Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today I let my kids play in the rain, in fact, I suggested it! I can remember playing in the rain as a kid, and I am pretty sure most of the time my mum was in the rain with us. A few weeks ago we went to Australia Zoo in the same sort of weather. It was steady, soaking rain. Not uncomfortable to walk in, but by the time we walked from the elephants to the tigers, we were wet. Especially my son who delighted in running, jumping, racing and playing in the rain. He was drenched. From his sagging hat, right through his clothes to the soles of his shoes. And he was loving it.

I heard of the term used by CS Lewis this week - "drenched with joy". I wasn't exactly sure what he meant by it, but it kept coming to mind, so I did a little bit of digging through the Bible. Wanna see what I found?

Luke 10:21 says that Jesus was full of Joy through the Holy Spirit, and we know from Galatians 5:22 that one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy. Lots of the New Testament verses refer to being 'filled with joy'. And in John 15 Jesus spoke about remaining in Him and obeying God "so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:11)

Joy is closely tied to the Holy Spirit in many contexts, and just as we receive the Holy Spirit when we choose to follow Jesus, and then are 'continually filled' with the Spirit (Eph 5:18), so we receive joy when we first believe and then continue to experience the fullness of this joy as we live out our faith and trust in Jesus.

Ps 16:8-11 says "I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave... You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

In His presence, we are filled with joy. Because God is with us, this joy in us need not be shaken. Because we believe He has a purpose in everything, we can be glad. And we can REST, because He will not abandon us. And we have HOPE for eternity.

Drench means "to saturate by immersion, to cover or fill completely, or to provide with something in great abundance." A little sprinkle can be refreshing and cooling, but only that steady rain can really drench. You really have to be walking in the rain for it to reach the skin and soak even the inner soles of your shoes.

Going to church might be encouraging, a prayer here and there might lift your spirits but the only way to experience God's joy in abundance is to be filled with the Spirit by spending time in prayer, in the Bible, and in obedience to God. Remaining in Jesus is the key to being 'drenched with joy'.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In A Blaze of Glory

Let me just say, this is the last post, tweet, status update, message or story you will hear from me about possums. But its a good finale.

Last night, at the suggestion of the Environmental Protection Agency, we boarded up the possums last hole into our roof, right by the electricity wire that runs from the power pole to our house. Obviously that has been their way in for some time, as our line sags as though it has been supporting many kilos of possum, unlike the lines to our neighbours' houses.

At precisely 4:30am this morning, hubby woke because the fan had stopped and he could hear banging coming from the front of the house. Yep, you guessed it, mummy possum was none too happy at all about being shut out of her house (oh yeah, we found out it wasnt a 'he' at all). So mummy and baby possum were precariously hanging from our electricity wire. For 3 hours.


I suppose I was expecting mummy possum (AKA "big rat" to our 4yr old) to resign herself to the fact that this was no longer her home and leave quietly. But she wasnt going anywhere. By the time the electricity guys got here at 7:45 she was still holding on for dear life and wasnt letting go. They tried to move her and pull her but nothing happened until we heard a bang, saw a flash of light and noticed the smell of burning fur. Mother had indeed gone out in a blaze of glory.

"In a blaze of glory" has been
defined as "in a majestic splendour, in a moment of splendid triumph." I'm sorry Mrs Possum, but that stunt was more like 'going up in smoke'. (pun intended :)

There was no need for her to hold on so tightly to her temporary home, we were having her taken somewhere much nicer. But after some blood sweat and tears, the electricity men took Mrs Possum and Possum Jnr to the animal shelter where they are expected to make a full recovery. (seriously, she was just singed)

So how are you going at reviewing the status of your
home sweet home? Are you still holding on with all your strength to something that is uncertain and temporary? I tell you what, I'm letting go so that I can go out in a blaze of Glory the way it was meant to be.

"With a loud command and with the shout of the chief angel and a blast of God's trumpet, the Lord will return from heaven. Then those who had faith in Christ before they died will be raised to life. Next, all of us who are still alive will be taken up into the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the sky. From that time on we will all be with the Lord forever." 1 Thes. 4:16-17

Here's the You Tube video if you want to take a look. Its not the high voltage video, it just shows the possums hanging in there. (please note, no possums or electricity men were permanently harmed in the making of this video)

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home

A friend of ours just got kicked out of his house. Their whole family will soon have to move - they came home one day and found their bedroom had been sealed off and they only have this tiny part of the house to live in. All their bedroom furniture was thrown away by the owners. As you can imagine, he is none too happy about this and has made his feelings known to the owners.

He just sits looking out of this small hole wondering what he is going to do to find a home for his family.

When I say "friend" though, we havent known him for very long, and I wouldn't say we are on the best of terms....


This little possum is quite upset because his future in our house is uncertain. He lets us know of his displeasure by hissing and scratching.

My husband and I have lived in 8 houses in our 8 years of marriage, so we understand a little of how he feels. If anything unjust was done to us like unfair rent increases or witheld refunds, we were sure to let everyone know about it.

If anything happens that we dont think is fair, or that sets us back, or prevents us from acheiving our goals, or changes our plans, or costs us time or money, we get scratchy and hiss at those around us. The main reason is that we are trying so hard to protect our home, our comfort, our lifestyle or our future here which is uncertain at the best of times.

But we need to remember this is not our home at all! My possum friend has a much better suited home out in the bush where he belongs, but as far as he is concerned, he will fight for this corner of the roof even if it costs him his life.

We have a home in heaven which is prepared just for us..
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3

But so often we will fight and scratch to get our corner of the world all comfy and nice and hiss and snarl if we dont get it. That's not the way its meant to be! We have a home guaranteed. Jesus has paid the price. The mortgage papers have "PAID IN FULL" stamped across them.

Lets live in the light of our true Home Sweet Home.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009


After getting back from holidays, I thought about changing my blog layout slightly. So, being the conscientious person I am, I went to 'save' my current template as a backup.

Unfortunately, the 'save template' option on the page I was on, was just for choosing a new template, and clicking save promptly erased all the html that I had done over the year and I was left with bits and pieces everywhere. The content didnt change, it was still recognisable as mine, but it didnt fit any more.

So at 4am one morning, I called on my blogging friend Jo-Lynne from DCR Design and Musings of a Housewife and she came to my aid. (Luckily, it was 1pm where she lives!) If you need some designing done, I highly recommend her!

I had some ideas about what I wanted, but at each decision I referred back to JL because I knew that she knew what she was doing, she had done this many times before, and she knew the intricate code needed to make it work. I did away with my amateur html and accepted her tried and tested code.This new template isnt unrecognisable, in fact the leaf/water being like life/refreshment is even deeper and more meaningful than before.

At 10am one morning many years ago I asked another to save me. It was the day I believed Jesus was the Son of God and submitted my life to Him. Once I was saved, nothing about me changed, but the old ways didn't fit anymore.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone,
the new has come!" 2 Cor 5:17
And so with that clean slate I began to let God mould me into the person He envisioned I could be. I started letting go of doing things my way, and read His word, the Bible, to show me the tried and tested way to live, and trusted that He knew better how to make things work.

And though I am very different today, I am still me, in fact now I can live with more passion and purpose because of the great plan God has for me. I have some ideas about what I would like this year to look like, but I will be referring back to God on all those decisions through prayer cause I know he knows what he is doing, he has done it many times before, and he knows me and my future intricately.

Being saved meant the formatting changed, and although it was an accident on my blog, it was no accident in my life.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

God wants everyone to have the opportunity to get rid of that old formatting and start anew with Him. And its not only this life that will be improved, the new code that you receive means that you wont die, but you'll live forever in heaven!
"So turn to me and be helped—saved! Everyone, whoever and wherever you are. I am God, the only God there is, the one and only." Isaiah 45:22 (CEV)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)
Jo-Lynne gave up her time to save my blog, but Jesus gave his life to save yours.

Have you asked Him to come save you?

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sea-ing Eagles

Less than 24 hours after writing my last post, I sat down on the balcony of our holiday unit and set my trusty Canon EOS 300D complete with 500mm zoom lens on the chair beside me. Within minutes this Sea Eagle flew overhead, and circled overhead many times over the next couple of days.

Sea Eagle

I checked back through my pics and it has been almost 5 months since I went chasing eagles. Yet within hours of writing that post, God blessed me with a sea eagle! And not only that...he kept coming back! He even showed off a fish that we saw him catch about 500m off shore.

Sea Eagle and prey

Sea Eagle with fish

Sometimes, God does want us to get off our backsides and follow Him where He is leading. (Thanks Mum-me for that tip!)

And sometimes He wants us to stop what we are doing, sit down, look up, and wait to see what He does. (Usually it takes a bit longer than this though!)

I am mighty glad He taught me that lesson these holidays. And I pray that there will be just as much proof in my life as in my photos.

Sea Eagle 2

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Seeing Eagles

I haven’t seen any eagles lately, and obviously I haven't been chasing them.

Most of the time, seeing comes before chasing. I would see a Kite or an Eagle in the sky and quickly grab my camera and drive in the general direction after them. Sometimes, I would be optimistic (living in expectation perhaps) and I would go to where I thought eagles might be - by rivers, over cane fields. But lately I havent seen or chased any, and to be honest, I havent even had my camera out. Certainly not living with any expectation!

I haven’t really been ‘seeing’ those special things about God lately either...

  • soaring with Him above circumstances,
  • being lifted and spurred on by His Spirit,
  • remembering the outstretched arms of His Son.

I am certain its not because He hasnt been around. Obviously I havent been really seeking. And I certainly haven't been expecting. So, without being 'inspired' as such or spurred on by any great vision or revelation of soaring, I will pursue Him.

The words from this song "One Pure and Holy Passion" by The Passion Band came to mind

"..To know and follow hard after you
To grow as your disciple in your truth
This world is empty pale and poor
Compared to knowing you my Lord
Lead me on and I will run after you."

So I will be following hard, raise my expectations, and keeping my eyes up!

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I thought a bit more about the Ex Factor stuff - living our life based on the expectancy of what God can do compared to the expectations we believe others have of us.

A couple of things came to mind

Expectancy inspires you while expectations discourage you
Expectancy lifts you up, expectations bring you down.
Expectancy lights you up, expectations shadow you.
Expectancy looks to the future, expectations keep you looking back.

Looks like some change is in order :)

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Ex Factor

I was reading 'The Shack' by William P Young over the past week and found a few of my old mindsets starting to change. I was reminded of the deeply personal relationship we have with Papa (God) and how we can be using conversational prayer all day long. I was struck by representation of Gods heart towards people who have gone through tragedy, especially the loss of a child. And I was challenged by a passing reference to how we relate to God.

I have already lent it to a friend, but on one page the author mentions the difference between having a relationship build on expectancy rather than expectations. So often the decisions we make in life are motivated not by our expectancy in terms of what God can do but by some perceived expectations we believe God or other people have of us.

One of the things I have been thinking about recently is how often I should post. As 2009 begins, I will be writing for Faith Lifts every fortnight and Inspired Bliss every week. That in itself will be a challenge, but I want to keep writing here too. I even started to feel a bit of pressure to write for ‘you’. Lol, I don’t even know who YOU are! ;) I was letting the expectations that I think the 10 or 100 of you might have direct how and what I write! Ok so one thing I have learnt is to have an audience of one. This year, with Gods help and prompting, I will write for Him. And I will wait on Him for what to write.

So its going to be a big year if I am waiting on Him every day to teach me something! But it will be a year of expectancy rather than expectations. Well, that’s what I want it to be. I will be needing to spend that time every day with the Lord other wise I’ll fall straight back into worrying about what other people will think.

Today I started reading “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeurst and, you guessed it, God brought out the same theme as He continues to teach me what He wants me to learn.

“Women who say yes to God will see life like few others. They are drawn in and embraced by a love like no other. They don’t have to wait until the next time they are in church to experience God because they sense God’s presence all around them, all through their day. Instead of merely walking through the motions of life, they pursue the adventure of the moment-by-moment divine lessons and appointments God has in store for them. They expect to see God, to hear from Him, and to be absolutely filled by His peace and joy – and, therefore, they do and they are.” (What Happens When Women Say Yes To God, Lysa Terkeurst, page 14)

Are you going into the new year in the light of expectancy or the shadow of expectations?

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