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?

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 26: Keep Going.

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“It’s hard to know what I should do.”

Keep going.

“There’s hurt and pain and everything’s wrong.”

Keep going.

“I don’t see the way.”

Keep going.

“I’ve fallen before.”

Keep going.

“I feel so helpless.”

Keep going.

 

One thing I can tell you

His word is true.

One thing I can tell you

He will come through.

One thing I can tell you

It’s not over yet.

One thing I can tell you

Have no more regrets.

 

For there is One who

Will make the darkness light

There is One who

Does everything right.

 

So you’re broken, lost and hurting

Keep going.

This one thing I can tell you –

There is One who can save.

Day 24: In Need of Saving?

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You’ll soon be overwhelmed by all you cannot do 

For the battle is too big for me and for you.

But there is One who came to save,

And there’s power in His name.

He’s our Strength and Song.

Will you let Him in?

Depression is misplaced focus.

You can’t do it, and you know this,

So stop trying in vain,

Call on His name,

He’s willing to save.

Will you let Him in?

“It’s my problem and my strength

It’s me who’ll fix it in the end.”

This isn’t how God taught us to walk

This isn’t how we ought to talk.

God is faithful and true,

And He’s waiting for you 

To let Him in.

We’re living by Grace, because He saves

This is not something we could ever gain.

We can’t be so focused on ourselves

That we miss the chance to help someone else.

Our strength and source is God alone.

So turn your eyes, look to The Throne.

The King is calling you to Him,

Will you answer?

Will you let Him in?

Day 19: What’s that you’ve got in your hand?

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Throughout today the song That’s When He Steps In by Alvin Slaughter has been playing on my mind. It’s a beautiful song that reminds me of Moses’ encounter with God in Exodus 3. It’s definitely the encouragement I needed today.

(On a side note, I always find this. God always knows exactly which songs to bring across my path at exactly the right time. God knows us. He knows how we respond to different things, and what impacts us the most, and He speaks to us in ways that we can understand.)

It is so easy to get swamped by the cares of the world and the pressures of life. But God has called is to cast all our cares onto Jesus (1 Peter 5:6-7) , and he requires that we don’t lean on our own understand, but we submit to, and trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6).

So often we can try to make things happen, to make ends meet, to try and figure it out, work it out, make it better. God is faithful, and He is good. We must remember that God will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19), and we need to trust in Him. He is Who He says He is.

My favourite lyrics from the song is the chorus –

‘What’s that you’ve got in your hand? I can use it, if you’re willing to lose it. Take the little you have and make it grand. I am El Shaddai, and I’ll more than supply your need.’

This is what God is saying to us. This has been playing on my mind the whole day, and I believe God is reminding us that we have to let go of trying to be in control. Trying to ‘fix’ the issues we’re facing. We don’t have he answers in our own strength, but God does. We have to trust Him, and live to please Him, willing to do what He says. God requires our obedience, and our faith to be IN Him. That’s our sacrifice – living to please The Lord. Denying self, and living for His glory.

God wants us to be experiencing the fullness of His love and His grace and His freedom and His peace. We have to learn to let go.

So what have you got in your hand? Are you willing to let go, and trust God?

Day 14: Praise You in this Storm (or rather, in this traffic)

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The irony of being allowed to go home early and yet arriving home over 2 hours late. This is due to the beauty of emergency roadworks and the chaos of traffic. I’m exhausted and all I’ve been doing is sitting on a bus. At least I got to write this post.

I haven’t eaten since 12:30pm. It’s now 7:50pm (I didn’t have internet on the bus, so I’m posting this as I’ve now arrived home). I’m sleepy, a little bit cold and a fair amount of frustrated. But still. All things work together for good to those who love The Lord and are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) That’s me. And if you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that’s you too.

I can’t say that I understand why I’ve been subject to this delay. But I can say that in everything , God is still good. Through any amount of inconvenience and hurt and delays, God is still faithful. This isn’t a very dramatic situation, but I’m using it as an example. I’m holding on to God, knowing I’ll get home eventually. I really feel that God is using this to mirror other things that we wait for; be it healing, restoration or anything else.

Whatever you’re holding on for, whatever you need right now, however long you’ve been delayed, God is still good. As the song by Casting Crowns says, “You are who You are, no matter where I am.” God will never leave us or forsake us. 

So even though my tummy has been rumbling so much it’s now just given up, I can praise The Lord. I’m sitting comfortably. I have time to pray. To listen to music. To think about others. And perhaps, the whole point of my predicament was so that I could type this blog post and share some words of encouragement with you.

Trust God’s timing. He requires us to be patient, but whatever we’re holding on to Him for (however minuscule or massive), when God provides it, it’ll be worth the wait. 

Day 12: Misplaced Outrage – sometimes the message is just for you

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Have you ever felt like something was stolen from you?

I was wondering what to blog about today, as I didn’t feel like writing what was originally on my plan. As I was thinking, I prayed and asked God for a topic, and a certain issue came to mind. I started to write the most heartfelt, personal message, pouring out words that were flowing with a passion and an urgency. I felt exposed, but I felt that the post would encourage someone.

Well, for the first time I was not using the wordpress app, because it wasn’t cooperating. I was using the safari browser on my ipad, and after typing the message I quickly added tags and categories, and posted it, feeling at peace.

However that peace quickly dissolved when It refreshed the page and shows me a blank post. I clicked on view post, just to be sure, and there was nothing.

For some reason, the title, categories and tags had all posted, but there was nothing actually in the post. I went into a state of shock, then outrage, then immense hurt. I felt wounded and weak. Misunderstood and frustrated. I felt like something had been stolen from me.

This scenario happens about 30 minutes ago. Right now, I feel like a different person. I can barely explain the hurt and the feeling of injustice that was bubbling up inside. I literally felt drained.

I ran to my Mother for comfort, and after I spent about 10 minutes crying and explaining that I felt robbed, she said something that I hadn’t considered. Sometimes, we’re so keen to share a word of knowledge, to impart wisdom or encourage someone, that we end up giving away something that was just meant for us. I was convinced that the post not publishing was an attack from the enemy, but perhaps it was the Holy Spirit arresting me. I’ve been praying a lot recently that God would guide me and lead me by His Holy Spirit. Perhaps that was my prayer answered.

The truth is, the message I typed came out of me, which means it hasn’t been stolen. It’s what I truly know, deep inside. Perhaps I just needed to go through ‘therapy’, to clarify it for myself, and release the emotion by writing that post. Sure, I was outraged that the post was lost, and yes, the exact words are gone, but now I can see that the essence of it, the true message, the meaning and the morals, all of that is not lost.

I am now more assured that the post I attempted to share was a personal revelation. I was so caught up in wanting to blog something profound and insightful that I almost gave away a precious moment of Devine revelation between me and my Creator.

Now that’s worth thinking about.