Like what you read?

Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Tuesday, 29 April 2014!

When your heart stops a beat…butterflies in your stomach…the smile that hits your face when you get that message…Ah romantic love!

This is the type of love that the world tells us we need to feel complete…

This is the type of love the world tells us to set our hearts upon and not give up on…

This is the type of love that we’re told to strive to find during our short time here on earth…

This is the type of love that song writers pen about and compose sonnets that win awards on…

The sad truth is our western world is stunted because of this marketable un-truth.

Yes, sure romantic love is great and can blossom into a deeper committed life-long love…but ask anyone who has been married for a long time and they will tell you that patience, determination and forgiveness has accompanied this life-long deep love.

What the world doesn’t tell young people today, is that people are fallible and all of our loving human relationships only dimly mirror the true relationship one can have with God through Jesus Christ…for He is love Himself.

If you believe that human love is all you will need to feel complete…you will discover even if you are in a truly loving committed relationship that you will still not be truly satisfied…for we were created to be in relationship with God before any other.

If you set your heart foremost upon finding a loving partner above a relationship with God, believing the fear promoted lie of life’s short and you’re running out of time…there is a great possibility that you will actually remain single…believing that your purpose is to find the ‘one-true-love’.

We were actually made to love and worship God first and foremost.

What about you parents?  Do you tell your kids this?

Don’t mean to be harsh here, rather realistic…because what if your child doesn’t grow up to find someone they want to spend the rest of their life with, and believes that they are then somehow inferior to others…

What if all they’ve been fed is romantic tales from Walt Disney and not theological biblical truths about their worth to God as an individual lovingly created by Him?

I want to leave you with something  to ponder…a VERY famous romantic love song sung by Celine Dion, ‘Because you loved me’.

These are some of the un-realistic lyrics that have been proposed to be love from another human being…now ponder these lyrics and tell me if this is the reality for most people’s human loving relationships?

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful, baby

You're the one who held me up, Never let me fall
You're the one who saw me through, Through it all
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am, Because you loved me, ooh, baby

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love, I had it all
I'm grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe, I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because, I was loved by you
I'm everything I am, Because you loved me

You were always there for me, the tender wind that carried me
The light in the dark shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration, through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

Do you think it’s true these lyrics could be of a person?
Perhaps a fictional movie character?

But what if I asked you to reconsider these lyrics with Jesus in mind?  Our God who became a human being in order to reconcile us to Him…Just have a ponder and read this…

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you bring to my life
For all my sin that you forgave
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I'll be forever thankful, Jesus

You're the one who’s held me up, even when I’ve fell
You're the one who seen me through, Through it all
You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn't speak
You were my eyes when I couldn't see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn't reach
You gave me faith 'cause you believed
I'm everything I am, Because you love me, ooh, Jesus

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touch my hand and I can touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You say nothing is too hard for you
You stand by me and I stand tall
I have your love, I have it all
I'm grateful for each day you give me
Maybe, I don't know that much
But I know this much is true
I am blessed because, I am, loved by you
I'm everything I am, Because you love me

You are always there for me, the tender wind that carries me
The light in the dark shining your love into my life
You've been my inspiration, through the lies you were the truth
My world is a better place because of you

Now isn’t this a love worth passing on?  For it is the true meaning of life…for both the single and partnered!

In love, Melanie J

Just in case you don't know this song here is a clip...

Sunday, 27 April 2014


I am dedicated to Jesus because He is dedicated to me…

God gave me this declaration of who I am today in church…

I am a words person and this beautiful phrase came into my mind during a silent reflection time in church this morning and for me, it is a very powerful one.

An expression of why I am dedicated first and foremost to Jesus Christ is something which can be difficult to explain to others…

My dedication can be difficult I think sometimes for others to understand.  I can understand this because before I was born again in Jesus, I struggled with people who were dedicated to Jesus in their lives…I just didn’t GET it!

I mean to explain something that has happened to you that is invisible, yet so personally tangible is difficult.  So I say to you today,

I am dedicated to Jesus because He is dedicated to me.

It’s not something I have done out of my own strength, or continue to do out of sheer will power alone…I have been forever changed from the inside out and it’s not because of any other reason than God is good!

God extends His gracious invitation for forgiveness and restoration to Him to everyone through Jesus Christ…all we need to do is accept.

We accept by praying to God, asking Him to forgive us, cleanse us and change us forever to become His child through Jesus Christ and to be reborn through His perfect Holy Spirit.

This is how we become born-again, changed forever…dedicated to God.

I am dedicated to Jesus because He is dedicated to me.

Scripture says that we love, because God first loved us.  God is the beginning and the end…He is love and is the eternal source of love and all that is good.

He is continually faithful and it is only because of His dedication to me that I in turn can be truly dedicated to Him.

I cannot live a truly committed life dedicated to God without Him…on my own I am too self-seeking…my sinful nature is too strong.  It is His perfect power dwelling in me that gives me the strength to continue to seek Him and His ways, above my own.  I don’t always get this right…but once again it is His dedication to me that corrects me, and keeps drawing me closer to Him and His ways.

I am dedicated to Jesus because He is dedicated to me.

A definition is an exact meaning of a word…yet is can also mean a clear outline, like muscle definition.

So if there was to be a definition of me it would have to contain my dedication to Jesus…for I am indeed now defined by Jesus Christ…yet this lacks the why component…

Even testimonials can be self-promoting in ways and if we are to be truly humble and honest we need to admit that although we came to a point of accepting God’s free gift of salvation to us through Jesus, the love offer was already there, the way for peace with God had already been made, and we are only made free because of His grace.

So who I am now is a new creation in Christ, a woman dedicated to Him in her life because of what He has done and continues to do in my life.

I am dedicated to Jesus because He is dedicated to me.

In love, Melanie.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Accouraging April 2014 - Part 4


For my fourth and final post for the #AccouragingApril series I am focusing upon Jesus’ resurrection because this event is fundamental to the Christian faith.

I think Easter Sunday can be confusing for some non-Christian people, as they don’t know what all the fuss is about…indeed I was once not so sure myself.  I think I knew Jesus was alive and in heaven, but was unsure how that affected me…

The meaning of Jesus’ resurrection for someone unacquainted with scripture can be lost.  So here is a basic explanation of why Christians are so joyous on Easter Sunday...and it’s not solely because their Lord returned from death…It’s because He conquered death for us, and the result of that fact!

You see, Jesus returning from death to life proves that Jesus is God’s promised Messiah, the Saviour of the whole world…Jesus’ resurrection is the proof of God’s promise to us, that when we belong to God through Jesus Christ, we too will rise to eternal life as Jesus has done…our sins deserve death and separation from God who is Holy and Pure…

When we repent of our sins (acknowledge them, say sorry, and ask for forgiveness through Jesus) and then commit our life to following Jesus, we are forgiven and restored to God through Jesus.  Jesus’ death stands in place of the one we deserve.  Jesus, the perfect, one true sacrifice for sin, God’s Holy Lamb, cleanses us from all unrighteousness…

Jesus was the first to rise from death to eternal life and we who love Him will follow!

You know the rainbow sign in our sky…how it represents God’s promise never to destroy the world again by flood?  Well Jesus’ resurrection is our sign of God’s promise to raise us too, to eternal life.

So you see, the resurrection is fundamental to the Christian faith and is why Christians are so joyful on Easter Sunday!

Indeed the resurrection is so powerfully impacting for Christians it should affect their whole life…so here is my reflective application for the resurrection for us Christians.


R – Rejoicing
The resurrection gives us joy and hope even in the most desperate of situations which is why Christians should be the most joyful of all people.  This is NOT to say it isn’t okay to mourn or feel down, but I believe that rejoicing should be a major defining characteristic of Christians.

E – Eternal perspective
The resurrection indeed does give Christians an eternal perspective, one that views life as eternal, not temporal which is so counter-cultural.  This perspective looks to the things that are above, and the life that is to come when Jesus returns doing away with sin forevermore, saving those who are waiting for Him.

S – Spreading the Saving Message
The resurrection is fundamental to the Gospel (the good news which is found in Jesus) – truly I ask you how can a person believe in the Gospel and keep this saving message to themselves?  A Christian should be so grateful for what God has done for them (which no-one deserves) that they want to share this awesome news with others and welcome them into God’s family.

U – Unified
Understanding the resurrection and that we now have peace with God through Jesus should impact us so, that we too want peace with each other.  A unified Church is a powerful message to the world.  Yes other Christians challenge me at times in various ways, and this is not always easy to deal with, but who ever said things worthwhile were easy?  Honestly I need to grow up and be mature, rather than be easily offended and/or sulk…I am not a complete Christian (picture of Christ) on my own…none of us are!

R R – Re-defined Reality
Some people struggle with people they once knew changing.  But this is a powerful testimony to the power of God to bring about change and growth in people that is impossible on their own.  A Christian is changed person from who they once were because they are now re-defined from the inside out in Christ.  This is what ‘born again’ means.  The person has moved from death awaiting them, to eternal life and peace with God…they will not be the same again.  Are you re-defined by Christ?

E – Ever forgiving
This is so hard to do, but is true of a true Christian.  The forgiveness we receive from God we need to extend to others…we cannot grow bitter when resurrection awaits us!

C – Clever
As a Christian you hold the meaning of life…for Jesus truly is The Way, The Truth & The Life…I truly believe He is the answer to all of life’s problems.  Therefore we need to be clever in how we live our life to be faithful to The One we call Lord, and other people we interact with.

T – Trainable
A true Christian must realise that God is so much bigger and smarter than they will ever be.  They therefore must remain humble and teachable…seeking their own growth in Christ and pointing others toward Him to do the same.

I – Inviting
A Christian must be hospitable, pleasant, welcoming and inviting.  Do I really need to expand this one?  I hope not…

O – On fire
A true Christian will be on-fire for the Lord…sometimes their light may grow dim but they can re-spark when they seek Him more.  The eternal perspective the resurrection brings should spark people to live their life, using their gifts for God’s glory.

N – Not self-seeking or boastful
Boastful and power seeking people are self-seeking rather than living for Christ’s glory, and to love His people.  A Christian must realise that they are a part of God’s family and that the Church is not all about them…the resurrection is for all people.

In love, Melanie.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Accouraging April 2014 ~ Part 3

Sacrifice –

Honestly I don’t think that as Christians, we should be any more ‘holy’ during Holy Week, or on Good Friday than other day of the year…however I do think that this church season is a special and wonderful time for personal reflection/contemplation and outreach.

Personally, I am not so sure about people who eat fish on Good Friday rather than red meat, and attend a church service…yet every other day carry on their life in their own strength…

There seems to be so much confusion out in my world about who Jesus is, and what He has done…yet an apathy in regards to finding out any more…and this truly saddens me because there is so much joy that the truth brings…

I remember in Religious Education classes with children, some thought that Jesus died EVERY Good Friday…enduring the cross every year!

As I sit here and reflect upon Good Friday and Jesus’ life, SACRIFICE is the word that comes to mind to describe Jesus’ life as a human being, here walking on our earth…

SACRIFICE the outworking of His love for us…the laying down of His life FREELY for us.

JESUS SAID:“15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”  John 10:15-18, NRSV

Jesus was persecuted and hunted down un-justly, yet He gave up His life freely, He like you and I, had free will, yet still accepted the will of His Father and obeyed.

So if sacrifice is the outworking of love…perhaps obedience is the outworking of faith and trust…which is what we see when we look at Jesus.

Scripture says:And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phill 2:8, NKJ

During the days when Jesus walked here on earth with His disciples, before ascending into heaven for a time before He returns, dying on a Roman cross was utter shame…disgraceful and a terrible end for one’s life…

Yet this public, shameful, disgusting death was the death you and I deserve for our rebellion against God who is Holy and Pure…

Scripture says:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23 NRSV

What love and mercy God has provided for His children…this is the TRUTH that the world and it’s leader, our enemy does not want you to hear!

There is NO salvation from our rebellion, and peace with God through any other means but Jesus Christ – every other so called ‘way’ will tell you about how YOU can do it…

Yes I am serious, if you don’t think I’m right check it out for yourself…the world will try to trick and deceive you into thinking that there are many ways to God and that you can work your way up the ladder so to speak.

No it is only through Jesus Christ…I pray it be said of me, by Him one day that I was faithful to proclaim the truth while I was here on earth.

Have you ever read Issiah 53?

53 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?2  For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,And as a root out of dry ground.  He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

4Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.5  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.6  All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.8  He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation?  For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.9  And they made His grave with the wicked—But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.  When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.  By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53  NRSV

This Easter I am reflecting…if God is love and His love has been shown by sacrifice, and lives in me…am I living a life of loving obedient sacrifice to those around me…not because I can earn my forgiveness or salvation but because of His love in me and from gratitude?

Sometimes as Christians we are despised and rejected because we bear His name…Jesus even warned of this which is recorded in Matthew, Luke and John.

However if obedience is the outworking of faith and trust and leads to sacrifice…what a true testimony to the power of Jesus to heal and change lives this is.
For indeed our lives should reflect His don’t you agree?

Let me leave you with this wonderfully encouraging song, 'I wonder' by Leeland, in love, Melanie.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Accouraging April 2014 ~ Part 2

For this Easter season I am writing 4 reflections upon my life and Easter.

In Accouraging April ~ Part 1 I reflected upon my current personal life challenges which linked to the glorious hope we have as Christians, because of Jesus’ resurrection.  This hope is our firm anchor in life’s storms and is truly a comfort.

During last week I was blessed to have family time and also to settle into my new job.  I found myself focusing upon trying to faithfully serve my family, friends and my new employer.

I had a week of fellowship but also working hard and expending a lot of energy.  Yes serving can be tiring, however I also felt very blessed to be able to humbly serve others with genuine care and without a hidden agenda…

The week made me reflect upon Jesus’ last Passover meal with His disciples before His death and resurrection…the meal where the King of Glory humbled Himself to wash His disciple’s dirty, dusty, weary feet, before they sat to eat.

With this action found here (John 13) Jesus gives us a true example of how to live our lives humbly serving others.  Yes there may be times when we need assistance and to be served, but ultimately this act of genuine, loving service with no ulterior motive that Jesus gave is our benchmark.

With all of His life’s pressures and the impending suffering, Jesus still took the time to patiently, lovingly serve His disciples, giving them the ultimate example they needed to lead humbly committed, godly lives.

I believe we can take wonderful encouragement from Jesus’ love and humility shown in this powerful demonstration.

Jesus taught that to be a true follower of Him, one must take up their own life’s cross…see here; Luke 9:23-27Matt 16:24-28.

Carrying our life’s cross can be difficult but ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD (Luke 1:37) and I have found that taking the time to lovingly serve others, with no hidden agenda, can help us keep our focus upon Him, rather than the weight of our cross…

In love, Melanie :)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Accouraging April 2014 ~ Part 1

This is the first installment of a four part series of my personal lead up to Easter Sunday 2014.  It is also part of a wider blogger challenge.

I do hope that all these Lent/Easter reflections are encouraging for you, as well as me.

As I sit and reflect upon this week…then wider this year…and wider again my life…and yet still wider again eternal life with Jesus, and also this current season of lent leading us towards Easter, I am encouraged thinking of the resurrection that came for Jesus after His trial.

This week has been challenging for me, it has had the trial of beginning a new job.  You probably know how challenging a new job can be…learning new procedures…meeting new people…trying to stop yawning…

Expand that to the previous month which has also been an emotionally trying period.  A season of trying to break an unhealthy cycle with someone, and also bearing the brunt of that decision…

Expand that to the year or two which has seen so many unpredicted and unwanted changes that one could think, hang on where is the encouragement in this…

Yet amongst all of this there has been God, my constant and faithful one.

Even though times can be trying, at Easter we are forced to remember…Jesus…who stood up against all the powers of sin and death and rose again…

His lead up to His resurrection was tough, yes so tough He died.

Even though this week has been challenging, I also have known that this challenge will birth a new season for me…

No, my experience is not the same as what Jesus went through, for He is the Messiah of the whole world…and has risen to eternal glory.

But yet Easter does help me in my struggles.  For I know that Jesus understands my struggles, as He is accustomed to them and endured.  He was and is faithful and is my personal saviour.

I am encouraged when I see glimmers of God’s Kingdom here on Earth, glimmers of my new season approaching, and also when I think of our promised peaceful eternity, with no more sin or heartbreak, that is coming.

In love and encouragement, Melanie :)