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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Living Boldly for Christ!

Faith without action is dead…We find this appeal in the epistle of James, chapter two.  The emphasis on good deeds by James has been debated against, with the argument that we are justified by faith alone and not by our works –because, you see, James asks us, how can one be justified by a faith that has no good deeds?

This blog is not intended to be an in-depth theological one – never has been, and I don’t intend it to be…rather more of a place to begin thought, discussion, for encouragement and exhortation to live a faithful Christian life.  So if you would like to know more about the above mentioned debate read some commentaries on James and this chapter.  I am NOT looking to get into that debate here, as quite frankly I don’t really see the big deal being made over James, and get tired with people wanting to constantly debate individual parts of scripture – I find it contentious. 

What I will say is that yes, I agree that we are justified by faith alone and that I don’t believe James is arguing contrary.  When we read James, the whole epistle urges us to live a faithful life, and I do not find this any different to other scriptures by St. Paul and others which urge us to live a faithful life to The Lord, offering ourselves as a daily sacrifice.  

So why is faith without action dead?

Well to begin it may not be totally dead…I hear this assertion as a logical conclusion of what may well happen when a Christian is complacent in their faith, rather than actively living to share it with others; as I believe the epistle of James is an exhortation.  And I also wonder about a person’s depth of faith if they are not active in it, eager to share God’s love with others, and bearing fruit of God’s love and Kingdom.  We also need to acknowledge the very real possibility of hurts deeply impacting people which can then affect their level of commitment and deeds.

I will not assert that people cannot have their own personal, private relationship with The Lord…for indeed I believe this is where the Christian relationship begins…yes we may well hear about Jesus through other people, and be impacted by the way they live their lives faithfully, but this will not replace our own personal decision which happens between ourselves and God – and can happen anywhere!  My re-birth happened in a hotel room with God, me and a Holy Bible…it was after this that I began going to church.

But I do firmly believe that there is no such thing as a secret Christian, or that we are ever required to be an individual Christian.  Secret Christians in countries where they can be persecuted for their faith, still meet with other Christians in private places.  We are all individuals, gifted individually, yet never fully…we need the other members of the body of Christ to speak into our lives as well as scripture.

I had someone say to me once, ‘I was like you once, a long time ago…so eager!’

It broke my heart, for I thought, as someone who came to faith earlier than me, they should be even more mature in the faith and able to pass it on.  I ask you, shouldn’t they be even more firm in their faith having had ‘eyes to see’ longer and be bearing fruit?  I also know that this person does not fellowship and hasn’t done for a long time…

The analogy of the hot coal from the fire being separated from the others going cold I believe is the perfect one, for when we try to be individual Christians.  I think this is when we mostly see faith without action.

For church is the place where I have found, I am able to be a Christian in His community.  It is through church that I have been able to serve the saints as scripture advises, be encouraged and encourage others, worship corporately and receive Holy Communion…being strengthened to then go forth, and faithfully live the rest of the week for Him!  It is in church that I am able to grow alongside the mature, faithful Christians, and have an active, living faith.

An active, living faith is exactly what I believe James, Chapter two is talking about and also other scriptures which urge us to lead a life worthy of God’s calling upon us.

For I ask you…how can one believe the Gospel and then keep it private?

How can one have the love of God living inside them and then not give it?

Another point I have heard raised is, ‘but I don’t want to pressure people.’

But I ask you, is there really such a thing as a silent Christian?  Yes we can demonstrate love without words, but we also do so with our conduct and there are many opportunities for us in our daily lives to acknowledge Christ to others.

How difficult is it to say, ‘I respect your opinion but as a Christian I have a different view’?

Or, ‘I’m sorry but I’m not into that because of my faith.’?

It is DIFFICULT to be a Christian here where I live today…I acknowledge this.  Especially as one expressing their faith actively as James urges to do, along with other scriptures AND Jesus Himself commissions us to do!  The world will call you a ‘Jesus Freak’ or try to dissuade you by saying things like… ‘You don’t need to do that (fill in the blank) to be a Christian!’

I appreciate this is a longer post for me.  So I will say no more, but rather ask you a question to ponder…Do I express my faith in Christ actively in my life and am I encouraging others to do so?  If you feel you're needing to grow in this area, please pray to God for His direction.

In love, Melanie.

I will leave you with this song by Chris Tomlin, 'I will follow'.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Counting the cost...

Counting the cost for bearing His name
            Sometimes it’s laughter or ridicule, no worldly acclaim,

Yet it can be subtle, no obvious offence
            Being different, outspoken, one who is blessed.

Family and friends, a stranger or foe
            Their words know no bounds, they all have a go,

They pull and they pressure, trying to distract
            Yet sadly we know, it’s an enemy attack.

The life of a Saint, can be a lonely road
Yet He does provide others, to help carry the load,

If they can only be counted, on one hand alone
            Don’t despair they are valuable, like precious stone.

And we mustn’t forget, that no matter how bleak
            His strength can shine through, even when we are weak,

For we are children of the One God, Most High
            And soon He will return, majestic in the sky.

His angels sent out, will gather His sheep
            And we need to be ready, not fallen asleep,

His reward He will give, faithful and true
            A gift of the Earth, been made anew.

So make up your mind, to stay close to Him
            For there’s no other way, even when the world’s dim,

Remaining faithful’s a powerful testimony
            It bears witness to one, who was never a phoney.

On the days that you find, the going is rough
            Count it a blessing, it proves you are tough,

For Jesus was sadly, rejected by the world
            His love and life, away He was hurled.

While He was here, He did assure us this
            Being His true follower, would not be all bliss,

Take up your cross, He gave His advice
            Before giving His all, even His life.

Counting the cost for bearing His name
            Is something I’ve found, is not a game,

People may walk, so far away from you
            But to reject Jesus, is something we must NEVER do!

In love Melanie.

Let me leave with this awesome song, 'How He loves Us' for encouragement.

Friday, 25 July 2014

There is a time...

There is a time to be bold, to speak the truth in love,
          Being real, authentic, and unchanging,

Yet when we’re feeling weary, despondent, and worn,
          Not sure if we’ve breath for singing.

It is good, and right, and sure, to find refuge in our Lord,
          Forever loving, reassuring, and forgiving,

While the battle rages on, we can take some time away,
          Under His wings, protection finding.

For His love it is unchanging, not based upon our efforts,
          Steadfast, immoveable, amazing,

As children of The King, we need time with our Father,
          To grow more like Him, it is founding.

So I say to you this day, do not feel guilt or shame,
          Resting with Him is renewing,

Do not be broken down, for the battle's already won,
          It is good news we are proclaiming.

Yet it is so very true, our days can be just rough,
          Exhausting, degrading, attacking,

Our world it is not right, indeed brokenness abounds,
          Yet Jesus’ returning, it is approaching.

Remember peace is not for heaven alone, eternity begins now,
          For us, His children, unchanging,

So find rest for your weary soul, with the source of true love,
          Today, tomorrow, unending.

In Love, Melanie.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Whose side are you on?

It seems today there is terror everywhere…

War, famine, pestilence, disease, natural disasters, terrorism…

Hurt, suffering, affliction, persecution…

And what do we hear the most of?

Statements like, ‘I’m with this side…and the rest of you are stupid idiots.’

‘We MUST fight.’

‘Those people are barbaric!’

‘What else do you expect?’

‘Keep them out of our country!’

Social media seems to be bombarded at the moment with fear raising propaganda, fueling one side’s purposes, creating a ‘justification’ while ignoring the cries of many, and it seems we are bring forced into choosing sides...even as Christians.  There seems to be a pressure to stand with a particular political party these days, over standing with the oppressed and proclaiming the Gospel which is TRUE hope to our desperate world.

I do believe that we are in the end times which Jesus spoke of.

As to how long these last days will go on for, only God knows.

I have heard people say, ‘life has always been this way…it’s just we never used to hear about it before.  There have always been natural disasters and wars and so forth.’

And while I understand this reasoning, I also am confronted with Jesus’ words He spoke in relation to the end days…for He said ‘You will hear’…and indeed I do hear.  Here I sit in my rural Australian town, with a population of less than 2,000 people, and yet I hear day after day, of terrible events happening all over the world via the internet.  I DO HEAR.

These days are difficult.

These difficult days lead to questions like, ‘Why isn’t God intervening?  Why hasn’t Jesus returned yet? Does God care?  What should our Christian response be?  Whose side am I on anyway?’

The only true place I find comfort these days, is with God, in His Holy Scriptures.

It is by pressing deep into scripture that I see God’s heart, and the grand narrative of our history and I find my response.  For if I solely focus on the propaganda and the fearful ‘warnings’, I become frail, and can lose sight of the one immoveable truth – which is our HOPE through Jesus Christ – THE GOSPEL – or the 4 R’s – Repentance, Re-birth, Reconciliation and Resurrection to eternity.

A scripture which has come to mind recently, is Luke 9:60:
‘Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."

We are not to be insensitive, we are to let people mourn and bury their dead, but our PURPOSE is to proclaim the Gospel.  As Christians we all have been given our commission, to proclaim repentance and forgiveness in Jesus’ name, by the power of the Holy Spirit, then to baptise and make disciples!  We are commissioned to go forth and do this everywhere in the world…no matter what persecution we may face, and to take courage from the fact the Jesus goes with us, always.

The truth is GOD does CARE.

He is patiently waiting for the full number of His children to hear His good news and respond.  Then He will return, and deal with our world, so that He can re-establish it without sin and corruption for His children.  God promises to wipe every tear from our eyes, and He never breaks a promise.

Yet we know how hard it can be to wait.

God does know how difficult it is for us to wait ~ this is why we are allowed to pray like the psalmists, ‘How long Lord?’ and we are encouraged to pray ‘Come Lord Jesus!’, as in Revelation.

It is difficult to wait when we don’t see as God does.  It helps me to remember, His thoughts are not the same as mine, and that He sees all of time, unlike me.  So I choose to NOT be swayed by fear, anger and lies, and I choose to TRUST Him.

I trust Him and His word.  For He is UNFAILING!

I also know that He trusts us!  Amazing, I know…but He does trust us, to follow His command to proclaim the Gospel in His LOVE…for He said this is how we will be known as His disciples, by our love.  We are called to love the un-loveable and asked to pray for those who persecute us.

So we must not lose sight of the fact that when we become God’s children, we partner with our Father in His ministry of reconciliation.  Like the eldest son of the land owner who runs his dad’s business…We become God’s voice, smile, arms, hands and feet. We ARE His representatives.

So as for me…I know whose side I’m on and it’s simply, Jesus’.

Jesus died for all people and truly wants all people to be saved…and yes, this includes the Muslims and terrorists, ANY person in fact.  I am forced to ask myself, what makes another person’s sin any worse than mine, from which I have been forgiven?  And remember that if He can save me, He can save anyone. 

Who am I to exclude people in my own mind, deciding if someone is ‘fit’ to hear the Gospel?  We must REMEMBER Peter’s words that God does not play favourites…He is not a respecter or persons…in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him (Acts 10:34-35).

So if someone was to ask you, ‘Whose side are you on anyway?’  What would you say?

Let me leave you with these words from Jesus, 
from Matthew 24:3-14.

‘3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah!’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
“Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. 10 Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come.’


Wednesday, 23 July 2014


Me amongst the tombs in Hierapolis, Pamukkale, Turkey. 
Angels were given a brief mention in our sermon at church on Sunday because of their role as God’s servants during the end times.  The sermon was on the end-time parables Jesus told.

The mention of angels prompted a man at the end of our service, to share some encounter stories.  This man has a heart for The Lord and his stories were to make clear that God does send His messengers…

There is a focus on angels still around today which actually can be worrying.  I have even heard of a Christian person having a sort of ‘shrine’ to angels in their own home.

We need to remember clearly that angels are messengers and servants of The Lord.

Indeed The Lord sent His angels to free Peter free in Acts 12.

We also need to heed the warning in Colossians which clearly states:
‘Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.’ Col 2: 18-19 (ESV)

And remember that satan can disguise himself as an angel, see 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Colossians 2:18-19 is clear that Jesus is our head – He is the head of the Church of which we are members of the ONE body.  Also see, Romans 12: 4-5 and 1 Corinthians 12: 12-19.

As Christians we worship the one true God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit…not His messengers/servants.

I had an encounter once, that left me thinking I had been given a message from God via one of His messengers…I will share it with you today.  It’s not something I’ve focused a lot on, or that I’ve spoken a lot about because for me it's just a small part of my journey towards Christ...and whether or not this encounter was with an angel of The Lord, only God knows for sure.

I was in my early 20s and living my life running away from The Lord.  I was living and working at the time in Queensland, Australia…This was a very rebellious period of my life where I intentionally turned my back on The Lord, and kept making one poor choice after another.

One day I was working in a shop serving customers and it was a very busy period, with people queued up waiting for my service.   Suddenly a young man entered the small, rectangular shop and as he approached I looked up as per usual.  The young man stopped when I looked up, and asked me a direct question, ‘Do you know what the time is?’

Now this may seem like an ordinary encounter or experience, and indeed it seemed so to everyone else in the small shop who looked to their wrists for the time.  Yet this encounter was far from usual from my perspective.  For when I looked up at this young man and heard his question, all I saw was amazing, radiating beauty.  To me this young man was so beautiful, I was unable to answer or do anything much.  I was pretty much instantly awe struck and could not help but stare.  I had never seen a male so beautiful in my life and I can’t really say handsome, for he was so much more; he was unlike a usual person...But this did seem to only be my perception.
Interestingly however, the young man did not wait for an answer; he had an urgent, yet calm manner and quickly left the shop.  Had not there been the line of customers needing my attention, I am sure I would have literally ran out of the store after him to see where he went, I was so captivated by him.

It was a tad bizarre he didn’t wait a bit longer for someone to perhaps give him the time…Yet, the whole encounter was surreal and his urgent, purposeful manner and briefness, added to what I believe was the message.

You see, what struck me was the phrase, ‘Do you know what the time is?’

He did not ask, ‘Do you have the time?’

When reflecting upon this experience and being a words person, I felt this encounter was a personal message for me, from God…

For it seemed I was the only person in the shop who was privy to this young man’s radiant beauty, and he asked me directly, if I knew what the time was and left without really needing an answer…

It seemed, the message was delivered, so he left....his job was done!

During this period of my life I was in rebellion; running as fast as I could away from The Lord…yet I believe He still reached out at this particular time to me…


For me, this encounter was an urgent appeal like the scripture which says:
…Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.  (Ephesians 5:14)

God was reaching out to me...He was calling me, His rebellious daughter, back to His loving embrace.

It was actually still much later; around seven years until I did indeed return to Christ…but after I did, I realised even though I had turned my back upon Him, He had never upon me and had actually reached out to me on many occasions...Just like this one...

As I said whether or not this young man was an angel or not, I believe only The Lord knows for sure…But regardless, God did use this encounter to pull at my heartstrings and speak to me.  Oh how patient and kind He is!

Have there been times in your life where He has so graciously spoken to you, in a way that may be difficult to explain to others – in a way where you know what happened was more than a simple coincidence perhaps?
Has God been pulling at your heartstrings recently?

If so, I would encourage you to respond to Him ~ arise from your slumber and live in the light of Christ there is no greater joy than this!

In love, Melanie J

Monday, 21 July 2014

It's a mad, mad world...

When I awoke earlier, I felt nauseous from a vivid dream and was relieved to see the calm, peaceful surroundings of my bedroom…

Yet the image of the 'giant wheel' wasn’t going away easily, so I laid there for a while thinking about my dream.

I have always been an active dreamer but it’s only occasionally that I experience really vivid ones.  I usually don’t struggle to understand my dreams; when I contemplate them the meaning becomes quite clear, even if vivid and challenging.  Yet today is the first vivid dream I am blogging about.

In this dream, I was who I am today.  There were even people from my life there with me.  I was studying ministry and was trying to live my life walking alongside others.

But in my dream I was lonely.

There seemed to be many people around me, even Christians, who were living for their own desires first and foremost.

Subtle things like work, money, friendship, and then more obvious things like lust or alcohol seemed to be their main priorities rather than reaching others with the gospel. 

I was very sad and ended up walking away.

I walked away from these people and entered into a very large city square.  I saw many people of different genders, races and ages jamming themselves into an open cage.   Young or old they were all part of a huge contest that the world was offering.

Then my view took in all of a giant wheel.  This wheel was GIANT.  It was giant, like the Melbourne Star observation wheel, see here.  But the wheel was also like a giant mouse toy, as the people were to propel the wheel into motion by their movement.

Mesh wire separated the cage’s sections yet there was no outer barrier; the wheel was open, people could easily fall out to their death…but this was the competition you see…the last person to survive won the fame and fortune on offer.  I remember being very alarmed when I saw one contestant, a young mother in the wheel, taking her place with her infant bound to her body...even the children were not safe and their lives were at risk too.

This was not just a once offer though, there were numerous chances to enter the wheel competition.  There were onlookers holding decapitated hands of their loved ones who had tried in an earlier round…yet bizarrely they still looked on in HOPE for their other loved ones who had scored a chance to enter.  You see, the wheel was well organised, it was very professionally ran and not everybody had a chance at the same time.  One could only enter if there name came out on a list.  

The propaganda being spoken over the loud speaker was alarming…

I remember seeing the list full of names and being relieved that my name was not on it, then being asked a question from God; “What would you do if your name was on it?”

I replied that I would make a stand by being different and NOT taking the ‘opportunity’ the world was offering…

What a mad, mad world it was in my dream.

Yet is this very different to reality?

When thinking about the dream the scripture which came so loudly to me was this:

‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’  Mark 8:36 King James Version.

In love, Melanie.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Patience is a Virtue...

Patience is a gift from God that as Christians we should desire and ask Him for, if we are lacking it.

Yet today, patience seems to be an out-dated virtue, sadly missing within our fast, ready-to-go, modern cultures and yes, even from Christians.

Christians who complain if sermons extend longer than ten minutes.

Christians who curse children with awful names, due to their own impatience.

Christians who cause a scene if they have to wait longer than expected times.

Christians who take their love life into their own hands, rather than waiting upon The Lord.

Christians who dive straight into something without praying first and waiting for a response.

The world says to us, ‘Want it now?  Why wait?  Go and get it!’

Yet God says things like:
‘Be still and know that I am God.’ see Psalm 46:10
‘Be content in all circumstances.’ see Philippians 4:11-13
‘Be of good courage, wait upon The Lord.’ see Psalm 27:14
‘Those who wait upon The Lord shall renew their strength.’ Isaiah 40:31
‘Be patience for I am coming soon.’ see James 5:7-8

As Christians we need to remember that God is patience, and we are to be continually transforming more and more into the likeness of Christ!

Do we actually stop to consider the dangers of impatience?
Here’s just a snippet to get you thinking…
Re-bound Relationships
Wasted time pursuing our plans rather than God’s
Missed opportunities to share the Gospel
Less self-control
Impatient, selfish children
Anger, Rage, Sin

I am not going to tell you what to do with your life OR that I am ALWAYS patient…

Rather, I hope to make you stop and pause more so from now on, seeking The Lord’s will, rather than acting impulsively.  For when we don’t stop and take a breath, we can often dive into things which we later regret…

Remember some advice we’re given is NOT always from The Lord – even if it is a Christian person offering it.  Therefore, if you don’t have PEACE about a situation DON’T act!  Seek Him more about it.  One more day or a few won’t make a difference, truly.

There are so many dangers in our fast paced, self-seeking societies, and remember enemy will try to distract you from God’s good plan anyway he can – Be warned!

I know what it is like to WAIT…I really do…and I know how difficult this can be.

But please let me encourage you by saying that when we do chose to put The Lord first and wait, rather than reacting, we grow in His good gift of patience.  It may only be some time later, when we look back, that we SEE His hand at work in making us wait!

Be Patient!

In His service, Melanie…

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Christian Persecution...

Inspired by Casting Crowns, lyrics from 'I know You're there'.
Persecution, none of us like it…

For who would seriously enjoyed being outcast, degraded, ridiculed, hurt, threatened and so on?

Persecution can vary from country to country and even within cultures.

More recently I have faced some persecution for proclaiming the Gospel.  I even found my You Tube Videos on a tasteless website for jest…

It made me reflect and write a post called 5 Vitals for facing Christian Persecution based upon Jesus’ words and scripture.  You can read it here on Life Letter Café: 

Because the reality is that speaking the Truth to this lost world WILL cost us something…the scripture which says for us ‘to take up our cross’ is not speaking of the gold one, we find dangling on the end of a pretty chain.

Jesus told the parable of ‘The Sewer’ or seed and soil.  Remember the seed ‘God’s Word’ which fell on the rocky ground?  This represents the people who hear the word and wither when facing trouble or persecution due to ‘The Word’ ~ you can read it here: Matthew 13:1-23

Oh how I pray we are NOT these people!

It's REALITY that we all like people to like us, but this must NEVER come before faithfully following Jesus!  A friend of the world’s is God’s enemy (James 4:4)! 

The enemy WILL try to snuff your light shining out for Jesus…

So may you be warned and pro-active by not being naïve, rather expecting it, and preparing yourself with prayer and scripture (the full armour of God)!

In His service, Melanie.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Sold out for Jesus: What it means to fall in love with Jesus and have that play out in your everyday life.

I grew up and became a prodigal daughter.

You see when I was much younger and only for a brief time, I met God and His people and was impacted forever!

I prayed, wanted to be baptised and learn and participate in ALL church activities...for church was the best thing ever, for me and my family.  I don’t even know if we went for a full two years to be honest, but it was enough, because God was there.

Fast forward some time and my family had moved and stopped going to church...not long later my family fell apart.

I was like a sprouted seed that received no further nurturing, yet was dropped into a field of weeds and that little Jesus girl I was, began to get choked by those big, strong weeds.

The little girl who knew Jesus, instead of blooming into a beautiful young plant, began to compromise in that big field of weeds…the enemy was so subtle…One compromise led to another, then another, then another…So much so, that no-one would have been able to tell the difference between me, and the other weeds.

I grew wild and untamed…I was beginning to drown yet no-one but God seemed to notice…for I knew He was calling me, but I ignored Him.  I can even remember the night I deliberately chose to stop praying before I went to sleep.  It wasn’t much long later that the panic attacks started.  I was on a slippery slope and it was miserable.  Yet I still chose to be miserable and not repent, for I was trapped in my sin…my flesh was an awful master that was never satisfied.

But God still waited…

I can remember always being anxious, so I busied myself with work to not ‘think’ too much.   I was scared of facing Jesus one day, so I was fearful of death, and/or Him returning and me not being ‘ready’.  I was also anxious of my marriage breaking down.

I was a mess, waking sometimes during the night in a fright and then calling out to God for help…but not to commit.  I have a vivid memory of passing a church one day and thinking, 'How could God possibly expect me to love Him more than my family?'  I did not understand how I could possibly put Him first and still have enough love for my family.  I thought there was no way I could be a Christian.  Even 2 decades later, I knew that a true Christian was someone‘sold-out for Christ'.  I knew that if I was going to be a Christian it would have to be all or nothing, no sitting on the fence, or hypocritical stuff would cut it...I still knew deep down!

When I was 28 years old I opened a Bible and God spoke to me…Oh so loudly that I knew, that this was THE moment in MY life that I was to choose my destiny.  He confronted me in His love, with my sin, and I knew I had a choice.  I finally chose Him over me, and I became ‘sold-out for Christ’.  He re-birthed me then and there in that hotel room by His Holy Spirit, and I was reconciled to Him forever.

That evening I began a real relationship with God as His daughter, and that relationship required work as all relationships do…I did fall in love with Jesus.  I finally experienced and understood the meaning to ‘Amazing Grace’, rather than just reciting the lyrics.  I was in love and sought Him constantly.  I would pray anytime and read my bible as often as possible, eager to hear His words to me.  

His words were medicine to my soul.  

I admit sometimes they were challenging and stretched me incredibly, yet other times they took my breath away. I was experiencing the greatest gift ever possible and I couldn’t believe I’d waited so long – I was in love and yes, everybody knew about it!  

Oh how foolish I had been in believing the enemy’s lies, that I couldn’t love God first and my family right!  For now, I had direct access to ‘LOVE’ Himself, and I was overflowing with it…I finally had true love for other people, not the second rate, self-serving type I gave before.

Once I experienced my re-birth and I knew what true love was, I wanted everyone to experience it and to have peace with God!  My relationship with Jesus was first and foremost and still is.  It is that loving relationship which has kept me going now for almost a decade telling people about Jesus, and of how they can experience true love, joy and peace.

Yes I am still in love with Jesus today…so how does that continue to play out in everyday life for me these days?

It means that I continue to participate in our relationship...  
Relationships are a two-way street.

I pray, read scripture and listen…He speaks, guides and corrects.

I hang out with His people and serve…He speaks to me and practically loves me through them.

I tell others about Him…He gives me the words.

The world batters me…He holds, protects and heals me.

I sing to Him and He fills me with His love, peace and joy.

I give Him nothing and He still gives me the desires of my heart in line with His will.

I sometimes ignore Him…He still faithfully loves me.

I sometimes get stressed and get overwhelmed…He keeps teaching, encouraging and reminding me of His unchanging love.

Yes, I am sold-out for Jesus and there is no better way to live!

May I leave you with this song, by Casting Crowns, 'I know You're there'.

Love Melanie.

This has been a Writing Challenge post for the Google+ Christian Bloggers Community.