13 December, 2007

Securing Shame

Talking of shame, it`s amazing how many of us learn to live with our fears. If we don`t face feelings of shame or inferiority, they grow to be part of us.

As intimidating as shame is, it can often become a kind of comfort zone. We develop coping strategies and start to believe that this is just part of our character.

Whenever I see beautiful houses with bars at the window I think of the windows of our hearts. Bars can be great. I lived in a house with bars myself. I was glad of them. They were a deterrent to intruders. But bars also prevent those inside from getting out.

Often, instead of facing the bars that have built up around our heart, we dress them up. Like these houses with their beautiful flowers. 

Jesus didn´t come to dress up our inferiority or to beautify our shame. He came to banish it. You don`t have to make the most of your fears. You can give them to Jesus. When we truly surrender the security and familiarity of those things that have a negative hold on us, Jesus meets us with freedom and mercy. We learn to think differently, speak differently and respond differently. 

We learn to walk free.

Galatians 5.1: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 

10 December, 2007


Without relationships, our lives would be so barren and empty. They bring so much joy, comfort and encouragement. But they can also be a challenge.

Great relationships involve give and take. They require teamwork. Everyone has to work at them in some way. Even if you are not consciously working on a relationship, you are still investing in it every time you relate with the other person.

We can invest positive things in our relationships. Encouragement, expressions of appreciation and time. We can also invest negatively through criticism, awkwardness and moodiness. 

One of the most significant ways we can invest in relationships of all kinds is to choose to make ourselves vulnerable. Wisely. But vulnerable. Letting other people know who you really are and how you really feel and think.

Many people are truly afraid to let others see the real them. Who they really are. But as we get to know Jesus more, we learn that our only true security is in knowing that He loves us unconditionally. He is changing and developing us and it`s ok to be who we are. We can leave our problems and bad moments and actions at the foot of the cross, receive forgiveness and move on into the day free from shame. 

When we are free from shame, we are not so afraid to make ourselves vulnerable to others. It`s also interesting to see that making yourself vulnerable in relationships with others can open the way for others to respond in the same way to you. Somebody has to make the first move. 

It`s true that sometimes you kick the ball in a relationship and get it kicked back in your face. But if you never give it a try, you could be missing out on something great. 

The ball`s all yours. 

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment....We love because He first loved us.

07 December, 2007

Time to talk

It`s true, somethings are better left unsaid (see Unspoken, below). But there are also times when somethings just have to be said.

The tricky thing is how to let it out. Usually, when things need to be spoken, it`s because something must be addressed. An attitude, a hurt, an explanation.  Sometimes things ought to be said because without them, people are left in ignorance. Like an encouragement or affirmation. How does someone know you appreciate them if you don`t let them know it?

I`m continually amazed just how crucial 2 things are to good communication. Timing and attitude. 

And they both need to be in balance. Speaking the truth in the right way at the right time. Encouraging and affirming at that moment of need or success. Avoiding an argument in the heat of the moment so that you can take time to consider the real issue and discuss it quietly later.

Food for thought. A recipe for great communication and more peaceful relationships! Speaking at the right time, in the right way, from a right heart.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 & 7: " To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to tear and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak."

04 December, 2007


I`m fascinated by the true power of love. The world thinks of love as an emotional bond. A feeling.

But true love is also like a reflex action. It makes us react and respond spontaneously. It is also something to be learned. Like a journey of discovery.

Love is a joy and a challenge. Whether we are talking about romantic love, love amongst family members or in friendship.

Corinthians tells us that Love is the most excellent way. You can be as "spiritual" as you want, but if you don`t express that in love then it just makes a clanging repulsive impression. Hmmm. 

There`s also that brilliant phrase "speaking the truth in love" in the book of Ephesians. If we pastor, prophesy or simply want to be helpful. If we teach, correct or truly want to encourage. If we really want to become great and excellent as Church then we have to learn to do it in love.

Being honest, but saying it in love. Now there`s a challenge. So the next time you want to open your mouth to speak your mind, check out your attitude. Because you may be right, but if you can`t say it in love, it will repel.

Some things are better left unsaid.

Ephesians 4:14 & 15 "...that we should no longer be children...but speaking the truth in love...may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ..."

20 November, 2007

Day of Repentance & Prayer in Saxony

Wednesday 21st November is a public holiday in Saxony. This is one of the few regions in Germany that still observes "Repent and Pray Day".

At the Jesus Haus, time on Tuesday evening was spent praying and declaring God`s promises and Word over Germany. Focusing on what He has done and is going to do in this nation. 

Not giving glory to the sins and shame of the past. But instead, looking ahead with expectancy of all that God has planned for Germany and the people of this nation.

I love the meaning of the word "repentance". It`s about turning back to God. Continually checking that your path is aligned with His path. That your heart is turned to His.

Repentance is really so releasing. Looking at Jesus. Placing your hand in His. Surrendering your steps and your heart to Him. Allowing His glory to shine through.

"...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13b&14

I love that about Jesus. He died on the cross so that the past cannot hold us back. Through His resurrection power we can leave the past behind us and walk on into the new. Whole. Redeemed. Cleansed & free. Ready to do His will. 

19 November, 2007

At the foot of the cross

I`ve been to Poland! It was a joy and a privilege to spend last weekend with the ladies of Jelenia Gora and their friends. It`s always truly a delight to see people hungry for God and willing to respond to Him. And the people I met in Poland certainly are.

God spoke very deeply into many people`s lives. Both the women who attended and the men who were also serving at the conference! I loved working with Pastors Magda, Iza and Agniescka. Thank you everyone who was there, for being so open to God!

One area of our lives that we talked about was living in the reality of what Jesus accomplished on the cross for us. Not just knowing that He died and rose again. But believing it truly in our hearts. Believing it for our own lives. Remembering to continually turn to Him, that He has already broken the chains that bound us.

We talked about the journey of our destiny with Jesus. How He grows and develops us. How He inspires passion in us, releases us from shame and prepares us for what He has for us. God also challenged people about the need to forgive and extend mercy. Because an unmerciful heart can hold us back.

When we extend mercy to others, then we receive the full effects of God`s mercy to us in our lives. Deep, but wonderfully freeing!

James 2:13 For judgement is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgement.

I`ll leave you with that challenging thought!

12 November, 2007

Inspiring Excellence

Excellence isn`t about getting everything right. It isn`t about fulfilling rigid expectations. It isn`t an unreachable goal.

True, biblical excellence is totally inspiring. It`s about going further. Reaching above and beyond where you`ve been before. 

A people of excellence stand out from the crowd. Not because they have "got it all together". They stand out because they are not afraid to reach beyond limitations. They break new ground. 

Not through striving and not through manipulation. Instead, full of the Spirit of God, they are determined to allow His power to be made perfect in their weakness. They are not afraid of failing, because they know their Father in Heaven loves them. 

There is something inspiring about true excellence. And there is something inclusive about it. We admire excellence because we enjoy the sense of achievement it represents. Godly excellence has a quality of peace. It is the most fulfilling kind of success. 

And best of all, it sends that message that says "Look what`s possible with God. He`s done it through me. He can do it through you too."

"But He said to me: My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12.9

09 November, 2007

Healthy Church

I`m a great believer in the importance of Church life. It`s so vital for every believer to be united in a body of local believers. Because our faith is worked out in our daily lives. Both with God and with others.

Church isn`t something we attend. It`s us. Followers of Jesus Christ, learning, growing and living together. A healthy Church expresses the reality of the love of Christ. To members of the Church and to non-members and non-believers. 

A healthy Church carries a fragrance. A unique fragrance. You get a taste of this aroma when you experience a corporate Church meeting. If the Church is truly healthy, you`ll also be attracted to the fragrance of each individual.

"Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life." 2 Corinthians 2.14-16

Why not take a moment to consider the fragrance your life is giving off? It`s also worth remembering that the fragrance of a Church is the product of each individual member. The leaders may define the Church culture, but it is the members who affirm or sabotage it.

05 November, 2007

The Destiny of Nations

Back to the bigger picture again. Destiny, the nations and you and me

The destiny of nations is in the hands of God. Many pray for transformation, reformation, revival in a nation. Prayer is important, uniting our hearts with the will of God. Things are changed. Learning to understand how He sees the nations and what His plans are is also important. 

But God crafts the transformation of the heart of a nation through men, women and children. Individually and corporately. Both through prayer and the reality of their lives.

I believe that reformation of a nation begins in the heart of individuals. I believe that it is extended through the transformation of families. Nations are fashioned as individual believers respond to God and collectively work towards the goals that God gives them for the nation. Church as it was intended to be.

It`s not about Church streams and fashions and denominations. It`s deeper than that. It`s not about riding the latest wave of spiritual "fashion". It`s about taking responsibility. 

For ourselves; our own hearts and lives. For the consequences of how and who we are on those around us. For our families, our businesses and our church life. It`s about relationship with God and real relationship with those around us.

Whether you live in your nation or abroad, God is waiting. Those around you are waiting. The land is waiting. Are you ready to accept your part in the bigger picture of the transformation of nations? Because you matter. We all matter. And together we cover the Earth.

"For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God." Romans 8.19

04 November, 2007


Every season has it`s beauty. Every season has a purpose. Every season is part of the cycle of eternity. 

The different seasons and times of our life make us who we are. Our attitudes as we go through those seasons affects our growth as Christians. 

We can fight a season. We can endure it. Alternatively, we can embrace it. With it`s joys and delights as well as it`s challenges and sorrows. Allowing God to grow and encourage us.

Whether we are living through a time of dark valleys or whether we are glorying on the mountain heights, God is busy crafting greatness in us. As we surrender to the work of His Spirit within us, our character is formed and shaped. 

God doesn`t put us through difficult times to punish us, but to give us an opportunity to grow and develop. Learning to trust our times to Him helps us look for the fruit of each season.

Wherever you are at in your life today, take a moment to thank Him that every day you live is part of His plan for your life. 

As for me, I trust in You, Oh Lord. I say "You are my God." My times are in Your hand. Psalm 31.14/15a

03 November, 2007

Deep and Mucky

It`s Autumn in Herrnhut. Lots of beautiful leaves to kick through. The storms of Winter will come and go. The silence of the snow will envelop the forest. And all the time these leaves will be rotting away, their beauty gone.

People talk about the seasons of life. Times when we are living in a Spring, when everything is exciting and developing. Winters, when life seems harsh and cold and fruitless. I believe God takes us through seasons. Very intentionally.

When a season of life or activity is coming to an end, it can feel like an Autumn. At first there is a glorious maturity to what we are doing. Then comes a time when the leaves fall from the trees and we wonder "what was it all for?" or "where has it all gone?".

Except that we forget that those leaves have to fall from the trees. They have to rot. They have to disintegrate. Because they must become soil. They must cover the earth. Preparing the land for the next seasons. Making it fertile. So that the new can grow.

That´s a bit deep isn`t it? Even in the barren times of a wintry season, God is preparing new soil in your life. Sometimes He takes us through a season when things have to rot a bit. It`s mucky.

But just wait and see what He grows out of that new soil in your life. He is laying the foundations for the new that will come. Accept the Autumns, in whatever form they come. Find peace as you endure the Winter. And look forward to the promise of Spring. New mercies. New life.

"His mercies are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" Lamentations 3.23/24

30 October, 2007

Reformation Day

 October 31st is a public holiday in Germany. Reformation Day is set aside to remember the religious revolution that Martin Luther and others like him fought so hard for.

The Reformation made it possible for ordinary men, women and children in Germany to have a personal living relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It allowed them to read the scriptures themselves in their own language. It did away with the idea of "buying" salvation and forgiveness. It did away with the idea that a priest must always mediate between a "normal" person and God. We are delighted that Germany still sets aside a public holiday to remember this.

But today, less than 2% of the German population is reported to have a living, meaningful relationship with Christ. What a tragedy. What a mission field.

Please remember all those Christians who are light in Germany today. Pray for strength and grace and boldness for them.

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." Matthew 5.14

Oh, and why am I writing this on the 30th and not on the day itself?... Well, I`m also being reformed (see 2 previous posts).  Tomorrow is a holiday!

The pot and the kettle

This is England. No, they`re not playing cricket. It`s bowls. A traditional English passtime. It`s most popular amongst those more senior in years. They have a little more time to pass!

The game has a slow, relaxing pace. It is social and festive. Which brings me back to the blog below. Time out. Easier said than done.

I first got the idea for the blog below on a Saturday. A free Saturday as opposed to a busy Church Saturday. I told my husband about it. He laughed and quoted the old English saying "Isn`t that the pot calling the kettle black?". He meant, of course, that it was typical of me to be thinking of work when I was supposed to be relaxing. So I waited a couple of days to write it.

Now, after yet another full week and a day or so of being "grounded" for doing too much, the Sabbath subject continues. Even when there is free time, it isn`t always easy to know what to do with it. Especially when a couple or family are all trying to relax at the same time in the same space!

So lately I`ve thought a lot about the Jewish "Sabbath" context. 3 things stand out. Firstly, it is a regular, planned time. It has an element of tradition. The traditional aspects of the time bring the family together. Secondly, tradition can help expectation. So that everyone expects to play their part, eat their part and spend time together. Thirdly, it also leaves room for the individual to rest with God and rest from work.

So if a Sabbath is part of God`s plan for our health, we have to learn to plan it a bit too. To make a few healthy traditions. To prepare so that we can relax. Not always so easy, but amazingly rewarding. We`re on a learning curve with time off... and reaping the benefits! Try it sometime.

Exodus 20.8-10 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

22 October, 2007

Enduring urgent times

A stop sign can be totally frustrating. Especially when you are in a hurry. So much to do. Time is tight. They can often feel like they are holding us back. Focused on our destination, we just want to keep going. But a stop sign is a life saver. 

We live in urgent times, aware of the Bigger Picture. Aware of God`s greater plan; one that endures through time and generations. That`s humbling and exciting to be part of. Urgency can be a great motivator.

If we are heavily active in Church life, it can be especially easy to feel a healthy responsibility to be fruitful and busy. To keep going. There is just so much to do. It`s like being on a treadmill and never sensing a good time to get off. It doesn`t slow down. We learn to develop stamina. To endure.

But to maintain stamina we need to learn to trust the Bigger Picture to God. To realise that as important as each one of us is, God is able to keep His greater plan on track. Even if we take a little break. In fact, God feels so strongly about this that He included a Sabbath rest in the Ten Commandments. He has designed us to give ourselves fully to work and equally fully to rest. In the right proportions...and regularly. 

So next time you feel too guilty or too pressured to take a day off, open your Bible. Read Exodus 20. Devoting a day a week to rest, time with God and to refuel your tanks, ranks high on God`s list of priorities. You see, He truly does have The Bigger Picture in perspective. He knows you need to endure. He understands the urgency. And this is His solution. This is one of the huge secrets to enduring stamina and enduring urgency.

A stop sign might be frustrating, but it`s what keeps the traffic in order. It allows the traffic to keep flowing. And yes, they truly do save lives.

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God." Exodus 20.8

19 October, 2007

The Bigger Picture endures

Not only is God`s Bigger Picture of things much larger than our own. It also endures. Through times, seasons and generations. I love that about God. 

Sometimes we get so caught up in the "here and now" of life. We think in terms of our lifetime or even just a portion of our lifetime. But what God speaks and puts in motion is for a more enduring season. He thinks in terms of generations. He has an eternal perspective.

This shot is the road in which the Jesus-Haus stands. It was taken a couple of weeks ago on the day Germany celebrated the reunification of East and West Germany. At the end of the road you see the Moravian Church. In the foreground the flag of Saxony, the region we live in. This is Herrnhut 2007.

It is the same street where nazi banners hung over 60 years ago. They renamed it Adolf Hitler Strasse. Then the Russians torched two thirds of the town. The communist regime began. The street became August-Bebel-Strasse. Instead of Nazi propaganda, communist propaganda was posted in the street. Now, in this time of treasured freedom, a sign hangs on a building that was a hospital during the nazi and communist time. That same building was originally built as a warehouse for a tradesman called Abraham Dürninger. The profits of the trade helped finance the sending out of missionaries around the world.

The sign that hangs on this building says "Christliches Zentrum Herrnhut e.V. Jesus Haus".

The same building. The same street. Enduring times, seasons, regimes, wars and treasured freedom. It reminds me of God`s long term perspective. So many things change over time, but God`s word remains forever. It has an unchanging quality. Through all generations.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40.8

16 October, 2007

Who colours your dreams?

Every generation of Christians inherits from those who have gone before. Truth. Understanding. Church culture. And so much more. Somethings we like to build on. Others we`d rather change. We also inherit a dream. Something greater that we carry within us. Are you aware of that?

People, situations & events all influence how we see that dream. How we dream that dream. How we bring our part of the dream into reality and how we pass it on to others. Being a Christian isn`t just about you. It`s about you and Jesus and your part in a much bigger picture.

You see, Christians were made to be part of a bigger dream. God`s dream. A dream for generations and the nations. The world takes dreams and makes them serve the individual. God gives dreams that serve Him and His plan for the nations.

No matter how personal your dream, no matter how big or small it is, let Jesus colour it. Because if you are following Jesus, your dream is part of something greater. Let Him take those desires and colour them for His purposes. You might have to revise your dream a little. You may have to take another look at the blueprint. But when He has finished with it you will understand. God uses each one of us to display His greatness, in the little and the big things of life. In the momentous and the seemingly insignificant.

It`s just a case of allowing Him. Of co-operating. So who`s colouring your dreams? Is it the world, or is it Him?

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3.20-21

10 October, 2007


I`ve been thinking a lot about the generations lately. About being part of history and how we make history. Every day. In the little and the bigger things that we do.

There is always a bigger picture than the one we see daily. Others have gone before us. We have inherited from them. Some good things, some bad, usually a mixture of both. 

We are also leaving an inheritance behind us. But I don´t just want to think about leaving something behind when I am gone. I`m passionate about passing our inheritance on while we are still living too. I don´t mean all our worldly goods! I mean this wonderful life in Jesus. 

As Christians we make up the Church. The Church is continually developing. But the foundations remain the same. Jesus endures throughout time. The Church, His bride is also destined to endure. Just as I have inherited from those who have walked with God before me, so I want those who follow me to inherit. 

We are a living timeline. Just thinking about that inspires me. Our life is not our own. It is not just about me in the here and now. I am a part of history. And so are you.

"...to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3.21

09 October, 2007

Staun Mal is launched!

Today is the day! Staun Mal, a daily time of pure worship is launched in the Jesus-Haus. It sounds so simple doesn`t it? No notices, no long petitions, no agenda. Nothing to interrupt a time of giving ourselves over to worship our Saviour.

Tuesday to Saturday, every week, worshippers and watchmen will be simply surrendering to Jesus in worship. It`s a joy, but also a discipline. To continue to worship for this time, lifting His name high over our region and nation. No one will preach, no one will be allowed to interrupt the flow of adoration.

For the Jesus-Haus project it`s one of the first phases in building up the prayer and worship altar here. Guests and visitors to the Jesus-Haus as well as others in the region are all welcome to join us in this hour of adoration.

And if you`re too far away to pop over to East Germany for an hour, why not take time yourself and spend an hour simply adoring Him? Wherever you are, whoever you are, He is waiting for You. He loves it when we simply come and give Him the love of our heart. 

08 October, 2007

Soul Stairs

Is our soul good or bad? Sometimes we get confused. Jesus saved our souls. He restores our souls. They are made to worship Him. To be intimate with Him. They are living and active; they feel, think and respond. But not always in a good way. That`s the problem.
When we become a Christian, a transformation begins. Our earthly soul has to undergo a spiritual process. To learn to make the right choices and responses to God, to others and to events. To live that abundant, free life that Jesus won on the cross for us. Giving our lives to Jesus is the beginning of a journey. 
Like climbing stairs. One step at a time. 

One choice at a time, we are transformed. We learn to stop living under fears, shame and the past. We allow the power and life of God`s truth to change the way we think and respond. We learn to walk in the freedom Christ has won, to live as a new creation.  

You see, Jesus didn´t just die to "save" our souls. It`s not just about going to Heaven. He also rose again so that our souls could be "converted". To transform the way we live and have our being. So that our soul can truly live in freedom. It was for freedom that Christ died and rose again; to truly set us free.  

King David put it like this: "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul." Psalm 19.7

As we open our heart up to the Truth of His Word, we learn to understand and walk in the freedom Christ has won for us. We learn His principles for responding and reacting to others and situations. We learn to live "in the Spirit". 

Why not open your Bible now. Let Him touch you with His Word, respond to Him  and put some soul stairs behind you today? 


We all have times when we`re thirsting for more. Or we`re just feeling dry and worn out. Sometimes our soul gets tired. 

It can be easy to feel under pressure to always be happy and fruitful. To have it all. Or to bounce back quickly after a disappointment or loss. 

It`s certainly not good for us to wallow. But sometimes we do need time to work things out. Time for our roots to take up water again. For the depths of our soul to be refreshed. For our heart to believe again and our spirit to be revived.

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name`s sake."

If your soul is dry, thirsty or aching, respond to your shepherd today. Find a place of rest and allow Him to speak to your heart, to your soul. Let the kisses of His Word revive you and restore you. That`s something that He loves to do.

04 October, 2007

When less is more

God speaks to Christians today. If you are listening, you can hear His voice. Sometimes He is telling us something for us alone. Sometimes it is for sharing. It`s not always easy to know whether we should share what we hear with others.

A good thing to do is to ask God first. A second thing is to check that what you think you have heard agrees with God`s word. He is always true and faithful. He won`t speak anything that does not agree with His promises and teaching.

One of the most important things that I have learnt is that "less is more". People often feel under pressure to share extended words from God, or to interpret them. But we are just vessels. Channels for the message. You don`t need to be the interpreter. You just need to learn to be a pure channel.

It isn`t more spiritual to interpret the message as well. It doesn`t make you a better Christian and it doesn`t mean you are more gifted or mature either. In fact, often those who stay closest to the heart of God speak very simply and profoundly. I think they`ve  learned the "less is more" tactic too.

Simply speak what you hear. Nothing more, nothing less. Let God interpret it into the hearts of others. The more we get out of the way and keep our own understanding out of the message, the purer it will be.

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."  2 Cor 4.7

28 September, 2007

Leaving room for God`s dream

We usually mean well. It`s just that it`s a bit insulting to God really isn`t it? Telling the Creator of the Earth how to do something. Be honest. Have you ever fallen into that trap?

There`s a need, you really think it`s time God did something about it and you have a great idea how He could do that. Should do that. Must do that. Only He doesn`t seem to be listening.

I know why. It`s because He`s busy waiting for us to stop dreaming our dreams and to start dreaming His. It`s one of the hardest things for humans to do. Waiting for God. 

Sure, there are lots of times in life when we need to just apply our human wisdom and be responsible, responding to need by using our skills and initiative. But there are also many times in life when taking a moment to check with God how He feels about the situation and wants us to proceed would be the smartest move we could make.

God`s ways are so much higher than ours. He`s so much more creative. Next time there`s a situation going on, take a moment to check which direction God is dreaming in. You might be in for a few surprises.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55.9

Whose idea is prophecy anyway?

Dead bones. No flesh, no breath. Whatever life there was is over. Or is it? Something about the challenge of the impossible captures us. When you know the God of the impossible, then suddenly what we accept as reality is challenged.

We know a spiritual world exists, not just the physical one we live in. The moment we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we confirm our belief in that spiritual realm. We admit it affects our physical world and our physical souls and bodies. That`s why the Bible puts so much emphasis on what we say and how we say it. Our words have power. They encourage, speaking hope and life. They can also hurt and destroy. We have a responsibility to choose how we use our tongue in day to day life. 

But our words are at their most powerful when they come fully into line with the will and heart of God Himself. As we agree with God, obeying Him and speaking the words He gives us. Take the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones (Ezekiel 37). As Ezekiel "prophesied" or spoke to the bones and the wind, a mighty army was formed from a valley of dry bones. A vision in the spiritual realm explaining something God planned to do in the physical world. But this vision also teaches us a very important lesson.

Prophecy is more than speaking out positive words. Prophesying is speaking something into being. There is a responsibility in that. It`s more than speaking positive things into or over a situation out of your own understanding. Ezekiel responded to the challenge of God. He spoke as God commanded Him. God didn`t show Ezekiel the valley and ask him to choose what to say. It wasn`t about what Ezekiel thought would be cool. In fact, I bet God`s dream far exceeded anything Ezekiel could have thought of. 

So God showed him the bones and shared His heart and dream. Then God gave very precise instructions.

If you want to prophesy, firstly learn to hear God. Secondly learn to obey. Because true prophecy isn`t about our dreams and ideas. It`s about agreeing with the heart of God and speaking as He commands. 

"So I prophesied as He commanded me,and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army."

24 September, 2007

The Keeper of Truth

It isn`t always easy to know who we can trust. Generous hearts sometimes trust too easily. Cynical hearts shelter behind walls. Picky hearts are choosy who they confide in and who they will learn from. Which is right?

Having a teachable heart is crucial to living as a disciple of Christ. A teachable heart is a humble heart that desires to grow. It looks for opportunities to learn. It`s part of God`s plan that we learn not just straight from Him, but also from one another. 

We can`t skip the issue and just huddle alone with God. Jesus taught His disciples and then commissioned them to go and teach others. There is an inheritance to be shared and passed down among the generations and among the nations.

But how generous should we be? Should we soak up everything that everyone tries to teach us?

I believe that the Keeper of our hearts has given us one golden rule to help us. The Bible refers to God as the Keeper of Truth. It doesn`t matter how impressive the person is, if their message is not found in God`s Word, don´t accept it. Sometimes people speak with great authority, but their message is not pure. Sometimes it is a mixture of God`s Word and their ideas or interpretation. Sometimes it is their own revelation.

Isaiah 8.20 guides us: "If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

God`s Word is Truth and Light. The Keeper of Truth has given us a great gift. Knowing the Word will help protect you from soaking up distorted teaching.
Why not open a Bible today and read it?

21 September, 2007

Bruised and Broken

They say that time heals a broken heart. I don´t agree. 

Sure, in time we may "get over" someone or "get used to" the fact that a tragedy occurred. In time we may even begin to understand what happened. But time alone doesn`t mend the wounds of disappointment or the grief of losing a loved one. 

In fact, sometimes we simply learn to live with the pain. Or we develop strategies to avoid it or block it out. Some people bind up their broken heart through work or throwing themselves into new relationships. 

Trusting our broken heart to "Time" is a pretty poor substitute when we can turn to the Living God. "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147.3). How does He do this? Through two powerful keys to freedom: forgiveness and mercy.  

Easily said, but not so easily done. But apply the salve of forgiveness and mercy to a broken and bruised heart, over time, ensuring that it is really absorbed, and you will see freedom and healing released. 

That heart will be free to live and love again. It will not be restricted by fear, cynicism or coping strategies. It will not avoid those situations that press the bruised heart`s reaction buttons. Instead, a healed heart has a new depth. It has a new lightness. It has a greater wisdom. 

If your heart is broken or you have been binding it up with the wrong things, talk to Jesus. As you choose to turn to Him, choose to forgive, ask Him to help you to understand and walk in mercy. Sometimes, if we`ve lost a loved one, we have to come to that point of really accepting that God is God. Laying aside our frustration and pain and surrendering to His greater plan. 

That`s what forgiveness means; to lay aside. Lay aside your shame, lay aside your disappointment, lay aside your desire for justice and vengeance and offer your heart up to Jesus today. 

19 September, 2007

The Hand of God

There are times when His touch is like a distant memory. Faded and forgotten. There are those who have longed for His touch their whole lives and those who don`t even believe that the Living God truly touches lives.

Some days, some moments, I sense His hand so present in my life, so intimate. He is real. But whether we sense Him or not, He is there, His hand outstretched, waiting for you and I to respond to Him.  Through Jesus, God shows His hand of mercy. Washing away the pain, shame and fear that separates us from God. Responding to His hand of mercy brings us into intimacy with God. Not just a distant connection, but a real and living relationship.

Like all relationships, so many things can get in the way and create distance between us. But as we respond to the hand of God on our lives, we turn to the One who loves us with a great and everlasting love.

His hand is a hand of grace, of mercy and of love like no other. It moulds and forms us, delighting in gently crafting us for the greatness of living as a child of God. It awakens us to His goodness. His hand disciplines and guides us, keeping our feet on His paths. It heals and restores, comforts and releases.

Whatever your need, Jesus encourages us to come to Him. In Him we find rest for our soul and restoration in our lives. 

As you turn to Jesus Christ today, welcome the touch of the hand of God upon your life.

15 September, 2007

Facing Shattered Dreams

Talking about unity is easy. But many of us have been cut, right to the core. Expectations shattered. Dreams dragged down. We had such hopes of working, living or loving together and then it all went pear-shaped. Is unity really viable?

I believe it is. I also believe that God allows us to go through times of pain and disappointment. He crafts greatness in us as we face our shattered dreams and choose to move on with Him, working out our part of what went wrong. Choosing to continue to pursue the excellence of unity. An excellence that is attainable, despite our human imperfections.

Unity is a choice. It is something we pursue. Some people pray to receive unity, but I believe that we have to make very active decisions to see unity become a reality in our relationships and church life. Each one of us has a responsibility to pursue the peace so vital to unity. We have to learn to make peace with one another and with the events that have occurred.

Being a peacemaker requires character and humility. It means we are prepared to face the nitty gritty issues. We choose mercy and forgiveness, laying aside our natural heart cry for vengeance. We place the situation in God`s hands. We pray mercy for those who have hurt us and whom we do not understand. We choose to walk on in excellence, being responsible for our own reactions and attitudes. We are humble enough to admit that our way may not necessarily be the right way. Refusing to harden our hearts, we refuse to become cynical. We continue to believe that unity is attainable. 

Don`t let shattered dreams distort your character. Instead allow God`s gentle hand to craft greatness in you. If unity didn´t work out last time for you. Forgive, let it go, apply mercy and move on. 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5.9

10 September, 2007


Walking by faith is a personal choice. Your choice. But faith gets really exciting and rewarding when we join ours with others. Together, our faith is powerful. We encourage one another. We keep one another on the right path.

If being a Christian for you is just about you and God, you're missing a crucial part of the engine. It's also about being together. Try and go it on your own all the time and you waste too much energy on the battle of cutting a way through. Walk with others and together you can stand, move forward and take new ground.

Walking together moulds our character. It isn't always easy. But it creates a unity, a powerful force. Choose to walk by faith alongside others who follow Jesus and you become part of something greater than yourself.

Relationship with others, being Church, being committed to move on together as a group of believers is not just an option, but a necessity for every believer who truly wants to be used by God. God blesses unity (Psalm 133). He is moved by the united faith of believers. He is moved by our commitment to one another.

I love it when God is on the move. If you want to join in with what He is doing, make sure you stick together with other believers. Get your faith walk into line. Stay accountable and join your personal faith walk with that of others. Stay "together", walk "together" and see your nation changed "together".

Hidden Paths

Ever wonder what God is doing with you? Or wish you could see the way forward more clearly? As Christians we are called to live by faith and not by sight. By the truth of His word and not by our feelings. But how?

Steps of faith require boldness. They also require wisdom. The world may call your faith step foolish. But true faith is founded on the wisdom of God and His word.

Step out in true faith and you will find that you are pleasing God (Hebrews 11.6). Your faith will be rewarded. You will feel Him strengthening your feet beneath you, guiding your steps. His word is like a two-edged sword, it helps us discern what is of Him in our lives and what is from us. Use that sword to clear the path of faith in your life.

Read it, believe it and express that belief in words and actions. Enjoy the faith adventure!

04 September, 2007


Crying out to God certainly brings answers. It also brings a different perspective on things. When we truly allow God to begin to work in a situation, we learn that He sees things differently than we do.

Where we see no other way, He makes paths straight beneath our feet. When we see limitations, He sees opportunities. I love that about God. He's so creative and always totally relevant. Surrendering to Him and putting our trust in Him changes our situation. Same landscape, but a different perspective.

Suddenly there are possibilities we didn't see before. Surprisingly, things we thought immovable begin to change. The Bible encourages us to bring our thinking into line with how God thinks (Romans 12.2). It's a key that changes our lives. We begin to see things God's way. It changes how we see ourselves. Even other people.

Best of all, it brings us to a place of peace. Our own worries or battles bring concern. But when we have God's perspective then we remember who is in charge. We remember that He has a plan and we begin to co-operate with Him. Our faith grows. We find a place of rest. A rest of faith.

Next time you cry out to God, don't just harangue Him with your frustration. Ask Him for His perspective on the situation. Allow Him to open up new possibilities.

28 August, 2007

Crying out to God

Sometimes we feel trapped. We can't find the way forward, or we can't find the way out. There are times in our lives when we need answers. People who know God will all testify that crying out to Him will bring an answer. Not always the answer we expect, but always one that ultimately brings good.

Crying out to God tells Him that you are ready to tackle the situation His way now. It shows that you recognise His greatness; that He is Lord. It is the point of surrender. The moment when we allow Him to take the reins in a situation.

Crying out to God can be a simple expressive cry or a long emotional outburst! Whatever the cry, remember that in the calm after the storm, He will comfort and He will speak. Depressed and discouraged, Elijah heard the still small voice of God as He hid, a refugee from the infamous Queen Jezebel. Hannah sobbed and cried out to God in the temple before Eli the priest came and spoke right into her situation. And Jeremiah sat in prison when God came to him and spoke:
"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33.3)

Crisis points are good for us. They remind us who really has control. They teach us so much about God and ourselves. But you don't have to wait for a crisis...

When was the last time you cried out to Jesus?

18 July, 2007

That Place of Peace

Sometimes we're so busy trying to work things out, trying to find God, that we don't notice He's been waiting for us. Quietly, patiently, calling our name, preparing the way. Sometimes it's because we`re afraid. Perhaps a lot, perhaps a little, of that still quiet place. Afraid of what we might hear there? Afraid He won't meet us there?

And with all our searching, questioning, running around and heartache, our frustration grows. We long for the answer. We hunger and thirst for it.

And all the time God is waiting for You. Jesus said "Come to me. Everyone who is striving and carrying baggage and burdens around. I will give you rest."

Take a moment today to really stop. Stop doing life with all its pressures and hustle and bustle. Call to Him and wait for Him. He won't chide you. He's waiting to love you, to speak to you. Maybe you'll realise you do need to change a couple of things. But it will be His love that motivates you. His mercy and love.

Isaiah 30:15 reminds us: In returning to the Lord and resting, you will be saved. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.

The true secret to success

The true secret to success in the Christian life is not about strategies and striving. There is one thing that every believer needs to know and practise. It will maximise your own spiritual development. It will revolutionise your friendships. It will transform your marriage.

It's quite simple. You cannot be a true disciple of Jesus unless you face this one. Teachability. You need to develop a teachable heart and attitude. 

Basically that means discipleship and mentoring should be a priority for all of us, no matter how long we`ve been Christians. And I don't mean giving it out. I mean receiving it. A prophet will soon be unhealthy if he will never receive a word from another. A teacher will stagnate if she doesn't continue to understand more and more.

What I love about Jesus is that He's so practical. You can't get all superspiritual on this one and say "Oh well, I learn from Jesus Himself. I like to get it all straight from Him, I don't need anyone else."  Hmmmm. Jesus created us to be in relationship with others as well as God. Look at all the parables He told. They are all about the Kingdom of God. And they are all about relationships. 

So. A teachable heart. Growing in God. Growing with others. Learning from others. 

Give yourself a little spiritual health check. How teachable are you?

17 July, 2007

"The Secret" and Marriage

A teachable heart. The secret every Christian should embrace. 

When we first fall in love and head up the aisle, most of us are full of optimism. Great expectations, perhaps a little shakiness as well, but for the most part we marry because we are convinced that things are going to work out well for the two of us.

Our experience, both in our own marriage and in those we have observed and ministered into has convinced us that there is one fundamental principle that will make or break a marriage.

The willingness to learn from others and to seek help and to allow people to speak wisdom into our patterns of relating are crucial for every successful marriage. We don't need this all the time. Part of the adventure of marriage is the development of us as a couple. Each couple is unique and the blending together of two lives in Christian marriage is a very precious adventure.

Both marriage partners have to be prepared to change and grow. All of the time.
Both marriage partners have to be ready to learn from others too-- the right people with the right wisdom for the right moment! It's not so much a question of whether 2 people fit together for life. It's more a question of whether they are prepared to grow together.

So if you´re busy falling in love or making out your list of "must haves" in a perfect partner, knock off the "on fire for God" and the "sexy legs" from the top spot and write " a teachable heart" firmly in first place.  "On fire for God" is great for the second spot, but in first spot it's not much good if he or she ends up being a superspiritual fiery loose cannon who always thinks they know best.

"Teach me Your ways, O God, Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me. For You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day" Psalm 25:5