Saturday, 17 December 2016

What Are We Repenting of Anyway?

Would Jesus tattoo Leviticus 19:28 on his left thigh?
Would he wear one earring or two? 
Would he wear skinny jeans?
Would he play fantasy football?
Would he endorse 'Batman Begins'?

These are the questions that Kevin Swanson opens his book "The Tattooed Jesus" with. He says, and it is worth quoting in length,
 "Sincere Christians have arrived at widely differing conclusions concerning theses matters, as evidenced in the diversity of cultural expressions found in Western Christianity today. Indeed many professing Christians do believe that Jesus would tattoo Leviticus 19:28 on his left thigh, pierce his head with metal studs and cremate His family members upon their death. Other professing Christians would be horrified by such a suggestion. One cannot help but wonder if sincere people who call themselves Christians may be holding to different Christs or different religions altogether....Christ said there would be false Christs who would appear in the 'last days' which very well may apply to the day in which we live. There is the Christ who is 'accepting' of homosexual activity and another who hates homosexual activity. There is the Christ who loves homosexuals and the Christ who hates homosexuals. There is the Lord Jesus Christ who sits on a throne and calls nations to repentance, and then there is the Jesus who accepts everybody just the way they are. Then there is another Jesus who bears more resemblance to a Mexican drug lord named 'Jesus'. He makes everyone feel good."

And so I ask the question.....

What are we repenting of anyway? 

If the gospel is a good news message of repentance and salvation, don't we Christians need to be VERY clear about what we are actually repenting of?

Repentance is defined as a change of mind that involves a change of behaviour i.e. I changed my mind about that. I don't do it anymore; You couldn't pay me to do that. I just don't do it.

And so I ask the question again....
What did you repent of?

Most Christians would quickly answer 'sin'. But I've noticed that even the definition of sin varies from 'christian' to 'christian'. Some define sin as 'wrong stuff' or 'evil' but they are quick to point out that each person, individually defines evil, as they see fit.

So, I thought if might be worthwhile to have a quick look at how the Bible defines some of it's terms. You can't use a dictionary for this. An intrinsic part of being a Christian is accepting God's definition of terms used in the Bible. We don't get to choose our own definitions. We gave up that right at the cross. The Bible clearly defines it's own terms. This is Biblical Interpretation 101.

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Biblical Definitions:

Sin: "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness." 1 John 3:4

Law: The Commandments minus the laws relating to the sacrificial system (burnt offerings, sin offerings). This is because these laws were done away through Jesus' sacrifice, once and for all. (Hebrews 10). Jesus said,
 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matt 5:17-19

And so I ask the question again....

What did I repent of?
I repented of rejecting God's Law and the Prophets as the ultimate authority on my life. I repented of rejecting God's Law. You see, there was a time in my life, when I hated God's Law. 'Stupid laws - stupid god', was my heartfelt response. 'Why would He make a law like that?' This played out in my life in many ways. I professed Christianity but refused to bow the knee to what God called right and wrong. I wanted grace without repentance. I wanted God's forgiveness but without any change on my behalf. I wanted redemption but I certainly didn't think I needed to be redeemed from my disobedience to God's law.

It's interesting... I would say to the LORD, free me from lust and rage and malice and jealousy.... but I didn't realise that the reason I was having these habitual sins in my life was because I had rejected so many of his laws. It wasn't until I embraced the laws of God into my life, that I was able to overcome the former mentioned. You see, I've now learned that His laws are there to protect me from evil. Like a loving mother who instructs her young child not to touch the fireplace because he will be burned, so my loving Heavenly Father has instructed me not to touch certain things because He knows I will get burned. He is trying to protect me from myself.

The Bible says we have ALL broken God's Law. Every single one of us on the face of this earth. We are all in need of God's grace and mercy and salvation. But His grace towards us does not mean we can now reject His Law. Paul is quite clear on this in Romans.

"Do we then nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather we uphold the law." Rom 3:31
"What shall we say, then?  Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer?" Rom 6:1,2.
Or as John says,

"No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen Him or known Him."  1 John 3:6
"He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God." 1 John 3:8

As Christians, the Bible says we will be judged first. As women, we have a responsibility to train our children in the laws of God and to help them apply them correctly within our culture. We have a
responsibility to teach them to not cheapen the grace of God and use it as a license to sin. (Jude 4) We have a responsibility before God to raise our children in the ways of the LORD and to teach them His commandments.

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"These commands I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at one and when you walk down the street, when you lie down and when you get up." Deut 6:6,7

And so I ask again....

What did we repent of?
Do we know? 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Can Essential Oils Balance Hormones & Mood and Reduce Stress?

Essential Oils are able to balance the body’s hormones naturally.  By bringing balance to the body’s hormones they lower it’s stress levels. It is well documented that oxidative stress is the root of all disease. Synthetically made hormones in pharmaceuticals simply can’t compete.

This was shown in a study published in May 2013 where natural bergamot essential oil and a synthesized chemical essential oil were trialled on the work related stress of teachers with various workloads. It says - 

“We analyzed the performance of the aromatherapy treatment on the teachers who had various workloads. We measured the teacher’s heart rate variability to evaluate their autonomic nervous system activity. The results show that only the natural bergamot essential oil had an effect and that the aromatherapy treatment relieved work-related stress of teachers with various workloads.”

A 2014 article published in the Journal of Phytotherapy Research, found that simple inhalation of clary sage improved the body’s cortisol levels (stress hormone) and thyroid hormones by 36%! That was just an inhalation. They also found that clary sage lifted the mood of these women and had anti-depressant properties. According to Dr Joshua Axe, there are consistent studies that demonstrate clary sage’s essential oil’s ability to balance women’s estrogen levels in addition to other hormone imbalances.

Other essential oils are also very successful at lowering the body's stress levels, blood pressure and hypertension. In 2006, a study using lavender, ylang ylang and bergamot concluded 
"The results suggest that the inhalation method using essential oils can be considered an effective nursing intervention that reduces psychological stress responses and serum cortisol levels, as well as the blood pressure of clients with essential hypertension."

Thyme essential oil balances progesterone in men and women according to the Proceedings of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. Low progesterone is linked with infertility, poly cystic ovaries and depression.

Sandalwood essential oil balances testosterone levels in men and women, stimulates the release of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and reduces anxiety. 

Cedarwood essential oil stimulates the pineal gland which releases melatonin, an anti-oxidant hormone associated with deep, restful, peaceful sleep.

Myrtle essential oil balances hormonal imbalances of the thyroid and ovaries. It was myrtle that brought enormous healing to my body when I had Hashimoto’s disease, an auto-immune disease of the thyroid. My Hashimoto’s Disease has been gone for several years now.

Rose essential oil balances the body’s serotonin levels.

According to Dr J Axe,

 “In general, one of the best essential oils for thyroid function and autoimmune issues is frankincense oil, which reduces inflammation, also helping to lower those cortisol levels.”

Lavender and chamomile also naturally lower cortisol levels. A study published in March this year in the Iranian Journal of Midwifery found that

“inhaling the scent of lavender for 4 weeks can prevent stress, anxiety and depression after childbirth.” 

Another study reported similar findings

 “Efficacy studies of lavender or orange and peppermint essential oils, to treat anxiety and nausea, respectively, have shown positive results.”
In 2015, the effects of aromatherapy in reliving symptoms related to job stress among nurses was published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice. Inhaling lavender essential oil 
"was shown to be effective in the reduction of the number of stress symptoms for 3 or 4 days. The stress symptoms of the experimental group decreased....whereas the stress symptoms in the controlled group increased."

Essential Oils are able to balance our moods. A systematic review of 16 randomized controlled trials on the anti-anxiety effects of essential oils in people with anxiety symptoms in 2011, found that

 “most of the studies indicated positive effects to quell anxiety. No adverse events were reported.”

In 2012, a pilot study was published on the effects of essential oils on women with post-natal depression and anxiety. 

“The pilot study indicates positive findings with minimal risk for the use of aromatherapy as a complementary approach in both anxiety and depression scales with the postpartum woman.” “There were no adverse effects reported”.

In 2002, Melissa Essential Oil was shown to safely and effectively manage agitation in people with severe dementia. This double blind, placebo-controlled trial also demonstrated that the participants improved in other key quality of life parameters.

Now, it is important to know that not everything that is marketed as ‘natural’ is good for us. According to Havard Medical School,

 “any product whose principle ingredient has an animal, plant or mineral source is technically natural. it doesn’t matter whether the substance is ground, put into capsules and sold over the counter - or extracted in a laboratory, manufactured by a pharmaceutical company and made only available by prescription.” 

But the Bible teaches us otherwise. It tells us that God didn’t give us everything as food and medicine. Somethings He told us not to touch or eat. I think a perfect example of this can be seen in the drug Premarin where the estrogen for the drug comes from pregnant mare’s urine. It doesn’t surprise me then that when this drug was tested in the Women’s Health Initiative, concerns were raised because users had a higher risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots. The Bible tells us that we were not given pregnant mare’s urine as medicine. We weren’t even given their milk to drink! A wonderful book on that particular topic is “What Does the Bible say about Healthy Living?” by Dr Rex Russell. Beware of ‘natural’ marketing. Know first what we are allowed to have as food and medicine then you will find it much easier to navigate your way through the maze of worldly opinion on health.

Medicines manufactured by man cannot compare with the healing capabilities of essential oils, made by an all-knowing God. Man-made pharmaceuticals lack the same life giving healing found in essential oils. They are synthetic imitations of the healing nutrients and properties that God created in essential oils. Essential oils on the other hand, are affordable for all, non-addictive and a very little goes a long way. There’s no need for ongoing scripts or increased doses.

Synthetic prescriptions all have undesirable side-effects even when taken according to the doctor’s advice. Some effects can even be deadly. No drug is capable of true healing. Furthermore when more than 1 drug is taken at a time, they can work in disharmony and there are often drug reactions between the drugs. 

If all this inspires you to learn more about God's wonderful world of essential oils, then let me encourage you to read and discover more. There are library books,, free youtube videos, naturopaths and aromatherapists who can guide you. Many medical doctors are now using essential oils in preference to pharmaceuticals to help heal their patients. Do your homework and find the resources you need to support your desire for a more natural, wholesome approach that is in line with Scripture.
"Oil and perfume bring joy to the heart, 
so a man's counsel is sweet to his friend" Prov 27:9
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Saturday, 26 November 2016

How Do Essential Oils Heal the Body?

Essential oils are composed of tiny nutrient dense molecules that can penetrate every cell of our body, to bring healing at the most basic of levels. Different essential oils are higher in different nutrients, the same as we find in foods. 

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For example, oranges are high in vitamin C and so orange essential oil is high in vitamin c. Some foods are high in magnesium, so some oils are high in magnesium. It is the same system. Essential Oils are just a very highly concentrated form of the nutrients. When an essential oil is distilled from a plant it would normally concentrate the oils from their original state by 50 to 100 times. This is why a little can go a long way!

Essential oils differ from the fatty oils we use for cooking. Fatty oils like canola or sunflower oils are composed of molecules that are much larger and are unable to penetrate the body’s cells and bring healing at a cellular level. Essential oils do the opposite. Their molecules are very small, and this enables them to cross into the blood, across the blood-brain barrier and into the cells of the body within about 3 seconds. It is in the cells of the body that they are able to bring about therapeutic healing, restoration and repair.

Thus, like the plants and food, essential oils can support and balance our endocrine, circulatory, digestive, nervous and reproductive systems. They can clear our sinuses and lungs and help us breathe better. They can help us metabolize our nutrients, minerals and vitamins. 

They can also boost the natural defenses of our immune system so we can fight off disease by our own abilities. Essential oils are hostile to bacteria, viruses, parasites, microbes and fungi, and friendly to our bodies. Many oils, applied to the skin, are also effective insect repellants and natural anti-septics for cuts and wounds. 

According to a study done by scientists at Tufts University in Boston, they are the world’s most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants destroy free radicals in our bodies and therefore inhibit and slow down the aging and disease process in our bodies.

In 1992, the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity) was developed to measure the antioxidant capacity of many foods, juices and oils. This scale was adopted by the US Department of Agriculture and scientists at Tufts University in Boston, to investigate which foods and essential oils have the highest ORAC score. The higher the ORAC score, the higher the anti-oxidant capacity of the food or essential oil.

Now a common sense approach here is required. Just because clove essential oil has a very high ORAC score doesn't mean it is wise to consume large amounts of clove oil. That would not be wise.

Rather, the purpose of this chart is to show that essential oils are highly concentrated sources of antioxidants -  which is why they have the ability to bring healing to the body, as part of a healthy lifestyle. Don't think you can eat whatever you like and smoke whatever you want and somehow or other, an essential oil is going to 'fix it' or 'offset' your poor lifestyle choices. It simply won't work. But, if you are looking for a natural alternative to build your immune system and fight illnesses, then essential oils are definitely for you.

Now these tiny antioxidant powerhouse molecules can be divided into three groups by which natural compounds they are high in. There are 3 natural compounds found in essential oils that gives them the ability to repair the body's cells.

1.    Phenols and Phenylpropanoids: Essential Oils such as clove, basil and oregano are very high in phenols and phenylopranoinds. This natural compound cleans the body's cell receptor sites - aiding communication between cells which inhibits sickness, because illness causing viruses and bacteria etc struggle to thrive.

2.    Sesquiterpenes:  Essential Oils which are high in sesquiterpenes include cedarwood, vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, ginger and myrrh. Sesquiterpenes deliver oxygen to the body's cells as well as erase or deprogram miswritten information in cellular memory. This is important for fighting illnesses, especially cancer.  

 "The root problem with a cancer cell is that it contains misinformation, and sesquiterpenes can delete that garbled information. At the same time the oxygen carried by sesquiterpenes molecules creates an environment where cancer cells can't reproduce. Hence, sesquiterpenes deliver cancer cells a double punch - one that disables their coded misbehaviour and a second that stops their growth."  Stewart, D. Ph.D. "Healing Oils of the Bible" 2015, CARE Publications.

Monoterpenes: Essential Oils high in monoterpenes, like grapefruit, frankincense, cypress and galbanum, play a role in reprogramming and repairing you body's DNA. In 2010, Immunologist Mahmoud Suhail, from the University of Oklahoma said this about how frankincense essential oil can repair the body's DNA and help fight cancer.  

“Cancer starts when the DNA code within a cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted. It seems frankincense has a re-set function. It can tell the cell what the right DNA code should be. Frankincense separates the ‘brain’ of the cancerous cell- the nucleus-from the body- the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes.” 

It is thought that when choosing essential oils, it is best to first cleanse the cell’s receptor site, then deprogram the misinformation, before re-programing the correct information.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

My Poppa - A Tribute

My Poppa passed away last week at 98. This is a tribute I wrote to honour him. I hope the wise lessons he taught me, can be a blessing to you.

I know what my grandfather’s Bible looks like. Considering I’ve lived in QLd and he in NSW since I was 4 years old, I think that is significant. 
How do I know? 
Because I have a strong memory of him reading it often. It was always sitting on the breakfast table near his bowl of salted, oatmeal porridge, ready for his morning reading and prayer time. 
It was always there when I visited and it was always there when he visited us. 

My Poppa personified 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. 

He lived it. 
He let it pervade every aspect of his life.

One day in my thirties, I challenged him on a topic. 
Proudly I sprouted my foolish, modern, feministic view on life. Poppa was sitting at our family’s kitchen table in Bald Hills, QLD. 
He told me my view wasn’t Biblical. 
I scoffed. 
He explained truths. 
I still remember that conversation clearly. 
He knew how to defend the word of God. 
He knew what it said. 
It changed me.

Another day, whilst visiting in Gosford, Poppa and I went for a walk to buy stamps at the post office. 
Although just a few meters up the road from their villa, this was no quick jaunt. 
First he took time to greet the older man in the street and hear his news. 
Next he spent time cheering up the miserable post office lady with one of his many jokes - 
Then on the way back, he chatted for several minutes to another man about the LORD and I haven’t even mentioned yet all the other people along the way that he cheered by smiling, waving or nodding to. 
Every one seemed to know him or be known by him in some little way. 

If you know my Poppa, you know what I am saying is true. 

He cared about others. 

He took time to talk and listen to their needs. 
He put others before himself. 
He definitely loved his neighbor. 
He definitely loved Jesus.

I heard someone once say Poppa talked too much. 
But they simply didn’t understand. 
They didn’t understand the joy you can bring to a stranger’s life by simply being kind, listening to them and taking the time to chat and cheer them up. 

Over the years I watched him many times. 
I know all the marvelous good he did. 
I’m learning to be like him. 
To share the LORD and his love with strangers. 
Poppa learned it from Jesus. 
From sitting daily at His feet.

My Poppa may no longer be on this earth but I ask that you continue his legacy. 

Soak yourself in the Word of God daily. 
Pray often. 
Talk to strangers and share God’s love, joy and peace with them. 
Cheer them with jokes. 
Smile and wave at them. 
Let them know that they are cared for by God.

There is so much I could remember Poppa for, but this is what I choose to remember him for the most.

Love your granddaughter, Sharon.

Monday, 18 July 2016

A World Without Artists

As a mother who homeschools her children, I take full responsibility for what subjects my children are educated in. We all know reading, writing and arithmetic are the core basics, but is that all education is really about? What other subjects should be included? Most would agree there needs to be science and possibly music. But what about art?

What if no one taught art?
What if no one aspired to become an artist?
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What if we stopped valuing art?
What would happen?

Do we really want a world where there are no artists?
No Monet,
No Van Gogh,
No Seurat
No Rembrandt?

A world without colour?
A world without creativity?
A world without beauty?

What if we stopped inspiring our children to become artists?
What if artists were inspired by God's creativity?

I had to face these questions early on in my homeschooling 'career'. I have to admit, it stopped me in my tracks for a few days. Pondering this....Why does our society put a heavier emphasis on our children growing up to become doctors and lawyers and nurses and accountant and builders and plumbers.
Or was it just me, in my thinking.
I wasn't created to be an artist....BUT, was I trying to mould them where they weren't designed to go?

What if my child was created by God to be an artist?
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What if I raised them to think that was unimportant for society? It wasn't a 'real' career?
What if I crushed their spirit in doing so?
What if I deemed it 'not good enough'?
What if I shamed something that was not shame worthy?

I know that not all careers are moral.
But if the choice of career is moral.....

I really needed time to ponder this.
I needed time to breathe.
It seemed to me an important question.
I needed to know the truth.
So I turned to God's word for answers.

In Exodus 31 I found a lot of answers.

Then the Lord said to Moses, "See I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts - to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut stones and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship....Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I commanded you.....They are to make them just as I commanded. (1-11).
The artists were

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  • Chosen by God (v2)
  • Filled with the Spirit of God to be artistic (v3)
  • Appointed by God for this purpose (v6)
  • Given skill and knowledge and ability by God to be artistic (v3,6)
  • He commanded them to do this.  (6,11)
  • They were being obedient to God when they were being artistic.(v6,11) 
There was no use in these artists trying to be farmers or builders when they were skilled and gifted by God to be artists.  They would only fail because they were not doing what they were created to do. What they were specifically designed to do. You can't clean carpet with a paint brush. It doesn't matter how good the paint brush is, it won't do do the job properly because it wasn't designed for that purpose. And so it is with mankind.

There is such a huge lesson here for us Mums (and Dads). 

Each of us. Each of our children were created and designed by God for a purpose before they were even born.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Eph 2:10)
If as parents we reject who God created our children to be, then we will find ourselves fighting against God himself. That's never going to be a win!

I look at myself. A woman who has a passion for all things to do with health and healing. I breathe on this stuff. It's who I am. It is who I was designed by God to be. I know this with every fibre of my being. Even if you tried to keep me from it, I would find a way to learn about this and share it with others.

What if my child is passionate like this about art? What if it is what makes him get up in the morning and want to breathe. What if he thrives on this. Don't I then need to nurture that to help it flourish?  Is that not my role as a loving mother?

I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 12, where we are told that all of us have a role to play in the body of Christ. Each of us are appointed for a purpose to contribute to society and our communities. We are warned not to reject some roles as unimportant. God, write this on my heart, I pray. Scar it in, so that it never leaves.

And so I find myself learning, ever so slowly to value all of God's creation. Motherhood is a wonderful school for me. So is homeschooling my children. I am slowly learning to think outside the square of my own little world and see the world through the eyes of others. I am pretty sure I have a gifted artist in the making. He is completely happy spending hours designing and drawing. Refining his craft. It's what makes him tick.

And so my prayer is this...
God help me inspire my children to be who you chose and appointed them to be. Help them find their place in this world. Fill them with your Spirit so that they may do all the good you prepared for them to do.And never let me stop valuing what you called good.

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Monday, 20 June 2016

On Keeping Quiet

As Mothers we often ask our children to settle themselves down and keep quiet. We tell them, they are too noisy or are talking too much. We expect them to learn to show restraint, and respect other's needs for quietness from time to time.

It is no easy task.
There is a time and a place for quietness and solitude, for a reserved nature.
But not always.

Likewise there is a time and a place for excitement and joy and passion. Try keeping your husband quiet when his favourite football team has just scored the winning goal. In our house, you can usually tell how the game is going from the other end of the house!

Try telling your children at a party to stay quiet. It would be a ridiculous requirement. The circumstances demand noise, and joy and passion. It's a celebration! To rebuke children when they are appropriately excited about an event, would be wrong.
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Our spiritual walk with God is much the same way. There are times when we need to be quiet and reserved and respect other's need for silence. There are also times when our passion for God demands, that we are anything BUT quiet and no one should rebuke us. Our joy is overflowing and to remain quiet is simply impossible.
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Take the crowd of disciples on the way down the Mount of Olives, just before Jesus' triumphal entry in Jerusalem.

The whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Some of the pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Luke 19:37-40

Or in Acts when Peter and John were rebuked by the 'spiritual leaders' at the Sanhedrin.
Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, 
"Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard." Acts 4:18-20
Jeremiah has the same problem - he can't help but speak boldly in God's name. He can't help himself  from praising God publicly, though it brings him much difficulty in life.
"So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, 'I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot." Jeremiah 20:8,9

King David too knew what it meant to be filled with joy overflowing, in celebration praise to God.  His wife despised him for it. The LORD rebuked her and she remained infertile.
David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts an the sounds of trumpets. ( see 2 Sam 6:14-23)

Many know the God of quietness and reservation. But do you know the One who brings a JOY so great, that you can not help but publicly praise his name? Does your soul demand to cry out praise and worship though others rebuke you?

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My prayer is that you come to know and experience both. The God who speaks to us as a still voice, in the quiet whisper. But also, the God who fills us with a JOY so great, none can keep us quiet - and nor should they! For there is a holy time to shout!

Shout for JOY to the LORD, all the earth...
Let the sea resound and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for JOY! 
Psalm 98

Monday, 13 June 2016

When the Waters Roar and Foam

Are the waters ahead roaring and foaming?
Is every fibre of your being screaming danger?
Are fear and anxiety trying to gain a foothold?

Do you know the LORD God as your refuge?
Have you fed on his wisdom for dangerous waters?

Look for the Warning Lighthouse.

God warns the righteous of upcoming trouble so that they can take refuge and remain safe. There are some waters, that the LORD God does not intend for us to go through. They are simply not safe. He always sends a warning. He always provides a lighthouse.  Keep watch for the warning lighthouse.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Prov 3:25, 26.
Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence. Prov 3:31,32.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Ps 112:4
Examples in Scripture:

  • Joseph was warned in dreams to flee from approaching danger. "When they had gone, an angel of the LORD appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up', he said, 'take the child [Jesus] and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.' So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. "Matt 2:13-15. "Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee." Matt 2:22
  • The Magi were warned in a dream of Herod's evil intention. "And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route." Matt 2:12
  • Pilate's wife was warned to have nothing to do with Jesus' crucifixion. "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him." Matt 27:19

Take Refuge. Avoid Dangerous Waters.
When you see the warning lighthouse, take refuge. Don't be a fool and keep sailing into dangerous territory.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Prov 27:12
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Prov 22:3
When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding. Prov 28:12
When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive. Prov 28:28
Examples in Scripture:

  • In 1 Kings 18:13 we read of Obadiah hiding the LORD's prophets from the wicked King Ahab who was actively seeking to kill them. According to the NIV text notes on this passage - "Communities of prophets had sprung up in Israel during a time of apostasy."  The text note later says that these "companies of prophets were apparently religious communities that sprang up in the face of general indifference and apostasy for the purpose of mutual edification and the cultivation of the experience of God."
  • In Exodus 1 and 2, we read of the midwives helping the Israelite women to hide and protect their children from the wicked rulers. "The midwives however feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live." Ex 1:17  The Bible records that the LORD God blessed the midwives for their actions of valour and righteousness.
  • Joash, a child who was heir to the throne, was hidden for 6 years from a wicked queen who  was intent on murdering all in the royal line (2 Chron 22:11).
  • "By faith, Moses parents hid him for 3 months after he was born because they saw he was no ordinary child and they were not afraid of the King's edict." Heb 11:23
Enjoy Safe Haven
The LORD rewards the righteous who heed his wisdom to take refuge with a safe haven. In safety he enables them to flourish and thrive.
My son, preserve sound judgement, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet. Prov 3:21-24
But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Prov 1:33
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Isaiah 33:17,18
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land, the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house and his righteousness endures forever.....He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear, in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. Psalm 112. 
Have you found your safe haven? Have you let the LORD gently lead you to safety?
Take my advice, do not let fear paralyse you and keep you from taking refuge when dangerous waters approach. Learn that the LORD God, the lover of your soul, wants his children to be safe. Keep watch for the warnings and trust your Heavenly Father to keep you safe.