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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Friday, 28 February 2014

Jehovah Jireh!

Jehovah Jireh is Hebrew for "God My Provider"

I am celebrating today that once again The Lord has provided for me and my family!

Not too long ago I needed to seek assistance from charity to provide my family with food...God provided during this difficult time.  It was a sudden, unexpected shock due to circumstances beyond my control...God did not stop this time of hardship from happening.  I admit I did experience some anxiety, but I decided to trust Him through it all.

I did not blog about this time of hardship, as I chose to keep quiet, trusting The Lord, and I only shared my situation with some close family and friends.

Well today I am pleased to announce that I now have a new job.  I had recently found someone I knew on Facebook and they messaged me, asking if I needed any work because they needed someone to fill in for them while they travel overseas for seven weeks!  I have needed to lessen my study load, but am excited about this new opportunity God has brought about, and to once again have my faith reassured in Our Sovereign Lord...

I do NOT want to preach a prosperity or worldly-successful doctrinal message - for this is not biblical.  Only that we can trust The Faithful One in both good and difficult times.  Please know that experiencing a challenging situation DOES NOT mean that God now loves you less, or that you must have done something wrong, or something is wrong with you!

The truth is that being a follower of Jesus Christ does NOT mean that you will be excluded from hardship and Jesus actually warns of the difficulties we will face living our lives for Him; See here in John.

However, if you are facing a difficult situation at the moment, let me encourage you today to continue trusting Him, and being obedient REGARDLESS of the storm!  Don't limit your faith in our Sovereign God because of a trial...don't let yourself think..."Well what other choice do I have."...DON'T LIMIT GOD WITH YOUR ATTITUDE AND CHOICES!

Will the situation work out?  I would say YES as God is sovereign and loves you!  But be prepared that He will always be working things out for your GOOD...so the outcome may not be the way you imagined or in your timing, but once again continue to TRUST and grow in your faith in HIM!

God is NOT a puppet master and will NOT control others for you, but He will go before you and make a way when there seems to be no way...He is Sovereign and Miraculous.  So stand in your convictions and in His promises to protect you and provide for you...IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!

Let me share with you my reflections upon a wonderful, pertinent song from Hillsong United.

Hide me now, under your wings
Cover me, within your mighty hands
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father, you are King over the flood
I will be still and know you are God!

I rest my soul, in Christ alone
Know His power, in quietness and trust
When the oceans rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you, above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still and know you are God!


Be encouraged to persevere in Him, no matter what! 
Melanie...


Monday, 24 February 2014

Are you up for the challenge?

A stunning ceiling mosaic of Jesus in Turkey 

Challenges, storms, trials, wilderness experiences, conflicts, rough patches, winter seasons, adversity, hard times, bad days – months – years…

There are so many ways we can describe difficult times in our lives…

For example, if you were to ask me how I was today, to answer truthfully I’d have to reply that I had a challenging morning with my kids, and that I am in a period of my life where I am having to face many challenges that seem to keep bombarding me one after the other.

Yet God is encouraging me to place my focus elsewhere…NOT on the issues themselves which fluctuate, and change all together over time…rather on Him who is unchanging and my response which should also IMO remain unchanging.  If you’re not sure what I mean by my response, let me explain…

When the trials come, and yes they do come for us all, I believe I have a choice as to my reaction.

I can let the storm toss me about and react according to my anxiety or spend time with The Lord and focus on what is unchanging – that which He has done for me!  This is my anchor and governs my response.

You see, my response, regardless of my circumstances is to continue to tell others HOW GOOD GOD IS and HOW HE HAS CHANGED MY LIFE…for this is unchanging…and this is how we mature in our faith.

NO, it is NOT being na├»ve, or supressing my feelings…because yes, I do express my emotions, and truthfully we are grounded deeper in God when we place our resolve in remaining faithful to Him.

Others may wonder or even mock saying, "If God loves you so much, why has He allowed this to happen to you?”  Or perhaps, “Where is your God now, and why hasn’t He come back yet?”

However let me encourage you, as no matter what the challenge you are facing, God is faithful and unchanging – so go forth and tell others of His faithfulness to you – regardless of your situation or daily challenges – YOUR PERSONAL TESTIMONY IS POWERFUL!  And by doing so, you’ll be encouraged and strengthened in your faith and also mature more as a Christian.

Here are some scriptures to encourage you with this response…

Lamentations 3:22-23
‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’

Habakkuk 3:17-19a
‘Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.  God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deep and makes me tread upon the heights.’

When feeling low, perhaps take encouragement by the forefathers of our faith – by forefathers I mean the Saints, both men and women who have remained faithful to Jesus…Regardless of their persecutions or challenges.  I know I do.

When Jesus lovingly healed the demonic man, what did Jesus tell him to do… Wasn’t it…Now go and tell others what God has done for you?  Can you imagine, what a challenging life that man would have had, and what challenges he would have faced, returning to the community he had not been a part of for so long?  Yet, he knew what God had done for him, so he obeyed Jesus!

You and I know what Jesus has done for us…so regardless of our current circumstances, let’s keep telling everyone how AWESOME God is because that never changes…Let us do this, not only when the blessings come, for that is easy and doesn’t require much faith…But even in the hard times, the challenges, the winters, the wilderness experiences that come to us all AND not for an expected reward…BUT because it is the TRUTH…and it is real hope in a world that is in such desperate need for the truth and real hope.

Take courage, Melanie J

P.S...If you need some extra encouragement, here's a wonderfully encouraging song by Jesus Culture - 'Your love NEVER fails'...




Saturday, 22 February 2014

Laying it down...

       Patmos...the place where St. John wrote Revelation because he had laid his life down for Christ!

It’s interesting how God works and speaks to us.


Last night I was chatting to a Christian brother, and we talked about how God often repeatedly speaks to us over the years on important topics, yet on deeper levels.

This morning The Lord reminded me, once again, of the importance of putting Him first in my life – a warning to steer clear of idolatry…

Then this afternoon I was researching some high-profile Christian people and their theological worldviews on particular topics, and found my way to a TED interview by Rick Warren.  Now I am NOT going to discuss Rick or any other high profile Christian here in this post because that’s NOT the point I want to make (hence the post’s title)…But I am going to discuss Rick’s talk – so here’s the clip, which IMO is worth watching…


In this clip, Rick Warren discusses his book ‘A Purpose Driven Life’ and the realities which occurred in his and his family’s life, due to the massive income which followed its millions of sales.  Rick discusses the steps he took to avoid idolatry – however I found the end of his talk the most interesting and I wonder if you’ll agree.

Near the end of the talk, Rick tells of how the Moses story (specifically Moses’ commissioning by God) impacted his own stewardship and choices in relation to his finances (this is after discussing Solomon).   Rick specifically mentions how God asked Moses what was in his hand, commanded Moses to lay-it-down and then to pick it back up.  Rick then discusses how Moses’ staff represented Moses’ identity (job), income and influence.   He follows by putting forth the same question to others that is, “What is in your hands that you’ve been given by God?” In a nut-shell, Rick then asserts that we are all made by God for a purpose.

Now yes, we are all made by God in His image, and I agree we have a purpose – but what struck me with this talk was the lack of the Gospel message which had a perfect opening with God commanding Moses to lay-the-staff down…if you’re not following just hang on…

I want to say quickly that I do not want to start a conversation to bad mouth anyone, or that I do not realise Rick is speaking in a non-church venue.  Just to be clear I am NOT concerned with the venue or audience – as surely this should not change an evangelist’s message…Yes???  I am struck with the lack of the ‘Lay-it-down’ part of the message which is missing and is also a perfect intro for the Good News.  I am saddened by this important theological concept being missing…and I want to know…AM I THE ONLY ONE?

It seems to me this message is as follows – you are made in God’s image for His purpose…So look at your talents and let them lead your life.  But where is the need for Jesus in this message?  Where is the need to repent (make a 180deg turn) from your former life of sin and lay-down-your-life to Jesus and follow Him? 

It seems EVERYWHERE I look people are their own god today…and yes, this is idolatry. 

If people don’t have Jesus as number one they just have another substitute…whether it’s money, themselves and their talents, their family or a combination of all or any of the former – and in my opinion the LOVE of self can be found under any title, for example…atheist (I am supreme)…New Age (I am god/creation)…Paganism (I can outwit the system)…

You see, Moses had to obey God and throw his staff down (which is when God showed Moses some of his power by turning the staff into a snake) BEFORE Moses was allowed to pick it back up again!

Jesus said we are to lay down our life and follow Him!  

This is in more than one part of scripture, try Googling it, you’ll find it out if you haven’t heard this before J

God is NOT a genie…He is not some distant being who gives you talents to then go and be successful with…sorry to burst anyone’s bubble!

He is Holy and pure and loves you.  He loves you so much that He did not want sin to separate you from His holiness anymore, and that is why Jesus became a human being and lived a perfect life and died in our place.  You see sin = death.

But God made a way, when there seemed to be no way.  Jesus took our place upon the cross, he died the death we deserve, so that we may REPENT of our sins and be born-again a forgiven, child of God.

And this is why we lay-down our lives daily and follow Christ’s command to tell the world how to be re-united to God through Christ…(Repent and be baptised in the name of Jesus).  We obey out of thankfulness, having experienced God’s amazing love and we want this for all people.

We carry the most important message anyone could ever hear…and NO it’s not look at your talents and then run with that!  It is look at the precious life God has given you that is marred by sin, and understand the wonderful free gift He offers you to be forgiven, and be made brand-new through Jesus Christ.  Accept the free gift by repenting of having yourself as god, and lay-down your life to accept a new master, Jesus Christ.

I understand that this is a long and passionate post from me, but I do hope if you’ve been reading my blog for a while that you will understand my heart is always for us to be in true relationship with Jesus Christ – this blog is written from my perspective…but should never assert me…it should always point you to the ONE who SAVES – JESUS!

In love as always, Melanie.



Friday, 21 February 2014

Purity...

How we wait matters…

Yes, but I’m not waiting, I’m married and I’m busy working for Jesus!  

Maybe this is your response?

However I’d like to propose, that actually as Christians we all are waiting…we are waiting for Jesus to return.  And how we are waiting does matter.

God spoke to me this morning about waiting in purity…living my life 24/7 in purity for Him…and yes, this includes times when I think no-one is watching!

God showed me this passage in Ephesians, you may like to read the section yourself so here’s a link to do so: Eph 4:17-5:20 .  With this scripture The Lord was reminding me that I am to live my life His Way.  I am to live my new life a NEW WAY…not as I did in the past. 

It is a good reminder for me, as I believe that because of our free will we actively need to keep choosing to live our lives God's way daily, because we are still in a daily battle with our flesh.  We are waiting for Jesus to return and then we will have a new imperishable body…But for now we are waiting…AND HOW WE WAIT MATTERS!

We must wait in purity…

PURITY?  How can we possibly do this?  This may be your reaction, but remember, with God all things are possible (Luke 1:37).  And when you draw nearer to God, the devil will flee and so will the temptation.

I know how hard temptations can be to face and how hard it is to live a life in purity for The Lord 24/7.  Believe me I am 100% human and sometimes a very hormonal woman!  But temptations are NEVER from God and He will always provide a way out for us…and if we’re really honest with ourselves we need to admit that sometimes we don’t want to take the way out He offers.  Sometimes we just want to choose to give in! 

However this is NOT the way we grow in our maturity with God…so the fight is worth it to grow deeper and stronger in your relationship with God!

Ephesians 5:15-17 says… “Be careful then how you live, not as un-wise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”

Are you living your life wisely?   Do you stop to consider that others are watching your every move?  I know my kids watch me ALL THE TIME…and that doesn’t even include my wider family or friends.  I would hate for them to consider me a hypocrite and for me to be a stumbling block stopping them connecting with Jesus.  I know I don’t always get it right – but I do want to choose God’s wisdom over my flesh!

We DO know these days are evil – So I want to ask you, are you a light in this dark world, shining out the truth of JESUS?  Or are you so similar to the rest of the world that others would not see a difference in you?  

Do you know what God’s will is for you?

I know these are hard questions…they are hard for us all.  But they are important questions for us to consider, which enable us to grow and mature in our lives. Growing in Jesus takes commitment, and sometimes choosing the harder path, which we may not have necessarily selected in the past.

Are you living your life in purity?

How we wait matters.


In love, Melanie.


Monday, 17 February 2014

HEALTH...

Beautiful natural thermal spring in Turkey...

A secondary thought struck me today and it impacted me so that I thought…yes I must share this!


It was after a not-so-uncommon thought entered my mind…that being, “Wow it’s expensive to eat healthy!”  This thought came to mind as I was watching my youngest son devour a pear from a fresh pile recently given to us by my sister.  After the pear he went on to eat a muesli bar, and then not long later he sat down to eat a fresh bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese with veggies…for dessert he made himself breakfast cereal! As you all know, growing healthy boys can eat a lot!

But what was so profound today was my secondary thought, after I once again thought how expensive it is here in Australia to buy healthy food in comparison to quick pre-packaged snack food…which I call ‘junk food’ because we all know it is!

I was pondering as usual the injustice of our market system which punishes the consumer and small local growers, yet rewards the huge, unconscientious, giants of the global food industry.  I suppose  this is where my mind usually stops…with a sigh of disappointment …as honestly I am unable to provide my children with what I’d prefer which is all organic produce and lean meats…because I literally CANNOT afford to!

At this point today, my mind then thought… “Should this really surprise you?  Do you really think the ruler of this world wants you to be able to provide your family with healthy, fresh food?”  And I then had to stop and ponder this new thought…and I couldn’t help but think…of course he doesn’t!


I know God is GOOD and as our loving Father, He wants us to have the best of what He provides…but the ruler of this world (the devil) doesn’t want us to be in our best health…physically or spiritually!

The ruler of this world for now, will do all he can to keep us from restoration with our loving Father and to hurt and destroy us…just think of all the short-cuts the huge companies make, all because of greed, and of their lies…the devil is the father of lies!

So I will continue to try my best to provide healthy food for my beautiful boys, which is the way God designed it…even if I have to take extra time to wash their fruit due to chemical sprays, or peel it, and I will continue to buy Organic Weeties even though they cost me more because I love them…it’s a small sacrifice in comparison to Jesus’ loving sacrifice for us, to reconcile us with our Father in heaven!


So the next time you get angry at injustice rather than blaming God…think about sin and its origin form the enemy who is at work to keep you from God!  Jesus is the only way for true HEALTH and RESTORATION and I am longing for His return when all will be put right!

In love as always, Melanie...

Friday, 14 February 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

So here we are once again…another 14th of February…Valentine’s Day!

A day which serves to help businesses generate more income and spread some romantic love around the world!

Romantic love is exciting, wonderful and pleasant ~ let’s be honest.  However we all know that it is fleeting and alters with emotions and seasons in people’s lives.  We also know what we really desire and require from our loved ones is a deep, committed, long-lasting, permanent love.

I believe it’s because of this desire for true committed, deep love that many people struggle on Valentine’s Day…You see, it’s the expression of true love that people desire, and Valentine’s Day can therefore unfortunately serve as a reminder of this lacking in one’s life when there is no significant other to express this.

So how can someone who desires a significant other get through a day like Valentine’s Day, when the whole world seems to be so caught up in the whirl-wind of expressive love?  How can someone who is grieving the loss of a close, intimate relationship make it through another Valentine’s Day without growing some resentment or worse still becoming bitter and hard?  How can a friend truly support someone who is in a difficult season of their life when this day rolls around once again?

I think we all know that we need to be extra sensitive to others on a day like Valentine’s Day and that we also should not assume anything when it comes to other people’s inner emotions…be sensitive to their reactions and of course don’t go flashing your presents in their face…wait to see how they are responding…they may just want to ignore the whole day or join you in your joy…

Remember Valentine’s Day is a symbolic day to express love…and this includes your single friends…love isn’t just about ourselves!  Although we don’t really need a special day to show our love to others, the reality is we live in a world which celebrates Valentine’s Day and this has consequences, regardless of your personal thoughts on the day…Yeah, so perhaps even if you don’t like the forcefulness of the day, you should suck-it-up and show your nearest and dearest some romantic love, because life is NOT all about you…

These are just my simple thoughts sitting here reflecting.  I would like to share a song with those of you who may be struggling today – it’s a wonderful song which God has used to help carry me through the awful, gut-wretchedness of separation…it is “Praise You in this storm” by Casting Crowns.


Much love, Melanie J


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Breath...

Right now I need to breath...

Sometimes life can be tough...Sometimes there comes that sly ball you're not expecting, and you get whacked in the head! You know what I mean...

Well life has been challenging for me recently...some circumstances beyond my control have changed and while I can see the blessings from this change, there still has been a new, unexpected challenge arise which I have needed to face, and deal with God's grace.

Breath...yes I need to relax and keep trusting Jesus!

I thought I had this year all worked out nicely in my mind...total study and fun!  Seriously, this is what I was picturing...o.k have your laugh, and when you're finished keep reading :)

I committed to a full-time study load...yet now I need to generate some extra income and I believe that The Lord has instructed to do some sewing again...

So rather than pine away at my loss of spare time, I committed my sewing in prayer to The Lord and began sewing again today...God did not let me down!  I already have 2 new awesome handbags which I am entrusting to The Lord.

I do not know what lays ahead with me beginning to sew again, but I am choosing just to breath and trust Him!  It actually felt really good to be using my hands again - working with fabric is very therapeutic for me...it's been around 18 months since I've made any bags.

Sometimes when we hear The Lord we need to act in faith not knowing what lies ahead!

And this is what I did today...and it wasn't all that bad.

Yes it's a juggle - work, study and sole parenting...but God also tells us it's good for us to work and there is wonderful satisfaction in working with The Lord to provide for your family.  I know I am only making ladies handbags, but I do enjoy having this time to create and produce with Jesus...Because He is with us in all that we do, and we can do everything for the glory of The Lord!

Let me leave you with this wonderful song by Mercy Me - "The Hurt & The Healer" which reminds us to just BREATH & TRUST HIM!

In Love always, Melanie.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Distraction...

As a moderator of the Google+ Christian Bloggers community I am blessed to be able to run some writing challenges.

For the month of February I chose the topic of distraction because I believe that God has been speaking to me about not getting distracted from His calling upon my life, and the task at hand which He has set…That being a full-time study load for 2014 as well as continuing to care for my 3 sons!

And to be TOTALLY honest I am a person who can get easily distracted!  I am a creative person and sometimes regular routine is just NOT the best for my creative side…and I can sometimes struggle with waiting.

More specifically I believe that God is telling me to keep my eyes focused upon Him and what I am sure He has set for me this year, so that I stay on track for His plan for my life.  Routine, discipline, focus…Ughhhh…honestly, sometimes it just feels so boring, restricted, uneventful and in a weird way unproductive!  Yet I also know that this is because I am at war with my flesh.  Yes, my natural bent would not be to pursue academics and provide a stable, routine home environment for my kids – honestly it would be to have lots of coffees with people, and to work on special projects…Oh yes and to have some great holidays!

When I stop sulking and think logically, I know that by staying focused and committed to my work at hand I will actually be more productive, and our life will be calmer, which is what I need this year.

Wasting time daydreaming as I plod along doing housework I must admit is lovely, and something I enjoy doing.  I also enjoy NOT having a heavy academic workload, or assignment due dates…but I know this is NOT the way to actively pursue God’s plan for my life…for I believe God has spoken and now I need to do my part by responding.  He told me that this year is one of study.  It is a year of commitment to The Lord, a chapter of growing closer to Him and staying focused, before the next chapter begins.

I know this so well as it has been confirmed in SO MANY ways…yet there still is the Melanie who at times sulks!  I actually CAN NOT stand the more recent expression of ‘suck it up princess’…yet perhaps it is appropriate at times?  Regardless I still don’t like it…and I know that God is much gentler with me than this – He reminds me I am His princess and tells me wonderfully encouraging things to help me; like nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37) and all things work together for good for those who love the Lord (Romans 8:28) and what can anyone do to me as The Lord is my helper (Hebrews 13:6).  I prefer the expression ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ as it reminds me of our forefathers of the faith like St. Paul who faced massive hardship with The Lord.

So I believe that this ordinary woman, with God’s help, will achieve God’s set plan for my life.  I will keep re-focusing each time I get distracted by the many various distractions that everyday life brings my way.  Is discipline easy?  I think no.  But scripture also says that God as our loving Father does discipline us because He loves us (Hebrews 12:6) and I’d rather be His child than a willfully disobedient one – so I am grateful when He continues to help me re-focus when I do get distracted!

Here are some of my ideas using the word DISTRACTION:

D = Doubt – This is a killer to real growth and achieving God’s purpose for your life.  I’ve experienced doubts many times, even when I’m sure I’ve heard God…the only answer is to step forward in faith while staying close to Jesus, as God will not do the hard work for you…you do have your own free will to obey or not.  Don’t let doubt distract you!

I = Insignificance – Sometimes we can hold onto a negative image of ourselves that questions God’s purpose for our lives.  We may question the significance of our work and its value to the Kingdom of God.  But feelings of insignificance I don’t believe are from God – you are of immense value to God, you were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20) and God cares about you and your life, He takes great joy in you!

S = substandard – When you let yourself get distracted or don’t spend time with The Lord trying to discern His will, I think it’s realistic to acknowledge that our work will be substandard, rather than work which sets the benchmark for others.  We are called to be salt and light in our world.  So keep focused and SHINE bright!

T = Truth – Distractions will keep you from the Truth…the truth of God’s purpose for your life!

R = Radical – Let’s be honest here…being a disciple of Jesus is a radical way of life…I mean we do know what defines a true committed Christian compared to the world…right?  The radical life of a disciple won’t always win you the largest amount of friends on Facebook…LOL.  But seriously I’m not saying as a Christian you are weird…but sometimes focus, direction and commitment can challenge others in their own life.  But don’t let this distract you.  Jesus and the saints lived radical lives which challenged others.  The enemy will try to distract you from your radical life, don’t let him!

A = Antidote – The only true antidote to distraction is spending time with Jesus!  Do I need to say any more? Pray, read your Bible, spend time in church with God’s people!

C = Criminal – Distraction is a bandit, don’t let it rob you!

T = Technology – Do I need to go into detail here?  Technology sure is a blessing…but OH WOW what an awfully, tempting distraction it can be!

I = Intelligence – feeling powerless against distraction?  Remember it’s a war against the flesh…so be smart and draw closer to The Source of Wisdom – God!

O = Opinions – I have found that the opinions of others are not always beneficial to keep you from getting distracted.  Remember the story of the man, wife, child and donkey?  Everyone had an opinion for the guy about who should ride the donkey.  In the end to please everyone no-one did.  Have a backbone and don’t let petty remarks distract you…just keep close to The Lord and your conscience clear with Him!

N = New – New paths take a lot of determination, hard-work and focus.  Feeling distracted, think of your favourite pioneers and how they achieved what they did with focus!


IN YOUR STRUGGLE AGAINST DISTRACTION YOU ARE NOT ALONE – KEEPING OUR EYES FOCUSED ON JESUS IS THE ONLY ANSWER FOR US ALL!


Thursday, 6 February 2014

Mercy

God showed me this passage of scripture this morning Matthew 12:1-8

I knew that The Lord was illustrating to me that my life needs to be defined more by His mercy than by my loving service to Him…

I have realised of late that I am a lot like Martha in scripture…busy doing and serving as a way of expressing my gratitude to The Lord for His love, mercy and grace.

I have also realised that it is easier for me to busy myself serving, than rather truly loving others whom I am not necessarily so comfortable around.

In Greece at Delphi the Lord revealed some of my heart to me and I realised that I had become somewhat like Jonah…and I am thinking this morning about how easy it is for us to become like the Pharisees Jesus is addressing in this Matthew passage.

As Christians I believe it’s natural to have a zest for God and the desire for His Kingdom to rule here on Earth here and now…I mean we have experienced His goodness and understand how awful sin is…I know how much sin can even make me feel physically nauseous!

However the reality is that even though God’s Kingdom is alive in us, it still is yet to fully come and we are in a waiting stage for our King to return and fully establish His Kingdom here on Earth…so how we wait matters…

Yes I believe it is right to lead a serving life dedicated to Jesus, I need to say this upfront…as scripture says that we are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to the Lord (Romans 12).

However the Matthew passage is challenging because Jesus says God desires mercy not sacrifice…

I believe that this is a clear warning for us not to become so zealous doing good deeds that we get burnt out, tired, uncompassionate and deaf to The Spirit’s leading…As this could cause non-Christians to not see God’s offering of love, forgiveness and grace and after all this is the Gospel message for all people!

God desiring mercy above sacrifice or service reminds me again that The Lord cares first and foremost about the state of our heart, for if our heart is truly dedicated to Him mercy will define our lives…Jesus said that others will know we are His disciples by what?   LOVE!

Love is mercy to the undeserving – it’s what we received and God offers to ALL PEOPLE!

I do not always lead a Christian life defined by mercy…I need to be honest, but this IS my desire.  Why?  Because it’s God’s desire for me, and for all His children.

I believe if we truly love The Lord we must desire to live a life defined by mercy so that we do not become a stumbling block to others seeking God.

I am thinking that I need to do less serving and more loving…I need to spend more time with Him so that there can be less of me and more of Him shining to others.


In love, Melanie.


Sunday, 2 February 2014

FAITH

St. John's Basilica - Ephesus 
God been speaking to me recently…very loudly and specifically…on more than one thing.

I knew that moving to Kyabram was the beginning of a new chapter in my life and in my children’s lives…I also knew in my heart that 2014 would be a year where God would reveal to me some of my future direction.

I had been stepping out in faith, not knowing what lay ahead a lot over the last 2 years.

An example of this is returning to full-time theological study at the beginning of 2013, without a clear vision of my calling.  I just knew that I was called to full-time ministry and needed to complete the degree I started…even though I did not know what the ‘full-time ministry’ would be.  Some people struggled to understand this however I am comforted to know that I am NOT alone in this unclear calling!

But…things have changed…God has been speaking to me recently loudly and specifically…although I still don’t have the whole picture of what lays ahead.

And I need to admit that I have been struggling with feeling somewhat overwhelmed…I have been feeling many different emotions often within the space of 24 hours!  I have been feeling anxious, joyous, fearful, excited, confused, reassured…how patient God truly is with me!  I have wanted clear direction for quite some time and now that I have a picture of what’s next look how I react…so human!

All this said however, I am determined by God’s grace to live a faithful life for Him…so I need to keep drawing closer to Him to drown out all that is not from Him…

This is not easy as there is so much inside me that would like to retreat and hide, or stamp my foot and have a tantrum J 

Yet there is also so much inside me that knows how awesome living a faithful life with God is, that I do not want any other route for my life other than the one He has planned.

God is forever GOOD and I look forward in time to come to sharing more of my life with you and to write about what God is doing in my life.

For now, yes I need to complete this degree and see what doors God opens to complete His plan for this Ordinary Aussie Woman!

Let me leave you with this song which is so fitting right now for me…and an encouragement to keep moving forward in FAITH, even if it is at times scary, for truly this is a life far less than ordinary…

Love Melanie!