BE Spiritual Athletes Part 2

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We’ve just finished watching the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and looking forward to the closing ceremony celebrations tonight. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the word ‘inspirational’ used more than I have over these past two weeks.

Each story highlighted throughout the exceptional coverage brought us shades of courage and hope. Each athlete was indeed inspirational and every back story we heard gave us a sample of the thousands of courageous stories represented at the games. In my book, just showing up and competing is worth a dozen golden medals.

What were your Paralympic highlights? Perhaps you share some of mine:

Visually imparted runners tethered to their sighted partners.

A wheelchair tennis champ humbly cleaning up a wet court.

The pin point accuracy of the incredible Boccia teams.

Comradery between athletes from countries usually at war.

Road races where competitors cheered each other up the steep hills.

Swimmers with no limbs moving through water with spectacular speed.

Interviews with winning athletes who couldn’t wipe smiles off their faces.

Interviews with some who didn’t win, thinking they’d let us down.

And how about those amazing marathon runners who bravely ended the Paralympic program? I wonder how it felt for them to run triumphantly into a near empty stadium? But within the eerie echo, the truth is there were hundreds of millions around the world cheering them on. Unseen clouds of witnesses. As spiritual athletes in the marathon of life we have invisible cheerleaders too. So let’s learn the lessons brought to us over the Para Games and let’s keep running – no matter what!

On the flip side of this topic is the sobering fact that only very few people living with disabilities ever realise their dreams, let alone have their basic needs and rights met. 90% of the world’s ONE BILLION people living with disabilities live in poverty and often within communities where there remains injustice and misinformation concerning disability. These are the brave lives we won’t see on our screens – the inspirational stories we may never hear – the precious lives fully known by God alone. Our family is committed to support the life-changing work of CBM.  End the Cycle CBM

BE Spiritual Athletes!

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I have always enjoyed watching the Olympic Games. As a child, I recall counting down the long years in-between the opportunity to cheer on our athletes, alongside my enthusiastic mother. As an adult, the four-year gap spacing out the Olympics seems to have grown much shorter… even the five -year wait this time around has flown by all too quickly. These days I anticipate both the Summer and Winter Games alongside my youngest daughter, who also likes to binge on anything associated with those majestic Olympian rings.

The recent Tokyo games did not disappoint and in many ways, the spectacular event gave us a good dose of inspirational hope and a glimpse into what a united world could look like. But as much as I enjoyed our incredible Aussie golden moments, I am now eagerly counting the mere days left before the next competition. Let the Paralympic Games begin!

Truth be told, as I watch from the comfort of my couch (maybe digesting a little chocolate treat in a body that ain’t getting any younger), I relate more to these athletes – you know what I mean? The stories we will hear over coming weeks, and the amazing feats we will witness, seem to resonate with our own broken journeys and deeply held longings to overcome our limitations. Perhaps more than ever before, our restricted and disabled world needs the Paralympics and the lessons these Games can teach us.

The word ‘Paralympics’ was coined in 1953, and was first associated with the word ‘paraplegia’. However, it was soon to be identified more with the prefix ‘para’ that comes from the Greek meaning: alongside. It is where we get the word parallel. The Paralympic Games is a multi-sport event, involving athletes with a wide range of disabilities. As we know, this unique parallel event has always been held alongside the Olympic Games and for many of us, the Paralympics shine bright as the highlight of the Olympic season.

By the way, in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit of God is called ‘The Paraclete’ = the one who comes alongside. He is the One who enables the disabled. Did you know that Paralympians have a motto? A creed we are also called to live by as spiritual athletes? The motto is: SPIRIT IN MOTION. (Love it!)

Here’s a little more Olympic trivia: The goal of the International Paralympic Committee is to enable Paralympians to achieve sporting excellence and inspire and excite the world. WOW! Even their iconic colours of red, blue and green hold significant meaning: ‘I move – I shake – I stir!’ (I’m loving all the parallels to the Christ-life here.)

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Perhaps with an ancient Olympic event in mind, the Apostle Paul spoke into this concept of living our new life in Christ much like elite athletes need to: with discipline, with intentionality and with a goal in mind…

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT

Good one Paul. But do you know what friends? Even after years of discipline and training, spiritual, emotional, relational and physical disabilities can hit us in an instant, out of nowhere. So, whether you are feeling fit or flabby right now, whether all is well with your soul or you are down and out for the count, as athletes in the race of life we are not alone. We have The Paraclete alongside, and we most certainly need each other as we run with victory towards the finish line. Check out this clip, with a box of tissues handy:  Emotional Finish Lines

I hope you get to enjoy the Paralympics with me. And as we support our team (and reach for more tissues), may we also be challenged by our own need to BE Spiritual Athletes: People of God who are regularly stretched, disciplined and trained. Brothers and sisters with Christ who reflect His loving light to a world in need. His Beloved ones filled with His Spirit: at times running and often staggering on our race Home – all with eyes on the Prize!

Ten most memorable moments of the Rio Paralympic Games

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BE FAITHFUL in the Moments – A Tribute to Matt McGinty

 

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Nobody can say Matt McGinty lost his battle with cancer. 

Sure, some might express what happened at 8am on March 11, 2021 in this way – but it is not the truth. Yes, that morning ushered in the sacred moment when Matt McGinty drew his last breath on earth after bravely battling the aggressive disease for over three years. Then days later, the appointed moment arrived for his broken body to be cremated and his life celebrated in a church overflowing with mourners. Most certainly, his close-knit family will face countless moments when the confusing ache of his loss is expressed with painful laments.

On the surface, it does look like that cursed cancer got the upper hand and destroyed our Matty. But truth always runs much deeper.  Anyone who thinks Matt McGinty lost his fight and died that day is wrong  – dead wrong.

The only thing truly dead in this remarkable story is the cancer. Matt may be gone from us for a little while, but the dreaded disease is gone for good. Never to return. Ever! And all this because of the faithfulness of one Man – the Man Jesus Christ in whom Matt entrusted his entire life and destiny to.

After we heard the news of Matt’s peaceful passing, I sat with my husband and we wept. I asked David to give me one word to sum up Matt’s life. It only took a moment for him to say with a quivering smile, ‘Faithful’. Interestingly, the moment I asked David that question, the same word popped into my head too.

Matt McGinty was faithful. Now that is something everyone can say. 

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What does it mean to BE FAITHFUL?

The dictionary defines faithfulness this way: Remaining loyal and steadfast.           Dependable. Reliable. Fulfilling commitments. Delivering promises. 

Matt would be the first to say he was not faithful every moment of his life. None of us can lay claim to that kind of perfection. But Matthew Gary McGinty was indeed faithful in all the essential moments  – in the moments that mattered:

Faithful husband as with delight he fulfilled the vows he made to his precious wife. 

Faithful father as with gratitude he lavished love upon his much adored children.

Faithful son as with great affection he honoured his father and mother all his life.

Faithful brother as with laughter and prayer he held his little bro’s close.

Faithful brother-in-law and uncle as with dignity he supported his wider family.

Faithful friend as with humility he generously blessed and served many.  

Faithful friend of Jesus as in surrender to the heavenly Father’s good purposes he suffered well – filled with God’s Spirit of enduring hope.

Matthew Gary McGinty

Faithful in the moment of diagnosis. Faithful in the in-between moments.

 Faithful until the end moment that birthed new life. 

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That’s our Matty and we love him.

No, we cannot say Matt McGinty lost his battle with cancer. Throughout his long trial, a peaceful sense of victory surrounded Matt, even in his darkest days. In fact, during our last visit together,  I noticed a glimpse of Heaven radiating from his drawn face.

Nothing entrusted to Jesus can be lost… Matt knew this with an intimate knowledge only gained after enduring much more than he could bear on his own. His life still resounds heartfelt thanks to his beloved family and eternal praise to the One who strengthened him through it all.

It was a privilege to be Matt’s friend for over 30 years. It has been an honour to share more than three decades of joys and sorrows with this faithful man of God. Matty was always very kind and gentle with us – particularly when supporting us through our own moments of pain. Indeed we shared some tearful, yet wondrous moments together. It was always good to connect with Matt and ponder these precious truths that forged our shared hope:

The moment Jesus took on our curse upon His cross, all evil and death were dealt with. Forever. 

The moment we believe in Jesus – trusting His life, death and resurrection – we live as His Beloved. Forever.

The moment is coming soon when Jesus will come again and make all things new. Forever.

The moment He returns, we will be given brand-new bodies and will live with Him on the perfect New Earth. Forever. 

And so for now, in this moment while we wait for all these beautiful promises to be realised, we remember and celebrate our faithful Matty – now beaming with glorious freedom as he joyfully beholds Jesus, face-to-face.

And in this moment, because Jesus is faithful in every moment, we gladly say:

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease! Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” Lamentations 2:22-24 NLT

SONG: Faithful God by I Am They

SONG: Faithful God by Laura Story

BE Content in His Smile!

 

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What is it about the classic Christmas song ‘Little Drummer Boy’ that undoes me every year?

Could it be that I relate to this fictional child on a deep level I don’t fully understand?

Like him, I want to offer something of worth to Jesus. Like him, I long for the Christ-smile upon my life, and yet I feel my own inadequacies and the inferiority of what I have to offer. Feelings curse me with whispers of ‘not enough’ and they try hard to convince me that in comparison to others, what I have to give Jesus beats to the tune of  ‘not enough’.

Yet, I am still invited to come…

Come they told me… pa rum pum pum pum.

A new born king to see… pa rum pum pum pum.

 Our finest gifts we bring… pa rum pum pum pum.

 To lay before the king… pa rum pum pum pum…

 So to honour him… pa rum pum pum pum… when we come.

 Little baby… pa rum pum pum pum.

I am a poor boy too… pa rum pum pum pum.

 I have no gift to bring… pa rum pum pum pum.

That’s fit to give our king… pa rum pum pum pum…

 Shall I play for you… pa rum pum pum pum.

Mary nodded… pa rum pum pum pum.

The ox and lamb kept time… pa rum pum pum pum.

 I played my drum for Him… pa rum pum pum pum.

I played my best for Him…pa rum pum pum pum…

Then He smiled at me… pa rum pum pum pum

Me and my drum.

(Little Drummer Boy, Katherine Kennicott Davis, 1941)

Something wonderful happens when our children echo back to us the rich truths we have planted in the fertile soil of their hearts. Youthful, green shoots often spring to life in perfect season to bless older, weary lives in need of courage.

Recently I noticed the contentment my youngest daughter models in her daily life. As we talked about it, I noted how she doesn’t compare herself to others and how she knows the smile of Christ upon her life.

Jesus’ smile upon her is enough – and her smile back is enough for Him!

Like me, Nicole is still a work in progress, but she is living within the contentment of ‘enough’, even as I am seeking to re-learn the vital lessons I have taught her in what is a new season of life for me.

As I travel through this transition, I’ve become aware that comparison and discontent are crouching at the breeches of my heart. To counteract this, I am intentionally looking for evidence of true contentment within the witness of lives surrounding me. I do this not to compare and breed more discontent, but to learn from and enact as I grow in freedom…

Mary, Mother of Jesus – content in His smile as she lived within cultural shame.

Mary of Bethany – content in His smile as she lived within foolish extravagance.

The Poor Widow – content in His smile as she lived within misunderstanding.

The Apostle Paul – content in His smile as he lived within unjust prison walls.

My beloved husband – content in His smile as he lives within sacrificial loving.

My precious mother – content in His smile as she lives within painful conditions.

My grieving friend – content in His smile as she lives within lonely confusion.

Our Rachael – content in His smile as she lives within wholehearted worship.

James and Melissa – content in His smile as they live within obedient service.

Bethany Joy – content in His smile as she lived within crippling cancer.

Bethany Joy – content in His smile as she lives within the light of His presence.

This Christmas, we can come to Jesus just as we are and allow Him to transform us into all He desires us to become. Whatever ‘drum’ you hold in your hands can be played as a unique offering to bless Him, and as you begin to play, may you notice the pleasure of His smile upon you and feel His heart beating in time with yours…. pa rum pum pum pum…

Have a blessed Christmas and BE Content in His Smile! Lyn 🙂

God bless you and keep you,

God smile on you and gift you,

God look you full in the face

And make you prosper.

(Numbers 6:24-26 MSG)

 

PS: Please enjoy a couple of my favourite Little Drummer Boy covers:

For King and Country

Pentatonix

BE a United Family!

 

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Friends, our global family is in trouble. As we face the pressures of the pandemic and fight the prejudices of our rights and differences, the Bible says the entire earth awaits the time when things will be set right!

‘Against its will, the whole earth was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.’ Romans 8:19 NLT

If I am honest with you, my family of origin faced its troubles too. As Mum and Dad faced various life pressures, my brother and I often fought over our rights and differences.

Although we were willing to fight FOR each other, there were too many days we squabbled away our family unity. Sadly, things often got out of hand and we all got hurt when pettiness and jealousies crept into our sibling relationship. Only now can I imagine our parents’ grief over our bickering and unwillingness to love each other well.

Can anyone else relate? 

Allow me to explain a little more… my brother was a big teaser and knew how to jab my sensitive nerves. But I was just as skilled in other ways. As I fought back for my rights, I willingly ‘dobbed’ to Mum and Dad whenever I could! Sadly, we had a vicious cycle going on for a few years until we learned a few key truths that finally enabled us to BE a united family.

Yes, eventually we siblings did grow up and learned (the hard way in our case) that fighting for our rights does not bring peace and happiness. We also learned that our differences could be complementary, rather than strange. It took time, but forgiveness came and and joy was found in putting each other’s needs before our own.

Interestingly, it was through the trial of my brother’s cancer journey and during his passing that some of the deepest lessons were learned and taken hold of. As a grown up, I now appreciate what an honour it is to be blessed with siblings. But too often, we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone.

How much we need to learn these same vital lessons as a global family! 

*Oh that we would be so assured of our place in God’s family that we could lay down our own rights without fear.

*Oh that we would be so secure in God’s love that we could love people just as they are – even while we pray for needed heart-changes that will lead to freedom and wholeness.

*Oh that we would know the freedom of forgiveness and freely extend this forgiveness to siblings who have hurt us. 

*Oh that we would find the joy that can only be discovered as we put the needs of our family above our own. 

From this place, and this place alone, can we BE a united family as together we wait for Jesus to make all things right in every nation, in every generation. And while we wait, let us not grieve the heart of the Father through our divisive fighting, but please Him with our unity!

#BEtransformedbytheWord: READ 1 John 3 where the Apostle John outlines God’s sacrificial love and encourages this same characteristic in God’s children. He wants His children to grow in love and to grow up!

BE In My Heart!

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What is consuming your heart as you live through this global COVID-19 crisis? Last week I spent some time in our beautiful little Wycliffe chapel in Kangaroo Ground – yes a big mob of kangas jumped by as I was praying! 

As I spent time pouring out and examining my own heart, Jesus reminded me of a song that captured me as a teenager. I share it with you now in the hope that you too will find the priceless treasure of Christ in your heart through these challenging times. 

What did I ever do for You, that You should die for me?

And what did I ever give to You, that You should live in me?

Now and forever and always true, Your love has found a way

As I was, I am and always will BE, will BE

BE in my heart, be in my head

BE in my soul tonight

Live in my words, let it be said

Live in my life tonight

Pray that I never take in vain, the name I hold most dear

His love in very heart of me, casts out all doubt and fear

Now and forever and always true, Your love has found a way

As I was, I am and always will BE, will BE

BE in my heart, BE in my head

BE in my soul tonight

Live in my words, let it be said

Live in my life tonight

Tonight, we shall sweetly sleep

Tonight, by still waters deep

Tonight for my soul to keep, still waters lead me to Your

Still waters, I need to drink of Your still waters

Now that I know the kind of love that comes to fill me up

Fill me anew with love from You and overflow my cup

Now and forever and always true, your love has found a way

As I was, I am and always will BE, will BE

BE in my heart, BE in my head

BE in my soul tonight

Live in my words, let it be said

Live in my life tonight

Still waters, running deep

Still waters, my soul to keep

Still waters, it’s Your love flowing over me

(By John Perry and Cliff Richard)

Listen: https://youtu.be/j-gVfKyzezI

BE Peace-full!

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I DO and I DON’T…

I DO want to watch the news to keep updated on the unfolding global crisis.

I DON’T want to accept the pandemic that has invaded us all.

I DO want to keep informed of the daily statistics and government directives.

I DON’T want to see the soaring death toll and enter into this aching grief.

I DO want to meet with my family, friends and church through the internet.

I DON’T want them to know how vulnerable I am and how I miss their hugs.

I DO want to lovingly serve others around me in the best way I can.

I DON’T want to put others or myself in unnecessary danger.

I DO want to pray.

I DON’T know what to say.

I DO want to be generous. I DON’T want to hoard.

I DO want to hoard. I DON’T want to share.

I DO want to listen the gentle voice of Jesus.

I DON’T want to give in to the screaming voice of fear.

I DO want to honour Him and give Him thanks for all my blessings. 

I DON’T know how to do that when I am caught in a whirlpool of emotion.

I DO want to stay engaged and not waste this momentous opportunity.

I DON’T want to get out of bed and face all the anguish.

I DO and I DON’T… I really DON’T and I really DO!

What I DO/DON’T feel right now is valid… but fickle.

What I actually DO/DON’T DO at this time is important… but inconsistent.

What Jesus DOES/ DOES NOT DO is faithful and true. Constant. Reliable.

So I offer Him my life and with the little seed of faith I have been given, I DO what I have done since I was a small child. I lean into Him in the midst of all the DO’s and DONT’S. He leans in too and His familiar, yet ever-fresh words of life wash over my soul…

‘Shalom! BE at peace My daughter. 

I DO want to give you all of My Spirit through this and every season.

I DON’T want my girl crippled with fear and darkness.

Please DO take time to fill up with Me and BE Peace-full!

DO fill your mind with My words. Your life with My actions.

In this world you will have trouble. But DON’T be afraid for I have overcome the world!

My peace I give you. True shalom peace, not peace as the world gives. 

DO go out into the world in whatever way is open to you and bless others in My name.

DON’T hold back My Bride, for I am with you – even until the end of the age!’

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SHALOM = the restoration of broken our relationships with God, others and ourselves!

SHALOM = being put back together, complete and whole as we are supposed to be!

SHALOM = flourishing, fulfilling fruitfulness – forever!

And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!’ John 16:33 TPT

#betransformedbytheWord  *Read or listen to John 14*

#PRAYwithfreedomfromsocialdistanceandselfisolation

Father, I DO choose to trust You today when I DON’T know about tomorrow. I DO choose to give thanks for my blessings when I DON’T understand this crisis.  I DO choose to worship You even when I DON’T feel Your presence.  I DO choose to receive Your peace . I DON’T want to be consumed with fear. Please use me to bring Your peace to many people through these uncertain days. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

BE-neath!

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For much of Australia, summer looked and smelled very different this year. The devastating bushfires, that charred nearly 20 million hectares of forest, blanketed several of our states in choking smoke for weeks.

Even though we were holidaying hours away from the main fires, our community endured many days where the atmosphere in our normally pristine ‘hamlet by the sea’ presented like a dystopia movie. 

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We were almost acclimatised to living with irritated eyes, distorted vision and a heavy ache in our lungs, when welcome waters rained down to cleanse and heal. What a joy it was to again view the clear blue skies and breathe in gulps of pure freshness with deep satisfaction. 

But evidence of the destruction also fell with the rain. The skies may have been clear, but for a few days afterwards, escaping the heat meant literally swimming in a mess of black soot that floated all over the surface of the water. Closer examination revealed distinct pieces of blackened leaves and bark. Our mighty gums had fallen… along with hundreds of properties, countless native animals and sadly, many precious human lives. 

Chaotic. Dark. Divided. Dead.

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(Seaspray January 2020)

Walking beside the waterline during that time was challenging too… like keeping company with an endless black snake… an ugly, unwanted intruder that slithered along the shore in both directions as far as the eye could see.

We walk and swim around in ‘ashes of suffering’ all throughout our lives. Life on the surface of this planet is messy and we can’t help but get ‘sad and sooty’ in the process of living… I sure do. Yes, on the surface things can look and smell very nasty. But is this ugliness the sum of reality? What is actually going on BE-neath the surface?

After decades of swimming in our Australian beaches, I have learned not to yield to my fears in the water, but to dive under the waves and push deep BE-neath the surface. Entering the water on those mirky days was unpleasant at first. It is not fun when pieces of death cling to you. But then I dove BE-neath and for precious moments experienced a cleansing, calm clarity that was impossible to find on the surface. No ash or soot… just a quiet space that was free from contamination.

With lungs burning, I was soon forced to rise and catch breath. Breaking back through the surface meant that I was again covered in the yucky blackness.  Debris attached itself to me yet again. But there was still BE-neath… ahhh… I chose to return there again… and again…

Peaceful. Clean. Whole. Alive.

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And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. Romans 8:28 AMP

Yes! God is at work BE-neath the surface… He is always at work BE-neath even the most horrible appearances and odours. Not only is God always at work BE-neath the surface of our circumstances, BE-neath the surface is also where we can dive in and experience His presence and protection…

‘Please, God, show me your mercy! Open your grace-fountain for me, for you are my soul’s true shelter. I will hide beneath the shadow of your embrace, under the wings of your cherubim until this trouble has passed.’ Psalm 57:1TPT

BE-neath the surface there is a purposeful, Spirit-led current that flows through every fibre of creation, reaching out through all history. Yes, God is at work. He is always at work BE-neath the surface. It may be hard for us to understand now, but God has promised to lovingly move every minute detail of His creation into a state of perfection – renewed and precisely landing where it is all meant to settle – in and under the eternal authority of Jesus! (See Philippians 2 & Revelation 21.)

And as God is masterfully working it all out for good, for the most part His workings are hidden from us. But when we take a faith dive BE-neath, we ‘catch a glimpse’ and ‘get a scent’ of the beautiful things He is up to BE-neath our worldly worries; our national distresses; our community challenges and our family dynamics. I am so grateful that He is also actively ‘doing His stuff’ BE-neath the surface of our own burned and bruised hearts too!

So let us not be afraid to enter into the fray of the ‘sooty mess of life’ around us because we can always take a dip into the holy depths of God’s BE-neath! BE-neath is where His Spirit lives and works. BE-neath is where He invites us to live and move and have our being. (See Acts 17:28)

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Please join us in praying for our ravaged nation… ‘Jesus, may wounded hearts and communities receive Your peace and healing touch – deep BE-neath the surface!’

To donate to the Australian bush fire appeal, please contact me directly for ideas. Thanks! Lyn 

BE You!

IMG_8492Spectacular Seaspray Sunset – December 2019

There is a deadly lie out there and it’s viciously spreading like wildfire. We have all heard it. The convincingly loud voice that claims, through various media, that we can do anything we want to do and be anything we want to BE…

But the reality is that each and every one of us have personal and circumstantial limitations that place life beyond our control. None of us can just decide to do everything we ever dreamed and become all we desire in this world. Or maybe, with renewed perspective, we can…

While there is enormous potential within and around us to do a blessed amount of good and become more than we could ever imagine, none of it is possible on our own. We are just too frail. Too broken. Too wrapped up in ourselves. Too trapped in things that don’t matter. 

The Good News is that a more authoritative voice has already spoken!        A fulfilling and fruitful life is indeed possible – in Him! 

When we actively believe in God’s Son, Jesus, and receive His invitation to be joined with Him, He fills us with His Holy Spirit. No longer on our own and bound to our own limitations and circumstances, Jesus’ Spirit of compassion partners with us to fulfil His good work in the world as He transforms us to become more and more like Him. In Jesus we can do all He has called us to do and we can BE all He has made us to BE! He calls this abundant life! 

Friends, as we enter into the new ‘roaring 20’s’, remember there is only one person God wants us to BE. His desire is for me to BE ME and for you to BE YOU – each of us uniquely reflecting facets of Jesus as a united family!

Free from fear… free from comparison… free from envy… free from prejudice and strife. Yes, still broken and ‘works in progress’, but free to walk into a glorious future with Jesus. Free to receive His love and love in return – bound together as we bless the world around us in His name! 

For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. Ephesians 2:10 AMP

May 2020 be a year of abundance in Jesus! With love from our family to yours, Lyn 🙂  

BE Intentional Walkers!

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Today I am going to walk. I am blessed to have legs that work and without even thinking about it, I am going to walk around the house getting needs met. I am going to walk out to the car and walk to the office where I serve. Later, I am going to walk around the supermarket and in the course of the day, will probably clock up many steps without being mindful of it.

I haven’t thought a lot about how to physically walk with purpose until last year when I took up a challenge and commenced a deliberate walking plan. (Four months in and I am on target to walk 1,000 kilometres in a year – and it feels good!)

The deliberate walking I do invigorates me, and now that I have started, I am frustrated when I cannot complete my goals for some reason. The weather is often an obstacle that I have to push through, but also circumstances can change my plans, and even my ability to walk, in just a moment.

For instance, over the Christmas holiday period when I expected to put a lot of time into walking, a nasty leg abscess stopped me in my tracks. I am very thankful to be able to walk again and still have a healthy leg – I don’t want to take my ability to walk for granted ever again!

When I am walking with intention, I take a gift of time away from other pressures and this provides me with the opportunity to purposefully think and pray through heartfelt concerns and needs. In light of my recent setback, I have been pondering what it means to walk through life with purpose, especially when walking means painfully stirring up debilitating wounds.

The Bible talks a lot about walking… walking in the light; walking in love; walking in truth; walking with God; walking on mountains and through valleys, etc. (Please feel free to take a deeper look at some of the ‘walking’ passages for yourself that I have added to the end of this blog.)

So, the idea of walking this journey in life is not a new concept but the whole idea of how I can choose to BE an intentional walker is a growing one to me 🙂

The fact that we woke up breathing in this world this morning means that we have been given the gift to walk through another day. The choice that lies before us then is this: ‘How am I going to walk through this day in a way that will bring life and purpose to me and to others around me?’

Without thinking about it, many of us will run flat out into a day that contains too many things to squeeze in. Without mindful, healthy decisions, many of us are going to stagger around lost and lonely under the weight of grief and pain.

Without thinking it through and being intentional, sadly many of us are going to choose a path of destruction, instead of redemption, in the midst of our circumstances.

What I am talking about here is a journey with intention… walked out step by step with Jesus in the direction towards eternal life with Him!

After seven years of grieving our brown-eyed-beauty, one thing I have learned is that if I don’t make some deliberate choices about how I am going to ‘walk through the day’ and live my life journey, I tend to stumble around in circles and end up in a heap on the ground! Another thing I am coming to accept (and even beginning to embrace) is that the pain of the trauma and separation are not going to leave me in this life – this is all is part of who I am as a human being walking this earth and I have been asked by the One I love to do so alongside others who are broken and suffering in pain.

Our dear Bethany could not physically walk for the last year of her life, but she chose to ‘walk’ the pathway Home with honour and courage. With her head held high as a daughter of the King, she took the hand of her closest companion and filled her backpack with faith, hope and love. She placed the shoes of peace on her crippled feet and moved toward her ultimate destination with purpose.

Friends, there is no doubt that our life journey will be a mix of pain and rest, challenges and joys, purposeful choices and missteps whatever path we choose. Thank God that while we may not have a choice in our life circumstances, we do have the choice to BE Intentional Walkers! I pray today that you will ‘tie up your laces’ with me, stretch those ‘faith muscles’ and set your sights on the same path chosen by and paved by the Saviour and start walking – rain, hail or shine! Redemption Road may be a narrow path that few choose, but it leads to LIFE!

Choose the right path…

            …Choose the right companions…

                        …Choose the right equipment…

                                                …Choose to take one step at a time…                                                                                                                        and don’t forget to…

Choose to absorb the view, taste the feast and smell the roses along the Way!

The process of the journey is preparing us for the eternal destination!

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Climbing Higher…

God’s Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. So here are 20 truths to guide us through our intentional walking, especially when the going gets tough!

*Walk humbly with God! (Micah 6:8) 

*Walk with Jesus! (John 8:12)

*Walk with the Holy Spirit! (Galatians 5:16-26)

*Walk with godly companions! (Psalm 101:6)

*Walk in obedience! (Deut 8:6; John 14:15)

*Walk in holiness (Isaiah 35:8)

*Walk in the Light! (1 John 1:6-7)

*Walk lightly! (Matthew 11:28)

*Walk without grumbling in the wilderness! (Numbers 14:2-4)

*Walk in thanksgiving! (Psalm 100:4; Colossians 2:6-7)

*Walk in peace! (Colossians 3:15)

*Walk in Truth! (John 16:13; 2 John 1:4)

*Walk in paths of righteousness! (Psalm 16:11; Proverbs 8:20)

*Walk in faith! (2 Corinthians 5:7)

*Walk in love! (Ephesians 5:2)

*Walk on water! (Matthew 14:22-33)

*Walk in praise! (Act 3:8-9)

*Walk with no fear! (Psalm 23; Isaiah 43:1-2)

*Walk in a manner worthing of our calling! (Ephesians 4; 2 Thess. 11-12)

*Walk for the glory of God! (Isaiah 26:8)

THANKS FOR WALKING WITH ME!