Saturday, January 30, 2010

Divine Botox

I want to encourage you in something to-day, and bring a fresh perspective to an old issue, contextualised from an except from "Crazy Love" by Francis Chang with my thoughts thrown in for your information revelation or reading.

Not to mention enlighten you to your everlasting supply of DIVINE BOTOX that awaits if your heed His word and follow His ways.

I tend to be the  "stressing" rather than a worrier. No, really, I am, just ask anyone of my children, or my husband and they will tell you, "yep, she is a bit of a stress head". This is mainly due to my "confusion"  as to why God is not intervening, why is this happeneing, what is the impact on me, my family etc.

I know what your thinking right about now.  What the positive and uplifting, confident and always glass half full kinda gal that I am. How can she really be "stressed". AHHH .....hello..... we are not that different believe me.

What that follows changed my whole perception and was an AHA moment for me. Reading Francis Chan's publication "Crazy Love" challenged me greatly and specifically in the early pages on the following issue.

God knows the intensity and the seriousness with which I take the mantle He has placed  on me,  of raising my family, teaching and motivating, empowering women (and men) in Life in Him,  and in writing and yes,  a book eventually. He knows I am purposefully  determined to accomplish His will, that is, in the context of what He has told me to do personally, and I stess about that, in not achieving the same.

*Please note here that I have come to realise all my failures are in reality the things that are going to be the vechicle to my success's accomplishing all in Him, its a failing forward thing, but that's another story altogether.

Anyhoo!,  back to stess and worry ............. When I am consumed with what is going on, be it even consumed and stressed about doing His will wearing the mantle to bring Him glory, I am more focused on me, my issues , my this n that ...than I am on Him. Stressed and all the while trying to justify my stress because I can say "well what I am stressed about is really all about HIM." Come on now....!


The word says this "Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!" phil4:4amp,  and it does not leave it at that but it further it encourages us in v6 "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ("definite requests"), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

The psalms frame it like this "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart." ps37:4amp

That does not sound like stress to me !!

Francis Chan in his book " Crazy Love" (pg41) it says this "When I am consumed with my problems - I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's commands to Rejoice."
In other words,  Francis Chan says, that I have the "right" to disobey God because of the magnitude of my responsibilities (or issues and prblems if you like gf)

I love his interpretation of  Worry and Stress as follows; (Crazy Love pg 42)

WORRY: implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough or loving enough to take care of what is happening in our lives.

STRESS: says that the things we are invovled in are important enoughto merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others and our tight grip on control.

WHOA - Ah yes indeed .....Its the stress thing for me and that having control.

These two behaviours, Francis Chan goes on to say; "communicate that it is ok not to trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional."

Is this souding at all familiar?

Both STRESS and WORRY reek of ARROGANCE  Chan writes...and it sceams and declares  we are forgetting we have been redeemed, forgiven, are alive on the planet for HIS glory,  forget  that we are heaven bound to never hurt again, that we are carved in the palm of his very hand and that in the context of GOD and his strength, our problems are but a "pffffft" i.e. small indeed, or miniscule in fact.

WHO DO WE THINK WE ARE......... really? When we forget so quickly.

We glimpse His Holyness, His Granduer, we sing and praise and worship and stand in awe of all He has done, and is to do, and yet are dumb enough to forget and at the first sign of a rocky boat or hint of turbulance we skip a breathe and discount  HIM.

Worry and stress, as Francis Chan points out,  is sin, and is not putting HIM where He belongs in our lives. FIRST.... So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God. 1cor10:31amp
Friends a holy and peaceful spirit will disarm the greatest of enemies .
I pray this has inpired you today as it did me. I thought stressingabout thigs of the KINGDOM context was ok....IT IS NOT. it all looks the same to God, stress and worry about carnal things or kingdom things ..He calls it like it is .....sin.

It does not matter what place you are in it is about bringing glory to HIM. stress and worry are arrogant and naive and reek not only of arrogance but of the stench and putridness of the enemy. I can see that clearer now.

So people of the Most High  - when stress and worry come roaming around looking to devour. STAND and raise your  SWORD Warrior daughters and sons, lift the WORD and rejoice, delight, gladden your hearts and minds in HIM.

He has got your back. He has you covered. HE is a big GOD, let Him sort it out.

Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. (eph4:27msg)
Whilst this verse actually talks about in your anger do not sin, I think it is also asking us to take heed of everything contrary to truth,  like the sin of stress and worry , well they do fall into that catagory do they not?

Next time you fell stressed or are tempted to get your worry on (sometimes it takes others to show me that I am even stressed) dont yield, grant or allow the devil to lump this wrinkle causing and aging sin on you. Don't give permission to the ememy but Give GOD glory instead and he, the enemy  will flee.

It is common knowledge in the Health idustry that being stress free and worryless will extend your lifeThat PEACE does in fact increase and assist in  your heart coondition and hence, circulation and skin and extends your natural life ......

I say stress and worry free is like GOD's natural and ongoing everflowing botox.

Bless you my Friends and sisters (and brothers they need wrinkle free too) .............I pray your day and week is stress worry free, and that you will see a refreshing fill every area and crease of your lives and faces (hehe) as YOU shine for Him

The truth of Christ appears in all its beauty and power, when it appears in you as in Jesus

Rest in Him


Friday, January 8, 2010

Reasons and Seasons

One of the greatest obstacles Christians face is when they do not recognize the season they are in.

If it is a spiritual winter do not expect the summer harvest. Do not be anxious or concerned when there fruit is not appearing, don't commit to this and that to try to make it happen, or try to forcethe fruit to bear because it just CANNOT BE FORCED. No matter how hard you try, you won't produce fruit until the right seson and conditions are around or more so within. And it is God who produces the climate and the seasons we have not the power to command immediacy of fruit. But what is worse is that we play the blamegame and point the finger AT GOD for the lack of fruit! How many times have you heard whinging and complaining to the effect of "BUT I did everything right and this and that and me and me and I and I .....BUT God did not come through."

Really........... this is your your faith ?

God does not fail; we fail.

We fail to to recognize what the seasons are we are in and we fail to work with God through those seasons REMEMBER a time for this.....and a time for that ....SEASONS

It not about what we do or say or pray or give or dont do or say or pray or give , and its not about what we think we are sacrificing either.......... IT is about what He is doing in our life.

So in a pruning season , be pruned, it a blossoming season, blossom, in a season where you are dormant, rest and in the fruiting season Be the best possible fruit around. Seize thae day people.

I dont know much about fruit trees and flowers and vegies and the lkike my thumb is not gree but this I do know.............Just like the natural seasons and planting and harvestings, we as the kids God loves and is always for, go through spiritual seasons and plantings and harvestings and OUCH prunings too.
In Spring we can be aware and observant and se ethe leading of God into new adventures into new opportunities. A season of preparation and the planting if you will .... a season to enrich and airate the soil....Sound good to me .

In Summer we need to take the time for learning and development and plumping up our fruits maturing if you like is a good analogy

During Autumn we may be feeling a need to return to the basics of our relationship or maybe its a new level of commitment to new or revisited disciplines; or a time for reflection and out with the old things A time for seeking and prayer and planning, which in themselves seem to the naked eye to produce little fruit but are in essence the fertiliser spurring on and norishing the fruit to come .

Lastly, there is winter - AHHH Winter is it not the most uncomfortable time for manyof us , Yeah and Christians too. In our society we tend to value people based on how much they produce. This "work equals value" culture is not godly and it is wrong to commend such people who are over committed as much as it is wrong tojudge those who are under committed, or complacent or blind or this or that
God does not in the first instance value your works HE values YOU....people - and we should adopt this too to value first the person not the status of the things or the works.
Spiritual winter is like alot of sundays.Reating Realxing Soaking in the Rain......Warming yourself and God instructed people to keep thier rest special and to Him..... To spend time reflecting on the things of God, to be thankful for all things, for His son for this life for who not what you are .

As you work speading and shaking out His God Salt (you are the salt of the Earth) and go about promoting His Kingdom come and His will be done, remember to work, or rest, to restore and refresh, according to the season you are in.

This will be the underlying development of the best fruit in your life that will be so ready for the harvest.
So Season are you in right now? and what season are you acting and operating as if your in .....

Gal 5:22 Msg ...........But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.
Colossians 1:5 Msg ......The Message is as true among you today as when you first heard it. It doesn't diminish or weaken over time. It's the same all over the world. The Message bears fruit and gets larger and stronger, just as it has in you.

See you next time


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Late Have I Loved You, Augustine

This is an amazing piece .....
I was led to this by one of my daughter's who is a songwriter/singer  and lyracist .
Here's the thing, though I have read this  several times already,  I think I could almost keep reading again and again,  and keep unpacking it for days ... I almost feel a fast and study coming on ......Enjoy friends Enjoy

Late Have I Loved You - Augustine

Where did I find you in order to make your acquaintance in the first place?
You could not have been in my memory before I learned to know you.
Where then could I have found you in order to learn of you, if not in yourself, far above me?
“Place” has here no meaning: further away from you or toward you we may travel, but place there is none.
O Truth, you hold sovereign sway over all who turn to you for counsel, and to all of them you respond at the same time, however diverse their pleas.

Clear is your response, but not all hear it clearly.
They all appeal to you about what they want, but do not always hear what they want to hear.
Your best servant is the one who is less intent on hearing from you what accords with his own will, and more on embracing with his will what he has heard from you.

Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,

but I outside, seeking there for you,

and upon the shapely things you have made

I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.

You were with me, but I was not with you.

They held me back far from you,

those things which would have no being,

were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;

you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;

you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;

I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;

you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

When at last I cling to you with my whole being there will be no more anguish or labor for me, and my life will be alive indeed, alive because filled with you.

But now it is very different.
Anyone whom you fill you also uplift; but I am not full of you, and so I am a burden to myself.
Joys over which I ought to weep do battle with sorrows that should be matter for joy, and I do not know which will be victorious.
But I also see griefs that are evil at war in me with joys that are good, and I do not know which will win the day.
This is agony, Lord, have pity on me! It is agony!
See, I do not hide my wounds; you are the physician and I am sick; you are merciful, I in need of mercy.

Is not human life on earth a time of testing?
Who would choose troubles and hardships?
You command us to endure them, but not to love them.
No-one loves what he has to endure, even if he loves the endurance, for although he may rejoice in his power to endure, he would prefer to have nothing that demands endurance.
In adverse circumstances I long for prosperity, and in times of prosperity I dread adversity.
What middle ground is there, between these two, where human life might be free from trial?
Woe betide worldly prosperity, and woe again, from fear of disaster and evanescent joy!
But woe, woe, and woe again upon worldly adversity, from envy of better fortune, the hardship of adversity itself, and the fear that endurance may falter.
Is not human life on earth a time of testing without respite?

On your exceedingly great mercy, and on that alone, rests all my hope.

Is that not poetic and truth ......does that just cause you to stand to attention ....Captivated for the KING 

In this famous excerpt from his Confessions (Lib. 10, 26. 37-29, 40: CSEL 33, 255-256), St. Augustine wrestles like Job with the problem of suffering, adversity, trial, and the sorrow that comes from God's apparent absence in times of trouble. "Late have I loved you," read on the Feast of St. Augustine, August 28, laments a bishop who did not finally yield to faith and baptism till his thirties, whose enthusiasm for the created things of this world held him back from their Creator. But now, having breathed the fragrance of God's Truth and Beauty, he pants for God and burns for the peace that only the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ can provide. He finds his peace on doing God's will and being his servant. This selection appears in the Roman Office of Readings for Wednesday of the 8th week in ordinary time with the accompanying biblical reading from Job 7:1-21.

 Dr. D'Ambrosio