Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'd Like To Help, If Only...

Bo was a pillar of society. An outstanding member of the community. He was a gentleman, a savvy businessman and highly respected by all. His employees were paid well above the award and he arranged health insurance as a bonus to their salary.

He was not only blessed in business, but He was blessed in life. He married later in life than his friends, but she was worth waiting for. Everyone had heard of her beauty, not just on the outside, but on the inside. She had such a love for God and a compassion for others, and the way she looked after her mother in law was amazing. Her first husband had died some time before and instead of going back to her own country she stayed with her husbands mother to care for her. Bo met her through the charity arm of his business. She had moved into town with her mother in law but didn't have any means of providing for them. 

Bo's colleagues thought it unnecessary for him to give so much to charity. "In order to get ahead," they said, "you have to make every dollar count. Your diary should be full of meetings with influential people, any spare time should be spent on negotiating a new deal on prime stock, and getting more out of your employees." But Bo took time to look after his employees and the needy in his community. When he visited each of his businesses it was obvious how much he was loved and respected. And Bo set aside a large portion of his profits to help the poor. His method of setting aside money to give came from the Bible. 

In Leviticus 19:9-10 God set a standard for His people:
“When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God."
Can you see the picture of the workers in the field leaving stalks of barley behind so that those less fortunate could have enough to eat? God instructed his people to leave a margin intentionally so that there was opportunity to help the poor and the refugees. 

Bo didn't just help out when he had spare time, he set aside time in his week and said no to other appointments. He didn't just give what was in his pocket as he passed the poor man begging in the street. He didn't just donate at Christmas or when there was a natural disaster. He made sure he wasn't so busy that he couldn't fit in a coffee with the friend who was going through a hard time. And he certainly made sure that he didn't have every dollar spent before it came in, so that he had plenty to give when it came to looking after the poor and the refugees in his community.

And it made all the difference; in Bo's life, in his community, and for everyone who would hear his story from then on.
We can make the same difference today. If we consciously set aside a portion of our time and money to be used for God instead of over committing ourselves, we get to join God where He is working in our world. We get to care for the poor and the refugee just like He wants us to. We get to bring the light of Christ into our community. We have the privilege to join with the great cloud of witnesses, the heroes of the faith, who were used by God as part of his-story.

Why not add more margin in your life this month. Watch for opportunities that God will bring along to encourage his people and reach out to others through you. 

And, if you like, read the real story of Boaz and Ruth - the grandparents of King David in Ruth 1:1-4:22 

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Josh: What's that Mum?
Me: My skin is peeling from the sunburn.
Josh: Oh, I saw a snake do that once.

There is a difference between shedding skin due to sunburn and shedding skin like a snake!- but to my son, it seemed quite similar. We know that one is due to harm and the other is due to growth. One is local and painful and the other is whole and natural.

At the start of the year a lot of our New Years Resolutions are about shedding. Some of these might include shedding some weight, getting rid of clutter in our house, cutting back on spending, or pulling back from harmful habits. Our resolutions are often painful as we attempt to give up things we enjoy or are comfortable with, but most of these drills have only a local, limited effect and don't end up achieving the goal that we set in the first place. That sort of pain is not bad, but there is a better way to lose what we don't want around. Would you like me to show you? When the Bible talks about making changes in our lives, it is never by our own strength. The Bible always points us to God first, and when we seek Him, He works within us.

James 4:7-8 says "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you."

Hebrews 12:2 tells us "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith."

God does desire us to outgrow what we have been comfortable in, but he doesn't usually rip it from us. He works in us so that those things no longer fit us anymore.
He changes out hearts so that we love Him more than other things which used to compete for our affection.
He changes our minds so that we think about Him more than things which used to capture our attention.
He changes our motives so that we serve Him more than pursuits which used to command our allegiance.

And He tells us to love Him with our whole being. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind/strength." (Matthew 22:37 and Deut 6:5). As we look to Him for our life, breath and strength He grows us from the inside so that the total and natural process of shedding the old and putting on the new can occur.

"...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose." Philippians 2:12-13

How refreshing is that! As we open ourselves to His work in us, and commit ourselves to time in prayer and in His Word, He works in us to give us the desire and the ability to live as He knows is best for us. That is so freeing. No more new year resolutions but may it be a new way of living:
            Submitting to God,
            Fixing our eyes on Jesus,
            Loving God with all of our being
and watching how He changes us as he works from the inside out.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

On Bears and Bees (Re-Post)

This post from 2009 is the most visited page at, I thought I'd share it with you again :)

Do you think if I stop blogging, wierd stuff will stop happening to me?

You know, like the
kamakazi parrot, the exploding possum and the historic vapour rub?

Well, today, for your entertainment and edification, I'll share about someone else's weird happenings!

I've been talking to a few bloggy friends about being drenched with joy and what it is that keeps us from experiencing the joy we have in Christ. Sometimes we miss the connection because of time constraints and busyness of life, sometimes there are cracks in our life like worry, discontentment, and selfishness where the joy seeps out. And sometimes we just arent thirsty enough to want to get to the source.

It is my prayer that through these random ravings God might whet your thirst for Him again. And, true to form, He has provided some thirsty critters to illustrate the point.

An extremely lovely lady I met recently shared this story with me today. The family had been out all day Sunday and upon returning were informed by their daughter that there was a bee in the bathroom. On closer investigation, they found a swarm of around 200 bees had somehow made their way into the bathroom through the small space in the window track. Fortunately for this family, most of the swarm was contained in the bath and had, alas, perished.

(It does seem like there is a dead animal theme going on here but I assure you I had nothing to do with it!)

On another more 'lively' note, we have been having crazy weather lately: cyclones in the North and heat-waves in the South. This little Koala was so thirsty it ventured onto someones porch looking for some water. Apparently the people put out the water for the Koala to drink and he hopped right in! Although I'm not sure who actually took the photo, Nine MSN published this as a news story.


The bees and the Koala realised their need for water so desperately that they put everything else aside in order to get that life giving refreshment. They left their usual habitat and safe surroundings to pursue a higher calling. The bees didnt make it, but our Koala friend is indeed drenched, and loving it!

Maybe our lives are so busy and full of other things that we dont realise how dry we really are, and how much we really do need the life giving water God provides. I dont want to wait for a heat wave to realise this, I'm diving in.

How 'bout you? Thirsty?

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Star Gazing

My husband loves to stargaze and over Christmas he enjoyed showing the family his new monocular (a cross between a telescope and binoculars) and the different planets and constellations that could be found. It was especially exciting that Jupiter was close (relatively speaking ;), and visible early in the evening.
They were all very excited, but when I looked into the scope all I could see was a bright blurry circle in the sky. I moved away pretty quickly as I figured I just couldn’t see what they could see, or maybe my eyes were a bit too shortsighted to see correctly. Bryce gently sat me back down and explained that if I let my eyes adjust, it would come in to focus and I could see clearly what they had been talking about.
He was right!!
And he showed me that the longer I looked at Jupiter, the more I would be able to see of its colours and surrounding moons. It was amazing.
The best time he picked to stargaze was when the moon had waned and wasn’t so full and bright. He said that the shadows on the moon actually give more definition and so you are able to see more contrast when it is not in full sunlight. And the darkness of the night sky enables more colour to be seen when looking at Jupiter.
Do you ever find that when others try to explain things about God to you that it’s kind of unclear and so you politely excuse yourself and let them do their thing? You think, “Well, they really love all that stuff, but I mustn’t be that way inclined.” Or maybe you get the general gist of what’s going on, but don’t really see what’s so special about it? Like it doesn’t really connect with you personally?
Well if you don’t mind me saying, you need to sit back down and pay attention J. If you haven’t really ‘got’ what I’ve been talking about, or what your friends have told you about God, just sit a bit longer. Do you want to be able to see what we see? Do you want to experience what we experience? Do you want to get to know the One who made Jupiter and created the Earth and Moon?
Next time you get a chance to hear someone talk about God,                    concentrate a bit harder.
Next time you open a Bible, read for a bit longer.
Next time you pray to God, listen a bit longer for what He might be saying to you.
Don’t give up when life gets hard, or when God seems further away. He hasn’t moved. Sometimes the shadows of life let you see other aspects of Him more clearly. Don’t give up when God seems out of focus, there may just be other things in your life which are a bit too bright which need to take a back seat so you can focus on Him.
So take a seat, relax, let your eyes adjust and see the wonder of what has been there for you all this time.

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