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Hi how was your week? Mine was good but not without its challenges. What do we do in situations where it seems everything is going wrong? We feel like we have lost relationships, work, our career, our friends and maybe even had to move. Do we hang on to God and His love for us or do we think that because all this stuff is happening, God has forgotten me.

I am sure some of the Israelites felt like that. Some of them would have served God through many wicked kings and now they were the ones being punished. The Babylonians had come and taken them captive. They were living in a land not their own, in houses and with things not their own and in a country with a strange language and customs. Apart from all of that, the people in this country served foreign gods and there was no place for them to worship God in. God must surely have forgotten them.

Have there been times in your life when you felt like that either physically, in your mind, will and emotions or spiritually. We can all have times like this. But it is at those times, when we need to battle discouragement and hopelessness.

God knows that and right in the midst of the Israelites’ circumstances, God speaks those famous words we all love to hear in Jeremiah 29:11 to 13. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with your whole heart”.

God is breathing His Words of life and hope into a seemingly hopeless situation. He is saying:

* I think about you

* I think thoughts of peace for you

* My heart is I want you to have a future

* I want to breathe hope back into you

* Once you really know that, you will call to me for help, you will go to find My presence and only then can you really communicate with me and listen.

* You will seek me because you know I am good

* You will search for me for you want to know My ways

* You will find me for your heart is in the right place

I nearly cried when I was reading the verses around this scripture of despair and hopelessness, then God breathed and spoke those words over His people. How amazing!!!

I want us to take a moment today and let the impact of those words seep and speak into our hearts.

God always wants our good but He is also a God of justice. He longs for us to just follow after Him because He knows what an amazing life He has for each of us.

This week ponder that scripture and really get it into our hearts – not as a parrot but as a loved son or daughter of God. That scripture to me speaks of the heart of God for me.

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

Bless you

Karen

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Hi how was you week? Mine was good. A bit rainy here but the sun did peek through and we had a lovely day today. I am currently reading the book of Jeremiah. But the story I want to focus on today is written in 2 Kings chapter 20. As I read the story, I am about to share, verse 19 of that chapter jumped out at me. The king at that time said some words and what was most strange about them was that he was not focussed on building the kingdom generationally but ensuring that all was right with today.

We will pick the story of King Hezekiah up at the start of chapter 20. In the first 12 verses of that chapter, Hezekiah was struck with a seemingly incurable illness and was told by the prophet in verse 1 that he was going to die. Hezekiah cried out to God and because he humbled himself, the prophet went back in to him and advised that God had given him another 15 years of life. You would think that the king would be grateful but he didn’t believe the prophet, or God and wanted a sign which God gave him. He was totally healed.

In the next part of the chapter, a present came from Babylon for the king because they heard he had been sick. So after receiving the present, what did the king do – he showed the Babylonians everything in his house – all the treasures, the armoury, the food stores. Not even the Israelites had seen this but he showed it to foreigners. Pride had definitely kicked in. The humility he showed in the first part of the chapter was definitely gone.

God wasn’t happy so He sent the prophet to him. The prophet issued a dire warning. He basically said that there was coming a day when those same Babylonians will carry everything they saw back to their own cities. Did the king humble himself and cry out to God like he did when he was dying? No! He said that’s okay – at least there will be peace in my day.

Hang on – aren’t you the king and aren’t you supposed to build the kingdom for the future generations. You see pride will lead to self- centredness if we aren’t careful and it will wreck our vision for the future generations. King David understood this. He knew that God had ordained his son to build the temple. So what did David do? He didn’t say not my problem but started to amass the building materials that his son would need. David was thinking generationally.

Are we thinking generationally? Are we building and preparing for future generations? Do you pray for your grandchildren who aren’t even born? Are you resourcing your church’s building fund to build the house for future generations?

If God hasn’t put vision for future generations in your heart, ask Him too. God is interested in the legacy that we build. God sent Jesus to die not just for those people living at the time, but for future generations.

This week, ask God what you can do. He will definitely tell you. This is part of the life He’s given us – a heart for future generations. Be blessed and keep living the life God intended for you.

Bless you

Karen

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Hi how was your week? Mine was good although it is a little chilly in my town. Question for you – have you ever felt God telling you to step out but you weren’t sure. The place where you are in doesn’t feel comfortable anymore but you don’t want to move either.

That’s what happened in the story we are going to look at in 2 Kings 7 verses 3 to 16. This is a story of four leprous men and a life and death situation. You see the town where they were living outside of had been besieged by the Syrians and there was a great famine in the town, where the people were even eating their own children. That’s how bad it was.

In those days, lepers needed to live outside the town until they were healed. They were unclean and couldn’t go near anyone. So these four lepers said in verse 3, why are we sitting here until we die. If we go into the city, there is a famine and we will die, so let’s just surrender to the Syrians. Maybe they will let us live and if they kill us, well we are going to die anyway. These four lepers decided to step out and go to the enemy’s camp.

However, once they arrived at the enemy’s camp, the enemy had all fled. They had left their food, their belongings and everything. The lepers were saved – they could now eat and not starve. But when you step out, it is not for your benefit only but for those who are also hungry and needy.

The lepers left the camp and went back to the city to tell the King. He didn’t believe them at first but sent a search party to see where the enemy went. The messengers were sent out and found the enemy had fled and dropped their garments and their weapons. They were free then to plunder the camp and be fed. Nearly the whole town went out to the camp and took and sold what they could. The town and its people were saved.

What is God calling you and I to do? Is He telling us it is time to step out and not be afraid. As soon as we step out, the enemy will flee because greater is God in us and we are submitted to God. There are people out there who are starving and hungry for the Word of God. There are people out there who are starved of friendship and need yours. There are people out there starving for love and need to be shown the love of God. There are people out there who are literally hungry and God is calling you to feed them.

It is time for all of us to stop being afraid of the enemy and the future and step out into all God has for us. Take Him by the hand and let’s go. You can do it in the strength of God.

Bless you heaps and have a great week.

Karen

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Hi how was your week? I received a clean bill of health from my doctor – my heart and lungs are good, which is great. How was your week? We have been speaking in these blogs a lot about finding a promise in the Word of God and holding on to that promise until it comes to pass. But what if God then tells us to lay down, or sacrifice, that promise – what then. How do we do that and still trust God has it all under control?

I am sure Abraham asked himself the same question when God told him to sacrifice his promise. You see in Genesis 18, God gave Abraham and his wife Sarah the promise of a son when they were too old to have children anymore, especially in the natural. But that promise came to pass in Genesis 21. But one chapter later, God told Abraham to sacrifice his promise.

What did Abraham do? He arose the next morning and took Isaac, the promise, and journeyed to the place where he was to sacrifice his son. When he and Isaac were alone, Isaac asked the question – where is the sacrifice. Abraham assured Isaac that God would provide the sacrifice. He then bound Isaac up and laid him on the altar and was about to kill him, when God spoke don’t. Abraham looked around and a ram was caught in the thicket and he used that for a sacrifice.

Abraham had to put his promise on the altar for God to move. Have you received a promise from God that you are holding so tightly too, that you are more focussed on the promise than on God. Or maybe you are relying on God, but your promise is never far from your mind. God is telling us today to lay that promise on the altar and give it back to Him. God is able to do far more with our promise than we are.

If you are believing for your healing, put your trust back on God and not on the promise. If you are believing for your children’s salvation, put your trust back on God because He knows what He is doing in their lives and we don’t. I love what Abraham called that place – The Lord Will Provide. After that an angel appeared to him and gave him a further blessing from God.

Once we lay our promise back on the altar, God will provide for that promise to come to pass in ways that we can’t envision ourselves. God knows the plan and He asks us to trust Him and not the promise.

In Hebrews 11:19, it states that Abraham thought to himself, if I have to sacrifice my promise, then God will raise that promise up again. God will raise our promises back to life if we will sacrifice them back to him.

Please understand that sacrifice does not mean killing someone but it means offering the promise of God back to Him.

This week, do you have a promise from God. If you have and it’s been taking you away from your relationship with God first and foremost, then sacrifice that promise back to God and see Him resurrect it.

Have an amazing 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 just believed for my total healing from a cold. This morning I was reading a prophecy about midwifery and how they assist births and the spiritual implications for today. I can’t remember the rest but it just kept nagging at my spirit and I sensed some of what’s been happening in my life over the last couple of months. Hope that makes sense! God revealed some things to me and I want to share them with you in case you are going through similar feelings and experiences.

First, God led me to consider the baby in the womb. A baby in the womb is in a safe environment. They are protected, fed and snug. All they are doing is developing and growing in order to survive in the outside environment. But God showed me that too many people are currently stuck here in the womb. It may be that your life is comfortable – you have a good job and plenty of finances for today. It may be that you are an addict. You are stuck in your addiction and your world appears secure. You know what to do and what not to do and as long as you play the game you are okay. Some Christians are stuck here too – comfortable in our seats in church, our family is good and our needs are met.

However, God spoke to me and said “behold I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19). If your life has been like mine at the moment and it seems there is turmoil, confusion and pain, then I want to tell you we are in the birth canal. Just before a baby is born, the mothers pain starts.

At this time, the baby thinks they are in control as they are the one making their way down the birth canal. The mother knows she is not in control as pain overtakes her body. This time is messy, painful and full of fear and uncertainty. Will my baby be okay? Will I be okay?

Many of us are in this season. The world around us is in chaos and some of our families are too. It is messy and we feel like we have lost control. God whispers to us, trust me and like a mother giving birth, we must do just that. We know the goal. God has whispered the promises in our heart but we wish the timing would go faster.

As the time draws close for our promise to come to pass, the pain is getting more intense and it is getting more messy. At this time, we need to trust God that the end is drawing near. Our baby, our promise is being birthed and coming to pass. God is doing a new thing – something we haven’t experienced before.

Our kids are going to come back to Jesus with a power and intensity that wasn’t there before, our ministry is going to be more glorious as God continues to show up in greater ways, our churches will be fuller of those that want to experience God and not just know about Him. The time is nearly here for the glory of God to manifest and it will be wonderful.

This week keep praying, keep believing and keep standing. You are in the birth canal or just about to give birth to something glorious.

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

Karen

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Hi how was your week? Mine was good. I love this time of year as it is cool and not so hot, which is great. My question for you this week is what do you do when God calls. Do you wonder if it is really Him calling, do you argue with what God is telling you to do or do you spring up excited to do what God has told you to do? It really should be the last one, but let’s look at the others first.

How do you know it is God speaking to you? It takes practice to hear the voice of God but more often than not, it comes from within. It doesn’t come from your head but your spirit. Sometimes God speaks to us when we are reading His Word and others have dreams and visions. You need to practice – just take a minute and say I love you God and then listen for His reply. He always will reply, it is up to us to listen. It’s exciting when God talks to you as He feels near and not far away.

The next thing – don’t argue with God. I have tried numerous times and it has never worked. I argued with Him over marrying my husband nearly 22 years ago. Although I wasn’t sure at the time, God was very sure and it was His blessing to me.

So what should we do when God calls? Spring up just like the man in Mark 10: 46 to 52. This is the story about the healing of blind Bartimaeus. How would you like to be known by that sort of name? I wouldn’t. Jesus came walking through his town which was Jericho and Jesus walked right through the town. But Bartimaeus was sitting there begging when he heard a commotion. Jesus was coming. So what did Bartimaeus do? The only thing he could to get someone’s attention- he shouted have mercy on me. This was his chance to be touched by Jesus. The amazing thing is that with all the noise around – Jesus heard him. Jesus is always listening for us to cry out to Him whether it is in need or in praise.

So Jesus called him. What did Bartimaeus do? Did he come up with excuses of why he couldn’t get to Jesus or did he sit there waiting for Jesus to come to Him? No, when Jesus called, he threw off his livelihood (his coat) and sprang up. This was his time for a miracle and he wasn’t going to miss it. Jesus then asked what He could do for him? Anyone could see Bartimaeus was blind but sometimes God wants us to own our need. Bartimaeus answered that he wanted to see and Jesus healed him.

My question to us is are we going to spring up when God calls us. We should. It is not the time for excuses or sitting in our past. It is time to spring up and step forward into the amazing future God has for us. Let’s not be complacent but keep walking forward. God has a great plan for all of our lives and it is beyond our expectations or imaginations.

So next time God calls, spring up expecting your miracle and keep living the life God intended for you. Bless you heaps.

Karen

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Hi how are you all? I am good and working my way through the things that have happened in my life recently. I am trusting God and standing on the Word He has given me. But I want to write a different way in this blog. More like a story. So let’s go.

One day, life was going along okay. My children were living life and content and my other family were going okay. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and the flowers were blooming. Life was great! But hang on, what did I just walk into.

Where did this darkness come from. It wasn’t there a minute ago. It appeared suddenly and without warning. Okay, well I will just turn around and walk back into the sunshine. I turn around and the darkness has enveloped me. I start thinking what did I do wrong, don’t I have enough faith, where is God, how come this has happened and where do I go now.

Have you ever felt like this? One minute our life is going okay and the next chaos reigns and we wonder what just happened. Let’s go back to our story.

We hear a voice. It sounds far off but it also sounds near. Where is it coming from? It appears to be coming from inside me. I listen carefully. Maybe it is God speaking to me. I really need to hear His Word right now. Psalm 23:4 is echoing in my spirit. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me”. As I ponder on those words, I have my answer – I just need to keep walking through this darkness until I get to the light. How do I walk through? With the rod of Jesus to protect me and the staff to direct and guide me.

Okay – I wonder how long this is going to be for? Jeremiah 29:11 comes up in my mind- “For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” So, I need to walk through until the good plan comes to pass. Once I get to the light, I will see the future and the reason for this darkness. So, I will just keep walking through- trusting God and knowing that good will come out of it.

Walking, walking, walking – hang on – I see something. I’m going to continue going towards it. Maybe if I run, I will get there quicker. So I speed up and run towards the light. Finally, I am back in the light. I have survived but more than that, my hope and trust in God is strengthened.

This week, if you find yourself in the story, I encourage you to keep going. Returning to the past is not an option and camping in the darkness isn’t pleasant. So, just keep going until the light comes, which it always will. Hope this has inspired all of us to not give up. You can do it.

Let me know if you want me to pray for you, it would be my privilege. Keep living the life God intended for you.

Bless you heaps

Karen

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Hi how was you week? Mine was good but I had a few bad days. Have you ever had a bad day? You know what you should be thinking and focusing on but somehow the negative takes over. What I need to remind myself on those days is the difference between facts and truth. Truth is always the Word of God. But what are facts?

A fact is the dictionary means a thing that is known or proved to be true. This means that facts can change depending on the day, the circumstances and the people involved. Facts have to be proved but truth is always the same – it doesn’t have to be proved.

Why is this so important to know the difference? Because what I see around me is facts but what the Word of God says is the truth and the truth is always greater than the facts. If the facts say I am sick, the truth will say by Jesus’ stripes I was healed. If the facts say I’m broke or poor, the truth says that I am blessed and prosperous. The facts say that I am a nobody but the truth says I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The facts says I am weak but the truth says I am strong in Jesus.

Sometimes, the facts make us feel bad and hopeless but the truth in God’s Word always brings hope. The facts for Abraham and Sarah was that they were too old to have a child, but the promise from God is that they would have one and they did – a son Isaac. The facts were that Joseph was accused and thrown in prison. But the truth was the promise from God that one day his family would bow down to him and they did. The facts were that Jesus died on the cross and looked defeated but the truth is that He was raised from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God praying for us.

In times of despair, we need to keep the truth of God’s Word before our eyes. Is it hard when the facts are screaming at you, definitely yes. But we need to reign our thinking in and concentrate on the promise from God.

This week separate the facts from the truth, find your promise in God’s Word and stand on it until it comes to pass. You can do it and your faith and trust in God will get stronger. 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 very messy and to tell the truth I felt a lot like Job although my kids are both still here. Still, I felt Satan went to God and said ” look at your servant Karen. She thinks her life is going great but I want to mess with it. Do I have permission?” God said “yes, test her faith and trust in Me”. It probably isn’t what happened but it feels like it.

My life, at the moment, is like one of those tapestries where one side is messy as it’s full of threads going everywhere but when you turn it over, it makes a beautiful picture – only I can’t see the picture. So what should I, and you do, when the picture looks messy.

Well, there are many stories in the Bible that we can draw our inspiration from. Let’s look at a few.

1. Joseph was thrown in a well and sold as a slave by his brothers. He then was wrongfully accused and thrown in jail. But in the end, he forgave his brothers and told them, he was sent to that place to do God’s will so they wouldn’t starve.

2. Naomi and her husband and sons went to Moab as there was a famine in Bethel. After she had lost everything, except her two daughters in law, she heard there was bread in Bethel. So she returned destitute, widowed and childless with only her daughter in law, Ruth. In the end, Ruth married Boaz and is in the lineage of Jesus.

3. David was anointed to be King and ended up in the palace as Sauls armour bearer. But after a while, Sauk grew jealous of David and David left the palace to go live in caves with destitute men. But in that, he learnt leadership and to rely totally on God. In the end, he became King.

There are many other stories we could look at but they all have a few things in common. If we keep walking with God, His plan in our lives will be fulfilled. We need to trust that He has it and not walk away or turn aside. We need to have faith in God that the picture will turn out all right. Trust in God is the key ingredient in walking through trials.

This week, keep walking and trusting in God through every situation. The picture might look messy now but one day the tapestry of our lives will be turned over to reveal a beautiful picture. Have an amazing week and bless you heaps.

Karen

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Hi how was your week? Mine was good and not so good. I had a relax day at the mountains near my home but then a couple of days later, my faith was put to the test when my oldest son went missing. What do you do when that happens? I am thankful to God that He was with me all through it and never left me. But is that enough? To find out the answer, let’s look at the story of the prodigal son.

But this time, I want to concentrate on the father. We know that the father in the story can symbolise God and the way that He waits for us until we return home to Him. But I want to look at the father as a parent who is waiting for their child to return. Maybe you have been there and maybe not but you could apply this to any situation in your life. What about the dreams that have gone walk about? What about the relationships that have taken a journey away from you? You can think of something in your own life.

The story is found in Luke 15: 11 to 32. This father had two sons. But it was the younger who demanded his share of the inheritance. More often than not, the inheritance is given when the person dies, not while they were alive. In this case, when the father died, each of his sons would receive equal inheritance as there were only two of them. In Jewish tradition, the inheritance was divided up as such – half to the first son and then the other half to be divided up between the rest. In essence, the younger son was saying give me my share and in doing so, I will treat you, the father, as if you had already died.

What was the fathers reaction? He just divided up the inheritance between the two sons and gave the younger son his. What heartbreak for the dad? He may never see his son ever again. His heart must have been breaking in two and he must have wondered what went wrong.

Have you ever done this when things don’t work out the way you think? I have – a hundred times, especially as a mum. I wonder what the father did in all those years of waiting .

Verse 20 gives us a glimpse. The father never gave up trusting that he would see his son again. He looked for him down the road probably many times, until one day his dream had come true, the son was walking up the road. What then was the fathers reaction?

His father had compassion, ran to meet him and kissed him. He was so excited to see his son. I was too last Saturday night. I literally cried when my son was found and wept all over him. The father never chastised him for what he had done, although I am sure that by the sons appearance, he might have guessed that he had a rough time. The son was repentant but all the father wanted to do was throw him a party to welcome him home.

I wonder how often the father dreamed of this very party happening. I didn’t throw a party for my son on the outside but inside I am sure I did.

What do we do though in that waiting? On Saturday all I could do was pray and trust God. God was whispering to me all day that I have got him and he is fine. I truly wanted to believe but as the day wore on, my trust was waning. When the phone call happened, I was overjoyed and I bet God was up in heaven saying I told you so.

Although it is hard to wait in those times and have trust in God, that is what we must do. It is impossible to please God without faith and faith and trust go together. Through my experience, my faith and trust in God has grown deeper. I walked through the fire and came out the other side, with God.

If I can do it, you can too. This week look to God in everything that is happening in your life. He’s got it as long as you keep believing and trusting. Don’t doubt because you will then feel alone. God is faithful and a true miracle working God.

This week keep waiting and trusting and living the life God intended for you.

Bless you

Karen

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