Saturday, December 24, 2011

CreativeLee's Christmas wish for you

A very special Christmas shout out to you on this blessed day. Merry Christmas!

(Ironically, as soon as I mention Christ and encouragement, YouTube develops technical problems and I made the mistake of recording this straight into YouTube - unlike I usually do. However, the message is straight from my heart and I really, really wanted to share it but every attempt after the first one simply seemed rehearsed. So I decided to keep the first one and add the words where you are perhaps unable to hear them due to the technical glitches that I was unable to iron out. External speakers on a computer most certainly will help, but I'm praying that you will be blessed regardless.) Merry Christmas!)

    

Friday, December 16, 2011

AUDIO Blog: Seated in the Truth

Lil' M (our pet cat) sitting in my Bible reminded me how being seated in the Truth of God's Word empowers us to rise up in greater faith and soar like eagles. It turns out he was "meditating" on Romans 8 - one of my favorite chapters. Take hold of one of these powerful promises for yourself today and then go on and have a fabulously blessed day!

 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Something old, something new

I don't know what is going on but lately I've had so many wonderful creative ideas. It has been such awesome food for the soul and I've decided to embrace it for all it's worth!

I've been making some upgrades to my sites and for Creativelee it includes the adding of a new page called Hollywood Gospel. Anyone who has read my blog will know by now that I LOVE MOVIES! God is such a big part of my life. It is like we've been together forever! (Actually, we really have!! lol) It is like that song by Michael W. Smith Everywhere I go I see You

I'm intrigued by the limitless creativity in the ways that God use to speak to us. How He knows you so well and often use those things that speak to your heart in particular to make sure that His messages don't go unnoticed. His cleverness is beyond me! (quite literally! ha-ha)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lights please!


I’ll be the first one to admit it: I am not a morning person. I tend to thaw out slowly while I go through the motions of getting started with my day. Waking up in an upside down kind of way seems to set me up for an upside down kind of day.

The other morning was just one such morning for me. I got a cup of inspiration way before I got a cup of coffee. I got out of bed and started making my way towards the bathroom - half asleep and in the dark. Not even five steps further I felt something under my foot… something wet and mushy. EEEEEEEUUUW!! (and of course then I was w-i-d-e  awake! Turns out, the cat got sick during the night and left a little ‘parcel’ right in the doorway. Yuck! (Are you grossed out yet? Good! Maybe it will help you remember the lesson *wink-wink*.)

Right there and then I was reminded again just how much I need light in my life!

Nasty things happen in the dark, you know. You can get seriously hurt trying to find your way in the dark –

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Are we missing the Christ plot?


I was listening to the radio today whilst driving and the station that I was tuned to had a big discussion on some atheist group who were petitioning to have crosses removed from – what sounded like – places of worship and burial or memorial sites to do with the military.

The radio station was arguing – rather feisty – how unfair it was that atheists only had a problem with Christians and Jews (by the sound of it) and how Christians should fight back for their right to have the crosses and Jesus statues displayed where they’ve been for (in some cases) as long as sixty years – some erected by war veterans.

And while I was listening to them fighting over displaying crosses or not, and the idea of religious freedom I wondered to myself how Jesus dealt with people who opposed Him and His teachings when He was on earth. Rather than choose a side in the argument I was left wondering:

Friday, November 18, 2011

An 'on the other hand' kind of gal


During the past few days I’ve had some things weighing heavily on my mind and I’ve had to discipline myself constantly to not allow feelings of hopelessness to take root in my heart. I’ve been thinking about something that I heard Tim Storey say once, “If you don’t do something with life, life will do something with you.”

In my life I’ve seen two kinds of people:

On the one hand I’ve seen those who, as they’ve grown older and had more disappointing and painful experiences, have grown increasingly angry and bitter. They have closed themselves off to life and to others, too afraid that the next experience will just be another disappointment. And so they stop trying, stop taking

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seated in the Truth



For some reason Lil' M(onster) has grown quite fond of sitting on, lying on and walking over my Bible. I think it is cute but I always make sure that he's careful. Today when I saw him sitting there I just couldn't resist, so I grabbed the camera and was able to get a few nice pics.

When I saw him sitting he made me think of being seated in, standing on and meditating on the Word of the Lord, a firm foundation. Later on in the day I had a look at what he was "meditating" on and it is one of my favorite chapters: Romans 8. This chapter contains several wonderful truths that I have stood on over the years; promises like:

Monday, October 31, 2011

AUDIO Blog: Extreme makeover - GOD edition (Purposefully in pursuit of change)

God loves us just as we are but He loves us too much to leave us that way! He doesn't do 'fix-me-uppers', instead He is into wonderfully extreme makeovers, and when He's through you won't recognize yourself! If a change is as good as a holiday then you're in for the ride of your life. Are you with me?



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

AUDIO Blog: A mustard seed of faith, a truckload of EXPECTAT...

When you pray and ask God to meet your needs do you have an expectation that He will come through for you? Approach His throne anew today with a "God CAN" attitude, and an expectation that He WILL be faithful!


Monday, October 24, 2011

A mustard seed of faith, a truckload of EXPECTATION!

He asked me if I wanted to go for a ride. “Sure!” I replied, not having a clue where we were heading, but I slipped on my shoes anyway, grabbed my purse and ran out the door.

Before I’d even finished putting on my lip liner we were there: the convenience store at the gas station just up the road. He knew exactly what he was going there for and he fully expected to get it. Me? I was just

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Introducing CreativeLee AUDIO blog!

These days I’m forever multi-tasking. Who knows what I’m talking about? There is just so much that we try to cram into our day, it’s not even funny. 

I value my time and I know you do too. I want the freedom to choose how I spend it, to choose what I deem more or less important. Plainly put, I want choice, and I know I'm not the only one. 

So today I am proud to introduce to you AUDIO BLOG

Starting with September my CreativeLee blog posts will be available in both written and audio format. You will now be able to choose whether you want to read it or listen to it. 

The first audio blog is already available on YouTube, so why don’t you check it out and feel free to send me any comments or suggestions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you!



Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Take heart! There can be miracles...

For the past few days this song has constantly been on my heart. Yes, it has encouraged me, but if anyone else needs to hear this today, I pray that you will be right here clicking the play button. May you find the hope that you are so in need of today! Be encouraged. In Jesus' Name.

Mark 10:27 But Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible." Ephesians 3:20 Now glory be to God who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes. Hebrews 13:5 ...for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Do you believe Him?

 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What will it be? Fear of man or leap of faith?

When I think back on my life I can recall a few defining moments on my journey of discovering myself through facing my fears.  

I remember when I was just 20 and someone attempted to steal my car one evening. They didn’t succeed but they did make off with my sunglasses. I’ve only had them maybe a few days. It was the most expensive (and most stylish) pair I’ve ever owned – expensive because of the polarized lenses. When you have blue eyes that are quite sensitive to bright sunlight, then a pair of sunglasses becomes a necessity rather than a fashion statement.

Someone gave me another pair but it was nothing compared to what I had lost. You know the saying Beggars can’t be choosers; I could barely drive without sunglasses, so I accepted. They turned out to be surprisingly effective. The only problem I had with it was that it resembled something from the era of pink hair and pink Cadillac’s back in the 50’s – cat-eyes they’re called – and for those of you who don’t know what that is, this should explain it sufficiently:

Cat-eye sunglasses (Source of picture: Vintage Fashion Club)

These glasses were on. my. face. people! You couldn’t look at me and miss it! I battled so badly with being self conscious back then; I remember struggling to walk away from people - men or woman, young or old,

Monday, October 10, 2011

You fill up my senses; my first, my last, my everything

For some reason I have never really felt comfortable to make declarations of undying love to people in romantic relationships. I would hear some of the lyrics of love songs and they rather describe my relationship with the Lord, instead of with a person of flesh and blood. I struggled to find a good example at first – Murphy’s law: you find it when you’re not looking for it, right? Finally I found Barry White’s My first, my last, my everything.


I couldn’t sing these words to a man. No person is my first, my last or my everything. That is what God is to me, and I just don’t feel comfortable sharing that with anyone else. Neither do I desire to be that to

Friday, September 23, 2011

...And the Lord takes away - A divine exchange!

How many of the problems that we have in our lives are brought about by things that we as Christians believe as if it’s the truth but it is not? And the reason that we believe them - these half truths or even downright lies – is simply because we don’t fully know who God really is? We know about him but we don’t fully know Him. This lack of knowing influence the way we see and experience life and it can bring about much pain and disillusionment.

Getting to know a person happens when we spend lots of time together over a long period of time. In most cases we never fully get to know every little thing. There is always something more to discover. If that is the case with people then imagine how long it would take getting to know the God of the universe. I can confidently say that we will never get to the end of Him. Maybe today, in reading this, you will discover something new about Him that will change the way you think and affect your life in a good way.

When we read the newspaper, the internet or watch television and even listen to the neighbours in our communities our senses are flooded with all kinds of tragedy, disaster, and circumstances of loss: The loss of loved ones, loss of possessions and money, the loss of relationships, etc. It is mostly at those

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The winds of adversity

“How was your ride, honey?” he wanted to know.

Well, it was good: I’ve ridden further today than I have this year and I made good time. I was happy with that but it was a tough ride into a head wind all the way back. Forget the fact that it is harder to ride into the wind (resistance). What bothered me was the wind howling in my ears and causing me to be unable to hear much else of what was going on around me.


Considering the fairly narrow road with no shoulder, a speed limit of 55mph (roughly 90km/hr) and both cars

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tune-In Tuesday: Completely (sung by Ana Laura)

Today growwhereyoureplanted is hosting Tune-in Tuesday and you’re invited to join in. I’ve accepted. Here’s how it works:

You are supposed to choose a song with which God is currently speaking into your life and write about it. It is an invitation to worship together. Come on, join us. The King inhabits the throne room of our praises :)

The song I’ve selected is Completely by Ana Laura.


I heard this song for the first time in the movie Facing the Giants when a young couple who has been

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When home is on a hill

Romans 5:3-4 (AMP) Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance. And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of [a]character (approved faith and [b]tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] [c]joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Galatians 6:9 (AMP) And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.
Hebrews 10:36 (AMP) For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and [a]carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.
James 1:3-4 (AMP) Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

I haven’t been able to

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A love that IS up to scratch

He was curiously staring at my hand covered with scratch marks in the process of healing. “Where did these come from?” he asked me.
Tidds (the older of our two cat children) loves lying on the kitchen table. Every now and again when I pass by I stop to give him a quick brush and a kiss. He just seems to love it. As soon as I start he rolls over until I’ve brushed all 360* of him.

It took me a long time to win Tidds’ trust. Little M (baby Monster) is an easy going, loves everyone kind of personality who just wants to play all the time, but Tidds I’ve always perceived as the more serious one. He is about 7 years older than M. He is very clever though. He knows his body parts and when you ask him for his ear so you can kiss it, he doesn’t give you his tail. He even knows his left and right paw from each other.

I’ve never seen him play; not by himself or with a person – only with his little brother. Sometimes when he is lying on his back

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Just because you can!

This morning around 2:30am I was just about ready to strangle a dog or two!

The dogs were so restless most of the evening. I think it was the racket from a party that was on just up the road. It got the other dogs in the neighborhood all excited and I suppose it is (or can be) somewhat contagious. Who knows? Maybe the one mongrel actually understands what the other one is barking about.

Koda the watch dog is now awakening from his slumber but so far it is also quite clear that his middle name is not quite Braveheart. Not yet anyway. Maybe I should paint his face blue and

Friday, July 1, 2011

Even if the mountains crumble into the sea



Nagasaki 1945, after the atomic bomb


Nagasaki 2011, following the earthquake and tsunami

A
torii is a gate marking the entrance to a sacred space and is closest associated with Shinto, the indigenous spirituality of Japan. Traditionally it was made from wood or stone, but today they can also be made of reinforced concrete, copper, stainless steel or other materials. (Source: Wikipedia)

What is so remarkable about the torri in the images is that

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Setting the temperature

For the past two years I have been on a journey of change. In some ways I feel like I’m being transplanted like a pot plant from one pot to another. To do that you need to uproot the plant from its familiar pot and soil and move it across into new, unfamiliar. Even if is a good thing for a plant it is still unsettling and can take some time to get used to. In between the two pots the plant has nothing but air surrounding the roots. That’s exactly where I feel I am right now: mid air with nothing solid beneath my feet.

I’m challenged with many of my paradigms, realizing many new ways of viewing the world, myself and God and also having to make many choices: choices about my attitude, my identity, my point of view vs the Truth of God’s Word, who I used to be vs. who I want to be... Sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming. But one thing I do know is that
I still choose to be a thermostat (rather than a thermometer) even if it takes a while to get there.

Andie, a friend of a blogger friend of mine, explains it well. This is a guest post written by her. I loved what she had to say. Enjoy it with me!

I am reading the book, God’s Power to Change Your Life, by Rick Warren. Tonight, I read the following paragraph.

Are you a thermostat or a thermometer? You are one or the other.
A thermometer registers the temperature. It simply reflects its environment, whether it’s hot or cold.
A thermostat, on the other hand, controls the temperature. It influences its environment; it sets the standard.
Which are you-a thermometer or a thermostat?

I have been pondering this question and feel stuck in self-analysis like a person gets stuck in quicksand.

Making changes in a person’s life isn’t as easy as turning up the heat or clicking on the AC. I wish it was. Don’t you?

People just don’t just magically change. We have to make the DECISION to change our lives. For example, as I got older I gained a lot of weight. I knew how to eat right and how to exercise property. I just didn’t do it. I was a thermometer on the beach of laziness.

Recently, I started to lose a lot of weight. Why? Because I made the DECISION to do it and am following through with what it takes. I feel more like a thermostat every day, setting a standard for myself and a temperature that feels just right. I’m trying to do this with other aspects of my life as well. I want to be better, to do better, to be kinder and gentler, and to be a better communicator regardless of my environment; to be more like a thermostat set on a comfortable 75.5 degrees.

Which are you – a thermometer or a thermostat? Is it time to change the temperature?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mobile accessibility: blog on the run

A while ago someone contacted me requesting that I look at ways to make my blog more accessible for the mobile/cell phone community. The web version is so cumbersome that he was unable to post a comment. Aah! How disappointing!

It made me realize that many people might be using their cell phone instead of a laptop. Because I mostly use my laptop I didn’t think of it that way. Therefore finding a solution could actually mean broadening my audience.

So I am happy to let you know today that I have found something AND it works. Tested and approved!

Just to be safe I will give both options of how you can do it:

Firstly, I’ve selected this setting for my blog: On mobile devices, show the mobile version of my template. By this I understand then that when you open my blog on your mobile device it should show you the appropriate version. This is what it should look like:

If it is not what you see (1) please let me know, and (2) I encourage you to use the second option: Add the mobile blog address to your favorites: www.creativelee.blogspot.com/?m=1

Option two is what I’ve opted for on my own phone so I KNOW that one works. Not only does it make viewing the blog that much easier, it also simplifies comments – reading them and leaving one of your own.

No more excuses, WG! ;) I’ll be keeping an eye out for your contribution :)

If anyone still find that they have a problem please let me know so that I can look into it.

Enjoy the read! And don't forget to drop me a line. No more excuses ;)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What lies behind

Thought for the day

There is nothing that I can do to change the past, but I can let it go to make room for a beautiful future.

Phil 3:13 ~ No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be but I am bring all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.

Prayer

Lord, things don’t always work out the way I anticipate, and sometimes not the way I want it at all. It is hard when we do not understand. I am comforted by the fact that
you understand all things, and you are with me every step of the way, even in the mistakes that I make. Above all things you know the heart of every person and you still have a good plan if we would be willing to journey with you.

I don’t believe in coincidence, accidents or luck, but I do believe in a divine God who holds my future securely in His hand, just like He does me – a God who is very much concerned with every detail of my life because He loves me, and nothing can ever separate me from that, no matter how hard things may get.

In the middle of my trial you still tell me 365 times in your Word not to be afraid; not to be dismayed because You are God. I am chosen and called by name; I am yours and your Word stands forever! In rivers of difficult I will not drown and flames from fires of oppression will not consume me. When it is hard you are right there, upholding me with your victorious right hand.

When I cannot see what is up ahead I feel tempted to grab a hold of what used to be because it is familiar and comforting in a way. Help me instead to not spend my time trying to understand what is in the past or why something happened as it did. I don’t have control over it, neither can I change it. Help me to rather learn what it is that you want to teach me right now, right where I am.

I thank you for your faithfulness and your steadfast love and kindness. When I am weak, You are strong in me. Because you are my shepherd I have everything I need! Thank you for all you are, and all you do for me, Lord. Thank you that I can have hope because of You. You work all things together for my good.


In Jesus’ Name
Amen

Thursday, May 5, 2011

If you will humble yourself...

James 4:10
- AMP: Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].
- NLT: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
- MESSAGE: ...Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.

I used to think about this verse mainly in context of a promotion in my workplace. I used to think that if I’m humble and I do the tasks that have been assigned to me to the best of my ability, as if unto the Lord, that God would make sure that I move up the corporate ladder, so to speak. I can’t remember a time that I have ever really thought of this in another context. So what to do if you are not in an employment situation? Does this verse then become irrelevant?

This verse has been on my heart a lot the past few weeks. I’ve been feeling very prompted about surrendering my will to God. Where I find myself is not where I want to be. I think it is safe to say that I’ve been fighting God a lot of the way. I’ve just been wanting out and maybe I’ve not been paying attention to what needs to be accomplished before God lets me out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about
what Maria (Jesus’ mother) said when the angel told her about her pregnancy. “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said.” (Luke 1:38) God gave her the greatest assignment ever. She was to carry the Son of God in her womb and give birth to him on earth so that God’s plan of salvation could eventually be executed. But it was not quite all rainbows and lollipops.

She was going to be a pregnant virgin – no one was going to believe her (“yeah, RIGHT! Pregnant AND a virgin...”) – her fiancĂ© (the man that she loved) was not going to understand it and it was going to upset their relationship – the community could have stoned her for being pregnant outside of wedlock – she was going to have to deal with all of this coming her way and not feel condemned as they gossip behind their hand. In Maria’s world she wasn’t just saying yes to being pregnant, she was giving up her plan and saying, “Ok, Lord. Let’s do it your way.”

She humbled herself and surrendered her plan - she trusted the Lord.

I keep thinking that Holy Spirit is telling me the same thing, but I find myself not quite as brave and noble as Maria. What if God does something that I don’t like..? Anyone else ever felt that way? Yet, I know with my head that He is a good God, a loving Father and that He does nothing other than act out of love and kindness. I don’t even know what the plan is, but yet I want to feel in control. I don’t know where I’m going, but I want to drive...

I think one of the things I’m learning in this season is to let God have His way in my life. Sometimes humbling yourself means to forgive that person that you’ve been angry with for so long, or staying put when all you want to do is run away, or to do the simple things when you rather want to do the things that seem more important to you – the things that make you seem or feel more important.

Sometimes it means spending your money on something other than what you had originally planned because you feel prompted in your heart, or maybe not doing or buying something that you really had your heart set on. Sometimes it might be telling someone something that is hard for you to say – whether a compliment or a rebuke – but obeying Holy Spirit’s leading.

It doesn’t matter whether your obedience takes you to a geographical location or an emotional or spiritual one, but rather it is believing it enough that God loves you and always has your best interest at heart and being set free by that to follow where and how He leads you in obedience. Maybe I need a deeper revelation of His love for me.

When you do humble yourself and follow God’s way He says that He will lift you up. Maybe this means a promotion in a job. Maybe it means a job after not having one. Maybe it means a deeper relationship because of what was restored by your obedient act, or just greater emotional or spiritual freedom or wholeness. Maybe it means feeling joy again after carrying a burden for so long and finally letting it go. Maybe it means you finally learning the next step to move forward after having waited on the Lord for a long time, having had to grow in your faith that He would come through even if you didn’t know when or how.

Maybe sometimes the answer does not lie in knowing the next step, but in humbly submitting to God, seeing His face for what He wants to accomplish IN you during your season of surrender, so that He can lift you up in His time and His way, and so you may be ready for whatever He has prepared for you.

God knows details of our future that we don’t. One thing we can look forward to on the other side of our humbling ourselves is the encouraging promise of being lifted up – a promise of a God whose Word endures forever, a God who is not a man that He would lie and a God for whom no time is wasted time - a God who says that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Maybe God is waiting for me to humble myself rather than me waiting for Him to uplift me...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sing Me a love song

When I just sit down and think about songs that I used to sing when I was a child I can’t really think of any. But more recently I’ve been so blessed with songs sung by my three year old niece. Out of the mouths of babes... Even though I couldn’t think of them, I would recognize them when she was singing them, and I would remember.

On the days when I have been feeling very low and struggling to have faith to hold myself up and stay focused on God and His Word, she would be walking through the house singing children songs of faith, God’s love and His greatness – ever so innocently – just singing a song.

Maybe to her it was (is) just a song, but the lyrics are actually scriptural, so in effect she was (is) singing the Word and, without her knowing it, Holy Spirit has been ministering to me when I felt too low to hold on to the Truth myself, too discouraged or overwhelmed.

Most times those simple songs would then get stuck in my mind and would catch myself singing them unintentionally, but after a while I would feel encouraged. They would also remind me of other scriptures that say similar things and so I would start to rise up.

I can understand why Jesus said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3 and “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

Sometimes it is just that simple.

As a worshiper I have learnt the value of worship songs that are based on the Word of God. Many mornings I have woken up with one in my heart and the lyrics would have a special meaning for me; as if God wanted to tell me something specific for the day.

Or, during times when I’ve felt low and I don’t know what to pray, those songs have been my prayers and my worship, lifting me up as I lift up the Name of the Lord. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people or He is enthroned by the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). It is impossible to lift up the Lord and not be uplifted yourself.

Also, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17), whether you speak it or sing it... So sing your heart out!

I encourage anyone to get yourself some good worship music, based on the Word of God and anointed by Holy Spirit. Worship wins the war.

Let’s sing a new song unto the Lord!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

God's Word works!

Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory. Psalm 50:15 (NLT)

My sister’s house was burgled a few days ago for the second time since February this year. Having just returned from overseas I had some boxes in her garage which contained only the essential personal items that I had hand-picked from my home before I left a few months ago. In other words, those were the items that I valued most out of everything that I had spent fifteen years collecting to make my house a home.

Also, the particular box in question contained my music instrument and equipment. This was the most expensive item, but it also had much sentimental value. Plus, being a worshiper, music has a very special place in my life. For me it is like blood in my veins. I remember a time in my life when I did not own any instrument and it was as if a part of my soul had died. Therefore there is also a very special testimony to
how I ended up playing the guitar in the first place.

They stole this box of mine together with some other things of my sis. My heart was broken. This was very personal for me. No insurance could replace it. So after crying some, having some coffee and waking up a bit more, I asked my sister and her friend to pray with me in the garage. I stood on God’s Word:

Malachi 3:10-12 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer [insects and plagues] for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

I have been faithful and now I was trusting God to (yet again) be faithful to His promise. He was!

Within half an hour after we prayed I found the box and most of my belongings in the bushes in the neighbour’s yard, including my guitar, and even though they had tossed it out of the carry case into the bushes my guitar did not have a scratch on it! Now I cried tears of joy and relief!

Most of what I have is a result of God’s blessing on my life to begin with, and now He had also rebuked the devourer for me! God was faithful to His Word when I called on it, and this blessed me in a very special way! Not only did it build my faith and encourage me, but those who heard that prayer and saw God come through were also showed something special about who God is and that His Word WORKS!!

Maybe for some it was just materialistic things, and things may not matter to God as much, but I do – His daughter, and I asked Him boldly because I know that He loves me and that which concerns me also concerns my Father. So – for me – not only did He answer a prayer or rebuke a devourer – He demonstrated to me again His love for me, even in the little things.

The little things matter to me, so I felt very loved in what God had done for me. I said to the Lord that if He chose to answer my prayer I would tell about it and give Him glory. That is why I am writing this post.

I see it as an opportunity that demonstrates that God’s Word is true and that if we use it, doing our part combined with faith, that we can see God’s promises manifest in our lives! In the midst of my current challenging circumstance I was encouraged again to apply more of God’s Word to different areas of my life and to see God bring new life to the dry bones of my circumstance.

Not only am I reminded that God’s Word stands forever (Isaiah 40:8), but I am also learning more now about having to speak the Word of God and how our world is created by our words. I heard a teaching by Pastor Theo Wolmarans recently titled Faith to climb your mountain in which he explains how God never told us to move our mountains. He told us to speak to it and have faith so that HE can move it. I’ve been trying to move mountains most of my life. Now I am learning to speak to it by faith.

I’m also reminded of the dry bones in Ezekiel 37 ...Then He told me to SPEAK TO the (dry) bones and say: “O dry bones, listen to the words of GOD, for the Lord God says, See! I am going to make you live and breath again! I will replace the flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you shall live and know that I am the Lord.” So I spoke these words from God, just as He told me to; AND SUDDENLY... what was said started happening right before Ezekiel’s eyes. Why? Because So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) and From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. (Isaiah 43:13)

2 Timothy 3:16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action)

What does God say in His Word that you need to speak to your circumstance today? I encourage you, together with myself today, to start paying more careful attention to what you say, and to start saying (and doing) what God says, so that you may see Him move the mountains that need moving in your life. If you feel that you don’t have enough faith then there is a way for you to change that too: Faith comes by hearing... hearing what?... hearing the Word of God. (Rom 10:17) So maybe you don’t feel too convinced to begin with, but start saying it anyway (not thinking it – saying) and you will find yourself believing it more and more, and the next thing that which you believe will become your new reality!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A story of an ant


I have received this via e-mail as well as Facebook before. Unfortunately I do not know who the author is (or who the copyright for the pic belong to - sorry), but I wanted to share it with you, as well as some of my thoughts on it. I hope that it bless you as it did me.

*****

Brenda was almost halfway to the top of the tremendous granite cliff. She was standing on a ledge where she was taking a breather during this, her first rock climb. As she rested there, the safety rope snapped against her eye and knocked out her contact lens.

'Great', she thought. 'Here I am on a rock ledge, hundreds of feet from the bottom and hundreds of feet to the top of this cliff, and now my sight is blurry.' She looked and looked, hoping that somehow it had landed on the ledge. But it just wasn't there.

She felt the panic rising in her, so she began praying. She prayed for calm, and she prayed that she might find her contact lens. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but it was not to be found. Although she was calm now that she was at the top, she was saddened because she could not clearly see across the range of mountains. She thought of the bible verse 'The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth.'

She thought,
'Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me.'

Later, when they had hiked down the trail to the bottom of the cliff they met another party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, 'Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?'

Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across a twig on the face of the rock, carrying it!

The story doesn't end there. Brenda's father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a cartoon of an ant lugging that contact lens with the caption, 'Lord, I don't know why you want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what you want me to do; I'll carry it for you.'

I think it would do all of us some good to say, 'God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and it's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will.'

God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him...I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

*****

[CreativeLee] What an encouraging story. However, I was more blessed today by Brenda’s perspective. How often do we first pray for calm? I think if we were to approach more things in life in that way we would freak out so much less – we would be in that quiet, confident place of trust so much faster and enabling God to move so much quicker in response to our faith. Our emotions surely do not move Him. Our faith does. But if we are overwhelmed with emotion it is harder to focus on believing instead.

Secondly, she acknowledged GOD’s ability to see and know all things; for HIM nothing is impossible. Her problem was not bigger than her God. Is that the first thing we focus on when we face challenges, or does it take us a while to get around to that bit – after we’ve freaked out and spent hours or days trying everything else besides trusting the Lord? I would most definitely want prayer and faith to be my first response (instead of my last resort) way more of the time.

For God a contact lens might not be a big deal, but Brenda knew well enough that God would care about it because He cares about her – the one to whom the contact lens belonged. Therefore she asked Him plainly and boldly. She didn’t have to pray for three days and fast and ask ten friends. She just uttered a simple request and trusted Him: “Lord you see everything; you know where my lens it. Please help me.

Then she left it up to Him how he wanted to do it. How He helped her was not her problem, so to speak. That He helped her is what she trusted Him for. We don’t have to come to God with solutions for our problems. We can bring our problem and simply leave it up to Him – obviously obeying for our bits as we are lead by Him – but it is ok to leave the miracle working up to Him.

God is not limited by our ideas of possible solutions. He can do anything He pleases, even use an ant. God’s options are infinite beyond our imaginings.

So right now, if you are trusting God for something, be encouraged to know that He is able to do anything He pleases – no problem of ours is too big for Him, and He loves us. He wants to help us. So choose to have faith and leave the miracles up to Him – just trust and obey!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

You were born to dream! (with sound)

( video


A week ago she secretly gave birth to a beautiful pup. A real undercover job, might I add; No one even knew that she was pregnant. I'm only realizing now that no suggestions have been made for a name, so for my post I'm going to call him Shizam: like a rabbit pulled from a hat in a magic trick :)

I’ve been watching little Shizam over the past few days and caught him napping and – what would seem like – dreaming. Yes! Dreaming! Wow! His eyes haven’t even opened to this world yet, and he can’t walk but he can d-r-e-a-m!

Watching him I try to imagine what he is dreaming about. I imagine that he sees himself as a big, strong dog; a leader of the pact. When he barks others take note. I imagine him running free with the wind in his fur, tongue hanging out, jumping over fences and chasing the wind over miles of lush grass. Others respect him, and his enemies fear him. He is bold, he is ferocious, he is fearless. Even though he can utter very little else but a faint whimper right now, in his mind he barks loudly! He knows instinctively that he is a dog – he expects to walk, to run, to bark. He doesn’t wonder this - - - and he is only one week old.

Watching him like this - and in light of my reading The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson right now - it has really given me something to think about. If this little one dreams only a few days after birth, how much more are humans born to dream - born with a dream? God dreams about us, you know?

By the time you are born you are being delivered into greatness - - then life happens, and life happens differently for everyone.

Today I’m talking to those for whom life happened in that you have been told that you are not worth it, that you will never amount to anything, that you’re hopeless, that you should stop dreaming stupid dreams that is never going to happen anyway, or that you are stupid. I’m talking to those who have started believing these horrible, hopeless things spoken to them.

Today I am challenging you to realize that God has an awesome dream for you (Jeremiah 29:11). You dream because He dreams and He dreams big and wonderful dreams for you! He loves you so much and He has created you for something specific that no one else can ever do as good as you! God wants you to dream for you like He does!!!

Think about it: what is in your heart that you’ve always noticed there but thought it was too good to be true and therefore have kept pushing it from your mind. What is it that you have been wanting to do for so long but all you’ve accomplished till now is making excuses because you don’t think you can, or that things as wonderful as that are only intended for “other people”. What makes them any better than you that they would be deserving of a great dream? NOTHING! The only difference is that they believe in a dream and takes the courage to pursue it. They believe they can (and maybe they’ve been more fortunate in that they’ve had loved ones who also believed it.) You don’t believe you can.

Maybe it is time that you start believing something else: believing that YOU CAN! Believing that you were called by name for SOMETHING GREAT! Believe that GOD LOVES YOU, not because you’re perfect but because you’re beautiful in His eyes (Isaiah 43:1). What has your fear achieved for you till now? Maybe it is time to chuck it out and remember the dream that has always been in your heart.

Maybe it is time for a change - time to leave fear and doubt behind!

In the second part of the video clip mommy fetches Shizam because he had tumbled over the side of the bed; out of her reach. She goes after him and gently lifts him in her mouth and puts him back in the safety of the bed and the warmth of the blankets that smell just like mommy.

God does the same with us. He watches our every move and He teaches us and helps us and guides us (Psalm 32:8). Whenever we stumble away from his protection He comes to get us and put us back on track; in the safety of His will for us. He always knows what is best for us and He watches everything that concerns us every step of the way (1 Peter 5:7). He knows exactly what we need and when.

Maybe you need to remind yourself again just how much He loves you and just receive it in your heart! Then start remembering the dream that has always been there since before you can remember. Then know that it is ok to dream it; it is ok to go after it, because if you stumble it will not be fatal. He holds you in the palm of His hand (Psalm 37:23, 24).

You can do it because He says you can. Maybe you need to start saying what God says about you! Only believe ... and the dreams that you dare to dream really can come true...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Dream Giver: Then he saw a sign

Then he saw a sign. It read: “Leaving the Comfort Zone of Familiar. Entering Border Land.”

Looking back over my own journey – especially over the past two years, I realize some of what I have learned.

One: Once you leave the comfort zone things will never be the same again. Even if you’ve wondered beyond the familiar and find yourself returning to that zone at a later time- for whatever reason – you soon realize that it is not as comfortable as it used to be. The thing about leaving a comfort zone is that it changes you – I know it changed me. The person returning to that place is not the same person with the same desires, fears, dreams, inhibitions, naive ideas, etc. And for this new person – what used to be comfort – is simply not comforting anymore.

I read a quote once: “A mind that has been stretched can never return to its former shape.” I have often thought of this and realized that it is very true in my own life. Once you’ve explored new horizons and been new places – whether physically, emotionally or spiritually – you change shape and you simply don’t fit into the moulds of yesterday anymore. Trying to fit can be rather confusing and very painful. I have found it best not to try, but to rather embrace the new and find the mould that you DO fit into.

Once Joseph’s beautiful robe was smeared with blood and torn it would never be restored to its former glory. Once Jesus hung on the cross things would never be the same ever again. Once you’ve left that job you would never know the same life that it was part of – even if you ever return to work for that company again later on. Once you’ve gotten married your life will change forever, even if you do get divorced at some point. Once you move to another country – even if you return at a later time – it is never the same again. What examples can you think of in your own life?

Two: You will see this sign several times during the course of your life; not just once. Every time when you’ve moved beyond it to somewhere unfamiliar, what used to be hard becomes easy(ier) and soon that unfamiliar place becomes familiar also over time. Then, when you make another bold move, you are in fact leaving “Familiar” again.

For me it is important to never stop growing. Change is not always easy, but it is the only constant thing about life. It is also adventurous and exciting. It is so easy to get caught up in the fear of the unknown that we forget to have an adventure. We should really learn to think about it like that more often. Life is there to be lived – to the full. Being afraid to make changes can cause you to lose out on a great deal of what God has in store for your life. He is not afraid because He knows it all, and where He leads us, is good because He is a good God and a loving father. We shouldn’t be afraid either. Even when you make a mistake, but your heart is with Him, He will help you find your way again and He still works it all for our good.

On the one hand certain things do become easier over time. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. However, the more we grow and learn, the more challenging it also becomes, but we can rest assure that God is always preparing us for what is ahead, and He will never allow anything that we can not overcome victoriously – with His help. Many have probably heard it: “His plan will never lead you where His grace will not sustain you.” I can testify of that. As long as God is in it with me, it will be ok.

We are never 100% ready, but we are as ready as we’ll ever be. The rest is faith and courage.

The further I travel on my journey I say: Take the leap when God nudges you! Don’t let fear cause you to be complacent. God’s dream for you is simply too wonderful to miss out on.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Dream Giver: when things don't go your way

I used to feel very confident about having the answers. In this season of my life, however, I find myself more than ever (or so it feels) not having the answers and I’m not always sure what to do with it. Part of me wants to do more than merely have faith, but I’m realizing that, at times, there is not a lot more to do.

In my search for direction and meaning I am reading The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. I’ve decided to blog on it as I go along. I invite you to travel with me, participate in discussions and maybe even grow with me.

"Every Dreamer soon learns that the road to the future you really want is clogged with Dream-threatening obstacles. That is why so many turn back. But what many don’t realize – and what I missed for years – is that each obstacle is also an important opportunity. The obstacles come in a predictable sequence, and each for a very promising reason."

When I was 19 I had a dream – literally. I felt like God showed me a glimpse of what he has in store for my life. I started pursuing it with vigour. I had my upsets along the way but nothing deterred me from the purpose that I believed God showed me. I got involved in all the right activities and trusted God to promote me toward what He had showed me. All went well until I felt lead in my heart to put that dream on the alter – to stop doing what I was doing and that God wanted to take me on a journey of preparing me for even greater things to come. I felt (in part) that I had to choose between my own fame and obeying God. So I left what I was doing.

For several years now I feel that following God’s leading has been taking me further away from what I thought He showed me and because I’ve had this dream 14 years ago, there had been times when I’ve started wondering whether I’m not just an idealistic dreamer who wants it to be God’s plan so that my life wouldn’t seem to be a meaningless waste. I mean, everyone wants to believe that there is something wonderful ahead for them. Everyone needs hope; everyone needs a dream.

The hard part – and probably my greatest struggle right now – is when things seem to be working out for the worse and not for how you had hoped/dreamed. When you feel like you’ve missed the mark, like God has left the building and feeling that you’ve made a mess of everything. Over the years I suppose my dream has become vague, and at times, I have felt tempted to just let it go wondering whether maybe it wasn’t God but just my own foolishness.

But then I think on the quote from The Dream Giver.

God promised Abraham a son and then asked Him to sacrifice him. Where was the nation going to come from that God promised? Moses had a dream life in the palace before he killed an Egyptian soldier and lost everything he had; what was he thinking? Joseph had a dream of others bowing before him before he landed in the pit and the prison. David was crowned king and then had to flee for his life for years from Saul. Job was one of the richest men ever and lost everything and everyone that mattered to him. We all know the outcome, but at those junctures it certainly didn’t look like it could be God to the natural eye.

I do believe that God is in everything – especially when you are His child. In all of these scenarios one thing is a common thread – learning to trust God fully ESPECIALLY when you don’t understand; to trust that He is who He says He is and that He will do what He said He will do. In times like these to have faith in God’s character: His faithfulness and His love. Sometimes it is not our knowing the direction or the answers that gets us out of the wilderness but our faith that God will bring us out when there is no visible direction or answers – He sees and knows it even when we don’t and He makes roads in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

I think obedience is equally important, especially if you don’t know the way God is taking you – He does. It is wise to heed his guidance; and to trust that it will not come too late. At times in our lives we need to be busy with God and not the things of God.

When I know nothing else I hold onto these (amongst others):

Col 3 :15 – Let the peace of heart which comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives... i.e. Let the peace of God be the umpire in your hearts whenever you need to make decisions.

Jer 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good...! – GOD KNOWS THE PLAN even when we have no clue!

1 Pet 5: 7 – Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

Heb 13:5 - ...for He [God]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

Rom 8:28 – And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans.

We cannot please God without faith. It would appear to be one of the things that we never stop learning and growing in.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Put GOD in the center

The prophecy was that a baby would be born in Nazareth; He would save the world of their sins. Not a lot of specifics, huh?

When Mary fell pregnant she didn’t say, “Ok, now, let’s go to Nazareth so that the prophesy of the Old Testament can be fulfilled.” As far as she was concerned she was just going to have the baby and raise the child with Joseph, their family and friends. That’s all she knew. Then the Roman Emperor decreed that a census should be taken. The Emperor’s goal was not to fulfil the prophecy either. God was using completely natural circumstances to move the people around for His purposes – like pieces on a chess board. The next thing they found themselves in Nazareth, gave birth to a baby boy in the manger – prophecy fulfilled to a tee.

God’s plan was to set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt. Pharaoh would choose to harden his heart and he played right into God’s hands
for showing His power and miracles to the Israelites so that they would trust Him and know that He was their God. Eventually, after the tenth plague, Pharaoh practically threw the Israelites out of his country and demanded they leave. He must have thought he was calling the shots, but he was doing exactly what God had intended him to do so that His purpose could be fulfilled, i.e. saving His people from slavery.

God’s plan was that Josef would save nations from hunger 20 years after he had the dreams of the sheaves and the stars bowing before him. Joseph didn’t say, “Ok, let me go check on my brothers so that I can get thrown into a pit, be sold as a slave, be falsely accused of sexual harassment, thrown in prison – perfectly positioned for the king to spot me and appoint me 2nd in command of the whole of Egypt and save nations.” He didn’t know what hit him, but each party in the process did exactly their part for God to achieve His marvellous outcome of building the necessary character in Joseph so that he could be the man of the hour at the appointed time.

I have tried so many times to figure out God’s plan for me just to find out – with a huge disappointment every time – that I had missed the mark by miles?

Sometimes things don’t make sense in and of themselves, and it takes time for all the separate occurrences of our lives to come together and show the bigger picture in a meaningful way. I think in those difficult times, when nothing seems to make sense, all I can do really is what is in front of me naturally, and to trust that God is guiding me even though I don’t recognize it, and no matter how lost I feel; that He will achieve His greater purpose on the other side of it all. My part is to trust Him and obey whenever and however I feel Him leading me.

The rest of the time..?

...and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]
(Ephesians 6:13)

and

Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act.
(Psalm 37:7)

I have this little card in my Bible – it is a reminder that I often need nowadays – it reads, Put GOD in the centre – and everything will come together. (Joseph is keeping an eye on it for me ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No tomorrow in yesterday

No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, Phil 3:13 (Life Application)

I remember a brief few minutes with one of the company CEO’s that I worked for. He had just listed his company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and they had an interview with him on television. It was quite the WOW event! I met him at the coffee bar the next morning and asked him how it was. At first he didn’t know what I was talking about and when I reminded him, his response was “Oh, THAT! That was yesterday; it is history – forgotten about already."

His story always reminds me that
the past is the past; whether good or bad. You can’t change it, you can’t enjoy it again – a once off offer; never to be repeated! If it was good,it is going to fade as time goes by. If it was not pretty you can’t go back and revise it. There is no point in asking, “Why (me)?”, “Why not (me)”, “What did I do wrong or do to deserve it?”, etc, etc. Fact is, it’s gone and it doesn’t care what your name is! All you can do is take whatever you could learn from it and move forward. If you don’t, it could drag you under, drowning you. Everyone fall down at times but it doesn’t have to be – shouldn’t be – fatal.

The future is not found in the past.

Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends... Great is his faithfulness; his loving kindness begins afresh each day. (Lamentations 3:21, 23) But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do! For I’m going to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? (Isaiah 43:5)

God is not a God of yesterdays, except to remind us of His proven faithfulness and the lessons to be learnt. We shouldn’t get stuck spending our energy on something we can't change either. We need to determine each day that today is a new day; to leave yesterday in the past where it belongs and to celebrate the beauty that is right before us; to not let it be tarnished by the memories of ‘used to be’.

*The picture is from MS Word Clipart

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Don't ever be afraid..." and here's why

“Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (CEV)

Does this mean that we are not supposed to be afraid; to not feel fear? I don’t think so. We are human and we were created with emotions, and I believe that they serve a purpose too, but we are to be master over our emotions instead of being controlled by it.

I believe God is saying, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged” and here’s why – I am the Lord your God – I am with you – I will help you (not maybe – WILL) – wherever you go (there is nowhere where He cannot get to you).

We are to feed our faith and starve our fear. I read once that courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway! To face our fears is the only way for us to overcome it. I’ve always remembered someone describing fear as (F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing (R)eal. On the other side of our fear we will find the liberty instead to be all that God has destined for us to be. However, the first step of believing what God says is up to us if we are to ever discover the wonderful things that are in store for us.

So the next time you feel fear you need to remind yourself of His promise and then make up your mind to be courageous and have faith that all will be well because He always does what He says.

*The picture is from MS Word Clipart