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See yourself

Have you ever looked at a photo of yourself –  perhaps round the corner in our walk through time zone – and all you see is the big zit on your forehead, or the clothes your mother dressed you in (what was she thinking!), or the naff haircut that was all the rage in 1999 (what were you thinking) – or how young you looked only to look in the mirror now and see the wrinkles that weren’t there 20 years ago…

We are our own worst critic.  We see the flaws like the have huge neon signs pointing at them… and I don’t just mean in photos or to do with our faces and fashion choices.

We compare ourselves to other people, especially in this social media age.

We devalue the gifts and talents that God has given us.

Or we are simply unaware because our self vision is blurry and it can be hard to bring ourselves into focus because we’ve been conditioned to compare for so long and there is also that kiwi culture thing of self depreciation and not being a tall poppy.

In Judges 6 we read about how an angel of the Lord appears to Gideon and calls him a mighty warrior, a mighty man of valour.  Gideon literally says who me?

Gideon is sure that God has the wrong guy, that His angelic gps is off.  He lists all the reasons why it oculdnt possibly be him.

Im from the weakest family in the weakest clan.  God, you’re wrong.

But God is never wrong and He sees the gold in who we are.  He sees the potential and He has created you on purpose with a purpose.  God has in fact written into the very fabric of who you are the gifts and talents that He can use to change the world.

2 Cor 4:7 says We are like common clay jars that carry this glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.

When we see ourselves with supernatural vision, as God sees us, we can step out in confidence because we’re aware and living in that reality that the power and awesome sauce comes from God.

Having supernatural vision of ourselves means we can appraise ourselves with honest eyes – none of us are perfect, but we are loved by One who is.  We all have flaws, but we have a God who forgives and is transforming us day by day, from glory to glory.

We can accept the good, the bad and the ugly because we know how greatly loved we are by God and that we are on a journey of becoming more like Jesus.

Having a wrong view of who we are can so hold us back because we may feel that what we have to offer isn’t enough. We are like that one boys lunch.  We may evaluate ourselves as insignificant but God uses what we bring and surrender to Him.  With God it is more than enough.

We have to accept the flavour of who God has created us to be and run with that.  You are you because God created you to be who you are meant to be.  He wanted one just like you.  You will reach people that only you will reach.  You will communicate the gospel through your words and your life like only you can.  You will serve in unique ways and the world needs the gift that you are.

Confession time… I come across, I think, like a mostly confident person.  But there have been times when insecurity battled within to shut me up and shut me down.  My greatest fear growing up and into my 20s, apart from spiders, was singing in public and dancing in public.  But as many of you saw in our highlights video last week and can look around the corner I ended up in a lead role playing an 8 year old brat, singing and dancing on stage, in the Ultimate Gift.  I had auditioned not to acutally be in the production but to make friends as I had only recently joined the church.  There were many times that I said to peter I cant sing that note and he would tell me yes you can and you will.  There were many times I was shaking on the inside but had to step out and do it anyway.

Even with preaching and leading I often battle the insecurity that I am not enough.  When I was 19 I did a personality test with a group of other youth leaders at my church and they all came out as Cholerics – powerful leaders – or Melencholics – deep thinkers.  And then there was me. Sanguine.  Funny popular.  Light and fluffy.  Again when I was in my late 20s I did a preaching course and everyone in the course were deep and spiritual, or theological and wise sounding and then there was me.    On the outside it looked like I had it together but on the inside I was questioning if what I brought to the table was enough.  God in his graciousness continues to encourage me that my voice is His voice and that everyone needs superhero pop culture references and gun noises from time to time.

Your life is telling a story. There are people who need your brave, courageous steps forward in faith, beyond pain, disappointment, or challenge, coming through with a smile on your face, joy in your heart, and purpose in your step. There are people who need your story of hope, redemption, healing, forgiveness, victory and courage! Your story – your life – it matters.

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I’m so glad that God is like this.  He seeks us, He pursues us.  He never gives up on us.

No matter how we run, no matter how we fall, He is there.

I just discovered this song today.  Wow.

How do I say thank You, Lord
For the way that You love
And the way that You come

For all that You’ve done
All that You’ll do
My hearts pours out
Thank You

You don’t have to come
But You always do
You show up in splendor
And change the whole room

How do I say thank You, Lord
For the life that You gave
The cross that You bore

For the love You poured out
To ransom my soul
My hearts pours out
This thankful song

You walk through all my walls
Conquered my shame
Stepped into my past
Fill my world with grace
You didn’t have to come
But You wanted to

I say Thank You

 

Copy of WELCOME TO THE FAMILY.jpgOne of the funniest things about being a parent is observing the family resemblance that get passed down from generation to generation.

There are the obvious.

Height.  Or lack of it.

Hair colour.  And hair colour changes…. My husband’s mum was completely white by the time she was 35 (and my husband is nearly completely gray/white at 43 – and looks awesome!)

Eyes.

But there are other things that families do in common, traits and quirks that identify people as belonging to a family.

You’ve probably heard the sayings:

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Like father, like son
A chip off the old block.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Greater is the one who is in you than the one who is in the world.  1 John 4:4

In this life we have an enemy.

A defeated enemy, but one who is lashing out because of his defeat.  Every time we step out and draw near to God and take some land the enemy will try to strike back and kill, steal, destroy, restrict, hinder.  His tactics are oppression and temptation. He will lie to us and tell us we are not good enough or he will try to lure us into sin.  He is “like” a roaring line trying to ensnare us away from God.  His suggestions are lies.  His accusations are lies.

As christians we need to be aware of spiritual realities and deal with them accordingly.  Every time something goes wrong or you feel stink it is not the devil.  But sometimes it is. We need to dial up our discernment so we can live in that place of victory that Jesus has won for us.

Remember – GREATER is HE – is GOD – is the CREATOR – is the SAVIOUR – is the KING OF KINGS – in you, living inside you, dwelling within you – than he that is in the world…

 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one… Ephesians 6

Faith in God deflects that attack of the enemy.  When you have faith in God you realize you are forgiven, protected, empowered, called, chosen, cleansed, transformed.  Faith in the promises and declarations of God raises up a protective shield that deflects the lies of the enemy.

Today, do you know you are armed and dangerous?  Do you know the authority you have in Jesus?

 

There is something amazing that happens when we behold God

When we see Him as He is

Awesome

Majestic

Holy

Powerful

Near

Close

The psalmist describes it as mountains melting like wax in the presence of God.  All else fades away said a more modern psalm singer.

Today, do you  need to carve out some time to behold?

We’ve seen Your faithful hand
Your mercy without end
A King who bled and died
A God who sacrificed

Be enthroned upon the praises
Of a thousand generations
You are worthy. Lord of all
Unto You, the slain and risen King
We lift our voices with heaven singing
Worthy, Lord of all

All through this life we lead
And onto eternity
Our endless praise, we’ll cry
Jesus be glorified

 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted – sorry!

I had a stint in hospital and have been busy with work related stuff.   Life.

Time in hospital made me stop.  You’re stuck in a bed, its noisy and unfamiliar.  Time to stop is an invitation to draw close to God.  It is a time for worship and prayer.  A time for just being.  We are not human doings but human beings and for me hospital time is a very big reminder that doing is not my mandate but being a child of God is.  Relationship is more important than doing.  My identity is not what I do but WHOSE I am and who I am.

This song was my anthem. Let me become more aware of your goodness, let your presence come. Let me see you more. Let me draw close.

 

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We never grow closer to God when we just live life.  It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness. 

Your level of preparation determines your level of outpouring.  It’s not someone elses responsibility to take care of what’s inside of you.

Paul instructed Timothy to fan into flame the gift that was inside him. (2 Timothy 1:6)

“Your life from seed to full-grown tree is a process. We all like the idea of fruit, but rarely do we allow ourselves to build a root system.” Banning Liebscher

As leaders we need to have a strong, consistent inflow to balance our outflow.  As leaders were are giving out all the time.  Energy, time, emotions.  In order to GROW as a leader we need to stretch our capacity and ability to lead.  Read the rest of this entry »

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