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Hi how was your week? Mine was great – we finally received some rain which we badly needed. This week I want to talk about you – yes you and me. We are going to be selfish for just a bit because it’s our testimony that encourages others to walk through things happening in their lives.

But first I want to deal with identity. Identity in the Oxford dictionary means the fact of being who or what a person is. Our identity is shaped by childhood happenings, who our parents are, their status, the school we went to, our career and how we think others perceive us. My identity was rooted in rejection. So I didn’t let others close for fear they would hurt me, I never spoke in class in case I was wrong and I didn’t take a risk in case I failed. But all that has gradually changed as I let my identity be found in Jesus.

A great quote I keep reading is from Zen Shin which states: A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it; it just blooms. This should be like us. Our identity is found in Jesus and He has created us all uniquely.

Some of the verses in the Bible where He speaks to us specifically are Jeremiah 29:11 – I know the thoughts that I think towards you ….to give you a future and a hope. This is all about you individually. Just think on that God thinks of you individually and He doesn’t compare you with others. His thoughts about you are unique to you only. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. If you are in Christ – given your life to Jesus – you are a new creation. Your sins are forgiven and your past is wiped clean. Your identity is no longer in who you were but is in Jesus.

Psalm 23 – read this Psalm, God is with you wherever you walk, you won’t lack, He restores you, He comforts you and leads you and in John 3:16, He loves you. Now wrap your identity around that for a while and see if that encourages you as much as it encourages me.

This week, hold your head up high, you are the son or daughter of God. Walk through your week knowing God is with you and He will never leave you. Run to Him not from Him, because He loves you. You can do it and so can I.

Bless you heaps and have a great week

Karen

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Hi how was your week? Mine was full of ups and downs but with God walking by my side I get through everything life throws at me. What about you? In the last couple of weeks, good-byes have been a part of my life. Whether I am farewelling friends who are moving overseas or grieving with people that have had to say good-bye to loved ones. So how do we say good-bye and continue with that person/s no longer part of our everyday lives.

I want to look at the two different good-byes separately. There is one major difference – one you may see again and the other you may never see again or not until you get to heaven.

Let’s look at the first group- how do you say good-bye to someone leaving your church or your town. For our example, let’s look at the the life of Jacob and when he left his parents.

Genesis 28 verses 1 to 5 is our story. Jacob’s mum Rebekah didn’t want Jacob to marry a local girl. So his father sent him away. But how did he send him – with a promise and a blessing over his life. There would have been tears as well when they sent him but Jacob went out with hope and a promise. There was no final good-bye. There didn’t need to be one as they all hoped to see each other again. Fear did not rule them but opportunity.

We need to send our friends out with the same – a promise and a blessing over their lives. If God calls them to a different path, who am I to argue? My life has been enriched because of the amount of time they were in my life and I hope theirs was too. It is a sad but expectant good-bye.

Let’s look at the next group. Your loved one or a friends loved one has passed away. How do you say good-bye – with extreme difficulty. How did Jesus say good-bye to His disciples before He left. In Acts 1: 4 to 11, we read that Jesus left them with a promise of a comforter, the Holy Spirit. Jesus also sent two angels who had a promise for them – you will see him again. For those who have lost loved ones and you know they have gone to heaven, rejoice in this – they are in your past in your memories, they are not in the now but they are in your future, in heaven waiting for you.

What about if you don’t know where they are? In 2 Corinthians : 3 to 4, we read that God is our comforter in all our tribulations. Just reach out to Him for His comfort. He will see you through. Lean into Him and find your source of strength.

In all these good-byes, tears will flow. It takes time to re-adjust your life but there will come a day when the memories make you smile not cry. Never forget them and never forget the way they touched your life. They are God’s gift to you.

Bless you heaps and keep living the life God intended for you.

Karen

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Hi how are you all this week? I have been preparing this week to be on a panel at my church’s girl crew night. One of my questions was on the authority of God and how I knew I had this authority and how I use it. As I meditated on this, God dropped words in my spirit that said that my words have power. Some of us may know the scripture in Proverbs 18:21 which says:

The tongue can bring death or life, those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

This means that the words we say have power in our lives and we will reap the consequences of what we say. If we say good we will reap good things and if we say bad we will reap bad things. But where does our authority come from?

The answer to that is found in John 12: 49 to 50 and is the words of Jesus.

I don’t speak on my own authority . The Father Who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know His commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever my Father tells me to say.

Jesus’ authority was found in the words He spoke – not His own words but the words that God told Him to say. If we want our words to contain authority, then we need to speak the same words.

So which words should we be speaking? We need to speak the words about our situations directly from the Bible. Find the verse that is the answer for your particular need and say it. Then continue to say it but thank God for the answer at the same time until faith comes and your words start sounding like there is authority behind them. Faith will only come when we hear and hear and hear and hear the Word of God. Remember it is also impossible to please God without faith.

This week find a verse in the Bible that answers your situation. Then begin to say it until your words have power. Let me know how you go.

Have a great week and keep living the life God intended for you. Bless you heaps

Karen

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Hi! How was your week? Mine was good but also hard in some respects and I saw some answers to prayer, which was great. This week, I want to look at the importance of turning around. Not turning around in the natural, but turning around in the spiritual. There are some times in our life where we need to turn around.

One of those times is when we have sinned, or fallen short of God’s mark. When we repent, what we are actually doing is turning around – turning from that sin and walking the other way – away from it.

Another time where we turn around and what I want to focus on, is when God calls us to do something. Often that involves a turning around in the spirit. We are walking one way, then God captures our attention and we start going in a different direction. Let’s look at a story in the Bible to see what I mean.

The story is found in Exodus 3:4. It is the story of Moses and the burning bush. Moses was tending his father in law’s sheep, which he had done for about forty years (since he ran away from Egypt). One day, something caught his eye. It was a bush that was burning. Now it wasn’t the burning bush that really caught his eye but the fact that although the bush was burning it was not being burnt up. So Moses turned to take a closer look. My question is, what would have happened if Moses hadn’t turned but had just kept going with the sheep. Would he have missed the call of God in his life? We will never know, because Moses turned.

From that burning bush, God spoke to Moses and gave him the directions for his life – what he was supposed to do, what the next few years would look like and no matter what happened God was with him. It set Moses up for the miracles in Egypt and the greatest exodus of people from Egypt to the promised land.

So has God been putting a burning bush in front of you. Maybe it is time we turned around and listened to what God has to say. We may not have to give up as much as Moses – he gave up his current lifestyle, his career and his home. But he didn’t give up his family – they went too. God may be requiring us to give up something to fulfil the call He has for your life and for mine.

God has an amazing plan for each of our lives and God is waiting for us to turn around and say yes. But He won’t speak until we have moved and turned around towards Him.

This week seek God and see what He is saying to you. Maybe you have already turned around, have listened and are in the call of God. That’s great! If you haven’t pray and wait for God and His confirmation for you.

Have an amazing week and keep,living the life God intended for you. Bless you heaps!

Karen

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Hi how is your week going? I want to start with another question. Do you want to be famous or well known? Some of us do. We look at the magazines, watch our favourite shows on TV or even look at some of the preachers and teachers on TV or YouTube and we want to be like them – well known. But what does famous mean and should it be something we strive for to bring more people to Jesus.

First, let’s look at the definition of famous. Famous in the Oxford dictionary means known about by many people or excellent. Okay now we have the definition, let’s look at the life of Jesus. Jesus was, by referring to the definition above, famous. He was sought out by people wherever He went. But when it came to promoting Himself, that wasn’t what He did.

One of the scriptures that really stood out for me on this was in Luke 9: 7 to 9. In these few verses, we read that Herod had beheaded John but he heard about Jesus and all that He was doing. In verse 9, it states that Herod kept trying to see Jesus. If the president, prime minister or King of your country wanted to see you, what would you do? If you are like me and most of us, we would try and make an appointment to see him. But not Jesus. He just kept doing what God told Him to do and saying what God told Him to say. He wasn’t interested in being famous, He was interested in the plan and purpose that God had for Him.

So, if Jesus wasn’t interested in being famous on earth, then we shouldn’t be either. So where should we be famous. In heaven. A few pages over from our scripture before in Luke 11:20, the disciples had come back from being sent out to the towns and villages around to preach the gospel. They were amazed that the demons were subject to them. But Jesus said in verse 20, “don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you, rejoice because your names are registered in heaven”.

Jesus was saying it is better to be famous in heaven than down here on earth. Even though demons obey you, don’t get excited about that. Get excited because your names are registered in heaven. You are known in heaven. Doesn’t that make you want to shout. I’m known in heaven. God not only created me but He knows me. He loves me and sent His Son to die for me. That makes me glad.

So this week, don’t get upset that you are not well known on earth but remember and rejoice that you are known in heaven. If you don’t know whether you are known in heaven, pray the prayer under “Want to know Jesus” and you can be. Let me know if you prayed that prayer.

Have a blessed week and keep living the life God intended for you.

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Hi how are you all this week? In Australia and in my state Queensland over the last few weeks, there has been a major flood event. I received an email at work asking for volunteers to go to the area to help the flood victims with whatever they need. What would happen if everyone in my work place decided to go? It would mean that our business would shut down and that wouldn’t be good for anyone. Sometimes people have to stay with the stuff instead of going to where the need is.

This reminds me of a story in the Bible of a situation where this happened. It is found in 1 Samuel 30. David and his men had decided to go with the Philistines to fight against the Israelites, but the Philistines didn’t trust them so they went home. But when they got home, they found that their town had been burned and their wives and children taken hostage.

David sought God and God told him to pursue them and that he would overtake them and recover all. They came to a brook and 200 men out of 600 were so weary that they couldn’t go any further. So they stayed there with the stuff whilst the others went on.

After David and his men had recovered everything from the Amalekites, they returned to the brook where the others were waiting for them. Some of the men who had gone on with David were upset because those men were going to receive their share of the spoil. Listen to what David said in verse 24. He said “But as his part is who goes down to the battle,so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.”

In other words, the people that stay and keep the business running will receive the same reward as those that go. Why is that? Well for one, the business would fold. Two, we aren’t all called to go but some are called to stay and finance the operation. Third, our gifts and talents might lean towards us staying and if we go, we may get in the road. Fourth, we need to seek God and see which group He wants us to be in. Sometimes He will call us to stay and sometimes He will call us to go. But no matter where we are, we must be in the will of God and not just running to meet a need.

This week, seek God and see what He would have you do. Does He want you to stay put this year or does His plan include a season of going. Remember, in God, both positions will receive the same reward. While we are staying put, remember to pray for those who are going and finance them, where God leads.

Have an amazing week and keep living the life God intended for you.

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Hi how was you week? This is Australia and we have had bushfires at one end and floods at the other. Such a contrast but I guess that’s where I live. This week I want to ask you a question? Who or what are you trusting in? Are you trusting in your parents, your career, your spouse or in God? This is a good question to ask ourselves regularly.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 118:8, that it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. Refuge, in the dictionary means a state of being safe, or sheltered from pursuit, danger or difficulty. God wants us to trust in Him – to be safe in Him. We are not safe if we trust in man as sometimes people can turn against us or talk negatively against us or even judge us.

But God doesn’t do that. He loves us with an everlasting love and it brings Him joy when we take safety in Him. One of the verses that clearly shows us this is when Jesus was talking about Jerusalem. In Matthew 23:37, the second part of that verse says “How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings but you wouldn’t let me”. This is a picture of what Jesus wants to do with us. When we get into trouble or just need to feel safe, He wants us to trust Him enough to come to Him and hide in His presence for a while.

I don’t do this as often as I should. Often I try to solve the problem on my mine. I would save myself a heap of trouble if I just went to Jesus first and hid under His wings for a while. Psalm 91 is a great Psalm to read about the protection of God if we allow ourselves to hide in Him. Please have a read of it and put yourself in those verses.

Next time you want to do what I do and try to solve the problem yourself or trust in someone or something other than Jesus, remember that He is there waiting for you to come to Him. You and your situation are never too much or too hard for Jesus.

He longs for us to come to Him. So let’s spend time this week in the presence of Jesus and allow Him to hide us for a while. Have a great week and keep living the life God intended for you.

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Hi how was your week? Mine was tinged with a hint of sadness as my nana died. I only saw my nana a few times and didn’t know who she even was until I turned 26. You see I was adopted by a new family at one month old and grew up with them. Growing up in a family from such a young age, you would have thought I would take after them. But I didn’t. My mannerisms, way of thinking and view of the world were etched in my DNA before I was born. It was hard sometimes adapting but I guess I didn’t know any better.

That is why it is easy for me to accept that God has now adopted me. When I gave my life to Jesus, God took me from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. I had to learn a new way of doing things, a new way of speaking and a new moral code. But I had an example to follow – Jesus and I had someone to talk to – God and I had a manual to read – the Bible. God has made it easy for us to learn His ways. Our problem is that we have to learn them.

So what are some of those things we need to unlearn and then learn again.

1. The first one is how we act. We used to think of ourselves most of the time before we were saved. Now our first concern should be for others. Even if it is inconvenient or we need to put ourselves out somehow, God wants us to put others first. For example, if someone wants the dress we like in the shop, we should let them have it. God will provide another one for us.

2. The next one is how we speak. We used to speak what we could see, feel or touch around us or the exact circumstances we are in. Now God wants us to speak His Word so that our circumstances change to line up with His Word. God told Charles Capps – my people are saying what they have instead of having what they say. We are now in a different kingdom and need to speak a new language.

3. The next one is our finances. The world says work for yourselves and spend and save for your benefit. God’s kingdom says give and it will be given back to you.

4. The next one is our time. The world says do whatever you like with your time. God says meet together and worship me and use your time wisely. God wants our time to be used for the plans and purposes He wills in our lives.

This week remember if you are saved, that you are now living in a new kingdom. If you aren’t saved, read my post on do you want to know Jesus. I promise you this new kingdom is one worth living in. Work on some of those points above and let me know how you are going. Would love to hear from you. Have an awesome week and keep living the life God intended for you.

Karen

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Hi how are you all? I pray your year has started off good. Every year in January our church participates in a fast. This fast is not primarily to totally give up food (which you could), but it is a time to dedicate the year to God and listen to His voice regarding the plans He has for you and your family. Most people fast some sort of food as it helps them stay on track and physical hunger drives us to seeking God more. This is for a set period only.

I love what the Biblical definition of fasting is in Isaiah 58:6. It says that the fast God is after is that it should break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts, share your food with the hungry, invite the homeless, clothe the shivering and be available to your own families (Message translation).

This is all about who God wants us to be in our Christian walk. Fasting is a time to ensure that we are following God in all that we do. It is doing an attitude adjustment if we need it. For me personally over a couple of years, God has used this time to break the bonds off my life. He has used it to help me eat better but more than that to break those things off that shouldn’t be there or that are taking up too much time.

This year God has broken the bond of watching the news every night. Instead of that I have been reading it on my iPad for ten minutes and then sitting outside with my husband having quality time. Unless a natural disaster happens, this is the end of news watching for me. It used to take up an hour of my time every night. God may be calling you to do something similar.

Sometimes instead of fasting food, God asks us to fast other things like He did with me ( I also fasted desserts and sugar). This breaks the bonds of those things off your life. It means spending more time doing what God wants us to do instead of what we want to do.

So can we fast at other times? Yes, whenever you are seeking clarity about something with God or when you feel that the bonds in an area of our life are too strong. What do you need to do? You need to set a time to fast. It could be one meal every week or it could be three days or longer or shorter, depending what God directs. If you have a medical condition, you need to check with your doctor. If the doctor says no to fasting, just fast something else eg social media, sports, television etc.

This week or in the months to come, pray and ask God if there is something in your life holding you back and if He calls you to fast, do it. It will break those bonds. But just be careful, you need to have the wisdom of God. Talk to your pastor or a Christian you trust before you start.

If you need any more guidance, please contact me. Have a great week and keep living the life God intended for you. PS let me know how you went.

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How are you all? Ready for another year of serving and loving God. I want to ask a question. Have you ever done something and expected to be rewarded for it straight away? Maybe you won a race or maybe you were kind to your neighbour. Maybe you worked with someone for a day or maybe you did something for someone like handed in their wallet.

Most of the time when we do something for someone, we expect a reward. That reward could be money, a thank you, a gift or just a handshake with a well done attached to it. But what if you received nothing – not even one word. How would you feel? Maybe you would feel let down, sad or even feel used. Mordecai in the Bible knows exactly how you feel.

Let’s look at his story in Esther. Most of you may remember that he was Esther’s cousin and attach your memory of him to her story. But this story is all about him. Let’s look at Esther 2:21 – this is where our story starts. Mordecai sat at the king’s gate and on this particular day, he overheard two men talking. The conversation between them was that they were both angry with the King and were planning to assassinate him. This was upsetting to Mordecai and he told Queen Esther who told the king. Esther told the king who advised her of this. The story was found to be true and the men were hanged for their crime.

So what was Mordecai’s reward for saving the king’s life? Nothing – not even a thank you. Mordecai must have felt upset or maybe he felt it was his duty and didn’t need a reward. But his time was coming.

After this, a wicked man named Haman devised a plot to destroy the Jews of which both Queen Esther and Mordecai were one. Haman even had a gallows built for Mordecai. But the night before Haman was planning to hang Mordecai, the King couldn’t sleep and asked for the history books. In there he found what Mordecai had done for him and asked his servants whether he had been rewarded. They said he hadn’t so the next morning the king rewarded him by making Haman walk in front of him while he rode the King’s horse and Haman cried out to all that this is what happens to the one the King honours.

Shortly after this, the King found out what Haman had done and he was killed on his own gallows he built. After a time, Mordecai took his position.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Your reward will eventually come. Keep trusting in God and being obedient and you will be rewarded.
  • Don’t make your reward happen. Mordecai received his reward all in God’s timing. If he had been rewarded earlier, the Jews might have been killed along with him.
  • Keep a good attitude while waiting.
  • Don’t do everything expecting a reward.

God loves to bless His children especially when we have done something good for someone. Don’t make the reward your motivation, make doing good your motivation.

This week set out to serve someone around you and do good. God will see and will be pleased with you. That’s all the reward you need.

Have a great week and keep living the life God intended for you.

Karen

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