The Power in Perspective Pt2

So part two of my thoughts on perspective

Part two will hopefully encourage you to take control of the situations you face by becoming more self aware and in control. Often times we allow life to happen to us as if we have little to no control of the situations. Life happens – that’s a given. Scripture says the rain falls on the just AND the unjust (Mth 5:45) meaning that none of us a exempt from trials and just life .. However, the power is in how we choose to go through it.

I often times think of Job and all he suffered in an instant – unknown to him – God and the Devil were having a good old talk about him before anything started going wrong for him. To top it all off – this wasn’t like when God sent the plagues to Egypt because of the hardened hart of Pharaoh – God was actually boasting about Job and how good he is and STILL allowed the Devil to mess up his life to the extent that he was left with nothing..

Often time our perspective would lead us to think that God is full on out to get us. Just out lurking with pit falls and fog and anything else that would make our lives difficult – but this is the total opposite of what The Father is trying to do. Lets look at some examples:

John 9:1-12 tells us of a man who was born blind and the encounter he had with Jesus. Jesus was about his business as per usual and he encounters this blind man. His disciples ask him “who sinned why he was born blind, his mother or father?”. Jesus’s answer offers a different perspective in verse 3 :  Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

Here we see one situation. Two perspectives. The disciples had one, Jesus had another. The disciples wanted to know who was to blame for this terrible thing that this man had endured all his life. They were looking for someone to blame as to why this thing had happened. They were concerned about they WHY of the situation. Don’t most of us get stuck in the Why of a matter. See the different perspective from Jesus – He was more concerned about the WHAT of this situation. What was the reason for this whole orchestrated encounter – simply that the works of God might be displayed through him. See the difference

Another example. Lazarus. In John 11 we see the account of a friend of Jesus being reported to be sick. The bible accounts that this man was close to Jesus. Mary says to him “the one you love”.. just in case He was getting his friends and Lazarus’ mixed up. In verse four we get the perspective of Jesus “When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby”. Here we have a perspective. Now this didn’t change the situation. It didn’t even change the initial outcome of the friend dying – however we see the power of perspective. Look at Jesus’s reaction – He actually stayed where He was for another two days. Not shaken – not even stirred.

Now we could say He wasn’t shaken because He knew what He was going to do – how would you expect me to have such grounding without knowledge of how things are going to end? I’m glad you asked – this is where we have to train our faith.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen we are told (Heb 11:1). It’s what the unknown and unseen are made up from – Faith. Scripture tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. another version talks of an expected end. Here very clearly we see the outline – start to finish of God’s heart and mind towards us. He makes it very clear that he has an expected end. He has a glory at the end for us. His thoughts towards us are GOOD. He has no ill thought or plan for our lives. And this is the rock we need to anchor our perspective in.

Many things have happened to me and often times I stopped to wonder why? Like I didn’t pray, or fast, or read my bible. Like I don’t sever in church, pay my tithes, give my offering. Like I’ve not suffered enough.. that’s one perspective. To consider life as one BIG episode of Total Wipeout where the aim is to Take-Me-Out.. and God is the one releasing all the water and foam and BIG balls just to make it difficult. Or, I could ask God “what is it you want from me and or my life via this? Since your thoughts towards me are good..and in aims of bringing me to an expected end – what (not why) is this in aims of”?

You my dear have to make the decision to taken another stance. Now I am not asking you to put on a pair of sunglasses and pretend like life isn’t happening – because it is – whether you want to see it or not. But what I am suggesting to you is that you take a moment to think before reacting. Lets not forget – Jesus still cried when He got to the grave of the friend who He loved – even with full knowledge of what He was going to do – so I am not taking that away from you. I’m suggesting a different perspective. You actually have the power and choice to do things differently.

Having your thoughts anchored in such a truth (and there are may more like it) allows you to steady your reactions. Like Jesus – asleep on the boat despite the storm. Just because Jesus was there, didn’t stop the storm – but the storm didn’t bother him. It’s a choice you have to and can make.. to choose another perspective.

Much love xxx

 

Uninvited: Lysa TerKeurst

I’m just going to get to the point.. This has been one of the best booked that I have read for a long time…

Possibly due to the time of life that I am currently in (Recovery and Healing).. and maybe just because it’s just a very well written book. She has a very personable tone to her writing that makes you feel like one of her sisters or a close friend. She remains warm and welcoming in each of her chapters.

The book takes you through how she has managed and dealt with different aspects of rejection stemming from the absence of father as a child, friends, colleagues, loved ones and heartbreak. Each of these experiences she has walked through and she takes her reader through them in such a real way – literally inviting you walk through it with her. She then stops to invite you to a better way of viewing rejection.

Many of us resist the opportunity and chance of rejection by living in isolation, but all that really does is frustrate and lock the call of God on our lives. Lysa makes it clear that rejection is something that we all must face in life, however our perception and mindset is so important in how we respond to it. She invites you to reinforce your truth and foundations of your belief so that when rejection comes you are not shaken by it but can actually be built by it.

In previous blogs I have talked about the importance of what you hold true and this book reinforce that for me. It is really important that you are aware of what you hold true, what you consider fact and how you allow those things to govern your life. She touches on the effects of “Stinking Thinking” and how the contents of the heart can impact your life.

My key take away from this book: God is Good, God is Good to me, and God is Good at being God. This statement really stood out to me. It really challenged and questioned if I really trusted God to be God. If I did, truth is, I would worry a lot less about the future because God is good to me, and He is very good at doing His job at being God.

A really good book for those who are struggling processing rejection, feeling left out and feeling unloved. Something most encounter at some point. It also support those who’s faith has been shaken by repeated encounters with rejection. Helping us understand that God does not have it out for us and is not trying to take us out, rather refining us because He is looking for pure gold. He has an aim to present us back to Himself without spot and without wrinkle. He loves you – dearly – genuinely and uniquely. It is a really supporting read for healing of our thought processes when dealing with rejection.

Highly Recommended ..

Uninvited

 

 

He’s Acquainted with My Grief : Daddy Knows

So this year has been one of the hardest years I’ve had for some time. In fact it has been a tough could of years, however I am still here. Better for it all. I can say that now – had you asked me a few months a go I probably would have side-eyed you and walked away in a full on stink.. I was hurt. I apologise to anyone who got side-eyed.. My Bad!

In a moment of deep despair and sorrow – feeling a deep sense of rejection, disappointment and betrayal, God sent me words of comfort that no other voice could speak.

I had spoken to a few sisters about the period of life that I was in, and many had offered many kind words. Many encouraged me -some with scripture, some with positive words of affirmation, others just got angry and the cause of my hurt – some seemed more angry than I was… Goodness, I had to calm them down.. like breath sister…breath!  But that’s what you call friends.

But in all honesty, none of it was working. None of it. The hurt I was feeling had sunk deep into the pits and the core of my being a place no one can reach.

The words they were offering – while kind, and true and sweet to the taste – none of it was getting to the real core of my pain. The pain I was feeling was not something I had experienced before. I was feeling more than I would express in words. And nothing adds salt to the wounds than feeling hurt and having no one that you can run to to make it all better. I would tell God.. “you mean I have to sit here, in this, by myself?” It was totally distressing. Utterly mortifying to feel like no one really got the way that I was feeling. And because no one knew how I was feeling – no one could fix it. No one.

I’ve talked previously about how I struggle with abandonment and feelings of being alone. This was all of that and a bag of chips rolled up into one messy blubbering mess. literally – BUT GOD!

I sat at my desk on evening and I heard ; Surely He has bore our griefs. He is fully acquainted with your sorrow…

It was a simple statement. Again, I knew parts of the scripture, but I went to read it in full. Isaiah 53.

I read it once.. and I read it again. And I read it again. This scripture lays out the life of Jesus from an emotional point of view. While he was about doing miracles and preaching an so on – Jesus was still very much human. He came in the form of flesh just so he could associate with how we feel – isn’t that amazing. He did that on purpose – JUST so that in times of grief and sorrow we could turn to him because he knows exactly how we feel.

I read the passage and underlined all the things he had endured – each of them related with me – deeply and genuinely. I read it in a number of translations – and it was literally like reading my present situation point for point. Feelings of being despised, rejected, turned on, avoided, pierce, crushed, oppressed, beaten, tormented, unjustly condemned, struck down, buried like a criminal.. all these things I was feeling and felt that I was totally alone in this – totally alone. But I was wrong. God is fully acquainted with my grief.

I wish I could fully articulate how liberating it felt to know that everything I was feeling – God knew and was acquainted with. So when I cry and say

“Daddy it hurts.. I gave my all and they still hurt me” He says “I know baby, I came to give my life for them and they still beat me half to death.. I know”..

When I cry and say “Lord why..? I cant do this”.. I hear Him say “I know it hurts baby, I know.. I wanted the bitter cup to pass too, I know”..

When those that hurt me walk past me like nothing happened and did noting – and I ask God “why?” – He says “I know.. my own disciples rejected me and swore blind they didn’t know me..I know rejection..I know it well baby”

And its not a sympathetic..there there, never mind.. it’s a ..I’ve been there, I’ve felt that, I’m acquainted with it, I fully feel your pain..

I just wanted to remind someone today OR tell you that you are in no shape or terms alone in your grief. Some heart ache is more that just sadness, its full on grief and sorrow you are feeling. Know that your Father is FULLY acquainted with what it is you feel right now. Nothing you are feeling is strange to Him, noting. All those feelings that are tormenting you and the feelings that tell you that you are doing life in isolation is a lie.. there is someone who has walked this road before and is walking it with you right now.. You’re talking to someone who knows…

Today He says “I know baby.. Daddy knows.. ”

God knows

Isaiah 53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

 

 

Strength of your Heart

Wait on the LORD. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the LORD! Psalm 27:14

During morning devotion – and no – that doesn’t mean I was sat on a beach front, watching the sunrise winging on a hammock in blissful silence. . . More like sat at my desk, in front of half eaten breakfast taking the few minutes I had between my 7 year old asking me to locate his left shoe, my 12 year old needing to be reminded to use deodorant today and me remembering to pack my lunch.. that I was caught by the scripture. 

You know when you are sat minding your own business and all of a sudden there is a flurry of activity and its like someone hit the download button and all of a sudden there is a surge of information and encouragement. Scriptures are just flying through your head, thoughts are being lined up that are then being layered up with more scriptures.. You don’t.. well I don’t.. even know where the scriptures are taken from but they are coming thick and fast. Almost like the Clark Kent to Superman transformation in a phone box. Often times I don’t even know what to write on which is why I have pens and post-it notes all over my home.. these moments of inspiration just take off and I need to be able to write them down as they come.. I don’t want to miss a single crumb..

So this particular morning, back to the half eaten breakfast – I hear “Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord”. I asked myself one question.. – Why, when I am waiting would my heart need strength? Why would it be promised that in my time of waiting that God would be the one to strengthen my heart while I am waiting?

I was reminded of Proverbs 13:12 that states that “Hope deferred, makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life“.

There is something somewhat sickening about waiting..There – I said it.

There is just something about waiting that is unsettling when it has been going on for some while. The proverb suggests that your heart becomes sick when something you have hoped for is delayed, and this is fact. Whether you are waiting for a bus, a delivery, or the microwave – something happens to our hearts in the state of delayed expectations. A strange mix of anxiety and confusion takes us. We know something should be happening about now, we are looking for it, listening out for it, but it’s not turned up. Then here comes the questions – Why has it not turned up? Where is it? When is it coming? How much longer will I be without? what’s going on?

All these are valid questions when waiting, however, after having asked yourself the same question for 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks, maybe 5 months, or the last 5 years, for some decades..(you get the picture) – something happens – literally – something damaging starts to happen. The questions that were once logical and rational have morphed into swards of furry that poke holes in our once whole and sound heart. Turning joyful hope into a toxic slurry of confusion and doubt if we are not careful. Having waited “too long” our heart has become sick..

broken heart.PNG

Proverbs 4:23 states this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it“. When your heart has become sick – believe me – its evident in almost every area of your life. Jesus while talking to a group of Pharisees notes that “..out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks..”(Mthw 12:34). Our heart and its contents are directly linked to what we do and what we say. A sick heart can lead us to do and say some out of Christlike-Character things.. Proverbs 15:13 tells us “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”..

heart and mind

And this is why our heart needs strengthening – and reinforcing while we are waiting. God in His wisdom lets us know that if we can do the waiting – He will do the strengthening. This is His promise to us. He is well aware of the potentially effects of waiting for a promise given. He knows we have the tendency to become impatient and flustered and loose hope while waiting. Doubt is both toxic and hazardous in the life of the believer. As is fear – and guaranteed where you find one.. the other wont be far behind.

We owe it to ourselves to check the content of our heart and mouth in relation to things we are still waiting on God for. Have we started speaking negatively about that deferred hope? Have we sided with doubt and decided that maybe God cant? Or maybe you haven’t taken it as far as God can’t.. because that would be unheard of to find something God cant do.. so that cant be it – maybe we have consoled ourselves with the thought that God simply wont..we’ve sold our hopes because they cause us too much pain to bear. I dare not get my hopes up..

I’ll share a thought process I had concerning a wait of mines .. “I can’t, in fact I refuse to go to another wedding without a husband of my own…At LEAST a boyfriend.. and dare anyone ask me to be a bridesmaid… again.. in fact, please don’t even invite me to the wedding.. I don’t really want to know – I just can’t. I don’t want to hear how you wasn’t even looking for a husband .. “but look what the Lord did”…. No .. I’m not shouting with you, put down my tambourine and go away please.. and thank you.. #truestory .. one I’m sure a few of you can relate to. My heart had become so toxic in the season of waiting that I found it difficult to honestly (the key word there) and genuinely celebrate others who had received the answer to MY prayer…  err – excuse me!! – Anyways.. we thank God for deliverance.. I’m still single, but my heart isn’t toxic about it.. !

Now, He didn’t promise to speed things up, or put an automatic end out our wait. That wasn’t the promise. He promises to give us the ability to endure. Not something we do ourselves – something He says that He will take care of. However, should we become weary in the waiting – trust me – it happens.. Psalm 147:3 reminds us that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.

You’ve still got to wait though. I know.. hardly the happy ending you were looking for – but know that God has prepared strength for you in His presence and His word that will strengthen and reinforce your heart while you are waiting. Even if doubt turns up with it’s BFF fear – God has the remedy for both of those.. and its usually wrapped in the demonstration of His love towards us.

Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage .. and HE WILL strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord..

Until next time..

 

 

Doubtless: Spiritual Adoption #2

A Happy New Year to you all..

We have to give God thanks for being noting but Faithful towards us all. Believers or not, none of us could say we have made it through on our own strength. Great Are You Lord.

So.. the 2nd in my Spiritual Adoption running …

Today’s scripture is taken from Isaiah 63:16 lets us know that the Fatherhood of God is not about hereditary decent, neither is about nationality but something that is available to all mankind – it reads: (KJV)

Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting

NIV put it this way: But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

I love this scripture, simply because of the level of assurance and certainty it holds, and encourages me to have in the knowledge of God being my father. SO.. Lets eat.

The scripture opens with a big word. Doubtless. Doubt – Less.. it means certainly.. without a doubt.. The opening statement makes a declaration – that certainly, without a doubt – you are our father. There is no “who’s the daddy?” issues going on, no questions, no confusion about who the daddy is!

Though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: Now this part made me think. How many of us have fathers and even blood family who are ignorant of us, by choice or otherwise. To be ignorant is to lack knowledge or awareness of something. There are some children in this world who do not know their fathers simply because their fathers are ignorant of them. There is a lack of knowledge of the fact that the child exists. This leads to a distance none the less. The child does not know the father and the father does not know the child. Much like Abraham – who was to bring forth the promised seed by which all the nations of the earth would be blessed – however Abraham wouldn’t know me.. Abraham is of no help to me in my time of trouble. So even though the Jews were deeply connected to both Abraham and Jacob, they were both dead now, and of no direct connection or support to the people of God!

Many of us who have a distance between our fathers are via ignorance or a refusal to acknowledge us. Both hurt. Israel acknowledge us not. This to me is position of choice. There are some of us who have fathers who make the choice not to acknowledge us. It’s not a lack of knowledge or awareness – this is a refusal to accept or admit the existence or truth of something. Again, Jacob in all his power would never look up and claim me. Candace Clarke.. I would have been born not a Jew.. but a gentile. Far from the common wealth of Israel.

Many of us feel that way – abandoned by those who either out of ignorance or a refusal to acknowledge are missing from our life. Leaving gaps in our upbringing, leaving voids in our hearts, misconceptions and miss-connections in our processing.. but keep hope alive – it’s not even about them!

Thou.. pause.. O Lord.. Pause.. Art our father. Read it how its been written. You.. O Lord.. Art Our Father. Feel the emphasis in how it has been written. YOU.. O LORD.. Are My Father. Despite who wants me, despite who accepts me, despite who wants to acknowledge me as their child.. despite all of that – You.. Oh Lord.. Are my Father.

Our Redeemer is your name for everlasting. Forever and ever our father will also be our redeemer. To redeem means to compensate for the faults or bad aspects or something, it also talks of regaining possession in exchange for a payment. This we know that God has done in  such an extreme way with the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. The price was paid for Him to reclaim us to Himself and His family.

Doubtless  – Thou – Art – My – Father.. they are not just words, it’s an assured declaration that we have every right to make over our lives. We have the ability to make this statement with as much assurance as the people of God did when they were faced with problems and crisis beyond their comprehension. They were making a statement that we are your children – you have to come through for us.

DOUBTLESS – THOU – ART – MY – FATHER !

Bless you Loves x