Nothing is a Mess From God’s Perspective
Standing on the intersection of today, yesterday, and tomorrow, looking back, looking around and looking forward we notice the varying shades of life and the transitions that take place. Yesterday life may have been like a steady silken stream of serenity where we felt a little like we held the reigns of control. Somehow, today, the rain clouds may have rolled in, the storm hits and suddenly we are standing in the rubble of our crumbled castles, looking around wondering what happened. All too quickly, everything can feel like a mess as the rogue threads of our lives become frayed. But nothing is a mess from God’s perspective and over on the horizon of tomorrow is a full rainbow that crosses the sky, painting a picture of hope, reminding us of God’s promises and that not one thing under the sun is outside of the realm of God’s control. What appears to be a mangled mess from our perspective is, at no point, not perfectly held by God. His mighty hand envelopes us and every single detail of the good and the difficult. Nothing, absolutely nothing is a mess from God’s perspective

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The Imposter
I recently received an email from PayPal, or so I thought. It all looked legitimate, including the PayPal logo, email address and wording that encouraged me to carefully review the invoice that was due for payment and to report anything that looked like fraudulent activity by clicking on the link provided. PayPal is a trusted sender, right? I sat there thinking, what on earth did I buy for $499.99 and then I saw the words BITCOIN. It was a scam email, yet it appeared authentic. It was an imposter, masquerading as a trusted entity, sending a fraudulent, phishing email designed to lure me in through deception and misrepresentation, and to make a malicious attack, potentially robbing me financially but also potentially theiving my identity. Sort of has a familiar ring…

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Two Sided Tapestry
I recall a beautiful tapestry my Aunty had created many years ago. The tapestry was a delightful country scene. It was a two-sided tapestry. The front side of the tapestry was a flawless pictorial design of beautiful, coloured threads woven together to create a patterned artwork that depicted life in the country. Turning the tapestry over to the underside revealed the ugly, jumbled, tatty, frayed strands that were just a big mess. Most of us want to hide the ragged side of the tapestry but the ugly mess of the underside has a direct relationship with beauty on the front side. The ugly is part of the beauty. It is a two-sided tapestry

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The Colour of the Gospel
Recently, a friend showed me a photo of himself as a little boy that was previously black and white which had been converted into colour. The photo had been through a colourisation process and the image was transformed. Colourisation involves the expert artist remastering the old photo by removing the defects and imperfections, sharpening the image to remove any blurriness, increasing the contrast, and layering the image with colour. Whilst the original image remains, the colourisation is a complete process of renewal. The new remastered coloured image attracts the attention of the viewer, allowing them to relate to the image in a new and more meaningful way. The details of a photo that were once lost or obscured in the shades of grey, become visible in striking colour as the image is seen from a new perspective. Colourisation is like the master artist has breathed new life into the old black and white photo. It is like the colour of the Gospel when Jesus renews us through His redemptive work as He breathes new life into our lives…

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The God who sees
As a consequence of living in a fallen creation, there are times where we can feel unseen in the world, as though we are walking around in a cave of concealment where our life lamps seem like they’ve been trimmed, and no one really sees us. Sometimes we can be walking around in plain sight, yet we can feel invisible. Other times we think we’ve been seen until someone gets out their measuring tape of comparison and we are overshadowed by the top scores of others. We feel unseen.

To feel unseen can leave us feeling insignificant, disheartened, and disregarded. Whilst God has designed us as relational beings who should see each other through the lens of dignity, worth and significance, humans don’t always give recognition to the inherent value of others and make them feel seen, acknowledged, and validated. At this juncture, it is critical to stop and embrace the truth that it is not finally about being seen by others but seeing God and knowing we are seen by Him. That lens changes everything. It is only God who can determine our significance and we must never exchange this truth by placing a premium on the need to be seen and affirmed by people first. God is the God who sees and His validation of who we are and what we do is what ultimately counts…

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God doesn’t need us, but He wants us
CS Lewis noted that “God, who needs nothing, loves into existence wholly superfluous creatures in order that He may love and perfect them.” Acts 17:24-25. When we contemplate God who is so magnificent, ultimately, we realise it is impossible for us to fully comprehend the magnitude of our breathtaking God and the depths of His heart of love. His creation is so majestic that to take a moment to contemplate just one aspect of God’s handiwork would take us on a million detours as we explore the elaborate details that God has shaped into creation and into making us. We as human beings are exquisitely crafted and are not the result of some random cosmic experiment on the part of God. We are the dream and expression of God who authored us; each of us unique. We are the centrepiece of His creation, intricately and marvellously made. Amazing! So, what is rather curious is the fact that God did not need any of what he created. Yet look at the brilliance of His artistry and creativity. The very fact that God doesn’t need us, but He wants us is a humbling experience for us as His creatures…

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Cancelled
We live in a post-Christian culture that has progressively sought to de-throne and remove God whilst constructing a new kingdom where humans elevate themselves as monarchs of the earth. The world is marching to a different drum as it seeks to cancel God and marginalise Christianity. We even have a “cancel culture” that once danced on the edges of society but now rides confidently on the back of these anti-God warlords. So much is being cancelled. Things we hold dear and things that really count are being cancelled. The foundations of God as the pillars of our society are being cancelled. Our history and story as a Christian Nation are sitting under the judgement arm of the appointed leaders in our Nation who are proposing a rescript of the narrative of our Christian heritage, removing it from school curriculums. Freedom of religion is currently under the gavel of cancellation, where the powers to be assume the right to determine the way humans thrive. The more the world seeks to cancel life as God designed it the greater capacity there is for the hungry hounds of destruction and devastation to ferociously maul and devour the capacity for humans to flourish. God never intended life to be on the leash of meaninglessness with a studded collar squeezing the breath out of us as the chain gets tighter…

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Our Champion Defender
My sister and I loved the Rocky movies where the down and out boxer from the Philadelphia slums battled his obstacles and rose to the status of heavyweight champion of the world, the famous Italian Stallion. Champions of the earth come and go. They make their mark for a season, but their titles and trophies eventually fall. Psalm 62:2 says there is only one true everlasting champion defender and that is Jesus. Jesus alone weighs in as the heavyweight reigning Lord of the universe and He happens to be our champion defender. His title and position are and will forever be unchallengeable and He will remain eternally undefeated. His trophies: a rugged cross and an empty tomb are visible for the world to see in God’s Kingdom display case…

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It is written
Some of my godsons loved to play the role of warrior lords, wielding their mighty little swords on their imaginary battlefields, defeating, and slaying their enemies. Every time their swords struck something with a winning blow, the victorious sound effect of clashing steel would ring out and the imitation ruby gemstone on the handle would light up red signalling their conquests. They had a little saying “long live the King”. Triumph was consummate in those words as they fought in the authority of their imaginary king and by the power of their wielded swords. In the life of faith, we are called to consummate triumph, as we step on to the spiritual battlefield proclaiming it is written, using the sword of the Spirit, God’s Word that has divine power to strike a victory blow and demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5…

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Crowned
Psalm 103:2-4. Today as we approach the throne of the most high God, we recall a special coronation that took place where the King of Kings reinstated us as His royal sons and daughters. Undeserving, Jesus walked across the room, and He called us forth. He spoke our names, summoning us to bow our knees to Him, the one and only reigning King. Lifting our heads, He crowned us and robed us in garments of His holiness. He took our hands and invited us into a dance of grace, leading us around the grand ballroom of His kingdom. His glory and majesty filled the room. As we gaze into the eyes of our loving Lord and Saviour, we weep with thankfulness, knowing it cost Him everything so we could be crowned

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Undone and Redone
My Grandmother was a bit of a genius with sewing, knitting and embroidery (somehow, I didn’t get that gene). One of my most vivid memories was going into her room to find a pile of mangled, tangled wool on the floor after her cat had been living its best life playing with the jumbo ball of wool that Grandma was using to knit some beanies. Much of what had been knitted had been undone and the wool had turned into a jumbled, twisted, matted pile of mess. The cat made a very quick exit, leaving the chaos it created behind. What had been undone needed to be redone. My Grandmother gathered up the tangled mess and began to patiently loosen the knots, tame the tangles, untwist the entwined loops, straighten the crinkled strands, and blend the frayed ends. The matted wool that looked like an impossible mess was undone and redone in her gifted hands. Finding the end of the wool, she began to carefully wind it around her fingers, drawing the twine close and creating a new, cohesive ball of wool. She was gentle, patient, and unwavering in her commitment. She did not express frustration or pull and yank the strands. Once the ball of wool was restored, she began to knit the piece again, creating three super cool beanies for her grandchildren, to keep us warm for the coming winter…

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One way: Jesus
As humans gather on the plains of life, there is a collective cry that wells up as an insatiable thirst for truth and meaning that leads to fulfilment. It has been echoing in the earth since the greatest liar visited the creational home of humans and cast a shadow of doubt on ultimate truth. Since then, the cry for truth and meaning can be heard echoing in generations past, in the present age as a ceaseless hum chanted loudly and silently by every soul, and a rumbling cry that can already be heard in the yonder years. There is an answer, but it is exclusive in its claim. There is only one way: Jesus. John 14:6…

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God is always on time
As the pendulum of time swings back and forth across our lives and the cosmic clock ticks with perfect precision, we live our days by its movement. Within space and time, we find ourselves moving forward along the highways and byways of life, always against the clock and this often influences our assumptions about God’s timing. As we etch our desires into prayers to God, making our good plans, we hope in Him, wait for Him, and trust Him to fulfil the desires of our hearts, all according to our timeframes. Proverbs 16:9. Yet could it be that we are so regulated by time that we filter our expectations of God through a finite, time-bound lens and periodically end up disappointed or discouraged that God seemingly hasn’t answered our prayers within the time periods we set (as reasonable as our timings may appear)? Yet, what God calls us to is trust; trust in His perfect wisdom and His perfect timing as sovereign Lord over all things, including time. God is always on time

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This is our King, King Jesus
In the galleries of life, we find the portraits of many a king who claimed their thrones as ruling earthy lords, walking on their own streets of gold where their feet never touched the dirt of the common lands. They ruled from their vaulted chambers, shielded from the real world, and only hearing at a distance about the lives of their subjects. Positioned in power, dripping in riches, their coffers were sealed, and their golden coins of wealth never benefited the impoverished and the defenceless. With their kingdom doors ultimately closed to the realities that fell upon the everyday streets of life, these kings lived behind their royal cloaks of protection and never looked into the eyes of the broken, the lost or the marginalised. BUT … there is grand gallery found in Kingdom courts of God that boasts a living portrait of a King supreme; a magnificent, eternal monarch who is royal and rules but also resides and remains with His subjects. He is not just any king. This is our King, King Jesus. John 10:10-18…

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Formed in the Fire
Psalm 66:8-12.
As Newcastle kids there was always great excitement when we went on a day trip to The Rocks in Sydney to visit the various arts and crafts shops. Our first stop was always the glassblowing gallery. We would watch the craftsman take some molten glass and fashion it into an extraordinary art form. As the glass become molten in the fire, the master craftsman would scoop it up and begin to form a vessel by turning it, blowing air into it, carefully shaping it, and finally slowly cooling it to prevent it from shattering. What could have remained a blob of molten glass after being in the fire became a unique and exquisite piece of art in the skilled hands of the glassblower. It was a vessel formed in the fire, and embossed with the artist’s signature, identifying the creation as uniquely his work…

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God is safe
As we set sail out of the harbours of our lives each day to embark on the voyage of life, there will be varying waterways we pass through. Some waters will be smooth and crystal clear, allowing us to glide through with ease. Other waters will be rough and challenging, with strong tidal pulls, minimal visibility, and ocean debris that all threaten to shipwreck us and inhibit our passageway. In all the waters of life, only God is safe. He is the only safe harbour we can anchor in and remain in place…

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God has the panoramic view
Psalm 33:13-15. I recall flying into Sydney one afternoon and from my seat in the air, the earth below looked like a miniature toy play scene. I could see the city grid and the people who looked like miniature figurines. I could see where the roads started and finished, the detours and where they re-joined the main arterial roads, and the varying vehicles driving along like tiny matchbox cars. This panoramic view reminded me that God has the panoramic view of life. He sees all of life from the beginning to the end; He sees us before we were formed in our mother’s womb, all our days on the earth and our dwelling with Him in eternity. Psalm 139:16…

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Magnify God
I have a very cool magnifying glass that has an inbuilt light. It both magnifies and illuminates everything. When I take my magnifying glass and run it across printed words for example, I both enlarge the print, and shed light on the words which creates a depth of field, sharpening the focus of what I am reading. The magnified view changes the way I see and read the words…

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God inclines His ear and listens
Psalm 116:1-2. During my counselling course, the first skill we were taught was active listening because one of the greatest needs in every human being is to know they have been heard and understood; that the person they are speaking to is attentively listening. When it comes to God, we can be confident that He does not miss one prayer be it our spoken or silent words. God inclines His ear and listens

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The God of New Beginnings
As God takes His kingdom key and unlocks the door of a new year, there is a certain hope that comes to us when we dip our toes into the fresh waters of a new chapter. As we begin to inhabit the untrodden journey ahead, we can be very sure that God is the God of new beginnings

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Best days to come
As you all know, each week I sign off Thought for the Week with “best days to come”. This little sign-off statement is not only a light-hearted way to finish our words of encouragement, it is also a powerful declaration of truth and faith. Best days to come is about our future in the hands of a trustworthy God. It is embracing the truth that God, the master weaver, knits every thread of our lives into the tapestry of His purposes, past, present, and future. Philippians 2:12-16. He produces a uniquely designed expression of His image in us as He restoratively works with the strands of our best and our worst experiences. When God weaves His ways in us, the end result is always God’s best. He fashions us by His love and goodness, allowing us to experience the blending of both beauty and chaos to produce a distinctive life tapestry that has the extraordinary touch of the master on it. So whatever days are ahead, every thread will be sewn into God’s design to create a strong, resolute, unwavering life of faith that enables us to always know and declare best days to come

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God rides across the heavens to help us
What a year it has been! Some of us have lost. Some of us feel beat! Some of us feel anxious. Some of us are asking questions. Some of us are still smiling. Most of us feel we need a break and wonder what the heck just happened to us in these long months of confinement. Part of the problem for us humans is that many of us live with a veiled expectation that life should be lived out in the “happy” lane. Inevitably, our lives will periodically cross over into the quadrant of hardship, and we become the casualties of calamity. This year has poured out difficult days on us and being locked away from life as we know it has left us fatigued. The common word on all our lips as we head towards the close of this year is “weariness”. We are all feeling like weary wanderers, walking the tracks of life that have progressively become threadbare after the pandemic has whipped us and left its welt marks on our beings. We are ready to fall in a heap. We need rest, solace, and a helping hand. But our God never leaves us debilitated in the pit of pain. He is a God of rescue and restoration. Our God rides across the heavens to help us

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Don’t you just love Jesus?
One of the most exciting things in our childhood was the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the seventies when she came to Newcastle (yes, Newcastle). Our family perched on one of the best vantage spots in outer Newcastle just to get a glimpse of the Queen. Excitement mounted and the crowd went wild when her black, royal Rolls Royce car was approaching. As she whizzed past, she waved at us and in a few seconds, she was gone like a phantom in the night. Five seconds of a royal encounter, at a distance and it was all over…

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God, the master story-maker
Sitting around our family fire at night in winter, our mother would read us stories and what a storyteller she was. She brought every character to life and made the story live through her creativity and imagination. She invited us into the stories to enjoy the adventures of the characters. I still vividly remember my childhood stories and the impact they had on me. My favourite story was Little Tommy Purr, a naughty kitten who would regularly escape school to go on his own adventures (I love that kitten). What’s your favourite story? Think about stories and how they impact us, shape us, connect us, and communicate meaning. We see ourselves reflected in stories…

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The Son-rise and the promise of hope
There is something spectacular about watching a sunrise. Standing still, waiting, and watching as our all-powerful God lifts the sun, there is a sense of hope as God takes His heavenly paint brush and tips the horizon with those brilliant first colours that cause the sky to blush in colours of orange, yellow and gold. As God paints the morning into being, it is a majestic moment, full of promise for another day of life under the physical sun and life under the Son who authors all of life. The Son-rise and the promise of hope is the signal of a fresh start every time we open our eyes and step into a new day as we live in relationship with Jesus…

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Truly Human
I’ve heard it said that we humans are the sum or our experiences. Whilst it is true that our experiences help to shape us in life, our humanity is far more exquisite and defined than just being the sum of our experiences. Stepping inside the shape of an-experienced based definition of our humanity, is a hollow shell that ultimately echoes a sense of hopelessness, particularly when life sifts us. It might sound all sweetly philosophical to say we are the sum of our experiences, but it is a sugar-coated view of our personhood and misses the dignity and sacredness of life as being a grand creation of God…

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It is well with my soul
As I have pondered the idea of being able to truly exclaim “it is well with my soul” when we face difficulty, the words penned after Horatio Spafford suffered such a swipe of tragedy that deeply gashed his life, it became clear to me that there is only one possible set of shoes we can ever stand in to make such a declaration in all seasons of life and that is to stand in the truth and reality of Jesus; in who He is and what He has done for us. It is easy to say “it is well with my soul” in seasons of flourishing and not so easy in the face of grievances. In life’s more strenuous times, our only hope of declaring “it is well with my soul” is to cling to Jesus and to know with deep assurance that He will faithfully hold us close to His own heart as He identifies with any broken threads in our lives and walks us through to the other side of the troubles we face…

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The Heartbeat of God
1John 4:10. As children, our family doctor would occasionally let us listen to our own hearts through his stethoscope. It was quite mesmerising to tune into the sound of our hearts pounding, and as we listened intensely, the beating was magnified with such clarity by the medical device. We were attuned, captivated and attentive. There was no other sound. As I recalled that memory, it made me realise what an incredible thing it is when we come to an understanding that the God of all creation has a heart that beats for us in a continuous rhythm of love. The heartbeat of God pulsates endlessly with a depth of love that can never be plumbed by finite minds…

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God is unchanging
The world as we have known it has flipped on its head and left us all slightly perplexed about navigating life the way we have been used to. Life in the covid lane or any lane that knocks us hard can cause us to feel like a cork bobbing around on the ocean, trying to get our bearings…

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God is not in lockdown
When the walls of our lives are pressing in on us and it feels like our shoes have been nailed to the floor lest we wander outside the borders of our designated spaces, we feel increasingly shackled and restricted. Lockdown has made us feel like there is a new face to life. What about all our plans, our time, our relationships, or our ministries? …

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God is our unshakable rock
As we scan the horizons of our lives, it feels like we are participants in a world that is spiralling out of control and being shaken fiercely. As the squeezing of our lives increases, we can feel like the pressure pump could crack us open any moment. Nothing feels the same, looks the same or works the same at this point in life…

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Jesus didn’t fit the mould
When I was a kid, my Grandmother had expectations that I would be the typical little girl who would sit and play with dolls, quietly brushing their hair, making them look pretty and getting them ready for the dainty little tea party to be hosted on the rolling lawns in our resplendent garden. Boring…

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The Passage of Pain
For us humans, pain is a dirty word. It’s unwanted, but it’s unavoidable. Pain and suffering were never part of God’s original design. The moment humanity chose to redefine life independent of God, the passage of pain became part of the life we live. It is natural for us, of course, that our preference is to stay on easy street and avoid colliding with pain. Sometime, however in the journey of life, we will all encounter the thick brush strokes of pain painting its colours of grey across our lives as we enter the passage of pain….

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Your Cantus Firmus
Say what? Our Mum was a brilliant piano teacher and pianist. My music lessons with her were a delight, as she invited me into the world of music through her exquisite imagination. Whenever she played the piano her music always told a story. However, to learn to play music, it also required my Mum to teach me the technical side of music such as musical symbols and language. One of the terms I learned was cantus firmus, which means a main melodic theme in a score of music that is always recognisable no matter how it is played…

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The broad shoulders of God
Psalm 55:22. As Christians, we live our lives between two poles of reality. The first pole is the sovereignty of God who rules over everything and the second pole is the existence of life’s difficulties. We know that God is sovereign, good, faithful and able. Yet we also know that life has seasons of hardship when grief thrusts its piercing dagger into our lives and we desperately pray for God’s immediate intervention…

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The lens of God’s truth
A few months back I had to get a new pair of glasses. As I cycled through the varying lens options, I was aware of how much the wrong lens distorted the letters and sentences I was trying to identify and interpret. I needed the right lens to see clearly and accurately. We live in a culture that continuously applies the wrong lens for identifying reality and understanding truth. There is a growing tug-of-war between Christianity and postmodern worldviews, with the latter spewing its claim to truth and shovelling as much dirt on the life of faith as possible….

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Jesus gets in our mess and turns our ashes into beauty
Isaiah 61:1-3. As children, one of our favourite toys was a kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscopes are made up of angled mirrors and coloured glass fragments, crushed beads, confetti, and shreds of ribbon, all housed in a cylindrical barrel. When the barrel turns, the fragmented pieces move and reflect unique, beautiful patterns in the rotating mirrors. When we think about life….

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This too shall pass.
With the recent resurgence of the pandemic crossing over the borders of our lives again, we are reminded that we live in a world where difficulty drops in and etches its scars on our lives. One moment we are on top of the mountain and the next moment…

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Fear Not!
Isaiah 41:10. The Bible consistently declares “ fear not” or do not fear. “ Fear not”is a very big statement for those of us on the listening end, but it is never made independent of the One who makes the proclamation: God!
Every time God tells us not to be afraid, He also reminds us of who He is and what He will do…

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In plain sight. Hebrews 4:13 tells us that nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is in plain sight to Him. This is both confronting and comforting. On the one hand, it is confronting to know that God knows and sees everything about our lives. We wonder, how can He love me if He sees the worst about me? Will I be enough?…

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The World Spins on the Finger of God
I’ve been to several basketball games where the Sydney Kings team have danced up and down the court entertaining us with clever play and triumphant slam dunks. One of the talents of these professional basketballers is their ability to spin the ball on one finger. It fascinates me. I’ve tried it and failed miserably. It got me thinking about another King, God and the magnitude of who He is…

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Today
“Today” has been gift-wrapped by God. Psalm 118:24. Each of us has a journey to be lived out. We have a past, and we have a future. Yet, we also have today. Living in the shadows of the past or basking in the light of the future will rob us of life today. The gift of life today does not mean we don’t value the past which has helped shape the moments we are currently inhabiting. Nor does it mean we can’t anticipate all God has for us in the future. The problem arises when we linger too long in the past or constantly dream of the future at the risk of not treasuring the miracle of each moment that makes up the offering of life today…

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If you were God, what would you be like?

It’s a challenging question. I was driving home the other night and I was aware of the various, foolish drivers around me. One was ducking and weaving in the traffic, others were driving at snail pace, some were speeding, then there were the lane drifters, the road rager abusing everyone in their way, and of course there was the one that ran the red light. As I sat behind the wheel, I could hear my automatic thoughts declaring “if I was a police officer, I’d book that person, I’d put that driver that in jail, I’d make sure that driver lost all their points as well as their license.” My judgments went on and on with no mercy. I just kept hammering the guilty gavel. Clearly, I was the only perfect driver on the road with my “super-sized cop” attitude, being judge and jury all at once. I had everyone being booked and thrown into jail with no reprieve. Afterall, shouldn’t they pay for all this irresponsible behaviour that put others at risk? Suddenly I began to think…

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Only God Sees Around Corners
I like to knit. I know, right? It’s funny, particularly for those who know me, but I find it therapeutic. I am probably one of the worst knitters on the planet. I have to watch YouTube clips to guide me, I get knots in the wool, drop stitches, and have no idea how to fix it and consequently have a few holes in the end product. Whilst I only knit squares, my enjoyment comes from using beautiful wool with diverse colours and texture…

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Kingdom Keys
When I turned 21 (just a few years back – ha), I was given a set of keys. This set of keys gave me rightful entry and access to all that was in the realm of our home and domain. When God gives us our Kingdom keys, he moves us out of the squalors of our spiritually desolate homes and into His glorious palace, our Kingdom keys permit us entry to His heavenly home where we have rightful access to His domain and all His resources…

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My Cup Overflows
Psalm 23:5. Curiosity begs the question! Why does my cup overflow and keep overflowing in all seasons? The answer to that question is that the One who holds the water jug of living water, Jesus, is both the source and the pourer of every blessing that fills the cups of our lives…

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Hello Everyone

The Kiss of the Father
The kiss of the Father is a like divine kiss planted on the cheek of humanity. It is a metaphorical idea that images the deep love and affection of the Father. God is a unique Father who is smitten with us, His children. He is not the stoic, impassive type father who keeps His children at arm’s length, requiring them to earn His favour. Rather He nurtures and cherishes us, drawing us close to His heart…

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Hello Everyone

See yourself from God’s perspective
I recall going through a difficult time in my younger years that had me drawing conclusions about God based on prescripts I had created about myself. These conclusions were particularly awakened in one shattered moment of life…

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Hello Everyone

The Ultimate Love Story
Everyone loves a love story and we humans happen to feature in the greatest love story of the ages. God has drawn the shape of His love-heart around us, inviting us into the ultimate love story

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Hello Everyone

The Precious Promise Box of God
A special part of our childhood growing up was our Mother’s ‘precious promise box’. It was a small box containing a collection of Bible verses, printed on small scrolls of paper, that all fitted snugly together into the promise box, each bearing a promise of God. Every day we would use the little tweezer-like implement to select a scroll and we would read out the promise together. This little compendium of treasure was like picking out a piece of gold that would make us rich for the day….

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Hello Everyone

The Varying Seasons of Life
Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us of the varying seasons of life. It also highlights that no season is the same and as we navigate these ever-changing chapters, we must adjust our sails as the winds of change blow through our lives…

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Hello Everyone

The Fifth Gospel
The fifth Gospel is not part of the Cannon of Scripture; but it is the Gospel in action. The Gospel message is a powerful written message that brings hope to humanity, but the fifth Gospel is the living testimony of Christians who are the visible expressions of the of the written Word…

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Hello Everyone

The Perfect Host
Growing up, our home was always a buzz with guests from known friends to strangers off the street. Our mother was the perfect host. She put a special touch on all she did to welcome people into our home. There were always flowers on the table, a candle burning, the table was set with her finest china, charmingly placed on her best lace tablecloth, coloured glasses to compliment the setting, a towel on the bed with a small gift, more flowers and a welcoming smile for those who passed through her doors. She was the perfect host

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Our small hand in God’s mighty hand becomes a powerful instrument for influencing and impacting the Kingdom as we join our hand with the most powerful hand in the universe. Isaiah 41:13. When we read about the many heroes of the faith, in each story we see them partner with God, placing their small hand in God’s mighty hand, which resulted in God doing extraordinary things with ordinary resources…

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Bragging about our Daddy
I was recently walking through my local parkland and as I passed two little girls playing, I could not help but tune into their conversation. One little girl was proudly bragging about her daddy, giving credential after credential about her hero dad. Not only did this little girl brag about how wonderful her dad was and how much he loved her, she boasted about how good he is at cricket and his job and how he can lift heavy things and build things out of Lego.
The list was endless…

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I found you.” Don’t you just love the sound of children playing hide and seek? The little giggles, the whispers, the intentional noises, all designed to reveal their hiding spot. Why is that? Because deep down, every person wants to hear the words “I found you”…

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Jesus invades and pervades in our brokenness and mess. It is hard to image Jesus, the eternal, King of all Kings, Creator of all, the only holy, pure, and perfect person, who dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16), entering into the mess and brokenness of our humanity…

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Harvest from hardship. In the fields of life, it seems we have unconscious expectations that we will always reap ‘premium crops’ and ‘abundant produce’ when it comes to harvesting our best lives.

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Extend the kindness of Jesus. One of the greatest expressions of the kindness of Jesus was His intentional entry into the story of a broken humanity.

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Hello Everyone

We sow to grow. So, what seeds are you sowing today? I’ve recently been learning about planting tomato seeds. It is the most incredible process to take a minuscule seed, full of potential for growth, plant it into the void of the dark dirt and watch the petite plantlets pop their heads through to find the light.

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Jesus will prevail.
As 2020 turned the history pages and a new century opened, we all seemed so perfectly positioned on the 21st century timeline for the best year ever.

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When the Father speaks.
Spoken words and sometimes unspoken words are defining. They fall on the ears of the soul and seep into the cervices of our beings and affect us in either a good way or sadly, at times in negative ways.

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Speak the name of Jesus.
There is no other name higher than the name Jesus. Philippians 2:9-11 states that God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.

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Shaken but not stirred. Some of you will recognise this famous statement from the James Bond movies. When requesting his preferred beverage, James Bond, the British Secret Service agent, 007 would request his drink be shaken and not stirred.

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Hello Everyone

Speak the name of Jesus.
There is no other name higher than the name Jesus. Philippians 2:9-11 states that God exalted Jesus to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.

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Hello Everyone

Shaken but not stirred. Some of you will recognise this famous statement from the James Bond movies. When requesting his preferred beverage, James Bond, the British Secret Service agent, 007 would request his drink be shaken and not stirred.

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Hello Everyone

God’s master work on display. In one of our last TEC Thoughts for the Week, we spoke of being a master work of God. God is the ultimate artist. All of God’s creation is an expression of His creative work, with His signature and imprint visible in all His works (Psalm 19:1-4). Humans however, are God’s exquisite master work of art; His prize creation that most portrays the Master Artist (Psalm 8).

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What’s your footprint? Walking across my favourite beach recently, I was conscious of the footprints in the sand. Each footprint told its own story of the person that walked that way.

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Hello Everyone

Marked by God”. On every piece of fine bone china, there is a manufacturer’s hallmark which is considered to be the mark of authentication. If you turn an item of fine bone china over, right there in the centre of the piece you will find the unique “fingerprint” of the maker which includes the image, country of origin and the name of the maker. It is unique.

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Hello Everyone

Live like Jesus is returning today. I recently had a dream that Jesus returned. It was so vivid. In my dream, I recall being awakened by a disorientation of being taken up into the skies, having no control over what was happening and trying to make sense of it.

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The eye of the storm. As we navigate the waters of life, we will experience times of smooth sailing and other times we will find ourselves in the middle of a storm as we charter our way through unexpected, rougher passageways in our lives..

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Do you love me?” Imagine standing in the shoes of Peter when Jesus asked him, not just once, but three times “do you love me?” This is a profound story of love, forgiveness, redemption, restoration and the call to serve. This experience for Peter came off the back of his monumental denial of Jesus.

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Dreams. There is a narrative in our culture that tells us we must create a dream and live it out in order to find purpose and fulfilment. In the backdrop of our minds there is a silent pressure to embrace this philosophical notion and if we don’t we are left questioning, “did I miss the dream boat that sailed off into the sunset”? There is a ringing in our ears to “live your dream” or “if you quit your dream, what’s left?”

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Hello Everyone,

False accusations. There is nothing worse than feeling falsely accused. In the courtrooms of our everyday lives we would never accept any accusations that falsely accused us of something we did not do. We would take up arms and defend our positions like a fearless warrior chanting victory ahead of the battle…

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 How fragile is life? I grew up in a home where our mother gave us a taste for the finer things in life. At a very young age my sister and I were enchanted by the delights of drinking tea from our Mum’s elegantly crafted fine bone china teacups. It’s every little girl’s dream to sip daintily from these exquisite porcelain pieces, pinkies turned out and feeling like royal little ladies. Tea simply tastes better in your Royal Albert “Old Country Roses” teacup. Yet the enjoyment of the fine-bone china always came with a warning: “never pour boiling water directly into the teacup or they may crack because they are so fragile”…

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Hello Everyone,

Planted in the garden of God. A flower garden is a place of created beauty. Some of us love to tend our gardens and others simply enjoy the bouquets of beauty. From the beginning of creation to our 21st century villages, with our suburban backyards and balconies, gardens remain a feature of human life; for humanity was born in the most magnificent, flourishing, abundant garden of God. The Bible speaks metaphorically about God as the ultimate Gardener and gardens embody some parallel realities with our journey as Christians as we are all planted in the garden of God

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I am who God says I am. We are all so familiar with the fairy tale quip “mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all”? The magic mirror in this fairy tale was used as the source of truth to answer the ultimate question of the evil queen. In today’s world there are so many mirrors that claim to be the source of ultimate truth, defining who we are. Yet the mirrors that hang on the philosophical walls of this age do not have the prerogative of truth…

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When the “what if” question is whispered into our spiritual ears, Jesus always answers “I’ve got this”. Lurking below the surface of the “what if” question is doubt and fear. Doubt calls into question the truth and fear anticipates the worst possible outcomes. Both exclude God’s ability to impact our circumstances. The enemy regularly takes these two vicious “dogs” for a walk in the shadowy park of life, unleashing them to prowl around and prey on vulnerable people, hungry to sink their teeth in to get a grip. If we stay too long in this shadowy park, there is another “dog” that gnarls and bears its teeth called despair…

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Jesus meets us right where we are at and He changes everything. This is an incredible thought. Jesus is the creator and sustainer of the universe, lives in unapproachable light, is seated on His Kingly throne, yet willingly and intentionally enters the realm of our humanity in all our brokenness, frailty, failures, sickness, loss, and desperation. This supreme, majestic, all-powerful, transcendent King is not aloof and does not hide behind the royal gates of Heaven…

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The story of all stories. Stories are enchanting as they immerse us into the narrative and we begin to recognise ourselves in the characters, cultures and common things of life. Stories are about connection, tradition, identification, values and inspiration.They are relatable. And they must be authentic. As we sit around our campfires of life and tell stories, they powerfully touch our thoughts and emotions…

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At His table. There is something incredibly unique about a table. During recent times of restriction, one of the things we have missed most is gathering around our tables with others. A table is where we gather to enjoy a meal and to share our stories, dreams, heartaches, and joys. Tables in a sense unite us and our moments around our tables often become our most treasured memories. But a table is also a place of privilege. Think of your table…

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When Jesus weighs in. The Bible speaks to us about the thick, combative, ongoing spiritual battle that we are enmeshed in where the enemy never rests from seeking to lure us into a life of destruction and defeat. Not much of a character with that motivation! Imagine his profile; the author of rebellion (Isaiah 14:12-15), the evil one (Matthew 13:19), a murderer, the father of lies (John 8:44), the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), a thief; the one who seeks to steal our first love (God), kill every opportunity for us to flourish and mutilate our humanity (John 10:10). He is comfortable to create pain and suffering in God’s creatures (in fact the worse our suffering, the more he is delighted)…

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Wonder. In the slipstream of everyday life, our regular routines seem to supress our appreciation of the extraordinary privileges of “being”, reducing them to familiar and ordinary. We live with a silent expectation that we are entitled to these “ordinary” offerings of life and assume they will always remain, uninterrupted . . . and familiarity sets in. But, the true fallout of familiarity is the loss of wonder

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The mystery of mysteries! Now, there is something that should spark our inquisitive natures. We all love a mystery. They arouse our curiosity and entice us into a journey of discovery, promising the unearthing of what is hidden. In unravelling a mystery we unstitch the pieces bit by bit in order to see what all the pieces together reveal. Every person has an innate sense of curiosity to pursue the mystery of life and follow the trail to meaning, purpose, fulfilment, acceptance and destiny…

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Endurance – it’s never about isolation. As Christians we are called to endure when the gavel of trouble falls so we can develop immovable faith (James 1:2-4). But the call to endure is never independent of the Body of Christ. A popularised word in this global pandemic is ‘#isolation’ which trends on social media daily. But isolation is not God’s intention when it comes to endurance…

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I am the Light of the world (John 8:12). These seven small words spoken by Jesus have a monumental impact. To understand the impact of light, we need to compare it to its counterpart; darkness. In a metaphorical sense, light and darkness describe two opposing spiritual realities. Darkness is the territory where people are blind to the reality of God and seek to navigate life without the illuminating lamp of God’s truth…

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Hello Everyone,

I am who God says I am! The provocative question, “who am I” is continuously hurled at us, casting a shadow over our value and birthright as a creation of God . It’s “game on” as the enemy strikes at our humanity through a vicious assault on our identity, seeking to constrain us by the prison bars of lies. What better way to keep us from being all God created us to be by inciting a destructive groundswell that resulted in an identity crisis…

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God is our hope. One of the words on our lips in seasons of difficulty is hope. Culturally speaking, hope is often assumed to be synonymous with a wish that is blown out into the wind on the wings of optimism. It is tentative, anticipating the wish may be fulfilled by some slim, mysterious passage of good fortune

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In the treasure box of God is a profound statement: I will never leave you or forsake you. We live in a world where abandonment is a defining feature. We suffer loss, particularly in relationships and people are more ready to ‘exit stage right’ than to stay when life gets ugly. Coiled around our innermost being is the need to know we will not be abandoned, bereft or rejected. Jesus says I will never leave you or forsake you
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The first and last, the alpha and omega, the Great I AM, there is no other (Revelation 22:13). We live between the bookends of this eternal reality. The narrative of our lives fits into the metanarrative of God’s story where His bookends are eternal…
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What a Saviour! A number of years back, I read a quote from one of my favourite authors, JI Packer. As I read it, I wept. I knew what my salvation meant but unexpectantly, it was like I had ventured into an age old gold mind, unearthing riches that had always been mine, but suddenly I could really see the gold. What a Saviour!..
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You are still my first love! It is a profound revelation that we are the ‘first love’ of Jesus. When His love settles on our hearts, we cannot help but love Him back. There has never been and there never will be another person who will love us so perfectly. Jesus made the ultimate declaration of love, when He put Himself on the line and laid down His life for us (that’s no small thing). He has swept us off our feet with breathtaking love, leaving the permanent imprint of His affections on our hearts. This encounter leaves us changed forever. That’s a lot of love right there…

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I am a child of God! When we look into the man-made mirror of the world, we see a multiplicity of images that seek to define us. Numerous messages are coming at us that create false illusions of our humanity and seek to sink any notion of our unique identity as a treasured creation of God. The atheists tell us we are random products of chance…

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Fight, yes, fight the good fight! Media reports heralding the downward curve of COVID can lure us into a false sense of security where we rest on our laurels and let our guards down. But we must continue to fight. This physical reality also highlights a spiritual reality; a parallel track we travel on in our journey of faith that calls us to fight the good fight. 1 Timothy 6:11-12 calls us to fight the good fight and to exchange the riches of this world for the riches of eternity…

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Where does our help come from? In a time when the familiar things in life feel fragmented and the flames of fear are being fanned in our minds as we face unprecedented times, where does our help come from? In asking this question, it will lead us somewhere…

 

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Let us begin. Mother Teresa had a profound little saying “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” Whilst this little quote sounds simple, it is layered with meaning

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God is always God in the midst of every season. This one central truth is the basis for how we navigate the seasons of our lives. We read in Ecclesiastes 3 of the many and varying seasons of life such as living, dying, sowing, reaping, flourishing, stripping, sickness, health, darkness, light, weeping, laughing and so on. They are descriptors of the seasonal transitions we encounter…

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Faithful! The word faithful has a ring of comfort to it. It means loyal, committed, constant, unwavering, reliable, steadfast. Those descriptive words are beautiful, broad brushstrokes that paint a colourful picture of one aspect of God’s character; His faithfulness…

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Treasure those you love and love with open arms. 

One thing this global pandemic has put the spotlight on is the value of life. Everyone is doing whatever it takes to avoid contracting this deadly virus. Why is that? I believe God created us with an intrinsic sense of how precious life is. If life was worthless, then who would care…

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I want to always be found with my knees bowed to Jesus. There is no one like Him.

When I contemplate life and how it could be if Jesus had not gathered me up in His arms, I cannot help but bow my knees to Jesus…

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Hi Team,

What’s in your storehouse? (please don’t say toilet paper – joking 😊). Seriously, a storehouse is a place where you deposit provisions and gather supplies to ensure resources are available in times of scarcity…

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What is your life’s portrait? You might ask me what I mean by that question. The idea of a portrait is a portrayal. It is a defining image that leaves an impression and a lasting impact.

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His hand is mighty! As the sun rises and the world wakes up, the rhythms of life continue to flow. This is no small thing. The sunrise may feel like a normal rhythm of life, but it is miraculous. Every moment is dependent on His mighty hand…

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Resurrection power! At this point in time our days can feel like we are cocooned in isolation. Being isolated, has prompted me to think of Jesus during His time in the grave…

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Jesus loves me! What a simple but profound statement that is richly loaded with meaning and implications for life…

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Are we there yet? How many times have we hushed the kids for repeatedly asking that age old question: “are we there yet?” But could we be found with this question on our lips at this point in time? …

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Ten thousand reasons to sing! Really? Yes, really.

There are times in life where it feels like the storms raging around us are so great that all we feel like we can see is the height of the waves ready to crash over us and smash us against the rocks…

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Hello Everyone,

God always gives more! At a time where it feels like everything is being taken away; our social time, our community life, potential loss of good health, shopping sprees (that hurts ☺), the buzzing vibe of our local cafes, our work, our freedom, and our routines; …

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Look how fear has flipped the globe upside down, collectively gripping humanity, putting us in holding patterns. And let’s face it, it’s hard not to fear…

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Seasons are often about transition from one thing to another. We have just transitioned from Summer into Autumn and there are expectations of this new season. But wait! The season suddenly looks different and everything that has been familiar and routine and enjoyable has changed…

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We might be in isolation, but where are we really found?  We are found in the palm of God’s hand (Isaiah 49:16 – Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me). We are found under the shelter of His wing (Psalm 91:4 – He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and buckler). We are found with His everlasting arms underneath us (Deuteronomy 33:27). This is where we are found…

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God is a mighty warrior who is ahead of us, behind us, beside us and within us. He is our utmost protector. His Kingdom is established forever. Nothing, nothing, nothing can come against the King and His Kingdom. We belong to him. He will fight for us, champion our cause and slay the enemy like a consuming fire. No weapon formed against you will stand! …

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