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Thursday, April 28, 2016

A weeks worth

Every spring I do a serious clean out of the side garden of every inch of mint that I can find and then I lay the fresh compost and sprinkle seeds of whatever I'm in the mood for that year. I always wonder if it will grow back...tee hee! This past year it was parsley that I wanted. I had planted the Basil-Mint as well.

Wow, only a few weeks later you'll find the whole section beaming with new growth. Right now I am able to cut an entire bowl full of herbs each week and it hardly makes a dent....wonderful. Mint, basil-mint, parsley, rosemary, thyme...all get cleaned and sterilized before use and my goodness what a difference those herbs make to salads, tuna sandwiches and meals in general and the flavour lingers long after. Whether from slips or seeds, herbs are so easy to grow and if you don't have much space you can grow them in pots, bottles and tins, there is no need to go without.

Our relationship with the world should be a bit like being a herb. We should easily grow and when others have been in our presence the effect of that connection should linger long after. Admittedly there are times when this is hard to do due to issues we are working through in our lives, but by enlarge we should make a positive impact on the world around us.





Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Freedom day 2016

Today is freedom day in SA and how nice to have a public holiday on a Wednesday!  I'm reminded again of how incredibly fortunate we are to have the freedom to worship our God without any restriction or persecution. 

There are still many places around the world where this freedom is not guaranteed, so today let's just take a short opportunity to remember this and remind ourselves to keep these countries in our thoughts and prayers and to pray for the Christians in that country to be kept safe. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

BCT

Last week was one of the most exhausting I've had in a very long time.  I was really struggling, so by Wednesday I decided after a trustees meeting that I needed an early night.  I had the lights down low and the kitties were settled and I felt as if I was all set to have a fabulous nights sleep. 

NOT!  On this precise evening midnight struck and my kitties awoke with a vengeance of energy.  I got pounced on until I had no choice but to let them out.  And guess what, it was the first night of our recent cold snap.  Feeling sorry for my little munchkins I thought I could not leave them out all night so I set my alarm for 2am, upon which time I once again dragged myself out of bed to let them back in.  The kitties were grateful and both decided to snuggle in with me under the covers, so I thought that I at least now had a shot of sleeping through till six. 

NOT!  5am the little monsters woke me up once again to be let back out..........Aaarrrggghhh!  My night was ruined.  Needless to say Thursday was a drag and when I eventually got home action needed to be taken as a repeat of the night before was not going to be tolerated.  I made a snug cat cave downstairs in the spare room and locked the little guys up for the night and aaaaahhh!  Sweet peaceful sleep.  I call this treatment 'Behaviour correction therapy'.  One night of no mommy and they settle back into the normal routine, which granted still has me woken up at 4-5 in the morning, but at least it is only once.

So what is God's behaviour therapy with us when we sin?  Well we are caught in a lie and are forced to own up.  We catch ourselves been rude and harsh to someone for no reason and the guilt gets to us.  We yell at someone we love and then we feel the pain of disappointment.  Through it all though if we look into the eyes of father God, what will we see?  Love, forgiveness and grace and a peace that transcends understanding and the knowledge that we can do better.




Tuesday, April 19, 2016

F.E.A.R – Stay focused

Most of us have heard the acronym for fear, false evidence appearing real and we attribute that to really dire stressful situations where we are lead astray by the lies of the devil. But do you know that fear can take over in the less dramatic, but still rather important decisions we need to take in life?

There are some decisions that I trying to work through and instead of being absolutely clear as to what needs to be done, I have been clouded by emotions about things that pale in significance to the bigger picture. Am I clear about the end result? No, not yet, but the process is clear and undeniable.

That is what our faith walk is all about, looking ahead, seeing the challenge that lies before you and having the courage to go for it any way. So if you are in the same boat today I want to encourage you to never give up, stay focused and don't let the devil distract you from your path.


Monday, April 18, 2016

Split the baby

Shjoe people can be complicated and I'm dealing with a situation in our complex that is getting rather difficult to figure out how to handle. It made me think about the story of Solomon and the two woman fighting over the baby. Solomon the wise knew that if he threatened them both with cutting the child in two that the real mother would do anything to save her baby.

Wisdom can be so hard to find at times and that is why we have to rely on collective wisdom so this time I'm glad there's a trustees meeting coming up so that we can decide on this one together.

When making decisions in life we need to keep the people that are close to us and in our inner circle as part of that process. This being said though we should choose those people carefully. The right people will always give you the right advice, even when it is hard for them to do so.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The plan

I'm a planner and even though I do not always crack it 100% of the time, I get it close more often than not.  The garden reshaping is done and now I'm waiting anxiously for pay day so that I can finish off the last major planting before autumn ends and winter kicks in, although this year I will try to compost throughout the winter.

I am busy planning my children's church class for next week and stressing that I won't finish on time, but I've got my ideas that I am pondering on and need to put the lesson together.  I am planning the wardrobe needs for winter and where I need to spend some money.  Yes, planning is an important part of life and vital if you ever want to achieve any goals. 

That does leave me thinking about what I have planned next for my own spiritual growth and oops, right now, nothing.  That situation has to be changed.  You see if we expect spiritual growth in our lives then this too needs to be a planned event. 

God planned our salvation meticulously and we owe it to Him to spend just a little time focused on planning our journey with Him. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hang ups

Our finance team's part of the audit is slowly coming to a close.  It has been a rough couple of weeks and now it is time to catch up with "business as usual".  We are experiencing a few hang ups that are making it a bit challenging.  We are all in the same boat though so there is nothing you can do but be supportive and plough through. 

It is a season that has left me feeling a bit brain dead most days, today being one of them, so I'll admit writing today is challenging.  I do ask myself though, without challenges to overcome, what would life be?  It is precisely all of these challenges that make the measure of the man...or woman.  Our true character is pushed to the surface. 

There are times when that brings joy, but there are also times when that can bring pain because what lies beneath the surface may not be the true characteristics that God desires us to display as children of God.  What it does do though is it forces one to be real and honest with yourself and that can only be good. 

These are the times that bring the most growth and when you see changes within yourself that bring a positive result, it is so rewarding.  God desires that we constantly grow, not only in our relationship with Him and others, but more importantly with ourselves.  As we work through the challenges of life we learn our own strengths and are then able to function more effectively in those strengths in the future.