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28.2.10

The Mind

This Sunday I preached the first sermon in the series called BATTLE OF THE MINDS - how our carnal mind is at war with our spiritual mind, the Mind of Christ. I have battled in this area for years so feel I have a lot of personal experience & victories to share. Also I long to see people in our congregation free from all sorts of things that hold them in bondage & I firmly believe that dealing with the carnal mind is a strong step in the right direction for all of us.

Here are 7 steps to a free mind:

1.Renew your mind - Romans 12:2
2.Control your thoughts - Romans 8:5
3.Take one step at a time - Proverbs 23:7a
4.Don’t give up - Galatians 6:9
5.Be positive - 1 Peter 3:15
6.Think about what you think about - Colossians 3:2
7.Know your enemy - John 10:10

Right thinking can...
Bring health to your body - Proverbs 4:20-22
and
Bring prosperity to your life - Psalm 1:2-3

Can you believe how powerful this stuff is!!!

Have a listen to the full message
here if you like, I really hope there is a gem in there for you.
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26.2.10

Hopelessly Flawed

I may be hopelessly flawed but thank God for Jesus! I never quite understood the story of the prodigal son in the Bible - I always thought it was a bit unfair that the faithful son seem to get so little and the son that messed up got all the praise and honour. It never quite made sense to me how that was fair in any way. Since doing my own eating with the pigs and squandering the goodness that my daddy in heaven gave me I have come to be grateful for that story. I still don't think it's very fair but I am grateful that God sees things that way and sees me the way He does! Without his grace and seemingly unfair ways of dealing with things I may not be where I am today.

I am still hopelessly flawed and very far from perfect in so many ways, but at least now I know who I am in God's eyes and I know that no matter what I do wrong or how far away I walk from Him, he will always come running to me when I need him - ready with a fine robe & nice meal of fatted calf. Do I deserve this? Is this fair? Absolutely not - I probably deserve to be stoned or crucified! In fact that is exactly what should have happened to me by Jesus got on that cross in my place!!! I no longer strive for perfection because I know I can't even get close. What I strive for now is His perfection that covers all my imperfections, His love that fills the areas where I have no love, His compassion where mine fails, His strength when I am week and His beauty for my ashes.

Now I live through Him - hopelessly flawed, totally in love & irrevocably His forever.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” 1 John 4:9

I challenge you, join me in my quest to give up the struggle to be good enough ( I accept I will never be good enough to the people in my world & will always be perfectly good enough to Jesus - neither will change so why not rest in Jesus view of me), to accept His unconditional love & mercy and to spend the rest of my days only focusing on how I can get even closer to Him.
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22.2.10

The Guardian

The Guardian is fantstic movie with Kevin Costner & Ashton Kutcher. Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) plays a rescue swimmer in the USA Coast Guard & Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher) is one of his trainees. After losing his entire team in an accident, Ben is sent to teach at "A" School, an elite training program for Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers. Wrestling with his loss & frustration of not being in the water, he throws himself into teaching, turning the program upside down & picking on Jake for his attitude. After doing some background checks, Ben begins to understand Jake & takes him under his wing. Upon graduation, Jake follows Randall to Kodiak, Alaska, where they bravely face the dangers of the Bering Sea. Great movie but I wouldn't recommend watching it with little children as the rescue scenes could be a bit scary. for them Have you watched any good movies lately that you would like to tell us about?
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17.2.10

What are you carrying?

From time to time I really struggle with things, I get all stressed out & annoy my husband & children because I am stressed. The first thing I do when I get like this is I check my priorities, are they in order? This often helps right away, I usually get stressed when my life gets out of balance. I have mentioned my priorities several times before in previous posts - for me being a good wife & mother are my top priorities & everything else comes after that. My first sort of stress comes when I get that out of sync & start putting church stuff or other sorts of work first. This upsets the balance in our home & inside of me - not good. To "reset" the balance I usually start by cleaning the house or spending time with the children, just a practical way of reminding myself of what is most important in my life.

I have noticed that on top of getting out of sync with my priorities I have an additional factor that causes me stress. This stress comes from what I am carrying. My role in church varies from doing admin to singing to washing cloths to preaching to editing the website - you name it I do it. I love everything that I do & love serving in the House of God. I am always very busy & love doing as much as possible in any given day. I can do a lot in a day & feel fulfilled & not get stressed at all. But there is a difference between serving & carrying. The leader carries the burden, the leader carries the weight of what they lead. There is a huge weight & level of responsibility in leading in any area of church or life. I lead in some areas & I serve in other areas. The stress & confusion comes when I try carry (or lead) something that I am meant to be serving in. For example I am Eric's helper in church - whatever Eric does I try be available to help if he needs me. I don't have to carry the load of that role, he carries the load & I support/serve/help. However within that role I handle all the churches systems & admin. This role I carry as God has given me a gift for this & I love it, there is no stress for me in this area as I am designed to do this. If Eric had to do this he would find it very stressful as he doesn't enjoy admin or have any sort of gift in this area. I can fiddle with spreadsheets, documents, websites, etc all day & at the end of the day I feel full & happy because it fills me it doesn't drain me. I carry it because I was designed to carry this, God made me this way.

This week I tried to carry the full weight of something that wasn't mine to carry & it really stressed me out. As soon as I realised I was carrying it rather than serving the leader who should be carrying it, I found my peace again. I stopped worrying immediately, got on with my "role" in that area by let go of the "weight" of it. I realised that I am not designed to carry that aspect of church life & quite frankly I don't really want to carry it, I already have enough on my plate. So what about you, have you ever considered this? Life can be amazingly fulfilling & rewarding if we can figure this out. Even Jesus, in Matthew 11:28-30, says how he wants us to carry certain burdens & give the rest to Him. Are you perhaps trying to carry something that is not yours to carry or are you perhaps not serving in an area that God has called you to serve? If it is stressing you out & just doesn't feel right perhaps you shouldn't be carrying it!
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13.2.10

Free Book - Affect Destiny

I am a huge fan on UCB as they provide us with such good high quality material & it's all free. Usually when you hear of free stuff you think it's probably low quality - but not at UCB. We have stunning daily devotional material called Word for Today which we get from UCB & give to our Church. They also have great material for youngsters & teens. I really enjoy all that UCB do & most of all the way they do it - with excellence.

Recently I finished reading Affect Destiny which is about the man that started it all & his journey. It is incredible to see what God has done though him & how easy it is to reach & impact the world. I don't mean easy in that the journey is easy, I mean it is easy to get started. Many times people wait for a the big call from God from heaven so that they can get started in doing their something significant in this world. It seldom works that way. Usually it is one small step of obedience which is very often not glamorous at all - like helping an old lady cross the street or cleaning the toilets at church. In fact mother Teresa started by wiping up vomit & cleaning &ressing festering sores for the poor people in Calcutta. Look how she impacted the world! Do you know what you are called to do? Who cares, don't let that be the reason you sit around doing nothing - if you get busy serving in your local church God will see your beautiful, faithful heart & He will use you. If you want to do something really BIG for God then get started with doing the seemingly insignificant small things that are often unseen by others. Do it with a cheerful heart knowing Your dad in heaven sees & takes great delight in what He sees! Your calling will become obvious to you along the way.

Read about how Bob Hoskins started something small that is now reaching the world! Get the book free here along with other free resources for your church or community.
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7.2.10

Marriage Tip #6 - Enjoy Every Season

A lot easier said than done I know, but really try to get the most out of every season of your marriage. Try see the bright side & if you are lucky enough to be married, try to remember how great it is to have someone to walk with you through the season you are in. In this photo we are in the pouring rain, it was our wedding day & it was an outdoor wedding in a lovely park in London. Thankfully the rain only came towards the end as we were leaving. But take a look at our faces, we are so unbelievably happy & the fact that it was raining didn't bother us at all, in fact it made quite a nice photo for the final photo in our wedding album :) I can't really take credit on this occasion for choosing to enjoy this particular season (the rainy season) as I was too ecstatically happy to notice! There are other season though when I have chosen to ignore the "rain" & look at the brighter things in my life. Most of all when things get tough I just choose to be grateful that I have someone with me to help me get through the tough times. And when things are tough with the one I love (my husband), I choose to remember the good times & season... then things seem to be a little less tough.
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4.2.10

John 8:9

"Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." John 8:9

John 8:1-12 is the story of the adulteress who is brought before Jesus. It's very interesting how it's specifically noted here that the oldest left first & the youngest left last when it came to matters of the conscience. It seems that the older you get the more aware you are of your sin. When you are young you see very little fault in yourself, you think you know it all & have it all together. I am finding that the older I get the more I realise my faults & sins - I would NEVER have seen all the things I see in myself now when I was younger. Also it seems that perhaps the younger people in verse 8 were more judgemental of this woman & the older people realised that they couldn't judge so harshly because they were more aware of their own sin. What do you think, do you find that the older you get the less judgemental you become & the more aware you are of your own sin? Or do you perhaps have a different view on this verse?

Only when we start to see what we have done will be able to see what He has done.
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