Why are you running away?

There is a story in the bible about a man named Jonah. God spoke to him about his next step, Jonah chose to try and run away from God because he didn’t want to embarrass himself. In the end, he got swallowed by a fish, spat out at the place he was meant to go and found out that out of his obedience he saved thousands of men and woman.

I have to admit there have been times I have been challenged to potentially embarrass myself and make myself look super silly and not wanted to. With the question….”What if I pray and they don’t get healed?” or What if I tell them about Jesus and they make fun of me” or one that was at the start challenging and the end always fruitful “What if no one stops to hear us sing”, Yes, all of us I am sure have been put in some sort of position where God is challenging us to step past our doubts or discomfort and realise that He wants to say “What if they get healed?” “What if they decide to follow Jesus?” What if they stop and hear what I have to say?”.

God continues to raise us against our comfort zones to prove He is God and He is bigger than everything and He wants to use us.

When we use to do street live at the train station in Japan to invite people to church, I can tell you it was challenging. But over and over again we met people who wanted to come to church, know God and hear that He created them beautifully, that they matter and that they are loved. I met one girl who stopped because I was just joking around “freestyle rapping” but she saw freedom and joy, because of this moment she came to church,  wanted to know Jesus and now has that joy for herself, going to India on a missions trip and helping those who need it most!

Never underestimate what God wants to do, don’t let fear or embarrassment stop you, don’t run away but see God do something great through you!

 

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You are doing it wrong.

I went to the park with my son who must of been about 1 and a half at the time. We had a small local playground at the end of our street which consisted of two swings and a slide.

Koa really wanted to go on the swing but it had been hitched up so that it could swing higher for bigger kids. I started trying to untangle the swing and get it to come down a few notches, and I just couldn’t do it. After a few minutes a little voice came out from across the park which said “Your’e doing it wrong”. It was a little 5 year old girl who proceeded to show me how to bring the swing back down again.

I just got schooled by a five year old. She knew more than me.

How many times do we feel like we don’t know enough to give something of value to others, or that others may not have enough “experience” to teach us something.

I really learnt that day that I can learn from anyone at any age and I always have something to give this earth that someone needs. No matter what stage of life that they are in.

Don’t limit yourself by looking at others without value, you may just learn something from them, and don’t limit others by holding back what you have inside to give!

Our experiences and lives may all look slightly different and that’s what makes us all important for helping each other out. Remind your kids that, remind yourself that and always be ready to be a student and teacher.

 

1 Timothy 4:12 New International Version (NIV)

12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.

I only have this…. 

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:17-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Oh how many times have I felt like this, being asked to do something or help someone beyond what I feel I have to give. 

In the scripture above Jesus was asking the disciples to feed thousands of people, and in their eyes they wanted to send them away because they “didn’t have enough”.  

Yeah, if I was there I would be thinking the exact same thing….” but we only have this”

When I first started writing this blog weekly this was exactly how I felt. I really want to impact people, share Gods love and lift others up. I was honestly asking myself what platform I could use…I had only limited time, limited resources, limited opportunities to share. I said to Jesus “I only have this, but I give it to you and if it impacts one person that’s enough for me”. It’s been about 8 months now and there’s been over 2000 people who have read something, I have had so many people message or tell me how they have been impacted by the blog, being ready to draw closer to God again, realize their value in him and other stories of healing because I gave what I had to be used. 

Jesus asked the disciples to bring whatever they had and give it to him and when they did he blessed what they gave, they handed it out to the people and there was more than enough.
When we find ourselves saying “I only have this” and give whatever small portion we do have to Jesus, he multiplies it through us. Supplies what others needed but doesn’t leave us without, actually we are left with more than what we started with. 
Whether it be in friendship, sharing Gods word, money, time, resources, prayer or talents, whatever it is that you feel God asking to give to him to bless and help others just do it! Of course what we have is not enough, or else we wouldn’t need faith! 
But with Him we have more than enough. 

Could you imagine yourself impacting one person with what you have….how about thousands? There’s really no limit to what God can do through you! 

Seasons 

As we start to get ready to move from Japan after 5 and a half years of living here it’s made me think a lot about seasons in life. 
So here is some advice for myself and anyone else about seasons and change.

1. Get rid of stuff that is not useful for your next season. At the moment I’m literally throwing out bags of stuff I don’t need. Great things or even holding onto “junk” past problems or unhealthy relationships will stop you from moving forward and getting the most and being the most you can be in your new season.
2. Keep the important and useful. Right now we are preparing to do two months in Bali and then go back to NZ summer, what use would it be if I brought all my winter stuff with me? On the other end of the scale it would be silly not to bring my summer gear or my surfboard. What does that look like with regard to seasons in life? Keeping great knowledge, training and experiences for the new season. Getting rid of the bad, hurts or titles. 
3. You can know the what of the next step but sometimes you may not know the how. How can I afford this? How will I do it? What it will it look like? That’s why the bible says “His words light our path” 

4. Whatever it is you’re doing and whoever you are doing it with, the people you impact is not just for the season you did it in. There can be seeds there that grow for eternity.

5. Trust in God and prepare. Maybe God’s calling you to a new job, a new country, there are changes happening in your family or or workplace. Whatever it is, do your homework and be prepared and then trust God to do the rest. 

We should trust in faith and take action.

5. Walk into the next season intentionally. I know, sometimes we just really want to hold onto summer, it’s like we don’t want to let go but it’s inevitable. So with seasons in our lives.  In Japan there have been many seasons and I remember clearly at one point saying “This is so awesome, the people around us are so awesome, I wish it would stay like this”. But if it did, my friends wouldn’t be married, or have kids, I wouldn’t have a son, others wouldn’t have the opportunities that they do now and of course so many other things I could not imagine at that time! If we held onto and resisted the change.

 6. Wherever you go, show people they are appreciated and loved. It’s a priceless thing and travels over many distances and time lines. 

7. Each season is preparation for the next.

8. With Jesus the best is always yet to come and that is a very exciting way to live! 

“but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”‭‭Psalm‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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

Why I am not enough

I often hear the saying “If you believe in yourself, you can do anything”. Well, that is definitely not true for me. 

I know I have faults, I am not perfect and need a consistent in my life that would help me through my high successes, struggles, decisions and relationships.

I need favor when there is a job interview or a decision that does not rely soley on me.

Trying to just “believe” in myself would only complicate, disappoint and falsify everything that is at work in my life. 

Believing in God and what Jesus has done for me on the cross I then can do life victoriously and do the impossible.
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”‭‭Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭

I am not enough but Jesus is. 
He is enough:To help me to love more.

To show me direction.

To find me favor.

To open doors.

To close doors.

To give me peace.

To give strength.

To take away shame and regret.

To live victorious.

To dream.

To make a way when there seems no way.

To give me hope when hope is lost.

To give me joy.

To give me freedom.

To heal me.

To help me forgive.

To be a better Mum.

To be a better friend.

To be the best wife. 

To comfort me when I am sad.

To rejoice with me when I am happy.

To light my path.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭119:105‬ ‭

Gods words can light the way for each step I take. When it feel like there is darkness all around, He shows me the light and when I feel like there is nothing more in me to give , He pours his love and it overflows onto others. 

With Him all things are possible! 

There is nothing too insignificant or too large for him. 

Not depending on myself but depending on Him!

So if you are feeling like you are not enough…..that is 100% okay, because by yourself you may not be, BUT in Jesus you are more than enough.

I guess I could say “If you believe in JESUS, then you can do anything!”

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:13‬ ‭

Get lifted

When we lift others up we are pulling ourselves up higher. 
As a leader and as a friend I am continually  faced with the choice to either lift someone else up or myself. 
In the natural we may think that if we show the weaknesses of others or find fault in others we will look greater and be elevated higher but the opposite is true. 
Instead of making things seem complex and yourself sounding like “The master of all” Making things simple and breaking things down in a way that others can understand easily is not only going to make people feel impowered but it’s also going to get people excited about trying too! 

As we encourage and talk about the potential, gifts and good works of others and say “I believe in you!” You’re doing great” they get lifted and in turn so do we. 

“When you try and be top dog, you don’t create loyalty. If you don’t can’t give credit, you will drown in your inhibitory to inspire” – John Maxwell 

A leader or friend who gives no opportunities or grants to access for higher chances is like strong man in a boat with a group of people not letting anyone row the boat because he is the strongest. Guess who will get tired? And who will get burnt out? Not the people sitting watching the strong man struggle. If he gives other people chances and individuals who are willing to paddle saying “you can do it” they all move forward and the whole boat benefits, especially the strong man and they all get a sense of achievent together.

I definitely get challenged by this sometimes because I think “I am capable” but so are others! And when people get chances to shine and be rewarded big and small, we all get lifted and taken to a new level of greatness and forfillment as a team! 

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.”‭‭Psalm‬ ‭145:13-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬