Large capacity – Full!

All of my life I’ve been told in various ways that I have a “big capacity”. Looking back on my life so far I can see what they saw. I have always filled my calendar to overload – and enjoyed it!

I was the child doing multiple sports a term, in a school band, plus the choir, as well as some out of school activity (read “activities”) such as scouts, gymnastics, ballet, rugby and church groups. Even the past year – the first as a Mum – Glenn and I started our own business whilst also moving city to become part of a church ministry and I did some writing projects on the side. Thankfully living in South Africa makes a maid feasible cost-wise because my large capacity doesn’t extend to cleaning . . . :p

But recently God has been speaking to me about my large capacity. You see, my large capacity is not for things of the world. My large capacity is for His Living Water. And guess what – you have the same large capacity!

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)

God has been making it very clear that I am no longer to be filling my time up with strenuous work or worldly striving. I’m only to take part in what He asks of me (because we all know there’s no escaping from people trying to add to our loads!)

Everything we are to do is to come from a place of rest, peace and fullness in Christ. This is where God can work most powerfully through us and in us.

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)

Drink of His living water; refresh your soul in Him


Storehouses of treasure

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”‘ 

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’

So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:15-21)

I am finding so much joy reading through the Gospel of Luke at the moment – the Gospel that focuses on the least in society. This is really where God is challenging me at the moment – to be His hands and feet to the poor. 

Glenn and I constantly reminded not to store up earthly treasure for ourselves. Whatever we have is His to be used in the Kingdom. For all you businessmen out there – keeping building wealth, but make sure you’re investing it back into His Kingdom!

But what about you and your family? What if you are faithful to be rich towards god? Read on dear one:

And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:29-34)

What a beautiful promise – we can give freely, knowing that we are storing up treasure bags in heaven! Surely our reward will be great. This leads to a removal of fear around giving to and working with the poor. We can go out and care for the least, just as Christ did, knowing that we are building eternal wealth.

Who do you know that is poor? Who do you minister to that is needy?

Operation Christmas Child is a great example of ministry to the least. I’ve been blessed to pack a box, and also see some distributed in Zambia.

Pouring out my perfume

“A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:41-49)

Who are you in this story? Do you invite Christ into your home, but offer only the most basic hospitality and criticise His followers? Or do you know that you are a sinner, saved by His grace, ready to pour out all you have for Him and into His Kingdom?

I am the woman. I am poor of heart. I am of the most sinful. But He has cancelled my debts of sin and I now desire to pour my entire self and all I have out at His feet. Everything I have, He gets. All I am is His now. There is nothing I can give Him in exchange for my salvation – it is a free gift. But from the gratitude in my heart flows a love so strong that I want to serve Him with all of me.

What this outpouring looks like will be different for everyone. For me, at the moment, it means renting our house out to live in a city we would never naturally choose to live in, and live as missionaries rather than in formal employment. The beautiful perfume I am pouring out to Him is finance and time. What is your perfume of love?

Pouring out the perfume

My stewardship

[This was written a while ago now, but I’ve been unable to post it before now].

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3

My baby boy turns one tomorrow. I’m not sure how I feel about it. There is a beautiful, yet painful, kaleidoscope of emotions twirling around and around in my heart. And through all these feelings and thoughts runs a theme: “stewardship”, just as it has all year.

Happy birthday, my boy!

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21

God bestowed upon me a great honour when He gave me a son to steward. Yet, from the beginning, I have been acutely aware that it is only that – a stewardship. When he is grown, I must release him into the world to go and bear fruit of his own, and, when he marries, I must watch him leave us in order to cleave to his wife.

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:6-9

There is an apt phrase circling around cyber space, going something like this: “The days are long, but the years are few”. Oh, to have more years with my baby! But the reality is that my time mothering my son is going to feel very short. God has granted me these precious years and it is up to me to treasure them, stewarding the time well. Our children are our first “call” as parents. Man and woman have been put together to raise godly offspring. What an awesome task to be set.

Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. Malachi 2:15

I want nothing more than to excel at this task. And I know that, in order to do this, it starts by ensuring I enter fully into my relationship with God each and everyday, and then fully invest into my relationship with my husband (as a side note, this is also backed up by studies by clinical scientists – the marriage relationship is the biggest indicator of children doing well in soceity and feeling loved!).

If you’re a parent, how are you going in your stewardship? Is it time to till or to fertilise? Or perhaps it’s time to plant seeds of faith, or nurture character? Or maybe even time to release – to acknowledge they belong to the Lord and are a new creation with their spouse? Maybe it’s time to invest in your marriage? Maybe it’s time to get away as a family from life’s busyness and refuel yourself in God? What must you do to be faithful in your stewardship?

Food for the year

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (John 6:26-27)
The New Year period is typically a time of reflection and planning. Many of us pause to evaluate our lives and goals. Some of us had a hard year and others had a triumphant 2017. Some of us are excited by what 2018 will hold whilst some will look forward with trepidation. Regardless of what these reflections hold, let us be sure to cement our lives in Christ. He is our Daily Bread. He is the sustenance our bodies and spirits need.
In pursuing any of our physical, temporal goals this year, let us never loose our focus on the One who gives us eternal life and life in the fullest.
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Respect dare series – day 40 – Press in

Luke 4:5-8

And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”

Ultimately, this dare is not about honouring Glenn as much as it is about honouring God through my marriage. As I finish up the blogging, I am reminded that God is my source. In Him, all things are possible. In Him, respect is possible. In Him, perfect love is possible. I cannot succeed in honouring Glenn everyday without the Spirit’s help.  I also cannot honour Glenn above God. It is in God that I trust. He is the One I must turn to at the start of each day, and the One whose wisdom I must seek continually.

My action for today: Put God first. Press into the Word. Seek His wisdom. Listen to the Spirit’s whispering.

This is the last day of the dare blog, but not of the dare. This dare must continue every day of my marriage. I choose to walk in respect and love towards Glenn.

My prayer for today:  Father, be my first love. Be my first desire. Be the One I seek in all things. Keep me hungry for you and thirsty for your ways. From this place, let me love my husband and walk in respect an d honour of him. In Christ’s name, Amen.

In covenant with God and each other

Respect dare series – day 39 – Christianese

Psalm 4:2b-5

How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah. But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.

I need to ban Christianese from my relationship with Glenn! There are times when we use “Christian language” as an excuse to be mean to each other, or to win an argument. Saying something like: “Why don’t you go and pray about it!” certainly isn’t a nice way to end an argument. And phrases like: “I don’t have grace/patience for this today” is an excuse to put off godliness in preference for selfishness. Such words do not honour God. They are vain and unloving.

Instead, when we are angry, tired, grumpy, frustrated, hurt, etc we are to call to the Lord, seek Him silently alone, and listen. He is our help in trying circumstances, and tiring seasons. He strengthens us to choose the path of righteousness. We have been freed from sin and have come into such beautiful freedom to walk uprightly, but it remains a choice that we must make every day. Not allowing ourselves to use glossy, but selfish, words is part of the choice.

My action for today: Watch my words. Seek God first when angry, tired, grumpy, frustrated, hurt, etc. Do not use pretty words as an excuse to be selfish, impatient, or mean.

My prayer for today:  Father, we walk in your freedom. Thank you for releasing us from captivity to sin. Let us not continue in sin, and especially do not let us use our faith to gloss over our sins. Encourage us forward in love, truth, and grace for each other, our family, and those around us. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Watch our words!