Tomorrow

 

Tomorrow can only be lived if you chose today, to be there tomorrow. The decisions today, can cause tomorrow to be less than what it could. Or tomorrow can be better because today, you chose well.

If you go into any forest or wooded area, you will find markings etched into trees. It might be markings or initials that people have carved into the trunk so that it remains forever. Today I want to share with you something that remains etched into my mind and heart. While God has beautifully healed this area of my life, the scars remain.

Nineteen years ago, my dad took his own life.

This week a want to use this blog to reach out and encourage others who have had a loved one who has taken their own life.

I also want to reach out to those that might be coming to the end of what they can take and might be thinking that life is not worth living, or that the pain that they feel needs to end. For you right now, please go and talk to someone – the future is yet to be lived and you will never know what that future is unless you experience it. I am praying for you right now and in the coming week.

The following story is an article I wrote a year ago, on the anniversary of my father’s passing. Some parts of it are raw and I have left it at that. God has used this part of my life to be able to reach others. I am not only grateful for pain, but thankful that we have a God who heals and then who allows us to use the pain for helping others.

 

(Be Alive Ministries Facebook post 29th March 2016)

Posted by Be Alive Ministries on Monday, 28 March 2016

 

For the one who has lost the will to live

 

There is always a tomorrow.

Tomorrow remains as a forward destination whether we want it to be or not. If we end our tomorrows, it is still there for everyone else. People who are at the end of what they can take, or when the depression fills the mind with darkness, then the existence of tomorrow is wanting to be wiped from the now. Tomorrow is not always as we think it might be. When pain or darkness speak, it does not tell the truth. It speaks from yesterday, not tomorrow.

The future is always there. It is what we do tomorrow that changes this.

As a Christian, I have faced times were the only hope for a future was hanging on to God, until the tomorrow was then today and today was better. Soon the “todays” became the best place to be and my “tomorrows” were left in the hands of the very God who I had clung to.

I only can say that my father missed out on so much, because he chose to wipe his tomorrows away. He chose not to understand that the God he believed in would get him through, and tomorrow, while maybe different and challenging, was worth the fight.

Every person, life and tomorrow is worth the fight, it is worth the decision to live another day. It is worth hanging on to God while He brings your though.

I have been in both situations. I have thought of no tomorrow and I have lost someone who thought that there was no tomorrow. For this I can personally say without a doubt in my heart – whatever the struggle, God is the answer.

 

For the one who has lost a loved one to suicide

 

You have a tomorrow too. It is hard and painful, you will be angry and then regret that anger. You will wonder if you could have done more. You will blame yourself and then blame your loved one. You will have good days and bad days. My heart goes out to you.

Your life is now different, someone has changed that for you. Your tomorrow will only change too if you make the decisions to start every day as a new one. Remember what I said above. When pain and darkness speak, it does not tell the truth.

Forgive, surround yourself with friends and loved ones, and give your tomorrow to God. He knows your future and can help you.

I know this. I have experienced this. Our God is an awesome God. He takes our dark todays and turns them in to tomorrows of worth and a future of hope.

There is a lesson I have learnt well – God knows my yesterday. He is with me today. He is in my tomorrow, and He is my forever. I know this becasue I have experienced this. I have a bush in my yard, it is called “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. When I see this bush, I think of God. God has been there for me for so many years, and I look forward to the years to come.

Tomorrow isn’t ours to deal with today. We can only deal with one day at a time. Yesterday cannot be dealt with today either, it belongs in the past.

Give your yesterdays, todays and tomorrows to God. Trust in Him who has a better sight than you.

 

Be blessed

 

Australia

Beyond Blue 24/7 Helpline – 1300 22 46936

Lifeline Australia 24/7 helpline – 13 11 14

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

 

 

 

Rainbows and Sunshine.

 

 

I love rainbows and sunshine on a cloudy day. Both of these thing bring a sense of brightness to dreary days.  In winter, on rainy/cloudy days, I love our fireplace and the glow and warmth it spreads throughout our house.

Rainbows seem to appear suddenly and spread across the sky. Last week I was rushing to take the children to football training when we saw a rainbow start right in front of us. It moved quickly from being half a rainbow to a full arch. By the time I got home 10 minutes later, it was not only a full arch but it was now a double rainbow going from one side of the sky to the other.

I took out my camera and as I did, the sun came out through the clouds and shone on the tree that the rainbow seemed to touch. I took one photo and then stood still for a moment, loving the sight in front of me and forgetting to take more photos. (the photo I took is above)

The next morning I was ( rushing again!) to take my children to school. It was overcast and the sky was once again grey. As I drove home, lost in my own thoughts, I suddenly realised that my shoulder was warm. I looked out my side window briefly and realised that the sun shone through the clouds and was hitting the side of my car. In front of me was shadow. I looked in the rear view mirror and there was shadow behind me. The sun was peeking through the clouds and had hit my car. I smiled with the warmth on me and soon it was gone.

A few days later, with these two scenarios forgotten, I took out my bible to have my “other” quiet time. This is the time I have with God during the day when the rush of the morning is over. I tucked my feet under me and started to read. A scripture stood out as I read it, and I felt a touch from God as I warmed from the instruction.

I love getting a touch from God when things are a bit dreary and my mind is in a fog. It is like God is saying, “I am here, I have never left”. These moments are precious to me and they are as real as the sights of rainbows and sunshine. I feel lifted by them and energised by them.

But…

Here is what I really want.

I not only want to be touched by God, I want to be immersed, filled to the brim, overflowing in abundance…glowing from the inside out!! That is what I pray for. I want to be so changed that I warm others because of God in me. End…of…story!!

I want to be like my fireplace in winter, with a good glow of God and the warmth of His spirit.

I know God is doing this. Things in me are being burned up. Selfishness, impatience, rebellion…oh and don’t forget my mouth!!

These things are being burned from my being…slowly. A bit like a slow burning wood log in my fireplace. I hurt as He changes the ways I demand to be and makes me something different. He wants me to glow with His Love and power, but I must be willing to change.

Yet God brings joy to my cloudy days with rainbows and sunshine, because He knows that this is necessary too. There are moments of warmth and colour, but I have to take the time to stop and get the moments.

My prayer for you today is that you will desire a touch from the inside out, but that you will also take the time to stop for God moments.

I am hearing so many Christians today that are not taking time for God. They do not have a desire for the things of God. Oh, my fellow soldier of Christ… you cannot do much without God who changes us from the inside out. Please take time for God, don’t just turn to Him when you are desperate.

Don’t look for the ways that God speaks to me, find the way that God speaks to you. It might be through the loyalty of a pet, or a flower that pops up in your garden. It might be through a soft breeze that hits your face on a hot day and God will remind you that He wants to touch your life just the same.

Desire to glow, desire to change, desire the moments and get back to God. He is as real as the physical world we live in.

With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.

2 Thess 1:11 (NIV)

Be blessed.

Baby Steps

 

Have you ever watched a child take their first steps?

Baby steps are important to all of us. If we don’t start to walk…well…we stay on our hands and knees. Here is an exerpt from my book that I would like to share with you…

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For those of us who are mothers, remember when you waited for your children to take their first steps. It was a moment in time that you remember.

For some of us we held their hands and slowly let go while they stood on their own feet. Slowly we moved back and held out our hands. With unsure steps, they slowly lifted one foot after the other. Our faces shone with excitement and encouragement, while their faces mirrored ours. While we started the encouragement with a tone that was calm, by the time they took two steps our voice was high with excitement. We took a hold of their hands and drew them to us – hugging and laughing.

Later that day or the next our little one is hanging onto a chair or the wall, and then suddenly they start their own baby steps out into the middle of the room. We held our breath, not wanting to scare them by shouting our excitement. In the middle of the room they suddenly looked around for something to hang onto and, like Peter walking on water, they suddenly realise they needed to go back to where it was safe.

For a long time some of us have been hanging onto our Father’s hand or  the pews of our church, and sat stubbornly on the floor not wanting to do anything. Occasionally God lets go and wants us to walk to Him, to trust that He is there. This is hard. God’s Word shouts encouragement and calls us to Him. The Holy Spirit speaks the words of the Father to us. But we duck our head and excuse ourselves, not wanting to leave the safety of the known.

Daughter of God, the time is now to stand up, to walk in all that he has for you. He is calling you now. His whisper to our own spirit is urgent and pleading. Pray, believe and obey. Read His Word and get to know Him. Draw near to Him, daughter, and know that He will draw near to you.

James 4:8a “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

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(Taken from “He Whispers our Name” by Ruth Lindsay copyright 2015)

Our baby steps are important to God. They are the very start of anything we do. Pray and ask God to help you as you take your first steps towards the plans He has for you.

Be blessed.

Let my people go!

 

Yesterday was International Woman’s day (in Australia), I had spent the day in thoughtful contemplation and seeking God over the roar of what I was seeing and hearing. At the end of my prayer time this morning I hear the words of Moses, “Let my people go…”

Yesterday, I was horrified that in a day when we could have spoken much and used the day to bring freedom of those still suffering, the selfish cry rises from the lips of a few and that was all that was all we heard.

Women and girls are suffering horribly over this earth and we want to protest 1st world issues. My heart cries that in Australia, a land of freedom and justice, there are women and girls that are still being forced into early marriages, receive “necessary” beating from their husbands, they are being sold into slavery and not treated like human beings. We have women who are being murdered, beaten, raped and considered less than human simply because they are female.

There are women in this world who will die because they are no longer needed as a sex slave or because they refuse a request from a father or owner. There are burned with acid because they are being punished for not wanting to marry someone or because of jealousy. There are women who are stoned because they are raped or because someone claims that they have committed adultery.

There is in some countries where being a woman and being a Christian means death, slavery, degradation and hopelessness.

While some would scream that it is the fault of man –  I would say that it is a human fault.

I found a quote by a British Poet and Philosopher, Matthew Arnold, and I think it would do well to add this to our thinking –

“If there ever comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.”

From information that I have gathered today, in 2014 the population of women in this world was 3.52 billion. At that time women made up 49.6 percent of the world’s population.

This is our numbers in spite of female infanticide still practiced in countries like India and China, as well as sex-selective abortion where a female baby in the womb is killed due to the fact that it is female and not wanted. It is also inspite apporximately 33 women (per day) across the world dying during childbirth.

If we make up 49.6 percent of the population, isn’t it time we came together for the benefit of mankind and become the force for change?

Better still, if you had 51 percent of this world (men and women) that would care about the needs of each other we would be a society that would not need to talk about change, we would be changed.

We are the answer to each other, to the world and to new changes. I think that Lisa Bevere says this better than anyone I have read –

http://messengerinternational.org/blog/news/now-is-if-ever/

We were created uniquely, with love from a God who knows us well. Our bodies were beautifully made to bring new life to this earth. This is not something to worship, but something to celebrate. As female humans our design is unique, and everything points to a creator, not an accident of nature. Our uniqueness can be celebrated. Each one of us in this world has a wonderful mixture of things that make us different and a part of this world. We are as unique as our fingerprints, handmade by God. The awesomeness of God creativity in making us is to be celebrated.

For those of us that do have freedom to celebrate, there are those that lack freedom and have to live in that life daily. They have very little voice, no freedom, no future and no hope. Our freedoms should allow us to speak strongly against the suffering of those that have no freedom.

If you were to get every free woman to speak, we would all be so different in what problems we would like to solve. Some would want laws changed worldwide, others would say it was the fault of man driven society and want to deal with men, some would think that we need to change street signs or wages or burn bras. I am not mocking, I am saying that there is more, much more. This will not change the hearts of men and women.

Moses, when facing Pharaoh said these words. “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go..” Ex 5:1 (NLT)

The Israelite people were slaves with no freedoms, human rights, or hope. God brought them physically out of Egypt then took them to where he could spiritually set them free.

To the world I will say this – “let these (enslaved and broken) women go.”

Now, expect resistance.

We have many organisations that work in the areas that work in releasing women out of enslavement and giving them a new life of hope and change. (Below will be a list of ones that I know. Feel free to write in the comments and add more.) Get behind these organisations. Find Christian Politicians or upright leaders in our community – speak to them, pray for them. Expect resistance.

Look in your own community, find ways to help others.

Stand up and stop making excuses. If women don’t stand up, then there is 49.6 billion reasons to move very quickly. Satan hates you because you are created for a purpose, he doesn’t hate you because of your past, he hates you because of your future.

Ask God for forgiveness for our apathy, our selfishness, and our ignorance. Ask God to give us one heart for each other and for Him. Now pray for those in the front line. Pray for women everywhere to hear about Christ and the love, dignity and hope that He gives to “womankind”. Thank God for the men in our community who fight for our freedoms as women and who protect us. Thank God for the husbands who allow us to be ourselves, as God made us.

Remember that we have sons who are growing up with beliefs being place upon them through every possible means. Pray for our sons.

Pray for our daughters, that they will have strength and wisdom.

A few years ago, the Lord asked me to write these words down, it became part of the first chapter of my book, I want to share it with you –

“All the days are numbered because these days are so evil (so short). My Spirit is challenging many in their faith and walk. I will call many unto Me and they will hear. I will call mothers, sisters, aunts, the poor, the weak and the alone. I will give them My voice and it will be like a rabble in this land.

My voice will be heard. Many will hear, but they will be heard by few. Woman will speak to woman, mother to child, sister to sister. Encouragement will be on their lips, strength in their hearts. They will be a quiet and strong army.

I am calling women of all ages unto Me. I am calling them away from their labours and from their work.  This requires sacrifice. Their hearts will be changed.”

It starts with you, it starts with us…with women. Seeking God and becoming the force that changes the world.

 

Let our women go!!

 

 

 

 

Destiny Rescue – https://www.destinyrescue.org

COATNET – http://www.caritas.org

Messenger International – http://messengerinternational.org/

CBN – http://www.cbn.com

SWM Mission Outreaches – http://www.shanewillardministries.org

Confrontation

 

Ok. If you are like me and read the title of this blog, it is possible you recoiled. To confront is hard, and for some of us it is nearly impossible.

Confrontation, for some of us, can bring experiences of upset, heartache and stress. For others, they may not like to confront, just simply because it means that it is unpleasant. There are others who feel that it is their obligation to confront, and feel no sense of either joy or sadness at the thought.

I have just had a few days of confronting and being confronted. I have just spent a few years trying to confront a problem to bring about change… and nothing has happened. For those that know me, I was trying to be a gentle as I could while not trying to upset too many.

I do not like confrontation… I will run from it.

However, I will confront. I do not like to see people suffer and I don’t like bullies treating others badly. These two things get my back up. I have a favourite saying – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

Yesterday a memory post came up on my Facebook feed. It was a quote from Lisa Bevere from Messenger International. On the 2nd March 2016, I had shared her Facebook post from that day on my Facebook page. The  words were simple but effective…

What you do not CONFRONT will not CHANGE.

Posted by Lisa Bevere on Tuesday, 1 March 2016

It was interesting that for that exactly a year ago, I found a reason to share this, and yesterday I needed to hear it.

Today, the pain of having to be confrontive (yes, I know there is no such word, but it seems appropriate) for three days straight was sitting wearily in my heart. I hated it. But yet for anything to change it needed to happen. Now I have to leave the rest to see if there is change.

You cannot make people change. There is a saying that goes like this – “you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.” Another larrikin one time said, “yes, but you can run him until he is thirsty.”

People will only change often if it suits them and it will make their life better…even if that is to shut you up! But I often wonder this…

Will the change be long lasting and permanent?

This is the other point I want to make, if you do not confront, you cannot sit back and complain about no change. Simple… as… that!

There is no way we can look at a situation going on in front of our eyes and not do or say something, and then think we have the right to whinge and complain. Sorry, that is not an option.

The final point I feel to make today is this….

Why do you want to confront? Are you going to do it with as much compassion and love that you would expect for yourself, while keeping the integrity and steadfastness for the need to change?

I can’t answer for you, I can only answer for me. I hope over time people would see me not as unmerciful and obnoxious (demanding that I am right) but caring, concerned, and confronting them while allowing that their dignity is firmly in place.

I can only hope and pray for more wisdom, along with the heart to respond correctly to another person’s confrontation of my own need to change.

 

Be blessed.