Sunday, March 30, 2008

Poking Wasps

Hello girls and boys! Todays life lesson has been brought to you by the letter W and the number 3.

My son who is 3 hasn't had a particularly good week. Yesterday he was very excited about having some friends around to play. When we arrived home, he immediately bolted around the side of the car to greet them and ran straight into an opening side door leaving a nasty cut, bump and bruise on his forehead. He was just too busy rushing around to see what was happening right in front of him.

On Tuesday, while playing soccer in the backyard with Dad, he noticed a wasps nest hanging on the fence at about head-height. Being an inquisitive little lad, he said "oh, look at this!" and proceeded to poke the wasps nest with his finger. As you can imagine, the wasps didn't take kindly to this and swarmed onto his face stinging him 3 times on the cheek and nose. This time his busy fingers got him into trouble.

One of the traps for us in life that we don't often see or realise is our busyness. Being busy doing 'good' things often prevents us from doing the 'best' thing or seeing the open doors for our life or ministry.

Does your life feel too busy? Do you know why you let yourself get busy?

Maybe you get a sense of significance in doing good works? Maybe you try to please others by saying yes to all thats asked of you? Maybe your busyness is an attempt at avoiding loneliness or being alone? Whatever the reason, its time to stop and take a look around at what you are doing.

It is in quietness that we are able to assess what the best thing for us to do is, and to weigh up the consequences of our actions, and really seek to join God where he is working.

There might be an open door just waiting for you to see, or you may be about to get stung cause you went ahead instead of waiting for your Heavenly DAD!

Psalm 46:10 says "Be still, and know that I am God". You aren't going to miss out if you wait on God (well, you might miss out on some nasty stings!). You will actually be more effective cause you will be doing what He wants you to do! And you will enjoy it more because you wont be weighed down by all the other unnecessary things you have signed up for.

I tried this concept out this week, and I feel much more relaxed, and have had more meaningful times with people as I had the opportunity to be spontaneous because I hadn't pre-booked my whole week. Thinking back, because I chose not to busy myself, I was able to go bowling with my son when he asked (he really did deserve it after this week!), I was able help a stranger who needed an extra pair of hands while working, and I saw a mum at school in a bit of a different light. How refreshing!

It really is worth it! So... be still... our DAD is right there with you and will guide you if you wait for Him.

A friend just added this quote..."Whenever you say Yes to something you're also saying No to something else, be it God, family, friends or even sleep!!!!"

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Nearly Famous

This week, I Googled my husband. Im hoping that since you are reading this blog, that you know what Google is? Its a website where you can search for anything and it will bring up all the other websites which include that word or phrase. So, I Googled Bryce and up came a few sites - there is a Bryce National Park in Utah, there are a couple of sermons on the Southport Church of Christ website, there is a link to and lo and behold there on the top of the list was a link to the Parliament of Australia - House of Representatives website! Our good friend Stuart Robert had mentioned Bryce in a list of friends as part of his maiden speech! I reckon that qualifies as nearly famous.

I also have a few nearly-famous-notches to claim! I have been in an international womens magazine and I have been on TV! (In the womens magazine my email comment was published in the letters to the editor and on TV my face flashed up for half a second in an ad for a womens conference). Ok so not quite famous but Im claiming nearly-famous status and its my blog so I can do that.

But since I probably wont achieve 'famous' status, I thought Id write my acknowledgements now. One day, I might write a book, and if I do, it will be directly because of the encouragement that you guys have given me. Seriously, whenever I find out God has used one of my blogs to encourage people or someone says they really enjoy reading what I wrote, or someone says they think I could write, or speak, or teach or be a good pastors wife :) its awesome emotional nourishment and it keeps me going.

If I speak without God speaking to me, or teach without learning from Jesus or minister without being ministered to by the Holy Spirit then I am only a clanging gong or a resounding cymbal. If you enjoy what I write but its just a story and not a lesson from my life then I am nothing. If God uses my blog but I dont express his love in my life then I gain nothing. (from 1 Cor 13:1-3)

See the most important thing in life, is not to be publshed in someones 'acknowledgement page'.
The most important thing is to be in the book of life (Believe that Jesus as God and accept him as your Lord)
To realise that you are on the first page of Gods book - the page where it says "this book is dedicated to..." YOU!!.
And to be such a good representation of that message that people cant help but ask you who the author is.

So, encourage people around you, you never know what it means. But even more so,

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour 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." Rom 12:10-12

"Our changed lives might be the only gospel some people will ever read" Elaine Roulet

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Mum Smells Like Petrol

My mum very kindly picked me up from Brisbane airport on my first trip back to the Gold Coast and needed to fill up the car at the airport servo before heading home. Because there were so many cars waiting for petrol, my mum decided to park in the only vacant petrol bay which meant the fuel tank was on the far side of the car and the pump and hose would have to reach over the back of the car in order to fill up. She has a small car so didnt think this would be a problem and placed the nozzle in the tank and looked at the bowser to see the cost as she proceeded to pull the lever and start filling up the car.

BUT, as you can guess from the title of this blog, the hose was not quite far enough in the tank and petrol immediately spurted out all over my mum, down her leg, and started pooling on the ground. At a quick shreik from me (and the oddly wet feeling in her pants) my mum let go of the lever and we sheepishly looked around to make sure no-one was looking (or at least laughing) at us. We drove the next hour to the Gold Coast with the unbearably strong smell of petrol (coming from my mum) but by the time we got there, we had sort of got used to it and it didnt bother us that much any more.

Has God been speaking to you at all this year? Has he pointed out something to you that you need to change but you have gotten used to it and done nothing about it? Has that deep sense of that new thing God wanted you to do faded? Our failure to do what the Spirit prompts or indeed what God has commanded in the Bible is a stench to God, and to us when we are reading his word and seeking his will. But if we stop spending time with God, we can get used to sin and mediocrity.

The offerings that the Israelites presented to God were "a pleasing aroma to the LORD" because of their obedience to Him. This phrase occurs 25 times in the Old Testament (eg Numbers 15:13). How is your obedience? If there is something you need to do, do it! Do you remember how strong the desire or command was? How you so wanted to do something about it? How you knew you had to act? If so, there is something you need to do.

Or maybe the Holy Spirit hasnt been pricking your conscience or making anything clear to you, however, there is still a command for you: Mark 12:33 says "To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices". Now go and present yourself "a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spritual act of worship." (Rom 12:1)

My mum was looking at the cost and she paid the price.
It wasnt worth it...

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Its all in the Name

I was chuckling with a friend about a Principals Award given out last week to a little boy for "trying very hard to write his name". And when my daughter got the award this week for "excellence in reading and writing skills" I was very proud. But I was humbled not long after when I realised that the little boys surname was Grebenshikoff! No wonder he got an award for trying to spell that!

I thought measuring up to the standards and rules was more important than a name, but it depends on the name. Many people think that Christianity is about measuring up to the standards and rules in the Bible, but as Christians we 'bear the name of Christ' (1 Peter 4:16) and Im going to be striving to live up to that. Not because I have to, but because he has given me this new name and I am stoked!

In His Name...
I have life (John 20:31)
I have been cleansed (1 Cor 1:2)
I have been made right (1 Cor 6:11)
I have been made holy (1 Cor 6:11)

Just like spelling 'Grebenshikoff' for a 4 year old, we have no chance of being able to live up to the name of Christ, but thats ok - we still have that name! Being a Christian is not about following rules, its about following Jesus. Im not going to be able to live perfectly, but in everything I want to be living like a follwer of Jesus , and maybe when the 'Principal of Principals award' is handed out in heaven I might hear my name called and He might just say "well done, good and faithful servant".

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