace in this particular situation is that Grandma has no sense of smell, so while the room smelt a tad 'musty' and even though the kids were dry-reaching while decorating the tree, Grandma was happily enjoying the Christmas celebrations.

My friend who was brave enough to share this story with me, had an interesting thought about how this Christmas tree relates to us. No matter how nicely we present ourselves, we all have a sin nature which is ever present and ever intruding into the rest of our lives.

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but i cannot carry it out." (Romans 7:18).


Romans 8 goes on to explain that we are set free from this nature through forgiveness found in Jesus. When we trust in Jesus, our sin is removed "as far as the east is from the west" (Ps 103:12) and God "remembers it no more" (Is 43:25). Never. Ever!

God doesn't just cover up our sin, like the fake snow slightly covered the smell of the dead rat, it is totally taken away from us. We still have that sin nature, that tendency to go our own way, but as Christians we are now "controlled by the Spirit" (Rom 8:9) and "being renewed day by day"(2 Cor 4:16).

When we become Christians, when we choose to follow Jesus, we are given a new nature. In Psalm 51, David prays "purify me from my sins and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow" (NLT) and then says "create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (NIV)

God hasn't deoderised your sin, he has destroyed it! You have a new life, a new spirit, a new nature and a new start. And he will daily, hourly, moment by moment give you forgiveness and strength to live this new life. Start this Christmas with a new tree... come to Him, confess your sin, accept the new life he offers and then live in connection with Him, with the Spirit he has placed in you.

Want More? Read Romans 8 and Psalm 51!"

Donna Savill

my email

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks!

Donna Savill

One of the things that has made our lives a tad busier than usual this term is that our daughter has had nearly 5 weeks off school with pneumonia and spent a few days in hospital. After returning home I went to check on her in her room and found her writing this letter.

"Dear hospital ladies,

Thankyou for looking after me {and} being kind. I hope you have a good day. The needle didn't hurt too much. There was nice food. And a nice lady kept bringing it to me every time I was hungry. I feel a bit better. From Hannah"

It warmed my heart to hear her talking of this lady in hospital, asking me why this nice lady would keep bringing her food when we didnt even ask her! You and I know that it was her job to do that, but at this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, I pray that our eyes would be opened to others and that we would take the time to thank others for what they do for us, even if it is their job. It might be the only thankyou they hear, and it will certainly change our perspective in a awesome way.

Kirstin over at 'We Are THAT Family' said,

"I believe thankfulness is the mark of a great person. A grateful heart does not complain or compare. A grateful heart does not grumble or gripe. A grateful heart is a beautiful thing.

And it is rare.

I want to teach my kids to be thankful. I want them to see the good in their lives as blessings. I want their perspective to mirror their grateful hearts."

Please pop over and read her Thanksgiving post for the 5 Thankful Actions she is putting into practice this season. I couldnt have written it better myself :)


Donna Savill

my email

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Problem of the Heart (Part 2)

One of the problems we found out about Josh's heart is that one side of his heart isnt as flexible as the other side and so is not able to pump as efficiently. At the moment, it is not effecting the output of his heart, but it may need to be worked on in the future.

The problem in all of our hearts that reduces our ability to respond to God’s impulses, to be effective in the body and to receive the right treatment is pride. It’s a hardening of our emotional hearts to the promptings of the Spirit or the needs of people around us because we are too concerned with being in control.

The specialist told me not to worry about Josh’s lack of cooperation in laying still for the ultrasound and ECG as he was just ‘exerting authority’ and was ‘normal’. I suppose he is right in a way. Isaiah 53:6 says "we all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way". While this tendency is inherent , I don’t want myself or my children getting used to resisting authority when it’s a matter of health and life.

Unfortunately, I need to start with daily things to teach Josh to relinquish his need to be in control in particular situations. That’s going to require a lot of work on my part. But if I'm honest, there is more work to be done daily in my own heart, relinquishing my right to have things in life happen the way I want them. I havent been sharing all that has been happening lately, but it sure has been crazy, and a tad unfair! But each day I will relinquish the right to have things my way, and take up my cross and follow Him.

And with that bit of cardio exercise Im sure we will see some flexibility return, at least to the 'heart' that we can work on. And I know the Creator of hearts can do all things and I will be asking Him to work on Josh both emotionally and physically!

Donna Savill

my email

A Problem of the Heart (Part 1)

Last week, amidst moving in and renovating our new home, we had to take a trip to a city 5 hours away for a specialist appointment.

My son has an aneurysm in his heart and this was his annual checkup. He is only 4 so we spent lots of time practicing how he was going to be still for the ultrasound and ECG. I told stories about being still, we played games simulating the ultrasound machine on his chest, and played freeze games on the way and in the waiting room preparing him for his big moment.

Well, we failed miserably. He cried through the whole ultrasound and would not lay still for the ECG. Afterwards, I was telling him how disappointed I was that he would not lay still when I needed him to, and when he asked why I said “Because you have a problem with your heart”.

I meant that he had a physical problem (a weakness) that needed seeing to, but the deeper meaning hit me straight away. He has a problem with his emotional heart too, a weakness in obedience. Its not just my son that has this problem (although 4 year old boys do seem to exhibit the symptoms more prominently than the rest of us).

We all have a weakness in obedience, a problem of the heart that prevents us from living right and from receiving the right treatment. And so while I will give Josh aspirin every day to keep things flowing smoothly, I will also pray and read God's word daily and talk about what Jesus means to us in the car on the way to school, and prepare meals or donate goods to people less fortunate than ourselves, and spend time being still and listening to God to see if there are any hardened bits that need His attention.

Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow...

Donna Savill

my email

Monday, November 24, 2008

Still

Footprints


I have a friend who seems to be able to sum up what God is doing in my life or in particular circumstances. Recently she likened what was happening to us like rolling waves that seem to be pounding us but are actually moving us closer to the safety of the shore. It was really comforting at the time, but I was discouraged again when the next wave hit and I felt like I was getting ‘dumped’ and not moving anywhere. But she still managed to point me to God and when I heard this song at Church I realized the greater meaning of the analogy.

Hide me now, under Your wings
Cover me within Your mighty hand
Chorus:
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with You above the storm
Father You are king over the flood
I will be still and know You are God
Find rest my soul in Christ alone,
Know his power, in quietness and trust.

So when the oceans rise, the thunders roar, the waves crash or we are going under once again, we don’t have to rely on circumstances to bring us back to God, he is right there with us carrying us! He is King over the flood, and we don’t just have to catch what little oxygen is available, we can soar by being still and recognizing his authority and control of the situation. He Is God.

The picture above is one I took just a few months ago and will very soon be hanging on my wall at home. It will remind me from now on that no matter how overwhelmed I am feeling, or what is going on with the weather and the waves of life, He carries me through and I will be still and know He is God.

Donna Savill

my email

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What a Day!

There must be something in the air. Have you noticed lots of people having bad days lately? I've had a corker of a week, and an extra story to top it off for you today. Actually, I probably wouldn't even have burdened you with my week except that this particular event is so randomly bad, its funny.

My daughter has had pneumonia for 3 weeks and is starting to recover now. Its been pretty busy around home then, with a 4 and a 6 year old to keep entertained. And we are moving in 10 days so I am trying to pack and clean at the same time. Lets just re-cap the last week before we move into today.

B is studying for an exam, H was in hospital, J stood on a bee, I was sick with a gastro bug, my grandma died and we are trying to make all the preparations to move. I read Genny's post today about her day and enjoyed her perspective about how we would go about our life (including our crazy weeks) if we had just one month to live.

Then, I went to the bank. Well, I was going to go to the bank, but I never got there. Just outside the shopping centre, I saw that two elderly ladies had just crashed their car into a parked car by the side of the road. I parked my car, got the kids out and went over to see if we could help. The ladies were pretty shaken as you could imagine, and the other ladies who returned from shopping to find their car needing to be towed were not very happy at all! I was able to help by getting details and talking to insurance companies (the ladies couldnt hear on their phone) and after about an hour I dropped one lady home.

But the most random happening ocurred while we were talking to the respective insurance agencies, towtruck drivers and police. Out of nowhere, a parrot flew into the windscreen of the parked car, laid there for a while, tumbled into the middle of the road and was run over by a passing car.

We all just stood there for a moment in surprise! I did feel sorry for the bird, but what a strange thing to happen! It just makes you shake your head and realise sometimes crazy things happen, you just have to laugh if you can and take each moment as it comes.

I could have gone to the bank and not stopped to help the ladies, but Im glad I did. 'Cause if I had one month to live, I'd stop more to help old ladies (and parrots).

Donna Savill

my email

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Missing Something?

Well, wha'd'ya know ~ I'm over at Faith Lifts today!

"I ignored the feeling of nausea at first in the shopping centre car park. I carried on with my bargain hunting as my hands started to shake. I even kept shopping through slight waves of dizziness but when I had to sit down and couldn’t walk anymore I knew something was wrong..."

Take a wander over here for the rest of the story.

I'm going to be out of town for a funeral over the next few days, but y'all have a great weekend and I'll see you back here next week!

Donna Savill

my email

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Gift

I received a bunch of flowers today
I think God sent them here
They filled my house full of joy
And my heart full of cheer

His name was not upon the card
There was no trumpet sound
No angelic messenger
No crowd gathered around

Just a little note that read
Three words printed in blue
They spoke from heaven straight to my heart
saying “Thinking of You”

I know it was a human hand
That passed the message on
But arriving at such a perfect time
Heaven’s where that gift came from

I have received some other gifts
At crucial points in time
A hug when I was feeling down
A rainbow in the sky

Ten dollars and a note when I was poor
Saying God knows and cares
A friend when I had none around
That comforted, loved and cared

As I look back now I can see
Many parcels big and small
Wrapped differently each and every time
But the same writing on them all

Messages that said “You’re Special”
From friends both old and new
As words or deeds or gifts or time
All saying, “I love You”

Imagine that, the King of Kings
Seeking after me
Revealing glimpses of his great love
So gently and tenderly

Our God in Heaven, our Saviour, Lord
Jesus, Emmanuel
I was on His mind today
And you know what? You were as well!


Donna Savill 2005

Donna Savill

my email

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Treasures

Letter


My son appreciates the finer things in life. He likes the feel of his Nanna’s special shirt, his sister’s pink tracksuit pants, ‘Ben’ the toy camel, and a couple of very worn pajama pants he likes to carry around. He always has something in his hand, and often I don’t notice. I don’t think anyone has made a list of the strangest things whispered in church but I definitely would have made the list last week when I had to say, “Please don’t eat the toothpaste” as my son had somehow brought a tube of toothpaste to church without me noticing.

He always has a little treasure or two which bring him comfort and in times of sadness or weariness he holds them close. Sausages are not usually included in that assortment but as you can see in the photo above after a late night snack, a cold sausage has a certain feel about it I am yet to appreciate.

As I write this, it is ten weeks until Christmas. Before I get caught up in the search for the perfect assortment of presents I want to read and keep in mind the real reason that we celebrate.

After Jesus was born, angels appeared to the shepherds telling them their savior had been born. They witnessed an amazing sight and rushed to Bethlehem to find the baby just as they had been told. Then they shared this awesome news with everyone they could. Luke records that “all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 17:18-19)

I can’t imagine the wonder and mystery of seeing the little baby that was also God and one day would be the saviour of the world. I don’t want to just marvel at the miracle, or be reminded on Christmas day what I had been missing all year, I want to treasure these things in my heart.

I am inviting you to join me. It takes just a few minutes a day to read to read a chapter and if we read one chapter each day until Christmas day, we can just about read through Matthew, Mark & Luke!

Anyone up for it? Lets begin with Matthew. The last chapter you read will be Luke 24 which includes the account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. It is my prayer that as you ponder the wonder and person of Jesus that your hearts will burn within you as you realise anew that the God of the universe walks beside you.



my email

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rusted Out @ Inspired Bliss

rusty shack Pictures, Images and Photos

I have a problem.

In the not too distant future there will be water in my house, that is, if I don’t do something about it now. The people who started renovating the house before we bought it used a different kind of metal for the extensions and where the two metals meet they have started to rust.

If you want to know what's going on head over to Inspired Bliss!

And have a most AWESOME week!


(Ill have something specially for you real soon! And by the way, that photo above is NOT my house! credit: ravesterdb on photobucket.com)

my email

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Pleasure at Inspired Bliss

"She is a master at jigsaw puzzles and spends hours preparing the base, pouring over the pieces, choosing the right ones for the right places and fitting them together to make the final masterpiece. Each jigsaw puzzle created tells a story about the scene and ultimately points to the one who puts it all together."

Want the rest of the story? Check it out over at Inspired Bliss, I'll be back over there again on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

my email

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Give Me Your Eyes

I saw this over at Inspired Bliss and just had to share it with you. Its a new music video by Brandon Heath called "Give Me Your Eyes". Im buying this one for my ipod.

If you click on the picture it will take you to YouTube where you can hear the whole song.

Give Me Your Eyes


my email

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My One Month

There's something happening around the Blogosphere at the moment - let me tell you what I've seen.

3 different prominent Christian Bloggers have independently been working on ways to encourage Christians to live differently, to look out for the needs of others and to give of themselves. Kristen at We Are THAT Family introduced
One Day to Give and Genny over at MyCup2Yours is hosting My One Month. I can see God doing something so I am most definitely joining Him!

My One Month hosted by My Cup 2 Yours

My One Month

What would you do differently
If you had one month left on earth?

Would you focus on things like love and life
and things with eternal worth?


I would change my everyday perspective
If I had one month to live
I would look less for chances to get ahead
And more for opportunities to give

I would stop and sit by the poor man
Instead of ignoring him and walking on by
And I'd call in on an elderly lady
For morning tea or just to say 'Hi'

I'd sit and play with my toddler
I'd go and visit my Gran
I would teach my kids to look after others
And I would spend more time encouraging my man

I'd read my Bible every day
That would be my foremost guide
For things that I should take up
And things I should lay aside

Most of all what I will do
Is live each day for my King
for soon I know He's coming back
to take me to be with Him!




my email

Thursday, September 25, 2008

UnInspired

Have you ever felt like you've run out of whatever it is that keeps you going?

Either in life or in your ministry?

I felt like that about a month ago and no matter what I did, I couldn't write. I just didnt have anything to say. I was spending time each day seeking God and sitting poised at my keyboard but nothing was coming. I was uninspired.

I didnt like that feeling at all. I felt like I'd lost something.

I know there can be a number of reasons for feeling uninspired, but this time I think it was a lesson for me.

I had a talk to prepare for the women's rally at our town near ours and the topic I had chosen was "resting in God". Here is the wordle for that talk (enlarges the words used most often).

Thirsty

The main verse I focused on was from Lamentations 3:21-26

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

So while he was making me rest in Him and wait I learnt a few valuable lessons.
  • What I write or speak really does need to come from Him otherwise I will be like a banging drum or a clanging symbol.
  • He can give me the words to say at just the right time.
  • If I wait for Him, they will be His words.

Inspire means breathing into or upon, to fill with an animating, quickening or exalting influence. You have Gods Spirit living in you when you choose to follow Him, and we need to continually be filled with the Spirit for daily living. And at special times God fills us so that we can serve, give, bless, teach, encourage, exort, pray and fulfil His work here on earth. So if God wants you to do something, "it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."Phil 2:13

How cool is that! God gives you the desire and ability to do His work. Bring that on!

And just when I needed it, a week before I had to give my talk, He showed me personally what I needed to do to rest in Him, and I was able to share that with the ladies.

Instead of my 'lack of inspiration' leading to doing less, it has actually lead to me doing more! Well, doing more after careful prayer that is.

I can't commit to writing a post each week for this new site Inspired Bliss. I can't keep finding new things to write about at Faith Lifts. I can't possibly fit in running a Bible Study for young mums. But because I believe God wants me to, I will! And He will do those things through me for as long as I should be doing them.

Are you feeling uninspired? Wait on God, rest in Him until He shows you what to do, then take that step and do it.


my email

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thankyou!

Thankyou www.crosswalk.com
Can you think of times in your life when God really provides things at just the right time? Im talking 'wow, how did you know?' moments. I have a few from the last week actually.
One was a friend giving me a bunch of flowers right when I needed it, and the other was a friend sending an e-card from crosswalk.com (pictured above) with a message that answered the very question that I was asking from a book I was reading. It was like God tapped those two ladies on the shoulder and said "Neatie/Meags, would you mind giving this to Donna for me? Thanks".

The book I'm reading is called "Becoming a Vessel God Can Use" by Donna Partow. The chapter I am reading tonight is about Gideon and is quickly summarised in these 4 points:

  • God is not looking for self-confident people
  • God isn't interested in our excuses
  • Dont expect all the answers up front, and
  • Dont listen for the cheering section

I dont really have time to read a book right now, but as soon as Bryce gave it to me I knew I had to make time.

I havent been around as much lately (in case you hadn't noticed :), because I have been working on something behind the scenes! And I didnt tell you because I wasnt even sure I'd have what it takes ... but I will be writing for a site called Inspired Bliss every Monday over at BlissfullyDomestic.com (see the button in the sidebar).

I'll let you know when the site is officially launched, but it is already starting to take shape and one of my posts is already there. I wont leave you high and dry here at 'Thirsty?' though, it seems that there is plenty of opportunities to talk about how God is working when you let Him do whatever He wants with you!

I wasnt even going to write this post, but hopefully what I am learning might be helpful to someone out there reading this. You dont have to do big things for God in order to be used by him. And you certainly dont have to be confident, amazing or talented. Just be obedient!

Those two friends blessed me tremendously this week because they were simply obedient. And it is my prayer that my writing will be that 'special something from God' to someone, somewhere, some time, whether I know it or not. But even if I never hear,

  • I will start even though I am not confident
  • I will keep going even though I have lots of excuses why I shouldn't
  • I will commit even though I dont have all that I need right now
  • And I will look to Him and not to others to see how I'm going

I'll be back real soon to tell you more about whats been happening. In the meantime, why not go read about Gideon's call in Judges 6:11-31.


my email

Monday, September 15, 2008

Apparently I 'Know People'

I received this at school this morning from a little boy...

His teacher said he had been waiting all morning to give it to me. I dont know why he thinks I would know Santa! Apparently I have connections.
I also read today that it is 101 days until Christmas! The countdown is on.
Let me suggest something if I may...
Each family decides inidividually what role Santa will play in Christmas. Our familly chooses to put the food out for the reindeer and a drink out for Santa on Christmas eve, though we dont put a huge emphasis on him coming up to Christmas. Our kids know that 'Santa' comes to remind them that it is Jesus birthday, and that Jesus is the most important person we should be thinking about.
Because it is Jesus' birthday, we have a party for Jesus and invite all of our friends and the kids' school friends to meet in a park and bring presents to give to a local charity. It is a simple way of reminding people of the real meaning of Christmas and for some of the kids that come it may be the first time they even hear what its all about.
I know Christmas is way off, but it might give you time to think about what you will do in your family and your community to let them know of the One who really knows when they are sleeping and when they are awake. And you never know, you might be giving them the greatest gift of all - knowing Him!

my email

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Coming Clean (Guest Post)

Id like to welcome back Corinne to Thirsty today, I know you love her stories, leave a comment and let her know what you think! Donna

Ok. The time has come to come clean (pun intended)...

Regular followers of this blog may recall the poor sap who inadvertently was surprised in the middle of a Massive Mess by her neighbour and friend? Well, I admit it, that was me. No big shock to anyone who knows me! I’ve struggled my entire life with a bad case of the Messies – time after time I’ve been put into situations where I say “Ok, that’s it, I’m turning over a new leaf – I never want to be in that situation again!!”

So anyway, lately I’ve been quite proud of myself... not that the house has been immaculate, but to the casual observer (who is not allowed past the main living areas) my house has been quite ‘passable’. The bedrooms – now that’s another story, but hey, it’s progress right? Well my DH (Dear Husband) has been quite ill with the flu and I must admit I was highly unsympathetic for a few days because to most males a little bit of a sniffle is always a full blown case of ‘the flu’ but when I was woken by him a few nights ago I realised the poor fellow actually was quite sick. His asthma medication wasn’t working, he was barely breathing, quite dizzy, heart beating rapidly, almost passing out and struggling to talk (now I knew something was wrong when he could barely talk – he’s a 'sell ice to Eskimos' sort of guy!!!!).

I could tell he was genuinely frightened and I knew I had to call the paramedics – now here comes the REALLY sad bit... My initial reaction was to think, “Oh no, what if they have to come into my bedroom?” Do you know, I made my nearly comatose husband get up and struggle almost horizontally to the relatively ‘clean’ lounge room so when they came I wouldn’t be too embarrassed!!!!!!

Just an aside here... My husband survived my stupidity and after a short stint in the emergency room is doing just fine. He’s still coughing and moaning etc, but he’s breathing (and talking!!) and will make a full recovery :)

Do you have any ‘rooms’ in your life that no-one is allowed to see?
Do you think you are doing fine but in reality it’s only the casual observer that thinks so?
What if there was someone who could see into every nook and cranny in your life?

Would you feel judged?
Overwhelmed?
Guilty?
Embarrassed or ashamed?


What a scary thought! Well you know there is Someone who can see every part of you. He can see what everyone else sees, but He can also see the messy spots in your life, the ones you keep hidden from general view. Here comes the great bit though, instead of writing you off, instead of saying, “you can’t be my friend, you’re too much of a feral”, He says, “Hang with me. I’ll help you clean this mess up!!” Not only that, but He provided a way that we can be forever clean and mess free!! The Lord God has sent his one and only Son to take on board all of our ‘messes’, to die for us as a sacrifice and rise again to sit at the Father’s right hand. By this act and this act alone, we are set free from all the guilt and shame that follows us around.

‘"Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.’ (Hebrews 10:17b – 23)

Isn’t it amazing that while we struggle on in our imperfection, trying our darndest to be holy, clean or pure, if we just “confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Forever more he will look at us and see not our messy rooms but Jesus’ beautiful clean, white as snow and pure heart.

So while I will continue to strive for a higher standard not only in my house but in my heart, all the while stating my catchphrase of the month – “Progress not Perfection” – I will take assurance from the beautiful text message I received from a friend a few days ago...

“Good News. There is a God and it’s not You! May you rest in His care, and be at peace that your limitations are opportunities for us to experience His providence.”

Corinne

my email

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sold!

We just bought a house! sort of.

We made a final verbal offer which was accepted and this morning we are going to sign the contract. We got a great deal on a place that needs renovation but is in a good suburb.

Its ours in the fact that the offer has been accepted, but there is still things to happen till we really make it our own. Signing our names on the papers will make it much more real.

I also have another great deal to tell you about - my name is signed in another place which was a awesome transaction. My name's in the book of life!

The deal is Jesus died so that I can be God's even though I could never be up to His standard. Paid in Full! Redeemed! And thats the only way to be in Heaven with him! (Rev 21:27).

I need quite a bit of renovation and I dont get to go to heaven just yet but I'm His! I have a bit of work that needs completing here on earth, not in order to be accepted, but just because that's what He has in mind for me.

"He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" (Phil 1:5).

There is work that he is going to do on me, and I have work that I will do for Him. And I cant wait to see what He is going to do before He comes back!

And the wonderful thing - no building or pest inspection is going to make this contract null and void!

Whose are Yous?


my email

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Slight Technicality

We are considering buying a house at the moment, and today the bank told me that they could lend me $50,000 more than we requested. I said "Well, that's lovely, but I can't pay that much back." "A slight technicality", the lady responded.

It was her job to do all she could do (in the interests of 'customer service' of course) to lend me the most amount of money. But I know that I can't pay that much back. If we did borrow all that she suggested, we would end up bankrupt.

Dictionary.com defines bankrupt as "a person unable to satisfy any just claims made upon him or her".

The bank has all the resources and authority and if I don't satisfy their claims, then they have the right to do with me whatever they decide. If I don't adhere 100% to their rules, they have the right to cease the relationship and take my house.

Just like the deed to my future house will be the bank's, my life is God's. He owns everything and created everything. He has all authority and He is Holy. Because He is a holy God, we must be completely Holy in order to have a relationship with Him. That's why the priests of Israel had to go through so much ceremonial cleansing in order to meet with God once a year on behalf of the people. Because if there was any sin 'unpaid' as it were by sacrifices, then God would not accept the offering his people gave to stay in relationship with Him.

But we all have sinned. Isaiah 53:6 says
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way".
Whenever we choose to go our own way instead of Gods way, that is sin and it cuts us off from God. We are born unable to satisfy the just claim that God has that we be holy.

The enemy whispers to us "Don't worry, its just a slight technicality. Do good works and you'll be right. Try harder. Go to church. Be kind to all men. Follow the golden rule." But God says "BANKRUPT". Totally unable to satisfy any just claims.

Well if sin is going our own way, what about 'sins' - the actions that we do which are contrary to Gods word? Do you ever find yourself thinking "Ahh, its only a half truth" or "It doesn't hurt anyone" or "They deserve everything they get" or "They are a big organisation, they wont miss it". The enemy says "Its just a slight technicality, don't worry about it." God says "BANKRUPT". Even the smallest wrong cuts us off from him, it voids our relationship, and we are unable to make it right. Bankrupt.

But when you submit your life to Jesus and choose to follow him, over the top of the bankrupt stamp is written PAID IN FULL.

Check out the rest of this verse: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

We are bankrupt. There is no way we can be good enough to enter heaven and be with God. "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved." Eph 2:4-5

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Rom 5:8

Christ died to pay the price that you and I were unable to pay. When we accept his sacrifice that debt is paid.

What is sin now then, a slight technicality? NO!

Take this story for example... "Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?" (Luke 7:41-43)

When we truly realise how bankrupt we were without Christ, how totally unable we were to meet Gods requirements, then we respond in love, obedience and worship to Him, and show that by how we love others too.

That's why I speak, and why I live and why I serve. I am totally honoured to be called His daughter and be able to serve him and so I'm going to do all I can in response to His love.

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another" Romans 13:8.


my email

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Entertaining Angels

15 years ago my husband went on a mission exposure trip to Vanuatu. The team from Australia stayed with a number of local families in different churches and happened to spend one night with a family from the Serebetu Church of Christ in Port Vila on the island of Efate.

When we heard that a Vanuatuan Mission/Youth Group was passing through our town we were looking forward to meeting them and agreed to have some of the team stay in our house. In the usual island style, plans were changed about 4 times and instead of having some of the children we were blessed to host two guys, and the bus.

Bryce was pretty stoked that one of the men was from the town he visited but imagine our joy and surprise when we found out that the man staying in our house was in fact the boy who Bryce stayed with in Serebetu! That is a pretty amazing God-incidence dont you think!

It really encouraged us to keep being generous and willing to do good because you never know who you will be helping!

God loves to bless people that are willing to sacrifice time or resources or comfort to show others his love. And how awesome that he matched up these two guys after so many years!

I would like to admit though, I wasnt exactly jumping at the idea of tidying and cleaning and making beds tonight. But I am so glad I did! (Im sure Bryce is also glad I did ;)

One of my favourite passages from Romans reads "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality." Romans 12:10-13

"Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering." Hebrews 13:1-3

If you do already, good job! And if you dont, maybe next time the opportunity arises you could consider it. You never know who you'll be helping!


my email

Friday Funnies

Only Joking!

Have a great weekend!

my email

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Latest

Here's my latest. Whatdyareckon?


Soaring

I have a friend in town with a birthday this week, so I took a photo of mine, added her favourite verse, got it printed (on special!) and bought a frame. TADA! One personalised but very professional looking present!

Works For Me!
Rocks In My Dryer
Click the box for More Tips!
Or Click
HERE to see the rest of my blog and a very cool Eagle Pic!


Have an awesome day!

my email

Haven't You Heard?

Today I'm writing for Faith Lifts. You'll find this post over here and more from me there every second Tuesday.

A friend and I were shopping on an extremely wet day at an outlet centre where the rows of shops were separated by mostly uncovered paths. It was pouring with rain and we were dreading trying to make the break between the rows. After counting to 3 we braced ourselves to be drenched and ran to the other side.

We were extremely embarassed however, when we reached the other side dry because we had run across under one of the few covered walkways! About halfway across I realised our silly mistake, but my friend exclaimed how amazed she was that we didnt get wet until I pointed out the covering way above our heads.

Often times in life we find ourselves running and straining to avoid discomfort when our Heavenly Father has things covered. If only we would look up instead of looking at the turmoil around us we would be much more rested and much less flustered!

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 40:28 - 31


Are you concerned with the circumstances that surround you? Are you wondering how you can get through without being drowned? Are you bracing yourself for the worst and getting ready to run?

Remember you have an awesome God protecting you, the creator of the universe standing guard. Nothing will come your way which he hasn’t allowed and he will provide everything you need. Look up and place your hope in Him. He will renew your strength day by day. You will soar on wings like eagles. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not be faint.


my email

Monday, August 25, 2008

Those Special Moments

Daddy called me in tonight
as he saw you lying there
fast asleep upon your bed
with your knees up in the air

I smiled at Daddy and then at you
and knelt beside your bed
You had both hands on your Bible
that was resting on your leg

You had called out early on
asking if I would come say prayers
I answered "Not just now, I'm working.
But later Ill be there"

You waited for the longest time
Till your eyes gave in to sleep
No-one came to tuck you in
or pray 'the Lord your soul to keep'

Now I sit here whispering
my eyes giving in to tears
and say sorry for these moments
I have missed throughout the years

Tomorrow, when its bedtime
I will leave my office chair
I'll pray with you and read to you
and run my fingers through your hair

Ill kiss you on the forehead
and hug you really tight
I'll hear you say "I love you"
as I turn off the light

I'll smile and sigh as I walk away
treasuring these moments above all others
And I'll thank my God from deep in my heart
for the priviledge of being a mother


my email

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Funnies

My daughter is learning about Australia at school, which prompted this conversation:

H: Who was Captain Cook?
D: He was the first man from across the seas to discover Australia in 1770.
H: Did he die?
D: Yes, that was a long time ago.
H: Yes I know, Peter Pan pushed him off the boat.
D: That was Captain Hook!


My 3 yr old son was commentating while we were driving on the way to 10 pin bowling the other day:

J: Thats not bowling
J: Thats not bowling
J: Thats Mr Hannicks
J: Thats not bowling
D: Who is Mr Hannick?
J: Where Daddy's car is!
D: The Mechanic?
J: Yeah, Mick Hannick.



my email

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Magic Biscuit

My 3yr old son is as active as any little boy and loves to run and play in dirt and make motorbike noises and 'shoot things' with his 'gunny' - a pronunciation error I have chosen not to correct!There is no way to tell by observing him that he has an aneurysm in his heart, except that he has to take aspirin every morning.

It was quite hard to get him to agree to take it until just recently when he discovered its wondrous properties. You see when he pops his tablet in the little medicine-cup of water, it bubbles and spins around and soon disappears! Now every morning he looks forward to his 'magic biscuit'! And although he enjoys the movement of the tablet, it has greater effects for his heart and one of the advertised affects is that it actually prevents heart disease.

There is a 'magic biscuit' we can take every morning too you know... When we start our day with the word of God we set our heart on the right path. We see the Spirit moving and it encourages us and strengthens us for the day ahead. But it goes much deeper than that. The thoughts and attitudes of our hearts, which would otherwise go unchecked, are challenged and renewed.

Heb 4:12 says "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

But its no good just to watch or to read, Josh has to take the aspirin and we have to "take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph 6:17). Jesus said "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it" (Luke 11:28). So each morning we desperately need to take the word of God and obey it and put into practice what the Spirit has challenged us about. This is serious girls, the health of your heart is at stake and your life depends on it!

Have you had your daily dose?


my email

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Words

Thanks to Snooky for the link, here are the most common words from my blog by http://www.wordle.net/

Words

Stay tuned for some more words real soon!

my email

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Flipping Brilliant

Well, today is a bit of a momentous day...
Mostly because its my 30th Birthday
But its also my 50th post!


Hopefully when you leave comments saying may there be many more, you mean years and posts!

...If anyone leaves comments...

....If anyone is reading this....

Ahh I'll keep writing anyway :)

Today Marion gave me a book called "Flipping Brilliant: A Penguin's Guide to a Happy Life" by Jonathan Chester and Patrick Regan. I'd like to share some of the comments with you...

Life is not black and white.
Stand up for yourself.
When everyone looks the same, look deeper.
The meek sleep alone.
Kids learn infitely more from how we act than from what we tell them.
Transitions are a bummer.
You can be too thin.
You'll never go wrong with basic black.
When a place feels right, it is right.
Listen to your partner.
Its what you do when no one's watching that counts.
Someone has to go first.
A day at the beach can cure a vast array of ailments.
Its better to be smart than cute. (And best to be both.)
Despite all evidence to the contrary, kids are generally worth all the trouble.
Determination makes all the difference.
Guano happens.
Don't always follow the crowd, but do believe in the camaraderie of kindred souls.
Some things we will never understand.
Learn to be still.
Think ahead.
Uphills don't last forever.
Parenting is a two-person job.
Adaption is survival
Work with nature.
Be an original.
Life is an adventure. Live accordingly.

Of course, all of these make much more sense when you read the penguine facts that go along with them. For example, the one about Guano (penguin poop). "For African penguins, guano makes an ideal nesting material. For Gentoo penguins, its more of a decor statement. Its what you do with life's little unexpected gifts that counts."

Hopefully as I have shared some of my life's unexpected gifts they have blessed you too!


p.s. Which one is your favourite?

my email

Monday, July 28, 2008

Facing the Sun

Following is an excerpt from Corinne's testimony given this weekend at SCC's ladies camp given during a session about Sunflowers and "Facing the Son". When she gets her act together and writes a blog, I'll post the link here. Until then, she is a welcome guest! ~Donna

...A little while after the birth of my third child – my longed for and prayed for daughter – I heard of a missionary couple serving overseas that had lost an 18 month old toddler. He passed away in his sleep with no warning and no pre-existing medical condition. Something inside me snapped and I decided that I wasn’t going to trust a God, who would do this to a ‘good’ couple serving Him, with my child – especially since I’m not as ‘good’ as a ‘missionary’! I told Him in no uncertain terms that He wasn’t having my daughter and I was reneging on the dedication to Him of my boys too. I had a crisis of belief where I questioned everything I had been brought up to believe. I felt like I was just waiting for something terrible to befall me because my life so far had been pretty much devoid of tragedy and surely the Son couldn’t shine on me forever.

There followed a time of great loneliness and depression – To the casual observer I was fine, but I’m a great faker let me tell you. It wasn’t til a good friend of mine saw through all that and sat me down and wouldn’t leave til I told her what was wrong with me that I finally broke down my barriers and told her where my head and heart were at. I was subsequently diagnosed with post-natal depression after she forced me to see a doctor!

God graciously allowed several wonderful godly women in my life to help me and encourage me while I was recovering from depression, but then in His wisdom, He slowly tore them away from me in one way or another. I suppose I could have chosen to be angry at Him for this all over again, but I know where not trusting Him got me last time… Not to say that I’m not sad, and that I just love all these changes etc, but I know that I really needed to draw closer to Him and to turn to Him instead of my friends.

I definitely believe that good friends are a gift from God, and our relationships with ‘our girls’ are extremely important, but when we are choosing to pick up the phone first and pray second (if at all), that’s when we can get into trouble. So while I’m learning this I’ve been trying to find ways to have a real friendship with God. One of the most important things I’ve found is that dreaded phrase ‘Quiet Time’. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve literally heard it a thousand times – “you need to have quiet time with God every day!!!” What a chore!! However, I think what we need to realise is, if you have time to chat to your girlfriends everyday, it really shouldn’t be that hard to have a chat to the greatest friend of them all!!


What works for one person won’t work for another, so you really have to figure out what suits you. For me, I signed up to an email newsletter that sends me through a short story and application, plus some applicable bible verses, from a group of awesome women, who seem to be struggling along in everyday life just like me, with the very issues I have. It’s such a habit now to get up every morning and check my inbox for those little words of encouragement and to spend a few moments with my best friend chatting and praying and really just ‘hanging’.

I still don’t understand why He lets some things happen. In all reality, I never will. But I do know that he sees the big picture. And I also know that He’s more concerned about my holiness than my happiness. So just because I think life should go a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s in my best interest. I’m still on this journey with the Lord; I’m still figuring it all out. In fact one of my favourite bible verses sums it up nicely –


“I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on towards the goal, to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3: 13-14).

I don’t know what the future holds, and even if some tragedy is just waiting round the corner for me, I know I can do all things through Him who strengthens me and I choose to trust The Lord. I choose to face the Son.

Corinne

my email

A Wild Goose Chase

My friends are very encouraging regarding my quest for the perfect shot of a soaring eagle, and last week Sarah sent me a text saying there were some Magpie Geese flying overhead with their young. Now thats something you dont see everyday! So I promptly hopped in my car and headed off on my wild goose chase. Although I saw the geese from a distance, they disappeared and as I looked around I saw the reason - A Wedge Tailed Eagle!! I only got this close, but I'll stop by again this week ;)

Wedgy

One definition describes wild goose chase as "A tedius, uncertain pursuit", but this wild goose chase was nothing of the sort! My quest for a soaring eagle is far from tedius and I wouldn't even describe it as uncertain, rather, optimistically hopeful :). But there is an even better hope I have to look forward to.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (Rom 5:1-5)

Life is not a tedius uncertain pursuit any more! Having a relationship with God gives me hope for now and for the future. Now I have a purpose and I know that God works in all things for good because He loves us. Last week I 'happened' across that eagle, but God knows with 100% certainty whats in your future so you can get up and look forward to what God has in store, and even if its hard, He has a plan, He is with you, and He will accomplish his purpose. And when time is up, we get to soar with Him forever.

It is a sure and joyful hope that we have in Him!



my email

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Deleted Items

As it currently stands, there are 5868 emails in the 'deleted items' section of my email software. No wonder the program was running a bit slow! Now I'd just like to say, I didn't intend to keep all those files, I just didn't realise they accumulate so fast.

It did get me thinking about how much of life's unwanted or unnecessary information I keep without realising and I wondered how we go about getting rid of those things that pile up, slow us down and hold us up. Apparently there is an option in the program that can prompt me to permanently delete the emails in that folder each time I exit, allowing me to start each day with only the necessary files.

I believe prayer has the same function in our lives. We are bombarded in life by lots of information, opinions, expectations, circumstances, and relationships and we need a place where we can sort through all those. We need to keep the important and uplifting things, attend to issues that need to be dealt with, and let go of those things that do not belong in our life. But just forgetting about those 'deleted items' doesn't get rid of the stress, guilt and pressure.

When God forgives our sin, He removes it as far as the east is from the west, and he remembers it no more. That means he chooses not to recall it. Permanently deleted. (Jer 31:34)

So, if you are holding on to memories of your own sin, believe that God has removed that sin through Jesus Christ so you can let it go too. And if it is from others, recognise when it is slowing you down or holding you back and choose to permanently delete that too.

How do you do that? With the Holy Spirit within you and the Bible before you:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, 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."Philippians 4:6-8

There are two things we need to apply. Prayer is our heavenly filter which shows up things that aren't in their proper place as we submit to Christ Jesus. And then wisdom is our earthly filter which helps us recognise those things as they come across our paths.

Once we use this application, we are able to truly and freely send and receive both with God and with others.

my email

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Precious Moms - Works For Me!

Ever been stuck for ideas for a child's birthday party? Do you have a Baby Shower to organise? Any anniversaries coming up?

Well, I definitely have a website that you have just GOT to take a look at!

PreciousMoms.com has EVERYTHING you need for party ideas for

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Graduations
  • Holidays
  • Baby Showers
  • Weddings

For FREE!!!

And they have absolutely gorgeous figurines you can purchase as presents for those occasions so you'll be throwing the best party AND have the best gift!

Have you ever put up with bored children on a long journey in the car? Do you know what to put in your emergency car kit? PreciousMoms.com even helps you with day-to-day tips and treasures to make your life easier!

This site comes highly recommended from one mom who'll take all the tips she can get! And if you'd like more tips, head over to Rocks In My Dryer to see what others have shared.

my email