True Beauty

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Nov 102016

make-up-1432391-639x852Lately I have been getting more interest in external beauty – last year I did a professional make-up course through and this year I have been getting advice about my wardrobe from but I have also been thinking about what it means to be truly beautiful. For me true beauty goes way beyond how much we weigh, what we wear and how well we do our make-up, for me true beauty is really a matter of the heart. A truly beautiful woman is one who reflects the fruit of the Holy Spirit in her daily life.

In Galatians 5:22-23 we read “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.” If we reflect these qualities in our lives then I believe we will truly be beautiful. External beauty is subjective and often we tend to put down our own beauty and emphasize the beauty of others but no one can argue that someone who is loving, joyful patient, radiates peace, is kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled is a beautiful person and someone you want to be around. 

So although my external beauty routine may consist of a skin care regimen morning and evening, doing my make up in the morning, setting out nice clothes to wear the next day in the evening and doing exercise; my ‘true beauty’ routine also consists of soaking (spending time listening to worship music and letting God minister to me through it), prayer and spending time in God’s Word. I believe that as I make more time for these activities that I will be better able to reflect the fruit of the Spirit and therefore be a more beautiful person.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good on the outside but let us not forget to take time to develop our inner beauty as well. I encourage you to spend time developing skills like learning how to correctly apply make up and develop your own sense of style with regards to your wardrobe but I also want to encourage you to focus on your relationship with God and how you are reflecting that to others – are you loving, joyful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled and do you reflect the peace of Christ in your life?

 Posted by at 8:00 am

Psalm 23

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Nov 092016

sheep-1315608-640x480“The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

Have you ever really meditated on Psalm 23? This is one chapter in the Bible that most of us know off by heart or have heard many times before but if we really dig deep into this chapter there are so many amazing promises.

God is our Good Shepherd and He will give us everything we need – if we are worried about any provision we can read this verse and know that God will provide for all our needs.

Are you going through a difficult, stressful time? I know so many of us are but we can rest in knowing that He will lead us beside quiet streams – He will bring us to a place of rest and relaxation in Him. He will give us peace.

He will guide our paths and fulfil His plans for our lives. He will guide us and direct us even when we can’t see which way to turn.

No matter what we are going through, even if it is the valley of the shadow of death, we know that God is always close beside us and will bring us through. Trust in Him and meditate on this verse to see what God is saying to you through it.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

Do Not Worry

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Nov 082016

i-m-not-sure-1438977-640x644I have to admit that by nature I am a bit of a worrier. I tend to worry often and even over little things. However I have been realizing that when we worry it is basically saying that God is not big enough or strong enough or …. enough to take care of whatever problem it is we are facing.

Think about this, we say we serve an all-powerful, almighty God who made the universe just by speaking but He can’t handle my little situation. Perhaps it is not such a little situation in human terms, this year one of my big worries was that my Dad has had cancer. Humanly speaking cancer is a big thing and I don’t think too many people would argue that. When someone tells you your Dad has “stage 4, inoperable, fast-growing cancer” I think it is almost natural to worry but even in these situations we need to see that the God who made the human body to begin with is perfectly able to heal it as well. This has certainly not been easy to do but we have seen my Dad’s health improve dramatically and are still trusting for a complete miracle.

More often than not though the things we tend to worry about are little things – deadlines, day to day problems, etc. Honestly I have worried about things that I know I have done just because a deadline for that thing was coming up and I needed to remind myself that it was done. Do we think that God is not able to handle these little every day problems?

The Bible actually gives us a command not to worry, it says “Do not worry”, and so I am trying to learn to trust God more and believe that He is more than able to handle any and every situation I face from the small deadlines to the cancers. I pray He gives us a greater revelation of Himself so that we know it is foolish to worry and that we believe that He will take care of everything that concerns us.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

Holding on with Open Arms

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Nov 072016

sepia-childs-series-2-1525734-640x480I remember once asking a friend what she had done when God had given her a promise but it did not look like it was going as planned, eventually she did receive her promise and it was after this that I had asked her how she had handled the inbetween time that is often so hard. She told me ‘you need to hold on with open arms’. At the time I didn’t quite understand how to do this but now I believe God has given me a revelation of what this means.

Sometimes we feel God has given us a promise, or we have dreams we want to see fulfilled but they are not happening immediately and at times we may wonder whether we have heard God or not or if we are going to receive our dreams or not. Sometimes we may feel God is not giving us a direct ‘no’ or ‘yes’ about a particular question and I believe in all these situations we need to hold on with open arms.

We need to present both options to God: God this is my dream/this is what I feel You have said and this is that dream not coming true/You saying ‘no’ or I heard God wrong; ‘You have Your way in my life’. To me ‘holding on with open arms’ is complete submission to God’s will, we may have heard right or we may have heard wrong, God may want us to have our dream or He may not, We may get a ‘no’ or we may get a ‘yes’; but whatever happens we are in complete submission to what God wants to do in our lives.

This place is not an easy place to be but it is the best place to be. We know that God has good plans for our lives and that if we leave it all up to Him then we will receive far better and far more than we could ever make happen in our own strength.

Whatever situation you are facing today I encourage you to hold on with open arms, present your requests to God but let Him direct your paths. He will make all things beautiful in His time.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

My Dream – It’s OK if God is in control

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Nov 042016

hot-air-balloonsI have just woken up after a dream which I believe God gave to me to teach me a lesson. In this dream my niece and I were going on a hot air balloon ride but in order to get into the balloon we had to climb up some stairs on the side of the balloon. These stairs were long and the balloon itself was very high. When the hot air balloon started going up these stairs would also rise with the balloon. I was the last one going up and every body else was in the balloon already when suddenly I couldn’t see the next step and didn’t know how to get into the balloon.

I shouted to the pilot that the stairs had disappeared and I didn’t know where to go and he told me to just hang on and he would help me once he had got the balloon started. I felt the balloon start to rise and I thought “I can’t hang on here forever, for the whole ride” and suddenly the  balloon started tipping horribly to the one side but I knew that it was just the pilot trying to make room in the balloon for me.

I woke up with this sense that life is like that hot air balloon and even when we can’t see the next step if God is our pilot it is going to turn out alright because He is in control and He knows what He is doing. At times we may feel like life is getting out of control (tipping horribly to one side) but if we trust God and leave things in His hands then He will show us the steps we need to take and we can enjoy the journey.

This lesson is not always easy to learn I know but I pray that we will learn to trust God more so we will know no matter what it looks like that He is still in control and He will work all things for our good if we leave it in His hands.

 Posted by at 3:54 am

Whose “wisdom” are you listening to?

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Nov 032016

hand-on-a-bible-1417265-639x503Lately it has become so clear to me how so often, even as strong Christians, we can give and accept worldly wisdom which is not necessarily in line with what God is telling us. Worldly wisdom sounds so right most of the time and sometimes God’s wisdom can sound like foolishness when we look through a worldly lens. Still if we don’t obey God and follow God’s wisdom then we are sinning. So whose “wisdom” are you listening to?

Paul tells us in Corinthians “Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.”  (1 Cor 3:18)

When I was struggling with this a little while ago I was reminded of Paul in Acts 21, believers begged him not to go to Jerusalem where it had been prophesied he would be captured but he felt strongly that God wanted him to go and so he continued on. He did get captured but it also gave him more opportunities to spread God’s Word. It seemed foolishness even to the believers to go to a place where he knew he would be captured but Paul had heard God’s wisdom and knew that it was God’s plan for him to go.

When you know what God has told you to do and worldly wisdom tells you to do something else, which option do you choose? I know it is not always easy and sometimes it is so tempting to just give in to worldly wisdom when we know we have heard God but we need to follow His ways, even if it does look like it is going to lead us into difficulties and trouble but believe that God will work it out for our best. God honors those who obey Him.

Another challenge is to watch what we say to others because if we are not careful about hearing from God before we give our opinion then we could also end up giving people worldly wisdom instead of God’s wisdom simply because we have not taken the time to hear from Him first. Let us together seek God’s wisdom for all the situations in our life, knowing that no matter what it looks like immediately that ultimately that will bring us the best in life as we obey Him.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

The Dreaded Word – ‘Wait!’

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Nov 022016

clock-1420472-639x426I must admit when I felt that the name of this blog was to be ‘Ladies in Waiting’ I was like ‘Oh no!’, I know waiting has many different meanings, many of which apply to this blog but it also contains that dreaded word – ‘wait’! Honestly at times it has felt like that is the only word God can give me.

Have you ever felt like me? You feel God has given you a promise or there is something on your heart but you feel strongly that God is telling you to wait? We live in an age where just about everything is instant and we are simply not used to waiting and being patient but God often wants to slow us down and accomplish things through the journey and not just the ‘getting there’.

You may well have seen this before but how are these for example of waiting:

  • Joseph waited 13 years for the fulfilment of his dream
  • Abraham waited 25 years for his son of promise
  • Moses waited 40 years before he rescued the Israelites from Egypt

Now I have to admit that if God told me to wait 40 years before I could do what He had called me to do or receive what He had promised me I might just give up but I think sometimes we just don’t know how long He is making us wait. I mean Moses may have waited but to me it sounds like he gave up during that time because by the time God came back to him to say ‘it’s time!’ he argued with God about not wanting to do it anymore.

I think often God makes us wait to test our faith, do we really believe He can do what He has said? Do we still believe when He makes us wait a few months? a few years? 40 years? We need to believe that God does make everything beautiful in its time but that we need to trust His timing and believe that whatever obstacles we may see that God is perfectly able to overcome every obstacle to bring us to our destiny.

How are we going to wait? For me I am learning to ask God what He wants to accomplish in my life through each season of waiting. I believe that when God tells us to wait there is a reason, something He wants to do in us first, and hopefully if we are open to that and learn what He is trying to teach us quickly then hopefully He can bring about His will a little faster in our lives. Sometimes though it might still take as long because He is testing our faith and seeing whether we are still willing to trust Him through the wait.

I think we all go through waiting seasons. Will you join me in doing my best to trust God even when I don’t see things happening and ask Him whether there is something else He wants to accomplish in my life while I am waiting?

 Posted by at 8:00 am

The Lord will Fulfil His Plans and Purposes for my Life

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Nov 012016

One of the areas I have really struggled with is when I feel God has given me a promise or is saying something to me but I have to wait for it and I start to wonder whether it will actually come to pass. In particular, when somebody else is concerned and there are so many situations like this – an employer who might or might not give you the job you want, a future spouse who may or may not choose you, your church leaders may not recognize your gift, etc.

What God showed me is that He will fulfil His plans and purposes for my life and no matter how much you may love or respect the people involved in getting you where you need to be, the fact is that God is bigger and stronger than them and can also determine their steps so that they do make the right decisions which enable you to fulfil your God-given destiny.

In Proverbs 19:21 it says “You can make many plans but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” and my favorite is Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will work out His plans for my life”. These two verses assure me that if I want God’s will for my life then no one will be able to stop me getting it and no matter how things look now I can trust God to work out His plans for my life and the promises He has given me.

To be honest though that promise in Psalm 138:8 was not given to me at a time when I had a specific word from God I was waiting for or wanted, it was given to me at a time when I felt like I couldn’t see which way to turn, I honestly couldn’t see the next step and I was horribly depressed but when I cried out to God and asked Him to show me the way and get me out of the situation I was in He promised that He would fulfil the plans and purposes He has for my life and I started to see the results that very day when He directed me out of a very abusive relationship I was in.

No matter what situation you are facing now be encouraged that God will fulfil His plans and purposes for your life and no one will be able to stop Him. It may not seem like they are working out but remember that God makes everything beautiful in His time (not ours!). His way and His timing is always best so trust Him.

 Posted by at 8:00 am