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Undressing for the King

11/07/2019 15:58
When I was young, I was blessed with a shock of wavy black hair which was easy to manage. But then … I grew up, got old, even older … and keeping my hair well-groomed was like growing exotic colourful blooms in the height of a cold dark winter. The masses of hair I once boasted of dwindled. Thick hair turned thin. I was told that blow-drying hair damages it, so I had to stop the practice. I discovered though, that if I had a shower last thing at night, my straggly mop of thinning hair would retain some of its bounce and would be fairly presentable in the daytime.
 
So for many years I’ve been enjoying a bedtime shower—it kept my hair in some kind of shape. Until recently that is. Lately, I’d be aghast each morning to find my hair sticking out in all directions, like a crow’s nest pulled apart in a storm. It was so embarrassing when I had to go out and meet people! No amount of brushing or combing helped—not even when I smoothed those disobedient tresses with oil and water. Drastic measures were needed!
So … I thought up a new plan. I continue to have my bedtime showers, but do NOT wet my hair at night anymore. Instead, I have an additional morning shower three times a week, blow-drying my hair afterwards. At long last, my hair looks combed—at least most of the time. Whew. Thank you God. My beloved needs the use of the shower in the mornings, so I wait to wave him off to work before I get under the shower. Which means I need to dress (in several layers because it’s winter), perform my morning chores, then undress later (out of all those layers), have my shower and dress again (in all those layers) once more. 

What a lot of dressing and undressing!

 
But …I’ve found a way to make it all worth my while. God’s been asking me to make worship a way of life. What better use of my morning routine then, than to incorporate worship as a big part of it? When I undress before my shower, God calls me to strip my heart from all the stained apparel it has on—pride, anxiety, worry, self-will and the like. He asks that I stand naked before Him in my spirit, empty of all pretense. And then, as I worship Him in the shower, singing praise songs at the top of my voice, His blood washes my soul and spirit and cleanses me from deep within. 

What a great start to my day!

When I put on layers of clothing afterwards, God asks me to put on Christ. He hands me my new nature—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self control. He also reminds me to put on the armour of Christ so I can fight the powers of darkness—His breastplate of righteousness, shoes that proclaim the gospel of peace, the helmet of salvation, a belt of truth around my waist, the shield of faith held firm to keep away darts of the enemy. And in my hands I brandish the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
 
When did you last undress for the King? What did that feel like? And what did you put on to replace it? Let’s pursue our faithful loving God, laying aside all that hinders our walk with Him. Let’s make worship, praise and thanksgiving a way of life which resounds to His glory!

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, 

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, 

gentleness and patience. And over all these virtues put on love, 

which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12,14

 

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you 

before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to 

the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, 

through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! 

Amen. Jude 1:24

 
 

When Grace Surprises

14/06/2019 15:43
I saw the postman arrive as I left home and I drove off without another thought. When I returned few hours later, mulch and sand tarnished our once clean driveway. I shook my head. The postman must have messed it up! He usually drives by our letter box, pops the mail in, then drives out again, the back wheel of his motorbike scattering dirt, leaving a muddy mess behind. I went to our mail box to collect what he had left for us, but to my surprise it was empty. That’s strange! I looked again. Nope. Nothing there—nothing at all!
 
The next morning, when I opened our front door, two pigeons strutted around purposefully in our yard. They dug the ground with their beaks, throwing mulch hither and thither. Ah! That explained it! I should have known better than to jump to premature conclusions! And truth be told, it wouldn’t be the first time I’d blamed an innocent party. For instance, there was a day I couldn’t find my pair of nail scissors. I was in a hurry to leave home for an appointment. I checked the drawer where I kept it but it wasn’t there. I shoved aside an umbrella, our sewing kit and a few other odds and ends but no, there was no sign of what I was looking for. Shan must have used it, I thought. I went to his bedside cupboard and checked his drawers one by one. Not there either. Grrr.
It was then I remembered. The day before, I’d taken my brush, perfume, scissors and lipstick to my son’s bathroom. I was going to church early that day. My hard-working husband  caught up on his sleep during the weekends and I knew I’d disturb him if I used the mirror of our ensuite. Now, I ran to my son’s bathroom, opened the draw under the mirror and voila! The little nail scissors sat patiently, waiting to be found. I hung my head in shame.
 
I’m sure there must be plenty of occasions over the years when I’ve blamed my husband or son for a misdemeanour when in reality the blame lay squarely on my shoulders. Thankfully, I have not received my just deserts. My sins and foibles have usually been met with forgiveness and grace - from God and from others. Even when I least deserved it. Especially when I least deserved it.
 

 

A few months ago, I did the unthinkable—I reversed into a pole at the shopping centre. In an horrifying instant, my car’s back windscreen was shattered; the parking lot strewn with hundreds of glass shards. I could not believe what I had done! I phoned my husband with trembling fingers, and he came at once; bless him. After some deliberation, we went home to get our broom, dustpan and brush and returned to the scene where my beloved helped me clear up the mess. I felt terrible—not just at the unexpected accident, but also that it had occurred during Shan’s long-deserved Easter break. It meant that instead of relaxing the next day as he’d hoped to do, he now had to fill insurance forms, make phone calls and take our car to the garage. I had spoilt his holiday! My beloved man was truly amazing—he assured me that it was OK and he comforted me.
I was so grateful that Shan lavished my undeserving heart with grace. His kindness in not making a big deal in what actually WAS a big deal blessed me immensely. Grace often walks in where it is needed, shedding light into our darkness. God Himself lavished us with grace through the death and resurrection of His only Son. If that wasn’t grace in all its fullness what is? God’s grace is the key that unlocks our fettered lives so we can walk out of our self-made prisons in freedom, gratitude and joy.
 
So … what does God expect of me as I deal with the sins, failures and mistakes of others? I can make a big deal out of my neighbour’s actions when he sins against me. Or … I can, as one sinner to another, shower him with grace. After all, God pours His grace over me every day. And grace begets grace. Every time.

 

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has

 a grievance against someone. 

Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

 
 
 
 

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds 

them all together in perfect unity. 

Colossians 3:13-14

 
 

To whom can I extend a garland of grace today?

 

You Didn't Ask

30/05/2019 22:26

It was one of those days. One moment the sun dazzled the world with its radiant smile, the next … storm clouds gathered thick and fast and rain came pattering down. I knew I’d have only an hour at the shops so thought I'd buy the wedding gift I wanted but leave the rest of my (grocery) shopping for later. An hour’s browsing and deliberating found me the perfect gift—a  collection of smaller gifts really and the knowledge warmed my heart. Afterwards, as I pushed my trolley towards the car park, a few spots of drizzle wet my nose. Oh good! It was only a light shower, so no need to pull out my umbrella!
 
As if to challenge my attitude of gratitude, the rain drops began to increase. A few minutes on, the drizzle turned into a deluge. I rushed to my car pushing my trolley. Soaking and shivering, I opened the boot with a slippery hand and unloaded my treasures, then hurried to find a spot for my trolley and dashed back to my car, getting sopping wet all the while. Raindrops splattered my steering wheel and water dripped down the car seat making a pool at my feet.

I frowned. “Why did you time that shower so badly Papa?

‘You didn’t ask’

 

I didn’t ask? 

What?

 Did I need to ask?

 
 
After all, He is my Father—He takes care of me. It hadn't occured to me to pray. In fact, I’d not pulled my umbrella out because it was only a drizzle when I walked out. Would prayer have made a difference? By the time I reached home, the sun was shining, lighting up the cold wintry world with squishes of joy. It seemed that God was laughing at me. What was He up to?
 
I had 15 brief minutes before I had to leave home again, but those precious moments had to be squandered in changing my wet clothes. Grrr! I stripped my attire, putting on a set of dry clothes then hung my squelching pants, top and jacket in front of the heater to dry. As for my hair—it had been full of bounce that morning but now … even after I blow-dried it, it looked flat and lifeless, clinging to my head dismally like a collection of dead leaves!
Soon, we sped off for my son’s his physio appointment. Asela said he’d walk back—and that was good—I had a lot to accomplish that day so the extra time was valuable. I drove to the shopping centre ... and this time I was wise. Well before I finished getting my groceries, I talked to my Heavenly Father telling Him exactly what I needed.
 
“Papa, please could you make the rain stop till I get to my car? 
It’s too hard to push a trolley and hold an umbrella at the same time!”

I think I heard a heavenly chuckle.

When I reached the car park I was thrilled see there was no sign of rain. Hooray! I hastened to my car, remembering to ask God to permit my son to enjoy a walk in dry weather rather than in a wintry squall. It did stay dry till I reached my car. Thank you so much Papa. The sunshine warmed me as I reached home rejoicing. My son returned a little later– and yes, he too had enjoyed a walk in a dry world! It was a miracle that I didn’t get wet a second time and another miracle that my son’s half-hour walk had also been in sunshine—because most of the that day dripped like a leaky faucet in need of mending.
 
How good it was to have my prayer answered. What a blessing that my son wasn’t drenched! Even better, how wonderful that I learnt the importance of talking to my heavenly Father about all my needs even ones I might sometimes take for granted.
There are times God bless us without us asking.

But then … He always wants us, His children to talk to Him about our needs.

After all, that’s what relationship is all about isn’t it?

Did you remember to ask God today for what you need?

 

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 

that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. 

 

 
And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—

we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15

 
 

The Real Enemy

10/05/2019 18:54
When we moved into our new home last year, we needed to get some work done! Two workmen came over to do the needful and my husband stayed home from work. Towards lunchtime, everything seemed to ticking along nicely, so my beloved packed his lunch and other essentials and left for work. And that’s when it all started to go pear-shaped. I went to the kitchen to make myself a hot drink and found that the power was off. Had the workmen (in the course of their exertions) damaged our electrical circuit?
 
The two men walked around the house checking every power outlet. It seemed to take forever. With a frown and a sigh, I drummed my fingers on the kitchen table. The men eventually got back to me—and hooray! They had fixed it. I made my cuppa plus two coffees for our workers, then trotted off to my den to tackle my writing. But when I flicked the light switch on, nothing happened. Sigh. This was becoming all too familiar. Worse—my computer wouldn’t turn on. Was my entire day to be spent discovering that nothing worked anymore? And unfortunately, this time, the two men could not fix it. Like a toddler who was deprived of a toy that had been snatched from her grasp, I felt cheated out of my day’s plans being fulfilled. No, I didn’t throw a tantrum, but I was close to it.
When my hubby returned that evening, he began to turn on all the appliances in our home to check if any of them were causing the problem. The instant our vaporiser was turned on … click—the trip switch went off. He checked again. It went off a second time. So THAT was it! I had been positive that the two technicians were at fault, but apparently their presence was a co-incidence! Wow! My face became hot and my cheeks turned red at the realisation of how wrong I had been in my assumptions.
 
There was once a tough season in my life when a friend turned against me. No matter what I did to placate her—she misunderstood me, so life with her turned into a battle-ground. One day, as I prayed about it, God reminded me who my real enemy was. The blinkers came off my eyes!
 

There is a thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy,” said Jesus. 

He is the Real Enemy.

Life as we knew it in Sri Lanka changed forever on April 21st. We weep with those who have lost loved ones. We feel deeply for those who have lost hearing, vision, limbs and more, for those who will struggle all their lives as a consequence of this brutal attack. We are angry at our politicians who allowed it to happen. We cannot begin to understand what drove those suicide bombers, but we know it’s not the entire Muslim community at fault. In fact, it's safe to say that it’s a terrifying time for all peace-loving Muslims as much as for the rest of us. As we search for someone to blame and as we process our own ragged emotions, we need to seek the truth. Yes, the government was to blame for failing to protect its people and they have to be accountable. Yes, the terrorists who perpetrated these terrible crimes are responsible for their evil acts. 
 
 

We also must not forget our Real Enemy!

 
 
Our Real Enemy is rampant in our world today.  The Real enemy has many names. Lucifer, Adversary, Devil—these are but some of them. The Real Enemy needs to be fought with the weapons of Prayer and God’s Word. We have powerful tools at our disposal. We have the authority of Jesus on our side.
Are you facing a tough battle today? Don’t forget … it is not your argumentative spouse, an angry friend, the neighbour who makes life so hard for you or someone who hurt you, who's the Real Enemy. Your real Adversary is Satan, the prince of darkness. He is an unseen foe battling us in the spiritual realms. But take courage—we are not alone. God fights with us and for us. He has promised never to leave us. He has given us all the armour we need for the battle. In fact, Jesus has already won the war so we have a hope that will never disappoint. Cling to that hope today dear friend. Cling to our powerful God. Our real enemy is a Defeated foe. 

 

And He that is within you is greater than he that is in the world.

Be self-controlled and alert. 

 

Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone

 to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the 

family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 

1 Peter 5:8-9

 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have 

suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm 

and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 

1 Peter 5:10-11

 
 

When Grief calls my Name

25/04/2019 21:10

It happened on a day of celebration. Without warning. It happened to them, it happened to us. It happened to all of us—in the human family. Easter Sunday. 8.45 a.m. in Sri Lanka. A deadly massacre in cold blood of 253 men, women and children—Sri Lankans worshipping that day, who should have gone home rejoicing; visitors to our country who should be still enjoying Sri Lanka’s warm hospitality. 500 injured in a number of co-ordinated bomb blasts. So just as 9/11 brought dark shadows and a changed future for the whole world, 21/04/19 brought death, destruction, fear, unspeakable horror and grief to the beautiful island I call home. It changed our land forever.
 
I grew up in Sri Lanka in the sixties and seventies. We were blessed to enjoy a happy childhood. It was a paradise island where time stood still, godly values were upheld and where freedom reigned. We were not rich by modern standards, but had everything we needed to thrive and grow. Love and laughter, family and friends, fun and fresh air, oceans and beaches, peace, joy, security. These were priceless gifts I will never take for granted. Later, in my twenties—dark  clouds hovered over our beautiful island as ethnic conflict tore its peace. Twenty Six years of it. Too long. Far too long. Brutal. But finally … it ended. Peace was a beautiful covering over our beautiful country.
But now? In the blink of an eye, Terror came to visit, carrying the scissors of devastation. It tore open the wounds that had slowly begun to heal.  Bombs. Blood. Horror. Death. Destruction. How could this be? Who? What? Why? Where? Senseless. With no rhyme or reason. Perhaps because we were an easy target. But now … fear and terror has marched in where peace had once reigned.
 
What do we do when we are plunged into deep darkness? When God seems far away? When the light that shone yesterday has been snuffed out in a moment? We might presume with sadness that God could not exist because Evil has been elected as our new Dictator. We might turn our backs on a God who hasn’t stepped in to help us. We could mock faith as unsubstantiated and untrue.
But there is a better way. A much better way. We can throw ourselves on God’s mercy and love as we pause to remember that time after time after time, He has been faithful. We can discover Him afresh through our pain. We can find the comfort and strength that only He can give.
 
Who can understand why human beings perpetrate such atrocities? Men and women born with the greatest capacity to love perform instead unspeakable acts of evil against one another. We cannot begin to understand the suffering of a mother who had her child torn from her arms in an instant, the pain of a father whose entire family is killed before his eyes. I can’t imagine what it must feel to have part of my body ripped apart by shrapnel. I wouldn’t begin to understand the suffering of those who sang in church that morning with Easter joy in their hearts only to leave with terror and grief as their constant companions.
I weep for Sri Lanka. I stand with my brothers and sisters of all ethnic and religious groups in our island as they suffer. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But I do know that as sure as the sun rises each morning, that the same God who conquered sin and death is with us in our hour of grief. Jesus came to the world to suffer unimaginable pain. He understands our suffering. He was rejected by the very people he came to save. He was given a criminal’s death on a cross—a long slow death. The sins of the whole world were piled on Him. What a weight he carried on that cross!
 
The Militants who decided to mock at life have failed miserably. It may have been a day of destruction, but Easter’s Resurrection Bell clangs loudly with the message of victory. LIFE overcame death at Easter. If I had eyes to see, I could have watched a spectacular sight that day. Amidst the weeping of those who had lost loved ones there were jubilant reunions in heaven of those who went home to their God. Bodies may have been ripped apart by shrapnel but those same people were heaven’s newest arrivals delighting in God’s presence. What a thrilling entrance to heaven as they worshipped! What a warm welcome they would have received in our Father’s arms!
 
Jesus knew deep grief. He is a loving God who suffered on our behalf. “He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” Isaiah 53:3 He surely knows what suffering looks like and feels like. And He alone has the power to change it for good.
 
So what is my response today? Let me weep with those who weep. Let me look to God for strength and courage during these dark and troubled times. Let me pray for those who are suffering. Let me extend my hand to help my brothers and sisters of all ethnic groups and religions in any way I can. Let me not blame a whole community for what a small minority has done. Let me look to a loving Father to bring justice for His children. But let me also hold fast to the message of Easter. Let me choose the weapons of LOVE instead of the vicious weapons of hate.
God promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us and we can lean into His comfort. One day all the evils of the present age will be put right by a God who understands our pain more than we could ever realise. His love transcends every tragedy. He weeps with us as we weep. We who know Him grieve differently to those who have no hope.
 

So perhaps grief has another name and its name is HOPE!

 
One day when the curtain  swings wide open over life’s final act, we will at last comprehend the truth about everything. For now, we will look ahead with eyes of faith, trusting our faithful God. We will continue to live and love, to share God's comfort, truth and light in a dark dark world, so badly in need of a Saviour.
 
 

"Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, 

so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our 

time of need." Hebrews 4:16

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! 

I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

 

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. 

But the greatest of these is love." 1 Cor 13:13

 
 

Finding the right KEY!

10/04/2019 21:10
The two fabulous weeks I’d spent in Sri Lanka this year were filled with activity, so on my final day of holiday, I decided to enjoy a quiet morning. My sis and family had left for work. I tucked into the delicious breakfast Sal left for me—pancakes with a spicy prawn curry. Yum! Afterwards, I spent time with God and His Word and my spirit was refreshed. I had a list of last minute things to do—a visit to the bank, some shopping, a few errands to run. But when I tried the front door, I found it was locked and the key was not in sight. Oh no!
 
A quick hunt for the missing key didn’t reveal it so I panicked. Would I be trapped in all day? Breathe, Anusha breathe. I asked God to help me, then looked around my sister’s lounge for the missing key. What a relief that I did find it. Yay! It was probably where my sis had told me it would be in the first place. Alas, my 61 year old brain sometimes acts its age! I smacked my lips at my re-gained freedom. Delicious—just like the prawns and pancakes I’d enjoyed that morning.
Sometimes, life hedges me in and I can’t find my way out. I panic. If only I stop to ask God, He’d remind me that He’s given me a set of keys to help me—Faith, Hope, Love, Peace, God’s Word, Prayer, Trust. These are but a few of them. Trust is perhaps the best key of all because it proves my dependence on my Heavenly Father. He’s a God of power, wisdom and strength. A God who seeks to bless; a God of compassion, slow to anger, with a heart full of love.
 
There was a time when I was locked inside prison walls. Anxiety gripped my heart. Often. I had lost the key to the door that led to peace. I cried out to the Lord. But His timing was different to mine; His answers were not what I expected. Was I trapped in there forever? After months of waiting on Him … His answers arrived. I believe God was building my character as I waited. And then … He gently placed a key into my trembling hands, the key that opened the door to peace and wholeness. Thank you God. Thank you so very much.
Are you locked in today, in a prison that hems you in? Do you feel that there is no way out? Take courage my friend. He calls your name. Can you hear Him?  He can set you free. And He will. Over two thousand years ago, God provided a way for us. Jesus Christ suffered a criminal’s death, He suffered on our behalf—for your sins and for mine. A tragedy? Yes … or so it seemed. But out of that God-permitted tragedy came the biggest victory of all. Jesus conquered sin and death forever. And our part? To be willing to receive. To be willing to let go of all that is dear to us. To be willing to reach out and accept His free gift of eternal life.
 

The keys are yours if you ask. And at no cost.

A brand new LIFE through Jesus. No more shame.

No more condemnation. No more guilt. No more sadness.

Life abundant. Life everlasting. Joy. Peace. Wholeness.
 

Are you ready to accept His gift today? 

Or … if you are already a believer, perhaps there is a different kind of key that you’d like to ask of Him today. 

Come. There is room at the cross for you too. 

Simply … come!

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, 

and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life;

whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

1 John 5:11

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, 

he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12

 

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, 

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

“And my God will meet all your needs according

to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:13

 

When the Light Goes Out

30/03/2019 12:48
Last year, after 32 years of marriage, My husband and I were both blessed with a study each in our  new home—and oh—how I’ve enjoyed mine. This little nook is my happy place, one where I can connect with God, with myself and even with the wider world (yes, you too) via my computer. A tall, dark handsome man pops in sometimes for a chat—so I have a seat reserved for him. Nice. Very nice. However … I’m also ready to close the doors to my den when needed, especially when the TV is on in our family room. Closing those doors means I can pray, write and enjoy quiet moments of solitude.
 
A few days back, my morning plans had been unexpectedly cancelled so I decided to make the most of it. Here was a golden opportunity to persevere with my writing, something I seem to lack sufficient time for most days. It was past noon when I sat at my computer. Oh well, I would have the whole afternoon … or so I thought. But no sooner had I begun typing than my computer screen light went out. That was strange. My screen turned black. Even stranger! I didn’t worry—I flicked the switch on the side of the screen with confidence. But oh no … my computer screen had died on me and that seemed to be that! Thankfully my lap top (attached to that dead screen) was still awake.
The screen of my laptop is small and its letters were minuscule. I felt disoriented as I tried to work on it, using a keyboard I was not familiar with, my fingers pressing the wrong keys all the time. I managed to change my word document to font size 200% which enabled me to keep going. But it was a waste of a day because writing in such conditions was a big struggle. I was relieved and glad when my beloved turned up after work and offered me one of his computer screens. Wow! That was so generous of him!
 
I had no inkling of the joy awaited me—absolutely no idea. When he had fixed it, I discovered that my new screen filled all available space on my desk and was larger than life. Font size 12 on Word looked HUGE—just what I needed, because my eyesight has been dwindling of late. And yes! The screen light was on again. Hooray! Pictures on my new screen were far lovelier to gaze upon because of their size and grandeur. I danced around my room, knowing I would not bemoan the loss of my old screen or my unproductive day. The truth was that if the light in my old screen had not been snuffed out, I would not have had this amazing beautiful large screen to work on.
Sometimes, the lights in our lives go out. And we struggle through the darkness—wondering where God is and what’s going on. It seems like the hard season will never reach its end. But we CAN hold on with confidence. The Word of God says, that as sure as night follows day, His light will shine again. When our Beloved walks into our dark spaces, His brilliant light will illuminate our gloom. And we will see. We will be made whole. Our losses will pale in comparison to the glory to be revealed.
 
Often, we have to just keep going with that “little screen” of our lives in faith till God comes to present us with His vast screen of wisdom and understanding, truth and beauty. And as His light shines bright in the darkness we will see. Really see.  
Has your light been extinguished? Is it hard to see the way ahead? Hang in there dear friend. Call out to our Saviour and wait on Him. He knows. He cares. He is fighting on your behalf. His light is beckoning you from ahead. Whatever happens, we know with sure certainty that His light will flood your soul again. 
 
 
Sometimes the light goes off. And we cannot see. But with eyes of faith we have a glimpse of the glory ahead. And that glory is worth waiting for.

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen 

any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

 
 

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory

 that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor 4:17

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, 

but will have the light of life.” John 1:12

 
 

A Love that Remains

15/03/2019 21:55
The year 2019 apparently boasted the hottest January in Australia since records began. We sweltered through it but … just as I was leaving for Sri Lanka, a cool change walked in the door. Oh? What timing! When I returned to Adelaide in mid-February, the cool change left abruptly and Mr Heatwave whizzed in to dance with me. Surprisingly, I didn’t mind as much as I’d usually do. After Colombo’s humidity, the unusually high temperatures of Adelaide didn’t seem so bad after all. I was planning to hibernate at home for a few weeks anyway.
 
It was time for me to seek God, to determine what He required of me for the rest of the year, Monday is washing day. That week, the spot in the yard I’d usually stand hanging clothes was too hot to be in, with the strong, warm rays of the sun streaming down on me. Hmmm. What to do? A quick glance around yard showed me how to proceed. There was shade all the way down one side of our home.
So I moved our clothes airer to that section, carried my basket of wet clothes near it and began to hang the laundry. Perfect. I could move it later to a sunny spot—and the heat would dry them in no time. It wasn’t the hottest time of the day—yet! That meant that a 40 degree day in the shade was still comfortable—I even enjoyed the process as I chatted with my Papa. I looked up. A giant tree’s branches created a cool ceiling over my head.
 
It was my neighbour’s tree—what a beauty—reaching far and wide, a thousand emerald leaves shimmering in the sun. I stood there content feeling refreshingly cool. Over seven decades ago, on the 18th of March 1946, my parents stood facing each other and said “I do”— a God breathed union it was! As I stood under my neighbour’s tree that day, I was safe and happy, protected by the tree’s shelter and enjoying its beauty on a 40 degree day.
My parents love was like that—a love that surrounded us as we grew up and kept us secure. Theirs was a love which sustained us as we grew older and we flew from their nest. Even though they are not here physically now, their love will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Today I pay tribute to my beloved Amma and Thatha—a couple who walked hand in hand together to make a difference in our world. Seventy three years since they became one, their love still overflows in our lives, a spring that will never run dry. 
And like the branches of my neighbour’s tree that reached beyond its borders, my parents spread their love well beyond their family and to the world beyond. When I was little I wondered how it was that Mama signed her letters with "All my love". How do you give away all your love to one person? Well, now I know. Love is a paradox isn't it? The more you give away, the more you have to share.
 

Isn’t that wonderful?

Isn’t that something to live by?

My parents’ love was of course just a faint reflection of the abundance of God’s all-consuming passionate love. His love is far stronger, far deeper, far richer than the love of anyone here on earth. It was His love Mama and Papa gifted us with and dressed us with—sparkling attire for every season. The reason their love still blesses us today is because of its source—the love of God, which is an all time, all purpose, unconditional love, a love which knows no bounds, a unique effervescent love, a shelter for every storm.
 
Would I respond to that love? Would I multiply the love of God that they showered me with? Would I spread it around my world? What would that look like? How far could it go? In my own efforts at loving others I have discovered that human love is frail and often fails, but praise God, God’s precious, perfect, powerful love never does. And we have a source to tap into that will never run dry.

His love brought the world into being.

His love breathed life into us.

His love endured death to bring us life.

His love will remain for all eternity.

 

Let me dance in the fountain of His love and splash it far and wide.

Would you like to join me?

 
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us,

that we should be called children of God! 

And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

 

 

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.

Now remain in my love.” John 15:9

"This is my commandment, That you love one another,

as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends."

John 15:12-13

 

 

How Character is Grown

28/02/2019 15:39

I love travelling on my own and my latest trip back from Sri Lanka was no exception. Often, our flights back home have been at dead of night so I’d be half asleep at the airport. This time there was a pleasant change. I boarded the plane at 10.50 a.m. rather than 1.30 a.m. Much better. Much much better. The four hour flight to Singapore was as enjoyable as always with nibbles and drinks, a delicious lunch, movies to watch and a collection of happy moments—time with my Papa, reading books, doing puzzles, praying for family and friends. And yes, I even managed a wee nap. Oh! I forgot to say that I also had two delightful travel companions. A Mum and adult daughter from NZ sat next to me and described their fabulous holiday in Sri Lanka. I was glad to meet them – such bright bubbly friendly ladies they were.
 
After the plane reached Singapore I decided to treat myself to a cup of tea and a slice of Tiramisu. (Yum!) I experienced more God moments, with my mp3 playing praise music in my ears as I stretched my legs in an airport cafe. A steaming cuppa soon worked its magic on me so I was alert and ready to tackle the next leg of my journey. I then had fun connecting with my beloved and my son as I browsed the free Internet, after which I enjoyed a walk in the vast airport’s picturesque spaces. I visited the restrooms a couple of times, and found one which was definitely out of the ordinary. It boasted ambient lighting, lush green plants and a spacious layout—a cosy little niche in a palace rather than the restroom in an airport.
When I looked to wash my hands, a sensor detected their presence and warm water was immediately squirted onto them. I looked for soap and instantly sweet smelling liquid soap sloshed into my waiting palms. Talk of luxury! I enjoyed my little interlude in there and gave the restroom a five star rating.  But … I couldn’t help wondering if such indulgence was necessary. Was this kind of classy technology an essential commodity? Are we getting so lazy in this 21st century world that we can’t even bother to turn a tap when needed?
 
People rail at God when life doesn’t go their way. Perhaps it’s because we think that God should be like my experience in that restroom—showering us with everything we hope for without the need to move a muscle for it. But is that really a blessing? God in His wisdom rarely gives me all I need on a platter. Instead, He makes me work for it or wait for it. I would be a very selfish person if He had given into my every whim. Adversity and hard work have worked together deepen my faith just like storms cause trees to grow deeper roots.
And so … I know my character has grown, not through periods of ease, but through tumultuous times. How grateful I am to him that He didn’t spoil me. He hid His face on occasion and made me pursue Him. And well before He gave me what I needed, He taught me the value of hard work and of prayer, of waiting and of trusting Him. He made me learn to walk, then run towards Him. And so I have found that being blessed is not about getting what I want whenever I wave my hand under a sensor that instantly yields my heart’s desires.
 
No. I am most blessed when I find God’s presence and help, His comfort and strength usually through tough situations and seasons. I discover afresh each time, that my Heavenly Father is alive and active and rewards those who diligently pursue Him. Being blessed is not about being pampered by a doting Daddy but being ushered me into His presence which is, (as we soon discover), the source of true JOY. If you are experiencing a tough season today, be assured that it’s not because God has turned His back on you. Often what seems to be our undoing is a precious package with your name on it, tied up with a beautiful bow of God’s goodness and mercy, His grace and His love.

May you find peace and His comfort as you wait for Him.

 
 

May the character He birthed in you this season 

resound to His glory for all eternity!

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of 

many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces 

perseverance. 

 

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature 

and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, 

having stood the test, that person will receive the crown 

of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

 
 

Being Renewed

18/02/2019 09:46
My body is aching. My limbs are weary. I’d love to get back into bed and sleep for a week. Pain and fatigue have hit big time; my brain feels like sludge. But no, I’m not complaining. How can I complain? I’m grateful. Oh so grateful. I was richly blessed with two exhilarating weeks in Sri Lanka and I have much to thank God for. I enjoyed a heart-warming reunion with my six awesome sibling and extended family, celebrating my Mum’s writings and my big sister’s special b’day. I was pampered no end by my beloved sis Sal (and her family) who cared for my every need, from mouth-watering meals to rides in their air conditioned car in the heat of Colombo to getting my Internet working. (Thank you Sal, Chandran and Chandri. You are the best!)
 
Family and friends were incredibly generous and lavished Sri Lankan style hospitality upon me. I was blessed with a zillion joyful moments of connectedness and friendship, scrumptious food and fellowship, laughter and meaningful moments. So yes, I’m very grateful. After I got back three days ago, I’ve been trying hard to write my next blog. But … sleepiness, pain and fatigue joined hands to laugh at me like a pack of drunken hyenas. During my vacation, numerous blog ideas had hijacked my brain, but in the midst of unpacking, settling back and reconnecting with my men, I was just too tired to write.
Seven years ago, in Feb 2012, God had led me to embark on blog writing, a ministry I have relished. A question wafts into my fatigued brain. Is it mandatory that I not disappoint my blog readers? I had skipped one blog post in early February. Would it be OK to skip this week too? Now it strikes me. Seven years of blog writing did I say? In that case … I’m due for my sabbatical!. Hooray!
 
So as we ponder on what a sabbatical means, here’s a question. Do you cram as much as possible into each day like packing sardines into a can, or do you savour them slowly, like delighting in each bit of a delicious chocolate dessert? In my youth, I rushed through life, fitting in as many commitments as possible into my days, striving to make a difference for Jesus. But as I have grown older and wiser, I have slowed down because I wanted each moment to count for Jesus but not through feverish activity. Over time, I changed from being an over-active Martha to a quieter Mary who liked nothing more than to spend time at my Saviour’s feet, loving Him, listening to Him, and doing only what He asked of me. Obedience to God I believe is the key to an abundant life.
Do you feel guilty because of the needs around you? Do you feel tempted to do it all? Would you like a moment to stop and stare, to reflect and be revived? Success in this modern world is often equated to a busy life. Life can often feel like a treadmill of To-dos that are never completed. But is that how God views life? I’ve made the freeing discovery that I do not have to be all things to all people. That’s God’s job. I’ve learned to take my orders from Him and to let Him take care of His world.
 
Sometimes life is full and I have no choice—as was my two exciting weeks in Sri Lanka. And we all have those busy spells. At other times, like now, I don’t need to fill every waking moment with activity. My body is tired and I need rest so I refuse to go on a guilt trip. Aeroplane safety rules inform us that we first use our own oxygen mask before helping anyone else. It’s now the right time for me to reach for that oxygen mask so I can be once again be able to take care of others. We all have different temperaments and giftings so what’s too hectic for one person could be just what God requires of someone else. But each of us needs to slow down enough to hear Him before we act.
So … please take a break when you need it. It’s OK to care for yourself; in fact it’s needed. Sleep for 12 hours. Let dust collect and do nothing if necessary. Spend 24 hours with God and really listen to Him. Have a play date with your spouse. Take a sabbatical. Ensure that weekly Sabbaths are part of your routine. Retire from a job that drains you to do what you are passionate about. Being refreshed in His presence is vital for our spiritual health so God’s idea of a weekly Sabbath makes total sense.
 
Having a daily Quiet Time renews me as I allow Him to speak to me and He nourishes my soul every day. Being still reminds me of Who is in charge of our world, (and no, it’s not me.) Savouring life helps me enjoy my journey and to accomplish what God requires of me.

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

 
 
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”
Isaiah 30:15
 
 

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

 
 
 
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