It’s been a long time coming…

I’m here, on my knees thanking the Lord for the Grace which brought me here.  Life has been a distraction – excuses abound, busy-ness reasoning my heart away but the truth remains…somewhere along the line, I traded the Lord’s plans for my plans and His strength for my own.  The Well-spring has not dried up but I realise, I haven’t drawn from it for a while, and I’m REALLY thirsty! Now where did I put that bucket?

The last year has seen us move as far away from family and friends as what remaining in Australia would allow, to face challenges of all kinds – some good, some bad, all extremely trying!  When I left familiarity I had a firm grip of God’s hand and knew He was doing the leading.  I relied solely on His strength.  I recently joined a women’s bible study group which is studying the Book of Isaiah.  It’s heavy stuff! And while God’s merciful character and Father’s heart shines throughout all the devastating judgement, I realise just how much I need to sit a Jesus feet and restore my (His) joy in my life.

My children have also been caught up in this chaos that I call life…and while they all know the Lord, I have not been training them for the Lord in the way that I desire to.  My priorities have been reflecting my own plans, not the eternal plans that have been purposed for me.

I read over some of my previous posts and paid a visit to some of my favourite blogs around here (it’s been a while!) and it has reminded me that the Lord’s plans don’t change.   The time is drawing near, this age is coming to a close, and I have been busy “sleeping”!  I hope this post is the first of many, to restore my blog into action and record insights and leadings to encourage and keep my focus on being about the Lord’s business.  I am so thankful for my Brother’s and Sister’s in Christ who I see are still manning the blog-o-sphere and resounding the call, who are good and faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.  May God bless your words and your lives as you continue running this race for Him.

“…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b  It starts with me.  If I’m going to train up Watchmen for the Lord, I’m going to have to climb that watchtower and take the first watch!  May I “be steadfast and immoveable, abounding in the work of the Lord” 1 Corinthians 15:58 and may my  mind be stayed on Him as I return to my First Love and give Him the fullness of my attention.

“You will keep Him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You.” Isaiah 26:3

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3

I am thankful that God has been painting the sky again.  After a week of emotional turmoil (both highs and lows), God’s touch of splendor was a sight worth beholding.

I am comforted to know that our God is in control.  I am comforted to know that despite what we see about us – tradgedy and heartache – nothing takes God by surprise.   I wonder how people who know not The Comforter manage to go on under such circumstances.

For those of us who know the reality of eternity and the Creator of all things, our sorrow may be turned to joy, and we have a hope that does not end at death rather, it begins.

You may have heard about the recent toddler drownings in Queensland.  There have been three in the last week.  One of whom, I was personnally aquainted with.  This father and daughter had left an impression on my heart right from the first introduction.  Here was a dad, standing up in his role as father, wearing his “father’s heart” on his sleeve. 

“He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers,” Malachi 4:6a

In this day and age of separated families, many mothers are leaving their God-given role of nurturer and home-maker (Titus 2:5) and oftentimes leaving their families (this is unfathomable to me) in search of self-fulfilment and desires. I am seeing many fathers, young fathers, stand up.  We have come into contact with a number of young dads whose heart for their children is clearly evident.   They have, coincendently been the father’s of daughters and have displayed a sweetness toward them that was emphasized by their (seemingly) rough exteriors.  It was one of these fathers who pulled his little girl from their property dam last Friday.  I remain shocked and in disbelief.

While this young man knows not the Lord Jesus, he has joined us in a few of our “house church” meetings.  He was present at my parent’s property with his daughter only the day before this tradgic incident and one wonders what the Holy Spirit would have been prompting had one been listening.  (I was not present at the time, but even then, God knew what tomorrow was to bring).  It begs the question – are we walking with the Holy Spirit moment by moment – listening intently for any and every opportunity.  Did he have a word for this young man?  We shall not know. 

While this loss still lingers in my mind each day, I am able to hide under the wings of my Father, I pray that this family might also come and find The Comforter.

I am headed interstate this week for an extended “holiday” to see family.  I expect to be absent from the blog-o-sphere during this time so will have to catch up when I return.  I may be gone for as long as a month and I hope to bring encouragement and perseverance of faith to my brother’s family as he battles a serious ongoing illness.  I pray that the Word of the Lord would be brought to him, and that I maintain open ears before God. 

I would appreciate anyone who is willing, to remember both of these families in their prayers as God works and moves in their lives.  May we remain good and faithful ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ and hold fast to that blessed hope we have in Him.

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.

I received this poem in an email today…I am unfortunately prone to this sort of thing so it spoke right to my heart.  I pray my actions will reflect the priorites of my heart, not the busyness of my day.

F A M I L Y 

I ran into a stranger as he passed by, 
‘Oh excuse me please’ was my reply. 

He said, ‘Please excuse me too; 
I wasn’t watching for you.’ 

We were very polite, this stranger and I. 
We went on our way and we said goodbye. 

But at home a different story is told, 
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.. 

Later that day, cooking the evening meal, 
My son stood beside me very still. 

When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. 
‘Move out of the way,’ I said with a frown…

He walked away, his little heart broken. 
I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.

While I lay awake in bed, God’s still small voice came to me and said,

‘While dealing with a stranger, 
common courtesy you use, 
but the family you love, you seem to abuse. 

Go and look on the kitchen floor, 
You’ll find some flowers there by the door. 

Those are the flowers he brought for you. 
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.

He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise, 
you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.’ 

By this time, I felt very small, 
And now my tears began to fall. 

I quietly went and knelt by his bed; 
‘Wake up, little one, wake up,’ I said. 

‘Are these the flowers you picked for me?’ 
He smiled, ‘I found ’em, out by the tree.’

I picked ’em because they’re pretty like you. 
I knew you’d like ’em, especially the blue.’ 

I said, ‘Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today; 
I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.’ 

He said, ‘Oh, Mom, that’s okay. 
I love you anyway.’ 

I said, ‘Son, I love you too, 
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.’ 

FAMILY 

Are you aware that if we died tomorrow, the company 
that we are working for could easily replace us in 
a matter of days. 
But the family we left behind will feel the loss 
for the rest of their lives. 

And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more 
into work than into our own family, 
an unwise investment indeed, 
don’t you think? 

So what is behind the story? 

Do you know what the word FAMILY means? 

FAMILY = (F)ATHER (A)ND (M)OTHER (I) (L)OVE (Y)OU

My son Master Two (will be three next week) has been suffering with a temperature all day yesterday and it still rages as I write this morning. At about 12.30am he waddles out of bed to find me (ahem) finished blogging, and in his best voice with perfect manners he requests a drink of water.

I complimented him, as I handed him the cup of water, on his use of manners in spite of the late hour and his current state of health. Upon receipt of the water he said in his beautiful little two year old sick-y voice:

“I love Jesus.”

Truly:

“Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise.” Matthew 21:16.

I know this moment was precious in His sight.

“1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

“16 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world……18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17:16 and 18

We have heard it said many times that we are “in the world, but not of the world”.  What do you do then, when the world creeps into your home?  How do you get it out again?  I speak regarding the raising of godly children, how does one keep them “unspotted from the world”?

My son, master Ten, is a wonderful boy who loves the Lord and has been given a vision and a heart for the Lord’s work in his future.  What a joy it is to encourage him in this! 

I am annoyed that despite great attempts at preserving or rather censoring what my son, master Ten, is exposed to, the world still penetrates.  I am disgusted at what the world has to offer…perversion on every side!  I am disturbed that such things are presented to appeal to young people!

Computer games are on my hit list now!  I don’t even want to write the (wish I could think of another word to describe it but can’t) “perverted” content which has spurred this rant, so I won’t.  It frustrates me that, in spite of restrictions, placed by me to try to avoid this very thing, outside influence occurs and then I am left with the job of trying to undo what has been done, and re-claim lost ground. 

It annoys me that adults (generally I mean, in our western society), even christian adults, no longer lead by example.  If a movie, computer game, book or any other thing is unsuitable for children… then it is probably unsuitable full stop! 

Children are so very perceptive!  It is important that they aspire, and admire, people whom we, as godfearing parents, approve of.  It is a parents responsiblity to choose the friends of our children, and do this wisely!  Peer pressure has become the phenomenom it is today, because “parent pressure” has been virtually phased out.

This also leads me to my next post…A point has been brought up by a book I have just finished reading.  In western culture, the church also has lost its influence.  The church is filled with the corruption of the world and is no longer a guardian of morals.

But take heart…there is One that has overcome the world.  If we plant seeds in our children’s hearts and the love of the Lord Jesus Christ grows in them, they too can overcome the world.  Teaching them to recognise worldly influence in light of God’s Word will give them a point of reference in which to check their own lives and choices.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my Path.”  Psalm 119:105

I am greatful that my children have a heart for God.  I will tell them the truth and the truth shall set them free.

C.

My son (Master Ten) attended his friends ‘tenpin bowling’ birthday party on the weekend.  The friend’s mother, who is a good friend of mine, informed me, that five other boys had been invited, however, not one had telephoned to RSVP to the invite.  She assumed that no-one else would turn up, but she would have to pay for a party of eight regardless.  It so happened that two other boys did arrive…alone!  Their parents dropped them off in the car park and didn’t even come in to introduce themselves, or check that the party was in fact still on! 

If I had not advised that my son was coming – I would at least like to make sure that there was still a place for him to attend the party.  My friend had seriously considered cancelling the party after receiving only my son’s confirmation.  Had she done this, these two boys would have been sitting in the bowling alley for two hours, alone and unsupervised!! 

Given our society’s current moral state, I could imagine this happening for a teenager’s party but these 10 and 11 year olds are still “children” as far as I’m concerned, and should be under the care of an adult!!  Am I the only one who finds this astonishing??

There is NO WAY I would deliver my 10 year old child to a public venue, drop them off in the car park, to leave them to find a family that I had NEVER met, nor spoken to, and return over two hours later to collect them!

The fact that this was the arrangement made by two separate parents makes me wonder, is this the norm now?  Do people really consider this reasonable parenting?  How can you call this parenting at all?

It was a pleasure for me to remain at the party and see the children have a great time.  Due to the lack of numbers, we grown-ups became children for the afternoon and donned the attractive shoes for a bowl as well! 

As a parent, it is times like these which are the most pleasurable.  What a shame that some parents are willing to give up the joy of parenting.