Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Saturate your thoughts with the Word of God

PHOTO CREDIT: Drew Hopper

We are BOMBARDED by a worldly mindset through the electronic media that constantly clamours for our attention.  . . . television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the internet, social media all blasting out their message and trying their hardest to push out the Word of God. 

Timothy didn't have to contend with all this noise, however he did have to keep his flock from wandering back to their pagan ways. Paul, in his letters to Timothy understood this threat and wrote the following:

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:14-16)

As Christians we need to, must, saturate our thinking with the thoughts of God and His Word. We need to read our bibles daily, we need to talk to God daily, we need to see the Bible as our life manual and use it when faced with any situation. As Ray Stedman says in his book about Timothy, we need to "bath our minds in the scriptures and learn to see reality from God's point of view" and NOT the worlds point of view. 

The bible was never designed to be read in one sitting, it is to be read slowly and carefully, to read small amounts and truely absorb its meaning and how to use it in our lives. We need to do this daily because Satan is relentless at throwing falsehoods our way and tempting us into sinful activities. 

Satan is ruling our world and trying desperately to remove God from any part of society. From government, from the law, from peoples thinking and he is very successful. "If we don't continually wash our minds in the truth of God's Word, we will be brainwashed by the less that this world passes off as truth".

Once we bath in God's Word, we will come away changed forever, we will think differently about ourselves and those around us. It is like turning on the light and seeing for the first time what is happening around us, which we never really saw when we were in the darkness. 

It will transform our relationships with our spouses, our children, our parents, siblings, those in our workplaces, our neighbourhoods and at church. It changes our values and goals in life. 

Turn off the TV, the computer, the phone and open up the Bible, it is the answer to EVERYTHING

Who remembers the "Hitchhikers Guide the Galaxy" and the search for the answer to life and everything. After 1000's of years of searching, the answer turned out to be "42" which never made any sense to anyone, to me anyway!!  Whilst a very funny and amusing book, we know the answer to life and everything . . . it is the Word of God, it really is that simple. 

The bible has been given to us as our instruction book . . . a road map that, when followed will give us much joy, contentment and blessings, but most of all takes us straight to GOD. It is very powerful book that has saved lives, mended broken souls, move us from the wrong path to the right path and transform society. Every time we pick up the bible we should have a sense of excitement and pleasure, much more than when we open up a novel or turn on the TV. 

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God"

Quotes used in this post are from "The fight of faith" by Ray C. Stedman


Monday, December 5, 2016

Not arguing over the Word of God


And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth. (2 Timothy 2:24)



I love the array of Christian women bloggers, it is wonderful to see so many spreading the Word of God to others. So many being supportive of other women, kind and caring and so very encouraging. However it saddens me when I read blogs where the author assume they are always right and never listen to others, never stops to listen to other women’s stories and situations, lacking empathy. Just because a blog post contains bible verses doesn’t make it accurate—interpretations of the bible has causes many an argument and disagreement throughout history. Just because someone says they have “the truth” doesn’t always meant that. The bible is the Truth, we are just weak servants who often make mistakes when we read and interpreted the Word of God.

We must always remember that our brothers and sisters in Christ are not our enemy. Satan wants us to argue and fight and tries very hard to place a wedge between us.

We need to humble ourselves and accept criticism and to be challenged.  We need to be willing to listen to other women, really listen, not just a cursory listen and then tell them they wrong. 

To bloggers—our purpose for writing should be about spreading the Word of God to others, encouraging our sisters in Christ, be supportive and loving—we should not be interested in becoming famous and wanting lots of comments and attention. Being boastful of negative comments and drawing attention to ourselves is not Christlike. There will always be people who disagree with what we say but how we behave and respond to these comments is what is important. We need to act with dignity, we need to be measured in our comments and we need to show love and not lecture. We don’t know their history or anything else about them.



Kindness goes a long way.

If they are clearly wrong, we need to respond with gentleness and not by quarrelling. We do not want to embarrass a sister in Christ. We want to show them God’s Word and lead them in the right direction. 

We need to be kind, caring, gentle women not the sort that trample on other women who are doing things differently. We need to accept that there is more than one way of doing things i.e. parenting, marriage and schooling are three examples that people are very passionate about. My methods of parenting will be different to others, but it doesn’t make it wrong. It iso our differences that make us all so interesting, wouldn't the world be a very dull place if we were all clones. God made us different, so lets enjoy those differences. 

Too many have quarrelled over the Word of God causing splits in churches, destroyed families and friendships. We need to avoid disagreements over words. Do not get involved in arguments, avoid those blogs that try to stir up trouble and have women against women.  And we to behave in a Christlike manner when discussing our differences. 

I have had comments delete or just not published because I work outside of the home, its hurtful and certainly not a sign of Christian behaviour.  As an older women, I welcome all comments on my Facebook page or this blog unless it is disrespectful or trolling — I want to hear from you even if we are doing things differently. The aim of my blog is to spread Gods Word and share with other women the beauty of our Heavenly Father. 


Greet one another with a kiss of love.  Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen. 

(1 Peter 5:14)


Friday, December 2, 2016

Art Friday: Australian summer


Australia Summer

When one thinks of Australia, beaches and summer is often the first thing that springs to mind - here are some photos taken at the Sunshine Coast, in the State of Queensland. I spend a few days in Queensland in early November, the weather was very warm so a trip to the seaside was very welcome as the sea breezes were beautiful and cooling. This area is very popular with visitors and there are many apartments to stay at. The weather is warm and much more humid than southern Australia. 









I took this from the car window on our way to the Sunshine Coast. We all agreed that the tall trees made for a very interesting photo. 

The following three photos were taken in Brisbane, the capital of the State of Queensland - otherwise known as the Sunshine State as it is usually warm and sunny (probably a bit like Florida in climate).








Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Its finally December-What has happened to tolerance?



My thoughts on the past year

Every month this year I have written things that I consider important but I want to end the year with something that I think is growing and will become much more of an issue in 2017 —

Intolerances

I wrote a post on intolerances earlier this year, however very few people read it (LINK), I wondered why—has intolerances become acceptable across the broader community or did I touch on a topic that raises too many questions for Christians.

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18)

As mothers we need to teach our children to be tolerant — to love one another, to care for one another, to reach out to others. As Christians being tolerant means being loving and considerate of others who differ from us. Being tolerant means being patient and forgiving of others' errors. However, it doesn't mean being tolerant of evil or deliberate wrongdoing, nor does it mean we must believe what they believe as truth (as in other religions), but it does mean that we don’t treat them with hostility and ill-treatment, rather with human decency, compassion and love. 

We need to be "Christ in action". 


In Australia, the USA and in Europe we are seeing a growth in the far-right political groups and the push for acceptability by the white supremacy and nationalists. These are dangerous ideologies and one that NO Christian should have anything to do with however we are seeing these groups becoming much more widespread and their beliefs being picked by those who feel forgotten or neglected by the mainstream political parties. 

No baby is born with hatred, intolerance, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia or prejudice but by listening to their parents and those around them, it doesn’t take long before they too think it is ok to be intolerant towards others. Only the other day a young boy committed suicide as a result of bulling he endured because he identified as homosexual. It doesn't mean you have to accept homosexuality, it means not hurting those who have identified as gay — name call, bully or making fun of a child or adult who is different. 

Following the UK Brexit vote there was a 50% increase in racial attacks. Polish vermin” and “send them home” seem to be becoming something that immigrants and non-whites have to once again have to endure. One only needs to look Steve Bannon’s (Trumps chief White House strategist) Breitbart News to see what white nationalism looks like. Its ugly. 

The Lord has asked us to love one another just as He loves us — no matter the colour, religious beliefs, ethnic background, sexual orientation etc..  This is not an option and nor can we be choosy about who we love — this is a commandment. Therefore NO christian should be intolerant and exclude those who are different because that isn't love. 

We do not need to afraid of those of different faiths. We need to welcome them into our communities and show Christian hospitality. We have a past history of discrimination where millions of people have been persecute for their religious beliefs and some have been willing to go to war over religion. Hitler killed 6 millions Jews but tragically genocide continues to happen around the world, most recently by ISIS.  A handful of Muslims committing crimes, doesn't make the entire Muslim community guilty. 

Sadly though politicians have become experts at dividing the nation with “them and us”, playing on the fears of the community and whipping up a frenzy of hate. It doesn't matters if they are not talking the truth, all that matters is that they win — and in the process, creating fear and uncertainty and INTOLERANCE.  What is worse — the politicians that lie or that we are sucked in to these lies?

As an older woman, I ask you all to think about the ramifications of intolerances and teach your children to be tolerant. Teach your children about the differences in others and walk the talk — be a shining example of what tolerances looks like.

However, I want to end on an important note — being tolerant towards others, does not mean we become accepting of sinful behaviours — immoral behaviour, wickedness, delinquency, criminal activities, selfishness, adultery, a husband beating up his wife, those who indulge in alcoholism and gambling etc.. These are not things we should accept as ok as they are not. However, just because a criminal has committed a crime, should not stop us from reaching out and spreading God's word in prison, nor should delinquent behaviour of a young person stop us in praying for their salvation. And just because someone is engaging in sinful behaviour does not give us the right to treat the person badly, humiliate tham in social media or make fun of them. 


You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren[c] only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? (Matthew 5: 43:47)



Monday, November 28, 2016

The myth of the perfect family?


On the  17th of October 2016, police broke into a home in a middle class suburb of Sydney, Australia's largest city to find the bodies of a family—mother, father and their two young children. They also found the body of the family dog. The police have stated that they are not looking for any suspects and believe the father killed the family (it is unknown at this stage if the mother was aware of his plans). In the newspaper articles following the discovery, those who knew the family said they were "loved", a "much valued family in the community" and the mother was bright, cheery, a "rock",  happy, heavily involved in the school her two children attended. They appeared to be the perfect family.  Even with two severely disabled children, the mother was considered strong and determine and doing a great job. 


NO family is ever perfect and every family will experience challenges, trials, troubles and more. 

None of us want to admit to others that our family is far from perfect. Instead we put on a mask and appearing happy and able, when behind the scenes, family life is anything but. We pretend our family is perfect because to admit anything else is a sign of failure. Thanks to the glossy magazines and now many bloggers (who like to tell us about their "perfect families"), many women are feeling less the adequate about their parenting skills which for some leads to resentment and negative thoughts, the feeling of failure. Women (mothers and wives) need to drop their masks and share with others the truth rather than continue this lie of "happy families". 


I knew a woman who kept on telling me how perfect her daughter was, how smart, how clever, how pretty. My son, who was the same age, was a bit naughty, a bit silly at times, struggled with learning and I hated to listen to her go on and on about her beautiful daughter—what was I going to say, that my son had difficulties and was struggling at school. I was embarrassed that I didn't have the perfect child. Fortunately we moved and I never saw this woman again—my son has done really well, he is married to a beautiful girl,  he has succeeded in his work, he still struggles a bit and can be very silly. He is far from perfect, but his MY son and love him just the way he is. 

We all do our very best and to be honest, sometimes our very best can go pear shaped. 

We need to be honest with ourselves and stop comparing our families and our children with anyone else. We should not and must not measure our families with any other families and continually search for the "ideal family" model, we are all different and that perfectly ok. If we continue to do this, it will be destructive to our families as they will never live up to our expectations. 

Some families have far more troubles than others and it isn't because they are inadequate, but life is like that, the bible makes it clear that our journey will not be smooth sailing. Let’s refrain from trying to become that perfect family, but instead become the family that God intended us to become. Our desire is to please the Lord.

For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)

God knows that NONE of us are perfect and NONE of us should be boasting that we are. When you read your bible you will find many examples of individuals and families that were far from perfect —only God is perfect.  We are a work in progress "That He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6) and God is still working on us. 

All families will experience struggles and failures. 

However, these struggles are meant to send us to the only One who can help—our Lord Jesus Christ. As we go through the difficulties in life, He wants us to go to Him with these struggles, because He is the answer to our problems. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Don't look at your struggles as failures, look at them as lessons that will bring you closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, if we were perfect we might wander away from Christ because we wouldn't need Him. 

Look for the best in family members and praise those qualities. 



Friday, November 25, 2016

Art Friday: Happy Thanksgiving Day



We do not celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Australia, regardless, it is still important to be so THANKFUL for that the Lord has provided to us — not just the big things, but all the small things that we often overlook.

 Here is a small collection of art that celebrate thanksgiving. 


Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God  Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.  ~ (Psalms 147:7-8)











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