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I have something incredible to share with you all…

but as yet I still havent been able to find the right words.  I havent been able to wrap words around how amazing it is, how amazing God is.  Yes, I’m speechless!  I want to tell the story and do it justice in a way that people would know that God is real and that nothing is impossible for Him.  I want to tell it in away that conveys the magnitude of what this means for my life.

I’m awestruck.

Amazed.

I’ll give you a clue.

That’s me getting prayed for at our #HisPresence14 Conference at The River over the weekend.

And I got healed.

Seriously healed.

Life changedly healed.

Watch this space for an update later in the week!

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When I was about 6 months old as a Christian our church went on a family camp. As just as at the previous camp when we were sent out to go and talk to God, where I sat under a tree and cried my eyes out because I knew I was never good enough to get to heaven on my own, the camp I got saved at… we got sent out to go and talk to God. I again picked a tree to sit under and you guessed it, cried my eyes out. And I didn’t really hear anything. I had some massive walls up and I was just trying to figure this whole knowing God thing out anyway.

Anyway after a while I went to the bathroom, near the tree, to wash my face. I looked up and on the mirror was scratched my name. My name! I thought that was “cool, but weird” and so went outside. My eye caught the reflection of glass in the sun right where I had been sitting. I went over, curious, to investigate. There where I had been sitting was a broken bottle or glass. The glass was old, worn and dirty. Broken. You could hardly see through it. At that very moment I heard God say that though you may be like that glass now, dirty and broken, I will make you like that mirror. That mirror with my name on it.

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i love jon acuff.  i read both Quitter and Start last year and loved them both.  i think EVERYONE needs to read START.  yes, seriously.

so when i got an invitation to join a 30 day programme called 30 DAYS OF HUSTLE

30 Days of Hustle is based on one simple idea, Get Stuff Done. Turns out 98% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. Not this year. Using scientifically proven methods to knock out our goals, we will be collectively storming through 2014.

Tasks will be emailed out daily to members of the group.

 

So this is today’s auspicious task:

1.    Find one thing you are going to do in the next 30 days.
2.    Make it specific. (Don’t say, “I’ll get in shape,” say, “I’ll lose 5 pounds.”)
3.    Make sure its your goal and not someone else’s goal. According to Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. “People are even better at keeping their New Year’s resolutions when they feel that the resolutions reflect their own personal desires and values.”
4.    Write it down and post it somewhere you will see it.
5.    Share it in the 30 Days of Hustle Facebook group.

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as a new year unfolds i’m feeling its very much a step out of the boat onto the water kind of year (did you ever guess that?)

butt he other significant word i’m feeling is PRESENCE

i want this year and my life to be characterised and shaped by HIS PRESENCE

i want housegroup to be experiencing HIS PRESENCE

i want to preach saturated and overflowing with HIS PRESNCE

i want my marriage and parenting to be influenced by HIS PRESENCE

i want my connections to leave an indelible mark of HIS PRESENCE

at the end of the year i want to know Him more and make Him known more

i want to keep on completing the M’cheyne Bible reading plan but also read for PRESENCE in my new Revival Bible

i dont just want to read words, i want to know The Word

i want to have worship times that leave me changed and refreshed

i want to live out of overflow

i want to go deep before i go wide

i want to sit before i serve

 

{Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger}

in the PRESENCE of my Saviour!

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! 

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today if you go along to

New Zealand Christian Mum 

you’ll see my first post up there! 

excited much!

Claire McLean LandL

 

**** introducing myself for our Leading and Loving It ConnectLIVE Group (for more info about my group check HERE: Leading & Loving It ConnectLIVE)

 

Name: Claire

Where are you from: I’ve lived here in Auckland (our countries largest city), New Zealand but spent my childhood/teens moving around the country, from the tip of the south in a rural town to the top of the north.  New Zealand has a population of about 4 million people, 1.5 million of them living in Auckland. The LOTR was shot here in New Zealand and it is stunningly beautiful!

Where do you live now? Auckland, New Zealand

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I 79 me selfa

i find it really easy to say to someone else “you’re beautiful” and mean it.

not so much about myself.

i like my hair, i like my style, when i smile my eyes twinkle… but beautiful.  not so much.

and yeah, i’m working on it.

because i don’t think that’s good enough.  i think its a lie.  i think its not true.

yet it destabilises me, can make me feel insecure.

it can make me want to hide and shrink back instead of stepping forward.

its a limitation.

and to confess it is like a dirty little secret, its a hidden shame that i carry on the inside.

I don’t know if it is because for so long I’d had some visible external “stuff” that made me feel self conscious – eczema on my body and my face.  I got so used to looking in the mirror and seeing the eczema and not the me behind it.  I don’t know if its because i’m in the second half of my thirties with two kids.  I don’t know if its because i’m short and curvy.   But really, they’re just excuses.  an excuse to excuse away my self doubt.

i’m learning to line up my perception with God’s reality.

He says I’m beautiful.

He says I’m His.

i’m learning to line up my perception with other peoples encouragement.

My husband says I’m beautiful.

My kids say I’m beautiful.

My friends say I’m beautiful.

People at church say I’m beautiful.

I’m learning to smile and say thank you, and mean it and not add a but in my head, to discount it with a shrug.

I’m learning to replace any doubt with trust.

I’m learning to let go and just be me, to embrace my style and to live outwards. 

(Even if that means I cant dye my hair anymore!)

Because God made me beautiful.  He has crafted my outside and inside to bring Him joy.

 

I am beautiful.

 

PS – have you seen the Dove Real Beauty Forensic Drawings Clip… You Are More Beautiful Than You Think… + the men’s parody version (sooooo funny!)

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday is a feature over at Lisa-Jo Bakers TALES FROM A GYPSY MAMA blog.  i first read about it on my friend Fee’s blog (and her one on IN BETWEEN is really good this week!) and thought it sounded fun!

So, let’s do this thing. Let’s write.

Set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

OK, are you ready?

Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire ~ St Catherine of Seinna // loved Philippa’s message on Saturday morning – and yes, how appropriate and inspiring is this will.i.am + sesame street song! i totally woke up this morning with it stuck in my head in a good way!

 

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we had lots of fun at church this morning with the photobooth that we used at the Illuminate Conference… nice to get the family in for some fun photos!

 

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and our beautiful housegroup!  love these crazy peeps!

 

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totally loving my new tops from jeanswest (top), max (middle) and new crop blazer from shanton and curver embracer jeans from jeans west and statement necklace from some place in slyvia park (that looks a bit like this one in the photo)

 

and as always.  i love Jesus with all i am and all my heart and all my soul and all my days. For His glory and the building of His kingdom and the rescue of the lost.

so what are you totally loving this week?

… check out what other peeps are loving whatever day of the week it is over at MNM’s BLOG

things im loving

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today i am 37.  my brother tried to tell me i was 39.  i confess for about 5 seconds i panicked!

but phew, i’m just a young 37.

my family are crook with winter bugs so i solo’d it to church – which was lovely – as much as facebook has ruined the “i like to not tell anyone when its my birthday” mojo, i like all the hugs and love.  i feel the love.

when i got home to my ruggled up family they had pressies for me.

jumper cables!  yes!  seriously i needed them.  they’ll go nicely with my new car battery.  which may mean i dont need them but that i can be a friend to someone who does.  mine comes in a box, with instructions.  brilliant.

and a hand made voucher for a shopping trip to buy some slippers.  oh my toes rejoice.

and lovely cards my son made.  he is so thoughtful and sweet.

and itunes vouchers!  yay.  i’ve already brought martin smith’s version of WAITING FOR YOU (from God’s Dance Floor album) and WITHOUT WORDS by bethel.

i’m making a delish pork roast with veges – i brought one with mega crackling, the best part! 

 

and i’m 37.

i feel like i should be mature, together, with it.  but i’m still so on a journey.

i love though, getting older, because it means i’ve had more days knowing God and knowing His love and His ways.  which should mean i’m growing in wisdom and influence.  i feel very blessed – i have a loving lovely family, a husband who gets me quirks and all, and an amazing church and friends.  my heart is full and rich.  i thank God for His grace and mercy towards me.

 

 

i love:

Jesus

Tony

Caleb and Evangeline

The River, our leaders, our people

The Best Housegroup in the World

Our mums group

My wonderful friends

LOST, Fringe, Once Upon a Time, and pretty much anything made by J.J. Abrams

Star Trek and Star Wars, Les Miserables and Mission Impossible movies

Turkish Delight Hot Chocolate from the Coffee Club, roast pork and butter chicken and minties (not all together!)

 

 

a new thing for me in the last year:

i have discovered i love reading food blogs and recipe books – esp gluten free ones – and marketing books

i have a new found confidence in who God has made me, more comfortable being me

i’ve connected with some amazing people around the world through the blog and Leading and Loving It 

i haven’t dyed my hair (dermatologists orders!) (which is also why having a good hairdresser is vital) and i’m mostly okay with that, most days

i brought a hoodie.  two in fact.  first two i may have ever owned, seriously

i completed a years worth of specialist appts, regular blood tests and 12 weeks of light therapy

today is an auspicious day.

today i turn 20.

it was 20 years ago today that i stood and went up the front at an easter camp, in a shearing shed, and said YES to Jesus.

it was 20 years ago today that i became a christian.

 

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i grew up in what could be called a semi religious home.  my mum took us to the catholic church.  i made my first communion and confirmation.  my dad stayed at home and cooked amazing roast lunches.  i DID really want to know God though and there are several experiences that i know have shaped my faith, expression and relationship with God from childhood but church was boring and irrelevant.

In early teens though i decided that God must not be real, as He didn’t seem to be “there” – so I figured I would live my life without the “hassle” of thinking about Him and “His laws” (very catholic way of thinking) and so did that.  i chose to live my own life my own way.

Our family moved quite a bit and when I was 15 we moved from Gore (the 5th place i’d lived already)… where I went from a 300 student co-ed school to Blenheim, where I had to go to a 1000+ all girls school!  Talk about freak out!  It was major culture shock!  one of my new friends then casually asked me during classics class if i would like to go to  youth group with her.  I went along with her one night for one reason and one reason only.  There were boys there!  Great reason for going to youth group eh lol!

Anyway on that first night someone PRAYED and I KNEW God was REAL and I knew I wanted to know Him. i had seen people pray my whole life when i went to church with mum – and this was like it was real, and that he was really talking to a real God, that i could know, not far away, but near and personal, and not grumpy and angry, but loving and filled with grace.

i didnt really know what being a christian was and if it was diferent from what i had seen on a sunday growing up, but i felt there must be something more.

I waited until I went to their Easter Camp (about 3 weeks later) and there, not knowing what a Christian was or did, what the expectation was, what my life would be like… anything… yet I became one… I went up the front and responded to God, and encountered Him radically. By that i knew something was different – that i had given my life to God and became His child. sounds like a Christian cliché eh, but very real. i felt clean and new and forgiven. life had purpose and meaning. it was the start of an adventure.

so i went along to easter camp and i think for the first time heard clearly about who Jesus is and why he died on the cross and that you could have peace with God, peace on the inside.

i went forward when they asked if anyone would like to give their lives to God and had what can only be called a supernatural experience.  i felt God.  i felt a warmth and a heat that couldnt be explained by the room i was in.  i felt happy and peace.  i felt loved.  i knew that i had crossed a line, that 10 minutes before i was not a christian but then all of a sudden i was. 

it was more than going to church but about having a connection with God.  a connection i have all the time.  and that it was more than rules and being a nice person.  i pray and spend time with God, in my real life day.  i believe He speaks and guides us, supports us, encourages us.

there was a song that played during the camp that really spoke to my heart. 

Don’t you know that i formed you, before you were born i knew you, don’t you know that my plans for you are good.

look and see I’ve engraved on the palm of my hand, look and see I’ve engraved you on my hands

 

Did you know that your name is tattooed on the palm of God’s hands?

Did you know that?

Your name.

My name.

My name is engraved on the palm of the hand of God.

It is for sure engraved on the palms of Jesus’ hands – great big gaping nail hole wounds.

It was all because of love that Jesus died.  It was all because of love that God sent Jesus to live and to die on the cross as the sacrifice that pays for our sins.

The Bible is a book all about God’s love for you and for all people. This love was revealed when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world as a human being, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Because Jesus died, your sins can be forgiven, and because He conquered death you can have eternal life. You can know for sure what will become of you after you die.

You have probably heard the story of God’s love referred to as the “Gospel.” The word Gospel simply means “Good News.” The Gospel is the Good News that, because of what Christ has done, we can be forgiven and can live forever.

The Bible puts it this way…  Colossians 1:20-22 And God was pleased for Jesus to make peace by sacrificing his blood on the cross, so that everyone 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.

 

20 years ago i discovered that God really is real.

and i discovered His love is amazing, everlasting, unchanging.

i discovered freedom, peace, hope.

i was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now i see.

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