Family Life


God desires that we move forward – going on in Him – looking to what is ahead. I have been wanting to go “back”. “Back” to Queensland, our old home. “Back” to family and friends. “Back” to familiarity. “Back” to convenience of living. “Back” to bearable seasonal weather. This is dangerous ground.

If going to Queensland is part of my future, according to God’s leading, then well and good, but my heart must be for what lies ahead in Him, not what is behind.

Genesis 19:17b
“Do not look behind you…lest you be destroyed.”
Genesis 19:26
“But his (Lot’s) wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Jeremiah 7:24
“But they harkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.”

The perspective God would have us maintain is one of pressing on in Him, following His leading, and being willing to walk wherever, whenever.

Ezekiel 1:12
“And they went every one straight forward: wither the Spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.”

Philippians 3:13
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”

God knows my heart and love for my family and friends, but I must…no, I AM willing look forward to what is ahead for myself and my family, whatever, wherever that may be.

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I have been rejoicing in the Lord this morning…He has given me a wonderful gift (to be revealed in time). This gift allowed me to present myself before the Lord with a heart overflowing with greatfulness and yet knowing that I would need his strength and mercy more than ever because of it.  So, on one hand, I was overjoyed but on the other, fully aware of my need for His sustenance.  Confused yet? 😉 Sorry, but just wanted to set the scene a little.

I commenced today’s prayer time with the allocated prayer topic (from the 31 days of prayer and fasting program I’ve been following) which was “A call to pray for and eradicate POLYGAMY spirits in the church.”  As this is a program from PNG I understand that having more than one wife is relatively common practice over there.  In Australia, however, divorce is the outward evidence of this spirit at work.   This topic is one which is close to my heart as I have seen the restorative work of the Holy Spirit in my own marriage, who is willing and able to transform our lives as we hand our life over to Him.

This post is not actually meant to be focused on the topic of marriage per se but rather our hearts before God and the sin problem which is what ultimately leads those into this destructive situation.  One of the points to pray was that the sin/spirit of fornication, adultery, lust, uncleanness, covetousness will not creap into the church and destroy Christian marriages.

Here in lies the problem.  Sin.  Fornication, adultery, lust, uncleanness, covetness can affect every area of our lives, not just our marriages.  The next point to pray, was that the Word and Spirit of God will rule and the desire of the flesh will be crucified.  This is the only answer for deliverance and salvation.  We must continually allow The Word and the Spirit to rule and crucify the desires of the flesh as the flesh is nailed to the cross.

One of the verses pertaining to this topic this morning was Matthew 19:3-9.  In verse 8 we again see problem which leads to this situation.

“Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”

My prayer this morning, for those that are His, is that our hearts would not be hard so that we would look for permission to sin, but that our hearts would be soft and we would walk in submission to Him.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 

“Your hands have made me and fashioned me;” Psalm 119:73a

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” Psalm 139:16

While I generally consider watching movies a frivolous waste of time (and a distraction from eternal matters which are of far greater importance), it is a past time my husband and I regularly enjoyed and thus when there is a night which work demands are not causing him an excruciatingly early rise the following morning, a movie is suggested.  I shudder at the thought of scanning the video store shelves, trying to remove from my mind images derived in hell as soon as I have passed over them.  To filter through all the gore and find something no too ghastly or provocative, that I might be able to stand sitting through, while still appealing to my husband, is quite the task!  I have somewhat cultivated a tolerance to violence, but things of a sexual nature are far beyond what I can stomach.  I generally look for M rated movies that just say “violence” rather than the plethura of other unsavouries available for the world’s viewing pleasure.

Anyway, having exhausted my sensitive mind and being hardly able to handle the horrid background noise of MA rated movie previews (I stand aghast at the language being played in a place frequented by children!) I chose…Clash of the Titans.  Now, I know…greek mythology…full of spiritual issues…but, I had to pick something!

It was interesting to see the greek mythological explainations of God, of course they were way off, creating a range of god’s instead of ascribing greatness to the one true God.  But watching this movie caused me to consider a couple of things which I wanted to share here.

I tend to see man’s twisted version of the gospel in nearly all movies.  Good verses evil, and the saviour etc.  In this case, it was even more blatant as you are dealing with god (or god’s) and man.  Really, even though the movie had the “good god” Zeus and the “evil god” Hades, the movie portrayed the god’s as that which was evil and man as good.  Herein lies the problem seed planted into the millions of minds who watch it.  Man is greater than God.  There were many other issues that one could point to, as I am sure there are in most movies, but that is not what led me to this post.

The exciting thought that came from pondering on what I had just watched was that God delights in details and there are none that escape Him.  In Clash of the Titans, the saviour (yes, they even refer to him as such a few times) of the movie was a part man part god human, the son of Zeus with a human mother and…he was a fisherman.  I laughed out loud when I discovered this and said to my husband “I guess it would be a little too much if they made him a carpenter!” 🙂 But this detail got me thinking.  There is no detail overlooked by God and the fact of the matter is, Jesus was not a fisherman, but a carpenter.  This did not happen by chance but it was orchestrated by God himself.

There had to be a point then to this detail.  So I thought, what does a fisherman do?  His aim is to catch or trap that which is a live with the view to making it die.  What does a carpenter do?  He takes what was once alive but has died and fashions it into something beautiful and purposeful. Hallelujah! What a great God we serve who is a carpenter and NOT a fisherman! 😀 I’ll take the authentic God any and every day over that which hollywood (and the greeks) can conjour up!

We used to have some squatters living in our yard.  They were there for years; then two became one…and one became none.  I must say, I was sad to see them go.  They were unobtrusive and kept out of sight most of the time, minding their own, they were really no trouble!

I am pleased to say, a new family has moved in and I thought I would share. 🙂 I hope they make themselves at home and find our property to be most accommodating to their needs.

Squatters

I think they were as curious of me, as I of them…look at those eyes! 😯

Tawny Frogmouth

These Tawny Frogmouth Owls (another wonderful brushstroke of God) will be always welcome in my backyard. 🙂

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:19
Rip

Ripley on the Hunt

The family pet. What a blessed relationship. We see in all things, the mark of a loving creator. In this relationship, particularly, we see that we do indeed carry in us, the image of God. They stand by our side and are loyal to the end. They rejoice in our presence, showing signs of glee at our returning home, and they love nothing more than to walk and work at our side.

We lost our family dog to a snake bite yesterday. She was a significant part of our lives, but especially in the life and restoration of my husband. Ripley was a spark of life, a companion who never judged and some thing to live for; hope came in the form of a 50kg canine.

Josh & Rip

When Rip was New

When my husband first received Ripley, he spent a great deal of time with her. He enjoys hunting, and he had now met a determined girl, who loved hunting maybe even more than him! Together they would go bush, chase pigs and return sore and tired, but elated. This companionship gave my husband a little joy where he thought all joy was lost. It was not long after receiving Ripley that he called on God to pull him out of the darkness of alcoholism and back into the land of the living. Hallelujah!

I thank God for bringing Ripley into our family. Receiving her was one of the first events which led to the preservation of my husband and the ultimate restoration of my marriage. God knows just what is needed and when; we see His providence in the life of a Bull Arab fondly known as Rip.

Rip and ball

Her favourite toy - a basketball!

She was a powerful, muscle bound, beauty, who always sat with her front legs crossed, and wore too much eye make-up. Her massive head and broad smile struck fear into the heart of every visiting Jehovah’s Witness, and love into the hearts of those who knew her.

She was a friend to my husband, a playmate to my children, and a guard of our home. She brought joy, blessing and provision to our family through the birth and sale of many puppies; and has left behind her a legacy of gorgeous dogs with a heart for pig hunting.

Ripley and Corey

Great Playmates.

We are eternally grateful for the time we have shared with her and she will forever be remembered and loved. R.I.P. Ripley, and thank you Lord, for the blessing that she was.

We have been watching a number of nature documentaries lately, mostly focusing on animals.  This has triggered a  few trains of thought.

Firstly, the whole creation verses evolution debate. (No debate in my mind…I’m sold out on creation of course. 😉 ) How evolutionists can keep a straight face when they verbalize their theories, is beyond me! So ridiculous it sounds.  I am also outraged that the wonder of God’s creation and the amazing splendor of it all, can be vandalized in such abhorrent fashion.  To quote one narrator, “these particular animals (one of the pre-historic big cats) were the leader of the food chain until the upright apes began to dominate the earth”. UPRIGHT APES! Oh please! 😯 Surely the time spoken of by Timothy is upon us:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

This particular Discovery Channel DVD also showed hairy ape looking people-type beings supposedly our ancestors!  I am disgusted that these are the “facts” offered to impressionable children!  To be educated in such a way as to propose that you are nothing more than an evolved ape, is far removed from the Truth; We are created in the image of God and through Jesus we may indeed become the temple of God!

On this note, if anyone has a recommendation of documentaries presented from a creationist viewpoint, please do comment and let me know.  I simply cannot stomach another “billion year old” fallacy presented as fact! I will  be investigating the creation science website as a friend has recommended it, but any further information or links would be appreciated (one link per comment though or you may get labelled as spam!)

This leads me into my second thought.  Watching the amazing handiwork of our great God has caused me to notice how far society has come from the resemblance of  the image of God in which we were created.  Truly the enemy has been trying to destroy that image within us, and has made substantial ground. 

I have watched a starving animal lay with her young who is dying from lack of nourishment and fatigue.  Even after death, the mother will lay with the body for over 24 hours before moving on to continue her search of food.  I have watched an animal risk it’s own life to come to the rescue of a young one, and pay the ultimate sacrifice because of it.  Dominant males are often a threat to young mammals, however, rarely will a mother turn on her offspring. 

Contrast this with the parenting styles of today, where infants are left to be “nurtured” in facilities, where ratios of staff to infants are 1 to 5.  Senator Kate Lundy (Labor senator for the ACT) noted “As was highlighted on The 7.30 Report on 6 August, 2008, an often unqualified young person who is responsible for the care of five babies cannot provide quality care for them all, yet this is legal in most states.”

If babies are being cared for in child care centres, they may be considered lucky. Perhaps they should be thankful they are not one of the 90,000 babies aborted in Australia each year, or 46 million each year worldwide. (For more staggering abortion statistics check out the NSW Right to Life website here)

Seeing the creatures God has made caring for their young in these documentaries has left me wondering what has lead mothers to turn on their children to the point of death. This is so unnatural and is totally perverting the whole western society as it embraces the practice of abortion. Even the simplest of God’s creatures have an appreciation and a respect for life. I do not wish to get into an abortion debate with anyone…I have read enough on blogs to know, that those who wish to argue, are not to be swayed, and have truly hardened their hearts. But I truly believe that the evidence against this practice is all around us, screaming out to us, showing us God’s glory in His creation, and in this, showing us the ferociousness of our own actions.

This post was not meant to turn into an abortion debate, nor, did I mean to spend so long on this issue, but rather, it is a call to mothers, and parents. To embrace their children; to return to the image in which we are created; one of love, and nurturing, training in and imparting life.

I have seen marriages and families destroyed due to the chasing of careers and finances to pay off houses, which in the end, will have no one in them. Do not sacrifice families for finances, the cost is far too high.

As christians, we must be a voice to the children who are left to be raised by, and educated in, the whims of the day. We must be ready to introduce them to their Creator, and remind them of what has been instilled within them…that they are not an upright ape, but fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.

I pray, that no opportunity is missed for a child to meet God, and further, that opportunities are created.

The dream of moving to a large acreage property has become a possibility again. The steps are leading us closer than ever before and my heart beats faster every day. It is difficult not to let myself go, but until the dream becomes a reality, I dare not.

I’ve decided to share the dream on my blog. Really, I need to get it out or I’ll burst!

We have found a property which can accommodate our growing family and my husband’s parents, whom since meeting I have also claimed as my own. While there will eventually be an extension to the house for the in-laws, it is quite large enough for us all in the interim.

house

The property is over 1000 acres and consists of grazing land for the cattle, which is still partially treed, (I hate totally cleared land!) and natural bush land, which is a haven of flora and fauna and will be fantastic for bushwalks and nature studies.

land

There are also the most fantastic climbing trees around the house (no, I’m not a big kid, I had to check them out for safety of course. 😉 )

tree

And, are you ready for it…mango trees! Lots of them! WOO HOO! I can just see us, packing up the day’s schoolwork and the picnic rug and heading out under the mango trees for the day.

mango

Amazingly enough, we can experience all this and still be only forty minutes to this…

beach

Yes, we can drive for a little over half an hour and walk onto the sand!

NO! You can’t have this place, I found it first!!

You can see how one could let themself go to the fantasy can’t you! While this property, and all our plans seem ideal, I am also willing to stay where I am, or move to any other place (yes, even a caravan in the slums) should God direct us there. It is important to keep ones eyes fixed on our Lord, especially at a time of opportunity, in order to be sure you remain in His will.

Satan offered Jesus the world when he was in the wilderness, and he can offer the same to us in order to quash the fulfillment of our potential in Christ. This is why, we are covering this whole venture in prayer and really, it will take God’s handiwork for all things to fall into place.

2009 so far, has been a year of answered prayer, miracle healings, and opportunity. It also seems to be a year of new beginnings. This creates a sense of expectancy and excitement. Should this dream not materialize, I shall not despair; I shall rejoice! for God’s plan will work for good to those who love Him…now who wouldn’t want that?

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