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.

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Why I gave up my religion

We walked into the basement of the venue….late, my husband and I got off at the wrong train station and then we walked over 20 minutes to where the church service was being held in Yokohama, Japan. I didn’t really want to go in the first place. I had not been to church properly for over 2 years and my plane ticket to Japan was suppose to be a ticket from people asking where I was on Sunday or if I wanted to go to church this week. Yet, here I was walking in late to a service in the middle of the city in Japan.

That day I gave up my “religion”. The realness of Why we were there and Why I had felt such a draw to Japan was in this very moment. As soon as I walked in the room with band playing, my heart felt home. And I knew THIS IS WHY. I had crossed the open sea and God was waiting for me.

Religion comes in a lot of forms. I think as a Christian I have to be careful that I don’t fall under the mistake of following a religion but living my beliefs and realities with Christ. Growing up knowing “right and wrong” and just trying to live right won’t be enough, and we will always eventually fail and feel guilty, instead I started pursuing Christ, reading his word, discovering what He wanted for me, acting out of obedience and love to what I thought was my next step towards greatness and every time falling more and more in love with Jesus and less and less with “Religion”.

It’s not about following “rules” (religion) but about following Jesus (life). God doesn’t want us in pursuit of following rules and doing everything perfect, He wants us to discover his huge love and passion for us no matter where we are at and from that everything else will follow.  I wasn’t sharing Christ with others because I had to, but because I wanted them to discover him. I wasn’t showing up early  to set up at church because someone expected me to, but because it was a privilege and I was excited to, I wasn’t reading my bible and worshiping God to tick it off my list but to genuinely hear from Him. The church is suppose to be there for us to gather around our passion for Jesus and how He can transform lives, don’t go to show face, don’t go to make yourself “fell good”. Go to discover, go to be around people who will build you up, go to build up others, and number one find your relationship with Christ, worship, read his word and don’t be afraid of failing but be ready to fall in Love all over again, because there is nothing more refreshing that new love.

What an incredible journey, adventure and fun I have with Christ. Discovering everyday a little bit more of what he has in store. Even now I find myself looking ahead with great anticipation and expectant to see more happen in my life. It is sweet and beautiful and sometimes scary, but  living with Christ is the best and surely when I gave up my “religion” and started a full on pursuit for Christ, everything became more fruitful and I didn’t just grow fuller but my fruit could help others too.

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

You have the power

The other day we were having a pretty radical talk about the power of one person.

Growing up I saw two extremes. My mum transformed by a real experience with God, and then the ugliest end of the scale with my Dad. A lot of what I remember in childhood is a combination of church and the amazing love of Jesus, and then police stations and jail visits.

But what is powerful and wonderful and so so good, is that because of my Mums experience with Jesus she changed the generations. My son can fully and deeply know Gods love because of her, he will not know jail visits, he will not know the ugly. And, because I have chosen Jesus, I have the power to change the generations with every single children’s church class I teach and every person that I can share Jesus’ love with.

My husbands Father came to know Jesus. It did not just impact him. The power of that one decision rippled and roared into his whole family, Mother, Father, sisters, brothers, nephews, nieces, And of course my husband. The truth of God’s love piercing the hearts of our kids and ours to come.

It is the power that Jesus loves us deeply and widely, more than anything or anyone we could ever know. His power lives in us and his spirit breaths life into our souls.

Whatever has happened in your past, no matter what family history. It could be perfect but empty, full of broken relationships, alchohol, abuse, addiction, anger, hurt….

No matter what, God can come in.

God can take anything and anyone and in one moment change history because of one person. I am the one. You are the one. You can impact the one and we together can impact the generations just by a conversation, a prayer or a gesture of love flowing out of the realness of Gods love.

Never underestimate the power in you and what Jesus can do through you.

Hello big ears.

When I was at primary/elementary school I was playing a game in the playground, when one of the boys said to me “You have big ears and ugly eyebrows”. I don’t think I even reacted to him and I just kept playing the game. After that I had this complex thinking my ears were huge! I left my hair out, it was long and then one of my teachers told me I had to tie my hair up…I cut it all off so I wouldn’t have to show my ears.

When I got my hands on some tweezers I pretty much pulled of my entire eyebrows. This was years later.

I remember once my teacher saying that his wife had a really amazing voice but once a bitter old woman said something nasty about her singing and she never sang again.

There are so many voices are out there to destroy our confidence and self worth. Something meaningless and small slipping in and making us afraid or self conscience of something we didn’t even know we could.

It doesn’t matter how old or how young we are, we can all be susceptible to hearing “voices” which do not gain any benefit for our future and definitely no great fruit for our lives.

Be the voice of encouragement that pushes people up to shine, believe what God says about you and your value, that he made you and thought of you before the creation of this world…and no he doesn’t make mistakes, He has gifted you.

Words have the power to bring life or death.

What words are we speaking? Are they being life to people or the opposite?

What words are we believing?

Let go and ask God to set you free from any false words that you have believed because Gods spirit brings freedom. And having freedom means being healed and able to run and become all we are supposed to be.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

If you need it, here is a quick prayer for you to ask God to help you today.

“Thank you God for creating me, help me to see and discover all you have for me and those around me. Holy Spirit have your way in my life, heal me and take away negative beliefs from the past so I can live in true freedom! In Jesus name AMEN”

My toilet moment

It was my last Sunday in Japan. I had cried more in the last month than I think I had in my whole life. How rich and vast were the friendships I had made and how much God had transformed our life in our church and in this beautiful country over the years. There was brokenness, stress and sadness to leave because we love Japan so much. God had told us it was time for the next season and of course we would follow.

I went to church as usual and burst out crying when trying to pray with everyone before church….agh, how was I going to lead worship? Sometimes I would get a little teary normally just worshiping but How weird and awkward would it be if the worship leader said “Welcome to church” and then cried ugly tears the entire praise and worship set.

I went to the toilet before the service started and I said “I need your help, I can’t do this without you” there and then I felt a warm strength like God was wrapping his arms around me and holding me “I Got you”.

As we started Worship it stayed and got stronger, we had a powerful, joyous, fun and magnificent time lifting up the name of Jesus! It was the best!

Who would have thought that God would powerfully touch my life in the toilet lol

But you know, God is not limited to a place, he is a big glorious God who will move if we just say the words “I need you”

Whether it be in the car, toilet, shower, shop, church, friends house and whatever situation you may be in don’t be afraid to ask for His help, His love and His power in your life, Because God is big and He’s got you.

Don’t be fooled

There’s a common thing that happens to surfers when we go out into the sea, after checking the surf, we paddle out and then while waiting for a set of waves to roll in, looking down to our left or right and the waves look like they are breaking better and more frequantly, If we paddle down and look where we just were, guess what? The waves look like they are breaking better and more frequently there! If you’re not careful you can end up spending your time paddling to and from and just wishing you were at either place!

I have to remind myself in that situation not to be fooled, which is sometimes so hard.

Quite often if I am patient the waves will come to me or it’s just an illusion that it’s better either side of me.

Hello, real world. What about our life situations?

We may feel when we look to the left or to the right at someone’s else’s life or on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagra, other families , lifestyles that life would be better “somewhere else” or our situation would be so much more fulfilling doing what “someone else is doing”.

The thought “if only” will kill your joy and ability to enjoy life where you are at.

If only I had a partner who was like this.

If only I had this thing.

If only I lived in that country.

If only I had a family like that.

If only I had more money.

If only I had more time.

If only I was taller, smarter, funnier, more talented.

Then I would be happy.

Setting goals and pushing forward towards your best is such a great and powerful thing to do, but it is also important to learnt how to find joy and happiness where you are now, enjoying being patient, achieving things, being content with what you have, because unless we learn how to be able to be filled with joy where we are at now there is no job, no partner, no place, no material thing, that will make you find it because it comes from within.

Enjoy your place now.

Enjoy your relationships now.

Enjoy where you are at in your life now.

Be content and see how much it can transform your life!

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.”

‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I called him a liar

Though I am and always have been a bit of a joker and somewhat lighthearted person, I struggled with the battle of trying to define who I was by other peoples thoughts of me.

I really believed that what and who I was could be shaped by how others perceived me. When you do this, it pretty much makes your life a bit a of an unstable mess.

Managing feelings of not being good enough, to the feeling of being a champion over and over.

Am I valuable because others say so?

Am I beautiful because others think so?

Am I special because of my surroundings.

No.

One day something just clicked. I was sick of being ruled from the outside, fake thoughts and untrue ideas of myself and said “Devil you are a liar”

They are lies.

The truth is. God sees our worth, it’s worth his son living and dying for us.

God thought us through, before the start of creation. God made us unique and special, with the ability to develop the passions and gifts he has placed inside.

Being true to who God has created us to be is the ultimate way to live.

How can we live a purpose and successful life if we are trying to walk in shoes that do not fit.

Actions that I took to make change in how I could live this life true and real was this:

* Making sure I have God time, reading His word to see what He has to say to me.

* Unfollowing or choosing not to be around people who seem critical of others.

* Choosing how I speak about myself and others.

* What music am I listening to?

* What am I watching?

* Who am I listening to?

* What do I focus my thoughts and energy towards?

Being purposeful about how I live.

Awesome thing about breathing and living is that it’s a continual discovery, journey and decision to live in Gods best and be all he wants me to be and the closer we move towards His ways and who He is we can overcome any lies that we have believed in the past.

I know many people struggle with the same thing and I pray we all discover Gods value on us over and over again because he has made us all beautiful in His sight and we can walk His ways in the shoes best fitted for us.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬