Small compromises make big differences

Compromise it can be a good word or it can be a bad one. What are your foundations and beliefs?

Who sets your standard? Everyone or Jesus? 

We sometimes feel a little bit here and there is okay. And sometimes it is but look at it this way, I’ve noticed over and over again, If you compromise something one time too many times it becomes the norm. 

“I don’t work sundays” then your boss asks you to work….just this once. You say yes. Do you think your boss will ask you again? Yes. And do you think you will feel as bad as you did the first time? No.
Over time you might just find yourself working every sunday……and it’s probably just Normal.

I don’t drink more than one beer, just tonight maybe two….tonight two again, I don’t usually drink three but two is okay so three should be fine……..

We don’t usually see a negative result straight away when we make a small change and so we think it’s okay to do again. But over time it becomes not okay and you may not even realize. 

I don’t think a lot of people who has a Godly belief or biblical standpoint and a relationship with Jesus suddenly decides to one day to reject their stand and walk the other way but I’m sure a lot of us at one point have found ourselves looking at an area of our lives and wonder “How did I ever get here?”

It’s the small and maybe harmless at the time decisions that can creep in and grow without you even really noticing the change. 

I know in one point of my life it became very messy and over time my small decisions had caused bigger living and thinking changes to the point I wasn’t going to church often, I didn’t pray much if at all and I was going out every weekend and it was normal for me. 

Now looking back I can see a very empty, very scary and lonely time.

But the most amazing part about Jesus is whatever point we get to in life or what ever small decision and compromises we make. Jesus never ever comprises us. He excepts as willingly with open arms and let’s us start again, if we choose to go to him. 

What areas do you feel strongly about and know God is asking you to not waiver in? 

What areas do you see that have become “normal” for you which you are sure that it shouldn’t be?

It is so great that we can go to Jesus and ask him to show us, open our eyes and help us everyday to make small changes towards a healthier and wholer us and make compromises that add to, rather than take away from our lives. 

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭143:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life to the Full

I had this friend in my teens called Terrain. He was one of the guys at my church and he was and still is one of The best examples of Love and acceptance to me.
I started surfing when I was 13 and he was one of the older surfers. I remember at that age, I was a very insecure, annoying, loud mouth Girl who never thought before I spoke.

I was an only child, half Japanese girl who was brought up in a church by my Mum and my Dad was in jail. 

Terrain would pick up and take me surfing. Ring me at 5 in the morning and say get up let’s go.

He would tell us funny stories and how his eye was someone else’s.

He helped me learn how to drive and when my friend and I went on road trips sometimes him and the others would somehow show up to check we weren’t getting into trouble. 

When my Dad came to visit after being released from prison Terrain and a couple others guys came and made sure I was okay. 

On the last day of my honeymoon we got a phone call that Terrain had passed away while surfing. 

It was and is still one of the worst moments.
To miss out on doing life with someone so special to my husband and myself.

We are not promised the numbers of days on this earth but we can do something with what we have and each day we have breath in our lungs. 

God calls us to live and be the living examples of Christ to those around us. That means shining love, hope, acceptance and joy to those who we get to do life with. To be there in the storms and celebrate with victories.

I am consistently questioning and challenging myself. Am I making a difference in someone’s life? Can someone know what real love and joy is through me? Am I really living?

We often don’t realize the impact that we can have on others just by deciding to live life with Jesus as our example and others as our mission for love. 

I love this quote by Brian Houston “Live as someone who is called not just saved” 

No matter how many days, hours, steps we take on this earth let’s not waste it but shine the way we have been called to. You are important and you can make a difference in someone’s life.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” ‭‭John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The right kind of worship

My most intimate, powerful, breakthrough, healing, inspiring and favorite moments have been during worship. Lifting up the name of Jesus, declaring that he is no 1, His name is powerful and thanking him for the great things he has done.
I’ve sometimes heard some people say “I can’t worship to this song” or “I find it hard to worship with this band” the problems of it’s too loud or quiet, a full band, not enough musicians, the room is too “Holy” or not Holy enough, the style, the length these things start to get in the way and I want to say one thing. 
If there is a problem for you to worship….it reflects the condition of the heart.
Worshiping God is about the heart of surrendering yourself to Him and lifting up the name of Jesus because He is so good.

Getting past the place or the time or the song will release you to worship more and get more than ever before.

I have had so many different times of worship which have impacted my life. 
At a camp fire, in a concert hall, a class room, my car, with one friend in my house, with a group of friends in a bus, on my kitchen floor, with a full band, when I have felt like it and when I didn’t, with edm, with my ukulele alone, at a funeral, a wedding, a birthday party, at church, in my lowest moments and at my highest points.

There is something about Worship that breaks through walls, sets us free and personally I get overwhelmed sometimes like God is giving me a big huge hug.

What ever moment that we go through or what ever place we find ourselves, no matter how big, small or great the band is, if we prepare ourselves to lift up God (because he is bigger than everything) I know without a doubt We can have moments with God anywhere. 

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.” ‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭16:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The F word

Okay get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about forgiveness today.
When some people or myself included hear the word forgiveness we sometimes act as if someone just swore at us. Forgive? Who? What did you say? I don’t need to forgive! They need to be sorry, They need to pay, He/She doesn’t deserve this and that!
I used to talk to my friend about “fairness” it wasn’t fair that her Dad an amazing Father, Pastor, and Husband ended passing away from cancer. The other hand my Dad who had done terrible things, hurt my Mum, myself and others, was living his life seemingly fine. It used to really annoy me and make me angry!

As I got older I thought I was fine, I had forgiven my Dad of the hurt he caused to people around him and if I didn’t have to talk about him or think about him then everything was just great! 

Moving to Japan brought up many undealt with issues for me, a lot of people were interested in my racial background, where my Mum was from, my Dad, how they met, where they live now, why I speak English, what they do for jobs…..etc 

Every single time these questions started I would get this super power and laser beams would shoot through my eyes and make holes in the wall! Haha not really okay but that’s what was happening inside if you could see what I was feeling.

One day I was journaling and I was asking God to show me any areas that I needed to change, forgiveness scriptures kept coming up and I was like “yeah forgiveness is good” and I felt God telling me “Hey, you have an issue of forgiveness, like rust on a car you’ve started out with a scratch and you’ve let it eat away at many parts of your life and you need to cut it out”. Well, that was a bit of a wake up call. I saw some areas where I was lacking joy, struggling in and almost every area was effected by this “rust”.
So I asked God “How then?” 
And a voice said “Trust me, am I the judge or you? Are you perfect or am I?” 

And I knew instead of letting God be God in that area of my life I was trying to hold on so that I could feel in charge of my situation. 

I had to make a decision to cut out that unforgiveness and see Gods healing power come through in my life. Letting go of hurts, disappointments and even injustice in my eyes because I don’t see the big picture and God always does.

Now I can freely talk about my childhood and about my Dad without destroying the room with laser beams but easily and calmly and God uses those situations always for his good.
I hope if you are dealing with the F word at the moment, Jesus has the power to heal you and set you free! Let God cut out your rust and make you new, free and full of joy! 

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”‭‭ Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭

Dear 15 year old me

Today I thought I’d do something a little different. What would I say to the 15 year old me? The person half my age now.

Hi, it’s me….you at 30. Let me share with you 10 insights to help you see through the next 15 years. 

1. You’re at highschool now, what an awesome place. You get to see your friends everyday, learn for free, your mum makes your lunch and at the moment you are studying Art, dance, photography. You think it’s because you are not engaged enough or smart enough to be interested in subjects like maths, science, economics. Actually it’s not that, you are a Creative and guess what that’s Absolutely O.K! It’s actually wonderful and will give you many opportunities in the future and the world needs creative minds!

2. About your friends, those girls that you surround yourself with. You have got a pretty amazing group of sisters around you. Cherish them, love them, be honest with them. They will be there doing life with you through the years and their friendships are much more valuable than Gold. 

3. Being brought up in the church does not mean you are missing out, having a relationship with Jesus is not causing lack in your life, you gain. You have gained so much opportunities, friendships, freedom, unlimited love and knowledge from being brought up there and getting to know about Jesus at a young age. People that don’t know Jesus are actually the ones that are missing out on so much. So give them the chance. You are so fortunate to be brought up with such a special and unique group of people. It’s not what everyone has. To grow up with people that you look to like brothers and sisters, aunts and Uncles and they all want the best for you is incredible. To be able to jump on a microphone or an instrument or learn lighting or how to organize an event is worth so much more than you realize right now.

4. Those programs you like watching like “friends” “home and away” or lots of movies you watch, they are shaping your view on society and your view on relationships. Relationships are not meant to be like that. You don’t need to live like them. And it’s not okay for guys opinions to be the standard of your value. You have been made awesome and you don’t need to prove that to anyone.

5. Keep laughing at everything, keep having joy. Those people telling you “life is serious” are too serious. 

6. Embrace your culture, learn about it, it’s not an embarrassing thing!

7. Just say Thank you a lot, appreciate people. You don’t know how much time you have with them.

8. Don’t get into credit card debt-oh my gosh! Do not do it! You think you will be paying that back but really you will be paying back interest for a long long time.

9. Stop trying to cram the bible into one day a week, you always end up not reading it properly and dread doing it. How about read a little bit everyday and write down what is standing out to you and then apply it to your life. God actually wants to talk to you every single day through his word. It will change so many of your situations.

10. You can go as far as you like from God and try and run away from him but you will never ever be satisfied, because He is the source of true life. 

 

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”‭‭ Proverbs‬ ‭23:17-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I tripped up in front of everyone

Let’s go back to my first year at highschool, the field was surrounded by little hills of grass where all the first year students liked to sit and hang out. Basically, if you were doing anything on the field everyone could watch. 

One day I saw my youth Pastor at the end of the field and filled with excitement I ran my little heart out to her to say hi. 

As I was running like an Olympic runner, I felt my bag go over my head and my body do a flip in the air, as I fell to the ground the school giant sprinkler started spraying water all over me. 

When I stood up I turned around to see mounds of people rolling up and down the hill in fits of laughter. 

The rest of the year people would come up to me and say “Had a nice trip?” All in good fun of course and we’d all have a laugh, even now the epic fail still sometimes comes up.

Hey, we all have tripped up right?

What happens in life when we fall down in front of everyone, sometimes we feel like everyone is on the side watching us as we fall, make a mistake or have an epic fail. 

I know I have had some major slip ups and it was pretty hard for me to get back up again. There are these voices or reminders that come up “had a nice trip”, “remember when”, “you’re not good enough because” but those words and feelings are not from God. 

It’s says in Micah 7:19 “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”

God is so great and so big and so amazing that when we come to him for forgiveness and say “I tripped up and fell” he picks us up, wipes us off and throws that sin into the depth of the sea!

Ignore those negative voices of condemnation and hold onto Gods grace and love.

With him we can always get back up, learn from our mistakes and continue to move forward in his grace and love! 

So you’re lucky enough to know my weak points.

Why does it seem that people are able to talk about someone they hardly know so well but those close to them are full of weaknesses?
It’s actually a privilege to know someone’s weakness. We often can see someone’s good points very fast, it’s almost like they are highlighted to us and as we get closer we see that this person is full of blemishes. 
If someone knows me very well and they choose to be my friend and love me despite my imperfections then I’ve just found a good friend.
What we choose to do with our overall knowledge of this person is where the level of friendship and Gods love comes in.
Do we choose to shine light on this persons strengths to others or do we tell others what we have observed or know about our friends faults. 
“Oh yes, she’s super generous but she doesn’t know how to save”

“She’s a good singer but she isn’t good at this and this”

“Yeah she’s got a high paid job but she talks about it too much”

What we decide to say shapes other people’s images of our friends and families.
We choose what words come out our mouth and what we choose to say to others. 
I want people to find out that I have been taking behind their back but in a good way, shining light on their good points and speaking life about them. 

How amazing if someone finds out you have been talking about them and they say “wow she really said that about me” and instead of feeling hurt they are feeling uplifted and empowered. 

There is no perfect person, no perfect family, no perfect church, job, husband or wife. The closer you get you will know and see the amazing and not so amazing parts and it’s a privilege to see those things.

Let’s choose to shine and give life to people, whether they are in the room or not. Speaking life and love about our relationships. 

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬