Wednesday, 21 November 2007

MIRIAM


I have lately been thinking a lot about Miriam. So many thoughts have rushed through my mind when I think of her....


Firstly as a little girl following her mothers instructions, following her brother downstream to see what was to become of him, then later on we meet her as a worship leader, following the Hebrews successful crossing of the Red Sea.


She was a strong woman, a natural leader. As is often the case with some folk their very strength becomes their very weakness.


This forerunner, this woman who had ascended to the highest post ever held by a woman, had surpassed her boundaries. She overestimated herself and considered herself as on the same level as her brother Moses. In her pride she undermined his authority.


Miriam was a woman at the top, an exceptional woman, when jealousy crept into her heart and she asked if Moses was indeed the leader, were the 3 of them not on the same level. (Paraphrased)


However sadly Miriam slowly shifted away from God's control in her life to self control. I believe that this took place so subtly that perhaps she did not realise the change before it was too late.


Perhaps if she had ernestly searched her heart honestly in time she would have prevented God's judgement in her life, perhaps she would not have overstepped her boundaries by overestimating herself.


Miriam was a God gifted leader who had held an inmportant position in her nation.


If we are in poitions of leadership, we may also fail. Let us learn from her mistake, let us NEVER MURMUR asgainst God given authority. Many years of faithfulness do not armour us against sin. Every day evil can threaten to overtake you if you allow it.


Draw near to the Son, look full in His wonderful face, guard your heart, above all guard your heart for out of it the issues of life flow.


Remember Jesus and I love you


Hugs and blessings


Your friend


Sharmaine

Thursday, 8 November 2007

ZIPPORAH

I have had Zipporah on my min d recently. Exodus 2:21 tells us, "And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter." KJV

So Moses the murderer to be leader/saviour of his nation, does not marry a young Jewish girl, devout and strong in their faith, he marries the daughter of a Midianite priest named Reuel or Jethro as we know him.


We are never told if she converted to the faith, and in fact her only action we know of is recorded in the scripture in the circumcision of one of her sons. The Bible tells us God was angered at Moses' disobedience, in fact God was prepared to kill him. Zipporah concluded it was because Moses had not circumsied one of their sons and unhappily did the job herself.


Zipporah is last mentioned briefly, in Exodus 18:2, when Jethro returns her and their sons to Moses.


We know Moses was spoken about because of his wife, and it made me think how we react when our husbands are critised because of how we look, or how we speak or how we perform.


How do we feel in the ministry when we are under the magnifying glass of the church?


Scholars also believe Moses left his wife and children with Jethro when he made the dangerous journey to Egypt. We see Zipporah did God's will only when her husbands life was threatened-when push came to shove....

Girls do we do the same? Will we wait until we face serious trouble before we obey, or will be always obey God?

To be the one to follow your husband is not always easy, often this jpourney is fraught with heartache and dispair, but never ever give up. "Keep your eyes on Jesus, look full in His wonderful face" if our eyes are on Jesus, on the Son then the shadows stay behind us!


Remember Jesus and I love you

Hugs and Blessings

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Daddy's Girls





Well, what a wonderful time was had by the girls when they realised who they REALLY are in Christ!!




Thedy realised they were "Daddy's Girls" that they were unique and wonderful. They got rid of their baggage and lifted their heads...Praise God that in all things we are more than conquerors.


Hugs and Blessings


Sharmaine

Monday, 15 October 2007

Have you ever thought about Abishag? Abi who you may ask....well yes she is kind of obscure in the Bible!

She had the dubious honour of keeping David warm when he was old and failing. (1Kings1:2 KJV) The Bible does not state whether she enjoyed her task or whether she found it distastful.

How do we respond daily to the distastful, tasks we have to perform. Lets face it our feelings towards various jobs or studies or routine often vary, often we find ourselves in situations or jobs that are not what we had envisioned them to be.

1 Cor.2:3 says,"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful"

Well often we are not in our dream jobs, often we live in the valley of dissolusionment....however do your job the best way you know how, and of course keep praying that God will open other doors for you.

Hugs and Blessings

Sharmaine

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Dear Friends

This was forwarded to me, and really touched my heart. May it minister to you

Battling Insecurity?

"May you be… founded securely on love."
Ephesians 3:17 AMP


Are you battling insecurity? If so, reflect on these ten Scriptural truths about yourself:
(1) I know God loves me and that He has a great plan for my life.
(2) Yes, I've faults, but God's working on me, changing me day by day; while He does, I can still enjoy my life.
(3) I realize I'll always have issues to deal with, so I won't be discouraged when God convicts me of areas that still need improvement.
(4) Everybody has weaknesses, so I'm not a failure because I'm not perfect.
(5) I want people to like me, but my sense of worth isn't dependent on them. No, Jesus has already proven my worth by dying for me.
(6) I refuse to be controlled or manipulated by others. Even if they reject me I'll survive, for Jesus has promised never to leave me nor forsake me.
(7) No matter how often I fail I won't give up, because God is with me, to strengthen and sustain me.
(8) I like myself. I don't like everything I do and I want to change, but I refuse to reject myself because God loves and accepts me as I am.
(9) In myself I may be nothing, but in Christ I'm everything I need to be.
(10) I matter to God. My life makes a difference. Regardless of the challenge, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13 ).
As you reflect daily on these principles, you'll be amazed at how differently you begin to feel about yourself!

©Bob Gass

Hugs and Blessings

Sharmaine

Monday, 8 October 2007

PEACE


Catherine Marshall writes


"A king once offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many tried, but there were only two the king really liked. One was of a calm lake. It was a perfect mirror for the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.


The other picture had mountains too. But they were rugged and bare. Above them was an angry sky from which fell rain, and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountains tumbled a waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest.


There, in spite of the rush of angry water, she sat on her nest - in perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Why? 'Because,' explained the king, 'Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the middle of all these things and still be calm in your heart."


My dear friends, to be in the place of "nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing lost" this is the journey we all embark on. Yet it is right there, to sleep in the midst of the storm, to walk while the world is raging around you....


Where you may ask, in the midst of Jesus. He is the only one who offers the peace beyond all understanding, He offers the ability to walk in the storm and not be afraid, He offers you the strength to see that illness through, He is the one.


If you have never met Jesus or do not know Him as your personal Lord and Saviour, write to me at the address on the top of the page and I will be happy to lead you in a simple prayer and send you a book which will help you.


May God bless you today as you walk with HIM!


Hugs and blessings


Remember Jesus loves you so do I

Thursday, 4 October 2007

SHARMAINE'S ANGELS



Well as we know October is Pastor's appreciation month. (Hope you have shown your pastors how much you appreciate them!)


Do you remember the hit show "Charlies Angels" well I have "Sharmaine's Angels"....Leonie and Merinda. I had my house cleaned (thank you Jesus) and a meal on the same night (double thank you Jesus)


Thought you may want to know what these angels look like well here they are....THANK YOU GIRLS I APPRECIATE YOU!!!!
PS I took new phots of them still to be uploaded

Monday, 1 October 2007

ABIGAIL

I have been thinking much recently about Abigail, Nabal's wife. (Read about them from 1 Samuel 25:3)

He was very much like the meaning of his name, a fool, she was a wise dilligent wife.Nabal was wealthy and you probably find that her family had wed Abigail to Nabal for his wealth.

The Bible speaks very highly of her and shows Abigail as a woman of faith.What a mismatched pair they were. It would have been easy for Abigail to have been bitter and resentful, however she served her household with grace.

We read an account in scripture of how Nabal offended King David, Abigail in her wisdom did not argue with her husband, instead she set about righting the wrong, efficiently and wisely.

We read how King David appreciated Abigails faith and good qualities and thanked God for her.It is sad that while Abigail was negotiating a peace plan her husband was part of a drunken revelry.

Needles to say when Nabal heard wht Abigail had done he had a stroke or siezure of kinds and died. King David immediatly sought Abigails hand in marriage.

In a moment of favour she went from being a fools wife to being a kings bride.

There are so many examples of faithfulness in Abigails life. When I looked at her life I began to wonder how we would have reacted to being married to such a brutish lout? I wonder how gracious we would have been, and if we would have allowed biterness and resentment to embed their poisen deep within our beings?

Abigail clothed herself in humility, and through her eample she has paved the way for all women of strength to walk humbly before their God and make peace in broken and often violent relationships.

Abigail teaches us that God and God alone can bring tranquility to broken lives.

Through God we can experience life and life more abundantly.

Hugs and blessings to you all

Remember God loves you so do I

Sharmaine

Sunday, 30 September 2007


Dr. Ed Young
The Winning Walk
source: CrossWalk
Over the course of my life, there have been several times when I thought it might be the end.

For instance, once when I was in college I had been very sick with chicken pox and then had to stay up all night studying before taking my mid-terms. And after my midterms I had to drive back home to my parents' house feeling just awful!

I'll never forget… it was pouring down rain, I was sleepy, and somehow I just dozed off. I remember waking up just in time to avoid hitting the car in front of me, and I swerved off the road not knowing what I would hit. In that moment I cried out, "Lord, help!" Needless to say, I made it through.

Then there was the time a few years back when I was in a private plane flying back to Houston and we had a crash landing. We were fortunate to have a tremendous pilot and thankfully, no one was hurt. But on the way down in the plane, the prayer that overcame me was, "Thank You, Lord. Thank You for my family and my life."

We've all had those moments when we've prayed prayers like the ones I prayed. But that's not really praying, is it? Those prayers are crisis prayers. They're last-second, desperation prayers!

As a pastor, I can tell you that most of the Christian men and women I talk to would like their prayer life to be more than just random outbursts to God in the midst of desperation. They would like to improve their prayer life. They want a real, intimate, interactive prayer life. Like the kind of prayer life Jesus had.

The apostles studied Jesus' lifestyle. They saw Him go off by Himself to pray at all hours of the day. And they would see Jesus come back from these prayer times with the Father invigorated, alive, refreshed, and motivated. So they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray!

Jesus gives them a model prayer in Luke 11:

"Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation."

Now, this is not the Lord's Prayer, but a model prayer. It is an outline for prayer, a pattern for prayer. And there are six basic ingredients in this prayer that I want to share with you today.

I have formed these six factors around the acronym CHRIST.

C stands for concentrate. The first word in the model prayer is "Father." Almighty God says that His children are to go to Him and call Him Father. We are to concentrate on Him as God, Father, His nature, His character, His dominion, His omnipresence. That's the first ingredient.

H stands for hallowed. "Hallowed be Your name." The name of God is not to be used in a pedestrian or profane sense. It is to be set aside, it is unique, it is holy. It is to be separate from all other names.

R stands for ruler. "Your kingdom come." It is His kingdom. His agenda in heaven is the same agenda He has for earth. We should not pray for God to bless our kingdom and agendas, but rather that we may be in the middle of His plan and kingdom…which is anywhere Jesus is Lord. Anywhere God's will rules and reigns is where you will find the kingdom of God.

I stands for I need. "Give us each day our daily bread." This is where the pattern of prayer changes. We are simply to pray for the needs of today… not tomorrow. And it's not what we want or what we desire, but what we need.

S stands for sin. "And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us." We are to ask forgiveness for our sin. This is a prayer for believers, not for unbelievers. If we forgive those who have sinned against us, we too will be forgiven.

T stands for temptation. "And lead us not into temptation." This does not mean, "God, do not try to trick or tempt me," but rather, "Lord, please make sure I do not get entrapped by the world. Keep me away from the wrong crowd."

Remember, this is not a rote prayer. This is simply an outline. A model for communication with the Lord our God.

Prayer can be as ordinary as picking up the telephone…but as awesome and incredulous as discovering that almighty God is on the other end of the call!

It's my prayer that you will remember the word CHRIST in your prayer time this week and in the weeks to come. I hope this powerful tool will help strengthen your prayer time…and your relationship with Him!

Saturday, 29 September 2007


Email from God

As you got up this morning, I watched you and hoped you would talk to me, even just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday – but I noticed you were too busy trying to find the right outfit to put on and wear to work.

I waited again. When you ran around the house getting ready I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were too busy…

At one point you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair.
Then I saw you spring to your feet.
I thought you wanted to talk to me, but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip.

I watched as you went to work and I waited patiently all day long. With all your activities I guess you were too busy to say anything to me.

I noticed that before lunch you looked around, maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to me, that’s why you didn’t bow you head. You glanced over three or four tables and you noticed some of your friends talking to me briefly before they ate, but you didn't. That's okay.

There is still more time left, and I have hope that you will talk to me yet you went home and it seems as if you had lots of things to do.

After a few of them were done you turned on the TV, I don’t know if you like TV or not, just about anything goes there & you spend a lot of time each day in front of it, not thinking about anything – just enjoying the show.

I waited patiently again as you watched the TV and ate your meal but again you didn’t talk to me.

Bedtime I guess you felt too tired.

After you said goodnight to your family you plopped into bed and fell asleep in no time.
That’s okay because you may not realize that I am always there for you.
I’ve got the patience more than you will ever know.
I even want to teach you how to be patient with others as well.
I love you so much that I wait everyday for a nod, prayer or thought or thankful part of your heart.
It’s hard to have a one-sided conversation.

Well you are getting up again and once again I will wait with nothing but love and hoping that today you will give me some time.

Have a nice day!
Your friend
GOD

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Armour of God


GOD’S ARMOUR FOR US.
We are engaged in a spiritual battle – all believers find themselves subject to satan’s attacks because they are no longer on satan’s side. Thus, Paul tells us to use every piece of God’s armour to resist satan’s attacks and to stand true to God in the midst of those attacks

Belt of Truth - Satan fights with lies, and sometimes his lies sound like truth; but only believers have God’s truth, which can defeat satan’s lies.

Breast plate of Righteousness - Satan often attacks our hearts – the seat of our emotions, self-worth, and trust. God’s righteousness is the breastplate that protects our hearts and ensures his approval. He approves of us because he loves us and sent his Son to die for us.

Footgear, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace - Satan wants us to think that telling others the Good News is a worthless and hopeless task – the size of the task is too big and the negative responses are too much to handle. But the footgear God gives us is the motivation to continue to proclaim the true peace that is available in God – news everyone needs to hear.

Shield of Faith - What we see are satan’s attacks in the form of insults, setback, and temptations. But the shield of faith protects us from satan’s flaming arrows. With God’s perspective, we can see beyond our circumstances and know that ultimate victory is ours.

The Helmet of Salvation - Satan want to make us doubt God, Jesus, and our salvation. The helmet protects our minds from doubting God’s saving work for us.

The Sword of the Spirit - The sword is the only weapon of offense in this list of armour. There are times when we need to take the offensive against satan. When we are tempted, we need to trust in the truth of God’s Word.


So today do not forget to put on the full armour of God.


Love and Hugs

Monday, 24 September 2007


Mum, here's a prayer for you to pray:


"Lord, help me to give my children the best - not of things, but of myself, cherishing them on good days and bad, theirs and mine. Teach me to accept them for who they are, not just for what they do; to listen to what they say, if only so they'll listen to me; to encourage their goals, not mine. Let me give them a home where respect and integrity are the cornerstones, and there's enough happiness to raise the roof.


May I give them the courage to be true to themselves; the independence to take care of themselves, and the faith to believe in You. May I discipline them without demeaning them, demand good manners without forgetting my own, and let them know they have limitless love no matter what they do.


Let me feed them properly, clothe them adequately, and have enough to give them small allowances - not for the work they do, but the pleasure they bring. Let me be moderate in all these things, so that the joy of getting will help them discover the joy of giving.


See that their responsibilities are real but not burdensome, that my expectations are high but not overwhelming, and that my praise is thoughtful and given when it's due.


Help me to teach them that excellence is work's real reward. And when it comes - let me revel in each honour, however small, without once pretending that it's mine - my children are glories enough.


Above all, let me ground them so well in Your truth that I can let them go. In Jesus' name, Amen!"
"God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try."

Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Dear Friends

What an awesome syaing. How often have we suffered from burnout because we have had a need to succeed. What is success in God's economy....is it tramping over all to achieve and get what we want? Is it perhaps aggrsively challenging others, pouting and wanting our own way? Is it perhaps being the most popular, the most beautiful.............is it money, goods......what is it.

Well God says in His Word,

"Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. "

The way UP in Gods Kingdom is the way DOWN....God calls us to take the example of His Son into our hearts. The night Jesus would be crucified, do we find Jesus lounging back and the disciples washing His feet, no our Lord, our Jesus, took a towel and washed the feet of His disciples.

Success comes in many forms, but mostly we succeed as we serve, as we find ourselves amongst the crowds, helping them, bringing them the greatest gift of all time, the gift of Jesus.

Success is KNOWING Jesus and Him KNOWING you.

The things of this world will fade away...the things of heaven are eternal.

Today, consider your definition of success and meditate on what God says it is.

Remember I am praying for you

Hugs and blessings

Sharmaine

Monday, 10 September 2007

God is not looking for servants. He is looking for sons (and daughters) who will join him in the family business. Buddy Owens, pastor of spiritual growth at Saddleback

Not long ago I had two separate conversations with two different people who said the same thing. One is a man, the other is a woman. One is Presbyterian, the other is Assemblies of God. They each were worship leaders in churches that were experiencing great renewal. And they each said to me: "I wish what is happening in my church was happening in my life." Sad to say, their sentiment is not uncommon in the ministry.

In Song of Songs 1:6, the beloved laments: "My brothers have made me tend their vineyards, but I have neglected my own." Her words ring so true, and remind me of my two friends – and of myself.

If I'm not careful, the joy of service turns so easily into the drudgery of duty, and before I know it, I have replaced intimacy with responsibility. I fill my life with activities when God wants to fill it with himself. More meetings, more projects, more hours spent at work serving my master. All of these things are worthy of my time and effort. But as I learned from the Parable of the Prodigal, God is not looking for servants. He is looking for sons who will join him in the family business.

The frustration mounts. The emptiness deepens. I become restless and dissatisfied. I occupy myself with more activity – but that's just digging the hole deeper. Like the older brother in Jesus' parable who cried out, All these years I have been slaving for you!, my "being" is soon overshadowed by my "doing."

When I center my spiritual identity on the work of the ministry rather than centering myself in the presence of the Father, my passions change. My old passion for God is replaced by a new passion for service. Its rewards are more measurable and often more gratifying: acclaim, a sense of achievement and importance. I feed this new passion, and by doing so, starve the old one. The result is that I begin to measure my spiritual maturity by the load I carry rather than the freedom I enjoy.

But when religious activity takes the place of spiritual intimacy, my heart begins to harden and I end up – as the beloved lamented – having spent my energies tending my brothers' vineyards while my own vineyard has been neglected. The result is burnout, jealousy for the spiritual intimacy that others experience, and a longing for a taste from the spiritual feast that others have enjoyed at Jesus' feet while I was slaving away in the kitchen.

I justify my negligence with a Martha mentality that if someone else isn't working as hard as I am, then what they need is a good swift kick in the pants from the Lord – when what I really want is to be sitting at Jesus' feet myself. The fear is that if I sit at his feet, nothing will get done.

But the truth is that if I don't sit at his feet, nothing I do will matter in the long run. Like my two friends, I will miss out on the blessing of God's presence, and God will miss out on the pleasure of my company.

Sounds audacious, doesn't it? That God would miss out on the pleasure of anybody's company? But think about this: Why would God invite you into his presence if he didn't want to be in yours? He says, "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden" (Matt. 11:28), and "Come to me that your soul may live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you" (Isa. 55:3). Is his invitation only for our benefit, or is it also somehow for God's benefit? After all, the
Bible says, "The Lord delights in those who fear him" (Ps. 147:11).

The dilemma is this: the "God-shaped void" that Pascal wrote about does not disappear. It gets larger. It's an appetite that, once awakened, grows into an all-consuming passion. We cannot get enough of God's presence because God continually makes more room for himself. He expands his sphere of influence with each encounter. Our capacity for true spiritual fulfillment enlarges with every fulfilling experience, until we reach the place where we say with the psalmist: "My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God…Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" (Ps. 84:2, 10).

The fear is that if I sit at Jesus' feet, nothing will get done. But the truth is that if I don't sit at his feet, nothing I do will matter in the long run.

Buddy Owens, pastor of spiritual growth at Saddleback

Monday, 3 September 2007

I WILL BE AWAY

Dear Friends

George and I will be away for 2 weeks. I look forward to touching base with you when we return.

May your 2 weeks be joyous and bountiful in the Lord till we meet again.

Love always

Sharmaine

Sunday, 2 September 2007



source: Crosswalk
Whitney Von Lake Hopler
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Joni Grace Powers & Robert A. Pyne's new book, LifeSpace: The Practice of Life with God, (Regal Books, 2007).

Life's demands can suffocate you if you settle for less than the abundant life God offers. So take a breath of fresh air and expand your life with God beyond the limits what you can imagine and into an experience of unbounded adventure.

Here's how you can expand your life with God:
Seek worth beyond measure. Instead of trying to prove your worth to yourself and other people, remember that God's glory shines through you because He has made you in His image.


Be confident in the fact that you are valuable simply because you are God's child.

Pursue identity beyond circumstance. Understand that your circumstances don't define who you are. Know that your circumstances are simply tools for God to use to shape you into the person He wants you to become. Realize that God is able to redeem even the worst circumstances in your life to accomplish good purposes.

Seek love beyond performance. Rather than or trying to earn God's favor, accept the fact that God already loves you deeply and unconditionally. Rest assured that your relationship with God through Christ is sealed for eternity.

Embrace the messiness of being human. Understand that you can grow not by trying to transcend your human frailties, but by being honest about them and coming to God just as you are so He can use your weaknesses to make you strong.


Don't focus on trying to project an image of perfection. Instead, admit your flaws and let them reveal how much you need God. Be authentic in your relationships with other people and seek to learn from the messy interactions you sometimes have with them. Realize that being human isn't a problem to be solved; it's a calling to grow more like the God who chose to take on human form to save the world. Know that God loves real human beings like you because He chose to be incarnated as one.

Live fully in the present. Instead of wishing the present away and longing for your future in heaven, pay attention to where you are right now in life. Rather than trying to escape your life, start looking for ways that God is at work around you. Ask God to help you bloom where you're planted.

Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you. Remember that everything – even your next breath – is a gracious gift from God. Thank Him regularly for giving you life through His Spirit, and welcome the Holy Spirit to fill your soul and transform you. Ask the Spirit to enlarge your view of reality so you can envision more than just what you can see and embrace the full potential of your life.

Aim your love in the right direction. Ask yourself the key question: "What do I love?" Honestly consider what you might currently desire in place of God, such as comfort, stability, affection, opportunity, piety, or success.


Make sure that nothing knocks God out of His rightful place as your absolute top priority. Plan how you spend your resources (time, energy, money, etc.) around the fact that your relationship with God is most important. Choose to love for who He is instead of just what He can do for you. Expect that the more you get to know God, the more you'll fall in love with Him. Know that loving God for His own sake will bring you true joy.

Discover joy. Be alert to specific ways God is at work around you, and make time to reflect on the beauty of that work (such as something you appreciate in nature, or a quality you find charming in a person you know). Notice when and how God answers your prayers, and make time to thank Him for His generosity and creativity. Read, meditate on, and study the Bible to learn more about God, and delight in what you discover about Him through His Word. Be open to the mysteries of faith and avoid futile attempts to fit God's work into a box you can fully understand or control. Look for God's reflection in human creative expression, such as through art, music, literature, and dance. Make a frequent practice of getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new, such as traveling to a foreign country or learning an extreme sport.


Celebrate fresh joy whenever you encounter it.

Let God's love flow through you to others. Don't just take God's love for yourself and let it end there. Share that love with other people by reaching out to them as God leads you to do so. Draw a diagram that represents your sphere of community, listing the names of people you're closest to in the smallest circle and moving outward. Then, outside the largest circle, write the names of people you consider enemies or don't feel able to love for whatever reason. Pray about how your circles can expand to encompass all the names you wrote as people with whom you share God's love.


Recognize that God intends for you to be roped together with others in community. Don't practice your faith alone; build meaningful relationships with other believers and actively participate in church. Rejoice with others when they have something to celebrate; weep with others when they're suffering. To the extent that it depends on you, be at peace with all people. Slow down the pace of your life and make time to be with people face to face often. When you spend time with friends and family, enjoy their company instead of just trying to accomplish a set agenda during your time together.


Don't use love as a tool to try to manipulate others for your purposes. Ask God to help you love others as He loves them – unconditionally.
Make space for grace. Thank God that His grace gives you the space to grow as you're becoming more like the person He intends for you to become. Let your gratitude motivate you to extend grace to other people. For example, let your husband enjoy eating goat cheese or sauerkraut, even if it grosses you out, and give your son or daughter permission to join a garage band, even if that means loud practice sessions at your house.


Go easy on others when they make mistakes for which they're repentant. Just as you don't have to earn God's love, don't make other people earn your love. Don't parcel love out sparingly to others. Ask God to help you love people lavishly, whether or not you think they deserve it. Ask God to give you the humility you need to overcome pride, self-righteousness, and self-sufficiency.


Remember that you – just like everyone else around you – are a sinner, yet God still loves you and Christ still died for you. Be willing to help other people without expecting anything in return. Decide to love even in ugly situations. Believe the best about others and wish the best for them, encouraging them and supporting them as they pursue God's dreams for their lives. Every day, be proactive about doing small things with great love, such as forgiving an obvious slight, offering someone a ride, preparing a meal for someone in a crisis, or complimenting a colleague. Constantly ask yourself: "How have I seen God's grace extended by others toward me?" and


"How have I been the space of grace for someone this week?"
Forgive. Know that, just as God has forgiven you for all your sins, He expects you to be willing to forgive others who hurt you. Don't wait until you feel like forgiving; you likely never will. Instead, make the choice to forgive, and rely on the help God will give you to do so. Work toward reconciliation with those who are willing. Realize that by forgiving, you create a new beginning out of past pain. Understand that forgiveness opens up the space you need for healing in your relationships.

Sacrifice. Ask God to help you place your life at His disposal with gladness and eagerness to see how He will use you to accomplish good purposes. Let your love for God and gratitude for all He has done for you motivate you to give freely of your time, energy, money, and other resources to God's work on Earth. Don't just give what's left over after you take care of yourself; give the best of what you have. Be willing to make sacrifices for others as God leads you, even when your efforts aren't rewarded or even acknowledged. Remember that, though you main gain nothing from other people, God will give you joy as you serve Him.


Be welcoming toward others, taking a genuine interest in their lives and making time to build meaningful relationships with them. Let go of your own agenda for your relationships and invite God to use them however He chooses to help you and others grow. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to be humble and kind as you go about each day, willing to give yourself away one commitment at a time.

See clearly. Don't settle for a small vision that limits your concept of who God is and what plans He has for your life. Instead, ask God to give you the right perspective on Him and reveal His big vision for you. Let go of your own plans that don't align with God's plans, trusting that for every one of your own dreams that falls away, a better dream from God for you will take its place.


Place your hope in the reality of God's promises, and realize that doing so creates space for your faith to keep expanding.

Adapted from LifeSpace: The Practice of Life with God


~ BEAUTIFUL IN THE EYE'S OF GOD ~
Psalm 149:4 - For the LORD taketh pleasure in His people: He will beautify the meek with Salvation.
Outward beauty is just skin deep, but Inward beauty is for eternity. We don't need physical beauty in order to be loved by our Heavenly Father, He has given us one of His most precious ornaments for our beautification and that is His Salvation. Real beauty comes from the inside and then out!
Don't let your outward appearance reflect your inward but beautify your inward that it may reflect your outward!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

WHY IS IT SO HARD TO LET GO?




The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box.




"Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?" Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl's up-turned face. "One rand ninety-five. That's almost R2.00. If you really want them, I'll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday's only a week away and you might get some money from grandma."




As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 cents. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she couldpick dandelions for ten cents.




On her birthday, Grandma did give her another rand and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace. Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grownup. She wore them everywhere - Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath.




Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairsto read her a story.




One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, "Do you love me?" "Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess - thewhite Horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She's my favourite."




"That's okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night." And hebrushed her cheek with a kiss. About a week later, after the story time, Jenny's daddy askedagain, "Do you love me?" "Daddy, you know I love you." "Then give me your pearls." "Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper." "That's okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you"




And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss. A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.




"What is it, Jenny? What's the matter?" Jenny didn't sayanything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, "Here, Daddy. It's for you."




With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny's kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the cheap store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny.




He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the cheap store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure. So as it is with God. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure.




Are you holding onto things which God wants you to let go of? Are you holding on to harmful or unnecessary partners, relationships, habits and activities which you have come so attached to that it seems impossible to let go of?




Sometimes it is so hard to see what is in the other hand, but do believe this one thing.................. God will never takeaway s.omething without giving you something better to take its place.

Sunday, 19 August 2007



What an amazing weekend....we were in the river, refreshed, renewed, restored....oh yes, a week woulod have been great but the three days away took the edge off the tiredness and rush.

How very beautiful the area was that we were in, seals sunning themselves on the rocks, the mountains on one side the sea on the other (photos to follow) Kaikora is wonderful, the farmhouse was awesome, the pinetrees fragrant. So much all in one. My joy was full in the Lord!

Thursday, 16 August 2007


Dear Friends
I am off for a weekend of total relaxation!!! God has provided a house in a beautiful spot where there is no television and no mobile reception.
How wonderful God is, what a Friend, what a Saviour, He provides our every need. So as the frog says, "I'll be thinking of you and praying for you"....so until monday, ne nlessed
Love always
Sharmaine

Tuesday, 14 August 2007



Well, well, Tuesday is here so quickly...it seems as if Monday just whisked by! Do any of you experience that? Do your days just wish by in a blur? Well, God has been impressing this whole time issue on my heart just recently.

Time is the one thing we can not get back, yes God CAN and WILL redeem time to you He will give back what the locusts have eaten, but all the money in the world cannot purchased the time that has just passed by.

So on this Tuesday, let us treat each second with respect, knowing we are accountable for it. In the rush of the day, let us remember to give thanks, to praise Him for the wonders around us. Let us today, make sure of this one thing, that we will get to KNOW HIM. Not just superficially, but really get to know Him.

Lets get to know Him as our joy, as our peace, as our, all and all. You see friends, it is about intimacy. Intimacy stands for :- in to me you see. I want Jesus to see in to me and I want to see in to Him.

May your day today be intimate with the King, may your day be filled with joy and therefor be filled with strength.

You are special !!!!

Monday, 13 August 2007

WHY GOD ALLOWS PAIN

BEST EXPLANATION EVER!

This is one of the best explanations of why God allows pain and suffering that I have seen:

A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed.As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation.They talked about so many things and various subjects.When they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said:"I don't believe that God exists."

"Why do you say that?" asked the customer. "Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist.Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people?Would there be abandoned children?If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain.I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.

"The customer thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument.The barber finished his job and the customer left the shopJust after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkept.The customer turned back and entered the barber shop again and he said to the barber: "You know what? Barbers do not exist"

"How can you say that?" asked the surprised barber. "I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!""No!" the customer exclaimed. "Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."

"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me.""Exactly!" affirmed the customer. "That's the point! God, too, DOES exist! That's what happens when people do not go to Him and don't look to Him for help.

That's why there's so much pain and suffering in the world. BE BLESSED & BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart - Psalm 37:4

Monday Morning


Well it is Monday Morning!!!
How are all you sisters out there? It has been a crazy few days with this chest infection and was so blessed to see this picture, it looked just like me over the last few days!!! I giggled and giggled........
Have an awesome day....
Love
Sharmaine
God Said No

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No. .... It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No......His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary .

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. ........Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No. ....I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No. ...... Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No. ...You must grow on your own! , but I will prune you to make you and make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No. ...I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said...Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Are You Missing That One Thing That Brings True Happiness?

By Rebekah Montgomery

Be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5b, 6-NIV

No matter how much we possess, beneath the skin lurks a secret fear: “I might be missing that one thing that will bring me true happiness.”
“That one thing” may change from time to time. One day it might be a house, a lover, a mate, a job, a child, an accomplishment, a diploma, a car, or breast implants. The next day it may be fame, success, or even a trinket.

Lust for “that one thing” can fester and itch, often compelling us to sacrifice everything in order to scratch. However, when the light of the Word shines upon the thing we passionately desire, we see it for what it is: a substitute for God.

The itch that cannot be scratched, the desire that cannot be satisfied, the thirst that cannot be assuaged, and the fire that cannot be quenched will tease and entice you, but never be gratified here on this earth unless it is recognized for what it is: the idol of self-gratification.
Worshipping the idol of self-gratification can destroy you even as you stand in the presence of God.

In eternity past, Lucifer learned this standing next to the throne of God. Dubbed “son of the morning” because his beauty and power was supreme among the angels, he had it all — except for the image of God. His lust for this final honor led him to rebel against the Almighty. In the end, he lost his glory, his ranking, as well as his position before the throne.

Because Lucifer spawned our fallen nature, no matter how much we have, we crave what we do not have — another person’s mate, a beauty different from our own, the forbidden fruit, a promotion we didn’t receive, the Jones’ house, car, job, or vacation. While we reach for the itch, the One who is our Friend by His own initiative stands by, waiting for acknowledgement.
Everything King David had — power, land, wives, skill — came from Him. Everything Lucifer had — power, position, beauty — came from Him. And everything you have comes from Him, too.

In His grief at the chaos David wrought by his coveting his neighbor’s wife, God tells him, “If you had asked Me for more, I would have given it.”
Then there is that other problem: We secretly fear that if God gives blessing to someone else, He just may not have enough goodness and grace to extend to us.
Nothing could be farther from the truth! In a display of almost unbelievable generosity, God has offered Himself to be your Helper, to itch the places you cannot scratch, to satisfy the desires you cannot even name.

But the key is this: You need to recognize that beneath surface and what masquerades as the answer to your needs, He is what you desire. When we relinquish the idol that we thought would satisfy us, and desire Him first and most, the fear of missing out on life will vanish.
Jesus addressed this: “Whoever loses his life for Me will find it.” And “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him.”

Please read Hebrews 13 1-6 in its entirety. Also see Psalms 118:6, Joshua 1:5, 2 Samuel 12, Matthew 16:24-27-NIV, Matthew 7:7-12-NIV. USED NWITH PERMISSION
© Rebekah Montgomery 2007 For reprint requests, contact Rebekah at her website, www.RebekahMontgomery.com

Thursday, 2 August 2007

HELP FOR YOU


Question: My husband committed adultery and I'm dealing with the anger that comes from that. What can I do?

(This response is written for the wife of a REPENTANT husband, not a husband who continues to sin against the sanctity of the marriage)

Response: We believe that all marriage's can be healed and restored thru the healing Power of God. The pain (resentment) we feel inside at times can be unbearable, and that pain affects our emotions and attitude towards the person we married.

It isn't the act of adultery itself that causes divorce; it is the affects from it through our feelings and how we deal with those emotions that lead to divorce. Keeping this in mind, then, we can change the way we feel toward those who have hurt us by "choosing" to forgive. Did you know that by choosing to forgive, you are actually helping yourself to feel better inside?

Choosing to forgive is a “principled act” of love. It hurts for a little while to forgive someone who has hurt us so terribly, but Jesus Christ has asked us to forgive others, even when we don’t want to or “feel” like forgiving.

Forgiveness is not just for the offender but also for the spouse who has been wronged. As long as you hold in anger and resentment by NOT FORGIVING, you are actually hurting yourself even more. Forgiving is letting it go. Once we let it go, the pain of infidelity won't control our emotions any longer. The hard part is forgiving. That comes through prayer and meditating on the word daily. The key to forgiving is to stop focusing on what your husband did, but focus on you and what "you" can do for yourself.

This is not discounting what your husband did at all, but it is taking the focus off of him and allowing you the freedom to take care of you. Your husband needs to deal with what he did as well, but you can't do that for him. He is accountable to God for his actions and He needs to step up to the plate and ask for Christ’s forgiveness, if he has not already done so.

If you keep throwing stones at your husband because of your anger, it may do more harm to the relationship, and make it more difficult to give up those negative feelings and forgive.
At this point, you both have responsibilities in the marriage, and that is to take care of yourselves first, and then to each other. Always keep Christ at the top of your priority list in everything you do, and that way you know in your heart that you are doing the right thing, and that is all that really matters here.

Both of you have some inner healing to do that will take time, accountability, and trust. If you would like further support and guidance in this area, I am here to encourage and support you. There are several articles on the Heaven Ministries website that deal with rebuilding trust and intimacy in relationships.

Used with permission

Monday, 30 July 2007


What to Do When the Lights Go Out Isaiah 50:10-50:10


Introduction: There are times in our lives, as God’s people, that we have to serve God in the midst of darkness. There are times that we find it difficult to see very far ahead. It is hard to stand when we do not understand! Life is filled with melody and misery, as well as high times and hard times. It is interesting that as Christians we desire to be “overcomers” but do not want much to overcome. We desire to go to heaven but would rather not die in order to get there. In its very essence, life is tragic without Jesus Christ in our lives. Are you experiencing a dark time in your life? Do you have a wayward child? Have you experienced a financial reversal? Has someone broken your heart or taken advantage of you? Are you not able to make sense of what is happening in your life? There are those seasons in life when we are not able to mentally grasp what is transpiring in our lives. Think about it for a moment. There are those instances when we have studied our lessons, learned our formulas, memorized the promises in God’s Word, and think we have it all figured out and suddenly we are plunged into deep, deep darkness. Why does such darkness come to a Christian? The question that Christians ask more than any other is “Why?” Why did my child have to die? Why could I not carry this child full term? Why did my husband or wife have to break my heart? Why did my business have to go bankrupt? Why did God allow sickness to come to me or my loved ones? Why did God heal that person and not heal me? Why? Why? Why? What do we do when the lights go out? What do we do when darkness comes into our life? When we went to school, we received the lessons first and tests second. However, in life we take the tests first and learn the lessons second. In this message there are many lessons to be learned when the lights go out in our lives. The first lesson is: I. FAITH’S


DEVOTION: THOSE OF GREATEST DEVOTION MAY KNOW THE DEEPEST DARKNESS (Isa. 50:10)
Our Scriptural text is not talking about someone who has wandered away from God. This person fears and loves the Lord. The “fear of the Lord” means “love on its knees.” The person who fears God the most loves God the most. This person obeys the voice of God. There is a distorted idea that if a person becomes a Christian, it will be all honey and no bees; all sunlight and roses and no rain and weeds. There is no reason to deny it. There are tens of thousands of Christians across the world that fear and love the Lord and yet are experiencing darkness. More than 150,000 Christians were martyred last year throughout the world. Job said, “God has put darkness in my path” (Job 19:8). Habakkuk exclaimed, “How long shall I cry and you not hear (Hab. 1:2). John the Baptist sent messengers from the prison and asked Jesus, “Are you really the Messiah or should we look for someone else?” Each of these great men of God came to a time in their life that they did not understand or comprehend why and what was fully happening to them. If you read the stories of great saints in history, there is hardly one of them who did not experience the dark night of the soul. If you are in darkness, it does not necessarily mean that you are out of the will of God or that you have sinned before the Lord. The second lesson is:


II. FAITH’S DEVELOPMENT: THE FAITH THAT IS BORN IN THE LIGHT IS OFTEN DEVELOPED IN THE DARK
(v. 10)
When have you grown the most spiritually in your life? Has it been the during the sunlight or the darkness? Is it not true that when Mr. Trouble has knock on our heart’s door, we have matured more than at other times in our life? Faith is like film: It is better developed in the darkness. How does God develop our faith in the darkness? God tells us to take two steps. First, we are to look to the Lord (“trust in the Lord”). Warren Wiersbe has said, “We live by promises, not by explanations.” Just because it does not make sense to us, does not mean that it does not make sense to God. Just because it does not make sense now, does not mean that it will not make sense later. Thomas Watson has said, “Where reason cannot wade, faith must swim.” We must continue to stand on God’s Word regardless what is going on in life. God’s Word never changes. It remains constant through all of the seasons of our life. We must continue to live according to God’s Word even though tough times come our way. We continue to give our tithes and offerings even though there may have been a financial reversal. We continue to trust in the Lord even though we may not understand Him. We continue to attend God’s house even though tough times come to our family. We continue to have our quiet time with God even though sickness comes to us. We simply continue to stand on God’s Word. The promises of God remain the same whether the sun is shining or darkness comes to us. The second step is to lean upon the Lord (“let him stay upon his God”).

When you are in the dark, you do not have to have an explanation, you need God. It is more important to be with God in the valley of darkness than to be on sunlight peaks without Him. There are some things that I want that I don’t need and some things I need that I don’t want. Only God can truly discern between what is bad and good and what is good and best. Sometimes, God removes all the answers in order to give us Himself. A relationship is more important than a reason. God desires to even use us in the midst of darkness. John Milton, in the darkness of his blindness, wrote Paradise Lost. While John Bunyan was in the Bedford Jail, London, England, he wrote Pilgrims Progress. During John the Revelator’s exile on the Island of Patmos, he wrote the Book of Revelation. God wants to develop our faith. Never doubt in the dark what you learned in the light. The test of our character is not what we do in a worship service. The test of our character is what we do in the dark. Shortly before Mother Theresa’s death, she said, “You will never know that Jesus is all you need until all you have is Jesus.”

The third lesson is: III. FAITH’S DISCERNMENT: SOME THINGS ARE SEEN IN THE DARK THAT CANNOT BE SEEN IN THE LIGHT
(Isa. 50: 3-4)
You will realize that one day that in the darkness you were learning some truths. There are treasures of darkness. For example, have you ever heard someone say, “The stars are out tonight.” The fact is that the stars are out in the daytime, but we cannot see them because of the sunlight. There are some treasures of darkness that are only revealed at night. The stars are there to praise the Lord (Ps. 146:3). We would never have a star to praise the Lord without darkness. Do you have a star in your darkness with which to praise the Lord? I want to share a few of the treasures of darkness. First, in the light we see that which is near, but the darkness we see that which is far away. Second, in the light we may see more clearly, but in the darkness we see further. Third, we may think our brightest thoughts in the day, but we will think our deepest thoughts during the night. Fourth, we may learn more about others during the day, but we will learn more about ourselves during the dark. It has been said, “We can dress as though we are intelligent, but when we open our mouth people will know whether we really are intelligent or not? When someone has gone through a dark period in his/her life, they will learn some truths that will remain with them the rest of their lives. Often times, Christians revert to clich├ęs when they do not know what else to say to the person who is walking through darkness. When we do not know what to say, it is important that we do not bring someone else’s pain down to our level. Just simply recognize that we do not understand because have not undergone what they are experiencing in their life. There is a discipline of darkness. This kind of darkness teaches us when to speak and when to remain silent. The fourth lesson is:

IV.FAITH’S DANGER: IT IS BETTER TO BE SERVING GOD IN THE DARKNESS THAT TO BE STANDING ALONE IN MAN-MADE LIGHT
(Isa. 50:11) One of the most dangerous temptations is that we will be tempted to light our own fire in the darkness. If God has ordained the darkness, then we must wait upon God. We must never get the idea that darkness can overcome light. Darkness cannot withstand the light. Darkness will run from light. If you do not believe this is true, then turn on the light in a darkened room and open the closet. You will find that the darkness is hiding inside the closet! If you are in a lighted room, darkness cannot overcome the light. Darkness can never chase away light. You cannot open the front door of your home and let in the dark. The only way that darkness can enter is that the light be removed. So, if the light has been removed from the situations of your life, then God in his wisdom has allowed you to be in the darkness. If God is the One who has allowed darkness to come your way, then do not be foolish to light your own fire. In other words, do not try to undue what God is doing. A manmade fire is deceptive. It is not a sure guide for one to follow. It is like a man getting up in the middle of the night with his flashlight and going over to his sundial to see what time it is. God says that if we light our own fire, in the midst of God ordained darkness, then we will suffer. For example, God told Abraham that he and Sarah would eventually have a child of their own. God gave a promise. However, God did not fulfill that promise immediately. Abraham, in the midst of his darkness of doubt, created his own fire with Hagar. Ishmael was born. Think about the suffering that came to Abraham and the world because he did not wait on God in the midst of his darkness. Has darkness come to your life? Are you waiting on God or are you creating your own fire?


The final lesson is:
FAITH’S DAYBREAK: IF YOUR SUN HAS SET, IT WILL RISE AGAIN
(Isa. 50:4)
God will awaken us in the morning. Even though you may be in darkness now, there is a better day coming. If you are in darkness, then trust God. God will eventually turn every tear to a pearl, every hurt into a hallelujah, every Calvary into an Easter. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). One of these days, God is going to pull the shades of night and pin them with the stars. He will then open the door of the morning and flood your world with his light and love. You will see things and know truth that you have never seen or known before. There is a better day coming for you. For non-Christians, this is as good as it will ever get for them. As Christians, this is as bad as it will ever get for us. There is coming a day when we will step out of time into eternity and will see the fullness of the glory of God.


CONCLUSION: I challenge you in the near future to take a walk and enjoy to the warmth of a sunny day. Yet, while you are enjoying the warmth of the sun, remember that the sunrays are 8.3 minutes old when they reach you. Even though you can experience the warmth of the sun, you have never seen the full intensity of the sun. The surface temperature of the sun is more than 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit and the inner core of the sun is more than 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit. You have felt its warmth but never really seen the sun.
In like manner, we can feel the warmth of God’s presence, but we have never fully seen the full glory of God. However, there is coming a time when the child of God will see the face of God.

We will fully see what we slightly experienced in this life. Just remember when the lights go out, God is still there in the midst of your darkness. He wants to give you a star so you can praise Him more. Our trials become stars in order to praise the Lord.
When the lights go out, reflect on our faith’s devotion, development, discernment, danger, and daybreak.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


BLIND AMBITION

Genesis 11:1-9If you could travel back in time to the days of Noah what an amazing sight you would see!

Not the flood or the ark, but right after the flood waters had dried is the time I am thinking of. If you were there you would find a tower buzzing with activity. You would probably even be impressed with how efficient the work was progressing, even though the building process was rudimentary by today’s standards. I envision the workers separating the work, one group making mortar, another bricks, still another transports the bricks to the site while yet another group takes responsibility for setting them in place.Envision if you will a human anthill.

Every worker has a job, every worker does his job and every worker did his job well. Their dream was a tower. A tower taller than any other in the entire world, taller than anyone in the world had ever dreamed of building.

This tower would not just touch the clouds; it would loom over the clouds and touch heaven. But, what purpose did this tower serve? Was this tower meant to glorify God? Was it meant to find God? How about to direct people’s attention toward God? Was it built as a vain attempt to "walk" to heaven? Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!The real purpose of building is what, in the end, caused its demise. There was nothing wrong with their building method.

There was nothing wrong with their plan. Their motives, however, were altogether wrong! If you read the minutes from the "Tower Planning Committee Meeting" you can see the problem:“Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves" (Genesis 11:4).

Why was the tower being built? Selfishness. Pure, 100% selfishness. The bricks were made from inflated egos and the mortar out of pride. All for what reason? So someone will notice me! To make a name for myself!We have a name for that, its called blind ambition. Success at all cost. King of the mountain. Top of the heap. "I did it my way."In our society, we make heroes out of people who are ambitious. We hold them up as models for our kids and put their pictures on magazine covers. And rightly so. This world would be in sad shape without people who dream of touching the heavens.

Ambition is that grit in the soul, which creates disenchantment with the ordinary and dares one to dream.Left unchecked it becomes an insatiable addiction to power and prestige and things. It becomes a roaring hunger for achievement that devours people as a lion eats a meal, leaving behind only the remnants of relationships.

Some classic examples of nearsighted tower builders are:The parent who feeds their career with twelve-hour workdays, meetings and apologies for being gone so much. "It’s only a matter of time before things will get better."The woman who always wears her dresses a little high in the hem and a little low in the neck because "one day" she will not be able to.The businessman who lies during his business deal and justifies it saying, "I’ll only need to do it this one time."Anything to gain an edge. Anything to draw attention. Anything to get to the top of the tower.

Blind Ambition. Distorted Values.It all results in rootless lives bouncing around like tumbleweeds through a ghost town. Abandoned dreams. Crumbling homes. Desolate futures. All with one thing in common: a half finished tower that stands as a stirring epitaph to those who dare follow.God won’t tolerate it. He didn’t then and he won’t now.

He took the "Climb to Heaven Campaign" into his hands. With one sweep he painted the tower gray with confusion and sent the workers babbling in all directions. Are you building any towers? Examine your motives. Remember the memorial statement imprinted on the base of the abandoned Tower of Babel:Blind ambition is a giant step away from God and one-step closer to catastrophe.(Material from Max Lucado)

Sunday, 15 July 2007


WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION?

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION?
By Dr. Ann ShorbChristian Counseling & Educational Serviceshttp://www.ccesonline.com

Major depression can greatly affect a person's ability to function at home and/or at work, and inhibit the enjoyment of life in any way. Some people suffer depression only once but others may experience it several times in their lifetime.
Answer the questions below to determine if you are experiencing depression. If you answer

True to at least four (4) of the following statements, you may be suffering from depression. If you answer True to the majority of the following statements, you are certainly experiencing depression and you need to seek professional help. See a doctor or a counselor before the depression gets worse.

T or F - I feel sad and blue most of the time.
T or F - I feel like crying more than I did six months ago.
T or F - I feel hopeless and helpless most of the time.
T or F - I have no motivation.
T or F - I'm not interested in things I used to enjoy.
T or F - Recently I have wondered if life is worth living.
T or F - I am not sleeping well, or I want to sleep all of the time.
T or F - I have lost my appetite.
T or F - I am easily irritated.
T or F - I am more anxious about things than I used to be.
T or F - My energy level has dropped recently
T or F - I dread the morning. It is hard to get up.
T or F - I have been thinking about myself a lot recently.
T or F - The face looking back at me in the mirror is sad.
T or F - My self-concept needs improving.
T or F - I worry about the past, the present and the future.
T or F - I've had more headaches, upset stomach, constipation, rapid heartbeat, etc. in the last six months than usual.
T or F - I think that people have noticed that I am not working as well at my job, or enjoying life like I used to.

Is Depression A Sin?
Christians often ask this question. The answer is Not necessarily! While harboring sin or sinful attitudes in your life can certainly produce depression, other possible causes include experiencing a significant loss or having a physical problem that causes body chemistry to be imbalanced. Great men in the Bible, such as David (in many of his Psalms), Elijah (I Kings 19), Moses (Exodus 18), and Jonah (Jonah 4) experienced depression. In each of these situations God sent someone to help the suffering individual but He did not condemn him. Psalm 23:18 says, The Lord is close to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Whatever the cause, God cares about the person experiencing depression.
Some Interesting Facts
- One in four women and one in ten men will develop depression some time in their life.
- Men experience depression differently than women. Men tend to get angrier.
- Depression can affect children as well as adults and the elderly.
- Suicide may result when depression has not been treated successfully.
- Depression has been called the common cold of the mind.
- Between 80-90% of the people seeking treatment get well.

What Are Some Symptoms Of Depression?
Everyone feels sad sometimes due to a significant loss such as a death, a divorce or losing a job. Anger turned inward can also cause sad feelings. When these feelings are not dealt with properly and they continue over a long period of time, a person usually experiences a major depression.
Look For These Symptoms
- Feelings of sadness for over two weeks- Not wanting to spend time with friends and family- Increased irritability- Changes in sleep and appetite patterns- Frequent crying spells- Difficulty concentrating- Forgetfulness

How Can You Help A Depressed Person?

We often feel uncomfortable around a depressed person because we don't know what to say or do for him. This may cause us to make some serious mistakes when we try to help them. So what can you do to help?

Let him be honest about his feelings.Allow him to talk about his negative, depressedfeelings. Don't say, You shouldn't feel like that. Be there for him. A depressed person may have lost someone important in his life. Let him know you care and will be there for him.
Be aware. A depressed person often tries to avoid dealing with his feelings, or to pretend he is fine. If he fails to get help, he will only become more depressed. Help him get help.
Avoid saying . . .Just trust God.Just get over it.If you would just do . . . You have lots going for you. You shouldn'tfeel so bad.

When to Seek Help . . .
Major depression is a serious illness and can be fatal if left untreated. A person cannot face this illness alone. Seek professional help for yourself, or for someone you care for when you see . . .- Three or more symptoms of depression- Response to your attempts to help- No family or friends there for support- There are suicidal thoughts- The person turning to substance abuse- The individual cannot take care of his family or himself.

Dr. Ann Shorb is the founder of Christian Counseling & Educational Services, an accomplished professional speaker, and the author of A Light for My Path, a weekly email devotional. Visit her website http://www.ccesonline.com for a free subscription to A Light for My Path.

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ANXIETY?

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ANXIETY?

By Dr. Ann ShorbChristian Counseling & Educational Serviceshttp://www.ccesonline.com

What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is an emotional and physical response to a vague, uncontrollable, or uncertain event. You may have the vague feeling that "something bad is going to happen." Worry concentrates more on specific events in our life.
The Bible says in Philippians 4: 6 & 7, Do not be anxious about anything . . . but let the peace of God . . . guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Christian Counseling & Educational Services wants to help people learn how to do just that and to find peace for their lives. While that might sound impossible, the Bible says in Luke 1:37, . . . nothing is impossible with God.

What Causes Anxiety?

- Family background - overly protective, critical, or perfectionistic families- Early life trauma of abuse, separation, or neglect- Cumulative stress - accidents, weddings, births, moves, financial problems - Genetic make-up - certain chemical imbalances in the brain- Your attitudes and beliefs about the world, yourself and God- The way you talk to yourself in your mind- Lack of meaning or purpose in life- Abusing alcohol and other drugs

There Are Different Anxiety Disorders
- Panic Disorder- Panic Attacks- Phobias- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Did You Know . . .

One in four people have an anxiety disorder.One in ten people have a form of a phobia.One in 50 people have OCD.Anxiety & depression often exist together.Anxiety may cause significant changes in how your body functions.Anxiety does not discriminate; children as well as the elderly can experience anxiety.Men experience anxiety differently than women.God's Word, the Bible, provides direction for dealing with anxiety.
There is hope and help for those suffering from anxiety!

What Are The Signs Of Anxiety?

Check any of the following classic anxiety symptoms that apply to you:
- Sweating- Racing heart, heart palpitations- Chest pain or discomfort- Trouble breathing- Shaking or trembling- Trouble swallowing or a choking feeling- Upset stomach- Fear of losing control- Feeling like you are going to die- Muscle tension- Headaches- Difficulty sleeping- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions- Restlessness and/or irritability
If you checked four or more of these symptoms, you may have a problem with anxiety.
Common Characteristics of Anxiety Sufferers
- Trying to impress other people- Being perfectionist- Using alcohol to calm down- Feeling afraid but don't know why- Feeling unworthy of God's love- Feeling no one could really love you- Feeling guilty for things that are not your fault- Afraid to let others really know you- Frequent feeling of inadequacy

Words to Avoid Using With An Anxiety Sufferer
- Just pull yourself together.- Just relax.- Stop worrying.- Just ignore your problems.- Snap out of it.- Take a vacation, you'll feel better.- Just have more faith, or pray more.- Your problems aren't so bad. You should be able to cope.- Is God punishing you for some sin?
Counseling Can Help You . . .

- Learn how to manage your anxiety.- Learn relaxation techniques to help control your anxiety.- Become aware of the thought patterns that play a role in your anxiety.- Learn to make your self-talk more positive and realistic.- Gain a closer relationship with God.- Understand that you may need to take medication for awhile.

What Can You Do . . .

- See a doctor and get a complete physical examination. Make sure that these symptoms are not a potentially serious medical condition.- Find a professional counselor you trust.- Share your feelings with a trusted friend.- Improve your health with good nutrition, proper rest and regular exercise.- Learn to enjoy life. Relax!- Avoid stressful situations when possible.-

Learn to say "No" to extra pressures.-
Set realistic goals.
Be kind to yourself.-
Seek help from God,
your church, prayer and the Bible.
Suggested Books To Read:

CCES does not necessarily endorse all comments by the authors. These materials are not intended to be a substitute for professional counseling; therefore, CCES is not to be held liable for any event that transpires as a result of reading these materials.
The Anxiety Cureby Dr. Archibald Hart
Answers to Anxiety, by Drs. Steve & Rebecca Wilke


Dr. Ann Shorb is the founder of Christian Counseling & Educational Services, an accomplished professional speaker, and the author of A Light for My Path, a weekly email devotional. Visit her website http://www.ccesonline.com for a free subscription to A Light for My Path.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

WHAT FUN WAS HAD










Have you ever noiced how much we all have to say. Although it is school holidays in CHCH we decided scones and tea were in order. What fun we had. The children were so well behaved and we discussed vision reading from the book of Ruth and discussing the miracle of milk that came from Naomi (Ruth 4:16). This just cements that it is NEVER EVER too late for your vision, your dream to come to pass. Never ever give up, if God can cause milk to flow from an old woman's breast and she can suckle her grandchild, God can do it for you!!!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

FORGIVENESS







Each of us has war wounds sustained in life's battles. Some only scar; others fester forever. A close examination of the offending ulcers often reveals shrapnel — unresolved hurts.

Because unforgiveness receives a hefty share of ink in the Bible, I'm listing the Word's Top 10 Reasons (my order) why we need to teach and learn forgiveness:
We're to love our neighbor as ourselves, including our enemies. Matthew 5:44
If we want to be forgiven, we must forgive. Matthew 6:12, 24, 15



Unforgiveness hinders our prayers. Matthew 5:23, 24
We are not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. One of the ways we overcome is by forgiving the evil. Romans 12:21
"Great rewards" and blessing are promised to those who practice forgiveness. Luke 6: 35, Matthew 5:7



Forgiveness is commanded — seventy times seven — which means always! Matthew 18:21, 22



Forgiveness illustrates the love of God, making us "children of our Father." Matthew 5:45



Forgiveness demonstrates maturity in Christ. Matthew 5:48



If we are unforgiving, we are no better than our enemies. Matthew 5: 46, 47



Forgiveness shows discretion and "glory." Proverbs 19:11



Remember: Those who have something to forgive are the bleeding victims. The only place they will ever find healing and help is at the feet of Jesus.



Those who need to ask for forgiveness will need His Divine help to do it.



"Forgiving is not forgetting; it is letting go of the hurt" - Mary Mcleod Bethume



"Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness. He who cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass." - Corrie Ten Boom

"Forgiveness is an act of the will and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart." - Corrie Ten Boom



"Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die." - Anne Lamott






from Traveling Mercies© Rebekah Montgomery 2007






(used with permission)

BetweenYou and Me

BetweenYou and Me