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Daily Life Kingdom Posts Questions Stuck Unstuck

It’s Not Linear

I sometimes wonder if we don’t get altogether too sweaty when it comes to seeking God’s will for our lives.
(Understand that when I say ‘we’, I often realise in retrospect that God in fact meant ME. With that understanding, read on, He might mean you, too)
My church family meets in a school building, and on my first visit there back in February I noticed this poster.
It made me smile at the time, because the reason we were even trying out a new church was because of a completely left-field life event, which involved a change of job for my husband and a move across country to go with it.
On the face of it, our lives had just fallen apart. In fact what followed actually lined up with a number of things that God had said to us over the years – and so we could move forward with quiet confidence that this was the right path.
Hence my smile when I saw the poster.
Our talk at church a couple of  Sunday’s ago was actually about vision. The church vision, and how our personal call can intersect with the broader aims of the church. Our lead pastor Arthur shared about how the vision has been honed and developed since God first placed it in their hearts to plant a church, 16 years ago.
The core vision to “change lives, one soul at a time” has, and is, being fulfilled- but the detail of how it happens is ever-evolving, refining, recalibrating.
I loved that Arthur shared the original vision statement, which by his own assessment was rather wordy. I loved that he shared that neither he nor his wife had any formal training, just a passion for God’s people and a willingness to say ‘Here I am, send me’.
I suspect this was by design (because he’s quite clever), but the end result in my heart of hearing Arthur’s talk was to say ‘Ok, Lord. Let’s forget all the reasons why not, and just launch this dinghy, shall we?’
On my own journey of the last 16 years, I have blundered about in the general direction of God’s call in my life, but often felt I lacked clarity on exactly HOW to do what God was calling me to. I’ve launched a few things, written quite a bit, joined in with lots of stuff – and I’ve seen obvious successes, and abject failures in equal measure. I’ve abandoned a few ideas, and got it wrong more times than I can count.
Perhaps that’s ok though. To see success and failure I mean. Perhaps the failures were part of His plan to mould me into who I am now?
Maybe, like the poster suggests, success is not linear. Perhaps God’s plan isn’t either.
I find myself with a more or less blank canvas in my life at the moment. It’s exciting, but a little scary too. That all too familiar thought looms large
“What if I choose the wrong thing?”
So following prayer from a friend, I cleared the decks and gave God a specific amount of time to speak to me about what I am to do now I’m in Plymouth.
Sure enough, after a few weeks, He began to speak and bring me opportunities.
Which brought me full circle
“What if I choose the wrong thing?”
To which, the quietly whispered answer came
“What if the only wrong choice, is to do nothing?”
So I will continue on with my wiggly line of obedience. Hand me that crayon, would you please?
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Posts Stuck Uncategorised Unstuck

Resurrection NOW

Something died in your life. A project that didn’t get off the ground, a relationship that failed, maybe you lost your job?  Maybe something else – [insert life’s disappointments here ] Maybe all of the above.

You are exhausted, beaten down, almost defeated.

It’s left you feeling devastated, like your whole life is in tatters. It’s left you wondering, “What comes next ?”

Resurrection comes next

Resurrection is the key to the christian faith.
Our certainty that Jesus was resurrected and sits at the right hand of the father.
Our sure and certain hope of our own resurrection to eternal life, through faith in Him.
Good things come in threes…
The first thing I mentioned, Jesus’ resurrection, is a past event.
The second thing, our own, is a future hope.
That leaves us with NOW..
What does it look like to believe in resurrection on a daily basis?
It looks like not giving in to despondency.
It looks like actively looking for what God is doing and saying in every situation.
It looks like confidently believing for better when all about us looks hopeless.
When Jesus hung on the cross, to everyone around Him it looked like the end.
God knew it was a glorious beginning.
I want to challenge you today to look at the endings in your life, and then look past them – to the glorious new beginning that God has in store for you – look through the lens of faith and you will see.
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Daily Life Kingdom Posts Unstuck

Best Foot Forward

Five years ago, we moved our family across country for my husbands work.
In two weeks, we do it again.

Last time, because of legal hold ups with our house sale, we had to rent a (very small) holiday lodge so that we could be here in time for our children to start the new school term – with no guarantee that the sale would go through. It was a real test of faith for a couple who had lived in the same county our whole lives.

In the middle of all this I found myself reading Joshua 3 – which recounts the people of Israel walking across the dry bed of the Jordan.

At the end of three days the officers went through the midst of the camp; 3 and they commanded the people, saying, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. 4 However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 [a]cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.”

5 Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” 6 And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people….

14 So when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), 16 the waters which were [d]flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, … those which were [e]flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. 17 And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. Joshua 3 2-5, 14-17

An encouraging passage, at a time like that.
You’d think so wouldn’t you?
Me being me though, I checked out what 2,000 cubits is in more familiar measurements.
Its about half a mile.
So as the Israelites walked towards the crossing place, they could clearly see a long way ahead that the waters had stopped and they were in no danger.

I mentioned this to a friend, who paused for a moment before saying
‘Aah yes, but it still takes faith to believe that the waters will STAY stopped when you put YOUR foot on the river bed”

Fast forward 5 years and we are selling our current home before the legal stuff is done on our new place. We have a rental organised for a few weeks, but there are no guarantees that our purchase will go through yet.

I believe Lord. Best foot forward.

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Daily Life Uncategorised Unstuck

Roller-coaster

The last time I was a (slightly unwilling) passenger on a roller-coaster was 5 years ago.

I know this because coincidentally, it was also the last time our family relocated, 3 kids dog and all, for my husbands work.

Those who know me probably don’t see me as a fearful person, so it may surprise you to know that I really don’t like heights.

I mean REALLY don’t like them. I’m not a big fan of uncertainty either. I like to know what’s coming and plan accordingly.

So what on earth was I doing on a roller-coaster, I hear you cry?

Good question.

We were mid-move at the time. That really horrible part where you wait for the legal people to do their thing. It feels like it takes forever and you get conflicting information from every email and phone call you receive.

A friend called and offered to take myself and our youngest daughter to a Theme Park for the day. I accepted because my daughter really needed a day out, and it would take my mind off things.

Mid afternoon, after a few goes on the more sedate rides, my friend talked me into going on the ‘little roller-coaster’. (Her description, not mine).
I decided to at least attempt to be ‘cool mum’ for the benefit of our 11 year old daughter.

The one thing I wasn’t was ‘cool’.

I spent the entire hour (well, more like 5 minutes but it felt waaaaay longer) muttering in tongues and screaming ‘Jesus’ at the top of my lungs. It wasn’t blasphemy – I was genuinely calling for help. As the ride came to a stop, it moved forward incrementally to allow passengers to get off. I panicked, thinking the ride was going round again
‘Oh God no! It’s starting again’
My friends reassured me that the ride was over, and reminded me how breathing works
(In, then out. That’s right, slowly. You’re ok)

When I got off, I was actually struggling to speak for several minutes, and my legs felt like I had borrowed them from an octopus.
I did get off though. It ended safely and the only damage was to my pride.

Five years on, I find myself on another, metaphorical roller-coaster, moving cross country again.
This time without my two eldest children. Who have now flown the nest.

Jesus is still with me though, and when this is over, a whole new roller-coaster ride begins, in a new city.
(I’m also grateful for friends who reassure me, and remind me how breathing works.)

‘Oh God no! It’s starting again’
‘Scream if you want to go faster’ says Jesus, with a wink.

My legs feel like jelly, but I’m game if you are, Lord.

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Kingdom Posts Prophetic Unstuck

Time to birth the promise

You were born to give birth.

That sounds slightly mad now that I typed it “out loud” – but it’s true. You were created to recreate. To bring forth things into the world that only you can bring.

The thing is though, that often the process of birth is glossed over. We don’t talk about the realities of childbirth, especially around  expectant mothers and fathers, for fear of scaring them. I have always thought this is rather a short-term measure because eventually, they are going to be faced with the reality of the birth scenario and if they go into it unprepared, it is much more likely to scare them.

The same is often true in church. We like to talk about the promises of God, and our specific prophetic words we have received. We like to prophesy “wow” words over each other and get excited. I have never heard much talk about the birth process though. The hard work, nitty-gritty of actually taking what God has said to you, and beginning to walk it out.

I remember going to birthing classes when we were pregnant with our second daughter (I had a hard time with the first so we went for a refresher)

They showed a video of a woman giving birth. The expressions on her face were something close to one who has indigestion – I almost got in trouble for laughing.
Obviously this lady in the film had a very easy time of it – but that certainly isn’t typical.
I was amused but also a little annoyed on behalf of the first timers in the group.
This was hardly preparing them for the realities of the big day.

Here’s what I tell young women now – including my own teenage daughters. Giving birth is the hardest, most painful thing you will ever do. It is also the most beautiful, satisfying and rewarding thing you will ever do. The pain serves a purpose – it binds you to the result. Who would lightly give up on something they had invested so much in to see become reality?

There are many believers who are pregnant in the spirit right now. Myself included.

It’s time to pack that overnight bag, decorate the nursery and prepare for the hardest work you have ever done to see that promise come into the world.

Sitting on your backside is no longer an option. You may have had prophetic words stretching back years about this, or it may be a fairly recent thing – all I know is, that for many of us -the baby is coming and you need to PUSH to bring it forth quickly.

Sure it’s going to hurt. Sure it’s going to be tiring, and it will probably turn your world upside down when it arrives -but it’s also going to be amazing. Start rolling your sleeves up and actually doing those things that God has spoken – even if you can only take a small step toward it – do it. Take that class, make that call, apply for the job – whatever you can do to cooperate with what God has spoken about your destiny.

You were born for this – time to birth what you were born for. The world is waiting.