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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

 
 
 

To Rush or Not to rush, that is the Question!

17/02/2019 19:02
 
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 the gift of two exhilarating weeks in Sri Lanka and I have much to thank God for. I enjoyed a heart-warming reunion with my six awesome siblings and extended family. We celebrated 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 while away. 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 bite 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 each 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 your strength." Isaiah 30:15
 
 

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

 
 
 

Don't Wait Too Long

19/01/2019 16:05
When we moved house last year, we acquired a new freezer. This stand-alone unit made it easy for me to sort my frozen foods, thus simplifying my life a great deal. We buy bread on Saturdays and keep several loaves in there to use as needed through the week. Having extra space in our new freezer meant we could store several weeks’ supply of bread in there. Pretty cool (both figuratively and literally)!
 
One day, as I took out a block of bread for thawing, I found ice inside the pack. Hmm. The bread must have been in there for a while then. I had omitted to use an important principle in storage practices—FIFO or “First in First Out”. I soon thawed a few slices of bread in our microwave but was surprised to discover that while one part of each slice turned soft, another section of it had now turned as hard as concrete. Oops! I’d never seen that happen before. It re-occurred with each new slice I attempted to thaw. Oh Ohhhh!
Fortunately there was more bread in the freezer.  I soon had soft slices of wholemeal bread to use for my son’s lunch time sandwiches. In addition, I had learnt a good lesson. There are times in my life when I wait instead of doing. I should have taken out that loaf of bread months ago! Is there a dream that has been stirring in your heart for a while? And is it time to set it in motion? Sometimes we wait too long and there are consequences. 
 
 
Bread gets too hard. 

Relationships wither and die. 

Our waistlines grow too big. 

People change. 

We may not get a second chance. 

And … life’s too short to have regrets.

 
 
Ten years ago, the three of us enjoyed a fabulous trip to America, one of our best holidays it turned out to be; visiting special places, connecting with loving family and friends and enjoying the journey. When we returned home, I filled a bag which bulged like Santa’s sack. It contained souvenirs from our trip—train tickets, brochures, tickets to Disneyland and what-not! My plan had been simple: Create a scrapbook of memories. Did it occur? Umm …! What do you think? Last year, when I sorted out my belongings prior to moving house, I came upon the said bag said and knew at once what it contained. 
I brought it, lock stock and barrel to our new home but now, a decade since our trip to the US, my enthusiasm for the task has waned. It wasn’t a hugely important project so I’m not sorry I let it go. But there are other projects which are important enough to see them through.
 
So as I look ahead into 2019, let me stop procrastinating!
Instead let me jump into the deep.
 
First, I shall …
  1. Listen to God. Listen to God. Listen to God. Psalm 143:8 (He knows the way)

  2. Give Him my burdens.  1 Peter 5:7  (Ah! I feel so much lighter now)
  3. Let go of past failures. Phil 3:13-14  (He’s got them too)

  4. Discard past sorrows. Psalm 55:22 (No room for them now)
  5. Learn from my experiences. Proverbs 4:5-9 (Oh yes!)

  6. Trust Him for all. Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Only Way to live)
  7. Surrender to the One who loves me. Romans 12:1-2 (YES!)

 
 
And some New Year thoughts so I stop the ice from freezing my dreams.
 
  1. Listen to God. Listen to God. Listen to God. John 10:27 (Let Him lead)

  2. Be intentional with my life. Col 2:6 (A few Goals would help)
  3. Figure out my priorities. Heb. 12:1-3 (What does God ask of me in 2019)

  4. Make plans … but be flexible. Proverbs 16:1-3 (Dream with a surrendered heart)
  5. With God’s help, set those plans in motion. 2 Cor 9:8 (It’s time to act!)

  6. Live daily in the present and walk daily in His ways. Prov 4:18 (One day at a time)
  7. Aim to glorify God. 1 Cor 10:31 (Always!)

 
 

 

Do you have any special dreams percolating in your heart today?

(Would you like to share them with me? I’d be glad to pray for you.)

 
May 2019 be Your Year, a year when your dreams come true.

May it be a year you will look back on with joy and thanksgiving.

 
May He inspire you and bless His world through you.

He is Lord, He is good and He is always faithful.

 

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Cor 10:31

 

Take the letter G with you

03/01/2019 22:08
So it’s a New Year! I love new beginnings, don’t you?  It means hope, anticipation, excitement. It means I get to turn to a new page in life’s book. It means that the past is left behind as we reach for a brighter tomorrow. It means that the unwanted baggage of the year can be discarded and only what's needed retained for 2019.
 
One of its best aspects of our house move last year was that my husband and I were each blessed with a space to call our own. In our former home, my computer sat slap bang in the middle of the family room where our TV also resides, so there was constant noise around me. Writing was difficult. But now … I have my own special space to write in, dream in and pray in. (Wow! Thank you God.) When my boys are home and the TV is on. I’m able to close two sets of doors which shut out all sound and distraction. I then retreat into my quiet happy place, a room where I can not only write and pray in, but where I find renewal and refreshment every day.
Some years ago, a lady we loved dearly went home to heaven. Her daughter (my lovely sister in law, Swen) discovered a beautiful card among her possessions, dated May 1999. Sweet, smiling serene Aunty Rosa had written just two words inside the card: ‘Dearest Anusha’. That was all. But although there was no letter from her as she’d obviously planned to write to me, now, 20 years later, her empty card still speaks volumes, deepens my faith and encourages me. The words on the card convey all that is needed.
 
 

“With God, all things are possible” 

I came upon it again last year when sorting my belongings for our house move. And you know, I found it when I needed it most because our house selling and buying season turned out to be a very stressful one. Seven months later, the truth of the promise 'With God, all things are possible' was proved afresh, when in spite of umpteen challenges, God triumphantly led us to our dream home. Recently, as I sat at my desk one morning in prayer, I noticed that one of the letters on the card had a long picturesque twirl under it, undergirding the quote. The letter ‘g’ is usually not a very artistic letter, I don’t think.
 
But this one was eye-catching enough to cause my eyebrows to shoot up and to bring big dollop of joy to my heart. And then ... over the twirly simple ‘g’ was the capital G from the word ‘GOD’! They were both reminders that I should take the letter ‘G’ with me into 2019, because I know that when God goes before me, all will be well. In fact, I can testify with joy that for almost 45 years, God has gone before me into each New Year. And not once has He failed me.
 
G stands for other alluring aspects of my Daddy God too.
  • God is GOOD. He is also the Author of all that is GOOD.

  • His GRACE brings life, hope and new beginnings.
  • His GLORY is my life’s aim and my goal in 2019.

G might even stand for Gentleman, because God is a Gentleman and will not intrude if I don’t want Him to. Scripture reminds me though that I can never run from God. And no matter what’s going on in my life, when I seek Him with all my heart, I will find Him. He is always here, right beside me. He grants me (and you) my (and your) heart's desires, the hopes and dreams of what humanity yearns for—Freedom, Joy, Love, Peace, Eternal Life, all of which are found only in and through Him.
 

Today’s blog was brought to you by the letter G

So … would you take the letter G into the New Year with you? 

Would you place your hand in God’s strong Hand? 

Would you give 2019 into His safe keeping? 
 

Would you declare His Goodness, soak in His Grace and live for His Glory

My words today are prompted by and brought to you by a 

Generous, Gracious, Giving, Glorious, Good Good God who is also our Father.

Let 2019 resound to His glory as we live for Him.

 
His divine power has given us everything we need for life 

and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us 

by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

To him who is able to keep you from falling 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 1:24-25

 
 
 

A Surprise for YOU!

14/12/2018 14:30
When we moved to our new home earlier this year, I delighted in the beauty around us. I even began to enjoy what used to be a boring chore. Now, when I hang my washed clothes out, my eyes feast on a picture-perfect view of distant hills and my spirit is renewed. An old style clothes hoist stands tall in our yard, doing yeoman service with our laundry—it spins around like a ship going full steam ahead, its sails billowing out. I’m so pleased that our clothes dry quickly (especially on a windy day), as they twirl around on their carefree merry-go-round. 
 
One day, not long after we moved in, there was a knock on our front door. When I opened it, a new neighbour greeted me. She smiled and handed me a shirt belonging to my son. What? How? When? Our hoist had apparently flung items of clothing all the way from our yard to my neighbour’s. How embarrassing! She was very gracious but my ears turned red. And … believe it or not, a few weeks later, it happened again. There stood my kind neighbour at my front door again with yet another item of clothing. Oh no!  Our disobedient washing was determined to gallivant around our neighbourhood so I had to do something. Fast!
My clever husband found the perfect solution. Following his advice, I pegged each clothes hanger to the hoist and was very relieved to find that his suggestion worked  pretty well, (didn’t I tell you he’s clever?) because even on a windy day, although my clothes spun around like crazy, my neighbour did NOT turn up with more runaway clothing. One day recently however, I returned home after an outing to find our backyard strewn with clothing. Wild winds must had been galloping across our yard.
 
I was sure that a few of my washed clothes would have taken flight into my neighbour’s garden. And sure enough, a few days later, as we were relaxing in bed, reading on a  Saturday afternoon, there was a knock on our door. I jumped out of bed and put on my slippers.
 
 I grinned at my beloved.  “That must be your shirt or my blouse!”
 
Shan acquiesced with a return grin and nod. But when I opened my front door, it was not that neighbour who stood there—it was a different one. In her little daughter’s hand was a wrapped package which she held out to me.
 

“Why, THANK YOU” I said with a smile. A Christmas gift! What a lovely surprise! 

(And not my runaway laundry after all! Phew!)

 
A bit like the surprise God handed out to us when we deserved something different. At the beginning of time, when Adam and Eve began life on the earth, they tripped badly, and the perfect world God had created became stained with sin. Like intruders who'd taken possession of a house not their own, sin, death and strife took residence in our world. Nothing we could do could make it right. Was there a solution? The world waited. It groaned. It hoped. It prayed. The years passed. God called a man named Abraham to follow Him, to obey Him, promising Abraham that out of his seed would come redemption.
 
And then … and then … one day, many years later, in the little town of Bethlehem, there was a knock on a door. An Inn keeper opened it. He found outside a young man with his very pregnant fiancé. The Inn keeper sighed. The inn was full—too full. He was about to shut the door when he saw Mary, tired and big with child, looking at him with beautiful wistful eyes. How could he turn them away? He beckoned the couple and led them to a stable in his yard. And there that night, Love was born. Love came down at Christmas. Love invaded the earth and the world has never been the same since.
 
What a surprise! What an astounding event! We didn’t get what we deserved. After all, sin demands judgment, sin demands punishment. But instead, we got GRACE - the goodness of God, gifted to us in the form of a little baby, a baby who changed the course of history. A Man who walked in humility to a cross even though He had lived a perfect, sinless life. How could this be?

The Son of God become the Son of Man so that 

the sons of men may become the sons of God.

 

Have you met this baby? And have you knelt at His crib? Have you made friends with the Man He grew up to be? Is He your Saviour and Lord?
“The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” 
Luke 2:10-11
 

This Christmas may you be filled with holy awe and expectancy as you hear His knock on the door of your heart. And as you open it, may He surprise you with His love. And may you surrender to Him with all your heart, for Jesus truly is The Saviour of the World!

“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

 
 

The Shortest Pencil

27/11/2018 22:00
A long long time ago at my very first Youth for Christ camp, I made a grand discovery. That cold bright April morning, I sat on the green grass, soaking in the beauty of distant hills and for the first time in my young life I reflected on God’s Word, being drawn into a place of wonder and delight. Soon, my sessions with God sprouted wings, soaring to dizzy heights. Those daily times with the Father have been the life-giving roots of my tree, the anchor beneath my ship and the wind that drives my sails.
 
What I do during my Quiet Time has changed over the years. I’ve rarely used devotionals, preferring to study something more meaty. For the first few decades of my walk with Jesus, I’d study a book of the Bible till I completed it, pouring over a small portion of it every day, using commentaries for passages that were difficult to understand. About twelve years ago, I decided I wanted more, so I turned to in-depth Bible studies. I’ve also studied non-fiction books that have stirred my soul, meditating on the Bible passages given in the book as well as on the author’s insights.
This year, as we began life in our dream home, God’s been calling me to many new ways of doing life with Him. For a start, He nudged me to get up earlier— so I’d spend time with Him before engaging with anyone else. I love it. The sunrises He’s lured me with have been first-rate motivation and I’ve basked in the sun as I’ve worshipped the Son. God now leads me to contemplate on different passages each day, to memorise His Word and to declare His promises over my life and the lives of those whom I pray for.
 
He’s also prompted me to buy a set of colour pencils. I’ve been filling up a little notebook, as I've contrived to understand the depth of God's love for me, colouring the words to bring out their meaning. I have created another booklet with pictures of the blessings He’s showered on me this year. There’s nothing like a burst of colour to open one’s heart to beauty, truth and goodness and the abundant life that God offers us.
I’ve called this new chapter of my family’s life, our ‘Green Season’, firstly due to the green carpets in our new home and next because green is the colour I use to symbolize good health. But most importantly, green for me is a colour of life, growth and wholeness. A few mornings ago, I pulled out my colour pencils for use during my Quiet Time. To my dismay, I found that my dark green pencil was very short—oh dear—it was half the size of the others—there’d soon be nothing left of it.
 
And then … realisation dawned on me slowly but surely—a bright beam that shone truth into my spirit. Of Course! When you and I are used for God’s kingdom, we too can become battle weary and our outward bodies might diminish. We may feel we have little to offer God and the world, because we are getting older or tired or are battling ill health. Like my little green pencil, we might even seem to shrink in the eyes of the world. Is that a bad thing? On the contrary, my little green pencil by its very being, tells a tale of a fruitful useful life. And the wonderful truth is that its existence still has both meaning and purpose in spite of its small size.
Today, if you feel ugly or useless, discarded or jaded, I’d like you remember my little green pencil. It will need to be replaced well before the other pencils, but It’s not because it was not as good as the others. Oh no! It’s because I needed it and used it more often than the rest. Have you worked hard for the kingdom and got singed in the process? The Refiner’s Fire may have purged the outer you but the inner YOU (the real you) sparkles and shines like a jewel in the sun. I can see it. The Master Refiner sees it. And He smiles at you.
 

Don’t forget … the outer is only a whisper of your inner life.

God sees your heart. And God, (dear friend), likes what He sees. 

He is pleased with you. Very pleased.

For the Lord does not see as man sees;

for man looks at the outward appearance,

but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

"Now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, 

so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold, 

which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise 

and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

1 Peter 1:6-7

 

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