The Scattering


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Community is something we are designed to appreciate and at the best of times, we revel in it. The rest of the time, we crave acceptance, company and comfort.  After all, God created us for His enjoyment and blessing and in His company we find joy and fulfillment. So what better way to live than finding the right community?

Sounds easy, right?  It all depends on where you are at in life, how much you are willing to share with others and your commitment to a healthy balanced life.  These are some of the factors that determine our decision for community or fellowship.  Sometimes convenience, availability and shared mindset.  Whatever shapes our opinions and response determines the quality of these relationships.

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I am thankful for the friends our Papa has given me.  These women pray with me, stand with me and understand me.  These women let me be.  They are my praying friends.  The Lionesses.  We have survived many trials together and separately.  In all of Life’s offerings, God is faithful.  His Word tells us we too can be His friends, if we obey, trust and follow His direction.  If we obey Him, He guarantees His presence, guidance, love, blessing, favour, grace, healing, providence and protection.  This is only a portion of what He desires to bless you with!  (Psalms 37:4) Our Papa grows our faith.  He did it for Job, then He can do it for me!  Job had this to say,

Job 29:4

as I was in my primewhen the friendship of God was upon my tent

God desires to send us out all over the earth.  He wants to scatter His seed far and wide.  Will you be His seed?  God wants to be your friend.  He wants to surround you with His blessing and favour.  He knocks at the door of your heart.  Our Papa, Creator, Redeemer, Saviour and Lover is seeking you out.  He will not impose Himself on you (Revelations 3:20).  Papa knocks and waits for you to answer.  Will you let Him in and be His friend?

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It’s a funny thing


In need of a smile and a giggle?

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Laughter covers a multitude of faults and fears.  It allows us the chance to clean the slate, clear the air and make a fresh start.   Laughing my way into a better life, to shake out the bitterness and restore the joy God put in my heart.

Papa, ‘You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.’ Psalm 4:7

 

Waves of Change


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Unemployment is such a miserable topic.  We have watched news reports of rising unemployment all over the world, for several weeks now.  The Greeks are in pain, the Spanish following hot on their heels, where many Africans undergo the same.  What kind of world are we building?   How did we get here?  What are our priorities?  How do we fix this?

I learned that a large group of friends and former colleagues were due to lose their jobs at the end of this month.  The international company they work for, sold some years back and the new investors have chosen to send a youthful, highly competent, capable, well-trained and dynamic team on early retirement. For some, retirement comes in their early thirties.  My first reaction was shock, then disbelief and now a sadness that I cannot shake off.  I prayed for them, then made calls to as many as I could.  It all seems unreal.  One friend confided in me, telling me that she still has no idea whether she will leave this coming Tuesday or not.  I prayed again with those I could and shared this with my husband.  We met at this company and have a soft spot for that firm and especially for our friends and former colleagues.

Another friend shared, “It is harder to watch the reactions of those who know they are leaving, than to receive the news myself.”  I put myself in her place and promptly agreed.  One eighth of the staff are being retrenched.  Many of them are middle managers, leaving the management team in place.  Personally, I question the mode of retrenchment.  It always begs the question, who is going to make sure continuity and actually do the work?  I am certain the management have a plan at any rate.

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Life is a blessing and with it comes seasons of joy and peace.  At other times comes frustration and anxiety.  We live with what we get.  We struggle and grow.  This is life for all living creatures.  A young bird has to leave its nest eventually. Their first flights come with a dose of tough love and a shove out of the nest into the air.  Tender plant shoots struggle out of the ground and strain to reach for air, sun and water.   This is life – hard, knocks and all.  Our Father God put it simply:

James 1:2

Testing of Your Faith

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

1 Peter 1:6  

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,

Tough times never last, but tough people do!  After all you need a test, to have a testimony.  I am thankful for these challenges and I hope you are too!

3ladies laugh

It’s the little things….


Another day, another week, another month and the years are moving on swiftly!  Sigh!  Oh well, it’s a relief for me!  2013 brings life lessons and upsets that sting.

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May showers are looming and I’ma Dreamin’…

Haze and laze, better not be fazed!

Wedding Anniversary is on the horizon…

 

Greatest lessons over the past year – It’s the little things…

It’s not just the please and thank you but heartfelt appreciation

It’s the love and support of a loved one in times of need

It’s genuine patriotism as opposed to self-interests in nationalism

It’s appreciating people for who they are, not manipulating them for their content

It’s judging a man for his outcome, not his income!

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Blessings for the year:

God is shaking out the negative and showering us  in abundant blessing.  Connecting with friends and loved ones, sharing and caring.  Reconnecting and revisiting. Reorganizing and reviving. Starting afresh and God’s continued sustenance.   Provision and resolution.  Rejuvenation and relaxation. Living and loving!

What would I do without God?

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

Psalm 100

A Psalm for giving thanks.

100 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness!

Come into his presence with singing!

3 Know that the Lord, he is God!

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

and his courts with praise!

Give thanks to him; bless his name!

5 For the Lord is good;

his steadfast love endures forever,

and his faithfulness to all generations.

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Am I in this Alone?


James 2:23

‘and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God.’

Solitude is great.  It helps me clear our heads and listen to God. Short meaningful bouts of solitude can be our most productive.  Longer sessions give me the creeps.  So every time I start a new phase in life I ask, ‘Am in this alone?’ Can I go it alone?  Do I want to be alone?

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Truth is, I have never been alone.  About twenty three years ago, this month, I made the best friend anyone could ever ask for.  His name is Jesus Christ.  I walked into a Church, began to attend regularly with my cousins and accepted Christ once more.  He came into my life as a child and somewhere along the way, I set Him aside, praying occasionally.  I had a poor Church attendance habit in my teens. 

We are never alone.  Ever. Even if you do not know Christ, He is with you, waiting for you to let Him in. I am so thankful for this, because it means we all have an equal chance with God.  Such love and care – who can resist? I guess I am not alone anymore!

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Aiding and Abetting


ImageOur daughter came home from school one day and dropped onto the sofa face drawn and followed by a long sigh.  “That is it!  No more soccer for me.  It was so embarrassing!”  Naturally, we asked what had taken place and she blurted out that one classmate scored an own-goal.  The other school team laughed until tears came streaming down their faces.  Our daughter’s team could do little else, than retreat to the side lines and hope their opponents would get over it.

“Okay, tell me. Was it a mistake on her part or what?” I asked.  “No Mum, she ran at us shouting, ‘I am defender!’ and scored!”  The P. E. Teacher was naturally more upset than the team-mates and asked the poor girl to sit out the rest of the match.  It was all so bizarre.  I did ask if she understood the rules of the game, which she did and was left wondering if the heat before the rain had got to her.  Apparently not.  Their team lost and their class and school shamed almost to the point of no-recognition.  This time, we both let out a long sigh.

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I do the same thing with my faith walk.  I profess I am on God’s side and proceed to score for the losing side.  My intentions right, I set out to conquer the world with right actions and within days or hours, I am angry and upset. Before I know it, I react in a manner that would cause anyone personal disappointment. In all fairness, all of us have our episodes.  Scoring own-goals is akin to helping our enemy.  Or maybe we should call it aiding and abetting. Not good.

How are we going to manage this?  Stay in the Word, dwell in it, pray and let the Holy Spirit be our guide.  We can make a conscious decision and listen for God daily and as often as we can.  Our choices include fellowship with people who love, encourage and grow with us.  Simple rule – great friendships shape great people!   Who better than our Maker, Creator and the Living God for a friend?  He is a friend we can aid and abet anywhere, any day and without fear or favour.  After all, He did it for you!Image

 

 

Fearful? Who Me?


Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Luke 12:4

Have No Fear

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.

“Onions have layers and so do I!”  We are all complicated beings and so am I.  We have personality challenges such as fear failure, guilt and shame, that both shape and motivate us.  We are a product of our environment and beliefs on one level and so many things on others.  Why does fear stand out?  What are you afraid of?

I would write about the things I fear, but that would take a while.  Raised in a culture that uses shame to keep up our social mores, fear became that horrible constant companion. Then Jesus came into my life and introduced Himself at age eight.  I longed to hear His voice everyday.  I chose obedience ad delving into the Bible and this affected my life with incredible joy and security. Nothing has ever come close and nothing ever will.

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As we mature into teenagers and young adults, the battle of the mind becomes a harsh reality.  Peer pressure pulls one way, global trends another:  and then there is God.  What does God want for you?  What do you want?   close are you to  goal?  What needs to change? One word – fear.

We cannot change fear but we can choose to respond instead of reacting. Fear takes a firm grip, steals into the heart, taking over the mind and steering us over the edge of reason.  God is simply amazing and tells us in Psalms 46: 10,

“Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”

We are reactionary by nature and it has taken me a long time to my relationship with Jesus impacted my life beyond my personal capability or drive.  It really is a blessing.  Once again, I choose obedience and the joy of being faithful to this very special relationship with my Saviour and King!  The best part?

Joshua 1:9

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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Go out in the freedom that comes with salGod’s free gidt of salvation – that is the only way to slayour fear! Come on, dive right in!