Breath.

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Breathing all around me,

I know You keep me here.

It’s only because You’re with me

that I haven’t crumpled with fear.

The silence ever deafening.

The walls are moving too fast.

In and out of consciousness,

All I see is my past.

“Don’t let me die” – an awkward phrase,

Said with little breath.

Your word will never fail me

Throughout what lies ahead.

There’s got to be a reason

Or I’d have gone that night.

Wisdom from a bleak season –

In life we should be light.

Haughtiness Doesn’t Save

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Why would anyone want to embrace something that would make them feel inadequate, wrong, judged and condemned?

People like to avoid religion. And quite rightly, because it is a judgemental, elitist ritual, that says you’ll only be good enough if you do ‘this, this and this’.

That’s not what Chrisitanity is about. It’s about relationship with the One who created you, through the ONLY acceptable sacrifice of atonement.

Jesus never condemned. He spoke in love. He lead in love. He was the perfect example and display of God’s love towards us.

That’s what we as believers are called to do and be. To display love. The world doesn’t need more condemnation and proud judgemental attitudes. It needs love. It needs to know that despite all the rubbish and sin, God still loves them, and He wants them redeemed, set free and restored to fullness of peace and hope through His Son.

It’s only God’s unconditional love and God’s Grace that causes and motivates people to change. Because love is forgiving and understanding, always seeing the best in others, and always putting others first, it is the only force that will make someone actually want to give up living in a sinful way.

Let’s just imagine… You’ve got a baby that is trying to walk but keeps falling over. Would you…

A) Push them down and curse them, telling them they’re wrong and are failing, and will never be good enough if they don’t hurry up and walk – explaining to them all the sorrows that lie ahead for those that can’t walk?

Or

B) Gently help them up again, with patience and kindness, encouraging and praising them every time they successfully take a step, and supporting them every time they fell over again?

Which baby do you think would grow up secure, strong and able to walk without fear or paranoia? The answer is obvious. So why aren’t we like this to those people we encounter who are lost and broken, searching for help? Or those that are so lost, they can’t even see they’re lost? Most people are not bad. They are not trying to do wrong things, they are trying to get by and live the best life they can – they just don’t know that there is a better and easier way than battling it out alone.

Just because we’ve been saved doesn’t make us ‘better’ than those unsaved, it means we’ve understood and embraced God’s love and made a choice to let Him heal us. We should be encouraging others to do the same, not condemning them for trying to fix themselves.

The only one with the right to condemn is Jesus, and Jesus comes to us in love, not condemnation. God’s message is that of love, forgiveness, salvation, peace, joy and restoration. What message are you sharing with the world today?

iChoose Apple

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I think that a lot of the people berating the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus because of the lack of ‘technological advancement’ (in comparison with some of the Android phones currently in the market) are missing out on the whole enticing quality of Apple.

As far as I’m concerned, the specs of the new iPhones are great – because I know why I want an iPhone, and I know what I want to use it for. To some techies, however, the brand new members of the fruit family might just seem like pretty packages without much punch. I think this argument is somewhat redundant, because you don’t necessarily buy Apple products to get the latest specs.

You buy Apple because it’s glamourous.

You buy Apple because iTunes, FaceTime, iWork and iLife.

You buy Apple because of the inter-device connectivity.

You buy Apple because it’s Apple. And Apple is cool.

Don’t deny it.

There’s no point saying that the new iPhone isn’t on par with the new HTC or the new Samsung. Of course it isn’t. That’s like saying a javelin thrower isn’t on par with a sprinter; it’s a silly statement to make. The different devices are completely different boxes of tools, built for different purposes, with different users in mind.

We all like different things, and no one is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in their choice of technological preference.

Next year when my current phone contract ends I will be buying the Apple Watch and the iPhone 6. I appreciate the innovation of the current leading phones and technologies in the market. I appreciate that by that point (May 2015) newer, more advanced and more proficient technology will be available. But I’m an Apple kinda girl. I like flawless design. I like class. I like beauty. (I’m not saying that other companies don’t have these things). I like the elegance and prestige that Apple just oozes: in the business world, in education, in medicine and in the consumer market.  And basically, to have a laptop that syncs with my tablet that syncs with my phone that syncs with my watch (and they’re all extremely sleek and attractive), well… I think that’s pretty cool, and a jolly good reason to spend my money.

Self Discovery

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A journey of self discovery.
A trip into darkness.
A light forced to burn brighter,
My life held by hope’s harness.

It’s amazing how You know just what I need.
In You I stand complete.

Steadied in the rocky climb,
Growing in the struggle.
Holding onto peace,
Learning how to juggle.

It’s amazing how You know just what I need.
In You I stand complete.

Lodges, bonfires and trees.
Never-ending company,
Within the gentle breeze.
Your Love is calling out to me.

It’s amazing how You know just what I need.
In You I stand complete.

The Spirit helps me see
The way in which to walk
I’m learning to do and be –
Life is more than just talk.

It’s amazing how You know just what I need.
In You I stand complete.

Peace in the Storm

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A God that never changes,
Knows just what my name is,
Knows my story and my place,
Watched me grow throughout the days.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me.

The noise is real, I’m saying “Peace, be still”
And I’m still waiting for this storm to blow over.
This heavy weight that’s on my shoulder.
The night keeps getting colder.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me.

The rain clouds spill and I start to sneeze.
The fog clouds and mist are making me wheeze.
I’m looking for shade but there’s no leaves on the trees.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me.

Those sharp drops of rain on a windy day.
I can hear the pain as I whisper and pray.
I’m holding onto Your Grace, I’m held by Your Love,
That sign of hope, that pure white Dove.

You didn’t bring me this far to leave me. In You, I have found peace.

Day 31: The Final Day

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THE CHALLENGE IS OFFICIALLY OVER.

It was going to be thirty days, but if you recall, on day three I just waffled, and said nothing. Therefore, chums, I have decided that this is the final day. Here are five things I’ve learnt during these Thirty (One) days:

1) It’s a bittersweet affair.

Have I enjoyed it?

Yes.

No. 

At times it was torturous and frustrating. Getting home late after a busy day, having dinner and then wanting nothing more than to sleep, but realising that I have to create interesting sentences with words and then publish it to the blogosphere. Eurgh.

Other days, I really enjoyed it, especially when the words would flow, or I had something in particular on my heart to share. I do feel I’ve grown as a writer by completing this challenge, especially in terms of discipline. Sometimes you can’t wait to be in the mood to write, sometimes you’ve gotta just make yourself write.

2) Forcing yourself to write can help you clarify what it is you want to write.

I really like poetry. I already knew this. But since the majority of my posts from this challenge have been poems, it just clarified, and reaffirmed that It’s probably my easiest/ go to writing form. Or maybe it’s because I really like making things rhyme…

I did find it a challenge to do reviews, and it’s only through doing this challenge that I could identify that. (Practise reviewing = added to To Do List)

3) Blogging frequently takes a lot of willpower, creativity and time.

It is possible, and I’m pleased that I’ve completed this challenge, however churning your work out without rest can limit the quality of what you produce. Writing interesting, unique and engaging posts can be hard to do on a daily basis. So, I’ve decided that I will blog weekly, on Thursdays. I may or may not blog more frequently than this, but I will blog at least once a week. That way I can really think about what I’m going to post, and hopefully say something of interest, value and merit.

4) Proof-reading is essential.

We all know this, but it only becomes an “I told you so” when you’ve posted something, all chuffed with yourself, and then find out a few days later that you made a completely fundamental error thanks to autocorrect, and lack of proof reading. Linking to my previous point, because I haven’t had a lot of time to proof read my work before posting it, I made so many mistakes – some of which I spotted early on, others of which I didn’t spot – other bloggers pointed them out to me. Oops.

5) You don’t always have to follow (or stick to) a plan.

After the failure of day three, when I couldn’t think of any topic to write about, I wrote out a plan for each day’s post. This however became a source of stress, as after the first couple of days, I would look at the plan and think

‘No, I don’t want to write that.’

or

‘That’ll take too long, and I’m too tired to make it interesting.’

or

‘I’m not in the right frame of mind to cover that topic.’

or

‘I haven’t the time to research.’

or

‘It’s 11:30pm. I need something short and sweet!’

After continually rearranging my plan (so that I kept pushing back the things I didn’t want to cover), I finally decided to scrap the plan. Mostly, I ‘winged it’, went with whatever had happened that day, drew inspiration from present/past experiences/observations and/or feelings.

Plans are great when it comes to writing, but they aren’t fundamental. They can keep you on track and inspire you, but other times they can hinder your creativity. There are also times when we can be too lazy to follow the original plan. I didn’t delete the plan, so I still have it as a reference point of some interesting things to blog about. I may decide to use some of the ideas. We’ll see.

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In honour of this special day

Here’s a little note to say
Thanks for reading my ramblings,
I’ll try to post more interesting things.

It’s been fun at times and tearful at others,
But it’s part of growth, break free from the covers,
And don’t let yourself be hindered by fear.
Write whatever you want to, my dear.
The keyboard and pen await.

🙂

Day 30: You Have Value

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I watched The Prince of Egypt again today, (because – why not?) and the main thing I got from it this time was from the song “Through Heaven’s Eyes.”

Sometimes we can feel less than important. We can feel like we aren’t good enough, or that because we’re just one person, we could never make a difference. That’s not how God sees us.

Each of us are important. That’s not to say that we should be put on pedestals or that we should be full of pride. Quite the opposite. We are important because God values us. Jesus sacrificed His life for us. We are important because as we fulfil God’s plans, and live for His purposes, He will be glorified through us. Our lives have meaning and purpose far beyond what we could ever see or imagine in our own strength.

Let’s take time to remember, we need to look at our lives through Heaven’s eyes, we need to see ourselves as God sees us. God knows the plans that He has for us. We must honour and trust Him, and trust that He knows more than we do. We don’t see the whole plan, but God does, and we can trust that every step of the way, He is leading us. If we are willing and obedient, if we do what He says, He will order our steps in line with His plan, and we will live fulfilled, long lives for His glory.

Don’t give up hope. You are important, because God made you, God loves you, and God has an awesome plan for your life.

I encourage you to trust God, trust that Jesus can set you free, and let Him lead you into the fullness of life that He has in store for you.