Change your angle

We’ve been doing a lot of house renovations this past year, recently we had to change the window latches. I could not for the life of me figure out how to take off the cap. I talked to different people, googled, tried to find a tutorial video and did not come up with an answer. I started trying to pull it and pop the cap out by getting under it with a screw driver. With only a week left until our open home our friend came over, who rang someone who told us to “look under the window”, sure enough there were two screws holding the cap on. My first response was “Why didn’t I look there?”. Something that seemed so obvious now, had left me stumped for weeks.

If only I had changed the angle in which I had looked.

Changing a way that we view a problem can lead us to the solution that we have been looking for so long.

I had someone observe my surfing to see how to improve, one of the first feedback remarks I had was “You are looking just past your feet, look down the line”

The next time I surfed, it totally changed the way I approached and rode the wave because my technique had been wrong for 20 years!

Having some outside perspective on someone who is more experienced and can see from a different angle can change up your way of doing something that can change up your game or totally rewrite the destiny of whatever you are doing.

We may bring “looking just past our feet” when it comes to something we need to overcome but really what we should be doing is looking “down the line” or the bigger picture.

When we were in Japan one of our biggest and hardest challenges was finding appropriate venues to run church out of. We would often do walks around certain areas, ask around and google search for something that would work.

After doing this for months and months we had felt like we had seen and knew every venue in our area that could even be a possibility. Then, one of our awesome leaders decided to think outside the box and use words that we hadn’t thought of in google search….guess what we found? Some of our best venues!

Different words. What have we been speaking over situations that are keeping us short of the best for our lives?

What would happen if we starting approaching situations in our daily lives at work, as parents, at school, in our relationships in a different way?

If something isn’t working and you feel stuck in a problem here are some question that might help.

Have you looked at it from every angle?

Have you talked to God and someone with knowledge about that area?

Have you been you been looking in the right area and speaking the right words over your situation?

Problems are always a way to either be defeated or to grow.

God wants us to grow, to learn and to see different perspectives in our challenges rather than be defeated.

And we overcome, whether big or small. We can celebrate the little or great victory of the challenge The was placed before us.

Face the challenges, look at it from every angel, get outside scoop and speak new over it.

“The challenges we face today, are the victories we see tomorrow”

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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.

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