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this morning i took our gas heater bottle to the petrol station to refill. there are 2 options for refilling. swap and go or refill. i noticed a lady getting 3 gas bottles refilled. swap and go would have been the faster option. but i chose to refill. i stood in the freezing temps waiting for her bottles to be filled and started a conversation. about the weather naturally. after a few minutes i thought to myself THIS IS MY MOMENT. on sunday our youth pastor challenged us to step out of the boat and get into the world and talk to people in our lives about jesus. that includes strangers. THIS WAS MY MOMENT. so i stepped out of the boat. i waited for a conversation transition. she mentioned that her daughter was sick and her asthma was flaring up badly. i stepped out of the boat. “this may sound random, but i’m a christian and believe God is real and that He can heal us. can i pray for you and your daughter?” she turned, kind of amazed, and said “i’m a christian too, and yes please” i helped her load her 3 gas bottles into the boot of her car and as another customer and the petrol man watched i put my hand on her shoulder and prayed. i prayed for God’s blessing and for Him to heal her daughter. at the end she was like “wow” and asked for my number and name and gave me her business card. thanks Jesus for such a positive encounter. i love talking to strangers about jesus. and i love praying for God to demonstrate His reality to anyone.
18 years ago yesterday i celebrated a milestone. an anniversary.
it was 18 years ago yesterday that i became a christian.
i had recently moved to a new town with my family and was now attending a huge girls only school. culture shock. when a friend invited me to youth group i had one thing on my mind. were there boys there? yes? great, i would go. great motivation to attend a youth group eh…
but i went and while there on the very first night i discovered that God was real and had a real strong sense that i had to do something about that.
i so went to their easter camp and i knew i was going to become a christian… whatever that really was…
the camp was held at a shearing shed in a beautiful mountain surrounded valley in marlborough.
the speaker spoke about jesus and eternity and heaven and knowing God.
on the saturday afternoon he told us to go away and talk to God.
i sat under a tree, hiding from everyone, crying and making snot because i KNEW i was not good enough to make it to heaven on my own and that i had a dirty heart. the anthem of the camp was keith greens Create in me a Clean Heart. i knew that though i was only 16 and had lived an okay life that i was still dirty and guilty and not good enough.
that night the speaker shared the gospel. that jesus died in my place. that jesus makes me clean. that jesus makes the way to heaven.
he gave the invitation and i went forward.
and encountered God.
and had a heart transplant.
i was forgiven. made new. saved. rescued. cleansed. loved.
yesterday 18 years ago changed my life. changed my eternity.
and i was priv’d to yesterday share my story in the context of communion at our church.
communion is the time we remember what Jesus did – His body broken for us, His blood shed for us – so that we can be forgiven, made new, saved, rescued, cleansed, loved.
God himself was pleased to live fully in his Son. And God was pleased for him to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that all beings in heaven and on earth would be brought back to God. You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. Colossians 1:19-22
i like changes.
in fact sometimes i thrive on change.
i know thats probably unusual. that most people dont really like change.
my husband is wired like that.
which has made our adventure over the past while both joyous and hard for him.
about 6 months ago we realized that the company he worked for was probably nearing a closure. people were resigning and not being replaced.
he began applying for jobs.
but no door opened.
the guys at housegroup prayed for him.
but no door opened.
about 3 weeks ago now he came home and told me he had officially being made redundant. the end was here and now.
change was upon us.
we’ve faced redundancy before, and without going into details, it was a real blessing.
but on that day back over 5 years ago we found out he was being officially made redundant on the day evangeline was born.
so i laughed this time and said “at least i’m not having a baby this time.”
aka we can handle anything.
our declaration is and has and always will be that God is faithful. always. forever.
and that we will walk through any valley He lies before us.
and we will do so with honour and faith and trust.
because He is worth it.
within 2 days my husband had a job interview.
the first one in all the 6 months of applying.
God opened a door.
he went to 3 job interviews for the same job.
and on friday began his new job.
within 2 weeks he was made redundant and got a new job.
God is faithful. always.
and we feel so humbled because we have other friends walking through this unemployment valley and our heart hurts for them.
we feel so blest at God’s grace and favour.
we give all kudos to God.
change may happen.
but God never changes.
He is the same today, yesterday and will be tomorrow.