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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Living life as a Successful Single Christian: Debunking 2 common and contradictory well-meaning remarks.

So this post is where my thoughts are at in regards to living a successful life as a single Christian and it comes from my own experience of almost five years being single and knowing what it's like to be married (for those of you who don't know my story). This post comes about from having found myself in the past being confused by what some well-meaning Christian people have said and things I've read which for me were unhelpful and in my opinion, contradictory...I don't want to offend, rather hope this will help some Christian singles who are perhaps struggling.

The two remarks I want to focus on today are:

God has someone for you but it'll happen only when you're totally satisfied in Him” and then on the other hand “It's NOT good for man to be alone...”

I would like to say...Can we PLEASE stop it with these well-meaning, often regurgitated comments. On behalf of single people I'd like to ask people to please not discuss someone’s singleness unless they bring it up, and you have an existing, close relationship with the person! I mean seriously, when someone wants to sprout 'spiritual talk' at me, yet has never had a coffee with me, I am not impressed. Sorry if that's harsh, I'm just being honest.

Our heart should always be to care for someone else before speaking.

So here goes:

I do not think it's very helpful at all when people imply that because a Christian is still single, yet desires to be married, they must not be totally satisfied with Christ. I am left to wonder, do these people think before they write these articles, or speak this over people? I mean sure, perhaps the single Christian has more healing to do, or more to learn before meeting someone, but this is very different to not being 'totally satisfied' in their relationship with Jesus. This comment in the past, left me feeling hurt and confused. I was confused as I felt so close to Jesus and I knew I had given up everything to follow Him...He was my all-in-all. I felt hurt wondering, was I somehow less spiritual than I should be because the desire to be married had not gone, yet I was still single...

And then the comment of 'It's not good for man to be alone'. Sure this helps us understand God's heart for relationship, but this phrase can also make single Christians feel as if their life is less-than because of their singleness, and can urge them into settling for the wrong person. The truth is our need for human relationship can be fulfilled from non-sexual, non-marital relationships, with close Christian friends. Our sexual desire probably won't go away, but we can live a great life in purity by having accountability with our trusted friends, and by not wallowing, for we have our purpose in Jesus, single or not.

In past years, I spent far too many hours struggling with unhelpful comments like these two, and I became somewhat fixated upon myself rather than keeping my eyes upon Jesus and living for Him. Sure there were plenty of articles that spoke about serving 'while waiting' but they also added that when one came to a place of 'fulfilment' in singleness the 'right person' would come along...You see the idea being sprouted is that serving 'keeps us busy' while we wait to somehow become more spiritual. Now again, I don't want to sound harsh...but I've seen plenty of immature Christians pairing up and plenty of mature ones remaining single. I can also tell you 'keeping busy serving' is not the right heart for our relationship with Christ!

For my own well-being I needed to come to a place of accepting I am not needing to become 'more spiritual' for 'Mr. Right' to come along. I don't know if even having a 'Mr. Right' mentality is even helpful, as it could elevate men or women too highly perhaps...I've come to think that maybe there are a lot of 'Mr. Rights' out there...I mean my Christian brothers are cool guys! And please don't get me started on that 'other half' rubbish I hear 'Christians' babbling...It's ancient Greek mythology! I believe as a daughter of God I have a choice and should be wise in my decision and that my Father will advise me rightly, as long as I keep my focus upon Him!

I do agree that it's not good for us to be alone...but this need does not have to be met by one person who must be my husband! I need to keep my eyes fixed upon Jesus and ministering with Him every day, not to keep busy while waiting for something better to come along.

The most miserable people I know are stagnate people with hardly any friends...and you know what? They're not just single people...

Here's my conclusion: Find your own life and purpose in living with and for Jesus, then do it again and again without expecting to meet the love of your life...Then if you meet someone, don't over-spiritualise it, make a wise choice based on whether or not they will be someone whom you can minister with, and don't settle, keep Jesus as Number One to be found faithful when He returns or calls you home!

Let me leave you with a song that sums it all up...a perfect anthem to meditate upon, love Mel xx

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Integrity: A Christian discourse

I am sitting here thinking about how we live if we dare to call ourselves 'Christian'...If we dare to take on this name, the Name above all names, the Name of Christ Himself, to identify with.

I mean to call ourselves Christian, is to say we not only identify with Jesus Christ, but that our identity is in Christ Jesus. To call ourselves Christian is to declare that God Himself now resides in us...Our old identity is dead, and we are fused together with Christ so that we take on His Name. So if we dare to wrestle with this fact, it should pervade all we say and do. If we truly grasp that we no longer do anything alone, and it's the same for our Christian brothers and sisters, that we reflect the One indwelling within we should walk with integrity.

Now I do not mean integrity in the sense of being honest and having strong moral principles for even non-Christians can have this integrity. I mean integrity; 'the state of being whole and undivided', for this is the integrity of a Christian.

I've seen the label Christian a lot recently, many people add it to their online profiles – yet at times it seems to be a claim to self-worth, or moral integrity, like self-justification, rather than a claim to have been transformed by the One who has given His identity...a proclamation of the One indwelling...a claim of having died to a life born into sin and to have received a new identity due to no good deeds of their own.

But how should I react?

I believe with integrity of course! I do not think it's beneficial for me to worry about other people's view of Christianity, in order to try and change them, for I am not God or them, and there would never be enough hours or years...

I believe focusing upon my own relationship with Jesus, so that our fusion does not become distant is the best approach. For if we are fused so tightly, understanding that our integrity is found in being whole in Him and undivided in our focus to love and serve Him in all we do and say, we will truly shine His light out to others who think being a Christian is about religion.

Understanding true Christian integrity allows me to draw my sense of worth from God and not other people's opinions, or actions toward me, that are not always helpful. I connect with Him who is within, and find peace, worth, love and strength. I am not desperately looking for external matter how pleasing to my flesh it can be. This frees me to treat others how The Lord wants me to, as valuable human beings, whom I should respect regardless of what they can do for me, or how they have hurt me...including those who claim the Name 'Christian'.

When I walk with integrity I am less self-focused and obsessed, and The Lord gives me His heart and eyes to see my Christian brothers and sisters as myself...Children of God and precious, transforming works in progress. This makes me want to walk this journey honestly and lovingly. To not play games, manipulate others or selfishly fulfil my own desires. To not wound the already wounded or struggling, and to be wise in discerning where others are at. I am less fearful and more wise. Do I always get it right? No, as I am like my brothers and sisters; an ongoing transforming work...But I do try to stay close to Jesus through prayer and scripture, to reflect often and keep my heart soft.

Christian Integrity therefore is: The state of being wholly fused with Jesus Christ and undivided in our love for Him.

What if we truly comprehended Christ in us as the true meaning of being a Christian and walked out Christian integrity...What a testimony and light we'd be with Him to others...How different would our communities be?

Love Melanie.

Saturday, 10 September 2016


Do you know what I believe the true brokenness of human beings is?


It is autonomy that makes us parched and brittle.

We see it all throughout scripture. From the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve want to be as knowledgeable as God, to wicked Kings who made their own morals, laws and decisions, to the religious Pharisees who thought they served God but were serving their own selfish desire for a highly respected status... Is it any different today?

Autonomy, from the ancient Greek; auto meaning self, and nomos, law. A more modern meaning of autonomy is independence or self-freedom. But how foolish we indeed are, for there is no freedom in autonomy, only enslavement to our flesh, as we reject The One who gives us true freedom from all enslavement and addictions...the POWER to be truly free to say NO, when in submission we humble ourselves to Jesus, by repenting of our autonomy, and choosing Him to be Lord over us.

This is Living Water for our souls ~ His Name is Jesus!

This is my experience and testimony to the power of the One True Living God and Risen One, Jesus Christ...For I knew autonomy all too well. Once I thought it was my friend, but I was seduced by my flesh, and deluded. In repentance and humility I found freedom, as Christ rescued and redeemed me...Now I know autonomy is my enemy.

Still to this day I fight my flesh and it's desire for autonomy.

God is so good.

He patiently waits for us to come to Him daily, to taste and see that He is good.

He cries out to us.

Come to the river, come to the river, be washed and made clean.
Come to the living water, all who are thirsty, come and drink.
Come to my table, all who are hungry, come and feast.
Those who are weary, those who are needy, come receive.
Come to the river....Taste and see!

Oh may we draw near to Him daily for Him to sustain and strengthen us.

Come to the river, come to the river, be washed and made clean.
Come to the living water, all who are thirsty, come and drink.
Come to my table, all who are hungry, come and feast.
Those who are weary, those who are needy, come receive.
Come to the river....taste and see!

In His love, Melanie.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Father's Day: A day of struggle?

Father's Day...
Is it just me, or does it seem to you too that Father's Day is a lot quieter than mother's Day? Does it seem to you too that many people struggle on Father's Day and good, patriarchal fathers seem to be so rare nowadays? Or is it just me?

To me, Father's Day does seem quieter than Mother's Day. I can't help but notice the missing people who chose to sleep the day away, or the little kids with sad faces, or the grown men who are extra quiet at church, or the single-mums who are trying hard to keep their smile plastered on to hide their exhaustion...

Father's Day should be a day of joyous celebration...but we live in a world where sadly Father's Day can be a trigger for deep, painful emotions.

It can be a day when the loss of relationship is mourned.
Deceased dads are grieved.
Abuse is brought back to mind.
Men may lament not having a wife and/or child.
Many may be angry at the men who've abandoned them or failed them.

Father's Day may be a day when even as Christians, as children of God, we struggle. Even though we know God as our Heavenly Father, we may still experience sadness.

And I just want to say, that if you feel this way...It's okay!
Please don't internally beat yourself up, by thinking that you should be fine because you know the parable of the prodigal son.

Yes, as a Christian through Jesus you have become a child of God and you do know this as your heart cries out to Him when you pray, “Abba, Father...” But it is okay to struggle with brokenness, as healing can take time.

It's just over 2 years since my own biological dad ended his life, and I am now in my fifth year of singleness. I have wonderful male friends who would love to be dads and I feel for them too. Father's Day is a trigger for emotions but I am blessed to know God as my good, loving Father, whom I can turn to for the love and peace to carry me through. It is my Abba, Father, whom I can hear speak to me when I read His Word, and tell me of His good plan for me which will be fulfilled both in this time, and the time to come.

I gave a Childrens address this morning at church. I knew there would be beautiful, young kids there who would be missing their dads, so I began my message with Elijah and Elisha.

Now most of us would know that Elijah was a mighty prophet of God. Yet it also seems reasonable from scripture to deduce that Elijah was also a single man. Elijah did not seem to have any children of his own yet he was a spiritual father to his protege Elisha. We do not read about Elijah being close to his biological dad, but we do read about Elijah communicating closely with God, and that Elijah was so favoured he did not die; rather The Lord took him straight to heaven in a heavenly, chariot of fire.

From scripture we know The Lord led Elijah to the young Elisha working his farm to call him into service. Elisha left his family farm immediately to follow the godly man. We read Elisha would not leave Elijah's side when he knew The Lord was soon to take Elijah. The two men had a close spiritual relationship, and Elijah's mantle was passed onto Elisha for the work of the Lord. We also do not read about Elisha ever having children of his own...

This led me to the example of Jesus. I asked the children to consider the fact that Jesus lost his earthly dad Joseph before he began his ministry work, and that Jesus did not have any children of his own. Jesus did not have his dad, yet He talked all the time to His Heavenly Father. Jesus did not have children, yet He had His disciples whom He passed everything on to...

That then led me to St. Paul who was also a single man, devoted to Jesus and is called in scripture a spiritual parent to the church.

The children agreed that if we do not have a dad, or if we do not have kids we still are important and loved by God. The children understood that as Christians we have God as our perfect, loving, Heavenly Father and we can also have spiritual parents who may not be our parents biologically.

I personally believe that no matter how hard we try, ultimately we can not change another person, as they need to seek The Lord for themselves...However we can make choices for ourselves which can make a difference for generations to come.

Choices like choosing Jesus to fill the void only He can, and mere humans fail to do. Choosing to stay close to our Heavenly Father who will never disappoint, through constant prayer and scripture reading. Choosing to find a spiritual parent to mentor us, so that in time we can become a spiritual parent to someone else. Choosing to love over other examples we may have been given. Choosing to leave a legacy of what a godly man/woman is truly like to a generation so wanting...

Happy Father's Day 2016 – May you KNOW His peace!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Thoughts On Time & Eternity:

I do not often feature guest posts on my blog, as most of my blogging friends are from the USA and it is my heart's desire to keep this blog as 'Australian' as possible. That being said the following post has been written by a dear brother of mine here in Australia whom I think has such a talent for both reflective, theological thinking and writing. Not so long ago I read a draft of what follows and I encouraged him to keep working on it because I wanted to feature it on my blog, with his permission. I have thoroughly enjoyed this short piece by my brother Chris and I hope you will too. I have promised Chris to pass on all the feedback I receive, so please feel free to comment ~ Melanie.

Thoughts on time and eternity:

I was thinking about the differences between working With God, and working For God, after reading about the vast difference in 'My Utmost for His Highest', by Oswald Chambers. He wrote (May 7), talking about being a disciple of Christ, that we will have all of our works not from (or with) God destroyed on that last day, but many people will work based on their own presumptions, not considering what the Lord wants, with no prayer or direction from God Himself. Then two days later Mr Chambers wrote about having a vision of God, and the concept of when we lose the vision of God, we cease in prayer and cast off the vision of God in the little things. He noted that this interferes with our relationship/closeness with the Lord.

I considered later the life of Enoch, and the Scriptures say that he walked with God, and was greatly blessed by doing so, he was in fact taken by God, without the effects of dying first. As I have often thought of this, many challenges come to my mind, such as, how can I consider God while being in anxiety, pain and suffering, a bad mood, frustrated by the things of this world. We should find such things abhorrent.

The Apostle Paul has encouraged us, that we should pray continuously with earnest expectation that the Lord shall answer according to the counsel of His will. But Enoch found a way to keep his relationship close with God, by walking with God, he was resolved to have his eyes, mind and heart (all including his innermost thoughts, more often than not) on God. Enoch knew God, and Who He really is, in a relationship, not tainted by false idols, as the Scripture as a whole would suggest. The enormity is quite striking, but I know that despite my many short comings, our freedom is found in Christ, Who knew no sin, praise the Lord!

As I considered it again this morning, I pondered the differences between Time & Eternity, and how opposing they are from each other, and how these implications have affected mankind since the fall.

I have considered the contrast during this time of meditation of the opposing doctrines of Arminianism and Calvinism, and how can they be rectified keeping in mind that both arguments quote the Scriptures, yet come to two completely different conclusions. If I think about the fall of man being when Adam ate of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, being the only command that God gave, yet we chose disobedience, I consider that man chose to know what is both evil and good, and thus providing a gap between man and God, that demands justice.

In God's immediate judgement, He put limits on man's lifespan (time), and made the earth and all creation groan until the Lord completes His promise of redemption (Christ's return and final judgement), which is evidenced by the 2nd law of thermodynamics. This points to the fact that God has made corruption in His perfect creation, due to our own corrupt actions and intentions, thus making time itself corrupt.

Although we are quite limited in time, God reigns in eternity, as written in the Scriptures, and Christ Jesus is seated at the right hand of God which shows that He Himself is currently in Eternity, yet it also states that we are seated with Christ in eternity, when we are in Christ Jesus, and of course Jesus lives in us.

I consider that Christ being the remedy for mankind's sin, as He was crucified and took on our sins, for He who knew no sin became sin for us, and that sin must be punished, could be the only possible answer, and it is a free gift of grace. Then in bringing us into eternity, we are now both in eternity and the limitations of time being rectified through Christ, so it is becoming evident that time and eternity can be brought back together (although limited because the perfect has not come).

When I consider that Adam would have both lived in time (uncorrupted) and he walked with God, I see that both time and eternity co-existed in perfect harmony. Since it was mankind's rebellion against God, it makes it all the more amazing that He sacrificed His only begotten Son, which of course was agreed upon by the Godhead before time, therefore the argument of a mean and cruel father is disproved, since Jesus had already decided.

This brings me to my thoughts on free will verses God's predestinational purposes. If time and eternity must meet, it can only happen at the point of time (and eternity) where Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all mankind's sins, and therefore made it possible for us to have fellowship with God in eternity, the cross of Calvary.

The argument of Arminianism and Calvinism, stems from the fact that Christ died for all, as just one example from Scripture says, “For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16). Therefore it is taught that Christ died for whoever believes in Him. From where? It clearly says, “For God so loved the world”, therefore any one in the world can be saved if they believe in Him, verses, we have been predestined in the Calvinistic standpoint, quoting just a small portion of God's Word Ephesians 1:11 sates, “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose in Him Who works all things according to the counsel of His Will”. The argument from that verse alone states that we are of course predestined by God, and even in the counsel of His will (being the Godhead Triunity), both sides use and quote a lot more verses, but there is just an example, but both cannot be wrong.

It is therefore easy to suggest that as both scriptures can't be wrong, as no scripture is, so they must both be right. I consider that there comes a point in our lives where we recognise our need for a Saviour, during time and space, yet in eternity (limitless by knowledge or power) God meets us, as He knew He would, making it both right that we accept Christ, and can repent. Yet at the same time God foreknew us, and made it possible for us through His grace, but the truth is who can know or comprehend the mind of God.

As for walking with the Lord goes, I believe the only way this can be achieved is to constantly seek and trust the Eternal, Living, True Creator, who lives inside those that are His, in His strength. Although we are limited (in time), Jesus lives in eternity, and co-exists in us, and hopefully (only limited by our own desires), with us. Only by His power can we do anything (apart from wood, hay and stubble), which is one of the most amazing truths eternity could possibly produce.

Just think about it, the One True God, choosing to live and walk with a broken vessel, such as yourself, and even me! What a remarkable revelation, the Perfect in and with us, making time and eternity close once again. It is only with each step, millimetre by millimetre, trusting and seeking Jesus as Lord, that we can resemble the walking that the past greats of God's Holy Word reveals.

I find it ironic that the world says that time is against them, or that time is the only enemy (like we hear watching a sporting team losing in the last moments), since time is only tainted because of our choices, therefore if time is an enemy, it is clearly a result of our own desire to be our own god.

As for time itself, will it be done away with in eternity? Well, someone might say only time will tell, but I like to think it's all in God's hands, and if we are walking with God, through Christ Jesus, empowered by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, what can stand against us! Some questions are too difficult to have a complete understanding of on this side of eternity, but the Bible tells us that we can safely put our trust in the Lord, and the truth. Jesus is truth, and His Word is truth, He will guide us and lead us, through Faith, as Proverbs 3:4-5 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”.

(In time) Chris.