Finding inspiration for everyday life in everyday life

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spring1

“Try to keep your soul always in peace and quiet, always ready for whatever our Lord may wish to work in you. It is certainly a higher virtue of the soul, and a greater grace, to be able to enjoy the Lord in different times and different places than in only one.”

(Ignatius of Loyola)

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baby.png

It seems to me that anytime an Angel appeared in the Bible, their opening words were “Fear not!” In other words seeing an Angel appear before you was definitely scary!

But when you think about it, “fear not” was pretty wise advice for what was to lie ahead. Being brave was often required. When the Angel told Mary to not fear at the sight of his appearance, what lay ahead also gave just cause for worry. Mary could have chosen to let fear rule her. She could have focussed on how people would react or how they would treat her as an unwed pregnant woman. Instead though, she chose to praise God and celebrate.

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

(Luke 1:46-49)

When I was told at the birth of my little chap that he had down syndrome it seemed that fear made its entrance into my maternity room with gusto. Instead of counting all his toes and enjoying his gorgeous newborn self, my thoughts were being driven by fear. Things I never thought of with my other babies were on my mind. Fear was dominating. Fear of how he would be treated, fear of the future, of the unknown.

But it says in 1 John 4:18 that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” Indeed love for my little chap quickly dispelled the fears. His smile, his cuddles and his joy in life keeps me grounded. But more importantly, an awareness of God’s love for me and most certainly His love for my boy sent fear packing. For God’s love is perfect and fear cannot exist in the presence of God. God does not want us to live a life constrained and burdened by fear. He calls us to an abundant life.

Indeed, Fear not!

Whatever we are facing, whatever road lies ahead for us we need not fear.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)  

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

 

 


morning.png

“The darker the night, The brighter the day, The fiercer the fight, The stronger the faith, So I place my hope in You.”

(Kristene DiMarco)

Sometimes when life seems hard and the time feels dark, hope blazes into your heart again. When dreams seem impossible, God breathes life into them again. The lost is found, a new day dawns. Miracles happen.

After worrying about my little chap’s development, sadness creeping into my heart, my one year old surged ahead with his gross motor skills, finishing off the week with his physiotherapist celebrating his progress. And leaving my heart full.

I am reminded that we need to trust in God’s perfect timing and His faithfulness to us and to His promises. I am reminded of how beautiful it is to trust God and know that He’s got everything under control.

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for His glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)

 


flowers24

“Ezekiel prophesied to dry bones; through the power of God he breathed new life into bones so dead they were all dried out. There may be areas in your life that feel like a graveyard, too; dreams that are so dead that even your thoughts towards them have become lifeless. But what if you made the shift—the “graveyard shift”—and began to think higher thoughts and began to speak life-giving words? What if, while standing in the graveyard, you began to speak of what you can see in the garden? Every dead end in your life has the potential to become a new beginning.”

Steven Furtick


hump day

“Wednesday, regarded as the midpoint of a typical working week. It’s hump day and perhaps the toughest day of the week for you”

Hump day – Wednesday – when the weekend still seems far off. The glow of one weekend has well gone, and the next is still a couple of days away. Actually I think in life we can all have a hump day, a bit of a blah time. When you feel like you’re stuck in the middle. Not making much progress in life, perhaps not where you want to be and you’re left feeling a little flat, a little lost.

I had a bit of a hump day this week. Not so much because I was bemoaning how far away the weekend is, but rather feeling a little down about the developmental milestones my little chap still needs to achieve. I guess seeing a whole lot of other younger babies streak past in their development left me a little flat.

But isn’t life like this? We all have times when we hit a slump – when things we are working for, hoping for, praying for still seem so far away, so elusive, a bit of a mirage even? When the mountain top seems to be one long hard climb away. We’re not at the bottom, but also not at the top. We’re not in the pit, but not in the palace either. We’re just, well, in the middle. And keeping the faith seems a little wearying and hard .

But God is with us in these moments, in these slumps. He doesn’t reserve His love and grace just for the highs and lows of life. He is always there with us, ready with His strength and hope.

My little chap snuggles into me, his arms around my neck. I savour the cuddle. And I realise that looking around is not what I need to do. I need to look up.

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”

(Psalm 121:1-2)

 

 

 


concrete

We’re in the Auckland Sky Tower. Some 300 metres above ground on the viewing platform (internal!). Here as you walk around the platform you can walk on a glass floor. The ground far below visible at each step.

Everyone hesitates. Stepping off the concrete floor to the glass. Will it be ok? It feels a risk. There’s even a sign “This glass floor is 38mm thick. It is as strong as the concrete floors you are studying on.”

Faith is like this glass floor. The glass feels more fragile than the grey concrete. In life, it seems wise, right to stand on facts, on logic, on reality. It’s all so tangible, so real. Yet God calls us to a life of faith, one which supercedes reality. His truth trumps facts. Faith takes us to new levels.

What we are facing is real, it is tangible. BUT God, is over all. Stepping off the concrete to the glass floor is our invitation to God to move in our lives. Refusing to let our circumstances dictate our lives.

Faith turned the waves into a path for Peter. Faith brought healing to a woman and food to thousands. Faith is powerful.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand



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