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Christine Caine posted on fb recently “I encourage you today to embrace the change necessary in order to grow into the success that God has prepared for you. God calls us to step up and into His promises and purposes, and He will give you the grace to run your race.” ~ Christine Caine

We have to be aware of our weaknesses and be prepared to grow and deal with our stuff.  We all have stuff.  We all have flaws.   We waste an enormous amount of energy trying to cover up our sins, our hurts, our hang-ups, and our defects. If we spent as much time being honest about what’s not right in our life as we do covering it up, we’d have a lot more energy for what is right in our life.

The thing about weaknesses is that we often on our strengths but leave ourselves vulnerable to attack, or to falling over in that area.  During WW2 Singapore was a very powerful military base.  With a seemingly impenetrable jungle behind it they focused all their defences towards the sea.  However the city was conquered, not by sea but by the Japanese who cut a single track bicycle track through the jungle.

The battle for sin starts in our mind, not in our behaviour. The way we think determines the way we feel, and the way we feel determines the way we act. If we want to change the way we act, we start by changing the way you think and feel by aligning it to the Word of God.

 

This is the beauty of the call of God, that he chooses to do extraordinary things with ordinary people, with broken people, with messy people.  He uses rescued people to rescue people.  That takes courage in itself, to be open to God.  We know He sees all and knows all but how many of us like to pretend that that there are places in our heart that He cannot see?  Or is that just me? We have a responsibility to not stay the same, to not hide from ourselves but to be honest and to let God into those places.

 

 

God uses change to change us. He doesn’t use it to destroy us or to distract us, but to coax us to the next level of character, experience, compassion and destiny!   God uses change to transform us so we can live a best life and have relationshi8ps that flourish and can make the most of the opportunities that come our way.

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“Spiritual change requires discipline. I can remember as a college student sitting for hours on end in tiny, windowless practice rooms, playing the same piece of music again and again. I knew that I never would reach my goal–to make beautiful music–without that rigorous discipline. Discipline for the purpose of godliness is not the same as self-effort. Rather, it means consciously cooperating with the Holy Spirit–yielding to Him so that He can conform us to the image of Christ. The problem is, we want the outcome without the process. We want victory without the warfare. Praying and hoping for spiritual change is futile if we sit glued to a television set or neglect the means that God has provided for our growth in grace. Bible study, meditation, worship, prayer, fasting, accountability and obedience are disciplines that produce a harvest of righteousness in our lives” (Nancy Leigh DeMoss).

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Last week was the shortest day of the year.  Already we see the days lengthening and changing, the weather attempting to be warm to lure us into the promise of spring.

Seasons change.  With new seasons of the year come new opportunities, experiences, weather patterns, habits, blessings and “hassles”.  Each winter I end up buying new winter gloves because invariably the ones from the year before have wandered off into who-knows-where land.  When the bite of a frost chills me to the core I always long for the sunshine of summer.  But I love winter for pumpkin soup and hearty roasts.  I love winter pjs and slippers, the roar of the fire and the coziness of a blanket.  In winter you can snow, in summer you can surf.  Summer speaks to me of ice cream and walking along the beach, and lazy afternoons with a book and sunglasses.

As with the seasons of the year, so life changes.  It has its own seasons.

There are seasons of growth and harvest.  Seasons of productivity and creation.  Seasons of depth and preparation.

What season are you in?

Every season has its opportunities, experiences, patterns, habits, blessings and “hassles”.

Here are 3 things I do to appreciate and maximize the season I am in: Read the rest of this entry »

“…the character of a life is not set in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments…”

You see, the character of a life is not set in two or three dramatic moments, but in 10,000 little moments. The character that was formed in those little moments is what shapes how you respond to the big moments of life.

What leads to significant personal change?

  • 10,000 moments of personal insight and conviction
  • 10,000 moments of humble submission
  • 10,000 moments of foolishness exposed and wisdom gained
  • 10,000 moments of sin confessed and sin forsaken
  • 10,000 moments of courageous faith
  • 10,000 choice points of obedience
  • 10,000 times of forsaking the kingdom of self and running toward the kingdom of God
  • 10,000 moments where we abandon worship of the creation and give ourselves to worship of the Creator.

 

And what makes all of this possible? Relentless, transforming, little-moment grace. You see, Jesus is Emmanuel not just because he came to earth, but because he makes you the place where he dwells. This means he is present and active in all the mundane moments of your daily life.  And what is he doing? In these small moments he is delivering every redemptive promise he has made to you. In these unremarkable moments, he is working to rescue you from you and transform you into his likeness. By sovereign grace he places you in daily little moments that are designed to take you beyond your character, wisdom and grace so that you will seek the help and hope that can only be found in him. In a lifelong process of change, he is undoing you and rebuilding you again—exactly what each one of us needs! Paul Tripp

Even Now

Martha says an interesting thing to Jesus when he arrives after her brothers death : ‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’

Martha “even now you can do impossible things” – that phrase even now speaks with faith despite circumstances. Even now despite what is going on, Jesus you can move and work and redeem and rescue.

Even now God can heal your family relationships

Even now God can change your life

Even now God can provide

Even now God can heal

Even now God can set you free from fear, insecurity, shame, doubt

Jesus can bring life to hopeless situations we’ve given up on as dead

Jesus resurrects people that feel dead on the inside and makes them alive with second chances

Jesus can resurrect dreams that have been killed by discouragement and disappointment

Jesus can speak life into your failing relationship and bring hope where it is hopeless

Nothing is impossible for God – No one is impossible for God. Your husband is not impossible for God. Your wife is not impossible for God. Your parents are not impossible for God. Your kids are not impossible for God.

God’s delays are not His denials – that IS that Lazarus was in was such an important part of “his life” and what God was doing.

 

What is your even now moment?

Therapists and others who study human behaviour will tell you there’s only one difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. “It’s all about their habits,” they say. 

 

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.

2. They reveal where you spend your time.

3. They reveal the state of your mental health.

4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.

5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

 

1. They reveal what you value least—and most.

Tell me your dreams and then show me your calendar.

Tell me what’s most important in your life and then show me how that is really actioned in your life.

A habit as simple as arriving late or constantly procrastinating can show what you rank at the bottom of your scale of priorities—and also what you rank at the top. What do you hold as important and unimportant in this life? Just take a look at your habits. They will speak for themselves—and most likely, they will speak to others as well.

If you have a habit of working hard, helping others or always being on time to work, it shows that you see a great deal of value in your future, your character and your work ethic. Likewise, if you are always late, interrupt times with friends because you always answer your phone or commit initially only to back out late, it will be clear to the people around you what comes first in your life—and what doesn’t.  It destroys credibility.  It empties the relational bank account and creates distrust.  Trust is such a great lubricant for promotion and opportunity – without trust the opportunities and promotions pass by us and restrict us to a lower level of adventure and experience.  Good habits foster good relationships and a healthy relational bank account.  They demonstrate personal integrity and capability and contribute to a proven track record of faithfulness.

Small things have a larger role in who we are and who we are becoming.  They create a big picture view of who we are.  We may consider some habits as inconsequential but they have an impact in creating credibility with people which in turn has an impact on where we are heading in life.  

Habits can hinder us, or they can be shining stars in the way we live our life publicly and privately.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  Jim Ryun

 

2. They reveal where you spend your time.

Habits don’t just happen overnight. If a habit takes 30 days to form, then those 30 days will tell you a lot about your commitments. Are you cutting down on your Starbucks habit so that you can read the Bible in the morning before work? Or are you routinely hitting snooze and falling off your exercise program 10 days in? We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and have to make choices about we’re using our time. We make trade-offs based on what we consider most important at the time—for better or for worse.

I myself have worked hard at creating a habit of getting up early and exercising.  This habit says that YES I do value my health, wellbeing and also the dreams I have that require me to be fit and able instead of sick and tired.  I have had to make significant choices that support my new habit and deal with the voices in my head that entice me to hit snooze.  But I value the progress I am making over another hour or so of sleep.  I trade sleep for long term gain.

 

“We become what we repeatedly do.” Sean Covey

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
― Samuel Smiles

 

3. They reveal the state of your mental health.

Some habits are internal, more than external. They live in our thought processes, our attitudes and our outlook. And if these mental habits go unchecked, it can cause us to live in a state of mental compression because our habits are living our lives for us. But the truth is, mental health is the beginning of all habitual health problems. If a habit, such as envy, lust, comparison, discontent, takes root in your mind, that mental habit is eventually going to be given the reins to the rest of your health if not taken care of.

Creating a new habit is a mental challenge.  It requires will power and discipline.  It requires us to have a bigger YES in our lives that empowers us to say no. 

Steven Furtick says that our mind is like a factory.  We are the quantity managers the determine whether a thought, a product of that factory, meets the grade or needs to be rejected and taken off the production line before it gets delivered into the world.  Likewise our habits.  We can choose how we live our life.  We can chose our habits.  

We demolish argument s and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and
we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
—2 Corinthians 10:5

Becoming aware of our habits doesnt need to be limited to actions but also our emotions and the very way we think and process information.

In UNGLUGED, Lysa Terkeurst instructed participants (our mums group) to keep a reaction journal.  To document those moments when we came unglued and reacted to a situation in unpleasant ways.  This revealed our current status quo.  It intentionally caused us to become aware of what emotional habits we had and then was the springboard to choose new emotional habits, to create a new normal.

 

4. They reveal the state of your spiritual health.

Your habits play a massive role in your sinful nature. Our habits are shaped by either a self-disciplined will, or a powerful felt need—and the latter can often pull us into habitual sin. If you really think about it, most sin is derived from a habit that has been formed over an extensive period of time, and then exposes itself when that habit yearns to be activated. On the other hand, forming habits of prayer and worship can also create virtuous habits that can counteract the destructive pull toward sin. 

The choices we make and the habits we live either feed our flesh or feed our spirit.

 

If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. 17 The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. 18 But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you. Galatians 5:16-18

Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires. Romans 13:14

 

5. They reveal the state of your physical health.

We’re a society of busy people—and there’s a multitude of fast food, drive-thru options just for our convenience.

Look at your food and exercise habits: do you make late-night chocolate runs, put off your gym membership renewal, lounge around playing video games all weekend? Or do you make it a point to work out three times a week, floss your teeth daily, fill your shopping basket with fresh veges? Your habits will tell you a thing or two about your physical health.  If you want to improve your health and wellbeing then change your habits.

It’s easy to go about our days as usual—with our habits and routines fixed in place without a thought. But if we do evaluate our default patterns, we might learn what we’re doing well and where we have room for improvement. And in 30 days, we might even be able to turn ourselves around and create new normals in our lifestyle.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.  Galatians 6:7-8

Sow healthy habits and reap health.  Sow a block of chocolate a day… and  yes.

 

“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
Margaret Thatcher

 

 

 

Ammended from an article (see link above), and inspired by RELEVANT MAGAZINE

Over the weekend I was priv’d to be at a Cleansing Streams Retreat day. I had gone along with our SAS crew as their coordinator, to be their in this part of their journey, be there if they needed a hug or an ear, and for myself too, to draw closer to God, to deal with any obstacles and hindrances.

The Cleansing Streams Retreat day was beautifully and powerfully presented, with great teaching and ministry times. It was a very considered and wise approach to becoming free in such a group context, dealing with the spiritual heart of an issue and yet filled with love and joy and peace. It was challenging at parts but non-threatening because of the graceful atmosphere and environment that the leaders intentionally create.

This was one of the clips that they played over the day to bring our attention to the change and freedom that Jesus was giving, inside out.

Jesus takes who we are, just as we are, and He makes us new.  Brand new.  No shame.  No guilt.

It’s no longer about what I’ve done, but about what He has done.  Our acceptability is in Him.

Yes we have struggles and vulnerabilities and sin, but nothing will separate us from His great love not because of anything we can do to earn or repay salvation but because of grace.  His grace transforms me, inside out.

Do you know how Jesus sees you?

Moths

"Here’s the dangerous thing about Jesus: He’s not after your behaviour; he’s after your heart. Make no mistake about it. Jesus is going to relentlessly and passionately pursue your heart. Even when your behaviour tricks everybody else, it just doesn’t trick Jesus. He’s coming after the heart." ~ Perry Noble

 

 

 

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7

i couldnt say it better than this woman in her tedtalk :

Our minds change reality to reflect the biases that we have inside our own heads.

When we admit who we really are, we have the opportunity to change.

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