Good boundaries

“Boundaries are not meant to control others, they are meant to be used as guidelines for you to know what is acceptable and what is not in your life.” – Sheryl Griffin

 

 

“Boundaries are not meant to control others, they are meant to be used as guidelines for you to know what is acceptable and what is not in your life.” – Sheryl Griffin (www.SherylGriffin.com)

(Blog #3 on Boundaries)

There are often times in our lives where we are unsure of what we believe and it helps to know that there are people in leadership that may know better. When we are unjustly treated it is always good to know that the law is there to protect us.

As a Christian, I dislike injustice and I really dislike corruption. It seems we have both happening in government everywhere and the general public are being led astray.

I found this scripture the other day –

“Can a throne of destruction be allied with You, One which frames and devises mischief by decree [under the sacred name of law]?

They band themselves together against the life of the righteous. And condemn the innocent to death.”

Ps 94:20-21

 

This is my greatest concern, that we have a government that is trying to cause mischief among the people it governs.

 

Deception  in high places.

 

With this vote there are a lot of questions. Questions that are not being answered and when they are asked, they are being brushed aside as being stupid and idiotic. To be able to vote, it is necessary to find out why we are voting and what changes are going to affect us, the people. One Politician referred to those that voiced their concern as being like Henny Penny.

The question we are being asked is this – “should the law be changed to allow same sex couples to marry?”

In speaking to many people about this subject they have no idea what is going to be written into law. And they are concerned that we will not know until it is too late.

Example of a situation I have found out about:

Last year I read about a law that would allow government departments and medical specialist to step in and remove new born babies off drug addicted mothers, especially where the child was in danger. In the newspaper article it went into great details of what it was like bringing these precious little ones through the drug withdrawals. My heart went out to the tiny little people and the caregivers that took them on.

But then another part of it took my attention. They also included in these laws that newborns would also be protected against going back into homes that had domestic violence. Interesting. Everyone who knows anything about domestic violence knows that women who are in domestic violence situations are nothing like those with addictions. It is like apples and oranges.

So, the question need to be asked – will they also then consider children of certain religions at risk? If it was simply about laws to do with drugs and drug withdrawal, why did include other children they considered at risk? What other laws were changed because of this law?

I will leave that as an open question as I can only go on the newspaper article and what was said. The point is this. It seems that instead of changing one simple part of the law, there are laws that are being changed dramatically. There are many that are saying that this will not affect the way we live. Nothing will change. Then why are their others that know what laws are in place, that are saying that the law already has changed to include same sex couples and their needs?

Why are we as voters allowing people we don’t trust (Politicians) an open chequebook to write what they like?

Going back to the boundaries thing….

Most people want to live peaceful lives and allow their neighbours to live peaceful lives… but sometimes it is hard to live a peaceful life when the neighbour is walking through your gate and telling you how to live your life.

My two brothers build fences for part-time income. My eldest brother once laughing said that his fences made for happy neighbours.  I grew up in Western Qld where my father was a fencing contractor. From a young age I knew the importance of good, strong fences. Cattle  soon came to the understanding that the barb wire was not to be tangled with. There was nothing worse than a herd of cattle getting into the neighbours’ paddocks and having to work out the mess that ensued.

If laws are muddied so that it allows too many arguments it seems that there is only two type of people ultimately win – lawyers and government. Lawyers because they get money off people fighting… and government that can do far more insidious stuff while it’s people are fighting and in chaos.

So as a Christian what can I do?

Fight the battles you can fight, speak up when you can, and pray… pray for our governments.

Elect people you know will not run with the pack and will stand up for all people without allowing the minority to be overlooked.

Then there is this I will add – look at your own life. What are you doing and how are you treating people that is hypocritical and unjust. Too many Christians are happy to look at what the bible (and by bible, I mean New Testament) says about homosexuality without seeing that gossip and lying are sins too.

Be gracious and compassionate, while standing your ground. Don’t be a bully.

Above all things, can I encourage you to put God first in your own personal life. Others make their own choices, but you need to look at you. If God is not first then your life will show that.

Going back to my original story about boundaries – Don’t allow those on the outside to look at your property and see that you are doing wrong. Don’t overstep your boundaries and cause trouble. And furthermore… be vigilant about your gates and fences IN YOUR OWN LIFE.

Be blessed.

 

 

Other reading sources (this is only a few, I will add more in the following days):

 

http://thefreedomsproject.com/55-consequences-of-redefining-marriage/

http://kirraliesmith.org/2017/09/dont-be-intimidated-by-the-hysterical-mob.html

https://www.presbyterian.org.au/images/downloads/various/Marriage-Brief-single-pages.pdf

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/the-yes-campain-is-becoming-plain-antireligious/news-story/63aa865dd9f06fd1451442552ea450bb

 

Respect Boundaries

“Be aware when people react with hostility and anger to your boundaries. You have found the edge of where their respect for you ends.” (author unknown)

 

“Be aware when people react with hostility and anger to your boundaries. You have found the edge of where their respect for you ends.” (author unknown)

(Blog #2 on Boundaries)

In the last blog, I wrote about some of the things that have been on my mind over the past months. I shared that I had seen a fence with an unlocked gate and how this had caused me to feel unsettled. I ask that you go and read this first blog and then come back to this one.

It is not just the absence of a lock on a gate that is concerning me. It is that anyone who wants a lock on their gate, is being shouted at and laughed at. Why is it that the desire for morals and boundaries are being called out for something they are not?

 

The Cult emerging

 

Within the LGBTI community there is an almost cult like dictatorship forming that is both dangerous and destructive. Anyone within its ranks who would speak out or change their desire to be within its ranks, is punished for both speaking out and speaking against the community, or leaving.

One dictionary describes a cult as this –

a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (such as a film or book) criticizing how the media promotes the cult of celebrity; especially :such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad

b: the object of such devotion

c: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion the singer’s cult of fans The film has a cult following.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cult

 

There are people within the LGBTI community who are speaking out about their view on same-sex marriage and are being shouted down by both their own community and by the media. There are countless testimonies of people who have come out of the LGBTI community who are speaking out. There are children of gay and lesbian couples who are speaking out and are being threatened by the some within the LGBTI communities.

This points to one thing – an intolerance to others and a control over those that wish to say differently.

Over the past weeks I am concerned at the level of hypocrisy in the media in  not allowing equal air and print time to those that speak out. It seems to me that the media either fear the LGBTI community or are part of the cult like behaviour.

The media went so far as to cancel a Father’s day advert because it they didn’t want it to air while the SSM debate was on. What??!! Dad’s do a wonderful job, and they deserve the recognition of being a dad. Why was the recognition of dad’s not important?

At the start of this debate, there were many who were saying that they were concerned that the LGBTI community would be bullied and harassed by Australians. This has proven to be the opposite. The physical violence and intimidation shown by members of the community on the “yes” side has been frightening and all too familiar lack of correct reporting by the media.

Yet, with all this the media have been saying this – that by simply giving the information to people to make an informed decision by the “no” side is apparently abuse. Also, advertising provided by the “no” side is the violence committed against the “yes” side. This makes no sense. Is it the freedom to object now to be the new form of abuse committed by those that wish to disagree? Is this the formula the way of assessing abuse and intimidation? Are Australian people now not allowed to show that they object to something they disagree with?

Welcome to being a Christian.

For a long time I have been aware that as a Christian just the freedom of objecting is being taken away from me. It is only been recently that I could object to smoke being blown in my face, I can’t object to bad language, I can’t object to my children being taught sex education or evolution and I can’t object to a teacher telling my child not to hold a door open for a female class mate because it is classing women as weak. I can’t play my Christian music out aloud because I am (apparently) shoving my beliefs in someone’s face. I can’t share what God has done for me. I can’t share that God has healed me.

You are being ridiculous, you say. Am I?

I want you to think how the Aussie way of talking has changed. We can’t laugh and joke about anything without being in trouble for something. I could once speak freely about my faith and people would at least give you the courtesy of a listening ear.

It is not clear yet, but it will be, how damaging the laws are that are being introduced into our land. Laws to do with freedom of objection and speech …and religion. The effects have not yet really hit the average person yet.

“You are being an alarmist?”

You can only go by what has happened overseas to other countries. The proof is already there.

“You are just trying to scare people?”

No, I am trying to warn you. From here on it is your choice… and it is your choice. I am not offended if you don’t want to read this.

“You are just concerned for yourself as a Christian.”

Mmm… yes. It will hit Christians first, as we are the ones that that are being blamed for being the wet blankets. But it will change things for you too.

Remember there are others speaking out too, so if you don’t want to believe me listen to others within their own community first. If they are trying to silence their own community, then it is a sure sign of things to come.

People in Australia like their ability to control the environment where they live. They like to have a say on how their children are brought up and how they live in their own home. They scowl at someone telling them how to live. They like their boundaries and fences. When the laws change that go beyond basic reasoning and common sense, morality, and the protection of the innocent ones in our society, then the fences erected to protect the people from cultish behaviour are trampled, breached or broken down.

Thank you for reading this blog. Please stay with me as I cover the subject further in the next blog. Be blessed.

 

Boundaries

“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me into a sense of ownership.” – Dr Henry Cloud

 

“Boundaries define us. They define what is me and what is not me. A boundary shows me where I end and someone else begins, leading me into a sense of ownership.” Dr Henry Cloud

(Blog #1 on Boundaries)

This is one of three blogs that I have written over the past few weeks on the subject of boundaries.

Recently I was on a cattle property with my husband and boys. I took the time to walk from where we were camped to the back of the property, a distance of about 2 kilometres. At one stage I was walking up a steep section of the property, when I stopped to catch my breath. I looked across at the fence and something caught my attention. A fence and a gate. Now, ask yourself, why would that catch my attention? Because I was looking at a boundary fence..

There it was, out in the middle of the bush with no roads going through it, an unlocked gate. No locks. Just a simple galvanised steel gate with a chain holding it the gate post.

It disturbed me that it was there. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t understand why it upset me. I soon forgot this scenario as I walked home.

Over the past few week, I have had the picture come back to my mind strongly and I sensed that God wanted to say something about it. I have the sense of unsettling and the unlocked gate has been sitting heavily in my heart for the past few weeks. So the question came- Why God? Why does it unsettle me?

The gate that was there, should not have been, yet it was. Why did that bother me? Because it allowed access through and into the land without restrictions. It allowed someone to drive into the land without having to check with us if it was ok to be there.

 

Changing laws, rights and freedoms

 

For the past 2 years I have been aware of a number of laws that have been brought into our country, that is not only changing boundary lines and fences (the definitions of the boundary lines and whether there should be fences in the first place), and changing what people can do within their own land (what you actually consider as yours and how much is now yours).

There are people who are genuinely concerned that the new laws put in place will ultimately change their land and the rights that come with having land. To put it more bluntly – The right to choose what you believe and how you live within the boundaries of sense, decency and the law.

Because the laws are changing, while once it was morality and the law that allowed you to live a certain way, now the laws are changing to something that will allow the government to tell you how to live.

The government is moving more and more into matters of religion, marriage and children. They are now saying not only that your children will live a certain way, but you will not teach your children to live and believe the same way you do.

To me, it seems as simplistic as this; I have sheep on my land, now the government through force is going to tell me to only have goats. Not only that, but if I have sheep, they will either remove my sheep from me or call them goats anyway. The fact that I chose by my freedom of choice (to have sheep) seems to slowly being buried under a mountain of laws and removal of rights.

It is also simplistic as this; I want boundary fences so I know what is under my protection and care. But there are others that want the fences pulled down and new fences erected according to the terms of their beliefs…. even if now the fences are moveable to the rights and demands of a minority.

“Bigot” they cry, “how dare you demand the rights to bring up your child with a faith in your imaginary god.”

“Because I gave birth to them, I feed them and clothe them. I love them and know them, and have their best interests at heart. It is my house, my yard, my land… and they live there. I am not harming them, hurting or abusing them. When they are 18 years old they can choose for themselves and choose their own beliefs.”

“Ahhh,” they cry, “they will not be yours for too much longer. The laws will change and you will only be their guardians soon. So, if you don’t do as we say, we will make it abuse simply because you teach them about your imaginary god. ”

Going back to the analogy of boundaries and fences – with new laws they are telling me what to grow, how to grow it and when they will come in a take it away. All the while I am the one working hard to feed the sheep, protecting the sheep and caring for the sheep.

I am concerned right now that the fence that is unlocked on the side of the property, provides instant access to those who do not have care and concern for those in my care. We as Christians have always presumed that our neighbours will have regard for us and do us no harm.

 

Backward and Bigoted Christians

 

As a Christian I am often accused of being in the way of progression in society. Society, apparently, needs to move forward with the times and social needs of people. Apparently, I am a backward, bigoted, and  a prude, who is the proverbial wet blanket to everyone’s party. I am forcing my religion on others in society who want to live another way to me. Lately, I have watched as Christians that I know are called “homophobic and bigoted”. These are quiet living people who do not agree with others shouting in their face about their own beliefs.

Now, I get that people don’t believe in my God, Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth, Saviour, Lord, King of kings. My God, the God of the Bible that I hold so dear. I get that. The latest statistics gathered in 2016, reveal this information –

“The results of the latest national Census today reveal we’re a religiously diverse nation, with Christianity remaining the most common religion (52 per cent of the population).

Islam (2.6 per cent) and Buddhism (2.4 per cent) were the next most common religions reported. Nearly a third of Australians (30 per cent) reported in the Census that they had no religion in 2016.”

http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/mediareleasesbyReleaseDate/7E65A144540551D7CA258148000E2B85?OpenDocument

Even though Christians make up 52 percent (52.1 percent, actually) of the population I am well aware that we are living in a world that is increasingly hostile towards Christians. A world that not only sees Christians in an unflattering view, but does not want to hear the precious and lifesaving message of the Gospel. I get that. I see that.

I notice with alarm that a message given by me and the same message given by a non-Christian even have a greater impact on people around. Let me give you an example ….

A few years ago, I was part of a group of parents that met while our children practiced football twice a week. We would gather around chatting, encouraging our children and in general surviving life as mums and dads. After a few weeks they figured out that I was a Christian, and the usual stuff started – apologising every time they swore. I didn’t say anything, and after a while they figured that, as one lady put it, “she’s alright because she lets us be ourselves.”.

Even if I did complain, I knew that it would just go against me and my faith (been there, done that). I comprehend this and thought nothing more of it. They don’t believe in God and many don’t get who Jesus Christ is to me, in fact, more and more people just believe that Jesus Christ is just a swear word. I get that.

Now, fast forward to this year. On the footy fields while the children were playing, the Referees started to complain about not only the bad language on the field from the players, but the bad language from the spectators and parents on the side lines. So, they put a ban on swearing. The penalty – a warning and then sent off, with the reason for being sent off recorded. Every one decided that they didn’t like it but agreed to comply.

Mmmm… why would they take correction from a football club, but get offended if I request the same?

Right now in Australia they are debating whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry. The debate has been marred by lies, violence and intimidation by those wanting a “yes” vote.

On this side of the debate there is an interesting “get out of the way and allow us to move the outdated fences that have been there for centuries.” Or “marriage (another form of a boundary) were used to control people (women) and keep them shackled”, Or “who needs fences, we just need to do what everyone wants and all will be ok” or “what right do you have to stop people who love each other to be married, you are a bigot and you are homophobic.”

Then there is this one – “It is about love”

You see, I don’t think that people should believe in God, just because I say. It is a choice. God gave free will to me, and He gave it to everyone too. You do not have to believe what I do.

Because you don’t want to live like I do, I know that we are going to have some things we don’t agree on. That is your choice. I don’t hate you and I am not trying to force you to believe what I believe.

Simply put it is like this: I don’t like alcohol and cigarettes, and they are not allowed in my house, but it is your choice to do what you want. I do not fear these things, I just don’t agree with it. The same with homosexuality and gay marriage. I don’t want homosexuality taught to my children in school, in fact I don’t want the school to teach my children about sex, full stop. I don’t want to lose my job because I have the view that I have, and I don’t want homosexuality, Gender fluid, bi-sexual, trans-sexual and intersexual taught as normal. I simply disagree. And, like cigarettes and alcohol- I don’t want it in my house.

One of the interesting factors about this whole matter is this: the hypocrisy of those that want these freedoms is that they are willing to take away the freedoms of others while demanding their own.

I hope that I have given you something to think on. While most of my blog readers are Christian, I am sure that this is also being read by many who are not.

Please hear me when I say I am not anti-gay. I am simply concerned with things that are happening within our society that I see as definitely not for the good of all Australians. I am concerned about boundary changes and unlocked gates.

Thank you for reading this blog. Please stay with me as I cover the subject further in the next two blogs.

Be blessed.

Focus

Your focus will be where your heart is, and you will focus on that which is important to your heart. You will go where your heart desires. That is why your heart and focus must have the same goal – God.

 

“Now focus, ladies!!” the voice called over the loud music. Our fitness instructor, a very friendly but persistent lady, was encouraging us to balance on one foot while bending slowly down to touch the floor.

As we lifted one leg behind us, I heard the instructor call out, “focus on one spot on the floor!”. A few of the ladies started to laugh as they nearly toppled. Very quickly we realised that our ability to focus was the only way to do this particular exercise effectively. This recent incident reminded me of something…

About 18 years ago I had a lady speak prophetically to me. She told me that she had been given glimpse of my life. I was in a boat that was travelling through rough seas, just like the disciples and Jesus on the sea of Galilee. My (former) husband and I were in this boat and Jesus was there too. She told me to focus on Jesus in the boat and not on my marriage or my husband. She didn’t know why this was necessary to tell me but God had given it to her for me.

I didn’t learn to do this. I didn’t know how, and I didn’t ask God to help or show me what to do. I was tossed about in the storm and focusing entirely on my husband’s abuse, control, and anger instead of the God who could save. I was on rough waters and in treacherous conditions. I had no peace, no joy and it was breaking me instead of strengthening me. I did not know how to trust the Saviour who was with me the whole way.

While the eventual outcome may have ended up the same – a broken marriage – I would have come through with the faith and the lessons that God needed to teach me.

The lessons He was yet to teach me in the years to come, was this –

It is not whether you have no storms or big storms in life, or a bigger and better boat to get you through things in life. It is your focus – your focus on God.

 

Focus of your heart

 

Many people will say that they know God, many people will say that they are saved, but how does this effect you? You say that Christ is your Saviour, but how does this impact you as a person?

Our life as a Christian is not as some people imagine. It is not about whether we go through hard times or not that shows that God is with us. It is whether the life that you live shows that God is in you. It really doesn’t matter whether you have rough seas or smooth sailing, does God have your focus? Or is it just your momentary attention?

A lot of people can say they have faith in a God, a Creator, but what is your focus in the tough times of life?

You see, I am watching people around me focus on things in life that will fail simply because they were never designed to hold our focus or faith. It is like hoping that quicksand will hold you.

What happens if you focus on a bird flying by when you are chopping vegies? What happens if you look away while hammering a nail into a board? The same thing – pain or injury.

Focusing on God is the same, and we wonder at our injuries. It is the steely eyed focus on the fact that God is God. He is Saviour, He is everything, He is all. If He is God and there is no other then why do we look to something else as our focus in life?

What do I mean by focus on God? I mean simply this. What is it that you have your heart and desires set upon? What happens when you wobble in your faith?

Well, you say, I can’t see Him, feel Him or hear Him? How can you focus on something you cannot see? Yep, see, wrong focus. It is not about whether you can see something or not, it is where your heart is.

Recently, I had someone use a phrase to describe someone they knew. The person was ”kingdom minded”.

“Interesting,” I thought, “this person was about their Father’s business here on earth. Living, breathing, and focused on God.”

Why are you here and what are you trying to achieve? If the answer is “Going about my Father’s business” then you have your focus right.

I was just finishing off the dishes for the night and talking to God about a number of burdens on my heart. He gave me this scripture, so I went to look it up. It was Psalm 91. But I had never looked at this psalm with the “focus” thought in mind. (I will put the whole of Ps 91 at the end of the blog)

Take a look at these words found in this Psalm. “He alone..”, “He is…” He will…”.

Oh yes, now THIS is a person with a God focus!!

Your focus is where your heart is and you will focus on that which is important to your heart. You will go where your heart desires. That is why your heart and focus must have the same goal – God.

Whatever your situation in life (whatever your boat), whatever your waters – (whatever your journey), have you asked God to be with you and have you trust the God who knows the future and the journey.

 

Do you trust Him?

 

What does focusing on Christ look like for me now –

Praying more and reacting less. Trusting God to give me wisdom to handle the situation better. Being obedient to His instructions rather than doing things my way. Trusting my Saviour to be there even if I remained on the boat by myself with God.

Take a look at Psalm 91 again…Verses 4 and 5

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. (NLT)

 

Our focus is simply this trusting the One who is will us and will protect us, while our heart’s focus and love is on our Saviour.

I can’t trust God for you, I can’t refocus your vision, and I can’t tell you where the focus of your heart is. But God can. Go on… ask Him…and wait. I think God would be please with such a question.

Be blessed.

 

******************

 

Psalm 91 (NLT)

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armour and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.

Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you;    no plague will come near your home.

For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honour them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”